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Before I launch into Tuesday’s comics, there’s something I was going to put up yesterday and forgot! Faithful reader KT has drawn his own comic based on the Tucson Comics Curmudgeon get together. Check it out, especially if you were there!

Cathy, 4/8/08

I know I shouldn’t be trying to think too hard about Cathy, but it vaguely bothers me that Cathy invariably ACKS her way through a rehash of her various financial sins during her annual early-April trips to the accountant. It would be one thing if Cathy were some kind of rich heiress who had a full-time financial advisor who monitored her income and expenses over the course of the year, but, come on: he’s just doing your taxes. He just needs to know what numbers to put into the 1040 form. He doesn’t need to know about your credit-card abuse. The key, I suppose, is that Cathy is a never-ending cavalcade of nightmarish self-loathing; in the sense that, for instance, a dream about being back in high school and having to take a test you didn’t study for isn’t about your educational history per se, Cathy’s visits to the accountant are less about the U.S. tax code and more a vehicle for free-form economic anxiety. Similarly, Cathy’s bathing suit purchasing episodes aren’t really an attempt to acquire new swimwear, but merely provide an avenue for wallowing in hatred of one’s own body. It’s just that sort of deep panic and despair that makes this strip such a constant joy to read.

Beetle Bailey, 4/8/08

Speaking of symbolically loaded nightmare visions, the action in today’s Beetle Bailey obviously takes place in the sleeping Sgt. Snorkel’s unconscious, as his mind tries to deal with his overwhelming attraction to Beetle that threatens to overwhelm his dedication to Army regulations and his moral code. Here, his fondest wish — Beetle served up on a plate, to “eat” — is played out metaphorically. The shape of the Beetleloaf in panel two is highly suggestive, but the unappetizing color represents Sarge’s superego making a last-ditch effort to dissuade him from his forbidden lust.

It’s also possible that, in an attempt to keep costs down and corporate profits high, the KBR contractors running Camp Swampy’s mess hall are killing the slower-moving soldiers, putting them through some kind of enormous meat grinder, and feeding them to their hapless comrades.

Herb and Jamaal, 4/8/08

At last, we find out why the characters in this strip refuse to call pop-culture products by name: as we can see in panel one, local movie outlets (and presumably book stores and TV stations) replace the actual titles of these entertainments with illegible squiggles. Poor Herb and Jamaal have no choice but to squint at the marquee for a few moments before requesting tickets to “that new action movie that everyone’s talking about.”

Apartment 3-G, 4/8/08

Notice that Alan has to point to his shitty painting in panel two, because otherwise Blaze would have no idea what he’s referring to when he mentions “making art.” “Oh, you mean this … thing … here? Oh. Huh.”

In panel three, however, the boys are giving each other knowing looks that promise a hilarious and doomed money-making scheme in the offing. Based on their outfits, I’m going to guess that it will follow the plot of Midnight Cowboy a bit too closely for comfort.

Funky Winkerbean, 4/8/08

So … Mooch is a pedophile, an arsonist, and some kind of universe-jumping time traveller? That’s what I’m getting out of this, anyway.