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Mark Trail, 1/29/18

Meanwhile, a camping trip is happening not far from Lost Forest, but not, presumably, so close that this cozy domestic scene will soon be disrupted by trained circus beasts or whatever, so I guess this is a new storyline, or a new thread in the ongoing storyline involving bankrupt circuses and Dirty’s plans for revenge and such. The important thing is that this couple is not emotionally prepared for whatever hijinks are about to ensue at them, since they’re clearly hoping for a little R&R — drink beans out of a bucket, hit a log with an axe, that sort of thing. It makes a nice change of pace from the dental lab! I assume that the dental lab in question is where dentists send blood draws and the like for analysis, so it doesn’t even supply the go-go thrills of on actual dental office, where at least you might get to hear a patient try to suppress a scream now and then; but based on their weirdly prominent lines around this lady’s jaw and cheekbones, it might also be a secret laboratory where renegate dentists conduct experimental mouth transplant surgery.

Funky Winkerbean, 1/29/18

Bull’s CTE companion’s “Not in this universe!” rejoinder doesn’t make a ton of sense on its face, but I think the fact that it appears in a panel immediately after a patented Funkyverse photo album flashback is relevant here. After all, while I talk about the Funkyverse all the time, we really know that there are two Funkyverses: the whimsical high-school one that we enjoyed in the ’70s and ’80s, and the much darker one that has emerged over the past two decades. Perhaps some tiny event, as imperceptible as the breeze from a butterfly’s wings but crucial to the nature of reality, caused the original Funkyverse to diverge into two different timelines. In one, the one of joy and happiness, Bull played out his football days and his cartoon skull never felt any ill effects from repeated, cartoonish dings, any more than Wile E. Coyote ever suffered lasting harm from plummeting off a cliff. But that’s not how it works in this universe. Not by a long shot.