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Mark Trail, 9/11/10

Have you ever had a moment when something you’ve looked at every day, for years, suddenly reconfigures, and your entire worldview shatters and reforms with searing clarity? Well, that’s what happened when I read this Mark Trail, which reveals that “Mark,” “Cherry,” and “Rusty” are actually three adorably frolicking horses — horses that like to imagine what it would be like to be human. Everything is explained: the unnatural dialogue (based on the deliberately child-like and stilted speech that humans use when they talk to animals), the freakish morphing forms (can we really expect interspecies facial recognition to go off without a hitch?), the fact that human society as depicted has less and less basis in reality the further we get from Lost Forest. It’s sort of heartbreaking that the weirdly malformed humans we’ve spent so much time with are actually these beautiful galloping animals. Too bad Frank is going to lure them into his hunting pen and let his political buddies shoot them for sport.

Apartment 3-G, 9/11/10

Do you think that comics colorists simply have too much pride to admit when they make a mistake? I mean, technically there was no indication when Lu Ann appeared on Thursday what color her hair was supposed to be, so red was as good a guess as any. But now that we learn that Lu Ann’s hair is supposed to be a “rich brown,” and our colorists are refusing to take the hint. “No, damn you! The Lu Ann of my masturbatory fantasies is a redhead, and a redhead she will remain!”

Gil Thorp, 9/11/10

Ha ha, look at how happy Gil and Kaz look! It’s because they’ve once again found someone who, as a result of some gaping emotional wound, is willing to do their jobs for them. And before the first game is even played, too!

Luann, 9/11/10

After Dirk strangles the DeGroots, the strip’s narrative will (literally) violently change directions, as it gets renamed The Talented Mr. Dirk and follows its new title character’s unseemly adventures.

Ballard Street, 9/11/10

I only discuss Ballard Street here when its “insane lunatics doing baffling things” schtick crosses over from “bonkers” to “unsettling,” and I think today’s panel, which features a sour-faced old woman engaging in harrowing self-harm, more than qualifies.