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Mark Trail, 3/21/09

Now, there are certain aspects of this current Mark Trail storyline that some readers might deem “unrealistic.” For instance, in this suspicious day and age, would the average service employee just start handing out addresses (or, in this case, vague descriptions of cabin locations) of customers to any sideburned prison-orange-clad total strangers who ask? Perhaps not; but then again, would your average counter jockey even know where most of his customers live? I think it’s obvious that our mustachioed barista is, by the very virtue of his mustache, Mark’s sworn enemy. You’ll note that his facial hair is particularly outlandish, with a waxed curlicue on the left side of his face and an unruly bristle on the right; surely such a hairy-lipped cad can’t have lived in such close proximity to Mark for this long and escaped his righteous fists. Too cowardly to seek revenge himself, he instead recognizes a kindred spirit in his fellow baldy, and hopes to set the stage for Mark’s destruction by sending these two ne’er-do-wells right to our hero’s LoFo lair.

Funky Winkerbean, 3/21/09

Funky Winkerbean is cruel both to its characters and to its readers. We’ve endured this strip’s grey drone of depression for long enough; surely we earned the right to see the bloody, limb-severing melée that broke out when Harry Dinkle attempted to “conduct” his symphony. But no, instead of enjoying the catharsis and seeing the band room splattered with gore, we’re only treated to seeing one of the few students who somehow escaped the carnage, still in shock and just starting to come to terms to what she saw. Very unsatisfying.

Crock, 3/21/09

The war crimes trial of Commandant Vermin P. Crock was full of shocking revelations that brought First World citizens face to face with the atrocities that marked the colonial wars fought in their name. But it was the testimony about the Legion’s use of child soldiers that had the biggest impact on world opinion. “I loved those boys!” the defendant professed tearfully on the witness stand. “I made sure they received an excellent education, even in the midst of their military duties!” Was it a cynical attempt to blunt the force of the fury that had risen against him? Or was he genuinely blind to the enormity of what he had done to those children?