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Hey, everyone! Before we launch into this week’s comics, I want to draw your attention to the Mary Worth And Me blog, where faithful reader Wanders has this year’s Worthy Awards nominees up! You get to vote in a number of categories, including Best Storyline, Outstanding Performances by Guest and Recurring Characters, Outstanding Panel, and, of course, the most coveted Worthy Statuette of all, Outstanding Performance By A Floating Head. Vote early, vote often!

Beetle Bailey, 12/19/16

One of my less favorite Beetle Bailey running jokes is the “troops dress up in wacky outfits and call it ‘camouflage’” joke that pops up on the regular. Obviously an army has to learn how to blend into the natural environment, but I’m reasonably certain that nobody has gone into either combat or an army training exercise dressed as either a bipedal, armless sheep or a bale of green hay with a visible face and limbs. In this lineup of madness, Beetle’s disguise actually seems most grounded in reality: after all, the history of soliders who have defected to the enemy when expedient — and indeed become their former opponents’ biggest cheerleaders — is as long as the history of warfare.

Shoe, 12/19/16

I spent an entire lifetime of comic reading getting accustomed to a world where sapient bird-people engage in journalism and live in a tree-city where certain architectural elements resemble those developed for human civilization, but today I feel like I’ve had a pretty important additional element — that said bird people are slightly more sophisticated than us technologically, and have access to near-future innovations like self-driving cars — dumped on me with little warning. Anyway, it’s good to have my fundamental pessimism confirmed here: even when the cars drive themselves, the rest of life is still going to suck.