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Luann, 11/2/09

Have you guys heard about the new Lars van Trier movie, Antichrist? In the opening sequence, a couple known only as “He” and “She” (played by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) get it on in sexy black-and-white slo-mo, and while they are so distracted, their little son climbs out the window and falls to his death. They are tortured by this, psychologically, and later literally! According to rumors on the Internets (and stop reading if you’re some kind of Lars van Trier aficionado or something), there is extensive genital mutilation along the way to the horrifying ending.

Anyway, nothing I’ve heard about this movie has caused me to change my opinion that Lars van Trier is a loathsome sadist, but upon reading this strip I can begin to see the appeal of such a plot line. If you’ll allow me to project: Brad and Toni engage in intimate congress on the couch the moment TJ leaves on his onion run; against all of our expectations about Brad, it lasts longer than seven minutes; TJ’s risotto (his “baby”) is burned (“killed”); TJ returns and crushes Brad’s testicles with a block of wood. This will all be part of a long-range and ultimately successful strategy to make TJ the strip’s most sympathetic character.

Spider-Man, 11/2/09

And speaking of characters for whom we should or should not harbor sympathy, have we mentioned lately that Spider-Man is an self-centered douchebag? Here is his latest scheme: he wants to convince Sandman, whom he defeated in super-combat some time ago and who has since gone straight, to engage in simulated combat in New York, so he can photograph it and sell said photographs to the Daily Bugle. Never mind the damage this will do to Sandman’s already dodgy reputation; our theoretical protagonist isn’t even bothering to pay the poor guy for his trouble! We are left to wonder who’s the worst offender: Spider-Man, for demanding that Sandman go along with his journalistic hoax, or Bigshot, for kidnapping Sandman’s daughter and threatening to harm her unless Sandman robs a bank. OK, sure, promising harm to little girls is pretty bad, but consider the fact that Bigshot is a comically preening villain named “Bigshot,” who is almost certainly constitutionally incapable of better, whereas Spider-Man is, ostensibly, a hero. Or at least he was until this week! Maybe this is the Spider-Man newspaper strip’s attempt to wade into Alan Moore-style moral ambiguity, which ought to be extremely hilarious.

Gil Thorp, 11/2/09

“I’m 5-5, Valerie. I’m easy to miss! Especially because you’re, what, seven feet tall? Eight? Is volleyball even challenging to you? Argh, no, don’t step on me!”

Mary Worth, 11/2/09

Meanwhile, in one of those “Gift of the Magi”-type things, Adrian has decided that, to live in solidarity with her comatose beloved who will never be able to perceive this beautiful world again, she will be disabling all of her senses as well. Scott is opening his eyes just as Adrian is in the process of ripping out hers.

Pluggers, 11/2/09

Thank goodness, the plugopalypse has been averted! Unfortunately the use of the elitist neologism “snail mail” will only cause further problems for our overburdened postal system, as the official Pluggers P.O. box becomes encrusted with slime from all the actual snails mailed in by confused pluggers everywhere.