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Hey, all before we start today’s comics, I thought I’d do something I don’t usually do: draw your attention to a non-comics blog. Longtime faithful reader and commentor ChattyGenes is an American who’s lived in Japan for many years, and she’s been chronicling the experience there in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami on her blog. Very interesting and moving reading on a place that is in all of our thoughts right now!

And now, on to lighter fare:

Gil Thorp, 3/23/11

So the Gil Thorp gay cyber-bullying story is wrapping up (short version: the cyber-bully was Parker, Kayla’s ex-boyfriend, who was mad because Lini told Kayla to break up with him, but then the pious Christian basketball player who actually really likes Lini threatened Parker with physical violence during basketball practice if he didn’t stop) without ever having explicitly said that Lini is gay! Which means that we can have fun imagining what he was really being bullied for. Might I suggest that it was due to his actually quite atrocious taste in clothing? Take today, for instance, where he appears to have come to school dressed in an actual tuxedo! And not the cool kind of tuxedo that modern movie stars might wear to the Oscars, but rather one that might have been worn to a high-school prom, circa 1992, complete with boutonniere. Could the never-revealed hate Website have consisted of pictures of Lini’s latest crimes against sartorial aesthetics, coupled with cruel, Mr. Blackwell-esque commentary? “Hey, everybody, looks like Lini got an after-school job at the blackjack table!”

Still, Lini deserves our sympathy, as he’s managing to stay chipper despite the fact that, as you can see in panel one, his right arm has been lopped off above the elbow. I’m a little curious about whose fingers those are creeping into the frame at the lower left. Maybe they’re Lini’s! “Oh, Lini, we found your arm! If you pack it in ice, it’ll probably keep for a bit, so the school nurse could reattach it during your study hall this afternoon.”

Beetle Bailey, 3/23/11

I know that trying to figure out what’s going on in any given half-assed Beetle Bailey gag is waste of everybody’s time, but God damn it, I just want it to make sense, you know? General Halftrack’s caveman outfit dramatizes budget cutbacks … how, exactly? Is he saying that cost-cutting reduces the Army to primitive weaponry? Is this stone-age toga meant to be the equivalent of the barrel of poverty, and the club just came with the costume? Who even knows? At least I can enjoy the General’s sheepish, plaintive expression — it’s as if he’s realized how stupid and pointless this stunt is, but it’s too late to back out of it now. I dearly hope the strip artist wore the same expression as he put the finishing touches on this.

Luann, 3/23/11

Aw, isn’t that cute! Mrs. Horner thinks Luann has a soul!