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Thank God for small favors

So, longer, more effusive thanks, plus more info on the phrase “Hot Blogger” and what it means for you, when I do the COTW post tonight, but: a huge THANKS! for Uncle Lumpy’s turn as guest blogger, and an even HUGER THANKS for everyone who gave money to the fund drive. Aw, you guys! You’re the best! Blush, etc.

Anyway, on to Monday’s comics!

Archie, 10/6/08

The AJGLU 3000 may not know much, but it knows this: a couple of old people talking about raising the prices of nitrate-laden cafeteria food isn’t enough to sustain a strip. It also knows that depictions of pretty teenage girls move product. Unfortunately, its grasp of “pretty” is fairly loose, as panel two indicates. Yes, my vacuum-tube-driven friend, large breasts are generally considered attractive on human females, but not when they only emphasize how freakishly tiny the skull of such female is. And even if one has a tiny pinhead perched at the end one’s neck, generally a true nose, rather than some barely visible lump just north of the upper lip, is an important element on a face. Sadly, what we have here is less “easy on the eyes” and more “candidate for the freak show.”

On the other hand, she has distracted me from the terrible punchline.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/6/8

White rural voters are apparently up for grabs in swing states like Virginia and Missouri this year, so here’s a bit of advice for Barack Obama and John McCain: when campaigning in the Blue Ridge Mountains, promise that the perpetrators of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith will be jailed and tried for crimes against humanity. Today’s strip encapsulates a number of this feature’s common tropes about the noble hillbilly — that he is mooch who will ask random strangers for money; that he’s so dumb that he doesn’t immediately recognize someone who’s new in town, despite “town” having a population of roughly 150; that he wears patched shirts and hideous overalls; that he considers “Mistofer” some kind of acceptable form of address — all of which amount to nothing more than slanderous hate speech.

Curtis, 10/6/08

Nothing would have made me happier than if Michelle had on carried her usual contemptuous conversation with Curtis with her clothing going completely unremarked upon. I must admit to being both amused and unsettled by the final panel, though, in which we learn that she’s not wearing a fencing outfit, but a “fencing” outfit.

Momma, 10/6/08

I tried really hard to figure how, or why, this might be about Hillary Clinton and/or Sarah Palin, but then I decided, why bother? Just enjoy a Momma that consists of one dotty old lady saying something inscrutable to another, and not, say, Oedipal horror.

134 responses to “Thank God for small favors”

  1. 150
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    Did you just call me a hick?

  2. Pigita
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    Momma had me looking for the punchline today for ages.
    But then it dawned on me that Momma never has a punchline. More like a poke to the chest and an underscore.

  3. juan mortyme
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    Welcome back, Josh, the check is in the mail.

  4. Patrick
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    “I haven’t noticed ‘she’ never wears pant suits, because I was too busy noticing that the two weird lumps we’re using as chairs are lined up one behind the other, which are in turn behind the coffee table, meaning I have to balance my tea in one hand. If I hadn’t noticed that, I’d have noticed the paintings are hung approximately eleven feet up the wall.”

  5. colleen
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    I didn’t really think that girls could engage in “fencing,” which I assume is meant to refer to the kind that bonobos engage in.

  6. InvaderMatt
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    In the last panel, why does Michelle’s “fencing” mask have Mickey Mouse on it?

  7. lesles
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    MW: i knew the powers could never let it be, but i had so hoped, for the sake of what poor little shred of self-respect or dignity may have survived cowering and terrified in some corner of the overgrown garden of toby’s subconscious, that sunday’s “NO!!!” was her waking realisation that ian leaving her was just a dream.

  8. Kyle
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    In panel four of Curtis, is that the ghost of Mickey in Michelle’s mask? My goodness He is everywhere. And I thought subliminal advertising was illegal.

  9. Kyle
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    Too slow, first time, will get better.

  10. Hibbleton
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    And yet, momma’s lack of a coherent punch line still makes more sense than today’s Marmaduke.

  11. JC Lisbon
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    I assume that “fencing” is a more extreme sort of fencing, involving large opaque patches in the “fencer’s” mask that randomly shpeshifts into Disney characters.

  12. Aging Hipster
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    Nothing would have made me happier than if Michelle had run Curtis through with an “epee” or hacked off his limbs with a “saber”.

  13. Alfred E. Neuman
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    Curtis— Josh, Michelle knows that when she is selling stolen property, she needs to wear protective identity-concealing gear, thus the “fencing” outfit.

  14. essteess
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    Spider-man: Wow, Peter Parker can talk to himself out loud — and (if we go by the last panel) apparently smash through the fourth wall — with the proportional strength of a spider!

    Archie: Actually, the generously endowed young lady in panel two is not so much compelling as the young man in the background, who appears to be in the throes of some gastronomic ecstacy.

    Luann: Don’t know if anyone here has ever watched “Rescue Me,” but maybe TJ will take a cue from the series’ spin on the sexy-firefighter-calendar bit and have Brad wear a yellow kerchief in his pocket for the photo — which is supposed to be a “signal” of gayness, apparently.

    Dennis the Menace: I’m sorry, but the phrase “Dennis knows his way around Martha” just seems, um, you know…suggestive.

    Family Circus: “Of course, the fact that leaves turn many other colors besides yellow is an inconvenient fact I will ignore.”

    Mary Worth: “I know I’ve got that Japanese Schoolgirl outfit around here somewhere…”

  15. Anonymous
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    So, back from vacation.

    Now, are you going to run a fund raiser for Uncle Lumpy?

  16. the dude
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    Archie: Am I the only one who thinks the chef looks like Popeye’s & Dagwood’s secret love child.

    Also, note to said chef, maybe you would get fewer complaints about your cooking if you wore a hairnet.

  17. Baka Gaijin
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: “Playing with your beehive.” Whaaaa? Didn’t Cyndi Lauper get in trouble for a song about that 20 years ago?

  18. Sequitur
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

    Curtis – Is “beehive” a slang term for…? Oh, never mind.

  19. Poppinjay
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    The final panel of Curtis, the visage of Mickey Mouse appears. Surely there will be a lawsuit.

  20. Poteet
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    MT — If Mark kills that ‘gator, on top of his blatant trespassing, I am going to be extremely peeved. Though I do love Sue’s idea of appropriate wetland gear.

  21. pccmdoc
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I surprised no comment on how not only is the AJGU 3000 using pretty teenage girls to mask the crappiness of the JGU software, it is using what must obviously be underage pretty girls showing too much skin to sell the bad joke.

    Damn perverted mid-20th century joke technology.

  22. prospero
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Sadly, what we have here is less “easy on the eyes” and less “candidate for the freak show”, and more “candidate for VP, you betcha.”

  23. Windier E. Megatons
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    I assume the Momma punchline(?) is some sort of pro-Palin comment at Hillary Clinton’s expense. But really it’s just one of 365 a year that still isn’t funny. (We call that the Mell Lazarus ratio.)

  24. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Marmaduke is a repeat. It baffled Joe Mathlete two years ago.

  25. B
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    by “fencing” she means selling stolen stereos, right? Wearing a mask is a good idea.

  26. lesles
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    Momma: for my money, they’re watching Showgirls, Coyote Ugly, or Maslin Beach. and not ironically.

    Archie: that canteen … person … looks like they share an awful lot of hair dna with dagwood. sort of what he might look like younger with more hair and if he didn’t style most of his ‘do with epoxy. also looks like it could be part fish or part something out of doctor who.

  27. trey le parc
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    Barney Google: Yesterday I went to 7-11 and one of the more aggressive panhandlers pushed his scrofulous face into my car and demanded change. I suggested he vote for Obama. Before you think me unduly cruel, please realize I’ve been waiting a long time to use that line. Oh, yeah, Barney Google sucks.

  28. lesles
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    #16 the dude – apparently not, but you apparently do probably check the comments more carefully than some others before you post said observation. not like that knob at #26

  29. Virtual Memories
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    You think “Mistofer” is something like “Broseph”?

  30. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: No cents, no “fence”.

    It had to be said.

  31. Calico
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    I find the phrase “playing with your beehive” rather dirty, actually.

    It reminds me of the horrible lyrics in the Marcia Ball song “Play with your Poodle” which a small VT radio station played incessantly about 10-11 years ago. God.

  32. Dan
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    My theories on today’s Momma are available here.

  33. Lettuce
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    Momma: It’s not about Hillary or Palin; rather, Momma and her friend are commenting on the general lack of pant suit, or pants for that matter, on their favorite tea-time porn star.

  34. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    You can bash Snuffy Smith for asserting “Mistofer” as an acceptable form of address, but the young, hip and urbane Curtis begins with the lewd and somewhat racial “My Little Chocolate Eclair”. Yah, if being called some fattening foodstuff was the way to a girl’s heart, Curtis, your luck would give Michelle early onset diabetes.

  35. Niall
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    On My Cage: I actually think Ed Power reined in the overuse of celebrity pun names; by necessity, some will happen in punchlines. I think the balance is much better now.

    And today is the best appearance yet of Creepy Janitor Rat. By far.

    I actually get the stupid joke in Marmaduke today. But that’s because I know of another doghouse-cum-tardis running gag that’s much better used, though it’s in a French gag series, and infinitely funnier.

    In fact, most dogs in European comics are funnier than most dogs in US comics (note the two translated examples in the page).

  36. Anonymous
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    I am glad Josh received lots of loot from UL fund drive. It is nice to come to the site and not be hit with ads ads ads.

  37. Paul K
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    What’s with the Hidden Mickey on the fencing mask in the last panel Curtis?

  38. Niall
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    34. Hogenmogen: lewd? I’m impressed it passed the censors; considering Curtis’ feelings, he’s saying outright that he wants to see white cream between michelle’s… no, I won’t get this thought any further. Filthy, filthy and disgusting.

  39. Victor
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    38. Niall: UGH, I’m gonna have nightmares for weeks about that. Thanks a lot.

  40. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    #24 – Skullturf: Re: Marmaduke:

    If you don’t have an elevator in your home, you would instantly say “We don’t have an elevator. You must have made a mistake.” What I’m getting out of this is that the doorway that the lady is in is supposed to be an elevator. However, it appears as if the entire house is the elevator car. It rides between this world and straight down to hell. For several years, Phil and his wife have been unaward of this feature, as it has been broken. Once the repair man finishes his work, the house and its inhabitants will drop down into the fiery pit of eternal damnation from which there is no escape. Knowing thier fate, but unable to speak, Marmaduke simply waves “good bye”.

  41. PeteMoss
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:48 pm [Reply]

    What an AWESOME Mark Trail today! I know our hero will rescue that gator from the evil developer lady, yes siree!

  42. AsleepOrDead
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    There were too many for me to choose just one to comment on:

    A3G: Third-panel Margo has a nice John Waters-esque mustache growing.

    S-M: Could Peter maybe just turn his head to address the audience instead of looking like he just had a massive back spasm?

    Garfield: This one’s for the ladies!

    MW: “I better go get the gimp.”

  43. Lettuce
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    “Mistofer” is obviously refers to a Hollywood power couple, like “Bennifer” and “Branjelina.”

    In this case, it’s referring to Taxi and Back to the Future actor Christopher Lloyd and Olympic Beach Volleyball vixen Misty-May Treanor.

    Both of whom are beloved by the mountain-folk.

  44. Al of the Christian Single Jungle Patrol
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    41-PeteMoss — Did you notice if the gator had a ‘stache that could be punched?

  45. Darkefang
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I imagine this was already covered in yesterday’s posts, which I haven’t had time to read, but if the police do find evidence that Alan was dealing drugs out of the gallery, then all the contents of the gallery, as well as the gallery itself, will be confiscated as evidence and later sold at auction by the police department. Luckily for Lu Ann, she’ll be able to buy back all her paintings for about a nickel each. Eric, on the other hand, is completely screwed.

    Crankshaft: This started off as some kind of inspirational tale about the struggle of one of the first black baseball players to be integrated into the minor leagues. It’s turned into a story about a noble white man who bravely inconvenienced himself in the name of racial equality.

    DtM: There’s no part of that statement that isn’t disturbing. Mr. Mitchell clearly agrees with me.

    H&J: The secret’s out. The lack of specificity in Herb & Jamal is a social commentary about the commercialization of today’s culture.

    JP: It sounds as if Dewey wasn’t the first person Bill Duggan shot in the face.

    And yeah, it took three rewrites to get my snarky comment that clean.

    MW: One sign that you’re part of a really healthy marriage is when you lose sleep knowing that there’s a reasonable chance your spouse will file divorce over $1.37.

    RMMD: How hilariously ironic* it’ll be when it turns out that Ollie will need Lenore’s hospice services. Also of note: Tom Batiuk is taking over the writing duties of Rex Morgan for this week’s strips.

    *- and by “ironic,” I mean vaguely coincidental.

    BG&SS: Wait, is that Barney Google? Is this strip making the joke that it’s been so long since Barney Google appeared in his own strip that Snuffy doesn’t even recognize him? Or did the great-grand-nephew of the original Barney Google author – or whoever writes this strip nowadays – just find this old character model in the archives and decide to throw it in today’s strip?

  46. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    #38 – Niall – Curtis also had a Sunday strip when a balloon cowboy committed a murder/suicide that passed the censors. They apologized about it the next day but not before ten thousand kids were traumatized. We here at the CC were amused, but remain traumatized by Liz and Blandthony’s wedding. Pass the Valium, someone. Please.

  47. cheech wizard
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    Archie: “Cut, cut, CUT, CUT!!!! Do NOT walk in front of the camera and stare blankly into the lens during a live shot! I don’t care if we’re paying you only ten bucks a day, you still have to follow instructions! Jeeez, whose idea was it to let a gag-writing computer hire all the extras?”

  48. Hogenmogen
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    Snuffy Smith in English:

    Stranger: Mistofer, can you loan me a dollar?
    Snuffy: You don’t know me. I don’t know you. But if I did, I couldn’t loan you anything because I’m a broke-ass mountain hillbilly that routinely theives chickens just to feed my equally shiftless family.
    Reader: Haw, haw! That clever Snuffy!

  49. Muddtallica
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    #35 Niall – “In fact, most dogs in European comics are funnier than most dogs in US comics.”

    It’s an interesting theory, but it falls down somewhat when you take into account a) that Great Britain is technically a part of Europe, and b) that Great Britain produced Fred Bassett.

  50. Sili
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Forgive me for actually thinking about Snuffy Smith (and damn you for making me do it).

    But isn’t the punchline the the tall guy isn’t a stranger? Isn’t he Smith’s old chum?

    So he’s not worried about lending to a stranger. He’s just stingy.

    Hah, hah? Hillbillies are cheapskate.

  51. PeteMoss
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox -
    HA! That Saber-toothed Hippo’s bike has hand brakes!

  52. tom
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    What is the weird black, inky substance inside Michelle’s mask in “Curtis”? Some sort of alien life form?

  53. Al of the Christian Single Jungle Patrol
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    Sunday’s FW — I know this is a bit late, but I just have to say this… For a woman who died 11 years ago of breast cancer, Lisa sure has a nice rack in that T-shirt.

  54. PeteMoss
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    tom @52.
    The facehugger from Alien can burn right through a space helmet, so I’m sure her “fencing” helmet poses little obstruction.

  55. Sheila Sternwell
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Could it maybe be a joke on how, decades ago, women were made fun of for wearing pants? And now things are so Wacky! and Liberal! that a woman wearing a skirt is an anomaly? Instead of… okay, you know what, I can’t go on.

  56. lesles
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    i may be struck down for this, but i found monday’s Blondie rather sweet. simple, nice, unforced and non-saccharine.

    of course, having found that, i had to go back and reread it until my brain kicked in the kitchen sink realism circuits and i started to see the definite Pinterian possibilities of an alternate reading of the text.

    but i think i’m going to live dangerous for a bit – choose to ignore those normal impulses, and go with liking a blondie strip.

  57. Sequitur
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    Archie: Middle panel – guy eating – appearently someone enjoys the food there. But I’m not sure what he’s eating. It may be a large wad of cheese-like stuff made out of whatever. He is enjoying it though. Or, he may have taken a big bite and his mouth got stuck that way. Or he’s ready to gag and blow chunks. Where’s Jughead (or Jughaid) when you need him?

  58. commodorejohn
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    #49 Muddtallica – Still, Snowy from Tintin is quite kickass enough to balance that out.

    #55 Sheila Sternwell – I think you’re probably overthinking it.

    Actually, I think we’re all probably overthinking it. By thinking about it at all.

  59. Niall
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    39. Victor: you’re most welcome. After all, shared pain is lessened… wait, no, it isn’t, it’s just spread further around. Spider, you liar!

    46. Hogenmogen: I want a link to that Curtis! Please?

    512. PeteMoss: I was slightly taken aback by that hippo’s head-on view. But with Sly just sitting there, watching the whole thing unfold, why did he have to even look at the bike’s remains? I figure it’s another nice toss to Reynard Noir.

    49. Muddtallica: key word was “most”. Bassett would not be included, and neither would France’s “Pif”. I always wondered when growing up reading Pif Gadget why I wasn’t finding the stories that funny. Amusing, with some humour, but never quite as funny as the stories seemed to indicate they were. The answer was twofold: mostly, it’s a diluted form of SunffySmithism already pointed out, where jokes are laughed at so much by the perpetrators in-camera that they can never be as funny to us as to them unless one of us is taking something illegal; secondly, the whole magazine was an organ of the european communist movement and was trying to subtly put in messages through the humour. It obviously failed utterly at that since I never, but never picked up on any such thing. (The Canadian governmental system and policies had far more socialistic tendencies than the magazine’s entire run.)

    On Curtis: considering her acting career, and the delay in producing the strips, perhaps Michelle was rehearsing for the role of Rorsach in the Watchmen movie, not knowing it couldn’t go to a) a woman and b) a kid, strictly due to some minimal form of faithfulness to the source material.

    (This isn’t any attempt at discussing said movie; it’s a minefield. So let’s drop it in advance. :))

  60. man behind the curtain
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    MW — I hope Toeby isn’t planning to greet IAN in the nude upon his arrival at their front door.

    A3G — Does this mean the police can seize the Mills Gallery under the asset forfeiture laws? Margo will be looking for employment. While snooping around the gallery searching for drugs, the police discover 100 illegal Tibetans stashed in the basement painting cheap watercolors that are then sold at htoel art sles throughout the nation. Tim and Eric, you are so busted.

  61. Fra. Bunnë of the execrable order of the curmudgeonites.
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    In tomorrow’s Curtis, Michelle will come to the door wearing a sombrero and holding a feather, so that Curtis can say she was busy “tickling the taco”.

    Re: Archie: I hate it, hate it, HATE IT when characters in comics “mug to the camera”. There is no camera. There are no actors. The whole thing is WRONG, and frankly creeps me out.

  62. JH Pants
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    I think Margo’s look of surprise and outrage in today’s A3G is due to the fact that Alan didn’t cut her in on the profits. Or it could be for the same reason I had that same expression when I read the strip, “What? Alan was a DEALER?!? Don’t you at least need basic math skills for that?”

  63. essteess
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    60: MBtC — I hope Ian isn’t planning to greet Toby in the nude, either.

  64. Anonymous
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    I think we all missed the “brilliance” of today’s installment of “Curtis.” Obviously, this is not a fencing outfit, but evidence of Michelle’s obsession with Alan Moore’s “Watchmen.” What will inevitably follow is the touching story of Michelle neglecting family, friends, and study as she waits for the blockbuster movie and pens slash fiction about the characters. Thank you, author of “Curtis” for showing me that fandom sometimes goes to far.

    Thank God for Toby’s dreams. Countless times they have steered her from disaster. There was that time she was almost an astronaunt on the Columbia, the time she she almost followed the advice of that charming Mr. Applewhite, and the time she almost boarded Oceanic Flight 815. But each time, a dream warned her and saved her. Of course, there was that one in 1989 about the oil spill. Instead of calling someone, Toby just resolved not to eat fish for awhile.

  65. migellito
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    Obviously, ‘fencing’ refers to her practice of killing people with swords for her own amusement.

  66. Jay
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    I like how Michelle’s “fencing” outfit has hole so deep in the mask no light can escape it’s immeasurable gravity.

  67. Old School Allie Cat
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    Luann – Brad’s body isn’t half bad.

    I can’t believe I’m admitting that.

    FW – I admire Les and Summer for their devotion to the cause and to the late, great Lisa. But I want to find out what the hell happened to Wally Winkerbean, and it’s been a year – writing, schmiting, Batuik – give us some friggin’ answers and quit doodling with your pen over there.

    MW – Toby, I’m struggling to understand how the Perfesser walking out of the marriage would be a bad thing for you. Yes, you’re dumb as dirt, and aside from the fact that your wardrobe comes from JC Penney “Almost Drooling” collection, but you’re not bad looking – you must have some good qualities?

  68. bats :[
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    I’m not a huge, huge fan of PBS (I like it well enough, I suppose), but there are times when I’m powerless to resist:

  69. Rhekarid
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    If the food is bad, then maybe Lunchlady Popeye should try a different cooking technique from punching a cow so hard it instantly explodes into a stack of evenly-sized meat bricks, like the one that guy in panel two is eating.

  70. Ranger
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: The black stuff on Michelle’s “fencing” mask is the alien symbiote that landed on Spiderman, and later, attached itself to Eddie Brock to create Venom. Things are going to get if Curtis will have to summon SuperCaptainCoolman to battle the evil “Fencer”!

    On another note, my first thought when Curtis said “play with your beehive” made me think Michelle might need to shave a little more often.

  71. Sam
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    I think in Curtis, Michelle just wants to get poked by something long.

  72. Ukulele Ike
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    Yesterthread commordorejohn: “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.”

    Oh, there are lots. I used to have a book of slang terms for various vices….two of my faves for female masturbation are “dusting the end-tables” and “ringing for the maid.”

  73. Jar-Jar Skinks
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    I’m trying to figure out just what’s happening amidst the cluttered on-field artwork in the dialog-less second panel of GT. As near as I can reckon, it’s something like:

    Trainer-in-a-jumpsuit-with-a-flask-bulge-in-the pocket: “OK – which one o’ [hic] you guys ish Jeb Ponsuck.. Ponshup.. [hic] Poncho.. Pawnshop… [hic] the tall fella who got hurt?”

    Horizontal #88 – “Me, doc!”

    October 6th, 2008 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    Bats[: you are hereby nominated for Picture of the Week!

  75. Baron Von Foobenstein
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    Momma: I for one am glad Shrillary always wears pantsuits. Even straight-leg jeans don’t fit over those cankles of hers.

  76. Sequitur
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    Momma: I think they’re watching reruns of “Leave It To Beaver” and they’re discussing June Cleaver.

    Hmmm…”Leave It To Beaver” could also apply to Curtis.

  77. Batman Beatles
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    #60 – MW — I hope Toeby isn’t planning to greet IAN in the nude upon his arrival at their front door.

    Wrapped up in Saran Wrap.

  78. Niall
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    73. Jar-Jar Skinks: oh yes! Panel 2 of GT is a classic of befuddlement. I don’t watch much football (as in: any) but I fail to imagine any hurt player lying on their back with one hand shooting up at the elbow. Waving to his fans? Except it looks like rigor morits has already set in. He so wanted the ball he died reaching for it – and never moved a muscle.

  79. Aitherion
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    No, see, guys, in panel 3 of Archie, he’s not mugging for the camera- he’s completely tuned out the incessant babble of his employees in order to stare in shock at the creepy chick in panel 2. Or possibly the eating guy.

    Either way the entire comic looks terrible.

    Oh, and welcome back, Josh. :D

  80. Islamorada Girl
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    Bats: another fine offfering, made even finer by the lame frat boy humor surrounding it.

  81. True Fable
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail is quite awesome today. Who knew he had any other facial expression besides ‘calmly stoned’?

  82. PeteMoss
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    Luann (aka Brad) –

    Ol’ Brad sure got the rippling abs quick. He only started on the sit-ups about 3 weeks ago! What’s your secret, Brad? Paunchy comic readers everywhere want to know!

  83. Gabacho
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    #56 lesles
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    i may be struck down for this, but i found monday’s Blondie rather sweet. simple, nice, unforced and non-saccharine.

    I am with you on this. It was all of the above and I enjoyed seeing it.

    Then I clicked on Mallard Fillmore and didn’t get angry. In fact, I kind of agree.

    I am so thankful for Mary Worth so I can be properly annoyed each day. Jeez, can you believe what a total waste of space Toby is?

    And don’t even get me started on that superannuated two timer tramp Mary!

    oh, I feel worse now. Good.

  84. Saluki
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    I thought Snuffy Smith took place in the suburbs!

  85. cheech wizard
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    Curtis – It’s Halloween season. So should that be a hockey mask? And shouldn’t Michele be clutching an ax?

  86. cheech wizard
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    Agghhh!! Shouldn’t that be a hockey mask! And shouldn’t I proof my posts more carefully?

  87. commodorejohn
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    #72 Ukulele Ike – Ah, I figured there would be a few. But I think “playing with your beehive” is going to remain the single best one ever.

  88. cheech wizard
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    83/Gazbacho – Gawd, that is the filthiest Mallard Fillmore I’ve ever seen! I don’t care how degenerate he thinks the federal goverment is, this is beyond the pale.

    Oh wait – never mind. I see the actual phrase is “Drill here.” Carry on.

  89. Laura c
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    I swear, if I wasn’t laughing at Mark Trail, I’d be crying. At least Hilary’s pantsuits let her outrun alligators.

  90. Old School Allie Cat
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    #88 – Cheech Wizard – A friend of mine in Los Angeles found a posting on Craig’s List for a look-alike for a certain Alaska governor to be featured in an Adult Film.

    This prompted us to compile a list of possible titles – our favorites:

    -Drill Her, Drill Now
    -Hail to the Beef
    -In the Land of Moose and Beaver
    -Red White and Blew
    -Missionary Accomplished

    We don’t condone political impersonation, and we’re not mocking any party in particular, but this was too good to pass up.

  91. Muffaroo
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    FCircus – I guess this was marginally cuter than “In fall, the leaves die and lose their chlorophyll, causing the colors hidden underneath to become visible.”

    GThorp – And it looks like Milford’s rivals, the Fightin’ Pie Charts, have drawn the first blood!

    MFmore – Ah, the week’s joke is unveiled. I wonder how we’ll get six days out of this one.

    MTrail – What a croc!

    Mduke – ha ha marmaduke phones elevator repairmen too oh marmaduke you kooky canine what undogly thing will you do now

    Marfield – Please tell me they pulled the pin on that pienapple before they handed it to him.

    MWorth – Toby’s made up her mind. “Darn it! If that’s what it takes to save my marriage, I’ll do it! Next time he demands sex of me, I’ll… I’ll move around!!” Then reels onto the old fainting couch.

    S-Man – Too bad it’s not Batman. Then it’d be an exhibit of giant clocks full of immense, man-sized gears and escapements that really work.

  92. cheech wizard
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    90/Allie Cat – This may be deemed partisan, but I’m kinda surprised that the nickname “Maverick and Goose” hasn’t gained wide use for a certain political tag team.

  93. Muffaroo
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    essteess @14 – I thought the gay thing to do was to tie a yellow ribbon ’round “the old oak tree,” if you get my meaning.

    trey le parc @27 – I doff my chapeau to you for having the line ready and using it. It’s actually kind of funny (as I suspect you are aware).

    Old School Allie Cat @90 – I’d heard about the adult movie being in the works. Probably a different one, actually. Somehow, this led to a train of thought that resulted in my recalling an old anecdote from Reader’s Digest about a burger stand in Anchorage that offered “Texas Size” Burgers for 35 cents, and regular size for 50 cents.

    omnes – The rule has been enunciated that “more or less any combination of gerund and noun separated by a definite article becomes an effective metaphor for the act of masturbation. For example, ‘washing the badger’, ‘managing the poison’ or ‘taking the knitting’.” (Thanks to VIZ reader Steven V.)

  94. Mac
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    In defense of Snuffy Smith (the character; there is no defense for the comic) everybody in the strip looks pretty much the same, so he really can’t tell if someone is new in town unless he has some sort of readily identifiable headgear.

  95. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    PBS: So now I want to know what Anderson Cooper’s laugh sounds like. Anyone got a link?

  96. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:37 pm [Reply]


    Alaskan Puckfest

  97. Funky Skinkerbean
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    It’s especially hard to identity strangers when everybody in town adopts the same grooming style as if they were auditioning for ZZ Top. I suspect Osama Bin Laden is hiding out in Hootin’ Holler. Better send MT to punch out everybody in town, just to be safe.

  98. essteess
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    93 Muffaro: “I thought the gay thing to do was to tie a yellow ribbon ’round “the old oak tree,” if you get my meaning.”

    cf. the punchline of the drunken-Scotsman-victim-of-pranksters joke, “Ah don’t know where ah’ve bin, but ah won furst prize!”

  99. Ghost-Who-Skinks
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    Or the old Rusty Warren (I think it was) party joke that at a girl’s boards school the policy was “Lights Out” at 10:00PM. “Candles Out” at 11:00PM.

  100. commodorejohn
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    #98 essteess – Haha, that song was the best thing about the Dr. Demento 20th anniversary collection.

  101. Bribaby
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    In Mark Trail, I understand that it’s the gator calling for help and not the evil developer lady, that makes sense, but why is it whipping its body around like that? Can it somehow feel Mark’s closeup being alerted to danger, however many miles away it is? Does it have a “Mark Trail-y sense”? Mark Trail is the Beastmaster. And you don’t want to know where he keeps his ferrets.

  102. Idols of Mud
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    Momma: Momma could be watching Cinemax. Let that image stir in your mind.

  103. Islamorada Girl
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    SS: Isn’t Hooten Holler one of those places where your family tree grows straight up?

  104. willieO
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:58 pm [Reply]

    Anyone noticed that Barney and Snuffy or whoever are wearing the exact same shirt? The good reverend of Hootin’ Holler, Brother Ezekial, must’ve declared that individuality is agin’ God. Again.

  105. Muffaroo
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    essteess @98 – That was also used as a gag in the original book version of M*A*S*H, come to think of it. I don’t remember if it was in the movie — the scene it came from was, but I think the punch line wasn’t.

  106. willieO
    October 6th, 2008 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    Of course, Snuffy is actually being sarcastic, and the other person is not new, but an established resident of Hootin’ Holler. If he was new, they would’ve gone all “deliverancy” on him by now.

  107. Uncle Balustrade
    October 6th, 2008 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    Just for the record, I’ve lived in virtually every former Confederate state, and in fifty-one years have never heard the term “mistofer”.

    Whoops, there goes that strange music again. Don’t know where it comes from, but someone always knocks on the door after it plays. Gotta go.

  108. bats :[
    October 6th, 2008 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    98. essteess: and can you imagine what would happen if Ian came home wearing one of those ribbons? Suddenly being phished for less than two bucks doesn’t seem so bad, Toby…

    October 6th, 2008 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    Luann What’s the term for a male “butterface”??

  110. Fra. Bunnë of the execrable order of the curmudgeonites.
    October 6th, 2008 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    Hanky code is indeed a gay thing from decades past, in which the color of the hanky indicated the activity a person was and the choice of pocket indicates whether he preferred to do or be done. The color yellow refers to something unspeakable. Well, they’re nearly all unspeakable; this is a family blog, after all.

  111. TennesseeJed
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    # 107
    Amen! I live in a state which THINKS it was a former confederate state (nope, not really from Tennessee- Pennsylvania), and same thing. While snuffy smith occasionly seems on target (I think just cause the punchline is always accompnied by the tongue-loosening laughter)(and I guess that shows I’m a hayseed), it had no idea what it was talking about today.

  112. queek
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    98 et al:

    lyrics and song.

    its a RenFest staple.

  113. fashion police
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:31 pm [Reply]

    They’re draining the wetlands because Manolos are a little iffy on the squishy ground.

    Really though, it’s Sue’s own fault since she’s not properly accessorized. When slumming in alligator country – or moose country for that matter – in a designer suit, carry a .30-06, minimum.

  114. commodorejohn
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:39 pm [Reply]

    #113 fashion police – If Mrs. Palin doesn’t make it to the White House or isn’t too busy with the rigorous schedule of a vice president, she should take a couple weeks to promote a proper wilderness safety course for working women. Doubtless, she’s one of the best-qualified experts out there with experience in both women’s business clothing and firearm ownership.

  115. Islamorada Girl
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:45 pm [Reply]

    This just in. According to the WaPo, Opus will end next month.

  116. Generic Username
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    My mom and I bet $5 over whether there’d actually be a, and she lost, then read the page and decided to donate the proceeds to charity.

  117. commodorejohn
    October 6th, 2008 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    #115 Islamadora Girl – Well, it’s about time.

  118. Brick Bradford
    October 6th, 2008 at 8:05 pm [Reply]

    I actually think the Duck made a passable point today–albeit in an utterly tasteless way.

    Should Gov. Palin lose the election maybe she could become a recurring character in Mark Trail–given her wilderness experience.

  119. Donald The Anarchist
    October 6th, 2008 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    Curtis I’m reminded of an episode of the original Bionic Woman, with Fembots who for some reason take off their human faces to reveal their true metallic nature. Poor “Curtis”, culturally illiterate and it just may be the death of him.

  120. OKStan
    October 6th, 2008 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    Do you realize that truckers’ hat worn by Tall Hillbilly is the newest article of clothing I’ve yet seen in SS?
    As for Michelle’s “fancing” mask, maybe she’s taking over for Rorschach while he’s in prison! Shape-shifting mask and all that!

  121. essteess
    October 6th, 2008 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    105 – Muffaroo:

    Ah yes, that would be the “Painless Pole” sequence you’re referring to, when Hawkeye and Trapper deal with the MASH unit’s dentist (“the best-equipped Polish dentist in Southeast Asia”), a ladies man who’s convinced himself that his romantic activities mask a latent homosexual desire — and that, therefore, he has nothing to live for. So they concoct a scheme to make him believe he’s committing suicide.
    [Obligatory spoiler warning for those haven't seen the movie.]
    You’re correct that the movie did not in fact recreate the “I won first prize” scene from the book. Instead, Hawkeye convinces a nurse he’s been involved with — and who’s about to leave the unit — to slip into bed with the unconscious Painless Pole so that when he awakens he’ll be back to his old self. By now, you may remember that when she hesitantly lifts the bed sheet up just to take a peek, there is the now-standard Heavenly Choir effect on the soundtrack.

  122. crossbuck
    October 6th, 2008 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    121: The Painless Paul storyline also includes a parody of the painting of The Last Supper.

    Curtis: Fencing, eh? I saw the famous 1932 Thurber one-panel “Touché!” just yesterday. Just a suggestion for the writer of the strip.

  123. AeroSquid
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: Michelle’s mask is actually the Ronco Purge Recycler/Aspirator. That way you can enjoy dinner (or Chocolate Eclairs) twice without having to beg off to the john.

    Snuff: Saaaaay. Isn’t that Lukey with a shorther beard and a hat he took off the body of tourist who got a little to close to the Corn Squeezin’s and then recycled his organs to feed his Hydrocephalic half-brother ? Thought so.

  124. Seismic-2
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:28 pm [Reply]

    Unlike the various strips where all the men look alike on account of lazy art, in Hootin Holler all the men look alike because 99% of their DNA is in fact the same. The “Family Circus” takes on a whole new meaning there.

  125. LTBF
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    I saw the movie MASH afetr I had seen every episode of the Tv show and I hated it. I also read the book after the series had ended and enjoyed it.

  126. Johnny Boston
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    Garfield: Take today’s strip, take the last panel and view that alone, without any context.

    Disturbing, dark and brilliant.

  127. The Klute
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    I see Michelle is trying out her “Lil’ Rorschach” costume for Halloween.

  128. Hima
    October 6th, 2008 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    The Marmaduke joke is that the man assumed that the elevator was inside the people’s house, but the truth is that Marmaduke’s trail of destruction has clearly bankrupted them beyond the point of even the simplest luxuries. The repairman’s appearance is but a cruel mockery of what could have been. Marmaduke in the background is fully aware of how traumatic this is; his appearance signifies that it is he who called the repairman, implying that he has done so only to harm them further now that they seemingly have nothing more to destroy.

    Either that or “the elevator is actually in the doghouse, lol,” but that would just be vapid, wouldn’t it?

  129. crossbuck
    October 7th, 2008 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    My God, I am really that old! I saw the movie MASH before the TV show! Aaaaagh!

    BTW, thought the TV show was cute, but with a “hug me” air after a few years that started getting on my nerves. Turning Frank Burns from scary Christofascist to plain weasel was only one of the big letdowns, as was turning Radar from an otherworldly character (when anyone needed him he just appeared out of nowhere and was dryly humorous) into a more banal grunt. It happens to every long-running show – they have to humanize even the awful characters to keep you watching. One reason I always admired Seinfeld. There was no reason to like any of them, from first episode to last.

  130. MoreCoffeePlease
    October 7th, 2008 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    So Toby finally decided to try anal, eh?

  131. notapipe
    October 7th, 2008 at 4:08 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: Pluggers are toxic to business and probably responsible for our current financial collapse.

  132. Amanda
    October 7th, 2008 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Whatever happened to finger quotin’ Margo? C’mon, you had a good opportunity with the “fencing” outfit! I miss Margo with the finger quotes. That was always hilarious!

  133. Axlq
    October 7th, 2008 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    Regarding Archie: What, you didn’t have girls in your high school who resembled the one in panel 2? Anyway, I thought attractively-drawn females was one of the hallmarks of the Archie comic strip. There’s no mistaking the artistic style, that’s for sure.

  134. Paul1963
    October 8th, 2008 at 12:06 am [Reply]

    2,4,10, 23 et al: I spent the waning moments of my 45th birthday writing actual jokes for the 10/6 Momma just because I could:

    One icky, one dark. Enjoy!

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