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ENTER THE MEDDLER

Mary Worth, 11/9/08

So for weeks now we’ve been watching the slow-motion buildup in this storyline, seeing Frank berate his sad sub-Olympic-level daughter, and wondering “When? When will the meddling begin? For the love of God, when?” Today, my friends … today is the day that the meddling begins. In the final panel, you can get a sense of the terrible wrath about to be unleashed as Mary’s face turns unnaturally blue and yellow and radiates pure meddling-energy. Her awesome and horrifying third eye is also beginning to become visible.

By the way, Frank, in case you’re wondering, it was the phrase “Mary, don’t interfere!” that sealed your fate. You may as well have danced in front of a lion shouting “Lion, don’t chew off my genitals!” while wearing underwear made of raw meat.

Dennis the Menace, 11/9/08

Here’s another entry in my occasionally interesting series of Comics Whose Tones Are Fundamentally Changed By The Throwaway Panels. Without that first row — which doesn’t appear in all newspapers — this strip consists of stomach-churning anti-menacing, in which our supposed hellion asks a loving God to shine grace upon all the people in his life, even those with whom he has an adversarial relationship. However, the opening panels reveal Dennis’s fundamental disbelief in anything so trite as a “happy ending.” In that light, his prayers can be read as a desperate plea to stave off the inevitable pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that will afflict his friends and neighbors.

And speaking of pain, heartbreak, and sorrow…

Funky Winkerbean, 11/9/08

“Okay, everybody! Say: achievement! Because even though you’re all 47 or 48 and yet look fifteen years older, it’s quite an ‘achievement’ that you survived being struck dead by cancer, or war, or cancer, or general despair.”

Also! In unrelated news, this week Amos and Edda, the two lead characters in 9 Chickweed Lane, finally had the sex, as indicated through the cartoonist’s usual elliptical methods. I read 9CL but don’t comment on it much, mostly because it’s simultaneously better in many ways than most of the strips I make fun of here and also is irritating to me in ways that don’t produce humorous commentary but rather just peevishness. However, all week commentors have been demanding my opinion on the Great Deflowering, which finally led me to write, in the comments section of the previous post, the following:

A comic appears on this site is not because something momentous happens in it, but because I can think of something funny to say about it. I can think of nothing funny to say about the aggressively virginal ape-faces in 9CL finally deciding to fuck and/or hand jive, for some reason. Sorry.

Upon reflection, though, that is actually a kind of funny thing to say, if I do say so myself, so I thank all of you for pushing me out of my comfort zone.

197 responses to “ENTER THE MEDDLER”

  1. Poteet
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:45 pm [Reply]

    So is the thirtieth reunion finally over? God, I hope so.

  2. temporarilyjaded
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    the reunion may be over, but the question is did clunky winkerfart lose any weight?

  3. Poteet
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    And this particular MW is marvelous in Middle English (especially those weird pink signs), something I would never have known if not for Angry Kem.

  4. Poteet
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:51 pm [Reply]

    Hey, that “Obituary Archive” ad totally fits the Thirtieth Reunion theme. Except the people in the ad, even with their dour expressions, look much better than the reunionees.

  5. Erik
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:51 pm [Reply]

    Take a look at panel three of Dennis the Menace. Is that a small Dennis tushie sneaking out of his pajama bottoms? Perhaps the authors are trying to make Dennis appear a bit more menacing than this strip suggests by turning him into some sort of pedephile porn star. I’ll be the first to say that that’s definitely not menacing, just… unspeakably awfully creepy.

  6. Beatrice
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    The Winkerbeaner’s thirtieth reunion will meet later for cocktails in the lounge located on Finger Wagging Frank’s massive forehead.

  7. Donkey Hotey
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    I usually tend to sympathize with the people Mary meddles, but Frank is a real dick.

  8. Citric
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:58 pm [Reply]

    And thus, Mary explodes.

  9. MadelineB
    November 9th, 2008 at 11:58 pm [Reply]

    FW: Is … is that John McCain in the top row, fourth from the left?

  10. Stroker Ace
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    DtM – Where’s Henry? At his fantasy football league meeting? Yeah, right. Dennis smells a four-eyed rat.

  11. Cranky
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    That final Mary Worth panel is like adding “in bed” to any fortune cookie – you can add that panel to any strip and improve it greatly. Try it!

  12. odinthor
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:01 am [Reply]

    MW — Frank, dude, you’re doing The Shocker all wrong no matter how many times you try.

    Spidey — What nobody knows is that Sneaky the Raccoon wandered over from Mark Trail, stole the key to the handcuffs, unlocked them in Saturday’s panel two to get in some pro bono, as required by the Cartoon Animal Code of Conduct article IX paragraph iii, and then returned hastily to his own strip as that strip’s crisis approaches. He couldn’t be shown doing this in a strip not his own, because that would be copyright infringement. This is what makes it so difficult having wild animals in the comic section, and why you’ll never see one in a responsible strip such as Our Boarding House or Henry.

  13. Fat Charlie
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    I hope before Mary starts her meddle-rant, she directs Frank’s daughter to the locker rooms, because there is not very clear signage posted anywhere. And what of the lounge?!

  14. Spunde
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    Mary glows with the yellow-hot light of industrial strength interfere-on-and-on.

  15. Jimbo
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    Why does everyone look so smug in virtually every panel of every Funky Winkerbean???

  16. Red Greenback
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    Fwink: If there was ever an event called “Smirkstock”, that’s what it would look like.
    And hey everybody, Judge Parker’s “Raju” is making a special guest cameo appearance!

  17. Meg
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    “say ‘achievement’?” If this is Funky Winkerbean, they might as well just say “cancer”!

  18. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    Josh, main text

    A comic appears on this site is not because something momentous happens in it, but because I can think of something funny to say about it.

    True enough. If you had to wait for something momentous to happen in Judge Parker–something as big as an oil change at least–it would fall completely off the radar.

  19. Sinblossom
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    I’m curious to see whether getting laid will cure Amos not only of his hiccups but his general nebbish demeanor. Sure, it’d be a total personality flop, but Edda seems happy and pleasant, so I don’t see any reason not to expect the same for him.

  20. Alfred E. Neuman
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    9CL— Just as boxers are supposed to avoid sex before a bout because it “saps their energy”, I’m wondering if Amos’ apparent sexual experience (whatever it was) will now affect his cello playing. After all, Friday’s strip showed that a lot of energy may have been expended, and that his precious fingers may have been overworked. On the other hand, I don’t really care, because I’ve never understood his appeal. Amos is essentially interchangeable with Crankshaft, except that he lacks Crankshaft’s sense of humor.

  21. CCMars
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    Watch out, Frank! Mary is about to kamehamemeddle you to death!

  22. LightSyrup (OR)
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth is stupid. What, did she just fly/drive/walk/canoe out there to meddle?! Stupid.

  23. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    #20 Alfred E. Neuman,
    I think Edda would have to be a pretty bent twig to initiate sex with Fast Ed Crankshaft. Of course the exertion of doing a 19 y/o ballerina would probably kill him, which is amusing to think about.

  24. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    “I didn’t raise you to be number two!” Heh heh, heh heh. “Number two.”

  25. Jamus The Bartender
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    FW. If anyone tells me to say ” achievement” at my thirtieth reunion while i’m trying to hit on a former classmate, I will hit them. Hard.
    DtM: Alice is hotter than ever. Dennis, be a good boy and get Uncle Jamus some scotch at the corner liquor…
    Mary Worth: You know, I kind of worry the way some people see our president-elect as a Messiah. Mostly because of what usually happens to messiahs. Yes, they die. Painfully. And usually publicly. With this in mind, I realize this is sort of the way Mary sees herself, hence the sun-rays in the final panel. And I hope…I PRAY….someone at Charterstone is getting the nails ready…
    Oh…and of course..
    9CL: Congratulations Edda and Amos on fuckin’. See, sex doesn’t have to be nasty and dirty. But you’ve got the room for the week, so you can always try again later.

  26. Thunderbird
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    Dear god…Mary Worth is turning into Eclipso!

  27. commodorejohn
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    #20 Alfred E. Neuman – I dunno, man. I imagine he’ll be clamping that cello pretty tight the next day, and if there’s one running theme in McEldowney’s work, it’s “sex with musical instruments equals fantastic playing.”

  28. Abner Cadaver
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    #9 – The artist had an alternate strip with Obama in it incase the election went the other way. Funky Winkerbean is a world of humiliation and cruelty.

  29. Sally Villarreal
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:36 am [Reply]

    The last panel of MW looks like someone confused Mary Worth with the Virgin Mary. (And threw in Frieda Kahlo’s eyebrows for good measure.) It’s Our Lady of Meddle.

  30. Victor
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    #21. CCMars: Mary is about to kamehamemeddle you to death!

    “What’s the scouter say about her meddling level?”
    “It’s OVER 9000!!!”
    “WHAT?! 9000?!”

    Ugh, now I just pictured Mary Worth with DBZ-style musculature. OH GOD MY NIGHTMARES WILL BE FILLED WITH THIS.

  31. Erik
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    #5 – yay, I met another Erik!

    To the writer – if you’re doing requests, would you please do another blog exclusively with genital jokes? I’ve been dipping into the archives, and that one had me in stitches.

  32. Aitherion
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    Over the next two months, Mary will spend all of her time talking at this man about how he’s wrong until he finally drinks and drives off of a cliff.

    I don’t know why more comics don’t do this.

  33. dyslexic dog
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:54 am [Reply]

    #9 — MadelineB:
    It does look astonishingly like McCain, but Mr. Batiuk, politelyadhering to Josh’s non-electoral mandate for the blog, has in reality sketched a rather lame likeness of Dick Martin.

  34. dyslexic dog
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:56 am [Reply]

    #33 — me:
    Get a load of those overly friendly words politely adhering to each other.

  35. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    Dennis is a hellspawn. He can’t bless himself anymore than Superman can inhale a packed of powdered Kryptonite.

  36. Carly
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:16 am [Reply]

    Mary is looking disturbingly Buddha-esque in the last panel, between the radiating halo around her face and the aforementioned third eye. I’m not sure I like what this implies about Buddha, or possibly Mary. Either one.

    I also like that Frank might be more psycho than Aldo, whose name spelled “I am a stalker” or whatever. That’s an impressive achievement! Also intriguing are the signs that appear to be labeling Frank as “lounge” (lounge lizard?) and Mary as “locker”.

  37. T Campbell
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    Perhaps the horrifying final panel in the most recent 9CL (available online) will provide more fodder for snark. Or nightmares.

  38. Carly
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    I forgot what I was going to add about Dennis, which is that he appears to have a healthy cynicism. It’s good for kids to remember that love is not magic, although Dennis’s suspicion is starting early. Makes me wonder about his parents.

  39. Hawkeye
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:18 am [Reply]

    MW: By the end of this meddle, Frank is going to be an exhausted heap, bleeding from the ears and huddled in the corner of the locker room.

  40. NotPigeon
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:19 am [Reply]

    DtM- Now, I know that the throwaway panels usually aren’t supposed to tie directly into the ones following them, but the shift seems to be more jarring than usual. Maybe it’s just me.
    Also, I really don’t know what to make of the fourth panel, and not just because nobody’s worn pajamas like that since the fifties.

  41. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:31 am [Reply]

    FW: Tomorrow we learn that hree of the reunion attendees were struck permanently blind by the camera’s flash.

  42. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:31 am [Reply]

    *three

  43. Erik
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    36 – Carly: I miss Aldo Kelrast!

  44. Helena Handbasket
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:36 am [Reply]

    Au contraire, NotPigeon! I, myself, have a lovely red flannel union suit, complete with butt flap, which I purchased only 15 years ago from either L.L. Bean or Land’s End (I always get those two confused).

    While I have never had occasion to use the butt flap, the suit is remarkable comfortable, and I usually spend my annual bout with the flu wearing it.

  45. Red Greenback
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:44 am [Reply]

    NY’erCC: I was originally going to caption this weeks as: ” ¡Jodiendo odio los lunes! ” Which gistly translates to English as: ” Screwing hatred the Monday! ” I like the English one even better!

  46. Mibbitmaker
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:57 am [Reply]

    Above:

    MW:
    p.3: Why not? It was good enough for Avis.
    p.5: The Dick Tracy-style label pointing, saying “lounge”… that guy is the farthest thing from a nice, relaxing lounge!
    p.6: He don’t know her vewwy weww, DO he?
    p.7: Frank, for some reason, is trying to brand the word “lockers” into Mary’s brain. Maybe as if to say, “Lock your insubordination up, Worth! NOW!!”
    p.8: Beatific Mary, Mother of Meddle, showing Obama how the messianic glow should go, while preaching it to ol’ Frank.

    FW: “…or cancer…”

    DtM: Sappy. This is a far better one:
    “Bless Olive Oyl, and Swee’pea, and Wimpy, and Bluto, AND POPEYE! (into bed – back to floor) ….and to all the nice people who come to see our pictures!” (back into bed)

  47. fluffy
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:58 am [Reply]

    Okay, as if 9CL’s cartoonist weren’t already subtly creepy enough (especially with Pibgorn which just reeked of being one extended masturbation fantasy), now we have some very close to explicit depictions of underage teenage sex.

  48. Zaq
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:58 am [Reply]

    Sunday’s Mary Worth reminds me of the Jan. 29 2008 Gil Thorp (“Did I MUMBLE when I talked about the screen?!”), and not just because we have close-ups of the title characters getting really pissed off. In a way, they’re both sort of emblematic of their respective wholes; Gil Thorp with its non-Euclidean sports action and meaningless sports jargon, and Mary Worth with its wooden dialogue and unrealistic situations that preclude world-class meddling. I should look for others (it can’t be that hard to find a strip with Rex Morgan being especially ineffectual and homoerotic, or a Judge Parker wherein absolutely nothing happens but Abby randomly sheds clothing and poses alluringly, can it?), but for right now I’m happy with these two.

  49. AppleGirl
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:04 am [Reply]

    That final panel of Mary Worth is an Our Lady of Guadalupe candle. From the 99¢ store.

  50. ms. docweasel
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:05 am [Reply]

    ugh. I think those are actually suck rays emanating off Mary’s head. Mary Worth’s current story line is so predictable and crappy that waves of failure and nausea radiate off the comic now like heat off a hot road.

  51. SadTail
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:11 am [Reply]

    27 – commodorejohn – Oh sure, he’ll play well for awhile. But now that he has tasted the forbidden fruit, he will be unable to control himself. I fully expect him (or part of him) to push the cello from between his knees sometime during the recital. At the very least, one of the judges should whisper to another,

  52. Jimmy Olsen
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    OK, I’m sure that Josh is technically ineligible for COTW consideration but still I think the above is just bubbling with W.I.N.:

    …it was the phrase “Mary, don’t interfere!” that sealed your fate. You may as well have danced in front of a lion shouting “Lion, don’t chew off my genitals!” while wearing underwear made of raw meat.

  53. ms. docweasel
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    Everyone is mocking the strip, but when I look at 9ChickLane it’s obvious to me they aren’t having sex at all, but rehearsing Synchronized Nude Jazz Hands.

    You can see him “sticking the dismount” in the first panel.

  54. Trekkie
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    Spidey, dude, you had those stupid handcuffs off on Saturday! You just want to play chicken with the train, and this weaksauce story is the best you could come up with…

  55. Lisa
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    I just looked at Monday’s 9CL. Judging by the dialogue, it was a blowjob. Although given Edda’s look in the first two panels on Saturday, there must have been some sort of reciprocity….

  56. Poteet
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    9CL — So Edda happily remembers hearing about her mom’s special hiccup cure for her dad, and she’s eager to talk about her own special Amos hiccup cure with her mom, and she’s a ballet dancer who compares notes with obnoxious unicorns. The more I read this strip, the more I prefer to think it takes place on a different planet. In a galaxy far, far away.

  57. Lithros
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:30 am [Reply]

    For some reason, I thought the signs in Mary Worth were actually captions describing the underlying meaning of each panel.

    LOUNGE: You lost this thing because of all the LOUNGING you did when you should have been practicing!

    FINALS: This is the FINAL time you’ll get this speech from me!

    LOCKERS: Now I’m going to kill you and leave your body in the LOCKERS!

  58. Donkey Hotey
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    #47 fluffy -

    Creepy sex, perhaps, but not so much “underage teenage.”

    9CW’s Amos and Edda were graduated from high school a couple of years ago. Amos attends Juilliard and Edda is a professional ballet dancer with an unnamed company that bears a superficial resemblance to the New York City Ballet.

    …Not that I’ve been following the strip closely.

  59. Keregi
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    9CL-I ‘m wondering about the conversations between Juliette and her mother AND current “husband”, so that the overheard conversation with Edda is understood for the action that took place. I don’t normally talk to my mother or current husband about blowing/F@&king the hiccups out of my ex-husband. Maybe I should try it as a conversation starter at dinner tomorrow.

  60. Mibbitmaker
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:58 am [Reply]

    Monday:

    DT: Hey, no fair! Trac-R/Tracer/TrazeMeBro/Trakt-R/Trak-E-otomy/Raze-R-face — whatever-His-Name-Is’s face is back to normal after Saturday’s strip! Takes all the fun outta it! He/it must have a Tom & Jerry Vanishing Injury Chip planted inside him.

    9CL: Jeez, how Freudian can you get? Who wrote this one, Mitch Hurwitz? (hint: Geo. Michael/Maeby)

    A3G: The doc turns around before the last panel, and….. says, “Oh, by the way, Walker… I will kill you! Soon. As a doctor, I know some horrific ways to kill a man… or mutilate him such that every second of his life is in agonizing pain. Soon, Walker! Real soon! (pause) …What, not even a chuckle?? MAN, are you humorless!” (walks away, laughing)

    Cleats: I’d like them to wear those unadorned, all while chanting, “WE ARE FROM FRANCE! WE ARE FROM FRANCE!”

    FW: No. No Crankshaft “wordplay” in “Funky Winkerbean”! Aren’t both these strips bad enough separately as it is??

    GF: …But then, Bucky chickened out and returned, since, after all, they never go outside anymore… ever! It’s a rule.

    H&J: And, in this economy, money talks like those robots in that detective comic strip of late.

    Luann: (see: 9CL)

    MT: “A Man Named Rabbit” — Woodland creature by day… counter-spy by night! From the producers of “James Bond” comes the sordid story of evil animal fights! And the man behind them! “A Man Names Rabbit” Rated PG. Opens at select cities — nationwide November 14.

    6C: “Hold on, I gotta take this call. It’ll only take The Moment…”

    S-M: …Or maybe he could just wait a minute and he’ll be drawn magically without them again. Honestly, I’ve seen better visual continuity in classic animated cartoons redrawn in Korea!

    Zits: “…Normally, the economy wouldn’t be in the crapper!”

  61. Mibbitmaker
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:08 am [Reply]

    Minor typo correction:

    MT: “A Man Named Rabbit” — Woodland creature by day… counter-spy by night! From the producers of “James Bond” comes the sordid story of evil animal fights! And the man behind them! “A Man Named Rabbit” Rated PG. Opens at select cities — nationwide November 14.

  62. Ned Ryerson
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:09 am [Reply]

    FW: In the true spirit of the thirty year reunion, I’m looking at that assemblage and asking myself, “which of these chicks are still doable?”

  63. Lisa
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:10 am [Reply]

    {she’s eager to talk about her own special Amos hiccup cure with her mom,}

    and

    {I‘m wondering about the conversations between Juliette and her mother AND current “husband”, so that the overheard conversation with Edda is understood for the action that took place.}

    Nail. Head. Bang. I can’t imagine having a conversation with my mother about her giving my father a blow job….

    although, truth to tell, she did tell me once that he was a premature ejaculator, so I retract my can’t imagine….

  64. Kyle
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:41 am [Reply]

    I completely see what you mean about 9 Chickweed Lane. After discovering it via your site, I actually got hooked reading it for awhile because the women characters are drawn so sexily – and that, I hope, is the most pathetic thing I can possibly say about myself. But the guy’s understanding of human relations is like the morbid fantasies of a non-precocious sixth grader. I quit because I felt unclean after reading it.

  65. 20 Miles From the City
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:53 am [Reply]

    Blondie: Yes, yes, it’s a rhubarb. Of course, this is nothing short of confusing for those of us who were not adults during the 1950s, when rhubarb was commonly known to mean “ruckus.” Sadly, later generations have only been able to understand the word as meaning “a plant with large, toxic leaves whose fleshy, pink stalks are used as a vegetable to provide bitter flavor in such dishes as strawberry-rhubarb pie.” We are indeed missing out.

    Family Circus: The first panel definitely seems very creepy, but the second panel is what struck me as bizarre, as Dolly blames Jeffy for pushing her, but then abruptly blames PJ as well. It’s as if the cartoonist was thinking, “Wait a minute, I’ve gotta get that fourth kid in on the mischief somehow…hmm…”

    Momma: God, I hate “Momma” more every day.

  66. 20 Miles From the City
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:54 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Sometimes I wonder if soap opera strips are actually aware of how cheesy and over-dramatic they are. The last panel of this “Mary Worth” is a prime example. How can the cartoonist not be aware of this cheesiness?

  67. late2theparty
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:02 am [Reply]

    “It’s wrong! Frank, you did it all wrong! You were too direct. Next time, smile and say something like this: ‘It’s okay, dear, all that time and money spent training was more than worth it; as long as you’re happy finishing in second place, I’m happy.’ It will devastate her for years.”

  68. True Fable
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:13 am [Reply]

    Sunday funnies snark, because I’m late to the party:

    A3G You know, I can suspend a certain amont of disbelief in the comics (Beetle and Sarge are NOT gay, Edda and Amos DO have chins, Elly IS a compassionate selfless mother in a way) but for the love of heaven, I will not be able to swallow the premise that Tommie is attractive to not one but TWO men.
    JP Judge Parker is just jam pack full of boorish dialogue today. “Our solar boys”? Who the fuck are they, when did THAT storyline crop up? “The guy they think shot Dewey ended up dead tonight!” “That’s not good!” – Yeah, and just think how the guy they think shot Dewey feels about it. “Ow, that must have hurt!” “Not for long!” Gee, Sam; you win the Be a Real Dick award. That’s almost as bad as dragging that Mike Nomad Wannabe into the plot.
    MW There’s Our Lady of Meddle in the final panel, and I don’t know whether to genuflect or cower.
    RMMW Final panel Win: Rex desperately holds back his spew as he gets a mental image of two wrinkled old people getting it on wearing nothing but captain’s hats.

  69. Alfred E. Neuman
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:09 am [Reply]

    Luann— Evans, please leave the incestuous innuendo and other sexual perversity to Bernice. She’s so much better at it.

  70. True Fable
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:10 am [Reply]

    Monday funnies snark, because I’m early to arrive at the party being as how there’s already someone named late2theparty (my apologies, didn’t see you till too late!)

    9CL What does one have to do to simply make Amos go away?
    A3G Oh, and here’s that Thompson hussy now! – No, I just can’t get used to Tommie being the object of multiple affection. It’s multiple affection objection.
    Archie Do I get this right, are they saying “Chat!” “Yak!” ? Is it too much for the ALGC3000 to generate some generic dialogue as usual for panel two? Otherwise Jughead’s got slothlike moves for scoring food today.
    Beatup Friends Yes, it’s reached the part in this illustrated Lifetime for Women movie in which the battered wife finally realizes she needs to get out in time. I will assume Maeve is not going to be so crass as to load her up with I Told You So’s.
    C’haft Smirk now, kid, but just picture yourself in your middle age trying to sing along with songs about ‘ho’s and pimps keepin’ in real in da hood, someplace you have NEVER been in your life.
    DtFW Yeah, because there’s NOBODY in your three-person home that could possibly want to sneak a piece of cake, unless you’re planning to use that “dessert burgler” excuse again which you probably will since you are now Dennis the Fucking Wimp.
    (WT)DT Will somebody PLEASE get Locher to make up his mind about the robot’s speech patterns? Does he need to buy vowels or not?!?
    FC The only time we see Bil’s eyes are when they are closed. That makes no sense whatsoever, so this must be the Family Circus.
    Canadian Zombie Yeah, Elly? You’re in the kitchen where there is a sink with water in it. I know you like to boast about saving water but shit baby, you are disgusting.
    FW This from a guy who talks to blue cats for cryin’ out loud. Screw you, Les.
    GA *whisper* Kill him, Clovia.
    WTF GT That’s got to be the lowest water fountain ever, that or he’s hogging the handicapped fountain. Or, he just likes bending over in front of guys.
    Scenes from Suburban Hell There’s even shit crawling OUT of it. Imagine what they serve in Downtown Hell.
    JP Okay, I know I made fun of the dickish dialogue from yesterday but I admit I do like it. And Sam’s right – why should a guy kill himself over a woman when he can just ignore her frustrated attempts to get him in the sack? Oh wait, that’s Sam, not Dewey Decimal”s killer or whoever the hell he was.
    Luann Hello, yeah – thank you, I was wondering when Evans was ever going to notice that little trend.
    MF Oh uhuh, you did NOT just diss ‘Heroes’. This means WAR, Tinsley.
    MT There’s so much to discuss about today’s strip, but the real deal is how much I like her framed picture of the Jackelrod ball. And yes, I always figured that rabbits are all waiting for the dogs and raccoons to kill each other, so THEY can take over the wetlands.
    MW What do you mean, “you mean no disrespect”? Didn’t you fly all this way JUST SO you can disrespect him? Isn’t that what meddling is all about? Snap out of it, Mary!
    Phantom But only if the cure for Phantom is a bullet between the eyes. Or no fabric softener for his laundry.
    RMMW Aw damn. Rex combed his hair again and it’s time to segue into a new dilemma. He’s still a Man Whore though, so I’m keeping the title in place.
    RiR What does the Biker Chick alter ego have on her leg? Is that a tattoo or a squiggle of hair? Please Lord, tell me it’s a tat.
    SFx Oh, I thought the answer was that the recording had a DATE AND TIME STAMP on it.
    S-M It’s the disappearing-reappearing handcuffs! I…I can’t even mock this strip, it’s like hunting in a baited field.

  71. Victor
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:21 am [Reply]

    re Luann today: There are communities on the Internet that are full of deranged, horrid, undersexed people. These are people who see almost no form of sexual contact or innuendo as bad. These are people who refer to incest, almost without fail, as “wincest”.

    One particular community – clean on the surface, but certainly deranged beneath – referred to today’s Luann as “failcest”.

    Congratulations, Greg Evans, you have managed to throw even the nastiest of the nasty off their game without any level of graphic detail, but with a mere suggestion.

  72. Jimmy
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:45 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth– Frank tapped his daughter’s nose in a way that caused it to retract by panel six; all the parenting manuals tell you not to do that to your kids– it’s almost as bad as pressing too hard on an infant’s carapace.

  73. Mr. O'Malley
    November 10th, 2008 at 6:08 am [Reply]

    68. The solar boys are the clients that the legless Afghanistan vet got from the legless Vietnam vet in the bus the morning of the day that the old couple got busted, the nanny broke her ankle and the lady terrorist showed up. Which was the Thursday before the Friday that the judge wanted Sam to learn to play golf over the weekend. Dewey got shot on Monday and now this is Tuesday, I think.

    Sounds like a good name for a band, though. Some kind of eco-friendly surf music band.

    MT: The royalties from “I Love a Rainy Night” must have fallen off badly. You may have thought Eddie Rabbitt was dead, but he’s actually in the boondocks running raccoon fights.

    The problem with this plot is that to fit the classic pattern we should have had some scenes of Sneaky working out with weights and getting sage advice from Sensei Wolverine.

    SlyFo: It’s the anthropomorphic animal version of The Nine Tailors.

    Assuming it’s a digital video camera, you might just as well look at the timestamp on the file. (And since this comic is for kids, what other kind of video camera would they have seen? Unless they’re little Pluggers.) But both clocks and camera time settings can be changed. Or suppose Harry Ape had recorded his message at 3:00 yesterday? What if Slylock ever came up against a non-moronic bad guy?

    When I was in college I used to play the chimes. On weekdays we were only allowed to play in the breaks between classes from ten to up the hour. There was an automatic mechanism that did the usual Westminster chimes. When I was doing 11:50 to 12:00 on appropriate days like Friday the 13th I used to add a 13th bong, but I could never tell if anyone noticed.

    I remember reading some old detective story where someone shot at the bell to get an extra bong to confuse the evidence, but it seems far-fetched.

    Pluggers: I can’t wait to see chicken-lady hooking up her converter box. Or perhaps when the TV stations go off the air, Pluggers will just sit watching snow because they have such sad meaningless lives.

    FOOB: Aside from the inappropriateness of Elly letting her small children stuff themselves with adult-size servings of high-sugar snacks, this is actually kind of funny. Proof that the strip didn’t always totally suck.

    FC: Yes, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion always had that effect on me too.

    Crankshaft: Variations—
    Dad singing along to “Mile Marbhfhaisc air an Ghaol” while waulking tweed—Barra-oke
    Dad picking prunes while singing the theme from “Flashdance”—Cara-Okie
    Dad stealing picnic baskets while wearing a dress made from old curtains—Tara-Yogi
    Charlie’s Angels star singing Stardust—Farrah-Hoagie

  74. Mr. O'Malley
    November 10th, 2008 at 6:11 am [Reply]

    Correction: ten to up to the hour

    At least all the tags are closed this time.

  75. Some Guy Here
    November 10th, 2008 at 6:19 am [Reply]

    Awww damn, I was sure Josh was gonna comment on this Sunday’s Family Circus!

  76. Some Guy Here
    November 10th, 2008 at 6:23 am [Reply]

    Oh, and I figure this is as good a place as any….

    You can argue about 9CL’s art style being “virginal” or “aggressive,” but, as much as I like 9CL’s artwork, I have to agree with Josh on the “apeface” part.

    9CL, for whatever reason, very strongly reminds me of a Japanese work called Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou even though the two have nothing in common (9CL is about some chick who digs ballet, YKK is about robots – yes, seriously). I think a lot of it is in the artwork though, the artist of YKK seems to have the same sort of style as the 9CL guy when it comes to drawing women dancing.

    Of course, Cardinals will already know what I’m talking about because I made a rather lengthy post about it in the forums, where you can see for yourself some examples of what I’m talking about:

    http://joshreads.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1483

  77. Mr. O'Malley
    November 10th, 2008 at 6:37 am [Reply]

    76. Some Guy Here. Doesn’t “Ojisan” just mean “man”, “dude”, etc.? I’m going from the song “Haisai Ojisan” meaning “Hey man”.

    My knowledge of Japanese is close to zero, so any explanation would be welcome.

    What with the Middle English comics we are closing in on languagehat.com.

  78. Tantei Cat
    November 10th, 2008 at 7:20 am [Reply]

    Mr. O’Malley, yes, “Ojisan” just is a term of address for a middle-aged man (literally coming from calling someone “uncle”). But, note that “Sensei” is also a generic term of address for a doctor, teacher or someone very good at their craft. It’s just what the guy is called within the comic, I’m guessing.

  79. gleeb
    November 10th, 2008 at 7:27 am [Reply]

    3-G: Gary knows that wasn’t a joke because this is a soap opera strip.

    Archie: A talking-to-Betty sound effect? That’s just lazy.

    Between Friends: This is a character who doesn’t understand soap opera comics. Do you think Lu Ann or Cousin Ruby would have had comic hijinks in an underwear store with Tamara about to be beaten half to death?

    ‘shaft & ‘bean: Been trying to remember song lyrics recently, eh Batiuk? Also, shouldn’t Creepy Les be in school, following his daughter around on a Monday?

    H&L: Hi looks on dully as the scraps of food he managed to find are rejected by his offspring.

    Lola: Hey guys! Did you know comic strips are written in advance? Eh, the first half-dozen strips I read with this sort of gag were OK, but it’s too late now.

  80. InkAllergy
    November 10th, 2008 at 7:43 am [Reply]

    The last panel of MW reminded me of the early 1970s Super Friends (r) cartoons. I was just waiting for Ted Knight’s voice to rise up and say…

    “Using her super meddle powers and a healthy dose of radiation poisoning, Mary Worth begins the process of sucking the life out of all those around her.”

  81. Little Guy
    November 10th, 2008 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    MT: Five years later, President Natalie Maines guides a still-grieving nation through the Charlestone Tragedy, which wiped out .07% of the comics page.

    Candorville: That’s two in a row. Dixie who?

    Spidey: Cuffs on! *clap clap* Cuffs off!

  82. yellojkt
    November 10th, 2008 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    “Making the hiccups go away” has got to be the second worst sex euphemism ever behind “having dinner at the Boat Bum.”

  83. Lake Eerie Log Chains
    November 10th, 2008 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    Monday! Too early! My football team blows yet another NFC East matchup! It’s snowing outside! Bad, bad mood.

    A3G – Presumably he’s angry that he can’t even score with the strip’s dullest character, despite being exactly as good-looking as the rest of the men in the strip. Or – it could be one of the reasons I mentioned above.
    Archie – “Chat! Yak!” Really?
    Crank – Out of the winners in the Beatles’ catalogue, this is the best you could do for a something a guy would be singing in a car? Really?
    DTM – Scat-play? Really?
    DT – And, how many more days until we get to the second punch? Turns out that giant robots playing the Dozens in text-speak gets old fairly quickly.
    FW – Looks like Batiuk’s on a 60s-music kick. He must have been listening to a shitty Boomer station recently when inspiration struck. Well, if this is what passes for jokes these days in Funkyland, why don’t we return to soul-crushing despair.
    GT – Oh noes! There goes Matt the Hatt’s journalism career! Now he’ll have to deal with potential success!
    JP – Enough with the T&A fan service! Time for some lovingly-drawn prosthetic leg action.
    MF – I think you should try watching it sober, Ducky (though I’ve heard it IS pretty convoluted).
    MT – A man named Rabbit? I guess we’ll be paying a little visit to John Updike.
    Marm – Well, owner man, I wouldn’t be – OH FOR CHRIST SAKE WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU DRIVING AROUND WITH ALL THE NEIGHBORHOOD DOGS IN YOUR VAN???
    MW – All due respect, I don’t think you get someone to the Olympics using kindness.
    RM – Good old Rex. He’ll still be missing the hint when he sees the giant grin on Ollie’s face.
    SF – “Cut the crap, Ted. This is what passes for fan service at Sally Forth Industries. Mom will be in town for a couple days; she’ll dismiss me, imply Hillary is a boy and that you’re a woman. then we’ll get past the holidays and be back to your Atari-remembering man-child hijinks.”

  84. Brick Bradford
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    9CL Funny, actually. This never happened to Blondie and Cookie.

    MT “I think a man named Rabbit is behind it”. T-SHIRT!!!

    MW After the wrath of Bizarro Watcher Mary was unveiled yesterday I was expecting Frank to be reduced to his subatomic particles. I’m not sure which of us is more disappointed–me or Frank, because he now knows his suffering has just begun.

    JP I love all that tough PI kind of talk but let’s get back to the boobage, huh?

    DT Speaking of tough talk-I’ve heard fifth graders do better trash talk. Oh, if Brute Force (when did he change his name?) surrenders, where will they find a jury of his peers?

  85. Paella strainer
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    As I look at Mrs. The Menace’s knees, and see what appear to be well-worn calluses,I suddenly appreciate that content, peaceful mug that Mr. The Menace seems to sport so often.

  86. kalki
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    9CL: Ok…maybe they didn’t have sex? I don’t know any child who calls up their parent(s) to report when they performed their first sex act. I know Edda and her mom are close, but are they also trading off sex toys or what?

    Archie: Next time, Archie, rub your penis on it…though Jughead might still eat it anyway…the burger…not your…well maybe…(watch next episode as Archie and Jughead explore themselves)

    Blondie: Yeah, but now’s your chance to flip over to the porn channel, Dagwood.

    Crankshaft: Nice try, dad, but singing while the carbon monoxide builds up in the car in an attempt to suicide yourself out of this cartoon isn’t going to fly. Get back in the house and live out this nightmare like everybody else!

    DTM: That’s not guilt! Ewww!

    FamCIrc: Dad’s narcoleptic. Quick! Grab his wallet!

    FW: Great. So: A)A running theme in Crankers and Funky is two old farts singing to themselves, and, B) We just glossed over the reunion, so that we don’t know who CIndy Summers gave it up to this time around.

    Hi/Lois: Uh…mange casserole? Somebody is picking up roadkill possums again.

    GA: That’s actually a compliment, Clovia. He deserves a hummer for that.

    Luann: So it isn’t weird when your mom thinks you look hot in a calendar, but your sister…wait…did Brad and Luann just have a moment where they realized how creepy their relationship is sometimes?

  87. Mooncattie
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    MT – Don’t worry, Sneaky! Andy will rescue you…just as soon as he’s had his morning cup o’ coffee!

  88. ms. docweasel
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    #72
    carapace? do you mean fountanelle? unless you are breeding baby beetles over there :p

  89. benro
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    I only started reading ’9 Dickweed Lane’ when it spontaneously replaced “They’ll Do It Everytime” on my chron.com customized comics page (I refused to ever remove TDIET as a memorial to the great Al Scaduto. Seeing “Content not available” every day in that spot kind of put things in perspective).

    Anyway, I appreciate Josh’s comments on the past week’s sequence of events, and seem to share his feelings about the strip in general.

  90. Mr. Jones
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    I’m so glad we have Mary around to be our moral compass. Otherwise, I would have no idea that a man tearing into his own daughter, and emotionally abusing her is a BAD thing.

    They should have her at professional wrestling matches, so she can make sure everyone knows who is the good guy/bad guy.

  91. benro
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    FW: In the true spirit of the thirty year reunion, I’m looking at that assemblage and asking myself, “which of these chicks are still doable?”

    #62 – That was exactly my thoughts during my 30th reunion two years ago. Of course, my high school sweetheart was at the top of the list. Unfortunately, her husband was at the top of the “guys who could still kick my ass” list.

  92. One-eyed Wolfdog
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Achievement my ass, man, this is Batuik we’re talking about here. “Okay, everybody, say: ‘Bereavement!’”

  93. Angry Kem
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    The Wizard of Id is medieval anyway, but now it’s more medieval.

    S-M:

    You draw the handcuffs in!
    You take the handcuffs out!
    You draw the handcuffs in,
    And you make your readers doubt
    That you’ve retained much sanity
    While churning out this dreck.
    That’s what it’s all about!

    ReFoob: If my mother had tried to gob in my face, I would have punched her in the nose.

    9CL: I dunno…I’m kind of fond of this strip, even though it also annoys me. People snark at the writing, and yes, it can be clunky at times, but in comparison to 99% of the legacy strips and Strips That Have Been Around For Far Too Long, 9CL is kind of…good. I really have no problem with the depiction of characters with large vocabularies. It could be that I spent too long in grad school, but there it is. I do want to kick all the straight men in the face for the way they behave around hot women, though. I would also like to kick the hot women in the face, as there are apparently no un-hot women in 9CL (with the possible exception of Juliette’s mom and that fantastic grumpy nun), and I would be okay with creating some.

  94. tom
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    What the hell is the obsession with toasters in Ziggy? There have been, I believe, four toaster related comics in the past few weeks and none of them are funny, just depressing. Hey Tom Wilson here is another “toaster Ziggy”: Ziggy getting into a bathtub with a plugged in toaster, let’s just end this strip already.

  95. Just_human
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    Spider-man reminded me of Who Framed Roger Rabbit today when it was revealed he can slip out of his handcuffs, but only when it’s funny.

    Unfortunately he accidentally put them back on.

  96. Archivalist
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    Personally, I think Mary’s Cindy McCain-face in the bottom left panel is waaay scarier. Prepare to be drained of all bodily fluids, Frank.

  97. Pozzo
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    I’m envisioning the next people of FW being a repeat of the beginning of “King Ralph.” (Too obscure?) If nothing else, it will put us all out of our misery, unless Batiuk decides to pass the agony onto the next generation. There’s still a wide world of STDs to explore!

  98. Pozzo
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    Make that “panel,” not “people”.

  99. Patrick
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    Frank’s going to make his daughter practice until her feet bleed between the short program and the long program? Not that bright. If he were Tonya Harding’s coach, he would have made her club her own knee.

  100. Just_human
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    #94 – are you THE Tom Wilson, or just a random one?

  101. Ces
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    #83: Congrats, Lake Eerie Log Chains. Your Sally Forth comment made the top of my blog for this week.

  102. Lake Eerie Log Chains
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    101 Ces
    Oh, groovy! Thanks for the props, Ces – my Ted-hands are a-fluttering

  103. Calico
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    Mt goodness, Mary’s blue and yellow action-face is even scarier than the Eye of Fatima on the US dollar bill.

    “In Mary we trust-to meddle”

    MT – a man named Rabbit, chaining raccoons to logs. Something is fundamentally wrong here.

    3G – Is Tommie taking lessons from Margo? It sure looks like she’s about to claw out Gary’s heart, but through his back.

    H & L – gotta love the weatherbeaten, soul-crushed expression on Hi’s face at the dinner table. Not only does work suck, TaxBat crashed (taking all of his not-backed-up data with it), and his supply of Ambien is gone, but he’s being forced to dine on 10 thawed, mixed-up, and baked mystery packages from the freezer.
    Just throw a can of Campbell’s cream soup on top, et voila! Casserole a la crotte!

  104. kurt
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    The folks at Marvel must have heard Josh, or Spidey is spinning around in some time warp, because the moron’s again wearing those nutty cuffs he mysteriously got out of.

  105. teenchy
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    FW Class Reunion: Back row, left to right: George Carlin, Marlon Brando, Les Inside the Actor’s Studio, Funky on Percocet, Al Roker, George McFly, Stevie Wonder?

  106. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    11/10

    MF: We actually see eye to eye on this. Much as I like Ali Larter as the Sybil type, I’ve largely given up on Heroes/

    MT: Rabbit? John Updike’s hero has fallen on hard times.

    FW: Um. If you were a young adult in the sixties, you are now, in fact, in your sixties. Maybe all the time jumps have confused our boys here.

    JP: Steve shows a little hydraulic ankle. I only point this out as a way of giving kudos to Eduardo Barreto for actually remembering and applying backstory.

    H&L Lois has whipped something up from the Mary Worth Cookbook. God help them all.

    HtH: “Now’s not the time to falter, men. It’s our destiny to leave agonized looking fossils for future anthropologists.”

    Dennis: Considerably less menacing than Joey’s appetite.

    Crock: Why did he say that last part out loud? Where the hell did all that water come from? So many questions, so little mescaline.

    DT: For a second, I thought TrazR said “Give it up for Brut Fors,” and that his Arsenio Hall subroutine had kicked in.

    Momma: January 20th? Is Francis going to be Obama’s Secretary of Poorly Drawn Loafers?

    SFx: It was considerate of Harry Ape to record his video under the exact conditions that would discredit his alibi. I can only conclude that Slylock has been having a run of bad luck, and Harry was trying to make him feel better.

    S-M: But he was… The cuffs were… Why are they… AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHH! If I think too much about this I’ll be the one stepping out in front of a train.

    Luann: Breakfast is ruined as the family gets too much subtext in their text. Brad then says, “I have to run home and let TJ sodomize me. I mean, that is to say…”

  107. MallyG
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Jesus on a Pogo Stick, it’s the Scared Heart of Mary Worth!

  108. The Party Sim
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    #21 and #30

    On the other hand, Super Saiyan hair would be an improvement for Mary. Goes well with the ocularum.

  109. skullcrusherjones
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    looks like someone lit the St. Mary the Meddling candle.

  110. Zaq
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    86 kalki: Well, um, I did. But I at least waited a week or so first. And even then it was to ask advice, not simply to brag/chat/whatever the hell Edda’s doing.

    Of course, I’ve also been assured by absolutely everyone I’ve ever talked to about it that my first time and the circumstances surrounding it should never be used for judging anything as “normal” in any way, so take that as you will.

    Comics snark later today. I’ve got half an hour to finish the work I was supposed to do last night, and here I am sharing too much about my first sexual experience on a site devoted to making fun of bad newspaper comics.

    what have i done in my life

  111. Hogenmogen
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    Man, that is one scary, scary Mary Worth visage in the final panel. Frank tells Mary “Don’t interfere”, and suddenly there’s a hush in the stadium. The creatures in the field stop cold as the sun is blotted out of the sky. The seas churn and the ground begins to quake. Thank God that this morning, she seems to have calmed down and erased the apocalyptic vision from the minds of all who witnessed it.

    Spidey artist: “Oh yeah, handcuffs!”

    Zombie-retro-FOOB: That’s just gross, Lynn. Lick a dishrag in my house and you’ll taste an unpleasant concoction of sour milk and Windex.

    Prick Trazey: One punch? Then what, two more days of shitty put-downs? You’ve already talked about the junk heap. Now it’s not only shitty, it’s reruns. For all his mechanized bravado, Traz-r got punched in the face and hasn’t punched back. And I’m getting a real chuckle at the two highly advanced technical marvels being reduced to punching each other. So in the Dick Tracy Universe, scientists have developed a sentient consciousness in a robot, but haven’t figured out how to equip it with a thing that goes “bang-bang”.

    Way to let us all down, A3G. “I know you’re up to something, Gary!” Oh my goodness. Could we be in for a Tommie’s-boyfriend-is-secretly-hacking-in-to-medical-records plot? No! “Ha ha, I was just kidding, Gary!” Whew, that was close. If the doctor didn’t back down, then something interesting might have happened when Tommie was around.

  112. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    #55 Lisa,

    That would mean they’re still technically virgins. So mazel tov! Edda can still wear white on her wedding day.

  113. pccmdoc
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    In a solution to both Global warming and the economic catastrophe…president elect BHO proposes harnessing the meddling powers of Mary Worth as a renewable source of energy to power the entire country.

    That, or he should build her one of those Iron Man suits powered by her internal meddling generator and send her off to war zones to annihilate Al Qaeda. We’re talking Terawatts of power.

  114. anonymously
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    9CL: I’d always hoped, after the last Bad Breakup, Edda would move on and do better. Amos only ONCE looked doable to me, when he put on a tux and Cleaned Up for a concert once. His damn hiccups, frizzy hair, and that disgusting simian upper lip that has a life of its own, his passivity and weeniness – all that ruins this relationship. EDDA – Congratulations on losin’ it – but you could have DONE BETTER!

    Pluggers: I am becoming more Plugger-like by the moment. I actually make hair appointments partially for something to do! Looking at The Star and The National Enquirer while waiting for my hair color to set is often the high point of the week….

  115. messybessy
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    What ever happened with Ted Forth’s office soulmate romance? Is he primping for her today therefore less amenalbe to Sally’s flirting? Does Ted now have an office playmate?

  116. teenchy
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    #114: and that disgusting simian upper lip that has a life of its own

    Wow, McEldowney could’ve supplemented his income as an editorial cartoonist lo these past eight years…

  117. Hogenmogen
    November 10th, 2008 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Pop, have you found your missing racoon?
    Pop: No.
    Mark: There could not possibly be any connection between this poster for racoon fights and your missing racoon.
    Pop: A man named Rabbit is behind it.
    Mark (turns poster over). No, it’s blank back there.
    Pop: NO, it’s Rabbit’s.
    Mark: I’m pretty sure it says “racoons”, not “rabbits”. Are you losing it, Pop?

  118. YouWho
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy: You know you’ve reached the depths of despair when a face full of piping hot Pop Tart goo fails to elicit any response. Even worse, this does appear to be Ziggy’s only means of cooking; thus the recurring toaster theme. Poor Ziggy. At least Batiuk has a whole cast with which he may spread the hell around.

  119. Gold-Digging Nanny
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    15 Jimbo: Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green?

    (Oh, sure, we could go on and on about the color spectrum and absorption and reflection of light and chlorophyll and Rayleigh scattering, but on some level, it just is. So, too, the Winkersmirk.)

  120. Hogenmogen
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    Hagar: Hey, everybody! Let’s march through a desert. Look, there’s a large swath of mud with a warning of some kind sticking out. Instead of simply walking around the mud, let’s go straight through!

    Lucky Eddie: We’re getting a bad feeling about this. Quicksand is tropical, not in arid climates. The all mighty cartoonist is setting us up. Just like all those times we’re standing at the edge of a cliff.

    Hagar: Ha! And the Creator always saves us in the end, doesn’t he?

    Hagar’s Crew: Just you and Eddie. The rest of us are toast, forced in anonymous servitude to be your fodder for the amusement of three dimensional fleshy readers. The whole thing drives me to despair. Yes, yes I will dive headlong into the quicksand! There! Are you all laughing now? Huh? My head is about to submerge. Ackkk.. Am I amusing to … glurg you?… blub… blub…

  121. Hogenmogen
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    H&J: The boorish, badly dressed white man has enough money to throw around and get his way. The hard-working black man is forced to listen while performing menial waiter tasks for very little pay. Ha ha! This strip is hilarious!

  122. un malpaso
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Some other phrases that are equivalent to “Mary, don’t interfere!”
    include:

    “Bee, don’t gather pollen and produce honey!”

    “Light, do not illuminate!”

    “Spam, do not evade e-mail filtering software!”

    “Cheney, don’t shoot!”

    “Gasoline, don’t burn violently when subjected to a spark in the presence of oxygen!”

    and so forth….

  123. commodorejohn
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    Poop. Okay, I’m going to fix the tag and then count on Josh to delete the broken post…

    9CL – I know Edda and Juliette are pretty tight, but I still find it rather improbable that she’d call her own mother to brag about how she just had sex. But at least the speakerphone group didn’t include Thorax.

    A3G – “Hey,” Tommie says, “check this out, guys! He’s got a ketchup stain on the back of his jacket!”

    Blondie – Blondie today was actually quite funny.

    DT – As far as I’m concerned, this hilariously inane robot banter could just become the entire strip.

    FW – Wait, what the hell is Tony even doing there? Wasn’t he retired and living in Florida during the Pizza Intervention storyline? For all the senility jokes he makes, Batiuk can’t even keep his own damn continuity straight.

    GA – ENOUGH OF THIS ALREADY

    GT – “You’ve gone from football hero to cult hero. Now, who’s going to be the sacrifice at the bonfire?

    Luann – Are we justified in pitchfork-and-torch-mobbing Evans yet?

    MT – A man named Rabbit? Is he any relation to Snake?

    MW – Oh man, I dearly hope Frank is going to continue pointing to every body part he references. “She’s got to have guts! Got to be quick on her feet! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to take a leak!

    MC – Well, to get nitpicky about it, A. whether that’s true or not, Jeff would have to be significantly dumber than he is to lack basic object permanence, and B. the importance of sight in sharks is under debate. Also, they have electroreception, but I’m not sure whether it works out of the water or not. So, Norm, I would suggest that disappearing under the table or suddenly having to go to the bathroom might be better strategies.

    Phantom – Tsk, tsk, looks like Guran has some deep-seated issues that he needs to work out with this Python fellow.

    Pluggers – Plugger wives have to periodically clean the TV screen after their husband’s “me time.”

    Popeye – That’s right, Quark understands Swee’Pea. He’s the only one who understands you, Swee’Pea. All those others, they’re not your friends. And if they’re not your friends, they’re your enemies. You know what to do.

    RMMD – So, we know what Brooke McEldowney’s code for sex is, but what about Wilson & Nolan’s?

    SM – You know, this is almost as flagrant in its violation of basic scene-to-scene continuity as the bit in Robot Monster where the heroine works herself free from the chair she’s been tied to and then somehow ties herself back up to avoid being discovered.

  124. odinthor
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    H&L — Sorry if I’m repeating anyone else’s observation; but wouldn’t “déjà mangé” mean not “leftovers” (“les restants,” non?) but rather something closer to “already eaten”? Lois, thrifty housewife that she is, appears to be making her casserole out of regurgitated materials. Yum.

  125. Phred22
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    Did Spiderman effortlessly remove his cuffs on Saturday only to put them back on today. Or is this a case of crossover and the Wizard of Id magically cast an illusion for one panel that Spidey escaped his cuffs.

    Actually I think some angel read Dennis the Menace and sent a message to God to answer the comics favorite’s prayer. But somehow God got which favorite was praying mixed up and assumed Spidey had called for divine intervention. Then, realizing his mistake, God returned things to normal.

  126. migellito
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    odinthor -
    Hi: “Lois, this casserole tastes like crap!”
    Lois: “Times are tight dear.”

  127. Hogenmogen
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    Adam @ Home – or is it back to just “Adam”? Anyway, here’s a guy who makes his living on the computer, apparently shocked into a death stare at the fact that he now owns a new computer. Who bought it? Probably he bought it for himself, yet blocks out the painful memory of being upstaged by a 17 year old sales kid. But what really irks me here is the “byte” punch line. Come on. Everyone knows that Adam’s wife wouldn’t use a semi-obscure programming term intentionally. She doesn’t even use it properly, since a computer not only “bytes” but does so several million times per second. A point computation per second used to be called a “flop”. What no pun fodder there? “It won’t FLOP on you”? What about “It’s a great gig!” or “I want to RAM my hard drive into your mainframe!”

  128. Poteet
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    MT — Law enforcement people who are trying to bust highly-secretive animal-fight rings around the country can only envy Mark, who’s been given a Post Office flyer and an open rumor about the name of the guy in charge. Unfortunately, given Mark’s inability to figure out who’s draining the wetlands (duh), even that may not be enough. I’d suggest one of those FC dotted lines.

  129. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    128 Hogenmogen — Also, the pun only works when we, the viewers, can see the spelling. If you try saying something like that out loud, you have to add “Byte — with a Y, get it? Homophones: bite and byte. [Pause; cough.]“

  130. Dingo
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    I’m no fashion maven but who would take advice from a woman dressed in purple with pants that had a zipper two feet long? Those are man pants, Mary, and your butch haircut is making me wonder if you’ve ever answered to the name of Mickey or own every Barbara Stanwyck movie on DVD 16mm.

  131. Jeff
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    Did anybody see The Simpsons last night? They ripped off a joke from Dennis the Menace!

  132. Dingo
    November 10th, 2008 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    Ripping off Dennis the Menace? Jeff…

    “Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not have possibly met.” — Fran Lebowitz

  133. boojum
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    73 Mr. O’Malley, regarding SlyFo:

    Medical professionals are in increasing agreement that adding a thirteenth bong can be dangerous to the smoker’s health. However, I’ll bet your version of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” on the chimes kicked ass!

  134. Gal Friday
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    FW: Must . . . not . . . look . . . at . . . 18 . . . people . . . smirking!!! Ack! I’m blind!

  135. queek
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    70: TF, I believe biker Rose has a barbed rose tat on her thigh. Biker Rose is the only reason to even glance at that strip anymore.

    83: could be worse. you could be a Lions fan.

    on to the comics!

    Lio: ewww! (and very well done.)

    A&J: once again, the most-likely-to-get-it-on couple on the funny pages.

    Speed Bump: nicely done visual joke. MG&G, not so much.

    I love Frazz. nuff said.

  136. Lake Eerie Log Chains
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    135 Gal Friday
    Ack? Cathy, is that you?

  137. papa zita
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    FW: Man oh man, my thirtieth HS reunion was supposed to happen this year and if my class looked anything like this one, I’m sure glad I didn’t go. Hell, I still have all my hair and it’s not even white.

    I went to my tenth reunion, and after feeling I’d done my duty, I decided not to go to any more. The later ones are more a “who died/got divorced since the last one?”, and a litany of braggadocio that’ll make any normal person sick.

  138. Rachel
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    I may have missed this in the comments, but perhaps those people pictured in the 30th reunion picture in FW are the only survivors left of the class of 1978.

  139. will
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    9CL: I’m very glad I don’t have that level of openness with my parents. I don’t want to know about their hiccup cures … Ever!
    Get Fuzzy: I give up. I haven’t so much as cracked a smile reading this cartoon in months.
    Luann: Ew.
    Mallard Fillmore: He ain’t wrong. Heroes is so convoluted that it doesn’t pay to analyze it. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
    Mary Worth: I love the irony quotes in the first panel. Frank won’t know what hit him when she shifts the meddler into overdrive.
    Slylock Fox: Aw, he was making a video for his mommy.

  140. Gold-Digging Nanny
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    Spidey, I don’t think this is going to work quite like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Unlike Tuco, you’re handcuffed to yourself, not to a body you can sling over the tracks. You could try looping the chain on the tracks, but considering the shortness of the chain and the way those cuffs will force you to position your wrists, you’ll have to allow the train to run over your hands (though I’m sure the artist will just make the chain longer tomorrow). If you do try it, though, make sure you keep your head down.

  141. bats :[
    November 10th, 2008 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    9CL: ick.

    Gads, here I make a Mass card for Mary Worth months and months ago,
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/2572656785/
    hoping that other strip saints rise along the way, and yet Mary continues to shine forth as a beacon of meddlery. Well, I guess I can always do another.
    But I ain’t making medals…

  142. Cedar
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: I have to admit, I’m upset at the direction this is taking. Dogs being forced to fight raccoons is only a problem if the raccoon involved is one you know and love, apparently. Why can’t Mark fight the injustice without some personal involvement?

  143. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    #133 Dingo,
    Nice quote. I’ll have to find a place to use that.

  144. David Smith
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    Zing! Josh, you just got parodied on Dork Tower.

  145. Gabacho
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    Sally Forth – This is going to be the ultimate Going Forth for the Holiday. Now that Ted is working, and having an emotional affair at least, now that Faye is peeking out of the closet at Hil, it’s time to add in Laura. Heartbreak and hilarity are bound to follow. God bless you, Ces, God bless you.

    Apt 3G – Poor Tommie, she will never understand that Dr. Kelly is talking about the technical aspects of his work. She is doomed to be forgotten. Only we ‘mudgeons know her.

    Rex Morgan – wait, isn’t Rex her boytoy?

  146. Erik
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    I can’t wait to read Monday’s post. Somehow Spidey got handcuffed by something stronger than steel, got OUT of the handcuffs, and then got back IN them. I tend to believe not that Stan Lee has trouble with continuity, but rather that Peter Parker is a stupid shit.

  147. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    #145 David Smith,
    The cartoonist seems like a nice guy, and congratulations on the new baby (to him.) But his metasnark seems a little wide of the mark.

  148. Cedar
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    # 148 I concur. It’s a little lazy, and doesn’t show a familiarity with the blog at all.

  149. Jeff Soesbe (yeff)
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    I don’t get 9 Chickweed Lane (9CL) in my local strip, so I followed the link and read the last week or so.

    I don’t get it. The two characters had to go to Brussels to have sex? Why? Is it related to the whole “apeface” thing mentioned here? If they had sex in the USA, would it be illegal? Europe is indeed more liberal about that sort of thing…

    - yeff

  150. Zach
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    I think the Dork Tower joke is supposed to be on the character, not on Josh.

  151. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    yeff,

    They didn’t go to Europe to have sex. They went to Brussels for a musical competition, the results of which are still unresolved. Amos was going to go with Portuguese seductress Isabel as his accompanist, but he infected her with ebola. (Sorry, wrong strip.) They just happened to make up after an extended fight in the romantic city of Brussels. Edda will change the setting to Paris when she inappropriately tells her daughter about the family hiccups remedy.

  152. Poteet
    November 10th, 2008 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    # 143 Cedar — Another question is whether this kind of animal fight is legal wherever Mark is doing his inept wetland-sleuthing. Given that cock-fighting and dog-fighting are against the law, I don’t understand why this would be okay. Seems that it would qualify as an animal-cruelty violation, if nothing else. And if it’s not legal, why are the local reps of the law just hanging back and waiting for Mark to deal with it?

  153. CanuckDownSouth
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    153-Poteet They’ve already said in MT that the law is against it, but the locals turn a blind eye. Makes you wonder why I-must-be-tough-to-survive-in-a-man’s- -world-but-would-rather-be-swept-off-my- -feet-by-Mark-Trail- lady bothered to “work so hard” and influence people to get the development permit for the wetlands.

    (obligatory FOOBfic plug)

  154. Tabby Lavalamp
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    That’s not sex in 9CL. That’s just the most incompetent handjob ever. Not that I blame Edda, as I wouldn’t want to touch Amos down there either.

  155. Baka Gaijin
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    Monday’s Mary Worth: Where’s the meddlegasm? Where? After Mary glowing with the energy of a thousand Dear Abby’s in yesterday’s last panel, I expected a meddle-ocalypse of biblical proportions. Fire falling from the heavens, windblown brimstone, Frank wailing and gnashing his teeth at the Category 10 biddying he’s getting.

    But no. Frank is still barking at Mary and she’s taking it. Mary, girlfriend, I must tell you this for your own good: keep this up and you’ll be as relevant to Mary Worth as Barney Google is to Barney Google.

  156. One-eyed Wolfdog
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    They went to Brussels for a musical competition, the results of which are still unresolved. Amos was going to go with Portuguese seductress Isabel as his accompanist, but he infected her with ebola. (Sorry, wrong strip.) They just happened to make up after an extended fight in the romantic city of Brussels.

    And all this has transpired over a mere handful of months. If the whirlwind pace seems somewhat dizzying you may want to retreat to the less aggressively paced Judge Parker for a while. The presence of observable chins may at first be startling, but you will adapt.

  157. Baka Gaijin
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    #156 Baka Gaijin: I swear I inserted italic codes around “Mary Worth” and the scond “Barney Google” in the last line of that post.

  158. Niall
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    125. odinthor: 100% correct. As a francophone, I was even more squicked than usual at H&L. And I’m still sick a little. (with official date #2 tonight… at her place. playing scrabble with roommates. and staying over. Um, yeah, her and sickness are combined reasons I’ve been absent around here.)

  159. Bootsy
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    Niall, “playing scrabble” with the “roommates”! Is that what you kids are calling it these days?

    I’m kidding. Good on you, and have fun. Hope your mom is doing better too.

  160. CanuckDownSouth
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    #159-Niall: I know “restants”, but for an elegant sound, would “deja servi” work? How the heck did they get this anyhow? – you wouldn’t babelfish “already eaten”, fer cryin’ out loud.

    I shouldn’t waste brainpower on this comic, but I get to use my French sooo seldom.

  161. westsider
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    9CL – tomorrow amos will call juliette to ask how he can get the hiccups.

    does blowing a chellist make edda a groupie?

  162. One-eyed Wolfdog
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    I believe that just makes her a severely confused member of the wind section.

  163. trey le parc
    November 10th, 2008 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    MW: Does Mary’s meddling have a measuring scale? Like a Fujita scale for tornados? Because Mary looks to be gearing up for the MW5, the penultimate storm in which reprimands, remonstrations, warnings, homilies and bromides burst forth from her smooth forehead to overwhelm you with the force of ten thousand nags. She doesn’t even have to talk– you already know you’re unworthy. You welcome the meddling. You need the meddling.

  164. kalki
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    110 Zaq–Ok, I can see the advice thing. But, in this case, we encounter the horror of not knowing what/if Edda performed a sex act on Amos, the greater horror that it was some act taught to Edda by her mother, and the greatest horror that the daughter would run to her mother and report when said act had been performed on somebody she is not married to. Odd?

    The closest weirdness I have encountered to this in my own life was a girl I dated long ago, who said that when she was around 15 or so, that her mother gave this girl and her YOUNGER sister her USED vibrators so that they would be…not needing to have sex with boys. Maybe I don’t understand mother/daughter relationships…is giving your daughter your old sex toys standard?

  165. Little Guy
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    140: 9CL/GF: We’ve taken Saturday’s 9CL all out of context. Edda is a Get Fuzzy fan.

    Who knew?

  166. Bootsy
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    Maybe I don’t understand mother/daughter relationships…is giving your daughter your old sex toys standard?

    # 165, Kalki, no. Most decidedly not.

  167. fishmorgjp
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Eek! Mary Worth is transmutating into a big, formless energy-plasma entity that will envelop her victim in an eternal void of meddle!! Run for your life, Frank!!

  168. Idols of Mud
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: I think we’re reading that last panel wrong. Mary’s criticism of Frank caused his outer layers to collapse in on themselves, triggering a supernova in the girls’ locker room. Mary is a meddler, but she’s also a major gravity well.

    FW (Saturday): “Oh Les, thank you for your apology for that thing. This thing was so major that seventeen apologies aren’t quite enough to make up for it. Also, your apology brought up painful memories. Also, fuck you, Les.”

  169. Shaenon
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    Josh, thanks for summing up my eternally mixed feelings about “9 Chickweed Lane.” I’m always torn between admiring it for trying to do something different from other newspaper strips (in terms of the art as well as the writing) and being turned off by a lot of what it actually does.

    I have to echo what other people have said: between the weird visual symbolism, the overly coy talk about the “special thing,” and whatsisname’s Chuck Jones-worthy postcoital expression, it really does seem like Edda gave him a blow job, which I’m pretty sure was not Brooke McEldowney’s intention. The sex in “Pibgorn” weirds me out less than “Chickweed” because McEldowney is free to just show the characters getting it on and doesn’t have to make clumsy detours around his real subject matter.

    And yes on the weirdness of Edda calling her mother to report her booty call. I can believe a woman being close enough to her mother to discuss her love life, even her sex life. I cannot believe a woman being close enough to her mother to discuss her sex life in terms a ten-year-old might use.

  170. Zaq
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    So for some unfathomable reason I read backwards through the 9CL archives to about 2002 last night… I think I was trying to see just how long the Amos-and-Edda-finally-get-over-themselves-and-fuck storyline had been brewing, and forgot what I was doing, but it was late, so I don’t remember what I was actually intending to do. Anyway, I came away with mixed feelings. I can’t deny that the art’s good (though the self-indulgent art strips, with the characters randomly writhing around the panels for no good reason, come just a bit too often), and the humor’s a lot better than a lot of the other strips out there, but I can’t make myself really genuinely like it. I don’t pretend I’m saying anything that hasn’t been said before, but I’m saying it anyway. First of all, there’s way too much goddamn kissing. I feel like a fifth-grader writing that, but I stand by it. There’s no reason for it, it smacks of wish-fulfillment, and it’s unrealistic to the point of parody. Hardly a week goes by without someone trying to gnaw someone else’s face off in an epic duel of tongues. Second, I freakin’ hate Amos. I just read the comic six years back and there’s nothing more to him than you might get from just skimming over the surface: he plays the cello when it’s narratively convenient, he’s socially awkward but never seems to grow out of it (not everyone does, of course, but Amos is a particularly obnoxious breed of stagnation), and women are inexplicably attracted to him. Oh, and he hiccups when he’s nervous, apparently, though that’s a recent development. He doesn’t have a personality, he doesn’t have any interests, he doesn’t have any volition, he doesn’t exhibit any character growth (or any character, for that matter)… he’s Blandthony without the mustache and excruciating puns. And yet he’s apparently a main character or something. The main character, Edda, is… well, the trait that leaps out to me is a total lack of concern for personal space. I think Brooke views women like cats, because that’s how he portrays them: very aloof and superior until they need some physical affection, at which point they’re all over you (cue laugh track). It’s a cute analogy to make once or twice, but when it applies to every female character in the strip (except possibly the headmistress nun) for years and years it seems kind of… well, degrading isn’t the word I’m looking for, but it’ll do. It wasn’t all bad… there were parts that made me laugh, and occasionally a likable character will slip in (he’s kind of exaggerated, but I like Mark.) Overall, though, it left a bad taste in my mouth, and answers the general question that yes, the characters have always been like that.

    Anyway, on to Monday’s comics!

    9CL: Having read through six years of backlog and seeing the relationship between Edda and her mother, the reaction that would make sense is not embarrassment, but more “what took you so long?” Between Edda’s ravenous sexual appetite, her inexplicable fixation on Amos, and his complete inability to have any say in the matter, it’s downright shocking that it took this long.

    MW: Mary’s gonna show you a thing or two about humiliation, Frank. Keep practicing pointing at your temple like that… you’ll be doing it with live ammo soon enough.

    H&J: The boorish white guy is clearly the bad guy not because he’s rude and rich (and if he’s flush enough to be doing all he’s talking about, what’s he doing in Herb’s dump?), but because he’s being specific. “Le Swanque?” No no no! “That ritzy restaurant you always hear about!” Get it right or no amount of bad manners and money will keep you around here, bud.

    Luann: How many times are we going to have to see that picture of Brad’s featureless mound of flesh staring at us?

    Crock: I, um. Far be it from me to question the logic, physics, or geography of Crock, but whyhow the hell is Crock standing knee-deep in a river, bordered by sand dunes, to pontificate evilly?

    Dilbert: Ha ha, it’s funny because it’s referring to penis enlargement spam! Wait, that’s not funny, that’s just dumb and kind of tired. Ha ha, it’s dumb and kind of tired because it’s referring to penis enlargement spam!

    S-M: Nothing I can say can make this any funnier than it already is.

    Phantom: I love that the Pygmy Poison Person Jungle Doctor, wearing a lampshade, enormous hoop earrings, and a grass skirt, is using a mortar and pestle. I don’t know why, but I like it. He also appears to be the only one with any sense around here. Upholding law and order over petty revenge (well, not THAT petty) is all well and good, but why not give the cure to PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN INFECTED instead of to the killer first, THEN save him if he’s still around? (I’ll give Guran a pass for not sharing the cure with the rest of the world because I have to imagine that he’s comically isolated and unaware of the world outside his village, otherwise this strip gets even worse than it already is, but if Ghost-Who-Holds-Paladin-Ideals doesn’t spread this, this belongs in the Superdickery file.)

    Doonesbury: Eh, xkcd did it better.

    AJGLU3K: The punchcard with the dialogue on it got ripped, so our metal comedian compensated.

    DT: The punchcard with the dialogue on it got ripped, so our metal comedian compensated.

    RMMD: Okay, let’s get the group hug over with so we can move on to Rex being trapped with June on that cruise we were promised. More cabin boy patootie, mule!

    GT: Only in Milford is risking your life to play high school sports considered laudable.Anything to get back in that “best time of his life” locker room, I guess…

    C’shaft: I believe that Crankshaft only started listening to the Beatles after John died, specifically for the purpose of taunting grief-stricken fans.

    FW: Ha ha, not only is Tony stuck in the past and remembering the music of his youth, his brain is getting so addled with senility that he cannot remember the words properly! Soon he’ll be a pathetic husk of a man clinging to life for no reason other than habit… no reason except that Batiuk loves suffering. Whatta laff riot, amirite?

    Buckles: More gay drunken interspecies hook-ups, mule!

  171. One-eyed Wolfdog
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    That dog in Fast Track is ridiculously cute and I move that the rest of the strip should be scrapped, allowing him to become the focus from this point forward. Possibly then I would stop confusing this strip with Safe Havens, too.

  172. One-eyed Wolfdog
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    Sharp ears and cheek tufts, man, that’s just really what I’m all about.

  173. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    Hi and Lois: Actually, “deja mange” means “already eaten” in French, which makes this comic seem much more grotesque and disturbing. Regurgitated casserole? She must have borrowed the recipe from Mary.

  174. Zaq
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    165 kalki: Oh, I agree entirely. It’s weird as hell that Edda chose to report the deed immediately thereafter, for no other reason we can see than that she just wanted to share. Furthermore, as far as we’re privy to tell, it looks like everyone involved was happy, and didn’t need help deciphering female-to-English (which is why I called MY mom in that case… “when a woman says this in this situation, what the hell does she mean?!”) (No offense to the ladies in general, but let’s be honest, most if not all of you can be pretty damn inscrutable when you want to be.)

    As for mother-daughter relations, hell if I know. My dad never did anything like that for me (which is good, because I would have been freaked the hell out).

    So, in total, while I don’t find it that unthinkable that there are circumstances in which mothers would be called after one’s first time, Edda’s still insane and creepy and the entire strip makes no sense.

  175. Marthas Rolling Pin
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    Cranky: I chuckled. Forgive me, Holy Popiness.

    MT: Rabbit!!! Forget about raccoon matches, just toss Rabbit, Snake and Buzzard into a cage and see who comes out alive.

  176. Niall
    November 10th, 2008 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    160. Bootsy: First Scrabble with the roommates (one male, one a single mother). Then there might be some “scrabbling”, but only one-on-one… As for my mom, she’s home and recuperating, but still on morphine and occasionally not quite all there. I only pray and hope she doesn’t get addicted to it.

    161. CanuckDownSouth: “Déja Servi” has never, in my knowledge, been uttered by any native French speaker of any country. It makes “gently used” and “Previously Owned” look like well-worn slang in comparison and ease of utterance. Since the only way you’ll ever get leftovers is in very familiar company, be it family or really good friends who don’t care, “restants” or “restes”, depending on the area, is what it’s going to be called. “Ce soir, on mange des restants de pizza!” (Tonight, we’ll eat pizza leftovers!)

    I have zero clue how they possibly could have managed to get to “previously eaten”. Yuck.

    165. kalki: it is definitely not standard, but it is not entirely unheard-of. I do know one woman and her daughter who have no trouble talking frankly about sex, the mother to avoid her daughter doing major stupidities and so she has real knowledge; the daughter to keep her mother updated on current slang and practices. In fact, the daughter (19) has a steady boyfriend and thinks her mom (51) is a slut for being willing (but unable) to have sex with a number of men she has befriended online. Talk about a reversal of expected roles!

    But really, I think a toy can be cleaned rather thoroughly – but some toys “absorb” and should not be used by anyone else. And no toys should be passed on if they were used anally. But it’s best to err on the side of caution, and if she really wanted her daughters to learn safety, she should have bought them their own – not that she could have brought them to a reputable sex shop, as no minors are permitted…

    169. Idols of Mud: Mary is a Meddle Well? but she doesn’t even meddle very well…

    171. Zaq: great, now you reminded me I haven’t followed Buckles recently. I might add it to my Chron file, as something at least better than the rest in the small sample I saw – amusing enough at the very least.

    175. Zaq: good to check with a trusted source for a few Women-English translations. But yes, I’ve known a lot of weird people, but not one man has done more than discuss the basics of sex (very frankly and directly in some cases, but still done it once) with their father. Though I do believe some will happily tell their brothers and/or fathers about their sexual conquests, in at least a few details – but in terms of conquest and notches on a belt. The mom-daughter type of afterwards-talk is generally done with women, in a North American setting anyway.

    (…maybe people liked it better when I was here less often, now… :))

  177. Niall
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and:

    ARCHIE: Betty tries to educate our titular hero on foreign language words, but he mistakes a common household cat with a foreign ruminant. Archie’s not getting any tonight, once again.

  178. Bootsy
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    Sharp ears and cheek tufts, man, that’s just really what I’m all about.

    One-eyed Wolfdog, that made me giggle uncontrollably.

  179. Islamorada Girl
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    143: Cedar: The answer is simple. Mark Trail is a total dickweed.

  180. bats :[
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    Okay, I was too weak to resist:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/3019676631/
    OTOH, I found an artist who does keen (and undoubtedly blasphemous devotional candles for the likes of St. Joan (of Crawford), St. Julia (Childs), and St. Brit (Patron of Celebrity Meltdowns)…

  181. Poteet
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    # 153 CanuckDownSouth — Thanks for the clarification. I must have forgotten that. Probably because I wanted to.

  182. boojum
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    “Hey! Mary Worth! Nice nimbus, babe!”

    Another thought I never thought I’d have — much less find a reason to say out loud.

  183. Unakau
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    Fred Basset: Fred Basset isn’t the horrible comic that some people make it out to be, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t seem like it’s written by some alien desperately trying to understand the concept of comedy. And failing.

    Baby Blues: Baby Blues is often funny, but this was pretty terrible. Really, is Hammy saying that Zoe’s chances at Big Sister of The Year just flew out the window supposed to be funny? I like to think that maybe the author drew the comic and then couldn’t think of a last line.

    Get Fuzzy: This was the funniest thing that I have seen on the comics page in a while. I have no idea why that worked.

    Luann: At least they acknowledged that what just transpired was unsettling to a terrible extent. Was that a joke that really needed to be made? I think that everyone would have been happier without this comic.

    Mallard Fillmore: Mallard Fillmore is inconceivably unfunny.

    Mark Trail: Look out, Mark! A man named Rabbit is right behind that poster!

    Marmaduke: Owner man, while standing in a weird, knock-kneed way, just agreed to drive maybe one hundred dogs to his house. Why he cares about what these dogs think of him I do not know.

    Momma: Momma is even more frighteningly liberal than I am.

    One Big Happy: “And other hefty stuff.” Gccck.

    Popeye: I just started reading this so I have no content whatsoever. Wow. Holy shit! Is Quark the moon beast going directly through Popeye’s arm?!

    Spider-Man: Aren’t those trains going to run directly into all of those other, erm, train carts?

    Ziggy: A pop-tart joke? God damn it.

  184. Idols of Mud
    November 10th, 2008 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    @ Niall (#176): Nice turn of phrase. She meddles so well that light does not escape her nagging.

  185. Molly
    November 10th, 2008 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    9CL: a deflowering?!?! Is that what was going on? I thought she was just doing some Shiatsu technique for relieving hiccups.

  186. miss mo
    November 10th, 2008 at 8:40 pm [Reply]

    9CL: If you lost your virginity and you know it clap your hands!

  187. Elliegal
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    My God, Frank is reaching for Mary’s neck in the “MARY, DON’T INTERFERE!!” panel.

  188. regisgoat
    November 11th, 2008 at 7:55 am [Reply]

    Never heard of 9CL until now. Is there really a Chickweed Lane in Brussells? Are we sure the hiccups are stress-related or just the results of elided drunkeness, the usual causal agent of hiccuping in a comic strip? Also, the women aren’t hot, compared to that strangely infantile flower of the swamps, Hoogy.

  189. kalki
    November 11th, 2008 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    188. regisgoat: The current storyline with Amos and Edda is taking place in Belgium, but honestly I have no idea where Chickweed Lane specifically is supposed to be. I think Edda’s mom taught in New Hampshire, so I guess that is where most of the older stories took place…or at least in the NE U.S.

    Does anybody else think Hoogy is going to run off on Rover because he can’t fulfill her needs?

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