Archive: 9 Chickweed Lane

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Mark Trail, 8/11/23

OK, so we’re retconning Mark and his Dad Happy into the February Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine Ohio, taking substantial liberties with the facts as we go. Mark provoked Ohio Senator Smalls (not N&S CEO Alan H. Shaw) with a couple inflammatory “isn’t it true” type questions, even implying that the derailment was intentional. Smalls escalated by accusing Mark of inciting a riot and ordered the cops to arrest him. Mark and Happy beat up a couple of the cops and are now on the lam courtesy of Rex Scorpius, his model/race driver/activist/Mom Sally, and (his? their?) sweet 1976–1981 vintage Pontiac Firebird. A little bridge-jumping, a few campfire stories, a week of Varroa mite bee colony collapse exposition, and here we are.

So assault and battery with an enhancement for assaulting a police officer for Mark and Happy, accessory after the fact for Rex and Sally, assorted traffic violations for Rex, then back to the mites. Sure hope they don’t impound the Firebird. The cops, I mean, not the mites. They’re bad, but they’re not that bad!

9 Chickweed Lane, 8/11/23

I was educated in Catholic schools before heading off to Georgetown. So I’m familiar with the mystique surrounding nuns that 9 Chickweed Lane exploited so successfully before beginning its long decline. Distant, enigmatic, and with authority drawn from God Himself, YOU DO NOT MESS WITH THE NUNS and we children all knew it.

Alas, Sister Gwen here has messed with Top Nun Sister Steven, nicknamed “Sister Caligula” by young Amos and Edda. We see Gwen “confessing” her “sin” by griping that the old bat made her feel bad. The priest “absolves” her by minimizing her offence and complaining that the old bat made him feel bad, too. Apparently nobody has any idea how this sacrament works, and they’ll all wind up in Hell, by mistake.

Gil Thorp, 8/11/23

Relationship Week continues with a little impromptu marriage counselling from Girls’ Softball Coach Cami Ochoa. Say, Gil’s getting around a lot these days, isn’t he? Bartender Bethany, mysterious airplane companions, Cami here. And we’re supposed to be worried about Mimi? But I bet Gil’s voice rose two octaves on “…FRIENDS?” watching Ericka “correct” Mimi’s “stance.”

The Wizard of Id, 8/11/23

Even without seeing his face you know that’s Bung.

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—Uncle Lumpy

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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