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Next on Lifetime: When The Hurting Stops, Love Is Reborn

Mark Trail, 3/4/09

With a mighty KEN!, Patty single-handedly redefines ludicrous dialogue boldface in Mark Trail; and with a weepy “It’s all my fault!” over the supine form of her beloved abusive husband, she single-handedly sets attitudes about domestic violence back decades. I look forward to seeing just how hilariously offensive the conclusion to this story is: presumably Patty will apologize for forcing Ken to slap her, Ken will allow the deer that caused him massive internal injuries to live in their house, the magazine article Mark will write about the whole affair will arouse such sympathy in the timber-purchasing community that Ken’s business will pick up again, and our happy couple will finally have that baby, which will quickly die of Lyme disease.

Gil Thorp, 3/4/09

CRUTCHES? CRUTCHES? NOOOOOO! I CLENCH MY FIST IN RAGE! See, what the doctor doesn’t realize is that Milford student-athletes are only valued for their physical prowess; like racehorses, once they’re injured, they’re put down so that they don’t take up valuable classroom space that could be used by a point guard who can walk unaided. Ashley knows that Coach Kaz will be waiting at her house with a shotgun if she fails to leave the hospital under her own power.

Alternately, Ashely might be enraged because she realizes that the “doctor” is actually Marty Moon, who has wandered into the hospital hoping to find some unguarded morphine.

Pluggers, 3/4/09

This may be the first time that Pluggers has inspired pity in me rather than rage or contempt. So, you thought the basic literacy and arithmetic skills taught in public schools would help you climb the economic ladder despite your lack of elite connections, eh, pluggers? You poor anthropomorphic saps.

339 responses to “Next on Lifetime: When The Hurting Stops, Love Is Reborn

  1. Mary Worth Discussion Gropu
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth–Whose hand is between Adrian and Ted?

  2. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    What’s going on with the ball in the second panel of GT? Is that a black hole, a gaping maw lined with tiny jagged teeth, or what? Apparently I know even less about sports than I thought.

  3. papa zita
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    Aw, come on Josh. Who hasn’t wandered a hospital in a medical getup looking for good drugs? I mean, unhooking a morphine pump or two isn’t really so awful now, is it?

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

    MT — I wish Ken and Patty would do their senseless suffering in some other color. Those matching blue pantsuits hurt my eyes.

  5. ouranosaurus
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    “He’s seriously injured! And look, the deer also dyed him a uniform shade of bright blue before it left! It may seem cruel to do that, but it’s nature’s way. I see it already coated you, Patty. Kind of stings, doesn’t it? You know, poachers kill tens of deer every year to sell their blueing glands to Chinese apothecaries.”

  6. kalki
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    I used to read Gil Thorp years ago and remember it as being well drawn…is my memory flawed or did the drawing chore fall to someone in a 1st grade art class at some point?

  7. Rusty
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    GT: Ashley in the last panel looks frighteningly like Mary Worth. She has bigger problems than a sprained ankle.

  8. Sarah
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    GT: I love Ashley’s face. “This is my monster face! Unngh!”

  9. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    MT — As for Bucky, he was wearing a collar when we last saw him, so I hope it’s a breakaway collar. In a universe where deer-entangling doesn’t require large antlers or rutting season, I bet poor Bucky could end up strangled just by walking near a bush.,

  10. Ignatz
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    I just want to point out that I started reading Mark Trail recently, entirely because I got all POed that Ken was such a scumbag and shot a pet deer.

    BOY am I sorry I did. It’s all HER FAULT? Holy crap.

  11. sooky
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Happy Pete Puma day, 03/04.

  12. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    and our happy couple will finally have that baby, which will quickly die of Lyme disease.

    Not if Bucky is the father.

  13. Chyron HR
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Bear* in mind that in Plugger schools, the “three R’s” are Reagan, Republicans and Rintelligent Design.

    * Enjoy your bonus unintentional pun.

  14. Uncle Lumpy
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    JOSH!

    Nope, not nearly as big. Looks like somebody‘s keeping all the good fonts to himself!

  15. Patrick
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Do Pluggers “struggle” with the three C’s because they have money problems, or “struggle” to remember the difference between cash, checks and credit cards? I have the feeling they’re stupid enough to be flummoxed by the very question posed by the cashier, but then I remember the lady buying groceries is essentially a giant chicken.

  16. Joe Blevins
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    MT: Ken should be fine. He’s not just alive. He’s ALIVE! Alive, I tell you, alive!

    GT: Is that a lunar eclipse in panel 2? An homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey maybe?

  17. Harold
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    #6 kalki, the art duties did indeed change recently, though many would argue that before the change it was not “well drawn” – more like “drawn as a frightening tale of animated dead-eyed mannequins occupying a seven-dimensional non-Euclidean space.” The tale of the transition from one artist to the other, with an intermediate step along the way, can be found here…somewhere.

    Here. From “Judomaster” artist Frank McLaughlin:
    http://joshreads.com/?p=1462

    To (briefly) Apartment 3-G artist Frank Bolle:
    http://joshreads.com/?p=1442

    To current (I think!) artist Rod Whingham:
    http://joshreads.com/?p=1507

    (Dammit, this site is scary!)

    Mark Trail: “Oh, Ken, how your hand must have stung after you slapped me! I vow to never give you cause to beat me again, and if I do, I will try to make it as painless for you as possible!”

  18. Harold
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    Hmmm…Frank McLaughlin really did have some good drawing chops there, once upon a time.

  19. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    # 17 Harold — Thank you for the horrifying memories and one of the best descriptions of GT ever.

  20. Lithros
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    Ashley! Watch out for that vampire going after your wrist in the hospital! The only thing worse than life in Milford is eternal unlife in Milford!

  21. MaryAnnTheRest
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    #17 Harold: Thanks for the links. That really tells a tale of woe, doesn’t it? I miss the old Gil Thorpe now. Did they change the writer, too? Because I tend to understand the story lines now, and I know I never used to in the McLaughlin days of completely unrelated panels. I wonder when the strip made the move to “one storyline per day.”

  22. nerowolfgal
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    I am really really really offended by this storyline in Mark Trail. I cannot believe that a badly drawn, ludicrously written daily comic could inspire such rage.

    When I turn to Mark Trail, I hope for, and get, giant talking animals, talking body parts, gender-twisted ducks, lost time-travellers and log-chained raccoons. That’s all good. Support for physical and mental abuse is different. I have written the publishers, which I imagine will do nothing, but I am left seriously pondering what is doing on in Jack Elrod’s life right now. As well, I am pondering what editor thought this story-line was a good idea. Or did they just go “Oh, pet deer story…..sure, Jack run with it.”

  23. mollificent
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    Yesterthread #162 Poteet: You are SO right about Crankshaft. This is totally disgusting. I vote we hunt down Batiuk and sic Whiskers McDeath on him. *grrrrrrrrrrr*

    Luann: Artie Ziff has entered the building. (I know, I know…I can’t possibly be the first person to have made that joke. Oh, well.)

    Frazz: This strip is flat-out awesome. That’s all I have to say. I can handle all the FOOB in the world, if only I have Frazz to turn to.

  24. Niall
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    In Beetle Bailey, Killer gasps in panel 2: “Oh no! I’ve put on the wrong cap! Now no lady will be able to tell when I have an erection talking to them!” And thus he just looks like a dick instead of trying to show it off.

  25. MaryAnnTheRest
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    I’m still struggling to find the punchline in Hagar. Oh, wait, I think I get it. “Sissy boys like to read.”

    Ha ha ha. The five people who still subscribe to a newspaper are gonna love that kneeslapper.

  26. mollificent
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    P.S. Also, take my Crankshaft comment, and for “Crankshaft” substitute “Mark Trail”, for “Batiuk” substitute “Elrod”, and for “Whiskers McDeath” substitute “Molly the Bear”.

    As one Molly to another: Feel free to disembowel him. With EXTREME prejudice.

  27. Niall
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    22. nerowolfgal: I fully agree. I’m even disappointed in Josh, as I don’t find its offensiveness hilarious in any way shape or form. Ken dying is the only way this gets any sense of revenge; if he gets better and no one addresses the spousal abuse, MT is off my list.

  28. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

     _          _______    _          _ 
    | \    /\  (  ____ \  ( (    /|  ( )
    |  \  / /  | (    \/  |  \  ( |  | |
    |  (_/ /   | (__      |   \ | |  | |
    |   _ (    |  __)     | (\ \) |  | |
    |  ( \ \   | (        | | \   |  (_)
    |  /  \ \  | (____/\  | )  \  |   _ 
    |_/    \/  (_______/  |/    )_)  (_)

  29. kingklash
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    Is Mark going for the ol’ “jab the Finger O’ Justice into the wound” trick while the frail’s waving the meat wagon down?

    And I don’t mean that in a guy-on-guy way.

  30. tbiggs
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    GT, so confusing. Who is the stoner boy with the Heidi haircut and why is he so desperately clinging to Ashley’s hand?

  31. Comrade Denny
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I love Luann’s daddy’s smile in Panel 3. When he mentions Luann’s “friends,” you can almost see the sarcasm dripping from his toothy grin. Or maybe it’s whiskey, which is what I assume is in that mug.

    Archie: Man, this economy’s giving Arch the projectile sweats. That’s when you know it’s getting bad.

    DT: The old-timey two-piece telephone without any thing connecting the two pieces, Dick’s tiny, tiny hand and huge, huge head, his cell phone pressed against the chin, the electronic voice coming from his ear … it’s all just too much for me to process and synthesize into snark.

    GA: When did Jackie Gleason join the cast? TO THE MOON, SLIM!

    MT & MW: What is it with the couples and the matching jackets? Is the matchingness of the jackets inversely proportional to the healthiness of the relationship?

    Phantom: “Will it be a long voyage dad?” “We’ll have to ask Captain Marsh.”

    RxMD: A deadly outbreak, Rex MIA, and a lily-white Patrician putting an ethnic in his place. All is right in the Rex Morgan universe

    Ziggy: Wow. The banks are even more pathetic and insecure than Ziggy. I better stockpile canned goods and practice my aim.

  32. Niall
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    15. Patrick: …a giant chicken, I tell you!! :) But honestly, as a Canadian looking in, I have to say that the current crop of US Credit, Debit, Cash, ATM and Cheque cards has me completely flummoxed, and I do my own taxes, so it’s not like I have trouble with complex ideas.

    (So much simpler up here: until very recently, only banks could issue credit cards; banks have internal bank cards used at ATMs, and those are called debit cards when used on the single national Interac network for debit purchases. No such thing as a cheque card; a cheque remains paper only. Cash remains cash.)

  33. Evan
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    Patty’s emotional agony over Ken’s injury has apparently caused her to drop 11 dress sizes over the course of just one comic.

  34. Donald The Anarchist
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    #3 That was YOU?!! To be honest, I do overdo it on the morphine during hospital visits. It’s so I can claim that any forms I sign aren’t legally binding.I think they’re onto me though…

    MT Will Mark finish the job, or use Patty’s absence as the opportunity for a good cry w/Ken about the pain of being a man.

    GT The suspense is killing me! Was the clock ever restarted?

    I suspect that plugger just keeps pulling things out of his(?) wallet until the cashier accepts one of them. “Sorry sir, a John Birch Society membership card isn’t legal tender; neither are Chick tracts.”

  35. rachel
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    wait, so the idea in Crankshaft is that one old lady cheated the other out of a lifetime of happiness with the man she loved out of jealousy? and the woman’s lover is dead, and now she’s dying too?

    excuse me, i need to find a sword to fall on.

  36. rachel
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    tbiggs @ 30: i’m pretty sure that’s Ashley’s mom.

  37. Renee J
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    MT: Of course, Ken isn’t a bad guy. Look at him – no facial hair! Our first clue was when Mark didn’t punch him out in the beginning.

  38. 150
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    Okay, I can understand that credit cards might be beyond the grasp of technophobe Pluggers, and checks are difficult because they require you to be able to write. But cash? Is that really so hard? What do they prefer, the barter system?

    Nobody tell them about debit cards. It’ll blow their simple minds.

  39. Anonymous
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    GT: Ashley Aiello has a sprained ankle, so why is the coach feeling around her upper thigh under the edges of her gym shorts?

    Or maybe I would too if I could get away with it.

    Or maybe not.

    Time for lunch.

    MT: Will somebody please tell me where the Trail family woods is supposed to be? In the mountains by the sea?
    How can you get an ambulance into the woods? Or are they living like Thoreau, in the “wilderness” — conveniently near a Cosco store, in case they run out of paper napkins and toilet paper?

    In The Bronx we used to say; what shit.

  40. gh
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    FC: Of course she doesn’t remember what it looks like. The last time she was down there she was reaching for the bottle of Seagram’s that rolled under the couch and she blacked out.

    MT: I like to think the best of people, so when Patty says “It’s all MY FAULT! I assume she’s responding to Mark’s cry of “He’s ALIVE.” Bucky was just too domesticated to actually kill him.

    Pluggers: Pluggers also can’t count above twenty, so they feel it’s okay to go into the express line with 49 items. Then they try to decide how they are going to pay (by check). Pluggers have a death wish.

  41. Calvin\'s Cardboard Box
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    #9 – Poteet

    Surely you know that the collar is there because it makes it easier to chain Bucky to a log!!

  42. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    # 33 Evan — Holy moly, you’re right. In that last panel, Patty is built like Daisy Mae.

  43. Uncle Lumpy
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    #35 rachel –

    wait, so the idea in Crankshaft is that one old lady cheated the other out of a lifetime of happiness with the man she loved out of jealousy? and the woman’s lover is dead, and now she’s dying too?

    That’s more than the idea in Crankshaft — it’s the frickin’ joke! O, teh heartsick seniorz – ROFLMAO!

  44. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    “…and, Lucy? Nothing personal. I only did it for the lulz, bitch.”

  45. indichik
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    If it’s any consolation to Chicken Lady, it’s now down to two C’s, since no stores actually take checks anymore.

  46. ScienceGiant
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    #10 — That’s what I was thinking. Surely, for a single millisecond, the deer must have wondered “Isn’t that the son of a bitch who shot me? Motherf@cker!” And then went stabby.

  47. tb4000
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    I am sorry, but I can not take it when Pluggers do takes on our current economic stance. These hayseeds already are on a bartering system akin to the middle age serfs as it is, I highly doubt the bailout even affected them.

  48. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    #11 sooky — That’s awesome that you noticed 03/04!!

    I thought I was the only person in the world who cared about Pete Puma Day.

  49. Alan's Addiction
    March 4th, 2009 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    First of all, who gets crutches for a sprain? I can only assume that in the Gil Thorp universe, athletes are recruited from the elite ranks of people with some sort of degenerative bone/tendon disease. I don’t know why this would be done, I only know that it still would not be the most illogical decision we’ve seen in Gil Thorp.
    Today’s Mark Trail shows promise. I have to admit that I’m starting to see Mark as less a main character and more of a supporting character for Mark’s Fists, which are, of course, the main character of this strip. Being denied the chance to pummel Ken, Mark’s Fists will be driven into a murderous frenzy, dragging Mark along behind them. Or, if you want that in Trail-speak, BEING DENIED the chance to pummel KEN, Mark’s Fists will be driven INTO A murderous frenzy, slaughtering the DENIZENS of the Lost Forest.

  50. Lettuce
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    Three Wows…

    A3G: Wow! Look how angry Lu Ann looks when Daddy mentions her so-called “friends!” This might be the most important moment of self-awareness since Skynet. Would that it led to a similar amount of robot-led genocide…

    Crankshaft: Wow! The treacle of Funky Winkerbean meets the misanthropic cruelty of Crankshaft! According to Einstein, the energy produced by such a fusion should incinerate all who read it… yet here I remain, with the memory of this strip still etched in my mind. Thanks for nothing, Einstein.

    Phantom: WOW! A Crocco Cruise! I would so pay money to get the Norwalk Virus on that.

  51. flodnak
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    It concerns me that Mark Trail is so eager to be alone in the woods with an injured body. It also concerns me that this concerns me.

  52. troy macgregor
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    MT: kEN!? Hahaha what the hell? It’s like Elrod decided after writing the “K” that the lettering wasn’t big and bold enough! Or maybe Patty is pronouncing it “k-EN!” Or maybe Elrod accidentally wrote “EN!” and forgot the “k” so he squeezed it in afterwards. Well at least that temporarily distracted me from the strip’s antiquated view on spousal abuse.

    Patty: It’s all my fault! *sob* *sob*
    Mark: You’re damn right it is. Insubordination only makes god angry.

    GT: What the heck are they dribbling in Panel 2? I think it’s a giant Japanese riceball complete with a seaweed wrapper!
    http://z.about.com/d/japanesefood/1/0/d/F/riceball-ready.jpg

  53. Lettuce
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    Here’s what today’s Pluggers should be:

    The Plugger Chicken Lady is standing in front of one of those automated check-out machines at the store, fumbling with credit cards as the read out says “insufficient funds.” The caption is something like: “Pluggers are content knowing that machines are born without a soul, especially when being humiliated by one.” Also the Plugger used to work at the grocery store and was replaced by the machine. And lost her pension.

  54. Winky's Spleen
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers happily voted to destroy their own economic viability because they wanted to keep the homosekshuls from being able to get hitched.

  55. Natalie
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    #22– I couldn’t agree more. Having a hard time finding the funny in this MT storyline.

  56. Lettuce
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: If tomorrow’s strip has him holding Ken’s nose to suffocate him, but have everyone think Ken died from the deer injury — a’la the Sopranos — I will change every opinion I’ve ever had about Mark Trail, and comics in general.

    If, however, Ken recovers and learns the error of his ways, I’ll go back to slowly killing my liver with booze.

    Ball’s in your court, Elrod!

  57. Judas Peckerwood
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    I also find Mark Trail’s treatment of domestic abuse disturbing. That being said, I must admit to an overwhelming urge to slap all of the strip’s characters.

  58. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    #13 Chyeon HR

    Bear* in mind that in Plugger schools, the “three R’s” are Reagan, Republicans and Rintelligent Design

    The last of these taught by Oral Roberts University alum Scooby Doo.

  59. Old School Allie Cat
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    #35 and #43 – Crankshaft – There has been some vague indication that Eugene actually found Lucy and has been visiting her – see the Valentine’s Day strip – Lillian comes to visit and finds a huge bouquet – I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts Eugene has not entirely left the building. There was an earlier strip (the timeframe eludes me) that indicates he was there more clearly, but I can’t remember details…anyone?

    Which brings us to the big question – why the hell have I been paying such close attention to this?

    Also, I am sure it’s been pointed out – but the cat is a dead ringer for a feline version of Masky McDeath.

  60. Crankshafts funky smelling corpse
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: There is absolutely no excuse for this whatsoever. I mean, C’mon, why in the world would anyone bring that up now? What a hideous creepy fuck Batuik is.

    MT: Gored to death by deer! Is it better or worse than being pecked to death by ducks? Or having to read MT in the first place?

    Phantom: This continues to offend: Dude, you’re inside a fucking boat, at night, with your kids, with the captain you’ve sworn to secrecy, with sunglasses on. The stick is wearing thin. Very thin.

    FW: More heavy-handed foreshadowing: Kiesha’s dad will return in time to screw up Les’ jungle fever. If we’re lucky he’ll turn out to be a thug and kill everybody.

    9CL: What a miserable cop-out.

  61. Edgy DC
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    Hard to say what’s more startiling in Gil Thorpe — the trainer running his hand up a teenager’s shorts, or the life lesson that, if a lovely young athletic teenager grows bitter enough, she will morph in Mary Worth.

  62. Crankshafts funky smelling corpse
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    Oh yeah.

    Luann: If Elwood starts talking about a pearl necklace, do not say yes.

  63. Crankshafts funky smelling corpse
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    And one more thing:

    MW: What’s with the pencil thin mustache on that guy? Is there a bigger indicator of being a greasy grifter than that?

  64. Comcis Fan
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    Today’s “Baby Blues,” yuckier than a PedEgg commercial.

  65. Sequitur
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    GT: That big black hole is where the comics seal of approval was before they realized they stuck it on Gil Thorpe and unceremonially ripped that sucker off leaving the gaping dark abyss on the basketball.

  66. tb4000
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    Luann: “I know how to make people say yes.”

    “You do?”

    The look on Luann’s face in panel two proves once again that Tiffany is not the real ho bag in this strip.

  67. seismic-2
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    #2 Poteet – see my hypothesized explanation in comment 175 of yesterthread.

    And Patty – it’s not your fault. It isn’t Ken’s fault either, or Mark’s, or Bucky’s. I checked in the fault registry, and all faults in Lost Forest are the property of Sue Butler’s construction company, when she bought up all the wetlands. And I should know.

  68. AmazingThor
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    I’m used to Dick Tracy offereing three panels that would make just as much sense in any order, but today we get an entire conversation in which each word balloon could be shuffled at random to make a more comprehensible narrative.

  69. UncleJeff
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: when I first read it, I was confused over whether they meant the “3C’s” were confusing the customer or the cashier, who had to remember repeating the company-approved line each time someone came up to the register.
    GT: Last time I got a sprained ankle, I left the ER with crutches but they never had me in an examination bed. More like, sitting in a chair in a cold empty room for a frickin’ hour before they could find an intern to look at a joint that was about
    the size of my thigh before they got to it.

    Oh, and thanks for the GT artists’ retrospective. That was fabulous. Especially Marty swearing as the kid dove into his broadcast position.

  70. UncleJeff
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    Cranky: I’m still hoping Lucy leaps out of her deathbed and strangles Lillian. “Hah! I knew it, bitch!”

  71. McManx
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    MT – This whole Bucky the Deer episode has been a series of seemingly disjointed events wherein -
    Patty seeks help from the Trails about her husband/deer conflict;
    Mark berates her for having a pet deer, but uses the incident to sell an article;
    Mark continually meets Patty for romps in the woods, knowing it pisses her husband off;
    Ken pops Patty one and shoots her deer, only drawing Patty nearer to him;
    Bucky inexplicably locks horns with a wild deer; Mark produces from nowhere a saw and removes the antler of the wild deer — not the tame deer who doesn’t need them;
    Bucky, freed, runs amok and gores Ken with the antlers conveniently preserved by Mark;
    Mark is conveniently there to solace Patty over the body of her disemboweled husband…

    Boy, Mark Trail sure will go to great lengths to arrange things so he can screw some blond in the woods unchallenged.

  72. Dick Tracy Broke into My Oddball Sanctuary
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    I’m holding out hope that the KEN! storyline will be redeemed when Ken dies of gangrene and Patty realizes just how much better off she is with her cervidaean lover. No, seriously, if Ken is allowed to recover and have his life, battered wife, and business back, I will be writing into my remaining Seattle paper and shaking my fist with rage. The kind of rage that can only be adequately expressed by an injured high school basketball player who, despite only having a sprained ankle, is lying in a fully equipped recovery, replete with heart monitor and warm blankets.

    No, seriously. Have you ever had a sprained ankle? If you even get to the ER, someone prods it while you sit in the waiting room and then sends you home with a prescription for crutches, if you are lucky. Jesus, I’ve sprained my ankle three times in the past few years, and I usually get a condescending pat on the shoulder and advice about something called an “ice pack”.

  73. AmazingThor
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    I prefer to think that the medical equipment in the third panel of Gil Thorpe is really just broadcasting equipment and instead of the ER she’s just laid out in the back of Marty Moon’s van.

  74. S
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    While our good riend Tom Batiuk’s not ruining old people’s dying moments in Crankshaft, he’s using awkward setups to make kooky puns about absentee parents in Funky Winkerbean. Does anyone besides me remember that Les set up a memorial walk for Lisa, not a race? (Please someone say yes. I can’t be the only person lonely enough to rememer these details.) It becomes evident enough by the third panel that he has Keisha mention a race for the purpose of making a joke about her father “running off.” Hahaha, you see what he did there? Race, run… my God, this strip…

    For the record, why couldn’t she have just said “walked out” or something? Criminy, Tom, do I have to write this stupid strip FOR you?

  75. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    Ah-hah! I knew MT was reminding me of something.

  76. Charlene
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    GT: Ashley doesn’t look like Mary Worth, but she’s suddenly developed an uncanny resemblance to the Statue of Liberty. Maybe that’s why Dr. Moon is standing so far away from her – he’s just trying to read the Emma Lazarus poem forming at her feet. “Teeming refuse” is a pretty accurate description of the residents of Milford.

    Pluggers: Supermarkets still take checks in Pluggerland? (I would write “cheques” since “checks” looks like a misspelling to me, but I refuse to believe that Pluggerland is in or anywhere near Canada.)

  77. Granstanding Oddball
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    Wow, has it been that long since I commented from my workplace? Stupid changing username.

  78. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    Also: My Cage animated gif. No comment.

  79. Joe the Plugger
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    9CL: This actually would have been a decent resolution… if it had happened three months ago.

  80. Miss Jo
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    Okay, so while I’ve been reading for years I don’t often post, but I just have to say:

    Today’s 9CL charmed me. DAMMIT BROOKE STOP SCREWING WITH MY MIND.

    Feel better with that out of my system. So, how ’bout those Mudlarks?

  81. milnor
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    Alternately, Ashely might be enraged…

    I’m trying to decide if that was supposed to be “Alternatively, Ashley might be enraged…” or if Ashley’s really was that indecisive in her anger…

  82. Phred22
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    MT: My three fantasies for this story:

    a. Hurry to the scene of the injury, the ambulance crew turn Bucky into roadkill.

    b. Ken awakens in a pink hospital gown and dies of embarrassment.

    c. Patty takes over Ken’s lumber company and becomes a female Weyerhauser.

  83. Amateur
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    I know it’s not often mentioned here, but I’d just like to take a moment to rant about “On the Fastrack.” (I’ve been wanting to do that for years, actually. I’ve just never been part of a blog that encouraged rants about comics before.)

    Has there ever, EVER been a strip more completely divorced from reality? An office environment dominated by computer bugs plotting to turn employees’ children who pose as virtual superheroes into bugs like themselves? WHO FREAKING CARES? When I first started reading this strip as a kid, it was actually kind of funny, but for the past decade or two, it’s been on one long psychedelic tangent that never ends. This stupid thing makes 9CL look realistic.

    Wow. I feel a lot better now. Thanks, everyone. We now return you to your regularly scheduled snark.

  84. Joe Blevins
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Yes, every plugger must struggle with the three C’s: cholesterol, constipation, and crushing despair.

  85. Amateur
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    #1 — That’s actually Mary’s hand. She’s perfected the diabolical art of meddling from afar via ghostly disembodied hand.

  86. Donkey Hotey
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    #13 and #58 – Ruh-roh!

  87. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    #83 – “FastTrack” has always overused the literal depiction of office memes – “Bugs”, “Ethernet”, etc. are always shown as actual physical items.

    Another literal construct is the “glass ceiling” over the heads of certain characters. What makes glass ceiling jokes particularly ridiculous is the fact that the company CEO is a woman. And the only other person with executive authority we ever see is also a woman. Does the author not remember this?

  88. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    …has always overused the literal depiction of office memes, and also, sucked.

  89. Comrade Denny
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    #85 … Are you saying that Mary Worth is the Invisible Hand? No wonder Capitalism doesn’t work!

  90. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    83 — I can think of another strip — Safe Havens (which, of course, is another Holbrook creation). Fortunately for me, I love them both.

  91. Donkey Hotey
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Argyle Sweater: Not content with his daily ripping off of The Far Side, Hillburn expands his skill set to ripping off Disney/Pixar animated films.

  92. papa zita
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    @43: That Batiuk character has some real deep emotional issues, doesn’t he? Or he is one sick bastard who loves tormenting his characters. Or is that repeating myself? I wouldn’t want to meet him IRL. Something about watching a grown man kick the crutches out from under a disabled person I kinda find distasteful.

  93. Mr. Jones
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    MT – True, she has no neck, but she CAN scream through clenched teeth, and blame herself for everything.

    Where can I get one of these?

  94. threemilebay
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    MT – Am I the only one hoping that Mark punches Ken while he’s down for shooting at Bucky in the first place?

  95. Niall
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    Buckyswife: I think just about everyone here, of all political stripes, or all genders, and of all nationalities, are in some measure digusted by the current Mark Trail storyline. Elrod, the great uniter… Your comment of Y189 is something I typed in all caps. I extremely rarely do such things. He made me do it!! …well, no. I chose to do it, to express my discontent. See, Elrod? Personal responsibility! Learn it.

    I’m actually going to see the denouement before thinking of sending any sort of protest letter to the syndicate. It’d be useless to Elrod directly, and no paper here carries it, so the more the syndicate hears of this problem, the more they might actually want to edit things ahead of time. Though the only real power would be a paper telling them “if he pulls that stunt again we pull the strip”.

    Y195 commodorejohn on Mark Trail: If I thought the current storyline was malice on Elrod’s part, it would almost be better; no, it’s because it’s done in ignorance that we’re so incensed. It’s a belief shared by too many people of both genders in ignorance of alternatives. They actually think it’s a Good Thing. As the condemned at the end of Seasons of Mists says, that only makes it worse.

    Oh, and barter is complicated; it takes a sharp mind to gauge value in terms of changing possible value items.

    Oh, and on violent national anthems, the USA itself is no slouch; most anthems older then 100 years are dedicated to, or forged during, great battles and talk about armed conflicts. Even Canada’s anthem (the original one in French) talks of the country’s breast pinned with glorious laurels – in the militaristic sense – and of the arm that knows how to wield the sword (while the other wields the cross). If we’re not immune, no one is immune. :)

    (whew, caught up a bit, at least to today’s thread…)

  96. spina, rob
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    Old School Allie Cat @ 59: I have this vague recollection that Eugene died in whatever war he enlisted, the last time TB gave us this sepia-toned story line. Batiuk is rehasing old material–again!Who’dathunkit?

    Crankshafts funky smelling corpse @ 60: Yes, Batiuk certainly is consistent. We only need to see if Masky McDeath moves from the realm of Funky Winkerbean to that of Crankshaft.

    Joe Blevins @ 84: So true!

  97. PeteMoss
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    Here’s an interesting support group: Brooke McEldowney, Tom Batiuk, AND Lynn Johnston disscussing what inspires and motivate them while a shrink leads the conversation down the dark paths of their twisted psyche.

  98. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    9CL: THIS is what I’m talking about! It’s moments like today’s strip that made me like 9CL in the first place. As someone said above, if this had appeared 3 months ago, I’d still enjoy this strip but instead it frustrates me all the more because we will be subjected for the next several months to a whole slew of strips filled with nothing but plodding, yet toxic scenes of protagonists being complete excrement portals.

    Mark Trail: I have been so offended by the domestic abuse gloss over that I haven’t been able to even comment on it. I will say however that I am surprised that no has noticed Mark’s shrinking head in panel 2.

  99. Harold
    March 4th, 2009 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Oh, I think I’ve worked out what is wrong with the basketball in panel 2 of Guille de Thorppe: that’s the shadow of somebody’s head, projected onto the spherical surface of the basketball. “Non-Euclidean geometry? I got your non-Euclidean geometry RIGHT HERE!”

  100. Niall
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    75. one-eyed wolfdog: I am still laughing silently (at work) while typing. Oh, thank you as I sorely needed a laugh… Now I’ll read all her lines in Shatnerian.

    76. Charlene: Oh yes, there’s Pluggers up here too. I’m sure the Ottawa Valley has its fair share of them, and West and in the Maritimes too. And then there’s all the snowbirds…

    78. one-eyed wolfdog: ….. …… i’m messsssmerissssed….

    83. Amateur: I admit I don’t read On The Fastrack, but I know it’s been probably near a decade now since I’ve stopped reading another of Bill Holbrook’s strips, Kevin & Kell, for pretty much the same reasons. The degree of dovetailing detail and interaction between more and more silly plot points and world-building has created in that strip a snowball effect away from its charming beginnings that has left me nonplussed and unwilling to follow. (When he got to anthropomorphic, sentient microbes, I said enough.) He’s a nice and definitely talented storyteller, and prolific to boot, but a little editing and retraint might have done wonders. There is something to say for keeping some status quo sometimes in a strip. (Though the ones we snark here usually have too much.)

  101. bats :[
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    95. Niall:
    “Then conquer we must
    When our cause it is just;
    And this be our motto:
    ‘In God is our trust.’”

    There were so many kids qualified to be valedictorian for our grade school that we had to learn three verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (there is a fourth, which is actually Verse 3, but it is deemed too violent and anti-British to be seen much anymore) and recite it in a valedictory-off to see who’d speak at graduation.

    Hell, I could not have cared less (good thing, too, since I didn’t make the cut) — I should’ve just expressed myself through interpretive dance. My parents would’ve killed me.

    OTOH, I’m remembering this from 37 years ago…

  102. Pozzo
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    Since Ken (excuse me — KEN!) doesn’t have facial hair, Mark is forbidden by Forest Law to employ the Right Fist o’ Justice. He was forced to make Bucky do his dirty work for him.

  103. Natalie
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    It would probably be pretty effective if we all sent complaint letters on the same day to our newspapers that carry Mark Trail (depending on how the next couple of strips play out.)

    Someone shout “GO” one of these days, and I’m on board.

    I call The Washington Post!

  104. Niall
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    101. bats :[ : To me, it would make complete and absolute historical sense that Star-Spangled Banner would be violently anti-British. I mean, considering the goal was to secede from Britain, it’s downright expected. The key word of course being “historical”. Things have changed since. Can a country change its official anthem? Would it want to? That’d be quite a debate… no, it shouldn’t be on here. :)

  105. SatansParakeet
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    Can anybody tell me when 9 Chickweed Lane became a straight up porn comic? And more importantly, when will it understand that the market for neverending foreplay is limited, at best?

  106. LA Steve
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers don’t really worry about “cash check or credit card” because they always write checks, usually for amounts like $1.43. They wait till the cashier has rung up the purchase before they start digging for the checkbook; then they enter and balance the check register, and finally write the check itself. Then they’re surprised to be asked for ID and have to search for that. When they finally get it all sorted out, and look like they’re ready to go, and have re-packed the purse, ID and checkbook, and the people in the rapidly-lengthening line behind them have started to unclench, the plugger will always say “Oh! I wanted some batteries too” and start writing another check for $1.57.

  107. Dr. Weird
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft

    Lucy has Alzheimer’s, no? So to twist the knife in the readers even more, she’ll forget about this shocking confession in a few strips and be happy with her sister.

  108. tommy
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    I really miss the retard who used to draw Gil Thorp.

  109. Sequitur
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    106 LA Steve: Hey! You’ve been in the same check out line I’ve been in.

  110. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    104 – Just to be pedantic, the Star Spangled Banner was from the War of 1812, so we had already seceded. The goal was to stay that way and grab Canada in the process.

  111. Sequitur
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    You know, now that I think of it, Jimmy Hatlo’s “They’ll Do It Every Time” was full of Pluggers.

  112. bats :[
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    104. Niall: there have been fits-and-spurts attempts to change the U.S. national anthem, citing that it’s too violent, it’s too hard to sing, yada yada. I happen to like it. I don’t like it so much when someone like Whitney Houston massacres it (she *does* hit all the notes, but only because she is so enamoured with melismatic singing (if you sing enough notes, you’re sure to hit the right ones sooner or later)).
    Potential alternatives have been “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America”. If it ever comes down to it, I’m going with “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and snorting all the way…

  113. UncleJeff
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    104 Niall: I think comedian Robert Klein has already finished the debate over the new National Anthem.

    82 Phred22: And then the new Weyerhaeuser clear-cuts the entire Lost Forest.

  114. Uncle Lumpy
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    #112 bats :[ –

    That’s melisma? I didn’t know there were actual notes in all that goo — I thought she was just sliding her voice around a lot. Sounds like yodelling, but without the discipline.

  115. Jumper
    March 4th, 2009 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    But to really put a Plugger into a frozen, cataleptic state, a fuddled recursive loop of indecision so perfect he literally freezes like a parkensonian Dr. Sachs patient, the cashier should ask brightly, (and it’s important to say this EXACTLY as the Plugger reaches for the wallet,) “Paper or plastic?”

  116. Black Drazon
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    Ayup, that is, for the third time, the same picture of Patty in wide-eyed terror as the past few times. They just keep cutting back to it whenever she needs to be shocked, which has been all the time for the past month. Reading Mark Trail has become like watching the old Spider-Man Cartoon, by which I mean it is still more action-packed than the Spider-Man we’re used to around here.

  117. Lettuce
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    Okay, I just got caught up on the Spiderman storyline, in which Electro does electrical stuff. Quality. Anyway, a few days ago there was a 2/3 full body shot of Electro, in which we saw that his outfit wasn’t just his garish electrical fright wig, but also included lightening suspenders and a big yellow diaper that nonetheless highlights his junk.

    This is, quite possibly, the most awesome thing I have ever seen that wasn’t Phantom’s stripy purple (and now turquoise) underoos. (I also got up-to-date on his storyline too.)

    I really really really want to have their wardrobes. And this last half hour in which I did all this back.

  118. seismic-2
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    113 UncleJeff – It was comedian Albert Brooks,wasn’t it?

  119. Comrade Denny
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    Methinks Darby C. has been reading Cracked lately.

  120. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    Since a few of us are bringing up comics that are almost never mentioned here, I really wish my paper would dump PARDON MY PLANET. I dislike it more every week. The occasional decent strips are not nearly enough to make up for the regular teeth-gritters. It’s as if the artist always draws the first idea that pops into his head, and that first idea usually belongs in the wastebasket.

    LUANN — I would just like to thank the Mudges who, in yesterthread comments, made it impossible for me to look at Elwood without wondering how big his equipment is and what he likes to do with it. As if following this strip wasn’t enough of an ordeal.

  121. Sissyphus
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know about you all, but I read the dialogue in the first panel of GT and my first attempt to reconcile it with the image had me thinking that that priest there was in the middle of some sort of flying knee drop. Also, that it was drawn by Escher.

  122. Amateur
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    #100 — Wow, Niall, that was very nicely put. You nailed it, and quite eloquently too. Especially when compared with what was essentially just a “GRRRR!” from me. (But please don’t feel the need to “admit” not reading “Fastrack.” If anything, that should be a boast, not an admittance.)

  123. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    # 117 Lettuce — You are not alone. I too am quite taken with Electro’s costume, and have said so on this forum too often. And look, I’m doing it again. And I’m even going to repeat my exciting observation that in one strip, the yellow diaper disappeared for no discernable reason and suddenly he was wearing a yellow belt and below that, he was green. His costume was, I mean. I hope.

    I am also fascinated by Electro’s ranting and muscled posing. In short, I haven’t been this obsessed with a costumed villain since the Queen of Diamonds in DT, and she ended up upside down and dead in a smokestack. Look out, Electro.

  124. Dan
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:33 pm [Reply]

    Anyone here dislike Mutts as much as I do? I don’t mean seething rage, exactly, but contempt nonetheless. It’s either the cute widdle kitty spouting malaprops with a lisp or it’s some plea for someone, anyone, to adopt a stray.

    Neither should be on the comics pages! I’ve got pitchforks and torches – pitchtorches, even! Who’s with me?

  125. Jumper
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    No, no no! If we change the National Anthem, I will never accept any other choice to replace it but THIS MUSIC:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyPc_sZTZUs

    Oddly, that’s the best version…

  126. Jeremiah
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    A3G – That smirk on Lu Ann’s father’s face can only mean one thing: he thinks Lu Ann has no friends since she lives with an android and a mythical harpy, and thus his snark will cut straight to her ravaged heart. Oh how that smirk will disappear when Lu Ann mentions that one friend she had who was shot. You show him, Lu Ann!

    RM – I keep hoping that the writers of Rex Morgan are doing “Ghost Ship” fanfic.

    JP – Finally, we’ve found something more boring than attending a cocktail party: reading about a Judge Parker cocktail party. (My apologies if this comment has already been made.)

  127. Muffaroo
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    9CL“It’s making my pinky turn blue.” That’s called foreshadowing! The real ring will make your ring finger turn green.

    Cshaft – “…sigh… then I murdered your parents and put lead in your drinking water. Oh, and I made sure your request to adopt that orphan girl would be turned down. I’ve been stealing from your house. And… well, this is hard, but here goes… I introduced you to Crankshaft.”

    DTracy – Ah, we’re back to doling out exposition with an eye dropper. This… episode… is brought… to you… by the Slow… Talkers…

    GAlley“I feel him.” Edge away slowly, Corky. Not because he said that, but because I think he’s the realistically drawn version of Herb. No good can come of this.

    H&Jamaal – Obscene phone call? What did he say, Jamaal? “I feel you.”? There’s a lot of that going around.

    MFmore – Well, when Tinsley draws the capital, he makes it his own. There’s no way he stole it from Garry Trudeau. Or Chris Muir. Or Stantis. Or any known photograph.

    Mduke – Marm knows where the bodies are buried. He put them there.

    Momma – Cripes, Mr. Hat is trying to fix Momma up with some Brant Parker character. Thank god she’s too old to breed.

    Pluggers – I don’t think she’s really a chicken. I’m guessing she’s a duck, and her husband hits her on the head a lot.

    Popeye – We’re about to see the end of the android’s life: nasty, brutish and shorted out.

    SFox – I’ll say the middle one is different, because it has my cursor hovering over it.

    SBump – “Can’t talk now. Rabbit humping face.” (ps: Good gag, anyway.)

    S-Man“Guess who?” Whoa! It’s Woody Woodpecker to the rescue!

  128. gh
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    #124 Dan –

    Boooo! I like Mutts. But I will agree to disagree, mainly because you reminded me of my favorite Dead Babies joke:

    Q: Which is easier to load — a dump truck full of bowling balls or a dump truck full of dead babies?

    A: Dead babies, because you can use a pitchfork.

  129. Muffaroo
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    spina, rob @96 – If Masky McDeath shows up in Crankshaft, he won’t be dressed in a tux. He’ll be wearing a porkpie hat and a bow tie and a suit with wide lapels, possibly over two-tones, and maybe smoking a pipe. If he comes for Mary Worth, he’ll be wearing a shapeless hat jammed down over his head, jogging pants, and Depends. If he comes for anybody in Gasoline Alley, he’ll be wearing a ball cap and overalls and have a wrench in his back pocket. In Lost Forest, he’ll look like Marlin Perkins.

    Sequitur @111 – The difference is that Hatlo’s (and Scaduto’s) characters didn’t accept their fate with mute, myopic meekness. They cursed their fate, earning points for defiance in the face of an implacably hostile universe. Pluggers seem to say, “Well, I guess those are the rules, and I don’t want to rock the boat.”

    UncleJeff @113 – I liked Albert Brooks’s routine “Rewriting the National Anthem.” One of the entrants sounded about like a plugger:

    Entrant: (to the tune of the Star-Spangled Banner)
    While we stand here wait-ing
    For the ball game to start,
    Let’s give thanks for our homes
    And our two-car garages.
    Let’s give thanks for TV…

    Judge: Thank you.

    Entrant: Let’s give…

    Judge: THANK YOU!

    Entrant: …Thank you.

    (seismic-2: I thought maybe Klein had done one too. I don’t know much of his material, though.)

    Jumper @125 – Here’s my favorite version of Stars and Stripes Forever. The second and third choruses are hair-raising (to a pianist, at least), and Dad says when he saw Horowitz play this in concert, the amazing thing was how much volume he could get out of a piano.

  130. bats :[
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    116. Black Drazon: yes, the Patty cut-back of horror is rather like the short video of the Prairie Dog of Doom:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHjFxJVeCQs

    Of course, without the prairie dog.

  131. Anonymous
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    I’m new here, so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but have you ever submitted jokes to Pluggers?

  132. PoeWar
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:13 pm [Reply]

    Patty, would you be a dear and go get an ambulance.

  133. bats :[
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:13 pm [Reply]

    Are there any national anthems that are purely instrumental (no lyrics)?
    Geez, even the original Star Trek music had lyrics. Hideous, hideous lyrics…

  134. Cathymw
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:23 pm [Reply]

    How can Ken — I mean, KEN —- be seriously injured if there isn’t any blood? I want to see his blood, dammit, the stupid wife-abusing, pet-deer-shooting bastard.

  135. juggernaut
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    No, seriously – how the fuck do you struggle with the concept of a credit card? Or writing a check? Or should she be paying in chicken feed? If there truly are Pluggers this stupid in the world, it would be safe to assume that they’re incapable of reading this strip, so shouldn’t it just magically blink out of existence? Huh? Please?

  136. Ukulele Ike
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: Okay, If Capt. Nemo, Jr’s boat is entirely run by robots, who cooked the dinner? I can’t picture the good captain with a wooden spoon in one hand and a frilly apron tied around her Ruritanian National Guard uniform. Was it the Ghost-Who-Tosses-Salads-on-an-Oil-Derrick?

  137. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    133 — Just to antagonize you, I went and found “Beyond Antares” on youtube for you…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6YOQMfiCKI

    Hideous, hideous lyrics… indeed.

  138. the good ship thetis
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    Not long after I met my future husband, he told me that he thought “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” should be the national anthem.
    Years later, he said he’d always thought the Ramones were overrated.
    If we ever get divorced, I’ll be able to point to that day as the beginning of the end.

  139. Miss Moxie
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:36 pm [Reply]

    #133 — Spain’s National Anthem is instrumental. They have to hum at the Olympics. I only know this because before the Olympics, somebody was trying to convince the government to get lyrics so their athletes wouldn’t have to look like morons (paraphrasing here). However, there’s something like 60 bajillion political parties in Spain, so the chances of that are someplace between “slim” and “none.”

  140. Uncle Lumpy
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    #120 Poteet — I hate Pardon My Planet! The jokes are usually lame! Everybody is faux hip! And the women are not quite hot enough! Except for sometimes that King Tut-haired brunette!

    #124 Dan — I hate Mutts! I’d like to give it a little pick sock — in the pants! That “Adopt a Pet” schtick gets old fast! But I kinda like Fred Bassett!

    General principles — I hate Wee Pals! For essentially the same reasons I hate Mutts — tell a frickin’ joke, fer Chrissake, don’t affirm my frickin’ life! But I think Quincy was terrific, and I still miss it!

    Puff puff puff.

    This ranting stuff is hard.

  141. Uncle Lumpy
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    #131 Anonymous –

    Welcome! Yes, there have been several Pluggers winners – the first was Racing J’s, here. Consensus seems to be that Pluggers is a tougher “get” than They’ll Do It Every Time was.

  142. Ignatz
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:47 pm [Reply]

    Mutts is the best thing on the comics page. There are far worse things than wearing your Herriman influence on your sleeve.

  143. seismic-2
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    Comedian Billy Connelly has a great routine on the UK National Anthem

  144. The Mighty Captain E
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    MT – I join the chorus of folks really disgustipated with the handling of the domestic abuse storyline. It is just an egregiously ignorant (or perhaps willfully shameful) treatment of the issue that is turning my stomach.
    You know what else?
    The episode is made all the more upsetting for me by the fact that most of the time we see Patty she is in that pose of overwhelming panic that transmits pure anxiety into my subconscious. A more capable ‘mudgeon could link to a string of images, but you have all seen this pose where she is leaning forward directing her attentions towards a supine Ken or Bucky or moving rock, her right arm is stretched forward and her left is dropped back, her coat is billowing out, and she has that pinched look of horror and panic on her face. Gah, my blood pressure is rising just typing that! What is that – some sort of Tubular Bells subliminal anxiety-inducing comic technique? No, of course not. It’s just lazy drawing, is all.

  145. Anonymous
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:09 pm [Reply]

    #63 – I think whoever draws this strip was watching some 1930′s English drawing room comedy on TV that day. I fully expect to see Thin Mustache some day wearing a maroon silk dressing gown, smoking a butt with a cigarette holder, and dispensing witty quips.

    #72 – It’s an ATHLETE that’s down! Nothing – NOTHING but the best! They are all Milford has, for cryin’ out loud!

    #124 – your ignorant ass must be new here. We here all LOVE Mutts, and you and whatever one or two new friends you make here will stand out like big red zits if you keep vomiting up hate against Mutts. There isn’t any, so STFU.

  146. anon
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:21 pm [Reply]

    FRAZZ !

    Just looked it up, out of curiosity. Smart, cute, Calvin-and-Hobbes – ish. I like it. Too bad it isn’t on the comics page of my local fishwrap.

  147. Captain Insano
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:21 pm [Reply]

    http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/4097/pluggermotivationalpost.jpg

    My God. Even the comics are depressing these days.

    Damn you, Pluggers. Damn you, capitalism.

  148. Josh
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    #145 Anonymous — Er, I harbor no particular hatred towards Mutts, but don’t bravely and anonymously fly off the handle at your fellow commentors because their taste in comics differ from yours. (See http://joshreads.com/?page_id=514 — rules three and four in particular.) Bans can and will be handed out, etc.

    And everyone else, don’t feed the trolls. Thanks.

    Josh (don’t make me come in there)

  149. Elliegal
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    MT- Patty morphed into Blondie Bumstead by the third panel.

  150. Chance
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    Haiku to Pluggers

    Cash, check, credit card
    Are three ways to pay — hey wait,
    Isn’t that four Cs?

  151. OKStan
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    The same guy who draws Safe Havens (pretty good) and On The Fastrack (okay, but I miss Melody), ALSO does Kevin and Kell. It’s about a large rabbit who marries a wolf.
    Quality HAS to suffer somewhere, and I think it’s On The Fastrack. Wendy used to be kinda scary, and Rose a LOT more mean.

  152. Mooncattie
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    #123 Poteet – I actually work at a City Hall, and I’ve been dreaming of the day that the lights all go out and Electro comes stomping downtown to visit the Mayor’s Office and demand a millionaire’s ransom to switch the power back on, except that at night time we would all be long gone for home, including the Mayor, and the elevator to the Mayor’s office would be out of service due to the lack of electricity, and it would be way too dark to find your way to the staircase at the back of the building, and by the time Electro does figure out where the Mayor actually is, and finds some sort of media outlet that doesn’t require power with which to announce his evil “Pay Me Or Else” demands, he’d be surrounded and trampled to Electropulp by a mob of disgruntled City Hall employees who can’t buy Lotto Tickets for tonight’s $17 million draw due to the power being off.

    I don’t dream all this at the office, though. Honest!

    Re: hates
    Isn’t hate an awful word? I hate Hi and Lois. It’s been around my entire life in my local paper, and I’ve always hated it and everyone in it. The twins with the stupid names are disgusting. Chip, at his absolute best, is useless. The father is a total loser. Mr. Foofram (sp?) is a horror. Thirsty should have died years ago. Trixie was an obvious accident involving a rainy night, siblings drugged with liquid Sominex and some unfortunate hormonal confluences.

    Recent structural changes to strips like FOOB and Winkerbean have me musing on the advantages of jumping Hi and Lois back or ahead a decade. Chip could be a new employee at Foofram Industries, working at a soul-stripping non-job at the desk next to Dad, with his long hair long since chopped to corporate-approved length and middle-aged bald patch well on the way. Dot and Ditto could be strung-out lookalikes, mooning for quarters down at the bus station for their next fix. Trixie would be ten-and-a-half, still in diapers, still unable to speak a word, forgotten by the rest of the family, continuing to mutter on internally about some damm Sunbeam. And Lois would be lounging around all day amongst bottles of Plovdiv, giggling insanely about recent parties that never actually happened. As for resetting the strip back ten years, it would at least eliminate the irritating younger characters.

    After expressing so much hate, it’s only proper to offer up a little bit of love. I love how GT’s Ashley is still in uniform in the hospital bed! Are they keeping her in overnight? Does she sleep in it? Does she dispense her free Zagnuts with it on? Will she be hobbling to the Winter Warmup with a fancy gown tossed over the uniform? Oh Ashley, if only I could be your Slim Jim….*sigh*

    There was something in all this nonsense that was important…..ah yes, the booze! Back shortly, folks!

  153. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    # 140 Uncle Lumpy — I’ll have to look more carefully at the King-Tut-haired brunette from now on. I read all the comics in my local paper on account of because I’ve paid for them. So I guess I deserve BIZARRO.

  154. migellito
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft – I’m amused that he’s made her evil. hehe

  155. Angevon
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    #124 – I only get Mutts on Sunday, so I’ve never developed any love/hate for it. It’s still on my read list because its a quick read and I find the squirrels in it much more amusing than their equivalents in Rose is Rose and Buckles.

    However, if I read Mutts daily, it would be a different story.

  156. Muffaroo
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    bats :[ @133 – I think the national anthem of Barbados is “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers, but I’m not sure.

  157. True Fable
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    I like chocolate. I would sicken on a constant diet of it, but every now and then a little taste of the sweetness is nice.

    I like Mutts. I would sicken on a constant diet of it, but every now and then a little taste of the sweetness is nice.

    I like Rose is Rose now and then. I would sicken on a constant diet of it, but every now and then a little taste of the sweetness is nice. Except when the little kid talks, and then I can’t understand a damn thing it says so I ignore it. Oh, and that whole rainbows-and-hearts-shooting-out-of-their-ass thing, that’s kind of disturbing.

    On the other hand, I dislike Hi and Lois and ONLY read it for the excellent snarkability it bears. It is like sliced tomatoes for me: Drippy and disgusting and pretty pointless but it goes good in soup.

    I hate English peas. They make me throw up and I find no redeeming nutritional value in them.

    I hate For Better or For Worse. It makes me throw up and I find no redeeming entertainment value in them other than ranting at it, which I am told is ultimately good for my mental health in a get-it-out-of-your-system way.

    Everything in between is just snarkably delicious.

  158. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    Alas, the DV plotline in Mark Trail is alarmingly realistic. The “friend” who doesn’t help. The victim who blames herself and doesn’t leave. The excuses. The mundaneness.

    Next there will be some cops that don’t care. It ends with her dead and her husband lying, saying she killed herself because she was hysterical. Mark Trail will write an obituary that’s mostly about the deer. The end.

    What happened to finding out more about hamsters on the internet? MT isn’t supposed to make me want to fling myself into the abyss. That’s what FW is for. And Crankshaft. And Pluggers. And FOOB. God, the comics are depressing.

  159. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    # 152 Mooncattie — Your dream is quite wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I especially like “Electropulp.”

    And my paper carries Hi and Lois, so I read it every day. It deserves your hatred.

  160. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    # 157 Sir Fable MTK — I’ve liked English peas since I was a child, so it didn’t surprise me to find out when I grew up that they are caloric. If it’s caloric and/or sweet, my tastebuds yell “YES!”

    The handy thing about liking English peas as a child is that it can make you look more virtuous at the dinner table than your pea-hating sibs. When I look back, no jury of her peers would have convicted ChattyGenes if she had killed me.

  161. rachel
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    Satan’s Parakeet @ 105:

    Not true. Look to the rampant success of the Twilight series as an example.

    Ignatz @ 142: well said. I’m just getting in to Krazy Kat; I got one of the Chris Ware collections for Christmas. Mutts doesn’t have a lot in terms of substance, but it does have a very distinct style that stands out and that I personally find aesthetically pleasing. the colors are also great.

  162. Muffaroo
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    Poteet @160 – H. Allen Smith was once at a banquet, seated not far from H.G. Wells. He kept his ears peeled to hear what pearls of wisdom may drop from the great man’s lips. All through the meal, says Smith, Wells continually asserted that he did not like little green peas, that he had never liked little green peas, and that he was confident he would go to his grave not liking little green peas.

    This doesn’t really say anything about peas, of course. A friend of my cousin’s had a relative (it may have been his father) who met Walt Kelly, and Kelly only wanted to discuss matters that had a direct bearing on his truculent drunkenness, going so far as to insult the relative’s choice of beverage as not being “a man’s drink.” So it goes.

  163. Yahtzee
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    Ashley’s grimace of rage at being forced to admit to normal human frailty, complete with clenched fist, convinces me that she has chosen Margo as a role model. Gil Thorp is about to get a LOT more interesting.

  164. BigTed
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers pay with gold bullion. Which they used all their money to buy after the nice man on the AM radio said that soon it would be the only valuable currency left. And you young fools listening to the rock and the roll and the hippety-hop will be sorry when the Chinese Russian Illuminati take over and you can’t even buy a box of shredded wheat with your silver-backed paper “dollars.”

  165. Frank Parsnip
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    The Facebook enforcers took down my Ted Confey page, but the “fans of Santa Royale” group still exists (albeit without an administrator) and I’m glad to see at least Jeff and Mary have escaped their axe for the time being. Hope everybody still shows up at Charterstone for the pool party on time — I’ll definitely be there!

  166. Ukulele Ike
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    English peas are okay. Just cook ‘em with bacon.

    A lot of bacon.

  167. Uncle Lumpy
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    #164 BT –

    Alas, the dollar is no longer silver-backed. It’s a “fiat” currency, which means its value is based on the full faith and credit of the US government, or possibly small rust-prone Italian cars.

  168. rachel
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    hey Uncle Lumpy, I was wondering- how did you get the understudy gig? are you a friend of Josh’s, or were you hand-picked on a merit basis?

  169. Carly
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    I love that rage on Ashley’s face. “A sprain? A SPRAIN? Fix my ankle, you incompetent moron! What good are you as a doctor if you can’t even do that?”

  170. bats :[
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    A British spy once tried to kill George Washington by poisoning a dish of peas (Washington liked peas). The plot was uncovered in time.

    I think that might be the gist of the very obscure fifth verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner”…

  171. Jess
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    #165 – Even Facebook has figured out that Ted is up to know good…

  172. Josh
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    #167 UL –

    BRYAN AND BIMETALLISM, HUZZAH!

    Josh

  173. Wolf Shepherd
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    GT – Several of the comments on this thread have assumed that Ashley sprained her ankle. I don’t see any evidence to support that. It seems more likely, given her treatment, that she sprained her knee. Then again, based only on how she is being examined in frame one, it is quite possible that she sprained her left buttocks.

  174. Mooncattie
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    #170 bats:[ – Ye Gads, what if he had succeeded?? We’d have Luann and class going off to London instead, where Delta would be bumping into her hero, Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Bleh! Fortunately, Luann and Delta made it to Washington last week. And PM Brown was there today.

    In the spirit of, well, having no spirits in the house, I made do with a nice mug of Barry’s Red Label Tea and a second look at Gil Thorp. I agree that Ashley’s clenched fist is awesome, but it’s the left eyebrow that has me swooning. No doubt, that’s keeping rich-kid snob Bryce coming back as well.

    True Fable Y-thread, many thanks for the link to Goat Beer and the Baltimore beer blog! I am this very evening planning my summer holidays, which as usual will involve high-quality European beer and high-quality European goats, and I promise links to video clips of the latter upon my return. On the topic of beer, may I ask the many worldly folk on these pages for their recommendations/thoughts on Beer places and experiences in Prague? There’s probably a better place to make such enquiries, but it’s so nice here.

  175. Wolf Shepherd
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    GT – Oh, and the reason Ashley is upset, of course, is that she won’t be able to dance at the Winter Warmup with the arrogant, self-absorbed but still cute and redeemable Bryce Larkin.

  176. kniemer
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:31 pm [Reply]

    I think the Pluggers counted wrong — that’s FOUR C’s:

    Cash
    Check
    Credit
    Card

  177. Niall
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    110. Calvin’s Cardboard Box: Point taken! I keep forgetting that bit of the war of 1812 – the one we keep knowing (somewhat erroneously) up in Canada as “the time we torched the white house”. Nonetheless, the point of the War of 1812 from the US point of view was still to be violent and anti-British, since Canada was pretty much equal to Britain, just a colony. :)

    112. bats :[ : I don’t think that legally one country can change its anthem very easily… to rightly resist the push of a particular and short-lived feeling, even if it’s shared by the nation as a group. If the feeling endures, then there are probably methods to change things. And I’m definitely with you on melismatic singing, a scourge of “diva” singing. The Disco Divas never needed that. And yes, isn’t it amazing how many don’t know where “My Country Tis of Thee” comes from? :)

    122. Amateur: no, no, it’s not a boast – I dislike making comparisons to a strip I haven’t read; it’s talking in ignorance. I’ll insult Elrod, but only because I read Mark Trail (for now); I can’t say much about Luann or 9 Chickweed Lane because I only occasionally peruse them. It’s just that your description of your dissatisfaction mirrored mine from another of his strips for a similar time period, so I wondered if connections could indeed be implied.

    130. bats :[ : You know, it wasn’t until a couple of months ago when I started watching Young Frankeinstein that I realised that’s where the Dramatic “Chipmunk” music came from… I had to pause the movie and laugh for several minutes. It fit just too well.

    As for other strips rarely mentioned, I still want to apologise to everyone for Chucle Brothers. It’s local to Ottawa, and my sister was sad to hear it wasn’t just restricted to the local paper. Oh, and when they added Dilbert on weekdays a couple of weeks ago, they didn’t take anything out, they just shrunk everything a little more…

  178. rachel
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    Mooncattie- I was just in Prague in October, and I would recommend the historic U Fleku. It’s an experience. Traditional Czech food, men wandering around playing the tuba and the accordion, and beer that looks like this:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3007/2992940063_e4d24e8b2d.jpg?v=0

    It was very loud when we went there, and you sit at long tables so it can get crowded. But that helps you make friends with your neighbors, which is nice. I will warn you, though– if you have a problem with secondhand smoke, you may want to skip it. I’m a smoker so it doesn’t bother me, but Prague in general is a very smoky city.

    Wikipedia sez:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Flek?

    Aside from that, we didn’t try any unique beers. As college students, we’re impressed enough by Pilsner-Urquell and Staropramen. But if you have any other inquiries about Prague, ask away. I spent six days there and had a great time.

  179. Poteet
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:45 pm [Reply]

    # 162 Muffaroo — HAR! Thanks, good stories.

    Also an incentive to avoid getting truculently drunk. I might rant against lima beans.

    Hm. When I remember Mam’selle Hepzibah and Rackety Coon Chile, it’s a little hard to imagine their creator being concerned about the masculinity of drinks.

  180. Dan
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    #145 – Well, no, I’m not new here. And obviously at least some don’t like it, so you’re wrong on both counts. But thanks for your brave words!

    Mutts is among the laziest nonlegacy strips out there. Sometimes it’s just one panel of a cat trying to look adorable. Are our standards so low now?

  181. Nekrotzar
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    Seriously though, Ken never hit Patty, except for when she got out of line and left him no choice. (& other cliches)

  182. commodorejohn
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    #100 Niall – Kevin & Kell lost me through a combination of A. intolerably rambling plot development (although at least Holbrook had the decency to break it up over multiple installments, as opposed to some of the draggers-on around here,) B. way way way too many profoundly un-entertaining Very Special Episodes where things in the strip’s universe were supposed to be allegorical for real-world issues that didn’t really correlate, and C. a whole lot of points where he obviously desperately wanted to break into some kind of epic graphic-novel-caliber storyline, but couldn’t pull himself far enough away from his gag-strip roots to make it even come close to working.

    I don’t read either of his other strips with any regularity, but from what I’ve seen, it looks like they have the same problems: a lot of generic gag-strippery, with the occasional possibly interesting and cool idea ground down into the same three-minute pop-song blandness. It’s kind of sad, really, because K&K is one of the best-looking webcomics outside of the very manga-influenced ones, but on the whole I don’t really miss it.

  183. Anonymous
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    Historical Know- it- All Sputters :Uh, I think the cook tried to poison Washington with tomatoes, which were considered lethal at the time, and grown as ornamental plants. Pluggers still consider tomatoes poison, I hear.

    Niall: And the War of 1812 is also called The War for Free Trade and Sailor’s Rights. The big bone of contention was British naval vessels kidnapping American sailors from American ships to serve on their hellhole men o’war. More info can be found, etc. A few half-hearted attempts to invade Canada were just sort of an add-on. But we did kick British ass at the Battle of New Orleans, which was fought
    after the peace treaty was signed at Ghent. More information couldn’t be found on the internet in those days.

  184. Paladin
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    The latest storyline in Luann is step 2 of Greg Evans’ long-term goal for the strip: “Show teenage girls that good things happen when they say ‘yes’ to their wealthy sugar-daddies.” This leads eventually into step 3: “Convince teenage girls that syndicated cartoonists are fabulously wealthy.” Unfortunately, he either completely flubbed or forgot about step 1, which was: “Get teenage girls to read and care about Luann.”

  185. Mooncattie
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:15 am [Reply]

    #178 rachel – Many thanks! The link to the U Fleku pub brought me to their website, which has a charming map with Family Circus-style dots leading around half the town (slight exaggeration) to get to the pub. And how often does one associate “charming” with “Family Circus”. It takes beer, I tells ya!

    I hope for a long weekend in Prague in early July. I’m searching for a 2 or 3-star spot to stay in which isn’t dumpy and is close to transit, and hope to do some walking about (and eventually stumbling about). The Castle, Wenceslas (sp?) Square, and happy beer spots that aren’t TOO touristy are what I’m hoping to explore, and I’ll be ready to name-drop Czech hockey players if needed to get around. I’ll try and learn a bit about Kafka before going as well. I’m easily depressed, so I guess I’m halfway there! (I’m sort of laughing as I type this. Too much tea!)

  186. Mooncattie
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    #183 Anonymous – Fortunately for Washington, the British call them “ToMAHtoes”, and they eventually called the whole thing off.
    Oh alright, I’ll go to sleep now. ‘night, all!

  187. Jessie
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:23 am [Reply]

    Why are Patty and KEN dressed as auto mechanics? Is this some sort of regular roleplay for them?

  188. bats :[
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    Well, the pea story came from my set of “Golden books of US History” c. 1963. There was even an illustration of the guy doctoring peas with a bottle of something. (I think the serving girl squealed.) Still, the set came from many stamps collected at El Rancho Supermarket, so the veracity might be in question.

    Tomatoes were shedding their poisonous rep by the 1700s (heck, the Moors adopted them almost immediately, knowing better to eat the red parts rather than the green parts). The potato’s lethal nature stuck around somewhat longer.

  189. bats :[
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    They didn’t even have the intertubes to double-check on the Ghent accords?! Travesty!
    They should’ve just consulted with Mary Worth — she should’ve been a blushing 40-year-old around then.

  190. Esther Blodgett
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    I’ll miss you, Ted Confey’s Facebook page. :(

    OK, you folks get back to Mark Trail/Crankshaft/Get Fuzzy righteous indignation, and I’ll go back to lurking until the comics get funny again!

  191. bats :[
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    190. Esther: whatever you do, do NOT hold your breath waiting for that to happen. I repeat: do NOT hold your breath!

    I like Mutts (more so when it’s Mooch, even if there isn’t much in the way of plot). I absolutely love Cul de Sac; if the guy doing it doesn’t have kids, he must be channeling his own childhood. I’m not fond of kid-centric strips, but this is a great exception.

  192. Helena Handbasket
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    Poteet @ 179: I have found that the only acceptable way to eat lima beans is to saute a small bag of frozen lima beans in an entire stick of (real) butter until the butter is all absorbed into the beans.. Yuuuuuuum. Enough butter makes almost anything tasty.

  193. minnie
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    Foob! What is going on? Ted is suddenly mama’s little darling as well? This is a twist from his entertainingly 1-dimensional lecherous self of the years-ago runs.

    But that halo over his head in the last panel (masquerading as a recessed light) is too bizarre!

    Some Freudian slip! Ted is Lynn’s unconscious manifestation of someone — I won’t try to guess.

  194. Francis
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:05 am [Reply]

    I bet this Mark Trail storyline is going to turn out to be some sort of weird KenKen tie-in with the New York Times.

  195. rachel
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:16 am [Reply]

  196. bats :[
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:23 am [Reply]

    Well, there’s my two cents’ worth (honestly, I have no idea where Elrod is going with this story, or why):
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/3330315168/sizes/o/

  197. Frank Parsnip
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    MW: Thank God Adrian decided to express her feelings non-verbally. Meanwhile poor Jeff and Mary are stuck sitting next to each other on the couch, each hoping that the other will make some awkward move that may eventually lead to something other than a comment about “laundry that just won’t do itself…”

    MT: Given how horribly outdated everything is in this strip, I’m halfway expecting Mark to apply a tournequet to Ken’s mid-section. I do like the squirrel shouting out: “PATTY’S PET DEER GORED YOU!” like he’s taunting Ken for the little nature beyotch he is.

    A3G: I like it when LuAnn’s dad colors his hair yellow and shows up in Tommie’s hospital.

    Sex Organ, M.D.: Having hallucinations about giggling little boys “darting in and out of the shadows” is one of the side effects of wearing such a hideous pink outfit.

    DtM: This is so absolutely non-menacing that I daresay it would appear the caption was mixed up with a Family Circus cartoon. Where’s the “Drawn by Jeffy, age 5″ that should normally accompany this sort of claptrap! For creepy and menacing, I’d rather see Ketcham take advantage of the conspiratorial look on Dennis’ face and the pissed-off look on Alice’s face to use the following captions:

    1.) “Dad changed his email password last week.”
    2.) “Dad keeps those pictures on his other computer.”

    BB: Technically speaking heroin is not considered a “performance enhancing” drug. As Beetle lays there on his cot, strung out and with his track marks exposed for the world to see, Corporal Yo and Sarge really don’t have much to say about it.

  198. Donkey Hotey
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    #106 LA Steve and #109 Sequitur – I’m sorry to say you’ve been in line behind my mom. She has never used an ATM or had a debit card. She won’t use a credit card for any purchase smaller than $50 (except gas). She uses checks for any purchase over $20 and cash for any purchase smaller than that, and she doesn’t start writing the check until after the checker has announced the total and answered my mom’s questions about her husband, kids, boss’ wedding, etc.

    I try to avoid going to the grocery store with her. The glares from the unfortunate souls in line behind her would fell a lesser being.

  199. Poteet
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:45 am [Reply]

    # 192 Helena — Thanks. And you are so right about butter. When I was a nature counselor at a summer camp playing Euell Gibbons, I used a lot of it on wild, um, goodies.

    3/5 A3G — Ouch, my neck hurts from the sudden wrenching back to the Tommie storyline. Good-bye again, Lu Ann, possibly until April.

    JP — As appealing as April’s face is when she’s smiling sideways, I’m ready to change perspective again and make sure the rest of her is still okay.

  200. Poteet
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    MW — I can see the wedding now. Cinnamon-dressed bridesmaids, cinnamon-themed decorations, a cinnamon cake. And the band playing “Cinnamon Girl.”

  201. DrPill
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    To those Pardon My Planet lovers and/or haters, artist Vic Lee has a second life as “Lyden Saint John.” Here’s a sample at his Web site,
    http://www.stvictordiaries.com/gallery/
    Not that you’ll like his fine art any more than the comic, but hey … see where the Tut-haired brunette comes from.

  202. Miss Jo
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:09 am [Reply]

    # 165 — Frank

    Oh NO! My poor, poor Adrian is lover-less! Whatever shall she DO? Wherever shall she GO?

    /sniffle/ He was the ice cubes to my Tab soda…

    Gonna have to change her status to something suitably melodramatic.

  203. Shave Ezra
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:10 am [Reply]

    Luann – Oh no, it’s Masky McDeath!

    A3G – Zombie Alan made a funny! He’s “dead on his feet”!

  204. Winky's Spleen
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:19 am [Reply]

    To weigh in on the Mutts debate, since yesterday’s “La France: Oui ou non?” seems to have run its course: I don’t care for it – it’s insipidly sweet for my taste. I know the artwork has its fans, and its heart is in the right place. So I don’t hate it – that I reserve for strips like Momma that wallow in truly ugly aspects of humanity. But I’m not about to issue anonymous threats against its non-fans, either.

  205. Winky's Spleen
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:22 am [Reply]

    Oh, and bats :[ (#195) – kudos on the “Gah – my spleen!”

  206. bats :[
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:24 am [Reply]

    I’m sorry.
    It’s all my fault.
    No, I really mean it.
    It’s all my fault.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/3330403264/sizes/o/

  207. Anonymous & Onymous
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    MW: Adrian and Ted share a moment with all the rest of us. TMI, guys. This is why you love him? It’s always nice to know when a relationship is built on a long-lasting foundation; a hefty, rock solid, indefatigable foundation. Surely lust alone won’t wear out for another six months or so! Five if you stick with the pet names.

  208. mumbles
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    A3G: It would be so nice for Tommy to have that smug-happy look on her face because she got laid the night before. But sadly, the answer’s more likely to be, “I finished all my chores early last night.”

    JP: “Yes, I have a quick-turnaround trip to an exotic foreign locale. And yes, I’m wearing a trenchcoat. But NO, I’m NOT in the CIA anymore.”

    MW: You know, there’s nothing more romantic than making out in front of a “going out of business” sign. What a turn-on. On my agenda this weekend: hanging out outside Circuit City.

  209. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    Maybe Plugger lady will have to harvest the jewelry in her cradle–I mean jewelry box.

  210. True Fable
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:46 am [Reply]

    A3G Tommie looks happy? She just looks cross-eyed to me.
    BB Damn coloring gnomes. Damn Stereotyping Walkers!
    C’haft Yes, it’s all your fault. Now shut up.
    Children of the Circle Good Lord. Hose him off with the ICY hose water.
    Canadian Zombie You can always tell the patient is going to be fugly and have hideously knobbly teeth: she has a weird name. Lynnie Baby never gives pretty people weird names.
    Ah Lynnie Baby, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Time enough for you to draw your venomous swordlike pen and do some more whittling on your ex-husband’s icon figure. Oh my little wedge of caribou patty, this shit is tired and weak. Give it up, baby. No, no- I mean give up comics. I sure don’t want you to give up anything else around me. This red-hot Fable is STILL not for you!
    Flaky Weinerbean Well god no, Les; don’t let your daughter out of your sight long enough to develop a normal friendship with a teammate! Geez.
    Scenes from Suburban Hell Descent to the Seventh Level: nothin’ here but us throwaway panels.
    Judge Perky So April just showed up to get him all hot and bothered? Honey, please – this is Randy.
    Frothy Blonde Dipshit But suppose lil American Miss doesn’t have a passport, stud?
    Unflattering Presidential Name Use Oh, fuck you, Mallard.
    Fist O Justice Theater Oh great; NOW he’s going to see the wrong he’s done? And just what wrong does he think that is? He should have taken better aim? It’s his fault he didn’t shoot Mark earlier? He regrets not getting in one last punch at Patty? Psst, Mark! Draw a moustache on him and whale away for a while; like he says, he deserves it! Bucky won’t mind taking the blame – hell, if justice means anything he’ll be back to stomp in BOTH of you.
    Meddling Heights Yes, Jeff will miss Adrian I suppose, because she sure won’t want to stick around Mary any longer once she’s married. Hell, she’s not even around that much now while she’s single.
    Kit Walker, Bangalla Ranger So they just set out without notifying anyone? Gee, that’s not very smart for a single-person “crew”.

  211. True Fable
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:01 am [Reply]

    # 196 & # 206 bats :[ – LOL! Come run away with me! Right now!

  212. secret bicycle
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:01 am [Reply]

    wow, Beetle Bailey really is stuck in the 50s

  213. tk
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:02 am [Reply]

    #13 Chyron HR — are you called that because of the TV mo-sheen?

  214. Frank Parsnip
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:08 am [Reply]

    Miss Jo (202): I wonder if Facebook’s goons were so cruel as to break off Adrian’s engagement once they decided to kill off Ted’s page. Do they have a little broken-heart logo with an update message that says “Facebook has broken off Adrian’s engagement to Ted Confey.”

  215. Nurse with a penis
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:16 am [Reply]

    MW – (Thurs) – Mary & Jeff are back hangin’ out at Mary’s as evidenced by Mary’s MODERNE MUSTARD COUCH OF DEATH!    

  216. Miss Jo
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:22 am [Reply]

    # 214 Frank — nope, she’s still engaged. Just, apparently, to a nonexistent entity. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

  217. kurt
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:34 am [Reply]

    MT for 3/5:
    OhmyGAWD..the Squirrel’s Talking and driving everyone NUTS!

  218. Mibbitmaker
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:04 am [Reply]

    Getting 3/4/09 out of the way:

    A3G: Has that man no limit to his daughter-hating passive-aggressiveness? Hard as it is to believe, I’m starting to like that guy.

    9CL: GYP! GYP!!

    Agnes: Rebelling against authority is right-wing?? Wha’???

    DT: Being bitten means a woman is biting you? Whaaa????

    GA: “I feel him”?? The word “what” abreviated, but with extra “a”s attached????

    MT: Disgusting, but I’ll wait until I see the new one to comment…

    Ghost-Who-Makes-You-Say-”Whaaa???”: Gee, Walker — inscrutable much?

    Popeye: People who are mean and nasty don’t go around SAYING, “I’m mean and nasty”!

    ZtP: Gee, I know I’ve said that Bernie Madoff was a pinhead, but…

  219. Frank Parsnip
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:30 am [Reply]

    Miss Jo (216): I was actually thinking of using Ted Confey’s Facebook page for a bit of good. I ran some searches to se if there were any real Vietnamese “peace village” charities to which people’s abundant good will could be directed. I found this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Meets_West_Foundation that seems to be the “Peace Village”.

    Sadly, every attempt I made to locate the “Jeff Corey Peace Village” kept leading me to websites full of old, fat men in Southeast Asian girlie bars.

  220. Mibbitmaker
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:36 am [Reply]

    Now, 3/5:

    9CL: And the secret message is: “Let’s go have some hand sex!”

    A3G: “…And, by the way, Joe…. Get lost.”

    Curtis: Seriously, Michelle — Call the police!

    DT: They now call him — I.O.U Plenty.

    GA: A man of many names. One being ‘Martin Luther King Impersonator’.

    JP: “Really? I know of some guy named Manuel who’s from there. Last I heard, he was working at a hotel in England…”

    MT: No “probably” about it, Bucko.

    MW: I like the idea of the “Out of business” sign being foreshadowing about their ‘relationship’.

  221. athena
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:55 am [Reply]

    A3G: “I’m happy when I’m busy,” says Tommie. Given that she’s an emergency-room nurse, that means she’s happiest when record numbers of injured, shot, knived, and otherwise stricken people are pouring through. Apparently living with Margo has rubbed off on her.

    MW: I love the “Going Out of Business” sign prominently displayed as Ted and Adrian smooch. Blatant foreshadowing, anyone?

  222. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:03 am [Reply]

    The Star Spangled Banner wasn’t adopted as the national anthem until 1931, so you would have thought that feeling about the War of 1812 would have died down a bit by then.

    After all, Canadians have almost given up on The Maple Leaf Forever:
    At Queenston Heights and Lundy’s Lane,
    Our brave fathers side by side,
    For freedom, home and loved ones dear,
    Proudly fought and nobly died.

    Until 1931 the de facto US national anthem was Hail Columbia, which is almost forgotten these days.

    The Irish have a fairly violent national anthem, all about charging through a hail of whizzing bullets into the gap of death, but then their War of Independence is still within living memory.

    Some countries do tinker with their anthem. The Australians changed the sexist

    Australians sons, let us rejoice

    to

    Australians all, let us rejoice

    upon official adoption in 1984, but they left in the ageist

    For we are young and free

    in the second line.

    Although I attended school in the US for a few years, I never learned The Star Spangled Banner because we lived in the South, and the parents would have burned down the school if we had sung any songs about the hated Yankee rag. Neither did we ever say the Pledge of Allegiance, despite “liberty, equality and justice” having been changed to “liberty and justice” specifically to cater to the southern states.

    However, since I do have an interest in 18th century music, I am probably one of the few people who, on hearing that tune, associates it with its original words:

    To ANACREON in Heav’n, where he sat in full Glee,
    A few Sons of Harmony sent a Petition,
    That He their Inspirer and Patron wou’d be;
    When this Answer arriv’d from the JOLLY OLD GRECIAN
    “Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
    “No longer be mute,
    “I’ll lend you my Name and inspire you to boot,
    “And, besides, I’ll instruct you like me, to intwine
    “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’s Vine.

    If I ever start my own country, that would be on the short list for the anthem.

  223. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:09 am [Reply]

    Australia’s sons , that should be.

    Canada also tinkered with the words of its national anthem, but they would have done better to leave it the way it was (IMO).

  224. Wangdoodle
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:14 am [Reply]

    In celebration of Slurs Against The French Is Really Culture War In Defense Of Free Speech Day, I offer this joke: A badly-beaten Polish-African homosexual wearing women’s clothes and a strap-on dildo walks into a bar carrying a screen door, a watermelon, and a spear with an aborted fetus on the tip… …What? Oh, now you’re offended. Sorry, I still can’t figure out these “Comedy Central Progressive” rules, it just sounds like hypocrisy to me.

    Crankshaft: “And when you never heard from him, that’s when you had your…appendicitis. And then Nagasaki was A-bombed! And then my dog died! And just a few decades later, they canceled Barney Miller! And then 9-11! It’s all because of me! Me me me me me me!”

    DT: So Gravel Gertie’s a ghost now? Why does she glow in the dark?

    Curtis: If you’re so damn faaabulous, sweetheart, just have him killed.

    FC: Oh, dear. THAT’S NOT MUD.

    MT: So the moral here is, “take better aim?”

    My Cage: What, John Updike doesn’t get an animal name? I know you have to tread carefully around a name like “Updike,” but…

  225. Frank Parsnip
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:50 am [Reply]

    Wangdoodle, given that nobody is raising the issue of the French, what precisely is your point? I ask sincerely and suggest that an appropriate antidote for whatever it is that it ailing you is Gil Thorp, which never fails to bring a smile to most faces and has precious little to offend Francophiles other than the presence of characters who are good at sports.

    By that, of course, I mean that there are some people who, Francophiles or not, would be offended at the sight of such characters. I can never predict what is going to set certain people off. For me, it’s comic strips with clowns, which is why I avoid Zippy whenever possible. Not because he actually is a clown but because his manner of dress reminds me of them.

  226. Charles
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:59 am [Reply]

    GT: Getting a hospital bed for a sprain, nice world. Either that or we’ll have a future storyline about everyone chipping in to pay off Ashley’s $15,000 medical bill.

  227. True Fable
    March 5th, 2009 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    There’s only a select few comics that I won’t read no matter what. The rest of them I might read, I might not, depending on how I feel but these few are perpetually cast out of my playlist: Ballard Street (stupid to the tenth power), Dinette Set (busy art and just not funny), Grin and Bear It (my all-time most hated strip!), Quigmans (another scratchy mess like Dinette), Sylvia (AAUUGH God that strip kills my eyeballs dead) Willy & Ethel (yawn), Tiger (old hat, not funny).

    I usually don’t bother with Peanuts because it’s in rerun and it’s already run the strips I liked best.

    I’m not a big fan of Nancy either but it doesn’t run in the Chron so it doesn’t get The Un-Checkmark of Death. Bwahahaha!

  228. Ned Ryerson
    March 5th, 2009 at 7:51 am [Reply]

    MT: Squirrels are the snitches of Lost Forest.

  229. gleeb
    March 5th, 2009 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    9CL: Ah, the tender message is, “blow me”.

    Archie: “Jughead, you spend 20 bucks to rent skis and another 70 for a ski lift ticket!” “Exactly!” “But you could have spent that money on nasty, overpriced ski resort food!” “AAAAAUGH!”

    ‘shaft: She suffered her what? Has she been in that bed for 50 years?

    Edge City: Great, another flash-heavy intro page that gives me no useful information and that I can’t skip. I always wondered what goofballs thought they were desirable.

    ‘bean: Creepy Les can’t stop thinking about two adolescent girls in a locker room, undressing, showering, putting on clean, fresh underwear…

    Mark: Thank you, Witness Squirrel.

    Spidey: Well, at least Pete learned something from watching all those old Three Stooges shorts on teevee.

  230. Gojira
    March 5th, 2009 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    #222 Mr. O’Malley re: national anthems: Then there’s Puerto Rico’s national anthem. Instead of “rocket’s red glare” or “to arms, citizens” or even “we stand on guard for thee,” there’s:

    The land of Borinquen
    where I have been born
    is a flowery garden
    of magical beauty.

    A constantly clear sky
    serves as its canopy
    and placid lullabies are sung
    by the waves at its [Borinquen's] feet.

    (Translated, of course. There’s a little more to it, pretty much along the same lines.)

    No swords, cannons, or guns, but it sure sounds nice.

  231. BigDave
    March 5th, 2009 at 8:30 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker 3/5-
    April: “I just wanted to stop by tonight and share your moment… and my breasts. Can’t forget my breasts!”

  232. Jen X
    March 5th, 2009 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Are we sure that Ken is the father of Mary’s future baby? Or is birthing antlers going to be as challenging as it sounds?

    Dammit, I’m trying to make a bestiality joke here, but it’s just not working out. Back to the drawing board…

  233. Niall
    March 5th, 2009 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: I always wondered what happened to The Last Unicorn‘s Molly Grue… I see she had to take on other roles to put food on teh table. That wig is so not her.

    thorp: when has any school dance cared about how many players from on particular sport are attending? How would they even know?

    Mark Trail: If he’s been gored, shouldn’t it mean his entrails are lying outside his body? That would be a nice way to make up for the stupidity, Elrod. “Probably deserved it”?? Not enough.

    Mary Worth: Adrian and Ted share a moment. The moment is going out of business.

    My Cage: Um, were there actual copyright reasons to not name any actual books by John Updike? Also, I’m not sure the hand-art for “Sigh” and “Gasp” works well, as they are outside the main speech balloons. Maybe it does for others, but I didn’t see or read them until after I had finished reading the main text.

    Pluggers: non-Pluggers’ gag reflex. (I mean, the moment itself is fine, but no one sane would actually call it that.)

  234. Twinkles the Elf
    March 5th, 2009 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Today’s Lio: that unshaven adult slob is Lio’s father? I always thought he lived with a creepy pederast.

  235. mordock999
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    Today’s Luann 03/05/09

    So, do we have the BEGINING of Evan’s Latest Morality Tale for dear, sweet, innocent, Luann?

    “Is it Better to fall in Love for Love, or is better to fall in Love for Money?”

    Will she follow the OLD convention and WAIT til she grows up, graduates college, gets a “GOOD” job and THEN find Mr. “RIGHT” only to get laid off, divorced, and then spend the rest of her life filled with REGRET?

    Or will she say the HELL with the above and go straight for the DOUGH???

    Decisions, decisions….,

    _____________________________________

    DEATH to TJ!

  236. Little Guy
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    222: The Star-Spangled Banner, Complete Version, Condensed:

    1st Verse: Is it there?
    2nd Verse: Yay! It’s there!
    3rd Verse: They suck.
    4th Verse: We don’t.

  237. Crankshafts funky smelling corpse
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    @ bats: Dude, that was awesome!

    @gleeb: I bet she had a miscarriage, or better yet, a back alley abortion, because Eugene wasn’t coming back. Geez, how miserable.

  238. Brick Bradford
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    MT “I probably deserve it”. Probably?

    Luann It’s funny because a teenage girl is thinking about turning into a whore.

    MW “Going Out of Business Sale” Wow! Cutting edge social commentary! Or is it an ironic comment on Adrian and Ted’s doomed relationship?
    Or does it foreshadow revelations about Ted’s finanical situation? Or is Mary getting out of the meddling game? Or was the artist just too lazy to knock himself out on the backgrounds?

    A3G It’s like they have no idea for a plot so they keep jumping from situation to situation until something takes.

  239. buckyswife
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    MW: So now Ted’s and Adrian’s relationship makes sense–like just about everything else in the comics these days, the economy caused it.

    Curtis: It’s nice to see that Curtis is keeping up with his Junior Stalker Training Course.

    MT: The talking squirrel seems to be the highlight of everyone’s day–and no wonder: It’s bad enough to get gored by a semi-domesticated deer, but then to endure squirrel taunting? Enough, Elrod–give poor Ken a break! Surely he must have our sympathies by now, poor man.

  240. Chyron HR
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    #213 TK – I’m called that because of my quick, information-less commentary on the day’s comics. To wit:

    Dick Tracy – “That’s a tough one to deal with, Gertie. Does he have some kind of tie that could get caught in the slot reels, tightening until it pinches his head clean off? Or maybe there could be a big pyramid that he gets impaled on? I’m just going with my strengths here.”

    Gasoline Alley – Oh, that’s funny, Earl, because this strip always reminds me of the words in that ol’ song from the 1960′s: “All we can do is echo your anguished cries, stare all human feeling dies…”

    Luann – “Then I was gonna fly ya to Belgium. I hear that’s where self-absorbed blonde bimbos like you put out for schlubs like me.”

    Popeye – This is the worst Battlestar Galactica crossover I’ve ever seen.

    Rex Morgan – He was darting in and out of the shadows and giggling? Are we talking about the Norwalk Fairy, here?

    Edison Lee – Die in a 6000°F fire.

  241. kalki
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    9CL: I wish I could unread this whole stupid storyline…

    Archie: At this point, I wish Ernst Stavro Blofeld would show up and trigger an avalanche….or just ride up and run over these guys in an Avalanche…

    Crank: Suffered what? Booty rash? Crucifixion? Beheading? WHAT? Nope…nevermind…I’ve lost interest.

    DTM: Plus, she’s using Vista and visiting trap porn sites with no firewall or antivirus software.

    CircusJerk: Looks like a Cleveland Steamer gone awry.

    FW: Once again, Les’ smothering parenting style and creepy proximity to a locker room full of naked teenage girls (including his daughter) fail to raise any red flags with Keisha’s mom.

    GA: Here…can you see this bird?

    Luann: It dawns on Luann…Elwood can buy her nice things…with money…and all she has to do is keep him happy…and she’ll get things and money in exchange for providing happiness..

    I guess I was wrong about Tiffany being the first one from Luann’s class to end up working on her back…

    S-M: What does it say about the Marvel Universe when Spidey is comparing himself to DC superheroes instead of Marvel ones?

  242. Muddtallica
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    I’d just like to say: well done to My Cage‘s Ed Power for breaking from the rigid “animal-name-pun” motif with today’s strip. It’s a cute joke, but I felt that it had started to become a bit of a rod for the strip’s back; trying to shoehorn it in today would have just obscured the joke needlessly, and now that the convention has been bucked, the strip will hopefully be free to be a bit more flexible in future.

    And that’s all I have to say today, because I’m still in mourning over Facebook’s decision to kill our mutual friend Ted Confey. The Charterstone Pool Party will just have to rock twice as hard to honour his memory. :(

  243. Islamorada Girl
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    DIE, KEN! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE!

    Do the decent thing for once in your life and die.

  244. Tracer Bullet
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    Doonesbury: I always preferred, “Jesus saves souls . . . and redeems them for valuable cash and prizes.”

    Cancerbean: Translation: Keisha and Summer are enjoying a torrid lesbian preteen interracial grope-fest. Batiuck, you’re a damned pervert and damn you for telling, not showing.

    GT: Aahh! Bryce has turned into a heartless cyborg killing machine! Run, run for your lives!

    JP: Randy, I swear to God, if you don’t knock the bottom out of that you should be forced to donate your penis and testicles to someone who’ll actually use them. Clearly, that doesn’t include Sam, but somebody should be enjoying the company of all the top-shelf women in this stupid strip.

    Mary Worth: Setting new levels of romantic awkwardness since 1943.

    PBS: Dammit, I didn’t want to laugh at such a dumb joke. Curse you, ninja crocs. Cuuuuuurse you!

  245. AMSTERDANG
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    Patty’s pet deer gored you. Patty’s pet deer gored you. Patty’s pet deer gored you. Yup, I really think I could happily say that charming line all day long.

  246. Dingo
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    Well, no matter what else we can throw at Moy & Giella, you have to give them credit for being up with the times. Ted and Androidian are smacking in front of a store with a Going Out of Business sign. Even if the characters seems stuck in 1957, the times are correct.

    Next up in Mark Trail, Roosevelt announces his New Deal.

  247. Calico
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    I like the GOOB sign too-it’s like an evil harbinger of not only economic desperation, but romantic failure.
    I think Adrian’s ready for Peace Village – should we tell her, or let Ted take her and her credit rating for a little joy ride into the pits of despair?

    And another thing – when I go to the FOOB page online, I sneeze. It’s been happening for about a week now.

  248. Calico
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    #238 – Suddenly we see Luann plunked back in the big city, and Tommie is wandering along a lonely country road, picking weeds and wondering what the hell just happened.
    Margo just keeps being Margo. More Margo, Mule!

  249. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    3/5

    MW: There’s not much context for Jeff saying that Adrian “seems like a different person.” We didn’t see much of what she was like before. So making out in front of troubling economic indicators, that’s a new thing?

    Shoe: I think the word Roz is looking for is “no.”

    FC: “Dolly thought she’d seen the last of me when she dug that shallow grave. But I’m back and I’m pissed off.”

    9CL: In another subtle visual clue, Amos’ cello case goes from flaccid in panel one to “up and at ‘em” in panel three.

    C-Shaft: Lucy is calling out to the angel of death. “Oh great Reaper, please take one of us. Just so I don’t have to listen to this self-absorbed asshole anymore.”

    MC: You know, I think it would tickle John Updike to know that he’s got an advocate in the monotreme community.

    GA: What is this? Corky’s dying vision of Charlie Parker?

    S-M1: “New York’s stuck with me.” Well, there’s truth in advertising for you.

    S-M2: Is the fact that Spidey only mentions DC heroes an indicator of Stan Lee’s rocky current relationship with Marvel?

    S-M3: How long were he and the burglars rehearsing this Three Stooges schtick anyway?

    H&J: The joke was probably funnier on the “you know you’re getting older” gag birthday card.

    DtM: I tell you Alice, stay away from those TGP porn sites. They’ve got the nastiest viruses in the world.

    GT: Proving that school dances can be just as disjointed and disorienting as school sports.

    Luann: Something they ate isn’t agreeing with me, ’cause I’m feeling real sick.

    Peanuts: Sparky was ahead of the meta-curve.

    S4th: Watching Hil stroke that fluffy white cat makes me wonder what she’d be like as a Bond villain. There’s an idea for Sunday.

    DT: Dick can’t help you there, Gertie. A class action lawsuit prevents him from going on Indian land.

  250. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    A3G: Tommie finally cracked and whizzed in Margo’s coffee cup.

  251. Carlo
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    In today’s installment, Sally Forth has given into product placement. Unfortunately for Francesco, his comic decided to use a dead guy with no real means of remuneration.

  252. Esther Blodgett
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    I can’t stand it…too much good stuff in the comics today…must comment…

    MW: Watching Ted and Adrian liplocked, I suddenly had an epiphany: the best kisses I’ve ever received have been from men with mustaches (including Mr. Blodgett). Discuss. Also discuss the potential foreshadowing in the huge “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS” sign behind them.

    MT: Domestic abuse is a horrible crime. Agreed. That said, squirrels saying “Patty’s pet deer gored you” (presumably in a squeaky little squirrel voice) is hilarious to an awesome degree.

    H&J: “Afro.” The quotation marks must be there to safely contain the potentially hazardous naming of a specific hairstyle. By that logic, “NBA” should also be quote-marked. And “hair.” And “you.”

    PBS: Ninja crocodile carrying a tuba. This – this is visual humor. Lesser cartoonists, take note.

    S4th: Josh, if you ever start awarding Comment of the Week to the comics themselves, today’s punchline is a huge winner.

    GF: Funny, funny, funny, FUNNY! Vive le Bucky!

  253. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    H: Hey, Jamaal, let me take this opportunity to recap your character’s back story…
    H: …because otherwise I don’t know how to fill three panels…
    H: …setting up yet another bald joke. Say, this picture indicates that you once had hair upon your head!
    J: Yes, but now I do not have hair!

  254. Dingo
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    When is the last time anyone, even a family member of his, casually brought up Norman Vincent Peale in conversation? Next week in Sally Forth: Queen Marie of Romania, Tovah Feldshuh, Lenny Skutnik, and Miskel Spillman.

  255. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Bizarro -Nice to see the Wrong Brothers found work after Rocky & Bullwinkle. (Looking good, fellas.)

    C2Home – Why are those guys on the TV?

    Cshaft – The time to feel bad about it was sixty years ago. You could have just pretended the letter blew behind the couch or something. I guess that’s not melodramatic enough for Ratfuk.

    Crock – Ha ha! He never met a cross-dresser before.

    DTracy – Gravel Gertie? Hell, that’s just Ms. Grundy in a wig.

    FCircus – “That new German kid showed me a real fun game!”

    GAlley – Free Byrd! FREE BYRD!!

    HtHorrible – “After last night, I expect you to wash up to your elbows!”

    MFmore – Is he? He is! He’s looking at us! The duck is looking at us!! My day is complete.

    MTrail – Even the squirrels know the entire plot line here, and they’re anxious to move it forward so it will end some time. Come on, Ken, ask about Patty, so a passing sea gull can shout out, “The twit’s at home, blaming herself instead of calling an ambulance!” (Note to Patty: You probably don’t have sixty years to wait before you ‘confess.’)

    Pnuts – (Chron) Meta, done right.

    PBSwine – The last panel works with or without the comma.

    Pluggers – “Pluggers are an abomination before God.”

    R=R – Let him be, Rose! Can’t you see he’s in his “Make my family go away” tree?

    Zippy – Griffy’s professorial duds and erudite tone make this for me.

  256. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    Mutts – See, when I first tuned in, there was more outright humor. The steam has gradually gone out of it (though not all), and there are too many Hallmark Cards moments and after-school specials now. If I had started reading it later than I did, I might actually dislike it now instead of merely expecting a little less of it. The first collection has more funny stuff.

    Wangdoodle @224 – He’d have to call him John Updok, and he’d have to be saying it to a rabbit.

    Brick Bradford @238 – Whore? Nah. Luann is probably thinking about becoming a First Wife.

    Chyron HR @240 – Norwalk Fairy? I was thinking something more like Typhoid Larry Norwalk Marvin.

  257. tb4000
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    Curtis: A wizard did it.

  258. Winky's Spleen
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    Little Guy #236 – I love your updated anthem: It’s perfect for today’s internet-driven, IMing, short-attention-span age. And it’s surely a lot harder for singers to butcher.

    BB – I was wondering just the other day what had become of Cpl. Yo, and I see he’s back. As the Yellow Peril personified.

    FC – puts me in mind of when I was in the fourth grade, there was this big mound of “dirt” by the playground that we took to playing king of the hill on. Then the principal walked by and explained to us that it was horse manure (For fertilizer? The school lunches? He didn’t say). Kind of humbling to realize I was part of a school full of Jeffys.

  259. Dingo
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    Let’s parse Ken for a moment. Just as we’ve entered the realm of the “if” apology (“If I hurt anyone, I apologize.”) we now have Ken and a misplaced “probably.” Hmm… beat up the wife for canoodling with a deer. Shot deer for cleaning out wife’s garage. Got wife to take blame for everything. Does Ken tell the talking squirrel, “Well, I deserved it.” No. No, no, no. A no as strong as Rex Morgan ignoring his wife’s sexual advances. Ken says, “Well, I probably deserved it.” Ken really should have held a job in the Bush administration.

  260. Sequitur
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    MT: Damn GEICO squirrel.

  261. Blueberry
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Facebook bastards!

  262. Winky's Spleen
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    Pluggers – If you ever wanted to see a chicken making out with a dog, here’s your chance.

  263. bats :[
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    233. Niall re MT: no, you can be gored and just have a hole (or several holes) drilled into you, from a deer, a bull, etc.
    Now, disemboweling is another matter…

  264. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    I think Faun Updike would be plausible in the My Cage world. It’s an amusing thought, anyway. And it’s better than John Upduck, which is for various reasons has to be considered a total non-starter.

  265. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    One-eyed Wolfdog – Well, that beats John Upshrike…

  266. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    HtH: “You did? OK, then, here’s your chicken leg and three peas, drawn to the exact requirements of Comic Hackwork and Dullardry, Volume 4: Meal Illustration Specifications, section 12, paragraph B.”

  267. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    Swan Updike? John Pupdike?

  268. Harold
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    9CL: Did Brooke just do a hiccup pun in Latin? (“hic” = “here”, as in “Let’s have sex right here and now”) Also: has the cello case always looked so phallic?

    Today on Classic Peanuts: The strip goes meta. The yet-to-be-born Kevin Smith says, “If I take that strip and add some dick and fart jokes…”

    A3-G: Nothing makes Tommie happier than a night filled with the badly injured interspersed with the uninsured using the E.R. in place of regular doctor’s visits.

    Mark Trail: Way to make things better for Patty, Mark. But you failed to mention the part where you sharpened Bucky’s antlers with a hacksaw…

    Spider-Man: Action!

  269. Squeaky Squirrel
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    Patty’s pet deer gored you!
    Patty’s pet deer gored you!
    Neener neener neener!
    Neener neener neener!

  270. Dingo
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    Yesterday, a quote appeared on the MSN site. Rosario Dawson was talking to the New York Times about childhood: “My mom licked me – that was her punishment … If I didn’t listen … she’d lick the side of my face or under my armpit … She’d say, ‘You came out of my vagina and I own every part of you’.”

    Wow. What comic strip character would you like to hear say that? Cathy’s mother? Lois? Sally Forth? June Morgan?

  271. Sequitur
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    SM: Yeah, New York gets all the losers.

  272. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    #270 – should I imagine that I am hearing that while being licked by the party in question? Because that’s going to influence my answer.

  273. Batman Beatles
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    9CL: You had me at hiccups.

  274. Comcis Fan
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    Sally Forth: Now we know why Hil has social problems. Snarky, nerdy, wordy sitcom kid jokes.

  275. Calico
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    #259 – I think he actually did, considering that he’s a piss-poor shot with a hunting rifle. ; )

  276. spike
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    bats :[ : ROTFLMAO!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thankyou!

    MW: That “Going out of Business” sign wasn’t there in that window a few days ago, when Ted and Adrian first stopped in front of that door and blocked it. The kiss was so torrid and lasted so long that no would-be shopper or shop owner could get our lovebirds to move! Obviously Ted and Adrian were destined to be together! Note to Jeff and Mary: Get a clue, you two.

  277. Comcis Fan
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    Hagar’s forearms: Ewww. Where does Helga assume they’ve been?

  278. buckyswife
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    276 spike: Or passersby heard a bit of their “romantic” dialogue and fled in horror; the proprietor decided he’d rather give up the shop he’s owned his whole life and live in destitution than hang around and possibly hear Ted call Adrian Queenie again.

  279. willethompson
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    Re: the kEN in Mark Trail – this is not bad lettering. It is a spam-defeating/type-this-to-log-on graphic used to defeat hackers that might want to vandalize the plot. Considering the incoherence of the story to date, I’d say it failed.

  280. Amateur
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    SM: “Btonk”? “BTONK”???

    Spidey may pretend he wants to distance himself from Batman, but it sure looks like he’s trying to one-up him in the “POW! BAM! BIFF!” department.

  281. Amateur
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    #270 — Ew. Reminds me of Roxie’s quote in Chicago about why people go into show business: “And that’s ’cause none of us got enough love in our childhoods. And that’s show biz, kid.”

  282. Calico
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    #277, Ha Ha, let’s ask Kelly Ripa! : P

  283. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    Curtis — Is Michelle sporting a camel-toe?

  284. commodorejohn
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    A3G – I think I know what Tommie and Gary were doing while Margo was over at her mother’s.

    AS – Ah, it must be “Draw A Shitty Iron Man” week in the funnies. Seriously, why does his lower half look like Hillburn was initially trying to draw a woman in a skirt?

    BrS – That’s…interesting advice to be giving a kid.

    Crankshaft – Okay, that’s it. I’m starting a pitchforks-and-torches mob, and we’re going to storm Ohio like fucking Vikings. Who’s with me?

    DTM – Actually, it has more to do with the fact that she’s running AbstractOS. Everybody knows that thing is unreliable. One minute you’re looking at a perfectly normal set of icons and windows, the next your screen is verging on the completely nonrepresentational.

    DT – You’re only saying that because it means you’ll get to be directly or indirectly responsible for someone’s gruesome death.

    FW – For someone obviously engaging in schoolgirl-lesbian fantasies (about his own daughter, no less,) Les sure looks depressed. But then, this is Westview.

    Garfield – I laughed at Garfield today.

    GF – While trying to judge Bucky’s analysis of “Kimigayo” (over-harsh, but then, what did you expect,) I discovered that apparently Japanese baseball games have wannabe pop stars unforgiveably hamming up their national anthem, too. It makes me feel a little better about all those hacks mangling “The Star-Spangled Banner” to know that we’re not the only country with this problem.

    GT – So much wonderfulness. The disco ball is a great touch (1972, Mrs. Thorp? You don’t say,) but oh man, that last panel…I don’t think anybody will ever trump Frank McLaughlin for sheer artistic insanity, but at least Whigham knows how to let the lunacy of the plot shine through.

    HOTC – Admit it, Tatulli. You just did this whole thing because you wanted to draw that skull.

    JP – Experimentation is all well and good, Baretto, but I don’t think this putting-halftone-on-the-characters thing really works. You know what does work, though? That last panel. Mmm.

    Love Is… – inventing new fetishes.

    Luann – God almighty, Luann is going to be the priciest whore this side of Helen of Troy.

    MT – I know we jest about the placement of word balloons in Mark Trail, but…that squirrel is clearly talking. There’s no ambiguity about it. He’s even got his mouth open. And hey, if the beasts of the field speak out for the purposes of humiliating Ken, who are we to nitpick?

    MW – “Almost like she’s being mind-controlled by the carnival hypnotist villain from a penny dreadful!”

    Momma – I…uh…I laughed at Momma today. I’m very worried.

    Peanuts – I don’t care what you think about the practice of re-running, you have to admit that this one is classic.

    Phantom – Kit smirks like Mark Trail breaks down doors. Dude, you’re the guy who pretends to be an immortal spirit in purple Spandex. I don’t think you’re in any place to mock anybody for being credulous.

    Pluggers – SHE IS A CHICKEN. SHE DOES NOT HAVE LIPS.

    RMMD – So he’s, what, Alma’s little brother?

    SF – Hil is like some sort of mad scientist’s sinister cross between Ted and Faye.

    SM – Wow. Poor New York.

    Edison Lee – hasn’t the faintest clue what the methods, intents, or motives behind space travel are. But rambles on about it anyway.

  285. PeteMoss
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    Bajeebus! Charlie Parker has been resurrected as a character on Gasoline Alley! See what happens, kids, when you take too much heroin? Bet he’d rather be relaxin’ in Camarillo

  286. PeteMoss
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    or strollin’ Green Dolphin Street.

  287. papa zita
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Accompanied by the Beatles’ “Let’s Do It In The Road”. Followed by James Taylor’s “Steamroller”. Followed by the Fred Wesley and the JB’s “Doing It To Death”,

    Luann: Why is the little troll paying for the meal in his own restaurant? My dad owned a restaurant and we’d have a fine dinner and never got a bill. Even in some of my dad’s friends restaurant, the same thing applied.

  288. Red Greenback
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    MW: The last guy I am aware of who called a gal “Queenie” was busted with a massive amount of cocaine and videotapes of women bathrooming.

  289. PeteMoss
    March 5th, 2009 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    MT
    Damn giganto squirrel!! Can’t it just say it was some random kEN -hatin’ deer? Better yet, can’t it just shut the [margo] up and leave the talking to the potatoes and random human body parts in this strip?

  290. seismic-2
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:21 pm [Reply]

    BC: “Do you recycle? Well, duh. This is BC, where all gags shall be Born Again!”

    DT: “Don’t worry, Gertie – I’ll just come over there and poke some sense into him with my awesome elbow-o’-justice!!!”

    GA: Is 1950s is such large font – worthy of a “Ken!” exclamation – to make sure that we know this Bird guy is supposed to be a pseudo-Charlie Parker? If so, then why does he look more nearly like Count Basie instead? Anyway, I wonder whether people really call Earl Lee Byrd simply “Bird”, or (more likely) “Wormy”. Of course, in GA that would be ambiguous, since that sobriquet applies to almost any of the characters, and to the strip itself.

    GT: So the last time that dance attracted this many basketball players was 1972? I suppose that should be a lesson to us all – to get the basketball team to come to your lame dance, break out the disco ball. They are drawn to it like moths to a flame! The only interesting thing here is how early in the evening Mimi Thorp has started hitting the “punch”. Hillarity is sure to ensue before the night is over!

    DtM: Isn’t it time to change the name of this strip to Dennis the Mildly Annoying, or Tedious and Boring, or something? Today’s “Frazz” shows what this strip ought to be like (if it could be witty in a single panel strip, which apparently it can’t).

    MT: I can hardly wait for Ken to be hailed into the Emergency Room, and when they ask him what happened, he will say “I was gored by a pet deer.” Snickering breaks out, orderlies and nurses point, giggle, and say “Did you hear what happened to that guy? He was gored by – get this…” Then Margo shows up to visit Tommie, and Ken’s humiliation is complete.

    Lio: Awwwwww…. sniff. Rare to see sentimentality in this strip, which maybe makes it all the more effective. Well done!

  291. bats :[
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    Just a wild thought about RMMD: what are the chances that the little laughing ghost is a real boy* (okay, that’s a given), and although the crew (Second Officer Guido Tomas) refuses to admit to his presence, that he is the son of one of the crew members — maybe even Guido (that Caribbean slut)?

    *or at least Pinocchio.

  292. Terry Loves Cricket
    March 5th, 2009 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know what creeps me out more about this particular Gil Thorp entry: The old man pretending to be a trainer so he can reach up Ashley’s trunks to make sure her knee is OK, or the floating head that seems to be haunting Ashley’s bedside, hoping to have finally found a suitable body donor.

  293. GazzaLadra
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    Someone might have already noted, but this week, Scott Kurtz of PvP is doing a double parody: newspaper comics as Watchmen.

    I’m surprised at you, Josh! I would’ve thought you’d be all over it.

  294. Rusty
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    FW: Les is concerned about all the time the girls are taking, because they may have found his hidden video camera in the showers.

    LuAnne: That little dude should be able to look right up her skirt. Better take a test drive before buying her a trip to Paris.

  295. Winky's Spleen
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    Dingo #270 – That sounds like 95% of all Momma strips.

  296. Deena in OR
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    Dingo @270-Everything I’ve read about Rosario Dawson suggests that she had a rather *bohemian* childhood. This just reinforces that for me. Yikes.

  297. Bootsy
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Badd Spelling in the Comiks Day

  298. Bootsy
    March 5th, 2009 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Badd Spelling in the Comiks Day

  299. Bootsy
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    Yikes! IT just fucked with my internets, and it’s going crazy. I was going to point out Pluggers and Spider-Man for thwe spelling of Smootch and Btonk.

  300. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    #270 Dingo,’
    I’m not saying that I’d like to see Sonia Hobbs saying that to Thomas, but it seems like the logical next step for Momma.

  301. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    Me at #300,
    Ah, winky;’s spleen already got there.

  302. Violet
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    I feel like Ken and I differ in a number of ways: the wife-beating, the pet-shooting, the poor marksmanship, some fashion issues, whatever. But today I’ve discovered an unexpected area of commonality in that I too invariably feel significantly more sympathetic and kindly toward an animal after it’s gored me. Go figure.

  303. KT
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    My Cage:
    Allow me to be the first to make the obvious assumption and guess that John Updike would be a rabbit. As for Dick van Dyke, hmm… duck?

  304. bats :[
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    303. KT: that IS a natural, isn’t it? Unfortunately, the only thing I can squeeze into that would be John Jumpdike.

  305. Niall
    March 5th, 2009 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    222-223. Mr. O’Malley: Thank you for the informative article! So though it was adopted over a century later, the words were written about the war of 1812. Anti-British indeed, but quite specific in its imagerie to the witnessed scene. I hope there’s still a good amount of teaching about the song’s origins. As for O Canada, it only changed in the English lyrics, which were always adaptations of the original French, which never changed. Though some want to “fix” them.

    Meaning that Canada’s official anthem, adopted in 1980, is one of the most recent ones around… I honestly don’t remember what was being sung or performed before then, and it’s not like I was too young to remember.

    227. True Fable: Tiger is still running?? It’s another of those old US strips that ran in French European comics magazines in the 80s, and I thought that most or all of them were too old to still be around, as they were already very old by then. But so far, the only that stopped, and recently, was Redeye. Shoe and Tiger, still running. To their credit, the same magazines also introduced me to Eisner’s The Spirit, so they had some taste. :)

    236. Little Guy: That… was funny.

    243. Islamorada Girl: Indeed, Ken needs to die decently. Because the last thing any one of us wants to see is a naked Ken.

    247. Calico: the GOOB sign – is that a subtle way for the artist to tell the writer that this is a couple of goobs?

  306. seismic-2
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    Think what you will about various national anthems, the really embarrassing tunes are some of the USA’s official state songs. Virginia doesn’t have one any more, since they got too much flack about “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny”, the lyrics of which are the lament of a post-emancipation slave who longs for the old days back on the plantation, when his kindly Massa and Mistress were caring for all his needs, before that nasty old war sent him out into the cold cruel world on his own. Across the Potomac, Maryland tries to downplay the meaning of “Maryland, My Maryland”, which urges the state to secede from the Union and join the breakaway South. In particular, Marylanders are a bit embarrassed that lyrics about how the state is being crushed under “the despot’s heel” and being bound by “the tyrant’s chain” are in fact references to Abraham Lincoln, and there is some mention of “Northern scum” that citizens of certain other states may find unflattering. Then there is Kentucky, where neither the state nor Steven Collins Foster ever imagined the present-day significance of the immortal lyrics “The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home / T’is summer, the darkies are gay.” That suggestion may be offensive to multiple minorities, surely, but at least it’s only seasonal.

  307. Amateur
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    #299 — Bootsy, regarding “Btonk,” I’m driven to the conclusion that “Spider-Man” got it from that immortal song “Honky Tonk Btonk-a-donk.”

    Only explanation I can come up with.

  308. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    bats :[ @304 – I think KT means John Updok, pretty much like this.

    Niall @305 – Tiger still runs despite Bud Blake’s passing on. Without drawing attention to the fact, his strips are way less tied down to specifics than the one about the two hominids in the commercial establishment, so they can be run and run until the evolution of the species changes kids so drastically as to make it unfeasible. I kind of like it myself.

  309. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    A tip of the hat to Mark Evanier for this link to the LA Times of January 3, 1959 — specifically, the comics page

  310. Aviatrix
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    I like the three fantasy comic endings meme. Here are mine.

    1. kEN!!, it turns out, has taken out a huge insurance policy on Patty in preparation for her murder, but to deflect suspicion he has purchased a comprehensive death and disability policy that covers both of them. He survives the deer attack, but is rendered quadriplegic, such that he survives to watch Patti and Bucky spending the insurance money while feeding him gruel. His suffering is ended when she leaves him outside in his wheelchair to sun and he is taken for nesting material by one of those disproportionately huge talking squirrels.

    2. Adrian wins a spot on one of those personal makeover shows. While she is away in Hollywood, an air force jet accidentally launches a missile into a Charterstone Pool Party. Adrian returns with fabulous hair and sets up a Charterstone memorial internet-based dating-and-meddling site, from which she makes her fortune, and finds true love.

    3. Margo tearfully confesses to her roommates her shame that she has never found satisfaction with any of the men she has dated. They exchange knowing looks and gently introduce her to sapphic love.

    also:
    The English version of the Canadian national anthem was changed only slightly in 1980 when it was made official. The version with more “stand on guard”s and without “God keep our land” had been used unofficially for years, typically O Canada at the beginning of a meeting or ceremony and God Save the Queen [or King] at the end.

  311. Dingo
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Yowza and criminy, Muffaroo! In fifty years, Rex Morgan hasn’t changed at all. Who’s that doppelganger for Dagwood? Another strip about a big satanic dog? And Mary, dear sweet Mary Worth. The more things change… I wonder if she had a My Little Pony dildo back then?

  312. seismic-2
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    # 311 Dingo – the Dagwood doppelganger is Horace, who like Dagwood, is the husband in his wife’s eponymous strip, in this case Dottie Dripple. But to see how little things change, look at panel 3 of that 3 Jan 1959 episode of Dick Tracy, in which Popsie is bawling “It’s all my fault!” Ken, your bastardness transcends time and space!

  313. the good ship thetis
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    #306 In the mid-70s Kentucky reformed the line to “’tis summer, the people are gay.” (You can see ladies in big hats mouthing this line every year when the Derby is on tv.)

  314. seismic-2
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    # 313 – well, so long as they’re straight in the winter, then I suppose it’s OK.

  315. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    Aviatrix, your ending for MT is beautiful. It’s clearly the One True Ending to this abomination.

  316. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    MTrail – Looking at the posted example at the top there, I think what we have is an example of something being changed after the artist thought it was final. In this case, Patti was probably just saying, “MEN!!” ‘Cuz, you know, Men! Huh? Huh? Am I right, ladies? They leave the lid up and don’t take the garbage out, and then they want to watch football games and shoot your pet deer just because you feed him in the bedroom! Right?

    Thank you! Stiff your waiter.

  317. Winky's Spleen
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    #314 – It’s in the spring and fall when they’re bi that things get really freaky.

  318. Tim O'Shenko
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    MT: And the moral of the story is – don’t take in wild animals as pets, or else your abusive husband will get gored, even though it was probably maybe kinda sorta his fault…I guess.

  319. Fashion Police
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    316 Muffaroo said:

    They leave the lid up

    Be thankful they remember to lift it in the first place, darling.

  320. trey le parc
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    Chyron HR says:

    March 4th, 2009 at 12:37 pm
    Bear* in mind that in Plugger schools, the “three R’s” are Reagan, Republicans and Rintelligent Design.

    * Enjoy your bonus unintentional pun.

    I normally wouldn’t post this far into a thread, but seriously, this sort of crap plays better on Fark than in here. I mean, what’s the point of introducing any sort of reality into a comics blog, for Chrissake?!

  321. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    Fashion Police @319 – I’m one of “them,” and I wish the females in my life would put the lid down afterwards. Come to think, they’re better about it now that we have a cat, but it was an uphill battle there for a few years.

  322. Carly
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    I just noticed that Ashley appears to be holding something in that angry, clenched right fist. It looks like probably a piece of paper but I can’t imagine why she’d have that. Instead I’m going to imagine that it’s a piece of the spine of the last doctor who gave her semi-bad news, and she’s brandishing it now as a warning to the current doctor (I note that he’s standing far, far away from her).

  323. Winky's Spleen
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    trey le parc #320 – It plays just fine by me. Some comics are embarrassingly stuck in the past, some attempt to deal with reality, and often the result is a grotesque mishmash of the two. But demanding that we forswear “reality” in discussing the comics is just nonsensical.

  324. Poteet
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    S-M — Perhaps this strip, with Btonk, is launching a campaign to outdo DT’s bizarre sound effects. Give up, Spidey. You can’t win this one.

  325. seismic-2
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    # 113 Uncle Jeff – my apologies, I just now remembered the Robert Klein routine that you meant. (His suggested lyrics about the battle of Fort McHenry: “We’re all gonna die!!!”) But I do especially like Albert Brooks’ take too.

  326. nowukkers
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    Re: Pluggers. The thing that grates the most is the smug implication that, in their “simplicity”, pluggers are somehow better than the rest of humanity. Perhaps pluggers misunderstood Thoreau’s command to “simplify” as “stupidefy” or “Scoop away half of your braincells with a large wooden spoon”. Anyway, the depiction of pluggers as animals confirms that, as far as I’m concerned, they’re lower on the food chain than me.

  327. philosophist
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    That’s right, Patty: it’s all your fault for developing attachments to creatures outside of your gilded cage of domesticity! Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!
    Thank heavens the good people at Mark Trail are here to offer a sensitive and subtle treatment of the familial dynamics that give rise to domestic violence. Predictably, it involves feral deer and fisticuffs.

  328. Mr. O'Malley
    March 5th, 2009 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    309. Muffaroo. Now THAT is a comics page! Imagine how much snarking could be generated daily with comics like that.

    Dotty, which I don’t remember ever hearing of, appears to be a cheap rip-off of Blondie. I suppose the other paper in town was carrying the genuine article.

    And Napoleon is the ur-Marmaduke. Some single-joke strip ideas are just to good to give up. “I am Marmaduke, son of Napoleon!” “I am Howard Huge, son of Napoleon!”

    There sure are a lot of soaps. Mary Worth is hard to recognize when drawn in accurately portrayed 3-dimensional reality. Rex Morgan is not actually practising medicine!

    JP: I see the Judge wasn’t making appearances in his strip even back then. Those were the days when you could go to the airport and hop aboard a plane three minutes before takeoff. Lockheed Constellation? I don’t have time to look it up.

    Amazing stuff! Thanks.

  329. commodorejohn
    March 5th, 2009 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    #309 Muffaroo – Why is Brenda Starr in a fursuit? But I see Judge Parker was still spending an inordinate amount of its time in airports. And Rex Morgan was just as much of a smug dick as ever, apparently.

  330. Fashion Police
    March 5th, 2009 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    329 commodorejohn:
    I think we can surmise she was at a fancy-dress ball, i.e. a costume party. Love her little fur mask, by the way.

  331. PeteMoss
    March 5th, 2009 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    #309 Muffaroo
    Damn! The artwork! It’s like the artists all spent more than 5 minutes on there strips back then!

    When I first looked at Brenda Starr, I thought she was lying on the bed nekkid. hehehe.

    I do appreciate the violent implications of Little Orhpan Annie. Hell, it’s edgier than Phantom!

  332. Islamorada Girl
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    Uh, 183 was me on another server. Sorry.

  333. Muffaroo
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    Mr. O’Malley @328 and everybody else after – Yeah, the artists cared because their work was going to be printed larger than a postage stamp, and that was because the papers weren’t constantly trying to shave a quarter inch off here and there to save newsprint. What gets me is how they packed them in. What happened since then? Did they have focus groups that all said, “Well, I don’t read the comics at all, but I might if there was a gutter of white space about half as big as each comic running in between them.”? Did somebody go to a nouvelle design class and come back with a beret and a little mustache and proclaim, “Less is more! From now on, the space between the funnies is more important than the funnies themselves!”?

  334. JNoble
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    Ken! ken! KEN!!!! It’s very addicting. I know a Ken on facebook and all I want to do now is spell his name as KEN! as my own inside joke

  335. Diane
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:34 pm [Reply]

    Hope no one was offended—I just wondered if Patty’s crying over Ken’s injured body in the hopes he snuffs it before she recovers enough to call 911.

  336. queek
    March 5th, 2009 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

  337. A New Day
    March 6th, 2009 at 12:56 am [Reply]

    Joe and Tommie (A3G):
    “Is there another reason you’re happy Tommie”?
    “Why yes, Joe, it’s because you died your hair for me again. Highlighter has always been my favorite shade, and Gary’s, when last I saw him, was merely the color of a faded highlighter. You know, the kind that you left open in your bag and it still technically works, but doesn’t really highlight worth a damn. But YOU! I could whip out your head and highlight the crap out of all my favorite books. They’re all very dull, which is why I have to highlight every line. Wait, what was the question?”

  338. Carly
    March 6th, 2009 at 1:10 am [Reply]

    Dang, I am way enamored of this Gil Thorpe panel. Perhaps Ashley is campaigning for a role on Mark Trail and is displaying her best fist o’ justice, without realizing the FOJ is reserved solely to Mark. Maybe this will end with him punching her ponytail off.

  339. MrHappyToad
    April 11th, 2009 at 1:51 am [Reply]

    Is “Coach” really rubbing his hand up ashley’s leg?

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