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Hillbilly Ghost Postman = sure-fire movie franchise concept

Gil Thorp, 3/8/12

Having finished with his winter job duties (i.e., losing the boy’s basketball championship), Gil finally has time to follow up on some of his personal projects (i.e., shutting down a wholly legal tattoo parlor with a minor sideline in selling bootleg DVDs). Ransom Hale may actually be named Rupert and may not be from New Zealand, but the good look at his tonsure that we get in panel three shows us the real scandal here: he’s a monk who’s forsaken his vows poverty, obedience, and possibly chastity! Boy, wait until the abbot hears about this!

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 3/8/12

Snuffy, Uriah can’t hear your recounting of your corrupt relationship with the town’s only law enforcement authority; as his ghostly, colorless face in panel two indicates, he actually dropped dead from shock upon hearing about the Post Office’s troubled finances, and has now crossed over into the spirit realm. Since ghosts no longer think in ordinary language the way we do on this plane of existence, “?” is the closest we can get to transcribing the sense of wonder and amazement Uriah is experiencing as he begins to understand his newly transcendent state.

Judge Parker, 3/8/12

I’m not even going to try to explain what’s going on here; I’m just going to point out that today’s first panel, in which a chesty blonde cradles a shotgun while having a boring, confusing conversation with someone on the phone, is Judge Parker distilled down to its very essence.

235 responses to “Hillbilly Ghost Postman = sure-fire movie franchise concept”

  1. bats :[
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    Rifle, boobs, danger…shouldn’t JP be a lot more exciting right about now?
    Oh, yeah, it’s JP.

  2. Lucky
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane – When did Randall Munroe start writing 9CL?

    Family Circus – Jeffy’s making that suave and flirty face at his mother again and it’s creeping me out.

  3. Ned Ryerson
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    JP: Comics crossover alert: It’s the curtains from Mary Worth!

    Also, that is one evil fucking chair!

  4. Pozzo
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    I wouldn’t imagine the literacy rate in Hootin Holler would be high enough to sustain either a post office or a daily newspaper. My guess would be that the newspaper would be the first to go, as they need the post office for meth shipments and the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes.

  5. Mibbitmaker
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    Dilbert, starring Ashley Judd as Pointy-Haired Boss.

    ReFOOB:
    This can mean one of two things:
    a)They’re ungrateful brats who prefer prefabricated, fake food to something more fresh and substantial,
    or
    b) Ellie’s cooking sucks.

    FW: Specialestsnowflake Cam ™
    (like we care….)

    Garfield: Dog lawyers. The Snoopy Precedent.

    Lio: Meta win.

    Marm: Or Keith Moon channeling through him.

    RwO: But that doesn’t count for webcomics, right? Right?!

    S-M: Heimdall. Him doll?
    “Take Heimdoll ™ as directed to cure your case of Loki. Ask your doctor about Heimdall ™ today.”

  6. Bill Peschel
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    Does it seem like Gil’s showing more emotion and passion busting Fakey McFake’s name’s bootleg DVD operation than he exhibited on the basketball court? Maybe he needs to consider a career change as a TSA employee.

  7. Chareth Cutestory
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Barney Google and Snuffy Smith: Calling shenanigans on this comic. There’s no way that the holler residents would let anyone working for the government to walk through their holler, these people shoot census-takers!

  8. Higgs Boatswain
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    In most of the Western world, of course, the postal service is under threat from digital technology and market liberalisation. In Hootin’ Holler, however, where even the daily newspaper appears to be written by hand, great pains are gone to to keep the modern world at bay. Snuffy Smith knows that if Uriah slips Sheriff Tait a pair of them fancy seein’-spectacles he got settin’ on his nose, the sheriff will make sure it’s another decade or so before Hootin’ Holler is even allowed to develop the Gutenberg printing press.

  9. Alex
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    I think we all know that if today’s strip was truly a distillation of Judge Parker, the shooter would show up at Chesty Shotgun Blonde’s hideout to give her a solid platinum medal for being the best assassination target ever, before promptly dying and leaving his til now unmentioned vast wealth to her. Because she earned it.

  10. hogenmogen
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    JP: Over the past 2-3 weeks, we’ve been given circuitous conversations in which one male character says to another that April is being hunted by an assassin. The other male character says he suspected that on his own. In this age of 24 hour connectivity, no one thinks to let April herself know, but then again, it was so obvious by this point that why bother?

    Today:
    Strange Saudi on phone: The shooter is coming for you.
    April: I am the target!

  11. Little Guy
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    LORD GOD COACH: Ah, Gil Thorp. He’s Milford’s answer to Mannix *and* Dr. Henry Higgins.

    S4th: Sadly, a better and more apt bullying storyline.

    Baldo: Wait, someone robbed the family and got caught all in the same week? I can’t deal with storylines at breakneck speed.

    PBS: Second best instance of making a Cockpit subject non-Cockpit (Politics edition). 1st goes to Brewster Rocket.

    B&C: HA HA HA HA Nekkid guy is gonna get beat up by cop HA HA HA HA nice use of the speech balloon, though.

    JP: First panel also has a “Matrix” vibe with the ‘sunglasses’. This could be the best bodice-ripping shootout showdown since Doomsday killed Superman.

  12. hogenmogen
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    Nola’s hair is morphing into Darth Vader’s helmet.
    “I suggest you rethink what you want and why you want it!”
    “You are correct. *breathe* I shall focus my powers on regaining full control of the Empire. *breathe*”

  13. hogenmogen
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp:
    That Rupert guy must not have covered his tracks very well if he can be turned out by a cursory internet search by a high school sports coach with nothing but the most basic, rudimentary computer skills. But Gil is certainly correct, people from Dayton are legally banned from operating tatoo parlors and speaking with accents.

  14. hogenmogen
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    A3G: This is what we pay to see from A3G. Diversions from the drama of a baby being born to a soon-to-be-disfunctional rich couple, or a wacky road trip to Luann’s hayseed-stereotype-laden family. No, we REALLY want to see Tommie NOT having a musical career and NOT having a fling. Worth every penny!

  15. hogenmogen
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#10): Oh, now I get it, she has call waiting. Comment withdrawn.

  16. AmyS
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    Is it just me or is this Mark Trail storyline taking forever to get anywhere? Maybe I’m just impatient for the dog to lead our party back to the bank robbers, where the plot will inevitably follow in the same steps as Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Except they’ll let the dog live.

  17. bats :[
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    The saddest realization of the day: if Summer makes the basket, we get to go through all this crap again for the State Finals. And then the National Finals. And then the Interntational Finals. And then the INTERGALACTIC SUPERSPECIALIST SNOWFLAKE FINALS!!!
    Come on, Summer–eff it up and then puke all over the boards.

  18. wossname
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    BGSS – Besides the lead article on the post office, the Hootin’ Holler Gazette consists of a Police Blotter feature describing the latest arrest of Snuffy Smif; classified ads (none for real estate or jobs, as those would be ignored, but lots of ads selling parts for stills and meth labs); the Jumble; and comics, including BGSS.

    DtM – Mr. Wilson just read that TV remotes emit bursts of radiation that have been shown to cause brain cancer in lab rats.

    Plug – So the point is, a plugger can get old and lose his faculties and become demented and wither away, without ever being happy or achieving his goals in life? Gee, that’s entertaining and uplifting! And it took two of you Daltons to come up with that one?

    DT – “Elsewhere in a different city,” narration box? Really? You mean it’s not in the same place in a different city? Be careful – you’re enraging my inner copy editor.

    OtH – Cute, and I giggled, but I don’t think toads go “croak.” That would be frogs.

    CdS – I forget who this week’s guest artist is – but nice work with the action going on outside the window.

  19. Mibbitmaker
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    New Pop Culture’s Kids is up!

    She’s sorry, but she knows her limitations.

  20. Ed Dravecky
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Why does today’s Gil Thorp feature a cameo by 80′s Robot from The Muppets in panel three?

  21. teenchy
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    I never thought I’d see vagina dentata referenced in a daily comic strip until I read this morning’s Piranha Club.

  22. Ed Dravecky
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    JP: Everybody knows, the safest place to hide from a sniper is in full view through a large plate-glass window while awkwardly clutching a shotgun in a way no human being would attempt.

  23. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    MT: Butch is showing off just for the cameras? So Butch is the Kim Kardashian of the old, blind hunting dog world.

    And I know I’m an English major through and through, and so “business” is pretty much a foreign concept to me, but is a business model of “Hey, fellow! Come see my old, blind dog hunt enthusiatically!” actually viable?

    Before we forget about the local thieves, how about an anthropomorphizing narration box: “Butch misses his friends back at the cabin and decides to go look for them!”

    JP: I still can’t figure out how Sam decided that April was the target. And unfortunately, given my preferences, the ta-tas aren’t sufficient to distract me from the gaps in the plot.

  24. kwt
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    FW: I didn’t think it was possible for Funky Winkerbean to be more boring than or make me care less than I did when they were selling band turkeys. I was wrong. “Watching” a basketball game in the comics (for a week… or two… or three…) is so boring I dozed off three and a half times even just writing this comment about it.

  25. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    @Lucky (#2):

    Jeffy’s making that suave and flirty face at his mother again and it’s creeping me out.

    That’s creepy, all right—but not as creepy as the fact the he appears to be humping her breasts.

    @wossname (#18): re: CdS: It’s Ruben Bolling (of Tom the Dancing Bug)—and yes, today is especially amusing.

  26. Illustrator Steve
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    MT –
    Film maker guy: “Your RIGHT, Tommy. That old dog is hunting his heart out!”.
    Tommy: “Yeah, well, maybe after he’s finished hunting for his heart he’ll hunt for my jacket. HEY BUTCH, WHERE MY JACKET IS?”.
    Mark: “This WILL make a good story!”
    Illustrator Steve: “This story sucks BIG TIME!”

  27. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#11):

    Wait, someone robbed the family and got caught all in the same week?

    Given the kid’s outfit and the number of cop cars, it almost looks as though they caught him immediately—I mean, why else would they bring him to the family? So I don’t know where he was selling their stuff. To the neighbors, maybe?

  28. wossname
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#23):

    JP: I still can’t figure out how Sam decided that April was the target.

    I was going to mention that too. After the scene at the parking garage, Sam theorized that Monique was trying to see how close she could get to Randy. And Sam isn’t hearing any of the stuff that the sheik is telling April, so he doesn’t have any new info to change that theory. Also, if Monique was hired by Sheik Jr. to take out Randy so he (Jr.) could add April to his harem, why would she want to shoot April? I’m thinking about this too hard, amn’t I?

  29. Nekrotzar
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    GT: So the tattoo parlor guy is not selling bootleg DVDs, he’s selling “bootleg” DVDs — i.e. DVDs that he is passing off as cheap illegal copies but for which he actually paid full price at the local WalMart, which means he loses money on every one he sells, but (all together now:) he makes it up in volume.

  30. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#28): If by “too hard” you mean “more than Woody Wilson,” then yes.

  31. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Spiderman-Let’s see Spiderman is walking through an Asgard full of sleeping Asgardians. Thor wants to get in but the gatekeeper won’t let him. Where have i read this before. Oh that’s right yesterday and for the past couple of weeks. Get on with it.

    Gil Thorp-Now we know what the coach does when the boring announcer is shown.

  32. Snowshoecat
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    MW– Mary: “You have to quit your evil ways, baby.”

    Nola: *Sniffle* “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”

    Mary: “Oh yes I do. Why, I was once known as Mary Worthless.”

  33. Ned Ryerson
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#20): And why does 80?s Robot from The Muppets have Peter Griffin-style chin balls?

  34. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    A3G-Every day Dan is asking me, “Where is the music? Why isn’t she making the music? Why am I not listening to the music? Why aren’t you getting me the music?”

    A3G 2-Don’t worry Rick we don’t care about you either.

  35. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    MW-Can we hurry up and get to the part where Nola sobbingly breaks down and vows to changer her ways and devote her life to Mary?

  36. Marc
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    Hi & Lois- I you ever needed proof that Hi & Lois don’t give a shit about their eldest three children, look no futher than the family portrait on the wall. Just the bitch mom, pussy dad, and sun worshipping baby. No mention of the eldest slacker son or hell spawn twins.

    A3G- Hey Rick, need much?

    Luann- Dear Evans, go play in traffic.

    Mary Worth- “No, Nola, you should strive to be subservient and poor. That way you will be more susceptible to my meddling. And after all, that is what’s truly important here.”

    Funky- Does everybody in the crowd really think that the person next to them doesn’t know the situation? This is worse than the Mark Trail narrating. At least in MT it’s a some unseen voice who needs to drill into our heads the same thing day after day. These morons in Funky are at the game, yet need to remind each other of exactly what is happening.

    Mark Trail- Speaking of MT, yeah I’m sure that Butch is showing off for you. He’s fucking BLIND, how is that OLD DOG supposed to know he’s on camera. It looks like he’s HUNTING his heart out, but in reality he’s frantically searching for the OLD, NICE COAT.

    Curtis- Yes Curtis, it’s much cooler to flunk all your tests and get sent to the principal’s office for not doing your homework than to get help from your dad with a subject that he’s good with. What a dumbshit.

    Archie- Who is playing a hockey game in the middle of the afternoon on a school day? The only time there are ever hockey games played in the afternoon are on weekends or holidays where there is no school (President’s day, day after Thanksgiving, New Years).

  37. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp-Seriously I don’t know what you are talking about. I am from North New Queenslandtown.

  38. Dennis Jimenez
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    GT – “Implying” – I think the word you are grasping for is “implying” – not “inferring” – even in this infernal strip….

    BG&SS – Um – some kind of riff on Uriah Heep – Wizards and Demons – Rainbow Demon – I got it – Easy Livin’ at the USPS – um, no….aw, I give up….

    JP – Um, I don’t follow the strip, but based on the art work, I think tomorrow she’s rescued by Den….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  39. Ned Ryerson
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    A3G: So Rick E. (from Boys of the Block) is, like, totally into Tommie!?
    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  40. A Smirch Unheeded
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    Curtis: Are children even aware that ink used to come in a liquid form? But I suppose Curtis’ Dad likes to write letters and stuff using his fountain pen while listening to his vinyl records.

    DT: Officer Dietrich? Must be his daughter. These positions are hereditary in Captain Miller’s old precinct in that other city.

  41. Dood
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker: Wow, an impossibly oversized, stuffed, perky…chair. Yeah, that’s it.

  42. Lanfranc
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    JP – I gave up on trying to follow this plot a long time ago (and I strongly suspect Wilson & Manley have done the same), but with all these Chekov’s guns floating around, I’m expecting at least a major multi-strip gunfight sooner or later. If this story just ends with a boring arrest and not a single shot fired, no amount of boobage will be sufficient to earn my forgiveness. Just saying.

  43. Horace Broon
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    ASM: Spidey’s lost, Loki’s scheming, Heimdell is stoppng Thor getting in. Again. Mary Worth is moving faster than this!

    DT: “Elsewhere in a different city”? How could it be the same place in a different city?

    FW: In the words of God (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, deleted scene) “GET ON WITH IT!”

    S4th: Aargh, flashbacks to trying to trade Doctor Who stickers…

  44. Voshkod
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    I’m certainly not one to usually praise JP, but that first panel is a lovely little noir scene, even with the dialogue.

  45. word-doctor
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    GT: Sooooo hypocritical and misaligned! Rubin is all-in when it comes to moral outrage in the narrative, while Whigham uses a $10 “3-tite holes” blowup doll as a model for the hired help.

    Curtis: I ALWAYS think of Bill Cosby’s 1960s albums as a model for this toon (“To Russell My Brother” in particular. Occasionally the Coz would step out into a bit of misogyny, like referring to daughters as “these two losers,” but mostly he was a likable contemporary alternative to, uh, Malcolm X. Curtis is fine as long as he’s just a giant-footed hapless urbanite, but we get these strips like today where he acts like one of Evan’s lost Luann minorities with a full complement of hormonal self-centered nastiness. Have fun, Greg and Diane, when this kid hairs out!

  46. Sequitur
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#28): and @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#30):
    You gals are talking about inconsistencies in the plot to Judge Parker.

    There a plot???

  47. RavenHawk
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    MW: “Yeah, yeah, Mary you had a hard life, but I’m the VP of a major corporation. I’ve made something of my life.” [sigh] “Now, where is that waiter? I have to work on settling our bill. Got any Listerine?”

  48. AndyL
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    Who’s the target audience for Gil Thorp anyway? What demographic gets excited about harassing local Tattoo shop owners?

  49. Sequitur
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    Shoe: Hey! bats :[ Your favorite character is in today’s strip! (And it ain’t Cosmo Fishhawk or Roz.)

  50. Tom the Sailor Man
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: You’re going to have to change tactics, Mary. This approach won’t work – Nola is already IN sales!

  51. Esther Blodgett
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    MT: Can we please cue the swelling, majestic strains of the “Butch the old blind hunting dog is hunting the CRAP out of those birds” music?

    MW: I was OK with Nola being a slut, and a liar, and an unprincipled businesswoman. But cursing in front of Mary Worth? She’s gone too far!

    FW: Put up a brick and keel over, already.

    S4th: I’m starting to have a few qualms about making Ted seem more and more like a social outcast. I have friends who are every bit as nerdy-geeky-dorky (take your pick) as he is, and almost without exception they have larger social networks and more active social lives than I do. On the other hand…Happy Days trading cards? Ayyyyyyy!

  52. Hibbleton
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    MW: Hey guys, in order for rim lighting to heighten the drama in the final panel, you have to have some drama to start with.

  53. bunivasal
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    I’ve been to Dayton. People from Ohio don’t sound like that, Rupe. Wait. New Zealand?

    And that… that’s a country, you say?

  54. TheDiva
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    GT: Okay, now that Rupert/Ransom has been exposed as a fraud from Dayton, I will retroactively give him a pass for the awkward faux-Kiwi slang he was flinging around earlier in the arc. (And to be fair, if I were from Dayton I would pretend to hail from somewhere else too.) Now all I need is for Quill “croiky I’m so Australian, mate” in Luann to reveal he’s from New Jersey, and I will be happy.

    C’shaft: I call bullshit–kids don’t care how they hear about a snow day; all they care about is “yay, no school”!

    FW: Oh, the non-suspense is killing me.

    Luann: It gets better, but only if you find a bigger bully to have your back. Otherwise you’re screwed.

    MW: “Try not to aspire to be anything more than arm candy for some eligible man–then you’ll be happy!”

  55. Señor Tortilla
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    @Señor Tortilla (#y210): “More news is coming in that Barry Wilkins appears to have been smothered in his sleep by a pillow. All hands are being pointed at Greg Wilkins, 45, who appears to have done it in a depression-induced breakdown. And in other news, the tiny country of Flyspeck Island has been acquired by the United States for missile testing. When human rights activists complained, a study found Flyspeck Island residents were not human, having vertical-stacked eyes and lacking basic human emotions like empathy, fear, and sadness. Already, one Flyspeck Islander, a male named “GUNK” has been identified and is currently being tested in captivity. Back to you, Barb.”

    FC: Dear Jeffy, do not pinch Thel’s chin like that, ever again.

    PBS: At the rate things are going, Newt will not be the one who wins the Republican ticket. He won Georgia, who cares. This is why newspaper comics are not timely.

    DT: Are we supposed to know who this lady is?

  56. Mikey Mike
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Floaters and floaters-in-waiting, I need your help: What’s the best page to bookmark for one-stop newspaper comic reading? I was using the Houston Chronicle and Washington Post web sites, but I wanna know if there’s something better.

    And you are all the smartest people, so I come to you. Suggestions? Please and thank you. MM

  57. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    3G – Maybe, Rick, Tommie would care about you more if you’d take a little care with your appearance! What’s wrong with putting on a tie once in a while, Mister Slobby? And maybe spats and a sharply creased fedora? You need to distinguish yourself from the mass of humanity, you know!

    love is……the answer to the question, “How many naked waifs does it take to paint a wall?” [*]

    Mark – Either that’s a whole covey trained by Busby Berkley, or one really, really hyperactive meth-freak quail about to explode in a shower of mustard-colored feathers.

  58. Steve P
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    JP: Got a date for when April the Shlub turned into Tara Chace?

  59. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    Mary – Darkgate says this refreshed 7 hours and some minutes ago, but it still seems to be showing the same thing I’ve been seeing for a couple of weeks. Mary and Nola, right? Talking? Nola impetuous, Mary obdurate? Hand gestures?

    Victoria – So when they get those prank phone calls, they just say, “Yes.”

    Orange – I’m not sure that’s ironic, but if ten people are reading my blog, it’s an improvement. If half of that ten were to comment, it would be unprecedented.

    Spider-Man – Darkgate says this refreshed 8 hours and some minutes ago, but it still seems to be showing the same thing I’ve been seeing for a couple of weeks. Thor and Heimdall, right? Talking? Thor impetuous, Heimdall obdurate? Hammer gestures?

  60. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    @Marc (#36): Does everybody in the crowd really think that the person next to them doesn’t know the situation?
    More importantly, what makes Batiuk think he can ever live up to the high level of plot-explaining that VIZ reached in “Billy the Fish,” where the football crowd is knowledgeable, gregarious, savvy, opinionated, and topical. When team manager Tommy Brown had open-heart surgery on the field, they were right on top of every maneuver.
    “Great things are expected of the doc in the next 46 minutes!”
    “Fantastic! He’s into the thoracic cavity like a terrier after a rabbit!”
    “Yes. He ripped through the pericardium like it wasn’t there!”
    “This is a terrific performance by the nimble-fingered medic.”
    “Yes. He’s kept it tight in the key aortal areas.”
    “Fine scalpel control there.”
    “Yes. And we’ve seen some good stitching under pressure.”
    “A fantastic showing from the lad with the healing hands.”

    Brown is no slouch at exposition himself, with such great post-cliffhanger explanations as, “You’ve been asleep, Billy. All that shit about cowboys was just a dream.” and “You’ve been asleep, Billy. Very much like last time.”

    @Mikey Mike (#56): Darkgate Comic Slurper is what you need. And then a couple of individual bookmarks for the oddball ones they don’t have.

  61. Trillian
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    A3G: And…Tommie pulls a Han Solo! Nice!

    9CL: “Besides, you can already see the baby bump in Edda’s leotard!”

    FOOB: Elly made soup! Congratulations! She deserves a medal.

    FW: Summer has eye cancer.

    HotC: I do not think “backhand” means what you think it means, Tatulli. (Or, did he draw the beginning of the stroke instead of the end?)

    Lockhorns: Loretta, Loretta, Loretta. Expired cereal won’t kill him!

    Pluggers: You’re a Plugger if you were over the hill the day you were born.

    Zits: “Student Recharging Station”? Is this a thing?

  62. Trillian
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: You’re a Plugger if you still listen to the radio to find out about school closings when it snows.

  63. Sequitur
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    FW: President Kennedy, while at Harvard, tried out and made the Harvard swim team when he was sick with a 103-degree fever. Summer, we all know Jack Kennedy. You are no Jack Kennedy.

  64. S. Stout
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    Luann: Why again is “Ox” following Gunther around? Why would he want Gunther to mentor him when he’s in a building full of teachers? Why does a kid who hates violence threaten to beat people up? None of this makes any sense!

  65. Trillian
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#59): Victoria – So when they get those prank phone calls, they just say, “Yes.”

    Nice! (I didn’t know anyone else read this strip.)

  66. exapno
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#17):

    This IS the State Final – thank God – BUT……all that means it will be SOFTBALL season soon – more chances for Special Snowflake to get injured/sick JUST in time for the Big Game(s)…

  67. Sequitur
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    @S. Stout (#64): But he has a card!

  68. RavenHawk
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    @Mikey Mike (#56): Mikey Mike, I have been using Seattle PI & GoComics

  69. Inexplicable Bear Tongue
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    GT: It’s so nice that the tattoo man was generous enough to sell illicit goods so that Gil has a reason to get him shut down that had nothing to do with the totally legal tattoo operation that he really had the problem with. Fun how that works out. It was also nice of the fraudulent tattoo man to be so open about his illicit business such that any schmoe could find out about it just by walking into the shop.

    JP: Remember that torpedo tits, who’s an expert with firearms, a cool CIA agent, on a first name basis with high-ups in the Saudi government, and able to speak twelve languages, was originally introduced into this strip as someone who had no idea how to use chopsticks.

  70. Barry
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    MW: I’m wondering what swear word, or swear words Nola used in the dialog balloon. FWIW, it’s a lot more funny if you read the panel including the actual cursing. My vote for the colorful metaphor she used is “cocksucking motherfuckers”.

  71. AndyL
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    “Now, about these “Bootleg” dvds! They’re not bootlegs at all! You’ve paid for these legitimately! What are you trying to pull?”

    Meanwhile, Dax’s career has really gone downhill since DS9 ended.

  72. NoahSnark
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    Before today I couldn’t decide if Gil Thorp was Mary Worth on mescaline or Mark Trail on quaaludes. Now I am a convinced it is both, bound by an unknown third drug that severely distorts perspective.

  73. Little Guy
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Luann: So, Mongo-77 is going to make people like Gunther or elsehe’ll gesture an obscenity while bellydancing? And here I thought he’d be in his bunk with Vera.

  74. bats :[
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#49): Wow! It’s Scoopy the Surly Sundae! IN COLOR!
    But remember, the concept of a snarky fountain treat was suggested by this Holiness Hisself, Pope Josh!

  75. Oavis
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    A SIGN THAT I FOLLOW THIS BLOG TOO CLOSELY:

    Last night I had a dream in which I was reading Crankshaft. (Dreams sure are weird sometimes!) In the strip, Crankshaft had been found dead, propped awkwardly in his recliner with a bug-eyed, slack-jawed look of horror on his pallid face. A nonplussed detective was, as a final-panel zinger, informing the family that, judging by the frightful, look on his mug, Crankshaft had died in not only great physical pain, but unfathomable emotional pain as well.

    My reaction to the strip was to rub my hands in glee, knowing Josh would be taking this one on the next morning.

  76. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Trillian (#65): Several people here regularly enjoy Pab’s brilliant strip.

    I went and looked at your blog, but it wouldn’t let me comment. Something there is in blogspot that won’t let me post on their blogs (it’s not just yours), even if I try the various login possibilities, allow cookies, or whatever. I suppose I should try different browsers too.

  77. Little Guy
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#46): They’ve found a significant plothole. JP doesn’t pander to straight women or gay guys.

  78. bats :[
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    @exapno (#66): Oh, I misread it — you’ve made me very happy, just knowing this. will. be. over. soon. Right?
    Yeah, sure.

  79. Trillian
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#76): Huh, weird. Well, it’s not like anyone else has ever commented on my blog, so I don’t know if it’s just you.

  80. Illustrator Steve
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    MT –
    Illustrator Steve: “HOW did that covey of VILLIANOUS QUAILS manage to get by homeland security?”
    Mark: “This will make a good story!”
    Tommy: “WHERE my coat is?”
    Mark: “NO Tommy, where your coat is will NOT make a good story.”
    Larry the croc from Pearls Before Swine: “Me want know where coat is two!”

  81. Illustrator Steve
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    MT – THIS JUST IN…… Waves of solar flares traveling 5,000,000 mile an hour have hit and destroyed the Jackelrod Studio of Outdated Clip-Art….. film coveage will be provided at 11:00 by a camera crew traveling through the southern part of the state. Since no other damage was done, eyewitnesses say it was as if our sun took direct aim at the JackElrod studio and nothing else.
    Mark: “THIS WILL MAKE A GOOD STORY!”

  82. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    Frazz: *applaz* (with cows in comma-glasses)

    A&J: sing it, Arlo!

    HorC: sh-BAP! (much better sFX than ‘smak’.)

    Lio: nice visuals. *golf clap*

    PBS: dang, I wish my state still had it’s primary upcoming. It would be worth the arrest to break up a press conference with that heckle.

    Bizarro: OOOF! that’s two this week!

    JUMBLE: featuring Josh about to be bucked from the rear?

    PMP: /facepalm.

    SFx: unspeakable filth?

    Retail: the twist, I did not see it coming. @_@

  83. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp-Of course I am from New Zealand. Why else do you think I speak in this outrageous accent?

    Luann-Someone has more smack than Ox. Someone trying to muscle in on Ox’s smack territory. If that is the case Ox go into wack mode. Ox will wack people.

  84. UncleJeff
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    Funk: I’ve never seen a basketball goal with green striping on it. Must be the artist’s way of expressing the Specialest Snowflake’s fading eyesight amidst the “Camille”-like illness that will leave her gasping on the floor after she makes the championship-winning shot.

    Phantom: If they’re going to continue this “lucha libre” thing, I want to see Phantom (Ghost-Who-Lives-His-Gimmick) bang somebody over the head with a folding chair.

    Dick Tracy: Speaking of which — wrestling plot abruptly ended. New plot on the way (with guest-starring appearance by Sarah Palin – wearing new hipster eyeglasses!)

  85. bbofun
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    A3G- so, as i understand it, Tommie loves music, but nut the music business. Fine, lots of artists express that feeling. Except all she’s encountered of the music business is recording her songs! And having her producer ask her to continue writing and recording them in a timely fashion, so he can get her album out, as per their contract.

    So, what Tommie REALLY doesn’t like is work. This doesn’t bode well for her career as a midwife. “What, that baby hasn’t come out yet? It’s been 12 hours already! You know, I love babies, but I hate the baby business! I wonder what Margo’s doing?”

  86. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp-Nobody liked “Bootleg” when it came out and you can’t make people watch your crappy movie by giving away a copy with every tattoo.

    “Hillbilly Ghost Postman” sounds like the name for a Don Knotts’ film if he was still alive.

  87. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Love is . . . .either yanking the ladder out from underneath him, or preparing to violate him with a paintbrush handle?!? *confused*

  88. Ned Ryerson
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    Cranky McCrustyhat: You’d think the school district would use some active mechanism to alert the busdrivers if the schools were closing. We know that Shithead McStankyredjacket would ignore the communication network just for the opportunity to cause mayhem on the snow slick roads with a 20 ton death machine. He would probably drive his regular route in the hopes of seeing some bundled up kids who didn’t get the news and shoot by them, screaming out the window, “School’s closed today, ya little twerps! I’m off to get pancakes!”

  89. Poteet
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    MW — “Otherwise, sooner or later, your bullet-riddled body will be featured in 48-HOUR MYSTERY and we older viewers will have trouble keeping track of all the suspects. Seriously, young woman, think ahead. And wash out that dirty mouth with soap!”

  90. flatsixes
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    MT: Whoa, but did anybody else notice that in the second panel Ol’ Blind Butch looks like he’s having a heart attack? “Hunting his heart out” indeed.

  91. bats :[
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#34): it’s not you, Rick. Really! Or after nagging her about her talent, maybe it is…

  92. Little Blue Bicycle
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    Dayton: Milford’s vision of an urban Hell.

  93. Crazy Jay
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @Pozzo (#4): They read the paper the same way most people read THE NEW YORKER.

  94. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

  95. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    9CL: So, Edda is about to get her pregnant ass fired… interesting plot twist…

  96. NotThatGuy
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#35):

    …and then plunges off a cliff in Buick?

  97. Kinghasnoclothes
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#5):
    Marm: John Bonham, I think.

  98. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#38): “mmm, big.”

    *chuckles at reference.*

  99. NotThatGuy
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    @Barry (#70):

    I always substitute “dadgummed!” or “dadgummed peapickers!” myself.

  100. Poteet
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    MT — This old dog,
    He hunts birds,
    This plot is too dumb for words,
    With a knick-knack paddywhack,
    Give a dog a quail,
    No one’s dimmer than Mark Trail.

  101. Sequitur
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#95): Then she’ll end up working in a diner and getting advice from Mary Worth.

  102. Stickerz
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    Butch may be hunting his heart out, but what I think McNeckerchief wants to see is Butch sing his heart out amirite? 5…6…7…8

  103. Baka Gaijin
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#100): It took a moment to pick up the tune. Ha ha ha!

  104. commodorejohn
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    Agnes – Damn, there are days when Liō isn’t this grotesque.

    A3G – How could you have the hots for Tommie, seriously? Especially now that she abandoned her old hair (which I guess was just too lively) for the “I’ve just come in out of the Deluge, and towels haven’t been invented yet” look?

    Buckles – …I’m just going to back away slowly now.

    DT – Fritz Ann Dietrich, who at a glance I’d guess is some unholy hybrid of Woody Allen and Zooey Deschanel?

    FW – Hahaha, ha ha, I can’t look at that without hearing the old cartoon “sliding strings of drunkenness” music. Is this supposed to be pathos? Gil Thorp has better sports-failure pathos than this, Tommy.

    JP – I think it should be a law that, in a chair like that, you’re required to pet a cat and go “I’LL GET YOU NEXT TIME, GADGET!”

    Jumble – AW “FUCK”

    Luann – So Gunther is going to prevent himself from being bullied by the people he bullied by the services of a bully who hates bullies? THIS IS PERFECTLY LOGICAL!

    MT – Oh, this is gloriously dumb.

    MW – “Okay, I’ve rethought what I want and why I want it. I still want to achieve riches and power by any means available to me, but now I’m including you in the list of people I’m doing it to spite. Thanks, you shriveled old #*&^%!”

    NAOQV – Oh, well played.

    PBS – Oh my God do I love this strip.

    Phantom – “But Ruby, don’t take your lucha libre to town!”

    RMMD – Iris, the mummy of Boris Karloff is only trying to help!

    SF – What I love about this is the fact that his hair is exactly the same.

    SM – Meanwhile, in Spider-Man, all pretense of plot progress is officially abandoned!

  105. Poteet
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    BG & SS — Dozens of small post offices are slated to shut down in Iowa, and I’ll bet that’s what’s happening in Hootin’ Holler. And while Snuffy knows that the Post Office is run by The Gummint, he has no concept of state, federal, and local levels, let alone different agencies, so he thinks the Sheriff is responsible for the proposed closure. He’s probably trying to calculate how many chickens and ham hocks it would take for the Sheriff to change his mind.

  106. Mary Jo Kopechne
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#23): “And unfortunately, given my preferences, the ta-tas aren’t sufficient to distract me from the gaps in the plot.”

    (Christopher Walken voice): “Needs more ta-tas!”

  107. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#86): “Hillbilly Ghost Postman” sounds like the name for a Don Knotts’ film if he was still alive.
    Only if he was alive? Sounds like a perfect comeback vehicle.

  108. Poteet
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    S-M — The people who worshipped the ancient Norse gods aren’t around to defend their religion or be offended, and I would be offended on their behalf except I’m too busy wondering if there’s any possibility of a Big Asgard Makeover show to meet the obviously-desperate need. I think Loki did these folks a favor by putting them to sleep so they don’t have to look at each other or their surroundings.

  109. bats :[
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#104): yeah, yeah, you have April settling back and petting her pussy and this whole thing slides into the land of no return… (then again, if it advances the plot, I’m all for it!)

  110. Mary Jo Kopechne
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    GT: I think Gil Thorpe’s detective skills are about as poor as his coaching skills? Rupert may have lived in Dayton before Milford, but no way was he born in the U.S. How do I know this? Elementary! Nobody born in the U.S. has been christened “Rupert” since 1873! Duh!

  111. Cloudbuster
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    Mary Jo! Shhh. Get back in the car! Those were my comments!

  112. Cloudbuster
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    There were so many snarks on Family Circus today that I had to go check it out, and … my word … that’s a disturbing pose. I hesitate to use the term for the act they’re engaging in even in this den of curmudgeonly depravity. I’d venture to say that, yes, Jeffy, this is going to be one of your good ol’ days, alright.

  113. commodorejohn
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#109): Yeah, I suppose there would be no going back from that. On the other hand, you have to assume it would be pretty amazing, since it’s clearly the kind of thing Manley wants to be drawing…

  114. odinthor
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    GT. — Vaguely threatening blackmail—it’s the American way! Meanwhile: Kaz, it’s rude to pee on the sidewalk in front of the store. Be a classy guy and pee in the corner of the waiting room.

    Love Is . . . — . . . Approaching his butt with a smile on your face!

    Pluggers.

    A plugger can be over the hill without ever reaching the top.

    Why, that’s the saddest thing I’ve read in quite some time. Thanks for the downer, funny pages!

    SaFo. — Well, Ted—it could be because your self-involvement beats out your desire to bond. Not that there’s, um, anything wrong with that.

    #27. bb,u.

    So I don’t know where he was selling their stuff. To the neighbors, maybe?

    To the cops. Always best to eliminate the middle-man.

  115. Anonymous
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    @Inexplicable Bear Tongue (#69):
    As long as she works that shotgun like a claw, there should be no problem.

  116. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    FW: *sigh*. I wanted to post this yesterday, but I didn’t have time. Anyhow…..Here we go again with another unnecessarily long, drawn-out, painful, tedious sub-plot, a-la Batiuk-style. So, let’s break this shit down:

    In yesterday panel 3, it’s clear that the Cedars have committed a personal foul against Summer…..which means two free throws. Or at least one, as indicated by today’s drivel. Let’s explore the events and outcomes here:

    1) Panel 1: Summer shoots. Panel 2: She misses. Panel 3: Summer is crying in her bedroom with the ghost of Dead Lisa Lisa Lisa consoling her.

    2) Summer shoots, she scores, they win State. Summer then collapses and dies of cancer.

    3) Summer shoots, she scores, they win State. On the bus ride home, the driver dies of cancer and the bus careens off the road, hits a tree, and everyone on the bus has to have their left arm amputated.

    4) The next eight strips are of a basketball flying through the air, hitting the rim, bouncing around, and finally, either bouncing off or going in the basket. In the last panel of the 8th strip, there are no words, just Summer……either cheering or bawling….

    5) Summer shoots, she scores, and Batiuk does a take-off of the “beaver shoot” scene in the girls’ showers from the movie “Porky’s”.

    6) Summer shoots, misses, they lose State. Summer is devastated. Summer is walking down the street. Summer discovers Comix Corner. Quits basketball and becomes enthralled with comic books. Summer starts drinking. The Fat Pervert starts buying her beer and they start playing video games together. The Fat Pervert starts blathering on about nothing while trying to make suggestive moves on her. Summer discovers she’s a lesbian.

    …….but, whatever happens, you can be sure it will be l-a-a-a-a-me…

  117. Calico
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    Ooops – #115 was me.

  118. Baka Gaijin
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    Damn! Nola’s been lunching (dinnering?) with Mary Worth so long she’s got the incipient symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome going on. By the time the after-dinner coffee arrives, she’ll have a raging case of Stepford Wife. I’ll hang my head and cry.

    I want to deliver an “Ashley Cupcake” from My Cage to a few people. Number One: All clowns, harlequins, and mimes. Number Two: The entire cast of Marvin (watch out for the poo-splosion). Number Three: Whoever designed the plastic clamshell package for small electronics. And too many more to mention.

  119. cartooncritic2544
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    RE: Sally Forth. Anyone else finding Ted’s flashback hitting uncomfortably close to home?

  120. Baka Gaijin
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    Hilarity ensues when Pluggerdog’s vodka and bacon grease-soaked beard bursts into flame from the inferno on his birthday cake. Did he learn to “stop, drop, and roll” from Sparky the Fire Dog? Let’s watch…

  121. Marc
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    @Barry (#70): I had just imgained that she said “fuckers”. But yours makes more sense. It’s a much more Nola-ish thing to say.

  122. Marc
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    Luann- Am I correct in noticing that Gunther is the only asshole in this strip who never changes his clothes?

  123. Baka Gaijin
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    @cartooncritic2544 (#119): No Of course not. [looks around furtively] I was a member of the popular kids. Yeah. Dat’s the ticket!

  124. Fashion Police
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    We are loath to confess that, if we may take the last several weeks of Apartment 3-G as evidence, we have been far too slow in recognizing a major fashion trend. It appears that all of the cutting-edge men in Manhattan have taken to the buttoned-up white dress shirt, sans tie, as the fundament of casual dressing. We wonder how long before this stunning new look sweeps into the provinces.

  125. This Guy
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    S-M: “Why do I sense that someone is watching me? I can’t remember ever having the ability to sense things that were amiss. How very odd.”

    /* Or maybe Peter was bitten by a radioactive Rockwell. */

    @commodorejohn (#104): [Luann] Bullies bully bullies bully bully bully bullies.

  126. commodorejohn
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    @cartooncritic2544 (#119): Well, I actually spent my childhood holed up in my room with books, but if I had gone to public school, I have no doubt at all that that would’ve been me…

  127. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    Queen Victoria: Next they should check if their refrigerator is running.

    GT: Gil is saying “DVDs,” but I’m pretty sure he’s holding a video tape in his hand.

    JP: That’s a nice shot of April sitting with her rifle, but don’t I remember that the cops took all her firearms to the station?

  128. gnome de blog
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#115), @Calico (#117):

    As long as she works that shotgun like a claw, there should be no problem.

    It’s a good thing you identified yourself. I don’t think anonymous posts are eligible for Comment of the Week.

  129. btown
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    @Barry (#70): I vote for “no-screwin’, pencil-dick, pencil-peter, junkyard, rat soup-eatin’ mothafuckas!”

  130. gleeb
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#124): I think it probably started with the oh-so-fashionable Iranian diplomats at the UN.

  131. AhClem
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    FW – Whether Summer is suffering from the flu, intestinal distress or some other malady, she will have to leave Westview for medical care, as all the doctors in that town are oncologists.

  132. Shrug
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#17):

    “The saddest realization of the day: if Summer makes the basket, we get to go through all this crap again for the State Finals.”

    If she makes it, they’re state champs. If we keep reading it, we’re state chumps.

  133. Brave Little Toaster
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    @Ned Ryerson (#3): Ned, I don’t really see how a fucking chair can be evil. It seems like it would be a good thing.

  134. SequelMan
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    9CL via Pibgorn: Beware of new book plug.

  135. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    @Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy (#116):

    Except that, for our last update, there were 12 seconds left in a tie game.

    Let’s assume the Cedars ran 11 seconds off the clock before the foul (otherwise today’s exposition is wrong, as the Cedars can still inbound to Laettner and win on a buzzer-beater even if Summer hits both free throws). But the game is still tied. So if Summer makes the free throw, the Scapegoats win. But if she misses, it goes to overtime.

    Batty isn’t going to follow up all this week’s “suspense” with two weeks of overtime strips, so he has tipped his hand already as to how this will end.

    If we didn’t have today’s “Summer needs to make this free throw, then we win!” exposition, it would be possible for her to miss and the game to end seconds later when the Cedars hit their last-second shot, giving us a cathartic “Summer is devastated” moment. But as it is, she is clearly going to have to make the shot. If she misses, there is a lot of game left to play and she can’t be the Scapegoat.

  136. Shrug
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#23):

    “And I know I’m an English major through and through, and so “business” is pretty much a foreign concept to me, but is a business model of “Hey, fellow! Come see my old, blind dog hunt enthusiatically!” actually viable?”

    Director McInandout decides to punch up the plotline a bit. “So, your dog is trained to find your jacket and stay with it. . . hmm. . . let me examine your jacket, Tommy.”

    Tommy takes off jacket (yes, I know *the* jacket is at The Shack of The Thoughtful Dog-Loving Bank Robber, but we’ll assume here that Tommy has a spare). Director rips the jacket in two. Measures the dog. Puts the two halves of the jacket one dog’s length apart. Butch stretches mightly to touch both halves.

    Director stakes one half to the ground, starts walking in a circle while holding the other half. Butch keeps one dog-end on stable half, rolls around in a circle to keep other dog-end on other half. Director walks faster and faster. Butch starts to whimper.

    Director tosses his half of the jacket into a bramble bush fifty feet away. Poor Butch indecisively whimpers louder, finally decides that half is slightly larger and so gets up and runs into the bush. As soon as he’s committed, Director tosses other half into nearby swamp. Butch finds part of jacket has been torn off by brambles, meaning other half is now slightly larger. Butch leaves bramble bush and runs into swamp.

    Director retrieves both halves, measures to be sure they are exactly equal in size, ties each one to convenient turtle and sets them plodding off in opposite directions. Butch, whimpering loudly, runs from one to the other neurotically.

    Director removes turtle, substitutes jackrabbits. . .

  137. Brave Little Toaster
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Judge Parker: Busty blonde? Check. Shotgun? Check. Ostentatiously wealthy surroundings? Check. Boots? Check. We’re ready to roll today’s installment!

  138. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    FW – On the other hand, the Cedar player who committed the foul at her end of the court with less than a second on the clock in a tie game for the State championship has just earned herself the status of being a Scapegoat for the rest of her life.

  139. tallyHO
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    Mw: Nola! Watch out for that thumb! Mary’s fake hand is sloppily on the wrong arm which is the only clue we have that it isn’t a hand, it is complex camouflaged firearm!
    Maybe Smither’s ghost will save you? Or, maybe these comics strips are taking so long to resolve their plot lines that I’m filling in the blanks to make them interesting?

  140. Brave Little Toaster
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: “Oh, and by the way Ransom, thanks for putting your real name and hometown on your Pacebook page. Otherwise I’d have no idea how to use the Google to find out that information.”

  141. tallyHO
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#107):
    “Only if he was alive? Sounds like a perfect comeback vehicle.”

    But, Aaandy!

  142. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    RWO: Wow, there are 10,000,000,000,000 people on the Internet?! That’s only 1,666 times the number of people on Earth. Speed-riffing… GO!

    – Well sure, if you count voters in Chicago elections!
    – Thanks to the new NCC-802.11X subspace wireless routers, which allows us to connect to the United Federation of Planets!
    – Oh, you thought we were talking about humans? Sorry for the misspelling. We meant the ANT-ernet.
    – Corporations are people too, my friend!
    – According to my e-mail, 9,000,000,000,000 of them are Nigerian princes.
    – Keep crossing out zeroes and you’ll eventually get to the number who thought this cartoon was funny.
    – And of those 10,000,000,000,000 people, fully 300,000,000,000,000 can’t do math!
    – Carl Sagan called. He wants his billyuns and trillyuns back.
    – If you change “people” to “cat pictures,” you’d be close.

  143. UncleJeff
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    GT: If only there was another writer who would have tattoo lady telling the Lord High Executioner/Coach that she and Rupert are just lowly first year public school teachers forced to look for other work because of layoffs but unable to find anything except a low wage job selling tats and trashy DVDs. Because of Milford’s overly regulated economy, Rupe had to assume the name and identity of the former owner of the tattoo shop who held the last tattoo license the city council was willing to issue.
    A guilty Gil immediately orders all Mudlark athletes be tattooed from nape to knees, paying Rupert and his tattoo lady out of the school fund set aside for the new football helmets (safety codes are for wimps!)

  144. Calico
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Jo Kopechne (#110):
    If you need a towel to dry yourself off, I’m right here to hand you one!

    : P

  145. btown
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    GT: Shouldn’t Kaz have an ace of spades on the back of his MC jacket, and a motorcycle chain in his hand, in panel 1?

  146. Calico
    March 8th, 2012 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    JP – Sexy shootout between two mightily-busted ladies? Sure, why not?

    MW – This lunch is going to go on and on, like Richard’s drunken 5-hour lunch with Bunny in “The Secret History.”
    Neither has the cash or credit cards to pay, so they have to call Toby and Chinbeard to save the day. Hilarity and passive-agressive bitterness ensue.

  147. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    GT: Summer Moore gets sick but still insists on playing. Lini gets just as sick and more sensibly benches himself. I don’t know how it all fits together, but this so-called “Ransom Hale” being from Ohio has to mean something. Looks like Gil is right to run him out of town.

    SSmith: It’s true. Uriah is now a walking cadaver. Or a person-shaped marshmallow, it’s kind of hard to tell the difference.

    A3G: Ouch, Rick. At least if you had bared your heart to Margo she’d have kicked you down the stairs so you’d have the physical pain to distract you.

    S-M: Mohawk and scraggly goatee? Who was the Norse god of aging punk rockers, anyway?

    9CL: I’ll be delighted if the ballet company benches Edda because the interview has little tidbits like, “I’m a young, hot white woman. Of course I cross the street when I see one of, you know, those people walking down the sidewalk.” Of course that’s assuming other races not in evidence.

    BB: Whenever the Camp Swampy gets together to play “Sesame Street”, Zero is always Oscar. He’d be Big Bird if he had a little more height. Three guesses on who play Bert and Ernie.

    RMMD: Slim is quite the snack food entrepeneur. He likes to roast his own nuts.

    DtM: That’s right, George. You can dream of turning Dennis into another boy, two or three years older, Latino, with the figure of a welterweight boxer.

    DT: She’s got glasses and attitude. Please tell me Fritz Ann Dietrich is the daughter of Detective Arthur Dietrich.

    S4th: Aw lady, send your kids out on a playdate if you’re going to bring your johns back to the house. Sure it’s cute when they stare at you smooching the guy in the doorway, but they’ll be scarred for life by those sounds coming from the master bedroom.

  148. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    thorps. “I’m not from Dayton, mate, I’m from Dunedin. It’s a city of about 100,000 on the south end of–”
    “Yeah, well, I’ve been to Florida, too, and they don’t talk like that, either!”

  149. Jasper
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    H&L- Hi discovers that Thirsty Thurston sired Chip and the twins, so omits them from the family photo, that he hopefully paid nothing to have taken. What a terrible photo.
    -Hi demonstrates his illiteracy as he has to ask what the open note from the teacher, right in front of his face is.
    -Ditto, assuming that’s who is in the darkened room, designs a paper airplane that banks right, does a 130 and ascends right into Hi’s three fingered hand. Unfortunately this talent will go unnoticed and Ditto will assume the role of slacker garbage man in his adult life.

    MT- Who else would he be showing off for? Seeing that Butch hasn’t eaten in about 2 weeks, he’s probably looking for food. And just how is McInandout going to fill a 30 minute wildlife show on about 30 seconds of a blind dog boring footage.

    MW- Normally the use of profanity by a woman would send Mary into an aghast state, complete with accent lines emitting from her head, but the thong wearing, leg spreading whoring slut Nola has numbed Mary’s senses to react in such a way.

  150. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#142): —Says Internet expert IMA Sockpuppet.

  151. Shrug
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#125):

    “[Luann] Bullies bully bullies bully bully bully bullies.”

    And in POOCH CAFE the last couple of days, Poncho has been dominating a herd of sheep while filling in for the sheep dog. He’s a wooly bully.

  152. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#100): Like. Like very, very much.

  153. Shrug
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#127):

    “JP: That’s a nice shot of April sitting with her rifle, but don’t I remember that the cops took all her firearms to the station?”

    She left a tooth under his pillow and the Gun Fairy brought her a new one.

  154. Shrug
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    @Brave Little Toaster (#133):

    “Ned, I don’t really see how a fucking chair can be evil. It seems like it would be a good thing.”

    Even Casanova drew the line at actually using one of those, though he was amused at the possibilities:

    http://tinyurl.com/7ukfr2d

  155. Dramman
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @cartooncritic2544 (#119): Not exactly, but this weeks strips directly rebut an understanding I once had. Sally did not have Ted’s testicles cut-off and gold plated into earrings. Apparently, Ted never had a pair in the first place.

  156. RavenHawk
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#86): “Hillbilly Ghost Postman” sounds like the name for a Don Knotts’ film if he was still alive.”

    Or a Seattle grunge band.

  157. commodorejohn
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#153): She left a tooth under his pillow and the Gun Fairy brought her a new one.

    So that’s what Heston’s been up to since he shuffled off the mortal coil…

  158. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    HillbillyGhostPostman… dot tumblr dot com.

  159. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Awww. They could’ve made such bland, boring, totally forgettable music together!

    JP: Monique al-Bazooms isn’t in her room, so obviously she’s coming to kill April right now. Simple deductive reasoning.

    MT: Tomorrow: Steve the Filmmaker: Wow, old blind Butch has sure found a whole lot of birds even though he’s old and blind! But why is he pointing at that old shack that I just noticed is right over there?

    Jeff: Uh-oh, I just noticed that that old blind dog is back and that a film crew is right over there! You would have thought that, out here in the silence of the wilderness, we would have noticed them before!

    Other robber guy, whose name I won’t look up: Well, you insisted in running the generator so we could watch our local college team’s important game!

    Jeff: We might as well give ourselves up! With that old blind dog as my inspiration, I will try to reform my life, and not rob any more banks! What do you say, fellow?

    O.r.g.: I am inspired by that old, blind dog as well!

    Luanne: My hope now is that Mongo seriously injures Leslie, and Leslie’s family sues, bankrupting Gunther’s family, and forcing them to live on the streets. One night the recovered Leslie finds Gunther under the bridge in a heroin-fueled stupor and stomps him to death, showing that bullying-by-proxy is just as wrong as the regular kind.

  160. tallyHO
    March 8th, 2012 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    Family Circus: When he grows up will they still call “issues” “issues”?

    It is highly likely the kid won’t remember that moment in time and that every woman with whom grown up PJ/Jeffy/Billy? becomes involved with will suspect that it went something like that. Unfortunately for the kid, every awkward moment in his life is being documented. Documented in the funny pages.

  161. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#127):

    JP: That’s a nice shot of April sitting with her rifle, but don’t I remember that the cops took all her firearms to the station?

    Maybe she had rifle parts squirreled away in 25 secret compartments in her flat. Or maybe the cops just aren’t very good.

  162. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    @Gladly, the cross-eyed bear (#159):

    Luann – Gunther first initiated a physical attack by knocking Les, who was a stranger to him, down in the hallway while his back was turned – not once, but twice. Then, he paid him $20 to initate a confrontation in front of the whole school. Now, he is hiring a bully to intimidate Les into silence. It gets said a lot for this strip, but: Who is the ‘good guy’ supposed to be, here?

  163. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#146): May it be a Police Squad-style shootout… complete with throwing their empty guns at each other at the end of it all…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRhDE10mmME

  164. Baka Gaijin
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#161): Another visit by Occam’s Razor: Male police officers hypnotized by massive gravity-defying tatas. She could have been standing in front of an exploding meth lab and they wouldn’t have noticed.

  165. Uncle Lumpy
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#136):

    Director retrieves both halves, measures to be sure they are exactly equal in size, ties each one to convenient turtle and sets them plodding off in opposite directions. Butch, whimpering loudly, runs from one to the other neurotically.

    Director removes turtle, substitutes jackrabbits. . .

    Ooh, I know, I know! — Ask one turtle what the other one would tell him, and do the opposite! Alternately, build up a resistance to iocaine slowly, over years.

  166. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#86):

    “Hillbilly Ghost Postman” sounds like the name for a Don Knotts’ film if he was still alive.

    Hey, it’s an even better fit for him if he manages to make a movie now that he’s dead.

  167. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    MW-Mary why don’t you tell Nola about how bad instead of saying that you know what it is like. Admit it you are trying to lure her into a false sense of security so she will be more vulnerable when you strike.

  168. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#166):

    CS – We just had a Crankshaft story line where Rose had to deliver a letter to a ghost. And the Ghost of Dead Lisa is guaranteed to appear at some point during the celebration of Snowflake’s State Championship. So I think we have a screenwriter lined up for Hillbilly Ghost Postman.

    We may have to wait for “Hillbilly Ghost Postman II: Return to Sender” to see the title character haunt an 80-year-old school bus driver who keeps running over the mailboxes on his route.

  169. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    A3G-Rick if she didn’t say that she cares about you then it just means she is a lesbian.

  170. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    Snuffy Smith-Uriah wants to try out this going postal thing that he has heard other postman do and is planning on bribing the sheriff to look away while he does it.

  171. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    Mother Goose & Grimm— Can you get a reverse mortgage on a house that’s upside down?

    @teenchy (#21) said: “I never thought I’d see vagina dentata referenced in a daily comic strip until I read this morning’s Piranha Club.”

    Vagina dentata fans should also check out Panel 2 of today’s 9CL.

  172. commodorejohn
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#171): There are fans of…? Never mind, of course there are.

  173. sf_reader
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    That’s no tonsure, that’s a yarmulke and he’s reciting the prayer upon seeing a bootleg DVD. Blesse art thou,…who bringeth forth copyright violations.

  174. Jasper
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#121): I agree. CSMFs is more the knees touching her ears Nola’s choice of words.

  175. Dennis Jimenez
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#166): Ghost Who Walks Through Rain, Sleet and Snow*

    *In Bandar Tongue

  176. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#18): This week’s CdS guest artist is Ruben Bolling of Tom the Dancing Bug.

  177. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#175): Like it? No. I LOVE it!

  178. Ginger Irving, Romance Novelist
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    Hey – a Tom Of Finland biker character is about to visit Gil at the tattoo parlor! Watch out, “real America” – you’re about to learn fifteen different ways that gay guys make sweet, sweet love…

  179. Spotts1701
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    FW: Where’s Obviousman when you really kinda need him?

    Luann: You’ve reached the nadir when Mark Trail makes more sense than your strip.

    GT: Funny, he gave off more of a Sandusky vibe to me. And why is Gil dealing with this? Doesn’t he have another sport to give vague indifference to?

  180. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#166): Wait, are you saying he was alive while filming The Reluctant Astronaut?

  181. Ed Dravecky
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#164): “massive gravity-defying tatas” would make an excellent name for my next… mmm, “massive gravity-defying tatas”… I, uh, what were we talking about?

  182. Der Schnärkïnätör
    March 8th, 2012 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

  183. ArchieNemesis
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    MT: It’s not OK to overwork this old, blind, accident-prone dog, who just returned home after days in the woods, so Tommy doesn’t have to get a real job, like his shrew of a wife demands.

  184. Der Schnärkïnätör
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#181):

    “massive gravity-defying tatas” would make an excellent name for my next… mmm, “massive gravity-defying tatas”… I, uh, what were we talking about?

    “Massive Gravity-defying Tatas” would make an excellent name for for an all-girl rock band.

    And if they lived up to their stage name, they wouldn’t even need to know how to actually play any instruments!

  185. Der Schnärkïnätör
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#86):

    “Hillbilly Ghost Postman” sounds like the name for a Don Knotts’ film if he was still alive.

    “Hillbilly Ghost Postmen” would make an excellent name for a country music group.

  186. Sequitur
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    Peanuts: I think we’d have to do the same with Baka Gaijin if he were to come in contact with a clown.

  187. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Oh for… Look, “like it is” is an idiom that has been accepted for a very long time. The magazine is obviously using it as an idiom. If they ran an article countering diet myths titled, “It ain’t necessarily so,” would he demand they change it to, “It isn’t necessarily so”?

    I ain’t going to stand for it. (A perfectly grammatical sentence, by the way.)

    Signed: A person who is generally accused of being overly rigid in following grammar rules.

  188. Sequitur
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#187): And the late Howard Cosell thanks you.

  189. Alison
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    “Luann”: I can think of a way to save this lame-ass arc! Picture it. Ox spends the next few weeks defending Gunther from “bullies” (i.e. people Gunther pissed off for no real reason other than that Gunther sucks). Then, Ox says, “Okay, Gunther, I’ve protected you for a few weeks. I’ll take that $500 now.” Gunther gets panicky and says, “What do you mean, I owe you five hundred dollars?” Ox says, “What, you didn’t know? Ox don’t defend people for free, pal. I thought everybody in this school knew that. You owe me money for my services. Pay up.” Gunther cannot pay, and so Ox kicks his ass.

    IT’S PERFECT!!!

  190. ArchieNemesis
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    MT: If Butch the dog could talk, I think he’d sound like Tommy Devito in Goodfellas: “I’m a little fucked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you?”

  191. Mr. O'Malley
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:46 pm [Reply]

    “Hillbilly Ghost” — I knew someone must have put it on line.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm7y4CrX08U
    There’s a Phil Harris version too.

    @Inexplicable Bear Tongue (#69): Well, they don’t use chopsticks much in the Middle East!

  192. Der Schnärkïnätör
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    @Der Schnärkïnätör (#185):

    ..and “Hillbilly Ghost Postman” would make an excellent name for a mudge’s alias.

  193. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 8th, 2012 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#188): I understand Howard’s going to co-star in a new movie with Don Knotts.

  194. Fashion Police
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    @gleeb (#130):
    A reasonable theory. Learning to tie a necktie properly was probably neglected in the madrassas. One hopes that if the Iranians are determined to conquer the West through fashion there is room to negotiate on the nuclear issue.

  195. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#189): It would be better if runt-Elvis paid off the debt in exchange for a three way with Luann and Rosa date with Rosa.

    In the end, though, I’m pretty sure Gunther has $500. He didn’t flinch at all about paying Leslie $20.

  196. cheech wizard
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    Slylock – This would be much better if in panel 2, the briefcase was replaced by a milk bottle carrier.

    SF – “So, you think it would be better if you had some guy-type stuff to discuss with the other fellas? Like an adulterous affair?”

    “Oh boy, would it! That would be great! I mean, I could just see their …. what???”

    FW – It’s pretty obvious where this is headed. Summer will find her focus and through sheer determination, nail the free throw. The Fighting Sarcomas win! Her teammates mob her and carry her off to the locker room, where she goes into anaphylactic shock and expires. She ascends to Heaven and sitteth at the right hand of Lisa. Meanwhile, Les now has both a martyr and a saint on his hands, both of whose memories require careful maintenance and annual fundraisers. His fianace leaves him, saying “I ain’t lookin’ after no more dead people!”

  197. Violet
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    It is absolutely essential to my happiness to believe that Nola’s obscured expletive in today’s Mary Worth is something along the lines of “nun-buggering fuckholes” and that Mary is just calmly going on with the conversation without batting an eye, or perhaps even chiming in. “Why, Nola, surely even a shit-for-brains ass-licking jizzbucket like yourself can see that nothing is worth obtaining if it comes at others’ expense, even if they are a bunch of syphilitic donkey-blowing baby-rapers.”

  198. gnome de blog
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#196):
    Summer misses the free throw. Keisha wrestles the rebound away from Our Lady of the Evil Stepsisters’ center and lays it in at the buzzer.

  199. cheech wizard
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#100): *snort*! Nicely done!

  200. Jason1981
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    GT: “Selling bootleg DVDs and tattoos to kids- you oughtta be ashamed! You should be giving them beer, like I do!”

  201. The Ridger
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    I am finding it irresistible trying to figure how just why Archie gave Reggie the ticket stub from the hockey game. It’s baffling. Does Reggie collect them? Does he used them for alibis? Does “give” me “sell” only Weatherbee doesn’t realize it? Doesn’t Archie know Reggie has it in for him?

  202. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:51 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#146):

    Sexy shootout between two mightily-busted ladies? Sure, why not?

    Didn’t we see that in the famed Dixie Julep plot? And Monique, she’s no Dixie Julep.

  203. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 8th, 2012 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#201): Plus — what does a used hockey ticket prove, anyway? Does it have his name inscribed on it? All it shows is that somebody went to this game. There are original 1969 Woodstock tickets available on eBay. If I bought one and used it as proof that one of my kids (all under 40) had gone to Woodstock, would anyone be compelled to believe me?

  204. Zerowolf
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Yes, he accidently walked between open cellar door and Mabel…..

  205. The Ridger
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey Mike (#56): I like az.central (http://www.azcentral.com/ent/comics/) – there are a couple it doesn’t have but it’s pretty ggod.

  206. tallyHO
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    “Hillbilly Ghost Postmen” would make an excellent name for a ghost-pel choir!

    (i’m sorry. i jus’ hadta!)

    They’d be jinglin’ and janglin’, praisin’ the almighty and raisin’ cain through rain, sleet and stormy weather.

  207. BeckoningChasm
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    The woman in the third panel of Gil Thorpe–if I can quote Mr. Plinkett, “What’s wrong with your faaaaaace?”

  208. The Ridger
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    @BeckoningChasm (#207): She got tattooed to look like Jadzia Dax, taking her inspiration from the episode where Dax went back in time and people thought she had really cool tats instead of just having spots (that go all the way down!).

  209. Écureuil Écumant
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:49 pm [Reply]

    FC: “I hope we’ll have lots more of these good ol’ days when you prop me up on your teat-shelf.”

  210. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#198): The balls hangs on the rim for a moment, then Dead Lisa breathes on it, causing it to fall in for the win and the championship.

  211. Dennis
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#201): I’m sorry but if a guy’s been in high school since the 1930s at this point punishing him for skipping class is like bringing coals to newcastle.

  212. Mr K Martin
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    FUNKY WINKY: In tomorrow’s nail-biting episode Summer misses. Suddenly the world, previously divided by petty things like war, politics, racism, et al will be united in it’s devastation at this tragic loss. All forms of human and animal life will perish from heartbreak, except for the cockroaches who will rule the earth benevolently for the next thousand years.

  213. Baka Gaijin
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#186): That’s about right.

    @cheech wizard (#196) on Sally Forth: Clever plot twist. I hope Ces had the same thought.

    @Écureuil Écumant (#209): “Teat-shelf.” I’d have expected this term to describe someone in Judge Parker, not Family Circus but here we go.

  214. cheech wizard
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:28 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#208): She got tattooed? And here all this time I thought one of these clean-cut, all-American Milford kids ran over her with a Schwinn.

    Schwinn bikes. The quality bikes. Are best.

  215. Dennis
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    MW: Come on now Nola, don’t you know the only acceptable goal in life for a woman in comic strips in crankin’out babies?

    GT: Too unbelievable, Dayton, Ohio is way too exotic for a rube like Gil.

    A3G: PaulRick says “WAAAAAAAAHHH It’s all about me.”

  216. Sgt. Stoned
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    MW: Now Mary is going to proceed to bore Nola into repentance unless…Quick, Nola! Tell Mary you have to go to “the little girl’s room ” to “powder my nose”, then skip out the door and stick her with bill. You can do it. I know you can.

    Snuffy Smif: I’ll bet Uriah could communicate with Jennifer Love Hewitt.

  217. cheech wizard
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#214): p.s. Just ask Aldo.

  218. Rixtremism in the Defense of Libertines
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    FC Death grip.

    MT Yes, yes. Butch is hunting his heart out. But why isn’t Steve directing his heart out?

    MW It must be some kind of code: #*&^% = 38765
    Zip code for Panther Burn, Mississippi – Nola’s home town?
    Number for Mary’s credit card stolen at the Lemon Wedge?
    Number of minutes Mary and Nola have spent at lunch?
    Number of men Nola has slept with?

  219. Chance
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    HELPFUL EDIT: “he’s a monk who’s forsaken his vows [OF] poverty, obedience, and possibly chastity”

  220. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    ps: I’ll be traveling around for the next couple of weeks, and just to make it fun, I have several homework papers to complete while I’m on the road. It’s just barely possible my participation level in the Comics Curmudgeon will be somewhere between “Not me” and “Dead Grandpa.” I just want you to know I’ll miss everybody, and I’ll be back as soon as I can swing it.

  221. Liam
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:39 pm [Reply]

    The second movie in the “Hillbilly Ghost Postman” franchise is “The Hillbilly Ghost Postman Rings Twice”.

  222. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:51 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#220): Looking forward to your return.

  223. crazy fungus
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    Why why why is FBOW show as FOOB? Somebody let me in on the joke

  224. Peter of the Norse
    March 9th, 2012 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: “On a related note, how much for this R.O.B.?”

  225. Uncle Lumpy
    March 9th, 2012 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    @crazy fungus (#223):

    Made-up Canadian slang, a portmanteau of “fool” and “boob”, used here as synecdoche for the strip itself. Explanation here. See also: roadside.

    Welcome!

  226. Droopy Says
    March 9th, 2012 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    The Amusing Spiderman: What dilemma, Heimdal? Hasn’t your worshipper Hagar the Horrible been setting a good example since the Iron Age? You’ve got the makings of some lighthearted rape and pillage at hand, and once you get done with Spiderman you could get MJ to do Wagner for you.

    FW: The excitement is unbearable. When will the ball finally drop through the hoop? And what urbandictionary-worthy word will Batiuk create to describe its gyrations?

    Mock Trail: From afar, Butch catches the scent of a freshly-dropped jacket and runs to stay with it. Or maybe he’s running from an impending plot twist.

    Pluggers: The rest of us measure snow by watching how deep a Plugger sinks into it.

  227. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 9th, 2012 at 2:41 am [Reply]

    GT: Wait. So … he’s selling used DVDs. And he’s making them look like bootleg DVDs. So when we were joking yesterday about the quotation marks Gil put around “bootleg,” it wasn’t a mistake. He really was using the word “bootleg” ironically.

    Which means — the guy isn’t doing anything illegal. At all. He’s running a perfectly legal tattoo parlour and selling perfectly legal used DVDs. But Gil is still threatening to beat him up.

    It’s like a guy buying used car parts, then selling them under the pretence that he stole them. Which would be … completely legal. Weird, but legal.

    What the hell is this strip all about?

  228. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 9th, 2012 at 2:47 am [Reply]

    Hey! Tina’s Groove is funny and kind of edgy. It could have been funnier, fo course, with a better build-up, but still. Not bad.

  229. Black Drazon
    March 9th, 2012 at 3:59 am [Reply]

    DT: Thunderchild’s confusion is probably a setup for the writers to reveal that Putty Puss is still alive and pretending to be a wrestler pretending to be a spandex-clad glam metal guitarist, but if it’s not, I’m willing to take the idea of Dick taking on the Vogon Constructor Fleet with equal aplomb.

  230. comcis fan
    March 9th, 2012 at 4:09 am [Reply]

    Mary’s need to end each
    platitude with “Grasshopper.”

  231. John C Fremont
    March 9th, 2012 at 6:58 am [Reply]

    “Hillbilly Ghost Postum” is the guy who used to take on Mister Coffee Nerves while selling his delightful coffee substitute.

  232. Swordsmith
    March 9th, 2012 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#226): “what urbandictionary-worthy word will Batiuk create to describe its gyrations?”

    Contrafibulations!

  233. gleeb
    March 9th, 2012 at 7:59 am [Reply]

    Beetle: The most cynical elephant in the world. He’s seen things, man. Things that would shake your little world to pieces.

    ‘bean: Yeah, yeah, make with the death already.

    Gil: So he’s not even doing anything illegal? Gil is really a loose cannon here.

    Rex: Lee Marvin is bored by your tears.

    Ziggy: But don’t you see? If Zig loses his nose to frostbite, he’d be dropping 20 pounds.

  234. Little A.
    March 9th, 2012 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    OBH: You fans may recall that years ago there was a very funny tension between “Jasmine” and her daughter Ellen and Ellen’s mother in law. So far, in this arc, there is nothing of the sort. I love this strip but something has gone out of it; the funny intellectual tension perhaps, and the drawing has evolved a little. Jasmine is not quite the same character. Perhaps I will be proved incorrect. I hope so. I hope the story arc doesn’t end tomorrow.

  235. Dartpaw86
    March 9th, 2012 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: Norm. T Platypus from “My Cage” is very unsettling in this humanized parallel universe.

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