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Mary Worth, 2/10/10

Mary Worth is well aware that its seemingly sure-fire fake-bastard-son plot is floundering into boredom, with most of the action involving people seething inwardly while they stare at computers. Thus, it’s necessary to bring out a narrative trump card: a hilarious and drunken old lady! Ah, Helen Clark! Still haven’t recovered emotionally from your party’s defeat in New Zealand’s 2008 general election, have you? With your face twisted with drink and the rage that comes from being interrupted in your drinking, staring down to into your tasty ketchup-and-Stoli cocktail, talking into your princess phone, which has no obvious cradle for the handset — you, madam, are a breath of fresh air, if by “fresh” one means “reeking of vodka,” and I for one most certainly do mean that.

Note that even in the midst of this exciting storytelling gambit, Dawn is still diddling around on the Internet, which I’m beginning to think is a result of the Mary Worth team either taking payola from the consortium of Chinese factories that manufacture all consumer electronics, or losing some kind of bet.

Mark Trail, 2/10/10

Mark Trail, on the other hand, doesn’t have to resort to any kind of gimmickry to keep our attention; this wacky fight scene is simultaneously the funniest thing on the comics page today and exactly what one might expect from this strip after yesterday’s slap-happy senatorial antics. It’s hard for me to even begin to decide which panel I like most. Is it panel one, in which Joe punches an elderly politician in the face while (in accordance with the iron-clad Code of the Forest) shunning contractions? Is it panel two, in which a squirrel observes these foolish humans and their violent dispute-resolution process with an inscrutable and disinterested eye? I may actually prefer panel three; Moe’s dialogue implies that we’ve got a vicious and possibly fatal beating in progress, but the art makes it look like he just wants a hug, just a little affection from Mark, is that too much to ask?