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Apartment 3-G, 3/2/10

YES YES YES OUR GREATEST MOST AWESOME SUSPICIONS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED! Margo’s father’s wife, the one she believed was her mother for some unspecified stretch of her childhood and adolescence, the one Margo calls “Roberta,” is, as predicted, none other than our beloved shrink-schtupping manic-depressive Bobbie! Even this initial exchange between the two provides evidence of the fraught family history, as our pill-crazed avenging angel has, in her pharmaceutical haze, mistaken the changeling she raised for the once-young immigrant maid her husband cheated on her with. If only Bobbie knew that Margo was as disgusted by Martin and Gabriella’s gross love for one another as she is! They should be joining forces in their joint battle against all genuine human affection, not fighting amongst themselves!

The only question is: why is Bobbie lurking invisibly in the shadows at the bottom of the staircase? Presumably it’s to build suspense for those who haven’t figured this all out yet. But maybe it’s because there’s something even more horrific in the works — like, maybe she’s wearing the bloody, severed face of her mugger-turned-firearms-supplier as a hat.

Mary Worth, 4/2/10

Meanwhile, Mary, having been unwillingly pushed to the peripheries of the great Wilbur-Kurt-Dawn sandwich/frolic-off, is making sure to cement her place in this new storyline from the get-go. “Oh, your husband’s a terrible lout, is he? If you ever need a sympathetic ear, I’m here for you … listening … nodding thoughtfully … drinking your pain, your darkest emotional pain, like the sweet, sweet divine nectar that it is … oh, God, tell me, tell me, TELL ME…”

I also like the way Mary is somewhat ostentatiously gesturing towards the calendar in the first panel. It’s as if she’s saying, “Look at this, bitches, it’s 2010 and I’m still being published! So long as there are nursing homes that subscribe to newspaper print editions as a courtesy to their residents, I will live on!”

Mark Trail, 4/2/10

Good lord, is there no end to the Parker Brothers’ depravity? Even Ma Parker seems unsettled by whatever “processing” they have in mind for their captured geese; presumably they’ll be using the wood chipper to convert them into goose slurry, which they’ll attempt to pass off as foie gras at Senator Sinister’s restaurant, TGI McPoachers. These foul ruffians are so far beyond the limits of decency that the blue-shirted one (Joe? Moe? Jake? Snake? Who can keep the names straight?) probably began his sentence in the third panel with some kind of terrible curse word, which the upstanding narration box thoughtfully blocked for us with a well-placed “Meanwhile.”

While the goose-netting longhairs are obviously this piece’s villains, I think it’s notable that Mark is just taking pictures of the captured birds rather than attempting to free them. This is because geese are well known to be the meanest birds alive; Mark might be willing to take on an shotgun-toting rustic armed with nothing but a Holga, but even he knows better than to unleash a flock of angry geese.

Garfield, 4/2/10

Speaking of well-placed text, Garfield’s third-panel thought balloon allows today’s strip to neatly sidestep a key problem with the gag: Wouldn’t Garfield need to cross out the apostrophe as well to make the joke work? And if so, how would he do it? Doesn’t a crossed-out apostrophe just look like a messy apostrophe? Kudos to Paws, Inc., for their quick thinking!

Blondie, 4/2/10

On Good Friday, Dagwood makes the risen Christ weep with his horrifying rabbit fursuit. 85 percent of the people in the “furfans” and “Blondie fans” Venn diagram overlap are now writing clarifying letters to King Features, emphasizing that Dagwood was not the character they wanted to see dressed in a sexy bunny outfit.