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Purge on Wednesday, binge on Thursday, and now the inevitable aftermath.

I dislike political comics. Political messages throw characters, relationships, situations, and art — everything that makes good comics good — into the background. Entertainment suffers: even when you agree with their message, the biggest payoff you’re likely to get from a political strip is a smug chuckle at the expense of some imagined adversary. Thin gruel, by my lights.

When somebody raises a stink about their politics, the authors respond with self-promoting claptrap about freedom of speech, speaking truth to power, taking hard stands, making a difference, and other noble causes they have little talent to advance. Most of the time, they aren’t striking a damn blow for any damn thing – just wasting their talent on comics that read like speeches and billboards, and pretty soon start looking like them, too.

So here we go:

Day by Day, 2/1/07

This Web comic trying to make it to print chronicles four co-workers who have paired off and make ever more turgid speeches in ever more revealing poses. Typically, the heavy lifting happens in panel two, as some poor character has to wrench a labored setup into context for the “payoff.” This one makes no sense (Marie Antoinette was surely indulged and confused, but I don’t think she said the peasants were). I love how the cute redhead has to crouch to make room for the yak, yak, yak, . . . . Talk about forgetting your raison d’être, pal!

Doonesbury, 1/27/07

Doonesbury does characters, even public characters, better than anybody – check out that porcine fop Trump in panel 4. But his presidents are always ciphers – helmets, doughnuts, asterisks, and above all, speech bubbles rising out of buildings. I guess it avoids the tiresome task of humanizing them, and leaves more room for the yak, yak, yak. . . . Trudeau is is a genius at building characters like B.D. and Mark Slackmeyer across decades, but his political strips are just lazy.

Mallard Fillmore, 2/1/07

So here’s a picture of somebody writing a letter. About a radio show. And there’s a footnote – with a URL! Why not just put up a sign that says, “I got nothin’ – go someplace else”? I think papers carry this strip for “balance”, i.e., to shut up the Doonesbury critics so they can keep it on the comics page. A nice little irony for Mallard‘s author.

Get Fuzzy, 1/26/07

This is my favorite comic strip in the paper – consistently creative, character-driven comedy, great expressive artwork, and enough play at the borders of the medium to keep it interesting even in a slow week. But not last week. Last week, we got one of the best characters in comics – the peer of B.D., Ted Forth, or Snoopy – hiding behind a poster. Q.E. f’n D.

Are any political strips entertaining? I’d say Al Capp‘s takedown of Joe McCarthy in the ’50′s, and Aaron McGruder’s “Flagee and Ribbon” series after 9/11. I’m sure there have been others. But most of the time, entertainment isn’t the point, and certainly isn’t the result. Whether or not you agree with the politics, most political strips fail as comics.

355 responses to “Indigestion!”

  1. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    I’m not so sure “Get Fuzzy” was all that political per se – more like an excuse to have stupid pot puns. Not that that makes it any firstier. Uh, funnier.

  2. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:54 am [Reply]

    Oh, and that “Day by Day”: what the…? I mean, pretty good art – but the writing is just confused. I have no idea (since I haven’t read Arkin’s article) what the hell the characters are talking about. Plus which, are we supposed not be distracted by all the lovingly rendered curvaceous flesh on display? Cuz if we’re not, it helps if there’s anything else there to be distracted from.

  3. Dynamite XI
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    Trudeau’s rendering of Trump reminds me of the Prosecutor at the end of Pink Floyd The Wall. Maybe it’s just me.

  4. reader-who-posts
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:24 am [Reply]

    I’d put Bloom County at the top of the political cartoons. It was almost always entertaining whether you agreed with the politics or not.

    Currently in terms of political cartoons I like Prickly City the best – it seems to be the only one willing to poke fun at both sides.

    Day by Day is normally crap – pretty poses but not a lot of sense in the dialog – and today is no exception. The analogy just sucks. I don’t think that Marie Antoinette saying “let them eat cake” is analagous to Atkins calling soldiers mercenaries and saying that they get “obscene amenities” in Iraq.

  5. Mike P
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    Way off-topic, but I’d like to think Doctor Jeff in Mary Worth actually isn’t sick. After years of Mary refusing to put out, he’s simply toying with her and making her suffer like she made him suffer. In a month or so, he’ll “get better” and she’ll be much happier to have him back and healthy, while he smirks and thinks, “You got yours.” She’ll never be the wiser.

  6. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    I like most of Trudeau’s political cartoons. But finding out that we have a minor area of disagreement just adds spice to our relationship, Uncle Lumpy:-).

    And now, folks, please forgive a small digression. Those who have perhaps eaten the wrong recipe from the bake sale and are feeling a need to purge need only look at the 2/2 Foob. If I had never been a Foobloatharian before, I’d be one now.

  7. reader-who-posts
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    #3 I thought he looked like Rosie O’Donnell with a toupee.

  8. just me
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    I hate doonesbury and mallard equally; and although I’ve learned to like get fuzzy, I don’t like it when its teaching my kids things they don’t need to be learning about in the funny pages. Can’t we just skip the stoooopid politics and just get back to bashing the foobmeisters?

  9. Monkey David
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    Oh, it its heydey, Doonesbury did both political and character driven humor great (the “Guilty, Guilty, Guilty! cartoon gets a lot of press, but the one with the final brick of the wall in front of the Nixon White House was the best). But he’s lost it completely–he doesn’t care about his characters, and his political humor is just going through the motions. Still, his recent M.I.T. based strips seem to call back to his early days, so I’ll keep reading.

    As for Day by Day, it is what it is–but I do think Marie Antoinette thought the peasants were privileged, that they had cake (at least in legend, not in reality). That’s the foundation of the joke, such as it is.

  10. Fnord Prefect
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:36 am [Reply]

    I’d say you left out one of the best comic strips in history, political or otherwise: Pogo.

    Very political, but all the politics fit into Walt Kelly’s larger framework of sublime nonsense. The characters and the aesthetic blended perfectly with the satire.

  11. anteriorlobe
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:39 am [Reply]

    I’m a bit confused about the Doonesbury comment. The political stuff, whether one agrees with it or not, is what makes Doonesbury. Yes there is also a lot of character development over the decades, and that alone would make it a pretty good comic. But, the political stuff brings out an entirely new dimension. Is it lazy? I don’t agree with him all the time (well, okay, I do a lot these days), but I’m not seeing the political strips as lazy.

    Also, the Trump strips which you show are more anti-Trump than political. Bush is just an incidental player in this one. Personally, I am proud of the fact that I couldn’t stand Trump back in the 80s and 90s. I didn’t wait until the 21st century to jump on the anti-Trump bandwagon, like a lot of today’s young anti-apprentice whippersnappers! (Neither did Trudeau, he has old Trump-is-a-blowhard strips as well.) Of course this also means there is very little else I am proud of…so I’ll change the subject.

    Mallard Fillmore. Well, like many people say, someone needed to do the official anti-Doonesbury in order to all the trees and, er, bits, sent to editor’s across America. My belief: Mallard Fillmore just happened to be on the top of the pile (no, no, I mean on the on the editor’s desk!) and has been slapped into newspapers for that reason, and that reason alone. I doubt anyone, liberal, conservative, anarchist or even the pro-Trump lobby actually reads the thing.

    Indeed, it’s been scientifically proven that an actual mallard would likely be wittier, and the bones of Millard Filmore funnier, that Mallard Fillmore. But apparently neither fowl or the very ex-president are very good at drawing hands and fingers, so we’re stuck with this one until Garry Trudeau retires.

  12. Red 5 Standing By
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    Hey Uncle Lumpy,

    When you say Al Capp, I think you mean Walt Kelly. Al Capp did some political stuff–especially in the sixties, when he veered hard to the right–but Kelly famously skewered McCarthy in his Simple J. Malarkey strips.

    But, for all I know, Al Capp did the same. Well, hey, I had fun delurking.

    Night all!

  13. reader-who-posts
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    #9 I always took that comment as meaning that she didn’t give a damn, but I just read up on it a little and yes, it meant more that she didn’t understand how little the poor had, which in this case is the right analogy. My bad, but that doesn’t make it funny.

  14. Red 5 Standing By
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:43 am [Reply]

    Ope (like “Oh,” but with a ‘p’), I see this Fnord Prefect character was thinking along the same lines. Great minds, and all.

  15. Dingo
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:45 am [Reply]

    If ever there were a reason needed to be given for unleashing a chainsaw enema on Lynn Johnston, reading the “letter” from the “editor” to Michael Patterson in which said “editor” gushes over his novel like a 12-year-old Catholic girl at an N*Sync concert circa 1997 would come close.


  16. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    Sorry, folks, I can’t resist — here are a few words from the author of that “superbly compelling intensely emotional story,” from his very own December letter:


    Wilm deGroot worried about Sheilagh’s safety, the health of the boys and the volatility of Harvey Rood, whose reputation made him gossip fodder. There was something evil about him. Something repugnant and loathsome and strange.

    The story takes many twists and turns. It draws me, like a scribe. I take dictation, I write what these people tell me to write and as I do, I become each one of them. I enter their bodies and their minds. I am Sheilagh, I am Harvey Rood – and my own personality changes as if I were “in character”.


    Death is too good for Michael Patterson.

  17. Boshek
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:10 am [Reply]

    Liz is broken up with Paul and Fallen Warlord Lynn Johnston is now fully divorced from reality. Just, totally free from the constraints of the world. Even though the Anthony thing was the Jump-the-Shark moment for this strip as far as I can tell, all areas have now been eaten up in all-consuming horse-hockey. (A great expression for nonsense which included the word hockey which reminds us of what, class? Canada!) So, from now on, FOOB is pure horse-hockey. That’s the term I’m using and I’m sticking to it right up until they go into stasis.

  18. Beauregard Bugleboy
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    I agree with #12, as obviously I must, that it was Marse Walt Kelly who demolished Joe McCarthy. If Capp did so too, I don’t recall. What I do recall about Capp is his turn to the right in the ’60s, making fun of Joan Baez as Joanie Phoanie. Heavy-handed and wrong-headed Capp was, but he was still funnier than Bruce Tinsley.

  19. S. Jerusalem
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    Not to veer this conversation back to political cartoons (which I do somewhat agree with you on), but oftentimes they forsake humor for an argument. Or, if there’s no substatinal issue that week, there’s just the same tired jokes about Bush or liberal or whatever.

    But yes, “Day By Day” is horribly and makes “Mallard Fillmore” look like “Calvin and Hobbes.” It’s a frequent whipping boy of the liberal blogs for its general incomprehensibility, poor characterization, and blatant cheese-cake appeal. (See how often the female characters are either just out of the shower or just getting dressed.) It’s no surprise that only one newspaper actually prints the stupid thing.

    But if you’re looking for a really good funny politcal cartoon, I’d recommend “Tom the Dancing Bug” over at Salon. It balances general trend humor with political satire better than most.

  20. jnik
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:20 am [Reply]

    Would anyone be surprised if Cancer Girl has just died with a smile on her face?

  21. winky
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    but uncle lumpy… what about “troubletown” or “this modern world”, or “tom the dancing bug” or … there’s lots of funny, well-drawn political cartoons out there. i guess you won’t find them in the funny pages though.

  22. Dingo
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:22 am [Reply]

    I Am Patterson

    with apologies to Helen Reddy

    I am Sheilagh, Harvey Rood
    I’m ev’ry character in a snood!
    And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
    My wife, Deeana, thinks I’m a hack
    And she won’t give me no slack
    Says no one who reads is gonna keep lunch down but then…

    Oh yes writer-wise
    Bulwer-Lytton is my game
    Yes, I’ve paid the price
    My whole life almost went in flame!
    If I have to, I will write anything
    I am strong (strong)
    I am invincible (invincible)
    I am Patterson

    You can bend but never break me
    I’m not like Liz you cannot shake me
    More determined to achieve my final goal
    With a Pulitzer in hand
    I’ll rule this large Tim Horton land!
    ‘Cuz if I’m a writer, this country’s lost its soul


    I am woman watch me grow
    See me stand with cameltoe
    Wait! I’m Toeby Cameron. How’m I in this song?
    Michael Patterson must go
    And Lynn Johnston’s the devil’s ‘ho
    How’d a funny comic strip ever go so wrong?


  23. Brendan
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    What, no Prickly City?

  24. Ribinin
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:42 am [Reply]

    JP: Thank goodness there were Canadians in Paris, or the evening out would have been a total loss.

  25. Jack Parsons
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:09 am [Reply]

    Yes, James Bond is definitely a European comic.

    Nekkid men and women. Yow.

  26. Trilobite
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:10 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker: We’re about to learn why “party like a Canadian in Paris” entered the common parlance, I guess.

    Gil Thorp: “Sit here, call me Mimi, and don’t raise your voice unless I tell you to!” Man, this strip’s getting dirty. *rrrowr!*

    Sally Forth: Apparently in the world of Sally Forth, Ted is actually the most masculine person where he works. Also, one of his co-workers seems to be a Good Humor man, and another has some weird disease where he has the head of a baby but the body of a normal man and wears a fake Rollie Fingers mustache as a disguise.

  27. tommy
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:23 am [Reply]

    excellent commentary. i find politics a sham, and grandstanding more offensive. putting partisan politics in the comics is inexcusable, like a dildo in a sunday school. and ‘day by day’ sucks. they slipped it into out paper with a little article trumpeting its arrival. unimpressed from the start.

  28. Cafangdra
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:24 am [Reply]

    I disagree about Doonesbury; I think the overtly political stories are usually very funny. Less funny than they were twenty years ago, but still stand-alone funny. Although I can see where you’re coming from.

  29. Rhekarid
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:29 am [Reply]

    Silly Day by Day, you’ll never get syndicated like that. Not wearing shirts is too racy for the papers! Your characters are white, that’s a good start, but does that girl have dyed hair? Oh, no. Nothing that might make a 90-year-old frown slightly.

    You make the mistake of confusing political comics with comics. Political comics are just a front for people who crave an audience for the uneducated delusions they heard from an idiot on TV and adopted as their own opinion to save some effort. Drawing them as comics makes it so they don’t have to pretend they have any link to reality.

  30. Caged Tygre
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:02 am [Reply]

    I was watching The Daily Show and I thought I spotted Ian Cameron in a clip from the movie Factory Girl.

    Regarding political strips, they do seem to bewilder newspapers; they don’t know if they should put them in the comics section or the editorials and opinions section. Of course, sports-related comics like In the Bleachers and Tank McNamara are almost always in the sports section.
    Personally, I’d rather the papers just put all the comics together, but then again I hardly get the papers anymore what with the Internet and all.

  31. Milo Bloom
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:03 am [Reply]

    I reread Mallard Fillmore at least five times trying to figure out its punchline, and I could NOT figure out what on earth it meant to “dodge ples.” Nothing is worse that a bad punchline, unless it’s working hard to GET that bad punchline. You’d think the lettering, which is absolutely the most important thing about Mallard Fillmore, would get more attention that it does, but this isn’t the first time I’ve had trouble figuring out what the actual words are supposed to be. Maybe I’ve been distracted by the fact that Mallard, like all conservatives, has one giant eyeball in the middle of his forehead, but two pupils.
    By contrast, I much prefer Doonesbury’s technique of having the talking buildings, because at least it’s clear and easy to read. It’s also, I guess, keeps us from being distracted by caricatures until it’s time to laugh. That goofy picture of Trump would make the punchline funnier…. um, if there was a punchline, which… there isn’t. Okay, never mind, what the hell?

    Unfortunately, none of these examples demonstrate the most irritating feature of political strips: the Sparky The Wonder Penguin Syndrome, where there is one character who is calm, reasonable, collected, well-informed wo is surrounded by a million enraged idiots who disagree with him. He always proves he’s the bigger man by calmly weathering the tirades of his opponents with little more than a sigh, and then calmly points out the logical flaw in the presented argument, before being ignored and calmly walking away to, one assumes, calmly weep for humanity.

    Uhm, anyway, I do have to agree with above posters that classic Doonesbury, Bloom County, and of course especially Pogo are the gold standards of yammery political newspaper comics. Pogo’s combination of wordiness and gorgeous art would be impossible to recreate these days, but that hasn’t stopped absolutely everyone from picking one of the other and running with it.

  32. Milo Bloom
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:11 am [Reply]

    I reread Mallard Fillmore at least five times trying to figure out its punchline, and I could NOT figure out what on earth it meant to “dodge ples.” Nothing is worse that a bad punchline, unless it’s working hard to GET that bad punchline. You’d think the lettering, which is absolutely the most important thing about Mallard Fillmore, would get more attention that it does, but this isn’t the first time I’ve had trouble figuring out what the actual words are supposed to be. Maybe I’ve been distracted by the fact that Mallard, like all conservatives, has one giant eyeball in the middle of his forehead, but two pupils.
    By contrast, I much prefer Doonesbury’s technique of having the talking buildings, because at least it’s clear and easy to read. It’s also, I guess, keeps us from being distracted by caricatures until it’s time to laugh. That goofy picture of Trump would make the punchline funnier…. um, if there was a punchline, which… there isn’t. Okay, never mind, what the hell?

    Unfortunately, none of these comics demonstrate the most irritating feature of political strips: the Sparky The Wonder Penguin Syndrome, where there is one character who is calm, reasonable, collected, and well-informed who is surrounded by a million enraged idiots who disagree with him. He always proves he’s the bigger man by calmly weathering the tirades of his opponents with little more than a sigh, and then calmly points out the logical flaw in the presented argument, before being ignored and calmly walking away to, one assumes, calmly weep for humanity.

    Uhm, anyway, I do have to agree with above posters that classic Doonesbury, Bloom County, and of course especially Pogo are the gold standards of yammery political newspaper comics. Does anyone know if there was anything before Pogo that’s famous for doing that sort of thing well? I imagine that Kelly, despite being just a damn genius, had to be influenced by someone.

  33. Milo Bloom
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:12 am [Reply]

    Uhg…. well, damn. Sorry, everybody.

  34. AppleGirl
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:18 am [Reply]

    When I see all that type crammed into a comic strip, I run away. To me, the joy of a comic strip is the drawing and the idea. Even a poorly-drawn strip can pull me in. And how many hours have I spent staring at all the tiny details in Mary Worth, Rex Morgan and A3G over the years?

    I was interested in politics when I was 12; not so much now. But even when I was 12, I’d much rather read Archie than the editorial cartoons.

    I know we’re all supposed to love Doonesbury, but it’s always bored me to tears. Can I still visit here anyway?

  35. MonkeyHawk
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:29 am [Reply]

    C’mon, now.

    Jackel Rod isn’t really trying anymore.

    Bambi’s mother is spewing the “beavers stay with their mothers for two years” backstory exposition dump?!

    I’m presently working on a screenplay. The biggest problem is distilling the main character’s backstory into an efficient, organic, logical set-up for a second and third act that people who think they know about such things say is commercial and a winner.

    If only I could simply insert Jackel Rod’s talking deer to establish the premise!

    Thanks, whoever you were, for sharing the past Mike Patterson newsletter that makes this week’s contract from God even stupider than the latest FOOBrabbit’s apparent imortality.

    And aren’t we due for Tinsley’s court-ordered diversion classes to translate in to a new clean and sober duck? As he was going to court Tinsley subjected to a dozen or so “resolutions” based on the duck holding holiday nog. We’re soon due for a couple of weeks of Mallard Filmore going through his 5th Step as if he’d invented it.

    “Forgive me for portraying Jews as hook-nosed anti-Americans.” “I’m sorry I grumbled about a Speaker of the House who *didn’t wear a tie*!!!!

    Oh, and “Cathy” sucks.

  36. Coffeeclash
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:49 am [Reply]

    JP – It is clear that Cedric is a FOOB reader, for he has developed the talent of knowing Canadians are present without having his eyes open.

    MT – I know, I know, more information about wetlands can be found on the Internet.

    Doonesbury – the political aspects may cause controversy, but I have always wanted to stalk out of a room with my trash-talkin’, flying robot in tow.

  37. yellojkt
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:18 am [Reply]

    Mallard is refering to the practice of liberal groups throwing pies at conservative speech makers at campus events as a guerilla political stunt. Ann Coulter and Bill Gates (wtf?) have been pied. More whining conservative victimization. “What about our freedom of speech? Whaaa! Whaaa! Whaaa!”

    Day By Day has the most common conservative strip cliche, the ultra-right wing black mouthpiece. Yes, they exist. We have one on the Supreme Court and it isn’t racist to suggest that Tinsley’s pimping of Walter Williams is a subtle for The Duck attack at Obamamania.

    Expect more and more ridiculous politcal posturing in the comments all day. This is why Josh saves the politics for Wonkette.

  38. Karl
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:29 am [Reply]

    For me, the key to understanding Day By Day was to put my hand over the middle panel. Then it makes sense: Evil liberal columnist can’t understand why anyone would want to be a soldier, so he (allegedly) calls them “indulged, confused.” Likewise, Marie A. (allegedly) couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be a peasant, and what’s the big deal was with not having bread when cake is so much tastier anyway. Budda-boom. Cue laugh-card. As for the middle panel… well, he had to fit a girl in underwear in there somewhere, didn’t he? Too bad he gave her a word balloon that apparently floated in from some other cartoon–and used “raison d’etre” without looking it up first.

  39. Galactic Emperor Chennux
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:34 am [Reply]





  40. Lynngineering
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:39 am [Reply]

    Well, in terms of priority here:

    FOOB: Doesn’t it seem that Lynn is reading these comments we have here? I mean, today’s comic is now really pushing everyone’s face into Michael’s good luck (which as I still believe is just more proof of the Michael-who-is-in-a-coma-fantasy).

    The whole strip is just to REPEAT the fact again – DAMN WE ARE SO LUCKY!! THIS IS BETTER THAN ANY OF YOU non-Pattersons!

    Don’t believe Mike is in a coma? Suddenly Deanna is given some responsible “reading” position, like she can read and he can’t? And she understand contracts or whatever. What does she do, she repeats essentially this: MICHAEL YOU ARE A WINNER! MICHAEL YOU ARE GREAT! MICHAEL YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!

    Politics and Comics: There are better places perhaps to discuss it than this site, but – - I really do not see the issues concerning Doonesbury. It is just another league, it’s not comparable to the basic comic strip still around in the newspaper, it reinvented the possibilities. When I grew up with that strip, it served in a way few have to reflect the Nixon Watergate era which was unfolding – where else – in the newspapers.

    Also, there are weird politics to other strips, which don’t just blurt out political messages but instead embed them. I recall “Blondie” being told by her bank loan officer, that her chances aren’t good for a business loan, but if she were a foreigner no problem. I mean, it’s so much odder in that way, when such strips make comments, and I find it worse than when Doonesbury actually bases a world where such comments are part of the daily fabric.

    But I would take the work of Herblock, who is a titan amongst comics and editorial cartoons, and remains fresh, certainly in contrast to the right-wing conservatives talking to themselves with such insider lines one has to wonder what they want to say to “get the joke”…

  41. t.a.m.s.y.
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:44 am [Reply]

    Hey Uncle Lumpy: Thanks for your good work in Josh’s absence. I enjoy the personal touch of today’s digression.

    Political messages throw characters, relationships, situations, and art — everything that makes good comics good — into the background. Entertainment suffers: even when you agree with their message, the biggest payoff you’re likely to get from a political strip is a smug chuckle at the expense of some imagined adversary.

    You just described point-for-point why I’ve never understood the ongoing success of what may be the defining political comic of the decade, Get Your War On. That it hasn’t been mentioned in the comments yet is maybe a sign that people forget it’s even a comic — it’s more like a collegiate editorial, condensed into three sentences, superimposed over clip art and creative use of the word fuck.

    Don’t get me wrong, I entirely side with its politics, and I appreciate creative use of the word fuck. And I guess it deserves some credit as the ultimate parody of the political-strip genre; it eschews all artifice, continuity or story in the name of making a statement.

    My problem with it is that the statement it makes is never really says anything. It’s “edgy,” but it doesn’t take any risks. It’s essentially one joke…and yet it’s still going strong after five-plus years; it’s still the only comic published in Rolling Stone; and it’s newly inspired an off-Broadway play. (Granted, its creator, David Rees, is probably just as surprised by its continued existence as I am.)

    So there’s the Zeitgeist for you: Reality is so disturbing that the only proper response is a blithe sense of irony, disguised, ironically, as reality. Art or philosophy requires more emotional attachment than we can muster, so artists and philosophers are better off just saying “fuck” a lot. I’m not sure whether I’m depressed by all this, or just really excited for it to be incorporated into Mary Worth.

  42. Tux Pendelton
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:50 am [Reply]

    Doonesbury – I always thought that Trudeau was simply doubtful of his ability to draw a real person recognizably. (Trump doesn’t count — he’s already a cartoon character, something Breathed recognized long ago.) Until G.H.W. Bush, I don’t ever recall him showing a president, other than as a hand coming in from out of panel. But of course now he draws them, but without faces. That, to me, isn’t so much lazy as just plain cheating.

    What always annoyed me, though, is the conversations between the president and some flunky with dialogue coming out of the building (like in your example, UL). Most of the time I can’t easily figure out who’s talking. He still manages the occasional gem, though.

    GF – I didn’t really think of Bucky’s PR campagin as really political since it wasn’t tied to a specific current event. It’d work pretty much anywhen. The Doonesbury and Day-by-Day can be anything from “huh?” to a low chuckle depending on how aware you are of current news coverage.

    DbD – Perhaps Muir’s biggest problem is that he often comments on stories that are big news on blogs, but ignored or undercovered in more traditional outlets. Makes it difficult for comics readers who only get their news from the papers. And he used to draw fully-clothed people. Honestly, he did.

    The Comic Which Will Not Be Named – 2/1 was bad, no doubt. But the addition of today’s “letter” quite simply destroys all of the reasonable, benefit-of-the-doubt defenses posted by those who are more familiar with publishing. Face it: Lynn hates us, she really, really hates us.

    And those monthly letters: I have enough to do with my day, now LJ wants to give me a reading assignment? Now that is lazy. As a matter of principle I refuse to do homework in order to make sense of what’s happening to the foobs (as if there were sense to be made). If it didn’t fit on my comics page, it didn’t happen. I just wish that none of it had ever happened.

  43. smacky
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:03 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Perfect opportunity blown to make this joke:

    Nurse (inserting needle): “Now you may feel a bit of a prick.”

    Crankshaft: “So what else is new?”

  44. Audient
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:05 am [Reply]

    No mention of the caveman conservatism and religious fundamentalism of B.C.? Granted, it makes Mallard Fillmore seem clever in comparison.

  45. topliff
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:13 am [Reply]

    Don’t forget BC where Hart tries on occassion not only to make political statements but religious ones as well and fails across the board. Try today’s (2/2). MULE SKINNER? Lots of those magazines lying around. Has there ever been a doctor who had a mule skinner magazine? Has there ever been a mule skinner magazine? WTF is a mule skinner anyway? How about just “Modern Taxidermy?” Or “Malpractice Monthly”, which no doubt graces Hart’s coffee table.

  46. WarOfTheBees
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:29 am [Reply]

    I never was too into Doonesbury (I skimmed the BD losing a leg arc, but that’s about it), not because it disagrees with my politics (it doesn’t) but because, like Uncle Lumpy, I just don’t like political comics.

    Doonesbury is good, but I just can’t get a taste for it.

    Day by Day seems to yell out “Look at me!” with two ads for itself on its own strip, a minor complaint, I know, but it still bothers me.

    I always hated Mallard Fillmore. I don’t know if any of you read America: The Book, but it does have a great parody of MF where he rants about something, then at the end of the strip says “Oops! I forgot to tell a joke!” This strip reminded me of that.

    Get Fuzzy Roxors my soxors.

  47. t.a.m.s.y.
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Oops, while ranting about the woes of society earlier, I forgot that I actually just wanted to talk about Doonesbury. #28: I’m with you. I like the specifically political strips (although today’s was really just using politics as a diversion).

    And I disagree that Trudeau’s use of ciphers is lazy; it’s always been integral to the concept of his White House interludes. Partly because it emphasizes the theme of politicians as empty suits (i.e., real people are portrayed as less human than the fictional characters), but also because using caricatures would, I think, distract from the humor.

    Case in point: panel four. The joke ends up being about making a familiar face into a buffoonish cartoon character, rather than what it is he’s saying. Which works just fine for the traditional one-panel political cartoon, but it’s not usually what Trudeau’s going for. That might seem like a contradiction, since I just finished complaining about Get Your War On being too text-driven, but the difference is that Doonesbury‘s text is actually funny sometimes.

  48. Lettuce
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    Just an FYI — Antoinette’s “let them eat cake” quote likely never happened. Just like any humor in the Day by Day punchline.


    The “let them eat cake” rumour is comparable to today’s urban myths, she says. In 1737 (many years before the revolution), French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau documented the fictional story of the ‘mean princess’ who, when approached by poor people for food, told them to eat cake.

    Suggesting that the poor, for whom even simple bread was unavailable, eat cake would have been an outrageous insult. “It didn’t take much encouragement of the peasantry to attribute the story to Marie Antoinette,” Mori says. “The market women really disliked her and these feelings would have found a great deal of support in the very active Parisian press, coffee house and tavern culture at the time. People likely talked about and believed the rumour.”

  49. Sheilagh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    Thanks for clarifying that Al Capp/Walt Kelly thing — I was scratching my head, having been a huge L’il Abner fan back in my comics-reading youth — not in the fifties, I’m not THAT old, but in the sixties, yeah! Plus I had books with collected old strips that probably DID date to the fifties. I sure don’t remember any McCarthy parody!

    Digression: It used to bug the hell out of me that the milk cartons at school had this little homily on the back, illustrated with Li’l Abner characters — something about “Do you want to be Joe Btfsplk, the guy who’s jinxed — or the guy with the high school education and the JOB?” It showed Abner striding proudly along with a lunch pail… but any fan knows he had a FOURTH-GRADE education and his “job” consisted of showing up to be the tester at the mattress factory and getting ejected on his ear every time.

    Ah, memories. I miss that strip.

    Meanwhile, as long as I’m gassing on here, I’ll point out that the famous remark “Let them eat cake” has nothing to do with “cake” as we understand it (you know, with layers and frosting and lots of eggs and butter). “Cake” was the baked-on crud left in the pan after you removed the loaf of bread. Marie A. was NOT demonstrating how out-of-touch she was in supposing that the peasants had yummy confections available — she was callously suggested that they live on scraped-off crud, and fuck ‘em. Neither is an attractive stance, but still, let’s be historically accurate!

    Shall I change my name back to Sheila? Those excerpts from the Sheilagh novel make me go “oog”.

  50. dreadedcandiru2
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:55 am [Reply]

    FOOB: More ranting about Michael’s insane good luck, today. Why the hell do I get the feeling we’ll soon see a strip where these jokers will stop a second and ask themselves where the fuck Elizabeth is, then cut to her slitting her wrists?

  51. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:06 am [Reply]

    FBoFW It just occured to me that Lynn Johnston decided to stop aging her characters because they are all starting to look alike, and if Mike ages any more, he’s just a pair of glasses away from looking like his mother.

    Make of that what you will!

  52. Cowboy Dave
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    In all the Doonesbury slagging going on, I feel obliged to point out that 1.) Trudeau managed to keep his comic funny and interesting longer than any cartoonist I’m aware of, including Peanuts; 2.) his decision to take a year off back in ’84 set other cartoonists free to leave as well, which is why (for example) Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side never wore out their welcome and remain perfect examples of daily cartoon art; and 3.) Doonesbury is more responsible than any cartoon I’m aware of for the modern verbal style of cartooning, especially in the timing of jokes. It was Trudeau who moved the punchline from the last panel to the second-to-last, and threw in character-driven quips in the early panels. (Yes, Pogo did the amusing rambling comments first, but notice that it was only once Doonesbury became popular that the influence spread throughout the other comics.) Without Doonesbury, there’s no Bloom County, no Foob, no Mutts, and no Get Fuzzy.

    I’m all for criticizing comics that have lost their way, and I don’t read Doonesbury very much anymore. But it would be a shame if this conversation continued without a moment to genuflect. Trudeau deserves much respect, and he’s in need of a reassessment. (First step: stop turning out distractingly crappy strips so people remember the good times.)

  53. Trilobite
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:10 am [Reply]

    #47 – t.a.m.s.y.:

    You make some good points about GYWO, but for me, the allure of cheap clip art combined with profanity-laced indignant ranting hasn’t really worn off. When I check in on its web page every couple of months, I typically get a good laugh out of two or three comics on each page. I’m not sure if that means it works as a comic strip, because I’d almost certainly enjoy it just as much if it was just some dude calling me on the phone to say that stuff, but for free entertainment it ain’t so bad.

    Though I’m more partial to his My New Filing System is Unstoppable strips, to be perfectly honest. It appeals to my memories of my old, utterly stultifying job doing work that absolutely did not matter to anyone at all…least of all myself. (Back then, I prominently posted the “When I see this much Scotch tape being used, I know some serious bullshit is afoot!!! This fucking tomfoolery will end once I get to firing motherfuckers!” strip and must’ve read it sixteen times a day.)

  54. willethompson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    What the margo? Non-funny ‘political’ cartoons? OK, I’ll play…warily…

    MF: Shouldn’t he be migrating about now? Isn’t there a way to bait a few Atlantic flyway ponds with conservative-looking decoys (three-piece suits and Buchanan 2000 buttons) then get Dick Cheney to go duck hunting?

    Dberry: The Trump thing is an anolomy. He regained status in my eyes when the medics cut off BD’s helmet in evac.

    Day By Day: Gratuitous booty AND the requirement that I do my out-of-class reading prior to pouring the coffee? PASS!

  55. Gatormom
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Barf-o-rama.

    DOONESBURY: The only intelligent comic strip out there. Trudeau is brilliant.

  56. Spunde
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:17 am [Reply]

    Think of “Day By Day” as a comment in cartoon strip form on a popular conservative blog on the hot topic of the day. If you don’t read the hot topic of the day on a popular conservative blog, it won’t make much sense.

    Even if you do, “Day By Day” turned into a soft porn strip, but not so gradually we didn’t even notice.

  57. reader-who-posts
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:25 am [Reply]

  58. lugbutt scaduto
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    Of course, MF is in papers to provide balance vs. Doonesbury – my local paper runs them in adjacent spaces.

    Tinsley, and his hero Rush Limbaugh, have long ceased to provide (if they ever did) thoughtful or interesting commentary on current events – they just get their kicks from how simple it is to push a few buttons and get the flaming liberals flaming. I can picture Tinsley reading these comments and thinking, “gee, that was just too easy.” You know the old joke, “how many liberals does it take to screw in a light bulb?” “One, and that’s not funny!!!”

    Although I lean libertarian on social issues and conservative on economic issues, I agree that MF is just badly executed. What is surprising is that no one from the right has come along with a better (i.e., good) version of MF, or, if one exists, why papers don’t DTMFA (dump the mallard fillmore already*) and run it instead. Perhaps George Will can take up cartooning… (runs for cover as the flame throwers ignite, thinking “gee, that was just too easy”)

    *apologies to Dan Savage

  59. Lynngineering
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    #52 – Jeez, excellent said.
    I can’t really add but I feel the discussion is divided today anyway between the poli-comics and the FOOBS etc.. issues, which sort of hurts my head to put them parallel running in one discussion list.

    Doonesbury: But, to add to the Doonesbury love-in here: Reasons to be amazed include number of good characters, changes in relationships, changes in characters, it’s like other comics were basically playing note-by-note melody lines, and Trudeau introduces chording. Of course, there are exceptions, as Al Capp had tons of characters as did a few others, and there were the early years of newspaper comics that had great depth of characters, but again, the issue is what became after ten years with these characters, what could be said with them in a newspaper comic.
    I think Trudeau’s work is exemplified by admitting in that our generation starting with Vietnam is defined by the war years, and he has since then shown what politics likes to forget about that.

    In fact, the funniest thing may not be in his comics, but by his own smart actions, in how he even beats out the conservatives and right-wing neo-cons, by actually GOING to the hospitals now, doing research by meeting and discussing with the soldiers who were injured in Iraq, lost limbs and so on, and developing his material from that. Rather than platitudes of emptiness we get the chance to hear whenever we want, from a government that tried to make it illegal to show coffins.

    GYWO: But I also want to say, GetYourWarOn was brilliantly right-on-the-moment, a zeitgeist comic, which really doesn’t NEED to last in the same way as, say, a newspaper comic perhaps wants to. Still, I laugh when I go back to review the webpages again!

  60. TroopDoop
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    TDIET – What actual person says he no longer wants steak? And why did she punish him by making him HASH (ugh!) while making herself a steak? She couldn’t find a single meal to make for both of them that wouldn’t include steak?

  61. Old Fogeyette
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    Lynngineering #40: I agree with everything you said. When I read FOOB this morning, I thought: COMA COMA COMA! No other explanation! Also, re Doonesbury, I agree it is in another league altogether. That is one reason I never liked Bloom County–just seemed a pale, faint copy of the real thing.

    #52 Cowboy Dave: nice historical analysis of Trudeau’s contribution to the comics.

    And on a less serious note, I for one, am very glad to learn that in some areas, beaver dams can help form much-needed wetlands.

  62. IdolsofMud
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    No, no, you’re all missing the point of Day by Day! Don’t you remember? William Arkin spent all our money on the construction of Versailles and war with the perfidious English. Now the Estates-General are in control and the sans-culottes have taken over our society (that woman’s not shirtless, she’s wearing the Phyrgian bra — duh). Jean-Paul Muir, editor of Le Ami du Instapundit, has exposed Arkin’s immoral activities and criticism of the government — and, see, the only way to deal with his insult to the people is to surrender to the military and allow them to behead him. God, I can’t believe you forgot.

  63. Frank Drackman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    #43..You’ll also hear, “Youre gonna feel a little prick…” I was tought to say loudly “BIG STICK!” the loudness distracted them somewhat and if it did really hurt at least you warned them, and if it didn’t they were happy anyway.

  64. James Schend
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    There was (is?) a cute little talking animals webcomic called Ozy and Millie. The characters were great, the off-beat sense of humor in the strip was top-notch, (there was one strip in particular which involved Millie yelling to the entire cafeteria that she got a red lunch tray instead of a blue one– hard to explain, but, genius. I could spend paragraphs dissecting that gag.)

    But I stopped reading it a few years ago because the author felt the need to insert pointless ultra-liberal political rants in half the strips. At first I figured he wasn’t syndicated yet because everything about the comic was excellent *except* the frequent political strips, but now I’ve seen Prickly City and my new theory is that syndicates suck ass.

  65. Hysterical Woman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    Day by Day is an excuse for cheesecake. (I think the artist is seperate from the writer. Has to draw that way or his/her head explodes from the text)

  66. TurtleBoy
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    Foob: three days later, Michael has a phone conversation with the editor assigned to his manuscript:

    “So, Mikey, about those ‘minor adjustments’…”


    “We’re thinking the whole Canadian plains thing…it’s passé. It’s too Annie Proulx, too Bridges of Madison County.”


    “Here’s what we’re looking for, Mikey. Two words: ‘lady boy.’ ”

    “But I…”

    “Wait, no…that’s one word, isn’t it…”

    “Mr. Sphincter, I…”

    [muffled voice, off] “Hey, Barb, is ‘lady boy’ one word or two? I’m back Mikey, sorry, gotta check on these things. So here’s how we see it…”

    “You said that…”

    “Thailand. 1998. A young Sheilagh, naïve, innoncent, virginal, blah blah blah…incidentally, are you totally wedded to the name ‘Sheilagh’?”


    “I dunno, something sexier, maybe…Carmen? Moon Unit? Whatever. We can work on that later…Anyway, Bangkok, a dirty marketplace. Sheilagh comes to in back of a fruit-seller’s stall, half covered in rotten tamarinds, a toothless old man standing over her, screaming incoherently in Hmong, or whatever. As she tries to stand she feels blinding pain in her backside…”

  67. Coffeeclash
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    In an attempt to raise my head above the choking fog of FOOB predictability, I turned to A3G and found the impossibly arrogant Neil reeling from the rapier-like thrust of Tommie’s verbal riposte. Surely she deserves to be rewarded. I yearn for Gary/Larry to show up and sweep Tommie off her feet, preferably with a suave line like “my father is a docent.”

  68. Calico
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    Yeah, Pogo was great, from what I recall.

    If you know some French and you can get ahold of them, André Philippe Coté’s cartoons out of Quebec are wonderful. (One-panel cartoons, his most-often used mode, appear in the daily newspaper “Le Soleil.”) He can take a political situation, either local or global, and really inject some good snark AND a laugh into the situation at hand. His caricatures and drawing skills in general are definitely worth a look-see. (It does help to get to know who the Quebec and Canadian politicians are in general, so do your homework, kids!)
    Thus far I don’t think he’s done a parody of FOOB or Lynn J, but you never know.

  69. Drewbob
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    MW: And by “we” she means “Me, Mary Worth, because its obvious that I have infinitely more medical knowledge than anyone else it this third world hell hole you decided to come to.”

  70. Calico
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    #67 – If I were Tommie, I would’ve bought a pint of stout and dumped it right on Neil-Simon-wanna-be’s crotch. Touché!

    “Neil, are you really the arrogant fuck you appear to be? Blink once for yes, twice for no.”

  71. James Schend
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    I should also mention that you can instantly tell a strip is crappy, especially a webcomic, via the use of “copy and paste.” The shirtless guy in the first panel of Day by Day is the exact same shirtless guy in the second panel.

  72. Dennis Jimenez
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    I’m with you brother – the riveting family values campaign of JP, is about as much politics as I want to see in my funny pages.

  73. Lyman Returns
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Doonesbury-I do hope that Alphie the flying, trash-talking robot becomes a regular character in this strip. Flying, trash-talking robots are a woefully under-represented demographic on the comics page. Plus, he reminds me of a cranky H.E.R.B.I.E. from the old “Fantastic Four” cartoon, and that’s definitely a good thing.

    FW-She smiled! She smiled! And not because of someone’s unfunny and/or ironic pun! How dare she? This is the world of Funky Winkerbean, blast it! Smiling due to joy is akin to murder! She must pay for her unmitigated gall! Crucify her on the TREE OF WOE!

    Beetle Bailey-This comic already was on the outer edges of reality with the non-fighting army, the sergeant being allowed to beat the crap out of the private all the time, and the vintage 1950s uniforms and equipment. Now Walker wants us to accept that in this bizarre little pocket dimension he’s created, SMOKEY THE BEAR is real. Well, I suppose it’s no stranger than a dog in a uniform.

    TDIET-Who the @#$ eats “hash”? What the @#&% is “hash”, anyway?

    Get Fuzzy-I love the subtle “I’m the biggest tool you’ve ever seen!” joke from Bucky Katt. Sorry, Bucky, but you’re wrong…that dubious honor goes to Mike Patterson.

    FBOFW-Speaking of Mike Patterson, how many publishers did he send his book to, anyway? I’m willing to bet he sent his manuscript to ONE publisher and that ONE publisher magically accepted it. After all, that’s how things work in the charmed world of the Pattersons. No hoard of rejection letters for Mike Patterson, no way! HE’S JUST THAT GOOD, BABY. HIS WRITING IS OFF THE HOOK, YO. Now watch, he won’t be shown doing any promotion of the book himself, except for a gigantic “book tour” that will take him to every major city in North America, with lines of people going around the block in every town and interviews on talk shows, like he’s Tom Clancy or JK Rowling. One consolation about this entire sickening mess is that in today’s strip, it appears that Mike has been reduced to a googly-eyed catatonic state, so we may never have to endure his writing OR his speaking ever again, and he’ll be put in assisting living alongside Grandpa Jim, where Iris and Deanna can busy themselves wiping the drool off the chins of their respective mates. Stop reading the letter aloud, Dee…he ain’t hearing ya, his mind has tripped the light fantastic and he’s probably fighting Cylons alongside Bucky O’Hare in the Crab Nebula or exploring the 8th dimenstion with Buckaroo Banzai, or something. Either that, or he’s thinking about nachos. Lots and lots of nachos.

  74. Smitty Smedlap
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    “Sit here, call me Mimi, and don’t raise your voice unless I tell you to!” “Liz Ritter all but forces Stormy Hicks to go to the bucket.”

    Personally, I’m enjoying (dt)GT’s foray into the exciting world of bdsm.

  75. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    hogenmogen (yesterday’s Italian cake recipe)

    I think I know the one you’re talking about. I made it exactly once. It took about 5 hours. It was delicious, but never again!

  76. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    Yeah, Day-by-Day is pretty useless. And I believe the writer actually farms the art out to a professional design studio. So you can’t even credit him with the hot chicks.

    In the interest of fairness, I’d say that John Backderf’s The City is at least as unpleasant as Mallard Fillmore, while being on the other side of the political spectrum.

  77. hogenmogen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    Day by Day: “I love how the cute redhead has to crouch to make room for the yak, yak, yak, . . . ”

    Hey, if it means bending over more, I’d tell that redhead to start reciting the Declaration of Independence.

  78. jvwalt
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    I agree with #52 Cowboy Dave on the place of “Doonesbury” in the comics — except I think Trudeau’s still got it. The ongoing B.D. saga is one of the best things he’s ever done. In other comics news…

    Garfield: Jon can’t tell his cell phone from an electric razor. Oh my God, it just hit me — Jon is a Plugger!

    DT: Wow, Henry Kissinger robbed a jewelry store.

    JP: Go to Paris for the first time in your life, and the big highlight is… crashing a Canadian party?? Geez.

    MT: Unsurprisingly, the adult deer in panel 3 is uncertain about the developmental habits of the beaver. (heh heh, he said “beaver!”)

  79. Mark from Maine
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Glad someone else picked up on the Capp/Kelly error. Capp maintained an apolitical stance throughout the fifties, veering into Hard Hat pandering in the Nixon era when he became a national embarrassment. Capp could have used his influence to smack down McCarthy far more effectively than he laid low pitiable Joan Baez in the sixties, but he chickened out. He was a tremendously conflicted guy.

  80. Djur
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Oh God, it’s Day by Day. Please, I get enough of that on Sadly, No! and whatnot. If I see another one of Chris Muir’s spine-snapping homunculi again, it’ll be too goddamn soon.

  81. Lettuce
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    Web comics are such a mixed bag. Lack of editors makes for edgier stuff, but editors helped make Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side the works of wonder they became.

    For my money, Perry Bible Fellowship is da bomb:

    As for the foobgasm, it took Johnston years to succeed… when I saw that she was making Michael a journalist, I thought it would be her outlet to detail that side of her life.

    But he’s never had to work, really, other than him needing money from mom. In college she had him making good, bad and difficult choices as a student journalist. Why is everything easy now?

    She says she got a lot of her inspiration from Charles Schultz serving as a mentor. Snoopy never got an unasked for advance for his stories. Snoopy never lived in a fantasy-land of snoopy-centric success…

    but then again, Snoopy was a more believable charactor.

  82. CobraCmdr
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    Um…I guess I’m in a minority of one, in that I actually like Day by Day. On the other hand, I’ve never thought of it as a mainstream comic designed to appeal to everyone. I came across it from links in blogs, and read it every now and then fully knowing it’s just going to tell me what I want to hear.

    I fully accept that it’s a comic exclusively for people who are already right leaning, and will never sway anyone’s opinion, but as part of it’s target demographic I think it does a good job.

  83. Jack Satan
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    Look up Thomas Nast and the Tammany Tiger political strips he did – some political comics have actually helped to change the world. Of course, this was before T.V. and radio.

  84. Djur
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Oh, and as regards Doonesbury‘s ciphers of presidents, my understanding is that Trudeau intentionally avoids caricatures of political figures to help stay off the editorial pages. Doesn’t always work, but the strip would be on far fewer comics pages if it actually did caricature Bush, Clinton, etc.

  85. hogenmogen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    TDIET: Things they will do every time. “No, honey, no more of that tender, juicy fillet mignon – and you’d better knock it off with those shrimp appetizers, too. Man, am I sick of all this ’96 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne that we keep swilling! Hash, that’s what I need! And bring on the squid, too! Hey, what’s this? Hash? No, stupid woman! Hash is for smoking!”

  86. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    #16 Poteet

    Please don’t do that. I was out for thirty minutes this time.

  87. Dennis Jimenez
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    MT – So, I supposed we’re all much to sophisticated to get some yucks out of a talking deer and jeep – oh, WTF.

    FBoFW – “A few adjustments” – Sorry Mr. Hemmingway, you book is now about a Mexican peasant family.

    SF – I for one, wanna go to a party thrown by G. Gordon Liddy!

    TDIET – Barfwel – and I’ll bet it’s Barfweleena, too – priceless.

    JP – Shiftless expatriate Canadians – as if a Canadian could ever be a patriot.

  88. hogenmogen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    A3G: The guy is rude, impatient, arrogant, angry and brushed Tommie aside twice. But he looks like Rhett Butler. I don’t know how women work, but I’ve heard that being a nice looking prick means that you’re still a prick.

  89. Saxman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    16 & 40 (and some political comments)

    Today’s FOOB didn’t do much to move the story along *except* add the chilling possibility that some nasty publisher might make “adjustments” to Michael’s manuscript. of course any writer above the age of five knows this is inevitable, and hardly anyone thinks their golden prose is improved in the editing process…

    So what “adjustments” would be normal.

    First of all, a change in location is essential. This isn’t and never will be an international best seller “Great Canadian Novel.” So change it to new mexico or something.

    International best sellers don’t have main characters with weird-sounding names either. Given that the novel is now set in Roswell, something NSW Native American is a better bet.

    Finally, readers now want to hear about Desert Storm (when they want novels about war at all).

    So we can anticipate a second letter to Michael that starts, “thanks for signing the contract” and move on to “most autors would be proud to co-author a book with our in-house editor” and end with “we hope your next novelcan combine the American Civil War, gay rights, and the rapture. Our analysts assure us that such a theme would be well received.”

    And my promised political cartoon comment. The only unbashedly political comic I ever likes was Boondocks. Doonsbury seems to be several comics in one, with (mostly) the political rants not nearly as funny as the relationship rants. (IMHO, the best political rants involve Unka Duke.”

  90. Pelagius
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    most political strips fail as comics

    Yeah, Bloom County sucked in the ’80′s.

  91. Saxman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    87. Durn. Jimenez noted the “adjustments” issue seconds before I did.

  92. Coffeeclash
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    #70 Calico: I don’t think this is what my old Irish boss had in mind when he told me, “There’s not much wrong with life that a Guinness can’t cure!” I would have thought a Bud Light more than sufficient for this application.

  93. jules
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    After yesterday’s announcement that the comics have been riling me up lately, it was a pleasant surprise to laugh a few times this morning.

    PBS: “Breakfast of Chumpions.” Ha!
    Doonesbury: “Yeah, well ours has headlights!” Hee hee!
    GF: “Okay, give me some of your tape.” And the look on Bucky’s face in panel 3. Ha ha!
    Brewster Rockit: He misspelled “here,” and “am,” and “I.” Hee hee hee!

    And the others:
    TDIET: What the hell…?
    FOOB: NO PUBLISHER EVER wrote that letter. I haven’t even been published yet (okay, I haven’t even finished my novel yet, but rest assured it’s better than Mike’s), but I am fairly certain that NO publisher EVER. Oh thou published writers, please correct me if I’m wrong. May I at least believe no one would ever write it about Mike’s pile of dreck?
    RMMD: I am gobsmacked that June didn’t return to an empty car. I’m glad Niki’s okay, it’s not like I wanted the poor kid to be hurt, but I thought for sure they were setting up a “where’s Niki” storyline here.

  94. Pelagius
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    Snark aside, the modern comic strip has its origins in political commentary. Look at the old “Yellow Kid” strips. Their topics ranged from poverty in NY tenements to the Spanish-American War to newspaper battles between the major publishers (Hearst, Pulitzer). It wasn’t until later on that comics were angled towards children rather than adults, and the ensuing pablum has stuck around, clogging up the majority of the ‘funnies’ page with lame puns and childish slapstick. Even most of the “zombie” strips were biting in their heyday (Beetle Bailey was dropped from Stars and Stripes for being too “subversive”).

  95. Lynngineering
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Reading these comments, I was trying to recall, wasn’t Michael in Japan, or somewhere outside of Foobland, with Weed, on some assignment where he was unhappy because he was away from home. He had to write on some “famous fashion designer” which should have been a cover story, blah blah, and he exposed her, as being whatever, not FOOBly true, and because of his ‘convictions’ he was fired but then, in true Lynn realism, all the little guys at the magazine wanted him instead to come back and run the whole magazine (titled what else in mememe land, but Portrait).

    So we learn that, the real world of journalism with Michael is all a fantasy, and that he has just bypassed Liz and competing with Anthony for the “first one to knock off in Foob” lists…

  96. Mazement
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    Rex Moron: “Wait a minute, my mom would never say that! Who are you and where are you taking me?”

    FOOB is still salvageable, I think. Mike could sign the contract without reading past the first page, and then find out that’s he’s hooked up with a vanity press. The “$25,000 advance” is really a $25,000 discount off their list price

    Mary Worth: I think Dr. Jeff is suffering from post-meddling stress disorder. He was awake and responsive last week, but today he’s really deteriorated.

    MF: That’s three days in a row on Walter Williams. Who’s Walter Williams, anyway? Does he want to legalize drunk driving?

  97. hogenmogen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    #31 – Milo – I think the “punchline” of yesterday’s Mallard isn’t “dodge pls”, it’s “dodge pies.” This would also leave you in a tizzy, but let me explain that some time ago, Mallard’s centerfold pin-up girl Ann Coulter got a cream pie stuffed in her face while lecturing at a college somewhere. The rest of the world has gone on and forgotten, save the extreme right wing who can’t recall meetings, conversations, memos or rationales for engaging in war, but with vivid accuracy can describe Bill Clinton’s sexual activities of ten years ago.

  98. Lyman Returns
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    Lettuce-By golly, you’re right. It’s pretty @#$%& sad when the dancing, story-typing, thinking-in-dialogue DOG who sleeps on top of his doghouse and befriends little yellow birds is a more believable character than the man with the wife and kids. By the way, wouldn’t it be great to see the Peanuts characters kick Mike Patterson’s sorry butt all the way to Alaska? I could see Lucy and Snoopy holding Mike down while Peppermint Patty wails on him with both fists and Linus whips him mercilessly with his blanket.

  99. Drewbob
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    What would happen if Molly the bear decided to do animal therapy for Dr. Jeff in MW. Does hostility translate across translate across the cultural and language barrier?

  100. Yeahme2
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    FBOFW: Michael is such a tool. If he has to adjust his novel accordingly with the in-house editor, I hope they suggest to him to locate it in Mitwickywacky, and follow the exploits of two brokeback guys, Paul and Warren – “Mounting Mitwickywack” lives on!

  101. Calico
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    #92 – you are so right – it would be a waste of perfectly good Guinness.
    Something like “Milwaukee’s Best” might be more in order, or the Bud Light you suggested.

  102. IdolsofMud
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    FOOB: I’ve got it — this is the actual letter Mike sent out:

    DEAREST FRIEND: I am sorry to bother you in this manner but I had no other recourse. My name is Mrs. Pierre Trudeau. Recently my husband passed away in a house fire, leaving some $40 million (Canadian) in a bank account. I must transfer this money to a publisher and believe you are inherently trustworthy. If you could send me $25,000 as a sign of good faith, I shall send you a copy of my novel, ‘Sexual Awakenings in Saskatchewan,’ and transfer the funds your account quickly. Thank you friend.
    Warmest regards,
    Mrs. Pierre Trudeau

  103. hogenmogen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    Foob: Do all exquisite, erudite editors speak as if they need to get all their useless, redundant, turgid adjectives inserted verbosely and loquatiously on the same page? How about the free flowing, hackneyed similies and metaphors that leap off the page like a feral wolverine gnashing for your tender, vulnerable, defenseless throat in the darkness of the night?

  104. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    #85. Barfwel? My God, does this woman not realize she’s married to a bulimic? He must have sworn off steak knowing that it was one of his triggers, and he just can’t keep doing this to himself. Then he pilfers hers because, oh Lordy!, T-bone tastes so good coming back up.

  105. hogenmogen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    #93 – Jules – No, Niki stayed in the car. Some bearnappers came by, looked at Niki, and kept moving. There is no rationale why Niki couldn’t see his own mother, you know. They suspect Elvis is out to kill him, so they leave him unprotected in a secluded spot close to the hospital, where a criminal with any brains at all would figure he’d be headed. Oh, right. Brains. Elvis. Such vastly different concepts that one must use separate sentences for each.

  106. willethompson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    To my fellow snarkers, I toss this gauntlet:

    What is the opening sentence of Michael’s novel? Think Bulwer-Lytton, people!

    (is this the feeling Wile E. Coyote gets when he lights the fuse for the dynamite under the pile marked ‘free birdseed?’)

  107. Foobar
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    64- Is there really an Ozy and Millie? Those are the names of Earl’s and Mooch’s owners, respectively, in Mutts, which is itself a cute talking animals strip.

    FOOB- You presume that Mike would have to send his manuscript to a publisher? Simple child, why, his Fairy Godmother would need only whisper his name on a moonbeam before every publisher in Canada would be racing to escort him to the ball in their pumpkin carriages, adorned with beautiful and delicate gold filigree.

  108. Rebecca
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    93 – I’ve read acceptance letters that sounded like that. Not addressed to me, of course.

    Day by Day — I’ve just been staring at that comic. What is that? What are they saying? Am I missing some logical connection, because that final panel seems like a complete nonsequitor to me.

  109. Meanwhile
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    Criticizing Doonesbury for being political is like criticizing the Pope for being Catholic.

    Criticizing the way Doonesbury does politics is like telling Superman he displayed poor boxing technique when he punched that comet to smithereens before it could collide with Earth.

  110. Kate
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    I love Doonesbury.

    Mallard Fillmore is boring.

    Today’s FOOB makes me vomit so hard that it hits the back of the toilet and splashes into my face.

    “There was something evil about him. Something repugnant and loathsome and strange” isn’t even applicable. We KNOW what is repugnant and loathsome and strange about FOOB. It’s really stupid.

    The end.

  111. Kate
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:32 am [Reply]


    Sheilauugh was born a baby and grew to toss her tumbled raven curls in the Caledonian wind.

    Except, wait, this is Canada. Shit.

  112. Axel Fusco
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy: So, maybe that’s why in this forum we mostly stay away from politics and the political strips. We much prefer to get our hate out on the FOOBs et al. So, let’s get on….

    MW: So it looks like Doc Jeff is going to try the old fake amnesia trick on Mary Worth! Mary pleads for god’s intervention to save him — I think she means to cal on Ella Byrd for this one! Finally, thank goodness Dr. Zero (thanks to MossMoses for new moniker for Dr. Ling) feels so equiped to prescribe meds from (roughly) 1/3 around the world!!!

  113. Foobaphobe
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    FOOB: It’s just open warfare now. The gloves are off. Lynn knows how much we hate her and all her cartoon creations. She says, “Guess what? I don’t care! I am the darling of all Canada, with millions waiting for their daily diet of Michael (isn’t he adorable), and Anthony (such a hunk), and Lovey (so charmingly ethnic). So you can just take your punishment. Tomorrow, Michael’s getting the Nobel Prize for Literature, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

  114. Craigers
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    #76 Onetime Ben… In the interest of fairness, I’d say that John Backderf’s The City is at least as unpleasant as Mallard Fillmore, while being on the other side of the political spectrum.

    Wow… that was a genuine horror. Like the love child of Sylvia and Zippy the Pinhead. I’m all for originality, but I can do without the grotesquerie.

  115. Craigers
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    #106 wille : What is the opening sentence of Michael’s novel?

    “Ken, 32, was a policeman with a difference — and WHAT a difference!”

  116. Craigers
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    #96 Mazement : Who’s Walter Williams, anyway? Does he want to legalize drunk driving?

    This made me snort snarfle snork with laughter. Anyway, I answered the “who’s Walter Williams” in yesterday’s thread, but to recap, he’s a college professor who’s most well-known for advocating that states secede from the Union, and that blacks whine too much about racism.

  117. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    # 22 — HAR!! Thanks, Dingo. (Though you might also want to consider a short apology to Bulwer-Lytton.)

    # 34 — AppleGirl, I know Bloom County is also much-loved here, but it didn’t appeal to me when it was in my paper. As long as you and I play nicely, I think they’ll let us stay anyway.

    # 39 — Your Constant Capitalness, is that any way to address the kindly human who has generously taken over the site this week? Sounds like you need something that is filling, uplifting, and provides lots of soothing carbs. Might I suggest that Death By Chocolate recipe from the bake sale?

    # 49 — Sheilagh, you should of course call yourself by any name you please. As of now, I think of you as the noble representative of all the wronged Sheilaghs in the world, who do not deserve to have their name drowned in Michael’s rancid treacle.

    # 86 — gh, I do apologize. I’ll try not to do it again, and if I do, I’ll preface with a special gh warning:-). Which is more than Lynn does for the unwary.

  118. Gal Friday
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    Thanks, Uncle Lumpy, for bringing in some different comics to eviscerate.

    And thanks for the Al Capp link in Wikipedia.

    The article there states that Capp did a Mary Worth parody series in 1957 called “Mary Worm”–please, please, please somebody find that and post it!

  119. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    # 106 — Thanks a lot, wille. So much for any hope of eating or drinking anything near my keyboard for the rest of the day.

    # 111 & 115 — BWAHAHAHA! Kate and Craigers, I’m glad I had already swallowed my tea.

  120. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    #106 williethompson

    The iridescent Northern Lights shimmer like many-colored lights to the north as the frail young girl turns the sizzling rodent-like beaver on the spit beside the frozen lake in Canada, a northern country known for beavers and lights, and spits.

    And I think it’s totally unfair that Chennux never even notices you. It’s like you don’t exist! All the hard work you put in with the songs and the gags. I think someone should speak to him about it. If anyone deserves to dance, it’s you.

  121. Marion Delgado
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft is over! and it’s ending well, too. Here you see them about to give the bastard his lethal injection:

    I will admit he’s taking it like a man.

  122. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    # 120 — gh, that was horribly wonderful.

    Okay, wille, here goes:

    As Sheilagh stared at Harvey Rood, her bosom heaving, her eyes flashing, her heart throbbing, her lips trembling, and her loins tingling, she thought to herself, “damn, I gotta lay off that ferkin’ jimsonweed.”

  123. Charles Brubaker
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    As for my favorite political comics, I like “Prickly City” and occasional “Candorville”.

    On the alternative side, there’s “Tom the Dancing Bug,” “This Modern World,” and Ted Rall.

  124. IdolsofMud
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    #106 — “Listen: Elizabeth Patterson has become unstuck in Mtigwaki.”

  125. Gal Friday
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    I kinda thought Crankshaft was funnyish this week.

  126. Craigers
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    106 – “We were somewhere around Moose Jaw, on the edge of the prairie, when the maple syrup began to take hold.”

  127. Gabe
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    Get Fuzzy is political? It’s just stupid pot jokes. You’re reading too much into it.

    And the strips showing how Trump puts his hair together was hilarious. Doonesbury continually surprises me by still being funny and on top of the culture and politic, while most other strips its age are doing golf jokes or puns based on cultural phenomenons ten years old.

  128. Gal Friday
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    JP: Three words: Canadian white slavers!!!

  129. Charles Brubaker
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    Oh, and #64 – “Ozy and Millie” is still around.

    However, the cartoonist pretty much got rid of politics in that strip, but only because he started an editorial cartoon called “I Drew This,” which is very political.

  130. Lyman Returns
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    #127-I think it might have something to do with the fact that Trudeau actually pays attention to current events and trends instead of golfing and wallowing in a giant bin of cash like Scrooge McDuck. Well, he might actually do that, but he does it with CNN on.

  131. Ten Day Dinosaur
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    Please explain this STB. Is it stab without the ‘a’?

  132. Dingo
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    First sentence:

    It was somewhat after the moment that Sheilagh had decided this was a wrong move but before the moment she was truly sure it was a wrong move but in between those moments during the time that the baby had come out but the placenta was still inside her like a huge ball of reddish-tinged shit stuck up in her vaginal canal like that “sand vein” in a shrimp that she, Sheilagh O’Shaugnessy Virjelio Goldberg McMuffin, realized nights on the plains of Alberta were not going to be as her husband had described them with the Northern Lights seeming like the twinkling buildings of Paris but more like being a puppy stuck in the ass crack of a large dowager in line at Tim Horton’s – and it wasn’t even February.

  133. Dingo
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Ten Day Dinosaur, weeks ago I came up with that “STB!” as an abbreviation for “Slap the Bitch!” in regard to Lynn Johnston.

  134. Mrs. Kelrast
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    In her February letter Elizabarf states she will console herself by petting her pussy.

  135. Jason
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    What I hate is when political statements are inserted into any entertainment where I don’t expect it. I bought the new Norah Jones album and there is a political song on it. That’s not why I listen to her. I don’t mind the political stuff in Doonesbury so much, because I know its there and choose not to read it. I don’t like it when its in Get Fuzzy though, since that’s usually not a political strip. That being said, I thought the election storyline was just a bunch of stupid pot jokes too and not a political statement.

  136. Poppinjay
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Not to belabor the point, but I will anyways.

    Not all political comics are bad. Not all regular comics that attempt politics are bad. There are clearly top shelf classics that have done it. I remember one summer housesitting for a porfessor and finding his Pogo collection with the J Malarkey series. I think that educated more than any history book about the tenor of politics during McCarthyism.

    Before Breathed lost his talent (he forgot where he set it down last, much like how I lost my virginity), he did some killer strips. Anybody remeber “Impeach the Peach!”?

    Plus, Doonesbury is incredible and finds new life just when it seems to get stale. The BD stuff has been incredible. And then there are the pet issues like Zonker working at a restaurant that promotes obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    Then aside from that, there are actual political cartoonists, Pat Oliphant, Tom Toles, Doug Marlette. I wouldn’t exactly say their work is not entertaining.

    The history of newspaper comics is an adult world. The orginal “funnies” weren’t written for toddlers, they were written mostly with adult themes, for adults.

  137. Poppinjay
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Uh, that would be “professor”. I don’t know what a porfessor does. Maybe teach spelin?

  138. willethompson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    #132 Dingo – See, now THAT’S what I’m talking about…

    ….although Craigers just about made me spit out my back bacon.

  139. Dan Coyle
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    Marion: Oh, if only it were TRUE!

    A word about Day By Day: It never ceases to amaze me that the Damon character hangs out with- and even sleeps with- a woman whose opinions he continually derides and ridicules as worthless. All they ever do is argue, and I wonder: is this healthy?

  140. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    # 126 & 132 — Yep, my back bacon did the same as wille’s.

    Call me Sheeeilaugggh.

  141. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    #136 Poppinjay

    Marlette also draws Kudzu, which is political enough.

  142. Bucky, Son of Tricky Woo
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    I scratch kitty litter on your criticism of my campaign.

  143. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    To each their own and all, but…it’s kind of weird when someone says they don’t like politics where it’s not expected. Uh, politics is a part of life like any other – if a cartoonist, or a songwriter, or a novelist, or any other creative person, decides to address politics, how is that any different from the decision to address love, or family, or the howling wind of the endless Canadian prairie?

  144. Drewbob
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    #126: You’ve got my vote for best line. Too bad it won’t happen

    My entry:
    “I hate my life,” Mike said as he stared at the ceiling. “Nothing good ever happens here. My whitebread-hillybilly-middle class up bringing has stunted my growth as a writer. I think I’m going to kill myself.”

    (man its a slow day at work)

  145. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    #126 Craigers

    That sounds . . . oh. OH! HAHAHAHAAHAHA!!

    #132 Dingo

    I bet you had that in a drawer just waiting for someone to ask. This is why I have a box of Kleenex on my desk. You never know when you’re going to get Dingoed.

    I always thought STB was “Stab The Bitch.” Shows you what I know.

  146. MossMoses
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    The doctors in Vietnam say the antibiotics aren’t working and they don’t know what’s wrong with Doc Jeff. On the other hand they tell Mary Worth he’s no longer contagious. Weird…Meanwhile, the confused VietCong doctor calls Mary’s American ChiComm doctor and based on Dr. Tran’s recitation about how he doesn’t know what’s wrong with Doc Jeff, prescribes a full regiment of antibiotics over the phone! Doc Jeff is lucky he no longer remembers the frigid biddy. Now he can move on and maybe get the actual physical intimacy he’s been craving ever since the start of their special friendship. Even if that intimacy comes from a cleft palleted, agent orange ridden Peace Village patient on life support, that is an upgrade from Mary Worth.

    Neddy Spencer is about to get jiggy with the temp butler. It may take a couple of months, though.

  147. jvwalt
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    Not that I depend on “Blondie” for my education, but today’s strip completely bollixed up the whole premise of Groundhog Day. The groundhog comes out of his hole no matter what. The point is whether he sees his shadow once he comes out. Either the writer didn’t bother to look up the facts, or he ignored the facts so he could deliver a really lame joke. (Although, given Boston’s response to the Lite Brite terror threat, it’s not beyond the pale that the Punxsutawney SWAT Team might be called in to force Phil out of his spider hole. I’d pay to see that.)

  148. Dennis Jimenez
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    I was really lost – I thought STB was Surface Transporation board.

  149. queek
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    126: Fear & Loathing indeed.

    todays FOOB almost (but not quite) ruined the news that there is now a release date for the last Harry Potter novel. Lynn, like Cathy, must die.

    to heck with bdsm in GT, we have plushie action going on in BB. Yif or be yiffed, Rocko.

    and Niki, “behave.”

  150. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    Dear Heloise:

    Here’s some advice for your more adventurous readers. I always make sure that, when traveling abroad, I have the phone number of a real doctor from my hometown in my pocketbook. If there’s a medical emergency, I find that foreign “doctors” really appreciate the help. And I always remember to tip them.

    Mary Worth

  151. rich
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    106: It was a dark and foobish night. Sheilagh Shaughnessy sat on the cold wood floor of her Canadian farmhouse, weeping sadly, trying to imagine herself into another century…if she could only escape her dispossessed existence, yes!, to live in the 21st century, in an attic room with an anatomically correct “Ned Tanner” doll clinging to her window, far removed from spouses and children and childbearing and spouses — living in a world of fantasy. But this was no fantasy. Far from it. This was reality. A really realistic reality. She sat upon her large womanly posterior, grunting like a dispossessed cow, trying to expel from her lady-hole the latest offspring from her rude husband, Harvey Rood. Large womanly posteriors ran in her family. She had had one since her girlhood. Her younger sisters, Elyzabaughh and Aprighyll, had the same large, womanly posteriors. For Sheilagh, it was a comforting bulwark against cold Canadian floors and her cold, distant spouse. A large Canadian ass … now her sole support in this rude and crude existence she found herself in…

  152. What's wrong with Mallard Fillmore
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    I not only read MF, I blog about it daily. It’s quite a chore. What’s been most striking in the past few days is how often Mallard Fillmore doesn’t even try to make a joke.

  153. Tony
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    So Tommie smacks her head against the wall on Saturday (and again on Sunday as a courtesy to those who might have missed it), and today (Friday) Dr. Jeff gets amnesia. Have they got some sort of weird “Corsican Twin” action going on there? Maybe somebody should pummel Dr. Jeff’s leg with a lead pipe and see if it makes Tommie limp.

    (Or just do it anyway. It sounds like fun.)

  154. kilgore trout
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    #115 Craigers – better stay away from Sir Philip Sidney with that stuff…and stop plagiarizing Shakespeare!

  155. kingklash
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    All politics aside, what the hell ever happened to the Prime

  156. willethompson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    Mike’s novel opens like this:

    They rolled over the nickel-slag hills of Sudbury, grasping and working their hips like bellows, groaning like hawsers pulled tight by a blue northern, damp with sweat that smelled of musk and jasmine and Labatt’s and pickled eggs and Rothmann’s and frying bacon that glistened like the aurora borealis, and their true patriot’s love at all thy sons command was spent like a Maritimer’s bonus on a Yonge Street bar and they fell dreamless in each other’s arms which is how the OPP found then the next morning, against the side of the Brewer’s Retail, as blue and as frozen as the Maple Leafs’ playoff chances because it was February, eh?

  157. Cowboy Dave
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    By the way, am I the only one bothered by how very few Groundhog Day jokes there are today? It’s a groundhog! With a funny name! It’s telling the future! It’s entirely idiotic! Why not enter THAT comedy goldmine instead of whatever the hell Mallard Fillmore is going for?

  158. Herro!
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    A3-G: I recently cut off 12 inches of hair for Locks of Love, and got a brand new cute little bob thing with the ends curled out. I’m having lots of fun with it, but today my hair decided to misbehave, and I ended up with a helmet with some little wispy things sticking straight out the sides of my head, and my first thought was, “Oh my god, I look just like Gina!” My second thought was, “I pay way too much attention to the comics!”

    With the help of the blowdryer and some hairspray, I fixed it, but I’ll never forget the feeling of sheer terror when I realized I belonged on a stage in some seedy little theatre in New York City dressed like an old spinster.

  159. willethompson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    #120 gh – Yeah, funny thing that. Looks like I’ll be here when Mr. Emperor Of The Margoing Universe turns the planet into that chocolate chip brittle recipe from yesterday. Not that I’m BITTER…

    How’s the dancing going?

  160. Saxman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    Dear Dingo,

    I opened our package, and from the first page of your manuscript, I could not put it down. I rarely say things like this, but you have crafted a superbly compelling, intensely emotional story. With the following minor adjustments, we can include your book in our fall line up.

    It was somewhat after the moment that Juanita had decided this was a wrong move but before the moment she was truly sure it was a wrong move but in between those moments during the time that the baby had come out but the placenta was still inside her like a huge ball of reddish-tinged shit stuck up in her vaginal canal like that “sand vein” in a scorpion that she, Juanita Carmela Two Rabbit Foot Clancy, realized nights on the mountains of the Four Corners of New Mexico were not going to be as her husband had described them with the sunset over the Painted Desert seeming like the twinkling buildings of Tokyo but more like being a puppy stuck in the ass crack of a large dowager in line at Waffle House – and it wasn’t even February.

  161. dimestore lipstick
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    #96 is my nom for COTW–
    MF: That’s three days in a row on Walter Williams. Who’s Walter Williams, anyway? Does he want to legalize drunk driving?

  162. Keith418
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    I think the problem with most political comic strips is that they are so predictable and partisan. There is never really an attempt made to get outside of the box, or take on tougher targets. The lefty comics do not critique other lefties and the right comics do not critique the right. Mallard Fillmore doesn’t even see the split between paleocons and neocons, or that there are many people who see themselves as conservative who dislike Bush and what he has done. The lack of shading is insulting to our intelligence. I think Pogo was a good example of a great political comic, but Doonesbury is an example of one that has just lost its way. Remember when Mike became a Republican? So why doesn’t he have any comments now? Some people might point to Boondocks, but it betrayed its author’s own lack of sophistication and inability to find nuance. The best political cartoons represented someone with an independent viewpoint and in a partisan climate, where everyone must choose a side, that essential quality is going to be lost.

  163. John
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    There was a pretty funny Get Fuzzy about a year ago with Bucky saying “Free Scooter!” (as in Libby), and I remember a Sherman’s Lagoon from several years back with Sherman saying “You want me to get in the water with Hillary?” But otherwise, I tend to agree with you. Funky Winkerbean’s political strips are a perfect example of the mediocre becoming the banal. The old Bloom County — as opposed to the pathetic “Opus” — had a couple of genuinely funny political strips. But it takes real work.

  164. PeteMoss
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    Beavers can be a real problem in some areas. Geez, Elrod must know he’s doing a crude Vagisil commercial. Also, I could could not care less what some deer thinks about how long the young stay with their parents.

  165. Gal Friday
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    #157 It’s also Hedgehog Day in Europe, the ancient ancestor of Groundhog Day.

  166. Uncle Lumpy
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    #165 Gal -

    Hedgehogs are funnier than groundhogs. Besides, they know One Big Thing.

  167. Alun Clewe
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    #64 — Yes, Ozy and Millie still exists, though the creator has toned down the politics there now that she has a separate political strip to put them in. Yeah, OK, I see Charles Brubaker beat me to the punch in #129, but since he didn’t provide the links I figured I’d go ahead and post this anyway. (Though, note to Charles Brubaker: The creator of Ozy and Millie is not a “he”. Yes, she used to be, but she went from being David Craig Simpson to Dana Claire Simpson.)

    #25 – Um…okay, does James Bond shave his lower body? I mean, the artist has carefully detailed the hair covering his upper torso and arms, but then below the waist, except for some reason for a patch of hair on his lower legs in the second panel, he’s glaringly bare.

    Why do you shave your buttocks, James Bond?

  168. lugbutt scaduto
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    #152 As often as your blog is commented (or “ranted”) upon, perhaps you simply merge with this forum. After the bake sale Josh should be flush with cash and ready to make some acquisitions of underperforming competitors. Anyone who has never heard of Milton Friedman may not be qualified to provide political commentary on a regular basis.

  169. Chaozaru
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    I remember once when I had to look up political cartoons for a school assignment, I found one person who had a few really funny ones.

    I can’t remember his name at all, but it started with an A.

    Otherwise, just about every single other political cartoon I’ve read makes my brain cry.

  170. Poppinjay
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    It was a bright and sunny day. Sheilagh just hopped off the bus from Mtigwaki, with mountie Paul, and Pilot Warren in tow. A threesome was the order for the day.

  171. gump worsley
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    You gotta give Scaduto his props for going after both ends of the comics-reading demographic — Barfwell is giving up steak because he “can’t chew it,” which admittedly is addressed to the age cohort Al already has pretty much locked up, but also because he “wanted to cut down on meat” — a TDIET shout-out to all the vegans reading his strip!!!

  172. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    #156 willethompson

    First, can you do that? I thought you were the referee. Second, Canadians should be disqualified because they know, like, Canadian stuff, and they get to say “eh?” which I think the rule book says is 50 bonus points. Third, I think it’s dirty, but I can’t really tell. Does OPP stand for Otter Penile Penetration? I think there’s otters in Canada. Or is it ocelots?

    The dancing is fine. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Love to dance. Yup. Just a dancing fool. Thanks up there, Chennux!

  173. Poppinjay
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    Re: Mallard Fillmore

    Walter Williams does tend to be on a college campus more days than not.

    It might be due to his day job.

    Go Mason Nation!

  174. insolenttomato
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    This one’s for you, Lynngeneering. I hope you like — it’s my first attempt at this.

    MICHAEL IN A COMA (with apologies to The Smiths)

    Michael in a coma, I hope
    I hope – its serious
    Michael in a coma, I hope
    I hope – its really serious

    There were times Lizzard could
    Have murdered him
    (but you know, castration
    in the tub is to good for him)

    No, she don’t want to see him

    Do you really think
    That she would?
    When he dreams she weds
    Moustache man?

    Michael in a coma, I know
    I know – its serious
    Me, me, me, me, me, mewedith, goodbye

    There were times Deanna could
    Have strangled him
    (but you know, he would hate
    Anything to happen to Ned)
    Would you please
    Let him see Ned!

    Do you really think
    He’ll pull through?
    Oops I just tripped o-
    ver the plug.
    Let us whisper our last goodbyes.

    I hope – its serious.

    #58, Lugbutt: When it comes to indignant, humourless, righteous outrage, NOTHING beats a fundamentalist Christian conservative who smells blasphemy (the Brooklyn museum, the play “Corpus Christi”) or a gay person being treated like a human being.

  175. Calico
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    #146 – Mary, surprise, you meddling nutcase! Jeff probably has a VIRUS – something that the antibiotics won’t help with at all. Buck buck buuuuck!

  176. Lynngineering
    February 2nd, 2007 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    #174 – wow! and the Smiths no less!

  177. Len
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    #85 — When I developed gout, several years ago, I had to stop eating red meat. It set off angonizing pain in my toes! Although the TDIET hubby says to wifey that he wants less red meat, what does she serve him instead of steak? Hash! (Corned beef) hash!

    If she had offered him a vegetarian pilaf, it woulda worked better for me.

  178. Charles Brubaker
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:01 pm [Reply]


    Just a note. While D.C. Simpson initially came out as transgendered, he eventually got comfortable with his male appearance and decided to go as a male again.

  179. bootsybooks
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    A3G: what is up with Tommie’s outfit? Green shirt buttoned ALL THE WAY UP TO HER CHIN with a blue jacket type thing over it.

    It’s like in movies you can always tell the retard, fine whatever, “special” characters because they have shirts buttoned all the way up, no tie. Think Forrest Gump, the guy from Slingblade, Rainman etc.

    JP: it’s true! All Canadians do know each other!

    MW: Mary puts ptressure on GOD!

  180. Lynngineering
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    First line of Michael’s modern novel, before the rewrite:

    “One day Sheilagh Shaughnessy woke up to find herself transformed into a giant cockroach.”

  181. Alun Clewe
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    #178 – Fair enough; I stand corrected. I don’t keep up with the forums there, and I didn’t know about his reconsideration.

  182. Trotzenbonnie
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    Do economics profs at GMU (BA ’91 – Go Patriots!) really make that much dough? I’m surprised Tinsley hasn’t fleshed out the ticket with Walt’s ‘brother’ Juan as VP.

  183. insolenttomato
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    #176, Lynn: Yepper. I may have abandoned the black clothes and eyeliner of my goth days (except for on Halloween) but you will have to pry my Smiths and Depeche Mode CDs out of my cold, dead, black fingernail polished hand.

  184. Moon Mullins
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    “kilgore trout says:
    #115 Craigers – better stay away from Sir Philip Sidney with that stuff…and stop plagiarizing Shakespeare!”

    Bravo kilgore! I thought I might have been the only one to recognize that Python reference. You stole my thunder!

    JP: Does anyone else think that this “Canadian party” (with seedy longhairs smoking!) is all part of a nefarious plot — that the starry-eyed teen has been played all along and will soon be held hostage? Perhaps these Canadians are French Separist rebels from Montreal, who want a ransom of all of Aunt Cancer’s money and Bentley to fund their guerrila campaign? Maybe Le Resistance even poisoned her butler/lover so that they could send in the goggle-eyed mole as his temp?

  185. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    #170 (last post) SmartPeopleOnIce

    I’m guessing most people missed that one, but it belongs in The Rant Hall of Fame. Either you just finished off a five pound bag of sugar or the mail order prescription is late.

  186. Captain Wrong
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    I’m sure you’ve all seen this one, but if not, here’s a classic: Gipper, the Talking Points Duck.

  187. Itazurakko!
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    I actually enjoy “Doonesbury” for the most part, and I’ve particularly enjoyed the saga of “B.D” – I laughed out loud when part of his treatment for war injuries involved the “surgical removal of his helmet.” I think they’ve handled his experiences well, and humanly.

    I can’t stand “Mallard,” mainly because it’s just the duck talking, and there aren’t any real characters in it.

    Prickly City is a MUCH better strip, and I think it should fill the “conservative foil” for Doonesbury if that slot is advertised as such. It has characters! With personalities!

    I liked “Bloom County” quite a bit, but hated Outland, and I’m not fond of “Opus” either. I think “Bloom County” really started morphing toward “Outland” when Steve Dallas got the liberal brain transplant and the perm.

  188. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    # 156 — Maybe Chennux is afraid to mess with you, wille. I am, after that entry. I sense the controlled luminous fury of a Canadian who knows Canada deserves much better than Lynn. And I snuck away from the dancing awhile back– if you want to take my place, you’re more than welcome.

    # 185 — I agree, gh, Rant Hall of Fame for SPOI. I thought of the rant as an interesting reward for being anal about checking older posts.

  189. Mrs. Kelrast
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    In The Author’s February letter Michael actually self-referenced his blinking. I really think Lynn did that to taunt us. She thinks she’s got bigger balls than Emperor C.

  190. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    Foob — Actually, I seem to recall from one of Michael’s monthly letters (obviously I need therapy) that Harvey Rood dies in this (Margo)ing novel. So, since Michael says he “becomes” his characters as he writes, why isn’t he (Margo)ing dead? Just a thought.

  191. kilgore trout
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    #182 According to the 2005 AACSB salary survey, the mean salary for full professors of economics is $107,300, with new hires making $116,700. (Salary compression is a big problem in some areas of academia.) If you are in a high quality program (and GMU is very good, having produced Nobel prize winner James Buchanan), you can expect to make quite a bit more than the average.

    More information about business school faculty salaries can be found, where else?

  192. Ribinin
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    TDIET: Barfwel and Henna are playing a little game. She has been serving chuck steak to save money to get her nails done. He complains, so she serves him chuck steak hash. (Recipe to follow). Henna doesn’t really like the chuck steak either, and since she doesn’t have to buy two good steaks, she gets herself a nice fillet.

    Barfwel catches on that there is finally a decient steak to be had. He goes into his act.

    Hash: Basically potatoes and chopped cooked meat. Maybe onions. Sometimes green peppers. Can be finely chopped or ground up together. (Anything that has been in the refrigerator almost too long can be included.) Then baked or fried.

  193. Donald The Anarchist
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    Here’s how it starts.

    Dear Reader:

    How I envy you! The extraordinary experience you are about to undergo cannot be described, which is ironic, because as a writer presumably I should be able to describe experiences. Prepare to be drawn in, as in a dream, to other people’s lives: their hopes, their dreams and (sadly) their sorrows. These will not simply be characters you read about; I am sure that they will live in you, just as they came to live in me. And as a bonus, you won’t have to do any of the work, I have done it all for you! And it was no easy task–I had to contend with cantankerous neighbors, loud children, and a woman whose emotional neediness is so draining that — but I should leave that be. Although I have no fear of leaving it in the book, because I know DAMN well she has no intention of READING it, that passive-aggressive little–. But again, I digress. Come, let’s escape together. If we really try, we can convince ourselves that OUR world is the real one, and drown out the shrill cries of harpies trying to question our masculinity by going on about the last time we had coitus…

  194. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    #188 Poteet

    I don’t think we’re anal. More like tidy. Just straightening up. Because you never know. And I’m certain I turned off the stove.

    Wait, I’ll be right back.

  195. cinephile
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    Don’t get me wrong– I’ve thoroughly enjoyed uncle lumpy’s guest editing this week. But– am I the only one who found his complaints about the sloganeering and dry didacticism of “political comics” ironic? Was it *meant* to be ironic? Because the complaint was made in a, well, sloganeering and drily didactic way. There was no wit and no art to it (unlike UL’s other, excellent posts this week), just a layout of strips with short, blunt little comments afterwards, whose lack of life is best described by one of Lumpy’s own remarks:

    “Most of the time, they aren’t striking a damn blow for any damn thing – just wasting their talent on comics [comments] that read like speeches and billboards, and pretty soon start looking like them, too.”

    Like I said, UL’s other posts have been fabulous this week, but this one, I’m sorry, felt like a Jeff Tinsely post.

  196. Susie Derkins
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    #162–I agree, Keith418. I’d best be described as a moderate, being able to side with neither the conservatives nor the liberals (I used to consider myself a liberal, but have had a change of heart), and I’ve had it up to here with politics becoming a gang war. By and large, political comics aren’t seeing past the “Us or Them” way of thinking. When they can see beyond one narrow viewpoint, I’ll start paying sttention.

    As for the Foobs…I say just kill them off and bring the nightmare to an end. Except April. I could see her as the Canadian “Lolita.”

  197. Susie Derkins
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    Oops…I meant “attention” in #196, of course.

  198. Kdog
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    MT – Dick will soon be able to make wheels of Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.

    Finest in the district!

  199. jules
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    First line of Mike’s novel:

    “Harvey Rood laughed.”

  200. Lyman Returns
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    My word…I was curious about FBOFW not ending as announced and being continued in a new form so I had to look on the FBOFW website (yes, where otherwise inanimate cartoon characters blink on and on and even angels fear to tread) for the scoop. What I found was a link to the Editor & Publisher website where they interview Lynn Johnson. You can read it here:

    The interview was quite amusing, much moreso than the comic strip itself.

    Johnson says she needs a break from the pressures of the day-to-day creation of the strip, partially because of all the research she has to do for the strip. Then she goes on to say that she had to be prompted to have Mike go back into the burning apartment for his laptop, rather than a paper manuscript, becasue, as she readily admits, she’s not up on new technology and is out of step with the times. So, um, Lynn, what exactly have you been researching, then, so much so that you need time off from your comic strip? ‘Cuz it sure hasn’t been how authors get books published, or how to properly escape a burning building, or teenage slang. Maybe she’s been looking into the intricate workings of central vacuum systems. I can see how that would be time-consuming.

    Lynn Johnson says she doesn’t want to pass the strip onto a successor because she might drive that person crazy by always butting into how the strip is done. Okay, fair enough, at least she knows not to get into a bad situation. She also says she doesn’t want her fans to go “cold turkey” on the strip. Okay, a little arrogant, I guess (people CAN live without FBOFW, honey…people who live in countries without syndicated newspaper comic strips, or newspapers in general, are living proof of this) but that’s okay. So she’s going to continue the strip by using Mike and family as a framework and recycling old strips in a “Mike looks back on his life” kind of thing. Um, is that really going to be preferable to having no strip or a strip being carried on by another artist that she will be tempted to meddle in? The strip’s already going down the tubes, and now she’s going to make the comic into a hideous Frankensteinian…THING. Why?

    In her own words, she wants to travel more. Translation: She’s going to bail on the strip, let her assistants mix-and-match old strip artwork and stories for a nostalgia-oriented schlockfest, in order to finance excursions to exotic locales around the world. She’s selling out her artistic integrity, and the sad part is a timid and unimaginative comic syndicate, and a docile, lemming-like, jaded public is probably going to have absolutely no problem with it.

    She also says she doesn’t want to work nights and weekends anymore. She works nights and weekends? What on earth for? Not for research purposes, as we’ve already covered. Obviously those 100 assistants are letting her down if she has to put in those kinds of hours. What’s really sad is that it sounds like she puts in long hours to produce what we have all rightfully observed is a daily dose of sequential crap.

    The whole thing is pretty sickening. But then again, so is the fact I’m wasting time talking about it.

  201. Dave
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    Michael’s first published line:

    Dear Forum: I never thought it would happen to me …

  202. jules
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    No, wait! First line:

    “Last night I dreamed I went to Medicine Hat again.”

  203. Kdog
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    As for the political cartoons, I prefer editorials to those on the comics section (i.e. Toles, Oliphant). Our paper moved Doonesbury to the editorial page before Tredeau went on hiatus and then didn’t bring it back. Replaced it with Bloom County, then it went away.

    Hmmm…maybe I can get them to put MF on there and he’ll go away too!

  204. willethompson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    #185 gh referencing SPOI’s rant on the last thread…

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Damn, the laugh tears melted my glasses…

  205. Bill James
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    First line: “Once upon a time, and a very bad time it was, badens little Baby Tucken came upon a beaver and the beaver was coming down the road from where Sheilagh Shaughnessy lived.”

    Oh, and Uncle Lumpy, but the fox knows many things.

  206. kilgore trout
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    184, 198, Trying to slide a Python reference past me is like trying to slide a big bone past Marmaduke, or a lasagne past Garfield, or Curtis’s lunch past “Onion” (or ‘Onion’), or a sandwich past Dagwood, or a chance to meddle past Mary Worth, or……

  207. Adjuster
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    The snowstorm vented its might, and Sheilagh Shaughnessy’s feet were freezing. As she meandered on her solitary way westward, she let her mind wander back to what she’d experienced: that seal liver she tasted on the ice floe, that nice boxer from the coal mining town, the strange man in his hot dog stand. Now she neared her destination, and she’d left most of her worldy posessions behind. All she had was a copper cylinder that contained her brother’s manuscript. That, and a horse thermometer.

  208. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    # 205 Bill James

    Yes, we’re definitely in Pull out his eyes! Apologize! territory.

  209. Gal Friday
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    First line:

    “IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

    But then Mike will be busted for lifting from Jane Austen and he’ll have to return the advance, dumping his family into poverty–since he already spent it.

  210. Yeahme2
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    I don’t recall the opening lines from “Sunset Boulevard”, where William Holden’s character is narrating an impossible flashback from his position, which is dead and floating in the pool… but I wish Mike’s novel would begin there.

  211. Gal Friday
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    “Call me, Harvey Rood, said the buxom . . . “

  212. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    Of course there’s always the obvious first line:

    It was the better of times, it was the worse of times . . .

    (slinks out)

  213. Moon Mullins
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    “Harvey Rood rued the time he had been so rude.”

  214. iburl
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    Doonesbury rules…. and I love political cartoons. So I really don’t know what the F you are talking about.

  215. reader-who-posts
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    #187 – Actually in my local rag (the Houston Chronicle, which has roughly 2/3 of the strips from the web site in the paper) they did replace Mallard Fillmore with Prickly City to be the conservative counterpoint to Doonesbury. When this happened there was much rejoicing.

    The balance is back out of whack now that they have thrown The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee at us. I’m concerned that they may put Mallard back in as a consertative hack counterpoint to the new liberal hack.

    #152 – Ah, it’s the weekly “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WILL ONE OF YOU VISIT MY BLOG!!” post.

  216. Houston Northcutt
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    What cheap Canadian drugs is Lynn Johnston taking, and can I have some?

    Michael finished that novel – what? – four weeks ago? six weeks ago? It’s not even a first draft. It’s a rough draft. And yet we’re supposed to believe he just printed the sucker off, popped the entire manuscript in an envelope, sent it unagented and unsolicited to what must surely be the only publishing house on the planet that wouldn’t reject such a submission out of hand, whereupon an editor miraculously plucked it from a slush pile of roughly 6,000,000,000 manuscripts, tore through it in about 30 minutes, ignored all the inevitable typos and grammatical errors that exist in any rough draft, and dashed off a fawning letter, contract, and fat advance?

    This isn’t merely difficult to believe. It’s a freaking hallucination!

    Next week the book will win the Booker prize, the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, the Pushcart, the PEN/Faulkner, the Newbery, and three new awards created in its honor. The week after that it will be optioned for a movie starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and a completely nude Daniel Radcliffe. The week after that the movie will break The Passion of the Christ‘s box office records. The week after that, the film will win more Oscars than LOTR, including best adapted screenplay and best original screenplay – both for Michael Patterson, of course, because he’s just that good.

  217. reader-who-posts
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    First line:

    “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents–except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London, Ontario that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

    Only Michael would plagarize Bulwer-Lytton (

  218. Ribinin
    February 2nd, 2007 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    First paragraph: “Sheilagh wept”.

  219. Dennis Jimenez
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    Potential first lines for Mikey’s tome:

    Call me fishmail.

    It was the best of foobs; it was the worst of foobs.

    I was born in hogan my father built.

  220. PeteMoss
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    “Canada is my mistress,” declared Harvey Rood, and Ontario is her shapely arse!

  221. PeteMoss
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    woops, forgot my quotation marks -

    Canada is my mistress,” declared Harvey Rood, “and Ontario is her shapely arse!”

  222. PeteMoss
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    Damn. Here’s an extra pair: “

  223. Trotzenbonnie
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    ‘I begin this disorderly and almost endless collection of scattered thoughts and observations in order to gratify a good mother who knows how to think – having owned a bookstore, she’s read more than her share of the proffered paperbacks and serious tomes ‘

  224. Moon Mullins
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    A general question: is there any writeup anywhere about Lynn Johnston’s real kids and how they have dealt with growing up with doppelgangers on the comics page?

    I recall the man who was Christopher Robin always being very resentful and not wanting to ever talk publicly about Pooh. I wonder if Lynn’s kids are similar.

  225. gump worsley
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    “A screaming comes across the sky. It was my sister, after she found out about my book contract.”

  226. hogenmogen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    Here’s what I’d like to see in BC this Sunday, I’ve been missing those strips where we see some caveman write on a tablet throw it in the ocean and then wait six frames for a witty response. So
    Frame 1: Caveman writes “We got word from the groundhog that we’re going to have six more weeks of winter.”
    Frame 2: Tablet goes in water and inexplicably doesn’t sink
    Frame 3: Tablet drifts away
    Frame 4: Tablet drifts farther
    Frame 5: It’s night time
    Frame 6: Tablet returns with response
    Frame 7: Tablet comes closer
    Frame 8: Caveman reads “Enjoy the cold of winter while you can, because God shall surely throw you in the flames of hell for all eternity for your pagan rodent worshipping ceremony.”

    Oh yes, I’m also looking forward to Marmaduke taking eight panels to show everyone that he’s a big dog. Maybe he’ll combine it with a football theme, as this is Superbowl weekend. Maybe he’ll grab a football in his mouth or sit in front of the TV. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Speaking of “topical”, we haven’t been dealt one of those absolutely hilarious Family Circus patented Billy meanderings. Those are soooo hysterical! The “topical” part will be that he will do one IN THE SNOW! You know, because it is winter. And it snows in winter. You know.

    Or, the newspapers can spare us all the burden and replace those strips with blank space.

  227. brendan
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:39 pm [Reply]


    I’ll give you indeigestion. Today’s Luann for example, flirting with incest. THAT’s enough to give you indigestion. (Also, there’s a bonus topless Cindy Crawford).

  228. UncleJeff
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    FOOB — Maybe I’ve been reading the CC too long, but I was looking at the final panel and wishing Lynn had drawn Deanna giving all the readers “the finger” while kissing Mike.

    Get Fuzzy — like it but the Bucky character is drawn so black that when there’s a problem with the newspaper, they lose all of the lines that define him and Bucky turns into a big black blob.

  229. Alan Vanneman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    I didn’t read through all the comments, but when did Al Capp make fun of Sen. Joe? I think you’re confusing Al with Walt Kelly and his Simple J. Malarky in Pogo. All was a liberal in those days, but later turned conservative in the 60s, although he was pretty liberal with the coeds, which caused a bit of a scandal.

  230. michael patterson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    I guess I don’t understand the contest. I’ve already written the book and the first sentence is “Sheilagh Shaughnessy haghs maghrried a soldier, but once he’s removed his uniform he becomes a different maghn.” Mom said the ‘gh’ after the ‘a’ makes it sound more Irish. After all, having owned a bookstore, she’s read more than her share of the proffered paperbacks and serious tomes.

    So, this is a blog, eh? Lemme just scroll up here, and…


  231. zeeba
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    Dingo: GREAT song parody!! Thanks, that made my day!!

    Moon Mullins: that’s an interesting supposition of what COULD happen in JP (those evil Canadians kidnapping Neddy and holding her for ransom). We can only hope Woody could carry this out. I’ve thought it unusual that a temp Canadian butler would be working in France of all places.

    Al Capp’s stuff: Even though he was conservative, he did poke fun at his own sometimes. I remember in the early 70s in Lil Abner, he had a character that looked like Spiro Agnew–a hyena with a giant face.

    GF controversy: I finally got an e-mail back from the Dallas Morning News after I protested their censorship of last week’s strips. They said, “It’s helpful to hear from those who are not offended by drug humor.” Just like Bucky, they’re clueless.

    I’ve GOT to stop reading the comics while I’m eating breakfast. Yesterday, I got ill reading JP. Today it was FOOB.

  232. willethompson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:46 pm [Reply]


  233. Sheilagh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    BTW, I thought it was the HEIGHT of insensitivity for Pop Foob to hold up Mike’s good fortune to Liz with some remark like, “See, it all evens out!” Hello? One person gets money and props, while another person gets kicked in the teeth, and somehow that’s “even” in the Foobiverse? What, are the Patternsons a single organism like ants or something? (Don’t answer that…)

  234. Professor Fate
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    FOOB : I have, against my better judgment went and read the last few days – sweet mother of mercy just kill me now please? I used to work in publishing – and boys and girls ladies and gentelmen – there isn’t an editor in the world who would write that mush about Mikes book. Hell he or she probbably wouldn’t read the damn thing first – that’s what underpaid assistants out of college with English degress are for – Editors spend most of their time networking and trying to survive the twists and truns of office politics which in publishing can be brutal.

    Nobody pays g-d $25,000 for a first mainstream novel. Horror, detective maybe – mainstream novels -esp the gibberish Mike has written are hard to sell – and establishing a novelist is damn hard work these days – it’s easier to sell non-fiction cause people intrested in say – axe murders will read pretty much anything written about axe murders.

    I don’t under stand how Lynn can be so ignorant of how publishing really works – she’s had her collections published in book form – she’s had to have some dealings with her publisher from time to time. Unless she’s just being lazy – which is possible.

    As part of her sins against story telling – and god in heaven a utter complete lack of understanding of basic human nature – People, being people, tend to react funny when their dreams come true – there is an undercurrent of puzzled anti-climax cause, no matter how good the news – you’re still you and nothing makes everything perfect. In this case a decent author would have played the good news about MIke’s novel (mabye had him get a few rejection slips in there as well) against the knowledge he’s living in his parents house and it’s causing his wife a lot of problems.

    But no Lynn needs this to be finished and she’s mailing it in – The novel will be made into a movie, Liz will get married and I will dig my own grave and behead myself with a shovel rather than spend any more time on the drivel that Lynn keeps dishing out.

  235. Kdog
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    Houston – Another possibility is the book will be published with an unprecedented number of first editions. The next week it will be horribly panned by the Canadian press whereupon the editor will be fired, the publishing company will go bankrupt and Micheal won’t be able to get a laundry list read by the reputable publishers north of the border. Liz will relish the misery he wallows in only to find him standing over her bed with an already bloodied chainsaw…

  236. andreavis
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    #106 — with apologies to Isak Dinesen:

    “I had a farm in Saskatchewan…”

  237. ghâ„¢
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    #230 michael patterson

    I’m not Irish, dammit! My people moved here from the old country. Indiana.

  238. hogenmogen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    #216 – Houston – You have a variety of good points there. Patterson finished the novel right around Christmas, sent it in, and now has a check (but in Canada that’s “cheque”). It takes 6-8 weeks for me to get my mail in beer rebate.

  239. Islamorada Girl
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    “All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in it’s own sinister, dysfunctional Foobian way”.

    Say, Emperor Chennux, is there an Empress Chennux? (bats eyelashes)

  240. Howard Erk
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Get Fuzzy

    Not Political

    Not Funny

    ‘Nuf Said.

  241. Plinko Commie
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Maybe the person who owns the publishing house that just overpaid for Naked Came The Stranger, Eh? is none other than … DEANNA’S HORRIBLE HORRIBLE MOTHER.

    It fits so well. She dotes on her daughter, she probably doesn’t think Michael’s good enough for her (she may have a point) and she’s constantly trying to get them to move. But now, instead of her barging into the Foob Compound and demanding all this, she goes the sneaky route and creates a shell company to give her idiot son-in-law the money she’s been wanting to give Deanna from the word go. Plus she probably started the fire.

    But that would be an unexpected and entertaining twist, and God knows we can’t spoil the core readers’ oatmeal with intrigue.

    In which case, again: Foob characters, Funky Winkerbean fates. A solid gold hit on any chart.

  242. Professor Fate
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    231 – Sorry that was Walt Kelly in Pogo who did Agnew as the Hyena.

    While I’m on it – the trouble with political comics – especially those on the right – is that the combination of ideology and tribal idenity utterly destroy the flexabilty of mind needed to make jokes that are well funny – humor’s a pretty subversive thing in and of its self and as such is a treat to folks who need to defend an ideology. So instead of humor they resort to ridicule in an attempt to force comformity and defend that ideolgy.

    that said I’ve always thought Doonsbury political stuff was pretty even handed – and I’ll always treasue one strip done during the watergate era – Nixon is telling one his aides that he’s worried that some people might mis-interpret some of the things he says on the transcribed tapes. As an example he quotes “So Ron, How’s the cover up going?”

  243. Krazy Kat
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    SWEET ZOMBIE REAGAN! Did you know February is “Heart and Stroke Month?”
    Well they know it at the FOOB website.
    Check it out at if you still have anything left to purge!

  244. Sheilagh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    A treat? No, a threat!

    Humor as subversion? Can we have a moment of silence for Molly Ivins, please? I am so gonna miss her.

  245. Gabriel Ratchet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    The Doonesbury floating icon thing for presidents is, I think, a leftover from the days before he learned how to draw. In its earliest days, he could barely draw the strip’s main characters, let alone any well-known figures, thus the reliance on strips that were just balloon-less text over the White House. Later he came up with the drifting feather to represent Dan Quayle just to indicate what a lightweight the guy was, but once he’d locked himself into that particular mode of representation he was stuck with it just to give the strip a sense of continuity. He’s a better draughtsman now (his Trump really captures the man’s porcine grotesqueness), but he’s chosen to stick with his prior styistic tics primarily out of what I take to be some sort of sense of continuity with his earlier work.

    I do, however, think it’s unfair, even if one dislikes both strips to compare Doonesbury and Mallard Fillmore. If there really is a liberal version of Fillmore, it’s The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee, with which its creators seem to share a complete ignorance of what a joke actually is — though, to be fair Tinsley still leads in that department — remember the series of strips the other week where he yammered on for days about a report about increases in child obesity in China? There was nothing in them that could be said to constitute a joke under any conceivable definition of the word, they just seemed to be an instance of him saying “Nyah nyah, go ahead ya durn libruls — you want to call me a racist, but you can’t BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!! And hey, they eat dogs too!”

  246. Doctor Ling
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    Mary and I save Dr. Jeff, what more you want? Takeout?

  247. nsr
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    Walt Kelly also had LBJ as a centaur- “the Loan Arranger”. Best line– ‘I didn’t recognize him til he turned to leave.”

  248. Saxman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    224 Lynn’s interviews:

    I couldn’t find exactly the kind of Lynn offspring interviews you wanted, but here is one that sheds some light on the situation

    (I will tell you one thing. I bet the relationship she had with her kids went downhill a couple notches once they read this interview.)

  249. zeeba
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    242 Professor Fate: My bad. I just googled it and found it was Walt Kelly. I was remembering wrong.

  250. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    Re Doonesbury (why not throw my two cents in, too).

    I was born in 1974, so I missed its heyday. Nevertheless, in the past I have spent many edifying hours poring over old anthologies from the 70s — even when I often have only a tenuous grasp of the topical references. And I certainly believe Garry Trudeau deserves his place in comic strip history: he has fleshed-out characters, and he’s done some innovative things with the medium.

    But despite my respect for Trudeau, when I look at the dozens of strips on the comics pages that I read every day (either online or in print), I just can’t get that excited about Doonesbury. Is it because the strip has lost steam over the years? Or is it because the strip suffers when placed in proximity of other more prototypically “cartoony” or “kiddish” strips? I like the way Trudeau draws people, but still, his is a text-heavy black-and-white strip whose overall visual style could be described as “dense”, “serious”, and “controlled”. And let’s face it, three panels of nearly-identical exterior shots of the White House is BORING.

    I think Doonesbury is like the A. Whitney Brown of comic strips. I’m referring specifically to when Brown was a frequent guest on SNL’s Weekend Update, and would offer commentary that seemed reasonably astute and clever and insightful, but it wasn’t zany or entertaining or funny, and it kind of sucked the energy out of the show.

  251. Mountain Mama
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    Here’s mine:
    Sheilagh brushed her coal-black tresses from her eyes, fretfully trying to remember the odd, instrusive dream she’d woken from. All she could seem to recall was a drowning sensation and a strange old woman peering at her, calling, “I’ve been talking to a doctor in the States! He can help you! Do you like tuna casserole?”

  252. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    #242 Professor Fate

    Doonesbury: 5/4/75

    They say it’s nice this time of year in Ohio. . . .
    Have a nice day, John Mitchell.

    It’s mounted on pasteboard in the attic somewhere.

    #244 Sheilagh

    I deleted her site from my Favorites yesterday. Felt like a burial at sea. Godspeed, Molly.

  253. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    Yes, Capp did a take off on Mary Worth, naming her “Mary Worm.”

    Still better were the ones that took Charles Shulz apart, naming him “Bedly Damp”, and his strip went into decline because the psychiatrist next door moved away. He was always taking while Bedly was drawing.

    Some folks at the Syndicates told Capp to pay off on the other cartoonists.

  254. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    Heavingly, the luminous and fecund, dusky bloodred late-autumn moon loomed billowingly over the gritty, tawny-brown but all-but-denuded Saskatchewanian prairie grasses, rather in the manner of a loving and generous mother omnipresently looking over her beloved and fortunate brood, a brood her ardent ministrations ensured was both hardy and bold, laureled in wreathes of the sort of victory so few were able to achieve, much less earn, in the course of even several lifetimes, as a beautiful roan mare roamed merrily from horizon to horizon, surely a harbinger of some sort but of what only our loving God in His Holy Heaven would know – a heaven surely even more redolent of the succours of our hibernian yet nourishing homeland but blissfully free of its trials, tributions, sorrow, and harrowing horrors, as when a deadly rattlesnake strikes suddenly without warning and failing to give notice like an enormous prick from a great sorrow-filled hypodermic needle, a sorrow no doubt prescribed homeopathically by a pathologically homesick pharmacist of the heart – heralding the onset of the setting sun, as before Sheilagh knew it, the day was nearly done, and her with so many tasks yet to be finished, as she cursed, “Curses!” as if accursed.

  255. Galactic Emperor Chennux
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:31 pm [Reply]




  256. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    Foob — I don’t have time to write down all the numbers of the latest wonderful first lines, but after laughing like a drain again and again, I just have to say thank you all very much, you incredible snarkers. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! You have taken wretched reeking dross and turned it into gold.

  257. Deanbooth
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    MF + MT: A definite improvement, especially since you can’t read it. (If MF has been drinking and runs over Theodore or Castoria, maybe Dick Morgan will shoot him.)

  258. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    First line:

    Despite my incredibly difficult life, I, Sheilaugh Shaunassy, will endearvor to pluckily hold my head high, despite the terrible twists and turns of tumultuous turmoil on the tundra all around me. I am so brave and noble, living out here in the wild wilderness as I am, where wolves wander and wail to the west winds that blow an ill wind to the door of my sadly worn, tumble-down shanty that Harvey Rood helped me buid, although I built most of it all by myself. I suppose some day I will marry him because that is what a Canadian woman does: marry and breed, for I have child-bearing hips, the kind men lust for and over which women cry and wish they were as lucky as me, Sheilaugh Shaunassy.

    I think I’m going to retch.

  259. Houston Northcutt
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    #235 Kdog – Oh, if only!!!

    #238 hogenmogen – Well, clearly, everything in Canada is so much nicer than in the US. Cheaper drugs, no guns, subsidized health care, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Maybe the mail is really, really speedy there, too.

    Oh, and, um, beer rebates? There are rebates on beer? I want beer rebates!!!

  260. Frank Drackman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    I’m surprised that with a Doctor boyfriend and working in a hospital for so long that Mary never learned one little tidbit..when ever you ask for a 2d opinion every doctor and nurse automatically considers you a troll/crank/malingerer no matter what your story is..better to leave the hospital against medical advice and start over fresh at a new place.

  261. Chromium
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    Anyone notice that Bruce Tinsley is apparently turning into a stalker now?

    I think the very concept of political cartoons guarantees they won’t be funny. The only reason Doonesbury and Bloom County worked is because they’re character-based. Any cartoon that focuses on political statements with no interesting characters isn’t really a cartoon at all. I guess Tom Tomorrow does good work, and I enjoy Steve Sack’s cartoons just for the goofy artwork, but those are the only exceptions I can think of.

  262. Professor Fate
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    244 – yes I meant Threat – In my case I confess – Dislexia for cure –

    and Lord will I miss Molly- her smack down of Camille Paglia where (among other things) she called Camille “a crassly egocentric raving twit” is something I remember with fondness. She also had a wonderful love of people, even the people she was tearing to shreds – she could see the humanity in them -making her a much bigger person than I am I have to say.

  263. Sheilagh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    Al Capp certainly made fun of Dick Tracy with his “Fearless Fosdick” parody. There was also “Jack Jawbreaker”, which I referenced the other day and nobody picked up on it… this was a superhero consisting of a muscular flying arm with a propeller on the shoulder end. It had a girlfriend and would cuddle her (by putting its arm — itself? whatever) around her… But every time it offered to kiss her, crime would break out in the distance and “Jack” would buzz off, leaving the girl to cry, “Rats! Now I’ll NEVER know how it’s done!”

    What was THAT A parody of?

    I seem to recall a Li’l Abner plot where an evil syndicate would let newspapers run the wildly popular “Jack Jawbreaker” for a tiny, tiny fee… but they had to take a second, totally lame and stupid, comic strip as well — and THAT would cost a gazillion dollars. So the creator of Jack Jawbreaker never got rich…

    A little bitterness there, Al?

  264. Houston Northcutt
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    First line:

    A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over: “La merde, ceci est un mauvais roman!”

  265. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    I’m surprised no one here’s mentioned that one of our own made a guest appearance in Doonesbury just last week! Congratulations!

  266. Lyman Returns
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    #248-Holy cow, that interview with Lynn Johnson…can we all say, “TOO MUCH INFORMATION!”

    I like the part where she talks about being on an airplane and flying through a storm and wanting to comfort her fellow passengers by telling them, “It will be all right, I’m with you!” Cripes, what an ego on that woman!

  267. Adjuster
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    Just pondering: it seems like Mallard Fillmore exists only because editors want “balance”. Does this mean it’s the ultimate argument against free enterprise?

  268. angry black woman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    *sneaks back in* What up, dawgs?

  269. Richard Onley
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    #37 (among others . . .): yellojkt says: “Mallard is refering to the practice of liberal groups throwing pies at conservative speech makers at campus events as a guerilla political stunt. Ann Coulter and Bill Gates (wtf?) have been pied. More whining conservative victimization. ‘What about our freedom of speech? Whaaa! Whaaa! Whaaa!
    “Day By Day has the most common conservative strip cliche, the ultra-right wing black mouthpiece. Yes, they exist. We have one on the Supreme Court and it isn’t racist to suggest that Tinsley’s pimping of Walter Williams is a subtle for The Duck attack at Obamamania.
    Expect more and more ridiculous politcal posturing in the comments all day.
    This is why Josh saves the politics for Wonkette.”

    What’s that old saying? “Physician, heal thyself”?

  270. gh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    #268 angry black woman

    Holy Moley! We thought you were dead! Over the cliff with Aldo! Yaay!

  271. Saxman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:02 pm [Reply]


    I checked Lynn out on Amazon and Wikipedia and was surprised to learn how many books she has written (over 50), albeit all cartoons). Also that several were pre-FOOB books.

    You’d think she would have a pretty good idea of how the publishing industry works. I still kinda think she knows perfectly well, and just accelerated everything for dramatic license. After all, if this were a strip like Luanne or Mary Worth where there is no correspondence between reader time and strip time, we’d never question the issue.

    I suppose Jim Davis knows cats don’t talk and just ignores that too.

    maybe she has some clear vision of the stories she wants to tell before the strip freezes later this year and realized she had to seriously accelerate things to move it along.


  272. Krazy Kat
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    ABW IS BACK!!!

  273. Chromium
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    More on Mallard Fillmore…

    I actually think it would be really funny if a ton of people emailed Walter Williams asking about his “grassroots campaign” and the guy made a public statement condemning Bruce Tinsley. Oh, that would be sweet. I mean, I don’t want Tinsley to pull an Aldo or anything, but maybe he would at least retire in misery.

  274. Robin
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    Somebody help me please! I went to the official FOOB website to read today’s comic (and the fact I am admitting that unprovoked should give you some idea of how horrified I am) and I swear to god THE CHARACTERS BLINKED AT ME! They MOVED. Is this normal? Does anyone else see this on their computer too? Has Lynn found a way to condense the souls of her creations in to JavaScript and inject them on to the internet? That would make sense. Not only is Lynn obviously a dabbler in the dark arts, but Michael and Deanna’s entire personalities could be more than adequately expressed using only a set of CG eyelids. Or is it that my computer has been possessed by the transient essence of Michael Patterson himself? Oh god. Oh GOD. What do I do? It’s because I’m Canadian, isn’t it? How do I exorcise Michael Patterson from my laptop? Help me, please!

  275. Houston Northcutt
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    #271 Saxman – I agree with the “Nawwww” part. “Dramatic license” presumes that some drama is present. If there had been a couple of setbacks, maybe – a couple of agents or editors passing on the novel – the success would seem all the more sweet. As it’s playing out, it just seems unearned and false.

    And now that I know Lynn has every reason to understand how publishing works, and that she didn’t just fail to peruse an old copy of Writer’s Digest as part of her (ahem) rigorous nights-and-weekends research, I hate her even more.

  276. Peace Lily
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    First sentence, before edit, found with two post-it notes:

    “Long ago there lived a poor poor woman named Sheleigh OShaunessay.
    She had babies. She married a very bad man. He was mean to them.”

    Post-it #1: Mom, can you clean this up for me? M.

    Post-it #2 M. – How about this? Mom.

    She has lived for seventeen years, now with a ruthlessly cruel and controlling man she has learned how to grow and preserve her own vegetables. She has butchered and salted venison and beef. She has given birth four times – two stillborn children and two living. The living buried the dead. Harvey Rood, whose surname she has refused to accept (despite the legalities of marriage) is drinking more and is home less. Their car, no longer driveable, lies buried under a blanket of snow. Their one reliable connection to town is Ben, a sturdy five-year-old, good-natured gelding who knows his way home, even if his master is too drunk to guide him. Harvey had hoped the small farm would provide enough for them to live on. Having been raised in town, he was unprepared for the amount of effort it would take to force grain from ground long left fallow, and to raise a few livestock for food. A lazy man, he tried without conviction to till and seed. With borrowed machines and borrowed money, he prepared their quarter section, but the wheat he harvested was sparse, due to insects and he cut it too soon. Neighbours helped him bale what he had for pig feed and worked to restore the barn and a small pen for his two sows to run about in. They resented his helplessness and unpaid I.O.U.s…..blah blah blah you get the picture.

  277. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    # 268 — Welcome back, angry black woman! Yea! We’ve missed you!

  278. Red Greenback
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, A B to the Dubs! Welcome home!!!

  279. Marion Delgado
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    Neddy is blind drunk. Cedric’ll have her 5 x in the cab on the way back.

  280. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    # 276 — Har!!! Peace Lily, I believe it, and Ellie’s role in this book is one reason I, as a Foobloatharian, hate her too. But I might be willing to put one Foobian in a somewhat-less-hatred category. Ben the good-natured gelding sounds almost tolerable, and it’s not his fault he’s stuck in this turgid tripe-fest of a book. And he’s lucky as hell he can’t read it.

    Also, I just have to say that here in the rural Cornbelt, “ground long left fallow,” unless it is overgrown with trees and brush, is generally considered better for crops, not worse, because ground left fallow after cropping is able to recover some nutrients and tilth. Is the prairie land of Canada so different than the prairie land here? Geez, it’s Michael the Foob, so why do I bother.

  281. Ribinin
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    Ilsamorda Girl be cautious.

    There is an Empress Chennux, but she is out of the galaxy right now, and she doesn’t understand him anyway, and they have separate bedrooms when she is home, and a lover of her own.

    That’s why he is so tense.

  282. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    # 274 — Yep, Robin, they do blink and move. You’re not alone. Happens to anyone who goes there.

  283. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    #280 Poteet – I noticed the ground long left fallow thing too. And, I had the same reaction as you: So? That’s a good thing!

    Just what the hell was Lynn supposed to be researching when she unchained herself from the boiler room at midnight and took a vacation/research break? She obviously didn’t study the publishing business, professional writing, land management, First Nations people, psychology, sociology… I think the only thing she studied was her own narcissism, and unfortunately liked what she saw.

    I could not help but notice in Michael’s letter it mentioned that he takes his kids for a stroll early on Sunday mornings. This makes sense to me. No Patterson needs to go to church on Sundays, since they are all convinced they are omnipotent and need no higher power than themselves to call upon.
    And some churches even ask you to be humble and mean it. And Pattersons can’t have that.

    I’m so glad ABW is back, I look forward to reading what she has to say.

  284. Galactic Emperor Chennux
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:06 pm [Reply]





  285. stinky pete
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-nd, we’re spent…

  286. Bill James
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    gh: Okay, how about:

    “We went down to ship set keel to breakers, forth upon the godly sea. Beaver we bore upon her…” That’s all I can remember.

  287. Jamus The Bartender
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    Tamsy…thanks for bringing up GYWO. Saves me the trouble. Yeah, it’s all of the things Uncle L said it was, largely speechifying and billboardesque….but it’s also dead on. Five years later, David Rees is still angry as hell, as we all should be.
    Okay, i’ll get off my soapbox now. This is a fun place.

  288. PeteMoss
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    How about-
    “She swore like a sailor, drank like a fish, fought like a drunk sailor, worked like a beaver, but on the Saskatchewanian prairie, Sheleigh Shaughnesy was all woman.

  289. PeteMoss
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

  290. David S. McQueen
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    Peace Lily posted, “Harvey Rood, whose surname she has refused to accept (despite the legalities of marriage) . . .”

    Feminism hasn’t taught you ANYTHING, Lily?

    Women taking their husbands’ surname is a tradition and isn’t required legally. In fact, you can call yourself any name you want to (unless you’re doing it to commit fraud).

  291. Stacia
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: First line of the novel:

    “Saigon. Shit. I’m still in Saigon.”

    #195 – cinephile, I have to agree. Further, I think the problem most people have with political cartoons is that they don’t always agree with what’s said, and that makes it unfunny to them.

    Me, I don’t care about pot one iota. Maybe that’s why I didn’t mind “Get Fuzzy” during the accidental legalize it campaign week. More variety in the issues Bucky was accidentally referencing might have been nice, I guess, but I don’t think a cartoon could possibly have referenced a mix of drug legalization, abortion, death penalty, environmental issues, or similar issues without getting a lot of bad press. If one issue had to be chosen, I think legalizing pot was the most innocuous and the most fertile for a week of bad puns.

    Man. How anyone can see Bucky’s thumbs-up poster and NOT laugh is beyond me.

  292. bunx
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    When did Mussollini start writing Mallard Fillmore?

  293. willethompson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    #288 PeteMoss – Damn, that’s good, but I think Dingo and Gadge are bear-to-mole on this one..

  294. Jamus The Bartender
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    Doonesbury: I have to admit the last place i was expecting to see a Man With A Machine archetype was in Doonesbury. He reminded me of H.E.R.B.I.E. too.

  295. smh
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    When I was a kid, and read the colour comics, I always thought that Doonesbury was about talking buildings.

    Given all the White House conversations, that probably wasn’t a bad conclusion.

    However, I grew up and learned to appreciate the world of Doonesbury. Heck, I even remember when Kim (now married to Mike) appeared in the strip again in high school, after first appearing as a baby airlifted from Vietnam.

  296. DeannaPatterson
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Michael! This is really happening! And I never thought it would — I just put up with you wasting your time up in the attic, typing away! I never in a million years ever thought your fiction-writing would amount to anything but enough pinkslips to wallpaper the bathroom (which I’m doing while gestating our next brat, because even though I’m a pharmacist, I just can’t get the hang of birth control).
    Let me kiss you with my oddly-shaped lips which are supposed to be alluring, but really are about as sexy as Mrs. K’s mole and will constantly remind you of how much I’ll be like my mother in 20 years!

  297. Marion Delgado
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    Gang! Look! Look what Archie’s invented! Shoes! Shoes with Wheels! Shoes with WHEELS!

    It’s c-r-a-z-y, baby! Oh that kid!

  298. AhClem
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    #106 –
    “I hadn’t meant to shoot the beaver.”

    (adapted from the first line of a real novel by another Canadian author, Spider Robinson, who — unlike Michael — knows how to write)

  299. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    #290 David S. McQueen: Actually, it was Michael “I want to be a girl so bad, I call myself Sheilaugh” Patterson who wrote that “Harvey Rood, whose name…blah blah” thing in one of those notorious letters of his on the FOOBsite. Peace Lily was only mocking the hack.

  300. Nyssa23
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    #106 — Little late, but here’s my entry into the Sheilarrgh Festival:

    It was England, right after the war, and beautiful nurse Sheilagh Shaugnessey stood proudly looking out at the ocean, tossing her auburn hair and thinking how life could not but be wondrous for one as beautiful and prideful as her; surely she’d never find herself squatting alone in a smelly farmhouse birthing some drunk layabout’s child.

    Just then, a rough man with a furrowed visage bumped into her, sending her sprawling on the ground and putting a run in her best pair of silk stockings. “Outa my way, bitch,” he hissed. “Oh, and my name’s Harvey.” Sheilagh thought she felt a vague stirring in her loins, but it was probably just the bangers and mash she had for lunch.

    P.S. Hey, ABW! Welcome back!

  301. J Edgar
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    You said that, in Day by Day the chick is bending over to make room for the word balllons. Hey, look at that blood covering her head! She’s leaning over with weakness. Oops, just stupid coloring (or colorizing).

    This strip has a rabid writer and a talented artist, so it is always hard to separate the ridiculous from the intentional. If you want to make fun of this one man-animal hybrid strip then we will have our hands full and you could just drop any mention of all the comics that appear in real newspapers. That would be wrong.

  302. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    DtM Let us now seriously study the clever machinations of Mrs. Wilson.
    Most of Mr. Wilson’s problems stem from the fact that this deceptively sweet little old lady is actually herding the man to his doom. How does Dennis and his motley crew get into the man’s sickroom? Why, Mrs. Wilson lets them in, knowing full well that the noise will disturb his rest, and that Mr. Wilson can’t stand the little bastards in the first place, and that she has upped his life insurance bit by bit over the last few years without his knowing about it, until there is a sizable amount of moola just sitting there waiting for her to collect it.
    And she will continue to allow Dennis to enter the house at will, to come into the yard and jump on the leafpile, and to ask those endless questions of the beleagered old fossil….and no one will suspect a thing.
    Not out of sweet little old Mrs. Wilson. Why, mercy no.

  303. PeteMoss
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:31 pm [Reply]

    293. willethompson – Damn. Yet another rejection notice. Guess it’s back to the Chinchilla ranch for me.

    Next contest should be for the last line of the novel, maybe. Or Titles.

  304. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    Big Dog Hush, you fool! The dog doesn’t realize I’m trying to hang him.
    C(MD) Here’s an idea, Broadass: try training your damn table to remove a few leaves so it won’t look like Henry VIII is a permanent dinner guest. Christ, that table looks like Thanksgiving at Feed the Hungry.
    Cathy Must Die.
    Luann Sergeant York has learned the fine art of speaking entire sentences without opening his mouth, in the same manner the deer in MT can speak and hold entire conversations with the Jackelrod ball.

  305. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    #303: Final lines, huh?

    …After all, tomorrow is another deadline.

    …As she rode away triumphant toward Toronto, she heard his mournful cry: “I have no hooommme!”

    …She was not afraid, for she knew she would find more information on the Internet.

  306. Nattering Nabob
    February 2nd, 2007 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    #255 – obsolete candy cereal reference. Or, Chennux is observing light that left the earth in 1970.

  307. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    #306 – that, or he has tapped into the Dick Tracy work of Q’ing things.

  308. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    *world. holy crud, my clever repartee shot to shit.

  309. Islamorada Girl
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:39 pm [Reply]

    Well, hello, Angry Black Woman
    You’re sounding swell, Angry Black Woman!
    It’s so nice to have you back where you belong!

    Just spreadin’ the love, girl! We missed you!

    Confidential to His Imperialness: Yes, my eye lashes are my one superpower! I use their sonar hearing to entrap misquitoes and other small flying insects. You can often find me out in the back yard at twilight, having a little snack. I’ll be waiting for the ship to pick me up, just as soon as I google your Dunn and Bradstreet rating and check your titles with the Cosmic Almanach de Gotha. Have your glurg call my glurg and we’ll pencil each other in.

  310. Islamorada Girl
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    PS: Last Line of The Great Canadian Novel:

    Just then, they were all crushed to death by the 8:10 from Montreal to Calgary.


  311. TB Tabby
    February 2nd, 2007 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    Crock: I think today’s strip was originally supposed to be BC.

    (DT)GT: Whoah! First “Speak, Woman!” In A3G, and now that dogmatic list of commands in panel 3. Is this a growing trend on the comics page? Can we look forward to Sally Forth walking three steps behind Ted at all times?

  312. whoamItoday?
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    ABW, you’ve missed a lot, and have been missed

    Qwisp was good cereal, I remember it, but Chennux already left me to certain doom.

  313. angry black woman
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    awww, thanks for the warm welcome, y’all :) I missed you guys, too! I was just. so, so upset about Aldo. I fell into a pit of despair! It’s taken me this long to crawl out.

  314. jnik
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Sally Forth:
    OMG!! Ted’s office is entirely populated with girly men! Where does he work, the “Advocate”?
    (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

  315. True Fable
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    SF Ted and Cathy (Must Die) live in alternate universes but share the same soul.
    That explains so much. She is surrounded by tough feminists and gains weight despite her bulimic lifestyle. He is surrounded by tough feminists and loses weight despite the lavender blouses, that is, shirts he tries not to impulse buy.

  316. Richard Onley
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    #174: “When it comes to indignant, humourless, righteous outrage, NOTHING beats a fundamentalist Christian conservative who smells blasphemy (the Brooklyn museum, the play “Corpus Christi”) or a gay person being treated like a human being.”

    I’ve never seen a gay person react with indignant, humourless, righteous outrage when treated like a human being . . .

  317. Pendragon
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    #248 – Seriously, Lynn’s husband’s name is Rod John Johnston?

  318. Harry Paratestes
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    wow, angry black woman, that must have been a mighty crawl to take this long. ;-)

  319. Dingo
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    Welcome back, Angry Black Woman! The crawl from the bottom of the gravel pit must have been something for it to have taken until now. Did you happen to see anything interesting on the way? Lynn Johnston’s humility, perchance?

  320. macb
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    I know this is late, but I couldn’t let today’s FOOB go by without commenting: I guess I can trash my copy of Anna Karenina. Who needs to read about a fattish, slutty, suicidal Russian adultress when we have the work of the most brilliant literary novelist ever (or is that evah?), Michael Patterson? Ditto my worn copy of Moby Dick. A shallow, laborious fish tale (I know whales are mammals, not fish, but you get my point) after the stunning Michael Patterson. Ulysses (I never finished it, after umpteen tries, but it’s still on the shelf)? Who cares about some cuckolded little Jew who likes to eat sheep innards wending his way through a day in early summer in turn-of-the-(20th) century Dublin as a microcosm of the modern human condition when you have the moving and eloquent Michael Patterson? The Iliad and the Odyssey? War stories and perilous-journey-through-strange-lands stories are a dime a dozen when you’ve got the incomparable Michael Patterson. The Invisible Man? Who wants to read about a racism-tormented African-American man struggling with issues of identity in mid-20th-Century New York when you can peruse the wonderful MIchael Patterson? After all, the correspondent from the publisher’s house broke protocol to tell him how marvelous he was. I’m consigning my entire book collection to the incinerator; I have to make room on the shelves for the only writer in human history who matters: Michael Patterson. After all, he is a PATTERSON, you know.

  321. Ribinin
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    The Great Canadian Novel, last paragraph:

    Sheilagh wept.


  322. Dooter
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    No update today? Is this Uncle Whoosit’s vacation, from filling in for Josh’s vacation? Who is third in line in the event that the first two are unable to fulfill their duties due to 180 days of vacation time a year?

  323. Marylou
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    Wait wait wait — what about Walt Kelly’s Pogo? Political, funny, subtle, great drawing, etc.

  324. Harry Paratestes
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    Sheilagh wept.
    Isn’t that from
    Michaelpatterson 3:16?

  325. Ribinin
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:44 pm [Reply]

    Yes it is.

  326. Ribinin
    February 2nd, 2007 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, no John 11:35

  327. Alexander Haig
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    322 Dooter: I am in charge here.

  328. bobbaloo
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth went from having the third Cyclops eye to having both her human eyes plucked out!

  329. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    The last line of St. Michael Patterson’s novel? Doesn’t matter what it is – no living soul has ever finished reading the novel. My guess, though, is that everything after the first few pages is ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES MIKE A DULL BOY.

  330. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    2/3 –

    MT — Just what this strip needs, a giant enraged mutant gossiping chipmunk and a looping neverending beaver story.

  331. Dingo
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:23 am [Reply]

    Last paragraph of the Patterson novel:

    As the warm smell of colitas filled the air and the perfume of her own nether regions gathered like a mushroom cloud of radioactive alewives from her husband’s constant thrusting, Sheilaugh realized that the melancholia she had been feeling had nothing to do with Alberta, the prairie, her dead children, or that burly man from Milwaukee who promised her the moon but only gave her a mole preener. Nay, the melancholia had been caused by nothing more than reading cheesy potboiler shopgirl novels passed off as great literature by snarkish young mollycoddles from the East. She handed her husband the knife. “Thrust it in me!” she cried. “Thrust it in me like you thrust your cock and let me be away from ‘ere!” Her husband jabbed at her belly with the knife the same as his encrusted uncircumcised penis jabbed at her tender vitals. Her mawkish screams were muffled by the bright green pillow taken off of the purple bed from a hotel in Hanoi. As the spurting blood mixed with his tears and semen, he whispered to her, “Sheilaugh. Sheilaugh Shaugnessy. You’ll never ‘ave t’read that bad writing again, girl.” He then tipped his hat to her corpse and headed out the door toward the apartment of his girlfriend, Tamara. Some might have found it insulting or cruel for him to be with another woman so soon. But he had to get it somewhere. He was a man of Alberta. Sowing his seed was his right. By morning, he would be making mad sweet love to Tamara and Sheilaugh would be but the past. It was how it would and should be. But he wouldn’t think about that right now. He was thinking of Tamara. After all, Tamara is another lay.

  332. Air Forbes
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    I think the secret of the strips like Bloom County that did political commentary successfully is that they always made it about the characters. They might not even address the political topic directly, but only make the storyline an allegory. This made it interesting and funny even if you didn’t agree with the political view, and kept the strip from being turned into a boring opinion column ala Mallard Fillmore.

  333. Plinko Commie
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:43 am [Reply]

    And Saturday’s FOOBfest brings its sappiest and thus most nauseating storyline thus far in 2007 (though probably not in the top 10 by Arbor Day) to its inevitable, smarmy and bad punny conclusion.

    Is holding hands in bed sweet or creepy and weird? I vote the latter. Though to be fair, everything a Patterson does is creepy and weird, including but not limited to: eating eggs, whistling and playing checkers. All of it, creepy and weird. Bloody Pattersons. Bloody Michael. Time to think about the girl I liked in high school …

  334. NotGodot
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    Opening paragraph? Don’t mind if I do.

    Sheilagh, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. She-ila-gh: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. She. Ila. Gh. She was She, plain She, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Sheila in slacks. She was Shelly at school. She was Sheldon on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Sheilagh. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Sheilagh at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Sheilagh was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.

  335. Sjofn
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    Sweet Christ in Heaven do I fucking hate Michael Patterson.

    I don’t care how horrible the Liz n’ Anthony get-together ends up being, nothing, nothing will piss me off the way Michael’s Great Canadian Novel saga has gone. (Fun fact: According to the monthly letters, that was the very first publisher he sent that to! Whee!)

    Hear that, Lynn? I’m callin’ you out! NO WAY you can make Anthony more loathesome! You’re all out of crap, lady!

  336. rich
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    303, regarding Mike’s title — My suggestion a few months back for this “Angela’s Ashes” ripoff was “Sheilagh’s Soot.”

  337. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2007 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    # 335 — Sfjohn, at this moment of deep empathy, I somehow feel very close to you.

  338. Jym Dyer
    February 3rd, 2007 at 2:47 am [Reply]

    =v= I like political funnies, so long as they’re done well, which isn’t often enough. I have to add my voice to all the kudos for Doonesbury, especially what Lynngineering said.

    The only thing I’ve ever really not liked is Trudeau’s paying so much attention to Trump — in particular, an interminable sequence 15 years back. My thinking is that I don’t want to see or hear or know anything about the guy. But still I snicker at the grotesque depiction in recent strips, even though the subject matter isn’t up to Trudeau’s usual high standards.

  339. Jack Parsons
    February 3rd, 2007 at 4:19 am [Reply]

    216: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter actor) is doing Equus!

    292: Ummmm, MF has been neofascist from the get-go.

  340. Jack Parsons
    February 3rd, 2007 at 4:28 am [Reply]

    Last paragraph of Shellugh (why can’t the Irish spell?):

    “No I said no I won’t I am the stunted wheat on the prairie no I won’t nooooooo”

  341. Marion Delgado
    February 3rd, 2007 at 4:47 am [Reply]

    “Rod John” kept the Patterson Johnston family going in the hungry years, ironically by feeding many other actors a couple of pounds of


  342. Marion Delgado
    February 3rd, 2007 at 4:59 am [Reply]

    All of you Michael Haters, get a clue!

    The Bulwer-Lytton Contest, as you’d know if you followed literary matters, recently was transformed with a bequest of over a billion dollars from an eccentric Canadian, with the proviso that future publications of the entries be made in Toronto! Michael’s wife Deanna submitted his novel without his knowledge or approval, apparently, and that’s what won it attention and early acclaim.

    I took the trouble to personally interview the judges this year and actually ask them about Sheilagh. They were unanimous that it was not only the best entry this year but one of the best entries in the history of the contest! As one judge put it to me directly “I would say I was not 5 pages into it before it reduced me to tears. I almost couldn’t bear to finish it but you couldn’t have stopped me. The man’s a genius.”

    Now aren’t you sorry you doubted The Lynn?

  343. Marion Delgado
    February 3rd, 2007 at 5:00 am [Reply]

    I think some of the above posters hate the prestigious Bulwer-Lytton Literary Prize as well!

  344. Professor Fate
    February 3rd, 2007 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    okay late try at first line:

    It was time to kill the pig Sheilagh thought with regret.

  345. SmartPeopleOnIce
    February 3rd, 2007 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    Dang it, I missed the FOOB novel contest (stupid work, pfft). Then again, I don’t know anything about FOOB, but if Batiuk ever wrote a novel, I think it’d go something like:

    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.

  346. Logos
    February 3rd, 2007 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Why does that guys chest keep talking in Day by Day?? Is he some sort of Martian mutant! Is his twin brother only being held inside him by a thin layer of epidermis and shame?

  347. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2007 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    # 335 — Sorry for mangling your name earlier, sjofn. Late night brain fog.

  348. Sjofn
    February 3rd, 2007 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    It’s OK, Poteet, it happens all the time. I know when an S and a J are somewhere in a name, people mean me! And thank you for understanding my pain. *sniff*

  349. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    February 3rd, 2007 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    “I know when an S and a J are somewhere in a name, people mean me!”


  350. Sjofn
    February 3rd, 2007 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    OK, OK, when the S is the first letter and they cram a J in there somewhere. :P

  351. Margaret
    February 3rd, 2007 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    The San Diego Union-Tribune is trying out comics to replace “Fox Trot.” “Day by Day” is what they’re trying out this week; you can vote for or against by phone. Does anyone know of a program that will call that “no” number a hundred thousand times?

  352. Erik
    February 4th, 2007 at 2:14 am [Reply]

    Dude, the Get Fuzzy one was hilarious! It really had nothing to do with politics and more about Bucky’s ridiculous notion of a good ad campaign (coupled with a delightful double-meaning to the phrase).

  353. skulking on the outskirts
    February 4th, 2007 at 2:55 am [Reply]

    Dingo, # 331–Dingo, my delight in and respect for your snarky, biting wit knows no bounds, but you’re starting to scare me.

    And ABW, so glad to see you’re back! I hope that pit of despair gets taken care of by the roadworks department.

  354. Poteet
    February 5th, 2007 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    # 345 — SPOI, if that quote is true, it seems the denizens of Foobville will live a long long time. Damn.

  355. Storage Containers
    November 10th, 2009 at 1:31 am [Reply]

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