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Mark Trail, 2/18/17

So this week’s Mark Trail has been a lot of boring blah blah between some white lady and some African dude in an airport in Africa about how dumb liberals don’t get how hunting majestic African wildlife is a good thing for everyone concerned, but then we got to the end of the week and HOLY COW, GUYS, IT’S THE RETURN OF CHRIS “DIRTY” DYER, STAR OF ONE OF THE GREATEST MARK TRAIL PANELS OF ALL TIME:

See, Mark headed over to Africa on a big rhino poaching story, hooked up with a safari group that “Dirty” and his love-object Lori were part of, and had to assure “Dirty” that he did not want get together with Lori to “do the dirty” (this is literally what Mark calls sex, but he uses a child’s voice when he says it, not a crude bro’s voice). Later it turned out that “Dirty” was in fact the rhino poacher, and the angry rhinos ran his car off the road in revenge, and that after that he died. OR DID HE????? Well, no, he didn’t, because he’s right here, in today’s strip, only slightly worse for wear, if you consider having an eye gouged out “only slightly worse for wear.” Anyway, I look forward to discovering what shenanigans “Dirty” is up to (probably more poaching???), and why it is that he went to the trouble of faking his death but then still goes around introducing himself by his actual name.

Pluggers, 2/18/17

For a long time, the Top Two Most Depressing Pluggers Ever were clearly “Rhino-Man Hocks His TV” and “Kangaroo Lady Approaches Her Emotional Breaking Point”, but I think we may have a new contender today? Ha ha, it’s funny because … she wants to get out of the house and do something, anything, with her husband, but he just wants to point his bleary eyes in the vague direction of the television and let the beer annihilate anything resembling an emotion that attempts to pass through his brain!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/18/17

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that right before Buck’s Comic-Con adventure got underway, he had a meet-cute with a nice lady at the gym that Rex made him go to. Laid up in his hospital bed, and having failed to emotionally connect with his son, he figures now’s the time to take that relationship to the next level, phone-sex wise! “Hey, Mindy … yeah, I have some more privacy now … damn, girl, just thinking of you is making me dizzy … or maybe that’s the dehydration from carrying around too many comic books for hours … anyway — hello? hello?”

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/18/17

Oh sure, these fellas are all tongue-lollin’ laffs now, but when Snuffy gets wind of this, he might decide to both boost his revenues from his business as a huntin’ guide and take care of his gambling debts by promising rich flatlanders that lawless, forgotten Hootin’ Holler is the perfect place to pursue “the most dangerous game.”

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“I like to think Gil spent the entire visit to Aaron’s mom just staring wordlessly at her until she confessed. ‘Coach Thorp! Is Aaron in some kind of trouble? Does it have to do with drugs? Or did they discover how he throws games to make our secret payoffs to the mob via an underground Mudlark gambling ring? Is that what this is about?’” –Drew Funk

The runners up? Also hilarious.

“Cherry is really making an effort here. She knows that there’s nothing more romantic to her husband than a dead-eyed recitation of nature facts in monotone.” –AndyL

“Zak: portrait of a man thinking ‘I don’t understand what’s going on here, but I don’t understand a lot of things, so she’s probably right.’” –Horace Broon

“Iris: ‘You belong with your friends. Not me. Because I’m your enemy. Watch your fucking back.’ Zak: ‘You watch it first.’ Iris: [ogles, regrets decision]” –Craig!

“The Halftracks know that they’re almost obligated to have sex with each other after this. Their expressions tell you all you need to know about how they view the prospect.” –TheDiva

“Meanwhile, back in Seattle, an alarm sounds. A terrified flunky slinks into Bezos’ office with a clipping from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. ‘Sir … Alexa’s been featured in a comic.’ ‘That’s great! Trudeau make a joke about us? Maybe Pastis did an Alexa pun, or Bucky Cat got in a fight with her?’ Slowly, the flunky passes over the copy of Pluggers. A distant scream as a senior vice president leaps to his death. ‘Shut it down,’ Bezos says heavily, ‘shut down the entire Alexa line. It’s over.'” –Voshkod

“Slylock thinks Shady Shrew is lying because there’s no way that grotesquely swollen bear paw would fit in the mailbox. Neither would Shady Shrew’s stubby arms, of course, but somebody’s gotta take the fall. ‘Another crime cleverly foisted on someone else,’ thinks Max.” –Spunky The Wonder Squid

“It’s easier to imagine a plugger carrying on a conversation with a much-beloved hockey puck, the one found in the parking lot of the Ice-o-rama in the winter of ’89.” –Dood

“‘Wait, isn’t there an easier way for a conscious and perfectly lucid person to rehydrate, other than going to the hospital and and having glucose solution infused through a needle in my arm?’ ‘No.’” –BigTed

“I’m not sure the DMV has the power to reverse Funky’s excommunication. Only the Pope himself can declare Funky and his constant misery compatible with the existence of a loving god.” –Schroduck

“Karen Moy has succeeded in summarizing the human condition. ‘I just did something random, and now I’m sad. What can I do to fix this? Short of reversing course on my random decision, of course.’ Kudos, Karen.” –John, just John

“I keep a post it note at my desk to remind me that Les isn’t Funky and I encourage all to do the same.” –Trophy Boy, on Twitter

“I always knew that Mary was a harvester of human sorrow, but it seems especially cruel to make Iris collect her own tears in that cup.” –pugfuggly

“Wait, Sophie’s kidnapper took her because she thought the Spencers have too much money and they don’t deserve it? I hope everyone who reads this blog has an alibi!” –A Hero Twice a Month

“Jeffy, if you’re going to do the Little Rascals ‘three kids in an overcoat‘ routine, you’re going to need two frie– [long exhale] Look, ask Billy and Dolly.” –Dan

“According to Wikipedia, Moe Howard broke three ribs while filming Pardon My Scotch (though you may know the scene from Dizzy Detectives, where it was reused): he was standing on a platform, a table, that Curly sawed through with a power saw. The article states that, like a real trouper, ‘[Moe] was able to pull himself up and deliver a double slap to Larry and Curly before fainting.’ The point is, putting a rib girdle on the Sentry shows an amazing dedication to historical accuracy.” –handsome Harry Backstayge, idol of a million other women

“Bosses are the worst. Especially when they twitch awake on the floor behind you, then rise up at a 90 degree angle like a vampire out of the coffin just so they can start making comments about what you’re doing.” –Chareth Cutestory

“Just because pluggers cannot learn modern slang, it does not mean they live in the past! For example, once they thought that cats and dogs living together was a sign of of the apocalypse. Now they know that segregation is NOT cool!” –Ettore Costa

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Blondie, 2/17/17

I feel like the moment when Dagwood stopped being just a generic white collar worker at Dithers Industries and started being referred to as an “office manager” happened within living memory — like, maybe even since I started doing this blog. And while it’s true that specificity is generally a good thing in jokes, nothing about Dagwood’s intermittently depicted job duties ever matches up with that description; he never seems to be, say, budgeting for office supplies or figuring out who should sit where or designing filing systems. Instead, he prepares “reports” about “accounts” and deals with “clients,” all of which seems outward-facing and outside his job duties. Perhaps today’s strip explains all that, though, if “office manager” is just code for “person who services our clients, sexually, then prepares detailed reports that we use for blackmail purposes.”

Slylock Fox, 2/17/17

Obviously that’s supposed to be a fan tail at the bottom of our mysteriously four-limbed lobster’s torso here, but for the life of me it looks like pleated material of a skirt. Basically, that’s what I’m going to imagine it is, shielding the dangling lobster junk from our field of vision.

Pluggers, 2/17/17

Pluggers also realized why many texting conversations didn’t go as expected when informed that “FML” does not stand for “friend: make love?”