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Mary Worth, 12/4/08

I realize that I have ignored a very exciting last several days in Mary Worth. Lynn had a picture of … a boy in her pocket! And then Mary saw it! And Lynn freaked out! And she fainted! (But she’ll be fine.) But there’s something even more troubling than the stress-related faint! And that more troubling thing is … IS …

(The fact that all this constitutes a very exciting last several days in Mary Worth tells you pretty much all you need to know about Mary Worth.)

Anyway, bets are now being taken as to what the “troubling” unexplainable medical condition will be. Potential answers: pregnancy, venereal disease, insanity, Electra complex, droopy-ponytail-itis. While we’re waiting, I dare you to make sense of the arrangement of grey and off-green on the wall behind Mary and Evil Figure Skating Father-Coach, either in the individual panels or taking the strip as some kind of theoretical whole.

Herb and Jamaal, 12/4/08

If my years of reading Herb and Jamaal have taught me anything, it’s that this potentially interesting story about Herb’s crime-terrorized barber will be dropped after today, and that his discomfiting anxiety has been trotted out entirely in the service of a cheap gag about shaking hands. Tune in next week for similar yucks when Jamaal’s doctor turns out to have a devastating alcohol problem!

Crankshaft, 12/4/08

This just in: everyone in Crankshaft, without exception, is terrible. “Really, son, this paycheck just goes to show that getting in on the ground floor somewhere to pursue your dreams is for suckers and poor people. Why not work in a high-paying job you hate so you can look as beaten down and miserable as we do at all times?”

I am kind of amused by the fact that the sepia-toned, old-timey album photo panel, once reserved for storylines like Crankshaft’s days in the minors in the late ’40s, has now just become Crankshaft shorthand for “events that happened previously” — even when, in this case, the events occurred well into the era of digital color photography.

Mark Trail, 12/4/08

“I wish I had let Andy come with me!” “I’m beginning to worry about our friend too, Andy!” Hey, guys, Andy can’t always be there paw-holding you as you make your way through life, OK? You’re going to learn how to do things on your own. Meanwhile, it’s obvious that the real hero of this storyline will be Sneaky, clawing at the face of anyone, or possibly everyone, within reach once the melee starts.

Family Circus, 12/4/08

Getting a new encyclopedia for Billy is obviously unthinkable, since it would be full of all that devilish “new learning.” Even the 1955 World Book was chock full of sin, which is why Mommy had to consolidate the clean parts into this single tattered volume.

Apartment 3-G, 12/4/08

At last, Margo’s going to live out her ultimate fantasy — a three-way with two dudes who look exactly alike! Oh, wait, I just described every M-F-M three-way in the Apartment 3-G universe.