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Rex Morgan: Friggin’ in the riggin’

Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/16/08

I am sadly far removed from the good, honest, manly work that goes on aboard boats, so the only association I have with the phrase “cabin boy” is “teenage sexual plaything for lonely sailors.” Presumably there’s something nautical that a cabin boy would be making himself useful for, but if thirtysomething landlubber jerkface Rex Morgan could actually do something productive on board other than show off his manly chest so that Lenore and/or her crew can get their jollies, I’d love to hear it.

For Better Or For Worse, 8/16/08

Oh, also, Grandpa Jim is dying or something. I’m going to pass over the tiresome melodrama here for the moment (if he really didn’t want to spoil her day, then why did he go and have a heart attack in the middle of it?); I mostly want to comment on Uncle Phil’s creepy, glowing eyes in the next-to-last panel. Though it’s not entirely clear what they’re supposed to denote, this is a very striking effect, so much so that I immediately remembered the last time I saw it in this strip: the day that Liz and Anthony half-assedly got engaged. One can only assume that it denotes the imminent death of something wonderful and precious (e.g., Liz’s grandfather, Liz’s carefree existence as a human being who thinks and feels).

Marvin, 8/16/08

Here’s a question that has puzzled generations of professional humorists. Imagine that you have a terrible, terrible joke. This joke has nothing to do with the interests or concerns of babies. If that joke were stretched out over three panels, and thought-ballooned by three near-identical drawings of a heavy-lidded, sullen, unlikeable infant, would it become funny, or at least less unfunny? Thanks to the bravery of this Marvin, we now know that the answer is a resounding “no”!

Dick Tracy, 8/16/08

Another philosophical conundrum: Is depicting a mangled human being, his flesh torn to ribbons by his own savage dogs, somehow acceptable for the comics pages if an onlooker makes some half-assed wordplay comparing the poor soul to a pork chop or t-bone steak of the sort that you’d see for sale in your local supermarket? Based on the absence of outraged letters demanding the removal of Dick Tracy from all newspapers everywhere, the answer is apparently “yes”!

113 responses to “Rex Morgan: Friggin’ in the riggin’”

  1. Baka Gaijin
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Sunday’s Comics

    Slylock Fox: Mark Trail? A picture of Mark Trail in the Patterson’s summer cabin? Who else would leave a place so “chomp glorp munch” fresh? Not Reeky Rat!

    Pluggers: Yeah, right, and 80cc engine can haul that grotesquely obese dogman around. It’s sitting there, grunting like littile Wobin dropping a deuce in his diaper, unable to move it’s massive load. The bike, not the diaper.

    Cathy: Why is Cathy buying fresh, tasty vegetables? She’s too lazy for composting. We know it’s not for eating; if it’s not covered in chocolate or deep fried, it’s not going into her AACKing mouth.

    Lio: Love the cat and the newspaperboy. Ha ha!

    Garfield: Stink lines. All this strip needs is stink lines.

    Brevity: Flasher Flood!

    Blondie: Saturday’s strip would work better as tomorrow’s (Monday’s) strip.

    reposted from last thread

  2. Matt E
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    The very first thing I noticed when I casually glanced at the FOOB squad was those horrible, horrible eyes. Piercing, unworldly spirals, like a black hole that devours your very soul.

    In Canada, when people are emotional, their eyes turn into horrifying, glassy spheres of torture.

  3. Matt E
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    “A Cabin boy or ship’s boy is a boy (in the sense of low-ranking male employee, not always a minor) who waits on the officers and passengers of a ship”. Yeah, I’ll bet ol’ Rexy would love to “wait on” the captain and crew of any sailing vessel.

    If there’s one thing he understands, it’s how to deal with salty seamen.

  4. zombie_bomb
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    I think the Dick Tracy comic is passable solely due to the guilt clearly wracking those tortured dogs in the first panel.

  5. fishmorgjp
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    Well… the “stretch unfunny joke over three panels” bit, spoken by patently unlikeable, bloated charcter has always been the very spit and soul of Marvin. The technique was borrowed from Garfield.

  6. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    Who said Canadians don’t understand irony?

    OK, well, I said it after that infamous Alanis song.

    But to have the FOOBS hold the Wedding of the Century over a deathbed, and to have the author plot this ON PURPOSE, to tug at our heartstrings, with not a clue as to the symbolism?

    THAT is irony, my friends. Doesn’t matter if it rains on the magic day or not, or even if one of the guests only has a spoon to slit their wrists with afterwards.

  7. Jeffsterr
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    D.T.: Is that stuffing coming out of Baskerville? Guts drip down, even when ripped open. He’s splayed out like a stuffy.

  8. Dicky
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    385 yesterthread, TheDiva: While shooting pictures of one’s own ass is a good way to check for skin cancer and assorted surface maladies in that area, I’m not sure that the wedding photographer should be doing it while working.

    Zits makes no sense… if it’s unspoken communication in the “guys” panel, there shouldn’t be speech bubbles.

    Foxtrot: What Jason is really looking for is a skin whitener or lightener. I’m not sure if he could easily find it in a regular drug store, but Asian markets should have it. In a pinch, a good powder should work though he might have issues with even application given his lack of experience with it.

    Frazz: Can anyone actually say when those satellite map pictures are updated?

    DtM: Wait a second. Dennis’s parents are high school sweethearts who got married? How old were they when they got married and had Dennis then? Is this Liz’s retconned future? With an innocuous kid and Edgar and Sara’s immortal puppy?

  9. PlantPerson
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    I thought Uncle Phil’s eyes were an indication of an evil alien parasite that took over his body with the intention of wreaking havok on the Patterson clan in the near future. Hey, the invasion’s got to start somewhere.

  10. jess_shambler
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    Wait, Josh, really? Spiderman just bitchslapped the Vulture, and you’re not even going to mention it?!? What gives?

  11. Anonymous
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    I wonder if the Bum Boat has a cabin boy.

  12. Donald The Anarchist
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    #2 Matt E. That’s always been the intriguing part of FOOB. Here are these people living perfectly bland suburban lives, and yet Ellie’s eyes always seem to say, “My soul got ripped out of my body and is currently being gangbanged in Hell. Pray for me.”

    On the plus side, Liz’s lobotomy seems to be working exactly as planned, with no severe side effects.

  13. Beauregard Bugleboy
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    Hell, Unca Phil is stoned. And who can blame him before that wedding?

  14. Ron Hogan
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    Don’t tell Elizabeth. Yes, and I’m sure she’ll NEVER notice that her grandfather and that woman who’s always hanging around him didn’t come to the wedding.

    Maybe to spare her the trauma of learning that Grandpa has had a heart attack, Ellie can tell Elizabeth he stayed home because he didn’t want to see her marry a twerp.

  15. Mac
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    I am terribly disappointed that Grampa Jim didn’t manage to make it to the wedding before keeling over. Look, old man, if we have to put up with this crap, so do you, so Iris and Phil are going to strap you down and wheel you in.

  16. Dan
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    Special FOOB eyes guest artist: Jack Chick!

  17. zooby
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    How do THEY know that Grandpa doesn’t want to spoil Liz’s day? All he can say is “Yes” and “No” and “Boxcar.”

    And while I’m sure Liz appreciates the sentiment of a feeble old man not wanting to interrupt her wedding by, you know, DYING, won’t she notice anyway? I mean, this is her wedding! If I got married and had a big wedding, I’d notice if my invalid grandfather who was supposed to be there suddenly wasn’t in the front row in his wheelchair. But how soon I forget! These are the Pattersons. Nothing will stop their hive collective from completing its formation.

    I forgot to mention…. Lynn Johnston has said April will be attending the University of Guelph (presumably, to study veterinary medicine). Apparently, the university sent Johnston a letter “accepting” April into the school. That’s so embarrassing. I live in Guelph! I don’t want to run into April during Frosh week! Or ever!

  18. yeff
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    Am I a bad person if the thought of going on a cruise with June and being her “cabin boy” gives me a little perverse thrill?

    Cause, you know, if Rex isn’t into it…

    - yeff

  19. Slinkyfarm
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    Wow, Iris couldn’t wait to bail out on Grandpa Jim. Changed her clothes and everything by Sunday’s strip.

  20. Pope Buck I
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: Let me get this straight. The police knew the criminals were using vicious dogs to bring off the bank heist. Moreover, this was a heist they knew about way ahead of time, thanks to their lip-reading. This wasn’t a surprise, in other words.

    Nevertheless, their first team of responders didn’t include Animal Control – their entire plan for dealing with the dogs consisted of bringing steaks to distract them. A plan which fell through inside of five seconds (“They’re ignoring the steaks! Who could have guessed that these vicious bank-robbing dogs would actually be trained?!”).

    So, by the time they actually do get around to calling Animal Control to amble along with their tranquilizer guns, the dogs have already mauled pretty much everybody on the scene, at least one fatally.

    My question is this: does Internal Affairs exist in the Tracyverse? Because these cops really need to sit down and have a good, long discussion about “What went wrong and what we can do better next time.”

  21. Yaanu
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:27 pm [Reply]


    I foresee a peachy introduction to the wedding, but when they’re all, “SPEAK NOW O’ FO-EVER HOLD YO PEACE,” Warren (or whoever Ellie’s last boyfriend was) will get a panel or two, maybe even a strip, contemplating whether or not to yell, “AH OBJECT!!!1″ In any case, he won’t, but when they reach the I Do’s, Ellie will FINALLY notice a lack of Gramps, Mom’s cell will vibrate with the receival of the new technology, “Text Messaging”, with a note that Gramps kicked the bucket. Mom crys, Ellie puts two and three together, and when Preacher-Bot is like “DO YOU, ELLIE, TAKE GRANDTHONY,” Ellie runs out the room crying. A soliloquy happens, Ellie accepts the loss, and finally says I Do, also accepting a life of quiet desperation and lack of meaning.

    YAANU PREDICTS: Now on Sundays

  22. John C Fremont
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Dick Tracy reminds me of the Guindon cartoon about lawyers being an important source of protein. And hey, Baskerville’s already filleted and tenderized. Yum!

  23. Mars
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    To those who wondered how Grandpa could “tell” people he didn’t want Liz to know, I suddenly thought of another means of communication:

    Iris: “Do you want Elizabeth to know?”
    Grandpa: *shakes head*

    He can do that much, right?

    Phil’s zombie head looks even creepier in the afternoon when I’m not looking at the paper half-asleep.

  24. Poteet
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Foob — MONDAY SPOILER AHEAD. Characters: BrideLizda and her bevy of thirteen-year-old giggling bridesmaids, plus possibly a big-lipped flower girl or two and maybe Wobin. I really can’t tell. Theme: Piling into a limo and off to the wedding, hooray, giggle giggle, plus the inevitable last-panel smug bad “pun”! My reaction: (Margo), they really DIDN’T tell Liz about Gwampa. I saw Disney children’s movies back in the Sixties that had more emotional maturity and complexity than this piece of (Boxcar)ing (Saturn).

  25. Deschanel
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    Echoing #2. above, I cannot abide even looking at that For Better or For Worse strip here or anywhere. Because every single character, in every single panel, in every single year since forever, the characters all have the exact same expression.

    Moony, credulous, dim-witted, perpetually bewildered, their expressions are always that of a depressive drunk in denial finally hearing what everyone thinks of them. Or someone on LSD being told a loved one has suddenly died horribly.

    Eyes are black spirals of despair indeed, #2. The strip is populated by such potato-faced mouth-breathing mopes, one cruelly wants to kick them out of their dazed stupor.
    Can’t stand it.

  26. Poteet
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    # 20 Pope Buck I — What I still don’t understand is why they didn’t shoot the dogs. I’m actually one of those “awww” types who adopts strays and donates to animal shelters, but in the case of vicious froth-mouthed apparently-insane dogs intent on mauling people, it seems to me that the use of guns could be justified. But of course it’s DT. I shall comment on this subject no more.

  27. Big Sims
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    Rex the Cabin Boy? I guess could always swab her poop deck.

  28. Master Mahan
    August 17th, 2008 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Rex Morgan has been making it too easy lately. Next week: “I’ve been asked to take part in a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Everyone says I’d make a great Bottom.”

    By the way, Wikipedia’s Rex Morgan disambiguation page is hilarious.

  29. Big Sims
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    Correction to my #27

    I guess he could always swab her poop deck.

    Argggg! Yo ho ho and whatnot.

  30. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    Maybe I’m kind of abnormal, given that I actually like my family and all, but if somebody kept something like a grandparent’s heart attack from me, I’d be so goddamn PISSED.

    My mom would actually sometimes neglect to call me at school to tell me that people I knew had died. It’s a real bummer being home for spring break and finding out not only that a close family friend has died, but that I’ve missed the funeral. Actually, my dad still does this. On second thought, I hate my family.

  31. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    For Better or for Worse–the only comic with more zombies than Doonesbury.

  32. survivor
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    #13 – I think you said what we’re all hoping.

    Instead of the same ‘ol tired FOOB plotline with Grampa’s death/Elizabeth’s wedding that we’ve all grown sick of watching unfold … what if there’s a twist this time? Maybe bearded, stoner Uncle Phil is actually wandering around a hospital after dropping some acid and is experiencing ‘a bad trip’!

    Imagine a hospital staff desperately trying to sedate a naked, ranting Uncle Phil as he rides a hospital bed like a buckin’ bronco while the entire
    wedding party watches in horrified embarrassment. Comic gold. It could almost justify FBOFW being in the funny pages.

  33. northwest transplant
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    I hope lil’ Apes is the one who gets to break the news about Gwampa to her older sister: “Hi,Sis! Remember me! The little sister who you didn’t ask to be your Maid of Honor or even a flower girl in your wedding because those spots were already taken by your (boxcar) (saturn) Friends Forever?! Well, Masky McDeath over there has already come for Gwampa Jim. He said he couldn’t resist crashing the reception afterwards!”

  34. bats :[
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    17. zooby: poor you! Maybe we should start up a collection for a one-way bus ticket to ANYWHERE so you can avoid April.
    Then again, she’s probably the most bearable of the lot. And she might not survive Frosh Week (nudge nudge wink wink here’s a hammer).

    27. Big Sims: awww, that’s just nasty (heh).
    I will not succumb (heh…”suck”) to the tawdriness of Cabin Boy Fever — oh, look! Another potentially dangerous disease! A lame segue into:

  35. nsr
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    I’m not so sure Phil’s even holding a phone. It looks like he dropped acid and he’s communicating with Ellie by thought waves.

  36. Lou Shumaker
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    Having seen Monday’s FOOB, I’ll back up the previous commenter, but note that, since the bridesmaids were not informed of Jim’s condition, it’s not surprising they didn’t tell Liz.

    Still, I remember when I asked after the health of a family member’s SO, and was told he had died a few months previously. *sigh*

    Nothing says “family” like not being told family news.

  37. Dean Booth of the Affect Ad Patrol
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

  38. Poteet
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    # 36 Lou — Sorry, I was so peeved that I didn’t use pronouns well. By “they really DIDN’T,” I meant to refer to Liz’s dear darling Mom Elly and Uncle Phil, or at least Mom Elly. If Uncle Phil is truly ripped, as is being speculated, maybe I’ll let him off the hook also.

  39. Tim
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    The author of Dick Tracy just made my day! No longer must I wait for FOOB to show me a corpse, and this one’s mangled to boot!

  40. Rusty
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    DT: There has been no public outcry since this is the only place that people have bothered to read it.

  41. Dagger
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    Poor Grandpa Jim. He’s trying so hard to leave this world before the unholy cataclysm of puns and mustachioed babies that the Anthony-Liz wedding will undoubtedly bring.

  42. Tim
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:58 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and #11 Anonymous: I’m not sophisticated enough to post a link, but check out the post of 7/28/08. The Bum Boat’s waiter is clearly (ahem) dressed to kill. Maybe?

  43. A Lemur
    August 17th, 2008 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    Tracy: ‘Well, now that that’s cleaned up, let’s get those people out of the vault. Who’s got the combination?’
    Bank Employee: ‘That would be Mr. Johnson, sir.’
    ‘Great. Where is he?’
    ‘In the vault, sir.’
    ‘Hmmm, tricky. Who else has the combination?’
    ‘Jenkins, sir’
    ‘And he’s…’
    ‘In the vault, yes.’
    ‘Well, who else has the combination?’
    ‘Well, there’s Smithson, Miss Danvers, and Mr. Yoshi’
    ‘And they’re…’
    ‘Probably standing next to Mr. Johnson.’
    ‘Good Gravy! I don’t have time for this. You. SWAT guy. Hand me that C-4.’
    SWAT Guy: ‘Uh, Tracy, I don’t think that’s really a good idea-’
    ‘Quiet man, Detective at work here. Hmmm, about a hundred pounds ought to do it. STAND BACK!’
    Tracy (eyebrows smoking): ‘Tarnation! That didn´t do anything.’
    Bank Employee: ‘ On the contrary, sir, it looks like you took out the ventilation. They probably have about 12 minutes of air left.’
    Tracy: ‘Great Leaping Lampreys! We’ve got to get them out of there!’
    SFX: CReeeeek
    ‘I wouldn’t worry about it sir, they probably won’t have time to suffocate, it looks like you also took out the main support for the whole building and the place should collapse in about 3 minutes.’
    ‘Blazes! Look at the time, things to do, paperwork to file. Let’s go men, double time. Hup-hup!’
    SWAT team: ‘Hup-hup! Hup-hup!’

    And somewhere in the city office, an insurance adjuster feels a cold chill run up his spine. ‘Tracy…’, he whispers, shaking out his nitroglycerin pills.

  44. DrBear
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    I can see it now – Granthony and Liz, hands held over Jim’s lifeless corpse (redundant?), as everybody is crying buckets over both the wedding and the ending, as the minister ends “For Better or For Worse” with “Til death do you part.”

    Way too obvious for Lynn, which is why I’m sure it’s going to happen.

  45. bbug
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    They HAVE to tell Lizardbreath! It’s her last chance to call this sham off…

  46. UncleJeff
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: I don’t know what Canadian wedding traditions are like but if they’re anything like Wisconsin…Liz and the wedding party will take off for a nearby bar as soon as the last “Amen (thank God it’s over)” is said.
    So, next week’s panels will have a drunken disheveled group of 20-something’s crashing Grampa Chinnutz’s hospital room for a “how-dee-do. Sorry ya missed the wedding. Need a Molson’s?”
    Granthony, however, won’t be drunk. He’ll be moping about how the Golden Vagoo is slipping in and out of the men’s room with various patrons of the bar for a “special” wedding kiss while he gets stuck holding the keys to the limo because Gordon is getting shit-faced.

  47. UncleJeff
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    BTW: It appears that no one has told our pal True Fable about the special article on goats in Time magazine.
    Let’s wait until after the wedding is over.
    Grampa Chinnutz would’ve wanted it that way.

  48. John C Fremont
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    # 37 Dean Booth – I especially loved l’il Bil!

    # 30 Les- Yeah, when my Mom passed away a couple of years ago, there was talk about not telling my oldest son, who was two days away from performing, coincidentally, Mozart’s Requium Mass. We did tell him, of course, and it was one of his best, most heart-felt performances ever.

    In short, I hate this strip and everything it represents. Except Canada. I love Canada. And I’ll love you more, Canada, if you get rid of Lynn Johnston. I know a guy named Andre with access to old offshore oil rigs. Quick, copy these coordinates…

  49. UncleJeff
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    Dick (the dog whistler) Tracy: The dog on the left. Could it be? Leapin’ Lizards, it’s Sandy from “Annie”!

  50. mafketis
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    I was assuming that June had finally accepted reality and was offering to help procure a cabin boy for Rex. I’d say that would turn the strip into a marathon of rum, sodomy and the lash, but it already is.

  51. bats :[
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    50. mafketis: and you make it sound like a bad thing!

  52. Tom T.
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I’m awaiting your commentary on the bathroom “water sports” in Sunday’s FC….

  53. CanuckDownSouth
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    My way to shut my eyes against the trainwreck of foobery here (updated both Saturday and today).

  54. Slylock Foxy
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for giving me my daily dose of blatant, horrifying sexism, today’s Zits! It’s always good to be reminded that while men greet each other with straightforward sincerity, women are self-loathing harridans who feign friendship and affection while privately judging every detail of each other’s appearance so as to briefly prop up their constantly collapsing sense of self-worth. Haha! Nice one!

  55. Joe Blevins
    August 17th, 2008 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: The only possible way to get this storyline back on track is for it to take a detour into Weekend at Bernie’s territory.

  56. minor flood
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    I’m gonna make it my life’s mission to establish that The Global War On Terror, The Holocaust, American Idol, and Marvin can all be explained by a common gene.

  57. Muse of Ire
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    OK, so on Saturday Aunt Georgia is at the hospital, but on Sunday she’s at the wedding trying to find a place for the presents? Even Lynn isn’t paying attention to what’s happening anymore.

  58. commodorejohn
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    #53 CanuckDownSouth – Man, even if FOOB weren’t so objectionable that it needs an alternate take, this would still be way the hell more interesting than the Settleocalypse. Great job!

  59. KT
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    Hoo boy. My Dad died in the hospital on Friday. (Don’t worry about me; I’m dealing with it just fine.) On Saturday, I was reading the funnies, and I saw FBOFW, and I thought, oh, lovely. Fuck you so much, Lynn Johnston.

  60. KT
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    On a lighter note, today’s Sally Forth is hilarious!

  61. strawberrymom22
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    I forgot to read Sally Forth, KT but I’m sorry about your dad

  62. Lady Ganesh
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    #53– seconding the praise. I’m at the edge of my seat with this storyline! I hope they find April and she’s okay, and I’m so happy with Liz acting (mostly) like a grown-up!

  63. texas buddha
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:36 pm [Reply]

    Since it doesn’t appear in my newspaper I had managed to forget all about the comic strip Marvin until today’s Comics Curmudgeon insisted upon reminding me.

    Ignorance truly is bliss.

  64. Islamorada Girl
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: this isn’t just glurge, my friends. No, this is glurge rolled in sugar and nut flour, shaken, not stirred and dipped in melted fudge caramel, then plunged into a deep fryer of molten melted butter and served on a sterling silver stick engraved “Hallmark”. That’s the kind of extra-special, industrial strength glurge that’s being served up here at this ren fair of the souless. With an insulin chaser.

  65. Gabacho
    August 17th, 2008 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    #18 YeffAm I a bad person if the thought of going on a cruise with June and being her “cabin boy” gives me a little perverse thrill?

    No, Yeff. You’re not a bad person. I am. Because the thought of Rex being my “cabin boy” gives me a big perverse thrill. I would so hit that.

  66. Shoshi
    August 17th, 2008 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    Rex Morgan — I thought we were just being dirty-minded in our interpretation of “I know what she wants”, but the cabin-boy strip seems to confirm our fears!

  67. Aesop
    August 17th, 2008 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Phil is obviously possessed by some sinister force and most likely caused Grandpa Jim’s heart attack. The only saving grace for this strip would be if he proceeded to massacre everyone at the wedding and end the strip once and for all.

  68. Orange Doorhiinge
    August 17th, 2008 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    Iris will show up at the Reception, weeping hysterically, and accuse Liz & Elle of killing Grandpa with their rushed and extravagant wedding.
    “The way Elle went on and on and on boring him with the details of the wedding, showing him photos of his late wife’s ruined wedding dress, describing all the hideous teal & violet color scheme (why not green and lime, or pink & orange, or other Denny’s colors?), praising the fatuous looser Anthony… his heart gave out. But he died happy knowing he wouldn’t have to attend after all.”

  69. Red Greenback
    August 17th, 2008 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    Foob: How do you do it, Lynn? It’s uncanny weird, it’s like you placed a camera up my ASS!
    Toeby and the Professor: “I love seeing him so shitfaced.”
    Curtis: Was it “I’m a high speed B-boy nuff said
    The funky headhunter so I can’t get enough head!” or “I put my fingerprints all over that rump, I’m as guilty as hell but I loves the pumps and the bump!”?
    Mark Trailmix: Eat More Possum.

  70. Bobdog
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:07 pm [Reply]

    As far the googly eyes in Foob goes, I was under the impression that’s just how Lynn Johnston draws people stoned out of their mind — this Uncle Phil we’re talking about.

  71. Bobdog
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:07 pm [Reply]

    And damn Elly look old in panel 2.

  72. Red Greenback
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    Looks like there’ll be a new MRSA outbreak: Morgan Regatta Sex Ahoy!… or not.

  73. Shoebox
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    OK, so given Saturday’s last panel we’re clearly going to be milking every last drop out of ‘young innocence so soon to be lost’. (Because this is Lynn, and her knowledge of anyone under 30 comes via Wall-Mart ads, the part of ‘innocence’ will be played by a bunch of giggly Hannah Montana fans.)

    So Liz trots off to her Barbie Fantasy Wedding Playset, suddenly [grasp!] realises that Grampa isn’t there – what? You missed the memo that explained how ‘between the lines’ Liz is exceptionally close to her Grampa? Well, too late now – and gets the truth out of Noble Martyr Elly. (Who will somehow, despite the 30-second limit, manage to explain that it wasn’t her fault; her irresponsible brother insisted.)

    Of course it’s heigh-ho, into the limos and off to the hospital, there to make Grampa’s last moments meaningful.

    Much will be thought-bubbled on the subjects of Coming Full Circle and Love Never Dying. Mike will improvise an on-the-spot eulogy that will have everyone swooning in Poignant Tears. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that ghosts will smile down.

    …alternatively, of course, Lynn just threw Grampa’s frail health in there as a plot device to generate ‘tension’, much in the same manner as she did all the other petty crises in Sunday’s strip. This is the version I’m hoping for, because while it’s kinda hard on poor Gramps, it means the rest of us can get out of here with that many fewer scars.

  74. anne
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics, and whenever the announcers use “medal” as a verb, as in “Phelps is going to medal again”, I think they’re talking about Mary Worth.

  75. Hank
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    Has anyone else noticed that, for at least the past six months, “Dick Tracy” has been a consistently funnier strip than “For Better or For Worse”?

  76. Bobdog
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    That Grandpa Jim dies on the day of the wedding which was ostensibly rushed so he could see Liz get married in the wedding gown that so and so wore could be considered fairly black humor — making a mockery of the Patterson’s inconveniencing of everyone and showing the seemingly fickle indifference of the universe to Liz’s heartfelt desires — but I’m not fooled Lynne — you’re no Batuik — this is not leading up to some bleak, cathartic moment of pathos — it is just the set up to a really horrid and nonsensical pun.

  77. Frankie Machine
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    That “joke” in Marvin was probably stolen from BC.

  78. Anonymous
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    #59 – I am sorry for your loss….

  79. monkey.dave
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    MW Toby and Ian are so boring that watching a PBS documentary raises the excitement level in their lives. Even Toby’s Walter Mitty-esque inner monologues consist of nothing more than looking forward paying her credit card bill.

    Say what you want about Mary Worth, but at least her meddling leaves a trail of death and destruction in its wake.

  80. Red Greenback
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    74-anne- You too! That’s just dandy, Mary Worth has wrecked our minds.
    Also, KT, my condolences. A sense of humor helps a lot.

  81. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    Marvin: Damn, but the effort is so minimal. I might give a mulligan for the three almost identical panels setting up a sub-FOOB bit of wordplay, if it wasn’t the norm rather than the exception. So far just this year, we’ve been treated to over a week of “Belly Laffs”, where identical first and second panels lead up to a hilarious and unexpected conclusion: “You know you are pregnant when … your belly expands and a baby is growing inside it!!!”. Also a full two weeks of “Marvin fires his binky … hilarity fails to ensue”.

    I am, however, pleasantly surprised that the strip’s stereotyped adopted Chinese baby hasn’t been Shanghaied onto the Olympic gymnastics team. She’s 16 if she’s a day!!!

  82. Mark in Boston
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    Ellie: Elizabeth, we didn’t want to tell you before the wedding, but you know how sick Grandpa was? We got a call from a man who has a big farm and he can make Grandpa feel better so he can run and chase rabbits and dig holes and do all the things he used to love to do and he’ll never be sick again. The only thing is we can never go visit him on this farm. But we really want Grandpa to be well so we sent him to the farm.

  83. Anonymous
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Being a great reader of non-fiction, I seem to recall that back in Captain Bligh days, ships were run rather tightly and were not perverted free-for-alls, no matter how motley the crew or how long they were out to sea. Situational homosexuality was severely punished, as was masturbation, possibly warranting a death sentence. Anything along that line had to be done on the q.t.

  84. FOOBed again
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    #59 KT: So sorry to hear about your dad.

  85. Red Greenback
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    What the heck has HIS GALACTIC ALLCAPNESS been up to lately? Some exquisite dastardliness in the works, I hope.

  86. commodorejohn
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    #85 Red Greenback – I imagine the lag time of interstellar communication is keeping the great Chennux on his toes, what with the number of times the Hack of the Great White North has changed her line on the ending-beginning of FOOB. I mean, depending on which plan you go by, the situation could call for as many as a thousand magmacannons or merely nine hundred.

  87. Mooncattie
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    FOOB – In the b&w version, it appears that Liz has dumped Gran’s wedding dress after all and is going with a Coconuts Bra theme, which bodes well for the upcoming Wedding Sacrifice Week at Anthony’s little grass shack.

    Oh, I know, it’s all going to be just awful. Here are some goats I saw in Switzerland two weeks ago instead. I hope you like them!

  88. Foolkiller
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    Hate to say I called FOOB death but .

    I did miss on the viagra though.

  89. Bookworm
    August 17th, 2008 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    On the same weekend that MT gives his possum lecture, there comes this news – ‘Bigfoot’ fails DNA test Apparently of the two samples taken, one was human and one was a possum (an opossum?). Yes! Giant Mutant Possums! Now if they only talk, it will be Mark Trail come to life.

  90. bats :[
    August 17th, 2008 at 11:17 pm [Reply]

    85. Red Greenback: I’m guessing that His Bulkritude has a front-row seat at the Bejing Olympics beach volleyball venue, and he’s been admiring the various and sundry female athletes there.
    I’m also guessing that he’s visualizing them surrounded by mounds of genuine Idaho potatoes and drizzled plentifully (athletes and potatoes) with real Vermont maple syrup. USA! USA!

  91. peasley
    August 17th, 2008 at 11:32 pm [Reply]

    The cabin boy
    was filled with joy,
    the dirty little nipper.
    Lined his ass
    with broken glass
    and circumcised the skipper.

  92. mollydoll
    August 17th, 2008 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    Making my first post ever to point out the important lesson today’s Mother Goose & Grimm has taught me: “Asians: They Eat Dogs!”

    The strip is Johnny Hart turning a menorah into a cross crazy.

  93. Carly
    August 18th, 2008 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    The fact that you can’t tell what the hell is going on in Dick Tracy works pretty much as well as the fuzzing filter they use on Survivor to blur out the naughty bits.


  94. Sunny Mel Blatherscythe
    August 18th, 2008 at 1:25 am [Reply]


    Please God, let this be the part where a spectral Farley(sans red glowing eyes) appears out of nowhere to drag Grampy Jim screaming into the Netherworld…..please……..

  95. A Lemur
    August 18th, 2008 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    By the way, if you haven´t caught it yet, CES has a great riff on comic strip writing up over at Medium Large:

    comic strip writing

    Special added inducement: Worth it alone for the Sally Forth panel…

  96. survivor
    August 18th, 2008 at 3:00 am [Reply]

    “Uncle Phil is obviously possessed by some sinister force and most likely caused Grandpa Jim’s heart attack. The only saving grace for this strip would be if he proceeded to massacre everyone at the wedding and end the strip once and for all.”

    If Uncle Phil is indeed possessed by a force that causes his eyes to glow black and to kill the FOOB clan with his mind … how can you possibly use the adjective “sinister” to describe such a force??

  97. True Fable
    August 18th, 2008 at 4:03 am [Reply]

    # 87 Mooncattie – GOATS! Goats of Gimmelwald! Goats in bathtubs! Goats with chimes on their collars!

    Thanks for such a delightful set of videos!

  98. Michael
    August 18th, 2008 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    With Granpa Jim now bedridden in the hospital I’m hoping for some sort of sick take off on “Reno 911!”‘s hospital bedside wedding.

  99. Muffaroo-who-walks
    August 18th, 2008 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    Technical crap kept me off the web for long enough that catching up would be absurd. I got some Thursday comments written just before the debacle, but I don’t suppose even microwaving would make them fresh again. I’ll just add a couple of hit and run observations on the comics above and hope they’re not repeats.

    RMMD – Could someone ask the letterer not to place balloons over the faces of characters? I know it doesn’t really matter, but have a little pride and try to pretend it does.

    FOOB – I’m afraid to check it myself, but has anyone looked at the above strip on LJ’s website to confirm my horrid suspicion that those eyes in the penultimate panel don’t blink, but merely pulsate every couple of seconds?

    There. I hope to catch up, but my six-year-old daughter is between camp and school for the next two weeks, so I may be spending all my waking moments at the Y or jumping on our trampoline. The rigors of fatherhood, you know.

  100. Muffaroo-who-walks
    August 18th, 2008 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    ps: Love the title of the post. Maybe it’s time I watched The Great Rock and Roll Swindle again. Mmmm. Animated Sex Pistols!

  101. WonderCat
    August 18th, 2008 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Wait… “Another” heart attack? I thought Gwampa had a stroke the first time???

  102. kalki
    August 18th, 2008 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    FBOFW: It was so predictable that Gramps would keel over on the wedding day, but I expected that he would be wheeled into the wedding and they’d all go check on him right after the vows were exchanged and see him with a huge smile and eyes closed…and he’d be wormfood.

    The way it was done now actually is worse. How is El isn’t running to her dad’s bedside to say goodbye or doesn’t seem messed up by the news. Very odd. And maybe it is just me, but I think a relative dying on your wedding day tends to be bad luck and a sign of a doomed marriage.

    I’m just saying…

  103. teenchy
    August 18th, 2008 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    Late to the party as always, but wanted to pass along my condolences to KT.

    I will say that Uncle Phil’s eyes remind me of a Van Gogh self-portrait (maybe the beard helps a bit, plus I don’t see an ear). Could they be shorthand for a descent into madness?

  104. CJColucci
    August 18th, 2008 at 1:36 pm [Reply]

    For whatever enlightenment it might bring, my wife’s great-aunt died on our wedding day. She was known to be too ill to attend, so her absence didn’t register, but someone called my father-in-law to be, who told my best man, who told me. My wife’s family didn’t want me to tell her. I figured it was her family, their call. After the reception, we told her. I don’t know whether that was the right way to proceed or not, that’s just how it happened.

  105. Dan Coyle
    August 18th, 2008 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    Cripes, two years ago my grandmother has a fatal stroke and I open the paper to see endless isn’t that funny? stroke gags with grandpa in FOOB, and now this.

    Let me join the chorus, Fuck you Lynn Johnston.

  106. ar_d
    August 18th, 2008 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps we’ll be treated to a Family Circus style appearance of dead Grandpa and dead Grandma at the wedding ceremony?

  107. Colinski
    August 18th, 2008 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    Well I’m glad to see you’ve got appropriate advertising for this blog like “Obituary Archive” rather than “Hot Christian Singles”.

  108. trey le parc
    August 18th, 2008 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    Marvin/Garfield/Family Circus: There are many reasons to loathe these strips independently of one another, but I’ve just identified the reason I specifically loathe them as a troika: the artists of all three strips utilize an identical style of puffy and rounded drawing that attempts to infuse the proceedings with undeniable cuteness, presumably to detract us from the predictably crappy storylines. Well, it’s not working.

    I was at the ex’s today, watching the kid play Rock Band. It occurred to me that if there was a video game that allowed me to viciously pummel the comics characters that annoy me, not only would I buy the entire console and the game itself, but such a game– in a wii format– would allow me to get some exercise, unload some angst and probably make me a better person.

  109. the opoponax
    August 18th, 2008 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    I think that was this FOOB script teaches us is that, rather than planning your wedding so that some dying relative can live to be there on Your Special Day, it’s probably best to just wait till they finally kick it. That way said dying relative can’t ruin The Day with all that inconvenient deathbed crap.

  110. heynoni
    August 18th, 2008 at 8:30 pm [Reply]

    “Before Slylock spotted Harry”? Considering it would be a matter of half a second before Slylock spotted Harry anyway, what would be the point of picking up any clue that someone had been there recently. He’s there NOW!

    Here’s a sequel riddle: “Before the bullet blew his head clean off, what clue tipped Slylock that Harry was about to shoot him with the Magnum .45 he was packing?”

  111. HelenaHandbasket666
    August 25th, 2008 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    I’m days behind in reading this site, and I rarely make comments. Josh I don’t know if you really read every comment, but I have this new policy in my life of expressing my admiration and appreciation for people. I enjoy reading this site for so many reasons, but for some reason I was particularly spurred to comment on this post.

    Thank you so much for your commentary on the execrable Marvin. I hate that strip so much. It sometimes pains me to see such unfunny and poorly drawn garbage reaching a national audience. Not only that but for *years*. Thanks and don’t ever let up. Gaah. Stupid Marvin.

  112. Girl Dress
    September 25th, 2008 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    This is only for the blog owner I just want to thanks this guy because of it I get lots of information from it …. thanks for the info you provided

  113. Ryan
    August 24th, 2010 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    And after 3 weeks, I’m now only two years behind. Once again, comics-lovers, I have to berate you on your utter inability to put two and two together, at least when it comes to musical references. While “friggin’ in the riggin’” as a general musical meme goes back about 200 years, I’m certain that the usage here is refers to a far more recent act, namely “Rhymin’ and Stealin’” by the Beastie Boys.

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