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At last, we learn the origins of Mary’s pickpocketing skills

Mary Worth, 10/31/13

OH MY GOD EVERYBODY MARY WORTH WAS A DICKENSIAN STREET URCHIN! There was an ultimately quite disappointing Mary Worth flashback storyline in 2008, in which we learn that Mary’s parents got divorced and there was no food in the house but then a neighbor’s family invited her to dinner and taught her about Jesus and later her mom remarried and everything was fine. Except it seems some important backstory was left out in that tale, presumably because Mary couldn’t bring herself to admit her past homelessness to Toby, but since Shelly is perfectly happy to make sexytimes with an ex-hobo, she won’t judge too harshly.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/31/13

Meanwhile, in Rex Morgan, we’re finally getting to meet the sinister wife who somehow managed to not kill her husband despite shooting him in the head at point-blank range with a nailgun. And she appears to be … an Episcopal priest? Or one of the other denominations that wears a clerical collar and has female clergy? Anyway, bet none of you ever saw that coming, eh? I’m sure the tabloids will have quite a field day with the Tale of the Murderous Ministrix.

Wizard of Id, 10/31/13

I admit to being totally charmed seeing Bung the Jester chatting up a comely (I guess? it’s always tough to tell who’s supposed to be sexy in a strip as crudely drawn as Wizard of Id) rabbit furry in the background of this panel. Partly because they seem to be getting on quite well despite the fact that she’s twice as tall as he is, and partly because, unlike everyone else at this party, Bung has apparently decided that his faux medieval garb is costume enough, thanks.

Family Circus, 10/31/13

We all know that Billy is an insufferable dick and so his smile can’t represent anything noble or good. The question is: How long a game is he playing here? Is he smug because he’s about to rat Jeffy out to their parents for sullying of the Lord’s Prayer with references to a holiday that celebrates demons and ghouls? Or is he smiling because Jeffy has just accidentally pledged his soul to the Dark Lord Satan, and now Billy won’t have to spend time with him in heaven?

Crankshaft, 10/31/13

Meanwhile, in Crankshaft, a bunch of drunk little kids are stumbling down the street. Happy Halloween, everybody!

272 responses to “At last, we learn the origins of Mary’s pickpocketing skills”

  1. Huckleberry Fink
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:27 am [Reply]

    Luann:

    Part II of Brad DeGroot Meets Jonah Daytona Brad Pitt…

    DeGroot: “What’s Jonah Pitt got that I don’t got?”

    Toni: “Angelina Jolie, you ninny!”

  2. Jasper Jinx
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:32 am [Reply]

    The Mary Worth strip was originally about a Depression-era street vendor called Apple Mary. Just as Barney Google recently visited Snuffy Smith, maybe we’ll get a sequence where the child Mary meets (and steals from) Apple Mary.

  3. ebtnut
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Uh, since the ants are already naked, doesn’t going out as Miley Cyrus mean no need for a costume?

  4. Dennis Jimenez
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Stop the presses – MW went roadside – film at eleven….

    RMMD – Your mouth says no, but your hips say, yes, Yes, YES….

    WoI – Um, no – Er – naw – nevermind….

    FC – Agnostic Dollyism – Hollow by they claims….

    FW – Halloween ruffies are hillarious – this strip is both topical and tops….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  5. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    yay for early thread!

    As mentioned in passing yesterday, I had a spooky story roaming around my brain a few days back, inspired by Baka Gaijin. It can be found here.

    Comments appreciated, esp. by BG himself.

    Happy Halloween!

  6. Huckleberry Fink
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    …but then a neighbor’s family invited her to dinner and taught her about Jesus…

    Cathy’s family was Jewish, so “Mazel tov, Mary!”

  7. Jeffy Keane
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:36 am [Reply]

    “…please make Billy stop doing this every night. If you loved your servant, God, you wouldn’t make him wake up to this every morning, with those glassy eyes fixed upon his own. A famine, a flood, a second coming… I’ll take anything!”

  8. ScienceGiant
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:36 am [Reply]

    Family Circus: could always be option 3 — Jeffy is taking the oath to join Billy as a banner bearer for Beelzebub. Also, the editor of this strip is a dick: “halloween be they name”? WTF?

  9. Dennis Jimenez
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:38 am [Reply]

    @Jasper Jinx (#2): She caught jauntice from the Yellow Kid, and would have died if Daddy Warbucks hadn’t sprung for treatment….

  10. CanuckDownSouth
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:40 am [Reply]

    JP: … and if you can’t help, I’ll blow your cover to the world! April’s going to want a drone all right, but not for the coordinates Neddy’s sending

  11. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:40 am [Reply]

    JP “We know what we’re looking for! An indeterminate number of ‘terrorists’, of unknown appearance or nationality, somewhere within a one-square-mile densely populated area. They will be acting suspicious, so look out for that! And, of course, they will be hiding out with their victim, so be sure to use x-ray vision to check out all the cellars and bomb shelters in the area.”

    Luann -
    “Where is daddy, I thought he was going to take me trick or treating?”

    “He left. I told him I would take you instead. I guess he doesn’t love you anymore.”

    “Oh, OK, whatever. Will you be my new daddy? You are much more fun, you never tell me ‘no’ or discipline me when I attack random strangers!”

    “Of course! I’ll be your best daddy ever! Now, what kind of candy do you want for dinner?”

  12. aphthakid
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:42 am [Reply]

    9CL: Yet another teleprompter joke, ladies and gentlemen!

    Luann: Once again, drama and interest successfully averted!

    FC: After hearing him say his prayers hilariously, Billy insisted Jeffy climb up onto the center of his bed and repeat them.

    RMMD: Evil preacher woman also appears to be at least eight feet tall.

  13. Chareth Cutestory
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:44 am [Reply]

    Family Circus: Who am I to tell other people and families how they should observe their religion? Its really not my place to make criticisms. Still, maybe let’s admit that when your children start creepy eyes staring at one another while praying, things might be teetering off the rails.

  14. nescio
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:44 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft/FC: So the reason Billy leaves a meandering trail around the neighborhood is because he’s drunk?

  15. Casey, Crime Photographer
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:44 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#1): I picture Brad DeGroot sounding like a young William Bendix when he talks.

  16. Flonatin of Bologna
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    DtM: OMG! Continuity! And it only took 62 years to do it!

    Heathcliff: Same joke every year.

    MT: Of course, the senator is losing that vote 99-1.

    BG&SS: And those aren’t Halloween costumes, Jughaid. (Hootin’ Holler, everyone!)

    Lockhorns: “How was I supposed to know it was Halloween today? The stores are full of Christmas stuff.” (The second sentence originally ended with an exclamation point, but it was changed to a period because the Lockhorns.)

  17. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    MW: Mary lived on the streets? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ((breath))
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    (Incidentally, the WashPost is getting a bit of crap for their decision to drop Get Fuzzy; if you’d like to weigh in, here’s the page: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/comic-riffs/post/post-drops-get-fuzzy-o-how-high-the-tolerance-for-comic-strip-reruns/2013/10/30/a5e5987c-41b1-11e3-8b74-d89d714ca4dd_blog.html)

  18. David Lynch's Pompadour
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    Are we finally going to get that grim, gritty MARY APPLE reboot we’ve all been waiting for, where we learn that Mary’s Depression-era Apple vending was a front for Lucky Luciano’s heroin operation? “As my friend and mentor Charles used to say, ‘The law of the street is take our be taken.’”

  19. Kristian
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    Shoe: Treetops Players? Lucky he wasn’t a giraffe, he might have been chewing the scenery.

    Family Circus:
    Thy candy come,
    thy tricks be done.

    Wizard of Id: This gives even more credence to the “genetic manipulation” theory over the “magic” one. Which means I’m scared of the lady out there on the right.

    Better Half: I haven’t been following this strip very long. Is that a modernistic cat sculpture made out of butter?

  20. John C Fremont
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    That previous Mary Worth flashback story was over five years ago?! Sheesh! Time flies when etc.

  21. Ratiocinator
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:51 am [Reply]

    RMMD: Okay, as somebody pointed out yesterday, all of these are legitimate reasons for being upset. Not justification for assault and battery, mind you, but upset all the same.

    9CL: Er, wut? Are we back to the animal rights stuff now? Are we going so far as to say that animals should be treated as people? Because once again, I’m a very anti-animal-cruelty Ratiocinator, but at the most animals should be treated like infants who need protection and supervision. Just letting them run around going wherever they want and doing whatever they want will get them hit by a car or mauled by a bigger carnivore or something. Not to mention that a lot of feral animals get exposed to and infected with wonderful diseases like rabies.

    Or maybe I’m just reading too much into this and Brooke just decided a random chicken in panel two would be funny, because reasons.

    FW: I didn’t lol, but I grinned a bit. I’m sorry, my Mudge cred just took a hit, didn’t it?

    Garfield: This made me grin involuntarily too. My Mudge cred is now completely shot, isn’t it?

    Luann: Richard Branson cloned a younger version of himself, and the clone fathered a child. Shannon should be Exhibit A if anybody ever wants to demonstrate what kinds of horrors can result from scientists playing God.

    MT: And because of the oil exploration bill failing, the endangered Giant Green-Bellied Canada Goose was saved from outright extinction. (What kind of bird flies at that angle so close to the ground, anyway?)

    Slylock: Uh, hello, parents of that kid who climbed into a giant jack o’ lantern just to gleefully eviscerate it from the inside out? You, er, should probably schedule an appointment with a mental health professional.

  22. Little Blue Bicycle
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:51 am [Reply]

    MW. “I briefly lived on the streets when I was young, selling my love to strange men in exchange for the chance of giving them needed advice. Stephen Crane wrote a book about me. Then the Spanish blew up the Maine and everything changed.”

  23. Kristian
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:52 am [Reply]

    Marmaduke: But feel free to slobber all over the human food.

    Momma: Cannons! I’m here all week.

    Luann: I don’t know this character, but that beard is douche-tastic.

    Barney Google: This is a Hootin’ Holler wedding? Where’s the shotgun and the bun in the oven? And what washes that white?

    Dennis the Menace: Voiced by James Earl Jones and allegedly making obscene phone calls? Slightly menacing.

  24. pugfuggly
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:52 am [Reply]

    MW Oh please please please actually show this in pictures! I want to see the tidy bland white New York street life back in the long long ago!

    WoI The Wiz couldn’t decide what drug to do on Halloween, so he just tried a little of everything. Also, I think he gave some to his friend there.

    C’shaft “Or maybe she mixed up the tic tacs with her oxycontin. Lucky kids…”

  25. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:52 am [Reply]

    GODDAMMIT JOSH LEAVE SOME JOKES FOR ME (in re: Rex Morgan & Family Circus).

  26. Little Blue Bicycle
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:53 am [Reply]

    RM, MD: This must be set before Martha Stewart got all crafty, or else once she got out of stir. Albert Brooks is really in for it this time.

  27. Marc
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    9CL- I don’t even know what the hell this is supposed to mean.

    Funky- I really don’t know what the hell Cory’s ridiculously exaggerated look of panic in panel 3 is supposed to be for.

    Luann- I can’t wait until B wad lies to Shannon about where her father is, but we are still supposed to root for that idiot because he is the designated good guy.

  28. Gabacho
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#6):

    Cathy’s family was Jewish, so “Mazel tov, Mary!”

    In Mary Worth, even the Jewish people tell you about Jesus.

  29. Kristian
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    Tina’s Groove: She shaves her abdomen? Her thighs? Her forehead? This woman may want to consider either laser treatment or a flea collar.

    Blondie: Elmo really is the muppet. He has infiltrated human society and is gathering information until they are ready to strike. The “human child” costume is impressive.

    Sally Forth: Combining today’s throwaway panel with the one from yesterday would give a very interesting game of “bullet’s and bracelets.” With hilarious consequences!

    6C: No. Just No.

    Henry: Explanations please? He’s trying to steal them, the guy in the shop won’t let a kid try on ties, what? You’re less clear than Fred Basset, Henry.

  30. Droopy Says
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:57 am [Reply]

    Crapshat: Drunk on rum balls? I’m not sure how that works, Batiuk. Actual rum ball recipes involve a relatively small amount of rum (say, four fluid ounces) spread among several dozen rum balls. Mind explaining how anyone can get drunk on a few drops of rum, or is that a trade secret? And if you try to make the things with a huge amount of rum, what you get is rum with bits of chocolate, vanilla wafers and milk floating in it; good luck plopping that into a trick-or-treater’s bag. It’s even worse if you cook with rum flavoring, which paradoxically doesn’t contain alcohol. How about making your jokes with some actual thought for a change?

  31. Gabacho
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:57 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth – After Mary and Shelly pull a dine and dash, they’re heading over the Lord & Taylor’s to boost Shelly a new bag. You can leave the streets but the streets never leave you.

  32. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:58 am [Reply]

    BTW, newbie Episcopalian here, can confirm: ministrixes wear collars, wield nail guns something fierce.

  33. Mibbitmaker
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    FC, meta: Um…. I don’t think it was an accident….

    RMMD: Yesterday she was Martha Stewart. Today (in panel 2), she’s a young Meredeth Baxter-Birney. Apparently, if she shape-shifts enough into various celebrities at random, she can catch Buck off guard….

    MW: Uh, Mary… if you can identify with someone in their plight, the word is “empathize”. Any problems someone has can make someone sympathize. Problem is, Mary can’t really empathize with anyone, her being so “above” them, so when she does identify with a person who is in a bad way, she can only muster a “sympathize”.

    Crank: Gee, kids frollicking around, giddy over Halloween and having a really happy time (and being increasingly full of sugar can’t hurt, either) on the most fun holiday of released inhibitions. Nah, thinks the grumpy, depressive Crankshaft, it’s gotta be booze!

  34. Kristian
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Hehe, underage drinking – it’s hilarious because it’s dangerous! But wait, leftover from which holiday? Harvest festival rumballs? Fourth of July rumballs?

    Hi and Loise: Here’s a pro tip, Hi, “accidentally” leave your fly open. No parent will ever let their child come by your house again.

    Bizarro: Pride and Prejudice and Werewolves? Well, it was overdue.

    Lockhorns: You can’t get a man with a gun. But you can get rid of one.

    RMMD: I was wrong, this is the storm trooper out of armour.

  35. The Waz
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    Luann – The fact that they are making this out to be ‘what a bad dad’ type of thing and not a ‘Brad is such an asshole to prevent Shannon from spending time with her dad’ type of thing just pisses me off no end.

  36. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    And so, as the happy gang prepares to leave Lost Forest, they depart ignoring the faint cries from the bottom of the cliff: “I’m not dead! I’m just terribly, terribly wounded, and in incredible pain. Can anyone hear me?” But whether it was the voice of Johnny Walker or a wounded elk, no one could ever say for sure.

  37. Johnny Knuckles
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    Nancy provides a concise, 2-panel run-down of how to lose a functional society:
    Keep long-past-due-date comics such as Snuffy Smith on life support in a medium that has long ago squandered its proud legacy? Check.
    Print bromides as relevant insights? Check.
    Follow random advice gathered by anonymous wage slaves? Check.
    Give something that you didn’t earn to people you deem unfortunate but who could get their own goodies by just walking up to a door and simply asking? Check.
    Feeling like you’re a glorious gift to humanity for doing all of the above? Check, mate.
    Ah, the pretty nurse is here with my pills. S’long!

  38. Casey, Crime Photographer
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    What do “Snuffy Smith” and “Your Horoscope” have in common?

    They’re both in today’s Nancy.

    (And no Oona Goosepimple Halloween strip makes Casey a sad lad!)

  39. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    9CL – The gag is that even chickens should have access to teleprompters, to tell them when to cluck. He shouldn’t commit to running a week (or two) worth of strips based on the same premise if he is going to run dry by Thursday.

    Luann – And again, this would be the perfect setup to have Shannon break into tears when told that her father just left, and then become angry when she discovers that B-Wad took it upon himself to send him home. He could learn a valuable lesson that the child wants her father in her life, and needs to feel that he loves her. But, of course, it won’t, this is just the laziest possible way for them to write the father out of the strip and make Shannon be officially the child of Brad and Toni.

  40. Lumaca Morente
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    I don’t remember if we’ve ever seen Jonah Daytona before, but I sure snerked when I saw him today. At first I thought this was Toni in her Halloween costume. And what is he wearing? A ladies’ faux-layered look top?

  41. Digger
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    I do believe “Oh, Great!” is the accepted universal repsonse to hearing that Rex Morgan and his wife are coming to dinner.

  42. pugfuggly
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:06 am [Reply]

    JP ‘One of our birds…’? So, I guess the Parkers bought themselves an MQ-1 Predator. Yeah, I could see how that could come in useful.

    MW “Mark, I’m going to tell the authorities everything, and then vote ‘no’ on the oil exploration bill….no, wait, I should probably vote first, then tell the authorities, and then prepare for my resignation and criminal trial. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.”

    SM Fun Fact: the population of Costa Verde is only 15 people (well, closer to 12 now), so this technically counts as an election.

  43. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    You all will have to forgive Brad DeGroot. He’s used to being the bullied, not the bully. Who knew he could tell somebody what to do and have them listen? Be glad the panel cuts off at mid-thorax, I guess is what I’m saying.

  44. Braniff
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    FC: Jeffy won’t be going to Ioway after he dies (“Is this heaven? No it’s Iowa”–the line from the movie Fields of Dreams.) The Des Moines (Iowa) Register still carries The Family Circus. With that in mind, Iowa is NOT heaven!!!

    Perhaps those who want to go to a place where is no Family Circus should try Aspen, Colorado instead (provided that they read the local newspapers). But it’s a little expen$ive.

  45. Inkwell
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#21): But if little Billy doesn’t vent his frustration by gutting his enemies from within, he might act out!

  46. Heavenly Earlobes
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    RMMD Yay Josh! Great minds and all that. That’s the first thing I thought when I saw her in yesterday’s strip. “What on earth do Wilson & Nolan have against female Episcopal priests?” I know many priests who are women, and only a few of them are sociopaths.

    Cranky I hate to admit — I chuckled. *shame*

    SS/BG It’s funny because girls are always trying to snag a guy. amirite?

  47. Ratiocinator
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    @Marc (#27):

    Funky- I really don’t know what the hell Cory’s ridiculously exaggerated look of panic in panel 3 is supposed to be for.

    I think he’s worried that his mom’s going to embarrass him.

  48. Maltmasher
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    No-one realizes that Apple Mary is still running the streets (how else does she afford Charterstone and all her victory tours?) Now, she’s known as “the Artful Codger”

  49. Casey, Crime Photographer
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#29): Henry: Explanations please? He’s trying to steal them, the guy in the shop won’t let a kid try on ties, what? You’re less clear than Fred Basset, Henry.

    Henry wanted to see if the ties were really wrinkle-proof.

  50. Hibbleton
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:19 am [Reply]

    FC: Actually, Billy’s smiling because he’s just offed his dad but Jeffy doesn’t know it yet. “Don’t worry, Jeffy. You’ll be joining him in ‘heaven’ soon enough.”

  51. Mibbitmaker
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:19 am [Reply]

    Crank: What’s wrong with those children? They’re having a good time trick-or-treating. How DARE they?!!! (Batiukland in a nutshell, everybody)

  52. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#21): “(What kind of bird flys at that angle that close to the ground, anyway?)”

    Only Canadian geese that are wearing gold leg bands with biblical passages etched into them … and only in the MT strip.

  53. Heavenly Earlobes
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#30):
    Obviously you’ve never had my rum balls. One of those suckers gives even strong adults a pleasant buzz. The thing is, rum balls aren’t cooked, so the alcohol stays in. I like to use a bit of Pusser’s Rum (95.5 proof). I tried using a 150 proof, but the 150 evaporates so quickly I had to use a lot of it to keep the rum balls moist enough. So then I added some 80 proof for the sake of moisture. Using Pusser’s is much easier.

    In addition, if the rum balls in question were stored in a nice air-tight container since last Christmas season, they would be well and truly mellowed. (Rather like fruit cake, they have an extremely long shelf life; even moreso if they were refrigerated…which, on reflection considering the CS universe, I doubt they were.)

    Okay, I’ll stop now.

  54. pugfuggly
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#51):

    “What’s wrong with those kids? They’re excited, running around, laughing, their mouths are curved upwards in….they must be drunk…”

  55. Dr. Mabuse
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    Rex Morgan, MD: Did somebody say anything about filet mignon?

    Crankshaft: Okay, a lesson in comedy:
    “Lillian MacKenzie is putting her blood thinners in popcorn balls and giving them to kids” — not funny.
    “Lillian MacKenzie is giving each kid a pull off her bottle of brandy” — child endangerment
    “Lillian MacKenzie is giving children leftover holiday rum balls” — freakin’ hilarious, because “leftovers” and “rum balls” are always funny, no matter who you poison with them.

  56. Odie Odo
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:25 am [Reply]

    @Johnny Knuckles (#37):

    Nancy already checked her bag for razor blades, rat poison and rumballs. She’s giving the other children her rejects.

  57. Ratiocinator
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:25 am [Reply]

    @Inkwell (#45): Good point. Well, maybe this is a good thing. The NSA will be looking for a new assassin after April from Judge Parker retires, and this kid looks like he has the right stuff.

  58. Ratiocinator
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#52): Hahaha, I remember that story. Did you happen to buy one of the bible bands Josh was selling at the time?

  59. Master Softheart
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    FW: Silly Cory – if you have supply problems, you should call April from Judge Parker. She can probably arrange a delivery. Or she might just target an orbital laser on the Taliban forces that are stopping your convoys from getting through. Sure, the odds are fairly good that she will kill you for knowing that she isn’t really a translator for World Bank environmental programs or whatever her secret cover identity was, but you’re a character in Funky Winkerbean, so chalk that up as a consummation devoutly to be wished for and start dialing.

  60. The Unitarian of Malta
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    @Albert (#y209):

    “I have committed — fornication,
    But that was in another comic strip,
    And besides, the wench was badly drawn.”

  61. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    MT – “Anne Marie, let’s head home!”

    “I’m with you, Dad … but WHAT about that mess at the bottom of the cliff?”

    “The villainous wolves along with the rest of the stupid wildlife will clean it up until there’s no trace.”

    “That stupid wildlife … they really take good care of the enviornment, aren’t they Dad?”

    “HEY! WHAT about ME ?!!”

    “Okay … you’re stupid too, Mark! Feel better?”

  62. S. Stout
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    Luann: “If you let someone else in your immediate family take your kid trick-or-treating so you can have a brief moment of fun in your difficult single parent life, then you are a horrible, horrible person and you might as well sign the documents to give up custody of your child.” – Greg Evans

  63. Bill Peschel
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Luann: Judging by the third panel, that was the moment that Bwad, for the first time, discovers he’s in love. Bye, Toni!

  64. Inkwell
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    The Adventures of Inkwell Trying To Figure Out If Shannon’s Brother is Supposed To Be Unsympathetic Or Not continue!

    They’ve been dull.

  65. Kristian
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    @Casey, Crime Photographer (#49): Thank you. Bit slow today.

  66. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#58):
    No, but I do remember seeing pictures of those leg bands Josh was selling back then. (Don’t tell Josh, but I saved a picture of one of those leg bands so someday when 3D printers are more affordable I can make one from the filed photo).
    // Hmm, I wonder if those 3D printers could spit out a full size ’67 Mustang Shelby Cobra for me as well?!!

  67. Shrug, Whose Mind Must Be Non-Brilliant Today
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#21):

    “FW: I didn’t lol, but I grinned a bit. I’m sorry, my Mudge cred just took a hit, didn’t it?”

    You think YOUR credit is shot — I actually found myself letting out a brief but distinct chuckle at THE BRILLIANT MIND OF EDISON LESS this morning. I’m scared.

  68. Odie Odo
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#y254):

    Hi & Lois:

    Chance Browne: “Fangs or mustache… fangs or mustache… which should I draw?”

    [Thinks about it for 30 seconds...]

    “I know! I know! I’ll draw Hi with both, but at different times!”

    “Now where did I put my golf clubs?”

    Some cartoonists live the Life of Riley. (Apologies to William Bendix!)

  69. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    MT – Did anyone ever call 911? …Oh, that’s right, Ranger Dusty represents the official law authority figure in this story, so, no problem! PANCAKES anyone?

  70. TheDiva
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: Yesterday:
    Crankshaft: I’m giving out inappropriate Halloween treats.
    Pam: Ha-ha! Oh Dad, you’re such a card!
    Today:
    Crankshaft: Lillian is giving out inappropriate Halloween treats.
    Pam: No! HORRORS! Won’t someone please think of the children!

    (Never had rum balls, but Mr. Diva makes bourbon balls for the holidays and yeah, they can pack a bit of a kick–especially since he’s from Kentucky and knows how to buy the good stuff.)

    MW: This actually explains a great deal about Mary. She blames everything bad that happened in her life on her whore of a mother divorcing her lawful husband–a situation that was only set aright once Mom found Jesus and resumed her rightful place of dutiful submission. Her single goal in life is to ensure everyone conforms to the same 1950s values she believes are essential for comfort and happiness.

    // I’ve always hated it when people say the “found Jesus”–it makes the spiritual journey sound like a hunt for Pokemon.

    WoI: Is the woman second from the right an actual queen, or a woman dressed up as a queen? Oh my head….

  71. Revised Standard Shrug
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#52):

    And only when the Biblical passages on their legs are long ones. This low-flying goose is sporting Esther 8:9, and is bitterly envious of his cousin who got John 11:35.

  72. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    NAoQV: *snurk*

    SBp: *golf clap* nice concept.

    Zits: Jeremy laughs like Snuffy Smith.

    JUMBLE: goes xkcd.

    SF: *swoon*

    6Cx: *gives ghost a rock*

  73. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    Love Is. . . getting to know all about you. *insert music note here*

  74. Kevin on Earth
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    SM: Miguel: Very well, as you wish. Then for my vice president, I’d like to pick Rodrigo! My right hand man! Rodrigo? Where are you?
    Spidey: {shrugs}
    Miguel: Well, going once…going twice…

    FC: 1:what is Billy smirking there for? Does he already know that this is the house where prayers (botched or otherwise) go unanswered? 2:Why is Dottie praying to him? Is the next line of the prayer: please smiteth my platter-sized faced brother who standeth before me?

    GT: Because gestures work under these circumstances about as well as they would on a radio.

  75. jim, some guy in iowa
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: the wavy dotted lines indicate the trick or treaters are escapees from the Keane kompound

  76. Kristian
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    @Revised Standard Shrug (#71): It’s comments like these that make me happy we live in the time of the internets when I can quickly look up why that’s funny.
    Had this been the 1950s … I would likely have had a bible handy … and it would have taken the same amount of time to look up. Hmm.

    So anyway. Psalm 119. Since I looked it up.

  77. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    MT – After senator Mason finishes telling the authorities everything, the only thing he’ll be voting on is which movie to watch on Netflicks during his upcoming extended stay at a part of a nearby federal penitentiary better known as the “country club for political white collar executives” located somewhere not too far from DC.

  78. jim, some guy in iowa
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker: making the Phantom! look realistic

  79. seismic-2
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    MW:
    Mary: “Let me tell you about how I suffered as a child, how the cupboard was empty, how I was selling apples from a pushcart on the street, how I lost everything I had, how Jack came into my life, how he died tragically, how my son is an alcoholic grifter, how…”
    Shelly: “Hey, waiter? Would you please go wound me an elk?”

  80. Esther Blodgett
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#5): YES! TAKE THEM DOWN!

    Well done. :)

  81. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    MT – “I’ll se too it that this beautiful area is kept the way it is … plus I’ll personally see to it that a few hundred oil rigs are placed around the area to add some structural beauty to the area!”

    Structural beauty , senator??”

    “Yes, Mark, and I’ll even make it mandatory they must all be painted forest green!”

  82. David Lynch's Pompadour
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    @ #55 – Dr. Mabuse (the Gambler?):

    … Lillian MacKenzie’s handing out moldy rye bread.
    … Lillian MacKenzie’s bludgeoning children for their candy.
    … Lillian MacKenzie’s confused her oxycontin for Nerds.
    … Lillian MacKenzie’s stabbing children in the occipital lobe with an red hot icepick.

  83. Binder's Butter Beans
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    I think this RMDD storyline is happening way out of order. If my husband invited people over for filet mignon on fancy china right after we had moved, and half our stuff was still in boxes and nothing was in the right place yet? That’s when I’d shoot him in the forehead with a nail gun.

    Actually, I’d threaten him with the nail gun if he invited Rex and June Morgan over under any circumstances.

  84. TheDiva
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    9CL: Panel two is the best dialogue this strip has had in ages.

    A3G: “How do you want your hair? I was thinking…oh it doesn’t matter what I was thinking, since it will come out as the same stiff flip you always have.”

    FW: “No, really, am I supposed to talk to you now? I have no idea how this ‘communicating with loved ones’ thing is supposed to work.”

    Luann: Oh, I can’t wait for the inevitable custody hearing:
    Report: Mr. DeGroot shows pattern of belligerence towards father. Mrs. Daytona-DeGroot has demonstrated an unwillingness to discipline child (see testimony of Eiffel, Ann), and both exhibit negligence, poor judgement skills, and general stupidity. Recommend child be removed from their care as soon as possible, and enforced sterilization for good measure.

    MT: Heeeey, that’s just Kelly Welly in a blonde wig! (Whatever happened to Kelly Welly, anyway? Is she just in peril somewhere waiting for Mark to help her?)

    Pibgorn: Well, good job on making this relationship look even more dysfunctional than written, I guess.

    SM: “Look, I don’t want this job, I have no idea how to do it, and I have no qualifications apart from the fact that you like me.”
    “You’ll be the perfect leader! VIVA MIGUEL!”

  85. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#80): *happy wigglebutt dance*

    glad that you liked!

  86. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Love is… Meeting someone that seems a perfect match for you.
    “HI, I’m naked, and I can see by your lack of outfit that you are naked too!”

  87. Baka Gaijin
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    Shelly’s getting close to meddlegasm–look at the height of her hairdo!

  88. CanuckDownSouth
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    @The Waz (#35): add to that Brad’s slight-smile “wow” – as if he’s thinking “hey, that was easy! I’m a *great* parent!”.

  89. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    MT – “Anne Marie, let’s head home!”

    “But, Dad, WHAT about Johnny’s luggage and all of the dirty laundry he left behind?”

    “Psst, Anne Marie … when that avid envorinmentalist isn’t looking, THROW IT ALL OVER THE CLIFF!”

  90. Wounded Elk, enjoying some R and R
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    Whew! Thank heaven for stunt doubles, amirite? Too bad he didn’t show up before I got SHOT. Don’t worry, he’s OK. He’s a real pro. Johnny – not so much.

    Sorry to leave you “hanging” (snort) last Saturday, but I was quickly Air Taxied to [undisclosed location] where I’ve been getting wound treatment, mineral water baths and full-body massages. Today I’m just sunning by the pool…. what’s that, Miss? Oh yes, I would like another mojito, thank you.

    So this wasn’t a bad deal after all. I got a fat paycheck, hazardous duty pay, and this luxe spa vacation, all courtesy of Mr. Elrod. Maybe my agent (you owe me one, Sid!) can get me another gig in LoFo sometime. I can also do moose and reindeer with the right lighting and makeup.

    And to top it all – the Elk of the Year Award!! You guys… wow… I’m just.. Well all I can say is thanks everyone and I’ll see ya in the funny papers.

  91. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#84): “MT”

    Unfortunately, to my knowledge (Laughter ensues), I don’t think there’s never been a MT story yet were we’ve been lucky enough to see Kelly Welly fall over a cliff. (With “Yet” being the key word here.)

  92. Elk Meadow
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#40):

    We’ve seen him at least twice. Once at a car show, when we were to think that he and Toni were dating, as they were hanging all over each other, and then Toni told Brad that he was her brother and they were from a really close family, and then she introduced Brad to Dirk.

    The second one was when Jonah was in a play, in some sort of costume, and the babysitter had cancelled at the last minute.

    Yeah, Jonah has Shannon almost all the time, and when the rare occasion Toni has had to take care of her niece because he is considered a flake (having a sick babysitter when he is going to work makes him a flake), Toni has ditched the child onto someone else. So Shannon is how old in the strip? And she remembers exactly what happened last year? And everyone expects Jonah to do the same this year, when no one else in town can get a babysitter either?

    Single dad, having all the custody responsibilities, has a chance to have an evening out with other adults on a national party night and takes Brad at his word, and that makes Jonah a bad guy.

    Oh, wait, Jonah isn’t a DeGroot, so he really is a bad guy.

  93. Kristian
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (Y#254): LOL!

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#25): I know, five strips commented on today. What’s the matter, Josh, quit your day job?

    @Gabacho (#28): Which brings us full circle to street urchins and Fagin.

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#32): And I thought the “Nuns with rulers” thing was bad …

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#73): Special HTML 9833 to 9836 (or 9839). ♫ is ♫ including the semicolon.

  94. Lumaca Morente
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:44 am [Reply]

  95. Guillaume de Machaut
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    Bung the Jester just took half a sheet of high-powered blotter acid and is speaking to his wife of ten years.

  96. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    @Wounded Elk, enjoying some R and R (#90):
    Just be careful and don’t trust the hotel staff. You may want to check WHAT day do they have posted as opening day for elk season at that resort!

    // Until opening day, enjoy continue gorging yourself each morning at their all-you-can-eat PANCAKE breakfast … and have a couple of mojitas for me too, willya? Oh, and maybe you should also look into getting a set of that Urban Pool Side Resort Camouflage for yourself … and for God’s sake, HIDE THOSE ANTLERS!!!

  97. Not Worth It
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    MW: “Oh course, I could have tried giving real help to suffering poor children myself, but…. (shudder)…. I knew you’d be so much better at it, Shelly!”

  98. Illustrator Steve
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#91): “I DON’T THINK THERE’S NEVER BEEN”

    It should have, of course, read, “I don’t think there’s EVER been…”.

    But, still, a pretty cool double negative none the less!
    My bad! (Damn, I HATE that expression!)

  99. Not Worth It
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#30): I’m pretty sure I got drunk on rum balls last year. Of course, I ate about 50. They’re pretty delicious. Rum balls… Mmmmm. Wait – how do you still have leftover rum balls from last Christmas at Halloween? That’s over ten months! Yuck.

  100. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#84): Luann: Recommend child be removed from their care as soon as possible, and enforced sterilization for good measure.

    I don’t think this will be necessary. Brad is going a good job of enforcing it on his own.

  101. Northernlurker
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    MT: I know this is just a comic strip, but gaah, this is beyond ridiculous, beyond ludicrous to the point of offensive. Really, really? A man’s probably mangled corpse is lying at the bottom of a cliff, underneath the corpse of a vengeful elk and its nothing more than a neat way to wrap up a story line.
    I get that Jackelrod isn’t Dashiell Hammet but this is nuts. The Hardy Boys were more complex and reality based.
    Now I’m starting to sputter so I’m quitting.

  102. Cloudbuster
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:10 am [Reply]

  103. bbofun
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    FW- Remember, kids, the US Army is evil and wrong! Hate them for luring our young men away! (But support our troops!)

  104. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    CS – She could also be handing out Jello shooters, or crystal meth candies.

    RM – Hey, it’s Martha Stewart!

  105. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#98):
    Your DN sounds like the beginning of a country song.
    What do you get when you play country music backwards? : )

  106. Victory Garden
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    Luann: TONI DAYTONA and JONAH DAYTONA? What is this? The funny papers?

  107. I speak Jive
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#33): Re: Mary Worth – That is exactly what is wrong with this strip. Mary has no empathy whatsoever; all she does is sympathize. It has been bothering me that she goes on and on about how valuable her “advice” is. The usual way her stories work is 1) someone has a problem; 2) something boring happens to stretch out the story; 3) Mary gives the problem person advice on how to solve the problem; 4) Mary and others spend weeks patting Mary on the back. In all this time, Mary does not relate at all to others’ emotions or explore with them how they might resolve their problems. All she does is tell them what to do. And for this she expects hosannas.

    Sorry for the rant, but this has been bothering me.

  108. David Lynch's Pompadour
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    @101 – Northernlurker: True fact. Dashiell Hammett did try his hand at comics. He created SECRET AGENT X-9 and wrote the first few stories.The strip itself ran into the 90s, I believe. Anyway, I curious as to how he’d handle MARK TRAIL. Would he portray Mark and Rusty as a lighthearted adventure duo a la Nick and Nora Charles, or should he go for a grittier, more existentit portrayal of our earnest Lost Forester a la THE GLASS KEY or Continental Op stories?

  109. Buzzards Enjoying Lunch
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    @Northernlurker (#101): Now this is one of the things we like about Lost Forest. There’s none of that ‘recover the body’, or ‘funeral’ or ‘burial’ nonsense; Nope, here in the Southern Part Of The State the carrion is just left out for the scavengers, the way God intended. The circle of life, baby! *burp*

    No, Elton, that wasn’t a cue for you to start singing…

  110. Der Schnärkïnätör mit Ümläütën!
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    @Hairhead (#y214):

    5) Finally, I agree with the earlier poster who said that the Evanses are setting up an adoption so that it will never be acknowledged that B-wad and Toni have sex.

    Neither do Mark and Cherry from what I can tell.

    And speaking of MT, I think that the Senator was the guilty embezzler and Johnny Wad caught him at it and took advantage of it. That’s why Senator DipShit kept his mouth shut! And how convenient for the senator that Johnny is dead now!

  111. Dennis Jimenez
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    MW – I’ve heard of scary Halloweenie costumes, but 90 year old Bob Barker and Dianne Feinstein, have me dropping a Marvin in my pants….

  112. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    @Buzzards Enjoying Lunch (#109):
    Just don’t put too much ketchup on Johnny’s corpse. That would be inappropriate.
    Caw!

  113. greghousesgf
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    @David Lynch’s Pompadour (#18): OK, now I wanna see a crossover between Mary Worth and Boardwalk Empire.

  114. DownInTheValley
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    WizardOfId: Sir Rodney came to the party dressed as the Phantom of the Opera…WITHOUT HIS MASK! AAARGH!

  115. bats :[
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    Oh, yeah, I remember those golden, if painful, flashbacks of Mary’s youth!
    Well, as much as I remember anything in my own mind…

  116. Sparkle Plenty
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MT: Was this arc shorter than usual? They are so unconcerned about the dead (?) elk and the dead (?) Johnny.

  117. bats :[
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#21): re Luann: I’m thinking Kenneth Branagh c. Much Ado About Nothing…not that I give a rat’s ass what Bwad thinks, but I can’t argue with him here.

  118. Lily Sincere
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    @Jasper Jinx (#2):

    I was thinking more along the lines of “Mary is actually ashamed that she’s old enough to remember the Great Depression” but yours is so much better.

  119. Amos Snarkadder, D.H.R.
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Luann Good move, Brad! I guess you showed him who’s “better!”

    Although, sometimes those bets don’t go quite as planned.

  120. Kristian
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#21): @bats :[ (#117): As I said … Branagh circa “Chamber of Secrets”.

  121. Clint Brawny
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    Rex Morgan: looks like she has started putting on her Halloween costume. By which I mean the blackface in panel three.

  122. mvg
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    ASM:
    Miguel/Tarantula: So, having a half-dozen rowdies with guns declare me president makes it so? This is not how I expected democracy to work.

    Spider-Dope: It’s certainly the direction we’re heading up north.

  123. Mooncattie
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    MW – Of greater interest to me is the hapless fellow placed facing the corner at Antonio’s. Perhaps he ordered the Rugatini with “extra ketchup”?

    MT – The Senator is already working on his speech, which hopefully contains the sentence “a wounded elk once bit my former son-in-law to-be”. His colleagues will nod silently. They understand.

  124. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    wow.

    today’s google doodle is option-y!

  125. The Ben
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    I realize that approximately nobody will get this joke, but must be said: Rex Morgan, M.D. is now featuring DIO BRANDO. Nothing shall ever be the same.

  126. bats :[
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#30): the kids in Crankshaft’s neighborhood are cheap drunks.

    @Maltmasher (#48): okay, you win.

    @Illustrator Steve (#61): okay, you win, too. Such marvelous dialog (and I mean that sincerely) should not be lost to the whims and the oopsies of the Intertoobs…

  127. Odie Odo
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    @David Lynch’s Pompadour (#108):

    It’s also a fact that Dashiell Hammett (working with cartoonist V.T. Hamlin) created a comic strip about a hardboiled caveman detective he called “Continental Oop.”

    Unfortunately, the strip didn’t sell for some reason. Hammett, of course, went on to create “Secret Agent X-9,” and his former collaborator turned “Continental Oop” into “Alley Oop.”

  128. Hart of Johnny
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    @Not Worth It (#99): I was thinking the same thing. Wouldn’t they be stale after 10 months?

    @Heavenly Earlobes (#53): Don’t you feel guilty wasting Pusser’s like that?

  129. Amos Snarkadder, D.H.R.
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#32):

    BTW, newbie Episcopalian here…

    We’re very glad to welcome you!

  130. Joe Blevins
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    MW: I can see it now… Mary Worth: Life on the Streets. Maybe she had a Fagin-esque taskmaster who would send her out to steal for him each day. When she’d come back with the day’s pickings, he’d say, “So ‘ow much is Mary worth today then, eh?” Eventually he just started calling her “Mary Worth” and the name stuck.

    ‘SHAFT: “What’s wrong with those kids? They don’t seem to be weighed down with the crushing burden of reality, the way all decent people should be at all times.”

    FC: There’s something deeply unsettling about silently watching someone pray.

  131. Shrug and the Immortal Bored, er, Bard
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    PIGBORN: Calling it for the record — Friar Laurence is going to played by Thorax, isn’t he? (I hope he has his teleprompter ready.)

  132. bats :[
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    @Elk Meadow (#92): wow…you’ve got a great memory! I went looking around a bit, and this particular strip is linked on the Wiki article for Luann (and it makes Brad look bad, an added bonus!).

    @Buzzards Enjoying Lunch (#109): maybe Lost Forest maintains a colony of Zoroastrians.

    @Amos Snarkadder, D.H.R. (#129): but hey! WE’VE got a cool Pope now (finally!)!
    Oh, wait…there’s that married thing, huh? Nuts.

    @Shrug and the Immortal Bored, er, Bard (#131): who knows? I think most of us are going to die natural deaths (after exceptionally long lives) before he makes an appearance. BMcE is really bringing back the dread of dealing with Shakespeare (“It’s long! And it’s BORING!”).

  133. TheDiva
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug and the Immortal Bored, er, Bard (#131): Thorax is already playing Prince Escalus, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he were double-cast. Hell, McEldowney can only draw four faces anyway, so I’m sure there’s a Thorax clone our two that could be drafted for the purpose.

  134. Buzzards Enjoying Lunch
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#132): Wouldn’t surprise us. Just about every sort of wildlife in the world shows up here eventually, so it stands to reason that all kinds of human cultures would as well.

    It doesn’t matter to us – we’re an equal-opportunity cleanup crew.

  135. Amos Snarkadder, D.H.R.
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#132): Well, yes, he does seem pretty cool… the Bishop of Rome, that is (*snerk*)

  136. Hank G.
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Prison left Martha Stewart with a mean streak.

  137. Amos Snarkadder, D.H.R.
    October 31st, 2013 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    MT “I’ll do what I can to see to it that this beautiful area is kept the way it is…. Including those dead bodies at the bottom of the cliff. It just seems so natural that way.”

    BTW, Anne-Marie seems to have recovered from her grief remarkably quickly.

  138. The Diceman
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    MW: Did anyone else think “retcon” when they read this strip? Speaking of retcons, anyone remember what happened when Jason Todd was retconned after Crisis on Infinite Earths? He became an insufferable dick who was hated by many a reader. Eventually 5000+ votes were cast to kill him. Any chance MW will try the same thing? Of course, Mary’s already insufferable….

  139. Johnny Knuckles
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    @Odie Odo (#56): Never take candy from a smug witch Wiccan? Sound advice for Obi Wan and the generic cowboy if you’re right.

  140. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

  141. Baka Gaijin
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    @The Diceman (#138): “Of course, Mary’s already insufferable…” and immortal. [sad face]

  142. Alfred E. Neuman
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    Luann— Brad stands there, hands on hips, like a housewife confronting her errant husband. Jonah, in turn, is coiffed and dressed like his sister. Unfortunately, it appears that Evans intends to drag out this story.

  143. bats :[
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#133): Maybe Friar Lawrence will be played by the defrocked Father Francis (is that his name? Unlike Hallmark, I don’t care enough to look it up)…the guy who married the ex-nun.

  144. Northernlurker
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    MT: I tried to find out how many people get killed by elks annually. My search was unsuccessful. However, I saw a google listing indicating aliens killed many elk in New Mexico. Who knew?

  145. Ebenezer Wasabi
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#143): …the guy who married the ex-nun.

    Martin Luther?

    http://www.pbs.org/empires/martinluther/char_wife.html

  146. Little Green Men, Inc. (Roswell Branch Office)
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    @Northernlurker (#144):

    “Who knew?”

    We did.

    ///brxvavnltxtt!

  147. Elks of New Mexico Inc. (Roswell Branch)
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    @Little Green Men, Inc. (Roswell Branch Office) (#146):

    “Who knew?”

    We did, obviously! Please, can’t somebody come out here and help u

    (zap)
    (thud)

  148. White Rabbit
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    @ScienceGiant (#8): I think the caption for FC must be locally typeset. In my paper it has ‘thy’ correctly, also a capital H on Halloween.

  149. Lumaca Morente
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#115): Thanks for joying up my lunch break with a walk through ‘The Best of bats:[‘ ! And, happy Batday (Halloween must be a special day for bats)

  150. Lumaca Morente
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    @Sparkle Plenty (#116): The MT arc has ended prior to the last trumpet issuing in Judgement Day, so I would say yes, it is shorter than usual.

  151. Lumaca Morente
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#117): "And Bwad's [fill in the blank] grew six sizes that day.”

  152. Majicou
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    Dollars to doughnuts Jeffy’s confusion stems from whatever King-James-Only fringe sect the Keanes adhere to insisting that “hallowed” be pronounced with three syllables. The reader is invited to imagine the accent grave over the ‘e’.

    Luann
    by Not Stephen King

    Jonah stared into the pig-man’s eyes, gauging his intent. Not serious, he thought. He knows. Doesn’t he? He can’t not. The pig-man’s features remained set in a parody of cool determination. Jonah kept watching. Was there the slightest twitch, perhaps, around the eyes or the mouth? Any telltale, any sign that this sad creature had some awareness of what awaited it? The mask held. After a minute, Jonah couldn’t bear to look any more. “OK, thanks,” he said, turning on his heel. Let the pig-man think what he wanted, for all Jonah cared. Jonah was a bad father, Jonah was a flake, irresponsible, selfish, shallow. I’m no more a father than he is. The pig-man’s smug ignorance would last another hour, maybe two. It was Halloween, and that was always the night. Other nights could be bad, but Halloween was the king badass motherfucker of bad nights around Shannon. Sure, there was candy, but candy wasn’t ever going to be enough. Why’d she come out like that? He’d probably never know, probably didn’t want to know. He had to look after the–well, call it a girl–sometimes, no getting out of that. But on Halloween, you didn’t want to be near Shannon, candy or no candy, not if you hauled around pillowcases by the dozen to every house in town. Shannon got hungry.

  153. Master Softheart
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @mvg (#122):

    Miguel/Tarantula: So, having a half-dozen rowdies with guns declare me president makes it so? This is not how I expected democracy to work.

    Spider-Dope: It’s certainly the direction we’re heading up north.

    Hey! Bush v. Gore was decided 5-4, and, with the possible exception of Sandra Day O’Connor, I’m almost certain that none of them were armed.

  154. Ratiocinator
    October 31st, 2013 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#61):

    “Okay … you’re stupid too, Mark! Feel better?”

    That, good sir, is at least floatworthy IMHO.

    @Illustrator Steve (#66): That reminds me of this.

    @Shrug, Whose Mind Must Be Non-Brilliant Today (#67): That’s it, you’re dead to me, Shrug.

    (Nah, not really. I didn’t even know the strip existed until now. I’ve seen worse, daily as a matter of fact.)

    @Illustrator Steve (#69):

    PANCAKES anyone?

    Or as they are now known due to the similarities between their flatness and that of Mr. Walker’s corpse: Johnnycakes.

    (I’d heard of those things before but always thought it was just another word for pancakes until I looked it up now.)

    @Wounded Elk, enjoying some R and R (#90): You can probably appear in the foreground of a future strip. No need to worry about continuity, all you elk look alike to us so nobody will notice. No offense.

    @Lumaca Morente (#94): I know, he didn’t even spell it right.

    @Victory Garden (#106): Earlier I found myself trying to think of other names that sort of rhymed with “Daytona” and whether there might be any other siblings around.

    @bats :[ (#126): It’s odd to see Mark thinking a word like “cool” in a non-temperature-related context.

    @bats :[ (#132): I remember having teachers who actually made Shakespeare interesting.

    I also remember one of the teachers knowing (probably from experience, now that I think of it) that there’d be a lot of sophomoric laughter while reading “Julius Caesar”, when we got to the line “Come on my right hand.”

    *Snrk!* HAHAHAHA! Yeah yeah, I know, it’s old-timey speak for “Walk with me on my right,” I don’t care, it still makes me laugh even after fifteen years plus.

    @Buzzards Enjoying Lunch (#134): Does the elk’s stunt double taste as good as you expected the elk to? And how does it compare to Johnny?

  155. Gerry
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    I like how Mary was so traumatized by her early upbringing that she was moved to get someone else to work in a homeless shelter! That’s dedication!

  156. Buzzards Enjoying Lunch
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#154): After a few hours in the sun, it all tastes the same. We’ll have to admit, though, that it takes more than the usual amount of tabasco sauce to make a lobbyist/blackmailer palatable.

    We’re not known for being picky, but even we have have our limits.

  157. Jack Scat
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    @Victory Garden (#106):

    Wait unit you meet the other sisters: Mona, Fiona and Rona. Jonah was the odd one, though–a bit of a Lona.

  158. Baka Gaijin
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#151): And still can’t fill Toni’s [unfilled-in blank].

    @Gerry (#155): Yeah, Mary Worth is selfless like that.

    @Jack Scat (#157): Groan!

  159. Amos Snarkadder, D.H.R.
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    @Jack Scat (#157): My Sharona? *shudders*

  160. ScienceGiant
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    @White Rabbit (#148):

    I think you’re right, and lucky you for having a proofreader on the ball.
    Check out today’s
    http://www.arcamax.com/thefunnies/familycircus/
    and
    http://www.oregonlive.com/comics-kingdom/?feature_id=Family_Circus

  161. Buzzards Enjoying Lunch
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    @Buzzards Enjoying Lunch (#156): “…even we have have our limits”

    We’re also not known for our proofreading skills, obviously.

  162. Northernlurker
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    MT: Actual headline in Swedish newspaper Police Consider Death by Elk in Murder Case. http://www.thelocal.se/20091128/23536

  163. Red Greenback
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    I thought they name be Bil.

    And then there’s Maude this:
    “… but I briefly lived on the streets when _ was young.”

  164. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    @Victory Garden (#106):
    Is Jonah Daytona the next great kids’ show/character, now that Hannah Montana has twerked herself into her new “guise”?

  165. Baka Gaijin
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#164): Oh noes!

  166. aphthakid
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    @Jack Scat (#157): Jonah was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn’t last.

  167. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    @Hank G. (#136):
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that!

    FC – Why is Billy smiling at Jeffy like that? Is this Prayer 101 for Melonheads?

    @Red Greenback (#163):
    Ah, Maude.
    I used to sing the theme to my gorgeous cat Mau (RIP), but it was “And then there’s Mau…”

  168. Red Greenback
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#167): Right on, Calico!

  169. Commissioner Jim Gordeon, GCPD
    October 31st, 2013 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    @Northernlurker(#101) What’s especially infuriating is the smugly self-righteous air of our ostensible hero. In the Trailverse being a blackmailer and Grade A sleazebag is reprehensible enough, but having a dismissive attitude for “stupid wildlife” in the bargain merits not merely death but a singulary horrible death. MT gets to walk away like the santimonious asshole he is, convinced Nature itself meted out its harsh but just verdict, leaving him with a clear conscience. He can now return to ignoring his stepson and avoiding any icky sexual contact with his affection-starved wife, which I’m sure in Elrod’s worldview makes him a great American.

  170. The Diceman
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    Luann: So, Jonah tries to avoid being a parent as much as possible and dumps Shannon with Toni all the time. I’d think terminating his parental rights and giving Toni permanent guardianship would be just a fomality at this point. Of course, that would bring the strip into full-on FW/Crankshaft territory.

  171. The Diceman
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    @The Diceman (#170): GAH! That should be “formality.

  172. Peanut Gallery
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#Y223):

    Interrupting someone mid-sentence with a weary and depressed “I know” is probably the Funky Winkerbeaniest–

    (Sigh) I know.

  173. Huckleberry Fink
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    @Northernlurker (#162):

    Swedish Police: “Anything you say will be held against you, Mr. Elk.”

    Elk: “Really? Then I say… Elke Sommer!”

  174. Commissioner Jim Gordon, GCPD
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    Did I say “singulary?” Sorry, that was meant to be “singularly.” Not that it matters. Ranger Dusty will cover for MT like the dutiful stooge he is, Johnny will be buried and forgotten, and tranquility will return to LoFo and its population of animals the size of Peterbilts and waterfowl the size of F-15s. Nowhere is there a suggestion that Johnny has parents, a younger sister, a favorite nephew, or anyone else who will grieve for him. Even Anne-Marie is Moving On with unseemly haste. To quote Northernlurker: “gaaaah!”

  175. Dólar Desnudo
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#173): What a wise old elk!

  176. Red Greenback
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

  177. Brian Westley
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    Dickensian street urchin

    “Do ye have a ha’penny sir?”

  178. Chief Inspector Dreyfus
    October 31st, 2013 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#173): And yet she took up with Clouseau. CLOUSEAU!!!!

  179. word-doctor
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    Luann: B-wad’s look is pure Keane. Explains a LOT.

  180. Elk Elkson, Nordic Character Witness (the name is just a coincidence, really)
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    @Northernlurker (#162):

    I think the elk that the Swedish authorities are blaming is just a fall guy. Someone is covering up for the real criminal, a murderous moose.

    I am offering my testimony from an eyewitness, and note that I am absolutely not an elk myself and have no reason to lie to help prove my fellow, I mean, this random, elk’s innocence, obvious as it of course is:

    **********

    A moose once bit my sister…

    No realli! She was Karving her initials on the moose with the sharpened end
    of an interspace toothbrush given her by Svenge – her brother-in-law – an
    Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian movies: “The Hot Hands of an Oslo
    Dentist”, “Fillings of Passion”, “The Huge Molars of Horst Nordfink”…

    Mynd you, moose bites Kan be pretti nasti…

  181. Shrug, Hern Member of the Goon Show Preservation Society
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    @Chief Inspector Dreyfus (#178):

    “And yet she took up with Clouseau. CLOUSEAU!!!!”

    I always think of him more as Bluebottle, personally.

  182. David Lynch's Pompadour
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    @greghousesgf (#113): This is the best I can do you.

    Here’s another old one dealing with Mary’s childhood on the streets.

    “You can’t be half a meddler, Mary.” ~ Toby Irish

  183. bats :[
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#149): totally! (about Batday)

    And I don’t know if this was a Best o’ bats :[, but it was a mercifully short storyline in the annals of MW.

  184. Nehemiah Scudder
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    @Little Blue Bicycle (#22):MW. “I briefly lived on the streets when I was young, selling my love to strange men in exchange for the chance of giving them needed advice. Stephen Crane wrote a book about me. Then the Spanish blew up the Maine and everything changed.”

    Fulgent. Effulgent. Refulgent.

  185. Liam
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    Well I am back after a few days absence and here is what I could come up with from my local paper:

    MW-”Oh, Mary…I didn’t know that you would say something to draw the conversation from one person and have it redirected to yourself.”

    Jump Start-Paul is dead!

    Jump Start-Did Jojo kill John?

  186. Droopy Says
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#126): the kids in Crankshaft’s neighborhood are cheap drunks.

    That may well be, and as others have pointed out, there are rum ball recipes that involve considerable doses of alcohol . . . but this is Crankshaft, where only Evil Ed is allowed to harm children and get away with it. The kids could be having fun at his expense, as others have suggested . . . but again, this is Crankshaft, where fun is annihilated as quickly as it arises. Crankshaft is the sort of guy who would pray for rain on Halloween night. And the dork god Batiuk would grant that prayer

    The kids know this. They know Evil Ed would steal their candy, or worse . . . and get away with it, because that’s how life works in Miseryville. So in keeping with the true spirit of Halloween, they find ways to ward off the evil. “He takes all kinds a pills!” the kids whisper to one another as they prepare to go trick-or-treating. “And his doctor says he can’t have alcohol with them! So act drunk when you see the Crankyman! That scares him off!” And then the youngest, most innocent kid says “Why? Does that keep him from eating your candy?” And someone whispers to him, “It isn’t your candy he eats!”

  187. Joe Blevins
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: “Rex Morgan and his wife are coming over? Oh, that’s just great! First I lose all my internal organs, and now this!”

  188. Shran
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    FC: I would point out that Halloween ultimately comes from All Hallows Eve, which is the vigil for All Saint’s Day on November 1st, but in the Keane Kompound any reference to The Whore of Babylon (a.k.a. the Roman Catholic Church) is undoubtedly even worse than a simple reference to pagan traditions.

  189. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#186):
    And darn it, is raining quite hard here. Don’t know how many kids we will have this year, if any.
    I still carved 2 big pumpkins and they are out there, still lit.

  190. Alison
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    “Mary Worth”: Mary had a lousy childhood because she had her mom but no dad, but then she got a new dad and everything was instantly fine. What a bunch of sexist crap-plus, what kind of little kid just accepts a brand-new father without a second thought?

    Which of course brings us all to….

    “Luann”: If this was real life, Shannon would throw a screaming fit, saying she wanted her father, not Bwad. Hell, why wouldn’t she? Brad and Toni have never been nice to her. They treat her like a burden every time she’s around. Just because the strip decided three days ago that Brad and Toni are suddenly the ideal parents for Shannon, that doesn’t erase all the complaining they’ve done about her over the years.

    “Baby Blues”: Do real parents eat their kids’ Halloween candy? I’ve always heard this, but since my mom hates chocolate (!!!) she never wanted any of my Halloween candy. She never ate the ears off my chocolate Easter bunnies either. I always assumed this stuff was a bit of a myth, but it turns up in comic strips ever year.

  191. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:04 pm [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#187):
    RM – “The house is a wreck and I haven’t unpacked shit, and yet I get away with owning a cleaning business!”

  192. Wounded Elk, enjoying some R and R
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#96): You might want to check WHAT day do they have posted for opening day of elk season at that resort!

    (gasp) I hadn’t thought of that!! Do you think this might be a trap? They do seem to be trying to fatten me up. Have I done something STUPID here?

  193. Yusaku777
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    That smile on Billy’s face can only come about from knowing that Big Daddy Keene is just over Jeffy’s shoulder, reaching for the belt. “Any second now,” thinks Billy, “he’ll get so nervous he’ll mix in the Pledge of Allegiance, and then the REAL fun begins!”

  194. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#190):
    My folks always enjoyed a nibble or two of my HW candy – I always shared!

    We just got 8 kids in spite of the rain! Woot woot
    They will make a fine stew for later

  195. Liam
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    FC-Jeffy, you are doing it wrong. It is ‘Our father who reigns in hell’.

  196. Ratiocinator
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#189): Here too. Man, if kids are being deprived of the bags of Halloween candy they were looking forward to because of the weather, I feel bad for them.

  197. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#196):
    Now they are coming in small batches. A little rain won’t stop these kiddos!
    : )

  198. Scaramouch
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    Apartment 3G – Lu Ann’s Katherine Hepburn impression in the second panel is quite impressive. Just a barrel of laughs, our little Lu Ann.

  199. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    @Scaramouch (#198):
    Can you do the fandango?

  200. Hank G.
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    MW: I was so affected by my time on the streets that I grew up encouraging other people to volunteer at homeless shelters.

  201. Victory Garden
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    @Jack Scat (#157): Fiona Daytona, the Irish Formula One racer with a heart of … uh … whatever it is that they have. A heart of squid ink.

    Mona and Rona Daytona are backup singers for a lounge act in Tempe. They keep trying to get on the Scottsdale circuit but no dice yet. They’ve tried a twin act, they’ve tried switching wigs. Soon, they will meet up with Tiffany.

  202. Victory Garden
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and to see them perform, you just have to part with one Swedish krona. And a bottle of Corona.

    I’m done now.

  203. Horace Broon
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I look forward to other characters commenting on how lovely LuAnn’s new hairstyle looks while she remains out of shot, probably leaning on the piano.

    ASM: Dammit, Stan, I’ve used up all my “new era of democracy ushered in by a handful of gun-toting rebels appointing the new leader” snark. Give me something new to snark about!

    HtH: “Come to think of it, do we celebrate Halloween? Is Halloween a 9th century thing, in any culture, or am I getting visions of the future again?”

    Phantom: So, in the event of a powercut, this guy’s first reaction is “break out the battery-powered TV!” which he then refuses to look up from when a fireman arrives at his appartment. Which tells mel 1) He’s Peter Parker and 2) He clearly hasn’t witnessed anything, whether he was there at the time or not.

  204. Horace Broon
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    @Ebenezer Wasabi (#y172):

    Absolutely. I’m not denying that Mary Worth is in fact a continuation of Apple Mary. I’m just saying that King Features, for some reason of their own, deny it. So any biography that says she is isn’t “official”, even if it’s right.

    To use an example I’m better qualified to pontificate on, the same site’s Batman biography, which runs from 1939 to 1981 as the history of a single character, likewise doesn’t jibe with the “official” version where the Batman from 1939-1957 is seperate from the Batman from 1957-1986. But the website’s version better conveys the intent of Batman writers in 1957, before later revisionists came along.

  205. Dr. Mabuse
    October 31st, 2013 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    @David Lynch’s Pompadour (#82): All of these are funnier than the Cranshaft strip. Special appreciation for the oxycontin/Nerds confusion: which of us hasn’t?

    –Dr. Mabuse, the orthodontist
    (though I get mistaken for the evil genius of Weimar Germany a lot)

  206. demoncat4
    October 31st, 2013 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    mw and thus shelly is forced in flashback now to learn that a young mary was poor as the ones she helps at haven thus delaying shelly getting her new outfit for a bit. rex morgan looks like before rex and june will come over the evil wife will try to take another stab at killing her husband for not deciding to just grill burgers as she wanted.

  207. walt d.
    October 31st, 2013 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: It’s pretty hard to look at the center panel alone and not think that’s a guy–a markedly unfriendly guy.

    RMMD: I don’t think it’s at all far fetched that some woman would enjoy having a man around that they could abuse emotionally. Whatshername is just into physical abuse as well. If she starts setting up video equipment Buck really needs to get the hell out of there.

    MW: I expect that being a street urchin during the Gilded Age was a challenge. Wasn’t she supposed to be an adult during the Depression?

  208. walt d.
    October 31st, 2013 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    CS: That’s about as good as this comic gets.

    FC: I don’t buy into the Christian lunatic fringe interpretation of the Keanes normally voiced by Josh and commenters, but that is a pretty weird sentence to find is what is certainly a Christian oriented comic.

  209. walt d.
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    OBH: Creators: That would be Buggy, all right.

    Dennis: Gina as an angel? That’s pushing it. And where’s Margaret? Can’t have Halloween without Margaret.

    Dennis: Making the bed sheet orange is just stupid. Couldn’t we please have the same comic as appears in newspapers unless the color really adds something.

    6C: Everyone has a mail-it-in day. 6C just seems to have more than average. I literally didn’t see the comic at first. I guess I thought it was some sort of ad.

  210. Scaramouch
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    @Calico 199: No, you’re thinking of my evil twin, Scaramouche (with an e at the end). Since he is an EVIL SCARY CLOWN he is not welcome here in deference to you-know-who (his initials are BG).

  211. Majicou
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:32 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Hern Member of the Goon Show Preservation Society (#181): Weekend Radio, a public radio program, used to devote half its hour runtime to an episode of The Goon Show once a month. I feel confident it was probably very funny, but I couldn’t understand but one word in ten of it. Their accents + funny voices + not the best sound quality + inability to see the performers == huh?

  212. seismic-2
    October 31st, 2013 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    Crank: Isn’t it conventional to finish Trick-or-Treating before consuming the candy (and, presumably, rum balls) that you’ve collected? I therefore suspect that what has made the kids unsteady is not the pastry that Lillian McKenzie is giving out so much as it is that she lets them drink beer at her open bar, while they’re waiting their turn to bob for apples in a tub of hard cider. In any case, if it gets them drunk enough to forego egging Crankshaft’s house and simply attack Ed himself with pitchforks and torches, then I’m all for it.

  213. Myrtle
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    Cranky: It looks like they’re just zombie walking. But wait, isn’t this strip supposed to take place ten years ago? Never mind, then.

  214. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    @Scaramouch (#210):
    Very very frightening!

    So, we had around 33-ish kids tonight. Not bad for super-rainy weather!

  215. TheDiva
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:56 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#190): I’ll admit to dipping into the Divalings’ stash, although I try to limit myself to the things they can’t have yet because of choking hazards. (Divaling One is getting to the age where I can’t use that as an excuse anymore, though…)

  216. walt d.
    October 31st, 2013 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    MW: Me, Me, Me. You didn’t think I came all the way to NY just to be approving of someone engaged in good works. No, I came for the opportunity to once again emphasize that everything is about me.

    CS: Old lady with tragic past handing out liquored treats to the neighborhood children. What’s not to love? And Cranky plays it straight instead of garbling it with his malapropisms. The illustrator must have done the writing also.

  217. seismic-2
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#190): I don’t think adults so much eat their kids’ Trick-or-Treat candy as they eat the candy that they had bought to give out to other people’s kids. See today’s Sally Forth for an example. (Sally, of course, always eats the ears off Hillary’s chocolate Easter bunny, so there’s that.)

  218. Calico
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    H & L – I just noticed Hi has fangs but no pornstache in panel 1. Creepy.

    Henry – Calling Freud

  219. Ukulele Ike
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    Rum balls.

    Rum balls rum balls rum balls rum balls rumballs rumballs rumballs RUMBALLS RUMBALLS!!!!!

    Wheeeee! (giggle)

  220. seismic-2
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    @Ukulele Ike (#219):

    Bum boat.

    Bum boat bum boat bum boat bum boat bumboat bumboat bumboat BUMBOAT BUMBOAT!!!!!

    Wheeeee! (giggle)

  221. Droopy Says
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#189): We had over 150 kids here. I did my usual roar thing (keep the door open just a crack, watch as a kid reaches for the door bell, then make a noise like a cougar having its tail twisted). Usually kids either jump back, run away, or stand there and get bug-eyed. Best response of the night was the kid who glared at the door and said “You don’t scare me!” What could I do but serve his liver with some fava beans and Chianti give him two Snickers bars? Close second: the two girls who stayed at the door while the boys with them ran off. One girl said “Can I have some pieces to give them? They won’t come back.” Third place to the kid who heard the roar and said “Did you know your neighbors are really scary?” Special mention to the kids who stopped to admire my skeleton dioramas. Last place to the two kids who stopped on the sidewalk, where one said “Don’t go there! He scared me last year!” I made chicken noises as they walked away.

  222. TheDiva
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#217): Mr. Diva has been known to dig through the candy bowl and steal all the boxes of grape Nerds before I can hand them out. I’m thinking of staging an intervention.

  223. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    OFFS.

    apparently, after 10 pm on Halloween is when the Xmas commercials start up.

    WTF???!!!???

    *grumbles like Grumpy Cat in Sequitur ‘s lap*

  224. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#197): Like a midget orgy!

  225. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    MW: “When I lived on the streets I fell in with this frightening bearded man and his band of pickpockets. Oh, there were plenty of lovely songs and a kindly barmaid named Nancy, but she…”
    “Um, Mary?”

    RMMD: Buck comes from a family of squid on his mother’s side, and like them, he has a habit of squirting ink when he feels threatened.

    WofI: Huh. Lot of butterfaces at this party. Still better looking than any of the guys, of course.

    C-Shaft: Not even trick-or-treaters will go near Crankshaft’s house without the equivalent of a stiff drink.

  226. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 31st, 2013 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    9CL: We’ve reached the point in our pointless political satire where bad teleprompter jokes are replaced by a bad teleprompter psychotic episode.

    BSt: Larry’s wife confuses Hagar the Horrible with Robert De Niro as Al Capone, a common error.

    BB: Beetle and Killer are passing the deer bones they found off as dinosaur bones. They also found lobbyist bones nearby, which they’re saving for a special occasion.

    HtH: A more pressing question than whether the English celebrate Halloween is how they gained access to North America and its vegetation three to five hundred years early.

    GT: That is not a human hand, it’s some kind of gnarled warthog hoof. John Paskoe doesn’t speak because Dr. Moreau hasn’t given him vocal cords yet.

    Phantom: It’s some testimonial to Grecian Formula that dabbing a little in your hair can make your murderers call you “kid.”

    H-Cliff: Kudos to Heathcliff for knowing his species’ history of being worshipped in ancient Egypt, even if he uses that knowledge in a purely self-serving way.

    SFx: I don’t care what anybody says. Michael Myers was one adorable kid.

  227. Congo Bill Bailey
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    @Ukulele Ike (#219): Let’s get ready to RUMBALL! [Michael Buffer voice]

  228. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#203):

    ASM: Dammit, Stan, I’ve used up all my “new era of democracy ushered in by a handful of gun-toting rebels appointing the new leader” snark. Give me something new to snark about!

    Yeah, at least throw us a bone and have something else hit Peter in the head.

  229. walt d.
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: The fly in the ointment of course is that the Homicidal Bitch is right on all counts. If Dr. Watson was shaking her head over the nail gun incident, she would be agape over this situation. “He did WHAT?”

  230. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#185): I told you about the Walrus and me, man. You know that we’re as close as can be, man.

  231. Congo Bill Bailey
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    Edge City: Confusing Carly’s brother with Curtis Wilkins, Derrick and “Onion” show up to give young Ardin the beating of his life.

  232. Congo Bill Bailey
    October 31st, 2013 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

    Gasoline Alley: After he scares Slim to death, Giacomo feasts on his body. (And there was great rejoicing in Poteetville!)

  233. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    @Congo Bill Bailey (#231): Derrick and “Onion” raise havoc in their respective Halloween costumes: James Van Der Beek and Al Roker.

  234. Anonymous
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#221):

    You obviously have my Brother-in-Law’s sense of humor!

    // Yes, we do find it quite funny, but we also apologize to others who don’t know him a lot!

  235. Der Schnärkïnätör mit Ümläütën!
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#234):

    That was me!

  236. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    Rex: Is this some kind of bust?

  237. bats :[
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    @Gladly, the cross-eyed bear (#236): it’s art…of a sort.

  238. Huckleberry Fink
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    Dennis the Menace:

    Dennis [licking his finger]: “It doesn’t taste like urine, Dad. However, I do detect a mixture of Preparation H and camphor oil!”

  239. Baka Gaijin
    October 31st, 2013 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    @walt d. (#207) on Mary Worth: She’s depressing as an adult.

    @Scaramouch (#210): EEEE!!!!

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#223): Christmas has been in the stores here for almost 2 months. Can’t miss, seasonal aisles fully stocked and/or special displays blocking entrance aisles. Mmm. Halloween is barely acknowledged. From now to Christmas is no big holiday, though Bonfire Night in a couple days is pretty good.

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#228): Someone’s throwing bones at Spiderman? Elk or lobbyist?

    @Gladly, the cross-eyed bear (#236): Yes, yes it it. A big huge gravity-defying rack.

  240. Huckleberry Fink
    November 1st, 2013 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker:

    “Follow me…for I am…THE PHANTOM STRANGER!”

    [After April whispers in his ear] “Whataya mean I’m in the wrong comic?”

  241. Baka Gaijin
    November 1st, 2013 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    Friday’s Early Comments

    Apartment 3-G: Geez, what a maroon.

    Curtis: Much as I hate that little shit, Barry got in a good one today.

    Henry: Oh I laughed. Physical comedy involving food-in-the-face is almost always hilarious.

    Mary Worth: No comment on Mary Worth; after reading today’s strip, the bile’s risen up to my back molars.

    Sally Forth: Even though it’s another “same artwork, different words” strip, I can’t get enough of Nona smushing a pillow to her face and Faye comforting her.

  242. Huckleberry Fink
    November 1st, 2013 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Rusty is staying with his friends Vladimar Putin and Bashar al-Assad.

  243. Droopy Says
    November 1st, 2013 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#234): I’ll return his sense of humor as soon as I’m done with it. Sorry for the wear and tear on it:

    Eht Xaroht: Too lazy to google a teleprompter image, Brooke? Or did you leave out the TV camera because you knew nobody would look at one of your characters?

    Spider & Spiderer: Quasi-sombreros, sort-of bandoliers, stubby rifles without magazines, a gringo hero who misses MJ–it’s like an Ed Wood remake of 100 Rifles.

    You Don’t Know, Dick: I called this change of scene yesterthread. Is this a big deal? Of course not. As the New Team’s attention deficit disorder grows, they’ll soon be changing scenes in mid panel. Which won’t make the strip any more confusing than it already is.

    Family Circus: Does this show Billy before or after he puked?

    Flunky O’Lame-o: Funky needed to be reminded why he was going into the attic. If only someone had reminded Batiuk that he needed to find a relevant joke in that box of Humor Helper.

    Mark Trail: Cherry is worried about Mark. He talks about the senator as though he isn’t at the table. He’s eating something that, probably, isn’t pancakes. Will he respond to the bizarre suggestion that Rusty has friends?

    Phantom: This is why I always buy a bag of Smartees at the dollar store. When the overage trick-or-treaters show up, that’s what they get. No Snickers for you!

    Pluggers toss out the scraps and call it charity.

  244. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    November 1st, 2013 at 1:08 am [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#239): Seriously, I thought it might be her shoulder!

    Mary: Yes, Mary was too busy eating at the Bum Boat, pruning her roses and riding on Jeff’s boat, so she “couldn’t” work at the Haven. Still she deserves full credit for the years of hard work the other old bat put in!

    Luann: More lack of boundaries and surfeit of self-congratulation from our supposed protagonists.

  245. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    November 1st, 2013 at 1:36 am [Reply]

    King of the Royal Mounted is a very predictable strip: King flies to some town to solve a crime, and has to dodge bands of men trying to kill him. The storyline now is more interesting. It involves a doctor growing “loco weed,” an illegal herb. It ran originally in 1938.

  246. Mr O'Malley
    November 1st, 2013 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#226): A more pressing question than whether the English celebrate Halloween is how they gained access to North America and its vegetation three to five hundred years early.

    They got it from the Irish and their voyaging saints, blessings be on ‘em.

  247. Nehemiah Scudder
    November 1st, 2013 at 2:01 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#194): Ooh. Are they plump? I love the plump ones!

  248. jim, some guy in iowa
    November 1st, 2013 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    JP: oh, geez, another hat soon to be floating in the ship’s wake… greenpeace is going to be irate about *this*

    Rex, MD: the right rev Martha Stewart defies gravity

  249. monsieurjohn
    November 1st, 2013 at 3:28 am [Reply]

    MT: Parenting 101: When you come home from a trip, after you’ve finished recounting the trip to the other adults and eaten some food, always check to see if your children are still present in the house and/or alive.

  250. Droopy Says
    November 1st, 2013 at 3:46 am [Reply]

    Crankshat: Evil Ed resents the “help.” He planned to collect and use the toilet paper himself.

    Phantom: If only the old man’s ghost had talked to Kit for one more panel. Then the Phantom would have arrived just too late to save the “guard.” Either the guard is a slacker who watched TV when he should have checked the credentials of the “electricians” and “fireman,” which showed a lack of concern for the building residents, or he’s a ringer who took the job to let other criminals invade the building. That would be an improvement, if Phantom had to deal with some competent bad guys for a change.

  251. Ratiocinator
    November 1st, 2013 at 4:41 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#214): Turns out the rain didn’t stop the ones here either. And I was getting my hopes up that there’d be enough candy left for me to pig out on, but nope!

  252. John C Fremont
    November 1st, 2013 at 5:11 am [Reply]

    MT – The dialogue, I can’t decide. English as a second language, or Dick, Jane and Sally?

    FW – According to The Internets, The I Chong was first published in 2006. The first time jump was back in ’92. I know, I know, it’s called “making stuff up and calling it ‘writing.’”

  253. gleeb
    November 1st, 2013 at 5:55 am [Reply]

    Dick-Well, that and his propensity for violence.

    April, Mid-level Assassin!-Another hat, another splash coming up.

  254. Casey, Crime Photographer
    November 1st, 2013 at 6:10 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#238):

    I’m more disturbed by the notion that Dennis knows what urine tastes like.

    @Droopy Says (#250):

    [Cranky] The toilet paper is already “used.” THIS is what happens when you rub people the wrong way.

  255. Huckleberry Fink
    November 1st, 2013 at 6:25 am [Reply]

    Archie: That’s not Midge in disguise. It’s her mother — Mrs. Robinson.

    [Moose to Midge's mother] “Goddamn, that’s great. So old Midge Robinson got started in a Ford.”

  256. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 1st, 2013 at 6:58 am [Reply]

    paging Baka Gaijin.

    the story you inspired is linked near the top of the thread. I’d like to know what you thought of it. :-)

  257. NOT Baka Gaijin
    November 1st, 2013 at 7:05 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#256):

    I detect a mixture of Preparation H and camphor oil.

  258. Illustrator Steve
    November 1st, 2013 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#126):
    I’m (sniff) honored to have contributed to the inprovements of this comic strip … and to have my name imortalized this way in my own “Illustrator Steve” ball, well, all I can say is, THANK YOU! … Thank you from the bottom of my clip art files!”

  259. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 1st, 2013 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    @NOT Baka Gaijin (#257): better that than grease paint and seltzer water. . . .

  260. Vince M
    November 1st, 2013 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#223): Halloween is our last bulwark against Christmas bloat. I should decorate the yard for Thanksgiving to give us a bit more breathing room…inflatables of green bean casserole, canned cranberry gel, the tv with the big game playing…

  261. Zla'od
    November 1st, 2013 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    MW: Rather than Dickens, I think the plot is going to segue into something from out of Les Miz. Or at least Pretty Woman.

  262. Nehemiah Scudder
    November 1st, 2013 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    @demoncat4 (#206): Serious. Please. Uppercase. I’m begging you.

  263. Nehemiah Scudder
    November 1st, 2013 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#262): it is hard to read, is all

  264. Droopy Says
    November 1st, 2013 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#263): I second the motion. It’s hard enough for me to read some things. The lack of capitals turns your posts into gibberish–I read that first portion as “me and this shelly is forced.”

  265. Droopy Says
    November 1st, 2013 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#264): Turns demoncat4′s posts into gibberish, not Nehemiah Scudder’s.

  266. Droopy Says
    November 2nd, 2013 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    9 Dickweed Lane: Brooke finally ran out of teleprompter joke.

  267. BiggerJ
    November 2nd, 2013 at 6:17 am [Reply]

    Wizard of Id: News from Australia: Bung has been retired as the mascot of the notorious biker gang the Finks after the gang was subsumed by American gang the Mongols. No, really.

  268. Babashee
    November 2nd, 2013 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    Dispensing alcohol to trick-or-treaters is a jailiable offense.

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