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Blondie, 2/15/19

Look, while it’s conventional wisdom that legacy strips somehow remain lucrative enough to pay ghost writers and other gagsmiths, I don’t have any specific knowledge of what goes on behind any particular strip. Officially, Blondie has been written by Dean Young, son of strip creator Chic Young, since 1973 — literally as long as I’ve been alive — and beyond that one can only speculate. Still, I recognize creative exhaustion when I see it; all I can say is that back in 2005 whoever was behind the strip was still enjoying themselves, coming with absurd names for characters like Glambaster just for the sheer silliness of it. But now, fourteen years later, it’s a different, and much grimmer story. “These people, uh, they don’t like it when you’re late. What should we call them. Uh. Time. Clock. Clock … ers? Clockers. There. Done. What was that, Friday’s strip? Just one more to go for the week, thank Christ.”

Beetle Bailey, 2/15/19

I once was a groomsman in a Catholic wedding where the sermon started off nice and went quite long, and I tuned out for a little bit and then when I started listening again the priest was in the middle of a story about how his parents has a huge fight with each other at a McDonald’s because they couldn’t fully love each other because they didn’t love Jesus. “This seems like an odd childhood story to dig up in this context,” I thought, but then it became clear that I had missed the setup and the fight had actually happened less than a month prior to the wedding, at which point I thought “This just seems to reflect badly on your persuasive powers as a professional clergyman, Father.” Anyway, should Chaplain Staneglass have advised Beetle and Sarge that fellowship in Christ might improve their relationship rather than just telling them tautologically “you’d be nicer to each other if you were nicer to each other”? Maybe, since you’d think he would have some sense of how profoundly emotionally damaged Sarge is and realize that heavy spiritual artillery is in order.

Gil Thorp, 2/15/19

We all of course remember B/Robby Howley, the student basketball manager who perpetrated the entirely victimless crime of hooking a player up with fake Adderral, who for his trouble was banished to the rec center and would grow up to become twisted and hell-bent on revenge. But whatever happened to Max Bacon, the other participant in that transaction, the one who incessantly badgered and guilt-tripped poor B/Robby who finally came up with his hare-brained fake pill scheme just to get him off his back? He’s grown a beard and stopped bleaching his hair and is totally still in Gil’s good graces when he comes back to his old high school to yuck it up! Remember, it’s natural for an athlete to use any means necessary to compete at the highest level, and it’s the moral responsibility of those around them to not fulfill their expressed wishes.