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Slylock Fox, 9/29/09

My goodness, it’s been nearly three years since we’ve seen a Six Differences this bleak. In fact, this installment may be even more disturbing: while the previous strip featured a fish dead so long that it had skeletonized, today’s features a fresh corpse that’s just risen to the surface; the still-living fish hasn’t even had time to realize that it’s now sharing a tiny bowl with the floating body of the only friend it’s ever known. More disturbing still is the difference between the two little girls: in the scene on the right, the tyke is shedding a tear for her beloved aquatic pet, but in the left-hand panel she’s merely watching the process of death in wide-eyed fascination. Perhaps her “experiments” are now ready to move up the food chain. Don’t leave your meals or drinks unattended, mom and dad!

Mark Trail, 9/29/09

“They probably thought you were a wildlife ranger … you know, because you wear what appears to be a uniform, you bellow random facts about nature at inappropriate times, and you dish out violence as if you had some sort of law enforcement authority. You can see why the poachers made that mistake! Uh, I mean, I heard that they made that mistake, from other kids. Please don’t punch me!”

Dick Tracy, 9/29/09

So Ringo, having once ratted out his corporate bosses, is now ratting out his carnival underlings; the lesson we are meant to draw appears to be “never trust a whistleblower.” I guess I never expected Dick Tracy to get on board the “Stop Snitchin'” bandwagon, though I suppose learning about crimes from informants denies Dick the fun of beating confessions out of suspects.

Beetle Bailey, 9/29/09

Otto, your continued presence in the barracks is on the line here, so you might want to not openly acknowledge your responsibility for infesting Camp Swampy with vermin.