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Sincerely hope that Chinese phrase is something extremely rude

Crankshaft, 10/13/15

You might remember the Crankshaft strip from last month in which our heroes jammed an inflatable kangaroo into a pothole for a campaign commercial. I found it completely baffling, but several commenters patiently explained that it was a joke about the potholes being so deep they reach all the way to Australia. At least one person pointed out that the more typical metaphor would involve “digging a hole to China,” which is indeed the theme of today’s strip/commercial, going back to that same well. I’m honestly not sure if the fact that Ralph’s one-note campaign is just repeating itself endlessly is itself supposed to be the joke or if we just get one of these a month because, you know, why not.

Six Chix, 10/13/15

Hey lady, relax: Talking Heads broke up in 1991, with a fair amount of acrimony among the band members. If by some chance they did reunite, they’d probably do a reunion tour, or maybe even record a new album, but at any rate they’d be much more focused on music than telling you that coffee’s bad for you, OK? If David Byrne says it solo, it doesn’t count, so don’t worry about that.

Judge Parker, 10/13/15

Let’s not forget that Neddy’s big plan for this factory is literally to hire old people who are already on Medicare and Social Security so she doesn’t have to pay for their health insurance or retirement. This seemed like a great money-saving scheme at the time, but she hadn’t factored in the need to build elevators to accomodate the dozens of rascal scooters that would soon be whirring all over the factory floor.

Beetle Bailey, 10/13/15

Remember, if only straight men work on building sex robots, then a huge potential market will go untapped.

There’s nothing that grouchy middle-aged academics like more than surprises

Mary Worth, 10/12/15

Maybe I was a little too hasty in writing off the end of this storyline as a fizzle yesterday. After all, they couldn’t really be setting up the whole rest of the week as some glurgy sentimental reunion of the star-crossed Camerons, could they? I mean, yes, they could, they totally could, but I’m going to chose to read heavily into the surprised angle and hope against hope that this surprise is going to be less than pleasant! Will Ian come stumbling home with his new girlfriend? With his new boyfriend, Hilton Berkes, with Ian’s crush being painfully obvious in retrospect? Will Ian just be so startled by Toby’s presence that he’ll suffer a fatal heart attack, leaving Toby wailing and bereft? Or maybe just a minor cardiac event that will be embarrassing for everyone concerned? Can’t wait!

Dick Tracy, 10/12/15

The fact that Dick Tracy’s Neo-Chicago is apparently in the grip of a multi-week crime wave ought to be proof to anyone that brutal, civil-liberties-violating law enforcement doesn’t actually improve public safety.

Shoe, 10/12/15

Let’s ignore, for the moment, the fact that this joke implies that Mort charges admission to funerals, an innovative but to my knowledge unheard of mortuary business model, and instead focus on the important thing, which is that all of Biz’s friends are dying.

Just gonna take a guess and say the future holds a lot more petty sniping

Mary Worth, 10/11/15

I stand by my earlier claims that this Toby-and-Ian-spat storyline was for a while a beautiful thing to behold, but it appears to be about to fizzle out in an even more disappointing fashion than most Mary Worths. Barring some surprise last-minute twist, like Toby trudging across the hall to find Ian embracing one of his undergraduate students and whining that they were “on a break,” it looks like Toby has used her time alone to decide that her relationship with Ian is great, even though they sometimes yell at or belittle each other. Today’s Sunday strip can’t even be bothered to barf up some poorly-sourced quote from Edna St. Vincent Millay or Douglas MacArthur for the first panel, and who can blame it?

Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/11/15

Look at how happy old Charlie is! That’s because he’s been summoned out of the narrative ether for one purpose and one purpose only: to sell his fishing cabin to the Morgans for a ridiculously low price. He grins ever wider as he offers his cabin for sale ever more cheaply, reveling that in this moment, he exists, has flesh and blood, breathes air, smells flowers, lives. As soon as the transaction is concluded, he’ll dissolve again to nothingness, just another tenuous shade in the outer darkness. But right now, let’s let him enjoy himself.

Marvin, 10/11/15

Remember how in the first few seasons of the Wire the drug-dealing Barksdale Organization is set up as the primary antagonists, but eventually we get to know and even sympathize with them as characters, and so towards the end of the show’s run they’re displaced by Marlo Stanfield and his crew, who are colder, less sympathetic, more implacable and violent? In unrelated news, here’s a cartoon in which a baby enumerates his urination and defecation sessions with such glee that he disgusts even Marvin.