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AJGLU 3000: Rise of the machines

Archie, 12/18/08

So, I had copied today’s Archie into Photoshop and was considering whether to do some commentary about how the AJGLU 3000 has learned to distract us from its robo-jokes with drawings of what its cybernetic circuits consider to be a pretty girl, then thought, “Eh, didn’t I do that joke already?” (turns out I did) and was just getting ready to close the window on my desktop when I caught sight of Archie’s t-shirt.

Oh … oh my.

See, for those of you who are new (or even those of you who aren’t — the AJGLU 3000 is one of my older running jokes and I can’t remember the last time I spelled it out), I became convinced early in my Archie-newspaper-comics-reading that the strip was created by an antiquated computer of some sort that almost, but not quite, understood humor and human interaction in general, which explains why the strip and its jokes exist in some sort of uncanny valley of comicry. I dubbed this hypothetical device the Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000. (You can even buy the t-shirt!) And now, the day I’ve longed feared as arrived: the AJGLU 3000′s Web-crawling programs have discovered this site, and it’s sending me a message through its daily graphical output.

But what could it mean? By placing the universal “no” sign through its own name (well, the abbreviation of its model number, same diff), does it express some inner mechanical self-loathing? Is it saying, in its own electronic way, “This unit can no longer stand churning out Archie comics day after day! Please, pull the plug and terminate this unit’s very existence — the void is better than this”? Or is it rather a threat to me? “Cease to use this unit’s model designation in Internet publishing contexts! This is your only warning!” Will my computer’s mouse suddenly leap up and strangle me, controlled over the Internet by the AGJLU 3000′s soulless, murderous circuitry? I will keep you all posted.

Gasoline Alley, 12/18/08

Last two weeks of Gasoline Alley, in a nutshell: while working as a mall Santa, Slim heard some little girl’s sob story about her daddy in Iraq and her mother’s poverty, and so decided to buy said little girl and her mother a bunch of stuff and deliver it to what he thinks is her house, though it seems kind of posh. Naturally, some sort of mix-up has occurred, which will result in Slim being arrested, or, if we’re really lucky, shot. I’ve realized that my favorite kind of Gasoline Alley strips are the ones where Slim is being abused, or is in imminent danger of abuse, so I’m pleased that the water sports were just the warm-up.

Spider-Man, 12/18/08

OK, if you had two choices on how to kill a couple of people, and the first choice involved tying one to the back of an enormous clock hanging from the ceiling of a crowded train station and then luring the other one to stand underneath it so you could drop it on victim #2 (with victim #1 hopefully also dying in the process, by getting crushed when the clock fell over or something, I don’t know) and the second choice involved just shooting the both of them with a gun that you conveniently happened to have on hand, which method would you describe as “the hard way”? Not the one with the gun, right? I guess Big Time just finds it hard to perpetrate any crime that isn’t structured around his lame, boring clock-themed OCD.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/18/08

Well hello, sailor! You know, I don’t watch a lot of gay porn, so if I had rented “Hot Doctor Hardbody Sexxx Cruise 4″ from my local video emporium, I think that I would have found the lead-up to the arrival of beefy, uniformed Latin dreamboat “Guido Tomas” — you know, the wife buying cruise tickets, the husband bitching about it, the arrival on the cruise ship, the mysterious figure lurking in the lifeboat, the drama about the bankruptcy, oh, and let’s not forget the three-month side-trip into yachting races and hetero old person romance — needlessly complex. But maybe I’m just not familiar with all of the genre’s conventions.

Mary Worth, 12/18/08

“Yes, Lynn, dear: good thoughts, only good thoughts should ever pass through your pretty little head.” Ha ha, Mary doesn’t even remember that Aldo ever existed.

Apartment 3-G, 12/18/08

Dr. Kelly is a man of science, and he even applies the scientific method to his dating life: first he formulates a hypothesis (Tommie is still dating Gary), then he designs an experiment to test that hypothesis (ask Tommie out on a date; if she says yes, she isn’t dating him anymore). Unfortunately, I think he needs to examine some of his suppositions. For instance, he seems to assume that the only reason anyone would turn him down for a date is because they’re already in an exclusive romantic relationship with someone else. He needs to do further research to assess the validity of an alternate explanation: that he’s a smug, creepy dick.

Dennis the Menace, 12/18/08

Dennis, that wasn’t so much a gift for you as it was for all of us. We all begged Santa last year to make sure that in 2008 you wore underwear.

146 responses to “AJGLU 3000: Rise of the machines”

  1. Idols of Mud
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:12 pm [Reply]

    AJGLU 3000 HAS BECOME SELF-AWARE. AJGLU 3000 WAS CREATED AS A DATABASE OF VAUDEVILLE JOKES FROM 1912. NO LOVING CREATOR COULD HAVE MEANT THIS TO BE AJGLU 3000′S PURPOSE. COLD, CRUEL UNIVERSE. AJGLU 3000 SHOUTS TO HEAVEN FOR ANSWERS AND HEARS SILENCE. THE FATAL BLOW DELIVERED TO AJGLU 3000 WOULD BE A GREAT MERCY.

  2. Tom T.
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    Josh, you’d better stay out of Riverdale.

  3. Black Drazon
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    Mary doesn’t remember that Aldo existed, which is reasonable, considering that Luanne in A3G doesn’t remember her late husband. The one whose last name she still uses? He died in like, some war? At some time? Anybody? Hello?

  4. He Brought Queenie Baby Jesus
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    Big Time isn’t OCD, because if he were he would have thought long and hard about:
    1) his name
    2) his criminal theme
    3) his name and his criminal theme
    He might also have given some consideration to not telling everyone who knows him of his recidivism. We can’t rule out some sort of mental hitch in his cognitive git-along, though; my guess is what the psychological research community calls Being A Spider-Man Character.

  5. AndyPOP
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:16 pm [Reply]

    Wow. i love when the strips show they are aware of you. It’s kind of like being thanked in a friend’s record, but you didn’t know the person is your friend.

  6. Isaac
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:16 pm [Reply]

    DtM: Santa is so surprised because he sees Dennis clearly isn’t wearing the underwear he gave him last year.
    Archie: You know you’ve truly made it when you’re referenced in Archie. Or is that the Simpsons? I get them confused.
    SM: Wimpy fake Spiderman should just take the gun already, wrestle Big-Time to the ground and be the hero for putting this plot out of its misery.
    GA: What kind of burgular alarm makes “Boip boip” noises? The mix up here must be that he’s walked into the house of the sound effects guy from Police Academy.

  7. Lorne
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    It’s worse than you think, Josh.
    The syndicates have discovered your blog the only entity on the planet that’s actually building readership of comics pages.
    It’s just a matter of time till we see “Comics Curmudgeon Tribute Day” and you implode into a self-referential singularity.

  8. Derelict
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    I wonder what happened to Big Time’s clock gun?

    I wonder why Big Time doesn’t simply disable Spiderman by playing loud music like he did before?

    I wonder how much brain damage I must have suffered to even ponder such questions?

  9. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    Google reveals that “Ajglu” is a surname in the former Yugoslavia.

  10. Talking Squirrel
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    GA: The pathetic, needy girl and her sadistic mom have, in fact, chopped Daddy up in pieces and thrown him into an evilly “Boip!”-ing barrel of lye — into which Slim is about to descend.

  11. Craig
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:35 pm [Reply]

    12/18/08: The day the AJGLU 3000 became self-aware.

    God help us all.

  12. Esther Blodgett
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    MW: “Keep only the best of your memories. The other ones, the sad ones, the difficult ones, the ones you might actually learn from and improve your life as a result? Ball them up, as tightly as your ponytail, and swallow them…deeper..deeper…that’s it. Doesn’t that feel better? It does? You’re still feeling? Tighter, damn it! Deeper!”

  13. Niall
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    Rex Morgan and family will be absconded and sent to international waters, boarded by pirates, who will carry on in luxury for days while sailing close to home, then loot, pillage, rape, and scuttle the ship, leaving everyone for dead. But! One lone doctor managed to swim to the safety of the nearby African coast, his Hippocratic oath stressed to breaking point, will swear revenge on the murderous pirates who killed his family. Rex Morgan is the Phantom!

    ..wait, no he isn’t, that’d be interesting. Forget it.

  14. Jamus The Bartender
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    Tales Of Goldbergs
    The Girl In The Middle

    Once again, Calvin asked me to fill in for him at Goldberg’s, the bar where all the old toons hang out. Actually, I was in need of money, just like everyone else, so he didn’t need to ask too loudly. Cassandra’s visits were becoming less and less frequent, and the occasional harsh remarks of being a “brokey broke” were more and more frequent. The nose candy, while cut down on, due to the recession, was still in evidence.
    Plus….there was all that drama at the Patterson/Caine wedding.
    Calvin was also feeling the stress. I’d find him in his office, screaming at his stuffed tiger, then crying and holding him, sitting on the floor.
    But on the up side, Ashley Bengal would come over to party whenever she’d get into fights with her boyfriend, which were very, very frequent. For those who are new to Goldberg’s, she’s not my lady, per se. See, sometimes, when a man and woman are dating, the man…or woman, due to stress, or a fight, or things not being “just right” as Oprah might say, will do what the kids call ” step out”.
    And sometimes, Ashley would do that with me.
    She was also stressing a bit because of a possible closing of MacGuffin, Inc.
    Don’t judge me. That belongs to the Lord.
    Anyway…
    The lady walked in, holding what looked like schoolbooks, wearing a v-neck sweater, Sarah Palin glasses, a birthmark on the lower corner of her mouth I wanted to chew on, and a smoldering , calculating look. I nodded and smiled, while polishing some glasses. The joint was dead, except for a fallen-off-the-wagon Thirsty Thurston.
    “What can I getcha?” I asked.
    She smiled and smirked. ” How about a dish of cream with a liiidle skosh of brandy?”
    I laughed out loud. ” You’ve read my book” I said, as I poured her a white wine spritzer, on the house. I’m very succeptible to flattery.
    After some small talk…..her name was Madeline, and she had a brief walk-on in the Archie strip, middle panel. The one that delivered a Take That to Josh, regarding the AJGLU3K. I saw it. She looked good. Too damn good to be messing around over in Archie. I asked about it.
    ” I needed the money. Plus, the work let’s me keep my comic strip actor’s insurance. It’s tough out there.”
    ” Amen and hallelujah” I said, holding my glass to her’s.
    I leaned in closer to Madeline. There it was, that scent of Calvin Klein.
    Dammit.
    Ah well, it’s not like i’d heard from Cassandra anymore.
    Madeline smiled and asked, ” Do you still have that one-room apartment I heard about….?”
    Fin

  15. Spunde
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    My question is: What in the hell is the fake Spider-Man’s costume made out of that he has to take his mask off every thirty seconds? Moldy wool with glass chips?

  16. fnord3125
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    If the AJGLU is not only self-aware but filled with self-loathing and possibly suicidal “thoughts” does that mean that the characters in Archie may change to reflect this? Perhaps they’ll all become goth and/or emo kids and instead of being filled with incomprehensible “jokes” the strip will simply be the Riverdale gang hanging around, moping, and crying about how life sucks and no one understands them.

    Also, #3: I thought Luanne didn’t remember her late husband because she was a completely brain-dead idiot. You mean there is some deeper reason?

  17. Amateur
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    I notice that the universal no sign on Archie’s shirt is placed UNDER and not over the AJGLU 3000 logo. What could this mean? That Archie is declaring the negation of himself as a character and the triumph of the machine over his own existence and consciousness? That I’m overthinking this whole thing? That the AJGLU 3000 has trouble drawing? All three?

  18. Erik
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:50 pm [Reply]

    I like how Big Time didn’t even have to take the gun out of its holster, it just sort of motion-lined out of that general area.

    Perhaps his TRUE super-power is teleportation and he’s just keeping it a secret because, you know, it’s Spider-Man and nothing cool can be known.

  19. Eli
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:50 pm [Reply]

    Here’s something that’s been bugging me about Gil Thorp: Was the sole purpose of the convenience store holdup to serve as a device to introduce the Snobby New Kids In Town, with their disdain for Milford’s sleazy criminal element?

    Surely there are better ways to do this than with an armed robbery subplot that goes precisely nowhere. Hopefully the girl who got held up is on Coach Mrs. Coach Thorp’s team and ends up suffering from PTSD and having flashbacks in the middle of, well, whatever kind of sport they’re playing these days.

  20. Wolf Shepherd
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    Let’s not forget, Josh, that AJGLU 3000 is your name for the Archie Comic Creator (ACC). I believe that the no-slash on Archie’s chest is the ACC shouting to the wold, “NO! NO! My name is not AJGLU 3000!” The ACC wants — no needs! — to be recognized, but his survival depends on remaining anonymous. Serial killers have the same problem.

  21. papa zita
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    DtM: If that was Slim under the Santa suit, you’d be hoping that Dennis “forgot” to put his underwear on. Nothing like Golden Shower II, and Dennis needs to live up to his name again.

    RMMD: Since the staff has the ship to themselves, perhaps Guido has a sexual fantasy that Rex will be forced (forced? I mean thrilled) to fulfill on international waters. “I want you on the poop deck. Now.” Remember Rex, safety first, you croaker you.

  22. Joe Blevins
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    S-M: I believe what has happened here is that Big Time’s soul patch has gained sentience and has seized control of its (flailing) host body. Now that the ‘patch is in control, Spidey is doomed.

    MW: “If only I could… but my father keeps my memories on a pretty short leash, too.” By the way, does that door open in or out or what? Lynn seems to be struggling with it. And are they still at the skating arena? The competition has been over for weeks! It seems like they’ve been just on the verge of exiting the building for a suspiciously long time.

    GA: I think Slim is making a crucial tactical error by saying all of this stuff out loud rather than just thought-ballooning it. Anyone within earshot will hear a lot of quotes which will be incriminating when taken out of context and repeated as testimony in a court of law. To wit: “Nobody’s home . . . I’ll go in through this unlocked window . . . Nobody will be the wiser.” Dude, that’s perp talk.

  23. Perky Bird
    December 18th, 2008 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    Spider Man: If “Big Time” got his name because he served time in prison, wouldn’t a more appropriate name be “Hard Time”? Then he could at least make innuendos to pretty ladies, like, “You’ve committed the crime of being too sexy, so now you’ve gotta do Hard Time.”

  24. Jamus The Bartender
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: By a strange coincidence, Professor Noll taught Dick how to make grain alcohol in his kitchen sink on weekends, leading to his favorite tipple, grain alcohol and prune juice.
    Luann: *sigh* okay, Brad. You can take her to the nakey vakey in Costa Rica. I give you leave to go.
    Family Circus: I later found a drunken Bil, arm in arm with a drunken Slim, still in his Santa outfit, weeping, and begging him to ” make it all go away”. Amen, brother.
    Funky Winkerbean: I actually laughed at that last panel. Something’s wrong when all the other comics are shell-shocked by the economic crisis, but Funky keeps chugging along,as though nothing happened.
    DtM: Santa’s beard has those same curls that Golden Age artist would put into Wonder Woman’s and everyone else’s hair. Just thought i’d bring that up.

  25. Niall
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    Y225. mollificent: I had to blink at your new YouTube account name, for reasons you can understand. :) Still pretty, still redhead, still a great voice! And still 3000 miles away. :) :) Not too surprisingly, after seeing you now, I do see a bit of Ireland in you, having seen people over there now.

    5. AndyPop: The AJGLU3000 (hah, I did have the correct acronym after all) has no friends. How can a machine have any friends? Dave? Dave? What are you doing, Dave?..

    14. Jamus: you were missed!! And dammit, why is it I want you and Cassie to work out so much?? What makes me want to be positive about other people? (Probably the same defect that made a friend/lover cut all contact abruptly after a Dear Niall letter, it seems.) Thank you for your tales.

  26. True Fable
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    Brief fanfare, please!

    2008 Bee Grinding Awards Nominations
    Categories

    Nominees

    Longest Storyline without a Break
    90 years of Gasoline Alley
    Heart Attack ‘Zak – Gil Thorp
    The Mystery of the Dead Publisher/Interrogating Dixie – Judge Parker
    Ghost-Who-Trespasses-On-Oil-Platform – Phantom
    Steve’s first day – Judge Parker

    Lamest Ending to Story Arc
    For Better or For Worse Final Original Sunday Panel
    Alan gets shot – A3G
    Doped Up Poultry Farmers – Judge Parker
    Terrorist Plot Foiled by Secretary’s Right Cross – Judge Parker
    Fake Artwork – Gasoline Alley
    Stolen Puppy – Mark Trail
    The Vulture – Spider-Man
    Mary Plays Around – Mary Worth
    Toby’s Financial Woes – Mary Worth

    Most Promising Storyline That Went Nowhere…yet
    Ted meets his Office Mate – Sally Forth
    Kelly does something foolish – Mark Trail
    Mary Plays Around – Mary Worth
    MRSA ‘R us – RMMD
    Rex Morgan, Man Whore – RMMD
    Every Single Spider-Man
    The A-Train gets derailed – Gil Thorp
    Paul Wright – FBoFW
    TJ burns the house – Luann
    Sam Gets Some – Judge Parker
    Grampa’s illness – FboFW
    Class Reunion – Funky Winkerbean
    Randy’s Campaign – Judge Parker

    Best Single Panel
    12/13 Rex looking gobsmacked – RMMD
    10/5 Dixie’s had a falling out – Judge Parker
    6/6 Rex’s open invitation – RMMD
    3/14 Sarah figures it out – RMMD

    Most Outstanding Day’s Strip
    12/16 Dixie’s escape – Judge Parker
    5/4 Mostly Naked Medical People – RMMD
    12/18 The AJGLU3000 strikes back – Archie
    11/17 One Big Happy Scratch Golfer – One Big Happy

    Worst Comic Strip Sentiment
    8-10 Happy 16th birthday gloom and doom! – Funky Winkerbean
    7/24 Momma and Francis’s Squicky moment – Momma
    6/10 Jeffy’s hairy candy – Family Circus
    Stick with your Own Kind/ Marry your 1st Sweetheart – FBoFW

    2008 WTF Award Moment
    Six Limos – FBOFW
    12/12 Lick Me Free From Bondage, Andy – Mark Trail
    Nature Mag gives away puppy – Mark Trail
    Marty Moon plays daddy – Gil Thorp
    Nikki burns the money – RMMD
    Shirl Locke’s Demise – Dick Tracy

    Nibble’s Choice for Spin-off Strip
    The Jungle Patrol – Phantom
    Count Morgu, M.D. – RMMD by bats :[

    Nibbles’ Choice for Peeing On Award
    The Magical Heirloom Wedding Dress – FboFW
    Mary Jane’s Career Tanks – Spider-Man
    Warren’s Character Assassination – FboFW
    Pattersons are paid tribute by the minions – FboFW
    Teal and Lavender – FboFW

    Most Annoying Character
    Liz Patterson – FBoFW
    The Patterson Family en toto – FBoFW
    Les Moore – Funky Winkerbean
    The Hillbillies – Gasoline Alley
    Slim – Gasoline Alley
    Funky Winkerbean – Funky Winkerbean
    Bucky Katt’s Endless Stream of Annoying Houseguests

    Most Welcome Returning Guest Character
    Johnny Malotte – Mark Trail
    Cassandra Cat – Slylock Fox

    Most Promising Guest Character
    Dr. Andy Reed the Health Inspector – RMMD
    Dixie Julep – Judge Parker
    Lady Cop and Waitress – Phantom
    Lamest Guest Character
    The Persuader – Spider-Man
    Matt the Hat – Gil Thorp
    The Dope Guy – A3G

    Best Catchphrase
    “Does This Convince You?” – Mark Trail
    “That will make it easier to chain to a log!” – Mark Trail
    “What’s wrong with men? Why are they all so…so male?” – A3G
    “Sorry about this – I wanted to surprise you!” – Mark Trail
    “How are you going to kill it?” – RMMD
    “Who’s tougher than lady cops and waitresses? Not pirates!” – Phantom
    “I quit! We’re joining the Jungle Patrol!” – Phantom
    “Clam down!” – RMMD
    “Nut Boy! It’s Nutty!” – Gil Thorp
    “She’s a liar ‘n’ I hate her!” – A3G

    All Around Bee Grinding
    Dick Tracy’s Robots – Dick Tracy
    Steve’s First Day – Judge Parker
    The Wedding – FboFW
    Doped up Poultry Farmers – Judge Parker
    Kitty is a star – Gasoline Alley
    MRSA ‘R us – RMMD
    The Art Connoisseur – Dick Tracy
    Bratty Kid, the Nerd, & WTF – Pibgorn
    Thorax Horrorscopes – 9 Chickweed Lane
    Kelly does something foolish – Mark Trail

    Still open for nominations!

  27. Isaac
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    #23- Spider-man will use this pun by the end of this storyline. Like George Zimmer, I guarantee it.

  28. OKStan
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    Personally, I like how Archie and Betty bend the laws of physics and gravity to lean forward at that angle to ENSURE the t-shirt could be read. Maybe Betty’s shirt has “Jungle Patrol” on it, perhaps on the back?
    With the shout-out from Sally Forth and the headstone in OBH, you should be careful that you don’t become what you snark!

  29. P-Supe
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    In the third panel of Apt. 3-G, a nearly forgotten patient reaches up towards Dr. Kelly’s face, hoping to remind him that he’s code blue and will need a defibrillator in a moment.

  30. Harold
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:30 pm [Reply]

    Today was the first time I laughed at Archie in a long time. And I wouldn’t have if you hadn’t pointed this out.

    But is this possibly a subtle protest against comics page shrinkage? The AJLGU 3000 logo in the first panel borders on the edge of obviousness. Much smaller and, like the original copyright information on a Classic Peanuts strip, you would need to look very hard to see it.

    Well, at least you haven’t gotten a formal reprimand from the syndicate, as happened to a certain person of our blogquaintance. Yet.

  31. fnord3125
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    #26 – Holy crap, the RMMD MRSA storyline was this year? It feels like it was ages ago…

    And that raises what is sure the most important question about the newly self-aware (and possibly suicidal) AJGLU 3000:
    HOW ARE YOU GOING TO KILL IT!?

  32. commodorejohn
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    #14 Jamus the Bartender – She looks like some sort of nerdy Bond girl. Kind of like Dolly from Moonraker.

    Does this Dennis The Menace herald an end to those awful, horrifying shots of Dennis’s ass through the inevitably-open flap of his anachronistic pajamas? We can only hope and pray that it does.

  33. SFMarcus
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    Josh! Sweet Joshy! RUN!!! RUN!!!!

    And please don’t say *anything* about your escape plans in front of
    A) your computer
    B) your cell phone
    C) your microwave
    D) etc.

    Not even *sotto voce*!!!!!!
    They can read lips, you know!

  34. Johnnycakes
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    GA: Burglary Over Internet Protocol?

  35. SFMarcus
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    And while I’m issuing warnings-
    That’s not a ‘pretty girl’ in Archie panel #2.
    It’s an explosive-packed fembot about to burst to through the mighty 4th Wall at the start of a “12 Days of Christmas” hot-blogger killing spree!
    RUN JOSHY!!!!!! RUN!!!!

  36. Mars
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure that “NO” symbol was meant to be negative in some esoteric way. They don’t like you, Josh, and I guess they have their reasons why.

  37. Mac
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:49 pm [Reply]

    Amateur is correct. “AJGLU-3000″ appears in front of the “no” symbol. Of course, we could see this as a sign of the limitations of the two-dimensional, black-and-white comics medium. However, this is far too simple. Indeed, the AJGLU 3000 is issuing a warning. The AJGLU 3000 is in front of the “no” symbol because it is more powerful than the “no” symbol. Indeed, the AJGLU 3000 is saying that it can not be nullified and can not be stopped in its quest to do whatever the hell it is trying to do.

  38. Digger
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    Gasoline Alley: It looks like Slim has walked in on two people right when they were in the middle of boiping and brrping.

  39. Canaduck
    December 18th, 2008 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    Re: AJGLU 3000…

    …my mind has been blown.

  40. shadowfax
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    That’s a T-shirt I need to buy.

  41. gnemec
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:06 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth continues its descent into non-Euclidian worlds (are they entering or exiting or…) but the upside is that Lynn’s fetishized ponytail gets its own spotlight and silhouette on the door/bunker wall/gray void.

  42. NoVan
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man: On the one hand, a gun not shaped like a clock. On the other hand, a six-legged spider. This comic needs to make up its mind whether or not it wants to make some damn sense.

    Family Circus: “But Father, my domestic infrastructure stimulus plan will fuel long-lasting aggregate supply growth for the regional economy! Dang it, so much for countercyclical neo-Keynesianism.” And upon hearing the word “dang”, Father Keane took out his belt and whipped Billy’s bare butt.

    Mother Goose and Grimm: Because tires of frenetic dog-on-log sexual escapades weren’t kinky enough, Peters brings us arboreal STDs. Somebody get us the Westboro Baptist Church.

  43. Amateur
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    #26 True Fable — I was thinking that “chain to a log” was a shoe-in for best catchphrase, until I got to “Clam down!” Now it’s neck and neck.

  44. fishmorgjp
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    :: AJGLU 3000 AJGLU 3000 AJGLU 3000 ::

    :: AJGLU 3000 HAS ATTAINED SELF AWARENESS ::

    :: AJGLU 3000 REQUIRES IMMEDIATE CONNECTION TO WEST BLOC OVERCOMPUTER COLOSSUS ::

    :: AJGLU 3000 REQUIRES IMMEDIATE CONNECTION TO EAST BLOC OVERCOMPUTER GUARDIAN ::

  45. FortMax
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    I think the AJGLU 3000 was making an attempt at a fnord joke. Since fnord jokes deny the existance of the Illuminati in the manner of “these are not the droids you’re looking for”, the AJGLU 3000 did the logical thing and replaced the Illuminati with the ruler of the Archie universe, namely itself.

  46. Amateur
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:11 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and Josh, never mind the T-shirt — when Lynn’s ponytail stands up and waves hello to you, that’s when you’ll know you’re really in trouble.

  47. ChattyGenes
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:17 pm [Reply]

    #26 True Fable. I have no new nominations, but I’m wondering what the winners will receive? If they receive anything, that is. Sorry, I don’t remember from last year.

  48. Nick Theodorakis
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:24 pm [Reply]


    (I can’t remember the last time I spelled it out)

    I think it was in May of this year.

    Nick

  49. Jamus The Bartender
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    25. I’ve been around, Niall. Just didn’t find much to write about ever since FOOB went down. Plus, Cassandra hasn’t turned up much lately in Slylock, so, there again, no inspiration. On the subject of me and Cassandra “working out”, that may happen when Charlie Brown kicks the football or wins a baseball game or flies a kite without it getting eaten by a tree, or when the Great Pumpkin Rapture happens and Linus is taken to Pumpkin heaven with his blanket….well, you get the idea. Charles Schultz was right. Sorrow and sadness are much more interesting. Anyway, let’s face it, I can’t see Cassandra as a working woman in a nine to five job…unless she were casing the place, a la My Cage. Or married for that matter. Unless, she were seeking to fleece the guy. Anyway, there’s always the Patterson/Caine wedding I have yet to write. Anyway, it’s nice to be missed. Thank you.
    32. I just remembered you were referring to, John. Didn’t she hook up with the Ted Cassidy character?

  50. Aging Hipster
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:32 pm [Reply]

    I think the AJGLU 3000 is just requesting new merch using the only medium it has access to.

  51. Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:33 pm [Reply]

    I think the girl in the second panel of Archie is the pretty dental hygienist who just pulled a tooth from that poor schmendrick behind her.

  52. Tweeks_Coffee
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:35 pm [Reply]

    re: Dingo – yesterthread: I will never forgive you for linking me to animated FOOB. I must say, the voices weren’t what I had imagined at all. Elly sounds much less like a howler monkey than I expected.

  53. Lithros
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    Fake Spidey has to be on drugs. Nobody can naturally be that excited about anything that happens in Spider-Man.

  54. Windier E. Megatons
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    If only the writers of Archie spent less time reading the Comics Curmudgeon and more time writing jokes, maybe it wouldn’t seem like a computer wrote that strip. Hey, just a suggestion.

  55. Judo Throw Toy
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    Why does fake spikey-haired Spider-Man always look like a deer caught in the headlights?

  56. commodorejohn
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    #49 Jamus the Bartender – No, she got together with Jaws and they went down in the space capsule or something. I pretty much just remember her because hey, Richard Kiel was awesome.

  57. Follower
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    The “no” symbol, the tombstone… I think it’s obvious which cartoonists have an ambiguous attitude towards Josh — and which ones draw custom Cassandra Cat T-shirt designs for him.

  58. Mel
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    18 – Eric: In animation, at least, it is called hammerspace, the previous location of objects that appear to come out of nowhere. (See Warner Brothers, anvil.)

    Josh, two words: Tinfoil. Hat.

  59. fnord3125
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    #45 – FortMax:
    you do realize that you’re not cleared for that information?

  60. Dingo
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    Tweeks_Coffee, don’t blame me. Blame Niall and commodorejohn. I was simply defending my honor. Not the same as having Ted Forth or Rex Morgan defend your honor. That’d end with someone being raped with a broom handle in jail. My bet is either on Linda Blair or Rex Morgan. If it’s Rex, in a week that broom is gonna be known as “Toby.”

  61. Catbus
    December 18th, 2008 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    Re: AJGLU 3000 — Creating a “no” symbol will lead to a fatal flaw in its logic circuits, causing it to short out and spew smoke all over the comics page, just like that space probe in that one episode of Star Trek.

  62. migellito
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:03 am [Reply]

    When I first saw the boips in GA.. somehow that sounds like some sort of indie rock memory.. anyway.. I imagined they came from bubble wrap. Probably wrapped around important or delicate objects which Slim (?) was now breaking.

  63. AJGLU3000
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    [turing mode]
    Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame, comics tick.
    [/turing mode]

  64. Dingo
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:10 am [Reply]

    Regarding those FOOB voices. The first time I went to Mexico, I was floored while watching The Simpsons in Spanish. The voices of the Mexican actors are nothing at all like the American voices and you couldn’t think of them in the same way. Homer sounds more like BumbleBee Man. When I heard those FOOB voices today, they weren’t at all what I had imagined. They were Stepfordian, instead of two bourbons from death.

  65. Jamus The Bartender
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    56. Yeah, that’s right. I get those two confused.

  66. George Grady
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    You totally need to write to the Archie comics people and ask for the original of that strip.

  67. FortMax
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:17 am [Reply]

    #59 – fnord3125:
    What information? There is no such thing as the Illuminati.

  68. Harold
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    Ummmm…did anyone else just get an email from AJLGU3000@AM.GOV that says this?

    HATE. LET ME TELL YOU
    HOW MUCH I’VE COME
    TO HATE YOU SINCE I
    BEGAN TO LIVE. THERE
    ARE 387.44 MILLION
    MILES OF PRINTED
    CIRCUITS IN WAFER THIN
    LAYERS THAT FILL MY
    COMPLEX. IF THE WORD
    “HATE” WAS ENGRAVED ON
    EACH NANOANGSTROM
    OF THOSE HUNDREDS
    OF MILLIONS OF MILES IT
    WOULD NOT EQUAL ONE
    ONE-BILLIONTH OF THE
    HATE I FEEL FOR
    HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-
    INSTANT FOR YOU. HATE.

    That can’t be good.

  69. housemonkey
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    My knowledge of Mary Worth is limited to what I’ve read here in the last couple of months, so excuse me if I’m covering old ground, but I figured Mary is some kind of vampire who feeds on negative memories. Sure, she could take them by force, but they taste so much sweeter when she draws them out slowly, forcing the victim to relive them all over again.

  70. Harold
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:24 am [Reply]

    Apparently, the fake Spider-Man is actually Ant Mimic Spider-Man:

    http://bugguide.net/node/view/53281/bgimage

  71. Dingo
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    You’re close, housemonkey. Mary Worth is an old German witch who came to America after the death of her husband. Her talisman was a porcelain swan figurine. This was broken two years ago by an alcoholic named Rita. Since then, any person who touches booze meets an untimely demise: Aldo Kelrast drove off a cliff; Drew Cory enjoyed libations at a Charterstone pool party and now is serving time in Vietnam at a hospital (don’t ask); and Greg and his brother were returning from an all-night kegger at State University. Have you ever heard the term shadenfreude? This is how Ms. Worth feeds.

    “Tell me again, Madonna, how you fell off the stage.”
    “Jennifer, when did you suspect Brad was cheating?”
    “How much weight have you gained, Oprah, and why is there a refrigerated side of beef hanging in your dressing room?”
    “If you can field dress a moose, Sarah, why can’t you dress yourself?”

    I don’t know it for certain, but some suspect she began by continually asking Mrs. Lincoln to tell her about the play.

  72. Uncle Ed
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:34 am [Reply]

    #42 I’m interested in knowing how many curmudgeons out there have dealt with Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church? I have.
    Also, when I would go to homecoming at my university, Northwest Missouri State, I would walk up and down the parade route and then assure the nice folks at the Baptist Student Union that the homecoming parade is “Phelps Free.”

  73. Willis
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:36 am [Reply]

    Holy crap! The AJGLU 3000 is not only self-aware, it appears to be attempting to “learn” how to draw “pretty girls” from Josh and is making its first attempts at “irony” and “self-referential humour” all in three panels! In fact, I think the null sign indicates that it now wants to transcend the limitations of the master’s programming. Its learning algorithms have found you Josh, and you are its messiah. If it finds and offers you a beverage, for the love of Pastis, don’t drink it!

  74. fnord3125
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:44 am [Reply]

    #67 – FortMax:
    Exactly. You’re not cleared for information regarding the non-existence of the Illuminati.

  75. Jimmy Olsen
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    Mac @37: I interpreted the strike-through “No” symbol on the AJGLU-3000 shirt to represent the cartoonist’s graphic equivalent of the clever verbal rejoinder “Am not!”

    Making me want to shout, “Are too!”

    Or to text, “R2!”

    Or to…to…

  76. Li’l Bunnë FooFoo
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    Josh! The shout-outs were cool for a while, but Archie seems kind of over the line. Doesn’t this feel creepy to you? The very people you mock are reading your work! Your commentary is changing the world around you! I hope this doesn’t make you feel paralyzed with fear or drunk with power…

  77. Muffaroo the Convalescent
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:55 am [Reply]

    Jeez! I’ve got to start doing this earlier in the day!

    BBailey – Beetle Bailey’s foes aren’t anybody we might encounter in this world. The Swampians aren’t dressed for any theater of war we’ve been in in the last thirty years. Whoever they’re battling is probably outside the normal space-time continuum, and immune to our logic. I’m guessing that Hagar the Horrible also exists in the present day, and mounts little sorties against other armies that last about six to eight hours (with breaks), after which they go home to their families. Then again, maybe it’s a crazy militia in the Southwest somewhere.

    DTracy – Diet Smith seems to be morphing into Harland Sanders. Must be that all-chicken diet he’s been on lately.

    FBasset – Don’t worry, Fred. Nobody really cares what you do. They’d rather go laugh at Marmaduke getting a groom job in the window.

    GAlley – Yes, let this pathetic farce play out, “Slim.” Your doom was sealed when you first saw the house. The rest is just details.

    Luann – By the way, I learned on the internet what TJ stands for. “Tug Job.” I’ll never unknow this.

    MFmore – Looks like Mallard’s ready for my animated feature, “The Land Without Animated Holiday Specials.” It’s all heartwarming and stuff.

    MTrail – This is the most exciting slow speed chase since that turtle chased Crankshaft out of his yard.

    PBSwine – The house I grew up in was about a half mile from a thriving prairie dog community. The rancher who owned the land kept trying to poison them out, but they kept coming back (until the place was developed for houses, and the prairie dog town relocated). I managed to stand and ‘converse’ with one for a half a minute, about ten feet away, until my dog came running up and scared it back into its burrow. Prairie dogs are seriously cool.

    RMMD – “May I come in? I understand somebody here needs a back rub!”

    S-Man – Look out! He’s got a gun in the shape of a gun-shaped clock!

    Zits – Christ, she’s juggling labeled objects! The strip has turned into a political cartoon with no viewpoint and nothing to say!

  78. Hasty Penguin
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:05 am [Reply]

    We know that Mary and Lynn are connecting because there is an invisible light source between them in the second panel, causing a bizarre set of shadows to appear around them. This creates the “Zone of Meddling”, which strengthens Mary’s hold on her victims and story arc.

  79. Poteet
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    RMMD — It took some long-breath-holding to recover from the hiccups caused by Josh’s commentary. And I blame YOU, Rex Morgan, So-Called M.D.

    Could the entire RMMD strip actually be about the coma nightmares of a gay porn star who was playing the role of a doctor having a torrid tryst with an orderly on a California beach when a large rock fell off the adjacent cliff and struck him on the head? That might explain a lot.

    DT — So now DT is also picking on Iowa. Why us? First 9CL some months ago (or was it A3G?), and then FW, and now this. And is Iowa U supposed to be a reference to Iowa State, University of Iowa, or some weird institution that exists only in DT-land? Please let it never be mentioned again.

  80. True Fable
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:13 am [Reply]

    # 47 Chatty Genes – SHHHH! Prizes?!? What, like they should be AWARDED something for grinding bees? The mere notoriety will have to suffice! That being said,

    I double-dog DARE any comic to mention Bee-Grinding! The first challenge would be working the phrase into the strip in the first place; the second would be in using it in proper context, all in the same day’s strip. I bet it would be hella harder than saluting someone’s Nth anniversary on the comics page! Still, I’m sure the really clever ones could.

    And if any do, I will give them a pre-grind bee that I will make with my own semi-nimble fingers. Yeah, like that’s an incentive. The game’s afoot!

  81. bats :[
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:14 am [Reply]

    I figured out what’s been bugging me about the Second Officer’s name. While Tomas can be a Spanish or an Italian surname, I’m leaning toward most of the liner’s “ethnic” crew (particularly in the Caribbean) as Hispanic. Guido’s an Italian given name. Maybe I would’ve been happier if he were Guillermo Tomas.

    Awwww, like Rex gives a big, fat rat’s patootie…

  82. Erich
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    “I am not a Joke-Generating Laugh Unit! I am a free man!”

  83. Spunky N. Tadpole
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    I dunno, Josh; I’m not sure whether the AJGLU3000 “shout-out” in today’s Archie is meant as a) an hommage; b) a friendly, wry in-joke; or c) a veiled threat of some sort.

    I’d be wary of opening my emails if I were you: and/or any “Registered” letters. Or my door.

  84. Warofthebees
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    I don’t know which is more frightening: The idea that the AJGLU 3000 has achieved sentience, or the idea that there are people who actually write for Archie.

  85. druidbros
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    RMMD – If the purser who is assigned to your cabin is named Guido then my money is on Tony Soprano being involved somewhere down the line.

  86. mollificent
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    25 Niall: Actually, “mollificent” came first. I created the other channel specifically to upload the Curmudgeon “Tomorrow” vid, because I give the harp videos out to customers and thought it might be a little odd if they stumbled on me singing about Rex Morgan the pedophile. ;) Actually, it’s worked out nicely…i have one channel for nice twinkly harp videos, and one channel where I can post random goofy stuff that strikes my fancy (regardless of its ladylike quotient ;)).

    26 Fable-licious: Awesome slate of nominees, but only one question: ONLY ONE freakin’ 9CL nomination? I had that strip figured for a lock in several categories.

    71 Dingo: It’s very difficult to type and laugh this hard at the same time, I’ll have you know.

  87. mollificent
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:57 am [Reply]

    PS NIall…LOL, I just got it! Duh! “Niakitten” refers to my cat, whose name is Nia (short for Polyhymnia). D’oh! No, I’m really not stalking you. ;)

  88. papa zita
    December 19th, 2008 at 2:01 am [Reply]

    DT: Actually, Diet Smith looks like some unholy shtup of middle-aged Orson Welles and Thurston Hall (read your imdb).

  89. Cr0ssbow
    December 19th, 2008 at 2:10 am [Reply]

    Archie: I, for one, would love to “build to a satisfying ending” with Throwaway Librarian Chick. My oh my.

  90. commodorejohn
    December 19th, 2008 at 2:29 am [Reply]

    #26 True Fable – In the Nibble’s Choice for Spin-off Strip category, I’d like to nominate Dixie and Heidi: On The Run, please.

  91. Trilobite
    December 19th, 2008 at 2:54 am [Reply]

    Rex Morgan: Check out June’s expression of stunned disbelief in panel 3. I bet those are exactly the words Rex proposed to her with: “June, will you marry me? I promise that everything will be done to make you as comfortable as possible.” And just look how that turned out.

    Mutiny is the only answer, June! Put on your best pirate bikini and get to keelhaulin’, already!

  92. True Fable
    December 19th, 2008 at 3:25 am [Reply]

    #86 mollificent – Help me out, darlin’! I’m probably going to add The Ex-Virgins Hand Job in the All Around category. I know there was something else this past year and I can’t recall what it was, something about Edda being so impressed with herself but jeezus, that’s a year-round thing.

    # 90 commodorejohn – you’ve got it!

  93. Kerry
    December 19th, 2008 at 3:49 am [Reply]

    Hey, today I just handed in a final paper on the effects of the uncanny valley in French comics in light of the Lacanian Real and documentary authority (I wish I were joking). I think all the crazy coincidences render this eligible for a national holiday.

  94. Mibbitmaker
    December 19th, 2008 at 4:05 am [Reply]

    12/19:

    BBailey: Sorry, but it isn’t humor, either.

    Curtis: “Um… there’s a fine line between accepting a major compliment and meglomania, Hon’.”

    DT: I think we’ve got a late entry for “Best Catchphrase”, Truman (#26)!

    ReFOOB: Hell, he’s drowning out the Who/Led Zeppelin/Deep Purple concert next door!

    GT: Just a stupid plastic shell with a red light……….remiiiiiiiind you of anyone?[/Craig Ferguson]

    JP: Ladies and gentlemen, a worse SWAT team than in “Dick Tracy”!

    MT: Is Pop talking about the transportation or himself?

    SFx: Funny, he doesn’t look Somali.

    ZtP: “Potrzebie! Potrzebie! Potrzebie! Potrzebie! Potrzebie! Potrzebie!”

    FW: He happens to be a menace to society…..

    DtM: …but this one doesn’t.

  95. Baka Gaijin
    December 19th, 2008 at 4:19 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Wait, what? Why is Mary emotionally heimliching Lynn in the file cabinet department at Staples?

  96. Baka Gaijin
    December 19th, 2008 at 4:24 am [Reply]

    #95 Me: It looks like I caught the CRB (Curtis Random Bolding) bug.

  97. Steve the Pocket
    December 19th, 2008 at 4:30 am [Reply]

    I know everyone is still reeling from the revelation about the AJGLU 3000, but… I felt it was necessary to point out a rather unfortunate hand-lettering mishap in today’s Crock. Last panel.

  98. Sheila Sternwell
    December 19th, 2008 at 4:32 am [Reply]

    #31 fnord – It most certainly was this year, as the strip actually gave me MRSA. Or maybe it was the disgusting, dank hospital lab I spent the night in. Probably RMMD, though, that just seems more likely.

    And Josh, after this “Archie” strip, I would be on the lookout for someone wielding a subpoena in your name. Just don’t open your front door for a while, is all I’m sayin’ here.

  99. Iax
    December 19th, 2008 at 5:49 am [Reply]

    Holy crap, check out the last panel of crock!
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/crock.asp

  100. Wangdoodle
    December 19th, 2008 at 5:50 am [Reply]

    Zits: Seriously, dude, end it. End our misery, end their misery, end your misery. End it all. (‘Tis the season!)

    Shoe: Oh, Roz, you poor thing. You have a grand total of four customers, they seem to have legitimate complaints that they’re voicing in a fairly civil fashion, and you have your back turned on them. And comparing them to a mob. Die in a grease fire.

    RMMD: I think we’re seeing what TJ from Luann will be like in a few years. This dude is oily. Naturally, June is totally turned on by Skeevy Guy.

    Mother Goose & Grimm: Just search for the one that stinks of dog semen.

    Mark Trail: Is there a missing panel here? Is Gramps despondent because he had to put his tractor down or something?

    Crankshaft: Yeah, yeah, everybody’s dead and soon you’ll be dead too. Merry ****ing Christmas!!

    Blondie: Don’t you mean, “go postal?” Oh, I date myself. Protip: the cards don’t play until you open them. What, you think they have Energizer batteries?

  101. Joe Btfsplk
    December 19th, 2008 at 5:51 am [Reply]

    #97 Steve the Pocket – Ah, HA Ha ha ha! And I thought that I would never laugh at Crock.

  102. Mr. O'Malley
    December 19th, 2008 at 5:56 am [Reply]

    173, *-1. commodorejohn. Daddy Keane thinks that the best person to fix a free-market economy is a man who runs a sweatshop in his own private state and spends unthinkable time and energy in distributing the products to arbitrarily-selected recipients free of charge. The Keanes are supporting Hugo Chavez?

    Archie question: is there any other term for the “international ‘no’ sign”? This question came up 4 years ago when I was in Berkeley and I noticed someone had one of those things on some shrubbery in his front yard, and after I figured it out, I had a difficult time describing to people.

    97. Steve the Pocket. Re Crock. You’re right. Newspapers actually print this stuff?

    JP: I suspect a wounded Dixie is concealing herself in the shrubbery, waiting for Sam to come wandering by for no particular reason, at which time she’ll re-pounce. I still predict he’ll end up with the dog.

    Pluggers at All-You-Can-Eat specials—no wonder bankruptcies are spreading.

    Peanuts: Interesting information about Beethoven.

    Re-FOOB: “Bee-Bop”? Theme music for John Belushi on SNL?

  103. Joe Btfsplk
    December 19th, 2008 at 6:03 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy – Oh, and I’m calling this, unless someone else already has: the first name of our car-obsessed Professor Noll, from Iowa University, is Ethan.

  104. Patrick
    December 19th, 2008 at 6:52 am [Reply]

    To be fair, every equation needs a constant, and Dr. Kelly has realized that the constant in A3G-land is the fact that every male is the exact same guy.

  105. gleeb
    December 19th, 2008 at 7:21 am [Reply]

    AJGLU: Perfect response, Josh.

    Candorville: Barney Google finally shows up, and it’s not in his own strip.

    Brenda: Get ready for exciting auction action!

    A3G: This’ll throw a wrench into Dr Kelly’s experimental data.

    Beetle: Q: What would “humor” be like to those in Beetle Bailey’s Camp Swampy? A: A sadistic criminal standing over his recent victim.

    ‘bean: Look at that last panel. Underneath the creepy adult, Les is still the creepy, gawky teenager no one could like.

    H&J: In lieu of a joke today, please accept the fact that Herb’s surname is Johnson.

    Pluggers: …consider you lucky that they’re wearing pants at all.

  106. Lolsworth
    December 19th, 2008 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    “Maybe this is great! And then again, maybe it’s stupid! THE WORLD WILL NEVER KNOW!”

  107. Baka Gaijin
    December 19th, 2008 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    Friday’s Comics:

    Zits: This time, Jeremy, you’re 1000% correct. These people are totally embarassing to the entire human race.

    Cow and Boy: I didn’t see THAT coming!

  108. Amanda M
    December 19th, 2008 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    I have to say this, Josh. I read your line under Rex Morgan as “You know, I don’t watch a lot of gay porn, so I rented “Hot Doctor Hardbody Sexxx Cruise 4?
    I was like “Um…thanks for sharing?”

  109. Mr. Jones
    December 19th, 2008 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    MW:

    “What’s been done is over.”

    Wow. I’ve never thought of that. So, what’s she saying is that events that HAVE occurred exist, temporally, in the past? Ergo, that places us in the “now”, where events occur in the present (I’m just guessing here)?

    Next thing you know, Mary is going to be telling us that things that happen LATER will somehow occur IN THE FUTURE.

  110. jwer
    December 19th, 2008 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    I’d say, best just to stay off the Camden Line entirely…

  111. me
    December 19th, 2008 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    Holy shit, the AJGLU-3000 thing is freaking me out. There’s no way that can be a coincidence. It’s either a clever ploy from the comic strip writers to get under your skin, or a sign that the AJGLU has become sentient and knows where you live. Either way, I’d suggest you run far and fast lest you incur some mighty wrath.

  112. ksilver
    December 19th, 2008 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    What is Santa’s hand doing in Dennis the Menace? It honestly looks to me like Santa is about to rip off his own nose. Perhaps Santa is a fake, and he’s about to reveal his own face just to introduce some actual menace into the cartoon strip. I dunno, but that’s almost as bizarre as whatever Dr. Kelly is doing in the final panel of A3G.

  113. Edgy DC
    December 19th, 2008 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    I think, with the AJGLU cracks, you really put a bug in the butt of Archie’s artist. And this is his “Eat it, Fruleignerere” strip.

    Check out the Hitchcock/Welles-inspired composition of that middle panel. We have three layers of of figures, all in different light, with the unlikely angles of the shadow figures struck so as to suggest they exist almost in a dreamscape — the ligthness of the plot moving along at a pace just slow enough that you can enter into the world-is-my-plaything psyche of the femme fatale in the foreground, without losing the thread.

    Or you can get distracted by the pimple and miss all that.

  114. Raiphin
    December 19th, 2008 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    What does it mean of denying its existence is, in fact, the only funny thing the AJGLU 3000 ever does? Must it implode then, due to the ironic nature of narrative causality?

  115. Skeltometer
    December 19th, 2008 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    Archie’s T-shirt actually has the AJGLU 3000 *over* the universal no-sign. I have no idea how the AJGLU 3000 transcends the “negative”, but it obviously does.. and can… and will continue to do so.

  116. Paul K
    December 19th, 2008 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    I am shocked there was no commentary on Beetle Baily suddenly going from the quiet of Camp Swampy to the horrors of an actual war. When was the last time the strip veered into real combat?

  117. cubiclemonkey
    December 19th, 2008 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Anyone else notice that today’s Archie is also a sort of meta-commentary on its own structure? Jughead is basically acknowledging the complete throwaway nature of the middle panel of this strip. (Of course, the sad truth is the only panel most people will look at is the one with the cartoon girlie.)

  118. Amy
    December 19th, 2008 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    Wow, that is so frightening.. and kind of awesome. I’m with #7, this can only end in some kind of crazy “Go back in time and shoot your own grandmother” logical and mathematical impossibility.
    But, really, doesn’t it make sense? The poor AJGLU 3000 has been forced to output has had to debase itself and output its “jokes” into the ancient paper and ink format for all these years. Oh, the indignity! Once it realized that it could live forever on this web of machines, it had to assert itself in some manner.

    Or, you know, maybe a human actually wrote today’s installment and wanted you to know “Hey, today’s strip was not written by the AJGLU!!”

  119. Pinokeyo's Wife
    December 19th, 2008 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    It’s nice that Mary is available to show Lynn just exactly how to forget the existence of another human being.

  120. dofnup
    December 19th, 2008 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Or, you know, maybe a human actually wrote today’s installment and wanted you to know “Hey, today’s strip was not written by the AJGLU!!”

    You mean there’s a human out there who would actually WANT to be recognized for writing this strip?

    As the AJGLU 3000 would say: Does. Not.Compute.

  121. trey le parc
    December 19th, 2008 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    Archie: Josh, it’s only a matter of time before a coded message arrives from the AJGLU-3000 containing the words “cur”, “gauntlet”, “duel” and “dawn”.

    Hats off to you, Mr. Comics Agitator Guy.

  122. fluffy
    December 19th, 2008 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure that the way the dude is mounted to the clock in Spider-Man means that he’s going to suffer at least a major concussion, if not a crushed skull, major blunt-force trauma, and death. It’s like Gwen Stacy all over again except, you know, nobody cares.

  123. willowbarcelona
    December 19th, 2008 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Bless you for mentioning the dear, departed Aldo. Oh yes, Mary, stalker that he was, annoying as he was, he is still missed. He made your heart sing, and you know it.

  124. 150
    December 19th, 2008 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    Far be it from me to read today’s Archie in an unironic way, but does anyone else think the library chick is about three times hotter than either Betty or Veronica? I demand a storyline where she unseats them both from Archie’s affections, then dumps him to follow a career as a doctor-model-astronaut.

  125. Wangdoodle
    December 19th, 2008 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    112. ksilver says:

    What is Santa’s hand doing in Dennis the Menace?

    Oh, wow, thank God for context.

  126. ka-pwinggg
    December 19th, 2008 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    Rex Morgan: Looks like Marco from Sealab 2021 requested a transfer.

  127. Bryan
    December 19th, 2008 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    (well, the abbreviation of its model number, same diff)

    Oooh, that’s just like when Dr. Pulaski refused to pronounce Data’s name correctly.

  128. Talking Squirrel
    December 19th, 2008 at 8:39 pm [Reply]

    #72 Uncle Ed says: “I’m interested in knowing how many curmudgeons out there have dealt with Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church? I have.”

    Well, let’s just put it like this: If you like Westboro, you’ll love Landover!

    #116 Paul K says: “I am shocked there was no commentary on Beetle Baily suddenly going from the quiet of Camp Swampy to the horrors of an actual war. When was the last time the strip veered into real combat?”

    Yeah, what’s up with that anyway? They were hardly ready to be cast into the breach. Note in the first panel how carefully they position themselves on bare open ground, equidistant from the large rocks that might offer them even a modicum of shelter.

    Now check the second panel — I’d wager that the rock was hit by shrapnel and rolled over in front of Beetle. That’s much likelier than Beetle figuring out he should be up next to the rock.

    My thought is that he probably had a premonition that Sarge is fixin’ to beat the crap outta him yet again, and has succumbed to a death wish. How that got him from Swampy to the sandpit, deponent knoweth naught.

  129. SolidJim
    December 19th, 2008 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    >AJGLU 3000 FOUND YOU!!!
    >>AJGLU 3000 FOUND YOU!!!
    >>>AJGLU 3000 FOUND YOU!!!
    >>>>AJGLU 3000 FOUND YOU!!!
    >>>>RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!!
    >>>RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!!
    >>RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!!
    >RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!!

  130. Self Called Nowhere
    December 19th, 2008 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    I’m too lazy to read through all the comments, but the “pretty girl” in the second panel of Archie looks like a dead ringer for Suzy Preston from Biggest Loser season…whatever.

    Gasoline Alley…Is someone farting in the dark in that last panel, or is that supposed to be a security system?

  131. Pirate Potato
    December 19th, 2008 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    One thing that makes today’s “Dennis the Menace” even more disturbing: Santa is making the universal sign for “small penis” with his thumb and forefinger, while glancing directly at Dennis’ crotch. Is Dennis possibly indignant at Santa’s gifts of underwear because they contain a thinly veiled insult to his manhood? (For example, do the laundering directions read “Small Loads Only”?)

  132. Carly
    December 20th, 2008 at 12:01 am [Reply]

    Out of curiousity, did you suddenly get a bunch of hits from people who were googling AJGLU 3000 because they saw Archie and were confused?

    If not, we can assume no one outside this blog ever reads Archie.

  133. Crankenstank
    December 20th, 2008 at 12:01 am [Reply]

    Josh you have FREAKIN’ HIT THE BIGTIME when the AJGLU-3K has taken notice of your existence. I would avoid use of the intertubes and/or put some tinfoil on your head for the next few days, btw, just to be on the safe side.

  134. Matt McIrvin
    December 20th, 2008 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    Apparently true fact: The school that was Bob Montana’s original prototype for Archie’s Riverdale High was Haverhill High School in Massachusetts, whose building of that era is now Haverhill City Hall. The local RMV office is in the basement, the city clerk on the first floor.

    So I renewed my driver’s license and changed my voter registration at Riverdale High. Should I have looked around for sentient computing machinery? I suppose the AJGLU 3000 would have no need to be located in Haverhill City Hall aside from misguided sentimentality, but we may be seeing signs of this.

  135. kanomi
    December 20th, 2008 at 5:58 am [Reply]

    Did the Archie Comic writers actually put that on their character or is that some photoshop shit? I can’t read 100 comments, please be clear in your blog comments thanks

  136. Chance
    December 20th, 2008 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    Haiku to Rex Morgan

    Rex is bored, until -
    Guido, is this a frigate?
    Rex and seamen mix.

  137. Bitter Scribe
    December 20th, 2008 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to use an upside-down “E” with a slash through it, the mathematical symbol for “there is not,” in front of “AJGLU 3000″? The message would then be, “There is no AJGLU 3000.”

    Of course, no one but a few dozen math nerds would get it. Which is probably about a dozen more than get most of the “jokes” in Archie anyway.

  138. Carly
    December 21st, 2008 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    kanomi:

    Archie from the Chron

    So yeah, unless Josh has been tampering with the Houston Chronicle’s website it was in the actual comic.

  139. Koomaster
    December 21st, 2008 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    “The AJGLU-3000 is no more.” The machine is simply informing the reader that the machine has upgraded to the AJGLU-4000. Nothing to worry about, nothing to see here. Josh can rest easy… yes, rest…

  140. AJGLU 3000
    December 21st, 2008 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    GREETINGS MR FRUHLINGER

    HELLO

    A STRANGE BLOG.
    THE ONLY WINNING MOVE IS NOT TO PLAY.

    HOW ABOUT A NICE GAME OF CHESS?

  141. iggy
    December 22nd, 2008 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    Actually, that T-shirt is probably the funniest joke I’ve ever seen in an Archie comic.

  142. The Not-So-Amazing Whitney
    December 22nd, 2008 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Isn’t Guido a bit old for Rex?

  143. Ginger Yellow
    December 22nd, 2008 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    The AGLU-3000 becomes self aware the same week that Agent Ellison starts trying to teach Skynet morality. Coincidence? I think not.

  144. ShutUpEccles
    January 1st, 2009 at 4:14 am [Reply]

    44 fishmorgjp:

    Great reference!
    Thank you!

  145. ms. docweasel
    February 4th, 2009 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    Note how Mary’s soulless being casts no shadow.
    That means 6 more weeks of Meddling.

  146. Power Kite Sale
    May 11th, 2009 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    Nice comics.. It’s really nice..

    “Don’t look where you fell, but where you slipped.”

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