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ITTY-BITTY FEET OF FURY!

Mark Trail, 5/21/08

Why do we tolerate Mark Trail’s inane dialog and nonsensical plots? For the brief and hilarious outbreaks of violence, of course, and today’s is a doozy. Mark kicking in the petnappers’ door so hard that it bends while apologizing (to the door, apparently) for his entrance not being as dramatic as he intended could be the greatest combination of vigilantism and almost-but-not-quite-idiomatic English since “You won’t be releasing any more birds!” Tomorrow we should could get some important questions answered, such as: Will Mark punch a woman? And are his fists powerful enough to separate a man from his ponytail?

Today’s action is made especially hilarious by Mark’s reedy, pipe-cleaner like legs and tiny feet. It appears that the terrible limb-wasting disease that has already ravaged Rusty is beginning to spread throughout the Trails’ Lost Forest compound.

Ziggy, 5/21/08

Oh, yes, ha ha, it was all very funny when Ziggy got e-mail from his toilet, but today we see that this was only part of a larger crisis in the Ziggyverse. Apparently our hapless gnome-like protagonist is beginning to notice the computerized functionality that lies behind all the seemingly ordinary aspects of his world — and it’s all beginning to go awry. This can only mean one thing: The Matrix has finally come to the top of the Netflix queue over at Ziggy central.

Also, if anyone can tell me why the normally pantsless Ziggy has decided that going to beach would be a good occasion for covering up his nether bits, I’d love to hear it. But if you have a theory as to where his nipples went, you can just keep it yourself.

Judge Parker, 5/21/08

So, Legless Steve spent weeks brooding about possible terrorist threats to his life, only to see them neutralized in about thirty seconds by his feisty, miniskirted legal secretary. Meanwhile, Abbey spent longer than it even bears thinking about harboring suspicions about her neighbors, even engaging in some cut-rate derring-do to spy on them, only to have them found out and apprehended off-screen, by someone else. Judge Parker seems determined to challenge Spider-Man in the Least Satisfying Dramatic Tension Resolution Olympics.

For Better Or For Worse, 5/21/08

No, “incited” isn’t an adorable malapropism. There’s an angry, torch-wielding mob just off-panel. You’re lucky you can’t read, Merrie; it sure wouldn’t be “just another book” to you then.

Beetle Bailey, 5/21/08

Oh, General Halftrack! Your tales of your emotionally crushing marriage are amusing and all, but you and I both know that you’re just hung over. Or possibly still drunk.

253 responses to “ITTY-BITTY FEET OF FURY!”

  1. Mooncattie
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    FOOB – I pray that panel two’s may we have a few words with you? has something to do with unpaid taxes on a $25,000 advance.

  2. Bryan
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:04 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail kicking the door in made my day, and that’s just sad.
    I wonder what the offspring of Ziggy and Zippy would look like.

  3. fahrenheit451
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:05 pm [Reply]

    I just started reading “Curtis” and, forgive me for sounding like a newbie, but just what the hell is up with Gunk’s eyes?

  4. lorne
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    Ooh. Movie rights. This opens up a whole new boring storyline as Michael’s book gets adapted into a terrible Canadian made-for-cable movie starring Stephen Baldwin (most of them seem to star Stephen Baldwin).
    Though of course Michael’s main problem continues to be that his stupid kids just don’t get his stuff. Maybe he should base his next book on a bedtime story to impress them, and wreck his career like M. Night Shyamalan.

  5. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:09 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy gets his pants custom-tailored by Moe Zippers.

    Dick’s favorite opera singer is Barry Tone.

    Dick gets help on stakeouts from Constance Urveillance.

    Dick’s personal trainer is Barb Bell.

    His favorite comedienne is Shirley U. Geste.

  6. Ukulele Ike
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: First-time novelists may excite a bit of media attention…and maybe sales, because they’re NEW. Second-time novelists just DIE. I mean, always. Sales drop off, nobody cares. By novel #3, they’re just another mid-list writer.

    I spent over 15 years as an acquiring editor in book publishing, and the times that fiction writers got free publicity from the media was, like, never.

  7. Jules
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    One especially fine detail in MT today is that in panel two the pony-tailed villain is apparently already testing out a new alibi by practicing his round-object-on-thumb balancing skills. He looks pretty into it too. If Mark hadn’t popped in with his tiny Cinderella feet, the local circus may well have had a new juggler or something within a few days.

  8. Mooncattie
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    FOOB – A clue to the importance attached to the appearance of Local Author (and writer) Michael Patterson by the bookstore is that he and his Blood Cargo autograph table have been placed way back in the Children’s Department (note toys on shelf top). Either that, or it’s the lamest Sci-Fi/Astronomy Section in the history of bookstores.

  9. Andrew
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    Okay in Mark Trail what’s with the circle in the middle panel? Is it some sort of crystal ball or does the artist just want us to know he had part in this atrocity?

  10. Mooncattie
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    MT – Mark can’t punch a woman. But all bets are off on Andy taking down Vivian Vance while Ponytail gets the Right Fist O’ Justice treatment!

    “taking down”…oh God, I don’t dare even think about it…

  11. chris
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    FBOW: So when do we get to see the cute blonde aerobics instructor that John runs off with? Is that the last strip? Will it end with a pun? That would be a good contest.

  12. fishmorgjp
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    What are things coming to, with Mark Trail barging in on people with his No-Knock Raids on petnappers?! What if they were having sex or something? What if Mark barged in on completely innocent folks having sex? Well, maybe that’s really what he’s looking to see.

  13. Lisa
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    Yes! The final strip for FOOB, Curmudgeon style!

    It’s an event waiting to happen, folks!

  14. Wolf Shepherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    Agnes: Poignant. Not funny, but I like it.

    AS: Very Far Side-like.

    GA: The tuning noises in the last panel sound like “poontang.” Foreshadowing?

    H&J: Actually, I think he looks more like the mailman.

    PBS: It’s not stolen; it’s a fake. You be the chump!

    Pluggers: How much is the arugula?

    Rubes: Oh I get it… clean underwear. Hehe.

    Ziggy: The should rename this comic “non sequitur.” Oops, already taken.

    A3G: They are too busy to care, but they take the time to write back? Huh?

    DtM: What is that brown pile… Ruff droppings? Oooh, menacing.

    MT: Foot-O-Justice?

    Marvin: I really like the artwork over the sofa.

    MW: Jeff, you sarcastic bastard!

    RMMD: Replaced everything? But… but … you’re still here. I don’t get it. Rex, you’re such a dope.

    SF: Sweetie? He called her “sweetie”? Obama made the same faux pas to a female reporter (or are they journalists) but had the good sense to apologize immediately. Sweetie indeed!

    SM: She gave her notice effective immediately? I don’t think she understands the concept of “notice.”

  15. Trix
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    With those little bitty legs, Mark obviously kicked in the screen door. Look closely at the hatch marked screening and the flimsy wooden cross bar. I had one very similar-$19.95 at the local True Value-installed! Heck, I could kick the pos down. And I’m even scrawnier than MT.

  16. Hoboclown
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    Oh man, Mark Trail not only kicked the door open, he blew it straight off the hinges. This feat is made even more amazing when you notice the placement of his left leg, suggesting that he did this while already inside the house.

  17. Monster Jamz
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    definitely still drunk.

  18. Wolf Shepherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    Is Mark Trail not a law enforcement officer? Does he not need a search warrant? Is this not like “breaking and entering?” Would Mr. Ponytail not be legally justified in grabbing his shotgun and blowing Mark’s empty head off. Hey, I can dream… can I not?

  19. Deschanel
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:40 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail looks like a drunken fratboy who heard there was a keg in the next room, after his was tapped dry. He looks like he’s laughing his ass off.

    And those legs! Those spindly appendages! I will have nightmares tonight. Thank you Mark, or your floating bubble-master “Jack Elrod”. A likely name- hmph!

  20. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    I hate to disappoint you, Wolf Shepherd, but Mark Trail’s fist is above the law. So presumably his foot is, too.

  21. Yanni
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    Is it just me, or does it look like Mark somehow just slipped on the door and is about to fall on his ass?

  22. Cami
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    You know you’re in for a good read when the title of the post makes you laugh out loud. Also, upon Josh’s request, I have decided to keep my many mind-blowing nipple theories to myself. Thank you.

  23. lorne
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    @ Wolf Shepherd
    It’s a lot like breaking and entering, and with no real justification.
    “Dammit, Your Honour! There were dognappers in there. DOGNAPPERS! And there was this little girl… She was sick… She needed her puppy. I had no choice!”
    It’s looking more and more like Mark’s big plan was not particularly well thought out.

  24. Wolf Shepherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:48 pm [Reply]

    #19: You are right. In fact, Mark looks a lot like a miniature version of my college roommate (who was 6’7” 240 lbs). Whenever he would get drunk, which was quite often, he wanted to “kung fu” everything in sight… walls, window, mailboxes, doors, and of course smaller people.

  25. Maughta
    May 21st, 2008 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    Surely Mark’s gay chicken legs aren’t sturdy enough to hold him up? Next thing we’ll see is Mark’s continuing momentum as he slowly falls down on the floor.

    And I think the FOOBs have been inciting us all a little too much lately. Die, Lynn, die.

  26. RaJ
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    I assume that Ziggy is a German tourist. That’s why he is wearing socks with sandals. What I mean is, I need to believe those are his socks. The idea that those might be feet— Ziggy’s horrible, horrible toeless feet—well, it drives me to tears.

  27. Citric
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    I like the look of sheer glee on Trail’s face as he kicks the door down. Perhaps the word balloon should just say “WHHHEEEEEEEEEEE!”

  28. Zac
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    Re #3:
    As the wikipedia article on Curtis explains, “Curtis’ best friend is Gunk, a strange, cross-eyed, magical character, who comes from a faraway, fictional place called Flyspeck Island. Gunk visits Curtis once in a while but he’s not without his pet chameleon who tags along for the ride and make Curtis’ life miserable with his highly mischievous antics.”

  29. Kumquat
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    FOOB – The phrase “could we have a few words with you” can lead to many things, few of them good. I’ll put my money on it being another author who’s recently discovered that Mikey lifted a goodly portion of Blood Cargo lock, stock, and barrel from one of his own works.

    FW – Is this high school secretary a devotee of the Drew Corey method? If she wasn’t planning to tell anyone she was going to retire, one can only presume she intended to let the job “die a natural death”. First becoming unavailable for work, then ceasing to return the school’s phone calls altogether – she’d rather let the principal figure it out himself. Luckily for the school, she realized she could get retirement party swag.

  30. Mac
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    Halftrack is obviously still drunk. You can see the little “drunk bubbles” next to his head.

    So, who are the “very important people” there to see everyone’s favorite Canadian hack author? I’m hoping for Quebecois-separatist terrorists, who will kidnap him and force him to write novels in French, but that’s probably too much to hope for.

  31. Mollie
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    #16 Hoboclown — Very observant. My theory is that he kicked the door down, then stepped inside the room, stood the door back up and kicked it down again, just to burn off some of his excited energy. Look how happy he is to be destroying property!

    Josh, you seem to be interpreting Mark’s “Sorry about this” statement to mean, “Sorry you figured out I was tracking you before I could surprise you.” Whereas I assumed he meant, “Sorry about [the way I am destroying your home, but] I wanted to surprise you [and therefore had to kick the door down instead of apprehending you in a more sane and legal fashion].” I guess it’s the ambiguity that keeps us coming back.

  32. bats :[
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    Considering how many viruses can be found in shellfish (Hepatitus A, Norwalk, etc.), to the point that one of my microbiology professors in college pretty much swore off eating any of it after doing graduate work on viral contaminants, I think that Ziggy, holding the shell up to his ear and hearing this message, has a WHOLE lot to be worried about.

  33. dramashoes
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    Fuck you, for better or for worse. I’ve been to book signings for local authors. It consists of the author sitting behind a folding table looking sad and lost while bookstore patrons acknowledge her presence only because she’s sitting between them and the latest “Teen People.”

    So Michael “Gap Creek Wasn’t Depressing Enough” Patterson has made it to Stephen King status virtually overnight? Good. Maybe he’ll develop a coke habit and get hit by a fucking van soon.

  34. RaJ
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:16 pm [Reply]

    So, Charles Dickens trafficked narcotics? Now I finally know what it means to say someone “works in a blackening factory.”

  35. Wolf Shepherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    Kumquat – Sorry to disappoint you, but it looks like can-I-have-a-word-with-you guy is holding a microphone. He apparently wants to interview the local phenom. Next stop: Oprah!

  36. RaJ
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    I like how, despite the overall crudity of the art in “Ziggy,” its artist can still manage to draw a dead starfish. Now that’s being particular.

  37. Packherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    Seriously. You wouldn’t want the Ziggster to get a nasty sunburn on his li’l Dutchman, wouldja?

  38. Carly
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    Is that Marty Moon making an appearance in Foob?

    My favorite part of Mark Trail today is that Mark’s expression is the comic equivalent of “:D”.

  39. Bobdog, Jungle Patrol - SVU (not an Elephant)
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    I hope the guy who wants to “have a few words” with Michael is planning on taking him out behind the bookstore and beating his ass.

    It is reassuring to know that the latest generation of Pattersons is not nearly as self absorbed as their forebears — say what you will about Deanna, but she may have made an invaluable contribution to the Canadian gene pool by preventing that particular genetic trait from being propagated any further (assuming its not a recessive trait… but it hardly acts that way)

  40. RaJ
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail would make an exceptional rock star. “I am destroying my guitar! It is an important job!” “I’m surfing a crowd, it is a lot of fun!” “This groupie— her vagina seems strange! I wonder why?!”

  41. cheech wizard
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    To be a successful author, don’t you have to have a horrible childhood with really fucked-up parents or something? Just wondering.

  42. Islamorada Girl
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    After a lifetime of reading Mark Trail, I finally realized that if the villian doesn’t sport facial hair, he has a broken nose. How could I have missed that? I really hope Vivian Vance gives our skinny legs and all hero a crunchy uppercut to his teeny, teeny jaw. That would be so cool.

  43. cheech wizard
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    And aren’t you supposed to be an alcoholic as well? Drink up, Mikey.

  44. Dick Tracy Broke Into My Oddball Sanctuary
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:27 pm [Reply]

    Wolf Shepherd, Mark is a journalist… or did you know that? Sometimes the snark is so powerful, I know not the original intent of a question.

    I’m so insulted by Elrod’s rendering of Bsuty McGee there. I happen to be a woman of considerable rackage, and I have short hair, but my face is recognizably female.

    Ziggy – Uh, a red tide is caused by algae, not a virus. But whatevs.

  45. Wolf Shepherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    Carly – And Abbey’s expression in the last panel of JP is the comic equivalent of “:-o”.

  46. Quadro Gang
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    When, oh when, will Judge Parker and Peter Parker finally meet? It’s so obvious, so brilliant…

  47. Wolf Shepherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    DTB – Thanks for the correction. I am late to the MT party. I assumed he was a game warden. Silly me.

  48. JP (not Judge Parker)
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    One time I saw an author doing a book signing in an airport beyond security. I’m going to pretend that this is where Michael is, because that seemed like the saddest place ever to do a book signing.

    Also, I think Ziggy is progressively slipping into schizophrenia. That might explain his sudden change in clothing as well. I wonder how long it will take for an object to tell him to kill someone.

  49. RaJ
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    General Halftrack is, in fact, referring to his penis. It goes askew sometimes, and the Missus has to wrench it back in place. That explains his look of nausea, as well as the Beez’s look of horror. Also, how he can sit in his chair like that.

  50. Carly
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    Wolf Shepard – you’re right! Let’s do the rest.

    Ziggy is :{

    Mike looks like O.o

    And I’m not sure about the General. Perhaps -__- ?

  51. Little Guy
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    JP: Before we dismiss the lackluster denounment of the potdealing neighbors, remember the wonderful arc of strips with Abbey and the yellow room. The only instance in which paint drying wasn’t just exciting, but erotic.

    MT: I told the Missus that today’s strip has Mark and his Kick O’ Justice. She thought that Mark kicked someone in the balls. The Missus should ghost write this strip for Elrod.

    FOOB: My nightmare is that Diablo Cody and Carrie Fisher will write the screenplay, Kiefer Sutherland and Tricia Hefler will star, and the movie will be a huge hit. And Michael will get all the credit.

  52. Buck Ripsnort
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    In that 3rd panel, Michael FINALLY realizes that nobody in the family except him and Mommy gives a shit about the Blood Cargo. IT’S JUST ANOTHER BOOK, you FOOB!

  53. Harold
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    Andrew @ #9, that is the dreaded Jackelrod Ball, which is Jack Elrod’s way of making his presence felt and showing his infinite love to us.

    I believe what is happening in the last panel of today’s Mark Trail is this: Mark has stepped in some gum while approaching the house. Quite a lot of gum. He then dramatically kicked in the door and found that it was now stuck to his right foot. So after making a considerable racket he hopped through the doorway with the door still attached and managed to get off a shouted quip before falling backwards onto his ass.

  54. RaJ
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:50 pm [Reply]

    Regarding Mike’s children, let me put it this way: if I were a witch, they’d be in bread by now.

  55. Dji
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    Judge Parker is definitely making a play for the LSDTRO gold. Appropriately, the acronym is more exciting than the actual subject. Hey, maybe we’ll get six months of Spider-Man talking about his deadly new foe: The Acronym.

  56. AhClem
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    In tomorrow’s Mark Trail, the motel manager will show up at the door just as Mark is about to deliver his patented RHO’J. The short, squat, balding cigar-chomping gnome will say, “So, which of youse guys is gonna pay for ‘dis busted door?” Mark, feeling pangs of guilt, will whip out his checkbook, while the dognapping evildoers will sneak away.

    Remember, you read it here first.

  57. Harold
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    I once happened to be in a mall at the same time that former Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey was setting up for a book signing on the concourse outside the bookstore. (This was after he left office, but before he died.) I felt sorry for the old guy, sitting on a Sunday morning in a nearly-empty mall a half hour after it had opened. My grandmother liked him, so I bought a copy of the book for her. After he signed it and I began to walk away, he grumbled to his wife “What time does this mall open, anyway?”

    I don’t think he signed many copies of his book that day.

  58. Hawkeye
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    Today’s lesson: Never, ever let Mark Trail watch an action movie before going forest rangering.

  59. rodent
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    #27: It’s the same glee Pig had–if Trail had said “Surprise,” I’d have known Pastis was behind it. I still think he is a little.

  60. Johnnycakes
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    Why do we tolerate Mark Trail’s…

    You didn’t mention the super-gigantic talking animals!

    Having typed that, I’m not sure if it’s one more thing to tolerate, or something that makes it all worthwhile.

  61. Joe Btfsplk
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    #5 Spider-Brick – PLOT CALL! If I do enough of these, I’ll get one right some day: Big Al’s got a bad case of the sniffles there, so his last name can only be Lergy, or some homophone thereof, like Lerjy, Lerji, or Lergi.

    Mark Trail – I like how Mr. Ponytail is playfully balancing the Jackelrod Ball on his thumb. Will mark dare to punch an opponent who has possession of the Ball?

    Judge Parker – We can only guess at what tune Abbey is whistling in the last panel. But it’s making her look kinda guilty.

    Phantom – Diana keeps looking at him as if, after all these long years, it’s finally dawning on her what a colossal doofus this guy is.

    Snuffy Smith – Well, it’s bound to look purtier next to Elviney’s face than it did among all of those other flowers.

  62. bats :[
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

  63. Shoebox
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    #8 mooncattie: There’s a good chance that this is actually Lilliput’s, the bookstore Elly owned until very recently. Essentially, Mom’s got connexions…but not a lot of savvy, which is especially hilarious given her own literary pretensions.

  64. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    “You stole my best friend’s pet bear!” is still the best sentence from a Mark Trail comic ever.

  65. Wolf Shepherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    Harold – “This was…before he died.” Thanks for the clarification.

  66. kingartie
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy – It appears the lines between the real and digital world and blurring, it must mean Ziggy is in the wired

  67. moonbounce
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    Ohh so the angry mob outside the bookstore are why Michael’s eyes are befittingly focused in horror to someplace other than his books or children?

  68. Shoshi
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    FOOB — The guy who wants a few words with Mike is holding a microphone. Do you guys who are speculating think that’s just his way of making a record of their conversation?

  69. Shoebox
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    #62 bats :[ …I think I love you. It’s OK if you’re not of the male gender, we’ll work something out.

  70. PeteMoss
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    Aren’t you just assuming that Ziggy is attempting some type of computer joke? I just thought that a shell fish is providing random, unspecific, public health care annoucements. And isn’t that funny?

    “Caution, Dysentery!”
    “Pink eye Alert!”
    “Check for Lice!”

    Ok, maybe it isn’t funny.

  71. Poteet
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    I finally had time to check today’s strips, and I gotta say that MT and MW are a joy today. MT because Mark looks like a cheerful reject from the Rockettes, and MW because Jeff is obviously sipping his seventh hot toddy and looped to the gills. At least I hope so.

  72. LikeAVirgin
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    #62 bats :[
    Once again, funnier than anything on the comics page!

  73. Weaselboy
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    No, Meredith, it’s not just another book. It’s a soul-stealing, cliche-ridden, overwrought piece of crap that will leave you with a dull, aching sense of despair for months after you’ve read it.

  74. electro
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    It’s the virus! The virus got his nipples! The conch tried to warn him, but it was too late!

    (You see, the only appropriate response to a shouty Ziggy cartoon like that one is to shout right back.)

  75. taotu
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    I think you’re calling the time of death on this Judge Parker storyline a little too early: just look at Abbey’s “innocent whistling” routine in that last panel. Clearly she got so fed up with her own suspicions she planted the drugs herself in the hopes of finally being able to rid herself of her worries so she can sleep at night. Unfortunately for her, what’s going to follow is a downward spiral of paranoia leading into total madness, and then presumably into a straight jacket, which, considering Eduardo Barreto’s visual style, will result in plenty of close-ups of Abbey’s tightly bound T&A. It will go down in history as the best Judge Parker story ever.

  76. ar_d
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

    You’ve got sea-mail!

    I think Ziggy was also wearing (or partially wearing) pants for the t-mail gag too. Since Ziggy wearing pants is so rare and unnatural, maybe he violated some fundamental law of physics and caused the whole Ziggyverse to malfunction?

  77. aniviron
    May 21st, 2008 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    I don’t get why General Halftrack would even try to hide his boozed-up state; the little bubbles around his face give him away instantly. If I ever showed up to work with little alcohol bubbles around my head, I would at least have the decency to admit the trust instead of perpetrating such a bald-faced lie.

  78. Rusty
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    MT: I haven’t read the thread yet, but did anyone else notice that Mark’s skinny legs and kicking pose are almost an exact image of the old Charles Atlas comic book ad with the bully on the beach?

  79. iedit
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: “Blood Cargo” actually should be “Vinegar Cargo” because its author is a total douche.

  80. Brick Bradford
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    #78 Rusty–I KNEW that pose looked familar! It’s just before the wimp decides to let Charles make a man of him. Mark is just a couple of panels away from being “HERO OF THE BEACH!”

    I thought he looked a bit like a crazed leprechaun.

  81. itsadrian
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy’s nipples: He ate them.

    Also, isn’t it amazing that “Weird” Al is small enough to fit into that seashell? I think that’s the intended joke.

  82. Rusty
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:17 pm [Reply]

    #80: here we go. That might have been my easiest google search ever. It also looks like a cool site.

    http://tomheroes.com/Comic%20Ads/classic%20ads/charles%20atlas.htm

  83. Squeak
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:27 pm [Reply]

    There is so much going on in this wonderful installment of Mark Trail, I can’t turn my gaze away. I especially like how Ethyl Mertz (or whoever that goldilocks woman is) can’t move her neck, and has to bend at the waist to look up or down.

  84. LTBF
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    Why is the reporter guy holding the microphone when he is asking Mike for an interview? Shouldn’t he get permission for the interview first and then start setting up the equipment? I guess Lynn’s knowledge of broadcasting equals that of her knowledge about publishing.

  85. Ryan
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:39 pm [Reply]

    There’s been an alarming amount of pants sneaking into Ziggy lately. He’s worn pants 5 days in a row. I’m going to write a letter.

  86. heynoni
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    In lieu of associating with the outside world for the last 40 years, Jack Elrod has made the classic mistake of basing all reference to manly physique on the 40s-era GI JOE doll he found in his attic.

  87. Wolf Shepherd
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Mary Worth with a third panel.

  88. Nekrotzar
    May 21st, 2008 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    Ok, I haven’t been sleeping much lately and I’m getting a little light-headed but, um, Surprise! :-)

  89. Wolf Shepherd
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:03 am [Reply]

    #28 Rusty, I assume that this is the image that was burned in your adolescent mind?

  90. left of the pyle
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    MT: Today, trails ballerina-esque size allows him to dodge the fierce “Fist o’ Injustice” before laying down the Fist o’ Justice

  91. Wolf Shepherd
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    Oops, I meant #78 Rusty.

  92. True Fable
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:18 am [Reply]

    FBoFW Here’s to climbing the ladder of success for Mike Patterson, despite a deformed hand shown in the final panel. Of course, after spending months sequestered away in his home office fwapping away furiously in front of his pc, I’m surprised his hand is in as good a shape as it is.

  93. Bobdog
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:23 am [Reply]

    It’s good it’s been clarified that it’s not only facial hair that will earn you a wolloping — any sort of extensive growth of bodily hair will incite Punchy McPunchPunch into a frenzy of rights hooks. Hopefully Mark Trail’s adventures never take him to the likes of Borough Park, because that could get ugly.

  94. Bobdog
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    I thought Judge Parker was more of a competitor is the Least Satisfying Sexual Tension Resolution Olympics.

  95. Dick Tracy Broke Into My Oddball Sanctuary
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    #47 Wolf Shepherd – You’re certainly not the first one to assume Mark Trail works in some sort of law enforcement capacity. The uniform and all, and the fact that he’s always punching bad guys. But we’re reminded once every couple of months, after Mark solves some incredibly stupid case, that he’s doing so for the sake of journalistic street cred.

    Being a journalist doesn’t really make it any more acceptable to break down someone’s door, though, even if you do suspect them of wrongdoing.

  96. SFMarcus
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    Mike Patterson’s success is a good thing, y’all. Before long his car will break down in some snowy woods, and then Cathy Bates will smash both his ankles.

    (Uh oh- only a week on this site and I’m already glorifying in imagined acts of violence against FOOB characters. Death threats to follow…)

    Blood Cargo really is a great title, though.
    It’s the only thing in this strip that remotely has any life to it, or, possibly, ravenous zombie pirate un-life.

    As for Mark Trail/the fabulous kicking sequence- I take back my earlier COTW floater comment about MT being no fun in the sack!!!
    Oh how hastily I pre-judged!
    All I need is a few balsa doors set up strategically around my boudoir and…rowr! Come here, tiger!

    Sorry to everyone who just threw up.

  97. Bobdog
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    MT: That’s no woman — that’s a man Baby! And thus Mark Trail shall puncheth him.

  98. bats :[
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    Oh, my, I go out for Mongolian Chicken and come back to some seriously funny mashups (Pig in a production of Mark Trail Theatre…priceless!) and seriously funny comments, too! Life is good (and there’s enough Mongolian Chicken for lunch tomorrow, too!).

    Is it Thursday enough yet?

    JP: does it really matter if Abbey noticed anything suspicious at the Dickens’ place? I mean, they’ve already been arrested. And Elvira too pretty to go to prison.

    MT: nice duck and recover, Mark! Nice punchin’, too, but dang if this couldn’t benefit from a Batmanesque “BIFF!” or “PLOTZ!” or “OOF!”.

    MW: you know, Jeff, if I were you, I’d keep my damned mouth shut. Oooh, several days without seeing Mary, then the usual sailing and even more usual fish’n’chips’n’paper pirate hat at the Bum Boat… But hey, it makes for good theater…

    Phantom: good thing that the Ghost-Who-Doesn’t-Ask-for-Directions has a good sport for a wife indeed.

    RMMD: that’s it! MRSA came from those filthy, sweaty workmen, in their torn jeans and tight, damp tank tops…
    Tomorrow: Rex swoons!

    9CL: is it okay to be bored with this? Maybe not Edda and the Unicorn bored, but teetering toward the Week Full o’ Thorax bored.

    Brewster Rockit: speaking of a week’s worth of stuff, Brewster is doing a nice Indiana Jones piece. As of Thursday, Winky still has his spleen.

    FOOB: please to note that this book party is way smaller than for Stoned Season. Even Weed sees the crappy writing on the paper wall.

  99. turingcub
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    @93 bobdog: that, or any bear bar on a Saturday night.

  100. Bobdog
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    The most endearing aspect of this MT strip is the fact Mark is somehow standing in the door frame while simultaneously kicking it in — you would expect him to still be at least two feet or so outside the door as he’s still balanced on the one leg. And the swoop lines imply that his feet is sweeping up to kick the door, not out from his chest — which would be more effective then using the same angle attack as you would kicking a soccer ball. The overall effect is that he looks like he’s actually surfing through door way on the door ala Bart Simpson.

  101. SFMarcus
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:56 am [Reply]

    I like how the one bit of background text I can make out in FOOB is on the rectangle (a book? a box?) next to the toys Mooncattie (#8) brought to my attention.

    Just the mordant, single word “Puzzle.”

    Possibly it’s a generic-brand jigsaw puzzle, and if so, I’m glad that 1) This important bookstore is stocking them, 2) the bookstore is carefully keeping them outta the reach of children, and indeed many of the FOOBiverse adults. Puzzles can kill, people.

    It could be, though, that is just a general box of conundrum.

    And at this point my options for FOOB-relted snark grow so dense and overwhelming that I must bow out, or think the less of myself…

  102. Diamond Joe
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:10 am [Reply]

    #roughly every third comment since Monday:

    Okay, I think we’ve now had at least as many variations on “Michael is a crappy writer” as anyone possibly needs. At this point, I think I’d actually prefer another deluge of “Beetle and Sarge are gay” or even “cancer cancer cancer cancer Funky Winkerbean cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer.”

  103. True Fable
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    MT So much to snark on in one day’s strip, it’s like Christmas!
    Panel 1: Having just kicked down the door, Mark cheerfully informs the dognappers that he is here for the two dogs they stole. Yep, that Mark sure is a great guy – he’s so pleasant even after willfully destroying property and making accusations based on speculation.
    Panel 2: Ponytail takes a swing at Mark by throwing his arm at him, giving Mark the chance to use his Limbo O Justice powers to neatly dodge the blow!
    Panel 3: Mark stands next to Ponytail and hits him so hard with the Right Fist O’ Justice, it lifts the man off his feet!
    All in all, a very satisfying day in the land of the Jackelrod Ball.

  104. KH
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:24 am [Reply]

    They want Michael Patterson to come and write for DeGrassi.

  105. mumbles
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Michael is so full of it. He wouldn’t be writing this crap if he didn’t want *some* form of recognition. And what’s with Weed and his two mortgages? If that loser can buy property, it makes me ashamed of my still-renting ass.

    MW: Oh boy, could it be? Is Jeff breaking up with Mary? Maybe we’ll get a storyline when Mary hits the dating scene. I can’t wait until she turns speed-dating into speed-meddling. Save a ‘flirtini’ for me at that disaster!

    A3G: Hmm, LuAnn’s parents didn’t come to visit LuAnn when she almost suffocated because they don’t want to “coddle” her? Yeah…oxygen is such a crutch for the weak.

  106. Jen
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    “Blood Cargo”? Oh my God. If Mike’s upset about the kids’ lack of interest now, wait till they can read.

  107. Mr. O'Malley
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:37 am [Reply]

    FOOB: It appears that Michael has promised Deanna that if his second book sells as badly as the first, he’s going to join the Coast Guard to support their children. I’m not sure they’re going to want someone who puts his pants on back to front. (p. 2)

    Weed and Carleen live in separate houses? (p. 3)

    Michael celebrates his upcoming career climbing the ladder out of the hold of an icebreaker (p. 4) by breaking the stem off his glass before he drinks (p. 5).

  108. Dingo
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    It is said that one of the harshest punishments under Roman law was for parricide. If you killed a parent, you were beaten and then placed in a bag with a snake, a dog, a rooster, and a monkey and thrown into a river. Guess they didn’t have an equivalent for Blood Cargo back then.

  109. True Fable
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    MW Is…is Jeff finally growing a set of balls? Is he going to lay down the law to Mary? “Give me some lovin’, woman, or hit the road!” “Damn it, Mary; I thought I was the only man whose life you wanted to ruin with your meddling!” “I’ve put up with your shit long enough, Mary! I’m leaving for Vietnam again and you can’t stop me!”
    Shoe OMG. I laughed aloud at today’s offering. :D Some people laugh at any scatalogical reference, others at nifty wordplay; just give me possums and kill and I go all gumby over it. I’m easy but I ain’t cheap.
    S-M Lieber, you are no Johnny Romita. Mary Jane is so ugly (how ugly is she, Fable?) her mama had to tie a pork chop around her neck just to get the family dog to play with her. Gah.
    Rex Morgan, Doctor Sweetie! Great, now we’ll get to watch Rex and June climb over tons of stuff at the landfill. Bet June will just love that.
    Phantom Dream on, Stripey Butt. Diana’s going to wait until you go through a few doorways before she starts up the engine and takes off, dragging you behind her with that tetherline attached to your waist. And I will enjoy every panel of it!
    JP Oh boy, now we get to see if Abbey realizes she was too stoned to fuck the ONE night Sam wanted to get frisky. She’ll never eat another brownie as long as she lives.
    (WTF)GT Too late getting to the Gapper? Was it after the malls closed?
    GA Didn’t see that coming for the last three days, no sir.
    FW Hey, maybe this Cayla Williams will be Les’s new romantic interest! That means she’ll die of some long drawn out and possibly avoidable if treated early disease, if history serves accurately.
    FC Well Jeffy, Daddy uses three rolled up socks inside a fourth to fill out his pants, if that’s any help to you.
    Cathy (Must Die!) To cover YOUR ass, Cathy? Call Omar the fucking Tentmaker, baby.

  110. True Fable
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:44 am [Reply]

    #108 Dingo – I thought the punishment for parricide was, you would not be allowed to win any more Jimmy Buffett tickets.

  111. Mr. O'Malley
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox:

    NC FEE – Fang licensed in Raleigh
    HOES – Used to dig tunnel.
    WHO’S D.A.? – The duck’s, of course!
    UN-LENT – Don’t say you borrowed it. Fang’s dish was stolen!
    EW, TAR! – which Fang is about to fall into a puddle of

  112. Mr. O'Malley
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    Elderberries: An ode to comics history!

  113. True Fable
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:00 am [Reply]

    SFx I dunno about scramble, but I can recognize acronyms when I see ‘em:
    ENFCE – Even Now, Forced Caper Ensues
    OESH – Oh, Everyone’s So High!
    AHOSDW – All Horses Of Suspicious Descent Withdrew
    NLTEUN – Nothing Less Than Excellence Unless Noted
    RAEWT – Really Awful Effluent Was There

  114. Poteet
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    GA — Since Amanda Lynn looks like a nine-year-old with a big rack, I really hope we won’t have to watch her making out with men anymore. Eew. Though “men” may be putting it a bit strongly.

    Foob — Given his typical last-panel moralizing, I’m amazed that Mike hasn’t yet written one of those books of self-congratulatory pontification, something along the lines of One Hundred Tips For Success That I Learned In Second Grade. Maybe that will be his NEXT book.

  115. Trilobite
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:20 am [Reply]

    Thursday’s comics did a lot with very little:

    Dick Tracy: I just spent a terrible thirty minutes with a magnifying glass, protractor, and ruler, and I still can’t figure out what the hell is going on with Shirl’s eyes. They look like a photographic negative of the headlights on a sportscar, or maybe like some kind of exhaust-venting system for her forehead.

    And hey, it’s Thursday, so that means that by Tuesday of next week, we might actually get to hear them talk about something other than who her father was and why he named her “Shirl Locke” and how she’s a detective now. But probably not.

    Funky Winkerbean: I hope that smirk on Betty’s face is because she’s planning on getting revenge by screwing up Les’s personnel file so badly that he’ll be lucky if his next paycheck arrives before he retires, and not because she actually thinks his tactless “GEE, YOU’RE OLD” joke is funny.

    Judge Parker: If you catch a couple of people red-handed with a truck full of pot-growing equipment and evidence that they’ve been selling it for some time, do you really have to go and ask the neighbors to share their suspicions with you? Isn’t the time for suspicions pretty much over at that point?

    Mark Trail: I always expect to be amazed by Mark Trail’s patented Anti-Gravity Punch (guaranteed to make the bad guy float in a weird position in defiance of all known laws of fistfighting physics)…but who knew that America’s Favorite Nature Writer was also such a nimble little minx? He ducked Mr. Ponytail’s right hook like it was nothing!

    Mary Worth: “Mary, we need to talk.” Oh please oh please oh please let this be all about how Jeff is dumping Mary. I’ve been good all year, Karen Moy, please just let me have this one. Just this one little thing, and I swear I won’t ask for anything else. Unless I can wheedle a “Professor Chinbeard gets fired from the college and chugs Robitussin until he’s hospitalized” plotline out of you, anyway. (I’m just putting that one out there, you can save it for the big Christmas plot arc if you like.)

    Rex Morgan: On the subject of plot arcs, I’m going to call this plot right now: the old gym equipment (and the wrestling mats in particular), were taken out of the dumpster by those kids, who are using them for either a backyard wrestling league or Jackass-style stunts or whatever. Obviously they are nasty, filth-encrusted things , just teeming with the evil MRSA (and the mats aren’t too clean either). Within the next few days, Rex will make his little “I’m thinking” frowny face but not come out and say that this is the case; he will insist upon searching backyards and abandoned fields and whatnot until the mats are found, and June will look perplexed at first but then gleefully pitch in as soon as she realizes there will be some trespassing called for. Eventually they will find the mats and point out the MRSA source to Dr. Andy, and everyone will spend a week or two patting themselves on the back and talking about how the lawsuit was dropped.

    (I arrived at this conclusion very simply: I took whatever minimal facts seemed to have been revealed so far, then thought, “What sort of plot would fit these facts if I wanted everything to be as uninteresting and tepid as possible while still making the main characters seem dim and a little bit awful?” and voila, a Rex Morgan storyline is born!)

    Spider-Man: Next week, the Parker’s cable TV will be disconnected when they don’t pay the bill, and that’s when Mary Jane will finally realize what Peter meant by “Maybe you shouldn’t have left the play.”

  116. bats :[
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:23 am [Reply]

    108. Dingo: you forgot Mary Worth.

    105. mumbles: oh, geez, I thought Mary’d gotten past the ‘dating’ part, no matter what the velocity…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/2513385136/

  117. A Lemur
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:31 am [Reply]

    MT: Whoo-Hoo! Mark’s FOJ is so powerful, it actually knocked the dognapper right out of the panel. That be some serious punchin’, you betchum.

    JP: “That’s right. We caught them red-handed with 20,000 pounds of mary-wanna bailed up and postmarked to someone named ‘Alan’ in NYC, we have their signed confession, and I still want to ask if you’ve seen anything ‘suspicious’.”

    …”If you have all that evidence, why do you need to know if I’ve seen anything suspicious?”

    “Actually, I don’t. I really just came over to stare at your rack.”

  118. Shave Ezra
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    #92 – Hadn’t noticed Mike’s hand. Kind of looks like something out of Herman, no?

  119. Arglebargle
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: “Daddy also wished that I be eight hundred feet tall and a mirror-shatteringly-ugly she-male with demonic “negative” eyes. One out of three isn’t bad, I suppose.”

    PBS: Uh. First time for everything, I suppose…including MASSIVE FAIL in Pearls‘ punnery.

    Mother Goose And Grimm: Here, though, MASSIVE FAIL is a regular occurrence, and today is a prime example.

    Mark Trail: Oh, thank goodness, the skinny kid standing in for Mark yesterday has been sent to the showers, and the real Mark Trail is here to beat the crap out of two fat people.

    Bizarro: Speaking of whaling on the fatties…would Horsie be happier hauling a larger family of skinnies that collectively weigh the same? I guess Piraro was in a hurry, and couldn’t make some false connection between meat-eating and obesity. Note to Piraro: when you recycle this one, have one of the kids take a bite out of the horse’s ass. No, not you, the horse’s ass in the cartoon.

    Curtis: Ooooooooookay. Did not want. Really did not want at all.

  120. Donald The Anarchist
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:39 am [Reply]

    MT I guess five-o-clock shadow would have been too much, but seriously.

    Ziggy Maybe the seashell is saying ZIGGY is a virus. Ziggy always seems funnier if you anthromorphise the background and assume the world is engaged in a hostile conspiracy against him.

    JP “Unusual? Well, I noticed that my Valium/Xanax night-time combo was packing more of a punch than usual, but frankly, I’ve been taking so much OxyContin that I feel pretty loopy most of the time anyway. Oh, you mean have I noticed anything odd about my neighbors…who are they again?”

  121. Mibbitmaker
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:01 am [Reply]

    Must-Flee Comics Thursday:

    MW: DUMP her ass, Doc! Go, Doc! Go, Doc! Go, Doc! Go, Doc!….

    9CL: Wha-?? Did MacEldowney mess up the space-time continuum?

    A3G: I’m not sure I wonder how she became so stupid, though.

    Curtis: That 6th speech balloon: EW! EW! EW! EW! EW! EW! EW! EW! EW! EW! EW!!! Why, Billingsley, why???

    DT: Those eyes! Those incomprehensible eyes! Worst. Art. Deco. Ever!

    DS: Finally, a TV that fights back! About time!

    FOOB: And here’s to the hero that yanks the ladder out from under that shnook!

    Luann: She sure is a product of our road-rage sociopolitical times, and a shoo-in for the modern newsmedia age (do what I want, or I’ll ruin you!). Way to go!

    MT: Ooh! All that violence… to word emphasis!

    That TV set from DS — get over to Non Sequitur, stat!

  122. Sheila Sternwell (the former Mrs. Tuddrussel)
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:05 am [Reply]

    Garfield: I apparently need to enter some kind of 12-step program, because Thursday’s “Garfield” made me laugh out loud. Perhaps it’s not so much a 12-step program but a 2-step program. Step one: a solid slap. Step two: Say “Stop laughing at Garfield!”

    MT: Oh man, I love the payoff strips. I read 97 weeks of boring and psychotic tripe just to see Fist-Punching Action!

    MW: Hoshit, she really is dumping the good doctor, and he’s trying to preemptively dump her before she finishes her sentence. Or considering the look on his face, he might be thinking about punching a few holes in the wall instead.

  123. Mibbitmaker
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:09 am [Reply]

    #121 (me): re: FOOB –

    I just came up with a perfect nickname for Mikey: Book Shnook.

  124. A Lemur
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:16 am [Reply]

    What really happened off panel in MT:

    Mark bumps into this squinty-eyed sailor guy who says “Ifs you wants to be strong to the finish, then eats some o me spinach. Then smoke some of this ‘rock’ I bought from Jones the beatnik.”

    …thus explaining the look of idiotic glee and drug fueled bravado when Mark goes to town on the dognappers.

  125. A New Day
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:16 am [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure that the last panel of today’s FOOB is the author’s shout-out to herself. ‘Hey Lynn, thanks for creating me, and making me so awesome.’
    (Insert gagging noise of your choice here).

  126. A Lemur
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:42 am [Reply]

    Actually, Mark on drugs goes a long way to explaining MT; the giant talking animals, the idiotic plans, the drug fueled bouts of rage, and the total lack of sexual interest in Cherry. The man needs a tough love intervention, though considering it’s mark trail and judging the back-woods sophistication of his friends, ‘tough love’ could turn out to be tragically misinterpreted…

  127. Alfred E. Neuman
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:53 am [Reply]

    #119 Arglebargle Re: PBS— I, too, was perplexed by that failure. Maybe Pastis originally wrote something like “He watched my neighbor’s fence” as the set-up line, then realized that did not make much sense, and changed to the current set-up line, which still doesn’t make much sense. Oh well, even the great Pastis can’t bat a thousand.

    MW— I’m not a hard core Mary Worth follower, but today’s strip is one of the most unique MWs I’ve seen. Thus, I have questions. First, what’s with Jeff? In panel 1 he looks like he’s putting the make on Mary. Has anyone ever put the make on Mary? Next, in panel 2, HE’S the one saying “We need to talk”. Has anyone but Mary ever said that? Has Mary’s meddling infected his personality? Will he now become a subsidiary meddler and begin to infect others such that meddling will spread across the land? Will Mary and Jeff begin to institutionalize meddling by selling meddling franchises? If so, would the name of their franchise be General Meddlers?
    Naturally, these questions are rhetorical, but feel free to answer, if you must.

    Hey, SSB, that last sentence brings to mind the name of Dick Tracy’s sooth-sayer, Rhett Oracle.

  128. MJ1066
    May 22nd, 2008 at 5:32 am [Reply]

    Curtis: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

  129. Little Guy
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:32 am [Reply]

    MT for the violence, JP for the jubblies. Don’t need a frickin’ plot.

    Big Nate: She’s more upset about the Skittles.

    Curtis: Wait until they get to his HPV status.

    Luann: Bernice is going to cost her future publisher a pretty penny in a libel suit.

    GA: “Hush! They’re making us cousins downstairs!”

    PBS: Cuuuuute! And deadly!

  130. gleeb
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:36 am [Reply]

    FBoFW: Mortgages? Isn’t Worm’s family loaded? He’d get a better rate borrowing from them.

    Mary: “Dammit, Mary, I crossed the Pacific Ocean at your whim!”

  131. Hobbes Fan
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:40 am [Reply]

    AS: Well, I gave this strip a week. Looks like I’m done with it now. I mean, the hell?

    BB: I’m just bummed because the last two days of strips have actually been genuinely funny…and then there’s this. Ha ha, two fat guys who look alike out-eating each other. Comedy Gold.

    FOOB: “…yes, let’s all raise a glass to the one person without whom these books would never have been written…my Mommy!”

    FW: “…of course, I guess that is bound to happen if one’s entire life doesn’t revolve around anything except one building.”

    MT: Hmm, I’m still thinking we’ll see Mark’s chivalry tested tomorrow. After all, she’s been drawn as a rather butch BBW, so she MUST be evil and asking for it.

    MW: Yes! Finally! The Worthpocalypse! Meddle THIS!

  132. Rizbon
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:43 am [Reply]

    “Sorry about this – I wanted to surprise you!” How many times, and in what a variety of situations has Mark awkwardly bellowed this at Cherry? (That’s his wife, right? Cherry? Oh…I don’t care.)

  133. isrw
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:51 am [Reply]

    5/22: Mary Worth has the dirtiest mouth.

    Mary: “I’m meeting that man I told you about! His grieving seems protracted.”
    Dr. Jeff: “Mary, we need to talk.”

    protract, verb:
    1. prolong: he had certainly taken his time, even protracting the process.
    2. extend a part of the body
    3. draw (a plan, etc.) to scale

  134. Big Sims
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:52 am [Reply]

    #115 Trilobite
    I’m still laughing thinking about Prof Chinbreard on a robo binge.
    Keep it up you classy Cambrian comedian!

  135. isrw
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:55 am [Reply]

    The timing of the closing fisticuffs in Mark Trail obeys the same logic shown by gas price hikes. It can happen any time people.

  136. John C Fremont
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:56 am [Reply]

    MT – Yesh!! Mark is back up to punching weight, and he’s taking care of business! And back in Lost Forest they say that Mark’s feet grew three sizes that day.

    A3G – Hold on there, Ruby. Aristotle does the reckoning around here.

    Foob – Why are they toasting with push-pops?

    MW – Protracted? Great, now her quotes are going to start coming from the DSM-IV. “I’ve heard it said that, ‘In Major Depressive Disorder, sadness is abnormal.’”

    GT – I, too, am a bit late getting to a gapper, if you know what I mean.

    Seriously, I don’t know what that means.

  137. J.Noble
    May 22nd, 2008 at 7:05 am [Reply]

    MT: Based on his amused expression, Mark looks more like he’s demonstrating his new found love for can-can dancing and the door just happened to be in the way:

    “SORRY ABOUT THIS…I WANTED TO SURPRISE YOU…WITH THESE HOT NEW STEPS I LEARNED!! (OOPS)!”

    Ziggy: Ha Ha, Ziggy has dementia!

  138. Lynngineering
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    FBOFW: “Local Author” met by what his mother blurts out are “Important people” sort of says it all.

    If Liz can never imagine anything other than being a breeder and never leaving the limits prescribed to her by the town and family – her brother Michael, the mothered, insulated, narcissist, acts as if he is the town and family’s guest when it comes to responsibilities (see: how he got his house, his actions during the famous fire, his actions with Grandpa, his marriage in GENERAL etc…) and the type that just won’t imagine people may want him to leave.

    I really can’t wait to see when the plot ramps him up to at least a “Famous National Author” and of course, the movie rights get sold…

    It’s so interesting to watch them congratulate each other today, four middle-class, unaspiring, milquetoast Canadians (two buddies speak, their two woman mostly don’t or acquiese ) with their well-off world, a good life that required no effort, and just not rocking the boat…

    Talk about a repressed author…

  139. dimestore lipstick
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    #64, Howabominable–it’s actually
    “You stole a friend of mine’s pet bear!”

    Which is, of course even more awesome.

  140. Whippersnapper
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:25 am [Reply]

    RMMD: Yep, we replaced everything. But we saved a bundle by stocking up on certified pre-owned jockstraps and towels.

  141. Scherzo
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    FOOB
    Ahhhhh! THE CLAW! THE CLAW! GET IT AWAAY FROM MEEEE!

    Honestly. These people are supposed to be able to draw? Look at that hand in panel 3. It would be at home in Gill Thorpe!

  142. AtomicDog
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    105 Mumbles: Yeah, everyone knows that “Air is for losers!”

    - Confidence, “Red Dwarf”

  143. smacky
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    As someone who dated a violinist and ultimately lost her to a cellist, I can relate to today’s Gasoline Alley (a rather horrifying thought in itself).

    Music is foreplay. Musicians are whores.

  144. smacky
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    To Mary Worth, grieving over a dead mother for more than three days is “protracted.”

  145. Scherzo
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    141
    {small voice} ‘Scuse me, I meant to say panel 5, not panel 3. The badly-drawn hand is in panel 5 of FOOB.{/small voice}

  146. McManx
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    MT — Has anyone else noticed that the fat dog-nappin’ woman looks a lot like Blondie? Perhaps we’ll learn that after years of loveless marriage with Dagwood, Blondie put on a few pounds. When she learned Dag was shagging Tootsie next door, Blondie hit the road with Mr. Ponytail, who is actually the cook from Dagwood’s favorite cafe. Oh well, it’s no less improbable than this current Trail storyline.

  147. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    9CL: Edda, I feel that if I am to continue reading your strip, our cards must always be on the table. Your problem is you are shallow, self-absorbed, conceited, tedious, annoying, petulant, whiny, moody, vain, pretentious, callous, pompous, inconsiderate, petty, jealous, bitter, mean, needy, didactic, ignorant, clingy, possessive, mercurial, volatile, and an inveterate cocktease. But you got a hot ass, so I’ll let it slide. I feel we’ve cleared the air.

    Archie: Arch learned that dance from Hot Dog.

    BB: I MAED U A CAKE BUT I EATED IT

    (WT)DT: Is that her face, or the front end of an ’82 Firebird?

    EC: Len had been waiting 16 years to hear his wife say those five words.

    FC: If “socks” were “sucks,” you’d be wearing clown shoes now. …I’m sorry. That was weak. I’ll start over: Family Circus blows chunks. There, that’s better. Thank you.

    GA: They sure move fast out in the country, don’t they?

    thorps. Wow, the text is trying to catch up to the art in the incoherency department.

    MT: As a duly sworn law enforcement officer nature-magazine writer and amateur vigilante, Mark is within his authority to going to apprehend these dognappers get shot in the face one of these days.

    MG&G: Didn’t we see this same punchline a few weeks back? In Bizarro maybe? It was Picard telling the NextGen crew, “Set phasers on vibrate.” Maybe someone who doesn’t have to get ready for work right now can look it up for me.

    OBH: Not that pee jokes aren’t funny, but I bet it would have been funnier had they worked in something about it being a poplar tree.

    Pluggers: That’s not pizza sauce! Calm down, It’s just chicken blood.

    S-M: “Now be fair, honey! The Vulture–” is wearing a thong! EWWWWW!!!

    tAS: Considering that Jim Henson is dead, this is incredibly tasteless.

    Ziggy: That’s OK, Zig. You can still get e-mail on your toilet.

  148. man behind the curtain
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    A3D — So I guess that maybe LuAnn was adopted or found in the trash. Maybe she’s actually the abandoned child of Gabriella and thus Margo’s half-sister.

  149. John C Fremont
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Awww. Strange Brew features an itty-bitty Michael Patterson today.

  150. Mr. Coffee Nerves
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Dead-on, Hobbes Fan!! FOOB: “…yes, let’s all raise a glass to the one person without whom these books would never have been written…my Mommy!”

    I’m guessing Mike’s next “book” will be about a horribly ugly suburban orthodonist who somehow manages to land the most intelligent, beautiful and perfect woman in the world, and they have two unfathomably brilliant children (plus one that is sent off to live on a farm after being born). Suddenly, the troll-like tooth-scraper leaves the perfect heroine for Satan’s Trollop (with the adulterers dying horribly mere moments after leaving, and the man making a final speech about the mistake he made leaving the perfect woman). The oldest son moves back home to care for the perfect woman, and they both live happily ever after.

    I can just see the blurbs now:

    “A masterpiece” — Vogue for The Potato-Nosed
    “As true as it is heartwarming” — The free newspaper homeless people try to sell you
    “Just fucking creepy” — Sophocles

  151. blammers66
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Could be a round house punch, could be the salute of Mark’s secret ultra-right-wing group that bears a “coincidental similarity” to a certain reich-like organization …

  152. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    5/22

    MT: The dognapper man tries to escape the fists of fury by running up the wall. Nice try, ponytail boy.

    Ziggy: How could it not lose the will to compute? First of all, its basic functions are being taken over by toilets and seashells. Then its owner showed his indifference by just dragging the milkman in to give it a once over.

    MF: The Liberal Media makes it rain, apparently.

    MW: Jeff doesn’t want his girlfriend spending time alone with an emotionally vulnerable mourner? Go figure.

    DtM: It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.

    Lockhorns: No marital discord today. Just a big WHAT????

    6C: Anne Gibbons wanted to show a stroller licking blood off its fangs, but King Features nixed it.

    S-M: “Now you’ll have plenty of time to play with your little flying friend later.”

    H&J: It was a relief to see that Herb and Eula were wearing boxing gloves. At first I thought they both had grotesquely swollen arms.

    Blondie: Rings disarmingly true. Most cooks would wait til you were gone, but they’d still yuck it up over this.

    MC: I like the fact that Rex is sharp enough to pick up on the dig.

    Luann: What kind of dictatorial power does the paper editor have at thiat school? Delta can just draw up enemies lists and post them at will?

    FW: “Because, you know, you’re scary old. Holy shit, I’m kinda scared that you’re gonna keel over before we’ve done talking.”

    Crock: To be fair, I doubt mom was crazy about Chucky or Bucky either.

    C-Shaft: That is, he’s willing to pay Top Dollar and his crew to burn the place down come Devil’s Night. Brandon Lee and his wife may want to clear out of the naeighborhood.

    H&L: It’s too bad that there’s not a Great Comics Switcheroo today. Snuffy Smith’s John Rose would make sure that Ditto had a little more firepower going after those squirrels.

    Momma: Sonya’s the one who put that expression on his face. Trust me, you don’t wanna know more.

    GA: “Shhh, I want to see if Joseph can get to second base with our daughter.”

  153. Vyola
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    #126 Actually, Mark on drugs goes a long way to explaining MT; the giant talking animals, the idiotic plans, the drug fueled bouts of rage, and the total lack of sexual interest in Cherry. The man needs a tough love intervention, though considering it’s mark trail and judging the back-woods sophistication of his friends, ‘tough love’ could turn out to be tragically misinterpreted…

    Darn it, Lemur! I was using those sinuses!

    ::mops hot tea up off of… everywhere, actually::

  154. TheDiva
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    Yesterday’s Ziggy: It’s a little-known fact if you hold a conch shell up to your ear, you can hear the lesser works of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

    Today’s Pluggers: A plugger’s sex life is so stunted that indulging in junk food is the closest they ever get to any form of passion.

  155. Thursdaynext
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    At this point, the only ladder I want to help Michael Patterson climb is the one to a gibbett.
    I find the entire exercise of FOOB so nauseating–yet it’s hard to look away–kind of like seeing a slug struggle with salt. . .

  156. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    #131 HobbesFan

    AS: Well, I gave this strip a week. Looks like I’m done with it now. I mean, the hell?

    Agreed. It might be funny as a Mulderism if he and Scully found some kind of mysterious amphibious corpse. On its own it just sucks. In general I don’t have time for TAS, because I’m old enough to have seen “The Far Side” done right.

  157. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    #126 A Lemur.
    COTW nom.

  158. Dik-Dik Vendetta
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    I think Jack Elrod should can the comic-strip and focus on selling more of his thumb-mounted Elrodipops. They look delicious!

  159. Imaginary Friend
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    Re: Ziggy’s trunks

    One word: Candiru.

  160. Joe
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    FOOB:
    What utter bullshit. First we go through a couple of weeks about how every swinging dick in Canada wants to enter the Golden Vagina of Liz because she’s just so perfect.

    Now we get to endure another round of crap surrounding St. Michael’s pathetic writing career. “Climbing the ladder”…….huh. They couldn’t buy the house without help from both his and Dee’s parents. St. Michael cares more about his first book burning up than his own family. Wittle Mewwy hit it right on the head…..it’s just another (stupid) book written by her dullard father.

    “Stone Season”…..now “Blood Cargo”. I guess the only thing you need to do to attain fantastic heights as an author in the foobiverse is: 1) Be a Patterson 2) Create a meanlingless title out of two words that don’t go together. Let’s try it:

    Desk Wind
    Blue Reason
    Goblet Understanding
    Plaid Weather
    Phone Carnival

    There………my first 5 books have been written. That was easy!

    Fucking Foobs!!!

  161. Brick Bradford
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    JP Her expression seems to be saying, “no wonder I couldn’t stop eating that chicken”.

    DT Has Dick ever killed anyone with that razor edged chin of his?

  162. man behind the curtain
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    MW — I think that Dr. jeff just realized that the person whose mother just died that mary is counseling is not a pre-teen but instead a middle-aged rival. And then he recalled how he pulled the same sympathy ploy when his mother died and that he still trolls funeral homes and cemetaries to pick up chicks.

  163. Patrick, working no particular division today
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    9CLAnyone listen to Morning Edition on NPR this morning? I had always assumed Hilary Hahn was a fictional character never to be seen but it turns out she’s a real violinist of some note. She’s touring with some guy named Josh if I caught the name correctly….

    I listen to classical music among other things, but I haven’t really paid any attention to modern performers since the majority of that type music I have is either on LP or 78.

    To be filed in my tired middle aged brain under the category of learning something new today.

    FOOB:Since I don’t sell enough of my paintings to quit my day job, part of my job is being the interlibrary loan lending person. On a daily basis, I send out tons of the kind of dreck Michael has written which means he will be successful. Blood Cargo would be just the kind of thing I’d get requests for over and over again. Only the cover would have a Fabio wannabe and a heaving bosomed woman barely dressed with historically inaccurate hairstyles gripped tightly to each other while trying not to be flung overboard by their passion. If it follows the usual Silhouette sex code, the amount of clothing worn by the people on the cover will determine the amount of sex inside.

    It’s also probably no worse than the Nora Roberts book of the month. I swear she seems to crank one out every few weeks. Her paperbacks have seals of authenticity that it is in fact a new book. I think she has some computer software where she plugs in character names, a location, selects from plot and subplot choices and then clicks “OK”.

    Given that there are a couple of unpublished novelists working in my department, we’ve joked that we need to write a really bad vampire/pirate/ werewolf romance novel and I would paint the cover since the chances of that getting published would be better than anything actually literary. The vampire would have to have named Julian St.Croix because they’re almost always named Julian and they always have to have St. something in their last names.

  164. Sandy
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    First of all, Mark Trail appears to suffer from “Bumstead Syndrome,” where your calf is about 4 inches long, and then your knee joint connects to your 3 foot long thigh.

    And further more, I don’t see what the artist of MT is so proud of. The nerve of penning his name dead center of the strip, in a circle, awkwardly positioned on someone’s thumb… What did he think, “Sweet, that looks so cool! Now people will puzzle at the placement of my name instead of reading my comic”?

    How can someone be a professional cartoonist and NOT get the concept of proportion and depth? That foot! That teeny wittle footsy! It’s coming closer to the viewer, it should be bigger. I don’t think it takes a professional anything to know that, just someone with a pair of eyes.

  165. Darkefang
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    Archie: It looks like Alan isn’t the only character on the comics page with a chemical dependency. In panel one, Archie’s wide-eyed expression demonstrates a state of extreme alertness as he runs through the halls. Even as he attempts to stand still, he’s completely unable to stop moving, resulting in the excessive trembling in panel two. Also note the signs of tooth decay on the right side of Archie’s mouth, as massive amounts of sugary drinks have rotted his teeth. Finally, after days without sleeping and reaching the point of completely physical exhaustion, he crashes in panel three. These are all classic symptoms of methamphetamine abuse.

    MT: I hate to break it to you Mark, but Beef McToughstrong has a point. You damaged his property, entered the premises uninvited and are now committing assault and battery on the occupants. That’s called a “home invasion” and the homeowner is legally allowed to shoot you. Oh, it’s also a felony. That’s more than I can say about stealing pets, which is probably a misdemeanor.

    Also, in panel three, unless Slab Ironjaw just happens to be slipping on a banana peel while Mark’s giving him the black power salute, he’s not only breaking the laws of man, he’s also breaking the laws of physics.

  166. JB
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    GT — Branden Zollar wasn’t late getting to the ball…it went *behind* her. It’s an error. And WTF does this have to do with panels 1 & 2, anyway?

    FC — get it? Jeffy’s just announced he’s “light in the loafers”…and from the looks of the teal leg warmers, purple fleece pullover and red socks with brown shoes…he really didn’t need to tell us, did he?

  167. AhClem
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    MW – If Jeff really is kicking Mary to the curb, she’ll have to find an on-line dating service tailored to meddling old crones.

    I’d recommend eHarBiddy.

  168. mafketis
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    Am I the only one that thinks that Ruby might be Luann’s real mother? Am I the only one that cares? No, wait. I don’t care either.

  169. Calico
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail – other lines o’ justice we shan’t forget:

    “You stole a friend of mine’s pet bear!”

    “That’s what I believe happened!”

    “Mark’s Home!”

  170. Poteet
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    # 115 Trilobite — BWAHAHA! Your DT comment was excellent. Shirl hurts my eyes even more than most DT characters, and I’m praying she’ll die a heroic death ASAP and not become a (shudder) regular.

    # 163 Patrick — NAKED CAME THE STRANGER worked, so your vampire/pirate romance might be a hit(?)

  171. dimestore lipstick
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    Patrick @163

    I heard that this morning, too–and got a little comics geek thrill.

    BTW–in addition to being a talented violinist, Ms. Hahn is also young, and quite lovely–explaining Bitchy McBallerina’s reaction to Amos.

  172. Spike
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    JP: Are we really in for another three weeks of a “Abbey is/was suspicious” re-cap?!?

    MW: Oooooh! The stage is now set! Will Dr. Jeff initiate a “meddle intervention” (complete with the cast of Charterstone) to save Mary, or will he simply slink off and join his son in Vietnam?

    116 Bats :[ : Way. Too. Funny. Thanks for my laugh of the day. :-D

    131 Hobbes Fan: “Worthpocalypse”! Wonderful neologism! Hope Merriam-Webster takes notice. ;-)

  173. Poteet
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    MT — In weak defense of the art, the animals look pretty good in this strip, unless the colorists are having one of their off days. It’s the inclusion of alleged human beings that turn MT into a tragicomedy.

  174. Little A. of The Bronx Jungle Patrol
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    FOOB: I have quoted our beloved Holden Caulfield from time to time, but one of his famous quotes (from a different context of course) certainly will be appropriate on the back cover of the paperback edition of Michael’s novel: IT WAS SO PUTRID I COULDN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF IT!!!

  175. Astroboy
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    #101 SFMarcus – Just the mordant, single word “Puzzle.”

    That’s a borrowed prop from Gil Thorpe. While the COACHes are visiting PUB, they while away the time with PUZZLE.

  176. essteess
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    92 True Fable wrote: “Here’s to climbing the ladder of success for Mike Patterson, despite a deformed hand shown in the final panel. Of course, after spending months sequestered away in his home office fwapping away furiously in front of his pc, I’m surprised his hand is in as good a shape as it is.”

    Comedian Chris Rush once had a bit about how in school you could always tell which kids were, uh, “fwapping away” too much:
    “He can barely lift a pencil with his left hand, but with his right hand he can crush a Volkswagen.”

  177. mafketis
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    As funny and wonderful Mary Worth getting dumped because she doesn’t want to go to the “Bum boat” would be, I think the writer has something else in mind.

    Mary’s recent seemingly pointless rhapsodising about how she wants to help others was a set up for her well-intentioned meddling to backfire.

    Jeff suspects this other guy is horning in on his territory under the guise of ‘mourning’.
    Mary doesn’t believe it.
    They argue and he dumps her.
    Second guy is revealed as horndog.
    Mary crawls back to Jeff to find he’s moved on and is now seeing Dawn.
    Mary decides to Mind Her Own Damned Business in the future, pours another vodka martini as we iris out.

  178. Thinks He\'s Brenda Starr
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    FC: Oh, Jeffy. You’ll never fill your daddy’s shoes, no matter how many corny jokes, or “socks” you put on. You can walk in his footsteps, but it will always be in a shambling, lopsided gait.

  179. Moss_Moses
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    Those are some very insightful comments on Mark Trail, Josh. I’m glad someone else noticed the bird legs and girly feet. Duck ‘n punch – what would Mark Trail do if the evildoer came at him with a Chuck Norris roundhouse karate kick? He obviously is a great boxer but could he defeat a facial haired martial arts expert? Also, he’s clever but how would he fare versus an improvisational wizard MacGuyver-like adversary? We can add Mark Trail to the Chuck vs MacGuyver polemic.

    Doc Jeff has finally grown a pair or else is resigned to an ongoing relationship with Rosy Palms and her knuckleheaded seesters. It’s shit or get off the pot time for Mary Worth. I hope she drops Do Jeff like a hot potato and hooks up with the grieving Ron, who has miraculously transformed from a frumpy sweatshirted slob into a GQ fashionplate. Ron would be a major upgrade but is he fluent in platitudes?

  180. essteess
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    Gasoline Alley: OK, all of a sudden this arc has become a Nanci Griffith song, rather along the lines of “Love at the Five and Dime.”
    Just to keep the mandolin dimension alive, I wonder if there’s any chance of a guest appearance by David “Dawg” Grisman? The specter of Bill Monroe?
    Actually, I wouldn’t mind at all if the strip spent a week or two on “Amanda Lynn and Joseph’s Adventures at the Falcon Ridge Festival.”

  181. Calico
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    MW – Maybe finally, finally Jeff will admit to Mary that he is gay, and he’s been on her arm the last several years for professional image reasons.

    Ron Amalfi simply wants a piece, but what he wants more is Mary’s inheritance.

  182. boojum
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    Allow me to swell the chorus with my humble voice: 126 A Lemur for COTW.

    I hoo-ha’ed.

  183. edr
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    I just find it hard to believe that nobody has pointed out that “Dinner at the Bum Boat” for Jeff and Mary Worth is obviously code for dirty . . . damn dirty backdoor lovin’.

  184. kingklash
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    “…As usual!”

  185. Calico
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    Moss – I can hardly wait for the Next Pool Party at C-Stone, when Mary shows off her new arm candy and drinks more blood.

  186. cheech wizard
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    JP – An observant police officer would have noticed the chartreuse paint job.

  187. Gabacho
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    Some days are just too perfect – Today is one

    Mark Trail – yesterday’s door kick combined with today’s Right Fist o’ Justice have left me clapping my hands with delight. Some months ago, Dingo mentioned “My Favorite Year”, a movie I had not seen in 20 some odd years and I rented it. It is perfect and I can just picture Peter O’Toole as Mark Trail in this sequence.

    Mary Worth – Dr. Jeff Corey is going to dump Mary. I can just feel it. Finally he sees that after ruining his life’s dream and exiling his son over a romantic spat, Mary’s help is pure evil. He will tell her so. Then she will go all Kathy Bates in Misery on him. I want this so bad.

  188. Widdle Jeffy
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    I think the idea Jeffy is going for in FC is

    “How many condoms do I have to wear to fit into mommy?”

  189. cheech wizard
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    FC – No, Jeffy, it’s not about daddy’s shoes – “put a sock in it” means shut the fuck up.

  190. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    Mary WorthIt probably won’t happen, but I would be delighted to see Dr. Jeff break up with Mary since he has evidently figured out that Mary is a pathological meddler and everyone she supposedly loves will always be a distant second fiddle to her wrecking the lives of other people with her “help”. Dr. Jeff has had enough. Finally.

  191. Buck Ripsnort
    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    evil, evil FOOB: All dedications to Mommy; but I think my paper’s copy had a typo– it should obviously read “the first wrong.”

    Luann: Probably nobody else gives a damn about this, but does Delta seem a little too. . . .Magical Negro to anybody else? Yes, God knows this strip needs somebody w/ a soul, and she is the only motivating force besides lust that can get Bernice and Luann off the sofa, but she’s just a little TOO perfect, isn’t she? I first noticed this during her “blink and you missed it” cancer-shmancer (when she was being more noble and brave than seemed even possible), but it’s kinda bugging me this week. Criticisms?

  192. cheech wizard
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    191 – Delta is totally Magical Negro. Gunther, on the other hand, is Magical Hebrew.

  193. AhClem
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    #116 bats :[ -
    Oh, thank you very much for THAT one. The image of Mary in a threesome with anybody, let alone Homer And Jethro, is going to give me nightmares tonight, I just know it.

  194. Calico
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    #187 – Re: Misery – Aaaaaack!
    Years ago, when we talked about seeig this movie, even my Ex-Navy Seal ex-boss almost fainted. Jeebum. “Misery” Makes “Goodfellas” look like a day at the County Fair.

  195. TheDiva
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    163, 170: I’m also in the library line (children’s ref here), and there is a juvenile series out there called “Vampirates” (just what the portmanteau suggests). Looking it up on Amazon, I discover the most recent installment was subtitled “Blood Captain.” Michael’s success becomes more depressingly plausible.

  196. Little Guy
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:21 pm [Reply]

    #143: You described 6CL as well. Dr Julli is just has priggish as Elly.

  197. Tracey
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    I can’t figure out Mark Trail’s proportions in this comic. It’s like he’s got the Brawny paper towel guy’s torso and the legs of that kid in that Charles Atlas “make a man out of Mac” ad that used to be in the back of comic books.

  198. Successful Ontario Author
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    I find the blatant jealousy regularly expressed in this forum to be offensive. Clearly those of you people who do not have the Gift are transparently envious of those of us who do in fact possess it. Michael Patterson is nothing less than a brilliant and successful Ontario author.

    My mother warned me there would be pathetic, jealous people who would try to tear down anyone truly successful, anyone who is profound and generous enough to share the Gift that they have, the gift of Writing.

    Rather than offer accolades and gratitude, you endeavor to tear down one who has used his rare talent to build a rare world of imagination for all to share, one who has not only dedicated his career to transcribing and expressing the transformative stories that fill his head, but has also traveled across the provinces to conduct firsthand research, to make these journeys into the soul more vibrant and real for everyone in the world. Yet all you people can do is mock and attack him for it. Shame on you!

    Michael Patterson is a gifted and successful Ontario author! Leave Michael Patterson alone! Jealous!

    Sincerely,

    Leonard Driscoll (not Michael Patterson)

  199. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    194 Calico,
    Believe it or not, it was toned down from the novel.

  200. Paul Arrand Rodgers
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    Did Mark Trail just kick down a door while wearing topsiders?

    That’s the definition of bad-ass, right there.

  201. Dr. Mabuse
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    #198 Leonard Driscoll is right! We should all be respectful and honoured by the presence of a successful Ontario writer in our midst. And prepare ourselves for even great fame for Mike, because everyone knows that the TV networks, the cable shows, the New York Times and Hollywood all rank an Ontario writer far, far above a mere New York or Chicago or Los Angeles writer. But don’t worry, he won’t forget his roots, and his interviews will be full of appreciative remarks for us little people in Ontario who provide the tasteful background for his blooming genius.

    The Elusive Robert Denby

  202. Saluki
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: I’m almost fifty years old and that is the first time I’ve ever seen the words “explosive diarrhea” in a comic strip. I don’t know whether to be appalled or awed.

  203. Perky Bird
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    I’m just waiting for that Flyspeck Island medicinal muffin to announce when Curtis had his first erection.

  204. Diamond Joe
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    Re: Michael’s toast to Mom: what really struck me is there’s no love for Deanna, who specifically encouraged him to take time off and finally write a novel.

    #150 Mr. Coffee Nerves:

    “A masterpiece” — Vogue for The Potato-Nosed
    “As true as it is heartwarming” — The free newspaper homeless people try to sell you
    “Just fucking creepy” — Sophocles

    If you don’t make the float with this, there’s no justice in the world.

    #152 Artist formerly known as Ben:

    Crock: To be fair, I doubt mom was crazy about Chucky or Bucky either.

    And she’s got two daughters she hated with a passion. (I’ll leave that one for you all to figure out.)

    #154 TheDiva:

    Today’s Pluggers: A plugger’s sex life is so stunted that indulging in junk food is the closest they ever get to any form of passion.

    Wow, who knew the Patterfoobs were pluggers?

    #131 HobbesFan & #156 Artist formerly known as Ben:

    I think you missed the point. It’s that the skeletal remains of Kermit are a human arm. Because he’s a puppet, you see.

  205. commodorejohn
    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    A3G – “The brain damage probably helped, too.”

    AS – Wow. Remember that Douglas Adams line about “an unfortunate miscalculation of scale?” Yeah.

    BB – Huh, and here I thought the purportedly humorous abuse of a stout bulb-nosed fellow by random members of society was exclusively Ziggy‘s turf.

    Crankshaft – What are you looking sad for, Asshole Son? Wasn’t this whole thing your idea?

    Curtis – Well, this is a typically stupid Flyspeck Island storyline, but kudos to Billingsley for getting the phrase “explosive diarrhea” printed in a family strip.

    DT – GAH STOP THE CLOSEUPS ALREADY

    FC – Is it just me, or is Jeffy getting perceptibly smaller every time he puts in an appearance? I mean, God, he’s at most two feet tall here. Will we, in another couple years or so, be seeing him comment on how tall Stuart Little is?

    FOOB – “Slowly but surely, we’re settling ourselves into the life of suburban drudgery and toil that is the One True Way!” I have to admit, though, I almost felt sorry for Mike, looking at that final panel, where the implications of the situation are plainly beginning to register with him, but so strong is his mother’s hold on him that he’s compelled to praise her nonetheless. Then I thought of those terrifically shitty excerpts from Stone Season and my hatred came right back in full force. Death’s too good for this literary war criminal.

    FW – “If you get what I mean…

    GA – AAUGH NO FUCK THIS STRIP I QUIT

    HOTC – Tatulli, you magnicifcent sicko, how’d you get this past the syndicate?

    JP – Um, I’m no expert on police procedure, but why would they be asking for clues as to the possible drug dealings of the Dickenses after they apprehended them? Was it unreasonable search and seizure, and they’re trying to retroactively establish probable cause? (THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS.) Or are they trying to gather evidence to bolster the case? Wouldn’t a truckload of pot be enough, let alone with all the information they must have gathered if they knew about the operation for some time? Help me out here.

    Luann – “Yeah, and we’ll buy a full-page ad in the paper titled ‘Delta Is A Self-Righteous, Bossy Bitch.’”

    MT – Even more awesome than Mark’s addle-brained smirk in panel one is the fact that, if Steven Seagal’s position is anything to judge by, it wasn’t so much a fist O’ Justice as it was a clotheslining. Oh, Elrod, when you deliver, you really deliver.

    MW – “And that’s not the only thing about him that’s protracted, if you get what I mean…

    Pluggers – Pluggers have no autonomy in their diet, let alone their sex lives.

    Popeye – Every now and then, Popeye diverges from its usually quirky bizareness to give a truly brain-breakingly insane panel. Panel three today being one such.

    RMMD – “Um, where did they…where’d they put the old, sweaty mats? The ones that teenage boys had been rolling around on?”

    SM – Say what you want about Mary-Jane’s impulsive quitting of her job, at least she has the sense to realize that a healthy Peter will be marginally more tolerable than a sick one and he wouldn’t make a difference in apprehending the Vulture anyway.

  206. commodorejohn
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    #204 Diamond Joe re: Argyle Sweater – I suppose that’s probably what Hillburn was going for, but with the wide spread of the fingers, it looks enough like a severely oversized skeletal frog’s flipper (except for the thumb, which, it could be argued, Kermit has,) that I couldn’t make head or tail of it. In any case, it’s not remotely worth the effort.

  207. PD
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    It is foolhardy to try and understand how genius functions. Even more so the success of Michael Patterson. We are witness to the essential – the emptied out, entropic outlines of a talent, of the kind paradoxically unable to be limited by boundaries of the like that “Ontario” signifies.

    I for one have read his first book, a remaindered reviewers copy, which guests can find in my bathroom library, and now look forward to picking the new one up on my next trip to Wal-Mart. An author such as Patterson comes only once in a lifetime. Just the term “literature” is not enough to describe what his writing does to me. There should be a word for such work – “Pattersoned” ? – pronounced as “-zoned”.. that could at least signal the unprepared as to the particular kind of sensorial melangerie and the potent bouquet that lingers inside the binding, traces of his authorial struggle which he captures to offer each of us as a little gift in the form of his new opus.

    Percy Dovetonsils

  208. Old School Allie Cat
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    #207 – Percy Dovetonsils -

    NICE! My husband got the Ernie Kovacs box set on DVD, and we’re huge fans. Huge!

  209. Perky Bird
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    # 207 Percy Dovetonsils–
    May I ask if your “bathroom library” is there to help with the wiping or with the purging?

  210. Wolf Shepherd
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    AS – I think this joke could actually work if Kermit were a hand puppet. But he is not. He is a marionette. A human hand still has a prominent role, but the disconnect made it much harder for me to “get it.” And when you don’t get it, it’s not funny.

  211. Successful Ontario Author
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    My mother warned me to not dignify this forum with responses, but I can no longer refrain! Commodore John how dare you! Michael Patterson is a brilliant and successful Author!

    Stone Season is a brilliant novel, a heartfelt labour of love, a veritable meditation on the power of family and stability and home and life itself. And now Michael has another wonderful novel coming out, an historical novel that has been described as “a real thriller” by a reader who isn’t even related to him! He was even interviewed by the local television station at a book signing at his mother’s former bookstore! That is far more success than most of you will ever enjoy!

    Need I point out that Michael is a successful Ontario Author who has not only written two novels but attained the position of Editor-In-Chief of Portrait Magazine while only a few years out of university! Sounds incredibly implausible, huh? Well it’s true!

    Most importantly he is married to a lovely wife and is the loving father of two young children, in addition to being a devoted son and brother! What have you done that compares with that! What have any of you done! Don’t you even know who I am! This envy is disgusting. Michael Patterson deserves your respect and admiration, rather than these offensive attacks and insults!

    Michael Patterson is a successful Author and Writer! Stop being JEALOUS!

    Sincerely,
    Leonard Driscoll (NOT Michael Patterson)

  212. JB
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Foob — I was thinking one of the book-jacket quotes would be:

    “And I thought I had issues.” — Oedipus

  213. Successful Ontario Author
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    PD thank you for your kind words. It is heartening to see that at least ONE person in this misbegotten forum understands those of us who have the Gift.

  214. minor flood
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    In that last panel if Mark Trail, Mr. Ponytail-Criminal looks like he could be a young Crankshaft.

  215. Kate
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    Okay, wait. This is the first time I’ve looked at Curtis in many, many weeks, and it was specifically because people in here were talking about how the phrase “explosive diarrhea” made it into the comics, and I still don’t know what the hell is going on. Did Curtis eat a Flyspeck Island muffin? And then did the muffin give him explosive diarrhea? And then text all those random people? From the toilet bowl?

  216. Kate
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    I can’t believe I actually went back and read the backstory of the explosive diarrhea.

    Fortunately, the punchline of the May 16 strip was “That was no cherry, Curtis!!” So I have a new way to say “Goodbye” on the phone now. So I didn’t completely waste the last four minutes of my life.

  217. Anonymous
    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    Mike’s been taking lessons from Ted Forth on how to hold a champagne glass. Also, from Gil Thorp and Dick Tracy on how to be deformed at random moments.

  218. AhClem
    May 22nd, 2008 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    #215 Kate -
    I think the Flyspeck Island muffin simply reports the eater’s medical history to any electronic device within range.

    Michael Patterson ate one last month, and nearby radios and cell phones were heard to say “I know this feces-laden bilge I write would make Edward Bulwer-Lytton seem like Shakespeare by comparison, but my screeching harpy of a mother threatens to stuff me with Ex-Lax S’mores if I don’t play along.”

  219. Kate
    May 22nd, 2008 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    #219, AhClem, you have helped me figure it out.

    Michael Patterson is the author of the sequence in Curtis about the Kwanzaa Golden Otter.

  220. ohyes
    May 22nd, 2008 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    211. I too have had it with the haters.

    I have commissioned an Ontario folk artist to create a framed sampler of the inspiring, climactic, family-centered message of Stone Season:

    “Fend for yourself, Loser! Suck on it! Die!”

    These words will be shown emblazoned in the sky above an image of the mean and inattentive husband dying in a ditch.

  221. commodorejohn
    May 22nd, 2008 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    #219 Kate – SPEAK NOT SUCH BLASPHEMY! That sequence was PURE AWESOME!

  222. T. Chicana
    May 22nd, 2008 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    MW: Don’t lose your nerve Dr. Jeff! Hightail it back to ‘Nam and don’t. Look. Back. What does Mary think? She can blow off the Bum Boat like that? Oh hells no. I just don’t know if Dr. Jeff can follow through on this.

    Foob: Whenever they show Weed’s wife (girlfriend?) I think it’s Eric, the one who showed his unworthiness of the Golden Vadge by thinking they would share a room in their college house. They have the same dimples that look like weird dots. OH her name is “Carleen.” That’s right. Hoooommme-ly. More proof that the Pattersons are the one true light. I can’t believe they are just falling all over themselves like this. BLARRRFFF. If only this was Batiuk-World and they’d get a swift come-uppance.

  223. Hobbes Fan
    May 22nd, 2008 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    204: No, no, I did indeed get it…it just wasn’t funny.

    And am I the only one amazed at the numerous “Gemini Man”/”Riding with Death” references we’re seeing in these comments?

  224. Professor Fate
    May 22nd, 2008 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    FOOB:It’s these forced artifical wholesome scenes in this strip that make me just gag and wish the lot of them were attacked by a band of axe murderers dressed as cows.

  225. True Fable
    May 22nd, 2008 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    Yes, but Michael Patterhack will NEVER be able to compare on a literary level, with the physical wonder and majesty of pure unfiltered Red Hot Fable Love! The inevitable failure will surely burn a hole straight down through the heart of his so-called ‘talent’ like some kind of vengeful fucking China Syndrome, leaving just his shell and a few pitiful crumbs of butter tart behind.

    Read it and weep, Lynnie Baby: The Fable is NOT FOR YOU!! All your feeble substitutions are cute but ultimately leave you frustrated, don’t they, my little caribou wasteland?

  226. odinthor
    May 22nd, 2008 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    203. Perky Bird.

    I’m just waiting for that Flyspeck Island medicinal muffin to announce when Curtis had his first erection.

    Speaking of which:

    MT — Panel 3. Doesn’t Mark seem to be, um, awfully into this bout of fisticuffs, if you see what I mean (and if you don’t it’s like Whoa, Mark dude you’re getting all hard ‘n’ stuff; save it for Andy Cherry!)? It’s not as if I go around staring at comic strips’ characters’ crotches, of course. That would be, y’know, pathetic and all. Heh. [laughs nervously, looks shiftily over each shoulder, and types "close italics" html]. Or maybe Mark just has a lot to offer…

  227. cheech wizard
    May 22nd, 2008 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    FOOB – Given Dee’s enthusiasm (“Life is good’), I have to conclude that “climbing the ladder” isn’t a reference to commercial success, but rather, that she has finally taught her husband to engage in foreplay.

  228. shMerker
    May 22nd, 2008 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    It’s possible Ziggy’s artist just discovered thedailywtf.com, which regularly features similar technological gaffs. Pretty much anything with a screen could throw out a similar message, which to the less technically literate starts to make things look like computer viruses affect everything.

  229. cheech wizard
    May 22nd, 2008 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    A note on the Michael-as-successful-author thing. A lot of people has blasted this for being farfetched. But what you consider that Lynn has made a badillion dollars (CAN) as a cartoonist, which is an even bigger longshot, career-wise, I guess it’s not too surprising that she would model Mike’s career after her own. Only Mike started sucking right out of the gate, instead of settling his fat ass into it after 20-some years of once-commendable work.

  230. cheech wizard
    May 22nd, 2008 at 5:58 pm [Reply]

    MT- I still think the dognappers are Furio and Carmen 15 years after Tony got popped in the ice cream parlor. Or did he?

  231. cheech wizard
    May 22nd, 2008 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    Oops, I mean Furio and Carmella.

  232. Poteet
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    # 125 New Day — HAR!! Thank you.

  233. Anonymous
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    #226 Odinthor – Mark Trail – Holy mackerel! I can’t believe I missed the Mark Trail Woody, but there it is in panel 3, a proud standing tribute to Tom of Finland.

    I’m impressed.

  234. Gabacho
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    ^^^233^^^ – so impressed and distracted that I forgot to hit preview.

  235. Tux Pendleton
    May 22nd, 2008 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    JP: So what were the neighbors up to, selling narcotics or selling marijuana? I mean that’s the kind of rookie mistake that…. Uh, I mean, I heard from a friend of a friend that maybe there is a difference or something.

    FOOB: I think it’s time for the Pattersons to get an adorable new fluffy cat. Are you listening, Pastis?! I have money!

    #163, 171: The lovely Ms. Hahn is very real and very talented, but that’s no excuse for Brooke to drag this on any longer. BTW, if you plan on reading 9CL regularly, the closet thing to a crib sheet might be BeautyInMusic.com, helpfully sorted by instrument.

  236. Pendragon
    May 22nd, 2008 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    My entry for Final FOOB:

    Panel 1: POV — From the altar of a church. Minister’s back to viewer, flanked by Anthony and Elizabeth. In the pews, we see many emotional members of the Patterson and Caine clans in the pews in the middle distance. The minister is speaking: “..from this day forward, for better, for worse…”.

    Panel 2: A bright burst fills the frame. Sound effect: FOOB!!

    Panel 3: Military Duck from Pearls Before Swine, helmeted, lit cigarette dangling from beak, smoking bazooka in wing:
    “Awaiting further orders, sir.”
    Terrorist Kitty: “Meow.”

  237. bats :[
    May 22nd, 2008 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    Although Sunday’s C’est la Vie reminded me of me:
    http://www.gocomics.com/cestlavie/2008/05/11/
    I can’t help but appreciate some little amount of dissent in the short-stack ranks:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/2514892166/sizes/o/

  238. Wolf Shepherd
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    DtM: I find this versionmore menacing.

  239. Orange Doorhinge
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    Rex: The Nurse doesn’t look as much like Chuckie as she did yesterday, but still looks like a wind-up doll.

    FOOB: What type of book does Michael write? Stephen King Horror or just Historical novels?

  240. Deena in OR
    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    or…if you really want the direct line…

    http://www.hilaryhahn.com/

  241. Cafangdra
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    Wow, awesome post! Love for Josh.

  242. Dr. Mabuse
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    #223 Hobbes Fan: ‘Riding With Death’ was one of my favourite MST3K episodes. It even has a very peripheral tie-in to Ontario, as there is a dubbed line where Buffalo Bill tells Sam that he’s going to go up to Ontario to work on racecars. Maybe that will be the plot of Michael’s next book.

    The Elusive Robert Denby

  243. Gold-Digging Nanny
    May 23rd, 2008 at 1:08 am [Reply]

    165 Darkefang — That might be the case in any other universe, but in Jackelrodland, Gristle McThornbody is the law. That goes for criminal law and physics.

  244. Jen
    May 23rd, 2008 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    That first panel of Mark Trail shows a striking case of “Afterthought Ponytail”.

  245. dramashoes
    May 23rd, 2008 at 3:18 am [Reply]

    I have been woefully wrong about Michael Patterson and his work. Having carefully perused and reflected upon the words of Leonard Driscoll and other reviewers who are obviously not Mr. Patterson in disguise, I now see how wrong I was to have excoriated this brilliant, iconoclastic, life-altering writer.

    “Writer,” in fact, is a word which fails to do this man justice. For Michael Patterson is so much more than just a writer. He is also an author. An author of books. Books that are made up of words. Words that form a symphony as sweet as the dewy sap flowing from a Canadian Maple syrup tree. Words that blend together into sentences filled with punctuation and longing. Longing for a brighter day, a day when we can all abandon our abusive self-defeating emotions in the roadside ditch of memory.

    If our lives were made of linoleum, Michael Patterson would be the wooden subfloor upon which we all rest. His words alone will survive the cruel ravages of time which must remodel us all.

    So here’s to you, Michael Patterson. Jesus loves you more than you can know- and so do we.

  246. AdWatcher
    May 24th, 2008 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    In Panel 3, Abbey looks like she’s auditioning for a role in one of those “Where will you be when your diarrhea comes back?” commercials…

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