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Gil Thorp, 1/29/07

I dare you to try to explain panel two of today’s Gil Thorp without using the words “physically impossible,” “insanity,” or “mescaline.” I dare you. I’m not a big expert on basketball or anything, but I’m pretty sure that “setting a screen” does not entail lunging at the dude with the ball and attempting to karate-chop him so that the ball goes flying up into the air and then bounces off of the featureless void in which you find yourself floating. Seriously, if I were the A-Train, I’d steer well clear of that whole scene too.

Panel three may look like an instance Coach Gil’s magnificent wrath, but in fact he just has to appear to care about his teams for the first few weeks of each season so that he doesn’t get fired. Don’t worry, by the time the playdowns roll around, he’ll have retreated to the bleachers, more than willing to let some hobo offer incomprehensible advice about pick and rolls or whatever.

Six Chix, 1/29/08

Hats off to one-sixth of Six Chix for sharing one of my pet peeves. To expand on this complaint, I offer this piece of advice to expectant parents: In all probability, your child upon birth will already have a perfectly good last name. Why saddle him or her with a second one where the first name should be? Especially to be avoided are last names of former U.S. presidents (e.g., “Carter,” “Madison”) or Canadian prime ministers (e.g., “Mackenzie” and variants).

I note actually that the Chic (Chik?) responsible for today’s Six Chix is in fact Margaret Shulock, who also writes Apartment 3-G. Perhaps this is why, for all their other faults, the bland lookalike love interests of that strip at least don’t suffer from the terrible last-name-as-first-name affliction. Though if Lu Ann’s cousin Blaze is any indication, our quizzical bespectacled lady might be about to say, “If it’s a boy, why not name him after a famous lady stripper instead?”

Shoe, 1/29/08

Who is “Charlie Crone”? Why is January 29th his “day”? Why does Shoe alone among all media outlets dare to commemorate whatever he did or whoever he is? Is he still alive, and if so does he appreciate his name floating aimlessly over a sofa from which a bird-man tells a terrible iPhone joke (like there’s any other kind) to his miniskirted bird-lady therapist? Google has no answers to any of these questions, but perhaps you, my faithful readers, do!

Momma, 1/29/08

Look, I’d like to believe that I’m emotionally capable of dealing with Momma cartoons that allude to the title character’s sex life, but as it turns out, I’m not, so let’s not publish any more of them, OK? It would help, obviously, if there were some kind of joke in the strip, since that would keep our minds from otherwise orbiting helplessly around the words “emptiness,” “fill,” and “stuff.”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/29/08

Fortunately, I long ago learned to emotionally deal with cartoons that allude to Niki’s sex life — fortunately because I imagine we’re going to keep on seeing them.

Pluggers, 1/29/08

Wow, it’s yet another Pluggers conceptual repeat, this one harkening back to one of my favorites of all time. So, does it turn out that “a classic” means that this is a new submission of an old idea but we’re redrawing it?

I actually spent a little bit of brainpower this afternoon trying to decide which of the two pawn-shop themed Pluggers was grimmer. On the one hand, in the one from July of ’06, you get a better look at the bankrupt man-beast’s face and can see how depressed he is. On the other, in that older panel Rhino-Man is hocking his tiny TV, which, let’s face it, is a perhaps nothing more than an agent of his couch potato-ization; perhaps having to give it up will inspire him to get out of the living room and take chances in life! Bear-Man’s saxophone, on the other hand, probably represents his only creative outlet, or maybe his long-ago dreams of being something more than a plugger, and now he’s realized that those feelings are for people with self-worth, not for him. So I’m going to have to give today’s panel the win.

Oh oh, wait — what if that’s Bear-Man’s kid’s saxophone? And he’s thinking “Now I’ll be able to afford my next payment on our TV, and I won’t have to listen to that racket!” Bonus points!

Unrelated to any of these but awesome: A few threads back, faithful reader ChattyGenes posted a funny Annie song spoof, which faithful reader mollificent then recorded and posted to YouTube! Hilarious and excellent all around! (Note that the YouTube “video” is really audio only.)