Only Thirsty has the wisdom necessary to transcend samsara
Dick Tracy, 5/18/23
A question I have often had reason to contemplate is “Who is [any given legacy comic strip still being produced in the year 2023] for, exactly,” and it’s pretty clear that the answer the current Dick Tracy creative team has landed on in their own case is “longtime fans of Dick Tracy and other classic comics and adjacent memorabilia.” Which is fine, really, but it does meant the strip can get loss in a self-referential haze now and then, producing storylines fully baffling to the uninitiated, like the occasional dreamworld interactions between Dick Tracy and Fearless Fosdick (seen on the right in panel one here). Fosdick was a long-running spoof of Dick Tracy in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner strip, and given how reverential towards the strip history modern Dick Tracy is overall, it’s kind of funny how often Fosdick shows up, because by “long-running spoof” I mean a not particularly friendly parody that Dick Tracy creator Chester Gould apparently hated. (Gould himself was lampooned as “Lester Gooch” in the multilayered narrative in which Fosdick appeared within Li’l Abner.) Anyway, today’s strip is truly incredible because it asks the question “What if Li’l Abner had lasted long enough that Fearless Fosdick could have spoofed the 1990 Dick Tracy movie,” and the answer it comes up with is “it would have a parody version of Madonna named ‘Fuddonna.’”
Hi and Lois, 5/18/23
I don’t know who Hi and Lois is for, really, but I’m excited to see the strip start to work its way through some serious philosophical problems. The Flagston children represent theological concepts of increasing sophistication: Trixie’s belief system is “God is visible in the sky and is my friend,” whereas Dot and Ditto think that God exists to hand out rewards and punishments based on a moral code that they’re capable of understanding, even though they disagree on the particulars. Can’t wait for us to get to Chip’s chapter in this saga; hopefully it’ll be some really esoteric and mystical stuff.
197 replies to “Only Thirsty has the wisdom necessary to transcend samsara”
Slylock Fox: I don’t mean to fat shame but damn, that pitcher’s got a huge ass. I mean, a bigger ass than Crankshaft. There’s no ass bigger than him on the comics page, amirite?
Rex Morgan: Called it: May 12th, 2023 at 4:31 am
Hi and Lois-Nope. Mary Worth loves muffins.
MW-Mary then pulls out a tray of muffins. “I shall go over there and talk to them.”
JP-“I was reading ‘Oliver Twist’ and I want my own army of pickpocketers.”
FC-Jeffy’s got the COVID!
Spiderman-Mrs. Guilliam has a point.
Andy Capp-“Chapter Four: A Dead Vicar”
Hi! Lois! You are supposed to put the comically huge cookie jar labelled “cookies” on top of the refrigerator, not on a counter low enough for your child to easily reach! Back to comic-strip trope school with you!
Dick Tracy is stealing an obscure Tiny Toon Adventures gag from thirty years ago, which to be fair is right around the time of the Dick Tracy movie.
I think it must be awful to be a Family Circus writer. You can’t hear a simple conversation like “Say, could you turn down the TV?” without wondering how you can adapt it as a child’s statement.
H&L: Ditto’s glazed expression in panel 2 suggests that Chip has been storing his “edible” cookies in that jar.
RxMD: “No! NO! ‘Muddy Boots!’ ‘MUDDY BOOTS!’ No other songs!!!….”
….and Yvonne joins Rene in the brig after throwing the kiddie impresario overboard.
MW: Oh, look. Jeff’s discovered social introverts in public.
Dick Tracy : I’m reminded of that old Duck Dodgers cartoon (the tv series from the mid-aughts (yes, that DID happen), not the original shorts) where there was an episode where Elmer Fudd had become an alien virus that mutated everyone into zombie-like duplicates of himself… It was actually kind of disturbing.
Hi & Lois : don’t discipline Ditto when he snacks between meals without permission anymore. Dot tries to invoke a higher authority, but Ditto just laughs it off, because he assumes everyone will just be as lenient and forgiving as his parents, no matter how badly he misbehaves.
Luann : …That’s it? THAT’S Piro’s traumatic backstory!? Also, Bernice was “a saint who welcomed Piro into her life and cured him of his ills” !? Give me a break.
I like the part where it seems Piro is saying I’ll never forget my dad for abandoning us. Anyway, the second I was old enough, I left my invalid mother and my half-siblings behind and never looked back.
Mary Worth : I am seeing Mary’s point from the opposite side : just because Mary is speaking to Dr Jeff, and is looking at him instead of staring at her phone, doesn’t mean she’s not ignoring him.
Rex Morgan M.D. : “…I dunno. That song might not be appropriate for a kids; I use metaphors, but it’s still very obviously about f*ckin’.” “Oh, that’s not a problem!”
Ditto’s (the male is Ditto?) god is corrupt enough to be bribed by biscuit crumbs.
Hankjunior and Mrs Hankjunior: “Children? What are those? Some kind of exotic animal?”
Dr Jeff was bitten by a radioactive meddler, right?
@Baja Gaijin: Any actual braying ass is bigger, I think.
Pearls Before Swine:
If you’d asked me which regular comic strip character would suddenly become a baseball bat swinging psycho, Goat would not have been my first choice.
Re Luann: that’s what I got out of this too, that Starhead abandoned his siblings and his crippled mum. What a hero.
DT Sorry, can’t comment right now, just going through every Madinna song I know and trying to figure out which one would be funniest in an Elmer Fudd voice. So far the frontrunner is “Papa Don’t P(w)each.”
H&L I can imagine this same scene playing out again 20 years in the future, except about percocet.
Lockhorns: From the ever popular Hoestz and Reiner Antonyms As Punch Lines series.
Mary Worth “Why aren’t they having a wonderful evening like us, sitting around gossiping about total strangers who aren’t even doing anything worth gossiping about?”
MW: Today’s second panel reveals that the Bum Boat is actually an aquarium, and Mary and Jeff are fish who only imagine themselves to be humans. Those two “people” at the other table are, in fact, Willa and Stellan. All that’s missing is Wilbur’s huge face looming at the window as he taps on the glass.
MW: Does Dr. Jeff actually interact with anyone from the modern/current era? Also mind your $&*^% business Jeff.
MW: ” What’s this world coming to? Why aren’t they having a scintillating conversation like we are? Tsk!”
RMMD: Mr Mud’s Neighborhood: “Hi, kiddies! I’m going to the bathroom for a while to achieve enlightenment! See ya soon!”
GT: “What’s this? You’ve won four small-town high school conference championships in your entire life? Well, hell, why didn’t you say so? What are we doing wasting our lives in this s***hole country? Listen up, everybody, we’re packing up and moving to Milford right now! There are only a few games left in the season, so no time to put the house on the market. We’ll just abandon everything. The great coach Luke is leading us to the Promised Land!!!”
RMMD So the machinations of evil con man Rene have totally solved Mud’s personality problems, plus set him up to enjoy a lucrative new career? Uh….
“Fuddonna” also appears in an episode of “Animaniacs”, using the actual Elmer Fudd, and I guess fans of that show are now old enough to be part of the Dick Tracy core audience, oh no.
@Occam: Correction: Tiny Toons.
Respect to Dick Tracy for imagining a universe in which Elmer Fudd is a drag queen whose Madonna-based persona becomes more famous than Madonna herself.
I loved that Duck Dodgers series.
Personally was better as a straight up space opera than a comedy.
Also, the theme song (sung by Tom Jones) is absolute fire!
If you’re bringing in an Elmer Fudd / Madonna hybrid, your comic audience is…something else. I’m frankly not sure.
Dustin: “Sis, will you have sex with me just so I can see what it’s like? Just once, I promise.”
JP: So instead of taking the little boy home, Cranky is whisking him off to get some ice cream. Yeah, that’s a great look.
RMMD: Yvonne is not pleased. How dare he?
DIXK TRACY: Given the “payoff” in panel #2, Dick Tracy is NOT for anyone who’s seen Tiny Toon Adventures.
DT: Regrettably I decided to Google “Fuddonna,” and it turns out there really was such a character, which appears to be a genderswapped Elmer Fudd from the 1990s. Joe Staton’s vision of this character lacks the ponytail, conical breasts, and indeed most traits of the original Fuddonna, but since this is a (rerun of a) dream sequence, I guess nothing really matters anyway.
H&L: Ditto’s on his way to hell for eternity for that cookie, but at least Dot can relax with some alternative God-approved activities, like passing out naked after getting hammered and condemning your grandson’s family line to genocide because your son walked in and saw your junk, executing women for prostitution after having sex with women for money, or just some good ol’ slave abuse. Amen.
JP: Sophie attempts to ask a meaningful question, but the matter is quickly bogged down in the usual ironic quipping and eyerolling. Marciuliano continues to be the most baffling writer in the industry. Why give insist on giving Charlotte some kind of complex where she doesn’t want to be around her mother, and then flee from confronting the subject? Why are April and Randy and Abbey incapable of expressing opinions about this? Why is Marciuliano always punting on 2nd down? He clearly doesn’t have any oversight preventing him from doing whatever he wants, so why do this?
“Yes, Jeff, I know. You just said that about four seconds ago. You seem to have the attention span of a squirrel. Now drink your beer and mind your own business. . . . I can’t believe I just said that.”
@Liam: MW-Mary then pulls out a tray of muffins. “I shall go over there and talk to them.”
Mary never leaves home without her emergency muffin pack.
Today’s Dick Tracy was drawn by someone who has never seen Madonna but has just heard that she’s “a sexy blonde”, and subsequently revealed a bit too much about themselves illustrating that description.
“Here, I’ve finished my drawings for our “Dick Tracy dreams of Elmer Fudd in drag” strip, and I must say, they came out pretty good.”
“What’s this? You give away the joke in the first panel.”
“Oh, well, too late now.”
“Give me that Sharpie. . . .”
H&L “If there were a just and righteous God, Dot, would he let some of the paint wear away on the second ‘o’ so that it looks like the jar says ‘Cockies’? I think I’m safe.”
Dick Tracy – Fuddonna is definitely a parody of Elmer Fudd and Madonna, which the creators of this strip must thing is what a parody is? Though it’s usually Bug Bunny that dresses in drag to confuse Elmer Fudd?
Maybe the whole point is that this comic is a test, and if you find it funny or understandable, you ought to get tested for dementia.
Hi and Lois – *reads comic*,
*Starts pondering the theology of Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC*
*Starts constructing elaborate fan theory that Beetle Bailey represents the Seven Deadly sins and Dante’s Inferno, then tying in Hi and Lois, Hagar and lesser known Boner’s Ark*
*Wakes up 20 years later, finding myself the Kevin Feige of the Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC Studios and cinematic Universe*
DT – They’re pushing the envelope with this Fearless Fossick business, but are they brazen enough for Tracy to get a gaping hole shot through his head, which he dismisses as a mere flesh wound? I sure hope so.
MW – “Look at them! They’re just sitting there! When they could be talking about other people!”
Luann: Given how brief and icy their interactions were, if he’s this obsessed with Bernice, this guy has major problems.
CS: His parents aren’t lazy; they didn’t pick him up because there’s a *school bus* to bring him home. Since Batiuk has no idea why all of the other parents did pick up their kids today, none of what follows makes any sense. And the implication that they’re destitute because they don’t have a car is just bizarre.
A budding psychologist looking to write their PhD thesis could have a field day with Dick Tracy and his dreams.
DT: Fuddonna is a real Shanghai Surprise.
H&L: Missing third panel: Krak-a-Boom and nothing but a smoldering pile of ashes where Ditto once stood.
MARY WORTH: Mary: “Geez Jeff, we can’t assume they’re unhappy just because they barely interact with each other. Maybe she likes the quiet and freedom she was only interacting with her man during special and intimate moments, like self-congratulatory yacht rides and platitude-filled seafood dinners. Maybe she likes the space he gives her by only “interacting” with her once a year for gossip updates, and not smothering her all the time. Her, that woman sitting at the other table looking at her phone, who I am definitely still talking about at this point.”
JP-“You’re looking after Randy’s kid. You’re looking after that horrible judge’s kid.” Why are you reaping yourself. You brought up Randy and Charlotte twice.
Frazz: Hats off to those who manage to work creatively until their dying days, but it doesn’t make them saints compared to people who try to enjoy their retirements. I guess Mallett has a problem with Bill Watterson, despite borrowing everything except the warmth and humor in Watterson’s strips?
Luann: I think this is the Evanses way of showing us that maybe it’s best if they don’t divulge these dark secrets they constantly hint at. Agreed with the assessment that Piro comes off as an asshole in his story.
CS: Wow, the GoComics strips I hate read really have it going on today. Crankshaft can’t conceive of the notion of “working parents,” and instead they must be lazy if they don’t pick up their child from school. But then he turns from asshole to “saint” by offering to buy the “poor kid” an ice cream cone. Hopefully, Crankshaft can find the family’s homeless encampment afterward.
MW: Hey, Mary. Just wait until Mr. Creosote waddles in. Meddle your way out of that.
Her plastic surgeon? (Heyo!)
GT: “Kiwan will get lost in the media-rich, highly competitive world of baseball in one of America’s largest cities, a place that produces a high percentage of major leaguers and can put him on the road to fame and fortune, but he will be the best in a podunk town the national media knows nothing about.“
“You’re an idiot. Get out of my house.”
MW: “What on earth can those two be reading that can be so much more important than a conversation about entrees?”
(At the other table): “Look at this Delores! Some Korean baseball whiz has decided to come to America to play at some little school no one has heard of!”
9CL: This is the insanity I expect from this strip. Hugh, upon seeing his wife breastfeeding the ermine(?) they have as a child, gets turned on and starts making out with his wife.
S4: Is the fact that Nona is dressed like a nurse an indication that this strip is actually all in Ted’s mind as he sits in an institution? That would explain why everyone seems to talk like him.
Phantom: Kit thinks these incompetents can put together a resistance movement? This one guy literally cannot walk down a hallway without stumbling into an obvious danger.
GT: Whoa. Luke Martinez is a regular Frank Costanza over here.
Why is this legacy strip allowed to mock the religious devotion of Dot? Simple, because she believes that God rewards and punishes not according to predestination but according to the deeds of the person. This kind of Popery is so foolish that even an Epicurean atheist like Ditto can see it!
Hi and Lois – There is but one God and Famous Amos is his prophet.
Dustin: Applying yourself to learn how to do something, anything is attractive to some people. But, this is Dustin we’re talking about, so he’d half-ass it anyway.
FC: Yes, my plan to infect the melonheads with strep throat worked, thinks Thel.
MW: Meanwhile, at yet another table:
“She’s spouting platitudes and he keeps looking at the other couple and talking about what they’re doing.”
“Ah, but does that mean there’s discontent?”
Luann TruFan comment of the week:
“Incredible life story.” As in “not believable.” NINE siblings by age 14? Five different husbands? Stroke?
“One panel piece of brilliant prose”? Who wrote this comment, Karen Evans?
DT – The drawing of Fuddona looks like it’s in the style of one of those 60s/70s “underground comix” artists, but I can’t figure out which one.
Don Abundio, translated:
“I’m taking you to see a police lineup”
“It’ll give you a thrill… tough, ruthless, cunning men who refuse to live by society’s rules”
“I feel sorry for these losers”
DT: You know, reading this out of the blue, I was incredibly confused by what was going on in this comic. And the little narration box of “Tracy is dreaming” does almost nothing to clear up the mystery of just what is happening. But then I realized, no one younger than Warren Beatty actually gives a **** about Dick Tracy’s continuity or story in any way, shape, or form, other than to wonder when we’re getting back to rats eating gangsters alive.
H&L: It’s good that Jack Chick died, because the possibility the syndicate would hire him to do a reboot of this strip seems eerily possible today.
(Alternative post, just put a full stop after the word died in the original.)
Ditto is a fine theologian. He knows that according to “the epistle to Hebrews”, Jesus was fully human and was subject to all possible temptations in the desert. As a child, it is easy for him to imagine that Jesus also craved for a cookie and forgive himself for his gluttony. This concept will be even more useful in fifteen years, when Ditto will hesitate some seconds in front of a computer. He will then just shrug, think “Jesus had all temptations, thus he probably also had MY temptations” and just search that extremely perverted search keys on Bing.
@brendancalling: This particular TruFan is in a reality all their own. I’m amazed every time I see their breathless praise about the terrible writing and awkward plotting in Luann.
Hi and Lois are comfortable leaving cookies on an easily reachable shelf, without taking any measures to prevent their children to take them, except their own self-control. Maybe they belong to one of those religions that believe that there is a fixed number of seats available in Heaven and they want to cut out competition.
… Well you may eat a cookie and hide your sin
Sneakin’ in the dark like Ho Chi Minh
But as sure as God made black and white cookies
What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light, rookie
… You can eat ’em for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
… Go tell that lyin’ brother
Go and tell that cookin’ mother
Tell the Oreo, the Thin Mint, the Oatmeal Raisin
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut you down
Wait, the narration box assures is “Tracy is dreaming,” but how can he tell? Like, what’s different about his dreaming world from the normal one he inhabits where moon-girls marry Earth people and grotesquely deformed villains carry out criminal schemes thematically appropriate to their deformities? I suppose you could point out that Dick is in a movie usher uniform, but doesn’t he routinely go undercover for his police work? So far as I can see, the only thing unusual here is that Dick hasn’t shot anybody in cold blood for several panels, which I suppose is all the evidence he needs that this is all a fantasy.
The less historically-minded readers might not know it, but “Li’l Abner” is evidence that hillbilly Comics can actually be good, so “Barney Google and Snuffy Smith” really doesn’t have any excuse.
H&L — Chip has probably moved on to theodicies and is questioning why a good and loving God won’t let him get laid. . .
@Deacon Blues: GT: Whoa. Luke Martinez is a regular Frank Costanza over here.
He has smelly feet?
@jroggs: I would point out here that “uncovering nakedness” is usually used as a euphemism for or in relationship to some kind of sex.
Some years ago – maybe he’s still there – there was a Trufan on GoComics calling himself High Plains Drifter and Sheriff Mordecai who claimed to be a colourist on Luann, and who routinely bullied commenters who weren’t Trufans. I always thought he was one of the Evansi in disguise.
JP: (Psssssstttt….Sophie! You nekkid?)
“I’m in twoble deep” does it.
If there’s an afterlife (which I don’t believe, but hope for anyway), Shrug is probably reading the comments every day and composing his own snark. Here’s to you, Shrug.
Always liked Fuddonna’s “Who’s That Wabbit”
H & L – Holy perspective, Batman! That is one ginormous cookie jar. More like a cookie barrel.
Mud’s Greatest Hits Album:
Muddy Boots (Overture)
Muddy Boots (album version)
Muddy Boots (single edit)
Muddy Boots (12″ Dance Mix)
Muddy Boots Pt II: Again With the Muddy Boots (b-side)
Mud Rap (Featuring Kanye West)
These Muddy Boots Were Made for Walkin’ (Featuring Nancy Sinatra)
Muddy Boots (live)
Muddy Boots (reprise)
Phantom: Well! Certainly no gentleman. Why didn’t he grab one of the tiny little men?
@taig: MASTERS OF MISDIRECTION!
Pluggers – If you feel you have to include the phrase “sandwich meat package” in your submission, maybe you should look elsewhere for your folksiness.
@Ukulele Ike: #67: That’s how I’m imagining her in that last panel.
@69 Ukranazi Stepan: Aww, now I have something in my eyes. They’re watering for some reason.
@Weaselboy: #75: You’re right! It’s lunch meat, luncheon meat for the swells, and cold cuts for old people but never sandwich meat. Did Tom Batiuk submit that one under a nom de plume?
CS: Hilarity will ensue when the ground nuts topping on the ice cream sends that kid into anaphylactic shock because Ed didn’t bother to ask him if he had any food allergies.
CS: So, kid. Which highway overpass is your family sleeping under today?
CS: Sorry I asked that question, kid, but people of your ethnicity are notoriously lazy and shiftless.
DT – Fuddonna would have been way funnier, say, 30 years ago. It’s still not a terrible joke, just…dated.
Dick Tracy: It’s amazing what one can write while high, but just say “It’s all a dream!” to justify whatever surreal shit you want.
the implication that they’re destitute because they don’t have a car is just bizarre.
I expect Saturday’s punchline to be “it’s in the shop.” Or, this being the Funkyverse, “my parents are blind.”
@Tom T.: “CS: His parents aren’t lazy; they didn’t pick him up because there’s a *school bus* to bring him home. Since Batiuk has no idea why all of the other parents did pick up their kids today, none of what follows makes any sense. And the implication that they’re destitute because they don’t have a car is just bizarre.”
The idea that parents are “lazy” because they don’t pick up their kids after school is strange indeed, since the likelier scenario is that they can’t pick up the kid because they’re working. And, as you say, there’s also the matter that THEY PAY FUCKING TAXES SO THEIR KID CAN TAKE THE FUCKING SCHOOLBUS. So, Crankshaft is being an asshole. Which, okay, Crankshaft is supposed to be an asshole. Only, it’s immediately undercut by his (totally inappropriate) offer to buy the kid ice-cream. Tom Batiuk’s inability to tell a coherent story, while firmly believing he is one of the greatest storytellers in comic strip history continues even without Funky Winkerbean.
Say what you want about Hi and Lois as a comic strip, but Ditto realizing he can use the concept of God to justify anything he wants to do is far more menacing than Dennis has been in 50 years.
@matt w: And the counter in panel two is oddly sloped towards the floor. Perspective drawing would require the line of the counter top and bottom of the cabinet to meet at a vanishing point in the distance. Instead, the lines converge toward the viewer.
Hi and Lois: Pastor here, God loves cookies, can confirm, pls send lots (God will sentence Ditto to an eternity of torment just for lulz)
@Everything Is Better With Monkeys: #56
I could actually see Chip and Ditto getting into Chick’s “Crusaders” comic books – I’ve read all of them (they’re all online) and the stories and artwork are quite honestly top-notch and really entertaining.
BREAKING NEWS: “Dick Tracy” has just been declared illegal in Florida.
Gov. DeSantis has issued an executive arrest order for Joe Staton and Mike Curtis.
Josh on H&L: “Can’t wait for us to get to Chip’s chapter in this saga; hopefully it’ll be some really esoteric and mystical stuff.”.
Naw. It’s just about jerkin’ off.
Day by Dave: This thing would get a real workout over at Mary Worth.
@Sequitur#Y205 – Not Walmart. Wegmans. It’s my favorite grocery store, but they move things around too frequently.
@UncleJeff: That is esoteric and mystical for a teenager.
Hi and Lois: I hope the Flagston kids have a Holier Than Thou Grandmother, too, who can tell them that cookies were put on this Earth by Satan and that Ditto is going to Hell for what he just did.
Pluggers: Oh, that Andrew Tester and his fancy Sacramento, California, wordplay! He’ll be keeling over someday soon after putting a pound of processed meats into every sandwich he makes.
Prepublished PreTeena: Well, that’s creepy.
Lio: SID! Is THIS what you’re telling your clients?
@pastordan: And with repetition could lead to Gnosis.
That DICK TRACY is bad enough as is, but “Fuddonna” is a steal from a TINY TOON ADVENTURES episode which inexplicably turned Elmer Fudd into a poor man’s Madonna for the sake of one gag.
9C: Every new father quickly learns to distract attention away from the new little interloper, or face irrelevancy.
Crankshaft – Yup. It’s the periodic “Crankshaft has a heart of gold and isn’t really an asshole” week. Because he sure comes across as an asshole every other week.
MW – “This throws off our entire study of earthling courtship rituals. I wonder if this is an anomaly or a sign that our other research was off.”
“You’re right, Jeff. This requires deeper research. You go over and strike up a conversation with the subjects. I will contact the ship and tell them to prepare the probe.”
Frazz – Yeah, construction workers and roofers really want to work until they’re centenarians. So do office workers who have to put up with the usual bullshit.
@Voshkod: Or chafing.
Pluggers: Has anyone seen a pun in Pluggers before?
@UncleJeff: Chafing is gnosis. Pain is just another route to god.
@Tom: Perhaps in some translations or situations? I’m going from the King James:
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
Hard to read that as anything other than Noah had his “ark” out, and Ham was just incredibly unlucky enough to notice. Incidentally, if uncovering one’s nakedness means sex, would that mean that Noah’s other two sons unfucked their dad?
The Old Testament does use a lot of coy language. Probably the most (in)famous example is “know,” such as another tale in the book where residents of Sodom see Lot, a righteous man of God, invite two disguised angels into his home, and they bang on his door and demand Lot send the angels outside so they can “know” (i.e. nonconsensually sodomize) them, and the brave heaven-destined servant of the Lord heroically begs them to forcibly “know” his young virgin daughters instead. Truly morally-uplifting divine guidance.
The problem with all this oblique and euphimistic language is that it makes what is supposed to be the perfect word of God and roadmap for living a righteous life a very confusing read. I’ve read around a little on this section of Genesis, and most apologists admit it’s very ambiguous, with interpretations ranging from Ham committing possible incestuous sexual assault to just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and no interpretations supporting the damnation levied on Canaan and his following generations in perpetuity. God could have really used a proofreader, as well as a bit of restraint in that whole Babel affair.
(I usually don’t like to delve too far into volatile subjects like religion, politics, and weather here in service of keeping the peace in this little slice of the internet where we mostly chuckle at fictional elderly women giving terrible advice to their neighbors, but I figure anyone who really takes the above seriously has already contented themselves with the idea of my own inevitable eternal suffering and/ or “separation from God,” so whatevs. At any rate, don’t blame me; blame Dot Flagston.)
Wouldn’t that be, “My parents have cancer?”
Or – They went blind after reading a Les Moore book?
@103 Scratchy Scrotum LXIX:
Or, “My parents hate my guts and forced me to have alone time with you.”
@Banana Jr. 6000: “I expect Saturday’s punchline to be “it’s in the shop.” Or, this being the Funkyverse, “my parents are blind.””
I would like Crankshaft to take the kid into an ice cream parlour, to be met by Chris Hansen: “Just take a seat over there”.
Zits from Spanish to English!
This is the Sally Forth episode I think I missed.
DT: Fuddonna’s, um, profile resembles Jayne Mansfield more than it does Madonna. As to what story led up to this, who knows? A truly elaborate scheme to twap the wabbit, maybe?
H&L: I share Ditto’s lack of fear in divine punishment, albeit for different reasons. God knows it’s really on the parents for not putting the cookies on a high shelf in the cupboard.
@Artist formerly known as Ben:”H&L: I share Ditto’s lack of fear in divine punishment, albeit for different reasons. God knows it’s really on the parents for not putting the cookies on a high shelf in the cupboard.”
Personally, I always wonder why comic strip mothers make all these cookies that apparently are not supposed to be eaten.
The kid’s parents are former urban hipsters who are used to taking the subway everywhere they go. Since moving to Crankshafttown, their mobility has been severely limited.
@90 I speak Jive:
Wegmans? Never heard of it. You made me look it up. Hmm. Headquartered in New York. No wonder we don’t see it in the South and Southwest.
Luann-“A name change here. A new identity there. Anything to throw those needy people off my trail.”
@Rube: Evil Always Wins Because Good is Dumb
@110 Ukulele Ike:
Don’t be surprised if a manuscript comes across your desk titled, “Ukulele Ike moves to Ohio” and subtitled, “Where everyone needs a car, the pizza is horrible and the favorite sport is cancer.”
Dick Tracy: “Dekashin’in Diamonds,” “Senseless Mahoney,” “J. Straightedge Trustworthy,” “Fuddonna”…. They just fed all the past Dick Tracy strips into ChatGPT and asked it to come up with the names from now on, right?
Hi and Lois: If sneaking cookies is a major sin, then a guy named “Chip” must be the devil. (Which makes sense… he encourages lust, gluttony and sloth, if only by example.)
— “There’s hardly any interaction between them.”
— “We don’t know their story. We can’t assume they’re unhappy.”
— “They haven’t spoken to each other.”
— “Ah, but does that mean there’s discontent?”
— “Well, I guess maybe complete silence is better than having the other person contradict every. damn. thing. you. say.”
— “I disagree.”
Yes, there used to be a whole genre of American hillbilly humor, which has fallen by the wayside. Li’l Abner was a Broadway musical, and even a movie musical, with more good-lookin’ wimmen per square inch than most movies you can think of. Watch for the throwaway gag with the pregnant gal trying to snare a husband in the Sadie Hawkins Day chase, which was taken straight from the comic strip.
The Beverly Hillbillies was just one of several TV shows with the emphasis on hill folk. There were even dramas, like The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. Possibly the high water mark was Fred MacMurray as a pollster looking for his vanished colleague in the comedy Murder, He Says, with Marjorie Main as the whip-cracking Ma Fleegle. All gone now. Maybe Deliverance killed the genre off. Only Snuffy Smith survives as a vestigial holdout.
@White Rabbit: And I am reminded of “Li’l Abner” the musical every time I hear Louisiana Senator John Kennedy.
“Jubilation T. Cornpone!”
BC: The title character is also the strip’s sole redhead, so it makes sense that he’d be the one to discover sunburn. Another milestone for the human race!
Dustin: It’s actually not a bad idea. I don’t know what it will do in terms of his romantic life, but street busking would give him a revenue stream while continuing to aggravate a father who richly deserves it.
GT: [I can’t figure you out. You have the discipline to learn our language for this meeting, yet you seem to believe that wisdom is equivalent to a gaudy taste in knuckle bling.]
Luann: Oh dear. Now that she’s Nil’s muse and Piro’s light Bernice will never be able to get her inflated head through the door.
MW: Amateurs think you can just meddle anyone. Pros know you have to look for the signs.
6C: And taking the gold for dirtiest sounding line in today’s comics…
@UncleJeff: Old tattered and torn pone!
Audiences now would be baffled trying to figure out why jokes were being made at the expense of these noble sons of toil. I mean, tons of soil. I meant, sons of the soil, of course.
Marvin could have been even more disgusting than the usual piles of shit today had Roy decided to shed himself of a little bit more.
Yes, I know you all thought about that and were hoping no one here would verbalize it.
Sorry about that.
Sherman’s Lagoon: The Cartoonists Guild’s rules are surprisingly strict about their members devoting at least one sequence per year to golf jokes, even if you have to turn your shark and crab characters into humans to get them to the links.
I think it must be awful to be a Family Circus writer.
Family Circus has writers?!? No Way, No How.
MW: I think somebody’s projecting. Or is several beers in. I hope he is so miffed by this that he feels the need to go up and confront them about it. I’m sure it’ll lead to a lovely evening.
DT – For all the strips faults and ignoring the possibility that they did this for the lulz and no other reason, I still salute the Dick Tracy ‘creative’ team for inserting a obvious drag performer into a strip that, though it likely will never be seen by children, is ostensibly positioned in an area of the media available to young people thereby taking a stance, of sorts, in the debate on the state of Drag-dragging in many State Capitols across the US. You Go Girls!
Mark Trail Mix: Everybody run, the homecoming bear has got a gun!
Remember that Seinfeld routine when he said the clothes drier is like a night club for socks? I’m trying to think of a real life sock situation to compare to this Six Chix Sock Yoga(?) class….puppet show training camp perhaps? That’s a real thing isn’t it?
Adult Children: Yesterday we spoke of check out clerks asking if we found everything okay. Here’s another question they may ask.
@Sequitur: Maybe they should hire the Survey Ladies from Animaniacs.
@White Rabbit: Yesm TVTropes has pages on once popular tropes and genres. It makes interesting cultural history:
The Beverly Hillbillies was just one of several TV shows with the emphasis on hill folk.
Also “The Real McCoys”.
Juggs Parker: I had an unironic laugh at today’s strip. Good job, Ces.
DT – Fergus dreams of Muddonna….
H&L – Jesus liked a regelach, now and then….
Adios Amigos, DJ.
Hi and Lois: Considering Ditto is apparently eating “Corkies” I think we can assume his punishment is coming soon enough.
Dick Tracy: Real talk, I read this feature every day, and nearly every day I have to hit back and read yesterday’s and try to piece together what’s going on. I find it extremely opaque, and that’s as someone who was in second grade when the Dick Tracy movie came out and was incredibly psyched about it. I have memories of graduating from Happy Meals to ordering whatever came with the most Dick Tracy movie tie-in scratch off games when we went to McDonald’s. I played and finished the Nintendo game. I have no idea what constitutes a long time Dick Tracy fan, but I feel if it excludes me, a middle aged man who has nostalgia for the property and a love for newspaper serials, the focus might be a little too narrow.
TL;DR Comics would be better if they made sure to appeal to me, specifically.
Dick Tracy, less seriously: Look, I’m sorry your girlfriend broke up with you, but finding ways to insert FU DONNA into your strip is just childish.
DT: What is this madness? (finally notices “Tracy is dreaming” note) Oho! That explains absolutely everything! Carry on! Actually, how is Tracy’s life any different from his dreams? I’m sure it’s all the same shade of WTF, all day, every day.
GT – “Milford, not L.A, because Milford is a dungheap to the top of which your kid could easily rise, but he hasn’t really got the chops for L.A.” is a really baller recruiting line.
JP – “Yeah, but Neddy and I were angels. Plus we brought a small fortune with us. Speaking of which, where is it?”
@Sequitur: Started in Rochester, NY! My hometown!
@129 Peanut Gallery:
I think I’ve seen those two in a store.
In the comic strip I think it’s hilarious they’re offering a banana to take the survey. If a lot of people take them up on that there will be banana peels all over the store and parking lot.
@138 George Eastman’s great-grand-super nephew:
@Garrison Skunk: Why do humans insist on pretending I don’t create this content?
As a former New York Stater relocated to the West, I really, really miss Wegmans. Guy who was repairing my A/C the other day mentioned that he’s originally from Rochester, and upon my telling him I’m practically his homeboy, he said “I miss Wegmans! Supermarkets out here SUCK!” I told him: “I spent my first year out here saying that, pal.”
Wegmans is consistently rated one of the top, if not THE top supermarket chain in the US. And I concur.
I have Safeway and King Soopers, which is just one of Kroger’s aliases. Neither holds a candle to Danny Wegman’s chain.
Usually I hear Mercedes McCambridge as Pazuzu when I read Dot’s lines. Today it’s Bea Arthur (“God will get you for that, Walter.”)
@George Eastman’s great-grand-super nephew: @astroboy: I remember my great-grandmother taking me to Wegmans in Hornell, NY in 1969 and the theme from “A Summer Place” by the Percy Faith Orchestra was playing over the PA system. Oh, and Gram drove a 1961 Chrysler 300 with a super loud horn.
LUANN – This is the narrative equivalent of when they introduce a new character who is based on a real person, and as a result the artwork doesn’t match the usual style.
Here, Piro has a carefully crafted narrative of woe. Nine younger siblings by the age of 14, five different dads, and I’m sure there is some crack smoking going on somewhere in that word balloon.
Meanwhile, over with the main cast, Luann is worried about using an electric shaver with a frayed cord, Gunther is worried that his mom won’t let him make snu-snu with his girlfriend, and Bwad can’t figure out how to put what where in order to start a family.
So, do we stuff Piro’s problems in a sack and move on from him after this week, or do the authors try to actually write for this character and his issues? And does this mean that Tara’s cousin with the vehicular manslaughter issues, and whatever issues have Bernice living at Casa De Groot, will be disinterred and addressed as well?
Luann/RMMD crossover: As Piro narrates his life story Mud Mountain Murphy softly strums his guitar in the background. Then they break into their version of “Poor Poor Miserable Me.”
@Avoiding the Madding Crowd: Nah, “Doom, Despair, and Agony On Me” from Hee Haw
Luann-“You think things are bad I’m the son of a thousand maniacs,” Freddy says wrapping a comforting arm around Piero.
Blondie-“Then get a job where the boss will constantly beat you over the smallest thing!”
Blondie This is a sweet time for the legacy cartoonists. They just have to pull out their jokes from 1974.
DT – That’s Sam Ketchum in drag, isn’t it? Oh dear god…
Beetle Bailey: Sarge sure likes to suck the stick.
Crank: If you’ve forgotten why everyone else picked their kids up in their cars today, to the point where the fact one set of parents didn’t is worthy of assholish comment, then no you didn’t because we were never given a reason.
Also, I’m usually infuriated that Ed never gets arrested for any of the many things he should be arrested for, but I’d be even more infuriated with weeks of morally outraged “A school bus driver can’t even take a kid out for an innocent ice cream without people saying it’s inappopriate, what’s the world coming to?” so please, Batty, let’s not do that.
FC: But clearly not far enough.
GT: It’s a nonsensical pitch, but it’s exactly the sort of nonsensical pitch Gil would have made, so I guess Barajas is writing Luke as “Gil’s equal but opposite rival” rather than “incompetent, ranting villain” today. I wonder if the coin will come up heads again tomorrow?
MT: Oh, hey, Jules has realised that all the stuff Jeter was saying about being protected by his bear friends doesn’t make any sense, and therefore Mark has suddenly realised it as well. Shame that means his primary source for this story is actually delusional, but I think we were all assuming that anyway.
Phantom: Seriously, though, if they weren’t going to release him because he’s one of the “bad” prisoners, why were they that close to his cell in the first place? Just to taunt him on the subject?
RMMD: Hooray, Mud gets to sing his new songs to someone who appreciates them, and Yvonne gets to smugly think “Yeah, the target audience for this stuff is actual babies, that makes sense.” Everybody wins!
@Tom T.: Phantom: Kit thinks these incompetents can put together a resistance movement? This one guy literally cannot walk down a hallway without stumbling into an obvious danger.
Not a guy, although I grant this fact isn’t nearly as obvious as we’ve come to expect in Manley-drawn strips.
DT – Dick better stop eating jalepenos before bedtime.
RMMD – Given the wreckage Mud has left strewn behind him, I think this entrepreneur is less interested in the songs for his children’s program and more that he’s found a real-life Baby Huey.
@astroboy: #142: Just don’t come to Texas and start trash talking the HEB stores. It’s as much a sacred cow down here as Blue Bell ice cream.
FC – The only thing worse than Jeffy’s hangover is his upcoming discovery that he’s got Dolly’s Mrs. Beasley in the sack with him.
@156 Guillermo el chiclero: Blue Bell Ice Cream? Wouldn’t touch it with a ten meter pole. Listeriosis isn’t an add-in for ice cream I eat.
// Come on, you left yourself open.
@cgj: I dunno. Dick Tracy: Rarebit Fiend might be fun
@brendancalling: Yeah, that guy is the Luann version of Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf (AKA Baghdad Bob), constantly showering the strip with praise no matter how lame its storyline. But in his defense, despite his weird tastes he’s actually a really nice guy and doesn’t flip out at criticism the way a lot of other trufans do, so I don’t like to rag on him too much. Him and I even get along reasonably well on GC despite our different outlooks.
DT: “Ohmigawd! They’re making references that would have worked over 30 years ago!”
“It’s a rerun from 2016…”
“Ohmigawd! They’re making references that would have worked 23 years before the strip was first printed!”
DT: I guess Fuddona because the real singer is a millionaire who owns a mansion and a yacht? But it’s still weird to think that in the DT universe one of the biggest hits of the 80s was Wike a Viwgin.
@Baja Gaijin: #158: Didn’t say Blue Bell was that great, just that down here a lot of people hold it in an almost saintly regard.
Dick Tracy will have jumped the shark (Jabberjaw) once Go Go Gomez makes an appearance. IMHO.
@Horace Broon: MT: Oh, hey, Jules has realised that all the stuff Jeter was saying about being protected by his bear friends doesn’t make any sense, and therefore Mark has suddenly realised it as well. Shame that means his primary source for this story is actually delusional, but I think we were all assuming that anyway.
I keep hoping the entire Jules “Mark Trail” treatment turns out to be a coma from which we all awaken, and it happens like this: Our own “vintage” Mark comes to in a 1940’s-style hospital room, with a nurse (in uniform with cap) holding his wrist and Cherry, Doc, and Mutant Rusty hovering nearby.
MARK: WHAT th’?!
CHERRY: Oh, Mark! We’ve been so worried! You’ve been in a coma for weeks! Thank goodness you’re okay!
DOC DAVIS: You’ll be back at Lost Forest in no time! We’ll have flapjacks!
MUTANT RUSTY: Can we go fishing? And, look, Mark, the doctor let us bring Andy and Sassy to visit you!
DOCTOR: WELL, WELL! Look who decided to wake up!
NURSE: I’ll get a male aide to help Mr. Trail get dressed!
Male aide enters. He is bald, except for long sideburns, mustache, and beard. His beefy neck has rolls. As he approaches Mark’s bedside, he smiles, but his eyes hold a suspicious leer. Mark’s hand involuntarily closes into a Right Fist o’ Justice….
About God forgiving Ditto:
There’s this saying “God will forgive me, that’s his job, after all”. I’ve heard it attributed to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenaur, but apparently it totally predates him:
@Avoiding the Madding Crowd: @Rube: I vote for “Yakety Sax.”
@Voshkod: I’d rather see “Dick Tracy meets Little Sammy Sneeze.“
@Charterstoned: re MT: If only….
@Sequitur: Yes, it’s east coast, mid-Atlantic states.
@astroboy: I first heard of Wegmans when I was on a work trip to Wilkes-Barre. A few of us checked out the store, and it immediately became my favorite store. I hoped that the company would put a store in my area, and a few years later I was overjoyed when the new store was built only a couple of miles from my house. I do most of my grocery shopping there.
@Ukulele Ike: Dick Tracy and Terry and the Pirates!
Ziggy-Ziggy’s dining at The Bum Boat.
Blondie – This isn’t a joke. This is just 2023.
Dick Tracy – Fearless Fosdick is sporting either an extra mustache or extra eyebrows. Whichever the case, I don’t support it.
The Lockhorns – Alternate caption: “Why am I here?” Note that this works for every Lockhorns comic with a third character.
@I speak Jive: Wegman’s opened their first NC store in 2019, to the delight of all the relocated Yankees here. Their opening day had record attendance, with a reported 30,000 shoppers! I didn’t shop there for a few months, waiting for the crowds to lessen. When I finally did, I was pleasantly surprised by the reasonable prices and the large selection of products. The store shelving arrangement has stayed the same here, at least for the items I look for, since they opened. I’m not sure I’ve even seen everything yet. I now shop there fairly regularly, since it’s only a block from Costco and in the same complex as Trader Joes, so it’s easy to add a stop there too.
@Peanut Gallery: Based on the shapes and contours, I’m leaning toward R. Crumb, but I suspect that this would be beneath his dignity.
@brendancalling: That’s the comment of the year. It’s like they read some entirely different strip from the rest of us. That second panel is “brilliant prose?” It reads like a nervous elevator pitch for a non-fiction story more than an actual story in and of itself, where the solicitor forgets what they’re talking about halfway through and starts reciting shitty goth poetry.
What became unbearable? Why did this escape efforts fail? How did Piro find the time or finances to enroll in two different colleges while supposedly caring for (and then seemingly abandoning?) nine other children and possibly an infirm parent? Seriously, you can’t even tell from this whether Piro’s severely-stroked mom is still alive or not.
It would be excessively charitable to call this empty garbage “mediocre.” To hear someone calling it “brilliant” is just dismaying.
@89 Sequitur: Whaddaya think? She tried passing through three times…
@Baja Gaijin: what’s that in her head in the second one? An alien egg?
Once Mary implants into you you’re done for.
@177 Ukranazi Stepan: It’s a baked turkey. A Thanksgiving turkey to be precise. She tried disguising herself; it didn’t work–the machine knew it was her.
@Ukranazi Stepan: You don’t recognize Turkey Head from the Silent Royale series?
(Warning : this is just MY interpretation of things, it could be completely off the mark)
What became unbearable?
Having to be the caretaker of a large family at age 14. So he quit and abandoned them.
Why did this escape efforts fail?
Oh, he successfully left them. By “try to escape”, and hinting it didn’t work, he meant he felt (very slightly) guilty about leaving his family
to diebehind, but more importantly he was alone and homeless. So Bernice “saved” him by making him forget about his family, and also by letting him (very grudgingly) crash at her place.
How did Piro find the time or finances to enroll in two different colleges […]?
Remember, Luann’s college is a community junior college that probably has free attendance (would YOU pay for Mrs Horner’s or Prof Zebo’s classes?). Mooney U. is a bigger question mark, because the ENTIRE REASON the cast got split up is that to be able to attend Mooney U., you either had to be fabulously wealthy (Tiffany) or have excellent grades to get a scholarship (Bernice)
(neither of which Luann had, so off to the fake college with sub-kindergarten classes for her). Granted, none of the many dormmates and fellow students we’ve seen have EVER fit that model, but it still is weird Piro turns out to be a deranged homeless drifter after all. It would have made more sense if he was a rich kid without a major (and who constantly crashes at his on-campus friends’ places) who dresses kinda sloppy.
Seriously, you can’t even tell from this whether Piro’s severely-stroked mom is still alive or not.
The best part is how the strip, from the first mention of Robin Starr (that’s her name, see here : https://www.gocomics.com/luann/2023/02/22) seems to think SHE’S the bad guy in all this. How dare she, constantly spawning kids without finding a steady man, and then being struck with a sudden debilitating illness at a young age, and requiring her older kids to take care of the younger ones!?
@Anonymous: Her status is very consistent with the Evanses world view. She suffered because of her promiscuity, and she is an evil person, so, of course, her disability is going to be a burden on her pure-hearted child.
Dick Tracy is stealing an obscure Tiny Toon Adventures gag
So bring on the talking chicken already so they can do the “Dick Tracy”…”Chick Tracy”…no relation ” bit.
@Voshkod: That works. But “Tracy and Everett True“ would beat it all to bits. Which one would be the first to rip the shit out of the Bad Guys?
I can just guess how Tracy would deal with those windy corner rubber-necks.
@Ukranazi Stepan: Like a vi(w)gin. Touched fo(w) the ve(w)y fi(w)st time.
If you’re bringing in an Elmer Fudd / Madonna hybrid, your comic audience is…something else. I’m frankly not sure.
People who proudly display their “Pinky,Elmira, Wilbur Weston,and the Brain” complete series DVD box set.
@Lord_Flatulence: @Ukranazi Stepan: @pugfuggly: I’m shocked that no one’s opted for “Justify My Wuv.”
@Anonymous: (What became unbearable?) “Having to be the caretaker of a large family at age 14.”
That just loops back to the question again. What specifically about being that caretaker became unbearable? You, I, and probably even luann1212 could imagine and write out possible answers for that question. The problem is that we have to in order for the story to even begin to function. The writer is passing their duties on to the audience. What irritates me is that neither the Evanses nor the Trufans seem to realize this. (In fact, the only thing that ever seems to ruffle the Trufans’ feathers is when Luann herself is impugned as the clear villain or butt of the joke. That’s a loyalty any writer could do without.)
@176 Baja Gaijin:
Well whadayaknow. Dave’s related to Mary Worth.
@188 Sequitur: Damnit! I forgot to modify the caption. That thing’s pretty sensitive–it even detected the Giant Floaty Head.
@189 Baja Gaijin:
It’s always great to have a Giant Floaty Head as kinfolk. It breaks the ice at parties. *nudge nudge wink wink*
Since Baja released the Thanksgiving turkey in his mashup, it’s time to release 8 Surprising Foods That Taste Like Thanksgiving.
H&L – Thursty’s miraculous manifestation is his ability to turn beer into urine.
@jroggs: “Know” is a perfectly acceptable translation of the Hebrew. The problem is that the Biblical Hebrew word for “know” has “has sex with” as one of its plain meanings, and it doesn’t carry over without a wink and a nod.
The current Dick Tracy arc is a rerun from like 2016 or so. Some of the commenters at GoComics have been comparing the work of the coloring service then and now.
Why does Fuddonna have four fingers and a thumb? Is that the answer to this Minute Mysery?
LUANN: YUCCCKKK. *steps outside to toss her cookies*
Tiny Toons sure was.. something, wasn’t it.