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Funny Paper

My Daddy Is Just Like Allen Iverson!

Aug. 11-17, 2003

By Scocca & MacLeod | Posted 8/20/2003

YOU CAN SAY "THOSE MUST BE SPACE PANTS YOU'RE WEARING BECAUSE YOUR ASS IS OUT OF THIS WORLD" AGAIN! DEP'T.: Monday, in Herb & Jamaal, Sarah asks Herb, "Does this dress make my rear look too wide?" "Some questions catch you so completely off-guard . . . " Herb thinks, " . . . you feel like a deer frozen by the glare of headlights!" A deer in the headlights. Cliché setup, cliché punchline. Tune in tomorrow, when Herb is so hungry he can eat a horse! Can anyone match Stephen Bentley's command of the commonplace?

Yes! Sunday, Wiley Miller antes up and raises Bentley two more panels, in color, to do the same thing. "Ned . . . do these Spandex pants make my butt look big?" a woman asks her henpecked husband. He promptly assumes a deer-in-the-headlights look, if you will, and holds it. Gawk. Gawk. Gawk. "Can you wait another minute?" he asks. "My life hasn't finished flashing before my eyes yet . . . "

YOU CAN LOOK AT THAT S CAR GO AGAIN! DEP'T.: Monday in Shoe, Loon says he doesn't eat snails, because "I prefer fast food." Meanwhile, in Garfield, the cat asks a passing snail, "Do snails do anything fast?" Pause. "No," the snail finally says. Cat defeats birds. Cat stretches premise.

MMM, REALLY NICE SUN CROSSWORD DEP'T.: ULTRASUEDE, ETAGERE, ARTDECO, ASPEN, TAJMAHAL, RUGEN, ERATO, LASCALA, JULEPS, CHEESECAKE, STASH, RESIN, OPIATES, LANATURNER.

SUN ERATO WATCH: Tuesday, 47 Down, "Muse who inspires poets," Wednesday, 55 Down, "Love poetry Muse." Howabout a crossword puzzle clue Muse? at least you do some crazy mix-em-ups a li'l bit on the OREOs.

SUN OREO WATCH: Thursday, 6 Down, "Popular snack since 1912."

THE LOCKHORNS: Monday, Loretta says she takes advantage of Leroy's pre-coffee stupor to get him to sign checks. Loretta can't sign her own checks? Who are the Lockhorns banking with, Schlafley Savings and Trust? Bunny Hoest doesn't seem to have any trouble signing the checks for Wm. Hoest Enterprises, Inc.

THE MIDDLETONS: Mom overdoses on her meds and starts painting things that don't exist.

JUMP START: Joe tells the kids he's going to get a little tattoo of their mommy's name. "I don't want you guys to make a big deal out of it," he says Monday, as he stoops to look them level in the eyes. "My daddy is just like Allen Iverson!" Jojo exults to Benny in the next panel.

Saturday, the work is done. "It hurt so badly I couldn't even watch you do it!" Joe says. "But it's done! Wait until Marcy sees her name on my arm!" "'Marcy'?" the tattoo artist says.

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE: Monday, Michael and Liz hunker down for a fast-food meal. "Oh, yeah . . . a grease burger!" Michael says. "I can just feel the ol' arteries clogging up now." "Munch mfff slurbp glup," Liz assents. "Every now an' then, you gotta have one of these things, sis," he adds. "It's part of our North American culture." Now just one goddamn minute, hockey-puck boy. What's the "North" doing in there? Burgers are American culture, as in Property of the U.S. of A. Don't give us any nonsense about "the Americas," either--you think people in Mexico City, North America, are chowing down on quarter-pounders and claiming that as their personal "North American" heritage? Put that in the file marked "Bullshit Ecumenicism," right alongside "Our Shared Judeo-Christian-Islamic Faith." You're a Canuck, OK? Quit frontin'. Your "quarters" don't work in our jukeboxes. Your "bacon" is a round slice of ham. Sheesh, we give you a couple baseball teams, and suddenly you think you're the Fonz. Look, you've got gay marriage, legalized dope, free medical care, and better beer. What do you want to be America for?

Speaking of loose Canadian morals, Sunday's wordless slapstick strip features April yanking a fellow pre-adolescent's swimming trunks off and waving them in triumph. The taunting is interrupted by Elly, back on shore, brandishing a hot dog in the air. A hot dog. But April can't swim back to get her hot dog, because one of the other kids has stolen the top half of her swimsuit. For better!

MOTHER GOOSE & GRIMM: Grimm gives Attila a pink slip. "You can't lay off a cat!" Attila shrieks. It's a start.

MARK TRAIL: All's well with the formerly injured eagle. Eagle poacher Buck Morris and accomplice Bud Jones decide to lay off the shooting for a while. Instead, the expository caption explains, they're "on their way to rob a long-time desert inhabitant of his Indian artifacts collection."

Sunday's featured plant: the hospitable kelp, the trees of the seas. Keystone of oceanic sea-life in the briny deep liquid. Wait. Water is probably the keystone there, and then maybe some salt. Anyway. The ocean-dwellers like the kelp, see? "The leafy plant that stretches for miles under the ocean's surface is important to the survival of many sea creatures. Kelp forests provide habitat, shelter and food for hundreds of kinds of animals."

FAMILY CIRCUS: "Who took the pencil that belongs here?" Mommy asks Thursday. Yes! Say it with Funny Paper: "NOT ME!"

Sunday, a glum-faced P.J. loads his possessions into a li'l red wagon and tries to run away from home. Then he thinks better of it and heads back to Mommy and Daddy.

MOMMA: Saturday, a bashful-faced Francis loads his possessions into a suitcase and tries to move back in with Momma. Then he thinks better of it and runs away again.

ZIPPY: Friday, Bill Griffith sneers at Harry Potter fans. This is right up there with Carrot Top and Kenny G. The people in The Set are bashing the Harry Potter. Look, the little fuckers are reading, OK? Maybe someday they'll want to read snide and verbose comic strips too.

Saturday, a fat man in a diner says he just ate a whole belly clam roll. Half of Funny Paper is en route to Maine to get some whole belly clams even now.

LUANN: Brad tries to impart a life lesson to Luann about her mixed-up friends and their mixed-up emotional life. Back at the bookstore, on Saturday, Crystal brags to Gunther that she does in fact have designs on Zane. That's, like, how many chesty women who've thrown themselves at the hunky cripple now? Three? Four? He's like Russell Crowe on wheels.

Sunday, Luann stares at the calendar and then thrashes around in elaborate postures of rage and despair. "Know what?" Brad smirks. "I think you did it. You successfully stopped school from starting." You'd react that way, too, if you were never going to get out of high school. Never going to get any smarter. Never gonna get your creator to stop thinking those thoughts about you.

JUMBLE: A FIST FOR TWO, IN TIERS, IN THE "DARK," IN "BOOT" CAMP, LOTS OF PLUCK, THE GOSSIP MILL.

B.C.: Monday, Johnny Hart stoops to having Dr. Peter do the "I'm afraid you only have about 6 months" joke. Come on! Isn't there some kind of RIAA for gagmen? Friday, Hart does a joke about what the first man on the moon actually said. A: "Green cheese, my foot!" See, it's like a statement of rejection of superstition, but it can also be a statement of introduction. Does Johnny Hart even believe that men went to the moon?

THE BOONDOCKS: Monday, Caesar asks "How can a gay marriage be any less legitimate than a Jennifer Lopez marriage?" Because Jennifer Lopez isn't Canadian? Or because nobody pushes movies with publicity about an upcoming gay marriage? Yet?

GASOLINE ALLEY: Monday, Slim can't understand why Clovia is mad at him for accepting CDs and posters in lieu of cash for a repair job on a big-time musician's tour bus. Because Slim is an idiot. Wednesday through Saturday, Slim receives and digests the news that longtime Gasoline Alley Garage employee "Sarge" is taking down his Dale Earnhardt poster and retiring. "I've been working at Gasoline Alley Garage for over 50 years!" Sarge says. And he hasn't gotten a plot line till now.

HERB & JAMAAL: Saturday, Jamaal muses that for all their fancy handling features, luxury cars are "mostly driven by the slowest drivers on the road." No way are the luxury-car drivers the slowest.

CURTIS: What's the opposite of deus ex machina? At the climax of the barbecue-sauce competition, just as the Wilkins recipe faces its moment of truth, the automatic sprinkler system in the convention center kicks in. It's God's judgment on Mr. W., it seems, for ducking into the men's room to sneak a cigarette to settle his nerves. We can't tell how high the water rises in the disaster scene, though, because for some reason The Sun seems to always snip the bottom off the Curtis panels. Observe.

BARNEY GOOGLE & SNUFFY SMITH: Monday, Loweezy announces that the Orn'ry Smif Clan approacheth.

ZIGGY: Monday, a grinning waiter hovers as the melon-headed one reads the menu. "Please order the chef's surprise?" he thinks. No sweat, Mr. Server; Ziggy always orders the chef's surprise. Only what's gonna happen next? There appears to be the outline of some sort of trap door around Ziggy's table. But the hinges are showing on the top side, so it can't be a classic downward-swinging trap door. Is some'n gonna come out and eat Zig? Is he gonna get catapulted into the kitchen? This is why We Read the Comics so You Don't Have To, so that we're the ones walking around with all this unrelieved suspense.

FRANCESCO MARCIULIANO'S SALLY FORTH CREATED BY GREG HOWARD: The hand of Maciuliano grows bored, and now toys with the denizens of Sally Forth by moving them into cubicle-land. It's SIM CITY 4TH.

BEETLE BAILEY VS. OTTO THE ARMY DOG: Beetle wins, 4 to 3. But Otto gets plenty of exposure for his distinctive "GROWF!" sound. When are they going to start sticking a copyright symbol or one of those SMs on "GROWF!"? Although, given that Otto's Tuesday performance is a straight-out ripoff of Snoopy's classic meditations over an empty supper dish, perhaps the Mort Walker factory isn't being too picky about intellectual property.

REX MORGAN, M.D.: Wilson & Nolan bring the bondage scenario, as the sinister Armand orders Jeff to tie up Heather with gaffer's tape and then to go fetch the real satellite lens from Milton Avery. "And if you're unable to convince him in one hour . . . " Armand glowers Saturday, " . . . your attractive English friend will die!" Startle-lines radiate from Heather's head and she thrusts her bosom outward, through the convenient gap between two loops of gaffer's tape.

MARY WORTH: Woody keeps explaining how there's a real, rational purpose behind his decision to wear a shaggy moustache and affect a bogus British accent: "Many kids think they can 'ace' Psych 101 without cracking a book, Dawn . . . But, if I can stay in character, weird old Doctor Hills will make them learn . . . and they'll love every minute of it!" And if they do crack that book, Professor, they'll know how completely fucking insane your behavior is. In other lunatic news, little Brint Prescott skulks around the golf course in the dark in his swim trunks. "I gotta remember where I left this robe!" he thinks Saturday. "Mumsy would have kittens if I came home looking like a cat burglar!" Sunday, the young weirdo inventories his supplies: "Black turtleneck! . . . Black pajama pants! . . Candy bars and a can of soda! . . . Flashlight and binoculars! . . . I guess I brought everything."

APARTMENT 3-G: The cops haul away Tim Poe on a bigamy rap.

THE PHANTOM: The Ghost Who Does Things the Hard Way rides his horse in the path of the bad guys' jeep to force it off the road. Then he hides again. "We shoulda just killed that kid, Frankie!" one of the two grumbles. "Like we did the two guides!" Finally, the Phantom has enough evidence. "!!!" he says. "Cold-blooded killers . . . now you face justice . . . as will the man who sent you!" he adds, in an icicle-edged scary-voiceover caption.

Sunday, President Luaga surveys the damage at the street-corner blast site where last we saw the Phantom.

HAL FOSTER'S PRINCE VALIANT: The Chronicles jump-cut to Britain, where Maeve and Aleta go on a hunting picnic--only to have their party attacked by marauders on horseback. "Only two innocents remain alive . . . The leader looks them up and down. 'They are obviously royal and obviously rich. Take them alive. These two we will keep as hostages.'"

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Catherine Zeta Jones. Jesus Christ. HAR! Does my face look fat in this awful drawing? It's like the Mona Lisa plus one of the faces from Mt. Rushmore. "Art by Vernon Carne" is one of those gorillas with electrodes hooked onto it, right? A rudimentary experimental sentient computer program? Random art sent in to correspondence art school?

THE COLL-EGG-TIBILE EGGERS FAMILY: A 28-year-old Baltimorean submits the winning entry, "I am Can-egg-ian!"

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