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Out of the past

Zits, 12/13/10

CHAD! For those of you who haven’t, say, read Zits for the strip’s entire 13-year run, or who don’t walk around with trivia about newspaper comic strips in your heads, “Chad” is Jeremy’s college-attending older brother, who hasn’t been mentioned in this strip since, uh, pretty much the entire time I’ve been doing the blog, so, you know, six-plus years. Apparently he stopped writing to or calling his parents and they sort of forgot about him,. I’m sure the strip’s dozens of uberfans are thrilled at Chad’s un-Chuck Cunninghamization, and its millions of casual readers are spending a few seconds blinking in confusion (“Chad? Isn’t his name Jeremy? Isn’t Jeremy in high school?”) before moving on to Marmaduke.

Funky Winkerbean, 12/13/10

A much more unsettling seemingly vanished character makes contact in today’s Funky Winkerbean. So, what do we have here? Is Les having a psychotic break and believes his dead wife is airport-paging him from beyond the grave? Has one of the overeager fans we’ve been seeing on his book tour incomprehensibly fallen in love with him/otherwise gone crazy and decided to assume his dead wife’s identity? Is someone that he’s screwed over on his rise to the top (for certain very limited definitions of “top”) playing a cruel mind game? Is this just some person who happens to be named Lisa who needs to get a hold of him quickly for some reason? The answer, of course, will be determined by which of these scenarios can be made most cruel.

Apartment 3-G, 12/13/10

“Damn it, I could have gotten some money, and all I got was a kiss from a dumb girl! Stupid, stupid, stupid!”

277 responses to “Out of the past”

  1. zenvelo
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    Josh, I am sorry to tell you, Les has never been a “top”; never ever ever.

  2. Krazy Kat
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    Did anyone else hear swelling strings when they got to the second panel in A3G?

  3. TheDiva
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: Come on, ladies, run with it. With his history, it’s a blessing Cranky didn’t suggest live candles on the tree this year.

    DT: It’s finally happened. The action in Dick Tracy slowed down so much that the strip has entered a Groundhog Day-esque time loop.

    FW: Suicidal Susan has finally snapped, I see.

    Luann: Luann, you are not six years old. You can use an oven without Mommy or Daddy helping. Make your own fucking cookies.

    MT: “I cut the phone lines. Now it’s just you and me, Mark…”

    MW: Mary: “Nothing, hmmm? I take that as a challenge!”

    SM: And the rest of the week is Spidey snickering over the name “Melvin.”

    Zits: Connie and Walt (I think that’s their names) deal with the possibility that their firstborn is lying dead in a gutter they way they deal with everything child-related: with mild annoyance.

    Also, Josh, you should know by now that all TVTropes links are legally required to carry a Surgeon General’s warning.

  4. Matt
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    Though I would miss it, part of me wishes this were the last Funky Winkerbean strip ever, and it concluded on a strange, sad, horrifying cliffhanger, never to be resolved.

  5. Ed Dravecky
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    Chad is back in Zits? Seriously? I now eagerly await Lyman’s return to Garfield. “Thanks for looking after Odie, Jon. The drive-thru at Burger King was super-slow. Did I miss anything?”

  6. Zork The Mighty
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    “Just kidding, Les, it’s Wally. So, you gonna pass by the grocery store any time soon? That raisin toast ain’t gonna buy itself!”

  7. Jess
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    FW: “No, the white phone…”

  8. Ed Dravecky
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    Les: your dead wife is not the only woman to ever have the first name “Lisa”. Given your improbable luck, this is Lisa Simpson inviting you to star in a multi-episode story arc on The Simpsons. (Spoiler alert: everybody gets throat cancer so FOX can replace the expensive voice actors with low-paid imitators.)

  9. UnknownEric
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    Zits: Clearly her mother never warned her about her face getting stuck that way…

    A3G: And the strings swell as the lack of passion in that kiss causes speed lines to fly out above their heads, hopefully causing something heavy to fall back on them in an amusing cause-and-effect.

  10. Zork The Mighty
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#8): Like anyone can tell the diddily-ifference.

  11. Perky Bird
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    I hate airports. If I ever find myself sitting in an airport and getting a page from someone I know is dead, I will come to only one conclusion: I, myself, have died and gone to Hell. Especially if the dead caller is a Funky Winkerbean character.

  12. els
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    I’ve never noticed before just how much Connie’s mouth resembles that of a blow-up doll, but now I do, and now I’m sad. And creeped out. And, frankly, hugely disappointed in myself.

  13. Patrick
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    What a forward-thinking Apartment 3-G, with the guest appearance by a love-struck Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi making out in Panel 2!

  14. Mac
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    Chad and Jeremy? Lame. Whether you mean the pop duo or Zits characters.

  15. Ed Dravecky
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    There’s no joke in today’s Crankshaft, just a couple of women angry at Ed for suggesting a popular type of artificial tree. “How dare you suggest style, convenience, and safety! Now get out in the snow with an axe and chop down a real tree, hilariously injuring yourself or causing an explosion!”

  16. Terry in Maryland
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    Phantom: The Narrator is trying to rewrite history already so Kit seems more noble.

  17. Digger
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    A3-G: Yes, Paul, you did forget something. You forgot to tell your barber that you’re not a woman.

    FW: Hopefully what’s happening here is that the ghost of Lisa is angered by Les exploiting her death for profit, so she’s decided to torment him with eerie phone calls. By the time this is over, Les will be wishing he was the one who got the cancer.

  18. Scott Bot
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    A3G – ‘Gee, I don’t have any money to pay the bill…is there any other way I can pay you?’ Good Lord, I’m seeing porn scene setups in A3G – I think I need help.

    DT – re Sunday’s Crimestopper’s Textbook: I’m 47, and I do this all the time when strangers try to talk to me. It really gets the way of my job as a customer service rep, though.

  19. bats :[
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    I figured that the Chad discussion would open up the Cunninghamization (forward and backward) of awkward, uninteresting characters — how could it not? Still, I prefer to focus on current, awkward, uninteresting characters.

    And for those preferring a bit of a Yuletime slugfest

  20. Dennis Jimenez
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    A3G – I was thinking his fly was probably down….

  21. Calico
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    @Patrick (#13):
    Wow, good call!
    Go, girls, go! : D

  22. Calico
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    @Mac (#14):
    Are those the dudes that do that whistling song that is oh so sweet but eventually turns into a nightmarish earworm?

  23. Zork The Mighty
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    Is this going to turn out to be the Funkyverse’s answer to Pam catching Bobby Ewing in the shower?

  24. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    Eek! I laughed at Crock today.

    Have I gone the way of George Bailey? Clarence? Is that you?

  25. Jim North
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    AG3: Dah-yumn! That kiss is so hot, they both had to turn slightly away from each other so that nothing inappropriate might end up touchin- I mean, because of the intense passionate heat!

    DT: “As long as we don’t run up on any unexpected problems – like, say, four cars with flat tires blocking our route – we should be fine. Ha ha! Boy, wouldn’t it be a hoot if that was what actually happened?”

    FW: PIME TARADOX!

    GT: I . . . I gotta plead ignorance here. What the hell is a “forward-to-forward call”?

    MT: “Cherry will never understand why you are in my room! Boys and girls can’t just be friends who visit each other on occasion, because girls are icky!”

    MW: Jebus cripes! She’s like a meddle ninja, popping up outta nowhere to meddle you right in the back when you’re not looking!

    S-M: Okay, Spider-Man writers, to your credit, this is a trick I can see Mole Man pulling on the Thing and have it actually work. But his name still isn’t Melvin, dammit!

  26. Calico
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#22):
    OK, I just answered my own question…it’s actually Peter, Bjorn, & John…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51V1VMkuyx0

  27. bats :[
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Jess (#7): “Les…it’s me…Leslie Nielsen! But that’s not important right now…”

  28. yuudai
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    Speaking of established details that I’d completely forgotten about because of lack of interest: Les’ full name is ‘Les Moore’?

    Now that’s talent. Without even stating the joke, FW has managed to make me groan out loud because I just KNOW that at SOME point they’ve made a god-awful “Less is more”-pun out of it.

  29. Amateur
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

  30. JD
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    If Lisa’s phone call is a prelude to Les’ plane crashing on a mysterious island I’ll fucking shoot myself.

  31. Dan
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    Aw, he’s an idiot! I think these two crazy kids are gonna turn out just fine.

  32. wossname
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    A3G – Didn’t Paul have mustard-yellow hair last week? Since that’s the only way we can tell the young guys apart in this strip, nuances of hair color are important.

    FW – Lisa was reanimated and is now a zombie. (If she wants brains brains brains, she’s calling the wrong guy.)

    GA – OK, Mrs. Wallet is clearly a rude bitch of deGrootian stature. But why doesn’t her daughter call her on it?

    Doonesbury – could somebody remind me where/how Mel and the idiot crossed paths before?

    GT – At first glance, I thought a “forward-to-forward” call must be some new technology known only to these kids today with their iPhones and their texting and their Pacebook. Then I thought maybe Kayla and the caller are both forwards on some Mudlarks/Lady Mudlarks teams. Is that the point? And how am I going to get back the five minutes I spent thinking about it?

    PBS – I was so sure that “Father Gus” was going to figure into one of Pastis’ insane puns that I tried to guess what it would be before reading the other panels. And that’s two more minutes I’ll never get back.

    Sly – Oh come on, this is Count Weirdly we’re talking about! He just listened at the door while the media boneheads came up with the number. The more important question is, what’s that thing peeking over the edge of the stage?

  33. Sophie
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    Normally, I would be disturbed by the incestuous implications of how similar Luann and this fellow Paul look, but then I realized: he can’t possibly be related to her, as he is not wearing a neckerchief. Now let us ponder the far more horrifying insinuation of Adrian’s Electra complex over on Mary Worth.

  34. Ed Dravecky
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    Yes, Mark Trail, good luck explaining anything to your wife and soulmate! She’ll never believe the simple, obvious truth until six to eight weeks of pointless hijinks ensue.

  35. Mr. Goboto
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    G&BI: “And by ‘visions of sugarplums,” I mean ‘mescaline-Vicodin cocktails.’”

    S4th: Am I the only one who hopes Hil and Faye get married someday?

  36. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    FW: Don’t discount the possibility that Lisa is spearheading the zombie apocalypse. Although it would be unusual for death in Winkerbean to be that quick and fun.

    A3G: Paul is an idiot? Maybe they do have a future together.

    BB: Ah, the laughing club! Where buck privates and NCO’s can get together and pass around an open can of housepaint, breathing deeply all the while.

    S-M: “How about if we keep picking on Melvin, but we do it really half assed?”

    M-Dawg: “I don’t know how to tell you this, Mrs Winslow, but you appear to be pregnant with some kind of bat-serpent-puppy… hybrid… thing. And there’s a pentagram on your uterus.”

  37. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    JP: “I wonder what’s wrong with Sophie? Hmmm…. How could we possibly find out? I know: I’ll put it on Marie’s to-do list for today. Note to Marie: Ask Sophie what’s bothering her.”

    SM: You know, Stan, I’m not sure it’s wise to shine a spotlight on the repetitive, meaningless agonistic rituals of your trade. Even MJ seems to be realizing, “Uh, yeah, this is pretty dumb.”

    MT: I love the way the “Good luck with that” dialogue balloon comes from off-panel—sort of a faceless Greek-chorus of sarcasm.

    MW: Wow, suspense! How will Mary have time to sober up Jill and meddle her into compliance before tomorrow’s wedding? She’ll have to meddle blood chemistry and time both—but surely her dark powers are equal to the task.

    And that’s quite the look of determination on Adrian’s face in the second panel: “As god is my witness, I’ll never be single again!”

    A3G: And so Luann discovers that one can take care of financial obligations with sex. Meet Luann Powers, Kiss Whore.

    FC: I’m imagining what Grandma’s Santa letter would say, “Dear Santa, For the love of god, just get me moved up on that waiting list at Leisure World.”

  38. Ellie
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    MW- Yes, indeedy, we can tell how bad Scott felt for Jill by the way he called a cab and left her alone, reeling drunkenly in the alley.

    And I don’t know about anybody else, but I can’t tell the difference between Jeff and Scott anymore..

  39. OneMan
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    It turns out this Lisa is going to sue Less for stealing her story. So any of the money, joy success that has come about due to the book is going to sucked out of the English teacher like always happens.

    or

    Somehow this ends up relating to band turkeys or one of the other band stories that appear for a week when they writer runs out of bad stuff to happen to a group of friends in a small Ohio town.

  40. Dr. Horrible
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    Since TVTropes is the cocaine of the internet, does this make you a pusher?

  41. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Wait. Isn’t wedding china usually a gift from other people? You wouldn’t have paid anything for it yourself.

    Except maybe in Pluggerland you would get a teacup and a small plate from your friends and you had to go out and purchase the rest of the set. Never mind. Plugger friends are cheap.

  42. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#y72): Don’t feel too much shame: I didn’t get it until you just explained it here. And yes, I have been thinking about it.

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#y115): I’m about to submit my final grades, and then I’m going to the mall to ask Santa for a hovercorgi!

    @wossname (#32): re: Mel and the idiot—Weren’t they on some transport helicopter together? Or was it in the hangar where she worked? They spoke briefly, I think, but there was some foreshadowing for a future encounter.

  43. kirby
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    Zits: I don’t know what’s more disturbing: The fact that Chad’s parents completely forgot about him, or that so far he’s taken over 6 years to finish a bachelors in business and a nonexistent minor.

  44. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#37):

    MT: I love the way the “Good luck with that” dialogue balloon comes from off-panel—sort of a faceless Greek-chorus of sarcasm.

    I like the idea of having a Greek-chorus in Mark Trail. It would be like the time Craig Ferguson had one on his show and they kept pointing out Craig’s shortcomings.

    But then, I guess this blog kind of acts like a Greek-chorus for any and all the comics!

  45. Mibbitmaker
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#19): Mark Trail: “Hey! Who let Woody Wilson in here?!! Jeez, with a name like ‘Woody’, something like this was bound to happen! At least I can count on good ol’ Rusty to put things in perspective!”

  46. Jim North
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#32): RE: “forward-to-forward” – Oh gawd, that is what that means, isn’t it? I thought learning was supposed to make you feel smarter, but I now feel dumber just for knowing that. I think Thorp needs to make up for it with some confusingly plotted and drawn “forward-on-forward” action.

  47. MarkTwail
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Paul and Luann get their hair done at the same place. And whatever stuff that place puts on their hair seems to seep down and liquify parts of their brains in exactly the same way. They’d be great together except I don’t think they could handle the addition to make a couple.

  48. Calico
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#41):
    Plugger China=Melamine

  49. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#44): I sort of felt as though Anonymous Dialogue Balloon was speaking for us. But if we ever get full visual Greek chorus representation in MT, I’d like to be depicted as a giant chipmunk.

  50. commodorejohn
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    A&J – No, no, you can wait. Take all the time you need.

    BB – Okay, who leaked nitrous oxide into Beetle Bailey?

    C&B – I. LOVE. THIS. STRIP.

    Crock – iwillnottrytocomprehendiwillnottrytocomprehendthatwayliesmadness

    DT – Wha…YOU ALREADY LEFT. I KNOW DICK TRACY RUNS ON SOME KIND OF OVERLAPPING, NON-LINEAR TIME, BUT THIS IS JUST UNACCEPTABLE.

    FW – I’m praying that this indicates Les has finally snapped, because the look on his face when Summer has him committed will be just priceless. Alternatively, it would be pretty damn hilarious if this were actually Summer on the phone, pretending to be her mother because she hates her dad as much as we do.

    GT – Uh, wait, what? New storyline? But it’s been three days; shouldn’t Jamaar have risen from the dead?

    JP – Maybe Abbey’s return to, uh, prominence is making her jealous? Don’t worry, Sophie, in this strip it’s only a matter of time.

    Liō – Yes.

    MT – Hahaha, this is what I love about Kelly. Her aggressive cluelessness and lack of concern for the consequences of absolutely anything she does mix amusingly with the really, really buttoned-down, starched-stiff attitudes of basically everybody else, many villains included. It’s like those stories where a quirky stranger comes to town and wins over the hearts of all the squares, except that this particular stranger ran over a dog and accidentally burned down the bowling alley.

    MW – Appropriate that Mary should choose to reenact that one Brain Damage poster.

    Phantom – You know, the interludes with Lee Falk have always been kind of amusing, but having him stand out on the street and address the viewer while passersby stare at the crazy man talking to nobody is downright hilarious.

    SF – Haha, it’s been officially acknowledged. Now maybe Faye can stop living in the basement and get a proper bedroom.

    SM – “Spider-sense” hardly counts, Ben. You ever seen it in action?

  51. yellojkt
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    Because the Funkiverse is not grim and despairing enough, we have crossed over into A Beautiful Mind territory.

  52. yellojkt
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#5): Comment of the year.

  53. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    Luann tries to edge up gently to the topic of the little Australian bun in her oven.

  54. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Goboto (#35): nope!

    with any luck, Marcie will be the presiding minister. . . . .

  55. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    Jumble: “When The Amazing Lipto put a ferat down his pants, his dinkly got a bit of a tiflle.”

  56. Chyron HR
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth Recap

    Jill: Half of all marriages end in divorce!
    Dr. Cory: We shouldn’t have to deal with her problems, whatever they are.
    Jill: Adrian, don’t rush into marriage with a man you barely know–AGAIN!
    Adrian: I don’t know why she’s against my marrying Scott!
    Jill: Also, the shrimp smells a little off! I wouldn’t eat any!
    Scott: Go away, crazy woman! Nobody understands your bag lady language!

  57. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    MT: “And I don’t understand why you’re in my room either. And why does Cherry keep coming in my room? I built her a very nice hutch of her own.”

  58. TheDiva
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#50): re: FW: I will happily endorse this if Les can be locked up in the same assisted care facility that will eventually house Crankshaft. To paraphrase Jane Austen, their personalities would become their mutual punishment.

  59. whozitwhatzit
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    Crank: Maybe it’s just my dirty mind, but in panel one, it looks like his sheepish suggestion for a threesome got shot down.

  60. Larry McAwful
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    “Les… It’s me… Lisa. Now that you’ve met someone else—or two someone elses, or whatever it is that you’re doing—I just wanted to call to let you know that I’ve met someone else, too. Do you remember John Darling?”

  61. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    @whozitwhatzit (#59): Probably could gotten his way if he hadn’t insisted on including a fiber-optic christmas tree.

  62. Poor Thompson
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Zits: Chad has shown up/been mentioned in the past few years, but only briefly and very rarely. I remember a funny “appearance” where Connie says to Jeremy “Wasn’t it nice seeing your brother again for a whole week?” and Jeremy is shocked, because he was so absorbed in texting and listening to his ipod that he didn’t know Chad was home. There was also an unitentionally funny “We wish our readers a Merry Christmas” panel from two or three years back that showed the family (including Chad) in front of the Christmas tree. I remember laughing at the thought that 99% of the strip’s readers would be very confused as to who the other guy in the picture was.

  63. Zork The Mighty
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    @Dr. Horrible (#40): This might be a bad time to reveal the identity of the mysterious troper “DuckDuckNoose”. Ah, well.

  64. LogopolisMike
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    FW: You know how (spoiler alert) at the end of Peter Pan, you’re supposed to clap so Tinkerbell comes back to life. I wonder if this would affect comic strip plots. Because, if so, let me be the first to lead the chant towards Funky Winkerbean:
    “Gaslight! Gaslight! Gaslight!” Seriously, if somebody isn’t cruelly fucking with Les, then I’ll be as disappointed as… someone from that strip.

    GT: So, creators of Gil Thorp, I’ll accept an cross dressing assistant coach, I’ll accept an alcoholic radio personality whose sole purpose seems to be attempting to crush high school athletes, I’ll accept a lot of things. But I won’t accept that you exist in a universe where Project Runway exists.

    (Also, who watches reality show re-runs? No wonder the kids in Mudville or wherever are so into sports and drugs and having scary looking faces.)

  65. Mibbitmaker
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Well, Paul, if you get all apologetic and feel mistaken in your actions while LuAnn is essentially flirting with you over it, then, yes, you are an idiot!

    BBailey: You know what would really be great? Something to laugh at! No chance of that happening.

    Curtis: You will be.

    DT: “Oh, by the way, nice mustache, Sheriff! *snkr*”

    Dilbert: You didn’t say “blog”! Nyah-nyah!

    FW: Heh heh heh heh heh heh hehyYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHRRRGH!!!!!

    MT: The cornerstone of a healthy marriage is suspicion. In pop culture, that is!

    MW: Hey, Jill Black, it’s condescension now! Get away from those pod people and never look back, you crazy lady!

    Phantom: Uh, somebody didn’t tell Undead Lee Falk that the narration declared this storyline essentially over now. AWK-warrrrrrrrd! — though, frankly, I don’t blame him!

    Zits: “Getting annoyed and judgmental about Jeremy all the time is getting boring! ….I know — Let’s pick on Chad for a while…”

    Next on Phantom: One of the ruffians in the last panel today, seeing Falk, says, “Hey, youse guys! Looka da fancy pants over dere!” The other replies, “Yeah! Let’s GET ‘im!!” And they beat him into submission.

  66. AndyL
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @JD (#30): Are you kiding. A castaway storyline would be the best thing that happened to the strip.

    What would be horrible is some sort of “Room for one more” style story where Les is warned from beyond the grave not to board a particular plane. (The other passengers apparently not having dead relatives that love them.)

  67. whozitwhatzit
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    @One-eyed Wolfdog (#61): Ahh, true. Guess times have changed since old Crankshaft last tried to get a nice orgy going.

  68. mollificent
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    FW: Oh, per l’amore di Pietro…

    A&J: Hey, better tame fanservice than no fanservice at all!

    @bats :[ (#19): “O mystical berries! What is in my wallet?” I LOL’d. Big time. You’re the best. :)

    @Amateur (#29): I second that emphatically! Bats :[, you are on fire today!

  69. Jessy
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    Zits: The kids are named “Chad and Jeremy”? Srsly?

  70. Pseudo3D
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    This whole storyline in FW still can be compatible with my theory that Les’s two girlfriends are playing a mean trick on him, using low-paid extras in San Diego and Houston to gush about his books in strange ways, etc.

    Now that Les is deluded into thinking his book is popular, time to move onto Phase 2: making him go mad!

    My second theory is that Lisa never died: driven mad by Les, she decided to pay another woman who looked like her but was terminally ill with cancer. For the last few years, Lisa skipped town and was happy. But Les’s book would cause bad things to happen to Lisa, so she decided to call him.

    Third theory: this week leads up to a Gainax Ending for Les. The caller really IS Lisa, even though she really did die. She promises him that everything will be okay. Les boards a plane bound for Ohio, but the plane inexplicably crashes.

    Les awakens in a dark void. When he comes to, he is his high school self.

    The final strip, which runs on Sunday, shows Les and his friends (all high school aged) in the white void. There is no dialogue. Funky holds up an empty bottle of pills. Becky is waving a gun. Holly has rope marks on her neck.

    Masky McDeath comes. Everyone smiles.

  71. professor fate
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    FW: Oh no She’s alive. Now I have to track her down and killer her. I have no choice. Otherwise they will cancel the book tour. They will take the book out of print and make me go on news shows to applogize. No! I won’t! I HAVE TASTED FAME AND WILL NOT GO BACK!!!!. LISA MUST DIE!!!!!!!

    Actually i’m sure it’s just a typical lame batiuk fake out – it’s somebody else named Lisa who wants the movie rights or something. And really even it was ten years gone wouldn’t Les recoginze his wife’s voice?

  72. odinthor
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    Apt. 3-G. — Y’know, when I want another kiss, they always present me with a bill instead. Sigh.

    MW. — Stop mugging for the camera, Mary. It’s highly unprofessional and your fellow actors will hate you.

    PMP. — Win.

    Retail. — Ha ha! It’s funny because her real name is Edwina van Schluss, and she lives at 4769 Billingsgate Avenue with her parents Myrtle and Ned van Schluss! However, it is true that her father’s name is Gary Trumen.

  73. Kinghasnoclothes
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps Lisa has possessed an airport white phone like Ann Southern possessed a Model T in “My Mother the Car.” That means loyal Les will have to spend his remaining years in that airport. This is the only scenario that makes any sense.

  74. The Modesto Kid
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    I have never read Zits. Are the names of the brothers a reference to Chad & Jeremy, one of the many 60′s singer-songwriter acts who were not Simon & Garfunkel?

  75. Jim North
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    It’s obviously Lisa’s identical twin sister, also named Lisa because like everyone else in the Winkerverse, their parents were smug cruelty-spewing assholes. The only relief that Other-Lisa has from the unending torment in her life is that they both died of leprosy years ago.

  76. dale
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    Agnes

    Jamarr was an athlete at Milford High School.
    He thought everybody liked him.
    Jamarr was wrong.

    The End

  77. Walker of Dog
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    FW: “No, dammit, I said the WHITE courtesy phone. That’s eggshell. The eggshell phone is only for people getting GOOD news. Now move along. Lisa out!”

    A3G: Money for nothing and your chicks for free.

    MT: The joke’s on you, Kelly. Since your last encounter with Mark, he has learned to dial the telephone: “Don’t need luck, Kelly! I just pick up this handle-thing and push these squares with writing on them and – ooh, a tic-tac-toe button!”

    Phan: The stevedores don’t look too happy, now that all the bellowed turqoise exposition has driven away the dockwalkers.

    S-M: Could we please get some longer shorts for the Thing? With all this rough-housing, I’m concerned about an unwelcome appearance of Bam-Bam and Pebbles.

  78. Jamus The Bartender
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    @Zork The Mighty (#23): If I have to see ANYONE in the Funkyverse in the shower, that’s when I start writing letters to the editor.

  79. bats :[
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#37): re MT: this could only have been better to have seen Mark’s teeth gritted together.
    (“Must. Stay. Strong. Like. Grizzly!”)

  80. Zork The Mighty
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    @Jim North (#75): In the Funkyverse, leprosy was actually the cause of the childhood death of Jesus. Oh, dramatic irony is a cruel mistress indeed.

  81. Zork The Mighty
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#78): So I take it you didn’t enjoy the hot semi-nude-Crankshaft-on-scale action last week?

  82. Mark B
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    Zits: The kids are named “Chad and Jeremy”? Srsly?

    If they had girls, they would have named them Tegan and Sara. Oh wait, that’s gonna be Chad’s kids.

  83. Uncle Lumpy
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:21 pm [Reply]

    Somebody please also tell undead Lee Falk that he’s not black. I mean, sure, white man’s burden ‘n’ all, but you gotta draw a line, pal.

    And alas, folks who read their comics in alphabetic order can’t simply move on from Zits to Marmaduke — for them, Zits is the end of the line, here to spare us from a day-long sour taste of Zippy the Pinhead.

  84. bats :[
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#50): re JP: Yup.

    @One-eyed Wolfdog (#53): ewwwwwww.

    @Jessy (#69): yeah. Seriously. I went and looked them up, in the event I was having a Keane Moment and disremembering somethin’.

  85. Pseudo3D
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    I’m now convinced that DT’s first name was a nickname on how he acts a lot of the time.

  86. terrapin
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    Luann-Poor Luann. Every Christmas she wishes that Nancy will do something that real mothers do. Poor Luann.

    FC-Don’t be silly Dolly. You can’t write! Now go get Grandma’s gin bottle.

  87. bunivasal
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    A man named Les answering a white courtesy phone in an airport. There’s an Airplane! joke in there somewhere, but it’s far too tasteless to find. The man died a week ago, Batuik.

  88. Calico
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#65):
    Re: Zits, I have never seen two such totally switched-off spawn in the comics as these zombies.
    Rusty, Mike Patterfoob, and the Keane clan are stupid, yes, but they are always desperately trying to glean attention and stay in the “lamelight.”

  89. Jamus The Bartender
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#77): Worry not, Walker. In his wisdom, when Reed Richards , the Chuck Norris ™ of super scientists invented Unstable Molecules ™, he included a function that would allow “Bam Bam and Pebbles” to stay safe and not ashamed, even during the most intense of Galactus-type secret wars.
    Why hasn’t Marvel hired me yet?

  90. Jamus The Bartender
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    @Zork The Mighty (#81): Up until now, I did not know of this. Thank you Zork. Jamus needs more coffee now….

  91. Vince M
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @The Modesto Kid (#74): Chad & Jeremy (singers yes, songwriters, not sure) were the go-to guys when ’60s tv shows needed British pop singers for the plot – they guested on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and ‘Batman’.

  92. Another Kiwi
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    FW: The storyline of a major character having a dream never goes stale. This time he will have to explain the reason for being at an airport. Of course it could all be part of the dream and he is at work and Lisa just wants him to get milk on the way home. That would lead to existential dread…

    A3G; He’s a smooth one that Paul! Next up, “I’ll just get my car keys. Well whaddyou know, my trousers fell down!!”

  93. Neal R
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#48): = dog food

  94. Baka Gaijin
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    @Gold-Digging Nanny (#Y52): [salmon square recipe]
    “2 parts dead salmon
    2 parts crushed dreams
    3 parts Bisquik
    1 part Elmer’s Glue”

    Oh, Elmer’s GLUE. I keep using epoxy.

    @anon (#Y105): “China is notorious for NOT going up in value; read any antiques column, even china that’s ‘old and has been in the family forever’ is nigh worthless….” Apparently you forgot Pluggers’ china came from boxes of Duz Laundry Soap. Any price greater than zero is an appreciation.

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#Y108) on Get Fuzzy: Ah ha ha HA! Snuffleupagus steaks!

    @Perky Bird (#11): Terminal B at Denver International Airport. If that’s not Hell, it’s certainly a connection to it.

    @JD (#30): “If Lisa’s phone call is a prelude to Les’ plane crashing on a mysterious island I’ll fucking shoot myself.” It could be Amelia Earhart’s island. A Christmas miracle for Funky Winkerbean’s readers.

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#37): “And that’s quite the look of determination on Adrian’s face in the second panel: ‘As god is my witness, I’ll never be single again!”’ Soooo, you’re telling me Adrian’s wedding dress is a red curtain with brass curtain rod shoulders? [*]

    @Ellie (#38): “And I don’t know about anybody else, but I can’t tell the difference between Jeff and Scott anymore…” Only their urologist can tell. Curtains don’t match the carpet. Eww. I grossed myself out.

    @Chyron HR (#56): Ha ha HA!

    @Walker of Dog (#77): “With all this rough-housing, I’m concerned about an unwelcome appearance of Bam-Bam and Pebbles.” Love the analogy.

  95. Hank
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    @Mark B (#137)(yesterday): The large size of the yellow box where Stan Lee signs the comic makes it seem like someone else was supposed to get credit, but had their name removed…

    When the strip debuted, the credit box mentioned the strip’s then-artist, legendary Spiderman illustrator (and Marvel art director) John Romita, Sr. After Romita stopped drawing the strip they dropped his name from the credit box, even though that particular panel is still Romita’s work (notice how much better it’s drawn than anything else in the strip). It’s been like that for at least ten years, if not more.

  96. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    @Pseudo3D (#70): and I thought Gainaxing was reserved for June and Abbey. . . .

    (link not suggested for viewing at work, esp if you have the volume turned up.)

  97. Calvin\'s Cardboard Box
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    @bunivasal (#87):

    Surely you don’t mean Leslie Nielson!? Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up snarking!

  98. Elizabeth R
    December 13th, 2010 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    So… ~6 years in real time = 2 weeks in strip time? Wow, Zits moves even slower than Mary Worth, A3G, et al.

  99. commodorejohn
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#84): Haha, exactly.

  100. Toronto
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:08 pm [Reply]

    DT: The cheesey mustache can’t hide that sneer – the sheriff is Elivis!

  101. Poteet
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    @anon (#Y105): You mean it’s actually okay to take my inherited china out of the cupboard and chip and possibly break it to my heart’s content? Far out! I do appreciate that info.

  102. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    FW: “Les…..why do you still sniff my panties?”

    MT: “Good luck with that. Did I mention that I’m in cabin 10?”

    Mary Worth(less): BWEEEEP!! BWEEEEEP!! BWEEEEEEEP!!! MEDDLE ALERT! MEDDLE ALERT!

  103. Spunde
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    Zits: Last time I thought about Chad was when the rest of his family had their Christmas card picture taken without him.

  104. Ned Ryerson
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    Did Chad of Zits do anything, as in play any role in the strip? I don’t remember Chuck Cunningham doing anything on Happy Days, but then again, I probably didn’t start watching until Fonzie was in leather and spouting catchphrases (and I have no recall of anything that ever happened in Zits).

    The TV guy I always feel worse for than Chuck Cunningham is Mike Douglas of My Three Sons. He was the oldest son for the first several years, then he got whisked off to college, the other two sons each moved up a notch and they brought in Ernie. Mike never got to come home for Thanksgiving and didn’t even get to come to his father’s wedding. (It could’ve been awkward trying to explain the whole Bub/Uncle Charlie situation).

    By the way, I think the singing Chad & Jeremy were pretty cool. Summer Song is as catchy a song as you could find.

  105. Poteet
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    MT — Kelly is starting to intrigue me, which is very very very pathetic.

  106. Joe Blevins
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    Aw, man, they actually named their sons Chad & Jeremy? That kind of cutesy naming convention should be limited to hamsters. Besides, “Paul and Artie” would have been both cooler and more subtle.

  107. TheDiva
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    @Ned Ryerson (#104): Originally Chad was the “golden boy” of the family, the straight-A student and general overachiever that Jeremy’s parents and teachers always bugged him to be more like. In early appearances he was a jock-like character who was so tall that anything above his square, perma-grinned jaw was cut of by the comic panel, but later he was retconned into being a slightly older and shaggier version of Jeremy. He also seems to have lost much of the “annoyingly perfect older brother setting an impossible standard for Jeremy to live up to” angle, which may explain why his appearances have dwindled to a quick gag or two around the holidays.

    And yes, I am deeply, deeply ashamed that I know all this.

  108. TheDiva
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Also: Apparently both Walt and Connie claim the “Chad and Jeremy” thing was the other’s idea. What can I say, my dad likes Zits and bathroom reading in my parents’ house is somewhat limited.

  109. Baka Gaijin
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    Snuffy Smith: So Loweezy’s mother-in-law is Elly Foob?

    Spiderman: Will Spidey actually listen to the shriveled up old prune? Tune in tomorrow to see the exciting conclus…oh who am I kidding? For exciting, this is about the last place to tune in.

    Archie: Arch and Cassie, I think Juggie is trying to to subtly tell you something. If he were in the Army, the term “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would apply. Subtle? What was I thinking. It’s about as subtle as Ru Paul. Jughead’s sucking on a dildo coated in chocolate Astroglide. There, I said it.

    Pluggers: Woolworth’s 5 and Dime china has appreciated in value? Huh.

    Rose is Rose: OK, I get it now. Everyone in the strip has some sort of sick obsession. Pasquale with schoolwork, Clem with eating other people’s food, Jimbo’s snowshovelling and garbage taking out and grilling out, and Rose’s, Rose’s, what’s Rose’s obsession again?

    Luann: Look, kid, how hard is it to slice some glutinous gelatinous goo from a tube onto a greased cookie sheet? The folks at Pillsbury has made it cromulent.

    Marvin: Reading the lady’s word balloon dyslexically, I thought Roy worked at SantaRoyMart.

    Curtis: Your last panel thought is our thought, too. Coincidence?

  110. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:48 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Did I mention yet how creepy it is that all Roger’s kids are the same height, and therefore, the same apparent age? Either he’s a polygamist, or he and his wife must have used the Octomom’s fertility doctor. Twice.

    A3G: LuAnn seems unfazed by a sudden kiss from a perfect stranger. She must be getting her expectations of delivery-person etiquette from Margo’s porn collection.

    C’haft: She needs to turn up her hearing aid. Based on the others’ reactions, I’d guess Cranky actually suggested a “fiber colonic.”

    JP: In A3G, sudden motion is represented by head-bobbles and movement lines. In today’s JP, we see another technique, in which Abby turns her upper body so fast that one of her breasts gets left behind and ends up under her armpit.

    MT: I know Kelly’s probably supposed to be sincere here, but I can’t help imagining her final line in a sarcastic tone of voice. “Good luck with that! I screwed your marriage real good this time.”

    MW: Nothing’s going to stop Adrian from marrying Scott! Not Jill’s drunken, obscene, and fairly incoherent rantings, and certainly not any of the other obstacles they’ve had to overcome to get where they are now, like the… uh… that time when… they thought they couldn’t get married ’cause… OK, I got nothing. Look, honey, if Mary Worth wants you to get married, it would be a far bigger surprise if you didn’t.

    Stripeybutt of the Jungle: Gee, thanks for the update, Guy-Who-Recaps! Now, who are you again? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure Lee Falk wasn’t black.

    One-Eyed Sailor: Ah, so Popeye’s actually a lobbyist.

    RMMD: Wow, Berna’s improbably hit the lottery just in time for the Morgans to not feel guilty for laying her off! And she’ll probably give a chunk of her winnings to her former employers in gratitude! Yay! More money for the pretty people!!!

    S-M: Explain to me how some guy with Devo goggles and a stick is getting the best of a hero who’s gone toe-to-toe with The Hulk? Seems like The Thing’s rocky skin didn’t protect him from the proportional suckitude of a Spider-Man.

    Zits: You should be happy you’re getting answers to your texts, Connie. Most robber/murderers would just wipe the victim’s phone and be done with it.

  111. teenchy
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#106): Well played… but really, wouldn’t anybody tacky enough to have named their kids Chad and Jeremy have done so, I don’t know, maybe when the musical Chad and Jeremy were actually popular?

  112. Calico
    December 13th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @Neal R (#93):
    And, unfortunately, milk for human babies, and cat food as well. Ecchhh.

  113. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#109):

    and Rose’s, Rose’s, what’s Rose’s obsession again?

    Obsessing.

  114. Baka Gaijin
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#113): Right. How could I forget?

    @teenchy (#111): They’re tacky enough to name them after the song playing while each kid was conceived.

  115. Uncle Lumpy
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    FW — Ha, gotta love the dead chick! No, seriously — you are required to love the dead chick, understand?!

    Why doesn’t Lisa call Les on his mobile? I suspect it’s because the built-in Caller-ID would be a distraction:

    HEAVEN? — May irritate secular readers.
    HELL? — Satisfying for us of course, but contrary to canon. Also, see above.
    AFTERLIFE? — A little generic. Also, what — they have pay phones there?
    LISA? — Seriously, dude, you’re still paying her phone bill?
    UNKNOWN CALLER? — “B-but, I know her so well! It’s almost like she’s here with me now!”

    And how exactly does Lisa convince the airport switchboard to make the announcement?

    Dead Lisa — “No, really, it’s serious — I’m his dead wife, see, and I have to warn him about the plane crash ….”

    Switchboard — “WHAT PLANE CRASH?!”

    And well, you can see how productive that conversation is gonna be.

    Both FW and Crankshaft seem to pick out comic-book-style “twists” (He meets his former self!, She’s with him still!, He is an asshole! and so on) — and then knead all reality-based inconveniences out of the picture. Sorta the reverse of what authors do.

  116. odinthor
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#114):

    Hm. [dials phone] Hey Texaco! Texaco Starr Smith? Hey, it’s your cuz odinthor! Huh? Yeah, well, I got pardoned. Hey, dawg, by any chance, you know how you got your name? Yeah, I know your daddy’s name was Smith; I mean the other part. No clue? Hey’z yer sister Ethel there? No? How ’bout Bardahl? Oh, they’re all out working at the gas station today? Hey, any chance you ever hear your parents mention Milton Berle? Milton Berle. He’s this guy, and, um, oh, never mind—I’ll call back later. [hangs up] Damn, it’s hard doing research these days!

  117. ComcisFan
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    Les answer that airport phone brings to mind the creepy TV movie, “The Langoliers.” I wouldn’t mind seeing Les have to deal with Bronson Pinchot’s dangerously selfish and angry character Craig Toomy. From imdb.com:

    The Langoliers (1995) (TV)
    [Engle informs the remaining passengers that they are diverting to Bangor]
    Craig Toomy: I have an important meeting in Boston at nine O’clock! And I forbid you… From flying to some whistle-stop Maine airport! DO YOU HEAR ME?
    Laurel Stevenson: Can you please quiet down? You’re scaring the little girl.
    Craig Toomy: Scaring the little girl? SCARING THE LITTLE GIRL? LADY! We’ve been diverted to some tin… pot airport in the middle of nowhere! And I have more important things to think about than scaring a little girl!

    Nick Hopewell: Do you ever watch Mr. Spock on Star Trek?
    Craig Toomy: What the hell are *you* talking about?
    Nick Hopewell: Just if you don’t shut your cakehole, you bloody idiot, I’ll be happy to demonstrate his Vulcan sleeper-hold for you.

  118. cheech wizard
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    FW – “Hi Les, it’s me, Lisa! I wanted to call and let you know you just had a coronary. See ya soon, babe!”

    MW – Nothing can stop Adrian from marrying Scott…unless, of course, Jill’s warnings have started to sink in and are unsettling him – good thing Papa Jeff always keeps that shotgun handy.

  119. Gary
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    I wonder if Batiuk has a cross-promotion deal with Tuesday’s release of Inception, on DVD and Blu-Ray. By Friday we find out that Lisa didn’t die but was using Dominic Cobb to tap Les’ unconcious mind and now will be divorcing him after learning that Les married her only for the profits he’d realize from her inevitable and untimely death sometime in the future.

  120. Lucky
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean – And so begins Funky Winkerbean’s heartwarming Christmas story arc about Les being institutionalized.

    Argyle Sweater – I didn’t know Jeffrey Dahmer had a cat.

  121. Zac
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    Does Funky Winkerbean always have such squiggly Ls? That’s all I could think about was how squiggly the Ls were.

  122. AndyL
    December 13th, 2010 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    Paul’s creepy, overeager, dad is still standing right there, right? I imagine his next line is something like “Hey, boy, ask her out to marry you right now while the mood is right. I want to see my grandchildren before I die.”

  123. Garnet
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    “Hi, Les. It’s me, Lisa, calling from beyond the grave to tell you to break down and get a cell phone already.”

  124. Dennis Jimenez
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    @Garnet (#123): And I saved a ton of money by switching my car insurance to GEICO….

  125. teenchy
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#114): So, ? and a Pearl Jam song respectively?

  126. Bill Peschel
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    Only in Funky Winkerbean could Lisa’s phone call from beyond the grave be considered fanservice.

  127. Little Guy
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    FW: Please let it be Lisa haunting his ass from beyond. I can’t take it being a mental breakdown, just for Les to recover and to publish Zen and the Art of Cancerwife Whoring.

    yPV: You would think Thomas Magnum was there, but I see no stylized “D” nearby.

  128. Thomas B.
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    ‘White courtesy phone’, is Les in the movie ‘Airport 77′? God, I hope so!

  129. Quantum Mechanic
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    I used the mentioned elsewhere trick of reading FW through next Saturday.

    (Pause while those of you who wish to do the same do so…)

    Batuik’s gotta be setting us up for some fakeout. Even Batuik wouldn’t go there, especially this close to Christmas, right? Right?

  130. Baka Gaijin
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    @teenchy (#125): Um, yeah, I guess. What’s the first question mark represent?

  131. Thomas B.
    December 13th, 2010 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    “Well Mark if Cherry is going to be mad anyway, we might as well give her something to be mad about.”

    (music: Bom-chica-bom-bom)

  132. Thomas B.
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    Need to reach the husband you left back in the world of the living? There’s an App for that.

  133. commodorejohn
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    @Quantum Mechanic (#129): Oh. You. Have. To. Be. Fucking. Kidding. [*]

  134. commodorejohn
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

  135. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#127): having just come from reading the “Magnum PI” TV Tropes page, that comment MMD.

  136. Binder's Butter Beans
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    “Has one of the overeager fans we’ve been seeing on his book tour incomprehensibly fallen in love with him/otherwise gone crazy and decided to assume his dead wife’s identity?”

    Oh please, please, pleasepleaseplease pleeeeease be this one!

  137. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    The airport has a separate courtesy phone just for whites? I wonder what Cayla would think if she were traveling with Les.

  138. Shrug
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    @Matt (#4):

    “Though I would miss it, part of me wishes this were the last Funky Winkerbean strip ever, and it concluded on a strange, sad, horrifying cliffhanger, never to be resolved.”

    Pulpfan Trivia fact: That’s the way the adventures of Richard Benson, The Avenger, concluded. In the pulp magazine stories (written by Paul Ernst under the house name of “Kenneth Robeson”), his war against crime and/or evil began when his wife was murdered. Years later the stories were reprinted in paperback by Warner and were popular enough for the publish to commission Ron Goulart to write new novels in the series (still under the house name). At the very end of DEMON ISLAND in 1975 Benson gets a phone call allegedly from his wife, who impossibly appears to have been alive all along — but Warner decided to drop the series so DEMON ISLAND was the last book published, and thirty-five years later we still don’t know what that was all about. (Though the odds are that it was Goulart knowing the series was being cancelled and deciding to just go out messing with our minds.)

  139. Mr. Goboto
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#137): Oh, she would probably slouch in a spinally impossible manner and look all hang-dog sad and disappointed, but then she’ll undergo some sort of experimental skin-whitening treatment to show Les if his dead wife issues aren’t going to deter her, neither is his racism. Of course, race isn’t the issue with Les, but if she’s lucky, the treatment will cause a full-body melanoma. Then Les will finally be hers.

  140. bats :[
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#134): what I don’t understand about this whole mess, what is the point of it? Batuik is a cancer SURVIVOR, he beat it, he’s free of it (as far as we know). People do die of cancer, others grieve for them, but his character alone, fictional though she might be, is apparently the only person in the history of our world or that of the comic realm, who is worthy of this endless plot, such as it is.
    Does he really want to be dead? Does he expect his family and friends to have mourned him endlessly if he had died?

  141. Mr. Goboto
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    FW: I think it’s Lisa Loeb. She wants her glasses back.

  142. Calico
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    @Quantum Mechanic (#129):
    I think it may be a dream, to tell Les to NOT take that particular flight.

  143. Calico
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#133):
    Remember the old Twilight Zone episode “Night call”?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Call

  144. ComcisFan
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    Oooooh, maybe Lisa is calling from Funky’s post-car-crash dream! Wooooooo.

  145. mr 12 oz can
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    mary worth- every verse of dialouge in todays strip was already used in previous weeks . even the comment i got her a cab was just used yesterday..
    mark trail- mark cherry knows your a unic maybe she thinks your tying her fishing knots

  146. Garrison
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    “The red phone is for loading and unloading of emotional baggage ONLY! There are NO dead Cancer victims on THE WHITE PHONE!”

    RIP Leslie Nielson/Peter Graves/Barbara Billingsley

  147. Mr. Goboto
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    @ComcisFan (#144): Or maybe Les is dreaming and Lisa’s shaking him awake, meaning that Batuik’s about to undo both time jumps because he’s finally run out of authorial dick moves.

  148. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#118): That FW comment is. Really. Hilariously. Funny. Hah!

  149. littlestevie
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    JP: I am glad to see that Manley is starting to draw Abbey to her full potential.

  150. Dood
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    @Garrison (#146): Humor in Funky Winkerbean? What’s that?

  151. Mr. Goboto
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#54): Ooooh! And then Patty can go on a drunken rampage denouncing Hil and Faye’s bourgeois assimilationism!

  152. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Goboto (#151): drunken Peppermint Patty. good times.

    “did you get into the Potato-Ade again, sir?”

  153. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    MT: Next… Kelly tries to suck the life blood out of Mark only to discover he has no blood. Mark is filled with red Coleman™ lantern fuel. Kelly chokes and dies.
    The End.

    Now, let’s get on with an Andy story.

  154. dr.giraud
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    Zits has only been around for 13 years? It seems much, much longer than that.

  155. McPerson
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    Why oh why, Josh, did you link to a TV Tropes article? And such a long one too! I have finals to study for and now I’ll be there all day. Maybe that’s what happened to Chad. He failed college and was too ashamed to come back home so he just disappeared.

  156. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    @dr.giraud (#154): Well, he’s only aged a year.

  157. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    Baby – Remarkably reminiscent of the scene in Thirteen Going on Eighteen where Wilbur believes he has just eaten a hat pizza and goes down the street holding his stomach and yelling “Ow! Ow! Ow!”, stops to stare at an ornate motorcycle for one panel, then continues on down the street yelling.

    Close – Just like a gag from the Phil Hartman days of Saturday Night Live, only on the TV show you could tell what you were looking at.

    The price tag seems to say “Ack” on it. Another tribute?

    Fred – Yet another parody of witless tag-line humor today. Well, I’m pretending it’s a parody.

    Smirky – Dead Lisa’s been playing it passive way too long. It’s high time she started telling Les to do things. (Being Les and all, shouldn’t it have been a black courtesy phone?)

    Bizarro – Because there’s something about the Aqua-Velva Man!

  158. commodorejohn
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#140): My guess is that Batiuk thinks that, having experienced True Misery, he cannot allow the rest of the world to be un-miserable, but hell if I know.

  159. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#yy38): This wins something. If only there was an appropriate sort of ...prize... for such an outstanding achievement.

    @Nekrotzar (#y20): Oh, good one! Kind of like how 3G has Thompson and Thomson and Tomson and Tompson and ...

    @John C Fremont (#y90): You're channeling "Jeff"!

    Zits - Chad. Jeremy. I hope that kid appreciates just how close he came to being named Garfunkel. [*]

    @Pseudo3D (#85): I’m now convinced that DT’s first name was a nickname on how he acts a lot of the time.
    Actually, the strip has been running long enough that the slang expression “what a dick” is a tribute to the character.

  160. Neccomancer
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    After drinking all that coffee, today’s Speed Bump reminds me of the old song:

    Did you ever see a rat urinate?
    If you did it would make you sleep late
    It would gross you out at once
    Just to see his testes bunch
    Did you ever see a rat urinate?

  161. Taquelli
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    It’s about time DC’s Blackest Night event finally caught up with Funky Winkerbean’s lead time.

  162. Pseudo3D
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:33 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Goboto (#147): The next panel has Les waking up in a hospital bed. Lisa is standing besides him. “Am I dead?” asks Les. Lisa hugs him and tells him no.
    “But you died of cancer…it relapsed and you died about ten years ago.”

    Lisa sighs and looks at Les.
    “Les, sweetie, you’ve been in a coma for the last twelve years. I got over my cancer, remember? It didn’t relapse. Remember that day, 12 years ago, when we went out to Montoni’s? You got hit by a car…”

    Or they could undo the other time lapse, when Les has fallen asleep on his desk in high school.

    “Gee, sorry, Lisa, I fell asleep. I had a dream that felt like it lasted thirty years. I was married to you…and had a daughter…and you died of cancer…and I wrote a book about it…and OH GOD WHAT AM I SAYING”

    In any which case, no airport has courtesy phones. Heck, you won’t even a Dollar Menu at a McDonald’s in an airport.

    Also, we know that it took Les years to overcome Lisa’s death. Even though he SEEMS somewhat functional, his sanity was still permanently damaged.

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#96): Actually, in TVTropes, Gainaxing and Gainax Ending are two entirely different things.

  163. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#158): “That is the sound of Ultimate Suffering. My heart made that sound when My Cage was canceled. . . . .”

  164. Riff Chick
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    Zits: seriously? Jeremy has an older brother Chad? No shit. Srsly, NOO SHITTT. I mean I don’t exactly follow the strip but I am vaguely aware of it. But even in the days when I read it pretty much daily (my childhood) I remained unaware a “Chad” existed.

    A3-G: Jeez, have they even dated? Have they even discussed getting coffee? I mean, wtf, some guy just walks in and decides after a few household repairs he’s familiar enough to mouth rape her? I never watch porn but even I’M familiar enough with it to know that the repairman affair is one of its tropes. Although (and I severely apologize, fellow females) if anybody “asks” for it, it’s Luann, who would throw herself at a store mannequin if she suspected it was packing anything below the equator. Luann, whose tragic past no doubt has left her unable to make meaningful human connections without sexualizing them somehow. So heads up, that-guy’s-dad who also said she’s a looker.

  165. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    @Pseudo3D (#162): I know, but it made for a good chance for a cheap boob joke. :-)

  166. Lady Evil
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    Wait, if Lisa’s dead, THEN WHO WAS PHONE?!?!

  167. Caroline
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    What’s with those action lines? Did they kiss or just suddenly smack their heads together violently like two dueling giraffes?

  168. Mibbitmaker
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#150): Something that died in the early ’90s (of cancer, no doubt).

  169. Mibbitmaker
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    @dr.giraud (#154): That — that means that Zits, itself, is a teenager now!

  170. John H
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:12 pm [Reply]

    [This is a copy of my post at 12:51pm, placed after an earlier date on the page, I not knowing how the site works...sorry]
    Dear Curm–
    I, too, never realized ZITS had an older brother who is never seen or heard of in years and years ala HAPPY DAYS. But you have missed, at least explicitly, the true inside joke in ZITS on 12/13–the brothers are Chad and Jeremy, an homage to a popular folk rock duo of the 1960s, also Chad and Jeremy!

  171. Dagny
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:13 pm [Reply]

    re Zits

    Hooray, Chad is coming back! Think he will lay a beat down on Jeremy?

  172. This Guy
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

  173. Chance
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    HELPFUL EDIT: “and its millions are casual readers are” –> of casual readers

  174. cheech wizard
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    @Pseudo3D (#162): And then Les will say “You…you mean, you didn’t die? And I’m not a big successful author, with crowds of adoring fans and guest spots on the Today Show? Oh no, this is some kind of horrible dream…”

  175. littlestevie
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    @Pseudo3D (#162): That almost sounds like something Baituk would dream up. Pun intended.

  176. Comcis Fan
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Goboto (#147):

    That would be cool, except he might find Lisa in the shower with Bobby Ewing.

  177. Old Goat
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    Haven’t heard from Chad for awhile. Haven’t heard from Libya, Sudan or Cameroon, either.

  178. monsieurjohn
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:09 pm [Reply]

    Well, they haven’t heard from Chad in a couple weeks. I’m sure the writers of Zits are just getting around to killing him off officially, setting up a Very Special Christmas Episode.

  179. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    @Old Goat (#177): Good one! :->

  180. Jamus The Bartender
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:19 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#138): I remember reading The Avenger when I was a kid, thinking “Wow, this guy is a lot like Batman…and who’s Doc Savage anyway?” Which led to Doc. And The Shadow. And The Spider. And Operator #8. And…well, you get the idea.

  181. teenchy
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#130): From your post: They’re tacky enough to name them after the song playing while each kid was conceived.

    So okay, my bad, maybe both Chad and Jeremy were conceived to Chad & Jeremy songs? In my haste I could only think of Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” but no song about anyone named “Chad.”

  182. Old School Allie Cat
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    FW We now take you to “It’s a Wonderful Les” – already in progress…

    “Merry Christmas You Beautiful Broken Down Pizzeria -slash- Comic Book Store!”

    “Zuzu’s petals! They’re, they’re still in my pocket – and so is Becky’s missing arm!”

    “Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an Angel gets cancer!”

  183. Mr. O'Malley
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:33 pm [Reply]

    Chad and Jeremy were originally known by their last names as Stuart and Clyde, but I guess having surnames that could be taken as given names was confusing. There were duos of both types in the 1960s: Peter and Gordon, Dick and DeeDee, Simon and Garfunkel.

  184. Bryan
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:36 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#118): FW – “Hi Les, it’s me, Lisa! I wanted to call and let you know you just had a coronary. See ya soon, babe!”

    “In Hell!”

  185. The Ridger
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    I really hope that Lisa is calling Les to tell him not to take the airplane, but the train instead, and that when he gets into the cab to go to the train station, it will be involved in a horrible one-car accident from which the driver will emerge, alive and babbling about some ghost-woman popping up through his dashboard. Les, of course, will be horribly, and finally, dead. Oh, and the plane will not crash.

  186. The Real Dan
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:39 pm [Reply]

    Les is dead.

    Chad is dead.

    Paul is going to be dead as soon as that piano falls on him tomorrow at work.

    Lu Ann is dead. Inside. Always has been.

    Dead, dead, dead! It’s the Funkification of the comics.

  187. bats :[
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

  188. The Real Dan
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    @teenchy (#181): Hanging Chad of course comes to mind, on this, the 10th anniversary of the concession by Al Gore.

    http://www.myspace.com/hangingchadusa

  189. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    @teenchy (#181): Jeremy was told by his mom that he was conceived to Led Zep’s Stairway to Heaven.

  190. The Real Dan
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

  191. ElkMeadow
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#133):

    I hate it when there’s so much information held by an [*] that you can’t read it all before it times out, and then it won’t renew.

  192. ElkMeadow
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:48 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#107):

    I double-dibs Prince Valiant history lines.

  193. Old School Allie Cat
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    Speaking of depressing funnies, Slate.com put out an interesting write up of Archie, post-marriage, as shown in the serial comic books:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2276922/

    Apparently whether Betty or Veronica, our favorite red-head has problems.

    To say nothing of Moose and Mrs. Grundy.

  194. Z
    December 13th, 2010 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    You all are giving Funky W. much too much credit. As with the car crash/time travel debacle this potentially interesting (though horrific) set up will end in the most boring and pedestrian way possible. I mean, sure it’ll be chronically bleek and awful for all involved, but not in anything like a creative or interesting way.

  195. zerowolf
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    GT: WTF is a forward to forward phone call?

  196. zerowolf
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:09 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Shit, I’ve got a fiber optic Christmas tree.

  197. cheech wizard
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:12 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#184): So, is this a variation on the old Chinese fortune cookie game? Except instead of “in bed,” you end everything with “in Hell”?

  198. Charles
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    As I’ve said in the discussion forum, psychotic behavior is nothing new for Les. He shouldn’t even be the slightest bit surprised that he’s receiving phone calls from Lisa. After all, he’s had full conversations with her out in public without freaking out, so why would this upset him?

    I do like the idea of him having a dream, and please have him wake up with a massive boner, sitting across in the airport from six disgusted women, whereupon he is arrested for public indecency. Either that or he wakes up with painful wood because a six year old is bashing it while he sleeps.

  199. Minimoose
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#191): Thanks! I’m a newbie so I didn’t realize that those asterisks hid additional information.

  200. commodorejohn
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#191): Hmm. I’ve had it time-out before, but I’ve never seen it refuse to pop back up when you mouseover again…what browser are you using?

  201. cheech wizard
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    A3G – “Aw geez, I’m such an idiot!”

    Clearly these two were made for each other. Let us not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments, although it’s probably best if we don’t allow them to reproduce.

  202. Just some guy
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    This Funky Winkerbean has the potential to be all kinds of awesome!!
    I think (hope) Les has a psychotic stalker who is trying to take the identity of “Lisa”!

  203. Austria
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:27 pm [Reply]

    @McPerson (#155): Another student? Okay, how many people here are in college? *raises hand*

    Curtis: Ain’t exposition grand?

    FW: Ohohohohohoho. This right here? This is why I read Funky Winkerbean. It’s like a dead bird in a cage, or a train wreck. You want to look away, but you CAN’T. It’s a sick form of masochism, in a way. Like deliberately searching for terrible fanart.
    Is this going to be some kind of “It’s a Wonderful Life” dealie? Or like Funky, but months later? It’s aaaaaaallll a drreeeeeeeaaaaaammmmm……either that, or Les has finally snapped. In their grief, Suicide Susan and Cayla get married. Ghost-Lisa and Ghost-Les watch them get freaky. And then there’s the daughters…

    Luann: Oh that’s just pathetic. Put on your big girl panties, Luann.

    MT: Few things are more pleasing to me than that final panel. I quite literally let out a big guffaw of laughter. The fact that the speech bubble is coming from off-panel just makes it better. Kelly Welly just doesn’t care! She’s got to have the most personality out of anyone in this strip.

    Zits: Are we talking about CleftChinBarrelChested4.2GPANeverSeenAboveTheMouth Chad? Or ScrawnyFacialHairSlouchyChad? I smell a conspiracy.

  204. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:28 pm [Reply]

    @zerowolf (#195): when both callers play the forward position on the basketball team, of course!

  205. Alison
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    Chad? Wha? Who? If I didn’t come to this site I would have absolutely no idea who Chad is.

    He probably hasn’t called because he has been too busy hanging out with Judy Winslow.

  206. Lucky
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    @dr.giraud (#154): Wait, does this mean that Jeremy has always dressed anachronistically? Or did those grunge shirts take a longer time to phase out than I thought?

  207. TheRealAaron
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    FW: Take a look at the face on that phone in the second panel. It’s gotta be Marley!. Les about to have a disturbing vision of the future where an innocent woman is left with one arm after a tragic accident. Where a young girl attempts suicide to get the attention of an unattainable lover. Where his best friend’s business is failing. Where a Gulf War veteran with PTSD is alone on Christmas. Where… hey, wait a minute…

  208. carbunicle
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    @Digger (#17): Les already is the one who wishes he has cancer so that he can cut out the middle-man and go straight to O WOE IS ME. ME! ME, DO YOU HEAR?! No one, not even the woman I married and who then died (buy the book by me), suffered as much, as nobly, or as importantly as I, I, LES MOORE, CANCER VICTIM!

  209. commodorejohn
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

  210. carbunicle
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#115): Both FW and Crankshaft seem to pick out comic-book-style “twists” (He meets his former self!, She’s with him still!, He is an asshole! and so on) — and then knead all reality-based inconveniences out of the picture. Sorta the reverse of what authors do.

    For the father-mucking win!

  211. carbunicle
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    @TheRealAaron (#207): Argh! You are right, of course, and we are damned to Hell.

  212. Garrison
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    Maybe its Lisa Simpson calling Les to confort him, and let him know she knows what its like to be in a franchise thats gone on way too long.

  213. tb4000
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    Zits: Two weeks? Is this like those parallel dimension stories where 20 years in there is like 5 seconds out here?

  214. The Real Dan
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    @zerowolf (#196): I plan to buy one this weekend. Plug it in and you’re set. Be proud of your tacky Christmas decorations!

  215. Jim North
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    @Lady Evil (#166): BRILLIANT

  216. DumbBlone
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#110) — I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that Berna’s winnings are fur realz; I cant’ imagine how America’s smug sweethearts, Rex and June, would ever be able to find a place to “pinch” their already bare-bones household expenses.

    I mean, there are the cruises. Preceded by the sailing expeditions. Preceded by the fishing vacations. But all work and no play would make Rex a dull boy.

    I suppose that they could stop renting an endless sucession of pricey toy boys with improbable names to “repaint the garage and clean the basement” every three weeks (RMMD time.)

    June tentatively suggests that they could cut back to having Rex’s “garage repainted” (I believe that’s what the M.D.s are calling it these days?) to just every 6 weeks. But Rex counters that would leave him having to “clean the basement” (ugh) for June, and we know he can’t do that to June’s exacting standards. No. This won’t do at all.

    Ergo: I think we can all agree that asking Mayor Dalton’s Prostate to rig the local lottery to pay off Berna and keep the status quo is the least squicky solution available.

  217. Dancing Bear
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    Chad and Jeremy. Yeah, OK, ha. But Chad and Niger, now THAT would have been clever. Bonus: also one typo away from getting this whole dumb strip 86′ed.

  218. Dr. Weird
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    Zits

    Zits went meta in one Chad strip.

    Jeremy: “Chad, when did you get here?”

    Chad: “I’ve been here two weeks, I’m leaving tomorrow.”

    Jeremy: “Maybe I spend too much time in my room.”

    Chad: “Your sister says the same thing.”

  219. fishmorgjp
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    FW So Les picks up the white courtesy phone, and he hears: “Sssseven dayssss…”

  220. Sequitur
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:18 pm [Reply]

  221. 8th Man Fan
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:39 pm [Reply]

    Sun. S-M: Well, a day late and a dollar short, but just to get this out of my system: No shortage of comments re: Aunt May’s Crypt-Keeper looks, but, to be fair, the artists are following Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko’s model, heavy on the wrinkles. Marvel has been trying to update her look, especially in Ultimate Spider-Man.

    Aunt May asks “Is violence the only way?” Well, sure, it’s 1183, isn’t it?

  222. Chip Whittle
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:44 pm [Reply]

    Hi and Lois: See, it’s funny because Hi is so emotionally deadened he can’t enjoy even modest luxuries.

    Mandrake: “What happened? He disappeared in mid-sentence! We haven’t been cancelled, have we? Were we? Seriously, are we even running anymore or do we just exist in the minor leagues of Curmudgeon mocking?”

    Mark Trail: “I’m in trouble! Cherry will never understand why you are in my room. Heck, I don’t understand it either! Did you seek a warm, dry spot to have your kittens? Help me out here!”

    Mary Worth: “We called a cab. We felt bad for her. Not so bad we didn’t tell the cab to drive her to Altoona, Pennsylvania, and abandon her in a 24-hour post office lobby, but still, bad.”

    Rex Morgan: Hey, looks like Arthur C. Clarke and my Aunt Margie won the lottery! Wait, what’s my Aunt Margie doing shacked up with Arthur C. Clarke?

  223. Carly
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    “Did you forget something?”
    [kiss]
    “Actually, I meant Bill.”
    “Oh, damn, I did forget to kiss Bill.”

  224. Jim
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    Why is Lu Ann kissing Peter Parker?

  225. Brimstone
    December 14th, 2010 at 12:06 am [Reply]

    the guy from Zits did a guest strip for webcomic XKCD recently…

  226. Uncle Lumpy
    December 14th, 2010 at 12:15 am [Reply]

    FW — “Les? It’s Lisa — listen, I drove Funky off the road, and now I’m coming for you!

  227. Sequitur
    December 14th, 2010 at 12:34 am [Reply]

    FW: This is the “Lisa” calling Les.

  228. bats :[
    December 14th, 2010 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#209): “One Person You Me–No, Wait, TWO People You Meet in Heaven (and an Arm)”
    Lisa
    Masky McDeath
    Becky’s appendage

  229. Gabacho
    December 14th, 2010 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth Where the hell did Mary come from? How does she even fit in the second panel? And who asked her?

  230. Kaleci
    December 14th, 2010 at 1:40 am [Reply]

    Zits, taking a cue from other soap opera comics, is going for the record in the slowing of time – over six years in real life to their two weeks.

  231. Javier
    December 14th, 2010 at 1:49 am [Reply]

    @Dr. Weird (#218): Hysterical. I’m thrilled to know that I was not the only one who scratched their head at Chad. Honestly, six years is way too long to attempt to resurrect a character. Sheesh!

  232. bats :[
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    @Gabacho (#229): Mary’s like a guardian angel.
    Only not invisible.
    Or holy.
    Maybe she’s more like a creeping black death. Yeah.

  233. Berkeley Breathed On Me
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    Les is looking an awful lot like Leisure Suit Larry. The dingy 70s carpet and disco tiles at the airport/panel 1 just heightens the effect.

    http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/2134/236435-larry_large.gif

  234. greghousesgf
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    what the hell is up with that woman’s mouth in Zits?!? she looks like the spawn of a fish and an old racist caricature!

  235. This Guy
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    @Brimstone (#225): Borgman? Not so much, unless it’s reeeeeaaally well hidden on the xkcd site for some reason. The only newspaper guy who did a guest xkcd strip is Bill Amend of FoxTrot.

  236. The Ghost of Jarrod
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    FW 12/14: Yes, Les, it is a sick joke. At least that’s what everyone’s said about your comic for years.

  237. This Guy
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:28 am [Reply]

    12/14
    9CL: So Edda can barely bring herself to give a shit about Seth’s actions, but displays outrage when others don’t care. What a fucking burber.

    Luann: Oldest trick in the book–if someone asks you to do something around the house, do a terrible job and they won’t want you to do it again. What parent falls for this anymore? Did ol’ Mama DeGroot take some brain damage from that 8-oz. bookcase?

    Pluggers: …don’t just fail to comprehend high technology or even fear it, they deny its very existence.

  238. Hobbes Fan
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    No matter what the outcome is, can’t we just agree that Tom Batiuk is a friggin’ lunatic?

  239. Jamus The Bartender
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:49 am [Reply]

    Today’s guest star on Slylock Fox, from ZZ Top : Billy Gibbons !!

  240. Jamus The Bartender
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:53 am [Reply]

    Family Circus: Uh-oh….looks like someone’s not gonna get any Easy-Bake Oven ™ cake Dolly’s gonna make for Jesus’ birthday.

  241. The enlightened buddha
    December 14th, 2010 at 3:25 am [Reply]

    Well, after two months I have finally done it. I have read every comics curmudgeon post since 2004. And what have I learned? That all women in “Mark Trail” have the same brunette do and salmon colored shirts, that Margo Magee is simultaeneously incredibly desirable, yet also the reason why I am eschewing anything resembling a sexual life from now on (who could stack up to her, and if they could, woouldnt they just scratch my eyes out as some sort of post-orgasm celebration?) and that Mary Worth is kinda like the evil mirror image of Anna Madrigal in “Tales of the City”, with the exception of not being a transsexual…although. But sadly I also realized that many of the comics that I used to love as a child (BC, Wizard of id, and especially Garfield) are really, really fucking terrible. Also Spiderman is wonderfully useless and the cast of Gil Thorp, especially the ladies, all seem to be Mongoloids. Thank you, Josh, and I look forward to reading, and commenting on further comic shenanigans…

  242. Steve the Pocket
    December 14th, 2010 at 3:41 am [Reply]

    Spoiler from the far-off land of Tuesday: Monday’s Zits doesn’t go anywhere; we’re back to random bitching about Jeremy’s behavior. Monday’s Funky Winkerbean doesn’t go anywhere either, but for a different reason: PADDING! Look, Tom, you’ve got three panels a day to get to some kind of point. Filling them with characters repeating themselves is not a productive use of them.

  243. ElkMeadow
    December 14th, 2010 at 3:48 am [Reply]

    Wow, that was fast. Looks like Chad’s already Chucky Cunninghammed. Bree Tanner existed longer as a vampire.

    So…is Mary Worth a yenta who can hardly wait to talk about the wedding; a Shadchen, waiting to get paid after the wedding for her matchmaking prowness; Baba Yaga, who will be paid after the wedding; or just-about-to-fall-over drunk? Whatever she is, she is most certainly the scariest thing in the comics tomorrow.

    I confess: I read eht kcuD and it was like, wow, camera in my house, dude, a few years ago. Since that Thanksgiving holiday, when I pitched the turkey that tasted like melted plastic timer, re-enacting the turkey tossing scene from the first “Rocky” movie, we’ve had the Thanksgiving waffles, the Thanksgiving hamburgers, etc. Every year, something not turkey.

  244. ElkMeadow
    December 14th, 2010 at 3:53 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#209):

    Hello, central, give me heaven, for my mother’s there. (harps play)
    You will find her with the angels on the golden stair… (more harps, angel wings flutter)

  245. Master Mahan
    December 14th, 2010 at 3:59 am [Reply]

    I’m reminded of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the main character suddenly gets a main character who turns out to be the key to hell. I’m not sure what Chad is the key to. Probably Ziggy.

  246. Mr O'Malley
    December 14th, 2010 at 4:37 am [Reply]

    MW: “You’re right to be sure”? Having it said by two-dimensional cutouts that keep sliding out of place doesn’t make it any easier to understand. Maybe there’s an omitted comma, and Mary is affecting a stage Irish accent: “Ye’re right, to be sure! Begorrah, ye are! Sure and whenever I hold meself at a 45 degree angle, it takes me right back to the Auld Sod!”

    I love how the magenta curtains go with the lime green walls. Or given that the two of them are still in the same relative position, the lime green walls morph into magenta curtains. While Jill stuck to good old ketchup wine, the rest of the crowd opted for the mescaline punch!

  247. Blooming Psycho
    December 14th, 2010 at 6:18 am [Reply]

    @Krazy Kat (#2): Swelling something, maybe…

  248. Petra
    December 14th, 2010 at 6:19 am [Reply]

    Am I totally pathetic for the fact that I find myself feeling sorry for Les?
    I actually read Zits when I read the comics and I didn’t realize that Jeremy even had a brother. So for me anyway, Chad is even more the invisible child than Chuck Cunningham!

  249. Marion Delgado
    December 14th, 2010 at 7:08 am [Reply]

    I think all us mudgeons will have to agree to disagree with Les on this one. Who WOULDN’T have “Lisa” call him while on his sanctimonious book tour? QED it’s a normal joke, and he’s a sick man in a healthy world.

  250. The Ridger
    December 14th, 2010 at 7:11 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#237): Utterly true about Edda. I’m hoping (since I can’t seem to stop reading this awful thing) that everyone in the family already knows Roger is bi, but also know that he adores his wife and children… and saw no reason to mention it to the lunatic (grand)daughter.

  251. Doctor Handsome
    December 14th, 2010 at 7:26 am [Reply]

    Q: What’s Chad been up to all this time?
    A: Just hangin’.
    Get it?! Hanging chad?!! Hey, fuck you. If they can bring back a lame-ass character from a decade ago, I should be able to do the same with a lame-ass joke.

  252. Comicmama
    December 14th, 2010 at 7:31 am [Reply]

    MW – And suddenly the Mary-in-the-box pops up to say “It’s good to be sure!”. Now who do we have to thank for this perfect wedding present?

  253. John C Fremont
    December 14th, 2010 at 7:39 am [Reply]

    A3G – “Hoboken? Ooh, I’m dyyyyin’ again!”

  254. Terry in Silver Spring
    December 14th, 2010 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    Phantom: So Phantom is now going after The Python? I hope he makes a quicker job of it than his did Diana’s rescue.

  255. gleeb
    December 14th, 2010 at 7:53 am [Reply]

    Jump Start: Marvin? You have competition.

    A 3-G: Lu Ann’s all a quiver at the prospect of the bright lights of Hoboken.

    ‘bean: Not so quick with a smirk when it’s your leg being pulled, huh?

    Gas: Slim is dead, too. Hurray!

  256. mojo
    December 14th, 2010 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    Oh, great. Thanks to today’s (12/14) Mary Worth, I now have the spectre of Mary popping up whenever I decide to have a private discussion alone with my husband. “Gee, honey, do you think maybe we should have kids?” POP!!! “Children are a BLESSING! You’re RIGHT to have them!” “Um, well, okay, then. Let’s make babies!” POP!!! “No! NO!! Not with SEX! Sex is evil and pornographic! Here, just sit quietly and listen to some Rodgers and Hammerstein! That’s how GOOD babies are made!”

  257. Ruth
    December 14th, 2010 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    In the 12/14 Zits, you think for a second they’re doing it again when Walt exclaims “The dog got into Jeremy’s room!” ….but no, it’s your usual commentary on “hmm, those teens sure are messy, aren’t they?”. Rats. I was hoping for it to be a bring-them-back week.

  258. Flummoxicated
    December 14th, 2010 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    Points to today’s Mark Trail for the unique “WHAM” sound effect in the last panel; normally this indicates a punch – is Cherry taking a page from Mark’s book and punching the phone? And are we going to be treated to “hilarious” misunderstanding hi-jinks instead of that awesome diamond smuggling fishing camp plot line?

  259. Vince M
    December 14th, 2010 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#222): “..Did you seek a warm, dry spot to have your kittens? Help me out here!” Oh man, I’m gonna be laughing all day now.
    Lio: It’s one of the the Eye Creatures!

  260. Garrison
    December 14th, 2010 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Forget Chad….now that I think of it…I didn’t even know Jeremy’s mother’s name was Connie.

  261. kkarenb
    December 14th, 2010 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft – Add knitting to the long list of things Batiuk knows nothing about. I have commented before about comics seldom showing knitting being done correctly. Comics characters always hold the needles upside down – if one really tried to knit like that, the stitiches would fall off the needles. This is a small thing, but it’s a real pet peeve of mine. One would think that a genius writer/author would know enough about the subject to portray it correctly.

  262. gleeb
    December 14th, 2010 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    @kkarenb (#261): It’s Crankshaft. Deliberately un-knitting things is in keeping with the misanthropy of the strip as a whole.

  263. Chyron HR
    December 14th, 2010 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    A3G – “Lu Ann, what would you say if I asked you for a date?”

    1) “Golly, I don’t know. Is that something you’re likely to ask?”
    2) “I didn’t know there was going to be a test today.”
    3) “October 12.”

  264. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 14th, 2010 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Baldo: Thesaurus? I thought he’d been hanging down at Herb and Jamaal’s.

    Doons: oooo, well played!

    JP: gravity defiance continues.

    NS: I resent your trashing of my youth’s icons! *shakes fist*

    PMP: O_o And I thought that a starkers Gen. Halftrack was bad.

    Zits: why not, up til yesterday, no one knew you had another son. . . .

    Lio: I love this strip.

    standard oversnark disclaimer.

  265. Little Guy
    December 14th, 2010 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    Juggs Parker: I know it’s AJGLUesque to template every Abby strip with various mammariocious comments, but today’s Sweater St Bernards deserve a special “Ba- ZINGA!!”

    MT: “Attention Mister Trail. Please pick up the George Michael/Andrew Ridgely Courtesy Phone.”

  266. Ms. Take
    December 14th, 2010 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    FW – Why does Les seem surprised that “this is a sick joke”? Isn’t that the ONLY kind of joke in Funky Winkerwhatever anymore?

  267. tb4000
    December 14th, 2010 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Grandmaster Funk: Les, if you think THAT is a sick joke, you honestly have not been conscious for most of your adult life in this strip.

  268. The Grandstander
    December 14th, 2010 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    Elrod is spinning his version of a Noel Coward play with the Mark-Kelly-Cherry mix-up. Gotta get Mark a silk lounging robe.

  269. Lou Graziani
    December 14th, 2010 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    That think with Les getting a call from Lisa: It reminds me of “The Walking Dead” comic books where Rick Grimes receives phone calls from his dead wife Lori. That is, until he realizes he’s just crazy…

  270. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    December 14th, 2010 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    @kkarenb (#261): Not to mention that she’s apparently making stitches in the middle of the object, with no stitches on either needle.

    Reminds me of the time when Quilted Northern had this one ad showing a bunch of ladies “quilting” a piece of toilet paper with knitting needles. I only saw it the once; the response must have been quick and violent.

  271. Dagger
    December 14th, 2010 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    I could definitely see a movie, called “The Courtesy Phone,” about a man who discovers that an airport phone can contact his deceased wife. Most of the movie will be about the man arguing with the guy who runs the full-body scanner.

  272. nil zed
    December 14th, 2010 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#107):

    It’s not that chad got shorter, jeremy got taller.

    270: Rita, I remember seeing that ad, there were also TV commercials. The response was pretty quick, perhaps even an early internet episode? complaint petitions and address of where to complain being shared via list servs and email. rec-arts-quilting and rec-arts-knitting both got their knickers in a twist. on

  273. JonnyT
    December 15th, 2010 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    Regarding FW: Either pull the plug on Lisa’s clear-as-a-bell conversations from beyond, or change the name of the strip to “The Ghost and Mr. Moore.”

  274. Brimstone
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    @Brimstone (#225): Borgman? Not so much, unless it’s reeeeeaaally well hidden on the xkcd site for some reason. The only newspaper guy who did a guest xkcd strip is Bill Amend of FoxTrot.

    d’oh. got confused

  275. Valentine Roses
    December 18th, 2010 at 2:58 am [Reply]

    A3-G: Yes, Paul, you did forget something. You forgot to tell your barber that you’re not a woman.

    FW: Hopefully what’s happening here is that the ghost of Lisa is angered by Les exploiting her death for profit, so she’s decided to torment him with eerie phone calls. By the time this is over, Les will be wishing he was the one who got the cancer.

  276. polo ralph lauren
    June 6th, 2013 at 2:03 am [Reply]

    This is a really good read for me, thank you!

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