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Mark Trail, 12/3/14

In bygone times, rulers were considered to be anointed by God, and criticism of them was illegal or unthinkable, and so political discontent tended to settle on their counselors. The king is of course noble and good, but he has been getting bad advice from those slippery men who have wormed their way into his entourage! This trope often appears in Mark Trail, too: Senator Baldy wasn’t really in favor of drilling for oil in a national park, it’s just that his corrupt staffer was blackmailing him! That nice lady CEO met an adorable raccoon and put a stop to all the environmentally harmful business plans laid out by her sinister ex-boyfriend! And the cycle of eternal return has brought this narrative to the funny pages again: our brushcut CEO will shut down this project once he sees that the Great Dismal Swamp is really beautiful and was named ironically, in one of those Iceland/Greenland kind of deals; meanwhile, his short-tied underling Mitchum, who has invested his own money in this specific deal in a move that probably makes for an extremely confusing corporate structure, will try to keep the CEO on the path of rapacious profit-minding. Anyhoo, I was going to say something about how this proves that modern society imbues our current corporate 1% with the same semi-divine aura that once was given to kings of old, but then I realized that Mark Trail’s relationship to “modern society” is tenuous at best.

Crankshaft, 12/3/14

Hey, did you know that Crankshaft’s Bald Friend Whose Name I Forget ran a movie theater? I sure didn’t, and I’ve read Crankshaft every day for years! I guess it’s just good narrative practice to introduce something into a character’s life that brings him joy so you can yank it away from him in front of your audience. Today’s strip is particularly hilarious, if by hilarious you mean “cruel.” Yay, your theater is going to be saved, old man! Oh wait no saving it will be expensive, haha never mind, hope you like the taste of leftover popcorn and shattered dreams.