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The rich get richer, the deer get kicked

Mark Trail, 10/21/10

Some of my readers rushed to declare Friday’s Mark Trail, in which our hero leaps over a barbed-wire-topped fence to knock a rifle out of a senator’s hands, to be the greatest Mark Trail ever. Well, I hope you all feel a little sheepish now that you’ve seen today’s strip, a glorious single-panel tableau in which Future Governor Frank kicks a fawn in the butt while his stepdaughter, Mark, and the man whose political patronage he’s been so desperately seeking all look on in horror. We of course can’t declare this strip the best of all time — for, in a world that has brought forth such wondrousness, how can we put limits on the potential joys of the future? — but it sure is pretty great.

Shoe, 10/21/10

Something doesn’t seem right here: I thought that, in the Shoe world, Roz serves coffee and comfort food from a diner counter on a tree branch, whereas booze is dished out in smoky bars that do not appear to be tree-based structures. But this is mere nitpickery, I know! I should just enjoy the hilarious joke here, about how the strip’s main characters use their crippling alcoholism as an excuse for being cheapskates.

Luann, 10/21/10

So, yeah, I haven’t really been able to bring myself to comment on the “Brad and the gang deal with the serious problems of stalking and domestic violence with Three’s Company-worthy hijinks” plotline over the past few weeks. But then I got to today and saw Brad and TJ talking about ladies underwear, and I thought to myself, “No way in hell am I suffering through this alone.” SO HERE IT IS! LOOK AT IT! LOOK AT THEM TALKING ABOUT PANTIES!

Judge Parker, 10/21/10

Ha ha, it wouldn’t be a Judge Parker story if one of the already wealthy principals didn’t become even richer at the end of it. Sam plays golf with a guy for 10 minutes and sees him get killed? Boom! A $100,000 advance check for Judge Parker! Sam violates legal ethics willy-nilly to sort of half-assedly solve a mystery? Wham! A cool hundred large for him too! Now the hour or so he spent helping Jules set up an Excel spreadsheet will net him a third of what will no doubt turn out to be an insanely lucrative business. It’s a good thing his house is so big, because he’s going to need someplace to put his huge piles of stupid money.

274 responses to “The rich get richer, the deer get kicked”

  1. Little A and his Crystal Ball That Might Finally Be Right Predicts:
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    MT: That guy has no compunction about blasting animals away with a howitzer, but kick one in the tuchiss! Hey, that’s horrible, no way you are getting his suppsort after that!!!

  2. yellojkt
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    I thought Brad was already in Toni’s panties. Right now. Hence the reason they are in a knot.

  3. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    Shorter title: Dough, a deer.

  4. Doctor Handsome
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    Cut Future Governor Frank a break, huh? He lost his shins in the war! HE KILLED FIDDY MEN!!

  5. Mac
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    Look at the expression on Brad’s face — in all three panels, but most clearly in the second. Even he’s overcome by ennui by this storyline.

  6. Shermy Glamrocker
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    Finish this sentence: “I kicked a fawn in the butt and ________ “

  7. zenvelo
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    so the Fists o’ Justice will meet the Boot o’ Injustice !! Life just keeps getting better.

  8. Amateur
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:52 am [Reply]

  9. Calico
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    Poor li’l deer butt. The look on its sweet innocent face says “Hey! This was all your stupid kid’s fault in the first place, mister!” The look on the hunter’s face is priceless too-just another day on politics.
    But(t) yes, this Mark Trail is totaly awesome. I can’t wait for the mashups.

  10. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    Post-jumped during preview, and I didn’t notice it. See what will probably remain the last post in the previous thread for more snark from ol’ Muffaroo, ‘kay?

    Zippy – Quoting for those who skip Dinbgurg strips (like I would normally be doing, but the historic material interests me strangely): “Hell is other Dingburgers.”

    Google – Today’s logo is either celebrating Diz, or honoring men with blue-green color blindness.

    @Jason1981 (#215): It’s even better if you read Mole Man’s lines in the voice of the hapless old Hans Moleman from the Simpsons.

    @Mela (#230): “Knock-off Muppet” would be the awful puppets they had on “Pirate Adventures with Captain Hook,” a Christian kiddie show hosted by a double amputee with a mission. Actually, there were two ranks of puppets on the show. There were the merely awful ones, which proved that Muppets sometimes have marital relations with their siblings. Then there were the truly wretched ones, that showed that the awful ones were still capable of fruitful marital sibling relations. The absence of any puppets that were even worse shows that this sort of thing doesn’t work forever.

  11. Calico
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    In politics – oops!

  12. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Maybe the next Judge Parker strip will detail the money-making potential of blogging!

  13. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Preview Prevented Post-Jumpage!

    Corporate support for political activities, you’re doing it pretty well, actually! (further info on Cali’s Prop 19 can be found on the internet.)

    next on Gil Thorp.

    too late for A3G related jokes.

    A classic Far Side shows up on a lol-site.

  14. Dood
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    How soon can we order our “Lucky, Run!” T-shirts?

    Frank should try out for Milford’s football team. Gil needs a reliable place-kicker, and it looks like Frank could split the ol’ antlers, I mean, uprights.

  15. Dood
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    It takes minutes of work for Sam to keep Spencer Farms flush with Adirondack chairs, plush wicker outdoor furniture, fine wine and perky breasts.

  16. fnord3125
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    Sam’s money really is unintelligent, isn’t it?

  17. jayjaybear
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    “Some Pluggers just aren’t hip”? Seriously? Would you like a report on the sylvan defecation of bears or the religious nature of the Pope, too?

  18. Bootsy
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    For side by side comparison, someone with better skills than I should find ol’ Hugh, who (I think) during the Molly the hapless Pet Bear episode, became known as the “chicken kicker” because he, well, he kicked some chickens. Out of anger, but out of sight of Mark too. I don’t know what Mark will do when he actually witnesses baby animal ass kicking.

    I think someone once aimed a foot at Andy, but I believe Andy would have turned around and eaten the foot right off. At least, that helps me sleep at night.

  19. Dood
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    Look at how Lucky’s and Mark’s astonished faces complement one another. Feeling Lucky today, Mark?

  20. Bud
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    The single Mark Trail panel showing Wanna-Gov Frank kicking the fawn is a rare exception to the warped comics-time we usually see in strips where nothing happens and no one ages for months or years.

    Here, in the space of a few inches, we see Frank destroy his political future (but simultaneously audition for a role in Gil Thorp as Milford High’s suspiciously old foreign-exchange placekicker), a baby deer transmogrify into what appears to be a kangaroo, and Jack Elrod manufacture and distribute his own campaign buttons to fill the gubernatorial vacuum. And . . . because we don’t want to see actual douchebag foot on actual fawn ass, we get magical Ws and Vs arrayed in a rising-sun semi-circle. All that’s missing is the sound effect. THWAP anyone?

  21. Johnny Q
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    If they ever make a Mark Trail movie, it should star Jackie Chan.

  22. Darkefang
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    S-M: The hot young redhead! She must be mine! Oh, she’s married? Well, really, anyone will do. How about that 100-year-old woman over there?

  23. TheDiva
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    9CL: But what does that have to do with you Force-choking her?

    C’shaft: I’d suggest calling the Darwin Awards, but they’d probably ask you to wait until one of Cranky’s patented grill explosions takes out his entire genetic line.

    FW: “Sad” as in depressed and miserable, or “sad” as in repulsively pathetic? Either way it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for Les.

    reFOOB: Replace “homework” with “housework” and Elly could be talking about herself. Michael comes by it honestly.

    Luann: Never, ever say “undies” again, TJ.

    MT: Oh, I can’t wait to see the attack ad that results from this little incident. “Frank organized a game hunt with tame animals and kicks cute little fawns in the butt! And he supports the Pelosi agenda 94 percent!”

    MW: I think Mary knows that if Adrian continues to trust her own judgment, she’ll continue to get into scrapes which Mary will have to meddle her out of. She’s just protecting her investment.

    Pluggers: ….Only some?

    SM: I know Rule 36 teaches us that everything is someone’s fetish, but I would have thought that “women who are related to Peter Parker” would be an exception…

  24. Vermic
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    Governor kicked that deer so hard it turned into a wallaby! It’s gotta be the shoes.

  25. LUJBEM FEJF
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:16 am [Reply]

  26. Dood
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    Clearly, Sen. Hapless McWhattheeff is leaning towards supporting Jack Elrod and calling an end to this petting zoo madness. Frank, for the next election cycle, try something like building a killer corn maze for your political patrons. Even the Forths will be all over that.

  27. teenchy
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    @Shermy Glamrocker (#6): …”all I got was this stupid t-shirt.” You set this up for Josh, didn’t you? ;-)

    I’m sure someone’s pointed this out before, but aren’t all the non-Trail family “pets” in MT named “Lucky”? It’s like how all of Tony Danza’s characters are named “Tony.”

    re Luann/SF: If anyone should be talking about panties, surely it should be Ted Forth, no?

  28. Dood
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    You have to figure that Lucky and Joe — he’s a former ranch foreman, you know — could commiserate about Frank’s kicking skills.

  29. Krazy Kat
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    In the Trailiverse, is it against the law to punch a powerful, politically-connected man on his own property in front of witnesses? Well, I guess we’re about to find out…

  30. I'm Not Dirk
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    MT: With the election less than two weeks away, Frank should paint the fawn with the name of some unpopular bill and then shoot it. This would make a great political commercial, especially in West Virginia.

    Phantom: She gave up waiting on you a long time ago, oh Ghost-Who-Crawls. I’m not sure she will be all that glad to finally see you show up.

    Luann: OMG, I don’t know what to think about this strip anymore.

  31. Rocky Stoneaxe
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    DtM — Is that a strand of pubic hair under George’s nose… and more important, HOW did it get there?

    Mark Trail — I don’t recall the details of the storyline from late(?) 2008, but this looks like the exact same pose Elrod used of a character kicking over a PLANT in a fit of pique! Would someone be so kind as to track down the original daily and post a link here?

  32. Carlo
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    @Doctor Handsome (#4): I absolutey LOVE the Cotton Hill reference!

  33. Amateur
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    @Shermy Glamrocker (#6): I’m torn between “I feel fine” and “I liked it.”

  34. tonysoprano
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    MT: Frank, Iran’s calling. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants his jacket back.

  35. Zeke
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    In mind-bendlingly bizarre news, The Middletons today features a kid being excited at the prospect of eating candy corn.

  36. tb400
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    Dude, there is an image that has floated around the web for years featuring Cobra Commander kicking a puppy. I thought it was the greatest thing to ever grace the screen. I was wrong. DEAD wrong.

  37. Carlo
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    Are T.J. and Brad really talking about Toni’s undies, or is this part of their arrangement? I always thought T.J. was the femme.

    Archie: I used the same exact line as Archie yesterday to describe one of my kids. Either I’m a hack, or I’m being assimilated by AJGLU-3000.

    Cleats: Has this storyline made any sense to anyone? Also, I noticed the author was complaining the other day that someone ripped off his aliens vs. monsters idea, then featured Kang and Kodos in his following strip.

    FW: You want me to do sad? Easy peasy lemon squeasy!

    Maybe Shoe is a Swedish film and we’re all reading it the wrong way.

  38. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    MT: The only way this could get better is if we see a realistic follow-up tomorrow. If a deer is old enough to walk, it’s old enough to kick. And they’re born with teeth. So yes, Frank should be in a world of hurt this time tomorrow. Meanwhile Lucky is released into the wild and all the other woodland creatures will be high-fiving him.

    Luann: Well, Brad and TJ set up a convoluted and moronic plan that endangered a teenage girl. On the other hand, look what kind of results they got. “He either is or isn’t.” That’s pretty valuable information, there.

    S-M: “Is this some sort of jest?” Aunt May, bless her, echoes the thought I have daily on reading Spider-Man.

    Phantom: More Diana awesomeness, hair-pulling style. And a hint as to why Mary Worth doesn’t wear a bun.

    C-Shaft: What happened to Ed’s leafblower with its mighty sucking power?

    9CL: Miss Short N’ Messy must be strongly considering a transfer to another ballet company. Or at any rate she should be.

    FW: “Remember to look like a malevolent creator is sucking your spirit dry and crushing everything good or fun in the world. What?”

    PBS: Hee.

    DT: Would have been nice if the feds had moved in on D’Buckworth before he faked his own death, probably killing some other poor schmuck in the process. But then they wouldn’t have had an excuse to pull their wacky homeless hijinx.

    M-Dawg: If some artistically minded GI during World War II doodled a picture of Adolf Hitler as a prison bitch, I have to imagine it looked something like this.

  39. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    @Carlo (#37): I caught the Kang and Kodos appearance too. Bill Hinds can draw pretty well, but a lot of time I have no idea what he’s going for.

  40. Lurker Bob
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    Sorry. Mark punching out a cop last Christmas is the greatest MT ever.

  41. Louis Rice
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    I guess I have to be the one to say it: today’s Mark Trail kicks ass!

    And as a bonus, Rusty is nowhere to be seen in this entire story arc – though you know eventually Katie and Rusty will hook up once Frank’s wife leaves him!

  42. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#13): That is indeed one of the all-time great Far Sides.

  43. Mr. Majestyk
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    This looks bad for Frank, but even if someone (say, the guy with the huge dildo camera) took a picture of the deer-kicking, the future governor can still turn this to his political advantage. All he has to do is replace the doe with an illegal immigrant in Photoshop and the plugger votes will come rolling in.

  44. Terry in Maryland
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    Phantom prediction: The Ghost Who Mopes finally figures out that that IS Diana in that cell. He punches a guard or two, puts the skull symbol on the warden’s chin, Diana gives the warden another hair pull or two, and the happy couple heads toward the fence. Upon reaching the fence, the Phantom is struck by another of his moments of idiocy and can’t figure out how to get beyond such an impenetrable barrier and suggests they wander around the grounds of the prison for another day or two. Diana slaps him silly, wonders what she ever saw in him, and drags his purple clad spandex arse over the fence.

  45. Krazy Kat
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#25): That is easily one of the greatest thinks I’ve ever seen. Who knew deer practiced Mark Trail-style justice?

  46. Krazy Kat
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    Or “things.” Easily one of the greatest THINGS I’ve ever seen. Sheesh.

  47. John
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    Luann: I’ve never commented here before, so I apologize if I’m going over well-trod territory. Aren’t Brad and Toni police? I mean, I know that Dirk was in jail…wait a second, is Greg Evans just setting us up for the moment when Brad guns Dirk down in cold blood?

  48. John
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    And of course…Brad and Toni are firefighters, not police. Duh. I guess I can look forward to Brad axing Dirk to death then.

  49. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    6C: Smart phone, dumb gal. Indeed. On the positive side, maybe this time she’ll finish off Funky Winkerbean.

  50. dale
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    Luann, panel 1.

    Toe Jam is hoping Tiff will forget that he owes her about $100. for acting, travel time, and debriefing.

  51. commodorejohn
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    A3G – What, is she just going to will Tommie back to the apartment? …actually, yeah. Should be easy enough. Hell, I could probably pull that off.

    Boondocks – And it’d give them skills they could use for the good of others, instead of practice at being pushy salespeople!

    Crankshaft – You know, given how in love Batiuk is with the PT Cruiser, I really don’t understand why he draws all the other cars in his strips as these ridiculous sub-compact clown-car contrivances. Does he have a taste for vehicle design or not?

    Curtis – Yeah, technological progress in the consumer market is clearly a giant conspiracy to induce people to continue buying.

    DT – Okay, so, uh, when in the hell was it indicated that d’Buckworth was the criminal!?!?!?!? I mean, knowing this would make the past week or two make marginally more sense vis-a-vis why Tracy was claiming 3-D was a wanted man, but when was it ever indicated to the audience? It’s like if a whodunnit story didn’t reveal that someone was murdered until the last chapter, but all the characters knew before then and acted accordingly, and somehow forgot to mention it. …my brain hurts.

    FC – From the pallid, homogenous mass of egg to the wan, soy-colored bacon to the giant gob of drool, I think this has turned me off breakfast permanently.

    FB – “…it must’ve been while he was kissing me.”

    FW – Okay, the only way this could possibly redeem itself is if Les went all Howard Beale on the air. *crosses fingers*

    GT – Uh-oh, the cops are staking out the giant disembodied luminescent nipples!

    HOTC – She’s still a more talented criminal than, say, the “Let’s Kidnap A Child Who May Have Taken A Picture Of Us So That Nobody Will Suspect We Are Criminals” guys from Mark Trail.

    JP – Jules knows Sam’s greatest and only aphrodisiac: sweet, filthy lucre.

    Luann – ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH AAARRRGGGHHH.

    MT – Glorious, glorious madness.

    MW – Uh-oh, Adrian’s talking like Mary all of a sudd-GAH! Jesus, did Mary claw Jill’s eye out!?

    Momma – No, no, Mary Lou, the proper response is “fuck you.” Say it with me, emphasis on the “fu” part of “fuck.” Let the F hiss out from between your teeth for a moment prior.

    MC – Some things never change, eh?

    OBH – Ah, we don’t know that they don’t talk to naked ladies not in the Bible. One way to find out!

    Peanuts – Been there.

    Phantom – Wat to go, Diana! Hair-pulling is a good start; now if you can spill finger paint down the other girl’s shirt, teacher will get really mad.

    Pluggers – Pluggers don’t let a total lack of understanding stop them from opening their yaps.

    Popeye – Olive, it’s never wise to make fun of someone who has to weigh three times as much as you, mostly in muscle, to her face. Ballsy, yes. Smart, no.

    SF – Oh man, is Sally going to have to dork it up to win Ted’s affections back, like some kind of nerd version of Grease? I’m actually looking forward to this now.

    SM – Ziggy and the Crypt Keeper; they’re “the perfect couple!”

    The Norm – reminds me how good we didn’t have it ten years ago. Luckily, by the time I got into the workplace, this was accepted behavior. Hell, one of my co-workers spends her mornings playing pushing the lever in the Skinner box that is Farmville.

  52. Écureuil Écumant
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    BB: Civilians breaking into a military base for aid? Real estate agents cruising the culs-de-sac to find new foreclosure listings? High-sulfur crude filling suburban swimming pools? It’s a noir world out there, ain’t it, Walkers.

  53. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    @tb400 (#36): right where one would expect it to be, on top of the Kick The Dog Trope page. :-D

  54. Stroker Ace
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    MT – Look @ Mark & the fawn only. Straight out of a Tijuana Bible.

  55. ComcisFan
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    MW: Look closely. Jill’s angry index finger actually seems to be a woman’s leg, including a high-heel shoe, in miniature, grafted onto her palm at the buttocks. The artists may have clipped it from an old Tom and Jerry cel featuring the lady of the house. I, too, might be a hideously hateful bitch if I had to walk around with one of those.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d3/MouseForSale4.jpg

  56. wossname
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    @Bootsy (#18): Didn’t Sassy get kicked sometime in living memory? When Mela pointed out at Y230 that Lucky’s “I got kicked” face was just like Sassy’s, it brought back a definite memory of Sassy flying through the air, looking surprised, as we all gasped in horror.

    @commodorejohn (#51): Re DT – there was a moment a few weeks ago, maybe on a Sunday (and long after we had all figured it out) when Dick called D’B by name in what was obviously supposed to be a shocking reveal.

    Also – I don’t usually read Shoe, except when Josh forces me to, but I have seen that sign (which I suppose was mildly funny the first time around) in about 500 different bars, starting at least 25 years ago.

  57. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#39): The Aliens vs Monsters football game has been a storyline two and three years back for Halloween. He didn’t run it last year. All of the monsters and aliens are pop-culture/classic movie shout-outs, including the Blob, the xenomorph from Alien, Gort, etc.

  58. spike
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    @Terry in Maryland (#44): Dang! I spilled my coffee after reading your entry.

    FW: Les is about to become a rich and famous author! He’s gonna auction off the movie rights to boot! [Pun intended :-) *Ducks*] Why should Sam Driver have all the cash/fun to himself?!?

  59. Chyron HR
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    It’s nice to see Judge Parker getting into the Halloween spirit, but they’ll need to speed up Jules’ werewolf transformation if they want to finish by next Sunday.

  60. Little Guy
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    Spidey: Coming soon: Stan Lee’s remake of Harold and Maude.

  61. Hamsterpants
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#25): That video is so full of WIN. Talk about an asskicking, literally.

  62. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    ah, cool, gocomics does go back.

    part 1: http://www.gocomics.com/cleats/2006/10/30/ (monsters only prequel)

    part 2: http://www.gocomics.com/cleats/2007/10/22

    part 3: http://www.gocomics.com/cleats/2008/10/27

  63. Little Guy
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    @Lurker Bob (#40): I’ma gonna let Jackelrod finish, but if Mark punches out a gubernatorial candidate, it will be the best Mark Trail of all time. OF ALL TIME!

  64. Walker of Dog
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    MW: Jill attempts to psych herself up for the coming confrontation by applying some Clockwork Orange eye make-up. Good effort, but Mary’s ultraviolence attacks your soul, and there’s nothing in the Max Factor product line that can help you there.

    Phan: The warden’s reaction to Diana’s bun-attack is a silent, smoldering black thought-cloud. She’s going to need to do a bit better than that to keep her minions from questioning her authorateh.

    MT: Kudos to the bush – the only character who has maintained his/her composure throughout this ordeal.

    FC: Jeffy is so high.

    FW: The talk-show host wisely chose to skim Les’s book. A thorough, cover-to-cover reading would have resulted in eye cancer.

    GT: Gil’s tightly clenched fist + Kaz’s hand towel + something that “felt like progress” = ?

    Luann: Well, at least Josh is honest. He no longer claims to read the comics so we don’t have to.

  65. Uncle Lumpy
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    @Bootsy (#18):

    Hugh, who (I think) during the Molly the hapless Pet Bear episode, became known as the “chicken kicker” because he, well, he kicked some chickens.

    Hoyt! Later recycled as Charlie. Kicking is comedy gold!

    But seriously, kids, don’t kick the wildlife!

  66. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#57): Thanks. Okay then, I’ll hopefully get acclimated to this one. I just recently started reading Cleats on a regular basis to fill the gap left by Cathy. And if that isn’t a setup I don’t know what is.

  67. Vermic
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    Today’s Mark Trail makes a lot more sense as a political cartoon. First you touch up the deer a bit and make it into a donkey. Then you put a “NANCY PELOSI” nametag on the stepdaughter, turn the Jackelrod ball into a teabag, and call it a day. Eat your heart out, Mallard Fillmore!

  68. Buck Ripsnort
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    MT: Tomorrow will show Mark gluing hair to his fist. Why? So his FIRST punch will put facial hair on Gov. Wouldbe, then his SECOND will punch it right off again!

    9CL: The softer side of Darth Vader.

    Beetle: If we weren’t in a couple of wars, I’d be crawling over that fence myself. Hell, if I could serve in Camp Swampy for life, I’d STILL do it.

    Luann: At least Brad’s not sniffing Toni’s undies (this time).

  69. Calico
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#25):
    All I have to say is…one for the deer!

  70. mollificent
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    Josh, awesome snark today, and early too! Wheee!

    Luann: *facepalm* Brad, dig the wax out of your ears because I’m only gonna say this once. If your fear of Dirk is based not on him hurting Toni but on her going back to him, then your issue is with Toni, not Dirk. If you still don’t trust her, you’ve got bigger problems. (Or if you still don’t trust that you’re attractive/compelling enough to keep her…but I don’t know what could POSSIBLY EVER GIVE YOU THAT IDEA.) NNNNGGGGHHHHHH. Why am I putting this much mental energy into Luann???

    MT: Oh no he did NOT just kick a fawn. Mark, if I don’t see some FOJ right quick, I’ll step in with my Pixie Fists of Fury and do the job myself.

    (Is there a special therapist available for people who talk to comic strip characters as though they were real human beings? Though in Brad’s case…)

    MW: Wow. Jill is actually such a bitch that she’s making me go “Rah Rah Rah, go Mary!” That’s impressive. (I know I’m a minority opinion here, but seriously…all snarking aside, when you’re with friends and someone says “You are beautiful”, who actually says “That’s a matter of opinion” without getting their ass kicked?)

    Phantom: Wow…bitch starts a catfight THROUGH A BARRED PRISON DOOR. She is officially too good for you, Kit.

    Spid: “You came backstage to propose to me? Does the security detail here have NO ‘obviously creepy stalkerfanboy’ filter?”

  71. JB
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    I think the Senator’s expression is less “He’d kick a baby fawn in the rear?” than it is “He’s got us hunting ‘wildlife’ that will stand still to be kicked in the rear?”.

  72. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    re today’s Jumble, neither “warm fuzzies” or “threatened with Family Services” has the right number of letters. :-(

  73. aprilglaspie
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    Just saw the Extensions are Awesome artwork. Well done. Still, it’s hard to believe nobody produced Gorgon Margo.

  74. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#72): I’m squicked to find out the “climax” does. . . . .

  75. Scott Bot
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    FW – Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Les lucky that the reporter actually skimmed his book? I would assume that most reporters just ask questions based on a few notes given to them by the publisher.

    But since this is obviously the most important book on the face of the planet, she should have taken the time to read it, if anything to make sure she feeds Batuick’s ego, er, sorry, gets the story right…

  76. Steve the Pocket
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#51): “You know, given how in love Batiuk is with the PT Cruiser…” And school buses. Speaking as someone who paid a lot of attention to them when I was in school (I was kinda like that kid from One Big Happy who’s obsessed with vacuum cleaners back then), I’ve always been impressed by how accurate his buses are. Although there’s not much to compare them to; most non-soap-opera cartoonists don’t go for near-comic-book realism in their backgrounds anymore. (Bill Watterson being the last one I can think of.)

  77. Steve the Pocket
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @Steve the Pocket (#76): Clarification – Chuck Ayers is the one drawing the impressive buses, not Batiuk. I don’t actually know whether Ayers still pencils Funky Winkerbean or not; a few years ago the strip shifted to a slightly less cartoony look in general, and I always suspected Batiuk either took over or found a new uncredited assistant.

  78. Apeman
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    You gotta admit, Jack Elrod must be running one hell of a campaign. I mean, evil Gov. candidate has just kicked baby deer-kangaroo thing in the ass and the hunter dude has already ditched him to support candidate Elrod, whose button magically appears out of thin air through mind-reading and teleportation.

  79. Anonymous
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    MT – I thought Lucky was a rare Jackalope, based on the ears, but the thin little tail suggests that Lucky is actually some sort of rodent. A mutant, to be sure (although in Lost Forest, that’s about all you’re ever going to get), but a rodent nevertheless. Any guesses as to the breed?

    Meanwhile, I have to say that in these several days of bold-fonted screaming that have been going on, I have found quiet refuge in the floating Jackelrod ball, with its calm and understated presence beckoning in the midst of absolute chaos. If not for that, I would have to have sought peace in the whispering copyright notice.

  80. Ethan Shuster
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    That deer seems to be saying, “What the Hell? Did that guy just kick me? I’m a cute-ass little deer! This son of a bitch is hardcore!”

  81. LaziestManOnMars
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d love a Luann strip where TJ falls, and lands teeth-first onto a concrete sidewalk.

  82. Sequitur
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    @Johnny Q (#21): Ha! Jackie Chan as Mark. Halle Berry as Cherry. And Rusty as Rusty.

    No kid actor could look like Rusty. He would be a cartoon character edited into the live action film.

  83. Calico
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    Could I be getting a bit of a Truman Capote vibe from 3G today?

  84. bats :[
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    @Carlo (#32): Yup. Yup. Uh-huh. Yup.

  85. Ed Dravecky
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Hold the phone, Judge Parker business plan aficionados! On October 4th Jules’ father promises “Six million dollars!” but in the follow-up phone call on October 10th that investment is down to a mere “half-million”. I’ll bet a case of salmon squares that this whole ridiculous shoe business has been a long con to get millions out of Neddy and/or Abbey.

  86. Young Mr. Grace
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    I like the flagrant, wanton violence in today’s Mark Trail, but I’d like it even more if somehow it was directed at TJ’s enormous, unsettling face.

  87. bats :[
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#63): topped only by Beth showing up (having chased Kaite over hither and yon) and serving divorce papers on old Frank.

  88. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#75): On one of the local radio stations here, the DJs always preface their interviews of authors with “We didn’t get a copy of your book in time to review it…”.

  89. AndyL
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    I hope Mark Trail got Joe to work the camera for him. A photograph of Frank booting a fawn could end his political career. Mark would have the option of destroying the man, or blackmailing him. Whichever suits his fancy.

  90. Rocky Stoneaxe
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    They’re creepy and they’re kooky:

    Scary Gary — A football made out of ectoplasm would probably do the trick!

    Spider-Man — This has the potential to top the “Aunt May Marries Dr. Octopus” storyline from the 1970s!

    Lio — It’s one thing for Lio to con his father out of some extra tooth fairy money, but STEALING a sign crosses the line as far as I’m concerned! (Or are we about to be subjected to several days of “Lio Goes to Juvie Hall” jokes?)

  91. Marvin's mom
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    ATTENTION! ATTENTION! I can neither confirm or deny that hell has frozen over, but there is reason to be concerned!

    I laughed out loud at B.C. today.

  92. FafMor
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    I really hope Lucky the Deer goes on to guest star in Spiderman and the Phantom, until perhaps getting a strip of his/her own.

  93. Mustang
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    I’m not seeing a bright future for a deer that stands around with a surprised look after getting its ass kicked by a human. Oh jeez, they’re gonna put it in a deer zoo, aren’t they? Or some kind of deer rescue thing.

  94. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#75): It’s at least the most important non-fiction book on the planet. In the realm of fiction Michael Patterson’s Stone Season still holds sway.

  95. That Library Nut
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:21 pm [Reply]

    I find today’s Mary Worth interesting, because there has obviously been some passage of time from panel one to panel two.

    In panel one, Jill looks like she’s about to bite Mary’s head off. They obviously had a large, violent fight in between. Meddle-Master Mary obviously gained the upper hand in this bloody battle, since in panel two, Jill has a black eye. (The “matter of opinion” that Jill is referring to is obviously a euphemism for something nasty Mary called her.)

    Meanwhile, Adrian has apparently discovered a hidden dimension inside that large mirror and is walking inside to explore it. This will prove foolish when she discovers that this is Cthullu’s hidden lair. Mary and Jill will have to team up and use their meddle powers to rescue Adrian, who will only keep jabbering on about her wedding dress.

  96. That Library Nut
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    Also, hi, I’m a long-time reader, first-time poster.

  97. Tom the Sailor Man
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    Today in Funky Winkerbean Les inadvertantly launches the new town slogan:

    “Westview – where the red light is always on”

  98. Dood
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    Frank, your craptastic political sense and civic-mindedness might play well in this community called Hootin’ Holler. Plus, you could have endless fun bootin’ Snuffy Smith and his pals around. You better get there before Joe, the ranch foreman, does, though.

  99. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    @That Library Nut (#96): Welcome aboard. Grab a glass. Potato-ade will be served momentarily.

  100. H-Bob
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Is this whole Dirk plotline just a convoluted scheme to justify Toni moving in with Brad due to the fear of Dirk’s stalking ? However, it probably would result in Toni’s niece being dumped on Brad/TJ forever while Dirk, Toni and Tiffani have a hot monkey love menage a trois !

  101. Calico
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    @That Library Nut (#96):
    Hi, That Library Nut! Welcome! : D
    Tofu Croquettes will also be served momentarily, along with pizza from Montoni’s.

  102. Dood
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    @That Library Nut (#95): I’m just speculating here, but wouldn’t Cthulhu cower in abject terror when confronted by a full-meddle Mary?

  103. Sequitur
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

  104. True Fable
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    @mollificent (#70): I love your phrase “my Pixie Fists of Fury.”

    Be my Valentine. Yeah it’s early but damn I love that phrase.

  105. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    @True Fable (#104): of course, if mollificent studied escrima, then she could use Pixie sticks for the job!

  106. Mibbitmaker
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    A3G: “…I’m going to have to insist Tommie just appear right here this minute!”

    FW: It would be way too much to expect that Batiuk is snarking himself here, as it seemed first blush. It’s more fun to read it that way, though.

    Phantom: Hey, Kit, you got there just in time to watch Diana save the day! Loser.
    Hooray, Diana! Rah-rah-rah!

    MT: Frank’s next attempt to impress his backer: drowning a newborn puppy.

    S-M: Look at him — the Mole is Rusty Trail’s real father!

    Archie: Is he even a real person at all?

    BC: Oh, that’s just syc!!!

    GA: Yeah, your husband’s dead. Happy now?

    HotC: Linda Tripp she’s not.

  107. CanuckDownSouth
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#85): I think it’s 6 mil total, half-mil immediately… or they just don’t care.

  108. Scott Bot
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    @Tom the Sailor Man (#97): So red lights cause cancer?

  109. cj
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    Mark Fail:
    “his stepdaughter, Mark” – sounds like a case of fraud too amateur to succeed in more urban locales.

  110. bats :[
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

  111. That Library Nut
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#102): Actually, I think it’ll be part of an overarching arc theme in which Jill and Mary will eventually defeat the big C . They’ll overcome their differences and combine to become a cosmic being of meddleness known as “The Jillary”.

    @Calico (#101): No pizza from Montoni’s! I don’t want to suffer a fatal cancer attack. XD

  112. Mibbitmaker
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    What’ll probably happen in The Phantom:

    The warden screams, “That’s IT!! Guard, you will immediately board up the window here, SEALING OFF PRISONER COLE FROM THIS HALLWAY! (Pull MY bun, will you?!)”. The guard will do so. Kit: “Darnit, now I can’t see — or hear — if ‘prisoner Cole’ is my beloved Diana! …..Oh well. I’m off…..” (leaves)

  113. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    just remember, with fawns as in otters, three rhymes with squee!

  114. Nekrotzar
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    MT:

    And he likes having thought of it so well
    He says again, ‘Good fences make good comic strip plots.’

  115. Carlo
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#56): It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. In God we trust…All others pay cash. Complaints: $2. I don’t love this bar…I just hate my wife and kids. I’m not as think as you drunk I am.

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#62): Thanks for the context. It’s good to see Marty Feldman is still getting so much posthumous work.

    @LaziestManOnMars (#81): You are definitely not alone in your T.J. hatred.

  116. Mibbitmaker
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:08 pm [Reply]

    MW continues…

    Mary: “Just face it, Ms. Black: I’m right. That’s all there is to it.”
    Jill (thinking): “Dammit, where’s a baby deer to kick when I really need one?!”

  117. Hank
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    Who benefits from Cathy’s retirement? “Alan Gardner crunches the numbers and checks the press releases, and he figures the three strips that got the biggest boost from the empty slot were Dustin, by Steve Kelly and Jeff Parker; Stone Soup, by Jan Eliot; and Pickles, by Brian Crane”

  118. Spunde
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    The banality of FW‘s panel 1 conceals the joke that Les’s slash publicist would rather check Facebook at Montini’s than help him with his first TV interview.

  119. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    @Spunde (#118): Apple Annie probably refuses to read the book herself, in fear that her meds will fail and she’ll be back on the streets again…

  120. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    @Hank (#117): I saw that, and was less than impressed.

    Dustin is a boring waste of space, and Pickles is the archetype of the “3 generations and a pet” strips that I just loathe as a general rule. Stone Soup I don’t follow, but from what I’ve seen, it’s not nearly as bad as others in it’s cadre, such as Between Friends.

  121. Scott Bot
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    @Spunde (#118): Well, wouldn’t you?

  122. Tira
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think TJ is secretly an alien hiding behind a mask permanently sculpted into a horrible rictus of an expression, ala “Doctor Who”? I’m just waiting for him to get hungry and rip the mask away, exposing his far-more-inhuman-but-slightly-less-nightmarish true form, and gorily devour Brad.

  123. tb400
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    Luann: So let me make sure I have this correct. Bradley is now a firefighter who is in pretty decent shape compared to how he was back in the day when Dirk was fucking with him, and instead of just confronting the dude head on as an adult, he has to pull off wacky sitcom plans in a Rube Goldberg-esque manner? At least let him know that any aggression towards a public servant is already grounds to get his ass back in the pen, but I keep forgetting who we’re talking about here.

  124. cheech wizard
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:48 pm [Reply]

    MT – The image of Frank booting Lucky’s ass is clearly lifted from the sand-in-the-face guy kicking his dog in the old Charles Atlas ads. Maybe tomorrow Frank will decide he’s tired of being a wimp and send off for Ahnold Schwarzenegger’s home course in transforming yourself into a political he-man. Then he’ll come back and punch Mark, the senator AND the deer, and win the devoted affection of his wife, as well as that of an adoring electorate.

    Phantom – Wow, Diana’s really starting to sound like the Python, isn’t she? Maybe the best thing would be for Kit to steal away and quietly arrange for a prison transfer so these two soulmates can be together, and he and Savarna can pursue their mutual murderous interests.

    JP – “Oh, so you’re the smartass who put my no-talent kid up to writing a $6 million business plan he expects me to back? Well tell you what, wise guy – howz about making you a partner so you can put up $3 mill of your own jack behind his sorry ass? Then we can see who gets the biggest kick out of watching him piss it all away! How about that, laughing man?”

    FW – See, TV reporters are reprehensible because they ask people to look sad when interviewing them about tragic subjects – as opposed to certain cartoonists, who simply draw them that way.

  125. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    @Hank (#117): As queek has pointed out, these are a pretty mediocre bunch. A comic that looks like it might be more deserving is Paul Trap’s Thatababy. It’s sort of like Marvin if the title character’s creepiness were deliberate and (successfully) played for laughs.

  126. ArchieNemesis
    October 21st, 2010 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    The fawn in Mark Trail is clearly symbolic of the ensnared but willing slave of the same name in the play “Waiting for Godot.” Right? Or is the fawn just really stupid?

  127. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    Hold on to your universe, because I sense a Trail Punch so epic that it will create a black hole.

  128. Mr. Goboto
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    Tomorrow’s Phantom: “It is Diana! But she seems to have things pretty much under control. Now where to they keep the vending machines in this place? Doot-dee-doot-dee-doot…”

    @Darkefang (#22)re: S-M: Well, he does have bad eyesight. Or maybe he’s just gay, but needs a queen for political reasons, seeing as he’s apparently the king of a bunch of subterranean mutants.

  129. Oregonian
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    Oh, crud. It looks like the Phantom is going to find Diana. And I’d already unpacked my purple tuxedo for the Kit/Savarna wedding.

  130. cheech wizard
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    And how does Kit just saunter in and out of a maximum security prison dressed like a giant popsicle anyway? It’s not like he can identify himself at the gate as the Good Humor Man.

  131. Écureuil Écumant
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    SF: Given Aria’s evident belief in salvation through easy egress, Ted ought to consider dressing as a Chilean miner with a codpiece decorated to look like the Fenix 2.

  132. These Strange Worlds
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    JP

    I’m more concerned about the nature of that white object on the table in the first panel. What the heck is it?

    I’m torn between: (1) a wine beaker, but they served the wine cold; (2) some kind of artsy vase, possibly filled with color-coordinated soil from the Mojave Desert; or (3) A time traveler from the future, in the form of a 3-d camera that will record the moment Sam, Jules, and Jules senior decided to form the corporation that would someday soon come to control the world using shoes, horses, cheerleaders, and solar power. Nearly all the pieces are in place (the genius daughter, the wacked out solar powered hilbilly singer, the CIA — excuse me, “world bank” — enforcer).

    Soon it will be time to draw up the charter of global domination and decide who gets custody of Australia.

    What? Oh, OK. It’s just a wine beaker.

  133. These Strange Worlds
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    MT

    Today’s MT is actually pretty disturbing… In its own way, as bad as the “abused wife will slove the family’s problems by getting pregnant” story line.

    OK, maybe not that disturbing unless you care about wildlife as much as abused wives.

    But WTF? Unless dad gets gored by a pissed off mom deer, I’m going to be pretty upset.

    What’s the lesson here anyway? MT stores, lame as they often are, usually have a lesson. But what here? It’s not “pet deer are a bad idea” or even particularly “hunting semi-tame animals is bad.” Maybe it will be “if you’re going to marry some terrible coniving guy do it in a community property state.”

    I’m still hoping for, “if you kick a fawn, watch your back, because mama moves fast and silently, and nobody will be able to get a clear shot to save you.”

  134. T. Chicana
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    FW: I hope Les really flubs up his big TV appearance.

  135. Mollificent at work
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    @True Fable (#104): Hee hee, thanks! My friends and I long ago decided it should be the name of my punk band (should I ever form one).

    And Fable, you know I’ll be your Valentine any day of the year. ;)

    (Queek: Pixy Stix! I used to love those. Made myself sick eating them on a school trip once. Someday they’ll let me back into ‘Iolani Palace…)

  136. Anonymous
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Hi, I’m Tommie’s Aunt Iris … Iris Exposition. I’m sure you’ve heard of me … [*Iris looks around*] … or not! Anyway, I’m Tommie’s aunt and I’m jovial, watch BBC mysteries, left-handed, myopic, own a talking mynah bird, and can be counted on to straighten Tommie out when her singing career starts to take her away from who she is. I’m also here to provide comic relief for LuAnn’s Blaize problem, and Margo’s LuAnn issues.

  137. These Strange Worlds
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    I think there’s some kind of “Overlord” rule about that. If your dominion super oppressive AND your minions wear uniforms that look outlandish, it will be easy for the freedom fighters to just walk in because everyone will be too scared to confront them in case this is the latest secret police duds. Or because the overlord has hired a new supervillionic enforcer.

    I think there’s a rule in the Overlord list about hiring MBAs as prison guards too, and paying them more than cabinet ministers.

  138. Marion Delgado
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    Danged intertubes! Why does it seek to erase my identity and render me anonymous? I won’t be ignored, Net.

  139. Mustang
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    @These Strange Worlds (#133): If I know my deer behavior I’m pretty sure if Lucky’s mom were among the population of the half-tame animals of fence land, Rustina would be ground hamburger by now.

  140. Mustang
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    But then, thisIS Mark Trail. Boy, do I feel silly.

  141. These Strange Worlds
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    S-F

    Ah, the eternal nacient office romance question. When your co-worker starts talking to you about dressing up in costumes, and then switches over to talking about going to the bathroom, is she coming on to you, or is this conversation all just an innocent coincidence?

    Hint for Ted: If “undress quickly” is an important consideration, I’d go with Megaman.

  142. Écureuil Écumant
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    @ 135 Mollificent at work said:

    Pixy Stix! I used to love those. Made myself sick eating them on a school trip once. Someday they’ll let me back into ‘Iolani Palace…

    Cuz you neva been stay eating seemoi and red legs instead of that ha’ole stuff, ass why!

  143. These Strange Worlds
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    Makes sense. In that case, I’m hoping mama deer saw how Mark jumped the fence and is even now climbing the tree with the overhanging branch.

  144. marmer
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    Phan: Best case, Warden jerks open the door to let her minions administer a beating to Prisoner Cole and Stripey steps around the corner and opens a can of whoop-ass on everyone in sight. (Parenthetical aside: this is the most confusingly designed “corridor” I’ve ever seen.) Then he rescues Diana and escapes using the magic Kevlar razor-wire resistant banana leaves.

    Think that’ll happen? Naaah!

  145. Tracey
    October 21st, 2010 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    I was having a crappy day at work – running errands, late lunch, wired from too much coffee and too little sleep. Then I clicked on your site and saw a rendering of a deer getting kicked in the ass. It was a vivid reminder that no matter how crappy my work output may be, there’s a cartoonist out there whose work output is even crappier. I feel much better now. Thank you, Comics Curmudgeon.

  146. Sequitur
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

  147. Mordock999
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    @John (#47):

    At THIS point I don’t CARE Who gets SHOT in this idiot storyline as long as TJ gets it FIRST!

    In fact, give ME the DAMNED gun and I’ll DO it!
    ______________________
    DEATH to TJ!!! HURRY!!!

  148. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    @These Strange Worlds (#141): “If “undress quickly” is an important consideration,”

    only at some very special Halloween parties. . . .

  149. Krazy Kat
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Did Future Governor Frank tailor some lapels onto his Mao jacket?!? If there’s one thing we can’t abide in Lost Forest, it’s Communists in disguise! Quick Mark, ready your fists, before that raving Marxist seizes the reins of power!

  150. gleeb
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    @Shermy Glamrocker (#6): …and it felt like a kiss?

  151. Charly
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    Given T.J.’s uncanny resemblance to Mario Lopez, we can only hope that he will fall into an inexorable downward spiral of made-for-TV-movies, plastic surgery, and streaming old sitcoms on Netflix in his WeHo basement.

  152. Uncle Lumpy
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    That’s a mule deer. Sure looked like a whitetail a couple months ago. I guess species is something you grow out of?

  153. dull_old_man
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#56):

    Wossname, you are my hero. 500 bars! I have a new goal in my life. I’ve had a drink in every bar in my neighborhood, and I felt I’d accomplished something. You have widened my horizons. Chicago has 75 neighborhoods, more or less. So many bars …

    The cliched bar sign I never get tired of: Free beer tomorrow.

  154. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    @That Library Nut (#96): Hey, welcome! (Hint: If someone offers you salmon squares, decline them.)

  155. Andrusi
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    I can’t help but think the art of today’s Mark Trail represents the exact instant that Lucky learned to fart laser beams.

  156. Walker of Dog
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#124): That tirade from Jules’ father was funny the first time through, then I went back and re-read it with a cheesy French accent. Hilarious!
    Or as the French say, Honh-honh-honh.

  157. Steve the Pocket
    October 21st, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @Tom the Sailor Man (#97): That could be, uh… misconstrued. Or was that intentional?

  158. This Guy
    October 21st, 2010 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    @That Library Nut (#96): The world could use more library nuts.

  159. terrapin
    October 21st, 2010 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    So no doubt Frank will do time sitting in prison wondering just how in the world his brilliantly conceived plan to gain votes by letting his rich and powerful friends shoot tame animals on his property went wrong. “Dang!” He’ll think. “I should have gone with my first plan to hire Tiffany to pretend to live in Tonis’ house…”

  160. cheech wizard
    October 21st, 2010 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#156): Yeah, I probably should have run it through a Pepe La Pew filter first. But thanks.

  161. zerowolf
    October 21st, 2010 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    MW: Please let this be the start of the best over the top “cat fight” since Dynasty went off the air.

  162. bats :[
    October 21st, 2010 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#152): considering how big Lucky is for a fawn, I was guessing he is an Irish elk, Monoceros, I think (which is neither Irish, nor an elk. Discuss.).

  163. zerowolf
    October 21st, 2010 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    Crankenstein: Wait.

  164. zerowolf
    October 21st, 2010 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    GT: Not having a Sunday strip to turn pink, Gil Thorpe is honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month with giant floating nipples.

  165. Uncle Lumpy
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#162):

    Them’s good eatin’!

  166. That Library Nut
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#154): But….but what about those REALLY DELICOUS BROWNIES?!

    @This Guy (#158): That’s pretty much my mission statement. :)

  167. Marion Delgado
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    Try and explain today’s Family Circus without melodramatic incest overtones. You can’t! It’s like Family Squaring the Family Circle! … right, Mommy?

  168. SamECircle
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    Um, I hate to be that guy, but…
    Under the Judge Parker comment, I don’t think you meant
    “It’s a good thing his house his so big”, rather, “It’s a good this his house IS so big.

  169. SamECircle
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    Oy! I meant “It’s a good THING his house is so big.”
    Word to the wise- nitpick your nitpickiness. Blerg

  170. SamECircle
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    I think everyone in Shoe has bad eyesight. I mean, can you think of any other explaination for the GIANT sign that the waitress STILL feels it’s neccesary to inform the customers about?

  171. KarMann
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    @That Library Nut (#166): So, newcomer, tell us, how do you feel about this classic Hi & Lois [*]?

    (Yes, that was the day my feelings about Hi & Lois tipped over from mere apathy to raw seething hatred, why do you ask?)

  172. KarMann
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#171) and hence @That Library Nut: Oh, I forgot to mention, you might have to jump through certain hoops to view that comic, like copy the link address and paste it in the address bar of a new tab or window, something like that.

  173. Charles
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    Judge Parker is just so…. geeeah.

    Gosh, it’s so tough to be Jules. No wonder he’s so mopey. It’s a good thing his family had $6 million to give him for being able to convince them he’s not a total dipshit. Not that he isn’t a total dipshit, of course, just that he was able to convince them that he wasn’t.

    It’s definitely the sort of job Sam deserves $2 million for.

    It’s a comic with its finger on the pulse of the nation, too. My dad gave me $750k when I managed to get past wearing pull-ups. What did yours give you?

  174. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    @Charles (#173): I got a rock.

  175. True Fable
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#165): I’ve been using that Cool Previews link you gave a bit ago. Man that is teh cool! Thanks as always for your nifty links, Unca Lumpy!

  176. Violet
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    This is unacceptable even by Luann standards, difficult though it is to fathom such a concept. Did Evans, as an exacting critic of his craft, come to the realization that the current storyline, while more than adequately rage-inducing and intelligence-insulting, was somewhat below par in the loathsome innuendo department? I can imagine a moment of blind panic, forehead clutching, racking self doubt, and then, suddenly, miraculously, inspiration: “Eureka! Underwear!”

  177. commodorejohn
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    @Violet (#176): I used to not care what went on inside Evans’s head. Then I was curious. Now I actively dread knowing. You may recognize this as the standard Cthulhu mythos story arc.

  178. Violet
    October 21st, 2010 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#177):
    Right? There is some scary shit up in there, no diggity.

  179. Rusty
    October 21st, 2010 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    Luanne: For some reason all I can think of is TJ running around the house with Toni’s panties on his head when no one else is home.

  180. wossname
    October 21st, 2010 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    @dull_old_man (#153): It’s really not that difficult. If you go to just one new bar every week, you’ll be up to 520 in ten years.

  181. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    October 21st, 2010 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    @That Library Nut (#166): Oh, you’ll find those over at Spencer Farms. Before the old farmer and his wife were thrown in the hoosegow, Abby got the recipe.

  182. Miss Othmar
    October 21st, 2010 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#172):

    Oh, I forgot to mention, you might have to jump through certain hoops to view that comic, like copy the link address and paste it in the address bar of a new tab or window, something like that.

    Or use the nifty CoolPreviews add-on that Uncle Lumpy told us about! Big thanks to Our Favorite Uncle — this has made perusing CC even more wonderful!

    @True Fable (#175): Sigh. I never think of anything first.

  183. TheDiva
    October 21st, 2010 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Goboto (#128): I’m entertaining the faint hope that Moleman is only going after Aunt Mae so he can get to Peter and Murder the Hypotenuse [*], which would be the next logical step for any self-respecting sewer-dwelling grotesque who hangs out in a theater. It would be a convoluted way of going about it, but it would at least spare me having to contemplate the idea of anybody wanting to get into Mae’s Death Valley-esque nether regions.

  184. wossname
    October 21st, 2010 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#110): Didn’t want to look at the mashup at work — not that I thought it would be prurient-type NSFW, but I knew it was likely that (a) it would look comicky and (b) I would guffaw loudly. Now that I’m home, I know I was right on both counts. Another bats :[ triumph.

  185. carbunicle
    October 21st, 2010 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I love you like a brother, but because my brain has proactively protected itself from knowing anything about Luann I had already forgotten what you were talking about before I finished reading it. So, whatever it was, I guess I’m sorry!

  186. Austria
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    JP: Of course Jules wants a partner. As I’ve already pointed out — he’s quite clearly France. And France NEVER SLEEPS ALONE.

    Luann: The one redeeming feature about this particular strip is the phrase “undies in a knot.” I personally prefer “panties in a bunch”, but still.

    MT: THIS. THIS. THIS IS WHY I READ THIS STRIP.

    MG&G: oh sweet mother of heaven cannot unsee

    Zits: Ugh, for ONCE a cell phone joke that doesn’t end with HA HA TEENAGERS WHATCHA GONNA DO. Thank you for being CREATIVE for once. (After that football strip, I wanted to scream.)

  187. Anonymous
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    Artist Formerly Known as Ben (# 38): I too was looking forward to the deer’s revenge tomorrow! But if a deer develops a taste for human flesh, don’t they have to shoot it? It’s a wild animal, you know–not a pet.

  188. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#186): so, Jules, Sam and Randy running around starkers for Christmas, then?

    ;-)

  189. Walker of Dog
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#186) regarding France: You’re one to talk. You and Hungary were joined at the hip for years.

  190. KarMann
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    MT: Soon to be featured on every sign & ad from Frank’s opponent, with such captions as “Frank Johnson kicked this deer!” and “Would you vote for the man who kicked Bambi?”

  191. Weaselboy
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    “His Aunt May…Parker. And then again, she may not.”

  192. That Library Nut
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#171): Nonononono, not the Berserk Button ARGH NRGH NRGH NRGH BRAIN BURN ALL LIBRARIANS ARE NOT ALL OLD LADIES NRGH NRGH NRGH

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#181): Erm, yum? XD

  193. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    @That Library Nut (#192): no, no they are not.

  194. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

  195. Johnnycakes
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    @Stroker Ace (#54): Is there recognition for disturbing comment of the week?

  196. Jamus The Bartender
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Toni’s panties…..Best. Luann. Ever.

  197. Ubiq
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    Toni’s panties are a sore subject for Brad ever since she started locking her underwear drawer.

  198. That Library Nut
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#193): Unfortunately, that’s the other end of the librarian stereotype spectrum. Some of us are just normal dudes. O_o

  199. mollificent
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#142): Eh, bra! You like scrap?

    @TheDiva (#183, hidden text): An hour?? The last time I dared click on a TV Tropes link, they had to send a search party. ;)

  200. Rocky Stoneaxe
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    The Sound and the Fury:

    Rose is Rose ~~ HONK!
    Popeye ~~~~~ FLOP!
    Garfield ~~~~~ CHOMP!
    Bizarro ~~~~~ POW!
    Nancy ~~~~~~ BAM!
    F Minus ~~~~~ WHAP!

  201. Joe Blevins
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    SHOE: It seems to me that there’s a fine but crucial distinction here between the strip’s main two “alky” characters. Cosmo’s a rotund, delightful drunk — sort of a W.C. Fields meets Ted Kennedy/Tip O’Neil type. Shoe, meanwhile, is forever mired in the final stages of scary, sad, Bukowski-level alcoholism. It’s so weird having them in the same strip, like having Norm Peterson somehow wander into Barfly.

  202. dimestore lipstick
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    Tomorrow’s Mark Trail: YOU KICKED A FRIEND OF MINE’S PET DEER!

  203. Poteet
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    JP — I think I did a few sullen rants, months ago, about how JP sails along on endless waves of taken-for-granted massive wealth. And then somehow I came to take it for granted. So thank you, Josh, for reminding me of my original envy and resentment. Yeah, Abbey, I bet you and yours haven’t lost one damn penny in the current economic unpleasantness, right? What’s your real secret, a Ponzi scheme that is somehow based on big boobs?

  204. Joe Blevins
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    So… the US Post Office is coming out with another set of Sunday Funnies Postage Stamps. Of course, the Calvin & Hobbes stamp is getting most of the attention, as it should, but several Curmudgeon “favorites” are being enshrined as well: Garfield, Archie, Beetle Bailey, and Dennis the Menace.

    Think of that: the Archie newspaper comic is getting its own stamp. The stamp itself is worthy of commentary. Man-whore Archie is sharing a milkshake with Veronica and poor, deluded Betty. Betty is eyeing Archie, Archie is eyeing Veronica, and Veronica — lost in a reverie of self-regard, no doubt — is eyeing no one.

  205. Oregonian
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    A haiku for Mark Trail:

    Hey, mister blue suit
    kicking Bambi in the butt
    doesn’t win you votes

  206. KarMann
    October 21st, 2010 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#204): It seems like you have a rather tense issue there. Note that the Jan. 4 2010 date is embedded right in the URL there, in addition to the article’s byline. Those stamps were released several months ago, and I know there was much discussion of them in the comments; I’m not sure if Josh did a (meta-)post about them or not.

  207. Poteet
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    A3G — Per a forgettable comment I made in the last thread, I think it would be really cool if there were a storyline in this strip about bed bugs. Tommie’s face might actually express a strong emotion (horror), Lu Ann might actually decide to do something and then do it (move out), and best of all, we could watch Margo taking action (methodically killing every neighbor who might have brought the bugs into the building). And if there were such a storyline, no one could accuse A3G of not being up-to-date. Except for all I know, there has already been an A3G storyline about bed bugs several decades ago.

  208. Sgt. Stoned
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    MT: Frank is clearly “tea party” presidential material, you betcha!

  209. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:45 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#51): Dick Tracy is working on a new mode of storytelling. Story after next will feature Dick slowly eating a ham sandwich (which will take five weeks), after which we’ll learn that he was acting as a decoy to fool some crooks while Sam and the Chief were doing terribly exciting things on the next block, which they will describe in thrilling detail. The explanation will take two weeks.

  210. Walker of Dog
    October 21st, 2010 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#207): I think it was right after Tommie had that nasty bout of typhus.

  211. BaHa
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:09 am [Reply]

    Does anyone remember that the so-called pet deer was ripped from her loving mother when the doe glanced away for less than a minute? This may be Lucky’s lucky break: getting away from the freaky kid and back to mother and home. Run, Lucky, Run!

  212. Alfred E. Neuman
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:24 am [Reply]

    @Austria (#186) said: “Luann: The one redeeming feature about this particular strip is the phrase “undies in a knot.” I personally prefer “panties in a bunch”, but still.”

    The phrase I’ve heard is “panties in a wad”. Or is it “a wad in the panties”? With Brad, it’s certainly the latter.

  213. Poteet
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    @BaHa (#211): Oh yes, I remember. And Mark Trail, that bastion of ecological information and ethics, merely suggested that if they planned to keep the fawn as a pet, they might want to get a permit. I know a dozen naturalists and outdoor educators who would have handled the situation much better. If “Lucky” does run back to the forest and Mom, he should pause just long enough to kick Mark really hard right in the junk.

  214. Poteet
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#209): I think a few brave souls should turn the current DT story into performance art.

  215. Buck Ripsnort
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:37 am [Reply]

    MT 9/22: WE HAVE PUNCHING. REPEAT, PUNCHING.

    But I’m puzzled by the line, “This may be the last chance I have to do this!” Is Mark too stiff to punch a Governor? Has Mark visited Westview and developed fist cancer? WHAT?

  216. bats :[
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:39 am [Reply]

    10/22

    True Fable, I believe there’s a nice little birthday surprise for your son.
    (In other words, YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH! Mark Trail!)

  217. Comcis Fan
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:39 am [Reply]

    MW: Les Moore, the Only Deep, Intellectual, Clever, Sober, Integritous, Pitiable, Sweater-Wearing, Bearded Person in Westview, Ohio, or Anywhere. Obviously, everyone else is a shallow, gaudy nincompoop who never wrote a book or suffered from the passing of a loved one. (Integritous, while not officially a word, should be.)

  218. Comcis Fan
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    Oops, that was supposed to be FW at #217. I’m so overwhelmed by the Jill storyline that all I can manage in response at the moment is a misplaced MW.

  219. Mibbitmaker
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    10/22 — A Mary Worth Three-fer:

    MW: That’s the Jill Black Power salute.

    MW: Church Lady to Jill: “Well, well, well. So it’s ALLLLLLLL about you, isn’t it, Miss Black-in-the-Soul?” (smirk)

    MW: Adrian (thinking): “All the wedding helpers in the world, and I get stuck with Mr. Horse!”
    (close on Ren & Stimpy theme)

  220. Mibbitmaker
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    10/22 MT: It’s the FoJ! YAAAAAYY! And then Mark says…… wait, what?

  221. Walker of Dog
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:06 am [Reply]

    10/22 strips:

    MT: Violence, bold-face type, a non sequitur, and more violence. The universe makes sense again.

    S-M: Peter is threatened by the Mole Man. Neckless, bumpy-faced, cardboard-glasses-wearing, subterranean Mole Man.

    Phan: The warden’s surprising new don’t-hurt-a-prisoner policy is going to buy her some grief with the correctional officers union.

    FW: Les rushes to a phone to call in his most hateful hook-up… with Life.

    MW: Great – Adrian’s oral fixation is back. Or she’s trying to purge those finger sandwiches. (Not enough salmon.)

    RMMD: Bad move, Rose. Diane is going to clean out that picnic basket in no time.

    FC: Barfy patiently waits for his opportunity to cull the weakest member of the herd.

    A3G: “Run?” It’s funny because none of them has legs.

  222. Alfred E. Neuman
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    MT— Kick a fawn, and get beat up. Kick a chair, and do the beating up.

  223. Citric
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:10 am [Reply]

    MT: Deer kicking AND face punching? Truly Christmas has come early this year.

  224. dyslexic dog
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:16 am [Reply]

  225. bats :[
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:20 am [Reply]

    @Citric (#223): maybe this counts as Chanukah then…

  226. Hobbes Fan
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:23 am [Reply]

    FW – Les is ever disgusted! The nerve of these characters and their inappropriate juxtaposition! Les is going to go off and imagine his dead wife is hanging around watching and smiling blissfully as he flirts with two other women right now.

    MW – Um, does anyone get the feeling that the people working on Mary Worth don’t really know what a “Type A personality” is?

  227. Alfred E. Neuman
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:35 am [Reply]

    MW— Hold your ground, Adrian and Mary. Not all transvestites have good fashion sense.

  228. Warren Fwy
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    Sure, swinging over a 12-foot fence to stop a deer getting kicked is cool, but it is a distant second to the 2003 classic petrified cactus stick that is the greatest Mark Trail ever. This strip made Mark my hero, forever.

  229. bats :[
    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    @Warren Fwy (#228): wow. That is beautiful. I gotta start looking for a petrified cactus stick. I mean, I live in a desert and all — how difficult can it be?

  230. This Guy
    October 22nd, 2010 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    10/21 AND 10/22
    9CL: Clearly, B-Mac missed his true calling as a creature designer for horror movies.

  231. Uncle Lumpy
    October 22nd, 2010 at 2:07 am [Reply]

    I found an unpetrified cactus stick — now all I have to do is wait.

  232. Farley's Revenge
    October 22nd, 2010 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    MT: HOT DAMN! Mark wasn’t the only one anxious to see him swing the Fist O’ Justice!FINALLY! Woot!

  233. Farley's Revenge
    October 22nd, 2010 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    Did Evil Stepdaddy kick that fawn again? Mark had no choice but to pop him in the chops, facial hair or not.

    MW: Is Mary losing her temper? Jill better get set for meddle-off, because Big Mary doesn’t like it when newbies horn in on HER turf. She’s the meddle queen and Jill is going down.

    Is it my imagination or is Jill being drawn like she’s just arrived from Hell and she hasn’t quite learned how to wear this new-fangled human skin over her demon body? She probably likes the salmon squares, too.

  234. Roman Fingers
    October 22nd, 2010 at 4:52 am [Reply]

    (Back after a couple of days off. Decided to take a break when I realized the Vicodin I was taking for my shoulder caused me to think I was watching at least one TV program that wasn’t actually broadcast. That, kids, is why there’s the warning on the bottle about operating heavy machinery)

    A3G: I know I’m not the only one besides Lu Ann that enjoys seeing someone boss Margo around.

    Cranky: …goes back to a dream sequence of when he was younger. Takin’ all bets!!!

    DT: Cool! A $1000 bill with mismatched serial numbers! That actually blows the value of that bill right through the roof.

    reFOOB: The wisest thing John Patterson ever did was not saying what he’s thinking.

    The Funktacular Winkerbean: If Les has half a brain, Ann is now his “former publicist”. We pick on Les a lot, but scheduling him for an interview on that kind of show is just blowful.

    MT: Right hook for the win!!!! And the peasants rejoiced! (yay)

    MW: Somebody needs to ask Jill if she’s willing to pay for the dress. When she says no, I so want Mary to say “Then STFU”.

    Plug: I thought Plugger’s TVs still had vacuum tubes. If they remembered to get one of those converters when things went all digital last year.
    (BTW, Brian Matson of Cedar Rapids, IA, I bought a brand new Sony Bravia last month, and it as manual adjustments for contrast and brightness, if I choose to use them)

    RMMD: Rose is catching on–I’ve seen glaciers quicker than her thought process.

  235. Jason1981
    October 22nd, 2010 at 5:04 am [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#221):

    Of course Peter’s threatened by Mole Man…the guy actually does more than watch tv. He probably wouldn’t need to be guilt-tripped into visiting May, either.

  236. The Ghost of Jarrod
    October 22nd, 2010 at 5:17 am [Reply]

    Josh was right. Yesterday’s Mark Trail is in second place. This is the greatest Mark Trail ever.

  237. Monkeyhawk
    October 22nd, 2010 at 5:54 am [Reply]

    And on Friday we get the flying fists!

    (Has anyone done an audit to determine just how many Mark Trail pets have been named “Lucky?”

    Elrod is either so very meta-…or clueless.

  238. Pozzo
    October 22nd, 2010 at 6:17 am [Reply]

    JP: Said “huge piles of stupid money” will no doubt be in bags tied at the top, with big “$” on the front, just like Uncle Scrooge used to have.

  239. Little Guy
    October 22nd, 2010 at 6:59 am [Reply]

    MT: OF. ALL. TIME!!!

    Pickles: Kid doesn’t want to shit on the Batman, okay?

    SpideyHubby: Anderson Cooper has really let himself go.

  240. willethompson
    October 22nd, 2010 at 7:31 am [Reply]

    MT: The only way today’s MT could be more perfect is if Bluecoaty McGovernorwannabe cracks his head open on the Jackelrod ball as he falls.

    Question: Is “I may not get another chance to do this!” considered a reasonable defense if one is being prosecuted for unprovoked assault? I say not only ‘yes,’ but ‘HELL, yes!’

    “Mr. Thompson, why did you punch your former employer in the nose at the Rotary meeting in front of your father, the Pope and the Easter Bunny?”

    “Your honor, I may not have ever gotten another chance to do that.”

    “Case dismissed.”

  241. Jerseygull
    October 22nd, 2010 at 7:39 am [Reply]

    @Shermy Glamrocker (#6): …I liked it….

  242. TheDiva
    October 22nd, 2010 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    9CL: Why must McEldowney draw mouths that look like the gaping maw of Hell?

    C’shaft: C’mon, broken neck!

    FW: Les left because he realized how many of those calls will be about him.

    Luann: If by “worked” you mean “completely failed as any idiot could have predicted,” then yes.

    MT: I know we complain about how slow and repetitive soap strips can get, but really, who doesn’t want another look at the Bambi Punt?

    MW: *buzz* Sorry, but even if Adrian had purchased the blandest wedding gown in history, they’d still be leaving the store empty-handed because wedding gowns do not come off the rack. First you have to order the design in a size that actually fits you (most boutiques only have a single model gown in a size 10 or something), then the boutique needs to make alterations to fit the gown to your individual figure and height, then they need to fit it again to make sure you didn’t undergo any dramatic weight changes since the last fitting.

    In better news, Meddlegeddon is now in full swing! Grab the popcorn!

    Pluggers are still desperately trying to figure out why they can’t get that new-fangled HDTV on their trusty Philco set.

    SM: Peter’s head is about to do a full Linda Blair, and you’re calling Mole Man creepy? (In related news, it is now my goal to get Mr. Diva to work the phrase “so sorry my wife isn’t free to marry you” into conversation.)

  243. The Grandstander
    October 22nd, 2010 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    What a great morning on the comics page!

    * Mark kicks ass!
    * Crankshaft is headed for another two weeks in the hospital
    * Self-righteous Les goes all Self-Righteous on us
    * Adrian is proving to be the dumbest, most spineless chick in history. what does it say about Scott that he’d WANT to marry her.
    * Foreshadowing: can’t wait to see the hell that will be paid when Sally realizes that Ted picked out the Halloween costumes with the help of Aria. Hey, Sally, that’s what you get for ignoring Ted when he talks about the things most important to him!

  244. The Grandstander
    October 22nd, 2010 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    If Mary would say THAT to Jill, it would almost be better than if Mark Trail crossed over and just pounded the stuffing out of Jill…or Adrian…or Mary.

  245. The Grandstander
    October 22nd, 2010 at 7:59 am [Reply]

    @Roman Fingers (#234): If Mary would say THAT to Jill, it would almost be better than if Mark Trail crossed over and just pounded the stuffing out of Jill…or Adrian…or Mary.

    (Missed hitting the “reply” link properly previously)

  246. CanuckDownSouth
    October 22nd, 2010 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    MW – herewith endeth the most boring Say Yes to the Dress ever. No placating or desperate saleswoman bits, no other gowns shown, no Jill insisting she can find something perfect in the back and making Adrian get into some monstrosity of a-bit-of-tulle-tacked-on -a-burlesque-costume ‘modern’ gown. Do cartoonists go to some special school that instructs them in the difficult task of getting around the ‘showing, not telling’ story method in a visual medium?

    Edge – ‘So independent’ – NO. Look, who’s *really* more independent: someone who waits for others to force him/her to deal with a problem, or someone willing to pick up the phone and call a doctor / plumber / mechanic (or even a friend to say: I’ve been having this problem, do you think it’s serious enough to do something)?

    Zits – a far cry from addressing teen thoughts of ‘what about kids’ with an ironic juxtaposition of a terrible world to bring another life into and organic-sugar-sweetened 4-dollar lattes. I miss the old Zits quality level.

  247. Backup
    October 22nd, 2010 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    @Little A and his Crystal Ball That Might Finally Be Right Predicts: (#1):

    Now see, shooting a defenseless deer is manly. Kicking it is for pussies.

  248. Carl Barks Fan
    October 22nd, 2010 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    FW: Sorry, I have to side with Les. Who would want a bunch of would-be Howard Sterns talking about his dead wife? On the other hand, what kind of agent would book him on a show like this? He should be on Oprah, at least.

    Or has Poteet (my favaorite snarker) already suggested this?

  249. Carl Barks Fan
    October 22nd, 2010 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    @Roman Fingers (#234): I hadn’t seen your post, before I posted mine. I suspect other, kind snarkers will agree, perhaps reluctantly.

  250. Carl Barks Fan
    October 22nd, 2010 at 8:10 am [Reply]

    @Roman Fingers (#234): You are one of my favorites, too. So is True Fable.

  251. Plinko Commie
    October 22nd, 2010 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean: Les has every right to be offended. After all, there’s a certain standard that’s associated with the Raunchy Rush Hour with Ron Radio name. Let’s hope the Hustler interview is more in keeping with Les’s expectations.

    Family Circus: Words cannot describe. Well, actually, they can, but I’m on a work computer and won’t risk my job by using them.

    Dennis the Menace: It’s an indirect menace, to be sure, but kudos to Dennis for subtly reminding Mr. Wilson of his life’s many failures. Way to exploit an old man’s pathos!

    Popeye: So mermaid finders keepers is a law of the sea, the lower sea and the ocean floor. But each principality probably has its own interpretation of it. And the Oceanic Supreme Court isn’t much help, since the Great King Crab stacked it with strict Ocean Constitutionialists. Too bad she didn’t make it to Masseachusetts, where her love of a fellow mermaid would be protected from errant fish hooks.

    Crankshaft: Isn’t jumping to your death an overreaction to not being able to clean the gutters? Oh wait, Funkyverse.

    Mark Trail: The awesomeness of the deer kicking/Trail punching is somewhat offset by the news that he may never have the opportunity to punch again. Don’t fret, Mark, I’m sure there’s a disreputable MMA organization being run in the underworld over at Gil Thorp’s strip.

    Apartment 3-G: HOLY CRAP WORLD FAMOUS OHIO PECAN PIE. Can’t wait for tomorrow when Iris serves up some cobbler made with Saskatchewan peaches.

  252. agony
    October 22nd, 2010 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Scott Bot 75 I remember years ago, listening to an author interview by Bill Richardson at the CBC. He said something like “I’m sorry, I’ve only read your book once, but blah blah” and the author replied “This is the first time in the entire tour where an interviewer has even opened the book. Thank you so so much for reading it”. I get the impression that the whole “promote your book” business is pretty dreadful.

    And, on that note, has anyone read Dan Piraro’s “Bizarro Among the Savages”? His publisher wouldn’t spring for a book tour so he went around the country being put up for the night and given rides and dinners by fans of his comic.

  253. Sluggo Smith
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#233): >Did Evil Stepdaddy kick that fawn again?
    I saw it as a re-boot.

  254. KarMann
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    10/22 MT: Pardon me, while I grab this low-hanging fruit!

  255. FafMor
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail knows that he’s only got seconds to get his licks in before the daughter pulls out a Smith & Wesson Model 29, says “You don’t dropkick Lucky, punk”, and blows step-daddy away.

  256. Buck Ripsnort
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:14 am [Reply]

  257. Scott Bot
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    FW – Ok, this one ticks me off. Anyone who even bothers to listen to the radio on the way to work in the morning knows that most drive time dj’s wouldn’t book an author for an interview. It’s the sort of thing that’s reserved for either the local public radio station, or the late morning/early afternoon time slots. To me, this is just TB showing his contempt for the philistines that don’t realize how important his stupid little comic strip is…

    @agony (#252): I’ve heard this before, too. We have a radio host on Wisconsin Public Radio that actually reads the books of the authors she interviews, and they seem stunned that someone does research before they talk to them.

  258. commodorejohn
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    A3G – “I don’t believe in delayed gratification” opens up so many possible directions for this character…slashfic writers, start your engines!

    Archie – Wait, when did Archie turn into Gil Thorp?

    Bizarro – I like her. Maybe next she can point out that for the same amount of money, he could get a real portable computer that’s nearly three times as powerful.

    Crankshaft – Uh, is he supposed to be falling, or trying to go all Prince Of Persia? I mean, typically you fall down, not forward. Either way, I’ll take it.

    DT – “He also pretends to be Dracula for some reason.”

    FW – OH THOSE AWFUL MEDIA PEOPLE HOW CAN THEY NOT UNDERSTAND THE TRAGEDY AND PAIN OF SIMPLY EXISTING? God almight, do I wish I could reach through the screen and give Les a wedgie.

    H&L – Why is it always “Purple Haze?” Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine song, but Hendrix was anything but a one-hit wonder. Hell, doesn’t anybody remember “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)?” C’mon, Walkers, I’m 25, and even I know this stuff. What’s your excuse?

    Love Is… – NNNGRRRRGHL

    Luann – YES. YES IT IS THE END OF DIRK. SO DON’T YOU DARE FUCKING BRING HIM BACK, NOT AFTER ALL THE SHIT WE JUST HAD TO SIT THROUGH.

    MT – Mark needs to get in some Fist O’Justice before the mama deer returns to take over. [*]

    MW – “Look! I’m Mussolini!”

    MC – Oh, Ashley. You never fail to make me grin wickedly.

    OB – Portrait of a young Josh Fruhlinger?

    OBH – “Shifty nut-hoarding bastards!”

    Popeye – “She doesn’t throw?” That’s not what Poopdeck Pappy said…

    Pluggers – You’re a Plugger if you have a deep-seated aversion to technology that works.

    Shoe – It’s a Plugger!

    SM – “He acted a little skeezy…and then left! How sinister!

  259. Sequitur
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#242):

    9CL: Why must McEldowney draw mouths that look like the gaping maw of Hell?

    Could it be that artists draw what they know?

  260. gleeb
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    ‘bean: I do hope we get to see Creepy Les tearing Ann Apple a new asshole because of this. I mean, who else would be responsible?

    Sam Driver, Silent and Immobile Partner!: That’s it, Sam. Don’t offer to earn your share by packing up the shoes.

    Mark: FOJ! He’s going to rain himself on that Jackelrod!

    Marm: A frayed cord. A tipped over water dish. You know you want to, Eva…

    Phantom: Cool, it’s gonna be another prison farm break.

  261. Sequitur
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    A3G: Pie. From OHIO?!
    Don’t eat it! You’ll get CANCER!!!

  262. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    9 – I’ll be darned if it isn’t Nyneve from Camelot 3000. Sorry, can’t seem to find a visual representation (or even a mention) of her online. She’s a hot dame wearing a mask who Merlin has a thing for, but under the mask, she’s actually worse (!) than Edda.

    3G – More forks, Margo!

    Crankshaft – Yes, suicide is the only option. Good thinking, man!

    Family – “Look! Mommy’s marking PJ with the musk glands in her forehead!”

    (Sheesh, I remember this strip from the good old DFC.)

  263. Dennis Jimenez
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    MT – Mark Trail Truism – You’ll be “Lucky,” if all I do is kick your ass….

  264. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    Smirky – Clever Les has figured out a way to make the next fifteen minutes completely about him. “What a douche, right Ron?” “You said it, little buddy!”

    Mark – “Don’t! My deer! My female deer!”
    (Thanks for the encore of the classic moment, Jack!)

    Mark II – “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he hit me twice or only once?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being as these are the most powerful fists in these woods, and could knock you clear to Charterstone, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Should I kick Lucky? Well, should ya, punk?”

    Phantom – “And pay no attention to the purple guy standing behind the arch. As long as he’s not wearing a uniform over his clothes, he’s not at all suspicious.”

    R=R – Either Mimi’s singing “Sunshine, Lollypops and Rainbows” in hieroglyphics, or she’s swearing up a storm the wrong vocabulary.

  265. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    10/22

    MT: Mark realizes that the clock is running out on the storyline and he hasn’t slugged anyone. Awesomeness ensues.

    MC: “Going to Denny’s to celebrate this abomination.” I’m going to be chuckling over that one all weekend.

    6C: Is the ticket clerk trying to get the passenger to strip? That’s all I can get from this.

    Popeye: Olive’s law is a corellary to Murphy’s law, of course.

    GT: “But Coach Thorp, it’s only after hours that the lonely horny johns come waving their wallets around.”

    S-M: “They call him the Mole Man. Rumor is he’s the one who started the Betty White facebook campaign.”

    Blondie: Funny and relevant beyond what you’d expect.

    Phantom: “Don’t hurt her? Why do you think I went into this line of work? This sucks.”

    C-Shaft: The only option left is suicide? Wow, someone actually read’s the reader suggestion box.

    9CL: Open your eye’s, Seth. There’s a lamprey swimming towards you.

    H&L: Chip’s friend models the latest from the Charlie Brown Collection.

    SSmith: Sex and the Barely Populated Mountain Town.

    SFx: What scene of horrible traffic carnage are the guy and the cat witnessing?

    MW: Mary will eventually put Jill in her place, of course. But first she needs to do something about the height disparity. I look forward to Mrs Worth spending the rest of the wedding plan storyline in disco platforms.

  266. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    Spidey – “Huh huh! Dig, dig, dig, dig, dig!”

    Zippy – Well, sure, a little dab’ll do them.

    @Poteet (#214): It’s a good idea, but how would we know they were doing it? They could be doing it already, down on the corner!

    @Roman Fingers (#234): Cool! A $1000 bill with mismatched serial numbers! That actually blows the value of that bill right through the roof.
    As the collectors say, “More value: Mule!”

    @TheDiva (#242): Sorry, but even if Adrian had purchased the blandest wedding gown in history, they’d still be leaving the store empty-handed because wedding gowns do not come off the rack.
    You’re thinking of the real world. In Santa Royale, it’s more like, “Shall I wrap that for you?” “Thanks, I’ll just wear it home.”

    @Dennis Jimenez (#263): Great minds: they strike between the time I preview and the time I hit ‘send.’

  267. Spunde
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    Fanservice, Mark Trail style!

  268. Scott Bot
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    DT – For the life of me, I can’t figure out what’s going on in the second panel of today’s strip. Is he fondling someone’s butt? Adjusting a pair of underwear that is riding up? Unusually excited about the arrival of a female officer?

    This is just too much for me to comprehend on only one cup of coffee.

  269. terrapin
    October 22nd, 2010 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    MT-”But I don’t have side-burns!!!”
    MC-”The word ‘abomination’ should always appear in the same sentence as ‘Denny’s’.
    Mandrake-That’s no ordinary vampire! That’s Max Schreck!
    Phantom-Stripey Pants better do something, ANYTHING!, to prove he deserves the love of that wonderful bun pulling woman!

  270. Spunde
    October 22nd, 2010 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    I read a book a while ago, written by a woman whose sixteen-year-old son died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart problem. Her pain has inspired her to adopt several special needs children and to found a charity that helps African orphans.

    Granted, that’s not as noble as walking out on the Raunchy Rush Hour With Ron Radio, but then she’s only human.

  271. bats :[
    October 22nd, 2010 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    @Carl Barks Fan (#248): spot on. Fire your farkin’ agent, Les. And drop dead, for good measure.

  272. Edgy DC
    October 22nd, 2010 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    Do: A deer whose ass I kicked.
    Re: The fist speed of Mark Trail.
    Mi: The guy, he just laid out.
    Fa: The distance to the jail.
    So: I caged deer in my hold.
    La: The thing I outghta know.
    Ti: The A-Team guy with gold.
    But now I’m eating Mark Trail’s crow…

  273. Comcis Fan
    October 24th, 2010 at 1:23 am [Reply]

    MW: In Sunday’s episode, the role of Mary will be played by Mrs. Rayburn from “Leave It To Beaver.” http://picsicio.us/image/7e19231d/

    Playing Adrian will be Shirley Feeney from “Laverne and Shirley.”

    And Suzanne Somers will leaven behind Chrissy from “Three’s Company” to show her range as Jill.

  274. Buck Ripsnort
    October 24th, 2010 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    Brewster: Realist: The glass is twice as large as necessary.

    Sunday MT: /snark, but I’m pretty sure the Galapogas Tortoise is the longest-lived animal; they live around 100 years.

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