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Mary Worth, 10/9/23

An opinion I’m coming around to more and more is that it’s kind of silly to expect comics as a medium to be “realistic,” as they have to impart a lot of plot and character details in a very compressed amount of visual/textual narrative space; that’s why it’s genuinely fine for Elmo to be walking around in his full football uniform even though nobody would do that in real life. In this scenario, it’s actually fairly natural for these two characters to be dealing with this confrontation in different ways — Keith trying to work his way back to the moment this story he’s learning about for the first time began, while Sonia tries to fill in a blank space in her family history that she’s lived with her whole life — and the dialogue doesn’t have to be naturalistic, really. But I’m sorry, I will never get over Sonia talking like an unctuous talk show host. “I’m curious… Who is my dad? What makes him tick? How’d he get so beefy? We’ll continue the conversation, right after these messages.”

Dick Tracy, 10/9/23

This Dick Tracy stab maniac plot is taking a detour into tweedy academia and rare book intrigue, which you’d think would be the sort of thing I’d be into but mostly it’s just bringing up a lot of residual grad school trauma. Still, I think it’s worth pointing out that they’re introducing a new villain (?) who’s just blatantly Cate Blanchett. Not sure if this is an effort to turn the strip into Dick Tárcy so that the uninitiated seek out Todd Field’s masterpiece Tár — now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video, at no additional cost for Prime subscribers — but as a certified Tárhead (that’s like being a jarhead, but for Tár) I heartily endorse the move if so.

Dustin, 10/9/23

Dustin’s dad’s family, his good-paying job, his comfortable suburban life … absolutely none of that inspires in him any emotion other than misery, anger, and dread. The only joy he experiences comes in a short, intense physical burst when binges on something sweet, and even that is incredibly fleeting. I’d feel bad for him, if he weren’t so incredibly unlikeable.

Shoe, 10/9/23

Normally I roll my eyes at overly labored Shoe wordplay, but I have to admit that a cultural history of boomerangs called Comeback would be a huge hit at airport bookstores everywhere, and would get even more buzz once people found out a bird wrote it.