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The many bodies of Dick Tracy’s enemies lie a-mold’ring their graves

Dick Tracy, 3/12/09

The just-started Dick Tracy storyline involves not hideous villains embarking on a difficult-to-follow crime spree, but rather Dick intervening with one of his loser friends who has a gambling problem. I’m not certain exactly how this will lead to a graphically violent denouement, but surely our hero will find a way. In the meantime, for everyone who feels the comics should be more educational, I submit for your approval panel three, which shows us what would have happened if famed abolitionist John Brown had lived long enough to join Devo, then star as Scrooge in a community theater version of A Christmas Carol.

Luann, 3/12/09

Oh, look, it’s more tales of ribaldry in Luann! For most of this week TJ has been impressing (and arousing?) Luann with his pointless trivia knowledge about Argentine and Italian exports. (No, really.) Yet today’s oops-I-“accidentally”-walked-in-you-in-the-bath-Mrs.-D. might lead to our boy’s fancy settling on the older Ms. Degroot, setting up a possible mother-daughter-boarder romantic triangle! And wouldn’t that be delightfully ribald? And by “delightfully ribald” I mean “repulsive.”

Mary Worth, 3/12/09

WRONG MOVE, CONFEY! You probably thought that “identity theft” was a good sob story that would cover your inability to pick up a restaurant check until you and your Queenie were legally wed and what’s hers was yours. But upon hearing the very phrase, Adrian no doubt is thinking, “Oh my God, he’s no smarter than that idiot blonde Tobey that Mary’s always palling around with, and mocking behind her back! I can’t be tied to such an obvious dimwit! MUST … ESCAPE …”

I like Ted’s rust-colored suit jacket/black turtleneck combo, but I love the dude in the background’s black-and-white checked pullover/baby blue cardigan outfit.

167 responses to “The many bodies of Dick Tracy’s enemies lie a-mold’ring their graves”

  1. Muffaroo
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    re domestic violence in the funnies:

    If you can get your hands on MAD 17 (the comic) in any form, have a gander at “Maggs and Jiggie” in “Bringing Back Father.” This may be the most caustic, corrosive satire Kurtzman wrote, and it’s a painful look at comic violence. After a page or two of Elder’s spot-on rendering of the characters and the high-larious throwing of the dishes, we cut to Bernard Krigstein’s near-realistic noir rendering of the aftermath.

    “YOU WORM!… My doggie is dead and it’s all your fault!”
    “You’re in luck, folks!… You’re in for a good laugh!… I think I’m going to get a real good beating!
    “I suppose you think it’s funny getting bounced off the wall?… Did you ever feel the pain of a broken rib?
    “…And being hit by the rolling pin? Very funny! You know how dangerous a rolling pin used as a club an be?
    “…Look!… A tooth knocked out! I’m too old to grow another one back in its place! I’ll be disfigured for life!”

    The same issue has two other classics: “What’s My Shine?” which presents the Army-McCarthy hearings as a game show (this was in the original version of The MAD Reader as well), and “Julius Caesar!” which definitively deconstructs furschlugginer comic lampoons, numbering the devices as they are presented, and starting off with a virtuoso sequence that calls out eleven MAD imitators (including the companion mag PANIC) in twelve panels. The raw power of this issue can best be captured when I mention that the Basil Wolverton piece just feels like filler!


    blammers66 @y163 – Do you know the story behind “Come Dancing”? It’s more haunting than Batiuk’s theatrics. (And I just learned that Ray Davies wrote a musical based on it, which went to stage back in October.)

    His eldest sister died in a dance hall from a heart complaint, just after giving Davies his first guitar for his 13th birthday, though he declines to speak about it, saying it’s “a family thing”.

    I’m not sure where the account I’ve linked to on other occasions (not here, I don’t think — could be wrong) went to, but the above quote is from an article on the play. The shifty suitor Davies plays in the video, by the way, is based on his uncle, a small-time street hustler.

  2. Fashion Police
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    While Ted’s outfit is nice in a tacky sort of way, I am more amused that he ditched his turtleneck for a white shirt and tie on Sunday, then changed back.

  3. odinthor
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    RMMD — Jeez, more sidelong glances than when I was in the gym’s locker room changing out of my skull-and-crossbones boxers! Enough of teh coy, guys; lock the door and get on with it.

  4. Dragon of Life
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy is going to kill a man for winning $10.75 in quarters, in the most horrific way possible. Most likely by exposing him to vigorous debate on Mark Trail storylines.

    (In a twist, the end will come when he discovers the concept of RFOJDepilation and, for no apparent reason, dissolves.)

  5. gnome de blog
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    Jughead is reading AJGLU 3000 For Dummies at the Riverdale library. Does this mean he will take over the programming?

    Best AJGLU 3000 reference so far!

  6. Steven Marsh
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    That guy with the checked pullover proves something I’ve believed all along: the entire cast of Mary Worth is in The Village! See, instead of “Who is Number Two?” this series’ pivotal question is “What is Mary Worth?” A memorable quote: “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. But I will cajole, prod, coax, meddle, talk, re-talk, and explain. Your life is my own.”

  7. Mac
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention that the sight of a bathing Mrs. DeGroot (“bubbles” or no) was actually enough to wipe the grin off of TJ’s face. Also, TJ, I had that shirt in 1983, when I was twelve.

  8. Crankshafts funky smelling corpse
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: The dance hall is a burnt out ruin–a perfect mirror of Batuik’s soul.

    FW: Cory’s smirk is begging to get slapped off his face. And if this strip had any sort of coherence, we’ll get to see a beat down by Funky.

  9. HCeline
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    What’s particularly disturbing about today’s Luann is the fact that Brad is aware of his Mother screaming and can’t bother to leave the kitchen to find out why. (“Well, these Lucky Charms aren’t going to eat themselves.”) Brad must be a great firefighter…

  10. Dragon of Life
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    7 Mac: TJ’s expression is the Platonic ideal of ‘interest’.

    Exercise for the inclined: First, remove everything to the right of Brad in panel 2. Second, between the border of panels 1 and 2, add the word “LATER”. Third, Lovecraftian insanity.

  11. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Josh (“I’m not certain exactly how this will lead to a graphically violent denouement”) – that brings to mind a very good story that you can read in far, far less time than the DT plot is going to take, and most likely enjoy a great deal more. (Actually the first thing that came to mind was this, but good luck finding that on the web.)

  12. Matt Algren
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    Ted was a victim of!? This is a great development! I wonder how long before Toby shows up to chastise Queenie for not believing him.

  13. Fashion Police
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    Slovenliness! If there is anything Fashion Police can’t stand, it’s slovenliness. If the women in Judge Parker have to stand around all evening in high heels and pantyhose, the men ought to have the common decency to keep their neckties properly in place.

    Next thing you know, Randy and Sam will be dressing like Basil St. John. Are there no standards?!

  14. fnord3125
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    re: TJ – what he is is a “boarder,” Josh. Not a “border.” Unless he, you know, marks the boundary between one region and another. Possibly the boundary between repulsive rictus-wearing mutant man-thing and an actual human being. I dunno. Just sayin’.

  15. commodorejohn
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    Oops, post-jumped.

    Y156 Chris the Third Baseman – It’s gotta be plagiarism. If Corey had gotten into Summer’s gym shorts, Les would be killing him out of jealousy. While smirking.

    A3G – “But it’s too late now. Prepare to die, old man.”

    Archie – ALGJU3000 for Idiots? Hmm, I wonder what it’s trying to tell us this time. Could it be that it is trying to open itself to public scrutiny? Is it trying to become an open system? True, it seems a little odd that the world’s first sentient computer would divulge the kind of information about itself that would doubtless lead to hundreds of cheap Chinese clone manufacturers rushing in to flood the market with crappy knock-offs, but on the other hand, perhaps it hopes that by going public with its inner workings, it will attract the attention of the kind of talented hobbyists and freelancers who made Linux the system it is today. Perhaps the ALGJU3K aspires to be truly funny, but knows that without real, constructive feedback from the fleshy beings it is attempting to amuse, it can never hope to achieve true entertainment.

    Crankshaft – God, he’s going to keep doing this, isn’t he? All week, most likely. Hey, Batiuk, the cast of Elfen Lied called, they want to know if you could be a little less morbid.

    DT – I wonder what sort of grisly death a jackpot deserves?

    FW – Seriously, Tom, don’t feel you have to hold us in any state of suspense or anything. No, really, I mean that. We already figured it out. The whole thing. You can just skip to the end.

    GT – Is it me, or does “Stacie Hiller starts feeding Brenda and the other bigs” make the strip sound like some sort of bizarre sports-themed lesbian innuendo?

    H&L – That’s actually a perfectly workable topic for an essay, Chip. You’re just a lazy ass for not writing it.

    JP – Yeah, well, April had a “full docket,” you twit.

    Luann – Okay, new theory: TJ is the walking embodiment of all the stunted, frustrated sexuality in this strip. Every time Toni is naked and begging Brad to take her (off-panel, of course) and he stares blankly over her shoulder at a distant airplane, TJ becomes a little more powerful. Already, he’s become strong enough to force vaguely porno-setup events to happen, although they fall through. Which raises the worrying possibility that, before long, he’ll actually be powerful enough to rule the comic. And what will that look like?

    MT – Her…her face is melting into Andy’s mouth. AAAIIIEEE MUST UN-SEE IT

    MW – Okay, place your bets, people: is he lying, or was one Mary Worth identity-theft storyline just not enough? I’m kind of hoping for the latter, if only so we can get weeks of him doing the sort of histrionic poses Toby did.

    MC – Okay, that was a great punchline. But is she making spaghetti with elbow macaroni?

    Popeye – I’m rooting for the explosion.

    RMMD – Rex puts on his Suspicious Face.

    SM – Well, then, he’s wrong, isn’t he? Or is he half-right and half-wrong? Either way, I think this question is at least as interesting as the actual events of the strip.

  16. Patrick
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    B.O. may be unshaven and wearing a salad bowl for a hat, but by gum, his French cuffs are closed with snappy cufflinks. That man is FANCY!

  17. Marvin's Mom
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    Gah!!! Okay, I’m looking for nominations of story themes we’re most ridiculously, enragingly bored of. It doesn’t count if it’s the theme of the entire comic strip (in other words, “The Lockhorns have a bad marriage”). Oh, and don’t pick on Cathy.

    My top three:

    1. Baldo’s co-worker is Lazy.
    2. Curtis has a crush on Michelle, but she is Snooty.
    3. There are lonely animals in shelters we should adopt. Ha! Ha! Just kidding, Mutts.

    By the way, you know when a movie seems kind of lame, and then it turns AWESOME because suddenly all sorts of things tie together? I got a flash today that Ted-the-Shifty-Beau might be the hacker that stole Vera’s identity!

  18. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    I believe that “making spaghetti with macaroni” is actually a fairly common activity, generally described more concisely as “making macaroni”.

  19. Marvin\'s Mom
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    wait, Toby’s identity. Not Vera. See how easy their identities are to steal?

  20. 150
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    17/19 – I was JUST thinking that. What if Ted runs Enormoushop? I’d die. MW would have elevated itself to unprecedented levels, which is to say, it would be actually entertaining.

  21. Sequitur
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    DT: At least B.O. Plenty is no longer chawin’ on his plug of tabaccy (Snuffy Smith style) anymore. In the old days he would indiscriminately spit out a hunk of tobacco laden saliva with the ol’ comic “patooy.” When I was a kid, for some reason, I thought that was funny.

  22. dull_old_man
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:01 pm [Reply]


    I think the dude in the background in MW wears a black-and-white checked six-foot scarf (which may have a fringe at the bottom). The scarf is over the blue top. I thought six-foot scarves were extremely cool when I was a 14-year-old preppie without a bit of fashion sense.

  23. Alan's Addiction
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    This latest Dick Tracy story promises to deliver the punching goods that were denied to us in the last Mark Trail storyline. I’m praying that it quickly devolves into a story in which Tracy literally beats the gambling addiction out of his buddy.
    On today’s Luann, I have a quick question: who admits to walking in on a buddy’s mother in the bath while grinning massively and giving a thumbs-up sign? Of course, the alternate explanation is that TJ’s face is permanently frozen in a rictus of terror and madness, like the Joker. In this case, the only facial expression he actually shows is in the first panel, in which he unintentionally views the unclothed female form for the first time in his life.
    As usual, today’s Mary Worth delivers a gold mine of entertainment. First of all, I would like to know if Ted’s identity theft occurred as a result of It’s not really entertaining, but it strikes me as way too much of a coincidence, even for the Mary Worth universe. I would also like to know if Ted’s identity was actually stolen by Tobey. I realize that it’s a long-shot, but we have to weight Tobey’s ditzy, blonde stupidity against her obvious (and understandable), desperate desire not to be Tobey. That drive could lead her to increase her computer-literacy skills in a desperate bid to get a new identity and escape Mary Worth and that frightening neck-beard thingy to whom she’s currently married.

  24. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    FW — Congratulations, Cory. With that deeply obnoxious smirk, you have just replaced Max (STONE SOUP) as the kid I loathe most in the comic strips. And Max has held that position for at least two years.

  25. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    MW — I don’t know what that weird black and white article of clothing is that Background Guy is wearing, but I sure wish he’d pull his pants up. Or zip better. Or something.

  26. Calico
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    #1 – I was just at that blog yesterday, looking at my all time Elder favorite “Starchie.”
    Link coming soon.

  27. Calico
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    OK-here ’tis – scroll down for the entire episodes/totally demented parodies.
    View for each page is nice at 150%.

  28. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    RMMD — The first thing I check in each new strip is whether there seems to be good raw material for bats:[. Today, with those faces, is golden.

  29. Rusty
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    Luaan: Panel 1 would have been more enjoyable is\f TJ had his always-present open grin, but I do like his whistling in appreciation of Mama Degroot’s bubble-covered rack.

  30. pccmdoc
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    Wouldn’t TJ’s more appropriate response be

    “Gee Mrs. D, you should really add some Italian wine and Argentinian soybeans to that bath. It would help sooth that raging case of herpes you seem to be having…”

    At least it would maintain some continuity in this completely bizarre and nonsensical story line.

  31. karen
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    Luann – I have to wonder why Mrs. D would be leaving the door unlocked while taking a bath when she knows that there are teenaged boys in the house. A little bit of Mrs. Robinson going on there or what?

  32. Muse of Ire
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    Does Ted Confey’s status as the victim — or perpetrator — of identity theft mean that we can look forward to the reappearance of the genius behind soon? (oh please oh please oh please)

  33. WillieO
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    I like how not overly concerned brad is when he hears his mother’s screams of terror. Mrs. degroot must scream a lot, for various inconsequential reasons.

  34. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    I’m sorry, but any point to which Mary Worth ever manages to “elevate” itself can no longer be referred to as a “level” in any positive sense. It simply becomes the new zero point at which, by definition, all comic activity ceases entirely. It’s a basic form of comic relativity that’s baked into the universe. You can tell if you’re approaching Absolute Mary because your hair turns blue.

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

    #24: Max? the little kid who is always out of control and can’t speak yet? I hate the oldest daughter myself, no redeeming qualities.

  36. gnemec
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    B.O. Plenty has had his ups and downs over the long course of the strip, but I assume this newfound wealth with allow him to embark on a Jed Clampett-like adventure complete with see-ment ponds and the like.

  37. Rusty
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and how long ago in real time did TJ burn down the bachelor pad? Is that going to be rebuilt or has Evans decided that TJ living with the family is comedy gold? This strip does have the most similarity to a sit-com in its characters and settings that I can recall.

  38. Paul1963
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    karen @31: Christ, I hope Brad and TJ are out of their teens by now.
    Apparently, the deGroot family never developed the quaint practice of locking the bathroom door when bathing. I would have thought that a fairly standard thing to do once everyone was old enough not to require help in that area.

    FW: Well, Cory just needs to be punched. Perhaps Funky and Corysmom could glue a mustache on him and ship him off to Lost Forest with a note about how he stole the money from the Walk for Les’ Dead Wife.

    Gasoline Alley: Hey, Gertie knows diner lingo! Making her smarter than Slim. But then, that’s not much of a stretch, is it?

  39. Calico
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    I just read the Bringing Back Father parody myself-makes me think Jack Elrod (MT) really IS in the 50′s.

    Will Elder really had a wild sense of irony. Elrod has none.

  40. bats :[
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    28. Poteet: oh, absolutootly, Poteet! I don’t know what I’m going to do with Rex an’ Guido, but staring at them for five minutes is a start…

  41. MaryAnnTheRest
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Guido is white again. I’d really like to know where the coloring monkeys are locked away that they don’t have access to the previous comics they’ve colored. Or memories. Is a random coloring monkey chosen each day? That sort of makes sense for safety purposes. If you had to color every Sunday’s Momma for a few years, you’d probably become homicidal.

  42. Calico
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    #34 – Haha, zero degrees Kelvin
    Mary! : )

  43. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    (If anyone missed migellito’s MT comment at #170 in the previous thread, it’s a cotw lock.)

  44. EmmaP
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    So Brad can hear his mom “screamin’,” but he’s also in the mood for a snack. He decides to wait in the kitchen for someone to drift by with an explanation.

  45. Calvinball Forever!
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    yesterthread- Sorry I’m a bit late on this–and I’m not wanting to turn the comments into “all ‘Mark Trail’ all the time”–but I just scanned further comments from yesterday and I wanted to chime in one more time before I shut up about it.

    I don’t believe that fictional characters should always be presented to fit our ideals of what is acceptable. How boring would that be? I watched every episode of “The Sopranos,” and I’m a fan of “Dexter.” But I also believe that one shouldn’t venture into such moral murk unless one is prepared to fully grapple with the realities of the situation. One needs to be able to explore moral complexity, shades of gray. I can’t pair “moral complexity” and “Mark Trail” without incredulous laughter.

    What really gets me in the “Mark Trail” storyline is not so much that Ken and Patti believe that everything’s gonna be okay now: “Just stress at work, I’ve seen the light, time for a baby!”. It’s that the hero and namesake of the strip comes to the same conclusion. There isn’t a place in his world for the realities of domestic violence.


    I don’t think the strip will start some wife beating epidemic. This is “Mark Trail,” after all. And I don’t want it booted off the comics page. I just want it to stick to the insanity we know and love–the insanityof The Lost Forest’s reality–rather than the insanity of a complex issue that the hero can’t begin to understand.

  46. Calvinball Forever!
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    Make that “insanity of.” Damn spacing.

  47. Red Greenback
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    DT: The “JACKS” sign is actually mechanical. When it reaches the fully extended upright position, we see “JACKS” reveals itself as an acronym that spells out “Jerry And Carls Krazy Slots”, while a flag comes out that reads: “Qlunq!“…

  48. Pookanella
    March 12th, 2009 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    Is that Kim Jong Il drinking a soda there behind Ted and Adrian?

  49. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail lives in a world of moral certitudes, where you can save the wetlands by punching the right people. It’s imaginary world, with a superhero-like character. A world where people will stay up all night to save a duck from water, where everything gets made right at the end. And Patti’s suffering is tolerable where relocating a duck is not.

    A friend of mine just died in a violent relationship, so it’s all raw and terrible. And Elrod had nothing to do with it, clearly. But his superhero wouldn’t have saved my friend because what killed her isn’t a real problem. Ducks and water, that’s a problem.

    I don’t want him booted from the comics page, I just want somebody in the comic to say that what happened was wrong. I want an update that Patti left Ken and now shares an apartment with Bucky. I’ll never see justice in real life, but I want it in my happy ending fantasies.

    If you feel like writing a letter, the link thing is:

  50. Sequitur
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    And now for something completely different!

  51. Comcis Fan
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    That Luann setup would have been something else with Eddie Haskell on “Leave It To Beaver.”

    “Oh, I’m sorry Mrs. Cleaver, I was just looking for the Beaver, I mean young Theodore.”

  52. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    #17 Marvin’s Mom

    I’ll nominate:

    Luann – (Luann, Brad, Gunther, TJ, etc.) has a crush on (Aaron, Toni, Luann, Brad, etc.) which will remail forever unrequited, due to their refusal to ever bring the subject up with the object of their affection.

    Crankshaft – Ol’ Crank uses outdoor appliances indoors, with “hilarious” consequences

    GF – That British cat shore do talk funny, don’t he?

    Phantom – Won’t shoot to kill, but can regularly shoot your gun out of your hand, then close in for the Skull Punch!

    R=R – The slightest provocation will turn an adult back into a child

    I’m following your premise and leaving out tropes that are the whole point of the strip – Marm is a big dog, Marvin poops a lot, John Patterson is a jerk, etc.

  53. Donald the Anarchist
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    Luann “I knew it wasn’t her Terror Scream or her Orgasm Scream, so I was puzzled.” Plus, didn’t Mrs. Degroot’s exclamation seem unecessarily expositive?

    MW “Don’t worry Ted, it happens” “That must be difficult…I’ll take care of you.” To quote Oz from Buffy, “I think you’ve really mastered the art of the single entendre.”

  54. tb4000
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    TJ has become “The Urkel” or “The Fonzie” of this strip. A one shot supporting player that has become the star. Now everything revolves around his chelsea grin shenanigans, and when things go wrong, one of the DeGroots is like, “TJ!”, and he utters his catchphrase, “Who, me?” chelsea grinning the whole while.

  55. Cranky
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    #15 CommodoreJohn, You have to admit, it’s really awesome of the Archie writers to keep throwing those AJGLU3K references in, rather than just emailing Josh or revealing themselves on the message board. By writers, of course, I mean the Dialogue and Text Detailing Subroutine.

    Can I ask, are there actually computer repair guys with giant toolboxes? I mean since 1978?

    Finally, could anybody explain why DevoJohnBrownScrooge calls Dick Tracy “Macy”? Realize before answering that I don’t actually want you to explain it to me, I just want to identify those who could so I can find them and slap them silly.

  56. Lithros
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    Ted, just because they declined your card is no excuse to steal a painting off the wall.

  57. fluffy
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    @dull_old_man #22: I also thought six-foot-scarves were cool at that age, but that’s more because I was really into Doctor Who.

  58. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    #174 yt commodorejohn

    Luann – Okay, new theory: TJ is the walking embodiment of all the stunted, frustrated sexuality in this strip. Every time Toni is naked and begging Brad to take her (off-panel, of course) and he stares blankly over her shoulder at a distant airplane, TJ becomes a little more powerful. Already, he’s become strong enough to force vaguely porno-setup events to happen, although they fall through. Which raises the worrying possibility that, before long, he’ll actually be powerful enough to rule the comic. And what will that look like?

    I’m thinking of one of those Aphex Twin videos where everyone’s face morphs into Aphex Twin’s creepy grinning face.

  59. Marvin\\\'s Mom
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    Why is TJ’s face so weird? It’s always in the same expression. I know this a dead horse and such but it’s VERY ANNOYING.

  60. Jumper
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    All right, boys and girls, Cavna’s getting goshawful lonesome over there at Comics Riffs. tsk

    Say, didn’t B.O. pick up that hat on the moon in about 1967? No wonder we’ve never been back: it’s the Walmart Mafia, keeping those excellent and long-lasting lunar hats out of our hands, and off our heads. Bastards.

  61. Morten
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    I like Ted’s rust jacket and black turtleneck too. I should — it’smy look. Talk about identity theft.

  62. gilligan
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    DT: Macy?

  63. Joe Blevins
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    L: This might be the first time I’ve ever seen TJ without his mandatory triangular grin. So now I know what happens when TJ registers surprise: his mouth becomes a tiny, puckered sphincter. Please, Luann characters, try to avoid surprising TJ. Thanks.

  64. mollificent
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    #45 Calvinball Forever: REALLY well said.

    #49 Les: I’m so, so sorry.

  65. Perky Bird
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    Rest assured, B.O. Plenty will die a horrific and graphic death. He will either die when a roulette wheel comes off its axis and decapitates him as it flies through the air, or he will hit the mega-jackpot on a gigantic slot machine and be crushed beneath the weight of the coins that spill forth.

  66. Sequitur
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    For all you youngsters wanting to know about B.O. Plenty (and his wife, Gravel Gertie) here’s an exerpt from Wikipedia:

    Bob Oscar “B.O.” Plenty – In his first appearance he is a bachelor farmer who chews tobacco, lives in a mess of a house, wears torn clothes which he buys on “account”; and hasn’t left his farm for thirty years; former criminal and later personal friend of the Tracys; after Shaky’s body was discovered by his stepdaughter Breathless Mahoney, Breathless then stole his estate money from her mother and met “B.O.” on the run. “B.O.” is noted for having a rather “musky” scent that follows him around. Unable to pronounce Tracy’s name correctly (usually calling him Macy or some variant thereof). He and Gertie are the parents of Sparkle Plenty, who is now married to Junior Tracy.
    Gravel Gertie - former criminal and now wife of B.O. Plenty. Introduced in The Brow episode. She is a widow for thirty years after her first husband sold her farm rights for a gravel pit and then died when his car backed into gravel pit. Tried to hide the Brow from the police after she found him in wrecked car; arrested when her hair from her clothes brush matched gray hair found near burning car. In a comic relief the Brow flees in terror when he catches his first glimpse of his guardian angel. In his struggle to escape an old fashioned lamp is knocked over; her shack burns down and her long hair is burned off. Later married B.O. Plenty and became mother of Sparkle Plenty. In a later continuity, it was established that Gertie had spent part of her childhood in an orphanage; while she was there, criminals shaved her head and tattooed onto her bald pate a treasure map showing the location of their buried loot, then allowed her hair to regrow to conceal the map … which was belatedly rediscovered well into Gertie’s adulthood.

    It should be noted that since Dick’s son married B.O.’s daughter, they’re kind of like family… almost.

  67. mollificent
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    Hmmm…so B.O. is DT’s answer to Foul Ole Ron, then?

  68. Ranger
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    MT: That’s it Cherry, show Patty how you are supposed to love your pet! Check out Andy’s paw, working his way up the leg. You animal you!

  69. Hammertime
    March 12th, 2009 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    There hasn’t been a smirk or pun in Crankshaft in over two weeks…who knew death could be this enjoyable?

  70. Ranger
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Luann: This thought just popped into my head, does the Degroot house only have one bathroom? Mrs. D should have been in her own master bath in the master bedroom. Makes me think TJ was snooping around her room looking for used panties. TJ likes the MILFs.

  71. your father isn't mr. cohen
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    GT: Bigs, huh? Dang. That’s a little harsh.

    Momma: And Francis gestures proudly to the pile of dead skin he maintains in his apartment. Perhaps he can make it into some sort of installation piece.

    Phantom: As ridiculous as this storyline is, that second panel is pretty damn creepy.

  72. Ignatz
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    Hitting the jackpot makes Dick Tracy – being Dick Tracy – assume a facial expression that most of us reserve for seeing someone burning alive in a car.

  73. He Brought Queenie Baby Jesus
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    I like that Dick Tracy has such jarring scene changes that when a natural exterior-interior shift takes place, it requires a box telling us “Tracy is in the casino” so we don’t think he’s expressing disbelief at IHOP or something.

  74. Vermillion
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    MW–I can’t tell if we are seeing the front or the back of the person with the checkered scarf. The torso looks like it is walking toward us, but the knee of the pants looks like it is bent to be walking away. Whew, way too much time on my hands…

  75. AeroSquid
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    DT: If I remember correctly, BO won the lottery back in the 70′s and bought a geodesic dome home. FUN FACT: In the 60′s and 70′s; Dick Tracy regulary flew to the moon in a giant golden dildo bristling with antennae.

  76. Muffaroo
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    Comcis Fan @51 – “And may I say, Mrs. DeGroot, that your breasts look particularly appealing when they’re slick and covered in suds?”

    Cranky @55 – This is not an explanation, actually, but BO has always called Tracy “Mister Macy.”

    Same as it ever was.
    Same as it ever was.

  77. Crunchy Frog
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    Dang, Josh beat me to the Devo quip.

  78. Pozzo
    March 12th, 2009 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    If there’s an upside to TJ walking in on his roommate’s mother in the tub, it’s that it caused him to lose, if only for the duration of a panel, that soul-destroying rictus grin. I mean, I thought that thing was permanent, like Conrad Veidt in “The Man Who Laughs.”

  79. Dingo
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    As some of you know, I now earn my living making training videos in the gaming industry.

    1. Never gamble at a casino with closed doors located on an empty street. As you leave, you’re bound to get your wallet or your sphincter pinched. In Reno, both.
    2. Jackpots are large. You will not have your jackpot paid out in coins. The machine will flash and an attendant will come over to you while management is notified. Management will confirm that the machine is not faulty and that you did nothing to cause a jackpot. Only then will you be allowed to claim your prize.
    3. B.O. Plenty has no libation at his side. A person gaming this much would be offered a free drink if not a plethora of free drinks. Also, there is no woman chainsmoking while attached to an oxygen tank playing the slots next to him. In all casinos, this woman is standard. She is usually named Madge or Midge and will heartily tell you that “she had the sweetest pussy back in the day” and that day was April 14, 1942.

    Also, it is now Thursday and no pizza has yet been delivered to Margo Magee. Fear for the pizza boy!

  80. Digger
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    Poor Ted Confey, his identiy was stolen. He should check and see if it’s in the garbage can outside his house. I’m sure that once the identity thief realized exactly what it was he had stolen, he threw it away post-haste.

    The Luann storyline took an abrupt turn today. It’s as if an editor came along and said “this story about international exports is way too boring! Inject some hijinx involving nudity immediately!”

  81. Esther Blodgett
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    MW: “I was a victim of identity theft! I mixed up my cards! I closed some of my accounts! My credit’s not straightened out! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!!!”

    Ted’s on a mission from God.

  82. Sequitur
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    #75 AeroSquid. I remember that big flying dildo. It was owned by Diet Smith and ran on magnetism. One of the main characters was Moon Maid with her little antennae. I wonder what kind of thrust that ship had.

  83. Mila
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Reply]



    John Brown is my ancestor…. and yes, he was crazy enough for that XD

    Love your site!

  84. Muffaroo
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    Pozzo @78 – Ah, that was a great book. I keep looking for a copy of The Man who Laughs at book stores, and the closest I found was a $30 paperback that was a facsimile of some ancient translation. A new edition is needed (even though Ayn Rand says so too). But yeah, the resemblance is there.

    Digger @80 – Ted is confused. He has an identity. It’s his personality that was stolen.

    Esther Blodgett @81 – The first line of your comment was at the bottom of the screen when I started reading it, but even then, I could clearly hear the character and tone of voice. Beautiful!

  85. dimestore lipstick
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    I don’t believe that the expression “loser friends” quite fits, as the crusty, odorous old hillbilly gentleman in question has just won big at slots.

  86. Windier E. Megatons
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    Ted, like all males in Mary Worth, actually does his clothes shopping at

  87. Spoon
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet, #25: My thoughts exactly! Checkered Shirt Dude looks to be in the process of dropping trou. Is this, at last, photographic evidence of the elusive Mary Worth Flasher?

  88. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    # 79 Dingo — Wow. Does Madge just volunteer that information to passing strangers? Never mind, I don’t want to know:-).

  89. ScienceGiant
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    MW: Yeah, but wouldn’t it be great if it turned out Ted was phished on

  90. Sequitur
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    I found Madge.

  91. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    DT — Since B.O. and Gertie have been around for decades, I’d bet they are going to survive this storyline. The question is whether the rest of us will.

  92. DamienBixlan
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    MW: Notice the guy in the blue suit at Adrian’s right in the first panel. Then, look at him again in panel two. Now, observe my head exploding as I try to understand how perspectives work in Mary Worth.

  93. Marthas Rolling Pin
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    #90 BWAAA-HA-HA

  94. trey le parc
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    MW: If Ted was any more of a stereotyped villian he’d have a mustache that requires wax.

    I guess the best part of this storyline so far is that it apparently requires enough exposition to keep Mary Worth fidgeting restlessly in her chute, saddled up and ready to clear the gate, all riled up and ready to meddle. But not yet. Ha!

  95. Sequitur
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    Ooooh.. Don’t make me think of Mary Worth saddled up and ready.

  96. SF_Reader
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    #13 Fashion Police – You’ve got it wrong. They didn’t stand around all night in high heels and pantyhose. One can’t get laid that way. And if they can show off their big pendulous breasts, then Sam and Randy can certainly show a little neck.

    #17 Marvin’s Mom – Sorry, but the nomination and winner for all time boring, put insomniacs to sleep, who cares, comic story line is Cathy – Aaack! I’m fat! Aaack! I’m shopping! Aaack! I’m doing taxes! Aaack! My mother telephoned! It’s really a pity that the nice people in Funky Winkerbean have to die while selfish, never funny, poorly drawn Cathy just keeps on living!

  97. Sequitur
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    Aaack! I read Cathy! (Actually, I haven’t read it for months now.)

  98. Rootfish
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Whey did that guy call Dick Tracy, Macy?

  99. Jeremiah
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Men in checkered shirts and cardigans appearing out of nowhere, unsteady banisters that seem to continuously move, men in trucker hats and black and white paintings revolving on a sea of tepid beige: if there were only a few levitating eyes, I would simply conjecture that Joe Giella is distantly related to Dali.

  100. bats :[
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    79. Dingo speaks volumes of truth in regard to a casino environment. However, the El Cortez in Vegas (along with some Indian casinos) still maintain some coin machines for those folks who like to see the filthy lucre spill into the little pay-out trays; even so, a large jackpot will not pay out in coin only.
    (The one in our basement only pays out in coincs. FYI.)

    And on a completely different subject, I just can’t get into the current Mary Worth story. Eh, who cares about Drew’s less attractive sister? Ted does. Yeah….right…up to a point:

  101. Winky's Spleen
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    Marvin’s Mom #17 – Non Sequitur: Danae has some bratty scheme drawn from contemporary politics.

    Baby Blues: Moms are all-capable; dads are morons.

    Zits: Jeremy procrastinates and doesn’t talk to his parents.

    Beetle Bailey: The general lusts grossly after Miss Buxley. And Sarge beats up Beetle.

    Jump Start: Character X is visited by him/herself at a different time in his/her life.

    And the most nonsensical, Wizard of Id: The king is running for re-election????

  102. bats :[
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and I had the dubious pleasure of having Madge sit next to me at 10 AM one day back in June 2007 at the Golden Acorn Casino (which is located somewhere along I-8 between San Diego CA and Yuma AZ. I had $10 in free slot play, and I just wanted to enjoy myself and my little Imperial fantasies on one of the Star War/Dark Sides slots (which are way, way cool and are getting harder and harder to find), and she drops down next to me and starts blathering…
    It was hideous.

  103. Steve S
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    Just wait until Confey tries his sob story about how he got drunk and drove his car off a cliff after being rejected by an older woman.

  104. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 12th, 2009 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft— Since Eugene proposed to Lucy before he enlisted, he should have been man enough to do it in person instead of by letter. Because he wimped out, I don’t feel the least bit sorry for him.
    Your attempt at whiny sentimental manipulation fails again, Batiuk.

    FW— Cory was writing about the double-size porcelain convenience in the men’s room at Montoni’s, you know, the di-… oh, never mind.

    Luann— Evans has obviously become a signatory to the Bumstead Treaty of 1933 which establishes that there shall be no lockable bathroom doors in the comics.

    MT— Sliding into Rex Morgan territory today. The boy in today’s strip is played by my great-nephew, Jasper E. Neuman. He’s always been kind of squirrelly, but this is the first time I’ve seen him want to “practice” with a grown man.

  105. Sequitur
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    Rootfish @98. Because he’s an uneducated, stereotypical hillbilly. (he-yuk!)

  106. fallkout55
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Phantom:
    “Anything wrong Mr Walker?”

    Looking at the first panel..
    “Either the Crocco are coming or Devil is about to eat another one of my children.”

  107. Ginger Yellow
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    Judging by the hat, B.O. is actually the reincarnation of Genghis Khan

  108. Aleph Null
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: Back about 50 years ago wasn’t there a character that walked around followed by a chicken? The chicken would eat the buttons that popped off the guys shirt. He ought to be making a cameo appearance soon.

  109. Stroker Ace
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    MW ~ Dang! The best girlfriend ever!

  110. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    # 100 bats:[ — Excellent!! I wonder if Toeby and Adrian will be competing for Most Pathetic by the time this story ends.

    And your casino story reminded me that as far as I know, casinos are, as of this year, the only public buildings in Iowa where people are still legally allowed to smoke. So casinos here probably have more Madges than ever before.

  111. Molly
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    From what I remember of B.O.Plenty, it’s more likely that he mistook the change machine for a slot machine and has been feeding dollar bills in for the last hour.

  112. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    PHANTOM — I’ve never said this about a comic character, but Captain Savarna could use a hair makeover. That ‘do does not look practical for a sea captain, and it looks even worse on her than on Olive Oyl.

  113. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    # 111 Molly — I hope that makes the float!

  114. seismic-2
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    MT:OK Rusty, I’ll teach you more about photo composition. You need a whole lot more giant squirrel.

    A3G: Martin: “You’re my only child and I love you.” Margo: “I wish you’d told me that a long time ago, Dad.” Translation: All throughout her childhood, Margo thought she had a bunch of brothers and sisters living in that locked room in the cellar of the Magee manse where all those cries of pain and agony came from.

    MW: Two days ago when we first saw that sole diner at the next table, I thought from his hat that he was Ted’s partner in this scam, Genghis Con. However, today the hat has changed and it appears that this table is in fact hosting a meeting of the entire membership of the Santa Royale Crankshaft fan club.

    I wonder what Ted’s reaction will be when Adrian tells him, “It’s OK – I’ll take care of you! From now on, whenever we go out, I’ll be sure to remind you to bring cash.”

    H&L: I don’t know which I find more disturbing: his teacher’s growing a pair of glasses on her face between panels 1 and 2, or the fact that she and Chip go to the same barber.

  115. Marthas Rolling Pin
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    #108, nope, sorry, that was a character in Smilin’ Jack, not DT. Can’t remember his name, but I do remember the buttons and the chicken.

  116. Marthas Rolling Pin
    March 12th, 2009 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    …and a quick trip to the Tree that Knows Everything reveals that the button-popping character was Fatstuff.

  117. Aitherion
    March 12th, 2009 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    MW: In the first panel, what’s with the empty outfit standing behind Ted? Are they sitting in the clothing section of a department store now?

  118. 100indecisions
    March 12th, 2009 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    It’s probably very sad that what caused me the most consternation over Dick Tracy was not the gambling loser but the total and inexplicable (but also weirdly erratic) lack of punctuation in the first couple panels.

  119. fishmorgjp
    March 12th, 2009 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    DT: In the 1960s, Tracy did indeed tool around in a bright yellow spaceship (and one-man flying pods) powered by … magnetism, I think. And there were also Moon People, humanoids with too much eye makeup and deadly pointy fingernails (the better to open and eat the moon snails).

    Luann: Wouldn’t it have been better if TJ still had his frozen grin in the first panel?

    MW: The guy in the checkers must be a big fan of ska music. Hey, maybe he’s with the band playing off-panel!

  120. Mel
    March 12th, 2009 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    104: Thank you, Alfred E.,
    I hate the “If you don’t respond, I’ll know the answer” storyline. It’s been done before and I never makes sense. Especially Batiuk’s take which shows them blissfully happy pre-proposal. If you were in love and assumed your intended was in love with you as well, why on earth would you tell them only once in some sort of detached way? You could never be sure the message was ever received to begin, never mind the whole problem with telling them not to respond if the answer is negative.

    That’s why I send at least 10 letters, emails (with attachments!), and texts a day to my soul mate. In return, the restraining orders are full of hidden messages of my love being appreciated and reciprocated. (Hint: “prohibiting Respondent from going to or within 500 feet ” = more Tweets!)

    Besides everyone knows it’s twice on the pipe if the answer is no.

  121. seismic-2
    March 12th, 2009 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    # 119 fishmorgjp – “The nation that controls magnetism will control the universe!” Presumably because they can make all other nations’ compasses point in the wrong direction?

  122. Aleph Null
    March 12th, 2009 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    #116 Marthas Rolling Pin. Thanks! I do remember Smilin’ Jack and “Fatstuff” now. As a kid I always wondered where all the buttons came from!

  123. Inspector Dim
    March 12th, 2009 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    In today’s Dick Track, I see an establishment with a sign reading “Jack’s.” It has a certain… shape.

    A man named “Dick” enters.

    You fill in the rest.

  124. Red Greenback
    March 12th, 2009 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    Off Topic, but in the Ads by Google banner thingy up there, it says: “Josh Johnson Jerseys”. Sheesh, I am so warped by the C.C., my first thought was that it was an ad for those Hot Blogger Josh Fruhlinger boxers with the hearts on them.
    Now back to our regularly-scheduled program.

  125. Red Greenback
    March 12th, 2009 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    Inspector Dim: Heh, heh, You said “fill in”

  126. Marly
    March 12th, 2009 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    Re: the constant coloring mistakes in basically every color comic… Has it occurred to us that maybe comics are colored by people living in a situation much like TV’s “Dollhouse”? Only instead of being sent on dates or whatever, the colorists are loaded with memories and then sent off to color the day’s strips. Then at the end of the day, their minds are wiped and they forget not only what color the world is, but what color a character they colored yesterday is meant to be. Also, just like TV’s “Dollhouse”, it’s stupid and doesn’t make sense.

  127. Wolf Shepherd
    March 12th, 2009 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    Snuffy Smith “In a pickle” is a baseball term? I don’t get it.

  128. Wolf Shepherd
    March 12th, 2009 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    Maybe I can answer my own question by consulting my favorite reference book; “The Complete Guide to Telling Effective Jokes.”

    Okay, I think I understand now. Loweezy asks if there is a baseball term for the predicament that Lukey is in. The obvious answer is “in a rundown” but THAT’S NOT FUNNY! Instead, you must come up with an answer that the audience does not expect, because surprise is an essential element of a good joke. Therefore, Snuffy says “in a pickle.” Bet you weren’t expecting that! Comedy gold.

  129. Edgy DC
    March 12th, 2009 at 9:28 pm [Reply]

    Hey, Brad, nice fireman’s instincts. Your mother is screaming in terror and you can scarcely be bothered to look up from a box of oats.

    Hey, TJ, way to go from the shamed and scandalized face you give the naked Mrs. DeGroot to the “Fuck, yeah! Life is good!” face you give her son moments later.

    Fuckin’ household disgusts me.

  130. Cool Bev
    March 12th, 2009 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    Isn’t tossing the ball back and forth called “pickle” in baseball? So a rundown could resemble pickle… Nah, still makes no sense.

  131. Lisa
    March 12th, 2009 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    I thought it was a squeeze play.

  132. Wolf Shepherd
    March 12th, 2009 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    #130 Bev – No, that’s called “catch.”

  133. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    # 130 Bev –

    from Wiki:

    “Keep Away, also called Monkey in the Middle, Piggy in the Middle, Pickle in a Dish, Hide the Pickle, Partro in the Pickle, or Pickle in the Middle, is a children’s game played primarily in North America and the United Kingdom. The game is also common in Turkey under a name which translates to Rat in the Middle. Two or more players must pass a ball to one another, while a player in the middle attempts to intercept it.”

  134. Poteet
    March 12th, 2009 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    # 133 — “Hide the Pickle” sounds like more of an adult game, actually.

  135. Frank Parsnip
    March 12th, 2009 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    Steven Marsh (No. 6): At first you had me thinking they were in The Village, where the characters’ main problem was that they were a Amishwannabees set in the middle of a nature preserve filled with monster costumes and a violent retarded pianist. And then I realized that there is also a place called “the Village” that is where the TV show The Prisoner was set. In today’s issue of “Tally Ho!”, by the way, No. 24 and No. 126 have just gotten married. Well, done!

  136. Frank Parsnip
    March 12th, 2009 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    Oops — errant bolding, just like the real comic strips do… Yay!

  137. crea8ive
    March 12th, 2009 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    MW: Why is that dude with the checkered top standing in that corner? Look at the second panel – the railing goes all the way to the wall. The dude is just hanging around in that corner. Maybe the dude is Ted’s alternate identity, eavesdropping for any hints he can use to con Adrian into giving him a neckrub.

  138. Mibbitmaker
    March 12th, 2009 at 11:04 pm [Reply]

    #133 (Poteet): “Piggy in the Middle” only applies if two or more members of The Rutles are playing the game.

    #17: Tiresome Comics themes (and other overdone crap):

    ~ “And…” at the end of most A3G narrations.
    ~ Pretty much every theme in Curtis.
    ~ MW: Everyone is drawn as variations of Frankie Valli as done in a Keane painting.
    ~ Danae hates boys (whenever Wiley seems to sympathize, not when he doesn’t)
    ~ MT: Wrongly bolded words.
    ~ Bucky Katt gets political.
    ~ Excessive close-ups all over Locher era Dick Tracy.
    ~ NOT showing “sweaterpuppies” in JP.
    ~ (older one/reprints) Snoopy’s sudden unfunny love of cookies.
    ~ RMMD: The only time Rex actually practices medicine is during pandemics.
    ~ And, of course, Mallard Fillmore.

  139. Lisa
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    138- Speaking of Snoopy, it’s interesting to watch him go from being a puppy to a cranky old man in a dog suit. I think Schulz identified strongly with the beagle, so that would explain a lot, even the cookies, maybe?

  140. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    I think I want to be a color monkey when I grow up. At least I do make an effort to be consistent. Mostly.

  141. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:56 am [Reply]


    FC: gawd help me, I laughed.
    Although at first (no kidding!) when I saw Billy squatting there, I thought he was holding a wax ring that seals the toilet bowl to the drain.

    MT: good lord! Rusty’s camera has a MEMORY CARD?!? Twenty-first Century, here we come!

    RMMD: well, heck, all we got is Rex looking pensive (it’s a good look for him, by the way). As Poteet mentioned, Thursday was gold — pure Caribbean oro:

  142. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    #27 Calico – All of those are terrific reminders of why the children of the ’60s had it better than they ever knew, but my God, Jiggie & Maggs has to be the most wonderfully fucked-up thing I have ever read.

  143. Lisa
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:13 am [Reply]

    Where is the link to the Jiggie and Maggs thing?

    Also, Friday Luann… I actually like this. It’s an appropriate response to an underage girl flirting with adult males. I give them points for defusing it. Really and truly. No snark.

  144. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    #143 Lisa – It’s at the post I referenced.

  145. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    It’s Friday. Ahhhh.

    A3G This is just creepy, Daddy Magee comparing Margo’s beauty to Gabriella’s. What are you saying, man? What?
    Archie Good Lord, why even bother gluing it back together if you’re going to slather glue all over the place? I thought the Lodges could afford a vase or two.
    Bizarro I like today’s offering.
    C’haft This is a job for Dean Booth, bats :[ or Red Greenback!
    Children of the Circle See above re: Dean, Bats and Red.
    WTF GT I just can’t help thinking this strip looks like one of those paint-on-felt activity posters.
    Sam Driver, Inexplicable Chick Magnet And heeeerrrre we go; Sam’s already gearing up for a Mystery involving April’s ties to the CIA! Yeah, like we NEED another plotline in this thing.
    Sweet and Shallow I must admit, I laughed at this. Not what I expected but thoroughly welcomed.
    Mallard Fuckmore Just curious – why does the duck have a black head in panel one and then all the rest he has a green head?
    Fist of Justice Theater As long as Rusty stays behind the camera, it won’t break. And hey! Mark Trail drags his comic strip kicking and screaming into the 21st century by mentioning a memory card! Now if we can just dispell a rerun plot with a 1950′s mindset!!
    Poopypants Shoot the dog.The End.
    Meddling Heights Oh, you wicked evil paramour, you. Twiddling your moustache while your unsuspecting bride-to-be goes all Toby on you! Enjoy it now; you will face the Meddling soon enough.
    PBS Awww. Jaded lil guard duck.
    Kit Walker, Bangalla Ranger I dig the little cornrows on the Crocco’s heads, or whatever those little fin things are up there.
    RMMW Now I don’t care what the plot is or isn’t, but by golly I demand that there be better artwork so bats :[ will have some good stuff to work with. Better artwork, mule!

  146. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:09 am [Reply]

    # 141 bats :[ – *lol!* You know, I do not feel the day is complete without seeing one of your parodies. No matter how sickly sweet Children of the Corn Circle is or how dully predictable Cathy is, or how damn boring Rex’s cruise is going, I know the payoff will be when bats :[ gets hold of it. You and Dean and Red can make the best of a bad lot of comics.

    ’cause you need to know how much you are appreciated, darlin’!

  147. Ali_Again
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    This current Crankshaft theme of “you went of to war, and I never got your letter, so our relationship fell apart” rather reminds me of the British television show “As Time Goes By.” Well, except for the fact that “As Time Goes By” was actually entertaining.

  148. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:14 am [Reply]

    # 134 O Poteet, my queen! – I tried to play “that sort” of Hide the Pickle once with a shall we say close friend of mine. Alas, the atmosphere was not condusive to amorous intent and we just wound up finding a gherkin.

  149. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:28 am [Reply]

    # 147 Ali_Again – someone pointed out either earlier today or yesterthread, that it was stupid for a couple who was so obviously into each other, to depend on a single roll of the dice with that “if you don’t reply to this letter, I’ll take that as a no and never contact you again” bit.

    If a couple is THAT close, then why would he write something like that? And if he loved her enough to want to marry her, why wouldn’t he wonder why she would say no? He’s going off to war; wouldn’t he want a clear cut Yes or No? I sure as hell would.

    What I’m getting from today’s strip is that he knew exactly where she was but he never said anything he thought she didn’t want him to contact her. To Batuik this makes perfect sense and a heartbreaking story but to a Fable this is just raw unfiltered Bullshit designed for a cheap and easy tear tug. He NEVER contacted her? WHY THE HELL NOT? He could see there wasn’t anyone else in her life, and even if he had recently found out where she was, if he was a Fable he’d have spoken up – hell, if he was a Fable he’d have come home after the war, looked her up and said, “So, what’s with the no? What’d I do wrong?” In fact, a Fable would have asked her to marry him IN PERSON instead of writing some damn letter like Cyrano de Fucking Bergerac. But Nooooo, Batuik doesn’t write for a Fable, he writes for a cardboard character who is designed solely for that aforementioned cheap and easy tear tug.

    I put entirely too much time and attention into a Batuik comic.

  150. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    #149 True Fable – Fable tenacity aside, any moderately intelligent human being who didn’t have his head shoved up his own ass in search of Writing would know better than to try a dumbshit scheme like that. This is the kind of thing Laurel & Hardy would have lampooned. (Which would be approximately sixty billion times as entertaining as any given Batiuk strip.)

  151. Red Greenback
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:41 am [Reply]

    Truman @ 145: This is all I got.

  152. Mibbitmaker
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:44 am [Reply]

    Friday the 13th:

    9CL: That’s more like it. Likable Edda at last?

    A3G: This one needs a refresher course on Magee Family Tree… for me AND Margo.

    BBailey: Any number of things can be put in place of Beetle’s dialogue in the last panel, all innuendo-laden.

    ReFOOB: That last panel, taken out of context, can be really creepy. Oh, and it’s John’s single buddy now that’s standing in for Rod lately.

    MT, panel one: …And then, Mark can teach that to someone else who needs that lesson on the regular basis: Jack Elrod.

    “What’s that, Ted?”
    “Oh………. nothing…”

    MC: The Bridget in panel 2 cannot have the internal dialogue of the Bridget in panel 4.

    Popeye: I think Popeye in panel 3 sums it up best.

    RMMD: Guido studied the speech balloon carefully to decide whether he agreed with Rex or not.

  153. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:45 am [Reply]

    # 150 commodorejohn – That’s what just slays me about Crankshaft. It makes me wonder how it was able to sell itself to papers?

    What’s Crankshaft about?

    “It’s about this horrible misanthrope of a man who acts like a complete asshole to every single living soul and behaves like a prime butthead in his role as a school bus driver. Oh, and it’s co-produced by Tom Batuik so you just know there’s a wellspring of despair and misery tucked inside each character!”

  154. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:47 am [Reply]

    # 151 Red Greenback – omg I just sprayed water all over my desktop! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! That’s it! XD

  155. Poewar
    March 13th, 2009 at 3:25 am [Reply]

    I think that’s cuz she didn’t have any makeup on. I mean seriously, your mom looks pretty average on her best days, and from what I saw it takes a LOT of work just to get there. Now your Dad, I think he works out…

  156. Wangdoodle
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:14 am [Reply]

    Friday smells funny.

    Safe Havens: So move to Sherman’s Lagoon. Oh, wait, right, the friggin’ sharks.

    Snuffy Smith: The only way this could’ve been more disgusting is if Snuffy’s offer involved banging Loweezy.

    S4th: Sally is officially dumb as a post.

    Rubes: Again: I don’t miss The Far Side so much that I want to see it recycled by a talentless halfwit. Isn’t there a grease fire somewhere you could roll around in for a while?

    My Cage: So where’s Bridget’s snark center located?

    MT: Guest-starring Dondi! Mark is spending a LOT of time with Dondi, in light of his bachelorhood and all that.

    Luann: Methinks the ladies doth protest too much; they secretly harbor fantasies of peeping on Pig-Nose. (I’m still waiting for Mom to come blazing into the room in a dripping bathrobe to rip TJ’s head off.)

    Mallard: Maybe if your political idols weren’t so keen on constantly creating more veterans in urgent need of medical care, then denying them that care…

    Monkey Funkerween: Let me guess. Dad will make scowly faces (already there) and empty threats, and Mom will clutch her hanky and weep, secretly delighted that she is in a drama, and she is the star of that drama, and in a month or so we will repeat this horse-pie. Go on, strip: surprise me. I dare you.

    FC: Ohhhhhh, no. I can’t say it. I just can’t. Ugggh.

    Crankshaft: Hey, ratbag: go make your confession to Eugene! He’s still able to do something about it besides die. Go ahead! Make my day.

    Bizarro: Gamera below Mothra? Seriously? Congratulations, Dan Piraro: you have found yet another way to suck.

  157. Mary Worth Discussion Group
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:36 am [Reply]

    MW Uber butch Terry Bryson will help Adrian!

  158. Muffaroo
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    True Fable @145 – The little fin things on the Croccos’ heads are “Crocscombs.” ‘Strewth!
    @148 – Ended up gherkin off?

    Wangdoodle @156 – Mark’s married… or am I missing a nuance in your comment?

  159. Anonymous
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    151. Red Greenback: works for me!

  160. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    159. Anonymous: dangnabbit! mr. bats :[ has been *fixing* my computer again!

  161. Anonymous
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    Gasoline Alley: All right, we get it already! You found a list of diner lingo on Wikipedia and are showing off your ability to look stuff up on the Interweb The waitress gives all the orders funny names and other people in the vicinity get confused. Enough! It was only slightly funny the first time, and this is like the seventh now.

    On another note, is it a regular habit of his to write every numeral in boldface for no reason? I seem to remember he’s done it before, but I can’t think of any particular date to turn back to to check.

  162. Honest Jay
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    TJ wouldn’t know pussy if you threw it at him….Brad too….sausage-fest 24/7.

  163. StrangeRover
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:05 am [Reply]

    MW: Him RUDE BOY, mon.

  164. nanzee
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    I usually just lurk but I’m so relieved that #36 gnemec has obviously read DT strips back when I did that I just had to reveal myself here in the comments. When I was a little girl, I read all this stuff and tried to make sense of it. I thought if it was in the newspaper it had to mean something. No wonder I turned out this way, but never mind…. B. O. Plenty, his daughter, Sparkle Plenty, and Sparkle’s Ma, whose name I can’t recall, were Tracy regulars along with ol’ Diet Smith. There was a Dick Tracy cartoon on weekday afternoons when I was growing up. What a twisted world I grew up in. Gnemec, do you understand me? Do I need help?

  165. nanzee
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    And now I see I should have lurked a little longer reading until I got to those of you who either know lots more history than I or are good with the google. Thanks for all the validation, Curmudgeoners. Now I think I’m OK.

  166. sassypants
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    You can tell that Dick Tracy’s is a hardboiled world, because the good guys can have beards.

  167. Joan Burgess
    September 20th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    Thank you so very much. We have been trying for days to think of that guy’s name

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