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Remember, an ignorant wife is a happy wife!

Mark Trail, 2/24/10

Oh, God, this whole conversation between Mark and Cherry is just lousy with lies and omissions. In Mark’s worldview, not only should ladies not engage in fisticuffs, they shouldn’t even hear about them if they can help it, as the shock would almost certainly result an attack of the vapors, and might cause their wombs to wander dangerously about their bodies. And, of course, the idea that Mark has any plans to go anywhere alone with Cherry, let alone on a trip to his beloved wilderness, is as laughable as the idea that Cherry is capable of feeling love, or indeed any emotion other than loneliness and panic.

Of course, it’s possible that I’m wildly misreading all of this, and, as Cherry languorously plays with the phone cord in panel one, she’s actually initiating a little erotic phone talk. One of those rare women who gets off on being cuckolded, she loves to hear Mark talk about when he and his “friends” “preserve” “wilderness areas.”

Gil Thorp, 2/24/10

Speaking of lies, it looks like Gil was able to use his smooth talk to get the local state college to break all of its confidentiality rules and gab about Steve Luhm’s academic status, revealing shocking information that’s not at all at odds with Steve’s explanation of the matter! Look, maybe the guy just really likes janitorial work and doesn’t see the point in taking on more student loans, OK? Certainly in panel two you can really get a sense of how upset he gets when you interrupt him with your jailbait antics while he’s in mid-mop.

Spider-Man, 2/24/10

Dear Spider-Man Newspaper Comic Strip:

When you depict your “hero” sitting around on a park bench, complaining about his own boredom and cowardice, asking pigeons for advice, it makes me think that you might actually be kind of in on the joke, which makes it harder for me to make fun of you. Please step back from the brink of ironic self-parody at once.

The Comics Curmudgeon

226 responses to “Remember, an ignorant wife is a happy wife!”

  1. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    MT — Why is Cherry’s right boob talking about camping and canoeing?

  2. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:33 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#1):

    because that’s where the potato is?

  3. Roto13
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    I love how that conversation ends. Cherry saying “I love you” and that’s it. Mark had probably already hung up. Or better, he slammed the phone down as soon as he heard Cherry’s tongue curl.

  4. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#1): Cherry’s girls don’t get out much, I imagine, and so they should be allowed to fantasize about taking the occasional vacation.

  5. Ringo Beaumont III
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    Just so I’m clear: At this very moment, there are dozens, nay hundreds, of budding comic strip artists–men and women with talent, creativity, and boundless entertaining ideas–begging for a one in a million shot at having their strip picked up by a newspaper, only to see their chances dashed because the papers instead choose to run day after day of “Spider Man,” a strip in which the main character sits around feeding birds and wishing he wasn’t such a schmuck. Got it.

  6. Baron Bizarre
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man: It does look like even the pigeons are just sort of “Yeah, whatever, buddy, just keep the birdseed comong.”

  7. PeteMoss
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    Did a platypus sneak in there with that group of brown birds Peter’s feeding?

  8. Oavis
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    He totally forgets his Spidey suit but is ever vigilant about keeping a supply of birdseed in his pockets, I see. The “hero/average joe” balance this strip so studiously maintains has tipped a little too far into Joehood for its own good.

  9. Sheila Sternwell
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    SM: Those are the duckiest pigeons I’ve ever seen.

    The color comics were b0rken last night and now, because I have a respectable daytime job, I can’t stay up until 6 AM waiting for the syndicate to fix it. Although I kind of think if I’d seen today’s Mark Trail before bed I would have had nightmares; I misread “canoeing” as “canoodling” and gave myself a mini freakout.

  10. Digger
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    Hmmm, Peter Parker has gone down to Florida and now sits alone on a park bench feeding birds. I had no idea he was eighty-two years old.

  11. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    as laughable as the idea that Cherry is capable of feeling love, or indeed any emotion other than loneliness and panic

    Oh, great. Cherry is the only non-wildlife character in Mark Trail I can identify with.

  12. Steve S
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    You could argue that Peter is feeding a pigeon, a duck, and a seagull there. Looks like someone was too lazy to search for “Birds of Florida” on Wikipedia.

    Why is Steve Luhm’s ostensible love interest slowly morphing into Archie?

  13. PeteMoss
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    S-M: This strip would have really been cool if there was no dialog at all, just Peter Parker looking pensive and unsure and then just sitting there on a park bench near the beach, feeding the birds. Ok, maybe not cool, but slightly less pathetic.

    MT: Talking breast or no, that first panel is my absolute favorite picture of Sherry Trail to date.

  14. AMC
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    SM – I think the polymorphic pigeons are going to suggest that Peter Parker watch a little TV.

  15. Judas Peckerwood
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Peter Parker is contemplating a superhero persona change now that he’s realized that he has the proportional relevance of a park pigeon.

  16. zerowolf
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: When I knew your mother, she didn’t drink. It has only 15 or more years since I talked with her, but that’s beside the point.

  17. Josh
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    Thanks to @Artist formerly known as Ben on the last thread for providing a link to the Wikipedia entry on “My Heart Belongs To Daddy.” Now that I’ve found out that it’s written by Cole Porter, I at least know that it’s supposed to be unspeakably perverse. I was the on the verge of including the strip in today’s post, but, confronted by a sexy but supposedly virginal girl singing about how she likes to almost fuck dudes but then is stopped by her love for her father, all the while shaking her ass as instructed for a hooting crowd, all I could think of was to announce that I was turning my back on human sexuality and moving to a monastery.

    And yes, especially since it’s Cole Porter, I think that the song is supposed to ostensibly be about her father while actually being about her boyfriend/lover/sugar daddy/what have you.


  18. zerowolf
    February 24th, 2010 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: Curtis your father works for the Registry of Motor Vehicles. He’s paid to do the exact opposite of a good job.

  19. mustang
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    MT – Anyway, I’ll call you next week or so if I happen across a black dial phone from the mid 60s that is actually connected to a land line. Too bad there’s no other method to contact you, but that’s just how it is. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  20. BigTed
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    What’s really sad is that while Peter’s hiding from Sabre-Tooth, he seems to be “feeding” those pigeons with handfuls of the Sandman.

  21. gnome de blog
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    Peter Parker should swap lives with Mark Trail. Peter would be much happier with Cherry, who has no ambition beyond twizzling her 1956 black telephone cord and gettin’ the firewood chopped before dark. He might miss his TV up there in the woods, but he’d have plenty of critters to feed.

    Mark wouldn’t skip out on a supervillain that needs punchin’, and what greater superpower is there than the fists o’ justice? He might get a little confused the next time Mary Jane strips down to her bra, but at least we’d get realistic pigeons.

  22. Mibbitmaker
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    MT: Actually, An ignorant wife is a happy husband …at least in a crummy universe where hitting your wife out of anger is okee-dokee.

  23. gnome de blog
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#17): Find a Marilyn Monroe clip. “Daddy” got nothin’ to do with her father.

  24. Krazy Kat
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    I really can’t wait to see Peter Parker’s homemade Spider Man costume, because we all know he’s going to have to make one.

  25. gnome de blog
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    It’s probably worth pointing out that the characterization of the young Edie Ernst singing that song is not too far from the Mary Martin original. McEldowney may be puerile and supercilious, but he’s not stupid and he probably did that on purpose…for which I give him credit.

  26. gnome de blog
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#22): He should hire Gunther.

  27. gnome de blog
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#24):
    He should hire Gunther.

    Please ignore #26, as it refers to the wrong post.

  28. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#21): And the best part? If Peter started whining, Andy would smack him upside the head.

  29. bman
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    The Spider-Man writers are definitely playing a joke on us all… seeing if they can intentionally make the stories as boring as possible before readers catch on.

  30. Baron Bizarre
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#24): Well, his original costume is “home made”, too. Whatever else he’s useless at, he can sew. The fun part will be to see him desperately searching the local fabric stores for red fabric with a black “spider-web” pattern on.

  31. trey le parc
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    S-M: What’s to prevent Peter Parker from buying a ski mask and taking to the skies? It’s no worse than his skintight red and blue suit screaming “Unitard!”

    MT: “Cherry Trail”. There’s a Cole Porter song, right there.

    GT: In this strip, only the bad guys open their eyes while everyone else is apparently channeling Matt Murdoch.

  32. A-chan
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    The explicit cowardice on display in that Spider-Man strip has caused something to occur to me that perhaps should have struck me days ago. Sabretooth is basically a more muscle-y Wolverine sans adamantium, right? He has the same super keen senses. I’m damn sure that costume or no costume wouldn’t make a difference to Wolverine’s abilities to know Spiderman when he smells him, so isn’t it entirely possible that Sabretooth will be able to track down Spiderman eventually anyway? I guess we’ll find out if we ever cut back in to find Peter drowning in his own blood from a clawed-out jugular, his spider-sense having failed entirely to alert him to danger until the claws where half an inch into his throat.

    (It occurs to me that Wolverine was in this strip too a few months ago. No one remind me how Spiderman’s identity remained a secret. I’ve forgotten and have no desire to recall.)

  33. blackgoat
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    MT: You would think that after nearly killing Rusty off with the jack (I’ll go for help and be back in a couple of days; just hope the tide doesn’t come in too frequently here) that Mark might have invested in a cell phone.

  34. Not Dead Eric
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    Peter Parker has been whining since the ’60s. Don’t you think he should have commited suicide already? Oh, yeah, I know he has super powers and a wife who spends most of her time modelling underwear, but really! Don’t you think he has a horrible life? Hey Peter Parker, let’s trade!

  35. Black Drazon
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    Steve: Knock, knock.
    Cassie: Who’s there?
    Steve: Banana.
    Cassie: Banana who?
    Steve: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you, I’m forcibly jamming this mop handle into my ear.


  36. ScienceGiant
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:36 pm [Reply]

    @Not Dead Eric (#34): How right you are, my man! Spidey, dude, turn around. See the sand? That’s MIAMI sand — there’s probably girls in bikinis lying on it. Very skimpy bikinis. Since your illustrator has shown he desperately wants to draw boobies, give the man a break and turn around.

  37. The Ridger
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    Those aren’t pigeons Peter’s feeding. I don’t know what they are, but they aren’t pigeons. They’re some kind of hideous, duck-like, mutant tern-cum-starling nightmare. Perhaps they, too, were bitten by radioactive spiders or something.

  38. Patrick
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    I understand that Mark Trail is stuck in a 1950′s aesthetic with some kind of fetishistic determination, but nobody, nobody, NOBODY still has a lamp like the one next to Cherry. I’m surprised she’s not declaring her love via telegraph.

  39. gnome de blog
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:39 pm [Reply]

    @blackgoat (#33): Spiderman could have lifted the car off Rusty, except without his costume he might have given away his secret identity so he would have fed the pelicans instead.

  40. BoulderDan
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    MT: Panel 2 left off the thought balloon: “But if you think I’m about to go on any trip with you that is not in a 5 star hotel, you’re nuttier than those squirrels you like to hang out with”.

  41. cj
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Douche: Miami:
    Actually Pete, you can put on your costume. Seeing as they don’t let guys like Sabretooth on planes, I’d say you have at least a week to taunt and run away from exiled Cuban supervillains.

  42. Ed Dravecky
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    Breaking news! The syndicate caught Mary Worth having a torrid affair with Judge Randy Parker, both of them wasted on Potato-Ade™ and covered in salmon squares and shame, then forced them both into rehab. The sudden loss of their title characters has forced both strips to “slow it down a little” to give them time to regroup. Their current storylines are now expected to conclude just before the sun cools to a red giant and envelops the Earth.

  43. AndyL
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    I love how Gil Thorp thinks to “check out” his amateur coaching assistants only after they’ve been doing his job for about a month and a half.

    One day he’s going to have to deal with a pedophile scandal that will ruin the entire athletic department. Luckily Janitor Steve is enraged by flirting.

  44. Rusty
    February 24th, 2010 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    MT: Cherry appears to be calling from 1953.

  45. Ed Dravecky
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    @trey le parc (#31): What’s to prevent Peter Parker from buying a ski mask and taking to the skies? It’s no worse than his skintight red and blue suit screaming “Unitard!”

    “Unitard” is only almost the exact word that comes to mind here. (I offer my sincere apologies to Sarah Palin, Rahm Emanuel, and the local chapter of the Arc of the United States.)

  46. Poteet
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    S-M — Not only are those creatures not pigeons, but they don’t look alike. Check out the beaks. And that shade of uniform avian brown is not found in nature. These unfortunate birds may be the collective result of some hideous satanic orgy involving mallards, pigeons, and radioactive coots.

  47. Master Softheart
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    Josh catches the key three comics.

    MT: Today, for the first time, Cherry Trail looks as though she wants to live up to her porn star name. Lying back on the vinyl recliner next to grandma’s oil lamp, playfully curling the phone cord as it drapes across her bosom, she could be posing for the first image of a 1960′s Playboy shoot. I think there is no alternative but to interpret this as Jack Elrod’s tribute to the retirement of Eduardo Barreto, and honestly it’s fairly impressive. The human form is recognizable and the basic shapes are more naturalistic than any biped has been in this strip for a long time. Even the trademark heavy inking works well to emphasize the eyes in panel two and almost manage to pull Cherry out of the horrible crevice at the bottom of the Uncanny Valley in which Elrod’s human characters are usually trapped. If someone had asked me to imagine what an Elrod tribute to Barreto would look like, I might have imagined something disturbing involving lemurs and then gone out to drink heavily, so this counts as a solid win.

    GT: I was fully prepared to like Cassie and accept that her romance with the first older guy represented true love, but now that I know she just likes to slum with the 20-something proletariat, I kind of hope that Steve brushes her off with a soulful rendition of this song.

    SM: At this point, Peter Parker has no claim on being a superhero, and I’m willing to be quite flexible in my use of the term: were he in any way “super” or if he performed any action that could even with the utmost charity be considered “heroic,” I would be happy.

    If it please the court, I would like to review this plot to emphasize how sad this is: a super-villain (or at least a hairy and badly dressed guy with a funny name, I’m not willing to make any assumptions at this point) comes to New York and demands to know where to find his nemesis – another hairy guy named Marmoset or something who had a cameo a few months ago – for presumably nefarious purposes. The core competency of super-heroes being fighting super-villains, one would expect the Amazing Spider Man to try to stop the alleged super-villain – preferably through lots of action-packed panels featuring violence and floating words like “POW!”

    No. In fact, Spider Man doesn’t even try to warn Marmoset or even find out more about what’s happening. Instead, he decides to run away until the hairy guy gets bored and leaves. That’s the entire plan. Now, hanging out in Florida, he witnesses the police rushing to the scene of a crime! Well, it’s not supervillainy, but a slumming hero can nab some thugs involved in a drug deal or a carjacking or something if his dance card is free, right? No. He isn’t properly dressed – a fact he had entirely forgotten until he rips open his shirt. Now, no offense intended to our own Fashion Police, but I honestly find it difficult to wrap my head around ignoring crime because you aren’t wearing the right pair of pajamas. Thanks, Parker; the kid whose own Uncle Ben is gunned down by the perp presently escaping from the incompetent Marvel Universe police will surely understand that the super hero who was wandering by at the time couldn’t be bothered to even investigate because he just wasn’t dressed for it. Oh, and he couldn’t get involved anyway because some homeless guy in New York might find out.

    So our hero, um, protagonist, well, main character – the guy who is statistically most likely to occupy any given panel of this strip – sits on a bench and feeds the birds. At this point, honestly, Fred Basset deserves the title of “super hero” more than does Peter Parker. Pluggers lead more existentially fulfilling lives.

    If Stan Lee isn’t willing to take his readers back to New York and focus on any of the dozens of Marvel properties who are presumably even as we speak doing something arguably heroic – or at least interesting – and if turning this space over to Fred Basset is not an option, then at least let Parker be arrested for vagrancy or mauled by an alligator or something.

  48. Farley's Revenge
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    @Baron Bizarre (#6): That’s the attitude of the birds around here and we tend to keep the feeders filled, just in case the movie “The Birds” was a documentary, not a horror flick.

  49. shermy glamrocker
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:09 pm [Reply]

    Looks to me that Peter Parker is not feeding bird seed to the bird-like animals, but just picking up beach sand and running it through his fingers, hoping they will be fooled.

  50. Farley's Revenge
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    @Baron Bizarre (#30): Spiderweb fabric would be considered seasonal so unless the timeframe of the strip is coming up on Halloween, Peter’s SOL if he wanders into the nearest JoAnn’s or Hancock Fabrics.

    Oh God. I just had a vision of the strip-writer doing a whole week on Peter in search of spidey-fabric, hitting various fabric stores in the Miami area, trolling Ebay, and finally resorting to buying a costume off a costume sales web site(with expedited shipping). Meanwhile, MJ acts, the birds mooch, and the readers drool from boredom.

  51. Rusty
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    Peter Parker = Passive Aggressive Man.

  52. Baron Bizarre
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#48): I often wonder if I’m the only who thinks about stuff like: “If the birds ever do go on the offensive, I’m screwed with all these windows – I’ll never be able to fortify this place.”

  53. mr 12 oz can
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    mark trail – i see cherry got her hair done so mark will be home soon but how dare that bitch not let andy get on the phone . see cherry thats why you own only one shirt
    gil thorp- who holds a mop like that ???

  54. Baron Bizarre
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#50): I suppose there must be “Spider-Man” costumes on sale in the Marvel Universe – it’s not as though Pete could sue people for copyright infringement without giving his ID away.

  55. Master Softheart
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    @Baron Bizarre (#52): A good friend of mine – now a professor at one of our nation’s top universities – made a habit of evaluating prospective apartments in terms of their defensibility when the zombie apocalypse occurred. I think you’re fine.

  56. Ed Dravecky
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:21 pm [Reply]

    And one note I made late in yesterthread that bears repeating: Our pal Jumble Jeff Knurek is pushing for new members of Jumble-the IAFLOFCI (OFFICIAL) fan club! on Facebook. I’ve joined and encourage other mudges so inclined to do so as well.

  57. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#45): It might be exactly the right word; Peter Parker is singular in his idiocy.

  58. AhClem
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#24): If Peter’s new homemade costume is comprised mainly of feathers, then the whole feeding-mutant-birds thing makes sense. Sadly, since that plot twist would have a microscopic-but-nonzero bit of interest, it will never happen.

  59. PeteMoss
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#57): Are you implying that Spider-man is unitarded?

  60. Chance
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    So if the Mark Trail dialogue is double entendre sex talk, I wonder what filthiness Mark means by “canoeing” and “camping.”

  61. UncleJeff
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#17): Hey Josh, either way it works for me.

  62. UncleJeff
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#24): It will be made of Diet Pepsi boxes…or discarded flyers for escort services.

  63. Joe Blevins
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    SM: Peter Parker seems to be practicing his senior yearbook poses, in case they decide to retcon him back to high school again.

    GT: Steve’s “I’m hideous! Don’t look at me!” pose in panel 2 suggests one interesting direction this storyline might take: a full-on retelling of Phantom of the Opera, only about intramural girls basketball. Can’t you just imagine it now? Steve, hideously scarred by some toxic floor-sweeping compound, lurks in the many hidden corridors and passageways of Milford, offering free-throw advice through the vents and suchlike.

  64. Mason
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    @Digger (#10):
    Well, let’s see. I don’t think he’s quite 82. He was sixteen when introduced in August 1962. So 2010-1962= 48, +15 (since it isn’t august yet) 63.

    Yeah, he’s a little young to be retired and living in Florida.

  65. Miss Othmar
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#47): re: your brilliant treatise on the nitwit Peter Parker. I suspect that it is too long to be considered for COTW (except in an abridged version) but you have quite eloquently summarized all that is wrong with this strip. Bravo!

  66. Steve L
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    Dear Spider-Man,

    Go watch TV.

    Hugs and kisses,
    Your readers

  67. Soccerhead
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:02 pm [Reply]

    GT: Is Cassie supposed to be about 7 ft tall?
    She is pretty hot though, and I guess her sexy pose could make a guy wack himself on the back of the head with a mop.
    SM: the 2-headed bird on the left of P3 says, “Keep feeding the birds!”

  68. Fashion Police
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#47): While we agree in principle that dressing properly is not a requirement for fighting crime, we do question the whole garish-spandex trend in bizarrely-endowed citizens. We are not certain someone like Spiderman couldn’t perform his office just as effectively (or ineffectively, as some may argue) in a nice three-button worsted, though he might be wise to stick to bow ties. After all, the superheroines Grammatica and Precisiona battle villainy of equal if not greater menace in blue pencil skirts – and ride Vespas and Harley-Davidsons to boot.

    Spiderman and his ilk seem to spend an inordinate amount of time nurturing their “secret identities,” supposedly to protect loved ones and give themselves some chance at a “normal” life when off duty. We submit that the super-hero should never be “off-duty,” and given their extraordinary powers ought to find a means more effective than clumsy subterfuge to protect those near and dear. Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben would surely agree. The lovely Mrs. Kit Walker rots in a Rhodian prison. Miss Lois Lane frequently suffers abduction, terror and near-death as “Superman’s girl-friend” despite his carefully-constructed but ineffectual alter ego. Batman has some excuse, as he uses the influence and inexhaustible weath of Mr. Bruce Wayne to gather information and shape the his own society, and he manages to stay free of entangling alliances. He is, however, the exception.

    We heartily endorse the proposal that Mr. Peter Parker should fight crime wherever he finds it. We further urge him to part ways with his silly costume. If he wishes to adopt a singular mode of dress he has many appealing options in this ragged and tattered society. Although we have taken him to task on occasion, Mr. Parker could do worse than emulate President Lamanda Luaga of Bangalla. We do expect him to dress for dinner though.

  69. Brad
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:09 pm [Reply]

    I think the most disturbing thing is that Tim apparently gets off on old men having heart attacks.

  70. trey le parc
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    Ed Dravecky: “Unitard” is only almost the exact word that comes to mind here. (I offer my sincere apologies to Sarah Palin, Rahm Emanuel, and the local chapter of the Arc of the United States.)

    It sounds offensive, but it’s not. Unless you’re offended by unitards in general, and I am. If I didn’t have anecdotal evidence that S-M sports a two piece “uni”, I’d agree that he is, indeed, a ‘tard.

  71. Uncle Lumpy
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    At practice, the lessons continue.

    Now that the Gil Thorp narration box has figured out sexual innuendo, the strip will follow Spider-Man into self-parody. But don’t worry, Josh — there’s always janitorial work. And hey, I bet that monastery held your slot!

  72. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    just a random thought whilst watching the Olympics. The Swedish skip, Edin, is a less spindly Frazz, with a goatee. Further speculation I shall leave to Dingo and bourbon babe, unbuckled. ;-)

  73. This Guy
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    I’d be willing to bet that by the end of the week, Steve Luhm favors us with a rousing chorus of “Young Girl.”

  74. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#50): It could be like Project Runway, when the designers go to Mood and rush around searching for the perfect fabric! ….Oh no, wait: That’s fun and exciting, and so it would never work for SM.

    @Fashion Police (#68): Yes, the Didactic Duo are ready to spring into corrective action at any moment; we’d never let a friend, loved one, or hapless stranger fall victim to grammatical villainy. And neither of us has ever been taken out by an errant brick, either.

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#72): Hmm… Well, let’s just check that out on Google…. Oooh!

  75. heavylifting
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:50 pm [Reply]

    MT: Mark told Cherry that they would plan a trip together; he didn’t actually say they would take said trip.

    And Cherry is probably that part of his lady friend’s anatomy that Mark still hasn’t gotten around to busting.

  76. Walker of Dog
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:50 pm [Reply]

    @Soccerhead (#67): When Self-Clubbing Tyler whacked the back of his head a few years ago, wasn’t it part of some staged, attention-grabbing scheme? Here, Janitor Steve adopts the same technique in a dubious attempt to knock himself unconscious. Dude, if you’re not into freckly tomboys, just be honest, or lie, or something. But placing your faith in whatever junk employee health insurance plan the Milford school district has purchased is asking for trouble.

  77. simpsun77
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man does whatever a spider can… including feeding pigeons, apparently.

  78. gleeb
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    A&J: Arlo-blocked!

    Archie: Weatherbee, a long-institutionalized fascist (check the black shirt), is offended by the disorder. But Jughead the futurist, takes delight with the speed of Moose and Reggie and their destructive force.

    Sally: Is Ted hanging from the ceiling on wires? Or maybe he’s emerging from the air ducts in which he and Sally stash their vacation fund?

  79. Master Softheart
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#68): I would not presume to debate your judgment in evaluating the sartorial choices of superhuman vigilantes; since my own acts of heroic Softheartedness are carried out wearing shorts and flip-flops whenever the weather allows, I can not consider myself qualified to advise others.

    That said, I am not certain that I am willing to concede that the desire to preserve anonymity is an illegitimate goal for someone who is engaged in, at bottom, an illegal activity. While a moral case can be made that the existence of super-villains requires action that transcends the normally understood scope of police power and justice in modern societies, the fact is that super heroes engage in violence without the sanction of the public or any mechanism of accountability. Their actions violate the Weberian state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of coercive force – the defining characteristic of sovereignty. Their activities break the social contract and place them above all law – literally supermen in Nietzschean sense that they dispense with conventional morality and laws that apply to lesser, common people. The problem of political philosophy posed by the existence of these men and women in the absence of super-villains is even more troubling. Do they enforce the written law through extra-legal means? Do they enforce their own personal vision of justice at the expense of conventional law? If the latter, any conflicts between their moral vision and actual law makes them criminals.

    Given that most super heroes are poorly equipped to deal with the implications of these questions, the Batman solution of a secret identity becomes more understandable – even though it comes at the painfully heavy aesthetic price that you identify. I would humbly suggest that perhaps the advice of those qualified by temperament and training to make such judgments be directed toward improving the standards of super heroic fashion within the confines of identity-concealing costumes. For example, the world would certainly be a better place if someone could convince Kit Walker to wear something that would inspire a reaction aside from giggles (and the occasional appreciative stare) in evildoers and onlookers alike.

  80. gleeb
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    I really should start proofreading these things.

  81. ElkMeadow
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#25): McEldowney may be puerile and supercilious, but he’s not stupid

    Excuse me? His whole story line is stupid.

  82. AndyL
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    “Kurt Agreed to the paternity test? Will he confess that he knew the results all along?”

    I can just imagine how that conversation will go.

    Wilbur : Well, it cost us $2000 but now we know that I’m not your father.
    Kurt : Yes. I knew all along. I’ve been intentionally manipulating you.
    Wilbur : This won’t change our relationship at all.

  83. ElkMeadow
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#24):

    I thought Peter Parker made his Spiderman uniform.

  84. Miss Othmar
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#68) and @Master Softheart (#79): Why do I get the sense that Spiderman is not the only person around here with a secret identity??

  85. ElkMeadow
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    @Black Drazon (#35):

    …..Charlie when your life’s a mess
    When your feeling blue
    Or are in distress
    I know what can wipe that sad away
    All you have to do is
    Put a banana in your ear (a banana in my ear?)
    Put a ripe banana right into your favorite ear
    It’s true (says who?)
    So true
    Once it’s in your gloom will disappear
    The bad in the world is hard to hear
    When in your ear a banana cheers
    So go and put a banana in your ear…..

    ~from “Charlie the Unicorn

  86. Eric W
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    I think it’s clear that Cherry has at least one more emotion in her toolkit: SOUL DESTROYING RAGE. Just look at her face in that second panel. I can see the World Trade Center going down in flames in that inky pool of blackness and anger.

    Too soon?

  87. ElkMeadow
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    @Patrick (#38):
    Yes they do. We have one–and it’s a “touch lamp” from Wal-Mart. They go on sale every Christmas.

    (Insert “touch lamp” joke here.)

  88. Miss Othmar
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#76):

    Don’t stand, don’t stand so
    Don’t stand so close to me….

  89. ElkMeadow
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#73):

    Or maybe Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”.

  90. Farley's Revenge
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    @Baron Bizarre (#52): Oh yeah, I think about stuff like that every time I see the grackles amassing atop buildings, in trees, and along power lines. Hundreds of grackles. Big, aggressive, messy, and quite noisy grackles. If grackles had trapped Tippi Hedren in that phone booth, the movie would have been much, much shorter because that would be it for Tippi.

  91. Farley's Revenge
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    It appears someone has been left speechless by our ruminations. I’m surprised that doesn’t happen more often, really, especially to the casual reader.

  92. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#92): I think it’s a visual representation of Mark Trail’s cognitive process just before he punches someone. The only flaw: It should be ??????!

  93. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#76): “Dude, if you’re not into freckly tomboys, just”

    send them my way.

  94. James
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    Did the old woman from 9 Chickweed Lane forgot that she’s talking to her grandchild? That’s just gross

  95. Robert
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    GT: You may be dangerously misreading the desperate, frustrated mop-churning in panel 2. I’m thinking these might be just the head-motion-lines Cassie is looking for!

  96. Krazy Kat
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#83): I know the Spiderman back story has Peter Parker making his own costume, but, uh, really? Look at this guy. I’m anticipating blue sweatpants, a red sweatshirt, and a red ski mask covered in black Sharpie spiderwebs. Kinda like my Halloween costume when I was eight.

  97. zerowolf
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    @gleeb (#78): I don’t know about Ted dangling from wires, but you would think they might have noticed the noise of an entire second story bathroom collapsing into the basement.

  98. NoahSnark
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    Having complained out loud while sitting on a park bench and feeding birds, the spectacular Spider-Man shuffled off to the Senior Center for bland pudding and a low key game of bingo.

  99. Uncle Lumpy
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

    Spam out at #90 and #100; renumbering ensues.

  100. ElkMeadow
    February 24th, 2010 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#96):

    Well, yeah, you’re right. After all that bench sitting and munching on the stuff he’s also feeding the birds, a sweat pants outfit is all that he’s going to be able to fit into. That and the fact that Aunt May got rid of her sewing machine ages ago.

  101. Farley's Revenge
    February 24th, 2010 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#99): Thanks for posting that. I thought I had seen something that wasn’t really there and my head, it was messed.

    I’d add a “with” on the end there, but I suspect that might cause the Didactic Duo to eye me with disapproval and no one, especially me, wants that to happen.

  102. fnord3125
    February 24th, 2010 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    Is today Weirdly Incongruous Anger Day, or what? In panel 2 of Mark Trail, Cherry seems to be full of cold, murderous rage as she says “I love you.” And in panel 2 of Gil Thorp Steve looks like he’s about to go apeshit on that poor girl with his mop.

  103. Fashion Police
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#79):
    We are, frankly, less inclined to engage in superhuman feats of moral philosophy after sundown, and in the face of your well-crafted erudition prefer to retire to Miami, so to speak. We do wonder how your web of reason applies to that most pedestrian of super-heroes, Mr. Mark Trail. Though he lacks freakish abilities he seems to regard himself as endowed with those same Nietzschean privileges you allude to.

    @Miss Othmar (#84):
    Well, we are certainly prepared to concede that nearly everyone in this community has a secret identity of some kind.

  104. Stinky Pete
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    Dang! Where’s that bats :[ gal?

  105. Buck Ripsnort
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    If we’re combining superheroics w/ tasteful clothing, may I offer the examples of the Shadow, the Spirit, the Green Hornet and the Lone Ranger? A simple domino mask is all it really takes, although a looser cut may be required for the more active hero– i.e., not Spider-Man.

  106. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    With the way things have been going at work lately, I need a good laugh. This isn’t comic related but still made me smile. Just don’t open it at work.

    Helen Lawson Good Time Hour blog

    Tailpipe Temptation (NSWF)

  107. tymime
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    Peter reminds me of Link in Faces of Evil here.

    “It sure is boring around here!”

  108. unclelumpy
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#101):

    Buncha Russian spam — WordPress won’t parse the Cyrillic, so it ends up ??? ????? ????? ??. In other spam news, it looks like the spam filter has finally figured out that “ugg boots” is not a pithy bon mot, and has joined hot pursuit of the wily “essays online service.” Alas, poor Osvaldo the candy-spammer appears to have gone to that chocolate mountain in the sky.

  109. Bbo'fun
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:44 am [Reply]

    “Because even if I had my costume along, I couldn’t become SPIDER-MAN, because Sabretooth might find me!”

    That must be one hell of a smelly costume if Sabretooth can track him from New York to Miami.

  110. bats :[
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#106): bless you and Helen Lawson, Dingo! I’m lovin’ that sight (not in quite the same way as Tailpipe Temptation, however). And Keyboard Cat meets the Miracle Worker — sublime! (Well, sophomoric and funny…)

  111. Stinky Pete
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:06 am [Reply]

    Thar she be!

  112. Sheila Sternwell
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#106): OK, now I’m convinced you post to DL.

  113. Poteet
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:37 am [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#25): Mary Martin was the one who first sang that song? *suffers minor brain explosion*

  114. Donkey Hotey
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:45 am [Reply]

    @Baron Bizarre (#52): I used to worry about that, until I replaced all the windows in my urban condo unit with easily-fortified slits.

    My condominium homeowners’ association hates me, but we’ll see who’s threatening legal action after the birds come.

  115. Aviatrix
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:58 am [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#79): In response to that astute analysis I was going to make a contrastingly trite observation about spandex with underwear on the outside, but I’m watching TV and have just been stunned by an Iron Chef judge who dresses like a comic book supervillan. He’s wearing an electric blue shirt, lime green sportsjacket, and a yellow and cream striped tie. The secret ingredient is a giant fish, probably escaped from Mark Trail, so I expect punching to break out any moment.

  116. Mr. E-Z Mark
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:04 am [Reply]

    “Am I still helping my ‘friends’ preserve a ‘wilderness area’? You bet, baby. In fact, we’re ‘pitching a tent’ right now, if you get my drift.”

  117. Poteet
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:13 am [Reply]


    GA — The second panel is the best GA panel I’ve seen in in the past two weeks.

    ReFoob — If only there were some way to slip a few pages of STONE SEASON onto Miss Campbell’s desk. I’ll bet she could find some creative way to make sure Michael would never live to write it.

  118. bats :[
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    Never let it be said that boozehounds and/or pill-poppers aren’t observant, either…

  119. nomuse
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    SM — no, you see, Peter has gone evil….that’s The Sandman he’s “feeding” to some very confused pigeons.

  120. Poteet
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:31 am [Reply]

    2/25 A3G — I continue to be in awe of Bobbie’s ability to age and de-age her features. She’d be a natural for COLD CASE.

  121. ElkMeadow
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:45 am [Reply]

    Dawn asks Mary for advice.

    Mary who?

    And as to the question of Kurt lying to Wilbur, how do you know, Dawn, if Helen (hic!) Clark didn’t know the truth? Maybe there wasn’t any paternity test with Martin, so it’s just like “Mamma Mia!”

  122. Jason1981
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:05 am [Reply]


    S-M: You think YOUR luck is bad, Spidey? We’re the ones reading your strip!

    MC: I dunno how, but this comic strip hardly ever stops being funny. Still, it needs more of Ashley tormenting Norm. :-)

  123. Sheila Sternwell
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:15 am [Reply]

    A3G: Is the scarf supposed to be red, or did she get Aristotle something red or… you know, maybe it just doesn’t matter.

    MW: Who’s the white haired lady on the couch? I vaguely remember seeing her several months ago.

  124. Giantturtleboy
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:21 am [Reply]

    Anyone else remember when Peter brief tenure as Justice Guy? He didn’t want anyone to know Spider-Man was in L.A., so he just slapped on a ski-mask and fought crime anyway, just as Trey le Park suggested.

    So why, exactly, can’t he do that now? It would solve both of his problems, Sabertooth wouldn’t come after him if he wasn’t Spider-Man, and he could fight crime without his costume. Does he have some rule about not repeating himself?

  125. Giantturtleboy
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:22 am [Reply]

    When Peter *had* a brief tenure as Justice Guy.

  126. Ed Dravecky
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:29 am [Reply]

    2/25: A3G: Red? But her scarf is green so she must be talking about some clothing we can’t see and… oh. Now I have the mental image of Bobbie in red lingerie astride a nude Ari. Anybody spare a cup of brain bleach?

  127. Rusty's Ghost
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:46 am [Reply]

    Mark forgot I was dead! Mrs. Cherry doesn’t know what to say, that’s why she’s so funny on the phone. Cherry Trail, you just say, ‘by the way, Rusty’s still dead, you know!’ Anyway, the phone calls lately have all been like that.

    And I guess I don’t get to meet a senator after all. I think that Senator Slaps-like-a-girl was hoping Mark would save him from a beating at the last minute. Boy, If I wasn’t dead, I could’ve set him straight on that one.

  128. Kirk
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:51 am [Reply]

    My first posting here so it doesn’t have the polish of all you seasoned campaigners.

    MT: As Cherry’s ‘I love you’ is completely at odds with Mark’s comment about planning a trip together,
    plus the fact that as she speaks she is looking at us
    plus the fact that the Jack Elrod button is just above her word bubble,
    I can only presume that Cherry is declaring her love for the strip’s creator….
    Jack Elrod… I love you!

  129. SpiffBereft
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:10 am [Reply]

    S-M: Peter’s hoping to get bitten by a radioactive pigeon because he remembered to bring THAT costume.

  130. Farley's Revenge
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:22 am [Reply]

    MW: Who is that weirdly shaped old woman with the coffee cup? *GASP* Why, it’s MARY! And the way she’s holding that cup makes it look like she’s been posed that way for weeks, waiting for someone-anyone to need her meddling services. Or, perhaps she needs servicing because she’s spent so much time in sleep mode in the broom closet.

    RMMD: Is this where Rex chimes in with the job offer, letting June know she’s been cut out of the decision making process on whether or not Brook stays? If so, I predict a sudden, localized freeze in that neighborhood as she levels that icy stare of hers on the pinheaded husband.

    MT: Why is that eagle/hawk/raptor of some persuasion chatting with itself about the senator? Is this the narrator raptor, following Mark around to keep up with semi-current events?

    Doonesbury: Yow. This is about to take an ugly, not-at-all humorous but all too true turn.

  131. Farley's Revenge
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:26 am [Reply]

    Hmmm…It occurs to me that by using the term “servicing” I might have been referring to Mary’s relationship with that doctor guy. After a quick scrub with the brain bleach as that image burned into my cranium, I thought I’d better clarify. No. I didn’t mean “servicing” in that way. Think more about the friendly robot repairperson stopping by to adjust her potato-ade drinking abilities so she appears to be human.

  132. Rantingdude
    February 25th, 2010 at 5:45 am [Reply]

    I can’t wait for Sabretooth to find Parker on that bench. “*Sniff* You smell like photo ink… dust from a television…. and cowardice. You’re Spider-Man!”

  133. Jason1981
    February 25th, 2010 at 5:53 am [Reply]

    @Giantturtleboy (#124):

    “Does he have some rule about not repeating himself?”

    If he did, the last few strips wouldn’t have had him whining “I’m bored” and “I didn’t bring my costume”

  134. Mordock999
    February 25th, 2010 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    Today’s Luann – 02/25/10

    Yes, Damn-it, KISS him, Luann!

    Look, Just CLOSE Your eyes and PRETEND you’re KISSING Aaron Hill.

    Oh, wait…,


    DEATH to TJ!!!

  135. Mela
    February 25th, 2010 at 8:18 am [Reply]

    Comics for Another Snowy Thursday:

    9CL: Oh, ho! It’s the requisite Stuffy British Officer, complete with snappy Terry Thomas mustache! How long till our heroine sluts her way into his heart for the war effort?

    A3G: Dude, don’t go. That “red” in her apartment is gonna be organic and originally part of you.

    ‘Shaft: If someone could explain today’s baffling Batiuk attempted wordplay, I’d appreciate it.

    Edge: This is gonna be sickening.

    ReFOOB: Future Greatest Canadian Author, ladies and gentlemen.

    FW: “Which is my justification for continuing to ignore you and not help you get legitimate treatment. That might actually be helpful and not self-centered.”

    GA: The ghost of Frank King continues to desperately keep this poorly-paced pap from sullying his legacy, to little avail.

    H&J: I pity her – the one non-vague person in a world of intense vagueries.

    Luann: Whoever called for the nuclear strike yesterday, I’m with you.

    MW: “It’s my life’s mission to make sure that no one enjoys true happiness except based on blood ties and breeding-centric marriages.”

    MC: True. You learn the best vocabulary from comics, trust me.

    NS: Ha, ha, ha – Twitter! Amirite?!

    PBS: Win!

    Pluggers: Pluggers defy all odds and logic, living longer than their wholesale paranoia and cheapness should ever have allowed.

    R&R: Randy’s Mom is definitely one of those people who makes you take off your shoes and cares more about having a pretty picture-perfect home than a happy family. I’ve dealt with that type before with the dog rescue. An accident on the carpet’s too good for her – ignite something.

    6C: Nothing to observe except that I like the crazy patterns on the women’s dresses.

    Slylock: Little Jimmy hasn’t noticed that his parents left on their “vacation” four weeks ago – and doesn’t care.

  136. Bryan
    February 25th, 2010 at 8:32 am [Reply]

    After I graduated from high school I worked for a time as a janitor in a large urban high school. I found it rather enjoyable. “Janitor” is shorthand in our society for “loser” but some people like it.

  137. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 25th, 2010 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    FC: If you whack him with that shovel now, Bil, no one will find the body until spring.

    JP: “Widow, you say? Black mini-skirt, you say? heh heh…. Well, neither of those means anything to me, because I’m a smug, sexless son of a bitch!”

    MT: You know the health-care system has problems when hospitals must rely on avian diagnoses. But you’d think that a senator would have insurance to cover at least a squirrel referral.

    SM: Bad luck, Peter, or the ridiculously incompetent powers of observation that allowed you to miss the newspaper photographer standing right next to you?

    MW: Much like the Tin Man, after long disuse, Mary requires a good oiling to get moving again.

  138. Écureuil Écumant
    February 25th, 2010 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    @53 mr 12 oz can said:

    gil thorp- who holds a mop like that ???

    That’s actually the proper grip for his industrial-strength toilet plunger, so necessary for high school bathrooms. And those chagrin lines are radiating from Steve’s face because he thought he was all alone there, bitching loudly about how these idiot teenyboppers keep clogging the damn toilets with their used tampons.

  139. Écureuil Écumant
    February 25th, 2010 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    GT: Also, Steve’s showing some remarkable naïveté by pointing only two fingers at Cassie’s yoni in panel one.

  140. nescio
    February 25th, 2010 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    I misread the first line in 2/24 Zits as “Dad, what do you think of the Jews?”

    I also have a tendency to think of Slylock Fox as “Shylock Fox” instead.

    I have no idea what this means.

  141. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 25th, 2010 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    @Josh (#17):
    I think you’re right, Josh. The Great American Songbook provides a glimpse at the past, but not necessarily a more innocent time. There’s a duet of Louis Armstrong and a female singer (can’t think of name, not Ella) doing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” that could certainly raise some eyebrows. Although it doesn’t make one reach for the brain bleach like Cole Porter’s daddy thing might.

  142. fishmorgjp
    February 25th, 2010 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    What the heck kind of superhero is Spider-Man, anyway? Boy. He might as well make some kind of deal with a devil-guy to revert to his more interesting early days… oh, wait.

  143. KarMann
    February 25th, 2010 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    2/25 R&R: Randy’s mom? I didn’t know the new Judge Parker was a Cub Scout.

  144. Mela
    February 25th, 2010 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#141): Dude, there’s nothing innocent about the Date Rape Christmas Carol; every time I hear someone singing it or declaring they love it just because it’s the Rat Pack, I want to punch someone in the throat. Listen to the goddamn lyrics, you mouthbreathing twits! I actually consider it worse than the Cole Porter number because it’s been so mindlessly embraced as a “classic”.

  145. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:08 am [Reply]


    M-Dawg: One hint, Dottie. It rhymes with “schminfanticide.”

    DtM: Dennis Mitchell IS Sally Bowles in the Hank Ketcham Memorial Theatre’s “Cabaret.”

    RMMD: Okay, June is scary. I think we’ve all gotten that. You don’t have to show her at the angle you’d see if she knocked you down in a bar brawl.

    GA: “What happened?”
    “The artist was hung over and spilled a bottle of ink. At least we still have this sweet silhouette panel.”

    DT: The terror squad carries spear guns? Maybe they think that because the explosion happened in water, a whale was somehow responsible.

    Archie: Weatherby’s secretary has three piercings in one ear, one of them in the cartilage. That’s kinda bizarre when half the cars in Riverdale have “I Like Ike” bumper stickers.

    S-M: If only you could get better angles by, say, surreptitiously crawling on a wall above the action. Oh well, there’s still pigeons to feed.

    BC: Um, those guys are you. I know you have cavemen living side by side with dinosaurs, but are the laws of physics nullified as well?

    Popeye: Oh God. Does Pappy have the map tattooed someplace no one else sees. This could get ugly, and I use that word advisedly.

    Lockhorns: Leroy officially runs out of in-law jokes.

    A3G: “I hope you like red, ‘cuz I bought this passive carrot-top nurse on a slave auction. I chained her to my bathroom sink, but I’m still trying to figure out what to do with her.”

  146. Chip Whittle
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    @Baron Bizarre (#54):

    @Farley’s Revenge (#50): I suppose there must be “Spider-Man” costumes on sale in the Marvel Universe – it’s not as though Pete could sue people for copyright infringement without giving his ID away.

    Oh, sure. Peter should just go to a costume store if he needs his silly pajamas to fight crime and rent one. Then he can spend three weeks’ worth of panels worrying about WHAT IF the clerk SUSPECTS that he might be THE REAL SPIDER-MAN and isn’t that a suspicious request for a CREDIT CARD that has his REAL-LIFE NAME AS PETER PARKER on it, that somebody might use to trace his SECRET IDENTITY? Meanwhile the actual clerk finds Peter to be a dull, slightly fidgety guy who’ll get the speediest possible service because he’s acting kind of creepy so let’s take his money and get him out of here.

  147. Buck Ripsnort
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    Sincerely, I think something is wrong w/ me. My reaction to 2/25 Doonsbury was an appropriate “Oh SHHHIIIIIIIT”, but I’m actually disappointed that Wally Winkerbean didn’t start a bloody shootout. Do I just want the pain to end, or am I a closet psychopath?

  148. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    #144 Mela,
    Yeah, the lyrics are pretty bad. Satchmo’s version is entertaining because he takes it so far over the top. When they actually try to pass it off as a nice little duet, it’s kind of mind-numbing.

  149. Professor Fate
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    FW: “You don’t mind if I drop you off here do you? Otherwise I’ll have to go out of my way.”

    MW: Mary lurches forward to meddle like a starving vampire smelling blood.

  150. Muffaroo
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    archie – I could understand Weatherbee having hair like that if it was his own and he had no choice. The question is: Why would he wear a wig that looks like that?

    AD But why are their two half-size Thors and no Curls? Me no get.

    Dick – Gurgle certainly showed up quickly. I’m not sure I can take this pace. It’s like having someone new show up to explain things to every day.

    Hägar was… amusing.

    Herb – Is Jamaal losing his grip on cartoon reality? It’s like his features are slipping somehow. I kind of expect to see him looking right at us with his nose sticking over a wall or horizon line like the WW2 graffito guy (whose name wasn’t Kilroy, but Chad).

  151. Muffaroo
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    me: “there,” not “their.” Gah.

    Mark couldn’t wait to get past those overly exciting ‘confrontation’ and ‘rapids’ parts of the story so they could get to the real red meat: endlessly discussing those parts in the past tense with a bland representative of the status quo. Woo! Fan me!

    Marmaduke – “…and where is the muffled sound of a baby crying coming from?

    “Sip on your tea, and tell me the tale
    About this twit from back
    Before you were born.
    If he’s not family, tell the creep to blow.
    Your father should know,
    Your father should know.”

  152. Muffaroo
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Pluggers – Stuck gas pedal: plugger cruise control.

    Popeye – I bet the map’s tattooed on him somewhere.

    R=R – Oh, for the love of Clem, just walk over and pick the thing up. It’s not like you’re not going out in the snow later on to read to the squirrels or give your clothes to a chilly snowman anyway.

    @mary_worthless (#y170): Or they could look at the link I gave @y91 to the same performance from the movie where she sings it.

    @dale (#y187): I remember driving home in my parents’ Scout with just one arm, to see if I could do it. And I’ll bet it’s easier in a car with automatic shift.

  153. Comrade Dread
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    I vaguely remember when I was kid reading a Spiderman comic book where he took out the X-men solo.

    That Spiderman really needs to show up in the comic strip and kick emo-Spiderman’s ass.

  154. TheDiva
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    DT: Since the last line is coming from off-panel, I’m guessing it’s meant to be the readers.

    FW: “Please accept this bit of wordplay in place of the psychological care you so obviously and desperately need.”

    Lio: Hey Lio, do you do libraries?

    Luann: What happened to Knute’s Shark Hat? I miss him.

    Why are Gunther, Knute, and Tiffany still in the auditorium? Play rehearsals, unless you are actively participating in them, rank somewhere between paint drying and grass growing on the riveting entertainment scale. And doesn’t Gunther have costuming crap to do? Mr. Fogarty should have shooed everyone out the door two strips ago.

    MW: Come on, Mary, you’ve had weeks to come up with a platitude and that’s all you’ve got? You couldn’t even think of some faux-Zen nonsense like “It’s better to be uncomfortable with the truth than comfortable with a lie”? You’re not even trying anymore, are you?

  155. Muffaroo
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#47): I feel like Cherry Trail has been a tribute to old EC artist Jack Kamen for a long, long time.

    @Farley’s Revenge (#131): Thanks for that!

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#141): If you really want to hear this taken to an uncomfortable degree (with some degree of style), check out “Give It To Me, Daddy”, by Ben Light and his Surf Club Boys at

    If you just want some good old innuendo done well, bend an ear to “The Full-Her Brush Man” and “I’m Going To Get Me A Robot Man” (which is actually sung as “She’s Gonna Get Her A Robot Man,” though Ben does bend the gender somewhat in the brush song — “Oh, what a wife that man would make / If he could only cook!”). Ben’s insinuating vocals and downright liquid piano playing make these a treat.

    (Anybody peeling back the URL to find Ben’s page at the archive is hereby cautioned against ugly racism in the last verse of “It May Not Be Love.” Smut’s fun, but that shit’s nasty, and I won’t link to it.)

  156. Mibbitmaker
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    Cranky: It’s not even a moronic malaprop from this Chase guy — it’s like back-and-forth Babelfishing.

    DT: Uh… the TV people are that way, Bob…

    ReFOOB: They’re already prepping him to be a husband! It’s his “you men never listen” class.

    FW: Yeah — Batiuk’s!

    Luann: Who gives a rat’s ass?

    MT: A “tough old bird” needs a diagnosis from another bird, of course.

    MW: No, Dawn, no! Don’– Aw, damn! They had a nice, delusional thing going, and now Mary’s come along and ruined it! Go back to being your strip’s Judge Parker, Mary.

    PCity: Do I have to bring up the debt-and-deficit twins Reagan and Dubya again, Stantis?

    RMMD: Problem solved! Now why not get some champagne from the basement to celebrate…..

    Edison Lee: SNL did it much better back in 1976.

    Ziggy: Sure! He was Floyd Robertson’s co-anchor.

  157. Tom Allen
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    I think “camping and canoeing” means “water sports with lisps and paddles.”

  158. commodorejohn
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    A3G – I’m not really sure if this one is the colorists’ fault or the pills’ fault.

    AS – I’m flabbergasted. The Argyle Sweater just made a joke that’s actually quite clever. Next thing you know the moon’ll be turning blood red.

    AD – …uh…I…um…what!? Are we to imply that there are multiple instances of the cast of B.C. just wandering around the strip? Huh?

    BBlue – Christ, what an asshole.

    Crankshaft – Crankshaft finally makes a successful morbid, darkly humorous joke by simply relying on real-world behavior to provide the punchline. It’s lazy, but at least it works.

    Curtis – Thank you so much for that image, Billingsley.

    DT – Thank you, Raffi, but you’d better get down before Dick starts looking for someone to kill.

    FW – It’s not so much a crazy world as a mercilessly torturous one, actually.

    Garfield – Okay, yeah. Either someone at Paws, Inc. is a gamer, or they’re just remembering what it was like from the days when Gauntlet could end friendships.

    GT – No, no, Steve, it’s with just the one finger.

    JP – Bleah. I’ve been more okay with Heebink’s stab at Judge Parker than a lot of folks, but…that is not Gloria. Just no. Also, “face time.” That’s an interesting name for it.

    Luann – Okay, Knute can be spared the holocaust I’ve been praying for. Or rather, he can live through it, be with his kicky shark hat by the magical power of the atom, and spend the rest of his life roaming a radioactive wasteland as a mutant shark-man, his shit-eating grin enhanced by his magnificent selachimorphic chompers, smiling even wider when he thinks of all the assholes he left behind in the nuclear fire.

    MT – Hey, look! It’s a woman who is not Cherry, as you can tell by her different hairstyle! Also, I would like to know what the significance is of Mark calling the Senator a “tough old bird” right before the strip cuts to a tough old bird.

    MW – Where’d the donut go in panel two? Did Dawn just fling it over her shoulder?

    Momma – And if he really likes you, he’ll come over with a knife and gut your mother like a fish.

    MC – Don’t worry, Norm. Life still has its ways of inflicting amusing humiliation on prideful evildoers.

    WoI – Eh? Magic? What, do you think this strip is about a wizard or something?

  159. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    Snark-wise, I got nothin’.

    Comics related its going down after school win.

  160. John Chidley-Hill
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    I like how seductively Cherry Trail is twisting the phone cord. She’s clearly fantasizing about some steamy wildlife definitions.

  161. Tom Allen
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    Also, regarding the Spidermans, this is all too obvious a set-up for the return of the Vulture, an annoying old geezer (Adrian Toomes — tombs, get it?) in a vulture costume who (I swear this is true) robs jewelry and such from retirement homes. There is inevitably a flying fight. Spider-Man always falls. Anyone want to guess what happens to his web shooters? There. I’ve saved you the next month.

  162. Écureuil Écumant
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:55 am [Reply]


    Dawn: “HE LIED!”

    Mary: “Now, dear, you know better than to interrupt me when I’m doing cat’s cradles.”

  163. Écureuil Écumant
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    @158 commodorejohn said:

    MW – Where’d the donut go in panel two? Did Dawn just fling it over her shoulder?

    Yeah, she has to start it rolling before she can tell Mary to go take a flying fuck at it.

  164. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    #159 queek,
    Is that the prelude to a Pooh-Tigger smackdown? I have to give props to the art.

  165. gnome de blog
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#113): According to Wikipedia, her performance of that song on Broadway made her a star.

  166. billman
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#164):

    it looks to me more like Calvin and Hobbes facing off against Pooh and Christopher Robin (note the blonde boy by the tiger).

  167. firedmyass
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    @Mela (#144):
    Dang, girl… unclutch them pearls. If you just straight-up hate the song, that’s your fully-supportable thang. But to reduce it to a celebration of “date-rape” willfully ignores the intent of the composers (a husband/wife team, btw) or the myriad artists who have covered it, as well as the social conventions by which 1950s female sexuality was controlled and constrained. Depending on the singers and arrangement, the song can be admittedly creepy, sweetly coy, mutually horny, etc… Art, even something as ephemeral as a pop song, is rarely just one thing.

    Also, poor Cherry Trail (Ian Fleming called, said “daammmnnnnn”)… such desperate self-delusion and tragically repressed sexuality. I wonder if she was raised Southern Baptist?

  168. wossname
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    Farley’s Revenge #101 – I think I can speak for both of us when I say we would not look on you with disapproval, given your long record of intelligent and witty comments. I probably speak only for myself when I say that once in a while, a preposition at the end of a sentence can be put up with.
    Of course, the best solution is always to recast the sentence, as in:
    My head, it was with-messed.

    Miss Othmar #84 – bourbon babe and I have been developing some theories about possible secret identities on this blog. We can discuss this further at Midatlanticon, if not before.

    Buck Ripsnort #147 – Could it be that the Doonesbury characters are real enough that you actually care what happens to them? And that the FW two-dimensional cutouts don’t elicit the same reaction, so your/my/all of our inner Beavis and Buttheads come to the fore saying “Heh heh – blood! Guts! Explosions!”

  169. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    #166 billman,
    Oh yes, that does look to be Calvin Spiff. That’s cool too.

  170. Carlo
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @blackgoat (#33): Yeah, and that’s a nice circa 1963 phone Cherry is sporting herself. Can you even find a corded phone these days?

  171. gnome de blog
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    Gloria the shape-shifter is at it again. Barreto had three or four versions before he was satisfied. This one looks more like somebody named Sanchez than anything Eduardo or Harold LeDoux ever did.

  172. Écureuil Écumant
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @170 Carlo said:

    Yeah, and that’s a nice circa 1963 phone Cherry is sporting herself.

    If Cherry didn’t sport herself, she wouldn’t get any sport at all. I’m sure this hasn’t changed since 1963, except nowadays the batteries last longer.

  173. Mela
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    @firedmyass (#167):

    Hell, yes, it is.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass about the composers being a married couple. When the lyrics of your song boil down to “I really want to sleep with you”, “I don’t want to sleep with you”, “I really want to sleep with you”, “Did you spike my drink?”, “I really want to sleep with you, and I don’t care if you don’t”, and “I feel tired”, you FAIL at GOOD TASTE. Trying to say “Oh, that’s just how it was back then – she’s being coy” doesn’t excuse it being seen as anything but a horrible relic. There’s no way you can arrange that to work, and I’d argue trying to make it “seductive” in some way (like most Rat Pack wanna-bes) actually makes it infinitely creepier. I HATE THIS SONG, I HATE ANYONE WHO LIKES THIS SONG, AND THERE IS NO REASON FOR IT TO CONTINUE TO EXIST AS ANYTHING BUT A HISTORICAL CURIOUSITY!

    Defending it and starting your defense by acting like I’m a prude because I dislike songs about nonconsensual sex shows the kind of delusional, dangerous thought that allows it to sully my airwaves every goddamn winter.

  174. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#168): Nope, I’m fine with ending sentences with prepositions (even though I don’t always do so myself). That “rule” is another superstition grounded in the misguided desire to link English more closely with Latin.

    I’m correct, and I’m rigorous—but I’m far from an old-fashioned school marm!

    @Écureuil Écumant (#172): Because of the limited Lost Forest resources, Cherry’s biggest problem is the splinters.

  175. spike
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    JP: Hmmm…Gloria recognizes Steve is a horndog, but has decided to marry him anyway. (Guess she was listening in when Sam expalined the state’s divorce rules to Rocky several weeks back.) You go, Girl!

  176. Krazy Kat
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    @Mela (#173): Hellz yes.

  177. mvg
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    MT: Ah, Cherry, when will you learn that there won’t be any trips with Mark for you. It’s the company of MEN he desires. Aggressive, sweaty, muscular, musky, hirsute men. But the pressures of society force him to act on his latent passions in the only way he knows, desperately gaining sweet physical contact through fisticuffs when what he truly aches for is a god fisting.

    PParker: “Oh, OK. So you don’t need my pictures. *sigh* Guess I’ll go back and feed more sand to the hideous vomit-colored gull/duck/pigeon hybrids you have here in Miami…”
    Newspaper temp receptionist: “Hideous vomit-colored gull/duck/pigeon hybrids? Wow, great human interest. Do you have any pictures of THOSE?”
    PParker (slapping forehead for umpteenth time): “D’oh!”

    DT: In the real world, if you hear a phrase like “Major Crimes Unit,” you can fairly safely assume that they investigate major crimes. But in the square-jawed land of Dick Tracy, when you hear “Terror Squad,” you just know that their appointed task is not preventing terror, but engendering it in the general population.

  178. mvg
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    Uhm, that would be a “good” fisting. I really don’t want any deific bashing for that typo.

  179. bats :[
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#130): re, RMMD: I think Rex has other issues.

    And we ALL knew Mary would be back. What I really wanted to see was her burnin’ rubber on her Little Rascal when she realized she might not be there in time to successfully meddle in Dawn/Wilbur/Kurt’s affairs.

  180. CanuckDownSouth
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#176):

    I don’t like the song – just from remembering a few lyrics, it’s an annoying, pushy guy. But is there some set of lyrics beyond the second verse? Because when I google the lyrics to see what the fuss is, all I find is two verses of “man annoyingly attempts verbal persuasion, woman comes up with more excuses”. I don’t even see a clear-cut line indicating whether she stays or not (final duet “it’s cold outside” implies most likely yes). While more “please stay” whining after “no, thanks” is the mark of an annoying jerk, I don’t see it adding up to anything which prevents the woman from leaving and there’s no indication that he’d do anything unless she eventually says “yes” (why else does he keep trying to get her to say “OK”?). So how is that rape?

  181. CanuckDownSouth
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    and in terms of actual comics, how did Peter Parker even think subconsciously that he had his spidey suit on? He’s in *shorts*! You know you’re a C-list superhero when you have no secret identity contingency for a warm day.

  182. blackgoat
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    MT 2/24: anyone know where I can get a wonderbra like the one Cherry must be wearing ?

  183. Baka Gaijin
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    Bizarro: Dude, forget it. You ain’t getting any tonight. If she’s that picky about her meal, well, her pillow talk will be a major wang shriveler.

    Mary Worth: It’s official: Mary Worth returns to her eponymous strip and the devil is shivering.

    Lio: Two words: Family Circus.

    Hagar the Horrible: Stop stealing punchlines from Cathy.

  184. Sister Sestina
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    MT: “Yes, Cherry, we’ll plan a trip together, and I’ll continue to preserve YOUR wilderness areas from human encroachment.”

  185. Poteet
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#165): Thanks. I have now accordingly adjusted my view of Mary Martin.

  186. firedmyass
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    @Mela (#173):

    Gosh. Your not-at-all-shrill-or-hysterical interpretation has won me over. You seem well-adjusted and rational.

    I wanna party with you, Lee Harvey… let’s hang out.

  187. kkarenb
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    MT – In recycling this story from 1979 or whenever, Jackelrod forgot that nurses do not dress like that now.
    Pluggers – Considering the number of horrific crashes (and deaths) from those “stuck gas pedals,” I found this offensive.

  188. bats :[
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    @Sister Sestina (#184): oh, well done!

  189. Calico
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    Re: Curtis – in all seriousness, I hope Mr. Billingsley knows about this website:

    We’re still not sure who is the subject of Curtis’ report. I wanna know!

  190. Calico
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    And, Re: FOOB – I called it yesterday.
    Mikey has ADD.

  191. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    @firedmyass (#186):
    The song I can see both sides of. It kind of depends how it’s performed.

    That said, try to keep personal comments about other posters to yourself. This is supposed to be a friendly place.

  192. Krazy Kat
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#180): Yeah, there’s definitely more than 2 verses.

    Besides the fact that the song is 4 minutes of a girl saying no, here are two choice lyrics that I think illustrate the “date rape”-iness of the song:

    Girl: Say, what’s in this drink? (I know, I know, all the cool kids used roofies back in 1944!)


    Girl: The answer in no. (This, after two and a half verses of saying no. This is a pretty clear refusal. No means no.)

    @firedmyass (#186): Well, that’s wasn’t really shrill or hysterical, but fine. You think if a girl says “no” then it’s really up for debate. The song also implies that he’s tampered with her drink. I dont get it; are you pro-date rape?

  193. bats :[
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#190): did he have it the first time around?

  194. Bryan
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    I’ve always hated that song that goes:
    Come back when you grow up, girl
    You’re still living in a paper doll world
    Livin’ ain’t easy
    Lovin’s twice as tough
    Come back, baby
    When you grow up

    I just think, “Paper doll world? How old is this kid, Bobby, eight?”

    Or that Union Gap song that goes
    Young girl, get out of my mind,
    My love for you is way out of line
    Better run, girl
    You’re much too young, girl

    Get help, Gary.

  195. BRWombat
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Cherry, a 1950′s submissive wife? I don’t think so. Read between the lines: “Are you still helping your friends preserve a wilderness area?” means “I’ve got our stud of a pool boy in the bedroom, and need to know you’ll be gone for a while longer.”

    You know, now that I think about it, “helping your friends preserve a wilderness area” could just be what Cherry calls the hot gay sex she imagines Mark having when they’re apart.

  196. Mark
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Marmaduke makes me wonder if its writers have been reading Josh, too.

  197. Calico
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#193):
    Bats, we’re dealing with one Ms. Lynn Johnston.
    Which means, probably not.
    I think the Refoobing is sort of a weird therapy for her. However, I cannot explain why having a cartoon son with Attention Deficit Disorder would be necessarily therapeutic.

  198. Calico
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#194):
    That is so weird you mention this song, as I was thinking about Gary Puckett and the Union Gap the other day. I used to have an old 45 single of the band, long gone.
    I think the memory was sparked by watching old video clips of Garcia and the Dead, and reading “Dark Star – an oral biography of Jerry Garcia.”

    The song “Wake up little Susie” was scrutinized and even banned for similar reasons.

  199. Phred22
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    Pigeon to Peter Parker: Hey, if you want our advice, either give us a close-up or we’ll sic Mark Trail on you.

  200. Gal Friday
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    I know I’m late getting the news (E. Barreto’s retirement) and late making a comment, but is there anyway we fans can salute him? Or on this blog? An Eduardo Barreto Appreciation card or email or what? JP will never be the same . . .

  201. Buck Ripsnort
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: You’re a Plugger if you build and repair your own car, preferably out of a milk-crate. You’re NOT a Plugger if you can fit into a Toyota. Or a milk crate.

  202. AmazingThor
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    DT: “Terror squad reporting in, Tracy! Where do you need some terror?”

    FW: Curled up in the fetal position and sobbing like a baby? Actually, that’s proof that you’re the only sane person in the Funkyverse.

    Luann: I vote “no”! In fact, I vote that kissing and all references to kissing be banned in this strip completely.

    MT: “The senator’s a tough old bird. Now let’s cut to an actual old bird for it’s diagnosis…”

    Marm: Oh dear god he ate a baby…

    MW: Dawn calls in Mary for moral support. Sh*t just got real.

    Plugger: Is this a (somewhat) timely reference to the Toyota recalls? Of course not. Pluggers only buy American cars.

    S-M: Spiderman! He sucks as both a superhero and a photographer!

  203. Taquelli
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    Steve Luhm is actually toking on the job, and reacts such in panel 2 because he thinks that voice is coming from a nearby volleyball he sees off-panel. “Oh no, go away, Wilson! I will not be Tom Hanks!”

  204. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#194):
    If Depo-Provera ran TV ads, they’d have their background music right there.

  205. CanuckDownSouth
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#192):

    Just wondering what the other lyrics are – I see “the answer is no” at the start of the 2nd “verse” in the way I found it written up. Does it end with she: “I really can’t stay” he: “get over that old out”?

    Anyhow, the song has a bad, pushy vibe – and the drink line is creepy, although she’s clearly not being rohypnoled as she keeps on singing rather than losing consciousness. But “I say no” “But here’s a reason to say yes” isn’t rape if he’s not going to do anything unless she says yes. And as far as I can tell, that’s all that’s going on in the song.

    In terms of the comics … The surprising thing is that Jamaal is as decisive as he is, given that in the H&J world, you can barely refer to food more precisely than “a sustenance-related item” – how does anyone realize there *are* different options, let alone which ones they *like*?

  206. Écureuil Écumant
    February 25th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @198 Calico said:

    That is so weird you mention this song, as I was thinking about Gary Puckett and the Union Gap the other day. The song “Wake up little Susie” was scrutinized and even banned for similar reasons.

    This is hardly an unusual theme in rock’n’roll. Besides those already mentioned, I can think of “My Sharona” (RIP Doug Fieger) — “Never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind / Always get it up for the touch of the younger kind”

    And one of my old-timey favorites, the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Younger Girl” — “Should I hang around, acting like her brother? / In a few more years, they’d call us right for each other / And why … If I wait I’ll just die”

    What about Zappa’s classic “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” —

    “We see in the back of the City Hall mind
    The dream of a girl about thirteen
    Off with her clothes and into a bed
    Where she tickles his fancy all night long…

    Do it again, and do it some more
    That does it, by golly, she’s nasty for sure
    Nasty nasty nasty, nasty nasty nasty
    She’s only thirteen and she knows how to nasty
    She’s a dirty young mind, corrupted, corroded
    Well she’s thirteen today, and I hear she gets loaded

    If she were my daughter, I’d…
    What would you do, Frankie?
    If she were my daughter, I’d …
    What would you do, Frankie?
    Smother my daughter in chocolate syrup
    And strap her on again, oh baby
    Smother that girl in chocolate syrup
    And strap her on again, oh baby
    She’s my teen-age baby and she turns me on
    I’d like to make her do a nasty on the White House lawn
    Smother my daughter in chocolate syrup
    And boogie ’till the cows come home!”

    OK, after that one I won’t even mention “Aqualung” (he he he)

  207. Krazy Kat
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

  208. bats :[
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#206): And I won’t mention “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.”

  209. Perky Bird
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Of course Mark isn’t thinking of taking Cherry on a trip to his beloved wilderness! He’s thinking more along the lines of a trip to the laundromat, or maybe to a vacuum cleaner store. After all, women like doing laundry and vacuuming, don’t they?

  210. AmazingThor
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    Not to doubt the medical expertise of Mr. Trail, but I think the prognosis “he’s going to be alright” is a bit premature. I’m pretty sure they have to wait a few weeks after a heart attack to determine exactly how much damage was done. Of course, in the Trailverse the only people who can ever really be injured are those with facial hair and Rusty.

  211. Penny
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    2/25 Funkyverse presents: the ongoing PTSD Theater!
    Seriously, this is peeving me. How can they have an arc like this, and then leave it off with a ‘Nah, you’re not crazy, it’s just a crazy world’, smirk and moce on? No Wally, you’re not crazy. You have a post-traumatic stress disorder, and you need to get it treated. See a therapist ASAP. There, was that so hard?! Jeeeeez.
    I haven’t been following that comic for too long, but I have to say this is the most depressing I’ve ever seen it. Even more than cancer. With cancer, it’s a disease, and there’s not much you can do about it other than eventually accept the coming end; but here, here we have the slow descent of a man who has been through hell and back into a mental disorder, with everyone around him not doing a @!#[saturn]&#@ thing to help. Wally is going to be smirked to death. Specifically, the violent death of himself and whoever he manages to hit with that shotgun when he eventually flips out.

  212. AmazingThor
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    @Penny (#211): You just summed up the health plan on the entire Funkyverse. Why do you think Lisa died?
    Doctor: She’s fading fast! Nurse, quick, give us some lame word play. I need everyone smirking at maximum power!

  213. spike
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    @Penny (#211): You are so spot-on with Wally is going to be smirked to death. The horror! The…horror…

  214. tb4000
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    SM: I know we applauded Stan Lee’s decision to take a jab at the “One More Day” storyline in this strip, but now I actually think Mephisto and his demonic ass would be more than welcome at this point.

  215. Dave
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @Gal Friday (#200):


    Let’s give the new guy some slack…and see how he does. Woody Wilson, the writer seems encouraged by what he is seeing according to a comment he made over at the

    I hope the new guy will post some of his newest work of Judge Parker at his blog before March 15th. It’s at

    You can email Eduardo at

  216. Calico
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#206):
    “Eyeing little girls with bad intent.”
    Or something close to that. Sqiiiicck.

  217. Baron Bizarre
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    @tb4000 (#214): What would “comic strip” Spider-Man sell his soul for? Tivo?

  218. Calico
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#208):
    “Like that book by Nabokov.”
    Squick, again.

  219. H-Bob
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Mark is planning to hike the Cherry “Appalachian” Trail !

  220. Gal Friday
    February 25th, 2010 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    Thanks, Dave! I wasn’t dissing the new guy, just expressing my appreciation for the art Eduardo Barreto has done during his time with JP. New guy is fine!

  221. firedmyass
    February 25th, 2010 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#191): Dude… did you even read the comment I was responding to? She essentially called me delusional and a defender of sexual assault. My response was specifically meant as a sardonic, tongue-in-cheek attempt to steer our interaction back onto the paved road… sorry I mussed the doilies on anyone’s fainting couch.

  222. Dave
    February 25th, 2010 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    @Gal Friday (#220):


    No problem…but the guy doing the work now in JP, I am not a fan of.

    The new, permanent artist, Mike Manley, starts on March 15th. The hopes are high he can emulate what Barreto brought to the table.

  223. ElkMeadow
    February 26th, 2010 at 8:36 pm [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#181):

    It’s implied that the drink is drugged.

  224. ElkMeadow
    February 26th, 2010 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#194):

    I enjoyed “Sweet Caroline”, until I found out that Neil Diamond based in on a photo of Caroline Kennedy, when she was about ten years old. brain bleach, please!

  225. ElkMeadow
    February 26th, 2010 at 8:39 pm [Reply]

    Crap, I meant to use italics on the brain bleach line phrase.

  226. ElkMeadow
    February 26th, 2010 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    @Penny (#211):

    Penny, the whole Wally thing is just so wrong. I think that the ONLY reason it is still in the papers is that editors know that if they pull it out, there would be a crowd with pitchforks who would scream “censorship”. Never mind that it is a freakin’ insult that is only matched by the crap that’s going on in 9 Chickweed Lane.

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