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Soap opera digest

OK, kids, as a penance for my long, lame absence, here’s a very detailed dissertation of what’s been happening in the serial strips so far this week. There’s quite a lot to cover, so let’s get started. (I think I actually used the previous sentence in my aforementioned printer Webcast script, by the way. Oh, the shame.)

Panels from Apartment 3-G, 6/27-29/05

We’ll start simple. Who can’t get enough of Tommie’s new sunglasses? Me! I can’t get enough of Tommie’s new sunglasses!

Your headband is nice too, Lu Ann, but … it’s no Tommie’s new sunglasses. Sorry.

Gil Thorp, 6/28-29/05

You know, I’m not ashamed to admit that I really … well, “like Gil Thorp” might not quite be the sentiment I’m looking for. Let’s say I’m really glad it exists. The WDIG Polka Parade may make up for any number of past Thorpian sins, and it confirms my suspicion that it is alone among the serial strips in having an actual sense of humor about its own existence.

One of the strip’s trademark features is that it actually keeps up with the seasons and matches the pointless high school athletic contests it portrays to the pointless high school athletic contests that would be going on in real life. But, this being my first summer as a Thorp follower, it never occurred to me that, like real high school coaches everywhere, Coach Thorp will be spending his summer gardening and presumably avoiding teenagers at all costs. Will there be any nail-biting contests of skill or strength to amuse us until football starts up in August? Or are the boys going to have nothing better to do than to lounge casually and homoerotically around on the beach?

Panels from The Phantom and Judge Parker, 6/28-29/05

What with all the media consolidation going around these days, I’m guessing both of these features are trying to build “synergy” in advance of the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel, creating anticipation in the public mind for red-hot tomb-exploring action. On the theologico-philosophical tip, though, I thought these two comics offered an insight into how wussy religion has become. I mean, props to the Old Kingdom: your civilization has to be pretty bad-ass if you have a god specifically dedicated to abject violence. Meanwhile, David’s proposed ancient-artifact-switcheroo illustrates what a soft touch Jesus is. Do you think Babi would let someone get away with trying to pass off a lesser Babi-related trinket as some priceless icon? I think not.

By the way, if I were Sam, and I found out that I had been dragged through the jungle with the snakes and the tarantulas and the hey hey to find some stupid old cross when a perfectly acceptable stupid old cross was just sitting in a box back in the air-conditioned mission, I might be ready to perpetrate some abject violence myself.

Mary Worth, 6/29/05

Ah, saving the best for last. Jeff’s head-swivel in panel one and look of total panic in panel two are priceless. Why are you looking to Mary for help, Dr. Cory? She got you into this, after all. Meanwhile, Mary’s suddenly caterpillar-like eyebrows are ratcheting tighter and tighter with each passing moment. I think tomorrow we’re going to be treated an explosion of Marian rage the likes of which the comics have never seen, a diatribe that even Smitty Smedlap couldn’t break loose. Use your aggressive feelings, Mary. Let the hate flow through you!

Here’s a conundrum for you to consider: Is Rita the greatest Mary Worth character ever? I know, when we’re talking about a strip that produced Tommy the Tweaker, that might sound like heresy. But tattooed, long-haired meth dealers are easy targets for mockery. In this storyline, Mary Worth has taken a member of what I am assuming is the strip’s target demographics — a white, middle-aged, middle-class woman — made her bereaved by the death of her daughter to boot, and then had the guts to make her an incredibly unsympathetic foul-mouthed drunken sponge. Rita Begler: we salute you. Below I present a montage of Rita’s obscenity-laden outbursts, which I dearly hope to be able to add to in time.

111 responses to “Soap opera digest”

  1. RichC
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Does Pastis read JoshReads? Because lord knows Josh and we readers have said the same thing about Thel for quite some time :-)

  2. danh
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Apparently I am spending way too much time reading this site, because when I was looking at the paper this a.m., I actually yelled out loud “A Margo wildly inappropriate reaction!” when I saw Dr. Jeff’s head swing. Scared the bejesus out of the cat.

  3. WoodrowFan
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Apparently Babi came from the “Planet of the Apes” world.

  4. WoodrowFan
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    I ran a google search for babi. I ask you, does this look like a God of Abject Violence to you??

  5. didymos!
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    Jeez, Gil Thorp’s head is actually a *cube*. Was he perhaps a Dick Tracy villain in a previous career? Maybe this whole high-school football coach get-up is part of some sort of weird funny-pages witness relocation program?

    And Rita. Rita, Rita, Rita. When you’ve downed so much liquor that you need both hands to hold your glass — no matter how awkwardly — it’s time to call it a night. Really.

  6. Adouble
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    Luann manages to out-gay 9CL by a pink mile today. It never made sense to me why the too-nerdy-even-for-the-Dungeons-and-Dragons-club nerd and the too-stoned-to-notice-that-Greg-Evans-doesn’t-have-a-clue-what-burnouts-look-like burnout hung out. Then they get together and write a comic with the line “Slow down, Paddy! My ball’s skipping.” Good to see their friendship now makes sense, albeit in a sorta disturbing way. Looks like that Reuben award went to Evans’ head and he now has to do a coming-out-of-the-closet tale as some sort of afterschool-special victory lap.

  7. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth has been unusually entertaining lately. I’ve gotten a real kick out of filling in Rita’s &^*%$# with real cuss-words! Makes me laugh every time. I only wish that Mary would also start cussin’ right back at her.

  8. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    “By the way, if I were Sam, and I found out that I had been dragged through the jungle with the snakes and the tarantulas and the hey hey to find some stupid old cross when a perfectly acceptable stupid old cross was just sitting in a box back in the air-conditioned mission, I might be ready to perpetrate some abject violence myself.”

    Why do it yourself when you can call down Babi to do a little roo-roo?

  9. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    Yes, Ritzilla is probably the most complex character to ever appear in a comic strip. I can’t wait to see what mayhem she’ll commit next as she slides into the bottomless pit.
    I can’t wait until Mary
    trucks her off to her first AA meeting.MW has never been so much fun!

    “My name is Rita and I’m a
    #&)*)*&!@# alcoholic!”

  10. Nala
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    You know something. You’ve made me love Mary Worth and actually read it.


    Get on that Rita vulgarity list too! I can’t wait!

  11. phismi
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    I guess punctuation is the first thing to go when dear Rita is in her cups. Can’t wait to get my hands on a “@#!!XX** JERKS! … The whole lousy bunch of them!” t-shirt. Please don’t make me wait too long.

  12. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    A Google search turns up some very good reasons Babi is so cranky all the time….ouch!

  13. clashkid
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    I think today’s Spiderman proves that Stan Lee is finally out of ideas for the strip. The Rhino (the Rhino!) has deciphered Spiderman’s secret identity. Not even an A-list supervillain. It looks like Spiderman will have no choice but to kill his costar. Its not like anyone would really notice, Rhino’s criminal career has consisted of running into things. The Kingpin could probably just get a remotely driven truck to do the job (and that way, no supervillain unions to deal with ether). I mean what could Rhino do to stop Spiderman anyway? Run away at a mildly fast speeds? I think coach Thorp is going to have a new assistant next year.

  14. Alan TheFamily
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    Re Mary Worth: I think in the second panel Mary’s glare has instantly whitened Rita’s hair, and that’s why Jeff’s turning back. He doesn’t want to miss seeing her burst into flames.

  15. Liz
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    I, too, am a huge fan of Rita. Tomorrow, I’m hoping that: a) her foul mouth finally causes Dr. Jeff to swoon, or b) the approaching waiter gets the glass thrown at his head a la Russell Crowe.

  16. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    After reading (death to)
    Gil Thorp, I’ve decided the soap strips have more prominent jaws than a shark movie.

  17. Smitty Smedlap
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    Funny you should mention my namesake — I’ve been thinking that a good dose of Smitty Smedlap (the character, not the me) is EXACTLY what Ritzilla needs. We need to hook those two up.

    Just as long as she doesn’t try to serve him FEESH.

  18. WoodrowFan
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    wait, Babi was an Egyptian God? I though this strip was in mexico!!! OMG, Thor Hiredol (sp) was right!

  19. WoodrowFan
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    Strike that last comment,it’s the Phantom, NOT JP. Are they in the South pacific or did the Ghost that Bores (TM) go to Egypt? Gad, I can’t keep them straight! Next thing will be Margo getting into a bar fight with Rita over the last Mai Tai while Mary Worth advises Edda to jump Amo’s bones..

  20. MaryAnnTheRest
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Ritzilla has me totally hooked on Mary Worth now. It’s the first thing I read every day. Long live Ritzilla. I love today’s classic line: “What, I’m eating dinner with my booze!” I can’t count how many times I’ve said that. You can just about hear the unspoken “… this time!” at the end.

  21. a future Cardinal
    June 29th, 2005 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    For years I avoided serial comics, but because of this site, they have become required reading. Thank you so much, if it wasn’t for you, I would have missed today’s brilliant Mary Worth. Can’t wait until tomorow!!!!

    More @#%!*@#, mule!

  22. Dondi
    June 29th, 2005 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    When did A3-G replace Tommie with Anne Sullivan, Miracle Worker?

  23. Nom du Jour
    June 29th, 2005 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    “I’m eating dinner with my booze, you @#@%#^$ jerk.”

    and in an hour, after her eleventeenth scotch, she will have her dinner all over the table again.



    “mur chivas™ u %&$&* dum &^%$# mummm urrr ugggh waiterrrr. “

  24. Mooncity
    June 29th, 2005 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    Wow! Rita has done the unthinkable–pi$$ed off Mary Worth!

    And you know the reason Jeff is so shocked is that he has to pick up the check. Do you have any idea what those scotches are costing Doc Jeff?! Those suckers are expensive when you go to a moderately fancy place to eat.

    I can hear his thoughts now:

    Panel 1: “Jeez, Mary! I know I’m an understanding guy and all, but I’m not made out of money!”

    Panel 2: “Dinner? You mean you want DINNER, too?! Who said you were being offered dinner?!”

  25. Nom du Jour
    June 29th, 2005 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    I just hope that ritazilla lives in the same city as Mark Trail. If she looked out the window and saw the ginormous birds, squirrels, etc she will go stark raving bonkers and fall into some serious DTs. The kind where she would be ripping at her eyes, tearing at Mary’s skin.

    ahhhh, one can only hope. . .

  26. Sassy_Rocks
    June 29th, 2005 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    Rita is a compelling character but what about “Dud” the computer hacker? He is my personal favorite. He had a lot in common with Tommy MethHead, such as asocial tendencies and blathering ineptitude in his trade, and they ended up in the same place but Dud was really smooth with the ladies. He came up with the screen name “BBShell” (Blond Bomb Shell) for Toby Cameron. Doc Jeff could learn a thing or 2 from Dud.

  27. Tracibub
    June 29th, 2005 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    Leave it to good ol’ I’m-an-alcoholic-sleaze-ball-whiny-biotch-mourning-over-my-dead-daughter-by-drowning-my-sorrows-in-expensive-scotch Rita to pull a stunning performance in a nice public restaurant. It’s like going to a fine french restaurant and ordering grilled cheese sandwiches made with processed velveeta cheese, and slamming them down with shots of Everclear and wondering why people are staring at you.

  28. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    Becoming Ritzilla when I grow up is my new goal in life.

    Thank you, Crumudgeon, for, sniff, helping me find my ##^*&^ purpose.

    More drunken public scenes, Mule!

  29. Jeff
    June 29th, 2005 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    “I mean, props to the Old Kingdom: your civilization has to be pretty bad-ass if you have a god specifically dedicated to abject violence. Meanwhile, David’s proposed ancient-artifact-switcheroo illustrates what a soft touch Jesus is. Do you think Babi would let someone get away with trying to pass off a lesser Babi-related trinket as some priceless icon? I think not.”

    That may be the funniest thing I’ve read online in a month. Well done!

  30. Nom du Jour
    June 29th, 2005 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    Pity poor ritazilla.

    It is not her fault she is a broken down, daughterless, lush.

    It is all those ^$^#^ down at the &%$&%$^$ who don’t give a %^$$# about ^$^%%#@@

  31. Ronin
    June 29th, 2005 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    So is there to be no comment on the Pearls Before Swine mockery of Family Circus?

  32. Bookworm
    June 29th, 2005 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    My thoughts almost exactly on Judge Parker. “I had to push your car out of that foul-smelling mud, swim with the snakes to clean up, traipse through miles of steamy jungle, douse myself in insect repellent, come face-to-face with deadly spiders, AND THERE’S A SUBSTITUTE WE CAN USE BACK AT THE MISSION?”

    David better watch his step on the way back, or Sam may be reporting an “accident” to those Mexican policemen they’ve been dealing with.

  33. Anonymous
    June 29th, 2005 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    I hope that Pastis has Osama move in to Mary Worth’s house soon. Although his Family Circus meets Osama strips are terrific, I am sure that Osama would thrive at Mary’s apartment.

    Or in Apt 3G.

  34. Sassy_Rocks
    June 29th, 2005 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    The PBS mockery of Family Circus is mildly amusing, at best. It’s basically the same gag about Osama each day. It was funny on day one but much like Classic Peanuts, Kathy and the whole zeeba neighba routine, it’s becoming predictable.

  35. Anonymous
    June 29th, 2005 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    Dondi (re comment #22), you made me laugh aloud. She is a deadringer for the miracle worker. And, with a friend like LuAnn knowing how to help those in need is probably important.

  36. Lor
    June 29th, 2005 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    Ha ha, Ronin! Bil said “bootylicious.” You’re right, this is brilliant. Will he do Cathy next??

    I-Girl, I fear (hope) the Drunken Public Scene has only just begun.

  37. Mooncity
    June 29th, 2005 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    In Gil Thorp Sample 2, that kid at WDIG is sitting next to a pretty weird control console (with all the squares and toggle switches). I dunno WHAT it’s supposed to be, but I can tell you that, based on my previous experience working in radio, that such a control panel does NOT exist. On the other hand that weird flat top haircut Gil sports in Sample 1 ALSO does not exist, but then, we are talking about Gil Thorp here.

  38. AbsoluteZero
    June 29th, 2005 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    Summer is truly the best time of year in Gilford as the zany antics are non stop. How can this year possibly top Coach Gils past summer exploits:

    - Trying to guilt trip Brent Chubb-Dogg into eating himself to death (2003)

    - Breaking into the golf course in the middle of the night to get an edge in a local tournament (2001)

    - Failing to win a little league championship despite having a hotly contested squad of “beefy looking” youths (2002)

    - Interviewing fourteen thousand assistant football coaches before settling on a beer-league ump whose claim to fame was threatening a local sub shop (2004)

    Who knows what amazing highlights this year may have in store? Maybe Gil will actually talk to his kid. Kids. He’s got two? What the heck?

  39. loudfan
    June 29th, 2005 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    “Trying to guilt trip Brent Chubb-Dogg into eating himself to death”? OK, all I know about Gil Thorp comes from reading Josh’s blog, but this gave me an idea — how about if Gil starts coaching a competitive eating team at Mil#ord High? Yes, it’s a real sport: I love the fact that one of the tournaments is called the Alka-Seltzer US Open.

  40. Valiant
    June 29th, 2005 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp faithful will remember that Gil has his pilot’s license and most summers would fly off to find Mark Trail-ish adventures. Hence the catch-phrase on “oldtip’s daily strip analysis”–”Flying difficulties loom!”

    I commend both the archives and, especially, the aformentioned thread on the discussion board, “The Bucket”. Oldtip and co. was deconstructing Gil years ago. Hilarity ensued.,1,1750365.cartoongallery?coll=cs-gilthorp-current&ctrack=1&cset=true

  41. grumpy
    June 29th, 2005 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    Does anyone know what part of the country Milford is supposed to be in? (There really is a Milford, IA.)
    If the place is west of the Mississippi, shouldn’t the radio station call sign begin with K rather than W?

  42. Bill Peschel
    June 29th, 2005 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    Rita’s table talk reminds me of the MST3K line: “Booze. It’s what’s for dinner.”

    Meanwhile, Gil Thorpe looks like he escaped from the family in Katamari Demancy.

  43. Dondi
    June 29th, 2005 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    Anonymous (#35), I was thinking the same thing: experience teaching one who cannot see or hear would probably be good practice for communicating with one who cannot think.

  44. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    Wow, I haven’t been here in 2 days and am already breathless. But gotta nominate “Booze. It’s what’s for dinner” as COTW, considering, as Josh and many others have pointed out, it’s from Mary Worth!

    We haven’t had MW here in our local for a few years and like many, had not read it for several years until I joined this Cult, Club


    Take a drunken stranger into your pricey condo: $1,000 per month

    Take a drunken stranger out to dinner with your pole-up-the ass boyfriend: Priceless!

  45. SmartyLibrarian
    June 29th, 2005 at 6:57 pm [Reply]

    I’m surprised that nobody has has asked the most important question: why does Lu Ann wear a neck-huggin track suit when jogging with Margo, but feels free to run around in skimpy booty-shorts with Tommie? People want to know!

  46. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    Maybe ol Gil will actually have to hang out with his wife and kids this summer!

    Death, death to him!

  47. Speed Racer X
    June 29th, 2005 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    Come on now, let’s not have the guys reading our blog think that we DON’T want them to start making fun of each other! Tear down your house-of-cards “truce” and let loose on lame and sputtering strips like BC, Cathy, and Garfield!
    Let your hate guide you! Strike them down and you will become more powerful than any Schultz!

    Oh, and Death to Gil Thorpe!!

  48. Frank Drackman
    June 29th, 2005 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    in APT3-G today, the water coming out of the fountain Luann is drinking from is in the shape of a flacid penis.

  49. Anonymous
    June 29th, 2005 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    Frank Drackman
    in APT3-G today, the water coming out of the fountain Luann is drinking from is in the shape of a flacid penis.

    Yowsa! You’re right!

  50. Beasley
    June 29th, 2005 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    Oops….#49 was by me, by the way.

  51. laughing on the inside
    June 29th, 2005 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    And once LuAnn comes into contact with said fountain her thoughts immediately go to Scott.
    Wonder what the Miracle Worker Tommie could do to help our friends.

  52. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    Hey you people have dirty minds!

    Water coming out of a water fountain ALWAYS looks like a flacid penis!

    (or is it just me?)

  53. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    And let’s be thankful that Luann and Tommy aren’t wearing those Elvis jumpsuits to jog in like they did last time.

  54. Adam-12
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    Why does Buck Foxworth have what appears to be an Apple IIe in his hospital room? I remember those things from high school. We thought they were so advanced! Hell, we didn’t even have a College of Cardinals way back then!

    Who’s the babe in the bikini in today’s “Crankshaft?” She’s no Edda, but it’s more than I would have expected from Crankshaft. Which begs the question, are the comix getting sexier (or am I just lonely)?

  55. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    Islamorada Girl – Say it ain’t so! Gil Thorp has kids?

    Kill me now!

  56. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    Adam, when you’re a patient in Only Hospital, you take what you can get.

    Word is, they still use leeches. And ether.

  57. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    I know what Gil Thorp’s gonna do this summer! He’s gonna take polka lessons!

    death,death to his big old shufflin’ frankenstein feet!

  58. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    RBF— Yes. According to Gil’s bio, he and Mrs. Coach have a boy and a girl. Now, that’s a gene pool that’s met the ce-ment pond.

    Don’t be fooled by a couple of days of irony, Cards! Only death can rid us of the great Coach Satan!

  59. glubb?
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:36 pm [Reply]

    What’s with all the head tilting in Thorp? Gil’s tilted to the right, then the left, then the house follows suit, then the beach guy right, the DJ right, grandma right. Some kinda friggin’ code.

  60. Islamorada Girl
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    Also, did anyone else notice in the last panel of Ritzilla’s rant about being a washed up #$^%$@,
    it looks as if the potted palm on her right is reaching out to grab her?
    You know it’s bad when the houseplants want to kill you.

  61. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:40 pm [Reply]

    Once again, we take what we can get. A few days of Polka-clad irony from (death to) GT geeky teens might make the next few weeks of trying to guess who is who (not to mention m/f?) a bit more palatable.


    But you gotta admit, this is too friggin’ funny. How many teens (even in the 50′s) would be interested in Polka music (or at least, admit to it).

  62. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    Ritzilla, escapee from The Little House of Horrors!

  63. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:50 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, The Little SHOP of Horrors

  64. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    Does anyone lament the witticism of Dilbert as much as I do? Years ago I had his strips plastered all over my office. Now it’s just this totally half-assed crap with the little rat or whatever.

  65. Adam-12
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    I presume that the “camera” in MW has zoomed in, but it looks like Dr. Jeff and Mary suddenly grew in size, while Rita’s hair changed color and style. While Mary looks totally ticked, I don’t quite place the look on Dr. Jeff’s face. Surprise? Bemusement? What’s causing his eyes to bug out like that (other than the impending bar tab)? I’ll bet this will be one fun car ride home!

  66. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    I should have said ‘lament the loss of the’ witticism — what a classic, lost.

  67. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    Yep what a fun car ride (after Meddlin and Jeff have to get the security guards from the resturant to remove her and help them load her into it).

    Then what fun when she and Mary arrive home. Jeff whispers to Mary: “She’ll pass out shortly. Let’s have some foreplay.”

    Mary: “Are you nuts? What’s foreplay?”

  68. Adam-12
    June 29th, 2005 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    There’s a lot to be said for going out on top. While I mourn the loss of such greats as “Calvin and Hobbes” and “The Far Side” I can understand why Watterson and Larson decided to call it quits. Better to get out before you become a once funny but now repetitive piece of mindless drivel. This leaves us with the “Gil Thorps” and “Family Circuses” (Circuii?). I suspect “Dilbert” and “Pearls Before Swine” are in their downward arcs. After all, they’re both missing more than they’re hitting.

  69. RBF
    June 29th, 2005 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    Yep, same for “Ziggy”. That one was very witty for years but, downward arc as well.

    (had his plastered on wall at work too.) Loved the one where he asked the bookstore clerk where the “self-help” books were, and……… damm these lost brain cells. Will find it and post a link.

  70. Bookworm
    June 29th, 2005 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    That’s Crankshaft’s granddaughter Mindy (Pam & Jeff’s daughter) in Crankshaft today.

  71. Adam-12
    June 29th, 2005 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    Thanks Bookworm.

    RBF, I think I know to which “Ziggy” you are referring (though I can’t remember how it goes either). I’m not sure which is worse: that I think Mindy is a CILF or that I recall a Ziggy comic.

  72. Nom du Jour
    June 29th, 2005 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    Ok, here’s the plan.

    We enlist PETA to go in and free all the monkees that are forced to work on Gil Thorp. Talk about animal cruelty.

    You can tell it is done by monkey. They go from poker to polka. What’s next, pomegranates? Then ponton boat racing? Jeez monkeys, quit reading the dictionary and get back to work.

  73. Beasley
    June 29th, 2005 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    (or is it just me?)

    Yes. It’s just you. ;)

    And, as Adam-12 was saying…Dilbert is another one that has gone its course and should quit while it (used to be) ahead.

    It is no longer relevant (at least not so much as it used to be). And, for that matter, Sally Forth is in the same vein….they are both White Elephants.

  74. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    June 29th, 2005 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth, meanwhile, is just now finding a niche among those @#$%@$@# jerk *&^%*&%$% in-the-know. It’s been a long wait, but her time has come.

    I do think there’s something seriously wrong with Dr. Jeff. Something very wierd, maybe some sort of Oedipus thang going on there.

  75. PizzaBagel
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    Ooh! Ooh! The latest installment of the Ragin’ Ritzilla Roadshow is available online – at least it is at the Houston Chronicle website. Unfortunately, there’s no @&%$!#* language from Rita today. But she does flip out and knocks over what I presume is her twelfth glass of scotch that the waiter is delivering. I expect her to snap at him tomorrow for not bringing her the refill she demanded.

  76. Luban
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    RBF, Von Haney’s just a low-level fill-in DJ — he doesn’t have to like the polka music he’s playing… How much you wanna bet Von tries to mix in some slammin’ Southside hiphop into the Polka Parade? Not that it hasn’t been tried before

  77. loudfan
    June 29th, 2005 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

    I love the yellow rays that are coming from the waiter & his toppled tray in today’s MW! The rays seem to represent holiness, which would make Rita… Satan.

    Since I don’t regularly read 3G, everytime I see a reference to Luann in the comments thread, I immediately picture teenage Luann. Maybe we should start referring to them as Luanne-3G and Luanne-DG (for DeGroot)? Too complicated? OK then.

    Also, what’s the deal with the 6/29 B.C. … with the punch line about how the vegetarian dishes are listed under salads? Sadly, at a lot of American restaurants, even the salads are chock full o’meat.

    I personally think the PBS storyline about Osama Bin Laden living with the Family Circus has been hilarious. Mr. loudfan and I are always arguing about that strip… I think it’s funny, and he doesn’t. As ever, humor is subjective.

  78. phineaus j. whoppigoldberg
    June 30th, 2005 at 12:01 am [Reply]

    Those glasses are so Jim Rockford. So Jim Rockford that even Noah Berry Jr. would laugh and nod and then say he wasn’t being paid enough since he was stealing the scenes from Garner.

  79. Dub Not Dubya
    June 30th, 2005 at 4:19 am [Reply]

    What a smashing performance by Ms. Begler!

  80. Zipper the mule
    June 30th, 2005 at 5:26 am [Reply]

    When I think Rita, I think “Now there’s a classy broad.”

    &%$##* – A !

  81. Dub Not Dubya
    June 30th, 2005 at 5:30 am [Reply]

    Apologies if this has already been posted, but I could not resist sharing these truly evil Rejected “Love Is…” Comics:

  82. Sheila
    June 30th, 2005 at 5:35 am [Reply]

    Re the Phantom, I don’t mean to be pedantic or anything, but — “abject” violence?

    Merriam-Webster On-Line defines “abject” as:

    1. sunk to or existing in a low state or condition (to lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fallen — John Milton)
    2a. cast down in spirit: SERVILE, SPIRITLESS (a man made abject by suffering) 2b. showing utter hopelessness or resignation (abject surrender)
    3. expressing or offered in a humble and often ingratiating spirit (abject flattery, an abject apology)

    So what the heck is “abject violence”?

  83. Islamorada Girl
    June 30th, 2005 at 6:01 am [Reply]

    You go, Ritzilla!
    Apparently, she’s switched from scotch to some kind of cocktail involving blue caracao, according to the colorist in the Chron.

    Mary is finally getting just what she asked for.

  84. Skip Tracer
    June 30th, 2005 at 7:43 am [Reply]

    Dub Not Dubya , thanks for the link! That’s hilarious! I haven’t laughed so hard at a ‘Love Is’ panel since…well, I’ve never laughed at a ‘Love Is’ panel until now.

  85. Scout
    June 30th, 2005 at 8:06 am [Reply]

    I may be new here, but why is everyone assuming that Rita is an alcoholic? If you had to live and/or dine with Mary, would you want to endure it sober? If I was forced to sit across the table from Mary Righteous and Dr. Lame, MD, I would much rather amuse myself by getting trashed than actually have to listen to Mary and Dr. Goodbody discussing the benefits of savings accounts and chastity belts. So, drink up, Rita – because, God knows, if I had to live with a shrew like Mary Worth, I’d be looking for solace from the bottom of a bottle of Scotch too.

  86. Smitty Smedlap
    June 30th, 2005 at 8:09 am [Reply]

    Today’s Gil Thorp reads much better when you realize that Von Haney is “going roadside down a one-way street.” That plikkety-plokkety beat of the polka music must’ve gotten to him.

    And now, here comes Marty Moon, who as we know has been known to have “been there” a time or two at the station. Splutt blubb.

  87. Mooncity
    June 30th, 2005 at 8:21 am [Reply]


    Does it GET any BETTER?!!!?

    Truly, the last thing I expected was Ritzilla on a restaurant rampage! Well, if I were a washed-up, wash-out, never-was, grieving lush like the Ritzster, I guess I’d be pretty mad about getting such an obviously watered down drink, too!

  88. RBF
    June 30th, 2005 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    The old guy in Panel 2 of today’s Gil Thorp could pass for Luke Foxworth’s twin! Except the guy in GT doesn’t have that badly botched (as Beasley prev. pointed out) Nike™ tattoo on his forehead.

  89. daChipster
    June 30th, 2005 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    MW: What comes next?

    Jeff: We’ve got to get her out of here.
    Mary: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
    Jeff: Roo Roo!


    Rantin’ Rita (to other diner): How much for your women?


    Waiter’s tray (to back of Ritzilla’s head): CLONG!


    Rita: Oh, I’m so sorry. Here, let me suck that scotch out of your shirt.

  90. daChipster
    June 30th, 2005 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Damn, just when this strip was gettin’ good, they have to go and bring Mark Trail back into it!

    I can’t wait for the scene where it’s a cloudy, chilly day, and Scott stands at the window of the fishing lodge, looking out over the lake. Lynn and Boyd are out fishing.

    Boyd: Hail Mary, fulla grace…

  91. Liz
    June 30th, 2005 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    OMG! It’s my dream come true! Yes, the waiter didn’t get the glass to the forehead, but I’ll take the violent Rita outburst!

    Please please PLEASE let Dr. Jeff swoon tomorrow…

    and daChipster- a Blues Brothers comment at this early morning hour is the ONLY thing that could make me laugh out loud :)

  92. illogickel
    June 30th, 2005 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    First post, yadda yadda

    So, what is up with today’s 9CL? Who knew Edda had 3 arms… am I missing something – is that supposed indicate movement?

    I swear I’m not usually this dense =)

  93. Dennis Jimenez
    June 30th, 2005 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    If Rita approaches, do not delay – RUN FOR HIGHER GROUND.

  94. Jimmy
    June 30th, 2005 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    I’m hoping Rita makes a play for Dr. Jeff… oh, the horror of it all!

  95. DCBirdblaster
    June 30th, 2005 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    9CL: I noticed that ‘one too many arms’ thing too. It’s got to be intentional for some reason. But what? What is the artist trying to convey? Does it have some kind of symbolic meaning? And most importantly, why the hell do I care?

  96. Irina
    June 30th, 2005 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    Dang. I-Girl stole the “Blue Caracao” joke out from under me.

    I’m still waiting for Mary and Dr. Jeff to be chopped into quivery bloody pieces with a butter knife after they suggest to Ritzilla that they’re all going dutch.

    You think Rita’s pissed now? Just wait until her destitute kiester is served with a $125 bar tab.

  97. Doug
    June 30th, 2005 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    Sheila, thanks for pointing out the “abject” thing–”abject violence” doesnt really make any sense. I cant figure out what he meant to say, though. “Object violence” maybe?

  98. danh
    June 30th, 2005 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    Total props to Liz in comment #15 for prophesizing Rita’s assault on the waiter. Do you have some inside info we need to know about?

  99. Mooncity
    June 30th, 2005 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    I can’t WAIT for tomorrow’s Mary Worth! Surely it must be even BETTER than the last two days, because tomorrow’s a FRIDAY! There’s always more drama at the end of the week, and I just can’t contain myself anticipating more Rita Rage! I’m thinking eventually she’ll pass out and they’ll have to carry her to the car. But until then, we can look forward to more cursin’ and throwin’ stuff!

  100. Irina
    June 30th, 2005 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    OMG! Vincete and wife have names!!

    So. Lynn and Scott are joining Boyd for a weekend of murde — er … fishing.

    I’ve been curious, though. Where do they live? I think someone remarked quite a while ago on the polluted, yellow, dusty skies of The City. I’ve seen said skies at least 3 more times since then.

    Along with lots of birds.

    Anyone know of any smog/smoke/dust-laden city that’s popular with pidgeons, geese and raptors?

    At least the owl had enough sense to stay away in the adjacent forest to go squirrel huntin’

  101. rich24
    June 30th, 2005 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    My god, will the Phantom’s “Mina” subplot never end? (“What’s wrong, Mina?” “There are the gods of LOWER things! The gods of poops — and farts – !!”) Scary stuff. Two questions, though – did I misread the earliest episodes in this endless story – wasn’t Mina part of some neo-Nazi group when she was introduced? And where’s Mrs. Phantom and the kids?? Have they been written out?

  102. Sarah
    June 30th, 2005 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Y’know, I believe Rita is channeling Babi. And why wouldn’t she, I mean, “his phallus is the bolt on the doors of heaven”!!! Not to mention the mast on the Underworld ferryboat. Those wacky Ancient Egyptians…

  103. Dennis Jimenez
    June 30th, 2005 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Raging Rita took an axe
    And gave ol’ Mary forty wacks
    And when she saw what she had done
    She gave doc Jeffrey forty-one….

    Oh Yeah, then she was aquited on the “just channeling Babi” defense.

  104. Archivalist
    June 30th, 2005 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    Forget Tommie’s shades, check out her, um, “enhancement” in the last panel. Where did those come from? And did anyone else read Tommie’s and Luann’s exchange in Panels 1 and 2 this way:

    L: “Everyone tells me about their favorite charities or issues now, Tommie.”

    T: “Good, I’ll tell you about mine.”
    (next panel)
    T: “Hmm, skin cancer, killing young people.”

  105. Bookworm
    June 30th, 2005 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    Scout, we’re assuming Rita is an alcoholic based on several previous panels you must have missed, including the following:

    And does anybody else read “Speed Bump?” Today’s panel reads much more interestingly if you’ve read today’s “Judge Parker” first.

  106. MaryAnnTheRest
    June 30th, 2005 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    The first thing I thought when I saw Mary Worth today was… I gotta go to CC RIGHT NOW… somebody totally called that. Go Liz!

    At first I was confused by A3-G today. If Scott and Luanne have been talking almost every day about their service project, how come Luanne doesn’t know what the project is? Then I remembered–it’s Luanne.

  107. gnome de blog
    June 30th, 2005 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    It’s only a matter of time before her Maryness and the Doctor inveigle Ragin’ Rita into the drunk farm, where she will get sober and undergo a complete personality transplant. Which leaves only the little problem of NO HEALTH INSURANCE.

  108. gnome de blog
    June 30th, 2005 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    It appears that both Anne Sullivan, er, Tommie, and Luann have had recent makeovers. Luann, in fact seems to be evolving. In just a day (comic time) she’s acquired a gauntness, even desperation, brought on by her impending date with Scoot Gaines and all his wealth.

    Or maybe she just can’t remember what she looked like this morning.

  109. Nom du Jour
    June 30th, 2005 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    Ok, I know we said no discussion of politics and/or religion, but in today’s FC we see the dolly llama b*tching about lil Jeffy’s prayer style and the legality of it. Since when did the Keanes become sooooo political? Are they making a statement about muslims and prayer styles? Is the dolly llama going to be flushing Jeffy’s holy word down the cr*pper anytime soon? Is lil Jeffy going to go postal anytime soon?

    We can only hope.

  110. Lor
    June 30th, 2005 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    LOL, rich24! I’m twith you. Reading today’s Phantom my first thought was: so, now we’re getting the Nasty Gods of the Underworld grand tour? Cut to the chase already – let’s have some poisoned blowdarts, rolling boulders, even a pit of snakes. Time for some roo-roo!

  111. kate
    July 1st, 2005 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    thank god josh is back, because its bad enough having that mary worthless monkey on my back without his soothing, methadone-like commentary. rita rocks and may soon put mary in a straightjacket situation. whoopeee!

Comments are closed for this post.