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Hydrocephalic day at the ballpark

Family Circus, 8/19/06

As the Family Circus family’s rerun trip to Chicago wears on, I was struck by just how damn excited Billy looks here. Not only is he radiating lines of pure joy, but he’s actually drooling. Either he’s had a sudden epiphany and now realizes how global megacorporations control every aspects of our lives — from the names of our great sports stadiums to the manufacture and marketing of the cheapest of grocery items — or he really, really likes gum. Honestly, I’m betting on the latter. Dolly looks pretty thrilled by the prospect of chewing on some Doublemint too, but mom and dad just sport numb, stuporous looks. Presumably they’ve realized that all the money they’ve just spent on baseball tickets and overpriced hats and t-shirts — to say nothing of hotel and airfare — has gone to waste, because they could have entertained their kids just as much by giving them a dollar and sending them to 7-11 to get some Bubblicious.

Six Chix, 8/19/06

Oh my God, Paul needs a sex ed refresher, stat! DUDE, IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT.

Spider-Man, 8/19/06

Oh, wow. I for one have longed to refer to Spidey as a “costumed cretin” for some time. And to do it in an effete, slightly English accent. And to bash in the back of his head with a lead pipe. This has got to be the most satisfying Spider-Man ever.

In fact, this installment so pleased me that for a minute I failed to grasp its import. Spider-Man has singularly failed to battle a real live supervillain since April of 2005, and now we see why: he’s been easily neutralized by Narna’s totally non-super manservant. Why didn’t your spider-sense start tingling while Hugo was sneaking up on you with a bludgeon, Parker? Does it somehow magically not work on butlers? Christ.

Mary Worth, 8/19/06

Aldo’s fingers in panel two provide a good counterpoint to his dialog. I think he’s got a pretty accurate sense of the size of Mary’s black, shriveled heart.

122 responses to “Hydrocephalic day at the ballpark”

  1. Gnarl E.
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    Or the family circus could have just gone to the Wrigley building on Michigan Ave. for free.

  2. Chris
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    And when Aldo says “closer to your heart” you can bet he means sauteed to perfection, and served with fava beans.

    Yeah, mega-plot hole…Spidey sense, why have you deserted me?

  3. Sheila
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    “Cubbies”? Are there really flags that say that? Ew.

  4. Doug Puthoff
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    I wrote alternate caption to today’s FC in the discussion form. I wonder if drugs also caused the kid’s weirdstinking heads.

  5. Doug Puthoff
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    And why the Hayley Mills isn’t Spidey fighting militant Islamics like Dick Tracy? Or Jerry Falwell? Or Johnny Hart? As Spidey would say, “Sheesh!”

  6. Chris
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    #3 Sheila…yes, sadly. (Born in Chicago, Mets fan, to extended family’s dismay.)

    Josh, it’s not Paul, it’s the idiot woman who needs a refresher (I’m betting Brad de Groot would be happy to supply) regarding the propagation of the species.

  7. Bill Peschel
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    Rooting for the Cubs is enough to induce despair in any family not born in Chicago.

  8. Old Fogeyette
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    This is the first time in ages I’ve gotten to the board to find fewer than about 150 comments. I’m one of those, you see, who ACTUALLY READS the other comments, and lately this blog has been way too popular for my ability to wade through them all.

    Alas, I have nothing to say about any of the comics blogged today, except MW: EWWWWW!

  9. Ron
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    Oh, I’m sure his spider-sense was tingling, but he just thought it was because he was looking at a hot blonde. Using the term loosely, that is.

    At this time, I am imagining Aldo singing along to Morrissey’s “The more you ignore me, the closer I get…” and it’s creeping me out big time.

  10. Jonathan
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    Oh good lord. Family Circus just is not funny (although as I don’t get baseball at all – it is baseball, yes? Cricket’s betterl the games last three days! – so maybe I’m missing the joke.

    The Six Chix strip is lame – people get paid to write this? Can anyone be laughing at this crap?

    Spiderman contains dreadful grammar (it should be “it was me“, not ‘I’!).

    And the dialogue in Mary Worth is straight out of a poor attempt at 19th centruy drawing room drama. Who talks like that?! Pray tell, do.

    Very poor selection today :-(

  11. Chris
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, #10 Jonathan, but “It was I” is actually grammatically correct…the incorrect “It was me” has become accepted usage, even if not correct.

    I know, I know, language evolves, but subject/predicate rules still exist, don’t they?

  12. Anonymous
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    I actually thought little whats-his-name’s banner said “chubbies”. I really did. Maybe due to the appearance of Thel in her temptress-red stretch pants and sensible mauve wrap (rowwr!) and the subliminal “69″ at the top of dad’s program.

    Also, it would be excellent if someone were to photoshop that last MW panel to have Aldo saying “I’m crushing your head, I’m crushing your head” like that guy from Kids in the Hall


  13. Katal
    August 19th, 2006 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know why exactly, but I’m finding that Family Circus comic extremely depressing.

    Maybe it’s the gang of F.C. kids wandering into the greatest baseball stadium in America and only being interested in gum. Clearly they have no interest in the sporting match at hand.

    Or perhaps it’s that the entire family is attending, despite that, more than likely, only one of them is going to care about the game at all. Just look at the glazed look on the mother’s face.

    Or could it be, from the background, the middle-aged woman and her little son, who’s waving his own pennant?

    It’s probably that I’m too much of a baseball purist. I like to go to games for the sake of the game. And watching Bill Keane display Wrigley Field as nothing more than where parents take their bratty children for amusement makes me fear the day I ever lose my cyncism and have a family.

  14. Maughta
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    So TurtleBoy and I were out last night driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway (steep, narrow, dark and tree-lined), when I mentioned that it was getting a little dark and I was kinda worried about running into a deer. He then started to crowd me and tried to stick his tongue in my mouth. Weirdest Mark Trail re-enactment ever (fortunately we did not end up at the bottom of a cliff). We spend waaaay too much time at this site.

  15. Wha?
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    Why isn’t the F.C. dad wearing a Cub’s shirt like everyone else? Is he a White Sox fan or something? Or have they spent so much money on the trip that they just couldn’t afford one for him? Oh darn.

  16. Tommie’s Dream ”Date”
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    I’ve sort of had the feeling through this whole story that Aldo has been desperately trying to gesture hypnotically like Mandrake, and thus mesmerize Mary. Plus, shouldn’t he be saying, “Work it like a claw and call me Randy” when he gestures like that?

  17. dalton
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    Fenway rules, Wrigley drools!

  18. Trubbaman
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    Re: Six Chix–I actually thought this was a pretty good double entendre, e.g., he’s hoping to get laid by sending her all the flowers.

    Re: MW–just how old is Aldo supposed to be anyway? He has an unlimed face. Seems like he’s not just a stalker, he likes much older women. I’m sure there’s a term for that, like “Cougar”, but I don’t know what it is.

  19. Summerhouse
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    Aldo’s fingernail is amber in color, which would indicate quite an unpleasant fungus problem. (And I’d found him so attractive up till now!) I don’t know anything about coloring comics, but there must be a way to indicate fingernail prescence without an accompanying Rx for Lamasil.

  20. jakester
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    The ridiculous thing is to pretind this is somehow 1965 in Chicago, and Wrigley isn’t 99% drunken single adults who rarely come close to watching the game, instead doing their best to get laid, get their friends laid, or get laid by their friends…

  21. Fred P.
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    I have come to the belief- via conclusive proof obtained from repeated experiments utilising rolled-up newspapers- that the whole “spidey sense” phenomenon of Spiderman is a trait not shared by the majority of common domestic arachnids. When danger menaces-say, in the form of a rolled-up newspaper, most household spiders are content to sit around on webs and eat flies. Bam! Smack! hah! you’re one dead ass spider now, aren’t you, you little many-legged freak! In a word, “spidey-sense” is a bunch of hoo-hah!

    However, since Spider Man originally got his spider-powers from the bite of a radioactive spider, I felt that perhaps my experimental methodology was lacking in rigor. Maybe my personal kitchen spiders lacked sufficient radioactivity to pull off a halfway decent spider sense? What I needed, was I had to find me a radioactive spider! I was on a quest! I aimed to prove or disprove this whole “spidey sense” question once and for all! Now, since I don’t got any of the awesome WMD-type sources of radiation just laying around, I resorted to slinging my test spider into the microwave oven and giving little guy three minutes at HIGH.

    Well, long story short, my radioactive spider, well, frankly his reaction time seems a little sluggish.

    In fact, he don’t move much at all.

  22. King Dogmeat
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    Why do the FC kids, along with Mom, have such squashed heads? They’re twice as wide as they are high. Dad’s head is much closer to human proportions. What gives?

  23. Fred P.
    August 19th, 2006 at 4:55 pm [Reply]


    the term for that- I believe- is “Cubbie”.

  24. Frank Drackman
    August 19th, 2006 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    MW reminds me of an outerspace alien with that “Your Pursuit is futile” line. The best part of a game at Wrigley is watching unobservant fans get nailed with foulballs and an occasional bat. I want to see Daddy have a few Old Styles too many and get arrested for running out on the field. Mary seems to be enjoying Aldos pursuit a little too much. Theres plenty of 45-55 something divorcees outthere who’d be happy with a man of Aldos charms. I still think Dr. Jeff is up to no good in Cambodia.

  25. Meggie
    August 19th, 2006 at 5:12 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one bothered by the fact that this 50-year-old wants to bed a 100-year-old?

    I didn’t think so.


  26. TurtleBoy
    August 19th, 2006 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    #24: Oh no! Mary’s forgotten the magic words!: “Aldo! Klaatu barada nikto! Klaatu barado nikto!”

  27. weiser
    August 19th, 2006 at 6:34 pm [Reply]

    Don’t overlook the two birds in the last MW panel.
    I’m not sure if they’re there to provide some weird foreshadowing, protect Mary from all evil or to spy on her, and report back her philandering ways to Dr, Corey.

  28. Opus
    August 19th, 2006 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    #24 – and did you notice her Vulcan-esque ears in the second panel? Now I’m hearing Spock’s voice coming out of Mary’s mouth. Try it — it’s fun! “Your pursuit of me is futile….and illogical.”

  29. Ed Minchau
    August 19th, 2006 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    Has anyone else noticed how freakishly long Aldo’s finger is? Damn, that guy must have like two extra knuckles. And you know what they say about guys with long fingers (ie big mittens).

    Also, I strongly suspect that “Aldo Kelrast” is an anagram for “Loader Talks”. And it is quite a load about which MW incessantly talks, ain’t it. Could it be that they are fraternal twins, separated at birth? So now, not only is he a stalker, but an incestuous stalker.

    Damn you Josh, for making me find entertainment value in Mary Worth.

  30. Rose
    August 19th, 2006 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    This Aldo guy looks about twenty years younger than the scary, ugly hag. Why isn’t she thrilled?

  31. Foolster41
    August 19th, 2006 at 7:13 pm [Reply]

    Cubbies Is actually the little league team in chiacago I beleive, So the kid with the banner seens to be oblivious what team they are actually going to see play.

  32. Anonymous
    August 19th, 2006 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    30- hahaha, I hadn’t thought of it that way. And let’s face it, personality-wise, they’re in the same league.

  33. FleaBailey
    August 19th, 2006 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    #24 and #28–What I keep hearing is the old Borg refrain, “Resistance is futile.” Except Aldo isn’t the one using the word, Mary is, so the joke is just ruined anyway.

    It would have been pretty funny if Aldo said, “Resistance is futile, Mary.” But that’s Mary Worth for you, just crappy all over the place.

  34. Minivet
    August 19th, 2006 at 7:32 pm [Reply]

    Spidey: The Sunday strip has the butler speaking contemptuously of Spider-sense, so they haven’t forgotten about it — I expect there’ll be some half-assed explanation. In about three weeks, when he wakes up.

    Maybe his sense is actually radiation based — thus not working with lead! Great! Another opportunity for him to be made into a total wuss.

    10: “It was I” might be archaic-sounding now, but if you’ve got the chops to say the word “costumed cretin” seriously, you might as well use the overcorrect grammar too.

  35. Mordy
    August 19th, 2006 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    Does Hagar the Horrible have a new artist? Or has the current artist just broken up with his significant other and decided he needs to transform the futile Horrible marriage into a twisted mimicry of hell?

  36. ben
    August 19th, 2006 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    14: Weirdest Mark Trail re-enactment ever.

    Only Mark Trail re-enactment ever.

  37. worthless
    August 19th, 2006 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    Does Mary have a name tag on in panel 1? Does she work someplace like Walmart on the side?

  38. Aaron
    August 19th, 2006 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    I’m I the only one who looked at the second panel of Mary Worth and was reminded of the guy in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom who would shout some nonsensical words like, “Kali Mah!” before ripping out the hearts of his victims who miraculously remained alive afterward? Either that or Aldo is going to do some tweaking.

  39. Von Zeppelin
    August 19th, 2006 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    37–Mary indeed is wearing a nametag. This is her Cheer-bearing Hospital Volunteer Lady smock. What an indignity, that she should come home from her work of spreading jollity among the deserving sick to be confronted by this futile pursuer.

    Notice that Aldo’s eyes, fingernails, and hair are all the same color. Either he’s getting bad advice from his grooming consultant, or he is NOT OF THIS EARTH!!

  40. Occam
    August 19th, 2006 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    Our Sunday newspaper came with a reprint of the first “Spiderman” comic book–or what I suppose was the first one–outlining what a loser Peter Parker was to everyone except his aunt and uncle and his teachers. Then he gets bit by the radioactive spider, becomes a selfish prat, and because of said selfishness, his uncle is later killed. So he dedicates his life … blah blah blah.

    Supposedly, another “Spiderman” comic book reprint, furthering the early story, will appear in the Sunday papers for the next 20 weeks.

    Did anyone else get this “Spiderman” reprint? Is there some significance to doing a reprint of these comics?

    And best of all, in Sunday’s “Family Circus,” Thel’s boob speaks.

  41. Uncle Mike
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    I’m a newcomer here, and I apologize if this has been mentioned before, but is Mary being accosted by Captain Kangaroo?

  42. RoboMax
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:27 pm [Reply]

    Anyone else notice the apparent third breast on the blond girl in “six chix” ?

    It’s like total recall

  43. Dub Not Dubya
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:27 pm [Reply]

    Comment 12:

    Also, it would be excellent if someone were to photoshop that last MW panel to have Aldo saying “I’m crushing your head, I’m crushing your head” like that guy from Kids in the Hall SPOI

    I thought that was an excellent idea, so here ya go:

  44. Dub Not Dubya
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    Occam 40: Are you in Rhode Island? A newspaper here, the Woonsocket Call, is supposed to be running those Spiderman comic books. I don’t get the Call (different part of the state, and if you’re from here, you’ll understand what a hardship that is!) but saw an announcement of it on their website.

  45. yudantaiteki
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    The first panel of MW today is great. I love Mary’s pissed off look with her one eyebrow arched and finger cocked in derision, and the line “Your pursuit of me is futile!” Aldo looks like he’s reaching out to grab her finger.

    Then in the second panel, Aldo’s chest hair proves that it is untameable by normal means, suddenly blossoming out of his shirt in anticipation of the eventual catch.

  46. yellojkt
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    The spiders in Garfield don’t have much spidey sense either since even Garfield manages to whack them. Of course, just being in Garfield means you don’t have too much sense to begin with.

  47. Marion Delgado
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:39 pm [Reply]

    Josh should watch out. Peter parker reads this blog and my Spider Sense tells me he’s going to show up at Josh’s house and pee in his bean dip.

    with great bloghits comes great responsibility

  48. Renee J
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    Oh, my. I just realized that Wrigley’s Field is named after the gum. My excuse is that I’m not from Chicago.

  49. M. Brubeck
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    Everyone knows butlers’ super powers include entering and leaving rooms undetected, and appearing behind people from out of nowhere.

  50. Air Forbes
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    When danger menaces-say, in the form of a rolled-up newspaper, most household spiders are content to sit around on webs and eat flies.

    Fred P, both you and Hugo have discovered Spider-Man’s secret vulnerability; his arachno-kryptonite, if you will. Spidey-sense can not pick up immiment attacks from behind with cylindrical objects.

    Spidey really should have seen this coming earlier, though. Everybody knows it’s always the butler who did it.

  51. Cornwhacker
    August 19th, 2006 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    So, in a fight between Spidey and Garfield, who’d win?

  52. Occam
    August 19th, 2006 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    #44 Dub Not Dubya:

    Nope, I’m from the Other Coast–Oregon.

    I wonder how they’re picking and choosing which newspapers will get the Spiderman reprints?

  53. arachnophile
    August 19th, 2006 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    #52 All seven of the newspapers that still run the strip are producing them, I believe.

  54. Charterhead
    August 19th, 2006 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    If you watch the hands in MW closely, I think you will see they are racing to get a green gremlin out of the Captain’s nose. Because he won, he gets to wipe it on Mary’s collar.

  55. LB
    August 19th, 2006 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    21: LOL.

    38: i agree with the tweaking. The first thing I thought when I saw Aldo’s freakish fingers and the fact he wants to get closer to MW’s heart (which would involve being in the chest region) was him getting down and dirty……shudder.
    Plus I don’t get why the trees in the background change. Are they walking and talking? How can Aldo talk and walk sideways? Maybe that would also explain the claw-fingers: he’s a crab reincarnate.
    And call him Randy.

  56. treedweller
    August 19th, 2006 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    “Hi and Lois” blew my mind today. I’ve always had a vision of people in comics being like us, talking to and hearing each other, and the dialogue bubbles were added so readers could follow the action. But, based on the neighbor’s painting today, the bubbles appear in comics land, too, and people there must be reading each others’ words all the time.

    This is so amazing! It explains why Jon always knows what Garfield is “saying” even though Garfield always has thought balloons instead of dialogue. The insight almost makes up for the fact that the punchline is so terrible. I mean, of course she’s working on a still life; it’s a still life class! Lois is apparently taking a potshot at the quality of the work, since she’s standing right there and can see for herself what the subject is. One can hardly blame Neighbor Lady for giving her a sarcastic answer, but couldn’t the artist have come up with an actual joke?

  57. Desdemona
    August 19th, 2006 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    I need a shirt that says “Your pursuit of me is futile” to wear to bars, clubs, gallery openings, and etc. where the persistent and unattractive congregate and conspire to make my life a living hell. The shirt probably won’t work, but at least it can be considered fair warning for when more drastic measures are taken to convince them of my disinterest.

  58. AppleGirl
    August 19th, 2006 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    #13 – Katal, you summed up my feelings exactly. A visit to Wrigley Field is awesome when you’re a kid. The brattiness of the chewing gum fixation, along with the rah-rah souvenir purchases, peeves me.

  59. treedweller
    August 19th, 2006 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    Curtis obligingly numbs my overtaxed brain with the nonsequitur reaction of Carver in the last panel. I mean, it’s not like little Bro is breaking the news to him that Michelle threw the flowerpot, so why does Cletus look so surprised? It would have made as much sense if he’d done a spit take, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a beverage.

  60. Marc
    August 19th, 2006 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    TDIET – Hypocrisy at its best…”Why can’t he speak perfect English?!” I dunno Al Scaduto, Whyizzit that you can’t speak perfect..heh heh..English? I’ll hi-test you to the moon!

    MW – Wow, it’s multi-cultural week in Mary Worth what with the phrases in different languages…and here I thought the only places that exist in MW World were Santa Royale and Cambodia and the only races were white and canary yellow. Well Moy and Giella, you sure put me in my place! And look! A lesbian couple holding hands! My head is spinning from all of the real-world references today!!

  61. Impetua
    August 19th, 2006 at 11:31 pm [Reply]

    Okay, I’m still grossing out over the “mustache ride” reference in yesterday’s post…


  62. moe99
    August 19th, 2006 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    Hate to be a broken record, but I think that fake doc in RMMD is gonna get shot by psycho woman when the police try to nab her. Both are gonna die. Nothing like 3 homicides in less than 3 months in a ‘family’ strip…..

  63. Anonymous
    August 19th, 2006 at 11:43 pm [Reply]

    I think MonkeyHawk deserves an Honorable Mention in the Pluggers/TDIET contest. His TDIET bluetooth idea hasn’t made it to the strip yet AFAIK, but today Pluggers comes very close.

  64. monkeyhawk
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:16 am [Reply]

    I’m humbled.

    It’s not every day you receive an Anonymous Honorable Mention.

  65. treedweller
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    Oops, that was me, monkeyhawk. Didn’t mean to diminish your glory by failing to admit who I was. And I’m back with another example of how ahead of the curve you are: Flo and Friends

  66. mumbles
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    MW: Well, if you were to ask me which comic character would be the most likely to use “Capisce”, well, I guess Mary Worth would fall around Jeffy from Family Circus, and Grandpa Balls-on-Chin from FOOB. Glad I didn’t take those odds.

    JP:…speaking of mafioso tough talk, I always wondered what a stereotypical smoke-filled back room looked like. One gay smear campaign on the way, right after the illegal K-Street (or their little town’s equivalent) poker-game-with-lobbyists is over. What they don’t know is – Randy works it like a claw. Now THAT’s the stuff of a smear campaign.

    FW: Man, what a head-scratcher. This strip ain’t funny usually, but at least there’s a wan-humor-behind-the-cancer/Iraq war/diarrhea-filled wedding thing going on. This strip doesn’t even rise to that level….unless they’re setting us up for this poor woman’s death by falling down the Grand Canyon. Well, at least Crankshaft would have a big hearty mean-spirited laugh at it all.

  67. jailbird
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:39 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth is getting pissed! I must chuckle with glee at Sunday’s strip. The fists of fury are out! That, and she’s radiating some kind of anger-glow in that last panel. Could it be from that tuna casserole she ate earlier? Maybe high levels of mercury and radioactive waste?

  68. ben
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    I wish women did say things like “your pursuit of me is futile”. It would save me a lot of loitering around in parking lots.

  69. Commander Cosmos
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    Whether Sunday’s “Spider-Man” addresses the Spider-sense issue or not, I would like to say that I had a flashback to a Spidey storyline that began in late 1996. In it, Spider-Man catches a pickpocket, but decides to let him go. And guess what? Because Spider-Man failed to stop the criminal, Peter Parker suffered later on. So, yeah, things like “powers” and “motivation” and “history” and “common sense” go right out the window in “Spider-Man: The Comic Strip.”

    (Seriously, it’s like reading a “Batman” story in which he takes a night off and a kid’s parents get killed, and Batman thinks, “Wow — didn’t see THAT coming.”)

  70. Occam
    August 20th, 2006 at 1:08 am [Reply]

    #69 Commander Cosmos:

    Brother! Talk about someone not learning from their mistakes! The “let the crook go and suffer for it later” plot was EXACTLY the one in the reprint issue in today’s Sunday paper, supposedly the very first “Spiderman” plot: Parker was so bent out of shape about the way most people treated him that after he became Spiderman, he failed to help a policeman stop a crook and said crook later murdered Spiderman’s uncle–Parker lives with his uncle and aunt.

    I guess you CAN go home again, in the comics anyway. Again and again and again ….

  71. Da Scrodfather
    August 20th, 2006 at 1:58 am [Reply]

    Soooo. . . no one else thinks Aldo is going for the old nippie pinch? Or would his hands have to be a LOT lower on Mary to accomplish that?

  72. Sister Bunny
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    You do realize, that a little caffeine completely whacks out Spiderman’s Spidey Sense.

    Or so I’ve heard.

  73. Sister Bunny
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:42 am [Reply]


    Desdemona, I saw a t-shirt in the emergency room that said, “STOP LOOKING AT MY CHEST!”“, I figured all her other clothes must have been in the wash.

    I know, I know. Meow Meow.

  74. rich
    August 20th, 2006 at 4:00 am [Reply]

    43: Dub, even with you explaining the joke beforehand, I still howled when I clicked on it!

    44: The Spider-Man giveaways seem to be in all the Murdoch papers: Sun-Times, Boston Herald, NY Post. They’re not necessarily in the papers that still carry the daily strip (Boston Globe, for instance). I don’t know what it’s meant to promote — is Spider-Man 3 imminent?

  75. rich
    August 20th, 2006 at 4:15 am [Reply]

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned the terrible writing-in-service-of-a-pun in Saturday’s FBorFW. The aunt — no, I will not learn her name! — tells April don’t go work at the vet’s office, “We need you here as a hired hand!”

    Hired hand? They’re paying her? Hired hand? That’s how she refers to her visiting niece?

    Oh wait, here’s why. Purely so that April can wrap it up with this hilarious kneeslapper — “It’s okay, Auntie Bev! I’ve got two of them!”

    “Realistic strip,” my ass.

    (Oh crap…guess I did learn her name!)

  76. Jonathan
    August 20th, 2006 at 5:55 am [Reply]

    #11 Chris – don’t make me ask you to step outside…

    ‘It’ is the subject, therefore the person saying the sentence is the object, which means ‘It was me’ is the only correct way of saying the sentence…
    Similarly ‘that was me’, not ‘that was I’. If, however, he’d said ‘I was that person’, while a little clumsier, he could have legitimately used the first person subject form of the pronoun oh my god I can’t believe I’m typing this.

    See ‘Eats, shoots and leaves’ by my fellow Brightonian Lynne Truss for more. She explains it much better.

    Sod that, it’ll take too long. Wanna fight? ;-)

  77. Marion Delgado
    August 20th, 2006 at 6:56 am [Reply]

    All “is” (being, linking, intransitive) verbs technically take the nominative case on both sides. “It is I, it was I” etc.are logical, therefore, because the 2nd pronoun is a predicate nominative. Linguistically.

    But English is a French-influenced language. colloquially it’s become “it’s me” a long time ago. c’est moi. And Mencken argued that transitive and intransitive had no meaning in English.

    The It is He It Is I has always meant some kind of stilted Royal Talk. Everyone says it’s him, it’s me, and so on.

  78. compass rose
    August 20th, 2006 at 7:36 am [Reply]

    #67 MW
    In the Sunday morning quiet I sat with my cup of tea reading the comics and I saw those two Fists of Fury and the Anger-Glow and thought to myself, “HIT HIM, MARY! DO IT! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!, HIT HIM NOW!”
    Then I went outside to trim the roses….

  79. angry black woman
    August 20th, 2006 at 7:50 am [Reply]

    I have to say that I LOVE the energy bubble Mary Worth is building up around her head. The more Aldo talks, the more energy he gives it until Mary is forced to release, Samus Aran style, disintegrating him and all parts of Charterstone in its path. That will be a glorious day.

    This is obviously why those two girls are looking so worried in panel three. they’ve seen the awesome destruction of the energy bubble and want no part of it.

  80. Maughta
    August 20th, 2006 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    You fools! You’re missing the opportunity to TAKE SPIDEY’S MASK OFF!!! He’s freakin’ unconscious! Sheesh.

  81. Sheila
    August 20th, 2006 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    I can’t stand it. It’s bad enough that all sorts of comics include those STUPID, LAME golf jokes — cavemen playing golf! Vikings playing golf! medieval kings playing golf! — but now I’m expected to believe that Beetle Bailey’s SARGE plays golf? (check the clutter in his room today) Oh, come on!

    Hey cartoonists — maybe YOU have infinite leisure time that you’re happy to while away in a pointless, boring activity, but it does NOT resonate with 99.9% of your readers! Why not tell us about your fantasy football team while you’re at it, sheesh.

  82. Sheila
    August 20th, 2006 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    For the record, saying “It is I” comes from one of those prescriptive grammar “rules” that are based on Latin rather than English. (Like not ending a sentence with a preposition — common in English, unknown in Latin. Or not splitting an infinitive — you CAN’T split a Latin infinitive, it’s a single word!) These all got foisted onto English in, oh, the 18th century? during the rise of the middle class. All those newly affluent people trying to learn higher-class manners and how to “talk right”. At any rate, by now the Latinate “rules” have tradition behind them, so knock yourself out if you want to follow them.

    BUT if you’re just looking at English as she is spoke, “It’s me” is what people say, and that there is an oblique case like French “lui”. So there :^)

  83. TurtleBoy
    August 20th, 2006 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    Has anyone else checked out the magnificent hover cars they’ve got up in Lynn Johnston’s Canada? Sunday’s FBOFW’s got Saint Michael chooglin’ down the highway in some sort of tricked-out Ford Aspire that never seems to come in contact with the ground. Ditto the police cruiser in pursuit…unless the hovering’s due to the residual effect of Mike’s angelic buoyancy, drawing him ever heavenward.

  84. MossMoses
    August 20th, 2006 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Yesterday’s Mark Trail was hilarious. Apparently, Buck had considered the safety issues of having a toy bear sit in the passenger seat of his truck but there is no room whatsoever in the truck bed for a cage since it is already filled past capacity with the many props needed for the travelling circus bear show he runs. The best part is how the miniature dwarf bear emerges from the accident unscathed, paw on forehead, with a “what th’” expression on her face. She may wander off from the crash scene and be pursued by teddy bear poachers, even though bears that size (the kind that don’t exist in the real world) don’t have much bile for the Asian market. .

  85. Ohyes
    August 20th, 2006 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: I suppose some naturalists would consider a captive performing bear, isolated from its fellow creatures and woodland home, shlepped from shopping mall to shopping mall in a truck, to be the subject of cruel and inhumane treatment.

    But that’s not so – Buck lets her ride in the front seat.

  86. Monkey's Paw
    August 20th, 2006 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    Does anyone else keep imagining Aldo responding “Resistance is futile!” to Mary’s line there? His hands are moving to her neck in panel 2 so he can inject his Borg probe.

  87. Air Forbes
    August 20th, 2006 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    #51: Garfield, by knockout in the first round. Probably wouldn’t take more than his standard newspaper.

    #66: You’ve just made me realize why Crankshaft is so darn, er, cranky all the time. Look at the world he has to live in! Sure he was a nicer guy at one time, but 70 years of this have taken their toll.

    For the record, Crankshaft did do the Alzheimer’s storyline, so hopefully FW won’t go there too. Good times!

    #68: Um, if you’re hanging around parking lots to meet women, I think it goes without saying your pursuit is futile. I think I see the problem with your approach. :-)

  88. Air Forbes
    August 20th, 2006 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    MT: Does anyone else have Simon Smith and The Amazing Dancing Bear stuck in their head now? Must be the week for Randy Newman songs.

  89. DonnaJ
    August 20th, 2006 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Katal is right. You really shouldn’t take your bratty children to the ballpark. I know when I take my kids to Miller Park they start drooling and asking for beer. Next thing ya know they are pursuing and pollinating old ladies and I gotta bean them over the head with a lead pipe and drag their asses outta there.

  90. Frank Drackman
    August 20th, 2006 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    Wrigley FIeld is actually in a toney High Income section of North Chicago. I always imagined drunken bleacher bums, but its mostly stock brokers,lawyers,medical students, who for some reason actually enjoy the teams long record of futility. For all the focus on the celebs in the box seats, Dodger stadium has a much more low class bottle throwing clientele. Doesnt the FC clan live in Phoenix? why don’t they ever go to Diamondback games?

  91. Dingo
    August 20th, 2006 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    If you think of Aldo as Ashton Kuchner and Mary Worth as Demi Moore, it makes more sense.

  92. BrianC
    August 20th, 2006 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    “It was I , you costumed cretin.”

    …He said over the unconscious Spiderman.

  93. Dingo
    August 20th, 2006 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    Frank Drackman, did you ever or do you live in Chicago? Wrigley Field is not in North Chicago, a community in the North Shore area of Illinois’ portion of Lake Michigan. Wrigley Field lies in the heart of Wrigleyville, a neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. I lived seven blocks west of Wrigley Field for ten years (’90 – ’00) and four blocks east for two (’86 – ’88). While there has been condo development in the past few years, the neighborhood is still known for its mix of bungalows, two-flats, and greystones amidst the four-in-ones. Yes, Cub fans love the ballpark, not the team. There’s a difference to Wrigley that no other modern ballpark shares. It’s still a field in an actual neighborhood. You can leave work at lunchtime, catch the Red Line north to Addison, step off and walk a block west to a ball game.

    I’ve just never forgiven them for putting lights in.

    Oh, and I’m a blue-collar guy.

  94. Anonymous
    August 20th, 2006 at 11:37 am [Reply]

  95. treedweller
    August 20th, 2006 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    dammit, that was me and I forgot my .

    but you get the idea.

  96. treedweller
    August 20th, 2006 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    UGH– . . . forgot my “end href” tag.

    just remembered–re: FOOB–another reason to be a proud american. In this country, we have a court system to pass judgment and levy fines, to avoid the potential abuse of power that inevitably must result from this canadian cop-as-jury system. “Well, ma’am, I can fine you up to $200, but I’ll just make it ten loonies if you come back to my car for a little roadside action, eh?”

  97. Brent
    August 20th, 2006 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    #48: Strictly speaking Wrigley Field isn’t named for the gum, it’s named for the guy who owned the team for a long time, P.K. Wrigley. He also happened to own this chewing gum company. He also used to own a minor league team in Los Angeles and the stadium there was also called Wrigley Field. Now if they were in Houston’s Minute Maid Park and Billy asked if they were going to get some orange juice it would be about a huge corporate entity bla bla bla…

  98. dadzilla
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    recently read a sports poll about the cost of taking a family of four to a pro ballgame. Boston was the most expensive – 4 med price tkts, 2 programs, 4 hot dogs, 4 drinks and a souvenier…..$276.00

  99. Mary Brandt
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    I just couldn’t let today’s Luann go. Luann’s line in the last panel, “Why am I always the straight guy?!”, was just too precious to let slip by. Couple that with the fact that Bernice is apparently grabbing Delta’s boob in the middle panel, and I think we have the most obviously gay Luann strip since Aaron left.


  100. Frank Drackman
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    Dingo, I love Wrigley Field, the times I’ve gone have been with frequent flyer miles. I think the neighborhoods changed since 2000 however, all those gays move in and fix up the old dumps. I’m a surgeon, and I can’t afford to live there. The cool thing about Wrigley is how few kids actually are there. There are no cute mascots or other distractions for the brats, except for the rare times when the bleacher fans do the alternating “Left field(right field) SUCKS chants”.

  101. Frank Drackman
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Of course I’m still gettin over my childhood trauma of sitting in the upper deck at Shea stadium in the early 70′s. No souveneirs pennants for this kid. “YOU DON”T NEED A SCORECARD, THEY TELL YOU WHOS UP ON THE SCOREBOARD DUMBASS!!”
    “YOU KNOW WHAT THEY CHARGE FOR FOOD AT THE BALL PARK?? WE’LL EAT WHEN WE GET HOME” and we NEVER left the game early,even when the Mets were losin 21-0,,check out wrigley field sometime,,its 1/2 empty by the 6th inning.

  102. dadzilla
    August 20th, 2006 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    I’m a newcomer to this site and here is my problem. I live in a small town…Las Cruces, NM and the local paper’s comic section is almost non-existent. What is a good site to see all the major strips on a daily basis? I’ve been using the site from the Houston Chronicle & it’s not too bad. thanks for any help on this.

  103. Ianscot
    August 20th, 2006 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    Sheila (81, 82),

    Golf is second only to the existential horrors of marriage among subjects for our American cartoon artists. One wonders why we don’t see more plotlines about golf causing divorces.

    But getting to my larger purpose: you’ve anticipated my small pedantry about split infinitives, supplying more wit and erudition than I could ever have offered along the way. I love you. (Note proper pronoun use.)

  104. Poteet
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    #96 FBOFW — From what I’ve read of Michael’s actual “yack yack” conversation, I would have thrown open the passenger door and leaped from the car in desperation long before it reached the speed limit. I just hope we won’t be subjected to further examples of his written prose style. Those excerpts from his “humorous” article about the Kelpfroths…arrrgh.

  105. Tommie’s Dream ”Date”
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    #98: Well, I’m sure it’s a very nice souvenir.

    When I used to go to Fenway in the 70s the amount of sheer drunken loutishness and overall filthiness would drive any parents who wanted to protect their kids. Hit it, Rico!

  106. Tommie’s Dream ”Date”
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    Obviously, I meant “would drive away any parents who wanted to protect their kids.”

  107. Dingo
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    dadzilla, along with the Houston Chronicle use and the Washington Post. The Post and Chronicle will give you most of what is discussed on this site.

  108. Dingo
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    Why do I imagine the true Tommie’s dream date to be a woman who would make me think, “With her here standing in Apartment 3-G, somewhere in Texas is a county missing a lesbian sheriff”?

    Won’t someone throw a silky, unshaven hamhock over Tommie in a moment of slumber and help her find that sweet mystery of life?

  109. Anonymous
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    #43 (Dub) Coffee snort! If any of you folks haven’t seen the skit this is based on, you owe it to yourself to seek it out (Holy cow, am I talking like Mary Worth?)

    #86 (MonkeyPaw) Um, how about we add “Aldo’s Borg Probe” to the list of things we agree never to speak of again (along with “Mary Worth Mustache Ride” and “Bovine Speculum”)


  110. Anonymous
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    Not to mention: “silky unshaven hamhock”…

  111. LittleGuy
    August 20th, 2006 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    Or just say it, Mary:

    “That is ENOUGH, Aldo! I’ve had it with this %^&#@& stalking in my #^@*^*@ strip!”

  112. rich
    August 20th, 2006 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    109, Anonymous, I have to ask: What does SPOI stand for? And if you’re SPOI, why does your tag read Anonymous? Just wonderin’.

  113. mumbles
    August 20th, 2006 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    105: I spent a fair amount of my adolesence in the bleachers of Fenway Park (watching the games, not other stuff….) Between Bob Stanley stabbing the crap out of our beach balls, drunks eating garbage the crowd threw at them, chowdaheads hitting on skanky girls for post-game brews at the Cask and Flagon, well, as the credit card commercial goes – pricless.

  114. Dingo
    August 20th, 2006 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    mumbles, did you mean to write “priceless” or “prickless”? After all, it’s Boston.

  115. Treadwell
    August 20th, 2006 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    If you folks would forgive a geek getting this off his chest…

    It’s “spider sense” not “spidey sense”, and Spider-Man is spelled with a hyphen and two capitals.

    Ah, there, that’s better.

    You may now resume spelling this stuff however you darn well please, just as you were going to do anyway. ;)

  116. Commander Cosmos
    August 21st, 2006 at 3:16 am [Reply]

    Hey, I understand, Treadwell — I work as a newspaper editor and had a day off during the one day my paper ran an article about Comic-Con in San Diego. The photo cutline said something like “A man dressed as Spiderman asks questions during a panel at Comic-Con”…and the spelling of “Spider-Man” was moot anyway, since the guy was dressed as the Scarlet Spider. I spent the whole next day at work thinking, “I should have been here…I could have prevented this…”

  117. LB
    August 21st, 2006 at 3:43 am [Reply]

    I want a t-shirt with ‘Costumed Cretin’ written across the front.

  118. Pozzo
    August 21st, 2006 at 8:19 am [Reply]

    #56: I was thinking the same thing re: “Hi & Lois” — can neighbor lady (I can never remember her name, but she serves the same function in H&L that Betty Rubble does in “The Flintstones” and Trixie does in “The Honeymooners”) see the “Z” above her drunk, lazy husband’s head? I think not, since the “Z” in the portrait is a different color than the “Z” in the painting. I think she’s making an ironic comment on her husband’s condition, though it would have been more obvious it had been in a different position than the “real-life” Z.

    As to the lack of a punchline, I think she’s using the phrase “Still Life” to refer to the “going nowhere” aspect of her life with Alkie McLazybones. Not a good joke, I’ll admit, but at least it’s an attempt.

  119. big_old_geek
    August 21st, 2006 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Today both Family Circus and Grin and Bear it make references that can only be from the 50′s. How the hell woudl the Family Circus kids know about Capone and Elliott Ness and what kid plays cowboy and calls people “Pilgrim”? John Wayne is DEAD. Dead, dead, dead. and has been for 25-ish years.

    Jeez. Maybe the Pearls Before Swine rule to make cartoon characters appear their actual age SHOULD be made a law.

  120. SmartPeopleOnIce
    August 21st, 2006 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    #112 (rich) 109, Anonymous, I have to ask: What does SPOI stand for? And if you’re SPOI, why does your tag read Anonymous? Just wonderin’.

    SPOI is me (or is it: “SPOI is I”? Oh crap, here come the English police…)

    If I’m not posting from my own machine, I post as Anonymous because the public site terminals at the university library won’t let me clear my Username from the AutoForms thingy. Then, someone happens upon the CC website on that machine, and then the next thing you know BAM! unfunny things are being posted using my name (yeah, like THATs never happened :-) )

  121. Mountain Mama
    August 21st, 2006 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    All your pursuits are belong to us.

  122. rich
    August 22nd, 2006 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    120: Ohh! Thanks! I’d looked online but all I could find was

    “Security Plans, Operations and Intelligence”


    “Signalling Point of Interface”

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