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Gil Thorp, 5/16/09

If I’ve been ignoring Gil Thorp, as I’ve been doing of late, you can pretty much just assume that it’s because it’s been pointless and boring (as opposed to its more entertaining mode, when it’s pointless and delightfully deranged). The baseball-season plot revolves around YouTube videos, and you know that any time a continuity strip takes on modern Internet culture, you’re in for a roller-coasters ride, if roller-coasters had no hills and didn’t move at all.

Making things worse is the choice of Bill Hawkins as this spring’s protagonist. Bill is a quiet, hard-working type who has managed to woo the Amazonian Molly despite his complete lack of a personality or sense of humor. We are left to wonder just what sort of rowdiness the guys were getting up to down there. Drugs? Orgy? Drug-fueled orgy? Thanks to Bill’s goody two-shoeism, we’ll never know.

(Speaking of Gil Thorp and pointless Internet culture, I keep meaning to mention that Marty Moon has a Twitter account, featuring important updates like “I’ve been growing my beard for charity. Was I supposed to tell anyone about it first?”)

Archie, 5/16/09

Ignore for the moment the joke in today’s strip (easy enough to do, right?) and take a look at that terrifying Archie-resembling ventriloquist’s dummy in the foreground of the first panel. What could its meaning or significance be? Where does one even go to get such a thing made, and how would notorious deadbeat Jughead pay for what must be a custom job? Does Jughead spend the nights on which Archie is out on a date with Betty and/or Veronica alone in his filthy room, acting out the part of his best friend through the magic of ventriloquism? It’s all so unsettling that I almost didn’t notice that Jughead also appears to have a copy of a magazine with his own face on the cover, presumably an Oprah-esque lifestyle publication for people who want to be more like Jughead.