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AUUGGGH DON’T LOOK AT ME DON’T LOOK AT ME

Mark Trail, 11/17/09

Hello there, faithful readers! I think it’s been a little too long since you were last treated to the dimension-warping horror that is apparently the natural configuration of Rusty’s face when he’s excited about Sassy. So, enjoy! Take a good look at his eyes bugged out in terror! Against your better judgment, try to look down his maw, only to see darkness, infinite darkness! Watch each of his blue-black hairs rippling across his huge, bulbous head! And then maybe you’ll understand why Mark doesn’t let Rusty go to school with the other children.

Mary Worth, 11/17/09

So I’m guessing that someone over at King Features told the Mary Worth creative team to use the interweaving and ongoing Apartment 3-G storylines as a model, rather than this strip’s typical self-contained plots. The grinding of the plot-shifting gears are still loud and obvious; it’s just that we appear to be revisiting older plots rather than allowing them to vanish into Mary’s Successful Meddles file. Thus, we had “Adrian gets flim-flammed” followed by “Delilah in Charley’s sex den” followed by “Adrian’s boyfriend in a coma,” and now we’re back to Delilah again.

But! Perhaps Mary Worth needs to learn when a beloved character from the past should be revived! For instance, Adrian was a prime candidate for a plot sequel, since her previous storyline had ended with her emotionally devastated and in the process of being wooed by an unethical cop who was the son of Dr. Jeff’s secret schoolboy crush. EXCITING! When we last saw Delilah, meanwhile, she had rejected Charley’s lustful advances and was reconciling with her boring husband. We certainly don’t need to see any more of that. It’s possible that Delilah is calling to beg for advice on her compulsive need to rapidly change clothes, having somehow gone from a canary yellow number to an even more hideous salmon-colored tracksuit in just a few seconds; but more likely she’s just calling to let Mary know that she’s finally decided to embrace her womanly destiny and pop out a kid. If so, I hope for entertainment’s sake she at leasts brings the little squaller over to Charley’s no-children-allowed pad, to humiliate him further.

Blondie, 11/17/09

Most everyday objects in Blondie, like Herb’s weirdly top-heavy little car, are in a sort of boring version of the uncanny valley: while not cartoonish enough to be funny or interesting, they’re also not particularly realistic-looking if you really examine them for any length of time. I have to say, though, that in panel two pretty much nails that lonely exurban freeway off-ramp and overpass. The dark sky makes for quite an evocative scene, as these four white-collar drones head back to their identical houses, bickering in a desultory fashion about their hated jobs, in that incongruously cheery pastel car.

Family Circus, 11/17/09

Normally I’m against any and all premature expressions of the Christmas spirit, but if Dolly is humming her little tune slowly and creepily off-key while staring at Billy with that blank expression as a prelude to strangling him with a garland of tinsel, I’ll let it pass.

Marmaduke, 11/17/09

It probably shouldn’t come as any surprise that Marmaduke has harnessed the slower, plumper inhabitants of his community so as to more efficiently drag them off to his blood-drenched devouratorium. The question is, how did he get these poor damned souls to ingest the powerful tranquilizers that have made them so complaisant and easily led to their own doom?

316 responses to “AUUGGGH DON’T LOOK AT ME DON’T LOOK AT ME”

  1. Écureuil Écumant
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    MW: I say to yesterdays “Meanwhile…” box — YOU LIE!

    It was Mary picking up the phone — at home, evidently, as she is today. How then could she be picking up the phone “meanwhile” she was still riding in Jeff’s front seat?

    Yeah, I know, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…

  2. Écureuil Écumant
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    …And Josh, I can see how confusing this is. Mary evidently is the one wearing yellow in both yesterday’s and today’s strips. She just happens to be a bilocator. Be afraid, be very afraid!

  3. Oavis
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    It looks like Marmaduke has traveled to Bavaria to collect a little humanschnitzel for his multicultural sampler plate.

  4. Inside the Beltway
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    MT: Shouldn’t Sassy be pulling away from the alligator instead of towards it? Maybe the thought of having to spend another night with Rusty is driving the poor dear to gator-assisted suicide.

  5. BigTed
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    I’m not one to blame animals for their own getting-eaten, but I’d swear Sassy is coming on to that alligator.

  6. teenchy
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Re Blondie: Good catch, Josh. Being a gearhead I always notice when vehicles are realistically drawn in strips. Shoe always gets the Perfesser’s DeSoto accurately; Earl’s Studebaker in Pickles is close enough, but then bullet-nosed Studes are easy to pick out anyway. IIRC Piranha Club (nee Ernie) has had DeSotos and Studes as well, one used as Uncle Sid’s office. Mr. Weber Jr. uses Studebakers in Slylock Fox and, again IIRC, he may be an owner too.

    As for non-orphan cars in the comics, Baldo‘s lowriders, Jeremy’s VW Microbus in Zits, and the modern Japanese cars in <i.Luann’s Dirk/Toni/Brad triangle story arc are recognizable as well.

    The serial strips get the general outline of modern cars, but blur or genericize their details. I guess they must trace the dealer ads in the classifieds.

  7. Mardou Fox
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: If I were a cartoon character saying something in boldface, in a font size at least three times my normal-speech font-size, I would hope my creator could at least grant me an exclamation point at the end of it…! It’s as if Mark is bellowing out an offhanded remark.

  8. JamesMurton
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    I prefer to imagine the Blondie strip with only the ‘Boy, did you get into the wrong car!’ speech balloon in the last panel. And with the other passengers slowly revealing guns. If they ever make a Dagwood movie, I say give Scorsese the first whack…

  9. sugarpie
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    y MolyBendum Congratulations, too, on getting back home. Hope it happens as fast as possible.

  10. BigTed
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    I like the way Mary already has a worried look on her face when she answers the phone, before she even knows who’s calling. She knows that any call she gets is bound to be bad news, because nothing good ever happens until she meddles it into existence.

  11. Shlomo
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    This alligator is going to need to to grow facial hair, so Mark Trail’s fists of fury can get moving.

  12. bats :[
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    I’m opening a Bumper People franchise. I’m gonna be rich, I tells ya! Rich!

  13. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    Josh’s discourse on Mary Worth – I swear I read “poop out a kid.” I’ve GOT to stop reading Marvin.

  14. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    You see, Rusty, when a doggie and an alligator love each other very much….

  15. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft – I’m evoking Rusty on this one.

  16. skullcrusherjones
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: That gator doesn’t want to be feed, Rusty. He wants to hunt!

  17. Écureuil Écumant
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    SF: Looks like Ted’s been taking face-fingering lessons from Adrian. And by all logic, Sally’s the one that ought to be sporting a beard.

  18. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    BLONDIE — Wow, a pitch-black sky at 5:30 pm. I hadn’t realized that BLONDIE is set in Iceland.

  19. Shave Ezra
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    devouratorium – you coined it!

  20. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    MW — Hmm. So that color is “salmon” in the Worthiverse. One more reason I’m glad I’ll never have to eat there.

  21. Deon
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    Archie just reused the credit card with Mr. Lodges face gag from a while back!
    I wonder if the joke had been used any other times before that?

  22. Mardou Fox
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    Poteet: Blondie might just be in New England. Sunset @ 4:23 p.m. today, twilight ends @ 4:54!

  23. Batman Beatles
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    Lio: Epic win.

  24. Steve S
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    Wow, I just realized Rusty is one of the offspring of The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young.

  25. Emily K [Riff Chick]
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    In Soviet Marmaduke, dog walks you!

    but also…

    a DOG that’s walking PEOPLE??
    EVERYTHING I KNOW IS WRONG

  26. Vince M
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    3: Oavis – Yeah, at first glance I thought the couple was Hansel and Gretel from Chuck Jones’ Bugs/Witch Hazel cartoon, who were also being led off to be eaten.

  27. survivor
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    3 – Today’s Marmaduke: A large terror dog leads two horrified lederhosen-clad men to Hitler Dad’s death camp.

  28. odinthor
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    Baldo. — ♪ “If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna make a dream come true?” ♫

    GT. — Disenchantment! It’s not just for breakfast any more!

    H&J. — Ha ha! Cartoonists think that working people are still in bed at 7 a.m.!

    H&L. — Is Ditto reading FOP magazine? Wow, I heard that the current issue has a big exposé on Beau Brummel! Rumor has it that his lacy shirt cuffs are polyester!

    Marmy. — If Alice only knew what finally happened to Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

    MW. — “Mary, it’s just too wonderful! I made your salmon squares into this kicky new outfit!”

    MC. — “Oh, is that so?!?!?!” always works, if delivered with enough flop sweat. If you want to get really forward, try, “That’s what you are; but what am I?”. But thoughtful classicists will always prefer the tried and true, “You fucking bitch!”

    SlFx. — Huh? These people seem to be, like, reading stuff, but I don’t see a ‘puter anywhere…? And what’s that odd piece of apparel covering most of his body?

    Snuffy. — Hey, that’s the same medical equipment my doctor uses! I always insist that he use real butter and not margarine when he’s prepping my skin for an injection, because I pay for premium medical care!

    Spidey. — No, dude—you’re thinking of Concrete Wall Man, the partner of Mortar Lady. Nice folks. They make a lime toddy to die for.

  29. Niall
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    On Marmaduke, I still see Lederhosen Germans. All that’s missing are little Tyrol hats with a feather. It does not make the tableau any less disturbing. (I gyaaaaahed a little loudly when seeing this scene; thank goodness I was at home.)

    On Mark Trail: I think when all is done and punches have been delivered, Mark will take Rusty aside and chide him severely for using a contraction, even in the heat of battle. “Son, there is never a time for impoverished English.” (and here I go making another really obscure reference…)

  30. ArtisticPlatypus
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    It kind of makes me wonder.. Who exactly designed those overweight human dog food leashes? And who thought it was a good enough idea to finance a factory producing them?

    Oh, and am I the only one finding the combination of Delilah’s expression and her emphasis on the word ‘news’ creepy? Never mind. Even without the emphasis, that facial expression is definitely disturbing enough to deserve a mention on it’s own.

  31. One-eyed Wolfdog
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    You people who can tell the difference between Adrian and Delilah without hints from the text are complete gurus. I genuflect. Hail, keepers of arcane, forbidden knowledge!

  32. Crankenstank
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    I would point out that the Dagwood commuter car is a symbolic white before being colored (we get Dag in black and white). You’ll know his number’s up when the car is black, of course, and the rest of the strip will be the dream sequence just before he checks out, like Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge or, if we’re really unlucky, DOA, as Dagwood hunts down his killer only to find out it was someone close to him all allong.

  33. GG
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    Mark this day people. November 17, 2009. The first (and maybe last?) time anyone in Mark Trail shouted for a good reason.

    I’m tempted to think that this just happened because the characters in Mark Trail shout all the time, but maybe they’re really learning. Maybe one of them woke up one day and said to itself, “hey, shouting THE ALLIGATOR IS ABOUT TO GET HER in a dangerous swamp makes a lot more sense than shouting LET’S GO SEE WHAT OUR FRIEND IS UP TO at the dinner table.”

  34. Ellie
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    Ooops, looks like Sassy picked the wrong place to take a dump.

  35. BeeF
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    The terrifyingly obvious endpoint for Mary Worth’s new penchant for interweaving plots and revisiting old characters: Zombie Aldo.

  36. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    #35 BeeF –

    There’s hope: Aldo sublet his brother’s condo, but we’ve never met the brother. The dream is still alive!

  37. Debidawg
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: Yes the car is weird enough, but WTF is up with that seatbelt?

  38. Dragon of Life
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    Delilah’s news is apparently that she’s turning into a Muppet. On that vein, I vote we replace Mary Worth with Uncle “Travelling” Matt from Fraggle Rock. Same quality of advice, far more usage of the phrase “silly creatures”.

  39. Toby
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    MW: Please, please retire yourself to the Dark Valley Rest Home

  40. zenvelo
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    31 – Wolfdog – I think Adrian and Delilah are different personalities of one person…say, that would make an interesting story line for Mary Worth. I guess that’s why we won’t ever see it.

  41. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    Y31. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    Your presentation title fits perfect with the song “Moonlight in Vermont.”

    Chalk Lines On My Butt

    Writing on the board
    Things I’ve said to students, make
    Chalk lines on my butt.

    Essay styles wrote down
    Then I back up to the board
    Chalk lines on my butt.

    Wonderful things I try to teach the pupils
    Get written on the blackboard each day
    Am I scared of these people who cause me to back up
    Only to erase the things I want to say?

    I get so disturbed
    Every time I wash my skirt ’cause there’s
    Chalk lines on my butt.

  42. ladadog
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    #8 James Murton:
    Well, they DID make Blondie movies and Dagwood was in them (a lot of Blondie movies). Does that count?

    Oh, and off topic for Bats:[. there was an interesting but, I warn you, alarming article on bats in the Boston Sunday Globe magazine section:

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2009/11/15/whats_killing_the_bats/

  43. Peripheral Visionary
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    #35 BeeF: Aldo unexpectedly comes back, but unknown to the rest of the MW cast, and with a hidden agenda. Plot line working title: “I Know What You Meddled in Last Summer”.

  44. Darkefang
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    A3G: All this talk about Aristotle’s love life reminds me: Wasn’t he dating a much younger theater student? Or was that some kind of nightmare, in which I was forced to read plotlines from alternate universe Apartment 3-Gs?

  45. Perky Bird
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    I know that little old ladies stereotypically like artificial flowers and stick them everywhere in their homes. But even sticking them in the curtain tie-backs? Mary, you’ve gone too far this time!

  46. Perky Bird
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    It’s creepy how Dolly’s kneeling there on the floor with her butt in the air and a coy look on her face. It’s as if she’s saying to Billy, “Yeah, I’m a naughty girl for singing Christmas carols out of season. Come spank me, big boy.”

  47. Calico
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    Josh, our pool partyin’ Mary doesn’t have a file –
    she has a whole Oracle dB of meddles!

  48. blackgoat
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    MT: What about Bob? Yesterday, he was headed toward cookie dog; today he’s nowhere in sight . Has the alligator already swallowed him whole ? No leftovers ? no shoes, no legs, no blood ? What’s up ?
    I’m sure he’s sitting unharmed in the moss, feeding the alligator cookies, and adding to the other anticlimactic story lines of the last week: (MW) Scott does NOT have a blood clot; Scott does NOT have any lasting disabilities: Scott is NOT suffering from PTSD after seeing his brother officer blown away; Scott has been cured by Arian babbling drivel at him;(FW) Wally Winkerbean has NOT committed suicide; Wally has NOT gone postal on his daughter or the mailman…..I’ve had it. I want action. Either the gator eats Rusty, or I’m giving up Mark Trail forever.

  49. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    MT – Apparently, our three bumbling poachers are armed with only a single, muzzle-loading musket among them, which explains why, having missed the first shot, they are left powerless to try a second before the gator devours Sweetie.

    It is a pity that the intrepid hit man from the previous storyline is not still wandering Lost Forest, or he could easily wound the alligator with a single shot just seriously enough to convince it to crawl back into the swamp and keep its mouth shut.

  50. Digger
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Looking at how wide Rusty’s mouth has opened, I’d say his rescue plan is to eat the alligator before it eats Sassy.

  51. Calico
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Marm – those two poor fattened-up guys going to dog-slaughter really need some lederhosen to compliment their captivity-garb.

  52. Comcis Fan
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    Josh: I’m fairly certain the Rusty portrayed in the 9/26 Mark Trail is played by Jim Carrey. Same features, and can’t you hear Carrey saying, in an excited, demented, near whisper, “Can Sassy come?” Thanks for the laugh out loud of the day.

  53. Calico
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    #29 Niall-Oh man, I swear I didn’t read your post until just now! I love it when this type of thing happens in our comments.
    : D

  54. Young Geezer
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    Isn’t Billy a little young to have a beer gut?

  55. Calico
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    #18 – with EST back in effect, here in Quebec City it gets dark around 4:30 these days. We’re pretty Northerly.
    http://www.timeanddate.com

  56. bats :[
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    42. ladadog: thanks for the link (I think). I’ve been reading on this disease, and it is alarming. Bat Conservation International is doing its best to promote and fund research in finding a solution to the problem.

  57. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    48. blackgoat

    What about Bob?

    He’s sailing!

  58. Comcis Fan
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    FW: But Lisa always used hand signals.

    S4th: Is Sally really a virago, or is Ted a wimp of his own doing?

  59. It's time to pay the price
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail just shouted “IT’S SASSY”. I’m done with this.

  60. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    41 Sequitur: Excellent! I’ll be humming all day…

    45 Perky Bird: Is that what’s going on with the flowers? I thought that Mary had managed to meddle gravity, and they were levitating.

  61. bats :[
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    And on a happier (or different) Nature Note…

  62. Charterstoned
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    MW – My bet: Delilah’s “news” is that she and her b-o-r-i-n-g husband are moving to Mary’s apartment complex. Think of it! Del, Toby, and Adrian, all under Mary’s meddling thumb. It will be like a Charterstone version of A-3G, an alternate universe with Ian as Professor Papagoras and Mary as…Ruby?

    By the way, I just love Mary’s kicky decorating — who would have thought of sticking flowers in the tie-back of the drapes, instead of using vases like most people?

  63. Cranky
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    #19 Shave Ezra is right: “Unfriend” may be this year’s word of the year but I will WORK DILIGENTLY to make sure “devouratorium” takes the prize next year.

  64. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    51. bats :[
    To paraphrase B. Racoon, “Yes!”

    Boobies?

  65. Li’l Bunnë FooFoo
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    MW: If Delilah’s next line tomorrow isn’t “I’m gay” then I’m canceling my newspaper subscription.

  66. DAS
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    I’d swear Sassy is coming on to that alligator.

    Sassy is a little dog. I once dated a girl with a little dog, who was fixed, but that didn’t stop him from trying to hump half of the animal population (including the cat and various humans) or presenting to the other half. It really was funny when he and a female dog were trying to get it on, but managed to forget who was which sex.

    In short, it’s not surprising to me that Sassy would be interested, in that way, in an alligator.

  67. Fashion Police
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    Mrs. Worth must have been in the midst of changing out of her buttercup suit and into a buttercup blouse when the phone rang. She picked up the phone with her right hand, slipped on her baby-blue jacket, adjusted her purse on her right shoulder, and transferred the phone to her left hand before saying “hello.” We admire her flexiblity and coordination.

    We have given up accounting for Mrs. Worth’s wardrobe. Her gift for suitable attire for every daily activity, including answering the phone, is nearly beyond our comprehension. Changing from day-clothes to evening wear is about all we can regularly manage.

    Meanwhile, Mrs. DiVito is drinking martinis, so perhaps we can excuse the cocktail dress. As the cliche goes, it is indeed five o’clock somewhere. However, we do believe a negligee and champagne would have gone further in charming the stiff-jawed Mr. Sam Driver.

  68. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    66 DAS: I used to own an English bulldog (female, spayed) who would hump babies as they crawled around (along with anything else that moved slowly enough for her). She would have been all over that gator.

  69. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    67. Fashion Police
    Ah! Not just Fashion Police, “Fashion Detective!”

  70. Dingo
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    Oh, please, please, please Moy & Giella. Let Mary and Dr. Jeff take a trip to Russia to take in the sights and lesson the oligarchs on true strength and power. I’m just not sure if I want Dr. Jeff to explain this statue to Mary or Mark Trail to explain it to Rusty. Followed by a warm demonstration, of course.

  71. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    31 One-eyed Wolfdog: But Adrian and Delilah look nothing alike: Adrian has bangs; Del has a headband. Adrian clutches her face like a drowning man would clutch a damp piece of wood; Del coquettishly poses with fingertips on knee. Adrian wears matchy-matchy salmon outfits; Del wears… um…..

    Okay, you got me. Put a Prince Valiant wig on Del, and voila!: Adrian!

  72. Bootsy
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    B. Racoon sez:

    bourbon babe, unbuckled @39. Well, I can assure you it is not “Bucky.” Although that name was whispered a couple of times.

    Hey B., something whispered under the influence of murlow may sound like “bucky” but likely is something quite different.

  73. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    # 22 Fox — Thanks for the info! Congratulations, New England — Blondie is yours:-).

  74. Larry Fine
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman — I guess it hasn’t occurred to the cops in today’s strip that if they split up and take different positions, Concreteman will be much harder pressed to protect his comrades, and the bullets will have a better chance of finding their mark. Next to these guys, the Keystone Kops are shining examples of law enforcement excellence.

  75. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    70. Dingo
    Wow. Ream me up Scotty.

  76. Calico
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    #61 – Thank you, Bats and Elrod, for channeling the spirit of Will Elder!
    You have made my day.

  77. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    # 31 Wolfdog — Psst! The trick is to wait for someone else to name the mystery character, and then use that name as if you’d figured it out yourself. Of course you have to hope The Original Namer is correct.

  78. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I think the real Blue Velvet quote is, “DON’T LOOK AT ME! DON’T FUCKING LOOK AT ME YOU FUCKING FUCK!” Which, containing approximately 300% more “fuck” than your headline, is that much more awesome.

  79. B. Racoon
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    Bootsy @27. Well, you may be correct. The word that comes to my mind is “Lucky.”

  80. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    Bootsy and B. Racoon: You know, there’s really no reason you both can’t be correct (the one incorrect answer, believe me, would be “Bucky”).

  81. DaveyK
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:48 pm [Reply]

    That seals it. Marmaduke’s creator no longer finds satisfaction in making jokes which his audience might find funny and has embraced his new role, providing easy fodder for Josh.

  82. Baka Gaijin
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    AAAAAAAaaaaAAAAaaAAAAAaaaaaAAAA! It’s too scary! AAAAaaAAAaaaAAAaaAA! Get me to that Dick Tracy evilscaryCLOWN, STAT! AAAAAH! Gotta wash that image of…of…of…whatever that is in Mark Trail out of my brain. AAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…..

  83. Bootsy
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    79 & 80, well it would actually be two words, and more like a command direction request.

  84. B. Racoon
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    bourbon babe, unbuckled and Bootsy – Possibly “lucky” and the other word were used together. But that would sound a bit Asian. Not that it really matters. Love was in the air. And the fragrance was the atmosphere of perfect timing. All goods things come to those who wait…patiently.

  85. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    # 54 Young — Ordinarily the answer to your question would be “yes.” However, I am convinced that when Billy was born, he was already an out-of-shape fifty-four-year-old. Please note, all you fifty-four-year-olds who look far better than Billy, that I did say “out-of-shape.”

    Also note that Billy’s ‘do never changes. Even Calvin from C & H changed his hairstyle occasionally (or had it changed for him). Billy’s ‘do is a hairpiece. And Billy has never talked or drawn or really looked like a seven-year-old. He’s pretending to be one, but doing it very badly.

  86. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    85 Poteet: What disturbs me the most about the Keane “physique” (such as it is) is that the kids look the same coming and going; they have paunches both fore and aft.

    Other than their melon heads, this might be their most freakish feature.

  87. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    Hey, Baka. If you want to see a clown done right, check out Cleats.
    Looks kinda like Don Martin drew it.

  88. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    # 86 bourbon babe — I think we have to face the grim fact that if one removes the melon heads and the fore and aft paunches, there’s not much left to even try to look normal. They’re just plain freaks. Maybe that’s the real reason for the name of the strip.

  89. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    MW — After looking again at Delilah’s face, I think she is morphing into Alfred E. Neuman.

  90. survivor
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    61 bats :[ – you oughta use your photoshopping skills to labels the DVDs on Delilah’s bookcase.

  91. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    MW — I only have a landline, so could someone please tell me what type of phone is being held by Mary (and Alfred E. Neuman)? It has no cord like a landline, yet it seems ginormous for a cell phone. What is it?

  92. walty
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    I think the “IT’S SASSY…” bubble is coming out of Mark’s hand not as an oversight of Mr. Elrod, but because Mark was attempting to teach the joys of nature through his favorite medium: puppetry.

  93. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    # l74 Larry — A word of caution — you are attempting to apply intelligence and logic to S-M. That way, my friend, lies madness.

  94. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    91 Poteet: Hmmm…. No buttons, no little speaker holes, no wireless-phone antennae…..

    I can only conclude that they are communicating through moldy hoagie rolls.

  95. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    The fourth panel of today’s Luann would be a laugh-track, Brad’s pants falling down, and him exclaiming “Oh, Crikey!”

  96. Dingo
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    So, I says to myself I says “You’ve got to save that second panel of Marks the Trail today you does.” Think of what the Bats could do with that there. Panel 1: Delilah on the phone. Panel 2: The gator’s gonna get her! Panel 1: Tommie Thompson masturbates with a Swiffer mop. Panel 2: The gator’s gonna get her! And so on.

    What’s truly amazing about panel one of today’s Mark Trail is how Elrod has captured the look of my Aunt Judy approaching a buffet. All that’s missing is putting a polka dot blouse and green elastic-waisted slacks on the gator. Gimme some of that dog and the ambrosia salad!

  97. Baka Gaijin
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    #87 Sequitur: That’s not a bad clown at all. He won’t get that AAAAAH! flashback, sorry, scarykidface out of my retinas. Does anyone have a link to Elly flapping her robe or Cathy humping boots? Hysterical blindness or retrograde amnesia would come handy right now. Really.

  98. DAS
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    In re the MW phones — I think they are supposed to be those wireless phones that go with land lines (you have the base plugged into the phone jack and the wall and then you have a battery powered, detachable unit into which you actually talk), but Mary’s looks like a bleached banana or some sort of sex toy whilst Del’s looks like a slipper.

  99. Mardou Fox
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    Poteet: It’s kind of fun to imagine all the Blondie dialog being read in with some sort of New England accent!

    “Boy, did you get into the wrong cah!”

    They can’t be in Boston, though; the freeway would never be that deserted! Burlington, maybe? Portland?

  100. clahey
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    31: Um, I think Delilah says her (nick)name in the first panel.

    99: I don’t know Burlington, VT, but Burlington, MA, it’s never that deserted either.

  101. Dingo
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

  102. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    101 Dingo: Good god, it’s the ghost of my great-aunt Elsie! All she needs is a cigarette and her Chihuahua Tuffy, and she’s back to life.

  103. Baron Bizarre
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    101 Dingo: Wow, that’s appalling and laugh-out-loud funny at the same time!

  104. Fashion Police
    November 17th, 2009 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    #69, Sequitur:
    Elementary, my dear.

    Which reminds us that while Mrs. Worth appears to be re-visiting past meddles (we note that she had negligible impact on Delilah, who meddled herself, with a little help from Charterstone’s resident lothario), Ms. Moy has failed to follow up on a significant event. Professor and Mrs. Cameron’s trip to Scotland passed without sufficient commentary.

    We were, in particular, ghoulishly curious about whether Professor Cameron indulged in the purchase of Scottish finery. While we tend to look askance at full-figured gentlemen in kilts, we are somewhat ashamed to confess that we looked forward to the ghastly sight of the Professor sporting his. It seems so in keeping whith his bulbous personality.

  105. Amateur
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    MW: I see Delilah and Adrian share the superpower of making their rings grow larger or smaller at will.

  106. bats :[
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    64. Sequitur: you betcha! There was a Sunday MT on boobies (like the ones in the photo). Um, I’m not as good keeping track of the “real deals” as I am of what they inspire, though.
    (The MT strip was likely run in early July 2009.)

    76. Calico: oh, my! High praise indeed!

    84. B. Racoon: better love in the air than eau de stink bug.

  107. dasein
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    I nominate “devouratorium” for the most-evocative-word-ever award.

  108. Kym
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    This is the second time today I’ve seen someone use “complaisant” instead of “complacent”. Not as annoying as “bemused” vs. “amused”, but more puzzling.

  109. Baka Gaijin
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    #104 Fashion Police: Professor Ian shops at Rochester’s Bulbous Personality?

    Sally Forth: Ya think Ces has been following this site or something? On the other hand, Ted’s parents? I predict a Thanksgiving of mincing and 70′s toy references.

  110. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    106. bats :[
    I’m sure that was much better than the original MT. But I can’t help thinking that Rusty saying “I am Rusty” is in the same voice of Beevis saying “I am Cornhornio!” All he has to do is pull his tee shirt over his head.

  111. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    #108 Kym –

    Slightly different words: “complaisant” means “eager to please” — “complacent” means “self-satisfied”, or “smug.”

  112. Larry Fine
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    FW — Actually, there IS a hand signal many motorists use today, but it can’t be shown in the comics.

  113. cheech wizard
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    MT – Why is Sassy so afraid? After facing Rusty’s crooked teeth and disfigured visage on a daily basis, a gator’s gaping maw would seem downright benign.

    Archie – Where is Riverdale supposed to be anyway? I used to think somewhere in the Midwest, but considering you’ve got a high school full of kids who don’t smoke, drink or have sex, and that Archie is going to marry both Betty and Veronica in upcoming issues of the comic book, I’ll wager it’s somewhere around Provo.

  114. Larry Fine
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    A3G — Not shown in the second panel is Aristotle’s thought balloon: “Thanks, Velma, for spilling the beans about my never coming here with a date. Now Bobbie thinks I’m either a loser or gay, neither of which will help me get into her pants. May you die of salmonella poisoning.”

  115. Edgy DC
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    You have news to share with me? Well, dear, I hope it’s not that you can transform a room by stuffing flowers into a curtain sash, because I’m way ahead of you.

  116. B. Racoon
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    bats :[ at 106. Actually, there is a technique whereby one can accomplish the demise of a stinkbug with allowing the stink part to enter the atmosphere. At that point it just becomes bug.

    By the way, what I said at 84 was written by one of our finer racoon poets, P. Racoon. It was from his poem Love On A Log.

  117. B. Racoon
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    My bad at 116. That should have been “without” allowing the stink part…

  118. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    Racoon love poetry: A grievously neglected genre in our nation’s university literature departments. The literary canon continues to be elitist and narrow.

  119. Écureuil Écumant
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    PBS: With Aldo’s name popping up today as profusely as stinkbugs in Alexandria, it’s worth speculating that his untimely demise may likewise have been the result of rodential mind control. Apparently he not only drank too much, he knew too much.

    DT: After yesterday’s laundry list of criminal charges for each of the perps, somehow today Dick neglects to bust Della Contessa for indecent felonious execrable exposure.

  120. mollificent
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    Congrats to floaters (and a VERY belated “Bonne anniversaire!” to commodorejohn!). I’m a few days behind on reading CC, so forgive me if i’ve missed anything important.

    A3G: “Yes, Aristotle usually just sits there alone, sighing sadly, doing the crossword or reading or doing whatever it is sad lonely pathetic people do when they dine out by themselves.” Wait…I just described 90% of my meals. I just snarked MYSELF. Crap.

    Medium Large (Mon.) Oh Ces, you magnificent bastard. Marry me.

    Y#33 MolyB: Incoherently intoxicated? When has THAT ever stopped anyone from posting? ;) Oh, and welcome…actually, I’m going to wait till you’re on US soil to welcome you home.

    Y#42 TheDiva: Actually, at least in Washington, drivers are still required to learn (and are tested on) hand signals. I think it’s in case your car’s turn signals go on the blink, and you have to get yourself home/to the nearest garage.

    P.S. #112 Larry Fine: I’m sure I told this story here before, but my boss had to retake his driver’s test in WA after letting it expire in his previous residence. He thought it would be a breeze until he got there and the first thing he was asked was, “Show me your hand signals.” All he could think was, “Damn…I can only think of one hand signal, and I’m sure it isn’t any of the ones you’re thinking of!”

  121. GrizzledGeezer
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:12 pm [Reply]

    Sassy appears to be anchored in place a rope extending to the right. No wonder she’s shaking and has little “fear lines” radiating from her head.

    A scene of the bitten-through corpse of Sassy hanging form the ‘gator’s mouth, with blood dripping all over the place, would greatly enhance Mark Trail, showing that he truly respects Nature and Nature’s laws.

  122. Alan's Addiction
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    Oh boy, oh boy! You know that whatever’s about to occur in “Mark Trail” is going to be good because we have Rusty’s regular emphasis in the second panel, after Mark uses his SUPER EMPHASIS in the first panel (like regular emphasis, except larger font size, which means that things are goint to get really serious). In fact, this panel is so insanely brilliant that tomorrow’s MT could simply be Cherry complimenting Mark on his new alligator skin vest and Mark’s casual reply; “Yeah, I had to punch an alligator right out of his own skin to get it, conservation be damned!”
    My first response to today’s “Mary Worth” was; “Aaaugh! Gak! Jesus Christ, get it away from me!” After I recovered my composure and realized that the terrifying thing I saw was supposed to be Delilah drawn from a funny angle, my next response was; “Why is Delilah channelling a female James Bond villain?” That sensually languid pose has no place in the Mary Worth universe; especially combined with that horrific salmon jump suit.
    So, the only conversation Dagwood’s car pool can ever come up with at the end of the day is complaining? That must give everyone exactly the right mood to go and face their families and homes. Nothing says “Love” like bringing work home so you can gripe about it to your spouse and kids.
    Speaking of complaining, Billy drags out the same old tired trope we all do around Thanksgiving, namely that the entire commercial universe is gearing up for Christmas. That sort thing used to bother me, too, until I realized that I had a better chance of getting the Keane kids to do something genuinely funny than I did of changing advertisers’ schedules.
    My theory on where those mutants Marmaduke is dragging around came from: the Mr. Hitler that owns Marmaduke isn’t the original Mr. Hitler. He’s a clone, like in “Boys from Brazil,” but he wasn’t the only attempt at cloning Hitler. Marmaduke is walking some of the failed attempts.

  123. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    121. GrizzledGeezer
    I don’t know. If that happened in Mark Trail wouldn’t that make it Dick Tracy? (However, Rusty is already drawn like a Dick Tracy character. He would just need to change his name to Poops Late or something).

  124. Simon
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    MW: The news Del had to share was that she can touch her right knee with her left hand and pat herself on the head with her right hand all at the same time.
    Sadly for Del by picking up the phone to Mary this is no longer possible. The sense of failure will return her once again to the catatonic state she has been in since returning to her husband.

  125. Red Greenback
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    Ya know folks, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
    I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
    I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
    But I never thought that I’d see a pornstached Rusty Trail

  126. Niall
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    I finally have a bit of time to catch up…

    Many threads ago, commodorejohn wrote:

    I’m no expert, but I don’t think the simple-yet-elegant look Maureen’s got going on today would work for Ashley; I imagine she’d do something a little more counter-culturey for “dressing up”

    That was actually my point: I was wondering what Ashley would do for “dressing up”, because trying “classic” elegance on her would not fit; that’s definitely Maureen’s style and temperment. Queek, the ao dai would be a good start. (The goth lolita is what she’s wearing in the winning fan art pages of a year back… cute, but still not “dressed up”.)

    Mr. O’Malley: putting Torani syrup in a glass and filling with fresh carbonated water is called around Ottawa an “Italian Soda” and a few places offer them. They’re definitely a cut above most regular commercial sodas.

    And Sunday’s My Cage was still not to my liking; lampshaded it was, but still too broad and desperate. However, I understand the need behind it.

  127. Niall
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    55. Calico: Um, Ottawa also has sun setting just past 5pm right now – it’s closer to 4pm by the time the solstice gets around. Depressing. And we’re NOT northerly. Neither is Qué-Québec really.

    Latitude comparison:
    Ottawa – same as Bangor, ME (more or less), Minneapolis, Billings MT, Portland OR.

    Québec City: same latitude as Duluth MI, Fargo ND, Tacoma WA.

    For any Washingtonian, I think they’d consider Portland and Seattle as having the same sunset time…

  128. True Fable
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    I find Blondie carpool strips incredibly boring. Therefore, I insert dialog from a classic movie into the balloons. Today it was “The Children’s Hour”. It worked because Dagwood as a lesbian is far more interesting than Dagwood as, well, Dagwood.

  129. lightglobe
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    I’m looking down into Rusty’s mouth and OH GOD! I CAN SEE FOREVER!

  130. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    128 Niall: According to the WashPost, today’s sunset here is… now: 4:53. So in a few weeks, someone driving home from work at a normal time would be driving in the dark.

    And Canada? Definitely “northerly”! =-)

  131. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    Longitude matters, too — if you’re at the eastern edge of a time zone (especially if it’s been “stretched” east for political reasons), that old Sun’s going down faster than a <Dingo simile />.

    Time zones hurt my head.

  132. dyslexic dog
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    #128 True Fable–
    That could work in the bedroom scenes as well.

  133. Five O'Clock Dastard
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    I didn’t think Marmaduke ate people! And flabby tubby people at that… soylent puppy chow, ewww.

  134. bats :[
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    132. Uncle Lumpy: you’re right about longitude/location in a time zone. Las Vegas NV isn’t THAT far north, but it’s on the eastern edge of the Pacific time zone. Picking up mr. bats :[ from the one-time Comdex conventions this time of year at 5:30 meant driving in deep, deep twilight — thank heavens those folks sure turn on a lot of lights at night!

  135. Gregory Earls
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    Re: Phantom… Anybody following this current story line? One day it looked like the Phantom was going to leave his kids as he travels the world, but today their all dressed and to go with pop. What;s the deal?

  136. MolyBendum
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    131 UL – Ooooh, a simile with boy scouts, I hope.

  137. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    # 94 bourbon babe — *choking with laughter*…with a mind like that, you deserve all the good bourbon you could ever want.

  138. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    Unable to just frickin’ let it drop, fer Chrissake, I have determined that Bangor, ME and Spokane, WA have the earliest sunsets in the US — around 3:55 PM on December 10.

    The date of the earliest sunset is not the date of the Winter Solstice, because the Earth tilts on its axis.

    Ow, ow, ow!

  139. True Fable
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    #132 dyslexic dog – Oh, for the bedroom scenes I recommend Cagney’s “Public Enemy”!

  140. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    # 99 Mardou — Hahaha! I agree.

  141. B. Racoon
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    bourbon babe, unbuckled at 116. I meant to answer this sooner but my computer went down. Literally. A water rat grabbed hold of the power cable and pulled it into the river. It’s a good thing it has waterproofing.
    Ah, but the Racoon poetry. Don’t be too hard on the American libraries.
    Most Racoon poetry is written in Polish (I have no idea why. The Racoon Poetry Guild (RPG) is a very secretive group and they won’t say). The actual title of the poem I cited is Mi?o?? Na Drewno. The RPC, for reasons only they know, will not allow any Racoon poetry to be published outside of Racoonia. (This is an island and I’m not allowed to tell you it’s location.)
    Anyway, that is why you will not find it at your local library or bookstore. There may be a few copies out there through black market activities but you’re unlikely to find a copy unless you are willing to pay a dear price and deal with unscrupulous animals. Mostly rats named Reeky and the like.

  142. Jonny Quest
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:14 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Who takes a first date to a cafeteria? At least Jerry Seinfield went to a coffee shop.

  143. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:14 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy
    I assume you mean the continental U.S. Barrow, Alaska stays in the dark most of the winter.

  144. AndyL
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    Actually, look at Mary’s phone. It’s an old fashion phone that seems to plug into a flat, rectangular slab on her table. That’s clearly the phone we saw yesterday.

  145. odinthor
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    #134. bats :[

    Las Vegas NV isn’t THAT far north, but it’s on the eastern edge of the Pacific time zone. Picking up mr. bats :[ from the one-time Comdex conventions this time of year at 5:30 meant driving in deep, deep twilight — thank heavens those folks sure turn on a lot of lights at night!

    Getting lit is more or less a speciality in Las Vegas.

  146. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    141 B. Racoon: Wow—obscure Polish racoon-authored poetry, traded surreptitiously and illegally by back-alley, unscrupulous rodents? You’d think the New York literati would be all over that.

    142 Jonny Quest: “Who takes a first date to a cafeteria?”
    Yikes: The buckyhusband took me to a (Japanese) cafeteria on our first date, after we went hiking. Guess that should have been my first clue, huh?

  147. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    # 98 DAS — HAR! I’m glad again that I asked the question.

    # 138 Uncle Lumpy — Thank you for suffering on our behalf. In my own mind, I hereby place Dagwood in Bangor, because now I can imagine all the characters talking with a Bangor accent.

    Also, I am through complaining about early sunsets in Iowa.

  148. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    #143 Seq. –

    You’re right — I was considering only longitude/time zone disparities. Bangor and Spokane have the earliest sunsets of all cities of the same latitude.

    But I betcha Big Diomede Island, easternmost point in Russia, wins the worldwide early-sunset sweepstakes. It pokes way the heck into time zones where it clearly doesn’t belong. Take that, Tonga!

  149. Dingo
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    Sequitur, having had my share of men from all over the world, I can safely say that Barrow, Alaska is in the dark on a LOT of things. Like how to make mad, sweet love, for one. Somebody needs to send those boys a planeload of porn DVDs so that they can learn proper technique. Palin must’ve taken that out of the budget.

  150. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    #143 Seq.

    And not to nitpick (why do I lie?), but Barrow is continental US, just not contiguous 48.

    Oh God I’m so ashamed.

  151. Dingo
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    Poteet, how far into Iowa do you rest? Last year (or so), a bunch of us got together in Madison, WI for dinner and had a lovely evening. My parents live 90 miles east of the Quad Cities on I80. Maybe we could arrange a Curmudgeon Congregation in the Quads sometime, eh?

  152. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    149. Dingo
    I think you missed your chance when the boys from Big Bang Theory (a double entendre if ever there was one) went north.

    150. Uncle Lumpy
    Ever the diligent! You are correct!

  153. annabanana
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    To be honest, Rusty’s terror-dazed face in that second panel is probably the most normal looking the kid has ever appeared since his debut in the strip.

  154. The Ridger
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet 18: Hey, it’s 5:47 and pitch black here in Maryland!

  155. zerowolf
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    Dolly is making graven images again. Can I stone her?

  156. Josh
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    Kym #108/UL #111 — Yes, “complaisant” was the word I meant to use. Dweedle Lunch and Dweedle Dinner in Marmaduke may be complacent (i.e., untroubled by thoughts that they might soon be torn apart by a hungry dog) but I wanted to emphasize their complaisance (i.e., the fact that they’re willing to be led about by said hungry dog without objection).

    Are you annoyed/puzzled by complaisant as a word in and of itself, or by its misuse? As far I know I haven’t misused it.

    Josh

  157. Poteet
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    # 151 Dingo — Hmm…what an interesting idea. Yes, please keep me posted. That part of Illinois is far enough from Chicago that I’m not afraid of getting lost:-).

    Also, re your experience in the north country, I spent a couple weeks in Iceland back in the 1980s, long before the economy went bust. I was there at the beginning of July, when “night” was just a theory and young people went on hikes at 3 am and never seemed to sleep. Lotsa good-looking guys. Dunno about their technique, but the scenery was definitely rewarding.

  158. Jackuul
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    Why are comics targeting dogs this year? If the strip was drawn by Tom Batiuk the gator would eat the dog, bite off Rusty’s arm, get prostate cancer and die alone.

  159. dale
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail (panel 1)

    Sassy is a piss-poor name for an alligator.
    Not very good for a p-o-s dog.

  160. Jackuul
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    Alternatively, if Mark Trail was suddenly taken over by Marvel Comics, Rusty would go rage mode and grow into a Hulk-like monstrosity, ripping the gator in half and beating the poachers to death with its head and tail in separate hands.

  161. zerowolf
    November 17th, 2009 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    From the look on Delia’s face the news is, “I’ve met a new friend. Her name is Crystal. Last name, Meth.”

  162. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:12 pm [Reply]

    It seems clear now that in Mark Trail, the cycle of log-chaining/punching constitutes the central redemptive act of mammalian history, to be sacramentalized at formal events where the passing of cocktail wieners precedes an exchange of wisecracks and bitchslaps.

  163. bats :[
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    135. Gregory Earls: Kit’s kids are going to live with the President and First Lady of the country while Kit globe-trots. I’m not quite sure why he couldn’t have left them in the Deep Woods at Skull Cave. But I don’t pretend to know what the hell motivates Stripey Butt.

  164. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    What with all these crossovers and “guest” characters showing up in the comics lately, I thought Mark Trail visiting Apartment 3G might be interesting.

    Mark: Hi, I'm Mark Trail from Lost Forest. How ya doing?
    Tommie: Fine. How are you?
    Mark: I'm doing well, thank you.

    [Long pause of ackward silence...]

    Mark: Well, I'll be getting back to the woods now.
    Tommie: Yes. I think that's best.

    Well, maybe not as interesting as I thought.

  165. Married Agnostic Woman
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: Dilbert, for all its efforts to lampoon the daily doldrums of the average cubicle-dweller, has to be so equatorily nonspecific about time and place and climate in its efforts to serve a worldwide audience, that it never will quite capture the soul-sucking reality that is driving to and from work in November when it is pitch-black out and never seeing the sun that Blondie so succinctly captured today.

  166. Ichi
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    Despite its ‘enlightenment’ Mark Trail is annoyingly mammal-centric. Why can’t the puppy be the bad guy?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/15187477@N03/4113654426/in/photostream/

  167. KarMann
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    Pedant alert! You normal people, just skip over this one.

    @Uncle Lumpy #138: The tilt of the Earth’s axis is the reason we have later and earlier sunsets at all, but if that was the end of the story, the latest sunset would always be on the solstice (give or take a day). The reason we get a wide discrepancy like that from the solstice is the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit, causing the Earth to orbit the Sun at faster and slower rates, and hence the Sun’s apparent rate of motion across the heavens to speed up and slow down.

    End pedantry.

  168. Gabby
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    Luann “Carved turkey” is a loooong way to go to for this “joke.” You mean carved, as opposed to ripping the meat off the carcass and stuffing it in your mouth? Cripes.

    SF I lol’d.

    Pickles I normally hate this comic, but there it is every day staring up at me. Today it was pretty funny. For an old people strip. And let’s face it, they usually aren’t very funny.

  169. cheech wizard
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    138/Uncle Lumpy- Actually, the fact that the earliest sunset occurs around Dec. 10 and latest sunrise about a month later, instead of on the solstice, is not simply due to the tilt of the earth’s axis. A greater factor is the elliptical shape of earth’s orbit around the sun.

    Most people have heard that sun time does not correspond exactly to clock time, because the length of the solar day varies throughout the year. At this time of year, the solar day is a bit longer than 24 hours, meaning that over the coming weeks, the sun is racing from several minutes ahead of clock time (around Dec. 10) to several minutes behind it (around Jan. 7). This makes the Dec. 10 sunset appear “early” relative to clock time and the Jan. 7 sunrise appear “late.”

    One of the main reasons the solar day is longer than 24 hours right now is that the earth is near the perigee (closest point) in its orbit around the sun. That means it travels farther each day (covers a bigger angle), so the earth has to rotate further for the sun to return to the same point in the sky. Hence, the day is longer than 24 hours. The reverse is true in late spring.

    There are some very cool time lapse photos that illustrate this – google “Analemma” (the figure 8 path the sun appears to trace in the sky throughout the year) to see them and find more detailed explanations.

    There will be a test…

  170. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    November 17th, 2009 at 7:59 pm [Reply]

    I’ve commented on this before, but I’m kind of obsessed with Rusty’s origin story. I now believe that Mark Trail periodically releases spores, which drift out over lost forest and grow in wood that’s iron-rich, say from an attached chain that could hold down a raccoon or a small dog. The spores gradually grow into a misshapen juvenile form (often called “rusty” due to the presence of iron). This then breaks free and wanders the woods until it finds an adult of the species. They form a pair bond. Then, the adult might asexually release spores one more time before the juvenile devours it and then reaches maturity itself.

    Rusty kinds looks like Mark, in a disturbing kind of way and the above seems the most likely way that could be.

  171. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    #167 KarMann, #169 cheech –

    Thank you for watching the heavens, so I don’t have to. Seriously, I can make myself understand this stuff (and love analemma photos) — but it just leaks right back out of my head the minute I stop thinking about it.

  172. dyslexic dog
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    #171 Uncle Lumpy–
    My favorite analemma photo from your selection.

  173. Joshua
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    In the past, we’ve seen at least one strip that suggested that “Blondie” takes place in Clearwater, Florida, where sunset isn’t until 5:36 p.m. today.

  174. Joshua
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    #168 Gabby: The whole concept of the joke in today’s “Luann” is stupid, not just any particular item. Nancy DeGroot may have a low opinion of Toni, but she has sufficient social skills not to stir up an argument with Toni at Thanksgiving dinner, much less get into a physical fight with her.

  175. bats :[
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    164. Sequitur: yeah, maybe not exciting, but just about any crossover with MW would have the same level of excitement AND last three weeks.

  176. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    What is really happening in Mary Worth.

  177. Jackuul
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    What if Mark Trail punches Scott, Adrian, and Mary all with the same punch, then declares himself king of Mary Worth – only to then be meddled to death by a now floating Mary of Doomshire Worth.

    That would be fun.

  178. Joe Blevins
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    BLONDIE: It is possible that even Dagwood is nostalgic for the “Charley” storyline from Mary Worth. Notice that he’s yearning to hear “Happy Talk,” a song from South Pacific.

  179. Jamus the Bartender
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: In the first picture, it’s funnies business as usual, in the second picture, Alice Mitchell’s bikini top came off.

  180. Jamus the Bartender
    November 17th, 2009 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    S4th: Wait….you mean Ted’s folks have NEVER been over for Turkey Day? Wow, Sally really has a tight leash on him. It’s the hands.

  181. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox 6 differences:

    1. Someone slipped a mickey in the coffee.
    2. Dog humps the arm of the chair.
    3. Cat farted.
    4. Dad has a boner.
    5. Little boy died with his eyes open.
    6. Little girl shit her pants.

  182. bats :[
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    181. Sequitur: alternatively:

    1. Ziggy was funny.
    2. Funky Winkerbean was funny.
    3. Garfield was funny.
    4. Marmaduke was funny.
    5. Family Circus was funny.
    6. A plot was concluded in Dick Tracy.

    Then again, all of these happening only mean that the world is coming to an end, so reading the Funnies is rather ironic.

  183. AhClem
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    Rusty’s gaping maw is actually a functioning TARDIS. If you dare to look closely, you can see the nighttime skyline of Omaha, Nebraska in there.

  184. Mardou Fox
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    #165 Married Agnostic Woman: You are absolutely right about that. I wonder how long Dagwood’s commute is? There was a time when I had a commute of almost two hours each way. I didn’t see the sun from October until April. Very depressing!

  185. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    182. bats :[
    And these will all happen December 21, 2012.

  186. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    183. AhClem
    HA! (from a long time Dr. Who fan)

    Wait a sec. Does that mean Rusty will be the next Dr. Who companion? AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

  187. Nekrotzar
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure the progression in MW will be as follows: Delilah announces she is pregnant. But alas, the baby is born horribly deformed and misshapen. In order to preserve her marriage, not to mention her welcome at Charterstone, she abandons the baby in a distant forest, where he is found by an odd and pugnacious backwoodsman who has pity on him, takes him home, and gives him bowls of food and water. Eventually the backwoodsman grows tired of the hideous beast and feeds him to an alligator, and they all live happily ever after, the end.

  188. Old School Allie Cat
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    MWLooks like Delilah is calling to tell Mary she got a part in the Disgusting Food Pageant – if the outfit is any clue, she’ll be playing the role of Salmon Square.

  189. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    I once dated a Salmon Square. She was delicious.

  190. Muffaroo
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    bourbon babe @118 – Of all places, Archie Comics have explored raccoon love poetry. After Jughead suggests “raccoon” as a rhyme for “moon / June / spoon…”, he gets a lot of flack from the rest of the gang. At the end of the story, they all think he’s kidding, but he goes home and reads his poetry (with guitar accompaniment) while his beloved raccoon eats biscuits. This was some time in the 60s, when the repartee was fairly witty and the drawing style was pretty good. Not Hartley.

  191. hmm
    November 17th, 2009 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    #176.. that’s not even remotely funny….

  192. Écureuil Écumant
    November 17th, 2009 at 10:29 pm [Reply]

    @176: I like the interplay between someone giving Del a ring, and Del giving Mary a ring. And the fact that her “phone” looks more like a TV controller does indeed make it remotely funny.

  193. sugarpie
    November 17th, 2009 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    MWorth I, too, am thinking Mary is developing a serious meth problem. Mary totally tweeked out last night and got a little aggressive with her nail gun.

    “What the fuck is up with these flowers. A vase? Greedy bastards!” Blam blam. “Curtain rod? Oh, hell no. I’ll just gonna nail these bitches right into the wall.” Blam blam blam.

    “Now stay there, damn it, and don’t move again. “

  194. tblue
    November 17th, 2009 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    Have you ever noticed that aboput 75% of the Family Circus cartoons consist of one of the little melonheads tattling on another one? Billy is actually tattling about his sister humming a Christmas song. Does he really expect her to get in trouble for that? What’s next? “Mommy, Dolly is looking at a crayon!” or “Mommy, Dolly is drinking a glass of water!” or worst of all, “Mommy, Dolly just walked through the hallway!”

  195. Dean Booth
    November 17th, 2009 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    #191, hmm: It must suck to be you.

  196. LouieLouie
    November 17th, 2009 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    I actually think this is the most normal-looking I’ve ever seen Rusty drawn.

  197. bats :[
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    194. tblue: I’m afraid that it’s worse than that…

  198. tb4000
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    Luann: I fail to see why Bradley DeGroot has a problem with a potential catfight between MILF DeGroot and Toni. It will combine his two objects of affection into one giant psychosexual Oedipus-fest.

  199. He Who Oh Never Mind
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    MT: Our local paper experimented with weekday color for the comics, before deciding we Midwesterners just couldn’t live at that speed. Thus, I was thankfully spared the horror of Rusty’s flesh-colored eyeballs — until today. And are his eyes growing out of his cheekbones? I think they’re like the “eyes” on the wings of some moths, just imitative markings to fool predators. In fact, that theory just about accounts for Rusty’s entire face.

  200. Poteet
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    # 176 Sequitur — Not only have you explained her weird posture, but you’ve also made her look more intelligent.

  201. steve
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    “See how Sassy is pulling towards the alligator, Rusty? That’s called Natural Selection – it’s God’s way of making all of us better.”

  202. Johnny Q
    November 18th, 2009 at 1:06 am [Reply]

    JUDGE PARKER: The widow’s bodyguard looks like Archie on steroids.

  203. Poteet
    November 18th, 2009 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    11/18

    MT — This amazing Sassy rescue was brought to you courtesy of the slowest alligator ever to exist on God’s green earth.

    MW — Are we starting a Delilah-and-her-genius-husband-are-so-happy-they’re-pregnant storyline that is going to last into spring? And if so, could we all fervently beg Giella and Moy to bring Charlie back to make it bearable?

  204. tubbytoast
    November 18th, 2009 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    Hairless Sassy will be easy to digest.

  205. Donkey Hotey
    November 18th, 2009 at 1:56 am [Reply]

    Since Sassy is apparently made of raw chocolate chip cookie dough, perhaps the alligator will get salmonella and die.

  206. Anonymous
    November 18th, 2009 at 2:04 am [Reply]

    18, here in Vancouver, the sun sets at 4:15PM.

  207. Lisa
    November 18th, 2009 at 2:30 am [Reply]

    Interesting that we are getting back story about the horrid granny in 9CL. Who knew that Edda got her body type and blond hair from her? That is beyond a shock, since the old woman looks like a gnome. What a comedown old age has been for the old bat.

  208. Baka Gaijin
    November 18th, 2009 at 2:58 am [Reply]

    #182 bats :[ :

    [Slylock Fox 6 differences:]
    1. Ziggy was funny.
    2. Funky Winkerbean was funny.
    3. Garfield was funny.
    4. Marmaduke was funny.
    5. Family Circus was funny.
    6. A plot was concluded in Dick Tracy.

    If that were the case, the man’s head in panel 2 would be gone, having imploded from his brain trying unsuccessfully to process that improbability. The singularity created eventually would suck the children, pets, and even couch into that black hole. By “black hole,” I’m not referring to any part of Mary Worth.

  209. Lucky
    November 18th, 2009 at 3:20 am [Reply]

    Family Circus – Oh, so that’s where Bil comes from.

    Funky Winkerbean – “…especially since our creator is such a grim bastard nowadays that even the slightest bump will probably kill you.”

    Heathcliff – Heathcliff is a Plugger.

    Slylock Fox – Yup, that’s pretty much how rest of the world sees Americans.

    Spider-Man – Judging by the way Spidey is squatting, I think he’s about to film himself take a big spider-dump. For everybody’s sake, I hope he’ll realize what’s going on below and be distracted by it.

  210. Mibbitmaker
    November 18th, 2009 at 3:28 am [Reply]

    the 18th:

    9CL: The elder Burber woman showing such basic good sense (now, at least)… so WHY is she currently going with such a load like Thorax??!~~

    FW: Why not just forget the nowadays panel? The old-era joke needs three panels to work.

    GT: You know what’s uncool? The Ghost.

    JP: “Yuh! Huh-huh-huh… joviuhl…. huh-huh-huh-huh-huh-huh….”

    Luann(‘s brother): Yeah, and you’re SUCH a big help, wall-teeth.

    MW: Ignoring them, of course.

    RMMD: CAREFUL THERE, TIM! THE FIEND IS FULLY CAPABLE WITH BLUNT WEAPONS — MAINLY LOGIC AND REASON! YOU AREN’T WELL EQUIPT TO COMBAT HIM, TIM!

    R=R: Give up, Get Fuzzy, you’ve been roundly defeated in the “cats-are-assholes” category.

  211. Mr. O'Malley
    November 18th, 2009 at 3:39 am [Reply]

    9CL: Visceral While You Work, that is. Then the boys would join in with “Hitler is a jerk, Mussolini bit his wienie, now it doesn’t work”.

    A-3G: If she still has money, this could be a ticket out of this lousy strip!

    BC: It must be hard to be locked into the limited range of a legacy strip, but the new management managed a few moments of humor today.

    ReFoob: It’s impressive how Michael formed his writing style at such an early age.

    GT: Valerie’s hideously misshapen arms are a shouout to the previous artist on this strip.

    JP If she’s been drinking martinis all afternoon, I can see why she has difficulty remaining perpendicular, but how does she remain vertical? Was Frankie’s last action in life having her fitted with cement overshoes?

    Luann: I see Luann didn’t get invited, so here’s my prediction on where this is going. The expected catfight between Toni and Mrs. DeGroot will have to be put on hold when the abandoned Luann sets the DeGroot’s house ablaze. But there’s only a week until Thanksgiving, so that’s a lot of plot to get through between now and then! Expect the pace to quicken for a short period.

    MT: What Poteet said. This must be the giant Galapagos alligator that lives to be 400 years old because its metabolism is so slow.

    Why is it that when Mark hits the alligator in the mouth (with a stick because it has no facial hair), the middle of its body is forced down into the water?

    MW: “Lawrence is on an extended Unlock Your Full Potential lecture tour and he won’t be back until July, so I’m keeping it as a surprise for him. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled!”

    Peanuts: Here’s something to give you youngsters an idea what 1950s suburbia was like.

    RMMD: Don’t bother Tim, nothing can save this storyline.

    RwO: This is going to appear on a lot of bulletin boards and office doors.

    Rubes and Strange Brew on the same topic today, but Rubes is funnier.

    SF: I agree with Hillary.

    ZtP: Griffy does this with nary a mention of
    “I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert.”
    But why?

  212. Mr. O'Malley
    November 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am [Reply]

    “Shoutout”, that was. I wasn’t making an attempt on the record of the Algerian goalkeeper, Lounes Gaouaoui.

  213. Sheila Sternwell
    November 18th, 2009 at 3:59 am [Reply]

    Juggs Parker: Slutsky the wife has wonky eyes and lips inflated to at LEAST 2 Meg Ryans, maybe 3, and Sam is apparently practicing his Grinch face for the upcoming Christmas parade. This is… normal, I guess.

    Mary Worth: Bitch, don’t look at us. We’re not the ones who knocked up Delilah. Right, Sequitur? …Sequitur?

    Slylock Fox: EIGHT! BILLION! Where do they keep them all?

  214. Baka Gaijin
    November 18th, 2009 at 3:59 am [Reply]

    Rose is Rose: OMG! That last panel was totally tubular! The visual and the “Not really” busting Rose’s chops. Wonderful!

    Sally Forth: In those tiny black dots for Sally’s eyes, you can see horror of the last visit’s drumstick.

  215. Readem and Laf
    November 18th, 2009 at 6:47 am [Reply]

    Family Circus:
    Billy SHOULD worry when Dolly starts writing:

    “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.”

    Over and over and over
    and over and over and over
    and over and over and over
    and over and over and over
    and over and over and over
    and over and over and over

  216. mkilby
    November 18th, 2009 at 6:49 am [Reply]

    Look again at those two “Lederhosen-clad couch potatoes”… who do you think they are? Clearly, Marmaduke has retrieved the Katzenjammer Kids out of retirement!

  217. Karmyn
    November 18th, 2009 at 7:00 am [Reply]

    I just hope that when Del manages to pop out her boring demon spawn, it has better fashion sense then it’s mother and better choice in future life partner than either.

  218. Ned Ryerson
    November 18th, 2009 at 7:42 am [Reply]

    How often do we literally laugh out loud? Not enough, I say, even though we toss around LOLs (or some do, but I digress). I just burst out laughing at today’s Mark Trail. Thank you Jack Elrod, That is a thing of beauty.

  219. Elliegal
    November 18th, 2009 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    Wednesday’s MW – Mary has made so many meddling phone calls the receiver has molded to the shape of her face

  220. Little Guy
    November 18th, 2009 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    185: When everyone will die, especially in FW, of cancer.

    9CL: Cockpit panel, Barettoesque panel.

    Luann: I thought this wasn’t suppose to happen until 2012.

    MT: Best. Mark. Trail. Ever.

  221. MolyBendum
    November 18th, 2009 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    Apartment 3G Ari is shocked! So shocked he’s about to drop his spoon! This no-class whore ate with the help? Questionable gender? Fine. Haggard face and hideous dye job? Fine. Collar and sweater combo that went out with the eighties? Fine. Fraternizing with the kitchen staff? Absolutely inexcusable.

    Blondie Can’t we just get stoned and sing all night long? And what the hell is with Oprah…I actually caught some of her idiotic show yesterday and she was “interviewing” Anderson Cooper with hard-hitting questions like “Isn’t it just like that in Africa?”. Then she had karaoke singers come on and some guy who couldn’t sing beat some girl who sang mildly better. She sounds exactly like the chick who does/did her on SNL/Mad TV, I can’t remember which, but I always thought that was a pretty good imitation. Probably Mad TV, I think it was the girl whose first name starts with a ‘D’ (add a couple more and you get her breast size, not that that’s important or anything…psssht). Oh yeah, my point was: Blondie and Oprah suck hard.

    Family Circus ”That’s why Mommy calls me ‘Duh’, it’s short for Dolly!”

    Gil ThorpE Jamarr Gaddis talks to Deion Brand about Valerie Okumbe. One of these people plays clarinet, one plays volleyball, and Jamarr Gaddis is a douchebag. The band geek tells The Ghost about the volleyball player who served five points, while Jamarr Gaddis tells the clarinet player to check reality. Meanwhile, logic problem superstars the world over are shredding their newspapers in frustration over not being able to figure out WHAT THE HELL is going on in Gil Thorp.

    Mark Trail Sassy was so happy to see Bob and Mark she crapped a jackelrod ball.

    Rex Morgan ”Tim…Wait!……..”
    “…For me!” Nah.
    “…This was all a setup on my part!” Nah, too out of nowhere.
    “…Your fly’s down!” Possible, possible.
    “…I’m not wearing anything under this trenchcoat!” Well, I wish, but probably not.
    “…They might not even be in there!” More than likely, seems boring enough.

    There isn’t any real action in this except Tim flying off the handle. And that’s not so much action as it is…pathetically embarrassing for him.

    Snuffy Smith ”I even tried ‘em in one a those analemmas, y’know where ya mash ‘em all down inta juice and put it up yer butt! Nothin’ werks…”

  222. gleeb
    November 18th, 2009 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Edge City: So, even a long night’s sleep doesn’t make her hair look less like the brim of Huntz Hall’s hat.

    Gil: So, who bets that Deion starts lying about the outcome of games before the end of the week?

    H&L: Lois won’t be able to hide it much longer. Trixie wasn’t premature; she’s the product of a wild night when Hi was traveling.

    Real Life Adventures: Dick joke or fat joke?

    Rex: Shut up, you! Tim, go right ahead. End this story. The faster Tim is killed, the faster we get June back.

    Spidey: Action? Don’t let your balloon write checks your strip can’t cash.

  223. Bryan
    November 18th, 2009 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    AhClem: Rusty’s gaping maw is actually a functioning TARDIS.

    Ugh, that only makes me wonder how Rusty got an injection of Time Lord DNA to prime the briode nebulizer.

  224. Whippersnapper
    November 18th, 2009 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    MW: I know that nothing this awesome (or even a little awesome) could ever happen in Mary Worth, but wouldn’t it be great if Delilah now said, “No, I wanted to tell the father first. Is Jeff around?” Then Mary could begin the most hardcore meddling of her life, which would involve Delilah, a dark alley, and a lead pipe. But no- the big crisis now will probably be that Delilah and Lawrence can’t agree what color to paint the nursery, and we’ll be subjected to 6 weeks of Mary giving advice on paint chips.

  225. Muffaroo
    November 18th, 2009 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    9CL – What kind of crap is this? “Entertaining the troops isn’t PC!” Straw setup. “I defy your PC prigs and dictators!” Straw harvest. So I guess it’s self-aggrandizing straw crap, and completely fictional at that. Never mind, I answered my own question.

    archie – I remember wearing a T-shirt over a long-sleeve shirt in the late 70s. Who knew I was a fashion pioneer?

    Dick – Mr. Pops wouldn’t be so complacent if he knew that before this story ends, a horrible death awaits him. Of old age.

    Gil – So it is writ. Band geek’s gonna get the girl, and Jamarr will end up playing his own instrument.

    Mark – I’ve been saying Sassy wasn’t bright, but I might have been selling the little freak short if she knew that stretching toward the gator might free her from Rusty forever.

    Marmaduke – Damn it, where’s the panel before this one, where Marmaduke barks out the concepts of ‘sell’ and ‘ebay®’ to Winslow? Why do we always get the part where his words are read back to him, and never the part where he conveys these very verbal concepts without being able to mouth words?

  226. Muffaroo
    November 18th, 2009 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    My Cage – Serious question: Is Ashley playing with some object (and if so, what?), or is the thing above her hand a symbol of a mental state (as one might see in, for example, manga)? And has Dean Booth already ‘shopped the third panel so that Maureen is saying “Look at these!” and doing something just ever so slightly different with her hands?

    Pluggers: even their flashlights are dim.

    Prickly – Whatever you do, don’t yell for help. Someone from the government might come, and then you’d have to turn them down on principle.

    Spidey – If Peter Parker was to patent and market the camera that manages to point itself at wherever the action is and take well-framed, marketable shots of it, he could retire and spend every day watching TV all day and making out with his hot wife. Apparently that bite gave him the career sense of a huge spider as well.

    Mr. O’Malley @211 – I’m guessing the Widow D’Vito spends so much time on her back that when she gets woozy she falls into an upright position.

    incompetent comment spam @215 and 216 – Go home and practice for twenty years, dipstick.

  227. Hank
    November 18th, 2009 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    RE: Mark Trail. Today was one of the greatest days of my life. For all intents and purposes Mark Trail just punched an alligator!

  228. bourbon babe, unbuckled (nee buckyswife)
    November 18th, 2009 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    MW: This is the new storyline—Del & Larry’s joy as they prepare for the eventual birthing of the product of their fumbling, quick, inept coupling in that hotel room so many weeks ago? Not thrilled about that—the one thing I count on finding in MW is some measure of human misery, exacerbated by the horror that is Mary’s meddling. If the biggest problem that Del & Larry have now is their disagreement over the name (Madison or Taylor?), I will be sorely disappointed.

    A3G: I’ve never liked rice pudding. And seeing that white glop on Bobbie’s spoon, with Ari looming over it eagerly, isn’t going to make me a convert.

    MT: Okay, Sassy’s being too dumb to run away from the gator: fabulous. Mark’s bitch-smacking the now bifurcated gator with a stick: awesome. Bob Jackson’s ability to levitate Sassy while making the chain disappear: excellent.

    But all of that together: Quintessential Elrod. Well done, sir.

  229. Professor Fate
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Luann: And we’re on the road to wackiness (please kill me).

    MW: I found the first pannel disturbing, the body/head angle is all wrong- it looked for all the world like Mary was taking off her face in preperation for a meal of live hamsters.

    FW: Les somethings are funny. Really.

  230. Aviatrix
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    Oh wow. I’ve missed a week of action and adventure in the comics, but they were in my thoughts.

    I’m visiting a friend who is from Georgia and as we looked at a little alligator in an aquarium exhibit, I said something like, “That one isn’t big enough to be a maneater” and my friend said “Alligators love dog meat.” I almost fell over laughing. The exact words and the accent and everything.

    Also, I want to see a mashup giving Adrian the lushious body and languid gestures of the widow in Judge Parker. But she keeps her awful hair.

  231. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    11/18

    MW: When Delilah reappeared this week I had to be reminded who she was. If the bun she and Lawrence have cooking leads to anything resembling an interesting story, it will be a small miracle.

    A3G: “I loved eating with the kitchen staff (who may have had names)” is the single warmest thing we’ve seen Bobbie say. She’s Margo all over.

    JP: Yeah, “jovial”, that’s the word. Because if you can’t jeer at the little people while you’re swindling them out of their life savings, the hell with it.

    SFx: I’m not sure if this is a subtle commentary on America’s obesity problem or just a shout-out to Jake Blues ordering four fried chickens or a coke, but it’s awesome either way.

    M-Dawg: Don’t laugh. Once you can determine which of these bones belonged to Jimmy Hoffa, you can make a bundle on eBay.

    Blondie: Pretty funny, actually. Father and son unite against Blondie’s self-actualization bullshit.

    GT: Hey, be nice to Clarinet Deion, “Ghost.” You’ve got a much better chance with him than you do with Valerie.

    DT: This just in…

    9CL: Get on with it, already!

    S-M: No snipers. No helicopters. No back-up. A bank is robbed and the police department responds by sending on squad car with two uniforms in it. New York must be trying to regain it’s old position as violent crime capital.

  232. Carlo
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    211 Mr. O’Malley: Oh, please let your Luann plot come to fruition! Only, let every character (except Dirk; he’s cool) be inside the house when she sets it ablaze.

  233. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    #221 MolyBendum,
    I think you mean Debra Wilson from MadTV. I hope. Through most of the 90′s SNL’s Oprah was Tim Meadows, who as the name indicates…

    #225 Muffaroo,
    I guess McEldowney isn’s satisfied with imaginary persecution from the church, so he’s going for imaginary persecution from women’s studies professors. In reality the mob just doesn’t care enough to go after him with torches and pitchforks, but that’s kind of an ego blow.

  234. MolyBendum
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    223 AfkaB – Indeed. Debra Wilson. See, I knew it started with a ‘D’. I didn’t bother looking it up earlier because I was busy. Plus I have a slow internet. Plus it would have been imperative to google “Debra Wilson naked”. Which I have now done. Thanks. I did not, on the other hand, google “Tim Meadows naked”.

  235. Dingo
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    The look on Mary Worth’s face today says that more has happened than a call from Delilah. I feel that Dr. Jeff took out his big stick and a hungry Mary clamped down on it with her gaping maw. Then she swung her tail and took it straight into her mouth, feasting upon its briny goodness.

    Oh, wait. My Chron page has Mark Trail right above Mary Worth. I’m getting the two confused. But, still, I bet the images of that gator and Mary in sex look about the same with the exception of removable teeth.

  236. Sequitur
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    I thank Dean Booth and Poteet for sticking up for me and my mashup at #176.
    I will admit that it really wasn’t all that funny but it sure was fun to do and it felt good.
    Wow. I guess I now know how it feels like to be Tom Batiuk. Or Bil Keene. Or Tom Armstrong. Or Lynn Johnston.
    But, as they say as you’re going to the guillotine, “Don’t stick your neck out unless you’re willing to feel the sharp edges!”

    Okay. Nobody said that. I just made it up. {cheezy grin}

  237. Chip Whittle
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane finally blows the lid off of how there’s no such thing as entertaining the troops anymore. That or Brooke McEldowney was upset he didn’t get invited on the most recent Cartoonists Entertain The Troops tour.

    Really, though, isn’t the true courage McEldowney’s ability to identify “thing I don’t like” as “political correctness”, in complete contrast to the way every person who has ever accused anything of being “politically correct” ever has used the phrase?

    Edge City: Hey, Len, shut up and wear the mouth piece and stop snoring before Abbie figures that just because you don’t have sleep apnea now doesn’t mean you won’t get it someday and better you should die now rather than suffer unexpectedly. We told you the tree was a warning, Len.

    The Phantom: the proud people of Bandar really don’t know how to hold a ticker-tape parade, do they?

    I’m sure it’s been pondered before but doesn’t having the Walker Twins, Zan and Jana, undisguised like that tend to blow the Ghost Who Might Try Looking For His Wife’s Body’s cover?

  238. Mibbitmaker
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Did they even have Political Correctness in the 1940s? Uncensored animated cartoons, comic strips and 3 Stooges shorts of the day say no.

    MT: I hate to put a damper on the festivities, but Trail is merely loging that stick between the gator’s jaws to keep it from chomping the pooch. Oh, there’ll be punching, alright — the Sideburn Brothers will gets theirs, no doubt. You just know they’ll lunge at the interloper and the quisling — Mark’s favorite opening (sighs Cherry).

  239. Mibbitmaker
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    Stop commenting on 9CL, Mibbit. Brooke has no idea what he’s talking about.

  240. Vince M
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    238: re. 9CL – yeah, I’m afraid Gran doesn’t hold a birthday candle to Red Hot Riding Hood.

  241. Sequitur
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    240. Vince M
    Oh, yeah. That was a classic series.

  242. Anonamuse
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Okay, I know, just know, that as soon as I post this, there’s gonna be a new thread put up by Josh. Oh, well… :)

    In any case, I’m glad, Josh, that you read the comics so I don’t have to; it’s just too much darned work keeping up with all of them on a daily basis. I mean, along with all the other responsibilities of life, who has the time? Following the comics faithfully is a full-time endeavor, and you’re just the guy to do it. Better you than I, anyway!

    So…

    Mark Trail: While I certainly agree that Rusty generally appears as though he’s just escaped from the freak show at the circus, I say give the kid a break in the above strip. I’ve definitely seen him looking worse, far worse. Here he looks…well…almost human. And that’s saying a lot.

    Mary Worth: Ho-hum. You’re spot-on, I’m afraid, Josh. I’m sure Delilah’s news is that she’s preggers. So now we get vicariously to experience her joy for nine months two years right along with her. How, um, lovely.

    Family Circus: I want to slap that little brat Billy and tell him to leave Dolly alone! She’s obviously a nonconformist, as evidenced here by her stubborn refusal to adhere to societal expectations of celebrating holidays only on their alotted date(s). Go, Dolly!

    I admit I have a personal stake in this one. Last month, in the midde of October, my ten-year-old son happened upon his Santa Claus hat and decided to wear it to school that day. When I picked him up after school, I found out that he had been teased and harassed all day for it, with other kids grabbing it off his head at recess and so forth. The absolutely worst thing, though, was that the teacher even said to him:

    “We don’t wear Christmas hats in October.”

    What the hell?!

    I told my husband about it and, being the rebel and individualist that I am (as long as we’re not hurting anybody else), he got rather ticked off, too. We went to the principal and defended our son’s right to be his own person. The children who had been the main instigators had to write him notes of apology and the teacher apologized to him as well.

    When my kids were toddlers, one of their aunts sent them t-shirts picturing a colorful school of fish all swimming merrily along in one direction, as schools of fish do. Right in the middle, though, was one lone fishy going the opposite direction. The caption? “It’s okay to be different.”

    Right on!!! So, Dolly? You go, girl!

    Marmaduke: I never read this cartoon, as I generally find it rather boring and insipid. I think the one above is actually worth a little chuckle, though. However, I can’t help but see those guys the monster dog is “walking” as Germans or Austrians wearing lederhosen with suspenders, even though their harnesses don’t reach all the way to their shorts.

    And that’s all, folks, as I can’t be bothered at the moment to read any comic not snarked by Josh…

  243. Jackuul
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: DIE BEAST OF SATAN *fwump* DIE! *fwump* DIE *fwump* YOU NEVER LET ME PLAY IN THE WOODS MOTHER *fwump* YOU ONLY LET ME *fwump* WEAR DRESSES FOR YOU *fwump* WHY DIDN’T YOU LOVE ME!? *fwump* *fwump* *fwump* *fwump*

    This is Mark Trail’s therapy. Beating innocent alligators.

  244. Sequitur
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    228. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    ie. MT. Don’t look now but your tongue’s in your cheek.

  245. Calico
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    No, no, let me kill this thread….

    Just wanted to say that TM is awesome today.
    Pillsbury doggie is safe! Yay!
    I’d like to see more text-less panels like these.

    And, Mary looks positively evil today. I know I’ve seen that exact face before-nice of y’all to cut and paste, although a T-shirt with that visage on it would be fun to wear.
    I think she’s feeling personally / biologically responsible for the seeding of Delilah.

  246. Calico
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    #228 – Re: rice pudding – I’m not even going to mention the hilarious description of this concoction given by my high school roomate years ago.

  247. Calico
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    #245 – Shit, momentary dyslexia – I meant MT, not TM.

  248. Anonamuse
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    Me @ #242:

    Aaargh! That should be “allotted,” of course. Sorry. Must proofread before posting…must proofread…must… :)

  249. Anonamuse
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    #242:

    Um…”middle,” not “midde.”

    Sorry to be such a perfectionist. I will stop now.

  250. bats :[
    November 18th, 2009 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    237. Chip Whittle re 9CL: that’s exactly what I thought — Brooke’s cheezed because HE didn’t get to go with Jeff an’ Pastis an’ all the other cartoonists to Iraq.

  251. StoutHearted
    November 18th, 2009 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    As God is my witness, I will never tire of the phrase “Charley’s sex den.” After the Aldo storyline, Charley’s bachelor pad of horror is my favorite. Plese, oh please let Delilah be calling because she wants Mary to know that she left her repressed husband because she couldn’t get Charley’s indecent painting out of her head, and it gave her “ideas.”

  252. Filthy Assistant
    November 18th, 2009 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    I kind of suspect Rusty is meant to be very weird-looking, or have a face made of silly putty, or something. After all, he’s CONSTANTLY drawn as some sort of stretchty-faced frankenstein child, and every other character always looks the same whether they’re relaxing by a stream watching various predatorial animals or getting their gentials mutilated by ginsu knives.

  253. Deb T
    November 18th, 2009 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    I always imagined Rusty’s voice sounding something like Rocky Squirrel in Rocky and Bullwinkle – nasal, high pitched, slightly inhuman.

  254. Patrick
    November 18th, 2009 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    It’s Sassy!

    Why am I reminded of the SNL Phil Hartman sketch, where’s he’s the editor of Sassy Magazine, and he’s the Sassiest in all of Sassyville?

  255. Patrick
    November 18th, 2009 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Is Rusty shrinking, or is Mark growing? In the referenced strip from 9/26, Rusty comes up to Mark’s shoulders, but here, he’s up only to Mark’s sternum. By Christmas, Rusty will only be up to Mark’s crotch, which in itself may make for happy holidays, indeed, for Mr. Trail.

    Maybe the whole height thing is just a trick of the light brought on by an eye-watering mixture of all the campfire baked beans they’ve devoured and expelled combined with the natural swamp gases. Either way, someone lights a match, this whole strip is going off like the Hindenburg. Wait, would that be bad?

  256. Muffaroo
    November 18th, 2009 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    Patrick @254 – That has been invoked in recent months, but I never get tired of imagining Phil saying, “If this is a map of Sassyland, and this is the capitol, Sassy City…”

  257. hogeboom
    November 18th, 2009 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    Why do you persist in making the same stupid ‘marmaduke is about to eat someone’ comment over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over?

  258. Stij
    November 18th, 2009 at 11:06 pm [Reply]

    @254: Diagnosis: SASSY!

  259. Lisa
    November 19th, 2009 at 1:21 am [Reply]

    {archie – I remember wearing a T-shirt over a long-sleeve shirt in the late 70s. Who knew I was a fashion pioneer?}

    I wore a long sleeved shirt under a short sleeved dress in the 8th grade, 1969, so I was ahead of the curve too. Just did it one day. My mother worked from the time I was in 3rd grade, so I didn’t have her to police what I wore (my father didn’t care as long as I was dressed), so I got to make up my own mind about things. Imagine my surprise a few years later, when that sort of layering became The Thing.

  260. Johnny Knuckles
    November 19th, 2009 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    #259 I cracked up my class in the early 70s when my loose jeans showed the top of my underwear for about 10 seconds.

    The key ingredient of Fashion is timing.

  261. DICOS
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  262. Sterling
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    “Dolly has found gainful employment at our local department store, Billy. When are you going to start pulling your own weight?”

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