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A brief interlude of hope

Family Circus, 4/5/09

This has got to be one of the most heartbreaking Family Circus cartoons I’ve ever seen. After spending all day (and all of her young womanhood) shut in with her litter of squallers, she’s suddenly confronted with the prospect of interacting with another adult — someone who wouldn’t want to spend time in a living room covered with cheap plastic crap and poorly-colored pictures, someone who she might even want to look nice for. Naturally, it turns out to be just another one of the little neighborhood urchins. At least he’s proposing to take Jeffy outside, so she can weep with abandon.

Beetle Bailey, 4/5/09

At long last, Beetle Bailey admits that American soldiers in training might be preparing to do something other than make stale jokes about alcoholism, sexual harassment, and fisticuffs! Still, one has to hope that the final panel — in which it is suggested that Castro’s long-standing paranoia about a U.S. invasion is true, that France’s Pacific possessions will be an invasion target as America gets involved in its first-ever war with a nuclear-armed opponent, and that American soil itself will soon find itself under military occupation and martial law — is as far removed from reality as this strip’s typical content.

Crock, 4/5/09

The throwaway strip that sits atop each Sunday’s Crock always features the strip’s title character’s name carved into a stone monument sitting majestically in the middle of the desert, like some kind of Ayers Rock-like monument to the French colonial empire; generally random characters wander around said Crock-rock making confusing references to the joke to follow. So I suppose I shouldn’t be unsettled by today’s edition, in which the great monolith seems to be muttering obscenities to itself — but I am, OK? I really am.

238 responses to “A brief interlude of hope”

  1. Sunny Paris
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Mrs. Keane’s first thought when someone is at the door is to MAKE THE BEDS, (as opposing to closing all the doors to the messy rooms and the quickly tidying the living room.)

    Apparently she assumes all random visitors will end up in the bedroom. Why are all these comics Moms such sluts?

  2. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    “Fifty thousand bucks” — so are the characters in Crock French, or American, or what?

  3. seismic-2
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    We need a dotted-line path showing Thel’s route of cleaning every room, disposing of Barfy-poo, scrambling through the laundry to find something presentable to wear, spraying air freshner throughout the house and on her unshowered body, etc., all culminating at the doorstep, so that her humiliation would be complete. Then next week’s strip showing the path of that neighborhood kid as he meanders around the back yard, avoiding the four unmarked graves, would be more deeply meaningful.

  4. jerseygull
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    So how long is that poor kid standing at the door while Thel makes the beds, straightens the living room and fixes her hair?

  5. Rusty
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    FC: There is something in the water in Family Circusville; the neighbor kid is also horrifically stunted.

    Crock: When you think of the setting and characters, who is the target audience? Who would get any of the FFL references other than Josh? When I was young I figured this strip was part of the Hart dynasty, it shares the same look and nonsensical setting as BC and Id.

  6. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    BB: Sarge should just make those guys go outside and train in the snow dressed like that.

  7. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    If your feet look like that, you should not appear barefoot, at least not in any publication I might read near breakfast time. Also, if the rest of you looks like that, you should not appear in a grass skirt ever.

  8. Baka Gaijin
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G: I still say Joe’s problem is an expired HIPAA training certificate.

    Apartment 3-G, part 2: OMG! Two Sundays in a row that the story progresses. Catch me as I faint with the vapors.

    Slylock Fox: With how baked he is, how could Reeky possibly mix 2 cans of paint together? He must have spurned Rachel’s sexual advances to cause her to come marching down to his broken down trailer every few weeks to accuse him of some minor infraction of the law. Let it go, bunny, let it go.

    PS-Reeky? Short for “reeks of patchouli and weed,” not Reekson like I originally thought.

    Rose is Rose. Two of those smarmily cute kittens get theirs. Ha ha ha! Unironically ha ha ha, that is.

  9. Chief Instigation Officer
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    scott knows what’s going on at the keene kompound http://scottmeetsfamilycircus.tumblr.com/

    In BB panel 6, a silhouetted Killer asks the question that is on the mind of everyone serving in the US Armed forces- “What if we get sent to Iraq?” The implications- for one’s self and family, and for one’s very soul, to be sent into combat with real, other human beings, often an unseen enemy indistinguishable from the innocents that surround them… Is an invitation for some grade-A yuks involving 1950′s costumes, golf clubs and transvestitism. Well played, Mort!

  10. Oavis
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    I think the implied conflict in Hawaii is the long-planned secession attempt by the (I’m not kidding) growing independence movement there. But I’m sure the U.S. Army, as always, will be greeted as liberators, and every Camp Swampy denizen, even Plato, is sure to get lei-ed!

  11. through thel and back
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    That’s another recycled Family Circus – down to Jeffy’s pathetic wave to his little friend. I remember it from a collection my grandmother had.

  12. John C Fremont
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    And that’s why I don’t read Crock.

    Wow, that Family Circus bit actually happened when I was a kid, except it was one of my older brothers pretending to be the Fuller Brush man. It’s a very strange world we live in, Master Jack.

    A3G – What’s with Joe’s car? Yesterday, the steering wheel was facing toward the passenger side while Joe was slumped down as though he was adjusting the right-hand-mounted choke on a ’61 Falcon, and today, well, that weird slanted window. And a whopping five inches space between the front seats. Must be some strange Soviet-era import. Popular with the medical crowd, I suppose.

    The kids’ father is Reeky Rat?

    GS – So I’m guessing Scancarelli’s a Bob Clampett fan.

    MT – Looks as though Rusty got his camera back. Hope he has room on that new memory card when that moose drops all those ping pong balls on that guy that looks like Aldo Kelrast. Or maybe he’ll just pull a flying squirrel from his hat who’ll helpfully point out that the moose has the wrong hat. Or maybe he’ll charge Mark and Rusty and gore them mercilessly with his shovel-like antlers. Jefferson and Roosevelt would be proud.

    MW – Gaahh! Adrian’s crotch is at the center of the panel, demanding our attention! Eww. Now if that were Abbey Spencer, that’d be different. Or Neddy. Heck sakes, even Sophie. But Adrian Cory in her Toeby jeans? Yuck.

    RMMD – Maybe it’s a mood-bikini that changes color. Yesterday it was all warm and inviting, but today she’s apparently ticked off at Rex. But hey, I don’t care how long they drag this thing out, just as long as June doesn’t change outfits. Ever. Oh, and the kid doesn’t get sick because he eats those prepackaged “Go Nuts” brand donuts.

    SFx – Is that ladybug really telling me to come on up and see her sometime? In the words of Homer, sure I’m flattered, and maybe even a little curious, but traditional marriage should be between a mammal and another mammal. Probably. Hey, ladybugs don’t bite the heads off their mates, do they? No reason for asking, just curious.

    I like today’s “Your Drawing,” by the way.

    9CL – Hm. Must be Ladybug Day in the comics.

  13. Dragon of Life
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    I feel obligated to point out that Beetle’s head, in silhouette, does not resemble and cannot be considered even close to resembling humanoid anatomy. The only possible way I can account for it is cheek-pouches, which would explain where Beetle got the surfboard. In fact, he may have supplied everyone by just randomly disgorging contents, which further explains why Plato thinks he’s going golfing in a grass skirt. Because Plato is erudite and sophisticated, and erudite and sophisticated people do not generally make a point of wearing clothing that, when playing a game that required bending over frequently, results in exposing one’s junk to one’s foursome about five times a hole. (Ha ha, hole!)

  14. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Divison
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Mort Walker should be ashamed of himself:Given the staggering human cost of any war, let alone the current one in Iraq and Afghanistan the final panel in Sunday’s Beetle Bailey is beyond disgusting.

    Languid Women talking on the telephone: I really liked the drawing of June on the bed talking to Rex on the phone. If June were about 15 pounds heavier, I’d actually find her a lot more interesting. I don’t find anorexic women to be the least bit sexy. Now if June were being drawn by Frank Frazetta, that would be something to see.

    Adrian in Mary Worth lying on the bed presumably talking to Ted is quite remarkable in that for the first time, she actually looks a woman and not Drew in drag. My guess is that one of those old Walter Foster how to draw the human figure books finally came in handy.

    And there is Sarah Morgan:What the hell is it with mutant Sarah’s hand gestures? Is she auditioning to be a model in paintings by Fra Angelico or Giotto? I’ve never seen any children with body language like that. Working a day job in a public library, I have occasion to interact with real children in her alleged age group from time to time. Even the intellectually gifted children wise beyond their years don’t talk, look or act like this. Sarah Morgan isn’t a child, she’s a lab accident no one talks about at the clinic.

  15. Spk
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    BB: “What if we get sent to Iraq?” Then you’ll find yourself in a comic strip that has returned to reality after a short fifty year hiatus.

  16. BigDave
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    Rusty (#5): “FC: There is something in the water in Family Circusville; the neighbor kid is also horrifically stunted.”

    I think it’s more likely proof that Bil has been off ‘doodling’ with the other women in the neighborhood.

  17. Patrick
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    That toybox in the Family Circus living room is bigger than the couch! I’ll bet when real company comes, Thel tosses all the kids in there and locks the lid.

  18. Captain Thunder
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Doesn’t Beetle Bailey‘s mention of Iraq and Afghanistan violate the Billingsley-Bentley “Vagueness in Comics” Act of 1982?

  19. Lorne
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey has acheived some sort of high-water mark for topical relevance this week.
    In addition to finally acknowledging the fuller geo-political implications of U.S. military service, they also note that it’s April. And it actually is April!

  20. Digger
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    I feel for that rock formation. If I was forced to appear in “Crock” (and spell out its title) I would be cussing too.

    Hey Sarge, when your uniform turns mustard yellow, it’s time to put it in the laundry. I know you’re preparing to fight anywhere in the world, but I don’t think there is any place on earth where that color would work as camouflage.

  21. buckyswife
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    FC: Poor Thel. She’d been waiting days for her afternoon lover to arrive; she thought perhaps he’d left for good. So when someone came to the door, she primped a bit and rushed to the door, her heart quickening. Imagine her disappointment as she regarded the melon-headed neighbor boy and his stumpy loins. “Ah well,” she sighed, taking the lad by the hand and leading him inside. “You’re not much, but you’ll do.”

    BB: We’re once again reminded of the Sartre-esque, no-exit hell that is Camp Swampy: fighting, invasion, and death would be cause for goofy celebration if they meant finally leaving the realm of their Dark Overlord, Sarge.

    JP: So the middle-school factions are starting to take their positions. Score one for Sophie and the closeted 13-year-old lesbians!

    MT: Wait–someone dislikes moose?

  22. John C Fremont
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    #20 Digger – Maybe Sarge is auditioning for Red Zone Mustard Island…

  23. Chicago Bob
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    In Thel’s defense, I think she actually stopped making the bed when Jeffy interrupted her, and then went about cleaning the more visible parts of the house.

    Yeah, I’ve got no joke. Nothing to see here. Oh look! Trouble in Tahiti!

  24. Saluki
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    The missing last panal in today’s Mary Worth:

    Mary (to Adrian’s father): I’ve taught you well grasshopper.

  25. Saluki
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    I mean panel.

  26. ladadog
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I sheepishly admit that I am loving today’s strip. The high drama is hilarious. “…from the ‘house of cards’ to ‘my babies, my babies’ to ‘their father the RAT?!’. Can a Lifetime movie be far behind?

  27. buckyswife
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    25 Saluki: Given Mary’s obsessive meddling, I think “panal” just about says it all.

  28. Rachel211
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    FC Mom is not cleaning up – she’s trashing the place. She’s not taking any chances that today might be the day Children’s Family Services comes to visit and takes the little monsters away.

  29. teddytoad
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    WASHINGTON, D.C.: In shocking testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, the SEC revealed that it had failed to refer Bernard Madoff Investment Securities, Inc. to the Internal Revenue Service, despite the disproportionate number of divine lightning strikes reported in its offices–a known indicator of tax fraud.

  30. Dave
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    A favor of all Comic Curmudgeons. My paper, the Washington Post, as you may know, dumped six comics and shrinked from 3 pages to 2 pages comics this past Monday. Many havecomplained. Including a few CC’s I am sure. For this, I thank you.

    Evidently, the WaPo is taking heed, but not totally, as they are still “listening” and “weighing” if they will bring any comic back. In specific, I would like to see Judge Parker re-instated.

    If you have a quick moment, would you please email them to “bring back/re-instate/you made a mistake, Judge Parker to the comics in Post” to…

    comics@washpost.com.

    Thank you very much. Carry on…

  31. Storm of Loyalty
    April 5th, 2009 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey- Sarge appears to be similar to one of those frilled lizards, in that his collar pops itself when he’s angered. Beetle and the rest should heed this warning sign now, as their lack of protective clothing will make the coming strike all the more lethal.

  32. Mibbitmaker
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    #12 (John C Fremont): It’s always ladybug day in the comics. In every Mary Worth, that lady bugs everybody.

    “Crock” is so bad, the very title of the strip itself hates it! The comic is its own Hell.

  33. Rana
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    I find myself concerned for “the girls in Hawaii” – given that the point of military training exercises is to learn how to kill other people without being killed yourself, in challenging terrain.

    Notice, too, that Plato is dressed like one of those hula dancers – clearly he’s envisioning a covert ops type mission, wherein he infiltrates the local hula school before blasting everything in sight.

  34. Mibbitmaker
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    Today, Sarah Palin shot the Sunday Mark Trail with a rifle. From a helicopter. After, she shred it to bits with a hunting knife.

    Given the fact that Trail is shown discussing moose rutting with his little boy, I don’t really blame her.

  35. buckyswife
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    #30–Dave, have you heard anything from the comics editors at the Post? I received no reply to my email, and I wondered if they’re genuinely considering or just waiting for us all to go away.

  36. Q. Pheevr
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    I think it’s actually a pentalith.

  37. Charlene
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    To be fair, June looks great: it’s just that her body isn’t realistic for a 40-year-old mother who is never actually seen exercising. (Which again would work in a cartoon where the art style was less realistic, as opposed to the plots, narrative, dialogue, characterization, etc.)

  38. Charlene
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    #29, it may be that lightning only strikes when someone defrauds the French tax department.

    On the other hand, put “French” and “bucks” together and it seems apparent that Crock is set in Canada. (looks outside at snow) Possibly during the Cretaceous period.

  39. tb4000
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    If they ever give us a live action Beetle Bailey flick, I pray it ‘s done in the vein of Full Metal Jacket. Honestly.

  40. CanuckDownSouth
    April 5th, 2009 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    Why am I not surprised that a Mary Worth cheesecake glamour shot involves a high-neckline long-sleeved T-shirt and belted 80s jeans?

  41. Gojira
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    #30 Dave & #35 buckyswife re: JP on WaPo: The campaign has had one visible effect, so far: The strip’s been added to the online comics line-up. Before, it was just listed in the “Web Comics” section and the link led only to King Feature Syndicate’s JP page, containing month-old strips.

    Today, JP. Tomorrow, My Cage?

  42. bats :[
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    26. ladadog: we all know, know matter what Mrs. Kelly thinks, the real RAT is Reeky! Which leads into the cross-over that no one was waiting for…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/3414607523/

  43. gnome de blog
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    30, 35: So maybe they’re raising revenue by collecting email addresses to sell?

    37, Charlene: I’ll bet June got lots of “exercise” while Rex was off camping with Starfish Boy.

  44. Joe Blevins
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    BB: I find it especially poignant that it is Killer who solemnly brings up the grim specter of Iraq, knowing that he may now have to live up to a nickname which was bestowed upon him in jest years ago. I find it especially nauseating that we the readers are subjected to so much of Plato’s pink, hairless body at once. Incidentally, readers who are curious about the exact opacity of Plato’s grass skirt are advised not to examine the last panel carefully or at close range without protective eyewear.

  45. Jumper
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Comics Curmudgeon, before you I would never have gone to Wikipedia to read the history of Family Circus. What hath you wrought? What is to become of me? Sigh.

    But the good news is, there is an article there on the Great Comics Switcheroo. I thought I had hallucinated it all. Whew.

    “Did the dingoes really eat your baby?” This has nothing to do with anything. I just wanted to say it.

  46. Hibbleton
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    Adrian looks quite nice laying on the bed in that cheesecake shot in today’s MW. Too bad she’s usually drawn with the face of Fred Gwynne in drag.

  47. Hibbleton
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    duh, lying

  48. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    #42 bats :[,
    Ah, so that’s why Reeky looks so smug.

  49. Some Guy Here
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    I’m rather surprised that Josh didn’t comment on how God apparently wants the average Joe to donate 100% (or more) of his income to the church.

  50. Beatrice
    April 5th, 2009 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    Killer with his bongoes is anticipating an invitation to join the Buena Vista Social Club once he gets to Cuba. Which, given that he’s in his 70s by now, would be just the gig for him.

  51. Dave
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    #35 (buckyswife):

    I heard that that comments (and complaints) continue to come in. I guess they were blasted earlier in the week. The word from their Comics blogger, Michael Cavna on Friday was that he spoke to the Managing Editor in charge of the Style (comics) section and that “no decision was final”. I think he said that if the complaints keep coming they will do a “re-think”.

    comics@washpost.com

    Thanks, fellow CC’ers.

    #43 (gnome de blog): LOL. The WaPo lose money last year. Maybe.

  52. Hank
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    RE: Beetle Bailey/Josh. Um, actually, Camp Gitmo is in Cuba, so the possibility of Killer, or any other soldier, going there is very real at this time and has been since at least 2001 (arguably longer, as the military has operated a base there since before the Castro regime). Similarly, there are US Army military installations in Hawaii, so Plato isn’t wrong to think he might be transferred there. Really, only Beetle, who’s probably looking for another S&M beating from his beloved Sarge anyway, is completely off the mark as to possible sites for transfer.

  53. It's time to pay the price
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    So apparently the feet of Beetle Bailey characters are randomly assigned 3-5 toes, all stacked vertically. Either that or the final panel depicts the horrible scene after Sarge forced them to train outside barefoot and they’d all suffered debilitating frostbite.

  54. Black Drazon
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    You know, it doesn’t surprise me that the women of Hawaii want Beetle and his friends dead.

  55. buckyswife
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    #54 Black Drazon: Just Hawaii?

  56. seismic-2
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    #52 Hank – ah, but then that means that Beetle is seeking a transfer from the US Army to the French Foreign Legion, and hence to Crock, via an exchange from the Walker / Browne conglomerate to Parker / Hart industries, perhaps as a trade for Wizard of Id‘s Sir Rodney. Hilarity will ensue all around, I feel sure.

  57. Xenocrypt
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    Judge Parker: Shocked as I was my mother was moonlighting in “Judge Parker” as Sophie’s high-school-friend-with-the-hand-gestures, I still love that throwaway panel, where that teacher’s clearly seen many an obvious plot set-up meander to many an anticlimax. People are giving that expression in the background of every Charterstone pool party.

  58. commodorejohn
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Joe is starting to look like Alan did just before he was shuffled off the mortal coil. Hmm…

    BB – “What if we get sent to Iraq?” Uh-huh. On that note, what if Jon Arbuckle ever gets laid? What if Dagwood ever quits his job and starts working as an independent contractor? What if Mary Worth owns up to some of her collateral damage?

    BrS – Brenda is outsourcing herself!

    DT – That’s not a fax machine. That’s a teletype.

    FG – Jesus has found the survivors!

    FW – Ha ha! It’s funny because Les exerts such tyrannical control over his daughter that she can’t even make decisions in his absence! And he’s still too busy to tell her what to think! Ha ha!

    GA – Ha ha! Slim poisoned a cat! Ha ha ha!

    JP – Wow, Rosie O’Donnel and Janet Reno had a kid? What they can’t do these days…

    MF – Mallard doesn’t want the Black Helicopters to find him over the series of tubes.

    MT – The magnificent moose! I’m going to print this out and hang it on my wall.

    MW – My God, is Mary meddling by proxy? Now nobody is safe. The Marys walk among us, invisible. Your neighbor? He could be taking orders from Comrade Worth. It is every citizen’s duty to report any suspicious behavior. Trust no one.

    PBS – I love this strip.

    Phantom – Accidental engagements? What is this, Urusei Yatsura? I mean, if that means alien chicks in bikinis making guest appearances in The Phantom, well, I’m all for that, but still…

    PV – Bukota has to do this because the white men can’t jump, obviously.

    SM – I’ll say it again, but isn’t $100 million in New York just about a week of hot lunches for the city officials?

  59. Ringo Beaumont III
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    BB: A grass skirt and a lei? Is Plato pulling a Klinger?

  60. gnemec
    April 5th, 2009 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    I have to admire the fantasy assignments imagined by Beetle Bailey and friends. If I had been trapped in a No Exit/Waiting for Godot purgatory for fifty years, I would have long since abandoned hope or dreams of being anywhere else.

  61. Poteet
    April 5th, 2009 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    JP — This storyline has got to be a dream sequence, with Sophie as the dreamer. And what a great dream. She adds a small braid and puts on new clothes and suddenly the entire school is focused on her. Good-looking guys ask her to walk with them, strangers hope she’ll defeat her enemies, friends admire her glamorous new look, and adults are agog at her determination and verve.

    The awkward part will be when she wakes up, lifts her head, and discovers she’s in the middle of a math test.

  62. Donald the Anarchist
    April 5th, 2009 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    FC Poor Thel. Just like Homer Simpson, she had reached out to some mobsters in the hopes that they remove some of the surplus population from Keane Estates. Oh, it would all look so perfect, a little chloroform to make her unconscious, and then a tearful, “My babies, where are my babies?” at the press conference. At the same time, a ‘friend of your mommy and daddy” was intercepting Dolly and Billy as they left school for home. It would have been a mystery, the house would have been quiet, and no one would have been the wiser. But now there’s a witness…

    BB Hey Walker! The Army just called. They aren’t happy about your little tribute to our “Army Strong” troops. On the other hand, how else are they going to convince lazy, unmotivated people to sign up?

    Crock I never noticed before that one of the creators is “Rechin.” This doesn’t surprise me. I’m retchin’ and I only read the damn thing occasionally…Oh, and someone has obviously been referencing the story of Annanias and Sapphira from the book of Acts. It doesn’t make it any funnier.

  63. Windier E. Megatons
    April 5th, 2009 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    I assume the monolith finally realized that it was appearing in Crock, and started swearing accordingly.

  64. Joe Blevins
    April 5th, 2009 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    Much of the dialogue in today’s Beetle Bailey would make ideal “code phrases” with which CIA operatives could verify each other’s identities when meeting clandestinely to exchange microfilm or whatever it is that CIA operatives do when meeting clandestinely. To wit:

    SPY A: “It snows in the mountains of Afghanistan.”
    SPY B: “Surf’s up in Cuba.”
    SPY A: “There’s trouble in Tahiti.”
    SPY B: “The girls in Hawaii are waiting for us.”
    (Spy A nods grimly and hands Spy B a perfectly ordinary-looking fountain pen)

  65. Jamus The Bartender
    April 5th, 2009 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: June…..in answer to your question….i’ll be more than happy to show you..* drumshot*
    My Cage: As I read this, I pictured Max Terrier’s voice sounding like Principal Onyx Blackman’s from Strangers With Candy, as played by actor Greg Hollimon. Something to think about, Ed. :)

  66. Dr. Weird
    April 5th, 2009 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    The Arizona Republic has savagely compressed its Sunday comics… I don’t think anything got cut, but a whole inside page is being sold as ad space for portable AC units. Doonesbury is down to panels the size of a daily strip, crammed into a 4″ by 5″ space. The Family Circus (as the Keanes are a local family) and, for some reason the Flying McCoys have a huge amount of space, only two to get all the way across the page. It’s pretty ugly.

    But not as ugly as Grin and Bear It. http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20090405&name=Grin_and_Bear_It

    “We believe the detainees at Gitmo can be absorbed into the faculties of our universities.” What? I mean, WHAT?! You might be able to make a joke about cold war spies being put into colleges 50 years ago, as they’re both lefty, but this? It makes Beetle Bailey look like This Modern World!

  67. Taquelli
    April 5th, 2009 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    What confusing me about Beetle Bailey is that the snow that’s inexplicably falling in April is not the result of some misplaced joke about global warming, but seems to have been planned by the higher-ups, who have some kind of control over the weather above Camp Swampy and are exerting that control at unusual times to try to frighten their lazy and inept recruits into thinking they might finally be shipped overseas to fight the most recent war. Seeing as they’ve failed to be shipped abroad for pretty much every engagement since the Korean War, the privates of Camp Swampy aren’t the least bit afraid, and instead engage in quick-change shenanagins and hope for the tropic climates. Either that, or the camp is so insolated from the outside world that they actually believe there is open conflict in every corner of the world, and they get to die with sand in their toes.

  68. Stroker Ace
    April 5th, 2009 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    FC ~ Strip should be retitled ‘Thel in Hell’.

  69. Hank
    April 5th, 2009 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    RE: Grin and Bear it, Dr Weird. Actually, there’s been a few articles written here and there about some Middle Eastern studies professors having a decidedly “pro-Jihad” bent. I’m not saying those articles are accurate but it could be what the cartoonist is referring to.

    You also had Professor Ward Churchill, who referred to the victims of 9/11 as “Little Eichmanns and, of course, former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, who parlayed bombing the Pentagon into a cozy gig at the University of Illinois. While I’m not saying that Churchill and/or Ayers are representative of academia, either could be the basis for the “Grin and Bear It” joke that suspected terrorists (or terrorist sympathizers) would find a home at a college campus.

    So, while one can disagree with the cartoonist’s sentiment, or the sources he might have used, it does appear that the joke has at least some antecedents in “real life” to explain the reference.

  70. sugarpie
    April 5th, 2009 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    Dave I’ve sent a note to the WaPo re Judge Parker. I’ll post when/if I hear anything back from them. A month or so ago, when the Houston Press stopped all its cartoons, I emailed and heard back the next day. Maybe the Washington Post is on RMMD time.

  71. Jackuul
    April 5th, 2009 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    Would anyone really care if they replaced that page in the Seattle newspaper with a full page comic dedicated to something like this? I personally think the comic section should have a fully dedicated 10 page layout to allow for the creators to really get into it, rather than cookie cutter sized panels. Just sell them separate from the newspaper. Comics are the only reason I even buy the newspapers – and if they had content like that, at the price of a Sunday paper for 1.50 – I’d buy it religiously.

  72. bats :[
    April 5th, 2009 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    71. jackuul: dinosaurs with lasers! Wow! That’s even better than sharks with lasers!

    66. Dr. Weird: cripes, the Arizona Repulsive was running Grin and Bear It when I moved to Tucson to go to college, back in 1975! Is it still the same artist (judging from the squiggles, it appears so)? Figures that that would be one of the bastions of that paper’s “funnies”…

  73. bats :[
    April 5th, 2009 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    66. Dr. Weird: (is the Phoenix Gazoo Gazette still being published?)

  74. Dave
    April 5th, 2009 at 5:58 pm [Reply]

    #70 (sugarpie): THANK YOU!!

    I think it could go either way. The Post left a lot in the comics that seems like worthless drivel, imho. In my opinion they should’ve expanded the comics pages, not cut them.

    I think if they continue to hear from JP readers, they’ll put it back in. You can also email the Ombudsman.

    Save Judge Parker:

    comics@washpost.com

    or

    ombudsman@washpost.com

    Thank you, again.

  75. Ged's Apprentice
    April 5th, 2009 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    something is wrong with my Chron comics page. it will never display any of the comics on sundays, so i cant read the sunday strips. help! does anyone know whats wrong?

  76. bats :[
    April 5th, 2009 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    75. Ged’s Apprentice: the same thing happens to me (maybe the Chron is just cheap bastages and doesn’t want to part with the Sunday strips). You can dig around for the Sundays at

    http://www.comics.com
    http://www.gocomics.com
    Times Union/Albany: http://www.timesunion.com/comics/

    The Times Union features all the serial strips, too.

  77. TennesseeJed
    April 5th, 2009 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    Zits: Ok, lets try out your magic teen decoder!!

    Your teen says: “Dad, I’m feeling really weird at school. I kinda think I might be gay and this guy kinda keeps beating me up and school and like I’ve kinda been experimenting with um, drugs.”
    Naturally this is somewhat confusing (all those kindas!!), so you plug it into the Teen Decoder: “Feed me, fund me and leave me alone”
    Result: A month lator teen commits suicide.
    Whoop! What a handy tool!

  78. sugarpie
    April 5th, 2009 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    #75 Geds Apprentice Im going to try posting the link here to use for the Chron’s Sunday comics. Uncle Lumpy, and others have posted it in the past when asked. I think it was created by Dean (of the Dean’s Comic Booth site). I feel absolutely certain someone will correct me if Im wrong. http://comicbooth.com/images/sundaycomics.htm?

  79. sugarpie
    April 5th, 2009 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    #78 If you book mark the site for future use, then you have to remove the date at the end of the address, otherwise it will continue to pull up today’s comics

  80. Josh
    April 5th, 2009 at 6:46 pm [Reply]

    #52 Hank — Operative phrase: “We have to be ready to fight anywhere in the world,” with more or less explicit comparison to two countries in which active wars are taking place. Plus accomodation for the fact that I am exaggerating intended meaning for comic effect. Plus I don’t think the soldiers at Gitmo have a lot of direct contact with the world of Cuban music. The ones in Hawaii may enjoy a good hula now and then, though.

    Josh

  81. commodorejohn
    April 5th, 2009 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    #71 Jackuul – I would buy the hell out of such a publication, even if it didn’t have freaking dinosaurs with lasers.

  82. It's time to pay the price
    April 5th, 2009 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    If this were the 1920′s BB might’ve made a rather poingnant message about the horrors of trench foot. Maybe Camp Swampy has become so stagnated in time that they’ve actually regressed.

  83. Penis Ensmallment
    April 5th, 2009 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know what kind of fighting Sarge’s iniform is designed for, but it’s the color of baby poop.

  84. The Restless Mouse
    April 5th, 2009 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    Uh, that moniker was from yesterday when I was mocking all the spam that was posted here.

  85. commodorejohn
    April 5th, 2009 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    #83 The Restless Penis – I expect they’re going to take out a mustard factory. No doubt under some “hilarious” malaproped instructions about what “mustard gas” is.

  86. True Fable
    April 5th, 2009 at 7:47 pm [Reply]

    # 74 Dave –

    “Dear Washington Post,

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the WaPo comics jury, I’ll be brief. You must retain Judge Parker.

    Judge Parker’s artwork by the remarkably talented Eduardo Barreto lifts the comics page out of the tired doldrums brought by its legacy fellows (“Hi and Lois” “Hagar the Horrible” “Beetle Bailey” to name some offenders) and offers a beautifully crafted alternative to the newer faux-cool “edgy/scratchy look” strips (“Close to Home” “Non Sequitor” “Speed Bump”) The storylines are fun to follow; even if they are a little slow that only helps readers to figure out what is currently happening in it.

    Judge Parker harkens back to the days when serial comics were artistically, lovingly rendered minor works of art for the average reader. There is care and effort taken with it, unlike other strips which appear to be cranked out via cookie-cutter so the artists can hit the golf links by noon. It touches on social issues through its very normal, human characters and with a sly sense of humor to boot.

    Please do not give up on Judge Parker; not when there are so many tired old strips that need to be let go. Do we really need to rerun Peanuts? – there is nothing new to see and there are always collection books out there. Do we have to endure the socially out-of-touch dysfunctional Pattersons of For Better or For Worse, which is half-rerun and half cartoonist’s therapy? Must we continue to see Cathy, who has only five topics and they are all insulting to today’s women – “I’m too lazy to diet”, “I’m a conspicuous consumer”, “I am selfish”, “I have mother issues” and “I cannot manage money.” Consider dumping these strips before sacrificing the beauty and earnest storytelling of Judge Parker.

    As Confucius said: “Better a diamond with a flaw, than a pebble without.”

    Sincerely,

    Truman Fable”

    There ya go.

  87. C.
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:04 pm [Reply]

    There are U.S. Army facilities in Hawai’i, so the last one– at least with no combat– is more realistic.

  88. Catbus
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    #67 “inexplicably snowing in April”

    I’m in Colorado, a good 3000 feet lower than the ski areas, and it’s been snowing for the past couple of hours. We get snow well into May, even at the lower elevations. Maybe Camp Swampy is based on Fort Carson.

  89. Hank
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    RE: Josh says: April 5th, 2009 at 6:46 pm:

    Operative phrase: “We have to be ready to fight anywhere in the world,”…Plus accomodation for the fact that I am exaggerating intended meaning for comic effect.

    Ah, but Josh, certainly fighting is a real possibility at Gitmo, where guards are attacked by inmates on a regular basis and, while it may not be a likely place for a battle with foreign invaders, Hawaii has been attacked by at least one foreign navy (just ask former Sen. John Blutarsky). As such, and assuming Walker’s ghost writer was exaggerating the meaning” of “fight” for comedic effect, it remains the case that Rocky and Plato aren’t completely off base here.

  90. Winky's Spleen
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:30 pm [Reply]

    So when did the US and France work out an agreement whereby officers in the French Foreign Legion had to pay US income tax?

  91. Hank
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    RE: Winky’s Spleen, April 5th, 2009 at 8:30 pm . Well, it IS the French FOREIGN legion. Maybe Crock is a US citizen

    As a U.S. citizen or resident alien, your worldwide income generally is subject to U.S. income tax regardless of where you are living. Also, you are subject to the same income tax return filing requirements that apply to U.S. citizens or residents living in the United States.

  92. Dave
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    #86 (True Fable):

    That was MONEY! Thank you. You couldn’t wax more poetic.

    FYI..the Post whacked FOOB and Cathy last year.

    Maybe the “journalists” of the WaPo went to see their proctologist over the weekend, and will reverse the decision on the Judge next week.

  93. Chief instigation officer
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    Only Marines and Navy personel are staioned at Gitmo, along with contractors and intelligence services. Beetle is a U.S. Army infantryman and would never be sent there under any circumstances.

  94. Danny Lilithborne
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:50 pm [Reply]

    We should be focusing on the real impossibility; that is,”Beetle Bailey” ever being funny.

  95. True Fable
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    #92 Dave – Well, hopefully getting rid of those two will reassure them that once in a while they do the right thing, and it would serve them well to do the right thing this time too by keeping the Judge.

    *he said as a way of saving face* :D

  96. NoVan
    April 5th, 2009 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    Let me get this straight: These are the soldiers from Beetle Bailey, who are one step down from cannon fodder, and you’re telling me they’ll be entrusted with fighting that doesn’t involve copious amounts of alcohol, broken beer bottles, and the alley behind a hooker-infested bar.

  97. Poteet
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    BB — For some reason I’ve always assumed, to the tiny extent I ever thought about it, that Camp Swampy is in the South somewhere. That would explain Beetle’s amazement. Snow in April is a regular thing in much of the North. Iowa is Winter Weenieland compared to Minnesota, but we do get April snow sometimes. I am looking out at several new inches as I type this.

  98. Joe Btfsplk
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    No, no, no, no, no… There’s trouble in Cuba; the surf’s up in Hawaii; the girls are waiting in Tahiti. Morons.

  99. Ukulele Ike
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    Ayers Rock, Josh? Time for a Crock-Picnic at Hanging Rock mash-up!

  100. Dr. Weird
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    73 bats :[

    Nope, the Phoenix Gazette merged with the Republic and was made an afternoon paper and then was shut down back in ’97… how time flies.

    All of the papers for the smaller cities around Phoenix eventually consolidated into a Tribune paper, which has recently tried giving itself away… they distribute the “local” news section for each city like a free weekly paper, 4 days a week. Despite the price, I haven’t picked it up to see what comics they run.

  101. cooby
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    The Baron is really a sad, sad little man, isn’t he?

  102. Dr. Weird
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    Of course, with this “internet” thing, one can see what the East Valley Tribune runs… http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/page/comics

    Hmmm, Born Loser, wasn’t someone just asking about that? Mostly the same things the Republic does. Haven’t heard of Flo and Friends, and Prickly City isn’t in either.

  103. Mooncattie
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    MT – Someone has to say it before midnight!
    A møøse once bit my sister…

  104. John C Fremont
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    #99 Ukulele Ike – I was going to say, “Okay, but only if Neddy Spencer could play the Jenny Agutter role,” but then I realized I was confusing my Nicolas Roeg with my Peter Weir. Wierd. Time for nite-nite. (Where, if there is justice in this world, visions of Neddy Spencer and Jenny Agutter will dance through my head.)

  105. True Fable
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    # 97 O Poteet, my queen! – The Weather Channel says it’s supposed to snow in the North Georgia mountains tomorrow, so maybe you’re right.

    What next? The suburban Hell of Marietta for Hi & Lois? Maybe the Pluggers in Greater Metropolitan Roopville are expanding their base, and expanding is pretty par for Pluggers. (yuk yuk, ’cause Pluggers are overweight!)

    We were proud Pogo was set in the Okeefenokee swamp, but the strip retired. Mark Trail’s creator was from Georgia but since it’s called Lost Forest, God knows where it is; it could be anywhere.

    I’m pretty convinced that Marmadick and Dennis the Sham Menance live in Atlanta – the City Too Full of Itself to Mind.

  106. Anonymous
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    MT

    So Mark is cluing Rusty in on the magnificant moose.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/fun/mark.asp

    Inquiring minds want to know whether he will pass along the special meaning moose have in the Trail pantheon.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_076Soy2bLC8/SZC1O1tYPYI/AAAAAAAAFQ0/7Ys34oGTH1A/s1600-h/2271319079_a97080ded7_o.jpg

    Yes, that’s Mark and yes, that’s Cherry.

  107. Hank
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    RE: # Chief instigation officer says: April 5th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Only Marines and Navy personel are staioned at Gitmo, along with contractors and intelligence services. Beetle is a U.S. Army infantryman and would never be sent there under any circumstances.

    United States Dept of Defense photo caption:

    A U.S. Army soldier stands guard as a detainee spends time in the exercise yard outside Camp Five at the Joint Task Force Guantanamo detention center on Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Nov. 14, 2006. Camp Five is one of six camps that comprise the detention center and has been built with many features that can be found in many maximum-security prisons in the United States. Camp Five is where the most non-compliant and hostile detainees are held. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

    (emphasis added)

  108. Winky\'s Spleen
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    Poteet #97 – Good point; my brother lives in Minneapolis, and he says April is actually the snowiest month there. That’s gotta be dispiriting; you think you’ve made it through the worst of the winter and then you get lots and lots more snow. Anyway, it’s just one more reason why I live in LA.

    Hank #91 – I could have sworn I read ages and ages ago that the Foreign Legion’s officers were French. In any case, give Crock’s very French mustache and the strip’s rigorous adherence to every stereotype known to humankind (anyone remember Darryl, their black character?), I have to think at least he is.

  109. Red Greenback
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    Hey, Sorkel! Someone from Mary Worth called. They want their baby-puke green fabric back.

  110. seismic-2
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps Beetle’s “Trouble in Tahiti” comment meant that wherever the platoon is deployed, brave volunteers from among the ranks will be willing to entertain the troops and the locals with short operas by contemporary composers such as Leonard Bernstein. I am sure we can all sleep more soundly at night, knowing the Beetle et al. are ready to hit the boards and endure the spotlights in any, er, theater of war anywhere.

  111. commodorejohn
    April 5th, 2009 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    #106 Anonymous – Oh. My. God.

    I suppose one might rant about this exemplifying the retrograde attitudes toward women typical of the period, recent resurgence of which was the subject of much complaint. But the Internet has sullied my mind to the point where the first thing I thought was “wow, I never figured Cherry would be into that.”

    Of course, what’s really shocking is that something vaguely sexual happened in Mark Trail.

    Also, Ed Dodd is the man in the moon. Who knew?

  112. sugarpie
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    #106 Anonymous My, my, my, Im sort of stunned. In a good way.

  113. sugarpie
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:29 pm [Reply]

    #111 commodorejohn Vaguely sexual? Its virtually dripping off the page. The next day’s strip would undoubtedly show Mark zipping up his jumpsuit and Cherry,cross-eyed and panting, draped across that fallen tree, ie they did it. I wonder what the date of these are? Looks like the late fifties?

    Though I have to admit that Mark looks a lot like the Dad from ‘The Appletons’ in National Lampoon-sort of ruined it for me.

  114. Carly
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    It’s Mother Keane’s own damn fault for not asking the obvious follow up question to her son’s vaguely worded statement. Do I feel bad for her? Not at all.

    The timing on BB does sort of amuse me since several of my around-the-country friends have been complaining about snow today.

  115. commodorejohn
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    #113 sugarpie – You’re quite right. What I meant, but should have been a little clearer on, was that it would be shocking for something even vaguely sexual to happen in Mark Trail, let alone…this.

  116. bats :[
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    102. Dr. Weird: well, that’s more than either of the two Tucson papers — the policy there for online comics is g’wan…beat it…scram….
    Huh, the Gazoo 10 years gone; I suspect it died a quiet death. Thanks for the info!

    106. Anonymous re vintage Trail: Ah, good times. Good times.

    Meanwhile, over on the S.S. Surly:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/3416161775/sizes/o/

  117. Dave
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    #95 (True Fable):

    All good. Thank you.

    Appreciate any one else emailing the Post asking them to bring back Judge Paker to the comics for all the right reason True Fable mentioned back in #86.

    comics@washpost.com

  118. sugarpie
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    #115 commodorejohn Undoubtedly all that Lost Forest hurly burly has made us all giddy. Believe me, I’m as shocked as you. How have things come to today’s low testostertone doldrums? Mary Worth has more hair on her chest than today’s Mark Trail.

  119. TromboneGuy
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    # 98 Joe Btfsplk – But that ruins the (admittedly horrible) joke. Trouble in Tahiti is a one-act opera by Leonard Bernstein. It’s the only part of the strip I could spot that actualy qualifies as a joke.

  120. TromboneGuy
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    # 98 Joe Btfsplk – But that ruins the (admittedly horrible) joke. Trouble in Tahiti is a one-act opera by Leonard Bernstein. It’s the only part of the strip I could spot that actualy qualifies as a joke.

  121. He Brought Queenie Baby Jesus
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    To paraphrase today’s Beakman & Jax: More information on news may be found on the internet.

  122. Trixie Belden
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    True Fable@ #86 – Whoa! That was a masterful defense of Judge Parker and/or summation of why the comics page so often sucks.

  123. True Fable
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    I realize the Walkers are trying to address the criticism here and elsewhere that Beetle Bailey reeks of fail because it is so very Very out of touch with today’s military; however, it makes me shudder at the thought that they might try to do a “Willie and Joe” type of strip out of it now. Willie and Joe would kick their Swampy asses back to Stateside.

  124. True Fable
    April 5th, 2009 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    #122 Trixie Belden – Thank you! Nothing stirs me up quite like defending goats, and Judge Parker.

    I…I don’t know quite what that says about me.

  125. Dr. Weird
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:01 am [Reply]

    BB

    I recall a strip in a collection in which someone asks “What’s going on” and Beetle shouts “We’re all going to Vietnam to fight a war.” Sarge chastises him to say that’s how rumors get started and the last panel has Gen. Halftrack frantically packing, saying no one tells him anything. So there’s been at least one gag about military deployments before.

  126. Red Greenback
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    NY’erCC:
    “How do you make your hand do that?”
    Or that ol’ standby: “Christ, what an asshole!”

  127. Poteet
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:14 am [Reply]

    A3G — A rat, eh? He must have been born in 1984.

  128. True Fable
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    Canadian Zombie John’s idea of macho makes me question many things.
    1) his masculinity
    2) he thinks women’s cardigans are macho?
    3) he shops with Cathy?
    4) Lynn has not shopped for anyone but herself for a long, long time, has she?

    bonus queston: Why does Lizzie keep regressing in age? She was a walking, talking toddler only a couple of weeks ago.

  129. Poteet
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    MW — Gaaah! It’s Mephistopheles in a cheap cinnamon suit!

  130. NoVan
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    #74 Dave: Oi, I just ran across this last post of yours and as a fellow WaPo reader, I’ve kind of got a bone to pick with you. I like Judge Parker, but I don’t like how it’s gotten such a huge response- it drowned out support for Pooch Cafe, which was until Monday my favorite strip in the paper.

    Oh well, that’s my two cents. I guess it doesn’t make much of a difference; they’re going to leave the pablum and the dreck in there anyway, and we can both agree that both JP and PC could stay if they’d do some trimming. So no worries.

  131. Poteet
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:29 am [Reply]

    # 128 Sir Fable — Arrrgh. Now I’ve seen John in that third panel and can never unsee him again.

    4/6 RMMD — I was willing to let Saturday pass as a fluke, but now it has to be said. Willy, the person who draws your downturned face does not like you.

  132. Poteet
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    4/6 FW — I’ll probably be sorry I asked, but could someone please explain the joke?

  133. Nekrotzar
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    BB: “Maybe we’ll get redeployed to Family Circus. I hear there’s a desperate housewife getting the bedroom ready there.”

  134. Dave
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    #130 (No Van):

    100++% agree. Pooch Cafe compared to say the re-runs of Peanuts doesn’t compare. At least Pooch is fresh and new.

    They both deserve another look by the WaPo, instead of the muck they left in there.

  135. True Fable
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    #132 O Poteet, my queen – Funky Winkerbean makes jokes? I thought it was merely a perpetual case study of Melancholy with an occasional boost of Despair, and Smirk to wash it all down.

  136. Mibbitmaker
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    #106, etc.:

    There are no words — just an expression plastered on the face of anyone who sees that MT. You know, in the great Bob Clampett cartoon “A Corny Concerto”, after Bugs puts that ‘bra’ on Porky and the hunting dog’s heads while the wabbit ballets into the distance… the look on Porky’s and the dog’s faces — that expression!

  137. Mibbitmaker
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:19 am [Reply]

    #128 (True Fable): Well, Lizzie regressed alot as an adult, so her doing it in childhood isn’t so surprising anymore.

    #136 (me): That expression is also on Elmer Fudd and his dog as the flea carries them off on a tray near the end of “An Itch in Time”. I use it as an avatar on the GAC (Golden Age Cartoons) board.

  138. mumbles
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    FOOB: ….made me throw up a little in my mouth. I don’t care if that line is a few years old; this strip in fact made me throw up a little in my mouth.

    MW: “Yes, my sister is in DIRE STRAITS. They haven’t had a hit since ‘Walk of Life’ and that kind of sucks for her. Enough about her. What’s your social security number, again?”

  139. OKStan
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:35 am [Reply]

    133: Following that, we’ll put on our MBUs (Mustard Battle Uniforms), and hit Crockland. We’ll blend in with the background and nail this French guy cheating on his taxes. Just follow the lightning strikes.
    And for God’s sake, WEAR SHOES!

  140. True Fable
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:35 am [Reply]

    Cathy (Must Die) It’s April; time to drag out cathy’s CPA for a couple of weeks’ worth of the same jokes she’s told for the past fifteen years.
    C’haft Because green is the color of new growth, life, hope – everything that you hate, C’haft. You should be frightened.
    Finicky Wonkystinker Oh ha. The teachers are having to do homework.
    Sam Driver, Chick Magnet Steve’s been there two weeks? Come on; I would think it’s more like barely a week and a half. This calls for an Investigation!!
    Fist O Justice Theater Hey kid, you can use that loose five hundred bucks sitting out on the driveway to buy a new camera.
    Meddling Heights Oh? The one in D.C.? “No, the sister in Vegas named Boom-Boom! And don’t judge her!”
    Grimmy Oh boy! It’s the chocolate Easter bunnies again! See, this kind of annual spot is enjoyable, unlike some *coughCathycough* I could mention.
    Bald-Pated Playtypus Gee, Norm; you’re quite a prick.
    Kit Walker, Bangalla Ranger I don’t suppose Captain HotPants ever considered simply asking them about their mother?

  141. True Fable
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    RMMW Aaaugh! No wonder his mother vanished! That is one fucking homely kid!

    No, I mean it. That child has a face only his ass could appreciate.

  142. True Fable
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:53 am [Reply]

    Spider-Edison Yeah, because before electricity was harnessed, every city on Earth was regularly sacked at sundown.

  143. Mibbitmaker
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    4/6:

    A3G: Why does Tommie have orange hair? To facilitate this pun based on her situation here: Orange you glad you’re not Mary Worth right now?

    BC: Jake is stuck in about 4 or 5 old sitcoms (at least).

    DT: He’s stupid? The whole strip’s stupid! (“One Eye” — it’s official! GAAAKK!!!)

    JP: “Well, Sammy boy, time flies* when your daughter hogs up the entire strip.”

    *Relatively speaking. No pun intended.

    Luann: “Yeah, it does. You should see the wall in my son’s room, it’s covered with photos of you! I — Uh, Gunther…. where’d Luann go?”

    MT: Yeah… also, Rusty, there are incriminating pictures of your parents from a long time ago…

    MW: Dark, menacing shadows on pencil-’stache’s face… says he has a relative in “dire straights”… probably financial…. It’s finally begun.

    Ghost-Who-Better-Watch-His-Wife’s-Back: Uh-oh, looks like ol’ Third Eye is preparing to plot a murder…

    RMMD: So he went off to find his dad, and now his mom is missing, too. Poor kid. All that, plus it looks like he’s got the mumps as well.

  144. Mr. O'Malley
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:00 am [Reply]

    FW: Since when do teachers at a high school get any say on textbook selection?

    JP: Steve has only been working there for … umm … one week and two days, I think.

  145. John C Fremont
    April 6th, 2009 at 6:31 am [Reply]

    MW – “In fact… she’s in Dire Straits. She has Industrial Disease. She’s over in the Wild West End. You know, Down to the Waterline. Plus, she looks like Pick Withers.”

    MT – As near as I can tell, the Trails are eating small cudgels and fortune cookies. Yum.

  146. gleeb
    April 6th, 2009 at 6:45 am [Reply]

    Baldo: Drama! Layoffs! Trouble in Tahiti! Eh.

    ‘shaft: Batiuk’s going to have to work hard to make me consider anyone more inept than Ed. So start stuffing that cat full of pajamas!

    ‘bean: The scary part of this is the implication that someone has trusted Creepy Les with a position of responsibility. He will, no doubt, try to introduce stalking and dead-wife-conversation to the curriculum.

    Gas: Eww, she’s been kissing Walt’s box.

    Steve, crackerjack lawyer!: Remember, it’s only been two weeks since Steve was hired. Two weeks in which his mother was almost killed, Sam went off to watch a man die in Arizona, and Sophie turned from a precocious child to a scheming young woman. Oh, and Sam and the Judge had a weeks-long chat in a basement.

    Mary: Why is that bad? Does Mark Knopfler have a dark side I haven’t heard about?

    One Big Happy: That urn! It’s Charlie Brown’s ashes!

    Phantom: Gulf of Mexico? Then Bangalla is in West Africa? I always assumed East.

    Pluggers: …want a hedge against the coming Amero.

    Rex: Didn’t know there was a big Swedish community in Costa Rica, did ya?

    Sally: Because she goes the extra mile and wears a Blofeldesque mandarin collar, Ted.

    Slylock: Huh. OK, that one I did not know. And that is the funkiest sacred ibis in the world.

  147. Amanda M
    April 6th, 2009 at 7:01 am [Reply]

    MW, April 6- So Ted’s sister is in Mark Knopfler’s band? That’s kind of cool. Maybe when she comes into the strip she’ll play “Money for Nothing” for Mary and Jeff.

  148. Little Guy
    April 6th, 2009 at 7:39 am [Reply]

    RMMD: Wonderful. The kid saw “Cathy” and is ready to barf.

    Speaking of which…. re Friday, Sunday…. paging bats:[…. please pick up the White Photoshop Courtesy Phone….

    SatCurtis: I saw the “Mahhh!” first panel and my mind glazed over. It was later that I looked hard enough at the third panel, and it made more sense. At first, I didn’t understand why Curtis was violating Barry’s right to privacy, or why he had to clean up his privacy that was messy.

    Sat9CL: ZING!

  149. Little Guy
    April 6th, 2009 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    Re #116 — Day-yam… you work fast! And nice Abbey/Reeky crossover!

  150. colonial
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:01 am [Reply]

    MW: If you knew Mark Knopfler like Ted knew Mark Knopfler, you’d be worried too.

    Archie: Nice to see Larry Fine getting regular work again.

    ‘shaft: Doesn’t everything frighten the Shaft? Lambert going green should be just a regular day for Ed.

  151. buckyswife
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:06 am [Reply]

    MT: It must be Easter dinner at the Trail household: a platter o’ Peeps and a pot o’ coffee! Mm-mmm!

  152. Shmork
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    That kid outside the door is no larger than a loaf of bread. He has a wee little soccer ball, too.

  153. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Divison
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth, Cubist: Gaaahhhh!! What happened to Adrian’s face? She’s got one eye where the bridge of her nose should be. If Ted wasn’t such a self-absorbed scheming schmuck and actually look at her, he’d run for his life.

  154. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Divison
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    The Adventures of Widdle Sarah Morgan: Okay, it finally dawns on me where I’ve seen the way Sarah uses her hands when she dispenses dialogue no kid would ever use naturally. William Shatner. William Shatner as Captain Kirk is a childhood hero of mine, and widdle Sarah, you are no William Shatner.

  155. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Divison
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    Oops! Forgot to close my bold tag.

  156. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    I’m really disappointed in Slick Smitty. Man goes to all the trouble of building an enormous mechanical boiler gadget and doesn’t bother to do an absolutely trivial bit of research to make his story even remotely plausible. Priorities, fella. Sheesh. At least there’s some little bit of hope that he didn’t research “gaskets” and “valves” very carefully either and everyone within 50 feet is about to be taken out by

    Tip to would-be cons in the Slyverse: before your next caper, try writing down a short description of the scam you’re planning, confining yourself to the bare essential details – oh, say, 50 words or less. Now read through what you’ve just written, keeping your eye on the nouns and asking yourself the simple question “does this item actually exist?” in each case. If at any point the answer is “Obviously not! Even a small child would realize this is ridiculous!”, then stop there. But don’t abandon hope! It’s still workable. You’ll just have to strip-skip over to Gasoline Alley and take advantage of one of the endless supply of guileless, infinitely gullible clodhoppers so readily available in those promising pastures where, incidentally, any pesky foxes have long since been poisoned or run over by some jovial gee-shucks lardball in a beat-to-shit pickup truck. Have fun.

  157. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    …taken out by a ferocious blast of steam and sharp tin shrapnel, that is.

  158. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    9CL Monday – After what actually went ON in Brussells, shouldn’t EDDA be the candidate for the headmistress position?

  159. Muffaroo
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    C2Home – Gahan Wilson’s was funnier.

    DTracy – Aha! “One Eye Eyejack.” 1IIJ for short, I guess. Locher fooled all of us who were expecting that there was some level of stupid that was off-limits.

    Won’t be fooled again.

    MFmore – I think Mallard is talking to Mr. Mainstraw Media. But then, it looks a lot like a beverage can, so maybe it’s just the beer talking again.

    MWorth – In this version of the Nigerian scam, the lettering has no lower case, so they have to use pointless bolding to simulate GRATUITOUS CAPS. “My SISTER is in DIRE STRAITS! She must have MONEY FOR NOTHIN! Praise JESUS!”

    Mutts – Please, not biker boots. If Earl has a wild and crazy biker self-image a la Rose, I don’t want to see it.

    PClub – Rented a tent. Rented a tent. Rented a, rented a tent. Sorry, just a Sirens of Titan flashback.

    RMMD – Two weeks ago. I calculate that was during Bush’s first term.

    SFox – Slylock knows the drink that “prevents anyone who drinks it from getting sick” is a fraud because Max Mouse just had a sip and he got sick all over the place.

    True Fable @141 – “If my dog had a face like that, I’d shave his ass and teach him to walk backwards.” (Conversely, if I did that to my dog, he’d have a face like that.)

    One-eyed Wolfdog @156 – If villains followed your plan, Encyclopedia Brown would be out of business! Crime in Idaville would skyrocket if there wasn’t an adequate supply of small-time larcenists whose idea of an alibi is to say “I let go of the hammer and it fell up to the ceiling” so the boy sleuth can go “AHA! Readers, you have all the clues now! Turn to page 117 to find out how I know Bugs Meany is lying!” Do you want that on your conscience?

  160. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    #159 – if it frees up Sally Kimball to ditch the detective and move on with her otherwise promising life, I think I could live with that.

    Now, let’s all go over to the Trails’ and enjoy some orange glop (Mary Worth’s own recipe!) and homemade fortune cookies. Once we’re all sated, Rusty will entertain us by wiping the glop of the wireless mic he’s currently holding in a right hand death grip and belting out a few numbers from the Boy’s Own Book of Tuneless Droning Folk Songs From the 19th Century. Mark doesn’t entirely approve of the new modern style, but nonetheless tolerates the curiosity and inquisitive nature of the younger generation.

  161. Dingo
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    When the plot of Mary Worth begins to remind you of a David Mamet script (House of Games), it’s time to up the drinking.

  162. Dave
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    It’s Monday…and if you haven’t jotted a quick email to the Washington Post to re-instate Judge Parker (or Pooch Cafe)…please do…

    comics@washpost.com

    Thank you.

  163. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    4/6

    MC: A Catcher in the Rye reference? I did not see that one coming.

    DtM: “I wanna say whuzzup to my babymama. They got her on the day shift now, y’all.”

    9CL: What is Edda talking about? Do all the characters have sex on TV now? Or did she just see Francis nodding off and not want to admit it might be her?

    FC: I would guess that’s an ostrich egg, Dolly. At least if I didn’t already know you were the size of a Cabbage Patch Kid.

    Archie: Oh those wacky Hitler Youth. You can dress ‘em up but you can’t take ‘em out.

    JP: And today, the not so mind-blowing revelation that Steve does all the work at the law firm.

    RMMD: Little Willy does not look particularly Costa Rican. He does, however, look like he’s about to barf. Back up, Sarah.

    GT: And stepping into the role of Andrew is the young Bob Hope, fresh off Road to Milford.

    MW: “You see, she’s got to install microwave ovens, custom kitchen deliveries. She’s got to move these refrigerators. She’s got to move these color TV’s.”

    C-Shaft: Crankshaft lives next to a farm run by French Stewart?

    Luann: Check that lady’s frozen smile. It’s evident that whatever convoluted family history TJ gives people, Gunther’s mom gave him up for adoption.

    Phantom: This is just too sad. Someone send this captain to Apartment 3G so she can at least commiserate with Tommie.

    Peanuts: Ah, classic Lucy.

    SFx: Slylock then concluded that anyone who would willingly drink scorpion egg extract deserves to be bilked, and that his time would be better spent washing his car.

  164. Cranky
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    I know Brenda Starr is not a big topic on this blog, but today’s panel 2 will haunt your dreams. And ghosts don’t normally scare me. Hola indeed, Chiquita.

  165. Gnoll
    April 6th, 2009 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    A3G: I like that Tommie is still smiling as this woman comes in to reclaim her kids that Tommie’s boyfriend kidnapped.

    After dealing with Margo her whole life, Tommie has no feelings, q.e.d.

  166. scottythomas85
    April 6th, 2009 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    did you see SNL this last weekend? they had a bit with many of the sunday comics characters. check it out!

  167. 150
    April 6th, 2009 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    It’s been fifty years since Cuba was considered a nice place to vacation. Coincidentally, that’s also how long it’s been since Beetle Bailey was funny.

  168. Ned Ryerson
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    Way back up to #8 (Baka Gaijin):

    I was also shocked that A3G has been advancing the plot on Sundays. However, Mondays now seems “not so fresh”.

  169. Islamorada Girl
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    164: That’s not a ghost, that’s Spiff, Brenda Starr’s token gay friend who departed the Flash a couple of weeks ago. He’s still alive, just jumped to TMZ.

  170. migellito
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    spiderman – Peter, that’s not Aunt May’s basement, that’s her garage.

    Nooooooooo!!!

  171. Lorem Ipsum
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    MC-Is so full of WIN!!!!

  172. UncleJeff
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    Brenda (will report for food) Starr: I thought that was Perez Hilton. For a gal walking through a “morgue”, she seems awful chipper. Must be that “on the side” action she’s getting from Basil.

    Love Is: Remembering why you should wear pants while riding a bicycle.

  173. Matt Algren
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    re: Monday’s MW, am I the only one hoping against hope that this is leading up to a crossover with Mark Trail? Think about it: He’s a bad guy with facial hair taking a walk in the woods with a foolish damsel in distress…

    He’s practically BEGGING for a good old fashioned Mark Trail Special to the kisser!

  174. Rob
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    #162 (Dave):

    Update re: the Washington Post’s comics dumping from last week.

    I spoke to an Editor at the Post who said they are “still listening to the responses from the changes this week…and then will make a call”. He also said there has been a large outpouring of support to bring back Judge Parker to the comics. (Nothing about any other comics). And, that they were surprised, since they did not feel it was a popular comic from their “internal research”.

    So, keep up the emails and the Post may relent, it appears and “put Judge Parker back in the comics”.

    comics@washpost.com

  175. Dingo
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    Y’know what today is? Today is a good day for the return of Winnie Winkle. You heard me. I said it! Call the syndicates. Advance upon the front doors of the daily tomes. America has gone to Hell and it’s gone to Hell since Ms. Winkle left us on our own. Let’s bring the breadwinner back.

  176. britbike
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    Dingo at 175 — I am with you. I grew up reading Winnie WInkle. It’s time.

  177. Paul1963
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    Damn. I fell asleep during SNL and missed the comic sketch completely. And the first ten minutes of Bleach as well, since I didn’t wake up in time to change the channel before the VCR started…

  178. Poteet
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    # 135 Sir Fable MTK — Your point is well taken, gallant knight. I should have asked “What is there about the line uttered in the last panel that is inspiring the other characters’ smirks?”

    No, wait, that doesn’t work. They always smirk. I give up. Wait…I think my real question is what the kids supposedly hate. Books? Teacher meetings? Teachers? Smirks? Unfunny punchlines?

  179. AmazingThor
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    S-Fox: Once again Slylock is standing in the way of scientific progress. Although Slylock’s solutions to these problems never seem that permanent. Here is how I suspect it might go:
    Inventor: This stuff works because of scorpion eggs!
    Slylock: Scorpions don’t lay eggs
    Inventor: I said SPIDER eggs!

    Slylock would do better to just ask if the inventor has run any clinical trials, independantly verified tests, or whether or not he has FDA approval.

  180. Jeff
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    Luann: “My name comes up here? Really? After a whole life of jerking your son’s heartstrings around, I am shocked–shocked!–that you know my name. Because you know, if I wasn’t periodically unaware of his strip-driving crush on me, the way I alternately exploit and neglect him would make me a bitch.”

  181. Amateur
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    Whoops, put this in the wrong thread before:

    MW: “She is in DIRE STRAITS! They’re so dire that I’ve charcoaled my face in mourning!”

    Usually I find “Lio” overrated, but today’s is pretty funny.

  182. Amateur
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    #161 — How about when “Mary Worth” reminds you of Henry James (Wings of the Dove)?

  183. Mariko
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    Is it just me, or do Poncho and Chazz from Pooch Café live next door to Bill Watterson?

  184. Calico
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    #181 – So Vicki is performing with Mark Knopfler and not enjoying it at all. I always thought he was quite the mellow guy.

  185. Calico
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    #150 – Shit, didn’t see your comment. I’ve been away and am just jumping into the comics and this blog again.

  186. Poteet
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    LUANN — Wait a minute. There aren’t many characters in LUANN (which is one of its problems, in my opinion), and Gunther has been around for a long time. But we’re still supposed to believe that Luann has never ever met his mother? Not via accidental encounter somewhere in town where high school students tend to go? Not at a single school event? Yeah, right, uh-huh, sure.

  187. commodorejohn
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    AS – Okay, what the hell. I dunno, maybe it’s supposed to be a joke about oral sex? Why did this strip ever see syndication?

    BrS – Brenda Starr eschews the traditional “shoulder-angel/shoulder-devil” approach for something a bit more morally ambiguous.

    Curtis – Geez, since when do twelve-year-olds talk about the friggin’ economy!?

    DT – Is Fester there wearing a tie made of bubble wrap? Okay, that’s totally what I’m doing if I ever have to wear a tie.

    FC – Either Dolly is eighteen inches tall, or that’s not a chicken egg.

    FW – Hey, it looks like Suicide Girl hasn’t offed herself yet. I mean, it’s only a matter of time, but I’m honestly surprised to see her up and kicking. Not sure what’s with the smile, though. Maybe she’s been brainwashed by a cult.

    GT – Okay, so I looked it up and apparently there is such a thing as a “fungo bat,” but honestly, how could the average reader be expected to tell real-world silly names from the typical lunacy of Gil Thorp? I was kind of figuring this was going to be some sort of “solo car date”-type invented slang for a corked bat, which would lead to a storyline wherein Marty Moon gets ahold of Matt the Hat’s tape of the baseball team using a corked bat for practice and makes it into a big scandal (by Milford standards, anyway.) I feel kind of deprived now, but I suppose that could still happen…

    Love Is – severe pain.

    Luann – The fact that every square inch of wall above waist level in Gunther’s house is covered with pictures actually explains quite a bit. I wonder how many doilies are layered on top of one another underneath that lamp? However, I’m kind of surprised by the fact that his mother is alive and un-mummified.

    MW – Ah, they’re taking a moonlight stroll out by Erection Rock. How sweet.

    Momma – There is a comforting absence of Momma in today’s Momma. It allows me to briefly hope that she may be dead.

    Phantom – The Ghost-Who-Inspires-A-New-Spate-Of-Chupacabra-Sightings?

    RMMD – What the hell is he?

    SFx – Slylock knows that everything Slick Smitty does is some kind of fraud. He often wonders why the citizenry in the area is so collectively slow-witted and prone to forgetting this fact.

    SM – Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t think “basement” was traditionally defined as “garage.”

    The Norm – Norm used to date Margo?

  188. Bitter Scribe
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    Just curious–does anyone remember the word “Vietnam” appearing in any Beetle Bailey, during the war or afterwards?

    If not, the mention of Iraq is progress, if we redefine “progress” to mean “a new form of inanity.”

  189. treebuck
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    Rusty says:
    April 5th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    FC: There is something in the water in Family Circusville; the neighbor kid is also horrifically stunted.

    Rusty: actually, the kid is normal sized, it’s Thel who’s the freak. She has to be 7 feet tall or more because no regular person could cover 4 stair steps like she does with a single stride.

  190. SammiJ
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    Dear Beetle Bailey,

    Just because all members of Group X possess Trait A, not all who possess Trait A are necessarily a member of Group X. Please remember simple algebraic logic when constructing your jokoids.

    Sincerely,

    Sam

  191. Anonymous
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    This may come as a shock to many of you, but today’s The Argyle Sweater is VERY FUNNY! (And it’s not a Far Side rip off either.)

  192. Fashion Police
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    #175, Dingo:

    The thought of Winnie Winkle’s return excites the cockles of my little pink heart.

  193. commodorejohn
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    #175 Dingo – Winnie Winkle looks like the lovechild of Luann and Tommie from Apartment 3-G.

  194. Joe Btfsplk
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    PhantomI know where they’re taking the Croccos! At least I hope I do. Maybe someone there won’t have to do all of the braining, hitting, beating and shooting all by himself any more. And that’s all I’m sayin’.

  195. The Modesto Kid
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    Damn you, censors at King Features! Damn you for nixing Jeff Keane’s original idea, in which the person at the door is a buff plumber, come to take a look at Ma Keane’s “pipes”!

  196. queek
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    191: fail.

    one of the best parts of not getting the deadtree Freep anymore, I don’t have to see Hilburn the Talentless Hack (or reFOOB) anymore. I do miss the morning constitutional + sports page combination, but that’s probably TMI.

  197. Hank
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    RE: <b<Metacomment. Frank Springer, longtime DC and Marvel Comics artist, and former illustrator of Rex Morgan, MD has passed away. Story here.

  198. Sparky
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    Re: pruning comics – Don’t those failing newspapers see how multiple pages of comics give them more space for ad revenue? And that comics generate sales?

    Happy to see fellow Cryptonomicon fans here.

  199. gnome de blog
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    Didn’t Winnie Winkle keep her son in Little Lord Fauntleroy suits until he was maybe14? And he liked it? He’d be perfect for Sophie Spencer.

    On the other hand, it looks like Winnie would be at least a semi-finalist in the June Morgan rack-off.

  200. commodorejohn
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    #196 queek – Be nice to #191; it’s the first time Scott Hillburn has posted here.

  201. gnome de blog
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    198 Sparky – The Oregonian yesterday unceremoniously dumped the Kids’ Page, including Slylock Fox, in favor of full-page advertising on the back of the Sunday funnies.

  202. Joe the Plugger
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    FYI, a nice shout-out to The Comics Curmudgeon from Ana Marie Cox during her weekly politics live chat via the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/04/02/DI2009040201979.html

    “Oh and this is probably a good time to say that I am kind of a comics geek — daily strips included — and if you are, too, I HIGHLY recommend you check out “The Comics Curmudegon” at http://joshreads.com. You will never look at Mary Worth or Mark Train the same way again.”

  203. bats :[
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    163. AFKAB re 9CL: I think Francis is just wearing himself sowing his seed. (Yuck…now I feel all ooky having written that.)

    Re Phantom: I wonder if Kit is taking the Croccos to the abandoned oil rig so that the Big Dude from Hurricane Katrina can take care of them. Sort of like giving an lonely old person a puppy or a kitten.

    Well, evidently SNL didn’t think its Dick Tracy/comic strip skit was that funny: it isn’t featured on the SNL site. (It really wasn’t that funny — we CCs could’ve done a hell of a lot better, but then again, we appreciate the comics. The actors here were pretty much going through the tedious pace of a typical SNL sketch ([Lorne Michaels]“I don’t care if it isn’t working! It’s supposed to be five minutes long! Make it five minutes long!” [/Lorne Micheals]). The only reason I managed to stay up to watch it (and was willing to sit through some of SNL) was that it was the first skit after the opening monologue; after that, I could turn the channel and watch a remastered episode of classic Star Trek…

  204. bats :[
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    197. hank: thank you for the information about Frank Springer. Yowza! The Wikipedia page on him has a sheet from his Phoebe Zeit-Geist strip. And again I say Yowza!

  205. Bootsy
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    Those kids in the Phantom need some geography lessons. The Gulf of Mexico ain’t nowhere near New York.

    bats :[, I like the way you think. Maybe the Big Dude on the rig needs Croccos like the little girl in Mark Trail needed a puppy.

  206. Zaq
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    Monday!

    Those Two Guys: OK, Jamaal, I know that prepositional verbs are a bitch to draw trees for, but they’re not that hard to understand.

    A3G: INTERROBANGS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.

    GT: Man, everyone in the playdowns uses fungo bats! Climb down off your dinosaur!

    MW: I just want to know who’s in charge of set lighting.

    RMMD: Okay, so what does it mean when the characters in Dick Tracy are less horrifyingly deformed than the ones in Rex Morgan?

    Big Dog: There’s a really, really obvious one-liner here, and I can’t quite figure out what it is.

    Shoe: Ha ha! It’s funny because

    C’shaft: Nice Batman-villain angle on Lambert in panel 2.

    Arch: Silly AJGLU3K! Panels, while an integral part of the comic strip structure, are not physical objects that the characters can dislodge with vigorous motion.

  207. seismic-2
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    Archie: Panel 3 shows that Milford High is not the only school in which the students have hands that are larger than their heads. Maybe it’s just the National Socialists who are so endowed, though.

    Luann‘s name comes up a lot in the Berger household, because that’s the name that Gunther has given to the dressmaker’s dummy that he’s assembling out of the skin of his kidnapping victims, down in the basement. Simplicity!

    Crank: “The cat that ate the pajamas.” Ok, it’s time to have Crank shipped off to the home, except it would be a lot better just to skip that stage and jump directly to having him put down instead. I would suggest simply burying him in that vegetable garden he’s digging, but I shudder to think what might sprout up there as a result.

    FC: And just how much do the Keanes get paid for laying an egg, day after day?

    Slylock: Speaking of laying eggs, can we really refute Slick Smitty’s claim that the elixir is made from scorpion eggs? After all, maybe it’s made from scorpion eggs, livers, lungs, bladders, and sperm. Just like a typical Family Circus panel.

    RMMD: The doughnut kid’s mom vanished when she broke her leg and got laid up over in today’s Luann.

  208. Mark
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    I believe that’s someone cursing from behind the Crock monument, most likely while having a monstrously painful bowel movement.

    Certainly nobody else gives a shit about Crock.

  209. Cranky
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    169 Islamorada Girl: I know it’s creepy Spiff, I was just riffing on Brenda’s comment about the ghosts of departed colleagues. (I think Spiff’s last line at the Flash was “Email me on Facebook.”) I give (looking it up) Brigman and Schmich credit – the massive newspaper layoffs are realistic (and the facebook reference was up to date.) The problem is blaming it all on evil old Mr. Bottomline rather than the general decine in the industry.

    I, for one, will welcome Brenda Starr, Blogger to comics web pages everywhere.

  210. Gabacho
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Dingo @ #175 – I long for the return of Winnie Winkle. She appeals to all my male lesbian fantasies.

    Mary Worth – I’m in the minority I think but it seems that a matchup between GirlDrew and Ted is a very good deal for both. Let’s face it, it’s not likely either one is going to do any better.

    Apartment 3G – Life for Tommie must be so easy. Since nothing makes sense to her, she never has to be confused.

    Rex Morgan – So, the little tow headed Tico speaks perfect English?

    Brenda Starr – I know we don’t comment on this very much but how can you not love a comic that features smoking, drinking, gender ambiguity, big beautiful women and stars a red headed nympho, and always did?

  211. Dingo
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    But Cranky, her only readers will be Spiff and Basil St. John!

    Over in Luann
    When does Gunther’s mother hear Luann’s name? Late at night after his bed moves back and forth on the floorboards followed by a high shriek and then the panting of a little girl? When he’s in the shower? Or is it more “Someday, Ma, I’ll get that Luann over here and then we can’t get our revenge on her. Mu ha ha ha!”

  212. Baka Gaijin
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    Better Half:

    I wish we were monkeys. Picking bugs off each other would be more romantic than anything we’ve done in six months!

  213. Baka Gaijin
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    Better Half:

    I wish we were monkeys. Picking bugs off each other would be more romantic than anything we’ve done in six months!

    Who else in Comicdom could say this? Brad and Toni? Brad and TJ? Bernice and Luann? All Plugger couples? Wait, all Plugger couples CAN pick bugs out of each others’ fur/plumage.

  214. Dingo
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Baka Gaijin. I want you to imagine something for me. It’s late at night and a silverish moon is shedding its light onto Mary Worth’s patio. There, Mary and Jeff sit on a bench with cups of hot chocolate. Mary’s skirt is cinched up around her waist and she’s not wearing panties. She has one foot on the patio bricks and the other up on the bench, revealing her freshly washed vagina to Dr. Jeff and the moon. Dr. Jeff’s fly is unzipped and his manroot is out. Mary has one hand on her cup of cocoa and the other hand on his engorged phallus. He caresses her nipple with his warm mug. His eyes gleam with feral intensity in the moonlight. Mary looks at him and says, “A Kennedy dollar for your thoughts.” He turns to her and says,

    “I wish we were monkeys. Picking bugs off each other would be more romantic than anything we’ve done in six months!”

    She clutches her bosom and sighs, “Oh, Jeff!” Mary puts down her mug and fellates him.

    There. Let that swirl around in your head.

  215. commodorejohn
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    #210 Gabacho – Quite, quite. I’m a newcomer to Brenda Starr, but it’s better than pretty much every legacy comic out there, although Judge Parker does outshine it in the art department. (But being out-drawn by Eduardo Baretto is like being out-bassed by Chris Squire, so no disrespect is intended to June Brigman.)

  216. Fashion Police
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    #199, Gnome de Blog said:

    Didn’t Winnie Winkle keep her son in Little Lord Fauntleroy suits until he was maybe 14?

    Didn’t he grow up to be Ted Forth?

    More important, aren’t all the men in Apartment 3-G are clones of Winnie’s brother Perry?

  217. Bootsy
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    Dingo, at least she put the cocoa down.

  218. True Fable
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    #207 seismic-2 – The FC comment was hilarious! I’d nominate it for COTW if such things were possible.

  219. odinthor
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft. — But . . . but becoming a gardening hobbyist—which appears to be what Mr. Lambert is going on about—is not the same as “going green.” Or is this a feeble jeu d’esprit (along the lines of “gardeners make things grow, and growing things are green, so if I’m getting into gardening, I’m ‘going green’ . . . “)? If the truth be known, often becoming a gardener has results which are diametrically opposed to “going green” (alias “doing things which are ecologically sensitive”). For some instances: Watering your lawn frequently is not “green” behavior in a normally arid area (even though it makes the lawn green). Spraying your plants with chemicals to get rid of pests and diseases is not “green” behavior. Um, oh, wait a minute…[does system check]…someone forgot to switch off my Rant-a-Tron™ this morning. Sorry….

  220. NoVan
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    Dingo: I’ve have a pretty jaded mind ever since surviving middle school, but “freshly washed”? Ow. *sigh* Well, I suppose I owe it to you for expanding my boundaries.

  221. Esther Blodgett
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    Took most of the weekend off from the Internet, so today’s comments are for Sunday’s comics:

    MT: Moose hold a special place in my heart, so Sunday’s spotlight was a real treat for me. Must be my fond memories of Mr. Moose from Captain Kangaroo (“ping-pong balls!”). All hail the mighty moose!

    MW: I could have lived to a ripe old age without seeing a drawing of Adrian stretched out on her bed in her mom-jeans, presumably sharing pillow-talk with Ted on her princess phone. I could have, but now that I’ve seen it I probably won’t. Thanks a lot, Mary Worth.

    Luann: So…Bernice is saying, “I’m honest, and honestly, your dog is a way better friend than I am.” Am I reading that right? Her self-esteem is either unassailably high or frighteningly low. And…whoops, I just used up my interest in Luann for the rest of the week.

    PC: Right up to the pureed squid, an accurate and well-done recipe for pie. Nice work, Bud Grace!

    B.C.: Not funny on any level.

  222. Gary
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    All that’s missing is the thought bubble above Mrs. Keane’s head that says “Another anniversary shot to hell.”

  223. Uncle Lumpy
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    #210 gabacho, #215 cj –

    I think Brigman does a great job in that small space — beautiful clean lines, a playful approach to space and point of view that supports continuity and never gets tricksy, and remarkably expressive faces considering the number of lines she does it with.

    Barreto’s work is beautifully textured, but stays pretty much at eye level middle-close distance. His expressions are also great (except for Sam’s – he should make a rubber stamp for Sam and save himself some time).

  224. Gary
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Ok, the 1950s vintage toys being tossed carelessly into a toy box in the middle of the Keane rumpus room is one thing, but Mr. Keane’s newspaper lying in the middle of the room is a whole other matter. No wonder Mrs. Keane dolls herself up on just the chance that it’s the milkman on the front porch waiting to deliver to her that special bottle of cream.

  225. Baka Gaijin
    April 6th, 2009 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    #214 Dingo: Why do I read this board right before bedtime? Now I’m going to have Mary Worth vagina nightmares. If I fall into the tub head first, hopefully I’ll get amnesia and forget this ever happened.

  226. commodorejohn
    April 6th, 2009 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    #223 Uncle Lumpy – A fair analysis, but in regards to Sam’s face, I’m beginning to think that “unchanging, blank, and inexpressive” is an actual direct artistic order that Woody Wilson includes in every Judge Parker script.

  227. Dingo
    April 6th, 2009 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    I think “Mary Worth Vagina Nightmares” is an excellent name for a band.

  228. Baka Gaijin
    April 6th, 2009 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    #227 Dingo: Or the sequel to “The Vagina Monologues.”

  229. Jess
    April 6th, 2009 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    Monday’s Mary Worth is hilarious. Apparently Ted’s sister is in a British rock band!

  230. gnome de blog
    April 6th, 2009 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    Sam Driver is black hole at the center of the JP galaxy that everything else revolves around.

  231. True Fable
    April 6th, 2009 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    Hey wait now, there have been times when Sam’s expression changed! Remember that time when…. or that one scene where….

    Well okay, you got me there, but you have to ask yourself: do you really want to see Sam Driver, Chick Magnet, pulling one of those Orgasmatastic faces the way Rex Morgan does from time to time? It just wouldn’t make sense; we know Sam doesn’t have sex, and probably not even with himself.

  232. bats :[
    April 6th, 2009 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    I’ll admit it. I just wanted to showcase the Many Faces of Woebegone Willy, Innocent Victim!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/3419675232/sizes/o/

  233. Lord Vetinari
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    DtM: Dennis, everyone has pretty much agreed, is not menacing. hell, even Jeffy from the Keane Kompound is scarier, in part because of his strange elliptical visage. But today, Dennis has fallen below even Jeffy. He has become Dagwood Bumstead with a fake accent.

    FC: Dolly, being sheltered in her family’s walled fortess, knows nothing of the suffering of persecuted chickens in boxes, forced to lay eggs in cramped conditions for no pay. This reminded me very strongly of the Siddhartha, who set off on the path to enlightenment after witnessing sickness, death and old age for the first time, and being deeply affected by it. Except, of course, this is Dolly, and i just compared her to the Buddha, which is terrible and weird beyond human imagining.

    G: Aaaaand Garfield makes fun of a helpless fish for being overweight, and then gloats about it. and smirks nauseatingly. how low will you sink, you vile creature?!

    MW: my mother worries about my mental health because i read this strip. more specifically, she worries about my mental health because i read this strip and mention it in normal conversation, to blank stares from all present. but today, today is an example of why i spend so much time with the meddler and her associates. In what other comic strip, ever, i ask you, could you see a cross eyed man with a sissy pencil mustache and black ooze dripping down his face say something like “In fact she’s in Dire Straits!”

  234. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, see, the real Vetinari would have checked to see if there was a new thread before hitting post. Would, in fact, have already posted in the new thread even some moments before it appeared to the rest of us. Sham.

  235. Dark-Star
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    You hit the nail square on the head with TFC. That cartoon provides so many unpleasant truths about parenthood that you never seem to hear from parents – second only to Baby Blues.

    Parenthood today means cheap plastic kinderc**p strewn hither and yon, plus whatever messes and stains the brats have made lately, while poor mom runs around trying to keep the Bratleigh, Snotford and company from breaking things and/or injuring themselves or others. You’ll usually look like you just spent an all-night shift at the bar, especially if your personality leans more toward needing peace and quiet. And since you’ll likely live in a “child-friendly” neighborhood, half the time you do a frantic pickup/looks-improvement only to find it’s another snot-nose selling cookies or asking if so-and-so can come over.

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