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Funky Winkerbean, 1/5/10

So I’ve been reading the new, retooled Funky Winkerbean long enough to distinguish amongst the various forms of creeping dread found therein, and to have preferences among them, and this here is pretty much my least favorite flavor of creeping Funky Winkerbean dread: Les’s creeping dread about his daughter’s burgeoning sexuality. Summer actually seems against all odds to be a pretty well-adjusted person, but that won’t stop Les from mapping his own awkward, fumbling adolescence onto her. (The rear-view mirror knocked askew by his helmet of hair in the flashback is a nice touch.) While Les should probably be more worried about the terrible, life-ruining car accidents the kids are prone to — just ask Becky the one-armed band leader! — the automobile instead represents to him an avenue Summer can use to escape his suffocating control, and his thoughts drift unbidden to his daughter and some faceless dude in the back seat, hands drifting south, clothes slipping off of young, athletic bodies … and … so forth.

Luann, 1/5/10

Of course, if you really want unsettling car-based sexuality in the comics, you’ve got to turn to the Brad and Toni show in Luann. It’s Toni’s hand gesture in the third panel that really puts this strip beyond the feature’s usual ribaldry, as she seems to be promising to “go under the hood” and manually pleasure Brad’s car in unspeakable ways.

Mary Worth, 1/5/10

One person whose awkward sexuality I personally can’t get enough of is Wilbur, obviously. Most of us would have a lot of conflicted emotions if we discovered that we had an adult son we had never met, of course, but Wilbur mainly seems to be having sexy intrusive thoughts about the boy’s sexy dead mother. Those huge blue eyes … that unnaturally long neck … that weird bunchy collar … who could ever forget a face like that? Well, Wilbur could, as you can see when all of his reveries about his lost love are compared:

With the different facial features and neck lengths on display here, I think you’d be hard pressed to recognize these as the same woman. The only thing they seem to have in common is a tendency to list to the right, perhaps as a result of some kind of inner ear disorder. I’m now guessing that Wilbur was such a prolific seducer in his youth that he honestly doesn’t remember who this “Abby” character was, and the “demon” he needs put to rest is his uncertainty over which of his many lovers bore the man who showed up on his doorstep.

Mark Trail, 1/5/10

Of course, Mark Trail is where we should go to escape from human sexuality of any sort. I particularly love today’s new-adventure-launching installment, as it nicely encapsulates the sort of dream state that defines most Trailian narrative. “Oh, my old friend called me earlier? I’ll just pick up this phone right here at the table and talk to him. Hello, Leonard Nimoy!” “Hi Mark! Did you know that you have an ‘outdoor reputation’? You do, and it can solve problems! Why don’t you bring you and your reputation over to out here, which is far, far away from your wife?”