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Gateway drug

Family Circus, 8/30/05

I think that, about ten years from now, we’ll see Dolly sitting on the curb outside a 7-Eleven repeating this exact phrase. Except instead of “Smelling these crayons,” she’ll say “Huffing this paint.” And instead of “think of school and Mrs. Clarke,” she’ll say “dizzy as hell, yo.”

I’m betting the MMMMMMM!! will still be hovering over her head, though. Or at least she’ll see it there.

Meanwhile, I don’t have time to futz around with the CafePress store tonight, but I think we’ve found a hilarious phrase to print on workout clothes:

The great thing about these out-of-context panels and quips from Gil Thorp is they don’t make appreciably more sense in context.

122 responses to “Gateway drug”

  1. Mooselet
    August 30th, 2005 at 10:04 pm [Reply]


  2. joeyjoejoe
    August 30th, 2005 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    Can someone please tell me why there is such perceived prestige in being the first person to comment on a post? Honestly, what’s the big deal?

  3. Chris
    August 30th, 2005 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    Aw, crud…

  4. Chris
    August 30th, 2005 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    It’s bragging rights. You’re just jealous.

    Oh, wait, we’re supposed to be talking about comics… okay, Josh, I could use a T-shirt that would say that “Gil Thorp” phrase. Either that, or something to do with Rita Begler, or something to do with Anthony & Elizabeth.

  5. joeyjoejoe
    August 30th, 2005 at 10:20 pm [Reply]


  6. Marty Busse
    August 30th, 2005 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    And this week, Dick Tracy takes on DVD piracy! DVD pirates show how 1337 they are by threatening to turn snitches into pixels!

    Next week, Sam Catchem will gun down that kid who used a cheat code to pwn someone in a game of Unreal.

  7. Doug Puthoff
    August 30th, 2005 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    Dolly is already suffering the damage of crayon-sniffing.

    She now only has one nostril.

  8. SugarFemme23
    August 30th, 2005 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    I think Dolly isn’t huffing so much as remembering the day she finally got to taste Mrs. Clarks sweet sweet…loving. Which oddly enough, smells like crayons.

  9. Skooter
    August 30th, 2005 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    Rex Morgan, MD: Does anyone have any idea what drug was used on Buck aka ,Pusboy, to keep him in the same position in his hospital bed all these weeks. I’m thinking that he might have some nasty bedsores by now. Why, by the way is Lorna encouraging Buck to perjure himself about giving artifacts to Mr. Combover? Perhaps, she and the good professor have plans for the scrolls and she needs to send Buck up the river.

    MW – Too bad for Mary that Rita can’t take a hint about leaving. I bet the gals down at the Women’s Shelter would just love to learn some cute Italian phrases that they could use on all the low-lifes hanging around the front door. Ciao for now.

  10. Laughing Boy
    August 30th, 2005 at 11:43 pm [Reply]

    10th!!!!! (That’s 01 backwards!!!!!!!!!)

  11. angrymice
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    I believe Ira there is talking to some sort of freakish cat/human hybrid.

  12. Ron
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    If you make an “In the absence of weights” shirt, I believe I may be SO THERE. Maybe a little Gil Thorp head over the nipple, and then the slogan on the back…

    Say, today’s Pearls Before Swine has “Petey Spider,” which I bet is just the name Peter Spiderman took when he came through Ellis Island.

  13. Mibbitmaker
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    You’re durn right, Josh. “What are you doing, Ira?” is a great phrase for a work-out shirt!
    8/31 -

    FBOFW: “She’s driving your sisterback to Mtigwaki.” What happened with Liz and how she was supposed to call the police about that guy that tried to rape her? I dunno, SHE JUST LEFT TOWN! (which, come to think of it, would make a great phrase for a shirt)

    Curtis: I’ll bet Blondie was suspicious when, one day, Dagwood refered to her as “my bitch!”. Daisy was, too, come to think of it.

    3G: Actually, maybe she *should* tell Margo about the marriage proposition story. Then, Ms. Magee will fall asleep long enough to stay out of her roommates’ private affairs.

  14. Matt Estes
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    Speaking of comics and huffing paint:

    Off-topic, but it always makes me giggle.

  15. Adam-12
    August 31st, 2005 at 2:19 am [Reply]

    Re #8: EWWWWWW!!

    And sign me up for an isometrics t-shirt. I’ve been trying to get back into better shape anyways, but don’t have much time to get to the gym. And in the absence of weights, I’d employ……well…you know…

    Oh, almost forgot:

    15th! Wooo-hooo!

  16. Curious George
    August 31st, 2005 at 4:26 am [Reply]

    The young brunette lady on the left advertising the Comics Curmudgeon t-shirt is very attractive.

    I somehow imagine her to be saying “..and how d’you like THESE..”? which probably contributes to her appeal a lot.

  17. Zorba the Geek
    August 31st, 2005 at 4:45 am [Reply]

    Watch it, George. The attractive “young brunette lady” is none other than Amber, our own Comic Curmudgeon’s fiancee and very soon to be Mrs. Curmudgeon. You DON’T want to make Pope Josh angry at you, lest you feel the full force of his wrath. And, BTW, Saint Ruby- many congrats on COTW!

  18. Frank Drackman
    August 31st, 2005 at 5:31 am [Reply]

    I told my mom I was “exercising” the first time she caught me taking care of business.

  19. Chris
    August 31st, 2005 at 6:32 am [Reply]

    Hands down, definitely was the worst FBOFW storyline ever. Worst storyline of any comic strip this year, including Rita. Lynn just let Liz leave town and then nothing has ever happened as a result. A really cheap way of character and plot manipulation.

  20. Chris
    August 31st, 2005 at 6:41 am [Reply]

    Uh oh. Barkeater Lake said it all for us today.

  21. Lee
    August 31st, 2005 at 7:14 am [Reply]


    We can always claim we’re addicted to the feeling of moral superiority we get when we read FBOFW and know that any one of us could do a better job than Lynn.

    Especially in light of this storyline. Not only is Liz apparently NOT going to the police, but Mom & Dad apparently have NO intention of telling April about what happened, thus denying her the chance to be there for her sister at a time when Liz most needs her family’s support.

    Many women who are sexually assaulted never report the crime, for fear that nobody will take them seriously, and for Lynn to trivialize what they are going through, in the name of drawing cheap sentiment from her audience, is irresponsible and reprehensible.

  22. yellojkt
    August 31st, 2005 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    Everybody’s all about “In the absence of weights, I am employing isometrics.” But where was everybody when I was pulling the equally lame alligator mouth, hummingbird rump bandwagon.

    What does Josh have that I don’t? Except for 2000 more page visits a day and an account at CafePress.

  23. Monkeys Uncle
    August 31st, 2005 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    Yet another disjointed floating arm in todays Gil Thorp. Does anyone even know who these charecters are? Why do they all look alike? The storylines are so lame and I …..aaaaghh! It has been said many times before but always rings true, Death to Gil Thorp.

    Hey curmudgeonites, does anyone know Hagar’s middle name?

  24. J.Po
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    Re: #9 – remember that in RMMD time, Pus-Boy has been in bed for approximately 1 1/2 days. Hard to believe, the elongation of time in that strip…I suspect that it may have something to do with a duration-based deductible on Rex’s HEALTH INSURANCE.

  25. dimestore lipstick
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    Re: comment #23

    I think the T stands for The, maybe?

  26. ToastIsYum
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    Why does Mrs. Clarke smell like crayons? And more importantly, why did Dolly smell Mrs. Clarke in the first place?

  27. eben
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:26 am [Reply]

    Now I don’t mean to get off on a rant here… but all you people hating on FBoW, um… shut up. No, seriously, shut up for a second. Lynn Johnston remains a fantastic storyteller, and if you’re just angry because you aren’t getting any resolution on the storyline right the Hell now, then you shouldn’t be reading FBoW. Its a long-form strip in the way almost nothing in the newspapers is a long-form strip anymore.

    Have any of you considered the possibility that Ms. Johnston is just trying to realign the FBoW timeline? It was the middle of the summer before she was done wrapping up April’s graduation. If you track the dailies to real time, April only got a few weeks of summer vacation, not the months she’s entitled to. So maybe the attempted-rape storyline isn’t getting the thorough treatment you want it to because to do so would just throw her further off track and cause her to have to skip Fall entirely, something I imagine she’s loathe to do what with the strip theoretically wrapping up in the near future.

    Moreover, maybe that particular storyline being dealt with lightly is a good thing. Get down off your high horse for one second and forget about the fact that yes, Liz should absolutely file a police report. How could Johnston possibly deal with that in the format of a daily comic strip and do it justice? How could she do so and still have even half of the strips be funny? Sure, she’s allowed a strip without a punchline every now and again — but she uses them sparingly, making them all the more poignant when they hit. I for one am glad we’re not being marched into the month-long ordeal that would be the real drama of the consequences of what happened to Liz. It would be downright grueling.

    When you read FBoW, you have to assume that a lot takes place “off screen.” The last we heard about it, the plan was for Liz to go to the police. Why can’t you assume that she’s done that and get over yourselves? I’m just sayin’.

  28. Lee
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    Lynn, is that you?

  29. Ken
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    Migawi is only the second most barren thing in the strip.

    Oh ho ho Ellie is past her reproductive prime.

  30. jkdunham
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    My daughter is at the stage of loving to eat crayons (it might be a commentary on my cooking…) So without even reading Dolly’s explanation of her Mmmmmm, I took away a whole different meaning.

  31. Cottontail
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    #27… Hello, and Welcome Lynn!


  32. Cottontail
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    Dang, someone beat me to 30th, now I’m 31st.

  33. Occam
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    #27 Eben: I DO mean to get on a rant here. Pardon me if all those years in school, including those college years taking English classes and creative writing classes, have numbed my brain compared to yours, but Lynn is a terrible storyteller. A story has a plot and a resolution; she may be good at coming up with plots but her resolutions are lacking time and time again.

    If Lynn’s problem, as you say, is she has to “realign” her timelines, then maybe she ought to have fewer plots and actually concentrate on finishing a story. Lynn’s the one that chooses to start a storyline; she ought to respect her readers enough to finish it.

    But then, not finishing a storyline is something she’s well-known for doing.

    Regarding the attempted rape storyline, you ask how Johnston could “possibly deal with that in the format of a daily comic strip and do it justice.” Well, here’s a clue: if she wants to present a serious social problem in her daily comic strip, then she NEEDS to think ahead of time as to how she can do it justice or choose not to start that particular storyline at all. There is nothing funny about attempted rape; she should go into that storyline KNOWING that.

    And no, I cannot assume, on the past performance of characters in this strip, that Liz did go to the police. Did the Kelpfroths move? Or are they behaving themselves now? Or do their egregious ways now not bother the Pattersons or their landlady? Did the article Mike Patterson set out to write actually get published and cured the Kelpfroths of being boorish? Oh, pardon me, that was another one of Lynn’s unresolved storylines.

    The most telling thing in your rant, however, was the remark “maybe that particular storyline (the attempted rape) being dealt with lightly is a good thing.” This tells me all I need to know about you.

  34. Lee
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    Thank you, Occam. I think our troll should consider himself beaten and spare himself further (well-deserved) humiliation.

  35. Adfella
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:41 am [Reply]


    1) What’s up with the face of that woman/girl talking to Isometrics Man? Was she the loser of a battery acid-filled water-gun fight?

    2) I don’t get the Gil Thorp strip in my paper, so my only exposure to it is in the occasional excerpts on this site. Could someone please provide a SUCCINCT ONE-SENTENCE DESCRIPTION of the general story lines?

    (For example, one might describe Mark Trail as, “Poorly drawn strip with slow-moving hokey storylines depicting the improbable adventures of straight-arrow outdoor ranger-type whose travels bring him into close proximity to middle-panel giant creatures of the wild.”)

    Any help out there regarding Gil Thorp…I can’t figure out what the hell’s going on there?

  36. Dennis Jimenez
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Never read MW without an air sickness bag handy – words to live by….

    BTW – Congratulations to Saint Ruby on COTW – an excellent sentiment!

  37. rich
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    We don’t need to see an extensive trial, but a simple line here or there just to let us know what’s going on would be nice:

    “Gee, Pop, didja hear that Howard Urk shot himself in the head, thus sparing me having to testify at a lengthy an’ downright grueling trial? Okay then, I’m off to Mtikisghwka!”

  38. Dingo
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    Just how old is Tommie in Apt. 3G? In today’s episode, she looks like Lu Ann’s grandmother (which is probably a slam at the grandmother but unintended).

    #27, thanks for the laugh. I’m not sure which of Lynn’s minions you are but I see a tidy extra $5 and an April doll in your Christmas stocking this year.

  39. yellojkt
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp follows the poorly drawn eponymous exploits of a small town high school athletics coach and his box-of-rocks dumb jocks with their associated groupies and hanger-ons that on many days features migrane-inducing multiple storylines occuring in different panels.

    Did I nail it?

  40. Cottontail
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    Right on the head, yellojkt!

  41. rich
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    It’s easy enough to catch up with Gil Thorp’s adventures, Google “Gil Thorp” to get to its Chicago Tribune website and click on Archives. It’s actually one of the most user-friendly comics sites, with a week’s worth of strips arranged vertically. You’ll catch up on the “storyline” in no time, not that it will make any more sense.

    “Death to Gil Thorp”? Come on, admit it, you’d be miserable if it (or, for that matter, MW, A3G, FBOW) were cancelled! Think how boring the comics pages would be if they were all GOOD strips…what would we talk about?

  42. Maughta
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    I think that Family Circus needs new text. My vote?

    MMMmmmmmm! I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

    Just the thought of Dolly in war makes me happy.

  43. eben
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    Hey Occam? The fact that you felt the need to open your rant with your credentials as a college graduate (or at least college student) tells me all I need to know about you. Um, actually, wait, no, it doesn’t even come close. You’re a complete human being and I’d rather not make any assumptions about you.

    I like Johnston’s storytelling because I feel that it is true to life. Don’t get me wrong, I am sometimes frustrated by the things she doesn’t say, by the threads she doesn’t return to. I like her work anyway. Others don’t, but each to their own, right? There’s no accounting for tastes.

    Oh, and Lee? I don’t consider myself “beaten” or, um, especially humiliated. I’m just talking here. Talking on the internet no less. Engaging in a debate, and more than that just voicing an opinion. Despite the fact that it was phrased as such, my rant was never intended as a personal attack. That part was intended more or less in jest, and if I was unclear about that, that’s my mistake. And if your response was likewise well-intentioned, then I’m sorry for responding to it seriously. But I’m guessing it wasn’t.

  44. Sassy_Rocks
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    Good work, Guran. That Bandar date rape medicine really worked!

  45. Josh
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    Kids, play nice. This is a message from your Uncle Josh.


  46. Dennis Jimenez
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    Who’s coarsening the otherwise jovial tone of our happy blog?

    “Ida know” – “Not me”

  47. Lee
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    Eben, I apologize if you misunderstood my jests. We tend to be rather smart-alecky on this board – it helps alleviate the tedium of the really bad strips. If you took our responses to your attack attacks in kind, I’m sorry.

  48. Ron
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    That said, Lynn Johnston’s a lousy storyteller, for all the reasons that guy mentioned and a dozen more besides.

  49. Anne Nonymous
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Thanks, Uncle Josh (or should we address you as “Your Holiness?”). I think everyone needs to remember that this blog, as well as the Forum, are (so far) unmoderated. If the tone becomes so unpleasant that it needs a moderator, I doubt that Josh has the time to do so (not unless we all start buying a whole lot more Curmudgeon gear, enough to let him retire from other, more remunerative, responsibilities). So, we are left to moderate ourselves. This is supposed to be a fun site, where we can rant and rave about comics, laugh, and, yes, certainly, express differing opinions. Let us just be aware that we can disagree without being unpleasant about it. We’re talking about the comics pages here, people. Remember that, and remember that there are far more serious things going on the world (to name one, the devastating after-effects of Hurricane Katrina). Let us all endeavor to get along, and have one place on the web that we can visit and have a good time.

  50. Lee
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Thank you, Anne. Again, my apologies for any role I’ve played in this mess – the devastation in New Orleans has been weighing very heavily on my heart in the last few days (as I once lived there), and perhaps I’ve lost some perspective because of it.

    I’m sorry.

  51. kelly
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    I haven’t seen this mentioned on any other blogs, but WTF is going on chickweed lane? Are Edda and Seth hugging or making out??

  52. Action Guy
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    on FBoFW, I have to agree with all the parties involved in the attempted rape debate. I enjoy reading FBoFW usually. I enjoy it the same way I enjoy a really nasty car wreck. I don’t take pride in the grisly details, but somehow I can’t stop myself from slowing down to take a look. Maybe a better analogy would be Jerry Springer. I don’t identify with any of the people on the show, but it makes me feel like my life must be okay since it isn’t nearly as bad as the freaks that always show up there.
    That being said, on to a more serious note:
    As the father of a young daughter myself, I am horrified that an attempted rape is so lightly brushed off by the Lynn and the Pattersons. Rape, or in this case, attempted rape is a serious issue. Too many women who have experienced this tend to drop it rather than push the issue. Part of this may be due to the fact that society tends to treat the victim as the guilty party, and some of it is the psychological damage that makes the victim feel as though they somehow are responsible. Maybe Lynn is trying to show that in an offhanded way. It HAS created quite a discussion here for the past two weeks! But my gut tells me she just gave up on this storyline, and went on to happier things. I personally wish if she wasn’t willing to follow through with this, she would have chosen something less serious to include.

  53. Dingo
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    So… let’s revisit Mt. Foob again. If Lizard-breath is off to the Great White North again without having notified authorities of Howard Erk’s attempted romance of a lady who fights back, how soon until he’s back at the Patterson home, this time to terrorize a rising Canuck folk-singing starlet? Will Doc Patterson and his wife ship little roadside off to live with her brother and his wife, further aggravating the Kleproths/Kelpforth/whatever with the constant upstairs noise?

    My bet is that Becky comes to the house to apologize to April for the graduation song – not the singing of it but the purple prose of the lyrics – and is mistaken by Howard Erk for the more adult Liz. Howard runs over her with his car. Her last dying gasp will be to tell April she’s the bestest guitar player in the world and she’ll listen to her from Heaven. April and her studwhore boyfriend will then write a song to sing at Becky’s funeral. The mourners will be so touched by it that they demand it be put on Canadian radio. April becomes an overnight sensation and – before Lynn retires the strip – marries one of her backup dancers. Studwhore boyfriend will meet the love of his life while filming a commercial for Bob’s Stuffed Beavers of Ontario.

  54. Action Guy
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    Does anyone else wonder why the doctor in Spider Man has to go out to his car to turn off the alarm? Doesn’t he have a key fob like everyone else in the world? Just wondering…

  55. Psychic Psam
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    Dingo, in regards to #53, keep your day job. Until you invest in a (imitation) crystal ball, and have completed the mail order psychic’s 3 week course, leave the prognostications to us professionals!

  56. Anne Nonymous
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    kelly (#51), Edda and Seth are just hugging. Edda was going to move out (as per the original understanding when she first moved in with Seth), Seth didn’t want her to move, much angst was strewn around, and now that Edda has decided to stay, they are both so happy, they’re hugging and crying on each other’s shoulders. Man, it’s too bad Seth is gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that- I just mean, for Edda’s sake). He makes Amos look like some dweeby little worm of a man (wait a minute- Amos IS “some dweeby little worm of a man”). And I want to say, many kudos to Saint Ruby for his Comment of the Week win- way to go!

  57. Anne Nonymous
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    Saint Ruby- or, is that “her”?

  58. Action Guy
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    Maybe we should all get together and draw our own comic strip. It couldn’t be any worse than half the crap out there now! Anyone interested?

  59. Action Guy
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    How does it feel to know that not only is your blog read by comic strip writers, but actually influences their work? (Yesterdays quote #15 and today’s Sally Forth)

  60. yellojkt
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    Just about everything is harder than it looks, particularly drawing comics. Check out how bad some webcomics are if you don’t believe me. A new gag 300+ times a year has to be grueling. Some brilliant artists can’t keep up under the pressure.

    There are a lot of Foob-fans out there. Lynn just overplayed her hand on a subject a lot of people, particularly those who know victims of sexual violence, might feel strongly about. I’m amazed it didn’t generate the same MSM response that having Laurence coming out of the closet did.

    Also, my 65 year old dad reads the comics everyday. He loves Prince Valiant and FBOFW and can’t understand Boondocks. I just listen to his opinions and nod my head. We also don’t talk about Iraq.

    There. Three rants for the price of one.

  61. Anne Nonymous
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    Lynn got all kinds of grief for having Farley die, too, as I recall. Far more than when their old neighbor-lady or, later, Ellie’s mom died, I believe. Apparently, it’s okay to kill off people, just don’t touch the animals.

  62. MOP
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    FBofW: Things don’t have to resolved right the hell now, I would just like SOMETHING to get resolved. I guess what’s-her-name got fired from the store for stealing stuff, so there’s one resolution.

    Oh well, it’s still better than Funky Winkerbean, and yet I still read both. BTW, I don’t think Wally’s wearing any pants today.

  63. Bob
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    “There is nothing funny about attempted rape”. How long has it been that my ex-girlfriend voiced those same sentiments and then left? No matter what is said, I will still read FBOFW because I sense sometime in the future everything will come around right and Howard Erk will get his comeuppance (maybe by hitting a moose on the way to Mtigwaki).

  64. Zorba the Geek
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Action Guy (number 59), either somebody stole Psychic Psam’s crystal ball (and should go into the “Phone Psychic” business) or whoever wrote that post works for a newspaper or something and gets to see the strips ahead of time.

  65. Psychic Psam
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Its only imitation crystal. =(

  66. Psychic Psam
    August 31st, 2005 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    And I wrote it! Yeah! THAT’S the ticket! Me and my wife… Morgan Fairchild!

  67. Zorba the Geek
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    Psam, I would have thought your wife would be Morgan LeFay. On another note, did that girl talking to Ira in “Gil Thorp” get battery acid all over her face (as suggested earlier by Adfella), or are those whiskers on her face, and she’s the love-child of Catwoman and someone really, really ugly?

  68. Psychic Psam
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    That was my Tommy Flannegan imitation. From Saturday Night Live.

  69. Birnt
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:24 pm [Reply]


  70. Dingo
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    Actually, if you put a Marlboro in her hand, the acid-tossed woman in today’s Gil Thorp looks a LOT like Sissy Spacek. She can’t be her though, portraying Loretta Lynn, because by that age Dooley had taught her enough about the ways of the world for her to know what he was doing… getting her roadside like Becky the tramp and April the morsel chaser.

    Oh, and I hereby place a hex on Psychic Psam’s emo-ta-shun crystal ball. From now on, all you’ll be able to predict is tomorrow’s Apt. 3G!!!

  71. Dingo
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    Hmm… maybe being #70 isn’t so bad. I’m on the bottom of a 69.

  72. tom
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    How does Dolly say “Mmmmmmmm!” with her mouth open?

  73. Dingo
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    tom, how do you know the “Mmmmmmm!” is emanating from her mouth?

  74. PizzaBagel
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    Possibly, Dolly’s teacher’s first name is Sienna – as in the crayon color burnt sienna. Recalling “The Face Painter” episode of Seinfeld, in which George is going out with a girl named Siena, Jerry tells Elaine, “Yeah, he’s dating a crayon.”

  75. Adam-12
    August 31st, 2005 at 1:34 pm [Reply]


    Now that’s a number to be proud of!

  76. Irina
    August 31st, 2005 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    re: #37 Rich’s comment about Liz mentioning a police report in passing.

    If I hadn’t been involved in a deadline, I would have mentioned that very point.

    LJ doesn’t need a 15-strip trip-to-the-police department-the-hunt-to-arrest-Howard-Erk plot (no matter how much we’d enjoy deriding it), but it *is* possible to resolve a major plot like that by putting it in the past tense exactly as you suggested it.

    It wouldn’t be very satisfying, but it *would* keep us from going on forever in horrified astonishment that the Pattersons continue to ignore it.

  77. Adfella
    August 31st, 2005 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    regarding #39, yellojkt….following up #35…

    Thanks for offering up the one-sentence overview of Gil Thorp. It strikes me as a sort of fun exercize to try to sum up these bad strips in a single sentence.

    Would anyone out there care to take a stab at describing Family Circus in one succinct sentence?

    (Actually, I can sum it up in a single hyphenated word: PURE-CRAP)

  78. guitarpick
    August 31st, 2005 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    For MOP (#62): The girl caught stealing was Kourtney. Her boyfriend was the one who robbed the store and stole the antique train that belonged to Mr. Patterson.

    FBoFW used to be a delightful strip about the quirks of kids and parents growing up. Now it’s gotten too dark. At least the Patterson kids have aged, unlike the perrenial time warp most strips are in. I’m a comic strip artist myself (for the school paper) and I know how grueling it is…especially when the ink smears!

  79. Smitty Smedlap
    August 31st, 2005 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    I miss Brent-Rap-Dawg.

  80. Irina
    August 31st, 2005 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    Free Hutch Renfrew!

    er. sorry. Just got carried away.

  81. Occam
    August 31st, 2005 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    # Eben: My remarks about my schooling were merely perspective, a little personal information on the point of view from which I write. Like Psychic Psam’s admission that his/her crystal ball is imitation crystal.

    Your remarks, like “shut up” and “get down off your high horse,” well, I guess those are perspectives, too, from which you speak. Why would anyone take those phrases personally?

    And for your information, I actually like “For Better or For Worse.” I just wish Lynn would spend a little more time tying up story lines. Yes, in real life sometimes “storylines” aren’t tied up neatly. But FBoFW is not real life. How many mystery novels sell well that DON’T tell you who committed the crime?

    Honestly, Josh, I’m trying to play nice … I really am!

  82. Lee
    August 31st, 2005 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and I hereby place a hex on Psychic Psam’s emo-ta-shun crystal ball. From now on, all you’ll be able to predict is tomorrow’s Apt. 3G!!!

    But anyone can do that.

  83. joeyjoejoe
    August 31st, 2005 at 3:37 pm [Reply]


  84. Dub Not Dubya
    August 31st, 2005 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    #72 Tom, Dolly is saying “Mmmm” with her missing/closed nostril.

  85. tommy
    August 31st, 2005 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    wanna talk aobut long f’ing strips? when the f is this stupidass bumstead party gonna be over?

    dolly’s deviated septum sure is funny. there was an irish soap opera star who only had one nostril after a long coke binge. she started a little fashion trend, too. i used to have an image of her, but lost the link.

  86. Islamorada Girl
    August 31st, 2005 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    I used to work in a redneck bar that had a sign over the bottles:

    We do not serve unpleasant people

    Perhaps Pope Josh should consider a similar policy.

  87. saint ruby
    August 31st, 2005 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    I just noticed that I was comment of the week, and my little heart exploded. Thanks, Josh.

  88. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    August 31st, 2005 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    Okay, it seems clear enough that although everyone likes to complain about FBOFW, they also care a lot about the outcome of the stories and the welfare of the characters. This speaks volumes. Nobody really wants to admit it, but it is the best of the story strips. Who can name a better one? Is it Mary Worth or Judge Parker? It is to laugh. How many of us care that Brenda Starr abandoned her daughter Twinkle, and that her husband is wandering the tropics in search of black orchid serum? The ridiculous Spandex-man? The ever-tacky Spiderman? Gil Thorp, with the most unlikable characters and worst art? Rex is all right, but mostly for the occasional glimpses of June and the luscious Becka. And Doonesbury might give FBOFW some competition, but that’s about it for me. I do have a fondness for Mark Trail, but only out of lust for Cherry.

  89. chefwurm
    August 31st, 2005 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    Crayola huffing leads to paste eating.

  90. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    August 31st, 2005 at 6:34 pm [Reply]

    By the way, a t-shirt that reads “What are you doing, Ira?” is a great idea. Order one up for me.

  91. Chris
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    MOP #62 – While the Kourtney storyline did get resolved, keep in mind that Kourtney was going to sue Elly for wrongful termination. But Lynn became lazy and gave up, so she just moved Kourtney to a different store.

  92. Chris
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    I have an Uncle Josh? You mean all this time I had an uncle and didn’t know. You know, my birthdays have come around, and I never even got $5 from you every year. You owe me!

  93. Anne Nonymous
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    Hey, Uncle Josh, don’t forget Christmas and Hannukkah, too! And Kwanzaa. We’ll all be over for the wedding, Unc, hope you have enough food.

  94. Beasley
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    re: There is nothing funny about attempted rape; she should go into that storyline KNOWING that.

    True. But chill out a bit. That FBoFW story-arc was disturbing but when all was said and done it did not equate to being an attempted rape situation. Groping? Harrasment? Definately. I’d be more worried about the “Dirk” character in Luanne if he ever gets out of prison and comes back to kill someone.

    /just sayin’…

  95. Chris
    August 31st, 2005 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    Can we say at least sexual assault?

  96. Beasley
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    ^ Oh, definately assault . But I still don’t se the need to castigate Lynn for ot “developing” that story. I mean…for all we know, she will .

  97. saint ruby
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    Oh, for the record, it’s a he.

  98. Beasley
    August 31st, 2005 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    ^ Is Lynn…a male?

    /expain, please? :)

  99. The Rhino
    August 31st, 2005 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    St. ruby is saying that he, st. ruby, COTW winner, is a male. Someone, I think Anne, asked earlier.

  100. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    I don’t think so. Found this, after a Google search. Don’t have the uRL and I”m too lazy to go back and get it:

    ” Lynn Johnston leads a double life. On one hand, she has an authentic life as a wife and mother. She has her work as one of the top cartoonists of our time. She lives in the small town of Corbeil, in Northern Ontario with her husband, Rod. He is a dentist, a pilot and model railroader and he has a not-so-miniature train set that chugs around their yard. They have two grown children, Aaron and Katie.”

  101. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    Oh. St. Ruby, and not Lynn Johnston, is a male. Well. OK. Never mind.

    I am an idiot. again.

  102. Daijinryuu
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    You know, I was finally starting to be able to follow Gil Thorp just a little bit. I missed two days last week, and I’m completely lost again, since two strips in Gil Thorp time is about two weeks, as compared to, say, 1.5 seconds Judge Parker time.

  103. Skooter
    August 31st, 2005 at 11:44 pm [Reply]

    FBOFW – I bet all the plot controversy will be resolved when Ellie pulls up at Charterstone with Liz and Mary Worth solves the problem by putting Rita in the car for Mit ti wikki and taking Liz in as her new roomie.

  104. PizzaBagel
    September 1st, 2005 at 12:14 am [Reply]

    Re saint ruby’s comment #87 (I just noticed that I was comment of the week, and my little heart exploded. Thanks, Josh.):

    Do I smell next week’s CoTW?

  105. Mibbitmaker
    September 1st, 2005 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    I actually think FBOFW is a good strip, and has been for a long time; it’s just that it’s gotten sloppy or not-so-well-thought-out in recent years. And sometimes the storylines inspire mocking even if it’s not bad, per se (like the Kortney storyline).

    FWIW, it did do a vastly better job going from humor to serial than Funky Winkerbean did. FBOFW is just a bit off sometimes, while FW has been ruined from its previous self, Batiuk getting o-so-self-important in the last more than a decade.

    FBOFW isn’t completely bad, just bad enough at times to be a worthy target.

  106. Zorba the Geek
    September 1st, 2005 at 6:16 am [Reply]

    “Funky Winkerbean” jumped the shark (or “married Irving”) a long time ago. It takes itself far too seriously now.

  107. Braniff
    September 1st, 2005 at 8:26 am [Reply]

    There’s a simple explanation of Dolly and her crayons–The Family Circus is the comics page’s answer to the movie Groundhog Day (in which the character goes through the same day again and again). In this case, Dolly is living the same school year again and again with the same teacher. She never grows older–which can be said about the rest of her family. The whole family has been in a time warp since the 1950s or 1960s (just like the Cleavers or Bradys).

  108. MotoMike
    September 1st, 2005 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    FW vs. FBOFW transitions (re #105) (wow – over a hundred comments)
    I think that both strips have had their good story lines as well as not-so-good. Agree that FBOFW would really be better with resolution on story lines (although I hadn’t noticed it so much as a chronic thing until it was pointed out here).
    FW, however, in the old days when it was a three-panel joke strip only, was numbingly unfunny: the structure was
    1. Stupid comment or action
    2. Stupid and predictable quip about panel one
    3. Final unfunny quip in the last panel – but with the annoying habit of the artist drawing a character looking out of the corner of his eye at you, the reader, to make sure you and he were in on the joke.

    At least most of FW’s action takes place around someone other than the band director, who doesn’t appeal much as a laugh magnet. However, it has the additional plus of sometimes coordinating story lines with Crankshaft, to the point where you see the two story lines taking place simultaneously in the two strips from different “camera angles”. Hey, I know it’s kind of a gimmick, but it takes a lot of planning to do this.
    That having been said, I’m wondering how the comic-book lawsuit ended up.
    Finally, I agree with ActionGuy (#52) in that I think that this story line got fumbled a bit.

  109. Curious George
    September 1st, 2005 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    >>Watch it, George. The attractive “young brunette lady” is none other than Amber, our own Comic Curmudgeon’s fiancee and very soon to be Mrs. Curmudgeon.<<

    No offence intended, naturally, but I thought the future Mrs Curmudgeon was the blonde lady doing the sideways eye “V” to camera?

  110. Josh
    September 1st, 2005 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    Actually, George (#109), that blond “V” finger lady is Carol Hartsell, who is married to Francesco Marciuliano, the writer of Sally Forth. Really! Would I make such a thing up?


  111. Dingo
    September 1st, 2005 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    Regarding #82: Uh… y’all think that might have been my point?

  112. Cottontail
    September 1st, 2005 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    Some of us got it, Dingo!

  113. sally
    September 1st, 2005 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    Not for one second to defend FW, which I haven’t read in many years until now, but back when I was in high school band, the band director sequences did strike us, often, as funny. Perhaps you have to have spent a lot of time around grown men in band uniforms to see why….

  114. MotoMike
    September 1st, 2005 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    Re: #113 and FW:
    Sally, I must say that in spite of my discounting the strip in the past, I must have found it funny enough – I never have read every strip in the paper, and the fact that I’ve read this one steadily through the years indicates that there’s enough amusement there to keep going. (In addition, I was in high school band, too, but Harry Dinkle (!)(don’t even want to get close to thinking about that name) doesn’t amuse me – but I would say it’s because I was marching-band challenged, preferring Beethoven to Sousa, and he’s such a marching band enthusiast).

  115. Lor
    September 1st, 2005 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    Re #87, I don’t think your little heart exploded, Saint Ruby – I think it grew three sizes that day!

  116. Curious George
    September 1st, 2005 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    My last post #109 got cut off after the quote I copied, but it went on to ask if the brunette is TFMC who the “V” lady was?

    You anticipated that and I now have my answer.
    Two lovely-looking ladies to be sure.

  117. Gizmo
    September 2nd, 2005 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    …One Hundred and Seventeenth!!!

  118. Dingo
    September 4th, 2005 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    Y’know, you can put a whole new spin on Gil Thorp if you move the comma.

    “What, are you doing Ira?”

  119. Spork
    September 28th, 2005 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    C’mon. Seriously? People have trouble following “Gil Thorp”? Okay, the characters all look alike, which is an … um, inconvenience. You wonder sometimes whether the writer and artist speak the same language. Or if they do, and it’s Urdu. But it’s borderline clever sometimes — I LIKED alligator mouth/hummingbird rump, since you can’t say “ass” in a comic strip — and it’s about as hard to follow as “Sesame Street.”

  120. Pekopon
    August 27th, 2008 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    I can’t help but notice the striking similarity of Dolly to the Campbell’s soup kids. Especially with that “MMMMMMM!! over her head.

  121. Jasmine
    April 23rd, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    i think these comics are pretty great (=

  122. Roger M. Wilcox
    May 29th, 2013 at 11:06 pm [Reply]

    Every time I think of Isometrics, I think of the exercises Khan and his crew did when they woke up in “The Space Seed”.

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