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Oh, it’s true, it’s true *sob*. We are going to Italy for two weeks! I will be helped along by a couple of gifts from faithful readers: A Family Circus-themed Learning Italian video from faithful reader Bats :[, and, arriving by mail just yesterday, an Italian-language Andy Capp collection from faithful reader Mademoiselle Hepzibah (aka Emily Gordon of Emdashes fame). Now I’ll know how to be be an annoying little melonhead and a drunken working-class British lout in Italian! Anyway, it’s all very exciting and then I promise no more vacations until Christmas. (Note: promise may not apply to occasional long weekends.)

Anyway, the inimitable Uncle Lumpy will be filling in until my return July 1st-ish, but I wanted to offer you a gift before I left in the form of an EXTREMELY GREAT NEW COMIC you should be checking out online. The comic does not seem to have an actual name, but it is by Kate Beaton and it is extremely hilarious. You can check out her comics page or her LiveJournal, the latter of which has an RSS feed but also some non-comics stuff. Many people have sent me a link to one of her latest, which is about the meeting between Garfield the cat and President James Garfield that we’ve all dreamed of (naturally, it ends in blood). She does a lot of history comics that you’ll like if you’re a history nerd like me, including this one about the sack of Lindisfarne monastery or this one about James Monroe’s sexy butt. She is from the Canadian Maritimes, and also does cartoons about that.

And now, to the comment of the week, which will also be the comment of the next several weeks, since UL can not bring himself to stand in judgement above you all:

“I’m disappointed in Dick Tracy, which missed an opportunity to educate its young readers. Surely there’s some sort of grammatical exercise that can be worked out of the three-panel dialogue sequence: ‘I’m beginning to smell a rat!’ ‘I smell a rat!’ and then ideally, ‘I’m finished smelling the rat!’ Of course, the plan fails under the consideration that there are no young people anywhere reading Dick Tracy.” –shegotzen

And the runners-up!

“I was going to rip on Mommy’s housekeeping skills, but to be fair, Jeffy may have dropped the lollipop on the men’s room floor at the downtown bus station where his parents abandoned him.” –SpiffBereft

“Because Dr. Jeff only can read what Moy and Giella let him see based on the panel borders, he didn’t see that the actual text read: ‘The newly elected town councilman, Ron Amalfi, is enjoying an un-romantic dinner with a platonic friend at La Rosa restaurant. He and Mary Worth split the bill and were at their respective homes by 7:30 p.m. after a perfunctory handshake.'” –Frank Parsnip

“In Charterstoneland, ‘contrary one’ is a euphemism for ‘geriatric harlot.'” –Eats Shoots And Leaves

“Just for the record, ‘Socks Fifth Avenue’ is too close to ‘Broads-way’ for my prediction about the imminent stab-mugging NOT to come true. Here’s hoping it’s preceded by Crankshaft going to Fire Island and asking if he’s in Queens.” –Fat Charlie

“I seriously cannot wait to see how MW manages to make what ought to be a hilariously awesome storyline incredibly boring. It’s like watching a dread sorcerer practice their Dark Arts, only every time they start to summon the incubus, they stub their toe on their skull-shaped podium and have to stop and hop around, squealing in pain.” –Lu

“If I never see the word ‘stimulus’ in such close proximity to Jamaal’s oddly-shaped head again, it will be too soon.” –anthom

“Mary’s insistence that Ron is just a friend because they only had dinner together might stand a better chance of soothing Dr. Jeff’s jilted fury if their own relationship had ever involved anything other than having dinner together.” –Trilobite

“I don’t know much about doing drugs, but if getting high involves standing around in an art museum discussing startup capital, I’ll pass.” –AirForbes

“Also, is it it just me, or does the current Mary Worth plotline sink anyone else into gray and featureless despair? Jeff says ‘while we were on our break’ and my fingers twitch toward the wooden barbecue skewers. They would fit so nicely into my eyeballs. Yes, being blind is a bummer, but it would distract me from the spectacle of two geriatrics reliving my high-school days.” –Kate

“I just dread it when my boyfriend starts a conversation with ‘Aren’t you the contrary one?’ I mean I would, if it ever happened. To anyone. Ever.” –Emma

“Has anyone else noticed how disturbingly Aryan all of the Patterson children’s spouses and boyfriends are? It’s like this strip was taken over by a bunch of Nazi Youth. Really boring, prudish, self-absorbed Nazi Youth.” –Lez Patterson

I need to give extra big thanks to those who put a few bucks in the tip jar. And hey, I may be going on vacation, but our advertisers never do, so let’s give ’em a hand!

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