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Joe, go ahead and be a hero

Mark Trail, 9/29/10

Not for the first time, I’m completely flummoxed by the moral and legal universe that Mark Trail inhabits. We’ve had plenty of wholly understandable righteous indignation about Future Governor Frank’s semi-caged hunting of semi-wild animals scheme, but no mention of any actual laws that it might break. What, then, does Mark hope to achieve with his telescopic-lens photos? Career-wrecking shame? But Frank seems to believe that this hunt will improve his popularity, not harm it. But maybe we’re meant to believe that honest ordinary voters would be repulsed by caged hunts, and only the twisted, effete elites would take joy in this vile pastime. Perhaps Mark wants to reveal Frank in the midst of clubby scenes like panel one, with its “gentlemen, let’s toast to evil!” vibe, and destroy the common-man cred that we haven’t seen him doing any kind of work to build up. Today, however, we become privy to immorality within immorality, with the already farcical hunt’s outcome being fixed in advance to curry favor with some influential lawmaker. Where does the rabbit hole of depravity end?

I’m pretty numb to bizarre Elrod-ball placement at this point, but I do find panel two particularly charming. Ol’ Joe isn’t too bright, apparently, as he needs to be reminded that he is in fact Frank’s ranch foreman. Frank carefully outlines the details of his scheme, but Joe can only look on numbly and mutter “Jack Elrod” in response. Perhaps simple Joe will be this story’s moral center, refusing to fulfill his odious duties and instead revealing the sins of his employer to the world. “Jack Elrod!” he’ll shout, in triumph.

Ziggy, 9/29/10

Ha ha, Ziggy, don’t worry! Nobody actually wants to buy your body parts. In fact, most people, upon discovering that your liver or one of your kidneys was inside them, would probably try to remove the offending organ with whatever sharp implement was at hand.

192 responses to “Joe, go ahead and be a hero”

  1. The Ridger
    September 29th, 2010 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    I read MT this morning and wrote this – and of course Josh was all over it… I don’t care, I’m gonna say it anyway!

    What’s up with Joe in MT? Does his facial expression reflect his sudden wish that he hadn’t laid elaborate plans to sabotage the hunt? And don’t you love the smooth introduction of his character: “You’re my ranch foreman, Joe” – or maybe he’d forgotten that, and THAT explains the face?

  2. Adele Gepotchkit, II
    September 29th, 2010 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    MT: For what he spent on miles of fencing, he could have taken out 456 full-page ads in the newspapers and given out balloons and what-not.

  3. ks
    September 29th, 2010 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    You’re my ranch dressing, Joe… If everything goes well tomorrow, there will be a salad for you!

  4. Ktrout
    September 29th, 2010 at 8:56 pm [Reply]

    Actually, I think you will find that deer don’t “hang out.” They chill out, max, relax all cool, and shoot some b-ball outside of the school – that is, until a couple of senators, who are up to no good…

  5. Scott Bot
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:06 pm [Reply]

    Garfield – I’m fairly certain there’s a joke there somewhere – I’ll just be damned if I can figure out what it is.

    FC – ‘So you better pony up, Dad, or I’m calling social services.’

    JP – ‘It was great, Jules – he’s a much better kisser than you.’

    Luann – Apparenty Tiff is following Rule 39(g) subparagraph 12 of the Comic Cliche handbook: ‘To emphasize the vanity of a female character, have her constantly and unrealistically primp herself with a compact on a regular basis.’

    Pluggers – What intrigues me most about today’s strip is the exit door for the obviously busy store that opens inward.

  6. Chyron HR
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    MT – The next day, tragedy strikes. “Buh, boss, y’done TOLE me you wantid him to shoot yer dear friend Mr. Buck!”

    Spider-Man – Looks like Stark Industries had a booth at Riverdale High’s career fair. (this one was by my mother)

    Mandrake the Magician“You sure that wasn’t just a trick to scare us hicks?” “No, guys! It’s an illusion to scare you hicks!”

  7. Kibo
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    If only someone could invent a bubble gum that had “Jack Elrod” printed on every bubble you blew.

    “Hey, kids! Want to blow Jack Elrod’s balls? Chew new Trailmint gum!”

  8. Scott Bot
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:16 pm [Reply]

    @Chyron HR (#6): I think your mom got it right (and it was funny, too).

  9. Steve L
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    As someone who’s in politics, I’m finding the latest storyline in Mark Trail absolutely hilarious, as this shit hasn’t happened since Teddy Roosevelt.

  10. trey le parc
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy: I can’t imagine what parts would be worth more than the worthless whole that is Ziggy.

  11. Ukulele Ike
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    S-M: Sure, I’m okay, Spidey old buddy! I’ve surrounded myself with hookers!

  12. Walker of Dog
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:23 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#Y112): People would come from miles around to see Mark Trail punch Dick Tracy. Irresistible Force meeting Immovable Object. Then these same people would gradually drift away during the long wait for the firefighters to arrive with the Jaws of Life.

  13. mgm
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    I’m a little confused as to why the doctor in Ziggy has to consult the body-part pricing tables… has Ziggy come in to sell himself into slavery to his doctor? Or maybe he is just asking his doctor what a fair price ought to be, when the time comes.

    And what’s with the “Federal Health Care Blue Book?” Is it some kind of dig at Obamacare? Any Tea Party members who are also Ziggy readers will be all up in arms– “Barack Obama wants to sell our BODY PARTS! Will the man stop at NOTHING to destroy America?”

  14. bats :[
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    @Steve L (#9): what about the “Dick Cheney” incident?

  15. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, Joe… the Magic Elrod 8-Ball says “Reply hazy, try again”!

  16. Steve L
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#14): Last I checked, quail weren’t bears and elk.

  17. Master Softheart
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Archie: Sure the psychotic break Mr. Lodge suffers today has been a long time coming, but what really impresses me is his strength.

  18. mgm
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    Boy, I’ve been thinking about it more and more… and I’m just really enjoying the whole idea of the Federal Health Care Blue Book. It must have each body part listed, but are they separated by “person”? Or by “level of hideous depression”? Because there has to be some way to differentiate Ziggy from the rest.

  19. cj
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    Mark Fail:
    Jack Elrod is not an utterance here. It is the same Jack Elrod ball we know and fear. The race for governorship is a ruse, as Frank is actually a federal informant getting cozy with the state’s elite movers and shakers. The sudden identification of a proximal companion as his ranch foreman is a necessary element in this scheme.

  20. Krazy Kat
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    Like Joe the Plumber, our proletarian character is a common everyman identified only by his first name and working class occupation. Compare that to Frank, who, when “letting his hair down” with his elitist buddies, doesn’t even unbutton his top button. Keep sipping that French wine, Frank ol boy; it’ll lessen the sting of Mark’s Fists of Justice.

  21. Rusty
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    I imagine Ziggy’s organs are stunted and ineffectual.

  22. Alfred E. Neuman
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    Here comes the meddle:
    Josh, I have a suggestion: You might want to review your first sentence under Mark Trail.

  23. Soren E. Neuman
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    I’ll be a little more direct. The only problem with this entire post is that “inhabitants” ought to be “inhabits”.

  24. This Guy
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    Say what you will, but shouting “Jack Elrod!” at least makes more sense than shouting “Slim Jim giant jerk!”

  25. Awesome-o
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    The animals are just a cover. Frank and the Senator are REALLY planning to hunt the most dangerous prey of all — MAN. Unfortunately, they will have to settle for shooting Mark Trail.

  26. Citric
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: While Mary gets all money of the bride, Jeff returns to his one true love: hot whiskey.

  27. Alfred E. Neuman
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    @Soren E. Neuman (#23):
    Another Neuman! Welcome to the Club!
    Alternatively, “that” could be changed to “of”.

  28. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:30 pm [Reply]

    ATTORNEY SAM DRIVER had this to say about today’s Brenda Starr: “Not only would running such a photo be legally indefensible, but it might unduly influence the jury in District Attorney Tap Fitzpatrick’s murder trial!”

    A ruling on whether or not to permit the publication of Mr. Burns’ photograph by Ms. Starr’s newspaper is expected shortly by the Honorable Granville Parker.

  29. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    Nancy — I’d be more impressed if the goldfish jumped through one of Aunt Fritzi’s hoop EARRINGS!

  30. Paddy
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    Everyday Frank looks more and more like an older, slightly more grizzled version of Mark Trail himself. Could this secretly be Mark’s Evil uncle? Cousin? Could we have finally crossed the last threshold of Mark Trail insanity: Time Travel? Or maybe when the villain doesn’t have facial hair Jack Elrod just forgets who he’s drawing halfway through. Yeah, I’m gonna go with that.

  31. SideshowJon
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    This is just what the Health Care debate needed! The wisdom of Ziggy!

  32. Sequitur
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#29): Actually, I think it’s interesting what Aunt Fritzi wants us to adopt.

    If you adopt do you get one or the whole set?

  33. Uncle Lumpy
    September 29th, 2010 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    GoComics is posting the first week of Cathy ever, from November, 1976. Click to enlarge — definitely pre-digital, most likely a scan from a proof set or something.

  34. pamster
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:06 pm [Reply]

    Steve L. #16 (don’t know how to make the links): Quail in the real world can’t be compared to elk and bear, but in the Lost Forest World, which is apparently co-located with a natural or man-caused radioactive disaster area, the quail could possibly be 7-8 feet tall and view humans as grasshoppers, one of their favorite foods. Elk and bear, on the other hand, would be reminiscent of Bambi vs. Godzilla. and last, what?, 30 seconds?

  35. JaneyJane
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    @Ktrout (#4): This makes me like MT so much more than before, thank you! What this strip’s been missing are some hip-hop ruminants.

  36. Mustang
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): I forgot how unbelievably neurotic Cathy was before she got just awfully damn tedious.

  37. Johnny Knuckles
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy: Doc delivers the bad news as Ziggy delivers a stool sample.

  38. Nekrotzar
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    Speaking of Cathy, I took this photo last week at Universal’s Island of Adventure, the Toon Lagoon section. At first I couldn’t figure out why this really disturbed me; I thought maybe it was because Cathy wouldn’t keep her legs crossed. Then I saw what she was sitting in and I realized I was looking at some truly debased Cathy/Marvin crossover.

  39. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:18 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#32):

    “Release the hounds!” (Fritzi still looks good for a character who’s been around almost as long as Walt Wallet!)

  40. Ukulele Ike
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): Wow, Cathy sucked from her inception. I had no idea. (It didn’t run in the Cleveland Plain Dealer back when I was a lad.)

    Also — speaking of things Clevelandish — it first appeared in the same year as the inaugural issue of Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor. Coincidence? I think not!

  41. Alex
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    Huh. The Ziggy adaptation of “Never Let Me Go” loses a lot of poignancy in the transition.

  42. pamster
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    MT: Was Joe the Ranch Foreman crawling about on the floor in earlier panels of this and earlier strips? He suddenly appears and his boss doesn’t chew him out for having a hat on indoors in a “swanky” party? Why did the Governor-wannabee change from a brown suit coat to an apparent faux black tux between panels 1 and 2? Has the dude in the vest in the first panel changed from his slacks into spandex running gear since yesterday? To give him a running start as the prey?!?

  43. Sgt. Stoned
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:34 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: I still want to know where “Governor” Palin is. This would seem to be her cup of “tea”.

    Mary Worth: Oh, wow. Adrian looks like Jenna’s identical twin sister!

  44. Poteet
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    @Steve L (#9): Teddy Roosevelt definitely had his faults, but in this case, I must step forward to defend him. As far as I know, back when he was hunting big game, he did it in the wild using “fair chase” principles. (And there was more big game to hunt.) His name now appears on at least one website dedicated to ending canned hunting, per below:

    “Canned hunt operations sell bucks for dollars, commercialization of game that Theodore Roosevelt outlawed as a first step toward saving our wildlife.”

    Theodore Roosevelt did a lot for conservation and wildlife. Mark Trail has done a lot for puppies and bizarre-looking boys named Rusty. It all evens out in the end.

  45. Mr. O'Malley
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:06 am [Reply]

    @Steve L (#9): Before Teddy Roosevelt was nominated to run for governor of New York, he was minority leader in the New York State Legislature, chaired a committee that rewrote the charter of New York City, ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City, was police commissioner of New York City and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, raised a volunteer regiment to fight in Cuba and published over ten books, including an analysis of naval strategy that was required reading in the Naval Academy.

    I don’t think his hunting exploits had very much influence on his political career, although they did lead Mark Hanna to call him “that damn cowboy”.

    Tom Wolfe wrote about canned hunting trips among the rich and powerful. Was it in “A Man in Full”? I only read an excerpt, so I don’t know if he said anything about it as a route to political influence.

  46. Poteet
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    MT — Now I’m wondering what was happening on this ranch before the Big Fence and the Big Tame-Game Mammals. Did the ranch have cattle, and did Frank sell them off to make room for canned hunting? But if that were the case, there would have already been a fence, albeit typical cattle fencing, and no cattle have ever been mentioned. Were there sheep? No sheep have been mentioned either. Nor goats. Were there no livestock at all? In that case, why in the heck would Frank want a “ranch foreman” unless…

    No. NO. I refuse to dunk my brain in the gutter again.

  47. commodorejohn
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:21 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#44): I believe you’re correct in that assumption. I know of at least one instance of Roosevelt turning down a canned hunt as unsportsmanlike; it was the incident that inspired the creation of the teddy bear (hence the name.)

  48. Alfred E. Neuman
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#44) said: “Mark Trail has done a lot for puppies…”

    True, but not nearly as much as June Morgan and Abbey Spencer.

  49. Poteet
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:35 am [Reply]


    FRED BASSET — I keep reading it because it sometimes transports me, briefly, to a gentler time and place. Also I like the way foliage and flowers are sketched. They look kinda happy, unlike those doomed flowers Mary Worth is always killing.

    MT — By golly, Josh was right! Maybe Joe will do something effective, unlike Mark. Now I’m waiting to see if they’ll get through an entire story about canned hunting without ever saying “canned hunting.”

    MW — Gaaah, the faces! All they need are costumes and they’d look like extras from Marat/Sade!

  50. Poteet
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:50 am [Reply]


    A3G — “After seeing me, I know you too want to fulfill your Greek Goddess fantasies!”

    JP — By golly, New Neddy, I’m starting to like you.

    S-M — “I don’t have any loved ones! I have to settle for leering at my female employees, who are hired for their T & A!”

  51. Red Greenback
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    Ziggy: “I paid this quack twenty chickens and painted his basement to hear this crapola?”

  52. NoahSnark
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    I feel a pang of sympathy for the stool in today’s Ziggy. A lifetime of service destroyed by a too close encounter with the pantless one. At least there is the sweet release cleansing fire will bring.

  53. bats :[
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#49): I’m wondering what’s going to happen if li’l Rustina approaches one of the hunters.

    Meanwhile, the Big Day approaches!

  54. Roman Fingers
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:31 am [Reply]

    A3g:I really don’t want to see Doris in a toga. Or at all. Meanwhile, Tommie begins singing “Mr. Cellophane” from “Chicago”.

    DtM: Is it just me, or does the look on Dennis’ face indicate that he’s contemplating using that bat on Mr. Wilson?

    The Funktacular Winkerbean: In all seriousness, should somebody in Wally’s condition be living alone?

    JP: Ah, Paris. The city of the whiny, angst-ridden artiste!

    Luann: I’d say it’s a little from column “A”, and a little from column “B”.

    MT: Well, I never knew job of “ranch foreman” included “setting up canned hunts”.

    MW: “Their day will be special”. So let it be written. So let it be done.

    RMMD: For a story this big, they can hold off putting the paper to bed.

    Zits: Walt Duncan, ladies and gentlemen, in his ground-breaking, tour-de-force performance, channels Marcel Marceau.

  55. Poteet
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:43 am [Reply]

    MY CAGE — Obviously I’m late with this, but I like the “serious of bad investments” from yesterday. It shows that a lot of money was lost.

  56. dreadedcandiru2
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    ReFoob: Here’s an excellent question: whence comes John’s belief that his feeding, clothing and housing his children is voluntary and thus requires him to be repaid? He’s got things bass-ackwards because he’s the one that owes, not the one that is owed; since he and Elly chose to bring a child into the world, they owe the human race the time, money and energy required to keep Mike alive. To say otherwise is to be something a lot less than human. It’s also to be one of Chris Rock’s low-expectation-having motherfuckers; someone needs to tell John that he doesn’t get a reward for doing things he’s supposed to do.[/rant.]

  57. Lee
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:22 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33):

    Wow, it’s kinda creepy! And looks like it was drawn with her feet. But the “font” is the same as it is now…

  58. Z
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:42 am [Reply]

    Shouldn’t Joe be off saving some ducks from a construction site or something?

  59. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:05 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy — Let me guess… Tracy’s favorite entertainer is AL JOLSON! (And that other “bum” looks suspiciously like… MUMBLES!)

    Crankshaft — Death cat… do your thing!

    Baldo — Bye Bye Burrito Boy! (But at least we still have Dilbird!)

    Archie — She does it just for the halibut!

  60. Apeman
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:15 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): I think that’s a copy of the actual strips that were to be put in the paper that week. Waaaaay back in the days of cut-and-paste, the layout people had to make a copy of those called a “PMT” which turned the lines into series of of dots (The darker the color, the closer together the dots were). Then they cut each strip from the PMT and pasted them on each day’s page. It was the same process that converted photographs into printable form. The newspaper I work for was still receiving our comics this way up to five years ago.

    Only the PMT could be pasted on the page because cutting and pasting the originals would have caused the ink to smear all over the place and resulted in a mess of black blobs. Not that this process ever helped make “Cathy” look better.

  61. Mr O'Malley
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:49 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#32): When I got back to Sunday, I couldn’t help noticing that Aunt Fritzi was filling out an Allman Brothers T-shirt. If it’s an original from the 1970s, she’s no spring chicken. But she could plausibly wear a Miff Mole and his Little Molers T-shirt, had such garments been in fashion during the Hoover administration.

    BC: That makes no sense. How would bread tipping over make it sliced?

    I guess it’s supposed to be about the expression “the greatest thing since sliced bread”, which is a silly expression anyway, because slicing bread makes it go stale faster. More of a benefit to bakers than to consumers.

    ReFoob: Aren’t they sending him to a public school? So they’re not paying for his education, except in the same indirect way they pay for coast guard patrols, restaurant health inspections, troops in Afghanistan, etc. (OK, it’s a rerun. Make that “troops in Cyprus”.)

    FW: Well, it’s a guy’s fridge. Both food groups are represented—pizza and beer. Although in some states, the supermarket won’t sell you beer at 2 AM. What is it in Ohio?

    MT: Why the orange background? Note how a professional cartoonist does things. When Joe is reduced in size in panel 3 to fit under the word balloon, Mr. Johnson’s gaze is directed downward in a direct line with Joe’s face. Unlike panel 1 where they are the same size, and gaze horizontally.

    NS: What?

    I guess that the “old gravedigger” is a kind of trope that will probably persist in cartoons for decades, nay, centuries to come. But what really happens is that the family and guests are discreetly requested to retire to the post-burial gathering while the cemetery people bring in a backhoe to fill in the grave. Does anyone seriously think they would hire people to push dirt around with a shovel?

    @Apeman (#60): That’s very interesting, in a retro tech kind of way. Thank you.

    I must say that later Cathy strips were somewhat of an improvement on the first week. The nose still gets to me though.

    I spent some time once trying to become a cartoonist by imitating other cartoonists that I like. One thing that got to me is the nose. If you’re drawing in a cartoony, as opposed to a realistic, style, women’s noses can not be done the same as men’s. It just doesn’t look right. Particularly in full face orientation.

    The usual technique is kind of a sideways check mark. Lois Flagston is an excellent example. Just go through a few Hi and Lois strips and look at the noses. Other cartoonists do just a single line for women’s noses in fullface.

    Cathy has no nose. It’s a cop-out. That was one thing I initially disliked about Planet Karen too, but later she added a nose, which made me much happier.

    I read that The Phantom was very popular in Australia, but the strips ran 6 weeks behind the US strips because originally the strips were sent over by ship, and to maintain continuity they’ve been the same ever since.

    I have no information about the continuity of Ginger Meggs running in American papers.

  62. Jack Parsons
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:52 am [Reply]

    So, if you want to be elected, you have to outdo MT’s sleazy “Shoot Animals While They Lick Your Feet” camp. I’m thinking “Shoot An Old Man In The Face And Make Him Apologize To You” camp.

  63. cj
    September 30th, 2010 at 5:18 am [Reply]

    @Jack Parsons (#62): before or after death? It makes quite a difference.

  64. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 30th, 2010 at 5:30 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth — I couldn’t agree more… Adrian and Scott are really “special” and they deserve “special” treatment! Put the pedal to the meddle, Mary!

    Family Circus — “Grandma wants to know if I still wet the bed. Do water farts count, Mommy?”

    The Argyle Sweater — Hey, Hilburn… you left out the Silver Surfer’s surfboard wax!

    Luann — TJ tries to change a dim bulb… Dirk. But he’s thwarted at every turn by an even dimmer bulb… Brad!

  65. Mordock999
    September 30th, 2010 at 5:51 am [Reply]

    Today’s Luann – 09/30/10


    I WANT Him.

    I WANT Him DEAD!

    I WANT Him DEAD IN so MANY different ways that it EVEN FRIGHTENS Me.

    DEATH to TJ!!!

  66. John C Fremont
    September 30th, 2010 at 5:51 am [Reply]

    MW – Without the dialogue, this looks like a Taster’s Choice commercial. A really, really creepy Taster’s Choice commercial.

    RMMD – Diane’s deflating.

  67. Adele Gepotchkit, II
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:37 am [Reply]

    MT: Who hunts after breakfast? I am no hunter, but don’t all exciting hunts begin before the crack of dawn? Unless, of course, you are shooting fish in a barrel. That kind of hunt you can begin after a nice breakfast.

  68. Mela
    September 30th, 2010 at 7:38 am [Reply]


    9CL: Ignoring the fact that we’re gonna get another week of “Burber woman has sex” (at the minimum), do cats’ whiskers even work that way? It sounds more like alien antenna; but of course, to tolerate a Burber woman, you’d have to be an alien.

    A3G: So is Doris the new third girl now that Tommie is happy and extra ignorable?

    Archie: That fish died agonized & terrified, you can tell.

    Baldo: Ah, a “Cathy” farewell has hit my Chron page and a pretty mean-spirited one at that.

    Curtis: I’ve never heard us brag we’re the smartest; I’ve seen us deny despite all evidence we’re pretty dumb but never brag about smarts.

    Edge: Huh, reminds me of the first storyline of this strip that made me love hating it, wherein the kids had the same reaction to the horrible task of saying “please” & “thank you”.

    ReFOOB: Lynn Johnston approves of this rerun; it casts John/Rod as an entitled & abusive bastard.

    FW: Despite the fact that this is leading to yet another oh-so-well-researched PTSD freak-out, I call foul on the operating hours. Round here, they’re open midnight at latest, even in the city. Maybe Wally’s assuring his privacy by sneaking in and posing as one of the overnight stockers.

    GA: Aw, how cute! Now Boog gets to learn all about divorce.

    NS: … What?

    PBS: Hey, Rat, go after people who think “aggro” is a good descriptor!

    RwO: Cute without trying.

    Zits: Now practice the “strangling your wife” routine. Please.

  69. CanuckDownSouth
    September 30th, 2010 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    Edge City: providing Synchronized Parenting Fail with ReFOOB this week. There’s something amazing about how you can have two different screwups of children’s household chores, both by making it All About Money and both equally annoying.

    Not a good kind of amazing, mind you. A are there really enough people who don’t get that you do tidy-up chores because contributing to keeping your living space livable is something *civilized* *human* *beings* simply *do* to get TWO cartoonists writing this?

  70. Dean Booth
    September 30th, 2010 at 7:51 am [Reply]

    MT: I’m hoping for a Lost Forest version of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: Rusty, wanting to join his new animal friends, dresses as a deer and climbs under the fence.

  71. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    September 30th, 2010 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    MW: Warning to peeping toms everywhere: You look in a window, and this is what you might see!

    A3G: While you’re at it, Luann, offer her that ridiculous hair, too.

    MT: In a far better world, Joe and Beth would team up as the Relatively Reasonable Duo, bringing their common-sense objections to Eldrodian characters everywhere.

    SM: Loved ones, Spidey? I can think of just one: MJ. As for Aunt May—well, has she even spoken to you since you dumped her on the hospital driveway?

  72. Ellie
    September 30th, 2010 at 8:07 am [Reply]

    Wow, Jeff has full tranny makeup on this morning! Stunning!

  73. Dennis
    September 30th, 2010 at 8:09 am [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#12):

    If Mark Trail’s Fist of Justice hit Dick Tracy’s Lantern Jaw of Justice The entire universe would implode.

  74. gleeb
    September 30th, 2010 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    Archie: Weatherbee’s favorite dish is a whole raw fish served in a litterbox.

    H&J: Herb knows this guy well enough to be on a first-name basis, but doesn’t know he wears glasses? Does he only meets Al here in the steam bath?

  75. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 30th, 2010 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    @Mr O’Malley (#61):

    Fritzi Ritz was created in 1922, so she was actually around during Warren Harding’s administration! (Nancy didn’t come along until 1933 when FDR was in office!)

  76. wossname
    September 30th, 2010 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Arch – OMG, what is that thing she’s serving him? It looks like incorrectly made salmon squares.

    FC – Whatever you’ve been up to, Jeffy, it made you shrink in half (or made the phone double in size) between semi-circle 1 and semi-circle 2.

    PBS – Is there such an expression as “do me a solid”?

    Phan – Those Rhodian prison guards are really not doing very well at the “vigilance” part of the job description.

    BrS – Now this is fun plotting. Who is that mysterious silhouetted woman? What are she and Binky up to? Are we sure Felicity really died in the car crash? (I could go back and check, but I’d rather just ask questions.)

  77. Brian
    September 30th, 2010 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    Who is Jack Elrod? (with apologies to Ayn Rand)

  78. Brian
    September 30th, 2010 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    You might want to step off of someone who correctly and actually used effete. He should get bonus points just for that.

  79. wossname
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#45): I read “A Man in Full” a long time ago, but IIRC, one plot thread involved sleazy politicians going to big quail hunting plantations in South Georgia to schmooze with each other and shoot little birdies. As far as I know, the quail in question are wild and not kept in cages, although the plantations may bait fields etc. to make it easy for the mighty hunters. (Anybody who remembers the book better, or knows more about the plantations, please chime in.)

  80. JD Rhoades
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#76):

    Is there such an expression as “do me a solid”?

    Yes. I had a friend from New York who used it all the time.

  81. britbike
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    Yep–I’ve had two cats who could and did rotate their large curvy whiskers forward when something interested them. I currently have a boy kitty who curls his tail into a cinnamon-bun shape when he sees something new–now that I’ve never seen before.
    I don’t know what makes sense for charming Westview, but in Houston there are several large grocery stores near me open 24 hours, and what I think is more likely for Wally, 24-hour convenience stores out the wazoo that sell basic groceries.

    September 30th, 2010 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    @Johnny Knuckles (#37): There’s a Jumble pun there somewhere. “STOOL SAMPLE”. Nice.

  83. commodorejohn
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#82): “The proctologist’s office called the furniture depot looking for a…”

    September 30th, 2010 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    ZIGGY- He’s the only one who could feel over-dressed in a hospital gown.

  85. Great Rumbler
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    I actually live just a few miles away from a huge, caged-hunt reserve. As far as I know, there’s never been any righteous indignation over it.

  86. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    Maybe Frank just promoted Joe from fence builder (hey, no fence, no cents, that’s his motto!) to ranch foreman. Stunned at this new commission, Joe can only respond with a kindly “Jack Elrod” as a thank you to the laird of the manor.

  87. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#82): What did the furniture maker provide a prospective customer?

  88. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#76):

    (re: Brenda Starr) Here’s my theory… for what it’s worth: the teenage girl whom Tap Fitzpatrick allegedly murdered years ago was Felicity Fox’s SISTER. Fox faked her own death in order to frame Tap and gain a measure of revenge for her sister’s murder. Which is why Binky Burns (Felicity’s accomplice) is trying to dupe Brenda and her newspaper into running an incriminating photo of Tap. Sound plausible?

  89. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    Maybe Joe is saying his bonus will be Jack Elrod. Which is like, Jack S*$t.

  90. wossname
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#88): Yes!! I love it! That would explain all that talk about how Felicity looks like the dead girl (since we know Schmich is actually good at Writing and dropping puzzle pieces that suddenly click into place much later).

    Let the record show that Rocky Stoneaxe called it on this day.

  91. Scott Bot
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    GT – Wonder Twin powers, activate!

    @britbike (#81): I live in middle of nowhere Wisconsin, and I can name at least two 24 hour convenience stores in my little town of 2300, plus two Wal-Mart 24 hour Supercenters within an 20 minute drive. Of course, Westview may not have a Wal Mart…

  92. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    TMMB: at least they’re not standing on a pitchers mound in the rain. That would be derivative.

    PBS and Phantom are right next to each other on my DB-Chron page. They share a sound FX.

    RwO: I giggled.

    Zits: nice visuals.

    Frazz: prime numbers are amusing.

    IP: this is how you do super-hero humor. Hilburn,[*] you might want to consider taking notes.

    Lio: Will grow up to like goth girls. Would Crystal be his cougar?

  93. Calico
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    Bon Matin, and Happy 50th Anniversry Fred and Wilma!,28804,2022485_2022487,00.html?iid=moreontime
    (List of top ten animated cartoon songs)

  94. Walker of Dog
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#91): Form of… eighty dollars!

  95. anon
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    Today’s Pluggers are taking an old-fashioned lunchbox break, probably Spam sandwiches on Wonder Bread, smug and content in the knowledge they have good jobs in a FACTORY! This must be some kind of Plugger hallucination, thinking back to the good old days when they actually HAD jobs in a FACTORY! Where is this factory, anyway, that hires Pluggers? Nowhere, it is gone, it is no more, alas. Todays Pluggers are shopping at Walmart with their unemployment check money and hanging out at Teabagger Parties to give them a break from Judge Judy, The Price is Right, and ambulance chaser commercials.

  96. ANDREA
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    Carl Hiaasen’s book, ‘Sick Puppy.’ revolves around a politician’s canned hunt, and is hilarious . . . no animals were killed in the writing of that book (not in the plot, either, but the humans sure took some hits).

    @WOSSNAME (#90) . . . are you a Sir Pterry Pratchett fan?

  97. The "Noodle Incident"
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    MW: Mary the Meddling Planner is the best argument against marriage EVER.

  98. TheDiva
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: Man, if this isn’t a case for euthanasia…

    FW: Maybe Wally would feel better if his motel room wasn’t directly adjacent to the void.

    Luann: You know you’re in the middle of an Idiot Plot when even the idiots are commenting on how idiotic it is.

    MW: …Why are their curtains on the outside of the window?

  99. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    yeah, Lab’s are like that, and are teh kewt as pups.

    As seen in LoFo.

    Mollusks are Pluggers.

  100. Brian
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    If there’s a crime going on in Mark Trail, it’s a crime of fashion. Mark is just trying to get embarrassing photos of Frank in that flannel-shirt-buttoned-to-the-neck-paired-with-smoking-jacket combination. I can’t wait to see him in the morning in his hunting boots and camouflage ascot.

  101. wossname
    September 30th, 2010 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#88): I got so interested in your theory that I went back to the beginning of this arc (which, in case anybody else is so inclined, was Sunday, July 25).

    Your scenario works — we never had any confirmation that the dead girl in the car was really Felicity. So a couple of questions: In the scene where the news media are all questioning Tap at his house, a mysterious figure looks out from behind the curtains. His father? And where does his father fit into the plot, anyway? And who is driving the Hummer that almost runs Brenda off the road in Pokeville? Presumably that’s the “city folks movin’ in tryin’ to fancy the place up.” Villains, obviously, but where do they fit in?

    @ANDREA (#96): YES!! I’m a huge Terry fan. Er, I mean my fanliness is huge, not me personally. I loved the way the characters (esp. Gaspode) used “wossname” where we would use whatchamacallit. But if I had it all to do over, I might call myself Nanny Ogg. I’m also a Carl Hiaasen fan.

  102. teenchy
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): Interesting to see Cathy was taller and thinner at her inception (closer visually to Guisewite herself?), though that fourth strip tips up off to the habits that would turn her barrel-shaped.

  103. Chyron HR
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    @anon (#95): That’s the factory where they make industrial-sized cans of beef (also known as the “Plugger’s prime rib”). You bicoastal elitists probably aren’t familiar with that product.

  104. commodorejohn
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Agnes – wins for Best Punchline today.

    A3G – What.

    Blondie – The second rule is actually “don’t talk about the first rule,” but since he’s already botched that, he’s gotta save face somehow.

    C&B – I love this strip.

    DT – See, it’s much easier to accept Dick as a looming black silhouette with glowing eyes than as a beardy hobo.

    Dilbert – Ooh, good reaction. I’ll have to remember that one.

    FW – Well, so much for anyone actually being considerate towards Wally. It was nice for all, uh, two strips.

    GT – Dear Gil Thorp: only words that are plural and end in S get possessivized with a lone apostrophe.


    Love Is… – Elton John?

    Luann – They keep flogging the whole “ha ha the popular girl is a dumb slut ‘cuz she’s popular” theme, but really, she’s not demonstrably stupider than any of the other characters. Sure, she gets a “ha ha, will you look at this stupid bimbo” line whenever Evans thinks we might’ve forgotten her designated role, but going by sheer number of terrible, terrible decisions made, she might actually be one of the brighter people in the strip. For instance, she was not the person who decided that the best way to ward off a stalker is with Marriage! I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

    MT – “I’m jus’ a simple ranch foreman. I don’t unnerstand things like sensible use of comma-delimited addressing. But there is one thing I DO know…that canned hunting is morally objectionable!”

    MW – Oh Jesus, you can see Mary’s jaw dislocate as she warms up for swallowing Adrian’s soul. We’re about to get into some John Carpenter shit here, folks.

    Momma – If I were given the chance to ask one question of an omniscient being, it would be “why haven’t Momma’s children murdered her yet?”

    MC – Aww…

    PBS – That particular turn of phrase has never been a pet peeve of mine, but I like Rat’s method. I’ll have to make a note of that for the next time I hear someone use “Facebook” as a verb.

    Phantom – Wouldn’t it be kind of a dick move to use the skull ring on someone who’s just standing around? Officer of a police state or no, he’s not doing anything.

    PC – Hey, look at that! Prickly City got to the point! And it’s only Thursday!

    RMMD – Okay, seriously, how many more times are they going to use the word “leak” in this storyline?

    SF – Why do people insist that you’re somehow failing if you’re not on a constant upward path? Reminds me of what Things They Don’t Tell You had to say about the subject.

  105. commodorejohn
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): Jesus. There are ten-year-olds on deviantArt who draw better than that. And write just as well.

  106. Calico
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33):
    Dammit, Cathy, “Yeth” is Joey’s old tag line from DtM.

  107. ms. docweasel
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    The idea of a “Federal Blue Book” of body parts is a method by which Obama might consider paying for the ruinous Obamacare fiasco. However, the death panels deciding who to cure and who to junk for parts would probably just declare Ziggy a total loss and puree him for the Soylent Slurry fed to the lobotomized drones in Obama’s organ factories.

  108. Will
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#49): Totally agree on Fred Basset. He’s a nice respite before I have to see what new horrors Funky Winkerbean has wrought. Speaking of which: oh, just skip to the inevitable suicide-by-cop shooting spree already, Batiuk. Put Wally out of our misery.

    SFox: On a completely different note, what’s the deal with Bob Weber’s obsession with belly buttons. In nearly every “six differences” cartoon, one of the differences will be some kid’s belly button hanging out.

  109. Walker of Dog
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#98): Unlike a bathroom, the void never needs cleaning.

  110. Fashion Police
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    One wonders if photographs taken with Mr. Trail’s 16,000mm lens will appear upside down.

  111. UncleJeff
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): Nice catch, UL. I wonder what the publication dates were for those strips because it’s interesting to see how elongated the “first” ‘Cathy’ was compared to the strips on the right and her current form.

  112. Amateur
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    MW: Mary is no longer making any attempt to hide her evil glee. “Their day will be special . . . IF IT KILLS THEM!”

  113. ElkMeadow
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#106):

    And “Yeth” is also the last word of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel “Rilla of Ingleside.” Rilla tended to say it whenever she was caught off-guard.

  114. UncleJeff
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#83): Oooh, good one.
    I dare you to try getting that one past the syndicate censors, FEJF!

  115. ANDREA
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#101): The Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion is called WOSSNAME. If you’re interested in subscribing, go to

  116. UncleJeff
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#113): And “yeth” or “yes” is one of my favorite Woody Allen punchlines.
    In one of his plays, he has a messenger opening a letter meant for the king.
    The message only says: “yes.”
    Worried about the old “killing the messenger” thing, the messenger runs through the possible questions that prompted such a response.
    One of them was: “Does the queen have the clap?”

  117. Mibbitmaker
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    9CL: Solange is featured in a daily — and all is right with the world! (how many variants are there to “that long furshlugginer storyline is finally done, THANK GOD!”, anyway?)

    A3G: LuAnn continues: “Also, you can have this horrible, crappy hair, I don’t want it!” She then immediately rips her entire head of hair off her scalp, horrifying everyone.

    BBlues: Reason #1,857,853 to stay single.

    Blondie: I blame Cliff Klaven.

    Crank: Death Cat, you know what to do…

    Curtis: Well, he’s right about the “dull” part.

    FC: Yes, an IQ that just went up — to one!

    ReFOOB: Well, Mikey, it’s alittle late for that! ……or IS it?

  118. greghousesgf
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    how come Joey says “yeth” but he doesn’t lisp saying anything else?

  119. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    @greghousesgf (#118): he knows his clientele.

  120. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    What are Frank and the jaunty fellows going to do the day after the canned hunt? Dynamite for rainbow trout in the Lost Forest lake?

  121. Mibbitmaker
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    GT: The high price of being captains is being paid by that poor fly they just killed with their fists.

    H&L: “Guess again, squirt!”

    MT: Good call, Josh!

    MW: Holding a steaming cuppa coacoa is the new petting a cat and laughing maniacally.

    Phantom: While we wait for Mark Trail….

    Popeye: Bud…. I know you did this in the ’80s or ’90s…… and that you’re currently unalive…. but, really, sometimes the excess of “?”s are just not needed. The ol’ salt makes sufficient sense… for him.

    6C: Y’know, there’s supporting the noble cause of literacy, and there’s making books into a smug, preachy, intollerant cult. (And I rarely bother with Facebook much myself!)

    Zits: Jeremy’s teenage crap and the parents’ parental crap. A twofer.

    FW: Of course there are many stores open 24 hours. However, in Westview, Batiukland, there are only inconvenience stores. Or conveniently inconvenience stores.

  122. Poteet
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    @Mela (#68): There are 24-hour supermarkets in Iowa, which makes me think they must be fairly common around the country. It’s actually kind of soothing to hear there’s one place where night is still night.

  123. Tom Allen
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    “Guide him to where that big buck deer hangs out.”

    “You mean, 18 inches from where we hobbled him and tied him to a tree?”

  124. Poteet
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    9CL — I suppose Solange may not get much else to watch. It’s not as if the Burber women seem to have interests and activities other than how utterly glorious they are, how deeply men are in thrall to them, and how much they love sex.

  125. Rana
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#121): 6C I know, I know. I spend lots of time both on Facebook and on… dun, dun… LibraryThing, because I know that reading books is an activity that doesn’t require you to be a technophobic hermit. Sure, I could read more books if I stopped participating in online networks, but I don’t know that reading the latest werewolfy genre fiction paperback is all that more elevated a pursuit than playing ZooWorld.

  126. Uncle Lumpy
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#111):

    Cathy debuted November, 1976.

  127. Charterstoned
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    MT – Where the heck did Joe come from? Was he behind the drapes? Crouching behind the club chair?

  128. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @Charterstoned (#127): Gimp-box in the basement?

  129. wossname
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @ANDREA (#115): Thanks! I’ll subscribe when I get home so I’ll get it there, not at work.

  130. Fashion Police
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    @Brian (#100):
    Even if he goes hunting in a stiff collar and tweeds, as God and the King intended, we cannot overlook his grievous misuse of a smoking jacket.

  131. Baka Gaijin
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    @Nekrotzar (#38) on photo of Cathy spread-legged: I am so glad she’s wearing polka dots. If that bathing suit was vertical-striped, yucko. [*] As if sitting on a big pile of brown turds WITH A SPOON isn’t disturbing enough.

  132. Roman Fingers
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#122): I’m in a city of about 125,000, and we’ve got two grocery stores and the bowling alley that are open all night.

  133. Baka Gaijin
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): That last strip. Is the implication that the man actually spent the night until morning?

  134. wossname
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#133): They could be having coffee after dinner, ya know. But I kind of thought the point was that she was being just as delusional as the women who think “Would he have sex with me if he didn’t love me?”

    (A very wise answer to that question, which I read somewhere long ago: “Honey, men schtupp mud.”)

  135. Baka Gaijin
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#122): Our metro area’s population is about 60,000. Exactly zero 24-hour grocery stores or convenience marts. Most close either Sunday or Monday or both. Making accurate shopping lists is very important here. Next trip to the US, I’m stopping by the Meijer or Fred Meyer or Schuncks about 9pm on a Sunday to buy something. Anything. Just because I can. Just because I can.

  136. terrapin
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    Wow Jeff, way to totally throw your daughter under the meddling bus. Just sit back nodding your head “yes” with that stupid grin on your face, sipping that steaming cup of whatever it is that makes being Marys’ concubine bearable.

  137. terrapin
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    @Dean Booth (#70):I’m hoping for “Lord of the Flies”.

  138. BillZBub
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    @Nekrotzar (#38): Good Lord, the way Cathy’s eyes are so squished together just creeps me out.

    … I think I just figured out the real reason for Cathy ending. They needed to stop the strip before she completed her devolution into a monstrous cyclops.

  139. littlestevie
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary is getting wizard like in her skills. Not only did she move Dr. Jeff and her self through the walls of her lair, to the outside, She also changed the size of the window panes. Mary is gaing so much power so fast, she will soon become unstoppable.

  140. Steve the Pocket
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    Baldo: I …….. have no idea what’s going on here. Is he using a comic about an offensive Latino stereotype as a stand-in for Cathy, a comic about an offensive female stereotype?

    Funky Winkerbean: Somebody please get an actual soldier who has PTSD to visit Batiuk’s house and give him a damn lecture on how it really works. PLEASE. This is just embarrassing.

    Prickly City: Man, if you think paying people to put up signs and stand around pretending to do road work is a new phenomenon, you have not tried to drive through Pennsylvania in the last decade or so.

    Six Chix: For a young woman, this writer sure is a grumpy old man.

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): Well, bugger me sideways. I never thought I’d actually say this, but the artwork in Cathy actually has improved since the early days. Difference is, though, back then they were just the humble napkin scribbles of a stressed out twentysomething, so it sort of worked. Not so much now that it’s a corporatized, commercialized crank-out job.

    @Apeman (#60): Meanwhile, nowadays, even though printers can still work off a grayscale master for photos, cartoonists apparently have to apply their Benday themselves, resulting in no two comics having the same dot pitch. Ain’t progress great? :P

  141. Uncle Lumpy
    September 30th, 2010 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#135):

    Gotta love Meijer, for when you wake up in the middle of the night and you just gotta own a canoe.

  142. Little A and his Crystal Ball That Might Finally Be Right Predicts:
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    MT: This has probably been discussed here before, but I can’t reall reading about this notion, but are there two “artists” scribbling under the Elrod ball? Sometimes the “artwork” is much better than at other times. Today and recently, for instance, it stinks, the illustration looks like it could have come out of a third-rate children’s book from 1930 or so; at other times, it is more careful and almost competant. Almost, I said.

    And will soembody clue me in: what’s a gimp-box?

  143. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    Frank: “Joe, make sure Sen. Hill gets a BOOM gun and not one of those puny BLAM guns.”

  144. Professor Fate
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    FW: Oh here’s the milk, behind the body parts.

    MW: Abandon all hope – this wedding is doomed.

    MT: Historical note: Someone who did like canned hunts was Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany – before World War One he liked to have herds of Elk driven into a V shaped fenced area by beaters. The Kaiser and the rest of his party would wait in their blind at the base of the V and blaze away at the herd of panicked animals as they tried to escape the trap. Explains more about World War I then I care to think about.

  145. Readem and Laf
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    MT Joe make sure you “guide him to where that big buck hangs out.”

    I have a disturbing image of the deer roped, or swinging, from a tree. And please, don’t tell me that the politician’s daughter’s pet male deer has grown up so fast that it is sporting a nice rack of horns.

  146. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

  147. Little A and his Crystal Ball That Might Finally Be Right Predicts:
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    MT: I found out what a gimp-box is, I think. Many of you will remember those scenes in Pulp Fiction, when that Gimp comes out of the basement, from his box?…… What a cultured bunch we snarkers are. How educational this blog is…

  148. Little A and his Crystal Ball That Might Finally Be Right Predicts:
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:48 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#146): Our posts crossed. thanks for the info! I had to look WAY DOWN on the inernet to find out what I needed to know!

  149. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    “Good luck gentlemen … We’ll start our hunt tomorrow morning after a hearty, nutritious breakfast highlighting the local cuisine … copious amounts of coffee and what the common folk around here call flapjacks.”

    Seriously, Josh’s “Threee-Horses Theory” explains so much about this strip.

  150. UncleJeff
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#126): That is a long, long run. But if I were asked “What’s your all-time favorite ‘Cathy’ moment?” I couldn’t come up with one single thing.

  151. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    further information on many things is available on the internet, or so I’ve been told. *looks innocent*

  152. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#150): “What’s your all-time favorite ‘Cathy’ moment?”

    October 4th.

  153. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#149): That’s “Threee” as in the EEEEEEE sound an NOAA weather radio makes. Thanks, trio of horse authors, and may your view of our world continue to be an amusing one!

  154. Push Trot
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy: I once put forward that Ziggy could be seen as a mutilated version of the story of Jesus Christ.

    I was of course joking.

    But today… are they talking about the Eucharist?

  155. bats :[
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#99): and the saddest thing, it’s always the innocent ones who suffer.

  156. Amateur
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    @Alex (#41): COTW!!

  157. ArchieNemesis
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Congratulations Josh, I did a literal laugh-out-loud in my cubical as I read your analysis of Mark Trail. Unfortunately, I had just taken a bite of lunch.

  158. Amateur
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    @Sgt. Stoned (#43): Your use of “inappropriate” “scare” “quotes” indicates that you forgot Josh’s rule about politics in the comments. Might want to keep it in mind.

  159. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#155): Is Lucky the newest cast member on this season’s Racoon Patrol? And is casting a deer as part of a crack-racoon espionage team a canny attempt to diversify the audience or a simple case of stunt casting?

  160. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#155): oh deer! *gigglez*

  161. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @ms. docweasel (#107):

    Actually, Ziggy was a victim long before PRESIDENT Obama came on the scene. It’s kind of his shtick, you know?

    It irritates me no end when people refer to a sitting President — any President — by his last name only. For the record I didn’t care for either President Bush, but I’ve always respected the office of POTUS… even if I didn’t respect the men who held the position!

  162. littlestevie
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    MT: maybe Elmer Fudd could show up in Gov. to be Stepfather’s hunting group. Elmer could then say “Be berry berry quiet, we’re hunting Wusties!”

  163. Jesse C
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    “and by bonus I mean a pile of animal carcasses to clean up”

  164. UncleJeff
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @littlestevie (#162): heh heh heh heh heh heh heh

  165. Rocky Stoneaxe
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#101):

    We really don’t know if that’s Tap Fitzpatrick’s father or not since the character still hasn’t appeared “onstage”. Could it be the person who actually killed Feliicity Fox’s sister? Perhaps Fitzpatrick — who’s dedicated his life to upholding the law — is shielding a beloved family member (father? brother? cousin?) from being implicated in the young woman’s death.

  166. Shiai
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    Wow, Ziggy is the last place I would have expected a Tea Party slam at Obamacare. What’s next, the hospitalized Crankshaft running afoul of the Death Panel?

  167. SWMBO
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

  168. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    Maybe each day Joe gets a different job title. Tomorrow: “You’re my butcher, Joe, now get to work packing these carcasses.”

  169. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    @Mela (#68): re FW — definitely a ripoff of the BD/Melissa saga from Doonesbury (all the vets went shopping in the wee hours of the morning, and gave frozen pizzas for Christmas presents because they couldn’t shop anywhere else). And, at least around here, the big 3 supermarkets are all 24/7/364 outfits.

  170. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#161): Bless you… I feel the same way.

  171. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    September 30th, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @Steve the Pocket (#140): re FW and PTSD… while Batiuk is a little absurd at times, I’ve known a variety of people (including myself) with varying amounts and types of PTSD. All the way from the former Marine that moved to the mountains only to discover that imaginary enemy snipers held the mountaintops, to the pilot that breaks down into tears everytime he gets near Vicks Vaporub, which he used to stuff his nose when he flew planes that had the bodies of dead soldiers in back.

    I could believe that there is a soldier, somewhere, that won’t go out to buy milk. But, as I said previously, Doonesbury covered the subject, first and better.

  172. This Guy
    September 30th, 2010 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: A vaccine to immunize one against acquiring knowledge and improving one’s ability to think? Yeah, that’s just what this kid needs. He might need a “smart drug” to let him know that “vaccine” isn’t a generic synonym for “drug.”

    FB: Obviously, the original line in panel one was “Come on, Fred–you can jerk him off!” until the syndicate put the kibosh on it, hence the “get a grip” comment. The “momentary loss of confidence,” of course, refers to Fred’s brief inability to maintain sexual arousal while pleasuring the other dog.

  173. Baka Gaijin
    September 30th, 2010 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    I was looking at a few minutes ago. It has a “Trending Now” area that lists popular searches or something. On this list is “Rare Pink Hippo.” Immediately I thought of Cathy. Am I a bad person? Are there so many people interested in Cathy now that the strip is almost over?

  174. Dood
    September 30th, 2010 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    @littlestevie (#162): You ever try to clean one?

  175. Austria
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    Snark? Bluh. I came here to gloat.

    My strip for the campus newspaper this week was pulled for being potentially offensive! Does this make me officially official I BELIEVE IT DOES. I’m in the big leagues now, y’all except not


  176. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#174): the thought of “hunting Wusties” combined with “them’s good eatin’!” makes me nauseous, much like I feel when reading Marvin.

  177. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#175): yay!

    issue a press release, and someone get it up on the Daily Cartoonist! :-D

  178. zerowolf
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    MW: Who holds steaming hot coffee mugs with their bare hands? I’m finding it much easier to believe that Mary is a Borg Queen and Charterstone is her hive.

  179. commodorejohn
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#174): Ugh, I saw someone try to clean a Rusty once. All it took was one slice up the belly and suddenly black ichor and writhing organ-critters started pouring out. I looked away before I saw too much, but that poor bastard with the knife is in an asylum now.

    @Austria (#175): Yeah, you’re a rebel now, baby! Which group were you offending?

  180. commodorejohn
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    @zerowolf (#178): I do! Perfect thing to warm you up on a cold fall morning. Of course, Mary lives in California, not northern California even, and they basically don’t have cold there, so I expect you’re right on track.

  181. Shrug
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#150):

    No idea of the date, but it was several years ago. Cathy got mad at Irving and chased him out of her apartment because he’d left the toilet seat up. Memorable because up until that moment it had not occured to me that Cathy had any use for a bathroom other than as a room holding a mirror into which she could look and say “ACCCKKK.”

  182. J.P. Patches
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    What’s all this talk about Jack Elrod’s balls? Disgusting, if you ask me…

  183. zerowolf
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    A3G: If the big news is Doris and Jack are getting married I picture a scene like this:

    Lu Ann: That SOB, I thought he was hot for me.
    Margo: You? What about me? Mills Gallery needs his money. Do you think Doris will let him invest any more money after the way I treated her?
    Lu Ann: I could kill the bastard.
    Margo: Sorry, but that’s my niche. Though you can torture Doris with your inane whining about your hair.
    Lu Ann: My HAIR! How could you?
    (enters Tommie)

    Tommie: What’s the matter?

    Lu Ann and Margo: Nothing (storm off opposite directions slamming doors)

    Thus the makeover plot ends as it began with Margo and Lu Ann in a huff and Tommie a day late and a dollar short.

  184. Alison
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    Imagine having to sit on that stool after pants-less Ziggy sits in it. That makes me sick to my stomach, literally.

  185. mr 12 oz can
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    MARY WORTH- ted convey has returned who do you think is looking in the window
    mark trail- ranch forman would imply that there would be other workers . where are they and what do they do . franks ponzi scheme has to be genius how else would he have so much money.
    fred basset – this strip has no great writing but seeing fred every day makes me smile . also andy of mark trail is rarely shown my favorite dog

  186. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    @zerowolf (#178): Well, remember that Mary has gnarled claws. And Jeff? He’s entered a comfortable (and safe) numbness.

    @mr 12 oz can (#185):

    also andy of mark trail is rarely shown my favorite dog

    I don’t think I want Andy around in a plot featuring trigger-happy, “gonna shoot me some half-tame game” yahoos. Now, Mark, on the other hand—he can wander right in there.

  187. Rusty
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#33): And those were the final product of 7 months of practicing her craft. She dared to draw “breasts” back then, as a small consolation.

  188. Carly
    October 1st, 2010 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    I see Ziggy is now taking the political cartoon Mad Libs approach to writing comics.

  189. Zipper
    October 1st, 2010 at 6:12 am [Reply]

    Re: MT 9/29/10
    I think I finally figured the reason for Joe’s expression … he didn’t know he was ranch foreman, he was looking forward to being “Jack Elrod” a guest on the hunt and now he has to get rid of that glass of whiskey in his hand before the boss notices it.

  190. ANDREA
    October 1st, 2010 at 6:32 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#129): DiscWorld Convention in USA 2011 will be in Madison, Wisconsin . . . about a two-hour drive from me. I began reading “I Will Wear Midnight” last night.

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