Main content:

Could’ve made this books and gone for the sophisticated laugh, FYI

Herb and Jamaal, 2/3/13

Boy, this Herb and Jamaal sure was an emotional roller coaster! See, we’re expected to believe that Jamaal is a desperate drug addict who keeps going back to his filthy hippie drug dealer to buy dope. But, haha, don’t worry, it appears that he just enjoys video entertainment and would prefer to go to one of America’s few remaining video stores rather than figuring out how to set up one of these new-fangled internet streaming services! Anyway, since the strip spent seven panels setting up this commercial transaction as surreptitious and shameful, obviously the first thing the reader thinks of in terms of “video titles” is pornography, which makes a reference to the “kiddie section” all the more traumatizing.

Momma, 2/3/13

The thing about the Funkyverse’s endless cavalcade of sadness porn is that the strip is at least self-aware about how grim it is. Momma, by contrast, completely fails to notice the air of desperation that surrounds its characters at all times. Which is to say that the use of “betrays” here creeps me out. Momma is betrayed by her children routinely, of course … but now her own failing body joins the party.

Marvin, 2/3/13

Marvin does this thing where it teases you with the prospect of the title character wandering off in the snow and freezing to death, but, sadly, never really follows through with it.

141 responses to “Could’ve made this books and gone for the sophisticated laugh, FYI”

  1. Baka Gaijin
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    Within 24 hours of the Geriatric Duo dropping the pink Ode to Spring and flopping around in the slippery mess on the floor, hurling recriminations and butter cream frosting at each other, the video will hit #2 on YouTube’s most watched videos. Number 1 will be a tuxedo kitty riding a Roomba.

    How often has Miss Buxley “gone roadside” to qualify saying “I’ve done a lot of carpet putting.“?

    Peter Parker rues the night he arrived in the Castro District hanging from a sling, discovering this thing called “a drive-by fisting.” He’ll never look at Crisco the same way again.

  2. Sequitur
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Marvin: All Marvin had to do was to leave poop bombs behind him. Those steaming turds would keep the snow melted.

  3. Sequitur
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    Are those VHS tapes Jamaal is renting? Jamaal is many things but I never figured him to be a Plugger.

  4. Mr. Fibuli
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    Doonesbury: Nine years? (counts on fingers) What happened in 2004?

  5. TheSilentG
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    Am I supposed to believe that linking to a 2-year-old Comics Curmudgeon post that just happens to contain a Blondie strip featuring the Superbowl, on the day of the current Superbowl, is just a coincidence? Because if so, I can get behind your version of events, as they seem quite plausible.

  6. Master Mahan
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    Like many of our older relatives, Mama defines “nice-looking” as how white someone is.

  7. Sequitur
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Fibuli (#4): On the Go Comics blow up of today’s Doonesbury, you can see the original copyright is 2011.

  8. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#Y303): Ah yes, the politics of margarine. A 1940s blatant retreat from academic freedom and integrity at Iowa State University, occasioned by pressure from dairy interests, now known as the “Iowa Margarine Incident” (I’m not kidding), resulted in the meltdown of the once impressive and nationally-respected ISU Economics Department. Very embarrassing. Of course that kind of caving-in to political pressure is now completely a thing of the past in Midwestern higher education. Completely. *cough*

  9. Da Coconino Kid
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    H &smp; J: is the video store clerk a modestly-endowed woman with one hell of a 5 o’clock shadow? Or a hobo with a mullet?

  10. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#1): If I had a float, that first paragraph would ride. If I ruled the universe, there would be a competition for the best portrayal of the scene you described, resulting in YouTube joy abounding.

  11. Baka Gaijin
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    @Da Coconino Kid (#9): Great. I’d completely missed that. And of course, I see this just before bedtime. Thanks for the sexually ambiguous dreams, Kid.

    @Poteet (#10): I blush, I blush.

  12. Dan
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:55 pm [Reply]


  13. Ed Dravecky
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    Jamaal may be a technologically-impaired non-specific pedophile but at least he’s less pitiful than every single character in Funky Winkerbean.

  14. Chip Whittle
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    So, um, am I hallucinating Marmaduke today? I mean more than most days?

  15. Sequitur
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#11): Better than dreams about evilscaryclowns hitting on your sister.

  16. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2013 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    H & J — Geez, Jamaal, join Netflix so you don’t have to embarrass yourself. As for JERRY GIRAFFE, it might not be so bad. Keep an open mind.

  17. Inkwell
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: Max has been acting a lot stupider since Weirdly got that brain-in-a-bowl…

  18. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#15): Yep, that’s creepy. *reaches for brain bleach*

  19. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#14): If that’s what comic conventions are like, I’m surprised they’re so popular.

  20. Peanut Gallery
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    @I Can’t Believe It’s Not Shrug! (#Y310):

    to smuggle in some margarine as a favor to him — which ends up being Very Useful in a subsequent battle

    You have to be careful about introducing margarine into a battle, as it can easily escalate.

  21. Downpuppy
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    Today there’s a “Going out of Business” sign at our local Blockbuster.

    Aside from Herb & Jamaal, Archie’s parents reveal that they haven’t been out to a movie since 1976, and always rent from the video store. As this was news to Archie, I have to wonder : Where have they been going when they tell him they’re going to a movie?

  22. sporknpork
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    Jamaal’s bulge is not helping. *shudder*

  23. Peanut Gallery
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    H&J – Is that a copy of Dirty Duck he’s got there in the last panel?

  24. Leecifur
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    Why wouldn’t you just rent three videos the first time you came in? Is the rental place literally next door?

  25. Stroker Ace
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    Marvin – ‘Donner Party Marvin’ would be tasty.

  26. bbofun
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    FW- Oh, I see- it- wait- what? I’ll admit it- I’m intrigued. Although I’m fully expecting this not to be anywhere near as interesting as the flashback panels make it seem (and, hey, where are the “album corners?”).

    RMMD- Who is this man and what has he done with smug dick Rex Morgan?

    MW- They’re not even going to let us see any of the other cakes, are they?

    SF- WIN on every level.

    Luann- “And I’m just so tired about being contractually obligate to speak the copyright information whenever I’m on the phone!”

  27. Uncle Lumpy
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    “Misery porn” (a.k.a. “Misery lit”) is a thing. Oddly, the Wikipedia page doesn’t list Funky Winkerbean.

  28. tallyHO
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#8):

    If the American Institute for Margarine Studies was involved then it is well known that (at room temperature) that organization’s produces slippery slopes.

    @Da Coconino Kid (#9):

    Whew! Trying to figure out what gender that little character is made me miss out on exactly what was going on in the strip. I mean, I don’t know if that is a guy or a girl nor am I sure if he/she is older or younger. I just know that is a short person with a big hairdo who works at a vid-ee-oh st-ooorrre (if that is what they were called).

  29. Sequitur
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

  30. Ratiocinator
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    ASM: Damn, I expected Peter to lie on top of the truck so as to remain inconspicuous because, y’know, secret identity and all. But apparently he’s decided “Ah, fuck it, I’ll just let everybody watch me make a web-hammock and dangle right here by the license plate. My secret identity’s in no danger; I mean, it’s not like any of these drivers might have some sort of device which could take a picture of me at a moment’s notice, or which could upload said picture to the internet shortly after! Haha, what a crazy notion!”

    Incidentally, Peter using his web-shooters to help him take a nap? That, my friends, is the essence of newspaper Spider-Man!

    FW: Fred needed to help Bull stay eligible for football because they didn’t want Bull to play because Bull was pregnant with a replacement daughter for Fred, I guess? I have no idea what to make of this flashback.

    JP: Abbey speaking the words “plenty of money” makes Sam horny. If you’re familiar with the characters in this strip, that should come as no surprise to you.

    RMMD: DELORES: “You’re a very lucky guy, Doc!…That’s what bothers me…I’ll never have what you have!”

    Well, not with that attitude you won’t, Delores! Now here’s what you need to do, young lady, you need to march right up to June and you need to muster up your courage and you need to ASK HER OUT! She might say yes! Do you think Rex will care? Rex doesn’t care! Rex is fine with Niki “cleaning June’s garage”! And as for Niki, he would probably appreciate the help, because while garage-cleaning is rewarding work, he can only clean so long before he becomes exhausted, and if you don’t clean the garage long enough and well enough then the house with the garage doesn’t even have one lousy orgasm, and the house gets pretty angry about that.

    Slylock: Hey, this is Count WEIRDLY. Maybe he used his non-dominant hand to hammer the nails, for WEIRD reasons only a WEIRD person like him understands. You have no case, Fox! Meanwhile in the Six Differences portion, that elephant is about to squash the alligator flat, and everybody is absolutely thrilled about it, including the ‘gator.

  31. seismic-2
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    Momma: Marylou and Francis seem to be reliving their childhood by engaging in building a snowman, but in fact they are distracting Sonya’s attention from the fact that they have paid a snowplow to dump a pile of snow in the front yard that is larger than the house. When things warm up a bit, Momma’s home will be buried in an avalanche, and she will perish underneath tons of snow. Well played, children!

    JP: Our little Sophie surely has grown, hasn’t she? Why, it seems like at most a couple of months ago that she was still in pigtails and was plotting her revenge against the ultra-sophisticated Junior High cheerleaders who were bullying her. OK, I went back and checked, and that was in fact four years ago last month. So yeah, it really was at most a couple of months ago, in JP-time. Wow, Sophie, how you’ve… matured!

  32. tallyHO
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    Count Weirdly needs a new hideout. That place is unbecoming for an evil genius with a holodeck and a time machine. Unless….

    Oh, god! Sherlock and Max have just walked into a trap, an inter-dimensional, 19th century trap!

    //do you think Weirdly ever makes good use of the Chucks he wears? Does he take advantage of them by playing games of pick-up basketball or by running from Slylock and the cops?

  33. tallyHO
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    May Worth:

    If there is a a name for that cake it must be:
    MaryPukedAllOverIt Falls.
    That’s a portable version of a cascading waterfall as portrayed by a hungover person who drank too much Pepto Bismol and looked over the Great Abyss and just hurled.

    We can win it all!
    We can win it all!
    All we have to do is
    carry this puke

  34. Kibo
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    Whoa, “Momma” now uses Comic Sans. They finally did it. They found a way to make “Momma” worse.

  35. Alison
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    “Herb and Jamaal”: How is it that the video store guy is “all out of the good stuff”? Nobody (except Jamaal, I see) rents movies from video stores anymore, so where did all the “good” movies go, exactly?

    There hasn’t been a video store in my town for at least a year. Some of them had “going out of business” sales and they were the most disorganized messes I’ve ever seen. DVDs lying around in blank white cases all stacked on top of each other. I did not bother to root through them, but then, I’m clearly not as desperate as Jamaal.

  36. Lesser Whark
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    @Dan (#12):
    @Anonymous (#36):
    I was surprised to see the scourge of Comic Sans infect Momma. However, it turns out to have appeared on Sundays (but not weekdays) since 27th May 2012. The typeface made sporadic earlier appearances, as observed by Chip Whittle on 28th August 2011.

    Computer-generated lettering should at least be consistent, but later strips still manage to use hand lettering or mixed case on non-speech text, have in-Universe signage combining Arial and Times New Roman, made two returns to hand lettered speech bubbles, and twice used mixed case instead of the more common all caps.

  37. Uncle Lumpy
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#35):

    … I’m clearly not as desperate as Jamaal.

    There’s one for the résumé!

  38. Kibo
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    I am now having nightmares about Mary Worth baking an erotic cake that has a tiny model of Mary Worth baking an erotic cake that has a tiny model of Mary Worth baking an erotic cake on it. It’s like “Inception” except with slightly more erotic Mary Worth cake nightmare fuel.

    If I say “erotic Mary Worth cake” into the mirror three times she’ll appear and give me cake. Eeeeeeeeeeee!!!

  39. seismic-2
    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    H&J: Back when video stores existed (outside of legacy strips like today’s Archie, that is), the “children’s” section often contained animated classics like Pinocchio and fantasy movies like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, simply because they were “G” rated. Assuming that the store which Jamaal patronizes is equally unimaginative in its cataloging (and, given what we’ve seen of the clerk, I’d say that’s a pretty good bet), then checking out the “kiddie” section just to find a good movie would be a quite reasonable thing to do.

  40. Lawyerbob
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    Marvin: I don’t understand. Marvin is a toddler, but his father talked to him like he can speak? He let him walk off unsupervised with just a warning? But then, Marvin does communicate in his thought balloons–can his father hear those? Oh, God, I’m trying to make sense of Marvin. Never mind. Poop!

  41. The Ridger
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    @Lawyerbob (#40): Marvin’s father is desperately trying to lose his demon spawn. “But I told him not to wander off,” he’ll tell the cops. And anyone who ever met the brat will know the man is not to blame…

  42. Liam
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    RMMD-”You have to let Mary Worth into your life.”

    MW-”Seeing this figure of me I suddenly want a statue of me. About fifty feet tall and made of marble.”

    MW 2-Oh no the cake is bleeding.

    MW 3-Most of the points in the contest come from cake carrying.

    Spiderman-And no one pays any attention to him hanging from the back of the truck. That must be a common thing that people do.

    Slylock Fox-Actually Count Weird is ambidextrous. He wanted to use his left hand today.

  43. Sequitur
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:10 pm [Reply]


    Coming right up.

  44. Alex Blaze
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    With the wood shelves, giant “video titles,” and check out desk that’s an actual desk, the art in H&J looks like it was repurposed from an old strip that took place in a library circa the era when Levar Burton made sure everyone associated reading with hippies and the strip has completely given up on the idea that anyone reads anymore. Either that or no one at H&J Central can remember what a video store looks like but they needed to include one because their readership would be shocked to find that you can now watch a talkie on a typewriter.

  45. Liam
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    Marmaduke-Run! Marmaduke is now a Cyberman.

    Herb and Jammal-”Jerry Giraffe”. His neck isn’t the only thing that’s long.

  46. Lesser Whark
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    In other typeface news, the Sunday Marvin has replaced its Marvin & Family by Tom Armstrong (with “Family” written in Brush Script MT, and “Tom Armstrong” as a signature) with Marvin by Tom Armstrong (with “Tom Armstrong” written in boring Times New Roman.)

    The most recent use of the old title is I can find is on 22nd July 2012. The new one has been around since 6th January 2013. Can anyone narrow this down further?

    I assume the change was necessary because the ever-shrinking page space given to comics made the old title too hard to read. However, until that is confirmed, I live in hope that the “& Family” disappeared from the title because Marvin is indeed lost, will never see his family again, and will spend the rest of his life staggering through snow in increasingly sodden diapers. Eventually he will be adopted by wolves. After the Funkypocalypse, Marvin’s mastery of biological warfare will lead the pack to victory over the ragged Human survivors, whose Crankshaft-inspired death cult will be terrifying but innefective.

  47. Mother Nature
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

  48. Ratiocinator
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    @Lawyerbob (#40):

    Marvin is a toddler, but his father talked to him like he can speak? He let him walk off unsupervised with just a warning?

    If Marvin was my kid, I wouldn’t keep a close eye on him either. I would be like “Oh, uh, Marvin, please stay close and don’t wander off because you’ll get lost and, uh, that would be terrible, yeah, it would just be really terrible to live without a smug little shit machine shitting all the time and taking perverse pleasure in forcing me to clean up after him. Wow, you wouldn’t believe how hard I DON’T pray each and every night for your premature end! So now I’m just gonna turn my back and hope that you’re not–I mean ARE, hope that you ARE–still there four hours from now when I look back in your direction to check on you.”

  49. Alison
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#37):
    Yes, thank God for small favours.

  50. Majicou
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#35): Not to sound ghoulish, but I enjoyed going to going-out-of-business sales at video stores. Picked up plenty of stuff that I might not have been inclined to pay full retail for but still wanted to own.

  51. wossname
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#Y303): When I was a kid in Quebec in the 50s, that knead-in-the-yellow-stuff margarine was state of the art. Before they (Fleischmann’s maybe?) invented that, if you wanted yellow margarine you had to blend orange powder into the white crap in a bowl, with a spoon. Many’s the night I sat around watching “Bonanza” and kneading margarine.

  52. Mibbitmaker
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    BBlues: “Oh — and toilet seat and asking directions. Sports. Bye, hon’!”

    9CL: Forget 9CL, Brooke — just make the strip “Solange” and keep on doing this type of stuff!

    Luann: She’s saying the indicia… and “greg”?! There’s one Jack Elrod hadn’t thought of.

    JP: “Hey, get a vault, you guys! Geez!”

    FC: Cheapskate.

    ‘Tired Stereotype Theater’
    “Men, Teens, Tech and Women”

    Buckets: More tired and contrived spousal humor! ….I’m going to go read some Lockhorns for something fresh and less insulting about husbands and wives…..

    FW: Take out the “Just kidding” and the modern-day soap opera crap, and you have a decent classic FW daily.
    – Or maybe Batty ruined an already existant classic FW. Wouldn’t put it past him (Bull wasn’t really bullying Les back then, don’tcha know).

  53. Ursula
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#43): But will it have as much action as today’s Prince Valiant?

  54. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#43): Our neighbors started their lawnmower just as the game started but we called the religious police to report the blasphemy. A couple years of re-education camp should improve their attitude.

  55. seismic-2
    February 3rd, 2013 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    @Gladly, the cross-eyed bear (#54): Lawnmower? Are you watching the Super Bowl in the Southern Hemisphere?

  56. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    February 3rd, 2013 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

  57. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    February 3rd, 2013 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#27):

    “Misery porn” (a.k.a. “Misery lit”) is a thing. Oddly, the Wikipedia page doesn’t list Funky Winkerbean.

    It’s because of the “lit” part. Misery is pretty much a given.

    MW If you look really really hard you can see that the Mary the Muse caketopper is holding a small bird. But what you can’t see as clearly, unless you blow the panel up and use your imagination, is that she is also bearing a small label with the words “EAT ME.”
    //No, you can’t bite the ears off first.

    Crankedshaft Do they really still wear the Mao suits in China?

  58. Joe Btfsplk
    February 3rd, 2013 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    Momma – If Momma thinks the snowman is a real person standing there, what on Earth does she think Marylou and Francis are doing to him? Something they do to their friends regularly in the front yard, apparently. I wish I had more control over which of life’s questions get stuck in my mind, because I really would rather be thinking about something else.

  59. pugfuggly
    February 3rd, 2013 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    “Mama’s need for eyeglasses betray her”….I’ve read that sentence over seven times, and while I’m fairly confident I know what it means, it doesn’t seem to be right. Surely it’s just her eyes that betray her, no? Not her need for them?

  60. Nehemiah Scudder
    February 3rd, 2013 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    @Alex Blaze (#44): Yep. That’s a library. Spotted it right away. I borrow a lot of videos from my local public library. Picked up a lot of VHS tapes when they decided to sell those off.

  61. pugfuggly
    February 3rd, 2013 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder, CQB (#57):

    re MW: John Dill is one smooth player. He knows a bird on the cake is worth two in the bush….

  62. pugfuggly
    February 3rd, 2013 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#51):

    My dad grew up in Quebec about the same time on a dairy farm, and margarine at the time was a hot topic. The reason they sold it white with the coloring packets was a concession to the dairy industry, who didn’t want anyone confusing butter with the real thing. Apparently farmers staged a demonstration by blocking highways with tractors to protest this attack on their product, and white margarine with colors to be added at home was the compromise.

    @Uncle Lumpy: I had heard that in one midwest state (I thought it was Wisconsin, but I could be mistaken) the law was that margarine could be sold, but it had to be colored red?

  63. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    9CL – I do like the cat though…..

  64. Old Folkie
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:07 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#51): When I was a kid in Maryland in the 50s, we used to visit relatives in Minnesota in the summer, and we took an ice chest full of margarine with us to them.

  65. Sean
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    When did Herb’s wife become a redheaded, bearded Caucasian?

  66. Ed Dravecky
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#27): Funky Winkerbean can’t be misery lit since it requires “sort of emotional catharsis, redemption or escape from the abuse or situation” and there’s no way Batiuk will offer any character any escape other than sweet, sweet death.

  67. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    H&J: A sweaty, desperate man loiters around the video store kid’s section. Great way to get on a police watch list.

    Momma: It’s not that there’s anything wrong with twentysomethings building a snowman. It just seems like the kind of high-effort project that Francis would lose interest in after two minutes.

    Marvin: Canny use of reverse psychology, Mr. Miller.

    WofI: Since it’s the wife who’s been transformed it would seem logical to me to give her the magic elixir. Not that the Wizard doesn’t deserve his low Zagat’s rating, but there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    FW: Who the fuck is supposed to be flashing back here? The word “daughter”? Because that’s the only common presence in the two scenes.

    Gil: Sounds familiar.

    S-M: Screw changing her ringtone. No one would blame Mary Jane if she changed her number and didn’t tell Peter the new one.

    Shoe: I’d like to see Cassatt and Brookins do a follow-up actually showing the Tom Jones concert, because I’m curious as to how they’d depict him. Is he still human, or is he a Welsh osprey who spends a lot of time at the tanning salon?

    BB: The general is boggle-eyed and painfully erect because he misheard the word Miss Buxley said after “carpet.”

    JP: The very words “plenty of money” are enough to drive Sam mad with lust.

    Ziggy: “I mean, some egghead nearby said it was because of climate change, but that’s just a hoax, right?”

    M-Dawg: Phil is sick of the Hitler comparisons, so he’s trying to change his image to “really poor man’s Tony Stark.”

  68. Rocky Stoneaxe
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:22 pm [Reply]


    Age and infirmity have finally caught up with Sonja Hobbs — she’s lost at least
    999 yards from what used to be her 1000 yard stare.

  69. Borborygmy
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    @Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör (#63): I do like the cat though…

    You use a litter box? How interesting.

  70. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#62): When I was a kid in Minnesota they sold a packet of yellow food coloring with the white margarine.

    Ha! I cut my lawn during halftime. I got the word from our local secular imam (TV sports guy) that missing the halftime show is only a venial sin, akin to missing the Grammys.

  71. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    @Joe Btfsplk (#58): Let’s see. Mary Lou is in front of the snowman, while Francis is behind it… Know what? I don’t want to think about this either.

  72. Peanut Gallery
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:30 pm [Reply]

    @Lesser Whark (#36): Very impressive research! Now the only question is, who is in more urgent need of an intervention — you, or Mell Lazarus?

  73. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#33):

    MaryPukedAllOverIt Falls.

    While vomiting is a natural process, I’m not sure that’s what the contest’s organizers had in mind.

  74. Peanut Gallery
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:33 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#39): The Kiddie Korner is also a good option at Akbar & Jeff’s Video Hut.

  75. Alison
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    @Majicou (#50):
    Oh, no, it’s not ghoulish! Personally, I jumped at the chance to go to a video-store-closing sale! Because I am broke and I love horror movies. Unfortunately the only thing they had in the horror genre was one of the remakes of “Piranha”. Um, no thanks.

  76. Borborygmy
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    Wiki: “In the United States, for example, in 1930 the average person ate over 18 pounds (8.2 kg) of butter a year and just over 2 pounds (0.91 kg) of margarine. By the end of the 20th century, an average American ate around 5 lb (2.3 kg) of butter and nearly 8 lb (3.6 kg) of margarine.[42]”

    Of course, the average person who ate 18 pounds of butter a year in 1930 is now dead. Just saying.

  77. Alter Ego
    February 3rd, 2013 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#51):

    Many’s the night I sat around watching “Bonanza” and kneading margarine.

    Is that what the kids were calling it in those days?

  78. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    Well, damn. I was watching that obscure, post-Puppy Bowl event, mainly out of familial loyalty (we’re 49ers fans through and through), and they’ve just been standing around in the dark, so I was hoping for a snarky interlude—but it’s pretty quiet around here!

    Oh, I know—you’re all off carving your favorite biddy out of lard-based frosting, aren’t you?

  79. Nehemiah Scudder
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:12 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#62): I had heard that in one midwest state (I thought it was Wisconsin, but I could be mistaken) the law was that margarine could be sold, but it had to be colored red?

    I think whoever told you that was confused by the fact that the dye packet, which the naturally white margarine came with, looked reddish, until you started mixing it in with the margarine when it turned the whole mix yellow. That’s what I recall my mother telling me, about when she was growing up in Florida during WWII.

  80. Baka Gaijin
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#15): Not clicking that link. No way.

    @Downpuppy (#21): You had an open Blockbuster? I remember seeing a Blockbuster at a small shopping plaza next to a train station in Italy. It went out of business by the next time I’d come through on the train. The windows were all papered over yet the signs were still lit at night.

    @tallyHO (#33): Oh good one!

  81. Ed Dravecky
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    @Alter Ego (#77): No, they called it ‘spending an hour with “Little Joe”‘.

  82. Nehemiah Scudder
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    Red margarine may actually have existed, but way back: ” In several states, legislatures enacted laws to require margarine manufacturers to add pink colorings to make the product look unpalatable,[54] but the Supreme Court struck down New Hampshire’s law and overruled these measures in Collins v. New Hampshire, 171 U.S. 30 (1898).” Wikipedia

  83. Lesser Whark
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#72): Thank you. I don’t know who needs the intervention, but I’m sure I’ve thought harder about typeface choice in Momma than Mell Lazarus ever has.

    @Amos Snarkadder, CQB (#57): Do they really still wear the Mao suits in China?
    I’m pretty sure they don’t. Also, the hat on the left looks more like a stereotypical portrayal of North Korea.

    Crankshaft (the comic) often contains offensive stereotypes, but usually they’re in the imagination of Crankshaft (the person). We’re supposed to think the person is horribly bigoted, not the comic. However, I’ve never been convinced that the creators themselves had a decent grasp of modern cultural diversity, and this strip seems to confirm that.

  84. Baka Gaijin
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    @Lesser Whark (#36): That’s an impressive analysis of typefaces.

    @Liam (#42) on Mary Worth: Pink marble. Salmon square pink.

    @Lesser Whark (#46): Seriously, get laid or get help.

  85. Baka Gaijin
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#51): “Kneading the margarine.” Is that what kids were calling it back then? Aargh! I wrote this before I saw @Alter Ego (#77). Damn this previewing slowing me down!

    @Amos Snarkadder, CQB (#57): She thinks they’re grooming the new guy, like monkeys groom each other and eat the ticks they find.

    @Borborygmy (#76): The causality is clear. That Wikipedia didn’t include that in the article shows its butter bias.

  86. Girl Reporter
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    I haven’t been able to eat margarine since a long-ago, macrobiotic (but that’s a whole other story) boyfriend told me that it is made by the same process as plastic, only with vegetable oil instead of petrolium, and they stop before it’s completely hardened.

    He also ruined Twinkies for me.

  87. A New Day
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    @TheSilentG (#5): I was wondering about the Superbowl-Marvin Freezes in the Snow connection, but I couldn’t make any sense of it. Now I hate myself for trying to make Marvin make sense of anything, but of course, that’s what this blog does to you. Josh may read the comics so I don’t have too, but I’m still stuck with my own pointless comics-based musings, and will be, I expect, until the day I die. And now I’m thinking about how THAT thought would make a good Funky Winkerbean strip. Sigh.

  88. Majicou
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#75): Well, it’s just that I always feel slightly conflicted about store-closing sales, as if my very presence is saying to the employees “Hey, I’m making out like a bandit! So, losing your job, huh?” At least I manage not to be one of the morons constantly asking the staff about when discounts will be increased (they don’t know or decide that) or, worse, when the last day will be (“So, when will you be out of work, exactly?”)

  89. Mardou Fox
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    Forgive me if this has been pointed out before, but I just realized who it is that John Dill reminds me of. He’s one of the Number Twos from Patrick McGoohan’s “The Prisoner”! He’s the one who drinks a lot of milk… Was in two episodes.

    Well, Charterstone has definite Village-esque qualities. And Mary would make a fine Number Two, meddling all of your information and your will to live right out of you.

  90. Phred22
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    SFox: Is this a first? One of the Six Differences in the answers is wrong! While the two parrots seem to be the same, there is no generic flying-bird-in-the-distance in Panel Two.

  91. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    @Borborygmy (#69):

    Sorry, but I don’t understand your reply.

  92. Mr. O’Malley
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    What seems to happen at store closings here is that new employees never seen before arrive, and the store is stocked with goods never before sold at that store, and usually of lower quality. So if you were hoping to score some of the stuff they used to sell at a discount, you’re out of luck.

    I did get some good stuff when Tower Records went under though.

  93. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    @Mardou Fox (#89):

    You are Number Six!

    // I am not a number, I am a free man!

    // Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  94. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

  95. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 3rd, 2013 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#92): That’s what happened when Borders closed. I read somewhere that there are companies that handle store-closing sales, distributing merchandise and bringing in employees.

    The Borders nearest me didn’t have any good prices, and the merchandise was terrible–seemed like stuff that had been sitting in a warehouse for years.

  96. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    @Girl Reporter (#86):

    I think that butter is more healthier for you than margarine (provided that you don’t over indulge), but surly it does not come as a surprise that Twinkies are not a health food.

  97. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

  98. Baka Gaijin
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#92): The few times I’ve been to store closings coincident to my being in the US for other reasons, they marked up the prices to list price or beyond then hung banners screaming “40% off!” which brought the prices to a level above what it was going for pre-closing. And the junk! They dragged all the shopworn, the display items, the returns, and put ‘em at the inflated prices. People still bought that stuff even though the mall across the street had the same things, new in box with warranties, at lower prices.

    While we’re ranting about dubious retail practices, outlet stores have changed since I left. Back in the olden days, an outlet would be where you could get factory seconds at low prices and if you were lucky, production overruns of perfect quality. There was one or maybe a few of these for any given manufacturer. Now these stores are all over the country. The merchandise isn’t much cheaper than the full-priced stores. People tell me some of these outlet stores share a name with the “regular” store but the stock is completely different. As in, instead of having the regular store’s previous season clothes that didn’t sell, these stores have their own similar clothes but of lower quality and not much lower in price. Bastards!

  99. Girl Reporter
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    @Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör (#97):

    Yummy as they may be.

    Not anymore.

  100. Peanut Gallery
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    @Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör (#91): I had trouble with that one too, but I believe the idea is as illustrated in this little beatnik dialogue:

    “Do like the cat, man!”
    “Do like the cat?”
    “Yeah, man, like, meow and eat cat food and use a litter box!”
    “Oh, I see. And do you do like the cat?”
    “Yeah! I do like the cat!”

  101. Mr. O’Malley
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#98): Yes, most stores have so many outlets they wouldn’t be able to stock them if they were really outlets.

    The only one I’ve been to that seemed to be a real outlet was the Pendleton outlet in Portland, that sold stuff like the last few yards off a bolt of cloth. But most of what they had wasn’t all that cheap.

  102. Ukulele Ike
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:30 pm [Reply]

    Sheesh, I’m terrified all of a sudden about how old you all are. I thought I was an old fart, and I was six when Sgt. Pepper came out.

  103. Really Old Fart Curmudgeon
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    @Ukulele Ike (#102): Take my hand, young’un, and gaze into my eyes, and I’ll use my demonic powers to suck out your remaining years and leave you a small pile of white dust, while my wrinkles smooth out and my youthful vigor returns! *Gleeful cracked laughter*

  104. Majicou
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:49 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#95): There are those liquidation companies–I guess some of them just do a shit job. The closing of our local Borders, sad though it was, went pretty well and I got some good books–stuff I’d always hemmed and hawed about before, but went ahead with with the major discounts (the discounts did take quite a while to become serious.)

  105. Mardou Fox
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

  106. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:52 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#98): That sounds exactly like the Borders close-out “sale.”

  107. Nehemiah Scudder
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    MT: As someone pointed out, real fishermen always wear hats.

  108. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    February 3rd, 2013 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    whelp, the Big Game is over, and I am sorry to say that cracking pistachios Gagnam Style was one of the top 3 commercials that I saw.

    The Jeep “military coming home” ad during halftime was an emotional gut-punch that left tears in my eyes, and the Budweiser Clydesdale spot was squee-rific.

    not a lot of memorable spots other than that. :-(

    the game, however, rocked.

  109. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#108): As did the post-game f-bomb. Do you think the FCC has heightened their threat level to “Nipple”?

    (The Budweiser ad got me teary-eyed. Definitely one of the better ads–although I thought it was a mediocre bunch overall. I liked the Rogan/Rudd ad, and the space babies ad was cute.)

  110. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    Congratulation to Josh’s hometown team.

  111. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    Or, I guess, based on what Ray Lewis said, congratulations to God for winning it for the Ravens.

  112. Borborygmy
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#100): Groovy! I’d like to think of that dialogue with a background of a sinuous upright bass line, bongo drums, and the occasional flute toot. “Do like the cat, man!”

  113. Rusty
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    That’s the most artistically ambitious Momma strip I have ever seen.

  114. Rusty
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:22 pm [Reply]

    @Gladly, the cross-eyed bear (#111): Ray Lewis is all the evidence I need to prove God doesn’t exist.

  115. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    Although I have to say that making the power go out was a questionable decision on God’s part.

  116. seismic-2
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    Santa Royale Cake Bowl XLVII: Is it too much to hope for that just as John and Mary start their critical maneuver in carrying their Beauty of Pink Vomit Nature tribute to the judging table, the lights go out?

  117. Nehemiah Scudder
    February 3rd, 2013 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#100): It’s a zeugma, man!

  118. bats :[
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:09 am [Reply]

  119. Sequitur
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#107): I enjoyed that, I must say.

    If I remember correctly, I believe it was Poteet who mentioned the hats.

  120. bats :[
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#109): mmmm, Paul Rudd… Dingo’s candidate for a live-action Rex Morgan, M.D.
    (You know you want to see it.)

  121. Poteet
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    GA — The real question is why Rufus’s aunt hated womenkind.

  122. Poteet
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#121): Or is it womankind. Anyway, she hated us.

  123. Poteet
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#119): True, thank you, and how pleasing to see the Count make an appearance in MT. His sartorial splendor puts the regulars to shame.

  124. Sgt. Stoned
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:49 am [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#116): MW: The cake is made of pink slime!!

  125. Charly
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:49 am [Reply]

    Monday’s Mary Worth is like a Mark Trail, if a squirrel had been turn into a convention center (and by “convention center” I mean “exurban office building housing an SEO company, a for-profit college, and the world’s worst deli.”

  126. Nehemiah Scudder
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    @Sgt. Stoned (#124): Lean finely textured beef — of course!

    // Yum, with a little horseradish sauce!

  127. Dave Dahl
    February 4th, 2013 at 12:55 am [Reply]

  128. tallyHO
    February 4th, 2013 at 1:16 am [Reply]

    Monday’s strips will be filled with hilarity!

  129. Baka Gaijin
    February 4th, 2013 at 1:40 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#109): I could get behind a threat level measurement system that included “nipple.” Hm, what could the other 4 threat levels be? Hm.

    @seismic-2 (#116): That would be an unexpected twist.

    @Sgt. Stoned (#124): If only it were that edible.

  130. Droopy Says
    February 4th, 2013 at 1:43 am [Reply]

    Spiderdick: Tell her how you found out, Parker. For all you know that newspaper was a ten year old print-out of The Onion.

    Flunky Batiuk, put the fourth wall back where you found it, that’s a good boy.

    Spiderdick: If half the fun is in getting there, imagine how dull this adventure will be as it drags out.

    Family Circus: Here we see the moment in which Bil Keane realized he would never have enough material for a multiple-panel strip.

    Spiderdick: Hilarity may yet ensue. Picture two CHP patrolmen who spot Peter Parker webbed to the back of that truck: “I heard Spiderman is in town!” — “Who?” — “He’s this great superhero who lives in New York!” — “If you say so. What would he be doing here, dude?” — “He must have been fighting some supervillain! Looks like he caught him, too!” — “So that’s what a supervillain looks like?” — “Well they don’t look like much wrapped in webbing–LOOK OUT HE’S LOOSE!” Gunfire follows as Parker gets out of his hammock.

    Mock Travail: “As you know, Rusty, it never ends well for you when you take pictures of miscreants!”

    Mary Mirthless: Ratcheting up the tension in this strip is like dropping Sominex.

    Pluggers: For once we can all agree that Pluggers have the right idea.

  131. Brooke McEldowneys public defender
    February 4th, 2013 at 2:03 am [Reply]

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, please disregard Monday’s Pibgorn. And 9 Chickweed Lane. It was temporary insanity. An irresistible impulse. The result of a mental condition that prevented him from understanding the difference between a good cartoon and a crappy, insulting one. Have mercy!

  132. DaveyK
    February 4th, 2013 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    I don’t think Momma is so much in need of eyeglasses as in need of a pair of eyes which are correctly oriented to each other horizontally. And pupils which are not horribly dilated by mydriatics or LSD.

  133. Dale
    February 4th, 2013 at 5:01 am [Reply]


    Somebody told the artist, “Mark hands a camera to Rusty”.
    Later he thinks, “Did I say ‘a camera’ or ‘his camera’? Oh, shit.”

  134. Droopy Says
    February 4th, 2013 at 6:15 am [Reply]

    @Brooke McEldowneys public defender (#131): No, we the jury feel that Sunday’s Solange display resulted from a bout of temporary sanity.

  135. Chip
    February 4th, 2013 at 7:10 am [Reply]

    SM: “Kraven? Oh no, he got away. I’m heading off to fight a different super villian!”

    As he lounges in a hammock made of webbing, hanging on the back of a truck driving down the road in broad daylight…

  136. Mr. O'Malley
    February 4th, 2013 at 7:12 am [Reply]

    Thinking back on things, Mark Trail has had cases of “two men who hang out with each other a lot” relatively frequently, but this is the first time they really seem like a gay couple. That’s fine, but we know that these two are nogoodniks. Maybe in the next adventure we could have a gay couple that owns a fishing camp or something?

  137. Lenoxus
    February 4th, 2013 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    I’m glad I’m the only one who mistook this Momma for an incest joke. As in, she’s only talking to her daughter, with whom she wants to set up with this “nice looking man” (actually her son, but she can’t tell). (I can’t remember if her daughter is single — she’s tghe one who was dating wildlife, right?). I guess I found that more plausible than mistaking a snowman for a human. (Even with really awful eyesight, you can tell you’re looking at something bright white.)

  138. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    February 4th, 2013 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    @Lenoxus (#137): No, I’m afraid that’s how I read it, too. But, then, I have terrible eyesight, and I’d never mistake a snowman for a person.

    It’s not Momma’s need for eyeglasses that betrays her; it’s her need for a brain.

  139. Morgan Wick
    February 4th, 2013 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    This might be Yet Another Unannounced Rerun at Herb and Jamaal’s 150th Comics Curmudgeon snark. Also, Momma has hit the TDIET Memorial Centenary Mark.

  140. Morgan Wick
    February 4th, 2013 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    “I’m so desperate I’m taking titles from the kiddy section! Everyone knows kids’ movies are formulaic crap! I need Herb to give me a TV Tropes fix to wean me off my addiction.”

  141. carb counter
    May 19th, 2013 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout
    out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts.

    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Thanks for your time!

Comments are closed for this post.