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Mark Trail, 12/15/08

A couple of months back, I posited that this could in fact be the ultimate Mark Trail storyline, including as it does all of the strip’s favorite plot devices — gentle forest hermits, rapacious mustachioed developers, a “hot” chick who wants to do Mark, terrible pet-napping hillbillies with sinister designs and stupid names, etc. In fact, there’s only been really one major Trail bugaboo missing, and that’s Indian artifact smuggling! So naturally Mark, in an attempt to fit his terrible ordeal in with the nature of the world he knows, assumes that Salty and his gang are “smugglers of some sort” (hint: the sort that smuggle PRICELESS INDIAN ARTIFACTS!) despite no evidence pointing in that direction. Maybe they’re just run-of-the-mill baddies who tie up local irritants on their disused shrimp boat, then fall asleep, for money!

Also absent in this storyline, up until today: a word balloon emanating from Andy’s crotch. So, there’s that.

Mary Worth, 12/15/08

Poor Lynn is starved for the human affection conveyed by simple hug, since everyone in her life (“everyone” consisting entirely of her father, ever since he had the brake lines cut on Greg’s brother’s car) is repulsed by such niceties as “physical contact.” Our heartbroken skater calculates (probably correctly) that Mary is in the “no touch” club, so in panel one she skillfully feints a dramatic pose against a convenient tree before pivoting and hurling herself into Mary’s arms. I give it a 9.8 (ideally her left arm would have come in below Mary’s right).

Another possibility is that Lynn is speaking literally when she says that her heart stopped when she heard about Greg’s death; this whole boring story was meant only to lull Mary into complacency, and now Zombie Lynn will lunge at her victim and feast on her brains.

Hagar the Horrible, 12/15/08

Oh, Hagar the Horrible, what a pretty and atmospheric winter scene you have for us here! It almost seems petty to point out that you seem to have forgotten to include a punchline of any sort in today’s strip.

Mother Goose and Grimm, 12/15/08

This is today’s Mother Goose and Grimm. It’s about dog-on-tree necrophilia! Yes, Ralph, it’s no coloring error that those hearts above your head are inky black, as your love for Lana is dirty and shameful.