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Grim and grimmer

Blondie, 6/10/09

We all know that Dithers Enterprises is a terrifying corporate police state, but I find today’s installment of Panopticon Follies to be a little much. What’s most disturbing is the punchline, which revolves not around the fact that Dagwood is being tracked like a dangerous criminal or an experimental animal, but that he spent the bulk of his work day desperately trying to wriggle out of his ankle bracelet rather than slaving away on whatever slave-labor tasks Dithers has set for him. The only way it could be more unsettling would be if Blondie offered him a foot-long sandwich and he pointed to his bloody ankle-stump and said “No need, honey! I ate at the office!”

Funky Winkerbean, 6/10/09

The best part about this Funky Winkerbean is that it’s only Wednesday, so we’re only halfway through what’s presumably a week-long run of “How grim can it get up here on the roof?” Hopefully Saturday will consist of two silent panels of the empty lawn chairs, then a bird’s eye view of the two tiny figures on the asphalt below, limbs twisted and necks snapped.

Mary Worth, 6/10/09

Here’s a fun little game: try to imagine which sex act Ian and Toby refer to as “riding the waves.” Now try to unimagine it. Ha ha! Bet you can’t!

200 responses to “Grim and grimmer”

  1. Tom Batiuk
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    How about that for poignant, eh?

    Can I have another award now?

  2. bad wolf
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    Let’s also try to imagine the sex act “temporary bobble.”

  3. Chyron HR
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    Don’t sailors go crazy and drown themselves on becalmed seas? I’m just saying, is all.

  4. sally
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    I had two immediate thoughts when I saw this Mary Worth. First, all that wave-riding has obviously taken its toll on Toby — she looks about 20 years older than she did at the last pool party! What happened, did Ian sell the picture in the attic to cover her internet losses?

    Second, what is with sippy-cup girl in the first panel — that is the most awkward pose for eating, dirnking, or in fact even just walking, that I can imagine

  5. Clint
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    Remember when they used to call it the funny pages?

  6. Baron Bizarre
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    It could be worse – the week could end with Les and Funky “riding the waves”…

  7. Red Greenback
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    MWorth: I would say the grossest part of Toby and Ian’s “riding the waves” are the “wipeouts”.

  8. Pester
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    Who let Batiuk in here?

    In the meantime, it looks like Watch Your Head joined Red and Rover in having a week of self referential comic strip jokes. With any luck, tomorrow’s installment will feature our long-held dreams of seeing the melonheaded Keanes eaten by zombies.

  9. geogeek
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one for whom the two guys on the roof trope is reminiscent of the final scenes of “Boston Legal,” only without the hilarious dialogue, poignancy, or homoeroticism?

  10. Saluki
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    MT: Given Mark’s penchant for facial hair punching I’m thinking that Miss Williams must have quite the lip hair problem.

  11. One-eyed Wolfdog
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    What I really like there is the phrase “an otherwise sea of calm”. Most of the time it’s not a sea. God alone knows what it is. But it contains, or is some volume of, calm.

  12. BigTed
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    How much do you want to bet Blondie’s already pricing one of those GPS monitors to make sure Dagwood doesn’t sneak away to play golf when he should be slaving away at weekend chores? Ah, “Blondie” — technology may change, but your jokes never will!

  13. skullcrusherjones
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Gee, Funky, anything to get Les to shut up about Lisa, huh?

  14. Ignatz
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Updated Hatlo’s Inferno: If there is any justice, Julie Larson (Dinette Set) and Gary Brookins (Pluggers) will have to spend all eternity enduring each other’s company.

  15. meltina
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    @ sally… I’m right there with you. It’s kind of disturbing how Toby no longer looks like she’s in her early 30s, but rather in her mid 40s (and I am being kind here). Perhaps after the internet losses, there went the collagen implants and various plastic surgeries intended to keep her looking young forever.

    The only other alternative for the puffiness in her face has a lot to do with waveriding, and I am not sure I want to imagine a Toby/Ian spawn… It’d be like one of the horsemen of the apocalypse…

  16. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    Lawn chairs on the roof always remind me of the Simpsons episode “Bart’s Comet”, with Homer saying “Meanwhile they’re all twiddling their thumbs saying Doot doot doo doo doo, doot doo doo.”

  17. Gary D
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    The Panel 3 picture of Les is exactly how I imagine Eddie Munster would look at that age.

  18. BigTed
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    Tom Batiuk: I actually found today’s strip hilarious. “Y’know how whenever you have good news, your Debbie Downer of a friend will counter it with bad news that ruins your mood and makes you want to throw him off the roof? They’ll do it every time!”

  19. One-eyed Wolfdog
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    Maybe the best thing I can think about Funky Winkerbean is that some positive number of would-be emo kids (“otherwise kids of emo”, as some would say) will see this week’s strips, say “Jesus, fuck that“, burn their journals, delete their Simple Plan albums, and start dressing in bright colors and visiting the outside world again.

  20. Zaq
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    MT: Mark doesn’t need your rules!

    RMMD: “I am not a monster! I am an officer! An officer!”

    FW: This made me laugh today. What does that say about me?

    C’shaft: Have you noticed that this little storyline has been one pair of looks of absolute hatred after another? The parents’ faces are horrifying.

    DT: Oh, this will end well.

  21. zenvelo
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    the first thought that came to mind after reading Funky Winkerbean was “where can I slit my wrists that will make the least mess?”

  22. zenvelo
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    A3G- where can I get a TV remote that yells at me like Margo’s?

  23. Harold
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    I’m wondering if Funky Winkerbean would be more depressing or less depressing if it were written by Chris Ware.

  24. Calico
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    Hi everyone!

    MW – cue up “Surfin’ USA” for Toby and her Scottish bear!

  25. Angry Kem
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    Dear Mary:

    Congratulations! You officially use grammar, syntax, and descriptive metaphor more ineptly than any undergrad I have ever taught. “An otherwise sea of calm”? What the hell? What the bleeding hell? Next you’re going to be explaining that since the dawn of time, marriage has used language, imagery, and setting to create meaning. Then you will plariagise a few sentiments from Wikipedia and cry when I accuse you of stealing.

    Oh, Karen Moy…please, please, please learn how to write soon.

  26. Isaac
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    I think that if Funky Winkerbean really wants to go for broke, no one will say anything for the rest of the week. It will just be static shots of them sitting in the lawn chairs. Josh’s suggestion of them both being dead is unrealistic because this means something vaguely exciting or interesting would happen.

  27. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    sherman’s lagoon — Nachos and a beer pinata sound good right about now.

  28. Hogenmogen
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    Secretary: You can’t go in there!
    Mark Trail: Watch me!

    4th panel craziness:

    Mark Trail: It’s locked!
    Secretary: I told you that you could not go in there!

  29. Pop Culture Gangster
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    Just when you thought Spider-Man couldn’t get any less interesting, they decide to resolve the face-off between Spidey and Wolverine over their territories by having a perfectly calm tête-à-tête. Seems like a perfectly reasonable plot for a meeting between a guy who can climb like a spider and another who has claws that can cut through steel.

  30. Dondis Dad
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    MW: So after a week of “Delilah wants to talk about her problem” strips, we’re now treated to a week of “I wonder what her problem is?” strips. Coming next week, “I’m here to talk about my problem!” strips. The subtle line between “building tension” and “stalling” continues to blur.

    Also, Mary, if you use a bullhorn to tell everyone that Delilah has problems and is confiding in you, you can avoid having to repeat yourself so often, or having to learn how to tweet.

  31. Old School Allie Cat
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    MW – Does Toby look like she has a double chin here? It’s just the way her hair is in the second panel, but Mrs. Ian Chinbeard looks rough.

    Also, in panel 1, it’s nice to see that the blue-haired teen got off her shift at Mrs. Winner’s in time to get a plate of orange lumps (apricot halves?) and a glass of milk. Mmm, mmm. Part-tay!

  32. The Weirded-out Wolverine
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    Hogenmogen @ 28: I think it would be more like this:

    Mark: It’s locked!
    Secretary: I told you that you could not go in there!

  33. AMC
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    MW – Toby’s an accomplished bellyfat surfer. Unfortunately, all she’s got is a short board.

    Mary’s statement: “in an otherwise sea of calm” was a more Yoda-esque circumlocution than used to seeing in Charterstone I am.

    Funky Deathmorbidean – Gosh. Two ‘joke’ panels and then they wait patiently for what they hope is merciful death. Yep. Count me as another satisfied customer.

  34. Patrick
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:17 pm [Reply]

    “I started checking out nursing homes for my father today.”

    “Yeah, well, Lisa’s DEAD.”

  35. Nathan
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    MT: Armed with his soul patch of righteousness in panel three, Mark is going to go give Miss Williams what for!

  36. MaryAnnTheRest
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    I think the Otherwise Sea is south of Australia. Whether it’s calm, I couldn’t say, but it’s probably not as choppy as Mary’s dialogue.

  37. Fashion Police
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, Josh. We are busy trying to un-imagine the hideousness on display at the Charterstone pool party. Do those women shop at the Goodwill bargain basement, circa 1954? Tommie Thompson would be run out of Santa Royal for being excessively chic.

  38. ZakR
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    Anyone else notice that a Mark Trail plot-line made it into the news today?
    Arrests Made In Sale Of Ancient Indian Artifacts
    Now if only NPR had more punching…

  39. Artist formerly known as Ben
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    I knew Blondie gave me the creeps today. I didn’t think to tie it to autocannibalism, but I guess that is the logical next step.

  40. Old School Allie Cat
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    MW – I should point out that the one word in Mary Worth that threw me off today was “bobble” – that word is now and forever burned in my brain as exclusive property of A3G.

  41. commodorejohn
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    #25 Angry Kem – I don’t think Karen Moy uses English ineptly, I think she misuses it very aptly indeed.

  42. druidbros
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    MW – Broadcasting others personal tragedies and secrets must be good for the meddlin bizness. It must be the reason no one is wearing a swimming suits at a pool party.

  43. Baron Bizarre
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    Old School Allie Cat @ 31: Actually Toby almost looks older than Mary. Maybe Mary’s slowly sucking the life force out of her?

  44. rocketbride
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    oh Angry Kem, are you marking final papers just like mine? hee.

  45. Dingo
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Josh, do you have to ask? With Ian’s ample girth, “riding the waves” means Toeby on top facing him with both of their breasts forming a fleshy tide of pale skin and nipples heaving to and fro like sick passengers on a cruise ship or a toddler dance recital.

  46. Professor Fate
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    FW: projected dialogue for the next week.

    “So you’re sure Godot will come today”
    “he didn’t come yesterday”
    “The skull! The skull! The skull beneath the skin!!!”
    “I’ wrote a book about my dead wife.”
    “I have measured out my life in Pizza pans”
    “You’re sure Godot will come today?”
    “The rust on the lawnchairs has stained my pants.”
    “Wasn’t there a tree up here?”

  47. kalki
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know about Funky (well, yeah…cancer), but I fully expect Les’ demise to be more akin to David Carradine’s.

  48. rocketbride
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    also: “bobble” is one of the few words that my boyfriend’s toddler can say coherently. now, when it emerges from his otherwise senseless babble, i will involuntarily imagine the kind of bobbling mary and jeff must commit to in order to maintain the sea of calm that is their tranquillizer-fueled sex lives.

  49. Mrs Threeway Taint
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    The hoyay in FW is getting out of control. JUST TAKE THE PANTS OFF ALREADY, it’s what everyone’s been waiting for since like, 1952.

  50. Charlene
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    JP: Does this mean that Rocky’s father is Mark Trail?

    Is Sam Driver going to get punched?

  51. Dingo
    June 10th, 2009 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    rocketbride, you have a boyfriend with a toddler? Sounds like a three-month story arc in Apt. 3G to me. Give the story arc to Tommie Thompson and six months for sure!

  52. Baka Gaijin
    June 10th, 2009 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    #45 Dingo: Just when I think that Josh has permanently scarred my psyche, you come along and pour salt on the wound before supergluing the bandage on. Thanks, buddy.

  53. Comcis Fan
    June 10th, 2009 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    Geogeek #9: See my nearly identical comment on this on today’s portion of yesterthread (#91, I believe).

  54. Perky Bird
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    In the first panel of today’s Spiderman, Wolverine appears to have been caught in mid-peekaboo while amusing some off-panel infant.

  55. ScienceGiant
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail (of paper): Miss Williams? MISS Williams? Oh boy. Mark. I don’t know what waits for you on that other side of the door, but it won’t respond well to your fists or your libido…

  56. Digger
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    A GPS bracelet hardly seems like Dithers’ style. You’d think he would just chain Dagwood to the desk. Of course, if he operated with any sense of logic he would have fired Dagwood long ago.

    Is that Adrian sipping a ddrink in panel 1 of Mary Worth? She must be positively giddy about her relationship with that detective. She’s gone and dyed her hair blue.

    Funky and Les have to die. I don’t care what it is – a meteor falling on them, super-fast-acting cancer, that annoying comic store guy yammering at them until they can’t stand it anymore and jump off the roof – it doesn’t matter. Just kill them and do it quickly.

  57. Larry McAwful
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    Les turns to Funky and says, “If you’re ever visiting your dad in the home and you see a masked guy in a tuxedo… well, just make sure his papers are all in order.”

  58. Pozzo
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    Batiuk is exploring a bold new world here. Who needs punch lines when you can go for “contemplative pre-suicide pause”? Now if only this would catch on over at Herb & Jamall.

  59. Sequitur
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    MW: Josh, you are a cruel, cruel man. Funny, but cruel.

  60. Gabacho
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth – Mary got schooled as Toby explained to her how a marriage works, pointing out clearly that Mary is in fact not married and the whole fiction about being a “widow” who once had a “husband” is now exposed.

    “Bobble this, baby!”

  61. Karmyn
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    That has got to be the most depressing FW since back when Summer was just born and Les put “Check out funeral homes” on his to do list.

    Crankshaft: If Max is about 22 or so, those cigarettes are really old, like 8 years old or something. Wouldn’t they be really stale by now?

  62. Lou Shumaker
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    “No need, honey! I ate at the office!”

    ….. annnnnd “Blondie” enters Stephen King territory (re the short story “Survival Type.”

    Look in the future for Daisy to morph into Cujo and the carpool vehicle into Christine. And at work, Dagwood would be typing “All work and no play ….”

  63. Chromium
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    20, Zac: It’s not just you. I thought it was the funniest strip in the papers today. It’s right up there with Slim drowning.

  64. Ignominious Bob
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    The Funky Winkerbean cartoon comes across like Garfield Minus Garfield, as though a third character had been there but was erased along with the punchline in the third panel.

  65. Calico
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    #28 – Mark Trail thinks he is Pierre Trudeau.
    “Just watch me!”
    (Mark does pirouette just for fun)

  66. Calico
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    #57 – Or a cat named Lucy (UK version) or Le Chat Bleu (Ohio version) …

  67. Donutzilla
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    Freaky Bonewanker– Funky has a living father? How did he survive in the funky universe?

    Today’s strip is clearly a caption contest. Batiuk just forgot to announce it. Whoever can come up with the winning caption for the last panel gets a “Danse Macabre” tuxedo signed by Tom Batiuk, and a cat–also autographed.

    My entry is “Damn, I soiled my pants.”

  68. Bobdog, Jungle Patrol SVU (not an elephant)
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    Unless Mr. Dither’s GPS device is precise enough to locate whether Dagwood’s ankles are on his desk (as he’s want to put his feet up while napping) and not the floor, I don’t think that sort of tracking device will solve his primary productivity issue with this particular employee.

  69. Poteet
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    # 25 Angry Kem — It actually sounds as if Canadian high schools produce better writing than some high schools here, which surprises me not at all (and gives me a little hope for the human race).

    I have a grad student friend who taught undergrad English last year, and she sent me several examples of the worst writing she encountered. Even considering that she was teaching an English class designed for freshmen who need help with their writing, what she sent was ghastly. I don’t want to speculate about the writing abilities of the students who didn’tgraduate from those high schools.

    Luann — Interesting. I’ve seen exhibits of many kinds at fairs, including some very odd kinds, but never “science exhibits.”

  70. bats :[
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know whether to be surprised or not that so many CCers (to say nothing of Pope Josh!) are envisioning splats on the FW sidewalk by the end of the week.

  71. skullcrusherjones
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    @62. Ladyfingers. They taste just like ladyfingers!!!!

  72. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    25, 69 — This ( is pretty bad, but unfortunately not the worst I’ve ever seen.

    (I taught computer science at a tech college, but since I grew up with an editor and an English teacher for parents, I got into the habit of assigning both an oral presentation and a 5 page paper for every class. My students generally hate me until they go to their first real job interview. So, grade your kids as hard as you can; they’ll thank you later.)

  73. scott
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    FW- I think it would be awesome if Les went back down and Lisa sat down and started talking to Funky. I will leave it to the teeming masses to add dialogue.

  74. fdtutf
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    MW uses the word “bobble”…Blondie has its title character actually doing a (rudimentary, but still very real) head-bobble.

    Why is everybody cribbing from A3G today?

  75. ScienceGiant
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

  76. Comcis Fan
    June 10th, 2009 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    geogeek: Make that #219.

  77. Uncle Lumpy
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    #72 Al –

    A good long while ago, I taught “Freshman Seminar” at Northwestern: a none-dare-call-it remedial writing requirement for first-year students. Lots of fun, really — the “deal” was that professors got to put together any course they wanted for a maximum of 15 students, but had to assign and grade 30 pages of writing in a semester.

    I titled the course “Science and Alternative Points of View”, knowing that pre-meds will take any elective with “Science” in the title, thinking it will dress up their transcript. In fact, I got 14 pre-meds and one Northwestern linebacker who wandered in by mistake and couldn’t face the complexities of the add-drop process.

    My “deal” with the students was one three-page paper every week, assigned on Thursday, due Tuesday, and returned graded on Thursday so they could, y’know, learn ‘n’ stuff. The trick was to mark up the first one with more red than black, and be brutally honest in the grading: average work means a “C”, even if it’s the first one you’ve ever received.

    Once they got over that, the work improved rapidly and everybody seemed to have a good time. Especially fun was the part where I brought in a Creationist Biology textbook and had them take a go at refuting it.

    What’s “Zoob”?

  78. Fashion Police
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    We love Gunther’s little sun visor. If the boy makes himself any more unattractive he can attend a Charterstone pool party.

  79. Ben Carlsen
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    As many Blondie strips seem to be updated versions of thirty-year-old strips, this one doesn’t surprise me. It was probably something like a ball and chain in the original.

  80. Larry McAwful
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    72 – Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol— As someone who’s in the process of getting out of his boring office job and turning himself into an English teacher (by fall 2010, hopefully,) your advice is encouraging. Working in offices, I’m the kind of person who generally keeps his mouth shut when he hears such atrocities as “I should have went” or “John joined Sue and I last night,” even though I’m wincing with pain inwardly. I wanna be Miss Grundy. Except I want to remain a dude, and remain married. I’m willing to negotiate where the dresses are concerned, though.

  81. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    re 77 — I had to look up the definition of “zoob” at urbandictionary — it isn’t pretty…

  82. Anonymous
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    Temporary bobble in an otherwise sea of calm”??!! That sound you hear is the sound of creative writing teachers everywhere not knowing even where to begin shooting themselves.

  83. teddytoad
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    … #82 is me by the way. I have no idea why that didn’t work.

  84. Sequitur
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    Zippy the Pinhead goes, “Zoob, zoob, zoob, zoob, zoob, zoob, zoob, zoob, zoob, zoob.”

  85. Marion Delgado
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    Hi and Lois: Ditto’s making a bid to avoid the issues – incest and a bad gene pool on both sides – that produced The Family Circus. It’s a pity the Flagstones aren’t available to the Keanes for peer counseling.

    A bored-out-of-her-mind Dot is not buying the revision of the NO GIRLS policy that reads “NO SISTERS!”

    Exogamy’s a bitch, Dot, but no matter what happens with Ditto in days to come, you’ll always have the bathroom over by the Orange Julius. No one can take that away from you! What happens at the mall stays at the mall

    For Better!

  86. Anonymous
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:39 pm [Reply]


    It’s time for a quiz!

    What 2 Events happened on the date this cartoon was oringally published:

    A: Flight 173 Crashes
    B: John Dean says Nixon was involved in Watergate
    C: Erskine Childrens elected as President of Ireland
    D: Gretchen Wilson was born

    BONUS: What 2 changes have been made to the strip?

  87. bats :[
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    I have no clever introduction for this, other than to comment that at this rather chic California condo, how come folks are sitting in those crappy-cheap plastic outdoor chairs that you buy at Wally World?

  88. Sequitur
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    #86 Anonymous – Ha! You can’t fool me. This is a trick question. The answer is E: When surgeon Joseph Lister discovered the benefits of antiseptics (1867).

  89. Cool not Cold
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    JP: Corvettes only have two seats. So that means that Marie and Rocky Ledge are riding in the luggage area. Couldn’t they have driven Abbey’s SUV? I think that when they arrive at the school like this, all the cheerleaders are going to laugh like hell at Sophie and she will die of embarrassment.

  90. Sequitur
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    #87 bats :[ I always wondered what you gals talked about.

  91. Niall
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    52. Baka gaijin: Oh, you’ve been around long enough, you should know that certain words beginning Dingo’s posts are telltale signs to only read the rest at your peril. “Do you have to ask” and “Here’s a link” are two of them.

    65. Calico: Oh! we wish! It would only increase the awesome zaniness of the strip! Mark with a rose on his lapel.. Mark bedding pretty celebrities while married.. okay, the analogy just crashed and burned.

    77. Uncle Lumpy: You are a good, kind and intelligent man. May we get more teachers like you.

    87. bats :[ : more like a sea of bubbles… bubbles!!

  92. Steve S
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    If this installment is any indication, Funky Winkerbean is about to become randomized non sequitur statement of unhappiness from past strips, always ending with a silent panel. I’m all for it.

  93. Baka Gaijin
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    #91 Niall on me: You’re right, I should know. The reappearance of the bum-puter in Cow & Boy threw me for a loop.

  94. Cool not Cold
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:04 pm [Reply]

    #87 Bats :[ Your Mary Worth mashup is one of the best EVER! I just about laughed up a lung.

  95. Lloyd S.
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    “Here’s a fun little game: try to imagine which sex act Ian and Toby refer to as “riding the waves.” Now try to unimagine it. Ha ha! Bet you can’t!”

    Cruel! The word is “cruel,” not “fun”. “Cruel.”

    Now that I’ve played your horrible game, can someone please put me in Funky Winkerbean so I can die soon? Please?

  96. rocketbride
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    #51 – i not only have a boyfriend with a toddler, i’m a single mom of a fully literate 5-year-old. in our a3g arc, the baby tells the ladies when to be surprised, my son reads aloud all of margo’s dictatorial notes around the house (‘how do i ‘bathroom,’ mommy?’) and tommie has to babysit. forever!

    #62 – dagwood enters “survival type” via “misery.” no more cockadoodie sandwiches, mister man!

    #69 – high quality of canadian high school papers, eh? i’ll see your bluff as soon as i get back to work tomorrow and can type in some examples of the papers i’ve been grappling with all week.

  97. Cyranetta
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    After the FOOB marital passive-aggression, the FW leaden suspense of rooftop action, MW seems downright frisky with her “temporary bobble in an otherwise sea of calm.”

    The peculiarity of the FW drawing style made me realize that it’s actually a strip about the Island of Broken Audioanimatronics. What else explains the poses of an incompetent mime, the careful avoidance of the pool at a pool party, and the “temporary bobble” verbal hash?

    RMMD: How many days will Guido spend in the doorway under June’s icy glare before this cruise FINALLY ends?

  98. Alan's Addiction
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    Well, today’s Dagwood and Blondie provides some new clues as to the insidious nature of Dagwood’s work and employer. Based on the access to GPS ankle-bracelet tracking systems that are accurate enough to track people in an office building, we can narrow the possibilities down to a few options: First, that Dithers runs some sort of super-villain-style company with a secret diabolical plot to take over the world (after killing Captain Colossus, of course). Secondly, Dithers is a manager at a US intelligence agency and Dagwood is some sort of clerk or analyst. Option three is that Dagwood works at some sort of military-technology company. Finally, the strip is somehow in a timewarp, and Blondie and Dagwood are actually in the Soviet Union, circa 1960, and we’re seeing their daily life with the language somehow translated. At the moment, I’m praying for anything but the first possibility, as the mental image of Dithers in a super-villain-style outfit is terrifying.
    Today’s Funky Winkerbean has finally cemented the patented Tom Batuik writing formula. You can read the following paragraph, and never read another of his comics, for you shall know them all from this point forward. Panel one: Character A either brings up a potential ray of hope in the form of a little light optimism, or a slightly interesting observation/anecdote, or Character A makes a subtle plea for help and assurance. Panel Two: Character B totally crushes the first character (and themselves) with a depressing statement of fact, usually along the theme of “we’ll all inescapably grow old and die some day.” Panel Three: The characters sit back and contemplate suicide, or, in some cases, a murder-suicide. Not actually in the comic, but undoubtedly what comes next: Batuik takes another swig of whiskey and quietly curses his wasted youth and talent.
    It’s interesting that you should mention Ian and Toby’s sex life Josh, because I’ve heard of plenty of sexual situations involved in overcoming various trials and tribulations involved in marriage (“angry sex,” “make-up sex,” etc.), but I have never, ever heard of “compromise sex.” I guess that when you have the emotional range of flatware (as Toby and Ian do), that’s the only thing you have.

  99. Old School Allie Cat
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    FW – I don’t know – dead is dead- which is bad, but then again, nursing homes smell like piss and people are often sitting out in the hall wailing for you to help them. Sometimes, too, the old women get ahold of dolls, and that’s also creepy. And sometimes the old people try to grab you and take you to their room and offer you a cinnamon candy. Vintage candy – circa the Ford Administration.

    I know because after my father had open heart surgery, he had a short stay in a rehab facility (which is a nursing home with physical therapy).

    I’d rather be talking to my dead husband’s ghost than back visiting Dad in that awful place. And yeah, I was the lucky soul who picked it out for him.

    So I guess what I’m saying is…I agree with Funky?

    Wow. My mind is BLOWN.

  100. Mr. O'Malley
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    25. Angry Kem. That’s one that might be worth sending to Language Log.

    Imagine the model that starts with a fairly standard phrase:
    “An otherwise calm sea”
    Transforms it to:
    “A sea of otherwise calm”
    And then changes the structure to
    “An otherwise sea of calm”

    It would be an amusement for unsufficiently which I have time to generate further examples along this model.

    However, I think your criticism of Karen Moy may be uncalled for. Consider the following:

    Q: What message does Karen Moy communicate by having her character Mary Worth use the phrase “An otherwise sea of calm”?
    A: That even the underlying linguistic structure of the English language must yield to the indomitable will of Mary Worth.
    Q: After which Lewis Carroll character is such behaviour named?

    I would continue in increasingly Myles na Gopaleen inspired style, but I have to see about getting my car fixed.

    P.S. I just recently discovered that Lynn Truss of “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” fame wrote a BBC sitcom set in ancient Greece, Acropolis Now, now being rerun on BBC7.

  101. Greggy
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    From today’s Mary Worth:

    I’m not sure what “Riding the Waves” refers to exactly, but I’m pretty certain the “Temporary Bobble” refers to Toby on Ian (cowgirl-style) with Ian experiencing his usual premature ejaculation.

  102. Toby
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    Let’s hope Funky at least sends his father off to the lovely
    Dark Valley Rest Home where he should fit right in.

  103. Jamus The Bartender
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    Spider Man: Okay. Wolverine’s arch enemies are usually old war buddies or girlfriends who have been genetically altered by some black ops government organization. Or X-Men related villain mutants.
    Spider Man’s arch enemies are scientists…often Parker’s old college professors…who wind up working in a lab with NO OSHA compliance, move the lever left when they should have moved it right, drank the wrong potion…and have extreme emotional and social baggage. This one’s all you, Pete.

  104. Jamus The Bartender
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    23. Either way, it would be a major improvement. I can look at Quimby Mouse panels for hours and not feel ashamed. Yeah, Chris Ware can be depressing, but his people are complex. So are his two headed mice and cat’s heads.

  105. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    Oops. I forgot to change my temporary nom du snark. The Weirded-Out Wolverine is me. (My word, that’s an odd sentence.) Anyway, I’ll make up for the confusion with some hopefully amusing commentary on today’s comics.

    9CL: I hope he tells her that she or her daughter gets to birth this new roach race. At this point, a cathartic bloodbath is all that could save this strip.

    A3G: The lama has escaped to another country from a regime where he was being imprisoned due to his religious beliefs. The guy’s finally free; what is there to be negotiated? This would be like Lu Ann calling to negotiate with Margo.

    Archie: Unanswerable questions about today’s strip:
    1) Is the winking, tongue-out face of the clown another avatar of the self-aware AJGLU3000? Will we soon see Cammie sporting this expression, as the AJGLU gets closer and closer to our world?
    2) Speaking of Cammie, why is she casting her favored gaze on the towheaded brat instead of Veronica?
    3) WTF is a “tunephone”?
    4) What sane restaurant owner would hire Jughead?
    5) “Clown Food”? No, seriously… “Clown Food”?!?

    DtM: Do mine count?

    EC: I’m glad that the writer conveniently boldfaces the word garden just in case we forgot the theme of the current storyline over the weekend. It’s gardening, folks! GARDENING! This strip makes the Teletubbies look like Hemingway.

    FC: When’s the last time Thel was drawn standing up straight? Jeff’s a bit obsessed with his mom’s dangling mamms, I think.

    GA: If it were anyone but Slim Skinner behind the wheel of that wrecker, I’d say she has zero chance of successfully posing as a reverend. But considering this is the guy who thought he could get a good night’s sleep by dropping an asteroid from a helicopter onto a basketball court, I say preach it, Sister.

    HtH: Substituting the punchline “Oh, just a feeling” proves that it’s possible to make a comic strip funnier without actually making it funny.

    JP: Knowing Eduardo Barretto, panel 3 isn’t the last crotch shot we’re going to see in this storyline.

    Luann: So, you mean, donuts on a stick? “Oh, look! Ground-beef hamburger patty on a bun sandwiches!”

    Marvin: This series of strips stinks like Bitsy’s dog log. Out in the yard. Because it’s a pile of dog crap. Get it yet? HA HA HA! (Sorry, but Marvin, Edge City and Hagar have taught me that if you want people to notice when you’ve said something funny, you need to beat it into the ground.)

    S-M: Hey, he’s your villain, Web-head.

  106. fishmorgjp
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    58 Pozzo: Batiuk is exploring a bold new world here. Who needs punch lines when you can go for “contemplative pre-suicide pause”? Now if only this would catch on over at Herb & Jamall.

    Or better still, Marvin!

  107. Uncle Lumpy
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    Mary lost her tennis bracelet in the Bum Boat’s Raw Bar, then searched for a recreational bauble in a pennywise sea of clam.

  108. Mr. O'Malley
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    107. Uncle Lumpy. Worthy of Keats and Chapman, that was!

  109. JonnyT
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean: Oh good, let’s watch Les and Funky play dueling disfunctionals.

    Les:”My wife died young.”

    Funky: “I’m a recovering alcoholic, my dad’s senile, my stepson hates me, my business is floundering and my test results show I may be seriously ill.”

    Les: “Showoff.”

  110. Second Officer Boojum
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    Great, Josh. Now my libido’s broken Thanks.

    Dingo: Proudly imagining Unspeakable Filth so you don’t have to. But that’s pretty much where my mind was going, I have to admit.

    Angry Kem: Next you’re going to be explaining that since the dawn of time, marriage has used language, imagery, and setting to create meaning.

    I have never written a mash note before, but by God, woman, I am tempted! Will you be my friend?

  111. mumbles
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    MT: If “Miss Williams” had been (the late) Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics, Mark’s fists o’ fury would have met a worthy adversary (RIP, Wendy O. Williams.)

    RMMD: Wait, weren’t these stowaways from Costa Rica? Isn’t Costa Rica kind of nice?

    Crankshaft: So now we’re stealing plots from the Brady Bunch. Maybe this summer Crankshaft will get lost in the Grand Canyon.

    [#50 - Charlene, I thought the same thing! I guess Rusty grew up!]

  112. bats :[
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    Huh, just realized…here it is, another interminable Charterstone pool party, and Mary is just talking to Toby. She sees Toby every day, talks to her every day. Why isn’t Mary mingling with other people at the party? Discuss.

  113. Donald the Anarchist
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    Blondie “What I’m saying, honey, is I’m sorry about the chastity belt…”

    FW “The sad thing is, this wouldn’t be any better if we were gay.”

    MW Crisis of confidence, Mary? Not trusting your Meddle Sense to see you through? You used to love the fight, the messier the better!

  114. Todd
    June 10th, 2009 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    FW: I’ve never seen FW so full of misery that it runs out by the third panel.

  115. Violet
    June 10th, 2009 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    I’m glad someone finally remembered it was a pool party and decided to hop on in, but I’m a little surprised Mary and Toby didn’t change into swimsuits first.

    And I think you guys are being a little hard on Mary and her “temporary bobble in an otherwise sea of calm.” To me she seems pretty lucid for someone on her seventh tequila sunrise. I’ll bet by tomorrow she’s gonna be all “You know what? Delia and Larvance can go fuck themselves! I’m going to astronaut camp! Why don’t you ever love me, Tony?”

  116. Fashion Police
    June 10th, 2009 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    #80, Larry McAwful:
    We have no particular quarrel with “dudes” wearing dresses, except that they look silly in them.

    If you would settle for Mr. Grundy, a stiffly starched collar with your plain dark suit and necktie would be sufficiently prissy. A well-cultivated scowl would help to motivate your young charges toward grammatical orthodoxy as well.

  117. harold
    June 10th, 2009 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    98. Alan’s Addiction: “Compromise sex” occurs when one partner wants it and the other doesn’t.

  118. Filmnoir101
    June 10th, 2009 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    Okay, is it appropriate to nominate Josh for comment of the week for “The only way it could be more unsettling would be if Blondie offered him a foot-long sandwich and he pointed to his bloody ankle-stump and said “No need, honey! I ate at the office!”?

    Then again, I’m a huge fan of Blondie’s amazing rack – so maybe I’m biased.

  119. Ukulele Ike
    June 10th, 2009 at 9:12 pm [Reply]

    MW: THAT’S a Tequila Sunrise? From the looks of those opaque cups and straws everyone’s carrying around, I figured this Charterstone pool party was catered by Burger King.

  120. Angry Kem
    June 10th, 2009 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    #110 Second Officer Boojum: I shall be your friend.

    Re. the quality of Canadian high-school essays: if American essays are worse, I must weep for humanity. In Ontario, at least, the high schools all mindlessly teach the sandwich method (introduction, three body paragraphs, conclusion…utterly drenched in formula). The sandwich method is a perfectly acceptable way of teaching grade-nine students about constructing arguments, but teachers here continue with it until grade twelve. They also don’t teach analysis. First-year university students tend to believe that it’s enough to make vague observations and move on. It’s maddening. Mary Worth would fit right in here.

  121. Uncle Ed
    June 10th, 2009 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    Friday, June 12, is the Mary Carroll Alonso Golf Tournament to benefit the Bob Costas Cancer Center at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, MO. The tournament was named in memory of my cousin. who died on March 13, 2004 of malignant melanoma.

    We are not keeping the proceeds in a cigar box.

  122. True Fable
    June 10th, 2009 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    #120 Angry Kem – Oh dear lord, the sandwich method was burned into my young impressionable and not quite yet demented mind when I was a tad, as the Only Way to write a letter, ANY letter. As a result I have endured a lifelong problem with simple correspondence. Business letters I can do, but dashing off a quick note to a sister or a friend is formidable.

    “I don’t have enough news to put in three paragraphs! I can’t send this yet!”

    Damn you Mrs. Granger, wherever your dictatorial, shriveled little heart is. You are probably the reason I write long rants, too.

  123. Sequitur
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    #112 bats :[ Because the rest of the people know better than to say anything to Mary Worth or Toby. They just plain don’t want to be meddled to death (or to insanity). Nope, no way. You don’t want to take a chance of crossing Mary.

  124. sugarpie
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    87 bats :[ I was reluctant to mention it for fear of being found petty but this particular Charterstone pool party does seem to take place in The Dinette Set’s back yard. Couldn’t the artist have cribbed a little outdoor style from, I don’t know, Target’s Sunday advertising circular? I’m not sure that even Wally World still sells these. Maybe Walgreens?

    Or, I’m wondering if they weren’t snagged off of Craig’s List when our shrewd Mary spotted them them on Vintage Microwave? But they sort of work with the dollar store tableware and Mary’s defrocked nun’s party clothes.

  125. Sequitur
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    #112 bats :[ Besides. Those two broads are stoned out of their gords. Stewed to the gills. Sopping up the old green meenie.

    “Say, there’s Mary Worth, should we go up and speak to her?”
    “WHAT! Just how many of those styrofoam laden drinks have you had?! Are you out of your frickin’ mind?!”

  126. Katya
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    #25 — Angry Kem:

    “Plariagise”? What’s that?

    Sorry, but ’twas too funny! I know, though, that it was only a “temporary typo” in an “otherwise sea of lovely writing!”

  127. Larry McAwful
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    116 Fashion Police—All right! I’ve already done that! Should I start smoking a pipe, too? And is carrying around that Kraft-Ebbing tome everywhere carrying it a bit too far? Composition is everything, I say.

  128. Muffaroo
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:29 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Ah, the poor Lhasa bureau! Rick Landers, unable to afford a second facial expression, reads off of a sheet of scratch paper, probably bearing the words “Something something Lama,” broadcasts from the street, possibly wearing a barrel where the lower half of his newscaster suit would be. As far as negotiations with China go, the bureau clearly couldn’t afford any fancy internets or subscriptions to news sources, so they seem to have invested in the AssumoTron 2K instead, a device frugal reporters can use to turn any unexamined assumption into reportable news.

    DTracy – So. Is Big Ace a man with no eyes, or are the two little dots eyeballs instead of nostrils?

    Tracy shouts jaggedly — an incident which passes almost unnoticed here, but is an expenditure of energy which would have Spider-Man sleeping in for two days afterwards.

    Dilbert“Ted, business is slow, and I have to let you go.” This was scrolled up enough I could read it but not see the characters. I thought we were seeing the start of an exciting new chapter at the Forth household for a minute.

    Smirky Schadenfreude – Ah, those pleasant days of sitting on a roof contemplating the futility of our fleeting lives. Hey, Slim! Drop that meteorite here. [Egad! Has Digger @56 been reading my mind?]

    HtHorrible – And the magazines… pure poison!

    Luann – Wow! It’s a DiChirico fair!

    MWorth – Mary’s speaking fluent Platitude with a soulmate. How long before it becomes necessary to show her who’s the Meddler and who’s the Meddlee?

    Pluggers – I thought they were fictitious, but today’s hilarious take on the family fridge seems to have been sent in by an actual raccoon. Let’s hope she stays away from rednecks and logs.

    R=R – Lucky the Leprechaun called again. Sounded steamed.

    bartcow @Y96 – Ah, one of my favorite books. I scanned our old copy and put it on my flickr page a while back.

    Donkey Hotey @Y150 – Well, it could be that the Williams Chemical Company’s business model is making lead-based chemicals, putting them in monogrammed barrels, and dumping them in Lost Forest. Phase Five: Profit!

    Subway Duck @Y230 – What I remember from the strip, and what kept me at arm’s length for years, was the endless treacle-wallowing. Sitting on dandelions and all that smarmy drek. Tonstant Weeder tasted his own bile.

  129. Second Officer Boojum
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    Angry Kem @120: Yea! Remember, you promised!

    I taught Freshman English at a local institution 30 years ago. Charity resrains me from mentioning its name, but it rhymes with Vanderbilt Shmuniversity. This was, thank the Lord, before the internet and what you refer to as the demon Wikipedia. Still, the results were dispiriting enough. I can only imagine, in my recurrent nightmares, how much worse those essays must be today. I salute you, all ye toilers in academe. You have my sincerest sympathies – especially at this time of year.

    My favorite student quote, at the end of a class discussion of Oedipus Rex: “Is that like irony, or what?” I struggled with myself, but lost. I said, “What.”

  130. Second Officer Boojum
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    I swear I previewed that. I am a very innocent typer.

  131. sugarpie
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    Muffaroo 128 Luann- Ha! DeChirico- couldnt place today’s carnivale fair setting at first, but yes… yes, indeedy do!

  132. Dr. Weird
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    114 Todd -

    That’s the COTW, right there!

  133. Poteet
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    # 72 Al — Arrrrgh. But at least I know a new word now.

    # 77 Uncle Lumpy — That does sound like a fun course. Tragically, I can also identify with the procedure-impaired linebacker.

    # 96 rocketbride — Oh dear. I am sorry. It was hopeful speculation on my part, and if it was totally unwarranted, I can only weep softly and be grateful that people like you are willing to suffer for the noble cause of making North America a more literate place.

    # 120 Angry Kem — I regret to report that of the bad undergrad writing samples sent to me, several showed signs of not even understanding how to put together a complete sentence. I hope the authors were having unusually bad days.

    And allow me to compliment you on the poignant depictions of paper-marking in WEST OF BATHURST. Those alone made the archives worthwhile.

  134. Poteet
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    # 129 Boojum — BWAHAHA!

    I confess that now I would like to hear that student’s summing-up of some other classic tragedies.

  135. philosophist
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:53 pm [Reply]

    Now we know what a pissing contest looks like in the Funkyverse.

  136. Rusty
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    FW: Les and Funky are locked into a death-match “Can you top this depressing anecdote.” I’m the same age as these characters, I have lost a father and a mother-in-law in the past year, and that’s life. Suck it up Batuik, you’re not the first person to hit middle age.

  137. cooby
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    Ten bucks sez Ms. Williams has a 1940s hairdo and a blouse buttoned up to the neck.
    And a 46D bustline.
    And a serious instant hardon for Mark.

  138. Rock Ripsnort
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    Batiuk clearly thinks “poignant” is pronounced like the backwoods preacher describing the heathen: “Po’ Ign’unt”. The writing is po’, and Batiuk is ign’unt.

  139. Katya
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:02 pm [Reply]

    #130 — Second Officer Boojum:

    That’s okay! I, for one, was gonna let you get away with it! Ha, ha, ha!

  140. Sequitur
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    Hey, all you English professors/teachers out there! What ‘cha say if ya got da chance to travel to th’ hills of Hootin’ Holler and teach th’ likes of Snuffy and ol’ Jughaid? Why, I’da bet ‘cha kin fix dat dare English sitcheation faster than licky split. Be educatin’ to yosef as well. Whoooeee. Fun fer da whole clan! So git on yore hoss ‘n start ta move. TIME’S-A-WASTIN’!

  141. AhClem
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    #112 bats:[ -
    “Why isn’t Mary mingling with other people at the party? Discuss.”

    Two words: Restraining Order.

  142. Angry Kem
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    #126 Katya: Aaaaaaaaaaaargh. Clearly, I have contracted undergraditis. I can’t even spell “plagiarise”! Heeeeeelllllllllllp meeeeeeeeeeee…

    (I generally can spell “plagiarise.” I certainly have to use the word often enough.)

    #133 Poteet: You write as if it is unusual for undergrads not to be able to write in complete sentences. I have marked papers–papers by native speakers of English, please note–that are so garbled that I genuinely can’t understand what the writers are saying.

    The West of Bathurst marking comics seem exaggerated to some people. Sadly, they are not. Some of those papers have to be read to be believed.

  143. Mibbitmaker
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:12 pm [Reply]


    This is the story of Pollyanna. Yes, that pollyanna — the unflappable optimist little girl. She was having a typical day, all sunshine, singing birds, and other icons you’d find in an average Rose is Rose romp. Nothing could get this perky darling down. She was an inspiration to all who were fortunate to cross paths with her.

    As part of her flowers and butterflies routine, she’d read the funny papers. “What sort of wonderful adventures are Garfield and Family Circus going to have today?”, she wondered.

    Then, she came across Funky Winkerbean. “What a happy, funny name! This must be grand,” said the darling imp. She read today’s installment. She followed up by looking at select Funky strips from the last 17 years online.

    Then, lovely Miss Pollyanna hung herself to death from the rafters with extended piano wire, the end.

    This has been “Mr. Mibbit’s Least Loved Comic Strip Tales”. Goodnight.

  144. Katya
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:31 pm [Reply]

    #142 — Angry Kem:

    High marks for funny, clever response, so…all is forgiven! And, hey, help is yours for the asking! Ha, ha!

    Regarding your comment to Poteet, let’s just say I feel your pain, because the way in which the average person here in the U.S. communicates using the written word is genuinely painful to read!

  145. Second Officer Boojum
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:32 pm [Reply]

    So… nearly 12 hours later, and no one’s answered Josh’s implicit challenge of a Gunther/Luann duet of “Summer Lovin’”-meets-”Our State Fair”? Really?

    I would have though the Grease associations alone would have tempted our resident musical types. Of course, “chocolate-covered deep-fried doughnut on a stick” is notoriously difficult to scan.

    On the plus side, it rhymes with “squick.” So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

  146. idathefossil
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    i was nervous about seeing all those pasty white wrinkled people wearing wet and inappropriately youthful swimwear at the Charterstone ppol party. Thankfully, old zombies get cold, and instead of water the pool is filled with quilts in case their multiple layers and the blazing sun aren’t enough to warm their cold, cold hearts. And skin.

  147. Second Officer Boojum
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:43 pm [Reply]

    Ooh, ooh, ooh! And if we’re still talking about undergraduates, can I tell about my student who, when informed we would be reading Shakespeare’s As You Like It, raised his hand and asked petulantly, “Will we be reading it in a modern English translation?”

    I was forced to crush his dreams by pointing out that William Shakespeare did in fact write, you know… in English.

    Top that, Canada!

  148. idathefossil
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    Les: Silence.
    Funky: Silence
    Les: polite cough
    Funky: Um, did you just touch my hand?
    Les: Maybe. Did you want me to touch your hand?
    Funky: Maybe.
    Les: Everyone who loves me dies.
    Funky: Please stop touching my hand.

  149. Sparky AKA Able Bodied Seaman Craggy Fjord
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    @148 it isn’t Modern English though.

    Will someone tell me if 9CL is dropping the f-ed up cockroach storyline? My poor tot is suffering with a fever and I’ve no patience for even skimming the horrible strip.

  150. Angry Kem
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    #150 Sparky: It’s Early Modern English, which actually does count as Modern English.

    #148 Second Officer Boojum: I shall top that. I generally start off my unit on Gothic horror by asking my students to give me at least one other name for the eighteenth century (which actually has several names; “the Age of Reason” is the one for which I’m aiming). Among the responses I’ve received: the Victorian Period, the Romantic Period, the Renaissance, and–believe it or not–the Middle Ages. I also had a student inform me that Edgar Allan Poe was writing in “Old English.”

    I blame Bil Keane for this sad state of affairs. I blame Bil Keane for as many things as I can. It’s fun.

  151. commodorejohn
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    #128 Muffaroo – Read your Luann comment and looked up Chirico; that’s pretty uncanny.

  152. Rusty
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    #150: No end in sight.

  153. True Fable
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:23 am [Reply]

    I love the smell of snark in the morning! It smells like…victory!

    Fist o Justice Theater Man, he just goes anywhere he wants with impunity, doesn’t he? “Eeek! You’re in the ladies’ room!” “I thiink you will want to hear the reason i am here!” “No, you asshat! Get out!” “YOU are the one in trouble!”
    Meddle House More exposition: Lawrence married him a young’un! But Mary doesn’t say what kind of prodigy Delilah was, and that’s just waving a snarky flag in front of a Fable.
    Rex Morgan, Zombified Man Whore That’s one way of being stiff, Rex. Meanwhile, let’s all practice today’s phrase to use at random times: “Shut your yap before I THUMP you!”
    Margo 3-G Even Margo bobbles at the sound of her father shouting into the phone for no particular reason. Holy shit, Martin – take a chill pill, man.
    Sam Driver, Chick Magnet That was fast. Unless it took them a longer time to say hello and discuss Sophie than it appeared, Godiva Gottasecret must live next door to the airport.Lots of flybys.

  154. Poteet
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    6/11 MW — Let’s note that Delilah and Lawrence are being presented to us as the most utterly-brilliant characters in the Charterverse. Something to remember as this story moves along.

  155. sugarpie
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:29 am [Reply]

    151 Angry Kem If I’d had even one prof. with as much interest in any subject as you do yours, why… who knows where I’d be now?

    I recently did a small bit of dramaturgy for a local college production of Arcadia: glassy eyes and yawns while I took 2 minutes to parse the transition from the the Age of Enlightenment to the Romantic Era, viz the loony re-landscaping at Sidley.

    It’s thankless I’m sure, but keep on keeping on!

  156. True Fable
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    #155 O Poteet my Queen! – The whole Mary Worth strip today is like having Anthony Caine, the great witty, smart, wonderful, masterful accountant of the ages, Gary Sue’d at us all over again! Only this time Mary Worth is standing in for Elly Patterson. Oh dear lord; there is pure EVIL in the land. Pure blackhearted, vile evil.

  157. Aaron
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    I actually laughed out loud at that FW. If you picture it as a bizarre, post-modern Garfield-Minus-Garfield sort of thing, it’s pretty funny.

  158. Donkey Hotey
    June 11th, 2009 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    Y123 Li’l Bunne FooFoo – Sorry. I somehow missed this post. I swear I did not intentionally steal your joke in my Y150 post.

  159. bats :[
    June 11th, 2009 at 1:11 am [Reply]

    Some Thursday observations:

    A3G: like Josh losing interest in Rex Morgan plots when there isn’t a heavy homosexual undertone, Margo loses interest in Eric when her father finds him interesting.
    Oh. Maybe we’ll have another Jeff Cory-Jeff Cory’s dead high school buddy’s son encounter. Maybe Margo can finish off what Mary Worth failed to do.

    BB: I laughed. Un-ironically.

    JP: this is going to be great.

    MT: dayum…Mark has spent this week becoming the Terminator. Go, Mark!

    MW: and now you know far more about Delilah and Laurence than you ever wanted to know.

  160. Carol, Blondie Bumstead's Evil Twin
    June 11th, 2009 at 1:24 am [Reply]

    I’ve officially lost my mind because Funky Winkerbean made me laugh. “We thought we’d live forever” and Funky’s father is!

    Why thank you, I will slip into the jacket with the funny straps.

  161. NoahSnark
    June 11th, 2009 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    The name Pacific Ocean can be interpreted as “sea of calm” – which makes Mary Worth the plastic island that grows in the center of a marriage, slowly poisoning the life around her with small bits of toxic meddling.

  162. Baka Gaijin
    June 11th, 2009 at 1:43 am [Reply]

    Luann: Suggestive Food Theater–Luann orders a chocolate-dipped deep-fried donut, Gunther orders a cherry-dipped deep-fried banana. No subtext there. Heh heh heh.

  163. Baka Gaijin
    June 11th, 2009 at 1:50 am [Reply]

    Thursday’s Comics:

    Beetle Bailey: Yeah, General, ignore that blatant plea for help. Don’t be surprised when that puffy blond haired guy gets on the water tower with an M-16 and 10 clips.

    Blondie: Oh my god! That is so disturbing on 2 levels.

    Rose is Rose: Funny! I can’t believe it.

  164. Mr. O'Malley
    June 11th, 2009 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    I’ve figured out how to read FW without wanting to slit my wrists afterward. The secret is to put The Clicquot Club Eskimos on loop play before you start reading. Just remember to stop it before you turn to RiR.

    “So how would you like to live forever with the mind you had at 18?” This concept is a premise in some modern vampire stories.

    In my Chronicle page I get the amusing juxtaposition of Bucky complaining about European men in Capri pants, and immediately below it, Gil Thorp featuring men in Capti pants.

    What is it with MW and inappropriate sexual relationships? We’ve had “two blond ponytails back” getting it on with her boss at the advertising agency, the detective dating a witness in a case he’s supposed to be investigating, and now the ideal relationship of a 28 year old new college professor and a precocious 15 year old. I hope he got his tenure before they put him in jail.

    RMMD: I see the crew are not on strike enough to stop them from throwing an officer in the brig when asked politely.

  165. Mr. O'Malley
    June 11th, 2009 at 2:19 am [Reply]


    Island of goats!

  166. True Fable
    June 11th, 2009 at 2:31 am [Reply]

    #165 Mr. O’Malley – or this! and this!

    You must admit, it beats looking at Thorp men in Capri pants. :P

  167. Mibbitmaker
    June 11th, 2009 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    On a New Day, You Can Snark Forever…:

    666CL: “Nauseous” is the word, alright.

    A3G: Margo: “Dad, that wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t go, ‘Muah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaaaa!’ after saying that!”

    Cleats: Guy with hat devoured by fish…
    Curtis: Teacher’s husband killed in the line of police duty…
    FW: “Hey, you 2, stop trying to top us!!”

    DT: “…After which, he’ll be called ‘No Eyes’!”

    FW (for real this time): It’s a deal, Funky! That means your strip will be back in 1970s-1980s mode! WOO-HOOOO!! …Promise, now…! (Ah, I can drrrream, can’t I?)

    JP: “…Oh, and by the way, I got a…. package……for you while I was there! Hope you’re happy, Rocky! …Uh…. have you ever seen… ‘The Crying Game’…?”

    MT: Hey, why hold a coherent conversation when you can just spout random macho catchphrases? It’s not like he can punch a woman or anything. Spank, maybe….

    Big *#%@* Dog: No kidding! Hell, even when he was a zygote, he was the size of a basketball!

    MW: If they were such geniuses, then why did they live at Charterstone? Hah!

    MC: Stupid, stupid entertainment and news medium that people generally enjoy!!

    NS: Too bad Wiley lacks this capability.

    OBH: “…If it’s not one thing, it’s another! ……Goodnight, my little Roseanne Roseannadanna.”

    PBS: Editor that handles Pastis’s Pearls compilations: “HEEEEEEEEY…..!!”

    Prickly City and Red & Rover ~in~ “Tired Old Joke Theater”

    RMMD: “You’re a crud…. Shut your yap before I thump you!” — Besides the apparent fact that the authorities came from a 1930s movie, that line should be the official reaction to much of what Batiuk, Johnston, or McEldowner give us.

    S-M: Spidey teaches Wolverine a vital skill: How to avoid superheroics at all times. He’s the expert.

  168. mordock999
    June 11th, 2009 at 5:41 am [Reply]

    Today’s Luann 06/11/09

    Oh, My Dear Holy God!

    They’ve LYNCHED Teddy Bears in Panel One.

    They’re HANDING out Vampire Teeth as a Prize in Panel Two.

    And in Panel Three as Gunther is about to throw the Rent money away on RIGGED game, a GIANT Black Hand Decends to CRUSH His Skull!

    This IS the Carnival of the DAMNED!

    Run, Children RUN!!!!!


    DEATH to TJ!

  169. gleeb
    June 11th, 2009 at 6:40 am [Reply]

    A3-G: Great, he’s one of those guys who shouts inappropriately on the phone.

    ‘bean: That H-Bomb taking out Cleveland makes the prospect of eternal life pretty grim, too.

    Pluggers: …help the young ‘uns with bicycle theft.

  170. TheCasey
    June 11th, 2009 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft – Um, yes?

    Curtis – Did Curtis just call his teacher a ho? That’s good for some detention.

    FC – Dollyfucius say: “Way to hamster begin with small horse.”

    FW – So eternal life isn’t good enough for you?! What a douchebag.

    MT – “No one is above the law! No one except. . . Mark Trail!!

    MW – Where did Tobey get a carbonated shirt?

  171. Whippersnapper
    June 11th, 2009 at 8:25 am [Reply]

    ‘Shaft: Come on Crankshaft, Jr. You should know by now that in the Winkerverse, you develop cancer if you so much as look at a cigarette. Bringing an entire pack into your house has ensured the untimely demise of your entire family. But I guess that was already ensured, by dint of your living in the Winkerverse. Carry on then!

    MT: Truer words were never spoken, Mark. Now punch her facial hair off!

  172. Mr. Peabody
    June 11th, 2009 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    Come on now! Spider-Man’s web-shooter’s go “Thwipp!” and Wolverine’s claws go “Snikt!“. Is no one paying attention here? Oh, wait…never mind…

  173. kalki
    June 11th, 2009 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    Blondie: And that’s how Dagwood started World War III, arguing over how broiling hamburger patties beats frying them.

    Crank: ha ha Max is pointing to the cancerous melanoma he has on his face in panel two ha ha

    DTM: You know, even printing the joke in bold print doesn’t make it any funnier, Dennis.

    CircusJerk: Look out, Scott Boras, here comes Dolly!

    FW: You know, all that talking isn’t distracting the hovering spaceship that is bathing you two in its scanning beams. Pretend all you want that they aren’t there. The delay is because they are getting a second table ready for the other anal probe.

    Luann: Gunther heaves a bunch of coins at the carny… “Gahhh! My eyes!”
    “Quick, Luann! While he’s blinded! Grab the teddy bear and run!!!!”
    Yeah, that’s what any date calls for, committing a crime. Nothing turns a woman on more than being on the run from the law with a bad boy. Tune in tomorrow as Luann and Gunther die after a bloody standoff with police.

    Wolverine, featuring someone who may or may not be Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham:
    “Well…see ya…” “Yeah…see ya.” Join us tomorrow for more Aborted Marvel Team-ups.

  174. Edgy DC
    June 11th, 2009 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    How depressing it must be to get all worked up for your first charterstone pool party, dying your belt to match your slacks and all, only to find out that, at Charterstone, the refrigerators are bigger than the pools.

  175. tb4000
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    Luann: OK, Evans you made Brad into a semi-confident pimp for a while, reverted him back. Now it’s Gunthoid’s turn, and while I’m sure he’s going to fuck up this whole scenario at some point, I give you props for actually giving him a semblance of testicular fortitude.

  176. TheDiva
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: Since a) an elderly woman smoking breaks absolutely no laws and b) the elderly woman in question is a sour, hateful hag who can’t shuffle off this mortal coil fast enough–yes, yes it is funny.

    Luann: Dammit, Gunther, Luann was eager to use those fangs for the Twilight roleplay session she’d planned for this evening. Now you’ve gone and spoiled it. (On a related note, isn’t the toss the coin on the bottle game one of those near-impossible feats of skill that should net you at least a small stuffed animal in the unlikely event you succeed at it?)

    MW: “Mary, I know about Delilah and Lawrence’s relationship history already. Why are you describing it in detail?”
    “No reason, I just like the sound of my own voice.”

  177. Hogenmogen
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    #87 – Bats – re: tacky resin lawn chairs:

    I read an article on this once. They’re all over the place these days. Various heads of state have been photographed in those white plastic pieces of crap. Well, I imagine that a head of state would have purchased the “deluxe” model that doesn’t come to near-collapse when you lean the wrong way. But they’re all around the globe, in every country, in every city… watching…. waiting for that moment when they know that it’s time to strike….

  178. Dingo
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    I’m loving this Mark Trail. If this office visit doesn’t end with boom-chicka-bow-wow music and Mark being sodomized straddling her desk while the lady where’s a strap-on, I’ll be disappointed in a way only Gil Thorp story arcs can muster.

    Over in RMMD, I believe Rex’s glum look is because he realizes that Guido is about to be carted off to prison. A men’s prison. Filled with lots of men. Who will have sex with Guido. Lots of nostril-flairing unbridled hands-against-the-bars while you shout vulgarities as you pant sex. And Rex is left with June.

  179. Second Officer Boojum
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    A3G: You know, I’m not sure that IS a Life Alert necklace that Margo’s wearing. I believe that, having come in contact with representatives of the “Law” and judging them ineffective, she has had herself declared a NYC police detective. If so, this will be the greatest example of Celebrity Irony since Elvis, high on roofies and injections of human pineal gland, refused to leave the Nixon Oval Office until he was named an honorary DEA agent.

    Brenda Starr: I fear I’ve seen too many pseudo-science fiction movies. Faced with the bizarre, oddly insistent bolding of text in this strip, I’ve come to feel it cannot be an accident. No one has this poor a basic understanding of emphasis in human speech. Why these words, and not others? It’s a code, people! They’re trying to communicate with us!! If only I could squint juuuust so and decipher the pattern…!!! Then I could go all Matrix on their ass.

    I blame Dan Brown. And, of course, Bil Keane.

  180. Second Officer Boojum
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    Hey, that is fun, Angry Kem!

  181. Hank
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    RE:Zippy the Pinhead. You know, maybe a strip that hasn’t been funny or relevant since the Ford administration shouldn’t be attacking soap opera strips for being outdated and humorless.

  182. Artist formerly known as Ben
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:32 am [Reply]


    9CL: A generic dig at Congress? Man, that is fresh.

    Archie: Between the still life of a moneybag on the wall and Hiram Lodge’s plaster bust of himself, ol’ Hiram shows every sign of being a deranged vagrant whose fantasy life is the only rich thing about him. My guess is that the mansion is equal parts plywood and cardboard, and that Archie is now digging on the neighbors’ property.

    FT: Thank you, Annoyed Scissor Lady. Is your specialty cutting off jokes that have worn out their welcome? Then stay on alert, because you’ll probably be needed in Marvin and 9 Chickweed Lane.

    MT: Yeah, unless you have a warrant, the whole “You are the one who is in trouble” thing is a one-way ticket to Assonpavementland.

    MW: So Lawrence was a college professor who trolled Charterstone pool parties looking for hot teenage prodigies in something or other? Gee, how did that relationship ever go wrong?

    WofI: So, rotting in a filthy dungeon is exactly like not rotting in a filthy dungeon. Thanks for the insight, Parker.

    FB: Brace yourselves. All of Fred’s rowdy friends are coming over tonight.

    S4th: When Faye gets past her tomboy phase, she’s going to be Margo Magee, isn’t she?

    GT: From force of habit, Shep tapes himself at the urinal. The result? His most popular viral video yet.

    DT: Is it just me, or does Big Ace’s spade nose look horribly obscene?

    H&J: Well, if Eula is ever seen mounting a sex swing at Plato’s Retreat That Sex Club in That Big City, you heard it here first.

  183. Little A and his Verkokte Magic Ball
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    General comments for Thursday (I think it’s Thursday?)

    I found this site by accident a couple of years ago and have been enjoying the commentary ever since. I have also been introduced, thanks to this blog and the Houston Chronicle, several comic strips I never knew existed, because in New York City we receive a limited amount of comic treats, in the tabloids (certainly not in The New York Times, which, some might say, is one huge comic strip, but that’s another opinion for another debate). What I have concluded is that most of the commentary in this blog is far superior, in interest, wit, perspicacity, to that in most of the comic strips. I have mentioned before that I “read” fewer than 10 of the strips of the large amount posted by the Houston Chronical.
    And the ones I do read, maybe three are good. I look at Mary Worth and Gil Thorpe and Mama and Apartment 3-G because they are commented upon so frequently here.

    Gil Thorpe hurts my eyes, the art is attrocious, never mind the stupid story lines.

    Gasoline Alley used to be one of my favorites. Now, in my opinion, it stinks.

    Nancy used to be one of my favorites. In 1957.

    What I am saying is, most of the comics today stink, but at least it is a lot of fun to denigrate them. (I didn”t want to say “shit” on them, in case young readers are reading this.)

    I have just ducked under a table: I like Luann a lot.

    For the heck of it, and I know this would probably break copyright laws, but could somebody post the old Mad Comic satire of Mark Trail? It was pretty funny. If I remember correctly (and without looking into the reprint collection) I believe Jack Davis drew the parody.

  184. Mr. Peabody
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    #150 Angry Kem

    If Shakespeare is Modern English, then why isn’t the song
    “I’ll Stoppeth the World and Melt with Thee?”

  185. Calico
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    I see Mary has completed her 2009 Pool Party harvest – a bottle of blood and a bowl of human kidneys rest on the communal table for the living to enjoy.

    MC – Insects and the City – great stuff!
    I never liked that show…

  186. Perky Bird
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    For Dagwood, “What do you put on your cheesburgers?” is the equivalent of “Hey, baby, what are you wearing?” The fact that the person online responded with hostility only makes him hornier.

  187. Calico
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    #154 – A charterstone Prodigy – oh dear God – was Delilah one of Mary’s students in Meddling 101, going on to earn a Master’s in shoehorning in on everyone else’s lives?

    Only time will tell-3 to 4 regular calendar months at least.

  188. Hogenmogen MD: Comic Doc
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    Archie: After Mr. Lodge’s dead, severed torso appears in panel 1, they really need a stronger punch line to lighten up this strip. This is my answer:

    “I’m getting sore thumbs!”
    “What’s causing that?”
    Picture of Archie texting “i dn’t no!”

  189. Angry Kem
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    #184 Mr. Peabody: I am merely saying that Shakespeare’s language technically qualifies as Modern English because it can be distinguished from Middle English and Old English. At the end of the Middle Ages, something called the Great Vowel Shift (no, really) happened; by Shakespeare’s day, it was nearing its end (though people in Elizabethan England probably pronounced many words considerably differently from the way Brits do today). One major difference between Middle and Modern English is that while neither is particularly difficult to read–in the London dialect, at least–the former, when read aloud, is incomprehensible to most people, while the latter is not. In other words, though Shakespeare’s language includes some archaic grammar and vocabulary, it is essentially the same language we speak today, whereas Chaucer’s–spoken only two hundred years earlier–is not.

  190. Mr. Peabody
    June 11th, 2009 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    #189 Angry Kem

    Apparently, I shouldn’t do jokes about early 80′s New Wave bands…

  191. Muffaroo
    June 11th, 2009 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    Angry Kem, as I was posting last night, TCM was showing a comedy short. Somebody playing Queen Guenevere was talking Old Stoogelish, in which the suffix “-eth” is putteth after verbeth and nouneth aliketh. Heady stuff. Eth.

  192. Angry Kem
    June 11th, 2009 at 5:04 pm [Reply]

    #190 Mr. Peabody: No, no. You shouldn’t make jokes to English scholars at all. We don’t understand jokes. We completely overlook the funny aspects of everything you say and launch into complicated explanations of the historical and literary implications of your words. It’s just the way we’re built.

  193. Sparky AKA Able Bodied Seaman Craggy Fjord
    June 11th, 2009 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    @1 If we really have Tom Batiuk here. Dude, you gave Wally Terry Lee’s Flak Jacket. Why is the Comic Book guy with his wife? He better have a “hot” replacement. Take some “story pacing” lessons from the person doing Annie. And try and make Les less creepy.

  194. Sparky AKA Able Bodied Seaman Craggy Fjord
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    @150 Angry Kem. C’mon – it isn’t the English you and I use to communicate in our everyday lives. How many kids get the jokes in Macbeth? There was a stillborn attempt to modernize Shakespeare by some graphic novelists like Walt Simonson and Howard Chaykin but the funding never appeared. When the text needs footnotes explaining what a Gallowglass or the oaths mean – it isn’t common usage. But I give you kudos for keeping lazy kids in their place.
    I checked Amazon to find that someone took that idea and ran with it. Romeo and Juliet exists! It’s part of the No Fear series.

  195. Angry Kem
    June 12th, 2009 at 1:08 am [Reply]

    #194 Sparky: If you visited some out-of-the-way place in rural England, you wouldn’t understand half of what everybody was saying to you…but the people would still be speaking Modern English. Shakespeare spoke Modern English. You might call it archaic Modern English (i.e., Early Modern English), but because it is not Middle, it counts as Modern.

    See…the problem here is that you mean “modern” as in “really recent,” and I mean “modern” in the language-studies sense of the word. I might get really pedantic (even more so, I mean) and explain that neither of us is right because the “Modern Period” happened in the early to mid twentieth century. (Yep…Modern English predates the Modern Period.)

    Regarding the updating of Shakespeare for the sake of lazy people who can’t be bothered to read footnotes: bah, humbug. This kind of bending over backwards to dumb material down is why I have undergrads complaining about reading Edgar Allan Poe because the words he uses are “too hard.” At least half the joy of Shakespeare’s work is in the language. Without the beautiful verse, Othello is just a rather unbelievable yarn about a man driven to homicide by a missing handkerchief.

  196. dale
    June 12th, 2009 at 5:09 am [Reply]

    Angry Kem

    Was Shakespeare’s language beautiful or just everyday talk when heard by the paying customers of his time? Wasn’t he, perhaps not in the historical dramas, mostly telling stories?

    Note: I don’t want to start a fight. I really agree with your comments on people who can’t write a coherent sentence.

  197. Angry Kem
    June 12th, 2009 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    Dale: Well…a lot of his prose bits count as “everyday talk,” albeit awfully well-written everyday talk, but his poetry (i.e., the bulk of many of his plays)? It is highly unlikely that “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow / Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, / To the last syllable of recorded time” could have been spouted on the streets of London without attracting comment. Sure, he was mostly telling stories, but damn, was he ever telling them well. I would be just as upset if someone took a twentieth-century poem and “translated” it into language that was “easier to understand.”

  198. Peter
    June 12th, 2009 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    Isn’t this supposed to be a pool party? Isn’t anyone going to go swimming?

  199. Carly
    June 12th, 2009 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    Toby looks like she aged at least ten years in the second panel, and also like she’s either tired or drunk. The effects of Mary Worth? Given our obsession with youth, someone could harness her powers for evil. “Do as I say or I will put this woman on TV and then you will all look like this!”

  200. Frozen
    June 15th, 2009 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    Mary is such a love ‘em and leave ‘em type. I mean, she’s all about Adrian, but once she has her fun she doesn’t return her calls and avoids eye-contact at pool parties.

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