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FISTS OF FURY AND/OR JUSTICE

Mark Trail, 4/19/07

“Josh,” people ask me, “Why do you waste your time on Mark Trail? Why do you wade through week after week of stilted dialogue, nonsensical plots, and freakishly enormous animals?” Well, folks, this is why. When Mark Trail starts punching people, there’s a little warm glow you get in your gut that tells you that everything is right in the world. Sure, it’s only happened twice in the last fifteen months (Mark punches Snake, or maybe Jake, I forget; Mark punches a lecherous, petnapping hillbilly; the installment in which Mark knocks over a trio of bumpkins with a booby-trap is awesome but not a punch per se); but the long waits make the payoffs all the sweeter.

Actual, not-made-up quote in the Wikipedia article on Mark Trail: “His assignments inevitably lead him to discover environmental misdeeds, most often solved with a crushing right cross.” This sort of whimsy almost always gets purged from Wikipedia by killjoy editors, but this sentence cannot be removed because it is demonstrably true.

In this strip, Mark even gives his erstwhile buddy the chance to throw the first punch, which he hilariously botches despite the fact that Mark is standing about six inches away from him. SORRY DAN, MARK DOESN’T GET PUNCHED, HE PUNCHES! Mark’s own steely blow proves to be stronger than even professional-grade spirit gum. It is of course laughable that Dan would skulk around a hotel wearing a cheap wig and fake beard when he could have simply purchased hair dye and grown real facial hair (Dan, did you know that if you stop shaving hair will grow right out of your cheeks?). Another wonderful possibility is that Dan did in fact dye his hair and grow a beard but Mark’s fists are so powerful that they are capable of punching the lies and deceit right off of Dan’s face.

B.C., 4/19/07

This may be a sensitive subject, but: it appears that when the syndicate said that B.C. would be taken over by “the Hart family” they meant that it would be taken over by “an elaborate computer program that almost, but not quite, understands humor and jokes.” Yes, it looks like Archie’s in for a little competition … from the B.C. Laugh Generating Unit 4000! THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

Apartment 3-G, 4/19/07

You know, I make fun of Margo a lot on this blog, but it’s only because of my deep affection for her. She’s being so very, very obviously set up for a fall here — note to Margo: usually if a dude is thinking of marrying you, he’d at least let his immediate family know that you aren’t the hired help — that you can’t help but feel bad for her. Still, the coming rage and subsequent bloody revenge will be exquisite to watch.

Possible things running through the horrified mind of Sam the Assistant in panel three:

  • “Margo, no! Didn’t you see Blood Diamond? How many African children must die to keep you in trinkets?”
  • “Jesus, all a ring is going to do is draw attention to your hideous claw-hand.”

Also, is Sam actually packing up already-inflated helium balloons to take to their next party? Margo is an awful thrifty party planner.

Family Circus, 4/19/07

Since grown-up Jeffy is now drawing this thing, I don’t think it’s possible to pack more self-loathing into a single panel than he does here. Perhaps he knows that “Moronic Children = Comedy Gold” but is afraid of lawsuits from his siblings, and so is forced to humiliate his four-year-old self repeatedly in newspapers across the world to earn a living.

Judge Parker, 4/19/07

God damn, is Cedric going to off these punks execution-style in a dark alley? BADDEST. BUTLER. EVER.

By the way, I can’t conceive of an even remotely plausible chain of events that would end with me holding two actual punk rockers at gunpoint, but if I found myself in that situation, the temptation to say “Do you feel lucky, punk?” would probably be unbearable.

They’ll Do It Every Time, 4/19/07

OK, “The Halves Of Restaurant Sandwiches Are Sometimes Not Adequately Separated” is officially the pettiest TDIET gripe in the history of humanity. Still, the narration posits that “Howcum” and “Why, oh, why” might actually be different questions, which is a philosophical conundrum that will haunt me for days.

174 responses to “FISTS OF FURY AND/OR JUSTICE”

  1. Perky Bird
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    Oh, wow! I ended a thread! This is a first! I must have picked up some of Old Fogeyette’s powers, somehow.
    Anyhow, as I said in the previous thread, it’s not a speech bubble coming from Diver Dan’s pocket; it’s a little caption that notes that Dan’s nipple piercing consists of a little eye hook.
    Now, is a giant titmouse or night heron going to scoop up the flying moustache and toupee and use them to line their nests?

  2. Suburban Legend
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps the dark facial hair is a sentient being that, once Dan was away from the sight-lines of the strip, attached itself to him and forced him to do its bidding. Once Mark releases him from his bondage, he comes to his sense are realizes what was happening. Afraid to admit that his consciousness was conquered by a pair of animate hair-pieces, Dan tries to bargain with Mark.

  3. montymoose
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    BC: You know a funny is going to be funny when they add “Ha, Ha, Ha” to the dialouge.

  4. Gulielma
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    Post 2–That was a plot on “The Kids Next Door!”

  5. Steve
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    So your saying that the facial hair is the venom to Diver Dan’s Spiderman. It’s too bad Toby doesn’t have access to Mark Trail’s Fist of Vengeance in Spiderman 3.

  6. Rhekarid
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    There has never been a sandwich made that couldn’t be torn apart, even when fully unsliced, by an infant. What exactly is this thing made of, that not only could a sumo wrestler not pull it apart, but this guy has to strain so hard that the stars shooting out of his eyes knock over a ketchup bottle four feet away?

  7. steven
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    A little practice and Mark could start giving fists of fury Brazilians, couldn’t be any more painful than waxing.

  8. Trotzenbonnie
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    What the hell? What self-respecting chef works in a restaurant that serves meat roll sandwiches on white bread to guys who wear their earflap hats to the table? And what’s with the eruption of the Squid Brand Ketchup bottle? I’ve never seen condiments get so emotionally involved with a customer’s plight.

  9. MikeM
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    Luanne: What does Toni have to do for Brad to get it? I’m thinking that if Toni wrapped her panties around Brad’s neck and DRAGGED him to the pillowtop, that MAYBE — and I stress MAYBE — he just might say, “Ooooooh, THAT’S what you wanted…”.

    But I doubt even that would work.

  10. Adjuster
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    “This is embarrassing, Mark….” Since Mark punched off Dan’s facial hair, does that make him a good guy now?

  11. Joe Komenda
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail not only punched the lies off Dan’s face, I believe he also made a pun while doing so, by throwing a right hook to Dan’s eye.

  12. pesch
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    I don’t have a comment on this, but because you all are my friends, I want to pass along this thread from the Straight Dope Message Board. It’s safe for work, since there are no pickchurs (as that loveable Joey would say), but you may be uncomfortable with the words at the top of your browser: Straight Dope Message Board – The Thing’s Thing (Fantastic Four)

    (I buried the link in the above title, if your computer is acting like mine and coloring them all black)

    To give you even more warning, here’s the opening sentence: “Is it covered in rock like the rest of his skin? Does it work? I mean, he’s got to be able to pee at least, right? Would it tear a woman apart? Have they ever covered this in the comics?”

    And it goes downhill from there. Warning: there are puns.

    See, it’s even comics related!

  13. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    I suppose “howcum” and “why oh why” have slightly different shades of meaning. The “howcum” question is like, “Since the knife is so sharp, why aren’t the sandwich halves separated?” And the “why oh why” question is like, “Since the cook should know how annoying this is, why doesn’t he try harder to separate the two halves?”

    Perhaps the first is more about material causes, and the second is more about motives. None of this, of course, changes the fact that Josh is right about this being the pettiest gripe imaginable.

  14. Tweeks_Coffee
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    Even Archie can pull off better jokes than this poor showing from B.C. It’s like some took it from Hart, but didn’t get it, so they added in the laugh in a sad attempt to make it humorous. of course they failed miserably.

    Even more horrifying is the thought that this is going to be the pattern for B.C. in the foreseeable future.

  15. Chromium
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    I thought this TDIET was going to segue into something like, “But he uses a nail file to cut through a whole loaf of bread!”, which would be at least slightly more realistic.

  16. Dingo
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Rhekarid, the sandwich is made from the guile of Margo Magee, erstwhile temptress of Manhattan who is going to the chapel and is going to get married.

    I’m afraid that Margo has been reading The Secret. By emoting positive thoughts regarding marriage, she believes that Eric will propose. Margo, Margo, Margo. You’ll be lucky if his check covering the party doesn’t bounce.

  17. Spoony Bard
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Looking at the shape of Margo’s hand in panel 3 and the bobble lines surrounding it, I have come to the conclusion that she is threatening her assistant by a pantomime of waving a gun at him. “That’s right, married! Question me again and I will end you!”

    This leads me to believe that the assistant’s head bobble is not reflective of being confused, surprised or in any way shocked; he just has a sudden need for a change of pants.

  18. pesch
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Oh, [boxcar!], I’m not sure I did it right. Here’s the link.

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=416317

  19. sally
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    OOO OOO OOO — from the moment I opened the paper this morning I have been waiting to hear Josh’s take on the fact that Dan’s punch didn’t even cause Mark to step backwards before hitting back so hard that he caused the picture behind Dan to exclaim, “This is embarrassing, Mark!”

    Also, is it just me or does anyone else see a, shall we say, larger implication in the extraordinary length of Mark’s fly? I’ve never seen trousers with a fly that goes all the way to the inseam before — he must need to have them custom-made.

  20. Ferd Berfel
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    Drat! I thought the fists wouldn’t start flying ’til Friday.

    Still the Dan’s hovering disguise makes up for my loss.

  21. Daktari
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    And if that bread is too tough to tear apart, how in the hell is he going to bite into it?

  22. Gabe
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    I can’t believe you didn’t comment on DT. Dude, did you read that sentence in the last panel?

    That’s what snarking was made for.

  23. Foobar
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    Ugh, please also to note “What’s THE subtle way to tell…”. A bit awkward, eh? Have we ever seen a joke-bot error? Like a dot-matrix “Term PNCHLN07 not found.” or is HA HA HA HA as close as we’ve gotten?

  24. Galactic Emperor Chennux®™©
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    ATTENTION EARTHERS! CLUTCH YOUR TWO-DRINK MINIMUM IN ANTICIPATION! CHENNUX TRIES A MARK TRAIL JOKE!

    MARK TRAIL HITS SO HARD THAT HE’LL KNOCK YOUR MARGOBOXCARSATURN INTO YOURMARGOBOXCARANUS! HAHA!

    RULING THE UNIVERSE IS EASY! COMEDY IS HARD! BUT NOT AS HARD AS MARK TRAIL WILL HIT YOU! HAHA!

    AND #3 MONTYMOOSE! SEE? ADDING “HAHA!” TO THE PUNCHLINE DOES MAKE IT FUNNIER! HAHA!

    END TRANSMISSION!

  25. Airish
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    Is this guy — the one who can’t rip through a sliver of white bread the size of a bandaid — the same guy who was ready to commit suicide over getting stuck with the whopping $32 tab at the “fancy-schmancy” French restaurant?

  26. Splinky
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    My question is howcum somebody who apparently lacks the strength to split the crust on Wonder Bread would wasting their precious reserves on lifting a writing implement to send their complaint to TDIET? Shouldn’t they save their strength to focus on things like breathing and keeping from being crushed by the weight of their winter clothing?

  27. Spoony Bard
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    pesch -12 – I’ve often wondered this too. Also, if it is rock, wouldn’t the regular, acidic, urine streams, you know, erode it over time?

  28. Barry
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    If a sumo wrestler can’t tear your sandwich apart, what chance do your feeble teeth have?

    I believe the penance for appearing in TDIET is an agonizing death as you starve to death, unable to eat even the flimsiest of sandwiches.

  29. CentreChick
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    Oh Josh, you so underestimate the contributors to TDIET. This isn’t nearly the pettiest TDIET ever. I’m sure a year from now, we’ll all be wishing that TDIET was as “good” as this one.

  30. Maughta
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    I have absolutely nothing funny to say. I’m just so excited to see the flying-fists-o’-justice!

  31. Steve T.
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    The repetition of the feature’s title at the end of TDIET has a nice finality to it, almost like 150 hilarious years have all been leading up to this, the last panel ever. We can only hope.

  32. Teem
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    I know it has been mentioned but Diver Dan appears to miss MT entirely with his punch. That is the wildest punch ever.
    I think it would be good if MT punched Diver Dan so hard he lands in Mary Worth’s meddling lap. And why would MT don a necktie to punch someone? I thought punching guys usually took their necties off if there was going to be some punching happening?
    All questions and no answers.

  33. gh
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    TDIET:

    You know, if it’s so [Margo]ing tough, just take it to the park and feed it to the sumo squirrels. Wuss.

  34. Allie Cat
    April 19th, 2007 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail hits so hard that he’ll endanger your species.

  35. Teem
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    Oh and I also not DD’s right shirt pocket is a talking shirt pocket.

  36. quombly
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    I read that the BC we’re seeing has still been done by Hart. As is the case with cartoonists, he worked a few weeks ahead of schedule, so I believe we’re seeing the last of his output. Kinda creepy, in a way.

    This also means that Johnny Hart already gave his duties over to the robot before he died. Maybe the robot took the comic over! This wouldn’t be the first chapter in the ongoing human/robot war. However, it would be the first time a robot wanted control over a religious comic strip about cavemen.

  37. Kurdt
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    The second panel in MT is going to be my Facebook picture. Best punch ever!

  38. Ran
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    I kind of thought the BC joke was some sort of reference to the deceased Hart’s decaying corpse. But that would be sick.

    On the lighter side vheck out the action in Luann! I can’t wait to watch Brad blow the easiest lay op he’ll ever get.

  39. gh
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    Josh –

    I think there’s a typo. Given all the flying hair, did you mean FISTS OF FURRY?

  40. DrBear
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    More like a ring will blind people when Margo goes a-finger quotin’!

  41. Chris
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    I shrieked with joy this morning when I read Mark Trail…knew it had to be the lead comic today…just hysterical.

  42. commodorejohn
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    B.C. – Drat, Josh beat me to the punch on B.C. I’m sure it’s all been said already, but geez, when you are repeating a joke that has been featured in every “Silly Willy” jokebook since time began and wasn’t funny even then, and feel the need to add “ha ha ha” (which looks curiously like it was added on at the last minute, given that it’s inexplicably right-aligned and in a slightly smaller font size,) you ought to upgrade to a newer version of the Laugh-O-Matic darn quick. That sound you hear is the pre-90s Johnny Hart spinning in his grave.

    Beetle Bailey – It’s even funnier if you just remove the first panel altogether.

    DTM – There’s more going on here than meets the eye. First, Dennis is apparently confessing a love for cranky/mean girls (which is, after all, what we mean when we use the phrase “not myself today;” someone should introduce him to Margo.) That’s…unusual, but not terribly off the wall. Notice, however, the sly, remember-when look Mom is giving her husband, and the surprised/nervous look on his face – Is he serious? I’ve got to stop this before he makes the same mistake I made! I think there’s something we didn’t know about the Mitchells until now.

    Dilbert – Holy cow, is Dilbert parodying Scientology? I’m eagerly awaiting a “Battlefield Earth” reference.

    FOOB – I usually rag on FOOB, but today’s is awesome. That look on Elly’s face as she considers the possibility of leaving Train Man behind with the chipped plates and dying mixer is priceless.

    FW – I like the lovingly-framed flashback photos – I’m imagining she keeps them on the mantelpiece, looking at them day after day, imagining what it was like the day her dad was shot. Hey, this is Funky Winkerbean, it’s not implausible in the least.

    Garfield – Garfield made me laugh today. I marked it on the calendar. It could be improved, though, if Jon were silent in the first panel and murmured “…dip?” to himself in the second.

    Luann – I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Luann has, as long as I can remember, been something along the lines of For Better Or For Worse as done by the Archie crew, and here we are, going out on an obvious seduction storyline. “o_O” doesn’t do this justice.

    MW – Is there something you’re not telling us, Vera? You’re not…you know?

    SF – Sally Forth in the past couple weeks has been like one of those films where a stranger/estranged relative comes to town/drops in for a visit, turns everyone’s life topsy-turvy, and then dies/leaves but has taught everyone a valuable lesson, only I can’t see any valuable lessons coming out of this. It’s like a Terry Gilliam version of Uncle Buck. (R.I.P., John Candy.)

    SM – Wait, are they inviting us to consider what it is that Spider-Man swings from? Are they really asking us to stop suspending our disbelief?

    TDIET – Al Dente has fallen a long way (and has inexplicably changed species) from the days when he used to be the Samurai Pizza Cats’ boss.

    Id – While B.C. appears to have put an earlier version of Archie’s Laugh-Generating Unit 3000 into use (numbered, as Josh stated, at 4000, the same way the inferior Amiga was the 1000 and the decent one was the 500,) Wizard Of Id appears to have had the Wiz raise the spirit of Johnny Hart from his “incoherent issue-raising comics” period (~1992-2007.) I’m not sure which I like less.

    Ziggy – The look on Ziggy’s face as the parrot crushes his childhood dreams of piratehood is priceless.

  43. Martin
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    The food truck vendors here in Philly never cut all the way through the sandwich. They risk dulling their 25 year old knife on the stainless steel lid covering the 25 year old hot dogs.

  44. schlimmerkerl
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    Wait a minnit! DTIET was sent in by “E. Loper”. So that means running off to get married… and… therefore…

    I got nothin’…

  45. Anonymous
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    Jef Keane has occasionally used his bully pulpit to expose Billy and Dolly as cruel and mean-spirited Fascist demons who made his childhood a living hell. I’ll bet his phalanx of syndicate lawyers advised him that they don’t have a case if he also exposes himself (hahahaha).

    In fact, this very panel not only portrays Jeffy as a technological idiot but reminds everyone that his big sister is an insufferable tattletale.

  46. Andrea D and the Grandstanding Oddballs
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Chef Al Dente’s long knife looks suspiciously like a sword – perhaps Al is actually Samurai Sandwich Chef? Because if he turns around and threatens to disembowel himself over Rippy McDouchebag’s problem sandwich, I will faint from happiness. Why Oh Why/HOWCUM Scaduto hasn’t encountered classic Belushi?

    Also, “chef” strikes me as a bit high-falutin’ a title for what is, essentially, a line-cook Denny’s.

    #7 – I will never view my Brazilian appointments in the same way. “Can’t you just punch it off? Like Mark Trail?”

  47. Maggie
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    But Hart just died… aren’t these comics written weeks ahead of time?

  48. Paperback Rifler
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    TDIET: Seriously? E. Loper (pun?) of Cleveland, Ohio has problems tearing apart a crust of bread?! I suppose that he also has difficulty opening envelopes ( “That darn paper glue!”) and chewing his own food ( “C’mon, don’t we have anythin’ softer than gelatin?”).

    Anyway, maybe not even a sumo wrestler could tear the uncut crust apart; but you know who could? That’s right: Mark Trail! He’d bust up that crust into croutons faster than you could say Lula Patoot, you betcha! Oh-h-h yeah-h-h-h-h!

  49. Andrea D and the Grandstanding Oddballs
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    I think that what appears to be a sad punch by Fisty Dan is actually a powerful hook that is deflected skillfully by Mark’s martial arts-trained face-swipe. See how his hand moves slightly in front of his face? That’s Bruce Lee Wing Chun Kung Fu right there.

    Mark Trail. Simple. Powerful. Bad-ass Kungfucker.

    I like how Dan still wants to be BFF in the end.

  50. gump worsley
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    Aw, Mark Trail’s not so tough.

    Dan’s mustache is still on.

  51. Gal Friday
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    MT kind of stole the thunder away today from Cedric the Badass Butler, but clearly, Cedric Rocks!

  52. Hogen Mogen
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    TDIET: A sumo wrestler might just eat the sandwich whole.

  53. Hap Hapless
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Howcum nobody commented on the black ketchup? That would gross me out so I couldn’t even eat the damn sandwich after tearing it apart.

  54. Scottius
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    I’m no bread expert, nor am I a doctor, but I’m pretty sure if you can’t tear the bread on that sandwich he’s holding, you’re going to die in the next few minutes from complete respiratory and/or cardiac arrest.

  55. Trilobite
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    That punch appears to have knocked some sense into Dan: at long last, he realizes how embarrassing it is to have been friends with Mark Trail for so long.

    The endless, stultifying fishing stories. The injection-molded hairpiece. The late-night phone calls where he makes you talk with that hideous little homunculus, Rusty. The cloying smell of ether that hovers around Cherry. And always, always the constant shouting! If you ever go out in public with him, you catch yourself giving little apologetic glances to the people around you: a half-shrug here, some sad eyes there…Sorry, he’s my friend, you think, and hope that the message will be received.

  56. Phoebe
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Silly, uncultured comic artists can’t tell the difference between sumo wrestlers (the chubby ones in loincloths) and samurais (the ones with sizeable pointy objects.) If you’d prefer mashed sandwich soup to a a plain sandwich, however…

    …And additionally, am I the only one who’s noticed that Margo’s assistant guy has been having a seizure ALL FREAKING WEEK?

  57. Hogen Mogen
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    No one understands that the “joke” in BC isn’t the clothespin thing, it’s the moving mountains and stream in the background. See, the power of God moves mountains and can turn mighty rivers into patches of dust. Ha Ha Ha Ha!

    Well, apparently that was funny to Johnny, because we should still be reading the last of the comics in the pipeline between artist and newsprint.

  58. Hogen Mogen
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    For a guy in the military, Dan can’t throw a decent punch. Mark yawns at his feeble attempt. Then he rests up to throw one hell of a wallop.

    Kudos to Dan for figuring out that his gig is over if he doesn’t at least cut Mark in on the deal. Mark, think of how many beavers could be saved with a cash infusion. Sally, meanwhile, if she had any brains at all should be standing behind Mark weilding a chair or something. Is it too much to hope that there will be action two consecutive days in MT?

  59. Jen
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    Oh. That’s Dan’s hair. Sincerely, thanks for clearing that up. I was very confused about the action in those panels until I read the MT-related snark. I’m new to Mark Trail, so I hadn’t seen Mark Trail action before. Wow. It’s a powerful… slap on the back… that’s required to dislodge one’s scary fake hair and send it airborne.

    Is it just me, or is “This is embarrassing, us being friends so long” not the opening statement for making your case to an already angry person? Much less a wrathful Mark Trail who is ready to kick some… shoulder.

  60. Phoebe
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    And this, folks, is what park rangers are truly here to do… Protect us from insurance fraud.

  61. Trotzenbonnie
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    #7 – Steve
    It would be more painful for Brazilian nuts.

    #36 et al.
    Does anyone really know how long Johnny was face down on his drawing board? Hmmmm?

  62. Trotzenbonnie
    April 19th, 2007 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    Hap Hapless
    #53 – meet #8
    #8 – say hi to Mr. 53.

  63. wurstwhile
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    I’ve never seen a comic with a laughtrack before.

    HA HA HA HA!

    No one understands that the “joke” in BC isn’t the clothespin thing, it’s the moving mountains and stream in the background. See, the power of God moves mountains and can turn mighty rivers into patches of dust. Ha Ha Ha Ha!

    Don’t be silly. It’s clear BC takes place in Coconino County, prior to its settlement by dogs, mice, and kats.

  64. PInk Haired Girl
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:04 pm [Reply]

    So.

    Tee hee. Flying toupees are funny.

  65. Chupper
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    It appears that E. Loper, as represented in this TDIET, has casts extending down the full length of both arms. Because of this, his arms are fixed immobile, so even though it would take but a minuscule amount of strength to tear his sandwich, he is taunted by the hardened plaster. The poor bastard is going to starve to death.

  66. Ewaldx
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know about you,

    But the only time I see the word “come” spelled “cum” is, well, you know.

    Pornographic.

  67. Potato
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    Doncha hate it that every time you have trouble pulling your sandwich is half your empathetic ketchup explodes?

  68. Lettuce
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    HOWCUM? DEPT: Friddlebutz, whines and moans and strains and sweats because… Chef Al Dente’s stale-bread sandwiches are too hard to break with his bare hands.

    Yet HOWCUM and why, oh, why does he waste his formidable telekinetic ability on merely shattering ketchup bottles with his angry thought balloons? Oh yeeeaaahhh!!!

  69. Patrick
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one who has spent the last few days watching the news and moaning “howcum” and “why oh why” is my sandwich not perfectly separated?

  70. Lettuce
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    DUDE! Potato! That just freaked the Margo outta me.

    Stay away from my ketchup.

  71. JL
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    MT: Man, Mark’s punch looks like it might’ve hurt himself with that force and form. That form… Reminds me of a feline’s paw, brushing something away… A couger.. I wonder how many cougars he had to call upon this time..

  72. saint ruby
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    Mark can’t be punched because he is apparantly capable of rendering himself insubstantial. Looks like Dave’s punch went literally through his arm.

  73. PapaFrita
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    I want to comment on yesterday’s Mary Worth because it becomes the perfect caricature of the caricature that is the “new” plot line. Not only did Mary rather unsubtly say “I’m going to go meddle! How exciting!” but then decided to wrap up the last big plot: “Why yes, my boyfriend is back from helping kids and will soon be able to continue his white-flight reserved lifestyle, like us normal people!”

    What I really want to know is whether Vera can keep up her witty-yet-depressing thought balloons all day long. “I’m going to the bathroom! (too bad I can’t flush away my sorrows) ” “Why yes, I will hand over my purse! (but you still can’t steal the last 10 years of misery)” “Youch, I stepped on a Lego! (and the building bricks of my shattered, depressing life)” “I found a quarter! And something to choke myself on!” “Vera, dear, you said that out loud.”

  74. TurtleFishQ
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    Is it just me or did Dan have a mustache and a fake beard??? Maybe puberty never got below his upper lip. It’s a hormonal deficiency and we shouldn’t judge.

  75. ugarte
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    3G: Do you think that the Margo’s pique over being mistaken for the help has anything to do with her refusal to address her assistant unless she is dismissively talking to him over her shoulder as she moves on to something worthy of her time?

    Special to all of the commenters piling on TDIET’s hapless sandwich-eater: Have you never bought a sandwich in a deli in your lives? I can’t believe that I relate to a TDIET but the not-quite-cut sandwich that tears in unexpected ways it almost drove me almost crazy enough to murder send a suggestion to a cartoonist. I kind of want to reach out and hug E. Loper.

  76. Ed Minchau
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    TDIET: the way that “chef” is holding that knife, he isn’t going to have fingers on his left hand for very long. Ah well, I suppose it is ok that he is a fake chef, since today’s installment isn’t a real joke.

  77. ChristianPinko
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    #56 – Phoebe, he’s Margo’s assistant. I would be more surprised if he wasn’t having a seizure.

  78. Douglas E. Iannucci
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    I enjoyed the casual conversation between Mark and Dan whilst they threw punches at each other.

  79. Missy
    April 19th, 2007 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    You know we haven’t known Sam long but I’m pulling for him and Margo to hook up. Yep, I’m a Sargo Shipper. The look of terror and confusion is really just longing and saddness over the fact that as much as he loves her she doesn’t seem to notice him. He wants to express his love for her but he can’t find the words. But everytime he shakes for no reason he means “I love you.”

    It’s a crazy world but I think these two kids have a chance.

    Besides, I long to see what great event planning skills they’d bring to their wedding. Pinecone centerpieces? A large banner reading “Margo Loves Married”?

  80. SixFootJen
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    Clicking back to see Mark Trail punching people, I came across this gem from Josh himself: “It seems like everyone loves to hate For Better Or For Worse. I’m not one of the haters.”

    Ah! Have things changed since January 2006, Josh? Are you feeling the hate a little more now? I thought so.

  81. SamWibatt
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    Is that B.C. written by the new team, or is it one that Johnny Hart had stockpiled? I’ve sort of been avoiding B.C. because I figured they’d be spooling out strips he’d written just before his death, so they’d have some kind of weird From Beyond The Grave vibe. If the new team’s on the case, I’ll go back to reading them, though I’m not sure why.

  82. Josh
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    #80 SixFootJen — I still hold some residual affection, but it’s true that I have by and large drunk the Haterade at this point.

    Josh

  83. JDL
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    RE: Today’s Beetle Bailey

    Conrad put it best…

    “‘The horror!’ …It had the appalling face of a glimpsed truth–the strange commingling of desire and hate… A vision of greyness without form filled with physical pain, and a careless contempt for the evanescence of all things–even of this pain itself.”

    -J. Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”

  84. Steve S
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    I’m shocked that Dan’s hair and beard didn’t have time to get in a line of dialogue or at least an “Oof!” as they floated up there, especially since Dan’s shirt pocket (or possibly the talking duck therein) managed to tell him how Mark figured out his plan.

  85. Flipper
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    I wonder if members of the Hart and Parker families have to take turns adding “HA HA HA HA” to the old strips before they’re recycled.

  86. Conor
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    You know, Josh. I always wanted to draw comic strips untill I realized that I actually hated most strips that run in the local newspapers. Strange as it seems, your site has made me enjoy comic strips again. One day, may you poke merciless fun at my efforts, then I’ll know I’ve really made it.

    Oh, and CLAMBAKE! (cause you just can’t ever have too much of that guy. Clambakemania 2007!)

  87. RedLion
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    JP: You just know that as he’s writing the words “I never get nervous when I shoot someone”, the author is thinking to himself “Most. Badass line. ever.”

  88. SamWibatt
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Family Circus is pretty revolutionary in one way, though – the person being portrayed as a tech-tard is not an adult who’s then schooled by a electronics savant toddler. Give Jeffy some credit there, though I agree the self-abasement angle makes some sense too.

  89. Power of 1000 Lemons
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    That B.C. is honestly the sort of thing that Hart’s six-year-old granddaughter might have written. Four “Ha”s with no punctuation? The syndicate didn’t specify which family members had been helping, did they?

  90. Jamus The Bartender
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail:
    See Mark Trail
    Mark Trail is hitting someone.
    It’s not always good to hit someone…
    …but it is here.
    See, Mark is using the FLYING FISTS OF JUSTICE.
    …or, the FISTS OF FURY.
    Whichever.
    And the bearded guy with the fake beard is a bad guy of some kind.
    A dumb bad guy obviously.
    I remember Mark Trail telling us all about the animals.
    But he only does that on Sundays now.
    The animals are probably afraid of getting hit.
    “Here is the red-bellied sapsucker…” SOCK!!
    “Here is a squirrel gathering nuts…” POW !!
    “Here is a frisky beaver…” SMACK!!
    Whups.
    That was Mrs Mark Trail.
    Time for counseling.

  91. tblue
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    Notice that Dan’s right nipple squeals on him!

    Why do the speech ballons in MT always come out of weird palces? Not sometimes. Always.

  92. evie oh oh
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    Dan’s major mistake? Not using Mark to carry out his insurance fraud…Not leaving behind his eyehook…Not knowing Mark in the first place (although that is a close second) It’s foolishly adding more hair to hide himself from Mark. Anyone who knows Mark Trail knows that facial hair will bring his suspicion and punches faster than a beaver out of a trap. Dan would have been better off shaving himself from head to toe.

  93. Dean Booth
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    The problem with today’s (and most) B.C. is that the drawing does absolutely nothing to enhance “the joke.” You might as well just write the text and not even bother with the drawing. This is true, e.g., of all the category-rock episodes. Get Fuzzy is funny even without the text. Death to B.C.! (Too soon?)

    Speaking of Death To. While driving to/from work, I listen to courses on CD; the current one’s about the history of Rome. I learned today that there was a Roman senator who ended every speech to the Senate with “Death to the Carthigineans!” I figured he’d fit in here just fine.

  94. Buck Ripsnort
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    Depressingly enough, I’ve had the same sammich situation as E Loper from TDIET. BUT it’s not the crusty bread that’s the villain, it’s the damned cheese/sauce/various meats glueing the margoing thing together. Yes, you can tear it apart, but not without spilling hot goo all over your newly dry-cleaned suit. Scaduto, not having eaten publically since 1954, probably forgot all about that part.

  95. Uncle Lumpy
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    #93 Dean -

    F’n Carthaginians! Salt in their fields is too good fer ‘em, sez I!

  96. exelizabeth
    April 19th, 2007 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    Have you ever seen snail mating? Oh, what, has Mark Trail not covered that?

    I just mention it because, nature fact of the day, snails mate using an apparatus that looks exactly like the chunk of what is supposed to be bread connecting the two halves of the sandwich in TDIET.

  97. Ubiq
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    I have to think that the B.C. Laugh Generating Unit 4000 will easily triumph over it’s Archiefied counterpart. At times, the latter machine will just decide to forego a punchline in favor of drawing Betty or Veronica in skimpy clothes (well, as skimpy as the comic will allow at any rate) and call it a day. The B.C. Laugh-o-matic -4000 (it’s negative because it’s B.C.) doesn’t have the cheesecake option.

    Wow, this FBoW storyline just gets more and more depressing as it becomes more and more obvious that nobody in this family besides Jim gives a rat’s ass about April.

  98. Anson Pants
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    I bet Warren Zevon wouldn’t be complaining about that sandwich

  99. Dean Booth
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    #97 Ubiq. Not only does B.C. not have the cheesecake option, it doesn’t even have the drawing option.

  100. Islamorada Girl
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    Someone with PhotoShop skills could really have a lot of fun with Diver Dan’s flying rug and beard.

  101. Fried Froid w/ Squid
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:12 pm [Reply]

    FOOB – Great going John, saying “get new stuff” to your wife, is like saying “free food & beer” to your plugger buddies…

    Gil Thorp – Stop complaining about the lack of plot and weird drawing. The real reason for Gil Thorp is getting suggestive dialog in front of the American public without notice.
    .
    “With Ted Pearce, Jimmy Hughes, and John Wisely around the horn.”

    ..That’s gotta be something Dingo knows about..

    Finker Wunkybean – My dad finished his last show when a guest shot him dead…. duh! It wasn’t his tenth to last show? Oh, he wasn’t a cartoonist, my bad.

    RMMD – Rex grew a backbone in the last month? Who woulda thought?

    TDIET – Yo Loopie, tell your waitress you’d like one of those new things called a “knife”. They’re supposed give you one anyway.

  102. Dean Booth
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:13 pm [Reply]

    #100 I-Girl, Here’s a screensaver from earlier today.

  103. Harold
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    Looks to me like today’s B.C. was assembled from stock art. That rock could just as easily say “SHOW ME” (or was that always some other character?), and the dialogue could be completely different (but still unfunny).

  104. Lettuce
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    You know, I want to throw some love to Jeffy here. Maybe the next panel is of Jeffy actually changing the channel, and turning to his sister and saying “It was a combo cellphone/remote you cretin” and then the trumpet makes that “wanhhh wanhhhh” loser sound.

  105. commodorejohn
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    #97 – You know, I could totally go for some Cute Chick cheesecake, but I don’t know that Hart ever indulged his audience in that regard.

  106. tybeedawg
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    Clambake-alooza 2007

    Featuring what”evah” the hell April’s band is named, and granpa on vocals.

    umm, was that too much?

  107. Gabe
    April 19th, 2007 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    Phoebe: MARK TRAIL IS NOT A DAMN PARK RANGER HES A JOURNALIST

    I know it doesn’t make any more sense. But I will fight for the truth!

  108. Trilobite
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:09 pm [Reply]

    #87 – RedLion:

    I really don’t think “I never get nervous when I shoot someone” is meant to be an especially badass line. I mean, compared to the self-aggrandizing majesty that was “Do you think I am frightened by scum such as you?” (complete with the same superhero-like “bring it” gesture the hooker used a few weeks back, no less!), I think the writer means for us to accept Cedric’s lack of nervousness as a blunt statement of fact. It’s hardly the most ridiculous thing that the past month’s worth of Judge Parker has asked us to accept.

    Like all Canadians, Cedric isn’t nervous when he shoots someone. He’s just frightfully polite and self-effacingly apologetic about it.

  109. Bill_S
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    TDIET: As a resident of Cleveland, I would like to apologize to all of humanity for my city-mate E. Loper. His lame submission to Scaduto resulted in the horror before us.

  110. WarOfTheBees
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:19 pm [Reply]

    I think those helium balloons are going to be used for an after hours party at good ole’ Apartment 3G. Cue the Allman Brothers!

  111. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    Also, is Sam actually packing up already-inflated helium balloons to take to their next party? Margo is an awful thrifty party planner.
    Hey, you’ve never seen her rehydrating the dried up patches of punch left at the bottom of the bowl. The lady’s serious,

  112. Krazy Kat
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    Now this is the Josh and the CC that I came to know and love–Six–SIX comics in the deck–deal ‘em out, lay on a paragraph of good thick snark and off to the next one. This is a true feast.

  113. Ferd Berfel
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    #93 Dean Booth – That was Cato the Elder.

    He wouldn’t like Gil Thorp either.

  114. reader-who-posts
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:49 pm [Reply]

    DT: Worst trash talk ever!

    MT: Mark’s fists are so powerful that they can stop global warming.

    Pluggers: I call bullshit! Everyone knows pluggers also like those girlie movies on Cinemax late at night. And the Beverly Hillbillies movie.

  115. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:49 pm [Reply]

    #74, TFQ,
    If puberty never got below Dan’s lip, it raises the question of how he got a girlfriend. But now I must drop that question for the sake of my sanity.

  116. Frank Parsnip
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    Howcum every time you send a sandwich back to the chef because it’s not cut all the way through, it is delivered back to you with smelly, runny mayonaise on top.

  117. Wirrrn
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    BC- Today’s lame “joke” has done the impossible- it made me MISS JOHNNY HART. I feel a strange combination of wistfulness and self-loathing

  118. Sabrechick
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:16 pm [Reply]

    Pink Haired Girl (#212 previous post)

    We have another fencer on the board? YAY!!

    Where do you fence?

  119. Cerebus
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail’s fists can fix the hole in the ozone layer

  120. Cerebus
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    I fear Mark Trail, for as a bearded man, he knows the evil that lurks in my heart and will send his Mighty Fists-of-Justice ™ to subdue me and cause otherwise non-speaking portions of my body to talk.

  121. Dactyl
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    Erm, in the Mark Trail retrospective, were those all the same hillbillies? I have been reading this strip daily for more than two years now, and I honestly can’t tell or remember. I guess if I’m going to continue to read it, I shouldn’t be so hung up on things like “separate storylines” and “discernible characters.”

  122. Blondie
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    MT: Best Mark Trail EVER!!! I love the way that Dan’s wig and beard are in the same positions as if they’d actually been on his face. It seems that instead of knocking Dan’s faux hair off, Mark has knocked Dan’s head out from underneath. Now those are some powerful fists of fury.
    TDIET: The only reason I read this strip is so I can use the awesome acronym (T-diet). Even with its usually horrible grammar the double “Howcum” and “why oh why” is overkill.
    A3G: Ah Margo Margo Margo. The catty, back-stabbing, pushy and now delusional bitch of Apartment 3G. We don’t even need the rest of the cast.

  123. Blondie
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    A3G: While all eyes are on Margo at her most psychotic yet, we seem to be forgetting poor Luann. She can’t live on paint fumes forever!

  124. Teem
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    I would love to see Mark Trail vary his right fist of justice with a left foot to the scrotum for truth.
    That’s always good for a laugh.

  125. Some Guy Here
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    Today’s TDIET made my head explode.

    Figuratively, of course, as evidenced by the fact that I’m still alive to type this post. But seriously, this is bizarre, petty, and bizarrely petty even for TDIET, which of course in turn supports Josh’s claim that it is indeed the most pettiest TDIET in history.

    And being 116 comments down nobody’s gonna read this, so I can be as unnecessarily wordy as I want! MWHAHAHAHAHA, O-O-OH YEAH-H!

  126. commodorejohn
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    #123 – Of course we’re forgetting Luann. She’s the character who can make even posession and eventual asphyxiation by the ghost of a painter seem boring and over-wordy. I don’t think even Tommie could do that. How could we not forget her?

  127. Charles
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    For a day, Josh should do a recap in the voice of MW’s Vera:
    - I wish TDIET would make sense…. (since my life doesn’t!)
    - Why is Spider-Man so stupid? (Like my life?)
    - I hope the women in Judge Parker don’t get hurt… (Because I sure did, in a past life…)
    - Toni should never be with Brad, it’ll just bring pain. (Pain, like the pain in my heart!)
    - (I understand how Mark Trail feels… I know how it is to have your life turned upside-down forever!)
    - *sigh* Whenever I read the Lockhorns, I think of my life… So empty and lifeless.

    Wait a minute… That’d be too sad! No wonder Mary Worth’s been such an Aldo lately… They came up with the Chronically-Depressed Vera and they have to over-compensate for her illness! “Look, Mary will bake you food until you PRY OPEN YOUR COLD DARK SOUL!”

    Sorry.

  128. Tomcat
    April 19th, 2007 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    What, you’d prefer Toni be with that muscle-bound behemoth named Dirk, who once called her his ‘property’, and was supposedly full of fun and excitement, over Brad, the thickheaded and sloppy, but softhearted, fearless, and devoted firefighter?

  129. Marion Delgado
    April 19th, 2007 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    The sandwich is made of Delicatanium.

  130. Marion Delgado
    April 19th, 2007 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    MikeM: You’re being awfully hard on Brad. He’s never ever talked to a real live girl, except his sister, and a lot of beatings and cold showers have cured him of those fantasies. Since theirs is a Christian home, he’s never been allowed to read girlie mags. So how, exactly, is fantasy Tony (based on a billboard he saw plus his most feminine little male friend in sixth grade) SUPPOSED to proceed? and to WHAT? Brad knows it’d be exciting if she did “something” but he doesn’t know what that something is.

    All he really knows is if he touches himself down there when thinking about it, he gets the cayenne pepper spray again.

  131. King Folderol
    April 19th, 2007 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    MT – Did we really expect any less from a Mark Trail villain than an incredibly bad wig and fake beard? I’m surprised that the Mark Trail baddies don’t just leave a trail of bread crumbs for Mark to follow. It would save us plenty of time, and give us plenty more of the juicy fisticuffs that keep us coming back for more like the Pavlovian idiots that we are.

    A3G – Actually, those aren’t balloons. They’re giagantic Easter eggs that Sam carries around for good luck. Either that or he’s got three massive tumors growing out of his hand.

    By the way, talk about meaningless transitory dialogue. Any idiot could have told you that Sam was reacting to Margo’s news.

    FC – I give credit where credit is due. Most comics revel in the fact that adults are idiots and children are geniuses when it comes to technology and, if it weren’t for kids, the nukes’d be a’ flyin’ since we adults clearly have mush for brains when it comes to programming our clock radios. It’s almost refreshing to see that Jeffy is moderately brain dead and can’t tell a remote control from a cell phone.

  132. Mike Billips
    April 19th, 2007 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    Jeffy knows perfectly well how to use a cell phone. He’s dialing child protective services to report that beatdown he took from the rest of the Keane super predators the other day.

  133. King Folderol
    April 19th, 2007 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    TDIET – As stupid as the premise is here, I must especially take issue with E. Loper of Cleveland, OH. Does he lurk in restaurants watchng this scenario play out over and over again? Even if Loper somehow works in a restaurant, I still find it more than a little creepy that he spies on customers while they’re eating their sandwiches, waiting for that delicious moment when they’re about to eat their sandwich and WHAMMO! CRUST ISN’T QUITE CUT RIGHT!!! BET YOU FEEL STUPID!

  134. Ricia
    April 19th, 2007 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    About “They’ll Do It Everytime”, the reason sandwiches aren’t cut all the way through is because it’s easier to wrap them if they aren’t. They don’t fall apart as easily. I worked in a deli for three years and unless the customer asked, we never cut the sandwich all the way through.

    Oh and I know it’s not necessary to answer to the moronic whinings of comic strips but this just bugged me.

  135. Trilobite
    April 20th, 2007 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    I’ve been trying to avoid commenting on this TDIET, but I can hold my silence no longer:

    I hope to god that if I am ever unable to tear, cut, or bite through a tiny segment of bread in order to correct the grotesquerie of Partially Conjoined Deli Sandwich Halves, that some merciful soul will gently cradle my head in one gentle and loving hand, while the other hand adminsters a swift, sharp blow with a small sledgehammer of some variety. Right between the goddamn eyes, dropping me like a meat-animal in the field. You’ll be doing me a favor, I promise.

    Seriously, E. Loper: if you’re really having trouble with this, start packin’ a knife of your own. Or maybe a hacksaw, acetylene torch, or guillotine, since apparently the bread in Cleveland is enriched with titanium alloys.

  136. The Eleusinian
    April 20th, 2007 at 12:15 am [Reply]

    I’m waiting for Margo’s response to being dumped, which will basically consist of a re-enactment of Fatal Attraction. Watch for the part where Eric finds Katy’s head in a pot, boiling on the stove.

  137. dorko
    April 20th, 2007 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    sigh. so margo is just a ‘scrub’?

  138. Analyzer
    April 20th, 2007 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    Good God, eat your Wheaties, TDIET Guy Who Stole Elmer Fudd’s hat. Stephen Hawking could separate the two halves of a mostly-cut sandwich.

  139. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    April 20th, 2007 at 12:44 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail once punched a man so hard his soul fell out. This is where ghosts come from.

  140. Frank Parsnip
    April 20th, 2007 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    Another BC “ask Curls” moment during the transition to the BC v2.0 program:

    Fat Broad: What’s a subtle way to get even with a boyfriend?

    Curls: Castrate him. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    ——————

    Next strip, program still stuck:

    Panel 1:
    Curls: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Panel 2:

    Curls: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  141. Captain Thunder
    April 20th, 2007 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    On Luanne: The last two days, I was pretty much in line with everyone, thinking, “Great, way to go, Brad, you’re blowing it.”

    Having today’s strip (4/20), my feelings towards poor Brad have changed. I’m pretty sure he knows what’s going on; I’m also pretty sure he knows Toni’s bad news, no matter how great she looks. I’m also pretty sure she’s screwing with him in a major way; if so, Toni has suddenly become the most awesomest character in the strip. From Toni Daytona: Unobtainable Fantasy Cipher to Toni Daytona: Heinous Sadistic Bitch: She Will Cut You, Tiffany.

    I’m also pretty sure that the next few strips will see her shitting on Brad’s heart. If we see Luanne make the shift from lame vaguely derivative FOOB rip-off into full-on brutal emotional warfare, I will read this strip for the rest of my life.

  142. Hobbes Fan
    April 20th, 2007 at 3:23 am [Reply]

    This entry confirms what I’ve long suspected: TDIET is Seinfeld for rageaholics.

  143. insolenttomato
    April 20th, 2007 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    TDIET is nothing if not consistent, which I find oddly comforting. Even though she’s barely able to squeeze her fiber-optic haired way into the panel, the ubiquitous TDIET “innocent bystander” is present. Also, as per normal, her expression as she regards the human drama unfolding before her is less “this guy can’t tear his sandwich apart” and more “this guy is publicly sodomizing a puppy.”

  144. Buck Ripsnort
    April 20th, 2007 at 8:09 am [Reply]

    4/20 MT: Having punched the Beard of Evil off his friend’s face, Mark turns to go home. His job is done. Why bring cops or insurance company lawyers into things when he can make a cool million by walking away?

  145. Hogen Mogen
    April 20th, 2007 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    #142 – Hobbes – “TDIET is a Seinfeld for rageaholics.”

    That was clever!

  146. JB
    April 20th, 2007 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Not only is Cedric cool under pressure, he’s also ambidextrous: In panel 1 he’s holding the gun in his right hand, but in panel 3 it’s in his left hand. That’s one calm butler!

  147. Barking Spider Brewery
    April 20th, 2007 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    All week, Sam in A3G has been employing the circling tactic used by animals who are smaller than their prey. It’s an effective pack-hunting technique. Sadly, being all alone, he’ll soon be reduced to a steaming pile of dung.

    Poor fellow.

  148. gkl
    April 20th, 2007 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    MW: Oh, Mary. Vera just dropped a nanny reference on you and you only respond with a thought-bubble question mark? When you can’t even muster an interrobang for your own plots, what chance do the rest of us have?

  149. Teem
    April 20th, 2007 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Okay, so I was thinking about Jackelrod and Mark Trail on my way in to work this morning and my conclusion was drugs
    –mind altering substances.
    –consumed in massive quantities by Jackelrod in some for of quasi-religious rite.
    That is the only reasonable explainable for the giant talking animals and tiny chatty body parts. That has to be the way he really perceives the world.
    The only other explanation is that he randomly flings speech balloons onto his comic strip like some species of poo-fling monkey.
    And that just doesn’t seem reasonable to me. He is, after all, a professional cartoonist.
    So random speech ballooning is not reasonable.

    Oh and I love Neddy’s look of horror in panel two of Judge Parker–lovely.

  150. Gal Friday
    April 20th, 2007 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    #146 It’s not just that he’s ambidextrous–he’s tossing the gun from hand to hand with nonchalant menace.

  151. Gal Friday
    April 20th, 2007 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    MT: I like how Dan put a fake mustache over his real mustache–that must of stuck out 2 feet!

  152. --MC
    April 20th, 2007 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    PUNCH! Now Dan will have the mark of Trail’s racoon ring on his face to remind him of this moment!

  153. zeeba
    April 20th, 2007 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    #141 Captain Thunder–well put!! That would be the ONLY possible scenario to keep this lame strip from getting lamer.

    4/19:
    BC: In the olden days, (well even 5 years ago), Curls would have NEVER laughed at his own jokes.
    IIRC, Curls was based on the stand up comics of the 1950s and 1960s who appeared on Ed Sullivan all the time. In fact Jack Carter ( http://www.autographedtoyou.com/Jack-Carter.htm )
    looks a little like Curls. The Curls of old would have let his jokes sit with the reader a little while, who then would finally say, “oh yeah, I get it.”

    JP: HOW did Cedric know where Abbey and Neddy got lost? Abbey’s cell phone wasn’t working in the bowels of the Paris subway system. He must’ve put a homing device in Neddy’s beret.

    PBS: What? No comments on the cute little zeeba and croc couple?? Guess Who’s Coming To (for) Dinner?

  154. liam
    April 20th, 2007 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    Although his gripe about the sandwich crust may be petty, his anger is raging with such intensity that it’s causing a nearby ketchup bottle to violently eject it’s contents.

    Also, do sumo wrestlers go around tearing up sandwiches? Is this something that happens all the time and I just don’t know about it?

  155. rich
    April 20th, 2007 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    75: I could relate to the Sandwichgate scandal, too — though in my case it’s poorly cut cheese quesadillas at Taco Bell.

    (Mmmm…fake Mexican food…)

  156. Steveâ„¢
    April 20th, 2007 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    “Howcum” is spelled such that I don’t think the white stuff between the sandwich halves is crust.

    This, very much unfortunately, hurts the inclusion of Sumo wrestlers in the joke… but that aspect of the original premise was on particularly thin ice to begin with.

  157. SamWibatt
    April 20th, 2007 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    A new day – and good grief, Archie seems to be expanding its horizons of skimpy-clothedness for its female characters. Betty appears to be completely nekkid from the waist down! Something is going wrong with the Archie Laugh Generating Unit – maybe it caught a virus from the B.C. machine.

  158. Hostrauser
    April 20th, 2007 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    Next up on “Mark Trail,” Mark Trail joins up with Chuck Norris and they take over the world, droppin’ fools like ducks from Nintendo.

  159. Anonymous
    April 20th, 2007 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    BC – I wonder why this wasn’t presented as a “You Know” strip: “You know you have body odor when your friends wear clothespins on their noses.” I’d like to think that they’ve retired that vehicle as a tribute to Hart, and that his gravestone has a little pedal and a wisdom-emitting slot.

  160. Marion Delgado
    April 20th, 2007 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    MT:

    “Dan, Dan, Dan. If a man who’s been outwitted repeatedly by rodents and waterfowl and the only woman in his state even stupider than he is figured this out, how far did you think you’d really get?

    Wherever your destination is, I bet the cops are waiting with the producers of ‘America’s Stupidest Crooks.’ Hell, Dan, they’re probably printing up T-shirts already.”

  161. Foobar
    April 20th, 2007 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    108- That is true. A Canadian myself, (and from the mean streets of Scarborough), I am forced to shoot someone on an almost weekly basis. Obviously I have long outgrown any nervousness this act might engender. Anyways, here’s the police transcript from last week’s:

    Me: So I says to the guy “Oh yeah, eh? Well, I’m awfully sorry but I’m afraid I might have to shoot you for that comment.” Then he says, quite intolerably, “Take off, you hoser.” Greatly taken aback I replied “Well, alright then. I hope this won’t inconveniece you at all and I wish you a pleasant trip to the morgue.” We exchanged pleasantries and then I shot him.”
    Police: So, you shot him, then.
    Me: Yes, I’m afraid I did.
    Police: Well, I hate to tell you this but we’ll have to arrest you.
    Me: Must you, really? There’s a news programme being filmed about a kilometre away at the theatre which I promised I’d attend.”
    Police: Well, alright, but you ought not to do that again.
    Me: Beauty!

  162. Foobar
    April 20th, 2007 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    142- “She had man-hands. AAAAI HATE HER SO MUCH! I JUST EAGARBLE.”

  163. C. Augusto Valdés
    April 20th, 2007 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    Puting HAHAHAHA after the punchline is a serious defilement to Johnny Hart’s memory.

    Who can I sue to end this torment?

  164. Dean Booth
    April 20th, 2007 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Dtm: Now that’s menacing! NSFW

    When asked how he chose which stones would go where in the fence, the stone mason said, “The stones tell me.” — That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

  165. iburl
    April 20th, 2007 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    Skunks are stinky. Ha Ha Ha Ha

  166. T. Chicana
    April 20th, 2007 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    I think Vera is getting ready to spill the beans about Von, the millionaire’s playground, her entry-level advertising position, her droopy ponytail–everything. Mary’s lemon meringue pie has made her nostalgic for her nanny…thought bubble… (the only one who ever loved her!)

  167. RoskoP
    April 20th, 2007 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: EVERYTHING new? Hmmm…who else do I know that has a mustache?

  168. Sly Robbie
    April 20th, 2007 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Mark Trail can return home via Foobsville, and knock that pornstache right offa Granthony’s face!

  169. MrP
    April 21st, 2007 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    That “Ha ha ha ha” at the end of B.C. more than proves that the strip was done by a soulless computer. Or maybe they did it with a speech-recognition program, and the sarcastic laugh from a passersby was put in the strip by accident.

    What saddens me is that it doesn’t take much to make these strips halfway funny. Instead of just making a joke that the illustration doesn’t add anything at all to, just put a positively gigantic clothespin on Curls, and have them both stand there mutely. Please.

    Oh, but wait! That would require them to DRAW it! Horror! Incongruousness!

  170. Cathy
    April 30th, 2007 at 6:19 am [Reply]

    Your comments gave me some much needed laughs this morning. I love them all, but I especially loved the ones about the facial hair = automatic bad guy in Mark Trail. Even as a kid, I realized that if a character had facial hair, he was UP TO NO GOOD. I soon realized that the artist really only knew how to draw a few characters…..every man looks like Mark, except he’ll have a beard, or worse yet, LONG HAIR FLIPPED UP IN THE BACK. You could always tell really bad people, because they would sit around with martini glasses in their hands while they plotted something dastardly, that of course Mark would always catch them in.

    And it’s no wonder they keep little Rusty around the cabin (Rusty with a freakishly big head, in some drawings) — Mark is never home long enough to get Cherry pregnant himself.

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