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Marvin, 10/31/19

Marvin’s been doing some pretty run-of-the-mill costume party antics this week, not even up to its usual levels of diaper-shitting humor, but it’s pretty weird that the late October party that features the characters dressed up in various disguises has been consistently referred to as … “Octoberfest”? Is there some constituency out there that would be offended by printing the word “Halloween” in a newspaper comic? Who exactly is King Features afraid of: fundamentalist Christians who are tired of the Devil’s holiday getting good press in the liberal media, or neo-pagans outraged about cultural appropriation of their Samhain celebrations — or both, working in a literally unholy alliance? All I know is that a party called “Octoberfest” should feature revelers drinking out of enormous steins of beer, and if you’re about to say, “Josh, don’t be silly, babies don’t drink beer,” I’d like to point out that they don’t crack wise about each other’s costumes with heavy-lidded, cynical facial expressions either, and yet here we are.

Gil Thorp, 10/31/19

OK, yeah, the “big reveal” is that Chance had a lot of emotional problems as a kid, blah blah blah, he’s worked through them with therapy and a lot of love and a cutesy nickname for his demonic anger, etc. etc. etc., but let’s just pause to acknowledge how empathetic yet masculine Gil looks in today’s final panel, shall we? His face carefully composed to demonstrate that he’s really listening to what Chance is saying, his slightly shaggy hair rustled by the fall breeze, he’s the positive male role model Chance never had, except I guess his grandfather and maybe his father, who we haven’t really heard anything about one way or the other. “God damn,” Gil thinks to himself as Chance gives a heartfelt explanation of why school board officials probably shouldn’t be going on fishing expeditions through kids’ disciplinary records, “I’m awesome.