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Curtis — Keepin’ it real

Curtis, 9/3/07


Curtis, 9/11/06


Curtis, 9/19/05


Curtis, 9/13/04


– Uncle Lumpy

183 responses to “Curtis — Keepin’ it real”

  1. longshanks
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    Is it Groundhog Day AGAIN????

  2. ZippyWooWoo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about. At the very least, the smog levels in each subsequent panel one have dropped considerably…

  3. Stan
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:20 am [Reply]

    How can he keep the same pajamas for three years? You’d think they’d wear out with all the pulling and tugging Mom dishes out.

  4. Obélix
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    So, does Billingsley think he is Art Buchwald, and “Curtis on the first day of school” is the equivalent of the Thanksgiving story of Kilomètres Deboutish, to be repeated endlessly and annually?

  5. Loopina
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    I’m pretty impressed that Curtis is going to school on Labor Day. Those public schools must be hardcore!
    At the very least, the art and text is slightly different every year. My personal fave has to be Mom with the bucket of water.

  6. Ubiq
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:28 am [Reply]

    Well, if it had been forty minutes this year, then I might have said this was clever in a way, but the almost direct reptition of last year’s strip is just old-fashioned laziness.

    At this rate, Curtis will be late for school on September 3, 2012.

  7. t.a.m.s.y.
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    I do like that the action seems to have taken a violent turn. I look forward to next September’s waterboarding.

  8. The Avocado Avenger
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:51 am [Reply]

    At this point he’s been doing it so long he can claim it’s a running gag. Good lord, even the “RAP” poster in the background is the same.

    FW: Okay, who is the pathetic guy with the ponytail to try to compensate for the receding hairline?

  9. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    #7 AA –

    “Crazy” — lived in his locker as a Westview student; cap always hid eyes; played pizzas on turntable.

    Now an AFSCME-carded mail-carrier for the USPS. Not yet diagnosed with cancer.

  10. Anonymous
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    well at least he’s drawing new stuff each time.

  11. fluffy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    One of the few people whose drama has ended up with a happy ending. Even though he did have to question his sexuality briefly as part of it.

  12. BigTed
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:22 am [Reply]

    That’s weird, but one can only assume that it’s done on purpose… I guess it’s his version of Lucy and the football, although in this case the readers are Charlie Brown.

    What strikes me as genuinely disturbing, though, is showing the outline of a cityscape and talking about “day one of a war”… in the strip that ran on the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

  13. Rainbird
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:24 am [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy, it is past midnight PDT. You must never sleep.

    What I find odd is not that Curtis repeats the strip, but that it is going to take the kid an extra day to get ready for school (as Monday is always labor day).

  14. Rainbird
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    A3G OK, What has Margo never done? She’s obviously done the beast with two backs more than we can think. Shudder.

    Perhaps it is three-some with Eric’s sister-in-law?

    Will we get to watch?

  15. TB Tabby
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    Oh lord…if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all the internet fads I’ve seen, it’s that repeating a single joke over and over again ad nauseam does NOT a running gag make. But at least BIllingsley, unlike the Soviet Russia/giant enemy crab/O RLY crowd, has the decency to limit the repitition to once a year.

  16. Dr. Dos
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    I’ve never bothered commeting on this site before, but Jesus that really is as sloppy as it gets.

    At least Garfield tends to be in a different position when he bitches about Mondays each week.

  17. Octal
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:46 am [Reply]

    Oh, man. At least they didn’t reuse the art.

  18. huntingbyrd
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:47 am [Reply]

    Jeez even i don’t give that much fuss when my mom gets me out of bed!Curtis looks wierd everytime he tires to get out of bed and eachtime his mother gets more phsical.

  19. pseudonomous
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:06 am [Reply]

    And #3: The Larch

    The Larch

  20. David McGuire
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:23 am [Reply]

    Look at the last panels only!
    There’s a progressive action going on there!
    Will 2008 be the year Curtis loses grip of his bed?
    Will they be out the door in 2009?
    Passing through the kitchen in 2010?
    Will she be shoving him into the bus, still in his pajamas, in 2011?

    Oh, why must this strip only come once a year?

  21. Spotted HØrse
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:26 am [Reply]

    It’s kinda sad that Curtis can’t take that boot off his head to go to sleep without being disastrously off model.

  22. Rainbird
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:33 am [Reply]

    #20 Spotted HØrse I did look at the progression, and what bothers me is that in the first one Curtis is about to be doused with water. Has he been in a wet bed all this time?

  23. Jym
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:45 am [Reply]

    =v= Curtis also takes the boot off his head when he visits his barber. Which is perhaps why the barber never recognizes him when he comes in the door wearing it?

  24. awa64
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:54 am [Reply]

    #3 Stan:

    I’m astounded that they managed to keep the same pajamas around for three years running, but seem to have replaced the window annually.

  25. Frank Parsnip
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:59 am [Reply]


    Reporter guy: “I’m astonished you’d let a boy with one leg take these kinds of risks”

    Gil: “I’m astonished that someone has removed my right arm!”

    Jugs Parker: Yes, Busty Duncan conducts all her key negotiations standing up just about a foot away from the counterparty. Obviously she’s read the excellent negotiation book “Getting to Yes! Yes! YES! GOD YES!”

  26. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:09 am [Reply]

    I’m gonna snark that foob right out of my hair
    I’m gonna snark that foob right out of my hair…

    A3G Tonight’s the night that Margo feeds her lust! Oh but wait – Dopplemargo is heading back to town, and to Eric! Oh, what shenanigans we’ll get to see! I can’t wait!
    Archie You know, today’s was funny. Yeah, odd I know.
    FC Thel’s bad posture is the only thing that’s holding her back from having a Trudi-challenging rack.
    FBoFW So, does the fact that liddle Mehwee has luscious pouty lips mean she’ll go roadside sooner than April?
    GA As holiday shout-outs go, today’s was pretty nifty.
    (DT)GT What is Marty Moon threatening Gil with in the last panel? A skinny microphone, probably, but how do we know for sure? Maybe a pencil? A ruler? A sex toy? A sort of risk?
    JP Rosa interrupted right at the climax! Or what would have been the climax online and not in a family-friendly newspaper.
    MT Isn’t Mark going to tell Homer that a male duck is sitting on the nest, or doesn’t he know? Or is Homer going to get punk’d? Or is Mark the one getting punk’d?
    MW Someone who can do WHAT, Mary!
    PBS The gift that keeps on giving. Keep it up, Pastis! It’s wondermas.
    RMMD You know, Heather, maybe if you showed a little skin, Peter would be more willing to cut a deal.

  27. Trilobite
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:19 am [Reply]

    Look at that, it’s Monday’s comics, making me wish THEY had the day off:

    A3G: Tonight’s the night, huh? How is it even possible that Margo thinks that Eric’s going to propose, when he goes away on a long trip to China and falls asleep on her the first night he’s back in town? Not to mention the fact that the last time we had to deal with the two of them together, she was whipsawing between her vengeful jealousy for sister-in-law Nora and inexplicable giddiness? I mean, to maintain that kind of unsupportable, completely insane delusion takes an epic level of egomania, and probably a delicate balance of unprescribed and illegal medications…

    …oh, wait, I just answered my own question.

    Still, I look forward to seeing how Margo reacts to NOT getting a ring on top of Nora showing up to confess her love for Eric. I want to see furniture broken and blood everywhere, just to make up for that god-awful week where we had to read about Tommie’s love life!

    Gil Thorp: Wait, Bill Ritter came out? When the hell did that happen? Anyway, ignore the evil Vulcan brandishing the piece of chalk at you, Coach — I’m not sure that there’s any real risk involved with letting the one-legged kid play football: at least you know he won’t blow both of his knees out.

    Mark Trail: It seems like an awfully suspicious coincidence that both Homer and Mark’s camera have ex-wives named “Shirley.”

    Mary Worth: How To Break Up With Your Girlfriend The MARY WORTH Way, on sale now wherever books, ointments, and amoeba-print clothing are sold! This particular bit of advice comes from Chapter Two, “Drama needs an audience — Why you should break up where I can watch you do it.”

  28. The Avocado Avenger
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:27 am [Reply]

    #8 Uncle Lumpy and #10 fluffy – I remember the character from the old strip. Too bad he’s back in town. He’s sure to die in some hideous way in a poorly-executed storyline.

    A3G – I dislike Margo so much that I cannot wait for her to find out she’s not going to get married. This is Apartment 3-G, Margo, as in “Three Girls”. Unless Blaze moves in after discreet gender reassignment surgery, you’re stuck there for eternity, honey, and for no other reason than our benign amusement.

  29. Jen
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:15 am [Reply]

    Well, it does say “one of many” skirmishes. And this year the assumption in panel 3 is that the “dear reader” knows what’s coming. It’s obvious that this has been cleverly planned laziness all along.

  30. AppleGirl
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:48 am [Reply]

    That annual Curtis is just creepy. I remember being so weirded out on the 9/11 one last year, really bleak to have it run on 9/11.

  31. AppleGirl
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:49 am [Reply]

    FOOB – Oh, woe is me. No more weddings to throw potatoes at. “All Michael, all the time” is definitely the day the music died.

    Do they at least get to wear shoes the second time around?

  32. The Restless Night
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:51 am [Reply]

    Josh must have this secret comics war room in his basement, with a huge computer to keep track of all the comic strips. (He got it at the “Superfriends” liquidation auction, along with Aquaman’s old Plymouth and some office furniture. )

    Otherwise he lives in a newspaper-filled hovel, blearily searching his Curtis clippings and bickering with the wife, who holds forth at the ironing board in an old nightgown, with curlers in her hair, and chain-smoking.

    Maybe both.

  33. Lynngineering
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:57 am [Reply]

    Freezing FBOFW:
    While FOOB begins a campaign, along the lines of:
    “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Winston Churchill

    I can’t help but notice:
    “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

    ..where “remembering” is only one part of a much grander task that relates to being conscious in the present, which means engagment, of the kind that turned so many enquiring minds to the psychoanalyist, where together they operate as part historian, storyteller, detective and most likely law-breaker… to craft a viable, living narrative.

    In Michael’s case, alone as he is in his mind, the descent into the final, “September Solution”-assisted, stabilized, vegetative state of being has been long and coming, but throughout his coma fantasy has been active. His complete narrative can be summed up as the cautionary tale to FBOFW, the dark underside of the future being enacted as of today:

    “Those who repeat the past are remembering it as a condemnation of the present.”

    As there remains a somewhat measurable neurological activity the decision for the doctors to maintain his life-support wasn’t difficult, except to get some family input, as none of the Pattersons really visit anymore…

    Dee has resigned herself to a new life, not really getting over as much as working through her extreme resentment for Michael’s selfish decision to run back upstairs into the fire to save his manuscript. In the beginning of his stay at the burn-ward she feigned optimism, even following the doctors suggestion to bring his manuscript and read a few pages outloud to him daily. But she stopped soon after the first days, embarassed for whomever could hear her reading what turned out to be the inarticulate ramblings of an obviously juvenile author.

    Take a cue from Michael’s actions, and the Patterson family perspective, her only decision became how to manage her own life ahead. She started consulting with lawyers, how a divorce from a comatose partner works, what about inheriting debt (Michael was unemployed and bet the bank on his future book without telling Dee), and property – whether she can convince Elly to handle the spawn as she gets the hell out of that town to start a new life… Maybe that fool sister of his, Liz, will adopt them…

    In order to secure her exit, she made it a point to often visit the head of the family, Grandpa Jim, where they would talk about her situation at the breathing points between his war stories. She knows he also couldn’t care less about Michael and would feel sympathy with her plight. Despite that Jim still tries to paw her ass whenever Iris isn’t looking, Dee figures he is the best Patterson for the occasion. It’s just a matter of careful planning…

    Meanwhile in Michael’s coma fantasy, where all lines lead to Michael, he’s drawn a circle that permanently closes off any contact betwen his position and the world outside. Within the circle is all the life that matters, from book to book: from that moment he ran back to retrieve his book (and its promise of a new life as an author) to controlling the family albums (the archives, signs of lives that have promised to gone on without him).

    His book crafted a semi-biographical character, inevitably for him to exploit for his life as an author, and the same will be true here with the family albums. That’s the narcissistic center of which Michael’s coma fantasy feeds. Perhaps there, on occasion while flipping through the albums, he may still get the odd synapse or two firing off like subconscious wake-up signals, which manifest in his fantasy to appear like dog-eared pages, warm, singed with soot, markers made earlier to return to a certain family portrait… where in the background he could glimpse a familiar stairway ascending out of focus, or is it a cloud of thick, grey smoke.. he won’t recall anymore.

    Still…who said what’s done can not be undone, doesn’t know FBOFW…

  34. dale
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:11 am [Reply]

    Curtis -
    the savory scent of breakfast? — Unless I’m hungry enough to eat it myself at that time of day (extremely rare event), I’ve always found it a bit sickening.

  35. Lu
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:25 am [Reply]

    Wow. When I “read” Curtis this morning (quoted becasue I didn’t read the actual words, of course) I was wishing I could do a wee little compare and contrast with past years. Groovy. Now on to spending the rest of the week with “Onion”…

  36. Tommy Smarts
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:27 am [Reply]

    In the future Foobiverse, ca. 2984, the Pattersons home will be run by a domineering and omniscient presence (a.k.a. Big Mother), the people will use a bewildering “newspeak” to discuss thing such as “going roadside”, and the family will eternally be at war with made-up interchangeable enemies such as “Rebecca”, “Jeremy” and “Therese”. Food rations will be enormous plate-sized “hamburgers” made out of recycled Tim Horton grease, and those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes will be redrawn significantly uglier and given embarrassing dialogue to speak. On this point, it is worth noting that Shannon was a University of Toronto math professor facing a career dilemma about whether to compete in the Miss Universe pageant until she offended Johnston.

  37. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:52 am [Reply]

    Curtis: HAHAHAHAHAHA ! I was just reading Curtis in the Seattle PI and thought: “Ha ! just like last year ! I should snark about that.” So I come back here and taste failure !!!

  38. Razmytaz
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:57 am [Reply]

    Funked-out Depressionbean: so… the High School somehow contracted cancer? Or do we actually get some flavor of the old FW? Maybe Les get’s his hall monitor enforcer machine gun after all, and we get to see him take out the incompetent doctor’s office.

  39. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:07 am [Reply]

    Curtis: Since his teacher retired….ummm…will the new one be a caucasion blonde lady with a fresh teaching cert and a dream ? I think Curtis will have a new love interest. Wait for the little floating hearts.

    Foobville: Lynn should recount a young Grandpa Jim’s WWII adventures in His Majesty’s Royally Mounted Boxcar Brigade

    FW: My God ! Has Batiuk called up Crazy to appease us old farts who were in High School when the character played frozen pizzas on his record player ?

    MT: Great. This guy will be holding a gun to the duck until his ex-wife Shirley comes back to him. “I named after yooooooo…”

    PBS: I wonder if Pastis has actually talked to Keane at the yearly cartoonists meetings. Probably pretty uncomfortable if they get the same dinner table in the ballroom.

  40. willethompson
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:09 am [Reply]

    UL, I worked long and hard to get the local rag to ditch Curtis. Thank you for reminding me why. This is like viewing pictures of Dachau and going, “Oh, so THAT’S why we fought WWII!”

    And now, some brief Labor Day labor, as I have already taken the recycling to the curb…

    A3G: If Margo says, “Tonight’s the night!” then Eric’s ‘spidey-sense’ better be tingling like fingertips after catching a frozen football. And by ‘spidey-sense,’ I mean he had better carefully check Margo’s abdomen for the red hourglass before doing anything else.

    (DT)GT: So, Bill Ritter’s “come out?” Of the closet? And he’s one-legged, too? What do you call that act? The Aristocrats?

    MT: “And you say her name is Shirley?” No, no, NO, Jackelrod, the joke only works if you set it up with something like, “Surely the duck isn’t the cause for this delay?” “Yes, Shirley the Duck IS the cause for this delay!” Then Homer and Mark both shout, “Third base!” The dialog balloons will come from their crotches.

    MW: “Tell her she deserves someone who can!” Dr. Drew thinks about Mary’s advice, appearing to nod in agreement. Instead, he’s formulating a plan where he calls Dawn from a payphone, and in a Mexican accent, tells her he’s Sgt. Juarez of the Tijuana State Police and that Dr. Cory has been found crushed to death beneath a two-meter pile of hookers.

  41. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    See? See? I told ya Unca Lumpy would bury my thought-provoking essay question again. And I pegged the time right, about 2 a.m. Eastern. I even dreamed about it last night. Oh, well. Might as well snark!

    A3G: Nice jut, Margo. Better go put on the Battle Bra, though, in preparation for your death-duel with Nora the Implorer.

    Blondie: Alexander, you look exactly like him now. Praise Mendel you got your mom’s nose, at least.

    (WT)DT: Now we know which three panels will be repeated all this week.

    FC: AHAHAHAHA! A golf joke! Hahahahaha!!! You never get to see those on the comics page any more, do you? And… and… what a joke! Billy’s implying his dad is… get this… a bad golfer! Right in front of him!!! BWAHAHAHA!!!!!! *gasp* heeheehee!!!!1 Stop it, Keane, you’re killin’ me!!!!!11!

    GA: Looks like Scanarelli got tired of lovingly rendering the chain-link fence just about at the “N” in “Gasoline…” but how is that sign supposed to be twist-tied to the board fence on its right side? I bet he had a golf game to go to. BWAHAHAhahaha!!! I did it to myself that time! Golf!!! *snicker*!!!!!

    H&L: Really, is there any school district in the country that hasn’t been in session for three weeks already? I know most of these cartoonists haven’t seen the inside of a classroom since they had to bring their own chalkboard to write the catechism on, but c’mon, it’s not hard to do a little research. I’m not asking for new jokes, just adjust your worn-out-cliche schedule to match reality.

    Big Dog: And thus begins a week of TV network product placement. It continues tomorrow when Marmaduke and the neighbor dog “trade spaces” to redecorate each others’ living rooms in a bone motif, and culminates on Saturday, when Discovery Channel cameramen capture Marm being eaten by a shark.

    MW: “Tell her she deserves someone who can…” Can what, Mary?! Finish your sentence! Someone who can… pull off the green-suit look? Touch the tip of his nose with his tongue? Carry on a discreet romance without blabbing to the biggest busybody in three states? Look at a purple kitten-applique T-shirt without throwing up a little in the back of his throat? What?!?

    MG&G: Is actually funny today.

    MC: So is My Cage. I like geek humor, when it’s done well. As long as Norm doesn’t start straying into less savory areas of Star Wars speculation.

    PBS: Tremendous. When we would expect a lesser cartoonist to have exhausted his gag and move on, Pastis pulls out even more funny. This strip is one of the classics of our generation. (And I say this as someone who is not, himself, a member of this generation. My generation already had Calvin & Hobbes. But I’m greedy.)

    Phantom: Why do they continually, specifically refer to the subject of Tendai’s drawings as “that hero”? Doesn’t she know what she draws? Why wouldn’t they say something general like “your drawings” instead? Meh, I actually got nothing funny to say here. But Mom sure knows how to rock the pencil skirt, doesn’t she?

    SFx: Slylock’s doing his best to worm his way into the roster for Uncle Lumpy’s upcoming “Beefcake” page. His effort is thwarted, though, by his pathological fear of ever parting with his cape and deerstalker cap.

    TDIET: Hey, Mom. Shopping bags are heavy and awkward. When’s the last time you carried one half a block? Maybe if you let Yorkie carry the groceries in a knapsack, huh? Think about that, won’tcha. G’night, and may God bless.

  42. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:27 am [Reply]

  43. Mollyscribbles
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:31 am [Reply]

    I do offer credit for the new artwork and something resembling consistancy for the building’s location. And the annual progression — the sun is higher, and his mother drags him further out of bed. And it’s labour day — perhaps the poor guy just feels like cutting a few corners for what’s supposed to be his day off.

  44. Keg of Curd
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    Preteena today is about hair. Not anything else.

  45. Godzooky
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    #39 willethompson: Can’t quite get the Curtis hate here. It’s not exactly the next Calvin & Hobbes, but, especially if you live in a city, it has nice, relatable characters, some relatable situations and reactions, and, like many other strips, repeating riffs (first day of school, Curtis vs. the teacher, Curtis reading comics in class, Curtis vs. Barry, Curtis vs. the bullies, the Curtis-Michelle-Chutney triangle, Gunk, Kwaanza). It has a certain wash-rinse-repeat quality, but Ray Billingsley throws in just enough variations so it’s readable.

    Also, considering the overwhelming whiteness of most comic strips (memo to A3G‘s creators: New York City’s population includes people of many races, nationalities, and cultures) and the persistence of outright offensive strips (i.e., Redeye or Tumbleweeds), I find Curtis a sort of mediocre, but welcome bit of diversity on the comics pages.

    Btw, as lukewarm as I am about the strip, I think Billingsley’s more than earned a shot at a paperback collection and I have to wonder why the book publishers are still leaving him on the outside looking in.

  46. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:15 am [Reply]

  47. Islamorada Girl
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    And now, it’s time for another episode of:
    -presented by the WalMart School of Acting-

    Today, Mary Worth, Life Coach, advises two- timing scumbag Dr. Drew Corey to play the “It’s not you; it’s me” defense!

  48. Bud
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    Thank GAWD for blogs like these – keeping an eye out for us! In all seriousness, once again its a blog that exposes the media industry for all it is – shameless hackery weaved over and over again.

    Great catch, Uncle Lumpy!

  49. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:26 am [Reply]

    to Jana C.H. concerning your #154 on the SUNDAY CONFUSION thread,

    I have a feeling that I’d better post this here rather than the thread where your comment appeared, since we are changing threads with lightning speed these days. (Thanks, Uncle Lumpy! Fewer posts per thread is great! But I feel sort of like I’ve been riding a slow, plodding horse that has suddenly decided to gallop.)

    Anaway, thank you for that link. That’s one incredible page, and I got side-tracked many times on the way down. Even when I got to Princess Ida I had to just skim it. I did bookmark it, and will read it all in detail tomorrow.

    MIKADO is the favorite of both my daughters, as you might expect. And we all loved the movie TOPSY-TURVY, and have the DVD. As for PRINCESS IDA, I have a great story concerning that one, from when I was a kid:

    After the first production we ever saw (Ruddigore), my parents took us for years to see the bi-annual G&S productions in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the University of Michigan. We were regulars, and they always gave us seats in the third or fourth row. Somehow though, for the PRINCESS IDA production, they sent my Dad tickets for seats way in the back the theater. He was really annoyed, and wrote them a letter saying what huge fans we are, how we always came to the productions, that he always gave money to the G&S society, and why had they given us crummy seats this time?!

    They apologized, and gave us front-row seats! And during the performance, to our great surprise and delight, when they got to the line, “and now you’ve nothing whatever to grumble at” the actors came up to the edge of the stage and looked and sang straight at my Dad. He was vastly amused, as you might imagine!

    To tell the truth, I often think of that lyric when reading the CC snarks: Yes, the life of a Comics Curmunion IS extremely flat with nothing whatever to grumble at!

  50. Mack
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    40 Spider-Brick – Re: H&L. On the West coast, a lot of schools are not yet in session, and here in Ohio, the local schools just started last week. While I’m kind of confused as to why school is apparently starting on Labor Day in many strips, they’re not all terribly behind.

  51. Little Guy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    So…. Curtis hates to get up for school. Is that right?

  52. jules
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    My paper doesn’t carry Curtis – I had no idea. Scary.

    TDIET: Young Yorkie would rather walk a cute girl home than help his mother with chores. Whaa-a-a-a?! Whut’s the world comin’ to?

    A3G: For the love of God, Margo, don’t answer that question!!

    PBS: BWAAAA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    FW: So this morning I thought, “Finally! We’ll take a break from cancer while Crazy breaks into the construction site to steal his old locker! This might actually be funny!” And then I realized he’ll probably be crushed by a load of falling bricks, or run over by a crane that’s backing up. I’ve learned not to expect joy here.

  53. R
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:34 am [Reply]


    Ok, not a great one, but still- it’s only once a year, unlike others of it’s kind. There are better (or rather, worse) things to bitch about.


  54. alamo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    43 — ri-i-i-i-ight! uh-huh. if anyone want to believe that. yup.

  55. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Thanks again to all, for the continuing Krispy Kreme opinions and stories. Sorry I can’t name you all (I’ve missed two whole threads by going out today!) but I have read, or will read all of your comments

    to BAKA GAIJIN in particular (and privately, I think of you as “baka-de-wa-NAI gaijin”), it seems I was wrong. My errand today took me into Tokyo, and there IS a neon sign in the window of the Tokyo Krispy Kreme shop. AND it is in English. AND it announces when there are hot, fresh donuts. Don’t ask me how I missed it before!

    Today’s donut line wait-time was one hour. Still too long for me, so once again, I postponed the experience of tasting a Krispy Kreme donut to sometime in the future.

  56. dreadedcandiru2
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    #44- Godzooky. Gotta agree with you there. Seeing a strip featuring a regular dumb kid who just happens to be African-American and who also just happens to live in the city is a nice change from the sea of strips featuring regular dumb white kids who live in the ‘burbs. That being said, I fear he’s a no-show in the bookstores that should be his rightful place because there’s something of a color bar in the publishing world.

  57. alamo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    def of running gag: what one does after reading the foobville follies. destination–porcelain altar as quickly as possible.

  58. Shmork
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    It’s nice at least that he has kept the same generic RAP poster on his wall, all these years.

  59. That's The Spirit
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    The first one’s not bad, especially with the bucket of water sight gag. The others? Shameful.

  60. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:41 am [Reply]

  61. gleeb
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    What I don’t like about Curtis is that Billingsley doesn’t even get it right. It’s Labor Day; the school’s are all closed. Maybe Billingsley’s been hanging around the barber shop drinking too much laced tapwater.

    In fact, of the comics I read, only Gasoline Alley even mentions the day, probably because Walt is old enough that he was actually in Haymarket Square on that fatal May Day.

  62. Scherzo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    #7 FW “Okay, who is the pathetic guy with the ponytail to try to compensate for the receding hairline?”
    That, my dear Avacado Avenger, is Crazy Harry — he who used to live in his locker (it was very spacious, like Snoopy’s doghouse) and play frozen pizzas on his turntable. Such was the nature of Batiuk’s wimsy in the oldendays.

    And Uncle Lumpy? God bless you — that was extremely worthwhile to see the “Back to School” Curtis strips all lined up that way.

  63. Godzooky
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    #44 me: In case I came across too lukewarm about Curtis, should have mentioned that it occasionally inspires a chuckle out of me, I like most of the characters, I like some of the storylines, and I like the artwork. It’s not a “must read it first thing in the morning” strip, but it’s a nice, professionally-produced strip and, unlike some other CCers, I don’t consider it anywhere near hateable.

  64. Tracer Bullet
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    A3G: I think the women here are legitamately confused about what Margo is planning for the evening. I think they know she’s planning for “sex,” they just don’t know what that is.

    TDIET: Maybe he’d be more willing to help his mother if she offered him a blowjob too.

  65. willethompson
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    #44 Godzooky: Last year’s Kwaanza otter pretty much did it for me with Curtis. May I heartily recommend Armstrong’s ‘Jumpstart’ as a truly funny bit of comic diversity? The Cobbs are Joe, a Philly cop and Marcy, a nurse; the art is more freely drawn and less constipated than Curtis; and you don’t feel like Black History Month is being crammed down your throat.

  66. Mack
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    64 wille – Isn’t every February largely devoted specifically to Black History Month in Jumpstart? At least it seems like it might have been in the past. My former local newspaper carried it, but I haven’t really read the strip in months, so I might be mistaken. And of course, the way it’s presented, it doesn’t exactly feel like it’s crammed down our throats, either.

  67. AhClem
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    This must be “Galley Slave Week” in the comics:

    Close to Home

    Of course, Gary Larson did it best years ago (“Yoo hoo! I think I’m getting a blister!”).

  68. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    to FRANK PARSNIP. Please check #158, AWW…. thread. Thanks.

  69. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    #66 AhClem: Cartoonists regularly get together just to screw with our heads. Pastis and Conley do it quite a bit.

  70. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    27 (earlythismorningthread) bats :[ We both got the same idea !!!! oooooooooooooooo……freaky

  71. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    #44 Godzooky, #52 R –

    Really, I like Curtis — 3D characters and exceptional draftsmanship. But it delivers a surprise just once a year, at Kwanzaa.

    Don’t running gags use variation to stay funny? I’m thinking of Lucy and the football, for example: we always understood why Charlie Brown gave it another try.

  72. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    #3 Stan. Until last year, Mr. CrabbyGenes had a pair of pajamas that were new when our second daughter was born 19 years ago. (I know how old they were because we have photos of him holding her while wearing those pajamas.)

    He finally threw them out last year. And that was only because of a terriffic fight with me, in which I insisted that he throw out some of his old clothes.

  73. MrP
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    This would have the markings of a running gag if the final panel wasn’t exactly the same every time.

    It would be so easy to vary it just enough. He has the right idea with the bucket of water in the… very first strip. Then he just loses his creative drive. Sad, so sad.

  74. Poteet
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    For whatever reason, I don’t find the CURTIS repetition nearly as annoying as the Billy-dashed-line series in FC, which always inspires a quick homicidal thought about how, if I had the chance, the dashed line would mysteriously stop in mid-dash and Billy WOULD NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN EVER. I won’t go into the otherworldly contract I’d put out on Dead Grandpa.

  75. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    finally finished reading…pant…pant…

    In my head I’m hearing the tail end of the William Tell Overture.

    Do I dare to go to bed?

    I’ve spent so much time at this computer lately that I think Mr. CrabbyGenes is beginning to worry about me. Anyway, goodnight!

    PS to Poteet. Hope you can find all my posts. Too tired to email you the numbers!

  76. Meander
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    Love you guys, but it’s a running gag. The fact that he runs the same gag at the exact same time each year makes it more impressive. Consistency is an important quality in a daily strip.

  77. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    #74 CrabbyGenes –

    Go to bed now, and you’ll miss the “Blondie, Dondi, and Condi” foreign-policy analysis, inspired by the Spectacular Spider-Brick!

    I’d stay up. Just say’in.

  78. Poteet
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    FC, speaking of in # 73 — I just remembered that years ago, I saw a guardian-angel-themed FC that showed, among other Billy-threatening dangers forestalled by the angel, a huge fearsome-looking snake actively pursuing Billy and trying to bite him. Being in an earnest-conservationist mood, I wrote a note to Bil Keane pointing out that snakes don’t actually do that, and that snakes get a bum rap in the media often enough, and would FC please not make snakes the villains anymore.

    I got back a cordial short note from Bil saying that he knew snakes could be good pets because his kids had one. I don’t remember if snakes have been villainized in FC since, but I don’t remember it happening, so maybe I should give Bil credit for that.

  79. Mibbitmaker
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    #40 (SSB): At least I contributed yesterthread (along with others the thread before).

    #40 (Big Dog): … the shark? Star of comics’ own Sherman’s Lagoon!

    Curtis (UL post): The Surge is working: This is the first year without the “War” motif.

    I’m not sure about the “dear reader”; is the strip addressing Kim Jung Il in stereotypical Oriental-speak? Weeeeeird!

    “Tonight on It’s The Mind…….”

  80. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    Curtis: I for one, look forward to the Curtis Kwaannzzaa series, because the ‘holiday’ is basically a weak attempt to ignorantly tie all widely diverse African culture together into one generic lump.

    Even the zombie comic Boondocks outed this fact.

    I do like the shiney Golden Kwanzaa Otter though !

    Unfortunately, Kwanzaa’s creator (Ron Karenga) was a pretty violent so-called ‘Black Nationalist’ convicted of abusing women with Drano. African Americans need to out this guy for what he really represents.

    This is not a slam against Billingsley or his heritage. I really enjoy his work.

  81. Meander
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    Speaking of consistency:

    Today’s DtM: Dennis’ mom is HOT.

  82. SecretMargo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    72: Indeed. It is also weird that he bothers to redraw everything and rescript it, but doesn’t vary it enough to register unless you see them side-by-side like this. I have to agree: it may be meant as a running gag, but either the set-up or the payoff have to vary discernibly for the “gag” part to emerge. Slo-mo de-pajama-ing doesn’t quite work (unless it’s Slylock Fox, in which case you’ll spawn a cult and t-shirt design)

  83. Mibbitmaker
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    #76 (UL): Oh, one-upping the lyrics to “We Didn’t Wreck the Comics”, eh?[/Moe Howard]

    “…Dondi, Blondie
    Not Trudeau: Bloom County…”


    A3G: LuAnn, if you have to ask, either you’re more naive than we thought, or you still aren’t over your gassing. Tell us if you “see” any more long-dead artists, will ya?

    BBailey: “…and floating in the abyss. FLOATING IN THE ABYSS?????…”

    Garfield: Talk about repeats! Why rerun the “We’re bachelors, baby!” strips now that Jon is dating?? Bad sign, there; sorry, Jon…

  84. willethompson
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    #65 Mac: My point exactly. Armstrong presents Black History Month enjoyably, whereas Billingsley takes Kwaanza and… ummm… gives us the story of the Hypno-Otter. Since I’m not a regular reader, I accept that he may have done something earlier with the Anansi tales or other West African lore, but Uncle Lumpy exposes the lameness of the strip in the repeated panels above. And with that, I lay down my cudgel and am off to enjoy a georgous day, hoping you all do the same.

  85. Godzooky
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    #64 willethompson: The NY Daily News carries both Curtis and Jump Start, I’m familiar with both, though I only buy NYDN on Sundays now. Both strips are nice in their way, but, to my taste, I’m more partial to the former. Robb Armstrong’s JS has a Cosby Show vibe, where everyone’s a professional (including NFL players) and everyone gets along and nary is heard a discouraging word. For whatever reason, I relate more to experiences like the DMV job, the daily commute, sibling rivalry, neighborhood bullies, etc., more than I do those of a grouchy but soft-hearted partner cop, 7 gigantic brothers (each more well-off than the other), a crazy-driving, grammar-Nazi grandma, and two widowed in-laws who decide to marry.

    In JS, I do like the arcs with the children meeting their future or past selves and I like the way it handles Black History Month. With Curtis, the Kwaanza arcs are off-the-wall sometimes, but if it gets too silly, I just skip by them the same way I do with Annie. And, Jeez, a little Gunk goes a long way. I could see it not being everyone’s cup of tea, it’s just that some of the remarks I’ve seen are outright hostile and I feel that’s an overkill reaction for this particular strip.

    To be fair, I checked out the last two weeks of JS at Seattle PI. Not a single one got as much as a smile out of me, while I remember smiling or chuckling at one or two Curtis strips during that time.

    Different strokes, different folks, and all that jazz…

  86. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    wille, Godzooky –

    We can all agree about Wee Pals, though — right?

  87. just me
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    in the ’04 strip, it looks like she’s gonna douse him with a bucket of water….come on…get serious…no mom is really going to do that, because SHE’s the one who’ll have to clean up the mess!

    BTW…”I just lost the game”

  88. Mack
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    #83 Godzooky: I pretty much feel the same about JS for the exact same reasons. Moreover, I find some of JS’s running gags incredibly boring. Granted, I grew up reading JS, so I’ve been seeing them for a while.

    And so this isn’t a day spent just replying to everyone else’s comments, I will just say that this strip could have been redone for twenty years in a row, and the sight of Curtis’ huge gaping mouth and his body being visibly stretched by his mother still would have made me smile.

  89. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy @ 76 wrote:

    Go to bed now, and you’ll miss the “Blondie, Dondi, and Condi” foreign-policy analysis, inspired by the Spectacular Spider-Brick!

    Spider-Man beat ya to it.

  90. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Anyone remember the Anti-Curtis strip: Luther ?

    I grew up on this:

  91. Wilbur of the North
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Homer is a pansy

  92. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    89 Wilbur of the North : Homer is going to come out of his delusional fantasy, pull back his shirt and reveal to Mark a pretty complicated explosive device that has ‘I LOVE YOU SHIRLEY’ scrawled all over it. How will the Fist O’ Justice stop him ?

  93. Slither
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: “Tell her she deserves someone who can…” …get their thought in before they run out of balloon space?

  94. Godzooky
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Thanks for the link, UL, wasn’t familiar with Wee Pals, don’t remember ever seeing it in the New York papers (in its way, a sad commentary on New York papers and how well they reflect the readership). It seemed to have an old-fashioned sensibility in the topics and character portrayals, so, out of curiousity, I did a quick lookup on Google. Considering this, glad to see Morrie’s hanging in there.

  95. odinthor
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    Luann — Let’s review . . . TJ is “accidentally” late to make dinner for Brad’s dinner date and so has to hang around . . . to see what happens . . . and then shows up a few days later to strut his stuff in his fancy new clothes just for Brad . . . and then proposes himself as a roommate . . . All we need now is for his issue of Fireman Fantasies to “accidentally” fall out of his pocket while he’s talking to Brad: “Hey! What’s that?” “Oh, just some mag I found. Wanna look at it . . . together . . . in your fancy new chair . . . ???”

  96. RoboMax
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    As far as good daily strips with African American characters, I’ve always liked Out of The Gene Pool. Admittedly, it’s been like 6 months since I’ve read it, but it’s pretty consistenty funny strip with a diverse cast.

    I have mixed feelings on Curtis. It’s got good characters and I enjoy the setting, but the jokes just consistently fail. I do enjoy the complete and utter insanity of the Kwanza strips though.

  97. Stranger…
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    FW: So the construction crew guy won’t let him get his old locker door. Fortunately, Crazy has a plan. It is a shrewd and cunning plan. He will just have to go commando. Though I am still not sure how removing his underwear will help. Perhaps that is where he keeps his ‘blow torch’, battering ram, or some other superpowered appendage.

  98. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:58 am [Reply]


    TJ: “Just throwin’ it out there.”

    Brad: “Throwin’ ‘what’ out ‘where’ ?

    TJ: Ummm…can I sit in the Wazoo chair again ?

    Brad: Uhhh….sure. Just don’t press the red button. That’s just for my lady guests.

  99. krunksauce
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    i personaly like curtis’ poster that just says “rap”. since i like rap, i kind of want one of those in my dorm room so when people come over they can say “oh hey cool you like rap?” and i can say “yes, check that poster out.” Im just kind of concerned what a “rap” poster desgined by a man with a greatly miscontstrued version of rap would look like. im assuming it involves a black man wearing a bandana playing loud music to piss off his dad.

  100. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    #94 RoboMax –

    A few weeks ago, Billingsley artfully set up a “Curtis teaches Michelle how to be Black” sequence — then just dropped it in mid-arc for some dreary insult-trading between Michelle and a rival.

    And like #86 Mac says, the guy can really draw — and must like to, else why redo that sunrise sequence every year?

    He’s a pro in the best sense — I just don’t know where his head is at these days.

    But hey! Won’t be long ’til Kwanzaa!

    . . . o o o O O O

  101. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    Admirable as Wee Pals’ effort to integrate the comics page was, the strip sucks, and it has always sucked.

    It always bugs me that a comic strip by a black cartoonist, with a majority of black characters, is automatically A Black Strip. It is compared and contrasted mainly to other Black Strips, even if the comparisons are not apt (Jump Start would be more correctly compared to Hi & Lois or Baby Blues, for example, than to Curtis.) And the cartoonists always seem to feel obligated to advance The Black Message, at least once a year. Can’t a black comic strip just be a comic strip? At least, couldn’t a group of comics critics as informed, educated and erudite as ourselves appreciate or critique these strips on their own merits (as Uncle Lumpy does in the ubersnark, calling Curtis out for plot/gag laziness), rather than judging them only in the insular world of Black Strips?

    For example. Maintaining just isn’t funny because it’s always about race, and I have yet to see the cartoonists who could make race issues funny. And the way he draws eyes is just too painfully ugly to look at. So I don’t read Maintaining.

    In comparison, Baldo does a nice job at presenting Hispanic characters living the Hispanic experience without being all Hispanic, all the time. Baldo has co-workers, neighbors and friends who do things other than muse constantly about how Hispanic they are. Most times, it’s just a simple gag strip. It’s not the funniest strip in the world, but it gets it right in that it presents ethnicity as matter-of-fact, not its raison d’etre.

  102. Fruity Bev
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    So that’s Crazy in Funky W? Is the joke that “going commando” means wearing no underwear, and Crazy doesn’t realize it? Or that Batiuk doesn’t?

  103. Aging Hipster
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    I first noticed this “joke” when it ran shortly after 9/11/01. It had the same intro of the sun rising on a war. Unfortunately the skyline included the World Trade Center Towers in that strip.

  104. Gabe
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    Sorry Unca Lumpy, not seeing the “shameful” here. It’s a running gag, ala one probably no one notices but you and Billingsley. I think its kinda neat, appreciate you pointing it out.

  105. queek
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    MG&G had a pun so bad that I almost choked on breakfast.

    GF: monkeyshines continue.

    PBS: just keeps getting funnier. This is epic.

    today’s Frazz shows why its one of the most clever strips around.

    SFx: foxcake?

  106. LTBF
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    “Daddy, isn’t GRandpa Jim the one who had thre stroke?”


    “And doesn’t he live across town with Grandma Iris?”


    “So why don’t we go visit? Aunt April says she goes all the time and he always seems to be happier when she leaves”

    “I tried that once. I went to tell him about my book being published and the rude old bastard just sat there and grunted like Robin does. Never had the decency to say “Congratulations’. I think he’s crazy. Grandma went by the other day and he didn’t seem to care she slaved all day making her tuna casserole. He can rot in Hell for all I care. And when he does croak, you think he’ll still look over you like Granpa Keane? You can forget that.”

    “Your right Dad. Sorry to make such a silly suggetion.”

  107. Poteet
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    Pibgorn — Uh, Brooke, you know how you say on your webpage that Pib thinks there must be more to life than depositing dewdrops on dandelions and sleeping under mushrooms? I really don’t think the current storyline is what she had in mind. And compared to what you’re doing now, I’d definitely prefer dewdrops and mushrooms. Jeez.

  108. Sekuin
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    I like “The Sleepiest Curtis in the World” strips, I think they should just ditch the normal comic and go with that one all the time.
    The minor variations would increase exponentially; one day Curtis would be being interrogated by soviets, the next his deluded mother would be dragging her son’s lifeless body from his bed, a desperate attempt to recreate the days when life was worth living.

  109. The Divine O’F
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    Credit Where Credit is Due:

    I’ve stopped doing this regularly because there are just too many good comments for me to pick out the gems. However, I do need to give credit today,

    First to Uncle Lumpy for providing such interesting and thought-provoking posts, although perhaps a little too often ; and

    To Stephan Pastis, whose PBS I don’t generally care for (too sloppy, too mean-spirited), for his brilliant FC series, including today’s strip, which made me LO so L that Mr. O’F asked if I was all right.

    Re Necroposts: Please forgive me, SSB, but I prefer reading necroposts to having to go back to see what was there. In fact, I very seldom do that. Couldn’t we just ask people to keep the necroposts down? Like only do it if your post is superseded by a new thread within some period of time, like say twenty minutes?

    Bats: have a great trip!

    105 Poteet: Excellent comment to Brooke. But I don’t think he can read.

  110. MonkeyHawk
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    I read today’s comics hours ago and became so depressed I don’t want to read ‘em again to snark specifically.

    It’s just so lame how many features played the whole “nobody labors on Labor Day” meme or the “kids don’t like going back to school” trope.

    (Or is the first one a trope and the other one a meme? I dunno. Probably a little of both.

    Anyway, it makes me mope.

  111. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    #102 Gabe –

    I’m fine with a running gag, but this gag don’t run. #106 Sekuin suggests one way to do it; that 2004 bucket of water suggested another. The drawing’s great; the setup’s cute — do something with it!

    And yeah, “shameful” is over the top.

  112. Old Man Muffaroo [Inka Dinka Kip W]
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    Curtis – Well, why shouldn’t he go through the same thing every year? He goes to the same class! And I’m not entirely convinced yet that his “new” teacher won’t wait for him to fall for her, then rip off the mask (and instantly gain 70 pounds) and reveal herself as the old teacher yet again. The status quo is strong in this one!

    I must confess (as have others) that I don’t dislike the strip. I laughed out loud once, when Curtis and Gunk were chasing the chameleon (not a euphemism) and came upon a dog, telling another dog, “I’m just mindin’ my own business, and somethin comes up and kicks me right in the…” The other dog, seeing the kids, clears his throat loudly, and the first dog says, “Uh, I mean. Bark! Bow wow! Woof!”

    And, to his eternal credit, he never followed up on it. That I know of.

    Still, I miss Jump Start. Lost it when we moved.

    CrabbyGenes @48 – If you’re a G&S fan, you might be interested in this droll performance by George Grossmith, the original Ko-Ko (and J. Wellington Wells, etc). “Murders” is a series of confessions that take the daily slings and arrows of TDIET to the next level. And to modern ears, he sounds like Hans Conried as Snidely Whiplash!

  113. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    Comics-related language nerdery for 9/3/7

    In Luann, I was interested to see that although “zillion” and “bazillion” are of course informal slangy words that don’t correspond to any one specific number, nevertheless it’s intuitive that a bazillion is larger than a mere zillion, since after all the former is a longer word.

    Non-comics-related language nerdery for 9/3/7

    Here’s what my wall calendar actually says for today:

    Labour Day (Canada)
    Labor Day (U.S.)

    It’s true!

    They have Labour Day in Australia, but it’s observed in either March, May, or October (depending on what state or territory you’re in). However, Australia has a political party called the Labor Party. In Oz, they use the British spellings of “colour”, “flavour”, etc., but around the time the political party was formed in the early twentieth century, it was thought by some that Australians were soon going to adopt American spellings — a prediction that later proved to be incorrect, but the Labor Party retained the U-less spelling of their name.

  114. SmartPeopleOnIce
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    Just dropping by to say that I’m not really up on web-based monkey demographics has got to be the most excellent sentence in the English language.

    Other than that, I got nothin’.

    Hey! I know! How’s about a picture of a goat.

  115. leathermessiah
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail has taken on a whole new dimension of creepiness today. “I just think a little animal like Shirley needs someone to help protect her nest, and be with her all the time, who’d never ever ever leave her no matter what! AAAAAIGH! SHIRLEY, WHY DID YOU LEAVE?!”

  116. SmartPeopleOnIce
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    Ok, looks like I do got sumthin after all:

    GT I’m astonished you’d let a boy with one leg take this sort of risk!

    Jeez, way to be supportive there evil Spock. Are you a vulcan or a vulcan’t?

    (Ok, I stole that joke from Johnny Depp. So sue me. Besides, Johnny may have the fame and the money and the gorgeous wife and the villa in France but SPOI will always have one thing that Johnny never will: COTW runner up. Ha! In your face, Depp!)

    Speaking of sue, whatever happened to SueAnn whatsherface?

  117. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    #113 SPOI – GOAT! GO– !… oooh! Goat! I like those too!

  118. SecretMargo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    112: I thought the associative process went: zillion=like “million,” bazillion=like “billion,” so that’s why the latter is bigger.

    Though neither explanation really addresses where “kazillion” fits in. Or is it from yet another parallel imaginary numbering system?

    Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that this strip is where TJ’s longing for Brad jumped from subtext to just plain text. Will their bromance escalate to romance? Only time and the resiliency of Brad’s denial will tell.

  119. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    This thread looks just about done, so I’ll put this in now. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before.

    I attended a very small school when I was a very small child. For two years in a row I had the same teacher, and for whatever reason she chose ME as the go-to child when it came to embarrassing, humiliating, castigating and mortifying. I didn’t do anything bad; quite the opposite, I tried my best to behave and stay as far under the radar as possible, but she jumped on every chance to “make an example” of me. What’s more, she allowed my classmates to do the same. It came to the point where this straight-A student ran all over a 40-acre pasture every morning to avoid a big sister and run home, knowing full well that a father with a paddle waited, mystified as to why the Roopville Kid didn’t like school.

    They took me to a shrink and found out why, and my father went to school and went ballistic on the teacher, and I never had another problem with her after that, nor with the kids because they could hear him shout at her through the walls of the schoolhouse.

    I say all this because Curtis’s yearly reluctance looks familiar. I worked up psychosomatic fevers but never got a bucket of water tossed on me. I can look at Curtis and smile since he just doesn’t want to leave his snug bed.

    Lucky kid. :-)

  120. chunkychunks
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    For a moment I thought you were going to make another ‘THIS IS SPARTAAAAA!” joke.

  121. Squiddy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    Help! I got a new computer and reinstalled my Norton Internet Security hoo-haa after uninstalling it from the old computer. Then I went to the Chron site and followed their directions about what to do if the color comics won’t open- you know, that whole “no referer” problem. But it didn’t work! I still get “content unavailable no referer” messages. Noooooooooo! My precious! Must has it! Help!

  122. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    #120 Squiddy –

    Here’s a configuration tip from the Seattle PI:

    Good luck — let us know how it turns out!

  123. Godzooky
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    #87 SSB re: Spider-Man link: For whatever reason, it didn’t work. Is this it?

    #94 RoboMax re: Out of the Gene Pool: The strip was recently re-named Single and Looking and now focuses on Jackie and Sam, both trying to live up to the title. The way they’re portrayed hanging out together and comparing notes, though, it might as well be named Single and Overlooking Each Other.

    #99 SSB: You’re right, Jump Start was offered as an alternative to Curtis and I didn’t pick up that they’re two different types of strips. In my comments, I did try to assess the strips and my reaction to them without trying to pigeon-hole them. If I didn’t get that across, chalk it up to my meager writing skills. To me, neither strip comes across as centered on race or ethnicity, but I can see why their respective creators would call attention to that every now and then. We’re not exactly in a color-blind society and trying to ignore race or ethnicity totally is ignoring the elephant in the room. (At this rate, we’ll end up in the Cockpit, so I’ll leave it at this; I’m heading to the movies, anyway.)

    As for Baldo, speaking as a New York-born Puerto Rican, this one comes across as another middle-of-the-road strip with occasional moments. I don’t usually get the NY paper that carries it (Rupert Murdoch rag), so I’ve only started checking it out recently via the Chron site. It might grow on me more as things go along.

  124. Dennis Jimenez
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    A3G – I’m guessing a pearl necklace.

    FBoFW – A long, boring story.

    MT – I’m thinking Homer has some form of dementia. I hope Shirley hatches the Jack Elrod ball – I’m betting that’s where Rusty came from.

    Archie – Hey, Jughead – I don’t think you’re supposed to shove them up your ass.

    Luann – Well, with TJ as a roomie, Brad will have to convert his jack off chair into a two man jack off sofa.

    A plugger likes getting dirty with his favorite ho.

  125. The Porridge Bird
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    I have to say, I like Curtis’s poster. A rectangle with the word “rap”. Short, straight, to the point. Love it.

    Less so much the annual tradition and progression. It’s got nothing on Peanuts‘s football-kicking season. Heck, it’s barely worthy of Garfield’s birthday.

  126. The Porridge Bird
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    Meanwhile, in Pearls Before Swine, it seems there’s an assassin plot brewing. God, I LOVE this story!

  127. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    I just noticed – every year Curtis’s mother pulls him a little further out of bed on the first try.

  128. Dariaclone
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    I just wanted to report that my labor day travels have brought me to Tomah, Wisconsin, the home of Gasoline Alley. In fact the map notes that “Main Street” is actually Gasoline Alley. Note how Superior Street becomes Gasoline Alley:,+WI,+United+States+of+America&ie=UTF8&ll=43.980525,-90.503526&spn=0.01507,0.039911&z=15&om=1

  129. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Godzooky @ 122: Dunno why, but my original link still works for me. Your link is the page the image is linked from, so you can still see it. It’s the first image in the second row, sixth overall (at the bottom of the page).

    And I wasn’t calling out you, or any other particular ‘Mudgeon, specifically on the Curtis vs. Jump Start rant. I was going off on something that bugs me in no small part due to the fact that I see it happen every time either of those strips is discussed.

  130. Adah
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    Just wanted everyone to know, today’s Retail plot ( came from my submission a couple months back. Josh, I’m a long time reader and fan, though seldom a commenter.

  131. Red Greenback
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    Hi everybody! Okay, here’s the deal, I gotta go in for a physical which requires a blood test at 10:00 am tomorrow (PST) that I can’t get out of. I gotta fast for 24 hours, and the neighbors are cooking stuff and making preps for the inevitable bar-b-q smells *wafting, wafting* It’s gonna be torture, I tells ya! And it’s not like I can avoid it anywhere I go today, “They are everywhere”. And my friends are inviting me to celebrate Labor Day…and I’m all, “what kind of water are you serving, tap or distilled?”

    Speaking of tap water, Curtis has always (I only got “hepped” to Curtis when I became a Mudge, btw)…held a certain inexplicable charm. Wille, I know what yer sayin’ about The Golden Kwanzaa Otter, but when Curtis brought the donkey into the classroom, I feel that more than made up.
    Wish me luck… Red.

  132. NotThatGuy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    FW: Tearing down the school? What? Did the strip to it’s Great Leap Forward? Is Lisa dead and we missed it?

  133. Godzooky
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:21 pm [Reply]

    #128 SSB re: S-M link: From habit, I usually right-click links and “Open in New Window.” With your link, the result is a page showing “403 – Forbidden.” However, I see now that if I directly click it or paste the URL in the Address Bar, it works fine. Live and learn.

    As for the other stuff, no harm, no foul. And you have a point, it’s easy to pigeon-hole strips with mostly African-American characters, that’s probably one of the reasons these strips are under-represented in paperback collections.

    Now, on to “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

  134. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:21 pm [Reply]

    FW “we go commando.” I didn’t comment on this last night because I didn’t know who this was. Now that I find out it’s Crazy Harry, I’m still unsure why not getting someone to help him get his old locker door is reason enough to run around without underpants. Harry, Harry! Think of the comfort and safety of the twins, man! Don’t force them to wander.

    But hey, if this will lead to something actually lighthearted and – dare I dream – whimsical again in Funky Cancerbean, then Harry can go commando from now on for all I care.

    #130 Red Greenback – Good luck, bud! Take no prisoners!

  135. Dingo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    Curtis sleeps the same way I did as a kid: hugging the pillow for dear life and butt stuck high in the air like the entrance to a temple. Hmm… don’t think that Michelle has much to worry about down the road.

  136. huntingbyrd
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    MT. i think that homer is in love with this Shirley the trans gender duck.Because this Shirley is making homer bald and soft and i think its because S.T.T.D has cancer!
    She must be an agent working for funky cancerbean!
    run its shirley the transgender cancer bean secret agent man woman!

  137. ralph
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    [beaming] Only on Comics Curmudgeon can one find Vonnegut, Nietzche, and other references invoking classic literature, opera, etc. Thank you all.
    1. RE: FBoFW. I recall vaguely that when the strip began John and Elly already were married. I also thought that the strip already had been around a while when Lynn J. started aging the characters and adding children to the family. Could someone who has a black belt in Foob clarify?
    2. I agree with Uncle Lumpy and others who define a running gag as having variety. Also, a running gag has to be funny, and this Curtis strip really is not. An example of a funny running gag from Calvin and Hobbes: Boy and tiger establish a fraternity or exclusive club in the treehouse, only to end in a total brawl. Each time, the situation is similar, but we don’t encounter essentially recycled artwork and recycled dialogue. Sigh, I miss Calvin and Hobbes, too.

  138. Spotted HØrse
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    #130 Red Greenback: Go gettum, Red!

    Luann: Hey, Brad done wiped the rictus off TJ’s face! TJ looks so… crestfallen in panel 2.

    #117 Secret Margo:

    Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that this strip is where TJ’s longing for Brad jumped from subtext to just plain text. Will their bromance escalate to romance? Only time and the resiliency of Brad’s denial will tell.

    I have to disagree, SecretMargo. TJ reinforced Brad’s denial when he adopted the ill-advised Punky Brewster look.

    Hey, TJ, buddy: Brad likes Toni to be classy, sharp, put-together. You he wants greasy, muscley, musky. Nasty like. There’s a reason Brad’s a fireman, dude.

  139. Red Greenback
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    MT: Have we heard Shirley’s side of the story?

  140. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    #136 ralph – It is also my understanding that FBOFW started out with John and Elly already married, and Mike was a little kid, I think before Liz was born because she did some strips telling Mike about ‘the new baby’ and he was (then as now) jealously eyeing the empty crib.

    I may be wrong, though, and am open to corrections from all corners.

  141. lesles
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    #112 SQB – ALP had to call themselves the Labor Party because they never really had anything to do with the interests of labour. ooh, so that’s what the cockpit looks like. pretty colour … wait, is that … blood?

    A3G wow, that margo has some power. check the teapot spout. she can even induce swivvel/bobble in inanimate objects. one sort of wishes she’d pay spiderman a visit.

  142. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    #138 Red Greenback – “Shirley’s Story: A DuckTale Exclusive!”

    ….noo, I don’t think I’ll do it. Can’t mix Disney with pleasure, sorry. *

    *I kid, I kid!

  143. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    Still no updates on the Foob letters. Maybe they don’t even know what the [margo] is going on.

    That much less syrup in the treacle, I say. :-)

  144. Mitch Gillett
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    #111 Actually it’s GG jr., his son. He was very popular on the musical comedy stage in the teens and twentys, and even did a few hollywood films.
    Nice to see other G&S folk (Uof M G&S myself).

  145. Top35
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    My wife hates Curtis, so I can’t wait to show these strips to her. Me, I realize its mainly a strip for kids so I cut it a break.

  146. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    Oh, oh oh…it’s LABOR DAY! A day when even minions get to ingest several dripping greasy burgers and slabs of backfat and butter tarts on their own time.

    Gee, with the limited eye candy available from the usual suspects JP and RMMD, this is a pretty staid Labor Day.

  147. Edgy DC
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    Lucy and the football changed punchlines every year.

  148. AhClem
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    True Fable -
    A special treat from the Minnesota State Fair, which ends today:

  149. LTBF
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    I think I’ve read on the Foob site that Mike and Liz were already born when the strip debuted and held their ages until her own kids caught up with them so they could age at the same rate.

  150. AhClem
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    Is today’s Hi & Lois a reaction to Mallard Fillmore’s endless tirade against teachers the past few weeks, or simply more of the usual overcooked treacle that passes for “humor” in this strip?

  151. LTBF
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    I’ve never been a regular FW reader, but when did they build this new school and why is he just now worrying about his locker door?

    My locker changed every year. Did he always have the same locker?

  152. Red Greenback
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    #145 @ Truman—-C’mon, man—give a brotha a break! The waftiness is already starting to permeate my olfactory nerves, Melkardammit!…Twenty-one and three quarter hours to go and counting.

  153. LTBF
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    Has TJ ever given any indication he has a job? Where does he live now?

  154. SecretMargo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    137: I think it’s a doubled denial. The one I’m referring to has to do with Brad denying that TJ’s makin’ the moves on him, which is getting more and more difficult to do. The tragedy lies in the form of denial you pinpoint, by which Brad actually yearns (but won’t admit as much to his conscious mind) for TJ to look like that NYFD fireman calendar coverboy* who doomed the entire enterprise by appearing naked on “Guys Gone Wild.” Unfortunately, TJ thinks that dressing up so he looks like a testicled Toni will make him more attractive to Brad, having not been present for her nearly dragging him into the bedroom by his jughandlesque ears and being met with blithe, unconcious dismissal.

    And you’re right! That second panel is poignant, dude! I remember when I used to get that look! And it would be yet another form of denial to claim that I was all that better dressed when I did. *sigh The mid-90s were something, man.

    Be patient, TJ. Someday your prince will come. And then so will you.

    *link SFW unless you hit the link on the embedded video, or work for the U.S. armed forces.

  155. Slither
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    #118 True Fable: Wow — you just pretty nearly described my own experience at Our Lady of the Blackboard Pointer Parochial School, circa 1957 – 1966 A.D. The only thing different is that I, in spite of what everyone admitted was obviously high intelligence, was never more than an average student, due to the inadequacy of the Nun and Lay Bitch teachers, and my parents never bothered to find out why this situation existed. Like all good Catholic parents, they had eight other kids to think about. I had plenty of days when I was reluctant to go to school for an infinite variety of reasons, but I always managed to screw up the courage to do so. Later in life I graduated from college with highest honors, and nobody seemed surprised, myself included. I just wish some of my teachers from my Catholic elementary school could have been there.

  156. Islamorada Girl
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    So, I like Curtis. Have at me.

  157. Spotted HØrse
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    #151 Red Greenback:

    …Truman—-C’mon, man—give a brotha a break! The waftiness is already starting to permeate my olfactory nerves, Melkardammit!

    Red, why not take a clue from our forensic scientists and annoint thy philtrum with Vicks Vapo Rub? Or you can try my little piece of family performance art: when I was a youngster, and Mom and Dad decided to cook sauerkraut, I’d pinch my nose closed with a spring clothes pin and parade around. Deeply painful, but deeply impressive visually. Crushed nostril tissue can be a distraction from hunger pangs. Stay strong, my brotha!

    #153 Secret Margo:

    And you’re right! That second panel is poignant, dude! I remember when I used to get that look!

    Whoa, bud, who knew we could broach poignant self awareness through Greg Evans’s Luann, for chrissake? I’ve a mind to send a congratulatory note to Evans about how real this little drama rings!

  158. Mel
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy
    First, thanks for the Vonnegut quote in the last thread.

    Second, I am with you on Curtis. A running gag, I think, should be arranged so that the set up is different but the outcome is the same — or in this case the last panel. That’s the gag part — you think you are going to a different punchline — but no, you are going to that old one. The one that was funny the first time.

    For my reasoning I jump media, think along the lines of the Stooges — “Slowly I turned” bit. The approach was always different but it always ended when someone said Niagra Falls.
    Or Jack Benny, the set up could be anywhere, but as soon as Jack approached the clerk/ticket seller/etc. and the guy said “Yeeasssss!” you had your running gag — Frank Nelson.

    Just repeating something redrawn and slightly reworded does not constitute “running.”

    End of Op-Ed

  159. Carmichael the Polar Bear
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    In the quest for truth, I braved the Foobsite, and it says this:

    The strip began in 1979. Michael was already three or four and Elizabeth a toddler.

    Let it be noted that I do not own any Foobbooks, and the library is closd today, so I have no corroborating evidence.

  160. Meander
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    I’m sorry guys — it may not be a funny running gag, but a running gag, it is. The gag, to me, is the fact that the panels never change year after year.

    Of course, I’m sympathetic — I was Curtis growing up in a lot of ways. I LIKED going to school, but that was my neighborhood, and don’t get me started on the whole “unrequited love” business. I’m still scarred.

  161. Meander
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and Dennis’ mom? Is HOT.

  162. Poteet
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    # 108 — Thanks, Divine. But I do keep reading it, so I suppose I deserve what I get.

    # 118 — Sir Fable MTK, I’m really glad you were finally rescued.

    Foob — Since the new letters aren’t up, I took in a little more of John’s profile. (I gotta take those profiles slooowly for the sake of my nerves.) And I learned that John “collects riddles and jokes.”

    So does he post them on a website? Recite them to helpless mouth-bound patients? Email them to everyone he knows? Record them for the plagerized book he’ll write someday? Read them for a giggle when he’s on laughing gas? Keep them so he can study them over and over until he finally understands them? Must…quit…now…

    Jeebuz, can you imagine what Dorothy Parker would have thought of this strip?

  163. The Divine O’F
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    130 Red: Good luck! Just don’t stay up too late studying for your physical.

    Pibgorn(WTF) WTF?????????

    MW: Drew follows Mary’s advice:
    “I’m sorry, Dawn, I can’t return the love you you have given me.”
    “Love? Who said anything about love?”
    “But you deserve someone who can.”
    “You seriously thought I was in love with you? A slack-faced, self-absorbed doctor who can’t even be bothered to change his sheets?”
    “You mean you don’t love me?”
    “I can barely stand you. But a woman has certain needs, you know?”
    “You mean you were just using me?”
    “Horseback riding can only take me so far. But thanks for the laughs.”
    “I… I feel so… dirty.”

  164. Peter
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    You know, the folks at B.C. are economical about this thing–taking old drawings and putting new captions on them. And another thing–does Billingsley have a template for this, or does he actually go back and look at the previous year’s comic and try to reproduce it exactly?

  165. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    Another new post! Sheesh! Move down, everybody! New post!

  166. commodorejohn
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    A3G – If you have to ask, Tommie, you’ll never understand.

    BB – Why do so many comics move to the Empty White Void? Do comic artists get tax credit there?

    Crock – Crock‘s entire female cast is feeling up cannonballs. I said a week or two ago that the frank sexuality of a particular Crock was disturbing, but now that I’ve seen it, I think its innuendo is even creepier.

    DT – Right, because the key to the downfall of the US is the Fourth Estate. Did Dick Tracy switch scripts with Mallard Fillmore?

    FW – Funky Winkerbean is just below FOOB on the list of strips I really, really don’t want to think about people “going commando” in.

    FOOB – Liz is looking unusually short today.

    GA – The most lovingly-rendered chain-link fence and oil drums I’ve ever seen.

    GT – Bill’s “come out,” eh? And who is Marty Moon to be giving medical advice? (Not that Bill won’t get slaughtered, this being Milford and all.)

    MF – What’s sillier: the law itself, or Mallard’s treating it as a serious threat to whatever personal liberty the Chinese have left?

    MT – Homer’s looking like a chubbier John Carradine in panel three.

    NS – First, what is Richard Nixon doing in a bar in Maine? Second, will they just resolve this friggin’ plot already!?

    PBS – Awesome. But could someone who gets it in print tell me what the second parody caption is? I can’t read it on the Chron.

    RMMD – “Which is why I’m making coffee for you, in a probably-futile attempt to avoid charges.”

    SFx – Yay, a Slylock Fox to which I figured out the answer without looking! Also, I think this is the first time we’ve seen Slylock shirtless. Well, aside from that other time.

    Edison Lee – eschews political whining today in favor of general irrelevance.

    TDIET – “Yorkie has a hard time carrying stuff in a container that puts the stress on his biceps…but when he’s using a carrying device that uses his much stronger back muscles, well, that’s a different story!”

  167. Jym
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    =v= I suspect I’ll lose my snarking license over this, but hey, it’s not as if anyone pays attention to what I write, anyway. I’m not really that upset about Curtis doing this same thing once a year. It’s a whimsical strip, maybe this seasonal marker is part of the whimsy. It would be nice if it varied a little more, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really bother me.

    Compare this with Cathy trying on bathing suits for an entire week (or two), with supposed variations for “this year’s fashions,” though invariably the up-to-the-minute fashion report is that bathing suits are revealing (gosh!) and Cathy is fat (Ack! Ack! Ack!). Hey, maybe she could do a crossover with Opus and get a Burquini.

  168. Jym
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:40 pm [Reply]

    =v= Curtis: Oh, one more thing. While I don’t mind some repetition in the form of an annual seasonal marker strip, I was really honked off that the two Curtis paperbacks overlapped by about 50%. That wasn’t Ray Billingsley’s fault, though.

  169. Chuck W
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:50 pm [Reply]

    I find it odd that the strip does NOT consist of those same panels the other 364 days of the year.

  170. Foolster41
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: Was it intentional that these stirps are all run within 8 days of 9/11, because the first part seems like it’s supposed to make you think of 0-11 and the war in iraw, which is kind of cheesy.

    You have to give the artist credit at least for having the last panel differnet, pulling the kid (or not) in different ways. Not completely lazy.

  171. Old Man Muffaroo [my other car is Kip W]
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    Mitch @144 – Eep! I mean, good to know. And way too late to go back and retract every time I said it was the original (second) Grossmith. There are four cuts by this (the third) Grossmith at, by the way, but “Murders” is the prime, um, cut.

    Anyway, I was in a “Mikado” at CNU, in Newport News, Virginia, in 2000, holding down the vital role of “Third From Left,” as well as providing (at request) updated lyrics to “A More Humane Mikado”.

    Peter @164 – Billingsley doesn’t know he’s doing it. Every year, he has what he thinks is a terrific idea, little suspecting, etc., etc.

  172. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    #112, 171 Old Man Muffaroo, and #144 Mitch Gillett. Thanks for the G$S links and info. I sent those fantastic MIKADO lyrics to my Dad. I know he’ll love them!

  173. Frank Parsnip
    September 4th, 2007 at 3:18 am [Reply]

    (68) CrabbyGenes — thanks for the kind words and greetings from rainy, muggy Taihoku!

  174. Frank Parsnip
    September 4th, 2007 at 6:43 am [Reply]

    When I used to do kendo I always wanted a zekken with the Mikado name “Nanki-poo” for competitions.

  175. boxjam
    September 4th, 2007 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    One of these same strips was supposed to run on September 12, 2001 – I don’t know if people remember that on 9/12/01, Curtis got pulled. It was because it was this same dumb joke comparing school opening to a war.

  176. Uncle Lumpy
    September 4th, 2007 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    #175 boxjam –

    Yes – unfortunately, the Chron archives don’t go back past 2004.

    No doubt the first panel was the New York skyline, too.

  177. Joshua
    September 4th, 2007 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    You know, I also hear that there’s this orange cat who likes lasagna…

  178. nchammer326
    February 6th, 2008 at 4:25 pm [Reply]





  179. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2008 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

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  180. Halloween Jack
    November 23rd, 2011 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    War… war never changes.

  181. affomfoxobiar
    December 5th, 2011 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    A bullied teen’s poignant video has caught the eye of the blogosphere over three months after it was originally posted.

    The clip, simply titled “Whats goin on…” and uploaded to YouTube in August, features eighth grader Jonah Mowry, who addresses the audience with a series of revealing notecards while Sia’s “Breathe Me” plays in the background.

    “I’ve cut…a lot. I have scars. Suicide was an option…many times,” Mowry confesses on two of the cards as he sobs in the video, which…





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