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Gil Thorp, 8/31/15

Not to be one of those people who keep saying “The good old days were good and the present day is bad” all the time, because those people are wrong, but there was one specific way in which the good old days were good, and that is that we use to get totally bonkers summer storylines in Gil Thorp. Those were the days when Coach Kaz spent his vacation serving as a security guard for an aging rocker, or when Marty Moon got golf-grifted by a Ben Franklin lookalike in a dumb hat. There was a brief return to form in 2013 with a zany senile pro wrestler plot but mostly the last few summers have been an uninterrupted run of dumb golf storylines; this year we didn’t even get that, with the focus mostly being on True Standish convincing his fellow big-time high school football prospects to ease up on having press conferences to announce their college choices, which was so dull that I’ve only mentioned the strip twice since the beginning of June.

But! That could change fast if the strip’s football-season plot proves to center on the long neglected Marty Moon, and change real fast if centers on a Marty Moon who mingles self-aggrandizement and self-loathing while day drinking alone and talking to nobody in particular. Throw in some sort of terrible “reality series for braniacs” B-plot and my expectations are suddenly so high that they’re guaranteed to be dashed in short order!

Crankshaft, 8/31/15

I’m pretty impressed by the rapid cycling from manic glee to abject horror between panels two and three here. “Seriously? You’re … participating in the democratic process? Oh, God, guess it’s finally time to throw the Constitution in the garbage and admit that this country’s centuries-long experiment in self-government is an abject failure.”

Funky Winkerbean, 8/31/15

Remember when you were young, and each additional year gained you social status and physical might that you could use to impose your violent will on your inferiors? Now the passage of time just brings you closer to the blessed end of your current suffering.