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Luann, 1/30/08

Advancing character development in a comic strip is actually a fairly tricky thing to do, and so I give props to Luann for getting Brad out of the house and the fast food industry and into the Fire Department a few years ago. And real-life firefighters face seriously traumatic situations, which, combined with a no-doubt prevailing tough-guy ethic, means that seminars like “Your Mental Health” are important. But could we please see Brad and/or Tony attending fewer seminars and elementary school safety presentations and instead, you know, putting out fires now and then? Chopping through doors with axes, pulling screaming children from burning rooms, leaping out of second-story windows as the smoke billows — and then, when they get back to the firehouse with adrenaline still singing through their veins, letting nature take its course? Even Herb and Jamaal has featured firefighting scenes this month, for Pete’s sake. It would sure be a hell of a lot more interesting than this “saving Toni a seat at the mental health seminar” crap.

Funky Winkerbean, 1/30/08

Hey, let’s check in with our friends in the whimsical Winkerworld! Now-near-deaf former band leader Harry Dinkle and his wife have decided to check out the bright lights of Las Vegas and see what all the fuss is about! But Harry doesn’t gamble, and for some reason he can’t really enjoy himself as he wanders the casino floor, seeing the dead-eyed elderly pouring the last of their savings into bleeping electronic devices designed by teams of experts to fleece them. Then Harry makes a pun! And his wife smirks, or she may just be suffering a stroke.

Gasoline Alley, 1/30/08

Speaking of whimsy, in Gasoline Alley our postal protagonist imagines that if he were murdered by his wife in an argument over money, that would be for the best. This sort of logic is why so many post offices have bullet-proof glass in front of the counters.

Mary Worth, 1/30/08

Ha ha, I like Drew’s pissy little face in panel one, but I love his “Groan!” thought balloon in panel two. It of course puts him in fine company with tweaker Tommie, one of the greatest Mary Worth characters in recent memory. Let’s hope we’re witnessing stage one of his slide into drug addiction!

As for our ad agent lovebirds, is there any dumber romantic scenario than a whirlwind public romance with your boss, particularly if your boss is a possessive weirdo who “accidentally” shows up two hours early for your date? No, nothing good can come of this for anybody involved except for Mary, who is almost certainly at home lining up the platitudes she’s going to unleash once this whole thing goes south.

They’ll Do It Every Time, 1/30/08

Al Scaduto held back his most politically charged work, asking that it only be published after his death.

Also: Thanks to a faithful inside tipster for this story detailing the shocking truth about Gil Thorp’s Andrew Gregory!