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Soapy developments!

Apartment 3-G, 8/2/11

So it’s becoming increasingly clear that Lu Ann’s ex-fiance’s wife is cousins with Lady Gaga (actual name: Stefani Germanotta), who will somehow be convinced to take time off from her fulfilling and lucrative career as a musician/provocateur to engage in some antics for little or no money at a middlebrow art gallery whose idea of a great show involved Lu Ann’s dumb paintings of ferns. This bizarre development fills me with trepidation over the A3G artist’s stubborn refusal to depict clothing that’s interesting or different from the norm in any way. Even if we just stay with the strip’s standard only-show-’em-above-the-shoulders technique, how will the art grapple with Lady Gaga’s well-known propensity for wacky hats?

Mark Trail, 8/2/11

Mark survived a vicious goose attack and discovered just why that old goose was so cranky: it had a heavy gold band around one of its legs! Look for Lost Forest to suddenly be overrun by grizzled old prospectors, attempting to strike it rich and mine the local goose population for precious metal.

IMPORTANT GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: Thanks to the many, many people who sent me definitive proof that Crankshaft is the 21st century’s greatest monster!

238 responses to “Soapy developments!”

  1. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    Crime and Injustice

    Marmaduke… is wearing a court-ordered electronic monitoring device on his ankle because he’s under house arrest!

    Plus… it seems fitting that the killer-who-shall-not-be-named-here appears as the butt of a joke in today’s strip-that-shall-not-be-named-here! (Or is that considered “cruel and unusual punishment”?)

  2. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    @Bob Weber Jr. (#y179): The daily run is already over.

    Which leaves us with even fewer Oh, Brother! strips to enjoy than I thought.

    @Mr. O’Malley (#y196): Poteet is the Queen of the Last Remaining Unspoiled Bits of the Lone Prairie and also General Nature Consultant.

    As a self-styled King of the Wild Frontier Gopher Tortoises, I can dig that!

  3. Elmo
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    How did Doc get the band off the goose’s leg without breaking the band? Oh right, he just cut the foot off because he can always get Jack to sew it back on with the magic Elrod ink pen.

  4. tbiggs
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    “Who the heck is Nina’s cousin?” “I just told you, moron, can’t you even remember the last thing I said?”

    That IS INTERESTING!

  5. Effluvius Erratus
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Every time Margo looks out from the panel with those diazepam eyes, my heart just melts.

  6. Lorne
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    “That is interesting!” says Doc in the middle panel of Mark Trail.
    The weird emphasis must mark his growing impatience with Mark yammering around about golden bands while a perfectly delicious goose is sitting right there.
    “You should take that and get it analyzed! I’ll stay here and pre-heat the oven!

  7. Dennis Jimenez
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    MT – I think Mark molested the Gypsy King of the Geese – bad Mojo, Mark – I think you’re gonna start sprouting feathers….

    A3G – Who the heck is Mills, Who the heck is Margo, Who the heck is Tommie, Who the heck is Frank Bolle, Who the heck is the North America Syndicate? It all sounds like it falls under RICO to me….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  8. Doctor Handsome
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    How long until the goose starts mumbling to itself about “tricksy hobbitses?”

  9. Mardou Fox
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    MT: When I saw Doc’s tiny, tiny hand holding up that band of gold! in panel 1, I giggled. The goose looks pretty happy in panel 2, or is that a decoy? And will someone please tell Mark to change his shirt, perhaps to a nice woodsy green or brown? I’m getting awfully tired of that raspberry chemise of his.

  10. outsidecounsel
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    Cue Freda Payne’s 1970 hit, “Band of Gold”. This explains a lot about Mark’s shame marriage actually….

  11. Jocelyn Knockersbury
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark is flustered by a wildlife tag on a goose. I… I don’t know what to say about that. I hope it turns out that’s not a federal tag but rather the custom-made all-gold tag of a wildlife-loving Goldfinger type goose fetishist.

    MW: Mary is going to alienate her audience by talking about tips openly in public. Tacky! The over-70s just won’t tolerate it.

    And the less said about Juggs Parker: The Smugening, the better.

  12. Mardou Fox
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    @Doctor Handsome (#8): It would be delightful to see Rusty topple into the Crack of Doom!

  13. nescio
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Please, please, please let this be a sniper’s viewpoint.

  14. Scott Bot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    JP – Pretty soon they’re gonna be a new internet website: Judge Parker facts. ‘Judge Parker doesn’t wear a watch, he decides what time it is.

    MW – It’s real sweet that Mary has decided to befriend Ed Grimley’s girlfriend, I must say.

    Pluggers – So he’s gonna spend half the day cutting a hole in the medicine cabinet and wall just so he can save a couple steps to the wastebasket? Makes sense to me.

  15. Mibbitmaker
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    9CL: No! More like, “GO AWAY!”

    MT:
    The bad: Gold smuggling! When the hell will this strip be about nature, not contrived crime? And even more important: How did Doc get his hand so deformed? Does Dick Locher pencil for Elrod now?
    The good: Freda Payne!!! (#3, May 30, 1970)

    Phantom: Mr. Middle-of-the-Night is at it again!

    A3G: First they have a Jack Davis, now someone named Gaines. Does Trusiani have a furshlugginer MAD fetish or something?

    DT: I already mentioned John Belushi. Someone else noticed La Bamba. YET IT’S ALL I CAN SEE IN THESE STRIPS!

    FW: Now he’s a snob, too?! I hate the idea of a “Lisa’s Story” video game as well, but for very different reasons! (unless it’s very, very satirical)

    JP: Funky Winkerbean is bad enough! Do I have to start hating Judge Parker too?

  16. Cloudbuster
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#15): For some reason I find JP’s smugness amusing, but Les’s smugness beyond irritating.

    The expression on Les’s face makes me want to smack him. No, Les, they’re not going to make a “Lisa’s Story” video game, but there’s such a thing as a standard contract template, you special snowflake.

    JP, meanwhile, just makes me want to go to NYC and fall off a building so I can get the key to the city! Because that happens!

  17. Big Bad Dave
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    Uh-oh, Mark is way out of his depth. That inscription actually reads:

    Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

  18. Mardou Fox
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    @outsidecounsel (#10): Cherry owns this song at LoFo’s Thursday night karaoke party.
    “We kissed after taking vows/ But that night on our honeymoon, /We stayed in separate rooms/ I wait in the darkness of my lonely room/ Filled with sadness, filled with gloom/ Hoping soon/ That you’ll walk back through that door /And love me like you tried before…”

  19. Kristian
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: A tip helps with medical bills? So Mary had the gold plated lobster and tipped two million percent? I guess so, since in the second panel Mary has got her halo.

    Pickles: That lady has really specific tastes.

    Hi and Lois: You’ve done “texting.” Everyone has done “texting.” It’s not funny. STFU! FOAD! IMHO.

    Shoe: Two perverts hanging around the links waiting for a lady golfer to pass. Good times! Missing an “s” in the last panel, but otherwise OK.

    Lockhorns: “I mean, everyone in this strip looks pretty much identical, right?”

    Marvin: “Commercials … for diapers!”

    Dennis the Menace: Sorry Mr Wilson, The Lord of Darkness does not grant wishes that involve his own servants.

    Marmaduke: Murder is a misdemeanor where Marmaduke lives. (Let me be the first of many to mention the alleged link between ankle monitors and Spider-Man!)

    Garfield: Looking at Odie’s ears in the second panel, are we sure that’s his tongue Garfield is manipulating?

    Hägar the Horrible: You know, the shell game works a lot better with three “shells.”

    Blondie: Dagwood is Kramer, only obsessed with food. Sounds about right. Also, “Google it”? Why would that … I don’t think … It’s just that in 1991 … Never mind, I’m too tired.

    Slylock Fox: Tomorrow’s strip will list that “911″ number and demonstrate the Heimlich manouvre. (Dang, it’s steam from the coffee. I thought the horse in the sports pages was talking. Hey, they talk to me.)

    Funky Winkerbean: Yes, you moron, the “video game.” What, were you hoping we’d wait for teledildonics? I mean, that is essentially what you’re doing to your dead wife, isn’t it?

    Pluggers: So an anthropomorfic animal, presumably with hair/fur all over, is shaving. I got nothing.

    Crankshaft: Punny, yes, but not quite ‘Shaft enough, let me fix that for you: “The salmonella-infected yolk”. There.

    @Jimbo (#Y206):
    Time for a list of Mark Trail facts?

  20. Mardou Fox
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    @Big Bad Dave (#17): He’s going to have to throw the ring into the fire before Doc can read those elvish letters!

  21. Voshkod
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    ‘I cannot read the fiery letters,’ said Mark in a quavering voice.
    ‘No,’ said Doc, ‘but I can. The letters are Gander, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Lost Forest, which I will not utter here. But what’s really weird is that some of the words are randomly bolded!’

  22. Irrischano
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    I think we should turn today’s Mark Trail into a Slylock Fox-type puzzle – Mark Trail and his blue-shirted friend have a heavy, gold-colored band. Mark knows what the band is made out of, but his blue-shirted friend isn’t sure. Do you know what the heavy, gold-colored band is made of? (Answer below)

  23. animus
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    So they suspend the band in water, and if it weighs the same as a goose, it’s a fake?

  24. Jasper
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    MT- Rusty is ONCE AGAIN abandoned as Mark chases down the gold band from “that old goose.” Doc’s sole contribution to this strip is being able to tell the difference between a “normal bird band” and a heavier band. And as soon as Cherry-which she probably still has-returns from the hair dresser, Mark’s commitment phobia to wife and family will kick in and he will be out of there.

    MW- Tuna melt and coffee at local greasy spoon- $7.98. A generous tip from a senior citizen (who are notoriously cheap tippers) of 25%- $2.00. Medical bills from a dead family member- in excess of $10,000. I don’t get the math where Mary’s generous tip will help defer Gina’s medical bills.

    RMMD- Who’s doing the talking in the last panel. It appears to be the principals ear, which would explain his surprised look which is indicated by the surprise lines around his head.

  25. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    9CL – I don’t think the idea of a dirty-talking nun is nearly as funny or exciting to the general population as it obviously is to Brooke. And if Monty is who he says he is, doesn’t that make him her boss?

    JP – Bad enough that this whole contrived plot is a festering pile of manure, do we really need to roll around in it for the next week?

    FW – It is standard contract language, they option hundreds of these things every month, you narcissist. Noone involved in the project has even read the book. I’d love for there to be a fourth panel where a thug with a t-shirt that reads “Reality” shows up and starts smacking Les around until his expression from panel 3 goes away.

    Second best ending – they actually film Lisa’s Story, with a tweeest! Lisa’s husband is not mopey, paunchy Les but is in fact a talking pie! The film builds to an emotional climax where Masky McDeath must decide between Lisa and the pie – who will live and who will die!!

  26. Edmund Schluessel
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    How will the artist cope?

    That depends…is he a hat man?

  27. Darryl Heine
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    NOT MENTIONED:

    ARCHIE 1990: How do you define “Midlife crisis” for real?

    FAMILY CIRCUS BOSTON 1988 VISITED IN FLASHBACK VIA JEFF AND BIL KEANE: Billy wants to go to Harvard University? I bet he couldn’t be in a remake of “Harvard Lampoon’s Animal House”!

  28. Bootsy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure The Ghost will gently place E. Chesley. on the porch, ring the bell, light him on fire and run away giggling as E. Chesley’s grandparents frantically stomp him out.

  29. Ellie
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    Holy Crap, how big a tip did Mary leave??? $50,000???

  30. Liam
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    MT-Mark’s discovered the One Ring. He must quickly leave home to get rid of it in a volcano.

    JP-Of course he didn’t suffer a bruise he landed on the net. If he landed on the street and lived that would be a miracle.

    MW-I am impressed. I thought the waitress would be Mary’s prey but at the moment Mary is the prey.

    A3G-It is another day of half spoken sentences and incomplete thoughts which will hold us over for another day of half spoken sentences and incomplete thoughts.

  31. Dennis Jimenez
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    @Bootsy (#28): The Ghost Who Gently Places E. Chesley on the Porch*

    *In Bandar Tongue

  32. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:28 am [Reply]

  33. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    MW – Ok, I see what is going on. If the waitress starts calling Mary “Queenie”, the gig will be up.

    Gina: “Mary, I just heard some great news! There is a new treatment available that just might save Mom! Oh, if only I could afford the $15,000 it will cost …”

    Mary: “I thought your mom was dead?”

    Gina: “Yeah. … Funny thing about that … You see, umm …. Oh yeah! It turns out, she wasn’t actually dead, the hospital just mixed up the charts! She is alive and well – well, not well, but alive and in dire need of the $20,000 operation.”

    Mary: “I thought it was a $15,000 procedure?”

    Gina: “You just leave the thinking to me, Queenie. You focus on how you are going to raise the money. Did I mention that the hospital only takes cash? Something about the insurance billing, I didn’t quite follow ….”

  34. Mark B
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    MW: I’m thinking Gina has more to tell Mary. Real pony tails don’t end is an impossible terminus where all of the ends are perfectly lined up. if you cut your hair that way, it would be completely messed up the next time you retied the pony tail. It’s clearly a wig, and Gina is recovering from Chemo. Either Mary is going to have to leave lots more big tips or we are about to see a Mary Worth/Funky Winkerbean crossover. Watch out Cayla, Gina is about to give you real competition.

  35. Ned Ryerson
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    I want to play the Lisa’s Story videogame Grand Theft Cancer II: Metastasis. It’s better than the videogame inspired by Michael Patterson’s Stone Season Prarie Justice: The Revenge of Sheilaugh Shaugnessy

    MT: He went TO JARED!

    MW: This is officially insane. Karen Moy is some kind of Rain Man.

    Doctor: Do you know how much a generous tip is?
    Karen Moy: ‘Bout a hundred dollars.
    Doctor: Karen, do you know how much a medical bills cost?
    Karen Moy: ‘Bout a hundred dollars.

  36. Lynn
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    Phantom: well, now we understand yesterday’s two-panel strip. The missing panel would have shown how the Phantom got off the horse without waking E. Chesley up, or dumping him off the horse. I think that might have taken several panels in itself, adn I’d love to have seen them.

  37. Little Guy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    MT: “Be…. sure…. to….. drink…. your….. Ovaltine…..”

  38. Dood
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker: Why did these two change seats? And, darn it, I wanted to see Sam’s spittake in the fourth panel.

  39. ScienceGiant
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    MT: Grizzled prospector sez, “Thar’s gold in them thar bills. Well, not bills, but feet. Actually, the ankle. Thar’s gold in them thar ankles.”

  40. Illustrator Steve
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    MT: Contrary to the fable of finding the goose that laid the golden egg it appears Mark Trail has found the goose that wore the goldern leg band.
    Maybe the inscription on the leg band reads, “To the one who is called Mark Trail; Cash this gold band in at the local Lost Forest gold buying store and use the money to finally take Cherry on a weekend vacation for dining and dancing to spend private personal time together for once, as opposed to running off and abandoning your family for months at a time like you usually do!”

  41. Mibbitmaker
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    @outsidecounsel (#10): Great minds think alike… and have great taste in music.

  42. Scott Bot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    FW – Forget the video game rights – you need to hold out for a portion of the ever lucrative breakfast food rights. I personally can’t wait to go to my local grocery store for a nice box of Lisa-O’s.

    ‘Fortified with 12 vitamins and iron. And cancer!’

  43. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    AD – Oh, these cavemen today, with their references that are too contemporary for me to get!

    Dennis – If you wanted your wish granted, you shouldn’t have tried to pretend you’re nine years old, Wilson. God doesn’t listen to liars.

    Family – Kid, when Billy goes to Harvard, you can have the Empire State Building.

  44. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Mark“Writing on this band of gold is kind of small… I think it says ‘Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Don’t you know that I wait
    In the darkness of my lonely room
    Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
    Hoping soon
    That you’ll walk back through that door
    And love me like you tried before…’”
    Curse you, outsidecounsel!

    Anyway, from the comments I’m seeing today, it’s not a goose at all. It’s a gandalf.

    @Droopy Says (#204): Darn name-droppers!

    @Darryl Heine (#27): Wrong Lampoon! (Don’t mind me. My dreams were dashed this morning, so I’m lashing out at random.)

  45. Dood
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Mark: “It says, ‘Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
    ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.’”

    Doc: “Careful, Mark, that language has never been spoken in Lost Forest before.”

  46. pugfuggly
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    MT: I’ll put out a prediction right now: there’s a gold smuggling ring up north that needs their product shipped to their criminal associates down south, so every fall they get a bunch of geese and attach…you know what? That’s too retarded to even finish explaining. Still, I doubt I’m too far off….

  47. Illustrator Steve
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    “Be…sure…to…drink…your…ovaltine!” @Little Guy (#37):

    Captain Midnight! With his Douglas Skyrocket along with his sidekick Ikibod Mudd (with two D’s”), who went by the nickname, “Ikky”.
    Were those old 1950′s Saturday morning TV shows great or what?!

    (Thanks for that GREAT flashback!)

  48. Mibbitmaker
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    Les Moore: “A video game?! How DARE you arrogantly exploit my wife’s death like that?! Don’t you know that’s MY job?!”

  49. Doctor Handsome
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    “That IS INTERESTING! You should focus all your attention on it, while I FIST this GOOSE!”

  50. But What Do I Know?
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    @Voshkod (#21): COTW Nominee!

  51. Esther Blodgett
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    JP: All I gotta say is, that toast has got a lot of damn butter on it by now.

    MT: That goose is adorable. Plus it tried to kill Mark. I love that goose.

    FW: Dear Mark Trail Goose: Please fly to Westview and attack Les Moore. Thank you.

    Pluggers: He’s a dog, right? WHY IS HE SHAVING?

  52. Greg
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    MT: The interior of the cabin is flesh toned. Either this is the perfect way for Mark and his Aryan buddies to blend in once the FBI raids their cabin, or Ed Gein used to own it and they got a really great deal.

  53. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    @Doctor Handsome (#49): HONK! AAAGGGHHH!

  54. Chip Whittle
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    6 Chix: Um…did I miss the part of grief that involves hiding remote controls? I feel like this should be less baffling than it is.

    Animal Crackers: Yeah, baby lion, if there’s one thing anyone notices about bees it’s how little time they spend hanging around beds of flowers.

    Dick Tracy: Um, cross-dressing Jay Leno pretending to be a nurse there? If you’re planting bombs in diapers you’re changing the babies wrong.

    Funky Winkerbean: It really, really pains me to say this, but Les actually has a fair question about his contract there, since it is weird to think of making a video game about Lisa’s desperate effort to escape Les into the hands of painful, prolonged death. But I still hate him for asking it.

    Have to figure Lisa’s Videogame would be kind of like playing Space Invaders, except the invaders are cancer cells, and you don’t have fortresses to hide behind, and you only have one life, and you can only fire your laser cannon one time, and it goes off-target where it hits a roadside gathering of Wally Winkerbeans.

  55. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    darnit.

    should be HONK! AHHHH!

  56. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    MW: I think that Liza knows exactly what she’s doing. If she keeps Mary coming in to the diner and leaving “a generous tip” each time—well, at 50 cents a day, she’ll have those medical bills paid off in, oh, a mere 100 years or so!

    RA: No connection to reality? Pretty funny, coming from someone whose art, dialogue, and situations have about as much connection to reality as Jeff Corey does when he thinks Mary will marry him.

    MT: Geese are known for being aggressive and for shitting on golf courses—and now that they’ve started to smuggle gold, they’ll be a triple threat!

    JP: Being accident prone can earn you the key to the city? Hell, if that’s the case, my key ring should be full by now.

  57. Mibbitmaker
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Curtis: “….uh…. Sir Issac Newton did it?…”

  58. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#y191):

    Looks like Gina’s mom did hers.

    Yes—from beyond the grave.

    @Little Guy (#37): No, that’s all wrong: Ralphie had a far more sophisticated intellect than Mark Trail does. (Now, if we’re talking about Randy, that’s different.)

  59. But What Do I Know?
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    MT — A bearded ne’er-do-well is probably using geese to smuggle gold into the country. . .

    MW — Looks like Karen Moy forgot to add “/sarcasm” to the waitress’s dialogue.

    A3G — I know using dialogue to advance the plot can be clumsy, but using it to not advance the plot is just stupid and boring.

    FC — Ha, ha–you won’t need a room then, Jeffy, because Hell will have frozen over.

    The Ghost Who Knocks — The Headmaster sighed. Would he never be rid of that E. Chesley kid? And after he paid those thugs good money to disappear the Poindexter! How many more times could he take the humiliation of losing to the Brainiac at chess?

  60. Ned Ryerson
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    Yes Doc, many of your normal bird bands are not that heavy, like say The Eagles or Counting Crows, but there are some bird bands that skew a bit more heavy like Swans or Budgie.

    That IS INTERESTING!

  61. teenchy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    Since no one has yet asked: Why does Tom Batiuk hate America?

  62. Droopy Says
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    The crossover madness continues in an unexpected pairing: Pearls Before Swine brings in a spawn-of-hell lawyer, while Reply All becomes self-aware with words about “oddly drawn” and “places I don’t recognize.”

  63. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    *sigh*

    there’s more.

    Real Bronies of Genius, Twilight P.I., Band of Bronies.

    The latter two are by the same poster that did Pony Bebop and Samurai Applejack, but these aren’t *quite* in the same league. enjoy, or not.

  64. Doug Puthoff
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    Gee, I thought the 21st Century’s greatest monster was Les Moore.

  65. Chip Whittle
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    Henry: See, this is why I don’t live in semi-urban villages of the 1920s. I want to walk places without being given the responsibility of exercising horses.

    Mandrake: You mean to say the gangsters caught in the middle of Mandrake’s illusion of a confetti storm failed to kill Mandrake? However is this twist of events possible, or even unknown to people who haven’t even read the strip? And why is there a squatting elephant in the control room?

    Mark Trail: Aw, isn’t it adorable? Mark’s found a fresh-laid Jackelrod Ball! He’s even reading its new-fledged copyright date!

    Pros and Cons: Think how much more fun Al Scaduto would be with this premise. “Criminal suspect Reeky won’t answer self-inciminating questions without his lawyer–so he gets a lawyer–who won’t let him answer self-incriminating questions anyway! Izzint it always the way?”

    Sam and Silo: If you wondered how Les Moore orders at a restaurant, now you know. If you wondered why Les Moore has never known the taste of un-spat-in food, you forgot he’s Les Moore.

    Slylock Fox: Looks like the colorizers couldn’t find all six differences and figured to slip one in on their own.

  66. TheDiva
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    MT: Hey, Mark found the Golden Legband! Now he’ll get a free tour of the whimsical world that is Billy Bonker’s Aviary!

    C’shaft: At least the angle is perfect for smacking Crankshaft on the back of the head.

    FW: Les, just stop right now. You didn’t write Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, Hunger Games, or even God-damn Twilight. You wrote Sentimental Cancer Story #612, and the one studio that has expressed interest in it doesn’t really care if they pay the couple thousand dollars for the option to you or to the author of Sentimental Cancer Story #613. If you don’t like the boilerplate contract they sent you, don’t sign it and move on. I’ll even allow you to smugly pat yourself on the back about how you “stuck to your guns” and “didn’t compromise your integrity,” because that will take much less time than watching you nitpick over every single clause you read.

    Luann: Uh-oh, he’s on to us!

    MW: Today’s installment only works if you read Gina’s lines as witheringly sarcastic. “Thank you so much for the 16% tip, Mary! That extra five cents will really help make a dent in the thousands of dollars left behind by my mother’s terminal cancer, to say nothing of the crippling emotional toll!” (Yes, I know sarcasm doesn’t actually exist in Santa Royale, but work with me here, okay?)

  67. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    @Doug Puthoff (#64):

    He is. Moore or les….

  68. TheDiva
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    MT: Hey, Mark found the Golden Legband! Now he’ll get a free tour of the whimsical world that is Billy Bonker’s Aviary!

    C’shaft: At least the angle is perfect for smacking Crankshaft on the back of the head.

    FW: Les, just stop right now. You didn’t write Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, Hunger Games, or even God-damn Twilight. You wrote Sentimental Cancer Story #612, and the one studio that has expressed interest in it doesn’t really care if they pay the couple thousand dollars for the option to you or to the author of Sentimental Cancer Story #613. If you don’t like the boilerplate contract they sent you, don’t sign it and move on. I’ll even allow you to smugly pat yourself on the back about how you “stuck to your guns” and “didn’t compromise your integrity,” because that will take much less time than watching you nitpick over every single clause you read.

    Luann: Uh-oh, he’s on to us!

    MW: Today’s installment only works if you read Gina’s lines as witheringly sarcastic. “Thank you so much for the 16% tip, Mary! That extra five cents will really help make a dent in the thousands of dollars in bills left behind by my mother’s terminal cancer, to say nothing of the crippling emotional toll!” (Yes, I know sarcasm doesn’t actually exist in Santa Royale, but work with me here, okay?)

  69. TheDiva
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#68): Crap, sorry for the double post. Feel free to delete #64.

  70. TheDiva
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#69): 66, rather. Sorry, Doug Puthoff.

  71. Liam
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    MT-”One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”

  72. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    Hey, I now have an “Invest in Gold” ad on this page.

    You know what this means, don’t you? The Geese are everywhere.

  73. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#47):

    Get it right… the name is Jet Jackson, Flying Commando!

  74. Red Greenback
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    Mark: “INTERESTING. IT READS ‘WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?’”
    Doc: “THAT IS INTERESTING. I WONDER WHAT MARGO WOULD MAKE OF THAT INSCRIPTION?”

  75. Chip Whittle
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    @Doug Puthoff (#64):

    Gee, I thought the 21st Century’s greatest monster was Les Moore.

    You’re thinking history’s greatest monster. And that’s actually a tie with Davros right now, but Les Moore is probably going to win the season.

  76. Maggie the Cat
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    @But What Do I Know? (#50): Agreed… that was loltastic.

  77. bunivasal
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    Tommie! What kind of language is that? Heck is a word that should only be spoken by someone interesting.

  78. Mardou Fox
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#65): Why does Henry always look so irritated? Oh, yeah. It’s because he’s a bald boy with no mouth.

  79. TheDiva
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#75): Well, on the one hand Davros did try to destroy the whole of reality. On the other, he didn’t write a glurgy book about it and then spend all his time smirking at the supposed wit of his own half-assed wordplay. So yeah, I gotta give Les the advantage in that race.

  80. mrvy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    @tbiggs – Starting a sentence with “Who the heck” is unusually plucky for Tommie. Last time she showed that much spunk, she was telling Margo and Lu Ann to quit bickering over boyfriends.

  81. word-doctor
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    FW-Lisa’s Story as a videogame? Why not? We already have The Polio Vaccine Coloring Book.

  82. Poewar
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    If at some point Mary guilts her waitress into giving her tip money back, I’m going to nominate this for best storyline ever.

  83. Spunde
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    FW: Come on, “Lisa’s Story: The Video Game” would be AWESOME! With the big twist: when you fight the Big Boss (Masky McDeath), you’re supposed to lose! And mini-games that play like PacMan, only with white blood cells? Fuggedaboudit!

    Granted, the sequel, with its graphic scenes of ectoplasmophilia, would probably only be legal in Thailand…

  84. Doctor Handsome
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    Does the inscription on the goose’s ring have anything to do with the gigantic Final Four brackets on the wall?

  85. Mark B.
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    Look, Les, this is a boilerplate contract. Sign it or not. It’s not worth my time to go to the lawyers and rewrite the parts you don’t think appy to you. Been nice working with you.

  86. Mark B.
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    @Mark B. (#85): BTW, the statement ‘been nice working with you’ was standard boilerplate agent talk. It’s been a real pain in the ass. Good riddance, asshole.

  87. Katy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    Is it just me, or is the exposition in Mary Worth numbing and stumbling and gigantical?

    Just me, then.

  88. Scott Bot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    @Katy (#87): I thought that was a given with Mary Worth

  89. Kinghasnoclothes
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    FGW: Forget the “Lisa’s Story” video game, I want a “Funky Winkerbean” video game. The mind spins at the possibilities.

  90. commodorejohn
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    A3G – So you remember how Luann did that trip to Washington, D.C. wherein Delta bumped into President Obama on the way to take a piss, and he was represented entirely off-camera for some God-damn reason, with only occasionally a hand reaching into the frame? [*] That’s pretty much what I’m expecting here.

    A&J – Hee!

    Blondie – Okay, I honestly kind of hope this develops into a full-blown patent-case storyline, I do.

    DT – That’s the weirdest “yo mama” joke I’ve ever heard.

    F- – Surprisingly, real therapists don’t work like Mary Worth, dude.

    FW – Well God dammit, now I’m going to have to wade back into the murk that is ActionScript. See you on Newgrounds, Les!

    GT – “She’s crushing the ball, Coach.” “Great, now all we need is a co-conspirator.” Weirdest sex talk ever.

    JP – Oh, for…!

    Luann – Yay! Do it again! Do it again!

    MT – “HELP, I’M TRAPPED IN A BIRD-BAND FACTORY!”

    MW – Why does Joe Giella always have to find the ugliest possible way to draw hair? I’m not even a stickler for style, but Christ, look at that thing!

    PMP – I dunno, I like this version better.

    Phantom – Wow, the Ghost is ensuring E. Chesley’s silence? And with a BOOM! gun, even? Cold.

    RMMD – “Suddenly I’m turning into Rex Morgan! Save me, carrot hair!”

  91. Chip Whittle
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    Compu-Toon has really captured the inherent nuttiness of being in the wrong aisle at Best Buy. It’s funny because it’s true!

    Dude and Dude: It’s a mark of what an original, fresh strip this is that it suggests one gets explosive diarrhea from eating cheap Mexican food! Try matching that wit, all you people on the Tweeter!

    Endtown: “What if you don’t know what you are??” “That’s all right, we’ll just list you as a ‘Plugger’.”

    Frog Applause: Wait, since when are haiku supposed to rhyme?

    Gasoline Alley: Now here’s a ‘lose an arm or lose a leg’ choice for you, have Rufus and Joel deliver their washer and dryer or have the Skeezixes go naked. I’m voting naked.

    Gil Thorp is disturbed to find one of his student athletes watching videos of how to do things correctly and practicing a lot. This could undermine his whole All-Seasons Mediocrity plan.

    The Grizzwells: Uh…this is a strip about porcupines prostituting themselves, right? I’m not reading this the wrong way?

  92. Braniff
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    FC: Billy will be accepted at Harvard–as a specimen of melonhead for study by the medical college, along with his siblings and his mommy and daddy. After all, lots of universities and research institutes, from Harvard to the Mayo Clinic to the Texas Medical Center to McGill University to Focus on the Family to Berkley would fight for the chance to study a family that hasn’t aged or changed for almost half a century.

  93. Gene S.
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft – This isn’t even a joke. It’s just stealing a paycheck. Thst is of course dependant upon whether or not Crankshaft is paid for by newspapers or it is donated as a tax writeoff for the awesome riches that must flow in from Funky Winkerbean.
    Tomorrow’s Crankshaft:
    Annoying Son: What’s big, red and eats rocks?
    Crankshaft: A big, red rock eater. (insert stupid smirk)

  94. D. Mann
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    A3G> I am just drooling at the thought of Gaga’s ensemble of Trey’s scarves from this spring accented by a slather or Margo’s copious wrinkle cream.

  95. pugfuggly
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    “Oh yes, Les, we do have plans for a videogame-app based on Lisa’s Story. It’s kind of like Farmville, but instead of crops, you harvest unending sorrow….”

  96. Old School Allie Cat
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    FW – Am I the only one who hopes that Lisa’s Story: The Movie comes with a Happy Meal tie-in? The toy would be a Beanie baby in the shape of a breast. Every 100th breast has a lump – find it and get a free fried pie!

  97. pugfuggly
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    A3G: Jeez, just loko at the expression on Margo in panel 1….is there a chance than in the original draft she had a huge joint between those suspiciously positioned fingers…?

  98. AndyL
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Did we learn nothing from the off-panel grand piano? This strip’s writer could turn in a story about Lady Gaga skydiving off of the Statue of Liberty during an alien invasion, and the artist would illustrate it with head-and-shoulders illustrations of the three heroines and a generic blond guy in a suit.

  99. Dood
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: “This band doesn’t look like a normal bird band…it seems to be a lot heavier. It’s a heavy metal band, possibly an homage to the work of Judas Priest, the Scorpions or Motorhead. Oh, and, oh-my-god, my hand is so tiny!”

  100. bbofun
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    A3G- Actually, in keeping with the strip’s up-to-the-minute take on pop culture, her cousin is Gwen Stefani.

    FW- Yes, Les- your contract includes clauses that cover things that will never happen. It’s a boilerplate contract. Tom Clancy’s getting that same contract, and you don’t hear him whining about the clause wherein the royalties for the design of the mime of death are discussed, do you?

  101. Chip Whittle
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    Jane’s World seems to be rerunning the Last Starfighter story, by the way, with a great-looking title panel to introduce it.

    Liberty Meadows: You really see why Liberty Meadows couldn’t cut it in the comic strip world when it’s going to make incisive comments like how movie theater snack food costs way so much. The newspaper editors couldn’t handle the harsh truths!

    Pibgorn is entirely about the beautiful Art of piano playing and the challenges of different keys, and you are a rotten beefwit for thinking of anything even a little bit different. Plus, Geoff’s pants are still on.

    Reply All: Be fair to the Times; how are they supposed to know what appeals to the shapes that pop up on screen when your video card is dying?

    Rip Haywire: Not only is this a good strip to start, but if you lift the word balloons and put them in any other strip, that becomes a good strip too. Yes, even Mary Worth.

    Ripley’s: “Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), the 17th President of the United States, was buried wrapped in an American Flag with a copy of the U.S. Constitution resting beneath his head! But since it was still May 1865 he foiled the Radical Republicans by breaking out of his coffin and going back to the White House!”

    Scary Gary: Yeah, it’s totally silly that The Blob would want a cell phone because…uh…what, blobs don’t play Angry Birds?

    Today’s Dogg: I didn’t realize that dogs were on the verge of cracking up.

    Yenny: I don’t even what to know what buttons this is pressing and for who.

    Now, how much would you pay for Yenny to meet Mary Worth? Or Tommie and Lu Ann? Or Mark Trail? And how much would you pay to watch their meeting?

  102. Dood
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G: Nina’s cousin is Gwen Stefani. Take that pink ribbon off your eyes, Lu Ann. You’re exposed and it’s no big surprise.

  103. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#91):

    Dude and Dude: It’s a mark of what an original, fresh strip this is that it suggests one gets explosive diarrhea from eating cheap Mexican food! Try matching that wit, all you people on the Tweeter!

    Say what you want about Dude x 2 — Poletiek’s coloring is some of the best in the business!

  104. Cloudbuster
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    MT: It says “Klaatu Barada … Neck-Tie?” Did I pronounce that correctly?

  105. Scott Bot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#102): Don’t speak, LuAnn. I know what you’re saying, so please stop explaining.

  106. Alan's Addiction
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    Wow, it would be GREAT if Lady Gaga actually did show up in “Apartment 3G.” I can see it now; Margo plotting on how to turn this to her advantage, Tommie… well, doing whatever it is Tommie does, and Luann having an epileptic fit. I apologize if you have epilepsy; but it’s the only reaction spastic and debilitating enough to dwarf her recent reaction to the alleged psychic. However, I doubt that Lady G will actually appear in A3G (that’d be way too exciting for the comics page), instead, she’ll probably only appear in name only. Or, it could be that Nina’s cousin is actually a Lady Gaga impersonator, which might be better than the real thing. What could be better than the A3G characters having their standard reactions/melt-downs in front of a famous person? Them being told five minutes later that their reactions were actually in front of a transvestite who works as “Cher” on Tuesday evenings.
    I see that Random Emphasis Syndrome (RES) is hitting the Mark Trail characters with full force. “That IS INTERESTING.” A little-known secondary symptom of RES is that it removes the filters between one’s brain and one’s mouth, hence Mark narrating his own thoughts in the third panel. I fully expect the message to be some sort of coded instructions for when and where to dump toxic waste in the Lost Woods and that it will take Mark a few weeks to successfully decode it. Of course, he could just ask himself who has the type of money required to buy a wedding band and catch/buy a Canadian goose every time they want to send a message, rather than simply use e-mail or the postal service; but we all know that Mark thinks that logical inference and deduction are a form of “cheating.”

  107. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I look forward to Frank Bolle not knowing who Lady Gaga is and instead drawing Lady Elaine from Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood. Admit it, she’d be a showstopper at any gallery.

    MT: It’s possible that Mark has stumbled into a marriage proposal gone awry, but that sounds more like Mary Worth territory.

    H&L: Hi is so distraught at his son’s post-modern love woes that it disrupts his game of pocket pool.

    Phantom: “Special nerd delivery! Did someone order a Harry Potter?”

    FW: Exactly, Les. No one is going to play a Lisa’s story video game, no one with two brain cells is going to invest in one, so what are you worried about?

    EC: If you keep horning in on Marmaduke’s territory, he’s going to be very upset. And you know what an upset Marmaduke will do to other big dogs and the humans around them.

    GA: There is no way this could possibly go wrong.

    JP: “Not only that, but they’re changing New York City’s name to ‘Parkerville’ and giving me a winged horse so I can fly up to Heaven. This little town just might be okay.”

    Blondie: The trouble, Dagwood, is that women don’t like it when their perfume congeals behind their ears. Or attracts fruitflies.

    DT: “You don’t like doing business with women? It’s all good. I’m actually Vic Tayback in drag.”

    GT: Molly Kinsella has always been a ball-crusher, but now she can put her talents to good use.

    9CL: “Can’t get in now. It’s time to make the donuts.”

    BC: Music savvy points to Peri Hart, as I don’t think Johnny ever put a Led Zeppelin reference in. Geezer Butler probably would have fit the definition better, but okay.

    SFx: Ah, children playing grape basketball, aiming for the mouth of their sleeping father. This is, of course, the first page of Weber’s educational children’s book, “What to Do When Dad Starts Turning Blue.”

  108. Kristian
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#107): [Slylock Fox] That’s the great thing, he can blame it on the coloring team.

  109. Fashion Police
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    We have concluded that it is just as well that Mr. Bolle refuses to show anyone below the shoulders. We do not want to know that Miss Thompson’s hideous kelly-green polo shirt is tucked into a pair of belted madras-plaid bermuda shorts.

  110. BigTed
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    Say you’re Lady Gaga, pretty much the world’s biggest music star right now. You’re in the middle of a grueling international concert tour, involving multiple sets and costume changes. You have to do promotion in every city. You’re squeezing in TV appearances and awards shows, each of which is creatively demanding and requires its own rehearsals. Your new album is doing well, but isn’t quite the blockbuster everyone expected, and you’re going crazy trying to write and new songs that sound like you but that no one will compare to Madonna.

    Now your mom calls. “But Stephani, your cousin Nina really wants you to host her friend’s art gallery opening. This is a really big deal for her. Now, don’t you get a swelled head, young lady! I don’t care if you do have to fly in from Tokyo — family comes first! That’s right. Now, are you eating well? You looked thin on Jay Leno last week.”

  111. carbunicle
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    @Voshkod (#21): COTW material!

  112. Baka Gaijin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth Double Header

    Gina, girlfriend, the chonmage calls to mind highly overweight Japanese athletes. Do you really want to call attention to your thunder thighs?

    Tomorrow we see Gina’s beaming face on the front page of The Santa Royale Picayune brandishing the 1943 copper penny Mary left in her iced tea glass as a protest tip.

    “Chonmage” is the sumo wrestler’s hair do. More about bad hairstyles can be found on the Internet.

  113. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#107):

    It’s possible that Mark has stumbled into a marriage proposal gone awry, but that sounds more like Mary Worth territory.

    Yes—Liza’s last stand, proposing to Drew on a teeny-tiny bird band, her delusional optimism in full force: “Okay, I can do the texting; I bet I can fit a proposal on here. Let’s see. . . . ‘LUVR WILL U MAR.’ Now, off to shop for wedding gowns!”

  114. Baka Gaijin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#107): Question: “What to Do When Dad Starts Turning Blue.”
    Answer: “Hop on Pop!”

    Yesterthread Elk Meadow: Thanks for shining the Official Baka Gaijin Harlequin Signal™ onto the clouds.

  115. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#75), @TheDiva (#79):

    I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!

    http://moblog.net/media/t/w/i/twiglet/davros.jpg

  116. Dood
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G: So, the Mills Gallery is going to host the Stefanie Powers-Robert Wagner Hart to Hart reunion?

  117. Baka Gaijin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    Dear Penthouse Letters,

    I never believed these stories were real until now. So there I was, walking down the street on a typical sunny summer day. In one front yard, a girl with prickly hair and her dog were running through a sprinkler while a bodacious babe in Daisy Dukes and polka-dot top watched. The dog ran over to Daisy and shook. Poor Daisy was all wet and the water was cold, if you know what I mean! I did the gentlemanly thing and demanded she get out of those wet clothes before she caught cold. She flipped her hair over her face as he reached around to undo the boulder holder…

  118. SequelMan
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#101): Pibgorn has to sit on Geoffrey like that because he has a baby grand.

  119. Walker of Dog
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Margo: “Impudence! *backhand* Now bring me a cocktail!”

    DT: There’s the old Dick Tracy plotting I’ve been missing. I’m totally confused, and loving it!

    FW: Ann: *click*

    Plug: The world’s first Plugger-manscaper.

    GT: Kenny: “She’s crushing the ball, Coach.”
    Gil: “Well, explain to her that she’s doing it wrong. Also, bummer that you only have one testicle. But I have three, so everything balances out.”

  120. Fashion Police
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    We are beginning to be concerned that a loop in the the AJGLU-3000 programming has encapsulated Mrs. Fred Andrews inside 1955. Not the the rest of the Archie cast has made it all the way to the Twenty-first Century, but Mrs. Andrews’ wardrobe (skirt, print blouse, frilly apron), and her apparently permanent confinement to the kitchen strongly hint at a quite narrowly-defined time anomaly.

  121. Scott Bot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Reply All – I tend to agree with the badly drawn character on the left – it is difficult to tell what the badly drawn character to the right is doing. I suppose celebrity poses is a good an explanation as any.

  122. seismic-2
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: The role of Principal Hallman is played today by Turlough from Doctor Who. Let’s hope the TARDIS materializes in Rex’s office, since it would set up a meeting between Doctor Who and Doctor Hoo-hah.

  123. No Stupid Bear
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I think a hat made of the charred remains of one of Lu Ann’s stupid fern paintings is in order.

  124. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#101): That was a fun “Rip Haywire”. I could see “That’s why you’re not Matlock” becoming a catchphrase for Margo Magee, too.

  125. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#116):

    “Apartment 3-G: So, the Mills Gallery is going to host the Stefanie Powers-Robert Wagner Hart to Hart reunion?”

    I believe you’re confusing Stephanie Powers with Stephanie Urkel:

    http://www.fugly.com/media/IMAGES/Random/steve_urkel_where_are_they_now.jpg

    (Isn’t it about time we had a Family Matters reunion?)

  126. balthazar
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    oh great, the focus in funky goes back to les … let’s see, where did i leave it. oh, here it is, behind the stack of old calvin and hobbs: WOTTA FUKKIN DOUCHEBAG.

  127. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#114): Come to think of it, I’ll have a Heimlich.
    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#113): Well, Mary did send her off to learn sales-fu. That would be some canny marketing.

  128. Shmebbber
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    I hope this A3G plot twist uses the same artistic strategy it did with the piano storyline in November. “Why, there’s a piano in the Mills Gallery! …And Lady Gaga is playing it! What strange clothes she is wearing!” Then we cut to her chiseled, blond, suit-wearing male manager for the next eight weeks.

  129. A different JD
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    I realize that the folks who populate Spiderman aren’t exactly the sharpest tools in the box, but don’t you think that someone by now would have commented on the fact that The Big Boss not only glows in the dark, but also glows in the light? I mean, isn’t that at least a little weird? Or does everyone just assume he bought the wrong co-op in Williamsburg?

  130. Dood
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G: Maybe Margo is referring to Danielle Brisebois’ character from Archie Bunker’s Place, Stephanie Mills, who will lend her name to the new “Mills Project.” Exciting stuff, indeed.

  131. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:36 pm [Reply]

    Be sure to wish a happy birthday to our Mash-up Artiste Extraordinaire, bats [: —she brings us so much snarky joy, that she deserves the best of birthdays in return!

  132. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    FW: “Lisa’s Story, the video game”………

    Luann: Today: Enter Toni, the defender. Tomorrow: Enter Ann Eiffel, the protagonist. I’m looking forward to this week!

    MT: “This goose is the property of Dr. Evillll…….you will return him to my hollowed-out volcano hideout immediately, or I shall release my worst minion Number Two all over you…”

    MW: Yeah, ’cause everyone leaves a $10,000 tip for a $13 lunch!

  133. DairyStateDad
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    @Ned Ryerson (#35): COTW nominee

  134. bats :[
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#90): re A3G: even if the celebrity is treated in this fashion, if it *is* Lady Gaga, I’ll bet her hand will be recognizable…she’s like that. :)

    @Old School Allie Cat (#96): okay, I’ll go along with that. I resisted the crap in Happy Meals (no, we don’t have children) aside from the time there was a series of Animaniacs toys and when I was able to get Disney’s Stitch wearing an Elvis jumper and riding a surf board. A Lisa’s Story tie-in would probably be enough time between not patronizing McD’s…

  135. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

  136. UncleJeff
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    Pibgorn/9CL: what is it with Brooke and the piano sex?

  137. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    in honor of today’s CdS, a loris.

  138. btown
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    FW: I think it would be fun to play the Lisa’s Story video game: Blast Lisa with the Cancer Ray for 1000 points. Whoops, did I just nick Les as well? Hey, I just advanced to the Crankshaft Level. Nice!

    For Bonus Points you can even pirate the game, thus stiffing Les and his team of moneygrubbing shysters.

    MW: Actually, Mary’s Generous Tip was not left in cash. Mary never tips in cash: her “tips” are much more valuable. The “generous tip” she gave Gina was: “don’t shit with your pants on”. Trying this for the first time, Gina now finds that the staff at the neighborhood clinic no longer calls Security when she shows up to pay off her dead mom’s Klonopin and Hyoscyamine prescriptions. So it does, indeed, “help with the bills”.

    Of course, Mary doesn’t heed her own “tip”, but that’s what Depends are for.

  139. bats :[
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    @Big Bad Dave (#17): it’s no Leda and the Swan parody, but this storyline is promoting some interesting literary trends:

    Three Acorns for Huge Squirrels, their cheeks to cram,
    Seven Fish for Bear-cubs in their caves of stone,
    Nine Pines for Busy Beavers doomed to dam,
    One for Shouting Mark by his fireside throne
    In the Land of Lost Forest where old Andy lies.
    One Bird-Band to confuse them all, One Band to find them,
    One Band to stun them all and in winter snowdrifts bind them
    In the Land of Lost Forest where creepy Gollum Rusty lies.

  140. Edward F. Rochester
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    ARCHIE: I’ve asked this a couple of times and nobody answered so I will ask in Mark Trail style: who IS DRAWING Archie these days? I don’t see that the PANELS ARE signed, so I AM curious. The drawing style is quite COMPETENT IN my personal OPINION.

    Seriously, maybe this was mentioned, or maybe this is mentioned on the website BUT I DON’T WANT to go there to find out.

    PLEASE help.

    Apropros of nothing, when I was a young kid, my local barber shop used to have a pile of old comic books on the back table for the amusement of the customers, and I am sorry I didn’t steal them all: one was a very old Archie comic, in which Veronica first comes to Riverdale. Now this was around 1960, and that comic must have bgeen from the early or mid-1940′s. I wish I had it now.

  141. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#139): Rusty as Gollum? That makes perfect sense. (“We wants it. We needs it. Must have the Ssssassssyyyyy.”)

    (And: nicely done!)

  142. Effluvius Erratus
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    @Spunde (#83): Another mini-game could be some sideways scrolling action a la “Double Dragon,” but rather than beating up villains, the goal will be for Les to ostentatiously ignore all the good things in his life as he makes his way the Big Boss (Ghost-Lisa?)

    I also envision an old-school text adventure:

    You find yourself at the kitchen table. There is a Cayla and a Summer here. You are eating a delicious dinner lovingly prepared by these women who love you for some reason. Exits are east, north, and depressed.
    >Look at table.

    You see a Hollywood contract.
    >Get contract.

    You have the contract.
    >Read contract.

    They are offering to option your book for more money than you could ever earn in the course of 35 years as a public school teacher.
    >Mope.

    You are moping. Inexplicably, Summer and Cayla coo and fawn all over you.
    >Mope some more.

    You continue to mope. Summer strokes your ego while Cayla strokes your…
    >Look at dead wife.

    You don’t see one here!
    >East

    You are on the porch. Exits are east, west, and depressed.
    >Look at dead wife.

    You don’t see one here!
    >Depressed.

    You are depressed.
    >Look at dead wife.

    There she is!

  143. Marc
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    Family Circus- Look at that grin on Billy’s face thinking he’s going to Harvard some day. All smug and overflowing with undeserved self satisfaction. It’s almost Les Moore-ian.

    Luann- Oh no B-wad doesn’t like his minimum wage fast food job. So now we get to hear him whine about it. Nevermind that he ran into that job without so much as going beyond the home page for a job website. Instead of collecting unemployment and looking for a relevant job, he raced off to weenie world and got a hard on because he might get to wear a headset. God I hope Ann Eiffel shows up soon.

  144. This Guy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    @Voshkod (#21): Damn, COTW worthy if I ever saw it.

  145. Terrapin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Actually, Cranky, the yolk will be on the ground somewhere. You see, there’s this thing called gravity that causes objects not supported in some way to fall towards the earth, like your gut for instance. And our jaws every time Batiuk gets paid for this crap.

    Luann: I like to think that whoever threw that food was speaking for all of us.

    GT: “No coach, she’s a @#**! ball crusher!” (high pitched voice)

  146. Terrapin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#139):Well done!

  147. debussy fields
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

  148. Red Greenback
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    Normal Bird Band would be a great… you know.

  149. Scott Bot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    GT – ‘She’s crushing the ball, Coach.’
    ‘Good, this means she’s ready to save us from the giant rogue MCC Golf Ball that has been threatening to take over the entire course.’

  150. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    @Edward F. Rochester (#140):

    Creators.com says Fernando Ruiz is drawing Archie, but I don’t think that’s correct. The current strips are actually reprints from the 1980s/1990s, so the artist is whoever (whomever?) was drawing it then.

  151. Scott Bot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    GT redux – I’m not an expert at golf by any means, but I’m not sure how watching videos of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller on YouTube can help anyone with their golf game.

  152. Francisco Arrowroot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    I think Mark Trail has finally stumbled onto the secret of keeping its flagging readership engaged: bring in a throwaway supporting character to inform the audience when something interesting is happening.

  153. Little Guy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    A3G: “She’s the daughter of a sibling of one of Nina’s parents, but that’s not important now….”

  154. Baka Gaijin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    Snuffy Smith: Instead of strapping one on and pounding away, Elviney’s moved onto hand jobs with her husband.

    EDITORIAL: They let this trash on the comics page yet Oh, Brother and My Cage are not. Where’s the justice?

  155. Jimbo
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail–That IS INTERESTING, to quote Doc in true bold Elrodian fashion, because it looks like Ben Smith has gone out of the diamond-smuggling-inside-fishing-lures business and into the gold-smuggling-with-bird-leg-bands business. There’s some sort of message on it, too: “My bullet couldn’t make it through your thick skull, Mark, but next time I’ll shoot you in your gut.”

    We all know the joke’s on Ben, though, because to go along with his Fists o’ Justice, Mark has abs of steel.

  156. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    @Edward F. Rochester (#140): In essence, no one is drawing or writing “Archie” now. The incumbent artist died last year. No one has been hired to replace him, so the syndicate has been reprinting strips from 20-25 years ago. “Archie” has joined the list of strips that aren’t zombies so much as they are skeletons on wire. (e.g. “Popeye”)

  157. Ichi
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    MT if Mark Trail were 99% of the rest of the world:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/15187477@N03/6003107948/in/photostream

    Would Mark be so kind had he found an injured wild pancake?

  158. Baka Gaijin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman: In a few weeks, ace photographer “Buena” Serra snaps Spidey unmasking The Big Boss, who turns out to be Old Man Smithers, the owner of the abandoned amusement park. Predictably, his speech balloon contains the words, “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”

    Pluggers: Pluggerdog, save your energy. Coat the slot with some peanut butter and stick some corn in it. Call the giant chicken lady “little woman” in to peck, peck, peck! your way to a wider slot.

  159. Esther Blodgett
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @AndyL (#98):

    @Effluvius Erratus (#142):

    You’re both very naughty, making me laugh out loud at work like that!

    Oh, and Happy Birthday, bats :[ !!!

  160. Poteet
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#160): @Mr. O’Malley (#196): Thank you most kindly. I appreciate the realm which you have described.

  161. Poteet
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#2): Ooh, cool! I hope to meet one of your subjects someday.

  162. Fashion Police
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#156):
    This is depressing news. We were under the impression that Archie was produced entirely by the AJGLU-3000.

  163. Baka Gaijin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Going after that lucrative Gorbachev-fetish market, are you now?

    Doonesbury: Oh snap! Burn!

    Apartment 3-G: I still say it’ll be Gwen Stefani who’ll reside just off panel.

    Blondie: I have to admire the Blondie team for their good grasp of time zones. Kudos!

    Herb and Jamaal: I know I’m not the first, nor will be the last, to say this but Herb’s kid has Jamaal’s phallic cranium. Does Jamaal swing both ways?

  164. Baka Gaijin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    Happy Birthday bats :[ ! Now go out and do things that would make Mary Worth blush! On second thought, how about go out and do things that would make Charley Smith blush. Now that would be a fun time.

  165. Poteet
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    MT — It’s good to know that several other Mudges realize that the goose is Sauron. And his new plan for world destruction is to urge his mighty flocks to crap profusely on every beach and lawn.

  166. Poteet
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#139): Yay and happy birthday!

  167. Poteet
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    A3G — Wait a minute — I’m pretty sure those paintings were of flowers, not ferns. The “dumb” part, I can’t argue with.

  168. Liam
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    FC-Billy has only two ways of getting to Harvard; either donating his body to their medical school or apply for a job as a janitor there.

    MT-”In blackest day, in brightest night, Beware your fears made into light Let those who try to stop what’s right, Burn like my power… Sinestro’s might!”

  169. ArchieNemesis
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    I’m gobsmacked to learn that one of Bin Laden’s code names was Crankshaft.
    Even the Navy Seals find Batuik’s characters supremely annoying.

  170. MyUsernamesMud
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    “It seems to be a lot bigger too!Though that may be because I have the hands of a 6 year old boy.”

  171. Shrug
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    @A different JD (#129):

    “I realize that the folks who populate Spiderman aren’t exactly the sharpest tools in the box, ..”

    Or as I have been known to say “Not all the wheels of his unicycle are on the ground at the same time.”

  172. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    @Ichi (#157): Yipes! Thoughts of Mark Trail and a half-seated goose leg!

    (Yes, Dingo shout-out—I’ve been thinking about him.)

  173. Scott Bot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    MT – ‘To Mark – All my love always, Kelly Welly’

    And happy birthday, Bats :[!

  174. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#162): Sadly the AJGLU-3000 has been taken offline. The FWMDU-2800 (Funky Winkerbean Mood Deflation Unit) has not.

  175. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Adding my birthday wishes to bats:[

    Wouldn’t be the same without you.

  176. charterstoned
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    MT – “Roast at 350 degrees, 20 minutes/lb. Goose is cooked when ring melts.”

  177. Walker of Dog
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    MW: So, Gina uses the accrual method to account for her mother’s medical expenses. I was wondering about that.

    Phan: Kit has fired up the boombox and he’s got that Paul Lekakis tune cranked up. And is that Savarna in bed with Charles? Porch party, y’all!

    MT: When Doc says, “My Precioussss”, is he talking to Mark or the ring?

    RMMD: Why does the principal/counselor have Berna’s hairstyle? For that matter, why does Berna?

    And happy birthday, bats :[ – mash up something nice for yourself on your special day.

  178. charterstoned
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    MW – Either that diner is shrinking, or a voice is about to come out of the ceiling saying, “Next stop, Judiciary Square. Doors open on the right.”

  179. Sequitur
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    WOW! It’s bats :[‘s birthday! Happy, happy birthday, bats :[!!!

    Have a piece of BAT CAKE!

  180. Dood
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: “The message says, ‘More information about gold bird bands can be found on the Internet.’”

  181. Violet
    August 2nd, 2011 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    Herb & Jamaal: I recently read this same observation in a fortune cookie, and now that I think of it I imagine that might be the source of a lot of Herb & Jamaal‘s material. Which, I wonder if they realize that fortune cookies, generally speaking, are not supposed to be particularly funny. Oh, they do? (shrug) Well, carry on then.

  182. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    bats :[ — “Happy Birthday to You” (and variations on a theme)
    by Victor Borge:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajg7FlPv0HU

  183. seismic-2
    August 2nd, 2011 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    I’ve been trying to play the Lisa’s Story video game on my PC, but I must be doing something wrong. As soon as I load it, I get a blue screen of death. Then, when I reboot, the system clock on my computer has jumped forward by ten years.

    Happy birthday bats :[ !!!!! Thanks for giving us so many wonderful presents, all year through!

  184. Grrg
    August 2nd, 2011 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

  185. Sgt. Stoned
    August 2nd, 2011 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    @Jasper (#24): MW: Obviously, the waitress is being sarcastic.

  186. Braniff
    August 2nd, 2011 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#120): She’s probably in a housewives’ club with June Cleaver, Carol Brady, Dottie Winslow, Samantha Stevens, Thelma Keane and Alice Mitchell. (As I understand it, Lois Flagston and Blondie Bumstead joined the work force.)

  187. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 2nd, 2011 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    Happy Birthday, Bats :[ ! You da Bat! (But not an old bat, birthdays notwithstanding.)

  188. seismic-2
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    MW: That impossible pony tail – surely there can’t be other people in the world with hair that behaves that way, so it serves to identify her as Lynn, the up-and-coming competitive ice skater whose career was wrecked by Mary’s meddling. No wonder she threw up when she recognized just who she was serving!

  189. bats :[
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#164): well, I don’t know if this would make Mary Worth blush, but maybe it’s a start.

    And as Mark would say: THANKS for ALL the good wishes!!

  190. tblue
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    Wow, Margo’s been hittin’ the gym! She has buffed up considerably between the first and second panels there–or else it’s that time of the month and she’s retaining water.

  191. Pseudo3D
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#25): Re: 9CL: One of Brooke’s favorite movies must be “Two Mules For Sister Sara”, then.

  192. Fashion Police
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    @Braniff (#186):
    Mrs. Keane and Mrs. Mitchell at least wear trousers on occasion, which advances them into the 1970s at least. I’m not certain but I think Mrs. Mitchell has even discarded her frilly apron for something more utilitarian. If, @Artist formerly known as Ben (#174) is correct and the AGJLU-3000 has been taken offline, we are at a loss for a plausible theory explaining Mrs. Andrews.

  193. gnome de blog
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#188):
    I can’t speak for anyone else but my pony tail sure won’t do that – although I’ve never used an industrial-strength inch-wide rubber band on it, or pulled it tight enough to make my brain hurt.

    You don’t suppose Gina is part pony and had it docked like a show horse?

  194. Violet
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    At first the idea of the intersection of the lives of Lady Gaga and A3-G‘s Tommie Thompson seems jarring, even surreal, but when you think about it, doesn’t it actually make a crazy kind of sense? No, I’m totally kidding; it’s the most cracked-out development in the history of anything, ever.

  195. Fashion Police
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    @Violet (#194):
    Is not Miss Thompson attempting to embark on a singing career?

  196. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#189): I don’t know about blushing, but it made me laugh.

  197. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:34 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#195): If Tommie tried to wear a meat dress, she’d screw it up—come festooned in entrails or turkey necks or something.

    Then again, she kind of does have the whole “poker face” thing going; either that, or she bores herself so much that she’s been rendered incapable of facial expression.

  198. seismic-2
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    @Violet (#194): Yes, the Yin-Yang principles of harmony in the universe basically require Lady Gaga and Tommie Thompson to meet and cancel each other out. It’s the law of the conservation of blandness.

  199. H-Bob
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    @Big Bad Dave (#17): shouldn’t the penultimate line be “One Ring to bring them all and in the facial hair punch them !”

  200. Old School Allie Cat
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#134): The day my husband and I got engaged, we drove two hours to surprise his family with the news, and by the time we were heading back, we were hungry, it was about 10PM on a Sunday, which meant McDonalds.

    I got a Happy Meal (because I was hungry, but too excited to eat much) featuring a Hello Kitty miniature toaster. The piece of bread inside it was a little notepad. That’s the only piece of crappanalia I’ve kept from a Happy Meal, for sentimental reasons.

    I still eat Happy Meals but I like to surprise random teammates at work with the toys. They enjoy them far more than I ever would.

  201. Marie
    August 2nd, 2011 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    THE COMMENTS ON Mark Trail are especially hysterICAL TODAY!

    Can I nominate Voshkod (#21) for one of those comment prizes?

  202. monsieurjohn
    August 2nd, 2011 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    “Lisa’s Story”: The Video Game? Where can I pre-order?

  203. Violet
    August 2nd, 2011 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#195):
    Entirely granted, but the two are nonetheless as night and day. For example, when Tommie does her Rolling Stone cover in naught but a thong and coordinating machine-gun bra, I have every confidence she will bring a certain quiet dignity to the proceedings that Lady Gaga, for all her good intentions, was unable to carry off.

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#197):
    I’m intrigued by the notion that there is a definable wrong way to wear a meat dress.

  204. Rixter
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#56): MW – and the great irony is that with Mary eating at the dinner every day to leave those Gina-rous tips, she’ll be putting on the pounds and develop CHD. Dodged a bullet, eh?

  205. Fashion Police
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    @Violet (#203):
    One would have thought that machine-gun bras, having already been done as well as one could possibly expect, would be passé by now. One can ever hope that Miss Thompson could be startlingly risqué in a little black dress and pearls, if she set her mind to it.

    As for meat dresses, as Ms. unbuckled (#197) suggests, it’s all in the fabric: tenderloin, or turkey neck?

  206. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    @Violet (#203): If there is, I am confident that Tommie Thompson will find it. If nothing else, she’ll make it boring, which would be quite an achievement. (“Oh, look, it’s Tommie. And she’s wearing Vienna sausages. Ah well, I guess her white turtlenecks were in the laundry.”)

  207. Just some guy
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    The band says:
    “PROPURTY O SNUFFY SMIF”

  208. forgot
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    how about burger king rights to lisas story? mw a waitress can be fired for talking about tips

  209. Droopy Says
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    Happy Birthday, bats :[ !

  210. UncleJeff
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    @Ichi (#157): Yum! Buffalo Canadian Goose!

  211. UncleJeff
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    Happy Birthday bats:{!!!!!!!!
    Many happy mash-ups to you!!!!!!

  212. UncleJeff
    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    re: Code Name Crankshaft: Could there be a CCer in Navy Seals Team 6???????

  213. Vince M
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#189): In true hobbit fashion, you give a birthday present to all of us! That is the creepiest Gollum I’ve EVER seen.

  214. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#189): Incidentally, you share a birthday with voice actor William John “Bill” Scott* (1920–1985).

    *Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle and a host of others!

  215. chistery
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    Yay! It’s bats :[ birthday! Who doesn’t love a mashup? To celebrate the event I’m going to Golden Corral for the Count Morgu Special. Don’t wait up.

  216. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 3rd, 2011 at 12:16 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#214): Voice actor and writer of genius.

    True story: in 1979 or so I was invited by this guy to go see his movie studio in Colorado, and Bill Scott was one of the people who was said to be there, and I didn’t ever go because I couldn’t work out the transportation. I must go kick myself some more now.

  217. ElkMeadow
    August 3rd, 2011 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    Happy birthday, bats :[ ! I was outside watching the stars a couple of nights ago, and there were lots of bats flying around, buy I don’t think I saw you.

    Floating heads aleart at Mary Worth! And more pity partying. I’d love for Gina’s mom to walk in any minute now, ranting about the local transportation and demanding that Gina take care of her right now, and she EVER talked about college again while she was alive, she’d disown her!!!

    Over at Rex, we find out that Summer is a bad, bad mommy.

    About Mark’s goose, I saw a Public Broadcasting System show about chickens, and this woman thought that a rooster was her soul mate, and she took it every where, including swimming and to the store (it wore diapers when it was indoors). Looks like someone’s married to the old gray goose, maybe Old Aunt Rhoady or the old gray mare or something.

  218. ElkMeadow
    August 3rd, 2011 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    Oops. Failed to preview. I’m just relieved that the whole thing isn’t in bold.

  219. Droopy Says
    August 3rd, 2011 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    The Amusing Spiderman: So the plan is to humiliate Spiderass by having him smash the window of Cheesy’s Jewelry Shop? How about the equally humiliating trip to the ER? Because plate glass is very unforgiving when you smash your body through it.

    Mark Trail: The Bible? Not the Lord of the Rings? Ah, well. It would have been splendid to see Rusty thrown into the lava of Mount Doom . . . but at what cost? Could the Fists o’ Justice have restrained themselves when they saw Gandalf’s long, flowing beard?

    At least the Biblical quote is apt. It’s a nice, roundabout way of telling Trail that when he got in the water with the goose, he exposed himself to E. coli and swimmer’s itch. Don’t fight it, Trail, even when you dicover that Jehovah has a humongous beard!

    EffYou Wankerbean: I wish Batiuk would hurry up and kill the dog, just so we can get away from this contract nonsense.

    Phantom: Isn’t this how Skeezix entered Gasoline Alley? Will E. Queasy be just as hard to get rid of?

    Crankshat: Batiuk, thanks for reminding us that other cartoonists understand humor and entertainment. Too bad you needed to import the stuff.

  220. ElkMeadow
    August 3rd, 2011 at 12:34 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#179):

    Love the illustration!

  221. Droopy Says
    August 3rd, 2011 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    Family Circus: It’s funny because Billy’s last words before he dived into the tank were “Look, Daddy, I’m a little fish!”

    EffYou Wankerbean, take 2: Yes, there are boilerplate contracts that will try to grab every possible right. Tomorrow, we’ll see Louse go on about tie-in rights. “Tie-ins? Does that include toys? Bumper stickers? Message T-shirts?”

  222. Comcis Fan
    August 3rd, 2011 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    FW: Les’s agent is cracking wise; why isn’t he smirking? Must one be in the presence of a punning Westview insider to smirk?

  223. This Guy
    August 3rd, 2011 at 1:21 am [Reply]

    FW: You know what I hope? I hope that Les signs the damned contract, the studio exercises their option, they create the most utterly bugfuck in-name-only adaptation since Jodorowsky’s aborted version of Dune, and Westview is laid waste by Les’s ensuing Mopocalypse. The townsfolk will wear genuine smiles for the first time, at once experiencing Creepy Les’s artistic comeuppance and the sweet release of death.

  224. Mr. O'Malley
    August 3rd, 2011 at 1:40 am [Reply]

    A-3G: “Queen Bee”? The rapper from the Andy Griffith Show?

    Pluggers: That doesn’t quite describe the dial-up phone. Or the John Wayne movie either.

    Pluggers 2026: “You should see how lifelike the Duke is on the 3″ screen of my new smartphone!” Same caption.

    RWO: I saw something new today. This guy came up to the watch counter at Sears and asked the salesperson to set the time on his watch. Now ever since daylight savings time started, I’ve been trying to figure out how to set the clock in my car. I remember that it somehow involves the remote control, but the instructions seem to have been mislaid. Now I know that I just have to drive up to the watch counter at Sears and my problem will be solved!

  225. DaveyK
    August 3rd, 2011 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    Contrary to the popular bumper sticker from the middle of the last decade, Bush did not have the ring. Instead, it was around the leg of a goose living in the Lost Forest the whole time. Who knew?

  226. Peter Hillock
    August 3rd, 2011 at 2:54 am [Reply]

    MW: Maybe it’s just the ponytail, but I think that young lady’s a scammer.

  227. Kristian
    August 3rd, 2011 at 4:59 am [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#154): So they might be utterly failed Ferengi and that’s oomax? Makes sense, they sure ain’t human.

  228. Kristian
    August 3rd, 2011 at 6:30 am [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: “He could at least turn this way so we can get the Pez.”

    Hi and Lois: “Now to try that in water instead of ink.”

    Rex Morgan: “Truancy, accidents, drugs, embezzling, international terrorism – those kids, huh! Well, anyway, the phone is switched off. Surely nothing ironic will happen to my daughter while I’m busy working in a doctor’s office.”

    Blondie: “Always,” you say Mr chef person? So Dagwood has been eating pantsless here before? I guess with his appetite he makes up for there being no other customers.

    Crankshaft: WTF?

    Mary Worth: “And I mean ‘getting back on your feet’ literally. You know what kind of ‘job’ I’m referring to for that kind of money with your education. Aaaand … the salad please.”

    Lockhorns: “‘Cause that’s how big they would need to be if you had a heart!” [Runs off crying.] (See, I didn’t go the “gut”, “butt” or “penis” routes.)

    Marvin: Something very unpleasant has been going on that we haven’t seen in strips. Not sure I want to know.

    Six Chix: I’m tempted to answer with an age or a weight, but that would probably be sexist. (I see we are north of the line.) No, wait, I know this one: “Second trimester”.

    Apartment 3G: “Queen Bee”? That’s the name they went for? I’m sorry, that’s the name of a drag queen. Or possibly Crankshaft.

    Snuffy: “… and a very obvious wig.”

    Crock: “… and don’t call me Shirley.”

    Curtis: So if there are no potatoes they eat one of their kids instead? This strip just got interesting!

    Dennis the Menace: A child-size rocking chair. Not menacing.

    9CL: Yes, women being aggressive and violent is inherently funny. That’s why Pearl Forrester was the most popular character on MST3K.

    Luann: I think “wipe-down” is a new low as euphemisms go. How about “if there’s time to lean there’s time to get between”?

    Fred Bassett: Meta? Postmodern? Unfinished?

    Love is …: … as a kite.

    Ziggy: Pants pants pants! Pants? Pants, pants pants pants!

  229. Little Guy
    August 3rd, 2011 at 6:31 am [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#183): With me, my antivirus program picks up a Trojan, which slows down my machine until an masked icon in a suit appears telling me to restart, THEN it sets my clock ahead 10 years….

    Happy Birthday, bats :[

    9CL: Either we have a new standard in psychosis, or someone has spiked the Sacramental wine with enough steroids to kill a 90′s All Star Squad.

  230. Fourth Bear
    August 3rd, 2011 at 6:36 am [Reply]

    9CL: How I’d love to see Monty just haul off and clock her when the Nun-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed grabs his tie. How I’ve grown to hate the “short, tyrannical jerk who constantly threatens violence, but who is inexplicably obeyed and placated” comic stereotype.

  231. Kristian
    August 3rd, 2011 at 6:54 am [Reply]

    @Fourth Bear (#230): Agreed. At least in this case we can be sure the person is not going to breed.

  232. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 3rd, 2011 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#161): On behalf of my loyal subjects, I thank you!

  233. Little Guy
    August 3rd, 2011 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    @Fourth Bear (#230): How I’ve grown to hate the “short, tyrannical jerk who constantly threatens violence, but who is inexplicably obeyed and placated” comic stereotype.

    That’s about half the strips, and quite a few of the cartoonists themselves.

  234. Swordsmith
    August 3rd, 2011 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    Baka: Just wondering, is a strip referring to someone as looking like a clown, and clearly indicating that that would be a negative, in an “evil-scary” sort of way, but not actually featuring any overt clown, be subject to “evilscaryclown” alert, or would it rather be something you’d cut out and fridgemagnet? cul de sac

  235. ArchieNemesis
    August 3rd, 2011 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    At this point I’m thinking “Les Moore” would have been a better code name for Bin Laden.

  236. bats :[
    August 3rd, 2011 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Once again, your birthday wishes have me blushing like Mary Worth! (Speaking of which, the current storyline with Gina has GOT to be a scam. Does anyone know her last name? Something like Comfrey or Confrey or something?)

    And there’s a Count Morgu Special at Golden Corral?! Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things!

  237. Shrug
    August 3rd, 2011 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail then notices another message, this one tatooed directly on the goose: “There are 31,103 verses in the Bible, and to publicize our new religious goose message delivery app we of the Gideon Society have released 31,103 geese into the wild, each bearing one verse on a gold band on its leg! Collect all 31,103 geese and gold bands and mail them to the address below to claim your free prize!”

  238. greghousesgf
    August 3rd, 2011 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    @Violet (#203): there is a wrong way to wear a meat dress, it’s anywhere near PETA members. or dogs.

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