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Medieval follies

Apartment 3-G, 3/18/10

I’m sure your first cynical reaction upon seeing a mugger on modern planet Earth refer to someone as a “witch” was that this is a comics-page-friendly stand-in for a more common contemporary unpleasantry identical except for the first letter. Consider, though, the ruffian’s oddly anachronistic cowl. Isn’t it at least possible that he is in fact a medieval peasant, rudely thrust, via some natural or man-made temporal anomaly, into present-day Manhattan? To a man who’s grown up in a rigidly patriarchal society, a woman such as Bobbie — brash, forward, apparently unattached, laughing in the face of death — might seem like a terrifying sorceress. Also, our man probably knows no trade other than subsistence agriculture, and his lack of any skills that would be economically useful in the 21st century explains his turn to crime. In short, Bobbie is probably actually just being threatened with a crudely made dagger, or, at worst, an early flintlock pistol more likely to blow up in our misplaced serf’s hand than to do real damage to his target.

Family Circus, 3/18/10

As if the dialogue in this panel weren’t already creeptastic, we also have Jeffy’s exhausted-looking face, which reads not so much as “adorable little kid just waking up” but more as “child exhausted and terrified from trying so hard to dream about YOU MOMMY, ONLY YOU, BUT IT’S SO HARD.” Sorry, Jeffy, if you can’t do it yourself, you’re going to have to wear the Night Terror Jacket again!

Mark Trail, 3/18/10

One of the more baffling undercurrents in this Mark Trail storyline has been a simmering political debate about whether or not “big motors” should be allowed to operate on the lake that has been the focus of the action thus far. I’m not particularly clear on how any of the characters stand on this crucial issue, but the Parker Brothers’ two-smallish-motor-powered boat appears unlikely to satisfy either side. Surely the anti-big-motor activists will point out that this arrangement produces as much noise and pollution as a truly big motor, while big motor aficionados will sneer at the half-assed measure.

Meanwhile, Mark still seems to believe that anyone anywhere still keeps “supplies” in an “icehouse.” Current smart betting on what’s behind that thick door is clustered around “growhouse” and “grisly collection of corpses on hooks.”

Wizard of Id, 3/18/10

Actually, providing adequate sanitation for mobile armies is a problem that has been a crucial part of military planning since the ancient world. It’s one that’s particularly important for armies in the countryside attempting to besiege a city or castle, as Id’s catapult-armed forces appear to be doing here; it wasn’t uncommon for sieges to be lifted not because of the defenders’ military triumph, but because diseases like cholera or dysentery, spread by sewage that hadn’t been dealt with properly, had devastated the besieging army. In fact, in the Crimea in the 1300s, the Mongols … oh, wait, this is the Wizard of Id? Uh, never mind. Ha ha, pooping is funny!

Programming note! Your faithful blogger is now finished with his SXSW adventure … but is just turning around and leaving for a real actual vacation! Said vacation will entail handing over the reins to the inimitable Uncle Lumpy, starting tomorrow and going for a bit longer than a week. Play nice while I’m away!

153 responses to “Medieval follies”

  1. commodorejohn
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Satanism (Y277): Ah, now that is the great question around which the whole strip revolves. I don’t know that anybody here has ever figured it out. I believe that the intent is to represent Pluggers as denizens of what some pundits call “middle America,” if by that you mean “a sort of romanticized depiction of what people who have never lived in middle America choose to believe it’s like;” Pluggers are decent, God-fearing, hard-working folks who rest in silent moral superiority over the degenerate rest of the country by virtue of…well, I’m not quite sure. Driving battered pickup trucks? Not understanding computers? Not having an answering machine? The list goes on, but there never seems to be any kind of unifying theme to it, except for the ones that probably aren’t intentional, like “Pluggers are technophobes” and “Pluggers are tight-fisted even to their own detriment” and “Pluggers think these damn kids should get a haircut and a job” and such. Beats the hell out of me.

  2. Bryan
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    Actually, providing adequate sanitation for mobile armies is one that has been a crucial part of military planning since the ancient world.

    Is one what?

    A3G: Bobbie ought to be concerned about getting beaten and raped by the escapee from Prince Valiant.

    Mark Trail: I looked at a house that had been originally built as a stagecoach stop on the Boston-Montreal route. It had a little room off the kitchen with thick walls and a thick door that had been used for ice and cold goods storage.

    March 18th, 2010 at 5:24 pm [Reply]


    do you have the key to the nut storage facility

  4. commodorejohn
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    Hmm, now that Josh mentions the medieval time-travel theory, I’m reminded of the original Star Trek episode “All Our Yesterdays: (The One With The Time Library,) in which Kirk winds up in The Middle Ages In Space! and is accused of witchcraft. I look forward to seeing travellers from other periods wind up in Apartment 3-G‘s New York, where they will of course be hilariously abused by Margo.

    Also, woo-hoo, Uncle Lumpy! Break out the-oh, Josh isn’t gone quite yet. Never mind, nothing to see here…

  5. Knut
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    Is it just me, or has the dialogue for todays A3G been replaced by the script for a terribly awkward porno? “Is that really a gun in your pocket or are you just trying to scare me?” “Let’s see that gun of yours. Maybe we can make a deal!”

  6. Roto13
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    I read “Is that really a gun in your pocket or are you just ” and of course my mind read the rest as “happy to see me?” I don’t know if flirting with a mugger is more or less badass than calling BS on him, but either way, I think Bobbie is my favourite A3G character now.

  7. Baka Gaijin
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey, panel 2: Beetle just got shot by the Army’s latest secret tactical weapon, the asshole-seeking dildo missle.

  8. Baka Gaijin
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    @Knut (#5): Are you white, furry, and the cousin you’re cohabitating with is going to Munich in the fall?

  9. gnome de blog
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    @Knut (#5): @Roto13 (#6):
    I think Margaret Shuloch and Mary Schmich had a long conversation about tongue-in-cheek, fueled by many glasses of potato ade.

  10. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    Yay, Uncle Lumpy! Pop Rocks and beer for breakfast!

  11. boojum
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy! Uncle Lumpy! If we play nice. can we stay up late and drink the special iced tea the grown-ups drink? Can we, huh! The kind that makes us all giggly and feeling kinda funny “down there”?

  12. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    A3G— The ruffian in the hood is the worst rendering of Margo I’ve ever seen.

    MT— If you are in a canoe, what good does it do to act friendly when you are about to be run over by a speedboat doing 40 knots? Ranger Miller probably thinks that John Kennedy could have avoided having PT 109 sliced in two if he had offered a cigar to the captain of the Amagiri.

    Luann— “That dress is too young for you because Lucy Ricardo was much younger than you when she wore it.”

  13. TruthOfAngels
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    ‘Is everything in place for battle, Rod?’

    ‘Not quite, sire. We’ve got four arrows, two shields, a catapult with nothing to put in it, and a shithouse sans plumbing. Bluntly put, we’re going to be overrun quicker than a girls’ dorm in Panty Raid Week, and they’re going to string you up from the nearest tree.’


  14. GG
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    So, initially it might seem pretty crazy of Bobbie to just laugh in the face of a mugger. But to be fair to her, I’d probably crack up too if someone tried to rob me while wearing a snuggie.

  15. SF_Reader
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    FC: “Sorry mommy. I didn’t dream about you last night…”
    Well that explains the dry sheets!

  16. Readem and Laf
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    I think Alfred Hitchcock movies will explain everything this week.


  17. Aviatrix
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    A3G: If he does happen to have a gun, she’ll coo, “Ooh, it’s so biiiig. can I touch it?”

  18. AmazingThor
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    Youre musing over the Wizard of Id have given me an idea. The best way to besiege a castle would be to catapult mutant/hellspawn Marvin over the wall. At first they’d be like “Hey, free baby!” But within a week he’d have the place overflowing with his ungodly amounts of fecal waste.

  19. AmazingThor
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    I figure Bobbie’s uncharacteristic apathy in the face of mortal danger is just a side-effect of the mountains of drugs she been getting from Dr. Pop-a-pill

  20. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    @AmazingThor (#18):
    Catapulting him like that may splat Marvin, though.

    …Right, no downside. Good plan.

  21. A. Weldon Berger
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    A3G: This strip is nothing more than an ongoing and perpetual sequence of random and disappointing encounters. Exactly like my life, now that I think about it.

  22. Josh
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#2): Ack fixed.

  23. cj
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    “’growhouse’ and ‘grisly collection of corpses on hooks.’”
    Perhaps some combination. I’m sure corpses could provide ample nutrients to whatever contra-crop they’re growing in their relatively investigation-free locale.

  24. Jesse C
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

  25. The Ridger
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    C’mon. Bobbie wants to buy his gun and go on a terror spree, in which she will cripple her husband and kill his girlfriend, and then shoot up a few more people for the hell of it, all the while wearing a hoodie and calling “Ari! Ari! It’s all for you, Doc!”

  26. Nekrotzar
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    And after either Bobbie gets killed, or goes on a shooting spree, maybe they’ll bring in Brother Cadfael to solve the mystery.

  27. Zla\'od
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers do meth! (Commodore John, # 1, and Jesse C., # 24.)

    3G: As a time-traveling monk, our mugger could not be referring to a pistol. Instead, when he promises that Bobbie will be “looking down a barrel,” he is alluding to the medieval custom of forcibly sodomizing the novices in the monastery’s wine-cellar. (Confused by Bobbie’s “page boy” haircut, no doubt.”

    FC: Sigmund Freud, call your office! But if Jeffrey has an erotic dream about Thel tomorrow, won’t the family’s religious beliefs force them to intervene with shunning, exorcisms, and tying his wrists to the bedposts?

  28. Mr. Paul Maul
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    In addition to the “glad to see me” associations of the gun in the pocket and the less-than-pseudo Oedipal slant to the Circus, the innuendo is rounded out nicely by “Is everything in place for battle, Rod?” and “That looks like a tool shed.” I’m sure the subconscious selection of such troubling comics came from the Id today. Incidentally, bravo to CC readers who routinely remember the difference between “your” and “you’re” in their comment postings. So refreshing!

  29. Chyron HR
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#2): Is one what?

    Um, y’know.


  30. bunivasal
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    A4C: Is that really a gun, or are you just trying to arouse me? Because I have to warn you, only a prescription card will do that.

  31. Zaratustra
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    It seems Mark Trail’s “forest” is just some partially-developed plot already full of sheds, shacks and other easily-drawn buildings. Mark Trail will have none of it, though: if it’s in his forest, he will use it.

  32. Aviatrix
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

  33. Aviatrix
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    Grammar: 1
    HTML: 0

  34. Poteet
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    A week-long vacation. Have fun! The mature part of me is hoping that Josh will have a wonderful time, and feeling grateful to Uncle Lumpy for what I know will be a happy week of snarking.

    The immature part of me is wondering if my COTW will stay up for a few extra days. How embarrassing. *cough*

  35. Poteet
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    @buy generic cialis (#34): Hahaha, you will soon disappear! Go infest some other site, foul scum!

  36. Len
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    Young Dennis Mitchel’s mention of his Mom’s “unmentionables” makes me wonder what the little scamp was doing in his mother’s lingerie (I can’t spell in French!) drawer.

    “Look, Joey. These are the undies my Mom wears when Dad brings home his raise money.”

    “Margaret, do these frilly panties make my butt look fat?”

    “Put these on, Mr. Wilson, and let’s play ‘night on the town’.”

    “But Mom! Jeffie from Family Circus said if I sleep with these in my bed, I’ll have neat dreams about you.”

    “But you let Daddy wear them!”

  37. wossname
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    HAMMY! #Y271 – Would you and your Gahoon be available for a gig at Midatlanticon? There could be some nuts in the deal for you. Also some merlot.

    Toots #Y272 – It must be our bourbon babe! The blond and smart part sounded right, but when I got to “model stature,” I figured that meant tall, and I started to doubt. But Woodford Reserve? It’s her! I mean, it is she!

    Mr. Satanism #Y277 – I think the problem is that the Plugger characteristics are all suggested by readers, so there’s no consistency or overarching artistic vision. *snicker*

    Buy generic cialis #34 – Why, how kind of you to say so! Have you met Uncle Lumpy? I have a feeling Poteet is going to be the new #34.

  38. Poteet
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    A3G — I’ll say it just once more. The hooded dude is Savonarola. And a few centuries of being dead haven’t improved him any.

  39. Rusty
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    A3G: The artist’s commitment to depicting an Aryan world, full of Caucasian supermen populating the entire city, is intact. Lesser comics would seize the opportunity to add some “color” to the all-white cast by having a token minority play the role of mugger. Unless A3G takes place in Salt Lake City.

  40. Uncle Lumpy
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    Spam out at #34. COTW up for long ride.

  41. Aviatrix
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    @Rusty (#39): If you consider A3G’s portrayals of the downtrodden Blue minority, it’s way ahead of the curve.

  42. ElkMeadow
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    Have a nice vacation, Josh!

    The guy in the green still looks like Severus Snape, and Prof. Snape wore green to one of the Quidditch matches. Also looks more like Alec Hopkins than Alan Rickman, but that might be due to effects from cross-universe between book, movie and comic strip.

    As for Wizard of Id, I thought that the catapult would be used in flinging the contents of the outhouse to select targets. Is there any historical record of such happening?

    And Toni, unless Nancy is in a fire and you are the only one to save her, you don’t have a chance. No one in “Luann” knows that “red carpet” means wear the weirdest/trendiest/sexiest/might turn heads in NYC thing you have (Frank, either a tux or something in maroon; it’s your color and your personality). And if everyone is on the red carpet, who is in the crowd?

    Wilbur’s out of mayo. And Kurt got word Helen’s dead–he’s gone to collect his inheritance.

    Good luck, Uncle Lumpy!

  43. Anonymous
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    @Naked Bunny with a Whip (#10):

    Pop rocks and beer? My favorite! YAY!

    Have a great trip, Josh.

  44. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    rather OT, but wanted to point out that unseasonably warm weather + a new bag of charcoal + red meat + cab sauv = GOOOOD!


  45. Dagny
    March 18th, 2010 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#43):

    Woops, forgot to sign in.

    March 18th, 2010 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#37):
    maybe a little jack daniels

  47. Shawn S.
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    At first I thought Jeff Keane was just being gross with his Oedipus jokes but today’s comic makes me wonder if he’s using Family Circus to tell his darkest secret. Jeff…it’s ok…you can tell the world the unrequited love you had for your mom instead of grossing us all out.

  48. bats :[
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    @Jesse C (#24): whoa! Maybe Mark will run into “Dave.” Or at least “Dave’s” severed left hand.

  49. Angiportus
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    Yes, ElkMeadow, besiegers used early forms of biological warfare–throwing dead horses, dead men, living (not for long) men, wasp nests, barrels of poisonous snakes, and, probably, uhm, fecal matter. So I have read. What the creator of that strip does not know that by the medieval period, spoon-like catapults were replaced by the far more effiicient onagers and trebuchets. I think even the Romans didn’t use things that looked like giant spoons, but went in for ballistas instead, which were kind of like giant bows.
    The idea of using Marvin as ammo does appeal, however–but I would not want to be the one to have to clean up the machine afterward.

  50. bats :[
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#38): the resemblance is striking. However, is A3G really the Bonfire of the Inanities? Would that fit a number of other comics so much better?

  51. kkarenb
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    ABC News just reported that the King of the Wild Frontier has died. Does Tom Batiuk know?

  52. Jumper
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    I actually got robbed with that “maybe it’s a gun but probably really the end of a small piece of pipe” trick once. (Colonel Sanders, Tallahassee, 1973, me behind the counter)

    I had it figured out about the time the dude escaped with the money I gave him. I’m still ashamed of my lack of cojones. Now that Bobbie is doing better than I did, demanding to actually see the “gun,” I will doubtless experience a wave of retroactive self-loathing once more.

  53. B. Racoon
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL! (y#276): Ah, Hammy. There’s hope for you yet.

  54. Melch Melch
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:23 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Wait, so the kid’s real name is Tony (like TONY HAWK) and yet he goes by the “skater” alias, TOOTS!?!? Unbelievable, un-frickin’-believable.

  55. gnome de blog
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Paul Maul (#28): With the Didactic Duo around, who would dare forget??

  56. bats :[
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    I think Dr. Ari’s work is paying off!

  57. Sans Sense
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:36 pm [Reply]


    Hey Jeffy, you’re not dreaming about anything seeing how hammered you got last night! Whoooee, let me take that leprechaun jacket from you…

  58. Len
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:36 pm [Reply]

    #51 — Geez, all my childhood idols are dropping like flies. Yesterday, Peter Graves, today, Fess Parker. I think I had a “coonskin’ cap when I was little. And I wanted to watch gladiator movies with Graves when I was older.

  59. bats :[
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:39 pm [Reply]

    @kkarenb (#51): oh, dang, that’s too bad (more important, does Mark Trail know?).
    R.I.P., Mr. Parker.

  60. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#38): I’m not familiar with Savonarola. Is that like when I go to my local Sav-On drugstore to take advantage of their annual sale called “Sav-Onarola Life-Savers”?

    Sorry if I Borgia with that one.

    (Absolutely unworthy of a Padumpum.)

  61. BigTed
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    I’d think the most important part of keeping an outhouse sanitary is having a big enough hole underneath it. Since they don’t seem intent on digging one at all, it looks like that poor soldier is going to spend the next few days dragging around a cart full of poop.

  62. gnome de blog
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:45 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Hoody McMugger has been getting all the attention, but I’m intrigued with the Bobbie’s curling sneer in panel #1. No matter how you spell *itch, that ought to be enough to scare off any medieval peasant.

    MT: With all the intriguing possibilities, it’s really gonna be a letdown when we find out that the Parker brothers are just low-rent poachers supplying Senator Wallace’s restaurant with fresh game.

  63. Jesse C
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#48):

    hopefully “Charlie”, the woods-wise Appalachian Sheriff’s deputy, will get there in time to save him.

  64. Col. Havoc
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    MT: Nothing unusual about that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 18th, 2010 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

  66. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    as a completely random note, the first google image result for “bourbon babe” is Giada de Laurentiis in a bikini (link self-explanatory!)

  67. neographite
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    “What’s all over Jeffy’s bed?”

    “Ida Know!”

    “Whose nocturnal emission is this?”

    “Not Me!”

  68. bats :[
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#66): If Miss de Larentiis is image 154, I want an explanation for image 153.

  69. B. Racoon
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#66): That’s not our Bourbon Babe. Our Bourbon Babe is much better looking.

  70. wossname
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    @Jumper (#52): I actually once avoided getting robbed with that “maybe it’s a gun but probably really the end of a small piece of pipe” trick. I was getting on the subway in Harlem to begin a long train trip (this was just before Amtrak started, so train trips were still cool) and this young kid wanted to steal my big purse that had all my tickets and info and makeup in it. I was so not giving up all that stuff, I said “that’s not really a gun” and he fled, proving me right. I’m still amazed at my (probably foolish) presence of cojones.

    #51 kkarenb et al. – I have to admit, I would have assumed Fess Parker had died about 20 years ago. I do have a Davey Crockett hat, but it’s not vintage. I think my little brother had a real one in the 50s.

    #56 bats :[ – your mashups are always brilliant, and I don’t tell you that often enough.

  71. Mr. Paul Maul
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#55): Your right about that. (Let’s see if anyone spots the error.)

  72. B. Racoon
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    Speaking of Bourbon Babe, where is she? Is it possible that she actually found Aerosquid and Sequitur and ran off with them?

    Now that would make an interesting Mod Squad.

  73. kkarenb
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#59):
    If Tom B. can base a Crankshaft strip on the imaginary death of a Mouseketeer, image what he could do with the sadly real death of an icon like Davy, Davy Crockett.

  74. kkarenb
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    @kkarenb (#73):
    Whoops. That should be “imagine what…”

  75. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#68): just a famous chef holding a bone. . . .

  76. Poteet
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#40): Whee! *does small, very restrained jig*

  77. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:48 pm [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#69): given how hawt Giada is, that would take some doing, but even Dingo says bb,u’s da bomb. Sadly, not on Facebark or whatever to find out for myself.

    March 18th, 2010 at 8:50 pm [Reply]


  79. Poteet
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:50 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#50): Your title is inspired! And I say the answer to your first question is yes. It fits as well as any other.

  80. Poteet
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#60): I’m laughing through my pain.

  81. Paladin
    March 18th, 2010 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    Jeffy is clearly training himself to be a psychic assassin. After keeping him up all night in an effort to stop him from dreaming her death, Thel has called the local sanitarium in hopes that they can drug his powers away. That St. Patrick’s themed straight-jacket should keep him contained until they can get some precious Thorazine into him.

    March 18th, 2010 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#80):

    that and a few shots of jack daniels will make you feel just fine

  83. Sue D. Nymme
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    Bobbie is a hooker? Because that’s about the only context in which “Let’s see that gun of yours — maybe we can make a deal” makes any sense.

  84. Écureuil Écumant
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL! (#82): Is that anything like Vermont’s Original Bag Balm?

    March 18th, 2010 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#84):

    and a bit of jack daniels

  86. Jamus The Bartender
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    DtM: Damn. Dennis is running his filthy fingers through his mom’s panties. THAT is fucked up. Beyond belief. Also getting closer to menace.

  87. Jamus The Bartender
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:28 pm [Reply]

    Spider Man: SPOILER ALERT–I seem to recall Dan Drieberg aka Nite Owl from Watchmen having similar confidence problems in the movie AND the book. Much as i’d like to see MJ naked, i’m praying Stan Lee does NOT go down this evil path.

  88. B. Racoon
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    I just come from Dean Booth’s site. It seems that Creators Syndicate and United Features Syndicate have contacted Dean about copyright infringment.
    To Dean’s credit he is taking this very cautiously. However, it seems that they may be oversteping their bounds concerning satire.
    If there are any real attorneys out there (maybe even Steve Pastis) who understand this area of the law, I’m sure Dean could use any suggestion.

    Mashups are like fine wine to Curmudgeons. It would be a travisty if someone like bats :[ had her wings tied behind her. I thought the USA was of life, liberty and the persuit of satire.

  89. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#87): *cues the Hallelujah song and primes the flamethrower*

  90. JupiterPluvius
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Oh, FC. So many of us are going to Hell in the same handbasket on this one, aren’t we?

    Is it one of those comic themes days for “Oedipus complex”? Between the Menace’s panty raids and Billy’s dreams of Thelma…at least Curtis didn’t get into the mix!

  91. Steve S
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    If I remember my mythology correctly, tomorrow’s comic should feature Jeffy poking out his eyes.

  92. Jamus The Bartender
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    @Zla\’od (#27): I thought FC did a strip JUST like the one you describe, Z, but it turns out Thel was just giving Jeffy nosedrops. The DFC might have it, but apart from that, no idea how to find it.

  93. Austria
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    Sarge LOVES…seeing Beetle’s FACE…when it gets MESSY. I mean, seriously?

    Long time reader, first time poster, ‘sup. *wave*

  94. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    @Steve S (#91) said: “If I remember my mythology correctly, tomorrow’s comic should feature Jeffy poking out his eyes.”

    Doesn’t he have to kill Bil first?

    March 18th, 2010 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#93):
    HELLO! HELLO! AUSTRIA!!!! {waves like crazy}


  96. Austria
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:05 pm [Reply]


    No, I’m just a dorky girl.

  97. zerowolf
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    MW: Is this a farewell or suicide email. Either way, say Buh buh Kurt..

  98. zerowolf
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Now that Rex is in the basement with you, prepare for more shoving against your will.

    March 18th, 2010 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#96):

  100. He Brought Queenie Baby Jesus
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    Nice try, “Josh” in “Austin”. Or should I say… Kem in Canada?

  101. Écureuil Écumant
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL! (#99): Hey! Careful with those strikeouts or you might find some Vap-O-Rub in your Tiger Balm!

    March 18th, 2010 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#101):

    @Austria (#96):

  103. Josh
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    @Jumper (#52): If it’s your own money, maybe you might want to play a tough guy. But the Colonel can take care of himself, and I imagine he didn’t pay you enough for you to even take an outside chance of putting your life on the line for his chicken-derived profits.


  104. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#96): so is QC’s Marigold, and she’s still made of win.

    welcome aboard.

  105. Edgy DC
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    Get off your knees, Kid. I’ve seen that look. Rex is sizing you up to be the new Nikki.

    March 18th, 2010 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    Josh is really here isn't he


  107. Mardou Fox
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    Psssst! Is Josh gone yet? Anyone got the keys to the liquor cabinet? It’s been a long day, I could really use a drink.

  108. Muffaroo
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    @lostsyn (#262): What a country! In Soviet Union, you eat salad and toss cookie. In US, you eat Cookie and toss salad!

    @Mr. O’Malley (#281): Do pluggers contradict themselves? Very well, they contradict themselves. They are huge: they marry outside their species.

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#12): Wasn’t Lucy Ricardo also nine months pregnant when she wore that dress?

    @Jumper (#52): You acted in a manner we call “sane.” FWIW, I don’t think I’d have handled it differently, though I might still be shaking — out of anger, if nothing else.

  109. Toby Bartels
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    I automatically fixed A3G in my head without thinking twice. My local paper carries Between Friends, which has been subjecting readers to this thinly veiled euphemism in an angels-on-the-shoulder story arc for two weeks now. The Wiccan Anti-Defamation League needs to get on this.

  110. iggyks
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    Goshdammit, today’s Family Circus is a repeat but I can’t pinpoint whether it’s recent or a 1970s reprint… although those dresses look vintage!

  111. Poteet
    March 18th, 2010 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    @Jumper (#52): Self-loathing?! Why?! Even in semi-bucolic Iowa, people have been killed in fast-food places and convenience stores by thugs with guns. I thought the standard advice for behind-the-counter people was to hand over the money, and that always made sense to me just from a cold-blooded financial point of view. Hospital stays are expensive, and so are funerals and death benefits. You are alive and well, the perp probably ended up behind bars sooner or later, and KFC is still going strong. Apologies for the rant, but I feel most emphatically that you did the right thing.

  112. NoahSnark
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    Imagine being a member of the Keane brood. Then imagine being unable to escape your family – even when you dream. Good luck sleeping tonight.

  113. Rita Lake and the Special Goddesses
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:02 pm [Reply]

    Here’s what I want to know about Wilbur and Abby: Who was it that had nothing better to do than take photo after photo of this ghastly couple? I still think that’s the biggest mystery here, aside from the question of how on earth Wilbur got Abby to have sex with him.

    But then, I’m still not convinced that Wilbur isn’t a virgin to this day, that he has no idea what’s entailed in fathering a child, and that Dawn is the mailman’s. That would make this whole storyline make a lot more sense, particularly the “Oh, I knew your mother in college! OBVIOUSLY I MUST BE YOUR FATHER!” bit.

  114. B. Racoon
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:02 pm [Reply]

  115. Aviatrix
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:06 pm [Reply]

    @iggyks (#111): What Poteet says.

    You say to yourself, “I am paid $6.95 an hour. The pay is the same whether I am waiting for people to count out 1.89 in nickles and pennies, looking at IDs and telling 15 year olds they don’t look like their older brothers, bleeding to death on the floor or filling in a police report on a mugging.”

    You say to the mugger as little as possible, while keeping your head down and handing over whatever he or she asks for. You wait until the door closes after the mugger leaves and then you call the cops, call the owner, and probably lock the door until the cops get there.

    Unless you are Spider-Man, in which case you watch TV during the hold-up, then afterwards, realizing that you have forgotten to wear your costume today, you improvise one out of can labels, gum wrappers and mesh onion bags.

  116. Poteet
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#88): Arrrrgh! It would be especially ironic if some actual creators of the comics, as opposed to the syndicates, didn’t mind the mashups, and I suspect that might be the case.

  117. Buck Ripsnort
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    Jumper, you have to be on THE EXACT SAME drugs as Bobbie to treat a mugger casually. I’m sure you at least had the presence to ask, “Are you just happy to see me?” And even if not, no one wants to be the wittiest corpse in the graveyard.

  118. Buck Ripsnort
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:18 pm [Reply]

    (reply button no worky for me) Rita Lake @ #131– It’s probably the same would-be blackmailer that follows the folk from Funky Loserbean around.

  119. B. Racoon
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#116): Poteet, you are so right. When will the syndicates learn that any publicity is good? (I bet even Tom Batiuk understands this). There are many, many comics and cartoons that are not made fun of. And why? BECAUSE WE’RE NOT READING THEM OR DEEM THEM TOO ORDINARY TO MAKE FUN OF!! (sorry for the Hammy lettering).
    Those mashups of people like Dean and Bats :[ are only helping the strips.

    And think of this, if they go after those who visually make fun of the comics, how soon before they go after those who verbally make fun of them.

  120. B. Racoon
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:27 pm [Reply]

    @Buck Ripsnort (#118): Buck, sometimes (most of the time) you have to click the “reply” two times before it kicks in.

  121. Ranchoth
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:34 pm [Reply]

    Y’know, concerning Apartment 3-G, there was actually an old Marvel “What If” comic along those lines–Conan the Barbarian (the actual Conan—Marvel had the license at the time) gets unexpectedly magicked into modern Manhattan. He ends up ruling a major street gang. Captain America gets involved at one point.

    The writing’s actually pretty top-notch. Joe Bob Ranchoth says check it out.

  122. Muffaroo
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:41 pm [Reply]

    @Ranchoth (#121): Heh heh. I miss old John Bloom. I can always re-read that first great Joe Bob collection, though, or watch my copies of “God Stuff” segments from the Daily Show. Thanks for reminding me.

  123. Muffaroo
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    ps: I’d have to say my favorite was his review of Bo Derek in Bolero. Just genius.

  124. mollificent
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    @Nekrotzar (#26): Or Sister Fidelma! Though the thought of Sister Fidelma and Margo Magee being in the same city at the same time does send a shiver down my spine. There wouldn’t be an unshriveled wang for miles.

  125. Poteet
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#119): B. Racoon, you are so right about mashups being a high compliment. And Dean’s version of the M & M BIZARRO is one of his best so far this month. *sob* Oh, the humanity.

  126. Poteet
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:14 am [Reply]


    A3G — WOW. Talk about promising! Is there any chance of something like this happening in LUANN? Maybe Gunther will decide to drug the guy playing Chino, replace him, and take the excitement of opening night to a whole new level.

    MT — Sure enough, my prediction was absolutely correct. Oh, the thrill of it. Someone hold me down. *yawn*

    MW — Gaaaah, my eyes, my eyes!

  127. B. Racoon
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:24 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#125): Poteet, are you talking about this?

    Ah yes, syndicate. Come after me! (it would be funny if Dean came after me).

  128. Poteet
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    3/19 PHANTOM — These two have a completely weird relationship, and yet somehow they are still less weird than MJ and Spidey. See today’s S-M. I rest my case.

  129. Poteet
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#127): Yep. Genius, it is.

  130. B. Racoon
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    Why is Data in drag coming to greet Kurt?

  131. True Fable
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    Things I Like!

    Fist O Justice Theater I like how the poachers thoughtfully stamped “Elk” “Moose” “Fish” on the boxes so Mark would know right away there would be a reason for him catching a sapp on the back of his head tomorrow.

    Mary Worth, Destroyer of Worlds I like how the artist uses “comics shorthand” like busted plaster-over-slats walls all over the apartment, to show how seedy and desperate Kurt’s situation is. I also like the shorthand showing the robot greeting him is slowly toddling toward him, like something out of a Japanese electronics show.

    Apartment of Doom I like how the World’s Most Malleable Theif is being ordered around by the World’s Most Ballsiest Badass Woman, who doesn’t realize he can still wind up with both money AND gun unless she’s wearing a pair of balls the size of Pluto.

    The Amazing Tiger-Striped Bikini I like that Mary Jane was in the strip today. Yeah that’s all I’ve got.

    Scenes from Suburban Hell I like how Lois looks like the undrawn panel three would show her smacking Chip upside his lazy head.

    Children of the Circle I like how there can only be one.

  132. Mibbitmaker
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    TrueFable: I caught this old Letterman clip on YouTube (from 1983!). It’s a classic bit with Steve Martin, and a part 2 on YT, but there’s a part of it I thought you’d enjoy seeing. It’s a little ways in, but the whole thing is worth it.

  133. Poteet
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#130): Is Data preggers?

  134. dull_old_man
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#88):

    What I learned as an editor is that parody is protected from copyright. It is part of fair use. I didn’t renew my metaphysician’s license, so I can’t tell you whether parody contains satire or satire contains parody. [All I can say is that 'satine' is a good holding in Scrabble.]

    No one ever gives permission to be parodied–that is why it is protected by law. The problem is that artists with money for legal fees can easily grind down impecunious parodists.

    Me, I didn’t care for 2 Live Crew’s version of “Pretty Woman,” but it made enough money for them to win their case in the Supreme Court. I’ll send a few bucks to Dean Booth to fight back for parody.

  135. Poteet
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    3/19 FC — This continuing major Mommy fixation is starting to revive creepy memories of THE CHILD BUYER, which I read when I was much too young. My own mother tried to keep me from warping my tender brain, but noooo, I had to follow up with THE COLLECTOR and LORD OF THE FLIES. And now I’ll need a night light for the rest of my life. Are you listening, Keanes? Stop with the matching dresses and Mommy dreams! There are consequences for creeping out your readers!

  136. B. Racoon
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#133): A pregnant male android. Why not? This is Mary Worth we’re talking about here. If Wilbur can have a daughter, why not Data have Kurt’s baby?
    Oh, I just thought about seeing the offspring {barf}.

  137. True Fable
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:54 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#132):

    GOAT!! Goats on parade! Goats on Letterman!!

    Did you see those goats, they were so well behaved they did not do what it was assumed they would do. HA!

  138. B. Racoon
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:56 am [Reply]

    @dull_old_man (#134): You are indeed a perceptive and understanding individual. I thank you for Dean and all who strive to be free to be who they are.

  139. bats :[
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:58 am [Reply]


    MT: damn! They didn’t tell me about the Parker SISTER!

    MW: oh lordy, is that a preggo girlfriend? If we’re lucky, maybe it’s a flash-forward of Det. Scott and Adrian Cory (“Adrian, now that we’re married, I want you to quit your job. I’ll provide for us.”)

  140. This Guy
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:06 am [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#136): On the one hand, this would be the worst Star Trek movie idea ever (yes, worse than letting Shatner direct), but on the other hand, it’d be a step up for Mary Worth.

  141. Mibbitmaker
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:08 am [Reply]

    @True Fable (#137): I knew you’d like that. Dave and Steve were breaking “valuable” china, and they’d have nothing to do with it. :o)

  142. B. Racoon
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:08 am [Reply]

    @True Fable (#137): The goats were great but I caught a glimpse of Paul Shaffer WITH HAIR! Now that is truly amazing.

  143. Poteet
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    3/19 STONE SOUP — Great, another strip that turns out to have Luann Disease.

  144. B. Racoon
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:12 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#140): They let Shatner direct? Nimoy yes, but Shatner? ~~shutter~~

  145. B. Racoon
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:21 am [Reply]

    I could use a good glass of Potato-Aid™ right about now.

  146. Ed Dravecky
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    Thank you, Spider-Man. Nothing is forgiven but if we have to see ludicrously fast costume changes in lieu of superhero action, you could do worse than MJ in a tiger-stripe bikini.

  147. gnome de blog
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#130):

    Omigod! It’s Adrian Cory’s evil twin! Or Adrian herself.

    Isn’t it about damn time for the pool party?

  148. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#72): Sadly, no—I’ve not located Sequitur and Aerosquid, although I think we’d be a kick-ass crime-fighting trio. I’m at an academic conference—an academic conference in Kentucky, where there is MUCH bourbon, some of which I have imbibed this evening.

    And my ears were metaphorically burning, so I checked here and found nice things being said about me—such a lovely surprise! (But I’ll likely be around here only intermittently this weekend—conference sessions I’m supposed to attend and present at and all. Thank goodness that by the time I’m really reading comics again, Bobbie will still be standing in that alley, Wilber will still be chewing something, and Mark with still be commenting on the innocuous appearance of some shed.)

  149. Mibbitmaker
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:45 am [Reply]

    @B. Racoon (#142): That’s nothing — try Paul Shaffer over at SNL in the ’70s (playing for Bill Murray’s lounge singer or Elliott Gould’s singing monologues)! Already balding, but with definate post-sixties hair — and Elton John-style glasses to boot!

  150. Mr. O'Malley
    March 19th, 2010 at 6:07 am [Reply]

    A-3g: Well, this is pretty funny. Bobbie continues to be the most entertaining character in the strip while Margo is taking a vacation. Buying a gun from a medieval mugger is teh win. What’s great is whoever has the most cojones could end up with both the money and the gun.

    I thought that anyone, even convicted felons or people with a history of mental illness, could purchase a gun at a gun show that takes place on a weekend. Is this not true in New York?

    Bobbie must want an untraceable gun. What is she going to do with it?

    1. Play power games with the Professor. Not likely because if she wasn’t going to actually shoot him, she wouldn’t need an untraceable gun.
    2. Shoot hubby. Not likely, because she wants to prolong his misery.
    3. Shoot hubby’s GF. Maybe, but she doesn’t know who she is. Perhaps she will arbitrarily decide it’s LuAnn on the basis of hair color, and hijinks will result.

  151. TimSquare
    March 19th, 2010 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    In my local paper Family Circus is in black and white. That made me think that the coat being held by Mommy was really a straightjacket. Jeffy’s tired look is from Thorazine.

  152. DavidMac
    March 20th, 2010 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#111): In a perverse way, simply “handing over the money” to the bad guys is the prudent method. It works in Angola where people simply walk up to foreigners and demand money. The AK-47 is the deal-sealer. (Sorry to get so serious, Josh).

  153. FOOB-a-rama
    April 28th, 2012 at 2:14 am [Reply]

    What I think is going on in the Family Circus comic, is that Jeffy is really a 35 year old man in an insane asylum who lives in this hellhole family, mainly because he was an orphan and never had a real family. He was also most likely abused by staff there, which led to him running away to the streets and eating off roadkill.

    What is really happening in this scene, is that the lady that works there is putting him in a straightjacket and lading him into a padded room, for he has gone berserk, screaming about being stuck with his imaginary family from hell.

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