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The SEXXAYNESS continues

Luann, 12/2/10

When it comes to Brad/Toni slash fiction — oh, sorry, I mean, when it comes to the actual Brad/Toni comic strips that appear in newspapers across America — I’ve gone through some kind of abbreviated Kübler-Ross cycle of grief. First game the visceral disgust, of course. Then came the anger. So much anger! But now I’ve settled into just a sort of bafflement. Is there an audience out there who finds these characters compelling, and, more specifically, who finds their glacial trajectory towards physical intimacy arousing, or at least interesting? Is today’s strip blatantly pandering to America’s small but intense calf-massage-fetish community, possibly as a result of a bribe or a lost bet? Has anyone read Luann this week with a feeling more positive than mild distaste? I honestly want to know the answers to these questions, for real!

Mark Trail, 12/2/10

However, I feel confident that the comics-reading public is regarding this week’s Mark Trail with excitement and anticipation. Just as Kelly Welly is leaning back in that chair, gripping the armrests and waiting eagerly to see Mark naked, so too are we sitting back in our respective sitting-oriented-pieces of furniture, waiting eagerly to see Kelly see Mark naked.

Apartment 3-G, 12/2/10

Comics readers are also intrigued to see how this beret-wearing cab driver’s honest masculine advice will help Aunt Iris bed the bicyclist that she, in some way that I never properly understood, caused to be hit by a car. Under the cabbie’s tutelage, she’ll show up at the cyclist’s apartment with something that’s still alive, like a puppy or a stripper.

Gil Thorp, 12/2/10

Comics readers are somewhat uncomfortable with the notion of people being loaded onto buses and interned in camps far from their homes, but for the Milford football team, they’ll allow it.

Herb and Jamaal, 12/2/10

Ha ha, Jamaal, that chat room is full of other people trying to live out their fantasies! You’re just there to, uh, find out how to get away from there. Due to this strip’s trademark nonspecificity, we have no way of knowing exactly what perverse text-based lusts are being expressed in this online sin den. It’s probably a hot Brad/Toni calf-massage slash fiction site.

246 responses to “The SEXXAYNESS continues”

  1. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    MT: Instead of looking like she’s waiting to discuss a story, Kelly Welly looks to be waiting for the world’s most awkward lap dance.

    MW: Women, of course, have various ways of restaking their claim on their men. It’s fascinating that Mary reclaims Jeff by giving advice—but then again, spouting “wisdom” is Mary’s version of peeing on one’s territory.

    DtM: In a few years, Dennis will develop far more effective home-invasion methods.

    BB: Awwww—it’s so sweet when voyeurs and exhibitionists find each other!

    JP: Hard to tell if she’s still alive? Usually it’s pretty easy to tell, I think—but in the Pretty-People universe, with their stiff, bland faces, I suppose one might make the occasional bad call.

  2. Jerseygull
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark’s door is unlocked, he’s taking a shower, and Kelly thinks he must be expecting someone. For most people, that’s a clue that the someone who is expected is a booty call and that company is not welcome. Kelly is a little slow to pick up on these things.

  3. tb4999
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Luann: Toni’s last speech bubble with its ragged edges and irregular border implies she’s in the midst of orgasm, yet Evans has changed nigh a facial expression from her usual stock one. God damn it, Evans when you’re attempting to get your readers properly off, more detail is required than that. Jesus, dude.

  4. Patrick
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    That cabbie’s blue blazer must be really cheaply made, since the color has bled all over the back of his seat. Luckily, Aunt Iris is a tidy sort, and cleaned it up before Panel 2.

  5. Randalll
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    Damn, though, Toni has some nice Melons.

  6. wossname
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    @Patrick (#4): You’re right! On first read, I thought he just had big manly blue-clad shoulders, adding to the credibility of his manly advice.

  7. Ellie
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    THAT’S what Kelly wore to seduce Mark?? A fuschia shirt and mom jeans??? Hell, that getup doesn’t even work for Cherry!

  8. Muffin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    I think we all know well the danger of spending time in Online Talk Rooms.

  9. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    Oh, c’mon, Brad and Toni are the David and Maddie of the 21st century! Brad even has Bruce Willis’ hair.

  10. zach
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Last white taxi driver in America.

    If Apartment 3-G were more realistic, it would be Sanjay driving and he’d take Iris to buy some nice mango chutney.

  11. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    @Muffin (#8): Jamaal is a loyal subscriber to

  12. T Campbell
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    Luann: Honestly, for real?

    I’ve already gone on at some length about how I think Greg Evans gets an unfair shake in comics fandom.

    Now, I do agree with you that Evans struggles to portray sex within the nigh-Victorian confines of the newspaper format. I didn’t like Monday’s strip, which seemed to say “Oh no, adult firefighters kissing pre-maritally, danger, danger!” And I’m not sure what to make of the idea that Brad and Toni haven’t already gone all the way. I mean, seriously, if they are old enough to FIGHT FIRES…

    But I see absolutely nothing wrong with today’s installment. Josh, forgive me for murdering your joke here, but it’s got nothing to do with fetishes, which are hyper-specific arousal triggers. This is just a moment of physical intimacy between two people who love and trust each other. Why you find it bothersome that one of those people is Brad, who’s pulled himself up from a disgusting mess into a young public servant, is honestly beyond me.

  13. Mischief Maker
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    Online “Talk Rooms?” Are the authors Herb and Jamaal so obsessive-compulsively nonspecific they’re afraid someone might own the rights to the term “chat room” and sue them for unauthorized use of (his/her) term?

  14. Markie
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    MT: “…waiting eagerly to see Kelly see Mark naked” Hey call me an optimist, but I’m hoping against the odds of 1 million to 1 for seeing Kelly AND Mark naked!! ^o^

  15. T Campbell
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    I mean… I hate to ruin the party. I know snark is the point, here. And there’s plenty about Luann worth picking on, like the weirdly shifting goalposts in the Dirk story.

    T.J.: “We can’t let Dirk see through our trick… hurray, Dirk saw through our trick!”
    Toni: “I’m going to put a stop to Dirk being so cryptic… yay, Dirk left while being cryptic!”

    But if you want a comically improbable relationship to pick on, Josh… WHAT ABOUT JON ARBUCKLE AND LIZ, HUH? Can anyone explain THAT pairing without using any references to age or the words “getting desperate?”

  16. Terry in Maryland
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Well, I guess Kit is confident in his masculinity, at least. This rescue has been made up of his stealing a horse, Savarna ex machina bombing the prison, and Diana shooting their way out with Kit’s gun.

  17. I'm Not Dirk
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Luann: It will feel even better further up the leg, Brad. Dude needs a guide book. Reminds me of the old Genesis tune, “Counting Out Time.” “Honey get hip, it’s time to unzip, to unzip zip, zip-a-zip, zip-a-zip Whippee!”

  18. Mr. Goboto
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    DT: “Non-human?” What is he? A chaotic-evil half-orc fighter/assassin?

    ReFoob: Again with the censors! This time they changed “arsenic” to “aspirin.”

    FW: One would think that Lisa’s Story would have included that factoid, Les, but I guess it’s never to late to correct one’s oversights.

    MW: Good thing you’re screening the side of your face with your hand! Someone might see you talking smack about someone else and find out that you’re nothing more than a meddlesome, neb-nosed old lady.

    Phantom: And here’s why I like the Phantom over most other costumed avengers. While the Batman’s busy slinging civvies over his shoulder and snatching them from the gnashing jaws of death, the Phantom’s giving them guns.

  19. Dragon of Life
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    Tomorrow should feature Herb undergoing ‘that carpal tunnel surgery everyone hears about’ after the ergonomics of that posture and keyboard position catch up to him.

  20. Readem and Laf
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    MW On her wedding day, if Adrian was smart, she’d get a cab to take Jill anyplace other than the church. Mary can handle that.

    Why is Jill so jealous? Is she secretly in love with the groom (or the bride)?

    Luann Brad’s innuendo is not romantic, it’s creepy.

    JP I misread today’s strip. I thought the dialog meant that the Judge hadn’t finished writing, which you should do before a book tour:

    “Are you finished with the book?”
    “No, I’ll wind it up on the plane tomorrow.”

  21. Lorne
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    It looks a lot like Brad just shoved something up Toni’s pant leg.
    That feels nice, indeed.

  22. John C.
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    GT: Is anyone else wondering how long camp will last? Those boys are going to reek in their one set of clothes after a bit. The fact that Gil is taking the team on a camp instead of an afternoon practice and that the camp is in the middle of nowhere leads me to believe that he will be motivating them SAW-style.

  23. yellojkt
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    Online Talk Room = Closeted Gay Former Basketball Player Pick-Up Site

  24. Rocky Stoneaxe
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    Luann — Brad likes his women the same way he likes his coffee… deCALFfeinated!

    Mark Trail — Is Kelly Welly supposed to be a 21st century camp follower* or is she a serious journalist?

    *No pun intended this time… honest!

  25. Scott Bot
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    DT – ‘It’s a dangerous plan.’ Dangerous to who? The poor actors you’ve picked as targets for whatever vigilante is looking for pond scum guy? Or to Chief Liz when the criminal escapes and comes gunning for her for calling him names? These people apparently are not familar with the concept of ‘armored car.’

    FW – ‘Lisa was born in a manger…’

    MT – Well, Kelly wearing her jeans kinda ruins my fantasies of her greeting Mark in a skirt sans panties, ala Basic Instinct.

    MW – Good idea, Mary, that way she’ll be able to barf up salmon squares as well as cheap champagne.

    Pluggers – What did I miss here? Any number of places sell shirts with two pockets, they’re not exactly rare. However, from the looks of the shirt he has on, perhaps he’s looking for a polyester sport shirt from around 1975 appropriate for weddings or funerals, in which case he’ll have to hit a thrift store.

  26. terrapin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Luann-OK Brad, this is the part where you say “Any other cramps you want me to rub out?” What is wrong with this kid?

    MT-Hey Kelly. Maybe you could call Mark’s publisher Bill Ellis on that antique phone.

  27. T Grum
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    A 3-G: Though “beret” makes a funnier snark, I think the cabbie is actually wearing a “flat” or “ivy” hat. I was going to call it a “newsboy” hat until I did a search for a picture. Apparently, the newsboy style has a bigger crown to it.

  28. McManx
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Luann: I don’t think that Toni is moaning with delight over Brad’s creeping massage up her leg. Since her foot is firmly planted in Brad’s crotch, I’m reasonably certain her comment is related to the erection he is getting as he feels her up.

    Mark Trail: I still think “Kelly Welly” is really Cherry in a wig. In this scenario, Cherry is trying to set Mark up for some fantasy “I’m-cheating-on-my-wife-with- an-exotic-stranger-who-just-happened-to-walk-into-my-hotel-room” sex.

    Gil Thorp: Ah, Camp Touchstone. Sounds like the “Brokeback Mountain” of football training camps. Enjoy boys, we’re going to be focusing on ball handling over the next few days…

  29. Doctor Handsome
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    The romantic misadventures of Aunt Iris are clearly building up to a spin-off strip entitled Willard Scott: Taxicab Matchmaker.

  30. CanuckDownSouth
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    @Mr. Goboto (#18): DT – no, he was just once drawn realistically, and witnessing this has scarred the other denizens of the Tracyverse for life.

    Dang, thread-killed. Must pay more attention in the mornings. My usual weak snark, but also pointing out how much fun NAoQV is being

  31. Zemto
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    MT: For some reason the plotline I see in developing in Mark Trail is that he comes out of the shower to find Kelly murdered and the police knocking at the door. Maybe I’ve seen The Fugitive one too many times.

    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    Dick- Well after handling D’Buckworth, the WORST kind of criminal, how bad can this Dr. Mordred really be? It’s not like he was passing fake $1000 bills to people.

  33. Ethan Shuster
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    I think it’s obvious that Brad is so sexually repressed, he is much more comfortable ALMOST having sex than actually having it. He seems so calm in this scene, as if to say, “Whew! Thank God this is our version of intimacy.” Ya know, it’s like in The 40 Year Old Virgin, where Carell’s character is actually happy to put sex off until later.

  34. Christi
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail comes out of the shower and walks, completely in the buff, into the hall. Kelly is conveniently facing away and Mark only notices that there is someone female-ish in the next room. Thinking it can only be his wife, he confidently… sneaks to the bedroom lest she get any ideas. Well, damn it. There go all our hopes and dreams, right out the window and onto the back of some giant animal or another.

  35. k#
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    MW: Damn you, Comics Curmudgeon. For the first time in my life I find myself seeking out today’s Mary Worth to see what happens. By the way, Jill appears to be melting.

  36. Lynette
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    Wait, Brad/Toni slash fiction? I can’t wait to see what plot twist is waiting around the corner to shock and delight us all! Toni has secretly been a man who just happens to enjoy wearing women’s clothing this whole time? Brad, his tongue loosened by the intimacy of the calf massage, confesses that he is a woman, and is planning to undergo gender reassignment surgery?

    This is going to be the most exciting plot development in comics history.

  37. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    Frazz: “Play 60″ PSA, and a nice several-day setup for it.

    A&J: omg, I’m Arlo, day 2.

    OtH: somehow, I think that mollificent will like this one today.

    further snark possible after I get to the dead tree comics.

    for those on the webcomic end of things, in regards to yesterday’s Weapon Brown: oh MY!!! (very NSFW, but oh so lovely.)

  38. Edgy DC
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    I guess a New York City with one appearance by a person of color is per decade is all we’re gonna get from Apartment 3G, Because every time you hail a cab in New York City, the hack turns out to be a middle-aged Scotsman, amiright?

  39. gleeb
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    I’d go with a puppy. While you go to work, strippers get lonely and sad all alone in a small apartment. So do puppies, but puppies don’t drink your liquor.

    Jump Start: And you know what to do with skeptics, right? The unclean ones must die!

    ‘shaft: Only the thought of socially-acceptable daytime liquor can thaw Ed’s misanthropy.

    Narcissismbury: Can you crawl down from your intestine and write about something interesting in the outside world next week, Trudeau?

    Phantom: Happily-married couples share things. Like emotions, hobbies, and killing.

  40. Jorge Barnes
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#25):

    Ah, but you’re an UberPlugger when you don’t know that a shirt came back into style five years ago and submit it to Pluggers.

  41. Digger
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    Enjoy the calf massage, Brad. It’s the most action you’ll be getting until 2012.

  42. Vince M
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    MW _ geez, did the Joker slip Jill a Smilex mickey?

  43. ms
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MT: I’m predicting a Cherry shows up to find Kelly with a towel-clad Mark. Sitcom-grade misunderstanding and hijinks will ensue.

  44. JerryfromMontana
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    I can totally picture Herb talking to himself in the online “talk” rooms, muttering to himself about the other losers there, holding himself up higher.

  45. Mustang
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    MT – Josh, when you say “naked” you mean fully clothed, right?

  46. twg
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    In Boston we call it a scally cap.

  47. Dennis Jimenez
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    Jeez – is this sweeps week or something – the strips are really creepy – I mean more than usual.

    BTW – MW – PREDICTION – Jill, like all drunks in this strip, will end up either at a women’s shelter or going over a cliff….

  48. kwt
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Luann sure gave me the heebie jeebies this week. The only thing more revolting than Brad and Toni would be… uhm… I can’t actually think of anything. I’d take a week of strips about Puddles the dog chasing sunbeams over Brad and Toni at this point. Or even Puddles chasing some frisky French Poodle would be preferable and ultimately more romantic than anything Brad and Toni could offer.

  49. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    Luann: Brad’s boner is now poking into Toni’s ankle. How could this get hotter? How could it get juicier? If it turns out that Dirk is just outside the room, watching them. And at this very moment, he bursts in and vomits on them.

    GT: “Welcome to Camp Touchstone. Our nickname used to be Camp Bad Touch, but we’ve made some personnel changes since then.”

    H&J: Q: What is Jamaal doing in “these online talk rooms”?
    A: What else? Pretending to be a fifteen-year-old girl.

    6C: You change the time on your alarm clock by repeatedly pushing the “hour” button until it’s an hour earlier than it would be in October. It’s not hard. But I guess this is one of those couple who are really into roleplaying.

    H&L: Keep Ditto away from those Martha Stewart Living back-issues, or he’ll hurt someone.

    S-M: Yeah, those thirty-foot three-headed serpent men just sneak right up on you, don’t they?

    Ziggy: This is one of the few times when Ziggy is better off the way he is. At least he doesn’t have a hair transplant from his crotch on top of his head, unlike the doctor.

    PBS: Silly crocs. Dere no Tribbles in 24.

    9CL: Sexual fantasies make Edda talk like a character in Brave New World, which isn’t really all that surprising.

    DtM: Dennis takes menacing lessons from Ed Crankshaft.

    FW: “You won’t believe this, but back then I was a self-loathing nerd instead of a self-regarding schmuck.”

    Phantom: Diana is really, really happy to see that gun. Either that or horseriding without panties does it for her.

  50. Dood
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    Anyone else think that the cabbie would look better in a salmon-square beret, the kind you buy in a second-hand store?

  51. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    @Digger (#41):

    Enjoy the calf massage, Brad. It’s the most action you’ll be getting until 2012.

    So the Mayans were right?

  52. Rocky Stoneaxe
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    Arlo & Janis — Don’t blame Arlo… blame the dishwasher! (At least that’s what I tell Mrs. Stoneaxe!)

  53. troy macgregor
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    H&J: “Online talk rooms”? What is this, 1997? Well, that giant box of a monitor answers my question, however, I wonder what’s in store for us in tomorrow’s strip? That new “instant messaging” service everyone’s talking about?

  54. Ashley
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Why do I think something bad has happened to Rose (Mrs. Mayor) in RMMD? I’m suspecting she has injured or killed herself in remorse for starting the prostate cancer leak (words I never expected to type together!). Hope I’m wrong!

  55. Johnny Knuckles
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    A3G: Aunt Iris will spilt the difference and show up with a dead stripper.

  56. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#25): Re MT: Kelly could still make sure that when Mark comes out the top two or three buttons of the jeans are undone and a few tufts of… You know what? Sexualizing Mark Trail characters is too much damn work. I’m taking a nap.

  57. Pseudo3D
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    Isn’t slash only for same-sex couples though, that are canonically straight?

  58. Laura Shapiro
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    Hey Josh, long time no talk.

    Sorry to correct you, but “slash” refers to homosexual pairings only. Brad/Toni calf massage would be het fiction — fanfiction, if written by someone other than the strip’s author.

    Now, if Mark Trail gets a cramp while in the shower, and Brad shows up to massage his calf, THAT would be slash — or, at least, slashy.

  59. Illustrator Steve
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    MK: What Kelly doesn’t realize is that the fishing cabins have had a series of break-ins lately. So many that they have beefed up security with video monitoring. The fishing camp police were quickly alerted that a suspicious female was seen entering Mark Trail’s room and ordered the fishing camp SWAT team to surround the cabin. unfortunately for the SWAT team, just as they were in place and threw the first tear gas canister through the cabin’s open window they were all trampled by a heard of giant beavers traveling by the cabin.
    Meanwhile, inside the cabin, Mark was heard saying, “Holy cow! It’s smoky in here and my gosh darn eyes are burning….and what the heck is that awful smell?”
    Kelly was then heard screaming, “Mark! Come here quick! I’ve got a huge beaver here that I need your help with!!”
    (Afterwards, once the cabin was cleared and wrapped in yellow barrier tape, an unidentified fishing camp official told the news media that the Custom’s department has pulled the plug on any undercover operation that may or may not have been going on down at the well known fishing camp).

    Okay, now the story can finally go back to what will happen to good-old Frank Johnson who is still in the hospital after that giant deer made him drive over the cliff……..

  60. TheDiva
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    9CL: It’s strips like this that make me long for the rigidly repressed world of Luann.

    C’shaft: The way to Crankshaft’s heart is through his stomach (and liver), although why anyone would want to reach such a bleak, desolate place is beyond me.

    DT: “Or more likely, we’ll get innocent people killed and let a madman loose on the city.”

    FW: On the plus side, if the audience sits through Les’ life story they won’t have to bother with buying his book.

    Luann: Maybe Toni is like that girl in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, who has a weakness for being touched on the back of her knees. Or maybe I’m just hoping that somebody in this strip will explode into a shower of coins.

    Marvin: Shut up. A good three quarters of the earth-shattering belches I’ve heard have come from females. And they were proud of it, too.

    MT: Uh-oh, they’re on a collision course with wackiness!

    MW: Why is Mary holding her hand like that? Is she speaking in aside to the audience?

    Pluggers: A search for “men’s two-pocket shirts” (sans quotes) on Google Shopping turns up 12,000 results. But hey, why use evil technology when you can just take the word of the bored underpaid teenager at the service counter?

    SM: “They’re the ones who submitted the name to the island’s government!”

  61. Johnny Knuckles
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    MT: Elrod must have watched so much porn that he sets up all his stories like the first 2 minutes of a stag film. Then instead of boobies and fornication he draws elks and trout. (Okay, that sounds pornographic too.)

  62. Chyron HR
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    Luann – Look at that sly smile on Brad’s face. You know he’s thinking, “I can’t wait to tell TJ that I’m not a virgin anymore! No, wait, that sounds gay. I can’t wait to tell Luann that I’m not a virgin anymore!”

    Judge Parker – Woah, Woody, slow down! We can only take so much breakneck “People standing around talking about interesting things that happened offscreen” action in one week! You’d better dial things down with another cheerleading tryout before you give your readership heart attacks.

  63. Apeman
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    Mark Fail: Hey, Jack Elrod, can I introduce you to the concept of the period? First, in each panel, Kelly Welly is saying two independent clauses. You don’t separate two independent clauses with a comma. You use a period (See how I did that?) Second, if she’s really shouting, which is what those exclamation points indicate, then Mark can hear her and is already trying to figure out how to sneak out the bathroom window to avoid her.

  64. Johnny Knuckles
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    @Laura Shapiro (#58): MT: Mark left the door unlocked for Matt. So would the Mark/Matt fishing-hole storyline be the correct use of the term?

  65. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    SM: “Monster Island? I don’t like the sound of that!”
    “Don’t worry, the name is actually misleading.”
    “Oh, whew! That is a relief!”
    “Yes, it is actually a peninsula.”

  66. Walker of Dog
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    @zach (#10): “If Apartment 3-G were more realistic” is not an introductory dependent clause one should use lightly. Stronger minds than ours have been shattered in the attempt to finish that neverending sentence.

    @Mr. Goboto (#18): Mary’s cupped hand puzzled me too. The meddling biddy I know and fear would cow the entire gathering by booming out her observations: “Poor Jill! All the booze in the world won’t wash away her unmarriedness! Isn’t that right, Dreamsicle?!”

    @Laura Shapiro (#58): re:Brad/Mark Trail: what’s the term for asexual fan fiction?

  67. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    dead tree & Chron page snark:

    Lio: WIN!!!!

    Bizarro: Baka Gaijan, DO NOT READ!!!

    Crank: mmmmmm, rumballs.

    DT: he’s a Wookie?

    PMP: the nipplectomy has been a success.

    PBS: continued win.

    RwO: yeah, it’s an outdated trope, but it’s still funny! (and mmmm, latkes)

    6Cx: O_O Yeah, that’s a pr0n setup. cue the bcww music, stat!

    Zits: nice concept. well done.

    NAoQV: *dies laughing*

    standard oversnark disclaimer.

  68. AndyL
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    Apparently Iris’s adventurous globe-trotting ways have still left her naive to the ways of the Big City.

    If any real world New York bicycle courier received a gift every time he was almost killed, he would be the richest man in Manhattan.

  69. Pozzo
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    Between MT and GT, there are sure a lot of half-naked men going into or coming out of showers this week. Should I be disturbed by this trend, or embrace it?

  70. Dan
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    Yes, the anger! GRRRRRR! You want slash fiction!? I want to be in the comic strip, with a chainsaw and a baseball bat and a hockey mask, and tell them to just grow up and have sex and stop making me watch their sad little not-very-titillating 3rd grade crush shenanigans or I’ll dismember them and leave nothing but Toniburger and Bradburger!!! GAH!!!!!!

    Whew. There, I feel better. Josh, I really blame you for making me get so emotionally involved in crappy comics. You and your horrible, wonderful blog.

  71. Bill the Butcher
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    You only had mild distaste at Luann, Josh? Well, I never said you weren’t a better man than I.

  72. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    A3G – “What would you suggest?” I hope the next words out of the cabbie’s lips rhyme with “cransvestite mooker”

  73. Hasty Penguin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    Mallard Fillmore caused me to make a face normally reserved for people whose skulls are falling apart. I should know better than to read it, but it’s like discovering the Ark in Indiana Jones over and over again. It takes fictional heroes to not be appalled by it.

  74. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    @Hasty Penguin (#73): ixNay on the uckDay. (that strip is on the forbidden list per the blog rules.)

  75. Mibbitmaker
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Okay, Brooke, but you’ll definately have to clean it up afterwards. (EEEEWWWWW!!)

    Curtis: Have Chutney and Curtis each met their match at dangerously obsessed attraction (to Curtis and Michelle, respectively)? Not sure. Is it probably worse unrequited? Really, though, I’m still waiting (not eagerly) for “Onion” to feel all left out by his friend spending time with her. Hey, maybe he’ll possesively control Derrick the same way!

    Dilbert: Wally, quit doing Edda Burber immitations!

    Doones: Who cares?! TELL US ABOUT DUKE DAY!

    FW: Someone please put the last panel of today’s ReFOOB after today’s FW! Bats :[, Dean, somebody!!!

    GF: Just be careful of Elmo. He really runs the place now. Controls the whole damn street, he does!

    Marvin: Learning hateful generalization at an early age, isn’t she? (given not only the females The Diva knows, but guys like me who don’t get anything from that sort of behavior as well)

    NS: Oh, STFU, Wiley! Btw, what I just typed was NOT empty sentiment!

    Phantom: I dunno, Savarna is stiff competition in that department!

  76. Chip Whittle
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    Broom Hilda: “I always wanted muscles so I filled plastic bags with nuts and put them in my sleeves!” I just wanted to put that totally not at all contrived setup off by itself so that Zombie Bud Sagendorf can kick himself for never making that a Popeye plot until early next year.

    Crankshaft: “Might like to have some holiday rumballs? Lady, how am I supposed to survive being in Crankshaft if I don’t stay drunk?”

    Dick Tracy: Wait, why is Dick Tracy in charge of transporting Chewbacca? Is he trying to prevent a repeat of the “Life Day” incident?

    Henry is…being chased by Transvestite Jerry Mahoney for some reason.

    Mark Trail: Kelly Welly knows it’s important to sit quietly and unobtrusively and not make any sudden moves if she’s to lure the Mark Trail into his mating dance OOH OW OW OW I BROKE MY OWN BRAIN MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP AAAAAAAAAAA

    Pluggers meanwhile could find their stupid double-pocketed shirts if they’d shop at, say, Target, but I guess they don’t feel comfortable in an upscale store like that.

    Shoe: See, it’s funny because it’s……a pile of words which include “entitlement program”? Ah, the joys of stumbling across something kind of editorial cartoon-like.

    Spider-Man “But why is this place called ‘Monster Isle’?” “Why is any place ever called ‘Monster Isle’? Just because you’re Spider-Man doesn’t mean you have to be a flaming idi…oh, well, I guess it does, but, still.”

  77. Dan
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    I have to assume that today’s Herb and Jamaal takes place five minutes before Herb thinks he hears someone outside, panics, and quickly deletes from his browser history.

  78. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    There’s a Reason Oprah Calls ‘em “Flapjacks”

    It was late in the day. Not so late that the chirping crickets could mask Kelly’s farts as her DeSoto made its way along Turnpike 18 but late nonetheless. What was it about Starbuck’s coffee that made her so gassy? Two sips of a mocha latte and she could peel paint off an old barn. It was time for some ABBA.

    Mark was ready for his shower now. He slowly slinked off his bathrobe, letting it fall to the floor as though gravity didn’t exist. Slowly, slowly the terrycloth fell: past his masculine shoulders, his eager pecs, and his glistening abdomen of perfection. For a moment, the robe almost stopped and lay peacefully atop his throbbing manhood and continued to fall in embarrassment and shame. Like a Thomas Kincade painting, Mark’s cock was meant to be displayed for all to see, no matter how hard they tried to look askance. A beautiful sleek sword of manhood, Aladdin’s scimitar, protruded before him with two gnarly, hairy testicles of lust danging beneath like children to their mother’s apron. Mark walked into the shower and the water sighed a shocked breath, swirling about him, dancing over his skin, reveling in the ripe musk only a woodsman or a psychotic carnie could know.

    First, he wet his hair. Then, gathering the soap, he began to caress his body with it. His nipples became erect. So erect, he couldn’t Kelly at the door.

    She walked in to the party like she was walking onto a yurt. Country boys are easily swayed in giving out room numbers with a blowjob and a pencil up their ass. It would have been easy anyway. Mark tended to dress from the Jaclyn Smith outdoors collection. The credenza sat with the leftovers of the last Jewish woman in Maryland vomiting khaki all over it. With sparkles.

    Kelly found a comfortable chair, removed her clothing, and sat down, legs akimbo. He be done soon, she thought. Then, she fell asleep.

    Meanwhile, far away in the Land of Make Believe, Toni and Brad were again trying to hold off on seeing each other naked. It was not working.

    to be continued

  79. MarkTwail
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    GT: As all the player in 12/2s panel one seem to be tonsured, maybe the camp is really a monastery.

  80. Jim North
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    9CL: It’s okay because they’re not actually having sex, nor is sex possible between them since he’s gay! Wait, no, it’s not okay because it is creepy and offensive as hell.

    Crank: Ha ha, it’s funny because Crankshaft is a desperate, pathetic alcoholic!

    Crock: “Nobody can settle for less better than me” is basically Crock‘s mission statement.

    DT: That last panel is so poignant . . . he just wants to love, people! He just wants to love!

    FW: So, it seems that Les’ entire character development arc from high school to present can be summed up with “Girls never like me, WAH!” -> “Lots of girls like me but I don’t really notice or care because DEAD WIFE DEAD WIFE DEAD WIFE”

    JP: Aw, Sam, you broke your widdle glasses. Oh, well, not like it matters . . . you only wear ‘em ’cause you think they make you look a bit clever.

    Jumble: “Paint” the “garage”?

    Luann: I think her leg is set to “vibrate”.

    MT: Oh, good, it looks like the colorist finally learned not to hit the “fill” button twenty times or more.

    MW: All we’re missing here is the “ker-SNAP!” sound effect emanating from Mary’s neck.

    Phantom: “Um . . . you’ll never amount to anything in life! Your ideals are ill-thought-out and meaningless! I never really loved you!” “Them, honey! Discourage them!

    Pluggers: LIES ALL LIES

    SM: “Derp! Why it called ‘Monster Isle’? Derp!” Ultimate proof of just how much damage television has done to Spider-Man’s imagination.

  81. Red Greenback
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    Gil: Marty Moon is contacted by guest star Janet Napolitano to go undercover at Camp Touchstone. Two weeks later Marty breaks the story about Camp Touchstone being a front for a diamond smuggling ring. Mark Trail punches Marty in the facial hair for scooping him.

  82. Shawn S.
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    @T Campbell (#12):

    Brad and Toni haven’t gone all the way because Evans thinks it’s an exciting plot point. When will they have sex? Unknowingly, most readers are wondering when Toni will leave him.

    Look, Brad is NOT a good character. He’s a dick to everyone BUT Toni, and ONLY because he wants in her pants. When he’s not out fighting fires, he’s watching T.V. or whining about something. When he whines about not having sex, which is every other comic with him and Toni in it, it isn’t redeeming at all, it’s revolting.

    I can only believe Toni is with him because Dirk was such an abusive boyfriend that Brad appears wonderful next to Dirk…but let’s face it. Brad is a loser, much like his selfish brat of a sister. I don’t see how him being a firefighter fixes his character flaws, just because he’s fights fires doesn’t mean he’s not a huge, whiny asshole.

    Do you think people were just snarking about Dirk throwing Brad into the garbage disposal? No, they really wanted it to happen so we don’t have to continuously view the torture that is any comic with Brad DeGroot in it.

  83. Stu
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    @Naked Bunny with a Whip (#9): Unfortunately, that’s perfect.

  84. Mr. Goboto
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#66):

    @Laura Shapiro (#58): re:Brad/Mark Trail: what’s the term for asexual fan fiction?


  85. Walker of Dog
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    A3G: The cabbie is driving the latest taxi-fleet model, featuring a center-mounted steering column. Sure the cupholders press painfully against the driver’s kneecaps, but on the plus side, the blind spots are evenly distributed between both sides of the vehicle. And with the flip of a dash-mounted toggle switch, the steering wheel becomes a radio tuner. GM is back!

    FC: “They named their baby ‘So Disappointed’?”

    FW: The third panel is drawn from the sniper’s-eye view.

    Phan: Pistol-whipping from half a furlong away? Sure, why not.

    S-M: Yes, we’re all excited about the Three Tenors reunion, but come on, guys – Nessun dorma again?

    MT: “And with this comfortable lounge chair available, there’s no sense in waiting around in these pants!

  86. Mr. Goboto
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Goboto (#84): Tho’ I would add that Brad-Tony/Mark-Kelly slush-fic isn’t so much asexual as antisexual.

  87. Stu
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    Gil is really going to miss Cody later, because everyone knows the best part of team-building sessions is getting high by the campfire.

  88. Jim North
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    @Shawn S. (#82):

    When he’s not out fighting fires, he’s watching T.V. or whining about something.

    So Brad is the Spider-Man of the Luann universe?

  89. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    @gleeb (#39): I’d go with a puppy. While you go to work, strippers get lonely and sad all alone in a small apartment. So do puppies, but puppies don’t drink your liquor.
    Good advice! I’ll pass it on to Wally Winkerbean.

    A3G – “Rabbit. Grouse. Some kind of small game that he can sink his teeth into. You know, just feel the life ebbing away as he tears into its jugular. There’s no feeling quite like it, no ma’am.”

    Archie – While the basic joke here is good, one would think the ALGJU3K would realize that A. you have to open up the computer to get at the parts where the dust builds up, and B. unless you own a Steve Jobs-branded overpriced PC modern Mac, the computer is not contained in the monitor.

    BS – Oh hey! Anatomy more unsettling than that Magritte painting queek pointed me to yesterday!

    BrS – “And I would have gotten away with it, if it hadn’t been for my meddling kid!”

    DT – Oh, he’s a Mole Person! So that’s what they meant by “non-human!” (Still misused the comma, though.)

    Dilbert – That was pretty much the first thing my Computer Science professor taught me. I hope one day to take my place in this glorious cycle of knowledge-keepers.

    FW – So does anybody remember this far back? I’m wondering if Batiuk’s going to continue with the orgy of Funkyverse self-reference that the strip has become since the jump, or if he’s going to be pulling stuff out of his ass to make Les seem even more the persecuted Serious Person he wants us to buy the guy as. I’m saying even odds either way. (In any case, what’s with Lisa’s Muppet head in panel one? I mean, I draw 45° views better than that, and I’m not even a professional cartoonist!)

    HOTC – See, I’m in kind of a weird place with this storyline. On the one hand, I’m totally down with people swearing off text-messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and all the other nu-tech Web 2.0 bullshit that basically amounts to an excuse for people to be even less coherent and meaningful in their online communications. I never have and never will use any of the above, myself. On the other hand, this storyline has already shown hints of brainless Ludditism that blames technology itself for people’s stupidity, and I fear it’s going to descend even further down that abyss. I really hope it doesn’t, but the signs do not look good. Argh.

    JP – “Also, do you like my hairstyle? I got it from Oki Merlot.

    Luann – Okay, I know we’ve joked snarkily suggested it before, but I think Luann seriously is turning into a fetish comic. And I don’t mean the Pibgorn “this comic is about drawing sex-related stuff” kind, either – I’m talking about the unholy-abomination “the artist is literally unable to get it up to anything not featuring his specific fetishes” stuff you find deep in the recesses of DrunkDuck or some private host in some dark corner of the Internet. I’m talking one level above Boston & Shaun here. (And even that is only because of the presence of a coherent, albeit disgusting, plot.) Plenty of Luann storylines have squicked me out before, but this is the first one I can remember that’s had me actually kind of afraid of what the next day will bring.

    MT – Tomorrow! “Oh hello, Cherry! I did not notice you enter because I was in the shower!” “Mark! You’re…uh…is that a squirrel!?” “Yes! Squirrels are rodents in the Sciuridae family! They are commonly found in-” “Just stop before you get to the line about nuts. …uh, I’ll see you later. Sometime. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

    MW – Hahaha, when Mary Worth delivers, it delivers. I think my favorite part is Jill’s fondling of Jeff’s tie. Silly girl! That’s not where you drunkenly grope!

    Momma – The only possible explanation for today’s Momma is that Mel Lazarus has never, ever seen breasts before.

    Phantom – All of a sudden this storyline went from “mildly infuriating” to “PURE AWESOME.

    Ripley’s – Now that I have read the phrase “Wombats poop cubes!” in a real newspaper comic, I think my life is complete. [*]

    SF – I like Sally’s way of thinking.

    SFx – Teaching innocent young children how to create babies! Filth!

    SM – It’s Harryhausen-riffic!

  90. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:39 pm [Reply]


    floofy pup. (SQUEE!!!)

    another flowerdog 4 bb,u.

  91. Trix
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    Another Josh Mudge fan checks in to say Hi and Happy Holidays-You just couldn’t be funnier. I mean “mild distaste”, the understatement of discomfort brought about by the Brad and Toni touchy feely thing, Ick . I never expected to even care. The comments engage and I just appreciate the sanity. Peace on Earth Y’all, and keep reading the funny pages.

  92. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#89): Cherry ≠ Kelly, not that Mark would know.

  93. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    @I’m Not Dirk (#17): Hee! He’s got the whole thing down by numbers, you know. Can’t fail.

  94. The Divine O'F
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @T Campbell (#12): I’m with you, T. Campbell. At the risk of inviting ridicule from many people I admire, I have to say it’s kind of sweet. It reminds me of a relationship I had with a boy I was madly in love with, in high school, back in the Devonian. We were both very shy, and the most intimate thing we ever did was go swimming together (wearing bathing suits). When I got a foot cramp he massaged it for me. It was the most erotic thing that had ever happened in my life up till then.

  95. DAS
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    @Shawn S. (#82): You make Brad sound like Spiderman. And Peter Parker and MJ are still together (married in fact), so we know Brad and Toni can get together and the strip can still continue.

  96. DAS
    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    @Jerseygull (#2): Kelley just assumes the call was for her. Of course, Mark Trail left the door open because he heard Rex Morgan was in the neighborhood and was hoping that he and our favorite MD could play a game of “pass the Niki”.

  97. mollificent
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

  98. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#90): Last-day-of-classes squee—yay!

  99. odinthor
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    @Stu (#87): Best part? You mean there are other parts?

  100. Not Greg Evans
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    Even though I’m Not Greg Evans, I actually don’t mind this storyline.

    With regard to the cabbie, ’tis not a beret, but rather a driving cap. How apropos.

  101. Not Greg Evans
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    Apparently coming up with disjointed, hard-to-follow storylines has grown tiresome for the Gil Thorp team and they’ve elected instead to rip off hollywood movies. It remains to be seen if this is Remember the Titans, Friday the 13th, or Meatballs.

  102. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    @The Divine O’F (#94): I could buy that if it weren’t for the fact that this is Luann we’re talking about. From the “tee-hee, melons! Tee hee hee!” strip Josh linked to the “Luann sees Gunther naked, then he puts on a penis worm suit, tee hee hee!” storyline, “creepy sexuality masked with a veneer of innocence” is exactly how the strip operates. With that context, I have no doubt that today’s strip exactly what we suspect it to be.

  103. Red Greenback
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    A3-G: Yogurt.

  104. Walker of Dog
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#103): Excellent suggestion – tasty, nutricious, probiotic. What a thoughtful giver.

  105. Hasty Penguin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

  106. Tom S
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    “Has anyone read Luann this week with a feeling more positive than mild distaste?”

    That sentence could have ended eight words earlier and had the same answer (‘no.’)

  107. Baka Gaijin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#Y225) on Bizarro: What a horrible, horribly tragic newspaper story. The clowns lived. Didn’t anyone have a tactical nuclear weapon or Dick Tracy to use on them?

  108. Longhorn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    @McManx (#28):

    “Tight ends on one side of the camp….wide receivers on the other! And remember…illegal use of the hands is not a penalty here!!”

  109. whozitwhatzit
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    @The Divine O’F (#94):

    When I got a foot cramp he massaged it for me. It was the most erotic thing that had ever happened in my life up till then.

    Until, perhaps, a penniless artist you met on the Titanic drew a picture of you wearing nothing except a blue diamond pendant?

    All praise and thanks to the comic gods who have given me strips of the finest quality for my birthday week. I will continue to burn sacrifices of virgin newsprint for the rest of the month to ensure a bounty of unintentional hilarity in the coming new year.

  110. littlestevie
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    GT: “Touchstone” camp, hmm. Maybe some of the kids on the team will start to wonder why there aren’t any female “guests” at the camp.

  111. spike
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#107): Maybe Savarna can redirect the guns toward Bizarro–after she finishes off the mounted unit tracking Stripey and Diana.

    @Jim North (#80): Re: 9CL You’re so right–on so many levels.

  112. Baka Gaijin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    @spike (#111): Yes, that would be great. I’d be more relieved if Savarna loaded the guns with salmon squares and seafood scampi. If the impact doesn’t kill ‘em, the “food”will!

  113. Oregonian
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    Ha ha, Herb, that chat room is full of other people trying to live out their fantasies!

    Apparently Jamaal is living out his fantasy of being Herb… and he’s even fooled you!

  114. ShakingThrough
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    H&J: It’s obvious that Herb (or is it Jamal? Honestly, they’re both so non-specific I can’t be bothered to tell them apart) is being manipulated by his subconscious mind, which is slowly but surely nudging him along toward recognizing and accepting his special feelings. “Wait, what am I doing in these online talk rooms? Most of these folks seem to be trying to live out their fantasies–their twisted sexual fantasies about their short best friends! I guess it’s like those supermarket tabloids–filled with lurid tales of secret double lives!! You know it’s unbelievable (I couldn’t REALLY be attracted to Herb/Jamal, could I?), but you just GOTTA look. Sob! You’ve GOT to!”

  115. Shrug
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    @Mustang (#45):

    “MT – Josh, when you say “naked” you mean fully clothed, right?”

    We can in fact be sure for two reasons that we will *not* be seeing a full frontal naked Mark Trail in the strip tomorrow. The minor reason is that newspaper standards and practices guidelines won’t allow it. The major reason is that Mark has never been naked in the strip before, so Elrod won’t have an old image to copy from.

  116. ComcisFan
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    #237 old thread: Yes, that’s a book signing — folding chairs and a talk, followed by signing. Oh boy, more strips about long lines of people clamoring to have Les sign their copies of his book. BTW, I simultaneosly resented and was irritated and, against my conscious judgment, slightly moved by the strip. Good thing Batiuk had Les provide that obscure bit of exposition.

    MW: Spare us the look of disgust, Dr. Jeff. Clearly Citizen Cane was thrilled. How else does Jill know you’re quite the man?

  117. cheech wizard
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Greg Evans is just messing with us. I think he originally draws Brad and Toni having sex, for his own perverse enjoyment, then uses Photoshop to move them two feet apart and add clothing. The dialog’s unchanged.

  118. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    thorps. Camp Touchstone? You mean this Camp Touchstone? I guess Coach Thorp has given up on turning the Mudlarks into a successful team, and is now settling for teaching them how to act like one.

  119. Polly
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    I think Josh is right on the “slash fiction.” It would explain Toni’s unnatural breasts, double camel-toe (are the creases going around something tucked in there?), resistance to intimacy, and why her full name is “Anthony.” Perhaps everyone else knows Toni’s a man (also explaining Mrs. Degroot’s aversion to the relationship), and Brad is simply blinded by the first notions of attention bestowed upon him by a member of the “opposite” sex. Given the soundless media of the comic strip, it’s possible that Toni’s voice sounds like James Earl Jones’. It could explain why everyone is always grinning like a maniac around Brad and Toni and winking and nudging to Brad over what a “nice catch” the ambivalent, manipulative, border-line sociopathic tempt”ress” is.

  120. UncleJeff
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#118): Naw, Gil just wants to switch from football to glee club competitions.

  121. bunivasal
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    Is anyone else deeply uncomfortable with the fact that Gil Thorpe starts out with teenage boys stripping to the waist and ends with that classic setting for coming-of-age tales of lust: Camp Touchstone?

    Also, Touchstone? Seriously? Couldn’t Coach Kaz quit being so coy and just call it Camp Wannafeelya?

  122. cheech wizard
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    MT – Instead of going to all the bother of drawing Kelly sitting in a chair, Elrod should have simply copied the first panel of the Nov. 26 strip again, but with today’s dialog. That would have worked a lot better.

  123. Stu
    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    @odinthor (#99): Come to think of it, I can’t recall.

  124. Lisa
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    MT: My guess is that Mark’s package is just about as exciting as seeing Ken naked for the first time. Biggest disappointment of my 10 year old life.

  125. Feefa J
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Who needs flowers – they’re already dead when you buy ‘em.

    There’s a question mark missing from the sentence but I don’t know if it belongs at the end of the sentence or if the cabbie is answering his own question and it belongs after “flowers”.

  126. Feefa J
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:12 pm [Reply]


    I agree with Lisa above, Kelly will be disapppointed. Mark Trail does not have a penis in his “package”. He just has another fist.

  127. gnome de blog
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    @Chyron HR (#62): As far as I’m concerned, Woody can have ‘“People standing around talking about interesting things that happened offscreen”’ until 2012 as long as one of them is Gloria Sanchez. In fact, now that Manley’s gotten the kinks out Gloria needs her own strip.

    Also, this idle speculation whether Teresa Delgado is still alive smacks of the gun-on-the-mantel-in-Chapter-One. I’m fully expecting her to turn out to be Jackie the homewrecking book-minder.

  128. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I thought the cabbie was lamenting that the only time most people buy flowers for you is when you’re dead. Then I realized that nihilism like that is too deep for this comic.

  129. ElkMeadow
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    @Shawn S. (#82):

    There are a more reasons why Brad is so unlikable. He has his own place that he rents from his parents. He has a freaky roommate who lies and who has a never ending Joker grin and who also waits on Brad hand and foot. That’s all we ever see T.J. doing is waiting for Brad to talk to him about Toni and to watch him eat the fantastic food T.J. is always preparing for him.

    When he’s not at his place, he is at his parents’ place, eating their food and watching their television and complaining about his sister. He never helps pay for the groceries he consumes there.

    He’s a firefighter, but we never see him doing any thing except show up at Toni’s station. The toy drive was one year only, the school presentations are done, Brad has no social life and lives only to be waited on, hand and foot.

    To sum up: Brad is a taker, not a giver, and is the most self-absorbed person in the strip.

  130. ElkMeadow
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    “Doctor” Mary returns, this time to tell another doctor about how to reduce the effects of alcohol by using food. Only my understanding it once alcohol has hit the brain, that food isn’t much of a help. Vomit bags would be useful, however. Maybe they could be passed out in lieu of party favors.

  131. Jason1981
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    @Jim North (#88):

    Except Brad is a more competent hero than Spidey (which we’ve seen when he saved Zhane, then helped save Dirk). Not by much, but at least he’s less likely to leave someone outside the hospital if they’ve had a heart attack

  132. ElkMeadow
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Looking over my rant on Brad, I’d have to say that both his mom and T.J. wait on Brad, hand and foot. The difference is that T.J. wants Brad and Toni to hook up, and Nancy doesn’t. And that’s it.

  133. ElkMeadow
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    @Jason1981 (#131):

    I think that some people on this board were born after those two ancient events.

  134. Chip Whittle
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    Alley Oop: You know, that’s a pretty thick sheaf of papers Barka has there in the year one million BC. Just saying.

    Chuckle Brothers: Ho ho! Those movie theaters sure do charge a lot for concessions! How has this rich vein of comedy topics gone previously unexplored? And there’s even a bonus joke of how there’s so many theaters you need a shuttle to get to some of them!

    Herb And Jamaal: I like to think Herb and/or Jamaal there is just watching a lolcats “talk room”. “Pronoun verbs a cat thing?” “Cat verbs an adjective noun!” “Adjective cat is adjective!”

    The Meaning Of Lila: Oh, no! The rival cosmetics company has a drug formula Lila was inexplicably given! Now as soon as they reverse-engineer the drug manufacture process and construct an assembly line they’ll be able to rush a product directly into an infringement-of-patent lawsuit! Wait, what?

    Spot the Frog: I too could really use a box like that. It’s a cute strip.

    Unstrange Phenomena: Amusing, yeah, though it puts me in mind of the Great Hedge of India, one of those little projects of inducing untold suffering that British Colonialism was so skilled in offhandedly inflicting. And, er, what’s the golf ball on arches in the right side of the panel there?

  135. Crankenstank
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    Brad and Toni are to torrid Romance what Bristol Palin is to abstinence commercials. You vaguely want them to get it on, but after the first nine seconds you realize what a horrible waste of time watching it is, and that all the action occurs off-screen, so all you’re left with is what looks like the outtakes from a 1970s porno where they had to cut the dialogue for time.

    Hey, maybe *that’s* your explanation: what we’re seeing in Luann is actually elaborate performance art — it’s the out-takes from some ultracore graphic novel, sort of like the DVD commentary from the director’s cut of Bristol’s commercial!

  136. Mr. Goboto
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    @Feefa J (#126):

    Mark Trail does not have a penis in his “package”. He just has another fist.

    Woah! That would mean that when he punches someone out, he’s really trying to mate with them. “I MAY NOT GET ANOTHER CHANGE TO DO THIS!” suddenly makes sense.

  137. Oregonian
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    I’m really enjoying this meme of “woman walks in on naked man.” Luann got things going with Gunther and his bookworm, and now Mark Trail is picking up the thread. We all know that Mary Worth is next in line, with a drunken Jill stumbling into the men’s room by mistake, but who after that?


  138. professor fate
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    MW: “Walk her around, walk her around kids no trouper.” this said al la W C Fields followed by Mary taking a shot of Burbon.

    Luann: Stop it! Stop it! Have you no human denecy?

    FW: And as Les continues his talk, the sound of people pulling their own heads off (it’s been rendered as “Sploop” after the sound a ketchup bottle makes after the clog is cleared) fills the air. Les does not notice.

  139. monkey.dave
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail turned into an episode of Three’s Company so gradually we hardly even noticed.

  140. Dood
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @monkey.dave (#139): Come and knock on my door …

  141. Mr. Goboto
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    @monkey.dave (#139): Come and squat in our woods,
    We’ll be waiting for you,
    Where the punches are hers and his and its
    Rusty’s company, too!

  142. NotThatGuy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    My “Luann” data point: Brad is about my least favorite character in the strip and served appropriately as a (very) minor boorish big brother counterpoint to Luann’s trials and tribulations as a high school student. Like you, Josh, I find it (at best) mildly distasteful and mostly a waste of time.

  143. Thomas B.
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    If Mark Trail is naked in the paper I do hope that for once in the history of the strip, the “Jack Elrod” bubble ends up in the right place.

    I don’t want to alarm the Millford players but “Camp Touchstone” is an anagram for “One compact tush” and “A nuts cop cometh.”

    Yes there is a person in the back of a car giving an address to the person behind the wheel of a car who is wearing a cap with the word taxi on it, but I still admire the writer’s decision to add “Iris hails a cab” in the opening panel because it recognizes that readers might question whether Iris is in a cab upon seeing America’s last white cab driver.
    Meanwhile in Spider-Man…nope still not interesting.
    Can Les remember anything that isnt painful and awkward? Well when that’s all the ever happens in Westville, I guess not.

  144. Devil in the Drain
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    Credit to Zits: It’s not merely an illustrated joke, it actually recognizes that it is a graphic form.

    The jokes can be repetitive and the characters annoying, but it does one thing right.

  145. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    MT — There are moments, as I peruse the comics, when I wonder uneasily if I have enough of a life. But compared to Kelly Welly, I’m doing GREAT.

  146. NotThatGuy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    @Polly (#119):

    I like it. But that would be interesting, which seems antithetical to how “Luann” has handled any potentially sexually-charged strips in the past.

    I think it’s supposed to be sweet and awkward and genuine. But it doesn’t read that way to me: it’s juvenile junior high school joking except without humor. Which comes off as creepy.

  147. NotThatGuy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#115):

    While Jackelrod won’t have an old “Mark” image to copy nekkid penii from, surely there’s a wombat or humpback whale or squirrel image that would work?

  148. NotThatGuy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#122):

    I, for one, think Mark would be much more excited to see a moose waiting for him when he gets out of the shower.

  149. DAS
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    @Jim North (#88): Oops. I see you beat me to the punch (as Mark Trail never says). I guess great minds think alike … just some think quicker than others.

  150. gnome de blog
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    Let me get this staight: Aunt Iris has always been an independent woman living an “adventurous” life, and she’s planning to buy some guy flowers? She’d be better off waltzing through his unlocked door while he’s taking a shower.

  151. The Divine O'F
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#102): I can see that objectively you are correct, but I shall go on enjoying Luann on a more innocent level. The truth is that very few story threads catch my attention anymore in any of the comics, so I’m going to go with the ones that do, for as long as they do.

  152. wossname
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    Especially if it’s that moose (or somewhat mooselike object) that he was calling honey the other day.

  153. DAS
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    @The Divine O’F (#94): I was similarly unable to translate opportunities into actuality back in high school. I remember one time some young ladies found an excuse to have me strip to my undies (ostensibly to demonstrate some principle of transcendentalism for a class project), and I didn’t take the bait!

    However, after high school, as dorky as I was (and as unlucky as I was in matters of lust and love until I meant my wife), the few times opportunities like calf-massaging when I was completely 100% alone arose, I was able to take full advantage of them: I think I only managed to get into the position Brad is in with Toni about twice in my single days — and each time (even the time it involved a young lady who was way out of my league and had a bf besides) it managed to involve more than, well, a chaste calf-rub … um, have I said too much?

  154. terrapin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    @NotThatGuy (#148):”Well hello there. Nice rack.”

  155. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    There’s a couple of scenes from “Pulp Fiction” that come to mind about now involving foot rubs. . . .

  156. Josh
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    Apologies to everyone (Hi Laura!) who pointed out that slash fiction is strictly speaking for same-sex pairings. Though I do feel as if I’ve started to see it used for just any old sexy fanfic of whatever gender combo you like. Am I helping make that happen, with my careless language usage? Am I single handedly making that happen? Who can say?

    I’m much more embarassed that I called Jamaal “Herb.” This is supposed to be my core competency, and I’ve fixed it in the post.


  157. ArchieNemesis
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    I predict a Mark Trail panel with a beaver and a snake in the magnified foreground as voices emerge from the fishing cabin.

  158. Shrug
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @Feefa J (#126):

    “I agree with Lisa above, Kelly will be disapppointed. Mark Trail does not have a penis in his “package”. He just has another fist.”

    And even worse, said groin-fist is surrounded by groin-sideburns, so it’s perpetually trying to fist-o-doom Mark’s own pubic hair. It’s not a pretty sight.

  159. Mr. Goboto
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#155): Does that mean Dirk is going to throw Brad out of a window?

  160. spike
    December 2nd, 2010 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    @ArchieNemesis (#157): That will be the second or middle panel to the first panel “teaser”.

  161. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    @The Divine O’F (#151): Fair enough. If it brings back pleasant memories for you, well, that’s the best thing Luann has accomplished in a while :)

    @DAS (#153): Dude, we have Dingo around here. You’re not even scratching the surface of our collective tolerance.

  162. OKStan
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    Luann: While this strip does satiate my calf-massage fetish, it’s also satifying my blondes-in-black-turtlenecks fetish as well as my ugly-shoes-in-the-stomach-and-crotch fetish. Luann has THAT going for it, at least in my opinion.

  163. Peanut Gallery
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    MW – First it was “one of us” had too much to drink, now “Someone”! Is “Someone” the name of the new Family Circus gremlin?

  164. Amateur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#66): Re: MW: Yeah, Mary’s a wuss compared to my grandmother, who would comment loudly on my unmarried state in front of large family gatherings. Come on, Mary, step it up!

  165. This Guy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    DT: I love the inclusion of an unnecessary comma in the last panel. It really gives the strip that air of “we just didn’t give a shit.”

    HotC: My main question is: why do a couple of 8-year-olds have cell phones in the first place?

    MG&G: At least someone realizes that Karloff’s version of the monster has bolts in his neck to act as electrodes, not to fasten his head on.

    S-M: I’ve come to believe that newspaper Spider-Man is in dire need of a review by Linkara.

  166. The Divine O'F
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    @DAS (#153): “Have I said too much?”

    It depends. Have you gotten beyond calf-massaging with your wife?

    And commodorejohn: thanks.

  167. Bootsy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    @The Divine O’F (#166):

    “Calf-massaging” is way different in Luann than it would be in Mark Trail.


  168. Gal Friday
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    MT: I’m waiting eagerly to see Josh see Kelly see Mark naked.

  169. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Goboto (#159): I ain’t saying it’s right. [*] [*]

  170. Rocky Stoneaxe
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    @NotThatGuy (#147): The strip’s been around since 1946, so I’m sure Elrod can find at least one Mark Trail Tijuana Bible* to draw(!) inspiration from!

    *The “kind of comics men like” aren’t printed in Tijuana nor are they bibles!

  171. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#170): Dear God, Mark Trail in a Tijuana Bible? I want to know the truth, but I’m afraid to look.

  172. littlestevie
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    @Feefa J (#126): I may be not the most worldly person when it comes to these things, but I thought fisting meant something else.

  173. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    I have to say that, as the essence of purity and virtue incarnate™, calf massaging was never an activity that lended itself to my prurient interests. I’d be down in the Jungle Room with my copy of St. Luke, reading to my hirsute minions, when a sudden Charlie horse would send me into gales of torment, my leg twitching and flailing like a swastika in the breeze while huddled masses quaked in fear of what would happen next. Suddenly thrown to the ground, I’d plea for their help and then one of them, usually a tall Brawny paper towel lad covered in flannel and yesterday’s musk, would thrust himself upon me and begin to massage my leg. In time, my leg would calm but by then the room would be filled with the sweet aroma of my wetting ass and all of the menfolk, dare I say it, ALL of the menfolk would want their turn giving me calf massages. Not wanting them to selfishly handle one leg while the other bode its time, I’d offer both of them for massaging. Two grappling hands would become four which would become six and, the next thing you know, I would be naked, covered by the hirsute fleshy hands of young men in the Jungle Room aching to release their loins upon me, thrusting thrusting thrusting their bodies like Jack-o-lanterns of the night without a catapult, spilling their hot, steamy wax on my back, my mouth, and my thighs. Short, gutteral spurts of anguish would fill the night as howls of a minstral cat, each beckoning the others to stare in amazement as the juices shimmied out of moistened hole and sashaying into a teaming mass upon my succulent body. Within an hour, my countenance had changed; gone was the wastral reading St. Luke and in his place stood a man, naked, covered with enough jism to resemble a Jackson Pollock painting. My ass, tingly yet pert, glazed with the glowing embellishment of wanton lust and my heart matched it in intensity. I draped myself over a bean bag chair like the Pieta and whispered, “Dry me.” With soft cloths, the hirsute carressed me with flannel, enough to garb a lesbian rugby team, until my skin gleamed like Oprah’s teeth over a ham sandwich.

    Now that’s a calf massage.

  174. Mustang
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    Luann – Luann is weird as hell in general, because on the rare occaisions I read it, I can never tell the ages of or the relations among the characters by their appearances. And there are no clues in the writing either. The thing about this romance is that Brad is drawn like an animated version of a Raggedy Andy doll and Toni is drawn like one of those 1960s Playboy cartoon girls so while it doesn’t exactly disgust me, it does make me feel confused enough to avoid the whole mess.

  175. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    To truly follow Luann, you have to think of the characters as such: Luann is Little Debbie minus the hat, Brad is Peter Brady before puberty, and Toni is that woman on the back of every trucker’s hubcaps, a woman he’ll never meet and wouldn’t satisfy if he did. Brad, as 2nd banana, must go for this girl and amazingly now has her so close to flapjack city he doesn’t know what happens next. Brad, Brad. Open the flapjacks. Smooth on butter. Place sausage between flapjacks and prance. Create maple syrup.

  176. Ash-A brief thing on slash fiction
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    To those arguing about the schematics of slash fiction you are both right. While nowadays slash denotes a (usually non-canon) romantic relationship between two males. Originally however the slash referred to the ‘/’ between two names which meant it referred to any non-canon couple.

    That said, I will never get my Brad/TJ-In-A-Blond-Wig slashfic.

  177. kanomi
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    Isn’t Josh is being a little harsh on Jack Elrod here? Sure, I’m no Mark Trail expert, but I’ve never seen interracial romance in this strip before, yet I’m pretty sure that is a hobbit woman sitting in that chair.

  178. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    December 2nd, 2010 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    “And when he awoke from the dreamlike fantasy, sleeping beside him was not Toni but TJ, naked and wearing a blonde wig, a wicked smile displayed across his face. In the corner, to his horror, stood his bride, covered in the marks of a machete with blood everywhere.”

  179. Mr. Goboto
    December 2nd, 2010 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#178): If only the Coen Bros. would take over Luann and make it 1-part “O! Brother…” and 2-parts “Barton Fink,” with a dash of “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”

  180. Ash
    December 2nd, 2010 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

  181. Dewey's Coffee
    December 2nd, 2010 at 7:36 pm [Reply]

    For those of you who don’t know, Zonker Harris Day and Uncle Duke Day are real things. Doonesbury’s takin’ me back to old college days, it is . . .

  182. This Guy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    @Ash-A brief thing on slash fiction (#176): It’s worth mentioning, for a given value of “worth,” that the term originated from the primordial days of Star Trek fan fiction, where the numerous stories about Kirk and Spock being lovers were labeled “Kirk/Spock.”

  183. Dark Corner
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    A 3G: Huh… Is that how Curtis Sliwa makes his rounds these days?

  184. Austria
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: What’s with this kid? See, here he looks about 12, and yet he’s talking like he’s a 3-year-old who just recently understood the existence of Santa. I don’t underSTAND.

    Curtis: His what now? PYT? What does that stand for? Perky Young Thing? Portly Yammering Tongue? Pretentious Yuppie Treatment?

    FW: Hey, it’s not like the audience read the book or anything, right? You know what rhymes with “cancer”? LISA. SHE’S DEAD.

    Jumble: …PLAY the PIANO? Iunno, that one seems like a gimme.

    Luann: Brad thinks sex entails having a girl’s shoe-clad foot in your crotch. Intercourse is to him, as weird deviantART fetishes are to the rest of the world.

    MT: No — no — Kelly Welly, no. You’re supposed to burst through the bathroom door without a care in the world and then pretend it was an accident.

    PBS: The more I read this, the more I think it’s supposed to be some sort of BP social commentary. A little late, though.

    Zits: Very nice.

  185. PoeWar
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:23 pm [Reply]


    We all know your name
    Despicable non-human
    Shame shame Chewbacca

  186. Uncle Lumpy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    @Gal Friday (#168):

    I’m waiting eagerly to see Josh see Kelly see Mark naked.

    May I watch?

  187. Just some guy
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one who thinks Kelly Welly is hot??
    There’s a reason why I don’t sign these posts with my real name, I guess.

  188. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:56 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#184): I’m not sure whether to be concerned that I immediately knew this, but here. [*]

  189. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:56 pm [Reply]

    @Just some guy (#187): Oh heck no. By Mark Trail standards she’s practically a sexpot.

  190. Pseudo3D
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:02 pm [Reply]

    @Just some guy (#187): I don’t know. I think she’s actually more attractive than Toni in a way.

    If Toni was in a more, shall we say, noticeable outfit, would any of us associate her as more of a prostitute or transvestite?

  191. UncleJeff
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    Zits: Well done. But whenever I read “Wuthering Heights”…I think of Monty Python’s great “Wuthering Heights — IN SEMAPHORE!”

  192. Red Greenback
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    @Just some guy (#187): Kelly’s alright, but she doesn’t hold a candle to Sam Hill. Gggrowrrr!

  193. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

  194. Violet
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    I hope the cabman manages to be pretty assertive with his advice, considering Aunt Iris’ gift-giving history. Otherwise our hapless cyclist may be spending the next few weeks rearranging his living room around a civil-war cannon, old-timey jukebox and full-sized puppet theater.

  195. cooby
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    You just know that phone’s gonna ring and it’ll be Cherry….

  196. Baka Gaijin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#193): Almost right. “‘Clowns must die!’ Clown hater Reasonable man stormed.”

  197. tb4999
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#184): RE: Curtis

    I am so glad Billingsley maintains the use of modern slang and music in his strip.

  198. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#196): Well, I didn’t have room for “deganged lunatic.”

  199. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#196): I guess I did have room for “sane man” but it didn’t occur to me.

    By the way, were you ever in a gang?

  200. Baka Gaijin
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#198): You say that as if I don’t know where you live, you clown lover you.

  201. Trey Le Parc
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    H&J: I don’t know which one is Herb and which one is Jamaal, but the one depicted today has a mouth that looks like an angry ass about to explode with non-specific fecality.

  202. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#200): Do I love clowns? A clown once took a thorn out of my paw.

    No, wait. That wasn’t me. Never mind. I guess I don’t like clowns.
    Clowns are evilscarymerciless. Yeah, baby! Sock it to the clowns!
    Give ‘em an enema in every orifice but where you’re suppose to and where you’re suppose to give an enema cram a badger.

  203. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    Luann: I wonder what Brad’s reaction will be when he pulls off Toni’s prosthetic leg?

  204. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:52 pm [Reply]

    Snuf’: Tell me gals. How many of you can touch your knees with your boobs while sitting without leaning forward?

  205. gnome de blog
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#203): Willie Garvin’s girlfriend had a prosthetic leg. If it’s good enough for Willie, it ought to be good enough for Brad.

  206. Jamus The Bartender
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    9CL: This is simply disgraceful….Edda is humiliating poor Seth,mocking a trying time in his life, and…..mmm….cheerleader……

  207. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:11 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#206): Edda as a cheerleader? That’s ridiculous. That’s insane. That’s….mmm….cheerleader….

  208. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#205): Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin. Now that’s what a serial strip is all about.

  209. Jamus The Bartender
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:22 pm [Reply]

    Luann: You know, Alison Bechdel drew a beautiful sequence in Dykes To Watch Out For when Mo and her new girlfriend ( Harriet? That sounds right…) made love for the first time.
    I’m not expecting Brad and Toni to do that well.

  210. ElkMeadow
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 pm [Reply]

    I forgot who posted, but I agree that that telephone by Kelly Welly is going to ring, and Cherry is going to learn that Mark is in the shower and Kelly is waiting for him.

  211. Jim North
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:44 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#206): @Jamus The Bartender (#206): Focus, you two! Focus! This is a very serious offense to all…mmm…cheerleader…

  212. dale
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#184):

    A quick scan of JUMBLE told me PLAY, PIANO, and PIPER weren’t going to work.
    The 4th word wasn’t immediately obvious.

    Looking at it now: If people will agree that MILFY is a word, the circled letters will work.

  213. Earthgirl
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    Only in Herb & Jamaal would a chat room be referred to as “these online talk rooms.”

  214. Walker of Dog
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    @dale (#212): I’m picking up a sadistic, Mommie-Dearest vibe from the angry piano-mother, so I imagine the boy was forced to |L|I|C|K| the |B|E|N|C|H|.

  215. This Guy
    December 3rd, 2010 at 12:16 am [Reply]

    @Earthgirl (#213): It’s better than the original line “this new means of long-distance communication that’s been so popular lately.”

  216. Jess
    December 3rd, 2010 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    I just thought to myself, “Ooh! I haven’t read today’s Mary Worth yet!” As usual, I blame Josh… but seriously, this is the best plot since Aldo Kelrast!

    IRL, we would soon discover that Jill has a secret crush on the bride or groom… Since this is Mary Worth, however, we’ll discover two Fridays from now that Jill once had a relationship that ended badly or something equally disappointing. :(

  217. Baka Gaijin
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:01 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#202): Thaaaaat’s more like it!

  218. Alison
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:04 am [Reply]

    Unbelievable how “LuAnn” seems to revolve around the (totally non-adventurous) adventures of Brad nowadays. When I was maybe ten years old, my mom randomly bought me a book of “LuAnn” strips. Back when LuAnn was a curly-headed ugly chick (those things do not go hand-in-hand, but in her case they did), Brad was hardly ever seen. I recall a strip about him eating ice cream and that’s about it. Now this strip might as well be called “The Brad n’ Toni Strip” instead of “LuAnn”.

  219. Sgt. Stoned
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:05 am [Reply]

    MW: 5 seconds in Jill’s arms, and Dr. Jeff’s graying temples have turned back to brown! Hey, Jeff, tell “Granma” Worth to go take a hike. You have found your fountain of youth.

    MT: If worse comes to shove, at least Mark knows where he can find a cheap diamond for Kelly Welly. Or for Cherry.

  220. dale
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#214):

    It does look like the kid is in deep shit. I have a hard time getting my eyes to focus all the parts of the picture into the correct perspective.

    Given the words, I can form “SMELL the SEAT”.

  221. cheech wizard
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:28 am [Reply]

    You know, I think the third panel in today’s Luann was actually designed as a MAD fold-in. Try it – it makes a lot more sense that way.

  222. Stu
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    @Just some guy (#187): I’m sorta with you on this one.

  223. yahtzee
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    “Slash” fiction only applies to same-sex romantic/sexual fanfic, so Brad and Toni don’t count. Unless Brad’s about to take that massage a little higher and discover Toni’s got the biggest secret on the comics page –

  224. Ed Dravecky
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:44 am [Reply]

    Please tell me I was not the only one who spent 30 seconds wondering how Mike & Fejf slipped “MILFY” into Thursday’s Jumble without the syndicate noticing. (And, yes, the answer still works if you use “MILFY”.)

  225. CanuckDownSouth
    December 3rd, 2010 at 1:49 am [Reply]

    @yahtzee (#223): Nope, it seems that term is developing. As Josh pointed out in #156, it’s now used for all kinds of non-canonical pairings. I’ve seen plenty of hetero Potterverse “slash” allusions on other boards, for instance. Not that I plan to write any Mary Worth fanfic, but Jill/Jeff would be great fun for what it would do to string-him-along Mary. She might be so upset she’d get into a modern T-shirt and nuke a frozen meal again!

  226. Hank
    December 3rd, 2010 at 2:19 am [Reply]

    Josh, I love you man, but you gotta stop being a Euro-weenie girly man. That isn’t a beret, it’s a driving cap or Ivy Cap.

  227. Dev_chieftain
    December 3rd, 2010 at 4:04 am [Reply]

    As far as I know, “slash fiction” frequently refers to same-gender hookups in fanfiction so your comments about it have transformed the Brad/Toni relationship into something truly hilarious for me. Personally, I think Toni is a GREAT tranny name. At least now I know why “she” wears turtlenecks all the time!

  228. Sheila Sternwell
    December 3rd, 2010 at 4:57 am [Reply]

    CanuckDownSouth is right, though; a lot of people online think of slash as being any fanfic with sexy times in it. Back in my day, slash was same sex and fanfic was hetero sexy times. There was also fan writing that was just some story without any sexy times, but no one read that, of course.

    Also, I demand goods and services with “I AM THE KING OF SCREEN REPAIR” emblazoned upon them.

  229. Readem and Laf
    December 3rd, 2010 at 5:36 am [Reply]

    MT – That’s not Kelly, that’s Rusty in drag!
    Cue music from the shower scene in “Psycho.”

  230. dale
    December 3rd, 2010 at 5:51 am [Reply]

    @Sheila Sternwell (#228):

    Any goods and services? banking, legal, medical, “personal”

    You think Gil‘s camp is Lutheran? Hello, Cody.

  231. Mr O'Malley
    December 3rd, 2010 at 6:50 am [Reply]

    A-3G: Will Iris find love with the cabbie who provides those op-ed columnists with all his pithy epigrams?

    Luann: Time for Mrs. DeGroot to barge in!

  232. Mr O'Malley
    December 3rd, 2010 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#173): I particularly liked the part about Jackson Pollock!

  233. Ned Ryerson
    December 3rd, 2010 at 7:37 am [Reply]

    Even though I couldn’t see it in what’s been drawn, today’s Luann suggests that Brad got some under pant leg action during the calf rub. That’s hot!!

  234. Dan
    December 3rd, 2010 at 8:19 am [Reply]

    12/3 – Hey, someone’s finally kickin’ some ass in the Spider Man strip! Let’s see, is it Spidey? Of course not. It’s The Thing. He never sits around thinking, watching TV, or worrying about revealing his secret identity. He just let’s loose with clobbering time! Way more exciting.

    Speaking of exciting, how about some cross-over strips like the comic books used to do:

    The Thing Vs. Mark Trail – That would be a pretty equally matched punching match.

    The Thing Vs. Margo – Poor Ben Grimm

    Spiderman Vs. Brad – the suicide rate skyrockets as we watch two pathetic emasculated losers whine in front of their women.

    Mary Worth and Mrs. Degroot team up to handle the “Toni situation.”

    Hagar steals a puffy-looking tank from Beetle Baily and goes on a pizza run to Montoni’s, guns blazing.

  235. Mela
    December 3rd, 2010 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    After a long, unwanted hiatus (by me at least), I am back with new, weaker snark.

    A3G: This strip turned into “Aunt Iris Flirts with Random New Yorkers” so gradually, it managed to escape the wrath of Margo. Shame, really.

    Curtis: I’ll leave it to the cleverer ones here to think of appropriately nastier variations of “PYT”. I know something is out there that’s infinitely better than “tapir” (really?), but I am blanking.

    Edge: Who wants to bet money Grandma Rose worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory?

    GA: Two things. First, the best gift you can give a 110-year-old is the sweet release of death. Second, if the only person giving you gifts is yourself, then you are officially too sad to live.

    Luann: You’ll both slit your throats with your razors? Please?
    Oh, and I always thought “slash fiction” meant porn of any stripe. This is clearly for the “naughty bits are icky” crowd.

    MW: I hope they serve dinner soon, too. Jill needs some nice, scalding hot projectiles to throw at the groom.

    PBS: Okay, I’m about to give this strip one helluva compliment. Very, VERY few strips can do topical well without shoving their characters & humor to the door; the last one I can think of that succeeded (in my eyes) was “Bloom County” back in its 80s heyday. With this “totally about the gulf oil spill but not” storyline where the characters are still themselves and it’s just dated enough, Pastis is coming admirably close to that standard.

    Popeye: Or you’ll be dead, you spiteful jealous shrew. (Seriously, what the hell does he see in her?)

    RiR: The darker side of the Gumbo household – mess with the thermostat and get beaten with a broom handle.

    6Chix: Ha, ha! It’s funny cuz of the computers and the backup and the glaven!

    Zits: Jeremy took this opportunity to move out, change his name, and leave his mother to wallow forever in memories of a son who had only existed in her Jocastan imagination. The End.

  236. James D.
    December 3rd, 2010 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    GA: Virgin blood to keep Walt alive a few more years?

    MT: (Unseen panel) I know I have the wrong number. You’re a girl, and Mark told me he can’t stand girls because they have cooties.

  237. tb4000
    December 3rd, 2010 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    Luann: “So if you really want to thank me…”

    Inserting anything but the phrase “you’ll kiss me” here would be the norm for most 20-something dudes. And yet….

  238. The Epstones
    December 3rd, 2010 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Friday’s Luann: Toni reports she has shaved her legs, and doofus Brad counters that he just shaved his face. OMG! Brad wants Toni to thank him by wrapping her legs around his face! Don’t look at tomorrow’s comic! Ewww!

  239. Roktober
    December 3rd, 2010 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    “Lady I’m going to tell you what I tell everyone who asks me that question…’What’s fellatio?’”…”Hmm I may have done that wrong.”

  240. yahtzee
    December 3rd, 2010 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#225): The term is being more widely heard outside of fanfic communities, which leads to more misunderstanding/misuse. But to people who write/read fanfic regularly, the meaning is clear. Don’t believe me? Try posting in a Potterfic slash community with your Harry/Ginny story and see how it goes over.

  241. Z
    December 4th, 2010 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    so where do I buy the Luann underground comic? the one that shows her and Brad having intercourse and talking about how good it feels? don’t judge me.

  242. ElkMeadow
    December 4th, 2010 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    Man, for once Curtis has a great idea! I would love to wear some of that glow-in-the-dark cream to the next Twilight or Harry Potter movie or to any CGI movie! Go babysitting and scare the kiddies! Dress in white and haunt the city cemetary!

  243. tymime
    December 7th, 2010 at 5:38 am [Reply]

    Actually, I’m certain that if I were massaging an attractive woman’s calf, I’d get turned on too. I would be holding a woman’s leg, and making her feel good. What more do you want? :P

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