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Coming soon: The Toby Cameron award for stalking prevention

Mark Trail, 9/10/06

I have to wonder how bona fide hero Dennis Stazer felt after hearing that he was the recipient of a “Mark Trail award.” My guess: Confused. Very, very confused. I’m betting that Mark Trail readers make up a relatively small portion of the population, and so most of the ten recipients so far have probably been pretty baffled by it. I’m tempted to spend all my time listening to NOAA radio so that I can rescue people, and thus the next award will go to someone who really appreciates it.

Or is that exactly what the NOAA wants?

On the plus side for Dennis, I’m guessing he’s the one being depicted in the bottom left panel as a calm, blond-haired, muscle-bound superman, and not as a dark-haired fleeing coward. Speaking of cowards, that puppy seems pretty terrified by the radio noise, while the bear in the second panel is regarding that tornado more with annoyance than anything else.

I’d post more comics tonight, people, but it’s my first wedding anniversary, and I’m going to go eat frozen wedding cake with my lovely wife instead. The fact that I’m posting comics at all may be sort of a problem.

Mmmm… frozen wedding cake.

124 responses to “Coming soon: The Toby Cameron award for stalking prevention”

  1. Dub Not Dubya
    September 10th, 2006 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    Happy Anniversary, Josh and Amber!

  2. Uncle Lumpy
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    Happy Anniversary!

    Oh, yeah!

  3. Tukla in Iowa
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:09 pm [Reply]

    NOAA made my dog pee!

    Happy anniversary, suck…um, you lucky guy!

  4. Freezer
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Mary: Yes, Aldo, YES! Strike them down with your anger! Resist the platitudes! Let the Stalk Side flow through you!

  5. Kenny
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    Wow, congratulations, Josh!

  6. Doug Puthoff
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    How about the “Real-Life Adventures” Award for the prevention of humor in comics?

  7. Burton
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    Can I refer to you collectively as “Jamber?” I’ll assume that yes, yes I can.

    Happy anniversary, Jamber!

  8. Von Zeppelin
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    Happy anniversary, enjoy the cake. You may leave the rest of us to contemplate MT.

    First panel: “Poor Molly doesn’t understand why the tornado is angry at her. . .”

    Panels 3-5: Mark fascinates his dog, the local waterfowl, and a moose with the story of the NOAA awards.

    Panels 7-8: D. L. Johnson, director of the National Weather Service, converses with Mark Trail, while wondering when the word will get out to Lost Forest that hair greased down with Brylcreem is no longer fashionable.

  9. Bill Peschel
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    Congratulations. It’s all downhill from here.

    Kidding! I’m kidding! (Hi, honey!)

    Anyway, it’s a shame that Dennis doesn’t make a specific appearance (you’re assuming he’s in the panel as the Nordic rescuer, but he’s not blond at all). They should have Mark congratulating him in the last panel, instead of engaging in mutual admiration with Gen. D.L. Johnson of the NOAA.

  10. Bill Peschel
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    I see my post got through, but I did get this error message you may need to get looked at:

    “Regex ID: 2703 ( appears to be an invalid regex string! Please fix it in the Blacklist control panel.”

    More information on Regex ID errors can be found on the Internet.

  11. Uncle Lumpy
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    Lonely Molly tries to kiss the tornado, and her tongue is swept away!

  12. Marc
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    Congrats, Josh!

    I like how in Mark Trail, the dog in panel three is farting “EEEEEEE.”

  13. Andy
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:24 pm [Reply]


  14. AppleGirl
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:28 pm [Reply]

    Happy Anniversary, Josh!
    Many thanks to your beautiful wife Amber for being such a great inspiration to you, and for putting up with all of us comix-addicts here.

  15. Doug Puthoff
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    Dang it’s been at least two weeks since we’ve seen the line “You can find information about _______ on the Internet.” in Mark Trail. Maybe Elrod is reading is blog

  16. AppleGirl
    September 10th, 2006 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail Award:
    FIRST PRIZE – A luncheon in Washington, D.C.
    SECOND PRIZE – TWO luncheons in Washington, D.C.!

    Thank you ladies and gentlemen and don’t forget to tip your waitress.

  17. monkeyhawk
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    My ex- had an aunt or something who’d survived like a dozen tornados (grew up in Nebraska, retired in Kansas; she was a regular tornado magnet…the Human Trailer Park). Several years ago, we gave her a NOAA radio and she was hooked, although the voice-simulation software distrubed her; she was always talking about “that foreign man with the funny accent” reading her the forecasts and warnings. The lady was prepared for disaster. Three well-stocked (and frequently restocked) freezers. They could outlaw the sale of food in Topeka tomorrow and Aunt Vera wouldn’t notice for years (or until Aldo gets his come-uppance, which ever comes later).

  18. Dub Not Dubya
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    I stumbled across the lost episode of Mary Worth from this past week that explains the real reason why Aldo was so upset when he saw who was waiting for him in Mary’s condo:

    (The Photoshop is so-so at best, but I tried….)

  19. Sheila
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    Not to post distractions when Josh is trying to have a romantic evening, but did anybody “get” Family Circus today? Daddy Keane is talking to his invisible friends and having apparent mood swings in a car — when he gets out, he’s oddly truncated (is there a new artist involved?), and some sort of quadruped is fleeing, perhaps in terror. WTF? is all I can say.

  20. Sheila
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    P.S. I’ve been out of town for days and days — I just got back, and am disgusted to find my Aldomania T-shirt has not yet arrived. Could my life suck any more?

  21. Dingo
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    Monkeyhawk, I, too, had an aunt to whom we referred as the Human Trailer Park but for entirely different reasons. Mary Worth currently is inducing yawns in me. Where’s Rita? I need a rehabbed Rita in a Bob Mackie gown, surrounded by yellowish men from the bowery area of Santa Royale, to storm into Mary’s pad, grab Aldo by the collar, and sneer at him, “Be my lover. I don’t bathe, so there’s no worry of me slipping in the tub. I don’t eat, so you’ll never wake up staring at the sunrise over a cellulitic thigh like you would with Mary. Let us drink! Let us drink in the love that obsessiveness over a dead child/wife/relative/realtor can give. Away with me, my hirsute harridan!” Or something like that.

    I still keep thinking somehow this is gonna end with Dr. Jeff Cory coming back and giving Aldo the rectal exam of all rectal exams.

  22. Bookworm
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    Thought this one might be interesting to Mark Trail readers:

    It will only be pertinent through Sept 15, though.

  23. 2fs
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    Congratulations, you two. I can only assume Amber has that big grin because you’re not poking a pistol into her back, you big ape.

    Anyway: once again, the mainstream comics outlets censor the work of the true artists, ma-an, so I present to you Aldo’s actual snide comment in the penultimate panel of Sunday’s MW.

  24. cvk
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    I looked at that lovely wedding photo of Josh and Amber and thought, “holy crap! Amber and mon-ma-tron are ONE AND THE SAME!!” But then I looked back two days and no, no they’re not. Both lovely, though!

  25. Heckler123
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    #20 – Why yes, your life could suck any more. You could find out your unemployed husband had been sneaking money out of your bank account and using it to have good times with prostitutes. This happened to me last year, and he is now my ex-husband.

    On the bright side, some people seem to be very happily married. Frozen wedding cake can be very tasty. Congrats, Josh and Amber!

  26. treedweller
    September 10th, 2006 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    OK, yeah, happy anniversaary and all that.

    But if you won’t bring up A3G, I must. To recap:

    “I’m glad you and Lucy are seeing a counselor. I’m sure talking helps,” says Tommie.

    “Sometimes. I guess I’m not very good at it. That’s what Lucy said,” Ted replies.

    He continues: “Wow . . . ” and smiles.

    Tommie replies, “Mmmmm . . . ” and then Ted thinks, “with some people, words aren’t necessary.

    Yes. I could just link to the strip, but I had to see it written out like this to confirm what I suspected:

    Whatever it is that Lucy finds Ted to be bad at, Tommie thinks he does it very well. And Ted can shift emotional gears like nobody I’ve ever seen.

  27. Beasley
    September 10th, 2006 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    So great you “ate the frozen cake”! Me ‘n Lisa have been doing the same thing for years now. Nice to know you have the same tradition. :)

  28. Mighty Sam
    September 10th, 2006 at 11:04 pm [Reply]

    Happy Anniversary!

    It’s now just over four years for The Wife and me, and it only gets better every single day. We wish the same to you.

  29. bonnach
    September 10th, 2006 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    Josh is a zombie!! mmmmm …. brains. Delicious brains!

  30. Melan Blue
    September 10th, 2006 at 11:17 pm [Reply]

    Happy anniversary! Also, your wife is very pretty. Have fun!

  31. wocket
    September 10th, 2006 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    Josh has a blog that he updates religiously…
    So religiously, in fact, that he’ll update it on really important days, erm, well, y’see, like so…
    (panel of Josh updating his blog while his wife stands in the background, naggingly asking “whadja get for our anniversary honey?”)

    …OH YEAH!

  32. mumbles
    September 10th, 2006 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    Congrats Josh! Great photo too.

    Seguing to a less appealing couple:

    FOOB: Wow, nothing gets the ladies in the mood better than a chat over your subpoenas. And to the poster a few posts ago who mused whether Lizzard could be pulling a Farrah-Fawcett-in-”Extremities”, well, they’re certainly laying that groundwork.

    (Oh, and btw, I don’t think it was a good idea for these two dopes to talk about this. The first question the defense lawyer will ask is whether you discussed your subpoena with anyone…..ah, coordinating stories, Mr. Granthony? D’oh!)

  33. renton
    September 10th, 2006 at 11:32 pm [Reply]

    Eating the Frozen Cake?

    Is that the kids are calling it these days?

  34. Dr. Enigma
    September 10th, 2006 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    Josh has the opportunity to “eat frozen wedding cake” (a convoluted euphemism, but hey, I’ll play along) with his totally hot wife and he still works in some Mark Trail goodness? With that kind of devotion, it’s no wonder some of us won’t stop visiting Comics Curmudgeon until the methadone kicks in.

    Happy anniversary Josh and Amber, and for God’s sake you’d better not be reading this until late Monday morning.

  35. mon-ma-tron
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    Happy Anniversary!

    (you’re supposed to thaw the cake before you eat it!)

  36. Air Forbes
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    Presumably, Dennis instructed them to RUN FOR HIGHER GROUND. Actually, underground, in this case.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has an older relative who is wigged out by the NOAA weather radio cyborg.

  37. Mibbitmaker
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    Above MT: The last panel has Mark being congratulated for “his” work, while the Jack Elrod ball’s silently communicating, “Ahem! A-HEM!! Hello…actual person responsible for the cartoon guy you’re awarding, here! Real person! Actual NOAA booster! Not being awarded here! Ahem!!!…”

  38. Mibbitmaker
    September 11th, 2006 at 1:14 am [Reply]


    FOOB: So, with Liz, the proper punishment for cheating on her is getting beat up (a cheating beating), so, therefore, the proper penalty for abusive stalking is getting *killed*! Liz Patterson, Vigilante. Even Everett True is backing away re-e-eal slowly…

    A3G: Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Red flag on THAT one! And, Ted, don’t be surprized to receive a visit from Liz Patterson very soon.

    BBailey: A pillow/pie duel. Yet, somehow, Beetle will still end up in a mangled heap on the ground afterward.

    FW: Needless to say, this’ll be the last smiles we’ll see in this strip all week.

    Curtis: Way to beat even that 9/11 miniseries for most awkward exploitation of this day, Billingsley. What next, his mom getting bad info on a waking up for school incident in another apartment, only to barge in on some angry dweller of said apartment? (And, yes, I’ll get the Wiley award for most contrived Iraq allegory ever)

  39. AppleGirl
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:44 am [Reply]

    A3G – As of today, it’s officially been a GREAT summer. Tommie changed back into her pale pink dress, and it seems to be working for her! In a big way! Yes! That looks like a loooong kiss. You GO girl!

    All winter we will be forced to follow her heartbreak and remorse over this affair, so we better enjoy her “recklessness” while we can!

  40. AppleGirl
    September 11th, 2006 at 3:04 am [Reply]

    23 – Hahaha, that’s perfect, 2fs. Good catch on that one!

  41. johnw
    September 11th, 2006 at 3:39 am [Reply]

    Happy anniversary, Jamber and Mosh… and rememer the wisdom of Ted: “With some people, words aren’t necessary.” Yes, just follow the teachings of Ted, and you will be assured of a long happy relationship.

    MT 9/10: So we have two panels of background on NOAA Radio (one of the most irritating forms of audio this side of the Universal Time Clock), two panels congratulating one of this year’s winners, and FOUR panels of self-promotion. Nice ratio. Did Jack Elrod dislocate a shoulder while furiously patting his own back? (If so, will the art get even worse for a few weeks?)

    JP 9/10: Here’s hoping the “evil” candidate ups the ante by hiring a consultant who looks suspiciously like Karl Rove.

    RMMD 9/10: Wowee, another fizzled storyline. After weeks of foreshadowings, their kid isn’t sick at all. I’m disappointed… and to judge by the last panel, so is their dog: “Damn, she’s not gonna die. Great. Maybe if I give her a nice big bite, I can give her rabies.”

    Phantom 9/10: I realize this strip isn’t big on internal logic, but… in panel 4 he says “Just keep smiling, Diana, and we’ll learn more.” Three panels later, he’s got a glare on his face that could shatter glass. Hey, superhero: Keep smiling!

  42. NightRaven
    September 11th, 2006 at 4:09 am [Reply]

    I’m not even gonna comment on todays horrible exploitation and hypocrisy in todays Mallard Fillmore, but (oh, wait, I did, didn’t I) I managed to click on the link on Chron that took me to this page:
    “about the characters”.
    So, Mallard has actually had a plot once ? And supporting cast ? And even a “smart liberal” ?
    Wow, what happened ?

  43. Erik
    September 11th, 2006 at 4:23 am [Reply]

    A very happy one year anniversary to you. Enjoy that cake. Hopefuuly it doesn’t have too much freezer-burn.

  44. Mysterio
    September 11th, 2006 at 4:46 am [Reply]


    Yes, Chantelle is the “smart” liberal of the MF cast. Notice how she doesn’t pop up very often? Also, notice that in spite of all her good qualities, Mallard still feels distain towards her attitudes.
    The only supporting chars. who still show up consistantly are Mr. Noseworthy (Bruce’s standby strawman whenever he doesn’t feel like trotting out Generic Tweedy Liberal Guy ™ and Chet, who’s mainly there for dumb guy jokes. Chantelle shows from time to time, and to be fair is not made out to look like an idiot when she does. The guy who owns the restaurant is basically there to provide an echo/sounding board for Mallard’s opinions.

    Also, I agree with your take: Tinsley had the opportunity to do a tasteful 9/11 tribute, and he felt the need to sink into the mire of his usual rehtoric. Ugh.

  45. april
    September 11th, 2006 at 5:29 am [Reply]

    Hope you had a very happy anniversary!

    One year is the “paper” anniversary, I wonder if Josh’s present to Amber consisted of a pile of his favourite comics cut out for her reading pleasure.

    (Yes I sometimes forget and write in British spellings now. Get over it. I was going to go back and change it when I realised, but then I thought screw it – foob doesn’t bow to America’s imperial spelling power, why should I?! I am a dual citizen who has found her inner spelling strength thanks to the healing power of Lynn Johnson and her fearless use of the letter “U”. Thank you foob, from the bottom of my heart)

  46. Von Zeppelin
    September 11th, 2006 at 5:41 am [Reply]

    Please note that the Ted/Tommie kiss is not exactly a passionate liplock. It is more of a 1950s Wholesome Movie Kiss, with lips firmly closed and touching lightly. In this case, it seems a little off-center, with Tommie going for the upper lip, and Ted moving chinward. Oh well. I guess we can imagine what the three out-of-frame hands are up to.

  47. Von Zeppelin
    September 11th, 2006 at 5:54 am [Reply]

    I like the subtle tribute to 9/11 in panel 1 of Mary Worth today. Toby is thrusting her Twin Towers in Aldo’s face, while he reacts with the horror of a traumatized nation.

  48. rata2e
    September 11th, 2006 at 5:59 am [Reply]

    Congratulations, Josh & Amber! You guys look beautiful. Is that Fells Point?

  49. Doug Puthoff
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:12 am [Reply]

    42 & 44–Right on, both of you. Tinsley is spitting out more right-wing hate-mongering drivel. Stop the hate, Bruce.

    The sad part about it is that’s the only 9-11 memorial strip so far.

  50. David C
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:16 am [Reply]

    Speaking of weddings and anniversaries, does anybody know how and/or when Toby and Professor Chinbeard got married? They seem to have virtually nothing in common.

    Was it a relatively recent thing, or did it happen in 1958 or somesuch?

  51. Abbey the Wonderdog
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    We don’t lie in this family.

    Now, it is time for Mr.Spanky to come out and make sure that you remember this lie for YEARS!!!


  52. Josh
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    rata2e (#48) — Locust Point, actually. We got married at the Museum of Industry, if you know where that is — off Key Highway, on the water, just past the Havana Restaurant.


  53. Tom
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:44 am [Reply]

    I hope your frozen wedding cake tasted better than mine, which turned out to be a piece of frosted styrofoam. Hint to engaged couples: Make sure you and the baker agree ahead of time on which parts of your cake are edible and which are purely decorative.

  54. Pozzo
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    Sunday’s “BC” — WTF? I mean WT-freakin’-F??? This is known as “flailing around in all directions, hoping you strike a joke”. Almost makes you wish for Wiley writing a poem or Peter floating a letter to his overseas penpal. (Though how he manages to get the rock to float is beyond me.)

  55. Archivalist
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:59 am [Reply]

    So why did my local paper only carry six panels of MT on Sunday? At least I got to wonder why that bird kept circling Mark’s boat. I guess in panel 10 Mark wonders why he didn’t wear a hat after all.

    Congrats on one year, Josh and Amber.

  56. Len
    September 11th, 2006 at 8:00 am [Reply]

    Yeah, Lio’s tough.

    He probably slams the lid down on the Toilet Monster’s head, too.

  57. Bigfoot
    September 11th, 2006 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    First, a hearty congratulations! Hope you worked them like a claw to celebrate. (Sorry if that came across sicker than a JP strip.)

    I’d like to think that the tabloids would name you “Ambosh” rather than Jamber though. It can even become a verb so that a run-in with the royal family of comics snarkdom is actually having been amboshed.

    So, here’s your present. In case you haven’t heard, the Newark Museum (NJ not DE) will soon be opening what might be the best exhibit ever: Masters of American Comics. Uh, no, I didn’t get you tickets. I just gave you awareness.

  58. Len
    September 11th, 2006 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    Moose and geese and bears better scurry/
    Twister’s bearing down in a hurry/
    Twister’s here, so tell Uncle Murray/
    Keep his ears a-perked/
    To NOAA’s broadcast, so he don’t get jerked.

    (They get tornadoes on Lake Erie? I mean, it isn’t Kansas…)

  59. johnw
    September 11th, 2006 at 8:19 am [Reply]

    #55 — not to get too technical or anything, but most Sunday strips are written so they can be published in full (8-panel) or reduced (6-panel) form. If the artist is talented, the strip is fully understandable either way. If not, the 6-panel version has some holes in the continuity. (This is also why there are so many silent panels on Sunday; they can easily be deleted.)

    If you’re reading a collection of, say, Sherman’s Lagoon or Zits or some such, you can usually guess which Sunday panels are the “optional” ones.

  60. Howard Erk
    September 11th, 2006 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    You know you are a Plugger when you actually eat part of your wedding cake on your first anniversary.

  61. Craigers
    September 11th, 2006 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Only two entries in the Snarcasm today because something sucked all the joy out of me.

    F Minus : OK, like a lot of one-panels this comic sometimes struggles to set up its jokes, but this was hilarious.

    MF : Wow, based on today’s MF I guess the terrorists really did win. You really suck at citizenship.

  62. Craigers
    September 11th, 2006 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    You know you are a Plugger when you actually eat part of your wedding cake on your first anniversary.

    If this is going to become some sort of theme posting of yours, can we just nip this in the bud right now? It’s utterly witless.

  63. Da Scrodfather
    September 11th, 2006 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    The bitter divorced man wishes Jamber joy on their first. And I thought that last figure in Mark Trail was Elrod himself.

  64. holli
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    Don’t, I repeat, DON’T eat the year old frozen cake. It was just the most disgusting thing ever (Suffice it to say that baking soda did nothing!). The couple that got the styrofoam were way luckier than they realized.

  65. romanetti
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    #49 Sunday’s Brewser Rockit (of all the unlikely strips) had a very elegant and tasteful 9/11 memorial strip.

  66. David V. Matthews
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail originality watch, 9/10/06:

    Panels two, five, six, seven, and nine look recycled from older strips. When Mark’s face looks gaunter and more creased, you can bet that’s clip-art.

    Happy anniversary, J & A.

  67. Lulu
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    # 38 (Mibbitmaker): Please know that I am no defender of Curtis, however, just so you know, this is how EVERY school year starts for this strip. Really. Every single bleepin’ September, on the first day of Curtis going back to school, we are treated to three panels of panoramic views of a city, with ominous script about an “ugly war” blah flippin’ blah, and the final panel of mom trying to pull Curtis out of bed.

    It is kind of like Cathy and swimsuits, an annual tradition. And, no, it is never, ever funny.

  68. BigJoe
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    #49 – Another 9/11 tribute, although a bit clumsily done. That third panel is lamely written.

  69. Krazy Kat
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    FOOB- I see where this is going. Granthony is going to get to play out some sicko fantasy under the guise for preparing for court…”OOoo Liz! What would have happened if I hadn’t been there? Would Howard have _____? Then make you_____? Did he tear your______? We have to make sure we remember this for court. Maybe we should act it out.”

    Or maybe that’s just me.

  70. Krazy Kat
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    Oh yeah,
    Best wishes and happy anniversary to Jamber.
    Feel free to borrow my FOOB fantasy if you need to spark up the ol’ fire.
    Consider it a late wedding present.

    And please don’t ban me.

    Luv ‘n kisses

    Oh, Yeah!

  71. Dji
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    Happy anniversary. After one year, our marzipan-based cake tasted exactly like Twinkies(tm). Enjoy.

  72. Craigers
    September 11th, 2006 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    Archie Exegesis 9/11

    Jughead, as the iconic representation of the Moldavian Orthodox Church in Archie often has runic messages inscribed on his person as part of the hidden messages or commands that the Cabal inserts into the comic. Today is an excellent example; on his shirt are emblazoned three nautical signal flags, corresponding to the letters S Y I. Remember, as explained here, we are in the midst of a coded message sequence (running until the next appearance of Mr. Lodge – his back-to-the-reader appearance in 9/9 does not count) explaining details of an attack to come by the Cabal against Euro Disney.

    The meaning of “S Y I” is still currently unknown; it may relate to the musical motif of the 9/9 comic or to coming messages. Suggestions from fellow exegetes are welcome… the welfare of Euro-Mickey and Euro-Minnie may depend on our quick thinking and decisive action.

  73. SmartPeopleOnIce
    September 11th, 2006 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    It just so happens that the traditional first year aniversary gift is (wait for it): paper! How appropo!

    Side note to Amber:

    It just so happens that the modern first year aniversary gift is: gold jewelry. (Just FYI here is all…)

    More information about wedding aniversary gifts can be found on the internet.

  74. Dennis Jimenez
    September 11th, 2006 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    Congratulations on your anniversary. As I understand it, the first anniversary is the “paper” anniversary, so please feel free to print a copy of this message. I stayed married for a year, and all they gave me was this stinkin’ piece of paper. DJ.

  75. Brian Schlosser
    September 11th, 2006 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    Mallard Fillmore: In the oft quoted and possibly misattributed words of Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” In other, more succint words, “Fuck You, Bruce Tinsley.” It’s so God-damned easy for you to promote racial profiling, isn’t it, being a middle aged white man from the midwest. It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: Richard Reid. Tell us again, you bloated sack of duck shit, how would “profiling” have stopped Richard Reid? You like racial profiling because it lets you publically label all brown and darker people as potential threats, letting your racism bubble to the surface cloaked in the flimsy guise of “safety”. You’re a pathetic excuse for a patriot, and a hack cartoonist to boot. Rot in hell.

  76. Brian Schlosser
    September 11th, 2006 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    Oh, and about MW, Aldo is doing his best Emokid imatation today. “I’m leaving! I’m not wanted here!”.. he’s going to post that on his MySpace page, change the background color to black and put a “Dashboard Confessional” song on…

  77. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2006 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    And in other news (9/11)

    BC: Hart channels (nay, recycles) Bill Cosby.

    FC: AW COME ON! Keene, yer just askin’ for it here.

    MW: Do you understand THESE Mr. Kelrast?

    MT: This time, Molly tries “kiss with NO tongue”.

    - spoi

  78. Richard Onley
    September 11th, 2006 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    #67: Inspired by the huge number of current strips about parents overjoyed that summer vacation is finally over, it occurred to me that it might be fun to make a complete list of all the cliched seasonal topics. We’ll soon be getting the chestnuts involving “scary” Halloween costumes of repulsive celebrities, and, of course, the oversize candy bag — which will be repeated again in a few months when we get the gags about want lists the size of phone directories or Christmas stockings large enough to accommodate a Buick. Then it’ll be New Year’s resolutions that the character can’t even keep after only a week’ men always wait until the last minute to shop for Valentine’s Day, and never get the right gift anyway’ kids eat waaay too much Easter candy, and any mention of Jesus will be avoided — except by B.C., which will be too preachy to be effectively funny, but too funny to be effectively preachy. . . .
    . . . And so on and so on, but it’s not fair for me to hog all the fun for myself.

  79. tefflan
    September 11th, 2006 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    Hope you get to where I am some day:

    Together with each other, 25 years last June 4th;

    Married to each other, 19 years, last August 31st.

    Happy anniversary!

  80. 420
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    Happy Anniversary.

    Nice Mutton Chops.

  81. Old Fogeyette
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Oh, I am bursting with responses this morning. I think because I have a deadline and am having trouble sitting down to actual work.

    Sheila (#19) I asked the same question about Family Circus yesterday and received several hilarious responses, none of which were likely to have been correct. See yesterday’s comments.

    Len (#58) Hilarious.

    Craigers (#61) I agree re F-. Usually I find it incomprehensible or puerile, but today’s was a real LOL. I’d post a link if I knew where to find it.

  82. Old Fogeyette
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    PS–Happy Anniversary, Josh! Marriage is so wonderful I can’t believe it took me so long to discover it.

  83. Chris
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    Happy anniversary, Josh!

    Ours 17th is 2 weeks from today.

  84. AirForbes
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    RMMD: Sarah’s caterpillar rocks.

    I hope Abbey doesn’t have to go back to the pound because of this.

  85. snapdragon
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:08 am [Reply]


    Well, talking about counselling MIGHT get Ted laid.
    The lip-lock today is kind of impressive.

  86. Alan Vanneman
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, Josh, but here’s hoping you don’t run into Mark Trail sporting those sideburns.

  87. rich
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Happy anniversary, Josh and Amber!

    So I come back from a weeklong vacation and what do I find? Howard Bunt?! That’s the name she came up with? Grrr…my blood boils! Why, those lurking grubs from Foob Central know full well what his correct name is — the name we gave him! Shall we stand for this? Did we sit by quietly when likeminded fools tried to foist “Pacific Air Flight 121″ on us? It’s Urk, dammit! Urk!!!

    Ah well, at least I’ll have the pleasure of seeing Howard walk free when Granthony gets thrown in the slammer for violating “Bunt’s” civil rights with that cruel and unnecessary tittie twister! Bwah ha ha!

    Urk just needs a good lawyer, like the one Aldo’s going to hire when he sues the Charterstone Four for holding him against his will at this phony “intervention.” And why isn’t Mr. Advice, Wilburrrr, saying anything? I guess he’s just there to serve as “backup muscle.” …Oh, yeah!

  88. Chris
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Apple Girl, we have plenty of great places to eat in DC…come on down! (or up, or over, whatever.)

  89. the angry black woman
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    Josh, congrats on the anniverary. May the both of you have many, many, many more. :)

    In other news, Tommie is gonna get some!!

  90. Murdoch
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    Interesting. Saturday was our first wedding anniversary, married in Montreal on 9 Sept 2005. Of course, we’d been together 23 years by that time, but it’s weird what a difference “marriage” makes to other people. We got presents. A cookbook! And an Indian woman who lives on our floor was delighted to hear of our marriage, because she was married too, in the same week. So delighted that she and her young son showed up at our door Saturday evening with a cake and presents! Congratulations to you and Amber; hope you’re as happy married as before.

    Murdoch and Gary

  91. Amy
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    Happy anniversary! I’ve only been married a few months longer than you, so I can’t give any wisdom from the far side of many years (unless you want to hear about the 12-year previous marriage that ended in divorce…), but I’m incredibly happy and hope you are too. And I hope you had something better than year-old cake for your anniversary dinner.

  92. Zikar
    September 11th, 2006 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    So, after spewing a quote from Julius Caesar, Aldo finally realizes he’s not wanted?!!?

    No, Aldo, we want you! Capt. Stalkeroo 4Evah and Eva!

    *snif* *sob*

  93. Posthumous
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    Beautiful photo! Your wife has a terrific Kate Hepburn smile.

  94. ChristianPinko
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    Congratulations on the anniversary, Jamber.

    Now, on to comics news for 9/11:

    Spider-Man: I used to think that Spider-Man was written day-by-day, with the writers simply making it up as they went along. But now, with the way people react joyfully to the filming of Chauffeur’s death, I think it is written by a computer with a highly imperfect understanding of human behavior and emotions.

    FOOB: Yes, Elizabeth . . . feel the hate within you . . . let your rage grow strong . . . feel it’s mighty power . . .

    DT: I’ll bet that this secret super weapon turns out to be something totally lame. I suspect that Dick Locher is about as clued in to the 21st century as Al Scaduto. It’s going to be a hydrogen bomb, or biological warfare, or something like that.

  95. froops
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Josh, are you Morgan Spurlock?

  96. froops
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Josh, are you Morgan Spurlock?

  97. bootsybooks
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    Amber and Josh – Happy anniversary and many more!

    When my nephew got married. Mr. Books and I were in church (a situation that should have had Mark Trail’s weather radio alerting the locals for lightening strikes) as Fr. Dougie Howser, who looked like he was 12, was exhorting the crowd (congregation, WHATEVER) about how tough marriage is, how hard you have to work at it, and wouldn’t all the married couples in attendance agree. There was head nodding among the long married couples there.

    I turned to Mr. Books and whispered, “You really think its all that hard?”, and his laconic reply was “Maybe they’re just not doing it right”. Truer words were never spoken (at least not in church).

    Here’s to doing it right!

  98. Mountain Mama
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Happy Anniversary! I hope it was wonderful.

    I didn’t get yesterday’s FC either and I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  99. Tom Stazer
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Hey, what a riot! I am related to Dennis Stazer, and draw comics, and never read mark trail – but I assure you, in his (my old) hometown of Erie, PA, Mark Trail is a must read, second only to Mary Worth. I imagine they consider it a high honor. Certainly it was front page news at, with dennis brandishing his $1.98 all-weather radio.
    Too funny!! So glad i looked at your site today.
    Happy Anniversary too!

  100. Becca
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    I love that picture of you guys, and I’m glad you’re not spending too much time posting comics today. Your lovely wife deserves some time with her hubby.

  101. Tekende
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    I think Rex Morgan is about to beat his daughter into lifelong honesty. Hey, whatever works, doc.

  102. cheech wizard
    September 11th, 2006 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Mrs. C is indeed lovely – Josh is a lucky man. Happy anniversary to you both.

    MT – Molly wanders into a public campground and is excited to find people she thinks will be food.

    A3G – Beer & adultry. Tsk. Gawd, how I miss those earlier, more wholesome days when this strip merely
    depicted the characters parading around in their underwear and bath towels.

    MW- Finger-quotin’ Aldo

    GA- What’s with the Dick Tracy guest appearance/Chester Gould tribute? And how would you pronouce “Dloug?” Is that the sound the bad guys make when Tracy gruesomely plugs them through the forehead and the bullet goes spinning out the back? Of course, DT has always been known for its cast of hideously deformed characters, so I guess he’s come to the right place.

  103. Mumbles
    September 11th, 2006 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    MW: Tobey’s posture reminds me of that line from “Cry-Baby”: “The first thing a Cry-Baby girl learns is our bazooms are our weapons.”

  104. Ran
    September 11th, 2006 at 1:15 pm [Reply]


    My wife and I have been married 22 years without a fight.

    I just do what I’m told. Immediately.

  105. Zikar
    September 11th, 2006 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    I miss the good old days in comics, when things could be nicely summed up with a well placed “GACK”!

    More information on onomatopoeia can be found on the internet.

  106. Chromium
    September 11th, 2006 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Mallard Fillmore is sickening. What kind of moron would use an “in memoriam” strip to justify racism. If any of Tinsley’s strips deserved a massive letter writing campaign, this is the one.

    Oh, and #68, I don’t even get OBH. So Ruthie and Joe knew Mr. Kiefer as a kid in the 80′s? I thought this strip was supposed to be taking place in the 60′s or something. Or is the third panel implying that the strip is taking place in the present and he grew up really, really fast? What the hell?

  107. AppleGirl
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    87 – Chris, thanks for the invite! I might take you up on that someday. Hopefully I can win the Mark Trail award next year!

  108. luluchappel
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Why, in the 2 MT panels that show a tornado, is the sky a lovely, peaceful shade of blue? Shouldn’t it be scary gray-green? Even the twister and the attached clouds seem the wrong color of brown.

  109. GotFuzzy
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    Nancy has a 9/11 tribute–it’s on the front page of

    On to happier remembrances–Happy Anniversary to the lovely Ambosh! I hope you had a marvelous dinner and that your cake was somewhat edible. Just the fact that you even want to do something so sweet and traditional is wonderful.

    So today’s GF. Do you suppose Darbey is commenting on the news a couple of weeks ago that any Tom & Jerry cartoons that featured smoking in a positive light were going to be edited? Or is the ferret blazing up a joint?

    And in (DT)GT, Stormy’s a guy! It was a little hard to tell when he was wielding a chainsaw.

  110. zeeba
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    Happy anniversary to Josh and Amber. I hope you have many many more.

    And now a very lame segue to the anniversary we celebrate today–the most important day of the 21st century.

    $68 and #103–I DUG OBH today.

    It is a continuation of the story from last week–this little bossy boy comes over to play fireman and of course, Ruthie doesn’t do anything right to suit him, but today, he’s promising big things in his future. The name posted at the end is one of the firemen who died on 9/11. Detorie is employing a “what if” here. It’s “what if” the real fireman Michael had played like this as a child. The boy in the strip is a representation of all the little boys who dream of growing up to be a fireman. Detorie is paying tribute to one of them, maybe this man was a friend or relative.

    Another nice tribute appeared in Prickly City (a comic I don’t usually like):

  111. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    77: Foxtrot’s gotten started already, but Jason’s always planning far in advance for halloween

    #56/Lio: I don’t know, I thought it was kind of cute, not bad for Lio at least. You also have to give the artist credit – the monster reading “Where the wild things are” is a great tribute and pretty funny.

    Hagar: Uh, how did he get on a cliche desert island? Maybe hagar will be stranded for a few years and come back to find his wife remarryed. In the meantime maybe the story can shift to a minor character Ala snuffy smith.

    Baby blues: This is why a family’s not a dimocracy.

  112. SmartPeopleOnIce
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    Ok, let’s see if this get’s past the spam filter….

    #105 Why, in the 2 MT panels that show a tornado, is the sky a lovely, peaceful shade of blue? Shouldn’t it be scary gray-green?

    That’s actually not a tornado, it’s smoke rising from the office that MT, dressed as a bear, just torched for D.L. Johnson after he was subpoenaed.

    More information about the special prosecutor can be found on the internet.

  113. James Schend
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    Brian Schlosser says:

    Mallard Fillmore: In the oft quoted and possibly misattributed words of Benjamin Franklin … and a hack cartoonist to boot. Rot in hell.

    I’m no fan of Mallard Fillmore myself, but could you please post rants like this in the correct topic in the forums in the future? That’s about a millimeter away from flamebait, and it really doesn’t belong here.

  114. BigJoe
    September 11th, 2006 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    FC – My theory on yesterday’s strip reposted:

    I think maybe what’s happing is he’s driving around looking for the dog, yelling out for it to try to find it. But you don’t know what’s going on, you think he’s experiencing road rage. Then at the end you find out he was calling for the dog and finally found it. H’yuk yuk.

    GA – This is the reason that DT is in the strip lately:

  115. Albatross
    September 11th, 2006 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    The photo makes clear why you married her, but still leaves us completely in the dark about why she married you.

    Regardless, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

    BTW, our wedding cake was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. We decided if we were going to pay that much for a cake we were damn well going to enjoy it. We triple wrapped the top tier before freezing, and a year later it was just as good as the day we were wed…

  116. Esther
    September 11th, 2006 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    Happy anniversary!

  117. Braniff
    September 11th, 2006 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    Sounds as if you had a great celebration of your wedding anniversary. Hope your marriage lasts for many years to come!!

  118. treedweller
    September 11th, 2006 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    #111 Hagar character shift: I let that flit past, thinking, “Hey, no more Hagar, that might be nice,” but then I thought about our choices for a backup: Helga, her mother, one of the kids, Lute, Dirty Dirk, the English guys getting looted every couple of weeks, and I realized there isn’t even a Snuffy-Smith level character waiting to replace him. Sigh. I guess it’s just as well that Hagar and Bumbling Sidekick Hagar will be off the island tomorrow and on to the next gag in the JokeBot rotation.

  119. Pendragon
    September 11th, 2006 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    Sorry I’m late, but — congratulations, happy anniversary and many more!

  120. Foolster41
    September 12th, 2006 at 2:54 am [Reply]

    Sorry that last unanamous was me (I guess no one’s going to read this anyway)

  121. Brian Schlosser
    September 12th, 2006 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    113: I apologize. I posted my anti-Mallard diatribe here as a comment, and was not interested in having a discussion. I was under the impression that that is the purpose of the comments section. I will not post that type of thing again.

  122. skulking on the outskirts
    September 13th, 2006 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    Hey, Jamber-Ambosh:sorry I’m late with it, but congratulations and wishing you both many more just as happy.

  123. Anon
    September 13th, 2006 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    At my staff meeting today at my agency, a senior person proudly announced that she was receiving a Mark Trail award from NOAA.

    It was all I could do to keep from cracking up on the spot.

  124. Library Cat
    September 13th, 2006 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    Yep, very late but…

    Happy Anniversary Josh and Amber!

    I have no wise marriage advice and I can’t even remember what our cake top tasted like on our first anniversary but I can say I hope you have many more happy anniversaries ahead.

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