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Herb and Jamaal, 9/11/07

Pretty much any Herb and Jamaal could stand in for any other Herb and Jamaal, but today’s strip strikes me as a particularly archetypical Herb and Jamaal. We can strip it down to its essentials to reveal the skeleton that supports roughly 40 to 60 percent of Herb and Jamaal strips. Observe:

Panel one, character one: “More or less reasonable but somewhat oddly constructed question?”

Panel two, character two: “Extremely vaguely worded answer containing virtually no specifics related to the original interrogative, which no human being at any time would come up with as a response to said question, but which could potentially set up a variety of humorous interpretations.”

Panel three, character one: “Semantically empty phrase that helps pad the strip out to four panels…”

Panel four, character one: “…innuendo that could barely be reasonably derived even from the vague answer in panel two, and that uses ‘dating’ as a code word for a sexual relationship so as to pass muster in family newspapers.”

Mark Trail, 9/11/07

Is it possible that Clubby McSideburns is a more complex character than your usual run-of-the-mill facial-hair-sporting bludgeon-wielding Mark Trail baddie? It’s not like he bashes ducks’ heads in as a hobby or anything; he’s just a working man whose livelihood depends on the smooth operation of this mall project, and, what’s more, he cares about Homer’s financial well-being, too — maybe even more than Homer does. Meanwhile, panel two — in which we learn that Shirley the Duck is so slow and/or dumb that a human being can sneak up on her and get a hand around her throat before she goes all quacky-quacky — suggests that perhaps we should allow Darwinism, and the county construction permit process, to run their course.

Judge Parker, 9/11/07

Sam isn’t wearing his fancy three-piece goin’-to-the-courthouse lawyerin’ duds, so it’s kind of puzzling why Rusty asks him to change before they stroll around the grounds of this presumably well-manicured winery. Presumably she’d just be humiliated being seen outdoors within thirty feet of a man wearing that … weirdly fronted … chest-hair exposing … robin’s egg blue … shirt … thing.