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Dick Tracy, 2/8/10

Dick Tracy has been even more incomprehensible than usual lately, and what I have been able to understand has just irritated me, but I do read it diligently, in case any gems pop up that ought to be shared with my readership! And lo and behold, panel two is just such a gem. “…Not everyone loves you, and you must die.” Couldn’t this sinister, gnomic pronouncement be uttered about each and every one of us? None of us is so lovable as to earn the affections of all, and each of us is mortal! Of course, most of us won’t be terribly maimed by an exploding Stradivarius, with a square-jawed fascist saying something pithy over us as we die in agony, for which we can be thankful.

Luann, 2/8/10

Speaking of people nobody likes, it’s Luann! It actually took me a minute to get my head around the punchline here (i.e., everyone will finally know Luann DeGroot, who will be in disguise, as a Puerto Rican); I at first assumed that we were meant to laugh at Luann’s cheerfully proposed brownfacing. Still, I rather think that her classmates will remember her for her performance, if only as “that girl who got the school picketed by the National Council of La Raza.”

Popeye, 2/8/10

Speaking of incomprehensible and irritating, Popeye just ended one of its stories that I half paid attention to and is about to start another one in which I’ll probably be equally uninterested. Still, you have to admire this strip for showing that even a plot that is extremely grim and all too real for too many people today — a desperate attempt to hide the extent of your financial ruin from your family, who depends on you economically — can be made hilarious through ersatz dialect. “I yam out of monies!'” Ho ho ho!

Marmaduke, 2/8/10

Look, lady, if you keep marrying them, he’s going to keep killing and eating them. I’m not sure why this is such a hard concept for you to grasp.