Mark Trail, 8/12/13
No use denying it any longer. Mark Trail has taken Rusty fishing — it says so right there in the strip. A treasured Comics Curmudgeon article of faith — that Mark never, ever takes Rusty fishing; that such an event is not physically possible — lies in dust and ashes. Can you imagine how the Seekers felt when their prophesied flying saucer failed to show up back in December 1954? You can? Well, this is nothing like that — this is how the rest of us would have felt had the saucer arrived right on time, picked up the Seekers, and left us all to die in the flood.
It’s hard to feel too bad about it, though. I mean, look at the little scamp so darn happy there in panel two. You just want to give him a big hug, never mind that he’s hideous, fictional, and holding a fish.
As is widely known, Count Weirdly genetically engineered animals into sapient bipedal monsters in a deranged effort to replace humans lost to an unnamed apocalypse. Here we see the horrific cost of his obsession: the graves of a century of victims from his early, failed experiments. None tears at the heart more than poor Rita Rabbit, doomed by ruined DNA to live her short life backwards, dreaming only of the chance to savage her insane creator/tormentor one time before her teeth recede into their gums and she is deconceived forever.
Beetle Bailey, 8/12/13
Sarge deadpans a perfectly symmetric, perfectly ambiguous punchline: at once, the pillow is insufficiently firm to meet Army regulations and Army regulations insufficiently rigorous to ban the pillow. From the depths of his forbidden/permitted pillow, Beetle grins directly at his audience: See? We can do irony as well as the next guy — but as hardened warriors, we just don’t go in for all that postmodern self-referential bullshit ;-)