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He cast aside his straw boater — and his moral compass

Momma, 5/26/11

Momma is routinely awful to her children, and all of them are fairly unpleasant to her in return. It’s not clear which was the cause of the other, or if it’s just a sort of continuous feedback loop situation, but today we seem to have reached the inevitable moment when the Hobbes boys move from passive-aggressive comments to outright elder abuse. Still, it’s interesting to note that Thomas has shed his usual preppy garb for zubaz pants, a Charlie Brown-style t-shirt, and — horrors — a baseball cap, worn backwards. It’s almost as if he was unable to become a true monster like Francis unless he dressed the part.

Spider-Man, 5/26/11

Anyone who wants an introduction to the glory and pageantry that is the Spider-Man newspaper strip would do well to review the last couple weeks’ worth of action, which has consisted entirely of people arguing and then almost falling off of the roof before being saved at the last minute. Since Spidey only has enough web to save half of our bickering vampire couple, the fun might end soon. But wait, wasn’t the whole reason Spider-Man needed rescuing in the first place because his web-slinging was on the fritz? And can’t one of these vampire clowns fly, or at least glide? Is it really that hard to keep track of the continuity in this strip?

Mark Trail, 5/26/11

Yes, you can tell this emporium for expensive merchandise is quite popular with the kids. Just look who’s haunting the store: hip young people like the guy who modeled for The Scream (panel one) and the mayor of the Munchkin City (panel two).

Pluggers, 5/26/11

Whole teams of dedicated medical personnel are working around the clock just to keep pluggers alive. And why?

279 responses to “He cast aside his straw boater — and his moral compass”

  1. nescio
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Is “Sue Cardinal” a real name or subtle anti-Catholicism?

  2. Faoladh
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    Luann is letting her Australian boyfriend know that she is a bitch. Honesty is important in a relationship.

  3. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    Luann: So, if Tiffany is the girl that rejected Greg Evans in high school, then Luann is the girl who was routinely snotty to him!

  4. Mark B
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    The best of all worlds would be if Spidey webbed Morbius and he had a tight hold on Martine. Of course, the combined weight of two vampires would be more than Spidey expected, and it would pull him off the edge, and all 3 would plunge off the edge. Mary Jane would witness the whole thing, and the mounting wave of sorrow would make her throw herself off the edge too. The title would be taken over by Aunt May and it would be mostly about knitting. The sad thing is, that ‘The Amazing Aunt May’ would have about twice as much action and excitement as ‘The Amazing Spider Man’ ever did.

  5. Yo Paulie
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Re: Spiderman
    Curious, I don’t see any doughnuts.

  6. Roto13
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    So am I to assume that he’s stealing things that are “popular with the kids” so he can hang around outside of the school and lure them into his van? Because that’s the impression I get from his hair and mustache.

  7. Dood
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    Wouldn’t pluggers go to a vet?

  8. nescio
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    B.C.: Does Maude know her husband has a bug zapper? She’s probably on his list.

    Popeye: Olive’s screechy voice causes an erect cylindrical object to instantly retract.

    Zits: This is a drug metaphor, right? And the mosquitos in Slylock Fox must have bitten Pierce.

  9. Mark B
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    I’m confused about the conversation in today’s Mark Trail. The three panels seem to be in three different locations, and the sherriff is the only character who is in all three of them. Yet he seems to be carrying on a conversation with different random characters in each one.

  10. anon
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    PLUGGERS: I came here to say exactly that! God, how the Pluggers cling to life! I’ll bet that’s their whole social existence, dragging their fat diseased flannel clad bodies to the nearest HMO, grabbing “their” chairs, and spending whole days watching CNN and reading year old magazines. Chatting with other Pluggers about their ailments. Then, getting into their rickety old pickups and its off to Walmart for a case of Pepsi, bags of cheese doodles, tube socks, and $4 prescriptions.

    9 CHICKWEED: The tests were negative!!! Yay!!! I can think of two tests right off the bat, I wonder how many there were….

  11. Signal 30
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey- In keeping with Sarge’s cannabilism, today’s special at the Camp Swampy mess hall is Mickey Mouse’s arm.

  12. Mark B
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    And one more thing … if Spidey’s web shooters work now, what the hell was wrong with them before? How is it plausible that they magically fixed themselves?

  13. nescio
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    SM: Spiderman regards reviving is some kind of special achievement. No surprise there.

  14. Rachel211
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    I think the boys are trying to stop Mama from being so ‘nosey’ all the time by ripping it off her face with the help of gravity. If Newtons Law actually does the deed, it’s not assault, right?

  15. gleeb
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    Dick: Close the Flour Bay door please, HAL.

    ‘bean: Yep, self-absorbed son of a bitch, that’s our Creepy Les!

  16. Allen
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    Apparently Mrs. Schultz is supposed to believe that Momma’s boys are boning her from behind (uhh, I just threw-up a little in my mouth).

  17. Dood
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    What’s with today’s Mark Trail? All that exposition and not one bold word?

  18. True Fable
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Goddamn it. Just Peachy isn’t good enough for the syndicate, but The Amazing Spiderman is??! Life’s a gyp.

  19. Scott Bot
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    GT – What exactly is the distraction? The labor unrest at the school? The possible future boyfriend? The state of folk music in America today? Or the S&M relationship with the cute assistant coach? I’m confused.

    JP – ‘Tell me about your writing.’ Clever girl, instead of making a mess by jumping, she has decided she wants to be bored to death instead.

    Pluggers – Don’t actually have answering machines, they just answer that way to avoid having to talk on the phone.

    S-M – ‘I can only web one of you.’ Decisions, decisions; it’s tough to choose which one to save, they’ve both been pretty evil. Just remember – when in doubt, you can never go wrong by saving the hot chick in the fuck me boots.

  20. mvg
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    S-M: Soooo… Morbius the “living vampire” was strong enough to hold both Spidey & MJ aloft, but Spidey can’t web 2 people who fall clinging to each other? And the weight of 2 people didn’t drag Morbius over the roof parapet, but simply tipping to one side sends Martine off into space — verrry slowly, w/enough time for a multi-sentence cry for help? And since she’s a “true” vampire, presumably meaning genuinely undead, what the hell damage is a fall going to do to her?? Wouldn’t she just pick herself up, dust herself off & move on? And if Morbius (remember, the not-undead “living vampire — sheesh) could wing thru the air, shouldn’t a bona-fide vampire be able to swoop as well, or even turn into a dang bat?? It’s enough to drive Bram Stoker from his grave to hunt down Stan Lee and give him the mother of all pimp-slaps.

  21. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    3G – When will Aunt Iris reveal that she can make two little antennae come out of her hair and turn herself invisible?

    AD – “Oh, right! I forgot that spiders are ten times as big as we are.” Ha ha! Ants think they’re people, just because they’re bipeds with homes, families, furniture, schools, and modern gadgets that run on nuclear-generated electricity.

    Beetle – Sarge/Cookie is so sentimental he saved a souvenir from Miss Buxley. Who he cooked! And ate! Because he’s a cannibal!

  22. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    Crock – Flip, flip.
    Chew, chew, chew.
    Bore, bore, bore, bore, bore.

    Dick – Holy betrayal! Hot Rize’s boss is trapping her inside a Crimestopper’s Textbook!

    Family – “Soylent Brown is poo-poo!”

    Luann – You know, when Quill puts on that shit-eating grin, all he needs is to squinch up his eyes, and… oh, crap! Quill is TJ! He just manages to force himself to change his facial expression and nobody can recognize him. He’s probably using Luann to try and get closer to Brad somehow.

  23. Shermy Glamrocker
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    Dang, I was hoping them kids were lifting expensive merchandise that’s popular with middle-aged white guys because my Victrola is on the fritz. And I’ve been wanting one of them colored TVs.

  24. kjh
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    Momma: So if she isn’t “Peeping”, then why was she up on a ladder looking over the fence? Perhaps she was up on the ladder (doing what?) and the boys kicked the ladder and she grabbed the fence and ended up looking over it? I really don’t get it. Are you supposed to get it?

  25. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    Phantom – Time for the Phantom to stooge-slap those three knuckleheads and snarl at them to pipe down!

    Snuffy – “Yak! Yak! Looks like spleen damage t’me!”

    Spider-Man – “Hey, what do you know? Taking a nap replenishes my precious webby fluids!” That’s right. He hasn’t even worn his web shooters in a couple of years. Sort of gross, when you think about it.

    @nescio (#1): Is “Sue Cardinal” a real name or subtle anti-Catholicism?
    Actually, “Sue Cardinal” is a bird plugger.

  26. OKStan
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    S-M: So, he has a choice about whom to save – One of his usual rotating easitly-defeated villians of the week, or someone who’d happily rip his throat out and drink his blood? Decisions, decisions…

  27. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    kjh: It’s better to forget it.

    OKStan: Yeah, but he could cop a feel of her cold, rank body on the way down.

  28. Gloom Raider
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    MW: Poor Dr. Jeff. He thinks he’s going to get to talk shop with his son, but of course it’s more tales of Drew’s social awkwardness. And speaking of that awkwardness, I doubt anyone who has “return to my job in another faraway country” as an option would ever have this much trouble ending a relationship in real life.

    In other news, remember when Mark Trail used to show up in his own strip?

  29. Pozzo
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    I guess you could call this “Spidey’s Choice,” though I doubt if even Meryl Streep could make it interesting.

  30. Scott Bot
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    @kjh (#24):
    Forget it, kjh, it’s Momma Town.

  31. Chyron HR
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Spider=Man, 5/27/11 – “Hey, I only said that I could save one of them, not that I would.”

  32. Dood
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: Wouldn’t layoffs in Milford be charmingly and anachronistically referred to as laydowns?

  33. Doctor Handsome
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    “I’m not peeping, Mrs. Schultz! None of my children are having sex over here, so why would I?”

  34. Maggie the Cat
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    I do hope Spiderman saved the hot chick instead of the guy who stole Michael Jackson’s nose.

  35. pugfuggly
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    I get the sense that the writers of Spiderman have some kind of wierd amnesia, like in Memento or something, where they have no memory of a larger story arc, and have to piece together a story every day by looking only at the previous day’s strip.

    “Hmmm….looks like we were doing something with vampires….I think that’s Morbius….is that Mary Jane in the background?….Why would she be here?….I have no idea what’s going on, just toss one of the pale ones over the side of the building and be done with it….”

  36. LUJBEM FEJF
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    Plugger- You know you’re a plugger if you have an answering machine.

  37. Not Just Any Dipstick
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    MT – Aren’t you sposed to be in School? Class canceled? Do all 3 scum-bags live at home while in college? Why do I care? Oh, that’s right, I don’t.

    MW- Lovin’ that black wall paint.

  38. Charterstoned
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    MT – That expensive, designer Jack Elrod shirt that Mike is sporting should be a telling clue that he is involved in these shenanigans.

  39. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    Josh on the current Spider-Man newspaper strip:

    Is it really that hard to keep track of the continuity in this strip?

    In artist Larry Lieber’s defense, he did hire a couple of live nude models to pose for him:

    http://cuteoverload.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/baboons-play.jpg?w=560&h=554

  40. pugfuggly
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    “The stuff they’re taking is expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids!”

    “Hmmmm….sounds like the work of a moutain-dwelling survivalist running from society. Those types just love their Ipods.”

  41. Doctor Handsome
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    “I’ve– revived– just in– time– can barely– spit out — unneccesary– internal monologue– must save one– do– bare minimum superheroing– before– Judge Joe Brown– and nap.”

  42. Doctor Handsome
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    “Hi, Mike! Aren’t you supposed to be in school? Oh wait, you’re 7 feet tall and 40. My mistake!”

  43. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Frazz: points for cleverness, but a rather obvious case of working backwards from a punchline. jmo.

    JS: more like arrested 300 people three times each, but I digress.

    Lio: we see why he loves her so. whottagal! (srsly, Mr. Tatulli, this was a very well done strip.)

    NAoQV: speaking of Lio-win. . . .

    Dilbert: yup, it’s pretty much like that.

    Day 4 of the Mutts/GWS Tribute Week, goes to Mutts by a chin.

    SB: oookay. . . . points for the concept.

    SFx: demonstrates 4 Hootin’ Holler mosquitoes on New Jug Night.

  44. Choco
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Spider–Man–is a–
    –SHOEIN–this year–
    for the–William–Shatner–
    imperson-ATION–
    contest–

  45. Scott Bot
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    MT – Expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids – how much is an 8-track player worth, anyway?

  46. pugfuggly
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    @Dood (#17):

    What’s with today’s Mark Trail? All that exposition and not one bold word?

    Hey! This is a quiet, mountain town, and the law keeps it that way. There’s no bolding in this county unless you’ve got a permit.

  47. spike
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    A3G: Tommie was never one to waste a compliment.

  48. S. Stout
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    Luann: Please let this insult be the start of Quill turning into Dirk. Please! He’s already got the black shirt down pat.

    S-M:Today, the role of Spider-Man will be played by William Shatner.

  49. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    @mollificent (#y281): corgsqui!!!!!! that is a wonderful pic!

  50. Scott Bot
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    MT – Panel 2 – So Doc Davis got bored hanging around the Lost Forest doing nothing, and decided to hang around Sheriff Wilson’s office doing nothing instead?

  51. Esther Blodgett
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#y285): GO MAVS!!! And, your Plugger-related comment FTW!

  52. Doctor Handsome
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    MT: Did somebody say Bill Brasky?

  53. UncleJeff
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#50):Got a job. Keeping guys from hanging around in front of the drugstore.

  54. Esther Blodgett
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Beetle: Wait, wait. Is Cookie saying he uses the thumbs-up utensil as a suppository when he can’t pass his own cooking? This strip was so much easier to understand back when it was about cannibalism.

  55. Patrick
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    Why did Momma have to get a stepladder to look over the fence when the fence clearly ends about 3 feet before Mrs. Schultz’ house?

  56. Scott Bot
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    @Patrick (#55): I was gonna suggest that the Rule of Funny applies, but I don’t know – does the Rule of Funny apply to comic strips when they’re not funny?

  57. Esther Blodgett
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    S-M: Martine demonstrates why Patti Page karaoke should be performed only by a trained professional.

    FW: Douchebag. Douchebagdouchebagdouchebagdouchebag.

    C’Shaft: And another asshole Baby Boomer wonders why his aging parent gets more enjoyment and stimulation from interacting with perfect strangers than with the family members who treat her like a frayed towel.

    HotC: No snark, just I love today’s strip!

  58. Terry in Maryland
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    Spiderman: As a vampire, isn’t Martine already technically dead?

  59. spike
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#y309): Wasn’t thinking that casual destruction of a family was comedic either. Calm, straight-arrow (and heretofore non@-hole) Seth has, from time to time, ruminated on becoming a father. Maybe he thought it was all going to be very “clinical”, but he now has had sex with Fernanda–and apparently enjoyed himself, so he’s carrying a lot of baggage that Roger (who apparently never admitted to himself that he’s gay) might understand.

  60. TheDiva
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    MT: “So this can only be the work of a crazy homeless man, and not a gang of hip thirty-something juvenile delinquents!”

    Pluggers go to extraordinary lengths to preserve their life, even though they don’t have one.

    SM: Spider-Man’s web shooters must have read the script.

    9CL: I’m not surprised the characters in this strip would think sexual orientation is contagious.

    C’shaft: “She’s only cranky around the house because of our severe mutual loathing.”

    FW: Les can’t even bring himself to think the word “love” in regards to anyone other than himself.

    Luann: Now really, how can a song fail with a hook like that? (Ten bucks says it’s just a bowdlerized version of Merideth Brooks’ “Bitch.”)

    MW: Gaah, what happened to Dr. Jeff? He looks like the Joker’s cosmetic-tampering victims in the Tim Burton Batman.

  61. Scott Bot
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    Pluggers – ‘We’re not here right now, we’re probably at a doctor’s appointment. Not that anyone would call. Nobody does, especially those ungrateful kids that never come and visit their poor sick parents. You’d think that after all we did for them growing up that they’d visit us occasionally, but no, they can’t even be bothered to do that. And don’t get me started on how they’re raising our grandchildren. Anyway, leave a message at the beep so we can call back and tell you all about our lumbago.’

  62. AndyL
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    “Can only web — one of them — unless I use — both hands. Not worth the — effort!”

  63. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    the reason for the meme.

    for mollificent.

    a fill-in panel for NAoQV.

    Dogfort Team 6. (alt title: Marm can’t do this!)

    Lucy Lui demonstrates that even pattankos can do absolute cleavage. (do I really need to mention this is a PG-13, NSFW pic?)

    hoverterrier.

    I .gif you an adorbable sleepy tiger cub.

    ferrets for Fashion Police.

    The Daily Puppy is a Lab mix.

    a corgi doing a ferret impersonation.

    heart-melting corgsqui.

  64. Flummoxicated
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    MT: Kids?? Those “kids” look to be in their 40s.

  65. Oregonian
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    Spider-Man: If Martine dies, I’ve got dibs on her boots.

  66. Liam
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    Love Is….a subtle way of saying “having sex”. I am not all that surprised by today’s strip. A few days ago was a proposal, yesterday was a wedding, and today is the honeymoon.

    Mark Trail-What sort of expensive merchandise was popular back in the Seventies? It looks like they are still stuck in the Seventies. What sort of school does the Sheriff’s son go to? They guy looks like he is in his forties.

    Momma-I am hoping she is referring to another type of fun because the thought of them having sex with her is icky.

  67. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    MW: Love that black wall of comedy. See how Dr. Jeff has to laugh even when he’s speaking of giving bad news to patients. And you can tell Dr. Drew is a surgeon. He made a very clean “V” in his chicken pot pie. And is that wall paint in Dr. Jeff’s mug?

  68. AndyL
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    These old fashioned CRT televisions sure are popular with the kids; damn hipsters.

  69. Liam
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    @Flummoxicated (#64):

    It is the Seventies after all in Mark Trail world. That decade has been known to make people look vastly older than they actually are.

  70. Digger
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    SM: “Can only web one of them…mostly because I’m leaning on my left arm. Sure, I could lift that arm up and use both web shooters, but then I wouldn’t be as comfortable.”

  71. AndyL
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    I wonder if the writer (Is it really Stan Lee?) of the newspaper Spiderman even realizes what a horribly repetitive pattern he’s stuck in. At least two out of three villains are entirely defeated by their own incompetence and in-fighting after incapacitating Spiderman with a blow to the back of the head.

    Are they doing this by accident because they’re caught in a mental rut? Or do they honestly think they’ve hit on some golden formula for good super-hero writing? (It’s ironic! Irony is deep, right?)

  72. anonymous
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#60):

    9 Chickweed Lane: Who would imagine ‘sexual orientation being contagious’? I think being ‘a pregnant woman with AIDS’ calls for rejoicing before anything else.

  73. anonymous
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    @anonymous (#72):

    Woops, being a NON-pregnant woman, and a woman whos NOT been exposed to AIDS – yeah, that’s what calls for rejoicing. Derp.

  74. Walker of Dog
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#Y285): I would have thought that Plugger Maverick fans are already mopey about the 2-game lead their team will blow in the finals.

  75. heavylifting
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    MT: Speaking of popular merchandise, it looks like the Sheriff’s office has cut a deal with Nike if panel 2 is any indication.

  76. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#74): Plugger Maverick fans still live in 2006. The rest of us do not.

  77. Alan's Addiction
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    Although cartoon physics tend be applied to the comics page, I’ve never seen anyone find it much, much easier to hang on to a ledge (in this case, the fence) rather than simply let go and fall two or three feet. I’m left to conclude that either the artists have never done anything more physically demanding than lifting and moving pencils, or they’re trying to imply that Momma is unable to choose the obvious and vastly superior option in a simple situation (an unfortunate personality trait to which Francis and Thomas owe their existence).
    Apparently, Spider-Man has some sort of severe memory disorder, as evidenced by today’s strip. To make Spidey’s statement more accurate, the dialogue should read, “I can only web – ONE of them! It’s not like they’re both undead, walking corpses that are invulnerable to damage and are hell-bent upon destroying humanity. Also, why am I now suffering from Mark Trail Inappropriate Emphasis Syndrome?”
    Speaking of Mark Trail, I’m puzzled by the dialogue in today’s MT, particularly the line, “The stuff they’re taking is expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids!” I’d like to know what kids like that’s expensive; the only thing I can think of are technology-based items like i-Phones, laptops, etc. This is puzzling because we know that, technologically, the Mark Trail universe hasn’t even mastered indoor plumbing, let alone the silicon-based microchip that made affordable consumer electronics a reality. Also, if they’re trying to imply that John Thrasher is taking these items, what use are kid-friendly gadgets to a crazed, PTSD-suffering hermit? It’s not that I’m really curious about that question so much as dismayed that we’re going to be getting a bizarre, cliched plot twist in this story that will only serve to delay Mark from punching something.
    A typical Plugger’s answering machine message contains way too much personal information and a slightly passive-aggressive undertone in a bid to elicit sympathy.

  78. Esther Blodgett
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:56 am [Reply]

  79. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    Beetle: No, it’s actually an indicator for when Cookie makes meatloaf using ground-up pretty girls for the meat.

  80. Scrumpy7
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    MT: Someone’s been stealing that expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids? Sounds like Herb and Jamaal should be your prime suspects.

  81. Effluvius Erratus
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    GT: Al-Jo better get working on her pro-teacher pro-union protest song, ’cause you totally know that once Slim Chance covers it, it’s gonna be a runaway hit, and the entire community will rally behind the teachers and run Hobart out of town on a rail while Gil smugly smiles, imagining that it’s all because of his great coaching.

  82. Red Greenback
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: Chronic giblititis is no laughing matter.*
    *Not unlike the “comic” strip known as Pluggers.

  83. Fester Morgenstern
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Just for the record, Josh, I think “Hobbes” should be spelled “Hobbs” in the Momma entry.

  84. Spunde
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#76):

    Plugger Maverick fans live in 1957. That James Garner sure is handsome!

  85. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    MT- Of course, none of this makes any sense. I remember that for a long time after I left home and finished school, I would have dreams where I am visiting home again, and as part of the package I am expected to attend Elementary School while I am there. No amount of protesting that I’ve actually finished school and defended my dissertation will get me out of the requirement that I take the bus to a strange school and try to figure out where my classes are.

    Anyway, maybe that is what is going on in Mark Trail.

  86. pugfuggly
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    @Fester Morgenstern (#83):

    Really? He does seem to be taking a Hobbesian approach to elderly care….

  87. Chip Whittle
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G: “I keep forgetting I’m a plain old aunt with no magic powers, and no, Tommie, my ‘got your nose’ trick is not actual magic.”

    Beetle Bailey: “What’s that last one for?” “It’s leftovers from the guy Sarge ate yesterday!”

    Edge City: “I had a friend who tried to mail herself to Leif Garrett.” “Oh, honey, it wasn’t Leif Garrett, she was just mailing herself away from you.”

    Gasoline Alley: “I was being funny! Like when I suggested naming you Boog!”

    Judge Parker: “Tell me about your writing! I have to be sure I’m right to give up on life!”

    Mary Worth: “How do you deal with someone when you’ve given them bad news, and they won’t accept it?” “Ah! A typical doctor’s dilemma! I just assure them there are many people who live in Westview without being miserable and depressed and cancer-ridden. So, lie.”

  88. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    DtM: Well, Dennis, if you can’t succeed at “menace,” I guess you might as well content yourself with “asshole.”

    JP: Oh, I get it; Dr. Medusa Emma is having doubts about her suicide, and so she’s going to initiate the kind of conversation that would make anyone want to leap off a tall building.

    SM: You know, if you’re going to write a story this sloppy and incompetent, you might not want to use a topic that keeps reminding readers of the word “suck.”

    MT: Good god, what further depths of depravity are these? First motorcycles, and then sarcasm, deceiving one’s father, burglarizing local businesses, and partying. And now: truancy. What kind of dark evil will you feature next, Elrod? Refusing to ((shudder)) say the Pledge of Allegiance?

    MW: I’m kind of touched by how excited Dr. Jeff is to be able to express an opinion here; imagine how rarely that happens in his time with Mary. You can just see the delight distorting his face into an unaccustomed smile: “Oooh, doctorin’! I know something about this—there are shots, and stethoscopes, and patients. And sometimes those patients die, and they don’t like it! But son, you just gotta give it to ‘em straight. And once rigor mortis sets in, they’ll give you no more trouble!”

  89. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Check out Slylock Fox to see what Peter Parker would have looked like if he had been stung by a mosquito.

  90. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    @Gloom Raider (#28):

    remember when Mark Trail used to show up in his own strip?

    And remember when Judge Parker didn’t?
    Maybe Mark has been Worthed.

  91. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    Love Is. . . . anal. (nonsurprize buttsehks)

    Oh Brother: don’tthinkhentaidon’tthinkhentaidon’tthinkhentaidon’tthinkhentai

  92. rondello
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    @Mark B (#4): This has *got* to vie for COTW! ROTLF!

  93. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    MT: The thieves are taking “expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids”? Don’t think I’m racially profiling, but maybe the sheriff should look in on Herb & Jamaal.

    Momma: I’d like to think that if Francis put on a straw boater and a tie, he’d immediately find himself married with an unspecified but well-paying job. But Sonia’s inverse Oedipal complex would kick in and she’d start trying to get rid of the wife. Maybe it’s better to let things stand.

    S-M: Yes Spidey, two people are falling together and one is holding onto the other, but you can only catch one of them with your web. Maybe if I’d just been hit in the head with a brick I’d buy this, but I doubt it.

    SFx: Weber needs to show us how to draw a drunk mosquito.

    BB: First Sarge indulges in cannibalism fantasy, now we find out that Cookie has a human hand collection. What next, General Halftrack tanning Martha’s skin into a leather jacket?

    H&L: Aw, “middle aged functioning alcoholic” level is way too easy for Ditto.

    H&J: Yeah, Herb pulls the same trick to get Jamaal to carry him.

    FC: Show some dignity, Dolly. You have teeth. Theoretically, at least.

    M-Dawg: Wait until Dottie has had her cleansing breath before you bring out your doggie sex toys.

    GA: Slim was funny? That’s stretching suspension of disbelief a little too far.

    MW: “Generally I say, ‘You have three months to live. Deal with it.” Of course I already have my golf bag hoisted when I meet with them. Why do you ask?”

  94. Nekrotzar
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Since the narration boxes keep insisting that Spiderman has the characteristics of an insect, couldn’t he just fly down using his wings to save them? Is that really more nonsensical than anything else in the strip?

  95. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#90): Mark’s off fishin’ and eating pancakes with Barney Google.

  96. Chip Whittle
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    The Phantom: “To get money from a computer, you grab a computer genius, right? Pfft! Who thought of this stupid plan? We shoulda grabbed a computer moron instead!”

    Popeye: Oh, Lord, Olive Oyl’s wandered into one of Commander Data’s attempts to understand humor.

    Rhymes With Orange: I really like the title panel extra gag. It’s got that striving-for-math-major/Hilbert’s-hotel kind of flair we don’t see since FoxTrot pretty much stopped.

    Spider-Man: I don’t want too much to defend this sloppy, sluggish impersonation of a comic strip, but Spidey’s web slingers weren’t out of juice when they failed before, he just was “unable to concentrate” somehow. Based on the 15th and 16th apparently he was woozy from today’s most recent head injuries. I’d have thought he had built up an immunity tothem by this point, but, eh.

  97. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Does the guy that writes Popeye also write Spider Man?

  98. Walker of Dog
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    @Mark B (#9): The sheriff has become detached from normal space-time. Like being a Mark Trail character isn’t disorienting enough.

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#63): That hoverterrier is one ferocious little Ewok.

    @Sequitur (#76): So for Plugger Maverick fans, it’s always Game 3? Wow, as a non-Plugger Maverick fan, I actually feel a little sorry for them.

  99. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    @Fester Morgenstern (#83):

    Just for the record, Josh, I think “Hobbes” should be spelled “Hobbs” in the Momma entry.

    Yeah, sadly there are no talking stuffed tigers in evidence. Although the presence of a “Mrs Schultz” when Thomas is wearing a Charlie Brown shirt might be a shoutout.

  100. Tophat
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    “I can only- web ONE of them,” Spider-Man says out loud to no one in particular. “Wait, what’s this… thing growing out of my shoulder? It looks like some kind of… second arm? But that can’t be right! I can only save ONE person because I only have ONE arm and…” *splat*

  101. Liam
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey-That is what’s left of the last guy who complained about Cookie’s cooking.

  102. Chip Whittle
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#97):

    Does the guy that writes Popeye also write Spider Man?

    The daily Popeyes were written by Bud Sagendorf, who died in 1994, so, yeah, he’s pretty much the same guy writing Spider-Man.

  103. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    @Charlie the Bursted Carbunkle (#y300):

    Shoe: Jesus Christ. Laziest writing in the known world.
    Senator: “This will create jobs and revitalize the economy.”
    Shoe: “TAXED ENUFF ALREDDY!”
    Senator: “Those potholes have to be filled before someone gets killed.”
    Shoe: “YOU’RE A NAZI!”
    Senator: “It’s not like you’re going to school your child and prepare him for the 21st Century.”
    Shoe: “RAPE! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPE!”

    Maybe there’s a direct relationship with this comic and eht kcuD? Same writer, working under a different name with a different artist?

  104. Black Drazon
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    The “you can only rescue one” dead-drop is an overly contrived situation that crops up in action stories from time to time, but has been ruined by being the climax of the awful Batman Forever. Normally my reaction would be “C’mon, man, you’re lazier than Val Kilmer?” but since we’re talking about Spider-Man my response is more like “Oh. Right.”

  105. bats :[
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#63): oh my gosh! A genuine tie-tie tie!

    @AndyL (#71): Mr. Lee is supposedly making big $$ posing for photos at Comic-Con Phoenix this weekend. Continuity probably isn’t an issue with him.

  106. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    o goddess, this is SO KEWT!!!

    (for QC and TVTropes fans, courtesy of Jeff Jacques tumblr.)

  107. Edgy DC
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    Good realism in Trail today. I tell you, whenever I had to convince my parents that I actually had some free time and wasn’t, in fact, goofing off from school, I would just scream “MY CLASS WAS CANCELLED!” That always sold it.

  108. Mustang
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    @Alan’s Addiction (#77): I hate to sound like the plugger I surely am, but by cracky sir, I know it’s hard to believe, but a lot of those trousers kids wear these days cost upwards of 150 greenbacks.

    Oh, and the reason the sheriff’s kid will be able to convince his dad that John Thrasher’s taking stuff he’d have no use for is the same reason the sheriff is buying that class was “canceled”. Because in Mark Trail world, if you aren’t as dumb a chain link fence in the middle of a forest, Mark won’t look smart by comparison.

  109. Dood
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: I like how Sheriff Brimly McStetson blithely goes about his job. “Any leads on who’s breaking into the stores around here, sheriff?” “Not yet, Jim, but we’ll catch them.” “Allrighty then, sheriff. Oh, wait, you said ‘them.’ Does that mean it’s an organized group of young people conducting this heinous crime spree?”

  110. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @Edgy DC (#107): I understand that’s how burbon babe gets out of class too. And she’s the teacher.

  111. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    At Spiderman, I do appreciate how nicely done the derrieres are of the sort-of-vampires. Cannot be said the same for most of other comic strips’ tushes.

  112. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#110): It’s true. And the screaming is key to my credibility.

  113. Little Guy
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    @nescio (#1): “Sue Cardinal” is the litigious cousin to “Cardinal Sin”.

  114. Doctor Handsome
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    It seems like everyone else is determined to ignore the dog-man’s boner in Pluggers, so I guess I’ll address it: “Answering machine messages about debilitating ailments are Plugger phone sex.”
    There, are you happy? I hate myself now.

  115. Walker of Dog
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    GT: Don’t listen to Gil. You should be worried. The split-fingered’s are always the first to go.

    Jumb: Is “Workplace Rampage Day” a thing now?
    Wait – is it today?
    IS IT?!

    MT: Ick – the sheriff is practicing the Sharon Stone maneuver on his own son. Tomorrow:
    no pants!

    JP: Sounds like someone has lost their suicide-wood. “Tell me about your writing! That should restore my will to not live!”

  116. wossname
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Martine’s lifeless undead unlifeless corpse will cushion Emma’s fall.

  117. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    @Doctor Handsome (#114):

    …the dog-man’s boner…

    Hey! It’s almost lunchtime! I don’t want to throw up before I eat.

  118. anonymous
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    MT: It’s obvious “expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids” is an umbrella term the ‘artist’ who writes this swill is using to cover iPads, iPods, Smart phones, etc. – things that he occasionally sees, but is unsure of their exact functions, or even what they are properly called. I imagine he went to his wall mounted party line hand cranked phone, asked Sarah the operator to connect him with Best Buy to do some research, then thought, hell with it, I’ll just use the words “e.m.t.p.w.t.k”. That should cover it…..UNLESS he meant $30 lipsticks from Sephora, or $500 Manolo Blahnik shoes. Those things are popular with many kids, and expensive.

  119. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    And for today’s Pluggers, their pushters.

  120. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    pushers.

  121. Walker of Dog
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#117): I think dog-Pluggers sometimes eat their own vomit.
    Does that solve your problem?
    Glad I could help?

  122. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#111):

    I do appreciate how nicely done the derrieres are of the sort-of-vampires.

    Not only does Spidey artist Larry Lieber use live nude models* extensively, but he also keeps a large stash of men’s “sweat” magazines under his mattress in his studio (definitely NSFW):

    http://www.trixietreats.com/844a.jpg

    *See #39!

  123. This Guy
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    I’m not sure Plugger Dog there is actually recording an outgoing message. From his nervous, shifty expression, I’d say he’s just pretending to be his own answering machine, and the “joke” is that Pluggers are so desperate to avoid interacting with others that they almost always pretend not to be at home.

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#106): D’awwwww.

  124. Red Greenback
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    Ah, yes. Kicking Momma’s Ladder, one of Cab Calloway’s lesser-known works. The song is, of course, about smoking dope.

  125. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @AndyL (#71):

    I think that the current Spiderman arc was done by a committee. How else to explain the ever-changing costumes and lack of continuity from one panel to the next?

  126. mort
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#122):

    Not only does Spidey artist Larry Lieber use live nude models…

    Yeah, how long would he keep his job if he used dead nude models?

  127. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#124): And now you know the rest of the story.

  128. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    Wait, I didn’t read Phantom for since the computer genius Harry Potter was introduced. So the arc is done already?

  129. Walker of Dog
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    MW: I cried because I had no food, until I met a man who had no tastebuds.

    S-M: So “just in time” means one person falls to their death? Sounds about right.

    DT: Mrs. Thing?! But why?!

    FW: Shocking twist: a runaway Ghost Truck, complete with bitchin’ LED headlights, smashes into the porch, maiming Les and killing Cayla. A million-dollar book idea is born. And everyone is sad.

  130. Effluvius Erratus
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#125): Maybe the real storyline (which Stan Lee has yet to reveal because everything that has happened so far is really the Exposition part of the plot chart for a novel composed entired of newspaper strips that will make Lisa’s Story look like, well, Lisa’s Story) is that the Marvel multiverse is collapsing on top of and into the newspaper comics. Everything we’ve called out as a continuity error is in fact a seperate continuity folding into the newspaper universe.

    Sooner or later, one of the competent Spider-Men from some far-flung corner of the Marvel multiverse will be amalgamated into Daily Spidey and he’ll finally realize what’s happening. Then, joining forces with the West Coast Avengers (the only other Marvel property Disney will let Stan Lee touch, because, who cares about the West Coast Avengers?), Peter will manage the integration and bring in for a soft landing a single, internally consistent universe where Peter engages in actual heroics and uses his scientific mind in tandem with his powers to fight crimes, the villains are truly villainous and not flamboyant boobs committing improbable crimes for obscure reasons (although there will still be plenty of flamboyant boobs of the other kind, ifyouknowwhatimean), and where Spider Sense, you know, makes sense. This HAS to be what’s going on. Right, Stan?

    Stan?… Stan?… Hello?… Hellooooooo?…

  131. bats :[
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

  132. Not Just Any Dipstick
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    Momma’s boys are standing there hoping Mom’s skirt rides up just a little more. Sick, sick, sick….. Lunch anyone?

  133. Austria
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    BB: So…it’s a cooking utensil for in case his meal turns out good…meaning he won’t be using it to cook with…so…he hits people on the head with it? I got nothing. This doesn’t make any sense.

    Curtis: Good grief, he’s like, 12. Worry about it later, kid. Once you get to high school, your freshman year they’ll spring it on you right away — “HEY YOU’RE 14 YEARS OLD TIME TO PICK A COLLEGE RIGHT NOW

    FW: The light behind Cayla is a shining halo of goodness and concern for others. Notice how small Les’s is in comparison.

    Luann: BOOSH!!
    But, Quill, even acknowledging she’s a snotbucket, is still pursuing her? What’s wrong with this kid?

    Zits: Wish I could do that sometimes.

  134. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#129):

    ……and the autopsy reveals that Cayla has cancer.

  135. Fashion Police
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    We are flabbergasted by the Dr. Cory père et fils Kool-Aid® Collection. We can hardly wait to see them in matching head-to-toe raspberry.

  136. Scott Bot
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    BB – Does he have one with the middle finger extended for when he makes a bad meal?

  137. Effluvius Erratus
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#128): Don’t worry. The Ghost-Who-Dithers is bound to remember that he forgot something in the shack, so he’ll go back and recap the plot in his thoughts. And then he’ll remember that he forgot something to do with his prisoners, so he’ll go back to them and recap the plot when he talks to Guran. Then he’ll remember that he forgot to tell College Boy something, so he’ll track him down, at which point, Duke Ellington Lee Falk will step from behind a tree to deliver his “For those of you who came late…” speach. Then after learning a critical clew from College Boy, the Ghost-Who’s-Been-Doing-Too-Many-Bong-Rips will go back to the prisoners who have been press-ganged into service on Captain Savarna’s ship. While the Ghost-Who’s-A-Major-Tease flirts with the Captain, the prisoners will escape. Kit will track them down, but he suddenly remembers that Diana gave him a list of errands to do, so he goes to the bank because it’s “on his way” to where he thinks the prisoners are. Unfortunately, Kit forgets his account number…

    Anyway, in about 8-months, it will all end in a brawl between five muscley bare-chested black guys against a white guy in purple tights in a steamroom at the downtown Mawitaan YMCA.

  138. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    @Effluvius Erratus (#137): What — again?

  139. Effluvius Erratus
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#138): It’s brawls with shirtless dudes all the day down…

  140. trey le parc
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    S-M: Only enough webbing for one of them? He’s just being lazy, as usual. I bet if two TVs were falling off the roof he’d leap to the rescue of both, cradle them gently in his arms and rest them lovingly upon the ground before reclining before them to see if anything good is on.

  141. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    Dustin: The guy with the PhD is vacuuming the back seat? I thought people with PhDs were supposed to drive cabs! In any event, Curtis should get these guys to talk to his dad; they could convince him that a higher education is completely useless. And if that doesn’t work, bring in a couple of Pluggers. They know that anything beyond grade four just results in over-educated idiots who don’t believe that on the sixth day God created anthropomorphic chickens and dogs.

  142. marymaryk
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    Whoa! Is Momma really the imaginings of a sociopathic, needy peeping neighbor? Today’s strip says yes! Notice: the neighbor CAN’T SEE THE BOYS!

  143. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#141): “I thought people with PhDs were supposed to drive cabs!”

    only if they are East Asian. or in Judge Parker.

  144. Chip
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    S-M: At last it all becomes clear! Even the writers don’t give a shit about Spiderman!

    JP: “I’m trying to segue into writing.” Says the author of a best-selling novel who’s on his book tour for his second book with his third already in the can!

    RMMD: Now the fun begins! Two armed guards show up to escort Berna. She hit the lottery against great odds. What do you think the odds are that she’ll arrive at the lottery office alive?

    MT: Maybe the sheriff’s son SHOULD have gone to class! Trying to blame the theft of a bunch of electronics on a mountain man who lives in a freakin’ cave is a first-rate plan!

  145. Liam
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man-Thank god they are done talking. Sleeping in this outfit is very uncomfortable. I could save both but I am really hoping that they both die.

  146. Calico
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#135):
    Maybe in raspberry jumpsuits, a la Van Morrison in The Last Waltz?
    Now that would be funny, at least to my deranged mind.

  147. Scott Bot
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    It’s lottery day on Rex Morgan, with special guest stars Jon and Ponch from CHIPS!

  148. Walker of Dog
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    @Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy (#134): Ha! On the plus side, ticket sales for Cayla’s autopsy will raise enough money for Les to repair his shattered hip. He will decline the money. With a smirk.

  149. Calico
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#133):
    That kitchen tool, Sarge definitely knows how to use it on our favorite lazy Private.

    And yeah, I noticed the halo/aura around Cayla’s head too. She is all that is good and pure in Westview, if such a phenomenon can actually occur.

  150. Dood
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    @anonymous (#118): Hmm…”expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids.” Mark Trail dialogue is constructed by using $20,000 Pyramid answers. Now we know what Jack Elrod does all day.

  151. Mark B
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    OK, I’ve been waiting all day to say it, because I’m sure somone else would have noticed it by now, but I can’t wait any longer. Drew’s dead zombie eyes in the second panel are scaring me. “… and they WON’T ACCEPT IT!

    He has the look of someone who has crossed a line and has resolved to take serious and irreversible action. Maybe the purpose of his visit is to convince his father to help him bury the body.

  152. Mark B
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    Hmm … no close quotes … Me grammar not so good sometimes. Me am like Bizarro Superman … but way better looking!

  153. Mark B
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    The jumper lady in the last panel of Judge Parker has a freakishly skinny neck. Now we know what happened to the Eraserhead baby …

  154. Gold-Digging Nanny
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    Can we mark May 26, 2011 as the day Stan Lee stopped giving a shit about Spider-Man?

  155. Liam
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    Judge Parker-I wrote a terrible book about my wife dying of cancer and it is being optioned into a movie.

  156. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    @Gloom Raider (#28):

    In other news, remember when Mark Trail used to show up in his own strip?

    Hell, you could say the same thing about the aforementioned Mary Worth. It’s a trend. The next year of Rex Morgan, MD will be about Berna and Dex ordering from catalogs.

  157. commodorejohn
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    A3G – “No magic powers. None whatsoever. So you don’t need to worry your little head with suspecting my true nature.” “Oh, okay.”

    DT – Man, the killings are just coming thick and fast in the new Dick Tracy. It’s like the new team feels a need to catch up with the body count notched up in the previous 240 years of the strip’s run or something.

    FW – Oh look, they’ve developed little radioactive auras to indicate where the tumors are developing.

    HOTC – If you chipped in and got George Lucas a nice cake, he’d spend the next forty years fucking around with the frosting and claiming that was what he wanted all along.

    JP – What.

    Love Is… – anal probing.

    MT – Do I want to know the story of why the Sheriff appears to be no more than eight years older than his son? What is this, Love Is…: The After Years?

    Marmaduke – …why was Mrs. Hitler never drawn like this before?

    MW – Dr. Jeff takes a long pull of his morning whiskey as he thinks back over the many times he’s tried to break up with Mary, and the assorted bones that have suffered as a result.

    OBH – Is it weird that I don’t find this weird?

    Phantom – “Man, you guys are so stupid you should be in Spider-Man.

    Pluggers – Eagan? Oh Christ, they’re getting closer.

    RMMD – GEE THIS CAN’T POSSIBLY GO WRONG.

    SM – That’s our Spider-Man! (everybody laugh, roll credits)

  158. Fashion Police
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#146):
    That would indeed be funny, but one does not think the Doctors Cory likely to risk raised eyebrows at the Santa Royale Country Club.

  159. Fashion Police
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#146):
    We also suspect Dr. Cory the Elder at least thinks “The Last Waltz” is a selection from Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra.

  160. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#141):

    They know that anything beyond grade four just results in over-educated idiots who don’t believe that on the sixth day God created anthropomorphic chickens and dogs.

    Once again, ehT kcuD sneaks onto the board.

  161. balthazar
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    the problem with the comments section of comics curmudgeon is that it’s built for neat little snarky comments about the assorted strips … which is why i like to visit. unfortunately, when a strip gets so f-ed up that it needs to be savaged mercilessly and at length nobody seems to want to take the time to do it. i wish i had the time, inclination and talent to take apart a certain strip that has brought me to the brink of going postal. specifically, i wish someone would nuke tom batiuk and end our long national nightmare that is funky winkerbean. making funky a fat bitter middle aged underachiever was bearable … the stupid side stories about the guy who writes comics and junk like that was … meh. whatever. but this business of putting a douchebag like les moore at the middle of the strip has got to be one of the worst developments ever. the creepy visits from the ghost of the dead wife. the doonesbury afternoon delight ripoff. now this. how long are we supposed to put up with this clueless needledick? batiuk has screwed the pooch. i’m not sure why, but les sitting there and f-ing up like that is the straw for me. there’s no way in the real world les can recover from shitting on his girlfriend without the strip losing the last shred of its credibility. if carla has one ounce of self respect she’ll dump his dumb ass and move on. isn’t that what a normal person would do? isn’t that what this iteration of FW is supposed to be about? frankly, batiuk has painted himself into a corner with these arcs. there’s no way i can go on reading this piece of junk if carla stays with les. it’s completely improbable, knowing what we know about her and now knowing what we know about les. ugh, sorry. i don’t even want to go on, i hate myself for continuing to read this stupid strip. end of rant.

  162. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    BF: Dumb b***h, you CALL gary and TELL him that in the excitement of him asking you out you forgot about a previous commitment, and you’d LOVE to meet him another time. Then suggest two viable, well-thought-out alternatives so he’ll know you aren’t just putting him off. It’s called COMMUNICATION. It’s what mature relationships are SUPPOSED to be built on.

    DT: Ah, the Flakey Biscuit Flour Co. uses Joe Staton Mike Curtis closed-circuit TV monitors. Only the best.

    FW: To an experienced aura reader, a dim blue glow indicates deep, almost suicidal depression. Or cancer.

    Big Dog: I don’t think anything in this strip has ever been rendered with such loving care as Mrs. Hitler’s breasts are here. I mean, come on… look at her hands! No way the same person drew them. It’s like they called in a breast consultant* for this one panel.

    Big Dog redux: Marm, put the ball gag away. Only people get to play with that.

    One-Eyed Trouser Oid Sailor: I’d much prefer if these were Ood.

    RMMD: “You don’t need to know where you’re going… just take your multi-million-dollar winning ticket and get in the van with with these men you’ve never seen before!”

    RwO: No, this is an endless towel.

    SF: Shouldn’t they have been colored red, instead of like measles victims?

  163. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    @Chip (#144):

    RMMD: Now the fun begins! Two armed guards show up to escort Berna. She hit the lottery against great odds. What do you think the odds are that she’ll arrive at the lottery office alive?

    I’m betting she’s Tony Amato’s sister. The police that showed up to pick up Riley? Riley’s former cell-mates, which is why they didn’t stop to question Rex, Stella or Dex. The real police will be found some time around noon, stuffed in a closet. Those guys who are going to “escort” Berna? Tony’s thugs.

  164. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    “She” refers to the unnamed receptionist.

  165. Mark B
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#162): I was disappointed as a kid to learn that the endless towel machines didn’t have a 4 foot long loop of fabric towel (or maybe a moebius strip) which magically got cleaned when it passed through the dispenser. When I opened the cover and saw a reel for the clean towels and a takeup reel for the dirty part, a part of my innocence and wonder was lost forever.

  166. CanuckDownSouth
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#162): re:BF – yup, she’s not even at Brady Bunch-level dating skills. Sometimes this strip feels it needs to fill the stupidity gap left by FOOB.

  167. sully
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    What the hell ever happened to Spider-Man’s powers? Wasn’t he once blessed with super-human strength? Now, he can barely drag his sorry ass off the couch. Didn’t he once have a ‘Spider-sense’, that warned him about imminent danger? Now, any stiff with a 2 by 4 can knock him out with ease. Wasn’t Peter Parker a boy genius? This sad imitation of the original character acts more like a dim-witted, lethargic, fast-food employee in Spidey pajamas. Apologies to fast-food employees.

  168. TruthOfAngels
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    Heartrending scene in today’s Spiderman. It’s like Sophie’s Choice, if Sophie’s Choice had been a crappy three-panel comic strip with a mopey loser for a protagonist and everybody reading it had secretly hoped that both Sophie’s children died, along with Sophie. And then the next day you find out that Sophie just thought it was all a bit too much like hard work and sloped off to watch TV instead.

    Moving stuff.

  169. JesseBaker
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: I’m going to assume that the next couple of days are going to be with the whole plot falls apart. The college age guy with the mustache is going to tell his sheriff father with the mustache, that he saw the survivalist guy sneaking around town the night before. Which Mark Trail will call BS for, as he’s currently with the survivalist guy as his alibi witness.

    College age mustache guy’s only hope is that the cave his gang is stashing their stolen goods in, are far far away from where survivalist guy and Mark Trail are at. Coincidence-wise, it would be awful if Trail and survivalist guy accidentally stumble upon the loot by chance (especially since mustache guy and his group didn’t even bother to wear gloves while handling the stolen merchandise).

    It would be funny if they go the route of the sheriff covering up his son’s crimes, maybe reveal that it’s not the first brush with the law that he’s covered up for his son. Trail dealing with corruption on this angle could liven up the storyline.

    Mary Worth: Assuming they don’t go the angle where Drew is forced to continue to date his stalker by Mary and his dad as punishment for his past romantic screw-ups, should we take the over-under odds on whether or not his dad will give Drew advice that only makes things worse? And where is Jill in all of this? I’d love to see her and Mary tag-team crazy head over her obsession with Drew to get her to leave him alone. Given the big introduction she received, we really need Jill back to serve as Mary’s drunken sidekick, saying all of the things Mary can never bring herself to say out loud due to politeness.

  170. CJColucci
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    Didn’t Spidey learn anything from having killed Gwen Stacey?

  171. Effluvius Erratus
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    @JesseBaker (#169):

    Assuming they don’t go the angle where Drew is forced to continue to date his stalker by Mary and his dad as punishment for his past romantic screw-ups…

    I like that. “As punishment for dating two women you desire, you must now date a woman you despise. After all, son, that’s how Mary and I got together.”

    …we really need Jill back to serve as Mary’s drunken sidekick, saying all of the things Mary can never bring herself to say out loud due to politeness/

    Jill as Mary’s Id. I that that as well, very much so.

  172. cheech wizard
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    MT – As a criminal strategy, pinning the blame for the theft of a bunch of Ipods and X-boxes on a mountain-dwelling hermit would seem to rank right up there with writing a bank robbery note on one of your own deposit slips. Then again, this is Mark Trail, so perhaps “a bunch of expensive stuff that’s popular with the kids” is fly fishing rods, backpacking gear and Gortex clothing.

  173. cheech wizard
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    DT – Hot Rize has been bugging me. She reminds me of some other comic character from way back when, perhaps the hideous mascot for some brand of ice cream. Anyone out there know who I might be thinking of? I’m drawing a blank.

  174. commodorejohn
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#172): Maybe the town at the bottom of the mountain is Herb & Jamaal-ville.

  175. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#162):

    One-Eyed Trouser Oid Sailor: I’d much prefer if these were Ood.

    I bet you like fried calamari:

    http://vintagemetalart.com/shop/images/calamari.gif

  176. commodorejohn
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

  177. cheech wizard
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#176): Nah – the hair, bow tie and the jacket are what sets it off. That and a big hideous grin.

  178. Katy
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    In panel two, Drew’s dad is completely wasted. “You know what’sh aweshome? Mishery! And people who … hic … shtruggle futilely againsht it!”

  179. Jeff Soesbe (yeff)
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    Despite having two arms and two web-shooters, Spider-Man “can only save one of them.” That’s because he chooses to only save one of them. Or because he’s lazy. Either way, it works for Spider-Man.

    - yeff

  180. cheech wizard
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#174): Or Candorville? Because this sounds like a strategy that Clyde would come up with.

  181. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    @Effluvius Erratus (#139): I think I lived around the corner from that bar for a while.

  182. Alfred E. Neuman
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    Popeye— The Oids may be Jewish, because they are taking a briss dip in…..Oid Bay.
    Padumpum!
    Thank you very much, I’ll be here all week.

  183. Bill Thompson
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    The Amusing Spiderman: h = 0.5gt^2, where h is height, t is time and g is (choose one) 9.81 meters per second per second or 32.2 feet per second per second. If you figure it takes five seconds to speak all the dialog here (and assuming some overlap) then by the time Spiderman fingers his webspitter, the two vampires have fallen 122.6 meters or 412.5 feet. That’s about the height of a forty story building. Now figure that the webbing moves at less than the speed of sound, thanks to air resistance and a lack of CGI/comic-strip physics. Martine and Morbius fall for another two seconds before the webbing can catch up with them. A seven second fall works out to 240.3 meters or 788.9 feet (okay, terminal velocity for a falling human being this close to ground level is about 175 feet per second or about 55 meters/second . . .

    Hell. By this time they’ve either hit the ground or remembered they can fly, and anyway Spiderman will have gone back to sleep.

    FW: When people behaved as disgracefully as Les, didn’t they use to run off and join the Foreign Legion? Is it too late for Les to join the cast of Crock 2.0? He could present himself as Vermin P. Crock’s evil twin.

  184. A different JD
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    Clearly, the point of the current Spiderman story is to drain the intelligence out of its readers, and render them so gullible and unquestioning that they’d accept any sort of nonsensical plot twists. How else is Marvel Inc. going to convince people to see the Spiderman musical?

  185. cheech wizard
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    RMMD -You know, we assume that Rex Morgan is set in America, but I don’t think that’s ever been stated explicitly. For all we know, all these light-skinned people could be residents of some South American dictatorship, with a dysfunctional bureaucracy staffed with attractive young fascists in cahoots with the corrupt La Policia, none of whom think twice about disappearing some helpless old woman into a black hole of detention so they can divvy up her lottery winnings among themselves.

  186. Jason D.
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    @nescio(#1): Cardinal is, indeed, a real last name. I should know, as it’s my mother’s maiden name. I don’t know of many outside southwestern Indiana, though. But apparently, one “migrated” to Minnesota.

  187. Aviatrix
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    @balthazar (#161): We have no problem with extended essays in the comments, and often applaud them quite vociferously. Most of us do. however, have a a preference for little niceties like capitalization and paragraph breaks.

  188. Aviatrix
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#174): Has there ever been an African-American character in Mark Trail?

  189. Aviatrix
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    @Bill Thompson (#183): Love the physics, but comics obey role-playing physics, where speech is a free action.

  190. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @Bill Thompson (#183):

    FW: When people behaved as disgracefully as Les, didn’t they use to run off and join the Foreign Legion? Is it too late for Les to join the cast of Crock 2.0? He could present himself as Vermin P. Crock’s evil twin.

    He would be known as Captain Crappie.

  191. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#176):

    @cheech wizard (#173): Popsicle Pete?

    According to the Urban Dead site, Popsicle Pete could give Charles Manson a run for his money:

    http://wiki.urbandead.com/index.php/Popsicle_Pete

  192. cheech wizard
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#191): Well, that’s diff’runt. I hadn’t heard of him before.

  193. Sequitur
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    Under the catagory of DUH!

    Anyone test Helen Clark lately?

  194. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 26th, 2011 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#173): Hot Rize has been bugging me. She reminds me of some other comic character from way back when, perhaps the hideous mascot for some brand of ice cream.

    Are you thinking of Squirt soda’s creepy mascot? Or Speedy Alka-Seltzer?

    Some of us thought she looked like the illegitimate daughter of Hank from Brenda Starr.

  195. Joshua
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#162): I’m just impressed that Dick Locher, after retiring from “Dick Tracy” just a couple of months ago, has already landed a writing gig on “Between Friends.” I wouldn’t have expected it, but he has already gotten “BF” on a pace of reiterating the exact same idea for seven consecutive strips without advancing the plot.

  196. bats :[
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#187): OTOH, I agree with balthazar, even to the point of ranting in a “I’m mad as hell…” manner, with an almost free-style, er, style. FW is fast losing ground, even as a train wreck that one watches with morbid, fascinated curiosity.
    There’s no rule that a cartoonist has to give fan-service, but there must be a point when the readers say no more, isn’t there? Who reads this and nods in agreement? Heck, even grammas can go along with pap like FC because it reminds them of their adorable grandkids — but who can applaud the sicko that Les has become and seems proud to remain?

  197. cheech wizard
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#194): @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#194): I might be thinking of Hank O’Hair. But I think there was also some scary looking ice cream or popsicle mascot with a bow tie that got mixed in there somehow.

  198. Poteet
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    MT — So Hulking Thirty-Something Son is living at home and taking one class per day, thereby planning to graduate from college sometime around 2036. I’ll bet that’s not coffee his dad is drinking.

  199. commodorejohn
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#196): I agree. There comes a point when one is just plain out of snark on a strip – I hit that plateau some time ago with Gasoline Alley and the McEldowney duology, and I rarely bother reading them anymore unless there’s some unusual discussion here, because otherwise my reaction just consists of furious sputtering and a rise in my blood pressure. Imbecilic plot developments and laughably stupid characters can make for good snark fodder, but what do you say when a cartoonist abandons even the pretense of telling a coherent story and just leaves you with the sound of one hand fapping?

  200. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#191):

    After rotund comedian Lou Costello died, he was brought back to serve as one of Popsicle Pete’s minions:

    http://www.vintagecolumbiabikes.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/PostWarAdvertising/1954AbbottCostelloPopsicleContest.jpg

  201. Pozzo
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    I honestly had no idea that was a ladder the first time I looked at “Momma.” I thought her sons had put her on a trampoline and she bounced up to the top of the fence. I had no idea why they would do this, though I prayed it wasn’t so they’d get a chance to get a look at her panties.

  202. Poteet
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#162): This strip has never shown me anything that remotely resembles a mature relationship, but at least it used to move a little faster. I have vowed to give it the hook if I don’t find something to like about it by the end of June.

  203. Fashion Police
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#174):
    Miss Rize appears to us to ape the style of the young James Cagney. We suspect Messrs. Staton and Curtis did this deliberately, as a nod to Dick Tracy’s 1930s roots.

  204. Rocky Monoxide
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    S-M: Anybody who continues to argue right at the edge of a roof after almost falling off of it every day for 3 weeks deserves what they get.

  205. anonymous
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman: I think he should just go find something else to do and let the two ‘vampires’ go. And I think the male ‘vampire’ should be called Butterface. Awesome body, great hair – but his face! Looks like Brak from Adult Swim. Brrrr!

  206. cfr
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    In looking through today’s and yesterday’s threads I’m surprised no one mentioned today’s Pajama Diaries. It’s nice to see a married couple having a healthy sex life, at least from the collection of “naughty toys” the new maid found in a closet. Admittedly I don’t think they were expecting such a thorough house cleaning when they hired her.

  207. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#188): Sure, but they always end up getting blocked out by the squirrels.

  208. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#199): So what does it mean that I hit that point at about, oh, day 3 of Reply All?

  209. Violet
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    I like the fact that Spidey is torn over whether to rescue the person who is actively trying to destroy him and his wife or the one who alienated himself from his fiance and put himself at considerable personal risk to save them. Apparently that proportionate character assessment of a spider must have kicked in.

  210. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#197): Did I say Squirt? Well, it’s only because I apparently have believed for the last 40 years that that’s who it was. Turns out I was thinking of Sprite Boy! (And I take it you already know Speedy Alka Seltzer, right?)

  211. commodorejohn
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#208): It means that you have a functioning brain, unless I’m greatly mistaken.

  212. Violet
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    After decades of misfires, Gil Thorp has finally managed to put its finger on the pulse of the coveted youth demographic with this school board subcommittee budget debate storyline. I saw some kids wearing Team Hobart t-shirts so you know it’s on. Of course the other kids were wearing Team Al-Jo shirts but, hey, who can blame them for being a little confused? Sometimes we don’t even get a “meanwhile.”

  213. Mysterious shirtless lawyer
    May 26th, 2011 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    “Hi, Mike, aren’t you supposed to be in school?”

    “My class was cancelled.”

    “Really? Well, ha, ha, I sure hope you’re not going to ‘cancel’ me with that 357 Magnum you’re pointing at my chest. Mike? Mike?”

    “Sorry, Dad, it’s either you or me, so I’ve decided that it’s going to be you.”

    [bang]

  214. ArchieNemesis
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    Flamboyant boobs, nice derrieres, disdain for the laws of physics, no regard for plot continuity – I know I’m hooked. That Stan Lee is a genius and he’s laughing all the way to the bank.

  215. Pseudo3D
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    Was reading Mark Trail, the ones I missed. You CANNOT convince me that this storyline is supposed to take place anytime after 1970.

    DT: Wouldn’t flour provide a bit of friction?

  216. H-Bob
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#156): As long as June’s perky rack makes frequent cameo appearances !

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#162): How does one get a gig as a “breast consultant” ?

  217. the crock
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    the spider-man writing staff does the same thing after writing as i do after reading it: forget that it ever happened.

  218. Trogdor
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Lately I’ve been thinking of Seth as a doofus who clearly has no freaking clue what love is. But today I had an epiphany. He’s a sexual genius. He should be considered a god among horndogs. Whenever he sees a woman who’s too bat shit crazy for him to touch with a ten foot pole (Hello, Edda), he has puts up the impenetrable gay shield. “I’m sorry, not interested; totally into men; you could never convert me.” But, when he sees a hot chick he’d like to bang (say, Fernanda), he lets her be the one who brings him back to heterosexuality. (Can a woman ever resist that ploy?) As a bonus, he even tells her he loves her to get her to do the things she doesn’t do with most guys. Of course when it’s the next morning and she’s getting clingy and wants him to hang around for breakfast, he slams up the gay shields again. But (and here’s the genius), he keeps the door open by maintaining the “I love you” bullshit (“I love you, but in a totally pure and absolute way, a love compared to which what Romeo and Juliette had was just a shadow on the wall”) alive. He can deny that he told her he loved her just to get her to use the swing and wear the schoolgirl outfit. And by keeping up the ambiguous I’m-still-gay-but-I-still-love-you crap, he keeps her on the hook for more nookie.

    Then again, that may be giving Seth too much credit. I think I’ll go back to the doofus theory.

  219. Dagger
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    Today’s “Mark Trail” clearly decided it was better to go the “Herb and Jamaal” route rather than take a stab at the merchandise that’s popular with the kids today. It’s too bad, I really wanted to see a group of 50s greasers driving around in a classic car blasting the early rock devil music with a phonograph.

  220. els
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    From the coif and jacket of the fella in panel two, I’d say “expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids” translates to either “used cars” or “game show prizes”.

  221. sally
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    @Mark B (#9):

    I am confused by everything about this plotline. The innocent scapegoat has facial hair! The real culprits are clean-shaven! How will Mark ever know whom to punch???

  222. Peanut Gallery
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#208): Day 3?? It means you are entirely too tolerant and forgiving.

  223. JesseBaker
    May 26th, 2011 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#198): I think Mustache Guy (who reminds me of Ronnie Gardocki from “The Shield”) is supposed to be in his early 20s. As for college; I assume that, if he lives at home, then he can easily skip a morning class to continue his evil schemes via visiting his sheriff father to continue to make him think that the survivalist is to blame for the robberies.

    Though given that mustache guy is evil, who’s to say that he even intends to going to class that day? He’s probably the typical slacker who only goes to class when he has to, especially if the college has a lax policy on classroom attendance (some stricter schools give you X-number of days you can miss before professors can punish you via instantly failing you or decreasing your overall grade for missing class). And given how he keeps mentioning being part of a “clean cut ‘kid’ gang”, I would not be shocked if he and his friends are the cliched evil college preppies, who use their good looks and charm (and mustache guy’s dad being sheriff) to get away with breaking the law and being jerks, all the while scapegoating outcasts, weirdos, and anyone who isn’t part of the “Beautiful People” set for their crimes, whenever confronted by an authority figure.

  224. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    @JesseBaker (#221): great. now I’ve goth Marlyn Manson AND Beavis & Butthead earworms.

  225. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    5-26 Weird Sound Effects:

    Zits — FLIP!
    Monty — RRRRRR
    Fast Track — CRACK!
    Spider-Man — FWIPP!
    Dilbert — THUD THUD THUD
    Edison Lee — SIZZLE… SNAP
    Judge Parker — BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP
    Crock — FLIP FLIP… CHEW CHEW CHEW
    Drabble — TUG TUG TUG! TUG TUG TUG!
    One Big Happy — SNIFF SNIFF SNIFF SNIFF

  226. Bill Thompson
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#196): who can applaud the sicko that Les has become and seems proud to remain?

    Brooke McEldowney?

  227. curlyfries
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#196): I have to say that while I adore all teh snark but I love me a good, well-thought-out hate-essay – and there have been some wonderful gems here, Josh’s opening posts aside. Powerful, nasty, full of great analysis and in-depth critique, their vitriol has been a toasty-warm pleasure to read, like this classic http://joshreads.com/?p=6466#comment-814119. Those egregrious offenders McEldowney and Lee have also been scathingly death-rayed with equal mastery so often that I marvel that they still walk among us.

  228. Bill Thompson
    May 26th, 2011 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#189): Good point on measuring comics-time through speech. How about measuring time in terms of how long it takes Spiderschlemiel to stand, go to the ledge and see the plummeting forms of his two enemies?

    The physics is just a minor consideration here. The real problem is why he wants to save two people who can beat the daylights out of him, plan to kill his wife, and cannot be restrained by his webbing. If it were me, I’d lean over the ledge, measure the time it took them to hit the ground, and use that to calculate the height of the building.

  229. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    @cfr (#206):

    Pajama Diaries isn’t easy to find. I’ve tried Googling, yahoo comics, comics.com, and go.comics. and it’s not in my “dead tree” newspaper. I’m sure its out there somewhere, but my life’s too short to find something that doesn’t want to be found.

  230. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#208):

    Congrats. You lasted two days longer than I did.

  231. anonymous
    May 26th, 2011 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#227):

    I put in “Pajama Diaries” in google and got a wealth of information.

    pajamadiaries.com, first thing that came up.

  232. Xanadude
    May 26th, 2011 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy, featuring the Evil Hand of Paula Deen

  233. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 7:31 pm [Reply]

    Foody alert.

    I posted a recipe to The Cardinals’ lounge. See there for details!

  234. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 26th, 2011 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#227): try the Comics Kingdom sites, like SeaPoI or TimesAlbany. It’s there.

  235. baron
    May 26th, 2011 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    mt: despite the best efforts of the mysterious “Mike” in panel 3, hints of his mustache make the next seven weeks a foregone conclusion.

  236. KarMann
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:09 pm [Reply]

    FW Groovy Blinkerlegume: OK, I think I’ve got Les figured out, now. The reason he’s so taken aback by Cayla’s “I love you” is that he thought she just loved his art, not himself, and certainly not that upper-room-in-the-rain stuff.
    And by “art”, of course, he means “WRITING!”

  237. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    @anonymous (#229): @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#232):

    Thanks, queek, I found it at the Times Albany. Oregon and Seattle also have comics kingdom, but neither had the strip. The Pajama Diaries website didn’t have the present day strip available.

  238. A New Day
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    With all the focus on Les’s jerkoffery, I haven’t thought much about Cayla’s own motives for this relationship. I mean, she’s a smart, kind, attractive woman. Surely the pool of eligible men in this town can’t be so bad that LES is her best option? Because that would just be depressing.
    Hehe, I make myself laugh sometimes.

  239. Mr. O'Malley
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#Y316): Although the farm from which our chickens come is only about 100 miles away in Marin County, we have them ship the chickens to us frozen rather than go there. But the ranch we get our beef from brings a truckload into town every so often, and you just go down and pick it up. As well as getting better food, you help to keep family farms in business.

    If you do a bit of Googling you might find something similar in your area, otherwise a lot of these places will ship. The last pig we bought came from Kansas.

  240. Pseudo3D
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:56 pm [Reply]

    @Trogdor (#217): That wouldn’t explain the whole Roger storyline (“Wow, you are? Man, and I was just messing with you!”), but Mark could be explained away with being a “reverse beard”, if such a thing exists.

  241. Pseudo3D
    May 26th, 2011 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    @A New Day (#236): From what we know, Westview is a sorry little place consisting of just a crumbling downtown with a bad pizza place, a few homes, a high school, and maybe a movie theater, but that could be located out of town.

  242. cheech wizard
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#237): Does this have anything to do with Miss Buxley?

  243. ElkMeadow
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    The live golden eagle chicks cam show the twosome fluttering around and spreading their wings and keep shoving at each other. I think it’s time to name them, and so I propose Morbius and Martine.

  244. Pseudo3D
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    @CJColucci (#170): Spider-Man is going for a high kill count, just like Dick Tracy.

  245. The Ridger
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    MT: “The stuff they’re taking is expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids.” I don’t understand it. Usually criminals steal cheap merchandise we can’t sell to anyone, because usually it’s an insurance scam. But this? I don’t get it at all – it must be that weird stranger. Can’t be anybody around here, ’cause never before has the expensive, popular merchandise been taken…

  246. nescio
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    @Jason D. (#186): Please don’t tell me that Reed Hoover is a real name next, I’d be disillusioned.

  247. Uncle Lumpy
    May 26th, 2011 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    Judge Parker — JUMP, JUMP, JUMP!

  248. Black Drazon
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    So hey, true story: I was reading this blog post and complaining in my head about how Momma opened up panel 1 of her strip with “I’m not snooping” even though there’s no reason to suspect she’s snooping! Then I realized that, for some reason, she was already standing up on a stepladder near the fence, so must have indeed been snooping and simply ended up caught because her sons kicked it out from under them! Then, having come to a deeper understanding of a Momma strip, I began to prepare my tant?, which I keep by my desk at all times for such emergencies, when I read the Spider-Man post below and was suddenly too lazy to kill myself. Later, I read Mark Trail and Pluggers and was inspired to punch out a dog. All in all it’s been an exciting day, and should the veterinarian drop the charges, I should be thankful for two things, the other being that the post did not end with a visit from Marvin.

  249. Maggie the Cat
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#229): @anonymous (#231): @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#234): I used to read it at the Seattle PI, but maybe they changed up their roster. ?? I switched to the Baltimore Sun when the PI was having issues w/their comics for a while. Both have Comics Kingdom.

  250. Uncle Lumpy
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    @Black Drazon (#248):

    This “tant?” sounds interesting — is it commercially available?

  251. Mr. O'Malley
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#242): I don’t think it would be legal to have Miss Buxley shipped to you.

  252. Dagger
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    I like how “Mark Trail” opted to go the “Herb and Jamaal” route rather than trying to guess what’s popular with the kids. Though it’s a bit sad that we don’t get to see their interpretation, which I can only imagine would be a bunch of teens ghost riding a jalopy with a phonograph.

  253. Aviatrix
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    @Dagger (#252): Do you think they will resale the stolen merchandise on Craigslist and eBay, through “criminal distribution channels” or just do cash deals with people who respond to a back alley, “hey, wanna buy one of these?”

  254. mollificent
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

  255. dale
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:53 pm [Reply]

    @Bill Thompson (#228):

    h = (1/2) a t^2 is easy, although I’m never sure what exactly to use for a.
    How do you adjust for air resistance? (That’s a serious question.)

    How many people got the barometer story reference?

  256. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:11 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#197): I posted a reply to you that was held by spam-hating autogremlins. A hasty petition to Josh got it unlocked, but it showed up way back in the thread where you might not have seen it. Here’s a link. [Caution: Nightmarish imagery at links in the comment. Sprite Boy! Speedy Alka-Seltzer! Brrrr!]

    @dale (#255): How many people got the barometer story reference?
    I thought it was freaking hilarious and actually looked around to see if there was anybody I might read it to. There wasn’t, and my next thought was of getting up and… no, no. That way lay madness. But I did think about it.

  257. Jocelyn Knockersbury
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    Isn’t there a superhero union that could do a quick evaluation of Spider-Man’s work to nap ratio? They could, say, determine his personal ratio of superheroing to couch sitting and compare it with the averages of other superheroes. Used properly, this could provide an effective statistical benchmark by which to measure all applicants to Superhero Local 391, and provide a required minimum ratio to maintain membership. Then again, a $15 annual fee and mandatory attendance to one meeting per year would keep Spider-Man out of the union, too.

  258. Bill Thompson
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:28 pm [Reply]

    @dale (#255): There’s a whole field called fluid dynamics, which is one of the reasons I changed my major to history.

    There are two ways to determine the terminal velocity of a falling human body (“terminal velocity” is “as fast as air resistance will let you go”). One is to use the equation ((2ma)/(rho*A*Cd))^0.5, where m is the mass of the falling body, a is the force of gravity, rho is the density of the air, A is the cross section of the falling body and Cd is the coefficient of drag (sort-of a fudge factor that tells you how efficient an object is at causing drag). The other, easier way is to read articles about assorted accident victims and notice how often you see “authorities estimate he hit the ground at 120 mph.” (That 120 mph figure is for people who fall in a spread-eagle posture. You can go faster if you hold your arms at your side and point head-down at the ground; that cuts down on your cross-section. I volunteer Spiderman to demonstrate this.)

    Halliday and Resnick give the force of gravity at the Earth’s surface as approximately 9.81 meters per second per second, equivalent to 32.2 feet per second per second.

  259. Black Drazon
    May 26th, 2011 at 11:56 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#250): Apparently the blog can’t take accented characters! I’ve learned something today, and it is that I should start selling Tants a $5 a pop.

  260. Bill Thompson
    May 27th, 2011 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    The Amusing Spiderman: A fence? A wooden fence in a Manhattan alley? When was the last time these people saw New York? Meanwhile Spidertwerp has snagged a very hungry and emotionally distraught vampire–or is he distraught? What if he’s like Tanya Huff’s vampires? Highly territorial and not at all inclined to share his territory with other vampires? “Thank you, Spiderman, for destroying my competition! Manhattan is all mine, mwahahaha! And I’ll celebrate with a two-course meal!”

    FW: “Is everything all right?” In Westview?

    MT: This could be the klutziest set-up in comics history. Either that or Sheriff Dad is a graduate of the Nigel Bruce School of Clue-Ignoring.

  261. Poteet
    May 27th, 2011 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    When I was a kid, there was a ring of very large rocks in the park next to my elementary school, and many of us had an irresistible urge, during recess, to try to climb around the entire ring by moving from rock to rock, even though we usually fell off and hurt ourselves. Today, the rocks would be removed, so I’m glad I lived back then. Anyway, I was especially drawn to one particular tall rock that often caused me to slip in such a way that I would land on a sharp part of the rock with my knee, bleed, develop a scab, pick at the scab, watch the scab slowly heal, and then climb the rock and wound my knee again. So now, instead of doing that, I look up REPLY ALL every time it’s mentioned on CC. So much for maturity.

  262. KarMann
    May 27th, 2011 at 12:38 am [Reply]

  263. KarMann
    May 27th, 2011 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    Belated 5/25 Curtis: So, Mr. Wah-Wah-We-Don’t-Have-Any-Money(-except-for-grandpa’s-in-that-vase-we’ve-forgotten-about) is overjoyed at the idea of sending his son out of state for college. And paying out-of-state tuition, or private college tuition? Yeah, that’s in character, all right. In Billingsley’s character, for Not Doing The Research.

  264. Bill Thompson
    May 27th, 2011 at 12:54 am [Reply]

    The Ransom of Red Phantom: So he is bleeding after all! And the bloodstains formed into laughter. Meanwhile I hope Poindexter keeps mouthing off to his three ex-captors. Because once Kit faints from pain and loss of blood, that “ex-” bit will get dropped fast.

  265. KarMann
    May 27th, 2011 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    5/27 PMP: That’s a rather lopsided cavewoman in today’s strip. Although, I suppose, that might be reasonable, for a skin that only goes over the other shoulder. H-Bob (#216), you were asking about a gig as a breast consultant? Here’s your opportunity.

    P.S. Of course, in referring to Spider-Man (#262) above, I meant 5/27, not 5/26.

  266. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 27th, 2011 at 1:05 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#261):

    I was especially drawn to one particular tall rock that often caused me to slip in such a way that I would land on a sharp part of the rock with my knee, bleed, develop a scab, pick at the scab, watch the scab slowly heal, and then climb the rock and wound my knee again.

    This seems appropriate somehow:

    http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/x2/x11969.jpg

  267. Mole Man Fan
    May 27th, 2011 at 1:08 am [Reply]

    5/26 MT: I think I’ve figured out what “expensive merchandise that’s popular with the kids” they’re talking about. Or do they mean city kids?

  268. Uncle Lumpy
    May 27th, 2011 at 1:12 am [Reply]

    @Black Drazon (#259):

    La plume de ma Tant® est sur la table.

    I’ll take four. Plain brown wrapper, please.

  269. Poteet
    May 27th, 2011 at 1:22 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#266): Yep. Maybe the new version would be BURY MY SANITY AT REPLY ALL.

  270. CanuckDownSouth
    May 27th, 2011 at 1:47 am [Reply]

    Oh no, the teen tee-hee squick was bad enough but now “Hey, Boy”‘s got competition in the musical equivalent to the Bulwer-Lytton contest. I refuse to go check it out.

    And BF? That’s why it’s called TMI. It’s enough to say that you’d forgotten you were booked. Or even that you have to help a friend with a work function. Of course you don’t have to say every detail, you twit!

  271. KarMann
    May 27th, 2011 at 3:18 am [Reply]

    5/27 Luann: Woah, wait a minute, here. Greg Evans can’t even spell “Cartoonist” correctly in “TheCartoonistStudio.com”?!? FFS

  272. John C Fremont
    May 27th, 2011 at 6:37 am [Reply]

    Well, I gots to confess that “I’m a Snot” did not make me quite as physically sick as “Hey, Boy” did. I know that some might consider this a compliment, but it’s snot.

    Wait a minute. “Urgent and passionate?” “Pulsating and wild?” Maybe I clicked on the wrong link.

    Crikey.

  273. The Grandstander
    May 27th, 2011 at 7:07 am [Reply]

    Today Elrod shows us the only “beaver shot” Mark knows anything about.

  274. FafMor
    May 27th, 2011 at 7:59 am [Reply]

    Passive-agressive Spiderman webs the vampire who can fly, ensuring the other plummets to her death. Good to know he’s learned something from reading Dick Tracy all these years. But what kind of wussy vampire dies from a minor fall – it’s not even an iron-stake fence! An iron-stake fence would have made for a heck of a death scene.

  275. Mark B
    May 27th, 2011 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    Interesting … the colorizers did a lot better job at Comics Kingdom than at GoComics on Dick Tracy today. They actually left the flour patches on HR’s face white, and did a nice fade on the background white. Nothing special, just interesting that different comics publishers hire different colorists … at least for the dailies. The Sunday comics are delivered to the publishers already colorized.

  276. cheech wizard
    May 27th, 2011 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#256): I always thought the Sprite kid was more bizarre than creepy. I finally figured out I was thinking of a disturbing popsicle mascot that was on the ice cream wagon when I was a kid – it had a fudgesicle for a head with a bow tie and plaid green jacket – mashed up with Hank O’Hair in my memory.

    Haven’t seen Speedy Alka-Seltzer in years – but his brother has been in the news lately.

  277. cheech wizard
    May 27th, 2011 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#256): p.s. re: Sprite Boy, I was kinda creeped out by the bottle cap on his forehead. But I guess back in the 1950s, surgeons commonly did not attempt to remove metal objects that had become embedded in the skull as long as the patient could still function.

  278. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 27th, 2011 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#277): What’s really unusual is that this probably happened when Sprite Boy was just Sprite Baby, but the bottle cap grew along with him.

  279. bats :[
    May 27th, 2011 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#276): what a great (if dead thread — well, I guess it’s rather appropriate) laugh!

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