Main content:

Get me rewrite!

Click the banner to contribute by credit card or PayPal, or here for complete details and a banner index. — Thanks!

Crankshaft, 8/31/14 (panels)

I over-edit. Even on deadline, I’ll find a weak verb, unnecessary adverb, or clumsy subordinate clause and go back to the edit screen to tune it up, repeating the process many times until I start changing the same things back and forth or grow embarrassed at how many revisions WordPress says I’ve racked up. So even though I poke fun at some of the bizarre sounds-like-English dialogue in Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, I’m sympathetic, see? I know how staring at a handful of words too long makes you doubt readers will understand them, and after that it’s a quick trip down the hall of mirrors.

But c’mon. This is an old joke based on a familiar phrase. Nobody is going to misunderstand you if you leave out that second “wee.” And your audience is not Beavis.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/31/14 (panels)

And here’s Crankshaft‘s companion strip on the Centerville-Westview axis, all done up in its trademark Sunday Murk-O-Vision — because what Funky Winkerbean needs is more gloom.

The narrative challenge here is that the easy gag “hurry-up offense ends a bad game sooner” is undercut by the team’s recent improvement. Doesn’t bother Les, though – he’s like the guy who ruins a good meal out by complaining about the food he got on a previous visit, making damn sure the chef’s wife at the hostess station can hear him loud and clear.

Judge Parker, 8/31/14 (panels)

Neddy shamelessly sucks up to Rocky Ledge to get her deal approved as the randy entertainer takes a long, approving glance down the dress she chose for exactly that purpose. Sam beams: “My daughter, the closer — check please!”

“No, not you, Maurice.”


Westward Bound! Day Five



On the Road Again, as sung by country music legend Willie Nelson and acted out in real life by Josh and Amber. No stopping in Luckenbach, though – it’s time to press westward, ever westward!

– Uncle Lumpy

Dawn of the darkness

Click the banner to contribute by credit card or PayPal, or here for complete details and a banner index. — Thanks!

Gil Thorp, 8/30/14

Oh ha ha, a nationally-ranked star quarterback just fell into Gil’s lap because Valley Tech “didn’t feel right” or some such B.S. Panel-2 Gil can barely suppress his glee (that’s Gil glee – trust me on this). With True on board, he’ll be able to bluff his way through the entire season and still win a game or two; maybe even make the playdowns. Of course rivalries will tear his team apart and his betrayal will scar his young charges for life, but let’s keep our eye on the bigger picture here, shall we?

Dick Tracy, 8/30/14

In their vulnerable moments, even law-abiding citizens of peaceful countries can be overcome by dark paranoid fantasies in which armed officers chuckle as they blithely ignore law and principle in service to their wealthy masters. For more than 80 years, it has been the role of Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie to present this paranoid hellscape as a kind of utopia.

Citizens! Don’t let the face of Sam Catchem be the last face you see! Comply!

Apartment 3-G, 8/30/14

I bow to no one — not even the Comics Curmudgeon himself — in my devotion to Apartment 3-G, which I have been following since the Kennedy administration, and daily for the last eight years. But when I saw today’s strip, I realized I had absolutely no memory of this “Rick” (Tommie’s recently deceased fiancé was named Jim). That implies that Rick is unmemorable even by the standards of Apartment 3-G men — a sort of black hole of interest from which nothing can escape. A long grind through the archives yielded this image from the March 2012 “Tommie is going to be a singer or some damn thing” story, so yup:

Apartment 3-G, 3/9/12

The steady degeneration of Tommie’s boyfriends brings a chilling thought. What if all this didn’t begin in May, 1961, but further back — say, at the Dawn of Time? Imagine Tommie as not a woman but as Woman Herself: Eve, Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene, Cleopatra, Wu Hou, Jeanne d’Arc, Nzinga Mbande, Pocahontas, Florence Nightingale, Colette, Lucille Ball, Eva Perón — all hanging around with the likes of Gary from IT, ol’ Doc Buckethead, and this “Rick” here. It’s disgusting.

Mary Worth, 8/30/14

Predictably, Dr. Drew has been secretly replaced by some kind of insane judgmental robot, condemning his fellow doctors as much for their humanity as for their errors. He seems quite certain about Kaphut’s fate, probably because he plans to carry it out himself.

Mary’s point, of course, is that Kaphut should suffer worse than merely being torn apart by a crazed homicidal machine, even though such a thing is not possible. That way both Drew and Kaphut come up short, so it’s win-win in her book.


Westward Bound! Day Five



Splashdown — in Austin! Midway through their 3,000-mile trip, with a well-earned day of loafing ahead. Then off again, into the searing West Texas heat.

– Uncle Lumpy

Lone Star metapost

Click the banner to contribute by credit card or PayPal, or here for complete details and a banner index. — Thanks!

Hi there! Just a few updates and reminders as we in the U.S. head into our Labor Day weekend:

  1. Josh is relocating from Baltimore to L.A. to pursue a career in standup, comedy writing, and other entertaining things.
  2. He has taken a blood oath to “… continue to make jokes about Mary Worth until the sun expands into a red giant …”, by which time Apartment 3-G’s Tommie should be about ready to wrap things up with Carol. A blood oath.
  3. I’m running a fundraiser to say thanks, help with moving expenses, encourage Josh to make good on his blood oath, and so on. Fundraisers usually wrap up around this time of the week, but I’m extending this one to coincide with the remainder of the trip.
  4. If you enjoy the Comics Curmudgeon but haven’t contributed before, consider it just this once. The ten-year anniversary and the Big Move are major events, and we’ve made it as easy as possible to contribute – just click the banner or the link up there. All contribution details are kept in complete confidence, and nobody will bother or email you except once to say thanks.
  5. Josh and his wife cross into Texas today, gunning for Austin by late afternoon. It’s going to be hot there – why not buy ‘em a round of ice-cold Lone Stars to go with some of that great barbecue?
  6. No Comments of the Week on my watch, but I have a big bag of hilarious comments for Josh to sift through when he stops his ramblin’. As I will now stop mine.

Mmm, barbecue.

– Uncle Lumpy


Westward Bound! Day Four+