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Marital non-mirth

The Lockhorns, 1/7/10

Today’s Lockhorns is particularly rich in the delightful seething contempt that keeps me coming back day after day. As if the naked animosity on the principals’ faces weren’t enough to bring joy to fans of marital misanthropy everywhere, we also have the fork jabbed into Leroy’s pile of undifferentiated food-like matter to amuse us. While it’s easy to imagine Leroy leaving it there sticking upwards to serve as a sort of visual confirmation of his complaints about the meal’s unappetizing physical qualities, the angle of the utensil, with its handle pointing away from him, implies that it was actually Loretta who put it there. Perhaps she initially appeared to thrust the fork at Leroy’s doughy torso, before changing her angle of attack at the last minute and leaving it in the home-cooked meal her husband is unable to appreciate! I also note that the configuration of the Lockhorns’ dining area seems to have changed, with Loretta’s seat being replaced by a portal to some kind of ecru nothingness, into which she can stalk when inevitably provoked.

Curtis, 1/7/10

I was about to rag on this year’s Curtis Kwanzaa storyline for its less-than-lunatic plotting and all-too-zen ending when I got to today’s final panel and found out that the whole thing was actually a touching tribute to a late friend of cartoonist Ray Billingsley. So, uh, thanks a lot, Mr. Billingsley, for making me feel even more like a petty jerk than I usually do. You’ve left me with nothing to do except point out that panel two’s depiction of an adorable bunny sleeping on the back of a contented hippo is quite charming.

Mark Trail, 1/7/10

Anyway, I certainly hope that nobody involved in the production on Mark Trail is dying inside due to neglect from his or her spouse, because I’m sure as hell going to make fun of that. Today’s exchange shows that each of the Trails has their role in this terrible dysfunctional marriage down pat, with Mark openly acknowledging that leaving his wife in a desert of emotional emptiness is just what he does!

Like a sonnet, each Mark Trail storyline is built out of a strictly defined series of components, and each story must begin with Cherry being ritually humiliated. First, she herself becomes the unwitting agent of her own loneliness. Why did she even tell Mark about that phone call, when she must have known it would lead to his almost immediate departure? In truth, she had no real choice in the matter, being driven on by her universe’s remorseless narrative logic. Compare her dialogue in that earlier strip to one from several years ago, as acted out by my lovely wife in our production of Mark Trail Theater. Amber read Tuesday’s dialogue out in her best Cherry Trail voice, and the echo was uncanny. Today, Cherry completes her debasement by launching a desperate and doomed sex advance at her husband. In panel three, Mark is closing his eyes and holding absolutely still, in the hope that Cherry will eventually lose interest and go away.

Beetle Bailey, 1/7/10

Meanwhile, Beetle Bailey grows less circumspect by the day, with Beetle no longer willing to pretend that Sarge’s elaborate exercise instructions have any purpose other than to get the young private out of his uniform trousers.

220 responses to “Marital non-mirth”

  1. Vosh
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    I don’t understand how stretching and inhaling (which would presumably expand the thoracic cavity) would make your pants fall down. I guess they don’t understand the unspoken tertiary element of the military’s policy toward homosexuals – don’t ask, don’t tell, and sure as hell don’t show.

  2. Canaduck
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    There aren’t any ducks that look like that!! *shakes fist in birder rage*

  3. R in CT
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    Is the angle and placement of Leroy’s fork indicative that this encounter is a prelude to another angry session of Lockhorn lovemaking, with Loretta marching off to the bedroom part of the foreplay? Or is sometimes a fork just a fork?

  4. Sequitur
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns: I notice that Loretta didn’t fix herself any of the slop she served Leroy.

  5. BigTed
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    Those ducks appear to be mocking Mark and Cherry, by demonstrating far superior relationship skills that allow them to travel in pairs.

  6. gnome de blog
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    Mark’s squinty-eyed smirk in panel one leaves no doubt whether the family can spare him. Meanwhile in panel two, I thought I knew my ducks but I don’t recall any with an all-green body and an orange head. Also, both are clearly male ducks, signifying Mark’s preference for the absence of female company.

  7. Baka Gaijin
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    Luann: ” How do you feel about being fucked in public?” is how I first read the last panel. Talk about dyslexia!

  8. 150
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Beetle Bailey. One of you, just propose already.

  9. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    y259 TheDiva,
    I tend to avoid commenting on Prickly City because it seems like it could be banished from comments like the Scottish Strip was. The difference is basically that Stantis somewhere deep down knows that comics should be more than a forum for political tantrums, even if he often fails to deliver more than that.

    Anyway, in addition to what you said, having all supporters of health care reform and social security represented by an obese ponytailed “boomer” in a diaper is an insult to the good name of straw.

  10. wossname
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    @Canaduck (#2): I was about to make the same complaint (they look even more garishly green at this size than they do on the Chron page). But then whimsically I googled “green ducks,” and look at this:
    (Sorry not to use my mad http skilz but I’m having all kinds of strange computer problems and I’ll be surprised if even this works.)

  11. wossname
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    me @ 10 html, i mean. See how mad my skilz are?

  12. Darkefang
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Beetle Bailey is just daring us to make jokes about Sarge looking wistful as he realizes that he’s not about to get a peek of full frontal Beetle. I, for one, refuse to take the bait.

  13. Cranky
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    At the remarkable rate of evolution from subtext to text going on in Beetle Bailey, by 2013 the third panel of every strip will simply be a closeup of Sarge’s contented face as an off-panel Beetle wails “More lubricant. Please!”

  14. Amber
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    Did nobody else notice how Leroy is clearly flipping Loretta off, but has covered this gesture with his napkin? It’s as if – like a 6 year old who sticks his tongue out at his younger sister while keeping his mouth closed – that if the gesture can’t be seen he can’t be beaten for it. Silly Leroy. Doesn’t he realize Loretta is stalking back to the kitchen for a cleaver?

  15. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    Archie: I don’t understand what’s coming out of Arch’s hand in panel 2. Are those motion lines, indicating he just swooped down from the heavens like Superman to land in front of an incredulous Mr. Lodge? Or is he now able to shoot rainbows and sunshine from his fingertips like an anthropomorphic Care Bear? Either way, I’m sure Archie’s new super-powers will prove more entertaining than Spider-Man.

    Baldo knows where you can get the most realistic fake green cards.

    (WT)DT: Chris Schendo, Virgil Ohso, Phil Harmonic… how long before Kat Cophony, Aldo Soprano, and Woody Wind show up? Oh, that’s right, I forgot, they’re all locked up in Fort Issamo.

    Marvin: What so fascinates this little brat about the contents of the garbage can? I’ve known raccoons who weren’t this fond of trash.

    Ghost-Who-Gallivants-Around-The-High-Seas-While-His-Wife-Rots-In-Prison (in the Bandar tongue!): Gunman no. 2 should take a clue from his colleague on the left and wear a giant papier-maché Mardi Gras Phantom head during his crimes, so victims won’t be able to identify him later.

    PC: Therapists should clip and save this strip to use on patients who want to kick their vore porn addiction.

    S-M: C’mon, Pete, you should have this rehearsed. “What? And give away my secrets so you can pass them on to your staff photographers? Forget it.” But then, Peter does have the proportional I.Q. of a spider.

  16. gnome de blog
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#10): But that’s a Euroduck. Besides, those Lost Forest ducks had orange heads. Wouldn’t be a big deal except Mark Trail, Inc. usually portrays wildlife so accurately…even if they do juxtapose moose and alligators a little closely.

  17. mojo
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Personally, I refuse to believe there will be anything going on between Sarge and Beetle until one of them publicly brings up how much they love fishing.

  18. DeGroot of All Evil
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    Whoever did the coloring colored those mallards in backwards! They’re supposed to have brown bodies and green heads. Will Mr. Elrod do some punching of his own, or will there be a bearded colorist in the next storyline?

  19. Steve®
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    Um… am I the only one who missed Sarge’s order for Beetle to drop his pants? Did that even happen?

  20. Steve the Pocket
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    Today’s My Cage reminds me of (and is almost certainly an homage to) the “bunny strips” Walt Kelly used to use as stand-ins for the more controversial political strips that some papers refused to run. Of course, this was before Doonesbury freely criticized anyone and everyone and way before The Boondocks compared our previous President to Osama bin Laden, so it’s hard to imagine what could still be considered controversial enough to merit such a practice these days.

    Not to mention, I have no idea if any papers actually did run the uncensored version; so far no one here has seen it. (Although I’m also not sure if anyone here still reads newspapers instead of getting their comics from the Chron or Times-Union sites.) Leading me to suspect the strip was just rejected by the syndicate itself. I’ve always pictured King Features as being staffed by an army of sour-faced octogenarians, so it’s quite possible, but this is also the syndicate that let the infamous Baby Blues “milk joke” slip past the radar.

    Speaking of controversy, I could complain about the leap of logic being made in Prickly City, but I was destracted by the visuals and all I could think of was the Boomer from Left 4 Dead.

  21. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    @Steve the Pocket (#20): I don’t think this was actually a “filler strip” nixed by the censors. I think it was deliberate.

  22. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    …it’s hard to imagine what could still be considered controversial enough to merit such a practice these days.
    A nipple.

  23. commodorejohn
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    @Steve® (#19): I’m missing it too. Maybe “stretch! Now inhale!” is some sort of code they use.

  24. army of sour-faced octogenarians
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    @Steve the Pocket (#20): Mr. Pocket, we’ll have you know we appreciate a good joke as well as anyone, as long as it’s not shocking to community moral standards. And by community, we mean Victorian England.

  25. Bryan
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    My Cage: It had Max forcing Rex to submissively urinate. As Norm and Jeff look on in horror Max says, “I don’t have to make him do that, I just like it!”

  26. Calico
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    R.I.P., Mr Howard Dennis. Once again, my sympathies to Ray B.

    MT – Oh my giddy (props to Marco Pierre White for that one), Mark and Cherry have a land line and (probably rotary) phone with a spiraling cord!
    I swear I haven’t seen a phone like that in ages, at least in real life.
    Info that Mark Trail may find helpful:

  27. wossname
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    16 gnome de blog and 18 DeGroot of All Evil – Yeah, you’re right, I found more green ducks, but they were all Euroducks and didn’t have orange/brown heads. Clearly the color monkeys got their orders backwards.

  28. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    with Mark openly acknowledging that leaving his wife in a desert of emotional emptiness is just what he does!

    Much like you do to us at Christmas. Not that I’m bitter. I found a contented hippo to snooze on. So ha!

  29. wossname
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    @Naked Bunny with a Whip (#28): At least we all had each other (in the sense of keeping company with, not the sense of, uh, having) at Christmas, which is more than Cherry can say.

  30. Zemto
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#26): I have a wall phone with a long spiral cord in my kitchen. The theory is that it’s more likely to work than cell phones or phones that need electrical power when the next hurricane hits.

  31. Mak
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    I can only assume that the steady progression of gay subtext in Beetle Bailey is intended by the ‘artists’, and will culminate in a Very Special Strip where the cast denounces the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Either that, or an orgy.

  32. Alfred E. Neuman
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    MT— Mark is the master of premature evacuation.

  33. Écureuil Écumant
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    MT: Cherry says she doesn’t want to share Mark with “anyone else”, not “any other woman”. She must know what we’ve only surmised.

    PC: I have to wonder whether this “boomer” is modeled on liberal Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii (whom I’ve known since 1973). Neil grew up in Buffalo, NY, and at age 70 — not quite boomer material — he can still clean and jerk his own weight, roughly 250 lb. ‘Nuff said, Mr. Stantis?

    Blondie: There’s nary a bit of humor in today’s strip, which leaves it nicely uncluttered so we can undistractedly worship Blondie’s ever-more-astounding mammalian protuberances.

    JP: Rocky, you better check if Beverly Hills is zoned for backyard horses, or you’ll lose Godiva anyway.

    Hagar And by the same token, Helga’s learned the hard way never to allow candles in the bedroom.

  34. astroboy
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    MT – unsexiest (and most unconvincing) kiss since Michael Jackson/Lisa Marie Presley

  35. Patrick
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    From Mark and Cherry’s conversation while their lips are locked together, I can only surmise that Mark believes that any intimate touching is just a very, very close way of talking to one another. I imagine while Cherry is trying to pleasure him, he’s saying, “But I could hear you just fine when you were on the other side of the bed!”

  36. Peripheral Visionary
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: After reading this strip for far too long, I have to admit that the joke that underlies it all is finally dawning on me: that in a Funkyverse filled with terrible physical and emotional tragedies, none of them ever occur to the one person who truly deserves them most. Consequently, Crankshaft can safely undertake the most reckless of tasks–e.g. clearing a gutter dangerously weighed down with ice–in full confidence that the burden of any unfortunate outcome that ensues will be borne by someone else.

    Dick Tracy: And so, the web of crime begins to become apparent. Chris Schendo and Virgil Ohso may be at the center, but Axel O. Rondo will be involved soon enough, and he will be bringing with him Fore Tissimo, Stu Katto and his brother Pizzi Katto, and D.C. “Al” Fine. “Leg” Otto might not be in on this job, but some of the people from the Triad, like Dim Yu Endo and Ah Tem Po, might be in.

    Mark Trail: “Share” him with anyone else? Umm, that would assume you’re getting him in the first place . . .

    Pluggers: I realize that Pluggers typically don’t get tattoos (at least not ones that don’t have an anchor or the name of a long-lost love), but tattooing “MEDICATIONS” on the back of the hand might be a good idea: that way, any time they forget what they were looking for, all they have to do is look at the hand and the mystery is solved.

  37. TruthOfAngels
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    “I just don’t want to share you with anyone else, which is why I’ve taken a firm hold of your face with my teeth.”

  38. Calico
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    @Zemto (#30): I remember the old, olive/park-bench green, wall-mounted rotary phone in my Great Aunt’s family’s kitchen. Last time I held it was in May 2006, and it still smelled like onions and dough from my childhood.
    : D

  39. commodorejohn
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#32): COTW nominee!

  40. Karmyn
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    Today I realized that Hammie MacPherson bears an uncanny resemblance to Brad DeGroot. Oh Wanda, how could you? At least the other two kids look like your husband.

  41. bats :[
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#32): no, it’s just that Mark has stuff to do.
    You know. Stuff. And it’s probably dangerous stuff, too.

  42. Chyron HR
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane – And that was how America joined the Axis.

    Funky Winkerbean – Oh, hey. It’s Summer’s money shot. That’s some mighty fine “writing”, Batiuk.

    Judge Parker – “Sam, I’m a simple country boy with a movie star wife and five gold records! How can I be happy living in Beverly Hills with all those… phonies?!”

  43. Digger
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    Hmmm, let’s see, can Mark’s family really spare him? Cherry will still be sexually unsatisfied whether Mark is there or not, Andy looks like he’d rather sleep the day away than go chasing through the woods after some criminal, and Rusty has already shown Mark his “neat” cast, so yes it looks like Mark is good to go.

  44. scott
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    Where is my “Up in the Air”/Mark Trail mash up? C’mon people, I can’t do that!

  45. littlestevie
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    MT: The “old friend” references, Mark’s gleeful look of “adventures” yet to come, Mark’s “special talents” The two male ducks flying in tandem, Mark’s detached look when he has to give Cherry a halfharted kiss, and finally Cherry stating she does not want to share him with “anyone” else, this just states the obvious now about Mark’s true nature. I really did not get it when in the last story arc, Mark seemed to be oddly excited to be in jail with other men, I see it all now. No more obvious than if Sarge told Beetle after the last panel “Now Bettle, touch your toes”

  46. MaryAnnTheRest
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    I’m disappointed in myself for failing the Slylock geography test today. Anyone else share the same shame?

  47. Pozzo
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    Wow — culinary-wise, Loretta Lockhorn makes Mary Worth look like Auguste Escoffier. Not that Leroy deserves any better..

  48. wossname
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#41): bats :[, I love it – and I hope you’ll do more episodes showing the impending confrontation.

  49. wossname
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    @Pozzo (#47): Actually, I think Loretta made the same kind of mush we saw Dawn preparing for Wilbur’s New Year’s dinner.

  50. Sequitur
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    MT: I think Cherry is trying to breathe some life into that character.

  51. Frippin at the Krotz
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Hehe…”Cherry Trail”..hehe. Actually it’s kind of gross.

  52. Sequitur
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#41): Okay. Once again, that was darn funny. And not because you used, not one, but two of my Mark Trail phrases. I am most honored and humbled… and laughing.

  53. Hirayuki
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    Ah, Hoden! As in Howard Dennis. Clever. And, yes, touching.

  54. Lucky
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane – I could’ve never guessed that a storyline involving WW2-era espionage and a sexy singer would turn out to be this boring.

    Beetle Bailey – Waaay too easy.

    Close to Home – It’s a pedophilia joke, isn’t it?

    Mark Trail – Last storyline was about Mark being in the can. This one has so far been about Mark being on the can. At least according to his expression in the first panel.

    Mutts – Unspeakable filth!

    Prickly City – Fortunately the inevitable follow-up will be so squiggly that you won’t be able to make anything out.

    Wizard of Id – Id tries to mimic B.C.’s successful inclusion of a deranged-looking dog …and manages to be funny for the first time in years. Good job.

  55. Josharella
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    I bet Mark’s new mission involves sheep-herding in Wyoming.

  56. DaveyK
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    Gee, I wonder what hand gesture Leroy is making which had to be covered up with that improbably-placed napkin…

  57. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    No, sorry, the Wizard of Id dog just doesn’t have ‘it’ like the BC one does.

  58. KarMann
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    @Cranky (#13): That would be especially interesting on Miss Buxley Wednesdays.

  59. UncleJeff
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#29): How do you know, wossname? Maybe Cherry has more than enough “company” hanging around the cabin, waiting for Mark to leave?

  60. Ein Germanist
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    @Hirayuki (#53): Even better is that “Hoden” means “testicle” in German.

  61. Niall
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    @queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando (#Y249): There’s only one good MyCage Rule34 pic (the supply closet one). The other is just a body shot of Ashley and is not very interesting. Actually, the way the canon storyline is going, if Ashley gets wind of Norm’s current difficulties, she may snap and do pretty much exactly that – maybe that’s the strip they couldn’t show today? :) :) Hmm, must resist butchering the characters by trying to draw said “refused” strip…

    @One-eyed Wolfdog (#22): “A nipple” – but whose? Violet’s? Maureen’s? Ashley’s? or Norm’s?

    @Calico (#26): This last Sunday I was at a friend’s house and he has, downstairs in the main room, a rotary phone with spiraling cord. He also has a touchtone phone upstairs, but he sees no particular reason to get rid of the pulse one, since the basic lines here are still pulse, with a supplement to pay each month for TouchTone(tm) service, even after 20 years. He’s not a luddite, it’s just that after a while it becomes amusing to see people’s reactions. Myself, my bedroom phone is a spiral-cord one (Northern Telecome Vista100) for power outage reasons, when the cordsfree one in the main room wouldn’t work. (And I don’t have a cell phone.)

    @UncleJeff (#59): Like a deer friend?

  62. Mighty Max King
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    I’m enjoying an audio fantasy of what those 20 words of marktrailian dialogue sound like through those grimly mashed lips: “Iwowaneyemwowwy, wubiswubahdoo!” “Awuswonwannashwahoowihannywonelsh!”

  63. Calico
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    Josh, Re: Main Post:
    Please, sir, do not EVER think of yourself as a petty jerk, or I will come to Bal’mor to personally whoop your arse.
    I may bring Margo Magee with me as well, should the need arise.
    ; )

  64. anon
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    BB: Am I the only one that thinks that the word balloons in panel 2 are coming from their penises?

  65. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    I hope I’m not the only person who initially read Josh’s BB comment as “get the young privates out of the uniform trousers.” (Because as Sarge knows, there are no privates like young privates.”

  66. Anonamuse
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#41): I think Mark is preparing to go take that underwater photo of the strange and unknown creature known as “Abby” perched on the dock fishing.

  67. sully
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Billingsley should just stick to Kwanzaa joints, and spare us the usual drab art, somnambulistic writing and gravity-defying hats.

  68. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    Mark and Cherry have somehow mastered one intimate skill: the lost multi-tasking art of locking lips and carrying on a full conversation. Because kissing by itself is so boring!

  69. Bryan
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    @Niall (#61): There’s only one good MyCage Rule34 pic (the supply closet one).

    You wouldn’t have a link to that picture, would you?

  70. Gary
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    If the proportions in the Lockhorns are correct, Loretta is about 8 feet tall and Leroy probably closer to 10 feet, assuming a relatively typical 9-foot door opening. No wonder his head has been rednered flat.

  71. Dagny
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    @astroboy (#34):

    I was waiting for him to scream “bad touch”

  72. Kibo
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    Someday Mrs. Lockhorn will realize that she can just disassemble her husband’s Lego head and build a new husband who’s a smiley-faced astronaut, pirate, or Bionicle. Too bad she married into Lego and not Mega Bloks, ’cause then she could get Master Chief, but settling for a Bionicle husband can’t be so bad.

  73. Kibo
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    (P.S. In the Lego world, a Lego family gives birth to a giant Duplo baby — it’s like “Benjamin Button”, except you can actually stay awake due to all the clicking noises.)

  74. Sarah
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    Hey Josh, am I the only one who read the Sunday strip where it was revealed that Sarge and Beetle are related? It adds a layer of hopelessness to their Army romance that is positively Winkerbeanian.

  75. Anonamuse
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:10 pm [Reply]


    Why, oh why, did you provide that link to “Mark Trail Theater”? It led me down a dangerous and convoluted path, from the ‘Mudgeon Meetup in Tucson to mollificent’s beautiful singing, to Roy Zimmerman videos…

    I finally had to say “enough” and tear myself away. Oh, the things I should have been doing instead!

    It was a lot of fun, though! :)

  76. Rachel211
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    “How come your pants fell down and your shorts stayed up?”
    “Let’s just say I like to ‘stand at attention’ whenever you’re around, Sarge.”

  77. Sans Sense
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:18 pm [Reply]


    Two Lockhorns observations –

    1) I think it is cute that Leroy still feels the need to hide himself flipping Loretta the bird under his napkin;

    2) I am no phrenologist but I believe the only difference between Leroy and Loretta’s skulls is bad hair.

  78. mr 12 oz can
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    mark trail- mark hums the gun n roses song back off bitch while cherry trys to slip in the tongue
    mary worth or 3 on a loveseat- how is kurt sitting on that loveseat at that angle unless hes riding wilbers foot . wilber if you go fishing you aint coming back so get out your rod n reel

  79. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    @scott (#44): Good point! The parallels are remarkable: Alex and Kelly Welly, and instead of firing, there’s punching, and a weirdly configured road vehicle for the airplanes, and for Natalie, Rusty can be the naive-about-the-real-world but brilliant protegee….Okay, that last one doesn’t work so well. But still, there’s the whole lack of personal entanglement, and the array of weak personal ties, and the self-satisfied alienation. And we all know that Mark doesn’t have much in his backpack.

    I sure hope that Walter Kirn credited Elrod!

  80. Toby
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    And what’s up with Tiger?

  81. Écureuil Écumant
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    MW: Probably that was the last time Wilbur went fishing, so he can safely promise to take Kurt along the next time — 25 years from now.

    Also, I’ve come to believe those aren’t combover hairs on Wilbur’s dome. I think they’re scars from his favorite kink, skull flagellation.

  82. Bryan
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:46 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#81): Also, I’ve come to believe those aren’t combover hairs on Wilbur’s dome. I think they’re scars from his favorite kink, skull flagellation

    Wilbur and Abbey were heavily into trepanation back then. Hey, it was the 70′s!

  83. OKStan
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    MT: Glad to see at least one male duck not hatching an egg or screaming in fear:

  84. Écureuil Écumant
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    @82 Bryan said:

    Wilbur and Abbey were heavily into trepanation back then. Hey, it was the 70’s!

    So perhaps Kurt sprang fullgrown from (a hole in) Abbey’s forehead? Maybe that’s why he’s not so eager for that DNA test.

  85. Ed Dravecky
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: Has anybody told Sarge that Obama hasn’t actually rescinded “don’t ask, don’t tell” yet?

    Crock: Unless “barely-legal whore for recovering pedophiles” or “loom workers in 19th-century cotton mills” are the only employment options for a female in this wasteland, how can a young woman be potentially too young to marry and too old to get a job?

    Mark Trail: Startled and unsure as Cherry grips the back of his head and forces her open mouth onto his rigid lips, Mark Trail thinks of Andy and hopes it will all be over soon.

    Mary Worth: “Love of fishing” is not genetic, unless you’re a bear.

  86. zerowolf
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    @Sarah (#74):

    I don’t know about Winkerbeanian, but Hootin’ Hollerin’ for sure.

  87. zerowolf
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: An old man worried about ice in the gutters. The blatant foreshadowing of Ed climbing up on a ladder and falling to his doom is apparent to us all. Oh how you tease us with hopes of Ed’s demise, Batiuk

  88. wossname
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#59): Excellent point, UncleJeff. We’re all taking Cherry at her word that she doesn’t want to share Mark with anyone else, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t “share” with every man in LoFo (all four of them) when Mark is off on some improbable adventure.

  89. wossname
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    Anyone who is not on Facebook, I really encourage you to give it a try, if only so you can receive e-mails like the one I just got: “Gil Thorp suggests you add Blondie Bumstead as a friend on Facebook.”

  90. The Navy Bean
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Luann was so nauseating I threw up a little bit in my life coach’s mouth.

  91. TheDiva
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#9): I normally avoid PC myself for pretty much the same reason, and because it usually doesn’t have me scratching my head and going “the HELL?” like today’s offering does.

    @Peripheral Visionary (#36): Of course, this web of crime could only be organized by one man, a fiendish soul known only as “The Concertmaster!”

  92. KarMann
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#85): I hate to be giving any kind of props to Crock, but he specifically denied that she was too young. So that’s not much of a criticism you have against it there.

  93. zerowolf
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Tell you what Brad, go log into and you’ll be surprised at what she does in public.

  94. Vince M
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    @Lucky (#54):
    re. PC, I like how, when Stantis gets real worked up and bears down hard with his pencil, the results start to look like Worker and Parasite.

  95. Southern Girl
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    Those are mutated mallards in kelly green duckie superhero costumes, apparently. Very urgently on their way to a duck disaster.

  96. zerowolf
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Margo’s plans look amazing like the Book of Revelation

  97. gnome de blog
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#29): At least Cherry had Andy. He might be better company than Mark anyway.

  98. queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#69):

    it used to be on paheal, but I’m not finding it atm, just the fairly lame bodyshot mentioned above. It really was cute, the punch-line featured The Brain Trust in one of their best moments ever! :-)

  99. Carrie
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    @Sarah (#74): I remember that Sunday strip, but I read it as a desperate attempt to explain to the army doctor why Sarge and Beetle had each other’s DNA showing up in their mouth swabs. Of course, they must be related, there is surely no other explanation.

  100. Farley's Revenge
    January 7th, 2010 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#26):

    We have a landline, it’s necessary for the alarm company to use it to harass us when they can’t get through to do one of their tests on the system. We also have a spiral corded landline phone(It currently resides about one foot from where I’m sitting) to go along with the cordless phones. When the power goes out and the weather’s crappy enough to affect the cell towers, we’re the only ones in the neighborhood with a functioning phone with which to call the power company to notify them of the outage.

    As for the cell towers, it doesn’t matter to me if they’re down or not. My cell phone is probably dead anyway.

  101. Farley\'s Revenge
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:03 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#85):

    “Love of fishing” is not genetic, unless you’re a bear.

    I can attest to the “love of fishing” is not genetic. Fishing is a huge “thing” on my mother’s side of the family* yet the only way anyone will ever get me to pick up a fishing pole is if I’m starving and next to a well-stocked pond.

    *No kidding. We received a notice of a maternal-side family reunion that was to take place at a resort. I was all happy-happy-joy-joy with the thought of spas and amenities. Then I went to the “resort’s” web site. It was a family camp with a heavy emphasis on fishing. One of the amenities mentioned was a fish gutting table. I thought I was looking at the set used in “Dirty Dancing”, for pity’s sake.

  102. sully
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    Mr. Lockhorn has every right to be ticked. Wouldn’t you be if your wife served you a plate of shit?

  103. gnome de blog
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    Has anyone mentioned the awesomeness of Margo lately? She wakes up in the middle of the night, sheds a tear for her lost love and slips the rock on her naked, ringless finger…then puts it away, buries the past, then plans herself to sleep. The woman is made of steel.

  104. Spunde
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    And then in the last panel, Ashley says, “The Aristocrats!”

  105. AmyS
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    In today’s Mary Worth, third panel, I’m pretty sure Kurt’s holding up a misshapen foot as he proposes that he and Wilbur go fishing. That would explain the manic look in Wilbur’s eyes; clearly, demon-killing time is nigh.

  106. AmyS
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    @AmyS (#105): Make that second panel. Satanic foot-demons always impair my ability to count.

  107. UncleJeff
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    @Carrie (#99): Oh, I can think of an explanation. But it would be in violation of the DADT policy.

  108. Old School Allie Cat
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    MW – Does Kurt work for Because this whole long lost son arc feels very scammy. Moy and Giella repeatedly keep ignoring my suggestion of having a Voodoo Priestess move into Charterstone. Can you feel the hilarity?

  109. Alfred E. Neuman
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#39): Aw, shucks…

    @bats :[ (#41): Hilarious, as usual! You’re right, who has time to make out with a beautiful wife, when there are Sassy-baited Phantom traps to set?

    While we’re at it, Mark should be following Wilbur.

  110. Mardou Fox
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:56 pm [Reply]

    MT: Okay, Mark undoubtedly is eager to escape Cherry’s advances, but I’ll bet he’s also looking to make a quick getaway before Rusty screws up and forgets to “get his story straight” about the fishing/poacher-punching/leg-crushing jaunt.

  111. Poteet
    January 7th, 2010 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    # 26 Calico — Two feet from my keyboard is one land line with a spiraling cord. Upstairs is my other one. They are push-button, though, not rotary.

  112. fluffy
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    Why are Beetle’s and Sarge’s genitals talking to each other?

  113. AhClem
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    @sully (#102):
    That’s not shit; it’s a steaming heap of pureed Mrs. Worth’s Salmon Squares™. If Leroy has any sense at all, he’s wishing it was shit.

  114. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#111): In my office, I have a land line with a twisty cord, although my phone, too, is push button. I also have a metal filing cabinet and metal bookshelves. Some day, I’ll introduce you all to my office mate, Tim Moore.

  115. Rusty's Ghost
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    I’d care more about Tia Tequila or whatever her name is being bilked of her life savings in _Baldo_ if it weren’t for the fact that the whole insufferable comic and its annoying characters is probably subsidized by Lou Dobbs.

  116. Jamus The Bartender
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    y249. Thanks, queek :)
    Rose Is Rose: Whatever happened to the happy, leaping-around-like-idiots-at-the-slightest-provocation mission statement of this strip? Sweaters? C’mahhnn…
    Spider-Man: Uh oh. Smart guy Robbie Robertson wants to know how Peter gets such good pictures. Time to play the Aunt-May-is-sick-and-needs-her-meds card. Again.
    Sally Forth: Heh, heh, heh….choo choo train goin’ into the tunnel…heh, heh, heh…
    My Cage: Dammit ! Ed and Melissa finally do the Ashley-and-Maureen-make-out-in-the-break-room subplot, and these two dumb sheep gotta ruin it. Damn you Standards And Practices !! Damn you to hell !!!
    Rex Morgan: Okay, this story is looking less and less fun now, i’ll check back in at bathtime, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
    Mary Worth: Simple times. Happy times. Fishin’ by the riverside. With your best girl. And two tabs of acid. These are times that make life priceless. These are the days worth living. The only thing to make it complete, is Mary Worth Potato-Ade ™. Just two scoops in a pitcher, with cold, clean water, stir, and you’re ready to go. That’s Mary Worth Potato-Ade , in honey and garlic flavors.
    Mark Trail: I know we all like to snark on this strip, and for good reason, but, those mallards in the center panel are beautiful. Dad The Bartender used to take me duck huntin’. Me and him, some comics on the way, sandwiches, and good ol’ Mary Worth Potato-Ade ™….
    Judge Parker: Perhaps you could sell the children for scientific experiments, Rocky?
    FW. The kids get paid for free throws in high school basketball? WTF?? I thought they just got money for those band turkeys or whatever.
    FC. How nice. Billy has saved Thel a seat….right next to PJ’S SEVERED HEAD !!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
    And finally…
    Luann: Heh, heh, heh, heh……Toni said “hummer”…heh, heh, heh….

  117. Crankenstank
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:39 pm [Reply]

    To read the Lockhorns properly, you must read Leroy and Loretta as being brother and sister locked into a grossly indecent incestuous union that neither can bring themselves to get out of due to their own self-loathing. There’s no other explanation, as in this day and age an actual marriage would’ve ended in either divorce, murder-suicide, or both long ago.

  118. Mardou Fox
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    @Crankenstank (#117): Whoa. Crankenstank. I thought I was tough, but you just made me feel like I was going to throw up, with that thought!

  119. teddytoad
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    omG, will someone please make a pair of boxers on cafepress with the line, “These are civilian shorts, they don’t have to obey your orders!” I will buy them. I will wear them. It may ruin every single date, but I’ll know that the man who laughs when he sees them is the man I marry.

  120. Joe Blevins
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: Most people in Sarge’s situation would say something like, “Get those pants up, Private!” Instead Sarge is like, “Why aren’t you bottomless yet?”

    Lockhorns: There’s a sort of chilling realism to this moment, because Loretta’s “comeback” is kind of awkward and wordy, the type of thing you’d come up with if you were genuinely upset and not detached enough from the situation to come up with a perfect, sitcom-ready zinger. A more composed, calculating person might have phrased it as: “My food doesn’t agree with you? Well, that makes two of us!” or “Of course my food doesn’t agree with you! Who does?

  121. Niall
    January 7th, 2010 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#69): Hmm, after some research, it seems I was misremembering which pic was available where. I have three somewhat-rule-34 pics of Ashley, only one of which is currently available; the other two were on an archive which deletes pics after a while. I’ve slightly hidden a link to the first one, which isn’t the one I was thinking of. I could post up the other two, but I am not sure if Mr. Power would want them available again, even if it were for a day or so.

  122. Bryan
    January 7th, 2010 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    @Niall (#121):

    No problem! Nothing ever disappears forever, so I’ll keep an eye out.

  123. Muffaroo
    January 7th, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    Mark – Middle panel: “Don’t look at the camera, you amateur!”

  124. SKJAM!
    January 7th, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    As often as “Dennis the Menace” gets poked here for not having Dennis be very menacing, I thought you folks might enjoy seeing this. Many of you may be aware that there is also a British Dennis the Menace comic, concieved of entirely independently and coincidentally first published within a few weeks of the American version. Some of you may have wondered, “Gee, has British Dennis gotten as much less menacing as American Dennis?” Here’s your answer.

    No, he has not.

  125. Tiako
    January 7th, 2010 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    Mark is certainly gleeful about the prospect of leaving his family tomorrow.

  126. Niall
    January 7th, 2010 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#122): If Mr. Power doesn’t mind, I can have the other two available again, but I’d rather wait for his opinion.

  127. Angiportus
    January 7th, 2010 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    If my place had a talking chimney, I’d leave too.

  128. Red Greenback
    January 7th, 2010 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    So does that mean Sarge ordered Beetle to drop trou?

  129. Crankenstank
    January 7th, 2010 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    Oh god, here’s a sad fact. For some reason I looked up the Lockhorns on-line after today’s strip, and I find that the strip has been in zombie mode longer than it was run by his original creator, Bill Hoest (who drew it from 1968 to his death in 1988). I mean, long-running beloved strips like Peanuts? I can understand reruns 10 years later after 50 years of originals. Gasoline Alley on its 4th author? No problem, it’s an epic soap. Dagwood still slaving away for Dithers and Co. after ninety-eleven years? Well, it works because Dagwood has recognized technological innovations since the strip’s invention such as the iPod and indoor plumbing. But the Lockhorns? I mean, the strip’s premise (undying hatred among marrieds who could not separate due to the legal, financial, and moral strictures of the narrow times in which they lived) was obsolete the year it was started. How on earth can a one-joke legacy strip based on a premise that was mean and off-base and extremely sexist to start with, continue to run in this day and age?

  130. Derdrom
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    Have you heard my new band, Ecru Nothingness?

  131. Thomas B.
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    Perhaps Mark should stick around and look into who exposed those ducks to gamma rays. Duck Smash!!

  132. mollificent
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    @Anonamuse (#75): Thanks for the kind words! Yeah, there are a lot of great Curmudgeonly videos floating around on Youtube. Did you see the “Mary Worth: Dancing Queen” masterpiece by Dingo? Soooo awesome.

    Also, as you’ve probably noticed, Roy Zimmerman is my personal hero. And it’s very easy to start out with “Oh, what’s this? I’ll just watch one” and then find yourself three hours later having waded through his entire channel. He’s kind of TV Tropes-ian that way. :D

  133. bats :[
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    Friday FC: even at the tender age of 1 (or whatever), PJ has mastered the “Christ, what an asshole” look. Kudos!

    A3G: Ari Papabowbow better hope he didn’t give his address to Bobbie the Whacko. Maybe he can hire Margo as a bodyguard. Maybe he could move to West Dakota.

    JP: you know, Rocky, I’m getting pretty tired of the “poor pitiful me” routine. I swear I wouldn’t be if you paid me as much as you were paying Sam, though. Promise!

    MT: ….aaaaaaand Mark’s friend Tim shows the amazing ability to speak out of two orifices at once!
    I do like the first panel, ‘splaining why Cherry is left alone so often (and what the hell Mark does for a living).

  134. KarMann
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:10 am [Reply]

    1/8 Beetle Bailey: Today, for a change of pace, Sarge is pimping Beetle out to nostalgic former Sarges, instead of taking advantage of him himself.

  135. 8th Man Fan
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:32 am [Reply]

    @Crankenstank (#129): Interestingly enough, all this mean-spiritedness is coming from one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.

  136. KarMann
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:42 am [Reply]

    More 1/8:
    Crock: This joke may even predate the era in which Crock supposedly may or may not be set.
    Dinette Set: Judging by the background “art”, it may be DS‘s turn to call Josh out.
    FC: Keane wants to level some criticism about suspension of disbelief? Are you sure you want to go down that road, Jeffy?
    GF: Well, so much for the chocolate crepe sexy-talk we were having in the other thread.
    H&J: Among their other perversions, Herb is an exhibitionistic sneezer.
    Luann: Say what you will about Evans’ artistic talents, but man, he can sure trace a car.
    MW is proceeding exactly according to my earlier plotline suggestion.
    OBH: I’m dying to know whether this one was written before or after the Christmas Unda-bomber.

  137. mollificent
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:42 am [Reply]

    @8th Man Fan (#135): Wow. Just wow. That photo of Giella and Moy was sort of amazing to look at and think, “THESE are the people responsible for Wilbur Weston.”

    Although looking at the colors of their shirts…it all seems clear now. ;)

  138. Poteet
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    I wish CURTIS could tell Kwanzaa stories all year long.

  139. Anonamuse
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:45 am [Reply]

    @mollificent (#132): Seriously, mollificent, your voice is lovely, and so are you (and I say this as a straight female). As a poster noted in a comment on one of your videos,

    “Why aren’t you more famous?”

    Not that fame is the be-all-and-end-all, of course. I think we are just trying to say that you are very gifted, both vocally and instrumentally.

    I played the violin as a child and was apparently very talented, but chose not to pursue it as I became a teenager. I took it up again a couple of years ago after going to the ballet and finding myself watching the violinists in the orchestra pit more than the dancers on stage! Haven’t kept up with it, though, sadly.

    As for singing, I have a completely average voice and am in awe of those with beautiful voices such as yours. Very moving and truly angelic… :)

  140. Dee
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:47 am [Reply]

    So…Beetle’s pants fell down because Sarge wanted them to?

    And funny, I would have thought that an army uniform would probably include a belt.

  141. Poteet
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:49 am [Reply]

    1/8 MT — Again we are reminded that Mark supposedly makes his living writing for an obscure outdoor magazine with a big enough budget to send him traveling all over, all the time. Uh-huh. I still suspect that this is all a fantasy and that Mark has actually been in a coma for years, caused by Cherry hitting him on the head with a canoe paddle. That would also account for the coloring of those ducks.

  142. bunivasal
    January 8th, 2010 at 3:21 am [Reply]

    Sarge didn’t say “drop and give me 20″ or “strip naked”, so I can’t figure out what order Beetle’s Civilian Boxers are exempt from.

    And then there’s the terrifying implications of enlisted clothing. Could Beetle avoid the service entirely by investing in Conscientious Objector tshirt, or perhaps a pair of Quaker slacks?

  143. Farley's Revenge
    January 8th, 2010 at 3:35 am [Reply]

    MT: Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, buckaroo! What’s with the suit? How are we, the perplexed readers, supposed to know which one is Mark and which one is his clone if Mark isn’t wearing his ranger outfit?

    MW: I think I’ve figured out why we haven’t seen Mary lately: There are limits to her meddle-ability and even she can’t meddle Wilbur out of being the asshole that he is. She is, however, waiting in the wings for Dawn to come weeping to Mary’s front stoop when she(Dawn) realizes her idiot father has just spent more time with a total stranger than he has with her over the past five years, and is seriously considering tossing out all sandwich making supplies in revenge.

    RMMD: See? Brook’s a drama queen and manipulative, to boot. Better get that cab ready, Rex. You’re gonna need it, if only to stuff her dead body in it after June gets finished with her.

    Does the man ever see patients? Or does he hang around, waiting to be told what to do while fantasizing about time spent in lifeboats with that Special Someone(AKA “Not June”)?

  144. Mibbitmaker
    January 8th, 2010 at 4:10 am [Reply]


    9CL: Oddly enough, at the exact same time, a similar thing is happening at a German POW camp — on “Hogan’s Heroes”.

    A3G: “Well, Bobbie, the hell with you, too! If I wanted to be treated like shit, I’d date freakin’ MARGO!”

    Blondie: Heckled, Dag — by the Borscht Belt.

    DT: Hey, is that your hair, or is your head on fire? (rimshot, veal, andallkindsofstufflikethatthere)

    ReFOOB: It’s like Dan Backslide, but without the decibels.

    FW: Hmmm, Les is just the lovable loser he was back in the ’70s-’80s…..? nnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooo… still just a dead-wife-obsessed old creep.

    MT: Hey, Tim’s junk, keep out of this!

    NS: Neither. C’mon, everybody knows it’s a little Dorcet villiage! Wainscoting… wainscoting… waaaaainscoting…..

    OBH: Underpants… security…? Too soon, Detorie.

    Phantom: Sure, whatever…

    PCity: Gross and hateful ain’t working, Stantis.

    RMMD: AHA! The telltale peaking eye! Seen it in lots of sitcoms and cartoons. Busted!

    S-M: Whew! That was stupid!

  145. Sister Sestina
    January 8th, 2010 at 4:33 am [Reply]

    Until I saw Mark Trail’s third panel, I never realized one could kiss and sneer at the same time.

  146. Ed Dravecky
    January 8th, 2010 at 5:15 am [Reply]

    @KarMann (#92): The first guard knew Mary Lou and believed her to be too young for marriage, thus my puzzlement. I’d stop reading Crock altogether but I’d missing cutting-edge humor like today’s strip if I did.

  147. True Fable
    January 8th, 2010 at 5:24 am [Reply]

    I never thought I would see the day when a comic panel showed two dogs sniffing each other’s asses, but Ballard Street proved me wrong.

    Marmadick Sorry, kid, but that’s not his tail putting out the candles.

    Children of the Circle Dolly is smaller than PJ! The incredible shrinking melonhead!

  148. Rusty's Ghost
    January 8th, 2010 at 5:49 am [Reply]

    What a nature-writing jetsetter Mark Trail is! No phone or internet conferencing for Mr. Lear Jet. More of a Keith Kloor than a John Muir, I guess.

  149. Rusty's Ghost
    January 8th, 2010 at 5:54 am [Reply]

    You know who cleans a garage better, June, a boy or a girl? A girl cleans a garage better! A girl knows how a garage wants to be cleaned!

  150. mojo
    January 8th, 2010 at 7:04 am [Reply]

    So in the Mary Worthiverse, “free spirit” is a code phrase for someone who will occasionally put out without you having to pay them for sex. “Our spot” means the end of a public boat dock, where the combined allure of diesel fumes and fish bait can work their romantic magic. I can’t wait to see what is exactly meant by “demons” in this context. Perhaps it will have something to do with re-grouting the bathtub. Which is what Dawn will be doing, since evidently she doesn’t like “fishing”. I mean, really doesn’t like “fishing”.

  151. Sheila Sternwell
    January 8th, 2010 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    A3G: Patient? Ha. Aristotle hasn’t had a patient in 6 years, not since that incident with the Orange Crush and licorice whips. He was just out roaming the halls, trying to remember where the coffee machine is. Bobbi may be abrupt, but she knows when she’s being lied to.

    Phantom: I have a feeling I’ll be spending the next 6 months screaming “She’s still alive, you dingdong!” at this strip every single day.

  152. AhClem
    January 8th, 2010 at 8:00 am [Reply]

    MT – Given the fact that Mark is flying on a DC-8, I’m guessing he’s going to Generic Nature Park in 1965.

  153. Little Guy
    January 8th, 2010 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    ZombieBaldo: Slow-moving rerun is slow.

    Curtis: SInce when did Billingsly get a talking drum. And I thought “Without Borders” was about the time Barnes & Noble moved to the mall.

    9CL: Well, he didn’t say ‘nose’, but another appendage.

    PBS: KILL DA G00GLE!!!

    Lio: Love the little nemesis.

    Candorville: Boring semi-Cockpit Susan-without-cleavage strip is boring.

    Tank: Boring semi-Cockpit sports strip about the evil of College Sports is boring.

    Brewster Rockit: This strip is GREAT!*

    *-Anything to replace Canadian Zombie

    RMMD: Not buying it. And June will dress you in a burka.

    BB: Sgt Snorkle contracted out.

  154. Little Guy
    January 8th, 2010 at 8:17 am [Reply]

    JP: Hold on… you mean this type of meandering dialog goes on ALL the time?

    (Covers up Baretto Godiva and Abbey and reads old strip)

    My God…. it’s TRUE!

    January 8th, 2010 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    CROCK: Well, now we know where they get the “Jokes” from: they found a Johnson Smith joke book, How to be Popular at Parties: 1000 Humorous Stories and Witty Tales,” copyright 1928, somewhere. And they are putting it to good use. Re-cycling, sort of.

  156. Mardou Fox
    January 8th, 2010 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    Crotch talk! What’s up with everyone’s pants talking? Yesterday it was Sarge and Beetles’ hips talkin’. Today Mark’s editor’s crotch is very interested to know what’s happening to that endangered tract of woodland lakes. Comics crotches are suddenly taking an interest in the world around them, and they’re speaking up about it!

  157. Some Guy
    January 8th, 2010 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    Coming in late on yesterday’s Hagar: Helga, it’s the tenth century. Candles are the best light source you have.

    Today’s RMMD: A good way to show someone as manipulative and perhaps not entirely honest is to have them bury their head in their hands in despair, and then subtly peek through their fingers to gauge the reaction.

    Showing them blatantly staring through a huge gap between their fingers, however, is not the same thing.

  158. Trouser-man
    January 8th, 2010 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    Today’s BB makes so little sense in context, it’s hilarious.

    Josh’s comment seems much more likely, if Sarge’s look of confusion and disappointment at the boxers staying up is anything to go by.

  159. Cranky
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    @KarMann (#58): Little known fact: Miss Buxley was born Fred Buxton. Secretary to a General is the closest she can come to enlisting.

  160. cheech wizard
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    So Ray Billingsley’s childhood friend was a golden otter? Suddenly, it all makes sense.

  161. Anonymous
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    @Derdrom (#130):

    I make one post here about every 18 months, and I had a great one in mind today. However, I was reading the entire series just to make sure I didn’t repeat a joke about Ecru Nothingness being a great name for a band. I tip my hat to you!

  162. wossname
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    MW – Panel 3:
    Kurt: I’ve got a little spotted dog named Sassy – can she come?
    Wilbur: Oh, I suppose so – what harm could a little spotted dog cause on a fishing trip?
    (with a tip of the wossname hat to KarMann, who has already suggested this is where we’re going with this one)

    8th Man Fan @ 135, thanks for the interesting link to the cartoonists’ get-together, and Mollificent @ 137, thanks for mentioning Moy & Giella’s salmon and fuschia clothes, which made me look at it. Amazing picture of Mort Drucker, who is apparently 115 now.

  163. Nuklhd
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    MW: Panel 3 – Dawn’s inner thoughts “Smeagol not like fishing…bad things happen when fishing…evil nasty things…they MURDER him….bad hobb…I mean Dad and bastard son.”

  164. wossname
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#161): Anonymous, many thanks for reading what’s already been posted before posting your own. I do that too and have had the same experience many times. But I’d rather find out in advance that somebody got there first. I think the only solution is to stay up past midnight ET (or get up very early), read fast, and snark fast.

  165. Bootsy
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    @Sheila Sternwell (#151):
    Sheila, it’s going to be longer than that re Phantom. More like a year and a half.

  166. Chip Whittle
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    Get Fuzzy: Hey, what’s this strange part of the apartment? We’ve never seen this before, have we? It’s got the weirdest carpet and the walls look all funny and…I don’t get it. What room of the apartment are they in?

  167. Zamboni_Rodeo
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    @Sheila Sternwell (#151):

    RE: Ari and his “patients”: Not to mention the fact that I just don’t see a good psychologist/psychiatrist interrupting a session if someone knocks on the door. It’s just unprofessional.

    Of course, nobody ever accused Aristotle of being “good” and “professional” at whatever it is he does…

  168. Anonymous
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    In Mark Trail, Tim obviously wears boxers, because whoever’s in his pants hasn’t been briefed!

  169. TheDiva
    January 8th, 2010 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: You know, I blame Pam for this. She’s the one who, despite massive amounts of experience, continues to allow her dad access to blowtorches and lighter fluid and napalm, then stands in the background making worried faces and generally doing nothing while he goes about his business. I mean sure, she’s probably hoping that one day the old geezer will off himself in a firey explosion, but are the property damage costs really worth it?

    Curtis: Curtis is so eager to meet Hoden he attempts to choke himself on a chicken bone.

    FW: Cayla’s expression indicates she’s finally realizing she can do better. What is strange is that it’s this, and not Les’ unhealthy obsession with his dead wife and nubile daughter, that pushes her over the edge.

    MW: Good idea, Wilbur, go off into a secluded area with the stubbly drifter you’ve just met. Do you want Dawn to file the missing persons report now, or should she wait a few days for show?

  170. Dewey's Coffee
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    9CL – I think I’ve realized what’s wrong with this strip. All three Burber women are Mary Sues. Everyone else’s life revolves around them, whether they’re pulling a commandant’s nose, insulting their students, or having sex on a piano. It’s hard to see because this strip is written by a man & what we’re seeing is a gender-flipped Mary Sue.

    Tank – Hey, screw you! Communications is too a legitimate major! (No, I didn’t major in communications, but my area of study is close to it.)

    Brewster Rockit – Hee! Funny.

    MT – Yep, that’s a talking penis. No doubt about it.

  171. Chip Whittle
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    When did Curtis transfer to Archie Kind Of High School? Does he know the bubble gum guy behind him stole his hat?

    Whew! Spider-Man hasn’t been saved from imminent peril of some faintly described type by the unmotivated actions of an irrelevant minor character in days.

  172. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    GF: My own willingness to eat a crepe off the ground is not uniformly zero, and depends on a number of variables such the relative condition of the ground and the amount of Nutella on the crepe.

  173. Muffaroo
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    9CL“They started throwing red Cross chocolate and cigarettes onto the stage. Well, it looked like chocolate. It was nice, but I wish they’d put the cigarettes out first.”

    A3G – Rastapocatepetl’s head whirls with bemused lust. As a shrink, he knows well that nobody beats a crazy gal in the sack.

    Crank – Crankshaft’s answer to everything: open flame.

    Crock – Yes, but who was that lady wearing red suspenders crossing the road? Did Joe Miller’s Jests just come out of copyright or something?

    Dick – Looks like they’re fixing to harp on this string until Della Contessa sings.

  174. Muffaroo
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    Family – I’m starting to suspect Bil did away with the kids years ago, and his guilty conscience causes him to see them everywhere. Only they get smaller and smaller (perhaps indicating that he’s getting better?).

    By the way, a few months back, I was wondering how Bil would look with eyes. First, there was basic blank, then standard Keane eyes, then soul-dead Leroy Lockhorn eyes. Next I went to dotsmildly surprised, moderately surprised, BOING!, and Rat Fink. Then I had Bil walk that uncanny valley. That seemed to lead to treble-gleam anime lamps, then to Duckburg pies, and Crumbesque Joe Blow peepers and happy manga arcs. Then it was off to the comic book ads for Xray Spex, and brought it home with a reference to the punch line. Needless to say, I didn’t spend much time at it. And it shows!

    Smirky – I get it. Once a shmuck, always a shmuck. Can we move on to the next stage in the acceptance of our inevitable demise now?

    Gil – Anybody else might draw a girls’ locker room and make it look interesting, but the art here has an antiseptic, coloring-book quality that desexes everything. It’s like somebody managed to remove the life from Spain Rodriguez.

  175. Muffaroo
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    Herb – Just to make it clear, I’ve been using that punch line since the 70s. If I should happen to say it again, I’m NOT quoting this strip. (Though the odds of my using the line again seem to have dropped precipitously since this time yesterday.)

    Marmaduke – You kids have a lot more to worry about than candles. Enjoy your hairy frosting.

    Mary – Dawn is all “Ewwww! Dad’s leg is on top of Kurt’s!” But at least Kurt’s in a ‘safe’ phase today, with no discernible stubble (Code Smooth).

    Momma – Yeah! You tool company tools can just bite his crank!

    Pluggers generally miss the hole. And the bucket.

    6 – Another case of possible potential humor spoiled by ineptitude.

  176. bats :[
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#169):re MW: like you, I’ve lost interest in the adventures of Wilbur and young Ted Bundy, and would rather have the plot swerve. Heck, I’d even be up for a couple of alternatives.

  177. commodorejohn
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    A3G – So…four-letter word, with no repeated letters? That rules out “hell” and leaves all the options that don’t make sense. I dunno, I think Bobbie’s hopped up on pills here.

    BC – I have to say, it’s nice to see some actual dinosaurs in a caveman strip now and again.

    Curtis – One thing I like about the Curtis Kwanzaa storylines is the conceit that these storylines are actually books being read by Curtis; this is mostly because I would give several minor organs for the someone in the Bible Belt to pick up a book about a telepathic golden otter in the library and have their mind completely blown.

    DT – I’m beginning to suspect that Locher chooses storylines based solely on how many of these soul-rending half-puns he can wring out of them.

    FW – Kayla, if you pushed him over, he might snap his neck between the bleachers, and you could make it look like it was an accident.

    Garfield – …wow. This is…different.

    GT – Come on, Cassie, manifest those dormant telekinetic abilities of yours! Tear this place to the ground!

    HOTC – Hmm, looks like they wound up in Lio’s neighborhood.

    Luann – It breaks my heart to see such a lovingly-drawn piece of fine automotive craftsmanship in fucking Luann. Breaks. My. Heart.

    MT – “And by ‘much’ we mean ‘all,’ and by ‘research new stories’ we mean ‘interfere in any vaguely nature-unfriendly activities in the area.’ But if you tell anyone we said that, we’ll have to kill you.”

    MW – Poor Dawn. Poor, poor Dawn.

    Momma – “You think this is funny? You try living with her and not wind up needing crank! Even when I’m high she can still get to me!”

    MC – By the way, Ed Power has a post up about yesterday’s strip, and while it’s hilarious, it sounds like the syndicate pulled it mostly to avoid My Cage getting hit with negative feedback for daring to make a joke featuring a disabled person, despite the fact that the portrayal is entirely good-natured and sympathetic. The sad part is that, honestly, I don’t think this was an over-reaction on the syndicate’s part; while I’ve heard from a few variously disabled people who would like to be treated normally and not have people walking on eggshells around them, and it’s my understanding that this is a pretty widespread sentiment, there are just so many blindly zealous “advocates” and professional victims out there that the strip in question very well might generate a shitstorm. Oh well; it was funny even if you didn’t get to run it, Ed.

    OBH – Well, he’s still more dignified than Tom Cruise.

    Phantom – You’re not making any damn sense, Stripey. And you’ve used up your allotment of exclamation points for the week.

    PBS – I love this strip.

    Pluggers – Pluggers don’t even bother to have a halfway-decent modern icehouse.

    PC – So, uh…Stantis is a macrophile/vorephile, then? (P.S. do not ask da Google about these if you don’t know. Ignorance is bliss.)

    RMMD – So. Brooke’s from Westview, then?

    SM – “What I’m trying to say is…are you and Spider-Man lovers?”

  178. Fourth Bear
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#166): Wow, the outside world *does* exist in Get Fuzzy! And a new character to boot! Oh please let us linger a while outside, Conley.

  179. your father isn't mr. cohen
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    BB: So is “chew you out” related in any way to “toss your salad?”

  180. queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    :@KarMann (#136): given the usual commentary on DS, I’m not surprised to see that, especially in response to her “teh internets iz killing teh comics!” interview a few months back.

    for Angry Kem and the other editors & teachers out there.

    MC: I can understand why yesterday’s strip was replaced by the freakin’ Jeff CeeCee, but at the same time, it’s really very funny. Thanks for the peek backstage, Ed & Mel.

    Luanne: today’s strip was really sort of sweet.

    PBS: it’s strips like today’s why I label things as “Pastisian levels of win.”

    Tank: Kinesiology is another favorite.

  181. gkl
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    GT panel 1: … and the world is frustrated with Bryce Larkin, and Bryce Larkin is frustrated with Tracee Hamilton, and Tracee Hamilton is frustrated with Jamarr Gaddis, and Jamarr Gaddis is frustrated with Steve Luhm, and Steve Luhm is frustrated with Elly Patterson, who is frustrated with Mimi. And Disney released “The Frustration King,” based on the tale, complete with adorably flatulent little ocelots.

  182. queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    dang. Brookins draws a nice fish shack. Not surprised to see that it’s a WI submission. Pluggers are Packer backers!!!

  183. Sequitur
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: Don’t be confused Dag. You’re not being praised or heckled. However, sarcasm is dripping right off of you.

    Baka Gaijin: Even cats like clowns.


  184. LP2004
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    @gkl (#181): I wonder what Tracee Hamilton – a sports columnist at the Washington Post – thinks about all of this.

  185. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    DS: I  ?  in depth studies of banality and entitlement within American Middle Class.

  186. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    Ahem. I  ♥  in depth studies of banality and entitlement within American Middle Class.

  187. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    MT: Really, is there anything more pretentious than a penis that refers to itself in the third person?

    Garfield: Garfield and Odie like their porn to be live. (Wait—is it still porn if it’s in person?)

    BB: The Army turns a blind eye to your sexcapades with Beetle, Sarge, but I think they’ll draw the line at pimping him out.

    And incidentally, there’s not a military base in the country where one could approach the gate and be greeted with “Come on in! Look around!”

    FC: And once again, PJ sits there and thinks, “Cripes. Shut the fuck up already.”

  188. Ribinin
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    CLOWN ALERT Don’t click on this link.

  189. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    I  ♥  Argyle Sweater either, but “Try Our Cod Pieces” made me snort.

  190. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    MW: And Dawn Weston earns a perfect “10″ from the judges in the Emotional Manipulation Biathlon: “Passive-Aggressive Verbal Response / Woeful Body Language.” She nailed the “no, no, you go on and have a good time” section of the scoring, but what really pushed her to the top was the pouting slouch of a 12 year old. What a competitor!

    A3G: Ari, she’s a pill-popping adulterer who tried to walk in front of the bus. And you’re surprised that she’s irritable?

    I never thought I’d say this about a continuity strip, but there are too many plots going on right now. Let’s just focus and finish one, shall we? This is becoming ADHD3G.

    Curtis: Diane, if you just leave the room for a while, Curtis will probably choke on that chicken bone, and then 1/3 of your problems will be solved.

    JP: “Make it work”? I know Tim Gunn, sir, and you are no Tim Gunn.

  191. commodorejohn
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    DS: Every time I look at Dinette Set, I come away baffled that anybody at any syndicate could have looked at the submission and said “yeah, we’ll take that!” While it is, in fairness, not the ugliest comic out there (Argyle Sweater is at least slightly more shoddy, and Family Tree is aggressively ugly) nor the most appallingly unfunny (that probably goes to Marmaduke,) it’s…well, it’s completely devoid of anything interesting about it. It’s not so bad it’s good, nor so bad it’s bad; it’s just a big grey emptiness of interest.

    So yeah, you go ahead and bloggers, lady. We you, too.

  192. Sequitur
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#187): RE: Garfield question – You may have to get Dingo to rule on that. However, “porn” is short for “pornography”. Etymologizing the word we have “porno” which is greek for “harlot” and “graphy” which indicates a graph, writing or drawing and by extention, photographs. Hmmm. I see from where you’re coming here. Yet, Garfield is a printed medium. So… WHY AM I SPENDING SO MUCH TIME ON GARFIELD?!

  193. commodorejohn
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:42 pm [Reply]


    So yeah, you go ahead and bloggers, lady. We you, too.

  194. commodorejohn
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    Gah. Should I have used the   tag? Let’s see:  ♥ 

  195. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:48 pm [Reply]


    C-Shaft: A bad citizenship anti-medal goes to whatever merchant sold Ed Crankshaft a blowtorch.

    MW: Dawn shows her displeasure by defecating on the couch. It certainly gets a message across.

    GT: I can see why Mimi needs Jailbait Cassie on the team. With her Jean Seberg hair, she’s about the only player who doesn’t look like all the other players.

    A3G: Bobbie can out-Boxcar!Saturn! Margo.

    Phantom: So Stripeybutt is just going to spend the next few months galivanting around the ocean while Diana rots in prison? She’ll be able to write one hell of a country song.

    BB: No Beetle. Don’t let Sarge pimp you out to strangers.

    Archie: “Civilization” in this case, meaning Cammy, Hulk Hogan, and Herb’s son from Herb and Jamaal.

    RMMD: Oh no! Alcoholism is a disease. And you know how much Rex hates to be around sick people.

    Marvin: How about they surgically wipe that smirk from your face? I’d pony up for that.

    Momma: He has to bring his shoebox-sized mother to a job interview. How much of a self-starter do you think he is?

    Garfield: Q: Animals strike curious poses. Can it be the heat, the heat between me and you?
    A: No. No it cannot.

  196. Red Greenback
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

  197. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#136): re: GF—My first thought upon reading was “sex crepes?”

    @mollificent (#137): You’re right. They’re wearing Worthian colors. I wonder what else in the strip they’re basing on their own experience?

    @commodorejohn (#177): re: A3G—I was trying to figure out Bobbie’s expletive, too. Can’t you say “hell” in the comics now? And there’s no other word that makes sense in that context.

    @queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando (#180): Hee. The way my students proofread, they might as well be staring at a wall or something. (Actually, they probably are…..)

  198. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#196): Oh, that reminds me—where’s sugarpie? It’s been a while.

  199. Shannon\'s Puppet
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Fool: Poor Peter, he really thinks people would have any suspicion that he’s anything but a pathetic loser.

  200. Mela
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    Friday’s stuff:

    A3G: This looks promising – all that dull lovey-dovey stuff with Dr. P & the pill-popper might have some stalkery payoff.

    Baldo: The shading on that third panel is oddly well-done.

    ‘Shaft: And the Crankshaft tradition of mocking your relatives after you let them make a mess of any given situation continues. I’m surprised this strip isn’t featured daily on PassiveAggression.Com.

    Curtis: Once, Diane was a woman of deep philosophy and sensitivity, always thinking. Then she got married.


    FW: Regretting the relationship yet, Kayla?

    Garfield: Ew.

    Luann: Why do I suspect that a lightbox was involved here?

    MC: After hearing the behind-the-scenes reasons for our visit with the Censor Sheep, I understand the position that the syndicate took. I don’t condone it by any stretch, but I get their thinking – after all, the kind of people who would take offense to such a strip are the kind of people who are so cut off from the world that they still care deeply about what’s in the newspaper. These sorts could cost Ed & Melissa their livelihoods, and the fact that the syndicate has to take steps to appease them is morally wrong but logical. (I’m thinking of an example where, after “Liberty Meadows” had stopped running new strips in the paper, Frank Cho got complaints about a character with OCD based off of a friend w/OCD who gave him not only his blessing but also material to use. It’s the “offended for a living” crowd.)

    Pluggers: Okay, where I live, we don’t ice fish. Am I right in thinking that you have to relieve yourself in the area where you’re then going to fish for food & recreation? If so, WHY?!

  201. addictedtomeddle
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    @Farleys @Farley’s Revenge (#143):
    No, no, no! Mary can meddle anything. She’s just lulling everybody into complacency.

  202. Frippy
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: Did Uncle Phil also leave behind a bag of pipe tobacco? Or does he strangely keep his pipe loaded when not in use, for when the mood to smoke strikes? What ARE Michael and Lawrence smoking?

  203. Lou Shumaker
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    @Kibo (#73):

    This out of left field mention of Ben Button made me laugh. Thank you!

  204. Écureuil Écumant
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    @184 LP2004 said:

    I wonder what Tracee Hamilton – a sports columnist at the Washington Post – thinks about all of this.

    She would put four guns down in front of Rubin and Whigham and say “Pick two.”

  205. Ribinin
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#190): Wilbur gets points for the assist for the afterthought “Oh, Dawn, are you still here? You could come…..if you want to. You would have to bait your own hook because us guys will be having too much fun to do it for you.”

  206. LP2004
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#204): Having read a number of her columns, I’d believe that!

  207. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    @Ribinin (#205): Good point—sort of like the coach who lifts the gymnast up to the bars? (As far as fishing goes, though, I’m of the opinion that if you can’t bait your own hook—or clean your own fish—keep your hands off the pole.)

  208. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    Sylvia, Quigmans, and Dinette Set are in a pretty solid three-way tie for worst art, at least among strips available on the Chron. In my opinion, of course.

  209. Sequitur
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    @One-eyed Wolfdog (#208): How ’bout Dick Tracy?
    Of course, you could look at DT like a piece of abstract art. Or and artist on drugs. Or a piece of crap.

  210. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    No way would I put DT on a level with the ones I mentioned. There’s a competent hand with a lot of technique there.

  211. Will
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: We’ve seen talking squirrels, so a talking fly is not a major surprise.

  212. wooddragon
    January 8th, 2010 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    @fluffy (#112):

    Never ask questions you don’t really want to hear the answers to…

  213. DavidMac
    January 8th, 2010 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    BeetleBailey: What? No comments on Beetle’s shorts with the little “kisses” all over them? They certainly aren’t regulation.

  214. nerowolfgal
    January 8th, 2010 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    Wilber! DNA test!
    DNA test…dnatest..dnatest..dnatestdnatestdnatestdnatest……

    Really Wilber, before you choke your demons or change your will or even go fishing, DNA test!

  215. addictedtomeddle
    January 8th, 2010 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    @nerowolfgal (#214): DNA test? In the Worthiverse, that’s probably as unreliable as buying things online!

  216. wossname
    January 8th, 2010 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#190):
    (that’s Y190, re A3G)

    I never thought I’d say this about a continuity strip, but there are too many plots going on right now. Let’s just focus and finish one, shall we? This is becoming ADHD3G.

    Yes! I was thinking the same thing recently. What happened to “I Dressed in the Dark”? I don’t even remember whether Ruby or Tommie was going to get the makeover, or whether it’s already happened, but I know many of us were eagerly anticipating meeting Ruby’s boyfriend Lyle in Queens. And where is LuAnn? I honestly don’t remember.

  217. travis tea
    January 8th, 2010 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    “always leaving US” (that is, me and the dog), “don’t want to share you with anyone ELSE” (that is, other than me and the dog)- the dialogue goes a long way towards explaining Andy’s hangdog expression in panel one, and also why Cherry still goes by the rather virginal nickname “Cherry”.

  218. pensivefool
    January 9th, 2010 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    Sarge…it’s called elastic.

  219. Carly
    January 10th, 2010 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    My favorite part of Beetle Bailey is that the “shorts” respond to Sarge’s question. Beetle’s too busy going “:D” over the fact that Sarge is finally admitting he wants him.

  220. Anonymous
    January 10th, 2010 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    Oh, they’re *kissing*. I thought in Mark Trail!World, you could only communicate via animals or direct mouth-to-mouth telepathy.

Comments are closed for this post.