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Mid-week mysteries

Curtis, 2/27/08 and 3/5/08

What? He can’t take it off? No mystery there: just the sad, predictable end of another “magical Gunk” story arc. But what’s with Gunk’s eyes in panel four of today’s strip? They seem . . . oddly . . . normal. Is this the end of magical Gunk? It’s a mystery!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/5/08

OK, looking for moral coherence in Rex Morgan isn’t likely to pay off, but let’s give it a shot. Niki is apologizing: why? Alternatives are: a) he did something wrong, b) his efforts turned out badly, c) he wants to bond with Rex. Did he do something wrong? He rightly refused a thief’s offer of the bank’s money, but later took possession of some of it himself. Maybe a little bad — he intended to keep the bank’s money — but c’mon. And he nobly turned down a reward. OK, did his efforts turn out badly? Rex, not Niki, burned the damned money! Finally, why would Niki want to bond with this dangerous, sanctimonious idiot? It’s a mystery!

Mark Trail, 3/5/08

OK, giving English usage advice to Mark Trail is likely to fall on deaf fists, but the fact that Luke’s operation might save him for prison isn’t ironic — nobody, including the author, is saying one thing and meaning another. But what is it? Karma? Cosmic justice? It’s a mystery!

- Uncle Lumpy

256 responses to “Mid-week mysteries”

  1. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:58 am [Reply]

    But if Bull went to prison, he could have his life saved at taxpayer expense. Then he would spent the rest of his life in jail.

    Or possibly he would get a death sentence, so after they saved his life they could execute him.

  2. Arglebargle
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:59 am [Reply]

    Curtis: I think you mean panel four. The real mystery is, “why is this strip still being published?”

    Rex Morgan, MD: To be fair, Rex is the first adult in Niki’s life who walks on two legs. And he is named “Niki.” You have to show a little compassion to a kid who’s already got two strikes against him.

    Mark Trail: Damn, that squirrel almost got et by a dang fish!! Oh, and there’s some human drama too, apparently.

  3. Mibbitmaker
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:00 am [Reply]

    Curtis: “What a strange thing to happen”
    MT: “This sure is a strange situation”

    All that stilted language! …Strange.

  4. hypochrismutreefuzz
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    Why is a muskelunge attacking a squirrel?
    I am of course above the nominal “first” nonesense.

  5. Uncle Lumpy
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    #2 Arglebargle –

    Right you are — thanks! Fixed!

  6. Plaid Phantom
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:04 am [Reply]

    Since when do fish eat squirrels? Is there something in the water? Is Mark some sort of radioactive mutant, and he slowly mutates every living thing around him? It might explain Gil Thorpe.

  7. Pesty
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    I think the bigger mystery is why that fish is trying to eat a squirrel in the middle panel of Mark Trail. “This sure is a strange situation” indeed, talking cabin!

  8. Plaid Phantom
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    Okay, so there’s no ‘e’ in “Thorp”. There should be.

  9. kippetje2000
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:14 am [Reply]

    Bang up job Lumpy Unc. Better to be the assistant comic blogger than assistant to the assistant comic blogger.

    Shoe: Fainting Fowl
    RWO: Goats
    True Fable + Mr. O’Malley =

  10. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:19 am [Reply]

    Today’s PmP is drawn by Lisa Lee to give her husband Vic Lee the day off for his birthday. Is this the Lisa Lee who writes books about Photoshop?

    She’s not bad as a cartoonist although she doesn’t have the same style as Vic.

  11. Luprand
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:30 am [Reply]

    Actually, irony’s the right word to use: specifically, situational irony. Because the surgery intended to save his life will only condemn him to a long time in prison, the situation won’t end up the way it was expected to. Thus, irony.

    And fists.

  12. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    9. kippetje2000. RWO was funny—it usually is, so it doesn’t get mentioned too much here. Although I do encounter goats from time to time I have much more to do with sheep and llamas. Albeit slightly indirectly.

    People who raise sheep in California often keep a llama or two with the herd. Although llama wool is of value for its own sake, an additional benefit is that the llamas scare off coyotes.

    Interesting factoid: Ancient fiber samples from South America show vicuna mixed with the hair of bats and the viscacha, a large chinchilla-like rodent of the high puna.

  13. True Fable
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:41 am [Reply]

    #9 kippetje2000 – GOATS! Fainting Goats! Bowling for Goats! Oh, I loves me some myotonic goats! Thanks!

  14. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    SF: Ces? Are you repeating yourself today?

  15. kippetje2000
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:49 am [Reply]

    Are Johnny and Mark a participating team in a nose egg race? It appears we have caught them in mid pass. Seems juvenile, I know, but after yesterday’s hair tousling…..

    Mr. O’Malley: Interesting question: I don’t quite understand how you get vicuna to breed with bats and viscacha. Ancient civilizations were so much better at animal husbandry. Perhaps it’s like something from the Plugger universe? A Flylock Fox maybe?

  16. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:52 am [Reply]

    13. And I love Miskatonic goats! Except that I can’t see them. I just see my lawn getting shorter as though being nibbled by some invisible herbivore.

    I’ve also noticed that squirrels seem to avoid coming close to streams or crossing them on fallen tree branches. Yet we seem to have plenty of fish in the the streams.

    Ah well, Nature is a mystery. Where is that flute music coming from?

  17. Ed Power, writer of My Cage
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:02 am [Reply]

    Hey all,

    Thanks for the feedback. I find it hard to get good feedback for the strip since most of our feedback is either people who like the strip and write nothing but good stuff, which is sweet, and people who hate it and write over simplified things like “it sucks”, whihc is ok, but not very helpful. So I appreciate constructive criticism.

    Thanks for the kind words too. Much appreciated. I especially like the term “not hipper than thou”, and the ‘follow your muse’ advice.

    Also, feel free to heap praise on Melissa. I love her art! Plus she’s a really sweet person.

    So here’s what I got over all:

    * Animal puns = Good. Although, I’ll still use them sparringly.

    * Some people don’t like Norm’s head. Sorry…I dig it. As a balding guy, I wanted represantaion. :)

    * Take it outside of McGuffin Inc. – That’s coming. I want to do it slowly though. BUT we do see Jeff’s son for the first time soon, and some of Norm’s family is coming.

    * Some people don’t like the font – This is an odd one, sinc I’ve been a comic strip and book fan since I was a kid and have NEVER noticed the lettering EVER.

    Still, I’m glad to see the strips where we do get out of the office and into the characters lives are going over well. My first editor and I used to debate whether the strip was a ‘work sucks’ strip, or a ‘life sucks’ strip.

    * Long stroies are good, but don’t make it a soap opera – This is a weird one since it’s something I’ve been grappling with latley. I keep getting more and more ideas for continuing strylines, and have to keep stopping and forcing myself to do some ‘gag-a-day’ ones.

    As for the merchandise, most of the stuff discussed is what we’ve already come up with, i.e. t-shirts with character quotes and a calender. thanks though. :)

    As for some specifics;


    “I’d read the strip for about a month before I realized Norm wasn’t a bald parakeet. Something about his coloring, and the part about a “cage.”

    LOL! Coloring was the one thing Mel and I got vetoed on by King Features. We wanted natural animal colors. I remember telling my then editor that I thought a conversation with people about Norm would go like this:

    “Why does the bluebird have a tumor on his butt?”

    “Well, that’s actually a platypus tail”

    “Oh. OK. Why does the bluebird have a platypus tail in his butt?”


    Wave man,

    “My favorite story arch so far is the flight supremisist (sp?) neighbor. It was well thought out and added a bit of drama to the strip by adding an antagonist. I would like to see more like that.”

    Bernie (the flight supremacist) Turkey, is coming back, and I have a few ideas for him I haven’t written yet. He is one of my favorites, and I thought he’d be bigger than he was. We did get good feedback on him, but not as much as we got on ‘Creepy Janitor Guy’ and, by far, Lily who is proving our most popular secondary chracter (which is odd, since I thought people were sick of ‘cute kids’ in comics).

    Mr. O’Malley

    (Extracted from my master’s thesis, “Developments in the Depiction of Anthropomorphic Animals in the Graphic Novel 1920-2000?)


    “one of the best comic strips of all time was Pogo”

    Could not agree more. Look for an Earth-Day shout out.

    “One is extending the kind of humor I was just discussing to other comic strips…”

    Oddly, we’ll be introducing a ‘comic in a comic’ shortly. After he premeires, we’ll see how the feedback is, and then see how much we use him. I’m a little worried since he’s a superhero, and i don;t want to do what ‘Caped Avenger’ and ‘Stupendous Man’ have done before (and better then0 me.

    I’m kinda thinking of something like ‘Fearless Fosdick’ character from Li’l Abner.

    (BTW: Mel’s design for the character kicks @$$!!!)

    “Don’t be afraid to bring in new characters”

    Again, we’ll be bringing in a few of Norm’s family members shortly. New characters is a little tough sometimes though as we already have a pretty big cast.

    I do have plans for Jeff’s son, Maureen’s ex, and Bridgets family, 2 security guard chracters, and a drinking-buddy for Max, but I don’t want to flood readers senses. ;)

    “It seems to me you are being a bit too subtle with Squishy. Perhaps you could feature him a bit more. Maybe he gets a new kind of Amoeba Chow or gets entered in an Amoeba Show or something.”

    I actually had the same thought. I only do one Squishy strip a month. Originally Squishy was supposed to be a bigger part of the strip, but sadly, the dog he/she was based on passed away the same week the strip got signed by King Features, so I found it a little hard to write the character. But even with that limitation, Squishy is proving to be very popular. I’ll have to work him/her in more.

    Speaking of Pogo, I tried some political humor a few times, but it never worked, so it never made it to the drawing stage. My current editor pegged it when he said the characters are too self-involved and it ends up seeming forced.


    “I had hoped for at least two “payoff” strips in teh bar; having only one was a little anticlimactic.”

    Hmmm. Valid point. Thanks.


    “Also, many “hmm”s on that cryptic foreshadowing…”

    Hmmm, indeed. :) I really hope that I can set up ‘My Cage’ in a world different then what most people are expecting. I don’t want it to be just ‘it’s our world, but with animals shoved in’.

    I’m in no hurry to fill in the blanks though. If the strip is canceled, no one will care, and if it last, I have a lot of strips to fill. ;)

    My hope is if we last long enough to get compilation books, people will one day look back on those and say “Holy crap! He did have it planned form the beginning!”

    True Fable,

    “I would like to see Norm get a few more good snappy comebacks in. The whole ‘poor put-upon nice guy’ thing kind of wears thin if there is a constant diet of it for days on end. Not just a final panel aside, but once in a while a nice open ‘that for you’ kind of comeback. Yeah.”

    That’s a good point. I guess I never really considered Norm a ‘nice guy’ since I think he’s kinda wrapped up in his own head. I also consider that why he doesn’t bother with comebacks too much.

    It is odd because, in my head, the strip is really dark and brooding, then Mel makes it look cute. That’s good, because if I wrote it as dark as I wanted too (without Mel and our editor to keep me in check) people would probably run screaming from it.

    It’s good to hear he may be coming off that way, so I can think through that.

    “Knit hats with little ears on the side. Bengal ears, Doberman ears. Just…no balding exposed platypus brains, please.”

    That is an awesome idea! :D But…a little beyond what we can do right now. :( Maybe someday though. ;)

    Finally, I’m surprised more people don’t have work-spouses. I personally couldn’t get through the workday w/o one. I agree with Benro though, making sure everyone’s intentions are out in the open is imprortant. Flirting and ‘coming on to’ are 2 seperate things.

    Anyway, thanks again for the feed back. It is appreciated. You’ve given me a lot to think about

  18. kippetje2000
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:03 am [Reply]

    Mr. O’Malley: Could it be that you are myopic and therefore can’t see the myotonic goats laying out in the Miskatonic yard?

  19. Quinn Danova
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:08 am [Reply]

    First comment from me! I simply couldn’t take it anymore…

    First, the kid from Rex Morgan looks ready to go super saiyan. I’m having flashbacks from watching DBZ in high school….

    And FOOB! for the love of God! Yes, Liz, warren was never where you wanted him to be. Stay with oh-so-safe (and stagnant) Anthony as he sits around being a pasty milquetoast (sp?) that leaves Shinji Ikari looking like a bastion of proactive manliness. D@mn!

    Honestly, being mad at Warren at this point is like being mad at a hamster because it’s not a houseplant. The darn critter just keeps chewing and spinning in his wheel and defying your neat, orderly existence, eh?

  20. Trotzenbonnie
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:11 am [Reply]

    MARK TRAIL – You tell ‘em, Uncle Lumpy. I mean, it’s not like Luke had 10,000 spoons when all he needed was a knife or something…Sheesh. That Mark Trail don’t know nothing about having no good grammar.

    MALLARD FARTMORE – Ha!Ha! Today’s strip reminds me of another adorable story about My Rotten Kid. When he was 10 years old, MRK woke up one Saturday morning and decided to take the SATs to see if he would qualify for a special summer math program at Johns Hopkins. He scored a whopping 750 on the math section with absolutely no prep of any kind. He eventually went to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science AND Technology (school motto – ‘We came for the sports!’) and when he took the SATs again in his senior year he scored a 770. After four years of what was supposedly the finest education in all the land he only got 20 points smarter. What the hell?

    GIL THORP – I guess when you spend your days peeing next to some guy in the palm fronds you really don’t have time to miss your kids.

  21. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:14 am [Reply]

    15. kippetje2000. I’d be satisfied to know just how one goes about shearing a bat.

    Actually it could go along with another mystery. In Scotland traditionally sheep’s urine was used as a mordant when dyeing wool. Chemically it makes sense. But the part I’ve never fully understood is how one goes about collecting sheep’s urine.

    In other countries human urine was used, and people actually used to buy it. Don’t like your job? Consider some of the alternatives!

    Here’s another interesting fact somewhat connected with that. Many traditional Siberian cultures use the mushroom Amanita muscaria or fly agaric for its hallucinogenic properties. That is the red mushroom with white dots frequently seen in pictures of gnomes and also possibly related to the costume of Santa Claus. (Note: dosage is unpredictable and can be fatal.)

    The active ingredient is excreted in the urine of those consuming the mushrooms, and it has sometimes been the practice for a shaman to consume the mushrooms, and the rest of the tribe to drink his urine: the shaman, in effect, partially detoxifying the drug (the sweat- and twitch-causing muscarine is absent in the urine). This was also a not uncommon practice in Siberia, where the poor would consume the urine of the wealthy, who could afford to buy the mushrooms. (Wikipedia, look it up for more.)

    I’ve also read that when reindeer would consume these mushrooms, their urine would be collected and sold. So again, how does one collect reindeer urine?

    I’m so glad I work in an office.

  22. AlphabetFish
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:29 am [Reply]

    I can never find any two people who can agree on what “ironic” means, and the dictionary version is really broad, so I think Mark is justified. It’s probably ironic to HIM.

  23. Jack Parsons
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:45 am [Reply]

    Fred Basset: Did anyone else misread this, or is it just me?

    Giddy up, …

  24. Eric the Baker, Jungle Patrol Nutrition Division
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:48 am [Reply]

    Oh that was freaky. In Wednesday’s FOOB, on the FBOFW site. Lynn used animation. Liz’s eye’s blink in two of the frames!

  25. dale
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:54 am [Reply]

    20 – Trotzenbonnie

    I’ve never understood all this SAT preparation stuff. When I took the tests (1964 +/-), all you did was register, pay the fee ($20?, not cheap), spend Saturday morning in the HS cafeteria taking tests.

  26. Jack Parsons
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:55 am [Reply]

    Those lovely gray-green old-timey copper buildings were corroded with horse urine. They soaked straw with it and covered the copper.

    Andy Warhol experimented with young men urinating onto copper sheets.

    I’ve also heard that if the reindeer smell someone voiding the hallucinogen, they come running and attack the yellow snow.

  27. Kurdt
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:04 am [Reply]

    Why are they fighting over an effeminate looking man-fur? What bully would want to be seen wearing that? Plus PETA will throw paint on you if they see it, so it’s quite the dangerous coat, odor aside.

  28. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:06 am [Reply]

    17. Ed Power. Seems as though you got plenty of good ideas there.

    A few additional comments–

    Pogo did political commentary some of the time, but I don’t think it fits in MC

    You don’t have to confine yourself to gag-a-days. I think that short continuities would work. (Say a week? Like the recent going to a bar concept. I agree with Niall it was a bit too short.) It works with Dilbert and Monty, I think it could be much the same in MC. Although one thing to consider. I get the SF Chronicle (which unfortunately doesn’t carry MC), but because of their marketing policies I have found the best deal is to get Wednesday through Sunday. So if there is a week-long sequence and I don’t read on-line, I would start in the middle. So, for example, the recent Luann “changing a light bulb” sequence would have been incomprehensible. You should be able to come in to the middle and still make sense of things.

    Fearless Fosdick was good, that’s not a bad place to start.

    Bringing in new characters—you’re right, you don’t want the cast to get too big. But you could bring in one new character, make some use of them for a while (two or three weeks?) and then drop them. In the case of relatives of main characters, they could show up once or twice a year. Example: Monty, Moondog’s neatnik brother, kind of a one-dimensional character, but can be amusing if he only makes occasional appearances.

    Fonts? I don’t have strong opinions, as long as it’s readable (not like FW a couple of days ago). Some cartoonists (well, Walt Kelly again) really made an art form out of their lettering, but it doesn’t jump out at me as an idea for MC.

    Many other people made some good points.

    Maybe I should say that I don’t really have a master’s degree in comics. I mentioned this in the previous thread but people are not very good about going back to the previous thread. It was just a joke about my overly analytical analysis of anthropomorphic animals in comics.

    I could say that my degree was from Miskatonic University, but having a degree in comics from Miskatonic University seems as though it might be riskier than I would like.

    I do have a master’s degree, but not in comics, and I probably could get a master’s degree in comics, if I really wanted to, but unfortunately having a job and needing to support oneself tend to restrict one’s options.

  29. Bob Swenson
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:14 am [Reply]

    Curtis: Can’t say I saw that coming. Not that that wasn’t the most predictable storyline ever! I wonder if Derrick will try to intimidate Curtis into wearing the coat?

  30. Jym
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:17 am [Reply]

    =1= MT (Mr O’Malley): Actually, Canada abolished the death penalty years ago.

    =14= S4th (Mr O’Malley again): Ces is in no position to respond to that right now.

  31. Anonymous
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:23 am [Reply]

    Hey, I like the Gunk stories. Always have since I was a kid and he and Curtis were nearly eaten by a giant venus flytrap. I still have the clippings of that one.

  32. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:32 am [Reply]

    20 Trotzenbonnie and 25. dale. When I took the GRE I just went and did it. Back then they said you were not supposed to study for it. I was just recently talking to someone who put a huge amount of effort into studying the GRE and I’m not sure I really understood what she was talking about. I was in the 99th percentile without doing any preparation. (Note: I am very much aware that these exams have been criticized for being culturally biased, so this is not a criticism of those who did not do so well.)

    As far as the question goes, do these standardized tests have anything to do with intelligence or education, I think the answer is they have something to do with both qualities, but it is not a simple relationship.

    As you go on in life, these measurements fade away, replaced by what you have managed to accomplish in the time allotted to you. (Political appointees aside.)

  33. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:37 am [Reply]

    I’ve got questions…..

    DtM— I guess I’m a bit slow. After years of reading DtM, it just hit me: Margaret grows up to become the diabolical, machiavellian, ravenously incestuous bisexual harridan, Bernice. I bet you veteran Mudges knew it all along! Will you guys teach me the secret CC handshake now?

    GT— Andrew’s dad appears to be on Jungle Patrol, or possibly working at Drew’s clinic. Does anyone know what he’s supposed to be doing?

  34. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:46 am [Reply]

    30. Jym. Yes, but do we know this plot is taking place in Canada? Maybe I missed something, in which case I would be glad to be corrected, but as far as I know this is happening in the US, despite the Mountie-like hats.

    Well, if Ces really wrote Gravity’s Rainbow I would be the first to congratulate him. I certainly would put that as one of the top 10 novels of the 20th century. But could it be that he is playing a joke on us. Us? The comics authority?

    How come our little wings escape the smell of movement?

    Just send $5 and everything will be explained tomorrow.

  35. KT
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:13 am [Reply]

    Before I go to bed to rest up for tomorrow’s long two-day drive to Tucson, here’s my take on Wednesday’s “Crock”:

    (animated GIF)

  36. LTBF
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:43 am [Reply]

    Chopper pilots don’t have to fly all over Canada. Could he not look for a job with a local hospital flying a LifeSaver helicopter?

  37. ChattyGenes
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:11 am [Reply]

    The following is NOT my letter, but I loved it so much that I am taking the liberty of posting it here. (If the writer is reading this, I hope he/she won’t mind:-) It’s from the March 4 Coffee Talk on the Foobsite (and please don’t ask me why I was reading it; I guess I had nothing better to do.)

    “I have written to you about this before, and in the greater scheme of plotlines, characterizations, and so forth it may be small, but to me it is very striking, and odd…So again, WHY do Liz, April, and Ellie never, ever wear their hair in anything but a bun or a ponytail? It’s frumpy, it’s dumpy, and, especially with the two girls, it’s completely unrealistic to expect that a girl or young woman would never wear her hair loose.

    “In particular with the strip of the last two days, WHY WHY WHY would Liz be wearing her hair in a bun inside her own apartment after 11 p.m.? It’s inconceivable. And she looks like some spinster librarian! Come on, Lynn! I’m really confused as to why you think long hair on women is problematic. Does it make them promiscuous or something? What kind of character flaws do girls with loose, flowing hair suffer from? Please address this, because while we joke about it, a lot of us readers find it really puzzling and annoying.

    Mochi, Boston”

  38. And The
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:27 am [Reply]

    DT: When you start with a statement as absurd as the villain having obtained almost *every* work of the world’s geniuses, you’ve already lost me for the suspense filled Except…

    GT: NEWS FLASH: Grisly death in Milford as untrained teens mistake small child for pleated sheet and attempt to snap clean! Estranged mercenary father notes he almost misses the kid!

    Luann: I agree that Brad is a Dumbo, but will TJ’s magic feather medal really help the unhelpable? Just ask her, you moping idiot!

    A-3G: Please let it be Margo here to drag our Sensitive Artist to work.

    FW: You know, when it’s Les’ spirit being crushed in this strip, I don’t mind as much.

    JP: Looks like someone needs some brownies, stat! Another quick tip for the hopeful drug pusher, acting aloof and rude when someone questions your incompetent front organization only makes them more suspicious. The More You Know!

    MT: You know what else is a strange situation: a squirrel-eating fish! Keep living in hope, Scaly. You’re entertaining me far more than this dull recap of a plot that wasn’t convincing the first time around.

    MW: You know, I always figured people hated Mary Worth just because she was a stodgy old zombie strip character. But after reading her in this and the Chester storyline, she really is loathsomely full of herself irrespective of all that.

    Phantom: Oooh, good line, Hawa! Glad to see we’re getting to see you two in Jungle Patrol style action.

    S-M: OK, so that “Out of Memory?” box at the end of Sunday was just a cheap, false threat of an amnesia storyline. And an incompetent threat at that, since we saw Saturday he didn’t lose his memory.

  39. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:53 am [Reply]

    Are the animated eyelids on the FBoFW site a new thing?

    Is it going to be a regular feature? If so, what other body parts might be animated in the future?

  40. Dr. Mabuse
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:01 am [Reply]

    FBOFW – I think there’s a basic misunderstanding here. Johnson doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the verb “to dump”. Breaking a date is NOT “dumping” someone – it’s just breaking a date. It can be used as an excuse for the breakee to dump the breaker, but it is not, in itself, a dump. The same goes with being out of town – if she wanted, SHE could have dumped HIM, using the excuse that he’s never around, but the mere fact that he’s not circling in orbit around her every minute does not mean that he has deliberately ended their relationship/friendship.

  41. gleeb
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:09 am [Reply]

    A3G: Alan holds his ears, unable to stand to gentle “click” of the door closing.

    Blondie: I don’t think Dithers is going to take any clothing advice from a man with one huge yellow button holding his shirt closed.

    FBoFW: This is a re-run, right? Johnston’s got gallbladder trouble and is running strips from a few years back? Because we’ve heard this before.

    ‘bean: “Trousers ON, Daddy!”

    Thorp: “Whenever I get close to missing them, I think about the orphans here in Peace Village.”

    Parker: Are we sure Elvira is really a woman? Because something about that last panel reminds me of Himmler.

    Luann: The medal also empowers Brad to sell cookies to Herb. Anyway, wouldn’t Toni, also a firefighter, know about anything Brad had done to be decorated?

    Mark: I think it actually is ironic. Usually, being told your illness can be cured is a good thing. But here, it means a long stretch in prison, probably long enough that you’ll die there. So all this “good” news is doing is adding suffering to a now miserable life.

    Popeye: Finally, the Sea Hag can rest. All she wanted to know was where Popeye is going.

    Rex: Maybe Niki has reason to be guilty. If he took the cash with the intention of keeping it, he should feel some guilt. But if so, he should apologize to the bank, whose property he tried to swipe. So yeah, he is acting oddly towards Rex. Maybe Niki’s intention was to use the cash to get as far away from Rex as possible, before Rex put the moves on him. Rex not yet having done so, Niki wrongly feels he misjudged the doctor.

    Zippy: Now if only Margo would arrive and take the clown down.

    Me, I like Comic Sans, but only because it causes such Roderick Usher-like responses in some folks. It’s cruel, but I find that kind of funny. To be fair, I don’t use the typeface, I just enjoy it’s existence.

  42. Gagott68
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:11 am [Reply]

    MW: A Mary Worth platitude is so powerful, it can be seen from outer space by the naked eye.

    MT: Little known fact – A Canadian squirrel can talk out of its ass. Much like Mark Trail.

    Luann: Ridiculous. Even by this strip’s diminishing standards. The zinger is supposed to be that the “medal” is a Girl Scout pin? Still not funny.

    S-M: Nothing willstop him unless he sees a widescreen TV and a bowl of chips.

    Dilbert: Dilbert takes the “loveable” out of “loveable loser”.

    GT: Panel One – Are they playing wishbone with that child? Or are they mopping the floor?

    March 5th, 2008 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    Curtis: I am sure this has been pointed out already, but it hasn’t been pointed out lately, and I’ve been reading this blog for a year or so maybe longer, so maybe this should be mentioned for the newer readers, and I was surprised to find this in a standard dictionary — I always thought that the word was a local Bronx or New York City word — but gunk is a viscous, sticky, dark-colored substance, like the grease you get on your fingers when you take off a bicycle wheel, for instance. A petroleum derivative, not the gunk you get on your sneakers when you step in a dog’s derivative. So my question is — what does Gunk have to do with gunk? He doesn’t resemble a petroleum derivative. He is quite ungunky.

  44. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    #7–I love to have a t-shirt with just that middle panel.

  45. man behind the curtain
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:22 am [Reply]

    MW — I thought that was one ugly baby Brian was holding. Then I realized it was a stuffed rabbit.

    FBOW — Liz realizes that Warren is not the man for her. But I’m thinking that perhaps she is also beginning to realize that Granthony isn’t either.

    A3G — The way Alan was flashing the money I thought that maybe Haley was a pro. And first thing in the morning and she’s headed out the door in search of “stuff”. It’s tough being an addict.

  46. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:22 am [Reply]

    I haven’t even finished reading the comix this AM, but I did read MW, and just have this to say:

    If Mary were to make alphabet soup, even it would spell out platitudes for those eating it.
    That woman is a real piece of work.

  47. Nate
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:25 am [Reply]

    Saying than an operation might save the life of someone by enabling him to lose his life (in a certain sense) to prison can quite correctly be interpreted as irony.

    Far be it from me to give English lessons to Uncle Lumpy!

  48. Team MP
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    Can I just say how much I like this blog? We get actual artists commenting, witty dialogue, and unparalleled snark. It’s like The Onion without the new corporate feel. I will have to get Josh some money.

    I’m also embarrassingly excited to hear how the Arizona meet up went… Sigh…

  49. nerowolfgal
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:52 am [Reply]

    MT – I tremble in fear each time I open up Mark Tracy; fear that the A3G artist might have taken over the comic and removed all bat-shit crazyness, leaving only generic interchangeable blond dudes.

  50. Randall
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:00 am [Reply]

    LuAnn- Where did TJ get the girl scout insignia? Does he have a skirt and vest tucked away somewhere, waiting to fulfil Brad’s darkest fantasies? Or perhaps theres been some missing girlscouts and he has her tied up in the root celler!

    TJ knows this gambit is doomed to fail, thus driving Brad closer to his waiting arms.

  51. Mr. Coffee Nerves
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    FOOB: A question for those with more historical knowledge of the Lynniverse (and I assure you I don’t intend that as an insult):

    Has post-adolescent Liz ever pined after someone who didn’t want her? I honestly don’t remember adult Liz ever not being the object of total adoration by men, instead of her being the one pursuing (and being rejected).

    I mean, let’s look at the cold, hard facts here: She’s a barely-employed schoolteacher who looks and dresses like an extra from “Little House on the Tundra” with an obnoxious family that meddles in everything.

    Either Liz can suck-start a Ski-Doo or Lynn’s fantasy-wish-fulfillment in her “craft” makes Siegel and Shuster look like documentary filmmakers.

  52. Joe, Upper-Evergreen Division of the Jungle Patrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    Luann: That TJ really is an idiot. Not just a weasle and an asshole, but an idiot to boot.

    FOOB: Predictably, now we get to see the rest of the week with Elizaloser trashing Warren. Gotta make way for the Foob-parade merging of the mouldy-draped Lizthony. Kill off any possible remaining suitors.

  53. John E.
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    FOOB – Warren is morphing into Marcel Marceau…

  54. Whippersnapper
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    Foob: Yeah, if Warren really loved Liz, he would’ve destroyed his entire life by obsessing over her, just like Granthony did. He’s off to a good start by ditching a career he loved, but he still needs to ruin a marriage and horribly warp the life of an innocent child.

  55. Joe, Upper-Evergreen Division of the Jungle Patrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:18 am [Reply]

    #51 Coffee Nerves: No kidding. Why are we always supposed to think that Elizaloser is some sort of prize to be continuously sought after?

    Oh, wait, that’s riiiiiiiight……..she’s the Golden Vagina! (thanks to True Fable).

    The bright side to all this is we’re not seeing St. Michael and his horrid spawn.

  56. Droom
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    That explains everything – Mary is the voice inside my head telling me to burn things! The smallest words can affect someone!

  57. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    #55 – Horrid Spawn – If I ever form a prog metal band, may I please use this as a name?

    Speaking of horrid spawn, which thing is the actual child in MW? That psycho bunny or the babybot?

  58. Joe, Upper-Evergreen Division of the Jungle Patrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    #57 Calico: Be my guest ;-)

  59. AtomicDog of The Space Patrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    Bizarro – You don’t know how pleased I am that someone is finally using TNG instead of Classic Trek for a Star Trek satire; especially since the joke would have worked with either series.
    Worf as a popcorn muncher – who’s gonna dare tell him to shut up?

  60. WonderCat
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    24, 37, and 39 – First, yes the blinking eyes are a regular thing on the “Strip Fix” section and yes they are incredibly disturbing. Particularly as today’s features Liz calmly blinking as she destroys Warrens hopes and dreams, and makes a mockery of his (horribly misplaced) sacrifices. Second, my feelings are hurt that Lynn et al would print that post complaining about Liz’s hair and not my desperate plea that she end the madness that has become this strip now. As Mark would say, it sure is a strange situation.

    MW – At this point, I’m starting to feel sorry for Mary. Clearly she is completely surrounded by enablers who do nothing but encourage and support her crippling addiction to platitudes.

  61. man behind the curtain
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    RMMD — Niki figured that taking a little of the bank’s money now was an advance against all of his money the bank would eventually take from him over his lifetime. This way he can at least break even.

  62. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    #58 – Thanks! : D

    #60 – the blinks ARE especially creepy today.
    It all reminds me of the first nightmare I remember – my Dad had a tie tac (remember those?) of the masks Tragedy and Comedy, and the dream featured two huge masks, one laughing, the other smiling…and both blinking repaeatedly.

    I think I need more therapy now. : P
    Thanks, Lynn.

  63. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    I meant one laughing, the other frowning…still very traumatic!

  64. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    Ed Power of My Cage: Others have given good feedback I would agree with — use the long-form gag more often, get out of the office now and then, have Norm get a few digs in on Ashley, introduce a new character now and again. I would add two things:

    o Don’t be afraid of change. Most cartoonists spend the first few years of a strip trying to find a successful formula, and the next 50 years trying not to change that formula. That way lies stagnation and cliche, my friend. Don’t be afraid to shake things up on a long-term basis. Not frequently, but every few years (assuming you’re lucky enough to stay around that long), give Maureen a long-term relationship, have Norm and Bridget break up, have Max quit McGuffin, etc. Not all these situations have to be permanent (Maureen dumps the guy after a year, Norm gets in a car accident and Bridget realizes she still cares for him, Max decides he wants his job back and manipulates his way back, etc.). Change the dynamics and you keep things from getting stale.

    o Give the characters depth. It’s nice to see Bridget’s flaws played out recently. Now, keep the others from being too two-dimensional, too. (Say that three times fast!) Show us some subject that Jeff is not only good at, but scary-smart about. (To maintain the humor value, it doesn’t have to be a useful skill.) Show us a flashback of some trauma in Ashley’s past that made her put on the cynical mask she wears today. Does Rex have a secret… charity?

    Oh, and the strip of Maureen’s daughter trying to wake her mom up would have been a lot better if it had ended with a nice close-up of Maureen in her pegnoir.

  65. eccentric flower
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    #43 – I think it is established somewhere that “Gunk,” his nickname, is actually an acronym – i.e. he has four proper names, and they’re all very royal and pretentious (I keep coming up with Gustavus for the first one. That’s already far more space than this should take in my brain, so you’ll have to look them up elsewhere.

  66. eccentric flower
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    Gladimus Umfred Nostradamus Klaustauviwicke

    Wikipedia for the win.

  67. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    MT – I believe this is a subset of irony known as cheap irony.

    Or… is it???

  68. Gabacho
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    Repeating Sally Forth – what’s going on? First Ces Marciuliano posts about not being real at
    and then this.

    and now today is inexplicably yesterday, but John McCain still seems to have won the nomination and Hillary is alive again.

    Now wonder Alan and Haley are doing drugs and each other.

  69. anonymous
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    #21 – I’ve read this peeing magic mushroom juice thing before, but what puzzles me is collecting HUMAN urine. Does the mushroom muncher pee into a sacred vessel and pass the detoxed pee around? And if the rich can afford the dope and eat it with all the bad side effects, why don’t THEY drink someone elses detoxed urine themselves? Or is that too unseemly for a rich Siberian to consider?

  70. Chupper
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    Did you realize that “squirrel-eating fish” is an anagram of stalker?

  71. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    #37 –
    Dear Mochi in Boston,
    The reason Lynn never gives the ladies long hair is because that could indeed lead to fornication, a very very bad thing in the FOOB-iverse (except for Prince Mike’s pie-in-the-sky wife), and might also lead to them becoming like Haley in 3G.

  72. Bryan
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    #41: Zippy: Now if only Margo would arrive and take the clown down.

    The first thing Margo’s going to say when she walks in is, “Is that patchoulli oil I smell?” Then, once she catches Zippy rifling through her underpants drawer, he is going to be one sad clown.

  73. smacky
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    Foob: No, dumbass, it IS the nature of the job. I hate you so much! Go live with Anthony. You deserve each other.

  74. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    #21 – Wow, so that’s how Santa and his Reindeer crew get around so easily and effectively!

  75. Pastor Z
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    I may be late on this… but there is going to be another new artist for Gil Thorpe. According to “Hogan’s Alley,” the new artist is Rod Wigham.
    Some online samples are here:

  76. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    At Shoshi–They’ve moved for quite some time. And it’s not always eyes.

    Elly’s tongue moves in the second-to-last panel here.

  77. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    “Never fill your car with food when you’re hungry.”
    In that case, Elly, I highly recommend you stop driving. Forever.

    Oh, BTW, March is nutrition month, or at least the FOOB site declares. Bust a move, Elly.

  78. John C Fremont
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    MT – Hey, that Hungry Muskie is back!

    MW – So is Mary quoting someone, or did she actually come up with that herself?

    Phantom – So once they become members of The Jungle Patrol, will they still get to wear those pleated skirts?

    RMMD – Okay, just drop the kid off at his house and get on with something else. I’ll bet June’s breasts are plenty perky right now. Did she ever get her garage cleaned?

  79. prospero
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Don’t jump to conclusions about the irony of Luke’s situation. The groundbreaking procedure he will undergo is both unique and innovative, and, as with the revolutionary Tommy John surgery that saves pitchers from the scrap heap, this someday to be commonplace operation is named for its first courageous recipient—Bull Malone surgery.

  80. Treadwell
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    morals roundup:

    RM: Don’t do the right thing because it’s the right thing. Do it because you wish to continue basking in homoerotic tension.

    MT: Confession is bad for the soul…or at least your freedom. So don’t.

  81. Little A. of The Bronx Jungle Partrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    #65 –thanks, now that you mention it, I do remember that being mentioned some time ago, in some situation or other. But the nickname still makes no sense.

    Why am I asking a logical question? This is Curtis and Gunk we are discussing, not the observable universe.

    On the other hand, I have no idea what Sluggo Smith’s real name is, but the nickname fits — when he appeared in the strip in the 1930′s he was the arch-typical tough kid.

  82. SalvorHardin
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    #73 smacky. Technically, Lizardbreath is being an asshat.

  83. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:02 am [Reply]


    MT: No mystery there. Mark heard Alanis using the word “ironic” on some camper’s ghetto blaster, and just liked the sound of it.

    RMMD: That’s right, Niki. Rex is the big sleaze, you’re the little sleaze. It’s simpler that way.

    DtM: MargBot 2000 is leaking oil. Alice, if you want to stop the invasion LISTEN TO YOUR SON FOR PITY’S SAKE!

    HtH: Dr Zook, do you really want an answer to that question?

    Popeye: It’s wacky, irrepressible nextdoor neighbor Kramer Sea Hag, here to raid the fridge.

    Archie: Please tell me Miss Grundy was holding up her middle three fingers.

    SFx: “Hey dad? It’s Social Services. They say between the lice and the untreated diabetes I should maybe be moved to another home. What do you say?”

    9CL: Amos, special needs boyfriend.

    SSmith: “Aw hell, not like it’s a real school anyway.”

    S-M: Get on with it, champ.

    GT: Maureen and Seja are trying some enhanced interrogation techniques, but the detainee still won’t talk.

    6C: That’s disturbing. Will puberty be easier or more difficult if your balls are already shriveled.

    Shoe: Hey, Mutt and Jeff just called from 1910. They talked it over, and decided you can keep that joke.

    Big Dog: Kid, you might want to pull your pants up. Unless that’s part of your bargaining strategy.

    A3G: Guaranteed, Alan’s second panel homage to Edvard Much will be the most artistic thing he does all day.

  84. gkl
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark Trail is defining irony? Oh, man, the fist of justice is about to get into a pitched battle with the scream of rage from Alanis Morrisette. (Which brings up the question, in a battle between Mark Trail’s fist of justice and Alanis Morrisette’s scream of rage, which would win? It also brings up the question of, which would I be rooting for? I have the answer for neither.)

    GT: Who knew the Milford girls’ basketball team could do such a great Michael Jackson impersonation?

    GA: Unseen traumatic panel 4: “… which then became the basis of our sex life!”

  85. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    #23–I guess we can see why she’s called “Little” Amanda. She looks about the size of Fred Bassett, himself, if not a little smaller!

  86. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    #42 Gaggott68

    Luann: Ridiculous. Even by this strip’s diminishing standards. The zinger is supposed to be that the “medal” is a Girl Scout pin? Still not funny.

    And remember, Toni is a fellow firefighter. It’s hard to suss out just how dumb/not dumb she’s supposed to be, but I think she knows when someone’s faking the honors from her own department.

  87. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    #42 Gaggott68

    Luann: Ridiculous. Even by this strip’s diminishing standards. The zinger is supposed to be that the “medal” is a Girl Scout pin? Still not funny.

    And remember, Toni is a fellow firefighter. It’s hard to suss out just how dumb/not dumb she’s supposed to be, but I think she knows when someone’s faking the honors from her own department.

    (closed the HTML this time.)

  88. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    #76–Thanks! The tongue–now we’re getting somewhere! I’d love to see this kind of thing applied to MW or A3G!

  89. Gagott68
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    87. AfkaB: And if Brad were to have received an heroic award, don’cha think Toni would have known about it and been invited to the presentation ceremony?

    Maybe he’ll explain that it was privately presented to him by his sister for rescuing his dad from the tree. Which, of course, leads to uniform violations for unauthorized adornments.

  90. Rainbird
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    Ed Power, writer of My Cage #17

    So what is Norm then? Is he a platypus?

    I just figured he was a generic animal of some kind.

    As for comments about the strip, I’ve been enjoying it, and love the ameba as a pet, and the unicornpeople you did the other day.

  91. Chesteralph, Jungle Patroldog
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft-This is, by far, the worst Super Mario Bros. fancomic I’ve ever read

  92. John C Fremont
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    GT – Meanwhile, Fred Ward listens to the badly mutated Andy Griffith, who’s busily folding jungle leaves.

  93. Regina
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Elizabeth is acting like a complete hypocrite for berating Warren. It is all about HER and that is a trait she shares with her brother (why is she starting to look disturbingly like Mike in today’s strip?)

    “Blandthony” was the man who married another woman while supposedly in love with her all along, then had a child. That’s really bright and Liz just pulls the wool over her eyes.

    Give Warren some credit – at least he had some guts to say something about it now, not when he’s married to someone else and tells you after your almost “rape” attempt?

  94. Mibbitmaker
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Liz is such an arrogant character to impugn Warren’s character like that. It’s arrogant to expect him to be there 24/7 or it somehow makes him arrogant and lacking character . Lynn lacks character to not see the arrogance in her characters, which is arrogant. And in character.

  95. michael farris
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    Shorter foob: “You see Warren, you go places and do things. You even interact with people who aren’t my family. Surely you can see it would never work out.”

  96. SNF
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    nobody, including the author, is saying one thing and meaning another

    What? You’re thinking of sarcasm. For shame.

  97. PeteMoss
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    I’m not sayin’ it needs to be on a T-Shirt or anything, but the image of a salmon leaping from the water in an attempt to swallow a squirrel while a log cabin comments, “This sure is a strange situation!”, is singular in it’s absurdity. Fish on!

  98. Treadwell
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    ro·ny1 /?a?r?ni, ?a??r-/
    –noun, plural -nies.
    1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

    Don’t tell me you subscribe to the Morrisette definition, SNF! ;)

  99. WonderCat
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    #76 – Oh god, why?? WHY????

    And why the hell was I brain dead enough to actually click on that link?!?! Please, please, PLEASE tell me that there have never been any Liz/Anthony strips with anything else moving but the eyes…

  100. Anna (He Wants Our Brains) Nimity
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorpe News Flash: It’s revealed today that Andrew’s dad really IS a member of the Jungle Patrol!

  101. commodorejohn
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    9CL – I like 9 Chickweed Lane‘s sudden turn into blatant absurdism. What’s funnier here, the fact that Amos shoved quarters up his nose, or the fact that Edda’s panicking about it impairing his cello playing ability?

    A3G – I assume we’re supposed to read “I need some stuff” as “I need a fix,” but I really just find myself concluding that Haley just needs some generic stuff.

    BBlue – Baby Blues is usually one of those strips that just elicits a mild smirk from me, but today it’s actually pretty funny.

    Curtis – So…what’s the moral here? Don’t mug someone for their coat or it might be unremovable and emit a foul odor? Seems kind of limited in its applicability.

    FOOB – Yeah! Damn you, Warren, always having a job and having to work! I bet Anthony gets to just up and leave work any time he wants!

    FW – The funniest thing here is the look of genuine misery on Les’s face. It’s like the most fulfilling thing in his life is embarrassing his daughter.

    GT – Andrew’s father is stranded on Gilligan’s Island. Well, it makes as much sense as anything else in Gil Thorp.

    MW – For “I just gave them a few words that nudged them in the right direction,” you should probably read “I employed veiled threats and mind-control to achieve my desired ends.”

    Pluggers – Pluggers use coffee only for its stimulating ability, not because they actually enjoy or appreciate good coffee. If they did, they’d realize that it’s not the same. Eugh.

    PC – I’d vote for them, but I’m already voting for Lee Mercer, Jr.

    SFx – Let’s see; we’ve got a CRAIH, a WOBYOC, an EMEROT, a TONDU, a WILPOL, and an OPTHELEONE.

  102. Foobaphobe
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    Is it me, or are the cartoons becoming increasingly sophisticated? Will “foom” become an essential part of the new urban patois, as Curtis implies? Has dull and boring become the new cool, as indicated by FOOB?
    Is “foom” a subtle comment on the graspingly annoying inanity of FOOB?

  103. Dingo
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    It’s been awhile since I hurled my epithet of STB! at Lynn Johnston but I believe this week it is due.


  104. Paperback Rifler
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    Wednesday, and I don’t have much in the way of snark and can’t even claim that I know the proper usage for the word “ironic.” C’est la guerre:

    Curtis: Not much to add other than to point out that “FOOM” is an anagram for “MOFO.” I’m not sure what that might mean in the context of the strip. Oh, and “Onion”? Little tip, buddy: Don’t be complaining about watery eyes if your name is “Onion.” See, watery eyes in your case would merely serve to indicate that you were “a-peeling.”

    Family Circus: Hey, Billy? Little tip, buddy: Don’t wear an Elmer Fudd hunting cap to school unless you’d like to field inquiries about how your crusade to “kill the wabbit” is going.

    Mary Worth: “I just gave them a few words that nudged them in the right direction!”
    I’d like to imagine that Mary’s words that nudged Brian(?) into impregnating Anna(?) went like this: “So . . . your wife . . . is she a goer? Eh? Nudge, nudge?”

    Apartment 3-G: It’s an odd installment today, with the getting-paid-and-leaving action taking up the first two panels and ultimately leading to the very strange third panel, which apparently has someone on the other side of the door quoting from Hamlet Act II, scene ii. (“The actors are come hither, my lord.” “Buzz, buzz!”)

    That third panel led to the following experiment, in which I tried to test whether today’s Apartment 3-G could be improved if all the dialogue were replaced with lines from Hamlet:

    Panel 1
    Haley: Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
    Alan: Get thee to a nunnery!

    Panel 2
    Alan: The rest is silence.

    Panel 3
    Door: Buzz, buzz!
    Alan: Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!

    Experiment results: Inconclusive.

  105. Anna (He Wants Our Brains) Nimity
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    Sally Forth: Well, the Artist With the Unpronounceable Surname writes that he might be, “Miss Anna Mae Lumpkin, clinical diabetes researcher in the Woodhall Mountains of Mississippi.”

    This is impossible, because I’M Anna Mae Lumpkin. How did you figure out my secret identity?

    Now I’ll HAVE to go join the Jungle Patrol. Or become a waitress…

  106. AhClem
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    #101 commodorejohn -
    Regarding 9CL, Edda’s worried that Amos will sneeze in the middle of the first movement, shooting quarters across the stage and putting a huge dent in the first chair’s Stradivarius.

    Which, come to think of it, would be pretty awesome.

  107. Alley
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Er…. Liz didn’t have a problem with Paul not being able to see her for long stretches of time, right? So, where’s the problem with Warren?

    MW: That rabbit scared the ever-loving crap out of me. I stared at that for a few seconds, trying to figure out if it was supposed to be some kind of hallucination on Mary’s part. The comic would be so much better with a scrappy cartoon sidekick.

  108. gnome de blog
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    “we’ve ‘invited’ (kidnapped) the team from Dick Tracy to take your calls”
    - Uncle Lumpy

    When is it June Morgan’s turn?

  109. Uncle Lumpy
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    #108 gnome –


  110. SNF
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

    Huh. You learn something knew every day. I thought the only real meaning was one of the other ones…

    5. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
    6. the incongruity of this.

    But! I still hold that being saved by surgery (expected outcome: good) only to be thrown in jail (actual outcome: bad) is ironic by definitions 5/6.

    Aaaaaaand this has now officially become much too erudite than anything originating with a Mark Trail strip ever should.

  111. WonderCat
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    #104 – I disagree with your determination that the experiment was inconclusive. There was a vast improvement. I look forward to seeing the rest of this week’s A3G in Shakespearean translations.

  112. Jym
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    =34= MT (Mr. O’Malley): I’m assuming it’s Canada because the cop wears a mountie hat (and never mind the colorizers), and because Johnny Mallotte has an unAmerican name. Also because Johnny is a good guy with a moustache, which can only happen in strange and alien cultures.

  113. Donald The Anarchist
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    MT What’s ironic is that Luke may go to prison w/o ever having been properly punched out by Mark! Haven’t these people ever heard of due process?

  114. rhymes with puck
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man: Nothing will stop you from saving Mary Jane, Spidey? I can think of a lot of things that can stop you: for example, a brick, a hangnail, a shiny penny on the sidewalk, a fat chauffeur, a nerf football, a four year old boy with a baseball bat, the Shocker, a four year old boy without a baseball bat, a cute puppy, a marshmallow, and a closed door (unlocked).

    BB: Thank you, Beetle Bailey, for highlighting the timely issue of catalog season. Tomorrow I hope you highlight another topical situation – maybe something humorous about those darn hippies?

    Phantom: So does anyone who wants to join the Jungle Patrol have the authority to arrest people?

  115. NotThatGuy
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    Can anyone read the last panel in today’s Mary Worth and NOT think of Aldo?

  116. Patrick
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    FBOW Lizarddeath’s just upset that someone would dare upset her lockstep march to the conjugal terrors that await her when she marries Blandthony. Warren doesn’t know what a favour he is being done by having his dreams trashed. Once he passes the sacrosanct threshold of the Patterson dimension, he will know what Tom Servo felt in that Death and Taxes promo on MST3K back in the day…

    “The hounds of Death suck the breath from my soul!”

  117. Patrick
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    115. I can’t. How can you not think of Aldo when you read a spectacularly arrogant line like that. With just a simple word, I sent a man to his death just to watch him die. Just because.

  118. Stan
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    Gunk has Sally Forth Eyes! A mid-80-’s hit for Kim Carnes, if I remember correctly.

  119. Rainbird
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    59 AtomicDog of The Space Patrol

    I figured that Bizarro did that because more people had seen STTNG then the original. I too looked at it and thought, well, it could have worked either way.

  120. Bergamot
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    I fully expected, seeing today’s FBOFW in the paper, that the online version would have a waggling, accusatory finger in the last panel. Egads. If you want to work the “stern but sexy schoolmarm” stereotype, this is not the way to do it, Liz.

  121. Anonymous
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    MARK TRAIL: “Then Luke confessed to me that he did it because he thought he was dying.’ Luke shot Bull because he thought he was dying? They should have put a comma after “it.”

    While we’re on about usage, MARY WORTH recently showcased a notorious solecism: “Nobody forgets their first love.” (“Nobody” is singular, not plural.)

  122. Porky
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    MT – “Irony”???
    I’m still hung up on the first panel: “Then Luke confessed to me that he did it because he thought he was dying.”

    Did Luke confess because he thought he was dying… or did he shoot Bull to be with Cathy because he thought he was dying?

  123. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    #121–Haha, thanks for clearing that up! Since I don’t read MT regularly, I actually thought it meant what it seemed to!

    Regarding MW, I think she is trying to side-step the his/her dilemma!

  124. fishmorgjp
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    But… the blinking eyes on the FOOBsite make the characters more alive! Can’t you feel the pure, raw emotion?!

  125. Zaq
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    MW: I remain unshaken in my theory that the “child” is just a Mary clone, who will age at an unnatural rate and soon be tag-teaming Platitudes.

    Foob: Perhaps some Canadian can correct me, but I’m pretty sure that Lynn doesn’t actually, you know, speak English, since her sentences make no goddamn sense. Hey, Lynn? It’s very, very rare to “dump” someone more than once, and to do so usually indicates some severe codependency issues. (Oh, wait, this is FOOB, carry on.)

  126. Dingo
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    Purity of intent with regard to character in FOOB is similar to purity in virtue: the last time either was seen was long ago before Gerald knew how to get into April’s basement.

  127. Thank You for Taking My Call
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    MW: At first, I thought the toy bunny was the killer rabbit from the hit Broadway musical “Spamalot”.

  128. Girl Reporter
    March 5th, 2008 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    Mr. O’Malley:

    May I please play on your team for Trivial Pursuit?

  129. Little Guy
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    This week, Greg Evans and Lynn Johnston are trying to out-do each other in the “how ridiculous can I make my retread plot?” department.

    MT: You know, in the real world, we would find out that he *does* have a brain tumor, and, such, cannot be executed. Moreover, Mark’s findings would be considered ‘poisoned fruit’ and let his wife and her henchman go.

    Then Mark would have to punch out a Wookie.

  130. kmo
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    #77 Calico:
    I can’t believe I’m posting this, but yeah, March is indeed National Nutrition Month:

    The link is still NNM_2007, despite it being 2008! Glad to see my profession really has its act together…

    On a separate note re: MW:
    “I’m proud of taking part in that.” and “How did you know how to advise them?” C’mon now, Karen Moy is just F-ing with the ‘Mudges with those lines!

  131. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^) Your Very Own Christian Single
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    I probably won’t get a response here, but does anyone know of any good comics in French that one can access on the internet? I’m trying to brush up on my French and am very interested in adding some comics in that language to my list, but I’m having trouble finding them.

  132. Dingo
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    That’s not a toy rabbit; it’s Clay Aiken. Someday, he’ll be available in a man’s size.

  133. Dingo
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    Cowabungable Lindsey #131: if you’re simply looking for comics in French, this site by Logan may help you. Be forewarned that Logan is one of the preeminent illustrators in gay comic porn. You may need your smellin’ salts and a mighty powerful fan.

    Logan in English

    Logan en Francaise

    My favorite: Daddy and the Bear

    Keep in mind that you should only open these at work if your boss is very liberal or you work for a Rocky Mountain Republican senator with a penchant for airport restroom sex.

  134. WonderCat
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    #131 Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^) Your Very Own Christian Single – I don’t know if the actual comics are available online, but I recommend “Asterix the Gaul” ( which was originally written in French. I can’t vouch for the French versions, but the British ones are hilarious.

  135. GotFuzzy
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    All right Lynn, I give up. Put Liz in that stinkin’ moldy dress and marry her off to that stinkin’ moldy lump. Why I have been fighting this? She is whiny, demanding and hypocritical (didn’t she do to Paul exactly what she is accusing Warren of doing to her?), and Anthony is just the man to cater to her every whim. They can raise little Francie to be as ridiculous as her step-mom, and maybe they can pump out a few more Patterspawn, then spend the rest of their days screaming at those kids, bug-eyed with anger and resentment. Get in your helicopter, Warren, and get the hell out of there. Be a pal and take April with you. And the bunny.

  136. unclelumpy
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    Lindsey –

    Try searching “bandes dessinées du journal” to find newspaper comics — it looks like the French market, like the Japanese, is skewed toward book-length comics.

    If you find a current source for Asterix or Tintin, please let me know!

  137. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    #131 – I just took an interesting sojourn through websites related to French comics. Perhaps this may be along the lines of what you’re looking for?

  138. Girl Reporter
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    I was wrong, the scary Mary Worth baby with the old-and-all-knowing face is more Byzantine than Renaissance. Come to think of it, so’s the rest of the “art” in Mary Worth. If the saints wore chinbeards and puce instead of gold leaf.

  139. Niall
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    17. Ed Power: Glad to see you taking feedback in teh spirit it’s intended. I agree with most of the points presetned, and your answers only confirm that the strip is headed in the right direction. I fully agree that animal pun names should be kept very occasional; I’ve seen other comics (webcomics) go overboard with that and it loses its charm to become just another plug.

    Jeff’s son? Whoo! Lily is great because she’s not vapid or silly. She’s her mother’s daughter. :) I never figured the strip to be a “this or that sucks”; more of a “this is the situations/people we encounter and how we deal with them to stay relatively sane”. Which explains why Norm “takes it” so often – and now and then has to zing back, and does it where it hurts, to make it count. :) (His pwning Ashley last week? Priceless. Precisely because it’s not going to be often.)

    Remember that you’re seen as a strip with humour; the syndicate, in order to sell it to more papers, will want to be able to say that it can be picked up relatively easily by new readers, and good, strong character humour will help. In the time I’ve read, you’ve had very few true “storylines”, the Cassandra Cat being one of the more hermetic in that strict sense. Most of the other short stories have well resumed yet advanced the ‘plot’. The charatcer humour helps to not force a weak pun for the sake of a cheap laugh, something we constantly decry in other strips here.

    And you can do topical, social humour bitingly well: having a turkey as a “flight supremacist” is inspired. :) He might not be as popular because he takes more thinking to “get it” fully. The creepy janitor guy is more of a sight gag, which Melissa delivers in spades. And the date with Maureen just vaulted him up, let’s face it. :)

    I’m a little ambivalent about the comic-in-a-comic, though perhaps that’s what you started with Bridget’s Humicorns. If so, it’s an excellent setup, but again, should be done sparingly.

    And yes, you do have a big cast! I think bigger than the regulars of Blondie already. :) So ancillary characters do well to have their relationship ‘refreshed’ when brought back, but not through exposition. Lily and Maureen in teh morning was a great way to show such a relationship without forcing it with a “Oh, daughter Lily dear”. :)

    There’s so much you want to do, I’m impressed you can do Squishy actually monthly! And I think of it as “it”, being ameoba… that alone is a pretty good clue that it’s not just our world with animal heads. Giant! Ameobas!! But maybe once a year or so, have a small 3-strip Squishy mini-story or something…

    On my comment: pacing is tough. You’re not alone, even veterans like those doing Gasoline Alley don’t do good payoffs – they even eschew it entirely, from what I read…

  140. Niall
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    ..oh, and I see you have plans for Maureen’s ex, but you said nothing about Ashley’s “boyfriend”… ahem. *grins* Omission is admission.

  141. Shermy Glamrocker
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    # Zaq says:

    MW: I remain unshaken in my theory that the “child” is just a Mary clone, who will age at an unnatural rate and soon be tag-teaming Platitudes.

    The cookie-stealing Aldo clone from a few days ago will try to arrange a play date with the Mary clone — and not take “no” for an answer!

  142. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^) Your Very Own Christian Single
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    #17, Ed Power – Wait, you’re saying Norm is NOT a bird? I’ve been reading for months and thought he was. I guess this means I don’t stare at his butt enough, eh?

  143. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    #76 Cheeky Wee: Ha ha ha! I went to the Foobsite and thought at first you were having a little joke on me… but then Elly’s bug eyes suddenly squinched, and out slithered the tongue.

    I’d like to point out that not since I was a child burlesquing desire for tasty food have I ever licked my lips when tempted. I mean, really. Anyone here actually ever lick their lips, other than when trying to buy food from a vendor when they don’t speak the language? Or to telegraph something lewd?

    Oh, and Cheeky… thanks for revisiting the Prime Rib!

  144. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^) Your Very Own Christian Single
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    #23 Jack Parsons – YES. Even after you said that and I read it. LOL! Giddy up, ******!

  145. El Santo
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    MT: Dammit, Trail! No need to worry about that now. There’s a squirrel-eating fish loose. A SQUIRREL-EATING FISH! Your fists of fury are needed … pronto!

    FOOB: OK, I felt like throwing up a little. And it’s been a while since that happened while reading FOOB. Is it wrong to be nostalgic about being queasy?

  146. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    #131 – check out André-Philippe Coté’s work – he is from Quebec and quite topical and funny. (Hard to find a good combo of the two these days-but you have to know a bit of Que and Canadian politics to get the gist of some of his stuff).

    I can’t find it online, but I do have a softcover book of his 2001 work – a compilation from regional newspapers.

  147. kingklash
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    As far as the current “Curtis” arc is going, count your blessings that the coat is going *FOOM!* and not *FOOB!*

  148. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    And, Lindsey, check out “Lucky Luke” if you have a chance. Usually in book form – but there is also a very well done (albeit a bit racist by today’s standards) animated movie from 1971 or so called “Daisy Town.”

  149. Calico
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    I will be soooo happy if, when Lizardhead puts on that moldy old wedding dress, it starts to stink and go “Foom!”

    Ohhhhh yeaaahhh!

  150. Eats Shoots And Leaves
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    Foob: This is all wrong, boring and pointless. I wish someone (not LJ) would take the Mtigwaki folks and make an Interesting strip. You know, with interesting, funny, poignant characters, that do interesting things and have interesting lives. You know, like the Pattersnobs THINK they have.
    I’d love to see how Paul and Susan’s wedding went. You know, the wedding we’d actually LIKE to see. Is Susan preggers, yet? What’s happening with Jesse? WHERE ARE THE INTERESTING CHARACTERS AND WHAT ARE THEY DOING?

  151. june
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    The strange world of Mark Trail, where fish speak–and try to eat squirrels.

  152. Frank E. Bolla
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    I’m not a regular reader of Curtis, so I’m a little confused by today’s… well… whatever it was — it wasn’t funny, so I can’t call it a comic; it wasn’t coherent so I can’t call it a story; I wasn’t high, so I can’t call it a bad trip either.

    Anyway, is this a reoccurring thing for Curtis, this magic coat thingy? Cause it’s really f***ing stupid!!!!!!!!!!

  153. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^) Your Very Own Christian Single
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    I have to write all of this down in a notepad so I could get everything right >_>

    #133 Dingo – I’ll check them out, but I am a bit wary about reading a comic with the word “porn” in the title =P

    #134 WonderCat – I’ve heard good things about it too. I’m hoping to find a version of asterix that updates daily. Even if it isn’t in French, if it’s funny I’ll take it. I have around 70 comics that I read daily anyway.

    #136 unclelumpy – I noticed that too, which was why I was having trouble finding comics that weren’t in book-form. Maybe adding “du journal” will help the search. I found, which has a huge list of comics, but I have no way of telling which ones are good or not.

    #137 Shoshi – Thanks, that’s the kind of thing that I’m looking for :)

  154. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^) Your Very Own Christian Single
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    #153 – oh and, that link doesn’t work, because there is a comma in it.

  155. Gabacho
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    #133 Dingo – Wow, that probably converted a couple of Christian Singles!

  156. Paul1963
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    I knew it wouldn’t happen, because Curtis is a nice, safe little syndicated strip, but

    I was really, really hoping that Gunk’s pimp coat would turn out to be carnivorous, or corrosive, and leave Derrick’s absurdly retro-1990 box fade sitting atop a completely defleshed ribcage and spinal column.

    I haven’t seen today’s FBorFW yet, but I keep wondering about Warren’s assertion that he “can’t fly anymore.” He quit his job, he didn’t surrender his pilot’s license. He could certainly try to get a job flying a police or medevac helicopter, which would presumably allow him to maintain a home address somewhere.

  157. WonderCat
    March 5th, 2008 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    #145 – Yeah, it probably is wrong to feel nostalgic for queasiness. But I feel it too. I’m just really glad I hadn’t eaten yet before reading the comics today. It only makes me feel slightly better knowing that nausea is, in fact, the only correct response. It’s what we’re being subjected to that’s wrong. On so many levels.

  158. bats, Aviation Division of the Jungle Patrol :[
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    35. KT: drive safe! From your website, considering that you’re staying overnight in that oasis known as Ft. Stockton TX, you must be coming from Austin or Houston. Damn, west Texas is big…and Ft. Stockton is really about the only decent stopping point there (yeah, we’ve been there. stayed at the Motel 6. ate at the K-Bob’s).

  159. Moss_Moses
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    Notice the lunging Muskelunge, lunging and missing badly. Predators and evil humans in Mark Trail always miss and that goes for grizzly bears, sharks and even cavemen taking open shots with high powered hunting rifles with scopes from point blank range.

    As for Derrick and Blooming “Onion”, their coat jacking days are over.

  160. M Price
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    re: today’s update.

    As a regular reader (but infrequent commenter) on this site, I wish that every time Josh is out of town I weren’t completely overwhelmed with requests to donate money to him. Can the “DONATE NOW” dial be turned down just a little?

  161. Niall
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    20. Trotzenbonnie: One day, I’d really, really like to take those fabled SATs. There’s no such thing in Canada. To get in high school, you just need to pass grade school… some specific schools might have extra tests or forms, but it’s not nationwide or provincewide by any means.

    64. SSBrick: Agreed, though I’ve seen webcomics use the “shake things up” as its own cliché. It’s a really tight line to walk. One good example in strips is Sally Forth; Ted’s been unemployed for a long while, and it’s changed the characters a little bit. Bad example: Adam @ Home, which is now worse as the jokes are even more tepid and forced after he lost his job and found home consultancy. (I think. From memory.)

    As a result of reading 66. eccentric flower’s Curtis Wikipedia entry, I decided to check the one for My Cage, and finally noticed that almost all characters have “T.” as middle initial – a great, low-key gag. They might not even stand for “the”. :) (Though it says Norm shaves his head to make a statement about baldness… is that canon?)

    131. Lindsey: Give me a little time tonight at home to search for French comcis online. Ones which could help your rusty language skills, not strain them like the Lapin link. :) (WHich is amusing, but not exactly easy… And I’m so not clicking Dingo’s links at work…)

    153…I’ll look through that list at home and point out the better ones. (3 hours from now, about.)

  162. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    #161–The SAT’s aren’t to get into high school. They are for college admittance. Different colleges have different standards for the minimal scores they like to see.

  163. bats, Aviation Division of the Jungle Patrol :[
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    135. Gotfuzzy: absolutely. I’ve got to quit caring about FOOB, and LJ. She’s a jerk, her characters are a jerk, the whole me-centric universe both of the cartoonist and the cartoon aren’t worth… well, heck, I’d just rather goof on Rex ‘n’ Niki ‘n’ Mary ‘n’ Abbey. For being “serious” serial strips, I think their creators have a heck of a lot more of a sense of humor.

  164. Al of the Christian Single Jungle Patrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    150 — Eats, etc. — Jesse has probably shot Paul and Susan by now. Or at least threw that stupid harmonica at Paul’s head.

  165. Al of the Christian Single Jungle Patrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    161 and 162 — The local middle schools have their students take the SATs as well (often as a substitute for the Iowa or the state-mandated performance test). I recently met an 8th grader who got a better score than I did as a senior.

    Of course, for the schools that I’ve attended, the only performance tests that counted were the VISA and AMEX.

  166. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^) Your Very Own Christian Single
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    #161 Niall – thanks so much for helping me out, I feel like a loser. Been taking French for years and am just figuring out how to navigate the French internet. I learned what “return to home page” looks like today!

  167. Mountain Mama
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    Today’s MW: Second verse, same as the first–Bleeeaaaarrrrggghhhhh…..

    *sniff* Aldo, we remember you fondly.

    KT, I look forward to meeting you. Please travel safely.

    Today’s FOOB: “Warren, we never had a committed relationship, but you insisted on living your life, coming and going without reporting in at least once a day! How could you?”

  168. bats, Aviation Division of the Jungle Patrol :[
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    167. Mountain Mama: so….we shall meet again.

  169. AhClem
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    I sent a modified version of my comment #72 (yesterthread) to Elly’s Coffee Stalk. I doubt it will ever see the light of day, but one can always hope.

  170. Renee J
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    MT: I’m in the, “getting cured just to go to jail is irony” camp. This isn’t the same as what Morrisette described in her song, though. Her “examples” were just crummy things that happened – nothing really unexpected.

  171. Mountain Mama
    March 5th, 2008 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    Bats! It is true, we shall meet again. :-D I do look forward to seeing you and hopefully Mr. Bats again as well.

    I’m getting off work a bit early. I hope I can be there by 6.

  172. Eric the Baker, Jungle Patrol Nutrition Division
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    #170 Renee – I always thought that the ultimate irony of Alanis’ song, was that none of her examples are in fact irony.

    #167 Mountain Mama – I absolutely agree with you. Somewhere in Liz’s damaged brain, she thinks it’s acceptable to criticise him for having a life. Had they been in a committed relationship, it would have been different.

  173. Zaq
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    Take a look at today’s Gil Thorp… we see the return of Big Ray, in some kind of overgrown tropical setting. It’s been theorized that he quit to join the JUNGLE PATROL, but I have another theory: Big Ray is getting over Ex-Wife #4, so clearly, he does what anyone getting over a woman does: he’s in Vietnam! Hopefully he’ll meet up with Drew, and they can go on wacky adventures together. Can’t you just see the cinematic trailer now?

    He’s a doctor.
    HE’S a mercenary.
    Spurned by the women they once met, they go to Vietnam, to FIGHT CRIME.

    (Rapid fire dialogue clips:)
    Big Ray: You guys don’t measure up!
    Drew: No one understands me and my swordfish t-shirts! (arm flails)

    One of them has only one giant leg, and the other has no control over his arms, but together, they FIGHT CRIME, in VIETNAM.

    Big Ray: Why couldn’t you see in your crystal ball that my son is half-horse before getting all pissy about it?!
    Drew: A woman I kissed once left me after I cheated on her! LIFE HAS NO MEANING! (arms flail even more wildly)

    Both of them have their own problems, and think they’re there for their own reasons… but they’re part of a larger mission.

    (Visual: Speakerphone on desk. Voice over:)

    “I have a Suggestion for you, Angels!”

    (Title splash)

    In theaters everywhere February 30th. Rated M for Meddlesome.

  174. Moss_Moses
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Warren should just cut to the chase and drop trou’. The coffee talk is not getting him anywhere but once Lizardbreath sees that exposed aviator joystick, she’ll shut up for once and forget all about her cinacrumby boyfriend of quiet desperation.

  175. lesles
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    #170 Renee J et al – take it from someone raised in a culture in which everyday communication is almost totally based on irony, that’s not irony.

  176. Re: Christian Milkbag Consulting
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    “Finally, why would Niki want to bond with this dangerous, sanctimonious idiot? It’s a mystery!” –
    Because he’s good in bed?

  177. WonderCat
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    #173 – You forgot to add:

    He’s a helicopter pilot.

  178. Zaq
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    177 WonderCat: I like it, I like it. Of course, Warren hasn’t gone all ridiculous yet… yes, he’s showing up randomly at Liz’s place at the SHAMEFULLY late hour of ten p.m. (gasp!), but if we’re to believe Liz is as perfect and desirable as Lynn seems to want us to think, it’s totally understandable that suitors would come approaching her unsolicited in the night, like a Heian nobleman. Once Warren predictably overreacts, then sure, he can be an Angel too. (Yes, okay, quitting his job for no apparent reason is kind of overdramatic and ridiculous, but this is Foob, so stuff like that happens all the time anyway. Non-Pattersons do strange things, and our job is just to be disapproving.)

  179. Nil Zed
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    20 Trotzenbonnie
    In the spring of my junior year, when I was about to fail algebra II, I dutifully went to bed early the night before, after having successfully avoided so much as opening the SAT workbook my mom had bought for me. I scored a 600 on the math portion. I forgot I was supposed to take the SAT again that fall until my friend was at the door to pick me up. It was homecomeing the night before, so she’d overslept anyway. I jumped in the car, we booked it to the fancy school downtown (we lived in Tobaccoville), parked illegally, talked our way into the already closed front doors, ran into the class for our alphabet group, begged pencils from students (OK, boys) next to us and promptly scored a 750. I was repeating algebra II at the time and still hadn’t done any of the work in the workbook. But I had read the ‘how to take the test’ section, and that made a huge difference.

    40 Dr. Mabuse
    Lizardbreath is conveniently forgetting that SHE dumped Warren for Paul.
    Also, there must be some reason why Lynn keeps bringin Warren back again and again. They’ve ended this relationship 3 or more times already. Does Lynn actually intend for Liz to suddenly realize she does like the guy with the exciting job??

    I vote Warren gets a job with the local TV station. Having to fly the sports guy to the friday night football games, and hover over traffic jams will make his life worthwhile. Oh, and do they do high speed chases in Canada that he’ll have to chase? God help me if the channel clicker lands on one of those shows. When I was living in California, there was actually one on, LIVE that was near enough my neighborhood I was familiar with the streets. Idiot from LA had gotten himself down in OC, and was eventually trapped in a suburban cul de sac. Loser.

    25 Dale

  180. Nil Zed
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    sorry, 25 dale, I forgot what I was going to tell you

  181. LTBF
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    I have a great Foob suggestion for later this week. Anthony shows up at Liz’s apartment around 7:30 the next morning. He is coming by to offer her a ride to work. But then Warren answers the door and Anthony gets to use Liz’s line to Paul after susan anwered his door…”Well, it just happened”.

  182. WonderCat
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    #178 Zaq – Well… I think it’s debatable what level of ridiculousness Warren has attained. We’ll have to see where the end of the week takes him (I’m guessing out on his ass before 11 pm) before making the final call on his tickets to Nam. Either way it’s still a great premise for a show. I can’t picture Mary being happy meddling from a distance via phone though.

    (First scene cuts to Mary hopping out of a low hovering helicopter, bandanna around head, nostrils flaring.)

    “I love the smell of sanctimony in the morning!”

  183. Emily
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    3/5 Spiderman: I’m most concerned by the building in the last panel of Spiderman, which has clearly been covered by a giant crossword puzzle. Which could only be the work of a puzzle-loving super villain! Will Peter be able to figure out that 20 Across tells him the villain’s plans in time to stop him? No! Of course not, he’s an idiot.

  184. Niall
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    162. Soshi: I guess that proves I have no idea about SATs, yes? :) Okay, to get into college or university.. (two completely different things up here) Applications to fill.. and minimal results for certain courses in high school. That was it when I applied. Since the results came from standard provincial tests in order to graduate high school, it probably comes out the same.

    And yes, knowing how to answer the test is probably the most important thing.

    166. Lindsey: don’t feel bad, on some French sites, even I have to think to navigate – and it’s my native tongue! :)

  185. Professor Fate
    March 5th, 2008 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: Oh shut up – you’re pissed at him because he has a job that takes him – gasp – out of the stultifying suburban hell that you exisit in – you’re really angry at him for reminding you there is a whole wide world out there that does not include pasty dough faced nothings who lock their children in the basment – and have their bowling trophies displayed in their office where they work as an accountant for a local car dealer .

    Warren – I do have to question your taste – My heart was broken by a lovely young woman she was (and is) smart beautiful, amazingly talented (could sing like an angel and play about any musical instrument in the world) with a wonderfully sweet and deeply strange personality (as in “only visiting this planet”) and oh boy I fell for her like a ton of bricks – She didn’t feel the same way about me and well long story shot it still hurts a bit still (ah youth).

    But my point is if you took all of her good points away – she’d still be a better choice than Liz. So Warren just toss it all up to bad karma and get the hell out of there.

  186. Moon Mullins
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    Caption contest for Josh!

    The link below is for a cartoon from a physician website that is having a caption contest. So far the entries are lower than lame, but what can you expect from most physicians?

    Seeing how well everyone always does on the New Yorker contest, I thought I would turn this one over to you guys — I have no doubt you can exceed the efforts of all the MD contributions so far. It is a few days before the deadline.

    We can all pick the best caption submitted by mudges, and I will turn it in under my physician membership status. If it is any winner, all the proceeds will go directly to Josh’s tip jar.

    The prize is $100; there are also eight randomly chosen captions that will win $50.

    Let’s keep this in the comment section as I’m not sure on their rules via joint internet efforts. I eaagerly anticipate your ideas!!

  187. gnome de la jungle patrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    I hope Hawa and what’s-’er-name can keep those little skirts as part of their jungle patrol uniforms.

  188. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    #186 Moon: In the absence of Red Greenback, I’m employing isometrics and “Christ, what an asshole!”

  189. Mountain Mama
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    All I can think of is, “I thought the line was ‘Oil can, oil can’.”

  190. Eats Shoots And Leaves
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    #164 – Al;

    Actually, since that nutcase teacher that was warping his mind went back South, Jesse has straightened up and is doing fine. He’s enrolled in accelerated courses and has a scholarship to med school.

  191. Eats Shoots And Leaves
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    #186 Caption contest:

    “Well, it IS less expensive than a shunt.”

  192. cheech wizard
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    186/ Moon Mullins:

    1 – “So, is he ready to talk?”

    2- “Ok, so the fat old lady next door was bending down to weed her petunias. And you said what? ”

    3 – “No problem, we’ll just cut it right off. Then I’m calling Child Protective Services and you can explain how your child got his head stuck in a watering can.”

    4 – “This is nothing. At least it’s not his dick.”

  193. britbike
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    No one will read this so far down, but I’ll say it anyway. Liz is right. (That feels so wrong to say). The nature of Warren’s job is all the travel and being away. The nature of Warren is that she wasn’t important enough to him for him to call and say “I’ll be out of town for a month”, or “Sorry, gotta cancel our date–have to work, call you later.” If that little communication is too much trouble, you don’t really want a relationship, you want an on-call escort. So, she’s right. Obnoxious and holier-than-everyone, but right.

  194. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    #184–Although some school districts in the US nowadays do have exams in order to graduate high school, they never used to and most still do not. So maybe that’s the difference.

    We tend to use the word “college” to refer to post-secondary schools in general, even though there is a distinction that a college offers only undergraduate degrees, while a university is made up of a number of colleges (College of Liberal Arts, College of Science, etc.) and combines undergraduate and graduate studies. So we talk about applying or attending or graduating from college, even though most people actually go to universities.

    I understand that in England high school used to be referred to as “college”. (Perhaps that is still the case?)

  195. Shoshi
    March 5th, 2008 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    #193–To be fair(!), he did call to cancel. But I guess he wasn’t very good at keeping in touch in between?

  196. JP (not Judge Parker)
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    Ok, so I’m a little late in the game here, but I’m going to make a few comments and hope I’m not repeating what others have said here too much (assuming anyone actually reads this far down).

    Curtis: Seriously, WTF is happening here? Why does Gunk have magical powers? When did this strip start having sci-fi themes?

    FOOB: I agree with 193 – Warren is clearly a shitty boyfriend. A helicopter pilot who is gone for 4-6 weeks at a time? Really? Who exactly is he flying choppers for? Something tells me Liz is just on a list of girls he drunk dials/visits.

    Phantom: Now we’re finally getting back to the Phantom we know and don’t love, Ghost-Who-Pawns-Off-Dirty-Work. Has that waitress ever fired a gun before? I’m sure that’s going to go real well.

  197. Jeremy
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    Great. Mark trail has jumped the carp.

  198. Lisa
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    193. Finally, someone sees Liz in a positive manner! Yes, she is right, he blew in and out of her life like a tornado and she was supposed to just sit around waiting for him to show up? And then there was Paul, who decided to go with his own ethnicity in a partner, without bothering to tell her. It seems to me that faithful Anthony is the better choice here.

    I mean look at what really happened. A jerk tried to rape Liz at work, and Anthony was there and fended him off for her, and then he was there for her when the trial happened. We have knight in shining armor syndrome here. Lots better than a here and gone again pilot and a guy who dumps her because she isn’t native peoples stock. I don’t see what the problem is here with Liz and Anthony getting together….

  199. Agnostic Married Woman
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    #150 Eats: Paul and Susan got married? When was this? All I see are boring strips about Michael and the Patterspawn.

    #193 britbike: I actually agree with you. Have Liz and Warren ever actually dated exclusively? I’ve gotten the vibe that “he’s just not that into her” and she’s not really into him either.

  200. cheech wizard
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    Mark – “This sure is a strange situation.”

    Johnny – “What? A 10-foot fish attacking a squirrel? Happens all the time in these parts. Lots of big ducks, too.”

    Mark – “No, I mean that you’ve got facial hair and I haven’t punched you yet.”

  201. cheech wizard
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:34 pm [Reply]

    198/Lisa – The problem is that Liz was originally a strong, independent character who was spreading her wings and building her own life out in the great, big world and Lynne sucked her right back into her tired home town like a burned-out star going down a black hole. She’s traded a life of growth and exploration for the same humdrum whitebread existence of her parents – she’s even starting to look like her mom. And Anthony is a pretty bland piece of milktoast himself. It’s not like there aren’t quality people leading interesting lives that she might meet and date outside of her own back yard. No, what’s pissing people off here is that Lynne is equating blandness with moral character, and old habits with stability. For those of us who’ve packed up and left our sad-sack home towns and moved beyond the people we dated in high school, it’s a bit irritating.

  202. Gagott68
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    198 Lisa. “Faithful Anthony” repeatedly threw his longing, obsession for Elizabeth into his wife’s face even after she popped out a spawn to keep him happy. I don’t hate Liz (like many here) but while Anthony may be the “better” choice, it doesn’t make him a good choice. Only a more reasonable settling decision.

  203. Oddball
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    So, I’ve desperately been avoiding FBoFW for a long time, but with Warren back, I had to check in. And Liz has totally and completely morphed into Elly. Wasn’t she all full-lipped and doe-eyed but a couple of months ago?

    Remind me, should I ever have long hair again, never to put it in a bun. Foob has ruined the bun for me.

  204. Oddball
    March 5th, 2008 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Did anyone catch this on Elly’s “blog”?

    “A decade ago, you dabbled with homosexuality with the teenager in the strip. Until then, I had been a faithful follower of your strip, as I am with literally every strip I can get my hands on everyday, from the two papers I read daily. I have used the comics to help my children, and now my grandchildren to begin reading, and then to simply enjoy the daily humor involved. Humor is a strong personality trait.

    The idea that you would presume to expose my grandchildren to the seedy side of sex within what should be a funny (comic?) instrument, greatly offended me. No, I do not agree with homosexuality, but I would not condemn people for their lifestyle choice. But, I do not believe that children should be exposed to sexual exploits, political correctness, or any other personality building order that belongs to the parents. I said that day (the day that the teen announced that he was gay) that I would never read the strip again. I HAVEN’T.

    Now I read that you are changing the content. This is the only strip i do not read. I cut it from the paper regularly before giving it to the grandkids. I have explained to them that I do not believe that it is a healthy comic strip. The haven’t argued. I guess what I’m asking is, if you are not going to be playing with those issues any more, so that I can resume my former habits of reading the papers funnies from cover to cover. I sent you a letter way back when telling you of my unhappiness, and asking for your view (or whether you cared) of the fact that I would no longer be reading the strip anymore. Of course, I never heard from you. I don’t think I expected to. I don’t think you’ll respond to this either, but I thought I’d take the time.

    Ron H, Lacey WA”

    Dear Ron H,

    I live a couple of hours from Lacey and occasionally drive through. Should I ever meet you, I will punch you in the throat. I don’t usually defend Lynn to anyone, but I will totally do so here: compared to you, Lynn is a goddess. I hope you go back to reading the strip and NOT cutting it out of the paper just in time for it to turn into a full-color, no-holds-barred gay orgy, you stupid fucking prick.



  205. Violet
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    I’m really hoping that the profoundly awesome use of “CLUTCH!!” as a sound effect in Curtis signals the beginning of a trend of the strip’s employing non-onomatopoeic verbs that simply describe what’s going on in this fashion. If so, we can look forward to such sound effects as “BAFFLE!,” “IRRITATE!” AND “BELABOR!!!”

  206. commodorejohn
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    #198 Lisa – Right, he happened to be in the area because he was going to try and propose an affair with her, as various FOOB-hating ‘Mudges have pointed out in the past, and he proceeded to try to pity-party his way into her pants shortly after she had almost been raped. Not to mention the fact that he’d been mooning after her for the entire duration of his marriage, all the while trying to mold the girl he actually married into the sort of domestic-zombie Fifties ideal woman Liz is turning into and Lynn thinks every woman should be. And also not to mention the fact that he keeps his daughter locked in a cage in the basement. No, while Liz’s various other suitors have had their faults (mostly ham-fistedly wrenched in place by Lynn in order to take them down to make way for Anthony, rather than actually proceeding from the characters as they were originally set up,) Anthony is far and away more loathsome than any of them.

    Of course, I’m not saying that they shouldn’t wind up together; he’s just perfect for a self-centered, whiny little ice-queen like Liz.

  207. Lisa
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    “Anthony may be the “better” choice, it doesn’t make him a good choice. Only a more reasonable settling decision.”

    True… given the parameters that Lynn has set up, he certainly is the better of the two.

    That idiot letter to Lynn really aggravates me. Of course his grandkids are finding the strip online and reading it, just to see what the uproar is about. What a dummy.

  208. Cedar
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    I get the impression from that letter that the dude doesn’t actually read the strip, but heard second hand about some homosexual bruhaha involving the characters. The last time homosexuality was even the slightest bit referred to was in summer of 2003, when Liz asked whatshisface to be her date to Anthony’s wedding. Other than that and the initial coming out storyline, homosexuality has been mentioned very few times–at Mike’s senior prom, and once in passing when Lawrence told Mike that he and his boyfriend broke up. If you didn’t read the letters and know that Lawrence was dating the dude with the mustache he owns the landscaping business with, you would have no clue that they were partners.

    I hope that guy gets 9CWL in his paper soon.

  209. Jamus The Bartender
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: I honestly don’t know what I can add to this. I really don’t.
    Wait. Yes I do. Firstly, yes, Britbike( I think that’s right…), you’re right. So is Liz. Communication with the lady you love is a must. Unless Warren is working for the Canadian version of the CIA or flying coke back and forth from coast to coast…hell, even if, he’s really got no excuse for keeping incommunicado from Liz all this time. Therefore, he doesn’t want Liz so much as he wants the “stability” she represents.
    Coming in with a sixpack and some movies would have been more honest. Nothing wrong with a no-strings booty call. Been there too. Although, they don’t do that in FOOBville….
    Now to rip on Liz a bit. A nicer way to shred Warren’s heart would have been to say, “Warren, I respect your feelings, but i’m in a relationship with another man right now. We’re taking it slowly, but we’ve become close. We may get married or not, but at least with this man, i’m on a path I want to be on. He lets me know what he’s doing, whereas you didn’t. Now I gotta correct these papers…”

  210. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    #208 Cedar:

    If you didn’t read the letters and know that Lawrence was dating the dude with the mustache he owns the landscaping business with, you would have no clue that they were partners.

    Right on, my sibling! Indeed, Laurence is every bit as libido-lacking as every other FOOB, male or female. I can no more imagine Laurence pitching a tent than Anthony, Trainman, or the Sensitive Writer/Author.

    And my apologies to any who actually have the ability to imagine the above mentioned tent pitching, for whom I’ve no doubt caused distress.

  211. Niall
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:36 pm [Reply]

    204. Oddball: Lynn is not really the issue here. Since you live not far from that town, do you know which paper servesit, and which comics it carries? Because, well, I can see lots of other references to what the reader is offended about in strips constantly. Heck, even Judge Parker and Rex Morgan tackle crime and drugs, and have a healthy dose of sexual innuendo thrown in. Don’t punch him, just slip off the blinders…

    205. Violet: Actually, if they go that way, then they’ll just be embracing the manga habit of sound effects, which are often in that similar vein of description rather than onomatopeia for a fair number of them…

    Lindsey: your link doesn’t seem to work at all for me, as in it’s not recognised by my DNS server. The big problem is that there are very few French net comics; most believe in being published by the numerous sections of the editing houses in Europe (though many analysts predict a major crash soon as too much is being published). Until I can find something, here’s at least a start: routinely posts the first 10 pages of an album as enticement, and many can be of a good “learning” level; not too simple, but not too complex, or not mired in cultural/language/social gags nearly-impenetrable for a North American. I particularly recommend the EgoVox sampler.

  212. Dr. Mabuse
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    #156 Paul1063: “I haven’t seen today’s FBorFW yet, but I keep wondering about Warren’s assertion that he “can’t fly anymore.” He quit his job, he didn’t surrender his pilot’s license.”

    Well, I’m not sure exactly what is supposed to have happened to Warren. From the way it was phrased, I thought that LJ might be hinting that he had some sort of nervous breakdown. Not that he legally can’t fly (lost his license), but that he’s so emotionally distraught he can’t face flying anymore, and so he had to quit. It’s a bit much to believe that this is all due to having “lost” Elizabeth, but the first strip in this series did seem to be implying a lot of emotional turmoil.

    179 Ned Zil – I thought that she was the one who dumped him, but I guess that but of history has been airbrushed away, so that she can continue to play the victim. Didn’t they ever DISCUSS his inconvenient schedule while they were dating? He always was a pilot, it’s not like he became absorbed by some new interest after they met. Why did she bother with him if he was such a dud?

  213. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    #204 Oddball – I’m a Christian and even I want to punch him in the throat. What is wrong with him?

    And I still don’t want Anthony and Liz together. To me, if she gets with Anthony she’s settling. She’s giving up all the adventures, the celebration of life as someone who looks for something new, interesting, and creative. Most of all, she’s just giving up. “What the hell, there’s no point trying to live a free life inside Lynn’s iron maiden of a strip, I might as well just marry Anthony, pop out 3 kids and be the clone of my brother.” As someone who will be graduating college soon, going out to be on her own in the world, Liz marrying Anthony is more than a disappointment. To be honest, it’s sort of offensive. It’s saying that it doesn’t matter who you meet, you should just sit at home. Don’t follow your dreams, don’t live your own life, just marry whatever the hell your mom tells you to and squat out some children. I suppose I shouldn’t be looking to Liz to be a model to single women everywhere, but still – do her characters have to give up so readily? It’s sad. It’s a sad little end to their sad little story.

  214. Spunde
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:45 pm [Reply]

    Ed Power:

    Sounds like you should have a few strips in which Gorilla Scouts try to sell some cookies at McGuffin, Inc.

    One Scout and, say, Jeff can have the, “Okay. Why does the bluebird have a platypus tail on his butt?” exchange.

  215. Pearl
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    Well, you guys are all a step ahead of me – I never thought Liz and Warren dated. It was post-Eric, right? And she decided to play “hard to hurt” and kept her distance and they never dated, but were friends. Hmm… if they really dated, that would put a way different spin on things. I may have to reconsider my whole foobiversian impression.

  216. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    #211 Niall – Thanks. Turns out I spelled the name of the site wrong, but most of the comics linked are just descriptions of the books so I’ve decided not to bother with it. Thanks for your help though :). I have a feeling in the next few years we might be seeing more French comics on the web, it’s just a matter of finding them.

  217. commodorejohn
    March 5th, 2008 at 7:47 pm [Reply]

    #204 Oddball – Huh. It’s like he’s reading some Bizarro World version of For Better Or For Worse where the unrelated Sunday hijinks feature graphic Lawrence/Clonethony buttsex instead of the pets getting Elly’s goat (sorry, Fable, for having to mention goats and Elly in the same sentence.)

  218. gnome de la jungle patrol
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    #186 Moon Mullins:

    “Use distilled water for a few days and the jaundice should clear right up.”

  219. Zaq
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    I wonder if the writer of Curtis genuinely believes that people wouldn’t see the telegraphed “I can’t take it off!” “twist” from the first goddamn strip in the arc, or if he just doesn’t care. I mean, if it were a lot of other strips (like that one strip with the two black guys who never mention anything by name!), it would be obvious that it’s just laziness… but at the same time, I get the feeling that whoever writes Curtis (don’t feel like looking up his name) cares just a little bit more than your average writer found on these pages. He fails miserably most of the time, of course (the one thing he genuinely does well is the sight gags associated with “church lady hats,” and even those get stale after a while), and we all know about the repetitiveness of the whole thing, but I just don’t get that same soul-crushing apathy permeating the whole thing like you do from, oh, Marmaduke or Crock, where they genuinely don’t care what get spilled onto the page. I think that, on some level, the writer believed that someone might actually not see this coming, and that makes me a little bit sad. (On a related note, I actually like the wacky mimesis/onomatopoeia that occurs in Curtis, but I like onomatopoeia in general, and believe that English really doesn’t have enough of it.)

    In other news, what’s the term for what Ghost-Who-Verbs is doing? Before I came across this site, if presented with it in a vacuum, I’d have called it “meddling,” but frankly applying that to anyone other than to Mary Worth seems wrong, somehow, like both an insult to the Queen of Platitudes and like it just isn’t the right term for what Ghost-Who-Verbs is doing. Mary’s meddlings dominate the term, such that nothing else can be described as such… but what would you call it? It’s more than just interfering, it’s way more than just “helping,” and frankly it’s pretty insulting overall (I mean, yes, it makes sense that LADY COP and WAITRESS might actually need some help, but they’re not supposed to, and Ghost-Who-Assumes can’t accept that), but I really feel like I’m missing a verb. Grandstanding? Upstaging? Upstaging seems close, but not quite there.

    Finally, for additional hilarity in the recent Alanfest in A3G, imagine Alan flailing his arms like Drew with everything he says or thinks. I mean really, you can kind of apply that to anything (except maybe Pluggers, because I don’t wanna see that), but it’s especially nice with Alan and his Problems and/or Vices.

    Speaking of A3G, also fun is to imagine what nefarious things Alan and Haley were doing, because you know they weren’t having sex, because this is Apartment 3-G, and the concept of sex simply doesn’t exist in A3G. I mean hell, I’d sooner believe that people in Foob have sex than in A3G. Granted, there was probably reading from an instruction manual involved, and a vague confusion as to the whole purpose of the mess, with a tangible “are we there yet?” sort of feeling permeating the act on both sides, but it’s still more plausible than any two people in A3G getting it on.

  220. Eats Shoots And Leaves
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    #199: Only in my dreams, sigh, which is my point. I want to see those characters again. They were interesting, seemed sort of like real people and didn’t irritate the crap out of me. What are they doing these days? Still together? Broken up? Married? What?

    Abandoned Paul and Plotpoint Susan. That’s a wedding I could enjoy seeing, unlike Lizthony’s heave inducing glurgefest coming soon to newspapers everywhere.

  221. cheech wizard
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    Warren and Liz – let’s compare the two:

    Warren: Took off for weeks at a time flying lumber, mining and oil executives around the Canadian north woods; didn’t call as much as she’d like.

    Liz: Conned Warren into giving her a free ride in his $1,500/hr. helicopter to deliver her to the arms of her new boyfriend. Didn’t tell Warren until they were safely on the ground in front of the car where said boyfriend was waiting with a big red boner in his pants.

    You tell me which one is of questionable character.

  222. Jamus The Bartender
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    221. Yeah, cheech called it.

  223. Moon Mullins
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    Wow, that caption contest for doctors was getting full — it already had over 400 entries — so I went ahead with Cheech Wizard’s “So, is he ready to talk?” from post 192. Also really liked Eats Shoots and Leaves “shunt” line but unfortunately there were several other shunt entries already on the list.

    Just so you get an idea of how seriously unfunny most of the submitting doctors were (who no doubt think they are hilarious), plus the fact that most didn’t even bother to look at the other submissions before they added theirs:

    48 people made the joke “your son is a pothead.”
    37 had the doctor inquire “so what seems to be the problem?”
    81 had some variation on “water on the brain”

    Knee-slappers all, I tell ya!

    Thank goodness I work in an ER with its non-stop gallows humor. I don’t think I could stand much time around office-based docs and their pothead jokes.

  224. Citric
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    MT: That’s ironic like raaaaayaaaaiin on your wedding day.

  225. AhClem
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    SM – Unbeknownst to Spider Man, one of those downtown buildings is a department store that has a big display of new wide-screen TVs in their window.

    “It’s the signal bracelet I gave M.J. Gotta get to her! And nothing’ll stop me! I’ll be there as quickly as I … ooh, Suze Orman is on Oprah!”

  226. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: Okay, so admittedly I’m a twisted bastard, but I’ve been mucking about in the Foobchives. I wanted to check out Warren and Liz’s hot n’ heavy history. Yeah, I know, there are probably better ways to spend my time.

    Waaay back in June of 2003, it was Liz who had no hooooooome!

    And did anyone notice this Foobshadowing? “It’s easy to get lonely and fall for the wrong guy,” says Liz’s, erm, generic Northern university friend, as she and LIz discuss the merits of teaching up north.

  227. Godzooky
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    Brewster Rockit: Paging True Fable: Yet another goat mention.

    RMMD: Any detectives in the house? How many of you would run across a bank robber’s stash that’s $8,000 or so short, a bank robber who insists that he didn’t spend or hide it, and a teen, semi-street kid/former hostage who turns down a $10K reward and not pick up the smell?

  228. Lisa
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    226. Foobshadowing (love the term, btw!)… yeah, looks like all along Lynn did not intend for Liz to stay up there. Even mentions pilots in the list. Hmmm, I wonder just how far ahead she planned things.

  229. Buck Ripsnort
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: Is the smell of the coat so powerful as to be literally exploding? I’m old enough– dear Gawd, I’m old enough– to remember FOOM as “Friends Of Ol’ Marvel”, but that knowledge does nothing for me here. Or most other places, to be honest.
    RMMD: Yes, Rex’s friendship keeps Nikki honest, but you can tell by his expression in the last panel, Nikki’s not happy about it.

  230. Girl Reporter
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    I like onomatopoeia in general, and believe that English really doesn’t have enough of it.

    Maybe coffee mug.

  231. commodorejohn
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    #226 Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed – Ah, so even the “spreading her wings” bit was a fake-out, intended only to (A) garner Lynn some kind of award for her perceived hipness to the native culture, and (B) demonstrate that leaving your parents’ sphere of influence is a Bad Thing, and everybody should stay in insular little communities with other people who have the same skin color they do. Big surprise.

  232. Girl Reporter
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:52 pm [Reply]

    I. Love. Words.

    Food I enjoy even more because I enjoy the name:

    Moo Goo Gai Pan
    Dos XX

    (yes, youse ironical pedants, I realize these aren’t onomatopoeia – but they taste great when you say them aloud.)

  233. Zaq
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    They’re closer to mimesis than onomatopoeia, really. Doesn’t mean I don’t agree, though.

  234. commodorejohn
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:02 pm [Reply]

    #232 Girl Report – Goulash. Good stuff, great name.

  235. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    #231 commodorejohn:

    Ah, so even the “spreading her wings” bit was a fake-out…

    Yesh. I won’t be Foobed again. (WHAM!) Here I commence my blue denim Daltrey dance.

  236. Girl Reporter
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:09 pm [Reply]


  237. Girl Reporter
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:13 pm [Reply]


  238. Oddball
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    Golompki. I miss the ones my nana used to make.

  239. Oddball
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    Niall: I have no way of knowing which papers the guy reads, of course. He claims to read two papers. Could be anything, from the local paper, The Olympian, or either of the Seattle dailies.

    Of course, anyone who goes to all that vindictive trouble to prevent kids from reading about homosexuality is probably closeted gay himself. I suppose I should pity him more than anything.

  240. dale
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

    186, 223 Moon Mullins
    Too late, but typing is cheap -
    “So you’re the one who parked in my spot.”

    180 Nil Zed
    That’s ok. What I want to hear is: It’s a minor adjustment, not a new transmission.

    I wish the mother had said “Heaven forfend” rather than “… forbid.”

  241. True Fable
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:52 pm [Reply]

    #227 Godzooky – GOATS!! Heat-seeking goats!!
    What’s next? – Goats in space!

  242. Mibbitmaker
    March 6th, 2008 at 12:18 am [Reply]

    3/6 FOOB: Yesterday, Liz was the jerk; today, Warren is the jerk. The Flyboy character assassination continues…

    Or else, following “You’re seeing ME!”, we’ll see him grab his face and pull his mask off to reveal it’s really….. Blanthony, testing Liz’s fidelity (or, since the Cuban handover, raoulity). She passes with flying colors. Yeesh!

    Or, more likely, Warren is now a stalker, Howard Erk-style. *Gag!*

  243. Norah (can't think of funny name now)
    March 6th, 2008 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    #213 Lindsey: In FOOB, as soon as Liz got out of college, she started bemoaning the fact that she was still single while a couple of her friends were married or engaged. I remember when I was that age, in the late 1970′s, girls were still expected to be married by their mid-20′s, and to settle if they had to, but I thought things had changed in the 30 years since then? I guess not In Foobville. And it’s not just the women. I remember when Michael was in his mid-20′s and not married yet, he spent an evening with Gordon and Tracey and their kids and immediately starting questioning himself and his maturity because he wasn’t in the same situation. (Right after that he met Dee again.)

  244. Buck Ripsnort
    March 6th, 2008 at 12:34 am [Reply]

    232: Girl Reporter– On the other hand, food I CAN’T eat because of the way it sounds–
    Head Cheese
    Wheat Germ
    Yogurt w/ Live Bacteria (!)

  245. Mibbitmaker
    March 6th, 2008 at 12:36 am [Reply]


    Nancy: Stop ruining oldies for me!! (Advertising’s already doing a bang-up job of that)

    Dilbert: Are we sure she wasn’t reading this week’s FOOB online?

    S-M: I know we’re supposed to hate villians, but I REALLY HATE that guy!

    GT: “…Dan Rather is spying on us!!”

    A3G: Gee, I wish it wasn’t any of MY business, either.

    I can only add that I –gasp! — actually enjoyed BBailey, Lockhorns, and FW today (3/6). I… I gotta lie down now…….

  246. True Fable
    March 6th, 2008 at 12:55 am [Reply]

    9CL What. The. Hell. Do cellists routinely stuff their noses full of coins before a recital? Then what the FUCK is Amos’s deal? And what has that got to do with his musicianship anyway? Go out there and play, you stupid asshat, and if you sneeze then it will be a nice change of pace for your suffering audience when quarters fly out your nose and onto the stage.

  247. Gabacho
    March 6th, 2008 at 1:11 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth – okay, the authoress Moy is definitely screwing with us here. She is now in direct conversation with CC’ers.

    Her self justification today is a smackdown to our kind and all who love us (well, both of them anyway.)

    The fourth wall, the only thing standing between Mary and us has been broken. Save yourselves.

    Mark Trail – Johnny’s so happy. Get ready to get ruffled again, Mark. He’s gonna do it.

    Sally Forth – well, we seem to be back on track but what is the explanation for the March 4&5 repeat?

    I mean, it’s not like March 4 was so funny. It wasn’t even one of the better efforts for SF, although it’s still a gut buster by most comics standards.

  248. True Fable
    March 6th, 2008 at 1:12 am [Reply]

    A3G “But I haven’t been screwing around on your cousin, no! And I have never had to make excuses to cover my drug and drinking habits before, either!”
    Cathy (Must Die!) The Song of Cathy.
    DtM Dammit, George: put some fucking LOCKS on your doors if you don’t want the little bastard coming over.
    FC Oh Dolly – you’ve got years of blackmail material on this kid before he realizes he has the right to read any damn thing he wants.
    FBoFW Part 4 of the Character Assassination of Warren. Realizing she made Liz look especially bad yesterday, Lynnie hurries to make Warren as needy and self-absorbed as, say, a Patterson in today’s installment. And what’s this “He’s got…you know…company” bullshit?”My roommate’s shagging his girl, so howzabout we break in that Golden Vagina of yours, Liz?” I’m frankly surprised Lynn didn’t say something like that.

  249. Cedar
    March 6th, 2008 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    #243 I can actually understand where Mike was coming from there. It wasn’t just that Gordon was married and had kids, but that ht had a successful business doing something he loved. Meanwhile, Mike had just transferred schools, and (if I recall correctly) changed his major, and would have to spend an extra year in school. I don’t think he desperately wanted precious babies to make his life complete, but that he felt like a kid, and was still dependent on his parents, while Gordon was living life as an adult.

  250. Mibbitmaker
    March 6th, 2008 at 1:36 am [Reply]

    Agnes: True mental stability? Her???

    JP: “…DUUUUH!!”

    MT, panel 1: LADIEEEES & GENTLEMEN! PRE-SENTING: Johnny Marlotte and his TALKING SHOULDER!! (applause)

    MT, panel 3: Both parts of the phone conversation… th-the pointers of the speech balloons are facing each other…. that means… THE SPEECH BALLOONS ARE… SAYING EACH OTHER!!! Freeeeeeeeeaky!

    MW, panel 1: Mare, that’s your problem. Just ask Ald– no, wait…..

    MW, panel 2: Hey! Hey!! You guys… stop staring at me! You’re making me self-conscious! You’re creeping me out! And mainly, you’re doing all that while spouting self-serving, cornball speechifying! It’s enough to make one long for platitudes!! …..Did I just SAY that?

    RMMD: “You’re my hero”?? Okay, that was queasy-inducing.

  251. Braniff
    March 6th, 2008 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    248: The Family Circus people do enjoy listening to Butt Midler songs–who proclaims herself to be a very gay icon (see some of the other cartoons where they’re listening to her songs on the radio). Who will visit the family next, Daddy’s friend “Uncle Roy”? Or will the family go back to San Francisco or off to Provincetown?

    Perhaps Mommy and Daddy will finally get a divorce, the cartoon will end and the creators of The Family Circus will be outed by a real-life blackmailer.

    We can only hope!!

  252. cheech wizard
    March 6th, 2008 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    223 – Thanks, Moon – always nice to be recognized. Maybe some day I’ll even get to ride at the head of the float here, but I’m not holding my breath.

  253. Paul1963
    March 6th, 2008 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    #186, Caption contest:

    “Well, if you leave it on there for a while, it might break him of his nose-picking and thumb-sucking habits…”


    “Tell him to turn to his right if he has to sneeze.”


    “Boy, some kids will do anything to avoid getting braces.”


    Same as above, except “…wearing glasses.”

  254. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)
    March 6th, 2008 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    #243 Norah – That doesn’t bug me so much. Even I occasionally have insecurities about being age 20 and not having been in a serious relationship with someone. But I always keep in mind that what happens happens, and I would never, ever settle just to get it over with, ESPECIALLY if there were multiple men I was interested in. I mean, it’s not like Anthony is the only person in the world Liz could be dating right now. She has a LOT of options, and I’m disappointing with the ones she’s chosen. The worst part is that Lynn is going to play it like it’s the best choice, and all the others would have been horrible decisions, and Liz is such a “good girl” for choosing her home boy and living near her family. It’s not exactly inspiring. Maybe it’s not supposed to be.

  255. Smokey Stover
    March 6th, 2008 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    Is Gunk supposed to represent, with his magical powers, the way that white people seem to the poor people of Curtis’s neighborhood? A sort of reverse magical realism by way of Arthur C. (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”) Clarke?

  256. The Naked Kissing Bandit
    March 7th, 2008 at 4:35 am [Reply]

    #43- Little A– I think Gunk’s name is an excellent illustration of literary irony, which is different from situational irony in that it’s more of a misnomering foom. Look at Gunk. Squint. he go foom.

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