Archive: 9 Chickweed Lane

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Gil Thorp, 8/29/22

Seems its new author is transforming Gil Thorp from one of newspaper comics’ few remaining sports strips into a full-blown soaper, and at breakneck speed.

In just five weeks, we’ve seen Gil ambiguously flirt with Barkeep Bethany and mysterious blonde “Ms. Holmes,” and Coach Ms. Coach Thorp disappear with the kids on the one weekend Gil would be in town, explaining (?) that “I need Coach Gil to be more at home sometimes.” Luke Martinez, new coach at Valley Tech, is a thoroughgoing jackass who drunkenly insults Gil in a bar, libels him in a Marty Moon podcast, compulsively brags about his own athletic, coaching, and intellectual prowess, and here humiliates his teenage son (“Haha! Dad! Haha! You asshole!”). His wife Francesca humblebrags about being “just a heart surgeon” and subtly negs Mimi about being a “stay-at-home mom.” All the ingredients of an explosive melodrama!

Hey, maybe instead of the Homecoming celebration we’ll get an emotional bonfire this fall!

Crankshaft, 8/29/22

Let me save you a couple brain cells looking for a joke here: searching “kids play servers” will get you mostly family-friendly Minecraft sites, and “restaurants where the waitstaff also babysits” are very rare, imagine that.

My real interest here is Max and Hannah’s car. I get a strong “1996 Hyundai Accent” vibe, which fits their “failed movie theater entrepreneurs living with his parents” demographic. The odd thing is, everybody in Centerville and Westview seems to drive the exact same car. Check out Crankshaft himself, Ralph Meckler, and the Winkerbeans:

Crankshaft, 7/10/22 and 7/9/18; Funky Winkerbean, 8/24/22 (panels)

Did they get some sort of group discount? Was it part of Hyundai’s Rust-Belt marketing strategy? Do they pass cars back and forth between the strips? Does the Ohio UAW’s “Buy American” office know about this? Maybe they all just share one car? That last one wouldn’t surprise me; I mean none of them is going anywhere.

Curtis, 8/29/22

Free availability of an essential good mitigates absolute poverty but ruins local suppliers and distorts unrelated markets as families reallocate spending. Next up: “Ma, the rent is too damn high for no good reason,” brought to you by Ray Billingsley and Thomas Sowell.

9 Chickweed Lane, 8/29/22

When these two aren’t talking about sex, they’re talking about nothing. It’s an improvement!

–Uncle Lumpy

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Dick Tracy, 9/2/21

So this guy who may or may not be “Little” Notting a.k.a Ace of Spades snuck into Apparatus HQ with a plan for world domination using Diet Smith’s Time Drone. The Apparatus can be the first to steal it! Of course that won’t do any good, since the second outfit to steal it will send it right back in time to foil the original theft!

I can’t wait for Diet Smith’s press conference to be interrupted by an endless parade of stolen Time Drones, all crashing into one another and dropping to the floor, burying Diet under an enormous pile of broken Time Drones until he cancels the presser so the first Time Drone is never introduced. At that point, of course, the whole pile of stolen drones will disappear, leaving Diet sitting alone on the floor with a busted cigar in his mouth and a stupid look on his face. That’s the way this stuff works, right?

Daddy Daze, 9/2/21

Aw, Daddy wants to make sure Angus eats his vegetables!

Baby Blues, 9/2/21

Yes, Wanda—but you’re the one who chose the mullet. And from appearances, Darryl’s still wearing it; it’s just on backwards.

And OK, I know this will be a back-to-school “Zoe runs for class president” arc, but may we please have “The Press digs into Wanda’s past” next? Please? I’m sure it’s a treasure trove of erotic depravity.

Speaking of which, did we miss the Wedding of the Century?

9 Chickweed Lane, 9/1/21 (panel)

There you go. Now on to the important stuff:

9 Chickweed Lane, 9/2/21

I guess we won’t get to see if Seth’s ex Mark is bawling his eyes out in a back pew, throwing Seth’s clothing out his apartment window, or waiting in a red Alfa Duetto just outside.

Judge Parker, 9/2/21

A pattern is emerging in Judge Parker. Once a building—Sophie’s kidnap house, Neddy’s factory, Abbey’s Bed and Breakfast— outlives its usefulness it blows up, sinks into the earth, or burns down. Cavelton urban renewal! Abbey’s just upset that the job hasn’t been properly done: it is just so damn hard to find good help these days!

Josh’s favorite Salmon Square!

— Uncle Lumpy

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Gil Thorp, 8/26/19

Four months later …

“Thanks, Marty — and I have to say, the Mudlarks really earned this championship! The season started rough when Sam Finn came back sick from his volunteer work in rural Haiti, but once he got out of the hospital his enthusiasm infected the whole team. We lost our running game, but at the slower pace of play our offense was unstoppable — I’ve never seen such a single-minded, determined group of kids. And they kept reminding themselves to play smart by yelling ‘BRAAAAAINS’ in the huddle. It really threw their opponents off! Pius X tried a completely ineffective crucifix-and-garlic defense; they must’ve thought they were playing some other team. New Thayer’s Crossbow-T formation gave us a lot more trouble, but our guys ate into their line until they came around. Well, heading off to the team dinner — they say they have a surprise for me!”

9 Chickweed Lane and Baby Blues, 8/26/19

Amos and Edda haven’t figured out whether they’re going to approach her pregnancy with a) cutie-pie relationship twaddle, b) vomit jokes, or c) yet more sex. Darryl and Wanda know the drill.

Mark Trail, 8/26/19

I will be very happy if Mark’s next adventure is tracking down and punching out some anonymous troll who torments Rusty online, so long as it’s not me.

— Uncle Lumpy