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I know I said I was going to gloss over the strips that ran during my vacation, but, you know, I had to read them, at least the ones that have continuing storylines, if I didn’t want to be totally lost, and once I started reading them, well, some of them just were really calling out for the treatment and … I know, it’s a sickness. Anyway, here, quickly, are the high points of December 23 through January 1!

Judge Parker, 12/24/07

A very gratuitous Christmas came a day early for Abbey Spencer fans. I know that when most of you ladies have a sudden, drug-induced urge to paint your study, you want to slip into something more comfortable — like a halter top and a pair of Daisy Dukes so tight that you’re actually incapable of standing up straight.

Mary Worth, 12/24/07

Chester’s real owner apparently stole him away and, unbeknownst to Mary, replaced him with a plastic replica, if his weird sitting-in-midair position in panel one is any indication.

Spider-Man, 12/24/07

Peter Parker, meanwhile, got the best gift a boy could get: A trip to prison! Oh boy!

Christmas Day usually sees some variously awkward greetings shoehorned into different strips. My two favorites from 2007 were Dick Tracy, which heralded the birth of Our Savior with a scene of a collapsing building and an excitable workingman blathering about being pelted with corpses:

…and Gil Thorp, which proudly featured a set of cramped, noseless horrors that made last year’s Christmas card look museum-worthy:

For Better Or For Worse, 12/26/07

Meanwhile, Anthony has figured out a way to make little Francie accept her new mommy: force her to watch their bland, noodly sexual congress.

Gil Thorp, 12/28/07

Gil Thorp promises to break new dramatic ground in the new year by featuring a high school-aged student-athlete who is arrogant and unpleasant! (And yet how can we hate anyone who throws around put-downs like “climb down off your dinosaur”?)

Mark Trail, 12/29/07

A terminally ill Luke Wilson said, “Don’t waste your time, Trail,” by which he obviously means “Let’s not over-stimulate your readers with any kind of action or excitement when I can just tell them all what happened and then expire quietly.” No word yet on whether Mark will punch his corpse.

Panels from Apartment 3-G, 12/30/07

Margo added another bullet point to her résumé of personal destruction: enabler!

Panel from Judge Parker, 12/30/07

Sam proved, as if we need any more evidence, that he has no intention of having sex with his wife ever again.

For Better Or For Worse, 1/1/08

And, in the first moments of 2008, April took a good, long look at Gerald’s penis. She looks troubled by what she sees.