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Mark Trail, 1/10/14

You guys. You guys. This is amazing. Before he was defeated in combat by Mark Trail, Jeff buried the precious Indian artifacts he stole outside the cabin, and is now refusing to tell Mark where they’re hidden. They’ll be lost forever, right? Oh, but wait. Remember this completely delightful panel from last month?

Well, guess what: by dropping that jar of homemade syrup into the artifact-basket, Jared inadvertently made this stolen haul irresistible to bears. This is one of the greatest delayed payoffs in Mark Trail history. Soon the artifacts will be back in their rightful place, in the museum Mr. Dunlap intended to donate them to, and only slightly worse for wear for being covered in rancid syrup and torn to bits by the claws of a hungry bear.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/10/14

I have been remiss in pointing out that 2014 has brought a new artist to Rex Morgan, M.D. Graham Nolan, who is getting a nice tribute in cereal form here, has handed duties off to Terry Beatty, who succeeded Nolan on the Sunday Phantom a while ago. Check out Beatty’s blog for more on his process — it’s pretty interesting!

The new artist is using his own style without really changing any of the character designs that much. I’m glad, for instance, that Sarah remains weird little gnome-person. I’m pretty in love with her facial expression in panel three here, as it seems appropriate for someone who really wanted to rat out her baby-sitter but eventually agreed not to in exchange for a cookie bribe, but now her mother’s asking her a direct question and you can’t lie to your mother, can you? So she’ll just have to tell on Kelly, even though she already ate the cookies! It’s like Christmas never ended!

Apartment 3-G, 1/10/14

Three cheers for Apartment 3-G for remembering Lu Ann’s tragic artist/drug addict/drug dealer boyfriend Alan, who got shot and killed, over drugs. You may wish to peruse my archive to catch up on the Alan plotline in all its glory, but at minimum you should Never Forget the following high points: Jones the beatnik drug dealer, “Wow. This dope is super — I feel great!”, “This better work. I just spent most of my paycheck on drugs!”, “And, face it, getting high is all I care about”, and “I’ll calm down when I get some drugs!! Please! I hurt so bad!!”.

Mary Worth, 1/10/14

“Still, Santa Royale is such a stuffy, hidebound place. It’s the sort of town where people frown on you just because you use an area rug as a napkin! New York is so liberating, where I can be exactly who I want to be, with no limits!”

Heathcliff, 1/10/14

Meanwhile, Heathcliff’s demands to be worshiped as a terrible God-King continue unabated.

172 responses to “CHEKOV’S FLAPJACK JUICE”

  1. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#y290): 666 Chix: It’s funny because the Reverend (Pasdordan?) would rather lie in bed and read his Bible than pay attention to his wife.

    While the Very Naked Reverend (Pasdordan?) has his Bible open to one of the naughty parts, his poor wife lies next to him feeling unloved and unappreciated. Clearly, the words of Ecclesiastes 3 (“A Time for Everything”) are apropos here.

    What I’m saying is: Put down your Bible, VNR (Pasdordan?), and show the missus that you still want to know her in the biblical sense!

  2. Baka Gaijin
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    Luann: Someone’s got that “Surprise Buttsecks” look on her face!

  3. Baka Gaijin
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:32 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Remembering back to her days as a spy in the Underground in Nazi Germany, Mary instinctively eats the evidence that proves her guilt.

  4. Baka Gaijin
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    Dennis the Menace: Uncensored original caption: “I want to see the hot wet pussy Daddy keeps talking about to his computer friends.”

  5. Baka Gaijin
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    Bizarro: The art gallery posted the armed guard next to the huge pie painting to prevent a certain well-known comics character from defiling it. Again. And again.

  6. Hibbleton
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    MW: Charterstone; Check! Only seven more Horcruxes to find and we can destroy this abomination.

  7. Baka Gaijin
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Having skipped dessert at dinner, Mary is delighted to find the scarf is woven from from 100% cotton candy.

  8. Baka Gaijin
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    The Grizzwells: Don’t order a Montoni’s driver. He’ll taste of tumors and despair.

    Spiderman: Cocky might be a good thing to have around in times like this, Spidey.

    Aparatment 3-G: Damaged guys? Like the ones whose necks can’t support their heads or those whose facial features keep shifting around like an impressionist painting?

  9. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft-Oh my god! For the past few days I made ‘Agent Orange’ jokes and here is an actual joke about it in the comic.

    FW-”And the less said about some discrete phone calls I made to the Immigration department the better.”

    Gil Thorp-”Hershey? As in the chocolate making family Hershey?”

    MT-You know those black bears always into garbage that’s been left behind.

    MW-Mary says as she puts the towel in front of her mouth to catch any stray vomit from thinking about returning to Santa Royale.

    MW-Mary gets off on smelling her own clothes.

    Pluggers-”Of course not. I voted for Ford.”

    RMMD-Uh oh, Sara. Looks like it’s time for you to think of others and not yourself.

  10. pugfuggly
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    MT I’d love if, in a wild twist, the bear turned out to be Jared in a costume, and the whole kidnapping-gone-wrong was actually just a small part in a much larger con.

    RMMD You’re right Sarah: you can’t answer questions untruthfully if your mouth is too full to talk. Cram more grahams in there!

    A3G I really hope that ‘Crazy-Death-Wish Alan’ is the way they refer to him all the time. “I’m just on my way to see Alan….no, not Crazy-Death-Wish Alan, High-on-Life Alan, the guy at the news stand.”

    Heathcliff You can mention the snow throne, but do not ever, EVER, mention the cat. He doesn’t like that….

  11. nescio
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    A3G: Is Margo saying she’s no better than someone else a sign of the Apocalypse?

  12. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#1) @Huckleberry Fink (#290): Who are you people, and why do you know what goes on in my bedroom at night?

    (Mrs. Pastor says she likes you.)

  13. Baka Gaijin
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Mother Goose and Grimm: “The Selfie of Dorian Gray.” ‘Nuff said.

    Nancy: Candlelight becomes Aunt Fritzi. Accentuates her boobery well.

    Spiderman: Newspaper Spiderman turned into softcore gay fetish porn so slowly I hadn’t really noticed until today, what with the Iron Man Grip and Spidey about to grab his own penis and all.

  14. Congo Bill Bailey
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Hägar: Every night Helga prays for her husband’s death. With Hägar out of the way, she plans to take over the strip and rename it “Helga the Horrible.”

  15. Chareth Cutestory
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    Heathcliff: I was going to go with a Game of Thrones joke, but couldn’t quite find a good balance because I don’t want to see any of the characters naked and I wanted to see them all die violently.

  16. cheech wizard
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (y#199): Speaking of the demise of cereal mascots, I think most folks here would really get a kick out of Breakfast of the Gods if they ever get the opportunity. It used to be available online in three parts, but it seems that now you have to order the book for $25. A battle between good and evil in the cereal world. Dark, deranged fun.

  17. Chip Whittle
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    I’m kind of looking forward to Crankshaft tomorrow calling for the use of tactical atom bombs on the lawn. “If the International Geophysical Year committee hadn’t needlessly held me back Keisterman’s Mailbox could have been the first satellite!”

  18. Mibbitmaker
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Heath: The war for the ultimate crown with Marmaduke will be glorious. It’s how the animal Earth of Slylock Fox came to be.

    MW, meta: I believe that’s the scarf Ken gave Mary. Strange visual matephor, come to think of it…

    RMMD: “Nolan’s GRAHAMS”. I may prefer the old artist, but that is a nice tribute. Makes me miss Nolan even more, but….. nice tribute.

    MT: Then the bear ate all the arrowheads as Mark remained clueless.

  19. Elmo
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    The crowd where I read MT (at predicted this a week ago. They also found Checkov’s axe when it appeared in the tree as Mark and Jeff approached the abandoned cabin with the food supply intact.

  20. Chyron HR
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft previews for the rest of the week:

    Sat – Cranky tells the garden club that if all else fails, they can get rid of stubborn weeds with “9/11″-grade herbicide.
    Sun – A notice from the syndicate apologizing for the previous week’s strips and announcing that Crankshaft has been cancelled forever.

    (Ha ha ha, just kidding. Crankshaft will never get cancelled.)

  21. Robot Quasar
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    New York City has awakened something in Mary — some kind of terrible happiness that comes from living one’s own life rather than meddling in the lives of others threatens to escape unless she shoves a towel down her throat right now and thinks of Charterstone, nothing but Charterstone.

  22. Dr. Mabuse
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: I think Mary is trying that old movie trick of altering her voice on the phone by talking through a piece of cloth. Does it work? Does it even make sense, given that she’s in the middle of a conversation with someone who already knows who she is? No, she’s just trying to amuse herself, insanely bored with talking to Dr. Jeff, ha ha.

  23. Mycroft Fox, Slylock's smarter brother
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    Are Sarah and the dog making bedroom eyes at each other in that first panel, or is it my imagination? I don’t know which option is more disturbing, actually.

    At the very least, she’s clearly sharing her breakfast with it.

  24. Congo Bill Bailey
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    Mother Goose: Former child actor Macaulay Culkin is still determined to find work — even if he has to dress in drag.

  25. cheech wizard
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (y#279): Ok, that one worked – pretty twisted. Thanks!

  26. Dennis Jimenez
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    MT – I don’t get why all the fretting over a few artifacts – it looks like there’s plenty more purple burial mounds to loot there in the background….

    RMMD – I hope Nolan’s Grahams uses the Golden Slipper’s melody in their jingle – I mean it’s in the public domain – Oh, Those Nolan’s Grahams, – Oh, Those Nolan’s Grahams….

    MW – Yikes – I mean, pillow bitin’ an’ eveythin’….

    A3G – Crazy death-wish, high-flyin’, risk-takin’, U2 flyin’, USAF Pilot Gary F. Powers….

    Heath – What can I say – he likes a frozen ass….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  27. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    Garfield: I was going to make a joke about Lou Reed and Metal Machine Music, but then it occurred to me that Reed was using that album to get out of a contract, and maybe Garfield’s doing the same? Maybe this is his way of trying to break ties with the syndicated comic strip that bears his name? Maybe…maybe he’s saying he’s ready to go home and die a peaceful death, long after the dignified lifespan of a normal cat? Nermal can have the strip and the sick twist that is newspaper immortality.

  28. Baka Gaijin
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#9) on Mary Worth, comment 1: The Occam’s Razor-O-Meter says “most probable answer.” Also, the thought of sexy fun times with Dr. Nobody McNotbroadwayman makes the bile rise up in her throat.

    @pugfuggly (#10) on Mark Trail: Oooh, great plot twist. Won’t happen, but great to consider.

    @Dennis Jimenez (#26) on Heathcliff: Ummm. Yeah.

  29. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    If—let’s say, hypothetically—I were attacked by a giant condom made out of iron, I don’t think I’d be throwing around words like “cocky.” I’m just saying.

  30. Pozzo
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    “Crazy-Death-Wish Alan” was my Facebook password. Damn, now I’m gonna have to change it!

  31. TheDiva
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    A3G: “It’s almost as if our relationships are deliberately unsustainable in order to avoid upsetting the status quo…”

    Heathcliff: Heathcliff, if you’re going to make everyone around you indulge your Game of Thrones fantasies, at least go all-out with the design.

    MT: Great, now Mark is going to have to punch the bear in order to get the artifacts back.

    MW: *sings* Torn between two bland thralls, thinking they’re both fools…

    RMMD: With the exception of Nikki Sixx, I tend to think of the “i” spelling as being feminine, so for a brief moment I wondered if same-sex relationships had finally made their way into legacy strips. No such luck.

  32. Dennis Jimenez
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#29): If you’re in prison and somebody tells you they have a butt-load of money – I’ll bet they really do have a butt-load of money – just sayin’….

  33. Rusty
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    MW: Mary breathes in Ken’s scent still lingering in his scarf. Captain Black tobacco, Old Spice aftershave, and pizza juice. Maybe a hint of cheap cognac in the background.

  34. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Shoe: Okay, nice pun (it’s lame), but it’s Friday. Shouldn’t the Padre be skipping the turf altogether and sticking with the surf? He’d be tossing back brandy old-fashioneds and chowing down on perch or cod or maybe smelt if he lived in Wisconsin.

  35. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Luann – So, what is the end game here? Do we spend the next decade’s worth of strips assuring us that these two really, really want to get it on, but keep being interrupted? Do the interruptions become ever more farcial? (Though it is hard to beat “Your dad just got transferred, so we are leaving the country RIGHT NOW, please meet us at the airport, the flight leaves in a half hour.”)

    I’d prefer that the excuses continue to be self inflicted, like today’s. “We really, really wanted to do it, but it would have meant Luann would be five minutes late for her curfew, so we had to zip up and head home!”

    Hopefully, when they drop Quill off, Gunther will still be passed out on his front porch, and Quill and Rosa will be able to share their notes on how he really is as smooth as a Ken doll down there.

  36. bunivasal
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    “You’re not staying in New York? Ha ha.”
    “I never pictured myself leaving Santa Royale.”
    “You haven’t found someone else? Ha. ha.”
    “I never pictured myself being with former Broadway Star Ken Kensington.”
    “Our lives together have meant nothing? Ha! Ha!”
    “I never pictured finding meaning in a thrilling life on the east coast.”
    “HA! HA!”

  37. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#32): Well, this is “Crotch-Shot Theater.”

  38. TheDiva
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    9CL: Go home, Brooke, you’re drunk.

    C’shaft: Too bad everybody here made that joke before Batiuk could get to it….

    FW: “Are we done caring about Khan yet?”
    “Just one more strip, and then we can be done with him.”

    Lio: Don’t laugh; there are spas charging a pretty penny for this kind of thing.

    Luann: I’m getting less “sexually frustrated” from them and more “about to fulfill a suicide pact.”

    Pluggers have come to terms with the fact that they are aged and decrepit well beyond their years.

    SM: You mean getting knocked out by bricks didn’t teach you that already?

  39. Walker of Dog
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    MW: Oh no, Mary has fallen in with that awful competitive eating crowd (scarves & gloves subdivision). New York, New York, it’s a helluva town.

  40. Johnny Knuckles
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    A3-G: @CrazyDeathWishAlan is my new Twitter handle.

  41. Bill
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail, 1/10/14 WOW! A very VERY rare brown black bear!

  42. Kevin on Earth
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark: “Yeah…dig it up you filthy bear you…that’s right, paw the ground. Dig up that garbage you naughty-”
    Jeff: “Trail, either shoot me or pull up your pants”

    MT2: So Mark can take an extended break from watching the person who kicked him in the face, pistol whipped him into unconsciousness and would have killed him if it weren’t for those meddling hornets – to watch a bear dig up what he thinks is garbage…Mark is just straight out baddass.

    A3G: At first I thought the Margobot locked up: “I’m no better WANN!” making the unseen panel having LuAnn with the access panel open on Margo’s chest twisting away with a wrench of some kind. Tommie comes in and asks: “Again? You know, what happens when someone outside this apartment sees that panel?”. Luann: “Hahaha…I mean, who’s ever going to look here on her?”

    MW: Mary finally has the reaction many of these readers have to the storyline, but is valiantly fighting back the vomit.

  43. Marc
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    Luann- Isn’t supposedly wanting to do it and trying have sex just as bad to the purity police as actually doing it? Just because increasingly implausible reasons keep it from happening, doesn’t make them any less “guilty”. So really what are the Evanses trying to say? That sexual desire is natural but must be suppressed and stopped at all cost?

  44. Lily Sincere
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    Oh, so Margo’s takeaway is that she also has made bad romantic decisions? Margo, we love you and care for you and only want what’s best for you, but vodka is a drug, too. And it just so happens that Hazelden has programs in both Tribeca and Chelsea….

    I can’t wait for Heathcliff to try to stand up. You think the tongue-stuck-to-the-flagpole kid in A Christmas Story had it bad? At least his entire backside wasn’t involved.

  45. Marc
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    A3G- This is the setup to a lesbian porno, is it not? Granted since Margo is involved it’ll be a dominatrix lesbian porno. But still one nonetheless.

  46. Lassie
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    RMMD: I HATE the new artwork, crude and clumsy and ugly. At least June, and sometimes Rex, were fun to look at before. (not Sarah, she is still an ugly little pig).

  47. teenchy
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:45 am [Reply]

  48. Snark Twain
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    Correction: the two geezers are building Heathcliffe’s throne. The boy uselessly patting down stairs (that are just fine) is there to be the initial sacrifice.

  49. S. Stout
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    Luann: Either have sex or don’t, but don’t insult your readers by having these goofy interruptions that no teen would ever stop hooking up for. We’re supposed to believe this was “hot and heavy” yet no clothes were removed?

    The last time Luann was at Makeout Point she was almost raped by Miguel. That was at least interesting and had a point to it. None of this has a point, these characters aren’t evolving and there’s no humor in these situations because they aren’t real. If both of them want to have sex, they’ll have sex. If Rosa wants someone that’s not like Gunther, she won’t date Gunther for over a year for no reason. Hell, the only people that have evolved are Brad and Toni, and they’re only getting married because Toni is jealous that her ex-bf has a wife and kid and is happier than she is.

    Do Evans and his daughter know this comic is crap? Do they realize a lot of people read it hoping for that “it’s so bad it’s good” feeling but it’s still mostly bad because the protagonists always “win” even though they’re no better than the villains? I blame the morons at gocomics for liking and defending whatever sludge Evans throws out.

  50. Anon
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    9CL: Before the advent of “keyboard courage” and “anonymous trolling”, our ancestors had the guts to insult you over the phone…and before the phone…they did it face to face…of course, then you had to go out in the street at high noon and draw faster than the other guy to win your argument…speaking of bullet wounds…DIE, BILL, DIE!!!

    Blondie: I love the look on Blondie’s face as she listens to her husband criticize pink meat: “But, Dagwood loves my pink meat at home…” Meanwhile, the kitchen staff are about to reenact the “bitch’s steak” scene from the movie “Waiting”

    Crank: forgetting the fact that Agent Orange causes long term health problems for people who come into contact with it of course, but hey, you gals are all past breeding age anyway, right?

    Dilbert: That explains Alice’s shitty hair…

    Das Family: Melonhead Ice Breakers…AWAYYYYYYY!

    Funk: …said every generation dating back probably before the Great Depression, Funky…so thanks for your insight, Mr. “High Five Me Because I Still Have My Business!”

    Gas Alley: “It helps that I consume the blood and souls of reporters who come around to interview me every decade or so…”

    Hi/Lois: The highlight of Lois’s day….deep inhale…

    Mark Trail: skip ahead to tomorrow when the bear uncovers and consumes the hidden artifacts…then to next week when Mark with his gloves on has to wander the countryside checking through piles of bear droppings.

    Luann: Yes, its the little known theory of global genital warming. Those panties will be cold, wet and clingy soon enough, Luann.

  51. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    A3G-”I’m no better, Lu Ann, when it comes to choosing roommates.”

  52. btown
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: “No, I was pro-slavery, so I voted for the other guy.”

  53. bats :[
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    I could’ve swore we’re at a DIFFERENT cabin…Jeff buried the loot, took off with Mark in the canoe, and had to stop to portage the canoe. Isn’t this a different place? Are we on the Escher River?

    Honestly, I’d really appreciate being set straight on this.

  54. Anon
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#4): ha ha but I took your thought too far in my mind and thought that if Dennis were a few years older, Alice would have come around that corner to find some of her hairbrush leavings around one of the holes and Dennis with overalls down and stuck to the wall wailing like that kid with the tongue on the flagpole from “A Christmas Story”.

  55. Mincemeat
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    RMMD: In the final panel, Sarah is played by character actor Joe Don Baker. Nice to see him getting work.

  56. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    LUANN – Gives me the opportunity to tell the story of my teenaged stepson, aka The World’s Most Entitled Child, who demanded that it was his right to have sex with his girlfriend in his bedroom while we were home, and that we had no right to tell her parents that this is what was going on. “It’s the only place I feel comfortable!”

    I told him the same thing someone needs to tell Luann – “Teenagers have been finding ways to sneak out and have sex since the days when the greatest danger was being caught and eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger while you were distracted. You aren’t worried about comfort, you are just too damn lazy to make any kind of plans other than ‘Have her mom drop her off, sneak her into your room, then hang out there all day until it is time for one of us to drive her home.”

    I wanted to ask how comfortable he thinks she feels having to do it on top of the pile of dirty clothes covering his bed, while surrounded by the sights and smells of a week’s worth of half-eaten bowls of cereal and chili lying around on the floor, but of course asking a teenager how someone else might feel just gets a blank, uncomprehending stare in reply. “Other people exist, and have desires other than ‘make Reese happy’?

  57. Anon
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    ASM: “Yes, we have him now….deploy the Iron Penis….no, no reacharound…”

  58. MissMikey
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    9CL: Whew, well (so far) it looks like we not going to have to go through It Happened One Night two panels at a time with McE’s insufferable characters. Although given his proclivities I’m surprised he’s skipping the famous hitchhiking scene — quite honestly, I figured that was the whole point to this flashback/hallucination sequence.

    Luann: JUST DO IT ALREADY! Having sex or coming out of the closet, it doesn’t matter, just get it over with!

    MW: It seems like Mary would make short work of any other person in this situation. Is Shelly going to have to meddle Mary back to Santa Royale? And if so, is she going to survive long afterwards?

  59. Doctor Handsome
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    “I’m no better, Lu Ann. I wish crazy death on your boyfriends too.”

  60. Mikey
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    MT: Oh boy! Man I can’t wait for tomorrow! Hopefully it goes down like the man/bear fight in the link below…

  61. Illustrator Steve
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    MT – “That old bear’s digging up something … probably just a couple of old pack baskets filled with native american artifacts that some bald headed thief buried recently!”

  62. Anon
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#56): Wow…so this happens to other dad’s too, huh? I could share a story or two…my lord…

  63. TheDiva
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#56): Once again proving the only differences between teenagers and toddlers are hormones and vocabulary. And I’m not so sure about the latter.

  64. Doctor Handsome
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    What the hell did Mark THINK the scary noise was, that he’d be like, “Oh, cool, it’s just a huge bear. I was worried for a second.”

  65. Joshua
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    9CL: So let me see if I understand this. Bill O’Malley, on the verge of death, is hallucinating that a newspaper editor is haranguing him over the phone?

  66. Illustrator Steve
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    MT – Well, ain’t THAT a bear!

  67. bats :[
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    FC: I think Billy’s New Year’s resolution is an environmental one, to reduce the Keanes’ carbon footprint…one melonhead at a time.

  68. Joe Blevins
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    WORTH: “I’d be leaving so much of myself in Santa Royale.” “If you’re referring to the stray hairs and skin flakes, don’t worry. I’ve collected enough of them to clone a whole army of Mary Worths.”

    RMMD: I have a weird feeling June is setting Sarah up here, getting her to tattle then punishing her for doing so, thus teaching her the most important lesson of all: nobody likes a snitch.

  69. Illustrator Steve
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    @Doctor Handsome (#64):
    I know. I thought for sure what Mark heard was just the 4:30 Trailways bus to Montreal with it’s motor running at the bus stop outside the cabin.

  70. Arabella
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    FW: ” ….and by the way, Wally, I’m going to have to let you go. Tough times, you know. See ya.”

    FC: “Wonder if the pond needs crackin’ too?”

  71. Dennis Jimenez
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    @Bill (#41): Rusty should snap a picture with his trusty box camera – than he would be a Kodak bear….

  72. Binder's Butter Beans
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    Dear Josh, thank you for “CHEKOV’S FLAPJACK JUICE.” I swear to God I haven’t laughed that hard in weeks. Cheers!

  73. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    AD: leave the politics to the folks on the Op/Ed page, please. You’re making NS seem subtle and light-handed.

    PBS: somewhere, Bob Barker weeps.

    WuMo: /fail.

    JUMBLE: is that Josh behind bars???

    RMMD: who cares about Sarah, the new artist knows how to draw Abbey the Wonder Dog properly! BARK! BARK! BARK!

  74. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    Love Is . . .back and fourth.

  75. debussy fields
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MT– “Mark discovers that the noise outside the cabin is only a black bear searching for some food.” Only a black bear? Even the most hardened outdoorsman sits up and takes notice when a black bear wanders into the territory. It isn’t as if a fly buzzed by on a summer afternoon, for God’s sake.

  76. Little Guy
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MT: Okay, TRMT, yesterday, I was going to go on a OH FOR F*CK’S SAKE! rant that Mark *just happens* to find the bear who *just happens* to find the stash. Thank to Josh, I see what you did right there with Chekov’s Dropped Honey Jar.

    Nicely done and well-planned storyline. A+++. Would read again.

  77. Little Guy
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#76): I mean, “Chekov’s Flapjack Juice”, which will probably be used in the next Star Trek movie with heightened lens flare during the Irina Galiulin scenes, who will be played by Jennifer Lawrence.

  78. Doctor Handsome
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    “You’re not thinking of staying in New York, are you? Ha. Ha. *cough* HA. HA! HINT!”

  79. Red Greenback
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    “They’re building a snow throne. And they’re almost finished. Hurry up with that snow visiting dignitary, kids! Wow. This dope is super – I feel great!”

  80. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    @Anon (#62): @TheDiva (#63):

    Yeah, it gets more and more difficult to tell if I’m becoming the ‘get off my lawn’ guy or if ‘the kids today’ really are getting worse.

    I would have never dreamed of demanding that my father or mother drive my girlfriend home, then hopping in the back seat with her while wearing nothing but pajama bottoms and a t-shirt (in New Hampshire, in the winter). They would sit in total silence for the entire drive, and he would angrily refuse any suggestion that he tell her goodnight, or walk her to her front door. No, I pull into her parent’s driveway, she jumps out and runs inside, he gets out of the car only to hop into the front seat for the drive home, but of course instantly starts sending one of the two dozen texts he will send her on the drive back.

  81. Doctor Handsome
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    So, Sarah definitely has a Berkowitz thing going on with that dog, right?

  82. Damien
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    Heathcliff: all comics should be properly labelled. “They’re building a snow throne”, “Mary Worth is eating a towel”, “Apartment 3-G is boring”, etc.

  83. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    Sally Forth-”Just waiting for the meds to kick in.”

    Heathcliff-Marmaduke has that beat. They build a snow altar to him.

  84. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox-What a cute beaver picture.

  85. Mikey
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: It’s apparent to me that Cranky must have helped his Westview relatives apply Agent Orange to their gardens in the past as it’s listed as causing seven types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s among other things. It doesn’t mention smugness or uncontrollable smirking though.

  86. Odie Odo
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    Todd the Dinosaur: This proves Todd is more of a badass than Garfield. He doesn’t just squash spiders — he EATS them.

  87. seismic-2
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: Agent Orange? But doesn’t that cause canc… Oh, right. Never mind, carry on.

    A3G: Crazy-death-wish Alan? Since when would having a death wish in this strip be anything other than a perfectly rational decision?

  88. Pizzaburger Chilidogwich
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    “You go straight for the damaged guys, LuAnn.”

    “Yeah, I’ve been widowed once and I’ve broken 14 engagements and recently realized that my aunt was my mother. It’s not like I don’t have baggage.”

  89. Missal
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Heefclith: So they’re building a throne for a cat. Talk about pussy-whipped. (Please reply only with boos and hisses.)

  90. Pizzaburger Chilidogwich
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Heathcliff is very Marmadukey today. “They’re building a snow throne.” Yes, it is a large, chair like sculpture made of snow. Without a big dog, I don’t see any humor in it.

  91. Pizzaburger Chilidogwich
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#68): “I’ve left so much of myself in Santa Royale.”
    I think she’s referring to her embalmed organs in jars of formaldehyde.

  92. bats :[
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#77): I’d give this a miss, but, man…it’s JENNIFER LAWRENCE!

    Oh, and this to end the week on a grizzly (har!) note…

  93. Damian Hammontree
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    Tell me. Tell me if Niki was here, or I’ll shiv this piece of toast with my car key!

  94. Doctor Handsome
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    I just want to point out that I tweeted today’s Mother Goose & Grimm punchline verbatim 3 days ago, in response to Chris Hardwick’s @midnight hashtag challenge #FutureBooks.

  95. Pizzaburger Chilidogwich
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#31): RMMD: Maybe Niki’s father really is Nikki Sixx from Crue. He’s related to the eyepatch kid from Doonesbury. Maybe. His mother is pretty sure it was Motley Crue, but doesn’t remember which one.

  96. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:37 am [Reply]

  97. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    “Wacky” announcer on the radio this morning: “Workday, smirkday! (Is that even a word?)”

    Me: “You’ve obviously never been to Westview, Ohio.”

  98. cheech wizard
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    RMMD – For the moment, it seems June ought to be less focused on Niki and more concerned about why her daughter appears to be scooping food out of the dog’s mouth before it can swallow it and eating it herself.

  99. seismic-2
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    Shoe: Is Pastis ghost-writing other strips?

  100. greghousesgf
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    I think Dennis’ hamster actually got eaten by Hot Dog (Dennis’ cat, not the dog in Archie.)

  101. cheech wizard
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    RMMD – Oh gawd. Please tell me Sara isn’t eating dog snot. Oh, please, please, please, please…..

  102. DownInTheValley
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    MW: Faced with so many wheedling, needy men, Mary impulsively experiments with carpet munching. “Mary? Mary? Uh, I’m still on the line…hello?”

  103. seismic-2
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#101): So, who would you rather see eat dog snot?

    OK, Les Moore. I’ll give you that one.

  104. Amos Snarkadder
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#2): @Baka Gaijin (#3): @Baka Gaijin (#7): Bwahahaha! You started out today on a roll!

  105. Droopy Says
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    Spiderdick and 9 Dickweed Lane and Funky Wankerbean I read all of these this morning. Then I went and had a colonoscopy. My day really did improve as it went along.

  106. Droopy Says
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    TRMT, you do the strip in black-and-white, don’t you? I’m pretty sure of that, because I think you’d have made the ground over the buried loot a dirt color, rather than that bland moss-green shade. Very enjoyable art work in any case.

  107. Col. Havoc
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    I might be wrong, but living in the northland, amongst the sugar-maples, it is my somewhat-experienced opinion that maple syrup doesn’t turn rancid. Much like honey, it can crystalize into a substance harder than a spider-brick, but turn rancid? Nope.

    It would still be nasty on the artifacts, of course, but nothing a bunch of hot water wouldn’t solve.

  108. Col. Havoc
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    Not really an “opinion,” more of an observation. Must maintain the meaning of those word- thingys.

  109. anon
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#80): I think its the latter: I used to be a latchkey kid when I was a teen, but I was responsible and never would have brought a girl home to have sex–I’d have the decency to do it elsewhere. My son meanwhile–sneaking out his 2nd story window (destroying our satellite wire and bathroom window frame with his weight) and then playing the victim when caught. The worst episode: having 2 girls over for the evening, coming in to tell me and the wife that he was driving them home, leaving in his car and driving around the neighborhood to throw us off…then hearing noises and catching the 2 girls hiding in his bedroom closet.

  110. Vulpius
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man – Somehow I’m not at all surprised that Spidey’s latest screw-up started by him (probably rightfully) suspecting that he failed at something else.

  111. Jim in Wisc.
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Famiglia Morgan: In the 3rd panel, Sarah looks even more like a 37 year old Russian midget than she did when Nolan was drawing her. Excellent job, Mr. Beatty!

  112. walt d
    January 10th, 2014 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    MW: The age issue. It has been claimed here that MW is supposed to be 60, something I object to because I myself am over 60 and the women of my generation look nothing like that. Maybe 60 year old women looked like that back in the 60s and before, but not now. I persist in saying that she’s 80. Never mind the lack of wrinkles. It’s called make-up.
    Anyway, I follow the blog Humans of New York (a wonderful site), and one of today’s offerings is an 86 year old woman who looks younger and far more full of life than MW ever has. I recommend the blog and this picture.

  113. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey-”This game is boring let’s switch over to the cheerleaders’ shower.”

    Blondie-Blondie’s breast so high and firm that you could set the plate on them.

  114. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    MW-”I’m so confused. I’m torn between my love of two places. Oh if there was only some lonely old woman who could help me solve my problems.”

  115. Alison
    January 10th, 2014 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    @walt d (#112):
    I’ve noticed that people used to dress and style their hair much “older” than they do now. When I see pictures from, say, the 1950s or 1940s, I often think the people in the picture were about 75 years old and it turns out they were more like 50! I think this is the case here. When MW debuted, Mary’s hair and clothes probably made her look 60, but now they don’t at all. She needs a makeover. She could start by setting all her purple clothes on fire.

  116. walt d
    January 10th, 2014 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    Luann: So that’s that, huh? The way Luann shuts down sexual activity makes the way A3G disposes of prospective fiancés seem like serious literature.

    MT: I suppose I’ll never be a true outdoorsman because my own reaction would be more along the lines of “Holy fuck, a bear! Let’s get the hell out of here!”

    A3G: Margo is admitting imperfection? Poor LuAnn. Now Margo will have to kill you. On the bright side, Margo will have the whole apartment to herself. Or maybe the professor could move in and take over the cooking.

    RMMD: Well, hell. Lie to Mom or give up your petty extortion? Expect an abrupt switch back to Buck and Doris.

    9CL: If Brooke is attempting to confuse the reader, he’s doing a fine job, because I certainly am. Also, presumably this strip runs in black and white in newspapers, which would tone down the gore, but also make the separation between the “reality” and the “reverie” a lot less distinct.

  117. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 10th, 2014 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    new pics of Hans and Tu’i, for those interested.

  118. Crazy Death Wish Alan
    January 10th, 2014 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    @Johnny Knuckles (#40): Follow my campaign for Toronto mayor.

  119. walt d
    January 10th, 2014 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#56): So you’re saying that Zits is pretty much telling it like it is where teenage boys are concerned? (Except that Jeremy we may be assured is never ever going to get any from Sarah, a profoundly entitled and shallow, but definitely celibate, teenage girl.) I would guess that a boy who feels he should be able to have sex in his room (and has someone willing to do it there with him) is also pretty resistant to the idea of curfews.

  120. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    9CL – I’m still unable to figure out where this wound is that is leaking blood up onto and over his shoulder and the side of his face. And also why he refused to let the medic treat or evacuate him, why nobody in Normandy has any equipment and they all have to share a single pistol, etc. Unfortunately, I suspect the answer is “because, Burbers”.

    @walt d (#119):

    A curfew is a lot easier to enforce when they aren’t old enough to drive. But, then you are held hostage to them assuring you that she has a ride home scheduled, then banging on the bedroom door at 8:58 to announce that you have to jump up and take her home immediately so she won’t get in trouble. But at least they were smarter than the couple in Luann and did their business together before it was time to go home.

  121. Alison
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#43):
    I once knew a woman who believed sex before marriage was wrong. Problem was, she was absolutely desperate to do the deed and made it very clear she would marry any loser who asked her, just so she could have sex. My guess is that the Evans’ have some kind of attitude like that. It’s okay for Luann to be so horny her eyeballs are popping out of her head, but it’s not okay for her to do anything about it. If Luann was allowed to age, I’d watch for her to become just like the woman I knew and marry any idiot who proposed, just for the sex (and it would indeed have to be an idiot, because no one else would want to marry Luann).

  122. White Rabbit
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    RM: Sarah and Dondi…twins separated at birth?

  123. Alison
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    “Mary Worth”: What’s happening to this strip? First Mary says, “Uh”, and now Dr. Jeff says “Ha ha”. Why, it’s like they are actual humans instead of robots these days!

    Also, Mary is a big ol’ coward. She was too chicken to tell Ken about Jeff until Ken was already smitten with her, and now she’s too chicken to tell Jeff she’s got a crush on Ken. Soon enough she’s going to have to stop munching on her new scarf and tell these guys she’s made a decision. (My guess: she goes back to Santa Royale. I don’t think there’s any way the strip would suddenly change locations when all the established characters are back in California.)

    “Rex Morgan”: Sarah’s head has shrunk and this is disappointing. What’s not disappointing is that she still looks like a hideous troll! Thank goodness. And I’ll give credit to whoever came up with “Nolan’s Grahams”, that’s a nice little tribute.

  124. walt d
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#115): MW has what I would call the middle- to upper-middle class “club woman” look. Very “put together” from hair to shoes, and very outdated.

  125. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#121): Re: Luann It’s okay for Luann to be so horny her eyeballs are popping out of her head, but it’s not okay for her to do anything about it.

    My theory is that they (or at least the younger Evans) want to tell more ‘adult’ stories where the characters do things like have relationships and engage in sexual activity, but that they fear alienating either their existing audience or the editors at the syndicate. So they have arrived at this half-assed compromise where the characters talk about having sex all the time, but just never manage to actually consummate their intentions.

    I just wonder if any of them have an endgame in sight, or if Luann and Quill are going to be living in a retirement home together and finally just about to do the deed when someone announces that the new episode of CSI is about to start, so of course they put it off for another day so they won’t miss the opening credits.

  126. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#121): I’d watch for her to become just like the woman I knew and marry any idiot who proposed, just for the sex (and it would indeed have to be an idiot, because no one else would want to marry Luann).

    Ironically, Mike Judge’s King of the Hill did an episode just like this, where Luanne decided to re-virginize herself, and after seeing her baptised while wearing a sheer white cotton outfit, one of the real virgins couldn’t resist any longer and proposed to her. She accepted for the same reason, and they were only saved from a quickie wedding and inevitable quickie divorce by an encounter in the back of a van.

  127. Meg
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    A3G: It’s heartening to see an acknowledgement that these girls date so many men they have to give them descriptive nicknames just to keep track of them.

    9 Chickweed Lane: Wait- so those weird fever dreams were supposed to be weird fever dreams? I need to sit down and rethink my life.

    Luann: I haven’t been following Luann regularly since I was a kid and my parents still got a print newspaper, so someone tell me: is this a thing now? Have we really moved on from innocent protestations of love for Aaron Hill to outright ‘teenagers are horny and we’re not even going to pretend that’s not what we’re talking about’? I think maybe I’m confused about the age group of the people that still read newspaper comics unironically. Do Baby Boomers really find this subject matter entertaining? Because I don’t.

    Love Is…: Speaking of sex in the funnies…

    Gil Thorp: “How dare you congratulate my sister! What are your intentions, young man? Are you prepared to take responsibility for what might happen if one or both of you engages in conversation with the other?”

    Family Circus: Congratulations, ‘mudgeons: Billy is about to get brain damage and/or multiple broken bones.

    Dennis the Menace: I think this is the first, non-ironically menacing thing Dennis has ever done in my lifetime. I’d shed a tear, but that would require caring about Dennis the Menace.

    Lio: I can’t decide if I want to go try that or just throw up a little.

    RMMD: People aren’t giving Beatty enough credit. Sarah looks exactly like a little kid who is taking a bite of cereal without having properly chewed or swallowed the last one. I’m not even saying that ironically, kids do that all the time. Though in Sarah’s case it’s probably a more calculated gesture. “See, mom? I can’t answer your question because my mouth is full. It’s not polite to talk with your mouth full!”

  128. Amos Snarkadder
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#3) @Baka Gaijin (#7) @Walker of Dog (#39) @DownInTheValley (#102) @Alison (#123) @Dennis Jimenez (#26):
    After all those pretzels and pizzas, Mary needed to do something to slim down. And, yes, maybe hide the evidence of her flirtation.

    It’s a new fad diet!

  129. Odie Odo
    January 10th, 2014 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    Zippy: Griffy is trying desperately not to look up that guy’s muumuu. Not that I blame him — there’s too much sax in this strip as it is.

  130. Alison
    January 10th, 2014 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#125):
    I agree. They want Luann to grow and change, but not in a sexual way. The problem is, Luann has a steady boyfriend she’s obsessed with, so the obvious way for her to grow and change right now would be by having sex.

    This whole sex issue could have been easily avoided by taking a different route with the strip instead of introducing Quill. They could have, say, had Luann discover she had a talent for art, and the way to make her grow and change would be for her to focus on her career. They could have done story lines about Luann checking out art schools and entering art competitions. The issue of sex would never have to be brought up. I don’t know why they didn’t take the strip in this kind of direction.

    As for the ending to all this, I think Quill will simply be written out of the strip before anything can happen between him and Luann. Since he’s from another country, the easiest way out would be to send him back there, so that’s my guess.

  131. Alison
    January 10th, 2014 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#128):
    Maybe Mary will finally kick her obsession with seafood now that she’s discovered how delicious scarves are.

    “Why Mary, these salmon squares of yours look different than usual.”
    “That’s because they are SCARF SQUARES.”
    “It’s a new food fad. I learned about it in New York. Eat up.”

  132. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#130): I think Quill will simply be written out of the strip before anything can happen between him and Luann. Since he’s from another country, the easiest way out would be to send him back there, so that’s my guess.

    They tried to do exactly this, even to the point of having him and Luann be this close to having sex when his parents called to tell Quill that dad was being transferred suddenly and he literally had to meet them at the airport ASAP so they could fly back to Australia. This because even Greg Evans was bored with Quill and wanted to write him out.

    Apparently, Greg’s daughter, who is a new co-author of the strip, objected because she wanted Luann to be more mature, and that meant having relationships and boyfriends. Because of the Law of Conservation of Characters, apparently the only way to achieve this was to have Quill return.

    One problem is that Quill was and remains a one-dimensional character whose existence revolves entirely around his status as a love interest for Luann. As our COTW winner has pointed out, this leads to a rather bland and uninteresting relationship.

  133. Mikey
    January 10th, 2014 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    MT- Hopefully we will soon have an answer to the question: “Does a bear shit arrowheads in the woods?”

  134. Droopy Says
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#120): McBeefwit’s drawing of a bloodied soldier GI Joe doll reminded me of Tom Lea’s The Prive:

    James Jones said this about it: “It is a painting at once so bitter and unreal that it tends to turn into an abstraction, a fantasy. For example, the falling marine (or soldier) does not seem to be as wounded anywhere on his person as to cause the amount of blood which is flowing from him and which dominates the picture. The face is wounded, but could not cause such a blood flow. The shoulder and arm do not appear to be mangled, but even if they were, could not have caused the blood on the face. It is as if Lea, with one sudden unthought-out spastic gesture, recorded in one swiftly-done canvas a distillation of all the death and horror he had seen and been bitterly unable to digest.”

    Perhaps McBeefwit saw The Price and thought it was meant to be realistic. Or maybe he skipped the scene where Bill received an especially brutal shaving cut.

  135. Mikey
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#132): Hmmm, yes, Evans Sr. seems to have a habit of making Luann’s boyfriends ride off into the Pacific sunset. As I recall, Aaron Hill moved to Kailua on Oahu and lived there until he was shot by the Secret Service for snorkeling too close to President Obama. Anyway, maybe the Evans’ can use these old boyfriends in spinoff strips. Something like “G’day Koala Quill! (He’s from Australia, and not here, so it’s funny, you know?!!)”

  136. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    RMMD-”Here? How would you define ‘here’? Lots of philosophers have different meanings for ‘here’.”

  137. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    RMMD-And what Sarah is really thinking is “She’s Niki’s girlfriend. That little harlot is standing between me and the man I love. I will do anything to bring her down.”

  138. Ukulele Ike
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    DT: Tracy keeps a life-sized, kidney shaped portrait of Kadaver in his office. Mounted on a large brass pole. Or is it an enormous stereopticon? Can anyone help me out, here?

    S-M: I’m going to go all Carnac the Magnificent here and predict that Tony Stark IS, actually, inside that Iron Man suit. I don’t know why he would be, but I have this hunch.

  139. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#134): I don’t think you are supposed to see the picture as a point-in-time depiction of a wounded soldier. To me, it is a time lapse showing how war turns a human being into a bloody mass of flesh.

    As for 9CL, I don’t get what Bill is supposed to be feeling, or the reader. Are we to pity him for being assigned to the front lines? Because, as has been noted, he didn’t just punch a superior officer, he battered him over and over again, took a break, then went back and battered him some more, and all for the crime of not knowing that the woman passing information to the enemy was really a double-agent and, more importantly, a Burber. Being demoted to buck private and assigned to a combat unit is the best result he could have hoped for.

    Plus, it is hard to pity him when he refused medical treatment or evacuation, preferring to take a nap then crawl off into the quiet, solitary, open fields of Normandy circa June 6, 1944. Because, Burber for some reason that isn’t yet clear.

  140. Écureuil Écumant
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Someone should tell Sarah that pouring gin over her cereal is kinda a grownup way to start the day. Not halfway through the bowl, she’s already got that glassy stare while chewing with her mouth open. Grahams Flambé, it’s not for breakfast anymore.

  141. Droopy Says
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#139): I don’t know what emotions we’re supposed to feel for Bully Bill. This whole mess makes Beetle Bailey look realistic. And has anyone mentioned that during WW II, we had faster and more reliable ways to interrogate prisoners? Actual interrogators said that the ideal technique was to befriend a prisoner, show him some genuine respect, and gain his trust. Among other things, that meant knowing something about his country, culture and army. Some prisoners wouldn’t talk, but the ones who did gave you reliable information.

    I really doubt that Miss Hellmaw would know exactly what questions to ask a German prisoner. And a prisoner with high-value information wouldn’t be locked up in a large camp; you’d isolate him and keep him comfortable until after you had his information. Arranging a series of dates with a Burber (whose USO troupe would normally leave the area after one show) would most likely lead to Lord Haw Haw accusing the Allies of trying to spread the clap among German prisoners. Probably the other prisoners would kill him, too, out of suspicion he had given away secrets for the chance to get laid.

  142. Alison
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#132):
    I remember that! Silliest thing I’ve seen in this strip. Nobody has to leave the country that fast unless they’re running from the mob or something.

    This is another problem with the “Oops, we can’t have sex!” punchlines. None of the things that prevent Quill and Luann from having sex are believably urgent. All the times they’ve been “stopped” from having sex, they could have kept going if they really wanted to (witness this week’s dopey “Uh-oh! Curfew!” plot). This strip needs to get some real reasons to ruin their attempts. A raging house fire, maybe.

  143. Alter Ego
    January 10th, 2014 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    Bizarro – That kid’s dad has definitely gone too far with his amputee fetish.

  144. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    MW-Who meddles the meddler?

  145. Liam
    January 10th, 2014 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    RMMD-An evil person would alter that last panel of Sara into holding something else.

  146. Casey, Crime Photographer
    January 10th, 2014 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#131):

    Actually, I think Mary would be flattered if anyone decided to SCARF it down.

    @Écureuil Écumant (#140):

    Don’t worry — Sarah’s addiction to “Guzzler’s Gin”* will be addressed in an upcoming storyline.

    *Obscure Red Skelton reference!

  147. bats :[
    January 10th, 2014 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#115): with Mary IN them? Opleaseopleaseoplease…

  148. Der Schnärkïnätör mit Ümläütën!
    January 10th, 2014 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#115): @bats :[ (#147):

    Me thinks you know what to do bats :[ …….

  149. Peanut Gallery
    January 10th, 2014 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#73): Yep, another Jumble appearance by Jailbird Josh!

  150. demoncat4
    January 10th, 2014 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    mary worth leaving so much of myself in santa royal like mostly meddling and controling the ones who live in my buildings lives. though it it tempting to have a guy who is devoted to me like a puppy till i make him off himself. rmmd. sarah is now thinking hmm do i in the end rant out kelly and risk not being able next time she comes call the shots by saying no nickie was not here or do i say yes and then ask my mother what they really ment by helping her study

  151. sully
    January 10th, 2014 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    That ‘Black Bear’ looks pretty brown to me. And I can’t be bothered looking though all the other comments to see if anyone else said it.

  152. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#139): I forget what rank Keisel was supposed to hold, but given his depiction as a reluctant conscript, he wouldn’t be too high up. Generally, by the time they have been captured, interrogated, transferred to a POW camp, and hung around long enough to fall in love, any useful information they may have had: “my unit is X, we have Y effectives, we are marching toward Z to launch an attack” would be obsolete anyway.

    @Alison (#142): Just more lack of authorial imagination to have to fall back on “whoa, curfew!”. If we are supposed to believe Quill isn’t that into her, then such an excuse is plausible, but I think we are supposed to accept that he really wanted to proceed but, darn, can’t be a few minutes late. And again, how long are they going to keep almost doing it but having something stop them at the last minute?

  153. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 10th, 2014 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    9CL – Oh! If I recall the original story correctly, wasn’t Kiesel giving her false information that she knowingly reported to the Allies so that she would be allowed to continue seeing him, thus making her essentially a double-agent for the Germans, and making the “cowardly” (for doubting a Burber) commandant exactly correct that she was a doxy working for the enemy and thinking with her genitals?

  154. Ed Bob
    January 10th, 2014 at 6:57 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I don’t have your eye, and I’m getting a bit old. It seems to me that ALL the people in ALL these comics are getting uglier. OMG! Mary Worth looks 10 years older and the MILFs in Gil Thorp look like WIWWTF (Women I wouldn’t want to @#*$). I just chalked it up to global warming and all their faces were melting.

  155. Ed Bob
    January 10th, 2014 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    I forgot to write, June use to look pretty hot. But now, not so much. Please, Please, Please, Bob Weber Jr., Do not mess with the hotness that is Cassandra Cat… Wait, that made it seem like Mary Worth was hot. Nevermind! I’ve got to stop drinking with the Professor.

  156. Alison
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#152):
    The flimsy excuses this strip comes up with for Luann and Quill not being able to have sex would actually be hilarious if Quill was secretly gay. But yes, I do believe we’re supposed to think this is true love, and in that case, the flimsy excuses do not work at all.

    I will give a million kudos to this strip if it actually ends up with Quill being gay. “Gee, mate, I just didn’t know how to tell you. I guess I thought you’d take the hint if I kept avoiding sex with you. Can’t believe you never guessed. Oh well. Vegemite, anyone?”

  157. Avoiding the Madding Crowd
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:21 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#152):
    The flimsy excuses this strip comes up with for Luann and Quill not being able to have sex would actually be hilarious if Quill was secretly gay. But yes, I do believe we’re supposed to think this is true love, and in that case, the flimsy excuses do not work at all.

    I will give a million kudos to this strip if it actually ends up with Quill being gay. “Gee, mate, I just didn’t know how to tell you. I guess I thought you’d take the hint if I kept avoiding sex with you. Can’t believe you never guessed. Oh well. Vegemite, anyone?”

    “Vegemite, anyone?” Are you sure you don’t mean “catamite, anyone?”

  158. bemibet
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:23 pm [Reply]

    Heathcliff – I want to see how many people are killed in the bloodbath that ensues when Heathcliff and Marmaduke battle for world supremacy.

  159. seismic-2
    January 10th, 2014 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

  160. Jen
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure Mary is doing a version of the old theatre trope “bite the handkerchief” here.

  161. Casey, Crime Photographer
    January 10th, 2014 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#159): Ha! I should have realized that no topic is too obscure for you guys…

  162. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:02 pm [Reply]

    MT: FACT! Black bears have a strong sense of smell and are especially drawn by the scent of Native American heritage.

    RMMD: I was perfectly happy thinking that Graham Nolan had just moved on from this strip to another project. Now I know that he’s been Soylent Greened into Sara’s breakfast cereal, and I don’t know how to deal.

    A3G: It’s amusing to see the girls snarking their own love lives like they’re, you know, us. What was Crazy Death Wish Alan’s schtick, though. Just bein’ crazy and havin’ a death wish?

    MW: Mary is leaving a lip gloss print on the scarf Ken Kensington bought her so she can leave it with him as a reminder of what they had together. Let him wrap the scarf around his blue balls.

  163. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    Bizarro: How cute. The kid recognizes the logo for his dad’s favorite amputee/snuff site.

    Ziggy: “Semi-liquid”? Ah, so the chili will be the same consistency going into you as it will be coming out.

    C-Shaft: Canonically, Ed Crankshaft is supposed to be a WWII veteran, I know. Realistically, though, he looks more in the age range of someone who might have served in Vietnam. So, I don’t know, maybe he shouldn’t be so cavalier about agent orange?

    9CL: Having become suddenly literal-minded, Bill crawls a few feet further from where he remembers his CO’s office being.

    JP: Looks like Randy and April really are a natural pair. She’s “shoot first”, he’s “ask questions later.”

    BB: If the army wants to use drones to spy on football teams instead of, say, me, I guess I shouldn’t complain. Still, I doubt there are any games that could remotely be called “big” which aren’t already on TV.

    Phantom: Dick Grubber just confessed in front of the guy he was trying to rip off, after getting nothing. I don’t think future Phantoms are going to know who he was.

    S-M: Stark programmed Skipper Jonas Grumby’s moves into the Manbot, and now it’s got Spidey in its famous Little Buddy Grip.

  164. Chip Whittle
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#135):

    Hmmm, yes, Evans Sr. seems to have a habit of making Luann’s boyfriends ride off into the Pacific sunset. As I recall, Aaron Hill moved to Kailua on Oahu and lived there until he was shot by the Secret Service for snorkeling too close to President Obama. Anyway, maybe the Evans’ can use these old boyfriends in spinoff strips.

    Miguel got sentenced to going back to Spain! This, according to Wikipedia, after Tiffany did something actually villainous, stealing Gunther’s exam so as to use his answers and then blaming Miguel when she was discovered.

    Wikipedia also notes that in November/December 1999, Miguel “drove Luann to a secluded parking spot for their date. Luann’s phone rang and she faked a family emergency to get out of the situation.”

    Stuart, who according to Wikipedia existed, also turned out to be 21 years old and married.

  165. Jessy S.
    January 10th, 2014 at 11:52 pm [Reply]

    @Chyron HR (#20): I don’t think Tom and Chuck will go that far. It is very likely that Cranky will just wrap up his speech with a bad pun or two. Sunday, Cranky and Jeff will be enjoying playoff football.

  166. Jessy S.
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    @Alison (#130): But Luann isn’t an artist, or I don’t believe she is one. For the record, I believe that she is pregnant and that Greg may have done some foreshadowing with the Sunday October 6th, 2013 strip. It had Luann’s father Frank looking forward to being a grandparent by doing pushups.

  167. Jessy S.
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:18 am [Reply]

    @Alison (#142): There is another reason than just a curfew, the car is too small though seats can go down to the point that it would help one sleep.

  168. Der Schnärkïnätör mit Ümläütën!
    January 11th, 2014 at 1:05 am [Reply]

    RMMD – Ahhhh, they’ve done such a great job raising their HELL SPAWN!

  169. Alison
    January 11th, 2014 at 1:43 am [Reply]

    @Jessy S. (#166):
    I know she’s not supposed to be an artist*, I just figured giving her a talent could have been something to focus on instead of this non-relationship with Quill. Any talent would do. Wasn’t Luann supposed to be seriously interested in acting at one point? I remember a really short arc in which she wanted to go to professional acting school. This was dropped after about a week though, cuz her dad said it would cost too much.

    *Although she probably spends her spare time scribbling out hundreds of pictures of stick figures getting married, labelling them “ME” and “QUILL”.

  170. Jessy S.
    January 11th, 2014 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#169): It is also possible that Greg and Karen are throwing us for a loop and the only problem was that the car’s heater was turned up to max heat. As for Luann’s acting career, it is very likely that she will audition for a role in the university’s next production and beat out Tiffany for the lead actress role. After all, she needs to keep tabs on her enemy.

    January 12th, 2014 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    —A3G- This is the setup to a lesbian porno, is it not? Granted since Margo is involved it’ll be a dominatrix lesbian porno. But still one nonetheless.—-

    The fact that there is not an Apt 3G Porno Parody is one of the great crimes in the world.

    I’m pretty sure everyone on this board could think of the perfect porno cast for the 3 girls.

  172. Lurker111
    January 16th, 2014 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    The last panel of the Mary Worth, 1/10/14, comic looks like the calamari is taking revenge.

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