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Gil Thorp, 5/27/09

One of the (many, I swear!) things I like about Gil Thorp is its tendency to keep once-starring players around as background characters for as long as their fictional high school careers last. So, during basketball and baseball season of 2008, Andrew “The A-Train” Gregory (whose name was meant to taunt one of the strip’s younger readers) was an obnoxious, egomaniacal superjerk who dominated the plotlines with his self-aggrandizing antics. Now, though, he looks positively cuddly when compared to prank-happy megadouche Shep Trumbo. Presumably all of the strip’s readers will forgive Andrew’s past irritations if he makes good on his promise to choke the life out of Shep with that disturbingly realistic toy snake.

Marvin, 5/27/09

What is Marvin’s greatest affront to human dignity? This is a complex question that can probably only be fully answered by a duly constituted war crimes tribunal, but here’s my take. One of the things that make babies so enchanting is their innocence, their complete unfamiliarity with the world; everything is fascinating and delightful to them, even something as mundane as a household toaster, because it’s so new. But Marvin completely lacks this quality; instead, he’s a paradoxically cynical baby, viewing the world with heavy-lidded ironic distance. He’s a monstrous adult-infant hybrid: the worst aspects of grown-ups (emotional numbness, sarcasm) and babies (squalling, pants-shitting). He should be left on a hillside to be eaten by coyotes.

Herb and Jamaal, 5/27/09

This cartoon does a pretty good job of illustrating how difficult it must be to manufacture clothing in Herb and Jamaal-world, where individuals that are notionally of the same species can exhibit radically different physical characteristics. For instance, a baseball cap that fits snugly on the tip of Jamaal’s oblong skull can only balance precariously atop Herb’s spherical cranium.

Mary Worth, 5/27/09

Say, do you know what sort of people would be easy to snare in some sort of con? People who place their absolute trust in someone based on one ten-minute meeting and a relationship with his family that ended decades ago, that’s who!