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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Apartment 3-G, 12/14/06

You know, I’m not the sort of person who just applies DSM-IV diagnoses to people in the comics … oh, no, wait, that’s exactly the sort of person I am. Anyway, I think it’s pretty obvious that Margo is bipolar. I’m sure Eric is enjoying happy manic Margo right now, but he’d better hang on, because as Tommie and Lu Ann know all too well, he’s in for the ride of his life, and not in the fun, sexy way. The cocaine, of course, does not help.

(Could it be that I’m overdoing the “Margo loves nose candy” jokes? Is such a thing even possible? I’m going to say “no.”)

There’s something very unsettling about the perspective in the first panel. Either that tree really is huge, and it’s about ten feet away, which means Margo couldn’t be gently fondling its branches, or it’s about three feet tall and the bottom of its trunk is floating mysteriously somewhere around Margo’s sternum, or we’re just seeing the very tip of it, pointing downwards, and, in a fit of superhuman strength, Margo’s trying to stuff it into her shopping bag.

Funky Winkerbean, 12/14/06

Note to cartoonists: if you need to have a character in your cartoon explain your joke, your joke has not been deployed successfully.

Mark Trail, 12/14/06

You know, I’m pretty sure that the only reason that Mark adopted Rusty (other than to avoid having ICKY SEX with an ICKY GIRL) was to have a victim for his twisted head games. “Hey Rusty, let’s rescue this wounded beaver! Hey Rusty, what do you want to name your new friend, the beaver? RUSTY! WHY DID YOU TAKE THIS BEAVER OUT OF ITS NATURAL HABITAT? IT’S MISERABLE HERE AND IT HATES YOU!” No wonder the poor kid is so depressed. He looks like the subject of a Margaret Keane painting in that last panel.

The Phantom, 12/14/06

Bangallan President Lamanda Luaga is my second favorite cartoon president (after Teenage Girl President, of course). He already gets mad style points for wearing morning dress at all times; now it appears that that he’s taking off his morning coat in order to beat the crap out of this guy, and I love it. If wanting to see the president personally physically assault a civil servant makes me a Republican, then so be it.

I’m curious about which two laws the president is about to suspend. I’m guessing one pertains to not beating up a government official without a trial of some sort, and the other forbids the president from appearing in public without his morning coat on.

By the way, I know I said I wouldn’t touch the whole Bruce Tinsley thing again, but I would be very much remiss if I didn’t draw your attention to this.

259 responses to “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”

  1. DaveyK
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:57 am [Reply]

    President Lamanda Luaga appears to gain about 50 pounds between panels 1 and 3, so I suppose one of the laws he will suspend pertains to not eating 50lb children whole.

  2. Randy S
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:00 am [Reply]

    Regarding Mark’s head games with Rusty, I was wondering about that myself.
    Wasn’t it pretty much Mark’s idea to rescue the beaver in the first place?

  3. Weasel Boy
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:11 am [Reply]

    Hey, you got Mallard Fillmore on my Aldo Kelrast! You got Aldo Kelrast on my Mallard Fillmore! Brilliant.

  4. Chesnut
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:20 am [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G seems to prominantly feature those two ready wrapped gifts in their hands. From the way Margo’s eyeing them in panel 3, I think they’re home-made, but seasonal, bombs to use in her diabolical plan to steal all the Christmas paraphernalia in the whole world–especially mistletoe. Somebody needs to stop her before Christmas becomes extinct!

  5. Mike P
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:23 am [Reply]

    Don’t let Margo’s happy mood confuse you: there is only one reason she wants all that mistletoe. That reason is to poison her friends and everyone else she knows.

  6. Howdy
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:24 am [Reply]

    President Luaga’s positive-slope tie is a nice nod to the British colonial origins of Bangalla’s legal and political systems.

  7. MonkeyHawk
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:31 am [Reply]

    Okay, fellow,

    Where can I get a blue jacket with a black left sleeve?

  8. fillmoreeast
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:33 am [Reply]


    Foob: Ye gods. Not only is Iris looking more like a potato than ever in Panel 5, but she’s looking for some sweet, sweet doctor lovin’. And while Jim’s right there, and everything.

    10 to 1 she starts sneaking Jim’s Zoloft.

    Mallard Drinkmore: Tinshley clearly prefers the free popcorn one finds in paper bowls on the bar. Did I mention yet that he got busted for DUI last week, his second alcohol-related arrest in four months? Can’t wait for next week’s strips, when the lag catches up. Perhaps he drew next Wednesday’s on a cocktail napkin. And Thursday’s on a cell wall.

    Spidey: The adventures of the stupidest people in existence continue. Yes, MJ, your husband has the proportionate strength and agility and probably libido of a spider, so he gets to do gymnastics around supervillains and make unamusing quips. Whereas you have the McDonald’s symbol on your face. Clearly your job is to stand within easy reach while Doc Ock SMASSHes and WHAMPs, rather than running like hell. Good work, rocket scientist.

    Pluggers: When the Giant Unholy Hen brings her dessert to the church social, it will be enjoyed by all — except the drunk duck who spends all his time bitching about other people’s food while clutching his beloved fruitcake.

    FC: Oh my God, I actually laughed. Best alternate-history Nativity story ever.

    Foxtrot: ALl right, already. Is it going to be this until Amend shuts off the lights at year’s end? Because it got old around Tuesday.

    Prickly City: Aw, snap! Davies takes over while Stantis is laid up, and not only does he show how to do scribbly art that’s aesthetically pleasing, but slams Stantis openly in panel 1 today.

    Oh, and I feel I need to rebut Ted Rall’s weird defense of Tinshley here, because I got nowhere else ta go . Ted, Bruce’s drunk driving isn’t a choice of taste. It’s not a cute thing people sometimes do because they’ve had a couple beers at the local bar. It’s a behavior that will one day get people killed — Tinshley if we’re lucky, someone else if we’re not. Quit making excuses for him … the man’s either an alcoholic or having a breakdown, and either way, he needs both help and to stay the hell off the roads.

  9. Poteet
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:46 am [Reply]


    A3G — I’m sure plenty will be said about Margo’s interesting declaration in panel two, but me, I’m deeply disturbed by those wandering cheekbones. Again.

    MT — Awwww, Theodore looks almost Mollyishly cute in that last panel. He’s probably about to be eaten by a grizzly.

    RMMD — What’s with June’s sudden tender concern for the kid she’s been viciously raking over the coals and failing to treat? I thought nurse-practitioners were supposed to be mentally stable.

    MW — Ella, please decide what size you actually are and stabilize. You’re freaking me out.

    FW — As a newbie, I’m still waiting for a reason to like this strip. It’s like waiting for Godot.

    Foob — Iris, for the love of God, shut your eyes. And your mouth.

  10. Virginia
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:54 am [Reply]

    If I don’t get a personally autographed Official Jack Elrod lamp post bulb to hang on my fence, then I truly know that Christmas is a farce.

  11. NightNoise
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:09 am [Reply]

    I was never comfortable with the FW band director’s take off on PDQ Bach.

  12. Donald The Anarchist
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    A3G I’m sure the tree was a good seven feet before Margo started talking to it. She has the ability to make long rigid objects shrivel up whenever she opens her mouth. It’ll be up to Tommie and Luann to work it back up to its proper length.

    MT You know, Rusty, sometimes you’ll see a man forcefully disciplining his spouse, or romancing a girl even after she’s told him, “No.” And you’ll be tempted to interfere. Just remember, Mother Nature has her own ideas about how to handle these things. That’s why we live in the woods, Rusty, so we don’t have to get involved if we don’t want to.

  13. AppleGirl
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    SF – Okay, is it really late or am I really tired, but what the heck is the Millenium Falcon?

  14. Rhekarid
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:28 am [Reply]

    Life with Mark Trail is so sad and confusing, Rusty cries freckles.

  15. AppleGirl
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:30 am [Reply]

    SF – Millenium Falcon: Maybe something from the Franklin Mint or the Home Shopping Network? How does this tie in with pop culture? For that matter, how does Sally’s hairdo tie in with pop cuture?

  16. AppleGirl
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    14 – OMG, Rhekarid, that was the saddest and most beautiful comment ever. “Rusty cries freckles.” Like poetry.

  17. Josh
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:34 am [Reply]

    AppleGirl — if you have managed to live in late 20th/early 21st century America without learning that the Millenium Falcon is Han Solo’s spaceship from the original Star Wars trilogy, then I for one am very, very impressed.


  18. Mike
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    I don’t normally read Mark Trail but is that kid with him supposed to be Dondi?

    As for Bruce Tinsley I read a news story the other day where he said the police were out to get him. I guess they just managed to find him when he was driving drunk.

  19. treedweller
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:39 am [Reply]

    Margo is decorating her tree with lights, tinsel, eggnog, cookies, and mistletoe? Wow, New Yorkers (or wherever these gals live) have much different customs than we do down here in Texas. Probably because our weather is warmer and the eggnog would spoil.

    Of course, that would assume that Margo’s recipe for eggnog has ingredients other than rum and vodka. So maybe not.

  20. td
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    12/15 MW: I think Mary is checking out the old Byrd’s goodies for signs that the business she’s running really is illegal.

  21. BoShek
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:59 am [Reply]

    Two things- First, did anyone else notice that the Colbert Report reported Tinshley’s plight and made a reference to homosexual overtures in Mark Trail. Very sharp, Stephen, paying attention to the funny pages!

    Second, I agree with Poteet- much will be said about Margo’s creepy comments. It’s… it’s only fair. I mean, draw a strip like that, it’s an invitation for a hearty Crumudgeoning! But, just as this story is getting good, I predict that Saturday’s strip will be a “Meanwhile at the World Famous New York Public Library!”

  22. Hippocrass
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:01 am [Reply]

    Man, I’m getting really creeped out from all this smiling Margo business. But really, when she finally gets home and finds Eric giving Lu-Ann “mouth to mouth” it’s all gonna be worth it.

  23. AppleGirl
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:27 am [Reply]

    17 – Whew, thanks Josh! Trying to figure out that Millenium Falcon joke was making me crazy. Google was sending me to stores that sell Atlanta Falcons souvenirs. Although I am a girl, an MST3K fan, AND a Stooges fan, I never got into all the characters and spaceship names in Star Wars. Aside from noting that Hans Solo was cute back in the day.

    So the joke in Sally Forth was fine, it was my own sci-fi knowledge that was lacking, but I am still not convinced about her hairdo.

  24. Aaron
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:32 am [Reply]


    You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs!

  25. Randy S
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:40 am [Reply]

    “You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs!”

    Which is all the more impressive considering that parsecs are a unit of distance, not time.

  26. mcmc
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:49 am [Reply]

    mt: What an affable horse. It’s so nice of it to offer to take the beaver back to the woods. Would it hurt Mark to say “thank you”?

    mw: Mary must be secretly thrilled to find out that Ella’s just a cheap advice slut, who takes money for her services.

  27. Canard
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:23 am [Reply]

    FW: “I thought while we were here at the Midwest Clinic, to which you so kindly agreed to come even though I apparently didn’t tell you its name before this speech bubble, I would stop by Barnhouse, the publisher of the books I wrote, which are as follows: my books about Claude Barlow and my autobiography, which contains the story of my life. I, as a man in a band uniform, find it edifying to speak to a woman with long dark hair such as yourself while we stand in the Midwest Clinic, which, it may interest you to know, is held in the city of Chicago, which is located in the American state of Illinois. Now let us shake the hand of this man, whose glasses indicate that his eyes do not work as well as they ought. The shaking of hands is a common ritual of greeting in the Western world, including the Midwest, in which this clinic is held…”

  28. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:27 am [Reply]

    MF: He’s not making much sense here. Tinned popcorn is bad because it’s delicious? And it’s bad because people spent more money for your gift than was necessary? For the same money they could have given you 100 bags of microwave popcorn?

    If we knew what his lead time was, we could start a countdown. About a couple of weeks?

  29. Johan
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:32 am [Reply]

    I’m expecting the two laws to be relatin’ to sodomy and abusing government workers.

  30. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:34 am [Reply]

    MW: Usually one skirts these rules by asking for a “donation”. Because Ella neglected this simple precaution, we now have to sit through weeks of argument about the condo rules.

    Unless…her psychic powers told her that following this course of action will eventually result in Uncle Sid getting drunk and driving off a cliff.


  31. Johan
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:36 am [Reply]

    25: Yes, but according to “official” SW lore, Solo took a shortcut by going waaaay too close to a black hole, thereby decreasing the distance he had to travel to get from point A to point B, since saner people, y’know, AVOID black holes.

    Yes, I know, it’s hokey, it’s an after-the-fact “ooops, how do we explain that goofup” explination, but DAMNIT DON’T BE TALKIN NO SMACK ABOUT HAN SOLO.

    *disables ubergeek*

  32. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:37 am [Reply]

    A-3G: Does anyone else think that the dialogue

    “What do you think, Tommie?”
    “It’s huge!”

    would be better if the tree was Photoshopped out of the panel?

  33. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:43 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Continuity error!

    In panel 1 the corrupt official is wearing glasses. In panels 2 & 3 they have disappeared.

    Presumably in order not to violate the taboo about hitting someone wearing glasses. Could Asok with his newly revealed telekinetic powers be hiding behind the potted tree to assist? “Hang on to your glasses when an IIT graduate is present”–Old jungle saying.

  34. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:54 am [Reply]

    OBH: Except that Cecil B. de Mille was not exactly noted for his use of dream sequences. What are they teaching children in school these days?

    It would have been better to suggest Jean Cocteau, or perhaps Emir Kustrica (based on the advice of this site).

    I ask you, is it any wonder that the younger generation is so ignorant about film history?

  35. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:57 am [Reply]

    Refrigerator magnets have not yet been invented in Pluggerworld.

  36. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:05 am [Reply]

    TDIET: Thanks to my psychic powers, I can reveal to you all that “No Name or Address Please” is actually “Ghost of Hank Ketcham, Monterey, California”.

  37. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:28 am [Reply]

    I haven’t been following this strip, but I think that this is rather humorous.

  38. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:48 am [Reply]

    37. If you don’t understand Spanish, here is the English version. But for some reason, although my Spanish is fairly rudimentary, it seems much funnier to me in Spanish.

    On the other hand, BC is even less funny in Spanish than in English, although this might violate some basic mathematical law.

  39. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:57 am [Reply]

    #38. I would go further than that. I would like to see “¡Me río de tí, mundo!” on a T-shirt.

  40. comicsn00b
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:05 am [Reply]

    Did that guy in the Phantom get caught running a business in his condo?

  41. Mr. O’Malley
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:17 am [Reply]

    40. I hope so, because it would mean Mary Worth is going to feature a lot more action in the coming months.

    “Beware of the biddy who gives advice.”–Old jungle saying

  42. Sheilagh
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:37 am [Reply]

    I’ve definitely been reading this blog too long. Like, I’m on the road for work this week, away from my beloved Post-Gazette, and I won’t have time to read the Washington Post, so I went to the Houston Chronicle site to see if FOOB was finally getting away from the boring Grandpa story and back to sexy, exciting LIZ, and I read it (and it wasn’t), and then my hand moved of itself to the mouse TO READ THE SNARKY COMMENTARY I’M USED TO SEEING RIGHT AFTERWARDS! Oh, how silly.

    Why won’t Mary Worth load for me this a.m.??? I’ll see it when I get back to Pittsburgh, but please, puh-LEEZE, tell me what’s happening this morning!!!

  43. Sheilagh
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:38 am [Reply]

    P.S. How does the Phantom get away with it? That strip was totally racist when I started reading it 40 years ago, and it’s STILL racist. “Old jungle saying” my BUTT.

  44. Sjofn
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:42 am [Reply]

    I must be getting soft or something, because I find Totally Got Laid Margo sweet, in a way. I’m sure it will all end in tears, but I am enjoying her totally over the top HOORAY LOVE high. It’s like she read a book about how to express joy over finding a partner you like a lot, and is following it to the letter.

  45. smacky
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:59 am [Reply]

    For someone who is supposedly a realistic nature cartoonist, I can’t believe the level of anthropomorphism in Mark Trail six days out of the week. I’m surprised Lucky the beaver didn’t literally turn and say “Thanks for the save, Rusty! I won’t forget you!”

    Can a beaver even express gratitude? Lucky wouldn’t hesitate two seconds before taking a chunk out of Rusty’s hand if he sees him an hour from now and tries to pick him up. Then Rusty can say “Lucky! I thought we were your human friends!” and Mark can say “See, that’s why you never approach wild animals, dummy,” as Molly nuzzles his neck from the backseat and a wounded raccoon sleeps in his lap. Hypocrite.

  46. Pinback65
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:08 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox–The hell? How To Draw A Kissing Kitty? When I was a kid, if I’d ever had the urge to draw a kitty (as opposed to the blood-covered soldiers I usually drew), it would never have occured to me to depict it kissing anything, much less a fish.

    I’m also disappointed that the cat is outside the fishbowl, thus preventing me from making an incredibly cheap, borderline offensive “moist pussy” joke.

  47. Harold
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:12 am [Reply]

    Dammit. I’m too late to say “The Millenium Falcon was the name of a flying saucer in a science-fiction movie by the same guy who made Howard the Duck.”

    Hey, that gives me an idea. Does anyone have a copy of Howard the Duck that we can re-dub to make Mallard Fillmore: The Motion Picture? It’ll be way, way funnier than either the original movie or the MF comic strip. Which in either case wouldn’t be too difficult.

    So Luaga was taking off his jacket to lay down a Presidential beating on a wayward civil servant! I can’t wait until we find out that this was all just a case of mistaken identity. With pointing action!

  48. Jerry
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:20 am [Reply]

    Rusty looks a bit like Alfred E. Newman, doesn’t he?

  49. roscoe
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:20 am [Reply]

    No. I don’t think that you’ve worn out the Margo coke-jokes. In fact, I think that you missed a golden opportunity to point out that the entire strip today features a veritable Coke Storm! The artist must have realized that simply drawing crazed Margo did not sufficiently capture the true essence of the character, and thus decided to give us a more concrete illustration of the cocaine cloud that is Margo.

  50. Ralelen
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:26 am [Reply]

    FOOB: How about a perscription for a big nose Iris?

  51. Calico
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:58 am [Reply]

    #42 – Don’t worry – almost absolutely nothing, as usual.
    MW – I didn’t know Mary was auditioning for Hertz commercials.
    Also, if Ella is psychic, why doesn’t she know all the damn condo rules and bylaws already?
    MT – “Maybe if he meets some other beavers it will make him happy.” In time, Rusty…in time…”I have a friend who needs advice”…
    Phantom – the two rules are: NEVER use only ?! in a comic when expressing an addled, corrupt, confused brain.

  52. True Fable
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    FBOFW Hey, Black Widow, remember – Gwampa Jim’s not dead yet, so ixnay on the octor-day until the old poop kicks the bucket.
    She’s probably just mad because she has turned into Mrs. Potato Head.
    A3G *blinks* Margo, you…you hussy! You Jezebel! Who forcefed you a trashy romance novel?
    DtM What, like a off limits closet is supposed to stop The Menace? If he doesn’t know what he’s getting for Christmas by noon today, I’m going to kick his non-menacing, narrow little ass back to reform school so he can get re-educated about menacing properly.
    RMMD One thing I’ll say about June, she’s no do-gooder at the drop of a hat. Kitten’s got to have her whip in hand first, I reckon.
    MW Just what is Mary looking at in Panel 2? Is she checking Ella’s panty lines? Is she getting a migraine? Is she tapping into some heavy spiritual miasma? Is she wondering if Ella’s droopy breasts are being held down at waist level by her belt?
    And watch and see if Dent doesn’t force a finger up Ian’s nose, freakish angle and all. Love the two-tone suit, man.
    FC In Jeff Keane’s sad, demented little world, tomorrow the gargoyles of Notre Dame will swoop down to battle the three wise men in an epic spectacle. Don’t bogart that just yet, Jeff.
    MT Rusty is shouting his warning out since Mark must have taught him, if a foreigner doesn’t understand you, TALK LOUDER!
    The beaver is confused about living in his natural habitat, especially since he’s seen how the other half lives. “But…but I want clean water and food in pans, and bears in jeeps.”
    TDIET If I were named Wombo, I’d spill the beans too, by god.

  53. man behind the curtain
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    A3G — More important. What are the girls doing wandering the streets of New York during a snowstorm sans hats?

  54. Allie Cat
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    #53 – If they wore hats, we couldn’t see their pretty, pretty hair.

  55. insolenttomato
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    #27: Canard — Indeed! It’s a bird . . . it’s a plane . . . it’s EXPOSITION MAN!!!!

  56. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    #3, ditto to that. Or maybe even mega-dittos.

  57. Michael
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Iris? Angling for some single-payer lovin’? No, look at that last panel. Now tear your eyes away from Iris and her descent into bathos, and look at the young doctor. The handsome young doctor, all alabaster and bone structure…

    The doctor is Liz. Glamour-shot Liz specifically, via Victor/Victoria, but still. And somehow Iris recognizes one of her own, and thus lets out the fooby mewling, and, well, I don’t have it all worked out yet, but, c’mon, look at him.

  58. JEdens
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    Applegirl, just in case it ever comes up, ‘USS Enterprise’ is the name of a starship featured in a TV show called ‘Star Trek’ that was first shown in the late 60′s and spawned multiple movies and spin-off TV shows.

    Also, ‘Jupiter 2′ is the name of a spaceship featured in a TV show called ‘Lost In Space’ that also was first shown in the late 60′s.

  59. JEdens
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    Phantom – Generally speaking, Presidents of African Nations don’t really have to ‘prove’ anything before jailing any random person who happens to be in their country. You’d think that Denton would have noticed that by now, what with all his buddies getting their farms confiscated and stuff…

  60. True Fable
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    #57 – It can’t be Liz; he hasn’t got his mouth dropped open.

  61. Frank Drackman
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    “ITS HUGE!” deserves a T-shirt

  62. gh
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    I was at a workshop last week and someone put up a PowerPoint slide of a Tiger comic strip to illustrate some point or other and all I could think was — how come we never talk about that one? The workshop was about . . . not comics.

  63. Dennis Jimenez
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:00 am [Reply]


    A3G – Hey Margo, two words – edible panties!

  64. reader-who-posts
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    “Phantom does not like writ of habeas corpus!” — Old Jungle Saying

  65. Susie Derkins
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    Just a general statement regarding TDIET:

    Scaduto CREEPS ME OUT. I imagine him as a dirty old man with a perpetual leer on his face, shut away in a dark, dank hole in the wall which has gotten…um…quite sticky. He only draws ugly women (and men, and children) because to draw a beautiful woman would excite him so much that he’d drop dead on the spot. (How OLD is this guy, anyway?)

    And now the mind fuck of the morning: TDIET porn using Scaduto’s verbiage:

    “Heh heh…look at the little wifey…”


    “Heh heh…”
    “Ohhhh yeeeaaaahhh…”

    Note that I left the “stage directions” up to you. No need to thank me. :-)

  66. King Folderol
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    #23 – Sally’s hair I’m used to. I want to know why her lesbian co-worker friend is wearing two ties.

    #49 – I agree. You can never have too many Margo/coke jokes. Unless the bandleader from FW is telling them.

    MT – So first you want me to take the beaver home, then you tell me that beaver is bad, and now you want some beaver on beaver action? Not since Rex and Troy’s golfing misadventures in RMMD has there been such wonderful entendre.

    Speaking of RMMD, that mannish old woman June is talking to has to be worthy of some comment. Or at least some retching.

  67. Calico
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    One more quick post – where the hell were Mark Trail and his learning-disabled wonder boy when this anomaly of nature came running out of the woods?

  68. Susie Derkins
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Also, regarding A3G:

    Margo is conjuring the tree! It’s witchcraft, I tell you! WITCHCRAFT!

    Regarding both of my posts this morning:

    Hey, I’m drugged up on prescription cough syrup. What’s YOUR excuse? :-)

  69. Pozzo
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Tommie looks worried about the tons and tons of misletoe. I would think she’d interpret it as a dream come true.

  70. Squawk
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    I thought the punchline in Funky Winkerbean was “Andy, how’s it going?” I couldn’t stop laughing.

  71. True Fable
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    #67 Calico – Mark & Rusty would probably say it’s lucky that with seven legs, that it didn’t get caught in a trap! Let’s name it Lucky!

    Forgetting entirely that the thing was Hit by a Truck, mind you.

    But it is both male AND female… so it can make the rounds from MT to RMMD to JP. We can even send it to FBOFW to see which Anthony prefers after all.

    “We didn’t know what that appendage was for!”
    Sound familiar, June? Tommie?

  72. man behind the curtain
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    A3G — Tommie is worried about just exactly where that mistletoe will be dangling and what she may have to kiss.

  73. Pamster
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    TDIET: Although I’ve been known to remove lightbulbs or dim the lights when I have guests over to avoid cleaning every nook and cranny, I’ve never resorted to force-feeding my kid uranium to have them act as the sole light source. Perhaps if Wombo’s mom had left a light on in the kitchen, she wouldn’t have tripped. Oh, well, the guests might forget about Wombo’s language when that spilled hot coffee hits his back and he has to be treated for third degree burns.

  74. Summerhouse
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    I want my “Adventures of Molly and Theodore”!!

  75. Leslee
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    A3G: Tommie is acutely aware of Margo’s bipolar ways. She also knows that Margo has been off her meds for far too long. She knows too that when the switch in Margo’s brain stem flips back, the shitstorm of eggnog, mistletoe, twinkling lights and conifer bark crashing about inside will turn “Apartment 3G” into “Apartment Oh Shit”

  76. jules
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    OMG THANK YOU THANK YOU for the link to the Mallard Fillmore thing. (I never thought that phrase would escape my typing fingers.) That is the funniest thing I’ve seen since you showed us Tinsley’s mug shot the other day! Clearly even Mallard couldn’t escape Aldomania…

  77. ShipticCanker
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    I ain’t no naturalist or nothin’, but in my opinion, Rusty has nothing in the world to bitch about. I mean, if you can get your pet Jack Elrod Bubble to sit by you on the fence so obediently like that, what more could you possibly ask for in life?

    Oh, and T-shirtize “Rusty cries freckles” post-haste.

  78. True Fable
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    Margaret Keane does wonderful portraits of aliens.

    Wait, that’s just a big-eyed waif.

  79. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    I realize making fun of Crock is kind of like challenging Stephen Hawking to an arm-wrestling match, but holy crap, today’s Crock reinforces that strip’s claim to being the worst comic strip ever. On top of the consistently horrible artwork, today’s premise is “Gee, celebrity marriages sure don’t last long!”

    This is officially the weakest, most hackneyed “joke” of all time. Worse than “Who can understand today’s popular music that those crazy kids listen to?” Worse than “Boy, Starbucks coffee sure is ubiquitous!” Worse than “Didja ever notice that men hog the remote control and women go to the bathroom in pairs?”

    Meanwhile, Pooch Cafe contains a shout-out to Poland, and the king in Wizard of Id gets sworn at in French.

  80. Concerned Citizen
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Josh, the best links ever! The two bozos in morning dress, the duck slathered in eggnog sauce, and those darn kids with big eyes made my morning (in full costume, of course). If anyone finds themselves in southwest Missouri this year for Christmas, be sure to head for Carthage and the Precious Moments Chapel. It’s like a Hallmark store on acid.

    Fun fact: Did you know that Cathage, MO and Hannibal, MO are in opposite corners of the state? Golly!

  81. SpearmintKitten
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    I read FW less as a joke and more as a plug for Barnhouse Music, which is a real publisher. Maybe the dude who runs it and Mr. Batuik are friends.

    I worked in sheet music retail waaayyyy too long.

  82. Remus
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    Damn, what is with Curtis today? Am I the only one slightly put-off by the implication that if the notoriously ultra-weird Gunk removes his clothing because of some odd cold-blooded Flyspeck Islander disease he apparently has been suddenly overtaken with, his suicide will be possibly attributed to Curtis b/c he’s a “brother”? I mean, I know we’re getting close to the yearly Kwanzaa morality tale and all, but even those aren’t as heavy-handed as today’s comic was.

    And man, Billy is freakin’ pissed about those comic ads – his eyes are full-on reverted semicolons!!!! Which brings me to another question: Did Bill Keane initially use a typewriter to illustrate TFC?

  83. Tak, the Hideous New Girl
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    I only started reading Rex Morgan, MD because of this website, so can someone tell me if June Morgan is a professional dominatrix?

    It would explain a whole lot about this comic.

  84. Concerned Citizen
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Tommie’s is worries about having too much mistletoe around stems from unrequited love eating binges she experiences whenever one of her roomies brings a man into their lives. Maybe she should talk Margo into strewing chocolate around the apartment.

  85. Old Fogeyette
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Just wondering… how exactly do we know that Rusty is adopted?

    And… is this the end of Theodore? Will we never see his sweet little orange teeth again, as he wanders off into the Lost Forest, confused and betrayed?

    Poteet: I can’t really explain why I like Funky so much, but I think it has to do with the fact that of all the strips to me it most mimics Real Life–a random grab bag of fun, pathos, tragedy, terror, love, and bad jokes. Plus I was very impressed with the realism of Funky’s alcoholism. Now, you might argue that that doesn’t belong on the comics pages, but hell, if we can have fortune tellers and confused bears, there ought to be room for addicts.

  86. gh
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    Our topic for today: Is it possible to stop reading a comic in the paper? Someone mentioned recently that she (?) was able to skip one, and I’ve been able to achieve that same level of mastery. Of course, I started with Cathy, but I never, ever read it any more. Ever. I’ve found a technique that seems to work. Try a comic where the character(s) are always scrunched down in a corner, buried under an avalanche of words. If you let your eyes move swiftly over the page, you can spot this layout and simply move on before the first word grabs you. I’m going to try it next with Frankly Winkerboring, which fits the same visual pattern. So please stop talking about it. If I can pull this off, FBoFW is next. Not every panel is so densely verbose, but the first one seems to be. Enough warning to skate right on by. Then I can concentrate on the meat and potatoes of MW, MT and A3G. And (DT)GT. It’s often verbose, but it’s too hideous to look away from, really.

  87. Amy
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Rusty cries freckles. Brilliant.

    I have been reading this whole Mark Trail “beaver saga” just for the sheer fact that Mark Trail says beaver so much….and um…I find that humourous. Lucky the Wounded Beaver. Filthy.

  88. Axel Fusco
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    I’m with AppleGirl on the Millennium Falcon reference. I was trying to think if Chrysler had come out with some special edition around Y2K. I never saw any of the Star Wars movies….

    MT: Why are people surprised by Mark’s hipocrisy? He’s a friggin’ vigilante who’s big on the old adage: Do as I say, not as I do. Just be glad the torure of this episode did not go on for very long. Warning: MT is beginning to move at a much more rapid pace. I see this as a disturbing foreboding….

  89. Mazement
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail is a fictional character, so he’s allowed to do wacky stuff like picking up stray beavers without considering the possibility of rabies. But that doesn’t work so well in the real world, so he needs to put in a “Kids, don’t try this at home!” disclaimer somewhere.

    Lucky Beaver seems to have grown rather dramatically! I guess he ate that horse from yesterday’s strip.

    Mary Worth: I’m not surprised to learn that Mary has committed the condo board rules to memory.

    I wonder how much Ella billed Mary for their session. Dent paid $6 for his, but he got fewer platitudes, no “Citizen Cane” quip, and he wouldn’t have had to pay the surcharge for casserole disposal.

  90. King Folderol
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    #85 – I sometimes skip Family Circus or Dennis the Menace without realizing that I’m doing it. My subconscious is apparently looking out for me!

  91. True Fable
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    I can never give up A3G, MW, JP, RMMD, and MT now.

    I used to blow them off completely, but now that (Hallelujah brother!) I have come to know that which is the CC site (Amen, can I get a witness!) I have Seen the Promised Panel (preach it, baby!) and I Know the Way to True Salvation for my poor battered mind and soul, (yes lawd) is to extensively mock that which is oh so deserving, and richly bless the many mighty posters at hand. (oh yes oh HELL YES!!)

  92. True Fable
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:35 am [Reply]


    The horse is talking in today’s MT He and Puddles are probably Toastmasters or something.

  93. Da Scrodfather
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    President Mumbato is about to break the law forbidding characters from other comics from appearing in the strip. With help from the interloper Clark Kent, he’s going to beat the truth outta this snotty clerk.

  94. Gal Friday
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Did we know that President Luaga has 6 fingers on his right hand??!!

  95. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    AppleGirl, if anyone ever gives you a hard time about the Millennium Falcon again, just look them square in the eye and say these three little words:

    Hans shot first.

  96. Uncle Lumpy
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    #82 Tak -

    June Morgan used to be Tommie. Now she’s Margo.

    #86 Amy -

    Lucky, the Wounded Beaver
    (to the tune of Rudolph)

    Lucky, the Wounded Beaver
    Had a flat ‘n’ glossy tail.
    He would have been a goner
    If he hadn’t met Mark Trail!

    Hassled by hungry lynxes
    Cast aside by his own kin
    Nursin’ a scratched-up forepaw
    Things were lookin’ mighty grim!

    By that dark Lost Forest road
    He lay down to die.
    Lucky, don’t walk toward that light –
    You can stay with Mark tonight!

    That’s how the beaver got here,
    And I give him real good care -
    When Mark and I release him,
    Maybe I can have a bear!

  97. mattt
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    94 – “Hans shot first.”

    Hans? Who’s Hans? Was he the little German sitting right over there?

  98. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    Lumpy, you rock!

  99. Calico
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    Awwww. I was just finishing my casserole-er, I mean Lean Cuisine for pseudo-breakfast, and our little (actually quite large) Pomeranian put her little antropomorphic paw in my hand. How sweet. Mary and Rusty, I’m sending photos pronto.
    Yes, she does love me, and I adore her, but the Mark Trail Awwww! I’m Sooo Cute Paw Deployment was stricly a clever move for mass-produced rice and green beans.

  100. Monk
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    Two interrobangs in one comic !?

  101. Dennis Jimenez
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    The Interrobangs would make a good name for an alt rock band.

  102. Saxman
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail

    Beavers, the real scoop… (thanks to Second Chance Wildlife Center,

    In their third year they chose their lifelong mate. Both parents will help care for the tiny 500gm (1lb) kits (1-4) born in spring. These kits will stay two years in the family lodge, with the yearlings acting as babysitters for their newborn siblings. In the late winter or early spring of their third year these kits will leave the family to seek a mate and territory of their own. This is the time when they are most vulnerable, and most commonly require help. In their search for new territory they often use roads, this leads to them being hit by cars, also often fatal without prompt, appropriate treatment. Beavers that are injured may become aggressive, and can severely injure an unwary human who may try to help. Remember these creatures spend their lives chopping down trees with their teeth, they will most likely destroy any container (kennel) containing them in very short order!

    It is uncommon for beaver kits to become orphaned and this is usually the result of humans trying to deal with a ‘beaver problem’. If a small beaver is found alone and is uninjured please observe from a discreet distance (via binoculars), and contact a Wildlife Rehabber for further instructions. As with any wild creature, do not feed or give water, it is likely severely dehydrated and will require specialized treatment to correct the fluid imbalance. Water or food by mouth for any creature troubled in this way will almost certainly cause death.

    The key instruction here is, “Beavers that are injured may become aggressive, and can severely injure an unwary human who may try to help.”

  103. Poppinjay
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    At least the horse is kind enough to offer to take the beaver back to the woods.

  104. Indiebass
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    [MARGO] you, Lynn. Just… [Margo] you.

  105. Saxman
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    A3G meets Shylock Fox

    Panel 1:
    Help Margo decide on a present for Eric that says, “your smoldering eyes set my soul aflame with mad passionate desire!! in a subtle understated way”

    Panel 2 :
    A store shelf containing the following:
    (1) Victoria Secret Bobble Head lingere
    (2) A live peacock
    (3) A bag of zippers
    (3) Millennium Falcon playset
    (5) An egg nog and gingerbread Chrismas tree ornament
    (6) Add your own suggestion

    Panel 3:
    Correct answer is (3)

  106. Dingo
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    There are two concurrent storylines, one in Apt. 3G and the other in Foobville, about couples in love. Jim (love of Iris) is dealing with the aftermath of a stroke whereas Margo (love of Eric) is acting like a 12-year-old Hello Kitty-wearing Catholic girl at an N*Sync concert in 1998; we can surmise she’s gettin’ her strokes, too. It’s winter, the holidays are upon us, and I’m supposed to feel a tingly warmth at the escapades of these couples. The reality? I want them to die violent public deaths, preferably something involving a beaver.

  107. Dingo
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    #104: The only answer that could be true would involve a name such as “the Vulvex 3000 – Deluxe Edition.” That’d par-ump his pum!

  108. Old Fogeyette
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    Very nice, Uncle Lumpy!

  109. Jimmy
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    3G: Notice the prettily wrapped presents… and notice how they are exposed to the elements. That’s what Eric has to look forward to on Christmas Eve: Margo’s damp offerings.

  110. Alan S.
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    Those paintings you linked are some of the most horrifying things I have ever seen. It’ll be difficult to make fun of crappy artwork like MW now.

    Not impossible, though.

  111. srah
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    #78 (Skullturf Q. Beavispants): And kids today spend lots of money on jeans… and the jeans are all ripped up! Ha!

  112. Squawk
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    FBOFW: So Johnston is now using Linda Tripp as the model for Grandma Iris?

  113. King Folderol
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft – Second note to the same cartoonist: if you need to have a variation of a joke three days running, then chances are the joke wasn’t all that funny in the first place.

  114. cheech wizard
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    MT – Jeez, now the beaver’s confused as well? What’s the deal, do the animals in Lost Forest wander around in some kind of fog all day long? It’s not like they have that much on their plate to begin with – eat, sleep, don’t get eaten. You have to wonder how they all manage to survive when Mark and Rusty aren’t around. The only one who seems to have his act together is the lynx, a focused world-beater if ever there was one. Maybe instead of food piles, Mark and Rusty could do the animals more good by leaving copies of The Fountainhead lying around the woods.

  115. King Folderol
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    #113 – COTW, cheech wizard. That was beautiful…

  116. ChefMike
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: I just went back and looked again and whoever said it before, I agree! The doctor is Liz, with a new hairstyle. They just forgot to add the collagen injected lips in the last panel.

  117. Remus
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    WTF is happening in Baby Blues anyway? Zoey and lil’ Egghead have stumbled onto the world’s entire stock of Christmas presents, have raided it greedily and are now sending Santa an apology via a toy plane? WTF??!!?!!?

  118. Len
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    How come when I was a kid, and Bucky Beaver was shilling for Ipana toothpaste, they never told us that Bucky’s gleaming teeth were supposed to be orange?

    Brush-a, brush-a, brush-a my fat butt, Ipana!

  119. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps it is not the perspective that is askew in the first panel of A3G, but rather we are seeing Margo suck the lifeforce from the Christmas tree using her withered claw of a hand, a splash of moonlight revealing her as a member of the undead. Soon, she must drink the blood of a virgin. Maybe that’s why she brought Tommie along.

    (heh heh, I said “member”).

  120. gh
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    #89 King Folderol

    I can read them and immediately forget them (the same two), but I was raised in a very strict household where it was no dessert until you read all your funnies and I mean every last one of them, mister. They went to a lot of work to write them and print them in the paper and do you know there are some children whose parents only get the Wall Street Journal and have never even seen a comic? So be grateful for what you have. It was either that or brussel sprouts and, man, I hated brussel sprouts. Even though I am, debatably, an adult, old habits are hard to break.

    #95 Uncle Lumpy

    *spontaneous applause!*

    #117 Len

    Yes! I remember that one. Maybe he was their mascot BECAUSE Ipana was so good it bleached out all the orange.

  121. Pozzo
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy – your brilliance puts all to shame. I kiss your shadow.

  122. MossMoses
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Rusty has suddenly developed beaver like buck teeth. I’m not entirely sure what this means but if he starts growing a tail and develops the proportional strength of a beaver, Mark Trail may need to send Rusty to the woods, where he can meet other beavers and maybe “get Lucky”.

  123. Cafangdra
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Len–props for the Ipana reference!

  124. Susie Derkins
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Margo is conjuring that tree from thin air! It’s witchcraft, I tell you! Witchcraft!

    Mark Trail: More information on psychological torture can be found on the internet.

  125. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    He looks like the subject of a Margaret Keane painting in that last panel.

    Gaaah! Margaret Keane is why you would get if Seurat had been found as a feral child and raised by optometrists.

  126. brendan
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    If today’s FBFW took place in the US, It would look like this.

  127. cheech wizard
    December 15th, 2006 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    113- Thank you, sire – you are too kind.

    118 – gh (snort!) good one.

  128. gh
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    Since no one had posted for, like, 7 minutes, I wandered over to the Randomly Selected site and up popped 5/18/06. And I remembered it. I cannot believe I’ve been here that long. I swear it was only about six weeks ago, certainly not seven months, minimum. What happened to the time-space continuum when I wasn’t looking?

  129. Justin
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    Dilbert: “Drown a burrito”?


  130. Baby D’oh
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    Pleasepleaseplease let MT LittleBastard get eaten by a grizzly. Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease. I’ll never ask for anything else in my life. Oh, except for all the Family Circus kids to get eaten by the grizzly. And Sally Forth. But nothing after that. Except a gumball machine. Cuz they’re priddy.

  131. Dustin Dewind
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    #127 – You know: “Drop the kids off at the pool”. “Take the Browns to the Superbowl”.

    Um, “Pinch a loaf”?

  132. gh
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    #127 Justin

    Notice the newspaper under Wally’s arm and then file the strip under Very Thin Ice.

  133. jules
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    Aaaaawww! Where can I get a prescription for hugs? It’s all so heartwarming! Oh wait, that’s acid indigestion. My God, I feel sorry for Grampa Jim. I think Lynn Johnston wants us to feel sorry for him, but she wants us to find it wonderful and heartwarming that his family gathers round and supports him during this difficult time; I just want to slap the whole rest of the family, except April, who doesn’t bug me quite as much as the rest of them. April strikes me as the only one who would have enough sense not to bombard a man with aphasia with a whole passel of dumbass questions. Or make dumbass remarks about “a prescription for hugs.” In fact, I hope April steals Elly’s car and takes Grampa Jim to Myrtle Beach for Christmas. I’ll forgive the whole Foobophone foolishness if that happens! (I can’t think of anything that will make me forgive the Liz/Anthony foolishness.)

  134. Justin
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    #129 and #130:

    Yeah. I figured that. I just wanted to register my official disgust.

  135. Kingo
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    # 94 – Way to get into the holiday spirit Uncle Lumpy! Kudos.
    Took the sails right out of the “Night Before Christmas–Curmudgeon Style” I was working on. But then, I thought why not throw it out there and see what is lurking in the minds of y’all. This is what I have so far — I’m sure everyone will have their own take on the rest….

    Twas the night before Christmas
    And at Josh’s house
    The Curmudgeon was stirring
    And clutching his mouse
    Knuckles turned white with a bone-chilling dread
    Of the Christmas Day comics that soon would be read.
    Diverging from plots that were “crafted” all year
    The strips would be dripping with fake Christmas cheer
    What horrors await whence the time piece strikes twelve
    And into uncharacteristic behavior strip folks all delve……..

  136. Johan
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    115: Basically, they’re both having the same dream, where they got way too greedy and had an attack of concience, and are now trying to convince Santa to take it all back, as they don’t REALLY need every last toy in the world.

  137. Harold
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    I like the fact that the FOOB doctor doesn’t seem to have a problem that Gwamps taks ALL of his meds at the same time every day. Having gone through this with my father AND my grandmother, I know there are some pills you take in the morning, and some you take at night, and some you take both times, and some you take four times a day, and some you take with food, and some you take on an empty stomach. His well-meaning but essentially stupid wife is feeding all of them to him in one clump. Does this give the good doctor pause? Does it make him say, “Let’s review his meds for side effects, interactions, and so on, and see if we can simplify his meds schedule”? No. Just, “Oh, you poor thing.”

    Or did he mean “Do you give him his meds on a regular schedule, and give each individual pill at the same time every day, though not necessarily at the same time as his other pills”? It’s not clear to me. So it’s not clear to her. Bad doctor. How ’bout a hug?

  138. Calico
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    The poetry here is great! More, more! : )
    #112 Cheech – too funny. But, I guess that’s why they call it “Lost Forest.”
    #100 Sax – “beaver kits” – rofl – are they available at Wal-Mart? To assist in curing “beaver problems”?

  139. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    #133 Kingo – someone else will have to do the middle part, but I’ll do the end:

    He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
    And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
    Did I mention yet that Tinsley got busted for DUI last week, his 2nd alcohol-related arrest in 4 months?

  140. gh
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    #137 SPoI

    Or how ’bout this:

    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
    “Oh, no” — there’s no guard rail, you see,
    And he’s tight.

  141. Poteet
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    # 81 — Tak, I have been lobbying for June to take up the whip and don black leather for at least three past comments, so I think you are dead-on perceptive.

    # 83 — Thanks, Fogeyette. I will slog on for at least another month, if only because the CC FW comments are so amusing. One problem is that I was traumatized by a band director as a child, so the one in FW brings back unpleasant memories. I’ll try to remember that this one is fictional and will probably lose a leg or develop a drug problem or get run over by a car soon, bwahahaha.

    # 84 — gh, I managed it with GT, and am sure you can do it too. Good luck!

    # 89 — Harharhar! Thanks, TF.

    # 94 — The Versemeister is back! That is wonderful, Uncle Lumpy, and it scans so bee-YOO-tifully, as we Caniff southern girls like to say.

  142. Feastmaster
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    I just figured out what the last few Mary Worths seem so much like. It’s Act IV, scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice! Minus the crossdressing and anti-Semitism! Think about it: Thomas Dewey is Shylock, all like “I will have my bond! And evict this 92-year-old psychic!” Eviction instead of evisceration! Ella is Antonio, but arguing like Bassanio: “Every offense is not a hate at first. So where’s the harm?” Professor Chinbeard is an exceptionally taciturn and hideous Duke. And, um, Mary Worth is Portia. Wow.

    All we can hope is that Rita Begler will come in as Gratiano, swilling gin, beating up waiters, and telling filthy jokes.

  143. LittleGuy
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    Say, in a steel-caged match, which one would win: Voice of the Angry Phantom, or Mark Trail’s One-Punch of Righteousness?

  144. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    #87 (Mazement) Mark Trail is a fictional character, so he’s allowed to do wacky stuff like picking up stray beavers without considering the possibility of rabies. But that doesn’t work so well in the real world, so he needs to put in a “Kids, don’t try this at home!” disclaimer somewhere.

    I guess you could say MT is the “Jackass” of comics. In either sense of the word.

    And, Josh, speaking as one who has actually had the DSM-IV in his little paws on more than a couple occasions (wait, are they really “paws”? Maybe they’re “mitts”. Nope, paws). Where was I? Oh yeah: Margo is not bipolar. She is what mental health professionals refer to as “fucking crazy”. (See kids? This is why you should not get health care tips from guys running comics blogs. You should get them from guys making anonymous snarky comments on comics blogs. No wonder John McCain is so fuzzed up).

  145. Harold
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    Nerts to the Voice of the Angry Phantom! I want to see Luaga vs. Mark Trail in a bare-knuckles brawl!

  146. Kate
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    140: I want Chinbeard to be Iago. Wrong play, I know, but dayum, wouldn’t it be great to have him hauled offstage, suddenly and mercifully silent, to be tortured to death?

  147. MrP
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    What’s Jack Thompson doing in Funky Winkerbean, and why is that uniformed man calling him Andy?

  148. MrP
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    Also, The Phantom looks like a pissed-off office clerk when you can see his eyes. Now I know why they have that silly no-one-can-see-the-Phantom’s-eyes legend. Yay!

  149. gh
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    #139 Poteet

    But . . . but . . . I want to read GT. It’s like working a bad tooth. In spite of the fact that as I said a few days (weeks?) ago, I can’t keep track of any of the “characters” or what they are doing. That’s part of the charm! Though getting a leg sawed off did kinda stick.

  150. gh
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    #140 Feastmaster

    Hmmm, Mary Worth as Portia. It has . . . potential. Let’s chew that one over for a few days.

  151. Saxman
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:53 pm [Reply]


    Alas, the Internet fails me. Despite the promise:

    “Kits at Wal-Martâ„¢
    Wide Selection, Always Low Prices.”

    Google failed to find a single beaver kit for sale at America’s greatest retailer.

    My backup retailer, had only DHC Beaver kits (those being vintage model airplanes). There is also apparently a Beaver diving supplier that makes kit bags.

    When I was about to give up hope, I tried ebay and can now report success! A genuine build your own fluffy Beaver kit. 14″ long and fun for all ages (well, 3 and up)..

    As an added bonus, in addition to beaver airpalnes (One was billed as “amost ready to fly”) and beaver dive kits, eBay also feature eager Beaver truck kits.

    I wonder if Margo knows about this? I entered “smoldering eyes” and got 4 eBay hits (the details best left to the imagination).

    I got no hits for “set my soul aflame.”

    “Subtle and understated” got one hit, for an auction web page template (plain, which I guess is at least subtle.”

    Oh well, the third rule of Internet searching is “you can’t find it if it isn’t there.”

  152. hogenmogen
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    Foobs: Iris is trying to score with the young doc.

    MW: Mary ends with the ominous line “Not exactly… ” How much do you want to bet that meddling old biddy will be able to quote directly from the condo association covenant, whereas Ian Cameron, PhD is speechless on the point. Her quote will inevitably both put down Mr. Dent and absolve the geriatric prositiute-spiritual-advisor Ms. Byrd of any and all wrongdoings past, present or future. Maybe something like “No Charterstone resident shall frequent any businesses open on Charterstone grounds nor slick their hair with oil weighted heavier than WD-30.”

  153. philip
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    hee hee . . . you said “touch the Bruce Tinsley thing.”

  154. Dennis Jimenez
    December 15th, 2006 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Re: 148 – The quality of meddling is not strained, it falleth like the gentle rain….

  155. Chaz Larson
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Margo forgive me.

  156. hogenmogen
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    #135 – Harold – On Grampa Foob: I used to be in pharmacy school as one of my multi-faceted academic careers. I read a survey where the risk of interaction increased with each additional medication. That is, if you only take one drug, there is 0% chance of interacting with another drug. If you take two, that risk moves up. In the survey sample, by the time you get to seven meds, you have a 100% chance of interaction. Grampa Foob really should have that checked out. But, I think Iris and the young doc have something going on the side and secretly are trying to kill off the unfortunate obstacle that is preventing them from engaging in wild, passionate May/December romance – ie. slammin’-granny-in-the-fanny action.

  157. Harold
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    The condo association covenant in Mary Worth is actually a charter chiseled into stone. I can’t wait until Mary rolls that out this weekend!

  158. Canaduck
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    Has Rusty always had such a gap-toothed smile? Because from the way it looks in panel three, I’m guessing that he’s trying to emulate their new beaver friend.

  159. Allie Cat
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    FOOB – Twice in the same week, the doctor has taken the time to ask, “How are, you, I mean *really*, how are you?”

    When does that ever happen?

    In my doctor’s office, the receptionist steals the good magazines and the doctor runs an hour late – for the first appointment of the day!

    How am I, *really*?

  160. hogenmogen
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: Although I’m usually a Phantom fan, I don’t see the problem of Denton merely asking who is this guy who wears sunglasses indoors and who has suddenly arrived in Denton’s office unannounced.
    Phantom (Scary Voice): “You don’t want to know.”
    Denton (Confused voice): “Yeah, I do. Why the hell do you think I asked?”

  161. Uncle Lumpy
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    #153 Chaz -

    Those “quotes” were a very nice touch. We gone all meta now. Oh, yeah!

  162. HBGlord
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    #84: I’ve been reading the New York Daily News comics section since i was a tyke, and in my lifetime of literacy there’s only one strip i have totally stopped reading: Cathy! And believe me, there are some real head-hurt-making stinkers (Flight Deck, anyone?) printed in the NYDN, but they’re just bad strips, and i can handle that. No, Cathy actually makes me angry (and not in the FBoFW way, which i, as well as the rest of us, just loooove to hate). Fortunately, in what was clearly a deliberate move by the comics page editor, Cathy holds the bottom-most position on its page, which makes it easy to shun.

    Also, does anyone else here have recurring dreams about their local comics page suddenly changing?

  163. FleaBailey
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    And now for something completely different.

    What the heck is up with “Baby Blues”? It used to actually be funny, but this neverending Christmas extravaganza is more boring than the love child of Dennis Kucinich and Kay Bailey Hutchinson could ever be.

  164. Calico
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    #153 – Haah!
    At first I thought it was a bong from the 1970′s. Oooopsy.

  165. King Folderol
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    #150 – I think Ella will be able to use the powers of her mind to simply re-write the charter without leaving her apartment.

  166. Gal Friday
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    143–I pick MT every time.

    Today’s Phantom (12/15) If Denton had simply kept his eyeglasses on, the prez couldn’t have unleashed his punch of justice–because it’s not okay to punch a guy with glasses on!

  167. juggernaut
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    Look at the profile shot of the doc in FBOFW. Remove the hair. The dude is a dead ringer for the McDonalds 1/2 moon lounge singer, Mac Tonight. Sweet.

  168. dimestore lipstick
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    All the ducks at the lake love stale popcorn, so I can see why Mallard found the contents of that tin delicious.

  169. comicsn00b
    December 15th, 2006 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    160: My comics page (Raleigh N&O) DID actually just drop Cathy (although they kept plent of other shitty comics). I am living the dream!

  170. HBGlord
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    167: Mazel tov! May no “Ack!” ever darken your doorstep again!

    Just remeber those of use who have yet to be freed.

  171. dimestore lipstick
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Saxman–I got a letdown, too. I wasn’t looking for beaver kits, but I was hoping to find a robtic beaver. Unfortunately, Custom Robotic Wildlife doesn’t make them. They do have a Molly, though.

  172. MossMoses
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail vs Phantom? Tough question! That’s one of those polemic hypotheticals like Chuck Norris vs MacGuyver, whose answer we’ll never know for sure. Would this epic battle take place in the Bangallian jungle, in the deep woods of Lost Forest or another neutral location to be named later? What would bring Mark Trail to Bangalla or the Phantom to Lost Forest? What would put Mark Trail in conflict with the ghost who walks?

    Possible scenarios: The shirtless terr’ist, Chatu, flees to Lost Forest after his latest run-in with the “ghost” and is discovered abusing pet bears. Snake ‘n Jake escape from LoFo Penitentiary and are spotted in Bangalla, using chained (pet) lions for lion poaching bait.

    Would Cherry Davis-Trail vs Diana Palmer Walker be on the undercard? Who’s the favorite there?

  173. MossMoses
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    Doh! I forgot to mention in the last post that either the Phantom or Mark Trail would put each other in conflict by over-zealously pursuing their respective villains in each scenario into the other hero’s location and gettng in a territorial turf war on the others’ domain, kind of like the feather ruffling when Ella Byrd moved into Charterstone. Capische?

  174. Frank Drackman
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    #154 I like how Grandpa Foobs doctor just non cholantly added in an antidepressant on the way out the door, being Canada its probably one of the old school anti-depressants with a million side effects. The one good thing is one bottle was sufficent to kill you in a suicide attempt.

  175. Frank Drackman
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    #157 The old “Calvin and Hobbes” strip had a great sunday comic once that was drawn in the style of Rex Morgan M.D. with Calvin as an adult doctor asking his patient…”Whats the matter with you?(Like I care)..It was actually drawn better and was more interesting than the real serious strips.

  176. MossMoses
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    172. Frank, perhaps Doogie’s nonchalantness portends bad things for ol’ ChinNutz, or at least we can always hope so. As his doctor, he has the inside info on Granpa’s heart warming heart. Doogie’s thinking: “His heart is shot. He’s a goner anyway. I might as well give him some extra pills so he’ll be happy in the little time he has left”.

  177. Laura c
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    #160 I have recently discovered that my paper prints Cathy in the classified section, along with Marmaduke. I’m not sure if this is meant to imply that Cathy belongs among the used, scuffled flotsam and jetsam of garage sales, work from home scams and pet birds for sale, or if, conversely, it means Cathy is a hidden treasure.

  178. Axel Fusco
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    I am in awe of those newspapers that have dropped Cathy! If only The Washington Post would gain such enlightenment….

  179. Axel Fusco
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    Who will die first: Castro or Chinutz?

  180. MossMoses
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    176. Axel, fellow WaPo comics curmudgeon, I 2nd that emotion. There is no more fomulaic, repetitively putrid, vomitously stale, pandering p.o.s. than Cathy in the paper.

  181. Axel Fusco
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    # 178 MossMoses: But why do we torture ourselves? Why can’t we be like the brave others who manage to skip it?

  182. roydrink
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    #173 – I remember that strip! It ended that Calvin and Susie Derkins were playing doctor & nurse with Mr. Bun.

  183. jules
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    Some Friday afternoon observations:

    1. Gary Dent looks like Phil Ken Sebben.
    2. Rusty Trail looks like Alfred E. Neuman.
    3. Aldo Kelrast looks like Captain Kangaroo.

    Oops! That last one just slipped out.

  184. Allie Cat
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    #180 – I miss Calvin and Hobbes. And I really, really miss Far Side.

    What’s sad is that today’s FOOB is going to touch the hearts of many and will probably end up on someone’s fridge.

    The only thing it touched was my gag reflex, just a little.

  185. Lies Make Baby Jesus Cry
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    re: Mallard Filmore and when we’ll see comics drawn post-DUI goodness
    So… I have this friend… who works at a syndicate…. and s/he told me that comics have at least a 3 week lead time built in, so only a little while longer.
    This “friend” also told me that s/he love love loves the Comics Curmudgeon, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that it ocasionally skewers the comics from his/her syndicate. Unlike Molly, s/he totally understands Josh’s hostility toward them.

  186. Uncle Lumpy
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    #170 Moss -

    Diana Palmer Walker, no question.
    And although no one asked, June Gale Morgan over Margo, in a split decision and a pool of blood.

    But Gandalf would kick Dumbledore’s ass!

  187. BewaretheCreeper
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    Cathy Guisewhite was recommended to a newspaper syndicate in the 70′s by no one other than her MOTHER! That’s the equivialant of a little league mom sending her son to play at Yankee Stadium with the big boys. It seems mom got a big kick out of the little strips she put on the fridge of her latest, life sucks scenario. The rest they say is history. She cant draw and isn’t funny, the perfect 70′s icon.

  188. BewaretheCreeper
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    FOBOW Maybe the doctor views Iris as a GILF. When he is drugged up enough I guess. Would explain his curiosity in her personal life. he he

  189. Some Guy Here
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    FYI, Josh, it’s physically impossible to overdo “Margo loves nose candy” jokes.

  190. Proteus
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    If I wanted to tell a man that their smoldering eyes set my soul aflame with mad, passionate desire, the last person I’d ask for help would be Tommie.

    Unless I needed it to be subtle and understated. That would be Tommie’s department, all right.

    Good ‘ol Tommie. Sigh.

  191. MossMoses
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    188. Beware: Iris a GILF? I hadn’t thought of that but Granpa thinks she sexy when she nibbles on his chin scrotum with her gums.

  192. Dennis Jimenez
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    Re 181 – Ella looks like Irene Ryan.

  193. Loppie Scaduto
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    Cathy continues to be more keenly observed and truly witty than, say, 80% of the strips out there now.

    What can I say: sometimes I enjoy being odd man out.

    (FWIW, Sally Forth, Between Friends and Stone Soup continue to be more keenly observed and truly witty than, say, 90% of the strips out there now…)

  194. MossMoses
    December 15th, 2006 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    191. Loppie, can you define keen observation and true wit? I do agree that the bottom feeder strips have plenty of company but if Cathy is in the upper 20 percentile, that does not say much for the other strips in the lower 80.

  195. Loppie Scaduto
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    192 MossMoses:

    Loppie, can you define keen observation and true wit?

    Umm, not in a way that would stand up in a court of law. I’m goin’ with my gut here.

    … if Cathy is in the upper 20 percentile, that does not say much for the other strips in the lower 80.

    That may well be. ;)

  196. Kenny
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    I just don’t get the “Gobs of tinsel” remark. Doesn’t gobs generally denote something of a more liquid substance? Would not HEAPS of tinsel be a little more appropriate? You can’t necessarily measure tinsel in gallons or litres can you?

  197. Poteet
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    #147 — gh, I didn’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t read GT. I only meant that my own experience with GT showed me that it’s possible to stop reading a comic in the paper. And probably it’s possible to stop reading a comic without shrieking aloud, “(Margo), I can’t stand this (Margo)ing stupid (Margo)er of a (Margo)ing strip anymore!” Which, approximately, was my farewell to Millvale, or whatever the hell that town is called.

    However, we all have different breaking points. I myself still compulsively read FC, and I sure wouldn’t want to have to argue in court that it’s any better than Jenkins’ masterpiece.

  198. Poteet
    December 15th, 2006 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    #153 — BWAHAHAHA! Chaz, that’s great. I am so grateful for the artistic talent on CC. You better hope Margo doesn’t actually see it, though, because she doesn’t strike me as the forgiving type.

    #157 — You said it, Allie Cat. The most sympathetic takes-time doctor I’ve met is my veterinarian, and she keeps telling me that I’m not allowed to be her patient.

    # 173 — Yes, Frank, that strip was a masterpiece. I try not to think about Calvin and Hobbes too often, lest I cry.

  199. Candace
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    Meanwhile, over in Family Circus, Bill Keane continues his slow descent into madness.

  200. Candace
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    I forgot in my last post, but has anyone else noticed the scared onlookers appearing in Mary Worth? I saw one guy literally running away from the horror that is this argument.

  201. MrP
    December 15th, 2006 at 7:59 pm [Reply]

    The Phantom VS Mark Trail is pretty easy to set up, really, if you follow the old Superhero Crossover Rules. All it takes is a simple misunderstanding for two superheroes to clash. Say, Mark Trail could be on vacation in Bengal when some shady character tricks him into believing that the jungle tribes abuse animals. So when he shows up and starts “liberating” those poor penned-up cowbeasts, and the different tribes start accusing each other of stealing them, the Phantom has to get the tribes’ cows back from Mark Trail before the tribes go to war!

    Man, writing Phantom stories is easy. I should totally get paid for this.

  202. AppleGirl
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    Thank you, everyone for refreshing my memory on 1970s spaceships… the Millenium Falcon, the SS Enterprise, and… um… that other one that I’ve forgotten already in the time it took me to read all the posts.

    Oh please, don’t make the next quiz on geography. I suck even worse on geography than I do on spaceships!

  203. Frank Drackman
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:23 pm [Reply]


  204. Spotted HØrse
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:49 pm [Reply]

    #153 Chaz, I don’t think Margo’s going to forgive you… I think she’s going to thank you!

    If she doesn’t, I will. Thank you, thank you for your fine Christmas gift!

  205. Dean Booth
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    MW: There goes that involuntary hand movement again. Maybe it’s not Dr. Strangelove Tourrets, but simply that when Gary’s great-grandparents got off the boat, they changed from Dentinos to Dents.

    A3G: I think Margo wants the tons of mistletoe to help cure their recent bout of smallpox. To avoid scaring off strangers, she and Tommie have taken to wearing all polka-dot clothes and fashion accessories.

  206. Blissful Ignoramus
    December 15th, 2006 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G might be the worst strip when it comes to ham-handed establishment of context. Margo and Tommie are Christmas-shopping. We get it. You don’t have to show them carrying wrapped packages at neck height in every frigging panel, as if they don’t believe in shopping bags. Margo is shopping for a Christmas tree. We get it. That green pointy thing on the left makes that very clear. No need for a big sign suspended in mid-air that says “X-MAS TREES FOR SALE”

  207. Anonymous
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    MW: Why is it not Christmas at Charterstone? I see plenty of pointing but no gobs of tinsel or mistletoe. Unless the Professor’s jacket is woven from mistletoe?.

    Phantom: Jaw punching 3rd panel should read: “I’ll deny you, missy! (Old Jungle Saying)”

  208. Anonymous
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    I know that the War on Christmas is raging, but is the Mary Worth artist really a fifth columnist?

  209. Canard
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    194: Although “gobs” to me implies an amorphous solid or ooze, like Gak or the vomit of a drunken right-wing cartoonist, you could certainly fill a gallon jug with tinsel or measure it in a measuring cup. Not that I am condoning such behavior.

  210. Dub Not Dubya
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:28 pm [Reply]

    The video of Stephen Colbert talking about Tinsley’s arrest and Mark Trail’s gay agenda is online at a couple of places:

    (the second one goes to Comedy Central’s site, but the link to the video was huge, so I made the shorter link.)

    Personally, I think Stephen has given the brilliant minds here a challenge: to document Mark Trail’s gay agenda. No doubt it has something to do with bears (hi Dingo!) I think particularly Arrow-Butt Bear is just sooo obvious. I do not have the skills to make videos, but I know several of you do. So let’s expose Mark Trail’s gay agenda!

  211. Jimmy
    December 15th, 2006 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    194: Yah, “gobs” can mean “a lot” of something… “heaps” would actually refer to “piles.” And “size 6″ is the new “size fourteen.”

  212. Poteet
    December 16th, 2006 at 12:13 am [Reply]


    JP — WTF???!!!!!! They’re still in the (Margo)ing STABLE! They haven’t left! They’ve just been standing around amid the horse poop!!! And it seems entirely likely now that it will take at least another (Margo)ing month for them to get off the (Margo)ing ground!!! This (Margo)ing strip is (Margo)ing UNBELIEVEABLE!!!

    Pant, pant. Sorry. I do apologize.

  213. AppleGirl
    December 16th, 2006 at 1:35 am [Reply]

    212 – Poteet, I’m with you totally, girlfriend! I am also all WTF at JP. At first I thought they had already RETURNED from Paris for Christmas, and we missed the whole trip!

    I’m thinking also Raju might not have arrived yet at State College with his Boat-Wrestling pals, either.

    Judge Parker, I hate you.

  214. AppleGirl
    December 16th, 2006 at 1:39 am [Reply]

    JP – She has to pick up MARIE at the airport?!?! Hello? Um, don’t you have a plane to catch? To Paris? Remember?

    And who the heck is Marie? (Oh God I hope Marie isn’t another 1970′s spaceship that I’m clueless about…)

  215. Uncle Lumpy
    December 16th, 2006 at 2:05 am [Reply]

    #212 – 214 Poteet and AppleGirl -

    I really like the time expansion in Judge Parker – the way it took Sam Driver two weeks to drink that glass of wine, for example. It’s almost Buddhist the way we get to live in their moment — and live, and live, and live.

    JP reminds me of how it felt to have all the time in the world to enjoy simple things. The way Gil Thorp shows me what it’s like to be schizophrenic, and TDIET warns me of the dangers of brainless, petty intolerance.

    I still would have made a move on Abbey, though. Jeez, Sam!

  216. Cafangdra
    December 16th, 2006 at 2:42 am [Reply]

    1. Man, I am on the EDGE OF MY FUCKING SEAT waiting to find out what loophole in the condo lease agreement allows Ella’s psychic services to “not quite” count as a business. The EDGE of my FUCKING seat.

    2. Although I’m sure it’s a gag he’s recycled one thousand times over the decades I kinda like today’s They’ll Do It Every Time.

  217. TB Tabby
    December 16th, 2006 at 3:08 am [Reply]

    Curtis: He ordered a hamburger and a slice of pizza, and finished them both off withing three panels, while talking the whole time?! Pig.

    On second thought, I take that back. I wouldn’t want to insult any pigs that might be reading this.

  218. angry al
    December 16th, 2006 at 3:37 am [Reply]

    From the Rants and Raves section of today’s Florida Times Union:

    “Drop the comics Get Fuzzy, Brevity and Pearls Before Swine. Bring back Gil Thorp, Jump Start or how about “This Day in History” – something that might teach somebody something worthwhile. I guess I’m old-fashioned. I’m reading less and less of the Times-Union.”

    Ahhh, and they wonder why new comics have such a hard time.

  219. Dean Booth
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:05 am [Reply]

    86-gh: “Is it possible to stop reading a comic in the paper?”

    Here’s a tip: Oragami. Every day before I read the comics, I fold the page in such a way that none of the strips I hate (and the Jumble picture) show. I’ve been doing it so long that when the paper changed its layout last year, it tooks months to re-map my muscle memory.

    Also, keep in mind that you can tear your paper without fear or recrimination. It feels almost taboo at first, like peeing in the ocean, but once you’ve done it a few times it seems natural. After several days of rip training, you’ll be able to easily avoid viewing any offending comic.

    P.S. Does anyone else do the Jumble by trying to guess what the clue picture is (hence my folding)? I also hide the solution word format with my thumb. Now that my Marmaduke-sized pride is welling within me, I should mention I do both the Jumble and Cryptoquote without a pencil — I think of it as a great brain shower.

  220. Dean Booth
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:30 am [Reply]

    196 Kenny: The quantity term is for tinsel is bale, as in “After they took down the Christmas tree, they swept up the fallen tinsel and compressed into a bale.”

  221. Craig Shergold
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:35 am [Reply]

    Virginia @ 11: COTW nominee!

  222. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:16 am [Reply]

  223. Craig Shergold
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:27 am [Reply]

    Chaz @ 155: Is #13780 the one?

  224. andreavis
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    #217– TB Tabby– I’m actually kinda impressed with Curtis. Not only did he manage to get a junk-foody hamburger and pizza at the “Health Food Cafe”, he ate them in less than 3 panels. That’s more action than Mary Worth has managed in a week and a half.

  225. Loppie Scaduto
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    BC Dec 16: please, Lord, don’t ever let me work so hard and strain so far at an idea for such a nothing result.

    MW: waitaminit — I went back to check: on Dec 13, Dent says that he’s a Charterstone resident. So, that means his apartment, where his wife left him the philanderer, is there. So, like, there’s a whole building fulla people watching the comings and goings of the Dents’ lives… and it never occurs to him that maybe somebody else besides Ella coulda found out about him??
    Waitaminit #2 — why am I trying to make sense out of MW??
    [And I always thought Charterstone was a seniors condo...]

    (DT)GT: what is going on?! Did I blink?

  226. dimestore lipstick
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Soo…Am I to infer, from today’s MF, that most people do not have a turkey for Thanksgiving?

  227. comicsn00b
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    Dean Booth: I can see that you are a man of Comic Science, the kind of man who relentlessly helps make lazy Sunday mornings even lazier. I am proud to know you, sir.

  228. Blade Runner
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    RMMD Dec 16

    It looks as though June is about to lose it again. She just called the land lady Mrs Cook. Everyone knows she is really Mrs Roth as in David Lee.

  229. Heckler123
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    MW – Mr. Dent is now free to pursue his relationship with the mysterious Mimi. So why is just standing there arguing with the Metamucil gang? He is obviously not a man who knows where his towel is.

  230. MossMoses
    December 16th, 2006 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    212. Poteet, JP is warping the time-space continuum in a manner that even Einstein couldn’t explain. E does not equal MC squared in Judge Parker. Laws of physics don’t apply there nor in Lost Forest.

  231. Blissful Ignoramus
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail 16Dec2006: In the first panel, Elrod has gone over the deep-end with his weird distance/perspective obsession. I was wondering if “Lucky” had been saved from a slow horrible death, only to be caught by the lashing tongue of a 600 pound frog and consumed in an instant. In fact, I was disappointed when I realized that the story wasn’t going to go that way.

  232. Dactyl
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    Dammit, what was the point of these past two weeks in MT? Was this the shortest storyline ever? I doubt it, but from where I’m sitting now, that seems like the best alternative. Most likely, though, the point was to put Lucky through all that physical pain and Rusty through all that emotional hell just so Elrod could give the damned beaver a name, knowing that people wouldn’t symphathize as much with an unspecified young beaver as with the Lucky beaver. And others have already pointed out the fact that he picked one of the most pornographic names he could probably get away with in the comics. Sigh. I’m so confused by this storyline, I’m losing the will to rant.

  233. Blissful Ignoramus
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Also, Elrod is full of crap. Beavers are notoriously territorial animals, so it’s pretty unlikely that “Lucky” is going to make any friends. More likely, those other beavers will spot a gimpy intruder and gnaw his little balls off. Regardless, I’m not looking forward to Mark and Rusty’s mini-lecture tomorrow on anal scent gland secretions and beaver behavior.

  234. MyGoodName
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    The tag line to Saturday’s Phantom sent me jumping out of my chair. It looks like President Lamanda will have to suspend a third Bangalan law… the law regulating the use and misuse of office supplies!

  235. JEdens
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    AppleGirl, you’re welcome, I know far too much about fictional 70′s era spaceships and have very few occasions to share that knowledge.

    Luann 12-16, looks like Puddles is going to have a Very Merry Christmas after all…

  236. Dennis Jimenez
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    And doggie style.

  237. Anonymous
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    JEdens, et alia – This is actually an ’80′s video about a ’60′s spaceship, but you may find it amusing.

  238. Susie Derkins
    December 16th, 2006 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    D’oh. Not that anyone would necessarily notice in the deluge of responses, but I accused Margo of witchcraft twice. The rational explanation is that my first accusation was flagged as spam, and emailing Josh wasn’t working (due to technical difficulties), so I posted again later, not expecting accusation A to reappear.

    The irrational reason? Yummy yummy cough syrup…

    (I have the flu, so no MW interventions please.)

  239. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    December 16th, 2006 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    187: So CATHY is responsible for disco? Or a symptom of it?

    Dunno. I thought CATHY , when it started out, hit a chord that some people responded to, in the right way. But the character never evolved, and the artwork seems to have gotten worse. If anything, all the relationships are contrived, as are all of the conflicts.To bad it didn’t implode with disco and Jimmy Carter…

    A couple of years ago, Cathy appeared in LIBERTY MEADOWS, as a very ugly date for the pig.

  240. MonkeyHawk
    December 16th, 2006 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    Sorry you’re ailing, Susie….

    Only one treatment:


    Equal parts of




    Nyquil to taste.

    (Gotta replace that green goo you’ve been coughing up somehow…)

  241. Spotted HØrse
    December 16th, 2006 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    Luann 12-16: I’ve been able to skip past Luann and the annoying Foxtrot cookies all week. This morning my eyes stuttered and took in Puddles. I know that’s supposed to be melted snow there under Puddles, not a dog’s physical response to whatever excitable dogs respond to. May I just say that I’ve always hated the name “Puddles” slightly less than I hate the affectionate nickname “Pud.”

  242. fillmoreeast
    December 16th, 2006 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    226: Tinshley would have remembered Thanksgiving, but he was having a blackout that weekend. Just like Veteran’s Day. Of course, his familiarity with turkey is perhaps a bit suspect anyway, as he’s drawn a football with drumsticks instead.

    Perhaps he should try killing, plucking, and roasting a duck instead.

  243. Len
    December 16th, 2006 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    Lio, boy scientist, has apparently joined PETA.

  244. Len
    December 16th, 2006 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    Lio, Boy Scientist, celebrates Pearl Harbor Day a couple of weeks later than BC did.

  245. MonkeyHawk
    December 16th, 2006 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    #244 — Len:

    I think Lio’s Zero doin’ the ol’ Kamakazi number on one of Columbus’ ships wins. It’s odd and freaky and not as overtly jingoistic as Hart’s “infamy” strip.

    Just as racist, maybe. But Lio’s universe is always perverse on purpose, like Chas Adams’ stuff in “The New Yorker.” BC is simply separated from rational thought.

  246. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 16th, 2006 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    33) Remember, never hit a man with glasses……use your fists.

    34) Perhaps confused with Agnes DeMille dream sequence from “Oklahoma”?

    155) Why a squirt gun?

    163) DK had his tubes tied in 1975

  247. Poteet
    December 16th, 2006 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    #213, 214, 215 — AppleGirl and Uncle Lumpy, I have now recovered from my irrational fury (I mean really, it IS JP, what did I expect?) and started laughing hard when I hit AppleGirl’s question about Marie, and then went into doubled-over howls of mirth over Uncle Lumpy’s words of wisdom.

    So thank you both, and thanks also to the loopy creators of JP. You’re right, Uncle Lumpy, I should just enjoy that feeling of floating well above the time-space continuum. I sure don’t get that feeling in real life.

    And AppleGirl, Marie is the maid-housekeeper-domestic-maven who works for Abbey, God help her. In the past, she’s had an adventure or two of her own, as I recall. But since this strip seems to be actually slowing down, she’ll be lucky if she makes it back home with Abbey before the end of January.

  248. Poteet
    December 16th, 2006 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    #216 — Me too, Cafangdra. In fact I nominate today’s MW as one of the most dramatic wait-for-its in comic history. Tell us, Mary! Tell us we can toss our noses in the air and swallow our dog biscuits!

  249. LittleGuy
    December 16th, 2006 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    You know, people in the States will be reading FOOB and head across the border for cheap over-the-counter hugs.

  250. Poteet
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    #230 — Thanks, MossMoses, for your excellent time-space continuum observation. Hey, maybe Abbey’s estate is actually located on the EDGE of LoFo, and someday she’ll be on horseback when she sees this adorable little wounded beaver and/or a kid crying freckles, and…arrgh, never mind, my head is starting to hurt.

  251. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    #233,BLISSFUL: “Anal scent gland secretions”??? Is that like a “funky winkerbean”? IMHO, that’s a MUCH better name for that strip.

  252. Harold
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:04 pm [Reply]

    “Gobs of tinsel”? If she has cats, that won’t be a problem.

  253. Summerhouse
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    #106 Dingo – That post should be an Absolut COTW ad.

    #96 Uncle Lumpy – You have single-handedly made up for the fact that there won’t be any “Adventures of Molly and Theodore.” I thought my disappointment was too great, but now see that there are reasons to keep moving, and keep reading.

  254. Uncle Lumpy
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:40 pm [Reply]

    #253 Summerhouse -

    When we lost dear Aldo, I too thought life drained of all purpose. Especially in this Christmas season, we must give one another reasons to go on.

  255. Craig Shergold
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:24 am [Reply]

    I did not parse Lio 12/16 as Pearl Harbor but merely as nihilistic desctruction of carefully-made models. My brother used to assemble and paint model airplanes, then blow them up with firecrackers.

  256. DocForbin
    December 17th, 2006 at 10:22 pm [Reply]


    And do you know why it was funny?

    Because dictatorial asshole high school marching band leaders are always funny!!!!!!!!!! :-D

    I just have a gut feeling that Mr. Dinkle is going to fire Becky shortly before she gives birth because she’s pregnant, which will lead Becky to hire Lisa Moore as she sues Mr. Dinkle and takes him to the cleaners–before Lisa herself drops dead during her closing arguments due to her breast cancer.

    You can also tell from Becky’s schadenfreude-laden face that she’ll soon find out that Wally ran over a roadside bomb in Iraq and blew up, which will result in her going into premature labor and giving birth to a stillborn child–AND IT’LL ALL BE FUNNY!!!!!!!!! :-D

    Meanwhile, in that stupid Cleats comic strip that my hometown newspaper the Glens Falls [NY] Post-Star replaced Funky Winkerbean with all at the insistance of Editor-in-Chief Ken Tingley’s bratty eight-year-old son, one of those brats tries to blackmain his parents to either give him sporting equipment or a Playstation 3. And guess what, you stupid moron Mr. Hinds? IT’S NOT FUNNY BECAUSE NOBODY IN THIS COUNTRY GIVES A DAMN ABOUT SOCCER, A DULL, BORING GAME WHERE NOBODY SCORES MOST OF THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!

    One of these days, Mr. Dinkle will get what’s coming to him, and it’ll be funny because death, divorce, the futility of war, deadly diseases and other tragedies of life are always funny when they’re in the comics.

    DEATH TO CLEATS!!!!!!!!!!



  257. Reed
    December 18th, 2006 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    Errr….is Mark Trail on the receiving end of some robot fellatio in panel1?

  258. gztfa ifghtuswd
    June 25th, 2007 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    etws hyurn xmkecwjov emlcyihk lcngidvx qaedtbvfx ednluh

  259. PedroSteckecilo
    March 17th, 2008 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    Clearly The Phantom needs a Jean Chretian cameo, the Canadian Prime Minister who both punched out a protester and assaulted a home invader with a soap stone carving. Badassery at its finest.

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