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The Comics Curmudgeon Spring 2010 Fundraiser

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Mark Trail, 3/24/10

Narrow escapes a-plenty in today’s comics! Let’s take a look —

Here ends speculation about how Mark would escape his awful “weapon-wielding woman” dilemma (“Must punch!” / “Can’t punch!”). Yesterday’s baffling snapshot turns out to have been no mere appeal to feminine vanity (a concept unknown to Mark anyway), but a crafty ruse to bring a lady-safe weapon to hand with which to disarm an unpunchable adversary. Well played, Mark — say, are those wiles you’re using? Where did you get those? Does Cherry know?

Gil Thorp, 3/24/10

Personality theorist Gordon Allport held that drives (“elope!”) originating in motives (“get married!”, “avoid parents!”) could grow independent of them, or functionally autonomous. And there’s no better example than surly dimwits Ray and Cassie here. But listen to master psychologist and negotiator Steve Luhm unravel the fabric of their self-deception: “Go to Vegas? Why? You can get legally married right here! And Cassie’s parents can’t do anything about it, so why not wait ’til they get back and stick it all up in their faces, yo! Nobody expects you to behave like adults, anyway!”

After the wedding, Cassie’s new husband and her dad join in a savage mutual beat-down of Steve, their only shared interest. The annual beatings, like their friendship, far outlast the marriage and their memories of the day.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/24/10

I had a disturbing thought today. We all know that Rex and June Morgan haven’t really been themselves for some time, what with Rex’s sexual-identity issues, June’s out-of-control obsessions with housekeeping and other people’s children, and the disengaged silence of their lives even as everyone and everything around them crashes into sick burning hell. Despite their recent carefree what — three-day? eight-month? — Caribbean cruise, they seem depressed. And when these two loser twentysomethings showed up, Rex and June couldn’t even summon the energy for more than a stern chat.

Are Rex and June leaving the strip? Are Toots and Brook their replacements?

It could be a desperate marketing gimmick to attract younger readers, or just a salary dispute — after all, who can afford an M.D.’s salary and an R.N.’s just to fill up that tiny patch of newsprint every day. It could be a charitable effort by their syndicate to give these two comic stalwarts the rest of their lives back after all those years of faithful service. In the end, it’s not ours to judge: thank you, Rex and June, and farewell!

So many questions for our new First Couple! What about Abbey (stay!) and Sarah (go!)? Brook, we assume you’ll want to cut back those bangs — folks around here are used to a little more eyebrow, you know what I’m saying? We can talk about wardrobe once you’re settled in, but let me say for now that a certain double-breasted zebra-print belly-sweater is not part of the long-term picture. Also, would a little lipstick kill you, girl?

Oh hi Toots — you still here?

Yeah, they’ll fit in just fine.

Apartment 3-G, 3/24/10

Ha ha panel-two Margo sure is steamed to be listening to her Dad’s treacle while the scent of blood hangs in the air.

Crankshaft, 3/24/10

“Heh, heh — we can’t reward your cheerful attention and hard work in the culturally-accepted way, because it would trivially complicate our petty, exaggerated displays of fairness to one another — people who actually matter! We’re either sure you understand, or unconcerned that you don’t! Hey, my coffee’s cold — get a move on, willya — you’re not gettin’ paid to stand around talking!”

Hey, it’s the Spring 2010 Fundraiser — please join your fellow Comics Curmudgeon readers and me in financial support for Josh Fruhlinger and his fine work on this blog — thank you!

— Uncle Lumpy