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He knows when you’ve been menacing

Dennis the Menace, 12/15/06

I’m not sure why Dennis’ persistent and willfully non-menacing behavior makes me so mad, but it does, it does. Dennis, you had damn well be heading right for the aforementioned closet with the intention of sorting through all the presents, determining that most of them are “lame,” taking them back to the store where Mom bought them and exchanging them for cash, using that cash to buy the most powerful BB gun they’ll sell to a child, and then heading down to the overpass to shoot out the windshields of innocent motorists. That’s being a menace, by God.

By the way, if it’s December, any child with even the most basic concept of how numbers work knows exactly how many days there are left until Christmas. In America, that’s how most of us learn to subtract.

Mark Trail, 12/15/06

So is this it? Is Mark Trail just going to be all lonely, confused animals in the woods all the time now? Is it going to turn into Mutts? Is that it? No punching, just Mutts with a slightly broader species range of adorable creatures?

Rusty is looking more and more hideously deformed every day, and his front teeth are looking buckier and buckier. I’m beginning to think he’s caught beaver.

The Phantom, 12/15/06

Right, so, um, yesterday? When I said it would be awesome to see the president personally beat somebody up? Well, I was pretty much just joking. Turns out it actually makes me kind of uncomfortable. In President Luaga’s defense, though, Denton did take his glasses off in panel two, which totally means that he’s asking for it.

Family Circus, 12/15/06

“And Easter came before Halloween so that Zombie Jesus had a chance to get good and hungry for brains by October 31.”

227 responses to “He knows when you’ve been menacing”

  1. Ted
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    It’s as I always suspected: you’re a sock puppet for DePaul and Ryan. Should we start calling you The Ghost Who Blogs?

  2. Blynneda
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    Zombie Jesus!

  3. commodorejohn
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    Rusty was bitten by a beaver and now he’s going to turn into a beaver under the full moon.

    If this does not occur, I will be severely disappointed.

    And hey, I’ve always said that chief executives need to beat people up more often. Think of how awesome it would be if Tony Blair busted the butts of every Englishperson who actually wears a monocle for making the rest of the country look silly. Or if Stephen Harper went and kicked the crap out of Lynn Johnston.

  4. reader-who-posts
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    Dennis the Menace is, to paraphrase Dr. Evil, a quasi-menace.

    The president in Phantom is so lame – he suspended a law so that he could punch someone? Somehow I think his neighbor Robert Mugabe would have handled that differently. I guess Denton prefers having the president punch him than the awful alternative – the Phantom hiding behind a horse.

  5. dwlt
    December 16th, 2006 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    I hate to think what is about to happen to “Lucky”.

  6. dramashoes
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    They should just change Rusty’s name to Ugly. He looks like the love child of Alfred E. Neuman and Cruella DeVille. He might live in Lost Forest, but at some point he must have gone to Ugly Forest and had an Ugly tree fall on him.

  7. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    That is one BIG BEAVER!

  8. roydrink
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    Pearls before Swine – “Whenever someone makes me feel bad, I just turn on my monkey and it makes me feel good.”

    That’s better than “Dick the doorbell”

  9. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    DtM: Rex Morgan is in that closet!

  10. Dennis Jimenez
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    Hey Dolly – St. Patrick’s Day came before Easter so the baby JC had a chance to get good and drunk before Good Friday.

  11. Old Fogeyette
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Josh, I can’t believe you aren’t commenting on GA! Walt is on a gurney, being hidden by Mutt and Jeff. This has to be a metaphor for death. And how often do we get to see 100+ year old comix characters actually pass away? (I know, I know, not nearly often enough….)

  12. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    Baby Jesus fears no goblins! Keane, of all people should know and accept this as fact.

  13. Derelict
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    Yes! Release the beavers!

    I wonder if Mark has had “that talk” about birds, bees, and beavers with Rusty. On the other hand, given how generallly clueless Mark seems about most everything, maybe it’s better that Rusty gets his sex ed from watching squirrels shagging in the trees. Elsewise, Rusty’s wedding night could include him pounding on his bride with a baseball bat while telling he he’s checking for bees.

  14. Mudman
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    I think I just realized that Family Circus triggers my IBS…I thought it was shellfish but no, no it’s FC

  15. Charlotte
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    MT (missing 4th panel): The young beaver acclimatized to the environment of his human hosts discovers his ability to survive in Lost Woods is greatly compromised. Ignoring the glinting metal, the jaws of the trap make evident the misnomer that is Lucky.

  16. One Sock
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    Um…Josh? I don’t think Rusty is ever going to catch beaver.

  17. Heckler123
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    I am completely baffled by Mark Trail. How does this even qualify as a story line? I can only hope that, ten years down the road, Rusty will have been conscripted as a gladiator. In the arena, surrounded by the blood-thirsty crowd, an enormous snarling beaver is unleashed on our young hero.

    The beaver lets out a mighty roar – as only beavers can – and leaps for terrified Rusty, as the boy/man fumbles for his fallen spear.

    The two lock eyes, and they are dumbfounded by sudden recognition. The beaver skids to a stop; Rusty kneels down on the ground.

    “Lucky!” he whispers. “Is that really you?” The beaver approaches tentatively, nuzzles Rusty’s hand, then rushes the boy and rips his throat out. The crowd is satisfied in its bloodlust. And so am I.

  18. Rhekarid
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    Dennis has become SO unmenacing that even Joey, the least-menacing figure this side of Candyland, is forced to pick up the slack. Behold as he tries to make some kind of gang sign with his horrible, flipper-like hands.

  19. Some Guy Here
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    Actually, seeing the President in fisticuffs is pretty frickin’ awesome!

  20. Chinbeardnutz
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    WWZJD: What would Zombie Jesus Do?

  21. Pope Buck I
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    And Valentine’s Day came before Easter so Jesus and Mary Magdalene could have one last night of hot sticky passion before He went off to His death.

  22. King Folderol
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    DM – Not far enough, Josh! Dennis has been so incredibly UN-menacing that he’d better pour motor oil or herring juice or something equally nasty on the presents.

    MT – Rusty isn’t turning into a beaver in panel 2 so much as he’s turning into a redneck. He’ll be dog-napping and making Mark’s life a living hell in no time. I think it’s something in the water there in Lost Forest that’s turning all the children into third-rate criminals, so Rusty’s transformation fits in with my theory.

    Phantom – The third law he’s broken is the law regarding smooth sentence construction. “For I will take my hand and make it into the thing that clenches and then flies through the air at great speed on its way to your flesh!” It’s a fist, Mr. President. It’s a fist, dammit! Buy a thesaurus, dammit!

    I like today’s Phantom better, though. Next: Is the furniture insured? Stay tuned for an exciting week of insurance law, where the President and the undersecretary review the constitutional by-laws to see if they’re covered for acts of whup-ass!

  23. Crankenstank
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    Beaveritis: Catch It!

  24. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    “Lucky” the Lynx; Yum!, that is some good Theodore Tartare.

  25. Shannon
    December 16th, 2006 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    The President in The Phantom has a rather extreme definition of executive power. Nixonian almost.

  26. Harry Paratestes
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    MT: Cool-assed Theodore has himself some beaver-spats to go out on the town with.
    FC: Buddy Jesus thinks that Bill Keane’s a dick.

  27. majolo
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    You know, I’m not one of the anti-Slylock Fox crowd. I get a little thrill every time I’m able to deduce the solution to a little mystery intended for pre-schoolers. I chuckle knowingly when I read folks here complaining, “but how could I possibly know her earrings were cold?” Even the Find-Six-Differences panels are all right. But crap like today’s is just chicken-kickin’ mean. I need an explanation, dammit!

  28. commodorejohn
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    …they are ALL EXACTLY THE SAME.

  29. jules
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    I like to malign FC as much as the next guy, and the “punchline” was tremendously, tremendously stupid – but I am forced to admit I like the expression on Dolly’s face. It’s that sort of deadpan big-sister-bullshitting-the-littler-kids expression. (I bet my kid brother recognized it too, but isn’t happy about it. He frequently rewrites the “punchline” for FC, and I’ll bet this one got that treatment. Ha!)

  30. MonkeyHawk
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    #27 – majolo:

    There’s one horizontal slat on the guitarist’s stool that’s missing.


    You’ve forced me to use 21st Century technology to comment on some guitarist’s stool.

  31. jules
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    Majolo – look carefully at the shadow of the bad guitar player’s chair in Picture #2. :)

  32. jules
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    Augh! MonkeyHawk beat me to it! And was funnier! I bow to you, MH.

  33. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    30: Being a guitar player myself, my stool had no “slats” in it this morning. Just some peanuts.

  34. dan b
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:34 pm [Reply]

    MT: Actually, I think Mark Trail is going to involve a lot of beavers, and Mark will go about punching all sorts of beaver. That is obviously not innuendo, as Mark Trail is repulsed by sex.

    Rusty…hmm…the bugged out eyes, the creepy gap teeth, the oh so suspicious stance he’s taking in panel two…I’m guessing he’s the child of Nosferatu.

  35. JEdens
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    #25 – Shannon

    Actually, Teddy Roosevelt had a boxing ring in the White House – if any US President were going to punch out a corrupt employee, it would have been TR.

    Second likeliest would be Johnson – either one of them.

  36. commodorejohn
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    Further proof that TR was one of the awesomest presidents in US history.

  37. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    Although, Dennis does seem to be placing a kick to Joey’s solar plexus, sending him into an agonizing rearward plunge down the stairs. Oh, Joey, will you ever win?

  38. jvwalt
    December 16th, 2006 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    The Rusty in panel 2 reminds me of the late, unlamented Dondi.

  39. Sjofn
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    Hey, the president was nice and suspended the law against hitting him FIRST. Denton was just too slow to take advantage!

  40. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    Count me as one lamenting Dondi.

  41. Dean Booth
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    MT: Maybe Rusty is like Zelig and transforms his face and body to look like the animals he bonds with. If they had kept Lucky any longer, Rusty’s teeth would have turned orange. I can’t wait till they catch a turtle and Rusty begins retracting his head. (That would be almost the opposite of looking like a beaver.)

  42. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    Mallard strip should be coinciding with the Dec 4 “incident” in next day or two.

  43. Bobdog
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    The nation in which the Phantom is taking place operates under a very interesting constitional system — apparently the cheif executive can suspend laws just by saying so. Wait … that sounds vaguely familiar…

    As far as Dennis’ non-meancing behavior, I think you have understand that it’s not appropriate to use your early 21st century standards of “menace” to judge Dennis’ menacing, which is clearly rooted in mid 20th century mores. Adjusted for inflation, Dennis would be the equivalent of today’s more modern menaces, such as Al Qaeda or Paris Hilton. Remember, September the 11th changed everything.

    FC – Based on his expression, I think Jeffy’s become somewhat jaded to Dolly’s half-assed explanations. Fortunately for her, PJ will still drink the kool-aid, so the cult of Dolly lives on.

    MT – Rusty should take his own advice — otherwise he’s sure to get taken out by the Jack Elrod ball sneaking up behind him.

  44. Dean Booth
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    majolo, did you have your computer sound on when you looked at Slylock? In #2 he’s playing out of tune.

  45. Anne Faye
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    I didn’t scroll down to see the caption in today’s Dennis the Menace and, seeing Dennis’s expression, was horrified at the prospect of underage homosexual sex. I’m pretty relieved there was no “menacing” going on here.

  46. yggdrasil
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know how either Joey or Dennis is ascending the stairs with their legs in those positions, but that aside, Joey is also visibly unimpressed by the level of menace up in hur.

  47. yggdrasil
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    27 & 28-
    Surely you jest! Number 2 is different, and the difference is much more obvious than many of the differences six we are often expected to find.
    The shadow of the stool, yo.

  48. Harold
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:31 pm [Reply]

    In next week’s Phantom we will discover that yes, the furniture is insured, but the factory that manufactured it was shut down by some guy in a purple costume a couple of weeks ago. Replacement furniture will have to be imported from the slave factories of Ivory Lana, where Luaga’s semi-identical twin president takes a slightly more relaxed view of human trafficking.

  49. andreavis
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    MT: “Good luck and KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR TRAPS!” That’s what I tell my beaver every day.

  50. Pendragon
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    As long as he doesn’t catch beaver fever…

  51. John C Fremont
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    # 8 – Everybody’s got somethin’ to hide ‘cept for me and my monkey!

  52. Pendragon
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    Hmm — sorry, everything went fine in dress rehearsal.

  53. Wirrrn
    December 16th, 2006 at 7:57 pm [Reply]

    DENNIS THE MENACE: Dennis only *appears* to have become non-menacing, to lull authority figures into a false sense of security whilst he quietly continues to add larger and larger quantities of Mercury to his friend Joey’s drinking water. Soon Joe’s hydrocephaly will rival Dennis’ previous friend, Charlie Brown’s…

  54. Poteet
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:00 pm [Reply]

    # 17 — Heckler, you are…BWAHAHAHA!…sick.

  55. Andy L.
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    “Spot the Diferences” panels in Slylock Fox are easy.
    Just cross your eyes until the images exactly line up. The parts of the image that instantly give you a headache are the parts that are diferent between panels.

    Once you’ve spotted all of them, write down a list of all the diferences between the two panels and then cross out all the ones that are obviously coloring errors.

    Congrats. You’ve now solved a puzzle for grade-schoolers. Yay!

  56. Forthillrox
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    At least Jackel Rod colored the beaver’s teeth yellow (I think).

  57. Summerhouse
    December 16th, 2006 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    Saturday’s FW – I’m completely lost. They’re in front of that shiny sculpture, right? So what about the trombone section? They would provide a counter-reflection? If that’s the joke, why not say tuba section, which would have more reflective power? And why would they have their instruments anyway – the others don’t. To quote somebody from the previous thread, “Ruh?”

  58. Awfulart
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    Let ue send Zombie Jesus after Hart for a halfwit tidbit snack.. Then he goes after Tinsley for pickled brains…!!!

  59. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:17 pm [Reply]


  60. bo
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    Anyone else have the song Beaver Feaver from the Disco episode of the Angry Beavers stuck in their head right now?

  61. Red Greenback
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Elrod.

  62. commodorejohn
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    #60 – We’re bigger than sliced bread!

  63. Len
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    Why does Dennis’s right elbow look like a partially retracted foreskin? Mutant underage homosexual sex appears immanent!

  64. suziederkins
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    I’m going to have to agree with One Sock, Josh– I seriously doubt Rusty will ever be capable of / interested in catching beaver.

  65. Len
    December 16th, 2006 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    Damn Bud Grace, creator of Piranha Club!

    Poor Arnold is not only butt-ugly, has terminal zits, and is one of the world’s top-class geniuses; now his brain is irretrievable goo under the lady doctor’s cleats!

    Is this how the Foobs will rationalize the Lizard-Granthony marriage? Mental healthcare workers will be drawn carrying off Lynne in a straight jacket?

  66. Len
    December 16th, 2006 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    (His Honor) The Grinch would ban all partially hydrogenated cooking oils, and make the frying of potato latkes illegal. In New York.

    Let’s all spend Hannukah/ In Santa Monica/
    Wearing sandals/ Lighting candles/
    By the sea!

  67. Susie Derkins
    December 16th, 2006 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    #51– I was thinking of the same lyrics when reading #8. So COME on…COME on…

    The world would be a better place if we all had a monkey to make us feel good.

    I just noticed that there’s a suziederkins on this board…sorry ’bout that…different spelling though…

  68. MrP
    December 16th, 2006 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    The Phantom is one helluva bad influence on the President. Having watched the be-tighted guy with the bandit mask plant his skull ring in so many faces, it’s only natural that he’s eager to punch someone himself. Too bad he’s too big a pussy to do it without mr. Walker himself getting ready to step in if the blonde guy he just picked a fight with should suddenly get an upper hand.

    Then again, what with the big brother/little brother relationship Luaga and Phantom seem to be having, I guess it’s inevitable that something like this would happen at some point.

  69. MrP
    December 16th, 2006 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

    And guess what, Family Circus kids: Ten months later, what is Jesus? That’s right: STILL A BABY! And he’s just conscious enough to recognise the goblins as not-mom, too. Halo or not, the newborn Baby Jesus hasn’t got enough synapses to even recognise his own reflection, let alone get scared by pumpkins.

    This is why the little baby Jesus was born when he is: To ensure that he gets the maximum amount of mental scarring from his first Halloween. Boy’s gotta be toughened up for all those whippings he’ll get in his twenties.

  70. Randy S
    December 16th, 2006 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    Not to go off on a tangent, but I’ve always wondered about the “monkey” in “Everybody’s something to Hide cept for me and my monkey”

    Was he referring to the proverbial “monkey” that drug addicts have on their backs?
    Or was he referring to Yoko?

  71. Poteet
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    # 57 — Summerhouse, I’ve given up trying to “understand” FW in the usual sense of the word. I just stare at the panels and sort of let the weirdness wash over me and think to myself “I’m doing this for CC.”

  72. reader-who-posts
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: June is finally about to meet a real man.

  73. slinkimalinki
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    #27 — also, in the second picture his guitar strings are cold.

  74. Poteet
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    # 72 — Yup, reader, and Elvis may be about to meet his match. (See, June, I TOLD you to start carrying a whip!)

  75. Tabby Lavalamp
    December 16th, 2006 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    Re: Slylock Fox.
    Pfff. Guitar players 1 and 3 are clearly rockin’ out to a Van Halen song while guitar player 2 is obviously rockin’ out to the Crue. Duh.

  76. Sjofn
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:01 am [Reply]

    That middle guitar player is DRUNK and about to ruin Becky’s set.

  77. Rusty
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    #57: I beleive FW is referring to the high school band tradition of the trombone section harboring all the fuck-ups and screwballs.
    Although I don’t play an instrument, never mind ever being a member of the band, high school bands are huge in the town I now live in and this bit of information has trickled down to me.

    And no, my handle does not pay homage to the unfortunate young Master Trail.

  78. dan b
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    #70 – Randy S, the accepted thinking is that the ‘monkey’ was Yoko. My favorite version of the story is that an editorial cartoonist in the British press drew Yoko as the monkey on John’s back, and so he took that depiction and turned it into the lyric. Cause, you know, they were all in love or whatever and and so they gots nothing to hide. It’s kinda like Rusty and his Beaver.

  79. condimentalist
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    today’sthis entire week of FBOFW makes me want to OD on my prescription Hugs

  80. Mike P
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    I would pay to see the “Family Circus” kids’ reaction to a horror movie. Not even something all that bad, maybe in the lower echelon of goriness. Maybe a bit of nudity, for good measure. They’d probably go into therapy and never be able to come out.

  81. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:21 am [Reply]

    Maybe that shiny thing is a bubble, or one of those inflatable Santa globes, and the ‘joke’ is the trombonists will poke it with their slides?

    I think the Harry Dinkle character gives an insight into FW‘s long slide into bathos. Dinkle is the strip’s only nominally-funny character. Yet every time he shows up, he reveals Batuik’s complete incapacity to tell a joke. So whad’dya do when you’re already in so many papers? Go with what you know – bathetic crap. Oh, and smirks.

    It could be worse. Suppose you wrote a strip that papers ran only because it let them carry Doonesbury, whose ideals you despise, in the comics rather than on the editorial page. You know for a fact that if Garry Trudeau got hit by a truck, your strip wouldn’t run anywhere but the Orange County shopper three weeks later. Whad’dya do? Go with what you know – drink.

    I honestly feel sorry for Tinsley; he’s so totally stuck until he grows a pair and walks away.

  82. ohamsie
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    Awwww, Rusty’s going through puberty.

    Ewwww, Rusty’s going through puberty.

  83. Randy S
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    78: So you’re really saying it’s both. (The “addict” concept originating with the editorial cartoonist)


  84. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:28 am [Reply]


    RMMD — “And once I had my purse back, I told him to take his broken jaw elsewhere, tralala!”

    MW — For some reason, seeing tiny Ella standing in front of huge Ian really really really bothers me.

    JP — Look out, Aunt Rachel — if Abbey and Neddy ever actually arrive, they’ll both camp on you for six months at least.

    FW — Yup, it’s easier not to even try to figure out if FW actually means anything. Look at the pretty colors! Look at the lively patterns! Ooh, white balloons with words in them, possibly in English! Like, wow, far out, man!

  85. MonkeyHawk
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:34 am [Reply]

    #81 — Uncle Lumpy:

    “Suppose you wrote a strip that papers ran only because it let them carry Doonesbury…”

    I think you’ve nailed Tinsley’s pathology.

    And it makes me wonder if MF is on the Armstrong Williams gravy train.

  86. ohyes
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    Phantom – Man. Mark Tail can disarm a guy with a loaded rifle AND knock him down with one punch. These Third World potentates and bureaucrats are soft! They have remarkably broad chests and yet so little force. They’re just not super-powers or hegemonists. Or nature writers in America!

  87. Dingo
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:01 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: In the ensuing months of amateur sleuthing and pontificating that fills the desperate, humdrum hours of Mary Worth’s life (save for when Dr. Jeff “Wanna See My Dinghy?” Cory takes her out on the boat) at Charterstone, I cannot wait until Mary stands in deviance of the board members for attempting to rid the complex of a prostitute, a bookie, or a Candlelight party hostess. Wait, according to Mary’s logic, the party hostess must go but the other two can stay.

  88. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:08 am [Reply]

    # 87 — Heh heh. He said deviance. Heh heh.

  89. MonkeyHawk
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:36 am [Reply]

    The Charterstone Rule Book*S*?!

    Just how many rule books govern life in Charterstone? And they never covered sub-leases that got Aldo and Ella into the place?

    An apartment complex that needs several volumes of rules has to include acceptable recipes for tuna casserole and tofu croquettes, pointing protocals, and directions to Wines-Liquors and the un-barracaded cliff outside of town.

    So long as the safety and sanctity of residents’ quality of life is maintained.

  90. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:44 am [Reply]

    I never thought it would have been possible, but Greg Evans (Luann) is making me long for the endless days of Potatohead Brad longing for Toni “Wanna know why I’m named after a racetrack?” Daytona. Rule #1 for cartoonists seeking to utilize a pun based on mishearing: the speaker’s version must be correctly spelled, while the listener hears the homonym. It makes no sense to have the elf written as saying “Gene” before the cute dog (she’s cute because she’s a poodle) shows up saying her name is “Jean.” As long as we’re stretching reality and having Piddles be able to talk, travel to the North Pole, etc., it would have been better to have Santa’s Compound be rather intimidating, with an intercom at the doorway, where P. would hear the name of who he’s supposed to see. Then he could grumble at the other elf, “I don’t want to see some guy named Gene” – and then when “Jean” comes in, the setup would at least make sense (even though my painfully labored situation demonstrates why I myself am not a successful daily cartoonist).

    Or go all visual: The elf says “Jean” – and P. expects a cute little poodle…but who should show up but a dog looking like a stereotypical Frenchman (uh, Frenchdog), who says, “Bonjour. Je m’appelle Jean.” At least that would work on the *page*.

    I was going to suggest that in Shylock Fox, guitarist #2 is playing “Smoke on the Water” while the other two are playing the solo from “Stairway to Heaven.”

    I’m so hurt about the fact that other people beat me to it that I’m going to turn on my monkey.

  91. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:46 am [Reply]


  92. James Schend
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    I agree with “Rusty” (if that is his real name!) that the “joke” as it were relies on an intimate knowledge of high school marching band social structure. The only instrument section more full of screw-ups and general losers than the trombones is percussion. (Except anybody playing piano or marimba.)

    Needless to say, I played trombone.

  93. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:54 am [Reply]

    #92 Jim -

    Me, too – cue the spit-valve jokes!

  94. Artist Formerly Known as Ben
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:11 am [Reply]

    #16, I was scanning the comments to see if anyone had made that joke. You saved me the trouble.

  95. Craig Shergold
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    William Beaver House

    The new condo complex in Manhattan for swingin’ with-it singles to buy $800+ apartments and live it up. Alledgedly Shag-alicious.

  96. NJP
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    Wow, what a scintillating storyline they’re developing in Mary Worth. I’m totally captivated by the groundbreaking examination of the minutia of the Charterstone HOA bylaws. Didn’t this all start out with Mary interrogating Dr. Jeff’s children about his being incommunicado? How’d we end up here?

  97. Craig Shergold
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:58 am [Reply]

    12/16 Boffo: Any comic with a couple-in-bed theme cannot help but be read for sexual innuendo.

    Someday there will be two men in the bed.

  98. Craig Shergold
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:03 am [Reply]

    “Rusty”? “Beaver”? “Trap”? This is the road to tetanus.

  99. Craig Shergold
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:06 am [Reply]

    Jazz Band.
    In a Rick Wakeman cape.

    The other piano kid (the GOOD one) has a jazz trio in my home town.

  100. Craig Shergold
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:15 am [Reply]

    12/13 Boffo

    What is that thing in bed with him? Is he sleeping with dried-out lakebed? I guess if it’s not in Krafft-Ebing it’s fair game in a family newspaper.

  101. Francis
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:24 am [Reply]

    What’s really sad is that Dennis Mitchell’s family apparently has only one closet.

  102. AppleGirl
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:33 am [Reply]

    73 – slinkimalinki
    75 – Tabby Lavalamp
    76 – Sjofn
    You all made me laugh so hard! I stared and stared at those pictures and couldn’t see a difference. That Slylock Fox was unusually cruel, and your answers were hilarious. I am really starting to like the cruel, cruel Slylock Fox.

  103. AppleGirl
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:41 am [Reply]

    RMMD – Meth Momma LIVES! And the doctors named her LUCKY!

  104. skulking on the outskirts
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:43 am [Reply]

    I just have to say that I *loved* the smack-on-the-head “d’oh!!” from Gary Dent when the Queen Meddler of Charterstone pulled that not-interfering-with-auto-or-foot-traffic rule right out of her ass.

  105. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:47 am [Reply]

    #104 skulking -

    Yeah, and you gotta love that “sanctity of Charterstone life” b.s. Those folks are a long, long way from fetuses.

  106. AppleGirl
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:51 am [Reply]

    104 – I love it, too. His hand is so weirdly attached to his arm. Or something. I also am staring at how really, really tiny Ella is compared to giganto Mary and the enormo Dr. Chinbeard. Ella is like the Main Street buildings at Disneyland, all cute and gingerbready and three-quarter scale.

  107. Ubiq
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:56 am [Reply]

    Am I the only one who thought of Labyrinth when reading that Family Circus?

    “You remind me of the babe.”
    “What babe?”
    “The babe with the Power.”
    “What power?”
    “Jesus Power.”
    “Who do?”
    “You do.”
    “Remind me of the babe.”

  108. DariaFan
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:57 am [Reply]

    80 Why go light? Show the little twerps “Hostel”.

    When I first saw Menace, I was thinking of the fun Dennis is going to have with those whips and chains. Joey’s practically his gimp anyways.

  109. TB Tabby
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:32 am [Reply]

    I don’t believe it…I SOLVED TODAY’S SLYLOCK FOX!!! It was a total guess, obviously, but my guess matched up with the arbitrary answer. Now to tear this thing apart:

    First off, who gave this guy his own reality show? What studio suit thought people would want to see a bad caricature of Groucho Marx with skin the color of peppermint ice cream build a robot that looks like the bastard love child of Bender and the Tin Man? Second, since the cameraman has been filming him the whole time, wouldn’t the footage prove he was lying? And third, exactly what law is Count Weirdly breaking by lying about how long ago he built the robot?

  110. Dingo
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:30 am [Reply]

    Damn. Proves what happens when you try to write something during hours you’re normally asleep; my id is showing. I meant to type “defiance” and wrote “deviance” instead. Well, on my keyboard, the two letters are just a stroke apart. Yet, I keep wondering what the creatures inside of my mind were thinking. Perhaps it was the spectres at work in me.

    Your honors, the devine College of Cardinals, I present to you the following:

    Mary “Call me Sugartits” Worth, 2006/12/17

    Panel 1) Gary Dent points his rather long finger (Hmm? Mmm…) at Ella Byrd while she is esconsed between Ian Cameron (Ph.D., don’cha know) and Mary Worth as though she is a Himalyan sherpa taken hostage by two Yeti in human clothing (well… human clothing purchased at the Kohl’s from Hell).

    Panel 2) Still trying to ascertain whether she looks like Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, or Diane Keaton.

    Panel 3) While Mary lunges at Dent’s heart as though enacting the Santa Royale version of Apocalypto, Ian Cameron gingerly moves slowly away from her. It is now confirmed that Ella is Diane Keaton. Oblivious to everyone, the gangrened body of Niki from Rex Morgan, Mon Deux lies against the wall under a painting of a one-eyed teddy bear with nipples and pubic hair.

    Panel 4) Dent and Cameron pretend to be at a gay nightclub dancing to a Diana Ross song circa 1981. Slylock Fox fans should notice that someone has stolen Dent’s tambourine and Cameron’s poppers. A beaver, perhaps?

    Panel 5) SMWRP (Standard Mary Worth Reaction Panel) – facing left

    Panel 6) SMWRP – facing right

    Panel 7) Multiple events in one panel!
    a: Mary Worth pretends to be Scar from The Lion King;
    b: The witch Ella Byrd waves her hand in the air in a “you can fuck me in the morning when my pussy is fresh” demeanor and, through her powers of telekinesis, causes Dent to smack himself in the head;
    c: Ian Cameron (sigh… Ph.D.) slowly backs down the hallway, fearing that — since covens are always in parties of three — his wife, Toby (short for Tobias) is the last member of the troika.

    Next week: subliminal messages in Slylock Fox.

  111. Damnatio memoriae
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:40 am [Reply]

    And Monty takes a well deserved swipe at “Garfield”

    FOOB: Why is it that every time I read this, I have this wonderful image of some toothless redneck standing over Lynn Johnston saying: “Why, baby? Why you gotta make me hit you again?” *BAM* “You know this hurts me baby, why you gotta do this to me?”

  112. Smurf the Wind Raker
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:44 am [Reply]

    J’Accuse! J’Touche’! Mary Worth straightens out Mr. Dent who in turn slaps his head in frustration.
    “The fine print! How could I have missed the fine print in the Charterstone Rule Book!”

  113. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:46 am [Reply]

    107: LABYRYNTH? Sounds more like Abbott and Costello via Frank Robinson’s THE POWER:

    “You remind me of a man.”
    “What man?”
    “The man with the power.”
    “What power?”
    ” The power of hoo doo…”
    “Hoo doo..?”
    “You do.”
    “Do what?”
    “You remind me of a man.”

  114. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:51 am [Reply]

    Bizarro did a fine cartoon on Garfield, wherein the big G is buckled onto a operating table and white out is being added. Caption: “Garfield gets neutered”.

  115. Ham Gravy
    December 17th, 2006 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    MW: Ahhhh, Gary Dent = Angry Ted.

  116. Calico
    December 17th, 2006 at 8:30 am [Reply]

    #13 and #20 – it’s T-shirt time again, folks…ROFL!

    I’d actually like a T-shirt too with the Jack Elrod Floating Orb in Mark Trail.

    “Release the Beavers” – BTW, that reminds me – where is Cherry – did Mark dump her or did she run away with Kelly?

    MW 12/17 – The incredible shrinking Ella – that must be a special psychic biddy superpower.
    And gosh, Gary could’ve had a V-8!

  117. True Fable
    December 17th, 2006 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    MT never mind the incredible shrinking Ella – get a load of that giant toad! Little beaver is genuflecting before the Great Toad Buddha of the forest! That brings him to Aspen where everyone knows, all the beavers can be found! Look there’s one now, her name is Bunny!!
    All hail the Great Toad Buddha.
    FBOFW Does Lynn Johnson make their eyes big and bug-eyed, just so they will noticably blink on the website? That bugs the everlasting crapola out of me.
    MW Mary’s magnificent Frankenstein head profile. It’s enough to bring Aldo back from the dead.
    A3G First the library, now the Metro Musuem of Art. All this culture is making poor lil LuAnn trip out. “Go-OO-Lee, Sargint Carter! I’m seein’ Haints!”
    JP Translation: “Neddy, I’m’ll bitch slap you back to last week!” But then we could see the Meltdown and Denying Missy again, so okay that would work.
    RMMD Watch out, Elvis. June’s packing an Attitude.
    12/17 MW Panel two, everybody all together now: “I don’t know, How Ugly Is It?”
    And they left out the “D’oh!” in the last panel..
    So Ella can go ahead and run her call biddy service after all. Because it sure ain’t Call Girl.

  118. Marion_Delgado
    December 17th, 2006 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    Anne Faye:

    ALAS! What Mrs. Mennis actually said was “The way you two act, the closet is out of the question, I think.”

  119. Squawk
    December 17th, 2006 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    DTM: Actually, Dennis, the closet is always off limits, because that’s where Mom keeps her leather, whips, chains, stilettos, and handcuffs. It has nothing to do with Christmas.

  120. Len
    December 17th, 2006 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Hmm… Radioactivity apparently makes you blonde!

    Nice Legion of Victorious Pets. But HUH? How come no Victory Squid?

  121. Len
    December 17th, 2006 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    So LuAnn in A3G goes to all the cultural centers of Noo Yawk, and everywhere she goes, a be-spectacled nerd in an ill-fitting suit will begin salivating at the sight of her?

    It’s Christmas-time, and LuAnn is conscripting her very own Salivation Army!

  122. Charlotte
    December 17th, 2006 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    I usually lag a few years behind technology – meaning that I know what an iPod is – I just have yet to buy one.
    What is up with FOOB? April is dancing around wearing an iPod and they are listening to a Boom Box. I am pretty sure this is not standard usage.
    Anyone wish to enlighten me?

  123. Summerhouse
    December 17th, 2006 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    #90/91 GM,MP – You are so funny. *Sighs, shakes head* Why are the good ones always married or on full boat scholarships?

  124. Harold
    December 17th, 2006 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    I just ruined my eyes reading Slylock Fox on the Washington Post website. I guessed the answer to the puzzle, too, based on the fact that there was no way to determine the answer from the image, so we have to make up our own facts. Yayyy for fabricating evidence!

    “I can see from the condensation on your earrings that you have just come in from a very cold place. Therefore you must have stolen Theodore Beaver’s wallet.”
    “But these aren’t earrings, they’re jaw rings! And there isn’t any condensation on them!”
    “Irrelevant. Case closed. Book her, Max!”

  125. MossMoses
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    Gary Dent – drama queen. The guy overgesticulates left and right, pointing, slapping head, raised hand “a ha” gesture and a few more he’s saving for the Board Meeting. My guess about the Charterstone by laws being favorable for positive commerce on the premises, like the new Biddy’s clairvoyant spiritual advising, proved correct. The first panel with Professor Ian Cameron and Mary Worth glowering at the evil Gary Dent is exactly like the socialist art in my ChiComm reader with the proud Chinese villagers standing proud and staring defiantly at the Japanese soldier pointing a gun at them. “If looks could kill”.

  126. Kenny
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    We had this thing going through town once called Beaver Fever, which was actually just a cute name for dysentery. The south side of town had a boil-water advisory and most of them got real sick… thankfully they caught it before it got through to the other side of town where I lived. Where was I going with this?

  127. AJ
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    Regarding the December 16 Dennis the Menace–I am trying to figure out why Dennis’ friend ( I forgot his name) looks so MAD!

  128. Ellie M.
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    About Ella’s bizarre “high five me” hand gesture in MW’s final panel today: does anyone else think that isn’t really her arm? As usual, the figures are so poorly drawn that it’s hard to tell, but it looks to me as though the waving arm is actually attached to Mary, the one who’s talking. Imagine the sleeve of the arm as pink (Mary) instead of yellow (Ella), and it makes sense. I think the colorist made a mistake.

    Either that, or Ella really is doing a “high five.”

  129. Chance
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    Also, if it’s December, it’s cold out where Dennis lives, and Joey really, really ought to get out of the pink half-shirt and shorts getup by now.

  130. MossMoses
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    128. Ellie M. Great observation. If that really is Ella’s hand, her arm’s so long that her knuckles must drag when she walks and that’s really weird considering her diminuitive midget stature in panel one. MW characters have freakish looking palms, too. “How ugly your displaced anger is” is t shirt material. I could alternate that myself with the “I don’t understand your hostility” shirt and it would make perfect sense.

  131. gleeb
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    69 – Actually, by the time you get to the end of October in the liturgical year, Jesus has grown up, performed his ministry, died, been resurrected, and ascended to Heaven. The goblins can’t touch him.

    Also, in The Amazing Spider-Man for Sunday, the web-slinger tells Doc Oc that spiders are small and quick, while octopuses are slow. The Pete Rose-coiffed villain says Spidey is wrong. The usage-challenged Spider-Man then “corrects” himself by saying “octopi”. Sorry, Parker, but you should stick to photojournalism. Both “octopuses” or, if you’re hyper-correct “octopodes” (it’s Greek, you know) are correct. “Octopi” doesn’t have a tentacle to stand on.

  132. jules
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    Today’s A3G: Gasp! Albert Pinkham Ryder is all at sea!

  133. jules
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    “Suppose you wrote a strip that papers ran only because it let them carry Doonesbury.”

    Uncle Lumpy, my paper carries Doonesbury, but not Mallard Fillmore – and I give thanks every day!

  134. Sheilagh
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    I have a question. Does anyone think the lame-o advice in Sally Forth, on how to pick out a Christmas gift for someone, was actually intended seriously? You know, all that crap about “My husband loves golf, so I give him golf books and golf toys and golf clothes and golf knickknacks” or whatever the hell she said. Is that supposed to be good advice? Because presents picked out on that principle invariably suck.

    * If the person is actually an expert at X — golf, if you will (I won’t!) — then X-themed presents picked out by a tyro are most likely inappropriate.

    * As a friend of mine once pointed out, “Sure, I love my cat. Why would that mean I love cat kitsch???” Well, ditto for golf kitsch or any other kind of kitsch…

    I mean, really.

  135. queek
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    Sunday snark.

    Lio takes a swipe at Beetle Baily

    PBS: SOO not the Xmas spirit!

    Zits: note to the ‘rents. Further information on pronking can be found in Mark Trail. And on the internet.

  136. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    # 92 & 93 — James and Uncle Lumpy, thanks for the enlightenment. I was a marching band member throughout high school (flute) because we were required, in order to play in any high school musical organization, to join the marching band. Our director enlarged my vocabulary (fascism, emotional abuse, deranged, frostbite, misogyny), to the point that whatever the trombone section did, I didn’t notice. Perhaps following FW will turn out to be therapeutic.

  137. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    And I’d like to say that my week in the COTW position has been a glorious experience. And during these final hours, as I prepare to doff the crown, remove the sash, and kick off the high heels, I just want to add (sniff) that I really hope the next COTW winner will have as wonderful a week as I’ve had. Josh bless us, every one.

  138. Pinback65
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    I apologize in advance, because I know it’s a given that BC makes no sense, but seriously: Today’s BC MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE! Aside from the usual Johnny Hart wackiness–odd turns of phrase like “run like a scalded dog” and using way too many panels to establish the premise–we have the punchline. Clumsy runs so deep he runs under water. But the football bounces off the frozen surface of the water. So how did he…I mean, if it’s…because, after all…

    Blaming Hart seems too easy; he has editors, right? Can’t someone tell him to rethink the gag? Can’t someone tell him it doesn’t work? Can’t someone tell him, please, for the love of God, stop it?

  139. Pinback65
    December 17th, 2006 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    137–Now I’m going to start using the phrase “Josh bless us, every one.” A lot. And people will give me funny looks, and wonder what I’m talking about, and eventually even I will forget what it means or where it came from.

    Which, come to think of it, is pretty much standard procedure for me…

  140. yudantaiteki
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    You should take a look at the old Dennis the Menace strips from the early days (50′s), which are now being reprinted — he’s much more of an actual menace in those strips.

  141. Hippocrass
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    Man Apt 3G just gave me the best pickup line for museum chicks.
    “I’m a docent”

    Then he lays it on thick with his expert knowledge of the geographic locations of various artists’ homes.

    Now all we need is a love interest for Tommie and it’ll be the best Christmas ever.

    Oh wait. It’s Tommie.

  142. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    I was downloading songs onto my iPod and there was a snippet of interview on the TRASHBOX cd set with THE SHADOWS OF KNIGHT. Lead singer: Jeremy Jones.

    FOOB in joke? Jeremy Jones being a running character in the strip, who knows about music.

    Cosmic Co incidence?

    Or Wha….?

  143. sick and twisted nancy
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    I was afraid that the rigors of curmudgeonry had drained you, Josh. You’ve been nice and low-key and almost tasteful lately. With the Dec. 15 Family Circus comment, you have reassured me. I count on you, oh curmudgeon, to make me laugh out loud in delight. More Zombie Jesus. Please, someone, some god of comicdom, please send Zombie J to Lost Forest, to Chatterstone, to RRMD’s parallel universe.

  144. cinephile
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    I stared and stared at Crankshaft this morning, trying to get my head around the notion that they’d actually used “pimped” in the same sentence as “crankshaft,” which was a thought just too disturbing for words. But really, what was the point of the strip? That commercialism is bad? That (har har) he used too many lights? A Charlie Brown Christmas covered this with more wit and heart, National Lampoon’s Christmas did it with more goofy schtick, and if I want didactic religious lectures, I’ll turn to the ironically-titled “B.C.” Or is that that artist of this strip, like his mournful-looking characters, has completely lost the capacity for joy? Seriously, the facial expressions of the characters were just so sad and distraught, as if they were staring at a war zone or something.

  145. Frank Drackman
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    #135…You’re right LIO bee-otch slapped old Mort Walker…maybe this is a hopeful trend in the comix business..

  146. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    #137 Poteet -

    You can so, totally, leave the high heels on.

  147. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    A3G — As a forty-year Ryder fanatic (two Ryder posters on the wall as I type), I guess I appreciate the creators of A3G possibly causing a few more people to check out his actual work. On the other hand, his painting as portrayed in today’s strip is umm, Lu Annish, and I’m afraid that’s not a compliment.

  148. commodorejohn
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    Jeez, I’d read people noting how small Ella is in MW, but it’s never been more plainly obvious than in this Sunday’s strip. Look at her! She practically qualifies for midget status! (Which goes a long way towards explaining why everybody rushes to her defense.)

    Also, FOOB just makes me madder and madder. If I were the relative of a stroke victim or anybody else impaired and undergoing therapy, I’d be about ready to gnaw out Lynn Johnston’s liver right now. And…”wrap music?” Not only is that one of the weakest puns I’ve ever heard, I’m 100% sure it was used during a previous FOOB December.

  149. Eric the DiscoBoy.
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    #144 cinepile — I think they’re using the word in the “Pimp My Ride” sense. This, of course, doesn’t make the joke funny. Unless you consider midwestern white folks trying to sound “street” while saying “Crankshaft decorated his house this year” to be funny.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  150. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    # 146 — Aww, thanks, Uncle Lumpy. And that Lucky song of yours is still dancin’ through my brain.

    # 148 — I’ll repeat my grim prediction that Gwampa will give his first major-though-halting speech on the occasion of the Liz//Granthony wedding, thereby setting off a massive barfstorm on CC that will last for days.

  151. Red Greenback
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    FBoFW: The “punchline” would have been better if she said “Porno Music”

  152. Chance
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    #134 – what if you like kitsch? it may follow that you’ll enjoy kitsch-related kitsch.

  153. Harold
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    I like Crankshaft. I like it because of the curmudgeonly but relatively malice-free attitude of the title character. Today’s strip is a little odd, though. The neighbors observing Crankshaft’s decorations are the naive materialistic Yuppie couple who have recently moved into the neighborhood. If they appear sad and distraught, it’s because they realize that the cranky old guy next door has completely outdone them with his decorations.

    This strip is a little off because, as of yesterday, the lines of reflectors were the only “decorations” in the yard, and the joke was that Crankshaft’s house had won the city’s outdoor decorating contest on the basis of the reflectors alone. I wonder if the original layout of today’s strip had Crankshaft looking at the Yuppie neighbors’ house and making the “pimped yard” comment, only for it to be deemed far too disturbing when coming out of his mouth.

  154. Harold
    December 17th, 2006 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Poteet, I will go so far as to predict that Gwampa will utter the final words of the regular run of the strip, spoken at the Liz and Paul and/or Anthony’s wedding ceremony, echoing the minister’s intonation: “For better…or for worse.” The strip will then implode in a cataclysm of treacle, bathos, and smug self-righteous moral superiority.

  155. Harry Paratestes
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    A3G (12/17) OMFG, what is that hideous painting in the last panel? It looks like “Kangaroo Projectile Vomiting On Mans Head While Observed By Two Obese Bats.” I guess A. Pinkham Ryder was just out of it on paint thinner of something. And also, it looks like Luann’s going to have a nerd stalker, after he finishes spooging in his tighty-whities.

  156. Eric the DiscoBoy.
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    #153 Harold — Those were supposed to be relectors? They looked like giant matches to me, which in my opinion would make for way cooler decorations.

  157. Dingo
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    I will second Harold #154 and hope that Lynn ends the strip with a marriage between Paul and Anthony. Yessssss. That’d give the red provinces (you have red provinces up there, right?) something to jaw on.

    Get in the cage, Anthony. Get in the cage.

  158. Donald The Anarchist
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    DTM He may not be publicly a Menace any more, but there’s something creepy about that smile that makes him somewhat menacing. Maybe the closet’s where he normally deposits the results of his “experiments”?

  159. jules
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    154: Oh my God, I hope so. Mostly because a) I wanna see that implosion and b) I really like the word “treacle.”

    Someone (I’ve lost track of you – sorry!) mentioned that Dennis used to be really menacing, which leads me to admit that I have a favorite Dennis the Menace strip (square?). It’s probably from the late 70′s, because I remember seeing it when I was a kid. Dennis is lurking menacingly in the background, his mother is sobbing hysterically while his father holds her, and she sobs, “But why? WHY would he put an onion in my lingerie drawer?”

    Now THAT’s a menace.

  160. Summerhouse
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    #144 – Cinephile – Crankshaft has been re-focused. Henceforth it is about a multigenerational family and their zany antics with driveway reflectors. Next week, the kids pull them up and shape them like an arrow to guide Santa. Followed by Ed using them to make a “prohibited” sign around his snowblower. In February, there will be a funny/sad story arc about a neighborhood child stealing them to give to his Mom because they are pretty and red, and he has no money for roses. The strip will run under its new title, “Kill Me Now” begining January 1, 2007.

  161. AppleGirl
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    151 – Yes! That would be funnier. In fact, EVERY comic strip would be funnier if the punchline was “porno music.”

  162. AppleGirl
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    Poteet, you have been a most gracious and benevolent COTW Queen. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule of cruiseship christenings, commencement speeches and shopping center grand openings to explain to me who the heck Marie is in JP the other night.

  163. Calico
    December 17th, 2006 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    #157 – Just great-heh.
    What is Paul’s nickname – Digger or Suds or some other horrible nick?

  164. Calico
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    #159 – She should be thankful he didn’t leave a dead fish in that same drawer.

  165. Heckler123
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    Regarding Sunday’s DTM – When did Margaret become Maggie?

  166. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    “Red” and “blue” are reversed up here, because red is the colour of the Liberal Party and the Conservatives have usually been depicted using blue.

    Alberta (where I lived for the first three years of my life) is usually regarded as Canada’s most conservative province.

  167. Brendan
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    #81 – Throw Prickly City into the mix and it’s a miracle he’s not on coke.

  168. Dingo
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    Dios mio, Skullturf. Alberta is the province that gave us kd lang. That’s… that’s like finding out the Dixie Chicks are from Texas or Rush Limbaugh is an addict.

  169. Dingo
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    What exactly do Dennis and Joey do in that closet that would make Santa put them on the “naughty” list? Maybe I’m just a curmudgeon (!!!) but I always thought that Joey was Dennis’ bitch.

  170. commodorejohn
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    #154 – I’d always assumed that FOOB was the result of such an implosion.

    Or perhaps, perhaps, it’s the result of an explosion of said substances, and will end in an implosion, which will result in another explosion in a different comicsverse, and…no, no it’s too horrible to contemplate. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!

  171. Heckler123
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    #170 – I like a man who knows his Lovecraft. Make of that what you will.

  172. Red Greenback
    December 17th, 2006 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Joey’s name is actually Josephine, and his parents always wanted a boy, so they’ve always dressed her as one, and made him play with slingshots, army men, et al. Joey’s first words will be: “I have a sexual identity crisis”.

  173. rafael
    December 17th, 2006 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    Dennis: Saddle Shoes
    Joey: Chuck Taylors
    ¿Que es mas menacing?

  174. Red Greenback
    December 17th, 2006 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    Actually, Dennis looks a lot like “Joey” Heatherton and Joey looks like Brandon Teena. …Whoa, the mind reels with the sexual-politcal ramifications!…Keep reaching for that rainbow, kids!

  175. Randy S
    December 17th, 2006 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    Regarding the “You remind me of the man” song.
    Personally I remember it from The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, starring Cary Grant and a teenaged Shirley Temple.
    I have no idea offhand if this precedes the Abbott and Costello version.

  176. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    # 162 — Thank you, AppleGirl. My favorite events have been those at which I was able to explain my plans for world peace, more baton-twirling contests, and lots and lots of lollipops and hair ribbons for little children everywhere.

    For what it’s worth, Marie has dark/black hair and is rather attractive, and often runs around in a black dress and white apron and even a little white maid’s cap, or at least she did in olden days. I can’t remember if we’ve seen her since Abbey morphed into a sex goddess, so it will be interesting to see if Marie has been tarted up as well. I’m through expecting actual progress in that strip, so maybe if we’re lucky, Marie will appear in three weeks or so.

  177. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    # 163 — Calico, when Paul’s friend from years past showed up to teach school at Mtigwhatsit and she and Paul recognized each other and had a joyous hugging reunion, it was made clear that to each other, they were “Chipper” and “Suds.” I can’t remember which is which, but then I don’t really care:-). What I liked was seeing Lizardbreath’s unease.

    Unfortunately, Michael, the Foobian I hate most, probably has nothng to worry about as far as Dee is concerned. Which is a shame.

  178. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:14 pm [Reply]

    # 178 — Oops, make that “nothing” to worry about. And as a P.S. I wonder if Weed and Carly will be left dangling and ignored when this extravaganza grinds into time freeze.

  179. Ham Gravy
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    Has the Curmdgeonly facination with anagrams subsided completely? Gary Dent is Angry Ted! (I point accusingly! I slap my forehead!)

  180. Anonymous
    December 17th, 2006 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    If you haven’t heard…

    Archie, Betty, Veronica, et al, are getting a new, more realistic look.

  181. Ham Gravy
    December 17th, 2006 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    {re: 179: probably this has already been observed, but I hadn’t known “Mr. Dents’” first name was Gary until this morning}

  182. Ham Gravy
    December 17th, 2006 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    oop, that apostrophe goes between the t and s. doh!

  183. Randy S
    December 17th, 2006 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    179: Yeah, that’s actually a pretty good one.
    When they first revealed his full name I inserted the name into an anagram generator and got a fairly concise list, but somehow I missed that one

  184. dimestore lipstick
    December 17th, 2006 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    A3G–We haven’t actually seen this guy
    in the strip, have we?

    Incidentally, I’m pretty sure that painting they’re looking at is in the Smithsonian, not the Met.

  185. Frank Drackman
    December 17th, 2006 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    Wow that new Betty and Veronica look like porn stars…might have to check out the first issue

  186. Islamorada Girl
    December 17th, 2006 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    The perfesser is actually 190 year old American Impressionist Albert Pinkham Ryder!
    Suddenly, 3G makes sense.

  187. jules
    December 17th, 2006 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    #180: NOOOOOOOOOOO! How can they change Archie and the gang?! Archie’s waffle-head! Jughead’s dorky hat! I love Jughead’s dorky hat! Will Dalton get contacts? The horror…the horror…must go dig up my old Archies and Mad House Comics. Those two were my favorites. I just totally dug the corniness. More realistic…*mutter mutter*

  188. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    # 187 — I’m with you, jules. But since I don’t follow the strip, I suppose I shouldn’t get a vote. I’m just glad I wasted several hours of my irreplaceable youthful summer hours staring slack-jawed at the REAL Archie and his friends. They were ridiculously unreal characters doing ridiculously unreal things, and that was great.

  189. AppleGirl
    December 17th, 2006 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    180 – I like that the new Veronica appears to be hispanic, epecially since she’s the one from the wealthy family. I hope they break a few stereotypes, but I’ve got low expectations given that the new Betty looks like Britney Spears. “Oops I did it again!”

  190. Ham Gravy
    December 17th, 2006 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    12/17 Zits contains a pronking reference:

  191. Awfulart
    December 17th, 2006 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    In todays “Annie” fantasy, Mr Am became Mr Was.. Maybe Mr Hart can become Mr Tinsley’s Liver…!!!

  192. Frank Drackman
    December 17th, 2006 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    #187 “Mad House”..thats a frightening thought..was that the one that had the “Mad House Glads” music group…sort of a comic version of “the monkeys”..I hadn’t thought of that horror since around 1972 or so..

  193. Mr. O’Malley
    December 17th, 2006 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    Is it just me or is Mary Worth getting more like Slylock Fox? All this build-up and then–”you see, Mr. Dent, according to the rules no one wearing cold earrings can be evicted from Charterstone without a formal complaint from a beaver.”

  194. AhClem
    December 17th, 2006 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    #180 – Outside of the obvious slutting-up of Betty & Veronica, I was blown away (no pun intended) to notice the cover price of $3.69. I haven’t purchased comic books in a very long time, but I grew up in the 12-cent era (25 cents for double issues).

    I guess that makes me even older than the latest Mary Worth plotline.

    If they are still publishing “Little Archie,” I suppose B&V would look like Bratz dolls.

  195. Queen of West Procrastination
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    #125 – I’ve been thinking about Dent’s drama-queen over-gesticulation, and I think I have it. Pencil moustache? Over-exaggerated actions? Adultery? Trying to get an old lady evicted? Gary Dent is a silent movie villain. I can’t wait until next week, when he ties Ella to railway tracks, only to be foiled (again) by the Charterstone Bylaws.

  196. Poteet
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:43 pm [Reply]

    # 195 — Q of W, I postulated a few days ago that Dent may be Snidely Whiplash from the old Dudley Do-Right Show. But I guess that would mean that Ella is Nell Fenwick and Mary is Dudley, and that concept really hurts my brain.

  197. MonkeyHawk
    December 18th, 2006 at 12:10 am [Reply]

    Interesting that you’d mention the Snidely Whiplash, Dudley Dooright, Nell Fenwick conncection today.

    As it turns out, Chris Hayward, who created all those people…and other classic characters… just died.,0,1988114.story?coll=la-home-obituaries

    The world is a little less funny today.

  198. Poteet
    December 18th, 2006 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    # 197 — Monkeyhawk, you are right. Thanks for sharing that sad news.

    Chris Hayward, you were truly amazing. What a legacy you’ve left. It was such fun to introduce my nieces to ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE several years ago, and to laugh as hard as they did. You will be remembered.

  199. TB Tabby
    December 18th, 2006 at 12:34 am [Reply]

    Shortpacked! just joined in on the Tinsley-bashing fun.

    I see I’m not the only one who thinks he looks like Dan Akroyd.

  200. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    December 18th, 2006 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    Poteet: “as I prepare to doff the crown, remove the sash, and kick off the high heels…”

    Oh, don’t stop there! (damn, I just couldn’t resist.)

  201. Poteet
    December 18th, 2006 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    # 200 — Gadge, I walked right into that one. Har.

  202. Artist Formerly Known as Ben
    December 18th, 2006 at 12:57 am [Reply]

    FBOFW, Sunday, man I can’t believe that joke needed 8 panels.

  203. MonkeyHawk
    December 18th, 2006 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    #198 — Poteet:

    One of the glorious things about Bullwinkle et al was how the shows kept getting funnier the older you got.

    I remember being a kid and laughing at the antics of Moose and Squirrel, then seeing the show in subsequent reruns and getting more and more of the jokes and puns.

    Remember the alternate titles of upcoming episodes? I don’t either, but they were always funny and groanable puns. Perhaps the biggest loss over the past 40 years has been the world’s lack of silly. Rocky & Bullwinkle, Monty Python, a song about an Octopus’s Garden… we alllowed ourselves to be sillier then. Perhaps it was a defense mechanism.

  204. Poteet
    December 18th, 2006 at 1:19 am [Reply]


    JP — Wow! In # 176, I predicted Marie wouldn’t show up for weeks (wrong) but that she might be upgraded (right). “Stranger” is the word for it, Abbey — Marie is now a lightly-freckled hottie! Take HER to Paris — ooh la la.

    MT — Oh geez, here we probably go with a beaver bully theme. But cheer up, Lucky — at least you don’t live in Iowa. Two beavers just north of my land were evicted and shot two weeks ago for blocking a small bridge.

    MW — Ian seems to have about the same facial range as Charlton Heston during the final scene of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Speak, oh prophet, and show us the Charterstone Tablets of Stone!

    Foob — I myself am imagining all the ways the Foobiverse could violently end with the death of all inhabitants, but alas, it’s not putting me to sleep.

    RMMD — Oh Rex, DO ask June how she treated that kid’s jaw. Go on, ask her.

    GA — Walt, you shoulda died while you were ahead.

  205. Poteet
    December 18th, 2006 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    # 203 — Monkeyhawk, you are so right. Seeing the shows with my nieces was even better than seeing them as a kid. And ROCKY managed to provide clever silliness with few transient-pop-culture references, a feat that few manage today. All hail, Chris & Jay & Co.

  206. James Schend
    December 18th, 2006 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    Now wait, let’s be fair. What is “Sponge Bob Square Pants” but unadulterated silly? Let’s not get mired in the whole nostalgia thing and completely ignore the suitable silly and crazy cartoons on TV right now at this very moment.

  207. TB Tabby
    December 18th, 2006 at 1:55 am [Reply]

    206: But Spongebob rapes my childhood!

  208. Nyssa23
    December 18th, 2006 at 2:57 am [Reply]

    FW: Looks like John the Comic Book Guy is going to be present at Becky’s delivery. Which is only fitting, seeing as how he’ll be raising the kid once Wally is dispatched by insurgents/friendly fire/spontaneous combustion.

    RMMD: The look on June’s face in the second panel says “oh shit, I was supposed to do something about that kid’s broken jaw, wasn’t I?” Here’s hoping Rex has some kind of shame speech planned.

  209. Nyssa23
    December 18th, 2006 at 2:59 am [Reply]

    Oh, and don’t miss TDIET, as a Mr.–Foghorn, was it?–lays the smack down on poor old Rollie Fingers. For shame, sir!

  210. Dub Not Dubya
    December 18th, 2006 at 3:42 am [Reply]

    OMG….Monday’s MW:

    There can only be one reason why Ella Zbien is holding that hat strategically in front of Mary’s crotch. Well, two reasons, actually. Either Mary’s a pre-op transsexual or she’s wearing a strap-on. Either way, she’s showing, and Ella is trying to hide it. Oh the horror!

  211. Dub Not Dubya
    December 18th, 2006 at 3:45 am [Reply]

    I should add: Not that there’s anything wrong with that, except that I don’t think that my real-life transsexual friends would want to be represented by Mary Worth.

  212. Summerhouse
    December 18th, 2006 at 4:42 am [Reply]

    #206 – TB Tabby: wow – good comic link.

    Poteet – When I won a COTW, I went on vacation, and off-line, the very next day. I didn’t get to bask, which was sad. Anyway, I was still on vacation when my reign ended. Till your comment today, I hadn’t thought about how I’d have handled the change-over, had I been present. I picture myself standing resentfully, foot tapping, eyes rolling, chain smoking cig’s and saying, “Let’s just do this thing, for Christ’s sake!” with my crown still firmly on my head and my sceptre in my sweaty grasp. Oh, it wouldn’t have been pretty, I’m afraid.

  213. Brendan
    December 18th, 2006 at 5:41 am [Reply]

    #180 – What the hell happened to her hair…?!

  214. Pinback65
    December 18th, 2006 at 7:00 am [Reply]

    Oooo, please, please tell me that 3-G is turning into a new series, The Young John Chancellor Chronicles. Chapter One: John’s chance encounter with a blank-faced but disturbed school teacher prompts an unexpected interest in current events, leading him to ditch his museum job and take the first step on his road to respectable mediocrity in the world of network news.

  215. Wonkey the Monkey
    December 18th, 2006 at 7:12 am [Reply]

    Rusty has obviously developed a psychic connection with this beaver. I’m really looking forward to a future strip in which Rusty’s leg inexplicably snaps in two (possibly while hiking in the mountains — imagine the weeks and weeks of rescue strips!) just as — miles away — the beaver stumbles into a bear trap.

  216. LittleGuy
    December 18th, 2006 at 7:31 am [Reply]

    Phantom: I call shenanigans. As soon as we see the Prez start to lose, Phantom and/or Devil will be there to ‘even’ the odds.


  217. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 18th, 2006 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    f”””By the way, if it’s December, any child with even the most basic concept of how numbers work knows exactly how many days there are left until Christmas. In America, that’s how most of us learn to subtract.”””

    Josh, the above quote may well appear in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. It is so true.

  218. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 18th, 2006 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    Hey, who’s that in the manger? Why it’s Stoltzfus, the Amish wiseman!

    Electricity makes baby Jesus cry.

  219. Poteet
    December 18th, 2006 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    # 212 — Summerhouse, I sure hope you check this thread again, because I want you to know I laughed so hard at your comment that three cats fled the room. Superb!

  220. White Rabbit
    December 18th, 2006 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    107… In the exchange you quote from Labyrinth, the right line isn’t “Jesus Power.” It’s “The power of voodoo” which, you see, rhymes with the next line, “Who do?”. Unless you’ve been watching a version that’s been dubbed for showing on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

  221. Len
    December 18th, 2006 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    #134 — I relate. I love Tibetan art, but all my sister sees is “Buddhism” — so she buys me fat little Ho-Tai (laughing Buddha) statues! I want mandalas and images of Tara!

  222. Len
    December 18th, 2006 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    #197 — My friend Ken had an actor Uncle, David Gale, who appeared in Soap Operas and played the mad scientist in the classic horror movie, “Reanimator.” In the early days of TV animation, Uncle David (unemployed actor) used to hang out with an animator friend at the Jay Ward studios. Animator friend had been sketching caricatures of David Gale. (Uncle David was blond, hawk-nosed, and had a huge jaw with a cleft chin.) When Jay Ward saw the sketches, he purportedly announced, “That’s my Mounty!”

    Someone should Google both Chris Hayward and David Gale (actor), so we can determine which of them inspired Dudley.

  223. Red Greenback
    December 18th, 2006 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    #221: “MORE TANKAS, MULE!”

  224. Mibbitmaker
    December 18th, 2006 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    #197: Not only that, but a world without one of the Jay Ward brain trusts is like a world that…would ruin Archie comics.

    Seriously, (re #180), as Harry Lucie was a favorite comic book artist during my childhood (c. 1970-74), this is sacrilege!

  225. Mibbitmaker
    December 18th, 2006 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    Above MT: …And after that, our beaver friend had a pleasant chat about movies with a rabbit.

  226. niccomm
    December 19th, 2006 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    Not sure whether anyone else has posted this already, but you have to see the “Family Circus Christmas Special” here:

    Scroll down for links to video clips from the show.

  227. Harry
    December 19th, 2006 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    Hey, were you aware of this:

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