Archive: Cleats

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Cleats, Ziggy, and Mary Worth, 12/11/08

Cleats has spent the last few weeks introducing Svanhildur, aka “Swan Battle,” aka “the Gunk of Cleats.” I would like to believe that I don’t actually follow Cleats closely enough to notice when new characters are introduced, but I’m afraid that idea has now been conclusively disproven. Anyway, Edith mocks the idea that swan battles are part of everyday experience; however, my understanding is that swans are merely fancy elitist geese, and geese are — I know this from living for several years near Lake Merritt in Oakland, which was lousy with them — nasty, aggressive birds willing to do battle on the innocent and the helpless with little or no provocation. Take Lynn and her totally innocent, never-got-a-fingerbang-from-him-no-sir friend Greg, feeding these ungrateful parasites in today’s flashback frame. Lynn’s dad was mad at Greg for taking Lynn away from her skating practice; Greg’s parents, on the other hand, were mad at Lynn for fleeing the scene in terror while the savage swans pecked their poor son to death.

The swan in Ziggy, meanwhile, only does battle with the dignity of birds everywhere. Its obscenely lolling tongue is particularly unsettling. Ziggy is right to manifest his patented Undereye Bags Of Horror in response.

Gil Thorp, 12/11/08

I really do keep waiting for this to turn out to be a continuation of the wacky tale of Jeff “Sacko” “6-9” “That kid who lied about his heart condition” Ponczak and Matt the Hat and Marty Moon and … you know, football season, this ostensibly being a comic about sports and all, but I’m coming around to the idea that maybe we’re firmly planted in a brave new plot of NUT BOY and armed robbery and now, two snobby prep school refugees washing up on Milford’s poverty-blighted shores! Our snooty transfer twins will be just like 90210′s Brandon and Brenda, except oppositely socially mobile, and one of them is named “Bryce” instead of “Brandon”, and they’ll probably be roped into participating in some kind of athletic activity. Perhaps Bryce will complain loudly about Milford’s lack of a polo team or yachting squad.

Beetle Bailey, 12/11/08

Yeah, lady, I’m sure this seems like a good idea now, but just wait until the beatings start.

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Cleats, 11/6/08

This is Cleats! I almost never talk about it, except when it becomes a scene of nightmarish horror; but, seeing as it’s ostensibly a good-natured, light-hearted look at the world of youth athletics, that happens more than you’d think. Anyhoo, Edith there is a slightly bookish young lady who enjoys goaltending and fencing. She has terrifying, inhuman mouth-parts that she uses to feed on soccer balls, and rotting flesh.

Pluggers, 11/6/08

You know you’re an impoverished plugger when you live in an apartment so tiny that your can barely fit your legs between your TV stand and your chair, which is just as well seeing as you can’t afford any other furniture. Also, you know you’re an impoverished plugger when you’d like to eat your cat, but you can’t move quickly enough to catch him because you’re weak and keep fainting, because of the hunger. At least this poor bastard hasn’t had to resort to the ultimate plugger indignity: hocking his television.

Mark Trail, 11/6/08

“Raccoons like to wander a lot … around in nature! That’s because they’re wild animals! They don’t care a whit about you, or your family! You’re lucky Sneaky managed to ‘sneak’ out, or else he probably would have ‘snuck’ into your room at night and bit you on the face, for no reason!”

Also, I challenge you all to use the phrase “That will make it easier to chain to a log” in casual conversation today.

Shoe, 11/6/08

“Also, I’m old and dying! So the future can pretty much bite me, you know what I’m saying?”

Psst! If you’re interested in discussing the election, this would be a good place to do it.

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Family Circus, 7/12/08

Since the America-hating ACLU prevents the Keane kids from forcibly saving the souls of their classmates during school hours, and no other children voluntarily spend time with them outside of the classroom, they’re left with only one target for their relentless soul-saving agenda: their pets. While their attempts to wash away the sins of their demon-spawn cat went horribly awry, Dolly is thinking that they might have better luck with the dogs. I urge Barfy and Sam to surrender their lives to Christ with a minimum of resistance, as the Keanes’ exorcism techniques have been known to destroy the body in order to save the soul.

(Speaking of the Family Circus, thanks to the many, many readers who sent me a link to this fabulous panel from the ’80s, in which Ma Keane imagines Dolly being hunted for sport.)

Mark Trail, 7/12/08

I admit to being strangely unmoved by the current Mark Trail storyline, despite the fact that it consists almost entirely of Kelly Welly being foolish again. But the prospect of a joint moose/megabeaver attack on Kelly’s hapless assistant, who will scream for help while Kelly snaps gruesome photo after gruesome photo for her new When Animals Kill column, does perk my interest up a bit. Don’t disappoint me, forest beasts! Do your worst!

Cleats, 7/12/08

I was moved to break my long silence on Cleats by the installment in which the genial children’s strip suddenly took a page from a nightmarish Harlan Ellison story. I assumed, naturally, that it couldn’t get any worse and I could get back to ignoring it, but that was before the hungry, sinister carrion eaters arrived, determined to begin picking the flesh off the still-living soccer ball as it lies roasting in the hot sun.