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Gil Thorp, 12/10/09

People like to complain about Gil Thorp’s fractured narrative, with the action typically jumping to three different times and places over three panels. I admit that following along can sometimes be an expert-level skill, but I think it’s well worth the effort. How else could we get the triptych of awesome that we’re treated to today? In panel one, shadowy, faraway figures discuss the comeuppance Jamaar’s hubris has earned him, as we are encouraged to contemplate somebody’s capri pants and hindquarters; in panel two, we get the second glimpse this week of Gil radiating pure smugness at poor Goshen coach “Beardy” Fazio, as he offers a manly handshake that says “Ha ha, our best players are suspended or moping and we still kicked your ass”; and, finally, in panel three we can enjoy a glimpse of the boozy lead-in to Gil and Mimi and Coach Kaz and Kelly’s twice-monthly orgy, with the roaring fireplace set into the Thorp’s all-formstone wall setting the mood nicely.

Spider-Man, 12/10/09

You know, newspaper Spider-Man, the main pleasure I derive from reading you generally comes from cruelly deriding your inept storytelling; thus, when you decide to give up and fully embrace camp, as you seem to have done today, it kind of ruins it for me. At least I can snicker at the fact that your freakishly out-of-proportion stand-up vacuum cleaner appears to be roughly eight feet tall.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/10/09

The most interesting thing about today’s strip … no, not those, you cartoon-masturbating-to pervert, get your mind out of the gutter. Ahem. The other interesting thing about today’s strip is Rex’s silent, plaintive face in the background of panels one and two. It’s like he knows that this is June’s cousin so she’s in charge at the moment, but he’s still all “Hello! I have something dickish and self-righteous to say about this situation! Anyone want to hear it? Anyone?”

Dick Tracy, 12/10/09

“Step one: Buy a rare and expensive objet d’art! Step two: Wait for it to appreciate in value, which it will hopefully do more quickly than the equivalent amount of money would have if put into a more typical investment portfolio! Step three: Sell at a profit! It can’t fail! MU HA HA HA HA!”

The place where the Jumble should be, 12/10/09

This is the third day in the row on which the Jumble has failed to appear on the Houston Chronicle’s online comics page. What are they hiding from us? This is an outrage! NO JUMBLE NO PEACE!