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Gil Thorp, 8/29/11

Call it foolish optimism if you must, but despite years of decidedly non-wacky Gil Thorp plots, my heart races a bit as each new season dawns, as I anticipate some glorious insanity to come. If I’m interpreting the first two panels correctly, I may be in luck: it appears that a pair of space aliens have arrived in Milford, determined to infiltrate the hu-man society via the high school athletics activity that seems so important to the Earth dwellers. These beings have chosen the name “Abro,” which is almost but not quite like one that humans would use. “Off to the junior high school?” asks the mother-unit, her use of definite articles just a smidge off. “Come back before the cows come home!” she adds, her use of folksy sayings significantly wider from the mark. “What cows?” asks her “son” “Brody,” who’s too busy fishing his football from the Plaything Materializer to grapple with the niceties of the locals’ English.

Meanwhile (or as the narration box would have it, “while”) at Gil’s, some poor kid who’s come looking for advice and mentorship has worn out his welcome. “Of course you have to go, Mark. Stop apologizing! Seriously, just get the fuck out.”

Slylock Fox, 8/29/11

And the best candidate for the long undersea mission is … the panda? Because he doesn’t mind loneliness? How about, oh, I don’t know, the damn fish? The Ocean Research Institute could save an awful lot of money on supplies if it hired a researcher who doesn’t require a separate oxygen tank. “Please, pick me!” the fish begs with its eyes. “Or at least throw me back in the water! For the love of God, I’m suffocating out here!”

Crankshaft, 8/29/11

As predicted, “Special Collectors Edition Crankshaft: Cayla’s Origin Revealed!” has in fact revealed the origin of Cayla’s baffling attraction to Les: She accidentally killed someone during a softball game, and, wracked by guilt as a result, came to believe that she doesn’t deserve any kind of happiness in life.

Narration box from Judge Parker, 8/29/11

This is pretty much the most believable narration box in a soap opera strip that I’ve seen. I too would be surprised to hear that someone likes the idea of buying a motor home!