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Mark Trail, 1/13/16

Gabe, I’m sure you’re a very distinguished chiropterologist, and your skill at delicately plucking bats off of cave walls is unsurpassed, but you don’t know anything about selling magazines, OK? If America’s magazine-reading public (mostly airline passengers and people who accidentally clicked the “auto-renew” box on six years ago) see a big story in Woods and Wildlife about a healthy bat colony, they’re not going to think “Oh no! We need to act now to fight white-nose syndrome, probably by allocating millions of tax dollars to whatever university has Gabe on the faculty!” No, they’re gonna think “Wow, look at all those plump, healthy bats. Plenty more where those came from. Bet we could eat ’em, or mine ’em for coal, somehow.” If you want to move hearts, you need to show some full-on bat devastation. I dearly hope this plot climaxes with Mark carefully calibrating his punches to only stun the bats for the photographer, who then daintily daubs talcum powder on their noses for a heartrending but entirely fraudulent cover shoot.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/13/16

At one point in Alan Moore’s Watchman comics series, the psychopathic vigilante Rorschach is captured and arrested. Physically slight, he’s hassled on his first day in prison, but swiftly and brutally ends his first fight by grabbing a pan of hot grease from the cafeteria line and dousing his attacker’s face, leaving him screaming in agony. As the other prisoners look on in horror, he growls his most memorable line: “I’m not locked up in here with you. You’re locked up in here with me!” I just thought of that when reading this strip, probably for no particular reason.

Gil Thorp, 1/13/16

Gil Thorp’s basketball season plot has been snoresville so far, but is it about to involve some mid-game pantsing? I could get behind a rash of tit-for-tat pantsing leading to a new record for technical fouls in the Valley Conference.

Judge Parker, 1/13/16

Sorry, American “linguist”! You’ve no doubt done seen and done awful things in the name of protecting your country from the shadows, but Katherine wants that step-grandchild real bad, so it looks like you’ll be dying alone in a Serb prison!