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Barf ’n’ soaps

Garfield, 7/18/09

Some years back, some friends of mine got married at a little camp they had rented in lovely Big Island, Virginia, in the rural foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. After the reception, they headed over to a nearby bed and breakfast, while most of the guests crashed overnight at the camp; the next day, the happy couple came back to the camp to have lunch with us, with a tale to tell. Apparently, there was one other couple also spending their wedding night at the bed and breakfast that night, and at breakfast the next morning, they looked like they were in more or less a state of shock — as my friend put it, they appeared to have experienced “a night full of terrible discoveries.” That’s what popped into my mind here when I saw John and Liz’s traumatized faces. Have they crossed some line, gone someplace from which they can never return? Will they ever be the same again? Was there a lot of tongue involved?

I’m amused, meanwhile, that Garfield feels a need to euphemize a disgust-prompted quantum of vomit as a “hairball.” Perhaps Paws, Inc., believes that the newspaper comics morals police would accept a reference to the sort of regurgitation natural to the cat lifestyle, whereas straight-up barfing would be forbidden. Clearly, they hadn’t seen this.

Mary Worth, 7/18/09

Speaking of people who have just experienced a night of terrible discoveries, check out Mary and Delilah’s devastated facial expressions here. You’ll have noticed that, while I breathlessly kept you up to date two weeks ago on every aspect of the interaction between Mary, Delilah, and Charley, I have been silent in the aftermath; that’s because the aftermath was boring, consisting of Mary and Delilah having the same pointless conversation, about how Delilah should get back together with her husband and Delilah saying she’d like to but she’s not sure, that they had for like three solid weeks leading up to the wonderful Charley episode. Mary is now washing her dishes with a look of defeated resignation on her face, her meddling having apparently failed to break through Delilah’s thick skull. Delilah, meanwhile, has chosen to wander unescorted around Charterstone in her revealing outfit, which will surely result in Charley leaping out of the bushes and wooing her with more transparent sleazy banter. Thus are the punishments the gods dish out to those who ignore Mary’s sound advice.

Gil Thorp, 7/18/09

Meanwhile, in Gil Thorp: The Stalkening, it appears we just might have a worthily bonkers summer storyline. WHO could hurling these baseballs at Gil and/or leaving them in his mailbox, since Shep Trumbo is “on vacation” (i.e., in prison for loosening the caps of all those saltshakers)? Who has Gil wronged in a baseball-themed manner, leading him to lurk in the shadows, wearing a Phantom of the Opera-style half-mask, cackling evilly and plotting revenge? Could it be Elmer Vargas, now condemned to work for the Kalamazoo Kings for all time? Clambake, whose dreams of baseball coaching glory were forever ruined by his ugly season with the Mudlarks? Everyone who’s played on the baseball team for the past six years and failed to go anywhere in the playdowns?

Mark Trail, 7/18/09

I’ve never had anyone assassinated by a sniper right in front of me, but I’m willing to bet the resulting noise would really be more like a BLAM or a KA-POW or a neeeeerrrMMP than a WHAM. However, the more important question is: what sound effects will the bullets make as they are punched out of the air one by one by Mark, as he slowly and deliberately makes his way back to confront our sinister villain?

63 responses to “Barf ’n’ soaps”

  1. carbunicle
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:07 pm [Reply]

    Why is Telly Savalas looking in Gil Thorp’s mailbox?

  2. Scherzo (I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key)
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:07 pm [Reply]

    If a silencer was used, the sound should be something like “whoosh!” If not, “BANG!!!” Obviousously the Elrod conflated the two.

  3. 150
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    Oh my gosh, I’m really glad you commented on Mark Trail. I thought the “WHAM” was the sound of the blue guy kicking over trash cans.

  4. Amateur
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    Garfield: Today’s Garfield was actually a Garfield Minus Garfield! Davis must like the idea so much he’s decided to adopt it.

  5. Orange Cactus
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:09 pm [Reply]

    I just like that the assassin has remembered to wear blaze orange. Safety first!

  6. buckyswife
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    Oops—I got cut off in my reply:
    y284 commodorejohn: I agree that raising the question is important—and that finger-pointing can alienate people. But by making the issues so “palatable,” he also makes it easy to dismiss them and to deny responsibility. After reading his descriptions, it’s easy to say, “well, humans aren’t really the problem here” or “this doesn’t affect me” or “someone else is taking care of this”—all attitudes that perhaps aren’t sufficient at this point.

    But I must confess that this whole thing is a big personal issue with me right now and that I’m probably taking it all too seriously.

    Either that, or my hormones are totally whacked out at the moment—equally likely. Or, more likely, both.

    I’ll be relieved when I can go back to speculation about what Mark will punch next.

  7. buckyswife
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    #3 150: Okay, with your “blue guy” comment, I now have a picture in my mind of a Mark Trail-Blue Man Group crossover. And it’s not pretty.

  8. Joseph Finn
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:12 pm [Reply]

    Wait, did Gil Thorp just rip off a scene from The Insider?

  9. Bryan
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    Wasn’t Jack Elrod a CIA assassin for, like, twenty years? I read that on the Internet so it must be true.

    You’ve got 7/19 as the dates for Garfield and Mark Trail on this post. Sorry to be an anal-retentive prick, but I thought you’d want to know.

  10. John Seavey
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    Delilah really does look like she’s contemplating self-strangulation. (Maybe that’s why she’s breaking up with her husband; he won’t indulge her “erotic asphyxiation” fetish.)

  11. Digger
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    It would seem that the sniper in Mark Trail is using some kind of Giant Word Gun, as it appears Joey Williams is actually being knocked over by the word “WHAM!”

  12. WilliamPorygon
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    As is typical, Saturday’s Garfield works better without Garfield.

  13. anon
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    When I first skimmed over Mark Trail, I must have also skimmed over the ostentatiously-garbed Orange Attacker. I read the caption, “Joey Williams decides to tell Mark Trail what he knows”, and only saw “WHAM!” as Joe apparently kicks over the trash cans.

    “Evidently,” I thought, “Joey has decided that the best way to give Mark his information is to do it through interpretive dance, or perhaps wanton destruction.”

    What made me truly sad is that I figured this was normal for Mark Trail.

  14. the angry black woman
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    I love how that second MW panel is labeled “Meanwhile” but there’s nothing going on. “Meanwhile… Delilah exists” “Meanwhile… Delilah walks” “Meanwhile… bamboo slowly crowds out all other flora in Charterstone and begins plans to go after the fauna.”

  15. One-eyed Wolfdog
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, honestly, Delilah looks like she’s monitoring her pulse with the fingers on her right hand to see what happens while she makes some experimental probes with the fingers on her left hand.

  16. the angry black woman
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    Okay, looking at the Sunday Mary Worth, I wonder if the artist left something out of Saturday’s last panel, because *something* has happened and now it’s days later and Delilah is up to no good! She’s about to make a call! Meanwhile…

  17. BigTed
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    This hotsy-totsy makeout session between Jon and Liz can only mean one thing…. at long last, Jon is about to get de-virginized! Garfield’s look of disgust, meanwhile, is because he just realized he’ll finally have to tell Jon where kittens come from.

  18. sam l.
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    RE: Garfield: I believe the primary reason for the character’s concern is the fact that they both have their hands in each other’s pockets. Clearly some sort of sex-act daring escalation has occurred here, culminating with John apparently attaching some sort of leech to his ladyfriend’s face.

  19. Lisa
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    I think a silencer would make a sound more like WHUMP than WHAM.

    So maybe the guy is getting knocked over by a stray sonic boom?

  20. Josh
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    #9 Bryan — fixed and fixed. The troubles of doing comics on a date other than the one on which said comics were published.

    By the way, if folks feel like being kind enough to note my typos (which I do appreciate, by the way; no need to label yourself anal-retentive over it), it’s best to e-mail them to me ( I often only check the comments two or three times a day, so it could be a while before I see a correction in the comments.


  21. Joe Lon Mackey
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    It’s obvious that the shot was not meant as a killing measure, but a warning because the fucker was kicking the trashcans, resulting in “WHAM” and destroying the tranquility of the Lost Foreest.

  22. tb4000
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    Considering the sound of a car starting in Gil Thorp is “BAMF!” and the sound of homoerotic dry humping is “KRA-KOOOM!”, the “wham” is not that far fetched.

  23. ms. docweasel
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:55 pm [Reply]


    Delilah stalks the grounds of Charterstone, trying to remember the lyrics to all 15 verses of _The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald_.

  24. Big Ol' Hairball
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    Is that big “L” on Jon’s face his nose or some sort of reverse Hapsberg lip? And if it is his nose, where does his mouth go when he’s not talking? The whole thing is very disturbing no matter how you look at it…

  25. Mibbitmaker
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    Comments on the above:

    Garfield: Well, it was good enough for Ren & Stimpy.

    MT: Well, Josh, there are possibly at least a couple of old Popeye cartoons (and maybe a Superman or two from the same studio(s) as well) that may answer the bullet question.

  26. One-eyed Wolfdog
    July 19th, 2009 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    If the first words out of Joey’s mouth on Monday aren’t, “I was shot at and fell down!”, then this isn’t the Mark Trail that I know and love.

  27. sugarpie
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    Mary W In the first panel, Mary’s as bored as we are with this plot and Delinah So bored that she’s mentally reciting a list of other comic strips she could defect to: “Lets see, For Better or for Worse? No, even I have my standards. Luann? Nah, I hear that TJ makes a killer salmon square-too much competition,. How about Gil Thorpe? Well maybe…Mimi Thorpe does have that sparkly kitchen. Crankshaft? Oh baby thats it! I wonder if Eddie is still up to a little “diggin’ in the garden” ?

  28. fishmorgjp
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps the rifleman is actually miles away, shooting at a fuzzy animal. Meanwhile, the Invisible Man, eager to help Mark in his never-ending quest for justice, has run up and belted ol’ Joey a good one.

  29. Smokehouse
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    The sniper is just there for backup, the real assassination plot is those barrels – depth charges being dropped by air. Thus the ‘wham’.

  30. Mibbitmaker
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    #25 (me):

    Two “Well”s? Bad writing, mibbit.

  31. Grandstanding Oddball
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    I’m more interested in the way that Gil’s wife is starting to pull his shirt up and off right there on the front doorstep. No, really, I am actually disturbingly interested in it.

  32. mollificent
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    Y#278 queek, re: potential Youtube reenactment…hmm…gotta find me an Amos. :)

  33. Comrade Denny
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    #1 – curbunicle:

    Clearly, Kojak’s on the case – or rather, the cos-playing “Kazjak,” and instead of popping lollipops into his mouth, he’s going to pop his fists into the perp’s.

  34. Red Greenback
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    (I’m a Litterbug)
    You put the WHAM! right into my heart
    I send the cans a-flyin’ when your shootin’ starts.

  35. Ktrout
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: even when a long-hair wants to go straight, he still has to die.

  36. NoahSnark
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    Pupil dilation indicates that what made Jon and Liz’s kiss so special was the drugs Garfield slipped into their coffee.

  37. Roto13
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one seeing this, or is Mrs. Thorp untucking Gil’s t-shirt so she can shove her hand down the front of his pants? If that’s where this strip is going, I’m really happy that there’s a new artist, because I don’t need to see a penis with a bobble head.

  38. Isaac
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    I read the last panel of today’s Gil Thorp as “Then Asian- Maybe not!”

    I’m not sure what this means.

  39. commodorejohn
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    #6 buckyswife – I get what you’re saying, and yeah, Jackelrod’s glib naivete is almost as ill-suited to conservation issues as it was to domestic abuse. However, I think that probably the best outcome that could be hoped for is for people to be inspired to research the issue; I doubt anybody who is truly apathetic is going to be motivated to action by Mark Trail laying out the state of things, and certainly nobody who is already convinced otherwise is going to say “well, if Jack Elrod says, it must be so!” I think the best role the strip could serve in these kinds of issues is just to make people realize that there is a problem.

  40. buckyswife
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    MT: This is the big mob-assassination scene? Where’s the blood? The gore spewing from the exit wound? You might as well have brought in a plank-wielding hit man. If you’re going to introduce a gun, Elrod, then you’d best be prepared to use it properly (good god, man, know your Chekhov Sopranos or get off the stage!).

  41. Elliegal
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    Are those muffins growing on Gil’s shrub in panel 1?

  42. Jim Clarke
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    #4 beat me to the punch. I’m pretty sure Jim Davis, LLC is writing strips specifically for Garfield Minus Garfield now.

  43. buckyswife
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    39 commodorejohn: Yeah, I know…. You gotta admit, though: The man makes a handy target for free-ranging animosity!

  44. AirForbes
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:49 pm [Reply]

    41 Elliegal – they look more like cinnamon rolls to me. Definitely some kind of baked goods.

  45. Rusty
    July 19th, 2009 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    $10 bucks says Jim Davis has never kissed a female, other than his mom.

  46. Black Drazon
    July 19th, 2009 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    #27 sugarpie: Darn, you beat me too it! Mine was going to be: “For Better or For Worse! My god, I thought you were dead! And all I had to do was look at the strip above mine instead of into the faces of my costars.”

  47. Kallista
    July 19th, 2009 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    Charterstone must have hellacious homeowners’ association fees in order to afford the humpback whales sounding in the pond.

  48. Joe Blevins
    July 19th, 2009 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary really wants these two to get back together. In panel one, she shows she’s even willing to offer her good china up as a sacrifice to Almighty God if only He would reconcile them. Mary’s no theologian, but she has a vague notion of God being Jewish and, therefore, using two sets of dishes.

  49. cj
    July 19th, 2009 at 11:53 pm [Reply]


    You know, ever since Cheney left the White House in Marine One, I hadn’t the slightest idea what he was doing. Now I know.

  50. Jeff Soesbe (yeff)
    July 20th, 2009 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    It’s a shame that Joey had to get killed right as he spied the members of his favorite 80s dance band ever. Alas, he could only get out the band name. Mark, being completely out of touch with anything resembling modern music will never get Joey’s dying clue that the true murderers were George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.

    Don’t believe it? Recall George Michael’s omni-present facial hair. Villain! Villain!

    - yeff

  51. Katya
    July 20th, 2009 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    Oh, my gosh, gosh, Josh, I’m just delirious with joy. A couple of days with no new snark from you and now two new threads all at once? Have I died and gone to heaven?

    I’m drunk as a skunk at the moment, so please forgive my typos (I know there won’t be any; I can write in my sleep. Am I not just the most arrogant thing alive? Sorry…I really am just joking…but I am drunk…but I still can write…ha, ha!).

    Anyway, thanks so much for that image of Mr. Mark Trail punching the bullets aside one by one as they come at him from the assassin’s gun! Too funny, and I’ll be laughing about it for a while.

    Nighty-night, all…

    (Hope I won’t be embarrassed in the morning! Ha, ha, ha!)

  52. Lael
    July 20th, 2009 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    I am shocked that Brad and Toni are finally making out, though certainly only making out as they are on the grass in public. However, what really amazes me is that Brad’s hand is totally on Toni’s butt.

  53. ms. docweasel
    July 20th, 2009 at 3:31 am [Reply]

    I’d still rather hunt with Cheney than drive with Ted Kennedy

    40 year anniversary was yesterday, btw. Would have been ironic if Teddy had kicked on that date, would have been a nice double commemoration for cable news.

  54. Ms Avery
    July 20th, 2009 at 4:40 am [Reply]

    Gil: Oh hey, that new baseball I ordered has arrived!
    Stalker: Dammit!

  55. teenchy
    July 20th, 2009 at 6:23 am [Reply]

    MW would work better with Garfield’s thought balloon pasted onto Delilah.

  56. Harry Pothead
    July 20th, 2009 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    Brad finally gets some quality time with Toni Daytona and there is no mention on the Comics Curmudgeon? What is wrong with the world today!?

  57. survivor
    July 20th, 2009 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    That goodness that someone from behind the trash cans was able to sock that dude in the chest with a Jack Elrod dodgeball. It may have saved him from getting hit with a sniper blast.

  58. idathefossil
    July 20th, 2009 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    At last, the true Mark Trail storyline can be discerned. Joey Williams is actually none other than Former Wham! member Andrew Ridgeley (!-2.JPG) who has been drowing the sorrows of his post-Wham! non-career by dumping toxic waste. But the George Michael Mafia is onto him, and determined to execute Andrew before Mark Trail figures out the real truth: that Andrew Ridgeley was actually the creative force behind Wham!

  59. Little Guy
    July 20th, 2009 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    MT: People think that the sniper shot him, but Mark knows that there was a Jackelrod ball in the grassy knoll.

  60. Crankenstank
    July 20th, 2009 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    Maybe that’s what Garfield thinks is how babies are made. When two people love each other very much, the daddy sticks his tongue down the mommy’s mouth, and before you know it, pfffffftttreatttchchchhh, up comes the little hairball all ready to become a fifth wheel.

  61. Amy
    July 20th, 2009 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    From the way her hand is hovering around his waistband, I’d guess that it’s not baseballs Gil’s wife is really concerned with.

  62. giraffe-o
    July 20th, 2009 at 11:52 pm [Reply]

    #11 Digger : I think you are right, the climax of this MT storyline will be not unlike the Beatles kicking the Blue Meanie’s asses in Yellow Submarine. However, Mark would never use the lyrics to “All You Need is Love”… what could his theme song be?

  63. ?????
    August 19th, 2013 at 7:24 pm [Reply]


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