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Blondie, 1/3/09

Ah yes, “this” — by which we are surely meant to understand the first week of January — truly is everyone’s very favorite time of year! What with the lingering resentment towards one’s family after too many hours spent in close quarters with them, the need to box up all the Christmas decorations and figure out how on earth to dispose of the tree, the grim prospect of returning to work or school after an extended absence, the arrival of the first round of credit card bills with holiday gift purchases on them, the radical diets undertaken after the horrifying results from the first venture onto the scale in weeks … why, there’s just nothing not to like about it! That the Bumsteads have time for parties and get-togethers in the midst of all this is a tribute to their sandwich and/or meth-fueled stamina.

You know, it’s almost as if this strip, published on the first day of the NFL playoffs, were originally written when pro football’s regular season was shorter and the playoffs really did coincide with the holiday season. The last year that was the case was 1982, when the strip was a mere 52 years old. But the thought that Blondie might just be repackaging strips written years ago is obviously laughable.

Curtis, 1/3/09

Curtis Kwanzaa stories will now forever be judged against 2007’s glowing telepathic otter, and while the Three Unpleasant Maidens Who Are Jealous Of Some Other Maiden’s Magic Water Jug has been dullsville so far, things have undeniably picked up today, as they vomit out increasingly horrifying nightmare visions after drinking out of said magic jug. If the three-eyed frogs and baseball-sized spiders (side note: would these ancient Africans even know how big a baseball is?) rise up to devour our nosey trio, who, after all, only wanted in on an apparently unlimited fresh water supply in a society that doesn’t have indoor plumbing, this will certainly be the most gruesome Kwanzaa yet. Perhaps “mind-numbing terror” should be added as the holiday’s eighth guiding principle.

Judge Parker, 1/3/09

Ah, check out stone-faced Sam in today’s final panel. Just another crazed, murderous stripper shouting “I was dead a long time ago!” as she commits suicide by cop, charging knife first into a hail of automatic weapons fire. If you’re Sam Driver, it’s just another thing to drop a few ironic, detached witticisms about before heading off to the next adventure. The man is such a joy.

9 Chickweed Lane, 1/3/08

9 Chickweed Lane readers, when opening their papers and/or Web browsers Monday and discovering a strip that does not revolve around this endless Belgian cello competition and/or fucking, will come to the logical conclusion that the story has in fact ended with a triumphant Edda killing and devouring Amos right there on stage. To those pleased by such a development, I must temper your satisfaction by pointing you to this.