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Underground romance

Spider-Man, 11/17/10

You know, I mock the Spider-Man comic strip for its determined avoidance of superheroics, but to be honest there really are few things I find duller than superheroes and supervillains battling with one other. Spider-Man is still irritating because its title character is so relentlessly unlikable, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some of the non-Spidey-centered action. I’m really digging the Mole Man-Aunt May romance, for instance, and am particularly pleased that MJ is being put in her place for not recognizing the particular purpose each of these hideously garish gems will play in the complex and beautiful aged crone/underground monarch mating dance.

Mark Trail, 11/17/10

Oh my God: it’s Mark Trail, Undercover Fisherman! Deep in your heart, you know that everything you’ve experienced in your life so far has been leading up to this one beautiful moment.

277 responses to “Underground romance”

  1. SystemError
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Elrod should watch his speech balloon placement. It looks like that goose is talking to the other goose.

  2. FafMor
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    I’m really hoping Mark Trail gets a 10 foot long giant duck costume as part of his undercover work. And then Frank accidently shoots him while hunting.

  3. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:05 am [Reply]

  4. ratnerstar
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    Haha, MJ is totally dissing the Mole Guy’s ring. Soon she’ll be criticizing his job, their wedding invites, and Aunt May’s dress. Our only hope is for Mary Worth to be bitten by some sort of radioactive meddler.

  5. Rootboy
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    I agree that this is probably the best newspaper Spider-Man I’ve ever seen.

  6. Hal Jordan
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Funky Depressingbean: Seriously, if the guy doesn’t want a dog, doesn’t want to take care of a dog, doesn’t f*#%in’ like dogs… maybe he shouldn’t get a dog! “You take care of each other.” No that’s actually not true. If it’s your dog, it’s your responsibility. You don’t want that responsibility, DON”T GET A DOG!

  7. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    MT: I’m hooked. Fist o’ Justice to be replaced by Scales o’ Justice. Sounds like a reel adventure this time; can’t wait to see Mark tackle it. Hope he doesn’t flounder and let the bad guy skate. And when it’s all said and done and he returns home to Cherry, we all know he won’t grouper.

  8. Ed Dravecky
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    “Agent Giant Duck is right, Mark, you can easily mix with fisherman. I’ve got to get back to the set of It Happened One Night before Claudette Colbert notices that I’m gone.”

  9. Buck Ripsnort
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:18 am [Reply]


  10. Ed Dravecky
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    Trixie only gets her diaper changed on the equinox? That must be one hell of an occult ritual. (Your move, Marvin.)

  11. marymaryk
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    Holy Crap! The Phantom punched the white right out of that guy!

  12. Tom Allen
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    I can’t decide which marriage proposal interests me less: Mole Man and Aunt May, or Prince William and Kate Middleton.

  13. Scott Bot
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    Archie – What I want to know is why Archie still looks like Richie Cunningham circra 1956 when everyone else seems to dress as if it’s the 21st century.

    DT – Dick is stealing money from the evidence room?

    FW – I always knew there was a point where I would stop reading this comic, snark or no snark. I have reached that point today.

    MW – Mary – ‘But it is for me to ask. That’s why the strip is named after me…’

    Pluggers – Ok, that’s not funny, just disgusting. And unfortunately true.

  14. Cooler King
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    Sure, it’s as normal for you to be fishing as it is for you to be camera-bashing the skulls of anyone committing the most trivial of offenses against any nature of flora, fauna, or zoning ordinance, no matter how powerful or influential they may be! I’m sure these fishermen will welcome you with complete inconspicuousness, open arms, and properly documented fishing licenses.

  15. Ellie
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    Ok, did I somehow miss the storyline where Adrian was scalped?

  16. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    another bebeh tanuki.

    bebeh bulldog helps with the leaves. (squee > 9000!)

    hovercorgi has airbrakes.

  17. Ed Dravecky
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    I rarely get to say this but… “Listen to Wally Winkerbean! He knows what he’s talking about!” Sadly, this will be the last time anybody says or does anything sensible for the rest of this story.

  18. Dennis Jimenez
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    Spiderman – Was Ho Chi Minh seduced by the the art deco trappings of the French colonials? Was the female wood duck seduced by the lush plumage of the colorful male? Neither shall Aunt May fall pray to the affections of the wilely Moleman. This May to November romance is doomed – DOOMED, I SAY!!!

  19. Islamorada Girl
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    SM: Marry Mole Man, Aunt Mary, and get Jill to be your wedding planner! Fun!

  20. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Poteet, this story is for you. (and any other wildlife rescue fans as well.)

  21. Some Guy
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    @Tom Allen (#12):
    I must admit, I’d like to see David Dimbleby commentating on the Mole Man/May wedding.

    “And on the left hand side of this dark, underground cavern, we can see … or we could if there was any light … the Children’s Choir of Subterrainea. Of course, Moloids are unable to speak, let alone sing, but these mutated monsters have been personally selected by Mole Man for the harmony of their disturbing squelching noises…”

  22. Bootsy
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    MT: “Mix in with the other fishermen, you say? Why, of course I could! I have no internal monologue, and I voice all my thoughts loudly, with no semblance of a filter!”

    November 17th, 2010 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    Spidey- If the Mole Man spent two months salary on that engagement ring, I think lazy-ass Peter better start addressing him as Uncle Mole and ask if he has any openings at the mine.

  24. fishmorgjp
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    Boy, Aunt May must have that certain something… Doc Ock tried to marry her too, a long time ago in the funnybooks. Too bad she keeps attracting guys with multiple arms or blind-mole physiology or whatever.

  25. TheDiva
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: This one’s actually funny if I imagine the unseen speaker is referring to Cranky’s clothes being on fire.

    DT: I’m pretty sure that’s evidence and you have to turn it over…you know what, keep it, whatever it takes to wrap this thing up faster.

    FW: God, I thought nothing could be worse than the persistent morose gloom that most of this strip’s characters exhibit, but Rachel’s relentless and oblivious optimism has just taken the prize. Now I really want to see Wally gun her down in a PTSD-fueled panic attack, if only to determine if there’s anything that can wipe that desperately hopeful look of her face.

    Luann: Just punch him already, Dirk. No jury in the world will convict you.

    MW: Speaking of relentless and oblivious optimism…you see, Adrian, this is why you can never be Mary’s apprentice.

    SM: Diamond or no, I question the good taste of giving a woman something the exact size and shape of a Ring Pop as an engagement token.

  26. Charles Kuffner
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    Am I the only one who was expecting MT’s response to being told he was the “most qualified person” to do something to be “Sure thing! Who do you need me to punch?”

  27. mojo
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    In today’s Mary Worth, the part of Adrian will be played by Friar Tuck.

  28. Dennis Jimenez
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    MW – Wouldn’t it be Friar Lawrance, in this romantic tragedy?

  29. This Guy
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#25): RE FW: No kidding. That’s the kind of expression you see on someone standing over a corpse with a bloody knife in hand, saying “You see? Now we can be together! I do it all for you, you know. It’s always been for you!”

  30. Mumblix Grumph
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail as a undercover fisherman? Oh please…first he’ll talk the other fishermen’s ears off with wildlife trivia and then punch the hell out any guy with sideburns.

    Sort of like a mix of Cliff Clavin and Russell Crowe.

  31. Plinko Commie
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: So the plan is we’re letting the zombie duck problem solve itself?

    Funky Winkerbean: Hey, Wally’s getting a dog! That’ll be a positive development for him and the Funkerverse! Unrelated topic: Did you know that November is National Canine Cancer Awareness Month?

    Family Circus: In which Billy exposes the template for being a Patterson.

    Popeye: This sounds ludicrous on the surface, but my family would freak out if I was in the pool during a rainstorm. Get out! It’s raining! You’ll get WET! Oh, memories. Anyway, shouldn’t Tuna Salad smell really bad by now?

    Hi and Lois: So Lois is handing Trixie off to Child Protective Services? I guess it’s hard to be a good mommy once you become a zombie.

    Pluggers: Am I crazy (yes) or have a lot of the “spotlighted” Plugger strips come from Buies Creek, NC? You would think a college, even if it IS just Campbell, would stem the flow of Pluggerocity a bit.

    Blondie: Finally, at long last, America will have a high-fat, high-calorie sandwich spread! At least we now know who the kid belongs to — Paula Deen.

  32. Spunde
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    MT: “You’re a well-known outdoorsman whose last forty-six writing assignments have resulted in exposes of nefarious outdoor crimes. You can mix in with the other fishermen, who are suspected of nefarious outdiir crimes, easily.”

    I mock because I envy. No one’s ever hired me to fish.

  33. Patrick
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    FUN PAGES CHALLENGE TIME! Which has more facets, a brilliant-cut diamond, or Aunt May’s face?

  34. Russ H
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Finally! We’ll get to see someone punch a fish!

  35. 150
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    I swear to Kirby, if Spider-Man spun off (get it?) into Aunt May, Queen of Moles, I would buy a newspaper subscription and never snark again.

  36. Mustang
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    MT – It’s normal for you to be fishing, as opposed to, say, any other person on the face of the earth, which would be just plain bizarre.

  37. Some Guy
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    A3G: “The piano’s is so big, it’s taking up all the space outside this frame! There’s simply no room for it in the panels, and there never will be!”

    FW: It seems to be playing on the Sandman gag where Delirium says “But I can’t look after a doggy”, and Barnabas replies “You misheard him. I get to look after you.” Only that made sense, since Barnabas was in fact capable of looking after himself. “You don’t look after him, you both look after each other”, on the other hand, is gibberish.

    JP:What Sam should be thinking: You wrote a book about me without telling me? Where’s my share of that eight fifty?
    What Sam is actually thinking: Hey! If you’re not going to tell me what it’s about, don’t give away the ending!

  38. Voshkod
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    “This diamond is for her throne! This diamond is for her finger! And these eight are for her various piercings!”

  39. Doctor Handsome
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Apparently, “Well-Known Outdoorsman” is a thing now.

  40. McManx
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: I guess Mark’s qualifications for this fishing project are well known because of his reputation as a master baiter.

    Spiderman: Good thing Mole Man can’t see very well. Aunt May is looking a little like the Cryptkeeping in panel two.

    Mary Worth: Why has Adrian dyed the top of her head blond?

  41. Chance
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Ritzy Fritz (#7): Those jokes smelt.

  42. Walker of Dog
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    FC: It helps me to picture some musical notes floating in the background of today’s strip. That way I can plausibly conclude that the children are talking about dancing, and I get to keep my breakfast.

    GT: “Then let’s say that after college, I get a job. Who’s going to cut the crusts off my sandwiches?”

    JP: Hmmm. A story Sam should remember well…when he was almost killed… is it that time he went clubbing with Andy Dick?

    MW: Mary is growing frustrated by her inability to crack Jill. “Is she divorced? Has she suffered a brain injury? Is she foreign or a hippie or something? Dammit, who doesn’t love weddings?!”

    RMMD: “Sir, doing the ‘turn your head and cough’ maneuver doesn’t prove you’re a doctor. Especially when you’re doing it to yourself. Please stop.”

    FW: Rachel is manipulating Wally into a murder-suicide pact with a dog. It will make for a boring string of strips, as Wally waits for the dog to pull the trigger.

  43. McManx
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    Re: #39 — Sorry. I meant “Cryptkeeper”.

  44. Scott Bot
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    SFX – Ok, is the school bus they’re referring to in this strip driven by Crankshaft?

  45. McManx
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    Nancy — Aunt Fritzi alert. Poor thing has been sick all week, but still manages to look smokin’ hot.

  46. CanuckDownSouth
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Another day, another A3G skirmish in the passive-aggressive artist/writer war over storytelling. We’ve escalated from insane hairdos, no-extensions-needed haircut reversions, and not showing full makeover dresses to leaving out … an entire piano! What key plot element will be left out of the frame next?

  47. rosebud
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    There’s a man who leads a life of angling
    Whenever people speak, word balloons are dangling
    And with ev’ry cast he makes,
    Another bass he takes,
    Odds are he’ll have to punch someone with his powerful FISTS OF FURY!

    Secret fisherman!
    Secret fisherman!
    They’ve given you a bass boat, and taken away your name……

  48. Natalie
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    No comment on Archie? Really? And it was in your tags and everything. :(

  49. Cooler King
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    @Charles Kuffner (#26): We would have also accepted “You need me to mentor a mutant kid with just enough half-assed effort to cover up my total lack of interest in sexually fulfilling my wife?”

  50. Mibbitmaker
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Archie: Today the role of Archie is being played by 1970s era Chevy Chase.

    A3G: Oh — that’s riiiiight…. LuAnn is stupid! I almost forgot.

    BBailey: ….in 1967!

    Crank: ….until 2067!

    MT: So, those duck decoys are……. a disguise…?

    MW: Too much to ask about someone’s personal life?? That’s it; tomorrow the Mary robot malfunctions at that logic, with smoke billowing out of her and a staccoto voice chanting, “Does not compute! Does not compute!…”

  51. Just Call Me E
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    FW: Imagine how much more depressed Wally will be when his puppy dies of cancer!

  52. Pozzo
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail — for those of you who never got over “Sea Hunt” being cancelled.

  53. Lawyerbob
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    What Mark doesn’t realize is that “fishing” is code for an underground outdoorsman-role-play circle (think lots of sweaty men in plaid using fly rods on each other) and Moustache-Man is asking him to go all Al Pacino in “Cruising.”

  54. LeNoceur
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    Aunt May: “Let’s see…on one hand, there’s the guy with diamonds who worships me. One the other hand, there’s my broke, whiny nephew. I do, Mole Man. I most definitely do.”

  55. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    @Chance (#41): Would have tried harder but I’ve had a nasty haddock all morning. Waiting for the ibupro-fin to kick in.

  56. Professor Fate
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    FW: you can both cower under the bed during thunderstorms – it’ll be great.

    MW: Oh god not not DIVORCED! The Horror! The Horror! What did she do wrong?

    Luann: this is “I’ve written myself into a corner and I can’t get out” moment. I wonder if he’ll do a ten year jump?

  57. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    S-M: On reflection, Mole Man realizes that MJ is just like his ballbusting first wife. He’s still kicking himself for that one.

    6C: Special appearance by Adrian Corey and the Bullet Magnet.

    BB: Apparently they all stopped off at a Vietnam War protest before the review.

    MW: In the first panel, Mary and Adrian are side by side at the counter, sorting “food.” In the second panel, Mary’s in the foreground and Adrian is in deep background. Question is, which one of them farted?

    S4th: Laura is so awful, and so hilarious.

    PBS: You can tell how disorienced Rat is by the fact that he starts off by apologizing to Pig.

    DT: Pocketing money that’s evidence of an alleged (nonsensical) crime? Dick just crossed another item off his bad cop bucket list.

    Phantom: A brief lesson on what the word “outrank” really means.

    RMMD: “Well I can prove I’m a doctor at any rate. Turn your head and cough.”

    H&J: If meat cleaver duels to the death are going to become a regular feature of Herb and Jamaal, I approve.

    Lockhorns: Through the magic of teh Google, Leroy just learned that he’s a fictional character in a comic strip read solely by Internet snarkers.

  58. Mollie
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    “We think you are the most qualified person to help us” is such an indefensibly stupid thing to say, where “you” = “Mark Trail,” that the strip immediately cuts to a very long view of the scene. “Obviously there’s no longer any reason to listen to this guy. Here are some ducks, conspicuously not discussing Mark Trail’s ‘qualifications.’ Don’t they look wise?”

  59. skullcrusherjones
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    Blend in? How many outdoorsmen are always cleanly shaven? Mark is always outdoors and he clearly doesn’y know how to deal with people so he’s no city slicker. Can he just not grow facial hair? Is that why he’s on a one-man crusade to punch the hair right off other men’s no-fair faces?

  60. AndyL
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    Mark, You’ll make a perfect undercover agent, because you’re a well known outdoorsman and reporter, and Everyone knows your name and of your penchant for vigilante justice!

  61. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    @Lawyerbob (#53): When Elrod first handed in the strip, the h in “fishing” was a t, but the syndicate “corrected” it for him.

  62. SF_Reader
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    @SystemError (#1): Yes that is confusing. The goose is actually talking to Mark Trail, not the other goose.

  63. commodorejohn
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    A3G – Oh, what are you getting so worked up over, Margo? Your throne of blood and ichor is in the same spot as always, and it’s not even blocked by the piano!


    Curtis – Huh, and here Curtis was the comic strip I least expected to see a discussion of sexual cannibalism in.

    DT – Dick.

    F- – Hey, for any boy that age, that is like the fourth awesomest thing that could possibly happen to you. His classmates are going to be so jealous.


    GT – Oh, we haven’t had a good ridiculously oversized hand in Gil Thorp in a while.

    JP – Great, so the storyline that was like an episode of Castle without the entertaining protagonist has been turned into a book, as in Castle, also without the entertaining protagonist. Cripes.

    Luann – Okay, the balance has officially tipped. Dirk’s the reasonable guy who doesn’t take shit from crazy people, and Brad’s the unbalanced psycho stalker. Seems righter this way, really.

    MT – I’m still not sure which part is dumber: entrusting mission of stealth to a man who has less idea how human beings think, speak, or act than most space aliens, or entrusting a mission of deception to a man who is well-known for constantly speaking his every thought IN BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS. Fortunately, blessedly, Elrod has chosen to give us both. I cannot wait to see this go down. “Good afternoon, other fishermen!” Mark will say. “I, also a fisherman and not a covert agent, am also enjoying spearing invertebrates on metal hooks for the purpose of catching fish for the purpose of displaying or eating them! Ha ha!” *unnervingly tight forehead closeup* “HOLY MACKEREL, THESE MEN ARE SHINING FISH! THAT IS ILLEGAL! I HAD BETTER LET THE GAME WARDEN KNOW!

    MW – Ohhhh Adrian, those are words you never, ever say around Mary.

    Momma – Suzy kicks ass. I hope she and Francis go straight up to his room and make wild, noisy, non-Oedipal monkey love.

    OB – Hee, Beatles shout-out.

    Popeye – Drown, you bastards, drown. Drowndrowndrowndrowndrown.

    SF – I. Love. This. Strip.

    SM – Lordy, when did MJ turn into such a bitch? Is one little double kidnapping really such a huge offense?

  64. Greg Evans
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    Brad’s got Dirk cornered now! Nobody wants you here Dirk! It’s time for you to go!

    I’ll take suggestions on how our noble hero Brad should defeat Dirk, the most hated character in all of comics! Isn’t Dirk just despicable?

  65. Aviatrix
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    @marymaryk (#11): He punched him so hard he prevented his parents from ever meeting, so now his dad is a black guy instead of a redhead.

  66. Dood
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    “… It’s just normal for you to be fishing! With my sideburns, mustache and dandy Saville Row suit, it’s normal for me to be doing U.S. Customs-ing stuff!”

  67. commodorejohn
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    @Greg Evans (#64): Brad could crawl into the garbage truck’s trash compactor in a clever ruse to lure Dirk in after him!

  68. Lawyerbob
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#61): They were no doubt uncertain as to what Elrod meant by “fistermen.”

  69. Aviatrix
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    DT: Have they forgotten how to end a storyline? Even Cherry coming by to tell Dick there’s someone to see him at the house would be welcome.

  70. Fred Davis
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    Of course the marriage between may and the mole-man will only last until the next storyline, in which peter is shot and mephisto makes May choose between her title as co-ruler of the mole-man kingdom and peter’s life.

    Though in keeping with the general enforced dullness of the strip, Aunt May will obviously choose peter’s life, because god forbid we have a comic following the courtly intrigue and international politics of AUNT MAY: QUEEN OF THE MOLE-MEN. Gotta keep those all important strips where Spider-man is sucker punched by an Elton John lookalike wearing welding goggles coming.

  71. Chip Whittle
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G “You know that space near the refrigerator?” “You mean the kitchen?” “No, no, it’s kind of smaller and there’s more water stuff?” “The bathroom?” “No, no, what I’m thinking is this thing where there’s shelves and there’s food and there’s everything?” “The pantry?” “No, I’m thinking where you have the stuff that smells like swimming pool and I can’t drink it except when you order me?” “The laundry room?” “No, no, I’m thinking ‘licorice’ now.” “You put our couch in a candy store?” “No, I just like licorice.” “You’re an idiot, Lu Ann.” “I may be an idiot but I know where the couch is.”

    Arctic Circle: Here I thought the problem is the song “Sweet Caroline” only exists during wedding receptions and is never heard in any other environment.

    Crock: Oh good heavens, I think I understand what the joke in Crock today is meant to be. I need to go beat myself senseless.

    Dick Tracy has no ethical objection to pocketing evidence for personal gain. I for one am shocked, shocked at the evidence of systematic corruption among the most fascist elements of our public security forces.

    Henry: I never imagined myself saying this but: “I need this Henry strip to actually happen in real life.”

    The Lockhorns have discovered Comics Curmudgeon. Maybe Leroy will feel better when he reads the gang’s thoughts about Funky Winkerbean, although it is hard imagining anyone feeling better as a result of reading about Funky Winkerbean.

    Mandrake: So the riotous mob of villagers out to slay a vampire is chased away by the illusion of bats. This has got to be the town where Popeye grows its nutty characters.

    Moose and Molly is giving me a compulsive urge to figure out what Slylock Fox mystery is explained by the second panel. Slick Smitty must be up to something nefarious in smoking on the countertop, but what? His ailibi is connected to the tricks of polishing linoleum floors?

    The Piranha Club: “The only way to cure your monkey is with hypnotism.” Someday I am going to organize an amateur-writers group just so I can assign the project of completing the story which begins with that line.

    Plugger Lloyd DeRamus of Buies Creek, North Carolina, was clearly unprepared for the spotlight to be turned on him, but I like to think he’s still proud there to represent the Lollipop Guild. For now, he’ll have to rely on his morbid obesity.

    Retail: In my experience, a work “potluck” means twelve guys all bring napkins, plastic forks, and bottles of store-brand soda. And the elder generation brings weird but tasty salads, and somehow, a tray of cold cuts appears.

  72. Will
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    SFx: and the Standard Deviation is 2.828. What do I win?

  73. Greg Evans
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#67):

    I like it! However, Brad really isn’t a man of action, he likes to talk about his problems with other people. That’s what makes him so noble and pure!

    Plus, Brad is too smart to be crawling into the compactor. He’s definitely one of the smartest people in the strip, well of course right behind the heroine of the series, the lovely Luann! Hey boy!

  74. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    @Russ H (#34): A catfish, presumably. They at least have something resembling facial hair.

  75. UncleJeff
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    @SystemError (#1): You must be new to the Wonderful World of Lost Forest where all of the UbiquiDucks, Giant Squirrels and adolescent deer named Lucky all have the ability of speech.
    Even if all they can say is “Jack Elrod”.

  76. Red Greenback
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    “You’re a well-known outdoorsman. I know this well because you are outdoors at this very moment! Talking… with me. Outdoors, that is. Holy Mackerel! This makes me an outdoorsman too!”

    (Dick breaks into song)

    Yeah, yeah

    Cryin’ on my pillow
    Lonely in my bed
    Then I heard a voice beside me
    And he softly said
    “Thunder is your night light”
    “Magic is your dream”
    And as I held him
    He said, “See what I mean”

    I said “Whaaaat”
    He said “Ooo-ooo-ooo-wee”
    I said “All right”
    He said “Love me, love me, love me”

    Undercover angler
    Lo-Fo fantasy
    I never had a dream
    That made sweet love to me
    Undercover angler
    The answer to my prayer
    You made me know
    That there’s a love for me out there
    Yeah, somewhere

    Heavenly surrender
    Sweet afterglow
    Givin’ up my heart to you
    Now, angler, don’t go
    He said, “Go hook the right one
    “Land it and then”
    “When you look into its eyes”
    “You’ll see me again”

    I said “Whaaaat”
    He said “Ooo-ooo-ooo-wee”
    I said “All right”
    He said “Love me, love me, love me”

    Undercover angler
    Lo-Fo fantasy
    I never had a dream
    That made sweet love to me
    Undercover angler
    The answer to my prayer
    You made me know
    That there’s a love for me out there
    Oh, somewhere

    Now you know my story
    And fishy, if it’s right
    I’m gonna take you in my arms
    And love you tonight
    Underneath the covers
    The answer lies
    Lookin’ for my angler
    In your sweet lovin’ eyes
    It said, “Glub”
    I said, “Ooo-oo-oo-wee”
    It said, “Glub, glub”
    I said, “Love me, love me, love me”
    It said, “Glub”
    I said, “Ooo-oo-oo-wee”
    It said, “Glub”
    I said, “Love me, love me, love me”

    Undercover angler
    Midnight fantasy
    I never had a dream
    that made sweet love to me
    Undercover angler
    The answer to my prayer
    You made me know
    That there’s a love for me
    Love me, love me, love me

    Undercover angler
    Midnight fantasy
    I never had a dream
    That made sweet love to me
    Undercover angler
    The answer to my prayer
    You made me know that
    There’s a love for me…

  77. Scott Bot
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    SM – Ok, I have a question on engagement ettiquette – after the wedding is called of because Mole Man is defeated and sent to prison/banished/destroyed/whatever, does Aunt May get to keep the engagement ring, or does she have to give it back?

  78. Rocky Stoneaxe
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    @fishmorgjp (#24):

    Yes, but years ago she gave her heart to Uncle Ben and his Whole Grain White Rice! (When the guests threw rice at their wedding, it was Uncle Ben’s!)

  79. AndyL
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Spiderman doesn’t want Aunt May to marry a wealthy stranger? Maybe he should have thought of that before he let her old husband die!

  80. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    @ratnerstar (#4):

    Haha, MJ is totally dissing the Mole Guy’s ring. Soon she’ll be criticizing his job, their wedding invites, and Aunt May’s dress. Our only hope is for Mary Worth to be bitten by some sort of radioactive meddler.

    Are you saying that MJ is, is… Jill??!

  81. Walker of Dog
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#57): Post-salmon-square gas is the worst, although when used with the proper safety protocols, it makes an effective paint stripper.

    @skullcrusherjones (#59): Mark lost his facial follicles year ago in a tragic fishing accident. Now he tries to bury the pain by punching away any facial hair he can find. Poor Mark – all the punching in the world won’t bring back your man-stubble.

  82. Rocky Stoneaxe
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#77):

    It’s only a cherry-flavored Ring Pop, so Aunt May can use it to get a sugar rush!

  83. Bennui
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    That guy is no undercover agent – he talks so loud that fly-by geese mock him – “Yeh Mark, you are like Tim Gunn to a Project Wader – HAR!”

  84. gh
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Re: MT

    Oh, Josh, you know us sooooo well.

  85. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    @AndyL (#79): Burn!

  86. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#76): win. ever so much win.

  87. Bennui
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    Could this be the best comics-crossover theme event ever? Aunt May recruits Jill to be her Maid-of-Honor in for a Spidey-MaryWorth double ceremony filled with MJ spite and shrill snarky comments! AWESOME!

  88. gh
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#76):

    Nice one, Red. It’s got a beat and I can cast to it.

  89. Chip Whittle
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Big Top (yesterday): I failed to mention it but I like the Clownfia and how they whack people.

    2 Cows And A Chicken sees Les Moore reincarnated as…well, there you have it.

    Cathy Rerun: Yes, discussing Cathy’s love life on the Internet sounds horrible except what are we doing here, then?

    Citizen Dog: I don’t understand commuting either. And I haven’t had apple pie in too long either. (That is a Chattanooga Choo-Choo reference, though, isn’t it?)

    Non Sequitur achieves self-awareness, almost.

    TOBY, Robot Satan has moved into Apartment 3-G? Am I reading this right?

  90. mvg
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Greg Evans (64): “I’ll take suggestions on how our noble hero Brad should defeat Dirk, the most hated character in all of comics!”

    He should refuse (oops, pun) to separate his recyclables from his general trash.

    RMMD: OK, how many more panels will we get before Rex is in a position to tell these overzealous City Hall security mokes, “Don’t touch my junk”?

    MG&G: Eww, who serves WARM cranberry sauce?

    MW: “She doesn’t talk about her personal life much … and it’s not for me to ask.” After all, where would I be if I displayed an interest in the life of a friend I’m trusting to advise me on something as personal & important as my wedding? I think the yellow goop on top of Adrian’s head is the nacho cheese that passes for her brain finally trying to make a break for greener cerebral pastures.

  91. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#76): Pretty good. Or he could just sing The Lumberjack Song in German!

  92. Tophat
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    “Mark, we have a problem and we think you are the most qualified person to help us! You’re a well known outdoorsman and- DUCKS DUCKS DUCKS DUCKS DUCKS DUCKS DUCKS DUCKS SWEET GOD LOOK AT THEM ALL.”

  93. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @Tophat (#92): Are you channeling Zippy the Pinhead?

    (Zippy is dead, you know. Bill Griffith is in denial.)

  94. Rocky Stoneaxe
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Brother! — Just add water!

    The Middletons — When is Kate Middleton supposed to put in an appearance?

    The Pajama Diaries — Trust me… this won’t happen! Grandma Stoneaxe owned hundreds of inexpensive (cheap!) knick-knacks… and her children donated almost all of them to Goodwill after her death!

  95. Greg Evans
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    @mvg (#90):

    Good suggestion! Yes…yes I could have Brad annoy Dirk in this fashion for at least three more days of strips. It’s difficult to think of new ideas for strips so I thought of bringing back Dirk, the most evil character in comics, for a good story arc with Brad defeating him one last time. Perhaps meddling with Dirk’s precious trash is the perfect plan!

    I’ll be back in a while, I’m going to head over to Youtube and listen to some “Hey Boy!”. Just can’t get that catchy tune out of my head!

  96. Carlo
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    Would anyone really be upset if Dirk just eliminated the whole cast of Luann? That would make him a superhero in my book.

  97. Ed Dravecky
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    In the best of all possible worlds, this story ends with Mark Trail punching a bearded fisherman while yelling “You stole a friend of mine’s pet bass!”

  98. Gal Friday
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    “Undercover Fisherman”! Do I smell a merch opportunity?

  99. Gal Friday
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

  100. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    @Greg Evans (#95): How ’bout Brad goes back in the house, Dirk picks up the garbage and drives off. The end.

  101. JD
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    Of course the goose in panel two would like to encourage people to fish, taking away from their bird-hunting time.

  102. Gal Friday
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: “but I can prove I’m a physician!” OMG, he’s got a tongue depresser!

  103. mvg
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:21 pm [Reply]

    Gal Friday (102): RMMD: “but I can prove I’m a physician!” OMG, he’s got a tongue depresser!

    Now, is that anything to call June?

  104. commodorejohn
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    @Gal Friday (#102): If Rex whips out his “tongue depressor,” I’m outta here.

  105. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    Cool! The Rabid Duck storyline has become a Mutant Talking Duck storyline! Or…is it one of those birds flying off in the distance who is suggesting to his companion that he can infiltrate the fisherman so very easily? Coming up next on Mark Trail: When the Animals Fight Back!

  106. Mr. Goboto
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    GT: “To Mrs. Morgan”? Gil inadvertantly gets to the crux of the biscuit. Cody simply can’t continue performing his “filial duties” for foster-mom June and have enough energy left for sports, or maybe he’s realized there’s something hinky with Rex’s prescribed daily regimen rubdowns and prostrate massages. Either way, I can see how life as a low-level pot dealer would be more appealing than the Morgans’ peculiar brand of foster parenting.

  107. CanuckDownSouth
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#94): re: Pajama Diaries. No, but they might fight over cheap knicknacks with sentimental value. After my grandpa died, there was some resentment (nothing too bitter) over 2 packs of cards, a teddy bear, and some plain marbles

  108. Ellie
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#57): MW: Judging by Mary’s reproachful glare and Adrians’s flustered shame, I’d say Adrian accidentally let out a little salmon square fart.

  109. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    @Ellie (#108): Does it come out square? That could leave a mark.

  110. The Modesto Kid
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    There’s a pattern here — first Dick Tracy was asked to go undercover as a hobo, now Mark Trail is asked to go undercover as a fisherman. My prediction? Next we see Ziggy asked to go undercover as a slug.

  111. Mr. Goboto
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#69): Every now and then I’ll have a dream that doesn’t quite end when its seeming plot is resolved. Rather, I’m left to meander around whataever post-apocalyptic dreamscape I wound up in, making surreal and nonsensical chitchat with the mutated figments of my fevered mind until I happen to wake up. This Dick Tracy dénouement feels a lot like that, and I’m worried that Dick Locher might never wake up.

  112. Dood
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    Agent Dick: “So, are you in agreement that we can commence Operation Duck, Duck, Goose first thing tomorrow morning after eating a hearty outdoorsman’s breakfast of flapjacks and coffee?”

  113. Longhorn
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    “Cougar Town” come to Spider Man?!?! Excuse me while I go have a refreshing glass of battery acid to try and purge that thought from my tormented mind…….

  114. Rocky Stoneaxe
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    Sam & Silo — Are they having short ribs for lunch?

    Alley Oop — King Guz would’ve had that tooth out in a jiff!

    Ripley’s — The roller coaster BIoN falls under the category of “What were they thinking?” and I’d like to know if anyone cleaned up the mess left behind by their behinds! Just the idea of planting my ass in a seat once occupied by a naked stranger… (SHUDDER)

  115. Mr. Goboto
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#71) re: Mandrake: I found his first attempt to spook the crowd rather Popeyean. “I’m outnumbered 100 to 1 … eureka! I’ll make 200 illusory dopplegangers of myself and then the angry mob will think I’m an army of clones, or robots, or identical bicentuplets, or something!” Really, what he should have done is shrunk them all down to half-size.

  116. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#114): Ripley’s: Better the roller coaster than The Scrambler. Stuff would be flying everywhere.

  117. Aviatrix
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#97): “You stole a friend of mine’s little girl’s pet bass, and chained it to a log!” It could happen. You can’t tell me the duck’s comment in today’s strip isn’t pandering fanservice. They have to be doing this just for us.

    @Mr. Goboto (#111): I hurt myself while simultaneously nodding and laughing at your comment. That’s exactly it. It explains so much.

  118. Bootsy
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    @Cooler King (#49):

    Cooler King, if you tell me that your nom de blog is an homage to Steve McQueen’s character in The Great Escape, I will be yours forever. Or, you know, just admire your choice.

  119. Braniff
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    @Greg Evans (#64): Brad and TJ should pal up and give Dirty Dirk a trauma in the groin. (Apologies to the Bob and Tom show people.)

  120. Baka Gaijin
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    Sally Forth: I had a premonition. Mrs. Ted Forth’s mom and Mrs. Ted Forth’s sister’s boyfriend. You do not want to know what they’re doing. Or where the Thanksgiving drumstick was half-lodged. It makes passing a salmon square whole through your hole seem a pleasant day in paradise.

    Cow and Boy: “Are squirrels absorbent?”

    Pluggers: Timely holiday alternate caption: “Pluggers are so big they’re auditioning for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade–as balloons!”

    Rose is Rose: Jimbo you puss. Put on your man panties and take care of that goddammned cat once and for all.

    Mother Goose and Grimm: I do NOT want to see where his right hand is. I do NOT want to see where his right hand is…

    Blondie: Flash-forward a year, JC Dithers’ office. Dagwood standing on Dithers’ desk, flapping naked buttocks in JC’s face. “Guess who made a fortune on ‘Elmo’s Awesome-tasting, Creamy, Dripping High-Fat Calories Spread’? I bought JC Dithers’ Construction AND I fart in your general direction!” BRAAAAP!

  121. Baka Gaijin
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    Oh, yeah, I forgot about Spiderman’s last panel: Aunt May looks like the victim of a drive-by prostate exam.

  122. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    I would buy an “Undercover Fisherman” T-shirt. Hell with that, I’m gonna design it.

  123. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#120): Sally the F: It may happen but do you think Craig MacIntosh can actually draw that? I sincerely hope not.

  124. TheDiva
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#29): At least now we know why Batiuk writes such unhappy, negative characters–the one time he tries to create someone with a cheerful, positive outlook she comes across like an escapee from a psychiatric ward. I wonder if this is because Batiuk truly believes optimism is a mental illness, or if the very concept is just so alien to him that he can’t write it without perverting it into something disturbing and wrong.

  125. Warren
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    No, generic mustache government guy! You’ve just revealed to Mark that he can pass undetected amongst humans! What have you done?! He could be any one of us now!

  126. Mr. Goboto
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    @Warren (#125): What? Mark Trail is Jarod the Pretender?

  127. Baka Gaijin
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    @Braniff (#119): How about they play TSA and give Dirk an “enhanced patdown?”

    @Sequitur (#109): Hee hee hee!

    @Bennui (#87): Are you implying the snarky comments aren’t coming from us?

    @Walker of Dog (#81) on AFKAB: Hee hee hee! Salmon square farts are funny.

    @Chip Whittle (#71) on Apartment 3-G: I can just see that happening except for the missing Margo bitch slap. Gotta be a Margo bitch slap with all that stupid in the air.

    @Patrick (#33): In six weeks if this scenario shows up in Slylock Fox Mysteries with Jessica Rabbit taking Aunt May’s place, we’ll know where Mr. Weber got his inspiration.

    @Tom Allen (#12): Easy one. Prince William and what’s-her-face. Second hand ring, demure attitudes? Feh. Verbal bitch slapping between the groom and oddly-hostile bystander hundreds of feet below the earth’s surface? Bring it on!

    @ratnerstar (#4): “Our only hope is for Mary Worth to be bitten by some sort of radioactive meddler.” I thought Mary WAS the radioactive meddler.

  128. Baka Gaijin
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#123): This is one of those times that “talk, not show” from Apartment 3-G would be appropriate. I wish my mind’s eye was so considerate.

  129. McManx
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    Fritzi (7 & 55) and Chance (41) — You keep this up and you’ll have everyone carping…

  130. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    @Warren (#125): You’re right! Mark fits right in!

  131. Poteet
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

  132. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#128): That’s the reason there are large industrial strength bottles of brain bleach kept on this site.

  133. neographite
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    The word “and” doesn’t really belong in that first Mark Trail panel.

  134. Red Greenback
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know about y’all, but I am hoping Dick Morgan’s secretary’s name is Lucille.
    Or Miss Hathaway. That would be pretty sweet, too.

  135. H-Bob
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    Will Mark Trail’s “undercover name” be “Deep Trout” ?

  136. Poteet
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    S-M — Isn’t she going to ask for a tour before deciding? We don’t even know if he’s got plumbing down there. Maybe he poops like a mole. (And if he does, it’ll be the only thing he does like a mole.)

  137. Aviatrix
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#122): “Undercover fisherman” sounds creepy, like “beaver inspector” or “free mustache rides.”

  138. bats :[
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    @rosebud (#47): **applaz!!!***

  139. Bob
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Jack Elrod and the late Ed Dodd must belong to the Church of Forbidden Contractions.

  140. The Angriest Rice Cooker
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    So, we’re going to call this the “Aunt May December Romance,” right?

  141. Dood
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    Much to the amusement of the two ducks, Agent Dick and Mr. Mix-in are conducting their conversation while slowly sinking into quicksand.

  142. Poteet
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#76): HAHAHA! Thanks, I needed that.

  143. Bootsy
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    queek, since you are the source of Cuteness, and I love the squee, might one, very diffidently, request ickle Bouvier pup squee? I miss my Bouvs.

  144. Dood
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @The Angriest Rice Cooker (#140): Parker? Moleman barely even knew ‘er.

  145. Baka Gaijin
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#136): I didn’t really need to think about how moles poop. Really really.

  146. commodorejohn
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    Archie – Wait, what? What’s happening in the third panel? Did the ALGJU3K’s physics engine glitch out?

  147. Poteet
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    MT — I am totally looking forward to this. For one thing, it’s hard to write a story about an adorable trout named Lucky, so Mark may be faced with an actual outdoor issue.

    Meanwhile, are we really all done, very suddenly, with the Frank story? That’s it? We’re gone? MT is the anti-DT.

  148. Dood
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    This dramatic new Mark Trail plotline looks to offer more creel and unusual punishment.

  149. Bootsy
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#147):

    I am totally looking forward to this. For one thing, it’s hard to write a story about an adorable trout named Lucky, so Mark may be faced with an actual outdoor issue.

    Oh, Poteet! We love you becuase you are an incurable optimist!

  150. Little A and his Crystal Ball That Might Finally Be Right Predicts:
    November 17th, 2010 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    MT: Bunch of stupid questions –!! What happens to the fence? What happens to all the tame wild animals? What happens to Rustina? What happens to Frank’s wife? What happens to the article Mark was going to write? What happens to Frank’s political career? A few little ends to tie up.

    Fagedabowdit. Let’s go fishing.

  151. Greg Evans
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#100):

    No, clearly that can’t happen. If Brad turns around, even for a second, Dirk would do something dastardly for sure! Brad will have to take action, but in a non-threatening way on account of his good-hearted nature that all the readers love.

    @Braniff (#119):

    Haha, that is something T.J. would definitely suggest! Alas, Brad is not one for physical violence against Dirk, as he knows Dirk would overpower him with pure evil. Brad…noble and brave…good and just…will have to find a way to stop Dirk once and for all!

  152. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    I like that wry smile on Mary Jane Parker’s face as she states, “That ring won’t exactly fit on her finger.” Okay… young lady, just exactly where is it supposed to fit? Should she wear it like a bell?

  153. Mr. Goboto
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#147): Just you wait. When we learn that the rogue fishermen are fishing with C4 and white phosphorus, staging fights between possums and trout chained to logs, and kicking little bebbeh catfish in the ass, you’ll be singing a different tune.

  154. dodoman1
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    Oh my God, the giant ducks from yesterday are back! They’ve been waiting to ambush you, mark! Run away! Call the national Guard! Elevate the terror level!

  155. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    Poteet, my tingly web sense is telling me that somehow this is gonna be Deliverance without the delectable peach pie they shared at the end of Ned Beatty’s rape. What? You don’t remember the peach pie? Well, that’s how it ended in my version of the story. The two fishermen and Ned and Jon eating a peach pie up there on the hillside reeling in gales of laughter every time Ned passed gas, surrounding the air with the scent of spit and yesterday’s waffles. That’s why Burt Reynolds killed that man. No more peach pie.

    I see Mark, out on the banks with his lures in the water, barechested with his pants forming a crescent against his pert, sweet, hairy ass. The other fishermen standing near him, panting in nervous anticipation as the Sword of Damocles known as gravity continues to work until his pants fall to his knees and then they attack him, mawing him, with yards of suburban flesh oozing out of plaid-covered fishing gear, yearning to breath free and intoxicate itself on the manly musk of Mark Trail’s body. Mark’s high-pitched girlish screaming leading to a sweet smile of knowledge with the first penetration of his lonesome, sinewy ass and that wry Little Debbie™ smile at first ejaculation.

    Write it! Write it for me.

  156. Rocky Stoneaxe
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#147):

    How about an adorable trout named “Kilgore”? (Or better yet… an adorable sturgeon named “Theodore”?)

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#152):

    Pssst… you might want to look up the term “Prince Albert” under body piercings!

  157. Islamorada Girl
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    S-M. The romance between Aunt May and Moleman is a direct ripoff of the romance between Agnes Skinner and Comic Book Guy.

  158. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#155): Ah, cm’on Dingo. This is Mark Trail, not Rex Morgan.

  159. Luprand
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    Regarding Spider-Man: It’s not often that one person fits both roles in the May-December romance.

  160. True Fable
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Archieee I….I am ashamed that I am stumped by today’s strip. What’s the fucking punchline?!? That he got his jacket caught in the locker door? I had to look this strip over for a whole minute, and that is far too long in Archie years.

    I Don’t Care About Dick Tracy unless he actually takes bribes, then I might be a tad interested.

    Children of the Circle I don’t care, it just reads DIRTY.

    Canadian Zombie Pea-Brain is thanked for not listening to a damn thing the old neighbor is saying, and Lynn Johnston thinks it’s funny rather than rude as hell. Oh, Lynnie Baby! You’re as fun as a box of old liver.

    Fucky Winkerdang I know Canine Companions are really great for helping returning vets, but what did this poor animal do to deserve getting shipped to Westview? Shouldn’t there be a PETA protest later in this storyline?

    Pretty People Posse! So the Judge is making Mike Patterson Money already, huh? And he’s using Sam’s experiences as the basis of his next Patterson Publishing book. Sam, I’d demand 50% of the profit from this turd-twister.

    Bradann Brad: No one wants you here! Dirk: Yeah, but at least I fucked her. Nyah.

    Mary Wrath But Adrian, you dear stupid imbecile, why would you want to enlist her opinion if you have no idea what her background is in order to know if she even has any taste? If she’s had no experience in shopping or comparing prices or styles or companies? Yes, it IS for you to ask! It’s your right as the fucking BRIDE TO BE! Moron.


    Rex Morgan, NAMBLA Aww Woody! An early Christmas gift! “I’ve got something in my pants here to prove I’m a (wink) Physician! Now bend over and cough…!”

    The Amazing Mole-Man MJ: That huge diamond won’t exactly fit on her finger!
    Aunt May: shut up and mind your own business, Miss “Don’t worry if you don’t have a steady job, Peter, I’ll work for both of us”! Let the man talk!

  161. Dood
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Does this undercover work mean that Mark will be — in the words of Pete Tessio — “sleeping with the fisherman”?

  162. Red Greenback
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    Hi I’m actor Troy McClure. You might remember me from such Mark Trail films as:

    “Fins of Justice”
    “The Dorkiest Catch”
    “A Dandy In Waders”
    “Three Days of the Croaker”
    “The Trail Inanity”
    “For Your Gills Only”
    “Pancakes of Solace”
    “License to Fish”
    “The Watercress Files”
    “The Day of the Jackelrod”
    “The Man with the Golden Reel”

  163. Jacob McConnell
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    You know, I really hope Mark Trail goes under cover just for the halibut.

  164. Artist formerly known as Ben
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#155): Peach pie? Gotta love that Georgia hospitality.

  165. Rocky Stoneaxe
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#156):

    Before anyone picks nits with me about the Mole Man’s sweetie lacking a penis, I’d just like to point out: “Aunt May” is actually “Uncle Mayer”… and he and Ben Parker were Marvel’s first “underground romance”! (Which is why they ADOPTED Peter!)

  166. Dood
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#165): You mean Oscar Mayer?

  167. bunivasal
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    Looks like Elrod got a new colorist. One who hasn’t realized that nothing he does matters and hasn’t fallen into drinking and typesetting.

  168. Dennis Jimenez
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    @The Angriest Rice Cooker (#140): Only if they can drag it out two more weeks – these are the strips – what am I thinking – they’ll be lucky to wrap up this wrinkle in 2010….

  169. Pseudo3D
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    @Tom Allen (#12): Adrian and Scott, perhaps, with the meddler trying to “help”?

  170. Scott Bot
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#166): Which means you’d be talking about Oscar Mayer’s wiener.

  171. Rocky Stoneaxe
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#166): Exactamundo!

  172. This Guy
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @True Fable (#160): If PETA came to Westview, I’d be very torn on whom to hate more. But then, perhaps the two evils would destroy each other, as in the cleansing of saidin.

  173. Sequitur
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    Archie: I will do a poor attempt to explain what may be the supposed punch line. I think (and I’m probably wrong) that the school nurse is a real hottie and Archie staged the injury knowing he’d be able to be led to a hottie by a hottie. He then shares the joke with Reggie. I have no idea why Reggie is wearing surgical scrubs.

    That’s all I can come up with. Lame no matter how you boil it down.

  174. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#164):

    Uhn! Uhn! Uhn! Aaaaaaaaaaaah!!!… whew. For a Yankee boy, you got one HELL of an ass. Treat my cock like an anaconda with a sucklin’ pig. Sweet Lord, you took my load.

    Well, I do say, I do say that I have never, never in my whole life, I say, sir, that I have never squealed like a pig like that before. I wasn’t sure if you were fuckin’ me or showin’ your Momma the proper way to use a butterchurn.

    You churned my butter good. If I were to be shot with an arrow on this spot, y’all could pull a finger of it out of his ass and call it ghee.

    Now don’t go talkin’ that foolishness. I say, I say after that bodacious fuckin’ I am hungrier than a Palin at a democratic picnic. If you boys have some moonshine, who’s ready for pie?

    Pie?!? What kind o’ pie?

    Peach pie. Sweet succulent peach pie. So soft and smooth, you’d think it was his balls tied to that there tree.

  175. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#156):

    Or maybe one of the Hunters wandering around Frank’s compound wondering what happened could turn out to be named Catfish?

    Or we could make it a family gathering and invite Sam ‘n his spawn over to visit.

  176. rlbarker
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again – Can we please talk about whatever’s going on in Archie? Is it the double meaning of “checked-out”? Did the Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000 forget that it was generating a three-panel comic? Perhaps once it had exhausted the vomit-humour genre, it assumed that it’s Joke-Generating career was over?

  177. The Modesto Kid
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#155): Mark Trail slash fiction? That is going a little far surely.

  178. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    Not too far at all. And stop calling him Shirley!!!

  179. littlestevie
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    @The Modesto Kid (#177): Is Dingo’s real name Shirley?

  180. littlestevie
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#178): Beat me to the punchline.

  181. Uncle Lumpy
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    @rlbarker (#176):

    Archie runs into the locker, then gets his jacket caught in the locker. Ha ha klutz is a klutz.

  182. Backup
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    Law and Order: Wildlife Preserve Unit.

  183. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

  184. Chyron HR
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    @Greg Evans (#151): Could Brad transform into a costumed hero (such as a Power Ranger or Kamen Rider) to defeat Dirk? I realize that he has never shown the ability to do so in the past, but these talents can remain hidden for decades until you think of them, much like Luann’s singing ability.

  185. ArchieNemesis
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    @Little A and his Crystal Ball That Might Finally Be Right Predicts: (#150): Sad to say, but all these well-loved characters and moronic deer just wait in a wooded limbo for Mark Trail to appear and advance the narrative of their lives. On the bright side, maybe Dick Tracy will take a lesson from Mark Trail on wrapping up plot lines.

  186. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    here’s another happy bouf, and the ikkle version. (same dog.)

    Flouphier de Flanders?

    anuvver happy face.

    “morning Sam, morning Ralph.”

  187. bats :[
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    Stupid Flanders…

  188. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    Yikes! Has it actually been that long since I’ve written Mark Trail slash fiction? Y’all might want to do a search on Buford Smallberries.

  189. Greg Evans
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    @Chyron HR (#184)

    I imagine he could! He’s been a hero for so long…saving Tori, helping Tori with Dirk, trying to get rid of Dirk with his words, helping T.J. with his zany ideas…that the next step just seems inevitable! It may be too late to spring SuperBrad into action, but I could use him in a future strip for sure. Possibly sometime after I skip to Luann’s battle with Tiffany, the most evil woman in all of comics!

  190. Col. Havoc
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    “But I can prove I’m a physician!” Poor Rex. He’s had to repeat that line so many times, he almost believes it himself. The little card from the toy doctor’s kit his mom gave him when he was seven just makes it that much sadder.

  191. odinthor
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#162): Didn’t I see you in “Deep Trout” too?

  192. dale
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:32 pm [Reply]


    If Customs is involved, it seems like there should be tax or smuggling issues. Maybe someone is bringing in knock-off fishing tackle.
    Shakyspeer rods and reels, made of fibberglass and silver colored plastic.

  193. rlbarker
    November 17th, 2010 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#181): I didn’t even notice that his jacket was caught in the locker. I feel let down. I expected so much more from the AJGLU3000. Actually, that’s not true. I expected less. Much, much less. I was happier when I thought there was no joke at all.

  194. commodorejohn
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    @Greg Evans (#189): Perhaps Brad could seek help from his mother, who loves him so very much and thinks of him at night?

  195. cindyinmaine
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    @Mustang (#36): This made me laugh out loud, boisterously…

  196. zerowolf
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    BGSS: I look at thos shoes and wonder if Elviney stash Dorothy’s body in the same place as the missing and long since forgotten Barney Google?

  197. zerowolf
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    MW: Damn right, Adrian. Asking prying questions in Mary’s job.

  198. zerowolf
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns: Slinky dress, Cialis, now Leroy’s “Googling” himself. Stop for the love of God stop. The world is not ready for Leroy and Loretta’s version of “Love Is….”

  199. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:23 pm [Reply]

    I have so missed Dingo /.

  200. Mr. Goboto
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:51 pm [Reply]

    @zerowolf (#198): Love is killing your soul to keep a promise to love someone you no longer love.

  201. Foolster41
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    S-M: Man, I’m surprised no-one else caught this: “Digging” the mole man plot? Please tell me that pun was intentional. :P

    Mark Trail: “You see, I keep using a duck call: ‘HERE DUCKY DUCKY!’ as loud as I can. I don’t get why I can’t blend in. Or why everyone hates me.”

  202. kkarenb
    November 17th, 2010 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers – Yesterday’s and today’s strips were vomit inducing. I never thought I’d say this – bring back Reed Hoover!

    Mark Trail – This is so disappointing. I was hoping the new story would involve Mark punching out a bunch of bedbugs.

  203. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    November 17th, 2010 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#147): Ah, Poteet, my fellow Trailsian optimist. I’ll join you in that there pumpkin patch, yes I will.

  204. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Whoa…okay, this snark is for Amos. Amos, I think Edda is gonna leave you to have an affair with Fernanda. Or just have an affair with Fernanda on the sly. Either way, she is going to get in Fernanda’s tights. So….if she leaves you there is nothing you can do short of playing your cello below her window. If she DOESN’T leave you, and still wants to be engaged, do not just ASK her for a threesome with Fernanda, let her think it’s HER idea. I would do it on a night Seth is out with his fella, and AFTER your current run of whatever show you’re doing. Sex and the arts might mix and look pretty, but it’s really like oil and water. Keep the fun and the job separate.

  205. commodorejohn
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#204): Which is the fun and which is the job for these people?

  206. Anonymous Fishy-chan
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know If I’m the first one to notice this, but that in the Mark Trail strip, the speech bubble that contains the words “You can mix in with the other fishermen easily” looks like its being said by one of the ducks in the foreground.

  207. Austria
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:23 pm [Reply]

    A3G: This is actually getting really amusing. I wonder how far this storyline will go before the piano actually shows up.

    Arch: Wait, what?

    BC: Wait, what?

    BB: Wait, what?

    Blondie: Okay, seriously, who is this kid? I’ve been reading this strip for years and never quite understood Elmo. Is he just some random obnoxious neighbor kid that likes to bother Dagwood incessantly? Is he supposed to represent “kids today” with their torn jeans and their texting and the Facebooks and the Gaga lady? Either way, he annoys me every time he shows up.

    Funk: I look at Redhead’s face in that last panel and all I can think is “SUN-shine, lollipops and — RAINbows, everything that’s wonderful is what I feel~”

    Luann: Heyyyyy, Brad just summed up the whole strip in one punchline!

    MT: Holy crud, did the coloring monkeys take an art class?!

    MG&G: I’m certain this is a repeat from last year.

  208. Alison
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    I just never get tired of Mark Trail strips where it looks like the wild animals are the ones saying the stilted human lines. I’m not even snarking. it’s the one thing I enjoy about Mark Trail. Cute ducks and squirrels and birdies talking, yay!

  209. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: Oh. My. God. When I used to tell people Dick called the evidence locker his “one-stop shopping place” , I was just kidding. I THOUGHT I was just kidding. Well, there it is. Dick Tracy skimming off the top. My faith in humanity is restored.

  210. Alex
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    Doc Ock looks like what I imagine most serious readers of soap comics to look like.

  211. cj
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:35 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#75): The animals in Mark Trail occupy a role similar to the Seraphim, who are said to constantly sing God’s praises. So, basically Jack Elrod is incredibly insecure. Also explains the everpresent “Jack Elrod” security orbs.

  212. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Well, Brad….from what i’ve gleaned from various ‘Mudges, no one wants you or Luann around either. I’ll put up with Luann a little while longer…she’s gotta graduate sometime….and Toni’s pretty hot. Plus, TJ is at least MARGINALLY interesting.
    And your mom is hot….your dad is often the only intelligent character in the strip.
    Which means you must go.
    Welcome to the neighborhood, Dirk.

  213. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    Zippy The Pinhead: It’s been a while since I read this strip, and I had to start with Zippy encouraging his friend to engage in some kind of foot fetish. I feel so filthy, and not in a good way.

  214. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    Sally Forth: Aww….Sally’s mom is here to help with her special recipe for bile and sarcasm. Feeling the love, already, this is gonna be GREAT!! If this doesn’t end with everyone being arrested, and Hilary having to bail everyone out, i’m gonna be disappointed.

  215. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    MW: Wow. Adrian has the patience of a saint. Jill has done everything but throw her panties on the altar when the minister says, ” If there is anyone here who objects…”(and she might, yet), and Adrian doesn’t feel it’s her business to ask about her personal life?? MARY, you’re UP!

  216. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    FW: Rachel has to be baked. I know everyone else has pointed this out, but…doggies gotta be trained, taken potty, told “no” when they jump on Grandma, trained to fetch birds, and, in Wally’s case, empty whiskey bottles.
    Seriously, gotta give props to Wally here. Get a goldfish, dude.

  217. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    FC: Ew. Are Billy and Dolly taking ballroom dancing lessons? Because that is just wrong. The DFC people would have a field day with this one.

  218. commodorejohn
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#207): Maybe the syndicate has actually hired Shulock to write Apartment 3-G as a radio drama, and in some mix-up accidentally hired Joe Giella to illustrate it?

    @Jamus The Bartender (#213): Could be worse. You could’ve walked in on Agnes‘s foot-centric week.

  219. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    Long day, and I just read the comics now, and I haven’t had a chance to read everyone’s comments, so apologies for possible stepping on toes, but…..

    MW: Now I know what Adrian reminds me of: “Please, sir, may I have some more?” She’s a waif-y foundling, lacking the native wit to make it on her own, just waiting for Mary’s Fagin of meddling to swoop in and take her under her wrinkled, misshapen wing.

    MT: Maybe it’s because I’m brain-dead tired, but I read the first panel as, “Mark, we have a problem if we think you are the most qualified person to help us!” Come to think of it, that actually makes better sense.

  220. trey le parc
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    S-M: I once had a friend who worked for the City of Chicago and one of his tasks involved working at Gallery 37, which, I think, was a giant repository for “art” submitted by any random inhabitant of the city. My friend worked for the imperious “curator” of this gallery, and frequently had to follow her across the floor as she summarily rejected various horrific examples of form and ego. Her favorite method of dispatch was to instruct my friend to attach each abomination slated for expulsion with a small yellow Post It note with “TINA” written on it. After some time he worked up the courage to ask what “TINA” meant. “It’s an acronym,” the curator replied in a flinty voice. “It means ‘This Is Not Art.’” I recalled that story when I saw the mess of squiggles and lazy cross hatching that is today’s strip. It’s almost like the artist is channeling Mole Man’s blindness in some crazy attempt at empathy. Aunt May looks like a woodcut.

  221. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    @Greg Evans (#64): Wow…um….okay. Brad and Dirk suddenly pull out their samurai swords, Dirk looks at Brad’s and asks “Is that a Hattori Hanzo sword?” Brad answers in the affirmative, and tells him that this was especially made for this mission. Dirk says, “You LIE!”
    …and about an hour and fifty or so dead Kato lookalikes later, Dirk says to Brad, “You really didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, did you?” Brad answers, “You know, for a minute, yeah, I kinda did.”
    No? Okay, the hell with that crap, let’s talk about bringing back the dunk tank with Toni in the bikini this time. It’ll write itself!!

  222. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    Questionable Content: Emergency bourbon? I have emergency bourbon! (I also have a lot of emergencies….)

  223. Jamus The Bartender
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:29 pm [Reply]

    Spider Man: The current storyline reminds me of a miniseries Marvel did back in 2003. It was called Trouble and was written by Mark Millar. The Kick-Ass guy. Anyway, it involved a young May and Ben Parker, Ben’s brother Richard Parker, and May’s best friend Mary, they all go to work at a summer camp in the Catskills, and May..well, May hooks up with every guy with a pulse, let me tell ya. The story was supposed to be about teen pregnancy, romance comics, and was supposed to be canon in the Spider Man universe, with the implication that Peter was May’s biological son, but….it was a wash. Instead, they went with Spider Man making a deal with Satan.
    Anyway, Trouble wasn’t great, but it didn’t suck either. Plus, the characters had lots to do, like sleep with each other at the drop of a hat. NOT sitting on the sofa while his wife works, Wall Crawler.

  224. Mars
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    What is Dirk supposed to do? They didn’t give him much time to find another job. And….why should he? He’s in charge of his own life, not these paranoid teenagers.

    Wow, I’m defending Dirk. That’s how unlikeable everybody else has become.

  225. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#222): yes, yes it is. The concept has been mentioned before, my favorite being the “drunk guys making out” reference.

    I *hearts* QC.

  226. The Ridger
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    You know what I like about Mole Man? No, I don’t mean the delicious potential awkwardness at Christmas if he becomes Peter’s Uncle Moley, it’s the fact that he doesn’t feel the need to end every sentence with an exclamation point. He has confidence in his jewels.

  227. The Ridger
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    It’s very sad that when the colorists for Mark Trail finally get the “green head, brown body” message re the ducks, Elrod crosses them up by drawing some lovely wood ducks, who looked fine in black and white, but … er … don’t have green heads.

  228. Mike Trailmix
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    One thing’s for sure: Mark Trail will never forget who he is. And another thing: He’ll never forget WHAT he is. Everyone’s constantly reminding him. “Mark, you’re a wildlife ranger.” “Mark, you know about the woods.” “Mark, you’re an expert at fishing.” He might end up in an Alzheimer’s ward with almost everything gone and forgotten, but he’ll always know: “I am Mark. And I’m a wildlife fisherman.”

  229. The Ridger
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:18 pm [Reply]

    To be fair to Rachel, if this is a genuine therapy dog then it will already be trained and it will “take care” of Wally. To, you know, the extent a dog can do that. OTOH, there’s no freakin’ way Wally is ready to have any kind of dog, unless it can talk, drive cars, work doors, and buy its own kibble. With Wally’s nonexistent money, so … no. A dog for Wally is like the worst idea ever.

  230. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#199): Thanks, queek. I used to do most of my writing at work but have learned that doesn’t lead to job security these days. I write when I write these days from home.

  231. Violet
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    I’m intrigued by the boundaries established between Jill and Adrian. While it’s apparently acceptable for Jill to malign Adrian’s taste in everything, openly point and laugh as she models her wedding dress, and state in no uncertain terms that her fiancé is not good enough for her, Adrian feels it would be presumptuous to inquire as to whether Jill is married. Oh, Queenie, how did you ever get swindled out of fifty thousand dollars?

  232. Sgt. Stoned
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    MW: Either Adrian mistakenly grabbed the peroxide bottle instead of the shampoo in the shower, or else she is bald on top perhaps studying to be a female monk.

  233. Poteet
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:23 am [Reply]

    @Bootsy (#149): @Mr. Goboto (#153): @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#155): @Rocky Stoneaxe (#156): @Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket (#203): Thanks to all of you, I’m back to reality, dread, foreboding, moderate drinking, and wondering if there will be even a single female among the “fishermen.”

  234. Poteet
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    MT — Now I can’t stop myself. What could the problem be? There are plenty of wildlife problems related to fish and some wildlife problems related to Customs, but it’s the combination of fishing and Customs that’s flooring me. Will we be taken out on the Gulf to catch illegal fishing by foreign boats? Will we…hell, I can’t think of anything else. But the true horror is that I am actually thinking about MT. Time for a wee drap. Several, in fact.

  235. Cheese-n-Pear
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    Mark sized up the man who greeted him without giving his name. The lack of introductions and the blue suit that matched the blue highlights of his hair already told Mark everything about him he needed to know. He was from The Company, and the news could only be bad.

    “Mark, we have a problem, and we think you’re the most qualified person to help us,” he said.

    Mark dreaded the next words, knowing what was going to come.

    “You’re a well-known outdoorsman, and it’s just normal for you to be fishing!” the man exclaimed excitedly.

    Normal, Mark thought to himself, looking down at his hands, hands that had been covered in fishguts, the smell of which had taken years to clean off. Mark remembered the excitement of flycasting, the intense concentration on the reeling in, and the ultimate satisfaction of the catch. Sure, it had seemed thrilling when he was young, but he also remembered the other times. The rival gangs of fishermen, wearing their colors on their lures, the battles for the best spot on the river. He had done his part to tame the lawless world of sport fishing, and it had left him scarred for life. Normal? What did this man know about normal?

    Mark prepared his reply, “I’m retired now. That’s all behind me. Get a younger man to do the work.”

    Before Mark could form his words, a passing duck shouted down to them, “You can mix in with other fishermen very easily!”

    Mark stopped and thought to himself. Dammit, the duck was right. Hell, even the blue-haired man in the three-piece suit was right. He had to do it. He was the only one who could.

    “All right,” Mark said at last, “I’m your man.”

  236. Spaz - The Other White Meat
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    Do you realize that if you said “DUCK!” to Mark Trail, nothing would happen except the duck would say, “WHAT?”

  237. ElkMeadow
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:54 am [Reply]

    I don’t think that Wally should have any pets, except maybe a Pet Rock. Rachel is a freakin’ idiot who thinks that Wally is the only single man left on the planet.

  238. Sequitur
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:57 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#237): Well, it’s either Wally or Les. Who would you choose?

  239. Poteet
    November 18th, 2010 at 1:04 am [Reply]

    S-M — The saddest commentary on Mole Man’s previous utter isolation is that he thinks MJ’s lame remark is “mockery.” Mole Man, you don’t KNOW from mockery. Too bad you never visit CC.

  240. Sequitur
    November 18th, 2010 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#239): Don’t be too hard on Mole Man. He gets a bit giddy because when he goes to the bathroom he gets to smell mole-asses.

  241. Uncle Lumpy
    November 18th, 2010 at 1:14 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#234):

    Could be the old “eyehook on the boat” ploy! It’s happened before — and it was awesome!

  242. Poteet
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#240): Owwwwch.

  243. Poteet
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:14 am [Reply]

  244. Ed Dravecky
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:16 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#241): Mark Trail punched a guy so hard his beard flew off… and I missed it? Damn.

  245. Poteet
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:26 am [Reply]


    DOONESBURY — These people are remarkably calm. I like most invertebrates and am pretty calm about the few species I don’t like so much, including a minor infestation of rat mites a couple of years ago. But if I ever found out my house had bed bugs, I’d immediately be calling exterminators while trying to keep my voice down to a high shriek, while rapidly thumbing through a phone book looking for the most suitable motel and thinking about the best site on my land to drag and burn all my furniture.

    MT — Oh, *%$@

  246. Poteet
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:34 am [Reply]

    11/18 MT — To the Mudges who gently told me my optimism regarding a possible actual relevant current-conservation-issue MT storyline was not justified…did you have to be THIS right???

  247. KarMann
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:46 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#246): Ditto for all the people calling the $1K bill evidence in DT.

  248. dale
    November 18th, 2010 at 3:04 am [Reply]

    MT – Sport fishing boats go more than 20 miles offshore.
    Cargo ships are often more than 20 miles offshore.
    Mr. Morgan, have you heard of the Coast Guard?

  249. ElkMeadow
    November 18th, 2010 at 3:13 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#238):

    The third option.* Stay single. Which, of course, has never, ever been done in comicdom, which is why it would be an original story line. (ugh. Just remembered Mopey Joe is still around, trying to pick up Summer at the pizza joint.)

    (* almost forgot, tv trope warning.)

  250. ElkMeadow
    November 18th, 2010 at 3:18 am [Reply]

    Adrian refers to Jill has her friend. She says Jill has stood up for her at work meetings, and been a friend to her at the hospital when she needed one.


    I would hate to know what Adrian has been doing at the hospital, where only one person has come to her defense, where she has no other friends. However, it would probably be a more interesting story line than watching Mary grill Adrian in the kitchen.

  251. Alfred E. Neuman
    November 18th, 2010 at 3:28 am [Reply]

    @Greg Evans (#64) said: “I’ll take suggestions on how our noble hero Brad should defeat Dirk, the most hated character in all of comics! Isn’t Dirk just despicable?”

    C’mon, Greg, don’t you read your own strip? The most hated, despicable character in the comics isn’t Dirk, it’s your very own Nancy DeGroot. Dirk may be a psychopath, but he’s so unsubtle that you can tell what he’s up to. Nancy is far worse because she’s a smart, sly psychopath.

  252. Mr. O'Malley
    November 18th, 2010 at 5:01 am [Reply]


    Train fish to swallow diamonds and swim inshore to be caught by waiting angler/smugglers?

    Frozen diamond-stuffed fish placed on hooks by scuba divers?

    I don’t think International Harvester ever made midget submarines, so it can’t be that.

  253. Mr O'Malley
    November 18th, 2010 at 6:22 am [Reply]

    BC: Carrots were originally white, like parsnips. They were bred to be orange as a tribute to the Duke of Orange. Or so some people say. More info—

    So the other guy has a potato? And he’s going to call it “brown”? Is that the joke? Or he has a more developed sense of color and he’s going to call it “russet”?

    Funny how Americans are resistant to eating parsnips. Some ancestral prejudice against the non-orange carrot?

  254. Mordock999
    November 18th, 2010 at 6:24 am [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#221):

    No, No, NO, Quite WRONG!

    This is what REALLY Happened:

    Brad – “Hey Dirk!”
    Dirk – “WHAT, ‘Chunk-Boy’?”
    Brad – “Don’t TOUCH My Junk! Ha, Ha, Ha, Get it? Don’t TOUCH My JUNK? Its what the guy at the airport said to the TSA Scre…., Hey Wait! What are you gonna do with THAT…..,”

    Hours later the Police found Brad, BEATEN senseless with a galvanized trash can lid.

    DEATH to TJ with Brad NOT Far behind!!!

  255. KarMann
    November 18th, 2010 at 7:02 am [Reply]

    @Mordock999 (#254): I beg to differ. “Beaten senseless” implies that senseless would be a change for Brad.

  256. One-eyed Wolfdog
    November 18th, 2010 at 7:16 am [Reply]

    I can’t decide which marriage proposal interests me less: Mole Man and Aunt May, or Prince William and Kate Middleton.

    Well, someone’s apparently missed the whole point of this allegory.

  257. The Ghost of Jarrod
    November 18th, 2010 at 7:25 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (254): In the words of the great Ogden Nash: “The parsnip, children, I repeat/Is simply an anemic beet./Some people find the parsnip edible/Myself, I find this claim incredible.”

    MT – So I’ve tried to understand this plot, and near as I can tell, diamonds are being smuggled out of one US port into another. Also, fish. Okay, makes no sense, but I’ll be okay as long as there’s punching.

  258. gleeb
    November 18th, 2010 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    Jump Start: “Here comes a candle to lead you to bed/Here comes a chopper to chop off your head.”

    Watch Your Head: Does anything in this strip happen according to a reason? I mean, every day, it”s two or three characters talking to one another, and who they are one day seems to have no effect on the next.

    A 3-G: Job hunting? Isn’t Tommie employed?

    Close to home: A supermarket with an extensive non-fiction section? The hell?

    ‘shaft: With any luck, mopey daughter would run away with Fireman Adolphe Menjou, and we’d have an interesting story. But since this is Batiuk, it’ll continue augering into the dirt.

    ‘bean: So, when do we find out what happened to Wally? I mean, this crap ain’t real, so it can’t be him.

    Sally: Whoa, this cat has claws!

    Zip: Oh ho ho! Griffy still has his George Grosz hat on! Fascinating political satire, ahoy!

  259. tb4000
    November 18th, 2010 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    Damn, Ted Forth and Bradley DeGroot, two of the comic page’s most feminine milksops, actually found their testicles today and were uncharacteristically cruel to their adversaries. These Thanksgiving strips are getting more grimdark every year.

  260. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    November 18th, 2010 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Funk the Bean: “Your problems are my problems now”……..Can you say “very desperate crazy redhead”????

  261. CanuckDownSouth
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    I’m shocked, absolutely shocked, to find something vaguely resembling police procedure for handling evidence – in Dick Tracy. Is the authour ill?

    #253 re: BC – I think it’s supposed to be an orange, so he got pre-empted. Of course, in Europe the colour was named after the fruit, not the fruit after the colour (“orange” wasn’t considered a distinct colour there until about the middle ages / Renaissance).

    Baldo Yeah, but with Gracie’s smug annoying attitude, maybe she should worry about finding even one

    Crankshaft isn’t there *some* way to hold her responsible for repeatedly knowing Crank is setting up a dangerous fire and not doing *anything* to stop him?

  262. Chyron HR
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    The Funky Report

    Rachel: I keep forcing my way into your appartment and making unwanted sexual advances towards you! THAT MAKES ME YOUR GIRLFRIEND, RIGHT?!

    Wally: Man, and here I thought I was crazy.

  263. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    (Running late, so apologies for over-snark.)

    BB: Judging by the look on Sarge’s face and the location of his hands, I think that Sarge is enjoying the size of his order right this very minute.

    SM: It’s a measure of Aunt May’s fundamental pathetic-ness that I completely believed that she’d choose to wed the hideous Mole-Man and start a new life in an underground castle, rather than return to her lonely apartment and the (very) occasional visit from the Parkers.

    MT: So instead of using a trained undercover agent whom the fishermen and smugglers would never have seen before, Dick Morgan seeks out an inexplicably world-famous wildlife writer who’s (again, inexplicably) recognized wherever he goes? Geez, even the birds have to look away because they’re so embarrassed by the stupidity of this plan.

  264. True Fable
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Dennis the Alleged Menace “Childproof doesn’t mean Dennis-proof – because Dennis is the hellspawn of the Devil from the lowest depths of Hades sent here to punish us for our various transgressions. We both know that, Alice; who are we kidding here?”

  265. Greg Evans
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#194):

    This will naturally happen as Nancy is the wisest female in comics, even better at problem solving then that horrible Mary Worth!

    @Jamus The Bartender (#221):

    If I did that I would be sued by Quentin Tarantino. :( The good thing about it is I come up with my own original material like the fan-favorite “Hey Boy!”

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#251):

    Psychopath? Goodness me, no! Nancy DeGroot, the wisest of them all, is voicing her concern on all the things Brad and Luann get mixed up in. They are both so noble…so pure…that Nancy has to watch over them for their own good!

  266. True Fable
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    Children of the Circle The way Jeffy is lounging around on the bed just cracks me up. “And now my good woman, fetch me a martini; dry and see to it you don’t bruise the olive. I have plot twists to ponder.”

  267. True Fable
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Finky Winkerbane Yeah, the miserable sods of Westview have to stick together.

    Pretty People Posse starring Speed-Reading Sam, the Novel-Eating Freak! “Or maybe I just told you a lot of bullshit stories I made up to amuse myself and you bought every last lie! It doesn’t matter to me; what’s my cut?”

    Fist O Justice Theater “Home port”? Just where the hell IS Lost Forest, anyway?!

    Ruthie Damn, I LOVE Ruthie!

    Kit Walker, Balls of Wonder Wait, Kit punched the guy and they’re just letting him ride off without a single protest or question? Daaaamn, those are some well-trained henchmen!

    The Amazing B.C. Clark’s Jeweler’s You know, with all the kidnappings and being dragged around from pillar to post that old Aunt May goes through all the time, you’d think Peter would figure out that telling her he is Spider-man would be pretty anticlimactic at this point in her life. (now sing the B.C. Clark’s Christmas Sale Jingle, y’all!)

  268. True Fable
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    I respect your insight, but I still think Nancy DeGroot needs to let her son pursue his girlfriend the way he thinks best. Oh, and Luann needs to jettison Bernice and find a friend who doesn’t put Luann down Every. Single. Time. she. sees. her. I mean really, Bernice is a bitch.

  269. True Fable
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    #177 The Modesto Kid – I used to write a Mark Trail fanfic here on the Forums, but it got eaten alive during the server switchover. As I recall, Mark was a randy old thing who banged nearly every woman in comics, and Cherry Trail was a vindictive holy terror. Lots of guest stars wandered into the story – Snuffy Smith and Rex Morgan and the denizens of Camp Swampy – and Rusty was a misunderstood savant who communicated with the talking pototos, who were waiting for their moment. My old computer that had all that saved crashed and I lost it all. I miss that fanfic, it was fun to write.

    Bet Mark Trail never tracked a server back to its nest, by golly.

  270. One-eyed Wolfdog
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    Momma: “Stenographer Wanted”, that’s a sign you see all the time in 1958.

  271. Bootsy
    November 18th, 2010 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#233):

    If there is, you shall know her by her pink shirt.

  272. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#234): Alas, it’s diamond smuggling.

    Given that diamonds are tiny, and easily stuffed into body cavities, I think there’s a much simpler explanation than some complex fisherman-diamond-smuggling scheme.

    Oh, who am I kidding? This is Mark Trail. The diamonds are probably hidden in the fisherman-smugglers’ mustaches.

  273. Marthas Rolling Pin
    November 18th, 2010 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    @Plinko Commie (#y31): Sad to say, Lloyd DeRamus is actually an employee of Campbell U.

  274. Illustrator Steve
    November 19th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    That Customs agent Dick Morgan fella looks an awful lot like the caracter, “Inspector Clouseau”, played by Peter Sellers. (Makes perfect sense since Elrod is still re-using old Ed Dodd clip art drawn way back in the sixties).
    Yes, I can see Elrod using Inspector Clouseau for this part. This guy will trip over every tree root while suspecting everybody and nobody while he and Trail are unexpectedly attacked by Clouseau’s faithful martial arts instructor, Kato. Hopefully, by the time Clouseau has Mark trained as an undercover spy all Clouseau’s nonsence will have driven Mark Trail past the brink of madness and he will finally end up in the Lost Forest nut house. You know, that place deep in Lost Forest where all those giant squirrels store their nuts for winter.
    And as far as the suspected diamond smugglers, they say diamonds are forever. I hope that doesn’t mean this new story line will go on that long! (No, Elrod can assure us it won’t, just go ask Frank Johnson about that. Here’s a poor guy who was into all kinds of stuff and survived to become a better person and then abruptly had his story abandoned only to spend the rest of eternity in a Lost Forest hospital bed while each day reading in the comics about how Mark Trail continues to save the world!! (What a cheap shot Elrod! Even a guy like Frank Johnson deserves better than that! Actually, it’s the readers who deserve better than that!!!)

  275. Silvermink
    November 19th, 2010 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    As improbable phrases go, “Mark, we have a problem and we think you are the most qualified person to help us” is right up there with “hey, can you hand me that grand piano?”

  276. Katzenjammer
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    I think the phone next to Kelly is going to ring, and it will be Cherry, Mark Trail’s wife, calling.

    Or maybe Cherry is already on her way to surprise Mark by joining him, and she will walk in to find naked Mark and Kelly together.

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