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Adventure awaits at Obie Falls, I am 100% certain

New-school Mark Trail: not only does he consort with geese but he also expresses the human emotion of affection for his wife? Bizarre. I mean, at least he’s doing it from a distance of several miles, so he won’t be expected to hug or kiss or touch or look at her. Seems relatively safe. Also, notice how he pairs up “being married to you” and “living here in Lost Forest”: if I have my LoFo lore right, the Trails’ cabin home is actually owned by Cherry’s father Doc. So, yes, this actually makes sense: every once in a while, Mark needs to placate Cherry’s intense, terrifying, incomprehensible feelings with an absolute minimum physical contact, so that he can continue to live rent-free in a cabin next to a forest, which is all he’s ever wanted in life. “I’ll be home later, honey!” he says. SPOILER ALERT: He’ll be home a lot later.

Better Half, 4/16/14

You know you’re a desperate pill addict when your mail-order prescriptions are delivered it feels exactly like your birthday and Christmas and every other holiday plus the day you got out of prison when you went away for mail fraud that one time combined.

At least Wilbur’s sandwiches will always love him

Mary Worth, 4/15/14

Last week Wilbur urged Iris to apply tough love to her layabout drug dealing son who may or may not be working hard to find a job (a task which, for the record, is often quite difficult for ex-cons), and she blew up at him about it, putting Wilbur’s sad love life in jeopardy. But ever since then, Iris has been musing about whether maybe she should be harder on Tommy. And who’s there to swoop in and catch her at the moment she’s ready to speak these uncomfortable truths aloud? Wilbur? Don’t be ridiculous. It’s Mary. Mary’s been watching her from afar all this time, patiently waiting for the moment when Iris is ready to split at the seams, when she can turn Iris to her way of thinking with just an innocent, nonspecific question. This right here is a meddling master class. Run along and write your little advice column, Wilbur; the pros are working here.

Dick Tracy, 4/15/14

So God bless the new Dick Tracy creative team for the great art and reverence for comics history and all, but sometimes the plot gets so reverent of comics history that it’s literally impossible for anyone but comics obsessives to follow. At the moment, for instance, the strip is switching back and forth between what appears to be a search for Little Orphan Annie, a followup to an earlier plotline that references characters and scenarios from the strip’s loopy sci-fi era of the 1960s and 1970s, and a fictionalized take on intra-comics industry feuding that started in 1942. Anyway, I’m just glad today’s strip sticks to the core Dick Tracy brand of Dick being a remorseless killer. “Soooo … these guys went out into deep space and … probably suffocated in terror?” “It looks that way, Diet,” Dick nods, satisfied.

Six Chix, 4/15/14

Six Chix appears to be using the week leading up to Easter to feature a a series cartoons about the birth and death of bunnies, with each strip guaranteed to disturb and unsettle! Anyway, all I’m going to do with this one is give you the phrase “rabbit cloaca” and rest easy in the knowledge that you won’t be able to extract it from your mind for days.

Beetle Bailey, 4/15/14

I spent a long time staring at this Beetle Bailey cartoon and trying to figure out what it meant. Then I realized I should follow Plato’s lead, which is to say: recognize it as inane nonsense, and wander off to find something better to do.

Will this bunny burst from his gold cocoon on the third day?

Six Chix, 4/14/14

One of my running jokes that at some level in my mind may not actually be a joke involves the disposal of my remains after my death: in accordance with my will, I will be taxidermied and mounted in a heroic pose — I’m thinking wearing a bearskin and wielding a spear, though of course I will leave room for the whims of the artist — and whichever of my heirs intends to inherit my no doubt vast fortune will be required to display me prominently in their living room. But upon seeing today’s Six Chix, I of course immediately imagined another funeral scenario: a life-sized, anatomically correct chocolate replica of my mortal form would be covered in gold foil and laid out on a bier; after paying their respects, the assembled mourners would be required to peel back the foil and eat the effigy before anyone would be permitted to leave. The best part? Since only the first idea involves my actual corpse, we could do both.

Mark Trail, 4/14/14

Congrats to James Allen, who comments here as The Real Mark Trail, and who has officially taken over for Jack Elrod as Mark Trail’s scribe, transforming the Elrod-ball into the Allen-orb! And he gives us a look at the much darker and edgier direction he’ll be taking the strip right away. Geese, as everyone who has ever lived near a body of water knows, are the worst. They poop everywhere, they’re mean to other birds, they can be extremely aggressive with people, and have huge, powerful wings with which they can impose their cruel will. And yet Mark is an ally with this particular goose-gang, even knowing their leader by name! Welcome to Mark Trail 2.0, where the title character is much more morally ambiguous. Consorting with geese! My word.

Judge Parker, 4/14/14

The parents of the happy couple have been getting on like gangbusters over the course of this wedding weekend, but today we’re learning the real difference between a privileged jurist who dabbles in spy novels and a hardened, amoral arms dealer. While Abbott assembles his own ad hoc army, Alan can only sputter indignantly at how gauche the attacking gang of rival mercenaries is being. “Don’t they know we’re having a wedding here? Don’t they know who I am?