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Apocalypse: the wrath of Ian!

Mary Worth, 10/5/08

If I had to Scotch® tape an episode of Mary Worth to the side of Voyager XLIV or whatever the hell number they’re up to now, it would be this classic: blue-and-yellow drama lighting, hand-jivin’ histrionics, a “happier times” bedstand photo and the lonely, lonely park bench Toby fears will be her future home. Added bonus: no Mary! Why inflict her on the stars, and risk their terrible retribution?

Ian’s fury, of course, is less about trust than the unconscionable $1.09 charge from Pretty Purposes. It’s tempting to suspect Toby’s dream of duplicity equal to Ian’s — a message from her subconscious to get out now! But since Toby never listens to her conscious, what chance could its downstairs neighbor have?

Panel from Judge Parker, 10/5/08

Ha ha ha! Wait, we missed that?

Panel from Pardon My Planet, 10/5/08

You know, you two never smile any more, and your looks are starting to go. It’s pretty obvious blow has taken over your lives, and it’s time for an intervention. I know a lady.

Panel from Funky Winkerbean, 10/5/08

I think we’re in for a week of “Everybody Loves the Dead Chick.”

Here’s an exercise: We’ve had phishing in Mary Worth, hospice care in Rex Morgan, M.D., illiteracy in Crankshaft, pet adoption in Mutts, and of course — interminably — “Cancer is Bad” in Funky Winkerbean. I’m sure I’ve forgotten scores of others, but what new Public Service Announcement opportunities are out there for a comic strip that wants to Make a Difference rather than Entertain its Readers? Shoe cautions us about the dangers of H5N1* Bird Flu? Sherman’s Lagoon demonstrates best practices for water safety? Get Fuzzy portrays Bucky’s valiant struggle with rabies?

* Corrected from HN51 — thank you faithful reader Victor, and damn you, Google — damn you straight to hell!

Panel from Mark Trail, 10/5/08

But why go out on such a sour note? Look! It’s a skink!

Josh will be back tomorrow with COTW — and maybe tales of his Hot Blogger calendar photo shoot in NYC?

Thanks everybody for a fun week!

— Uncle Lumpy

227 responses to “Apocalypse: the wrath of Ian!

  1. dyslexic dog
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    No. Thank you!

  2. Don, the Rebel without a Blog
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:44 am [Reply]

    Hey, I want to join Professor Ian’s gang so I can flash those cool gang signs.

    As for the exercise, hows about Beetle Bailey: don’t ask, don’t tell.

    Finally, Toby’s face is half yellow, half blue because she went to Notre Dame.

  3. TheRestlessMouse
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    Can we just bring back christian single lady? That’s all I ask.

  4. daveh
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    Not being a winkerbean funk reader, I just assumed it was a woman soliciting a guy on a park bench- my bad.

  5. Yaanu
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:49 am [Reply]

    Dude, Ian’s left hand thumb is on backwards.

  6. migellito
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:49 am [Reply]

    Plus, it appears the skink just peed. Thanks for foisting your aberrations on an unsuspecting Sunday public Mr. Trail!

  7. Batman Beatles
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    Foob: Oh my gosh! John somehow has Elly’s butt!

  8. Red Greenback
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    that’s $1.09. Oh yeah, inflation, I forgot to figure that in. Carry on.

  9. Sally Villarreal
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    I think it’s about time for Ziggy to come clean about his battle with depression.

  10. Uncle Lumpy
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    #8 Red –

    Oops, fixed! Thanks, Red — that’ll teach me to trust those EnormouShop folks about anything!

  11. Mariko
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    Didn’t Sherman’s Lagoon already do a PSA run about shark fin soup?

  12. Mars
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:37 am [Reply]

    After I stopped laughing at Toby again, I took a good look at her bed. From both angles, it appears to be a single bed with no space for a husband, who is nowhere to be seen.

    It all comes together now! Toby’s bearded mate is a hallucination, a product of her madness!

    Why didn’t I see this before? It was so obvious….

  13. Charlene
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:40 am [Reply]

    Ian’s right hand has three fingers. Either that or he has double-jointed knuckles.

  14. Mars
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:40 am [Reply]

    Oh, wait….then what explains the picture?

    Maybe the “husband” is someone she had a chance encounter with a long time ago, the only one who could stand her longer than one date and the photo is the only evidence of that….and she went nuts from loneliness and now believes he is in the room married to him.

    There, now I got it.

  15. Mars
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:41 am [Reply]



  16. John Biles
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:49 am [Reply]

    Herb and Jamaal can warn us of the horrible consequences of the use of proper nouns or any other sort of specific information, guiding us in how to use entirely non-specific statements in a wide range of situations.

    Ziggy can teach us how to avoid going mad in the face of a cold and uncaring universe where even your pets mock you.

  17. Bribaby
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:53 am [Reply]

    Nice to have met, you U.L. Really well-done final post.
    Sure, I’ll play: how ’bout the Phantom’s cautionary finger-wagging about playing around with ebola-infested vampire bats? I know I’m a better person for it.
    I echo #12 Mars above; I don’t think Ian’s real. And maybe Toby neither. Panel two suggests the schizophrenia of a Bergman heroine, but then I saw the bedside photo, and I thought: maybe this is like that one Twilight Zone episode, and Toby and Ian are people from one of those generic photos that come with picture frames and they materialize in the real world for a little while and then vanish without ever having meant anything to anybody. In any event, the literalness and banality of her nightmare would make Freud weep.
    I haven’t read Funky since high school, so I’m blessedly ignorant about who those people are. At a glance, I assumed she was asking for thumbs up or down on her new boob job.
    And finally, somehow I feel like I know less about skinks than before I started.

  18. Lesser Whark
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:57 am [Reply]

    MW: What’s this about Mary not appearing in today’s strip? It’s soaked in her influence! Toby has shown unusual strength of character by resisting MRYCON IV: Park Bench Meddling. Mary’s only option was to escalate to MRYCON III: Tormenting Your Victims Through Their Very Dreams. If Toby still resists, she’ll face MRYCON II: The Pool Party. No one knows what MRYCON I is…

  19. Frinkenstein
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:00 am [Reply]

    Another high-quality pinch hit, Uncle Lumpy. Well done.

  20. Greg
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:04 am [Reply]

    I really hope Ian bets the crap out of Toby. That will teach her.

  21. Demosthenes and Locke
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    On the next Very Special Mark Trail: Rusty develops a terrible addiction to video games, causing his grades to slip drastically. Everything comes to a thrilling conclusion when Mark delivers the Right Hook of Justice to a certain villainous and mustachioed plumber, proving that you can solve all of your problems if you punch them hard enough.

    Haha, who am I kidding, the Trail family doesn’t waste any money on a fancy education… or electricity.

  22. TB Tabby
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:56 am [Reply]

    The Crimestopper’s Textbook advice in today’s Dick Tracy sounds nice…in theory. Too bad most real-life “school administrators” will tell the victim that they deserve it for being so weird and suspend them so they can’t fight back.

  23. Sheila Sternwell
    October 5th, 2008 at 3:40 am [Reply]

    FW: It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, hence the pink shirt and the cancer storyline. But I think we all figured out — and by “we all figured out” I mean “I suspected as such because I’m bitter” — that Batiuk just uses cancer as a prop for one of his many Very Special Storylines.

  24. mollificent
    October 5th, 2008 at 3:45 am [Reply]

    Great job, Uncle Lumpy!

  25. Donald The Anarchist
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:09 am [Reply]

    MW I always assumed blond trophy wives knew why their husbands married them. Does Ian have to say it? “It’s all right. I married you for looks, not brains.”

    JP Like I told every girlfriend I ever had: if you don’t show ‘em, I’ll just imagine them! And it’ll be based on the last porn I looked at! (Or in this case, I could just print out the panel and color it pink…)

    FW While we’re on the subject, someone should tell Les that’s not how you sit for a lapdance.

  26. Elizabeth Helena
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:11 am [Reply]

    Maybe the Mary Worth PSA isn’t really about the perils of phishing. Instead it’s a timely reminder of how marriages between intellectuals and blonde trophy wives are doomed.

    It’s a little known fact that Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller’s marriage broke up because Marilyn wouldn’t listen to Mary Worth’s sage advice to come clean about the $1.09 JFK bummed off of her at his inauguration.

    So if you think of Ian as a poor man’s Arthur Miller and Toby as a blind man’s Marilyn Monroe… your brain might explode. Sorry.

  27. Victor
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:21 am [Reply]

    Uh, not to come across as pedantic (and trust me, I do quite often), but the bird flu pandemic is subtype H5N1, not HN51.

    Also, re: JP, Hell, I’m tempted to start reading it now.

  28. Baka Gaijin
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:22 am [Reply]

    #18 Lesser Whark: MRYCON I is…intervention. You weren’t around for Aldomania! were you, kid?

  29. Baka Gaijin
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:28 am [Reply]

    Sunday’s Comics

    Only quotations because I don’t want to gild the lily, so to speak.

    Arlo and Janis: “To the Arlo cave!”

    Zits: “Most of the communication: Whasup?”

    Pearls: “Lawyer up, fido!”

    One Big Happy: “Maybe they didn’t have Animal Planet in those days.”

  30. Mr. O'Malley
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:38 am [Reply]

    3. TheRestlessMouse. Didn’t you grab a screenshot of the Christian Singles Bimbo while they were going? If you also missed the recent debate here is one I grabbed.

    I’d like to see a Ms. Julep page as the story unfolds.

    Groucho Marx as Capt. Spaulding, the African Explorer: We took some photographs of the native girls, but they weren’t developed. We’re going back next year.

  31. Lithros
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:41 am [Reply]

    I’m thrilled that Toby deals with her fear of Ian being angry because she hid her credit card problem by hiding her credit card problem.

  32. Aitherion
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:50 am [Reply]

    This is the best Mary Worth ever.

  33. jake!
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:04 am [Reply]

    Jeeze, look at Ian stomping his paunchy ass away there. He looks like Marlon Brando chasing a wheelbarrow full of Big Macs.

  34. MWDG-Mary Worth Discussion Group
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:26 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: I wish I could email Toby a copy of Farrah’s made for TV movie “The burning bed”.. along with a pack of matches and a can of gasoline.

  35. Baka Gaijin
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:47 am [Reply]

    Forgot one or two:

    Marvin: “Dad says they should have named me ‘Hoover’”. That explains your enormous ass in panel 2.

    Dennis the Menace: “You can run…but you can’t hide!” Quite menacing to say to an old man trapped in an attic while Dennis blocks the only way out.

  36. Jack Parsons
    October 5th, 2008 at 6:27 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: this “story” line would make a good Mary Worth b&w video, especially the part with the dikey “security consultant”.

  37. Jack Parsons
    October 5th, 2008 at 6:37 am [Reply]

    JP: Somebody gave the keys to the gradient machine to the coloring monkeys. It looks like every cheap comic book on the stands. F.A.I.L.

    Flat coloring was just fine, Barreto. It was good enough for Hergé and it’s good enough for you.

  38. Bryan
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:08 am [Reply]

    Happy 86th birthday, Bil Keane!

  39. Lesser Whark
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    #28 Baka Gaijin,
    I concur that MRYCON I is indeed the Intervention, and I do not believe that Toby can survive it – even though she has shown unsurpassed strength of character in resisting Mary’s latest meddling. Toby’s counter-meddling to date has been well-timed but far too subtle.

    I arrived after Aldomania. While I have spent many hours trawling the CC archives in their entirety, I passed so many surreal subplots that Aldomania did not impress itself on my memory the way it did on this site’s battle-hardened veterans. I beg forgiveness for my lapse and now gather my +1 dagger, my rope, my caltrops and my 10 foot pole for a return journey to the Curmudgeon Catacombs…

  40. Brick Bradford
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    DT “Turn on your circuits, you great evil beast!”

  41. Baka Gaijin
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    #39 Lesser Whark: Aldomania, Molly the Bear, and “the barky stick”. Ah, those hazy, lazy days of summer…2006. Will the Foobocaplyse, Mary Worth’s dalliance, and Alan before he goes to White Castle cause such nostalgia a few years into the future?

  42. Patrick
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    “Someone used our money and you’ve been keeping it from me?”

    Um, no, Ian-in-Toby’s-nightmare. Somebody tried to use your credit card information and it was promptly stopped by the bank, and even if they had, it was one dollar and nine cents. Also, Toby had a hot lesbian credit fraud expert in to tell her how to avoid something almost happening again in the future.

    I’d hate to see what would happen if Toby accidentally took an extra ibuprofen for a headache. “You’ve been addicted to DRUGS and haven’t told me?!?!” Then he’d shoot her in the face multiple times.

    Hide your errors, Toby. Hide them well. You’re in terrible danger if you don’t!

  43. True Fable
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:26 am [Reply]

    FW What the HELL?!? I obviously missed the earlier reference in the strip, the memo, and the whole ball of wax. So, not only is Les trippin’ out thinking about his dead wife (but then that’s pretty constant for him, isn’t it?) he’s also a buyer for a clothing concern? What the hell, did he put the tee shirt on the bench; did he just see it and go to lala land, or did he catch a glimpse of something that might have perhaps made him happy for a split second, therefore sending him spiraling into hallucinations and ultimately to his own meetup with Masky McDeath?

    Damn it, Batuik! You just ain’t right, son.

  44. Ryl
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    Masterful work, Uncle Lumpy! Thank you for keeping us entertained!

    Meanwhile in 9 Chickweed Lane…
    “So you’re saying the Prince of Darkness is a cartoonist?
    It’s good to see McEldowney finally paying tribute to his Dark Lord of Thesauruses.

  45. True Fable
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    FC Billy’s appearance today means that Bil had a lot of quarter-baked ideas for puns in his head and since he didn’t want to sell them to Lynn Johnston (she does so badly all on her own!) he decided to bring in Billy so he could slough it off as, “well, it sounds like the kind of lame stuff a kid would come up with.” Well played, Bil. Well played indeed. But it still SUCKS.

  46. True Fable
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    Scenes from Suburban Hell You know, if they are going to gather, why don’t they do something constructive instead of just have a major bitchout session? But then the sign on the wall says it all – “Shop ’till you drop”. So the reason they aren’t doing anything constructive about being football widows is that they need their hubbies to facilitate their relentless need to shop? No need to change the status quo just as long as they can trot around with their little charge cards?

    Tell me who is the one really in hell here.

    That’s right: Us.

    JP Now that Dewey’s dead, Sam can entertain all sorts of ideas concerning Dixie Julep ! Like, “I wonder if she’ll sell me his gun collection?”
    MT Skinks are, IMHO, the Adorable Goats of the reptile world. Aw, just…just look at ‘em!
    MW Well, of course Charterstone’s address appears to be in Suburban Hell! Why do you suppose Mary is the unofficial mayor?
    RMMW Sarah, the question is, “Mom, do you and Dad ever work?” Leave out the whole “with hospice” thing, kid.

  47. True Fable
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    Blondie Elmo tells Dagwood to fuck off. Directly, this time.
    Phantom “Good Cop” “Bad Cop” and “Deliberate Asshole Cop”.
    Canadian Zombie What? A Far Worse with a happy ending? With no bad puns? With a parent conceding that kids actually PLAY in leaf piles? With no Elly with a Muppet mouth whining about her lot in life that she eagerly signed up for? I could enjoy strips like today better if I didn’t know for absolute certain that it is just a flash in the pan and we will likely never see its ilk again.
    Bonus: Lynn Patterson cannot print the word “flick” in all caps without making it look like a Truman Fable expression. I mean what the fuck, she’s horning in on MY lexicon, dammit.

  48. Michael
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    DT Now we know where Diet Smith got the idea for how Traze-R speaks. Smith spent too much time visiting police HDQTRS. However, I’m wondering what “unwntd” signals are. “Unwanted?” “Unwarranted”

    Shoe Come on, a pint won’t bleed you dry.

  49. Islamorada Girl
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    Thanks for another great ride, Unca Lumpy!

  50. Nimrod Gently
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft (via time travel) will have a crossover involving every possible PSA subject ever. Crankshaft drives drunk and has a motorcyclist smash into his bus because he wasn’t looking, causing him to splash through a procession of elderly pedestrians, and crash straight into a playschool full of cherry-cheeked two year olds, which then explodes because of a gas leak, causing a forest fire.

    Meanwhile on Funky, everyone gets AIDS cancer the morning after they’re robbed and murdered by ten thousand million kids on crystal meth and crack. Oh, and Clambake shows up to promote the UNCF because there aren’t any black characters of their own.

  51. Dean Booth of the Affect Ad Patrol
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    Great job filling in, Uncle L!

  52. The Paradox
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Re- #33: LOL, there’s your COTW right there. I know Josh seems to go for the more abstract stuff but for my money sometimes you just need a laff out loud guffaw like #33 gave me!

  53. Dingo
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    Those poor sweater puppies in Judge Parker look mighty cold. Someone needs to hand that woman a shawl. Maybe they can pick up Toby Cameron’s dignity off the floor and wrap that around her.

  54. Uncle Lumpy
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    #27 Victor –

    . . . the bird flu pandemic is subtype H5N1, not HN51.

    Thanks – fixed! And don’t worry about seeming pedantic ’round these parts — after all, if we can’t mock comics with precision, the terrorists will have won.

    #53 Dingo –

    Sadly, it’s in shreds.

  55. gleeb
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    9CL: For more about the Demiurge in Western religion, consult your public library.

    Dick: I have a hard time believing Tracy likes squealers. And Braces? Two people just asked you a question. It’s the polite thing to answer. Where do you think you are, a candidates’ debate?

    ‘shaft: And is that, finally, why Ed is a churlish bastard with a heart like a dried poisonous mushroom? What I’m saying is, can we move on now?

    Curtis: You know, this Geesh/Hines work is all right. Can we bring them in to replace Curtis?

    ‘bean: Never you mind what he’s sayin’! That’s Creepy Les Moore talkin’ to his dead wife. Just keep clear of him!

    Dixie Julep, murder suspect!: Ed Duggan would do anything? Then why did Cheatham want you around, Ms Julep?

    Mark: “But the inch-long youngsters, once they hatch, have no family loyalty.” Hey, Jack Elrod’s kids! Would it kill ya to call your old man once in a while?

    Phantom: Those guys are about as dominating as you can be in short pants.

    Zippy: Griff? If Morty Meekle and Fletcher & Tanya share a stiff, cartoony aesthetic, then neither is unique. I thought you were supposed to be the thinking person’s cartoonist.

    Luann: Is that supposed to be TJ’s cousin, pointing out that Luann sweats just like the rest of us?

    Slylock: Unless the wolf have bizarrely fattened feet! Ever thing of that, Mr Stunned-by-the-headlights Fox?

  56. Beatrice
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    Pardon My Planet = Pluggers for Hipsters.

  57. gleeb
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    43, re: the ‘bean It’s the t-shirt design for the annual Dead Wife memorial run to raise money for anti-Dead Wife research.

  58. anonymous
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Fall. Raking leaves. Little swirlies to show the wind. (sigh) well, I guess we get two out of three in this crude early effort, but I really used to love Lynn’s Fall strips. Say what you will about her, but her Fall strips were really artistic. Though they couldn’t possibly compare with Mutts’ Fall Sunday strips, some of which have been beautiful enough to frame. (not the damn acorns dropping!) …If I were a coloring monkey, I would think Fall the best time of year…And now I’m looking forward to Halloween, the second best time of year….

  59. queek
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    Saving Prince Valiant: so easy, a caveman could do it.

  60. Angry Kem
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    It’s time for another edition of The Charterstone Tales. Get medieval, Mary. Oh, wait…you already are.

    9CL: I wonder if Monty has caused those backgrounds? Nothing else seems to work.

    B.C.: Rubber does not work that way! Good night!

    Prince Valiant: Ooooh…medieval Neatherthals! My favourite.

    Is there no Opus today? Has BB played his last joke upon us all with last week’s “Cont….”? Does anybody care?

  61. Muffaroo
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    AD – That silly old ant! His hopes were too high.

    TRAZE-E – Notice how useless henchmen are in this world? They never do anything except feed the Vill Lane du jour with straight lines for exposition, fulfilling the role of “other students” in Socratic Dialogues (of EVIL!).

    Q: Of what use is this device, Master?
    A: He will cause my enemies to feel the wrath of my revenge.
    Q: That is decidedly so.
    A: They will, therefore, rue the day they incurred my ire.
    Q: But how will a giant pencil sharpener achieve this worthy goal?
    A: In three ways. First, with its fearsome noise that will engender terror in the hearts of my enemies.
    Q: It is even as you say.
    A: Second, by the scattering of giant crumbs of wood and graphite, it will throw confusion in their feet and confound their steps.
    Q: There can be no doubt that this is so.
    A: Third, it will prepare the most effective use of the next part of my fiendishly logical plan, which will soon be unveiled for your fear and admiration.
    Q: Master, how do you eat with your teeth wired shut?
    A: I don’t. That’s why I’m so mean!

    FTrot – Classic stuff — reminds me why I liked this strip so much, back in the day.

    H&Jamaal – This gag was actually a good one, though it should have been done in about half the panels.

    S-Man“I hope whoever is impersonating Spider-Man isn’t setting a trap for Peter!” Well, whatever you do, don’t warn him or anytthing, MJ! You know how having a clue worries him.

  62. Muffaroo
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    DtMenace – Going by the age of these toys, Mr. Wilson is my age (but looks 15 years older). That makes him younger than Dennis. Is he the original Joey, grown up and resentful of the unaging Dennis?

    FCircus – Looks like a revival of Bil’s “Pun-Abridged Dictionary: panel. Stay tuned for “Channel Chuckles.”

    MFmore – Part LXVII of “Voting Sucks.” This week: “Voting Killed America!”

    MG&Grimm – An unsubtle political cartoon, but a marvel of craft after Mallard.

    My Cage – Another interesting narrative shot in the foot by the compulsive need to insert animal pun names into the punchline. “George Marlin?? Oh, yeah. George Carlin. Now, where were we, again? Oh, well.”

    Phantom“This kid will end up dead or in prison if we can’t help him!” “But with boot camp, we might be able to have him end up dead and in prison!”

    Sam & Silo – But if a strip is “Sunday Only,” wouldn’t that seem to mean that if I look for it on a Sunday, it would actually be there, instead of just saying “Sunday Only”?

    Zippy – I remember “Morty Meekle,” which eventually changed its name to “Winthrop” and focused on the kids instead of Morty, who was mostly a bystander by the time I was reading it. I think Nasty McNarf, the reformed bully, was the most memorable character. Oddly enough, I can’t seem to find any more information about Nasty McNarf on the internet. Whoa.

  63. Muffaroo
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    Mars @14 – Perhaps it’s the picture that came in the frame, the way that all wallets used to come with a halftone print photo of some generic woman with middle-sized hair.

    Bribaby @17 – It’s true! I was about to play with an ebola-infested vampire bat, and then I remembered that the Phantom had cautioned against it and decided to play with a rabid dog instead. Thanks, PPPPhantom! (Sorry; hand’s shaking.)

    TB Tabby – As I understand it, the administrators will immediately go to the bully and say, “Billy says you’ve been bullying him!” Then they get him to say he’ll stop. Then they go away again, and wackiness ensues.

    Uncle Lumpy – Thanks for stepping in again. A good job, as usual.

    jake! @33 – At the risk of encouraging jokes based on appearance, I just couldn’t help laughing at your simile.

    True Fable @47 – re: Foob 1.2 – Maybe they came out of the leaves all covered with slugs. That would be cool.

  64. The Paradox
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    MW- Hmmm, do you think Ian is a spanker? I’ll bet a good old-fashioned taken in hand marriage is all Toby needs to keep her finances straight.

    Just sayin’

  65. Rusty
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    Thanks Uncle Lumpy, my life needs this site to stay fresh.

    FW: Please don’t tell me that Les travels to NYC every year to imagine how Lisa would look wearing a fundraiser t-shirt. Dude, put a park bench in your back yard, a t-shirt and wig on your daughter, and make it work. And not in a filthy, incestuous manner.

    Someone up above asked about Opus, a new strip was in my Sunday paper. It’s the long goodbye.

  66. Calico
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    JP – Wardrobe Malfunction!

    3G – Alan had a gun?! WTF?

    Thanks Uncle Lumpy!

  67. agony
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    DT Crimestopper’s Textbook – What’s that little pile of stuff on the ground next to the kid? Did the bullies literally beat the crap out of him?

  68. odinthor
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    Curtis — Hahaha! Supercaptaincoolman is going to be turned into lutefisk!

    H&L — Up on some cloud, Al Scaduto is sketching out: “The ladies indignantly complain about their status as Football Widows; but . . . oh, dear reader, we both know what would happen if the gents breathed a word about being Shopping Widowers!”


    Bill did things for Dewey . . . anything! [...] Bill had too much to drink one night and came on to me!”

    Detective Roberts: Well, what’s the problem with that? Didn’t you just say that “Bill did things for Dewey . . . anything!”? Ma’am, your tale reeks with inconsistencies!

    Dixie: What do you mean? I showered just before you showed up!!!

    RMMD — Oh, Rex . . . don’t look at me when your eyes are all dilated ‘n’ stuff. It . . . it makes me feel all funny inside . . . It . . . it makes me want to strip down to my shorts and say ‘Ahh’ . . .


    You might be frightened by suddenly seeing one of these reptiles, thinking it is venomous, but the speedy little creature is not poisonous [ . . . ] They scatter as soon as they leave the eggs.

    Mark, I’m confused. What’s the difference between a skink and a skank?

  69. John C Fremont
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    Thanks, Uncy Lump! You’re my favorite uncle ever! Well, except for Uncle Deanie, who had a Karmen Ghia and one day out of the blue decided to paint it candy-apple green. But aside from him, you’re the bestest uncle ever. Well, then there was my Uncle Burr who chain-smoked Tiparillos…

    Thanks, is what I’m sayin’.

    D’ya ever notice how Ian Cameron looks exactly the way I’d imagined the troll from The Three Billy Goats Gruff would look when I was a kid? Oh. I guess you couldn’t possibly. Well, okay, just trust me on this one.

    MT – “… and some are ovovivi-va-va-voom, and are born with ginormous breasts.”

    JP – Speaking of, I just want to thank Eduardo Barreto once more. Too bad about the Sunday coloring, but, well, dang!

    RMMD – Would anyone know what I was talking about if I said that Rex is doing his Michael Sarrazin impersonation? I didn’t think so. None the less, “Hello, Ollie Dolly!”

  70. John C Fremont
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    Huh, huh. Huh, huh. 69.

  71. Gold-Digging Nanny
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    Thanks, Uncle Lumpy! Once again, you’ve done an excellent job filling in for Josh.

  72. Gabacho
    October 5th, 2008 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth – This is why I love the ‘mudgeons. Mars #14 and the others who think Ian may be a hallucination You’ve almost got it.

    I think Ian may be Toby’s father. It would explain the sexless relationship, the interest in Mary, the need for Toby to please Ian and odd decorations in the condo aerie. Their “marriage” is no marriage at all but merely a desperate old man’s attempt to keep his daughter out of state custody by having her pose as his wife.

    Or else Karen Moy can’t write a plot to save her life.

    Maybe that’s it.

  73. Red Greenback
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    Between “” and seeing “Angry-faced Ian” in the Toe’s dream makes this storyline all worth (npi) while.

    Good looking out, U.L., stellar job last week!

  74. True Fable
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    Big cheer to Uncle Lumpy for the terrific job he’s done this week, bringing the snark with style. You are my favorite semi-relative, Unca!

  75. Muddtallica
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    Muffaroo: You’re damn right about the animal name puns in My Cage. Ed Power, if you’re reading this, I’ve gotta say: I love My Cage, it’s one of my absolute favourite strips, but damn if haven’t made an awkward rod for your own back by establishing this animal name pun convention. I’m cool with it when it feels like an actual part of the punchline – the recent Bearack Obama gag was well-integrated, for example – but in strips like this, where the celebrity reference is supposed to be an incidental namecheck, it just becomes distracting and clunky. And that’s a shame, because they’re usually quite clever: “Indianaconda Jones” was a good example of a primo pun used poorly. It’s a minor gripe, but it does annoy me…

    Also: thanks to Uncle Lumpy for babysitting! I hope Josh gives you a raise on your usual $10 fee for getting us all into bed by 9pm, just like you promised.

  76. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    …But you can make up for it with a large color picture of Puma Thurman.

  77. Pinback65
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    #69 John C Fremont–Yeah, but he hasn’t got Michael Sarrazin’s “The Wethead Is Dead” hairstyle. I think that’s Adam Carrola playing Rex. Hope Jimmy Kimmell stays home.

  78. 150
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    …and of course — interminably — “Cancer is Bad” in Funky Winkerbean.

    No, I’m pretty sure it’s usually terminal.

  79. Donkey Hotey
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    Nice work, Uncle Lumpy.


  80. Dingo
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    We’ve witnessed the nightmare of Toby’s identity theft. We’ve witnessed the nightmare of her discovering it began with $1.09 charge from Pretty Purposes. We’ve witnessed her nightmare involving Ian’s reaction. Now all that’s left is the nightmare of their makeup sex. This would be a good time to shift the story arc back to Mary Worth. Stat!

  81. Calico
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    I love skinks. I have seen several in Orlando, FL over the years, and they are really cute – and darned fast.

  82. Kevin Moore
    October 5th, 2008 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    Yet why shouldn’t Toby and Chinbeard add lies to a relationship already built upon convenience and boredom?

  83. Damp Monkey
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: I must admit I was a little confused by today’s strip. Maybe I’ve just never paid enough attention (heaven forbid!) but I always thought Elmo was a homeless urchin who came to the Bumstead’s regularly to beg for food. I had always admired the strip for its brave social commentary on the plight of poor, orphaned children. But now it appears that Elmo actually lives in a house of his own. Needless to say, this revelation has radically altered my perception of Blondie.

  84. treedweller
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Baby Blues, in addition to being vaguely nauseating, raises the question: Can you have a chin hair if you have no chin?

  85. Dingo
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    Calico, shall we begin calling Toby “antiskink” or something to that effect?

  86. Red Greenback
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    I think almost every Sunday Mark Trail strip would benefit greatly with an added caption box saying: “NOW, THAT’S SOME GOOD EATIN’!”

  87. Calico
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    #85 – That would be a good idea. She’s way below average speed, even for a Sloth.

  88. Red Greenback
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    Re. My Cage names: Skink Martindale? Chastity Bonobo? Lawrence Whelk? Barry Antelope? Rupert Mudshark? er, uhm… Ray Croc? If any of those work for you, Ed, feel free to use them.

  89. Ed Power, Writer of My Cage
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    Muffaroo @ 62 and Muddtallica @ 75,

    Interesting points about the animal puns. Not the first time it’s been mentioned either. It is kind of a balancing act trying to stick to a continuity and make sure the joke comes across.

    The odd thing is though, I’ll never get it 100% and I’m ok with that.

    ‘My Cage’ is a constant balancing act btwn what I want to do and the constraints of forum.

    I want to really create a reality for the characters, as well as (off topic) deal with both gags and more serious issues (race, which we do as speices and pigmentation, free will vs. predestiny, which we do as the characters talking about if ‘cartoonists’ exist, and day to day evils, which we do in the form of Max :D ).

    With all that I have to balance out all sorts of things that come back to how ‘appealing’ (for lack of a better word) I want the strip to be versus what I’ve always wanted to do with a comic strip as a writer.

    That’s tough. Especially with a new strip. For instance, we have a strip coming up in a few months that deals with how anthropomorphic animals came to be on ‘Earth 133′, that I’m sure will just seem completely odd to casual readers. But still, the question remains, do I not listen to my creative side in favor of possibly someday having my characters on Met Life ads?

    And what I always end up coming to is this:

    Most new comics don’t succeed. Odds are ‘My Cage’ won’t. It took me 33 years to even get this gig and it will probably be my last, and only, professional writing gig. And that’s not to be depressing either. I’m happy I have this chance. It’s truly amazing. But those are the facts.

    So, while I do try to hit the balance I was talking about earlier, my want to provide a ‘real world’ for the characters will often out weigh things and tilt things towards ‘off balance’…and again, I’m ok with that.

    I’d rather ‘My Cage’ try and fail at different things, then have it be the ‘Dilbert with animals’ clone people who don’t read it think it is.

    So there you have it. I will fail you again, M & M, but at least it won’t be boring. :D

  90. Scott
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    At first when I read Mary Worth, I thought the first panel said Toby ignored Mary’s advances. I was really dissapointed when I reread it…

  91. Vince M
    October 5th, 2008 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    50: Oooh, that sounds like one of my favorite pieces Brian McConnachie did for the National Lampoon – a PSA comic book ‘Heading for Trouble’, that shows what happens when you drive drunk, start forest fires with road flares, pick up impressionable hitchhikers, dress up in Pillsbury Doughboy promotional costumes and bad-mouth kids, tie up police emergency lines with trivial questions – you end up in a fatal fiery crash is what happens!

  92. Lisa
    October 5th, 2008 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    Interesting post, Ed Power. I enjoyed reading that, even if you did dis Snoopy… ;o)

  93. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft – He never wants to ride on a bus again, and that’s what he did as a career? Well, no wonder he’s such a bastard.

    Curtis – Never mind the goldfish, those assholes boosted Spaceman Spiff’s ship!

    DT – Today’s strip is a fantastic example of loony, trippy Dick Tracy art, and I do love the fact that they’re pretty much proving my “Magnum Force-kun” moniker from the other day right, but the best thing about this strip is the Crimestopper’s Textbook panel, in which some weepy stocky kid has found where the sidewalk ends.

    FC – Yeah, looks like Bil has pretty much officially gone ’round the bend.

    FG – Flash gets a werewolf in a half-nelson. Sadly, this is not as awe-inspiring as it sounds.

    FW – I have this horrible feeling that right after this strip ended, Les went over there and made love to that park bench.

    JP – Dewey was mad that a guy came on to his girlfriend? His stripper girlfriend? Man, how many people in the area did he not have (*snicker*) “fallings out” with?

    MT – “Skink” is a word I am going to have to work into conversation more often.

    MW – I didn’t know Ian was an amateur mime. That’s a nice “trapped in a thought balloon” he’s doing there.

    MC – On the other hand, you can hardly blame them, given that their job consists mostly of this.


    OBH – I think my very favorite One Big Happy strips are these rambling little stories of Ruthie’s, because they are exactly the kind of thing a kid like her makes up.

    PV – Today’s main panel is even funnier when “The Ancient” off Tales From Topographic Oceans happens to be playing when you first see it. At any rate, we seem to have drifted into an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel.

    RMMD – “Hello…Ollie?” Oh, this is just begging for Paperback Rifler or gh or Dingo’s talents.

    SFx – Is that Rachel Rabbit walking off with a bottle of magic weight-loss potion? Couldn’t that pretty much allow us to relabel this as a Pluggers cartoon? (“Plugger exercise.”)

    SM – Did…did a TV news personality just advocate the principle of “innocent until proven guilty?” Seriously? Man, the irony is so palpable I’d be complaining except that…tub scene. Yep, I’ll overlook it this time.

    Zits – Zits exposes the elephant in the room: much of the world’s fantastic communications networking is used for trivial communication. Tune in next week, when they expose the shocking fact that cars are often used for going to the mall.

  94. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    #69 John C Fremont re: MT – Only on certain kinds of websites, I’m afraid.

  95. Muffaroo
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    Ed Power @89 – Thanks for the thoughts. I hope the strip succeeds, myself. No objection to the puns, but not at the moment of humorgasm. It calls attention to itself at just the wrong time, and you can’t get that split second back later.

    “He’s already used four of the seven words you can’t say on TV!”, perhaps, or “I got him to use all seven banned words in 58 seconds!” Or better yet, a funny version of either one. (And a pony.) (Two ponies!)

    I try not to say the same thing every day, and if I’m mostly enjoying a strip, I try to mention it only once or twice — especially if it’s a surprise. Do I object to on-the-job nihilism? Pretty girls? Nope, and not a bit. Animal puns in the last panel? Well, yeah, as noted.

  96. Baka Gaijin
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    #68 odinthor:

    Mark, I’m confused. What’s the difference between a skink and a skank?

    Skinks look like snakes, skanks look for (trouser) snakes.

  97. DocForbin
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:20 pm [Reply]


    This is going to lead to either of two things:

    1. The ghost of Lisa tells Les to sue Denialcare for wrongful death due to their botching her diagnosis. He does, but loses due to some Federal law barring suing HMOs. Les then blows his brains out; or

    2. Les will whine and cry about how unfair it was for Lisa to die at the class reunion. Funky (who fell off the wagon and got drunk after that “pizza intervention”) will tell Les to shut up about his “bitchy” wife and will tell him that she deserved to die from breast cancer because she had a baby out of wedlock in defiance of God’s holy will. Funky and Les will then have a big, bloody fistfight.

    EITHER WAY, IT’ll BE FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!

    Also, as Stewie says in “Family Guy,” VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!!!!!!–well, sort of.

    Glens Falls [NY] Post-Star Asshole-in-Chief Ken Tingley finally heard the groans of the masses and dropped Cleats altogether (it was still running on Sundays) and brought back Funky Winkerbean–but only on Sundays. I won’t be happy until Funky’s back every day of the week and Tank McNamara’s dropped.





  98. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    #97 DocForbin – I would imagine that living in non-NYC New York is depressing enough without forcing Funky Cancerbean on the poor inhabitants of Glen Falls. I mean, not only do they live in probably the most ignored part of the country (I think more people know of Wyoming’s existence than realize that there are parts of New York that are not, in fact, that city that always shows up in movies and TV,) they also have to share a state with Juliet Burber. Nobody deserves to have to deal with that and Winkerworld.

  99. JP (not Judge Parker)
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Let me add my thanks to the chorus, Uncle Lumpy! Nicely done!

  100. DeGroot of All Evil
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: Anyone notice that Dagwood’s dog exactly mirrors his moods in today’s strip. Is this something that always happens in the background of Blondie?

  101. Stephanie
    October 5th, 2008 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Usually I do find “The more you know” messages in comics very annoying, but in the case of “Mutts” and it’s shelter stories, I think it’s an important topic to address. I used to work at a vet’s office and the amount of people that bought their dogs from breeders was astounding. I just wanted to shake these people and scream in their face “Don’t you know there are millions of animals being put to death every year?! How can you give your money to a breeder when a perfectly healthy animal was just put to sleep because it couldn’t find a home fast enough?!”
    Now there’s nothing wrong with preferring one breed of dog over another. I love english bulldogs, french bulldogs and boston terriers more than other breeds of dogs. But there are rescues! People don’t seem to realize that there are hundreds of breed rescues all across the nation. And they have puppies too! If you want a cute snuggly little lab puppy, guess what! You don’t have to part with a few thousand dollars to get one! You can get one from a shelter or rescue, and more often than not, they’ve been dewormed, altered, microchipped and vaccinated. You’d be saving hundreds of dollars by going with a rescue or shelter rather than a breeder, not to mention you’d be saving a life.
    And, oh lord, the number of people that didn’t spay or neuter their pets.
    In Georgia, it’s hot all year round. That means “kitten season”, the season in which cats give birth to litters of kittens, is ALL YEAR ROUND.
    Man, I have seen dogs get hit by cars come in, cats yowling in pain from being blocked with crystals in their urethras, dogs that have been in labor for 24 hours but can’t pass the puppies come and go at that clinic; But nothing ever hit me as hard as a tiny kitten being brought in by someone that found it on the side of the road on a broiling hot day. Poor thing was struggling to breathe, it was crawling in fleas and it was barely old enough to start hunting for prey on it’s own. No surprise that it died later, but it just made me more determined to spread the message of spaying and neutering.
    So if you’re considering to buy a cat or dog from a breeder or know someone who is, DON’T! Look on and you’ll be surprised by the astounding number of purebreeds that really need homes. Most rescues do not put animals to sleep for lack of space, but they need the animals to be adopted so they can take in yet more animals from shelters that will put them to sleep!
    Sorry if this post has depressed some of you, but this issue is very real and very sad. Pretending it isn’t won’t ever make it go away. Remember, spaying and neutering is the first defense against pet overpopulation!

  102. NoVan
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    Today, apparently, is the birthday of Family Circus creator Bil Keane. I note this with considerable distress because today is also MY birthday. AUGH! as Charlie Brown would say. Damn you cruel fate!

    But anyway, has anyone else noticed the phrase “Toby dreams of a possible scene in her future”? So this narrator, does he fill in for the missing neurons of MW’s regular readers, or what?

    And I’ll also note, that, in fact, a few months ago Sherman’s Lagoon did a completely unironic PSA about shark-fin soup. Remember that? Damn, why didn’t that idiot shark just die like they say most sharks do? ‘Scuse me, I’m just pissed.

  103. TennesseeJed
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:12 pm [Reply]

    #69 John C Fremont

    You just broke my heart. I’ve always longed for a ghia- CANDY APPLE GREEN!!!

  104. dyslexic dog
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:22 pm [Reply]


    When George Wilson utters a line more appropriate oozing from Dixie’s lips, we’re all in trouble.

  105. Uncle Lumpy
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    Can you imagine a Hobbes PSA on tiger-penis soup?

  106. 20 Miles From the City
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    Funky: How is Les, a high school science teacher, paying for such frequent trips back to Central Park? I know it’s where he scattered his wife’s ashes, but come on, you can’t keep flying from Ohio to New York and back five times a year.

    FC: Tired of having to do all the hard work of thinking of context for his “jokes,” Keane has finally decided to give us a strip that is all malapropisms, no setup or context.

    Dennis the Menace: Mr. Wilson’s master plan is finally working. Step One: Slow Dennis’s menacing by getting him to play with toys. Step Two: Kill him and bury him in a cornfield.

  107. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    #106 20 Miles From The City – Well, way back just pre-jump, Les was in New York and got pickpocketed, losing all of his personal effects, so he called Funky to come pick him up. The very next strip had him being dropped off at home without having had to find a hotel or anything, so, presumably, in Funky Winkerbean Westview to New York is just a quick fifty-minute jaunt. Reconciling this with real-world geography probably requires borrowing a spatial anomaly or two from Gil Thorp.

  108. 20 Miles From the City
    October 5th, 2008 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    #107 commodorejohn – You are correct. I don’t care what part of Ohio Westview is in — Pennsylvania is a pretty damn wide state.

  109. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    October 5th, 2008 at 6:04 pm [Reply]

    I haven’t read “Mallard Fillmore” lately…but my guess is it’s nothing but duck-on-Sarah-Palin sexual fantasy anyway.

  110. Angry Kem
    October 5th, 2008 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    #107 commodorejohn: Funky Winkerbean takes place in an alternate universe wherein Earth is roughly the size of New York State. As the characters have not yet realised that there is an alternative, this anomaly goes completely unmentioned.

  111. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    #109 Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener – That would almost be a preferable alternative, except that poor Mrs. Palin can’t possibly have done anything deserving of such a fate. (Discussion question: what human beings, in recorded history, have performed atrocities great enough to be deserving of a sex scene with Mallard?) Instead, Tinsley’s been suggesting that Al Sharpton eats NOW members’ panties. Or so it seems, anyway.

  112. Muddtallica
    October 5th, 2008 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    #89 Ed Power – Thanks very much for the feedback. I have a huge amount of respect for what you do with the strip, and the balancing act of which you speak is indeed something that I had perceived myself as I read it: I know that everything you do is designed to forge a unique and creative identity for My Cage, and that’s why I’m very sympathetic to it, even when I have minor gripes with the execution. Ambition is never something to condemn, even when it doesn’t succeed, and by and large, My Cage does.

    Ta again for the reply; like I said, I love the strip, and I wish it and you all the success you deserve. :)

  113. Poteet
    October 5th, 2008 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Foob — WARNING, MONDAY SPOILER *har* AHEAD. Theme: Little Michael reveals his secret wish to have Daddy’s cash instead of Daddy. Characters: Michael, John. My reaction: I may start a private drinking game based on imbibing every time John is subtly or unsubtly dissed in these rerun strips. *hic*

  114. bats :[
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    37. Jack Parsons re JP: I disagree! I LOVE the care that’s been given to coloring JP (and not just because of Dixie, either) — I think a lot of decent artwork is foiled because of weird, color-blind, third-party color monkeys.

    I’m not slamming JP in the least, but how does this strip rate excellent coloring work vs. most of the others?

  115. Red Greenback
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:32 pm [Reply]

    #100- DeGroot of All Evil: Yes.

  116. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    #144 bats :[ – Indeed. That’s one of the things I like about My Cage; Melissa obviously does her own coloring, so it fits the art perfectly.

  117. greg
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    Lumpy, you’re Judge Parker comment made me spit Tanqueray through my nose. Very nice work!

  118. Lisa
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    {Blondie: Anyone notice that Dagwood’s dog exactly mirrors his moods in today’s strip. Is this something that always happens in the background of Blondie?}

    Pretty regularly. I think Daisy is Dagwood’s mini-me or something.

    {I mean, not only do they live in probably the most ignored part of the country (I think more people know of Wyoming’s existence than realize that there are parts of New York that are not, in fact, that city that always shows up in movies and TV,) they also have to share a state with Juliet Burber. Nobody deserves to have to deal with that and Winkerworld}

    I think the Burbers live in New Hampshire….

  119. Talking Squirrel
    October 5th, 2008 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    “Get Fuzzy portrays Bucky’s valiant struggle with rabies?”

    It’s likelier that the strip’s unique gestalt derives from Katt’s impacted anal glands. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  120. Mary Worth Discussion Group
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: wonder what Terry will wear to the Pool party?

  121. Digger
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    Now we know what happens to those foolish enough to ignore Mary Worth’s advice: she subjects them to subliminal hypnotic messages which invade their very dreams. The only escape is obedience, or even better, death.

    That Judge Parker panel was extremely skinky.

  122. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    #118 Lisa – Ah, you’re right. Well, they still have to share a state with Edda, which is nearly as bad.

    #121 Digger – Reminds me of another fantastically old person known for communicating in dreams. The similarilty is striking.

  123. anonymous
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    Hi and Lois: football widows. Are we going to start seeing women whining about men watching football already? I’ve never understood that. It’s football. It’s on TV. Men like to watch it. Ladies, may I ask: WTF is the problem with that? Don’t you have another TV you can watch when the game’s on? Don’t you have something to do on Sunday afternoons? Shop, visit someone, cook, read, do volunteer work, rake leaves? Why shouldn’t your men be able to watch football without you whining and moaning and groaning? Seriously, I don’t get it. And I’m a woman. And I’m married. And I have a life and don’t need my better half paying me close attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months a year.

  124. Glaivester
    October 5th, 2008 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    I’m surprised that no one noticed the “bad word” that some people might have thought was in today’s For Better or for Worse (look at the left bottom corner panel, and imagine that someone combined the “L” and the “I”). My parents were very upset before I pointed out that the word was not the word htey thought it was.

  125. bats :[
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    101. Stephanie: considering how many folks here like “Mutts” and go crazy when they see Solange or Arlo & Janis’ cat or Monty’s cat, you’re probably preaching to the choir about animal adoption.
    Still, preach away — it’s a worthy sermon!

  126. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:23 pm [Reply]

    #123 anonymous – Well, obviously it’s because you’re not a ludicrously stereotyped comic-strip female. It’s the same reason your lack of a Y chromosome doesn’t automatically make you a complete neurotic basket case.

  127. bats :[
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy, it’s been fun! Loved the fund-raising banners!

    This one’s for you, just in case you ever find yourself in Arizona:
    (sorry, my flickr “size up” isn’t cooperating)

  128. NJR
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:39 pm [Reply]

    I read this entry’s headline as “Apocalypse: the wrath of Iran!” and thought, man, Uncle Lumpy sure is getting political.

  129. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    #127 bats :[ – Your Mark Trail parodies are as entertaining as the real thing. Bravo!

  130. Uncle Lumpy
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    #127 bats :[ –

    I am packing my damn bags as we speak!

  131. Irving
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    #123 Anonymous – Is that you, Cathy? You can come home now.

  132. Gabacho
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    #101 Stephanie – That’s a PSA I can live with. I am all for the real dogs (and I guess some cats) and the whole breeder BS makes me crazy. Preach on, Sister.

  133. Tabby Lavalamp
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    Toby sleeps in a single bed. No surprise, because that has to be the most sexless marriage this side of the Cleavers. Considering that she is showing the same traits as a child fearing having to show Daddy their report card, I’ve no doubt the lack of sex is being channelled into other, much darker interactions with Ian.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go drink some bleach to get this image out of my head.

  134. Gabacho
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    Sally Forth, Family Guy and Surfin’ Bird – So I don’t know, maybe 15 years go by without my hearing or thinking about “Surfin’ Bird” until last month when Ted brought back the earworm.

    Tonight, in the new episode of Family Guy, well, bird is the word. How did that happen?

    Coincidence? Well, probably but would anyone be surprised if the Family Guy writers read Sally Forth?

    (Although I still think Ted is a Ramones Bird, not a Trashmen or even PeeWee Bird.)

  135. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    #134 Gabacho – Well, it wouldn’t be the first thing they ripped off…

  136. Poteet
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    MW — Gee, Toby’s dream makes me feel better about an experience in my own life. I was at a sleep-away summer camp and accidently dropped my teeshirt into the latrine. I spent the next several days feeling traumatized and horribly worried that because I had dropped my teeshirt into the latrine, my parents would be furious and wouldn’t love me any more. In later years, I felt embarrassed because even for an eight-year-old, I’d reacted to the latrine incident like a real dweeb. But compared to Toby, I feel like a model of mature stability. Thanks, MW!

  137. commodorejohn
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    #136 Poteet – I’d laugh at your childhood clumsiness, but considering that I, as a child, once threw my socks in the toilet and nearly peed in the hamper (hey, I was low on sleep,) I don’t think I have any grounds for feeling superior.

  138. Poteet
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    # 101 Stephanie — Thanks for ranting on that topic so I don’t have to. My happy adopted neutered former stray cats thank you also.

  139. Poteet
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    # 137 commodorejohn — Sympathies:-).

    DT — I think “Turn on your circuits, you great evil beast!” would work admirably as an entry in a “Worst Attempted Erotic Whisper” contest.

  140. Anonymous
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    I’m waiting for Ida Know to come over and beat the crap outta Lisa. Not Me!

  141. boojum
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    68 odinthor –

    What’s the difference between a skink and a skank?

    That would be the past tense. I believe the full conjugation is skink, skank, skunk.

  142. Muffaroo
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    commodorejohn @98 – I’ve been living in upstate New York since mid-Summer. We’re now just slightly farther from NYC than we were when we lived in western Massachusetts.

    Stephanie @101 – I’m glad there are people who can help animals without getting too depressed at all the bad news. We got one of our kitties entirely by happenstance — a sweet little feral kitten whose weight was about one third fleas when we stopped at the vet’s with her on the way home from picking her up where she was living behind a friend’s house. My daughter (6) plans to get me a cat for my upcoming birthday. My wife knows my preference — a friendly, outgoing kitten from the SPCA. It’s been about five years since our last cat passed on at the age of 16, and I’m ready. A cat is like the spirit of the house.

    Gabacho @134 – I’d be surprised if the “Family Guy” writers read anything.

  143. LTBF
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    Can someone please explain sunday’s LuAnn to me? Why is saying the Okefenokee Swamp is the largest in the United States embarrissing? It is a real place and is one of the largest in North America, acccording to Wikipedia.

    While it may not be the largest, I wouldn’t laugh at someone who gave that answer.

  144. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    PSA: Herb and Jamaal plead for compassion for victims of that disease that some people have gotten.

  145. Luke N. Atmaguchi
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:34 pm [Reply]

    This comment applies to the entry below this, sorry. So, in “Gasoline Alley” an auto mechanic ‘Gator’ serviced the car of ‘Sultan Pepper’ or something?”

    I wonder if Gator’s c.v. included that he once famously fixed a rattling noise on the Rolls Royce of a ([n] improbably visiting) Saudi sheikh.

    It was the Sheikh’s . . . rattling Rolls.^


    ^ acknowledgments to The Unknown Comic

  146. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:44 pm [Reply]

    143 LTBF — depending on what version you’re reading, it may not have been colored very well, but I think the joke is that Luann has a big sweat stain under her arm.

  147. LTBF
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    Now I see it. I’m generally not one to notice something like that. I don’t see why that would be all that embarrissing, but I’m not as vain as LuAnn.

  148. Uncle Lumpy
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    #143 LTBF –

    Well, I’m technically “off the clock”, but: Luann’s raised arm reveals a “swampy” wet armpit.

    Hey, I read the comics even though I don’t have to! My head hurts now.

  149. Erik
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    Hmm, I figure rabies would probably calm Bucky down, actually.

  150. Uncle Lumpy
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    #148 me.

    And I’m late. G’night, all!

  151. Poteet
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:58 pm [Reply]

    FC — Isn’t Billy a little young to be hitting the sauce like that?

  152. Ptycho
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:18 am [Reply]

    Holy crap! Mary Worth can control people’s dreams! Like that Freddy guy in the striped sweater and the pruney face! Come to think of it… they both have pruney faces… they both have an impeccable sense of fashion… and have we ever seen them the same room at the same time? I THINK NOT!

  153. bats :[
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:04 am [Reply]

    Not a clue where this came from, but it seemed to make the best of the Monday batch:

  154. ChattyGenes
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:19 am [Reply]

    MARK TRAIL, Monday.

    Oh, joy! An alligator who is yelling “HELP!” and an entirely NEW expression on Mark Trail’s face!

    Could you ask for anything more?

  155. Batman Beatles
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    Luann – I don’t know which one is distrubing when shirtless. Brad or Ian?

  156. Mibbitmaker
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:28 am [Reply]

    #98, 142: Western Mass. Talk about most ignored places in America! And we’re expected to pay for the Big Digdoggle, too.

    MW (above): When I started reading, I thought dreamIan was being an even bigger jerk than usual, until seeing the rest, where he has a good reason. That aside, I cannot wrap my noggin around “He’s always been proud of me”! Her?? That idiot?

  157. bats :[
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    156. Mibbitmaker (and many, many others): with her angst elevated to High Tragedy, what does Toby think Ian might do if she were ever to have an affair? A pompous ass version of Othello?

    Good thing Dr. Drew is safely around the world.

  158. Dingo
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    First we had Molly the Bear, then Lucky and his wife. Now, we have Sue the Alligator.

    If’n I’m reading Monday’s strip correctly, a friendly but confused alligator was coming up on Ms. Butler to say hello when Ms. Butler must have done something aggressive. Perhaps she threw that dead blue dove in front of her at it. Sue the Alligator screams “HELP!” in panel two and Mark Trail, the Dr. Doolittle of Lost Forest, is there to help.

    Call for the doctor, Mark! Call for the nurse! Call for the lady with the alligator’s purse!

  159. Mariko
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    Heart of the City: Wow . . . Dean looks like David Byrne (Stop Making Sense era) in that last panel. Very nice!

  160. docweasel
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    Is that Todd Rundgren, circa 1978 or so, second panel of Mary Worth?

  161. Mibbitmaker
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:08 am [Reply]


    GA: Goober’s telling the Aldo story very badly. Meanwhile… Rover… the sultan may not be coming after you, but you better hope others won’t do it for him, as suggested on this blog. If Rover gets some Middle Eastern justice, then Rover is over.

    9CL: Try becoming a monk!

    A3G: Nevermind the horrible tragedy, DeadAlan, you just do not cross Margo Magee! Using her gallery for illicit purposes — the nerve! And if the selling gets that reaction from Margo, imagine how she’ll react to the other half of the story!

  162. aniviron
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:08 am [Reply]

    I initially read this post as ‘Apocalypse: the wrath of Iran!’ Only upon a second viewing did I realize my gaffe, and quailed, because the wrath of Ian is much more terrible than that of Iran.

  163. boojum
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    Oh, I SO do not want to see Toeby doing whatever is necessary to keep her marriage intact.

    Seriously — Can Mary have another flashback about how she discovered the Higher Power of Meddling? I’ll pay!

  164. Mibbitmaker
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    10/6 9CL: “Amos, you must be a really attractive guy!” – a sarcastic Roseanne Roseannadanna.

    10/5 9CL: If S(a)tan is a cartoonist, he should be named Brooke. or Lynn. Or Tom (Batiuk). Or…

  165. boojum
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:30 am [Reply]

    Sorry, but Mary Worth is still keeping me up.

    That is one look of grim, damn-it-all-to-hell determination on Toeby’s face in the second panel. “Ian gets back today, and I will be ready…” Yikes! Apparently she shares my revulsion at the task ahead of her. Luckily, she’s fortified herself with a pot of steaming-hot bourbon.

    And “after an especially toubled sleep”?? What could have disturbed her sleep before this current crisis? (In which Ian might one day find out about something unimportant that she might not tell him.) What — do people appear to Toeby in her dreams, shaking key rings and distracting her with the pretty, pretty jingly sound?

  166. Uncle Lumpy
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:46 am [Reply]

    #165 boojum –

    Mmmmm. . . . bourbon!

  167. Islamorada Girl
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:04 am [Reply]

    Nice to see Ed Power has a cameo appearance by our beloved Fence Post Frank in My Cage on Monday. I started reading this strip after everyone commented on it here, and I’m really enjoying it. So you have one more fan, Ed.

  168. TB Tabby
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:26 am [Reply]

    161 Mibbitmaker: As much as I’d like to see Rover have to deal with a wrongful death suit, the running theme of Gasoline Alley is “Country folk are blameless and holy, everyone else deserves to die.” It’s reaching FOOB levels of xenophobia.

  169. Doctor Noe
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:58 am [Reply]

    Wow! is that a puddle ‘o’ pee in the first frame of Mark Trail, or does Sue really need underarm pads?
    Mark might be attracted by the scent of alligator pheremones.

  170. Frank Parsnip
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:26 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: The alligator’s screaming for help in panel 2, probably because he’s just seen the horrid pink outfit that Kelly Welly Sue is wearing. As thirsty as that ‘gator is, he’s trying to reconcile what his sensitive nostrils smell (a dab of Charlie! brand perfume over fresh meat consisting of about 70% water) with what his eyes see (140 pounds of pink bubblegum). He’s probably concerned that a big mouthful of bubblegum might end up only making himself even more parched than he was before.

    A3G: “Ms. Magee, if it’s any comfort to you, Alan Lange appears to at least have been not very good at selling drugs.”

    MW: I feel like the May-December romance of Toby and Ian probably leads to many such mornings in which she resignedly decides “what the hell” and do what’s necessary to keep her marriage intact. Most of the time, that involves not telling Ian about various shenanigans. For some reason, Ian even gets mad even when she takes care to tell Ian about “some friend” of hers who dented a car, “some friend” who broke Ian’s favorite coffee mug, or “some friend” who got tipsy and was horribly misused by the coatcheck man at the Country Club.

    Sex Organ, M.D.: Rex rushes over to Ollie Tweaks’ home to find the one instance when “a door is not a door”. Yes, this one is ajar. Thanks, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be here all week.

    Sally Forth: Just look at Hillary’s hair, and the effed-up split ends should be enough to tell you she’s having a bad hair life. Oh, crap… thanks to Sex Organ, M.D., I’m thinking in Garfield punchlines.

    Marvin: The giant “M” on the front of his outfit in the midst of his little thought-balloon talk about leaders brings to mind this photo:

    Dennis the Menace: Yikes. That’s not menacing, that’s just creepy.

  171. gleeb
    October 6th, 2008 at 6:34 am [Reply]

    A&J: Is this going to end up like some avant-garde 70s movie, where people start acting violently for no explained reason.

    Archie: Ignoring the punchline, Weatherbee wonders who the hell that girl was who got the foreground of the second panel. There will be retribution. No one puts Amos in the corner.

    FC: And the ones that turn red are to match the victims whose hearts you offer up to the feathered serpent.

    ‘bean: Here, Batiuk continues to burnish the legacy of the fictional character he killed off.

    Mark: Someone is threatening that helpless alligator!

    Slylock: Just before the bicycle hit the tree, the Fox was reading and ignoring the birds who are even now mugging Max.

    Zippy: That’s it, Griff. Do not go quiet into that dark night.

  172. Mooncattie
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:24 am [Reply]

    MT – Poor alligator! He’d recognize those high heels anywhere! “MAMA!!!

  173. Mooncattie
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    S-M – Make that a Rare Television Set Exhibit and he’d drop the whole investigation!

  174. Lettuce
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    Good thing Toby woke up. In the next dream panel, Ian eats her.

  175. LurkNoLonger
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    I laughed out loud when I saw Mark Trail today. If I was that alligator, I’d be asking Mark Trail for help too. Why, in panel one, it’s clear that all she has to do is stand up and squash the poor li’l thing.
    I would have laughed at Mary Worth too, but honestly, this story line is getting beyond ridiculous. Even a cartoon Toby can only be so idiotic before it isn’t even funny anymore.

  176. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:11 am [Reply];page=2;quality=high;cpp=8;c=100;c=154;c=107;c=47;c=18;c=112;c=24;c=116;c=28;c=118;c=144;c=120;c=78;c=123;c=129;c=130;date=2008/10/6

    Mallard: I’m not sure what he’s getting at. The Uncle Sam guy wants the taxpayers to fund the bailout. Yes, that’s been the general idea. So it’s patriotic to pay taxes, I suppose. Mallard is a Joe Biden fan? Who knew?

    Sally: My God, Sally, you’re turning this into Foob or Funky like depression. An 11 year old who hates life. It almost made me cry.

    Spiderman: Hello, spider-senses? Hello? Anyone home?

    Wrecks Morgan: I thought doctors don’t make house calls anymore. Ha!

    Wrecks Morgan: Hasn’t Rex read the story of Goldilocks and the three bears? It’s not polite to just walk in.

    Trail: HELP! The gator just ate Sue and one of her pumps got stuck between his teeth! It really hurts!

    Worth: Toeby gives an ambiguous answer. She’s got her mind made up and she’s all ready to do something. Great. So today’s strip tells us NOTHING. My money is on her spilling her guts to Ian, but I’m hoping that she keeps it a secret so that the story line gets dragged out to epic proportions.
    P l e a s e m a k e i t l a s t !

  177. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    Funky: Whatcha been up to, Les?
    Les: Just hangin’ in the park, talkin’ to my dead wife…
    Les: Again?

  178. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    Les: So whatcha been up to, Funk?
    Funky: Hangin’ in the park, exposing myself to strangers…
    Les: Again?

  179. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:17 am [Reply]


    MF: Another obscene double entendre. Maybe Bruce should put in a call to the escort service.

    MT: “I sense there’s a gator out there that needs my help.”

    A3G: “And he never told me? I’ve been buying from a guy in Jersey City for the past three months. This could have been a huge timesaver!”

    DT: Braces apparently keeps his private psychoanalyst on the payroll. I wonder if he’ll have a breakthrough before Traz-R crushes him in its merciless steel claws.

    FC: Except for the leaves that turn red. Their purpose is to remind us of the ever-present communist threat.

    H&J: “Seriously, man. You live in a generic universe. No one can even see the labels.”

    BB: Beetle is doing his best to tempt his man back into bed. Sarge’s willpower doesn’t have a chance.

    Blondie: A trauma has to be pretty severe to shock Dagwood’s sex drive back to life. Like, I’m talking “disgruntled ex-employee with a gun” bad.

    GA: Where your worst fears about human nature are conirmed. This is a rather tactless joke, because Rover actually did see Hoogy’s mother drive a Cadillac over a cliff.

    RMMD: Can Rex cure Ollie Tweaks’ crippling existential despair? Come to think of it, has he ever cured anyone of anything?

    DtM: It sounds like Mr. Wilson is implying some little boy-on-GILF action, and I for one am appalled.

    9CL: As expected, the ebola strain from “The Phantom” claims two more victims. And counting.

    Marvin: Hey, that bottle is filled with Jolt Cola. Who let these two be parents, anyway?

    S-M: If you were the phony webslinger, you’d know enough to put secret identity stuff in thought balloons rather than dialogue balloons. You might also have a better appreciation of the applied arts. Advantage, ersatz.

  180. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    Pre-Foob: Michael as a youngster openly contemplates killing his father. I can’t wait for tomorrow when Lynn Johnston has her aspiring young character punning on the word “Patricide”. Oh, the hilarity!

  181. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    Oh, one more thing. Thanks to Ed Power for bringing Creepy Janitor Rat back. Made my day that much brighter.

  182. Little Guy
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Happy Anderson Cooper Day in the comics!

    ZtP: I guess the Sun dropped Zippy. I’d love to see Griffy do a FOOBian take.

  183. Hank
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    RE: Mary Worth. Ian’s finally going to get anal!

  184. gkl
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    PSAs: As long as someone has the clap, I’ll be happy.

  185. CanuckDownSouth
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    May we please hope that in A3Gland there are those drug laws where the property used for drug dealing is forfeit even if it were done without the owner’s consent? Because seeing the lengths Margo would go to to regain money and property might actually be interesting.

    Well, probably not. A3G managed to make drug use boring. The strips with Haley and Alan should be used as a PSA – Just say NO, kids! Otherwise you’ll end up so square you’ll have to live in a cube.

    RetroFOOB bugs me. Not in a retcon way. Not in a “it was done better before” way. Not in a “they’re all acting like old adults” way. Maybe in a “they’re acting like robots who are failing the Turing test. Badly.” way.

    Does anyone sane just tell their 6 or 7 year old “here is how we’ll pay for a funeral if I die”? Mike’s too young to have a sense of the need for money, but plenty young to be freaked by a discussion of a parent’s death.

    Minimal snark Monday, I know – but I have April back for Chrismas in Milborough.

  186. Bryan
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    181, AFKAB: “Oh, one more thing. Thanks to Ed Power for bringing Creepy Janitor Rat back. Made my day that much brighter.”

    The Creepy Janitor Rat in the third panel is just freaking awesome.

  187. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    #81 – Calico: “I love skinks”
    Yeah, that was a J Geils Band song, too wasn’t it?
    Love Skinks. Yeah yeah.

    ObviousmanSpiderman: You just can’t find a decent fake Spiderman when you’re looking for one, eh Parker?

    Unbelievable Treacley Dreck (known as Mary Worth to some): Ian comes home, Toeby spills her guts, Ian confesses that he slept with a Amish whore in Vegas. They pledge never to keep secrets from each other ever again. Before they kiss, Toeby blurts out that she used to be a man.

  188. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    MW: cont: Ian then confesses that he used to be one, too.

  189. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    Jon wears a necktie? Since when?

  190. Angry Kem
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    Overboard visits medieval Hell today.

    MW: Well, Toby, I hope you’ve learned your lesson! You’ll be a good girl from now on, won’t you? Defying your fath–I mean, your husband can only cause him to leave you forever. By the way…welcome to Stepford! I’m sure your robot surrogate will love it here.

    9CL: I don’t want to think about Amos having chronic gas on an airplane. Oh, damn…too late.

    GT: Look at that: something happened in Gil Thorp. Then it stopped happening and became boring again. I don’t know why I am surprised.

  191. boojum
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    176 Hogenmogen

    Regarding Sally Forth: Hillary is smart, wise-ass, funny… and surrounded by fifth graders. Of course she hates life. It’s been 40 years, but I still remember the horror. And it’s much harder on girls than us guys.

    Seriously, there’s a reason girls in this age group have one of the highest suicide rates around. I think Ces is beng fairly realistic.

  192. Red Greenback
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Off-topic, but I’d like to give a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School.

  193. cheech wizard
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    192 – Red: You betcha, gosh-darn it!

  194. mojo
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Man! Monday’s Mary Worth is classic! We have Toby, dramatically vowing to do what’s necessary to keep her marriage intact! Even if it means …. (*deep breath*) …. touching his icky parts.

  195. AmazingThor
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    WTF Sally Forth? I was finally getting interested in this storyline what with the sexual geek tension and spousal jealousy and what not. And today I wake up to find a whole new plot involving (ugh) teen angst? I demand hot nerd sex now!

  196. Islamorada Girl
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    172: Mooncattie gets CPOW!

    I for one cannot wait to see Mark
    wrestle that alligator. If she weren’t so constricted by her magenta satin Prada dinner suit, Sue could have beaten the poor thing to death with one of those killer heeled Jimmy Choo’s. But this is Mark Trail, where women are helpless idiots, so she’ll have to wait for Marky Mark to rescue her. It would never occur to her to take off her shoes and run like merry hell, would it?

  197. Angry Kem
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    #191 boojum: I cannot express in mere words the utter hell inherent in being an outcast in a room full of eleven-year-old girls. I used to drag myself home from school and sob to my mother that I never wanted to go back. Hilary’s actually lucky; at least she has one friend. Sally needs to stop bugging her to make more. At a certain level of unpopularity, “trying to make friends” will only cause everyone to laugh at you harder.

  198. Dingo
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    What’s the difference between a skink and a skank? You’ll only find skinks in Mark Trail on a Sunday. Skanks can be found the rest of the week, beginning with Kelly Welly.

  199. billytheskink
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    YES! Finally, I made the comics page.

  200. cheech wizard
    October 6th, 2008 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft – The young ballplayer is gaining a new appreciation of the indignities heaped upon blacks of an earlier generation, who routinely had to listen to the endless prattle of crackers telling what a great friend they are to the Negro.

    A3G – Margo is going to head back to the morgue and start performing frantic CPR on Alan, in the hope she can kill him again.

    FC – No Billy, the leaves are turning color because they’re dying, just like your grandpa. He turned color, too.

    MW – Determined to do what’s necessary to save her marriage, Toby steels herself to perform fellatio on Ian’s moldy, dessicated manhood.

    RMMD – In the most realistic Rex Morgan in years, the strip shows us a sailor with a hangover.

  201. Alfred E. Neuman
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    News Flash: It’s the Monday Morning Massacre in the comics section of the Dallas Morning News. Fourteen comics have been axed, including FOOB. One will be resurrected by vote of the readers, but overall it still means about a 30% reduction of the comics section. You can vote at, but you have to “register”, and you can only vote once and only for one comic. The only two I really liked that got the axe were Lio and Over the Hedge. Currently, the leading vote getter is Red and Rover (say what?) followed by BC and The Wizard of Id, but it’s still early in the voting, which continues to Oct. 15. BTW, FOOB, Marmaduke, and Cathy are not doing that well in the vote count right now, so DMN readers may feel the way we do.
    Here are the early returns:
    12.11% 118 votes

    3.70% 36 votes

    9.75% 95 votes

    For Better or For Worse
    9.96% 97 votes

    2.26% 22 votes

    In the Bleachers
    2.26% 22 votes

    7.80% 76 votes

    Mark Trail
    6.16% 60 votes

    4.52% 44 votes

    Over the Hedge
    3.59% 35 votes

    Red & Rover
    14.07% 137 votes

    The Other Coast
    2.67% 26 votes

    The Piranha Club
    8.52% 83 votes

    The Wizard of Id
    12.73% 124 votes

  202. Buck Remus
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    Josh, where you at? I’m fiending like Alan….seriously. I got a cheeesburger…

  203. odinthor
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    JP — Mr. Driver, as director of the Judge Parker Improv Theatre, I really try to make this a dynamic experience for my acting professionals and the dear, dear people out there warming their pimply little pale behinds in the theater seats. Now, Mr. Driver, we know from the porcelain bunny collection you keep in your dressing room that you are just fine with things that just stand around and look pretty; but, darn it, not everyone has reached that level of sublimity. Could I perhaps urge you when you’re on stage to stop simply hanging around and mugging, but rather to actually join in with the action? Could you do that for me? Just a little? Otherwise, well . . . you know that that understudy gig for Henry needs to be filled . . .

    MW — Excellent! Toby’s going to book twin hookers for Ian!

    And, speaking of twin hookers, great job, Uncle Lumpy—thanks.

  204. Calico
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    So Toby has Made Up Her Mind.

    I didn’t think she actually had one.

  205. Islamorada Girl
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    MW: If you’re married to a guy whose rage disorder against you is triggered by an episode of identity theft, then what’s left to save?

  206. Calico
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    #187 – Wouldn’t “Love Stinks” be the official song of FOOB?

    MT – I’d really enjoy seeing the Alligator just stop, look at Sue, and say “That’ll teach you to not buy cheap shoes.”

  207. Ovovivparous Skinks
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    6CL: This is why it’s unwise to read newspapers on an airplane. I too had the same reaction as Amos did, when I read today’s FC.

  208. Calico
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    #207 – Love your screen name.
    Go Skinks! : )

  209. A Gator Named Sue
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    #124 – The bleeding together of a capitalized “L” and “I” is an old problem in comics. In the days of the Comics Code, this is why you were forbidden to have a character named “Clint”. Honest.

  210. Talking Squirrel
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Hank says:
    “RE: Mary Worth. Ian’s finally going to get anal!”

    I’m not so sure, Hank. It’s a little hard to picture Toeby with a strapon. She’d probably have to google for instructions, and — well, we already know how that would end.

  211. commodorejohn
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    A3G – “WHAT?! He didn’t let me in on it?! I’ll kill him! Again!”

    A.D. – Huh, I’m still so used to the incoherent lunacy of late-period Johnny Hart B.C. that for a while I seriously thought that Carp was implying that there was a lake of coffee in the vicinity.

    Blondie – This is actually kinda sweet.

    BS – So remember, kids, if you can’t figure out how to explain something to someone, just drug them!

    Curtis – “Playing with your beehive?” Well, it’s nice to know that there are some masturbation euphemisms for the ladies as well as the myriad for guys.

    FW – Damn, is taken; I was going to hint that someone connected with might want to branch out into the cancer-research market.

    GA – Oh goody, just what I was hoping for: a series of extreme facial closeups of Gasoline Alley characters. Why couldn’t it at least have been Hoogy and the weird black-eyed people from the farm?

    GT – Huh, Rod Whigham managed some believable human-like emotion in panel one. Impressive.

    Luann – Oh, I’m sure the first shoot is the hardest, Brad.

    MT – “Whoza cute widdle gator? You are!”

    MW – “After all, he can’t divorce me if I kill him first!

    Momma – Is…is it just me, or is Momma referring to Sarah Palin? Look, Lazarus, your strip is weird and disturbing enough without bringing politics into the mix.

    Popeye – Yep. Here comes the lunacy.

    RMMD – “No, Doc. I am definitely not all right! I seem to have misplaced my hat!

    SFx – Wow, I actually knew the answer!

    SM – Naturally, Peter does not believe anything to be art that is not on TV. I am at a loss to explain why this caused him to break his neck, though.

  212. Sequitur
    October 6th, 2008 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    #201 Alfred E. Neuman

    Not only did they axe 14 comics, they used to have half of them in color. Now they’re all in black & white. Dallas Morning News better drop the price of their paper!

  213. Mibbitmaker
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    Archie: Forget the lame set-up/gag today. I want to know about the girl in the middle panel! NotBetty needs a storyline of her own, with a backstory worthy of her.

    Cleats: Um, people are, uh, suposed to be laughing at them? They’re clowns, for god’s sake!

    DtM: Giggity-giggity-giggity!

    DT: Suddenly, the crime story turns into a dopey domestic drama. Meanwhile… um, didn’t the “dangerous signal” just stop? And Taze-R said it was okay now? Is Locher being distracted by a shiny object or something?

    Re-FOOB: Lynn, shouting at the drawing board upon finishing the last panel: “NOTHING! JOHN IS WORTH NOTHING! DIE, JOHN, DIE! DIE! %$!?;*!! YOU, ROD!!!”

    MF: Tinsley’s Uncle Sam is a middle-aged pervert! This raises the question: When did the reactionary cartoonist become a left-winger?

    MT: That’s not the ‘gator screaming for help — it’s the narration box! It can’t stand being in the same strip with the worst head-turn in comics history.

    Big Furshlugginer Dog: If it wasn’t bad enough that there’s no actual joke in the foreground, now Marm’ is waving to the reader and spoiling the shot! Bad dog!

    OBH: “Car Wreck Beauty Parlor”???

    Ghost-Who-Hides-In-The-Shadows: “Right… a couple of animals are going to take me somewhere… they’ll know. Sure! No problem!! ……What kind of idiot do you take me for, anyway?!”

    Popeye: “Nothing that old could have any life in it” Obviously, Wimpy’s never heard of John McCain.

    R&R: So Batman starts out being the Dark Knight, but in the end it’s the Adam West version. Huh?

    ZtP: Griffy don’t take bad fortune lightly, do he? Is he being shameless yet?

  214. Sequitur
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    MT: What’s with Mark? He looks like a teenager in panel 3. He must be using this:

    (Thank you Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Now that DMN has axed Mark Trail I turn to you!)

  215. AhClem
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Margo is obviously pissed at learning about Alan’s drug dealing out of the gallery. Tomorrow, she will begin months of research in the logs and journals of Dr. Frankenstein. Her goal is to reanimate Alan’s lifeless body so that she can re-kill him with her own bare hands.

  216. Calico
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    MT – Mark in panel 3 today appears as how Margo would look like after a sex change op.

  217. Michael
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    A3G “Miss Magee, if we can find even the slightest trace of drugs in this gallery, we get to confiscate it and its contents. No, the courts have ruled this is completely legal.”

    DT “I m nw gtting indctns tht n argmnt s tkng plc btwn 2 crmnls.”

  218. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    #211 commodorejohn

    Momma – Is…is it just me, or is Momma referring to Sarah Palin? Look, Lazarus, your strip is weird and disturbing enough without bringing politics into the mix.

    We’ll never know, since Lazarus doesn’t show us what/who the ladies are watching. Not that we’d be able to recognize Palin or any other real life personage the way he’d draw them.

    #209 a gator named Sue
    Also, one character asking another, “Wanna go catch a flick?”

  219. Denorah
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    This whole Toby-being-a-dick-on-the-internet thing has dragged on for so long that I am actually really pissed off with it now. I know Mary Worth plot lines go on for eons, but this is ridiculous. get over it Toby! MOVE ON!!!

  220. Seismic-2
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    #86 – Let’s save that for the gator’s word balloon, after he polishes off Kelly-in-a-wig.

  221. Muffaroo
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    Frank Parsnip @170 – re: Marvin – And somewhere beneath that immense capital M, a very confused Jimmy Durante has buried a fortune in stolen loot.

  222. Emily
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    I tried hard to think of the only possible thing that could save the current MW storyline, and then it came to me: suddenly realizing the importance of communication in a relationship, Toby confesses her mishap to Ian, who is livid and divorces her.

  223. DocForbin
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    #98 commodorejohn–I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version of events as to why I hate Asshole Tingley for dropping FW.

    In 2004 Tingley decided to make changes to the comics page all by having his bratty eight-year-old son pick out which comics he liked and which he didn’t. He told him he didn’t like FW because he didn’t get a breast cancer joke. Also, he was a big soccer nut at the time so he begged Daddy to drop FW and puts Cleats in its stead. No consulting the readers with a survey or anything like that–all on the say-so of a bratty soccer-loving kid. If Newsday or the New York Daily News did something like that, their editor-in-chief would be laughed out of business.

    I got real pissed off over that and the decision to drop Mallard Fillmore and Wizard of Id because I need my Funky Winkerbean fix in the morning; my getting to laugh at arrogant assholes like Funky, Harry Dinkle, Les, Lisa, Becky and Crazy Harry getting a heaping dose of Schandenfreude dropped on top of them like a chuck of meteor from Heaven helps me cope with the real-life asshole customers I have to deal with at the print shop I work for, and some of them are goddamn fussy and prissy.

    I waged an on-going campaign here at at another message board called The Paperpusher’s Message Board (which is devoted to the old MTV animated series Daria) demanding Tingley to bring back FW. Meanwhile, Cleats just got more and more unfunny because Bill Hinds thought that David Beckham was giong to be the savior of Major League Soccer. In fact, Beckham’s a bigger asshole than the FW gang because he thinks he’s better than Pele was in his prime and bigger than Jesus. Unfortunately for Asshole Beckham, he’s proven to be a bust, MLS is teetering on joining the NASL in folding and you can bet that “Bitch Spice” is getting ready to divorce him.

    Finally Tingley was forced to do a real comics survey this year and the people spoke up–they told him that Cleats sucks major mountain ranges and he decided to get rid of it, but he didn’t listen to me or others who wanted FW back, until they decided to get rid of some Sunday comics as well and decided to appease people like me by bringing back FW only on Sundays. But all because his brat made a choice four years ago Glens Falls was denied a chance to see comic book history with Lisa’s death. On top of that, he decided to add the worse-than-Cleats Tank McNamara, and last week’s storyline about superstar athletes’ sperm wasn’t just unfunny it was totally gross.

    I won’t rest until FW is brough back seven days a week and TM is sent packing.





  224. william
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:27 pm [Reply]

    Bill Says
    October 8th.2008 at 8:32 P>M>

    The first thing I look for each morning is Mark Trail.
    Needless to say that I miss him. My vote is for

  225. Bob
    October 10th, 2008 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    My vote’s for Mark Trail. …Bob

  226. Jean White
    October 11th, 2008 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    I can’t believe you took away my favorite comic!

    It is “Judge Parker,” and if you don’t put it back in, we will NEVER take your paper again.

  227. ed currie
    October 13th, 2008 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    My vote is for mark trail

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