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Mary Worth, 6/8/09

As I demanded, so has it been done: POOL PARTY! You don’t know what it’s been like, knowing from your comments that a pool party was in progress but forced to toil on other more lucrative projects rather than enjoy my comics-stories. Now that I’m here, though, it’s pretty darn awesome. Ian is, as one would expect, resplendent in his fuzzy electric blue jacket, and Mary is sporting a kicky black jumper. But I’m most intrigued by the pair of gents in white shirts and high-waisted pants. The dark-haired fellow in panel one, wearing khaki pants and a t-shirt, is posing as if hoping to be discovered by the manager of a low-end clothing catalog. But in panel two, we catch a glimpse, obscured behind Toby’s word balloon blather, of sandy-haired character in baby blue slacks and a luminous polo shirt. Will their eyes meet across the crowded courtyard? Will they chat about how difficult it is to find belts that are the exact same color as one’s pants, and will romance blossom? STAY TUNED!

Speaking of blossoming romance, what are we to make of Toby’s awkward “I loved how she and her husband got together”? My question hinges on the use of “how.” In many cases in casual conversation, “how” simply means “the fact that” (i.e., “I love how Mary is drinking wood-grain alcohol through a straw”), and thus Toby’s statement conveys nothing more than bland approval for a successful coupling. But if “how” is taken to mean “the way in which,” then we must presume there is some sort of meet-cute backstory here (hopefully to be conveyed in ham-handed flashback form). If that’s the case, we may learn that this storyline’s lesson will be the same as the last’s: that the only marriages that last are those in which the groom is selected by the bride’s father from the families of his close associates.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 6/8/09

Boy, I sure lost interest in this Rex Morgan storyline, didn’t I? If you haven’t been following along, take my word for it that it’s been extremely dull and not even a little bit gay. I admit to being amused by panel one here, though, in which formerly eager-to-please (and formerly black) Guido Tomas rages histrionically upon being revealed as a human trafficker. I think “I am the second officer!” is a somewhat funny thing to yell if you’re pulling the “Don’t you know who I am” card. “Unhand me! My authority derives from the Law of the Sea, and from a bankrupt cruise line! Look, my uniform has epaulets and yours do not! Does that not make it clear that I am of higher status than you?”

Gil Thorp, 6/8/09

Could anything be more pleasing than the final panel in today’s Gil Thorp, in which the sweaty, exhausted Mudlarks collapse and/or vomit onto to the outfield in exhaustion? I suppose it could be topped if the next several days consist of panel after wordless panel of the scene of carnage, with unconscious teenagers flopped pell-mell everywhere, like the famous crane shot of Confederate wounded in Gone With The Wind, and then the next two years are taken up with Gil and the school board defending themselves in the massive lawsuit that will inevitably follow.

Archie, 6/8/09

Insulated from consequences and separated from the common herd by his Croesus-like wealth, Mr. Lodge has gone mad with power and begun conducting experiments on human subjects to satisfy his idle curiosity. “I wonder if this cholesterol medication has been approved by the FDA?” “The pills sure look effective, don’t they? Why not try eight or twelve and see what happens?”

Family Circus, 6/8/09

Generally speaking, if you crush a child’s sense of fun and whimsy early, the transition to white-collar drudgery is significantly less traumatic.

Pluggers, 6/8/09

A plugger’s night on the town could unfold in pretty much exactly the same sequence, at exactly the same stores and restaurants, in any town in America, which is kind of depressing.

Wizard of Id, 6/8/09

Ha ha! It’s funny because prisoners receive substandard health care!