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Spider-Man, 3/21/19

I am, genuinely, done making fun here. If Newspaper Spider-Man wants to spend its last few days in the media landscape engaged in utterly pointless bait-and-switches over readership expectations vis-à-vis whether or not Peter is or is not wearing his spider-costume under his shirt, then I say go for it. One of the very first sequences I went through that really taught me what this strip was all about came in 2005, in which Peter’s undergarments were or perhaps were not a problem, with the changes having nothing to do with Peter’s own on-panel efforts. My point is that this feature is going out very much on its own terms. We should all be so lucky.

Family Circus, 3/21/19

One of my least favorite Family Circus things — and lord knows there’s a list — is when some semi-universal cultural touchstone unfolds in real life, like the Olympics or the NCAA basketball tournament, and we’re expected to believe that the Keane kids can’t stop pulling catchphrases from it. It took me a second to notice that Dolly is rubbing her arm here, indicating (I assume) that Billy hit her with the ball, or maybe just punched her and then quickly grabbed a ball so that he could say “I didn’t punch her! Both my hands are clearly occupied in holding this ball!”; before I realized that, I thought maybe he had just farted.

Gil Thorp, 3/21/19

I’m not really a “sports guy” so I sometimes I find myself in the position of wondering what it is that’s confusing me about Gil Thorp: the sport content or the trademark choppy narrative. Like, today, I don’t get why the idea of a scrimmage seems so freighted, and I don’t understand half of what Gil is talking about in panel two. But I do sincerely hope that panel three takes place nine days later, that the scrimmage drama was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, and that the phone call Mimi is wrapping up here is acknowledging that and we never hear anything else about it.

Dick Tracy, 3/21/19

“It’s your case too, Joe. Go ahead, rifle through the drawers and get your fingerprints all over everything. Take a dump in the middle of the floor! Nobody can stop you!”

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The Lockhorns, 3/20/19

Oh, I guess it’s “Josh wants more backstory from The Lockhorns” week because I definitely want more backstory on what Leroy is talking about here? Because he doesn’t seem thoughtful or obsessed with analysis enough to actually be drawn to academic philosophy, nor does he seem like a guy who would’ve had a t-shirt-worthy “philosophy” like “PARTY TILL YOU PUKE” or whatever in college. Sure, both those behaviors could mask being dead inside, and maybe the point is that now, as a mature adult, Leroy feels like he doesn’t have to hide it anymore.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/20/19

“Oh, brother. I mean, it’s seems true with I think it, but when this guy says it out loud, it makes it all sound awfully petty, you know?”

Family Circus, 3/20/19

“Because they’re drunk all the time! That’s why you say we never visit Mommy’s family, right?”

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The Phantom, 3/19/19

Welp, Kadia and Heloise have been successfully extracted from the U.S., probably in only slight violation of international law, and now we’re set up for a daring new adventure, where the Phantom rescues Kadia’s mother from a heavily armed terrorist compound. And what better way to start than with six to eight weeks covering the girls’ schooling situation? The kids are leaving their elite private New York boarding school behind for an honest public school in Bangalla, but one thing is staying the same, which is that they are not living at home. It’s the most important rule passed down over the ages by generation after generation of Phantoms: no teens living in the house under any circumstances.

Pluggers, 3/19/19

You hear that, liberal elitists? Pluggers are not switching to metric time, no matter what the United Nations says! If a sexagesimal system was good enough for the ancient Babylonians, it’s good enough for us.