For Better Or For Worse, 8/22/08
A lot of my readers have been appalled by Ellie and Phil yukking it up as their father lies dying, but I think you’re missing some vital context here. This is For Better Or For Worse, where all emotions are expressed over three to five panels in the form of puns and wordplay. Making a little verbal jest, as our worried siblings do here, is the highest form of concern that anyone can express in this universe’s culture.
Ha ha, just kidding, they’re obviously terrible heartless monsters. Phil would probably be angry, but as his eyes in the final panel indicate, he’s completely baked. It’s a good thing he had time to freshen up his mustache wax before he got there.
Gil Thorp, 8/22/08
I feel like every time we see Jimmy (like here and here), he’s impossibly wide-eyed, intoxicated by either absolute power or angel dust. Today is no exception, and this comes after sitting through Elmer’s attempt to produce some kind of interminable Midwestern tribute to the work of Bela Tarr. The only way he should look like that after seeing nine hours of roadsides is if this is the kind of “roadsides” we’re talking about, and even then only because of the chafing.
The payoff here — that Jimmy will go to college because an older has-been never-was also went to college before embarking on a poverty-level semi-professional sports career — makes absolutely no sense, and is therefore the perfect capper to yet another Gil Thorp plot.
Mary Worth, 8/22/08
You may ask yourself: Why would a sexy, naturally hirsute man like Ian Cameron go through the discomfort and expense of waxing his prodigious belly so it’s all ultra-smooth? So that his wife can rub her be-swimcapped head all over it, naturally! These kids like to get freaky.
The only way my brain can accommodate the sentence “It’s never boring with you around, Ian” without exploding is to imagine that Toby is saying it an extremely sarcastic tone of voice. Or perhaps she’s pretending that she’s talking to someone interesting named Ian, like Booker Prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan or deceased Joy Division vocalist Ian Curtis.
Though the dialogue is ludicrous, I think the Riverdale gang’s expressions of stunned horror pretty accurately display the reaction you’d get if you brought a severed human head into a beloved teen hangout.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 8/22/08
This comic didn’t make me want to gouge out my own eyes at all, right up until the part where I saw the look of coquettish satisfaction on the cow’s face.