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’Czak and Matt, superstars

Gil Thorp, 12/7/08

Say what you will about Gil Thorp — that it’s confusing and irritating, that its relationship to actual teenage athletics is tenuous at best, that its rapidly shifting narrative and visual perspectives can induce nausea and seizures — but at least it’s unpredictable! By this, I mean that the storylines often seem to point to one obvious and lame denouement, then suddenly zig in another direction that’s equally unsatisfying but has the added benefit of also not making sense in terms of what came before. Thus, for a while we’ve been set up to have the ’Czak foisted onto Prep Spotlight Live From Marty Moon’s Basement as the dotty Kelly Ripa to Marty’s exasperated, avuncular Regis; however, it’s now clear that the 6′ 9″ heart attack waiting to happen will be cohosting the show with his best pal Matt the Hat, with Marty nowhere to be seen. Presumably he’s tied up in the back room, watching in horror as these two clowns wear stupid clothes and flash up phony gang signs; or perhaps his TV overlords simply gave him his “severance package” (i.e., a case of discount gin) and shoved him in the general direction of his car.

Gasoline Alley, 12/6/08

When I think about Gasoline Alley at all, my thoughts are usually driven by my unreasoning entirely reasonable hatred of Slim, so I was annoyed to see that he’d be the focus of the Christmas-themed storyline. But now that I see that said storyline will involve him being urinated on, I’m beginning to rethink my opinions on the matter.

70 responses to “’Czak and Matt, superstars”

  1. BloodyBitch
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    Is it water on the knee? Operation!

    First thing I thought of when I read GA. Surely I am not the only one.

  2. Sly Robbie
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    ‘Czak, all heart? Not for long…

  3. UncleJeff
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    The Rajah! The Rajah! WTF Gil Thorp writers? Don’t you read the Curmudgeon! It’s Matt the Hatt. It’s easy to remember and it gives your drawing guy something he can do each time he’s putting pen to pad.
    And look at that control room board! Or is it Lady Overlord Marla’s executive desk?
    MAAAAAAR-TEEEEE MOOOOOON! Where are youuuuuuu?????

  4. Tim
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    Not that it matters, but I can’t ever remember seeing any type of anchor type person wearing a hat on a TV show.

    Then again, I may not watch enough TV to speak with authority on this subject.

  5. maudamanda
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    Please please please when you cover today’s (Sunday’s) comics, note that Jeff MacNeely is obviously a Paul Westerberg fan. Or it’s just how Dagwood Bumstead hangs out with glamrockers…

  6. Yoqi
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    Today marks a proud day, the day that the art in Gil Thorp progresses from mildly bewildering to utter mindscrew. Look at Matt’s hat in the third panel. I dare you to try and imagine that thing in any three dimensional space.
    …actually, the thought of any real world rendition of anything from Gil Thorp just gave me a mean case of the willies.

  7. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    GA: Oh great. Clovia will be jealous when she finds out someone else has been pissing on Slim.

  8. Austin
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    Re: #4

    No TV people wear hats because everyone knows that it’s rude to wear your hat indoors.

    “The Rajah” is a punk who has no respect for societal norms.

  9. Erik A.
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man’s Sunday strip made me laugh harder than I have in a while. The only thing missing was the corny punchline. Maria is about to get… clocked! JJJ’s a little tied up on time! etc.

  10. dimestore lipstick
    December 7th, 2008 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    Sunday’s Luann–
    At first I was going to compare Mrs. Degroot and her insane over-decorating to my mom.

    Then I realized that even my mother would not consider the Elbonian on the end table to be a suitable Christmas decoration.

  11. enfueago
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    Since when do santa’s helpers look like the one in Gasoline Alley? Not that it diminishes the strip’s standing but the artists really push the scantily clothed female characters. Maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention before…

  12. Lithros
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    Where did these idiots learn gang signs? Everyone thinks it’s the 50′s and watches local community programming instead of real TV. And they can’t even agree on which sign to give, which means we’ll soon have an on-air shooting to deal with. Hey, whatever keeps those ratings up!

  13. Mac
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    I think hatred of Slim can be completely reasonable and yet unreasoning. At least, my hatred for Cathy is.

  14. Patrick
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    I think Gil Thorp is onto something, or maybe on something…certainly, I’d watch a sports show hosted by a guy wearing a skinny 1980s-inspired tie and a fedora and another guy with a collarless, v-neck Hawai’ian shirt and a blazer. It’s like the Gayest Damned Sports Show Ever!

  15. Erik A.
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    Incidentally, Sacko’s earpiece in panel 3 looks like his brain is coming out of his ear. Eww.

  16. bats :[
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    14. Patrick: I think that *is* part of the program’s complete title, “Prep Spotlight: Gayest Damned Sports Show Ever!”.
    It isn’t?
    Well, it should be!

  17. commodorejohn
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    Y266 queek – I don’t see the problem with a peek at a grown-up Ruthie. I mean, I can enjoy Haley Mills as both the preteens in The Parent Trap and as a young adult in The Moon-Spinners and The Trouble With Angels. (Pollyanna can burn, though, but my hate is directed more toward the movie than the actress.)

    Y267 Gojira – Oh man, what sin did Mr. Sinnott commit to be moved from the freakin’ Fantastic Four to the Spider-Man comic strip? (The really sad thing: the strip Wikipedia has as an example does, in fact, have Peter contemplating watching TV.)

  18. Rusty
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    GT: Josh, you can never make enough references to Marty Moon drinking in his car.

    GA: That is one hot Santa’s helper. I’d buy a calendar featuring hottie elves.

    #5: Isn’t McNeely dead? There is a bunch of names in the credit box. the Replacements reference makes no sense re: 45th reunion, but it caught my eye anyway.

  19. Beatrice
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, Clovia better watch Slim around that hot little elf, in case she has a thing for tubby gas-station attendants that reek of urine.

  20. AndyMN
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    “And after I dazzle you with insight…”

    I doubt that even a Plugger’s lame enough to be dazzled by insight on a cable-access show about high school football. Then again, I’m assuming that a Plugger would be willing to actually pay for cable.

  21. Baka Gaijin
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    Sunday’s Comic:

    Dilbert: Huh. The Pointy Haired Boss has an ass-dick. Just how close to autoerotic asphyxiation is this guy?

    Cathy: What? CATHY doesn’t want to go shopping? Call Lio; I think my brain just cracked open.

    Mother Goose and Grimm: I laughed. I know, I’m lame, but it blindsided me.

    Pluggers: An albino rhino? Or Michael Jackson treatments.

    Pickles: Ha ha! Men are such simpletons!

    Dennis the Menace: Garfield’s title panel is more menacing than you. Take that and stuff it in your frog hole.

  22. John DeGroot
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    Continuity warning on Gasoline Alley: The kid is sitting on ersatz Santa’s right knee but it is the left knee that is wet from urine.

  23. Lettuce
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: “I’m strong, I’ll survive ebola.” Suuure, Phantom. It doesn’t work when explaining away your herpes, it ain’t gonna work here.”

  24. Dingo
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Okay, today I’m only going to supply the first line. Take Barry Manilow’s Copacabana and…

    His name was Ponczak! His friend is Rajah!

    Take it from there, ‘mudgeons.

  25. jvwalt
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    GT: The real-life Marla Drutz, who is an actual TV executive at a station in Detroit, is either laughing her ass off about this, or calling the best libel lawyer in town.

  26. Some Guy Here
    December 7th, 2008 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    The ‘Czak’s verbal skills are truly amazing – he managed to somehow express in language parentheses!

    And I’m not quite following you on the Gasoline Alley strip, I’m too busy looking at the cute, mutantly tall-for-a-she-elf she-elf there.

  27. Dingo
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    With that she-elf in Gasoline Alley, is that an apron she’s wearing or is the entire front bodice of her costume open and revealing flesh? If so, I don’t think that’s water on Slim’s knee.

  28. Foolster41
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    Gasoline Alley: Actually, it looks like the theme of “peeing on santa” is oldly (and distrubingly) popular. Here’s yesterday’s PVP:

    Gil Thorp: Ha! I actually think the show’s been improved by 2000%. These guys are at least somewhat humorous and upbeat, that is to say compared to Marty Moon who feels like any moment he may pull out a .45 and blow his brains out.

  29. Lettuce
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    Phantom Sunday: Out-of-context, there are several disturbing and inapproriate ways to read Phantom and Fat Chief’s discussion of what to do with their fenced-in collection of scantily-clad children. Still, they’re better than any reading in context.

  30. Trekkie
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    26 Some Guy – Maybe ‘Czak is using Victor Borge’s phonetic punctuation?

  31. Poteet
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    Monday Spoilers:

    ReFoob. Theme: Watching the Pattersons is an incentive to remain single. Characters: Elly talking on the phone. I say: No kidding.

    Luann. Theme: Inept flirting. Characters: Brad and Toni (who else). I say: I hope to God this will be the only time we see Brad getting ready to play “Honey Bun” in SOUTH PACIFIC.

  32. Uncle Lumpy
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    #29 Lettuce –

    What to do with the Phantom’s fenced-in collection of scantily-clad children? Sell them to Rex Morgan! He’s rich, his wife’s put him in the mood, and he’s on his way!

  33. Poteet
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    # 27 Dingo — I also find Santa’s crotch disturbing in the third panel. What is going on down there, and who designed these costumes?

  34. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    Grand Ave.: I realize this strip flies under the snarkdar, and as such is not really worth snarking…
    but come on, the which-bulb-is-out-on-the-Christmas-lights gag? That one was out of touch when I was but a dappled føal.

  35. Balius
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    #22 John DeGroot:

    Continuity error it’s not, Slim wet himself after being startled by the wailing of the infant. His wife is a lucky woman.

  36. dyslexic dog
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    It appears as though the Comics Curmudgeon Army is slowly but surely stamping a new brand, nay, a new slogan of eww-inspiring brain-matter mental images, as exemplified by #15 Erik A.’s comment today. This image has remained remarkably consistent through past comments from Donald the Anarchist, manwich, Trotzenbonnie, Moon Mullins, and Baby D’oh, perhaps the most disturbing of all.

    In addition to a t-shirt bearing the phrase, “This Phrase Should Be On A T-shirt,” perhaps we could cobble together a set of earplugs with the message, “For Leaky Brains.”

    Now if you’ll please excuse me, I must really hurry and bleach my brain.

  37. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    #27, #33: Is Santa pantsless, and wearing a Yosemite Sam style merkin?

    Do boys wear merkins? Does anyone?

  38. Aitherion
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:27 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Who the balls puts two Christmas trees up, anyway? How far does this madness go? Does she have one in the bathroom in front of the toilet, too? “Hey, Mom, I have to pee, but there’s a tree in the way!” “Yeah, I bought a new Christmas decoration! What do you think?”

  39. Joe Blevins
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    GA: For those of you who wanted to know what Basic Instinct would have been like with Santa Claus in the Sharon Stone role, panel 3 of Gasoline Alley supplies your answer.

    GT: When I saw panel 1, I thought, “Why is there a real-estate lady impersonating Dr. Strangelove and depicted at a 45 degree angle like a 1960s Batman villain in what appears to be a futuristic elevator shaft?” And then I saw that it was Gil Thorp, which pretty much explains everything.

  40. Andrew Leal
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    “Sacko and the Rajah.” Because in Milford, everyone knows the best way to boost ratings is to remind viewers of Sacco and Vanzetti (and hope that, like that duo, they might get to see Jeff and Matt go to the chair). Suddenly, Matt’s ubiquitous fedora makes sense!

  41. Dan Coyle
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:47 pm [Reply]

    I’d like to point out that Rod Wigham, at one point in his career was a VERY good artist.

    Now I will curl into a ball and cry.

  42. GROAN..
    December 7th, 2008 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    DtM: Menacing, not so much. Unspeakable filth? Much!

    Dennis looks like he wants Mom to play with his “two frogs and a grasshopper.”

    That’s all I got.
    Time to go pour rubbing alcohol in my eyes, and light them on fire.

  43. Erik
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    Come on Slim, just call it “pee.” I don’t care if you’re old or a syndicated comic, everyone deserves some edgy material once in a while.

  44. 150
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    That’s brilliant! When Jeff finally drops dead of a coronary at age 17, they’ll have it on tape! Ratings gold!

  45. Deena in OR
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    Dingo @24:

    “And it was just two weeks ago, Ponzack used to catch and throw.”


  46. Poteet
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    # 37 Spotted H0rse — BWAHAHAHAHA!

    Okay, this storyline is looking up.

    So to speak.

  47. Deena in OR
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    @ 37:

    I dunno, I guess it would depend on the boys you hang out with :)

  48. Deena in OR
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    Oh, by the way, the link above is probably NSFW, or for Great-Aunt Tessie…(depending on Tessie…)

  49. Poteet
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:21 pm [Reply]

    LUANN — I am reminded of hearing a few days ago about a Christmas-decorating fanatic who told a friend, “Christmas threw up in my house.” Probably an oldie, but I hadn’t heard it before, har.

  50. Zaq
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    3 UncleJeff: I’m now imagining your “MARTEEEE MOOOOON” wail in the same voice as someone calling for help from the Ouendan. And the image of Marty Moon as an Ouendan should get me through the rest of the day.

    As for Sunday snark, I don’t have a lot. Dick Tracy is wonderful, with the wild head-kick in the penultimate panel and the little “NO” onomatopoeia (at least I assume it is) as Braces gets fried. It’s nice to see a repeat of Margo’s YA THINK?!” in A3G, but it’s ultimately nothing new. My Cage is cute. Other than that, I don’t have a lot.

  51. Poteet
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    # 47 Deena — You have not only educated me, but permanently altered how I think of the name “Matilda.”

  52. Deena in OR
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    Yup. I’ll never think of “Waltzing Matilda” in quite the same way again, that’s for sure.

  53. Vince M
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    27,33,37: I suddenly remember a National Lampoon Christmas cartoon by Arnold Roth with a naked Santa.

  54. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 7th, 2008 at 8:59 pm [Reply]


    Shoe: Giving you an idea of their own hipness level, the “Shoe” cartoonists are apparently unaware that the Replacements were an actual band in the 3D world. And you know, I’m guessing Paul Westerberg is all right with that.

    SFx: Count Weirdly then broke down weeping and confessed that he stole the egg because he and his wife are infertile and their failure to produce children has become a terrible burden on their marriage. Max used his slight stature to sneak out for a drink.

    MW: Did Lynn just challenge Mary to a boring anecdote competition? Oh child, you are in for a whupping!

    RMMD: Sweet oblivious Rex. Yes, another crew member gives another Morgan an unambiguous “fuck you,” which is awesome. I’m starting to wonder if there’s really a cover-up going on, or if they accidentally booked a trip on Welcome to the Real World Cruise Lines.

  55. RaB
    December 7th, 2008 at 9:07 pm [Reply]

    Matt the Hat needs one of those 1950′s “PRESS” cards in the band of his hat. Then he could be the field reporter of the duo, in hat, trenchcoat, and lugging a Graflex Speed Graphic with tungsten bulb flash.

  56. Joe Blevins
    December 7th, 2008 at 9:09 pm [Reply]

    I swear, I’ve just about gotten this out of my system, but there’s a little more Ziggy Minus Ziggy here and here. Doing these is surprisingly relaxing, which is nice during the stressful holidays.

    Lots of ‘mudge-related stuff in my Photobucket album, if you’re interested.

  57. Mooncattie
    December 7th, 2008 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    GA – The young elf-ette has a Dr. Suess look to her. Probably appropriate, as she’s appearing in his little-known and quickly pulled from shelves Pee On Knee.

  58. notToby?
    December 7th, 2008 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    I, too, thought that Santa was pantless. And the eye-bleach ain’t workin’.

  59. Joe
    December 7th, 2008 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    BMB Apparently AmeobaMan has forgotten about penicillin.

    GH&R: Sounds to me like the Festoon Saloon will probably have more ferns than Sheriff Flintlock is accustomed to.

    FG Swift and McNutt are finally back!

    FPoP A few more jiggles and Mr. Biddle will be learning what a restraining order is.

  60. Mooncattie
    December 7th, 2008 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    More GA – And I see that Santa has gang signs, too. That kid’s a goner!
    The little Wee
    Who Pee’d on Knee
    Was History
    To You and Me!

  61. Deena in OR
    December 7th, 2008 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    Off topic, but…

    Holiday Bowl, here we come! Go Ducks!

    signed, proud Oregon Marching Band mom.

    (Any resemblence to FW characters is purely coincidental. And humiliating :) )

  62. survivor
    December 7th, 2008 at 11:31 pm [Reply]


  63. Crankenstank
    December 7th, 2008 at 11:43 pm [Reply]

    Apparently disposable diapers haven’t hit the Gasoline Alley universe. So much for the aging in real time, eh. (When exactly is Walt going to kick the bucket, anyway? Isn’t he like 120 now? What has he been doing off-panel? Has all the research that went into Pampers in our universe gone into researching Walt’s life-extension therapy in the GA universe? I’d pee on Santa, too.)

  64. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    December 8th, 2008 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    #47 Deena in OR: Wow, fascinating! It all makes sense now. I particularly like the sentence that begins, “The presence of a merkin protects the actors…”

  65. bats :[
    December 8th, 2008 at 1:29 am [Reply]

    61. Deena in OR: and it’s Viva Las Vegas (Bowl) for the UA Wildcats! (Not that I have a kid in marching band.)

    Mooncattie: if I find a copy of the elusive “Pee on Knee” at the Friends of the Library warehouse, I will set it aside for you…

  66. Sue D. Nymme
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:42 am [Reply]

    Matt Drudge, finally weary of writing a website that only wackos read (and everyone else ridicules), changes careers: Now he’ll be the co-host of a radio program that only wackos will listen to (and which everyone else will ridicule).

  67. Sue D. Nymme
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:43 am [Reply]

    Er, TV program. Rats.

  68. Esther Blodgett
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    Luann: Cantaloupe jokes, the classiest form of romantic humor. Is Toni going to whip out a box of blue spherical Christmas ornaments she just bought and say, “Look, Brad, I was thinking of you, too!”?

    Baldo: That’s what we call truth in comics, folks.

    A3G: “Sam, if you’re thinking about me and Dixie in a freaky three-way, say ‘And if you see the dog, shoot to kill.’”

    Pluggers: Do not drive VW Beetles.

  69. Bitter Scribe
    December 8th, 2008 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    What exactly is the point of having a baby who is too young to talk, much less control his/her bladder, sit on Santa’s knee? What could a baby want for Christmas, anyway, besides a dry diaper and maybe a pacifier?

    And Sue, thanks for beating me to the Matt Drudge joke.

  70. Marriage Fitness
    August 3rd, 2009 at 3:51 am [Reply]

    A better alternative to counseling is marriage fitness program , which is exclusively designed for the couples who don’t want to discuss their problems completely, the specialty of this program is to provide the effective and proved solution to couples without been knowing their complete problems.

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