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Curtis, 3/1/24

The weird thing about arrested-in-time strips like Curtis is that we, who have been reading this strip for decades, have internalized the rhythms of the family dynamics and recognize today’s episode as one of an infinite number of subtle variations of the “Curtis asks his dad for money” gag. But Curtis, in theory, is only 11 for a year or so, and in a strange way he’s experienced much less of his own life than we have, and so can’t predict what’ll happen next. Look at his smile in panel two! “Throw his money out a window?” he’s thinking. “What a charmingly odd idea! Not sure where he’s going with this but I’m sure I’ll have some cash in my pocket by the end of it.” Anyway, Curtis, have you considered getting a Spotify subscription? They have Six-ribs’ whole catalog, along with a huge number of other hip-hop artists, and 60 bucks could get you six months!

Marvin, 3/1/24

It took me a minute to figure out, but I think the joke here is supposed to be “The dog, who should not be eating people food, will end up eating the meatloaf, because someone will be surreptitiously feeding it to him, ha ha!” But this is a strip where dogs and babies have adult human-level cognition, so don’t they shouldn’t act like we’re supposed to be surprised or amused that they might eat adult human food. Anyway, my initial read on this was that the joke was about the dog not wanting to fill the house with horrible odors vented from his bowels, which would at least be kind of a twist for this strip.

Mary Worth, 3/1/24

Toby is truly one of my favorite ancillary Mary Worth character. Unlike Wilbur, she’s used sparingly enough so that it’s a true delight when she occasionally shows up and says things like “I want to take up cooking, which my husband would love, but my neighbor up the hall, who rarely cooks for us, is so much better than me at it, so why bother?” This would be hilarious even if the thing the lady up the hall had just dished out wasn’t the most disgusting brown glop you could possibly imagine. Anyway, Mary is being either incredibly kind or incredibly sarcastic when she calls Toby “a talented artist and a great friend,” because she definitely isn’t the former and I’d be willing to bet quite a bit that she’s isn’t the latter either.