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Coming up at 11, “Crankshaft’s crimes against humanity: A look back”

Mary Worth, 3/21/13

Let me tell you a story about one of the origins of this blog. One day in 2002, I moved to Baltimore, and as was the style at the time, I subscribed to the print version of the local newspaper, the Baltimore Sun. In 2002 the Sun had four glorious pages of comics, among which were all the continuity strips that are my current mainstays. Mary Worth was in the midst of a storyline about balding crank Smitty Smedlap, who hated fish (or, as he called it, “feesh”) and didn’t care who knew it. When I first tuned in October of 2002, he was eating with Mary (and maybe some other people?) at the Bum Boat and complaining about its feesh-based menu. This went on for weeks. Everyone else just sat around uncomfortably, letting him rant. Was it supposed to be awkward? Were the strip writers aware of how socially aggravating Smitty was? I couldn’t tell, and I was riveted. Thus, whenever we hit an awkward meal in Mary Worth, I’m full of nostalgia and my love for the strip — for the whole genre — is renewed.

I’m particularly enjoying Mary and Tom’s facial expressions as they sit and watch the fun. Mary seems to be keeping her face deliberately neutral — she abhors conflict, of course, but she also enjoys the quick access to backstory this argument is giving her. Tom, meanwhile, looks increasingly agitated that he’ll be found out at as man who divorced his wife and subsequently torn limb from limb by the Kinleys, who will be relieved to at last have a common enemy.

Crankshaft, 3/21/13

“Coming up next on Channel 12 Action News: Hated local creep Ed Crankshaft has immobilized himself in an unprotected public space! 12 On Your Side reporter Harv Postman will give you information on angry mob staging points, where pitchforks and torches will be available, after these messages.”

Spider-Man, 3/21/13

Really, if every Spider-Man plot were about Spider-Man meeting other, cooler superheroes and being humiliated by how much better their powers were than his, I would be a happy guy.

393 responses to “Coming up at 11, “Crankshaft’s crimes against humanity: A look back””

  1. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    MT: Check out that look of grim determination! That’s the face of a man who’s willing to leave a kid tied up in a van overnight!

    A3G: Um, how tall are those tombstones? Has this artist ever actually seen Arlington Cemetery? Or are Mr. Clark and Luann just teeny-tiny mourners?

    MW: Stab her with the fork, Elinor! You know you’ve wanted to stab some sense into that girl for some time now!

  2. KreatureFeatures
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    Family Circus: Jeffy establishes his alibi for another evening of local burglaries.

    Gil Thorp: That ground ball is already through his legs, probably due to the limited cranial capacity of his tiny, tiny head.

    Mary Worth: Don’t argue with Elinor McPoyle, Beth. You get forkstabbed!

  3. Voshkod
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    “I could tell that your heart’s rhythms are the same as Spiderman’s”

    “Can you tell what my heart is saying to me now?”

    “I hope it’s singing to you, like mine is. Kiss me, Spiderman!”

    “Uh, Daredevil, my lips are over here.”

  4. Old Folkie
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    9CL: It’s OK, Sven, if you can’t say “breasts,” there’s always “boobs, tits, knockers, hoohas,” or “cans.”

  5. KreatureFeatures
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:30 am [Reply]

    You’ve won this round, bourbon babe. Tomorrow I will get up one minute earlier.

  6. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:31 am [Reply]

    DT: Hey, what do we call this very large book filled with words and definitions and etymologies and pronunciations? Rotten luck it’s laying on the Thesaurus, that might of helped.

    Lio: Ok, there really ISN’T a syndicated strip called “Dopey Dog”, right? Had to check.

  7. Adam Bahm
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    SM: “Wow, you make me seem totally useless! Why do I even have my own comic strip?”

  8. Little Blue Bicycle
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    Beth: “Just because Father left doesn’t mean that all men do.”
    Tom: “I’m leaving. Well, I’m going to the little boy’s room to throw up.”
    Mary: “I’m sorry Tom, this was prize-winning cake a few weeks ago.”

  9. Ranger
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    @Old Folkie (#4):

    Don’t forget jugs, tatas, melons, fun bags, and rack.

  10. Jesse
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Josh, Mary Worth is the only comic I read every day, and I got into it years ago because you were having such a blast mocking it that I just had to go back and read the whole storyline… and got sucked in. :) The pool parties and meals are my favorites… It’s a game for me to try to guess how the plot is going to unfold as early into the storyline as possible (sometimes within the first three weeks!) but no matter how lame I think the conclusion is going to be, it is always EVEN LAMER. It’s like they get over their heads and just throw in the towel… everything is fine now! Let’s have a pool party!

    Except the Aldo Kelrast story. That was epic.

    Jess

  11. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Hi & Lois

    The Asian-looking Lois is really Corporal Yo (from Beetle Bailey) in drag — a move made necessary by Lois’ latest salary dispute with King Features:

    http://www.jsonline.com/comics/32402404.html?feature_id=Hi_and_Lois&feature_date=2013-03-21

    And “Ditto” is actually Otto (also from BB) pinch-hitting for an ailing Ditto. Tragically, no one on the set of today’s Hi & Lois realized that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate in any form — and Otto/Ditto just OD’d on chocolate-chip cookies.

  12. Mardou Fox
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Not-So-Amazing Spiderman: This Daredevil plot continues to surprise with it’s fresh, sweetly romantic superhero gay porn scenes.

    Good-bye, New York! Spidey is finding himself in SF, and he’ll never be the same.

  13. nescio
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft’s breath is causing the reporter’s body to melt.

  14. Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    ls the news reporter lady Homo sapiens? I don’t think that kind of prognathous physiognomy is Homo sapiens.

  15. Terry in Maryland
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:38 am [Reply]

    MT: At this point, Mark has less concern for Rusty than he does for his dog.

  16. NonnyMus
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:38 am [Reply]

    Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh!! I know we’re all supposed to ‘suspend disbelief’ with these strips, but anybody’s “heart rhythms” vary widely ALL. THE. FREAKIN’. TIME!! Any electrical activity in any mammal does – brain, heart, nerves. Maybe Stan is thinking of fingerprints or DNA, but “heart rhythms” aren’t diagnostic.

    I just hate the ignorance.

    On the bright side, I love how Elinor’s forehead has slipped and Tom’s face is melting in P1 of Mary Worth!

  17. RavenHawk
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:39 am [Reply]

    MW: Tom sits quietly and thinks, “I gave up a night of Manga porn, for this?”

  18. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:40 am [Reply]

    Spiderman-”Guess I’ll turn all the action and adventuring in this story over to you.”

    A3G-”My Mary moved out to California and became a meddler.”

    Gil Thorp-Just look at the way Jimmy Jarbo really stretches his body.

    MW-Yeah! Sometimes the women leave too. Isn’t that right, Tom? Didn’t your wife leave you leaving you a sad shell of a man.

    MW 2-Mary shall make it her mission to hook Elinor up with Wilbur.

    MT-Is Mark really this dumb that he can’t find Rod’s van? Didn’t he see Rod’s van at the beginning of this story with ‘Rod Bassy’ painted on the side in huge letters?

    RMMD-This just proves my theory further that June and this blonde are the real couple and Rex is just being used as a beard.

    JP-Let us all invite ourselves to the wedding of April and Randy even though April wanted it to just be her and Randy there.

  19. revenge4Aldo
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    SM: “From your scent, I can tell that you need to wipe better.”

  20. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:42 am [Reply]

    9CL – “Grown man is overwhelmed by the presence of a woman in a tight dress, while she grins smugly”, day 1,646.

  21. revenge4Aldo
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    GT: “Jimmy is so good at covering ground, he plays short stop out by the warning track.”

  22. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    Hah! Four comments at 7:28, and one at 7:30. Like some people have nothing better to do than hang around hoping to get the first post of the day!

    // I held off until 7:31, you’ll notice. Dignity, people!

  23. revenge4Aldo
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#18): So that’s why Mary has been mentioning apartments close to 3-G… Crossover!

  24. Christopher
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    Spider-Man
    Murdock: Are you surprised that Daredevil is a blind attorney?
    Parker: Yeah! How do you manage the intense workload of being both a lawyer and a super-hero? I mean, if I didn’t have a rich actress wife I’d have to cut down on my crime fighting and focus on something that pays better than freelance photography. Boy, I really am an incompetent jackass. And I can see!

  25. mojo
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:48 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Ahhh, Mary Worth… Dinner AND a show!

    (…Oh, and Tom, is it? If this exchange doesn’t make you RUN AWAY AND HIDE but instead makes you think getting romantically involved with Beth will be somehow a GOOD thing… well, you deserve whatever you get. Just sayin’.)

  26. S. Stout
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:48 am [Reply]

    S-M: Don’t worry Peter, you still have that “TV watching” power that Daredevil will never have.

    MW: In the end we all die, so she makes a good point. Let’s all reflect on our eventual death and never enjoy anything, ever!

  27. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:50 am [Reply]

    Family Circus — I call shenanigans on this whole shoe-based joke. Jeffy Keane wouldn’t know how to do something as complicated as tying his shoes. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any Velcro jokes at the moment…

    How about a nice LOAFER joke instead?

  28. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:51 am [Reply]

    @Old Folkie (#4): 9CL: It’s OK, Sven, if you can’t say “breasts,” there’s always “boobs, tits, knockers, hoohas,” or “cans.”

    Ok, I will concede that slang has evolved, or devolved, to where “cans” means breasts rather than buttocks, more often than not. But “hoohas” means something entirely different, and I’m not budging on it!

  29. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:55 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#20): 9CL – “Grown man is overwhelmed by the presence of a woman in a tight dress, while she grins smugly”, day 1,646.

    Isn’t it great! The dramatic tension keeps building. I can’t wait to find out how it ends.

    // I’m hoping Barney Google will show up!

  30. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    A3G-I want to call bs on this guy’s son being named Liam. I was born in 1979 and when I was growing up Liam was quite a rare name. It wasn’t until I was the seventh grade did I encounter other people named Liam. I’m going assume that this Liam was born in either the Forties or the Fifties and the only people in this country who would know the name of Liam would Irish immigrants and this guy doesn’t seem like one to me.

    DT-I thought the Jumble was a syndicated thing and it was done by a guy in his home office not at some newspaper office.

  31. bbofun
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    DT- “Or, maybe he just has them left over from New Year’s Eve. Or, he’s hoping you’re all triskaidekaphobic. ”

    Pibgorn- Oh, so she killed him. Thanks for reiterating that- I missed it the first time around. (Oh, and why didn’t she just kill him the first night? Wouldn’t that have saved 1,001 women as well?) Well, at least you got a shot of her ass in this time, Brooke. Which reminds me-

    9CL- I think many ‘mudges are barking up the wrong tree on this one. Sven isn’t trying to not say “breasts”- he’s trying to not say “ass”. This is a McEldowney strip, after all- his focus tends to be below the waist.

    Judge Parker, of course, is above that.

  32. NonnyMus
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:59 am [Reply]

    I found a portrait of Smitty Smedlap, thanks to “Subdivided We Stand”! The baby is cuter.

    I also found this. It pretty much explains the relationship between Dr. Jeff and Mary Worth.

  33. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:59 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#29):

    The suspense isn’t so much in how it will end – we all know it ends when he takes her home, she invites him in, and he collapses unconscious into a snow bank at the prospect. The suspense is in how many more weeks of him stammering and how many more cutaways to the Burber mother and daughter smugging we will have to endure.

  34. Hibbleton
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    Crank Josh: I know it’s probably a typo, but emphasizing emphasizing that there are weapons available is a good thing -real good.

  35. Pozzo
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    Not being conversant with the current Crankshaft storyline, I didn’t realize that he had chained himself to the tree. I had assumed that he had been chained their by fed-up relatives, neighbors, passing strangers… The only think I couldn’t figure out was why he was still alive, but I guess they had to take the time to make a tar-n-feathers run.

  36. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    @bbofun (#31):

    I think Sven is trying to not say “body”, hence the reference to mentioning the component parts. As we all know, an adult male is incapable of stammering out “your body looks nice in that dress” without being reduced to a quivering mass of oatmeal.

    In the other McE strip:

    PIB – I know, todays strip is just an excuse for the ass view. But it seems we are supposed to also feel a sense of emotional resonance and triumph that this bad guy has been self-righteously taken down. And we might, if this wasn’t a flashback, embedded in a flashback, which forms a tertiary sub-plot to whatever was originally going on, and if we had seen or heard this villain before he suddenly appeared just in time to be destroyed.

  37. bbofun
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#30): Well, he could have been named after Liam O’Flaherty, who was a well-known author in this country (his most famous book probably being The Informer, basis of the John Ford movie).

  38. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#30): DT-I thought the Jumble was a syndicated thing and it was done by a guy in his home office not at some newspaper office.

    Well, it is TWO guys, but why work at home in some crappy little converted bedroom, when you can have this great studio in the Tribune tower high above the Loop, and eat lunch at the Billy Goat Tavern everyday with Mike Royko, and stuff like that. Duh!

    // Liam’s a real name? Oh. Sorry. I though it was just a nom de plume — “mail” spelled backwards, and that maybe you were a postman or something.

  39. bbofun
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#36): Actually, I agree with you. I just found it funny that many ‘mudges seem to be convinced he’s talking about breasts, when that body part is fairly incidental to Brooke’s depiction of the female form.

  40. Col. Havoc
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    DT: so which one if Lembluj Jeff? The bald guy, or the glasses? America (ie: me) wants to know!

  41. Écureuil Écumant
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    Luann: Bernice is a little unclear on the rubric. It’s not just that the Pope can’t “marry”, dear. The real bottom line is that the Pope can’t “fuck”.

  42. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    @bbofun (#39):

    Yes, his preferences seem to run toward long legs and skinny white girl butts. Oh, and teeth. Lots of teeth. In all the major orifices.

  43. WeatherServo9
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:16 am [Reply]

    MW: Elinor would be much happier if her daughter wrote snuff films.

  44. Hibbleton
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:17 am [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#41):
    You mean he has to be chaste as well as celibate? What a bummer.

  45. Hibbleton
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    Love is..not asking where he got the human teeth for that necklace.

  46. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#41): Ah yes: the often ignored distinction between “celibacy” and “chastity”.

  47. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    @Hibbleton (#44): Damn, you’re quick!

  48. Alice
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    Luann: Bernice gets off a decent zinger (not fall-over laughing, because it is Evans writing, but decent). Delta, in contrast, purports to be ever so grown-up (not to mention overly-literal: “I don’t want a boy-friend”) right after she’s just pulled a “no, you” playground rejoinder on her friend. Bernice 1, Delta 0.

  49. Cloudbuster
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    Pibgorn: When, as I know they will, the powers that be send a smoking hot succubus to do me in, I hope she gives me 1,001 nights of incredible sex and storytelling just to humiliate me first.

    MT: “Rusty has to be in the van!” Unless Rod realizes that the last place he’d want to keep his kidnap victim is in the parking lot of the fishing tournament. Do even the small boys for whom this strip is obviously written think “Yeah, yeah, he has to be in the van?”

  50. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:25 am [Reply]

    Of course, some people choose a life of celibacy, and some have one thrust upon them. Or, they have one thrust into them, which pretty much cures the condition.

    DT – Actually, Prime Numbers are neither unique nor indecipherable.

  51. Écureuil Écumant
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#46): Well, yeah, sure, if you wanna get all Latinate about it…

  52. Buck Ripsnort
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    @S. Stout (#26): ASM Yeah, but I bet DareDevil LISTENS to the tv better than Parker does. Peter has to turn the sound ALL THE WAY UP!

  53. Darryl Heine
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy has an appearance by the Jumble duo!

  54. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    Lio-Sorry, Dopey Dog, but there is only room for one human devouring dog on the comics page and it’s name is Marmaduke.

  55. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    MW-There are too happy endings, Elinor. They just cost extra.

  56. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft-”And never underestimate the power of the media to blow this story way out of proportion. Now who do you want us to make the enemy for this story?”

  57. Écureuil Écumant
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    MT: “…remove the fish from the holding tank and attach them to Rod’s lure…”

    Wait! Wait! You forgot the part about stuffing the packets of diamonds* up their piscine posteriors first! Deviate from “MT Storyline #3A of 5″ at your peril!

    * Not “bindles of cocaine”. That was the Fish Taxidermist — storyline 3B — not the Smugglin’ SCUBAnauts.

  58. Nekrotzar
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    SpiderMan’s ‘spidey sense’ is definitely like a kid’s toy, specifically, a Bob the Builder themed toy, what with the falling bricks and all.

  59. Chyron HR
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    DT – So is our own Jumble Jeff the “Why I am so bald” guy, or the one who is pig-like in appearance?

  60. TheDiva
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: I know it’s pointless to inject things like logic and common sense into any of Batiuk’s stories (especially when a character gets on a personal crusade), but how will getting the public on his side help matters? The tree is still old, still diseased, and still endangers an important part of the city’s infrastructure. Joining hands around it and singing “Big Yellow Taxi” won’t change that.

    MW: Tom, at this point I would like to remind you of an old adage which I think holds a lot of truth: if you want to know what a woman will be like in thirty years, look at her mother.

    SM: Hey, I can recognize my dad by his heart rhythm too; I must be a superhero! (Granted, my dad had a mechanical valve put in about four years ago and gives off a faint ticking-watch sound if you listen closely, but let’s not split hairs.)

  61. Shran
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    MW: I wrote this on March 14th – “MW: Apparently Beth’s father never gave Elinor any pleasure when he put his thingie in her hoo-hah and now she’s decided to take it out on Beth.” Damn, I’m good! Either that or these writers make it way too easy. Sadly, I think it’s the latter.

  62. Digger
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    MW: Elinor is unwittingly contributing to Mary’s Recipe For Matchmaking, which is to take one sad, lonely man, add a desperate woman, and stir in heavy doses of lowered expectations.

  63. btown
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    MW: “Just because I’m a lesbian and you’re an alcoholic with a false leg doesn’t mean we can’t find true happiness”.

  64. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    S-M: Don’t let any toy designers hear you say that, Peter. They’ll be terribly offended.

    MT: Yes, Rusty has to be inside the van, as you can logically infer from the fact that houses and other buildings don’t exist.

    WofI: Judging from the first panel I’d say that Brant Parker has gotten tired of waiting for fans to write Wizard/Sir Rodney slash fiction, and so he’s doing the job himself.

    9CL: A truly brilliant artistic strategy. Make the dialogue so mind-numbing that the reader is left begging for the hand jive close-ups.

    RMMD: “… instead of whatever Sarah is?”

    GA: Hey look, it’s Rufus’ tongue. Guess I’m not sleeping tonight.

    BB: Presumably Gizmo is the one who set the password in the first place. Then again, he works with General Halftrack, and some studies show that being a drunken, rage-filled idiot is contagious.

    6C: It looks like the subway car is pretty much empty, so Ms Suffer-in-Silence must also be Ms Masochist.

    FC: Jeffy has a Trailesque habit of announcing every half-formed thought to the world so no, sneaking isn’t in his future.

    DtM: Dennis climbs the biblical Tree of Knowledge. None rubs off.

    Momma: If Norman Mailer’s mother had anything to do with the title “The Naked and the Dead” I don’t want to know about it.

    Marvin: There’s a small mercy in the fact that Armstrong hasn’t drawn infant Marvin nursing.

    A3G: “You never really get over it. But swingers’ parties help distract you. Take this card.”

  65. Mibbitmaker
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    S-M: That Spider Sense IS a toy!

    MW: Elinor Kinley, Scapegoat for Worthian TWOO WUV!
    Romance novels are sap, and no defining El as a bitter dumpee with anti-men generalization tendencies will change that!
    Anyway, there is no autonomy in MW — every person must do their Romantic Duty and date and marry — NOW! PERIOD! No subversion is to be left unscathed!

    ….and in JP, even when love and marriage is legitimately desired by the loving couple, the wedding is dictated, just like MW does with romance. They’re like “traditional marriage” Burbers in THAT strip.

    MT: A fallen tree! Don’t tell Ed Crankshaft, he’ll bust out crying like a baby!

    9CL: Sad.

  66. Ned Ryerson
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    A3G: Well, Lu Ann, you can try doing what I do.
    What’s that, Mr. Clark?
    Trolling Arlington Cemetary for bangworthy widows…and please, it’s Liam.

  67. erdmann
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    MW: Geez. Since being reincarnated as an elderly woman, Jack Kirby has become bitter!

    Oh, and I knew a guy named Liam in high school. He would have been born in 1962 or ’63 and was the only Liam any of us had ever known. Of course, his dad was from Ireland…
    Still, that doesn’t explain his sidekick, whose name was Maurice (whoo whoo).

  68. Ned Ryerson
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#57): “Up next, Mark and Bluegill in search of the legendary Square Grouper.”

  69. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    9CL: “Barettos” day 2

    Bigpron: you can hear the fapping at the drawing table from here.

    Frazz: nicely timed for the start of the NCAA’s.

    A&J: that explains SO much!

    Lio: explains Marmaduke in one panel.

    R&R: yes, yes they are!

    Bizarro: Capt’n Ahab visits Japan. (the waiter doesn’t really look Japanese, but certainly not Norwegian.)

    DT: holy heck. LUBJEM FEJF gets his cameo! *applaz*

    JP: *SPUNG!!!* (with apologies to Heinlein’s later works)

    JUMBLE: beede-beede-beede. nice ref, squared.

    Mutts: *applaz*

    PMP: bats ;[, Scudder, can someone change that last name to “Worth”?

    SFx: *squee*

    rMC: almost 9CL-ian.

  70. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    Love Is: that kind of jewelry she’s talking ’bout, really doesn’t cost that much.

  71. sully
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    No, Spider-Bore, the fact that any stiff with a pipe, brick, club or 2 x 4 can walk up behind you and knock you on your sorry ass makes your so-called ‘Spider Sense’ seem like a toy, among many others.

  72. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    @erdmann (#67):

    Did he speak of the pompitous of love?

  73. Missal
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    “Really, if every Spider-Man plot were about Spider-Man meeting other, cooler superheroes and being humiliated by how much better their powers were than his, I would be a happy guy.”

    But every Spidey plot is already about Spider-Man meeting cooler supervillains and being humiliated by how much better their powers are. Isn’t that enough?

  74. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#29): “Evah on account o’ thet city feller Barney Google had a threesome wif th’ lady vet an’t t’other guy, he hain’t been th’ same.”

    (Thanks to the Dialectizer for Hootin’ Holler translation help.)

  75. Stev0
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    The list of “People More Impressive Than Newspaper Spidey” is basically the same list as “People Who Are Not Cast Members of ‘Jersey Shore’.”

  76. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    LUBJEM FEJF hopes that groupies make passes at artists who wear glasses.

  77. seismic-2
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Crank: Please let him get attacked by termites.

    ASM: “Even before I heard your voice, I knew it was you right away! Very few people have a heartbeat that snores!”

  78. The Right Venerable Pasdordan
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Man, I really got nothing today, other than that Mary Worth seems to be trying to figure out how she can get Elinor layed, and Tom Harpman seems to be thinking, “Wow, I really picked the wrong day to stop doing crack cocaine.”

  79. Dennis Jimenez
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    MW – The Hard Facts of Life – isn’t the porn parody version of the 1980 Charlette Rae sit-com….

    Crankshaft – I’m thinking hate crime – I hate this strip – it’s a crime it’s still in syndication….

    S-M – It must be Square-jawwed madness week….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  80. The Right Venerable Pasdordan
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#76): Wait, that’s our Jumble Jeff? He plays euchre?! I’m impressed.

  81. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    9CL – So, thanks to Edda’s sage “three ounces or less” advice, this first date has not featured any real conversation, no glimpses into personality, no discussion of what Sven will do now that he is unemployed and about to be outed as a cattle rustler; just inarticulate stammering leading up to clumsy hand-sex. Given Edda’s personality, I can see why she would favor this option.

  82. Calico
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    @Ranger (#9):
    How about Bazoombas?

  83. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    MW-There she is, Tom, your love interest for this story. It’s either Beth or take the Dawn Weston train like so many others before you have.

  84. Ulysses Pornstache III
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    Spider-Man: “Unfortunately, I can also tell that you’ve been sleeping outside and washing your underwear in the mens’ room of a Chinese restaurant…” *SNIFF* “…Bonus Fun Fact, the owner is actually Cambodian.”

  85. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#30): I was born in 1970 and I knew a Liam in college who was a little older than I. Of course even he was still a child when the Vietnam war ended. I’ll admit that unless the oldster is hiding his Auld Sod brogue his son’s name is a little weird. Then again we’re talking about the 3G time vortex here.

  86. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    MW-Just think, Tom, Elinor is going to be your mother-in-law someday.

  87. commodorejohn
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    I’m still just reeling at the fact that there exists a woman who is more of a sad sack than Dawn Weston.

  88. TheDiva
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    9CL: In the real world, this level of dysfunction in a first date would result in the woman “going to the bathroom” and not returning. In Brooke’s bizarro universe, it’s a sign that the male is a suitably malleable thrall.

    DT: Or it could be the number 13 is “bad luck,” or that it’s the number of crimes he plans on committing, or his mother’s birthday is January 3rd, or….

    FW: Oh, so the Lord of the Late is responsible for Funky Winkerbean?

    Luann: He doesn’t exist in your universe, Delta.

    Pibgorn: Look, I’m a big fan of revised-fairy-tale stories. I even think the concept of “Scheherazade volunteers just so she can get close to the sultan and kill him” is a pretty interesting hook for a story. But for the love of God, you need to think up a damn good reason for why she plays for time for three friggin’ years. Does she need to think up a way to do the deed without getting caught? Does she realize there’s more going on and her husband might not be the terrible person his reputation indicates? Maybe Dru could have known the caliph’s time was short, and kept him preoccupied until his natural end so he wouldn’t kill any more girls. A clever author could have made something interesting and maybe even insightful out of this concept, and to have all its promise quashed just so Brooke can indulge a harem fantasy makes this more than usually frustrating.

  89. Calico
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#27): Can you imagine all the horrible puns if he were wearing a pair of Hush Puppies?

  90. damanoid
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    “I could tell that your heart’s rhythms are the same as Spider-Man’s… really, really slow. Dangerously slow, in fact. You spend a lot of time on the couch, don’t you? And it wouldn’t hurt to cut down on the junk food either. You smell like a giant Cheeto.”

  91. Stroker Ace
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    Crank – Further humiliation awaits. Crank’s Depends will burst and the video will live forever on the interweb.

  92. Old School Allie Cat
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#87): Romance Novels are Brutal.

  93. Calico
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    @Stroker Ace (#91):
    He has the same issue as Rusty.
    “Chained to a log”

  94. The Right Venerable Pasdordan
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    @Old Folkie (#4): Yah, but how do you say it in Swedish?

  95. The Right Venerable Pasdordan
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#82): Don’t forget jumblies.

  96. seismic-2
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    @erdmann (#67): that doesn’t explain his sidekick, whose name was Maurice

    At the 1959 Academy Awards, the Vincent Minnelli musical Gigi won 9 Oscars, including Best Picture. Its co-star was the legendary French musical-hall singer and actor, Maurice Chevalier. If the gentleman in question was born around 1962 or 1963, his parents could have been fans of that movie.

  97. commodorejohn
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:26 am [Reply]

  98. batgirl
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    Dustin today is about being a creeper at the gym. Maybe tomorrow it will be about being escorted firmly out of the gym.

  99. commodorejohn
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#97): Oh dammit Wikimedia. That’s what I get for not paying attention. [*]

  100. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    Sundogs for bb,u, and everyone else suffering from this ‘spring’ weather.

    how to handle said weather. (also for bb,u.)

    Celebrity visual pun, groan inducing.

    for several of the ‘mudges.

    inkers, not just tracers.

    ikkle foxes.

    TDP is a Lab/Irish Wolfhound mix. o lordz, that dog is going to be huge.

    corgi yearbook photo.

    Tu’i knows this feeling.

  101. commodorejohn
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:30 am [Reply]

  102. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Translate “breasts” to Swedish

    bröst

    thanks, google!

  103. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    aaaand, the whole enchilada of boobs, very nsfw languages. :-)

  104. seismic-2
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    @Ranger (#9): These days, an appropriate synonym is “Neddies”.

  105. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft-”Do you think that a white x painted on a brown tree is racist in any way? Have you chained yourself to this tree out of protest over the sequester?”

  106. Shurg, er, Shrug
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#18):

    “MT-Is Mark really this dumb that he can’t find Rod’s van? Didn’t he see Rod’s van at the beginning of this story with ‘Rod Bassy’ painted on the side in huge letters?”

    Mark is dyslexic and has been looking for a van with the name “Bod Rassy” painted on it. So far, no luck.

    ///He’ll never rescue Rutsy this way!

  107. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:36 am [Reply]

  108. jim, some guy in iowa
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    9cl: i think the poor guy is trying to *not* say “my god what are those claw-like *things* at the end of your forearms???”

  109. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    MW: Uhm, okay, so this is pretty much the Jill Black storyline all over again, but without the drunken hilarity. Then again, if the way Elinor Kinley is holding that fork is any clue, we might get some horrific family violence instead.

  110. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    MT – The, ‘so-ridiculous-that-it’s-worth-reading-if-for-no-other-reason-than-to-make-fun-of-it-by-sharing-a-laugh-with-others’, Mark Trail comic strip has had a sixty-some year successfull run at being published daily.
    This ghastly unbelievable fact is more likely understood when compared to why all of those obnoxious furniture store TV ads and obnoxious local car dealer TV ads have had such a successful history of people repeatedly watching them….BECAUSE THEY ARE SO DAMN OBNOXIOUS!

  111. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#102): Dee dee deet de dee dee dee dee BORK BORK BORK!

  112. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#69): PMP: bats ;[, Scudder, can someone change that last name to “Worth”?

    It wouldn’t help. It wasn’t identity theft at all. One of the two screws holding the number to the door fell out. That is really Apartment 9.

  113. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    MW-And Mary jabbed her fork into Tom’s thigh to keep him from interrupting Beth and Elinor’s spat.

  114. Cheap Plastic Shrug
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    @Hibbleton (#45):

    LOVE IS: Not only giving her the necklace, but sharing the CrackerJack with her too.

  115. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#74): Thanks for the “dialectizer” link! I knew Google Translate was missing something!

  116. pugfuggly
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    MW C’mon, Beth! Your mother has challenged you to dinner utensil duel and has foolishly chosen the fork as her weapon. Pick up a steak knife and fight for the power of love!

    Also, have you ever been in a situation so awkward that you think to yourself “I wish I would just shrivel up and die!”? Take Tom’s deflating head as a warning to be careful what you wish for…

    Crankshaft One local news crew? Pfft! I bet if you doused yourself in gasoline and held a lighter over your head you’d get a lot more media coverage. And if you were to take a hostage, say, your son-in-law, I bet you’d make the national news. Just a suggestion….

    ASM Hey, this is exactly how my Daredevil-Spiderman slashfic story started! Next Peter will ask what else his super-senses can detect and Matt will smile and reach out with his hand to touch his chest and then…well, I don’t want to give it all away, but I will say that Mr Fantastic shows up towards the end and totally lives up to his name….

  117. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#74): Oh, and if you Google “Barney Google” images, without SFW filters, you can find some interesting WWII era porn involving His Googliness. Barney knows his stuff, never doubt it.

  118. Gringo
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Cranky: When did Cayla from Funky become a TV reporter in Cranky?

  119. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#82): “Hooters” is all about owls, btw. They’ve officially said so.

  120. But What Do I Know?
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#60): So they paved over Crankshaft, and put up a parking lot!

  121. Gringo
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    Did anyone else see this this story about Jim Davis and Garfield? It explains a lot.

    I’m now waiting on a followup story explaining that Batiuk never intended his strips to be entertaining or amusing either.

  122. Gringo
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    @But What Do I Know? (#120): But no one will pay a dollar and a half just to see him.

  123. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#99): That’s ok! I was afraid I wouldn’t learn any Swahili today!

    // And that one I won’t forget!

  124. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    MT – “Catfish is going to have to remove the fish from the holding tank and attach them to Rod’s lure! That means the van has to be near the spot where he supposedly catches them! Rusty HAS to be in that van!”

    “That’s great, Mark. This means it will be easy for you to get Rusty out of the van while Catfish is in the water!”

    “Not so fast, Bluegill, the area where Catfish will have to park that van in order to get those fish in the water is nearly a mile in the opposite direction from the nearest PANCAKE house!!!!!! That will make it virtually IMMPOSSIBLE for me to be near that van in time to rescue Rusty!”

    “But, WHAT’S having a pancake house restaurant a mile or so away got to do with makiing sure you are at the van in time to rescue Rusty, Mark?”

    “You really don’t have a clue as to how we set our priorities in Lost Forest, do you, Bluegill?”

  125. Dood
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Stand back everyone, Crankshaft’s sparking a movement!

  126. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#1) re:MW: “Just because father left doesn’t mean all men do!”

    “Then why has every man I’ve stabbed in the eye left me? Huh? Huh? I don’t see you writing about that in your romance novels!”

  127. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    Crank – After seeing the news segment, in which Crankshaft spoke eloquently about the tree and how important it was to him, an angry mob of torch-and-pitchfork wielding neighbors descended upon the residence and tore the tree down themselves. Their leader, known only as ‘Keesterman’, absconded with the trunk, muttering about using it as a post for his new mailbox.

  128. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#60): I’m just hoping it falls over while he’s chained to it. AND takes out Pam’s (and only hers) power line while it does.

  129. Will
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    FW: This storyline is so tedious and boring it makes Mark Trail look positively scintillating.

    CS: Josh beat me to it. I figured that the soundbites of Ed eulogizing the tree in his malaproptacular way would lead to a chainsaw-wielding mob demanding the tree be put out of its misery.

  130. Erich Clapton
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    JP: As a car guy, I’ve really go shopping for one of those Ferrarvettes. I bet I could find one in LA.

  131. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    MT – Today’s two drab panels making up the Mark Trail comic strip are yet another example of Jackelrod’s lazy clip-art tecnique.
    (reply from North America Syndicate, INC, LLC, ABC, DDT, XLT….world rights reserved): “ARE YOU TRYING TO ACCUSE JACK ELROD OF CHEATING AT DRAWING A COMIC STRIP!!?”

  132. LP2004
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    MT: “Catfish is going to have to remove the fish from the holding tank and attach them to Rod’s lure! That means the van has to be near the spot where he supposedly catches them! Rusty HAS to be in that van!”

    “Are you sure about that, Mark? I’d imagine it’s at least as likely that he’s in a shallow grave or at the bottom of the lake.”

    “Hmm… You know, you’re right! Well, in that case, there’s no hurry. Let’s go get some PANCAKES!!”

  133. Government Cheese
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    MW: Tom’s face reminds me of Droopy Dog, “Oh no, not again!” Also, not to sound like the NAACP, but it just hit me, has there ever been a non-white character in Mary Worth? I can’t remember one.

    Luann: Uh oh. Delta is deluded into thinking that she is dating Obama.

    A3G: LuAnn and the old guy are just speaking in code while she is grabbing his Herbie Hancock.

  134. Doctor Handsome
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    “Your heart’s rhythms are the same as Spider-Man! So you should probably see a doctor; hearts really aren’t supposed to have unique rhythms.”

  135. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    MT – (Mark Trail, father of the year….NOT!): “Rusty! You are still ALIVE! That is GREAT! I will remove those ropes and get you out of this van in no time….right after I finish these PANCAKES, mmmm!”

    (Rusty Trail): “ARE YOU TRYING TO ACCUSE ME OF ACTUALLY THINKING I WOULD EVEN CONSIDER WANTING YOU TO RESCUE ME AFTER YOU ABANDONED ME AGAIN!!?”

  136. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    today’s rWeapon Brown shows us the final fate of Montoni’s pizzeria.

  137. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    MT – Being bound and gagged and left captive in a cold smelly van for countless days and nights, while his father would rather talk to his friends and eat pancakes in lieu of contacting the law authorities, has had quite an effect on a noticeably different Rusty who seems much more grown up than the day he was kidnapped. Today’s Rusty seems to be much more focused. Why, just LOOK at the way he focuses on that picture of Mark Trail he has hung on his dart board!

  138. Little Guy
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    Batliuk is writing Mary Worth now?

  139. The Right Venerable Pasdordan
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:47 am [Reply]

  140. Holly Folly
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    I can hear the beating of your heart, your juicy delicious heart. What? Oh nothing, forget I said anything. Now lets get into the cramped camera less elevator together.

  141. The Right Venerable Pasdordan
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    @Gringo (#121): From the same site (Smithsonian!), something Rusty really ought to read.

  142. Anonymous
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane – I may have had my complaints about the cattle-rustling “story” but I actually find this less interminable. Then again, I am a pervert.

    Funky Winkerbean – Clearly, there was no way to have this conversation until face-to-face with the villian. Sadly, there is no chance he’ll take this opportunity to kill them where they stand.

    Judge Parker – Man, those uppers must be kicking in something fierce.

    Love is… buying her those candy necklaces she likes so much.

    Mary Worth – I just noticed, but I can’t be the first to point out that Tom had brown hair only a few days ago, can I? I thought it was a different guy until now.

  143. Hibbleton
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#64):
    MT: Yes, Rusty has to be inside the van, as you can logically infer from the fact that houses and other buildings don’t exist.

    Nor shallow graves.

  144. Dennis Jimenez
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    So, if Crankshaft falls in the forest, in front of a whole bunch of TV cameras, the local newspaper, radio coverage, blogged about, twittered, tracked by Google Earth – does anybody really give a shit? That’s the existential question of the day….

  145. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    @Doctor Handsome (#134): Stan had to go with the heart-rhythms because “your stench of repeated failure is the same as Spider-Mans’ — oh, and super-nasty stinkfoot and B.O. — seriously, there’s something very wrong with your physiology — you should have Reed Richards or Doctor Strange check you out,” couldn’t fit in one panel.

  146. Dennis Jimenez
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    @Government Cheese (#133): Droopy Dog is Brad Pitt compared to MW’s Tom Whitebread….

  147. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    @Holly Folly (#140): Family Circus? Love is…? Classic Peanuts?

  148. mumbles
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    MW: Wait, you’re telling me that Mean Mom’s husband left her? You don’t say. I wonder what would have possessed him to do that.
    I feel like I’m watching an amateur retelling of The Pigman.
    Can’t wait for the reveal when we learn that Mom’s sister is Principal Skinner’s mother.

  149. Dawn Weston's Evil Twin
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    MW: Hmm. Maybe I’m glad I wasn’t invited after all. As my sister says, “Life is brutal.”

  150. Doctor Handsome
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    If Spider-Man was a TV sitcom, this storyline would be a clip show. “I don’t surprise easy!” would cue a montage of Spidey getting brained by rocks, flower pots, club-wielding villains, old-lady purses, etc. A few beats later, “You make my spider-sense seem like a kid’s toy!” would trigger the exact same montage.

  151. Agoraphobic Turtle
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Poor Crankshaft. He thinks chaining himself to a tree will stop anybody from cutting it down.

  152. Doctor Handsome
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    @Agoraphobic Turtle (#151): Two birds with one stone, amirite?

  153. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    MT: “Rusty HAS to be in the van!” I can’t decide if Mark’s desperate or genre-savvy. I mean, couldn’t Rusty already be dead and at the bottom of the lake, weighted down with chains?

  154. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    @Hibbleton (#143): Dang. Remember to refresh……..

  155. Dennis Jimenez
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    @Dawn Weston’s Evil Twin (#149) @Dawn Weston’s Evil Twin (#149): As Eyetye Cousin Donatella Westoni would say, La Vita’ Brutale’ – frequently heard on Carnival Cruise ships in the Mediterranean with clogged toilets…..

  156. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#153): I can’t see Mark as either desperate or savvy, so I think “Rusty HAS to be in the van!” is meant have a somewhat overconfident, sanguine delivery with a touch of cluelessness.

  157. Marc
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    A3G- So if this old guy’s kid shipped off to Vietnam at age 19, that would put his age somewhere in the 90+ range. I can’t help but wonder how many accidents he caused on his drive to the cemetery.

    Mark Trail- Why does Rusty HAVE to be in the van? Maybe Catfish took a page out of your playbook and tied the kid to a tree in the middle of the forest.

    Mary Worth- Does anyone in real life actually call their parents “mother and father”? I have never heard anyone non-ironically call their parents that. Maybe being a little less formal and switching to “mom and dad” would be a good first step for Beth to loosen that rod she has stuck up her ass.

    Cranky- Jesus Christ, no matter how much grandstanding and idiocy you choose to go through, none of it will change the fact that the tree is a danger and has to come down. As if Crankshaft wasn’t known as the town’s biggest asshole already, just wait until this story about him trying to save a dead and rotting tree which is posing a threat to the neighborhood, hits the news.

  158. pugfuggly
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#137):

    ‘Today’s Rusty’ sounds like a magazine for neglected children.

    @Doctor Handsome (#150):

    Forget the clip show, I would prefer a You Can’t Do That on Television set-up where Peter gets water or green slime dumped on him every time he makes an idiotic statement about his superhero prowess.

    @The Ridger (#153):

    I think it’s kind of a Schrödinger’s cat kind of situation: Rusty may be simultaneously dead and alive at this precise moment, but we have to assume that he’s in the van regardless of which is true. Mark knows that we have to hold on to that notion, otherwise the universe just doesn’t make sense anymore.

  159. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    Zits: Sure, Jeremy. We’ll rip you a new one. Be glad to. But not right there.

  160. bats :[
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    MW: oh, Mary. You liven up any dinner party!

    Oh, I am loving today’s A&J, too!

  161. Joshua
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    9CL: I’ve seen some references here to the fact that Sven quit his job so he could date Fleurrie, but I wasn’t able to find any strips that mentioned or explained that. When did that happen?

  162. Doctor Handsome
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#158): Or maybe water for “!” and green slime for “?”

  163. The Right Venerable Pasdordan
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    @Doctor Handsome (#152): Or one chainsaw, as the case may be.

  164. MySpoonIsTooBig
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    9CL- Can we bring back the waiter please? I wanna know what’s going on with him. In fact, just make him the star of the strip, he’s infinitely more likable than vet lady and Scandinavian Amos!

  165. Anonymous
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:41 am [Reply]

  166. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:42 am [Reply]

  167. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#165): You be fast.

  168. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    Ripley’s — Wu Sognshi, 103, later left her husband Wu Conghan, 101, for a much older man: Walt Wallet of Gasoline Alley, USA.

  169. pugfuggly
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    @Doctor Handsome (#162):

    OOO! I like that.

    What’s funny is that I thought that The Right Venerable Pasdordan post (“Or one chainsaw, as the case may be.”) was in reference to your post that immediately preceded it. But I am open to chainsaws instead of slime/water….

  170. Hart of Johnny
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who thought Daredevil is obviously coming on to Peter Parker.

  171. NonnyMus
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    So, at some point in the undefined past, Crankshaft defied the Laws of Physics and pulled the tree up from a horizontal position to a vertical position using only his car and a tow chain. Now that the tree is dead and set to be cut down, he’s using the same tow chain to save the tree again.

    Yep. Makes no sense to me! Maybe he wants the tree to fall in a storm again and kill some annoying four year old!

  172. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    @MySpoonIsTooBig (#164):

    It was about a month ago. Fleurrie asked Sven out, Sven said no, feeling it was inappropriate to date his employer. Fleurrie became angry and fired him. Thus, they were free to date!

  173. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

  174. Baka Gaijin
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth Musings

    Given her lovely attitude, all Elinor’s going to bed is a week-old weenie from Weenie World. Given her lovely attitude, the week-old weenie’s gone all limp.

    Elinor, you can catch more flies with shit than honey. It don’t work that way with most men.

    With a face like that, how can any man possibly resist Elinor’s feminine charms?

  175. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    Sally Forth-Jackie, I wouldn’t worry about naming the kid because Sally is going to kill it because Ralph is the father.

  176. bats :[
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    @Ranger (#9): in case anyone would like a refresher course (or misplaced the thesaurus)…

  177. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#174):

    With a face like that, how can any man possibly resist Elinor’s feminine charms?

    Resistance is brutal.

  178. Amos Snarkadder
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    Gravesite 3G: “You must have been proud of him.”
    “I suppose I was. Or not. Maybe. I dunno.”

    MT: Rusty is one of them now. He’s never had such fun scuba diving and fishing Catfish-style.

    MW: No, Beth. Your father never left! He’s in my blue suitcase.

  179. Mikey
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    Funkey Castorbean: I just assumed he was called “The Blue Prick”

  180. bats :[
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    @Terry in Maryland (#15): I think Mark is just demonstrating how importance self-confidence and self-reliance really are! Of course, self-preservation is a later lesson…

  181. Anonymous
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#167): I should be working! Ha ha! Ha…

  182. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    @NonnyMus (#16): I had the exact same thought: Spiderman’s heartbeat while webswinging and fleeing a death-dealing missile is not going to be the same as it is when he’s standing in an office chatting.

    Maybe Daredevil is referring to the swooshing sound of the blood echoing through Peter’s rather empty skull? That would be pretty distinctive.

  183. LP2004
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary this past Sunday: “Let the games begin!”

    I didn’t realize at the time that the ‘games’ she had in mind were of the sort usually associated with the Roman Colosseum.

  184. Maggie the Cat
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    “Feesh”… what is UP with that? That’s how my Grandma says it, too. And we live in the midwest where there really aren’t accents.

  185. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#60): Ah, but don’t you see, it’s a Miracle Tree, and even though it is old and sick and dying (and ready to fall on Crankshaft’s house in a last bit of irony) it was once Saved After A Storm despite all laws of physics and botany. Therefore it must be protected (if only to fall on Keesterman’s car – which is where we know this will actually end).

  186. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    Donald Duck — Wait ’til Sarge Snorkel gets a load of the new recruit:

    http://www.creators.com/comics/donald-duck/103220.html

  187. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Dinner parties are so much livelier when you have lots of guests!

  188. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    All of this discussion of “Liam” and its popularity has reminded me of a rather addictive little widget called the “Name Voyager,” which allows you to see which names were popular in what years. Be warned: it is an excellent time waster.

  189. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#18):

    MW 2-Mary shall make it her mission to hook Elinor up with Wilbur.

    I had a similar thought the other day. So long as Mother Kinley leaves a sandwich burning in the window, Wilbur will always come home.

  190. Violet
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    Visibly uncomfortable Tom tries to break the tension by turning to Mary and conversationally inquiring “So, Mary, what the fuck are we eating, anyway?”

  191. bats :[
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    @Herr Kommissar Denny (#109): I think you’re right. If there were a ninja technique for salad forks

  192. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#187): Albert Camus and Zippy the Pinhead together at a dinner party. The conversation would go something like this…

    Albert: You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

    Zippy: Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy…

  193. Violet
    March 21st, 2013 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    I’ve been trying for some time to figure out the logic behind Mary’s matchmaking. I think it’s something along the lines of, “Why, here’s a person who exists, and here’s another person who exists! They’re made for each other, probably, and will live happily ever after, I assume.”

  194. Marc
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    MW- If someone tries to kill Elinor and this turns into a Mary Worth version of ‘Who shot Mr. Burns’, I’ll take back some of the terrible things I’ve said about this strip. The preferred outcome would be that she survives and then taunts and heckles the attempted murderer about what shitty killer they are.

  195. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    A3G-”I’ve discovered that drugs and cheap hookers help me get over it.”

    A3G 2-”It broke my heart even more to find out that he started wearing dresses just to get kicked out.”

    MT-”Rust has to be in the van instead of being moved someplace over the past few days while I talked about rescuing Rusty instead of actually going out and trying to rescue him.”

  196. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    MW-”Just because father left you for another man and declared that you’ve turned him off women doesn’t mean that all men do it.”

  197. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#157): So if this old guy’s kid shipped off to Vietnam at age 19, I was going to say that since Gary’s been retconned to die in Iraq or Afghanistan (OMG is the Endless War just to make comic strip characters eternally relevant?) so was his kid, but then I looked at the strip. Sheesh. Did they forget to change that word?

  198. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#157): Ummm. I do.

  199. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#157): That is, call my parents “mother” and “father”. Always have.

  200. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:17 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#191): The motion lines around the fork really sold the scene. I wonder if the real problem with Mary Worth isn’t the glacial pacing, rehashed stories, laughable characterization, terrible dialogue, and parade of platitudes, but a simple lack of motion lines that would help sell the other stuff.

    Like in today’s strip, in addition to the twirly fork, one could add lines to Beth’s hand to show her snatching it away from the impending fork, and maybe some jittery, quakey lines around Tom to indicate nervous tension — and in panel 2 some dotted lines connecting Elinor and Beth’s eyes like Popeye does to signify throwing shade. Mary, of course, is too staid, too solid to ever require motion lines, and the addition of motion lines to everyone and everything around her would visually reinforce the notion that Mary is rock steady reliable.

  201. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    @Maggie the Cat (#184): yu betcha, eh?

    say yah to da YuPe!

  202. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#199): While a little old fashioned, I don’t think it’s that uncommon. Besides, does Elinor seem like the kind of person one would address as “mom” or “ma”, even if she were one’s maternal relation?

  203. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#192): Well, Zippy gets that kind of talk all the time from Griffy in his own strip…

    MARY. Are you a fan of romance novels, Zippy?
    ZIPPY. Are we having dessert yet? Yowzah!

  204. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    A3G – He was shipped off to war when he was 19? Na-na-na-na-na-na-nineteen?

    @Liam (#195): A3G-”I’ve discovered that drugs and cheap hookers help me get over it.”

    I’ve discovered that a slight shift in emphasis can work wonders. Just worry about getting cheap drugs, and the hookers will beat a path to your door.

  205. Marc
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#199): I was actually really asking. I’d never heard it before outside of tv/movies/books. It always sounds a little unnatural to me when I hear/see it, but obviously the opposite to you who has done it all their life. So I was really curious if people actually did it or if it was more an old timey thing or literary device to make characters sound proper.

  206. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

  207. Joshua
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#165): Thanks (also to Sequitur and Calvin’s Cardboard Box). I found out why I never saw that strip — the Houston Chronicle website somehow managed to drop the March 9 episode.

  208. Government Cheese
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#146): I have that “waah waah” sliding trombone music in my head every time I look at Tom in that panel.

  209. Government Cheese
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Who names their penis “Liam Clark”?

  210. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    @Erich Clapton (#130): Sort of the same type of deal as when the guy who restores our old cars took the rear half of a ’57 Chevy and fitted it to the front half of a ’65 Rambler. Definitely one of a kind!

  211. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    @Joshua (#207):

    I looked for it on Chron for 10 minutes, no wonder I couldn’t find it!

    It really is the kind of thing that should be taught in Middle School as an example of what constitutes sexual harassment:

    “Would you like to go out to dinner?”
    “I don’t think I can, doctor. I’m your employee. It would seem wrong.”
    “Oh. Well … you’re fired!!!”

    Proof, if anyone needed it, that McE has never worked at any kind of job other than syndicated cartoonist.

  212. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#203):

    MARY. Are you a fan of romance novels, Zippy?

    Zippy: Fabio! Fabio! Fabio! Fabio! Fabio! Fabio! FABIO! FABIO! FABIO!

    Mary: Very… unique… and you Griffy?

    Griffy: While I am inclined to turn my nose up at dirtball literature, I have to remind myself Pamela: Or, Virture Rewarded, published in 1740, not only set the template for the Romance genre, but for the entire literary form we now call the nov–

    Mary: SHEESH! I only asked to be polite! Mr. Toad?

    Toad: Never read’em. Only write’em. Don’t get high on your own supply, I say.

    Mary: Too true!

  213. seismic-2
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#191): Work it like a claw, Elinor!

  214. Not Worth It
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    ASM – Cooler, and much, much taller. Peter seems barely to come up to Daredevil’s chin in that first panel.

  215. commodorejohn
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#192), @Nehemiah Scudder (#203), @Herr Kommissar Denny (#212): Thing I learned today: what does it take for me to finally find Zippy the Pinhead funny? Dropping it into Mary Worth, that’s what.

    9 Chickweed Lane would probably work too, because then at least the walls of text would be intentionally gibberish.

  216. Alison
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    “Mary Worth”: If this kind of fight happened at any other dinner party in the world, the hostess would be incredibly uncomfortable, and would try to change the subject. Mary Worth, of course, sits there silently, smugly thinking, “A huge fight between guests. YES. Here comes an opportunity to meddle. Oh, YES.”

    Meanwhile, Tom Harpman appears to be made of wax today.

  217. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Nothing is really off topic when we have Albert Camus, right? Fans of the post-modernist academic essay generator, which we discussed here before, will LOVE this Thomas Friedman op-ed generator.

    Fulgent, effulgent, and refulgent.

  218. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#158): “Today’s Rusty sounds like a magizine for neglected children.”

    Rusty could really profit from a venture like that. Just think of the products he could develope and advertise for free in his own personal ‘Today’s Rusty’ ™ magazine…
    The TODAY’S RUSTY digital dart board with a silk screened image of Mark Trail for the bulleye.
    The TODAY’S RUSTY realistic plastic paintable arrowhead collection guranteed to fool any pawn shop into thinking they are ancient artifacts dug up from a nearby native American burial ground.
    The TODAY’S RUSTY doll with a pull-cord that when pulled speaks phrases such as, “WHEN are you going to take me fishing?” and, our favorite, “Was that fellow trying to get a closer look at my camera or was he just another villainous kidnapper!?”.

    …This could be big!

  219. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#210): I would love to see a picture of that!

  220. Peanut Gallery
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#159): Zits – Yes, readers have been eagerly anticipating the day when Jeremy’s mom rips him a new one.

    Baby Blues – He has a computer screen, but no keyboard or mouse. No wonder it looks like he was napping at his desk just before the first panel.

  221. Sans Sense
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    Mary Harpman, Mary Harpman!

  222. tallyHO
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    So, Liam isn’t short for William?

    I thought that was what it was about, like people named Topher somehow not wanting to be called Chris or Christopher.

    //I’d be lying if I ever considered preferring to be call Ly.

  223. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#222):

    //I’d be lying if I ever considered preferring to be call Ly.

    Or HO.

  224. Peanut Gallery
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

  225. Ratiocinator
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    9CL: This is exactly like Amos & Edda, isn’t it? These characters are completely interchangable, aren’t they?

    ASM: Haha, don’t be silly, Peter! Kids’ toys have value, and your spider sense is worthless!

    FW: Okay, so basically:

    MOPEY PETE: “I’m here to stop you, you evil villain guy!”

    GIRL: “Run away! It’s hopeless!”

    MOPEY PETE: “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

    JP: Holy crap, there was actually somebody Randy didn’t tell about his eloping plans! Of course, that’s only because she was on the other side of the Atlantic, I guess; if she’d been in the continental U.S., she would’ve heard about it along with every other resident of the country.

    RMMD: “Now that I’m sad about not having a baby, the only way I can feel better is if I take all your firewood! So that’s what I’m doing!”

  226. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#219): He still has a picture of that car in his restoration shop. I’ll ask to borrow it and scan it onto the computer.

  227. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#117): The idea of seriously looking for Barney Google erotical never occurred to me. The concept does have a certain fascination, of the “fiery ambulance collision” variety. (I’m enjoying Dialectizer too. Cockney’s another fun one.)

    @Violet (#193): The one thing that could make Mary’s matchmaking more deliriously insane would be if she had the power to cross over between strips.
    “Mrs. Angelini from Heart of the City has been alone since her husband died, and she has an amazing amount of patience. Marty Moon from Gil Thorp could use some structure in his life…”

  228. Leonard
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    JP: Where’s the bottom half of the third panel…?

  229. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#222): Liam is the Celtic form of William, I believe.

  230. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#225): 9CL: This is exactly like Amos & Edda, isn’t it? These characters are completely interchangable, aren’t they?

    To be fair, he did switch the Amos character from the Dweeby Geek model to the Beefcake model. I’ll bet that people who hadn’t read the strip for a few weeks are wondering why Seth is now dating Edda, and why she is wearing a brunette wig. They must assume he has a raging hard-on for her art.

  231. Peanut Gallery
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#6): DT, panel 2 – WORDS. The only book you’ll ever need. All the other books are just rearrangements of it.

  232. Ratiocinator
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#230): Kind of a dweeby beefcake model, really. Not because of the glasses (although they do make him look similar to Amos), but because of the way he’s acting.

  233. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#172):

    Fleurrie became angry and fired him. Thus, they were free to date!

    Don’t try this at home, kids.

  234. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    MT – “Hello, Rod Bassy? THIS is Mark Trail! I’s about Rusty. Have you seen anything that looks like it’s RUSTY?”

    “Oh, Hi, Mark. Rusty? Well….there’s that trailer hitch on the van, which is REALLY rusty. And I was told by the state inspection station the undercarriage is SO rusty you need to have your tetnus shot up to date just to change a brake line. And then there’s that rocker panel…well, it WAS a rocker panel until it fell off and we put that duct tape across the rusty opening. And then there’s the badly rusty bottom on the fish holding tank where those nasty little bacterium Clostridium tetani like to colonize, and that radiator, my God!”
    “I see your point, Rod. I think your best bet is to just dump that piece of shit van in the deepest part of the lake and forget about it. I mean, don’t give it another thought, just get rid of it and forget about it as if you never even had the van. And, since it’s so RUSTY, just leave everything inside it as is and have Catfish drop the whole pile of RUSTY things in the lake! …Are you hearing WHAT I’m saying, Rod?”

    “Yeah, Trail, I catch your drift, which is more than anything YOU’LL ever catch around here!”

  235. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#232):

    Yes, although that is true of every McE male character when in the presence of a woman.

    Could you imagine what would happen in a Judge Parker/9CL crossover? All the males would be dying within a week, with their still-quivering, unconscious bodies strewn across the countryside. Meanwhile, unable to make an impact on the smugly asexual JP males, the Burbers would be hunted for sport on the Spencer ranch. “You call yourself a woman!? BOTH of your boobs together wouldn’t even fill up one cup on my training bra from when I was 7!” (yes, they need to start that early, natch!)

  236. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#30): I have a friend who is of Scottish ancestry and his wife is Filipino. They have a son born in the mid 1980′s they named Liam. He very much favors his mother’s side in looks. He gets the “You don’t look like a Liam” from some people to which he answers, “Hoot, mon, I’m Scottish!”

  237. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#158):

    ‘Today’s Rusty’ sounds like a magazine for neglected children.

    You’re thinking of Lowlights for Brats. “Today’s Rusty” is one of its recurring features. It’s sort of like a “What’s wrong with the picture?” except you’re trying to find what’s right.

  238. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#236): “You don’t look like a Liam” from some people to which he answers, “Hoot, mon, I’m Scottish!”

    And yet, my name is Scott, and I’m never told that I don’t look like a Liam. That’s fairness for you.

  239. commodorejohn
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#235): Meanwhile, unable to make an impact on the smugly asexual JP males, the Burbers would be hunted for sport on the Spencer ranch. “You call yourself a woman!? BOTH of your boobs together wouldn’t even fill up one cup on my training bra from when I was 7!”

    Comment. Of. The. Week.

  240. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#227): From something called a Tijuana Bible, a term I had not heard before. NSFW.

  241. bats :[
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Liam is a nickname from the Gaelic form of William, Uilliam. Until recent times, a boy was named Uilliam and used Liam as a nickname; now Liam tend to be a given name in its own right.

  242. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    MT – ROD BASSY…
    Killer fishing lure entrepreneur,
    Fishing merit badge counciler for a nearby Scout troop,
    Self proclaimed bestest of the best bass fisherman,
    Licenced certified SCUBA instructor,
    Cheater of bass fishing torunaments,
    Villainous Kidnapper,
    Intimidating bully,
    Driver of dated crappy looking doorless vans,
    Receiver of vigilante FISTS-O-JUSTICE facial treatment,
    Federal prison cellmate of fellow felon, kidnapper Catfish.

  243. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#231): Heh!

    // Hurry down to your local bookseller! Ask for it by name!

  244. Shrug, Pondering Name Organization
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    @Government Cheese (#209):

    “A3G: Who names their penis “Liam Clark”?”

    Or anybody else’s penis, for that matter?

    ////I’m all in favor of nonsexist language, but I think in this case you might safely have gone with “his” rather than “their” . . .

  245. DaveyK
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    It’s hardly credible for Spider-Man to claim he doesn’t “surprise easily” when we have documented proof that on separate occasions he’s been knocked out by a brick and a shillelagh-wielding limo driver.

  246. Marc
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#242): Viallainous bush pilot Mike Harris will be in the cell next to them.

  247. Perky Bird
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    “You make my spider sense seem like a kid’s toy! More specifically, a really lame and useless kid’s toy, like that talking globe your parents gave you for Christmas, when you really wanted that sweet G.I. Joe remote controlled tank with the missile-launching cannon!”

  248. Peanut Gallery
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#76): If that one’s Jumble Jeff, I think his lines should go more like this:

    We was the dive so you nest, tub we don’t wonk any night, O Tuba, this “Jumbler”, or why he amend elf shim a fret our puzzle.

    Well, I can say your Jumbler enjoys Mismatch Tea. The 1 DNA 3 no his sass gel ear 13 — a rip me, burn me. It cloud be he crossed in elm fish a perm “I.”

  249. tallyHO
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#240):

    …a term I had not heard before.
    Whaaa?

    I think I saw an example of one the first time I encountered the phrase. I still never found out why they are called that, I just remember the one I saw (and another which I found) were in Spanish, so…

    As it goes, I thought the phrase was common enough that it had not occurred to me that someone familiar with comics (or just comic strips) was unfamiliar with the TBs.

    //I am leaving the above alone. If I touch it again…hoo boy! I’d get the TB Jeebies!

  250. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Pondering Name Organization (#244): in this case you might safely have gone with “his” rather than “their”

    In keeping with my 9CL theme for the day, I believe a Burber would insist on refering to her thrall’s member in this fashion.

  251. A Tall Cool Refreshing Slug of Shrug
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#236):

    “When life hands you a Liam, make Lime Juice?”

  252. tallyHO
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#223):

    No, HO is a family surname. I was talking with Uncle Banj the other day and he said, with his off-kilter way of speaking which makes any serious subject sound hilarious, that it may have became an abbreviated form of a compound name.

    Now, when I figure out a joke for what that might be…I’ll add to this.

    Until then, just imagine a conversation between Uncle Banj and Uncle Don.

  253. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    MT – “Mark! I can see the writing on the wall!”
    “Yeah, Bluegill, it’s pretty obvious that Rusty’s in the van, ISN’T it?”
    “No, Mark, I mean I CAN SEE THE WRITING ON THE WALL!!!”
    “Uh, okay, Bluegill. I know it’s been a log day and…”
    “No, Mark, LOOK! See? Over there, written on the side wall of that big white van sitting on the side of that dirt road, see, Mark? The words ROD BASSY are written in three foot tall letters!”
    “Hmmm, WHAT a coincidence, eh, Bluegill? …Too bad the big white van with ROD BASSY painted on the walls of it is probably miles away from here in some hotel parking lot or fishing torunament parking lot or somewhere! …just keep an eye peeled for Rusty or a big white van with ROD BASSY painted on both exterior walls in three foot tall letters, Bluegill. If nothing surfaces we’ll catch an early lunch at the PANCAKE house!”
    “Yeah, Mark, I sure hope Rusty eventually surfaces!”

  254. demoncat
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    mw at long last elinor reveals why she hates romance novels her husband left her bitter. not relizing she is giving mary all the ammo she needs to begin the reprograming of her as beth keeps defending her proffession.

  255. Ratiocinator
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    @Herr Kommissar Denny (#109): That’s what I was thinking, even though I forgot her name and had to look through the archives for previous Mary Worth-related posts. (And this blog has a LOT of them!) So yeah, Moy seems to be running out of ideas.

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#69):

    9CL: “Barettos” day 2

    I think of them as “Manleys” myself. Not just because I started reading this blog after the “work it like a claw” Barretto era, but because I actually unironically enjoy Manley’s art more. Compare Barretto’s Abbey to Manley’s. IMHO, it’s no contest.

    @The Right Venerable Pasdordan (#78):

    Man, I really got nothing today

    I’ve had snark-impaired days too, where I looked at the strips I regularly look at and think “Damn, either I’m losing it or they aren’t giving me anything to work with!” It’ll pass, because certain comic strips just can’t keep from being ridiculous for long.

    @commodorejohn (#97): BWAHAHA!

    @Doctor Handsome (#150): I know I’ve said this at least twice before this week, but…COTFW!

  256. Marzipan
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    “Yeah, and I don’t surprise easy!”
    “Wow, that’s makes my power’s look like a children’s toy!”

    I think Spider-Mans real power might be a lack of self-awareness. Jesus CHRIST he makes it easy.

  257. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#253):

    …it’s been a log day…

    Ah ha! So they’ve been out all day chaining things to logs! The fiends!

  258. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#255): I recommend Mary Worth and Me for keeping track of old story lines and characters.

  259. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#246): “Villainous bush pilot Mike Harris will be in the cell next to them.”

    Well, at least the widow Chavez, in the cell next to Mike Harris, would be able to bring them some aLURE!

  260. tallyHO
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#229): @bats :[ (#241):

    Gaelic makes sense. I have seen Ulliam before, probably in some book I was forced to read with my eyes propped wide open and a pint of whiskey poured down my gullet while a river dancing troupe practiced in the upstairs apartment and while I was forced to listen to the strained sounds of yet another a cappella version of “Danny Boy”.

    When that may have been is a black hole in the memory. But, Ulliam sounds familiar, like a ghost joke I was going to make about apartment 3G

    So, deceased veteren’s father is asked by Luann:
    “How does anyone get over it, Mr. Clark?”

    And, the older gentleman says,
    “Oh, my name isn’t Clark. My first name is B and my last name is ooooOOOOoooooOOOOo!”

    //ah jeez. dudn’t that just figger. I suppose der was a reason for not writin’ that earlier. Seemed funny last night but ideas to paper, ya know.

  261. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#257): As they say around the Trail homestead….”IT’S BEEN A LOG DAY’S NIGHT!”

  262. Ratiocinator
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#255): Oops, I didn’t link to Barreto’s art there! For some reason I thought that Barreto worked on the strip during the period in which we got the “work it like a claw, and call me Randy!” line.

    Here is Barreto’s Abbey. She looks pretty good.

  263. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#257): Okay, okay, I stand corrected. What they actually say around Lost Forest is, “IT’S BEEN A LOG DAY’S NIGHT AND I’VE BEEN SLEEPING LIKE A LONG!”

  264. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#205): Ah… Well, it’s kind of a funny thing. My older brother went through a phase of calling our parents “Charles” and “Janet”. They didn’t react to it at all, but within a few months (he was in like first grade, second grade) he went, not back to ” Mommy” and “Daddy” but to “Mother” and “Father”. The rest of us, who were six or more years younger than him just picked it up from him. Most of my my sibs now say “Mom” and “Dad”, though my older brother jokingly says “Pa” a lot…. I moved away in college and still use the ‘formal’ forms. I admit that I know very few people who do…

  265. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#211): @Shrug, Pondering Name Organization (#244): Ah, but indefinite ‘they’ never has been for non-sexist; sthat’s an urban myth. Since Chaucer it’s just been for non-specificity. Jane Austen famously said “Who makes you their confidant? Who wishes to marry her?” talking about one pretty obviously man whose identity was unknown.

  266. Hogenmogen
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    SM Panel 1
    DD: Our leeps, zey arre so close

  267. The Ridger
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#232): Kind of a dweeby beefcake model, really. Not because of the glasses (although they do make him look similar to Amos): indeed, I hadn’t thought of it, but he is kind of a cross between Seth and Amos, isn’t he?

  268. Ratiocinator
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#233):

    “Fleurrie became angry and fired him. Thus, they were free to date!”
    Don’t try this at home, kids.

    Better yet, don’t try it at work.

  269. Ratiocinator
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    @Herr Kommissar Denny (#258): Ah, thanks!

    @The Ridger (#267):

    indeed, I hadn’t thought of it, but he is kind of a cross between Seth and Amos, isn’t he?

    I haven’t been following the strip long enough to see any of Seth, but one Google image search later and…yeah, he kind of is.

  270. Hogenmogen
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    DD: Are you surprised that Daredevil is really a blind attorney?

    SM: Yeah! Superheroes are really vigilantes in tights, and the grappling hook that you swing around buildings with actually scratches and damages whatever it grips and I’m not even getting into public endangerment. Don’t attorneys know all that stuff?

  271. Notebooked
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#102): Or ‘tuttar’, or… …hm.

    Okay, there’s only one. Swedish is not a language very creative in its euphemisms.

  272. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#270):

    …and the grappling hook that you swing around buildings with actually scratches and damages whatever it grips and I’m not even getting into public endangerment. Don’t attorneys know all that stuff?

    DD: True, but between adamantium-tentacled maniacs tearing down buildings and psychopaths on jet gliders dropping pumpkin-shaped bombs into crowds of innocents in their efforts to kill you, no one really notices, let alone cares about, a few lose bricks or beat-up mobsters.

  273. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    MT – “Rod Bassy, I KNOW you have Rusty in your van!”

    “ARE YOU TRYING TO ACCUSE ME OF CHEATING THE STATE INSPECTION BY DRIVING A RUSTY VAN!?”

  274. Blargh
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    Hey, is “12 On Your Side” a Richmond reference? I hope it’s a Richmond reference.
    http://www.nbc12.com/category/165145/12-on-your-side-stories-archive

    But I hope Crankshaft isn’t really supposed to live here.

  275. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#22): Hah! Four comments at 7:28, and one at 7:30. Like some people have nothing better to do than hang around hoping to get the first post of the day!

    // I held off until 7:31, you’ll notice. Dignity, people!

    Or as I call it: “Hurry up and be ignored!”

    You touched on one of my pet peeves, Nehemiah. Too many posters use this site to snark on the same three or four comic strips day after day.

    And basically doing a rehash of the same points (and jokes) made by the earlier commenters. Which makes me wonder if these people have even bothered to read the first 100 comments or so.

    How many times can you blast Tom Batiuk and Brooke McEldowney for their perceived peccadilloes? And how many different ways are there to poke fun at the artwork in Mary Worth/Mark Trail/Apartment 3-G?

    Since there are literally HUNDREDS of current comic strips waiting to be picked apart here, why are so many of us hung up on the same handful of strips?

  276. Mr. O'Malley
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    @erdmann (#67): Perhaps named after Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs, who had a number one record with “Stay” in November 1960?

  277. Jim in Wisc.
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    This Luann storyline is idiotic, even by Luann standards.

    Could it be? Is Mark Trail actually going to exhibit a shred of common sense?

    Folks, this if what Mary Worth would like like if she were a bitter old crone instead of a meddling old biddy.

    With this week’s Funky Winkerbean story, Batiuk is competing with Greg Evans’ current Luann story for the Reuben for Dumbest Storyline of 2013.

  278. Peanut Gallery
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#217): Ha! That Thomas is one fried man.

  279. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#275):

    To me, it is the appeal of a built-in audience who are familiar with the subject matter.

    I also focus on strips whose author obviously thinks are something more than they are in reality – Funky, 9CL, Luann. Making fun of Garfield for not being funny, over and over again, can get old.

  280. Salamence
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: Come on, Gizmo. You’re the resident computer nerd. Surely you know a more sophisticated method of breaking into someone’s computer system than whining, “I don’t know the @*#% password!” and banging profanities on the keyboard.

    Family Circus: “And I’m gonna take this knife even though I’m not plannin’ on doing any stabbin’. And if you hear Billy screaming in a few minutes, I didn’t do it.”

  281. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    @Salamence (#280):

    …and banging profanities on the keyboard.

    Ah, give him a break. It’s the only banging Gizmo gets to do.

  282. LUJBEM FEJF
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    KIDC CRYTA!- Well, don’t I look young! I got a speaking part so they have to pay me scale. Now quit bugging me Tracy and go catch that bastard! How dare he besmirch the good name of the Jumble and all it stands for. (I believe that the Jumbler is actually Jumble Josh!)

  283. Baka Gaijin
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    Damn! I wish the Mary Worth shindig was a fondue. The sight of one or more of the participants with long skinny forks stuck out of their foreheads is too precious to imagine.

  284. Peanut Gallery
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#282):

    I believe that the Jumbler is actually Jumble Josh!

    Uh-oh. I suppose another “Josh the Jailbird” Jumble cartoon is coming our way!

  285. Government Cheese
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Pondering Name Organization (#244): Indeed, you are right. However, I like to err on the side of caution, lest I be verbally accosted by a penile zealot.

  286. Alison
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#275):
    Can’t speak for everyone here but I like to snark on the same comics because it’s fun to discuss them with other posters. Everybody knows “Mary Worth” for example. There are plenty of strips I think are lousy, but are obscure. There is this strip in my newspaper called “Ben”, for example, about a retired guy and his wife, and it’s terrible, but I’ve never met anyone who’s heard of it.

    Also, I find that even when people are snarking on the same thing, it’s often still funny. The thread about Mary and John Dill watching another cake-making team drop their cake was full of comments about that strip and I thought it was one of the funniest threads ever for that exact reason.

  287. Mikey
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#275): ARE YOU ACCUSING ME OF NOT READING AND SNARKING ON ALL THE OTHER STRIPS!

  288. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    MT – (one hundred years have passed since the famous unsolved bass fishing tournament/suspected kidnapping/missing child case was filed as a cold case not too far from a nearby city somewhere in the southern part of the state):
    “…and to our left we see the famous parking lot where Mark Trail last saw his ward, Rusty Trail. We are walking, people…now, if you will all look to your right you will see the actual ‘Trailmobile” used by Mark Trail and his pal, Bluegill, each morning to drive to the pancake house for a pancake breakfast rather than bother call the police. …we are walking, people, walking… Okay, if you look closely over the railing of this fishing pier you can almost hear the faint crys for help from Rusty Trail. No one saw or heard from the kid during that fatefull three week period while Mark Trail intentionally avoided contacting the police. Once his pal, Bluegill finally had enough of Trail’s vigilante nonsense and contacted the law he was told that too much time had passed to continue any type of investigation. The aftermath wasn’t pretty…Mark Trail’s wife left him, Trail’s father-in-law thought he was probably outside but was actually having a stroke. Rusty’s dog, Sassy became rebelious, attacked a group of villainous wolves, became rabid and had to be shot. Their other dog, Andy dog took to the bottle until he eventually was picked up in a ditch and went on to teaching rescue dog courses at a dog pound somewhere in the southern part of the state. …we are walking,people, walking…and if you…DID YOU SEE THAT!!? that strange looking child walking down the road, he looks like, no it couldn’t be…why HE’S A DEAD RINGER FOR RUSTY TRAIL, people! Can we be of any help to you, young man, er, mutant, er, kid?”
    “Yes, Mame, do you think it’s possible that ANYBODY with your tour group could PLEASE TAKE ME FISHING!?”

  289. LUJBEM FEJF
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#284): I believe Jumble Josh will be getting out on a technicality. Something about having constitutional rights or being framed. I’ve tipped Tracy to keep an eye on him.

  290. TallyHO
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @Jim in Wisc. (#277):

    Folks, this if what Mary Worth would like like if she were a bitter old crone instead of a meddling old biddy.

    And we’re biddy off for it.

  291. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Pondering Name Organization (#244): @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#250): Plus some trans* women still have penises, and “he/his/him” would not be appropriate in those situations.

  292. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#279): Those are all valid points. And I don’t have a problem with variations on a theme (“Mary Worth is a meddler!” or “Mark Trail is an idiot!”). What bothers me are posters who make the same exact comment or joke someone else made earlier that day — without crediting the original poster.

    Mind you, I’m NOT suggesting any plagiarism on their part. I think it’s much more likely that they didn’t bother to read the earlier posts.

  293. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#275): Because most of the strips I read are actually pretty good? Also, if I don’t let it out here, I end up ranting at my husband, and he doesn’t need that after a long day at work.

  294. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#292): I’ve done that, and it’s usually because I’m afraid of my “witty” comment escaping my brain before I set it down in type. Then I scroll a few more comments down and… oops. It wasn’t as original as I’d thought, and usually someone else said it in a funnier way.

    More commonly, though, I make my comments at 3am on the tag end of the previous post, and no one ever sees them. Oh well.

  295. tallyHO
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man: I bet both Daredevil and Spiderman had this song going through their Superheroically enhanced heads.

    And, in the missing third panel they both danced in a restrained sort of flamboyancy in which a antagonist converted to a believer in a 1960s beach movie would dance at the end of one of those flicks.
    Sort of cutting loose, for a bespeckled Mel Cooley look-a-like, yet wanting to be Free, Free, Free, baby!

    Just listen to the song and look at the Spiderman again. It makes more sense that way.

  296. Herr Kommissar Denny
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    @Jim in Wisc. (#277) & @TallyHO (#290):

    Folks, this if what Mary Worth would like like if she were a bitter old crone instead of a meddling old biddy.

    What if Mary and Elinor are the same person split it two a la The Dark Crystal.

  297. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#286): I’ve seen “Ben” — and you’re right, it’s terrible. Have you ever heard of a current strip called “Todd the Dinosaur”? It’s so bad, it’s funny. But I can’t get anyone here to snark about it. Except for crazy fungus and myself, “Todd” has been totally ignored by Josh, Uncle Lumpy, etc.

    Please read today’s strip and tell me what you think:

    http://www.jsonline.com/comics/32402404.html?feature_id=Todd&feature_date=2013-03-21

  298. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#275): “Since there are literally HUNDREDS of current waiting to be picked apart here, why are so many of us hung up on the same handful of strips?”

    RC – Boy, that stupid “Reasoned Cognition” comic strip, what a joke! WHERE they find their punch lines, in an atom splitter? HA HA HA HA!!

  299. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#297): Trent must have one hell of a litter box for Todd the Dinosaur!

  300. Government Cheese
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#286): On MW: My favorite Dill Pickle/Mary Worth scene was the “true grit” line. I imagined Mary, drunk on power, wandering the slums of Santa Royale thinking she could take on the drunks, drug peddlers and other ne’er-do-wells because she could move some salmon colored cake. I hope that Moy and Giella get high and/or drunk one day and draw a strip in which Mary gets beaten up on the Charterstone condo association mob.

  301. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#275): I stick with what I know and like best, and I know I like to snark Mark Trail and all of his fellows. …not to say I couldn’t start snarking on say, a big blue dinosaur that lives with a kid named Trent, though…once I know more about them, that is!

  302. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:12 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#297): I used to look at Todd. There was a time when it was insanely brilliant. But I’m not seeing that anymore.

  303. J. Elhew Bisbee, Hobo Detective
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    “Wow! You make my spider sense seem like a kid’s toy!” said Parker wonderingly, subconsciously rubbing the back of his head as he vaguely recalled the many, many occasions he was knocked unconscious by blows to that spot by non-powered foes or falling objects.

  304. hibbleton
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#275):

    The odd angles different posters take while snarking on the same strips is just part of the fun.

  305. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#299): You made me picture Todd taking a huge dump under the table. And that would certainly explain the stink(?) lines rising toward the ceiling (as well as the sick expression on Trent’s face).

    I loooooove making fun of this strip!

  306. Old Folkie
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    @The Right Venerable Pasdordan (#94): “Pattar,” I think – ya, you betcha…

  307. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#305): That’s me, so creative it makes others think of shit!

  308. tallyHO
    March 21st, 2013 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#275):

    There’s watching sausages being made and then there Snausages ™.
    The latter would surely be the wurst of the two processes one could witness.

    For what it is worth, when I can (and time is a factor…always) I try to read the strips I normally check out.* If it occurs to me to do so (and again, time) then I will also make fun of the funny, family strips, like Hi&Lois, Blondie and Snuffy Smith. Then there’s Slylock Fox. That’s a goldmine, day in and day out. Today’s has a gorilla parent and her/his tongue-lolling son just sitting amidst the bush in a peaceful manner. It isn’t funny, but, it is worth noting.

    Some strips, like the one you mention, seem to be asking for snark to go that way. Like Snausages ™

    *sometimes I forget to read any and most likely, I just read what is featured here.
    I mean, Ziggy, Curtis, Crankshaft, Funky Winkerbean? Pfft! I wouldn’t normally seek those out. But, if they are here, I’ll probably pick on Ziggy (it’s like picking at a scab!)

  309. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    A seven year old blue T-Rex like Todd the dinosaur would look great in Lost Forest! I can see him now, eating his bag of cereal and afterwards taking a dump in the strand of trees overlooking the Trail family compound. …Hell, Todd and Trent could visit Rusty and Sassy! With a bit of luck all four of their sorry asses could get kidnapped!

  310. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#305): My pastor’s name is Todd. Now I’ve got this mental image of him going under the communion table to take a dump.

    Gee, thanks, Rockey.

  311. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#307): Like Falstaff, eh? “I am not only witty in myself, but the cause
    that wit is in other men.”

    // Falstaff, now that was a fine beer, with the little rebus puzzles in the caps!

  312. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#309): Now that would make a GOOD mash-up!

  313. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    MT – “HELLO, Double AA Car Club? This is Rod Bassy, you know, the world’s greatest bass fisherman, yeah THAT’S right, I DID invent the ROD BASSY KILLER LURE! Say, listen…I’ve got this van, see? Well, the thing is a rust bucket and I need it towed. Yeah, that’s right, TOWED! I want it towed to the nearest boat launch and have your driver let it sink to the bottom of the lake, ok? What’s that? You say I should get anything I want to keep out of the van before your tow truck operator gets here? There’s nothing to keep, lady. All that’s in that van are two dumb looking kids, a drifty blue dinosaur and a stupid looking little mutt! They are all secured with ropes and their weight will help sink the van to the bottom quicker. Great! Tell the driver I’ll be waiting in my area not too far from a nearby city. What’s that? You want to know if I’ll refund your husband’s money if he returns my piece of shit lures that never worked worth a damn? Look, bitch, Just get that wrecker here, QUICK! GOODBYE!”

  314. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#311): Falstaff? Nah, I’m more of a Corona man myself!

  315. MsJK
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    I’m with Elinor! Romance novels are so stupid that they are used to help re-teach reading to people who’ve had head injuries! That’s because there are usually only two characters and every plot is the same. So, people with memory and attention deficits can easily follow them.

    Go Elinor! Get Beth to write something worthwhile!

  316. Old Folkie
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

  317. Jamus The Bartender
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#69): rMC: “We are all Wonder Woman.” Yeah, if only. Back in Wonder Woman, they used to tie each other up and spank each other for laughs. Sadly, Ed and Melissa wouldn’t go there.

  318. Jamus The Bartender
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    MW: “Romance novels are read by people who refuse to acknowledge the cold, hard, facts of life.” Speaking of which, I heard once that the actress who played Natalie on Facts Of Life posed nude in Playboy. Or was that just an urban legend?

  319. Mikey
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#309): Picture a small clawed arm grabbing Rusty from behind a slender pine tree! “MMMppHHH!!!”

  320. billman
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#318):

    Pretty sure that’s urban legend. What isn’t is that Mindy Cohn, who played Natalie, is the current voice of Velma Dinkley in many recent reboots and series (like What’s New, Scooby Doo and the really good Scooby Doo: Mystery Inc.) Kinda ruins the whole Velma thing for me knowing what Ms. Cohn looks like.

  321. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#310):

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#305): My pastor’s name is Todd. Now I’ve got this mental image of him going under the communion table to take a dump. Gee, thanks, Rockey.

    …Now through every sermon,
    Sequitur’s giggling and squirming,
    Must strike Pastor Todd
    As quite odd!

  322. commodorejohn
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#319): A Slender Pine Tree – good name for a meekcore band?

  323. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:23 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#100): We did have sun today–but at 35 degrees, I don’t think any dogs were interested in lying around out there.

    @The Ridger (#265): Yes—oddly enough, my friends and I were just discussing that very topic over dinner—because what else would one talk about during a weekend in Vegas?

    God, we’re nerds.

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#292): I sometimes become a bit impatient, too, but I also remind myself about the comedy that results with ridiculous repetition, such as “Hey! Why hasn’t anyone noticed that Aldo looks like Captain Kangaroo?” or the famous “eye patch” incident.

  324. Chip
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    DT: “Jumble” is also a word from the dictionary. The “Jumbler” may in fact just be one who Jumbles.

    You know what ELSE 1 and 3 are? ODD numbers. Maybe the Jumbler considers himself odd!

  325. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#322): That, or they could call themselves “THE KILLER LURES”.

  326. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    MT – Top ten bands to perform at this year’s bass fishing tournamant extravaganza and gala:
    THE ELECTRIC LURES
    THE KILLER LURES
    BIG BASS and the LARGEMOUTHS
    HOOK LINE AND SINKER
    The KIDNAPPERS AND CHEATS
    CRAWFISH ON ICE
    BAIT BOY and THE MASTER BAITERS
    THE PANCAKE BLUES BAND
    THE LOST FOREST GIGANTIC SONGBIRD CHOIR
    and, #10…
    MARK AND CHERRY, THE TRAILMAKERS

    (Bait and Formal attire provided by Cabela’s)

  327. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    March 21st, 2013 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    MW Poor Beth! She can’t take her mother anywhere…

    She only hates to eat it…:

  328. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#323): WHAT is this “FAMOUS EYE PATCH INCIDENT” and HOW did I miss out on it?

  329. Dr. Grzlickson
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    “considering his name is pained on the side in giant letters and all”

    TYPO ALERT! Should be “painted”.

  330. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:03 pm [Reply]

    MT – The “TODAY’S RUSTY” band was a no-show at tonights big shindig down at the fishing camp.

  331. Illustrator Steve
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    @Dr. Grzlickson (#329): No, pained is correct. As in, “it PAINS me to even LOOK at that stupid van!”

  332. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#328): In Beetle Bailey, Miss Buxley held up a black thong bikini that looked more like an eye patch. Out of 200 comments, it seemed as though 136 of them said, “Hey, hasn’t anyone noticed that her bikini looks like an eye patch?” Finally, having had enough, Sugarpie posted a very long comment, comprising just the word “eye patch,” repeated.

  333. Droopy Says
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#297): Please read today’s strip and tell me what you think:

    (long pause)

    Please read today’s strip and tell me what you think:

    I’m thinking! I’m thinking!

  334. Liam
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman-Making Spiderman’s spider-sense look like a kid’s toy isn’t hard considering the fact that you got beat up by a chimp in your last story.

    MW-”Just because father left doesn’t mean all men do. Isn’t that right, Tom? You won’t leave me will you? You won’t allow me to turn into a horrid shrew of a woman like my mother?”

    MT-Rusty has been taken to a diner where he is enjoying a bowl of rainbow sherbert.

    MT 2-”Gee, Mr. Catfish, can I attach the fish to Rod’s lure tomorrow?”

    A3G-”Actually no. You see the war was over for twenty years when he went.”

    A3G 2-”My Mary never got over it. She had to get a new heart. She’s got the heart of a pig inside her now.”

  335. Mikey
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#326): To play on that how about “The Killures” ? Nah, they may get sued… :-)

  336. Mikey
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#326):

    MARK AND CHERRY, THE TRAILMAKERS:

    “If a pine tree falls in the forest,
    Do you think that we’ll hear Rusty scream?’
    Hopefully,soon, eternity passes,
    And I’ll have a pancake dream”…etc..

  337. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#255): if that’s a Baretto, it’s from his early days when he was following the style of his predecessor, Harold LeDoux.

    Once he brought his own work to the party, he gave us things like this from the Dixie Julep arc and this from the magic brownies arc, courtesy of Uncle Lumpy’s Banner Service.

    as much as I enjoy Manley’s current work, he’s no Barreto

  338. Dale
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    MARK TRAIL

    How long has Rusty actually been missing? A few hours.
    At the end of the contest day, they went to the hotel so Mark could interview some of the fishermen. Rusty stayed outside to take some pictures.
    When Mark came out, Rusty was gone. The only hint of trouble is the camera in the parking lot. The kid could have dropped it while chasing butterflies.
    It’s still light out. Mostly, Rusty is late for dinner. The cops might not be willing to roll this early.

  339. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    ah, yes, the joys of posting without reading posts. . . .

    ;-)

  340. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    and by the way, have I mentioned that the art in Reply All is horrid, and even the single-digit-aged guest artists on the Sunday Slylock Fox are better artists?

    oh.

    ok.

    FENNEC!!!

  341. Alison
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#297):
    Admittedly, I laughed when I saw that dinosaur; it looked so ridiculous I couldn’t help it. However, the punchline was stupid. I wouldn’t laugh at the dinosaur every day now that I’ve seen it once, so if the punchlines are always that weak, it deserves to be snarked on.

    While on the subject of lesser-known strips, have you ever seen a strip called “Zach Hill”? First of all, it’s not particularly funny, and second of all, the writer does this weird thing where he apparently can’t figure out how to fit all the dialogue into a single speech bubble, and it gets all smushed up at the bottom of the bubble. When I was little I used to draw dumb comics about cats and that’s how a lot of mine ended up because I didn’t know how to use a ruler. Don’t know what the excuse is for “Zach Hill” to look that way.

    @Government Cheese (#300):
    The “Mr. Dill makes a cake” arc was the most unintentionally hilarious MW arc ever, wasn’t it? There were so many golden moments to choose from, from the start right to the end. Alas, no matter how deranged Elinor acts, this current arc will always be a letdown because it followed the previous one. Unless it turns out the husband who left her and made her so bitter, left because he wanted to realize his dream as a famous cake decorator.

    Also, if there was a strip where Mary Worth got beaten up I would probably write a fan letter to author and artist.

  342. Jeff
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    The accident the blinded Daredevil also created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their comic. (The Daredevil part is left out of the cartoon and other adaptations, though.)

  343. sugarpie
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    Awwww, you remembered! I’m still here, lurking mostly, or posting under leaden pseudonyms. I do remember being in a blind rage when posting the eye patch rant; the lithium does help control those episodes now.

    Am following along each day without posting, but I do wave to each mini-cooper that passes, while excitedly screaming “Howdy, Bourbon Babe!”

  344. Inexplicable Bear Tongue
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    MW: This is no longer terrible and amusing. It’s just terrible. Of course Mean Old Biddy’s feelings about romance are a mask to cover her deep seated self-loathing because she was betrayed. It’s never straightforward. Just once I’d love to have one of these sourpusses go on a tirade about romance because they really, truly felt that romance was a waste of time.

    “You could have been a brilliant scientist, researching a cure for cancer or studying on the cutting edge of particle physics! But NO, you threw it all away so you could spend you time daydreaming about some beefy douche named Lorenzo stabbing you in the ass with his meat spear. You disgust me: you and your damn wasted potential.”

  345. Master Softheart
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:48 pm [Reply]

  346. sugarpie
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:49 pm [Reply]

    The above referenced to bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:06 pm
    , of course.

  347. Alice
    March 21st, 2013 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#292): You have a point. That’s why I always do a Ctrl-F to find all mentions, in a given post’s comments, of the strip(s) I want to snark, to make sure I’m not duplicating what someone else has already said.

    Also, I try to make my comment as specific to that day’s comic as possible. I’m not much for generic comments like, “God I hate this comic,” “[Cartoonist_name], fucking retire already, you hack” or “Why do I read this again?” While these sorts of remarks are true to the dictionary definition of “curmudgeon,” i.e., a grumpy person, it seems to me that the sense in which Josh uses the term is similar to the way Jon Winokur (of The Portable Curmudgeon fame, and similar anthologies) uses it. That is, as someone who’s cynical and biting and sarcastic about something, but in a thought-out and witty way. That’s what I come to this blog every day for, and what I, for the most part, find when I do.

  348. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#314): I’m stupefied! I thought I was the only Jerry Corona fan in existence:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0180559/

  349. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    @Jeff (#342): yes, yes it did.

    back when TMNT was just a snark on Miller’s runs on Daredevil and Wolverine.

    then it went viral, and it all went downhill and cutesy-boop.

  350. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#318): Charlotte Rae posed nude in Playboy?

    Oh! what a Charlotte’s Web we weave
    When first we practice to deceive!

  351. Alison
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    @Inexplicable Bear Tongue (#344):
    Co-signed. This would make for a much better strip. Let Mary snoop, yet find no deep dark secrets.

    “Why Elinor, you seem sad and angry about the subject of romance! Did a man hurt you terribly by leaving you?”

    “No.”

    “I…Uh…Wait a minute. Did you just say ‘No’? What do you mean, ‘No’? I don’t understand. I want to meddle. You must have some tragic romance in your past! Tell me! Tell me now! I MUST MEDDLE iN YOUR LIFE!”

  352. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#333):

    A blue T. rex, a giant ground sloth and a saber-toothed cat walk into a bar. The blue T. rex says: “I’m looking for the tar pit.” The bartender looks up and says: “What is this — some kind of joke?”

  353. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: Six differences.

    In panel two:
    1. Big gorilla farted.
    2. Little gorilla gives himself a hand job with the left hand.
    3. There’s an armadillo smoking pot behind the tree on the right.
    4. There’s a narc up the left tree watching the armadillo.
    5. Little gorilla peed on big gorilla.
    6. Big gorilla is sitting in poison ivy.

    DO I WIN? HUH?

  354. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#341):

    I check in on “Zack Hill” from time to time, and I’ve noticed the problem you describe. Say what you want about “Crankshaft” and “Funky Winkerbean” —
    at least the lettering on both of Batiuk’s strips is neat and legible.

  355. Calico
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#167):
    Amos seems a bit like Ox in Luann.

  356. Rocky Stoneaxe
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#353): Down, boy, down! What you need is a relaxative:

    http://www.gocomics.com/soup-to-nutz/2013/03/21

  357. Droopy Says
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#352): That explains Todd the Dinosaur: it’s the pits.

  358. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#356): Was that a poop joke?

    See there, Marvin. You don’t have to come right out and say it to say it.

  359. Mardou Fox
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    Seeing Barney Google’s junk was disturbing, but in the name of Heaven!! Wasn’t that Cherry Trail he was whoring himself out to??

    Snuffy Smith/Barney Googleland must be located in the Southern Part of the State.

  360. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#355): I don’t think Ox wanted to have sex with Ann Eiffel.

  361. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#348): I’m stupefied! I thought I was the only Jerry Corona fan in existence…

    Not at all. Jerry was brilliant. It’s a pity he had to work with that hack Bob Hope all the time. He coulda been a contender!!

  362. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    @Mardou Fox (#359): I’m not sure about that. It may be Blondie with a brunette wig. Fifi is her poodle name. With that wig on she’s known as Brunettie.

    But more important, shouldn’t Nehemiah Scudder be ashamed of himself.

  363. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#51):Well, yeah, sure, if you wanna get all Latinate about it…

    Hey, that IS kinda my shtick. There are only so many “guy walks into a bar” jokes, you know.

  364. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:52 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#362): …shouldn’t Nehemiah Scudder be ashamed of himself?

    Of course! I shall certainly grieve over the Tijuana Bible Incident in the long winter evenings. But that will have to wait… It’s Spring! Time to clean and lubricate our slip sticks!

  365. tallyHO
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    http://jimromenesko.com/2013/03/21/chicago-tribune-drops-shoe/

    They always say the other shoe will eventually drop but this is kind of ridiculous. MacNelly–rest his soul– was that paper’s editorial cartoonist.

    Yeah. I complain about zombie strips most of all (add that to the reason why complain about the same strips over and over again and ignore the rest) but you’d think the Tribune would be the last bastion for the strip, when all others bail and leave it by the wayside.

  366. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:11 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#364):

    Time to clean and lubricate our slip sticks!

    So it’s come to this?

  367. Nehemiah Scudder
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#366): I’ve got a great idea for a meekcore band! Wanna hear it?

  368. Calico
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:27 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#360):
    Ha, good point, but I guess we’ll never know now…

  369. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#367): But of course.

    //great segue.

  370. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#368): Yes. Let’s keep Ox an innocent.

    //Unless Nehemiah Scudder gives him an audition for the Tijuana Bible (check out @Nehemiah Scudder (#240):). I mean, Barney Google. Really?

  371. Not Greg Evans
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    Good God! It’s Rex Morgan after dark. Newly pregnant comic MILF soft core.

  372. Droopy Says
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:39 pm [Reply]

    Spiderblight: “And it doesn’t even tell me what the danger is, but I can sense it coming! Just the other week I sensed the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk! Boy am I glad it wasn’t made of brick!”

    Funky’s Flunkies: The Big Reveal is that the bad guy is Mopey Pete, right?

    Crock: You don’t expect cleverness in Crock, but that is a rather elegant way for Grossie to tell Maggot to get stuffed.

    Mock Travail: “Meanwhile, why don’t we interrupt our shared breakfast of puke-flavored porridge to call the police?”

    “That would make a good idea!” (Trail holds a telephone alongside his head.) “Hell, Central! Get me the authorities! Officer, I want to report a child abduction! Rusty has been stolen by Rod Bassy . . . what do you mean, you can’t take my report? What? How long ago did the statute of limitations expire on this crime?”

    Spiderdick: The Spider Sense is as simple as Peter Parker. Beat that for simplicity, Murdock!

    Family Circus: At last Thel realizes the only test Billy can pass is one with no questions.

    Crankshat: Why is this taking so long? How hard can it be to stack wood at his feet, then strike a match to it?

    Pluggers: Pluggers would rather get suicidally depressed than see a therapist.

    Phantom: Let them fight, Kit. Your dog was so close that he appeared within seconds of you whistling for him, yet he didn’t show up when you were attacked–which was just a few hours ago, in real time. The big kitty, on the other hand, has been friendly and patient with you all along. I’d order a giant bag of catnip, and remind myself that a lion might be more Africa-appropriate than a dog.

  373. Sequitur
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:43 pm [Reply]

    @Not Greg Evans (#371): Don’t look, Ethel!

  374. seismic-2
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Holy Junior’s House O’ Strippers! I have no ass wisecracks to make about this strip today!

  375. seismic-2
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    Which one of Woody Wilson’s strips will be the first to become the Tijuana Bible version of itself?

  376. Droopy Says
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    I’m calling it on FW: This isn’t just a rip-off of “The Prisoner,” with Patrick McGoohan’s character discovering he is #1. It is the process by which Mopey Pete realizes he is responsible for his inability to meet deadlines. He will shake off his procrastination, buckle down and become a success, which will make it all the more tragic when some contrivance forces him to return to Cancerville in poverty.

  377. Sequitur
    March 22nd, 2013 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#376): Interesting analysis. I find no reason to disagree with you. Go for it!

  378. Victory Garden
    March 22nd, 2013 at 12:15 am [Reply]

    Luann: If this doesn’t end with some “experimenting” I’m going to be a tad disappointed. Go on, Delta, say it. “I’ve just never quite been attracted to … guys.”

  379. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 22nd, 2013 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    @Alice (#347): Loved “The Portable Curmudgeon,” and your definition of “curmudgeon” is basically the one we used for our publication, Celtic Curmudgeon — a magazine for the Celtic community, but one that often looked upon the entire Celtic culture with a somewhat jaundiced (but I hope witty) eye.

  380. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 22nd, 2013 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#372): @Droopy Says (#376): @Sequitur (#377): Won’t happen. When he tries to leave Westview he’ll be stopped by a giant word balloon.

  381. Droopy Says
    March 22nd, 2013 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#380): @Frank Lee Meidere (#380): Mopey Pete is the character who moved to New York a while ago, so his lack of a future is assured. But I’m sure when he returns his soul will receive an additional word-balloon crushing when Skunk Boy explains why talented cartoonists can’t succeed in today’s industry.

  382. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 22nd, 2013 at 2:07 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#381):

    Mopey Pete is the character who moved to New York a while ago, so his lack of a future is assured. But I’m sure when he returns his soul will receive an additional word-balloon crushing when Skunk Boy explains why talented cartoonists can’t succeed in today’s industry.

    You know, under other circumstances I’d by happy to see a comic strip pay homage to The Prisoner. Even if it wasn’t done well, I’d be willing to give points just for trying. But this is being put forward as an homage to classic comic strips, none of which ever had the protagonist turn out to be the previously-unseen arch-villain. That is a trope that is pretty well owned by The Prisoner. To not acknowledge the source material is just weird.

    In the end, however, I’m just as happy that Batiuk didn’t set out to do The Prisoner. The smug expressions in the final panel of each strip could drive a true Prisoner fan to madness.

  383. Droopy Says
    March 22nd, 2013 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#382): Of course this is Batiuk, so when we finally see the villain’s true face (and not just Mopey Pete’s bored astonishment), it could turn out to be something utterly trite, like Creepy Les or Ming the Merciless (if there’s a way to tell them apart). It might even be a Philip K. Dick rip-off, with Tom Batiuk exposing himself as the Smirker in the High Castle.

  384. Frank Lee Meidere
    March 22nd, 2013 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#382): And the first paragraph there should have been a quote, but I screwed up the tag.

  385. Vanya
    March 22nd, 2013 at 4:12 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#235):

    There was of course one male McE character who had backbone, dignity and the ability to talk to attractive women without turning into an incoherent idiot. It was, naturally, Kiesl, the Austrian Wehrmacht officer. What that says about McE’s political leanings I will leave up to the reader.

  386. Alice
    March 22nd, 2013 at 4:24 am [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#379): My favourite bit from the book is theatre critic John Simon (in an interview with the author) on the “born again” phenomenon: “On the whole, I think one birth per person is enough, and for some even that may be too much.”

  387. gleeb
    March 22nd, 2013 at 6:06 am [Reply]

    3-G: He scored this sweet gig as a national cemetery docent!

    ‘bean: You omitted it, huh? You omitted the action in the action story. Batiuk, I’d horsewhip you if I had a horse.

    Dick: Well, he said “funny papers”, so it’s either counterfeiting, or he’s going to torture Tom Batiuk with hidebound literalism.

    June Morgan, RN: Uhhh…oh, and something about Milton Avery.

  388. Mardou Fox
    March 22nd, 2013 at 6:58 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: UNDERWATER PUNCHING coming right up! I am thrilled! Can’t wait for the blow-by-blow commentary, as narrated by a trout and a giant dragonfly nymph.

  389. Little Guy
    March 22nd, 2013 at 7:10 am [Reply]

    9CL: Her *?

  390. MsJK
    March 22nd, 2013 at 7:21 am [Reply]

    Sure, give spoons to all your guests except the one with an anger issue. Give her a fork with which to stab her daughter!!

  391. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    March 22nd, 2013 at 8:19 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#30): Liam is a very popular name in the UK for guys from their mid-thirties to younger. It’s also very popular among female-to-male transsexuals in that country.

  392. Vince M
    March 22nd, 2013 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    @Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket (#294): I was gonna say the same thing, but…you know…

  393. batgirl
    March 22nd, 2013 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    Alison @ 286 – our local paper has Ben. It doesn’t even seem that bad compared to Dustin, Deflocked, Pajama Diaries and my pet hate Chuckle Brothers which takes three guys to create half a joke.

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