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Judge Parker, 4/7/09

Judge Parker has long been known as the soap opera strip most concerned with land use and planning issues, which is why we were treated to a weeks-long story on water rights a couple of years back. Now, to bide the time while Sophie puts her plans into motion to completely upend junior high’s social hierarchies and emerge as her school’s beautiful and terrifying goddess-queen, our B-team will be keeping everyone posted on the intriguing possibilities of well-planned big box reuse.

Still, I’m uneasy with this whole “Europa Aerospace” company. Does that sound like the sort of company that will happily be producing solar cells to help cut down on our reliance on fossil fuels? Or the sort of company that plans to help Europe conquer outer space? Soon decaying, empty former Wal-Marts and Targets everywhere will be transformed into launch pads for small but stylish rockets. These Euronaut-piloted vehicles will litter Earth orbit with fashionable, smoke-filled zero-G bistros and brasseries, discos housing endless throbbing techno dance parties, and thousand-year-old cathedrals. It’s a damn shame that a genuine American hero like Steve was used to enable Eurotrash’s orbital triumph.

Gil Thorp, 4/7/09

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the greatest Gil Thorp plots are the ones in which one of the characters suffers some form of head trauma. Thus, I’m very excited about the possible directions in which this plot might travel. Will we be treated to a rare but thrilling instance of Thorpian rage? Or will we instead enjoy a comic amnesia plot, in which Gil forgets his whole life to this point and is baffled to find himself in charge of a hideous band of loser teenagers in the worst town imaginable?

Mark Trail, 4/7/09

“Be sure not to tell me, though, because Lord knows I can’t be bothered about things that involve humans. Now, if a bear or a raccoon were lost and in trouble, I might get worked up, but you? Not so much.”

Pluggers, 4/7/09

For pluggers, finding 42 cents worth of loose stamps in a drawer is an “achievement,” I guess.