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Blondie, 9/25/22

This is another great example how the top row of “throwaway” panels can actually really alter the meaning of a strip. Without them, it’s the simple story of a plumber (with a gambling problem?) who comes over the Bumstead house only to be distracted by a big platter of cold cuts (that has just been left out on the kitchen counter?). With them, we see Blondie’s warning to not let the man “get away,” so it becomes the story of a plumber (with a gambling problem?) whom the Bumsteads plan to capture and do something unspeakable to, and they’ve left out a big platter of cold cuts out on the kitchen counter, as bait.

Crankshaft, 9/25/22

It’s fun to remember that Mason Jarre, when first introduced into the Funkyverse, was a dumb Hollywood himbo who signed on to play Les in the original, “bad” (i.e., potentially enjoyable to watch) movie version of Lisa’s Story, but now that he’s become part of our beloved gang, his an insufferable snob about physical film and classic movies or whatever. I suppose it’s possible that we’re meant to understand that he’s matured as a person over the years, but it’s more likely that the Funkyverse simply cannot accommodate a sympathetic character who isn’t obsessed with classic film stuff. Still, the interpretation I’d really prefer is that in fact he’s supposed to be as big a dipshit as ever; it’s just that this is what he’s a dipshit about now.

Mark Trail, 9/25/22

God damn it, Mark Trail, this strip very much begins with a promise of horny toads learning to work together as a team, and by rights ought to end with Monsanto’s hired security goons being forced back into corporate HQ by geysers of eye-blood from a whole horny toad army, and I am very disappointed that it does not.