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The answer is in the clouds, not the stars

Non Sequitur, 3/12/05

So, let me get this straight:

  • Astrology is a bunch of fake, made-up mumbo-jumbo designed to amuse and prey upon the weak minded;
  • But when you die, its a scientifically verifiable fact that you end up in line in a light-bathed cloudscape, waiting to talk to a guy with wings and a halo.

At least that’s what I’m getting out of this.

42 responses to “The answer is in the clouds, not the stars”

  1. martha
    March 12th, 2005 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    Plus, it seems he died because…he didn’t know he was going to do so? I think this is less a dismissal of horoscopes than it is a scathing critique of horoscope writers who leave out the really important things. You know, the ones who write about work when they should be warning us about the bad scallop we’re going to eat at dinner. Careless bastards.

  2. Curious George
    March 12th, 2005 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    Er…It’s only a cartoon, Josh.

    Just as we’re all individuals, we all have our own version of heaven.

    The kind of guy who lends credence to horoscopes is also the kind of guy who imagines a kind of stairway to heaven in the clouds.

    Maybe this one was a waste of your curmudgeon muscles.

  3. lynette
    March 12th, 2005 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    it’s too much of a stretch. nobody uses old sayings anymore, so they’re not likely to see the connection and/or humor here. but I like the hand on hip startled awareness body language.

  4. Pookie
    March 12th, 2005 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    Non Sequitor jumped the shark about a year ago. This is a good example of the old “man on a desert island” hackneyed themes so beloved of cartoonists out of ideas.

  5. Bill Peschel
    March 12th, 2005 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    Wait a minute, let’s not give up hope. It may be that Wiley’s turning into the new Johnny Hart.

    Work with me here. The guy is saying that his horoscope didn’t warn him about “this.” Yet, what is “this?” I think the guy’s talking about heaven. He didn’t know it exists — he did not make Jesus his Good Buddy — and his horoscope didn’t warn him that it really does exist.

    This makes Wiley’s caption more poignant. Bob never learned that heaven exists. So what will happen when he meets the guy with the book? Just eternal damnation, that’s all. Bob’s on his way to getting killed again: first by that rotten scallop, and again by God.

    Maybe Hart’s ghost-writing for Wiley this week.

  6. Zanzibar
    March 12th, 2005 at 7:57 pm [Reply]

    On an unrelated note, here are two more somewhat strange Family Circus strips I’ve discovered:

  7. Risha
    March 12th, 2005 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    I’m deeply confused by the ending of today’s Drabble… can anyone explain it to me?

  8. Mark Kawakami
    March 12th, 2005 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    Did anyone catch today’s Mark Trail and the amazing talking breasts? I posted about it at my blog, but the gist of it is that the Mark Trail cartoonists have taken their misplaced word balloons to new heights today.

  9. Lysana
    March 12th, 2005 at 11:51 pm [Reply]

    Risha, it’s a running shtick in Drabble that when someone tells Norman to run, he does. She’s trying to get him to shut up and go away.

  10. Hi Rev
    March 13th, 2005 at 12:15 am [Reply]

    I read Drabble just before coming to CC and I still had to go back and read it again. I’ve learned that any strip featuring Norman is going to be so lame that I rarely pay much attention to the final panel. Wendy shouldn’t say “Norman, Run!” but “Reader, Run!!!!!” and she should say it in the first panel, not the last.

  11. Risha
    March 13th, 2005 at 12:29 am [Reply]

    Ah, I am enlightened now… thanks!

    Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that I find Drabble so incredibly unfunny that I’ve somehow missed an entire running joke despite years of (irregular) readership.

  12. Andy L.
    March 13th, 2005 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    “Just as we’re all individuals, we all have our own version of heaven.”
    No we don’t. Some of us believe in heaven as much as we believe in horoscopes. (And also we don’t believe in horoscopes.)

    I wouldn’t be a stickler on this point, except I think it’s the joke Josh was trying to make. Making fun of one fairytale by using another seems like it’s lacking of some sort of comedic internal consistency.

    Anyway, I’m interested in how not only are they waiting in line, they’re traveling up a flight of stairs. Did they have to climb ALL the way up?

  13. Incident
    March 13th, 2005 at 2:30 am [Reply]

    Any theology where Jerry Garcia controls who gets into Heaven is one I heartily endorse.

  14. Mysterio
    March 13th, 2005 at 2:48 am [Reply]

    I can’t read “Drabble” without thinking about Homer Simpson’s take on it: “Ah, I love “Drabble”. The dad’s like an unfunny version of me.”

  15. Rev. Hollywood
    March 13th, 2005 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    Thats not Jerry Garcia… If you had read your bible you would know that is John Travolta. Just an aside but apparently glutony is no longer on the seven deadly sins list, cause that is one fat lineup.

  16. Sourbelly
    March 13th, 2005 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    I recall a Monty Python skit where one “lady” reads another “lady” her horoscope. Near the end, she reads, “At 7:30 p.m., you will die.” I think that’s all Wiley was going for here. That horoscopes never mention dying. A very poorly executed attempt at an old joke.

  17. CuteLucca
    March 13th, 2005 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    I’ve unearthed something in the book “Queer Pulp” by Susan Stryker that I think deserves quotation here:

    “One of the more prolific lesbian authors was Valerie Taylor… Taylor had published her first lesbian paperback, ‘Whisper their Love’, in 1957, followed by ‘Stranger on Lesbos’, ‘A World Without Men’, ‘Unlike Others’, ‘Journey to Fulfillment’, and her greatest commerical success, ‘The Girls in 3-B’, a censored version of which became a long-running syndicated comic strip.”

    So 3-G has some interesting origins– does anyone care to elaborate or investigate further?

  18. Sting
    March 13th, 2005 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    I’m with Sourbelly. It’s definitely one of those jokes where you stare at it blankly, then after a while you realize what the joke was supposed to be, and you feel cheated by the dumbness of it.

  19. Sting
    March 13th, 2005 at 1:13 pm [Reply]


    Valerie Taylor is not mentioned in the creator’s bio for “Apartment 3-G”:

    Which either means 1) She has nothing to do with 3-G, and the fact that her story takes place in the similar sounding 3-B is just coincidental; or 2) The true identity of Margo’s creator was airbrushed out of the official accounts Stalin-style.

    Frankly I’m more inclined to believe 1). However, that does not prevent all of us at Joshworld, if we so choose, to imagine that just six doors down from Margo, Tommy and Lu Ann, there’s a sort of Bizarro-universe version of the three having their own set of ’50s pulp adventures.

    In that spirit I call your attention to the Sunday, Feb. 27 strip, in which the three build a snowman in the park. “Looks good,” says Margo – but is she referring to the snowman or her two fetching female companions? And have they, in fact, made a snowman at all, or is that a very large snow breast with an aroused nipple on top? “Here comes the real fun!” says Mim, opening a bag of long, firm vegetables for all to share. “Did we need more than one carrot, Mim?” asks Lu Ann. “Sure did!” replies the perky Mim. Then man-hating Margo snaps a phallic symbol in half.

  20. Bill Peschel
    March 13th, 2005 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    Sting, damn you! Now I have to go read that for myself!

    But the thought of a noirish-lesbian A3G written in the style of Mickey Spillaine makes me giggle.

  21. John B.
    March 13th, 2005 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    As for the talking breasts in Mark Trail: I find it nothing short of bizarre that you would point out the talking breasts in the first panel, yet ignore the talking penis in the third.

  22. Janna
    March 13th, 2005 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    re: Mark Trail

    We see the obligatory National Geographic commerical Elrod tends to insert in the middle of every comic strip, but this time there is no mini airplane or helicopter in it.

    I wonder if the baby deer heard the comment about the wolf. . .

  23. Pookie
    March 13th, 2005 at 8:00 pm [Reply]

    Any minute now, Fence Post Frank will turn up in Mark Trail. . .

  24. CuteLucca
    March 13th, 2005 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    Sting: If that’s so, then what is the strip that is based on “The Girls in 3-B”?

    Whatever the case, I’m definitely going to enjoy imagining lesbian undercurrents in everything the 3-G girls say.

  25. Incident
    March 14th, 2005 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    In the snowman strip, I like how Margo is circling around Mim like a cat stalking a wounded mouse.

    Margo’s First Rule of Seduction: Make ‘em dizzy, then go in for the kill.

  26. Sting
    March 14th, 2005 at 1:28 am [Reply]

    CuteLucca: I’m not convinced that there IS a strip based on “The Girls In 3-B.” It’s possible that the author of “Queer Pulp” jumped to the conclusion that the 3G and 3-B stories were related based on the similarity of the names. (I am not saying that she did so, just that it’s possible.) Clearly, either the official A3G creator bio is incorrect, or Susan Stryker is. All I know is what I found on google, which ain’t much, so I don’t have enough information to say who’s right. I hope it’s Stryker, because that would in all seriousness be pretty cool if the strip began the way she says it did.

    If the strip that was inspired by “The Girls Of 3-B” isn’t Margo & company, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it’s actually Prince Valiant. Look at “his” hair! No guy wears hair like that.

  27. Deb
    March 14th, 2005 at 6:47 am [Reply]

    The man who is speaking is supposed to be replying to something the woman behind him has said. For this reader, it seems like a send-up of the old stereotype that only women place faith in horoscopes. It doesn’t really give a chuckle, though….

  28. Islamorda Girl
    March 14th, 2005 at 7:07 am [Reply]

    When you see chattering breasts in Mark Trail, note they belong to a Paris Hilton- inspired character. When you think Paris Hilton, talking boobs makes perfect sense on soooo many levels.

  29. Scot
    March 14th, 2005 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    Sally Forth today — anyone else think the “woman” showing off the ring is actually Sally’s husband in drag? Is it even possible for two different people to have that awful haircut?

  30. B. Azzlebub
    March 14th, 2005 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    “But when you die, its a scientifically verifiable fact that you end up in line in a light-bathed cloudscape, waiting to talk to a guy with wings and a halo.”

    Nope, sometimes, when you have complained about comics too much, you wind up with a guy with horns on his head and a pitchfork in his hands leading down to a hot, hot, HOT place.

    ‘nuf said.

  31. Sting
    March 14th, 2005 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    > a hot, hot, HOT place

    A trendy dance club?

  32. Monkeys Uncle
    March 14th, 2005 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    So the guy with the pitchfork would be Buster Poindexter? What were his demons names?… The Banshees in Blue I think. Geez this post dates me.

  33. King Of All Paperboys
    March 14th, 2005 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    Don’t feel bad, Uncle… I was getting nostalgic for Buster this morning, when Howard played Kiefer Sutherland singing “Gravi-tas-tas-TAS.”

    Don’t ask. It’s way too complicated to explain.

  34. Sassy_Rocks
    March 14th, 2005 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    I don’t think Mark Trail has been gear shopping at REI lately. His Dickeys worksuit and 50′s vintage backpack both bespeak a bygone era. I also wonder why they hang a rug diagonally on the wall. Is that for decoration of for impromptu cabin floor whoopie sessions?

  35. Moesy
    March 14th, 2005 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    I think you’re all wrong in your interpritation of this oh-so-unfunny cartoon. It isn’t about heaven or horoscopes. It’s about the old saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” Dude didn’t know he was gonna die, but it killed him. The line-up was the only way Wiley could think of to get everyong to understand that the guy was dead, & the horoscope was the only way he could communicate that the guy didn’t know. Poorly executed & kinda forced, but not intended to be spiritual I don’t think.

  36. RememberByronFrost
    March 14th, 2005 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    Good one Sassy…yep I’d say it’s for quickies.

    Anyone else wonder why Mark didn’t start searching for the ‘famous celebrity’s’ dog when he was at the crash scene BEFORE with the sheriff? Instead he wastes time visiting the FC in the hospital, now wasting more time explaining his plans,,, poor pooch is no doubt a popsicle by now and/or wolf chow.

  37. RememberByronFrost
    March 14th, 2005 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    Ooops, sorry, Mark was not at the crash scene – the sheriff went to see him. Still, sheriff knew where the scene was – they could’ve saved a lotta time going there instead of to the hospital.

    Oh well, fingers crossed for the bejeweled beloved pet.

  38. King Of All Paperboys
    March 14th, 2005 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    So Mark is going to go looking for the little bitch before the little bitch is frozen or eaten by wolves? I sure hope Mark finds that little bitch. That little bitch obviously means a great deal to that little… celebrity.

  39. RememberByronFrost
    March 14th, 2005 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    You got it King…..

    once again, Mark will become the HERO for the B…………… (read it as you prefer,,,, beast, bitch, boob-chatter)

  40. Rock Strongo
    September 2nd, 2005 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    You missed the joke. It was about how many people who dismiss astrology as nonsense (which it is) can at the same time believe in the reality of Heaven and this whole lining-up-at-the-pearly-gates-to-meet-Saint-Peter thing. That’s the joke.

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