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Gearhead Gertie, 3/21/24

Gearhead Gertie is another new strip I’ve been reading. It’s about Gertie, an old lady who’s monomaniacally hyperfocused on NASCAR and auto racing to the extent that she’s alienated her friends and family. “But Josh,” you’re probably saying, “As a coastal elitist, how am I supposed to appreciate all the jokes about the minutiae of NASCAR, a sport I definitely don’t follow?” Well, good news: each strip gives you all the information you need to appreciate the punchline. For instance, you might not understand why Gertie would call up some guy and ask for his glove because she wants an aerodynamic advantage in traffic, but fortunately, you can quickly see that said guy is named Logano (because his chair is labeled with his name) and that he recently used his webbed gloved to gain an aerodynamic advantage (because he appears to have just moments ago been reading about himself in the newspaper), presumably (you can be pretty sure from the context, which is a comic strip about auto racing) in an auto race of some kind. This saves you the trouble of reading the “Controversy” section of Logano’s Wikipedia article, though you might still want to do some research to learn, say, what his first name is (I myself did not bother).

Gil Thorp, 3/21/24

Gil’s coaching stylings are always a great way to track his mood swings. Now that he’s gotten his groove back, sexually, we’re going to be seeing more of “fun Gil,” and you know what that means: zany trickeration plays! I certainly hope the Milford marching band has “Yakety Sax” ready to go for situations like this.

Mary Worth, 3/21/24

The current Rex Morgan, M.D., storyline is about how old people shouldn’t be too proud to use mobility aids, and that’s what said old people need to hear — but is it what they want to hear? Wouldn’t they rather hear that at some point you might need a cane that you give a goofy nickname to, in order to mask your anger at being betrayed by your own body when in your mind you’re still young and vital, but eventually you’ll get a new artist who makes you look 15 years younger and/or you’ll realize that you’re a doctor who can prescribe yourself the good stuff so you don’t feel any pain or really anything at all anymore, and then your can just laugh off a joke about jogging and not seethe with resentment over it? Sounds a lot more inspiring, doesn’t it? A lot more fun!

Hagar the Horrible, 3/21/24

A fun fact is that, at the first-ever Bayreuth Festival in 1876, costume designer Carl Emil Doepler put horned helmets on the Germanic folklore characters in a production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, and that created largely false stereotypes of both “what Vikings wore” and “what opera singers wear on stage” that has lasted nearly 150 years. I just think it’s neat to see both tropes come together like this.