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Give the money and run

Mark Trail, 3/30/09

The tale of Bald Guy And Other Guy, The Dumbest Criminals Around, continues to roll onward in hilarious fashion. Here, Bald Guy, after a failed attempt to buy Rusty’s fancy digital camera and the incriminating photos within, rips the thing out of his hands so vigorously as to send the hapless urchin tumbling backwards. So far so good, but then Bald Guy’s face is mysteriously clouded by terror, and he hurls some cash and what appears to be his wallet at the boy before scampering off on his elevator shoes. It all leads one to wonder what crime this duo might be on the lam for in the first place. Did they rob a bank and then carefully fill out a withdrawal slip?

Gil Thorp, 3/30/09

“Oh, hey,” you almost certainly were not thinking, “Whatever happened with 6-foot-9 Jeff ‘The ’Czak’ Ponczak, and his buddy Matt the Hat, in their new gig running Marty Moon’s old cable access show?” Well, they’re still wearing the exact same stupid clothes and throwing up the exact same stupid fake gang signs as they were five months ago. (Matt appears to have added a stupid vest to his ensemble, but the hat remains his trademark outfit component, which he emphasizes by pointing at it in panel two.) Panel three shows us Coach Thorp and Coach Mrs. Coach Thorp watching their antics and saying coaching-type things in response, which is really too bad, as what we want to see is Marty watching their antics and doing crying-type things in response.

Slylock Fox, 3/30/09

Don’t bother reading the tedious explanatory text, which is just Slylock’s desperate spin after Max caught him changing into his giant rat costume; our favorite detective is actually suiting up for Midwest Furfest ’09, which, when you consider the fact that he’s already an anthropomorphic fox, ought to blow your mind.

The no doubt crotchless fursuits aside, I’m pretty sure that this is the first time we’ve seen Sly in his off-duty clothes. The green plaid jacket, yellow bow tie, and polka-dotted (or possibly just lint-speckled) baby blue slacks make his Sherlock Holmes get-up look positively normal.

Lockhorns, 3/30/09

When I first read this, I thought that this, as backhanded and twisted as it is, might be the first vaguely nice thing I’d ever seen Leroy do for his wife. Then I caught a glimpse of whatever that is in the box, and tried to imagine an item of lingerie that was that particularly barftastic shade of orange. Then I closed my eyes and rested my head on the desk.

I also have my doubts about any store that thinks polo shirts qualify as “lingerie.” At first I thought the puke-green specimen on display behind the counter was some sort of terrible combination of the polo shirt and the belly shirt, but then I realized that it was actually the perfect size for the torso of your typically dwarfish Lockhorns character.

Dick Tracy, 3/30/09

“Worried? Yeah, you might say I’m worried. I’m worried that my chin has sliced open my finger badly enough that I’ll need stitches. I’m worried that your head will soon be so large that your neck won’t be able to hold it up. I’ve got a lot on my mind, Tess.”

126 responses to “Give the money and run”

  1. Jackuul
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    The deep end is deep

    Are you sure those are fur-suits? They might be the skinned victims of his oh so vile habit of being a carnivore – and he treated them very nicely… Clarice…

  2. Saluki
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I don’t think they robbed a bank and then filled out a withdrawal slip. I think they robbed a bank and then filled out a deposit slip.

  3. Chromedome
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    In a world where all the animals are anthropomorphic and sentient, what does “The Meat Wagon” serve? Previous customers who couldn’t pay their bill?

  4. Dragon of Life
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    When I first looked over the Lockhorns, the mannequin’s neck and the lingerie sign, being the exact same color, blurred together in my mind. The result looked to be Leroy proclaiming LINGERIE! in a giant pink speech balloon, with that pervert-thrill grin he’s got going on.

    Believe me, there was nowhere that reality could go from there but down, down down.

  5. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    My first Lockhorns-related thought was “Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a roast chicken out of this countertop!”

    Also, the MT crooks’ big bank escapade consisted of breaking a pen off its chain, freaking out, and flinging hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cut gems at the teller, slightly bruising her temple.

  6. Dingo
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    The hair, the wind, the wispishness of it all. Sorry, Tess, but Peggy Fleming and the 70s called and it’s due back tomorrow by 9.

  7. Larry McAwful
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    Rusty’s dog sure looks surprised, slackjawed with its mouth agape. When did the animals in Mark Trail start to go anthropomorphic? Maybe he could team up with Slylock Fox and they could solve a case. I’d love to see Andy and Max Mouse dust for fingerprints together.

    Maybe I expect too much, but I’d think that if someone attacked me with my trusty dog at my side, that dog would at least try to take a few nips out of my assailant’s ankles. Maybe Rusty should get a cat instead. They’re just as useful in a fight as his dog, and they don’t make any pretense of even being remotely interested in protecting you or anyone else.

  8. Jackuul
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    #3 I just realized other less virtuous ideas about a restaurant called “The Meat Wagon”. Mix the Meat Wagon with the crotchless fur-suit, and you get a pretty good idea on what that place is really all about.

  9. shMerker
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    “free night of gambling” is one of those phrases that is insane enough that it can only appear in Dick Tracy.

  10. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    Those eyeless animal heads are pure high-octane nightmare fuel, aren’t they? Jeez. Speaking of nightmare fuel, consider the possibility that those aren’t pants, but the cold stubbly flesh of Slylock’s shaven legs.

  11. Brock Sampson
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    What kind of hat is B.O. wearing? Is he an ex-member of Devo?

  12. Gal Friday
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    MW–Mary sets her Meddle phaser on “Stun”!

    RMMD–why don’t they catch “Chubby Willy” by propping up a large box with a stick, putting lots of donuts under it, and then laying in wait to pull said stick away?

    SLYLOCK–This would have been the perfect time to ask a Plugger to do some undercover work, since Pluggers have no qualms about eating fellow Pluggers . . .

  13. thurston unger
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    The Lockhorns: Both of these dwarves should be killed, embalmed and stuffed, posed in a grappling embrace, knives in all four hands, and displayed outside the church in which they were married.

  14. Roto13
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    The first thing BO needs to buy with his winnings is a phone that was made some time after 1925.

  15. the original JZ
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure those aren’t Slylock’s off duty clothes but is part of the costume since he already has a tail on.

  16. Please B. Funny
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    Can this blog be funny again soon, please?

  17. Spunky N. Tadpole
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    What I especially like about today’s Slylock is the completely un-ironic manner in which Weber takes care to let us know that Sly’s fakey rat outfit and cheap-racetrack-tout ensemble are so he won’t “appear[ ] out of place” . C’mon: even in an fashion-challenged toontown like Slylockville, a tall, baggy rat dressed like an unemployed TV clown isn’t going to attract attention?

    And beside, why would Rodney Raccoon want to knock over the local museum, anyway? Slylock recently exposed their collection as mostly fakes

  18. Pozzo
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    Why does Slylock have a framed picture of the pyramid/eye symbol from back of the dollar bill hanging in his bedroom? Is he a member of the Hellfire Club, or is it just a blow-up from the first (only?) dollar he ever earned?

  19. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    #8 Jackuul,
    The Meat Waggin’, you mean?

  20. BigTed
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    In a neighborhood where carnivorous and herbivorous animals live together, I imagine The Vegetarian Basket merely serves as The Meat Wagon’s kitchen.

  21. He Whose Laughs Last
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    “That’s what she said” could be added to Gil Thorp quite a few times today. Unfortunately, it still wouldn’t make the story any better.

  22. 150
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    Where did Slylock get that suit? Jon Arbuckle?

  23. yellojkt
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    Leroy needs to be made aware that crotchless panties are frequently non-returnable.

  24. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    Cathy today is a shrewd, yet hilarious, comic insight into the true fact that women can’t hear the word “chew” without involuntarily stampeding off to cram their slovenly gobs full of disgusting overpriced mall food.

  25. kippetje2000
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    So that’s Slylock Fox’s bedroom? It’s a bit disturbing that the night table is open so we all can see Slylock’s DNA Sampling Kit consists of a box of tissues and a jar of KY Jelly on the shelf under the bestiality magazines.

  26. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    Re: #9 – ““free night of gambling” is one of those phrases that is insane enough that it can only appear in Dick Tracy.”

    Or in the TARP legislation. “Gamble all you want with house money! Keep your winnings!”

  27. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    Maximize your enjoyment of two poor-to-mediocre strips today by discarding most of Curtis, and replacing Gunther’s 3rd panel word balloon with “Mutter… Mutter… Drool!”

  28. kippetje2000
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    yellojkt #23: Not so, I’ve heard ads on the radio that the local ‘honeymoon’ spa is interested in buying back gently-used intimate merchandise. In these hard times, I guess everyone has to swallow their pride.

  29. JP (not Judge Parker)
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    MT’s narration box must have been on a pee break or something. “What’d I miss? Oh, did panel 1 confuse you? Well, the man has the camera now, see? That’s about all I got, sorry.” I think I would have preferred a narration box explaining the “paying a kid for an item you just punched said kid to get” logic.

  30. Poteet
    March 30th, 2009 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    Tess looks almost normal compared to B.O. Plenty’s head and neck, which make up one of the most hideous allegedly-human anatomical arrangements I’ve ever seen.

  31. gnome de blog
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    Mr. Truman A. Fable!

    Goats in Cul de Sac today!
    http://www.gocomics.com/culdesac

    Since Pope Josh apparently doesn’t read Cul de Sac, we have to. It’s the best new comic since Calvin and Hobbes.

  32. Windier E. Megatons
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    Jack Elrod must not be very confident in his ability to tell a story through images if he’s going to put a narration box in the third panel describing what happened in the first two. He probably drew the first panel, then looked at it and thought, “Why did I draw that guy punching Rusty in the chin with a canteen?”

  33. Paladin
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    I don’t think those clothes are Slylock’s normal off-duty wear, but rather his attempt at aping Reeky’s inimitable style. The last part of the costume is the mullet. That’s also the real reason he chose the rat suit: if he gets a little over-zealous with his questioning he can always blame Reeky for it. And afterward he can enjoy a night of hedonistic debauchery without worrying that his reputation will suffer.

  34. teddytoad
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    Matt the Hat is trying to look like his idol, Internet muckraker and notorious siren-gif-user Matt Drudge. Jeff Ponczack just has bad taste.

  35. Danny
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    Anybody else see the resemblance of the “chick” in the first frame of the Dick Tracy comic to Beavis of “Beavis and Butthead” fame? I’m pretty sure he did a bit of cross-dressing to prepare for this role. They probably told him he’d be “doing” a chick, and when he got there he realized he’d be acting the part of one. Poor, confused Beavis…

  36. Darth Curt
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    So is Mary Worth a quest giver from World of Warcraft? She’s got the exclamation mark above her head, and then the quest she gives is for us to find out who Ted is talking too. The reward for finding out will be boredom.

  37. Poteet
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    MT — Who’s the spotted mystery dog? Given that dogs are the most intelligent creatures in MT, I hope this one will use its paw to smooth out some dirt and write down the license plate number of the perps’ car.

  38. Baron Bizarre
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    150 @ 22: “Where did Slylock get that suit? Jon Arbuckle?”

    Actually, he seems to have gotten it from Golden Age DC magical moron/JSA hanger-on Johnny Thunder.

  39. Wings (Caffeinated Joe)
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    The Lockhorns are all about unhappiness and despair. Leroy knows that this purchase will tick Loretta off in many ways, but it also will let her go to the store to return something, which she will love.

    Maybe he is mellowing out?

    For an awesome look into The Lockhorns on a daily basis, check out the great Mister Beautiful (http://beautifulmister.blogspot.com/). He tries so very hard to understand the world – the void – this insuffereable couple inhabits.

  40. Aardvaark
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Slylock is the Giant Rat of Sumatra? Pirates Galore!

  41. DownwithOPP
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    Many a young man is advised to “think about baseball” so as avoid the embarrassment of premature ejaculation. However, Gil Thorp takes this to new heights, avoiding Coach Mrs. Coach Thorp’s obvious sexual come-on (“we both have some gaps”) by focusing on Mark Rogers’ lack of hitting prowess.

  42. Icepick Jones
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    I think today’s Slylock Fox is the most poignant and visceral look into forced sociological hegemony that I’ve ever been privy to. The philosophical layering analogous to society and the “costumes” one is forced to adorn is a frighteningly powerful metaphor. The soul-chilling expression of shame and wilted disgust on Slylock’s face as he’s literally forced to yet again change his persona to better acclimate himself into a modern American cultural setting, while simultaneously abandoning his proud native Fox heritage, speaks volumes. This comic touched me in a very profound way. I cried a little bit.

  43. Baka Gaijin
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    #42 Icepick Jones: That must be some good sh*t you’re smoking.

  44. Fashion Police
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    While we approve of Mr. S. Fox’s gentlemanly approach to casual wear, we do wish he would apply the concept with a little more taste! The oversize plaid jacket and pale green slacks won’t do at all, unless you’re lunching with Jon Arbuckle at the Losers’ Cafe.

    Oh well, we suppose it would be asking too much to expect good taste from someone with a closetful of electric-blue suits.

  45. Donald the Anarchist
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    #29 I think it’s wonderfully recursive. Just as the incompetent criminal can’t help but follow up every stupid action with an even more stupid follow-up, Elrod is in a constant state of “OhmigodwhatamIdoing!” He realizes he’s gone well beyond ever being able to get this story to make sense, but unlike Gil Thorpe, he can’t make peace with that fact. So he throws a bunch of artwork in our faces and runs, even though he’ll find out tomorrow that we’re stil there, watching him, even more dumbfounded.

    GT I guess we can be glad Rubin(?) hasn’t tried to make these guys funny. Unless they’re supposed to be funny. Is that comment about Matt’s batting average supposed to be a joke? If so, can an intervention be staged?

    SFx So all it takes is finding out his boss likes drag to give Max the courage to ridicule him…You know, Max, kinky fetishes aside, Sly could still kill and eat you rather handily. You may want to chill.

    Lockhorns No, Leroy, you’re off script. It was supposed to show Loretta in a see-through negligee, desperately trying to manage a come-hither look, to which you would respond, “I think maybe Victoria needs to learn how to keep a secret.”

    DT So, does this pot involve trapping B.O. in a swanky hotel room and sending him up enough hookers and booze to bankrupt Brunei? And he wants to take his wife along? But he’s leaving his Dick behind? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  46. watchreader
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    “Milford has a lot of holes to fill, though”

    teeheehehehehehehe ::blushes::
    But seriously, that doesn’t need a comma.

  47. Kommissar Denny
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    DT: Kudos to Dick Tracy for giving new illustrator (and apparent MK-ULTRA casualty) Jim Brozman a paying gig. Way to make amends, Dick! And we wish nothing but success for Mr. Brozman during his continued reintegration into society at large.

    SlyFox: How can we sure those are innocuous costumes from Party World or some such place, and not, y’know, the skins of Slylock’s victims?

  48. Kate
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    Wow, that guy’s punch knocked the dots right off Rusty’s kerchief and onto the dog!

  49. Oort
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    Hvae you read Nietzsche Family Circus? You gotta read Nietzsche Family Circus. It combines a random Nietzsche quote and a random Family Circus with hilarious results.

  50. catastrophile
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    “after a failed attempt to buy Rusty’s fancy digital camera and the incriminating photos within” . . .

    I think Rusty said he changed the memory card about a month ago. Which means this story will come to a head sometime in July, when MT gets a look at the villains in said photos.

    I’m especially looking forward to the two-week hunt for a Walgreen’s, where the one-hour photo processing period will occupy several suspenseful strips.

  51. UncleJeff
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    45 Donald The Anarchist: You missed the fifth panel in GT. It’s the one where GT reminds Mrs Coach GT that he has Matt the Hatt in gym class. Something about “taser-assisted laps” for the healthy-looking heart patient. Never criticize a GT team before the coach has a chance to work his magic.

  52. bats :[
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Is that an Illuminati symbol, framed and hung up, beside Slylock’s bed? Should we be worried?

  53. MaggieMarvel
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    Hey, I think Slylock looks stylin’, nightmare-inducing giant rat head and tail aside. The little yellow bowtie is especially adorable.

  54. sally
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    When the hell did Rusty get a dog of his own? And it’s a DALMATION??? Clearly, Elrod’s understanding of animal nature is about as well-developed as his understanding of people.

  55. benro
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    MT – The only explanation I can come up with for Baldy & Sidekick’s bizarre behavior is that they’re really not on the lam from any specific crime, but rather they are local meth-heads who have progressed to an advanced stage of psychotic paranoia.

  56. Spectrum Bear
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    What I find most odd about the (already very odd) Slylock Fox is the assumption that sentient, humanoid faux-animals who wear clothes, drive cars, detect, steal, and so on, none-the-less maintain the gustatory habits of their real-life counterparts.

    This raises certain questions about the implicit caste system in their society. Like: is there intermarriage between herbivores and carnivores? And, if so, where do they eat? (Minds OUT of the gutter, please….)

  57. Dave
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    For those who have sent emails to the Washington Post about the removal of Judge Parker from the comics, THANK YOU!

    It seems to be making a difference, as I received some information back from someone at the Post who said they are “flooded with complaints”.

    If you could, please send a quick email to comics@washpost.com asking them to “bring Judge Parker back to the comics in the Washington Post”.

    Thanks, again.

  58. jvwalt
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    It’s a sign that a cartoonist has entered an advanced state of desperation when he completely ignores basic character traits for the sake of a one-off gag. Today’s example: The Lockhorns.

    I cannot possibly imagine Leroy Lockhorn buying lingerie for Loretta. Indeed, if he were to enter a women’s clothing section by accident, he would either (a) run screaming from the mall, or (b) start doing disturbing things with the underwear on display.

    Beyond that, I cannot imagine a world where Leroy is hoping to win Loretta’s appreciation. If anything, he actively avoids it. If she were to open this orange tentish thing, try it on, and smile coquettishly at him, he would either (a) run screaming from his house, or (b) start doing disturbing things in his own underwear. More likely, both.

  59. CanuckDownSouth
    March 30th, 2009 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    Edge City: “Every day and in every way, I get more and more FOOBy!”

  60. fishmorgjp
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    B.O. Plenty has always looked strange, but in the second panel he looks like he was assembled from random parts from the kitchen drawer. Nothing fits!

  61. Charlene
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    I was in line at the supermarket this afternoon. The Archie Double Digest had a drawing of Archie tossing and turning in bed with a picture of Jughead floating above him. If that isn’t bad enough, the headline was “Archie suffers sleep deprivation! Can Jughead help?”

    I think that story was posted to nifty.org back in about 1997.

  62. CBrachyrhynchos
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:04 pm [Reply]

    Actually, I think the funny thing about sports broadcasting as shown on Gill Thorp, is that it’s sane and sober compared to what ESPN has become about 1:00 in the afternoon.

    And if this was a Mark Trail/CSI crossover, they’d have the perp’s fingerprints on the bill (along with a fragment of vermiculite from an african violent on his desk), and get a photo of the licence plate from not only the dropped camera, but a security camera on the Wallmart a half-mile away.

    But of course, then bald guy would turn out to be a closet furry, involved in an affair with his hairdresser, and had gotten that wad of bills using a copy of Tess’s credit card.

  63. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    #58 – There’s considerable evidence that Leroy holds near-mystical sway over the opposite sex. I believe that Loretta must be his one Achilles’ Heel, and – although she may not seem too attractive to us, in a conventional sense – the mere fact that she does not instantly bend to his will must make her an objet of unimaginable désir in his eyes. And this, in turn, leads to his alternating fits of fist-shaking fury and wholehearted but insanely misguided attempts at finally conquering this, his sole remaining unconquerable.

  64. Harold
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    Aaaagh…another clever comment lost while previewing…must remember to save to clipboard first!

  65. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    It is disturbing my inner coder, slightly, that the enormous right curly brace } on Gil Thorp’s face has no matching left curly brace.

  66. Harold
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    Let’s try again, in abbreviated form:

    Leroy shops at the lingerie department just to ogle the sales associate, who is somewhat less buxom and bimbo-esque than the women he inexplicably ends up dancing with at every cocktail party.

    The non-wife-beating thugs in Mark Trail are just acting out their favorite scenes from The Godfather. Next, they pull up at a toll both to see what happens.

  67. sak
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    The Unknown Man just did what came naturally to him after getting refused: take what he wants by force, sheepishly leave a pile of money and run. I suspect he trained by doing this to “prostitutes” for years. I’m not calling him a rapist, but if the prison-orange shirt fits….

  68. Sarah
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    MT I’m pretty sure Rusty just build that dog out of mud so he could pretend he had a friend, seeing as it’s the same color as the ground.

  69. Cranky
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    “Beep. You’ve reached John Hart studios. If you’re calling to complain about the use of torture as a recurring joke in the Wizard of Id, rest assured, your comment is important to us. Mr. Hart will receive your message approximately four hours after his next tee time, which today is at …three… P … M. Thank you for your interest in John Hart studios.”

  70. commodorejohn
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    #65 One-Eyed Wolfdog – That’s probably just as well. It would be an act of unimaginable cruelty to try and make a poor, innocent little compiler parse the nightmare that is Gil Thorp.

  71. Canaduck
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    That’s some scar Coach Thorp has on his face in that last panel. Either that or he’s channeling some really half-assed Two-Face thing.

  72. Joshua
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    #56 Spectrum Bear: If “Slylock Fox” focused on the issue of herbivore-carnivore marriages among sentient animals, the most likely result is that this web site would be deluged with comments accusing Bob Weber of ripping off “Kevin & Kell.”

  73. Charlene
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    #69, John Hart Enterprises may have an answering machine message, but I’m not sure they know when the late Johnny Hart’s tee times are up in Heaven.

  74. Cranky
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    Wow, random surfing leads you to some literary nightmares.

    (1) I know I’m late in commenting about this, but do you think Tom II has any idea what the actual book Fear of Flying was about? (Hint: not flying.)

    (2) Is the CC community aware of this oncoming horror?

  75. Cranky
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    #73 Ha, good catch! I even went to the trouble of looking up the current lead artist (Jeff Parker, son of the original artist) and yet I still typed Hart. Ah well. At least going to the John Hart Studios web site tipped me to the horror linked in #74.

  76. Anonymous
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    Slylock has a rat costume? Something tells me he’s used that costume before, and not for a case.

  77. Black Drazon
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    This Mark Trail storyline is important, as it involves Rusty getting punched in the face. Now, besides pure entertainment value, it also holds the potential for future entertainment value. For the first time in his life, Rusty now understands the difference between the Limp Wristed Fists Of Crime and the Firm Handed Fists of Justice. This begins his training so that one day he can be elected to be the new “Mark Trail” and replace his father over the course of a three year storyline.

  78. Li’l Bunnë FooFoo
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    SFx: I just love that Slylock has a wardrobe labeled “disguises”. I also love that it contains 1) a bunny suit, 2) a lion suit, 3) a rat suit, and 4) a hat, a whip, and a pair of tall leather boots. Slylock is thus equipped to sneak into virtually any kind of S&M club in town, be it herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, gay omnivore, what have you.

  79. Cedar
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    OMG OMG OMG Recycled panels in Gil Thorp! Is this the first time the new artist has done that? And with such a lag between! I’m so excited! I was deeply concerned about this new artist being able to capture the confusing and rapidly shifting aesthetic that is Gil Thorp, but he’s just hit all the right notes over the past year.

  80. tb4000
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns: The fact that Loretta has the frame of a Peterbilt doesn’t really provide much comfort in Leroy’s decision to continue purchasing clothes of an ill repute for her.

  81. gnome de blog
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    Do the Thorps not get cable? Are there no viewing alternatives to “Prep Spotlight?” Where is Vanna White?

  82. teddytoad
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    I love the first panel in today’s Mark Trail, and not only because it looks like the guy blackjacked Rusty with his own camera. I like its wordless violence, opening today’s strip with only an afterthought of an explanation in the third panel. It’s almost pop art. It should be pop art. How much do you think it would cost to blow this up and hang on a wall, so that I can go to sleep each night with the cheerful thought of Mark’s freaky-deaky kid getting robbed and punched out by a subhuman goon?

  83. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    #70 – I think the operative word is “interpreter”, because Gil Thorp is clearly the LISP of the modern comic page. Consider how many of these quotes can be directly adapted to suit:

    “The greatest single comic strip ever designed.”

    “Gil Thorp is worth reading for the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you slightly queasy and uncomfortable for the rest of your days, even if you never actually make it to the end of a complete storyline.”

    “One of the most important and fascinating of all comic strips is Gil Thorp (standing for “Gil Thorpe”), which was invented by Jack Berrill around the time Algol was invented.”

    “Within a couple weeks of discovering Gil Thorp I found any other comic unbearably comprehensible.”

    “Gil Thorp is the most sophisticated high school sports comic I know. It is literally not comparable to the competition… it is not possible (as far as I know) to actually take Gil Thorp seriously without reaching for powerful hallucinogenic chemicals.”

    “Gil Thorp has jokingly been called ‘the most brain-damaging way to misuse three panels’. I think that description is a great compliment because it transmits the full flavor of insanity: it has assisted a number of our formerly stable fellow humans in thinking previously impossible, and almost universally undesirable, thoughts.”

    “Gil Thorp is frequently doing things you’ve always assumed were impossible. Not pleasant things.”

    “Gil Thorp doesn’t look any deader than usual to me.”

  84. Soccerhead
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns: I was surprised to see
    Leroy in a mall store with an escalater. I figured that if Leroy bought lingerie for Loretta, he’d go to Wal-Mart.
    GT: What, now Mimi and Gil are watching Sacko and Matt for coaching advice?

  85. commodorejohn
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    #83 One-Eyed Wolfdog – My God, you’re right, even down to the ALGOL date comparison. What this signifies for either LISP or Gil Thorp, I don’t think we can even begin to comprehend.

  86. Muffaroo
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    Some warning labels for the comics:

    Luann – If state of innuendo persists for more than four weeks, consult your doctor.

    DTracy – If your name somehow describes what you do, you are advised to change it immediately or risk perishing by fire, explosion, or animal attack.

    R=Rose – Avoid eye contact with anyone named Gumbo.

    MWorth – Meddlesome Ratbag is closer than you think.

  87. Winky's Spleen
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    Charlene #73, Cranky #75 – See, I thought the original post worked, on the assumption that they never even bothered changing the message.

    As for the Proselytizing BC book (#74), I sure won’t be buying it. But maybe Josh could post choice bits for us to comment on? I wouldn’t want it to sell, though, for fear of what it could spawn, from an FC Preaches to other theme comics (“Batiuk’s Cancer and Other Malady Strips” – 1,014 pp.).

  88. Digger
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    If anyone knows how to get in touch with the bald criminal from Mark Trail, please let him know that I also have a crappy camera that I refuse to sell to him. I’ll leave the door unlocked and the camera sitting out. He can leave the money on the kitchen table. Thanks.

  89. queek
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    12: that’s more than I wanted to know about Kangaroo Lady and her Plugger hubby, thankyouverymuch!

    Day 1 of “No more delivered Freep, so its all online reading” Amazing how many comics aren’t worth even clicking on. The lack of Argyle Suckitude makes the extra effort to get Cul de Sac and (the far better) FREE FRAZZ! all the better.

    MG&G was beyond wonderful, as was PBS.

    F- biweakly chuckle day.

  90. Libertarian
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    In the final panel of Mark Trail, even the dog has a look of open-mouthed shock at the fact that the artist felt it necessary to use a narrative box to recap a three-panel comic. Apparently, the attention span of the average newspaper reader is now measured in nano seconds.

  91. Talking Squirrel
    March 30th, 2009 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    MT, Panel 1: That’s not nice to swipe the kid’s pocketbook, even if it is a cheap Fendi knockoff! Just think how much Cloverine Brand Salve he’ll have to sell to replace it.

  92. Jamus The Bartender
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    78. As noted yesterthread, the hat, whip, and thigh-highs belong to Cassandra. Not the bunny suit, but she may audition to be a Playboy bunny after losing out to Jessica Rabbit in the recent Cadbury contest.

  93. Carly
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    Matt the Hat is slowly being drug backwards in time to an old 20′s gangster movie.

    Meanwhile I’m mistaking Jeff’s ear prompter thingie for some bizarre new hairdo.

    I find it amusing that Slylock conveniently has an herbivore, a carnivore, and an omnivore costume in his closet. Also, I perpetually have to check his name not to confuse him with the character in Merchant of Venice.

    And wait, if Leroy was trying to be nice shouldn’t he buy the outfits too sizes to big? That would make her feel thin. Assuming she didn’t actually check the sizes. Okay, moving along.

  94. gnome de blog
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    90 LIbertarian says:

    Apparently, the attention span of the average newspaper reader is now measured in nano seconds.

    That would be the attention span of the average Mark Trail reader (present company excepted), which is a problem because their lips don’t move that fast.

  95. worthinator
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    So Jeff says “Milford has a lot of holes to fill” and Mrs. Thorp says “Matt Rogers is right…we both have some gaps.”

    Argghh!

    (1) Matt didn’t say it. Jeff said it.

    (2) Jeff said “a lot of holes to fill”. Not “some gaps”.

    (3) Who is the “We both” that Mrs. Coach Moron is referring to. Her and her hubby? Her and Milford? Does it make any sense either way?

    (4) Jeff’s line was the obvious set-up to Mrs. Coach Moron to say something like “Milford’s problems don’t surprise me. I know from experience that hole filling is no strong suit of yours.” I know Momma wouldn’t have missed the chance to say that line to Francis.

  96. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    I have no idea how Josh is going to choose CsOTW because there has been a lot of very funny shit on here this week. You funny people. You make me laugh a lot.

  97. Talking Squirrel
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    93 Carly says: “And wait, if Leroy was trying to be nice shouldn’t he buy the outfits too sizes to big? That would make her feel thin.”

    Leroy, like most of us, is out of his league with this stuff. Buy the lingerie too big and get accused of thinking she’s fat. Buy it too small and you’ll convince her that she’s gotten fat. The only acceptable option is to get it exactly right. But don’t waste your time reading the labels in her closet. You’ll go nuts because the numbers actually signify nothing objective. In fact, you’ll go nuts no matter what.

  98. sugarpie
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    GT How come Milford (a city of what? 20,000?) gets these boy band wannabe/rejects/clown shoes doing HIGH SCHOOL sports programs, and we can’t keep but one US (a country of 310 million) automaker in business. What makes up the frigging tax base in Millford? And and where is Milford anyway? Monaco?

  99. buckyswife
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    Re: The Mark Trail Mystery Dog–Eons ago, wasn’t there a plot involving some new puppy who was making poor Andy’s life miserable? We haven’t seen it since then, but I guess it’s been hiding underneath the porch, waiting for its cue, practicing its “astonished face.”

  100. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    Since I’ve moved to England, I thought maybe I could immerse myself more in local culture, perhaps by reading Andy Capp. So I’ve just spent too much time reading the archives of it on comics.com

    He hasn’t got the wry wit of Fred Basset, but does have a bit more material and subtlety than the Lockhorns. Which is not saying much. I’ve noticed that Andy reads the Daily Mirror, which is a paper on the order of the New York Post.

    One strip a few months ago revealed he had a male neighbor who didn’t like sports or beer and Andy started a petition to get him evicted. I’m going to assume this is a coded way of saying the new neighbor was gay. But the picture of heteronormative coupling presented by this strip is ghastly, even if it does have love lurking deep in the background. Perhaps Andy is jealous. On the other hand, other characters in the strip rightly mock him for being stupid. He’s an anti-hero at best.

    I don’t know if I want to read the comic antics of somebody who would possibly try to harm me in real life, so I’ve decided not to add it. All of this is way more thought than this strip deserves. I remember reading it as a kid and asking my parents why he physically got into punching matches with his wife (wikipedia explains that this part of the story has been dropped). My folks said it was because he was British.

  101. Pinky
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know about Leroy, but my husband would get pretty excited if I wore lingerie made entirely of
    Cheez-Its.

  102. Mooncattie
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:56 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I think hapless urchin is the nicest thing anyone has ever written about Rusty!

  103. Alan's Addiction
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    I think we can all agree that showing a child being punched by an adult is the boldest, edgiest and coolest thing we’ve ever seen in Mark Trail. On the other hand, I’m sure Mark’s Fists won’t enjoy someone else muscling in on their territory.
    Gil Thorp takes his cues from a cable access show?! No wonder the Mudlarks suck.
    Slylock Fox apparently keeps a wardrobe of disguises based on his neighbors, which is creepy by itself. I can only pray that these are disguises and not some sinister allusion to “Silence of the Lambs.”
    I would also like to know what stores, exactly, have a large, obvious sign stating “Lingerie.” I’ve never seen those signs even in a Victoria’s Secret, let alone a Macy’s.
    Today marks the first time I’ve ever seen Dick Tracy attempting to think. Or convey a human emotion other than “violently angry.”

  104. buckyswife
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    I was sort of impressed that cash-wielding bad guy was able to yank the camera from Rusty’s neck (which should cause forward motion on Rusty’s part) and simultaneously cause him to go flying backward to land on his ass. Is that physically possible? Our latest villain has Abuse Skills that Ken could only hope to aspire to.

  105. compass rose
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    #37, 99 Poteet, Buckyswife

    The dog is Sassy.

  106. Danny Lilithborne
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:16 pm [Reply]

    I admit that I don’t know very much about baseball, but isn’t .180 a really BAD batting average?

  107. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    Btw, I know that foxes are proverbially clever and all that, but raccoons will pwn you every time. Count on it. Slylock won’t see hide nor hair of Rodney in either restaurant, but when he comes home, he’ll find his house cleaned out, his girlfriend in tears, and the words “Nice rat suit, bitch!” spray-painted on his front door.

  108. Matthias
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    I’m surprised that our Curmudgeon didn’t notice the reason for the gang sign being reused in Gil Thorpe — that is, that the panel today is a photocopy of the panel from five months ago.

  109. kurt
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:35 pm [Reply]

    MT: “Did they rob a bank and then carefully fill out a withdrawal slip? ”

    Josh, you are so kind!
    They gave the kid counterfeited bills, knowing he’ll be nabbed and jailed when buying his next camera!

  110. kurt
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    MT addition:
    Also, said crook gets Dumbell Award of the Year because his Finger_Prints are all over the money he just shoved at the kid!

  111. SayItWithWookies
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    @100 – Les of the Jungle Patrol — for some reason I loved Andy Capp when I was a kid — voilent as it was, the dialog was still kinda clever. I remember one strip where Mrs. Capp (what’s her name?) ran into one of her neighbors, who said to her, “Your Andy broke a pool cue over my Oliver’s head last night!” And Mrs. C. answered, “That’s Andy — when there’s a principle at stake, he’ll spare no expense.” And after the neighbor goes off in huff, smiles and says, “Never did like ‘er.”

    Andy also used to cheat on his wife a lot, too. And come home shitfaced at four in the morning with lipstick kisses all over his face, borrow money from the preacher while shitfaced, get thrown out of bars, and steal money from the till. Now I’m curious to see if any of those still happen.

  112. buckyswife
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    105 compass rose: Thank you; now I can go to sleep.

  113. mollificent
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    Ack! I was playing Scrab–er, Lexulous ;) on Facebook today and when I hit “random” my letters rearranged themselves to spell “Batiuk”. I’m frightened…hold me.

  114. Anonymous
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns: The reason there’s a ‘polo shirt’ in a ‘lingerie shop’ is to display how good a woman would look wearing one of their t-shirt bras under the polo shirt (usually made of a tight clingy material that shows everything, or lack of, underneath). This may come as a revelation to some men, but a bra is an undergarment that serves a purpose, to make women look good in their clothes, and not just something for men to gawk at. Jesus, I don’t know why I have to explain this stuff, but some people need instructions printed on a roll of toilet paper.

    RMMD: After several weeks, 24/7, of the Search for the Stowaway, it appears June and offspring are actually going to go and do something FUN on their expensive ill-fated cruise.

  115. Eldaglass
    March 30th, 2009 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    What bothers me most (out of so, so many things) about this Dick Tracy strip is that B.O. still hasn’t figured that his wife isn’t simply perpetually surprised–instead of eyes, she has ping-pong balls with tiny magic marker dots drawn on. Mismatched ping-pong balls.

  116. True Fable
    March 30th, 2009 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    # 31 gnome de blog – GOATS!! Cul de Sac GOATS!!

    Yes, it’s a good day after all.

  117. Drpill
    March 31st, 2009 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    Gravel Gertie had Garfield eyes before Garfield. In fact, properly they’d be called “Gertie Eyes,” tho Barney Google did a whole sequence on “Bubble Eyes” in 1930 when he was the star of the strip ‘stead of Snuffy (and when “Google” wasn’t a search engine). Some fans must’ve complained to Locher and what’s-’is-name because Gertie’s eyes seem to bulge a bit more than they did when this sequence began. Also, B.O. seems to be eating an eraser in panel 2. And the phone, as has been pointed out, is generations away from an iPhone (and can such a phone actually work today?). Tracy’s pushing 100 by now, so, yeah, he’s got a lot on his mind. What’s left of it.

  118. Steve the Pocket
    March 31st, 2009 at 1:16 am [Reply]

    Gassoline Alley: “I think I’ll cry! But I can’t, because the artist can only either give me a nightmarish attempt at realism or render readable facial expressions, and he’s chosen the first one.”

    Speaking of unchanging facial expressions, look who did it again.

    Trixie from Hi and Lois gets special mention for… something. Looking menacing, I guess. More menacing than Dennis has in a long while, at any rate.

  119. Steve the Pocket
    March 31st, 2009 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    Shoot. Direct linking doesn’t work. You’d be surprised how often that really does work. Retry.

  120. Dale K.
    March 31st, 2009 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    I can’t wait for the big reveal on Mr. Eyejack’s first name. My guess is that it’s either Juan or, well, Juan. The artwork drawing keeps obscuring one eye, so he’ll probably be sporting an eyepatch to spice up his otherwise humdrum ‘human playing card’ motif. I hear Vegas is giving 2-to-1 odds against him keeping the other eye through this story and 20-to-1 against him having and keeping both eyes.

  121. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 31st, 2009 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    our favorite detective is actually suiting up for Midwest Furfest ’09

    Cool! Maybe I’ll meet him there. I wonder if he does yiffpiles? I know Max does.

  122. Terry Howard
    March 31st, 2009 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    Too bad I’m not on the field to put up batting average numbers that would normally get you a comment from the coach of “you know, we really do need a good equipment manager”. Of course, this is Milford we are talking about.

  123. Dax
    March 31st, 2009 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    Funny the guy in the panel where he’s chucking the money at the lil tyke looks remarkably like carl from ATHF when he’s just seen shake pissing in the pool. Add a mustache and some darker hair and you’ve got yourself some real good jersey sleaze to boot.

  124. Sarah
    March 31st, 2009 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    I don’t normally comment, but the characters in this arc of Dick Tracy are mind-boggling, and Josh’s lack of commentary on them is driving me crazy. Yes, Dick’s chin is sharp. Yes, Tess’ head is huge.
    But the HAT! The BEARD! The horrible, staring eyes!

    *shudders*

  125. Sarah
    April 2nd, 2009 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Sarah

    http://www.craigslistposter.info

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