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Judge Parker, 8/5/23

Poor Sam looks so hangdog there trying to mumble his way out of a jam. But Abbey sees the glimmer of a Business Plan, and she’s intrigued: “You … you would have paid us to kill someone? Damn, murder for hire sounds easier than running a B&B out of a horse barn, and with no cooking or messy arson! I bet April could give me some pointers!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/5/23

Hey Buck: If that earworm bothers you, just put the nail back in.

Mark Trail, 8/5/23

“Nothing can distract me—except maybe my phone and these daily smash-cut scene changes! Woooo … squirrel!

Arctic Circle, 8/5/23

Part of the Comics Curmudgeon mission (Reading the Comics So You Don’t Have To) is keeping track of developments in under-the-radar strips like Arctic Circle here. For years, this strip has been sounding daily pollution and climate-change alarms, with “punchlines” never straying too far from “Ain’t It Awful?”

But that changed suddenly and without warning last week, when we started getting charming but off-message strips about singing in elevators, dogs and Frisbees, “Bears Like Ice Cream,” and such, and I wondered if the strip was having some sort of crisis. So it’s reassuring to see its return to catastrophe-themed humor, even if they had to swap out the existential threat.

Blondie, 8/5/23

I don’t know what the Blondie creative team is going for with the label on that suave lothario’s sweet turquoise crew-neck. “Thirsty’s” is a Hi and Lois brand, and it’s obviously a bar, not a sandwich joint. If those wild accusations by former franchisees of Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppes LLC soured you on using that brand, you could at least go with “Hungry’s.”

Hi there! I’m sitting in through Monday the 14th while Josh takes a well-deserved break at scenic Undisclosed Location. Let me know at if you have any issues with the site, your subscription, or email delivery and I’ll do what I can to help.

—Uncle Lumpy