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The Phantom, 1/16/19

Been a while since I kept you updated on the thrilling story of Heloise in The Phantom after she personally defeated the Nomad, the terrorist mastermind her father could never catch, by knocking him unconscious with her phone. Heloise handed the Nomad over to the cops, and then, presumably to escape revenge from the Nomad’s fanatical followers, fled with Kadia (the Nomad’s daughter, who didn’t know until just now that her dad was the Nomad) to the consulate of her home nation of Bangalla. Now they’re about to be rescued by the president of Bangalla himself, and let’s just say that country’s official self-presentation as a thriving post-colonial democracy governed by the rule of law isn’t quite buttressed by the head of state personally spiriting a family member of the shadowy leader of a paramilitary force out of the United States to avoid unpleasant questions from law enforcement. Bangalla may insist that the main heritage of their British colonial past is an elected parliament and independent judiciary, but in fact it appears to be President Luaga’s insistence on wearing morning dress 24 hours a day.

Gil Thorp, 1/16/19

I turn to the comics not just for amusement, but edification, and to that end I am pleased to have Learned Something from today’s Gil Thorp. Specifically, I have learned about the Robb Report, which began as a mimeographed newsletter selling Rolls Royces and Confederate memorabilia and somehow morphed into an odious ‘lifestyle brand’ publication mainly consisting of pictures of Rich People Things, which, isn’t that what we have Instagram for? Anyway, it was well worth learning all that so I could appreciate the absurdity of Robby saying, confidently, to presumably dozens of radio listeners, that on his report, “the richness is in the words,” proving that despite his claims to be a wordsmith he doesn’t actually know how “richness” is used in contemporary English. It would be better if he claimed “the richness is in the frosting,” and this whole thing with the billboards was just an attempt to drum up interest in his website of cake recipes.

Mary Worth, 1/16/19

Let’s try, if we can, to avoid thinking about Jannie’s increasingly hilarious vaping technique and instead focus on Ian’s grading strategies. What do you think his emotional arc is over the course of the semester? Is his plan from the get-go to lull his students into complacency with good grades in the opening weeks of the semester only to smash their hopes and dreams later? Or does he begin each class convinced that this year the students are actually going to appreciate his talents, and only turns on them when it becomes clear that isn’t the case?

Family Circus, 1/16/19

“They said that blondes have more fun but that doesn’t seem to be true at all! Now people just realize I’m related to Billy! I hate Billy!”

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Dick Tracy, 1/15/19

I’m not sure who asked for a Dick Tracy storyline about the little foibles that arise when you’re an old man who knocks up a much younger woman who’s filming a documentary about you, but whatever, they are going for it. Today’s installment, “So You Were Briefly Jealous Of Someone You Thought Was A Sexual Rival But She’s Actually His Goddaughter,” is unsettling par for the course.

Six Chix, 1/15/19

I’ve tried pronouncing “robo-twheat” every way I can think of — does it rhyme with “sweat”? does it rhyme with “sweet”? OK, I guess I can really only think of those two ways — and neither makes sense. Is it robot wheat? That’s the grey stuff outside the window? Robot wheat? Why would you not pay attention to robot wheat? I think if robot wheat suddenly grew (or began functioning, or whatever the hell it is robot wheat does) right outside my window, I’d feel like I should maybe pay attention to it.

Mary Worth, 1/15/19

Oh hell yes, Jannie’s swift heel turn is really doing it for me! Is she vaping? Just leaning sexily against the wall and vaping, driving all the boys wild? I cannot wait for her to meet Mary and get an earful about the addictive qualities of e-juice.

Gil Thorp, 1/15/19


Beetle Bailey, 1/15/19

We all knew that, of course, one day the long-running comic strip Beetle Bailey would come to an end, and we probably all knew that there would be a fairly spectacular final strip, but I don’t think any of us guessed that it would involve the main character being killed and eaten by an enormous bird.

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Mary Worth, 1/14/19

Why, what’s this? It seems that the case of the smitten student just got a little more complex. If I’m interpreting that thought balloon correctly, Jannie isn’t overcome by lust for Professor Cameron at all, but is rather just buttering him up for her own inscrutable purposes. Is she planning on kidnapping him for ransom? On stealing his organs? On … getting a better grade than her work alone would merit, exactly as Toby suspected all along? Ha ha, isn’t everyone going to feel silly when that turns out to be the case! Anyway, this dude is probably her actual boyfriend. You can tell he’s more desirable to a young woman than Ian, because he knows about hip new bands like the Rolling Stones.

Gil Thorp, 1/14/19

Oh, man, this Gil Thorp storyline appears to be about how the tyranny of student confidentiality laws are shackling honest adults who need the right to humiliate children in public, to protect their reputation, and I for one am I here for it! In the meantime, please enjoy Kaz aggressively pointing at Gil to drive home his “point” that B/Robby Howry’s youthful transgressions are fair game in this PR battle.

Pluggers, 1/14/19

Obviously the joke here is that pluggers have grandchildren who don’t have a firm grip on typical human lifespans and/or the dates of major historic events, but I’m choosing to believe that this panel takes place after a future bloody civil war in which pluggers were on the losing side. They believed they’d have an inherent advantage over the big-city types, but it quickly became clear that their ramshackle automobiles and sedentary lifestyles were not the military assets they assumed them to be.