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Gil Thorp, 7/23/09

There’s a song that’s traditionally sung at the Passover seder called “Dayenu,” a Hebrew word that means, roughly, “It would have been enough.” The thrust of the song is that, during the whole fleeing-from-Egypt thing captured so memorably on film by Cecil B. DeMille and Charlton Heston, God did any number of classy things for the ancient Israelites (smiting the Egyptians, parting the Red Sea, establishing a law code in easy-to-carry stone tablet form, etc.), of which any one would have been plenty good for most people; after each verse, in which one of said divine acts is described, everyone shouts “Dayenu!”

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that we may never get to the promised land of classic Gil Thorp summer wackiness (and the so-far snoresville B-plot about hobo Ted Pearse and the Uninterested News Bears doesn’t raise my hopes), but no matter how it turns out, we’ll always have today’s glimpse into Coach Kaz’s Pier-1-Orientalism-ariffic living room to remember fondly. Is the man some sort of secret martial arts master, running his own dojo out of whatever shabby one-bedroom apartment he can afford on an assistant high school coach’s salary? Or does he just really like having a bunch of random Asian crap scattered around his love pad? You know, when I first saw that hanging gong thing, I thought for a minute that it was a framed record album, and that his rap-metal single “Playdowns (Next Year For Sure)” had finally gone platinum, which, you have to admit, makes exactly as much sense as whatever’s going on here.

Not to be neglected in the midst of Coack Kaz’s unsettling decor are his unsettlingly ripped shoulder muscles. Fortunately, Kaz knows that ordinary humans would be intimidated and terrified by his rockin’ body if they saw it without being adequately prepared, so in panel two he’s thrown on a Hawaiian shirt that covers up the guns and illustrates how fun and relaxed he is.

Dick Tracy, 7/23/09

Despite being quintessentially American in subject matter and politics, Dick Tracy is always on the verge of becoming some kind of Weimar-era expressionist film in tone and presentation, and the current plotline, in which Tracy’s daughter Bonnie Braids (really!) insists on taking her parents to the circus, is no exception; one assumes that “Here’s where the clown fires into the air and a surprise falls out of the sky” sounded less stilted in the original German. And anyone who finds clowns even slightly unsettling will be seeing panel two, in which a grim-faced, dead-eyed specimen cocks his gaily painted musket at the ready, in their dreams for weeks to come.

Mark Trail, 7/23/09

The orange-clad Mark Trail assassin in the current storyline may not be the brightest guy in the world, but I have to say that I like his style. There’s something that might tip off the cops to his identity? YOU BETTER BELIEVE HE’S GONNA SET THAT SHIT ON FIRE! I can’t wait to see what he does when he realizes he left a witness to his latest crime alive; we’ll see if Mark’s extremely wooden speech style means that he’s actually made of wood, and thus particularly flammable.

Family Circus, 7/23/09

And with that, the printed material allowed inside the Keane Kompound was further limited; now only the Bible and issues of Reader’s Digest published before 1989 would be permitted.

UPDATE: Oh my goodness, I almost forgot to add: BID ON this Ziggy cake pan on eBay! It appears that any cake made in this pan will more closely resemble E.T. than Ziggy, but whatever. ONLY FOUR HOURS LEFT!