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Metapost: Mic-droppin’ comments of the week!

Happy Friday, all! As noted in my triumphant 10th anniversary post, I’m taking the next two weeks off, which means this’ll be the last COTW for a couple weeks, because Uncle Lumpy can’t bear to pick a favorite amongst all his nieces and nephews. I can, though! And this week, my favorite comment is this one:

“□ Six-month getaway in Italy
□ Romance with (putatively) hunky English pilot
□ Said pilot’s death
✔ Week torturing stranger by not disclosing that ‘baby’ = ‘fawn’” –pastordan

Which is not to say that the following runners up are not extremely funny, because they are!

“Good ol’ Momma, refusing to have sex on her first date with Hitler.” –Name?

“That’s not your ‘spider-sense’, it’s your ‘photographer-sense.’ C’mon, look through the viewfinder! Focus! Focus! it’s telling you, Arg, you’re taking pictures of the pavement!!” –pugfuggly

“I love Shoe’s looks of disgust in panels three and five. He’s essentially the stand-in for the reader. It’s as if the writer knows this is a lame-ass joke but just barrels through it while letting the reader know that it’s okay to not laugh.” –Shran

“I think Abbott would be a much better writing consultant for Les’s screenplay than for Alan’s. Inserting a revenge-fueled cycle of violence and betrayal that escalates to a murderous game of cat and mouse in a Central American jungle would improve Lisa’s Story immeasurably for the cable audience. And it would be bound to make Les’s character seem more likable.” –Master Softheart

A3G: “I am hoping that this wacky misunderstanding continues with CPS being called and ending with one of the three women being physically detained. I don’t care which one, honestly I want all of them to be taken away in handcuffs.” –Currer Bell

“That plugger verbally italicizes Victoria’s Secret because it’s the sexy undies store where his granddaughter and her friends shop and one time he peeked in there on his way from the Shoes & Socks store to the bathroom and he’ll never, ever, ever get over the shame.” –BigTed

A close-up shot of squirrel with silhouetted figures in the distance? A cartoonishly cruel bearded man? Could this be the Mary Worth / Mark Trail crossover we never knew we always wanted?!” –Izzy

“I didn’t know Sansabelt even made swim trunks.” –Esther Blodgett

“Am I wrong to wax nostalgic for a time when at least a few Snuffy Smith characters used the fronts of their mouths for talking?” –Dr. Mabuse

“Trixie’s teddy bear is missing an eye and the quilt predates the war, so I think the joke is that the blind has holes. Hahaha, since the collapse of the housing market, Lois is poor! What a laff riot!” –Alex Blaze

“Carol distracts Tina long enough for Tommie to sneak up behind her and dump a glass of water on her head. When you live in Happiness Falls, you have to make your own fun.” –gelded wildebeeste

“Don’t forget that Les is in California too. While I like the idea of all these Funky characters dying in the Big One Quake, I also like the possibility that Les will have to attend a Lust for Lisa panel at ComicCon and in a fit of despair, blow his brains all over these three sitting in the first row.” –merde

“‘See, Tina, the ‘baby’ is actually a deer that I’ve raised in the Manhattan apartment I share with two roommates, but now I’m keeping her in the back seat of my car while I work here in Happiness Falls as a stable hand instead of at my job as a nurse in Manhattan General Hospital!’ ‘Ah, I see! How silly of me! It all makes perfect sense now!’” –seismic-2

“In a comic strip filled with overweight beast creatures who wear human clothing, this news story actually reads like an account of a police raid on the reptile people who inhabit their world. Ever since those miners discovered the entrance to the hollow earth and the reptoids began pouring out, plugger society has been going steadily to shit.” –Chareth Cutestory

I’ve been afraid to ask you why you slosh when you walk. Now I know. You’re a protoplasmic ur-being, just like me! Come closer and let us combine our forms into something greater.” –Voshkod

“I have a different take on today’s Momma. This is not merely any empty white void resulting from a lazy artist’s desire to not draw background. No. This is the afterlife. This is the great beyond, the waiting room for the afterlife. For you see, Momma’s children were her first victims, nagged to death then made to sit and wait for her to join them for surely her turn would come sooner rather than later. Instead they must sit and watch as others join them, lining up and sitting down. Nagged to death. Relentlessly. The queue grows ever larger. Ever longer. Until they realize in their horror that she gains sustenance from it. Nagging people to death gives her new life. New purpose. The world is doomed to be nagged unto oblivion, and nothing can stop it.” –drekal

“And the Angel Mary appears today as the receptionist in Dr. Kapuht’s office. It’s only Olive who knows that the night angel, the Kapuht angel, and the flower fairies are but dimensions of Mary’s immanence. The last one who came close was John the Baker but he thought that Mary resembled the Beauty of Nature, not that the Beauty of Nature resembles Mary. So he got handed the mitten. Now the child Olive must die, or the child must live. But it is in Mary’s hands alone.” –Gabacho

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Anniversapost: Comics Curmudgeon: Year Ten: The endless cruise

Well, folks, here it is: July 11, 2014, ten years to the day from the moment I wrote some not particularly cogent commentary on Non Sequitur, for some reason, and a blog was born. I was 29 years old then, so I’ve been writing this blog for half of my adult life. It’s given me so much, in terms of learning to be funny, and in terms of connecting with other people, and I’ve loved every minute of it. Before I present the best soap plots of the last year, let me recap a few points:

  • Despite the valedictory nature of this anniversary celebration I’ve thrown for myself, I am not stopping blogging, as a few worried correspondents have asked. Far from it! I will continue to make jokes about Mary Worth until the newspaper strips, the Internet, or I cease to exist.
  • I will, however, be taking the next two weeks off to bask in my own glory, celebrate my 40th birthday next week, and put the finishing touches on my long-overdue novel. Your comments of the week will be up shortly and then you’ll be in the gentle, capable hands of Uncle Lumpy until Monday, July 28th.
  • There are major Josh life changes in the offing, though: Amber and I are moving to Los Angeles at the end of August, where I will be attempting to break into comedy writing and performing in as many hopefully paying forms as possible. If you’ve got a yen to work with me, or if you have the inside scoop on a reasonably priced two-bedroom apartment in Silver Lake or thereabouts, drop me a line.

And now, before we hit Blog Year Ten, the top plots of the previous nine years:

  1. Tommy the Tweaker
  2. Rex and Troy’s Big Gay Golf Game
  3. Aldomania
  4. Alan the Dope Fiend
  5. Sneaky the Raccoon’s Triumph
  6. Wilbur’s Illegitimate Not-Son: The Frolicking
  7. They Dressed in the Dark
  8. Milford Ink
  9. Life Is Brutal

What over the past year has been worthy to share the stage with these greats? Well, I was pleased with the first Mark Trail plot of 2014, a test-drive from new Mark Trail scribe James Allen. A pelican leg band led Mark to saintly Jessica the avian biologist and her evil boyfriend Marlin, who was in league with local turtle murderers. Marlin was poaching sea turtle eggs, which is a thing that happens, I guess, which naturally led to fisticuffs. Mark paused the violence long enough to mourn.

Mary Worth briefly left her California home and supposed boyfriend Dr. Jeff to travel to New York City! Ostensibly she was there to see her friend win a major award, but she ended up spending most of the trip hanging out with handsome Broadway legend Ken Kensington, going to art shows and eating thin-crust pizza and other New York stuff. Ken tried to make Mary fall in love with him with his mind powers, and Mary couldn’t help but notice his need for a woman in his life, and also briefly turned into Gollum.

She almost decided to stay, but then nearly got hit by a car, which is as good a reason as any not to dump your boyfriend, I guess.

But I have to say that for Blog Year Ten, my heart has been won over by Judge Parker’s epic, slo-mo tale of love, marriage, screenwriting, and privilege on the high seas and/or in the jungle, which has been happening for literally the entire year. It’s been full of great moments, like: Katherine going bug-eyed with glee as she wins another few thousand dollars to add to the family vault!

April telling her husband-to-be that yeah, she’s going to kill some people if America needs some killing done, so he’d better get used to it!

Judge Parker Senior humiliating some egghead academic who dared to give his terrible, unreadable book a bad review!

Judge Parker Senior making friends with a snake!

The first appearance of April’s dad Abbott, a delightful Hunter S. Thompson lookalike with a pet tarantula!

April’s dowry: some totally illegal diamonds that would get Randy into a bunch of trouble, if it were possible for bad things to ever happen to a Spencer-Driver-Parker!

An assault on Abbott’s jungle compound by his enemies, mere moments after Randy and April’s wedding, much to Judge Parker Senior’s disgust!

April heading out into the jungle in her wedding dress to do what she does best, which is to straight-up gut people like a fish with her huge knife!

Whoops! Don’t worry! The bad guys love Judge Parker Senior’s book! Everybody is saved!

And Randy is justifiably aroused!

Thank you for ten great years, everybody! I feel as rich as a Spencer-Driver-Parker, thanks to all of you. Be nice to Uncle Lumpy and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks!

Anniversapost: Comics Curmudgeon: Year Nine: Game of Thrones did not get their product-placement money’s worth

Blog Year Nine was capped off with throwback to the wacky Gil Thorp summer plots of yore, in a story that began when two fast food ruffians met with vigilante justice in the form of a terrified WHO-O-A! and a mighty, meaty WUD:

Our Hawaiian-shirted hero was a senile former pro wrestler who Gil agreed to wrestle for charity or something, despite the fact that he didn’t even know who Gil was and this would be a good way for him to get terribly injured, probably. Sadly, nobody got terribly injured and actually the old guy probably wasn’t all that senile and it was some kind of double-game long-con wrestling angle.

In Rex Morgan, M.D., yet another wacky elderly patient gave the Morgans free stuff — in this case, a free vacation to San Diego! All they had to do was check up on her rental property, which turned out to be full of sexy ladies who turned out to be strippers with hearts of gold, helping out one of their own who was suffering form breast cancer. Obviously, some of the ladies took a liking to Rex and one maybe flashed him a little, to which he reacted in typical theatrically dickish fashion.

But Blog Year Nine undeniably belonged to an epic seven-month saga in Mary Worth. It began with a cry of psychic pain in the Weston household.

Seems that Dawn got dumped by a dude named Dave, and things got worse when she ran into her ex and his new girlfriend and they invited her to a three-way. Dawn spent a lot of time on the couch watching Game of Thrones and repeating what became the summer of 2012′s catchphrase.

Wilbur decided that a trip to Italy would get Dawn’s mind off her ex. Unfortunately, everywhere she went, she kept having reminders of Dave’s sexy abs and/or genitals thrust in her face.

Determined to cheer up his daughter, Wilbur took her on a cruise ship, which immediately ran aground in a ripped-from-the-headlines tragedy. As the ship slowly capsized, Wilbur and Dawn saw human desperation at its worst.

Fortunately, the Westons were rescued via helicopter. Wilbur returned to Santa Royale with a new column idea based on his entirely undeserved good fortune.

Dawn, meanwhile, emerged from the experience with a determination to make a difference in the world, and Mary convinced her to volunteer at the hospital, where she befriended a one-armed fellow named Jim. Jim immediately became fixated on Dawn because she looked uncannily like his sister, who died in the boating accident that claimed his arm, which meant that Dawn was now forbidden to approach any body of water, and also required to have sex with him. Dawn rejected him because he was a possessive, delusional creep, but Jim laid in with the guilt.

Anyway, in her very good psychology class Dawn learned that possessive, delusional creeps just need the love friendship of a good woman and that fixes them, and it totally worked and now Jim can hang out near the water without fear and doesn’t want to murder Dawn at all, even a little. He just wants to be friends! And Dawn enjoys her friendship with him. They say that, if you listen closely, you can hear them continuing to enjoy their friendship, even today.

Tomorrow! Our trip through Soap Opera Past finally reaches the present day. What plots from the past year merit recording in the Book of Eternity?