What’s Going On In Mary Worth? Why are GoComics and Comics Kingdom broken? September – November 2022


While we were all distracted with GoComics being broken, Comics Kingdom went and broke themselves. Well, changed, although the specifics of the change damaged something. Comics Kingdom replaced the commenting software used, moving away from Disqus and to OpenWeb instead. Along the way, this lost all the comments people had made, for years, on all of their strips. It’s yet another reminder that corporations are not only bad stewards of public platforms, they are hostile and destructive to it. I grant there’s limited value in reading how angry people can be when a comic strip makes a reference aimed at the young folks. But it’s good to see what people’s impressions of these strips were at publication. And many commenters are good enough to explain referenced older storylines or now-obscure characters. All of that connective tissue is gone now.

Comics Kingdom says there are benefits to the new system, and I accept that. I’m unclear how “personalized notifications” and “easier comment sorting” will avoid comment-section “toxic cesspools”, but we’ll see.

Meanwhile, GoComics is back up! From the comments on Daily Cartoonist, it looks like it was coming up as my post yesterday about their still being down published. So it goes. All they’ve said to the public was a tweet that they were having “temporary challenges resulting from a network disruption”. No confirmation of the rumors about this being a “cybersecurity incident”. It still seems like a good chance to change out passwords for new passwords plus, still starring Alan Ludden. The site may be a bit shaky for a while as people catch up on a half week’s worth of strips, so, be gentle to them and laugh no more than mildly uproariously, please.

And now on to my plot recap. This should get you caught up to mid-November 2022 on Karen Moy and June Brigman’s Mary Worth. If you’re reading after about February 2023 I likely have a more up-to-date plot recap here. And if any news about the comic strip breaks I’ll share it at that link too. Thank you. Now on to tales of love and thanking Mary Worth for making us thank Mary Worth … again.

Mary Worth.

4 September – 20 November 2022.

When I last visited Charterstone, Dawn Weston had accepted that Jared Mylo broke up with her for good reasons. And Mylo had a new girlfriend who sure presented no questions about the appropriateness of the relationship. (She had been a patient in his care.) All seemed wrapped up, apart from Dawn visiting Mary Worth to thank her for her help. Mary Worth’s help was badgering her into being friends with Mylo still, for obscure reasons.

[ As Dawn reflects on recent events ... ] Dawn thinks: 'I'll find love again. And if I don't ... I'll be okay. I have people in my life who love me!' She thinks of her father, of Mary Worth, and of ... I want to say her friend Cathy. Meanwhile her father talks to his fish: 'Stellan, Willa ... Stell and I may be on a break again, but I'm okay with that! I have everything going for me!' Stella is at the piano, singing with her cat and dog, 'Learning to love yourself ... is the greatest love of alll!' And Jared Mylo and Jess are watching Jeopardy.
Karen Moy and June Brigman’s Mary Worth for the 18th of September, 2022. Wilbur says he and Stella ‘may’ be on a break because Stella says ‘hoo boy yes, are we ever broken up’ but he’s not sure what she means by that.

Anyway Dawn thanks Mary Worth for helping her see that letting Mylo go after he broke up with her was good for their friendship. But we have to have some thanking of Mary Worth or it’s not a plot. And on the 18th of September we go around the horn and see everyone content. Mylo and Jess are enjoying each other’s company. Dawn is happy she’s alone again. Wilbur Weston is content to spend more time with his sandwiches. Stella is singing with her cat and dog. And then Dr Jeff comes over so he and Mary Worth can agree how they’re a great couple with a way better relationship than anyone else has. Also they are definitely not getting married. And that takes two weeks.


[ When Zak spontaneously proposes to Iris ... ] Zak: 'My love, tell me you'll be my wife ... marry me! We'll be the happiest married couple there is!' Iris: 'Zak, dear, I love you and I always will, nothin will change that ... but I've been married before and I don't need to do that again. Please understand ... I'm happier with you *now* than I ever was while married to my ex. The two of us don't *need* a license to be happy. I like things the way they are. You understand, don't you?'
Karen Moy and June Brigman’s Mary Worth for the 9th of October, 2022. Oh, hey, Zak looking up, clinging desperately to Iris’s arms, his life depending on her. It’s foreshadowing! (I know, it probably wasn’t intended that literally as foreshadowing, but this scene works nicely as such and I want to point out when the comics do things nicely.)

The 3rd of October starts the current story. It’s about Iris and her much-younger computer-game-guy boyfriend Zak. I bet one or both of them have last names, but if they don’t, pick any that you like. I’m going to say one of them is “Beedie”. They’ve had a great relationship despite the unconventionality of her being older than him and knowing of obscure, hard-to-find movies like Casablanca. So well, in fact, that Zak proposes, catching Iris completely off guard.

Iris, having been married before, doesn’t want to do that again. Zak is crushed but accepts that she would rather keep the relationship as it is. She does agree to a long-delayed hike at Piccadee Falls and, sweet Zak, that’s as good as marriage to him. How can you dislike a guy who’s that able to bounce back from depressing news?

[ When Iris and Zak reach the top of Piccadee Falls, he urges her to join him for a selfie ... ] Iris: 'Zak honey, I don't want to stand *there*. Take the photo from here. You're too close to the edge ...' Zak, 'Nah, I'm good! Look at me ... it's safe!' He swings a leg up and leans back toward the edge. 'See! .. Oops ... uff!' He falls. Iris cries, 'ZAK!'
Karen Moy and June Brigman’s Mary Worth for the 23rd of October, 2022. Meanwhile I’ve reached the point in my life where I once wore my reading glasses by mistake walking upstairs and froze in panic, unsure how to get safely down from the landing. In hindsight I should have taken them off my face quicker than I did. Please remember, I earned a PhD in Mathematics.

Oh, right, because he’s got the judgement of a jack-chi puppy in a chocolate store. He demands a selfie from the edge of the waterfall, declaring, “Not even the Gods themselves could make me fall off!” Well, what do you know but Parakutes, the Ancient Greek God of Plummeting, is in a grove nearby and, well, there we go. Zak clings to a branch, something he can do for the rest of his life. But Iris is able to overcome her fears — and her fear of her own frailty — and pull him back up.

Back on safe ground they hold each other tight. And Iris realizes her fears of marriage are nothing compared to how she feels about Zak. Is it just anyone who would rather he did not die? No. She accepts his proposal, the 6th of November, which might be the first time in my tenure covering these strips that we’ve achieved the summum bonum of Mary Worth.

[ As Iris risks her life and reaches for Zak ... he reaches up so she can grab his arm ... ] We see her, in front of the fals, lying down on the edge and reaching an arm out. In the second panel Zak lets one hand free of the tree root to grab her arm.
Karen Moy and June Brigman’s Mary Worth for the 29th of Ocober, 2022. Wait, how did she pull up Sergeant Snorkel from Beetle Bailey?

Or almost achieved, anyway. Even a small, modest ceremony takes time to arrange. Iris hurries to Mary Worth to tell her the good news that she isn’t dead, and neither is Zak, and so they’re getting married. Mary Worth seems so surprised by this that she’s left saying stuff like “Are you referring to your previous married state versus his inexperience with matrimony?” that even Tom Batiuk says is not how people talk. Commander Data pops in to offer to punch that line up a little. Anyway, Mary Worth is so happy they’ll be able to celebrate the unconventional love of a woman who’s older than the man. And that is our happy (US) Thanksgiving-week resting point for Mary Worth.

Dubiously Sourced Mary Worth Sunday Panel Quotes!

  • “I’ve learned that love, not time, heals all wounds.” — Andy Rooney, 4 September 2022.
  • “Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go.” — Hermann Hesse, 11 September 2022.
  • “And if by chance that special place that you’ve been dreaming of … leads you to a lonely place, find your strength in love.” — Linda Creed and Michael Masser, 18 September 2022.
  • “Familiar acts are beautiful through love.” — Percy Bysshe Shelley, 25 September 2022.
  • “Growth is the only evidence of life.” — John Henry Newman, 2 October 2022.
  • “Marriage is a gamble. Let’s be honest.” — Yoko Ono, 9 October 2022.
  • “If you don’t lose, you cannot enjoy the victories. So I have to accept both things.” — Rafael Nadal, 16 October 2022.
  • “It’s a good thing to learn caution from the misfortune of others.” — Publilius Syrus, 23 October 2022.
  • “Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.” — James Thurber, 30 October 2022.
  • “Ultimately, love is everything.” — M Scott Peck, 6 November 2022.
  • “Life is a collage of events, really.” — Mohanlal, 13 November 2022.
  • “The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.” — Nikon Kazantzakis, 20 November 2022.

Next Week!

The Phantom and his wife continue exploring an ancient labyrinth that once held animal-human hybrids the Egyptians may have worshipped as gods! What have they found and is it going to eat them, too? I try to recap Tony DePaul and Jeff Weigel’s The Phantom (Sunday continuity) next week. Good luck with your own animal-human hybrids once worshipped as gods.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

2 thoughts on “What’s Going On In Mary Worth? Why are GoComics and Comics Kingdom broken? September – November 2022”

    1. I don’t want to be too hard on dialogue — story strip writing has to carry a heavy load of giving cues to readers who missed or forgot stuff — but now and then, boy, the words just come fumbling down the stairs and collapse in a heap.

      Liked by 1 person

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