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Gasoline Alley, 1/5/12

I won’t waste my time or yours trying to explain the Gasoline Alley plot that led up to this — it’s all summarized in the first two panels here, and it took months, and Slim and Clovia were very angry with each other about it — but I do think it’s worth pointing out that all this drama has very suddenly been resolved with no action on the characters’ part, and with enough time left over to slip in a joke about toilets to boot. It’s kind of disorienting to see it all end so abruptly, and on a Thursday too. I’m thinking that the original ending, which involved yelling and knives, was nixed by the syndicate at the last minute. The remaining three days until the next plotline starts will just consist of Slim and Clovia standing around awkwardly.

For Better Or For Worse, 1/5/12

Ha ha, For Better Or For Worse, remember that thing? When it stopped with the ongoing storylines and became mostly reruns of young versions of the Pattersons talking in weird fake cute-speak it stopped being all that interesting to me, but I still feel compelled to read it daily. I also feel compelled to try to figure out, based on the art, whether we’re seeing old strips or new ones injected into the old continuity, and I think these are the latter, and I’m thinking: what if Lynn Johnston suddenly feels compelled to seize the reins and start aging the characters all over again, only this time John and Elly have a contentious divorce, leaving April to vanish in a limbo of never-was and Michael and Elizabeth with terrible emotional scars? Except look how they turned out when their parents stayed married, maybe they’ll be healthy, functional adults this way, who can say. Michael’s already showing a streak of self-loathing that, with years of therapy, might serve as a counterweight to his unbearable smugness.

Gil Thorp, 1/5/12

I’m extremely amused by the low-key Mudlark reaction in panel two, though you know that deep down they’re thinking that a Pokémon tattoo would be kind of awesome. They’re also playing it cool so as not to anger the disembodied claw-thing that’s casually draped itself on Punisher t-shirt dude’s shoulder.

Mark Trail, 1/5/12

“Yes, why don’t I come and hang out with you and Sally and your blind dog for a few days? Sweet Christ, I’d do anything to get away from my wife and adopted son.”

Beetle Bailey, 1/5/12

After billions of dollars were spent, the Defense Department began to suspect that Camp Swampy may not have been the best test site for its robotic supersoldier experiment.