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Friday quickies

Apartment 3-G, 3/13/09

Margo is far too classy to wear a lavender track suit to lunch at the Plaza, despite her other incomprehensible fashion crimes — like, say, wearing a lavender track suit while not having lunch at the Plaza.

Marvin, 3/13/09

The urine and feces produced by Marvin and his family pets will continue to be the source of jokes in this feature until eventually you beg for the return of Belly Laffs.

Pluggers, 3/13/09


430 responses to “Friday quickies”

  1. Jumper
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:20 am [Reply]

    Ha, ha! Pluggers can’t poo!

  2. Brian
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:23 am [Reply]

    Does everything on the comics page have to be about elimination? And if so, can we talk about eliminating some of these strips?

  3. tom candry
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:43 am [Reply]

    ewwww a dog and chicken union in pluggers

  4. Tiako
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:07 am [Reply]

    But…pluggers drink beer. This has been well established. Is the implication that pluggers only drink at home alone? That’s kind of sad, but then again, the plugger’s life is one of unrelenting misery.

  5. cj
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:08 am [Reply]

    To my knowledge, birds are unable to, uh, retain their “business” – making ol’ Ruff here the sole user of the “Juice.” Henny Penny looks down in shame, as well she should.

    Serious mode: I feel for those with declining health, but why would anyone want to make it easier to “have and accident” in the car?

  6. Wangdoodle
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:09 am [Reply]

    (Crossposted ’cause I’m tired of coming in on the butt-end of the old thread just in time for a new one to start.)

    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 in all that?

    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.

  7. Folkhero
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:16 am [Reply]

    I’m not a veterinarian, but when a previously house-trained dog starts peeing all over the carpet, I think it’s usually a sign of poor health. This leads me to believe that Junior’s devious master plan is to feign illness until his owners have to put him down, further proving that the cold hand of death is considerably more desirable than spending one more second with Marvin.

  8. Balius
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:27 am [Reply]

    #7 Folkhero: Dogs can also use their feces and urine to express unhappiness or anxiety. And frankly, after getting stuck in a Marvin strip, that little dog has every right to be angry.

  9. Biff Boulder
    March 13th, 2009 at 6:31 am [Reply]

    aren’t they called pluggers because they can’t poop?
    like they’re plugged up?
    that’s what the title has always made me think anyway.
    and it’s always made it that much worse.

  10. Spk
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:13 am [Reply]

    After reading Rex Morgan, Marvin, and Pluggers, it is just a matter of time before they give me pink eye.

    March 13th, 2009 at 7:25 am [Reply]

    MT: What are they photographing in panel 1, a plastic figurine they just got out of a box of cereal?

    And I love that neckerchief. He must have borrowed it from one of the unemployed character in Apartment 3-F

  12. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:43 am [Reply]

    Boy, it seems we will just never exhaust the wellspring of humor spewing forth from these filthy diners and their pointless lingo. In the interest of efficiency, perhaps Gasoline Alley should remove some of the large, obnoxious people from its panels and simply pack the space full of amusing food terminology in a small, sans-serif font.

  13. C. Havoc
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    MT: OK, the only way I can figure this is as follows:

    1. Mark & Rusty must have found that camera somewhere in lost forest. Perhaps they picked it off the broken body of a Facial-Haired Villian post-F-O-J. Or maybe Kelly left it in the spare bedroom, whatever…

    2. Now that the memory card is full, they are perplexed as to what to do next, having never really understood those new-fangled “computers” everyone is talking about.

    3. Their only logical course of action, is to go to the “camera store” and purchase a new memory card every time another one fills up.

    I can imagine the entire Trail clan, gathered around the tiny viewscreen, viewing each lousy picture as Rusty clicks through them.

    “Hmmm, nice deer…”
    “There’s a good on of Andy…”
    “Wow, that is one Giant Chipmunk.”
    “Oops…Whoa! I guess this WAS Kelly’s Camera. Let’s just skip that one.”
    “Nice composition, though…”

  14. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    Good choice, Luann. Glizt doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, but I agree it’s right up there with Seventene and Tiger Beta.

    March 13th, 2009 at 7:55 am [Reply]

    MT: My former teacher, Miss Wormwood (I am sure many of use remember her) corrected my reply:

    And I love that neckerchief. He must have borrowed it from one of the unemployed characters in Apartment 3-G.

  16. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:58 am [Reply]

    Monday: Mark shakes his fist at a recalcitrant memory card clothespinned to a line in his darkroom and dripping developer on the floor.

  17. gleeb
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    Candorville: I’m not a fool either, Bell. For months, I wanted an resolution to this story of whose-son-is-the-kid, but now you dump this vampire crap on me. Vampires? Really? Am I supposed to be a 15-year-old girl? You had me, then you lost me.

    Brewster: Oh, come on. Keith Haring may have been a little over hyped, but his work isn’t a crime.

    Brenda: “You! The people out there reading this. You have no taste!”

    Baldo: Joey. That’s the name I’ve been trying to remember. The name of the poorly-characterized co-worker promoted over Baldo’s head, so he could be a target for Baldo’s ire. In fact, I think I’ve finally figured it out: Baldo doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a bland comic strip that has run out of steam. Thus, fake situations and awkward set-ups have to be resorted to.

    Boffo: Timing error. If he’d published this a few weeks later, he could have stirred up a huge debate among the Christians about what he meant. No publicity is bad publicity.

    ‘shaft: Eugene’s love all over Lucy’s things!

    Dick: Oho! So B O has been counting ca-wait, he was playing a slot machine.

    Edge City: There’s no way this isn’t her own fault. I’ve read this strip long enough to realize these two are the kind of neighbors everyone hates.

    ‘bean: This is almost perfect, but I can’t remember why I should despise Holly Winkerbean. I’m sure there’s a reason – she’s a Batiuk character, after all – but I can’t remember it.

    Parker: Whoa, what? Maybe the CIA didn’t let her go? Sure, no surprise to us, but I didn’t think Sam was that canny.

    Luann: Oh, they won’t walk in on Luann. They know she belongs to Evans.

    Mark: “Look, Rusty, an eohippus!”

    Phantom: Giant aquatic pussycats! And they want to come in!

    Rose: “An alter ego” Sure. Honest people just say it was the gin.

  18. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    JP, panel 3: Abby at home alone. Eyes closed. Katy Perry on the stereo.

  19. Patrick
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:19 am [Reply]

    Why do you have to change, Margo? From the pulled-aside jacket view in panel 1, your dad is happy enough wearing a dickey under his suit.

  20. kalki
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    9CL: I guess Edda is smiling because she plans to position herself for a teabagging when Amos lands.

    Archie: So…”threesome” never crossed any of their minds, huh?

    Blondie: How about the emaciated, near-dead-from-starvation dog which has never been seen getting fed by any of you guys?

    Crank: DUH DUH DUUUUUHHHHHH! And how can this be? For Eugene is the Kwisatz Haderach!

    DTM: oooo gastrointestinal disorders are menacing.

    CircusJerk: “It’s under this snow ring, Dolly. Hurry and look because I can’t keep my boys dangling in the snow like this.”

    FW: “Shut up, Disappointment Cory!”

    GA: ha ha waitresses are confusing ha ha

    Luann: Leaving aside the facts that TJ is more interested in seeing Brad naked than Luann and that Brad is covering for his intense incestuous urges for his sibling, let’s not gloss over the seeming need of the women in the DeGroot household to jump into a tub of water in an unlocked bathroom and lay a trap for the men of the household (of which, 66.6% are related to them in some way) when they stumble into the situation while trying to perform various bodily functions not related to seeing women naked. Dysfunction, thy name is DeGroot.

    S-M: Missing panel between first and second–Electro’s accidental discharge of lightning into his own face. Lesson: Never point a loaded hand at your own head. They’ll find his headless, smoking corpse tomorrow.

  21. Brick Bradford
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    MT Never mind all that other $#%!, what is the deal with Rusty’s polk-a-dot neckerchief? It looks like he stole it from Mary Worth. And Mary knows.
    And she will be coming for it. In wrath.

    Speaking of MW, Slick Hair McLoungelizard’s evil plot continues to unfold.Perhaps we’re going to get a cautionary tale on the awful consequences that ensue when Mary does NOT meddle.

    Archie Yo, Jughead. Take a hike. Three’s a crowd.
    Or it’s something they can’t put on the funny pages.

    Popeye Oh fine, my beloved android Sweet Pea is going to turn into PJ. Gack.

  22. Old School Allie Cat
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    MW – Do you think Moy and Giella enjoy dragging Dr. Jeffy Cory’s offspring into miserable romantic disasters?

    First we have the whole Vera/Drew “Bad Goodbye with Giant Doughnuts” and now Adrian’s world is about to shatter in some vaguely sinister way. Heaven forbid she should have to deal with less than sterling credit AND a broken heart.

    It’s almost as though these kids are being punished because their father is linked to the meddlingest biddy in the lower 48.

  23. Vermillion
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    A3G–Wow, Margo’s dad really knows how to stick his foot in his mouth. I like how she says “Oh?”, and he gets a look of horror on his face, “OMG, I’m in for it now!.” They are going to have a lovely evening, whatever she wears.

    Marvin–When our pets leave presents around, we call them protest poops. They are not getting what they want, so they are letting us know. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen too often.

  24. pccmdoc
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    So all three of these strips are about bodily secretions…poop in pluggers, pee in Marvin and semen (long ago deposited in the family maid) in Apt 3-G.

  25. troy macgregor
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    And so the conflict between Pluggers being lazy but well-meaning blue collar anthropomorphic folk or just old farts continues. Just pick one for continuity’s sake!

    Rusty’s face in panel three of Mark Trail made my day.

  26. Mr. Jones
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: punish their toilets more than an Arab in Gitmo.

  27. Muffaroo
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    9CL – Go for it, Amos. Your reaction to this creaking storyline is something we’ve all been tempted to try. Why is Edda so happy to look at your dangling corpse, though?

    AD – Whoa! That un-Hartly caveman in the middle panel can really make his middle fingers get freakishly long on demand.

    Blondie – Sadly, Little Sir Echo crawled into the Bumstead family fridge and perished years ago.

    Cshaft – This is way slow. Come on! When does the killing rampage begin?

    DTracy – Okay, I think we’re finally meeting the no-doubt inflammable (or pehaps caninely edible) villain of the piece, without which the strip is just a bunch of people living and not exploding or crashing at all. From the sideways window in his office, I think he might be M.C. Escher.

    GThorp – The hands in this strip are kind of miraculous, making such everyday occurrences as gesturing appear fraught with incomprehensible meaning.

    HtHorrible – Whoa! I thought they’d been hunted to extinction years ago, but there it is, right out in the open — a genuine, explicit specimen of “BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS!”

    If we are very still and keep watching, we might see a “HERE WE GO AGAIN!”

    MFmore – Let me guess! Suddenly the VA is the fault of the guy who’s been in office for just over 50 days, and not the guy who oversaw gutting their funding for eight years!

    MTrail – While you’re t’ the cam’ry store, you might want to have them empty the soul valve — they get pretty nasty if you don’t keep cleaning them out.

    Mduke – Phil, misunderstanding the nature of the mysterious box, is croggling at the thought that he might flip a switch and make his dog vanish forever.

    MWorth – The Floorwalker of Doom (“Oh, Ted!” “Eee-YE-ESSS?”) is having a harder time keeping up his cheery facade.

    RMMD – Serious question (I’ve lost track): how much time has elapsed in this storyline? Are they on a three-hour tour or what?

    S-Man – Uh oh. Looks like car lights are off too, in solidarity with the streetlights.

    Zippy – Wow! It’s the return of Steve Stiles’s “Mister Smile” from “Let’s Be Happy!” (“Christ, this is embarrassing! If only I could stop smiling.”)

    Zits – The ugly reality behind the sanitized world of Family Circus.

  28. Muffaroo
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Josh – Back in the 70s, I envisioned an ad for Halley’s M-O with an elderly couple out for a drive. The woman asks the man what’s the matter, and he says it’s this darn irregularity again. Then the sponsor makes his pitch. We return to the couple, driving again, but cheerful and happy as the day is long. They pull into a gas station, and roll down the window and the attendant asks, “Regular?” They beam up at him. “Thanks to Halley’s M-O!”

    When I saw Homer & Jethro in concert, somebody was heckling them, and they were quick with the comebacks. The one I remember is “Why don’t you eat some bran flakes and be one of the Reg’lar Fellas?” (Comic strip reference!)

    Comment Spam @8 – Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam. (“Hi I like you’re website it is good website now go visit my website…”)

    C. Havoc @14 – Beautiful job on the Mark Trail camera thing. I edited my comment down after your masterly exposition.

  29. Daniel
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    Is it wrong to see a potentially very perverted animal sex joke in the March 13, 2009 Ziggy comic? :-(

  30. Dragon of Life
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    At first I thought the little dog from Marvin was the most Satanic manifestation of evil I’d ever seen. Then I went back and reread A3G… and realized that in that final panel what we don’t hear is the ominous DONG of a massive bell, while horses neigh in terror and flocks of birds take to the sky.

    Conclusion: Margo Magee is the greatest manifestation of malevolence in the entire comics universe. That dog only seems evil because it’s evil directed at the reader. It’s like comparing Popeye to a cartoon that actually punches you in the face when you look at it.

  31. Amateur
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    MW: Yay! Ted’s thought balloons are back! I was starting to have thought-balloon withdrawal.

  32. blammers66
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    Cranky: If there was ever a moment for an “live-on-panel” stroke, here’s the moment. (Can the Batuikiverse pass up the opportunity to have the first “live-on-panel” death? Oh, the possibilities!)

  33. gleeb
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    28 re the Duck: You missed it. He doesn’t dislike the VA’s underfunded inefficiency, he celebrates it. If the VA were well-funded and efficient, it would suggest that a single-payer health system could work.

  34. Hibbleton
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    Curtis: WTF. Cleopatra’s mom taught Mrs. Nelson to drink blood out of a thermos?

  35. Charterstoned
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    #12 and #22
    Mark Trail – Look back to the beginning of this storyline and you will see that Rusty’s kerchief isn’t polka-dotted at all. You will also note that Sassy, Rusty’s13-year-old puppy, IS polka-dotted. Suddenly, Sassy is gone and Rusty is sporting a neck scarf that looks suspiciously like Sassy’s fur coat.

  36. Matmaduke
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    Good thing Billy from Family Circus didn’t make more than one snownut or else Dolly wouldn’t be able to fit them in her mouth! (OW!)

  37. Pozzo
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    Alternate text for panel 3 of A3G: “Are you coming on to me, Dad?”

  38. Larry McAwful
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    Probably the most nefarious aspect of today’s Pluggers is the implication that it’s normal to take a six pack of beer with you on a road trip, and Mr. Dog and Mrs. Chicken-Dog are only taking prune juice because the usual youthful habit of drinking while driving is no longer an option due to their rusty, backed-up Plugger plumbing.

    If I ever get to the point where I’m living the bland, depressing, unhealthy life of a Plugger, I hope someone puts a pistol to my head and, well, plugs me.

    Pluggers might not be interesting, but they’re not usually interested in anything, either. There are Pluggers—so many! I had not thought death had undone so many!

  39. Sequitur
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    Lio – Isn’t that the cat from Pearls Before Swine?

    MT: Mark and Rusty know nothing about new fangled technology. JUST DOWNLOAD THE PICTURES FROM THE CARD AND IT WILL BE LIKE NEW AGAIN! Geez..

  40. R in CT
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Margo’s father may be a Plugger because I’m not convinced that last frame has nothing to do with an unfortunate bowel slip.

  41. angus beef
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    @27- OR -Pluggers: Punish their toilets more than Keith Moon at the Hilton.

  42. tbiggs
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    #8 Drug –
    More information about comics curmudgeon is available on the internet.

  43. Larry McAwful
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    #8 Drug – More information about spam can be found at

  44. Hank
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    RE: Pluggers. They goofed. The six pack in the back of a real Plugger’s car is half a case of motor oil, because their cars are old.

  45. Jeremiah
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    So apparently Ted lies in wait on sites dedicated to fandom for crappy bedside communities and pounces on young women in order to steal their perfect credit rating! You dastardly fiend! Is that what happened to your wife? You sucked her credit score dry, and she died of not-able-to-get-a-home-loanitis? Are you going to tie Adrian up on railroad tracks as you make off with her credit score in a canvas bag? Again, I say you dastardly fiend!

  46. Hank
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    RE: Candorville. The vampire storyline proves what I’ve suspected for a couple of years now. Darrin Bell is just a Berke Breathed wannabe who think he can mix fantasy into his political satire and make it work. Mr. Bell, you are no Berke Breathed, not even at his “Outland” worst.

  47. Mischief Maker
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    Of course “Road Trip” in Pluggers speak means “Moving to California to get a job picking grapes.”

  48. tb4000
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    Luann: Will and Grace, eat your heart out.

  49. Hank
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    RE: Doonesbury. More Bush jokes? More than four months after the election? Is Trudeau planning on doing his own version of hybrid strip for the next four years? Let’s pray he doesn’t go see “Watchmen.” We’ll be in for Nixon gags next.

  50. Winky's Spleen
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    Maybe Pluggers would have more success pooping if they ate some damn vegetables on occasion.

    MF – I did not know Pater Duck fought in WWII. And what I still don’t know is, On which side?

  51. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    22. Brick Bradford: considering that not only is Rusty’s scarf polka-dotted, but the little dog (or whatever the quadruped was) playing with Cherry and Andy the other day was also spotted, I think the Big Outbreak of ’09 isn’t on the S.S. Surly, but in Lost Forest.
    Paging Rex Morgan! Dr. Morgan! Please report to the LoFo Clinic and Taxidermy Shoppe!

  52. Li’l Bunnë FooFoo
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    Marvin: I think we can all be thankful that the colorists declined to color that little urine puddle a lurid yellow. Perhaps “declined” is the wrong word; “failed”, perhaps? In any event, this way I can pretend the “accident” was Junior dropping a glass of water.

  53. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    40. Sequiter re Lio: no, that’s Sybil, Lio’s cat. Doesn’t show up much. Ishmael the squid is more gregarious; I think Sybil tends to sit in the closet and dream up weapons of mass destruction.

    28. Muffaroo re RMMD time-line: this is mostly off the top of my head, so my reckoning might be off.
    Day 1: board ship, wander around, be verbally abused by surly employees, Sara sees little boy in lifeboat, Second Officer Guido Tomas appears. That evening, meet the Dunsmores at dinner, and I think Sara and June go looking for the stowaway afterward.
    Day 2: I think this is the morning Rex learns about the outbreak and goes below decks to check it out. If that’s the case, Agnes shows up at the Morgans’ cabin, she and June and Sara go to breakfast, and then they wander around the ship looking for the stowaway.

    Good lord. Does this mean it’s only the SECOND day of the cruise? There was a lot of Rex ‘n’ June in bathrobes, but I’d’ve thought that would have been enough for them for a good six months or so…

  54. Binder's Butter Beans
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    I just learned way, way more than I ever wanted to know about Myrna Satterwhite of Ruther Glen, VA.

  55. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    A3G: “Oh right. Gabriella is my mother. Can coke cause short-term memory loss?”

    S-M: So we’ve established that electricity melts metal. I guess it’s bad news that every electrified building in the world uses metal wiring.

    MT: Rusty taking a picture of a plastic horse toy three feet away? Expected. But it’s jarring to hear him talk about a “memory card” while holding a plainly non-digital camera. Sort of like if he were speaking into a candlestick phone and said, “Hold up, I’m gonna try to get a stronger signal out here.”

    DtM: That’s Mr. Wilson’s sixth cup of coffee today. He’s actively hoping the ulcer perforates and kills him.

    MW: “Darling, were you just twirling your mustache and cackling evilly to yourself? No? Must be my imagination.”

    Crock: One soldier is telling the commander that another soldier “needs tender loving care”? Whatever happened to “don’t ask don’t tell?”

    Momma: Sonia’s kids all had a wild night and got gang tattoos on their faces. Not very good ones, I might add.

    Luann: It doesn’t work like that, Luann. You need to wait until you’re in the shower, turn on the water, and then yell, “I sure hope some big strapping man doesn’t walk in on me.” If nothing else, Brad will come running.

    6C: Meanwhile, the bartender wonders whether she should have installed more than one stool and kept some bottles behind her.

    Archie: When Archie said, “At least we’ve got a rainy day activity,” who else thought of the phrases “amy nitrate” and “double team”?

  56. highway
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    what happened to the head-wobbles in A3G? there were exactly zero head-wobbles when, judging from their alarmed expressions, everyone should have been head-wobbling in every panel at all times.

  57. Chyron HR
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    Hank, just stop reading “Doonesbury.” Seriously. You’re not snarking, you’re just railing. At some point, you just need to accept that a strip is not for you and let it go.

  58. Hank
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    RE: Chyron. ;-)

  59. Sequitur
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    #53 bats :[
    Ok, thanks for the info. With the way Pearls and Lio like to do crossovers, you never know. I think the cats must be related, i.e. from the same litter.

  60. Chert the Chort
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: Who the hell keeps the six-pack of beer in the trunk on a road trip? I thought it belonged in the front seat, between the driver and the drifter you pick up after the second bathroom stop?

  61. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    “There was a lot going on at that party tonight.”
    “Like, remember that one time when you sat downstairs and talked with that one guy, and then, and then that time you came upstairs and sat on the steps and talked with that other guy? Good times.”

  62. firedmyass
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    49: I KNOW!! I mean, we had a tornado wreak serious devastation locally over six months ago… and some people around here just won’t shut up talking about how horrible it was and how their lives still aren’t back to normal. Man, I am so bored with that shit… last weekend the weather was so nice! Why can’t they focus on current events?

  63. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    #49 – Hank

    While I hate to give Doonesbury a pass for the usual droning politics, this current “plotline” is really just using some mindless nonsense about secret societies at Yale as a backdrop to do a pretty timely parody of “Internet 2.0″ reporting. With all the newspapers that are going out of business, we are soon going to run out of people who actually investigate stories, even silly stories like this one. So Roland is just a stand-in for bloggers who merely cut-and-paste original reporting. He Twitters and vlogs and texts, and eventually just “reports” the story on-air by just reading a print report straight from the newspaper.

  64. Gypsymoth
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark and Rusty will go to the camera shop, drop the memory card into an envelope, and send it off to be developed. “Well Rusty, we will see how your pictures turned out in a week.”

  65. Joe the Plugger
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    9CL: I’m a little confused by the time-line… Amos hid this letter from Edda for, what, 25 seconds?

  66. Poteet
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    MT — I don’t know what’s sadder, that Mark knows even less about modern photographic technology than I do or that he’s teaching someone else about it in spite of that.

  67. AmazingThor
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    DT: Ok, the slot machine is the one thing in the casino that you can not cheat. So the casino goons are just going to start beating up the few people who actually leave with more money than they came with? Why not save everyone the trouble and just start robbing them in their homes?

  68. odinthor
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    RMMD. — In panel one, Guido shows his good manners. Gentlemen, all the better advisors on etiquette recommend that, when you pitch a major tent and it’s not quite the right moment, you hang your hat on it to distract attention. This shows a sensitive consideration for your companions, who will be charmed by your modesty. Next on How The Comix Can Make You A Better Person: Ziggy demonstrates socially acceptable ways to go out in public without one’s pants.

  69. Bootsy
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    DT: Bill the Cat + Yosemite Sam = B.O. Plenty. I am expecting “Pfffft! Haaaack! Tarnation!” to be his next line of dialogue.

    FC: Doesn’t Dolly already have snow nuts, on her hat?

    Curtis: Shouldn’t that be “thermos”?

    RMMD: Oh, for Chrissake! Stop speculating about the damn kid! Just stop it already! Find him, don’t find him, I don’t care. But stop talking about who he might be, where he might have come from, where is parents are, everything. You’ve got a plague, a surly crew, tainted food, unmade beds, unfed passengers, drunk old crones wandering the ship, low liquor reserves, and all you numbnuts do is talk about the friggin’ kid who may or may not exist, and who may or may not enjoy pastry.

    This makes me long for June’s days at the DMV.

  70. AmazingThor
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    Luann: So TJ just saw your mom nude and is now joking about seeing your sister nude. If you were any normal human you would be disgusted and punch TJ in his smirking face. But you’re Brad. So you just join in with the little pervert and imagine seeing your own sister naked.

  71. Sequitur
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    Cow & Boy: Cows eating lobster?

  72. Renee J
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    MT: Memory card? You mean this doesn’t take place in 1954?

  73. Poteet
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    # 68 odinthor — The good thing is that I’ve learned more creative metaphors from you and others on CC than I’ve ever learned before. The bad thing is that most of the metaphors are so difficult to work into everyday conversation. I was going to say “so hard,” but for once I caught myself in time.

    # 69 Bootsy — BWAHAHA! Thanks for saying it so well re RMMD.

  74. WillieO
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    Sometimes, if they hit a speed bump with enough force, a plugger’s impacted colon will rupture. That’s why they need the constant supply of prune juice…in cans…for a roadtrip.

  75. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    Ted’s actual interior monologue in panel 2: “Zounds! If only I could twirl this moustache! But it is pencil thin, and I cannot! So for now, my villainry must remain bottled up within the expressive confines of a slightly arched eyebrow and untreated amblyopia. But my time will come, oh yes!”

  76. Pozzo
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    I understand some makers of prune juice are trying to avoid the built-in stigma by rebranding their product as “plum juice.” Sort of how they tried labelling prunes themselves as “sundried plums.” You can put lipstick on a pig…or in this case, I guess, a chicken.

  77. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    I’d like to think I never have to read Crankshaft again:

  78. Cranky
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    Marvin and pets could urinate and defecate on me and I would still not beg for a return to, and I quote, “the grim death march that is Belly Laffs“.

    #6: Wangdoodle, everyone craps on poor Mothra, but I tell you, go back and watch Mothra vs. Godzilla. Motherfuckin’ moth can fight.

    Two poop metaphors in two comments. As you can tell, I prefer my prune juice in 40s rather than six-packs.

  79. Spunky N. Tadpole
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    Archie – (@ #55): Well, since it looks like that vase they’re fixing is covered in dripping semen, yeah: I think we DO get an idea of what this bunch’s notion of “rainy-day activities” really are….

    MT: Rusty better watch out: Snuffy Smith is going to be coming after him with his “shootin’ iron” for stealing Loweezy’s scarf!

    Luann: Methinks these slavering dudes do protest too freakin’ much: although with TJ, I still think it’s Brad he’d rather “accidentally” walk in on in the bathtub. Or maybe Luann, who knows? Finding out that TJ bats from both sides of the plate would be (as usual in Luann) an underwhelming surprise.

    RMMD: Gee, with all the problems facing the folks on the SS Hellbound, a bust for smuggling illegal immigrants shouldn’t be too much to worry about (nor much of a surprise). At least running around trying to locate Donut Boy (why??) will keep old Agnes away from the bar – for about 20 minutes at least.

    Marvin: Apparently, after (long ago) utterly exhausting the comedic potential of his supply of baby-poop jokes, Armstrong has decided to shift over to pet-poop as a source of guffaws. Notice a pattern here?

  80. Master Softheart
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    Set aside the disturbing number of defecation references (you can’t in good conscience call them “jokes”) in today’s comics and the remaining penumbra of anger about the Mark Trail domestic abuse storyline, and open your eyes to the good and the beautiful in today’s comics:

    GT: Bryce has his John Hughes moment! I can almost hear 80′s music in the background as he tells off his parents and goes out to experience some blue collar lovin’ with the glorious Ashley. Michael Steele should feature this storyline: make class-love, not class-war.

    I was so caught up in Bryce’s Cameron Frye moment that it more than made up for the fact that the arms in panels 2 and 3 can not physically belong to Bryce. Apparently he carries an extra mannequin arm with him at all times to help him with dramatic gesturing – at least I *hope* those are mannequin arms, though now that I think of it we haven’t seen Bryce’s busted hedge fund manager father since panel 1 on Wednesday…

    SF: Ces has achieved complex, completely character-driven humor; he joins an elite club on the comics page. Oh, and Jackie is completely right about Sal’s haircut.

    RMMD: I think Nolan has become jealous of Baretto’s L33T crosshatching skillz and has set out to prove that he can make people talking in featureless rooms at least as dramatically lit as can Woody Wilson’s other partner in highly educated professional soap stripping. If we can only convince him to start trying to compete with his rival in gratuitous, artistically-angled views of gorgeous women, life will be very, very good.

    JP: And speaking of Baretto, he’s a bit off his game today (Sam in panel 2 looks as though he stuck his head through a portal to the Mary Worth universe and his features have not yet recovered their – or really any – natural shape.) The light pollution effect in panel 1 is good, though, and Wilson makes up for artistic sins by hinting that Valerie Plame April Bower is going to bring some hot espionage action to the life of the strip’s new namesake.

    I bet Sophie’s behind this as part of her master plan to make the strip focus exclusively on environmental issues. Oh well, it will still be more fun than Mark Trail.

    Peanuts: This is art. Look at the angles and the expressions.

    FB: You would think that a dog with that kind of a vocabulary could understand humor, really.

    SM: There’s a blackout in a city of 8.5 million people, and Electro’s son decides to go wander the unlit streets looking for his dad (who is doing avant garde gay street theater in lower Manhattan). Set aside the kid’s staggering stupidity for a moment; you have to admit that he’s pretty damn pro-active. Can we make him the strip’s new protagonist?

    And sort of off-topic, this man might have discovered the oldest surviving comics in human history.

  81. Dingo
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    I was right! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Eugene did carry on a relationship with her. They just kept it from her bitter sister’s eyes. I called this a week ago. Kaloo-kalay!

    Still no pizza for Margo.

  82. Sequitur
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    #77 bats :[ Cathy and FOOB need that cat. Oh, and maybe Ziggy and Pluggers and …

    No, wait. Not Ziggy. Might get in trouble with the ACLU if we got rid of a pantless dwarf.

  83. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    #29 Daniel – Oh God. I’m trying not to see it that way, but I just can’t come up with any other interpretation.

    A3G – I think he may actually be in earnest. Which is just going to make it even more hilarious watching him bounce of Margo’s impenetrable shield of ice.

    BBlue – Ooh, yes, “skull-splat-at-hash-knife” is just about the worst word in the English language, isn’t it?

    Crankshaft – Wait, what. No, seriously. What. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT WHOLE DAMN THING ABOUT IF HE WAS THERE ALL THE TIME DAMN YOU BATIUK YOU JUST WASTED A WHOLE DAMN MONTH OF MY LIFE YOU HACK. On the bright (ha!) side, I suppose this could mean they’ve been doing the rest-home rhumba right under Lillian’s nose this whole time, which should offer plenty of fresh new opportunities for misery, grief, and geriatric rebound sex that ends up in multiple broken hips. Ha ha ha!

    Curtis – This punchline does not make any sense unless I’m misinterpreting one of the profusion of pronouns in it, and I still don’t see how it would make sense even then.

    DT – A sinister plot, indeed.

    FW – Yay, time for more badly-executed “drama” I don’t give a shit about. Plagiarism is only a bad thing in universes where A. anyone stands to benefit from their own work and thus could suffer from someone else taking the credit, and B. the plagiarist has a chance at developing intellect and character by doing his own work. In the Funkerverse? It’s just another thing in a long list of things that have no impact on anything, until you die.

    GA – Oh, will this joke ever get old? Oh wait, it was> old when Gasoline Alley debuted in 1918. Silly me.

    GT – The helpful Closet Monster indicates which way the front door is. It may not seem like a non-trivial bit of information, but remember that in Milford you can have triangles that add up to irrational numbers, so it can be a bit difficult to find your way around if you’re new in town like Bryce.

    JP – Normally, when someone says they’ve quit a job they didn’t care for, one might assume that they, in fact, have quit a job they didn’t care for. But Sam’s got to try and make everything sound more interesting than it is, since all the potentially interesting things get squashed in this strip.

    Love Is… – No. No, not even going to think about this one.

    Luann – What a coincidence! “Trying to rip out your eyeballs” is a perfect summary of what every single attempt Luann makes at dealing with human sexuality makes me feel like.

    MT – Lessons in composition, by Mark Trail: when photographing a horse the size of a moose, make sure to get some trees and a rock in for perspective, since there’s no way you’d ever be able to tell against the flat, featureless green landscape.

    MW – Later on, Adrian dates this dashing young fellow who goes by “Count D.” “I hope nothing ever happens to my blood,” she says. “It’s all so fresh and vivacious, right here in my clearly-exposed neck. I would so hate for anything to become of it!”

    MC – Man, even with beads of sweat and slightly frizzed hair (…um, did we come in at a bad time, guys?) Bridget just radiates adorability.

    NS – Jeffrey, just bail and try out for a part in xkcd. You’d be much happier there.

    PBS – Aw, poor guard duck.

    Phantom – You know, if a bunch of oddballs were doing unspecified oddball things with my ship, I might, I dunno, go out and investigate.

    Popeye – Why do I even expect anything in this strip to make any sense?

    SFx – Hey, is that Bun-Bun in the “Your Drawing” section?

  84. Rana
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    #13 – Thank you! I about threw my own camera at the computer today reading that (but didn’t, because I need it for work).

    If you’re going to stop taking pictures, and go into town, Mark, why don’t you just swing by the house and download the images and reformat the card?

    Oh, yeah, right. Despite being a world-renowed nature writer and photographer, Mark Trail knows nothing about modern photography. Rusty’s camera is probably one of these and I’d be surprised if Mark owned anything more high-tech than a manual typewriter and an Argus.

    The giant squirrels are probably laughing as they observe this.

    (Apologies to Josh for geeking out in his thread.)

  85. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    #84 Rana – Hey, geeking out in-thread is pretty much what we do here.

    And I think it’s entirely likely that the “memory card” is actually a Polaroid.

  86. Aging Hipster
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    A3G – I think Margo’s “Oh?” in the last panel is “It’s bad enough that you slept with the help, but do you really find it necessary to bring it up.”

    MT – There is no memory stick. Mark Trail has shoved a piece of wood in the back of a 35mm Rangefinder. He knows better than to waste precious film on Rusty.

  87. Marthas Rolling Pin
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    C’shaft: Maybe Eugene is the Masky McDeath of the elder set, who shape-shifts into a cat to do the deed, then returns to human form to gloat at the graveside.

  88. Spunky N. Tadpole
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    #80: Master S.:

    That was an interesting link to the discoveries about Ice Age art: I especially liked this bit:

    One piece, which Bahn called the most beautiful found so far, is a bone dagger with chevrons carved all the way down and a young animal looking over its shoulder at two birds while apparently relieving itself.

    So I guess Tom Armstrong’s pet-poop jokes really ARE older than the hills!

  89. Calico
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    Memory card-shades of 1996. or ’97.
    If Mary Mark the Great knew what a flash stick was, there would be no issue. However, we need the lunch/card issue in order to launch Mark’s next Big Adventure.
    Wow, going into town! Where there will be ginormous pigeons putting enormous loads of shit everywhere! And people! And hopefully more deer:

  90. Calico
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Shit, I mean Marky Mark-NOT Mary Mark.
    Mary Worth and Mark Trail together would be simply too much for me.

  91. CanuckDownSouth
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    MT … needs a new … memory card. Aaugh. Clearly, the Maguffin is at the camera shop, Elrod wanted to get Trail and/ or Rusty there, and figured they could buy film! wait … they call ‘film’ something else now, right? Oh, yeah, “memory cards”. Sheesh, those kids and their slang…

    The disconnect between Elrod’s understanding of those new-fangled inventions and the real world is as bad as FOOB’s disconnect between human interactions and the real world.

  92. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    80. Master Softheart re Stone Age art article:

    “One piece, which Bahn called the most beautiful found so far, is a bone dagger with chevrons carved all the way down and a young animal looking over its shoulder at two birds while apparently relieving itself.”

    I guess everything old is new again…

  93. kingklash
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    I’m still traumatised from seeing TJ’s Italian/Argentine “O” face. But Margo’s “Oh?” face helps soothe the pain.

  94. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    88. Spunky Tadpole: ah, you scooped me!
    But isn’t it nice to know that we read the articles? (just like we do with Playboy!!)

  95. Sister Sestina
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    “The six-pack in their trunk is prune juice”?
    Maybe I’m cruisin’ the wrong supermarket aisles but I’ve NEVER seen a “six-pack” of prune juice. And with an elderly mother, trust me, I’ve been in the position of buying that stuff for medical purposes.

  96. anaceofkidneys
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    Marvin: Where we’ll show you the pee, we just won’t make it yellow.

  97. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    88. Spunky Tadpole: ah, you scooped me!
    But isn’t it nice to know that we read the articles? (just like we do with Playboy!!)

    89. Calico: coincidentally, Greensburg PA is the release point of choice for animals that have been captured in Lost Forest and are being relocated…

  98. Spunky N. Tadpole
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    #94 : bats :[ –

    I’m just sorry there wasn’t an illustration of that 15,000-year-old dagger: I was wondering if it would be better-drawn than Marvin: or, being 15,000 years old, had been designed by Mell Lazarus (who, has apparently, never improved his style since).

  99. Buddy and Hopkins: Music Cartoons
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    Ever wonder where the Pluggers go on vacation with their 6 pack of prune juice? They go fishing for brown trout, take a ride on the Cleaveland Steamer and drop the kids off at the pool.

  100. Uncle Lumpy
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    #95 Sister S. –

    Sunsweet® prune juice, six for $4.79.

  101. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    96. anaceofkidneys: maybe Armstrong is toying with the idea of a Marvin coloring book…leave the fluid uncolored and challenge the wee (ahem) tykes and their Crayolas to color it as urine, blood, bile, phlegm, semen, rice-water diarhhea (gotta love cholera!), etc.

  102. Perky Bird
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    Why the need to specify that Pluggers go on roadtrips? Do you really think a true Plugger would be riding in one of those new-fangled air-ee-o-planes? Hell no! A Plugger would really prefer to travel by low-tech horse and buggy, but they still have some residual guilt about using their kin as beasts of burden.

  103. MaryAnnTheRest
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    Man, you people are funny today. All I have to add is on Gil-T: Go Bryce! Go Bryce! Uh-huh!

  104. Little Guy
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    13: Next week, Mark finds out that Rusty can save his pictures by using a ‘computer’ and ‘transferring’ them to a ‘compact disk’. Mark then discovers that people can connect to one another through these ‘computers’.

    Mark is then perplexed when people do not share his understanding that personal economic crisis does not excuse domestic violence, and that adopting a baby is not an acceptable solution.

    17: He’s not doing ‘Twilight’. He’s doing ‘True Blood’/Sookie Stackhouse.

    This storyline needs more Anna Paquin nudity.

  105. migellito
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    pluggers – “I say, I say, what you need is a nice juicy dog!”

  106. Calico
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    #97 – Oh my, we really really need a Bats mashup on this.
    Bucky and the City! : P

  107. mollificent
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Burn! ;) Though if Margo is seriously considering accepting her father’s help, a little less effort to piss him off might be advisable. Ha ha ha! For a moment there, I forgot this was Margo we were talking about. More diplomatic intervention, mule!

    9CL: Yes, I read it today. And it made me smile. Thanks, Brooke (though if you think you’re off the hook for all the rest of the crap, think again.)

    On a completely OT note, I have my first driving lesson in ten years today. Drivers of Seattle, beware! Pedestrians of Seattle, get off the sidewalk!

  108. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    #104 – More information on connecting to one another through computers can be found on the internet.

  109. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    Speaking (however loosely) of Ice Age(s), I saw this trailer at the theatre last weekend and laughed so hard I was getting dirty looks from people. (I am extremely grateful to the producers for extracting the 2 funny minutes or so from the movie and presenting to me in such a compact form.)

  110. Joe Blevins
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    MARVIN: I like the way Jenny says, “Your little dog.” Very Margaret Hamilton. Makes me think Junior may have a visit to the Sheriff in his future.

    PLUGGERS: “When senior pluggers go on a road trip, they’re usually in the trunk. Because it’s a hearse! And they’re dead! HA! …’Cause they’re old, get it? *cough*”

  111. Jester
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    Wait, you mean there are other than senior pluggers? I guess I assumed pluggers were born directly into seniordom, as well as into crippling depression, debt, and constipation.

  112. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    #63, you’re totally right about the blog parody aspect of the storyline, but, alas, the Yale story is not nonsense. Skull and Bones claims to have dug up and stolen Geronimo’s skull. They were ordered to return it, but instead gave back a DIFFERENT Native American skull that they had also stolen.

    The FBI should totally do a surprise raid on them and relieve them of all the human remains that they’ve pillaged from graves. It’s horrifying that they did it, but it was a different time (when Native Americans weren’t people, I guess). But their refusal to move into the present is even more alarming.

  113. Ned Ryerson
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    The person that submitted that Plugger idea, Mryna Satterwhite, has a name that was built for anagraming:

    Raw hamster entity
    My wheat restraint
    Anywhere mist tart
    Eternity tram wash
    Tertiary newt sham
    Mrs. Threeway Taint

  114. Ali_Again
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    Curtis – We don’t have this strip im my neck of the woods (not LoFo, thank god), so I’m pretty new to it. My question is: is Cleopatra the name of a character in the strip, or is this a reference to a Ptolemaic queen of Egypt (presumably Cleopatra VII)? I’m searching my memories of Egyptian history, and while the politics of that family were pretty brutal (there’s a decent chance that number VII had her brother/husband/co-regent done in), but I can’t recall any incidents of blood drinking….

  115. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    FC: “Cool! I made you a vagicicle!”

  116. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    104. Little Guy: oh crap! There’s Anna Paquin nudity in True Blood??!? Don’t make me buy cable, much less HBO! Noooooooooooo…..

  117. Poteet
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    # 107 mollificent — Good luck! A friend of mine did get hit by a car while walking on a wide downtown sidewalk in a large city. Fortunately, her injuries were very minor, and it only happened because the driver was so busy chatting on a cell phone that she forgot about the “driving” part of the equation. I have a strong feeling that won’t be a problem in your case.

  118. Ali_Again
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    Don’t worry, mollificent, I’m safely cocooned on Vashon

  119. blackgoat
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    MT: At the “camera store”, Mark notices this poster on the wall:


    Business bad ?
    Economy got you down ?

    Join us for the fun at the

    Guaranteed to lift your spirits !

    Date: Sunday, March 15
    Location: Down by the crick
    See Rabbit for more details

  120. seismic-2
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers have their own interpetation of the phrase, “go in the car”.

    GT: This strip’s freak hands have a mind of their own, of course. They even use a different finger for flipping the bird.

    FC: “I’ve made you a snow nut. Now finish licking it, while I make another one. I need some more of Barfy’s yellow snow to hold it together.”

    Archie: Yesterday we saw Jughead learning how to program the AJGLU 3000. Today we see the results. He’s got it down pat.

    JP: “There was a lot going on at that party.” Yes, but only if “going on” means “sticking out”.

    Luann: Brad, according to Oedipus Rex, you’re supposed to wait and rip your eyeballs out after you’ve committed incest. Of course, you’ve fantasized about it so much already that you probably feel that you’ve actually done it.

    A3G: “Margo! In that lavendar juimpsuit, you look beautiful enough to be a house maid!”

  121. Aviatrix
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    There are people who own digital cameras but not computers and thus go to the camera store to get the pictures out when the card is full. An ad in the window of a camera shop in my town offers an alternative to deleting their photos or buying a new memory card, when their current one is full.

    Does Mark write stories for his magazine using a computer, or does he scratch them on bits of bark? Have we ever seen this “magazine.” Perhaps it’s a ruse to get well-endowed women who keep wild animals as pets to to allow him to photograph them in nature. The pets, I mean.

  122. trey le parc
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: This strip is like some downscale version of Dr. Moreau, set in the bleakest suburb in America, doused in in prune juice and sprinkled with bran flakes.

  123. gleeb
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    104: I’m still right. Everyone getting all excited about vampires are, at this point, essentially 15-year-old girls.

  124. bats :[
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    106. Calico: no, we need a Dingo animation of “Bucky and the City.” I’m envisioning (because it always looks better in my head than down on paper) the opening credits to “Sex and the City” (Sarah Jessica Parker in the role of Bucky, of course, complete with tottering, spindly legs), with big panoramic shots of Greensburg, the Beer Arena, Bucky and his posse terrorizing the night clerks, and then Bucky seeing his image on the side of a city bus — just before he’s run over by a cab.
    Complete with the vibraphone and hoseaphonium background music.

  125. Poteet
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    ReFoob — Lynn proves once again that when it comes to inventing dialogue no actual human being would ever utter, she can roll with the best, er, worst of them.

  126. Larry McAwful
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    121. Aviatrix – That’s a fair point. The one issue is that if Mark Trail is an actual professional nature writer, you’d think he’d be up on computers and digital photography. I wouldn’t expect him to necessarily be some sort of l337 haxxor or digital meisterschutterbug (or whatever the word would be,) but I’d think he’d be more up on how to take and process digital photos, since he’d have more of a vested interest in them!

    Of course, Mark has probably heard of people downloading their memory cards on their home systems, but the one time he tried that, he dropped it into the place where you pour the ink into his Smith-Corona and the whole card wound up ruined. Never again!

  127. Zach
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp-I don’t think the parents are “overprotective” so much as they are “afraid of getting caught.” They robbed that convenience store as part of their Bonnie and Boo… I mean, Clyde phase and now they don’t want to get caught.

    Ahh, and they would have gotten away with it if not for those meddling kids.

  128. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    #104 Little Guy – Are you kidding? I don’t think the world of Mark Trail even has DARPAnet yet.

  129. Uncle Lumpy
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    #121 Aviatrix –

    Have we ever seen this “magazine.” Perhaps it’s a ruse to get well-endowed women who keep wild animals as pets to to allow him to photograph them in nature.

    I’ve always imagined Woods and Wildlife to be a lot like Argosy, with plenty of guns, grizzlies, and gigantic gazongas. Oh, and flannel.

  130. darwiniac
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    RE: AFKAB @ 55 //S-M

    Well, if you pump enough power through it, electricity will melt metal (or burn it), just like pretty much any insulator will conduct if you crank up the juice high enough. But I’m going to assume the Spider-Man writers don’t actually know that and just follow the standard superhero trope of electricity-and-radiation-are-magic.

    RE: Bats @ 100:

    See, that’s where the hipsters have it right. Pabst is cheaper than that, has about the same effect on your intestines, and it’ll get you drunk, too.

  131. Kevin Moore
    March 13th, 2009 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    Are there any pluggers below the age of 55? Or is membership in AARP a prerequisite for Pluggerdom? Now I’m picturing them holding an annual convention, which looks a lot like a comic book convention, except that the only attendees are geriatric people dressed in Furry costumes. And now I’m gonna be sick.

  132. Old School Allie Cat
    March 13th, 2009 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    FW – Since Les teaches English, I have to wonder what piece of literature would inspire a report using the word “diurnal”?


    - The Sun Also Rises
    - Long Day’s Journey Into Night
    - Raisin in the Sun
    - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    - Goodnight Moon

    The mind boggles.

  133. Donald the Anarchist
    March 13th, 2009 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    A3G “You smell like your mother…” Sorry, Charlie. If you’re her bio-dad, it’s still incest.

    Marvin How can they tell it’s a dog? I don’t expect realistic or even good art in this strip, but that looks more like the cat from Mutts to me.

    Pluggers. Further jokes in this vein: “The only thing a plugger sticks up his butt is an enema nozzle,” and “The only time a Plugger tears up is when he’s passing a kidney stone.”

  134. Little Guy
    March 13th, 2009 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    116: Yep, in at least one of the later Season 1 episodes. For you Sam Trammell nudity fans, it’s the motherlode.

    On topic post: There needs to be an HBO/Showtime version of “Judge Parker”. With Abbey nudity.

  135. Brick Bradford
    March 13th, 2009 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    Has anyone else come across the Nietzsche Family Circus? It matches random FC panels with equally random quotes form Friedrich Nietzsche.
    I don’t know how to make a link, but it’s at

  136. Wangdoodle
    March 13th, 2009 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    Ali_Again @ 114:

    There’s no character named Cleopatra in Curtis: no, it doesn’t make any sense, but yes, I think it’s supposed to be a historical reference. Hell, it doesn’t even make contextual sense: is Curtis calling his own mother a vampire?

    Enjoy the weird, utterly-nonsensical world of Ray “Mice Stole My Teeth!!!” Billingsley! Go to the Curtis section at Comic Strip Archive and check out his anti-Pixar rant starting with the July 14, 2008 strip!

  137. Ignatz
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    I thought the Doonesbury was a rerun

  138. Little Guy
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    39: That’s not Snuffles the Cat (meeeeeeeeeeeeooooooowwww) but Sybil (Ma-Row!), although they both have a propincity toward violence and mass destruction.

    I shudder if they should meet in a crossover.

  139. Dingo
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    bats #124: Oh! If only I had the time to make that.

  140. Esther Blodgett
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: I got the joke. Curtis is saying his teacher is so old, she taught Cleopatra, and Cleopatra also told her mother that the mean old teacher drank blood out of the ancient Egyptian equivalent of a thermos.

    See, it’s funny because…

  141. Lolsworth
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    Actually, I’m suffering from piles for the first time in my life, so for once Pluggers is a source of comfort for me.

  142. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    DIlbert — I find this funny, but only because I personally have been known to provide “black market IT services” and pay for “black market legal advice”.

  143. seismic-2
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    Is today’s meta-strip supposed to be Arlo & Janis or Brenda Starr?

  144. Dingo
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only person concerned about that pizza? Margo orders a pizza. Tommie is hungry for pizza. We imagine a threesome with the pizza boy. Now, Margo’s father is taking her out to dinner and there’s no mention of the pizza. WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT FUCKING PIZZA ALREADY? Maybe I should go upstairs and wax my skis.

  145. Calvinball Forever!
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    Marvin – I just LOVE the evil smile on Junior’s face in the third panel. Lacking Marmaduke’s size and strength, he is using whatever weapons are at his disposal in his quest for total domination:

    “An ‘accident’ you say? Little do you know that ‘Operation: Overlord’ has begun. Soon this will all be mine, and you will cower before me, foolish woman! BWAHAHA!”

    Then he twirls his facial fur like an old-timey villian’s mustache.

  146. mattt
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    You guys remember that classic 80s chick flick Somewhere in Time? You remember that scene at the end when Christopher Reeve is just having a fantastic time with the love of his life and is all immersed in ye olden days when he pulls a modern day penny out of his pocket and gets all messed up and bewildered and terrified and finds himself back in modern times? I had that exact feeling when Rusty said, “I need a new memory card.”

  147. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    #146 – I don’t, actually, but I do remember the classic 80′s album Somewhere In Time, and it does sort of warm my heart to imagine Rusty looking up at Mark, with his crooked little kiddy face all screwed up, and saying “You’ve only got your soul to lose… eternally!”

  148. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    I mean screwed up in a slightly different sense than usually applies to Rusty’s face, btw.

  149. Muffaroo
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    Master Softheart @80 – Your GT comment reminds me of a few years back when a friend and I were doing a one-shot — taking turns drawing panels and making up a comic story as we went along. Mike handed it to me and said, “Afraid I messed up his arm in that panel.” “Don’t worry! I’ll fix it!” I said confidently, and eventually turned the story into an epic two-page battle between the explorer, a rival lecturer, the two artificial limb companies they both shill for, the R.A.M.P. (Royal Association for the Manufacture of Prosthetics) and an unsuspecting Yeti. Really one of the better one-shots I did after leaving Colorado.

    Donald the Anarchist @133 – Passing a kidney stone is not the painful part. You can do that without realizing it. That’s why they give you a filter to pee through for about a week. The part that brought me to the emergency room at 6 am (every time) was when it was making its way through the tiniest passage in my body, sideways. That’s in the past tense, thanks to magnesium.

    Thanks, magnesium!

  150. kjhealey
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    The Washington Post is dropping Judge Parker (and some others). Where will I get my morning boob fix now?

  151. your father isn't mr. cohen
    March 13th, 2009 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    #144: I am not overly concerned about the pizza (perhaps because my last pizza delivery went horribly awry, so I am bitter), but I like reading your pizza concerns/rants.

    #146: Oh boy howdy, do I remember that movie. You can travel in time if you just concentrate really hard and imagine the opportunity to boink Jane Seymour in period wear.

  152. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    #135 Brick Bradford – Boy, it’s been ages since I went there. While playing around with it just now, I found this. Read that quote and try to tell me that Nietschze didn’t forsee Mary Worth.

    P.S. Link are done like so: <a href="link URL">link text</a>

  153. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    What the hell, it’s Friday and I need a break.

  154. Winky's Spleen
    March 13th, 2009 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    Spunky N. Tadpole #79 – No doubt that’s why Armstrong’s had Marvin’s grandparents move in: He’s positioning himself to move on to old people-poop jokes. Why should Pluggers have a corner on that market, after all?

  155. KT
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    My theory is, Rusty’s still using the puny 16MB card that came with the camera.

  156. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    #155 KT – And, no doubt, still taking his “giant horse against a green space with some squiggles in it” pictures at the default 1600×1200 resolution and maximum JPEG quality.

  157. jaybrrd
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    I see Jeremy Piven has been reduced to making guest shots in Marvin, playing the dog — you’ll notice he pees mercury.

  158. Some Guy
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    Maybe I don’t get it because, well, my family was normal, but isn’t it a bit late for Margo to be shocked that her father was attracted to her real mother?

  159. Farley's Revenge
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    #118# Ali_Again says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Don’t worry, mollificent, I’m safely cocooned on Vashon

    At least until she’s taught the fine art of ferry-driving.*

    *No offense, Mollificent. I’ve lived in Seattle and been forced to drive downtown many, many times. I know what you’re up against as a neophyte driver. Ferry driving is the least of your concerns.

  160. Charterstoned
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:19 pm [Reply]

    MT – Mark and Rusty HAVE to go to the camera store so they can discover the next ne’er-do-well. I predict that the pictures get mixed up. Mark and Rusty discover some GOINGS ON when they mistakenly view the VILLAIN’s photos. Mark recognizes the background in one of the images–maybe he sees Bucky, or the moving rock, or that lampshade THAT NO ONE EVER EXPLAINED–but some clue leads Mark to the nefarious plot that has MAYBE one twist before ending with the RFOJ.

  161. Charterstoned
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    MT – I meant to say VILLAIN WITH THE LONG SIDE-BURNS. Sorry for the omission.

  162. Dr. Robotnik
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    The weather in my neck of the woods has been gray, rainy, and unseasonably cold for a couple of days now. Today I made the mistake of reading several days of both Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft on This has my miser-o-meter redlining.

    I should have known better. Luckily my loved ones noticed the combination of depressants and hid all the razors and sissal rope. A few panels of Dilbert should bring me right out of it. Wish me luck.

  163. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    # 160 Charterstoned – I think the lampshade was just a test to see if anyone was paying attention. When they didn’t hear enough of a “wtf?” factor, jackelrod went ahead with the rest of the story.

    “Hell, if they ain’t curious about a LAMPSHADE, we can print any damn thing we want!”

    God only KNOWS what kind of pictures Rusty’s going to bring home.

  164. Esther Blodgett
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    #162 Dr. Robotnik: Say…the weather in my neck of the woods has been gray, rainy, and unseasonably cold for a couple of days now, too. Quit copying!

  165. True Fable
    March 13th, 2009 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    Probably someone else mentioned this already, but I just noticed it: Jackelrod not only loves to repeat storylines, he also loves to repeat end panels featuring Mark bending over!

    Because Jackelrod’s not lazy! He’s just conserving effort!

  166. Citric
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    See, Marvin pooping too much and Pluggers pooping too little is part of a delicate poop equilibrium which must be maintained lest the universe collapse in on itself.

  167. Charterstoned
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    #163 – TrueFable – So, HAS anybody seen Sassy lately, or is Jackelrod thinking we also won’t notice that Rusty’s scarf looks a little too much like the pelt of his puppy?

  168. mollificent
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    Success! (by which I mean no one maimed and no cars totaled).

    We were driving merrily along the side streets, and suddenly he says, “Turn right here,” and a moment later I’m on The Ave (University Avenue). I was like, “Holy shit! WTF are you doing to me?” I managed to navigate successfully, but man, was I freaked. Though I give him props for being confident in me. :)

    Uh, yeah, so…comics. Here’s something: I saw a post from Mark Tatulli on gocomics today (the Lio page) saying that the first appearance of Lio’s cat was about a year before the first appearance of PBS’. Which he attributed to the general nefariousness (?) of cats, rather than any specific crossover intentions. :)

    Argh. Brain fried. I shut up now.

  169. kattack
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    SNOWNUT?!?! Seriously, Josh, how could you not discuss this today? I am deeply disappointed.

  170. ladadog
    March 13th, 2009 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    MW: Adrian and Ted VICTIMS of identity theft? I think not. Oh, Adrian, Prince Valiant called and he wants his identity back. Hey, Ted, Guy Williams called, he says Don Diego wants his back as well, or he will sic Sergeant Garcia on you.

  171. Jamus The Bartender
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:27 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Even I was sickened.

  172. AhClem
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    MT – I think Jack Elrod, in an attempt to be “relevant”, borrowed a strip from 1969, whited-out “some more film” and wrote in “a new memory card.” Come to think of it, if the entire storyline was borrowed from 40 years ago, that would explain a lot.

  173. AhClem
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    #168 mollificent -

    Congratulations! And when you’re ready to buy a car, NEVER buy one from a humanoid dog, bear, chicken or rhino.

  174. Poteet
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    # 153 Sir Fable MTK — This is an edited version of a little Iowa farm information I just came across, aimed at sheep producers. Sorry, I can’t resist sharing. I know that sheep and goats are different species, and after reading this, I gotta say that I’d rather raise goats.

    “Because of the harsh winter, some rams could develop scar tissue on their testicles. Rams also may develop pizzle rot, a condition caused by a bacterial infection on the sheath of the penis…right now, the three things producers should be looking at are the heel mites, pizzle rot and urinary calculi.”

  175. Uncle Lumpy
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    #144 Dingo –



  176. Uncle Lumpy
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:34 pm [Reply]

    Urinary calculi
    Afflict both sheep and goats
    And cause a “water belly” state
    Wherein the victim bloats.

    But even worse is pizzle rot
    (Much as the name implies)
    Which ulcerates their prepuces
    And makes them sad they’re guys.

    So if male ruminants must choose
    From winter ills just one
    For nannys’ sake, and for the ewes
    The heel-mite plague’s begun.

  177. Poteet
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:41 pm [Reply]

    # 176 Uncle Lumpy — FABULOUS!!!!

  178. commodorejohn
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:58 pm [Reply]

    #176 Uncle Lumpy – I never thought I’d be laughing this hard at a poem about goat penises. This place certainly is a horizon-expander.* We should really have some sort of Poem Of The Week award around here…

    * Though, admittedly, I’ve contributed to the horizon-expanding myself…

  179. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    So the younger pluggers drink and drive? Oh wait, Pluggers are all seniors. Horrible, soulless seniors.

  180. Niall
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    I am watching “Turkish Supermen” (sic) with friends.

    It HURTS to laugh so MUCH

  181. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:55 am [Reply]

    #132 Old School Allie Cat Re: FW— I speculated on Cory’s report in the previous thread (#104) when I wrote:

    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.

    I still can’t bring myself to complete it…

  182. bats :[
    March 14th, 2009 at 1:14 am [Reply]

    And we’re vamping until someone finds the dopey Donut Kid:

    (Now with expected elimination humor!)

  183. Farley's Revenge
    March 14th, 2009 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    I clicked on the link of MT bending over and saw that his dog was behind him, a big grin on its furry face. Thank all that is holy that we don’t have to witness what comes next. It gives a whole new meaning to the term “the fur was flying”.

    No wonder Cherry is always desperately trying to get MT to notice her. Sorry, honey, unless you stop shaving or become a furry, Mark won’t bend over for you.

    Uncle Lumpy: Excellent! That poem should be read at your nearest poetry slam.

  184. Mibbitmaker
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:47 am [Reply]

    Not Friday the 13th Anymore:

    9CL: The charm is back! Woo-hoo!!
    …..Now watch Thorax come back and ruin everything (Please don’t!)

    A3G: The ultimate pizza prank. Bravo, Margo!

    BBailey: Gen. Halfwit’s marriage is really worn out. I mean, shopworn out. Like the joke.

    DtM: Uh, he’s been that age since 1951, Wilson — and it’s 2009! Don’t count on Dennis getting any older, just be glad he hasn’t been a real menace in the last couple decades and move on.

    DT: Fix it? By doing a “Sunset Blvd.” parody with Carol Burnett?? (R.I.P., Harvey) Or, maybe he’s bringing B.O. a bag of ice to cool it down…

    FW: Cory proves one very important thing: You don’t need some ginormous Ponzie scheme to make the whole world hate you.

    GT: …Also, don’t take Przydzial while operating heavy machinery. Side effects include oversized hands, plain and incomprehensible drawing, a tendency to perceive events in a choppy manner, a snobby attitude, and earring ear (prominent in asst. coaches). Please talk to your doctor and ask if Przydzial is right for you.

    your basketball-enhancing medicine

    MF: Using up old IRS “jokes”, I see….

    NS: Well, Lio is cool, too, so FU, Danae!

    COOL: That bandana.
    EVEN COOLER: Other characters mocking it.

    Ghost-Who-Makes-You-Say-”Gasp!”: How ’bout that — a zoo in reverse.

    Pluggers: Yeah? Well, I like the Road Runner AND Spongebob, so [rude sound effect]!!!

    Popeye: Yeah, but think of the merchandizing possibilities!

    6C: Ol’ Tom better get a bodyguard.

    Ziggy: Zig, I’d really begin to worry if he starts ringing a tiny bell and goes, “Good-a-niiiiiiight, ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!”

  185. Mariko
    March 14th, 2009 at 3:38 am [Reply]

    184 Mibbitmaker–
    It’s sad to think that Ziggy probably couldn’t even make a funny face/noise like good old David Sure Thomas Sure David Thomas did at the silly interviewer’s. Unless, of course, putting one’s head in one’s hands and quietly weeping can be considered a funny gesture.

  186. Charlene
    March 14th, 2009 at 5:30 am [Reply]

    A3G: $28.50 for a pizza?

  187. Big Thyme
    March 14th, 2009 at 7:19 am [Reply]

    A-3G: I’d imagine Margo has some kind of arrangement with this pizza place, ’cause for nearly 30 bucks, it’s got to deliver more than just pizza.

    DT: You know, menacing casino fellow, casinos are perfectly capable of refusing entrance to a customer without explanation. You could just tell B.O. to get lost. But when you give out your money in cartoon loot sacks, I guess you’re indicating that practicality is not your main motivator.

    GA: Awwww. I was hoping those two crazy kids would get together. I can’t wait for the endless strips where Early Bird confuses her with more idioms particular to the music and diner scene!

    Luann: Hiring your grown firefighter son to clean your own home? Live the good life DeGroots!

    Crankshaft: Sepia-tinged, cloying nostalgia turning into bitter despair and self-loathing? If there’s ever been two better panels to represent Batiuk’s central creative theme, I haven’t seen them.

  188. Gyro Captain
    March 14th, 2009 at 7:24 am [Reply]

    Mibbitmaker @184:
    Non Sequitur: I’m not arguing with Danae at all, I’m pretty damn weird. What’s the real pity is how inferior NS is to Lio this days. Between Wiley’s soapboxing and endless “Oh that Danae” Mary-Sue moments I don’t even read it much anymore.
    Ziggy: I approve of ringing bells, grading interviewees’ angry outbursts, and greeting them with “Good Morning” in the middle of the afternoon. (MPFC FTW!)

  189. Anonymous
    March 14th, 2009 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    Larry McAwful
    Just wanted to say this:
    Of course, Mark has probably heard of people downloading their memory cards on their home systems, but the one time he tried that, he dropped it into the place where you pour the ink into his Smith-Corona and the whole card wound up ruined. Never again!

    …is a real gem.

  190. Wangdoodle
    March 14th, 2009 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    Gyro Captain @188: I don’t mind the soapboxing of NS so much (I must admit I love Obviousman), but yeah, Wiley does occasionally remind me that the current incarnation of his strip was born from the ashes of the massive failure of His & Hers (at least, I think that was the title), a short-lived strip Wiley did with a female partner following the standard “women are shining goddesses, men are hapless turds smeared beneath their heels” format.

    I’d love to hear the backstory (His & Hers doesn’t even earn a mention in Wiley’s or NS‘s Wiki entries). Joe Pyle and his brother (AKA the bar lawyer) came to NS from H&H after Joe’s “divorce” from his wife and H&H co-star who, like Mike’s wife in Doonesbury, ran off with a biker.

    Wiley and What’s-Her-Name must’ve had one helluva break-up.

    And now you know…the rest of the story. Good daBLARRRRRRRRRGH

  191. gleeb
    March 14th, 2009 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Candorville: Not only are you content to turn the story into some vampire crap, now you’re d r a w i n g i t o u t ?

    9CL: Brussels. Shit, they’re still only in Brussels.
    OK, Edda is horribly upset by Amos admiring Hahn’s music, but a personal communication she’s OK with. That’s sane.

    A3G: You know, if Tommie (and the delivery guy) ate more than olives picked off that pizza, you’d get more calcium in your diets, and might not be so hunched over.

    Bill Hinds’ Tank McNamara Babies: I’m not worried; you’ll come up with something just as inane and beat it into the ground.

    ‘shaft: Yep, death and decay sure do stalk us in the midst of our lives, huh?

    FC: And if you keep drawing a sappy comic that never changes for decades? Same result.

    ‘bean: Yes! That’s what’s been missing from Cancerdeathville, child abuse! Do it!

    Gas: Nah, he’s considering branching out into country music.

    The Cleanly Parkers: Sorry, I don’t buy Judge P and wife, heavy with 30 years’ worth of bribes, doing their own dishes.

    Luann: No doubt starting with the garage.

    Phantom: Did she just say, “gasp”?

    Rex: Rex and Guido don’t know the difference between probable and possible. In Rex’s case, it may be that he’s paying more attention to hiding the computer monitor that is displaying the result of his search for hot porch-cleaning action.

    Sally: It won’t be so fun when you ignore the cat’s illnesses because you have no income.

  192. Mrs Threeway Taint
    March 14th, 2009 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Dear Luann’s Dad: If it is not by now ABUNDANTLY clear that TJ has been putting it to Mrs. D this whole time … then you must wear glasses that look like they’re pasted over with Googly-Eyes … OK, that explains it.

  193. Ignatz
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    Non-Sequitur: Ok, Danae, so Lio hangs out with a squid. You talk to a horse.

  194. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:16 am [Reply]

  195. Ignatz
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: Ken Przydzial? Who the hell is that, Joe Btfsplk’s cousin?

  196. Anonymous
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    Pluggers are such pathetic losers that they still watch Saturday Morning cartoons when they’re 60 years old.

  197. AhClem
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    GT – I think Ken Przydzial is related to Mr. Mxyzptlk, and that Milford is really located in the Fifth Dimension. That explains a lot.

  198. monsieurjohn
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    There is no reason on this planet to name a comic strip character Przydzial. We will NEVER hear it pronounced unless, God forbid, there’s a Gil Thorp movie.

  199. Muffaroo
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    A3G – The $28.50 party pizza looks like a 12″ pizza that leaves four people each wishing for one more slice. I’m guessing that Tommie is really, really popular with guys who lie about how big things are.

    BBlues – In 5th grade, back in the 60s, I was regularly tormented by someone bigger than me. His teacher, the older of the two fifth-grade teachers, figured out what was happening and sat me down for a talk. I won’t mention the bully’s name, but it rhymed with “Belly Beer.” The advice she gave me was to call him “Smelly Queer.” Damned if it didn’t work.

    Cshaft – I think Keith Olbermann is starting to sign his show off with “This is our two-hundredth show since Tom Batiuk started the current storyline in Crankshaft. Good night, and good luck.”

    DtMenace – It’s so heartwarming to see Dennis go from being six to being even six-er. And with every single one of his friends there, too. Now I am six. I’m as clever as clever. I think I’ll stay six forever and ever!

    DTracy – My guess on the villain’s name: Jack Pott. His associate looks like a prosperous bald pimp. Daddy Whorebucks, maybe?

    FBasset – Missing dialog between panels 2 and 3: “…I am, however, a sniff-butts-and-tell type!”

    GThorp – Isn’t Ken Przydzial the prime minister of Wottalottaland?

    HtHorrible – Ha ha vikings have charity drives.

    H&Jamaal – Ernie’s face in the last panel looks like the Bat-signal laying an egg.

    Mutts – How much longer will this strip be guest-written by Erwin Schrodinger?

    N Seq – Perfect balance. A talking girl and a talking horse on the one hand, and a non-talking boy and a non-talking squid on the other. More balance: the right-hand ones are funny, and…

    Phantom – The kids’ diapers just paid for themselves.

    S-Man – This is Electro’s Uncle Ben moment. With great electrical power comes great responsibility!

    Zits – Good one.

    Mibbitmaker @184 – I like Sponge Bob and the Coyote. Hate the Road Runner, though.

    Wangdoodle @190And now you know… the rest of the story. Good daBLARRRRRRRRRGH Zombie Paul Harvey will now try to get our brains, but first this word from the fine zombies at AMWAY.

  200. True Fable
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    3 Chicks and a pizza place Wa wa waaaahhhh….
    Army of One This must be Ken and Patty’s marriage counselor.
    Between Foobs oh look, it’s Elly Patterson’s astral twin.
    Oh Hai I Haz Mah Wife’s Comik After 75 years you’re just now thinking about locking your door? Wanna get radical and lock the bathroom door too?
    Finky Wangtanker And then the schoolin’ began.
    Scenes from Suburban Hell Thirsty has been hanging around Cory Wieiniebinker too long.
    Will the real Judge Parker please stand up? Holy crap, we’ve seen more of Alan Parker in the last three weeks than we’ve seen of him in the last ten years.
    Sweet & Shallow Cue the DeGroots Gone Wild music with the badly played steel drum music.
    Fist O Justice Theater Is it too much to hope that Cherry will meet her doom at the camera shop somehow, thus sending Mark into a spiral of despair, unprecedented rage, revenge and an INTERESTING plot for once? Really?
    Meddling House I know a lady who constantly ran into guys who were all hot to marry right away, and she always suspected they were up to pulling a Ted Confrey on her so she quit seeing them. Adrian’s not that suspicious because it’s up to Mary to Intervene.
    Mutts oh great. I recently gave Mutts a thumb’s up, and it’s hit me with a week of tiresome Disappearing Cat strips. Dammit. Be charming, you little shits.
    Kit Walker, Bangalla Ranger I saw Bats :[‘s sendup of today’s strip first, and I prefer it so much that when I finally saw the real thing, I laughed again remembering the GOOD version.
    Poopeye Dang, I was hoping they[‘d all get blown sky high.
    RMMW Guido’s bringing you something to eat, Rex. Oh, zip back up, he’s not going to come back for a while; geez.
    Spider-punk Rather than blame himself for not telling his son he will be making a sensible and mutually profitable deal with the mayor and then calmly arranging to provide the city with power for a comfortable salary for the next umpteen years, Electro is about to go all dark and mean and resentful because he’s a lousy father and a greedy jerk to boot.

  201. Muffaroo
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    M John @198 – If that’s Polish, it’s probably just pronounced “Zhidzhul” or something like that. Lots of letters, not so much sound.

  202. John C Fremont
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    #186 Charlene – Well, it is a Supreme…

    #191 gleeb – your Brussels comment made me giggle. A lot. And hey, if Amos goes back to his hotel room alone, gets drunk, and cuts his hand when he smashes a mirror, this trip might be worth it.

    GT – I see that This Week In Milford has taken the Ken Przydzial ball and run with it.

    MT – Wait a minute, wasn’t Mark going into the store to buy, or maybe develop, some film when those guys stole his friend’s pet bear? (I just spent way too much time going through the archives trying to find out for sure. Man, I’ve been hanging around here longer than I thought.)

    MW – I see in the first panel that there is at least one other person in town that goes to the same hair “stylist” as Adrian. And that person is having lunch with a guy with Jeff’s hair. It really is a small world after all.

    JP – Gee, Mrs. Judge Parker even manages to make an apron look sexy.

    GT – Przydzial. Hmm. It has three vowels, that ought to be enough, but still…

  203. John C Fremont
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    Hey, you’re a Comics Curmudgeon Plugger if you still “See It Before You Say It.”

    Thank you, and good day.

  204. migellito
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    I am in a non-humorist, semi-literalist mood today.

    GT – I pronounce it per-zid-jill. He is an un-realtor.
    A3G – After tax that’s about right for a 24″ pizza. She doesn’t like olives? Heathen.
    Non-Seq – Lio is in it. Mild amusement.
    Spiderman – Electro’s son is doomed.

    The important news today? Rusty is revealed as an android, and it’s nearly time to change his memory card.

  205. P
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:18 am [Reply]

  206. Izzy
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    I’m really disappointed that FBoFW never followed its daring experimental stage where John was actually a torso-less poltergeist of the children’s imagination.

  207. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    A rough English approximation to the pronunciation would be “shijil”, more or less rhyming with the first word of “Midge’ll pitch a fit if she see me using her name this way”.

  208. Married Agnostic Woman
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    I may be a Plugger, because there is nothing like travel to plug me up entirely. Especially travel to the in-laws, which is the only place a Plugger is likely to travel, especially in “these tough economic times”. They live in Wisconsin, so it must be all the goddamned cheese. It doesn’t matter if I don’t eat any–must be the cheese fumes affecting me the way peanut fumes make those little allergic kids go into anaphylactic shock from across the school cafeteria. Scares that crap so far up in there that it won’t come out until it sees the I-494/I-694 sign. I’ve thought about stealing that sign and putting it in the trunk, but if a six-pack of prune juice is enough to loosen me up without loosening my tongue, I’ll give that a try. Thank you, Pluggers. Bless you.

  209. bats :[
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    Mostly FYIs: the guys who do Zits are among the featured authors at this weekend’s Tucson’s Festival of Books (UA campus).
    Non Sequitur’s Wiley will be one of the 450 authors at the L.A. Festival of Books, last weekend in April on the UCLA campus.

  210. commodorejohn
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    A3G – Oh man. Is this the best Tommie strip ever, or what? I like the inexplicable craning of her neck in panel two, and the concept of Tommie sitting around, glumly removing the vegetables she hates one by one is the most quintessentially hilarious Tommie image ever (bonus observation: for reasons I cannot explain, “picking olives off the pie” sounds like some kind of filthy lesbian innuendo,) but the absolute best thing is her use of the word “ginormous.” Oh man. Dingo, you have to admit, this was absolutely worth the wait.

    BB – General, when you’re sitting in some doped-up cartoonist’s view of the afterlife talking to the frumpiest Death ever, it’s probably a little late to be worrying about your marriage.

    Crankshaft – Ha ha!

    Curtis – “Hey, boy! Tell me some more things to do so I can turn up my nose at them and self-righteously go back to my own personal rut!”

    DT – Boy, time has not been kind to Uncle Fester.

    FC – Oh, for God’s sake.

    FW – Hey, Corey! Have fun at home with your parents who hate you! I’m sure this environment will be a great start towards your eventual slide into alchoholism! And then your dad will realize the tragic irony of how it’s all his fault that you wound up with the exact same problem he had! Ha ha ha!

    GT – “Oh no! My son is dating a woman! I have to move him away from here! Power rage!”

    JP – Boy, she’s really putting her back into those dishes.

    Luann – “I like it…maybe I can get them to ‘clean’ the ‘garage.’”

    MT – I am very glad I finished my coffee before I saw panel two, because this family portrait from Love Canal would have made me render my keyboard completely unusable.

    MW – Jesus, what is this, FOOB? Do whatever you fucking want for your marriage ceremony!

    NS – What a coincidence! I’ve come to the conclusion that all girls are insufferable little pricks!

    Phantom – Okay, for whatever reason, “Hey, daaaad!” started the Hey Arnold! theme going in my head. I like the pairing.

    Pluggers – Pluggers never understood the idea behind that whole “home video” fad.

    Popeye – It’s like Small Wonder on LSD.

    SF – KITTY!

    SM – Oh, wait, that’s Electro’s kid, isn’t it? The irony is just palpable. Except for, you know, the part where headlights do not draw their power from the grid.

    Ziggy – Ziggy bores me, most of the time. Sometimes it confuses me. Occasionally, it even makes me angry. But today is the first time I can remember that Ziggy has actually frightened me.

  211. C. Havoc
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    #210: SM comment at least deserves to be on the float.

  212. Rusty
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    H&L: The PC police must have lost, Thirsty has the okay to grab beer from the fridge and have a lit up nose. Yay alcoholism! He is once again the only interesting character in the strip.

    Luann: Write your own bukkake joke here, I just can’t.

  213. Calico
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    #210 – What’s great about this Tommie strip too is that Margo orders a Super Pie for $30 sans tip, and leaves Tommie to pay for it. Well played!

    “What did you do Friday night, Tommie?”
    “Oh, I just sat around, watched Sex and the City reruns, and picked olives off my pie.”

  214. commodorejohn
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    #213 Calico – Yeah, exactly. This is just the perfect summation of everything Tommie is about.

  215. Esther Blodgett
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    A3G: For those who are new to this strip – Tommie being stuck with the bill for an overpriced pizza with toppings she doesn’t even like because Margo has ditched her in favor of a late invitation to dinner at an expensive restaurant pretty much sums up the dynamics of the strip. Oh, and Lu Ann is off somewhere doing something. There, now you’re all caught up.

    MW: Yep, eloping to Vegas sure sounds good. Or why go all the way to Vegas? There must be some lovely little chapels in the next town over. Come to think of it, I’ll bet one of the unfortunate souls at the homeless shelter right here in town is an ordained minister. He’d probably marry us for a hot meal. Or a sack lunch. And he’d do it today. Right now! Do I hear sirens? For God’s sake, woman, can’t you walk any faster?

    RMMD: Once again, bats :[ does it better.

    JP: Really surprised there hasn’t been more comment on the apron-rubber-gloves-evening gown ensemble. I thought you males would go nuts over that. I can’t figure guys out.

    OBH: Keep the doo-rag punchlines coming!

    PBS: In a strip that features names like Rat, Goat, Pig, and Zebra, I love that Pastis has introduced a character named Squidmo.

    FC: Zzzzzzzzzz. Very meta.

  216. Brick Bradford
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    MT Rusty reminds me of the annoying kids they used to have in 50′s TV shows like “Sky King”–fresh faced, eager, spouting off whatever idiocy the writers, who hadn’t been near an actual kid in their lives, thought they said. And Rusty? GET YOUR FZZZZZZZING (Z’s in honor of Dolly, natch) CAMERA OFF THE TABLE WHEN PEOPLE ARE EATING!

    Popeye A stupid baby doll”. Like I said, my beloved android Sweet Pea has turned into PJ.

    Luann Why is Mrs. D turning into Rohrschach?

    9CL I guess this is to show how much Edda has matured as a result of some fevered, fumbling sex. Totally realistic. NOW GET ON THE PLANE AND GO HOME ALREADY!

  217. Dingo
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    Olives off a pizza or crabs from your pubic hair: in the long run, Tommie, I think you’ve won.

  218. Poteet
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    # 216 Brick — Yeah, Edda! What Brick said! Get on the plane and go home already so 9CL can have a new storyline about the other 9CL characters that I like more!

    Wait a minute…

  219. Spunky N. Tadpole
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    #186 Charlene:

    Actually, $30 (with tip) isn’t too out of line for a large pizza in New York. It’s odd because it’s one of the few instances in A3G which actually reflect what life is like living in NYC. I’m sure it’s a mistake they’ll try not to make again.

    And yes, this strip is a veritable gold mine for double-entendres: especially Tommie’s “It’s HUGE” exclamation in Panel 2…

  220. kkarenb
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    BC – This is exactly the type of restaurant that Pluggers flock to.

  221. Poteet
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    A3G — Here in the Midwest, I never hear pizza referred to as a “pie,” nor as a “pizza pie.” We say pizzas are pizzas and pies are pies. And opening a box with a “pie” inside and seeing a pizza instead of a strawberry-rhubarb concoction would be considered a cruel joke.

  222. Poteet
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    # 221 — I beg pardon. I should have said “my part of Iowa.” The Midwest is a large area, especially since there seems to be no standard definition thereof. I have heard both Pennsylvania and Nebraska described as “Midwestern states.” For all I know, somewhere in that vast expanse between them, there are strawberry-rhubarb pizzas.

  223. Terryfic
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    Pie is pretty much how the Italians refer to pizza in the independent pizzerias here in NJ

  224. Muffaroo
    March 14th, 2009 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    Actually, rhubarb is a cruel joke.

  225. Muffaroo
    March 14th, 2009 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    ps: DID YOU KNOW that when they were still called “____ Stix” and were made by Jolly Rancher in Wheatridge, Colorado, there was a rhubarb flavor? “Roo-barb Stix” they called them. I pass that along because … I dunno. Something.

  226. Eric the baker
    March 14th, 2009 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    re. Pizza & pie: I seem to recall someone telling me that the phrase “pizza pie” is redundant. I was told pizza means pie in Italian. Not being fluent in Italian I can’t say for sure either way.

    I’m off to the ATM machine, where I’ll use my PIN number.

  227. Dingo
    March 14th, 2009 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    Poteet, if Papa John’s doesn’t already sell a strawberry-rheubarb pizza, I’m sure now that they will.

    Now, what song would Tommie Thompson sing while picking olives off of a pizza?

  228. buckyswife
    March 14th, 2009 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    Here’s what I love about the comics: I haven’t read the comics for a week, but I’ll have no trouble getting caught up with the various goings-on. In Judge Parker, ex-Judge and Mrs. ex-Judge are just getting to the dishes–and still talking about April In Spiderman, Electro is still shaking his fists in “Mission-Accomplished”-style triumph (and what’s this? ANOTHER irony alert, as little Electro-lite is about to encounter the fate that should have befallen Aunt May).

    At least something has happened (if we construe that idea loosely) in Mark Trail: We’ve moved on from the ugliness that was the Ken ‘n’ Patty Show, thankfully, and back to the mild adventures of Rusty ‘n’ His Camera!

    What’s great about today’s Mark Trail is that Elrod has inadvertently provided another way of saying that someone’s not playing with a full deck: “Rusty’s about out of room on his memory card.”

    (And thank you to those who wished me well last weekend; the good thoughts meant a lot to me. I found a lovely board-and-care home for Mom and got her moved, plus signed a contract with a realtor to put our family home on the market. All very stressful and exhausting, but necessary–and I’m glad to be back!)

  229. Muffaroo
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:03 pm [Reply]


    “Olive New York…”
    “Olive rock ‘n’ roll…”
    “Olive me, why not take olive me…”
    “Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names…”
    “Pickalittle, talkalittle, pickalittle, talkalittle…”
    “Come on… take another little pizza my heart now, baby…”

  230. buckyswife
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    I’m sorry if I’m repeating anyone above, but I just read that the Washington Post is cutting five comics: Beetle Bailey, Garfield, Family Circus, Hagar the Horrible, and Dennis the Menace.

    Ha ha! That’s not true at all: they’re keeping THOSE comics. Instead, they’re cutting Little Dog Lost, Pooch Cafe, Zippy, Piranha Club–and Judge Parker.

    No poll, apparently–but I urge you to write to the Post and urge them to keep JP. They’ve responded to outcries in the past.

  231. Calico
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    #221 – “Pie” for pizza is mainly a Northeastern thing, I guess.

    I think it’s funny when folks refer to soda (Coke, Root Beer, etc.) as “Pop.”
    English Canadians say Pop too, but I’ve always known it as “Soda.” Is that a midwestern thing?

  232. Calico
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    #229 –
    “Olive by Myself…Olive by Myyysellllf…”

  233. tb4000
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Obviously the setup here will be TJ coming over to do a hard day’s work of meal prepare, then as he’s giving the MILF DeGroot her tab, she’s all, “isn’t there ANOTHER way I can pay for this?”, to which we get another glimpse of TJ’s bizarre “oop” face, to the tune of bow-chicka-wow-wow.

  234. Esther Blodgett
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    Growing up in Wisconsin, it was always “soda.” Moved to Texas and discovered that “Coke” was used generically to mean “soft drink,” leading to exchanges like this:

    “I’d like a Coke.”
    “What kind?”
    “Dr Pepper.”

  235. CanuckDownSouth
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Calico, there’s a map of soda/pop across the US (and maybe there’s another for the continent). Most interesting: “coke” for every fizzy drink.

    Speaking of pies, be sure to eat some, it’s Pi Day (03/14) today. I’m sure pizza is a sufficiently reasonable facsimile, too.

    MW is chock-full of wisdom for the dating-or-engaged set today:

    If your fiance(e) suddenly changes tack from “yes, let’s take our time and plan a lovely wedding” to “let’s elope!” the minute (s)he hears about your sterling credit score – run for the hills, it’s a scam.

    Also, if your date/ fiance(e) wanders around in public musing aloud about their powerful, sterling credit history – run, run while you still have time!

  236. dyslexic dog
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    Oh, so THAT was the space alien in class who was hoarding all the consonants.

  237. dyslexic dog
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    Simon & Garfunkel: I am a rock, I am an olive.

    Led Zeppelin: Olive my love.

  238. Hibbleton
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    H&L: I wonder if Thirsty feels the same way about her bush?

    MT I like how they’re all riding in the car without seat belts on. Another clue to how out of touch Elrod is.

    Pluggers “Hon, I can’t get “Amos and Andy” anymore . . . only this “Cosby” character.”

  239. mollificent
    March 14th, 2009 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    #236 dd: Or, if I may shamelessly plagiarize Terry P. again, “Where were you when the vowels were handed out…behind the door?”

  240. ladadog
    March 14th, 2009 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”

    Wonder what Italian-American Dean Martin thought when he sang those redundant lyrics?

    buckyswife: You survived and it seems like you are a good daughter. Glad you are back and hope you are relatively unscathed…as much as you can be.

  241. Sparky
    March 14th, 2009 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    #6 Mothra is the only Kaiju who can fight Godzilla to a standstill.

    Bats – Send the cat to Crankshaft next …

    Batiuk calls what he does writing. Help us all.

  242. Poteet
    March 14th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    # 235 Canuck — Now I’ll have to lie awake wondering why Iowa County is the only “soda” county in all of Iowa. Why not Johnson County? Or Polk? This is going to drive me crazy.

    MW — How generous of Adrian to switch her purse from shoulder to shoulder to keep it near Ted. I wonder if she’s also careful to keep her wallet in an unzippered compartment.

  243. Wolf Shepherd
    March 14th, 2009 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    Where I grew up in Minnesota, any carbonated beverage was known as “pop.” The word “soda” referred to baking soda, which was sometimes used as a Plugger’s Alka-Seltzer. So asking for a “soda” would get you something for indigestion. Since then then I have lived in Virginia, Florida, Hawaii, and California. In all of those places a cabonated beverage is known as “soda.” I have adopted the term “soda pop” just to avoid confusion.

  244. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 14th, 2009 at 3:38 pm [Reply]


    Baldo: Oh Joey. Don’t you know you’ll be spending at least one of those weeks at the boss’s Key West getaway? And yes, you will find out why he’s called “Mr. Rod.”

    BB: “Look Doc, are you going to give me the Viagra or does my sergeant have to hurt you?”

    C-Shaft: “What’s that saying that means so much to me now? Oh yes, life sucks and then you die. Should be getting to that second part any minute now. Maybe here on this bench that hasn’t been fixed since 1949. That would be fitting.”

    MW: I know it’s a lot to hope for, but it’s looking like Ted Confey might be enough of a clod to drive Adrian away without any interference from Mary.

    GA: It’s impossible–for me at least–to really hate a strip when it’s evoking that great Hank Williams song.

    S-M: Either the second panel is a fakeout, or Tom Batiuk just hopped onto Spider-Man as a ghost writer.

    H&L: This is actually pretty funny. Clearly Thirsty needs to limit his beerguzzling and its attendant loose lips to when he hangs out with Hi.

    FC: No Dolly, the computer just lost interest. You didn’t need to touch the keyboard.

    Garfield: So the newspaper routinely prints output from the bakery’s surveillance camera? Welcome to the panopticon.

    OBH: So far grandpa’s leather do-rag and grandma’s disgust with it are a fine running gag. I hope Detorie doesn’t overmilk it.

    Phantom: “Gasp!” must be newspaperese for “Holy shit!”

    A3G: For a while, it looked like they were going to restage a classic porno setup. However, when Tommie gasped “It’s huge!” she was only talking about the pizza.

    Marvin: Armstrong actually does a good job making the beard look like a toilet brush. Perhaps not surprisingly, as that’s about the level of humor he’s been mining.

    GT: Bryce had his dad’s regards tattooed on his weiner.

    SFx: The mouse has apparently shivved the cat, and now he thinks throwing the evidence away will save him. He underestimates the crime lab.

    S4th: As crazy cat ladies go, Jackie is pretty hot.

    FB: Fred, you’re not the “kiss and tell type” because in general you’re no the “kiss” type to begin with. Now we know why.

  245. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 14th, 2009 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    #215 Esther Blodgett,
    Your summation of A3G is a keeper.

  246. bats :[
    March 14th, 2009 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    I suspect we’ll be out on deck and in the fresh air tomorrow, it being Sunday and all. In the meantime:

  247. your father isn't mr. cohen
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Mrs. DeGroot looks disturbingly….um….bukkake-ish today.

  248. kalki
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    9CL: The second panel would have impressed me more if Edda’s ankles had ended up around her ear lobes.

    Archie: Unfortunately for Archie, everytime he applies himself on Veronica, she breaks out into a rash.

    Blondie: And plug up your back door too, Dagwood. Just to be on the safe side.

    Crank: ha ha old people are lonely and waiting to die ha ha

    DTM: “Hey, everyone! Watch me cut my cake without using my hands!”

    CircusJerk: “And if you hold down the ‘x’, it is like we are making porn like Daddy watches.”

    FW: You think Les feels a certain satisfaction in starting the sequence of events that lead to a certain teen’s murder-suicide of his family?

    GA: That’s it. I am taking a hiatus from this one. My “mashing uglies” sense is warning me in overdrive.

    Luann: “Not til you finish rubbing the lotion into your skin. Or else, you’ll get the hose again.”

    S-M: How ironic would it be if Electro’s brat got run down by the guy from the electric company who was on his way to cut off Electro’s home electricity for non-payment?

  249. Ukulele Ike
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Is Tommie picking the olives off the pie because she hates olives, or because she’s a real New York City Gal and is going to eat ONLY the olives?

  250. Wangdoodle
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Crany @78:
    Sparky @241:

    Biollante can also fight Big G to a standstill, but that’s not the point. Bizarro presented Mothra on a list of threats against Japan, and beyond an initial first-meeting understanding (let’s consider Godzilla vs Mothra of 1992 a reboot), Mothra’s only shown up to help. (Oh, and there’s Destroy All Monsters, but Mothra pled not guilty by reason of alien mind control and all charges were dismissed.)

    And if you’ve seen the awesome Gamera ’90s reboot trilogy, you know Gamera can unintentionally cause more damage than most monsters do deliberately.

  251. Annon
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    MT After the camera store, I’d suggest a stop at the orthodontist for Rusty.

  252. Danny Lilithborne
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    The problem with the modern day funnies is that there’s not really anything funny about life anymore.

  253. commodorejohn
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    #250 Wangdoodle – Moreover, Gamera has Kenny, who is a national threat himself.

  254. seismic-2
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    GT: In panel 2, we see Mr. Larkin either piloting his space ship back to his home planet, using a game console, or at least trying to communicate with them over some device that seems to have come from a 1950′s sci-fi film. In any case, he has removed his human face, and we see his true facial expression as it appears back on the planet Constipato. Further evidence of his extraterrestrial origin is given by his dialog in panel 3: “You’ll like what I just heard from Ken Przydzial.” This is a typical name on the planet Constipato, where the inhabitants all suffer from a vowel blockage.

    FC: Dolly demonstrates how to use the Keanes’ version of the AJGLU 3000. You type in a bunch of sample gags, and when the punchline puts the computer into “hibernate” mode, then you know you have a winner.

    FW: At least we know that Cory didn’t copy one of his Dad’s old papers from when he went to that same school, since Funky doesn’t know what diurnal means, either.

    RMMD: “Guido… anything’s possible on this ship!” Is that the gayest pick-up line in comics history, or what?

    H&L: A shorter hairstyle? No, Irma should let her bangs grow over her eyes. It will make her husband’s face look less fat.

    MW: And speaking of hairstyles, not only is the Prince Valiant hair-helmet all the rage in Santa Royale, but the blonde girl outside the window shows that Lynn Griffin’s ice-skater ponytail is catching on, too!

    Calico, when I left the South to go to college, the first thing I learned is that people in other parts of the country have unfamiliar names for “Coke”. The second thing I learned is that not everyone drinks it with breakfast, either.

  255. TCMann63
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    Zits – if the house has 23 steps from the first floor to the second floor, the first freakin’ floor is about 16 freakin’ feet high. I shoulda become an orthodontist.

  256. John C Fremont
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    Wouldn’t it be cool if Mark Trail took Rusty to the Gamera Store?

    No Coke. Pepsi.

  257. halfpint
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    #100 Uncle Lumpy -
    Josh, I’m amazed at your faithful readers. Not only do they read and comment intelligently, but see how Lumpy goes the extra MILE for investigative commentary! He found the six-pack of prune juice and even provided the link to it. What can you say??

  258. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 14th, 2009 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    Luann— Geez, Evans has gone over the top today. He’s incorporated Nancy Degroot’s attraction to TJ, her bedroom eyes, and her “facial” into a single strip. Nancy is beginning to make even the deliciously twisted Bernice seem normal.

    Crankshaft— And the pathetic “Eugene” melodrama plays on…

    Dear Eugene,
    Since you had not yet enlisted, you could have walked up to Lucy, looked her straight in the eyes and asked her to marry you. Instead you sent her a simpering, dweebish, proposal by mail even though you knew her psychotically jealous sister might intercept it. I believe that deep down inside, you really didn’t want to marry her, or you would have proposed in person. Therefore, you got what you wanted. So get over yourself and go down to the local senior center and hit up some of those AARP hotties.
    I would take my own advice and tell you this in person, but Mrs. Neuman becomes upset when she sees me talking to the comics page.

    Dear Mr. Batiuk,
    This story’s hackneyed attempt to manipulate our emotions is infinitely worse than that of Lisa Moore’s. Please go back to the hilarity of Crankshaftian puns, flaming chimneys, and flattened Keesterman mailboxes.
    Mr. Neuman

  259. Winky's Spleen
    March 14th, 2009 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    The Shaft: Hey Eugene, I betcha you’re wishing you didn’t choose the most dickish, passive-aggressive loser way of proposing to your beloved now, huh?

    Ahh, I’m being too hard on ya: Your actions are dictated by Batiuk, which means that, like all his creations, you’ll act in the manner maximally calculated to bring heartbreak to those around you.

  260. cooby
    March 14th, 2009 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    Wow first a updated hairdo for Cherry; now a new sweater. Will she become modern enough for a job of her own in the city?

  261. Anonymous
    March 14th, 2009 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Mrs. DeGroot is feeling a little forlorn at the thought of the boys leaving, what, 2 days after TJ walked in on her nudey bathtubfest?

  262. Mooncattie
    March 14th, 2009 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    GA – Gertie and Earl, neither of you are slim, but more importantly, neither of you are Slim! And for that alone, I like you both. I hope you stick around awhile, because the longer you’re here, the less likely we are to see Slim, and that’s OK by me.

    JP – Why don’t these people have dishwashers?! OK, so the goblets are fragile. What kind of a judge makes his wife do the dishes after a party? “Oh my dear, you’ve been on your feet all evening. Please relax and let Randy and I look after those!” Cheap old lazy smug retired bastard.

    MT – When Rusty grows up, he’ll be a supporting character in Apartment 3-G! On the plus side, at least he won’t be driving around standing up.

  263. True Fable
    March 14th, 2009 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    #260 cooby – Oh hell no. Traditionally, Cherry transforms into this giant-headed freak show with a chin as pointed as a pencil and a forehead the size of Nebraska at some point. Any fancy new ‘do of hers will just be offset by the advent of adorable little animals that wind up as either pets or dinner on the table at Johnny Malotte’s. Cherry’s job, should she decide to accept it, is just to ooh and ahh at yet another excuse of Mark’s to go off adventuring with some shapely lass with a “animal problem.” yeah, right..

  264. Ukulele Ike
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    Mooncattie on JP @ 262: Nah, you don’t use the good glassware for a party like this, with a lot of old white guys staring down the blouses of a lot of young white girls. Too much opportunity for breakage, or tongues hanging out and lolling around the crystal. A dishwasher is just the ticket.

    Also, when the trophy wifey brings the Judge his bedtime glass of port, she’s going to be wearing that apron with nothing but her high heels and a smile.

  265. Blue Fielder
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    re: today’s Curtis: Well, f**k you too.

  266. Mibbitmaker
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    #237 (dyslexic dog): I’ve long thought of that Zeppelin song as “Olive, My Love”, myself. I’ve taken to refering to it as “The Popeye Love Theme”.

  267. Fletch
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    Tommie’s picking olives off a pie because it’s March 14, Pi Day! 3/14, that is.

  268. Little Guy
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    JP: Mrs Judge Parker is slightly overdressed in the apron, but maybe later, she can go clothes shopping with April, and, during an intimate moment, decalre that they both are ‘jinxes’ and cancel each other out.

  269. Poteet
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:45 pm [Reply]

    Crank — Just to add to the sad, sad, sadness of the bleak winter scene, Batiuk has given Eugene teeny-tiny ankles that couldn’t support the average elf. I hope the ghost of Lucy appears and clonks him on the head with a large icicle.

  270. migellito
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    growing up in western Nebraska and with family in Colorado, I was aware that, in some strange foreign world, people referred to pop as ‘soda’ or ‘soda-pop’ and to pizza as ‘pie’ or ‘pizza-pie.’ I, however, did not subscribe to these decadencies.

    I must admit, though, to having no regional preference for sack or bag. I kept this to myself, of course.

  271. bats :[
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    Sunday! Sunday! Bring your camera, Rusty!

    A3G: damn, when Martin McGee speaks, the plot shoots ahead…even on a Sunday! Wow!

    MT: and if you don’t look up “state trees” on the internet, Mark is going to sic that giant squirrel on your nut stash! I’m not kidding!

    MW: no, Ted, that’s your motto when it comes to the women you prefer…

    MC: I’m not a real fan (sorry!), but this. is. great.

    RMMD: ooooh…Guido finally has a pretty sharp tan (or skin tone). I don’t know if Rex likes it, but I do!
    As for the rest of the strip…I ain’t touching it!

  272. Poteet
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:04 am [Reply]

    3/15 MT — Now I’m teed off at this strip again. Warning, long rant ahead.

    First, eastern cottonwoods evolved to reproduce along rivers, specifically on mud flats and bare soil created by flooding. They do grow elsewhere, but it’s mostly because of modern landscape manipulation. Second, the “new forest” scenario generally takes place on “bare prairie soil” only when there is fire suppression, which is not natural.

    And third, no ecologically-literate person in the prairie region refers to “only open prairie.” Prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems on earth, thanks largely to public policies and attitudes, and grassland birds are in more trouble than any other group of birds. Prairie enthusiasts are constantly trying to fight the prevailing nature-means-trees myth, and this kind of strip doesn’t help. Thanks for nothing, MT.

  273. Poteet
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    3/15 S-M — Panel Five shows us the strangest view yet of Electro’s yellow butt. What has he got in there, a toolkit or an overnight bag? Since we previously saw that he has some kind of meter in front where his junk should be, I’m beginning to understand why he’s decided to focus on the acquisition of wealth.

  274. Uncle Lumpy
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    California used to be prairie and scrub, but now we have teh frickin’ eucalyptus, “The World’s Most Stupid Tree.”

  275. Ali_Again
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:50 am [Reply]

    Ok, could someone PLEASE explain Amos’ appeal to, well, anyone? He’s about as plain as a paper wrapper and his personality has failed to impress me (I mean that literally too, if someone asked me to describe it, I couldn’t even begin to. This is not the first time I have ever read 9CWL- though admittedly in short bursts- and the only things that I can say about him are that a) he plays the cello and b) he and Edda are more or less an item.) I do, however, find his jumping skills rather remarkable.

  276. Batman Beatles
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    MW – I bet if Ted told Adrian he was a wallet inspector, she’d believe him.

  277. Poteet
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:10 am [Reply]

    # 274 Uncle Lumpy — Sympathies. And in case you haven’t seen it before, you might enjoy this:

  278. dyslexic dog
    March 15th, 2009 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    No posts for six hours?
    Wake up, people!

  279. Chyron HR
    March 15th, 2009 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    #275 Ali_Again – You are correct that Amos has no features that make him especially desireable to human females. However, to Edda he represents something very unique: A man who remains attracted to her even after she opens her hole and starts spouting psychotic comments like “Tee hee, why didn’t Annie just shoot Alvy in the head?”

  280. John C Fremont
    March 15th, 2009 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    #277 – Now I’ve got that darned Kookaburra song stuck in my head. And it’s being sung by Julie Andrews. Make it stop!

    MT – Elrod told me to search the internet for “state trees,” so I did, even though he had already told me what my state tree is. Huh. He just told me to do it, and I did it. Hm. I wonder – when Jack Elrod speaks, does the Chinese government listen?

    A3G – And if Martin Magee speaks in a forest of Eastern Cottonwood trees and there’s no one there to hear him…

    MW – Appearing as Adrian in panel two today will be Margot Kidder. Appearing as Adrian in panel five today will be Betty White. Appearing as Ted Confey in panel six today will be, oh, let’s say Mandrake the Magician because, well, why the hell not?

    RMMD – Must be a giant stash of donuts in there. Probably Dolly Madison.

  281. commodorejohn
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    A3G – Really? How about talking to them about that whole “censorship” deal, then? Or the “imprisoning dissidents” thing? …nah, that’s small potatoes. We should really be concerned about Eric.

    AS – Uh…um…uh…

    BB – God, I hate disc-changers.

    BS – Man, just how many of the men in Brenda’s life have eyepatches?

    Crankshaft – *contemplates .45*

    Crock – You know, I’d point out that the economy does not work that way, but…what am I thinking, this is Crock.

    FC – It was then that Thel began to contemplate the merits of infanticide.

    Garfield – Wow. This is the first reference I can recall to the fact that Jon is a cartoonist since…well, since the very first Garfield strip back in 1978.

    JP – You know, as great as the art is on weekdays, you just cannot beat Baretto doing his own coloring. Cripes, there’s as much attention paid to the cabinets in the background as to the lovingly-done gradients on Mrs. Judge’s arms. Art, man. Friggin’ art.

    Lio – Aww, that’s sweet.


    MC – Even if modern advertising weren’t all crap to begin with, this would still be the best thing on TV. Just…win.

    PBS – =D

    Pickles – makes the an allusion to sex that is far more entertaining than the entirety of 9 Chickweed Lane‘s HEY DID YOU NOTICE AMOS AND EDDA ARE FUCKING storyline.

    RMMD – Mrs. Dunsmore is fast becoming one of my favorite Rex Morgan guest characters. And amid the likes of Eightball and Lee and Faith, that’s saying something.

    SFx – Hmm, an assaultingly yellow jacket and generic sandy hair? Did Andy Ape just move into the strip from Apartment 3-G?

  282. gleeb
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    9CL: I don’t care what he has on his head, I still ain’t reading no Thorax.

    Dick: Quick, eat that cash before the bright red man gets you!

    A3G: No wonder Manhattan’s so expensive to live in. They throw around olive like they’re going extinct. First superfluous, unwanted ones on pizza pies, now a pointlessly large number of them displacing gin.

    ‘shaft: Look out, Ed! She’ll start interrupting your mail.

    ‘bean: Of course, it will turn out to have been copied from the work of Puccini, and Creepy Les will have to get someone to beat the hell out of Dinkle.

    Phantom: “Oh hey, it’s that kid we didn’t bother doing much looking for after he escaped into the Bandar area.”

    Rex: After three days, they found the stone rolled away…

    Slylock: Sure, the hood would have blocked Shady’s view. If he has a hood on his truck. This is Shady Shrew; he might not. Meanwhile, Judge Owl is fighting a losing battle to keep from bashing the shrew and devouring him.

  283. Poewar
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    OK Carnac, Take it away.

    “Fast and Easy”

    “Fast and Easy”

    “Name two things you’re never going to experience in a Mary Worth comic”

    Ha ha ha, YES!

  284. Ukulele Ike
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    275, 279: Well, he’s more attractive than he USED to be….just look at some of the Catholic school strips. Now he more or less resembles Edda’s Mom’s squeeze.

    I suppose this is a male type that Brooke finds fascinating. If you look at a photo of Brooke, you’ll see why.

  285. Ukulele Ike
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    commodorejohn @ 281: I still maintain that the Belgian sex consisted entirely of blowjobs. Edda is saving that cherry for her marriage bed.

  286. True Fable
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker Part Deux So Randy didn’t go home to his snazzy bachelor pad, huh? Instead he stayed to learn his step-mother apparently got further with April than he did.
    Between Foobs Hey chill, you creepy little bastard. All she did was ask a question or two about WoW. Be glad she’s not kicking ass in Kingdom of Loathing and laughing at you because you’ve only completed two adventures while she’s already Ascended. Fuck you, kid. You can’t even beat a Sabre-tooth goat, ya little dickweed.
    Fist O Justice Theater My father the esteemed Papa Fable despised cottonwood trees. He said they grew too fast and produced a weak woodgrain. So, uh…there.
    Meddling Heights Hey, speaking of weak wood!… Ted Confrey’s trying his best to get Adrian’s spotless credit in his pocket, but thankfully she’s wanting Daddy to walk her down a big flower-filled aisle as she’s wearing a dress costing thousands and planning a reception for 300 hired guests friends and family. I suppose this is the only good thing about big fru-fru weddings.
    Rex Morgan, Man Whore Bugs…exciting and new
    Come aboard, we have bugs for you!
    The Crud Boat soon will be sailing up to your shore
    The Crud Boat won’t have a healthy gut anymore!
    Set a course for disaster and stock up Kaopectate!
    There’s BUUUUUGS, welcome aboard, there’s buuuuhhhhuuuUUUUUUUGGS!

  287. Calico
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    #235 – That map is so cool. Thanks for posting.
    Yep, I definitely grew up in Soda territory.

  288. kalki
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    Sunday funnies…

    FW: So if Harry has aged to 67 when the comic lurched forward to the current milieu…how old would Crankshaft be now in the Batiuk universe? Is it just that hell won’t take the Ancient Bus Mariner?

    Crank: Lillian scores a total burn on Crankers.

    Luann: Goth chicks turn men on more than future green Orion slave women like Tiffany.

    Blondie: This survey guy needs to be more careful. Free food is a trigger for Dagwood. He is probably severely aroused right now.

    CircusJerk: ha ha PJ is eating a jar of rubber cement ha ha

    S-M: Am I the only one confused by panels 2 and 3 of today’s Sunday Spidey? Panel 2 says that Tommy was hit by the car, while Panel 3 says “While the boy’s (Tommy’s) father pursues his own greedy scheme“. Huh? Panel 1 shows Peter continuing his Groundhog Day loop of going back and forth between the hospital and MJ. So who else is pursuing a greedy scheme?


    So has Tommy taken it upon himself to run some greedy scheme by letting himself take a swipe from some hapless, passing motorist? Will he gain superpowers from the accident and become Insurance Fraud Man? Will the Masters of Evil accept Tommy’s application to join later on?

  289. Calico
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    MW – OK, so we’ve gone from “Sterling” credit history to today’s “Pretty spotless.”

    Tomorrow it will be “OK for the most part” followed by “Not bad” and then “Well, when I was in Med School, I did rack up $15,000 in unpaid bills for liquid lunches, horrible clothing, and bad haircuts…”

    Maybe it’s Ted who should be running!

  290. Calico
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    #286 – True-remember the Runaway Bride from a few years back? Here we go again!

  291. True Fable
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    Scenes from Suburban Hell In Suburban Hell, there is always someone with a video camera ready to sell you out to Tom Bergeron and AFV.
    Army of One Correction! Otto robs graves, Zero collects porn, Plato forges signatures, Killer is a stalker, Rocky does illegal downloads and Cosmo runs a scam featuring commemorative coins. And Beetle of course collects hardwood.
    IFHZ I wouldn’t worry about it, Jeremy; someone’s bound to up and strangle you before your first attempt at a combover.
    Children of the Circle So just how were those squatty little butterballs able to hoist all that stuff up on the table to begin with?
    C’haft “…you’re just an asshole.” Please. Somebody Photoshop it.

    # 290 Calico – More like “Runaway Spending” this time, huh? ;-)
    Oh, how can I forget the Runaway Bride? Everyone in Greater Metropolitan Roopville laughed at her and said they were glad their daughters had the good grace to have shotgun weddings, as God intended.

  292. odinthor
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    H&L — The first thing I saw was the third panel (“Thud”). “Excellent!”, quoth I, “they’ve guillotined Trixie! I always thought she had the look of a Capetian sympathizer.” Then I noticed that her body was still attached, and my hopes were blighted.

    MT — “But, even when an old pioneer dies or is struck down, it can yield further benefits. For further information on the uses of dead things, see Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean.”

  293. Calico
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    #124 – My first belly laugh of the day-I can picture the whole thing in my head. So thanks!
    “Spindly legs”

    #291 – All Adrian needs now is the spiffy beach towel! Vegas Baby!

  294. John C Fremont
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    SFx – Hey, I recognize that judge! He’s the same guy who declared that it takes three licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop! There’ll be no justice with this guy on the bench!

    In honor of Pi Day, we ordered pizza last night. Out of respect to my daughter, we ordered pizza without olives so she wouldn’t have to pick them out. All I could think about was Tommie. Say, have we ever met Tommie’s dad? Could it be – me?! Nah. My kids are interesting.

  295. P
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Okay, the Chron version has Lillian saying, “You’re Just You”, while the version Cleveland Plain Dealer readers saw had her saying, “You’re Just An Idiot”. Did any of you notice this in your papers that carry Crankshaft?

  296. migellito
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    True Fable, re Between Friends:
    Yeah, generally when people ask questions of WoW players, they’re just relieved they’re being asked questions instead of being ridiculed. The moral of this story? Um.. don’t bother reaching out to your kids?.. I guess?

  297. Uncle Lumpy
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail

    “State trees on the Internet” — OK: Trees!

  298. True Fable
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    Judge Parker Part Deux, part deux: I know a few judges, and they are not particularly wealthy people. Therefore it makes perfect sense for Hizzoner and Mrs. Hizzoner and Lil’ Hizzoner, to be cleaning up the dishes after a party. The reason people appear to be wealthy when they might be comfortable at the most, is that they don’t expect others to do all the gruntwork for them. Granted, they probably could have saved themselves the work by having the party catered but then that would not have afforded Hiz and Miz Honor to grill Randy about his prospects for a future Lil Miz Hiz.

    # 296 migellito – That’s what it reads like to me, too! “Don’t try to get interested in what your kids do because they are just spoiled little brats who don’t want to share. Besides aren’t you supposed to be a boring unimaginative adult with no dreams or ambitions or interests of your own except to nag your kids because you don’t understand anything they do or say? Yeah, because this is The Comics World, baby, where there can Be No Bonding, no cross-generational exchange of Any Kind, where mothers do ALL the work and fathers read newspapers and rake the occasional leaf. And kids are given everything they ask for so the parents can whine about how ungrateful their little bastards are.”

    Thank God I don’t live in The Comics World because I get a kick out of watching my sons play video games, and they get a kick out of watching me attempt to play even though I am pretty lousy at a lot of them. Hey, but I scored some cake in Portal and that’s what counts.
    /mini rant

  299. Red Greenback
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    MT!: Ah…Trees! Did you know trees are an excellent source of what we professional wildlife journalists refer to as “logs”. Logs can be useful for many things like “lumber”. Lumber can provide a handsome income to a savvy entrepeneur like my new friend kEN! Butler Mrs. Georgia Pacific. And you can also chain raccoons to ‘em. Just the other day I overheard my boy, Rudy, I mean Rusty listening to some of that hippety-hoppity “music” where a gentleman was talking about how many trees he smokes “twenty-four seven”?! Yes my friends, trees are pretty dog-gone awesome!

  300. Aviatrix
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    @281 commodorejohn
    Garfield – Wow. This is the first reference I can recall to the fact that Jon is a cartoonist since…well, since the very first Garfield strip back in 1978.

    That’s a good thing. Would you want thirty years of what we got today in Adam@Home?

  301. True Fable
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    # 287 Calico – I call it “soda pop” even though it was called all sorts of things where I grew up, but then if Greater Metro Roopville was Comic World, I would be the Hammy of the neighborhood and therefore what I call carbonated drinks would be of little merit.

  302. Wolf Shepherd
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    Quality humor from unexpected quarters today.

    3) In third place we have Pickles. A rare showing for this codger strip.

    2) In second place we have a very unusual result: Argyle Sweater.” AS is usually closer to plagerism than it is to humor. Today, as usual, the set up is klunky, but the “bad pick-up line” is very funny.

    1) And today’s winner is … drum roll, please … Get Fuzzy. Biggest side-splitter of the day.

  303. True Fable
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    #301 ME – Fable is Hammy, case in point.

    So! Can any other ‘Mudgeons find a comic strip daily or even single panel, that can best describe you?

    *throw down gauntlet*

  304. Muffaroo
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    John C Fremont @280 – Wait, kookaburra! Stop, kookaburra! That’s not a monkey, that’s me!

    Speaking of trees, I’ve seen a couple of Tijuana bibles that deal with the belief that being under different trees has varied effects on the individual. The plot, therefore, is for the hero to maneuver the chaste heroine under a slippery elm, at which point she becomes horny until she realizes it and slaps him silly in panel 8. I’m just betting Mark Trail doesn’t know this.

    commodorejohn @281 – And how long has it been since there was a reference to the fact that Garfield was supposedly Lyman’s cat, not Jon’s? Did Lyman waltz off a cliff when I wasn’t looking? Has Ratfiuk been allowed to ghost-write the strip at any point?

    Ukulele Ike @285 – Like I said in the purity ball (Zits) comments, those purity chicks will do anything but straight intercourse.

    Red Greenback @299 – “What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, rolls over your nieghbor’s dog? / It’s great for a snack, it fits on your back, it’s LOG, LOG, LOG!”

    carbonated beverages – I call them all kinds of things. I think “pop” is most entrenched, possibly because there was a brand in the 60s that — get this! — came in cans, so it was called Can-o-Pop. You had to open it with a ‘church key.’ One time everybody but Dad was sitting in our VW van (this puts it before 1965) in a driveway, waiting while Dad gave a piano lesson inside a house. It was rather hot. One of us had the bright idea of refreshing ourselves with one of the cans of pop that had been rolling around on the floor. Black Cherry. One punch, and the interior of the car was sticky and pinkish in color. Someone got the thing (still spewing) out, and we tried to swab away some of the residue. We opened the second can in the driveway, some distance from the car, but it was disappointing. The fountain only rose about three feet, and lasted for no more than four seconds.

  305. Muffaroo
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    * one punch (of the punch-style can opener, that is)

  306. mollificent
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Oh, great. Eric’s on this top secret mission, and Margo is about to get the entire Chinese government in an uproar looking for him. Smooth, Margo. Real smooth.

    My Cage: WIN WIN WIN! dingdingdingdingding! :D

    Lio: Even more win. This actually brought a tear to my eye.

    9CL: Hey, Sunday continuity! I’m going to give this one a thumbs-up for personal reasons. When I was about 12, going to Catholic school, I was NOT beloved of the nuns there (can’t exactly remember why…I think I just didn’t “fit in”). At one point they called an early-morning parent-teacher conference. My mom and I walked in to see a panel of grim, wimpled faces (these ladies would have eaten Sister Caligula for lunch). They tried hard to convince my mum that I was a no-goodnik, and she stood up, read them the riot act, told them where to shove it, and escorted me out. As we were walking down the hallway she leaned over and whispered to me, “Jeez–that was like walking into a horror movie!”

    Yay Mom. And she didn’t even need the pink fuzzy ears.

    (I apologize profusely if I’ve told that story before here.)

  307. Uncle Lumpy
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    State trees on the Internet —
    O, the Web’s a treasure trove!
    Let’s see what we can find out
    In its online virtual grove.

    Missouri’s got the dogwood
    And Texas the pecan
    Alaska has the sitka spruce
    The ifit blooms in Guam.

    Wyoming’s like Nebraska
    In its cottonwood acclaim
    But it’s white oak in Connecticut
    And Illinois, the same.

    They’re pining down in Arkansas
    Montana, Idaho,
    Nevada, Maine and Michigan,
    And in New Mexico.

    Ohio’s got its buckeye
    Hawaii, kukui.
    But alas the Virgin Islands
    Have no official tree.

    In Kentucky, tulip’s poplar
    In Iowa, the oak.
    The elm’s loved by Dakotans
    And by Massachusetts folk.

    New Hampshire has the paper birch
    But California’s gypped us –
    Puts redwood on the list, but grows
    The goddamned eucalyptus.

  308. Calico
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    #304 – One punch-must be Mark Trail’s drink of choice.

    UL – great poem.

  309. bats :[
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    281. commodorejohn re JP: I didn’t realize that Barretto did his own colorwork on the Sunday strip. It is indeed gawgus.

    Lio: is indeed sweet.

    GF: terrific.

    Truman! I think you harbor a dislike for both R=R and green peas. It seems, however, that you have a kindred spirit in Mimi, though…

    MT: two of my favorite cottonwoods in the world are on Highway 93 between Wickenburg and Wikieup AZ. mr. bats :[ and I refer to them as the “pee trees,”* since it’s a pretty desolate stretch of highway, and the amount of trash and stuff in the area suggests that they’ve been watered liberally over the years (as a matter of fact, back in October 1996 (or maybe 97), mr. bats :[ heard the call of nature there, and it wasn’t Mark Trail yodeling!
    Sadly, at least one of the trees appears to be dying. Either the water table in the area is dropping, or an abundance of nitrogen can be too much of a good thing.

    * Yes, our potty humor extends far beyond the comics page.

  310. Red Greenback
    March 15th, 2009 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    Is there anywhere in these United States where carbonated bevs are referred to as a soft drink? Or is that as weird as calling toilet paper “bathroom tissue”?

  311. Hank
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    RE: Muffaroo, Garfield. Actually, Garfield was always Jon’s cat (see first strip). Lyman was originally Odie’s owner.

  312. Dicky
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    291, True Fable: Here you go! It appears that they do the lettering by hand, as doing the cutting and pasting at the pixel level just highlighted the inconsistencies of shape and spacing.

  313. buckyswife
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    A3G: So the Plaza serves its single malts in half-pint glasses? Or did Daddy Magee just request it that way to get through his lunch with Margot?

    MW: Does that darkening afternoon sky symbolize the doom that awaits Ted and Adrian’s relationship? Or did they just linger over lunch, exchanging sweet credit-related nothings? In any case, I’m expecting droopy-drawers Electro to come galloping around the corner any minute now.

  314. True Fable
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    # 309 bats:[ – Oh yes, today in R=R I can definitely identify with Mimi regarding the eating of peas.

    Peas ( n. ) God’s personal plague for Fable as a child.

    But all things being equal, I am a Hammy heart and soul. And maybe a little around the crazy eyes.

    # 310 Red Greenback – Here in Greater Metropolitan Roopville we call toilet paper, butt ribbon. Being as how we are in the state of Georgia, locals usually refer to our soft drinks as “Coke-cola” as they genuflect toward the Great Holy Mecca of Carbonation, Atlanta. I call it “soda pop” because I am a cantankerous Roopvillain.

    # 312 Dicky – YES~! You, sir, get a goat! Here, take two!

  315. Tomical
    March 15th, 2009 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    Hey, if you ever thought about reading Pickles, TODAY IS NOT THE DAY TO START.

  316. Red Greenback
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    Truman: Every once in a blue moon, my Pop (that’s what we called our father, btw) used to enjoy a nice CoCola or Sebmup.

  317. CanuckDownSouth
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    #310, if you go to and dig into the “other” stats, “soft drink” is the lead in the overall “other” category of the survey, with responses from NC, CA, LA and elsewhere.

  318. bats :[
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    312. Dicky: thank you! It was the absolutely first thing that popped into my mind (even before I read the last panel)….it WOULD explain so much!

  319. Winky\'s Spleen
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    Once again, PBS and Get Fuzzy rock, and Lio is surprisingly sweet.

    As for Zits, Jeremy has evidently not heard that male-pattern baldness is passed along from the mother’s side. My dad was pretty bald when he was my age, but I’ve never worried about that because my grandfather on my mom’s side, bless his soul, lived 88 years with a full head of hair.

    9CL – Ha ha ha, trustees are blithering morons. As are students, in McEldowneyville. Remind me again why the elder Burber is a professor?

    FC – “Is Mommy more than 12?” Well, she wasn’t when she got married off.

  320. commodorejohn
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    #298 True Fable – Hearing an older fellow talk about Portal fills me with hope.

    #304 Muffaroo – I thought it was Odie that was Lyman’s dog. As to what happened to Lyman, he was forced to quit the strip when rumors about him and Jon began to circulate.

    #309 bats :[ – I believe Baretto does his own coloring on Sundays; either that or he keeps a special coloring monkey that isn’t schizophrenic.

  321. Sarah
    March 15th, 2009 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

  322. Anonymous
    March 15th, 2009 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    Winners: Lio. Dad actually understands that bizarre kid.

    PBS made me laugh HARD, like comics seldom make me laugh.

    9CL, for Thorax channeling Get Fuzzy’s Bucky Katt while dressed as Harvey.

  323. Little Guy
    March 15th, 2009 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    Pickles: Sorry, but I’m juvenial enough to like this.

    Mutts: No spoilers for this week’s BSG (haven’t seen this week’s), but it looks like Mutts is a Cylon world.

    Doonesbury: Tomorrow, Trudeau will tell us the economy is in the crapper and the President is Of Color.

    Lio: This is sweet, but what we don’t see is this is a Cathy strip.

    PBS: Win!

    WyH: Yes! Yes! Beyonce is more ideal than you! Deal!

    And don’t say that you don’t fantansize that your boyfriend is Terrance Howard.

    Big Nate: She’s rather capricious for an interim principal. She not only dispenses multi-detentions for overheard slights, but she makes the kids go to school on weekends.

    Get Fuzzy: That penultimate panel can be reused for oh-so-many other strips.

    JP: Tonight, she’ll go to bed in that apron. And nothing else.

    Agnes: Don’t be such a Burber, Granny.

    PV: No, the three WeedMen are looking at Gawain. I thought we established that they swung that way when they fought over Valiant.

    S-M: This would make sense if we found out Electro sucked out the power out of portable non-connected devices like batteries and car lights.

    SFx: There are some old truck hoods which lift up enough to see through, you know. But this is Shady, who tells the truth as often as Cathy is funny.

    Flashbacks, for WaPo Readers:… who ended up making Coffin Cars.

    Baldo: Now, I expect an autoshop joke in Dilbert in return.

  324. SandyH
    March 15th, 2009 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    In Houston, Texas for my entire life, any carbonated drink is a coke. As in,” let’s go get a coke,” no matter what you actually order.

    Dr Pepper was of course invented in Texas, and I swear you could ask, “what kind of coke do you want, Dr Pepper?” and no one would think you were crazy…however, writing it out like this makes me question it myself…

  325. Poteet
    March 15th, 2009 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    # 307 Uncle Lumpy — Excellent again, with extra kudos for the last stanza.

    PBS & Lio — If only all father/son comic-strip moments could be this wonderful.

  326. Niall
    March 15th, 2009 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Pickles: how the heck did this get past the censors…

    I say Soft Drink a lot because it’d a good translation from the French “boisson gazeuse”. It took a while to understand the “soft” part; I was going “But does that mean there are hard drinks??” Well, yes., there are. As I said, it took a while to get that. :)

    320 commodorejohn: Portal just needs someone with reasonable reflexes; one can’t do some of the double-portals-while-falling if reaction times are too slow. As for cake, I have a few slices by now, but the “fewest steps” or “fewest time” puzzles kick my butt but good…

  327. Mel
    March 15th, 2009 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    323: Little Guy, JP: Oh, I think she’ll keep the latex gloves on too.

  328. ladadog
    March 15th, 2009 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    In the olden days in Massachusetts, soda was often referred to as tonic. You don’t hear that so much now. Is there anything more delicious than an ice cold Coca Cola in a bottle? Except perhaps an ice cold gin & tonic – which is even better if the Schweppes Tonic Water is from the U.K.

  329. commodorejohn
    March 15th, 2009 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    Oh man, I totally forgot to check Prince Valiant today. This promises entertainment!

  330. Izzy
    March 15th, 2009 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    I glanced at Marmaduke’s second panel way too fast and for a moment thought that owner-man was holding a shotgun to the mutt’s face. Alas, my glee was just as quickly shattered…

  331. Muffaroo
    March 15th, 2009 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    SFox – Slylock suspects Shady Shrew is lying because he has witnesses, surveillance footage, and if he can spend two minutes with Shady when nobody’s looking, he’ll have a deathbed confession.

    Hank @311 – Whoops! You are correct, sir. Odie’s the dog-thing, right? (commodorejohn: ibid!)

  332. Gap-Toothed Starey "HOOOO" Guy
    March 15th, 2009 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    Lio: Awww! This sort of thing happened to me at least a couple times when I was a little kid. At the time I strongly identified with Calvin (albeit a much better-behaved version).

  333. dyslexic dog
    March 15th, 2009 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    #s 291, 312 et al:
    As assholian as Crankshaft is, I’d rather hear “idiot” than “asshole” in the comparison to alzheimer’s disease. I’m sure I’m not the only one around here who has lost a loved one to AD. While many of this person’s reactions and realities could be perceived by others to have seemed idiotic, in no way could they ever have been construed as the ravings of an asshole.

    While “You’re just an asshole” is completely valid as a punchline to practically all Crankshaft strips, I guess I just took this one a little too personally.

    [/sappy mope]

  334. buckyswife
    March 15th, 2009 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    #331 Muffaroo: Slylock as Jack Bauer? I like it.

  335. John C Fremont
    March 15th, 2009 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    Remember when Mountain Dew was still “filled by Ed and Gene?” Given its yellow color, my mom used to have an interesting, rather dusgusting theory about how Ed and Gene filled their bottles.

    Then it was pop. Now it is soda. Thus spaketh some guy from Fremont.

  336. CanuckDownSouth
    March 15th, 2009 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    #326-Niall, I tend to think the British “fizzy drink” is a more-literal translation of boisson gazeuse (yay French immersion schools :), but only use the term occasionally; I wind up using “soft drink” most of the time.

    And the “soft” part is quite understandable nowadays what with the marketing of hard cider and hard lemonade.

    Either way, the stuff goes well with pizza, with or without olives [/desperate attempt to connect to comics topic]

  337. Amateur
    March 15th, 2009 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    MW: Pretty rude of Adrian and Ted to interrupt the caption box before it was finished speaking.

  338. Poteet
    March 15th, 2009 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    # 329 commodorejohn — When I read PV today, I found myself seriously hoping that Nudder, Bup, and Ig will somehow find some kind of romantic happiness. After all, it’s not really their fault that they were forced to flee from the homeland where they could have found females like themselves, and they’ve been working and contributing to the voyage, and they’ve been trying hard to learn about a completely new culture, which is never easy, and…


    Hoo boy. This says way too much about how desperate I’ve become to find new characters in the comics that I can like instead of endure.

  339. Taeraresh
    March 15th, 2009 at 7:31 pm [Reply]

    I read the 3/14 Mark Trail as them needing a memory card for Rusty himself. This makes the strip make vaguely more sense, as much as anything can make sense in Mark Trail.

  340. commodorejohn
    March 15th, 2009 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    #338 Poteet – Hear, hear!

  341. Jamus The Bartender
    March 15th, 2009 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Most of you may have figured this out by now, but I read way too many superhero comics. This is confirmed by the fact that when I saw Tiffany, my first thought was, ” What in hell is Fire from Justice League International doing at Luann’s high school”, then I remembered St. Patrick’s Day is two days from now.

  342. Donutzilla
    March 15th, 2009 at 8:00 pm [Reply]

    Lio- Sentimentality in Lio? We don’t need no stinkin’ sentimentality in Lio.
    That’s like Funky Winkerbean without cancer.

  343. Muffaroo
    March 15th, 2009 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    John C Fremont @335 – As I recall it, each bottle of Good Ol’ Mountain Dew (“There’s a bang in ev’ry bottle!”) alleged to have been bottled by a couple. One said “Bottled by Bob and Ann,” and we saved it for a couple we knew named Bob and Ann. I wonder if they still have the bottle. I also remember “Mountain Dew Hats,” which the company sold for a couple of bucks, so I never could afford one. A classmate showed up wearing one, which he revealed he’d made himself by stretching a felt hat over a baseball bat after getting it wet or steaming it or something.

  344. Dicky
    March 15th, 2009 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    333, dyslexic dog: Upon rereading the strip after reading your remark, I feel that Lillian’s response is an attempt at dissociation of his failure of thought with the possibility of his suffering from Alzheimer’s, as that is the crux of his idly mused excuse hidden in panel 4. However, it could be interpreted as still associating Crankshaft’s general behavior with the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Panels 4 and 5 should discredit this interpretation due to their similarity of phrasing and that there is no other implication that he has begun to suffer or is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, only his idle musing in panel 4.
    The edit I produced, as suggested by Fable, also suffers from this possible secondary interpretation of association of Alzheimer’s with the behaviors of the object of the punchline.
    Based on this rereading wherein panels 4 and 5 are not strongly worded enough, I have produced another edit. This time I believe that it keeps at least some of the subtlety of Lillian’s original takedown of Ed (since editing the object of the punchline in the way I have removes quite a bit of subtlety), while being more direct that Ed’s faults do not stem from some malady, but from himself.

    (Disclosure: My maternal grandmother is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s at 95, though modern drugs and consistency have helped stem the tide a bit.)

  345. Winky's Spleen
    March 15th, 2009 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    Donutzilla #342 – The occasional sentimental note is okay (it’s been about one a month recently) and even sweet.

    But comic strips do tend towards sentimental mawkishness over time. I hope Lio isn’t getting dumped on for its sticky-sweet cutesy-pooitude by the ‘Mudges of 2034.

  346. dyslexic dog
    March 15th, 2009 at 9:07 pm [Reply]

    I appreciate your sensitivity in editing the spoof. You have shifted Lillian’s (True Fable’s) sharply worded comment from what I had originally seen as a general diatribe about Crankshaft having AD into a response to his “idly mused excuse,” yet another example of his assholistic tendendecies.

    I might not have picked this up without your explanation, as the point has, as you note, a certain subtlety, a characteristic not ordinarily associated with this strip.

    That said, I rarely find humor in jokes pertaining to alzheimer’s disease, and, while I admire Batiuk’s courage in addressing the issue, attempting to turn his comic into a classroom discussion item, sometimes it cuts a bit too close to home.

  347. John C Fremont
    March 15th, 2009 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    #343 Muffaroo – Yeah, we had a few “Filled by ‘So-and-so’ and ‘So-and-so’” bottles back in Iowa in 19- uh, sixty something, but the vast majority (in central Iowa, at least) were filled by the now legendary Ed and Gene. Maybe marketing had determined that two guys named Ed and Gene peeing into a bottle of pop/soda/Coke would test well in Iowa. And yet, we bought it. Eeww!

    I mean, “Ya-hoo! Mountain Dew! It’s Mm-mm good! Well, I mean, considering it’s probably carbonated pee and all. Considering that, it’s likely to be ‘Mm-mm good.’ I mean, in a matter of speaking & all that. That is to say, Mm-mm good. Or yum. Or something.”

    Uh, can I have a Pepsi? Or a Yoo-hoo? Or maybe some of that Jonestown Kool-Aid?

  348. Deena in OR
    March 15th, 2009 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    @347….”Slurm! It’s highly addictive!” One of my favorite Futurama episodes *ever*. Of course, my family had just gotten done doing “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in community theatre at the time….

  349. Poteet
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    Angry Kem, on the small chance that you happen to see this, I hope you are surviving your schedule and will have time to rejoin us and say hello sometime soon.

  350. Frank Parsnip
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers’ formula is one that revels in finding a more-innocent, holier-than-anyone reading into any common expression. Thus “six pack” becomes a reference to prune juice, which as far as I can tell is not actually drank by any human being and the “swinger” reference from a few months back. But given the culture war that I figure Brookins must figure himself to be part of, I think he needs to ramp up the contrast a notch to show how significantly more wholesome red-state “real” Americans are over those Hollywood-style “I-read-the-Holy-Dianetics-every-night-before-I-smoke-pot-and-sleep-with-my-underage-same-sex-lover” blue-staters. Some samples:

    “For a Plugger, a ‘dirty Sanchez’ is the guy who handles the landscaping work.” (showing Plugger dog manimal with ice-tea watching sweating chihuahua manimals pushing lawnmowers and manual hedge clippers)

    “When a Pluggers ‘whips out a cock,’ it’s just a relative.” (showing a chicken manimal introducing her brother to some other manimal)

    “When Pluggers are ‘barebacking,’ it always involves a horse” (showing a horribly fat puppy manimal riding on a horse)

    “Pluggers know that ‘top and bottom’ are terms best used for bunk beds.” (showing little smiling bear manimals in bunk beds)

  351. seismic-2
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    PV: I love that those two panels showing the courtship of Nudder, Bup, and Ig – Internet dating sometimes really does yield a suspect gathering of prospects, doesn’t it!

  352. Poteet
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    # 351 seismic-2 — Come to think of it, as far as I can tell, Nudder, Bup, and Ig know how to work, don’t have serious drinking problems, aren’t chronic liars, and aren’t immediately going over to the Camelot hotties and asking for money to buy motorbikes and cell phones and help pay their child support back in Weedland. This puts them well above certain “prospects” I’ve seen on JUDGE JUDY. From what we’ve seen so far, I say good luck to Nudder, Bup, and Ig.

  353. Muffaroo
    March 15th, 2009 at 10:53 pm [Reply]

    More WATCHMEN apocrypha (see also “The Keene Act and You [1977]” on YouTube, and NBS Nightly News [1970] — not as good — also on YouTube): “Presidential Trouble” (maybe nsfw — depends on where you w).

  354. commodorejohn
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    #352 Poteet – Hey, ya gotta accentuate the positive…

  355. seismic-2
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    # 353 Muffaroo – The Keene Act and You

    No masks
    No capes
    No gadgets or experiment weapons
    No dangerous unlicensed vehicles
    No melonheaded hellspawn

    If you encounter any of the above, under no circumstances should you attempt to confront or apprehend them. Simply remain inside your home. Secure all door and windows, and notify police immediately.

    Together we can forge a better America.

  356. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:52 pm [Reply]


    Weighing in late.

    GasAlley: Not the first time I’ve heard this joke, but fairly well done.

    BB: This couldn’t have been done in three panels? Seriously? Anyway, “collects” is not the first word I’d think of for what Killer does to the pinups.

    9CL: “At least I have a chin and neck, asshole.”

    Momma: “We’re gonna make you squeal like a pig, boy!”

    RMMD: Dear God, they found a trail of his feces, didn’t they?

    MW: “Oh Ted, darling. You don’t have to tell me how fast you are. Believe me, the ol’ vibrator still gets a workout.”

    H&L: Jesus Christ! Is infant mortality the goal in the Flagston household? If they didn’t want a fourth kid, here’s a word for Hi: vasectomy!

  357. Muffaroo
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    I wanted Rex Morgan to follow the trail of snow doughnuts and find a snow boy.

    seismic-2 @355 – I thought “no capes” was just common sense. Just ask Dollar Bill, or Edna.

  358. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    #322 anonymous,
    Yes, it’s nice that Lio has someone who actually get him. Today’s was a good one.

  359. Poteet
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    3/16 MT — “Some kid just took a photo of us! As we sat in this public cafe that we chose for our lunch location specifically because we don’t want to be seen or remembered by anyone whatsoever! To further make sure we won’t be seen or remembered by anyone, let’s make a public scene and/or follow the kid and his parents and try to commit some unspeakable crime upon them! Because this is MARK TRAIL, we’re this storyline’s brainless perps, and it’s TIME TO ROLL!”

  360. bats :[
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    I know it’s the 21st Century. But what time is it in Santa Royale?

  361. Steve
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    Apartment 3G: Why are waiters at the Plaza dressed like Spanish bullfighters? Although if their servings of single malt scotch come in 12 ounce pilsner glasses that gos along way to make up for any fashion shortcomings.

    I think Martin Magee’s confidence in the power of being a foreigner to keep anyone out of trouble in China are somewhat overstated, as so far all of this strip’s representations of China & Tibet have shown it entirely populated with Caucasians.

  362. Frank Parsnip
    March 16th, 2009 at 1:21 am [Reply]

    MT: The other day, I couldn’t figure out whether it was more entertaining that little shutterbug Rusty’s memory card is running out and that this would necessitate a trip to the photo shop. (Apparently in Lost Forest’s Lost Timeline, they don’t have any computers that don’t use vacuum tubes, so a USB connector is simply out of the question unless it can be spliced in with a bunch of cloth-coated copper wires.) But I digress — little Rusty with his Borgninian smile and blue “Freie Deutsche Jugend” (Gruppe Polkapunct) kerchief has managed to snap a photo of a couple of guys without having the courtesy to ask first, thus potentially exposing their forbidden love normally consummated before and after lengthy barbecue meals at this perticular dive, which has a series of soundproof rooms upstairs aimed at the highly discreet lumberjack clientele.

    MW: Frankly, I think it’s a bit cheesy that we’re only just now finding out that Dr. Adrian works at the same damn hospital where Dr. Jeff and Mary hang out. How is it that they meet Ted Confey for the first time only when Adrian is engaged?!? You would figure that unless there’s some serious issue between father and daughter, she’d eventually have introduced Ted while they were still in the “serious dating” mode. I feel cheated somehow.

    Sex Organ, M.D.: If this storyline is going where I think it is, they’ll eventually discover Newt from the Aliens movie hiding out in a tiny crawl space full of food and toys. Thus it is also too bad that the old coot, June and Sarah will likely end up as incubators stuck to the ship’s hull with goo.

    DtM: Complaining about the cold? Not menacing. Leading little Joey to a frostbitten death and then climbing inside his innards to survive overnight? Perhaps a bit too menacing. It’s really hard to find an appropriate level of menace given what we’ve got here.

    BB: Since Sarge can’t express himself verbally, he’ll just have to pound the crap out of Beetle again. From the inside. With his penis.

    Slylock Fox: Oh, right, the postmarks. That plus a phonecall to the local postmaster. By the way, I feel a bit cheated that Slick Smitty is a normal looking human, albeit one with enormous fins on his car.

    A3G: Unlike most olive pizzas, this one is entirely green olives with pimientos. Tommie will have no choice but to pick them off and drop them into a long series of dry martinis.

    The Phantum: I haven’t quite figured out why they’ve commandeered a ship captained by a woman wearing an old-timey bellhop outfit, but I like it! Perhaps the radio operator gets by in a milkman costume and the engine guys have French maid’s outfits?

  363. True Fable
    March 16th, 2009 at 1:40 am [Reply]

    three Chicks and a Pizza “Hi, Tommie! I hope you don’t mind my dropping by like this! I know you’re dating that geeky guy and he got all nutted up last time i was around, but I thought i’d come over unannounced and hope he drops by again just so we can pretend to stir up some conflict. Conflict! In A3G! Ha, yeah I know, I kill me.”
    Between Foobs What the FUCK is with her face in panel four?!? Is her chin tilted up or did she just morph into a one-eyed lip?
    Children of the Circle Hey hey HEY Jeffy’s in his skivvies copping a feel on his mother? Bil Keane you sick bastid.
    Sam Driver, Inexplicable Chick Magnet oh boy! Sophie’s about to get Neddieized, which is just a jailbait’s reach from getting Abbeycized!
    Fist O Justice Theater Oh noes! Guys with no facial hair are alarmed that Rusty took their picture! In fact, one guy only has a monk’s ring for hair. Say, what is this? How’s Mark going to know who to punch? That’s why he didn’t punch Ken, you know. And how is this going to get Cherry out of the strip, dammit?
    Meddling Heights What about TED? Yes goddammit what about TED, where’s HIS sorry ass? You get ‘em, Mary! Show that non-Charterstone upstart what’s what!
    Kit Walker, Bangalla Ranger I’ll need your ship for two months or 3000 miles, whichever comes first.
    Spider-Lawsuit That kid’s been hit three days in a row, and every time it’s with less injury. Tomorrow he’ll probably be able to just flip off the passing car and keep going.

  364. True Fable
    March 16th, 2009 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    Scenes from Suburban Hell I think Trixie’s solar powered. See, it’s dark outside and she can’t function. She’s better mobile when that damn sunbeam of hers is around. That, or Hi’s got a really mean backspin going on his bowling game.

  365. Mibbitmaker
    March 16th, 2009 at 2:17 am [Reply]



    9CL: Oops (temporarily)

    BBlues: Oops.

    BBailey: Who knew the chaplain of Camp Swampy had transcribed the Watergate Tapes?

    S-M: – - A cartoonist drops his brush – -

    Big Fur-shlugginer Dog: Oops.

    S-M: – - At a warehouse in New Jersey, a mobster plans a job – -

    DtM: Dennis the Menaced.

    DT: I’m afraid to find out how they name the “Boss” whose gimmick is twirling his thumbs around in circles.

    S-M: – - A tall, bald old man bloviates – -

    ReFOOB: Michael’s an obnoxious jerk. Next…

    GF: Reruns AGAIN? This cartoonist takes more days off than Johnny Carson late in his run. Hell, Darby takes more days off than Johnny Carson now.

    S-M: – - A little girl loses her dolly. – -

    JP: Sophie has a different look as she comes downstairs? Hell, the young girl in “Rex Morgan” has a different look in almost every panel.

    Luann: …So long, house not looking like it was ever burned down!

    S-M: – - In the afterlife, Dick Nixon plans his comeback – -

    MT: Yeah, good one, junior — you just pissed off some bald dude and 1970s Gene Hackman with your picture taking.

    S-M: – - An old man loses his 41K – -

    OBH: Nick’s odd behavior? I worry more about Rose hanging around with an unholy hybrid of Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers all the time! (Joan’s the unholy part)

    PBS: I actually agree with Rat on this one.

    S-M: – - A running gag wastes time on a blog’s comment section, involving a superhero comic – -

    Ghost-Who-Snatches-Your-Gun: Walker’s kid, there, is more shocked that there are readers looking at him. Either that, or he’s HYP-MO-TAHZED! (Sorry, just nostalgic for 1985 Dave Letterman)

    Popeye: Olive has the worst version of “The Raven” ever. Nevermore, Olive.

    S-M: – - At a cafe in Naples, a man has dinner – -

  366. bluepencil
    March 16th, 2009 at 2:19 am [Reply]

    MW: Let the meddle commence!

  367. True Fable
    March 16th, 2009 at 4:10 am [Reply]

    # 307 Uncle Lumpy – That’s one hell of a great poem, Unca! In fact, it’s goatworthy!

  368. gleeb
    March 16th, 2009 at 5:52 am [Reply]

    A3G: Tommie draws Joe into her decadent olive-based lifestyle.

    Beetle: The horrors of theocracy.

    ‘shaft: All this dealing with death has made Ed more emotional.

    Dick: The business plan is to lose money running a gambling joint. Must be Magna Entertainment.

    Gas: Every day it’s these two middle-aged people flirting is a day it’s not Slim.

    Sophie Parker, ragamuffin: Yeah, you look great, kid. Now tuck in your shirt tail, huh?

    Mark: I don’t get it. There’s no facial hair. And one of those guys looks to be an Episcopal priest.

    Slylock: Later, the postal inspectors quietly eliminated Slylock for poaching on their turf.

    March 16th, 2009 at 6:22 am [Reply]

    A3G: I know olives are expensive, but a 14-inch pizza for $28? Plus tip?

  370. yellojkt
    March 16th, 2009 at 6:35 am [Reply]

    I know it’s at the end of a full weekend thread, but I’m now taking nominees for my annual comics competition. This year’s theme is Kinkiest Komics Karacter and it promises to be a tight race.

  371. buckyswife
    March 16th, 2009 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    MT: I think that if I were confronted with a be-kerchiefed, gap-toothed, grinning freak with a camera like Rusty, I’d be afraid that he’d steal my soul, too.

    FC: You’re never too old to walk around in your tighty-whities and grope your mom.

    MW: People complain about the art in this strip, but I’m pretty impressed by the way we can see Mary’s meddle radar grow erect and sensitive in panel two.

  372. Little Guy
    March 16th, 2009 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    MT (now with 95% less Domestic Violence Apologists!): Rusty had unwittingly stumbled upon the Illuminati in their midst.

  373. kalki
    March 16th, 2009 at 7:48 am [Reply]

    9CL: I hope he triple-stitched that puppy because there will be lots of animalistic bodice tearing. Does this mean that this begins LAST PHASE: The unholy union of Edda and Amos in unholy matrimony?

    Archie: Based on the 1st panel, it appears that the AJGLU has become aware of Bishojo.

    Blondie: “Sure, boss. What will it be this time? Greco-Roman wrestling or straight sodomy again?”

    Crank: Where I come from, you get stabbed in the hand for doing stuff like reaching for discarded cards. Huh…I guess since the Eugene storyline has been aborted, he must have died from exposure in the park over the weekend.

    DTM: Or a serial killer…whichever…

    CircusJerk: Um…ok…my brain is stuck on the image…go to the caption…no…that’s not helping at all… Averting my eyes to something non-perverted…ooo.. a pretty sunrise out the window…don’t look back…don’t look back…GAHHHHH MY EYES!!!!!

    Hi/Lois: With a name like Trixie, she better get used to laying like that. I think she’s destined to replace Miss Buxley when she grows up.

    GA: No, no…let him finish the line….he was about to tell you where he will be applying his spunk on this alleged gal he “likes”.

    Luann: And TJ’s insipid smile grows wider at the prospect of burning down yet another home…

  374. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    RM: OH FOR CHRISSAKE would you just find this kid, or don’t, or put out some havaharts baited with donuts, or SOMETHING, just STOP TALKING ABOUT MAYBE FINDING HIM.

  375. Winky's Spleen
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    True Fable #363 – FC becomes even more of an Oedipal minefield when you wonder how much of today’s effort was in fact the product of Jeff “Jeffy” Keane.

  376. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    Zits:              A panel like this
                        usually MEANS…
    they’re gonna milk the same lame gag all week.

  377. Little Guy
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    368, MT: It’s nice to see the Rev. Brian Darling getting work again.

  378. colonial
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    MT: In MT world, do sideburns count as a Fist O’Justice magnet? Maybe they’re just upset they didn’t put foundation and blush on before their picture was taken.

    GT: Perhaps Ken Przydzial will use some of that bailout money to buy a vowel or two.

    DT: Jim Brozman is now being credited with Locher on the strip. Info on Brozman can be found here…

  379. Muffaroo
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Archie – I’m not surprised that most of the Riverdale gang is still in high school by the time Li’l Jinx finally made her way in, though I’m a little shocked that Dilton isn’t at least in a good grad school by now.

    C2Home – I’ve heard of going to a lot of trouble for not so much… but THIS is RIDICULOUS!

    Crock – I picked up a Crock book from 1981. The drawing is sufficiently elaborate (though still ugly, of course) that it might be one of the earliest collections. Some of the tropes have vanished, like the Hun cook. Most are still depressingly present. At least one of the jokes was funny, that I can recall. By contrast, the 1973 Wizard of Id I got at the same place is a laff riot. (I have other Id collections, but this one I’m actually reading for the first time. That makes a difference. Interestingly, so far in the Id book, I’ve run across an incest joke and a reference to stretch marks. Edgy stuff, eh?)

    DTracy – Oh no! Can this be the return of our old foe, Twiddles? I’d have sworn he perished in a tragic… hey! Who’s this Jim Brozman? Does he assist with the crappy art, or is he a writer of interminable and redundant exposition?

    FCircus – Modigliani’s “Madonna and Melonhead, with Racing Form.”

    FBasset“I am a little peeved, to say the least.” That explains the strained expression and what he’s doing on the carpet.

    GFuzzy – I sense tragedy. Who let Batiuk near this strip?

  380. These Strange Worlds
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:06 am [Reply]


    I thought and thought and then looked it up, but the only definitions of “magnum” I can think of are a bottle, holding about two fifths of a gallons of wine or liquor or a magnum cartridge or firearm.

    Neither of these seem like something that involves banking.

    Prepare for jijinks when we find out that Bryce and Brenda’s dad didn’t really land an NYC job with Magnum Bancorp. And what’s more, Ken Przyozial is a mail drop in Bulgaria and the $1,500 job application fee is long gone.

    Can the family recoup this month’s mortgage payment through fixed betting on high school sporting events?

    Stay tooned.

  381. Muffaroo
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    GThorp – Moving to New York for less money than you make in Podunk is a good recipe for financial disaster. I’m not saying don’t do it, of course.

    H&Jamaal – “Wink.”
    “Hey, Jamaal, did you notice that woman just smiled and said ‘wink’ at you?”
    “Yes, and I’m flattered. (Most of the time, they just say ‘laugh.’)”
    There. Fixed.

    MFmore – Too bad. If this strip’s record is any indicator, that means he’s not going to go after the gasbag.

    Mduke – Apparently this never happened before. On a daily basis. Over a period of decades. Never.

    Phantom – Ghost-who-franchises will now move ahead with his plans to start a chain of “Crocco Barrel” restaurants.

    Pluggers – “This isn’t my prescription… and it’s not your prescription!” How pluggers find out someone else is banging their chicken.

    SFox – Slylock can see that the mail he is holding was sent weeks ago, before the onset of winter. Therefore, the bear is a real mail carrier. One who hibernates.

    S-Man – Today’s strip is guest-written by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein.
    “I’m gonna go see my Aunt May — tonight!
    I sure hope she will be okay — tonight!
    She fell and couldn’t get up — tough call!
    The Black Death didn’t kill her,
    So why should a fall?”

    “I’m really gonna be the man — tonight!
    I’m gonna use my master plan — tonight!
    They’ll have to pay me millions — tough luck!
    I just hope little Billy doesn’t
    Get hit by a truck!”

    (both) “Tonight… tonight…” (etc)

  382. Muffaroo
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    Steve @361Why are waiters at the Plaza dressed like Spanish bullfighters? Must be the Plaza del Toros.

    Frank Parsnip @362 – re Phantom: No such luck. This ship is entirely captained and crewed by a single bellhop. It’s all done with electricity.

    True Fable @363 – re Phantom: Two months! Wait till she finds out they’re comic-strip months, and that she’ll be standing around the bridge of that damned boat until she’s old and grey. Hope she brought a magazine.

    colonial @378 – Asked and answered. Too bad the picture of Brozman doesn’t show his teeny tiny hands. Well, they must be, right?

  383. Muffaroo
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    Creativity Stoppers’ Textbook: Cartoonists! Stop trying to get your new strip into the papers. Newspapers are tossing their comics — arguably one of the two most popular sections in any paper — overboard for some reason, starting with the newest and freshest representatives of the genre. If you want to get your work into the rapidly metastasizing inches of necrotic newsprint that remain, your best bet is to look around for the franchiser of an older strip who’s tired of the burden of both drawing three panels a day and writing four speech balloons. Offer to take some or all of the burden off his hands. You’ll be abel to point proudly at the results whenever you visit your mom’s fridge.

  384. Spotted HØrse
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    MT: Elrod gets this party started, aka, commence teh awesomeness.

    #175 Poteet: “Pizzle rot”? Have you been reading All Creatures Great and Small?

  385. Dingo
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    This can only end with Rusty learning the stylings of Victor Skrebneski as he photographs the sides of the well naked from the bottom of it.

  386. migellito
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    One Big Happy – Yes, it’s The Joker’s mom.

  387. commodorejohn
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    A3G – New challenge: find a workable filthy context for “I hope you like olives!”

    Archie – You know how Gasoline Alley will occasionally have guest characters rendered in a style that looks absolutely nothing like the rest of the strip? I think the ALGJU3K is trying its hand at that, possibly after stumbling onto someone’s Pippi Longstocking fanfic.

    AS – Hmm, kind of workably funny, not buried under excess verbiage, and not noticeably ripped from The Far Side. Who are you and what have you done with the real Scott Hillburn?

    Crankshaft – The Passive-Aggressive Family Circus.

    DT – *facepalm*

    FC – Eighteen inches tall, hydrocephalic, and a boob-grabber? Dear God, Jeffy is Happosai!

    GT – “Okay, I won’t tell you.”

    JP – She got tired of looking like a bookworm, so now she looks like a retro post-hippie. Yeah, that’s a step up, all right.

    Love Is… – fear of the shotgun.

    Luann – That’s a charming little outhouse, but I think the picture window might compromise the privacy a bit.

    MW – And the meddler revs up…

    OBH – If you’re taking marital advice from the Joker’s (non-Harley) female counterpart, you really need to step back and take a good look at yourself.

    Phantom – Some motion lines would’ve helped. It looks like he’s about to pistol-whip her.

    Popeye – Wait, wha…? That…that was the end!? Does every storyline in this strip end with a total gyp?

    RMMD – “It has to be him! The voices told me!”

    SFx – I would guess because the door on the mailbox is too small for the bear’s hand to fit through, but I’m sure Slylock has a more elaborate line of reasoning.

    SM – If by “struck by” you mean “busted a move against,” yeah, sure.

  388. fahrenheit451
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    A throwback to Friday’s FW-

    As a teacher, I found it amusing, especially after one of my students aped the Younger Winkerbean after I typed EVERY sentence of her research paper into Google proving she copied the whole damn thing.

    She’s currently “appealing” her failing grade saying since she turned something in, she should get “at least a D or something.” Oy….

  389. Dingo
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    fahrenheit451, I feel for you. This is why I’m no longer teaching video production at the university level but making training videos for a corporation. Far fewer headaches each day.

  390. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:08 am [Reply]


    A3G: “OH my God, the pizza is crashing. Get me a parmesan shaker and a bottle of root beer, stat!”

    9CL: Get a life, Seth. And try to make that life part of the strip, because we’ve all had enough of the Miracle Couple.

    SFx: Bears can get a little touchy when you baselessly accuse them of mail theft. Slick Smitty better fire up that little clown car and haul ass out of town.

    S-M: As a few readers have pointed out, car headlights do not run off the city grid. Which seems to be a moot point as of today, since the car’s headlights are on. So, the driver is just a dick?

    Archie: What manga did they lift pigtail bubblegum girl from? She’s making it impossible to concentrate on the joke. So thanks, I guess.

    MT: You can tell these guys are bad because they say “we’re in it” instead of “we are in it.” Contractions are aural facial hair.

    Lockhorn: Congratulations, Loretta. You’re taking home the “Most Gratuitous Impotence Joke of the Day” prize.

    GA: Gertie IS Uncle Sam!

    JP: “I got tired of looking like a bookworm, so I decided to look like two bookworms who just had a head-on collision.”

    DT: “Sonofa… I mean good. Yes, this is totally going according to plan. I am like, so prescient it’s scary. Why are you looking at me like that?”

    Ziggy: Say wha? It looks like Wilson was trying for some Tinsley-esque slam at the stimulus package, but it just came out insane. Like late period Johnny Hart, which is more entertaining that Mallard Fillmore anyway.

    FC: Jeffy, my man. You may not be too old for hugs, but you’re definitely old enough to wear pants when you hug your mother. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go boil my eyes.

  391. buckyswife
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    #388 fahrenheit451: I kind of love plagiarism stories. My favorite: The student who stared at her essay and the vast expanses of prose that could be found on the internet, and who then, with a look of delighted realization, turned to me and said, “Oh, I can explain this! The girl who wrote my paper for me must have plagiarized!”

    I use these narratives in class to teach a particular lesson: Plagiarists tend to be idjits.

  392. Muffaroo
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    commodorejohn @387New challenge: find a workable filthy context for “I hope you like olives!” “Sorry, Bluto, me sweetmeats is wore out…”

  393. Whippersnapper
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    A3G: Judging by the look on Joe’s face, he is utterly horrified by olives. Perhaps olives killed his father. Or maybe he’s just stunned that Tommie didn’t order the pizza the way she usually does- thin crust, hold everything else. Tomato sauce and cheese are too exciting to be combined with crust.

    ‘Shaft: So that’s it? We had a a two-week retrospective of how that one old woman ruined the entire lives of her sister and her long-lost boyfriend, and there’s no wrap-up, other than the lingering feeling of “wow, she messed them up good.” I hate you Batiuk.

  394. These Strange Worlds
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    324, SandyH

    I transplanted from Indianapolis to Houston 25 years ago and concur with the local usage of “coke” to indicate any dark carbonated beverage — even root beer!

    Back up north, we used the term, “pop” the same way, which at least doesn’t violate trademarks.

    One can surmise that there is some kind of no man’s land inbetween Indianapolis and Houston (maybe Nashville, TN?) where usage overlaps. You probably you find people saying stuff like, “This pop bottle was full of coke when I left the room…” when they find out somebody finished off their Pepsi when they weren’t looking.

  395. These Strange Worlds
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:02 am [Reply]


    Never in the history of computing has an IT professional reacted negatively to free pizza.

    I don’t know what kind of game Joe is playing, and am now waiting with baited breath to find out what he has REALLY been doing to the hospital’s computers all this time.

  396. Loopina
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Quick question – is Crankshaft, like FW, set in Ohio?

  397. Calico
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    #374 – My sentiments exactly. Just find the little urchin, already!

    #375 – Did y’all notice that Jeffy isn’t wearing pants-just his undies? Dear God.

  398. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    I’m sort of intrigued by the way detention is some kind of completely routine occurence in the Archieverse. I guess it varies from place to place, but when I was in school, I was a complete and total shit, far worse than whatever silly tardiness-inducing hijinx Jughead gets up to, and I never came within a country mile of getting detention. Detention was for kids that tried to burn down the school, put the shop teacher’s hand in the drill press, stuff like that.

  399. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Also, Random Foreground Hot Chick is seriously messing with convention by appearing in panel 1 as opposed to the expected panel 2. I wonder if somebody made a fencepost error in her scheduling subroutine.

  400. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    #395 These Strange Worlds,
    Actually Joe is the ER doctor who works with Tommie. It’s Gary who’s the IT professional. Onew might think that Gary is just Joe in glasses, but I’m pretty sure they’ve been shown in the same room. At least once.

  401. Esther Blodgett
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    #398 Wolfdog – At my daughter’s school, they set aside a couple of hours after school for kids who haven’t finished their assigned work. Although it’s really just a mandatory study period, they call it “detention.” A lot of adults must have a recollection of the term similar to yours, because very often when we casually mention that daughter had detention this week, we receive horrified looks that suggest we are the parents of Satan’s spawn. Which may be true for other reasons, but certainly not because she once again left her math homework in her desk. :)

  402. Calico
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    I’m 4 days late and a dollar short on this, but as a longtime Archie reader and fan I just love it when the AJGLU3000 shows up in the strip. All kinds of awesome going on there.

    The folks who don’t read this blog must be saying “WTF?” over and over…

  403. These Strange Worlds
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:39 am [Reply]


    Wait wait.

    I thought Gary was Margo’s father. :>)

    Why don’t they all wear color-coded neckerchiefs so I can keep track of them?

  404. seismic-2
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    Archie: Geez, just how young are the girls at Riverdale High? That kid in the first panel definitely needs some of the makeover tips that Sophie Driver’s been using to attain maturity during the last 3 months while her folks were at the cocktail party. Of course, maybe the kid’s using the bubble gum as some sort of “inflate your own implants” science project.

    DT: I hope that “Just as planned” comment by Boss Halothumbs doesn’t mean that the casino intends to use B.O. Plenty as the pawn in some sort of money-laundering scheme. B.O. Plenty may have lots of uses as a foil in this strip, but “laundering” just isn’t one of them. Anyway, I want to see Boss’s face. From that partial profile in panel 2, it appears that he has seen the Watchmen movie too many times already and fantasizes himself as Ozymandias.

    GA: In a protest against most newspapers’ shrinking comic strips to such a tiny size, Scancarell will fill up his entire alloted space with drawings of fat people having sex.

    GT: “My friend Ken Przydzial landed with Magnum Bancorp.” OK, now we know the names of the two leaders of the alien invasion force that just landed.

    FC: Awwwwww. Come here, Jeffy, and let me give you a big hug, too! A really, really tight one, for a long time. Around your neck.

    Crank: Ah, instead of playing chess with Death, in the Batiukverse folks play poker to determine whose turn it is to cash in their chips next.

    FW: Harry, when the band plays that music that you wrote, would you like to direct it? You’re the right guy to be the conductor, because you have two arms and everything.

    SM: And speaking of conductors, over in the Electro saga, we see that Spidey expresses a heartfelt wish about Aunt May: “Please let her be OK!” Well, she might have been, if you hadn’t left her lying unconscious in the driveway of the hospital in a blackout, thereby insuring that she would either contract pneumonia or be run over by an ambulance, you twit.

    # 387 commodorejohn – A3G challenge: Pimpeye the Sailor Man?

  405. Poteet
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    # 374 Wolfdog — Amen to that. I’m bored to death with mystery child and we haven’t even met him yet.

    # 381 Muffaroo — I like your song. Though picturing Electro and Spidey warbling it in separate parts of the city hurts my brain:-).

    # 384 Spotted H0rse — Har! Actually, it turns out I’ve met the person who wrote that piece about pizzle rot, and now I’ll think of it if I run into him again, argh.

    # 391 buckyswife — Thanks for sharing that classic.

  406. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    9cl — Is this foobacalypse, v2, or is this something we actually want to see?

  407. These Strange Worlds
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    398 & 401

    I’ve been married to two teachers and seriously dated two others and my mother and both step brothers are all teachers.

    The meaning of the term “detention” seems to vary a lot over time and location.

    So has the vocabulary.

    Ever since they stopped giving “pops” it seems to have gravitated to somewhere in between a “bad conduct” check for the day and “expulsion.” The worst punishment of all is being sent to “alternative” which is a special school for problematic students. Under “zero tolerence” one can be sent to alternative for something as minor as having an aspirin or carrying needle nose pliers.

    Detention usually means that you don’t get a bus ride home, so your parents have to make a special trip.

    BTW, students aren’t usually “sent to the principal” anymore. Sometimes, an assistant principal comes to the classroom. Sometimes the principal calls in the student, teacher, parents, and a counselor for a “development meeting” which is popularly known as an “attitude adjustment” or a “course correction.” A more formal version of this is an “ARDS.”

  408. Little Guy
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    328: “Tonic” is still the vernacular for New Englanders (or at least Eastern MA) for “soda/pop”. I asked a now-ex (who was from the Left Coast) to shop for tonic , and she thought it was funny t bring back tonic water.

    As the Playtex ad says, that’s why she’s my ex.

    The Missus, being an Eastern MA gal herself, refers to soda/pop as tonic.

    She’s a keeper.

  409. seismic-2
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    MT: Rusty (who, based on his bandanna, appears to be working on his photography merit badge for the Measles Scouts) is about to get a tennis racket shoved up his ass. Never, never snap an unauthorized photo of John McEnroe!

  410. Aviatrix
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    @402 Calico: I just love it when the AJGLU3000 shows up in the strip. The folks who don’t read this blog must be saying “WTF?” over and over.

    Yes, but everyone who reads the strip says that. And that leads me to wonder how much of the weirdness on the comics page are shoutouts to some other blog or even less penetrable in-group. Maybe Rusty’s memory card is a sidesplitting in-joke from some usenet forum, and the bizarre dialogue in Mary Worth is all made up of anagrams of conversations on FurryMUCK.

    I believe I have been given detention for doing math homework in English class and detention for reading in math class. Detention required you to report to a particular classroom and do nothing–no reading, no talking, no stretching, no sleeping–just sit and stare straight ahead–under the supervision of an equally bored teacher. (Aspirin? Pliers? WTF?)

  411. Mr.Happytoad
    April 22nd, 2009 at 1:45 am [Reply]

    So much prune juice they have to put a cork in it… Why do you think they’re called pluggers???

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