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Mark Trail, 2/5/11

Who says that Mark Trail compositions are clumsy and artless, mostly focusing on poorly dressed mannequins shouting at each other while disproportionately large photocopies of wildlife loom in the foreground? Well, everyone says that, really, but today’s strip is actually structured in a somewhat interesting way, with everyone gazing intently at what they most desire: Ben Smith at the precious smuggled diamonds, Mark Trail at the proof he needs to put a bad guy in jail (possibly after punching him), and Kelly at Mark himself. The fact that Kelly is disrobing as she wonders what Mark’s up to strikes me as significant.

Beetle Bailey, 2/5/11

Sarge’s body language — eyes shut, body completely stiff — seems to me indicative of total panic and mortification, but I think it’s cute that Beetle has downgraded this to “embarrassment.” I also think it’s cute that Beetle refers calls the gay porn clip they’ve downloaded a “love scene.” I leave open the question of what Sarge is referring to as “shooting.”

Gil Thorp, 2/5/11

Since Gil Thorp doesn’t run on Sundays, we’ve got quite an end-of-week cliffhanger set up here. What are Jefferson’s plans for Milford’s Number 11? More suspense might be generated if anyone anywhere knew any of the various Mudlarks’ uniform numbers.

Apartment 3-G, 2/5/11

Seeing as Trey and Margo are gazing soulfully into each other’s eyes as the car hurtles down the highway in the midst of a dense fog, perhaps Iris hasn’t so much fallen asleep as passed out from terror.