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Gil Thorp, 7/16/16

In general, I have been very happy about our move to Los Angeles, but like many transplants, I do sort of miss the passing of the seasons. This surprised me because I hate both cold and hot and humid weather. You do sort of get a winter from December to February, which everyone else makes fun of because the temperature maybe gets down into the 50s, though keep in mind that most Southern California homes are very poorly insulated so if it’s in the 50s outside, it’s also in the 50s inside your house. But the rest of the year is kind of a sunny-and-70s-or-80s blur, with occasional weeks in the 90s that could happen at any time, with the upshot being that it’s actually kind of difficult to remember what time of year it is sometimes. To keep moored in reality, you come to depend on external signposts, and up to this year, Gil Thorp’s chronological rhythm was one of those for me. You got football in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring, and some wacky “school’s out” plot or maybe golf in the summer. But it’s summer and this baseball plot is still happening. Even when the “Elmer gets deported” plot of spring ’08 dragged on into summer, there was an acknowledgement that the semester had ended. But now? Much as I would like to enjoy Barry Bader’s continuing hilarious insensitivity to his beloved classmate’s gruesome death, I can’t help but wonder why Gil is still at his desk on July 16th. Has the world gone completely mad? Is this the final step in becoming unmoored from the natural world, begun decades ago when industry began to displace agriculture as humanity’s dominant profession? Will the fall bonfire never come?

Hagar the Horrible, 7/16/16

I’m not sure which interpretation of this strip is more unsettling: that an executioner, overhearing strangers having a conversation in a pub, assumed that they were talking about executing people, or that this executioner’s work life and sexual desires have converged in horrifying ways.