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Apartment 3-G, 8/3/09

Margo has already wept a single noble tear over Eric’s heroic death (or at least ostentatiously dabbed her eyes to imply said weeping); now, after having cycled through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief in record time, she has reached the little-known step that comes after acceptance: scratching one’s chin while scheming transparently. “Oh, I can think of some ways we can make my sacrifice worth it — er, I mean, ways you can be worthy of my sacrifice. Look, all the ‘Free Tibet’ hippies and ‘fear the ChiComs’ right-wingers back in the States are going to want to hear your story. I’m thinking instant book — don’t worry, I know a great ghostwriter — followed by a nationwide speaking tour. You’ll need a manager, of course. You know in the U.S. it’s traditional for a manager to take a 75 percent cut up front, right?”

Beetle Bailey, 8/3/09

I was so busy laughing uproariously at this send-up of an old man’s vanity that I almost missed the odd setting, which seems to involve Beetle holding U.S. soldiers at gunpoint. Could the military men at Camp Swampy, long ignored by the Pentagon hierarchy, have launched a coup? The most ill-conceived and incompetently run coup in history?

Cathy, 8/3/09

Why yes, now that Cathy has discovered the Facebook and publicly identified it as the theme of the eighteen million insufferable and near-identical jokes that it will be hammering home over the next six to fifteen weeks — jokes that will, as is typical of this strip, serve as a very thin veneer over a bubbling cauldron of terrifying anxiety about the most minute aspects of everyday social relations — life as I knew it is over forever, thanks for noticing. I and several hundred thousand other comics readers will be committing mass suicide in short order.

Crankshaft, 8/3/09

Even the most dedicated Crankshaft readers have traditionally regarded Crankshaft’s insufferable yuppie neighbor’s yappy little dog with vague irritation, if they were aware of him at all. But now that he has heroically saved Crankshaft from an agonizing death by snake venom, they’ll be even more irritated with him. If he was supposed to have been a hero, he should have gleefully urinated on the fallen, snakebitten ’Shaft while the hateful old man weakly cried for help.

(Seriously, though, little dogs dying in pain in the comics = NOT COOL, MAN. FBOFW at the height of its powers got away with it, barely. You, Crankshaft, are no FBOFW.)

(UPDATE: Faithful reader Chibigodzilla points out that the little dog belongs not to the ’Shaft’s annoying neighbor, but to his daughter’s annoying mother-in-law. I guess we should try to figure what the hell its deal is, now that it’s sacrificed itself.)

Momma, 8/3/09

Ignoring for the moment the wildly incorrect gibberish coming out of the mouths of Francis and not-Francis in this strip, I am sort of charmed by the setting: Francis and his bud hanging out in the woods, or maybe just in that copse of trees behind the gas station, drinking cheap beer out of cans and demonstrating their total ignorance of the North American Numbering Plan and the Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T)’s E.164 recommendation, which defines numbering plans for international telephony worldwide. Good times!

One Big Happy, 8/3/09

But wait, what would a guy do with a horse and a monkOH GOD OH GOD OH GOD