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Mary Worth, 4/4/20

“But if you don’t know? Well, in that case, you definitely still need to keep that person around — after all, you don’t want to be alone, heaven forbid! Just be sure to fend off any marriage proposals, so you’ll be free to entertain the offers from other gentlemen, at funerals or while you’re on vacation and such. It’s an arrangement that will work great for everyone, except for the guy you’re stringing along, but if he was worthy of better treatment I guess you wouldn’t be stringing him along, would you?”

Mark Trail, 4/4/20

For more than 15 years now, comic strip artists have been stuck in an awkward place where they have to draw daily strips knowing that they’ll appear in almost all newspapers in black and white but will be colorized by other hands for the web. This can be a real problem when you’re trying to, say, depict people walking through a dark, shadowy forest, where the inky black of the shadows cast onto them contrasts with the colors chosen for their flesh and clothes, which make them appear fully lit. Still, I’m glad to see this all happen in today’s strip, as it transforms Kevin’s pathetic mewling into something sounds like a supervillain’s origin story:

“I know I’m just an orphan nobody wants to adopt … but when I have my revenge, I will make orphans of every man, woman, and child on earth!

Dennis the Menace, 4/4/20

I admit I spend time on this blog making fun of comics that reuse old art, but here’s the thing: for some go-to- gags, they should do it. Honestly, what possible value is there to drawing yet another random visitor to the Mitchells’ living room for one of the “Dennis repeats something embarrassing his parents said” panels? Surely there’s literally dozens of them in the archives, so why not just dig one out and slap a new caption on it? I sincerely hope that’s what happened today, because it delights me to think of someone going through a bunch of old Dennis the Menace strips until they got to this drawing, and then they said to themselves, “Oh yeah, this is the one. This guy? This guy fucks.”

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It’s Friday (please check your calendars to confirm this if not leaving the house has transformed your sense of time into an undifferentiated series of days) and that means it’s the day for the comment of the week!

“Asking to do one’s homework in one’s skivvies is the kind of baffling, perverse request I’d expect from one of the Keane kids but not from Curtis. It’s amazing how just a couple of weeks of self-isolation can turn any family into Family Circus. The cure may indeed be worse than the disease.” –Jenna

It’s also the day for the hilarious runners up!

“‘Which brings us to Ultima Thule*…’ [pronounced ‘Too-lay’] ‘Isn’t he the villain from the Thor* movie?’ [pronounced ‘Tor’] ‘I wonder if it’s too late to revisit the board’s early retirement package*?’ [pronounced ‘getting driven out into the country and released in a field somewhere’]” –Guy Lumbago

“Debonair? You’re looking for someone who’s debonair, lady? You’re living in the wrong century. The last of the debonair (and there weren’t many left) died of extremely old age in the early 2000s. They barely outlived the dashing, who were killed off by grunge in the ’90s.” –Joe Blevins

“Strange, I would have expected Hootin’ Holler to have at least one perfectly functional treadmill, but only because it is an old one that is actually used to power a local grain mill.” –Corynaut

“My favorite thing about Kevin is the way his hair keeps changing to match his emotions. In the first panel, he’s somewhat upset, and his hair is accordingly roiled. But by the third panel, Kevin is VERY upset, and his hair has formed into menacing spikes, ooh.” –Poteet

“I’ve been in some terrible conversations in my life, but never one so awful that I had to crack a window to ventilate the word balloons.” –jroggs

“I like to think Curtis is sitting there butt-naked from the waist down. ‘Mom, can’t I wear underwear?‘ ‘NO! The laundromat is four streets over and full of coughing homeless people. You’ll get clean underwear in the After Times.’” –Momster

“So Elmo has a trainee now? Hope he’s filed all the proper tax forms.” –Pozzo

“I think Alan is still having trouble getting into his ‘working-class hero’ persona. ‘I know, we’ll hold my fundraiser in a big barn! That’s where the lower classes live, right? In big communal barns?’” –pugfuggly

“The great thing about this Mary Worth story is no matter what choice Dawn makes, she’s going to regret it! Will she choose wet blanket Jared, who has all the sexual appeal of an actual wet blanket, or will she choose a relationship with someone thousands of miles away who’s definitely fucking other people? She can’t win and she’ll be miserable either way! Like father, like daughter I guess.” –Rosstifer

“Something tells me Mary could squeeze a slut-shamed face out of the pope. The woman is an artist, humanity’s her canvas.” –Handsome Harry Backstayge, Idol of a Million Other Women

“A very meaningful strip. Colonized people wish they could completely cancel the colonizers and return to an imagined purity pre-invasion. However, history is messier. The histories of colonizers and colonized are forever entangled, as evidenced by the fact that Grossie had a child with Maggot. French Algeria is no more, but there will be something French in Algeria and something Algerian in France forever. Also, men are slobs and wives nag.” –Ettorre

Convenience, Mary? You don’t know the half of it. He works in a hospital. He can get me all the hand sanitizer I could ever use!” –Peanut Gallery

Jared feels like home. Probably because he doesn’t comb his hair and wears a ratty hoodie, like you do when you’re home all day rather than out on a date with another person. Also I have to clean him a lot.” –Francisco Arrowroot

What do you think happens when we die? I mean, I know what happens when we die inside, when our dream of doing cartoons for the New Yorker is crushed and we end up the sixth chick, such an insulting name, on a fifth-rate daily strip. But when we really die? Because brother, I cannot wait!” –Voshkod

“I’m just saying, ‘I hope you know you can trust me‘ is exactly the sort of thing you would say to a pure soul you plan to sacrifice to appease your cruel forest god.” –TheDiva

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Six Chix, 4/3/20

I suppose the “joke” in today’s Six Chix is that dentists love to ask deep, philosophical questions that require a lot of talking in response while they have their hands and a bunch of dental implements in your mouth, amiright folks? Amiright? But because this panel features only the basics of a dental facility surrounded by a blank, featureless void, I’m enjoying myself by thinking of this as a depiction of someone’s specific hell. “So what do you think happens when we die?” asks the dentist-demon. “Do you think it’s a real showy stereotypical fire-and-brimstone thing? Or do you think it’s something maybe less painful, but something we know, something we hate and fear, and we experience it forever? Probably the second one, right? Let’s get the tartar off that top gum line again.”

Daddy Daze, 4/3/20

So it seems that Coffee Goth is in fact Daddy Daze Daddy’s pal and a recurring character in this strip. The fact that the two of them are bellied up to a coffee shop counter rather than a bar honestly makes me realize how many male comic strip characters’ social lives revolve around going to a bar on a regular basis to commiserate with other regulars, which seems a little dated to me. But Daddy Daze Daddy isn’t like that! He’s not some sad drunk! He’s a much more modern archetype: a sad coffee guy! That’s a totally different and much more enlightened texture of sadness!

Mark Trail, 4/3/20

“But now you’re also going out into the woods with me in the middle of the night! That seems like a bad idea! But I still trust you! I’m not really very smart!”