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This week’s comic strip expresses the beauty of artful gore more than anything else. I was thinking of Steven Soderbergh’s new film Contagion — but the fast spreading virus that inflicts Creep Rat and Snuff here is more like that hemorrhagic pathogen with the 90% fatality rate known as Ebola (which first scared the crap out of us in Richard Preston’s 1992 bestseller THE HOT ZONE). For a while I wrestled with some sort of dialogue and an ironic zinger of a punch line in the last panel. But after drawing and inking, the sheer carnage of the panels stood on their own.
Order “The Underworld: From Hoboken to Hollywood” the omnibus collection of the very best of the strip’s 23-year run, with annotations, photos, and other surprises from the author (along with a foreword by Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell).