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Gil Thorp, 3/26/14

The interminable winter Gil Thorp plot about … wardrobe malfunctions? or something? … has blessedly ground to a narratively unsatisfying halt, and now we’re getting the run-up to the spring plot, which, though it appears to be equally brain-dead, at least features one of the irritating teen characters being repeatedly and comically injured. Sadly, panel three here depicts zany and accident-prone baseball star “Lucky” Haskins being doused with root beer after suffering two self-inflicted black eyes — I say “sadly” not because I object to this humiliation (I most certainly do not) but because at first glance it might look like he’s being taken over by the sinister “black oil” virus from the X-Files, which would make for a more interesting plotline by an order of magnitude.

Mary Worth, 3/26/14

[GASP] TOMMY YOU CAN’T GO DOWNTOWN!!! DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT AWAITS YOU THERE? Mary Worth went downtown once, years ago, and barely escaped with her life! How can a vulnerable young addict, still fragile in his recovery, grapple with a hellscape like this and expect to escape with his soul intact?

Panel from Mary Worth, 8/7/05

Stay safely in the suburban zones, Tommy, if you value your life … and your sanity.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 3/26/14

I can’t imagine any USDA inspectors or other allies of the “revenooers” attempting to do their jobs in Hootin’ Holler, so I have to assume that the inhabitants have established their own method of agricultural regulation to make sure they don’t poison each other with the produce of their tiny, hardscrabble farms. While surely we can see the advantages to such a system, there are disadvantages too, as Loweezy is discovering. And anyway, isn’t even a local and voluntary rating system for butter a shadow of the encroaching and sinister government Leviathan? Why don’t the Smifs just fill out an IRS Form 1040 Schedule F (Profit or Loss From Farming) while they’re at it? Looks like some folk are going to have to decamp to an even less accessible holler before this whole place goes to hell.

Apartment 3-G, 3/26/14

For the record, Tommie is taking several days to describe how she tracked down a large animal vet by talking to a minor government official in a small town in Upstate New York, so, you know, don’t worry, because suspense isn’t really going to be involved in this equation.