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Mary Worth, 4/3/22

It’s fascinating to me that in the year 2022, the rhythms of soap opera strips are still predicated on the fact that some newspaper subscribers don’t get the Sunday paper, while others only get the Sunday paper, so Sunday has to be treated in a special way for continuity storytelling — whether that means you take the Phantom route and doing entirely different Sunday and weekday storylines, or the Mary Worth route where you just recap everything for the week on Sunday and don’t introduce any new information. Today’s strip achieves this cleverly by showing us that Toby isn’t just crying in her car, she’s also playing the moments that brought her to this pathetic state over and over in her mind, including a fantastic vision of Helen transforming herself into a literal demon as she threatens to narc Toby out for a little light flirting. That panel should frankly be used in advertisements to get people to sign up for the Sunday paper. Do you really want to miss this, in vivid color?

Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/3/22

On the other hand, sometimes a strip just takes a Sunday to reintroduce you to all their characters, just in case in the year 2022 some Sunday subscriber is thinking to themselves, “Rex Morgan, M.D., what’s that thing’s whole deal” but isn’t feeling so curious as to walk over to the computer. Anyway, I’m cackling about the fact that Buck didn’t make the cut for the ancillary character panel. Not sure if they’re finally admitting that they’re never going to make Buck happen or if they feel like they need to get readers hooked and emotionally involved before learning how much of this strip revolves around Buck’s off-putting antics.

Marvin, 4/3/22

I know nobody likes Marvin, and and that it’s very understandable why Marvin’s dad doesn’t like him, but you have to admit it’s pretty wild that “I, Marvin’s dad, do not enjoy the company of my son, Marvin” is the entire punchline to this strip!