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Mary’s meddling secrets REVEALED

Mary Worth, 4/10/08

So, to the surprise of absolutely no one, Mary is starting to get her meddle on in earnest with this poor dying old woman, and … AAAAH! WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS SHE DOING TO DONNA AMALFI’S HAND? You might think she’s just offering a moment of human kindness to a patient, but cast your mind back to one of Mary’s first real meddle sessions with Vera last year:

Obviously, Mary uses some kind of diabolical finger-manipulation technique to open the minds of her victims up to her hateful, counterproductive suggestions. RESIST, DONNA! RESIST WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT!

Dennis the Menace, 4/10/08

Oh look, Dennis is walking barefoot through raw sewage. And, as is his usual wont, he’ll no doubt track through the house. Delightful little scamp!

124 responses to “Mary’s meddling secrets REVEALED”

  1. alley (not allie) cat
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    How come no comments?

  2. Galactic Emperor Chennux®™©
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:41 pm [Reply]




  3. Poteet
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    Your Imperial Snarkiness! You’re back! Welcome! *grovels happily*

  4. Nekrotzar
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    Dennis just murdered Daniel Ellsberg and is wading in his blood. He needs his Dad’s help with the coverup.

  5. Zaq
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:49 pm [Reply]

    I adore the look on Mary’s face in panel 2. It looks like she is literally absorbing Donna’s life force by inhaling it… or else salivating, open-mouthed, at the prospect of a new victim.

    Oh, and I’m 21 today! Yay for me.

    April 10th, 2008 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    OBH: I like James, but I am still lot sure whether he is supposed to be a hill billy, or what. I have no idea where Ruthie and her family live, exactly.

  7. commodorejohn
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    #260 dimestore lipstick (yesterthread) – Do it for me, wouldja?

  8. commodorejohn
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    #6 Little A. – I’ve always been under the impression that James is just one of the many weird kids in Ruthie’s neighborhood (not least Ruthie herself, natch.)

  9. JP (not Judge Parker)
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    Looks like Dennis’ shits are more menacing than he is!

  10. Anonymous
    April 10th, 2008 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    MW Panel 2: The hand holding is obviously just a distraction so Mary can feel up the poor lady’s chest with that third arm protruding from Mary’s abdomen.

    I’m new to Mary Worth lore.. is that kind of thing so common that it doesn’t even warrant a naration box expanation???

  11. Derelict
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    One can only wonder just what Dennis has dropped into the toilet to cause this. Could it be . . .

    . . . Ned? (Too lazy to find link to Mike and Weed’s suction-cup hero.)

    Ned: He’s everywhere you don’t want to be.

  12. PeterW
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:02 pm [Reply]

    Just two comics today? Fred Bassett was as pointless and dense as BC, Brad DeGroot accepted an offer to become a father, and I have no idea what happened or didn’t happen in the other dramas, but we only get Meddling Mary and Dennis the Keene?

    Actually, I thought breaking the toilet was the most menacing thing Dennis has done in about 20 years.

  13. Rusty
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    DtM: ….cut to shot of Joey floating lifeless in the tub, water overflowing the side and onto the floor….

  14. Benjamin Baxter
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth and Dennis the Menace: Will they blend?

    Somehow, broken plumbing in the terminal wing of a hospital might actually be menacing.

  15. BigTed
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    Of course Dennis’ dad knows something about plumbing…. Dennis just found his Viagra and prostate medicine, and now he can’t hit the bowl to save his life.

  16. Zap Rowsdower
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    Did Grandpa leave a great whole load of appreciation in the toilet after Dennis’ snide remark the other day about his aging the other day?

    Considering the way Dennis handles frogs and such, you’d think a “Grampy Grumpy” would be a cinch to handle.

  17. Yupyop
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:35 pm [Reply]

    Dying people enjoy a visit from Mary Worth. A single day in Mary’s time is equal to several weeks in real time. Besides after talking to Mary Worth, death does not seems as bad. I feel sorry for Donna’s sons, to lose their Mother and get Mary Worth, well, life can be so cruel.

  18. Zap Rowsdower
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:35 pm [Reply]


    snide remark the other day about his aging the other day?

    I regret my grammaricalingical erroring.

  19. Evan
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    Mary: “Oh, hi old woman who I’ve never met. Why don’t you tell me all about your family strife and your impending demise?”

    She sure ain’t no Lutheran, I can tell you that.

  20. Muffaroo
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:50 pm [Reply]

    DtM – Here’s Johnny! Heh heh.

    DT – Sing the whole thing, Tin Man!
    “Oh, I could put away the villain
    I’m ready and I’m willin’.
    It might be lots of fun.
    I would liquidate that stinker
    And I’d perforate his thinker
    If I only had my gun!”

    FW – Huh huh, the sign in the window looks like it says “ASS!”

    GA – Mrs. Kleeb thinks she’s being asked to help cook! She hasn’t figured it out yet. The horror.

    GT – It should read, “You need to work on your freaking pitch, Andrew.” This is what comes of typing your dialogue.

    MT – Even as the little girl’s mother expresses her optimism for the future, the Twenty-Pound Doom Squirrel waits to dash her hopes, and possibly her skull.

    Marvin – Let me guess. With this moment of lust, Marvin graduates to speaking normal English in regular balloons from now on, just like Pasquale dropped his speech impediment in anxiety over his sundae. Maybe he can join her act. All he needs is an equally stupid stage name. I suggest “Horny Californy.”

    SF – Six differences. (1) Left-hand panel has words “Find six differences between these panels.” That’s six right there, but we’ll ignore that for now. (2) Right-hand panel has signature. (3) Right-hand panel has publisher’s slug. (4) Left-hand panel has URL at bottom. (5) Left-hand panel has word “SLYLOCK” over it. (6) Right-hand panel has word “FOX” over it.

    and the rest! – I found Wizard of Id and Zippy both amusing today. I’ll go now.

  21. Muffaroo
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    BigTed @15 – snort!

  22. KT
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Yes, Luann. Every one of us has an animal companion called a “dæmon” that embodies our soul. By the way, what do you know about Dust?

    JP: “What the Dickens do you expect to see on the Dickens farm, Abbey Sandiego?”

  23. Lisa
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    Re Marvin, I thought the kid was supposed to be an infant in diapers, no less… what’s he doing in kindergarten?? Is this a time leap forward, a la Funky?

  24. King Artie
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    Did anyone catch 30 Rock?

    There was a reference to Cathy that had me laughing so hard I almost passed out.

    Hopefully someone will put it on YouTube soon.

  25. Thibault
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    After many, many months of silently enjoying the snark, I must de-lurk and post my first comment:

    How is it possible that Arlo and Janis has escaped comment?

    “The handcuff key”??? Am I to read anything into this other than what I am already reading into this??? Also, ewww!

  26. Hawkeye
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    I see Mary has learned post-Aldomania that her meddle-to-murder turnover was taking just too damn long the old way, so now she’s hassling people already on their deathbeds.

  27. Gold-Digging Nanny
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    Happy birthday, Zaq!

  28. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    Thibault @ 25: Arlo & Janis is not carried on the Houston Chronicle’s Web site, which is where so many Curmudgeons get their daily strip fix, because they make it so deuced easy to set up a customized daily page. Many worthy, and snarkworthy, strips not carried on the Chron page (Frazz, Brenda Starr, Alley Oop, Nancy, Jump Start and Arlo & Janis among them) therefore don’t get much notice here. But it’s not about the comic itself. And I must agree with you, that’s one eye-opening strip.

    That said, on a different topic… Christian Single Girl’s back! Yay! Christian Single Girl’s back! And while I’m at it… Christian Single Girl’s front! Hooo!!!

  29. JupiterPluvius
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    I’m with you, Thibault @25: I actually screamed out loud when I saw that.

    Talk about not wanting to think about a plugger’s prostate! Arlo and Janis kink = DO NOT WANT

  30. Gold-Digging Nanny
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    24 King Artie

    Chocolate chocolate chocolate! Aack!

  31. True Fable
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    Actually, I applaud the Arlo and Janis “handcuff key” strip not because I indulge in such practices, but because thanks to the ongoing glurge in FBoFW and the general stupidity in (WT)DT and S-M, the comics envelope just needs to be pushed out of its current mode.

    Ramp up the “wait, what?” factor and reduce the “not more of this shit!” factor! It might not be pretty but at least it wouldn’t be… well, it wouldn’t be FBOFW, DT or S-M, I guess is what I’m saying.

  32. Ranger
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    I think Abbey is trying to find a little Dicken’s Cider..mmmmm hhhhmmmmm!

  33. Gold-Digging Nanny
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:52 pm [Reply]

    Six Differences with the Gold-Digging Nanny

    Today’s SFx

    1) The — what is that, a coyote? I’m going to call it a coyote — in panel one has hurled away not a duckling but a voodoo doll. That duck is going to end those sharp, stabbing pains in its head, wings, groin and belly once and for all.
    2) The duckling in panel two will fall down the rabbit hole and be eaten by the Cheshire cat.
    3) The rabbit in panel one comes out of the hole, goes around the tree and goes back into the hole.
    4) The duck in panel two was dipped deeper into teal paint than the duck in panel one.
    5) The cattails in panel one were turned black by a localized oil spill. The cattails in panel two were turned black by the same rogue painter that dipped the ducks.
    6) The duck and coyote in panel two will form an acrobatic troupe in which waterfowl hold large mammals aloft by their noses and perform aerial maneuvers and water ballet. The grand finale is an eight-member pelican-and-horse synchronized swimming team. It’s absolutely fantastic. There are times you can tell none of the hooves are touching the water.

    This episode of Six Differences with the Gold-Digging Nanny has been brought to you by Exxon.

  34. boojum
    April 10th, 2008 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    25 Thibault:

    Several references to Arlo and Janis in the previous thread.

  35. Lisa
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    I had forgotten about Arlo and Janis since I set up the Chron page, so went back to it today after someone did a WTF about today’s strip. I must say they are really skirting the edge with that one. I wonder how many people noticed it, besides people here…..

    It’s like a concert I went to a couple of years ago now. One of the guys wasn’t drinking anything alcoholic, but the other two had drinks brought up to them on the stage. The not drinking guy said something about what they were drinking and said that he was being good and staying with his water. Then he said, and I quote:

    “yeah, last night we went to Bombay…. then we went to Bangkok.” I was floored, laughing so hard, but I really think it flew over most of the audience’s heads. Of course they were all fairly drunk and I don’t drink, but still……

    I have a feeling that Arlo and Janis strip did the same kind of thing in the comicsland….

  36. indichik
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:12 pm [Reply]

    I could never look at Dennis the Menace the same way after I read somewhere that Hank Ketcham was estranged from his real-life son Dennis and didn’t speak to him for like the last thirty years of his life. There was just something so depressing about an old man continuing to churn out gags day after day about the mischievous antics of a son who probably grew up to hate him for doing exactly that.

  37. mollificent
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    22 KT: Man, this week is all about the His Dark Materials allusions on the Mudge! Wheee!

    Zaq: Happy Birthday! We appreciate your taking time out of your busy now-legal drinking schedule to snark with us. :D

  38. shegotzen
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:34 pm [Reply]

    What’s Donna Almafi dying of, the Holocaust? Also, can we mock Mary Worth with Holocaust jokes yet? My feeling is yes, since Mary probably looks back on the era with fond memories.

  39. bees on pie
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:35 pm [Reply]

    MW: OK, so this is my second TV reference in three comments, but I’m totally reminded of that X-Files episode where the freaky Amish-like man-woman nabbed Scully by caressing her hand all creepy like. Ewwww!

  40. Gold-Digging Nanny
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    Six Differences with the Gold-Digging Nanny

    March 27 Slylock Fox (I know, I know, I’m way behind)

    1) The mama bird in panel one is bringing a predatory snake to her demanding, loudly chirping babies because she just can’t take it anymore.
    2) The squirrel in panel two is holding. Come on, you know it — look at those eyes, that sappy, drugged-out grin.
    3) The next-door neighbors in panel one are midgets. The next-door neighbors in panel two are of ordinary stature; their house merely looks miniature in comparison to the giganto-house the kids are leaning out of. That tree in panel two is a redwood.
    4) The good fence in panel one does not, in fact, make good neighbors. The people next door are the most annoying midgets you’ve ever met.
    5) The bird in panel two made her nest out of a live lhasa apso.
    6) The missing tree limb in panel one appeared in Gil Thorp as Tyler Jay’s barky stick.

    This episode of Six Differences with the Gold-Digging Nanny has been brought to you by Giganto Homes Corp.

  41. Lisa
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    Indi, yeah, that does suck. Also, I didn’t like it as much when I found out that early on, he had other people doing most of the writing and even the drawing. I think that not much after 1960 was actually Ketcham, which is why I am not getting any of Fantagraphic complete editions of Dennis past the 50s. Those are the ones I remember reading as a kid anyway.

  42. Burning Prairie
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:39 pm [Reply]

    A3G-Aw, c’mon, Luann doesn’t have any demons. The most menacing thing she could get was a pixie.

  43. Canaduck
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    17 (Yupyop) should be COTW, haha!

  44. The Spectacular Spider-Brick, Decreer of Things
    April 10th, 2008 at 11:58 pm [Reply]

    A Scholarly Dissertation
    by the Distinguished Mr. Spider-Brick, Decreer of Things, Esq., Ibid., Et. Al.

    Gentlemen and ladies, it is my intention here tonight to prove conclusively, once and for all, that Momma, Crock and Wizard of Id are in fact the same strip. This fact being therefore so established, we can campaign to have two of the three removed from the comics page in order to make room for more worthy, newer strips that actually make an effort at humor now and then. Since these three strips are, for all effects and purposes, identical, the crotchety old folks who stymie efforts to retire such comic dinosaurs can probably be convinced that they aren’t missing their favorite strip at all. Let us examine the evidence:

    The Main Character
    Crock: Crock himself, a short, deformed, ugly, tyrannical despot. Actually the villain of the strip.
    Momma: Momma herself, a short, deformed, ugly, tyrannical despot. Actually the villain of the strip.
    WoI: The king, a short, deformed, ugly, tyrannical despot. Actually the villain of the strip.

    The Comic Foil
    Crock: Crock’s adjutant Poulet, a tall, skinny, cowardly, stupid, ineffectual, little-respected bureaucrat with a huge potato nose. Often the butt of the main character’s derision and scorn.
    Momma: Momma’s son Francis, a tall, skinny, cowardly, stupid, ineffectual, little-respected slacker with a huge potato nose. Often the butt of the main character’s derision and scorn.
    WoI: Sir Rodney, a tall, skinny, cowardly, stupid, ineffectual, little-respected knight with a huge potato nose. Often the butt of the main character’s derision and scorn.

    Side Characters
    Crock: Not a sympathetic character in the lot, much less a hero. Side characters are a collection of cliches that exist only to be the brunt of the main character’s abuse and/or to fill a particular comedic niche. And in case you don’t get it, characters’ names reinforce their one-note roles (e.g. Vermin P. Crock, Captain Poulet [French for "chicken"], Maggot, Grossie). Main character’s mother is even more hateful than he is, so much so that she is kept off-camera.
    Momma: Not a sympathetic character in the lot, much less a hero. Side characters are a collection of cliches that exist only to be the brunt of the main character’s abuse and/or fill a particular comedic niche. Unlike the others, in this strip, the hateful mother is the main character.
    WoI: Not a sympathetic character in the lot, much less a hero. Side characters are a collection of cliches that exist only to be the brunt of the main character’s abuse and/or to fill a particular comedic niche. And in case you don’t get it, characters are referred to not by name but only by their one-note roles (e.g. The King, The Wizard, The Duke, Lackey). Main character’s mother is even more hateful than he is, so much so that she is kept off-camera.

    The Setting
    Crock: Supposedly, a French Foreign Legion post in North Africa. However, incongruities (e.g. Saguaro cacti, only found in the American Southwest) and modern elements intrude.
    Momma: A nondescript city in an indeterminate time. Contemporary elements occasionally intrude only in support of weak “social commentary” (e.g. “Gas sure is expensive!”)
    Crock: Supposedly, a European kingdom in the Dark Ages. However, incongruities and modern elements (e.g. golf, newspapers, tattoo parlors) intrude.

    Crock: Twitchy, spastic, sketchy, painful-to-look-at grotesqueries that don’t follow any known rules of art, anatomy, or physics. Characters are boneless and noodle-limbed or grotesque, squat lumps. Facial features are often portrayed in impossible locations (e.g. mouths on the outside of a veil and/or halfway down the torso). Most character designs seem calculated to evoke feelings of disgust. Backgrounds are minimalist at best, absent at worst.
    Momma: Twitchy, spastic, sketchy, painful-to-look-at grotesqueries that don’t follow any known rules of art, anatomy, or physics. Characters are boneless and noodle-limbed or grotesque, squat lumps. Facial features are often portrayed in impossible locations (e.g. noses above the eyes). Most character designs seem calculated to evoke feelings of disgust. Backgrounds are minimalist at best, absent at worst.
    WoI: Twitchy, spastic, sketchy, painful-to-look-at grotesqueries that don’t follow any known rules of art, anatomy, or physics. Characters are boneless and noodle-limbed or grotesque, squat lumps. Facial features are often portrayed in impossible locations (e.g. both eyes on the same side of the nose). Most character designs seem calculated to evoke feelings of disgust. Backgrounds are minimalist at best, absent at worst.

    Humor (or, should I say, “humor”)
    Crock: Relies on a stock set of punchlines based on the one-note traits of the characters (Crock is mean! Ha ha! Grossie is fat! Chortle! The Lost Patrol is stupid! Guffaw!). Often “breaks the fourth wall” by having a character in the last panel mug for the reader, as if to commiserate with us at how lame the joke was.
    Momma: Relies on a stock set of punchlines based on the one-note traits of the characters (Momma is mean! Ha ha! Francis is lazy! Chortle! Mary Lou is stupid! Guffaw!). Often “breaks the fourth wall” by having a character in the last panel mug for the reader, as if to commiserate with us at how lame the joke was.
    WoI: Relies on a stock set of punchlines based on the one-note traits of the characters (The King is mean! Ha ha! Blanche is fat! Chortle! Sir Rodney is stupid! Guffaw!). Often “breaks the fourth wall” by having a character in the last panel mug for the reader, as if to commiserate with us at how lame the joke was.

    The creators
    Crock: Bill Rechin, Don Wilder and Brant Parker, the three of whom also collaborated to bring us the unfunny Out of Bounds.
    WoI: Brant Parker, who also gave us Crock, and Johnny Hart, who also created the unfunny B.C. Now done by Parker’s son.
    Momma: Mell Lazarus, who also gave us the unfunny Miss Peach. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if Brant Parker had a hand in it.

    There you have it! Q.E.D. I hereby decree that the similarity of these three comic strips is not just coincidence, but conspiracy to flood the comics page with ugly, one-note, anti-humorous “gag” strips. Join me next week when I prove that Alan, Eric, Dr. Joe and that docent guy from A3G are in fact the same person.

  45. herbnotdag
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    Dennis in sewage? Lotsa yuks for you, oh spawnless one. This just happened in our house tonight.

  46. Gold-Digging Nanny
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    More Six Differences

    March 29 SFx

    1) In panel one, the boy will berate the girl for improperly overlapping the rulers, leading to inaccurate measurements. This despite the fact that he doesn’t have enough rulers anyway.
    2) The boy and girl in panel two will manage to reach the moon with their taped rulers, but the force of the tap from the rulers will send the moon spinning out of orbit away from the earth. This will disrupt tides and other natural forces, driving many species to extinction. Al Gore will make another slide show.
    3) The black stained-glass windows on the church in panel one were installed by a very emo congregation.
    4) The boy in panel two stole Mr. Peabody’s glasses.
    5) The dog in panel one is hoping the boy doesn’t notice that he just ate one of the rulers.
    6) There are 15 fewer stars in the universe depicted in panel two.

    This episode of Six Differences with the Gold-Digging Nanny has been brought to you by 3M Scotch duct tape.

  47. Squeak
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    Ignore the dialog in panel 1 of Mary Worth, and it becomes a scene from an exorcism.

  48. Gold-Digging Nanny
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    44 Spider-Brick — Wow. Just wow. I suppose the only differentiating factor is the incest in Momma.

  49. Trotzenbonnie
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    FBOFW –
    BooHooHoo! Pity poor Elly, the harried and harassed, enorm-assed mother who is such a knucklehead that she had no earthly idea that having children would be difficult and whose precious time is consumed with the endless nonsense of feeding and wiping and dressing and wiping and feeding and dressing and wiping and cleaning rotten bratty shitty little monsters who were sired by the most incompetent worthless addle-brained nincompoop ever to walk the face of this earth – but was good enough to marry and fuck, I suppose, because isn’t that how the bratty shitty little monsters barged into her life in the first place?! If babies are so difficult to care for, why oh why why why in the name of all that is holy did she ever have more than one? Why not learn your lesson after the first one rudely forces its way into your life and stick the brat in daycare while you train for a less taxing vocation like one that involves replacing shingles on a roof in 100 degree heat or changing bed pans in a ward filled with terminal patients or standing on your feet all day looking into mouths filled with lousy mossy teeth, for crying out loud!
    I must be getting old because this crap is driving me crazy! Bitch bitch bitching about raising kids is like inviting guests for dinner and then complaining about a sink filled with dirty dishes afterwards. Or holding your breath until your face turns blue so your husband will buy you an Old English Sheepdog and then having a fit because it takes forever to brush all of that hair. Or … or… watching the clock for the stroke of midnight so you can catch the worst comic strip ever as it rolls hot off the presses and then shriek about it until you practically have a stroke!

    BTW, after checking out Friday’s Family Circus, I’m left to ponder – is it humanly possible for a ba-da-boob to grow larger than a woman’s entire head?

  50. Mr. O'Malley
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    Popeye: That boat didn’t go very far in an hour.

    HotC: Portrait of us?

    Pluggers: I think chickenlady should have a manual shredder. Since when do Pluggers have electric office equipment?

    FBOFW: Evidently the decision was “permanent oppression”.

    DT: Glad someone was listening!

  51. The Spectacular Spider-Brick, Decreer of Things
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    Me @ 44: Oops. The third entry under “Setting” should be WoI. Nonetheless, my point stands. Join me two weeks from tonight when I prove definitively that there is no such thing as a funny comic about sports.

  52. bats :[
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:17 am [Reply]


    FC: “No, but my nipples got hard. Happy?”

    MT: I didn’t see this coming. What a coincidence!

    RMMD: I just liked this one. Don’t know why.

    MGG: great week of Hello, Kitty Exposed.

    MW: once again, the body language says so much more than the words:

  53. Mr. O'Malley
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    49. Trotzenbonnie. You really make the existence of this strip worthwhile.

    As for FC, her childrens’ heads are larger than their torsos, so why not? Although I’m starting to suspect that they’re not actually human.

  54. Dr. Shrinker
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:21 am [Reply]

    Re: Arlo & Janis

    Thursday’s might have been racy…

    but Friday’s is completely nonsensical!

    WTF does that “punch line” mean???

  55. Mr. O'Malley
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    53. Oops, sorry about the apostrophe.

  56. Family Circus Is My God Now
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:23 am [Reply]

    I think it’s time we all cross the bridge we’ve all been avoiding: Selling Dennis into white slavery.

  57. True Fable
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    FC Darby O’Gill has been looking for you, kid.
    FBoFW It HAS to be one panel just to fit all of Elly’s ass in.
    GA The title of her cookbook is the funniest thing I’ve seen in this comic strip, EVER. “Gourmet cooking in 1 easy step and 20 hard ones.”
    (WTF)GT This artist has definitely got the necessary WTF requirements for drawing GT. Just how is that swing in panel two connecting with the ball AND going behind the batter too, at the angle of the motion lines? Yeehaw, we have achieved Gil.
    JP Attention Sam Driver: You fool. You could be her Shadow.
    Luann Jesus, it’s the Pattersons. NOOOOOO!
    Phantom Okay, I’ll stretch and say the cop is within the parameters of law enforcement, but why is the waitress firing a gun? Did she get her gun permit simply by APPLYING for a job with the Jungle Patrol? Will she dodge the inquest into the firing of her gun by saying it was in the line of duty? Does she believe that just because Daniel Craig as James Bond shot a man in order to be 007, she somehow has the right to kill a perp without fear of retribution?
    Inquiring snarkers want to know, man.
    RMMD Well I didn’t see any of this coming. That’s Rex SMILING instead of merely looking regally smug? That’s June without a proper rack? And Rex claims to LIKE a girl with questionable morals? … well all right, bring it on! Props to you, Woody!

  58. Mr. O'Malley
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    54. Dr. Shrinker. It means it would have been much funnier if he’d stopped at the third panel. I can’t think of any dialogue to put in the fourth panel that would be better than omitting it entirely.


    …maybe some of the wits around here could suggest a replacement line?

  59. Hugin
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    Quick thoughts on Friday:

    MT: A man, a woman, and a van. Well, Mark, you practically have them caught, then. Just deliver the right hand of justice now and be on your way. And then a big surprise in panel 3. Even bigger surprise than Liz and Granthony getting married.

    DT: This is all too absurd. I can’t even comment anymore.

    GT: Try as he might, the new (allegedly) caring Gil just can’t beat down the A-train. Next step, physical abuse. “Elmer Vargas, bring me the paddle.”

    MW: Donna Amalfi has the same hair as the annoying guy on the UPS commercials.

    MRSA, MD: Once more, confirmation that RM frequently hangs out down by the docks turning tricks. Hi, sailor, indeed. I don’t even want to think about what spinach salad is referring to.

  60. True Fable
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    #59 Hugin – I think Spinach salad indicates that Rex is into Popeye.

    oh my god i am going to need therapy lots and lots of therapy with brain bleach and the works why did i say that why oh why of course rex is into popeye hes into everyone he can get his mitts on but thats no reason to perpetuate the stereotype but then just look at olive oil no wonder popeyes okay with it oh just stop it stop stop stop

  61. Poteet
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:43 am [Reply]

    MW — Mary, since you’re going to meddle Donna to death, would you please force her to specify what her “condition” is? Soon?

  62. Poteet
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    RMMD — Rex and June, for the love of God, please don’t try to flirt ever again. Please. I’m begging you.

  63. True Fable
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:55 am [Reply]

    #62 Poteet, my queen! – but my liege, it’s so UNUSUAL to see Rex take an active interest in The Rack, don’t you think? Especially after he’s been messing around with Popeye. It’s rather… romantic? Heartening? Groundbreaking?

  64. Trilobite
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    Ah, Friday. Not such a bad day, although the same can’t be said for some of the comics:

    Mark Trail: Yes, because if there’s anyone who can afford a ridiculously high ransom for the return of a puppy, it’s a little girl being raised by a divorced mother. Sometimes I swear it’s like Jack Elrod wakes up from his nap, looks at the world around him, then wipes the drool off of his desk and says “Nah, I’ll just make up another crazy-ass nonsense plot about stealing pets, that’s a lot easier. Now, how many squirrel panels can I put in this week?”

    Momma: The sad thing is, it’s probably easier to guess whether Taylor and those other friends are boys or girls from their names than it would be if they were actually depicted in this scribbled mess of a comic strip. I’m not even sure if Momma is male or female, really. Actually, I’m not even sure if she’s supposed to be human. (I suspect that she is, but…I just can’t be happy about it.)

    Rex Morgan: Holy crap….Rex likes something about a woman? When did THAT happen?

    At the risk of being far too obvious — It must’ve been the way she complimented his menu selection; Rex has never been shy about his love for a well-tossed salad.

  65. Arglebargle
    April 11th, 2008 at 1:03 am [Reply]

    54/58: The last panel of Arlo & Janis: Change the last word to “smart,” and it makes sense, even if it isn’t particularly funny.

    And strips apparently don’t have to be funny. Just look at Friday’s Garfield. There was a time when if a ‘toonist used something that lame for any day but Tuesday, he was required by union rules to hurl himself into a woodchipper in shame.

    Luann: And speaking of woodchippers…wow, Toni just keeps luring Brad into meeting people who are determined to make his life hell. Brad: that’s what they call a “hint.”

    Classic Peanuts: Ironically, these days we’d kill for someone like Frieda in the White House.

    Say, won’t you all join me in welcoming Shoe to the late 20th Century? HAW HAW! GPS!

    Sally Forth: Please. “Lousy Parent” people are the same morons most likely to be abusing on fertility drugs in hopes of producing a litter to join the “not cute anymore” kids they’re already neglecting. Jackie will die in a house carpeted with fleas and cat poop.

  66. Frank Parsnip
    April 11th, 2008 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    A3G: Little miss caterer has no food. HAW HAW!

    MT: W&W editor Bill Ellis really cracks me up. The newspapers have finally picked up on a story about domestic pets published in “Woods & Wildlife” magazine about the giving away of a puppy to an essay contest winner? I guess the MSM had been avoiding it because they’re a bunch of liberals. Same sort of asshats who used to complain about “Woods & Wildlife” changing formats to focus on domestic pets instead of on wild flora and fauna. Yep, but they can’t ignore the story now — little sick girl gets dog, from “Woods & Wildlife” magazine no less! That must make the elitists at the New York Times just about puke…

    MW: She’s got a “condition”? Donna’s got Herbandjamallitis, as in: “That condition Donna Amalfi’s got sure makes you think” or “She’s got that condition everybody’s been talking about lately.”

    Funky Pantysniffer: Mooch has clearly picked out the rather stained copy of “X-Rated Comix for Men [No. 1]”

    Sex Organ, M.D.: Rex is usually the one who uses that “hey sailor blah-blah-blah nice spinach” line at divey little waterfront bars populated by odd-looking guys with huge forearms and calves but atrophied biceps and thighs.

    Curtis: Curtis needs the sound of loud rap music to block out the sounds of his father beating his mom.

    DtM: FLIPPERBOY ALERT! Do not look unless you’re ready to see The Penguin as a child.

    Spider-Man: Little did Spiderman know that those old bills jammed into Krandis’ throat had gotten solvent spilled on them. Sure, the lieutenant had been clear to tell everyone that “code reds” were forbidden and that nobody was to touch Krandis, but Spiderman got conflicting instructions. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth. Now there’s two dead Krandis brothers on that floor.

    GT: I don’t really care what Elmer Vargas does, but it is important to me that there has been no further on-field discussion about Tyler and his absorbant catcher-mitt sponges. More notable, however, is that the role of Gil Thorp is now being played by a flat-topped Robert DeNiro circa his role as Dwight in “This Boy’s Life”.

    FC: Since when did the mom’s bazoongas outgrow Blondie’s? Seems that Jeffy Keane’s attention wandered back to his milky-milk days.

    Barney Google: So what’s the “science project” aspect of presenting a frog to the teacher? Jughaid originally started 10 weeks ago with one female frog and a lot of viagra.

  67. boojum
    April 11th, 2008 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    59, 60 –

    Ah, but you forget: Rex is having the spinach salad — with the Olive Oyl on top. So the symbols are very mixed.

    Bisexuality? A desire to see the hyper-masculine “spinach” of Popeye topped by his girlishly feminine (if apparently androgynous) counterpart? Both psychosexual forces, of course, vibrate achingly within the good doctor; which will win dominance — if dominance is, indeed, what he desires?

    And is the appeal of Popeye neither masculine nor feminine, but merely that comfortable acceptance of himself as he is? (“I yam what I yam!”) Ultimately, all categorization fails. What remains is identity.

    Ironically, this endless internal debate is interrupted by June, the Eternal Question. Ruthlessly, she rejects all of Rex’s subtleties in favor of “a burger and fries” — the socially accepted norm. And while this may appear in itself a masculine ideal, remember that it is joined inseparably to the name… Wimpy.

    Rex’s quandary is deeper than it was before.

  68. Mibbitmaker
    April 11th, 2008 at 1:52 am [Reply]


    The… Mind of Edison Lee: Gee, for a “progressive” type strip, that joke sure is (apolitically) reactionary (read: ancient). It’s no surprise, though, that he chose the go-to show for comic strippers who hate TV. As anyone claiming a “brilliant mind” is required to do by law. Even for a toothless old “joke”.

    S-M: He’s a politician alright!

    6C: As if anyone seems to care about a woman president anymore.

    Pluggers: Fawn Hall must be a plugger.

    HotC: Aw, I thought Tatulli liked us!

    GT: “Tees off”? I knew comic page people were obsessed with golf, but this is ridiculous! “It’s raining line drives…” Is that anything like “It’s Raining Men”? And what’s Sean Penn doing there??

    FOOB: Omigod, they put her in permanent press, didn’t they?? No wonder Liz is so messed up.

    A3G: Never thought we’d see the day — Margo needs a rimshot!

  69. boojum
    April 11th, 2008 at 2:16 am [Reply]


    Usually I don’t even read this strip, much less comment on it, because hey — life is short. But today’s strip, where John proposes just dumping the baby in the washing machine, is really disturbing. Partly because I can’t help but be reminded of David Sedaris’s malignant melanoma of a Christmas story, “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!” — the annual Christmas letter from the Dunbars: Clifford, Jocelyn, Kevin, Jacki, Kyle and Khe Sahn.

    If you’ve never read it, and have a taste for the macabre, you can download Julia Sweeney reading it on This American Life, 12/27/2002.

    Nobody does sick-funny like Sedaris. And at least he knows he’s being sick.

  70. TB Tabby
    April 11th, 2008 at 2:34 am [Reply]

    BStarr: SHE’S ALIVE! You mean Dorita isn’t a ventriliquist?!

    HotC: I know the feeling well, Heart. How do you guys keep this level of snark up every single day?!

    H&J: Herb needs to train under the tutelage of the King of Town. “When you can hide the all-you-can-eat fajitas in the Milk Duds, it will be time for you to go.”

    MT: Whenever I see the words “essay contest,” I immediately think of this movie. Dare I hope that little Maddie will end up unwittingly working for a mob boss?

    Pluggers: What kind of Plugger has good credit?

    And in case you haven’t noticed…Nancy has taken up the martial arts. Let’s hope she doesn’t decide to go all Uwe Boll on us.

  71. Diamond Joe
    April 11th, 2008 at 3:07 am [Reply]

    BS: The way it’s drawn, with no feeling of weight, it looks like Ed is keeping Ginger from floating away.

    BB: I’m trying to work out the perspective in the first panel, but it makes my head hurt.

    Blondie: That’s about 18, maybe 19, percent of the way to being a joke, and I may be being generous.

    Cleats: Perhaps the artist should have thought twice about that hand position. Besides, do gangstas need to hold their pants up?

    CtH: Wow, complete with TM. That’s hardcore product placement.

    Curtis: Here we see proof that his father and brother are just the products of Curtis’ imagination. They disappear whenever his eyes are closed.

    DT: Ye Curmudgeons of little faith. Turns out Locher does know that armor is not proof against a crossbow bolt. However, he seems unaware that threatening to shoot someone works better if you’re pointing your weapon at that person.

    FC: Is Ma Keane standing in a hole? And Dolly appears here to be almost, but not quite, as tall as the distance between her mother’s neck and waist.

    GT: Is that ginormous thing supposed to be his hand? Or is someone crouching in the extreme foreground showing us he’s #1?

    GaBI: “And that’s why I had tiny tusks surgically attached to my nose!”

    HotC: Is this a slam at fault-finders, or at the difficulty of finding humor on the comics page by conventional means? By the way, this paper appears to run The Family Circus on both the front and back.

    Heathcliff: Today’s most unnecessary caption.

    JP: “Oh, sure, lady, you can ‘yaaaaaahooo,’ but I make one false move here, and I’m a gelding.”

    MF: Wouldn’t “between Hillary and Obama” have worked just as well, and not had to predict the future? And this just in: UN peacekeepers don’t do their job with weapons, so they’re funny!

    MW: Judging from the art, the original, syndicate-censored dialogue from the final panel was, “Get away from me, you nosy bitch!”

    OBH: I’m trying to think of a non-math-related book about which you could say “Half the characters were odd, the others were even.”

    PMP: Aren’t you supposed to ask for things in the Aladdin story?

    Phantom: That’s putting an awful lot of faith in him proving to be a terrible shot. I thought the idea was to shoot before he can shoot at you.

    Pluggers: Pluggers have to pawn their televisions, but they buy paper shredders.

    RM: Cheeseburgers and fries are immoral?

    RwO: When they invent disposable first panels for daily comics, Rhymes with Orange will be ready!

    SB: Are they saying recycling bins are hypocritical because they’re not biodegradable? Gosh, if only we had some way, once a plastic object reached the end of its usable lifetime, to reuse the material.

    S-M: This strip is so determined to avoid action that it skips over the gimme of asctually showing Spidey shoving the money into Krandis’ mouth.

    TAS: How about just “We ran a trace on those duck calls… They’re coming from inside the house!”?

    ZTP: Man, V-8 must just be tearing through their product placement budget.

  72. dale
    April 11th, 2008 at 3:12 am [Reply]

    Spider-Brick, Spectacular

    You could show that Batman, the Lone Ranger and the Phantom are the same.
    a) wear a mask or costume
    LR doesn’t really have a costume, just dresses the same all the time.
    b) independently wealthy
    c) no super powers
    Batman does have access to some questionable hardware.
    Also, can the Batmobile grab a car’s rear bumper and bring them both to a stop just because the Batmobile has really good brakes? Time out for physics class.
    d) have a sidekick
    I’m counting the Phantom’s dog. Probably more useful than Robin.

  73. Arglebargle
    April 11th, 2008 at 3:43 am [Reply]

    68. Mibbitmaker:

    I can’t stand Edison Lee, and not just because of the “brilliant” writing. Everyone else in the strip has beady eyes, but Edison’s bugged-out, nerd-glasses-magnified peepers–combined with that expressionless, open-mouth look from which he rarely deviates–gives him the appearance of the nightmarish spawn of the cursed mating between a mortal human and a dead fish.

  74. Mr. O'Malley
    April 11th, 2008 at 4:14 am [Reply]

    Since Dick Tracy is still messing around in that suit of armor, I guess a little more discussion of medieval warfare is still on topic.

    Poteet seemed to find it interesting anyway. Other people with no curiosity about history and historical military strategy can skip this post.

    Brick Bradford mentioned longbows in the previous thread. Longbows had a performance (range and power) that I believe was even better than crossbows, and a much higher rate of fire. You might ask why didn’t everybody use them, but the answer was that it required a lot of training to learn to use a longbow. You could teach just about anyone to use a crossbow in a fairly short time. The English government ran an elaborate program of longbow training, archery competitions, etc. for some centuries, but no other country did.

    There are a number of curious things about medieval warfare. For one thing, there were several battles where it was demonstrated that archers in a strong defensive position (e.g., behind rows of sharpened stakes that would kill horses that tried to get through), such as at Agincourt, could easily defeat armored knights. Yet military leaders never adopted this strategy and kept on with the knights for a few more centuries.

    Paradoxically, when firearms became available, they were adopted almost instantly, although they were inferior to longbows in range and rate of fire.

    There was an interesting parallel situation. I recommend the book “Mayflower” by Nathaniel Philbrick to anyone who is interested in the real story of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts. (He has written several books on history—all good.) The Indians’ bows and arrows were superior to the Pilgrims’ firearms in range, accuracy and rate of fire. Yet the Indians immediately wanted to get firearms, and traded away a lot of their land to do so.

    Up to the American Civil War, a problem with firearms was that you could only expect to get one shot off before you closed to bayonet range, because of the time it took to reload. (The British army had developed some better tactics in this time period.)

    To bring it back around to Dick Tracy, even if Dick had a gun, it wouldn’t be any more effective than a crossbow, up to the point when the first shot was fired. After that, the fact that a post-Colt handgun is a repeating weapon would give an advantage.

    We like to think we’re smarter than those people back then. But I submit that most of us are riding on the coattails of a few brilliant people like Isaac Newton, James Watt, Michael Faraday, etc. If most of us had to go out and invent some kind of ground-breaking technology, I don’t think that much would happen. So let’s be grateful that the problems of electric lights, indoor plumbing and broadband networking have already been solved.

    But as far as the military is concerned we might be justifiably proud. In the late medieval period military strategists were a couple of centuries behind current developments. The modern Pentagon, still seeking weapons systems to oppose the now-defunct Soviet Union, has closed up the gap to be only about 20 years behind the times.

  75. The Restless Mouse
    April 11th, 2008 at 4:31 am [Reply]

    Did they change the ad? Christian Single Girl looks sort of constipated…

    I wonder if the lady that uses this computer on day shift changed the screen settings or something. I’ll have to ask her. (What did you do to Christian Single Girl???)

  76. TB Tabby
    April 11th, 2008 at 5:01 am [Reply]

    xkcd has a treat for fans of comics that knew when to pack it in.

  77. dreadedcandiru2
    April 11th, 2008 at 5:18 am [Reply]

    FBorFW: It may see like Lynn is doing us a disserivce by showing all these reprints but I find myself having to disagree. By reminding us that Elly never had a sense of humor, as evidenced by her taking John’s smart-ass remark seriously (and continuing to do so to this day), she shows us that the things we hate have always been part of the strip.

  78. gleeb
    April 11th, 2008 at 5:58 am [Reply]

    Committed: I’ve been reading this for some time and it’s just awful. Every day, yet another exaggeration of childish behavior. Not funny, just exaggerated. Is it because I haven’t any children?

    Brenda Starr: No, Granny, he means “less”. For it to mean “fewer”, killing you would have to repeal some excise tax or other. Say, kill Granny and the liquor tax no longer exists. Instead he’s speaking of “taxes” as a shorthand for “government revenue raised by taxes”, and thus a lump rather that a discrete number of things. So “less” is correctly used. Now, why don’t you have eyes?

    A3G: Don’t worry, Seth, it’s just another premature ejaculation joke.

    ‘shaft: I would have said that you couldn’t spread a concept like merging garden clubs over five days and keep it fresh and funny. I would have been right.

    FC: Looking at the relative sizes, I can only assume Dolly is standing on some sort of gantry or platform to address her mother.

    Spidey: It’s like the end of Marathon Man, but dull.

  79. slack daddy
    April 11th, 2008 at 6:06 am [Reply]

    Clearly, MW is using her hands to induce a hypnotic state, similar to Milton Erickson’s famous handshake induction technique.

  80. Pozzo
    April 11th, 2008 at 6:09 am [Reply]

    Again with the finger!

  81. tha worst
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:03 am [Reply]

    MW: I want desperately to believe that in a neighboring universe, Donna Amalfi is really Livia Soprano… and there will be blood to come in this plotline…

  82. Randall
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:20 am [Reply]

    Mr O’Malley

    The average pull of an indian bow was at best 40-60 foot pounds. An arrow shot from this would rarely be instantly lethal to a man, unless it hit them in a critical spot. The pilgrims black powder muskets however, would impart enough impact to kill or incapacitate a human with a single shot. Also, consider the unnerving experience of having a small explosion directed your way.

    As for Crossbows they generally did not have the range of a longbow but the bolt was superior to the arrow in many ways, it carried the kinetic energy farther, was easier to make and transport, and was less likely to warp in storage.

    Agincourt was a great battle but it really did’nt conclusively prove the superiority of the longbow. If it hadn’t rained the day before and if the french hadn’t trampled there own infantry, they might have won. It took a lot arrows to take down a fully armored knight.

  83. John E.
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:26 am [Reply]

    BC was funny today – in a gross sort of way …

  84. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    MG&G gave me an honest-to-goodness gut busting laugh today.

  85. Eau de Plugger
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    BC: Um…ewww. I am enamored with the basic idea of the joke. The execution of it, however, is just gross. Then again, the thought of all of my senior citizen friends being grossed out makes it all ok. Nice job Mason!

  86. man behind the curtain
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:40 am [Reply]

    MW — So Donna is dying. But there doesn’t appear to be anything immediately wrong with her. So why is she still in the hospital and not in a nursing home or hospice care? I hope she isn’t the MRSA case zero.

  87. Barking Spider Brewery
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:43 am [Reply]

    Please let someone find Tracy’s gun and use it to make him dance. Dance! DANCE!

  88. John C Fremont
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:44 am [Reply]

    First Family Circus, and now Zippy making V8 references. I wonder which strip will mention V8 tomorrow. Soon it’ll make the rounds of all the strips, although by the time it makes it to Herb and Jamaal it will be “that vegetable juice that everyone is talking about.”

    Foob – You know, I think even Sir Mix-a-lot would say that’s just too big.

    MT – And when Mark eventually punches Mr. Ponytail, he’ll also remind him that he could have had a V8.

    MW – (sigh) This is going to go on for awhile, isn’t it? Today, the bedridden lady reminds me of two different character actors who are popular these days. (Great, I’m stuck in Herb and Jamaal mode!) Strange how she manages to look like various celebrities, but always men.

    “Richard wasn’t present?” She must have been a first grade teacher.

    RMMD – Where the hell did this come from?! And no mention of MRSA in bold print?

    JP – Seeing all those extra pointy, flesh-tearing branches on that fallen tree they’re jumping, I think it may have been inappropriate for Abbey to say “Let her rip.”

    GT – Hey, Brian Keith with a flat top! I’ll bet he’s wondering, “What would Elmer Vargas do?”

  89. TB Tabby
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    84: Is Cassandra in any of these videos?

  90. The Spectacular Spider-Brick, Decreer of Things
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    9CL: Wait until your wedding night, Edda, when he demonstrates what “turbo lovemaking” is like. Oops. Well, the gown had to go to the cleaners anyway…

    Cathy: Is Cathy showing her tax accountant all these receipts because she really thinks that bulk-buy paper towels and dish soap are deductible business expenses? Does she run her own bikini car wash service on the side or something? No, no, mustn’t think about… AAAAARRRRGHH

    (WT)DT: I think it’s a safe bet that that’s the first time Chief Liz has used the word “penetrate” in over a year. And that’s a good thing.

    FC: And Thel Keane makes an impressive entry into the Christian Single Girl Memorial Westmammster Sweater Puppy Show. Looks like Abbey Driver, June Morgan, Blondie Bumstead and Mary Jane Parker have some stiff — and perky — competition this year, wouldn’t you say, Marv Albert? “Yesssss!”

    HotC: Not a good idea, a day after a strip whose “punchline” hinged on readers spotting a misspelling.

    Big Dog: Ooh, look! A blow-out sale on patio furniture! Sad thing is, that newspaper ad is the most lovingly-crafted and recognizable drawing I’ve ever seen in this strip.

    Jungle Patrol: Who knows guns better than lady cops and waitresses? Not gun runners! Hey, hold on a second…

    ZtP: Another V-8 reference? I… I think I should try a bottle. It sounds refreshing. Yes. Yes, I think I shall.

    Zits: They should have shown him climbing the pole with the cables already connected to the amp. That way, 1) we could see the amp more clearly, and 2) Jeremy wouldn’t be DEAD from having already touched both of the high-tension lines.

  91. Tweeks_Coffee
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    A3G: Oh come on, Margo, you’re a caterer! get creative! You’ve got a perfectly good apple and a jar of…something. Surely you can improvise something up with that!
    Blondie: Boy, Dithers’ wife looks ridiculously top-heavy. How does she balance herself?
    DtM: Dennis is looking more seal-like with every passing day. Now both of his hands are flippers and his legs seem to be turning into a tail.
    DT: I must be going insane, because there’s no way that last panel is real. Or this entire plot for that matter, it has to be in my mind.
    FC: The joke is weak, of course. I’m wondering why they’re reenacting a scene with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.
    GA: is it just me or does that last panel not match with the rest of the strip at all? I can’t figure out how the dialogue matches up with anything before it.
    GT: Did Elmer hit the ball when it was behind him? What the hell is wrong with his helmet, anyway?
    HotC: Hi, Mark!
    H&J: Since when do they have cops in theaters and why do they care about candy?
    MT: How the hell did he figure that out!? Mark’s deductive skills are rivaled only by his right hook skills.
    MW: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this exact scene in churches before. Donna’s playing Jesus and Mary’s playing…well…Mary.
    Pluggers: I woulda figured that me burning all my papers would make me more of a Plugger, turns out it saved me.
    RMMD: What?
    S-M: Well that was disappointing.

  92. Abby the Wonderdog
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    “Hi Sailor! Nice looking spinach salad.”

    You know that when Rex looks over and sees that it is June saying this and not some twink in a dress, his heart sank.

    “oh, hi june…… sigh……. this MRSA outbreak is giving me a headache…… Have a cheeseburger and fries and maybe you will have a heart attack and die”

    Sorry, I am grumpy having just gone to the vets.

    bark bark …….. whimper

  93. Sheilagh
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    Let me draw your attention to yesterday’s Annie’s Mailbox advice column:

    Dear Annie: I recently lost a friendship. How? Thanks to my meddling. Please tell your readers to stay out of other people’s lives and mind their own business. It’s not worth it. — Sadder but Wiser in Florida

    Dear Florida: We don’t know what kind of “meddling” you did to end a friendship, but you are right that most people don’t appreciate it when others stick their noses where they don’t belong. Sometimes a sincere apology can help, so please give it a try.

    (Sheilagh again) So, like, doesn’t old Wilbur have an advice column? How come he never gives Mary GOOD ADVICE like this????

  94. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:30 am [Reply]

    The 411

    MT: So, all they have to do is look for a van with a man and a woman in it. Hey, how many of those could there be?

    FC: Okay, who’s been using the shrink ray on Dolly?

    9CL: Thankfully, Thorax was not present for the implied premature ejaculation joke.

    C-Shaft: The current president is a fireplug? So Crankshaft urinates on her?

    Luann: Brad just gave into a totally unreasonable tantrum rather than ask the kid’s guardian (and as noted, possible mother) for support. The fatherhood test is not looking so good now.

    SFx: So the egg came first. Then a neck was drawn, and behold! Chicken. I also like Camryn Tucker’s Tom Baker style Max. It gives me a craving for jelly babies.

    RMMD: “Hi, sailor,” is usually Rex’s pickup line.

    Crock: Crock’s mother: the original unplugger.

    GT: It’s raining line drives, hallelujah!

    DT: “You nobodies aren’t going to ruin my fine art.” Lector (or whoever) may talk about saving the world, but he’s a Kleeb at heart.

    BC: About equally funny and icky.

    A3G: “And do you have a spare blouse you could bring? I think I’ve been walking around all day with just a blazer.”

    Lockhorns: They left the door open, but those accumulated bad vibes are gonna keep the prophet Elijah out.

    H&J: What the hell, man? Why confess when there’s still a chance of getting away with it. At least try the “how did that get in there” route?

    WofI: The king has a policy of executing drug addicts. He’s trying to shore up his approval ratings in the suburbs.

  95. Brick Bradford
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    MW This looks like some sort of weird Vulcan mind meld variation going on–perhaps Romulan. Is Mary the sole survivor of the crash of a Romulan spy ship–trapped on earth, sublimating her violent nature into intense meddling, in the same way her Vulcan relatives directed theirs into logic?


  96. Little Guy
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    S-M: Besides, Spiderman couldn’t use cash while in his outfit because of some obscure arcane contrivance that would require him to reveal his secret identity.

  97. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    #70 TB Tabby,
    Michelle Yeoh is Nancy!

    Also, thanks for referencing my favorite Homestar Runner character.

  98. smacky
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Why is the guy who owns a comic shop excited by the offer to “grab a couple comics”?

    Is it like porn addiction to him? If the guy had anything in his collection the comic shop owner didn’t, wouldn’t it be something rare and valuable he wouldn’t want to give away?

  99. redliner
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    JP: I love Abbey in this fedora-and-jacket combo. She’s obviously inspired by Simon LeBon in the “Hungry Like a Wolf” video. Maybe when she gets to the fence line she’ll find Old Lady Dickens smeared in paint stalking around?

  100. Joe, Upper-Evergreen FOOB-basher
    April 11th, 2008 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    FOOB: How about putting her in a box and shipping her to Bolivia?


    Luann: Brad and Toni will be in the movie theater…..they’ll lean in towards each other……..getting ready to plant a long wet one on each other……..then they’ll feel Shannon’s warm skittles-laden kiddie-breath on thier cheeks and hear her voice 8 inches away saying “I can be a big girl too!”

  101. David
    April 11th, 2008 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    44 – Spider-brick, one minor point with what is otherwise a brilliant analysis. In WoI, the King’s mother does actually appear, she is his cleaning woman. He also keeps his father locked in a tower.

    77 – I too feel much less rage now that it has been shown that LJ was never funny. It’s nice to know that there were no good old days. My question is, do the papers get a break on the price since they’re buying used material?

  102. Gabacho
    April 11th, 2008 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    Rex Morgan – kind of cute and smile worthy.

    Apt 3G – cute and kind of smile worthy.

    Mary Worth – over the top melodrama, inappropriate conversational and physical intimacy with a dying stranger, complete nonsense about Donna’s “condition” and why her two offspring are fighting.

    Thank you, Jesus. The world is right again.

  103. Gabacho
    April 11th, 2008 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Speaking of Mary Worth, in 2000 I was in Washington DC on business. The woman I was walking with pointed out that Linda Tripp was standing on line at a Starbucks we were passing and said, “Wait for me here. I’m just going to run in and confide something to her.” We laughed.

    Well, Donna Amalfi seems to suffer from Lewinsky syndrome, a complete willingness to trust unattractive strangers with inappropriate personal information. Perhaps that is Donna’s fatal condition.

  104. gkl
    April 11th, 2008 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    MW: Donna Amalfi is dying. Since she’s dying in Mary Worth, however, she’s got a good solid 30 years left. Unfortunately, those 30 years are going to all be spent with Mary. Quite a philosophical dilemma, determining if it’s worth it. Sort of like The Lady or the Tiger, if death were the Lady and yappity yap yap yap were the tiger, and they together formed a philosophical dilemma rather than a logic puzzle.

    GT: Is Elmer Vargas a goth? ‘Cause that would be a lot more interesting than another Andrew Gregory plotline.

    GA (#91): Yeah, the grammar is a bit off, but focus on the positive: Teeka is doing the family-friendly dumb hick equivalent of calling the Kleebs by their actual title, Lord and Lady Bitcherstaff. I’m not a fan of the Cabbage Patch, but if anyone has justification for it, Teeka does right now.

    Pluggers: Pluggers are worried about identity theft? Why? Is there a whole subculture of humans who really want to be giant chickens? (Apart from the people who dress up like that as a sex game, I mean.)

    MT: A man, a van, a woman: Amowanavanama!

  105. Cheese-n-Pear
    April 11th, 2008 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    GT: Panel 2 convinces me that everything that was so bad that it was good about Gil Thorp artwork is back! Not only does it appear that Elmer hit a hairy cueball at the end of his swing, it looks as though the entire swing was somehow performed behind his head.

    DT: Oh yeah! Crossbow against sword and a guaranteed needlessly gruesome fatality coming up! OK, it’s not really all that exciting, but it’s going to end this silly plotline so we can get on with the next one.

    MT: While this whole story-arc was obvious from the start, I wasn’t expecting the whole kidnapping to be caused by Mark’s story somehow leaving the impression that the girl with the puppy somehow has lots of money.

  106. Burning Prairie
    April 11th, 2008 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    #86-if we’re lucky, the-soon-to-be late Mrs. Amalfi is infected with a deadly pathogen that can only be transmitted through hand massages.

  107. Islamorada Girl
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth and Donna Amalfi are clearly exchanging protein strings.

  108. Propaniac
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    That panel of Mary and Vera has REALLY strong vibes of a scene in the movie “Notes on a Scandal,” with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.

  109. Poteet
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    # 74 Mr. O’Malley & # 82 Randall — On the small chance that you’ll see this, thanks for more discussion of medieval warfare. You’re right, I find it very interesting.

    And personally, I’ve never assumed I was smarter than people back then. I’ve very occasionally thought about what might happen if I were suddenly zapped into medieval England. I’d have few if any useful skills. My knowledge would be hard to put into use, harder to prove, and probably evidence of insanity or Satanic possession. (“See, your disease is caused by these little invisible animals called bacteria!”). And if I happened to be wearing my usual cheap battery watch, I couldn’t begin to explain how it worked and it might be considered further evidence of Satanic connections. Plus I’d be offending people right and left, not knowing social norms. Arrgh.

  110. Paul1963
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    #6 Little A of the Grand Concourse Jungle Patrol– I’ve recently decided that One Big Happy takes place in Camden County, the imprecisely-located setting of My Name is Earl. The combination of hillbillies, yuppies, colorful old people and average middle-class types seems about right.

    James and his family probably live in the same trailer park as Joy and Darnell. In fact, James’ mother’s underwear probably graced the “pantenna” at one point.

  111. Shoshi
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:30 am [Reply]


  112. Shoshi
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    >Luann: ……..getting ready to plant a long wet one on each other

    Toni has one, too? Maybe SHE’s “Tony”?

  113. Diamond Joe
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    #98 smacky:

    Free comics = 100% profit margin when he sells them.

  114. Sandy
    April 11th, 2008 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    It’s funny that the comparison of Mary’s meddling with Vera’s life and Mary about to meddle with Dying Lady’s Children’s Lives has been drawn.

    Let’s see how Mary helped last time: She coaxed Vera out in to the open to the pool party, where Vera met Drew, who also met Dawn. Now both women are burned and harbor hostility towards all men, and Drew has been sent off to Peace Village or whatever, to pay for his sins where he’ll no doubt contract malaria and die. I expect in the future, Dawn and Vera either become lovers or serial killers.

    Dying Lady better hope she goes quickly so she doesn’t have to suffer the wrath of Mary’s help for very long.

  115. Crankenstank
    April 11th, 2008 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Well, Josh, you wanted Dennis to show some real Menace, eh? if spreading raw sewage around the house and causing your Dad thousands of dollars in emergency plumbing bills all the while isn’t menacing, I don’t know what is.

  116. PTrig
    April 11th, 2008 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    While her left and right hands halt the resistance of the sickly patient, Mary Worth’s other left hand reaches out to cut off the breath of a woman no longer interested in Mary’s Kevorkian-like, meddlesome ways.

  117. cancertopia
    April 11th, 2008 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    Donna Amalfi sounds suspiciously like ‘Donna Family’… hmmm.

  118. Husanarkisten
    April 11th, 2008 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    Ye aint a objektivist right? We Swedes detest objektivists.

  119. Dr. Mabuse
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    DTM – Surely it’s Dennis’s internal plumbing that’s the problem here.

  120. Brick Bradford
    April 11th, 2008 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    I just noticed that the tops of Mary’s ears are always covered. I ain’t a sayin’ she’s a Romulan, but I ain’t a sayin’s he ain’t, either, if you get my drift.

  121. IagoPogo
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    While Romulans don’t supress emoticons to the extent that Vulcans do, I beg to differ with your conclusion, Brick. I’m thinkin’ that Mary Worthless is a quasi-Betazoid, with quite a bit of Ferengi genome…

  122. Pinokeyo's Wife
    April 16th, 2008 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

    Mary is quite the Angel of Death.

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