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Mary Worth, 6/14/10

Well, thank goodness: the new Mary Worth plot is being heralded by a Charterstone Pool Party, so the world does in fact still make some kind of sense. Kudos to Jenna for spicing things up by shouting potentially sensitive information across a courtyard full of her clients’ friends and neighbors. “I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR REFERRING THE JOHNSONS TO ME AS CLIENTS! BONNIE’S COMPULSIVE SPENDING ON HIDEOUS CLOTHES IN UNDER CONTROL FOR NOW, AND HER HUSBAND HAS GRUDGINGLY AGREED NOT TO LEAVE HER! I STILL DON’T THINK THEIR SEX LIFE HAS REALLY RECOVERED, THOUGH!”

Say, check out Wilbur in the background of panel two! Presumably he’s recovered from the pain of being abandoned by his lying not-son. No longer hiding in his apartment, shoving sandwich after sandwich into his mouth, he’s decided to come out into the daylight, mingle with his fellow condo dwellers, and chow down on a raw potato instead.

Funky Winkerbean, 6/14/10

You know, any comic can show you a character telling another an awkward, unfunny joke; in fact, one might argue that this is one of the things the American newspaper comics pages do best! But only high-quality strips like Funky Winkerbean have the craftsmanship to show you the uncomfortable aftermath of those failed zingers: the confusion, the sheepish smiles, the half-hearted apologies on both sides. Tomorrow’s strip should just be three panels of these two silently brooding over their continued failure to forge an interpersonal bond, despite their game efforts.

Mark Trail, 6/14/10

Panel three’s closeup reveals that “Sally” is clearly just character actor Ernest Borgnine in a not terribly convincing wig — which bodes ill for our mustachioed dog-hating villain. Don’t let Borgnine’s “lovable loser” persona from his Oscar-winning turn in Marty fool you; he’s a decorated World War II naval gunner, so that nosey neighbor and his politician friend may find themselves under attack by ship-based artillery in the near future.

Dick Tracy 6/14/10

Oh, right, Dick Tracy: it still exists, and is still insane, etc. One particularly odd and hitherto unexplained aspect of this storyline is that the play-gone-haywire at the heart of it is being staged at the Science Museum, which is not the sort of place one usually imagines as a theatrical venue. But now we’ve learned the narrative motivation behind this: with the action established at the Science Museum, we’ve been set up for a dramatic conclusion within a restored submarine! Because when you think “Science Museum,” you generally think “historic naval vessels.” Anyway, long story short, that submarine’s deck and walls are about to be decorated with blood, as Dick guns down his antagonist at point-blank range.