Here’s something I like about today’s strip. No, it’s not the idiotic word-play. It’s not the artwork, the falling leaves, or the grotesque slab of Les’ greasy hair in panel two. (Seriously, look at that. I mean, we all want him to melt in agony, yet here it is and it isn’t any fun at all!)
No, what I like are the expressions in panel three. Those are three of the most bitter, most miserable people in the world. Even the guy who’s delivering the pun doesn’t look pleased with himself–he looks as if he’s really loathing himself for having to do this.
What we see here are three people realizing that they are mere toys in the hands of an angry god, and they must dance for his pleasure or burn. They have one freedom left: the freedom not to smirk at a pun. They can withhold their approval in this one thing without fear of annihilation.
No wonder both Les and Cayla envy Les’ dead wife. Even though the dead can never rest, they can’t die again. either.
Of course, Les’ expression in panel three is typical of him when someone else delivers wordplay. It just galls him when someone beats him to the punline. I recall Barry Balderman’s remark about “Life is like masking tape, the more you use, the less you have” (or whatever he said). Les’ face then was just Boy do I hate you. Boy do I hate you. Lisadamnit, I’m supposed to do the clever stuff.
Given what passes for “clever” in these parts, I suspect most cast members would be happy to pass it off to Les. “Happy” being the completely wrong word, of course….