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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/17/20

I’m sure the Smifs and the Barlows could rattle off a list of slights and transgressions going back generations that have kept their blood feud alive, but today’s strip shows the real underlying structural motivation behind it: a battle over access to scarce resources.

Mary Worth, 4/17/20

Sure, Hugo is brusquely rejecting Dawn’s suggestion to look at a Star Wars … exhibit? movie? poster? … which is I guess a thing Dawn likes now, and this is a point against him in her mental calculus. But I think he’s actually growing as person: this was a perfect opportunity for him to go on at great length at how much better Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was than any American sci-fi flick, but he chose not to.

Beetle Bailey, 4/17/20

As the creator of a long-running entertainment website, I understand the tension between going to the well of my classic running bits that regular fans love and doing jokes don’t require backstory so I can hook in potential new readers; newspaper comics face the same dilemma. Today’s Beetle Bailey presents a double face as a result. Longtime strip readers know that the joke here is about the fact that the General and his wife hate each other, and one thing she particularly hates is him staying out late at bars. But if you just came into this strip cold, with no background on the characters, there would really be one logical and obvious way to interpret this punchline: that the General, despite being weary of America’s endless wars, is about to go home, pick up the phone, and start giving the orders that will set yet another one in motion. You can see in his eyes that the thought of sending the ill-prepared men of Camp Swampy into combat is killing a part of his soul, but he has his orders and sees no way out.