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Slap-happy comics

Curtis, 7/21/06

Wow, Curtis, you make me feel all funny inside, in the following ways:

  • Is it OK to be appalled at the child abuse joke and yet still impressed by the wordplay of “slap the taste out of your mouth”?
  • Are the Curtises’ black apples left over from some sort of twisted goth Adam and Eve musical number?

Gil Thorp, 7/21/06

See, Ben Franklin, there have been some advances in histrionics in the 216 years since your death. Nowadays, when people shout “No-o-o-o!”, they usually shake their fists at the skies, get down on one knee and pound the earth, and weep openly. Perhaps putting an index finger on the lower lip was a sign of great emotional distress during the 18th century, but nowadays it just makes you look contemplative.

Marty Moon may refer to his winnings as “only” $20, but he’s holding and staring at that Andrew Jackson-festooned note with an expression of rapt wonder, as if he were a starving Darfurian refugee and somebody just handed him a steak.

43 responses to “Slap-happy comics”

  1. CarAlarm
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    Will someone please look at the sixth panel of Sunday’s CURTIS (his face, and what’s in front of it) and tell me that I am not crazy!

  2. TheMatt
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    Does anyone know if Jim Davis died? I mean, the latest arc on “Garfield” has me confused. First, it’s an arc on Garfield. Second, it includes characters other than Garfield and Jon. I mean, I figure even Odie has disappeared. Is Jon’s family or that kitten going to appear next?

  3. Fence Post Frank
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    Should Von, the college football player, being playing in a golf game where “gambling” is involved? What will the NCAA think?

  4. Chris
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Marty is clearly a hellspawn. Watch his descent into the deeper circles of Hell with awe, fear, and wonder.

    The Gasoline Alley story gets dumber and dumber…bears giving CPR? Mouth-to-mouth?

    FOOB is moving into Mary Worth territory.

    Speaking of which, Stalkeraldo is maybe the worst character in the strip’s history, which says a whole lot.

    I think there should be a big, angry argument in Apt. 3G that end with the three of them gettin’ really busy…with Tommie, for once, on top.

  5. Bitter Scribe
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    Face it, now that the (vastly overrated) Boondocks is on hiatus, Curtis is the coolest African-American-themed comic out there.

  6. Jeremiah
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    The yellow, combined with the ‘bong’ sound, makes me think that those are some strange decorative apples made out of maybe bronze or something. I think the chamaleon may have mortally wounded Mrs. Gayle.

  7. Hogenmogen
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    Does anyone else equate “best Garfield story line in history” with “least painful genital wart ever”?

  8. Lazlo
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    #1: It’s a foot, visually disembodied by the bubbles above Curtis’s head.

  9. Glenn
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    Does anyone else equate “best Garfield story line in history” with “least painful genital wart ever”?

    I… I wouldn’t have any experience with that directly, but Garfy’s current storyline is much less painful than its usual three- and seven-panel humor void. So yeah, I see where you’re coming from.

    The best storyline, though, is the one from waaaay back when Garfield dreamed he lived alone in a deserted world, and was forced to rethink his cynical attitude toward his housemates as he spiraled slowly toward a solitude-fueled madness. That ruled.

  10. Propaniac
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Hahahaha, I couldn’t see what #1 was referring to until I saw the explanation.

  11. CarAlarm
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    #8 and all– I know it’s a foot, technically, but it doesn’t *look* like a foot placed where it is. That, coupled with Curtis’s puffed cheeks– could that possibly be an accident? I mean, really!

  12. Dan B
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    I may have missed this in an earlier thread, but Saturday’s MW – http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20060722&name=Mary_Worth – is sweet. It looks like Mary’s gonna bitch-slap Toby if she doesn’t make with the good gossip on the great Stalkeraldo.

    MT: Kelly Welly hasn’t picked up on this yet, but Ranger Rick is totally gay. He’s spending too much time in the “woods”? Worst double entendre ever.

    Pluggers: I’m glad there seems to be a consistent storyline emerging. Obese Plugger pawns teevee set for cash two weeks ago. Why? Because obese Plugger is seen last week eating five pizzas for dinner. Why so hungry? Because obese Plugger eats a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Now i get this comic. It’s a tragedy, not a comedy.

  13. Hogenmogen
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    No one seems to have pointed out that Curtis’ hat stayed on while he was swimming under water.
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/curtis.asp?date=20060723

  14. Cornwhacker
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    Ha. I didn’t see anything other than a foot in Curtis, either, until it was pointed out. Mainly because that’s clearly supposed to be a woman* (which makes things all the more twisted, I guess)

    *They’re just as dangerous as bears, y’know. Ranger Rick Says so.

  15. bonnach
    July 24th, 2006 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    I love the touch of the hushed golf commentator tones in panel one of GT. They should have continued it on into the next two describing the action.

    “Lanny looks quite puzzled as to how he missed that putt, Johnny.” ”
    Perhaps it was the lightning rod he’s using for a putter, Martin.”

  16. juggernaut
    July 24th, 2006 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    i say ben franklin is just setting marty up to take him down for some big $$$$$. then marty will start pimping milford cheerleaders to make back his life savings. then things will start to get good.

  17. JudeMorrigan
    July 24th, 2006 at 11:12 am [Reply]

  18. JudeMorrigan
    July 24th, 2006 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    Oh, and the best part of that particular Garfield storyline is of course how it implies that all subsequent Garfield strips are figments of his deranged imagination. You have to admit that it explains quite a bit.

  19. BlueDot
    July 24th, 2006 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    “Slap the taste out of your mouth” is a common Southern expression, so no need to be impressed, only appalled.

  20. Mike Prpich
    July 24th, 2006 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    JIm Davis should have hung up on Garfield about 15 years ago.

  21. Glenn
    July 24th, 2006 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    #18:

    Holy cow. My mind is blown. Maybe you’re right. Perhaps that lonely week in Garfield is a glimpse into Garfield’s true world, with all the hallucinatory trappings of a comfortable (albeit boring) suburban existence stripped away for a brief while; thus we may see the bleak postapocalyptic world Garfield lives in (or perhaps an abandoned crackhouse in Detroit).

    Wait, that wouldn’t explain how he eats enough to survive, though. Let alone get fat. Oh well, it’s a good theory anyway.

  22. rich
    July 24th, 2006 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    I immediately saw that giant schlong in Sunday’s Curtis. Very sly, Billingsley! (Sure, sure, it’s a foot — well, eight inches, easily.)

    17: Thank you, JudeMorrigan, for that link! I was afraid all this time that I had dreamed those strips. Seriously, what in the world inspired Davis Incorporated to make such a weird detour into Twilight Zone/Twin Peaks territory? At the time it actually gave me a little hope for the strip — but then the following Monday he was back to the same old lame jokes.

    God, I especially love that giant eyeball in panel one of the final strip. How many small children did that traumatize back in 1989?

  23. moose
    July 24th, 2006 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    Lizards can’t throw apples. Not even hollowed out was apples. If Curtis is going all Harry Potter on us the he can just cut it out or something.

  24. Perry
    July 24th, 2006 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    Those of you amazed by that old Garfield storyline should check out this book

    Garfield: His Nine Lives.

    Nine different stories told in nine different styles with wildly differing artwork. It shows just what Jim Davis is capable of.

    Just found this wikipedia link. It seems that Jim Davis didn’t do all of the writing or art, but a lot of the writing IS his.

  25. Perry
    July 24th, 2006 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    moose,

    Ah, but that’s no ordinary lizard, that’s a Flyspeck Island chameleon, which has the ability to turn invisible and is VERY mischievious.

  26. Cory
    July 24th, 2006 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    #5- Here’s where I shamelessly plug myself.

    http://comics.com/wash/watch/index.html

  27. Deckard Canine
    July 24th, 2006 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    #26 – Wow, I didn’t know a syndicated cartoonist was here. I have the Washington Post to thank for revealing your comic to me, however fleetingly.

  28. Kimberly
    July 24th, 2006 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    #26 – I saw your strip when I was visiting my parents last week (different newspaper–mine has a terrible comics section), and enjoyed it.

  29. benro
    July 24th, 2006 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    Cory, I’ve been reading your strip for a couple of months now. It’s very well done.

  30. rich
    July 24th, 2006 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    24: That book and Jim Davis’s acid trip week both happened in 1988-89. A little mid-life crisis before Davis went back to counting his money instead of rocking the boat?

    It’s times like this when I think “I wish there had been a Comics Curmudgeon website (not to mention an Internet) back in 1989″ (Most of the other instances involve extremely cringeworthy FBorFW moments that have been permanently imprinted on my brain.) Perhaps Josh could comment now and then on bad or strange strips from the past…”Comics Curmudgeon Classic, or “I Love the 80s — Comics Version.

  31. Scumbaggioni
    July 24th, 2006 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    I was looking through my Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comics the other day (yes, I’m older than dirt, f*** you, you whippersnappers) and came across Fat Freddy’s Cat reading the funnies–”Mike Gonad,” “Mary Worthless” (“…used to be a lot more interesting before she had a stroke! It’s a pity she can’t talk anymore…”), “Dinglebury,” “Randy Crapp,” “Crank” (“Crock”), “Peanuts” (“Oh no! Dear Lord, no! Don’t EAT us!”), and a new strip…”Barfield.”

    This particular Freak Brothers is dated 1982. Twenty-four years ago. Brrrr. …And even then, Fat Freddy’s Cat was bitching about how poor the newspaper strips had become!

    (The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Comics are available from Last Gasp Comics or Rip Off Press. The story described above appears in #7, reprinted not too long ago.)

  32. Junior Tracy
    July 24th, 2006 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    As a reformed (and at one time, pretty good) golfer, I can assure everyone that Josh is right. Any golfer of my acquaintance who had just lost $20 (especially by 3-putting) would certainly have employed a far riper vocabulary, featuring numerous variations on the f-word and related terms.

    Lanny’s problem may be related to the fact that he appears to be putting with some sort of bizarre 2-wood. That, and the Gilligan hat.

  33. Islamorada Girl
    July 24th, 2006 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    I still love the one where Fat Freddie gets a giant case of the munchies and attacks a convenience store. Good times!

  34. dji
    July 24th, 2006 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    Cory, thanks for plugging yourself. This is excellent.

  35. Curtis Interruptus
    July 24th, 2006 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    By my count, this is the 1,576th time we’ve seen the Flyspeck Island Chameleon gag. In every case, the cartoon-within-a-cartoon animal wreaks havoc with Curtis’s parents’ friends, and Curtis gets blamed. The bit went stale after the 454th time we saw it.

    But it’s fun to see another cameo appearance by Gunk, the cross-eyed Crazy White Guy. Did you know Gunk is a direct descendant of the obligatory Crazy White Guys who appeared on 1970′s black sitcoms? Every 1970′s black sitcom had one, and Gunk is living proof that the tradition is alive and well.

    By the way, one major peeve with the Curtis strip: It’s one of those strips that often has a character laugh at another character’s lame punchline joke in the last panel. For Better or Worse uses this annoying device as well. Look, cartoonist: If it’s funny, WE’LL laugh. You don’t need one of your characters to laugh in order to show us you are trying to be funny.

  36. Cory
    July 24th, 2006 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    Deckard Canine, Kimberly, benro , dji… thanks.

    I’m willing to wager I’m not the only one lurking here.

  37. tefflan
    July 25th, 2006 at 5:25 am [Reply]

    Curtis’ mom ruined what could have been a dynamite strip in upcoming days. The lizard threw the apple, which immediately put it on an intelligence level with the mouse in the Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs is playing the piano and the mouse is running around inside the piano, trying to avoid being hit by the piano’s hammers. The only things I can think of that precluded it is that either Curtis’ house doesn’t have a grand piano or Curtis doesn’t know how to play the “Csikos Post.” In any case, if we actually get to see Curtis’ mom beat the shit out of him, it will be worth the trade-off.

  38. Hysterical Woman
    July 25th, 2006 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    If you have an animal that turns invisible, why don’t you paint it or something so you can see it! Stupidest reused plot ever.

  39. deeeeeeeeelightful
    July 26th, 2006 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    That wasn’t bugs bunny……It was tom and jerry! Thats a classic anyway, though.
    And yeah, when was the last time garfield had a real story line? Other then the usual birthday shtick, 1997? Goodlord! I think Davis is letting somebody else take over….Either that or he finally got that angry, jaded email I sent him, bitching about the comic strip used to be, back during the eighties.

  40. Mushuweasel
    July 31st, 2006 at 9:28 pm [Reply]

    C’mon people… $20 means 2 dimebags. How else would one bear the conversation on the ride home with Von?

  41. Calvin
    April 27th, 2008 at 2:45 am [Reply]

    Re 39: No, Looney Toons definitely had a short with Bugs playing the piano and a mouse messing him up. http://youtube.com/watch?v=ljaopwpc6hs

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    September 2nd, 2010 at 5:34 am [Reply]

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  43. Roger M. Wilcox
    January 14th, 2014 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    In Curtis’s defense, the comic has to be drawn in such a way that it’ll work both on color newspaper pages and on black-and-white pages. The inker filled in the apples in a way that made them look like apples when no coloring was applied.

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