Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Nyah, Nyah Sally!

Well, I hate to say "I told you so" to Sally . . . Primarily because, you know, she's a FICTIONAL. CARTOON. CHARACTER, and maybe I shouldn't feel all holier than thou towards someone who lives in a world with a gray foreground (and how much do I love that today's foreground is a guy with a dog in an E-collar? Very much!). HOWEVER: Sally, I TOLD YOU SO!!! She couldn't keep the bad news from Hilary forever. I'm sure Hilary got suspicious once they went to the emergency vet. I predict Kitty comes out of this ordeal OK. Cats have nine lives, you know. The Forths are pretty abominable cat owners, but they can't have used up all her lives.

How long do you think they've had her? One year. But it's the same year over and over, because this is one of those "timeless" strips. For the non-aging strips, it's like Groundhog Day, but it lasts all year. They have the same year over and over and over again -- the men forget Valentines, the family dyes Easter eggs, the kids mess up breakfast in bed for mom on Mother's Day, they give dad a hideous tie on Father's Day, they shoot off fireworks on July 4th, overdo hamburgers on Labor Day (and Memorial Day, too, come to think of it), go back to school, are visited by the Great Pumpkin, fall asleep after Thanksgiving dinner, get tangled up in Christmas lights, drink too much on New Year's . . . AND START ALL OVER AGAIN.

Yo brah, Jeffy's got some dope pants, rap-dawgs:


Where does Jim Davis get ideas for his "extras?" Find out here.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Another Vomit Comic

If you read today's (Sunday's) Sally Forth, you saw that the Forths were on their way to Blockbuster to rent a movie. Did you think they forgot about sick Kitty? Considering their pet owner skilz, it's entirely possible. But, in reality, the Sunday strips aren't usually tied to the weekly strips, and we will have to wait to find out the latest in the Kitty saga. But, the story as it now stands:

Ah! Cat VOMIT! I own two cats, how did I not think of VOMIT as a viable outcome to this situation? (this following shortly after the Hi & Lois vomit comic). Sadly, after all this buildup, we don't get to see the vomit (although Ted seems to be describing it much as he would the "fish that got away." "It was thiiiiiiis big."). Nor, do we get to see poor, sick Kitty. Not that I'm advocating that we should, but . . . just wondering how such a family-friendly happy strip would show a sick pet. I'm sure it would involve dizzy lines around the head, with stars, and maybe even X's in the place of Kitty's eyes.

But I do love the Forths' reaction shots. Especially Sally's. She's got her hand to mouth, and has a very demure "Oh, my!" look going on.

Sally is instictively protecting Hillary from bad news by sending her upstairs on an errand while Sally calls the vet. So, is she going to keep Hillary occupied throughout the sick Kitty ordeal? Kitty's clearly not well, and Hillary may need to hear some bad news. Even if it's just "bring the cat in overnight." Sally can't hide bad news forever.

Finally, I'd like to point out that they found the (indoor) cat in a corner of the basement. Exactly how hard did they look for her, again? They started by looking in the yard, which made absolutely no sense. Do not call the Forths if you lose your pet.

And, oh yeah, Sally's got a snappy pink cell phone face plate. That's dope, brah.

Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Still No Kitty

Not much time to post tonight, but I did promise Kitty updates:

No Hillary, she left because you people negelcted her!!! And what secrets might Kitty tell, hmmmm? This intrigues me as much as anything else in this storyline. Will Sally Forth turn in to a "talking pet" comic ala Garfield, Mutts, and Peanuts??? Is this a way to easing us into thinking of Kitty as the main character? Starting next week, Kitty tells us the Forths' deepest secrets. Really? What are they? Ted and Sally are into S&M?

There's a rumor afoot (well, only on this blog as far as I know) that perhaps Kitty is off having kittens. As pointed out, that means we won't have Kitty's corpse as an upcoming frame, but does not negate the Forths' absolute lack of responsibility. In fact, I will go so far as to say it ADDS to their irresponsibility. They didn't get her fixed? Well, okay, I guess. But she never goes past the patio. When did she get knocked up? Did she and Tom Cat just do it right there? Entirely possible, but where were the Forths when all this was going on?

Remember this terrible "street slang" from Gil Thorpe?

Well, I gotta believe that Aaron McGruder is seeing straight through that:

HA HA HA! Take that Gil Thorpe, brah! Gil is sudsy, yo! Peace out, and don't be a playa hata!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Kitty Update

1) Ted asks, "Have you found Kitty yet?" Question: Why did Ted stop looking? He was looking for Kitty in the back yard yesterday. Why did he give up and abdicate this task to Sally?

2) Kitty has never stepped a foot beyond the patio, so they think they are going to have to look for her inside. If she's never been outside, why didn't they START LOOKING INSIDE first? Great Dane! I thought they were bad pet-finders yesterday. Now, I just think they are morons.

3) "Punchline": "We may need to prepare ourselves for a series of unpleasant discoveries." Word. This can't come out well for us, the readers:

Kitty may be alive and trapped somewhere. They are going to come across a nice pile of Kitty poop (as WoodrowFan obsereved, "Poop elves!"). And, not to get too sidetracked, but why was the empty litter box their clue that Kitty was missing? What about her full bowl of food? They do feed her, don't they?

Anyway, finding a pile of poop is one unpleasant possibility. Let me just say that I am not above a little potty humor from time to time. I like to think I am sophisticated and "above" that. But, not. To wit -- the two members of my household: listen to NPR, read the Sunday New York Times, read "Great Books," and attend on-campus lectures given by famous geneticists. Also, at any mention of Russian President Vladimir Putin we make fart noises and giggle. Putin! BRAAAAAP. Hee hee HA HA! What smells? (besides increasingly heavy-handed state control of the Russian media?) Who cut the cheese??

So, I'm thinking some potty humor in Sally Forth could be pretty funny, I'm just curious how this will be presented. Will the pile of poop have wavy "bad aroma" lines coming out of it? Will it be steaming? Will the Forths have little dizzy marks around their heads, accompanied by stars -- to show how putrid the smell is?

Of course, the other possibility is that they find Kitty dead somewhere. I don't really have a very good "dead pet cat" sense of humor. So, I'm not sure I'll find that as funny as a big pile of cat shit. Why would they kill off Kitty? I remember when the dog in For Better or For Worse died several years ago. But FBOFW is one of those strips where the characters age, so it only made sense for one of the dogs to pass on to the happy hunting grounds. The characters don't age in Sally Forth (as evidenced by, among other things, Sally's 1980s hair and the 1980s glasses of her co-worker). So why does Kitty have to die?

While I still welcome more Marmaduke theories (they have been a hoot to read), I think we can call off the search, because we have the winner. First, some of the new theories I have discarded:

1) "They both have their mouths open. How do you know it's not Marmaduke saying, "It's lunchtime." So, really he's just being lazy in bed all day, and making her bring his lunch. Why do we just assume it's the lady saying "It's lunchtime."?"

--- hmm. I assumed that because humans generally have the power of speech and dogs don't, that it was the woman speaking. Still, this is an interesting theory.

2) "This is a meta-statement to anyone reading their comic page at lunch time. You read it. It says "It's lunch time." And you think, "Ha! It is indeed lunch time! How funny!"

3) "Marmaduke has been beheaded and left in the bed, much like the horse in The Godfather, but in reverse. She hasn't discovered it yet, and the next panel would be the shock, disgust & horror. Like in Reservoir Dogs where the camera cuts away before the policeman's ear is severed."

But the winner is . . . Drum Roll please . . . submitted by Shawn Roberts:

"She's planning to eat him for lunch. It's a warning, not an announcement. "Your life is over." This makes Marmaduke feel sick inside. Or perhaps he's faking illness so she won't want to eat him anymore. "

HA HA HA HA! Ha. Awesome. This is it, I know it for sure. It's like Misery with Marmaduke in the James Caan role, and the unnamed woman (we've been talking about her for several days now -- does ANYONE know her name??) in the Kathy Bates role. She is keeping him there in bed, trapped, unable to go anywhere . . . just waiting for "lunch time." Every lunch time, she eats just a little more of his flesh. His body. His soul. (OK, so Kathy Bates didn't EAT James Caan in Misery, but still . . .)

Look at that comic again. Look at the abject horror and pain on Marm's face. Look at the seemingly innocent lady. Now think that she's coming in to eat a little bit of him. HA HA HA!


Kitty updates as they come in.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Next: The Forths Join the Search for Osama

You're going to have to bear with me until the Forths find out what happened to Kitty. I'm the loving owner of two darling cats. I'd never label myself a "cat person," but I sure do love the two I live with. Needless to say, the length of time the Forths let slip before noticing Kitty's absence disturbs me somewhat, and, therefore, we will see this through to the end!

The Forths are the worst pet-finders ever! They are all about two feet from each other while searching for Kitty. What they need to do is widen the search perimeter. Someone, probably Sally, needs to go all Marshal Sam Gerard on the family:

"Alright, listen up, people. Our fugitive has been on the run for a 'few days.' Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is 4 miles-per-hour. That gives us a radius of about 160 miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive's name is Kitty. Go get her."

But instead, they all just hang out close enough to hold hands, and yell out "Kitty," which brings another random cat. Then, they sit there and contemplate the new cat, which, I guess is not that big a deal. Kitty's been gone for a few days now, it's not like another 15 minutes is really going to matter.

Now Sally's concern is that they should have come up with a more original name. Like this is what the problem is. THEY DIDN'T NOTICE THE CAT WAS MISSING FOR SEVERAL DAYS. THEY PROCEEDED TO STAND IN THEIR BACKYARD AND CALL THE CAT. They are TERRIBLE pet-searchers, and the least of their problems is the cat's name! Sheesh.

Monday, May 23, 2005

More Dead Pet Humor

Shortly after Marmaduke looks possibly deathly ill (update below), we see that the Forths have misplaced their cat -- for a "few days." Kitty is possibly decomposing in a cabinet or corner somewhere. HA HA HA! Sick and dying pets. . . there's nothing funnier.

Of course, it's possible Kitty's not dead, just missing. Again, for a "few days." The Forths have been too busy planning their visit to Gay Paree to care for their pets. This is good stuff for the kids, right here.

Also, what the heck does Ted mean when he says, "The elves got tired of just making shoes?" Clearly, he is "joking" that elves have been cleaning the litter box. I know there is a "joke" (a cribbed Ziggy, natch) about "car key gnomes" or "sock elves." These are the mysterious gremlins that misplace your stuff. But according to Ted, the Forths' elves actually MAKE SHOES. So, this has me wondering if the Forths have random pairs of shoes just showing up at their house.

Sally: "Ah, look at that strappy Manolo satin sandal."
Ted: "Seems like the elves are at it again."

Hillary: " COOOL! Sketchers!"
Sally: "Those elves again?"

Marmaduke theory update: Well, you can read the comments at the post below (including, the Marmaduke man has Marmaduke's head, Marmaduke is scared of the mailman, and this is code for the vet).

I've also gotten some emails with other theories, including "He's sleeping late -- all the way till lunch. Like a teenager. You know how they are impossible to wake up. HA HA."

Also, "That's Marmaduke's evil twin. He is lying in wait, a la the wolf in Little Red Ridinghood. He is going to maul and maim that woman."

Finally, "Marmaduke must have had a tummy ache and the woman jokingly tells him that it is time to eat. knowing he is about to vomit from eating too much already."

HA HA HA HA to all of the above.

These theories are great, and please, keep sending them (comment or email to bigalscomicblog@yahoo.com). I enjoy reading them, and will share them. However, in all honesty, I'm still no closer to knowing what's really going on here. It's frustrating.


Mr. Dithers reports the J.C. Dithers Corp quarterly earnings (it's good news).

Miss Buxley wonders about the General and Mrs. Halftrack's sex life (not so good news).

Sunday, May 22, 2005

No Clue

It's a disheartening thing. I did not understand yesterday's Marmaduke:

I think not understanding Marmaduke is a sign of . . . something. Reduced mental capacity? Head injury? Early onset Alzheimers? See, normally, the thing is I UNDERSTAND the dumb comics, I just don't think they are funny. Even when I feel I'm not getting the whole story (like the "vomiting" Hi & Lois), I think I see what the creator is trying to do (in the H&L instance, I think the joke was that little boys don't like girls, and teenage boys do). Bu this Marmaduke has me stumped.

Is he sick? He doesn't look well, that's for sure. Is that why he's tucked into bed? Is the point that he's so sick that he doesn't go galloping in for his food like usual? If he's that sick (I mean, sick enough to be tucked away in BED!!!), why doesn't she just bring his lunch to him? But, even if that's it, what's funny about that? Are miserably sick pets funny? I've never thought so, but I could re-evaluate. HA HA! Next week, Marmaduke gets put to sleep! HA HA.

I can't even think of any more theories. Standing by to accept possible theories. Comment here or email at bigalscomicblog@yahoo.com I'll review the best theories over the course of the week. Honestly, I don't get this one, and have nothing more to say about it. I'm baffled.


Hagar's a cheap bastard, and his creator is a lazy one. Helga has the details here.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Next up: It's FUN when Mothers-in-Law Visit!

A never-ending source of hilarity in the comics is the disarray of a teenager's bedroom. Strewn socks, taped up posters of rock bands, empty soda cans . . . and of course a "Keep Out!" sign, often with skull and crossbones for effect. I would say that the "joke" surrounding a parent trying to get a teenager to clean up his/her room is one of the Top 10 Cribbed Ziggies.

But, then, here's today's Hi and Lois:

A neat room! A perfectly made bed (with dust ruffle!)! A nicely framed landscape painting! What next?? Eight year olds watching golf? I must thank Helga for pointing this out. She mentioned that it looks like a guest bedroom, but why the "Keep Out" sign? ARGH!!! Is it love that makes Chip keep his room neat? Maybe he invited the girl over and straightened up beforehand. But why the landscape painting??? Why??? ARGH!! It is Bizarro World.

I am very indebted to Helga for pointing this out to me. I completely overlooked the guest bedroom feel to Chip's room when I read this comic this morning. I was just too confused by the rest of it. Now, I am guessing the point is that a teenage boy starts to have certain "feelings" towards a girl, while a little boy still thinks girls are gross. I think that's the joke here.

But, still . . . Ditto asks if Chip is in love, and Lois says Chip doesn't know what love is. So Ditto says "love means always feeling like you have to throw up." WHAT??????? What? Chip doesn't look like he has to throw up. He looks like he has to laze around and strum moony love songs on his guitar, but throw up?? What? Is Chip bulimic? Is the girl? Did Ditto catch them purging together?

And why is he coming to tell Chip his thoughts on "what love is?" Instead of TELLING Chip what he thinks love is, shouldn't he be ASKING Lois what it is? I mean, what makes Ditto think he knows more about love than Chip? What makes Ditto the expert? Has Ditto ever been in love?? Did it make him feel like he had to throw up?




Sorry for all the yelling. On to better things:

See what happens when a local cleric visits Hagar.

And, speaking of our friend Helga, find out what's got her down.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Real World

When I was little, I actually thought that mice lived in the baseboards behind arch-shaped openings.

Then we rented this house that actually had mice, and my mother freaked out. My dad set traps for them and I was all upset. I remember he had to tell me, "Alethea, they aren't cute like the mice in Cinderella. They are dirty." Awww. I was disappointed -- I thought they might band together and make me a dress for the ball!

Mice are, indeed, vermin. And yet they are a staple of cartoons (strips and animation). We indoctrinate our kids to love Mickey and Minnie, to cheer Cinderella's friends, to admire the power of Mighty Mouse. Then, just as they are programmed to love and cherish precious little mice, we tell them mice are DIRTY and NASTY. And we set traps to poison them or lop off their heads! (The mice, not the children.) HA HA HA little kids, mice aren't cute! Look at this chopped off mouse head!!! Santa's next!! Time to grow up.

I think learning the "truth" about Santa is a rite of passage, but it sure is sad to realize that the world isn't as magical a place as you once thought. I think it's the same thing when you learn that mice WON'T help you make a fabulous gown. They carry disease, they do not eat at an immaculately linened table, behind their perfectly arched baseboard front door.

Welcome to adulthood.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Kids Also Like Documentaries!!

Well, hot damn! The Keanes got a new tv. A nice one! It looks like a big screen, flat panel plasma display . . . and, yet, oddly, still black and white. And even more odd, the family is watching a Jazz concert.

OK, #1 I enjoy jazz. #2 I don't see anything wrong with trying to cultivate an interest in "the better things" in your chidren. But, the family sitting down to watch jazz concert on their flat panel???? Eh?

I didn't put in the caption. I bet you think Dolly is saying, "Daddy, do we have to watch this? You listen to it all the time on the hi-fi, can't we watch cartoons, or a ballgame, or Howdy Doody or something??" But she is not. She says, "Is the trumpet guy in the center Lincoln?" Huh huh. She doesn't know the Lincoln Center is named after the former President!! HA HA. And she doesn't realize "center" means the building complex itself. HA HA. Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Why why why did they randomly switch from a sitting on the floor black and white TV to a black and white (?!?) plasma on April 22? Because guess what they were watching on April 30?

That's right. Golf on the old black and white. Golf. As you know, the only television entertainment children enjoy more than piano concertos and jazz concerts is golf. HA HA HA. I'm actually laughing right now. Golf, piano, jazz . . . what in the world is wrong with these kids????? I suppose the jazz may have been required, but they are watching the golf of their own accord.

So, there are two issues here:

1) Their tv. If they actually have a flat panel plasma tv, why don't we just see that one more often? Isn't it easier to draw? What's the point of randomly showing us the plasma? To shut us up about their old crappy tv?

2) Their viewing habits. I'm still baffled, but I have a theory. I know that the Family Circus family isn't supposed to age like the For Better or for Worse family does. But! Maybe they HAVE aged, it's just all the kids have one of those strange diseases where their growth and aging process is slowed. So, Billy is actually 45, in which case, he may indeed be interested in watching golf on tv. I don't know that it explains why they sit around watching jazz, though. They could just go to a jazz bar. But, I suppose that the bouncers probably wouldn't let them in. They wouldn't believe the ID that said PJ was 37, and he'd have to explain about his disease, and it would be awkward.

Read more about Jazz at the Lincoln Center here.

What are our least favorite comic strip characters up to? Odie has some more behind-the-scenes info. Who in the funnies are the shark poker players? Who rules the bowling lanes? Find out here.

Dee Patterson's feeling some good, good, good good vibrations. (and she doesn't even like the Beach Boys!)

Grandma's got some updated Keane kids standings. Along with a little gossip about Keane family planning.

Gaylord goes shopping with Broom Hilda, and hopes he'll get to shop at Yankee Candle!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Not that there's anything wrong with that

It's probably not a good thing that Blondie has me questioning my sexuality, is it? I mean, look:

YOWZA! Blondie is HOTTTT! That slip! Those legs! Her knockers! Is it getting hot in here?

On the other hand, Dagwood just doesn't do anything for me. I guess he uses some sort of gel or product on his hair. I bet it's oily and/or crunchy. It looks like ass. Actually, it looks like AN ass. That's just the top, then those sticking out parts on either side. Does he intentionally style it like that, or is it that he can't keep his hair under control? And he also buttons his shirt all the way to the top. And stands with his knees bent.

Now, I know what you are thinking: How shallow to only judge someone based on looks. But you are WRONG. It's not just looks. If I could somehow hook up with Blondie, she would cook me "a hot dinner every evening" for the rest of my life! And seeing how she's a professional caterer, I bet that's good food. How awesome would that be?

And the only trade off is that I have to go to a party with her? I LIKE parties!! So, I go to parties (good), get fantastic meals every night (good), and am married to a hot woman (hmmm . . .). OK, that last part might not be so great, but if forced to pick between Dagwood and Blondie, I would totally pick Blondie! Just another reason to legalize gay marriage. I'd have to divorce my husband, and I guess Blondie would have to be a real person, but . . . PARTIES!! Good food!! Someone else who does all the chores!! It sounds like a good deal to me!

Not only that, but on a random Saturday, when I would be napping, she'd be dressed up in a short skirt to do her household chores:

Seriously, does Blondie EVER dress down? Today is Saturday, and I have been doing household chores, and I'm wearing a t-shirt with HOLES IN IT. And shorts and flip flops. Blondie is cooking for the neighbor kid, and has a table cloth on the table, is wearing a nice shirt with matching pumps and a short skirt. Dagwood is napping (with his shoes on). I'm just saying, Dagwood's got a NICE LIFE, and I wouldn't minding getting in on that.

This is totally unrelated, but it was too good not to post. Panel 1 of today's Gil Thorpe:

AWWWWW yeah boyeeeee!

Gil Thorpe in the hizzouse! Holla back, y'all!

Uhm. OK, yeah, I really have no comment.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

More Hating

Blondie's obviously so shocked, because she would NEVER consider putting her husband to work!

It could be that Blondie is just surprised at the vehemence and anger in the woman's voice. But, while it might be hard to tell from this small snap, the client looks downright mean in the first two panels. So it's not like she's had a sudden change of attitude.

[This whole strip really works better if you imagine her having the voice of Ursula, the evil witch/octopus from The Little Mermaid. As a matter of fact, Blondie does sort of look like her voice has been stolen]

Anyway this is just "Oh my! I would NEVER make my husband work! Housework is only for the womenfolk!"

Lesson: Hottt women with good bods clean up around the house. Fat, mean women make their husbands chip in.

God, I hate the comics.

While we're on the subject of hate and "women's place," you can see that wives obviously don't belong in the office!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

She Bangs! Gil Bangs!

The N&O continues its series on the comics. (Part I here and Parts II and III here)

Yes, it's true. There are people who want to save Gil. But wait! You have read why they want to save him. Read it here. Seems they get a real kick out of making fun of just how outlandish Gil can be. Cool. These are people who live around here. Cool! (again) Are they the same people who want to add Mary Worth? I hope so.

I'm starting to think of a new way to look at the comics. OK, yeah, it would be great if they were all funny, creative, well-drawn, interesting, etc. Well, that's not going to happen. And people tend to complain about the few that are. So, what if, instead, the comics all sucked, were stuck in the past, reused the same "jokes" over and over (what I like to call, "cribbing a Ziggy"), and generally were a waste of time? (we're getting there). Wouldn't that be sort of cool, too? Like a train wreck??? We would all just make fun of how bad they were. It's why American Idol shows all the terrible auditons.

Gil Thorpe is the William Hung of the funny pages!

So, don't forget to email the News & Observer to tell them what you think about the potential addees. I'm not suggesting you advocate for any of the bad ones. I'm just preparing myself for when that happens.

Meanwhile, Miss Buxley has fixed up Camp Swampy HQ and Gaylord has questions about Broom Hilda's diet.

Secrest out!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Odds and Ends

I am sure everyone's waiting on tinterhooks (whatever they may be) for more information about the News & Observer's quixotic quest to improve the comics. Part I was Friday. There, the paper listed all the comics people wrote in to say they disliked. Sadly, many that I like were on there.

I was too busy to post yesterday, but Part II listed the comics people wrote in to say they wanted kept. Happily, many that I like were on there. So were a bunch I disklike. Ugh. OK, I will grudgingly admit that there are people "out there" who like Hagar, Hi & Lois, and (oh dear lord of all that is holy) Family Circus. THANK GOD there were no votes for Marmaduke or Dennis the Menace. What is shocking to me is that there are people who like Family Circus enough to EMAIL THE NEWSPAPER IN SUPPORT OF IT!!! It just can't be. I think whoever did that (note it did not get multiple votes) was just kidding. Right? Has to be.

So, today was Part III where the paper lists for us comics that might be good replacements. Yay! Pearls and Swine! Boo! Willy and Ethel! One Big Happy? Do NOT look at it. Avert your eyes. It got added to the Washington Post lineup when I still lived in D.C. It is AWFUL, and the worst part is that it doesn't have the excuse of being around forever like some of the others do. It's like how Doug Flutie just got signed with the Superbowl champions. That's cool, because it's DOUG FLUTIE, but any other guy with Flutie's current level of talent isn't getting signed. One Big Happy is 40 year old Flutie talent with no famous Hail Mary or 20 years in the NFL to provide good will.

Two points of note:
1) You can look at those and tell the N&O what you think. There are some really great ones on there. Oh, Tom the Dancing Bug how I loooove you (enough to make it a sidebar link!). It's not a daily, though.

2) Frequent poster John Norton's George made the list!

Also, remember when Opus made the point that there aren't any female animal comic strip characters? Well, the last few days of Rhymes with Orange have been attempting to correct that (start with the May 9 strip). I enjoy Rhymes with Orange. Because it's written by a woman, and I prefer its perspective to that I'm normally forced to endure (the big boobed, house cleaning, fancy dressing, cheery moms)? Perhaps. I will say, though, that as much as I tend to complain about the overabundance of hot chicks in the comics, the women in RWO . . . well their NOSES are usually bigger than their BOOBS!! That's . . . well that's unfortunate for those poor gals.

I was going to start a "Worst April Dennis the Menace," but sadly, won't have the time in the forseeable future to go through every April DTM. So, we'll put off the "Worst of" contest until June. Emily suggested "Momma," but since Emily always seems to win these things, I'm NOT letting her pick! No way!

And, I almost forgot: Click here to see why it is that Hagar and Eddie got stranded on a deserted island (Hagar is a really horrible Viking). Gaylord's got a lot to say about Broom Hilda, and it starts here (did you know she feeds him road kill?)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mothers' Day! The Stats

Mother's Day is one of those holidays that MUST BE celebrated by the funnies. In fact, nearly one half (or 13 out of 30) of the comics in today's News and Observer celebrated Mothers' Day. I find that the Mothers' Day funnies fall into several broad categories:

Category 1: The kids' help is a mess (but the mom loves it anyway). Typically, this "joke" is that the kid(s) will make breakfast in bed, thereby leaving the kitchen a total wreck for the mom to clean up. But it's SO SWEET that the mom loves the effort anyway. AWWWWWW. This "joke" is a total cribbed Ziggy. As we see it year after year after year.

Surprisingly, (in the N&O at least), there were no messy kitchens to celebrate this year's Mothers' Day (it's like a Christmas without tangled Christmas lights). In fact, only one strip could fit into this category this year: Hilary made Sally Forth breakfast in bed, but the pancakes were terrible. Sally's not even sure Hilary used flour! HA HA HA.

Category 2: Mothers' Day is nearly forgotten (usually by the dad). HA HA HA. I am of the opinion that Mothers' Day is a completely made up holiday that keeps FTD and Hallmark in business (full disclosure: I'm not a mother, so ask me again in a few years if I still feel this way). I'm always almost forgetting it too. So, I can sympathize with these guys, but still . . . yeah, not funny.

This year, we have three strips falling into this category: John Patterson put everything off until the last minute, but luckily everything turned out all right. He even took Elly out to a fancy restaurant. This is a way to celebrate Mothers' Day?? Elly's kids are all grown up and she still gets a fancy dinner??? Niiiiiice. The King in the Wizard of Id also forgot, so he wrapped up a portrait of himself to give his mom. She promptly sold it to a pawn shop where it looks like she's dropped off many years of gifts in the shape of the king. Why does the pawn shop keep buying these if they obviously don't sell? Whatever. Finally, despite constant reminders that Mothers' Day is arriving, Daryl McPherson of Baby Blues complains that the holiday sneaks up on you. ("sneaking up on" was also the theme of today's Prince Valiant, one of the non-Mothers' Day strips -- the holiday did not exist back then. It didn't exist during the Wizard of Id's time, either, which is probably why the king keeps forgetting about it).

Category 3: Pointing out what hard work being a mother is. Can't disagree.

So, the Bumsteads take over Blondie's work around the house and earn a greater appreciation for what Blondie does. Dagwood does the dishes! Cookie folds the laundry! Alexander vacuums! Begging the question: Why don't they help out on normal days? My parents had a "one of us cooks, the other cleans" policy. Does Dagwood not cook OR clean??? Can I point out that "vacuuming" is not necessarily a mother's chore? I understand that if you are a stay-at-home mom, you more than likely do the overwhelming majority of the household chores. I think that makes sense. But Blondie is NOT a stay at home mom (she owns her own business for goodness sakes!). So, why don't her TEENAGED kids and husband help out around the house more? (God, I'm glad I don't live in the comics! Although I'd have a better figure. Hmmmm . . .)

In Hi and Lois, the various family members point out the nice things Lois does for them: She washes Chip's socks, she does Dot's hair, she feed's Ditto's lizard, she hangs up Trixie's drawings, she makes Hi's coffee. What a great mom! Oh, wait, is Lois Hi's MOM? I always thought she was his WIFE! What, now? This confuses me. Why does the fact that Lois makes Hi's coffee make her a good mom?? That makes no sense. It is not "Wife's Day" (if it was, I'd be getting some loot today). No! It's Mothers' Day, and Hi should shut up about his coffee.

But, in today's Luann, the mom is pointing out that even though Brad is 19 years old, she's actually been a mother for 26 years, because that's how long she's been married! HA HA. Because all men need to be mothered, see? And when you are married to someone you treat them like your child. So technically, anyone who has to put up with a man is a "mother?" Or something. I think this is supposed to be funny. Along the lines of "men are clueless oafs" and need a mother and/or wife to take care of them. I think it is weird and gross. My husband has a mother, and the last thing I want is for him to start getting us confused.

So, anyway, happy Mothers' Day to all you ladies out there! Mothers, wives, etc. My husband is taking a nap on the couch right now. I need to go bake him some cookies so he can have his snack when he wakes up!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Pearls and Swine for All!!! Save Get Fuzzy!

Wanted to update you all on the News & Observer's quest to make the comics a little better. If you'll recall, the N&O was going to do an unscientific poll to see what comics the folks dislike. Today they listed the comics that got votes for axing. The article is here.

Sad to say, some comics I like got votes!!! What if the whole thing backfires, and we lose Get Fuzzy and gain Snuffy Smith??? Could it happen? ACK! (to quote Cathy)

This is all very confusing. Until I remember that there are actually people out there who don't share my opinion! Can you believe it??

I should have learned this lesson back in November. That's when I found out that a LOT of people don't share my opinion. And also, when you put something to a vote, you don't always get your way. Oh no. It's happening again.

I'm going to advocate a hereditary monarchy, and when we get one, I'm going to ask to be the country's arbiter of the funny pages. BWAH HA HA All you Family Circus lovers out there! You will be sadly denied under my all-opressive thumb. HA HA HA HA! Sayonora Dennis fans! Everyone will say the comics they like. Those who appreciate the comics I hate will be exiled to relocation camps in the Catskills.

Now to speak seriously (really, I was just kidding about all that stuff above. Well, I mean, if I really could have that control, it would be great, but I don't think it's going to happen): I know a lot (most) of you aren't residents of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, but it wouldn't hurt you to send a friendly email or two the the N&O, now would it?

For my own peace of mind? Please?? Don't let them take the good ones away! The address is checkitout@newsandobserver.com Tell them Big Al sent ya.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


The funny pages suck. Mostly.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody!

Have a nice weekend.

Don't get eaten by vicious scavenging birds!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Please Tell Me Why . . .

. . . Lois is selling a house to Hitler. It's obscene.

I mean, honestly, I don't think you should have a comic strip character with a brush mustache and a comb-over.

I guess Charlie Chaplin also had the brush mustache, so maybe I'm too quick to assume Hi and Lois is evil. Still, Charlie's from the silent movie era, so not evil, just oooooooooolld.

Whatever. I say if that's the only way you can draw a mustache, then don't create any mustacheod characters. I can't imagine that they are necessary. I suppose if you need to draw a ninth inning shutdown closer or a rural sherriff's deputy, then, yeah, you'd need to learn how to do mustaches. Just not the Hitler kind, OK?

Speaking of the hair adventures of the old, Grandma used to have clown hair!

On the same blog, Dee Patterson is put-out by her cancer-stricken ex-neighbors (but shhh! She doesn't realize that's what's wrong with them). Odie and some other comic dogs discuss drooling on cue. Good stuff, that.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Marvelous Marvin

Yes, he still exists (someone was asking earlier). Things are busy lately here in Big Al world, so you'll have to just enjoy this without a lot of the normal blah blah blah from me.

I do wonder what she means? Is she bad about keeping plants alive? So is she implying that the ones she chooses will die? Is that the joke? OR is the joke that she is paralyzed with indecision over a simple choice like getting a flower?

See, there are two possible jokes, I don't know which one it is, and I don't think either is funny. This is probably because I am under the weather, otherwise it would be crystal clear. It's a bad sign when you can't "get" Marvin.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Ziggy en Espanol

I kid you not:

OK, I don't speak Spanish. Like at all. So, I'm clueless, although I'd guess that's the complaints and/or returns window as that is a Ziggy staple. Maybe he says he wants to be taller!! Cause that's his complaint, get it??? And to retreat into a little '90s reverie, as is a staple of mine:

"That irreverence, that wit -- I'd recognize it anywhere. Some charlatan has stolen a Ziggy and passed it off as his own. I can prove it. Quick Elaine , to my archives!"

HA HA HA (and really this time, I'm not being sarcastic). Mr. Peterman just really cracks me up. Anyone remember when Elaine couldn't figure out the New Yorker cartoon, so got one of her own published? Only it turned out she was cribbing a Ziggy. Hee -- "cribbing a Ziggy!" That's as good as -- if not better than -- fucking the clown. If only I had a use for "cribbing a Ziggy."

What could it mean? How about if you make a dumb joke. For instance, if you see a co-worker and ask him, "Working hard, Jim? Or hardly working?" Then -- HA HA HA -- by repeating that lame ass joke you just "cribbed a Ziggy."

Take my wife -- please. Cribbing a Ziggy.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Lots of practice! Cribbing a Ziggy.

In fact, the entire funny pages are made of cribbed Ziggies. Neighbors borrowing shit, dads who can't cook, mean mothers in laws pink slip happy bosses, lazy men, harridan wives -- it's a Ziggy cribbing smorgasbord. And why is that? Because the comic artists are just fucking the clown, man, fucking the clown.

Do I care what is really going on in the Ziggy en Espanol? No. Is it likely to make less sense in English than it does in Spanish, a language I don't even know? Si, Senor.

What's the latest on the funny pages? Mr. Dithers needs more computer advice. Odie provides an interesting, behind-the-scenes look at Garfield. And Lucky Eddie has a few complaints about how Hagar runs things.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Family Circus to Readers: You Suck. Big Time.

And so, the Worst March Broom Hilda contest limps to a pitiful close. We had more nominees (5) than votes (3). Granted, I didn't much talk about the contest as April wound down, but let's just say the results were underwhelming.

The nominees were: Hilda's Hott Date (aka Lincoln); Broom Hilda is an Idiot (well, that could be any, but specifically, she doesn't know what a computer is); Broom Hilda's Dentures; Puberty!; and The Usual Suspects (aka fire hydrants).

The winner (with 2 votes!) is Hilda's Hott Date. The Family Circus contest got close to 30 votes. So, if we want to do a "Worst of April" contest, I will be willing to take suggestions, because Broom Hilda was a dud.

As someone who looked at every March Broom Hilda, let me just say that they ARE NOT GOOD. So, why the laissez faire attitude towards voting? Answer: THE DAMN LIBERAL MEDIA. No. I don't think that's it exactly.

I think the answer is that while Broom Hilda sucks, it does nothing to your self esteem. Family Circus, on the other hand, seems to exist solely to make you feel bad about yourself.

Aren't married with children?? What the hell is wrong with you? Can't you see that children are the only true joy in life? Can't you tell that your life is empty and meaningless? How does it feel to live a cold, dead existence?

Mother or father of four under the age of 8? Don't you feel inadequate? When your kids are driving you absolutely nuts and those "dardnest things" they say really piss you off? Well, let's face it, you aren't living up to the standards set by Bill and Thel. Get with the program, people!

Parent of less than four kids? And yet you can't keep up with your two children with quite the serenity and equanimity of Bill and Thel? You are a terrible parent! You suck, and your kids will more than likely grow up to be crack whores and/or child molesting pop singers.

Grandparent? Do your grandkids live more than a 3 hour drive away? Do you only see them on major holidays and birthdays? Well, too bad for you, because when you die (which will be sooner than you think), your grandkids won't remember you, because -- well, why would they? You're just that old person who they see a few times a year.

Yes, I think that's why people hate Family Circus. Because no one can live up to the standard set by the Keanes. Here's the message: You all suck. Keep on reading, because we'll be here forever just to remind you.

And what's going on over at "Our Life on the Funny Pages?" Well, Dee Patterson will fight for children's rights to carry yo-yos until you pry the yo-yo from Merrie's cold, dead hands. Meanwhile, Gaylord's just looking for a little love ever since his and Broom Hilda's "marriage" turned into the Enchanted Forest's version of the Lockhorns.