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Dustin, 1/18/24

I think my record on the themes and narrative content of Dustin is pretty clear — I find them extremely objectionable, perhaps more than any other comic in my daily rotation — but I generally don’t say much about the art. It’s — well, “good” might be pushing it, but it’s generally perfectly workmanlike and occasionally shows flashes of charm. The one thing about it I don’t like is the weird way that the character’s eyes switch back and forth between stylized pupils-and-sclerae (as in panel two here) and simple black dots (as in panel three). Maybe this doesn’t jump out at you in black and white (which I still consider the canonical format for a daily strip), but in today’s scenario it honestly feels like we’re going from them talking normally about teenage boy trouble to their eyes suddenly going inky black and their voices shifting to an ominous thrumming as they say in unison “THE HANDSOME LAD, THE PRETTY ONE … HE HAS WRONGED US AND HE MUST BE DESTROYED.”

Gil Thorp, 1/18/24

Keri has been selling the “Pedro ghosted me!” sob story to anyone who’ll listen for a while now, but honestly it feels more like “Pedro is experiencing a major depressive episode that isn’t actually about me”? This is, I imagine, a fairly accurate example of a teenage reaction, though.

Mary Worth, 1/18/24

My immediate reaction to this strip was “Oh my god was this just setting up a MARY WORTH HAS A SECRET DAUGHTER PLOT????” Now, obviously, you’re going to dismiss that as anatomically impossible, but remember that Mary firmly believes that you can overcome past trauma simply by refusing to remember that it ever happened, so it’s more likely than you’d think!