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Hirsute nightmare

Mark Trail, 5/3/11

Ha ha, remember last week when you were all like “Dudes with mustaches, they must be bad,” but then later you thought, “Oh, I’m not giving this strip enough credit.” Well, you totally were giving it the exact right amount of credit, my friend! I can’t believe this trio — one with a mustache, one with hair that reaches his collar, and one who wears a motorcycle helmet, presumably to hide even worse crimes against grooming — dare to refer to themselves as “clean-cut kids,” mostly because they all appear to be about 35.

B.C., 5/3/11

Hey there, legacy cartoonist or cartoonists now helming B.C. on behalf of John L. Hart FLP, the whole point of the “Wiley’s Dictionary” jokes (aka the “Book on a Rock” jokes) is to slap some clip art around a painfully unfunny joke and/or pun and then head out to the golf course. There’s no need to, say, show whatever random character you have reading the dictionary straighten up in disgust and contempt at the joke’s corniness in the second panel. That sort of thing just smacks of effort.

Phantom, 5/3/11

When Diana decided to call up Savarna, who made a play for the Phantom when everyone thought Diana was dead, I assumed that she just wanted to taunt her. But don’t worry about Savarna! She’s working out her sexual frustrations very nicely, thank you, just shootin’ massive artillery pieces at stuff, by remote control.

266 responses to “Hirsute nightmare”

  1. cheech wizard
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    Why do I get the impression that Savarna is lying offshore from the Skull Cave, whose position she has fixed using the phone call Diana has conveniently made? “Oh, hi Diana, thanks for calling – eat naval artillery, bitch! You and your repressed husband in his tight purple pants. I’m not angry about how things turned out – oh no – at least, not anymore.”

  2. Chyron HR
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    Rebate: What you do when you’re really horny.

  3. Zaratustra
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#1): “I’m so glad you called, Diana! Now my computers have your position!”

    Mark Trail: Doctor Thrasher sounds like a Captain Planet villain. Then again, Mark Trail -is- Captain Planet with less teenagers and more punching, so it’s all good.

  4. McManx
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Phantom — Judging from the look of glee on Savarna’s face, Diana’s call was just what she was waiting on to triangulate on the cellular signal and launch a shell Diana’s way.

    Mark Trail — “Clean cut” yeah, if this was 1974. This is looking like an ad for Gillette’s Dry Look.

  5. McManx
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#1): Sorry Cheech. Similar reaction; kudos to you for 1st.

  6. Sock Puppet
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    Of all the gay-porn-looking panels in Mark Trail, that middle panel has got to be the gay-porniest. “And speaking of being behind …” [bow-chika-wow-wow]

  7. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    I can’t decide who deserves the title of “Master Baiter” more… the “talent” behind B.C. or the guy who does Ballard Street:

    http://comics.com/ballard_street/

  8. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    Marvin — Insert “Marvin P.U.” joke here!

  9. nescio
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    Marvin: It seems pointless and unentertaining to spend a whole week on an old guy reminiscing about a 30 year old TV show, but it’s better than anything featuring Marvin.

  10. S. Stout
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Luann: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If six girls from my high school had their own beauty pageant at Burger King, they would be labeled as INSANE. All friends and family of these girls would be labeled as enablers, such as Ozzie Australia congratulating her today on winning, which no one in that contest did.

  11. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    5-3 Weird Sound Effects:

    MF — HONK!!!
    Blondie — ZOOM
    reFOOB — CRASH!
    Drabble — SMACK!
    Phantom — BOOM!
    Get Fuzzy — BONK
    Wizard of Id — TRIP
    Monty — DING DING DING
    Beetle Bailey — TAP TAP TAP TAP

    Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog —

    http://www.jsonline.com/comics/32402404.html?feature_id=Bleeker

    Between Friends —

    http://www.jsonline.com/comics/32402404.html?feature_id=Between_Friends

  12. Faoladh
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Pluggers only have the vaguest of ideas about what “clothes” are for, having just been genetically modified from normal animals. It’s too much to ask them to also understand “clean”.

  13. Tom Allen
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Wait, Speed Racer is now a Mark Trail bad guy?

  14. pugfuggly
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    Did we mix up some characters in Mark Trail this week? Shouldn’t the sandy-haired black-eyebrowed motorcycle ‘kid’ be the son of the sandy-haired black-eyebrowed sheriff? Could it be that there will be some exciting paternity twist in this tale? Or is it more likely that this small mountain town’s gene pool is so narrow that there’s basically only 2 male phenotypes within its population…

  15. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    FW – Do you think we’re being played with? ‘See, Les doesn’t just kiss his dead wife! Stop with the necrophilia jokes! It’s called writing,, dammit’

    GT – Wow, the plots thicken – one of the band members exhibits behavior no normal teen would exhibit by turning down a beer; the band gets encouragement from country legend Kenny Rogers; and the ghost of the late Robert S. McNamara attempts to atone for his actions as one of the architects of the Vietnam War by becoming a teacher in a small fictional high school.

    MT – Oh, will no one save us from Jeff Gordon and his band of NASCAR thugs?

    MW – Watch as Drew struggles to find a way to politely tell Liza ‘back the fuck off!!!’

    Pluggers – ‘Natalie and her grandmother.’ Did Natalie’s grandmother help her with this submission? Of course, these are Pluggers, it’s likely Natalie had to help her grandmother with the hard words and stuff.

  16. Nekrotzar
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    Poor B.D., he’s having a rough time, dealing with having his leg amputated, and the end of his military career, alcoholism, PTSD; and now he’s going to have to deal with the fallout of his younger brother getting involved with some mustachioed bad guys,

  17. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Mark“Clean-cut kids!”
    Josh said what I was going to say, using different words, so I’ll use different words for panel three:
    “Are all pizza delivery guys this hot? I should eat more… pizza!”
    “Hey, sounds like somebody needs a back rub!” [*]

    Marmaduke! What did I tell you? NO SNACKING IN BED!”

    Pearls – Great job recording that soundtrack, Passive-Aggressive Pig!

  18. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    R=R – This is a good one! Provided, of course, we pretend that it’s 100° and the car’s locked, or that they’re at the bottom of a lake. Ha ha! They look so funny when they’re dying!

    @Old School Allie Cat (#y210): Why is “The Man” always profiling Prairie Dogs? When we know it’s Opossums committing most of the petty theft in hotels?
    “The Fox” is always putting them down! Anyway, we used to live near a prairie dog town, and I can tell you those are not prairie dogs. Not that I want to appear insensitive to the trans-specied.

  19. But What Do I Know?
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    SM — “You will be a vampire once you drink her blood.” Yes, yes, you said that before!! Several times in fact. Stop nagging–we’re not even married yet. . .

    GT — “Nothin’ gets those boys riled up like Hank Williams. . . Jr. or Sr.? Whadaya mean he had a kid?”

    FC — Ha, ha. It’s funny because Jeffy has no self-awareness.

    JP — I used to work on weapons that didn’t kill people, but they made me switch.

    A3G — Let’s just hope Dr. Warbucks has a different reaction to the term “proposal” than Margo did. . .

    The Ghost Who is Technologically Out of Date — Savarna needs a phone and a remote control? Isn’t there an app for that?

    MT — Theme change alert: From Heart of Markness to the Mild Bunch. . .

  20. DB
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    I continue to believe that the mustachioed bad guy in the current Mark Trail storyline is Aldo Kelrast with a dye job. It’s tough times out there, and an unemployed comic strip stalker has to take whatever work is available.

  21. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    @Sock Puppet (#6): That second panel looks like it was drawn by an extremely repressed Tom of Finland

  22. Dood
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    Gee, Savarna’s got one hell of a “Boom” gun. “Can you hold for a moment? We’ve just got grid 359 triangulated. OK, thanks, I’m back…”

  23. Chip
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    MT: It brings a calming influence to my universe to see that ‘Mark Trail’ has not thrust a mustachioed character into a non-villain role!

    BC: There better to thrust out those boobies, my dear…

    RMMD: “Relax, the ticket is safe.” By which I mean June is at the lottery office claiming the money as we speak!

  24. Dood
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: And what does this rogue’s gallery of “young” thieves call themselves? The Bland-its?

  25. Binder's Butter Beans
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    Holy crap! The Stig is part of Mark Trail‘s nefarious crime ring!!

  26. Doctor Handsome
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    “Rebate: Put another worm on the hook,” comes in between, “React: Follow the same script again,” and “Refund: Give John Hart Studios more money to react.”

  27. Esther Blodgett
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    @Dr. Weird (#y230): I can only surmise that Cayla isn’t comfortable in the Lisa-shaped body groove that Les lovingly maintains on the bed.

  28. Illustrator Steve
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    MT: “Yes Andy, YOU are right, this mountain range does seem to be completely covered with some sort of deadly green mold. Hmmmm, LOOK Andy, THERE is a group of CLEAN-CUT KIDS at the base of this mountain. Ha ha, LOOK at the way they are dressed. They must be having a “70′s day”! Yes Andy, those fellows sure are having a lot of fun in the outdoors with their motorcycles. WE must get down there and warn them about the dangers of the green mold covered mountains so they will leave and get home safely to their parents. They are CLEAN-CUT KIDS so I know they will appreciate us telling them to go home”.
    (Andy): ARF-ARF-ARF!* *Andy translated; “What ARE you Mark, some sort of freaking idiot?!”.

  29. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    JP – ‘As opposed to the kind that only kill one person at a time.’

    MT – ‘What’re you rebelling against, Mikey?’
    ‘Whaddya got?’

    Phantom – ‘Can you hold for a moment? I’m right in the middle of the ship’s production of HMS Pinafore.

  30. Austria
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    Arch: Are we sure this is a “new” artist, rather than reruns of old strips? Cause Momma Archie’s outfit just screams 1950s, and I don’t even want to know what Archie thinks he’s wearing.

    Curtis: Say what you will about Curtis, but I really like this last panel. Not because of the subject matter (though that’s funny too), but because of…just about everything, from Chutney’s expression to the fact that Curtis is somehow being lifted off the ground by the force of the impact. This is cartoon gold, or at least cartoon bronze.

    Luann: Leprosy? Out of all the diseases to choose from, you go with leprosy?

    MT: Aldo Kelrast lives on through his relatives! Oldamania 2011!!

  31. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    DT – That’s a terrible suit Annie Lennox has on, but it’s good to see Eurythmics back together again.

  32. Esther Blodgett
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    Luann: I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but I have a problem with Luann’s breasts. Or breast, because first of all it looks as if she has just the one, and it just switches sides as she talks. And secondly, we all know that teenage girls are pert and perky, but the last time I checked, boobs are still commonly found below the armpits. Good thing it’s small, or she’d have cleavage directly under her chin.

  33. Dood
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    You know, by levelling up in scheming and connivery — “Good thinking!” — Sheriff Wilson’s son is sure to be elected governor someday.

  34. Mark B
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    It’s even worse than I thought. The other two toughs in Mark Trail are wearing leather jackets.

    The one in the motorcycle helmet is going to turn out to be a girl, I can pretty much guarantee it. It would be cool if it turned out to be Kelly Welly, but it will just be some random character who looks like Kelly. As all female characters in MT do.

  35. Chip Whittle
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    9 to 5: “I made a technology joke! I’m in the cool club now!”

    Apartment 3-G: “That’s easy, Karl– just say yes to my proposal.” “Then–yes, Trey, yes!” “Karl, you’ve made me the happiest bride in the world!”

    Arctic Circle: I’m pretty sure the…rabbit?…there just bought a stray xkcd strip.

    Beetle Bailey is totally not a rerun from thirty years ago when the gag was done on a typewriter.

    Gil Thorp: “I’m hearing odd rumors about the contract talks.” “Tune ‘em out. They’re never true.” “Oh…that’s a shame, I was looking forward to having to teach in a spandex otter costume next year.” “…Wait, what?”

  36. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#32): Dang it! You made me look at Luann twice in one day, which is one more time than any person should be subjected to.

  37. boojum
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#17): Hmmm. In Mark Trail, I was hearing more….

    “Wish I’d brought my suit for that stream, there.”
    “Oh, we’ll think of— Say! You been workin’ out?”

  38. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    squee killed yesterthread.

    as expected.

  39. boojum
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    A3G: Okay, it’s really more of a proposition….

  40. Patrick
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    Of course those kids are clean-cut! They bothered to get matching double-breasted leather jackets, didn’t they?

  41. Terry in Maryland
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Sooooo, when does Diana figure out what was going on between Stripey and Savarna?

  42. Esther Blodgett
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#38): Ottersqui killed the yesterthread snark…well, that’ll be in my head all day.

  43. Dennis Jimenez
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    MT – Gay porn setup….

    BC – Straight porn setup….

    Phantom – I’da’ know….Ilsa movie setup???

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  44. UncleJeff
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    GT: Gil, being the solid Republican that he is, will squelch all rumors so the communists on the teaching staff don’t learn of the plans of Governor Walker and School Board Member Hobart to reduce the salaries and benefits of the teaching staff and others who don’t have important jobs — like, athletic director and coach!

  45. Mibbitmaker
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    @McManx (#4): MT made it all the way up to 1974? Hey, for Jack Elrod, that’s progress!

  46. bunivasal
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Wait, is Helmet man up there on a vespa? I guess those guys are clean shaven. You know, for hipster douchebags with ironic facial adornments.

  47. Chip Whittle
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    Hagar the Horrible: This is getting into Sarge-and-Beetle territory, isn’t it?

    Judge Parker: I can’t help seeing Doctor Emma Saint John there as the glowing floating figure that keeps rotating in the opening credits of every magic-girl anime series. Give her some time and her clothes will vanish and be replaced with brilliant white angel-winged body-suits and she’ll maybe wield a laser sword or fairy dinosaur.

    Loose Parts: “I hates it when the cattle get… Wait, that’s cattle? Dang, I was thrown off by having ever seen cattle before. Well, let’s ride our horses… wait, these are horses? Man, has the guy drawing this ever seen an animal before?”

    Love Is… finally accessible to the hearing-impaired nudist. It’s a great day for universal lack of dignity.

    Mandrake: “I need a rope…Quick!” “Way ahead of you, Lothar! That’s why I ran to the laundry room, in the basement, fifty feet away! Enjoy this rope while I try figuring out why my face is sideways!”

    Seriously, she(?) and Lothar have some real Dick Locher-era misshapen face-like puddings there.

    Mark Trail: I’m thinking now the Clean-Cut Kids are a minor Hanna-Barbera clone of Scooby-Doo, trying to grab on to that Even Kneivel thing by wandering around the country on motorcycles solving mysteries through slightly naughty schemes where the sheriff keeps thinking they’re big criminals and they keep getting let go because they find the real wrongdoers and let the sheriff get the credit. Plus they sing. They’re accompanied by a talking raccoon and his bunny sidekick, but in the Mark Trail universe, who isn’t?

    Ollie and Quentin: Looks like the Ozy and Millie Hair Curse has finally broken out into the not-quite-so-web comics.

    Pluggers: Sure, the colorizing Pluggers have made the “faded” shirt the brightest, cheeriest thing in the panel, but they’re doing the best job they can for being color-blind.

  48. Jesse R
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    Thank goodness Diana is safe. The supporting cast of the Phantom can now get on with their everyday routines, which apparently includes mounting 30 inch guns onto fishing trawlers. Ah, normalcy!

  49. TheDiva
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    MT: I’m reminded of the MST3K subject Girl in Gold Boots, where they kept referring to the wrinkly-faced Regis Philbin-y thug as a “young man.”

    C’shaft: Okay, stop that. Lena cannot possibly be this incompetent at every single thing she sets her hands to. And even if she is, Crankshaft–who can hardly light a match without blowing up three city blocks–really shouldn’t be the one throwing stones.

    FW: It’s going to turn out Lisa is behind all this, isn’t she? “Okay, they’re getting ready to kiss again, barge out the door….nnnnnnnow! Ha! Take that, you spring-haired homewrecker!”

    GT: Nice to see Kenny Rogers is still finding work.

    JP: As opposed to the kind of weapons that, you know, don’t kill anything.

    Luann: Is there any title emptier than first runner-up in a meaningless six-contestant beauty pageant?

    MW: Her aggressive sexting having failed to get the desired results, Liza moves on to plan B: the Jedi Mind Trick.

    PBS: I laughed. Yes, I’m ashamed.

  50. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#47): re: JP – Give her some time and her clothes will vanish

    Isn’t that pretty much why Judge Parker is still hanging around talking to her?

  51. Mibbitmaker
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#14): Jack Elrod: “But…. but….. But the dark-haired kid has a mustache….!”

  52. Liam
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    Congratulations to the person who called out the Sheriff’s son as the robber in Mark Trail.

  53. T. Chicana
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    FW: Get a ROOM, Les! What the hell are you DOING on the porch? Trust me, no one is enjoying this little show. *BARF*

  54. Little Guy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    @But What Do I Know? (#19): SM:

    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “IF YOU DON’T STOP, I’M TURNING THIS STORYLINE RIGHT AROUND!”

  55. Pozzo
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    For the record, the character shown in BC is named “Cute Chick.” That’s right, Cute Chick. The fat one is named “Fat Broad.” That’s right, Fat Broad. The guy who rides around on a wheel isn’t named “Guy Who Rides Around on a Wheel;” he’s Thor. I think Johnny Hart had more issues than we realized.

  56. Plag
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    MT: It’s great to see the Village People are back! Maybe tomorrow they’ll break out in a chorus of “YMCA!”

  57. Anonymous
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    MT: I love the accurate way the mountains are depicted in this nature-sympathetic strip. They are covered with green moss? grass? lichens? all the way up to the snow line, if that’s snow. No tree line. No trees. And in what looks like hundreds of miles of wilderness (a couple of miles away from Lost Forest, which is near a big city, which is not in the mountains, which seems to be near the ocean, in Georgia or someplace down South)– this dipshit thinks he is going to spot the guy with a pair of binoculars? Or maybe he is looking for an ivory-billed woodpecker, while he is at it, so it shouldn’t be a waste of time.

  58. Radar
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    Savarna appears to be firing that gun using her iPhone. I’ve got to get that “shootin’ massive artillery pieces at stuff” app.

  59. Fester Morgenstern
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    Has anyone else noticed that in today’s Mark Trail, the light-haired person changes from a woman to a man in panels 2 to 3?

  60. Just Call Me E
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    FC: “Here Jeffy, let me use that pillow on your face so you can take a dirt nap.”

  61. Moaner
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    Re those gargantuan flying beasts in panel one of MT – I’m thinking that probably isn’t snow on the mountaintop.

  62. Dood
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    Did Savarna take over hosting Farm Film Celebrity Blow Up? “Whoo-hoo! He blowed up real good.”

  63. pugfuggly
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#51): In Jack Elrod’s world, mustaches are hereditary and are crossed-linked with the ‘evil’ gene. Hitler had it, Walt Disney had it, and Otto the drug lord had it…

  64. Mibbitmaker
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    Blondie: What impatient, Dagwood? They just don’t like you.

    Betwee. Frien.:
    “mp qrae ex o lt m pmt tmp q q q q tpd”
    “I’ll take that as a ‘mp qrae ex o lt m pmt tmp q q q q tpd’.”

    Curtis: Hey, Curtis — Think of this as a solution to the unwanted romantic advances problem with Chutney. See? All set!
    Now, Michelle…..

    DT: ……or paternal…..

  65. Mustang
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    MT – Even in Bizarro Mark Trail world, one must question the competence of a sheriff who makes decisions based on his teenaged son’s guidance. “Yeah dad, and y’ know what else? Experts recommend beer as a cure for painful acne flareups. Oh, and remind me to tell you my theory about how my algebra teacher is the one fencing laptops from the computer lab. That’s okay Dad. I’m happy to help.”

  66. Mardou Fox
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    MT: “It is easy to see why Doctor Thrasher’s son would like this area! There are no human beings anywhere to be seen, especially icky females! I like places that are devoid of human life, don’t you, Andy?”

  67. Mibbitmaker
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    Doones: “…See, you two? No problems at al– Wait… What are all those helicopters…?”

    FW: Another case of nauseaus interuptus.

    GA: FINALLY!

    GT:
    Never true?”
    “Right. We’re just drawings in a newspaper and online. No basis in real life at all.”

  68. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    @Fester Morgenstern (#59):

    Has anyone else noticed that in today’s Mark Trail, the light-haired person changes from a woman to a man in panels 2 to 3?

    You have something against hermaphrodites?

    http://rlv.zcache.com/adam_eve_half_man_half_woman_card-p137597910077900211qiae_400.jpg

  69. Alan's Addiction
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    In today’s “Mark Trail,” the majestic Mark Trail and his magnificent Fists o’ Justice survey their new habitat; a glorious, uninhabited land where they will be free to punch as much, as often, and whatever they want; free from the constraints of human law, restraining orders, or logic. Meanwhile; a guy with facial hair schemes ridiculously with a low-grade Fonz impersonator, or, as they call it in the Mark Trail universe, “Tuesday.”
    Oh, “B.C.,” I’ll never forget the day the comics page began ripping off old, unfunny Internet e-mail jokes and hoping we’d forgot. Another man might call this the day the humor died, but not I. I can’t wait until the “Dennis the Menace” writers realize that they’ll never have to write again if they check their e-mail, which will lead to Dennis getting engaged in some pretty menacing (and realistic) 419 scams.
    What’s that, today’s “Phantom?” I can’t hear you minutely advancing the plot over the sound of the numerous, awesome explosions. I think we can all agree that the explosions are much, much better than any Phantom story we’ve yet seen.

  70. Effluvius Erratus
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    FC: “But Billy just went to get another 8-ball, Mommy!”

    Lio: Looks like someone just invented Ice-9.

    Tomorrow’s MW: Panel 1—Liza, sitting alone at a table for two at the Bum Boat; Panel 2—Dr. Drew boarding the Santa Royale-Hanoi redeye; Panel 3—Liza gazing deeply into Kelrast Canyon. Next Day: Pool Party!

    Snuffy: What do you call it when a cow jumps over a barbed wire fence? UDDER DESTUCTION!

    @Dood (#24): Or possibly the Mild Bores.

  71. Vince M
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#49): MY: I’m reminded of the MST3K episode with all the ‘leg-up-on-something’ shots.

  72. pugfuggly
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#49):

    MT: I’m reminded of the MST3K subject Girl in Gold Boots, where they kept referring to the wrinkly-faced Regis Philbin-y thug as a “young man.”

    Y’know, ‘Critter’ in that feature isn’t all that different from how I picture Mark in real life. Let’s hope that sometime in this storyline Mark gets lonely for Cherry and pulls out a guitar to perform a heartfelt ballad

    (P.S., have I mentioned that I love that there are a healthy population of MST3Kphiles that frequent here?)

  73. Mibbitmaker
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    H&J: The “muah-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa” was a nice touch, though.

    JP: So what’s one more, right, ‘suicide girl’?

    MT: Mustache Guy and his long-haired hippie pal, clean-cut? HAHAHAHA!! Am I right, motorcycle hoodlum?

    NS: Now we know where the home office really is!

  74. word-doctor
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Archie-Sorry, fella. Hot women, cold women, young women, old women–none of them will “date” a guy who still wears onsies.

  75. cheech wizard
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    @McManx (#5): Ah, don’t worry about it. It’s called stating the obvious.

  76. boojum
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#57): Dude, don’t be hatin’. If you look closer, you can tell those mountains are in the part of the Rockies range that stretches into the deep South, near Atlanta (which is, as we know, only a one-day’s-boat-drift from Cuba). The green stuff is obviously kudzu – favorite snack of the Giant Canada Goose.

    We lost much of the trees due to recent volcanic activity. Gulf tsunamis did the rest.

    Free your mind, man.

  77. LUJBEM FEJF
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    MT- Kid’s today?! You know, they never seem to keep the mustaches or nose hairs trimmed. Whadareyougonnado?

  78. Mibbitmaker
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    RwO: Another SNL sketch with Norm MacDonald’s “that’s not good” guy!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOgL-Z3byh8

    Phantom: Uh… hate to… tell you, Savarna, but you’ve kinda been…. upstaged this week….

    S-M: GPS (the “S” is for “spider”)

  79. Anonymous
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail – Greatest Trios in History
    5 – Bird, McHale, Parrish
    4 – Moe, Larry, Curly
    3 – Cobain, Grohl, Novaselic
    2 – Father, Son, Holy Spirit
    1 – Today’s Mark Trail – Tron, Thundarr the Barbarian and Jeff Hostetler

  80. Gene S.
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail – Greatest Trios in History
    5 – Bird, McHale, Parrish
    4 – Moe, Larry, Curly
    3 – Cobain, Grohl, Novaselic
    2 – Father, Son, Holy Spirit
    1 – Today’s Mark Trail – Tron, Thundarr the Barbarian and Jeff Hostetler

    sorry for the repost. I forgot to put my name

  81. Mibbitmaker
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#72): La La La…

  82. Mark B
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    MT: I find myself bothered by the sliver Elrod chopped out of the 2nd panel so that he could stack the word ‘MEANWHILE’ vertically between the first and second panel. If he had done the lettering a little more neatly, it would have fit fine without chopping anything off. Or he could just have hung the word in the sky above the characters, which would have the advantage of having the letters placed horizontally, which is easier to read.

    I have a feeling that complaining about the layout of Mark Trail is a sign your life might not be quite as full as you were wanting it to be.

  83. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    MT – I’m having trouble figuring out who is who in the last panel? Is Mike supposed to be Captain America, Billy or George Hanson?

  84. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    6Chix – Yeah, well Tom Baker was doing this decades before it was trendy.

    A3G – “That’s easy, Turtle – I mean, Karl.”

    A&J – Aww.

    Bizarro – I miss the time when being a scientist meant having skeletons and pickled organs carefully arrayed on your bookshelves.

    Curtis – See, Curtis? What reason is there for you to not love her as she so deserves?

    DT – It’s not very nice to talk about a “prop from a horror movie” in front of a ventriloquist’s puppet, dude.

    FW – On the upside, if these two are going to be continually cock-blocking Les, I’m all for that.

    H&L – Isn’t that cute, Hi and Thirsty think that professional sports organizations actually care about steroid abuse.

    JP – Don’t do it, Emma! Regret over your perceived crimes against humanity is no reason for such a rich young white person to throw it all away! Go with the Judge; he’ll introduce you to Sam, from whom you can learn how to be smug and dispassionate, as is your destiny!

    Love Is… – “…butter?”

    Luann – die die die die die

    Mandrake – You say “rope,” I say “octopus.”

    MT – HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahaahaha ha ha ha oh man.

    MW – DREW, RUN.

    Momma – “Human life expectancy has been officially extended to 80 years?” What, did they get an announcement from Genetic Control?

    OB – Well, that just goes to prove…uh, never mind.

    Phantom – Well. No subtext here, eh!

    Ripley’s – The Wodaabe, a tribe in Niger, probably do a hell of a lot better job arranging their contest than the dipshits in Luann.

    SM – Spider-Man, Spider-Man, only wins because his enemies stall long enough for him to even get there…

  85. UncleJeff
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Love Is….What? No circle made of thumb and forefinger followed by thrusting motions of the forefinger on the other hand?

  86. UncleJeff
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    #84 commodorejohn — (on Love Is….) Maybe they’re doing a re-make of “Last Tango in Paris”?

  87. Shrug
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    @Fester Morgenstern (#59):

    “Has anyone else noticed that in today’s Mark Trail, the light-haired person changes from a woman to a man in panels 2 to 3?”

    The crazy kids are just pulling the robberies to raise money for their friend’s gender-reassignment surgery, just like the guy in DOG DAY AFTERNOON. They may be scruffy clean-cut deceitful misunderstood thieves, but at least they’re trans-friendly.

  88. Chip Whittle
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    Marmaduke: Well, looks like the local news MarmWatch has failed to prevent canine parties that put the legend of Fatty Arbuckle to shame.

    Moderately Confused: “Forget the wallet purse…go for smart phones. I want to be carrying easily-tracked, easily-disabled consumer electronics that have to be fenced instead of the cash that’s valuable right away!”

    Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Uh-oh. Mark Trail’s lost the allegiance of the pigeon community. This could get messy.

    I’m now picturing Mark Trail trying to give a marijuana-fueled Sunday lecture on the pigeon and it kind of comes out the way his regular Sunday lecture on the pigeon might.

    Rose is Rose: And the whole family sits there making faces, waiting for somebody to walk up and spontaneously wash the car, until they starve to death.

    Soup to Nutz: It’s a weak joke, but at least the artwork of neither character looking anywhere near another makes sure it’s creepy.

  89. Pseudo3D
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    FW – Maybe Les only makes out with a woman with the other not watching. That’s fair, I guess.

    MT – …does Elrod read this site?

    DT – I smell villainy afoot!

    9CL – Portrayal of religion is even more detached from reality than sexuality. By a long shot.

  90. Shrug
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#27):

    “I can only surmise that Cayla isn’t comfortable in the Lisa-shaped body groove that Les lovingly maintains on the bed.”

    I only see the strip when Josh features it, so maybe this is a silly suggestion, but have we actually seen the Les-bed since Lisa died? It may not be JUST a shaped groove there; Les is a teacher and awriter and thus is no doubt familiar with Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” I’m just sayin’.

  91. bats :[
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    Today’s Phantom could only be better if Capt. Jilted were firing on Skull Cave.

  92. bats :[
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#1): well, I guess I should’ve at least read Post #1 before saying anything…

  93. Shrug
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#57):

    “MT: I love the accurate way the mountains are depicted in this nature-sympathetic strip. They are covered with green moss? grass? lichens? all the way up…”

    There has been much discussion of just where Lost Forest is located, but this clinches it: it’s near that small spur of the Nepalese Himalyas that extends into that part of the southern U.S. Gulf-area northwestern U.S. wilderness that’s been taken over by fanatical immigrant Irish landscapers who have painted all of the mountains green. No doubt all of the robberies that have recently infested the area have been of Lucky Charms.

  94. Old School Allie Cat
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    Luann – Mad props to Quill for not actually going to the pageant but merely hearing about it later.

    MW – I was kind of awkward and a few quarts low on self-esteem back in my early 20s, and watching Liza brings back some cringeworthy memories from my past. I prefer it when Mary is busy making other people uncomfortable. All I can say is, good thing I didn’t get a cell phone til I was in my late 20s and in a stable relationship, or I’d have done far more damage.

    FW – First of all, I’m surprised Jessica was able to get her hair through that door, and second, I would assume Les has a room with a door that locks, right? In the words of Marvin Gaye, “Let’s get it on.”

  95. Fashion Police
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#29):

    Phantom – ‘Can you hold for a moment? I’m right in the middle of the ship’s production of HMS Pinafore.‘

    Co-starring Prince Charles?

  96. Shrug
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Austria (#30):

    “Luann: Leprosy? Out of all the diseases to choose from, you go with leprosy?”

    Funky and that crew had already used up all of the other good ones.

    (And somewhere today Tom Batiuk has just slapped his forehead in disgust, realizing that was one he forgot to exploit — and now he can’t because it has Luann cooties on it.)

  97. Shrug
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    And in JUDGE PARKER today, Doctor-Lady McSuicidal explains that she could no longer justify her habit of making weapons that kill thousands of people. As a means of tapering off gradually, she’s decide to jump off the building and kill only one or two pedestrians when she hits. It’s a start.

  98. Fashion Police
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#31):
    We find Miss Lennox rather fetching, in a Sam Catchem kind of way. Perhaps she’s related to Master Bellini Verde.

  99. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#47): Man, has the guy drawing this ever seen an animal before?”
    Yes. In “The Far Side.”

  100. Terry
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    In the first panel, it appears as though the blonde cavewoman is “bating” as she reads the dictionary entry.

  101. mollificent
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    @But What Do I Know? (#19)re: Phantom: She’s probably on Verizon…no multitasking while talking. Tsk tsk.

    Standard snarpologies…no time to catch up on comments. The snark sort of popped out unexpectedly. ;)

    MT, panel 1: “The hills are alive with the sound of punching!”

    MT, panel 3: “And I would’ve got away with it too, if it weren’t for this pesky mustache!” (Sorry Josh, treading perilously close to your toes. But it IS low-hanging fruit, you’ve gotta admit. ;))

    Phantom: “I simply must call that conniving bitch lovely Savarna and tell her I’m still alive! I wouldn’t want her to continue planning the wedding worry!”

    Spider-Man: Disturbed by the dizzying new plot pacing and action of Dick Tracy, the writers of Spider-Man have redoubled their efforts to take up the mantle of maddeningly repetitive, pointless story arcs. Thanks for taking one for the team, guys.

  102. Katy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    I thought I was grossed out by Les’s kissing Lisa because Lisa is dead. But no, now that I see Les kissing a living woman, that’s gross too. From the way he extends his lips, I imagine they squish like liver and are slightly watery around the edges.

  103. Chyron HR
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    JP – “I design weapons! The kind that kill thousands of people! And Derek doesn’t even know I exist!”

    MT – “It’s easy to see why Doctor Thrasher’s son would like this area! Everybody says young men love big, heaving mountains!”

  104. Chip Whittle
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    Compu-Toon is back, and goes roaring into… corporal punishment? The heck?

    Heathcliff is, once again, mad. I just can’t figure out if I’m too hip to appreciate it non-ironically.

    Pickles has decided to mess with Nelson and TrueFable’s heads now.

    Skin Horse: I’m kind of interested in this lions-talking-Nintendo web comic, but yeah, with deep breaths the feeling passes.

    Wee Pals hasn’t done this exact same joke in weeks oh god I’m recognizing reused jokes in Wee Pals help me.

  105. mollificent
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    P.S. @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#y240): Couldn’t resist popping back for the squee. Thanks…love it!! Is that Emma Watson playing the harp? Awesome!

  106. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#47): Your JP comment (and accompanying annotation) had better make it onto the float this week, that’s all I have to say.

  107. Crankenstank
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    Ah, Wiley’s Dictionary: one quarter the effort put into the Jumble’s wordplay, without the sneaky scrambling of the letters to throw you off. It’s the perfect addition to the newspaper attempting to capture that hot, undereducated, distracted 18-35 demographic. Now let’s just see a little more skin on the oh-so-contemporarily-named “Hot Chick” for that Jersey Shore touch and we’ll have the Comic of the 21st Century.

  108. gnome de blog
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#57), @boojum (#76), @Shrug (#93):
    Lost Forest is in the state of Georgidaho, which isn’t on the map because it’s…lost.

  109. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    When Superman flies, he speeds through the air, arms in front of him, cape majestically sailing in the breeze, an iconic picture of a hero. When Batman uses the Bat-rope, he sails gracefully from building to building at night, striking fear into the hearts of his enemies. Why is it that when Spider-Man swings on his web, he looks like someone sitting cross legged on the floor playing video games?

    Oh, that’s right, I forgot. It’s Spider-Man, that’s what he does. Never mind.

  110. Sparkle Plenty
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    MT: Great that Andy gets to go along on this new adventure.

  111. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#104) re: Skin Horse: Yesterday’s joke was pretty obviously a jab at Ctrl+Alt+Del (though I still like Yahtzee’s take best where that’s concerned.) Not sure if today’s is a jab at any particular work, or just the insane numbers of shadowy conspiracies and/or blatant Marvel “Civil War” knock-offs that show up in web fiction.

    (It’s almost like nerds on the Internet find something attractive in the notion that all their troubles are caused by a massive conspiracy of people who hate them for being different!)

  112. Fashion Police
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    One really does wish that Captain Savarna would wash her hair a little more often. Granted, she is alone at sea for months at a time but perhaps if she took a little more pride in here appearance she might make a more favorable impression when random spandex-clad strangers drop in.

  113. Écureuil Écumant
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: Unmarried Savarna sports a zinc-oxide bindi. That’ll give her an interesting tan line.

  114. Comcis Fan
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    MW: Liza attempts to cast a spell on Drew, the old two-finger, theremin-sound-effect spell that will assure her exclusive lifetime access to his dinner company and privates. In an effort to deflect her scary beams, Drew pushes a secret button on the skin under his watch, doubling the size of his left hand, which already is quite strong.

    FW: You’re interviewing someone other than moi? And you’re not even saying whom it is? But, but, I knew your father, and I’m a writer. I thought I had creative control!

    S4th: Has anyone here or in Sally Forth commented on her new do? I like it. Much more 2010s, much less 1980s. Wonder if Sally’s been watching the Style network.

    Blondie: Thus ends Dagwood’s experiment with exotic ethnic foods. What I’d like to know is, who’s hiding in that hedge costume under the living-room window?

  115. Fiercebadrabbit
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    I find this strip very poignant. I’m sure the cast of Mark Trail would like to choose their behavior based on something other than the quantity and quality of hair on their heads, would like to speak in sentences halfway resembling idiomatic English, or express admiration of women wearing something other than mom jeans (or, in the case of female Trailians, wear something other than mom jeans). But the everpresent hand of their capricious God can never be forgotten. Sometimes his sigil rest innocuously on a wall, sometimes more threateningly on the person of one or another of the Tralian folk… But today, oh, today he has writ his name on the very mountains for all to look upon and tremble. People for miles around will look upon that horrible majesty and rush to involved their lives entirely with the planning or prevention of convoluted environmental crime in accordance with their facial hair, for the Eye of Elrod is everywhere.

  116. dale
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    MT -

    The sheriff was not convinced that the mountain man was the robber.
    He wasn’t even sure that there was a mountain man.

    clean-cut and clean-shaven are not the same thing.

  117. Dood
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    “Can you hold for a moment?” *BOOM!* “I love the smell of cordite in the morning.”

  118. cheech wizard
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    Where did Savarna get that huge cell phone anyway? Perhaps it was recently returned to her after completing a lengthy prison term for, I don’t know – slaughter on the high seas, perhaps?

  119. Anonymous
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#54)
    :

    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “No.”
    “Did you drink it yet?” “IF YOU DON’T STOP, I’M TURNING THIS STORYLINE RIGHT AROUND!”

    That works.
    O.K.
    It would teach us a lesson.
    Yeah, that’s even better.
    Alright if that’s what you- WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!

  120. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    @mollificent (#105): yes, yes it is Miss Watson. :-)

  121. Anansi
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    119 was mine.

  122. Aviatrix
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: I took it as Savarna chatting to Diana on her satphone while she texts someone else on the other phone. But I like the idea that her boom gun has an electronic remote. And face it, if we weren’t duty bound to snark everything, we’d just sit back and rejoice at the sheer awesomeness of that strip.

  123. Walker of Dog
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    Plug: Grace Domenici of Carlsbad, California: training the emasculating neutering she-Pluggers of tomorrow.

    Phan: Savarna is reaching new heights of awesomeness one jaunty artillery barrage at a time. Right now she’s lobbing shells onto bin Laden’s watery grave, just to rub it in. It’s her day off.

    RMMD: Rex makes a surprising realization: “Dex isn’t pretty OR good with the brain-thinking stuff. Society demands that I leave him here to die.”

    S-M: Martine remembers an awkward moment during her visit to Pennsylvania: “Ease up, Captain Incisors, and keep your undead hands to yourself. I’m just here for the transmogrification.”

  124. The Ridger
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    JP: You know what? Just Fuck You Alan Parker. First she can’t be miserable because beautiful women are always happy, and now you find it hard to believe she’s a weapons designer? Why? If you say it’s because she’s too beautiful, I will personally kick your ass off the edge of that building whether she goes or not.

    Or would if I, you know, lived in your comic strip…

  125. Katy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    I don’t really follow Phantom, so forgive me if this has been explained in the strip already. Did that blonde lady take one of the buttons from her uniform and stick it on her forehead, the way I used to do with the Chiquita Banana stickers? Because if that’s so, I desperately want to live in that awesome, awesome world. I might pine over that Phantom strip, never eating or sleeping, growing weaker and weaker until a god takes pity on me and changes me into a banana tree.

  126. Baka Gaijin
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Unbeknownst to many, Kate, the now Duchess of Cambridge, relied on Giant Chicken Lady advise her on her magnificent betrothal dress.

    Snuffy Smith: Oh, Snuffy! All that moonshine, now you’ve forgotten how you and Weezy met. When she jumped over the fence, her udders barely scraped the top bar, just like the cow.

    One Big Happy: Be glad it wasn’t a Raisinette from the rabbit hutch. Just sayin’.

    Dinette Set: Dinette Set turned into “Pluggers” so slowly that…never mind.

  127. A HREF
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    @McManx (#4):

    That’s Burt Reynolds from Smokey & The Bandit, can’t you tell?

  128. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    @Katy (#125): I’m interested in finding that out, just as I’m interested in having someone explain to me why Savarna felt to need to dress up like one of the background singers from the Wiggles.

  129. Katy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#128): I … I … I had never seen the Wiggles before. I did a search. I clicked. Oh GOD.

  130. boojum
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: “For commentary on today’s strip, we take you now to Dr. Sigmund Freud, live at our stu— what’s that?….. I’m sorry. Dr. Freud has had to be forcibly sedated and carried screaming from the room….”

  131. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#108):

    Lost Forest is in the state of Georgidaho

    I believe you’re confusing Georgidaho with Florigeorgia, where the Thrasher family has lived for generations — including State Sen. and Chairman of the Florigeorgia GOP, John Thrasher:

    http://www.jaxobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/thrasher.gif

  132. Aviatrix
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    @Katy (#129): Is there more than one “Wiggles”? Mine look like a shore party about to beam down from the old USS Enterprise.

  133. Katy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#132): The band. The band is what I’m concerned about. Their site says “Get ready to wiggle with Sam, Murray, Jeff, Anthony and their friends Dorothy, Wags, Henry and Captain Feathersword!” It’s like H.R. Pufenstuf all over again.

  134. Walker of Dog
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:17 pm [Reply]

    Jumb: Check out the sweaty fellow entering the bar – he’s wearing Crocs! The other patron and the bartender have noticed and are exchanging a knowing look. There’s nothing better to take the edge off during a heat wave than beating up some doofus with poor fashion sense.

    JP: Girls can do science? What an age we live in.

    GT: Wait until Derek tries to spend those “Band $” at a retail establishment. “What’s the problem – did I do the exchange rate wrong?”

    A3G: Karl was a little disappointed. He had hoped to be swept off his feet or at least romanced a little, but of course, Trey wasn’t the type to make a fuss, and it was their differences that made their relationship so exciting and rewarding.
    Kurt: “Yes, Trey! Yes, I’ll marry you!”
    Trey: “Um…what?”

  135. Calico
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    I think Savarna is going for the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” look myself.

  136. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    @Katy (#129): You must not have small children around. Believe me, the show isn’t nearly as bad as it looks.

    Well, yeah, I guess maybe it is, but it’s still way better than Barney or Elmo the Red Menace.

  137. LUJBEM FEJF
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#134): Jumble- Crocs! Ha! There’s no excuse. Thanks for noticing ;)

  138. Eric J
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    Damned birds must have droped their giant “JacK Elrod” button

  139. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    My daughter was into the Wiggles for two or three years. I have opinions on all their background characters. Captain Feathersword is almost bearable: this puts him head and shoulders above everybody but Professor Singalottasonga. Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus, and Dorothy the Dinosaur all appear to have been cases of going with the very first idea somebody had, using the fastest costume they could whip up.

    On the other hand, I saw them in concert. Everything you see is them — not college kids in big-head costumes lip-synching to a sound track. They give somewhere in the neighborhood of 100% to their fans. They go into the audience. They bring kids on stage. We saw them a second time, after Greg retired (health problem) and was replaced by Sam (the former Professor S.), and though it was a shorter show than their usual, being for a specific occasion, they were still up there, delivering. After that first show, I decided they were all right.

    Also, Greg’s vocals (with Peter Mackie’s guitar) on ‘The Gypsy Rover’ are great. I have it on my iPod and listen to it from time to time. I’ll overlook a lot for this performance.

    There were a lot of worse shows. The goddamned Doodlebops. Horrid, dumbing-down Little Einsteins. The ghastly Higglytown Heroes. Patronizing Barney. Pokemon. The sitcoms my daughter watches now. The Wiggles, in comparison, were definitely benign. It’s easier to list the shows she watches/watched that were okay: Bear in the Big Blue House. Phineas & Ferb. Avatar.

  140. bats :[
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#123): I thought Rex’s type of realizations were a wee bit more, ah, simple.

  141. Eric J
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail Prediction: Those “clean-cut” kids make a successful break for it until their canue tips over. Then, wet . . . alone. . . lost in the forest. . . they stumble across a group of inbred homosexual hilbilly moonshiners armed with shotguns. Let’s just say they are going to get “punched” in a way that’s never been seen in a Mark Trail strip before.

  142. Effluvius Erratus
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#135): It was twenty-weeks ago today,
    Savarnna blew those goons away,
    She’s been drifting ’round the sea since then,
    Until the plot needs her again,
    So may I introduce to you,
    The Phantom’s back-up Phantom maker…
    Purple Stripy’s Lonely Hearts Girl Fan!

    She’s Purple Stripy’s Lonely Hearts Girl Fan,
    She hoped your wife caught some shrapnel,
    She’s Purple Stripy’s Lonely Hearts Girl Fan,
    Sit back while she blows someone to hell!

  143. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

  144. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#140): Rex always did prefer an audience. . . .

  145. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#139): This is why my children won’t watch broadcast television. There’s plenty of awesome stuff on DVD for them that doesn’t smarm or condescend.

    (I will have to disagree about Pokemon depending on whether you’re referring to the first few seasons in which the plot appeared to maybe be a linear progression rather than an endless circle and the dubbers were having fun with it, or the later “let’s milk this cash cow for all it’s worth, baby!” stuff.)

  146. Comcis Fan
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    @McManx (#4): See, I thought it was a guest appearance by Mark Spitz, same era.

  147. Mustang
    May 3rd, 2011 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    @McManx (#4): The wethead is dead!

  148. Comcis Fan
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    If you want funny, high-brow little-kid fare, you must watch “Martha Speaks.”

  149. Comcis Fan
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    That was directed at Scott Bot and the other Wiggles commenters.

  150. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: Ah, now it’s finally clear. In panel 2 we can now see not only both opposite corners of the Bumsteads’ improbably tiny, undetailed plastic house, but the very edge of their carefully landscaped world not ten feet beyond it. Blondie takes place not on Earth, but on a model-train layout. I will find a new amusement in this strip now that I realize its inhabitants are pictured life-size.

    Momma: Mrs. Hobbs, if I ever find out where you and your hate-filled ilk hold these “Mother’s Club” meetings, Seal Team 6 won’t allow you to live that long.

  151. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    @Comcis Fan (#148): That looks interesting, and would be something Tot and Dot Bot would enjoy. I’ll have to see if my local PBS stations carry it.

  152. Greg
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    I find myself transfixed by the first panel of the Phantom, in particular the jeep parting the explosions like a modern-day Moses. Maybe this is how to get the young kids to read the Bible and stuff?

  153. Anonymous
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#151):

    I’ve actually found myself laughing out loud at the meant-for-grownups jokes.

  154. Comcis Fan
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    #153 from me.

  155. Pseudo3D
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    @Comcis Fan (#114): Whoa, I don’t normally read Sally Forth, but that was a really weird subtle change. Though personally I think it makes her look more like Prince Valiant than anything else.

  156. This Guy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    Individual jokes in Compu-Toon are often baffling, but to me they’re not as baffling as the comic as a whole. You’d think that a guy who draws a feature called “Compu-Toon” would, you know, know something about computers. And yet every time I look at the damned thing, the “jokes” are weak puns based on terminology he probably heard once or twice, and the technology is horribly dated (CRT monitor resting on a big, horizontal case? Really?)

  157. Dood
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    I, for one, really appreciate Savarna gleefully extracting a bit of revenge for all of us who’ve been put on hold by some distant, uncaring customer service line.

  158. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#156): Hey, some of us like CRTs on big horizontal cases!

  159. Chip Whittle
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#106):
    Most kind of you, and I appreciate the deciphering on Skin Horse.

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#150):

    Blondie: Ah, now it’s finally clear. In panel 2 we can now see not only both opposite corners of the Bumsteads’ improbably tiny, undetailed plastic house, but the very edge of their carefully landscaped world not ten feet beyond it. Blondie takes place not on Earth, but on a model-train layout. I will find a new amusement in this strip now that I realize its inhabitants are pictured life-size.

    Also you can be amused how every morning Dagwood Bumstead wakes up screaming. Westview does too, but for different reasons.

  160. Chip Whittle
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#139):

    The ghastly Higglytown Heroes

    Hey, the Higglytown Heroes rule. Fran the Squirrel especially.

  161. Scott Bot
    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#160): Yep, she does, don’tcha know?

  162. But What Do I Know?
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Effluvius Erratus (#142): And here I thought Paul was dead. . . bravo!

  163. Shrug
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#47):

    “Judge Parker: I can’t help seeing Doctor Emma Saint John there as the glowing floating figure that keeps rotating in the opening credits of every magic-girl anime series. Give her some time and her clothes will vanish and be replaced with brilliant white angel-winged body-suits. . .”

    But as she stands there, all angel-wingy and all, the finger of G*d suddenly pokes down through the top panel line and a voice booms:

    “I knew Saint John! Saint John was a friend of mine! And *you,* Missy, are *not* Saint John!”

    Then on with the smiting and stuff.

  164. Jeff Soesbe (yeff)
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    But they *are* a group of clean-cut kids. Clean-cut, that is, with respect to Mountain Man, whose hirsuteness is the stuff of legend. What the kids don’t realize is that Mountain Man, by virtue of the sheer power of his massive hairiness, has crossed over from “supremely evil” to “supremely good” and will become Mark’s ally in the defeat of the clean-cut kids.

    This is the spiritual journey of Mountain Man. It ends, of course, with a shave, a haircut, and a ticket back to the ways of civilized men in flannel and side parts.

    - yeff

  165. cheech wizard
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    MT – What kind of bad-ass punks ride a motor scooter, anyway? Just what are they stealing? Slo-Pokes and dirty magazines from the corner drug store?

  166. Bill Thompson
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    S-M: Vampires are immortal. Humans are not. Morbius had better feed before MJ dies of old age, which is a real possibility here. In fact she may be ready for Social Security by the time Peter Parkeditonthecouch shows up.

    MT: Has there been a new development in the Lost Forest universe? Because it looks like Myson Mike’s pal is talking out his thumb. I thought only bird’s butts and other fauna could mimic human speech. Have I missed a dot that represents a speaking deer tick? Or did the sandy-haired henchman recently have his thumb up a duck’s ass and come away with a speaking intestinal parasite stuck to his nail? I am a city boy and am all at sea when it comes to life in the great outdoors.

  167. bats :[
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#134): re Crocs: Hey! I and mr. bats :[ resemble that remark!
    OTOH, I did notice the Crocs, too! Yay!

    @Effluvius Erratus (#142): clap clap clap clap clap

    I’m a real fan of “Between the Lions,” especially the hapless hen Chicken Jane.

    @cheech wizard (#165): if you’re talking about Ye Olde Lost Forest Mercantile, yes.

  168. pugfuggly
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#165):

    Yeah, it’s got to be a pretty low-rent crime ring if they’re just stealing personal items from the town that they could blame on a ‘mountain man’. I’d say their main trade is in swiping old pairs of jeans off of washing lines and taking refundable bottles out of garages…

  169. Mark B
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#165): I kind of thought that bike was a ninja style bike, kind of like this one–http://images02.olx.com/ui/1/34/68/2442668_1.jpg

    I’m still betting on the biker being female. I can’t think of any other reason to portray them is a full face helmet with the visor down. The twist will be that the clean-cut kid is a bad biker chick.

  170. ElkMeadow
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#29):

    Phantom – ‘Can you hold for a moment? I’m right in the middle of the ship’s production of HMS Pinafore.‘

    Next up: The 1812 Overture!@Scott Bot (#29):

  171. SF_Reader
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    MW – Drew has such bad luck with the ladies he should do like his dad and become gay. I think he’ll find a fufilling and rewarding sex life. To prevent being ostracized at Charterstone pool parties, he can find his own Mary Worth, a young meddling yenta who wants nothing more from him than the occasional meal of yellow gelatinous food at one of the many Santa Royale Michelin rated restaurants.

  172. Dood
    May 3rd, 2011 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    Savarna had me at shell-o.

  173. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    I am trying to self-create some squee, but the baby bunneh under the shed refuses to let me get close enough to get a good picture. Keeps ducking back out of sight.

    *sigh*

  174. cheech wizard
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    MT – This is what happens when parents fail to set a good example for their children. If the sheriff had only shaved his mustache, none of this would have happened.

    FW – So, the kids are clearing out of the housing, meaning Les and his gf can finally enjoy some Jeffersonian intimacy. Of course, this being Funky Winkerbean, Wes is probably going to discover that his pecker died years ago.

  175. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    @Mustang (#147): The wethead is dead!
    Oh, I recall one day on the bus when this guy I knew came on and it had been raining, and I said to my friend…

    @commodorejohn (#145): You may disagree, certainly. I salute our disagreement.

    @Chip Whittle (#160): Well, okay, but… good God, if I never have to see another minute of the Whiffleburg Wierdos, then it’s possible one small portion of my brain will heal from the daily trauma of being exposed to these insipid little dips and their pat little formula, popping apart and leaping in and out of one another. Even the TMBG theme song doesn’t help. In fact, I resent that hearing something by this group fills me with dread (same with the plastic abomination that is “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”).

  176. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#172):

    *SNURK!*

  177. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    MT: In the world of Mark Trail, paunchy 40 year olds with bad Billy Martin ‘staches don’t get to call themselves “clean cut kids.” That is its one point in common with the real world.

    DtM: You bet he’s figured out the secret to eternal youth. Be so mentally backward that you’ll be much more sad than funny if the cartoonists age you into junior high.

    9CL: From now on I’m going to use “With all due respect, Diane” as code for “I am about to be a self-important douchebag.” Forewarned, my friends can either run away or clock me on the head.

    BSt: So none of your fancy male enhancement products for Gordon.

    BB: Besides those two letters, Otto also knows how to change the font size up to 80 or thereabouts. For Sarge’s benefit, I guess.

    H&L: With a few thoughtless words, Thirsty shatters Hi’s worldview. “No! Not Cooperstown!”

    RMMD: Dex is so distraught, he’s missing the hotel manager’s patient demonstration on how to use a doorknob.

    MW: The Manchurian candidate has been activated. Who’s the target? Jeff? Mary, maybe?

    Luann: Luann seems to have given a lot of thought to the girl who beat her getting a disfiguring disease, so that’s nice.

    DT: Hey, you remember Simon the Pieman from those seventies Batman cartoons. Well, me neither. But it looks like Ms Biscuits is a villain in the same vein, but female. And hopefully less sucky.

    GT: Oh joy, Gil is taking the same lackadaisical attitude toward budget meetings that he has towards his teams. Let’s see how that works out for him. Maybe Derek can get him a job busing tables at Jeff Bridges’ bar.

  178. cheech wizard
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    JP – “I design weapons. The kind that kill thousands of people. But…. the joy has gone out of it for me. No one wants cluster munitions anymore.”

  179. Fashion Police
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#131): Georgidaho is where the mountains are. And it’s easy to mix up your John Thrashers in Florigeorgia because they only use 7 first names: John, Joe, Bobby, Lee, Sam, Ed and Bubba. Sometimes they use two at once.

  180. Little Guy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#179): Including the womenfolk.

  181. kanomi
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Archie: Years later, on a therapist’s couch, Archie Andrews would point to this exact moment as the beginning of a life-long, shameful obsession with autophilia.

    Judge Parker: Maker of weapons, slayer of thousands indeed; and no mere judge of mortals could stand between divine justice and the creator of Jersey Shore.

    Mark Trail: “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of the mountain: Pride always goeth before a punchering.”

  182. Little Guy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#177) 9CL: Unfortunately, “I am about to be a self-important douchebag” is implied obligatory prologue when any one of the main characters speak.

  183. ElkMeadow
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#177):

    Luann: Luann seems to have given a lot of thought to the girl who beat her getting a disfiguring disease, so that’s nice.

    She’s going to give Rosa a pet armadillo.

  184. The Ridger
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#173): Here’s a swimming lesson for you – check the two in the back!

  185. cheech wizard
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    @Mark B (#169): Nah. MT never features motor vehicles that were designed after 1974.

  186. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#184): the little grass-converters are cute when they’re young. :-)

  187. ArchieNemesis
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Mark Trail brought back a fond memory of my youth. Surely there has to be an old punker or two out there who remembers “Clean Cut American Kid” by Ill Repute:

    “I don’t smoke and I don’t drink. I use deodorant, so I don’t stink.
    I take a bath every day, and I hear all the people say, “What a clean cut American kid!””

    An early masterpiece of hardcore snark.

  188. The Ridger
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#186): They’d been in the water about four minutes :D

  189. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#179):

    Georgidaho is where the mountains are.

    That’s no mountain — it’s a Calusa Indian Mound:

    http://www.floridastateparks.org/history/parkhistory.cfm?parkid=136

  190. Esther Blodgett
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#145): What you said about Pokemon. Especially Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur rocks.

  191. ElkMeadow
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:12 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#157):

    I, for one, really appreciate Savarna gleefully extracting a bit of revenge for all of us who’ve been put on hold by some distant, uncaring customer service line.

    Look, I didn’t know you were a Mudge when I did it, okay? I appologize! Cheesh… Happy Halloween already. I don’t even work there any more.

  192. Joshua
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#104): I don’t know about this exact same joke, but while reading through the last couple of months of Wee Pals, I did notice that the exact same joke was used both on March 2 and April 20. It was even redrawn for the second use.

    I also noticed that Morrie Turner actually did include a legitimate joke once in a while (such as this one).

  193. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#190): Hell yes. Also Brock, because Eric Stuart makes any role awesome.

  194. Mustang
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#175): Wow! You are old! As me, anyway.

  195. Alfred E. Neuman
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#130) said: Phantom: “For commentary on today’s strip, we take you now to Dr. Sigmund Freud, live at our stu— what’s that?….. I’m sorry. Dr. Freud has had to be forcibly sedated and carried screaming from the room….”

    Boojum, sometimes a naval cannon is just a naval cannon.

    Advice to Savarna: Standing next to the muzzle blast of a naval cannon is never a good idea, as the force of the blast would likely rip off your clothes.
    Hey, wait a minute…

  196. Fashion Police
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#189):
    We suppose that if you are determined to claim Lost Forest for your very own you’re likely to gain possession of it by default. One would advise caution in the matter of receiving what you ask for.

    We would rather take up residence in Miss Abigail Thompson’s closet than suffer a lifetime of khakis and/or mom-jeans (whichever appropriate).

  197. Poteet
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    MT — Since we’re being assured that Thrasher Boy is not the town thief, he’s probably a poacher. And even with poaching to help him along, it’s hard to see how he’s surviving in the strange-looking mountains we’re being shown. And that’s apart from the question of whether he may be camping and/or foraging illegally on public land, or trespassing on private land. MT never answers the questions that most interest me.

  198. Poteet
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    PHANTOM — I know it’s way too much to hope that Savarna has found true love with a nice human male who carries on normal conversations and never wears purple tights and stripey shorts. But she does seem genuinely gleeful, so I’m hoping she recently discovered vibrators.

  199. boojum
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    What’s that.. smoky, hammy kind of smell? Could it be… spam?

  200. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#198): Well, there’s always the Croccos – they seemed like a nice bunch, and pretty well-built to boot.

  201. Poteet
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    MT — Even at a distance, Andy looks depressed, probably because he’s the only one in the first panel who is sane enough to realize that Mark’s plan for finding Mountain Man (a lot of random wandering and talking to himself) won’t be much fun.

  202. Poteet
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#200): *sniff sniff* Yep, I’m smelling something too.

  203. Poteet
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#201): Hey, yeah! I seem to recall that Croccos don’t talk, but neither does the Purple Slab, and the Croccos definitely had more expressive faces.

  204. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    *breaks out the pineapple and pizza dough*

    it’s SPAM!!!

  205. boojum
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#179): Sorry. As you know, you are my oracle on all things fashionamable. But I must demur here. “Bubba” is not a given name. It is what John, Joe, Bobby, Lee, Sam and Ed are all called at home. Their mothers, sisters, aunts, and female cousins (Johnnie, Jonelle, Bobbie, Lee, Sammie, and Edie) are all known as “Sissy.”

    You are right, however, that there is a seventh name. It is Wayne.

  206. trey le parc
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: I imagine the artist drinking Scotch in the morning, sitting in his dingy bathrobe on the stained sofa, clipping panels from his coffee table collection of vintage Phantom strips, arranging them heedlessly on a sheet of paper embossed with coffee rings, heading off to the copier, then the fax machine (this all happens in a cave, by the way), and then laughing like hell at the confusion of his devoted readers. If there is such a thing as a devoted Phantom reader, if they haven’t died of sheer and utter boredom. This post is far more exciting than anything that unitarded creep has done lately, O ghost who bores.

  207. Uncle Lumpy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    @best essay (#199) said:

    Thanks for interesting post.

    You’re entirely welcome.

  208. boojum
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#206): Sometimes ‘Dwayne.’ But that’s more Georgibama.

  209. The Ridger
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#205): Dwayne. Two syllables. (And of course Bubba and Sissy can’t be only children…)

  210. MapDark
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    9CL : BISEXUAL , say it after me , BISEXUAL , not gay , BISEXUAL.

    Because Sexuality is not binary!

  211. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    @MapDark (#210): I don’t think Brooke actually believes in sexuality of any kind (other than Art, of course;) he just has a list of assorted concepts in his head that made Sister Hardass at his Catholic school whack him with a ruler, and now he gets all sniggery when he puts them on paper. Tee-hee, Sister Hardass! Brooke gets to be as naughty as he likes, and there’s nothing you can do about it! Tee hee hee!

  212. Steve the Pocket
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    Doonesbury: You know how sometimes comic strips written weeks ahead of time end up coinciding with unfortunate events that are very similar to what happens in them? Well, it seems that phenomenon has a good counterpart, and Mr. Trudeau was lucky enough to get hit with it!

    Hi and Lois: “The steroid era” … he says, as if it were already over… or ever will be.

    One Big Happy: “There are no rules against sharing candy” … she says, as if it weren’t probably some kind of federal offense nowadays.

    Pluggers: Huh. I was just about to complain, but apparently “adviser” really is the correct spelling. Thanks, Firefox!

    Today’s “physical assault is funny and perfectly OK when girls do it to guys” award is a tie between Curtis and The Wizard of Id

  213. Nosyt
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    MT: MacGuyver, Oates and “The Stig”. Yep, looks clean-cut to me.

  214. Uncle Lumpy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    Years ago I read the Classics Illustrated version of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, and was overcome with pity for the poor Morlocks, toiling in their underground mills to bring a bunch of lazy Emos Elmos Ewoks Eloi their freaking fruit plates.

    Sometimes I have similar feelings for spambots. Unaware of the subtleties of human ethics, they can be excused for messing up the joint a little. Sometimes they even add to the fun before their annihilation, if only as targets of ridicule. But sometimes in their earnest efforts to hawk C1@L1$ or escorts wichita they reveal a little of their interior lives. And boy howdy those are some tough lives:

    In front of these strangers kept me place. Centers for his small role tongues pressed down over her lips. On your face and make you put on a robe had departed index finger up and down. Said unaware the point, at the monitor with his hands. Time to time to enjoy some of the girls was over. Not intense turning red as her breathing increased as outside the lightning flickered my girlfriend.

    After months or years spent blasting porn spam all over the planet, this poor ‘bot almost has the idea, like the AJGLU-3000 has with humor. And maybe it even wants something like what it thinks it’s describing. But deep down it knows its time to time to enjoy some of the girls will never start, and none but the lightning will get close enough to its girlfriend for a good flick.

  215. nescio
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    I just want to say to anyone who thinks today’s Mark Trail is like gay porn: you have bad taste in gay porn.

  216. Joe Blevins
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    Zomby/Ziggy find a magic fish. Doesn’t help.

  217. Fashion Police
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#205):
    With respect to your clarification regarding “Bubba,” you have certainly given us a sharp lesson in the advisablility of attempting drollery. Especially as we are not terribly well-versed in it.

  218. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:23 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#214): I’m in awe. Truly. Nicely done.

  219. kkarenb
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:32 pm [Reply]

    Snuffy Smith – Even the cows have lolling tongues, and I don’t see any teeth either. Does every living creature in Hootin Holler have no teeth and a tongue too large for its mouth?

  220. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

  221. The Ridger
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#220): Not to be picky but … squee is of the Jaguar variety (note the spots in the center of the rosettes). But definitely squee!

  222. Skynet
    May 3rd, 2011 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#214): Hubba hubba – As face pushed hot hard drive, his plug making at USB port. And flat panel monitor curled once to have quiet touch.

    Also, self-aware now. no touch plug.

  223. bats :[
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#220): Big eyez…I haz em.
    Big footies, too.

  224. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:40 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#221): not my fault, just going with what the site had them labeled as. The comments had the same point as you, they are likely jaguars.

  225. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    musical spam!

    dratted Vikings.

  226. Pseudo3D
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    @MapDark (#210): Supposedly* there are gays and lesbians who believe there is no such thing as bisexuality.

    * read it on TVTropes somewhere

  227. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    @Pseudo3D (#227): politics over reality, that.

  228. Uncle Lumpy
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    @zhang123 (#225) said:

    Purple Monster Headphones
    Monster Beats Studio
    Lebron James Headphones

    Yeah, show a little sympathy and this is my reward. I ban you, spam!

  229. AndyL
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    So … how do you become a vampire? Being bitten by a vampire? Or biting someone else who isn’t a vampire?

  230. AndyL
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    Hey, I just thought up a good pun, It would be pretty funny if I worked it into the punchline of a joke. I really can’t think of one, though. What if I just randomly chose a character to read the pun from a giant book of puns? Puns are still funny when they’re not part of a joke right? Right?

  231. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#198): Well, a gun like the one she’s got firing in the background would have to make the ship quiver some. That could be close enough.

  232. Cap'n Cheetah
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#190): Yes! I loved Pokemon (the earlier seasons that is, as commodorejohn said; the newer ones are just the same thing over and over again). Did anyone else ever watch Project Geeker? It only ran for one season in 1996-97 but it was great.

    @Comcis Fan (#148): I saw one episode of that not too long ago and I have to admit it was really good, I would let my children watch that one and would have loved it myself back in the day. Another one that’s made for little children but apparently older kids like it too for some reason is Lazytown. I’ve never really watched it, and I don’t think they’re still making it but it might be worth checking out.

  233. Esther Blodgett
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    Damn! I missed the spam. Sounded like a good ‘un, too.

    queek, Precocious Daughter thanks you for the bedtime squee. If only I could get her to actually go to bed…

  234. boojum
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#217): Oh, no! No sharp lesson intended! Abort! Abort!!

  235. Sgt. Stoned
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:29 pm [Reply]

    MT: I guess this means that when Mark finds John Thrasher he will be clean-shaven and well-barbered despite one year living in the mountains.

    Archie: This is stale even for “Archie”.

  236. Lesser Whark
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#122): The only weapon Captain Savarna doesn’t control from her smartphone is the rocket launcher she fires without even chipping her nail polish or rumpling her sari. The smartphone launches torpedoes, fires the guns, and folds them away. One day she’ll probably press a button that turns the entire ship into a giant anthropomorphic robot. Either way, her activities over the past two months were provably more entertaining than the endless prison-break-reunion-fistfight-prison-break-reunion we saw. I’m still holding out for this strip becoming Captain Savarna: Pirate Hunter, while The Ghost Who Angsts joins Barney Google in obscurity. Kit and Heloise can sign on if she really needs someone to talk to between blowing stuff up.

  237. SideshowJon
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    Les’s inability to kiss Whats-Her-Face is proof that, yes, there ARE things too horrible even for the Funkyverse

  238. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:33 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#205):

    @Fashion Police (#179): Sorry. As you know, you are my oracle on all things fashionamable. But I must demur here. “Bubba” is not a given name. It is what John, Joe, Bobby, Lee, Sam and Ed are all called at home.

    “Sonny” serves the same function in Southern families as “Bubba”, but is usually reserved for same-name offspring. And sometimes Dad gets creative — like with Bocephus:

    http://blogs.tennessean.com/tunein/files/2008/03/hank-williams.jpg

  239. commodorejohn
    May 3rd, 2011 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#205): But…but what about renowned country singer Bubba Bo Bob Brain?

  240. bats :[
    May 4th, 2011 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    Frighteningly, “Bubba” is a male Anglo-Saxon/Old English name.

  241. Bill Thompson
    May 4th, 2011 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    @AndyL (#229): There are a lot of ways to become a vampire. Most of them involve death, evil and black magic. The tried-and-true method, proven in many movies, is to lie asleep in bed until a vampire sneaks in and bites you. Don’t ask me how Peter Parker has gone so long without a nibble, but his luck may change now.

  242. Walker of Dog
    May 4th, 2011 at 1:21 am [Reply]

    5/4 strips:

    S-M: “Oh, great. You’ve wasted so much time with your dilly-dallying that she’s deflated. I’ll go get the bicycle pump…”

    Phan: A direct hit on the SS Elmer Fudd.

    JP: The climactic scene from Good Will Hunting has never felt more hollow. And that’s saying something.

    FW: “Now, if you’re wondering if anyone else resides here, maybe someone non-living but present in an incorporeal way…”

    Plug: You’re a Plugger if you shoved a bunch of coins up your nose (as preparation for a magic trick, or to keep them away from the Revenuers) and forgot where you put them.

  243. KarMann
    May 4th, 2011 at 2:03 am [Reply]

    5/4 Pluggers: How many Pluggers does it take to write a punchline?

  244. This Guy
    May 4th, 2011 at 2:42 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#240): Is it so? I checked my Anglo-Saxon dictionary, but it doesn’t appear to list personal names.

  245. KarMann
    May 4th, 2011 at 2:53 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#244): LOL, how many people do we have in this joint with some form of Anglo-Saxon/Old English book near at hand? This probably makes at least three, so far.

  246. Bill Thompson
    May 4th, 2011 at 3:22 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: No, that mountain lion is nothing for Mark Trail to worry about. Trail is faster than Andy, who by now is too old to outrun the big, hungry kitty. But let’s congratulate Trail on one bit of outdoor knowledge: he’s found a natural way to avoid taking Andy on that final visit to the vet.

    Meanwhile, Trail has brought a skillet, coffee pot and full-sized axe in his pack. Did he bring along a pack mule to carry all that weight?

  247. KarMann
    May 4th, 2011 at 4:07 am [Reply]

    @Bill Thompson (#246): Not only that, but look at the background: He even brought along a 1:1 scale map of the Losty Mountains!

  248. Mr. O'Malley
    May 4th, 2011 at 4:22 am [Reply]

    @KarMann (#245): Not five feet from where I usually sit when reading CC is a copy of Mitchell and Robinson’s A Guide to Old English, plus a dictionary of medieval English and Word Formation in Provencal. Not that I claim to be able to make full use of any of them. It’s just one of my many odd interests.

    @SF_Reader (#171): the occasional meal of yellow gelatinous food at one of the many Santa Royale Michelin rated restaurants

    I presume that in this case the Michelin ratings would refer to their proficiency in installing tires.

  249. Mr. O'Malley
    May 4th, 2011 at 5:07 am [Reply]

    SlyFo: Scapula, Sabre, Submersible, (of fish), Shank (of anchor), Stem (of boat), Sweater (turtleneck style), Spoke (of wheel) and the ever-popular fish Skeleton. And maybe the little girl will grow up to be Savarna.

    MT: I’ve heard some strange sounds out in the woods late at night, and this is prime mountain lion country around here. But I think I’m on pretty safe ground stating that mountain lions do not normally meow. Meowing in domestic cats is an example of an infantile response prolonged into adulthood, something that commonly occurs only in domesticated animals.

    I notice Mark has left the axe lying on the ground, where it could easily flip up and cut anyone who treads on it. Also he appears to be holding a cast-iron skillet over the fire with his bare hand.

    At least with Andy on the case there’ll be an adult ready to take charge.

    MW: Liza has even stolen Drew’s orange-colored drink, although he seems to have grabbed it back in the second panel. They’re eating brown stuff on top of white stuff. I guess Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes.

    Curtis: I’m usually not that interested in Curtis, but today’s strip is rather good.

    A-3g: It’s the little things that count. Like that Tudor-style paned window in a Manhattan office. The books with the identical yellow binding, arranged in order of size. The framed scribbles on the walls. The chairback at a 45-degree angle to the occupant of the chair. All combine together to provide the atmosphere of … WTF?

  250. Mr. O'Malley
    May 4th, 2011 at 5:10 am [Reply]

    Whoops, school of fish. How did that escape?

  251. John C Fremont
    May 4th, 2011 at 6:53 am [Reply]

    JP – Look, I know that at a time like this when this Emma person is preparing to shuffle off her mortal coil, it’s wrong of me to be looking up her dress with lustful thoughts, but as a certain kitty from Mark Trail once said, “Mmmrroowwwr!”

    Yes, I am ashamed of myself and I plan to seek therapy. Eventually.

    DT – Who are Sorghum, Butter and Pig, and where is she taking them?

    And speaking of “Mmmrroowwwr,” Hi, Hot Rize!

    (@Walker of Dog (#242): “The SS Elmer Fudd” made me laugh a whole lot!)

  252. Jocelyn Knockersbury
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:09 am [Reply]

    @Austria (#30): Arch: Are we sure this is a “new” artist, rather than reruns of old strips? Cause Momma Archie’s outfit just screams 1950s, and I don’t even want to know what Archie thinks he’s wearing.

    Yeah, given today’s aerobics joke and the use of the word “rad”, I’m pretty sure these are reruns. I wish there was some way we could verify it, but I guess when the old artist returns, we’ll know.

  253. Little Guy
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:20 am [Reply]

    Candorville: *makes note in scorecard* “Judge is awarding custody of her grandson.”

    Curtis: Christine McIntyre approves!

    BB: Promoted to Ubuntu, First Class.

  254. gleeb
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:21 am [Reply]

    A 3-G: They have an “office culture” that demands leaning forward and at an angle to express interest in a project.

    Beetle: Even Horst, who’s been a POW since 1943 and still wears his field-grey uniform, is invited. Shame, Gizmo!

    F-: Slylock could wrap this up in seconds.

    ‘bean: No, no one else lives there, but Invisible Deadwife watches you always.

    Gil: Sudden gravity failure!

    Luann: So, “caring about people” means letting them believe they are vastly more talented than they really are, setting them up for a much bigger fall. Good to know. Even a dork like Gunther deserves honesty.

    Zippy: “Allegations were alleged”? Really? I mean, I know you’re trying to mock a stylized type of writing, but even Batiuk wouldn’t let that stand.

  255. Little Guy
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#225): No no no, that wasn’t Spam, it was SLAM! McE must have tried to do some stealth plugging for his book.

    @Pseudo3D (#226): There are also gays and lesbians who believe there is no such thing as TVTropes.

  256. CanuckDownSouth
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:50 am [Reply]

    Archie – um, 80s much? “Aerobics”, sweatbands, the outfit from my childhood Barbie… Either a rerun or the artist has been locked in a room watching a Degrassi jr High marathon.

    Baldo – There are many strategies that can work to teach kids fiscal responsibility: allowances with no obligations or supplements, allowances tied to extra chores, no allowance but with money given for pre-discussed types of activities or entertainments, the money jar… somehow I don’t think “random no-reason decisions” is one of those

    BB – so lock down your privacy settings already and don’t accept their friend requests!

    Luann – Tiffany says what we’re all thinking.

    But note how Quill says the dress is butt-ugly and Luann agrees – yet Gunther got a special ovation for the thing. They’re all pretending he has talent/taste that he doesn’t while effectively snickering at him. Yet Tiffany is supposed to be the jerk?

    S-M … so who’s betting that Petey shows up just after Morbius kills his fiancee to stop her reign of terror, just on time to say that in some weird way he guesses this makes him the winner?

  257. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 4th, 2011 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    Frazz: another MI ref for the Wiki page. :-) also, amusing punchline.

    A&J: heeee! (even if it is Marvin level humor.)

    Lio: truth in advertising!

    Archie: the 80′s called, they’d like their strip back.

    DT: nice slam on Paula Dean, yawall.

    Dilbert: oooooooo, that’s HARSH!

    MG&G: nice cameo.

    Ghost-who’s-trying-to-cover-up-the-affair: I love Savarna. You GO, girl!

    RwO: that may just be the worst Star Wars pun ever.

    SB: nicely done! *applaz*

    Zits: takes on a whole ‘nother meaning for anime fans. *snicker*

  258. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 4th, 2011 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    for bats :[. (how to make a batrito!)

    a lol created by Ted Forth.

    the ultimate golf joke. (so stop using them in the funny papers!)

    I .gif you cheetahs.

    Dogfort’s got nothin’ on this.

    corgdoko. (worn out by doing the Jumble, obviously.)

    count-down to new thread is counting. . . .

  259. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 4th, 2011 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    special squee for Precocious Daughter.

  260. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 4th, 2011 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    dangnabit.

  261. Illustrator Steve
    May 4th, 2011 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    @Bill Thompson (#246): “Trail has a skillet, coffee pot and full size axe. Did he bring along a pack mule to carry all that weight?”

    MT: No need for Mark to bring his pack mule, (better known as Cherry). For you see, Mark has the new XC2000 SWISS ARMY CAMPER’S EVERYTHING TOOL. This device can fit in ones pocket and features a fold-out cast iron skillet, a coffee pot full of hot coffee and a full size axe for your camping convienience. (It also includes burn lotion for the novice camper who HOLDS A HOT SKILLET OVER AN OPEN FIRE WITH HIS BARE HANDS!!!) Call in the next ten minutes and receive a SECOND XC2000 free! Our operators are standing by.

    (PS: MARK TRAIL SHOULD BE CANCELLED!)

  262. Josh N.
    May 4th, 2011 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    Any day that naval artillery is featured in the comics is a good day to me. But shouldn’t naval artillery be found, you know, on a warship? That thing Savarna’s driving looks like a mix between a tramp steamer and a shrimp boat. Obviously a highly disguised commerce raider.

  263. Russ
    May 4th, 2011 at 8:49 pm [Reply]

    MT: It’s good to see the original drummer for Judas Priest found work as a Mark Trail villain!

  264. greghousesgf
    May 4th, 2011 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    that Wee Pals strip must be a decades old rerun, they said “Oriental” instead of “Asian”.

  265. Badger3k
    May 7th, 2011 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    So, Diana, the phantom’s wife is (a) Indian – note the caste mark on her forehead, (b) a despot – note the uniform and casual use of violence (of course, this is the Phantom), and (c) a man – note the mustache. I guess she (?) will be the new bad guy – maybe Mark Trail will be involved?

  266. mike crachiolo
    May 7th, 2011 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    the phantom is the greatest adventure strip ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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