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Ho ho hopelessness

Heathcliff and The Family Circus, 12/1/12

Celebrate, everybody! Three and half weeks of the Holiday Season lie before us, and if these whimsical one-panel cartoons for children are any indication, they will be a singularly grim and joyless affair. Billy is rooting through his box of toys so he can make his list of gift ideas; he literally has so many geegaws that he’s in real danger of getting duplicates. His toys may be spilling out of the top of a box that comes up to his shoulders, but they can never fill his bottomless need. Dolly looks on, expressionless. Meanwhile, Heathcliff, who is a cat and therefore not a participant in human religion or holiday celebration, merely sees the hustle and bustle at the mall as another opportunity to assert his dominance. He’s disrupting a farcical Christmas tradition meant to generate more sales revenues, and neither the bored mall Santa nor the stoop-shouldered children waiting in line can work themselves up to be even slightly upset by his antics.

Archie, 12/1/12

I bet you thought that yesterday’s late-night recycling laffs were just a one-off Archie joke, but no! Morning has come and now Archie and his dad are going down to the recycling center to return … the papers … which are now pamphlets about environmentalism? Or maybe the newspapers are being turned into the pamphlets, right there, at the recycling center? Anyway, the point is that recycling’s for chumps, kids, make sure your newspapers end up in a landfill, or, to go that extra mile, find a small endangered bird and smother it with the sports section!

Herb and Jamaal, 12/1/12

Do people outside of wacky fictional settings ever do elaborately sarcastic performances like this? I mean, it’s one thing to mock your lonely, heartbroken friend by telling him he’s having a “pity party,” but it’s quite another to take off your apron and leave the room and announce that you’re going to make actual concrete preparations for such an event. I certainly hope Herb has the determination to see this thing through to the end and really go to Kinko’s to have something printed up, or at least create a Facebook event and send invites to everyone Jamaal knows.

Ziggy, 12/1/12

God, this squirrel is quite the little name-dropping asshole.

136 responses to “Ho ho hopelessness”

  1. QTT
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    “Pity party” is Herb and Jamaal code for “bacchanalian homosexual orgy.”

  2. BethG
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    I had to look up “geegaws.” I’m going to use that word now.

  3. Baka Gaijin
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    The look on J. Jonah Jameson’s face says, “Your sweet ass is mine, Janitor Manager. Mine forever!”

  4. Weaselboy
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    That’s not what the squirrel asked you, Ziggy. He wants to know how it is that you can afford a jaunty cap but not pants.

  5. Poteet
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    FC — You could start by asking Santa for a neck.

  6. NoahSnark
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Given the angle of the squirrel’s head, and the smile on his face, I have to assume he is hunting nuts.

  7. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    Hannukah is the Festival of Lights
    Instead of one day of presents, we get eight craaaazy nights!

    I’d love to hear the FC’s interpretation of the miracle of the oil.

  8. Steve
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    MW: “After several weeks…”? Was that an option? Then why wait so long to play that card?

    Panel 1: “Dawn, would you like to go on a cruise?” “Sure, Dad.”
    Panel 2: Several months pass. “Too bad Jim didn’t want to be friends. I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

  9. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy: If this squirrel is claiming to be or at least know a celebrity in order to have sex with Ziggy, I’m turning my brain in for a new one.

    MW: Since mourning the loss of a friendship doesn’t really entail any particular location, Dawn just totally dodged her father’s question. Gotta respect that.

    SL: Good news! A lot of the people you meet on cruise ships are to infirm to get away.

    JP: There’s a glaring continuity error here. In the first panel, Randy seems to be picking his father up at the airport. In the last panel, however, it’s obvious that he’s picking him up at the funeral parlor. (The embalming is so close to lifelike.)

    RMMD: It’s like some kind of crazy dream where Tommie Thompson gets into a bitch-off with Margo. And wins!

    GA: Let me guess. Surprise twist where the astronomy club and the bullies team up to take down the nanny state?

    BB: “You want me to raise my standards? Fine. I want a divorce.”

    GT: I look forward to Terry making it up to his teammates with peonies and baby’s breath.

    DtM: No, just a new one. From those scratches it looks like Margaret has chopped up plenty of lines on this mirror.

    Luann: You think Quill is kidding, but watching a football team gangbang on Skype would really make his day.

    S-M: “Um, I just saw the shock lines radiating from their heads and I thought something might be up.”

    SFx: Is that a rolled-up newspaper in your pocket, or are you really excited about your new dog?

    A3G: Properly speaking, it’s Margo who’s playing fast and loose with her agency. Evan is just robbing it blind.

  10. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    “Name-dropping asshole”
    The squirrel in Buckles is kind of annoying, too.

    Re: cats and human religion – didn’t the Egyptians worship cats at one point? What about Bastet?
    (Cats know this and play us like fiddles because of it).

  11. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    Typical squirrel. They think they’re so goddamn amazing.

  12. LurkerMan
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    God, Healthcliff is an asshole.

    Maybe Kraven the Hunter should get him into his act…

  13. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 1st, 2012 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    @BethG (#2): I always thought it was “gewgaws”, but either one is fun.

  14. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#7): If the Keanes were Jewish, seders would be the best.
    “Who is the extra setting for?”
    “Not me!” *wink*

  15. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    @Naked Bunny with a Whip (#11):
    Ha, they do most of the time, don’t they?

    JP – let me guess – younger Parker has the big C.
    Can I not have a few months sans the Big C? @%#^$&*x#@!

  16. Inkwell
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    In today’s Ziggy, a pantsless man and a squirrel make conversation!

    What, you wanted humor?

  17. Art Pepper
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    The cold war over, Rocky was forced out of the CIA and now panhandles in the park. Meanwhile Bullwinkle works at a foreign policy think tank.

  18. Alison
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    “Mary Worth”: “Yes, Dad, I am off to mourn to the loss of the guy whom I saw, oh what, three times? The one who got aggressive with me two of those times. The one who only liked me at all because I looked like his dead relative. Yes, indeed, he was a wonderful friend, and I need time to mourn, Dad! This is not the kind of heartbreak you can just get over, okay?! *starts to cry* Life is brutal.” *goes down to the pier and considers suicide*

  19. David Foster Wodehouse
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    I always believed that Marmaduke could only be a ravenous demon, and that Rex is an insufferable prick, but I must admit it wasn’t until today’s panel 2 that I was totally convinced about Herb and Jamaal.

  20. un malpaso
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#14): If the Keanes were Jewish:

    I can see an awesome Sunday panel on the Exodus showing Billy with a black dotted line throughout the Sinai Peninsula…

  21. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#13):
    I prefer tchotchke myself.
    Is a Xmas tree too pagan for the Kompound?

  22. Cloudbuster
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    A3G: If I’m remembering correctly, when Margo met Skyler, Margo was rude and dismissive to her. Then when Evan warned her that Skyler was thinking of leaving the agency (had she even signed?), Margo said to just let her go. But it’s Evan that’s undermining the agency?

    MT: Just a note to all you pirates out there: when you kidnap someone at gunpoint, you don’t have to come up with an elaborate ruse to do away with him. You’re a pirate. You put a bullet in his head and you dump him overboard.

    MW: Dawn doesn’t understand that “mourning the loss of a friendship” is a metaphor, so she booked a viewing room at a local funeral home. Yeah, the funeral home director thinks it’s weird, but her money spends just like anyone else’s.

  23. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#22):
    Or a mafioso.
    “Not this face – please.”

  24. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    A3G Ah! Progress, at last! Greg and Professor Perpendiculous are at about 90 degrees to each other. Soon they will be almost facing each other while they talk.

    FW On further thought, a better storyline would be to send Crazy to prison for mail fraud.

    MW Huh? “Several weeks”? Gee, I must have dozed off. Or something.

  25. Ed Dravecky
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    I wanted to invite everybody to Jamaal’s Pity Party but requires a specific date and location, not merely “a popular point on the time-space continuum”.

  26. seismic-2
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    H’Cliff: The Santa myth continues to grow. First, he had flying reindeer to pull his sleigh. Now, he has a cat to pick his nose.

    Archie: Mr. Andrews is really straining and sweating from carrying that stack of papers. That’s why Archie’s next stop on this recycling trip will be to the Soylent Green facility.

    H&J: Thank goodness Jamaal is having a pity party. When Herb started to take off this apron, I was afraid it would be a lemon party.

    Ziggy: I find it hard to believe that Ziggy is familiar with Rocky and Bullwinkle. I would think his domain of experience would be confined to Bore-us and Fat-assia.

  27. Liam
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy-This is not the moose and squirrel Rocky and Bullwinkle but two rather large squirrels who are going to beat up Ziggy if he doesn’t give them some food.

  28. Liam
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    H and J-Oh a pity party. Will there be cocktail weenies and strippers?

  29. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#27):
    Two bad ass MF’r squirrels from LoFo.

  30. kanomi
    December 1st, 2012 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    Family Circus dares use the Christmas word in the face of belligerent hostile atheists, good for them. This is the best takedown of atheistic vanity I have ever read, enjoy:

    The link pretty much says it all, “Why smug atheists should read more science fiction.”

  31. rich
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    Non-sequitor introduces a new character today, Harry Bush.

  32. Chareth Cutestory
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    Herb and Jamaal: BREAKING NEWS! Person who uses the phrase “Oh woe!” while speaking aloud to himself has trouble forming relationship with other normal human beings.

  33. Rocky Stoneaxe
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    Curtis — “Tattoo? What tattoo? Lemme show you what a half-lodged turkey leg looks like!”

  34. Mibbitmaker
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    MW: Dawn, you’re off to mourn dodging a bullet, not some great loss.
    You said it, last panel Wilbur!

    H&J: Oddly enough, the term “pity party” was bandied about on a new Phineas & Ferb just last night. And if there’s one thing Doofenshmirtz is good at, it’s bandying stuff about!

    Curtis: Calling Child Protective Services….

    Luann: Sad thing is, they’re not kidding! (pathetic-sad, not sad-sad)

  35. BigTed
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    Dolly has just noticed that Billy has a baby doll secretly hidden among his toy robots, cars and sports equipment; the expression on her face says, “Oh, now I get it!”

  36. Sequitur
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#28):Herb and Jamaal are the cocktail weenies and I guess there will be a couple of guys who remove wallpaper.

  37. BigTed
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Archie should worry less about the fate of the planet, and more about the fact that his father can’t read.

  38. BigTed
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    If that Santa were the real keeper of the Naughty and Nice list, he would already have realized that it’s not the index finger Heathcliff’s giant foam hand has raised.

  39. Liam
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    Curtis-This gives a new meaning to being shit on.

    Ziggy-Ziggy, I don’t think it’s a good idea to not wear pants in a park where the squirrels can rough you up for food. You will either give them some nuts or they will take a pair of nuts from you.

  40. Rocky Stoneaxe
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#y88): @Rocky Stoneaxe (#y82): “Heh. Drive up, street side proctologist. Now that’s funny.”

    What I said about Saturday’s Bizarro goes double for today’s installment of “Heathcliff: Feline Proctologist.” With the possible exception of Les Moore, no one wants to have that finger up his ass.

  41. Liam
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    Heathcliff-Someone has to promote Heathcliff. When was the last time anyone heard about him?

  42. 3oddnames
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    Heathcliff: it takes a giant pair of feline testes to ask for gifts while giving the jolly old elf the bird.

  43. Sequitur
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    @BigTed (#38): Well, we all know how cats like birds.

    By the way, when you were younger, were you known as “Little Eddie” and had a record out called The Skrooch?

  44. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#13):

    Yikes! You’re right.

  45. seismic-2
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:04 pm [Reply]

    MW: So, it’s “several weeks later” now, huh? OK, Dawn, you refused to accept Jim as a boyfriend because you wanted to keep your options open and explore more relationships. So, how’s that been working out for you so far? Do you now have a long line of suitors queued up outside your door, and are you on your way out of the apartment to be wined and dined by yet another handsome rich swain who is totally enamored with you?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. Well, cheer up – Jim may still be available. Go for it, Dawn – you can still have a wonderful and fulfilling lifetime of submissive incestuous necrophiliac amputee sex with an enraged and depressive control freak! Now, who said life is brutal?

  46. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#22):

    Well, you’d think that, wouldn’t ya? But, I’m gonna differ slightly.

    I think today’s “Mary Worth”, with its mourning and its seemingly cryptic Question Mark indicates that Wilbur knows full well that Dawn is gonna go kill Jim and dump his body off of the pier. In doing so, they’ll take her precious “favorite walk” to her “favorite (killing) spot”.

    Wilbur knows. Wilbur knows.

    //and if he is wrong then that will be hilarious!

  47. May Poole-Bower
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    AS-M: I’m lovin’ this “Peter got a 9-to-5″ plot! I don’t think he’s ever had to show up at a specific place at a specific time and, you know, work before! He’s bemused — I’m amused — win-win!

  48. seismic-2
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    @May Poole-Bower (#47): All the more so in that Peter’s job consists of shoveling, sweeping, and mopping the stage after an animal act. It’s not for nothing that the rule which states “employees eventually wind up occupying a position that matches their level of competence” is known as the “Peter Principle”.

  49. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    @David Foster Wodehouse (#19): @Chareth Cutestory (#32):

    Jammaale was angling for pity sex. Which makes its three times as pitiful.

    But, to answer the question Josh raised, yes, there are people who will be that dramatic to burn someone. What that little, round-headed fella is doing is standard protocol for building up a giant-sized burn. It is like winding up an Evel Kenevil toy bike. You turn the crank as much as you can and then Zoooooom! Fwooooosh!

    Hilariously, disasterous, calamit….whaaaaa?

    Why is Jammaale smiling?

    Waitasec. Is what the little, round-haeded guy was saying code for getting condoms and wine?

  50. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#49):

    So they can drink from the condoms, of course. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  51. Horace Broon
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:34 pm [Reply]

    DT: Okay, so we now have Honey Moon trying to track down a costumed superhero using her mother’s name, a guy who dresses up as a super hero because his girlfriend likes it, and a relative of the Penguin who left Gotham City because he was fed up of costumed do-gooders. THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!

    GT: And so we’ll never know what Doyle thought he was actually going to achieve out of all this.

    HtH: It’s embarrassing enough that Walker-Browne LLC not only got the week of Thanksgiving wrong, they didn’t even manage to get the cartoon out on a Thursday, like Archie did. So I won’t add to their woes by questioning whether Vikings would even have roast turkey, let alone specifically in late November.

    MW: Wilbur thinks “Do we have to go on another cruise, or can I fix this one with kites?”

    Phantom: Boy, the Ghost-Who-Isn’t-Pharmaceutical-Society-Certified will feel really silly when the lioness (who has just been hit by two shots of something which, when mixed correctly, brings down elephants) just ups and dies.

    Pluggers: So, dog-man here wants to get revenge on a Broadway show?

  52. Mr. Fibuli
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    Love Is…: That was an awfully ghoulish Love Is… this morning. Love is…dying in her stead? Well, I suppose they do those things. I told my wife, “If we ever go back in time to April 14, 1912 and we are on the Titanic as it’s going down then it’s everyone for himself. And whoever lives, go kill Hitler.”

  53. laila
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    FC: Well, if you’d been ‘about seven’ since Eisenhower was in the White House, I’d imagine you’d be getting sick of the sight of toy robots and miniature Ford Desperations. Come on, Grandma, he got a Furby the first time round.

  54. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    @kanomi (#30): Family Circus dares use the Christmas word in the face of belligerent hostile atheists…

    Yes, that takes lots of courage! Those nasty BHA’s will sneer at you or something, and hurt your feelings if you use the C word.

    // See, I don’t dare use it myself!

  55. Another Kiwi
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    Look out Heathcliff! You strayed into Zombiemall!! Look at the “+ eyes” of Santa and the obedient children with hands in pockets!! Look at the spectral lady on the Escalator to Heck behind you!!
    Being No.1 is not so hot if it is your place on the menu.

  56. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#50):

    yeesh. that came out all wrong. I had to finish up and post it as someone was talking to me and I had to answer them.

    I meant to write they’d drink the wine out of the condoms.

  57. seismic-2
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#54): Those nasty BHA’s will sneer at you or something, and hurt your feelings if you use the C word.

    Cthulhu? But I thought it was well known that the Keanes were disciples…

  58. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 1st, 2012 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#48): “employees eventually wind up occupying a position that matches their level of competence” is known as the “Peter Principle”.

    Well, that’s cute, but the Peter Principle actually states that employees “will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. The principle is commonly phrased, ‘employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.’” (Wiki, my emphasis)

    The Peter Principle is my favorite management book. The idea being that if you are competent at your current position, eventually, in a hierarchical organization, you will be promoted to a higher level. If you are competent in that position, you will again be promoted. This goes on until you are promoted to a level that you are NOT competent at, so you won’t be promoted further, but not so incompetent, and with enough seniority, that you won’t get fired. Eventually, in a large organization, all senior positions will come to be filled by people barely competent to do their jobs. This explains a lot about government and large corporations.

    // Of course, if you are suggesting that P. Parker is only barely competent enough to clean up after an animal show, and will never be promoted, your point is well taken.

  59. Harold
    December 1st, 2012 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy is being proselytized by a squirrel.

  60. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 1st, 2012 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#57): Cthulhu? But I thought it was well known that the Keanes were disciples…

    That’s true! Why would followers of the Elder Gods care about being sneered at by smug atheists for their “Christmas” ritual? It’s just a cover. Hell, the Keanes have been sneered at by Curmudgeons for years. Their skin-costumes must be adamantine armor by now.

  61. Sequitur
    December 1st, 2012 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    FC – Hey, Billy! Yeah, I’m talking to you! DON’T STASH YOUR GUITAR IN A TOY BOX! You’ll scratch your instrument and probably poke an extra hole in it as well as ruin the strings. Have a little respect for your ax you melon-headed demon squirt of runt slime.

    What? You say you don’t give a rat’s ass about the guitar? YOU ARE SICK, MAN!

  62. Chronohotonthologos
    December 1st, 2012 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    Zippy: See if you can find six differences between this mashup, and today’s strip!

  63. Chrononhotonthologos
    December 1st, 2012 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    @Chronohotonthologos (#62): That ‘nym should be Chrononhotonthologos! Why doesn’t my spell checker recognize that! Why, McHale? Why? Why? Why?!

  64. pugfuggly
    December 1st, 2012 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    Since the newspapers are back, so is Archie X

  65. Liam
    December 1st, 2012 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    MW-”Huh? What’s going on? I’ve had the weirdest dream where I was writing a column about a cruise that I went on and Mary had taken over my advice column and turned it into her own personal soapbox.”

    MT-”When you’re a shark you’re a shark all the way.

    RMMD-Have they started a religion centered around Rex yet? The last time someone raised a person from the dead they formed a religion around that person.

  66. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    And so, Fred Andrews finally had the massive coronary that everyone predicted.

  67. Liam
    December 1st, 2012 at 8:21 pm [Reply]

    Archie-Archie, suicide notes are short, concise, and to the point.

  68. Roto13
    December 1st, 2012 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    Well, Archie, congrats, you got your way. It’s 2012 and newspapers are a thing of the past. Of course, you, in this newspaper comic strip incarnation, rely on newspapers for your own existence. You count on them so much that dwindling newspaper circulation has essentially lead to your cancellation after your (pretty awesome) artist died. Now all we see are reruns, which I assume are the scenes from your life that are said to play back in your mind right before you die. Let’s take a moment to dwell on this particular moment. Savour the irony.

  69. jnoble
    December 1st, 2012 at 8:33 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Ha ha, it’s funny because she’s a remorseless whore who once banged an entire football team ha ha

    FC: Ha ha it’s funny because Billy is dead inside and can only try to fill the empty void with more and more toys ha ha

  70. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#65):
    La la la la la some lost island
    La la la la la some lost island

  71. Poteet
    December 1st, 2012 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#61): I was thinking the same thing. I was also thinking that those toys look very retro. Even I, with no children, have heard of Bratz dolls, Furbies, and a loud red fuzzy object called something like Singing Until I Drive You Insane Elmo. I don’t know when time stopped for this toybox, but I’m guessing it was some date before 1975.

  72. Sequitur
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#71): It also looks like he has the robot from Lost in Space. Talk about an old toy. That must have belonged to his dad.

    Warning! Warning! You stupid melon-head!

  73. Kibo
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    And that’s how “Fahrenheit 451″ came true, after Archie eliminated all newspapers forever, except for the comics section. (In Truffault’s movie version, he was careful to show that they still had newspaper comics.)

  74. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    @kanomi (#30): The author at the io9 link may have been trying to start a debate. What she actually seems to have gotten was everyone piling on her at once. Oh well.

  75. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    3G – From the raw, human drama reflected in the emotion-saturated faces in today’s strip, I can only conclude that there was originally some earth-shattering dialog in those balloons that was too earthy and real for the stuffed shirts at the syndicate. By diligent lip-reading, I’ve concluded that this was the original text:
    Ari: Say, there, Greg! Do you know how to make anti-freeze?
    Greg: Why, I certainly do, Ari! It’s simple:
    Greg: You just take away her nightie! That’s how you make auntie freeze!

    Hi – It takes a special kind of loser to get trampled by three apparent teenagers while standing four feet from the door.

  76. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Sally – I bought a new ornament this year: it’s a little Tim Horton’s. It’ll go nicely with my “Popeye emerging from a spinach can” and the blown glass potato. (Still sad that I didn’t buy a set of four Sponge Bob character ornaments I saw at a drugstore about six years back.)

    Archie – Ha ha! Archie’s floundering attempts at recycling are killing the planet!

    Baby – “What’s that, Hammie? We have a bad connection. It sounded like you said ‘hugging’!”

    Dick – Wait, so who’s this? Chester Cobblepot?

  77. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:35 pm [Reply]

    Heathcliff – Okay, other people have said similar things, but damn. Flipping Santa the giant styrofoam bird is pretty edgy. Well played, Gallagher!

    Lio – Jeremy

    love is… …jumping the millionth shark today. Congratulations.

    Mark – That face! I know I’ve seen that face!
    I think it was on a Christmas album.

  78. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    Nancy – “Rocky” — how sweet. No doubt his full name is Three Rocks, because, you know… Three Rocks!!!

    Non – Speaking of Nancy, nice bush, Miller!

    R=R – I’m trying to derive an milliyok from this by the knowledge that the andiron the cat is talking to is also known as a “dog.” Trying… trying… Laugh Failed. [Cancel/Retry?]

    Ziggy – Um. I think it wants you to try to launch it.

  79. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    @Not Greg Evans (#y70): Aw, I’m sorry to hear that Millar’s passed on. It’s been some 30-odd years that I’ve been aware of Tank McNamara, and I always thought it was a generally funny strip.

    @KreatureFeatures (#76): Huh. I laughed and laughed, myself.

    @Mibbitmaker (#34): And if there’s one thing Doofenshmirtz is good at, it’s bandying stuff about!
    Well, sure. He has The Bandyinator.

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#74): I think Charles Jane is a he.

  80. Calico
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#71):
    Here’s one from Mad TV a while back:

  81. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    Say you are taking a long, casual stroll through a very green, vibrant city park in early December.

    You see a pants-less man sitting on a bench and conversing about pop culture with a squirrel.

    What’s this?
    You don’t need to imagine it because you have see it already?

    //In the hypothetical second panel, Ziggy is screaming and running around the park. To onlookers, he’s a pant-less old man yanking a fuzzy tail that is between his thighs.

    Just another day in the park for Ziggy.

  82. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

  83. Amateur
    December 1st, 2012 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    H&J: I’m sorry, anyone who actually speaks the words “Oh, woe” out loud deserves all the mocking they get.

    December 1st, 2012 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#81):


    oh were those your nuts i didn't see your name on them

  85. Space G
    December 1st, 2012 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    Actually, I do elaborate sarcastic performances like that.

    I do it because I’m kind of a dick.

  86. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    Blodigity–Has it ever been established why Blondie and Dagwood refuse to sit next to each other?

    Does Blondie have such a disdain for the Idiot Box that she refuses to look her husband in the eye, and refuses to stare at the TV, too?

    Does Dagwood covet his namesake (The Idiot Box) so much that he does not want his wife’s beauty to distract him from reality TV shows?

    Oh, I can see how Blondie is much smarter than Dagwood. She seems to be well-read and likes crossword puzzles or some such things. It just seems like there is no reason for them to pursue their separate interests together, on one sofa.

    I just hope there is no religious reason for Dagwood and Blondie believing that they should only be heard and not seen while in the living room. Just the thought of it drives me quakers.

  87. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    @Space G (#85):

    Annnnnd how!
    That’s the way sarcastic mofos roll!

  88. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#87):

    And, I’m sure in some do yank off their aprons to add “english” to the sarcasm.

    @Amateur (#83):

    But, but…what about little Billy who has a speech impediment and who loves owls?

    He doesn’t deserve mockery. Random tittering, perhaps. Especially, when he say “hallelujah”!

    haha. Oh, little Billy tries so hard…ha ha.

  89. Biwwy
    December 1st, 2012 at 10:53 pm [Reply]

    “Ow Woe”!

    Not “Oh, Woe”!

  90. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 10:53 pm [Reply]

    @Biwwy (#89):

    Oh well!

  91. Nehemiah Scudder, insufferably smug myself
    December 1st, 2012 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#74): What she actually seems to have gotten was everyone piling on her at once.

    It got a tremendous reaction, didn’t it? And the author eventually came around to apologizing rather extensively.

    Looking at this piece again with the benefit of a few days’ distance, I can definitely see why this one pissed people off. The lack of specific examples of the kinds of behavior I was talking about, combined with the inflammatory language in the opening paragraph and headline, gave the impression I was saying all atheists were smug, which wasn’t my intention.

    She goes on, walking back much of her “rant”, as she herself calls it.

    I could be snarky and say that it was all the mean, aggressive atheists who intimidated her, but I think she actually reconsidered and rethought the piece.

  92. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#51):

    DT: Okay, so we now have Honey Moon trying to track down a costumed superhero using her mother’s name, a guy who dresses up as a super hero because his girlfriend likes it, and a relative of the Penguin who left Gotham City because he was fed up of costumed do-gooders. THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!

    Yeah. This is setting up something so spectacular that even Comic Strip Spider-Man will probably be shown spending four weeks just reading Dick Tracy.
    He’ll be reading it not for tips on crime-fighting. Instead, he mainly be reading it because crime-fighting is a field he knows little about and he’s curious.

  93. bbofun
    December 1st, 2012 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy- So, can Ziggy ACTUALLY talk to animals, or is this just a pathetic delusion? (Obviously a rhetorical question- it doesn’t matter, because all he ever hears animals say are insults or self-serving aggrandizement, meant to make Ziggy feel even less important.)

    FW- Is Baiuk unaware that you can pay for next-day delivery at the post office, as well? Yes, yes he is.

  94. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#75):

    Oh, your anti-freeze joking is funny now, but, wait until we find out that is exactly what Evan Goldensuit does in his take over of “Aunt” Cathy’s agency. He’s gonna toss her to the curb, like Jammal tosses Herb to the bed.

    No. Wait. That’s not right. That’s a flawed comparison. But, instead of deleting it and making a proper one I’ll just state: like Jammale tossing Herb in the salad!

    // Oh, bowl is Jammal!

  95. Sequitur
    December 1st, 2012 at 11:11 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#93): Actually, the squirrel was hallucinating Ziggy.

    Look at the eyes on the squirrel. That poor animal is whacked out.

  96. tallyHO
    December 1st, 2012 at 11:11 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#93):

    //I’m going for the record!
    My 294th comment for the night!

    So, before the squirrel latches on to Ziggy’s Ziggyregions, he propositions Zigman by offering “squorral sex” and Zigbat corrects him by saying its called “squirrel sex”!

  97. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 1st, 2012 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#79):

    I think Charles Jane is a he.

    Nope. I’ve seen pictures, and it’s definitely Ms Charlie Jane.

  98. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 1st, 2012 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#97): Okay. I’m batting a thousand today.

  99. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#80): Wow. That sad little red dude belongs in Funkytown.

  100. This Guy
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:01 am [Reply]

    @Biwwy (#89): I don’t say “oh woe!”, but I do say “Oy vey,” which is a cognate. Alternatively: “Ha ha ha oh wow”

  101. This Guy
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:03 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#98): Man, just hitting yourself with the bat does not constitute a hit. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  102. Nehemiah Scudder, insufferably smug myself
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#100): Don’t forget the Latin cognate, O vae!.

    // Did you know that cognate is from the Latin cognatus, meaning a relative on the father’s or mother’s side, connected by blood? A cousin. Of course you did!

  103. Nehemiah Scudder, insufferably smug myself
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:14 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#101): Man, just hitting yourself with the bat does not constitute a hit. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    But… It feels so good when I stop!

  104. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    MT — It’s a little disconcerting to realize that the primate in the second panel has more intelligence, perception, and sensitivity in its countenance than I’ve ever seen in any human MT character. Good luck, my primate friend, and be grateful you’re not stuck in that kidnapping story on Little Island.

  105. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    MW — That is one weird flower.

  106. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    S-M — Not. Impressed.

  107. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    RMMD — Wait, so Delores is going to like-it-or-not get her meds, kinda the way my cats get their meds? Will there be closeups of straining heaving bosoms and determined but compassionate full parted lips?

  108. yaoi huntress earth
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    Dustin: Wow, what an ass.

  109. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:43 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#101): Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
    It shows.

  110. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:44 am [Reply]

    CRANKSHAFT — He’s unamusingly insane.
    FW — He’s unpleasantly insane.
    GA — He’s pathologically insane.
    PV — I love this strip.

  111. tallyHO
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:56 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth–

    Should we presume every stalker is well versed in dialogue from old movies and has
    “Here’s looking at you, kid!” on the tips of their tongues?

  112. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2012 at 1:03 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#111): Jim’s gone totally loopy. He thinks Dawn is a baby goat.

  113. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2012 at 1:05 am [Reply]

    Sally Forth – YEAH!

  114. Droopy Says
    December 2nd, 2012 at 1:32 am [Reply]

    Spiderbland: So the “action” is held up to let Parker tell MJ that he’s convinced Kraven is up to no good. Since the Parkers already had this conversation, it’s even more pointless than usual, a point driven home by MJ’s unique effort to be logical.

    Shoe: I’ve reason to suspect this was meant to be a joke. I know, I know–it’s Shoe. But there’s a first time for everything.

    Pluggers: A Plugger can’t be happy unless he has something to complain about, and there are times when a dirty windshield isn’t enough. A sleeveful of cold, dirty water on a frigid day–that’s the ticket!

    Jugs Parker: How much planning does it take to elope? I’m sure we’ll learn the answer over the next six months.

  115. Thibault
    December 2nd, 2012 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#86): Yeah, and not only that, Dagwood takes BATHS! Dagwood eats gigantic sandwiches. Dagwood sleeps in. What I’m saying is that Dagwood is a GUY! Dagwood isn’t a bath kind of guy! Dagwood is a hot, bracing-shower-that-goes-on-until-the-hot-water-runs-out kinda guy. OK, Dag and Blondie live in a house that hasn’t changed since 1934, but still, dag needs him a good shower!

  116. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2012 at 2:07 am [Reply]

    @Thibault (#115): Not only does he TAKE BATHS, he sings at the TOP OF HIS LUNGS and makes sure THOSE ARMPITS ARE TOTALLY SCRUBBED! No bacteria forming odor contaminants for Dagwood. No, sir. This is a man’s man who doesn’t give a shit how his hair looks or how many buttons he has on his shirt. If it’s big enough then dammit, one’s enough! And no one’s gonna tell him he can’t take a nap. Nosirree! Dagwood’s the dude, man.

    //Did you ever wonder why the strip isn’t called Dagwood instead of Blondie? In the comics big tits win every time.

  117. tallyHO
    December 2nd, 2012 at 2:14 am [Reply]

    @Thibault (#115):

    You bring up a good point.

    Sure, maybe “Beetle Bailey” can show the guys taking showers but in “Blondie” Dagwood–and probably only Dagwood is shown (often) taking baths.

    Not since Ernie the Muppet has a cartoonish character been shown so often in a tub.

    It also brings up a question about why they don’t do more strips with just Dagwood and his neighbor Herb hanging out together. In the carpool, sure. In the backyard, sometimes. When Herb moonlights as the mailman, often enough. On the golf course, rarely. But, somehow those two oddly placed chairs seem to constitute the a lot of “Blondie” strips lately and they still can’t face each other.

    Dagwood gets more facetime with the dog than with his wife.

    Oh well.

  118. Baka Gaijin
    December 2nd, 2012 at 5:29 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#86): The chairs would have to be placed too far apart to be artistically pleasing due to Blondie’s extra perky, extra sharp sweater puppies. You don’t want Dagwood always sporting two black eyes, now do you?

  119. Baka Gaijin
    December 2nd, 2012 at 7:48 am [Reply]

    Sunday’s Mary Worth provokes so many questions, like if the sailboats’ sails are billowing to the right of the frame, why isn’t Jim’s empty left sleeve slapping Dawn in the face? Did Jim not respond to Dawn’s electronic stalking due to spending all his energy regenerating his missing arm? And, oh, I guess that’s it. Not as many questions as I thought. Wait, I thought of another one: how humid does it have to be for the wind to dislodge some of the hair Aquanetted to Dawn’s head?

  120. Liam
    December 2nd, 2012 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    Ziggy-”If I could walk with the animals. Talk with the animals.”

  121. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 2nd, 2012 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    JP – I thought that the key component of eloping was to not ask your parent’s permission first.

    RMMD – He’s a miracle man! Not just the CPR, I hear he once cured a drug overdose with smelling salts! I’ll bet he can cure your cancer with nothing but leeches and a quick, painless trepanning!

  122. lynn
    December 2nd, 2012 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#61): “Demon squirt of runt slime” is a great name for a band.

  123. CanuckDownSouth
    December 2nd, 2012 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    Apart from the head-banging absurdity of (i) actually getting a post office to close and (ii) laying off the *carriers* because somehow a no-postal-delivery city can be allowed to exist, we now add that a mail carrier not known for pursuing rare tomes and editions can somehow appreciably affect his income by selling a few books. WHY do I keep reading this? Oh yeah, to make sense of the snark.

  124. lynn
    December 2nd, 2012 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder, insufferably smug myself (#102): So cute when you get all smart like that. *actual sigh*
    //Some cost a passing bell, some a light sigh that shakes from life’s fresh crown only a rose leaf down.

  125. Droopy Says
    December 2nd, 2012 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#119): Look at the pennants on the sailboats. You’ll notice in one frame, the sails are billowing one way, yet the pennant’s tip is pointed against the wind. I’m guessing that Mary Worth has climbed that mast, and she’s so windy that she causes the air to blow away from her in all directions.

  126. gleeb
    December 2nd, 2012 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    @kanomi (#30): It starts out all right by name-checking a sense of wonder and humility, but when you have to bring in Philip K Dick, you’re undermining your own argument. Sure, he was a great writer, and had a very different subjective experience than most of us, but most of us aren’t eating amphetamines like they’re peanuts.

    Beetle: Gen. Halftrack finally admits that golf is an excuse to go to the clubhouse and cuts out the middleman.

    ‘shaft: Ed thinks the jam is capable of learning. Has anyone investigated what his drug intake is?

    ‘bean: Crazy is talking to his books, but it’s not like they’re answering back. What’s crazy is that he’ll probably wonder why when his ignored wife dumps his ass.

    H&L: This must be one of those days when sunshine on her shoulders has not made Trixie high.

    Parker and Parker, JJ.: If you want to elope, the last thing to do is tell everyone.

    Mary: I think that’s Jim, but his sleeve isn’t pinned up, so I can’t be sure.

    Phantom: Who needs the International Criminal Court when you have a masked man in purple tights? Anyway, did Phoner* stop to make this call? Otherwise, I hate to think how nausea-inducingly bumpy the video is. And if the Rhodian government are such ruthless, efficient fascists, wouldn’t they be intercepting and tracking his signal?

    Dick: You know the local sheriff, a job gained by a political hack in an election that about 5% of the population vote in, instead of being filled with a competent professional? Well, there’s a historical reason for that. Also, Tracy is way ahead of Broadway Bates.

    One…Happy: Ruthie is so drunk on brandy, she’s got her panels out of order.

    *For “Ghost-who-Uses-a-Smart-Phone”.

  127. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 2nd, 2012 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    B&C: wait, sign-twirling exists outside of the Little Greaser ads?

    PV: Gawain will hit on anything.

    9CL: looks like that grok it quite well, actually.

    Frazz: *SNURK*

    NAoQV: I would so buy that game.

    DT: name dropping Harley Quinn and Mister J. *swoon*

    MT: yay dolphins. also, Andy’s like “I’m the brains of this outfit.”

    RMMD: June’s thinking threeway, so has no intention of leaving them alone.

    SFx: lack of poo?

    Foxtrot: *geeky gigglez*

  128. Baka Gaijin
    December 2nd, 2012 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    @gleeb (#126) on reply to Konami: Speak for yourself. Amphetamines have nowhere the number of calories as peanuts.

  129. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 2nd, 2012 at 10:19 am [Reply]

  130. TheDiva
    December 2nd, 2012 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: They have rest homes for this sort of thing.

    FW: There’s not enough good jokes about weeding out there. This, for example, isn’t one at all.

    MW: It’s Jim! He grew his arm back and he’s well-adjusted now!

  131. annieLurk
    December 2nd, 2012 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#61):
    What you said! Seeing you refer to the “ax” made me smile for the first time today. Regards, Annie (collector, avid reader of VG, yet could not play a chord if my life depended on it)

  132. Lynn
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    Phantom does what Savarna never did? All by himself? Perverse.

  133. Daniel
    December 2nd, 2012 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Archie is brought to you by Penn Jillette and his American Petroleum Institute handler.

  134. Liam
    December 2nd, 2012 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    Luann-When Quill is gone Luann likes to play.

    Luann 2-Oh, Quill, you naive bastard you. Did you really think that once you left Luann would console herself by experimenting with her friends because you ruined her for all men.

  135. bobbaloo
    December 3rd, 2012 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    In the December 3rd performance of Mary Worth the part of Jim will be played by The Chameleon from The Amazing Spider-man

  136. gnbman
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    Herb: “Here, I bought you an umbrella.”
    Jamaal: “Gee, thanks! What’s the occasion?”
    Herb: “It’s for the raincloud over your head.”

    Herb: “I rented a hot air balloon.”
    Jamaal: “What–.”
    Herb: “‘Cause you’re feeling down.”

    Herb: “I broke into a lighthouse and jacked the bulb. It’s to help you get through your fo–”
    Jamaal: “Please, in the name of all things holy, STOP!

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