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St. Augustine almost certainly liked a good poop joke, actually

Marvin, 1/13/11

In this shocking panel, Marvin has taken two thousand years of theology and turned it on its head. In a direct riposte to Calvin, who started from the premise of an omniscient, omnipotent God and declared that our ends were predestined before we were created, leaving any seeming room to maneuver an illusion, Marvin instead preaches the existence of a smug, all-knowing narc, who gave us the power to shape our own destiny just to revel in the certain knowledge that we’ll screw it up and condemn ourselves to damnation. Whether or not you agree with him, you have to admit it’s a welcome change of pace from the constant poop jokes.

Spider-Man, 1/13/11

It strikes me as a pretty short trip from “I’ve no way to follow them” to “So why should I even try?” and from there to “I wonder what’s on TV!”

196 responses to “St. Augustine almost certainly liked a good poop joke, actually”

  1. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy

    “Gasp! It’s Son of Spike and his amazing Wonder® Bread shirt!”

    (Remember, a Wonder® Bread shirt automatically trumps a Wonderbra®)

  2. Hibbleton
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    RMMD: You’re a natural beauty…Now don’t forget to wear your paper bag to school tomorrow.

    MW: Is Mary really pantomiming boxing with the perp in the last panel?

    A3G: Wow. Bolle sure illustrated the hell out of that scene.

  3. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    As long as he doesn’t revel in any actual crap, Marvin can revel in any existential crap he wants.

  4. Purple Prosecutor
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    Given the nature of this blog, I am uncertain whether Josh is referring to Calvin the philosopher or Calvin the comic strip character. Honestly I’m not sure it matters.

  5. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    Arlo & Janis — It’s a dyed-in-the-fur Friday the 13th joke using a coal black cat. (Ludwig’s disguise didn’t fool me for a moment!)

  6. pugfuggly
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    ASM“….who will give me my allowance now??!”

    A3G in what should be a pretty intense emotional moment, Lu Ann just looks bored while Ruby looks slightly annoyed. Maybe the inability to show a proper emotional response on one’s face is genetic?

    MT I am hoping against hope that tomorrow’s strip will include the phrase “That dog won’t hunt, monseigneur…”

    MW I’m sorry, is that Mary who’s talking about ‘physically tangling’ with the kidnapping thug in panel one, or the dainty waitress, Bree? Mary certainly seems like she’s keen to go a couple rounds with him. “Just give me a couple minutes alone with him, officer. This little shit is going down!

  7. sporknpork
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    How Spiderman could get out all those words without yawning? My best guess is he’ll head home, pop a couple of Excedrin Migraines, and take an undeserved nap for three weeks worth of strips.

  8. AhClem
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    …you have to admit it’s a welcome change of pace from the constant poop jokes.

    Given that poop jokes are the sole raison d’être for the existence of Marvin, are you sure those smears on the wall are actually crayon?

  9. Mumblix Grumph
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Wait a damn minute…what the hell is a “spider tracer”? Is this some kind of left-over plot contrivance that they had to dispense with to quiet the avid fan-boys yelling out “use the spider tracer, Pete!” over their Rice Krispies?

  10. nerowolfgal
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    3GA – So……is Lu Ann going to start wearing bows and fried eggs in her hair now?

  11. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    Frazz — “Fapiti!” is the sound of one hand clasping.

    Mandrake — Special guest villain (from Dick Tracy) Putty Puss is showing off again. First he morphs into a dead ringer for Bob Hope, then he transforms himself into an ersatz Tor Johnson.

  12. Comcis Fan
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    Are you sure of your Marvin analysis, Josh? Doesn’t it all depend on how this passage was translated from the original Hebrew, Greek or Latin? For if Marvin actually said the whole free will thing “smells” of entrampment, well, I think you’d have your poop joke.

  13. hogenmogen
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    This post has me waxing philosiphically.

    SM: Obviously, Thor has taken MJ to Asgard. It’s unclear whether the “spider tracer” would work outside Newtonian space, and if it did, which direction would it point anyway?

    Marvin: Are we supposed to get that Marvin is in trouble for drawing on the wall? He’s not facing the corner as even a novice parent would demand of their rebellious child. His parents assigned him to sit and then left him unsupervised with the implements of his villainy still there for future use. Are they silently observing his behavior to test him in the presence of temptation? This kid doesn’t even have self-control over his own bowels, let alone controlling his natural impulses to defy his parent’s opression. His inner angst is obvious from even a casual analysis of his artwork. Or, he may just be pinching a loaf. We will never know.

  14. Notebooked
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    The emotion in Peter’s eyes in the last panel don’t seem quite right considering the punctuation and bolding of his dialogue. Let me see if I can make it more fitting.

    “I should be able to find MJ fast through that Spider-tracer she always wears. Oh “no”. It must’ve fallen off. My wife has been abducted by Thor, and I’ve…no way to follow them. Huh. Yeah.”

    Then he goes home and plays some Minesweeper.

  15. John C Fremont
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth; Two-Fisted Meddler.

    (Say, isn’t she muscling in on Mark Trail’s shtick?)

  16. bats :[
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:20 am [Reply]

  17. Batman
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    I thought tracking devices were supposed to be small. That thing looks less like a ring and more like a garter.

  18. S. Stout
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    SM: Right, it…fell off. I’m sure the sex they’re having right now is unwanted too.

    Luann: Evans has officially spent an entire week trying to insult that girl from high school who didn’t want to date him and then left town to pursue bigger things.

  19. Doctor Handsome
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    “My neglected, way-too-hot-for-me wife has disappeared with a handsome musclebound god! And without the chintzy trinket I gave her to monitor her every move! She must have been abducted! I know Thor’s a superhero, but THAT’S THE ONLY EXPLANATION.”

  20. Mibbitmaker
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    “Pop Culture’s Kids” #5 is up!


    Curtis: She forgot the witty, world-weary punchline, so she just yelled stuff.

    FW: Smug health nuts preachily listing chemicals as if kids eating junk food love that stuff specifically IS NOT kids who like junk food discussing junk food! MAN!!!

    GA: “Thank you, Haley Barbour!”

    MW: “Mary…. why did you just punch me in the ear?”

    Glibporn: Faeries (and mantases) sentence the female to a hundred-child pregnancy, and the male to gruesome death.
    Forget it, Lynn Johnston — when it comes to mutual misogyny and misandry, you’ve been topped! Horribly topped!

  21. Liam
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail-You should just put the dog down Tommy. Don’t you know that a dog’s eyesight is their greatest asset. Dogs can even see better than people.

    Family Circus-And so begins Billy’s obsession with washing his hands fifty times a day.

    Gil Thorp-The coach is still talking about the sex he’s had.

  22. pugfuggly
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    @Batman (#17):

    The one that MJ wears is actually an old prototype that still had a couple of bugs. The advanced models he built are attached to his TV, couch and George Foreman grill.

  23. Dood
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    Hey, Marvin, blow it your… Oh, wait.

  24. Droopy Says
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    Please let Thor take Mary Jane Putzer to Asgard, and once there, please let her life depend on acting like Sif! It could be just as good as seeing her take the title role in The Madness of Herakles.

  25. Loopina
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    I really don’t “get” Mark Trail. Why can the guy not be a dog trainer if he has a blind dog? The dog appears to be suffering from Little Orphan Annie Eyes, which is creepy but not fatal.

    If anything, a blind dog that can hunt will make people respect him a little more. My dog was blind but she competed in obedience, carting and was a therapy dog.

  26. terrapin
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    MW: So many unanswered questions. Who is this guy? Is he a relative or just some random pervert? Is he the guy that killed Ritchie? Did Emily ever get her damn ice cream?

    ASM: I don’t know who you are Comic Strip Spider-Man, but you are not my Spider-Man.

  27. Pozzo
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    And then there’s the whole “Free Willy” thing. If it ends with Marvin being swallowed by an orca, much will be forgiven.

  28. Dennis Jimenez
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    Marvin – Oh, that I could read this spirit writing….

    S-M – Why, without this penis clamp, Thor and MJ should be easy to find – just follow the dotted yellow line….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  29. Marked Trail
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    Mark, you should see her hunt!!

    A couple of months ago I was going to put her down, but took her out for one last romp before I whacked her.

    But then, the most amazing thing happened. We were out by the marsh and she came across a really old goose that had something shiny on its leg. Before I knew it, she had eaten the goose, shiny band and all.

    It was like she was a new dog then. She was still blind but some mysterious force had come over her, a force sent from some far away land where bears were tame and WOLVES! were easily dealt with.

    Do you believe there is a magical place like that, Mark?

    “I don’t know. Maybe. I have heard of a foreign place called IHOP where you can get pancakes 24 hours a day. I go there after I have burned off tons of calories using the right fist-o-justice on hirsute bad guys. “

  30. Mibbitmaker
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:07 am [Reply]


    I tried to send an e-mail asking if my webcomic could be mentioned on tonight’s metapost, but some error in the e-mail sending, involving tech stuff that’s over my head, stopped me from getting it through. Sorry to have to use the comments for this.

    Thanks as always.


  31. Spiff Bereft
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    S-M: It’ll all lead up to Peter pleading outside the Asgard Hotel room, “Don’t do it honey! He’s Thor!” and hearing her reply, “HE’S Thor! I’M tho thore I can hardly pith!”
    Try the veal. Tip your waiters.

  32. Marc
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth- Mary has got her dukes up. I think she’s disappointed she didn’t get to “tangle physically. Forget Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather should fight Mary Worth in his big pre-prison sentence bout. Of course there may not be any actual punches throwns; just a steady back and forth of obnoxious insults and sleep inducing platitudes.

    Luann- Well there it is. What would a Tiffany/Crystal strip be without a trip to the bathroom to throw on globs of makeup?

    Mark Trail- So this is going to be an arc about a dog with supernatural powers?

    A3G- Perhaps if people in this strip undid their choking top button from time to time there would be more oxygen reaching their brains which would hopefully increase their intelligence and personality.

    Curtis- Holy shit Diane, it’s a goddam joke. And by Curtis standards, not a terrible one. Lighten the fuck up.

  33. Esther Blodgett
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    RMMD: “You don’t need makeup, princess…you’re a natural beauty. Don’t forget, Kelly wears makeup, and she’s a slut and a tease. Night-night.”

    MW: Did the cartoonist’s hands accidentally wander into the shot? Those fists can’t possibly belong to either of the people standing there.

    Doonesbury: Look, Trudeau, I happen to know that this is NOT the way to present a week of funny book-signing strips. I read Funky Winkerbean, ya know.

  34. Hibbleton
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    JP: o.0.O..”pfft! These guys are all alike. I can make a horrible harpy face and stick my hand in their coffees and do they even notice? No. All they do is stare at my tits.”

  35. Dono
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    Way back a few weeks ago in the Spiderman strip, didn’t Loki tell Thor that if he left Asgard, he could never return? And then a few weeks after that, didn’t Peter Parker tell Thor that he recognized him from his work with the Avengers?

    So then how–? Oh, never mind.

  36. commodorejohn
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    I object to 2012 because it comes less naturally to the fingers up on the number row than 2011 does. It’s slowing down my comics-saving, dammit!

    A3G – Psst, Shulock, I think it might be best for all concerned if you contracted out to someone other than Frank Bolle for any scenes requiring believable sadness. (When an artist draws sobbing noises in the exact same style that Popeye goes “arf! Arf!”, that should be a hint.)

    FC – You don’t, Billy! You’ll never know but that the germs will still be there, hiding, waiting… Better keep scrubbing! Never stop!

    FW – Batiuk still seems to think that a laughable “slang” phrase can be made more believable by repetition. “Solo car date” didn’t work, Batty, “vendos” sure as hell isn’t going to.

    GT – …yeah, I’m not touchin’ that second panel, there.

    JP – Because as anyone that rich knows, you can’t pay for a rack like that! God damn. Baretto, I think this one’s for you.

    Love Is… – copy-editing her Harry/Snape slash-fic.

    Luann – What a catty little bitch. (I’m speaking of Greg Evans, of course.)

    MT – *snrk* “He’s not blind! He’s just pining for the fjords!”

    MW – Yai! Bree, get out of the way before Mary’s punch-happy fists find in you a perfect practice dummy.

    RMMD – Yeah, you need to work on your poker face there, June. Though I suppose you could argue that by Space-Children of Mu Arae 4 standards, she’s a cutie.

    SM – I can only hope that Spidey plans to take a shortcut to Valhalla by getting killed in battle.

  37. Poor Thompson
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Doggone it, Thor! Do you have any idea how many Cracker Jack boxes Peter will have to go through to get another one of those Spider Tracers?!

  38. Ingeld
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    The last panel of Archie has me convinced that his mom is transgendered, and that Archie must be adopted. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)

  39. rembrandt36
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    It’s been several days – if not years – since we have seen Barney Google. On the other hand – who the hell cares?

  40. Dennis the Two and a Half Menace
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    Spidey: I don’t recall seeing MJ wear that gaudy piece of costume jewelry that Peter uses to track his wife’s movements (cough). Where exactly was she wearing that … tiara? choker? chastity belt?

  41. AhClem
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    GT – Look at the hands! The third panel is proof that Ted Forth was once Lini Verde before he entered the Witness Protection Program.

  42. Doctor Handsome
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#36): If by “killed in battle” you mean “choke on funyuns,” it’s entirely possible.

  43. jp
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    And it’s Spiff Bereft for the win in the morning “Which Mudge Will Make Me Snarf My Coffee First?” sweepstakes.

  44. Flummoxicated
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    This Mark Trail arc appears to be a a mash-up of two canine-relating bromides, “even a blind dog finds a bone every so often” and “that dog won’t hunt”. I can’t wait to see what they do with “look what the cat dragged in” and “curiosity killed the cat”.

  45. TheDiva
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    Marvin: My suspiscions about Marvin continue to gain credence. You know he’s just beating back a “Better to reign in Hell” here…

    SM: So, can spider-tracers emit signals from other dimensions? And if so, does Peter know he can sell that kind of technology to the military or a communications giant or something and never have to scrape by selling photos of his spandex-clad altar ego again? Geez, I thought this guy was supposed to be a genius…

    9CL: But it’s not about sex, really.

    A3G: Is she crying? Or did a bit of frosting from those Hostess Snowballs on her head get on her cheek?

    C’shaft: See, it’s funny because Rose is too old to be trusted behind the wheel of a car. Unlike Crankshaft, who routinely blocks traffic, destroys property, and endangers the lives of children in the course of his bus driving duties.

    FW: Batiuk has never actually heard a teenager (or a human being of any age, for that matter) speak, has he?

    Luann: Tiffany has been an extra and lighting double (I’m pretty sure those are two separate jobs, but never mind) in a major motion picture, something a small minority of girls her age can boast about. Clearly this makes her inferior to Luann, whose resume consists of a high school production of West Side Story and two sub-Rebecca Black videos on YouTube.

    MW: Lies, Mary. I see you shaking your fist in panel two–admit it, you’re just sorry you didn’t get the chance to smite Wayne McBadguy where he stood.

  46. anty a
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    The heck with Spiderman and the “spider tracer” that looks like it would fall off in a stiff breeze and Marvin’s disgusting mess du jour; a character in Doonesbury referred to another one as a “douche” today and that gets no press? I know Doonesbury isn’t discussed here much but I have enjoyed the Red Rascal subplot and today’s strip made me laugh louder than a strip has in years.

  47. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    Beetle: A non-Wednesday Miss Buxley appearance! How nice!

    Crank: Why not? At least 1/3 of the people who have them don’t really need them, one more won’t matter.

    FC: Barfy is one deformed dog.

    FW: That filthy school needs to either wash the walls or re-paint them.

    Luann: Hey Greg! Why the fuck are you dragging this shit out so long?? We get it already!! (Yes, I have anger issues with this comic…….and lately, anger issues in general!)

    MW: Mary, panel 2: “Fricka-Fracka-Firecracker, Shish-Boom-Baaah!! Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny, RAH RAH RAAAH!!”

    RMMD: “Oh, yes. I WILL wear makeup!”, Sarah the little spy said to herself, as she nestled down in her spy-bed for the night…

    Archie: Mary is much more of a MILF than she used to be. In the Archie Comics Digests back in the 1970’s-1980’s, she was depicted as more of a gray-haired, plumper-type of woman, while Fred was a bit heavier than he is now. (I figure it time for a break from the usual: “Ha ha ha! It’s funny, because….”-type snark).

    SixChix: “Yes! I’ve decided that I liked my life much better without all you squirming brats around me!”

    Love is…: Spilling coffee on her laptop and wrecking it.

    Hope & Death: I really like this comic! It balances out my hatred for Luann and the FOOB.

  48. Ellen Highwater
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    Hey Batiuk, Tocopheryl acetate is VITAMIN E you douche

  49. UncleJeff
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MW: Oh, Stupid Waitress. You’d better start waiting on tables because Mary looks like she’s ready to rumble.

    Red & Rover: Well, seeing Marvin isn’t doing a poop joke today…somebody’s gotta fill that bodily functions void on the comics page.

    A3G: Poor Ruby! So much Botox nothing moves from scalpline to scapula.

    JP: Of course I know a member of the Saudi Royal Family by his first name! Blonde hair! Big tits! Hellooooooooo!

    Fred Bassett: providing bewildering humor-free comics to the newspaper industry for over 50 years!

  50. Chem Tutor
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    Most of the chemicals listed in Funky Winkerbean are natural; some of them are actual “building blocks of life”. If it weren’t for glycerin, acetate, phosphoric acid, or tocopherol (common name: Vitamin E) Tom Batiuk would not exist.

  51. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    @LP2004 (#Y108): Noted.


  52. Señor Tortilla
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    Bizarro: Baka Gaijin should enjoy this. The only good clowns are dead clowns, right?

    FW: For the last time, WHO CALLS THEM “VENDOS?”

    MW: Who’s fist is that?

    RMMD: I should hope so that you’ll be prettier than Kelly.

  53. A Smirch Unheeded
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    Lukavich: Requesting a temporary exemption from the political cartoon exclusionary rule. Bernie Madoff gets a huge flat screen TV in his cell?

    Henry: Little Baldy walks a doll 178 blocks? Kid’s in good shape.

    BB: In duplicating Army recipes, it is important to use the precise same pot. Miss Buxley will be returning that to Cookie at the mess hall first thing in the morning.

    FW: Is vendo really a slang term for vending machine? If so, I can’t find it on the internets. It is, of course, Latin, for “I sell” – same in Italian and Portuguese and probably some other Romance languages. There is a company called “Vendo” that makes vending machines, so maybe it’s one of those copyright to generic slangs, at least in Winkerland, like xerox for photocopy, or “coke” for soda pop in the South.

  54. Liam
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    FW-If you want vendos food there is a tattoo parlor in neighboring Milford where the owner will sell you food real cheap.

  55. Rob P
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Beware, gentle reader, it’s time for politicized Spider-shenanigans to move the newspaper version!

    This is, of course, leading up to face the burning question of the 90s: subcutaneous RFID tags! Spider-man will dither over the morality of injecting his hot girlfriend with a ‘spider-tracer’ that can’t be removed without the loss of a limb or vital organ.

    Iron Man will argue in favor, while Cap’n America will strenuously object, and their THRILLING CONFRONTATION will . . . take place in the form of dialog bubbles over Peter’s TV set.


    Watch Peter wrestle with the HORNS of his DILEMMA! Should he open the bag of Cheetos, or another bag Doritos? Find out — right after this nap!

  56. word-doctor
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    MT: “Even a blind dog finds a pheasant now and then.”

    MT2: “I KNOW he can find birds. It’s just that Sally and the gas station owner believe it, too, because they keep sending us on overnight snipe hunts. See, here’s the bag they gave me!”

  57. Ride dem haunches
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#51): Hoping that the King Features *WDYTTCIAS* got rid of all their Little Orphan Annie secret decoder rings after they dumped the strip?

  58. Austria
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    @Purple Prosecutor (#4): Well, Calvin the character was named for Calvin the philosopher, so really, either one could work. Also, does your name reference what I think (hope!) it references…?

    BC: Ha! ….I will never not be dumbfounded whenever I laugh at BC.

    …Batuik x Johnston, OTP. They can make miserable babies and raise them in the ways of made-up slang.

    RMMD: Look at her face. She’s so darn smug.

  59. Mibbitmaker
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    Popeye: Barry Hansen invests!

    FW: Maybe Batiuk is intending it as an ancient Greek or Roman phrase: vendos, foodos canceros

    And his attempt at stating horrrrible chemicals is like Bugs Bunny in “Hot Cross Bunny” threatening the doctor with a chocolate malted. That’s the not-smart Bugs trait, by the way, Tommy, not his brash and resourceful traits.

  60. Sequitur
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:33 am [Reply]

  61. queek
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    Baka Gaijin will want to frame today’s Bizarro.

    Zits and JP show how NOT to and how TO do Baretto-age, respectively.

  62. Illustrator Steve
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    MT – “Butch may be blind, Mark, but he remembers you from your scent. Oddly enough, Sally also recognized you from your scent and she’s not even blind. However, Sally did say something about how she could smell you a mile away and for me to tell you that you need to take a bath before coming into her UNAFFORDABLE house!”
    “TELL Sally I can not take a bath until Jackelrod erases these smelly clothes and boots that I have been wearing since last October!”

  63. The Modesto Kid
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    My understanding of today’s Marvin is, “The kid draws his own smell lines.” A budding cartoonist!

  64. Trix
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    @pugfugg @pugfuggly (#6): It would appear that Ruby is every ones mother! The familial resemblance is uncanny.

  65. bunivasal
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Have we ever seen the Spider Tracker before? Did it ever exist before it was a flimsy excuse to have Peter mope about how hard it is for him to find his loved ones when they’ve fallen victim to constant abductions? Wasn’t his aunt abducted by mole people last year? Why wasn’t she wearing a Spider Tracker?

  66. Cloudbuster
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    Pibgorn: So fairies lay eggs and devour their mates. Wow. Kind of puts a gruesome new spin on Pib’s romantic relationship with Geoff. I totally want to make sure to be reading the strip when McE wraps up that plot line.

  67. Cloudbuster
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    A3G: That’s the least passionate artistic interpretation of a “break-down” I’ve ever seen.

    RMMD: No, Sarah, only whores like Kelly wear makeup!

    MT: “It’s so terrible, Mark! My dog is blind and can still hunt! And … I’m sorry, I forgot what the problem was. Pancakes?”

  68. Cloudbuster
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @bunivasal (#65): Well, she’s pretty old, no sense in wasting one of those on her. They’re tricky to make.

  69. bats :[
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @Spiff Bereft (#31): there’s no joke, like an…
    (Oh, the veal is very good. Thanks for the suggestion.)

    @commodorejohn (#36): re MW: but what about the rainbow swirl ice cream that was promised?

  70. Frank Lee Meidere
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    @Flummoxicated (#44): Yep, a lighting stand-in and an extra are definitely two different things. And anyone who gets both jobs on their first try in Hollywood has earned bragging rights. But hey, Tiffany’s the bad one, right?

    @Chem Tutor (#50): Every semester for the past four years or so I’ve had a presentation on the evils of dihydrogen monoxide (sometimes delivered by a “guest lecturer”). A petition to ban it in all foods sold on Toronto municipal property is then passed around. After 98% of the students have signed it, I then rail at them for having just signed a petition banning water. Like Batiuk, they figure that anything with a chemical name is automatically evil, not knowing that everything that exists has a chemical name.

    Batiuk sucks.

    FW: Just for general edification, the first vending machine was invented by Hero of Alexandria in the first century AD. I don’t think even he called it a “vendo.”

  71. Illustrator Steve
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    MT – Tommy may have become a shape shifter since agreeing to being a lead caracter in this very troubled comic strip.
    The reason for say this is, 1) Tommy seems to appear somewhat different in almost EACH and EVERY panel ever since he first appeared.
    Or 2) Jackelrod’s staff just doesn’t give a rat’s ass any more.
    I think I’ll go with number 2.

  72. Sequitur
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    GA: We can cross Mississippi off the list of states that Gasoline Alley takes place. That prisoner would have been pardoned, not paroled, if it were Mississippi.

  73. bats :[
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @word-doctor (#56): re 2: “That is a coincidence. It looks exactly like the snipe-hunting bag Cherry and Johnny Malotte gave me!”

  74. Illustrator Steve
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    MT – “Yes Tommy, BLIND dogs can still hunt. Maybe Butch can be of some value to you and Sally by his staying at home to HUNT for the remote. I also hear that BLIND dogs are good at HUNTING for car keys as well! If that don’t ring Sally’s bells maybe Butch canhelp her HUNT for real MAN to have around the house instead of you, you SPINELESS JACKASS!”

  75. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    As Josh correctly points out: “…Calvin, who started from the premise of an omniscient, omnipotent God and declared that our ends were predestined before we were created, leaving any seeming room to maneuver an illusion,”

    On the other hand, Hobbes was a classical compatibilist. Compatibilists maintain that determinism is compatible with free will. This must be understood as the essential philosophical basis of Calvinball.

  76. commodorejohn
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#66): o_O


    Somehow McEldowney’s twee snideness manages to make that even squickier than the things that lurk in the dark corners of deviantArt already have. Sheez, the things I’ve stumbled seem wholesome now. John Paul II on a pogo stick, Brooke, are you trying to spite your detractors by taking them on a grand tour of every perversion the Internet has to offer?

    @bats :[ (#69): Well, this explains why the diner staff are so stiffly over-friendly to her – they’re terrified of the wild, swinging madwoman she becomes when Rainbow Swirl is withheld!

  77. Voshkod
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    The scribbles on the wall – so much more than mere scribbles, to be sure, but to the uneducated eye, just scribbles – matched the symbols in the eldritch coloring book, the one that smelt of dust and dry skin. His work was done, for now, and Marvin sat on his stool and waited for the first adult to come by. Free will, he thought. What a pallid concept when considered against the overwhelming glory of the Eater of Souls. He heard his mother’s footsteps in the hall and his smile widened. She opened her mouth to shout at him and her eyes locked firmly on the sigils. Unblinking she stared as the Eater of Souls feasted. First of many, O Lord, first of many.

  78. Sequitur
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    MW: Once the police showed up all the customers bailed. Let’s you know something about the clientele of the DINER.

  79. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#Y188): Yes, yes, YES! Piraro should make a year-long series on this theme. I’d pay.

  80. UncleJeff
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#60): Well.
    That does change things.
    Where do we begin to make amends to Mr. Batiuk.
    I’m sure he’s probably here right now waiting for an apology.
    Sir. It just sounded clumsy or inappropriate coming from someone of that age.
    Uh. I know we tend to overreact sometimes. But I hope that, uhhh.

  81. Sequitur
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

  82. hogenmogen
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Niki was hot on Kelly when she was all decked out in biker gear. When he saved her from Spider she had gone all vanilla. Niki didn’t show any affection beyond being a friend or general do-gooder. So Sarah asks “What about leather? And piercings? Would those attract Niki, do you think?”

  83. Popamatic
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    Get Fuzzy: Number of days since we’ve seen someone outside the apartment: 0. Zero! That’s right, go look, Satchel wandered outside to the sidewalk. Is this a rerun or an original strip? I seem to remember a strip a year or two ago very similar to this, with one character out on the sidewalk. Then everyone was back inside for a year. There was that one strip a year ago with Mac Manx McMannix or whoever on a transatlantic flight, and I think we saw Rob in the hallway once not too long ago.

    This ‘counting days since the title character appeared, or left their house’ schtick is problematic now in Judge Parker. Do we count the original Judge, or the new Judge? Hmm. I say the original Judge still counts, until he passes on. There was about a three year stretch when the original Judge did not appear, but recently he spent six weeks on a rooftop in the strip, so has caught back up.

    Then there’s Barney Google. I think I saw somewhere, can’t remember where, that he hasn’t appeared for around 5400 days, about 15 years. Wonder where I saw that.

  84. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#70): Every semester for the past four years or so I’ve had a presentation on the evils of dihydrogen monoxide (sometimes delivered by a “guest lecturer”).

    What are the evils of H2O? Drowning, of course. And it is a medium for the transmission of many diseases. And there’s the danger of excessive consumption. And, for the all important “yuck” factor, as W.C. Fields was supposed to have pointed out, fish fornicate in it.

    I must be missing a few. Please advise.

  85. The Gringo Kid
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    St. Augustine almost certainly liked a good poop joke, actually

    St. Thomas Aquinas would argue that divine intervention was behind Marvin’s poop.

  86. Dennis Jimenez
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    @The Gringo Kid (#85): St. Francis of Assisi would like it that Marvin isn’t housetrained….

  87. odinthor
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    GT. — Gil knows how to put a smile on Lini’s face. And Lini likes what he says about basketball, too!

    HtH. — Wait a minute. I thought this strip was about being a Viking, not about being a banker.

    WoI. — “Petite in the sexy section? You want our supervisor Golf-Pencil McGillicuddy. Oh, ‘sexy in the petite section’—eh [shrugs], same difference.”

  88. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @Loopina (#25): Lederhosen!

    @anty a (#46): I agree. The “Dark Douche” needs to be knocked down a peg or two.

    @Señor Tortilla (#52) on Bizarro: Yes, yes, YES!!!!

    @queek (#61): Yes, yes, YES!!!!

    @Sequitur (#81): Aaargh! Where’s the guy with the flame thower? Where? WHERE!!!

    @The Gringo Kid (#85): Divine intervention would do better to be downwind of Marvin’s poop.

  89. Walker of Dog
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @Dennis the Two and a Half Menace (#40): Ha! Or how about a reverse-chastity belt: MJ wears it in an attempt to guide Peter to her g-spot, while wondering if her spider-sense will ever tingle.

  90. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    @odinthor (#87) on Gil Thorp: Garage cleaning is involved? Or is it assless chaps and a turkey leg?

  91. The Gringo Kid
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#33): Doonesbury: Look, Trudeau, I happen to know that this is NOT the way to present a week of funny book-signing strips. I read Funky Winkerbean, ya know.

    Next week, the Red Rascal gets a mysterious courtesy-phone call warning him not to get on that plane.

  92. pugfuggly
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @Trix (#64):

    It would appear that Ruby is every ones mother! The familial resemblance is uncanny.

    Maybe Ruby is some kind of sponge-like creature: every time she leaves her toenail clippings in a damp spot, a whole new A3G character is spawned from the tissue. It might also explain those odd structures growing out of the top of her head….

  93. odinthor
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#90):

    Kaz told me it involves a cold steel table, training gloves, and neatsfoot oil. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  94. Hot Irk, End Gig
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    @Chem Tutor (#50): If it weren’t for glycerin, acetate, phosphoric acid, or tocopherol (common name: Vitamin E) Tom Batiuk would not exist.

    I am making a special return appearance solely to lobby for a total ban on glycerin, acetate, phosphoric acid and tocopherol.

  95. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    @The Gringo Kid (#85):

    St. Anselm’s Ontological Proof:
    Imagine a substance which by definition is the most vile, loathsome, disgusting substance in the universe: Marvin’s poop. Would not Marvin’s poop be less vile, loathsome, etc. if it were imaginary and did not actually exist? Would not Marvin’s poop which DID exist be more vile loathsome etc than the stuff that was merely fictive? Therefore, since, by definition, Marvin’s poop is the MOST v., l., and d. substance, by definition it MUST exist.

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

    // Who says theological study is a waste of time?

  96. The Gringo Kid
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:59 pm [Reply]


    That’s very roadside of you.

  97. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Bizarro is BAKA Approved©!

    Judging by the size of that hideous jacket, skinny Plugger dog there plans to blimp up any day now to the size of his forebears. Foredogs? Whatever.

    Uh, Jamaal, Herb wants ketchup. Step away from your assorted condom drawer.

  98. A Smirch Unheeded
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#88): So you’re a fan of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy, too.

  99. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#95): Has anyone ever told you that you think too much?

  100. The Gringo Kid
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

  101. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    Phantom — It takes some skill to land such a big fish while being shot at… I’m very impressed.

  102. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

  103. Dood
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    Marvin poops, therefore, he is.

  104. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    Get Fuzzy: I wonder what kind of beer Trés Interesting likes to drink, when he chooses to drink beer.

  105. Sequitur
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

  106. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#102): Are you positive about that? Are you just saying yes, yes, or are you saying yes I said yes I will Yes?

  107. This Guy
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    Frazz: I’m not a professional linguist, but even I know that talking about “the Native American word” for anything is even stupider than talking about “the European word” for something. At least the majority of European languages belong to the same family.

    MW: “Yes, thanks to us, that little girl can now rest easy in the safe custody of… hey, where’d she go?”

    Mutts: Fuckin’ snow racist.

    NS: You know, I’m not a humor racist, but all these punchlines kinda look the same to me.

    Shoe: The goggle-eyes of horror are definitely justified today–think of the poor bastards walking beneath that tree.

    @anty a (#46): Well, you know, a lot of us embrace the UNIX “no news is good news” approach when it comes to commenting on comics.

    @Popamatic (#83): Get Fuzzy is a rerun–the copyright date is 2010.

  108. BigTed
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    “How hard could it be to find a huge, mythical Norseman swinging a giant hammer? Oh, right, this is New York.”

  109. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    3G – Oh, Ruby. This is such a tender moment. You should really do something about that eye booger.

    Gil – “Super wrist action there from Lini ‘Oh Yes I Di-id’ Verde, as both teams stare in consternation at his strangely amorphous arms, leaving the basket completely unguarded for a big three-pointer for the Milfs!”

    Henry“Want to take my dolly for a walk, Henry?”
    Poor Henry. He just can’t say no!

  110. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    love is… …tea ‘n’ a-holes.

    Mary – Sorry, Bree, but Mary just has so much adrenaline and hostility in her system right now, and you’re right there. Tip: If you resist, she’ll just beat you longer.

    R=R – “…and that’s why there are …Two… skeletons… leaning on that tree. And now you know… the Rest… of the Story. Good Day!

  111. Poteet
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    S-M — Being taken to Asgard should be no problem for MJ. All she has to do, once there, is offer to perform a monologue from her current production for the assembled gods. After a few minutes of her jaw-droppingly-horrible acting, Thor will scoop her up and fly her back to earth so fast she’ll be lucky if any of her clothes stay on. “Sif” my ass.

  112. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    @gleeb (#y205): See? Them vendos get kids in trouble!
    Hey, you’re being prejudiced! On behalf of Vendo-Americans everywhere, I demand an apology!

    @Mumblix Grumph (#9): Wait a damn minute…what the hell is a “spider tracer”?
    It’s a device that tickles his Spider-sense, and as far as I recall, it’s been around since the Ditko days, and has been used at least once in the last year or so.

    @Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy (#47): …Shish-Boom-Baaah!!
    Karnak the Magnificent: “What is the sound of an exploding sheep?”
    Thanks, Johnny! Thanks, Ed! Thanks, Doc!

  113. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#80): Well, I for one am proud, orgulous, you might say, to point out that I did, in fact, posit that “vendo” might be slang for vending machine somewhere. I still think it is probably a regional thing, but who knows, by now it could be national. How many newspaper’s does FW run in? This could go viral! At least among the elderly folk who still read newspaper comics. Caption prediction: “Pluggers still remember when vendos sold cokes for a nickel.”

  114. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#58): NOBODY SAYS VENDOS
    Yeah, but Westview is Batiuk’s made-up place, so he gets to make up their slang. It’s hard to keep on top of real slang, and it dates a lot faster than the made-up kind. Be glad he didn’t take out an option on the glitzy patois Marvel has been using since 1963, Tiger!

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#84): I must be missing a few.
    Another seldom-noted danger of dihydrogen monoxide is social. Over 99.9% of mass murderers are found to be composed of over 90% of the substance. Moreover, they all ingest it, which makes it pretty damn suspicious. Seems to be a gateway to many other dangerous substances as well.

    @A Smirch Unheeded (#98): So you’re a fan of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy, too.
    I keep meaning to read that book. Until then, I’ll probably keep thinking of it as the end of one of my favorite Firesign Theatre sides.

  115. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    @Chem Tutor (#50):

    If it weren’t for glycerin, acetate, phosphoric acid, or tocopherol (common name: Vitamin E) Tom Batiuk would not exist.

    So you’re saying we SHOULD ban that stuff? Seems a little harsh. I mean, Batiuk’s annoying and all, but…

  116. This Guy
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#84): Let’s see…

    - Dihydrogen monoxide is a very powerful solvent, dissolving many other substances.
    - DHMO is a byproduct of many chemical and industrial processes.
    - Our lakes and rivers have been found to contain large quantities of DHMO.
    - Our atmosphere has been found to contain DHMO as well, and it is a major component of acid rain.
    - It was used by police as a weapon against protesters in the 1960s.
    - And more… (I especially love the “Nonsense, web design hasn’t changed since the 90s” look of this site. It really sells the concept.)

  117. Calico
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#82):
    “Just act more like Daddy does when he’s around Niki, sweetie – that should work-and besides, being a girl, you don’t have a foreskin that can be pierced.”

    Hey, does anyone else remember when Josh compared Widdle Sawah to Weng Weng? LOL

  118. The Rixter of Dibley
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    FW:The Building Blocks of Life
    And by “Life,” of course, the kid means “Cancer.” This is the Funkyverse, after all, where the characters are destined to evolve to the highest form of “Life” in Westview: Cancer.

    A3G: Ruby’s teardrop hasn’t moved since yesterday. More than enough time for Freddy Fender to be there.

    A3G, 2: I have a new theory about LuAnn’s father. Yesterday, I proposed it was Ari Papagoras. But what if it was Gary Powers?
    LuAnn: “Ruby, who was my father?”
    Ruby: “I guess the whole truth will have to come out now, LuAnn. Gary Powers was your father.”
    LuAnn: “Gary!?! But, Ruby, I married him – I married my own father! And you knew all along. How could you?!?”
    Ruby: “Yes, I knew, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop the wedding. But I could never allow you to consumate the marriage. So I made some arrangements.”
    LuAnn: “Arrangements? What arrangements?”
    Ruby: “First I got the Secretary of the Defense to call Gary back to active duty. Then I met with Ho Chi Minh and arranged to have Gary’s plane shot down.”
    Ruby: "Trust me, LuAnn, it was for the best."

  119. commodorejohn
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#116): Web design hasn’t changed since the ’90s. Any site that doesn’t degrade gracefully down to a browser with no CSS support and minimal Javascript capability doesn’t exist.

  120. Joe Btfsplk
    January 13th, 2012 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    A3G – LuAnn can be forgiven for not realizing that Ruby was her mother back when Ruby first showed up. Sometimes it takes a while for a new arrival’s face to start looking just like everyone else’s.

  121. Government Cheese
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    9CL: I have to admit, I don’t read this strip very often, but when I do, the guy who desperately needs a haircut is always humping the blond girl. I may have lost track of time on this, but it appears this has been going on for months. They should probably change the name of this comic from 9 Chickweed Lane to Blueballs Comics (Blueballs being the ones that the creator has).

    Luann: Tiffany, yes, I agree you should go to Hollywood to follow your stripper dreams. However, you have a bigger problem – you have been in high school for over 10 years now. It’s time to bite the bullet and get your GED.

    A3G: I think someone already mentioned this, but why does Ruby have fried eggs in her hair?

  122. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#114):
    I keep meaning to read that book.
    Some people find reading it to be a hard slog, which I understand if you try to take it too seriously. But much of it is actually an amazingly hilarious pastiche of English Lit from Beowulf onward. Joyce had a wicked sense of humor. There’s a reason the Firesigns quoted him.

    You might try an audio book version: Then you could think of it as a really, really long version of How Can You Be in Two Places, with the same ending!

  123. Dood
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    Just how big is that Spider Tracer? How does MJ wear it, like a crown?

    Hey, Peter, take two Heimdalls and call Asgard in the morning.

  124. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#80):

    After Batiuk presented that horrid, ghoulish, self-centered Dead Lisa Lisa Lisa-worshipping piece-of-shit proposal from Les to Cayla, he will *never* be afforded an apology for *anything*.

  125. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    @The Rixter of Dibley (#118): Ruby: “First I got the Secretary of the Defense to call Gary back to active duty. Then I met with Ho Chi Minh and arranged to have Gary’s plane shot down.”

    Good theory, but remember, Gary was in the Army Air Force. The Department of Defense did not exist when the AAF existed. Ruby must have contacted the Secretary of War.

    // You know, Secretary of War is such an awesome title!

  126. Marc
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    Alright I’ve never read 9 Chickweed Lane in my life so for whatever reason I just decided to go to gocomics and see what the deal is. I flipped through about 2 months worth of strips without really reading them to closely. So it’s pretty much just about a blond chick in her underwear, that models, and occasionally bangs some giant nerd? Am I close with that?

  127. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

  128. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#105): I approve.

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#106): I was a Baka of the Gaijin yes when I answered your comment like the Andalusian girls answered yes and how I agreed with you under the Moorish wall…and yes I said yes I will Yes. ”

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#109) on Henry: Yes, that’s a very funny comment.

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#122): Yes!

  129. Comcis Fan
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    Eatin’ from my vendos and goin’ on a car date

    (Car date car date goin’ on a car date)

    My Rolos, No Cheerios goin’ on a car date

    (Car date car date goin’ on a car date)

    Got my Cheez Curls, my pork rinds, goin’ on a car date

    Pickin’ up my bendo girl and Starburst, pickin’ button B8

    [Insert hip-hop DJ scratch record sound]

    (Car date car date goin’ on a car date)

    Eatin’ from my vendos and goin’ on a car date

    (Car date car date goin’ on a car date)

    If you don’t gotta a girl you still can masticate

    (Car date car date goin’ on a car date)

    [Hip-hip DJ scratchy record]

    Eatin’ from my vendos goin’ on a car date.

  130. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    @Comcis Fan (#129): Anytime I see the word “masticate” I automatically think of this:

  131. Der Schnärkïnätör
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

  132. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    January 13th, 2012 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#116): Dihydrogen monoxide is a very powerful solvent
    If you think those reasons aren’t convincing enough, consider that it’s used by pretty much every criminal in the world to such an extent that they are, in fact, composed of at least 50% water! WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#122): It’s not the slogging part, really. I just have never gotten around to it.

  133. Bluedot
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    I’m with Dood. Around what body part does MJ “always” wear that spider tracer? She must have biceps like an Olympic wrestler.

  134. Sequitur
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    As Marvin reflectively gnaws on his thumb, he asks the probing question, “Why are my feet potatoes?”

  135. Frank Lee Meidere
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#84): It’s all in how you phrase it.

    Inhalation of dihydrogen monoxide (or DHMO) kills hundreds every year. Exposure to its solid or gasseous form causes severe tissue damage. While not directly linked to cancer, it is found in all cancerous tumours. 90% of all dogs who have attacked a human without provocation have been exposed to DHMO within the previous half hour or so. It is present in pesticides, and once on vegetables can’t be washed off. It is in all municipal water supplies, and can even be found in glacier melts.

    And so on.

    It’s a hoax started by a high-school student for a science fair. He got something like 85% of the student population to sign a petition banning DHMO from school property. Since then it’s taken on a life of its own. A county in California almost banned Styrofoam because DHMO was involved in the making of it, and at the Cancun Climate conference last year, every delegate who was approached with a petition to ban DHMO signed it.

    I’ve got a little run-down on how I present it here.

  136. Illustrator Steve
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    MT – Today, a daily comic strip titled, “The Other Coast”, showed an OLD BLIND DOG being lead on a walk by a guide dog. Odd as it was, for unexplained reasons, the OLD BLIND DOG’s eyes did NOT look ANYTHING at all like Little Orphan Annie’s eyes.
    Would Jackelrod himslf or his sub,”@ the real mark trial”, PLEASE have the courtesy of explaining this to your readers? (most likely not, because they probably DON’T GIVE A RATS ASS!)
    Thank you

  137. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Marvin: In truth, Marvin has long existed in opposition to Calvin… Spiff, who was actually in a good comic.

    S-M: If the storyline resolves itself with Thor realizing Mary Jane isn’t Sif and dropping her back off in New York while Peter is in his boxers watching “Celebrity Apprentice”, this will be the platonic ideal of a newspaper Spider-Man adventure.

    JP: Marriage proposal from a Saudi royal? Well, I can see why a trifling detail like that would slip April’s mind.

    FW: Chullo Wearing Funky Clone is still trying to make “vendos” happen. He’s gotten his life of disappointment started early.

    SFx: One can hope that Boo Boo is just handling mud, rather than “mud.” I’m not convinced that’s the case, though.

    H&L: At this point I’m just surprised whenever Lois remembers the baby’s name.

    MW: Mary wants to celebrate their good fortune by having a fistfight with Bree in the parking lot.

    Phantom: In keeping with the late night martial arts movie feel, the writer has translated the secondary villain’s dialogue into Mandarin and then badly dubbed it back into English.

  138. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    H&J: Hey, this is a repeat! Or maybe I’m just remembering this joke from an old Pluggers.

    JP: April’s boobs, demanding attention, climb up to April’s collarbones to avoid having Randy’s view of them blocked by her arm.

    MW: What the hell is Mary doing? Did she just punch the waitress in the ear? Or is she about to go all Rocky Balboa on the meat in DINER’s freezer? For some reason I imagine Mary doing her impression of the Cowardly Lion’s “Put ‘em up! Put ‘em uuuup!”

    RMMD: “Mom, will I be as slutty as Kelly someday?”
    “You’ll be even sluttier, Sarah!”
    “Really? Maybe I should get a boob job or something!”
    “You don’t need a boob job, Princess… you’ll be inheriting these genes!”

  139. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#45):

    Not only are we to assume that Tiffany’s resume in inferior to that of LuAnn; we are also supposed to agree that it is inferior to that of her Goth “friend” whose resume consists of (1) one date with a geek and (2) a career of bored sneering.

  140. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#5):

    “Arlo & Janis — It’s a dyed-in-the-fur Friday the 13th joke using a coal black cat. (Ludwig’s disguise didn’t fool me for a moment!)”

    The joke would have been funnier if the strip had included the fourth panel, with Pepe LePew lustfully bounding after Ludwig…

  141. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#60): Oh please. If I want a barometer of how people actually talk, I don’t go straight to Urban Dictionary.

    (I go to a donut shop that also runs a side-business in marijuana, but that’s a story for another day.)

  142. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#138): On H&J: Yeah, I was pretty sure I recognized it too.

  143. Dennis Jimenez
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#103): If Marvin poops in a forest and nobody is there to smell it, does it still stink?

  144. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#13):

    As noted here a while ago, Asgard is currently (?) located near Broxton, Oklahoma, so the Spider-Tracer should have been able to handle the “pointing to” part. Whether Peter could have handled the “bothering to go all that way just to retrieve a wife” part is another question.,_Oklahoma

  145. Brad the Bold
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    Years ago, David Letterman had a Top 10 list of superpowers that didn’t deserve their own comic book. “Realy bendy thumbs”, “The ability to shake exactly two asprin out of the bottle every time”, etc.

    On the list was “The ability to score with other superheroes wives.” Who knew Thor was that guy!

  146. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#24):

    Mind you, I’m not sure that even if I were a sort-of-immortal Norse god that I’d really like the idea of making love with someone named “Sif.” That seems to be taking “social” media *way* too far.

    PETER: Oh, no! My wife has been abducted by a handsome Norse god?
    STRAIGHT MAN: Baldur?
    PETER: By now, probably…

  147. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#49):

    “Well, seeing Marvin isn’t doing a poop joke today…somebody’s gotta fill that bodily functions void on the comics page.”

    By implication, Grandpa in THE BRILLIANT MIND OF EDISON LEE may have volunteered, depending on just what his “mess in the bathroom” really was.

  148. Old School Allie Cat
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    …And in a bizarre crossover, Mary Worth is displaying the Mark Trail’s FIST! O! JUSTICE!!!!!

  149. This Guy
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#119): Oh? How does Josh’s blog look in Lynx? Okay, maybe it’s just my field–if you’re a game programmer, your technical director won’t come to you and say “Now, we need to make sure this can run reasonably well on a 286 machine running DOS 3.0.”

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#132): But you’ve got to be careful. It ruins it if you use the w-word.

  150. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#143): A coan philosophers will ponder for centuries to come. After big meal of bulky foods, of course.

    @This Guy (#149): Your technical director won’t come to you and say “Now, we need to make sure this can run reasonably well on a 286 machine running DOS 3.0.” I gather your company doesn’t market to Pluggers.

  151. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#62):

    Mark is too shy to bath at anyone else’s house. And he can’t take a bath/shower at his own house, because (a) he’s afraid Cherry might take advantage of him while he was naked and vulnerable, and (b) he’s never there long enough for that anyway (just time for pancakes, a phone call, and a quick neck massage to alleviate the plot whiplash in the typical conclusion-of-one-adventure / start-of- the-next-one on the same day routine).

  152. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#149): In my technical world, we call it the 80% Lowest Common Denominator theory of web browser support. Depending if your customer is ….

    … grandmothers trying out this “Internet-thing”, and might make a plane-ticket reservation one of these days — MSIE 6.0 is a must-support

    … ‘mudges — Chrome, Safari, Firefox are all good, as long as the RSS feed works.

    … my optometrist, who has a singuluarly-stupid Medicare web-based application — MSIE 5.5 and ONLY MSIE 5.5 is supported (and just you try installing MSIE 5.5 on a Windows7 box — amateurs need not apply).

  153. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#152): IE 5.5 on Win7? That sounds as appealing as swan diving into Marvin’s diaper genie.

  154. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    @A Smirch Unheeded (#98):

    “So you’re a fan of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy, too.”


    (and I thought well as well that soliloquy as another…)

  155. Dagger
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Marvin strip had a guest writer filling in. I predict tomorrow’s strip will be something like this:

    Panel One:
    Marvin to Scruffy Dog: Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Everything which distinguishes man from the animals depends upon this ability to volatilize perceptual metaphors in a schema, and thus to dissolve an image into a concept.”
    Panel Two:
    Scruffy Dog: I thought it was that we got to go to the bathroom outside.

    There you go, Marvin. Just go through the Wikiquotes of famous philosophers, make a shit joke, and call it good. You can call it “Existential Lafz.”

  156. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#113):

    “Caption prediction: “Pluggers still remember when vendos sold cokes for a nickel.”

    Well, while we’re at it shouldn’t we go for “Pluggos still remember when vendos sold cokes for a nicko”?

  157. commodorejohn
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#141): Yeah, I was gonna say. Urban Dictionary is all fine and dandy for looking up a term you’ve heard in use but don’t know, but as far as on-site representation correlating to real-world use, it’s pretty much Wikipedia for swears.

    @This Guy (#149): It looks lovely, actually, aside from the lack of images. It also looks fine in WannaBe, basically acceptable in iCab, and perfectly fine in Firefox 1.5 and Classilla. In fact, the only browser I’ve ever had trouble with it on is IceWeasel, as for some reason the site interprets the non-branded user agent string as belonging to a mobile browser. Other than that? It works fantastically. Because it’s well-designed, doesn’t require any more browser functionality than absolutely necessary, and degrades gracefully. This is what every website should do, instead of whining at the reader to upgrade to a browser that they may not like, that may not have features they require, or that simply may not run on their older computer. User bases do not exist as a population of guinea-pigs for a designer’s experimental whims.

    …sorry, pet peeve.

  158. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 13th, 2012 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    @rembrandt®36 (#39): You must be Nehemiah Scudder’s John Rose’s editor at King Features. (And to think I used to buy your toothpaste!)

  159. seismic-2
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    Could Marvin create a load so large that he couldn’t dump it?

  160. Black Drazon
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    “My wife has been abducted by Thor! And after she lectured me about being a bore and then went out to buy a negligee and a horned helmet, and then went out saying something about ‘pillaging verdant fields!’ …I wonder what I can make for dinner…”

  161. This Guy
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#150): I can’t imagine any game studio or publisher marketing to pluggers. It’d be much more efficient just to set fire to their money.

  162. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#157): User bases do not exist as a population of guinea-pigs for a designer’s experimental whims.

    Nor do user bases exist for the purpose of upgrading one’s resume — my pet peeve. A peeve developed by working in a call center with developers using NT4, Oracle8 and VB3, while the operations computers were all Win95, Oracle7, and VB2-runtime. It never failed that a developer would “just” meet a deadline for a customer program, only to have about 2 dozen drivers be missing from the production computer (undocumented, of course), the developer having gone home and left me (the floor tech) holding the bag for a $1million/minute offline penalty. The drivers, as it turned out, were for pretty graphical features totally unnecessary for actual operations, but helped the developer get his next job (which I made DAMN sure he needed after I got done with him).

  163. Shrug
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    KNIGHT LIFE: “Earth’s problems would be solved if it were run by 3 women in a bathtub.” And ive United Nations debates would draw great TV ratings.

    PICKLES: The cat has came closer to bring down a “wildebeest” on his very first attempt than any croc in PBS has gotten with the zebra in all these years…

    HEART OF THE CITY: I count 68 snowballs in the air at once in the second panel, so just how many kids are there attacking Heart and Dean? Clearly they must be very Unpopular In The Community.

    GARFIELD: Jon fumbles his attempt to bring up the possibility of some light bondage action with his girlfriend.

  164. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#153): Caused by an overeager tech who thinks ALL computer problems are fixed by upgrading to the latest/greatest version of Windows — dependencies, appropriateness, and backups be damned.

  165. Red Greenback
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    Personally, I think this whole “Marvin’s Shoes” thing smacks of Ritz Crackers.

  166. Baka Gaijin
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#164): Especially when you’re not using Windows!

  167. Der Schnärkïnätör
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    @Popamatic (#83): “Is this a rerun or an original strip?”

    My local dead-tree (Minneapolis Star Tribune) notes next to the strip that Darb is on vacation and that these strips have previously run.

    He must go on a lot of vacations, because they post these notes quite often.

  168. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#78):

    MW: Once the police showed up all the customers bailed. Let’s you know something about the clientele of the DINER.

    That they look like Scooby Doo cosplayers and like to snatch the wallets of oblivious biddies? Old news, amigo.

  169. The Wacky Curmudgeon
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Spiderman newspaper strips are about as exciting as taking a dump.

    Luann – Yeah Evans ok we get it . You didn’t get laid in HS by the hot dumb blonde so you created Tiffany in her likeness and making her the bimbo she was and left for Hollywood to be a porn dredge

    APT3G – Yes darlin I’m yer redneck mama – here let me do yer hair and oh darlin
    yer just so suhweet . GAG

    RMMD – This strip is so sickening – everyone is so clean cut and precious and self serving. Makes me wanna vomit

    Zits – Can Jeremy be any more of a douche than he already is ? evidently so since he seems to think sitting on his lazy ass all day patronizing him mom is so much work.

    The Phantom – ZZZZZ need I say more. BOOOOORING

    Drabble – The blue dudes was funny in the beginning but now it’s gotten long in the tooth and stupid

  170. Xanadude
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Non snarky info seeking question: Can anyone please explain to me what is going on in Judge Parker? I read it daily, but, really, I have NO clue what’s going on at this point.

  171. Der Schnärkïnätör
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#157):

    Speaking of the Urban Dictionary, I’ll have use it to look up the term “Swag” when I get home (the site is blocked at work).

    I heard that “Swag” is the latest term that kids are now using to indicate that somebody is “hip”, “cool”, “rad”, etc. take your pick.

    I bet they don’t realized that us nerdy engineers have been using that term for years and years as an acronym for “Scientific Wild Ass Guess”.

    I guess we nerds were cool before our time!

  172. Der Schnärkïnätör
    January 13th, 2012 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    @Xanadude (#170):

    Sorry. I just read it for all of the bewbees myself, but I know what you mean.

  173. Dale
    January 13th, 2012 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail

    I’m reminded of the scene in The Great Escape where the fellow with the failing
    eyesight plants a pin on the far side of the room.

    Butch can still hunt – in the house, maybe in the back yard.
    Put him in a strange field a few miles from home. How does he keep from falling into or bumping into things?
    Maybe he could respond to voice comments if Tommy goes along.
    Would that work with a stranger? “Butch! Electrified fence! That must have hurt.”

  174. The Gringo Kid
    January 13th, 2012 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#122): I read Ulysses while living in Tokyo back in the mid-90s and found it to be hilarious. Of course, I thought the same thing about The Red and the Black, so make of that what you will.

  175. The Gringo Kid
    January 13th, 2012 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#126): So you missed the joy that was the months-long slog through the Nazi-Banging Granny plot, which was the plotline when I first tuned in to 9CL. Lucky you.
    I’d try to lay out the basics of McElClowney’s little world for you, but I’m a beefwit.

  176. Lazarus Lupin
    January 13th, 2012 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Howdy Hi,

    I’m certain given time Marvin could work in poop jokes with that theological stance. Actually there’s a bit of tension between Calvin and Marvin’s position with regards to poop jokes. On the one hand poop will be pooped no matter what, so that definitely falls into Calvin’s philosophy. On the other hand we can have some control over the means and manner of our poop. We can even affect the nature of poop through diet. I can see much philosophical dialog (Punctuated by gassy intervals) coming from this new line. We definitely should celebrate Marvin if it takes this bold move.

    Coming from nowhen

    Lazarus Lupin

  177. Ginger Yellow
    January 13th, 2012 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    There’s nothing creepy about planting a tracking device on your wife. Nope. Nothing to see here.

  178. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 13th, 2012 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    @The Gringo Kid (#174): It’s amazing how an hour or two trying to memorize kanji cards make anything in English look brilliant.

  179. Happythoughtindeed
    January 13th, 2012 at 7:31 pm [Reply]

    Just wanted to say, “Thanks”!! I sent this Marvin strip along with your comments to my favorite Calvinist preaching pastor and he was thrilled. You’re going to be mentioned in several upcoming sermons.

  180. Ian Beste
    January 13th, 2012 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#146): Rim shot!

  181. Alison
    January 13th, 2012 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    “Luann”: More of Tiffany being bashed, oh hooray. I see that when Luann records a crappy song she wrote by herself, aided only by a fellow high school student, in her own house, nobody laughs at her and tells her she’s a wannabe. But when Tiffany scores an actual job working on a real movie being filmed in Hollywood, all she gets from other people is “Ha ha, you actually think you can be in show biz! Keep dreaming, you nobody!”

    It’s all so hypocritical that it makes me miss the strips about Brad and Toni Not! Having! Sex! Ever!

  182. Robert Hagedorn
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:07 pm [Reply]

    Saint Augustine? Challenge yourself. Google First Scandal.

  183. Sisi
    January 13th, 2012 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#78): So why isn’t the Diner called “Munchies”?

  184. Sisi
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#58): FW: Actually, Albanians say “vendos”. It means, “I decide.”

    For Humpty Dumpty, read “Tom Batiuk”:

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

  185. Edwin Herdman
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    Nihilism is no escape!

  186. Purple Prosecutor
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:52 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#58): It refers to Miles Edgeworth of the Ace Attorney series, the prosecutor who wears a suit which I consider to be purple (though I’ve heard some disagreement on this, but I don’t see how it could be considered any other color).

  187. Rhekarid
    January 14th, 2012 at 1:00 am [Reply]

    You may think it’s a change of pace from the poop jokes, but I’m not convinced those squiggles behind Marvin aren’t a series of colorful stink-lines emanating from his diaper.

  188. anon
    January 14th, 2012 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: I object to today’s SO MUCH. The oldies from the 60′s are NOT in the same category as Lawrence Welk. I’ve never heard ‘kids today’ laughing at the 60′s, in fact my daughter said she was envious that they played such good stuff when I was young. Compared to what’s out there today? She has a point.

  189. Francis
    January 30th, 2012 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    I’m entertained by how depressed Peter is in the first panel, before he discovers that the spider-tracker has fallen off. Basically, it looks like he’s irritated in advance for all the effort he’s going to have to expend to chase Thor down, until he finds a convenient excuse not to.

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