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Mark Trail, 11/14/08

Let’s imagine that you just started reading Mark Trail, say, nine days ago. Now, this supposition puts us firmly in the realm of the thought experiment, because nobody has “started” reading Mark Trail anytime in the last few decades, obviously, print is dying and the strip is coasting on nostalgia and will keep being drawn until its last reader dies, in 2019, but imagine that you started reading it nine days ago. You would say to yourself, “Good Lord, this strip is insanely action packed, with all the punching!” And then you’d be hooked, and willing to sit through eight to eleven months of mangled syntax and giant mutant animals and questionable ecological science and horribly misguided sexual advances and Mark’s eerie, soulless grin waiting for the next punch. But if you started reading this strip, say, twenty-three days ago, you would have inevitably given up on it before we got to this awesome Mark-Rabbit battle of fists.

What I’m trying to say is that this strip needs MORE PUNCHING, which will allow it to grow its audience and, eventually, be the only strip left in your daily paper (which, due to repeated cutbacks, will be only eight pages long, and will feature Mark Trail, obituaries, baseball box scores, and a single tire ad). BUT: will more Mark Trail punching diminish the awesomeness of each individual punch? Discuss.

Mark and Rabbit sure are striking iconic poses in the final panel, what with Mark’s fist swung up in a classic uppercut and his shirt collar mussed with exertion, and Rabbit’s hat flying off his now senseless head. It would be better if the two of them were even remotely near one another.

Dick Tracy, 11/14/08

Now, if you had just started reading Dick Tracy nine days ago, you’d think, “Gee! In this strip, robots both perpetrate and absorb all the violence! This must mean that actual humans never suffer any harm here.” And you would be so, so wrong. The only question is how Braces will be horribly dismembered; in true ironic fashion, it will involve his own robot, somehow, but it remains to be seen how many of his limbs will still be attached to his torso by the time he finally expires.

I admit to being charmed by “U R NEXT, POLICE PERSON!” Has Brute Force’s vocabulary chip been programmed to be carefully gender neutral, or can he simply not distinguish between the he-fleshling and she-fleshing varieties?

Apartment 3-G, 11/14/08

There are two reasons to love Lu Ann’s sassy Bea Arthur lookalike cousin Blaze: (1) he’s sassy, and (2) he mysteriously doesn’t look exactly like every other youngish male type in Apartment 3-G’s New York City. Today, we learn the reason for (2): instead, he looks exactly every other youngish male type in Apartment 3-G’s world outside New York City.