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Brittania rules the disease-ridden waves

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/3/09

So, obviously, the current Rex Morgan, M.D., storyline became boring to me once it stopped being about hot barely closeted nautical action and instead turned into something about, I dunno, medicine-y stuff. Still, I am charmed by this old Mrs. Dunsmore, who is apparently British, and her imperial nostalgia. “Yes, if there’s one group that knows how to run a quarantine, it’s the Brits! Comes from being an island people, you see. We’ll be kept just off shore by polite and heavily armed guards, and occasionally be airlifted crates of digestive biscuits and blood pudding to eat; if the virus rages out of control, of course, they’ll just set the boat on fire with all of us still on it, nodding their heads sagely as we scream for mercy and saying ‘Bit of a sticky wicket, eh wot? Still, had to be done, I suppose. Say, d’you think we have time to catch the Test Match?’”

Pluggers, 3/3/09

Though pluggers are incapable of adequately planning ahead for retirement, their suicide preparations are remarkably meticulous.

Family Circus, 3/3/09


215 responses to “Brittania rules the disease-ridden waves”

  1. True Fable
    March 3rd, 2009 at 4:15 am [Reply]

    Britain tries to reclaim its former glory by claiming the back of June’s skull in the name of the Queen.

    That, or she’s the pin-up girl for Easter Island.

  2. Mr. O'Malley
    March 3rd, 2009 at 4:20 am [Reply]

    Podcast of an interview with cartoonist Lynda Barry can be found at

  3. Wangdoodle
    March 3rd, 2009 at 4:24 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Deathbed confessions do not work that way. You don’t make your confession on the deathbed of your unwitting victim, making her final moments miserable just to lighten your own burden. Congratulations: Crankshaft’s in the hallway, snarfing up Lucy’s chocolates, and you just made him the second most disgusting character in the strip.

    Blondie: Why are you whispering? Does Dagwood fly into violent rages that we’re unaware of?

    Curtis: Ah, but you got away from the Dobermans. So we all lost today.

    Get Fuzzy: It takes a completely ignorant asswipe with more knowledge of stereotypes than history to write a strip like this. Congrats, Darb.

    MT: FATALITY! Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease

    Rubes: I don’t miss The Far Side so much that I want to see it recycled by a talentless halfwit. But thanks anyway.


  4. Will
    March 3rd, 2009 at 4:32 am [Reply]

    #3 – don’t you mean that a podcast of an interview with cartoonist Lynda Barry can be found on the internet?

  5. Mibbitmaker
    March 3rd, 2009 at 4:46 am [Reply]

    It’s too late now to attempt reposting for the 1st time ever, so ~

    I’m at Y-thread #33

    (some days it just doesn’t pay to not get to bed yet!)

  6. Mr. O'Malley
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:03 am [Reply]

    4. Will. I’m getting worried that Google may be wearing out, so I’m trying to prevent fans of Ernie Pook’s Comeek putting too much strain on it.

  7. Sheila Sternwell
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:26 am [Reply]

    MW: Un poeme:

    Because you’re my queen
    The woman I adore
    Come on and measure me
    I’m 20 inches long.


  8. Kav
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:59 am [Reply]

    It’s black pudding, not blood pudding. Sheesh!

  9. late2theparty
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:05 am [Reply]

    I can’t believe any self-respecting plugger would shower every night before bed, unless “shower” is a euphemism for “masturbate to kangaroo porn.”

  10. Danny Lilithborne
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:23 am [Reply]

    Doesn’t “retirement” actually assume past work?

  11. cj
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:37 am [Reply]

    No, no, no, Josh – you’ve got it all wrong. The plugging lifestyle is the suicide method! Instead of a quick .45 to the temple or an extension cord noose, Mr. Rhino prefers the slow poison of underpaid drudgery plus deaf ear to doctorly advice about diet and exercise.

  12. gleeb
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:01 am [Reply]

    A 3-G: Yeah, that Lu Ann would be the best of your children when you belittle her is a bit odd.

    ‘shaft: She didn’t really do anything. She’s just jealous that Lucy’s escaping life in Cancerdeathville first.

    ‘bean: She secretly likes the stalking. New low, Batiuk, new low.

    Luann: Restaurans are a money pit for people who don’t know the business. This guy’s as broke as Ted Confey, isn’t he?

  13. Jack Parsons
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:21 am [Reply]

    Brenda Starr today.


  14. Saluki
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:30 am [Reply]

    #3 Wangdoodle: Um, When was the last time that France won a war without the US being on it’s side? I’m just saying.

    Darby may be all the things you suggest but I think he got the history right.

  15. Saluki
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Good news: In today’s Gil Thorp we get some girl on girl contact.

    Bad news: It’s of the cupping the underarm variety.

  16. Big Thyme
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    DT: So, that really was the complete ending of the previous storyline? Mmmmm-hmmmmm. And now we’re going to get a heaping helping of outdated 1940s style comic relief with Gravel Gertie and B. O. Plenty. Watch out Gasoline Alley, Dick Tracy’s muscling back onto your loathsome turf!

    FW: Oh god, not a deathbed confession on top of everything else Batiuk has heaped onto this sequence of clinical depression.

    MW: I can see why no one has said those words to you before. What is that lavender thing around your neck?

  17. Wangdoodle
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    Saluki @ 14: The whole “French are pussies” nonsense started with World War II, when France’s government (still reeling from WWI) surrendered to the Nazi invasion. However, the French Resistance was vital to Allied victory. That’s historical fact.

    Darb’s trading in retarded stereotypes lately because he’s lazy, he’s jumped the shark, and he’s not particularly bright. (I’d love to see him in a face-to-face conversation with a person of Italian or French descent. Or does he just assume they live on another planet?) Still, if it makes you feel manly, you’re free to curl up with him. I’m just sayin’.

    (By the way, how’s America’s post-WWII war record? We’re pretty good at knocking over tiny countries devastated by long embargoes…)

  18. Little Guy
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:16 am [Reply]

    Candorville: The stupid is spreading.

    WyH: I hope this wasn’t a setup to work the strip’s name into dialog.

    JP: “….and she wants to take you down to the Special Rumpus Room. Where we get the ice for the drinks.”

    Spidey: It’s Lamp Gal!

    Curtis: Does Michelle also have firefighters with waterhoses to guard?

  19. Penny
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:26 am [Reply]

    To add to a bit to the liberal anti-France-bashing thing Wangdoodle is doing so well:

    The biggest ‘French are pussies’ argument seems to be the fact they surrendered to the Germans in WWII.
    But so did Norway (and the Netherlands, and Austria really early on, and some other places). So I honestly don’t understand why you guys keep bashing the French over it.

    My best guesses are (a) This comes up whenever France, who still tries to be a world power, opposes to the views and/or actions of the US. (b) This might go back to stereotypes borrowed from the British, stemming from the very long mutual rivalry between the two peoples.

  20. Death to the FOOBS!
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    Wangdoodle, etc. I tend to agree; the notion of juding “a people” is really a function of time scale: the Italians/Romans ran a pretty successful empire and had a fearsome military; long time ago, though.

    The French, lest we forget, really were crucial in ensuring the Revolution succeeded and their navy, at the time, was among the best in the world. However, their reputation for Epicurean excellence in food, wine, art, l’amour, etc. has caused great unhappiness in this sever, self-denying flinty-eyed Yankee nation.

    Don’t even start, additionally, with the Chinese and their vast influence. Heck, even Holland and Spain had legitimate World Champ claims…the US has had a Beautiful Ride, but the train may be coming into the station…

  21. Captain Insano
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    Possible Captions for Today’s Family Circus

    1. You’re right, Mommy. PJ is a sh*t-eating dog.

    2. Pull my finger, you little bastard. Don’t bite it.

    3. Quiet on the set! Little Boys with Big Toys 2: Return of the Giant Dong take one.

    4. This is how Daddy massages my jaw before our special times together.

    5. Billy, Dolly! PJ has no gag reflex! Get over here, quick!!

  22. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    I wish I could watch MT panel 2 on slow-mo loop all freakin’ day.

  23. temujin
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    “‘Bit of a sticky wicket, eh wot? Still, had to be done, I suppose. Say, d’you think we have time to catch the Test Match?’”

    ‘Fraid not. It ended yesterday. High scoring draw.

    Ack, can’t be flippant as I’d planned. It’s a sad day for cricket.

  24. Patrick
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    Even Pluggers suffering from debilitating OCD are horrendously dull.

  25. Weaselboy
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    Blondie: From the looks of his girlfriend, I’d say Alexander has some unresolved mommy issues.

  26. nerowolfgal
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    WHAT!! Josh didn’t feature Mark Trail?? The one with the hot deer on man action? The action that we have been waiting for for weeks? The actual moment of Bucky’s Revenge? The one that takes place in the “forest” where there are no trees?

    Well, I guess not. There was not enough blood, and knowing MT, there won’t be. BUT if the weepy blonde decided to go back to the abusing asshole because Bucky (sorta) stuck an antler into him, I shall be very very angry. In fact the “it’s alright to hit women when your business is having a down time” plot line has generally made me furious.

  27. Whippersnapper
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    Hooray, I’m on the float! Nut Boys for everyone!

  28. buckyswife
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Blondie: That second panel is kinda tragic, as the whole family waits eagerly for the patriarch to stop cramming food into his pie-hole and actually acknowledge their existence.

    Curtis: Where did Curtis learn to order around women that way? Certainly not from his mom…. Must be that “rap” music.

    BB: You know, here in DC we have lots of cool statues: we have Lincoln, and Jefferson, and even Einstein and George Mason sitting on benches, plus a whole bunch of generals. We don’t need to borrow our statues from France, not even for a lame joke.

    MW: I call you Queenie because your face reminds me so much of the shih-tzu I used to have–that squished-in face, those dumb, staring eyes, the black lips, and most of all, those tiny, sharp teeth.

    MT: Okay, where’s the blood dripping from Bucky’s antlers? And the intestines? I was hoping for intestines! Elrod, I demand satisfaction!

  29. What's this, eh?
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    #1: That’s “in the name of the Queenie”.

  30. Mr. Jones
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    Plugger retirement plan: passing away in their sleep due to an internal rupture caused by massive colonic blockage.

  31. UncleJeff
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    MT: Don’t worry about Ken. He’s protected by his magic leisure suit.
    FW: Nice smirks. Oh, the language that could be substituted in the balloons about Creepy Les.
    PBS: Ninja crocs! Cool.

  32. nerowolfgal
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    Oh don’t forget the head wobble in 3GA. Luanne is “almost” aware she is being insulted by her father.

  33. Dragon of Life
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    Possible conclusions from today’s FC:

    1. PJ is as tall as Jeffy were they standing directly side-by-side.

    2. PJ has no feet.

    I’m favoring option 1, actually, as an overnight mutation would explain the squinty eyes that failed to re-proportion themselves, the thuggish demeanor and loutish expression that accompany the surging cocktail of defective hormones and testosterone rushing through his veins, and the fist precisely cocked for the impending mother-of-all-gut-punches.

  34. buckyswife
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    33 Dragon of Life: And PJ has no forehead. I was going to wonder what kept his brains in, but then I remembered, this is the Family Circus of Melonheads were talking about–what brains?

  35. sugarpie
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    Crankshft Unbelievable! I had truly thought this poor woman’s suffering was just about over. Batiuk, you are master of all comic page evils. Whereas La Worth, Ziggy and 9CL have made me wince and squirm, you sir have crossed a line.

    The bitterest pill of this nasty story is that The American Alzheimer’s Association is probably falling all over themselves trying to think of some appropriate recognition for this “brave catoonist and his sympathetic rendering of this tragic disease.”


  36. Charlie
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    Last day to vote in the Oregonian’s survey…please give Judge Parker at least one “favorite” vote. Or vote your preference. My hope is that maybe they will bring JP back from the Classified ads. Burying Barreto’s work in the classified ads is just a waste. Thanks.


  37. Lael
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Today’s Wizard of Id: Not only is it not funny that an executioner’s children would either also be executioners as adults or that they would be forced as children to wear an executioner’s outfit for no reason, it is insane that an executioner would show someone he was about to behead a photo of his kids, especially set in a time when he would not even have a photo. Anachronism is one thing, but if photography exists, execute the guy more humanely. Aside from the axe and tight ropes, being forced to look at the man who is going to kill you’s hideous and shameful children just amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. What an awful set up for a not funny gag.

  38. Esther Blodgett
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    Gosh, folks seem to be taking their curmudgeoning a wee bit seriously this morning. Think I’ll go hang out with my new Facebook friend Ted for a while. He treats me like a queen, you know.

  39. Donutzilla
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    9CL: At first I thought this was a black hole of geekyness, but then I realized these aren’t 20-year-olds. Despite the blowjob in the closet before the cello throw-down, these two are incredibly old farts!

  40. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    I want to defend today’s Get Fuzzy. Bucky the cat is an established character – a reactionary, small-minded idiot. And the French national anthem is incredibly violent. Doesn’t it end with something about watering their crops with the blood of their enemies?

    Bucky thinks they couldn’t fight off an American invasion. I think they could, but even more I think it would be improbable that we would go and invade our European allies. The “they hate us over there” meme, alas, survives.

  41. Hibbleton
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    Why, at the end of most every Pluggers caption, does adding the words “and then you die” seem so appropriate.

  42. Dingo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    So, there I was last night in the time between dinner and masturbation and I decided to turn on The Bachelor: After the Rose mainly because it was such a gawdawful title for a show I half-expected Eve Plumb to show up on the arm of Ted McGinley. The bachelor, a man who seems to exist on nothing but champagne and stank kisses, was crying into his hands (HA!) because he had chosen the wrong woman and wanted to rechoose the last skank to be shown to the limo before the series ended. First they brought out the woman who had won his heart and briny penis so that he could von Trapp children her. Since he’d already had his first taste of champagne, he went straight for the goodbye-farewell bit. Then they brought out skank-in-waiting. She pined about him like a 14-year-old Catholic girl in 1998 for Lance Bass. The bachelor came back out on stage and did everything short of waving his hairy testicles in her face and shouting, “Take me! Take me! Take me!” And… I suddenly realized what I was watching. It was Vera, Dawn, and Drew! I began shouting at the host, “Send him to Viet Nam! The Peace Village! Send him to Nam!” Thankfully, my neighbors were either not at home or were already Nyquiled for the evening.

    And now, today, we have “Because you’re my queen… the woman I adore… a goddess on a pedestal…” I believe that in their off-time, Moy & Giella are writers for The Bachelor. The writing is exactly the same! No actual man would ever — EVER! — utter a phrase like that to a woman unless he thought it would get him a blowjob. Since they’re standing outdoors in front of a jewelry store, that doesn’t seem plausible.

    I’m just waiting for Adrian to remove her purple scarf and display to Ted her very prominent Adam’s apple.

  43. Alan's Addiction
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    I salute Rex Morgan’s continued commitment to unsettling angles and disturbing close-ups. Today, we’re treated to seeing June’s head bigger than God ever intended (it’s best viewed at “postage stamp size”). We also get a disquieting close-up side-view of some British granny’s schnoz and iris. Thanks, I always wondered what noses and eyes would look like if they were larger than life and bore no actual resemblance to noses and eyes.

  44. kalki
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    9CL: Fuck you too, Brooke.

    Archie: Archie wouldn’t know fashion if it sat on his face right after a particularly messy trip to the bathroom.

    Blondie: If I were Alexander’s date and saw that every other blonde in the room had double my rack, I think Dagwood not speaking to me would be the least of my insecurities.

    Crank: “I hired this cat to snuff you as soon as I finish this sentence.”

    DTM: “This is porn we’re watching, dear…not a soap opera.”

    CircusJerk: Cue the banjos…”Hey, mom…PJ has a real purty mouth…”

    FW: And Summer sets up Keisha by not divulging the creepy truth about her Dad. It’s like a cellmate not telling the new prison inmate about dropping the soap in the shower. Sodomy will usually result.

    GA: “And he brought his friends, Ben Dover and Heywood Jablowme.”

    Luann: “So, you think I’m funny? You mean the way I talk? Funny how? I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

    “uh, I was talking about the prices…”

    S-M: Should MJ be offended that rape is apparently the furthest thing from these criminals’ minds?

  45. Jeremiah
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    MW – So the coats… I keep waiting for Tim Gunn to show up and publicly berate Ted and Adrian.

    RM – June’s definitely thinking, “Oh God, I’ll be stuck on this godforsaken boat with my smug, closeted husband and my daughter whose head keeps changing size.” If Agnes mentions the rapidly shrinking cache of alcohol, I’m sure that the weekend cliffhanger will feature June flinging herself into the ocean.

    A3G – I think I know why Davey doesn’t phone home.

  46. Islamorada Girl
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    MT: My satisfaction at seeing Bucky gore Wife Beating Ken is
    diminished only by the lack of blood and guts.

  47. Matmaduke
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    @3 Wang, I think it’s more appropriate to say, “FINISH HIM” because that comes first in MORTAL KOMBAT!

  48. vanya
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    Darby is an idiot rehashing mindless conservative tropes. Ask the Algerians if the French are pussies. French soldiers are as vicious and nasty as anyone on the planet.

  49. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    RMMD: After Josh, I can’t really add anything. Still, it’s always edifying to learn more about national stereotypes. So, caning and quarantines are the national pastimes.

    FC: I’m all for PJ biting Jeffy. I like to imagine he’s got a Sunny Baudelaire fang somewhere in there.

    C-Shaft: Smart thinking. Put the confession off until she’s too weak to beat on you.

    JP: “I like her. She protects the people she loves. Mmmm, and she’s got warm hands. Funny how your nipples get hard when your very cold and very hot.”

    MF: “Hey media! Why are you using that positive loaded phrase? You should be using this negative-loaded phrase. Wah!”

    MT: “Cry God for Bucky, England, and Saint George!”

    MC: Kind of reminds me of the NewsRadio episode where Beth invented the word “bitchcakes.” I wonder if it’s an intentional shout-out.

    Archei: Oh dear. It’s painful to watch a gag-computer flopsweat.

    Agnes: Well played, young miss, well played.

    MW: “Oh Ted, your insincere and impersonal flattery makes me all damp down there.”

    GA: Earl Lee Byrd welcomes Slim to Jack Ruby Fantasy Camp.

    OBH: These two are obviously not fans of Dennis Rodman.

    Momma: But that’s the beauty part, Francis. You can pound the pavement all morning with no danger of finding actual work. Especially if you’re completely lacking in skills or native intelligence.

    Lockhorns: “Hey Loretta, someone who’s not us just spoke. Can she do that?”
    “Looks like it, Leroy. Let’s get out of here. She’s creeping me out.”

    A3G: Man, this guy really enjoys being an asshole. Are we sure he’s Luann’s father and not Margo’s?

    BB: So Obama decided to piss of the French by stealing and vandalizing one of their great national artworks? Hell, Bush could have done that.

  50. Dingo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Muffaroo from a few threads back: Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener is, in fact, a male. You can see photos of him on this site occasionally as the model for the Boat Wrestler t-shirt. He’s a little furry bear of a man that sets my heart aflutter. Alas, he has found comfort in the arms of a woman. A woman to whom he is married. As much as I may like to imagine myself as Guido to his Rex Morgan, it is not to be. I am just a swallow, pining for the fjords.

  51. Winky's Spleen
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    The Shaft: Aren’t deathbed confessions traditionally made BY the person on the deathbed, not TO said person? But here we have, “If you’re still somewhere in there, here’s one more massive pang of regret to send you out the door with.”

    The suffering and misery Batiuk delights in dragging his characters through is certainly astonishing. I’ve become convinced he became a cartoonist only because there were no openings in his first choice for a line of work: concentration camp commandant.

  52. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    #42 Dingo,

    You’ve brought the funny again. And you’ve also broached the topic of “Adrian” being a man’s name. The only other putative female I can think of named Adrian was the one played by Talia Shire. And who’s to say she didn’t have a little extra meat on her, something to rock Rocky’s rectum.

  53. Hal Jordan
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    #21 Captain Insano:
    More Possible Captions for Family Circus
    “Mommy, I’ve stopped wiping my boogers on the wall!”
    “Mommy, I found your missing IUD!”
    “Hey everyone, look at how much cat shit I stuffed down PJ’s throat!”
    “Yup, no teeth. Dibs on the mouth!”
    “No teeth, flat head, if only this little fucker turned into a pizza at midnight we could sell his ass on eBay.”

  54. zenvelo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: I don’t think Washington DC has gone green enough to put a windmill on top of the Washington Monument…

  55. mollificent
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    What’s with all the dentist jokes today?

    FOOB: Wow, I didn’t know Seymour Skinner had moved to Canada.

    GA: Speaking of guest appearances, sounds like Dick Tracy is about to show up in Gasoline Alley. Now THERE’S some violent mayhem I can really get behind.

    MW: “Do you know why I call you Queenie?”
    “Uh…because it drives Comics Curmudgeon readers out of their frigging skulls?”
    “Got it in one!”

    I’m just going to come right out and say it. I LOVED today’s Snuffy Smith. Loved it, loved it, LOVED IT. And now, back to our regularly scheduled snarkiness. :)

  56. zenvelo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    So Family Circus is now ripping off YouTube viral videos,

    “PJ, you bit my finger! Ouch, PJ!”

  57. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    Something Positive (and the follow-up) is worth a look today.

  58. ksilver
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    I can’t get over June’s eyes. They’re hypnotic. They’re drawing me in. MUST WEAR FAKE EYELASHES. MUST KILL PRESIDENT REAGAN.

  59. Loopina
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    Baldo: Poor, poor dad. He is completely ignorant of Facebook and other modern intertube scenes. His knowledge of the subject came to a dead stop in 1993, so he now imagines his son is trolling for spankings on alt.fetish.injury.

    Archie: No wonder he’s speechless – her dress is covered with swear words! Saturn!

  60. Li’l Bunnë FooFoo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    Re: Get Fuzzy and France-bashing
    Les of the Jungle Patrol, I could go with your defense if this were new for Conley. Unfortunately, the occasional cheap shot at France has been a part of the strip from the beginning, and it’s not always Bucky. Sometimes it’s the sweet, ingenuous Satchel, smiling and referring to France’s tendency to surrender and Germans’ tendency to go on vacation.

    Not all of his crude, broad swipes at Europe are off base: for example, Germans get much more vacation time than Americans. (So do most Europeans.) And strikes are pretty common in Italy (and France); I’ve twice had travel plans disrupted by actions in Italy and France. There are many ways to tease countries, and you can do it with love or at least respect. But the whole “the French are surrender monkeys” thing is a cheap shot not worthy of Darby Conley’s generally very good strip.

    (Though the strip sure was a lot better in the early years. I don’t know if I’d say “jumped the shark”, but the shark is in view.)

  61. Carlo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    Looks like the cheese-eating surrender monkeys got up on the wrong side of the bidet.

  62. buckyswife
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    59 Loopina–The dad’s ignorant? Baldo’s the one holding an actual photo album, saying he’s going to put it on Facebook–prompting visions of Baldo placing the album on the computer and wondering why his whacky pix aren’t on the screen. Or, better, inserting individual photos into the floppy drive….

  63. Loopina
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    #62 – It could be worse. If this were Pluggers, the caption would be “The Plugger Facebook”.

  64. Phred22
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    In spite of Beetle’s daily strips being printed in color for years, Mort’s still trying to counter all the anachronism charges with ‘black-and-white’ thinking.

  65. Perky Bird
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: OK, I can handle that President Obama has placed a laptop-reading knock-off of The Thinker somewhere in DC. I can also handle the fact that he appears to have allowed the Dutch to build a new embassy in the shape of a giant windmill. But I cannot accept that he has removed the Statue of Freedom from atop the Capitol and replaced it with a statue of Rocky Balboa!

  66. Dingo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    The Plugger Facebook would be photos taped to a refrigerator door.

  67. Joe Blevins
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    FC: PJ’s continued passivity continues to delight me. We’ve seen before that he will readily submit to the merest whims of any of his siblings, and he reaches a new zenith/nadir of dead-eyed stupefaction here. “Hey, PJ, open your mouth! I’m gonna put my finger in it!” “Dahhh, okay.”

    JP: Does Missus Biddlecomb or whatever have some sort of disfiguring goiter? I ask because June is doing that looking-at-a-person-without-really-looking-at-them move. She seems to be thinking, “The hat, June! Concentrate on that big lavender hat! Eyes always on the hat!”

  68. papa zita
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Damn, girl! Of all my useless spawn, you’re the least useless of the lot!

    MW: Unbeknownst to Adrian, Queenie was Ted’s childhood mutt, which he tortured to death for fun.

    Rex Morgan, Pestilent: “This the the cruise ship Demeter, requesting clearance to dock”.

    9CL: Oh, Amos! You got me the extremely rare Hello Kitty Ben Wa balls! How romantic!

    cont’d: Isn’t it creepy that the two most self-absorbed young people in stripdom know a cheap antique toy in such detail? I get the feeling they never thought about anything but themselves and their pleasure.

  69. Tracer Bullet
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    I’m rooting for Ted Confey at this point. I have to respect a man who can get a woman to buy his line of utter bullshit.

  70. commodorejohn
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    A3G – If this storyline consists of nothing but thinly-veiled putdowns of Lu Ann by her father, I could live with that.

    BB – Yes, it’s completely insane, but you have to admit that at least it’s a better pseudo-political comic than Mallard Fillmore.


    DT – I’m not even married, and I know you need more tact with your spouse than that. Wish someone would come along and wipe that self-satisfied grin off his face. Also, if thereferences I’ve seen other ‘Mudges make to these guest characters are any indication, this is going to hurt.

    F- – That is so cool. I know it’s fictional, but dammit, it ought to be real.

    FW – Original dialogue, before Batiuk edited it in post: “Your dad seems like an okay guy.” “Yeah? Just wait until he’s rifling through your underwear drawer at three in the morning.”

    GA – Hello, Another Of The Author’s Random Friends Cameoed In A Distractingly More Realistic Style. Hope you can get out of this hell-hole before too long.

    GT – So armpit buffing is a foul, too? Man, if nothing else, you have to respect the players for being able to remember all these nit-picky little rules.

    JP – Man, Baretto has wormed his way into my brain, and now I can’t help but see that finger-on-glass-rim action in the last panel as being suggestive of…something. Not sure what, but definitely something. You know how in Snow Crash there was an image that could plant a virus in your brain? Yeah, I’m thinking Baretto has that figured out. But it’s a good virus.

    Luann – I’m having a hard time deciding whether this “hur hur he is extremely wealthy” schtick is going to be more or less awful than Luann‘s usual squicky antisexual tension.

    MT – Note to self: being attacked by a deer merely results in getting the wind knocked out of you. Lower precautions accordingly.

    MW – “And by ‘goddess on a pedestal’ I mean I’m going to cast you in bronze and put you up for display like in that one Get Smart episode. You’ll look great alongside my dear departed Lydia! Shall we retreat to my secret lair?”

    SF – Funny, that’s my approach to life exactly.

    SM – Mary-Jane, Mary-Jane, kicks ass better than Spider-Man can…

  71. Perky Bird
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Ted calls Adrian “Queenie” as a not-so-subtle way of saying he’s on to the fact that Adrian is really just a guy in drag.

  72. Winky's Spleen
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    Li’l Bunnë FooFoo #60 – I have seen any number of times where pointing out the amount of vacation time Europeans get is considered a swipe against them. Only, why isn’t it a swipe against us?

    It’s a testament to how thoroughly we’ve swallowed the “rugged individualist” BS that serves as a cover for our country’s robber baron-friendly social policies: “Look at those pansy Europeans with their paid vacations and access to health care. Why, I’ve even heard those lazy limp-wrists can actually afford to retire when they get old, unlike our noble nation of Pluggers…”

  73. bats :[
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    Just in case The Phantom starts getting all boring and stuff…a quick shot (ahem) across the bow:

  74. gnome de blog
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    I hate to say it, but I think we have to score a point for McEldowney on this one.

  75. McManx
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    F Circus — PJ is here after doomed to be a “submissive”.

    M Worth — We often accused “Mary Worth” of being too saccharine; actually today’s panel proves the strip is more like ipecac.

    M Trail — Way to go Bucky!! Give Ken the “antlers o’justice”! Tomorrow’s episode, Patty finds her disemboweled husband; hilarity ensues:
    Patty : “Ken… KEN! What happened to you”
    Ken: “….uh…uh…deer…”
    Patty: “Yes, sweetie?”
    Ken: “…no…deer…”
    Patty: “No, what, sweetie?”
    Ken: “…”
    Mark: “My job is done here.”

  76. kingklash
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Mark Trail brings us ANTLERS OF JUSTICE!
    Or, a tribute to Norman Osborn.

  77. Stroker Ace
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    FC – Jeffy’s left hand is thunder, his clenched right fist is lightning.

  78. sugarpie
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    #38 Esther Blodgett You are too right! I am taking the comics too seriously. I’ve decided to take a week off from them all.

    When I quit smoking it was cold turkey, and that may be best for the comics, too. I’ll report back next Tuesday.

  79. Kate
    March 3rd, 2009 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    mmmm… digestive biscuits…

  80. J.P. Patches
    March 3rd, 2009 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Didn’t this cruise start out with the crew being on strike, the cruise line bankrupt, and the captain steaming out to open sea with ship full of captive customers? I guess they decided that plot line was too stupid and convoluted even by Morgan standards and simply abandoned it halfway through, figuring no one would notice anyway…

  81. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 3rd, 2009 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    I enjoyed the minor revelation in 9CL but I would have enjoyed it a whole hell of a lot more if it had happened some time around late December and all the intermediate ass-dragging tedium had been excised.

  82. kkarenb
    March 3rd, 2009 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    For heaven’s sake, not even Prince Philip calls his significant other Queenie.

    According to the movie The Queen, Philip calls his wife Sausage. This might be a good nickname for Ted to call Adrian, as it could help get him into the proper frame of mind for disposing of her body.

  83. Sarah
    March 3rd, 2009 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    A3G: So, is the recession finally going to force Margo and LuAnn out of the art business? Or will LuAnn’s dull work be the voice for an era of economic troubles? Or will they just remain in their anachronistic 50s/60s world, content to sell generic nature prints to motels, hospitals, and old ladies? I can’t wait to find out!

  84. Calico
    March 3rd, 2009 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    Mmmmmmm…Digestive biscuits:

  85. TruthOfAngels
    March 3rd, 2009 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    Isn’t it about time Mr and Mrs Keane sold Jeffy to a travelling pedlar?

  86. Uncle Lumpy
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    Rex Morgan — All this talk of British naval discipline has Rex dreaming of rum, sodomy, and the lash.

  87. queek
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    ah yes, one of the first signs of spring: Janis thinking about her gardening.

    MG&Groan. I laughed. nice artwork for once, as well.

    amazing how much better Zits covered the same ground as Maintaining did.

    PBS: saw it coming, still laughing.

    On Earth-Cinemax, today’s FW would be in the shower, not the lockers. JP, of course, is from Earth-Cinemax.

  88. Muffaroo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    FCircus – “Good teeth on this one! How much?”

    GAlley – Keep him away from your worm, Slim!

    Ziggy & Jamaal – What were those first three panels for? Suspense?

    MFmore – Oh, I think I get it: Obama BAD. But just in case, feel free to take the rest of the week.

    Mduke – “Wait him out, Marm! By this time next year, there won’t be any newspapers at all!”

    MWorth – Ahh, Adrian! You’re like two TV stars in one! You’ve got Morticia’s hair and Fester’s eyes.

    PCity – It was funnier 42 years ago as one of “MAD’s Mischief Stickers.”

    RwOrange – Damnit! Stole my “cordless sprinkler” idea.

    SFox – Snakey, seeing Tex’s wide stance and love of hot dogs, is about to get the wrong idea.

    SSmiff – She’s not giving the drippy, bovine, tongue-lolling, happy look, Doc. Time for a consultation with Dr. Moonshine!

    buckyswife @28 – Having seen the reconstructed “Gates of Hell” installation some time back, I can attest that “The Thinker” is nowhere near as big as it’s shown in Beetle Bailey. Therefore, instead of borrowing it from France for a lame joke, it’s much likelier they borrowed it from the old “Dobie Gillis” TV show for a lame joke.

    Dingo @50 – Correction accepted and filed. ‘Scuse me, Gadge!

  89. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    #72 Winky’s Spleen: Well said!

  90. Bootsy
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    # 78, sugarpie, you’re about a week late to take time off from the seriousness of life. I did so last week, because as you well know, we call it Mardi Gras.

    All the COTW float riders, congratulations! Don’t throw anything at me please (unless it’s O Poteet with chocolate); I just got finished dodging beads flung at me.

  91. Foolster41
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Not sure if someone’s already mentioned it, but did you see today and yesterday’s PVP. scott Kurtz did a watchman/syndicated comic spoof.

  92. SatansParakeet
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    “A dog can’t get on the island without being quarantined,” unlike the people who are free to come and go on any passing cruise ship as they please. If the quarantine enforcers are anything like the ticket takers on this cruise ship of doom you can expect an army of disease ridden children to burst forth and infect Barbados as soon as land is sighted.

  93. Poteet
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    # 3 Wangdoodle — Thank you. Well said. Someone made that same point to Scarlett O’Hara (in the novel, anyway), and even she took heed. To me it seems like basic common sense, and this isn’t the first time Batiuk strips have been short of it.

  94. Poteet
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    MW — Adrian, when a man hails you as “a goddess on a pedestal,” it’s time to start edging carefully away. Unless he’s True Fable.

  95. Bootsy
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    Poteet, I thought you were his queen. What Adrian needs to look out for is the Ninja goats!

  96. Poteet
    March 3rd, 2009 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    # 90 Bootsy — Thank you. Here’s chocolate, flying your way! But carefully aimed not to hit you:-).

    GF — From the discussion on this thread, I take it that Bucky, Satchel, and Rob have still not left the apartment. GF, I don’t miss you.

  97. Dingle Dongle
    March 3rd, 2009 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Why does a teenager who “owns a restaurant” (don’t get me into the legal issues there) go to a public school?

  98. Dingo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    Dingle Dongle, why does a teenager who owns a restaurant and looks like his idea of romance would be “I’m gonna ram you in the pooter” find Luann so hot? This kid should have cougars all over him.

  99. Dingle Dongle
    March 3rd, 2009 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Dingo – Yeah you are right. Personally I think that kid is going to send a guy out with crowbar to “take care” of Gunter. I’d put in some extra Hong Kong dollars for TJ to be in that boat too.

  100. Donald The Anarchist
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    RMMD Seriously, is it that much trouble to make the lips at least pink instead of peach colored? And they’re so nicely shaped, too…

    Pluggers I thought rhinos had little birds who perched on them and kept the insects away. Maybe this guy would be happier if he got his bird back. And stopped wearing those ridiculous boxers…

    FC Once Thel weaned PJ, after six weeks of breast-feeding, she couldn’t be bothered to check for things like new teeth or measles. Thank God Jeffy took on the responsibility.

  101. Dingo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    Next week in the comics, Salma Hayek stops by to see that PJ is not being thoroughly nourished and offers him her breast on which to feast. Then, Salma flies to the Caribbean where she finds a boatload of passengers without food, drink or alcohol. She offers June Morgan her breast on which to feast and amateur pornographers worldwide download the video allowing the cruise line to pay everyone on staff. Later, Miss Hayek flies to South Dakota where she finds a family attempting to survive on chicken and biscuits, a high-fat and high-sodium concoction. She offers Luann and Luann’s daddy her breasts on which to feast, causing a wandering cow to go blind. All very Grapes of Wrath.

  102. Mr. O'Malley
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    This links two of today’s comics together.

    Does Washington really have a Thinker by the side of some steps? The link above was about all I found. (I haven’t been anywhere near DC since fourth grade.)

    Ours has a much nicer setting.

  103. the good ship thetis
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    #60, 61, etc — I once asked one of my Mexican students what Cinco De Mayo was in honor of. He replied “It’s the day we kicked France’s ass!”
    So, yes, the French have been beaten by countries other than Germany.
    Incidentally, I replied “Oh, come on, who hasn’t done that?”
    A cheap swipe, but when you teach middle school you take what you can get.

  104. Roger
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: I didn’t really need to see that old lady’s eyeball from three millimeters away.

  105. buckyswife
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    102 Mr. O’Malley–I love that statue (the rabbit/thinker); it’s in the National Gallery’s sculpture garden, which is filled with wonderful contemporary work. Had that one been used in BB, I would have been impressed.

  106. True Fable
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    # 95 Bootsy – And I would never ever dream of calling Her Majesty O Poteet by the disgraceful pet name, “Queenie”! It smacks of presumption and personal space violation.

    And it sounds like Dondi’s dog. ‘Nuff said. :)

  107. Ginger Yellow
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    I don’t think Mrs Dunsmore quite understands how the Commonwealth works. Are Nigeria and India renowned for their strict anti-rabies policies?

  108. Black Drazon
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    “Let’s see… I’ve locked up my teeth, wound up the front door and showered my clock….”

    Caption: Pluggers don’t need no stinking pills.

  109. Bootsy
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    106, Truman – true dat. If anyone called me Queenie, I’d punch ‘em in the throat. You are way too nice for that.

  110. Comarde Denny
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    #66 Dingo … The Plugger Facebook would be a scrapbook of the leathered faces of the people’s he’s killed. Wait, that’s Dick Tracy’s Facebook.

    BB: Why is there a wind turbine atop the Washington Monument? Is that part of the gag? (I mean the joke, not my reaction to it.)

    JP: April’s secret, sultry smile and subconscious fondling of her Champagne glass reveals the only thing Katherine “sized up” was her willingness to receive a Shocker. Not that one. This one.

    MT: DAMN! Bucky knocked that Jack Elrod ball right off Ken’s jacket! That’s even harder to do than punching off someone’s facial hair!

    Phantom: Sure, taking your kids to Devil’s Reef to meet the Deep Ones is one way of alleviating your kids’ boredom. But are you sure it’s not your own boredom you’re really trying to cure, O Ghost?

  111. Spunky N. Tadpole
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    BB: #102, #105:
    AFAICR, there is no large model of “The Thinker” in Washington, DC: My guess is that the Walkers just wanted to insert a (labored) “up-to-date” joke in the strip, and figured the Thinker-with-a-laptop (itself an old wheeze c. 1996) would be something most readers would recognize. And what IS that supposed to be on top of the Capitol? On my monitor it looks like a cell-phone tower. Or a fountain: possibly from a urinal.

  112. markytom
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    MT: What happened to the rocks and logs and trees from yesterday? I’m new to this site and MW, MT, etc. – don’t the artists remember what they drew for the day before? MW – the curtains continually disappearing and reappearing (among all the other restaurant weirdness) was quite bizarre.

  113. Islamorada Girl
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    112: Markytom: Continuity? You want continuity in these strips?
    Ha, ha, ha, ha. . . Dream on, my friend, dream on.

  114. Duckman30
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    MT – I’ve figured it out: The detailed information about nature included each week in the Sunday strip is to make up for the completely implausible interactions with wild and semi-wild animals that regularly occur the rest of the time. At this point I wouldn’t be shocked to see Andy come charging out of the woods with a monkey in a sheriff’s outfit on his back in order to apprehend Bucky for reckless panicky fleeing in a forest zone.

  115. teddytoad
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    “A dog can’t get on the island without being quarantined!”

    I bet Andy could, British commonwealth be damned. He can untie knots with his lips, people! No one expects that!

    Oh, and June Morgan IS the missing Olsen triplet in panel 2.

  116. Cathymw
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    MT: You know, if Ken doesn’t die from this attack, I strongly suspect this will not add to his fond feelings for Bucky.

  117. gnome de blog
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    I say they’re setting up LuAnn to take over the ranch and getting out of New York permanent. And retiring Tommie from long-term spinsterhood. Which would leave Margo to chew through a series of unsuspecting ingenue roommates, and spitting them out into the bowels of Manhattan. Sort of like Mary Worth in reverse.

  118. seismic-2
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    9CL: So there’s a secret inside the 1946 Captain Midnight Message ring, but ever since they came to Brussels, it hasn’t been a secret. Still, it would be nice to read it, to learn what the 1946 word for “total dork” was.

    Blondie: That pony-tail on Alexander’s date, could it be… Yes, it is! See, Lynn, hanging out with these losers chez Bumstead is what your life comes to after it has been eviscerated by Mary Worth.

    DT: An unfortunate ambiguity in the English language is that contraction ‘s can indicate possession or it can form a simple declarative sentence. Because the narration box in panel one says simply “Tracy’s home,” we do not know whether this means “This scene takes place in the home of Dick Tracy” or “Dick Tracy has arrived in this scene.” Of course, either way we’re screwed.

    BB: Actually, if Barack Obama had been responsible for the change, the status would be contemplating a Blackberry. Since it’s a laptop, it must have been the doings of Al Gore. And speaking of Gore, how about young Bucky in today’s MT!!!

    JP: Why did Katherine have to get April alone to “size her up”? As soon as she walked in the door, everyone in the room thought “35-DD!!!”

  119. Charterstoned
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    MT – Lucky for Ken he’s wearing his Gore-Tex jacket.

  120. Lark
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:39 pm [Reply]

    …while the rest of us revel in Ireland’s defeat of the evil empire. ERIN GO BRAGH, ASSHOLES!!!

    oh yeh, this is the US where nobody gives a shit about rugby. oh well. i bet Dunsmore would accept a duel to the death.

  121. Grandstanding Oddball
    March 3rd, 2009 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    #107 – Not that you were really asking, but it does tend to be only island nations or states that are prickly about rabies, since it’s not endemic to their ecosystem. When I brought my dogs back to China to the US, I didn’t have to quarantine them – both the US and China have rabies as an endemic disease. I still had to have all their shots and paperwork, but no quarantine. Whereas when I was planning to move to England, I had to prepare to set them up in a boarding facility for 6 months. Luckily, I decided against the move.

    The same is true for Australia (commonwealth) and Hawaii (not commonwealth, unless we haven’t been paying attention). I wonder about Cuba…

  122. Tlachtga
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:00 pm [Reply]

    9CL: OK, seriously–how old is Edda? Isn’t she supposed to be 20? I’m a month from 30, and while I do have a fondness for Jack Benny (long story–I have old parents), I don’t fantasize that my husband is Humphrey Bogart, or get excited about secret decoder rings from 1940s radio shows–yes, you can buy one on eBay, but that’s not the point. These characters are so damned unbelievable, so beyond pretentious, that I damn near broke my laptop twice now just this week. It’s not that I don’t know any young person with some sort of interest in old pop culture–1950s pinups or old movies on TCM or old mystery novels, etc.–but it’s not even presented believably here. Edda doesn’t act young–unless Brooke had confused “bitchy” with “young”, and Amos looks bloody 50! (Unless he is supposed to be, and then … *shudder*) Who is supposed to read this strip and identify in any way with these characters?! Oh My God, at least Pluggers exhibit behavior I’ve actually seen in real life and appropriate to age! Not admirable behavior, certainly depressing behavior, but real nonetheless!


    Ahem. sorry. Time to go read A3G.

    Oh what the hell, Lu Ann! Can’t you just feed your father to Margo?

  123. Poteet
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    # 106 Sir Fable MTK — Thank you. Your noble gentility is appreciated, as always. And in return, I promise never to call you “Knighty.” *shudder*

    # 109 Bootsy — Yeah, what you said. If I could stand to think about it, I’d wonder what kind of bizarre personal history would cause Adrian to think “Queenie Goddess” Ted is her dream dude.

  124. Donkey Hotey
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    Get Fuzzy: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Deep breaths. Bucky Katt has always been ill-informed, bad-tempered, and a complete misogynist. His anti-French-ness is completely in character. I don’t think it’s ever reasonable to assume the words a cartoonist puts in his character’s mouths are a reflection of his own points of view.

    Except Lynn Johnston.

  125. Charlene
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:19 pm [Reply]

    107, I think she’s confused the Commonwealth of Nations with the United Kingdom, but even that doesn’t make sense: since when does the UK “rule” the Commonwealth?

  126. Frank Parsnip
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    Wangdoodle: Sure the Germans steamrollered all sorts of countries at the same time they beat France, but the courage of the Resistance fighters was more than matched by the bootlickability of the Vichy puppet goverment and their enthusiastic willingness to ship off Frances’ jewish population to extermination camps. Yes, there were brave French men and women of that time, but if you want an ally who gave it their all, that would be the USSR, who lost some 23 million of its people in the struggle against Hitler. So what would a cartoonist do when faced with a Frenchman or Italian with revisionist notions of their own countries’ contributions to modern military history? Well, I guess he’d have to laugh.

  127. Saluki
    March 3rd, 2009 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    For the record here is a brief history of French military involvement:

    - Gallic Wars
    - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian. [Or at ths time in history, a Roman -ed.]

    - Hundred Years War
    - Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; “France’s armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman.” Sainted.

    - Italian Wars
    - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

    - Wars of Religion
    - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

    - Thirty Years War
    - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

    - War of Revolution
    - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

    - The Dutch War
    - Tied

    - War of the Augsburg League/King William’s War/French and Indian War
    - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Francophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

    - War of the Spanish Succession
    - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

    - American Revolution
    - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as “de Gaulle Syndrome”, and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; “France only wins when America does most of the fighting.”

    - French Revolution
    - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

    - The Napoleonic Wars
    - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

    - The Franco-Prussian War
    - Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France’s ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

    - World War I
    - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States [Entering the war late -ed.]. Thousands of French women find out what it’s like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn’t call her “Fraulein.” Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

    - World War II
    - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

    - War in Indochina
    - Lost. French forces plead sickness; take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu

    - Algerian Rebellion
    - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; “We can always beat the French.” This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

  128. Jamus The Bartender
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    9CL. A Captain Midnight Decoder Ring. Wow. Amos must love Edda very, very much.
    Archie: Didn’t know Veronica was into Harry Potter.
    FOOB: Wow. For the first time, I honestly don’t know what to say.
    Luann: Okay, I see Luann is gonna need a little help here. Start out with thanking him for the extra money Delta needed to have the president direct her to the ladies can. Secondly, say something about how nice he is and how he’ll find someone someday, but that it ” just isn’t right”. Say something about how ” it’s not you, it’s me”. He probably won’t buy it, but it’ll help with everyone’s dignity. Hopefully, Mom DeGroot has put a can or two of mace in the ol’ purse.
    My Cage: Gorilla Cookies. I like it. I like it a lot.
    Mary Worth: Adrian’s new brokey broke internet boyfriend looks a LOT like Tony Stark from Iron Man. Which is a bad thing, as Tony would wind up in an alley surrounded by broken armor transistors, whiskey bottles, beer cans or a combination of the three.
    JP: Yeah. A calendar for the Ladies Of Judge Parker. Definitely.

  129. Jamus The Bartender
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    122. I was really into the Justice Society Of America when I was in my twenties. Still am. Also liked Abbott and Costello. And Casablanca. So….yeah, I can kinda see it. Edda’s still kind of snooty, though.

  130. Suniverse
    March 3rd, 2009 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    Oh, sweet jesus, i cannot stop laughing at that Family Circus caption. You are a genius. Truly.

    Still snickering.

  131. Brick Bradford
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    Comrade–the Best thing about the Wikipedia link was the sublime phrase, “the unwitting anus”. This could describe every single character who has ever come into contact with Mary Worth, plus most of the cast of Mark Trail. Pure gold.

  132. queek
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:27 pm [Reply]

    darn it. just realized that I forgot one earlier.

    MC: as the kiddies say: “forced meme is forced.”

  133. Mr. O'Malley
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:30 pm [Reply]

    127. Saluki. I think you left out some details.

    Charlemagne extending his rule over most of western Europe.

    Medieval France’s permanent takeover and assimilation of most of the surrounding countries: Aquitaine, Gascony (Angevin Empire), Brittany, Normandy, Burgundy.

    Italian Wars: France gets the Mona Lisa, along with Leonardo to finish touching it up.

    American Revolution: French naval blockade saves American revolutionaries from almost certain defeat by preventing the much stronger British force from resupplying.

    Crimean War: French and British blunder about in the Crimea. French smart enough to avoid involvement in the Charge of the Light Brigade.

    WWI. American forces, arriving a few years late, do almost as much damage to their own side as the Germans do (40% friendly fire casualties). The Germans collapse before most of the American troops arrive.

    Indochina: Americans take over the war to show the French how to do things properly.

    “first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades” — What about the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838–1842), the defeat of the British under Gen. Gordon by the Mahdi in the Sudan in 1885, or the failed British occupation of Mesopotamia in the 1920s?

    The French were unable in the end to maintain a colonial empire, but how does that make them different from any other European country?

  134. Tlachtga
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    129. I’d originally put in my post that I like Jack Benny, so it’s not *weird* per se to be into really old pop culture, but it’s just the way it’s conveyed in the strip–it’s really irritating and doesn’t come off as genuine. I don’t feel like I’m reading a real character. Yeah, lots of comics are like that and it doesn’t bother me, but I guess it’s all the pretense that surrounds 9CL that really bothers me.

  135. Vince M
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    MC: I remember fondly that phrase used by Fred Sanford to Aunt Esther – “I’m gonna press your face in some dough an’ make gorilla cookies!”

  136. Lael
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    I agree with Donkey Hotey, this is in Bucky’s character. The thing that struck me as odd was Rob being the one perpetuating the stereotype. I am sure he has before, but not quite so blatantly. It is usually Satchel or Bucky making the outright France comments.

    Also, if Rob says it, it may be safe to assume that Darby might feel that way. Over the years, and especially around 9/11, there have been a lot of very serious strips with Rob venting what must be Darby’s personal feelings.

  137. Winky's Spleen
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    Donkey Hotey # 124 – I agree that one should especially not assume that Darby subscribes to anything Bucky says. Still, was Bucky always overtly a Republican? That seems like a more recent development, that he started spouting Republican talking points.

    And even though Darby appears to have about the same opinion of that bunch as I do, it seems a little cheap to me: If you’re going to turn your comic strip political, try not to be ham-fisted about making your opponent a crude caricature. Otherwise, you pretty much have a liberal Mallard Fillmore.

    Okay, that’s pretty harsh; let’s say a liberal Prickly City.

  138. Jamus The Bartender
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:06 pm [Reply]

    134. I agree with you. Sadly, i’ve realized that the reason I sort of take to 9CL so well is that a lot of these people remind me of the crowds from my theater days. Some were pretty cool, but most of them remind me of Edda, et al. Thank God for that rack.

  139. Jamus The Bartender
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    135. Well, there it is, then. As ordained by Saint Redd Foxx. Gorilla Cookies for everyone.

  140. Crunchy Frog
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:12 pm [Reply]

    Saluki, thank you! I had been sorta kinda thinking about compiling a similar list, but I sure couldn’t have done such a fine job of it. Love it.

  141. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Divison
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:22 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Because I’m a somewhat recent reader of this strip, I’m not familiar with any past history between Edda and Amos where they have a shared interest in pre-1950 pop culture. Because of that, the last day or two comes off sort of hollow for me.

    What got me interested in the first place was a storyline in which one of the characters (don’t remember anymore who started it first) began by telling someone “I love you” which led to that person saying it to someone who said it to someone etc. I remember liking it because I saw it as romantic and possessing some feeling that you’d never find in a zombie legacy strip.

    Gradually, I began to see the strip as little snippets of beauty in between vast wastelands of squandered opportunity to do something really different and beautiful. Is the purpose of 9CL to show people whose lives are ostensibly about creating beauty to possess the ugliest of souls? If that’s the purpose, then it succeeds all too well. But, I take umbrage at that considering I work in the arts too and know while there are some fairly hideous people out there, not everyone is that way.

    9CL could be this nice fantasy set in a parallel universe where the performing and visual arts are just as popular and highly regarded as sporting events. Instead, we get this mess. When I didn’t know any better, I rooted for Edda and Amos to be romantically paired but having peered into the gaping maw that is Edda’s empty soul, I recoil in horror instead.

  142. aloha_breeze
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:34 pm [Reply]

    Get Fuzzy: Here’s an excerpt from a relatively early (2003) interview with Conley–

    A while back you had some lines in your comics about a French guy, like “I’m sorry, is that your surrendering arm?” You did that a few years before it was so popular to make fun of the French.
    Darby: I actually had to lay off of the French jokes once it got popular to do that. I learned French jokes from Monty Python and I have nothing in particular against the French.

    So I guess the French jokes, ils sont tres populaire encore une fois …

  143. Li’l Bunnë FooFoo
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    Don’t think less of me. I thought today’s 9CL was cute. It almost redeemed the long, clumsy lead-up. And of course, there’s still tomorrow to contend with. But today was cute.

  144. Uncle Lumpy
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    Six months after Fööberdammerüng, 9 Chickweed Lane has become the primo umbrage dump ’round these parts. Why not the other serials: A3G, Mary Worth, Mark Trail, on and on?

    My guess: Johnston and McEldowney succeed in making their characters seem like people. Awful, hateful people, but it’s still an accomplishment.

  145. commodorejohn
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:51 pm [Reply]

    In re: 9CL* and the characters therein – I, too, was initially sucked in by the comparatively stunning art and appearance of intelligence the strip seemed to possess. But what I eventually realized is that Brooke bears the same relationship to actual intellectual, academic types that weeaboos do to genuine manga/anime fans, or that the kid who’s perpetually “going to switch over to Linux” does to real hackers. He sees the genuinely cool people out there (whoever the genuinely cool people in the performing arts are these days,) and he assumes that assuming the trappings of these figures will automatically make him intelligent and cool. He name-drops Casablanca but completely misses the entire point of the movie such that even I, despite having not watched it since my single-digit years, could tell he’d got it wrong. He assumes that referencing ’40s radio serials automatically makes him an iconoclast. He’s like the kid who gets turned on to anime and suddenly can’t shut up about how Akira is vastly superior to the entirety of Western animation, and that he is somehow morally superior to all the unwashed masses for having partaken of it. It’s this pretention and snobbery, more than any plot or character fault in the strip, that makes you just want to drive to Maine solely for the purpose of punching him in the face.

    * May it burn in Hell forever**
    ** Oh no, I’m turning into Angry Kem!

  146. Peter Hillock
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    I teach German for a living, and have good German friends, like the country and how it treats its people, etc.. But nothing pushes my buttons worse than the ‘Ha-ha, cowardly French’ line that we Americans seem to love so much.

    1939. Germany allies with the USSR and attacks Poland. France, really unready to fight, immediately declares war on Germany to honor its obligations even though it knows it could be defeated. The United States generates lots of anti-Nazi Superman comic books, but not only stays officially neutral, it doesn’t even accept extra Jewish refugees even though the Nazi racial laws are public knowledge. Yeah, we’re really in a position to crow about how tough and brave we are. Blecch!

    Mencken got it right back in 1923: “So far as I can make out there is no record in history of any Anglo-Saxon nation entering upon any great war without allies. The French have done it, the Dutch have done it, the Germans have done it, the
    Japs have done it, and even such inferior nations as
    the Danes, the Spaniards, the Boers and the Greeks
    have done it, but never the English or Americans, Can
    you imagine the United States resolutely facing a war
    in which the odds against it were as huge as they were
    against Spain in 1898? The facts of history are wholly
    against any such fancy. The Anglo-Saxon always tries
    to take a gang with him when he goes into battle, and even
    when he has it behind him he is very uneasy, and prone
    to fall into panic at the first threat of genuine danger.”

  147. Tlachtga
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    144. & 145. (and others) Yeah, that’s basically it–both FOOB and 9CL have characters with something strangely realish about them in a way the serials don’t, and when the writing strikes such a sour or hollow note, it bothers me so much more than whatever melodramatic insanity is plaguing Mary Worth, which never feels real (which is part of the fun).

    Yeah–the whole name-dropping aspect towards 1940s culture really grates, and maybe it is a realistic trait of some snotty kid, but that makes me like the character that much less, which isn’t the goal of the writer–McEldowney really wants us to think Edda’s brilliant and wonderful, and instead…

    Edda is Michael Patterson with less gastronomic horror.

  148. Uncle Lumpy
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:17 am [Reply]

    #147 Tlachtga –

    9CL: Realesque!

  149. mollificent
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    #101 Dingo: Screw COTW…that was truly Comment of the Month, at LEAST. :)

    Regarding 9CL:

    #122 Tlachtga: Great post. I feel your pain, sister. (Also very funny).

    #141 Patrick: ANOTHER great post. Well said.

    #145 commodorejohn: Trifecta! I wish I could express myself with the clarity you three commenters have used. I could use that clarity right about now. :)

  150. Jamus The Bartender
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    147. I think the thing that ruined 9CL for me was the time Edda asked Amos to “talk dirtily” to her.

  151. Winky's Spleen
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:29 am [Reply]

    aloha_breeze #142 – What caught my eye about the Darby interview was that it took place in 2003, right when the latest anti-French fad really took off. So what’s changed lately that’s made French-bashing safely un-trendy again in Darby’s book? I’m mostly curious becuase, as can be seen from this thread, it sure looks like it’s still plenty fashionable.

    ANY country has its lovable and unlovable (or admirable and not-at-all-admirable) qualities; it’s all a matter of what one chooses to emphasize.

  152. Madame Incognita
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    Prediction: Although Mr. Dunsmore is the CEO of the cruise line and on the lamb, Mrs. Dunsmore won’t confirm her suspicions over her husband’s illicit activities until after he “falls overboard” and she is kidnapped by Guido, forcing her to hit him on the head with a frying pan in order to escape.

    It’s interesting to note that as Mrs. Dunsmore becomes less of a bitch, the artist draws her more realistically and with fewer evil-looking wrinkles. Mr. Dunsmore, on the other hand, will continue looking like a toad to the point that an Australian passenger will confuse him with a cane toad and beat him over the head with a stick until he explodes.

  153. Tlachtga
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    150. Yeah, nothing says “hot” like “dirtily”.

  154. vanya
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:14 am [Reply]

    # 133 – good start. Saluki’s list is awful history.

    Start with what every English person wants to forget – French soldiers conquered England in 1066 (Battle of Hastings) and created what we now think of as England (as opposed to the land of the Angles and the Saxons). It was the French who were at the vanguard of the Crusades, the French who were the undisputed masters of land warfare between the 17th-18th centuries. You don’t gain a world empire with colonies from Africa to Indochina to South America by being cowardly and afraid of fighting.

  155. True Fable
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:29 am [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane aspires to be the Noel Coward comedy of the comics page. Instead it is becoming the Leonard Part Six of the genre.

  156. True Fable
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:58 am [Reply]

    This in the news:

    GOAT! Goat Beer! What’s truly inspiring is that it’s from the Baltimore Sun’s regular beer columnist. The dude’s job is writing about beer.

    I gotta move to Baltimore. Evidently all the people with the coolest jobs live there.

  157. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:59 am [Reply]

    I’m fascinated by this France discussion. I wish my history classes had been more like this.

    # 141 Patrick — I sympathize, and I know the feeling. This is much more of a stretch, but MT could be a strip set in a parallel universe in which conservation is as popular and highly-regarded as….errrgh. Sorry, mustn’t risk that kind of mental strain again. My head’s about to explode.

  158. True Fable
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    Then again, Wisconsin sounds more hospitable for certain members of my posse.

  159. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    # 156 Sir Fable MTK — Please try to forgive me. I can’t refrain from mentioning that I recently read a news story about how some company in India intends to manufacture a new kind of soft drink out of cow urine. Apparently urine-drinking is more popular in India than in North America.

    Now I’m wondering what the name of the drink will be. I’m so sorry.

  160. papa zita
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    @144, 145, 147 : I’m just eternally thankful that Brooke doesn’t know anything or give a damn about silent or precode cinema. Or foreign cinema for that matter. I just couldn’t take what he’d do to those areas of filmmaking. Just seeing how badly he could misread such an obvious film as Casablanca (Umberto Eco’s essay really nails just how obvious it is) brands him as a twit. I’ve mentioned it in the past, but I still believe Brooke’s a pretentious namedropper, which Tlachtga above put in much better terms than I could.

  161. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:07 am [Reply]

    3/4 DT — I distinctly remember what Gravel Gertie looked like in old DT compilations. And Locher has made her look better.

    This is so wrong.

  162. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:12 am [Reply]

    3/4 CRANKSHAFT — GEEZ, Batiuk. This comes very close to being unforgivable.

    Actually, it is unforgivable.

  163. DanKirby
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    GT: I see Marty Moon finally got his medical degree.

  164. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    3/4 MW — Noooooooo! Don’t do it! There’s still time to cut to a scene of Adrian’s dweeby brother in Viet Nam! Quick! Quick!

  165. papa zita
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    A3G: Ain’t it time you stopped tracking that New York into my house, girl?

    MW: “Queenie, you mean as much to me as that useless piece of carbon in the window. By the way, do you know that the chemicals in your body can be sold for a down payment on that necklace?”

    Rex Morgan, Amateur Cooper: Pruneface missed the obvious – how many coffins are aboard.

  166. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:19 am [Reply]

    MW — And what’s with the cinnamon? Always with the cinnamon! Is cinnamon the Official Condo Color of Santa Royale, or what?

  167. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:24 am [Reply]

    GA — “I feel him.” I feel him??! Readers of GA are going to need a beeeg load of brain bleach tomorrow morning. I need some now.

  168. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:34 am [Reply]

    A3G — So Lu Ann was flown out to South Dakota, courtesy of The Prairie Conservancy, in the dead of winter, so she could stare at the snowdrifts and draw prairie flowers from memory, or books, or the Internet, or her deepest nightmares. And now, before any flowers in SD can actually bloom, she’s almost done. Talk about a worthwhile trip. That Prairie Conservancy sure knows how to allocate its resources.

  169. Donkey Hotey
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    #159 Poteet – “Pepsi.”

  170. True Fable
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:38 am [Reply]

    The Scenes I’d Like To See Edition:

    9CL A new storyline PLEASE.
    A3G Luann chooses the most pee-stained nursing home she can find and puts the old man there.
    Cathy (Must Die) Cathy dies.
    C’haft The bedridden patient recover in time to see her jerk sister keel over, and the patient saying “Karma’s a bitch, huh?”
    (WT)DT Gertie actually biting B.O.
    Canadian Zombie “This is the final panel of FBOFW; Lynn has decided to permanently retire.”
    WTF GT Artwork.
    Scenes from Suburban Hell Actual realistic dialogue from a small boy in the first panel, rather than the strained attempt of an ancient strip to tell a pretty stupid joke.
    Justifiable Perkery Plate glass windows.
    Luann Luann go all the way with the lil’ Goodfella, get knocked up, and then let the wackiness roll in.
    Fist O Justice Theater Oh for cripes sake. See Ken die or Patty take her good sweet time strolling back to the house and then repeatedly call 1-9-9.
    RashButt NO more creepy Chitinous eyes!!!
    Meddling Heights Adrian feed Ted a big load of milarky about how well off she is and how he could stand to make a fortune if he will only wire $100,000 to her Nigerian bank account to help clear up a few legal issues.
    Kit Walker, Bangalla Ranger Kit admits he plans to open a handbag and shoe store in the near future.
    RMMW Blood or action or some semblance of plot, and drawn by Barreto.
    S4th Smirk-free.
    SpiderExMachina Anything as long as it’s written like someone gives a damn.
    IFHZ More humor like today’s.

  171. commodorejohn
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:44 am [Reply]

    #160 papa zita – Amen. I feel like a bit of a pretentious name-dropper myself when I say that I’d hate to see what he’d do to, say, Metropolis, God forbid, but at least I, unlike him, have actually seen the movie and kind of vaguely understand it.

    Of course, if he touched the 1925 The Lost World…then it would be personal. But thankfully he’d never do that, because dinosaurs are just too lowbrow and populist.

  172. Helena Handbasket
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:09 am [Reply]

    MT: Seriously, Elrod? This is how you redeem your “domestic violence can be justified if you’re stressed about the economy” storyline? By having the abuse victim blame herself when her asshole husband is attacked by the pet deer he tried to kill?

    The next time some newspaper tries to kick Mark Trail off the comics page, and gets endless letters from 90-year-old men in flannel complaining that it’s the only strip left to teach “the kids” about good old-fashioned values, I’m going to haul out this series of strips.

    Oh wait, the kind of folks who think Mark Trail teaches important values are probably right there in thinking that a little smacking of the wife is ok.

    I broke down exactly how the poor gored Ken fits the classic abuser model last Sunday, along with contact info for Mr. Elrod and King Features.

  173. True Fable
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:15 am [Reply]

    # 169 Donkey Hotey – I was going to say “Pepsi” but you beat me to it! But after some more consideration, I’d more likely say “Mountain Dew” because they wouldn’t even have to disguise the color or anything.

  174. Frank Parsnip
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:35 am [Reply]

    MW: Poor Ted! Now he’s going to have to listen to Adrian’s poorly formulated spiel on why she likes him. Apparently this is payback for his horrible use of the “Queenie” nickname.

    MT: In panel 2, Mark’s head has shrunken as if he were a cheap special effect from the “Life Force” horror movie from the 1980s. The gravitational pull of Patty’s enormous Strutheresque noggin is apparently enough to strip the molecules right from Mark’s own head.

    Sex Organ, M.D.: The old coot apparently equates hospital beds with a solution for the pandemic loose within the ship. She’s clearly spent a lot of time in and around hospitals without noticing that patients receive medicine and surgery in and around the time spent in those beds.

    A3G: LuAnn doesn’t realize that wherever she goes, her dad is already with her. With just a bit of blond hair coloring, he serves as Alan, Tim, Eric and a host of other guys who pass through this strip. That white hair is just a tabula rasa for all sorts of hijinks!

  175. seismic-2
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:52 am [Reply]

    DT: Tracy: “B.O. Plenty has what?”
    Gravel Gertie: “He’s been bitten…”
    Tracy: “Another woman… Gertie?”
    The number of false vacuua due to local energy minima in the “landscape” implied by string theory is such that 10 raised to the 500th power may be the total number of possible universes in the overall multiverse. I submit that this conversation makes no sense whatsoever in any of them.

    GA: An allowable response to a discussion of Slim Skinner may be “I feel him” in one of those possible universes, but it’s not one I want to live in.

    Crank: “You would have been joyously happy for the last fifty years, but I did my best to ruin your life by making sure that for decades you would forever be separated from your true love. Wow, I feel relieved at telling you that, just in time to clear my conscience. Now have a nice death!” In the Batiukverse, this qualifies as “endearing”, almost as much as destroying a lifetime’s prized possessions with a leafblower. What a great comic!!!

    GT: The position on the floor assumed by Ashley Aiello in panel 1 is such an anatomical abomination that in panel 2 the gods of high school sports have shown their displeasure in the form of an annular eclipse of the basketball.

  176. DrPill
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:32 am [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: Yeah, update everything but the strip itself.

    161, Poteet, re Dick Tracy: “Better?” Chester Gould’s Gravel Gertie was a wild-eyed woman who was always just short of freakin’ out completely. Now she looks like the “After” portion of a Geritol commercial.

  177. John C Fremont
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:07 am [Reply]

    Grew up on a farm. Had a milk cow named Queenie. This I remembered today while reading Mary Worth and looking at Adrian. I’m not saying the cow was better looking than Adrian, but at least the cow didn’t have that hair. That awful, awful hair. Plus, the cow didn’t hang around with cads and ne’er-do-wells. With moustaches.

    Oh, and I feel him, Dave.

    (At this point, if there were a woman nearby in a pre-Soviet military uniform captaining a ship headed to Crocco Island, there would be two question marks in her thought balloon.) (If you know what I mean.)

  178. Little Guy
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    9CL: Now Edda will always remember to drink her Ovaltine.

    Candorville: Curse you, Darrin, for making me say this:

    Lynn Johnston did her Settlepocalypse better. And there were more innocent characters that she had to assassinate.

    May you camp out at a Midnight Showing of Abrams’ “Star Trek” and be spoiled by some loudmouth as soon as the movie begins.

  179. Jamus The Bartender
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    Luann: Yes, yes, Yes !! Oh, God, Yes, Elwood!!!

  180. aloha_breeze
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    151. Considering the large number of GF reruns that we’ve seen in the last couple of years, I don’t think Conley is particularly concerned about what’s “trendy” and what isn’t–maybe he could afford to during the burgeoning popularity of the strip but not anymore.
    I think he’s reintroducing the “old” ideas that made the strip so successful then, hoping to have the same luck today. Like it has been suggested, Conley is either lazy, or running out of new material that’s actually funny.

  181. UncleJeff
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    morning headline from the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram: Boys Basketball Regionals: North 56, Chippewa Falls 42: Huskies clam down on hot-shooting Cards
    Must be a Gil Thorp fan. Too bad the article didn’t mention the “playdowns”.

  182. Big Thyme
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: C’mon Lucy! One supreme final effort and I’m sure you can lurch forward and choke the life out of your tormentor. And, yes, I do mean Batiuk.

    DT: You know, B. O. Plenty got his start as a filthy, greedy creep who attempted to steal a hat box full of money from Breathless Mahoney and nearly garroted her to death (she lived, but not for his lack of trying). He reformed apparently because Gould just loved him as a comic relief character. Here’s hoping that B. O. Plenty can return to his true roots in this storyline.

    Phantom: Can someone get Old Man Mozz a change of clothes? Even the Phantom and the Diaper Duo changed from their usual outfits for dinner with Single Woman Oceanic Team (SWOT).

  183. Chyron HR
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane – Oh, I get it! It was a novelty shop all along, ha ha ha. Why was a novelty shop selling antique silver cases, and why would Edda ever think of going there to buy one? Well, how else do you expect a sophisticate like Brooke to store his “Le Monde Rouge ce Attaquer” cards?

  184. Amateur
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    First of all, True Fable at #155 for COTW!

    Second of all:

    MW: Adrian, honey, the proper response to “The fire in that diamond necklace!” is, “The necklace you’re about to buy me — right?”

  185. Brick Bradford
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    #144 Uncle Lumpy We don’t expect much of Mark or Mary, and we get it. FOOB and 9CL were once good.

    A3G “Oh no, Daddy. In fact, when I’m with you I feel just like I do with my friend Margo–about two inches tall”.

    Archie. Nyuk. Nyuk. Nyuk. What a card.

    MW Oh, Ted. I just stepped in my own vomit.

    DT With the stench of burning flesh still fresh in his nostrils, Dick starts another adventure. Wotta guy.

  186. buckyswife
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    Curtis: Given how Michelle is pronouncing FABBBulous, I’d say that the schlubb is getting spat upon right now.

    I read the comics over breakfast because it’s a pleasant, innocuous way to start my day. Rarely do the comics make me want to lose my breakfast. But today:

    In MW, we have the horror-show of “romantic” dialogue that two actual humans would never, ever speak to each other; have the Mary Worth auteurs ever spoken to another person besides each other, or heard other humans speak? And we have the dread that comes with knowing that said dialogue will continue tomorrow. With the visuals of cinnamon (thanks, Poteet–that’s it), blue hair, and touch of lilac. Gag.

    And in MT, the inevitable has happened: Patty weeps at the side of the brute who abused her, recognizing her proper responsibility for his violence. After he recovers, order will be restored: she’ll obey and respect him just as a woman should.

    I think my breakfast is coming back up now…

  187. Pakash
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    9CL: So after all the business with the Belgian concert with antics apparently watched by millions worldwide, the “Dutch Humor” book bartering, the Astaire/Rodgers/Casablanca fantasy, Edda running off and calling her mommy…there was no marriage proposal after all? Just “when we’re ready, we’ll know?”

    McEldowney, go fu–no, let me put that in a way you’ll understand: “Pray, sir, go forth and engage in venery with a unicorn.”

  188. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane aspires to be the Noel Coward comedy of the comics page. Intellectually, it’s apexing more at the approximate heights of, say, a Noel Fielding.

  189. buckyswife
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    I’d like to make my comment on MT, above, more concise:
    Fuck you, Elrod.

  190. gleeb
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    9CL: In the second panel,…Amos…seems to have become…Paul Harvey. Seriously, these characters are no more real than marionettes, and I’ll probably stop reading once they get back to New York. So, mid-2158. Good day.

    ‘shaft: Maybe the murderous cat will get the pair of them. Or maybe Batiuk will insist that indignation alone will bring someone back from the grave’s brink.

    Edge City: So, it’s just because he’s too young? No mention of child-labor laws? You people are sick.

    ‘bean: “But that means your Mom must be about to die! Only Corey Winkerbean is allowed to have two living parents in this town.”

    GA: Well stop feeling him, Earl. He’s a married man, as hard as that is to believe.

    Fuzzy: Not that I want to step into this whole mess, but France does have a terribly violent national anthem (“tainted blood will run in the fields,” anyone?), but it also has nationalized health care. I think what must put Bucky in the French camp is that monkeys are not native to mainland France (although you can find them in French Guyana). More information about spider monkeys can be found, etc.

    April Bowers, G-Woman: “Are you kidding? And have those NSA pantywaists know my business?”

    Duck: That giant dalek sure is relieved. Whaddaya mean “Capitol dome”? Only a talentless wet-brain would draw the Capitol and have it come out like that.

    Mark: That’s it, Patty. Play for time. Time for Ken to bleed.

    Shoe: No, Brookins, that isn’t interesting. In fact it isn’t even true, or else who the heck am I sending these checks to? Besides, every river has a left bank.

    Six Chix: Look, while we do still have banks, it’s still going to be a tough row to hoe getting a bank loan to finance new construction.

  191. Dingo
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    Oh. Oh, dear. I wrote my comment #42 yesterday as a joke. Now, today, it seems that Adrian is going to give Ted a blowjob right there in front of the jewelry store! Her hands are positioned to moved slowly down his body and grab hold of the top of his pants. He has that look that all men possess of “I’ll let her blow me here but like hell will I kiss her afterward.” This can only end with Dr. Jeff and Mary passing by in a car. Oh, won’t that be rich!

  192. sully
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    Re #180

    Darby may be running out of new material that is actually funny?

    That would seem to suggest that Get Fuzzy was EVER funny.
    The French will win several wars before that strip is ever anything more than consistently, painfully, unreadable.

  193. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:34 am [Reply]


    A3G: Considering what we’ve seen of him so far, Old Man Powers is surprisingly subtle in saying, “Get the fuck back to New York, heathen.”

    MT: This. This is exactly what I dreaded. Ken gets knocked out by Bucky, and all of a sudden it’s his wife/victim who’s overcome by remorse. Show me the outraged petition, I’ll sign it.

    FW: “The last thing I heard him say was, ‘Be a character in Funky Winkerbean? Aw hell no.”

    Archie: So Archie can’t top off his tank. Can Betty at least take off her tpp? No, that’s prolly another thing Archie can’t afford.

    DtM: “He knows I I have the dog treat in my pocket, and he knows what he needs to do to get it. Oh yeah, that’s my furry little dog whore. He’s not proud of it, but he’ll do it.”

    Lockhorns: A man in a meter maid uniform and fishnet stockings? That’s not an opera. Leroy and Loretta are at a fetish fair. And Leroy isn’t bored. He’s afraid of meeting someone he knows.

    Shoe: And this is two panels why?

    DT: Not in my wildest dreams can I imagine getting close enough to a man named “B.O. Plenty” to bite him.

    GA: “I feel him”? Not on company time, you don’t. Preferably not on-panel, either.

    MW: Yet another comic makes a Trademark-free reference to Lucky Charms.

    Phantom: If Kit Walker ever wants to retire from costumed adventuring, I’d love to see him as a TV weatherman. “Well folks, the weekend is going to be either rainy or dry. Tonight we’ll find out.”

    BSt: I really hope the cop brought backup to the serial killer’s lair.

    M-Dawg: Hitler loved his dogs, but sometimes it was a difficult love.

    Luann: “So to sum up, as long as there are people with bad friends and indifferent families, I’m golden.”

    Momma: Yeah, a good laugh in Momma. That’ll happen.

    GT: Isn’t it a felony to impersonate a doctor? So what is Marty Moon doing working shifts at the ER. I mean, sure, times are hard and vodka costs money, but there are other options.

  194. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    Sorry about the excessive itlaicization. Should’ve previewed. You get the idea.

  195. commodorejohn
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    A3G – Ha! That’s a good one, Lu Ann Dad. Never met them, have you?



    FW – Yeah, yeah, Keisha, in Winkerville stuff like that is just lost in the noise when it comes to misery. You’re not even a blip on the Pain-O-Meter, not yet.

    Garfield – I laughed.


    GT – “Oh no! Ashley’s down! Quick, make her dog-paddle!” And when did Marty Moon become a doctor? Was there some hilarious series of drunken night-school strips that never saw print?

    Love Is… – holding the bouquet in such a way as to hide the baby bump.

    Luann – Oh, there’s the squick. I was wondering where it’d got to.

    MT – I understand and agree with the criticism of this strip in particular and the current storyline in its attitude towards domestic abuse, though I think a lot of people here are attributing to malice what is far more believably explained by ignorance. But…how can you not love what has to be the single giantest, most bolded dialogue in all of Mark Trail history!? Even “OH NO! THAT’S BUCKY!” was printed at almost-normal text size, but this…it’s majestic, is what it is.

    MW – This dialogue is making me physically ill.

    NAOQV – She slapped Facebook? DO IT AGAIN!!!

    OBH – I love this strip.

    PBS – I’ll pass on the hippo, but I do empathize.

    Phantom – Man, Sailor Lady has totally got the Captain Nemo thing going on. Let’s hope she starts playing the organ next.

    Pluggers – Pluggers are unable to comprehend transactions more complicated than barter.

    RMMD – Oh man, even at this distance you can tell June’s icy death glare. Heaven help us if it were ever used for evil.

    SM – Way to in no way impair the use or function of the gun, Spidey.

  196. kalki
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    In the Anglo-Franco post-threadwar era…

    9CL: I’d say all that earned Amos about 30 more hiccup cures from Edda.

    Archie: Sad economic times comes to Riverdale. Archie turns to bartering himself out on Craigslist to lonely old women/men in exchange for gasoline.

    Blondie: Clearly, Dagwood’s experience in the Abscam proceedings have left him with issues.

    Crank: Cool…now we can get a dying curse from Lucy. I hope it involves festering boils…Boy, this strip is getting more sickly-sweet everyday, isn’t it? Like a ray of frickin sunshine without any UV protection.

    DTM: Fun for all as Dennis convinces Margaret to fish in his pockets for the missing treat.

    CircusJerk: And Billy sets the stage to have his mother involuntarily committed to the county psychiatric facility.

    FW: Is there one frickin kid who has ever appeared in this strip who didn’t have at least one issue they are dealing with??? I guess Batiuk introduces a character and then spins the wheel he has to determine what disease or trauma they must suffer. If someone shows up with a weakness to Kryptonite, I swear…

    Hi/Lois: “You mean, he likes them?”

    “No, mom…He’s literally ‘into girls’. I mean intercourse, of course. ”

    GA: Fuck you, Corky. You’re the one who economically challenged Slim. Next time you need help at the diner, go exploit some other glutton.

    Luann: Well…since I am convinced that Luann is being set up to lose her virginity…I guess she could do worse than Elwood (TJ, for example)…Plus Elwood is short, so he is probably equipped like a horse.

    S-M: Meh. MJ had at least 30 more seconds before the signal to squeeze the trigger traveled down from this jerk’s brain to his finger. It is lucky for Pete that Electro is just powerwalking his way to City Hall and probably is still miles from there at this point.

    Tune in next week, as the Shocker shows up and announces that he will nuke the city…and then demands that such a bomb be built for him so that his plan can reach fruition. Double trouble as Phineas Fogg arrives and announces his devious plot to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or less and Spider-man has to defeat him because he misunderstands “circumnavigate” and assumes that it will lead to a loss of penile sensation for the entire planet.

  197. Dingo
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    kalki, I’m glad you said it in regard to Luann. Not that I’ve been around the block or something… I am the essence of purity and virtue incarnate… but in my travails I have found that it’s the little guys like Luann’s date that are packin’ heat. I think that girl is about to get her world rocked in ways she never thought possible.

  198. aloha_breeze
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    Oops…199 was me

  199. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    # 169 Donkey — BWAHAHA!

    # 176 DrPill — Good point. “Better” was definitely the wrong word.

  200. papa zita
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Like death and taxes, Amos and Edda are inevitable. As an aside, novelty shops sure are tony in Belgium. Glass cases, more than one employee, everything arranged neatly. In other words, not like any novelty shop I’ve ever been in.

    Luann: You got her to say yes by throwing money at her, you little troll. A talent that’s no talent at all. The only talent I see in Elwood is that his ego seems to get larger and more insufferable every time he appears in a panel. Too bad Dick Tracy isn’t after him, that’s one gruesome death I’d really enjoy.

  201. papa zita
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    @197: Believe me, if Elwood was hung, he’d have descriptive cards made up to present to his dates.

  202. kalki
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    197. Thanks, Dingo!

  203. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    #122 Tlatchtga,
    Brooke has this in common with Woody Allen. Both like young people, and especially young women. Neither can see any value in current youth culture. So you have teens/twentysomethings bodning over Gershwin tunes and TCM movies, to the exclusion of anything from the past 30 years. (I like a lot of music and movies from before I was born, but hardly anyone is a 100% throwback.)

    There are a couple of differences, of course. Woody is generally funnier, when he tries to be. And if any of his screen girlfriends had told him that Elsa should have shot Victor Laszlo, he would have responded with a terrified, fourth wall breaking look at the camera and never called her again.

  204. kalki
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    201. Well, Elwood already “bought” Luann, so it is kind of like a candidate asking for your vote outside the precinct after you have already voted.

    I’d be more worried if I were Luann since Elwood owns the restaurant and the bar and having his bartender slip Luann a roofie wouldn’t require Elwood to get his own hands dirty.

  205. Hibbleton
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    #174 Frank Parsnip: MT: In panel 2, Mark’s head has shrunken as if he were a cheap special effect from the “Life Force” horror movie from the 1980s. . .
    Speaking of which, it looks like it’s already gotten to Marmaduke’s owner. Check out his fingers in today’s strip. WTF?

    GT: regarding the (tired, old) french jokes. Darby has always been a bit of a reactionary. IIRC, he did a series of jokes on what an idiot Hans Blix was for not finding WMD’s in Iraq. These came out of Rob’s mouth not Bucky’s.

  206. queek
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    PBS: the last time I saw this one, it involved a field of dandelions. just sayin’.

  207. papa zita
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    @203: Amen, No young person is a total anachronism like those two. They’d never survive adolescence. it would have been better if he’d presented their romance as being from the past – and stolen the ending montage of Buster Keaton’s College, He’d have his Grand Romance, and we’d be rid of them permanently.

  208. Tlachtga
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    203. Yes, on both points.

    And yeah, I didn’t even bother to rant on Casablanca “what movie were you watching, Brooke?”

    I mean, yeah, Luke Skywalker totally should’ve hooked up with Darth Vader. It makes as much sense.

  209. Muffaroo
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    Poteet @159 – MelloYello.

    Little Guy @178 – For the joke, yes (good one). In real life, notwithstanding the great work of the immortal Shep, Orphan Annie didn’t put ads in the secret messages. (Mom had two great decoder pins — ah, where are they now?) There was a bit of an Ovaltine reference in the copy of the Orphan Annie song I have, however.

    kalki @196Phileas Fogg. Sorry, had to say it.

  210. kalki
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    209. The evil Fogg brother was Phileas’ twin brother Phineas. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

  211. Donkey Hotey
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    #192 Sully – Well, it was. Check out the first couple of books. It was hilariously funny, which is why many of us are so pissed off at how far it’s fallen.

  212. Jeff
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:00 am [Reply]

    Oh, Luann…just start squeezing a damn pat of butter already. A handjob under the table is your best hope.

  213. Bret
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    Luann: The only tension remaining is which derivative path Elwood and Luann will follow. Behind Door #1? Indecent Proposal. Behind Door #2? The Friends story arc with Jon Favreau. Behind Door #3? Something unspeakable involving a goat…

  214. Crunchy Frog
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    How did the squirrel know that the deer was Patty’s pet? Had it been spying on them? Is there a lot of gossip among Lost Forest squirrels? What else do they know about? Am I reading too much into this?

  215. Honest Jay
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    What else does Jeffy stick in P.J.’s mouth?

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