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A Bumstead party don’t stop!

Blondie, 1/3/09

Ah yes, “this” — by which we are surely meant to understand the first week of January — truly is everyone’s very favorite time of year! What with the lingering resentment towards one’s family after too many hours spent in close quarters with them, the need to box up all the Christmas decorations and figure out how on earth to dispose of the tree, the grim prospect of returning to work or school after an extended absence, the arrival of the first round of credit card bills with holiday gift purchases on them, the radical diets undertaken after the horrifying results from the first venture onto the scale in weeks … why, there’s just nothing not to like about it! That the Bumsteads have time for parties and get-togethers in the midst of all this is a tribute to their sandwich and/or meth-fueled stamina.

You know, it’s almost as if this strip, published on the first day of the NFL playoffs, were originally written when pro football’s regular season was shorter and the playoffs really did coincide with the holiday season. The last year that was the case was 1982, when the strip was a mere 52 years old. But the thought that Blondie might just be repackaging strips written years ago is obviously laughable.

Curtis, 1/3/09

Curtis Kwanzaa stories will now forever be judged against 2007′s glowing telepathic otter, and while the Three Unpleasant Maidens Who Are Jealous Of Some Other Maiden’s Magic Water Jug has been dullsville so far, things have undeniably picked up today, as they vomit out increasingly horrifying nightmare visions after drinking out of said magic jug. If the three-eyed frogs and baseball-sized spiders (side note: would these ancient Africans even know how big a baseball is?) rise up to devour our nosey trio, who, after all, only wanted in on an apparently unlimited fresh water supply in a society that doesn’t have indoor plumbing, this will certainly be the most gruesome Kwanzaa yet. Perhaps “mind-numbing terror” should be added as the holiday’s eighth guiding principle.

Judge Parker, 1/3/09

Ah, check out stone-faced Sam in today’s final panel. Just another crazed, murderous stripper shouting “I was dead a long time ago!” as she commits suicide by cop, charging knife first into a hail of automatic weapons fire. If you’re Sam Driver, it’s just another thing to drop a few ironic, detached witticisms about before heading off to the next adventure. The man is such a joy.

9 Chickweed Lane, 1/3/08

9 Chickweed Lane readers, when opening their papers and/or Web browsers Monday and discovering a strip that does not revolve around this endless Belgian cello competition and/or fucking, will come to the logical conclusion that the story has in fact ended with a triumphant Edda killing and devouring Amos right there on stage. To those pleased by such a development, I must temper your satisfaction by pointing you to this.

71 responses to “A Bumstead party don’t stop!”

  1. Patrick
    January 4th, 2009 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    I count at least eight “BLAM”s in the final panel of Judge Parker. Dixie isn’t just a suicidal stripper, she’s also tougher to kill than Michael Myers.

  2. Jen X
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    I thought yesterday did have football playoffs?

  3. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    JP: I hope those weren’t “Star Wars” stormtroopers shooting at her, or else Dixie will have no problem completing her charge uninjured and slicing up a few of them.

  4. dyslexic dog
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    So Edda will be frozen in mid-air like that for a week. Hm. Perhaps Brooke could wheedle his syndicate to keep that image up, a la Sunday Crankshaft, for all the repeats.

  5. Josh
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    #2 Jen X — Yup, and yesterday was when this Blondie was published. I’m a day behind on the weekend, as usual.


  6. DannyChuck
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    I’m happy to see you training your sites on Chickweed. To my mind, it is the creepiest, most perverse cartoon in publication, I’ve lost count of the number of times he has found an “innocent” reason to draw a woman with her legs spread, like in today’s cartoon. And all under the guise of a family strip. It’s as though it is drawn by the quiet,-keeps-to-himself neighbor who is later discovered to have 35 dead children buried in his basement.

  7. Bryan
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    That African maiden should really be sharing the product of her magic water bottle with the rest of the village so they don’t have to drink from the brackish, guinea worm-infested creek that flows past their village.

  8. dyslexic dog
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    I predict a “Fatal Attraction”-type return of Dixie, as she pops up, head first out of the bathtub, undead, penknife in hand, shouting, “I’ve been a bad, bad girl.”

  9. Comrade Denny
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    #6 – DannyChuck, “It’s as though it is drawn by the quiet,-keeps-to-himself neighbor who is later discovered to have 35 dead children buried in his basement.”

    I didn’t know Marmaduke’s owner drew 9CL!

  10. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    @6: who is later discovered to have 35 dead children buried in his basement.

    I think that’s what “Pibgorn” is.

  11. texas buddha
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    It might seem like only a self-loathing masochist would subject themselves to an extended Family Circus parody, but I thought I would mention that the New World Order Family Circus now has upwards of 70 different cartoons in it:

    Tell your friends so they know what corner of the internet to avoid.

  12. Baka Gaijin
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    Cow and Boy: Is this how Mark Trail started? Sorry this snark is so late but I was in Japan having a good time the past couple weeks.

    Sunday’s Strips

    My Cage: It’s “win” runneth over.

    Pickles: Damn it’s a conspiracy! I thought geezers sitting in cars was just an early sign of Alzheimers…

    Reality Check: Win.

    Arlo and Janis: What?

    Brevity: Call the proctologist: someone needs to get that cowboy’s head out of the horse’s, uh, not mouth.

  13. Donald The Anarchist
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    #6 “All under the guise of a family strip”

    Which family, exactly? The Bundys? The Osbournes? The Manson family?

  14. Brick Bradford
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Maybe the Bumsteads are Greek Orthodox, and will celebrate Christmas on January 7th!

    Or maybe the creators just got lazy.

  15. Poteet
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Consider my satisfaction well and truly tempered. Brooke’s blog is even worse than I feared it would be. Gaaah!

  16. dyslexic dog
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    #13 — Donald The Anarchist:
    Probably the poison sumac family.

  17. dreadedcandiru2
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    #6 : DannyChuck — The sickening thing about McEljerkwad is that he thinks that he’s in the right. According to the Sensitive Artiste, we have no right to criticize his filth and objectivism because we’re not Creatures of Pure Art like him or his daughter. In his mind, he’s being assailed by crass beefwits how don’t understand how wonderful it is that Edda and Amos act like the callous sociopaths that infest the works of the Sainted Ayn Rand.

  18. Amateur
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    “I must temper your satisfaction . . . ”

    Aw, Josh, you’re such a killjoy.

  19. Angry Kem
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    I wonder which 9CL strips are going to appear in the reruns next week? What if they’re really old and actually…good? What if readers glance at them and go, “My God…what happened?” What if someone sets a unicorn on Brooke?

    On the other hand, what if the reruns are from 9CL’s Unicorn Period?


    That Curtis strip–completely unexplained and out of context–would make a pretty good T-shirt.

    Would cops usually riddle an injured young woman, impeded by blood loss, with bullets to stop her from running slowly and weakly towards huge crowds of them and attempting to poke somebody with a penknife? I ask merely for information.

  20. Jen X
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    # 5: Josh — oh, good. I thought I’d gone insane again.

  21. Mibbitmaker
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:54 pm [Reply]


    Throwaway panel: DEAR LORD!! And I thought I drew heads too big!

    “Very Good” panel: Suddenly, Guido strikes a pose like some old pop culture restaurant sign that Zippy the Pinhead would strike up a conversation with — before all that infernal Dingburg stuff, that is.

    ZtP, itself: NEXT: Griffy does a one-panel visual pun on the term “Tijuana Bible”.

  22. richbachelor
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    I’m hoping that Sam is followed around by large, tangible sound effects for the rest of his miserable days. They can change, according to his mood and the moods of those around him, which generally will mean the air being filled with repetitions of the words “DISAPPOINTED SIGH”, on most occasions.

    And, I’m sure you got there three years ago when it was current, but for all your ‘Love Is…’ parody needs:

    You’re welcome, and may god have mercy on your soul.

  23. Calico
    January 4th, 2009 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    I’m kinda hoping Dixie is like the car in S. King’s “Christine”, which regenerated itself over and over in order to fight her owner’s foes.

    I have a few questions as well-
    Who’s gonna take care of the doggie?
    When does Sam get to eat dinner? He must be mighty hungry by now.

  24. Dekster
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    Things have gotten so boring in Spider-Man that the Green Goblin has jumped ship and become 9 Chickweed Lane character.

  25. Gojira
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Josh re: Kwuurtis (thanks to whoever coined that one): Er, “Kwanaaza?” And, did you mean “unlimited fresh water supply?”

    (Where’s the sign-up sheet for that Pedant Patrol, again?)

  26. Mibbitmaker
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    JP: Hey, strip, tell you what — After this conclusion, why not follow the detective instead of killjoy Sam, and make the strip about her, instead?

    FW: “I’m singin’ them ‘Shoulda Stayed Where We Were, in the Nineteen-Eighties’ Bluuuuuuuuuuues”

    S-M A Very Old Day: There’s a new wrinkle not likely in the comic book sorryline: Spidey gets sued by DC Comics. The key might be that bearded guy in panel last — he’s the only person in the continuity who knows what Marvel’s been doing with the Spider-Story. He’s the storyline’s “inside man”.

  27. White Rabbit
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    #1 Patrick: Actually those BLAMs are pretty realistic. When the cops decide to shoot somebody they will normally shoot until the bullet-riddled person of interest is on the ground. With two people firing, eight BLAMs would be easy to do.

    I guess they didn’t have a Taser handy to put up against her terrifying Swiss Army knife. Besides, actual cop doctrine is not to let a knife-wielding assailant get within seventeen feet of you, on the grounds that an Olympic sprinter could cover that distance and stab you before the average cop could react and shoot. Well, no wonder Alan Ladd could knock out someone who was holding a gun on him at close range!

    You can try this at home! Point your finger at someone a measured seventeen feet away, and see if he can run over and touch you before you can yell “BLAM BLAM BLAM” in a loud voice. If not, you’re faster than the average cop. Don’t use actual knives and guns for this little exercise, it could be dangerous.

  28. Josh
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    #25 Gojira — er, yes and yes. Fixed.

  29. Ridureyu
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    9CL: So is this the part where she devours her mate’s head?

  30. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Don’t use actual knives and guns for this little exercise, it could be dangerous.

    I really need to read to the end of the instructions before I start doing things.

    Anyone got a shovel I can borrow?

  31. papa zita
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    @15&17: McEldowney is a real case, and if it weren’t for those useless things called facts, I’d swear he was a 15 year old introverted nerd who could sorta draw (isn’t that the main fan base for Rand – 15 year old selfish nerds?) I never had seen this strip (my paper never carried it) until I started coming here, so take it on faith that it was once good. As far as Amos and Edda, I can see Edda’s sociopathy clearly (IS there anything else about Edda to see? I expected her to tackle Ms. Yuan and do a celebration taunt like an NFL defensive back) but haven’t seen it in Amos in this batch of strips. Funny looking, dorky, idiotic, swelled in the head, but not quite a sociopath, so I fear I’ve missed much.

  32. bitter law student
    January 4th, 2009 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    No, Curtis. It’s fine. It’s FINE! I really don’t mind the head-on image of a fat woman clutching her throat as a torrent of larvae-laden blue projectile vomit rushes from her gaping maw. It’s not like I read the comics while enjoying my morning coffee or anything. It’s fine.

  33. Stranger...
    January 4th, 2009 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    #4 – I like your idea about leaving that image of Edda up all week, but only if they A) wipe that stupid open mouth grin off her face, and B) remove her clothing. Perhaps a little each day?

  34. Some Guy Here
    January 4th, 2009 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    A single lame comment:

    Judge Parker? More like CSI: Miami!

    (that, uhh, is in reference to the rather lame and empty stoicism followed by equally lame and empty one-liners David Curoso is now famous for. Um, yeah)

  35. Some Guy Here
    January 4th, 2009 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    And on that note, the final strip to the storyline is priceless in its awkward ineptitude:

    I love their Saturday Morning Cartoon-esque use of referring to the now deceased as simply “gone.”

  36. teddytoad
    January 4th, 2009 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    #27 White Rabbit – As I understand it, cops are supposed to say, “You’re under arrest!” and read the Miranda warning, not shout “Don’t make me kill you!” and blast the suspect eight times for drawing a two-inch blade. Bitter law student, do you have any input on this?

  37. will
    January 4th, 2009 at 6:57 pm [Reply]

    “First I must apologize to all of you who come to 9 Chickweed Lane every day”
    As well you should, Brooke. Either make with the funny, or make with the soft-core, but stop being pretentious about it.

  38. Buck
    January 4th, 2009 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    What I find myself unaccountably wondering is, how can the third princess hiccup out spiders, let alone hairy baseball-sized ones, when hiccuping involves an intake of breath?

    I just keep picturing her choking to death as she repeatedly tries to aspirate the spiders, which are just innocently trying to make their way out to the open air.

  39. Chance
    January 4th, 2009 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    Haiku to 9 Chickweed Lane

    “The art’s pretty good,”
    Say this strip’s defenders: Cue
    Crazed, fanged, muppet face?

  40. Judo Throw Toy
    January 4th, 2009 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    If Curtis is trying to build support for Kwanzaa among an otherwise skeptical population, he’s going about it the wrong way.

  41. Scud
    January 4th, 2009 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    I went to a mostly black high school, and the most important thing I learned about Kwanzaa from the experience is that nobody celebrates Kwanzaa.

  42. LouieLouie
    January 4th, 2009 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    2006 brought us the Bat-Winged Bear.
    2007 was the Golden Telepathic Otter.
    What was 2008′s Curtis Zwanzaa treat?

  43. corinthian
    January 4th, 2009 at 11:18 pm [Reply]

    Not to belittle the holiday, but every annual Kwaanza strip of Curtis should have a giant, Spiderman-esque disclaimer panel saying, “Actual Beliefs! I swear I am not making this up!”

  44. Joe Blevins
    January 4th, 2009 at 11:31 pm [Reply]

    Stripper massacres? Vampire cellist attacks? Baseball-sized spiders? Kid stuff! The creative team behind Blondie knows the real terror is in the suburbs, lurking behind the picket fences and all-weather vinyl siding. Just look at Mr. and Mrs. Bumstead there, smiling on the outside, slowly dying on the inside, trading inane banter about Dagwood’s sex-substititue (or one of his sex substitutes). There’s a protective plastic coating on their couch… and their hearts. It’s a Sam Mendes movie waiting to happen! Dixie Julep’s lucky. She’ll be dead in eight, nine seconds, tops. But Blondie Bumstead will go on living, decade after decade, wishing she could Aldo her way out of this marriage.

  45. WillieO
    January 5th, 2009 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    Ok, the lady in Judge Parker is charging at the cops with what looks to be an “Old timer” pocket knife similar to the one my grandad gave me when I was 8. Pumping her full of lead might be an overeaction. Or a waste of ammo. You decide.

  46. fuzzmaster
    January 5th, 2009 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    Says Brooke: “I did not want the story to suffer a break. I also wanted to do it well.”

    Oh-for-two, then.

    And he was working on nuance? This in a strip where premarital sex is a mother-recommended cure for hiccups?

  47. dunnowhoIwannabe
    January 5th, 2009 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    Y’know, that Amos guy looks pretty calm, considering he’ll probably end up in traction after the tackle.

  48. Anonymous
    January 5th, 2009 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker, missing panel 4: “Huh. You all missed.”

  49. papa zita
    January 5th, 2009 at 2:22 am [Reply]

    @47: I never thought of that – she could strangle him with her rock-hard thighs. I dated a dancer, so take my word for it – don’t disappoint her while your head is in there.

  50. MWDG-Mary Worth Discussion Group
    January 5th, 2009 at 5:56 am [Reply]

    Mary worth…My GOD put Lynn in a Straight Jacket NOW

  51. teenchy
    January 5th, 2009 at 7:10 am [Reply]

    # 6 for COTW.

    What I don’t understand is why McEldowney can’t draw his chinless folk with their mouths open without having them look like sharks attacking their prey.

  52. Mr. Jones
    January 5th, 2009 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    Step 1: Drop a couple tabs of acid (brown is fine)
    Step 2: Down 2 bottles of Robotussin
    Step 3: Guzzle 1 bottle of Mad-dog
    Step 4: Write a Kwanzaa tale

  53. Sarah
    January 5th, 2009 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    Even as a child, I thought the way Blondie and Dagwood’s chairs were arranged (so that she never has to see whatever disgusting, food-based perversions he finds on late-night cable) was unspeakably depressing. It’s like they used to have separate dens, until a “marriage counselor” with “new ideas” suggested that they spend more time together. This almost, sort-of, counts.

  54. raisedbywolves
    January 5th, 2009 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    “First I must apologize to all of you who come to 9 Chickweed Lane every day”


  55. Iggy
    January 5th, 2009 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    Boy, do I think some of you guys have missed the boat. 9cw and Pibgorn have pretty much taken the comcis world by storm – 9CW, perhaps, ESPECIALLY with the Brussels story. And Pib gets about 200 comments a day over at gocomics – at least 10 times that of any other comic.

    People complain about the state of comics today, and then complain about Brooke McEldowney – who’s one of the few real artists. Without him and Patrick McDonell, the modern comics pages would be very bleak, indeed. Go figure.

  56. indoor voices
    January 5th, 2009 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    Sarah @ 53:


    i have tried for years to stop puzzling over the arrangement of furniture in their house. can anyone really have their chairs situated that way on purpose? it looks like their kids outgrew sofa tents mid-play and they didn’t have the heart to put the chairs back where they belonged.

  57. Anonymous
    January 5th, 2009 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    JP: Just the other day I watched a couple cops dispatch an attractive stripper with an improbable name who had recently tried to kill me, and damned if I couldn’t think of anything to say, either.

  58. Some Guy Here
    January 5th, 2009 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    …and it suddenly dawned on me.

    The juxtposition of Judge Parker and 9CL makes me wonder if the same fate will befall Edda who has not only resorted to stalking but to swooping down upon her sexual man-prey like some flying cougar (c wut i did thar)?

  59. MB
    January 5th, 2009 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    The last time an NFL playoff game took place before New Year’s Day was actually in 2000. (The last pre-Christmas NFL playoff game was in 1988.)

    A certain catastrophe led to a week’s postponement of the 2001 season (and thus the 2002 Super Bowl), and NFL owners apparently decided they liked the Super Bowl better in February anyway, and everything’s been shifted a week ever since.

  60. Laurie
    January 5th, 2009 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    I much prefer my “real art” (is that what all the question marks were yesterday? I had no idea) when it comes with a great deal less stupidity, WTFery, and filler. Thanks.

  61. Danny_G
    January 5th, 2009 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

  62. Eric Blair
    January 6th, 2009 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    Iggy: Its the same 4 or 5 people commenting over and over at go comics, one of which is some sort of fan-boy-has-to-post-the-same-explanatory-links-everyday creature.

    The rest, from the look of it, are lonely females of a certain age that are fapping to his not nude nudes.

  63. JimC214
    January 7th, 2009 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    The seventeen foot rule is that an officer can’t be surprised and unholster his weapon in time to stop a running threat that is coming towards him. That said, all he had to do was run back a few feet and whack her with his baton on the arm.

  64. tpjim
    January 8th, 2009 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    I’m going to preface this by saying that I have a couple of degrees from a music conservatory of national reputation (not Juilliard), and surprise, 9CL resembles my life there not at all. (Maybe things are different at Juilliard.)

    But come on, you guys are being hard on Amos & Edda. Remember, they’ve been humiliated on the internet and had that humiliation thrown back in their faces at the competition (the biggest plot hole in the whole storyline, actually: how was the videotaped handsex-couple identified as them?). Who wouldn’t feel some savage glee in their situation?

    Re: #17, is there actual evidence out there that McEldowney is a full-on Objectivist, or is he just garden-variety-full-of-himself? I don’t think A&E are supposed to be a Randian übercouple – they’re just supposed to be in the throes of what John Barth calls “solipsisme à deux”, which, yeah, is irritating to behold from outside. (Plus it gets boring after a while. I swore off John Barth forever about two chapters into _Once Upon a Time_. Another Juilliard dropout, by the way, Barth.)

    Conclusion? Oh, I dunno, 9CL is still one of my favorite dailies in spite of everything, I guess. But that’s a lot of “everything”.

  65. Diz
    January 8th, 2009 at 7:27 pm [Reply]

    #64 – come on, Amos and Edda are gonna return to a hero’s welcome.

  66. MsCynical
    January 9th, 2009 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    9CL – I’ve only read this comic on this site, but I have to ask, is it always this bad? The art’s fine, but the story is awful. Not only are A&E having the best sex ever, but their “love” is so strong their musical duet causes everyone else to have the best sex ever? This isn’t romance. This is the wet dream of the last-chair cellist in a high school orchestra.

  67. Anonymous
    January 10th, 2009 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    I know “family friendly” is kind of a vague term to describe the comics, especially with dismembered corpses and violent deaths in Dick Tracy, Kelly Welly’s constant flirting with the married Mark Trail, sexy women throwing themselves at Sam Driver, and of course Mary Worth’s sociopathic meddling. But when a plot point of a strip is “the main characters are videotaped screwing on a piano,” I think that at least crosses the line of good taste.

  68. Sophie Biggens
    January 10th, 2009 at 11:27 pm [Reply]

    Brooke McEldowney obviously needs to get himself a girlfriend….

  69. Jim Jones
    February 11th, 2009 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    The LJ link to McEldowney’s blog seems to have vanished. Anyone got a copy of what it said?

  70. ClaudeTheWonderCat
    February 16th, 2009 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    Your “This” link on 9CL (supposed to go to http//, goes to “Page Not Found Umm…you weren’t supposed to see this. Are you sure you typed in the URL correctly?” instead.

  71. Anyclelty
    September 5th, 2009 at 9:38 am [Reply]


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