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Workers of the world, untie!

Hey! It’s Labor Day in the US, Labour Day in Canada, and late summer all over the Northern Hemisphere — a great time to kick back, relax and recalibrate the ol’ work/life balance.

I’ve worked in just about every environment I can think of: classroom, lab, shop, on the road, retail floor, cube, office — even a few grim days in the Tokyo hive-warrens of a Japanese manufacturing giant. And let me tell you, I’ve got a grip on my home-office desk like Immanuel Rath’s in Der Blaue Engel.

Even though most comic strips are produced by work-from-home types like me, they reflect a pretty broad range of work environments:

They’ll Do It Every Time, 8/8/07

This reprise strip (from faithful reader gh!) shows a roomful of desks — could be anywhere, and any time from 1900 through the late 1970′s. Of course, since it’s TDIET, bet on earlier rather than later.

Dilbert, 9/3/07

Dilbert is famously based on author Scott Adams’s experience in the vast cube farms of Pac Bell (formerly ATT, now — through the miracle of mergers and acquisitions — ATT). Here, we see contracting in action.

My Cage, 8/30/07

With long hours, close quarters, and young workers, work and social boundaries blur — My Cage, by faithful CC reader Ed Power with Melissa DeJesus, seems to capture that vibe, at least to the satisfaction of someone with no exposure to the demographic.

Retail, 9/3/07

And the simmering warfare between retail clerks and customers doesn’t seem to have changed much over the past 30 years. Hey! This one’s based on a submission by long-time reader Adah – way to go! Soon, all comics will be written or submitted by CC readers, and will exist only to mock other such comics! At that point, we will implode.

Gasoline Alley, 9/3/07

Now, here’s somebody with the right idea, and I’m going to take it — no more posts until the Tuesday comics are up — promise! Go have some fun!

– Uncle Lumpy

111 responses to “Workers of the world, untie!”

  1. ralph
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy, I’ve been missing CC a lot lately due to lots of work, so Labor Day weekend and all your posts have been a tremendous joy. Happy Labor Day.
    From your last thread:139, 148, re: Foob … OK then. If the strip started with John and Elly already married with at least one of their children (maybe two), then this revisiting of the past to their courtship means a newly drawn past, not old strip reruns. So it would be quite a while before we could compare Elly noses to see if she had a potato/Farley-matching nose all along. All thee with knowledge in things Foob, please correct me if I’m wrong. thanks,

  2. ChubbyHaggis
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    I actually got a call from a customer just like that strip once. She was old.

  3. Moon Mullins
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    Hopefully you mean until the Tuesday comics are up?

  4. ralph
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Wow. My telephone line Internet hookup and I have never, ever, ever been first for anything. Is there a blue moon tonight? [blushes]

  5. unclelumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    #3 Moon -

    Yes, thanks. Fixed.

  6. The Modern Prometheus
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]


  7. The Divine O’F
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    Nice Labor Day tribute, Uncle Lumpy. However, this post was up BEFORE I posted, so here’s a necropost. Apologies to SSB.

    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.”

  8. Meander
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    My Cage — what is WRONG with that kid’s head? Is he supposed to be balding, or scalped?

    And really, no comics-based discussion of Labor Day is complete with out noting the anti-unionism of Mallard Fillmore. What’s next year, duck? Hating on nurses? That’ll be fun.

  9. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    AhClem @ 149 yesterthread wrote:

    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?

    Syndicated cartoonists work anywhere from 6 to 13 weeks ahead of their publication date, to allow for editing and distribution time at each step down the supply chain. When I worked for a newspaper, the strips we would receive electronically were usually available for download between two weeks and a month in advance. So, unless Tinsley for some reason told his fellow cartoonists he was going to be lambasting teachers last week,* there’s no way this could be a response. It’s just your typical, unimaginative kids-are-going-back-to-school strip.

    * Unless bashing teachers is Tinsley’s annual back-to-school tradition, and the others know to expect it by now. But I’m not going back into the archives to check. I don’t even read the MF dailies.

  10. Poteet
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    # 1 — Ralph, as the poser of the facial-potato question, what I want to know is what Elly will look like when she reappears as her young John-courted self in the brand-new strips. Will Lynn recreate the non-potato nose that I remember from the beginning of the strip? (Yep, I was there when it started, she says, thumping her cane.) Or has Lynn been drawing Elly’s current bulbous schnoz for so long that recreating the original nose will be too much of a strain? Actually, I don’t know why I wonder, since other Mudges have strongly implied that Lynn farms out a lot of the artwork now anyway.

    And lest I be misunderstood, I would like to state that I think large noses can be, and often are, quite attractive. My problem with Elly’s nose is that it looks like no human nose I’ve ever seen.

  11. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    Meander @ 8: Norm is a platypus. He shaves his head to disguise the fact that he’s prematurely balding, as do many men trying to look cool or simply desperately clinging to the tail end of their younger years. Of course, since he’s a platypus and his whole body is covered in fur, it gives him a rather ridiculous tonsured look. Which is an intentional part of his goofy charm.

  12. Meander
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    #11 – Ah! Oh. Thanks!

  13. Biblio
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    I am about 99% sure that FOOB did that “idiot customer only knows the color of the book” joke back in Elly’s bookstore days. I remember we had it tacked up behind the circulation desk at my library. It was funny ’cause it’s true.

  14. Citric
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    DtM: I like how the Menace family has a shower curtain made entirely out of money. That just spells class.

    FW: What does removing one’s underwear have to do with anything? Is he planning on seducing a construction worker?

  15. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Attention Uncle Lumpy: My Cage is done by Ed Power, no “s,” and Melissa DeJesus.

  16. PInk Haired Girl
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    I’m so excited to be in the first 100 comments! To bad I have nothing to say.

  17. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and another thing about MF‘s teacher-bashing and comic-strip production schedules: Since Tinsley, like all cartoonists, writes and draws his strips weeks in advance, the ones containing “reactions” to his earlier strips are by necessity complete and utter bullshit. There may be an element of acknowledging the reaction that is sure to come from some quarters, but it’s a lot easier to believe that by portraying himself as a victim of rabid NEA members, he’s simply currying favor with the anti-teacher and anti-union right. “See? Bad evil no-good union liberal elitist types don’t like me! I’m one of you!” Yet another reason I hate Tinsley.

  18. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Pink Haired Girl @ 16: It’s easy to be in the first 100 comments when Uncle “Speed Racer” Lumpy is at the wheel. When he’s running things, it’s harder to be in the second hundred.

  19. SecretMargo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    Post-Ironaclypse Pretty Soon

    I’ll bring the Pop Rocks!

    Will we really like them …. or will we just be feasting on our own self-aware appreciation of our younger selves’ appreciation (or that of the selves of others, which we may have read about) of the weird little thrill of eating tiny, brightly coloured explosives that taste like sugar and burning?

    No one will know. And we’ll just keep eating Pop Rocks as the world falls apart around us like an Alka-Seltzer-stuffed seagull.


  20. willethompson
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    My son and I just returned from the Labor Day party at the pool. At one point, he was doing a dead man’s float as I approached him for typical dad/son hi-jinks. I could just see the thought bubble forming above his head as I drew warily nearer…. “closer…. closer…”

    Damn, I miss Calvin & Hobbes.

  21. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    #11 SSB re: tonsures –

    My junior-year H.S. theology teacher was a Jesuit with a thin ring of red hair around a shiny bald head. The tonsured look and his hard-ass Aquinian theology earned him the nickname, “God.”

    One day, he found the phrase, “Fuck God” carved in a desk, and understandably flew into a crimson rage. I was dying to tell him it wasn’t really blasphemy, but wasn’t quite sure it would ease his mind.

  22. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    #15 SSB

    Gah – thanks! Fixed. Consider the above post a work in progress, folks!

  23. Dingo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    Unca Lumpie, you’ve almos’ got me ready to sing a rousing version of Le Internationale. However, I’d have porkribs stuck in my teeth and that’s not conducive to awakening the masses.

    On a side note, now that FOOBapolis has gone into retread, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THAT TASTY PIECE OF PRIME RIB? I think Elly pinched it, I tells ya.

  24. Meander
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    The Spectacular Spider-Brick @ 17: Preach on brother.

  25. AhClem
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    #9 SS-B -
    I figured that was probably the case, but since I have on occasion seen topical comics as short as 2 weeks after the particular event (some Doonesbury strips come to mind), it was possible. I suppose I’m giving the writers of H&L way too much credit for being topical, timely and funny. That strip usually has all but 3 of those characteristics.

  26. nsr
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    a3g: ah, Lu Ann, Lu Ann. Maybe her cousin can explain to her the riding crop that Margo’s waving below camera range. I hope this scene portends an explosion between Margo and Eric that a change of hair color can’t derail.

  27. Dingo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    Okay, I haven’t posted anything salaciously NSFW in awhile and when I saw that update on GToons this afternoon with homage to Tom of Finland only one thought went through my head: Senator Larry Craig.

    G’head. Look at this montage of men and try to get through it without thinking of Idaho’s Senator Craig (champion of family values) and an airport restroom. Oh, and I swear Guy #3 is Brawny the Paper Towel Man.

    Bon appetit!

  28. nsr
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    “Content unavailable”! Fine! Today’s a3g! In Color!

    Also Evil Spock is giving Gil Thorp the 3rd degree.

  29. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    Dingo @ 27: Ummm… nope, not seein’ the resemblance. Which one of them is supposed to be the balding, paunchy, bespectacled 62-year-old senator? Maybe it’s just you.

  30. nsr
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    Pearls Before Swine continues it’s “Family Circus” plot, costarring Bil Keane.

  31. Lou Shumaker
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    I won’t comment on Elly’s nose except to alert you that the courtship begins with Tuesday’s strip, so you’ll be able to compare and snark for yourself.

    Except to note that Jon is obviously not a tit man.

  32. Anonymous
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    dingo, while we got you here, how’d it go in chicago on tuesday?

  33. Squid Countess
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    I was having that “No referer” problem that keeps one from seeing most of the comics. Uncle Lumpy suggested I try something I had already tried twice that completely failed. But, having nothing else to do, I tried it again. And it worked instantly. Comics could not appear fast enough. “So sorry, so sorry. Here’s Bizzaro, Blondie, Crankshaft…. What else did you want? Anything beginning with ‘D’? Please don’t tell Uncle Lumpy on us, please.” He’s a powerful being, is our UL.

  34. commodorejohn
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Argh, post-jumped.

    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!”

  35. Trilobite
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    I’ve been having some difficulty figuring out why it is that I never put My Cage on my page: I tend to like the strips people point me to, I’m not averse to workplace humor, I like geeky references…you’d think this would be an easy decision, wouldn’t you?

    But something always holds me back, and it wasn’t until today that I realized what it was.

    It’s the font.

    My Cage uses Comic Sans, the WORST FONT EVER INFLICTED ON AN UNSUSPECTING PUBLIC. It doesn’t matter that Melissa DeJesus’s art is stylish and clean, it doesn’t matter how well Ed Power writes, because the moment Comic Sans shows up, it makes the whole production look amateurish and triggers a wave of pure hate-vomit in the back of my throat.

    I sincerely wish that they’d buy a decent font, or at least consider switching to any one of the free fonts available online that isn’t a typographical travesty and badge of perpetual shame. My Cage is so close to sealing the deal with me, but Comic Sans is turning out to be the onion breath that gets it a handshake at the door and an insincere “We should do this again some time, maybe.”

    Seriously, Achewood got it right (link possibly NWS for language and cartoon cat violence) when it comes to whoever created Comic Sans. Except that perhaps curb-stomping is too good for that son of a bitch.

  36. ChickenMedium
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    #13 Biblio: I remember that comic as well. We had a copy behind the counter at the bookstore I used to work at. It’s almost identical. It is just condensed down from Foob Sunday length to a three panel. Even the color of the book she’s looking for, blue, is the same.

  37. LTBF
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    34-”We love you, dead Grandpa.”

  38. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    #33 SC –

    Awwww — **blushes**.

    Hey, did you tally this from Sunday?

  39. LTBF
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    What is Retail? Is it a reader driven strip like TDIET or Pluggers? Having worked in that field, I can relate.

  40. SecretMargo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    29: I think it’s the situation, not the physical resemblance, re: Mr. Craig, SSB. As well as probably being the good senator’s ultimate fantasy, though he likely never wanted it to “come” true as literally as it did.

    And he only wishes his stance was that wide.

    I was just thinking of you, Dingo, as I was watching the Cowboy Bebop movie. Check out the cast! There’s slim, sly Spike, brawny Dingo Chow Jet Black, as well as Trudi-riffic Faye representin’ the girly-folk. Plus, Ein the Corgi, who is cuter and smarter than Fred B. (at least to me), as well as brimming with pluck.

    But my favourite is the swarthy villain, Vincent, because I’m in love with evil (aren’t we all?). After all, just look at my chosen moniker.

    Anyway, that’s my final self-indulgent Labour Day post, y’all. Enjoy the animasculinity!

    PS: Trilobite — Am I to assume you’re affiliated with this brave legion?

  41. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Margo is one of those ‘Good Time Girls’ that your Drill Sergeant warned you about:

  42. Squid Countess
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    Dimestore Lipstick and Uncle Lumpy- Thank You!!! I missed that squid reference, because of my afore-mentioned referer problem.

    The squid count is six!
    The squid count is six!

  43. Johnny
    September 3rd, 2007 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    “Untie”? What am I missing?

  44. AeroSquid
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    43 Johnny : A play on ‘Dyslexsics of the World Untie!’

  45. commodorejohn
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    #37 LTBF – No, the middle one.

  46. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    #40 Secret Margo – You have such good taste! And I never thought about it before, but yes, I imagine Jet would make excellent Dingo chow.

    “Dingo chow”. That’s what I’m going to term it from now on: big hairy brawny men for Dingo. :-) Only at CC can one find the perfect descriptive.

  47. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    *thump thump* Is this thing on?

  48. Keg of Curd
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    I sort of want to like My Cage, but mostly what I’ve gotten out of it is derivative Office Space riffage with the occasional splash of furry cheesecake to keep the fanboys lined up. (Maybe I’m not entirely immune to that.) If there’s one thing I like about it, I guess it’s the Norm-Bridget relationship, which seems to have an interesting balance of ingredients to it, more so than any comparable comics couple I can think of. Undeniably sweet, but not schmaltzy; good “balance of power”; and playful and bantering in a way that rings true.

  49. Ukulele Ike
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    #48: Aw, c’mon. Bridget looks darned CUTE today. So did Ashley yesterday, holding that platter of spaghetti ‘n meatballs.

    #17: “Since Tinsley, like all cartoonists, writes and draws his strips weeks in advance, the ones containing “reactions” to his earlier strips are by necessity complete and utter bullshit.”

    Tinsley’s “reaction” strips always scream “bullshit” to me. His regular strips do, too.

  50. willethompson
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:27 pm [Reply]

    #35 Trilobite: Amen on the Comic Sans, brother (and/or sister)! If you’re going for the hand-drawn look without going overboard, may I recommend Chalkboard? (This from a guy who used to hand-draw type for presentation comps.) Ed Power, I’m looking at YOU!

    Failing that, just pass the strips to me and I’ll be happy to letter them in a hand that made pre-CAD engineers blush.

  51. Keg of Curd
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    Now I think on it, maybe equal parts Kevin Smith and Office Space. But y’ain’t doin’ much to refute the “cheesecake to keep ‘em lined up” theory, Ike.

  52. queek
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    ahhh, Dingo links.

    life just isn’t the same without them.

    (its actually a pretty funny story, told without words, just highly sexified.)

  53. Johnny
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    #44 AeroSquid: Thanks!

  54. Jana C.H.
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    CrabbyGenes (#49 from the Curtis thread): That’s a great story! You dad gets to take his place alongside Captain Shaw of the London Fire Brigade!

    Keep checking in at the MOC. As you can see, the subjects vary a great deal, and if you become a regular commenter you might be asked to be a Guest Diva. I’m in line for the next essay, and am re-assembling an article (with illustrations) about Egypt, cats, and volcanoes that I had published in a Neo-pagan magazine ten years ago. And in October I expect to be blogging Iphigenia. If you forget the link, just google “maoistorangecake” and you’ll find it.

    I need to come up with something about comics for the MOC one of these days. It would fit right in: Maoist Orange Cake is a spin-off from the Dykes To Watch Out For blog.

    Jana C,H,
    Saith WSG: What’s the use of being half a fairy?

  55. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:45 pm [Reply]

    Ah, so if nothing else Skeezix knows how to close the place. Maybe Clovia made the right call after all.

  56. Canaduck
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:57 pm [Reply]

    As someone who works in retail, well, I love Retail. It’s very true-to-life.

  57. TB Tabby
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:59 pm [Reply]

    For the record: The Order of the Stick uses Comic Sans. And if you’re telling me that it’s a bad comic because of that, I’ll have to ask you to step outside.

  58. Rainbird
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    #54 Jana C.H. Oh, I saw when the happened in the Dykes to Watch out for site, but didn’t realize where people had migrated to. How great to find it again, thanks.

  59. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:04 pm [Reply]

    #1 ralph. I’m thread-looping here, meaning that I’m answering your comment without having read any others in this thread yet. Yes, I think your assesment of the FOOB situation is correct.

    I recall some flashback strips that Johnston experimented with somewhere during the strip’s run, in which she told about herself and what she was like as a teenager. But in none of those did John come up, since she didn’t meet him when she was a teenager.

    In real life, Johnston was married, had a son (real-life Michael, name “Aaron,” and then divorced. THEN she met the man who is the real-life John, and they had the real-life “Elizabeth” (whose name, I believe, is Katie). April was of course, invented.

    In zipping down to the “leave a reply” box, I did not see Rainbird’s name. (Rainbird, where are you?) At some point in a previous thread, I believe Rainbird said that she would check out the book collections and get back to us.

    I’m hoping she will follow through on that, because I’ve REALLY gotta get some other things done today besides commenting on CC!

    Oh! I hit “preview”, and there is Rainbird, right above me! Did you find out anything?

  60. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    #18 Spider Brick. Your description Uncle “Speed Racer” Lumpy made me laugh. Yup. It’s morning over here, and I am UP and READY and RARIN’ TO GO again! On your mark, get set,…..! (BANG!)

    (And we hear the opening theme of the William Tell Overture…)

  61. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    Secret Margo @ 40: I guess, having never looked for it before, I never noticed how many beariffic guys there are in anime. (“Dingo Chow,” hee!) Anyway, those who find Jet to be their cup of tea would probably also enjoy: Mister from Coyote Ragtime Show; Batoh from Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex (on the right; sorry, couldn’t find a stand-alone picture); Roy Revant from Solty Rei (bottom right in this picture). I’m sure there are others, but they don’t come to mind right at the moment.

  62. Rainbird
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    59 CrabbyGenes Yes, I did find the link, and it was several threads ago. Here is the Book The Lives Between the Lines”. In it she tells about all the backstory of her characters, what the neighborhood is like, when the charcters met, and what their first place was like.

    Interesting, really, as it shows how much backstory she had in her head to do the things she did.

    And, just to let you know, I am on PDT just like Uncle Lumpy.

  63. Helena Handbasket
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    # 40 & 46: Our toddler has a t-shirt with a cute picture of a doggie that proclaims, in large happy lettering, “Dingo Snack!”

  64. Moon Mullins
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    #45. The caption is,

    “Remember, no telling Mommy I shot my probation officer.”

    Couldn’t read it in my print version either. You might want to get a browser that has a magnifier (latest IE has it). Helps a lot on some of these strips.

  65. Jana C.H.
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    Rainbird– Personally, I thought those who freaked out over AB’s attempt to create a special “off-topic” thread for DTWOF were over-reacting. But they are pals of mine, so I went with them to create Maoist Orange Cake, which has turned out to be a lot of fun. I also stayed on with DTWOF, as did some of the other objectors.

    As I expected, the whole issue blew over and most of the migrants are back reading and posting on DTWOF, but now we have a new blog, Maoist Orange Cake, for the further amusement of the internets. Sometimes it gets over-serious with political and psychological issues, but I try to be there to post something silly, thus maintaining a proper balance of seriousness and frivolity. We’ll never have the readership of the DTWOF blog because we don’t have AB’s wonderful cartoons to offer, but I hope we can keep people interested.

    Maybe if I can get my scanner to work I can post my old “Pagan Cowboy Joe” strips from Green Egg magazine. They’re not Bechdel quality by any means, but I had my fans at the time.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Pagan Cowboy Joe: Never spoil a good story with too much truth.

  66. SecretMargo
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    61: Okay, you goaded me into it: Batoh holding a dog (from “Innocence,” the second GiS movie).

    And that’s the last anime boxcar you’ll hear out of me! I promise! The dog is just so cute I was powerless not to share.

    Forgive me.

    Oh, and, unrelatedly: I think PBS has been more wonderful than usual lately, especially today. Whether he has the “blessing” of the BilJeffBorg or not (I suspect he does), those are some funny captions.

  67. Jym
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    =v= 9CL (Uncle Lumpy): I, for one, am shocked! that you neglected to list ballerinas amongst the working people. Clearly you’re one of those people who subject lettuce leaves to incisors, and will never see a unicorn.

  68. Buck Ripsnort
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:02 pm [Reply]

    I never noticed it in that TDIET the first time, but “casual day” for Ragweed must mean “Heavy Dandruff Day”. Or is the reason he’s called Ragweed that he emits bursts of pollen from his scalp?
    And as a Poor Retail Sod who actually had to work today, FUCK LABOR DAY!

  69. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    #67 Jym –

    Oh, get serious. Dancing is a hobby at best! What are you — some kind of violist?

    #68 Buck –

    I feel your pain — whatever happened to the great British tradition of closing the restaurants so the staff can eat lunch?

  70. ralph
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    10, Poteet, thanks for clearing up the potato nose question. You’re sure right about Elly’s nose. It’s also a safe bet to predict that the artist(s) will just dish up fresh potato for young Elly. And Rainbird and Crabby Genes, thanks for filling me in. Before this, I was under the impression they were going to start mixing in the reruns right away. I did want to take a glimpse at the old strips again, since I also vaguely remember that For Better or For Worse at one point was funny. I don’t really want to see a young puppy Farley, though.

  71. LTBF
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    I used to hate people who would say “They shouldn’t make you work on a holiday.”

    Hey, pal, if the demand wasn’t there, they’d be closed. So stop shopping on holidays and maybe they’ll stop selling.

  72. commodorejohn
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:12 pm [Reply]

    #69 Uncle Lumpy – As much reviled as the Unicorn Story is, I have to admit that I’ve always held the belief that a job is anything you get paid for.

  73. Old Man Muffaroo [my other car is Kip W]
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    The bookstore scene reminds me of a sign I saw in the sheet music department of Wells Music years ago: “Our Mind-Reading Department is out to lunch so just TELL US what you want.” Only their wording was better than my recollection of it.

    For magnifying teeny strips, I’m using an add-on for Firefox that zooms things so efficiently and transparently that I can’t even find its name right now. Glad to help.

  74. Uncle Lumpy
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    #73 O.M.M (KW) –

    À propos of nothing (well, sheet music), my birthday present this year was music notation software, which came packaged with music scanning software. You feed a sheet of music into the scanner, and your computer reads and f’n plays it.

    I damn near wept. Born 20 years earlier and I would have missed it entirely.

  75. Kiesha
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    Man that Bookers one was pretty lame. That particular conversation happens EVERY DAY at a bookstore. Go for something a little more obscure, like:

    “Do you have any music that black people listen to?”


    “I will not sign up for your member card because then you’ll have my phone number and my e-mail and the government will get that information and I’ll get phone calls and e-mails and blah blah blah….”

    The “I don’t know the author or the title, but I know the color of the book” isn’t even funny to booksellers at this point.

  76. anameimadeup
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    I would say TDIET is clearly in the 80′s or later, since they refer to “casual Fridays” and I never heard the phrase before that time. But a closer look reveals that he actually calls it “dress down Friday”, which firmly places it in 1947.

  77. King Folderol
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    Dilbert – Funny concept, weak punchline, thy name is all-too-often Dilbert.

    My Cage – Having met my wife at work and dated/been engaged/been married to her during that time for four years, I guess I can relate. But there’s always so many people to make fun of, projects to goof on, mindless corporate regulations to bitch and moan about that you’ll never get bored. It sure beats hearing about a job where you don’t know the people, the regulations, and the projects, so the stories of your spouse’s trials and tribulations tend to wind up being a little dry.

    GA – I’d be elated if this were the last Gasoline Alley, and angry anti-African American were “accidentally” kept in the looney bin forever. Sadly, I suspect that we won’t be that lucky.

  78. Andrew Cunningham
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    That Bookers strip is brand new? Because I swear I saw that exact same joke pinned to the wall in a bookstore or library several years ago, down to the punchline.

  79. Trilobite
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    #57 TB Tabby — For some reason, the use of Comic Sans in The Order of the Stick doesn’t bother me as much, perhaps because Burlew’s art (and particularly the thickness of the lines) meshes well enough with the font size he uses to stay below the pain threshold. The font at least makes an attempt to blend in there, unlike the way it sticks out like a sore thumb over in My Cage. And it also helps that I think OotS is over-the-top hilarious, which makes me look upon it more favorably no matter what.

    Although let’s be honest — with a better font, even an already-great comic like OotS would be better. It’s just a fact.

  80. BluelineGoddess
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    TDIET is from the 1900′s – notice there are no women in the office… because they are all at home, barefoot and pregnant!

  81. nsr
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    Comic sans reminds me of the typeface they used in Charlton Comics. I thought they must have been talking like cyborgs.

  82. Mibbitmaker
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:42 pm [Reply]


  83. Mechanist
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    63: Thank you that was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. I’m trying to think which of my nephews and nieces needs one of those.

  84. Rob in Japan
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    I used to work in a big B&N, and one day I got this:

    “I’m looking for this book, you used to have it on this table, and it’s green.”

    me: “Do you know the title or author?”

    “No, but they’re making a movie out of it.”

    me: “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?”

    “Yep, that’s it.”

    But the oddest request came from a little old lady:

    “Why don’t you have any book covers for sale so we can protect our precious Princess Diana books?”

    Man, she was angry…

  85. Spotted HØrse
    September 3rd, 2007 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    #41 AeroSquid: My compliments to you, sir, on a more libidinous approach than Fred Bassett’s on the busting-out-of-panel problem.

  86. Poteet
    September 4th, 2007 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    9/4 Foob — Just when I think I’m inured to whatever else Lynn has in store, she turns me seething purple yet again. Those of you who remember or have seen the books with young Elly, I ask you — what the (Boxcar) is this new version of young Elly doing with an incipient facial potato and a (Margo)ing bun??? Does this look like Elly used to look? Does this look like most young women in the early 70s used to look??? GAAAAH!

  87. CrabbyGenes
    September 4th, 2007 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    #86 Poteet. I shall answer your comment point by point.

    “9/4 Foob — Just when I think I’m inured to whatever else Lynn has in store, she turns me seething purple yet again.”

    -Me too!!

    “Those of you who remember or have seen the books with young Elly, I ask you — what the (Boxcar) is this new version of young Elly doing with an incipient facial potato and a (Margo)ing bun???”

    -Good Question!

    “Does this look like Elly used to look?”

    -no no no no, NO!! No way!

    “Does this look like most young women in the early 70s used to look???”

    -Are you kidding?


    -GAAAAH! right back at you!!

    And now that I have done that, I will add my own comment:

    Jesus, Lynn, didn’t you even LOOK at the way you used to draw yourself??

  88. Poteet
    September 4th, 2007 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    # 87 — Thank you, CrabbyGenes. For a few wild moments there, I thought maybe I was the one who was hallucinating. But no, it’s Lynn. What a relief. Now I can go to bed.

  89. CrabbyGenes
    September 4th, 2007 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    #86, 87, 88. Actually, I checked some of the archives (1981), and it seems that the potato nose WAS there, well, just a BIT anyway. But the whole “look” of flashback-Elly is different, somehow. And in the early strips, she always wore her hair in a low ponytail, never a bun.

  90. Spotted HØrse
    September 4th, 2007 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    Oh my Lord! HOoo! CrabbyGenes, Poteet:

    -Good Question!
    “Does this look like Elly used to look?”
    -no no no no, NO!! No way!
    “Does this look like most young women in the early 70s used to look???”
    -Are you kidding?
    -GAAAAH! right back at you!!

    Stop, stop, you’re killin’ me! Don’t go to bed, Poteet! Not yet! Hoooo!

    OMG, this is some good snarkin’ stuff. Ladies, check out John stalking Pornlips Elly in panel 2! HARRRR!

    Okay, if you must go to bed, Poteet… sigh (passive aggressive Elly-style thunder cloud over hørse head)

  91. The Avocado Avenger
    September 4th, 2007 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    #86 Poteet – Yeah. Double yeah. Elly’s nose looks hideous, like Lynn’s trying to do a cross between the current potato and the way the nose used to look. If I recall, it was round and kind of big (so it balanced her butt) but it wasn’t a potato until more recent years. It certainly didn’t stick out in the same way you see in the last panel.

    And the bun? No. She wore her hair straight down in a ponytail, no bun. Feh.

    The joke about John thinking she has nice teeth is accurate, though, I’m almost positive.

  92. The Avocado Avenger
    September 4th, 2007 at 1:00 am [Reply]

    Oh wait, CrabbyGenes already said what I did.



    How ’bout that Margo, huh? She looks 100 years old in the 2nd panel.

  93. Spotted HØrse
    September 4th, 2007 at 1:01 am [Reply]

    #89 CrabbyGenes: Elly was somehow above all feminist politics, benefitting without doing a frickin’ thing but dragging down those who risked anything, kinda like Lynn… If it pleases Lynn to show her doppelganger in some sort of retro-bun, outside of every whiff of campus fashion druing the mid-to-late seventies, well, all I have to say is…. PBBBThhh!

  94. Poteet
    September 4th, 2007 at 1:05 am [Reply]

    Very sorry, Spotted H0rse and CrabbyGenes, but i really must go, or I’ll be even more slack-jawed at my morning meeting than usual. (Hooo!) Belated thanks, Spotted H, for celebrating the facial potato. (Hmm, that’s one of those sentences one could only find on this site.)

    And C-Genes, I don’t doubt your word at all (heck, you’ve got the books). But am I remembering wrong that Elly used to have a pointed nose at the very beginning, at least? Anyway, in this new redo, she has a weird virginal aura, kind of like SOUND OF MUSIC Maria meeting Captain Von Trapp for the first time. Eeww. G’night and have fun!

  95. Spotted HØrse
    September 4th, 2007 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    Niters Poteet. Hooo to you!

  96. Spotted HØrse
    September 4th, 2007 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    Oh, geez, 2 new posts… I’m off to see what’s doing.

  97. CrabbyGenes
    September 4th, 2007 at 1:28 am [Reply]

    #94 Okay, Poteet, you forced me into it. I got down the very first book from the tippy-top, least accessible bookshelf, where I put my entire collection about six months ago when I got completely disgusted with FOOB.

    And you are right. In the VERY FIRST comics (the early part of the first book), Elly did have a cute, LITTLE, pointed nose. By the end of the first book though, it was more bulbus.

    And in the very first strips, Elly doesn’t look like Elly at all. She is drawn to look more like a 16-year-old kid. And with a lot less facial detail. I think Johnston had gained confidence and developed her style by the time she drew the comics at the end of the book.

    Hi, Spotted Horse! You made me very happy today, because I love to make people laugh! Thanks!

  98. Spotted HØrse
    September 4th, 2007 at 1:44 am [Reply]

    #97 CrabbyGenes: FYI, I have two sisters, and I know that no one brings the funny like the two of them when they’re off to the races! Thanks for the hørse laugh.

    The evolution of LJ’s style is bizarre, isn’t it? Contrast “JonBenet Mewedith” with April, the superhero of the socks from back in the day. The gain in LJ’s artistic confidence seems to be tempered (hamstrung) by a sort of need to please and impress her readers. I mean, Christ on a pogo stick, I know kids of a certain age (a la Mewedith) are cute. I don’t need LJ to pump up the mascara and collagen to get it.

  99. DarthParadox
    September 4th, 2007 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    Retail stole its joke wholesale from Jhonen Vasquez. Right down to the color of the book.

  100. Loopina
    September 4th, 2007 at 2:48 am [Reply]

    An old strip with a very young-looking, albeit microopthalmic, Elly:
    John as a “tooth man”:
    Mike and Liz were both present in 1979:
    he was six and she was just a baby, probably no more than 1 – but in 1983 she looked only slightly older, about 2. I guess in the beginning the ages were going to be static, like other strips, but somewhere along the line she decided to allow them to age. According to the website, Mike was born in 1976 and Liz in 1981.

  101. Loopina
    September 4th, 2007 at 3:02 am [Reply]

    MT: HOMER HAS ABANDONED HIS POST! I bet right now that bulldozer is squishing Shirley the duck and her brood.
    MW: Thoughtspeak? Should those 2 balloons really be connected? I think the “eventually” means we’ll get to see Mary needle him for at least the rest of the week.

  102. Frank Parsnip
    September 4th, 2007 at 4:22 am [Reply]

    A3G: Margo nekkid alert. In panel 3 we can see that some sort of Ensign Pulveresque bubble accident is forming up behind her… perhaps she shouldn’t have dumped the entire box of Tide in the tub before she got in.

    MW: Panel 2 has Dr. Drew wishing to God he had brought along a sufficient supply of pain killers to put up with the incessant nagging of Mary Worth. Keep in mind that except where the strip authors indicate that it is actually “several days later” the strip moves in actual time. Thus, poor Dr. Drew has been suffering for some 72 or so hours of continuous bombardment by Mary. If not for the Magical Green Suit of Tsand’ar, he would have shriveled up and died already.

    Slylock Fox: I can’t find the differences… I’m staring at the fishnet stockings on the magician’s assistant.

    Spider-Man: Do you remember the fourth of September? I will. It’s the day that MJ’s face got replaced in panel 1 with the Guy Fawkes mask from “V”.

    Jugs Parker: Rosa is ready to offer up her enormous granny breasts if only Sam will stay away from “La Diabla Roja” (aka Busty Duncan). But Rosa is too late — it took Busty and Sam at least a dozen panels of Trudi and Flattop McMullet fighting to even start talking about the deal.

    MT: Homer will be there as long as it takes … or until Tony Soprano comes out to relieve him. Yes, real men really love ducks.

    MF: The duck is turning his attention to the unfairness of college football? Cripes — the far-right wackjobs have become the biggest bunch of whining pansies on the planet.

    GT: I totally love the third panel in which Gil talks of Marty Moon possibly sleepin’ wit’ da fishes. They’re going to dredge Moon up from the bottom of the lake, along with a whole lot of other Milford secrets. Like, we might also find out where the disembodied claws come from… and perhaps even find the discarded bodies of Mrs. Coach Thorp and Brynna Antenna from when they were replaced with alien pod people. But Gil is just going to let his returning tight end do what tight little ends do.

  103. Ludendorff's Ghost
    September 4th, 2007 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    I worked for B&N at one point in my life, and that book joke is absolutely true, as the same thing happened to me once too. And the funny thing is, I knew which book the customer wanted.

  104. mattt
    September 4th, 2007 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    GA Well, they couldn’t exactly say “Gasoline Alley garage closed because Slim’s gone frickin’ insane.” Does slim still run the garage? It is Slim who went nuts with the meteor, right?

    That was a fun sentence to write. How often do you get to write “It is Slim who went nuts with the meteor”?

  105. dev
    September 4th, 2007 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    …weird. That bookstore one almost word-for-word quotes at least two other comics I’ve read with that exact pun. (Down to the color of the book being blue.)

    Plagiarism or not, it’s still true.

    (PS, I generally uh, just lurk here reading and enjoying your hilarious awesomeness. ._.~ but thought I’d comment for once.)

  106. Uncle Lumpy
    September 4th, 2007 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    #105 dev –

    Welcome! Technically, you’re only getting substitute hilarious awesomeness this week, since Josh is on vacataion — but thank you!

  107. Frank Parsnip
    September 4th, 2007 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    Matt (104) — How on earth did this slip my mind?! This opens up all sorts of possibilities… Clovia frantically searching different calendars of world holidays to cover up for Slim’s prolonged stint in the loony bin… plowing through the feast days of little-known saints, Chinese lunar-calendar holidays, doubling up on holidays where the Eastern Orthodox church gives her a chance to do it. She might skip Kwanzaa because, well, Slim is not favorably inclined towards his dusky neighbors and if word ever gets back to him that might just be the death of him. That plus the fact that “Curtis” pretty much owns Kwanzaa comics lock, stock and barrel.

  108. Retail
    September 5th, 2007 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    That Retail strip is a direct rip-off of something Jhonen Vasquez did in one of his comics. I’m going through my box as I type this to try to find it.

  109. Moggy
    November 13th, 2007 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    That “Retail” cartoon – there was a FBOFW cartoon exactly like it! I think it was in the 90′s. It was when Ellie was working in a bookstore, and someone came in saying she’d heard about a book she wanted to buy, but she didn’t know the author, title, or anything else. She did, however, know that the cover was BLUE! They even used the same color!

    The punchline was Ellie saying, “She seemed like such a nice lady,” and the other employee saying, “You can’t tell a book by its cover!”

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    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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