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Funny Paper

"What Happens When We Vomit?"

Oct. 21-27, 2002

By Scocca & MacLeod | Posted 10/30/2002

THE WEARIN' OF THE ORANGE AND BLACK DEP'T.: Ahem. The Eve of All Hallows is still four days away, but a whole mob of cartoon-mongers spends Sunday rummaging through the jumbo-sized bags of mini-sized candy. America's Fastest-Growing Consumer Holiday can't wait around and fall on a black-and-white weekday anymore. So: In For Better or For Worse, April has a humiliating incident at a mall involving fake "Wacky Teeth" and an elderly shopper with genuinely wacky teeth. Non Sequitur, which has been celebrating Halloween since Columbus Day, presents "Danae's Halloween Adventure, Part 3." Dennis the Menace ignores the whole reason for doing the Halloween strip early, running an after-dark trick-or-treating adventure with the scenery rendered entirely in night-vision blue and black, and just a bit of red and yellow in the balloons. In The Middletons, Morris is scared by a trick pop-up costume box. In Zippy, Zippy and Griffy dress up as Dagwood and Mary Worth, respectively. Luann offers a costume-themed putdown in the halls of school. Family Circus has P.J. being terrified of his own monster mask. Kid City does a "Kooky & Spooky" edition of "Halloween Howlers" (Q: "How does Frankenstein eat his food?" A: "He bolts it down!"). And You Can With Beakman & Jax works a peg about "getting sick on too much candy" into a non-holiday-themed question about bodily functions.

SPRING FORWARD, FALLBACK DEP'T: Blondie, never a strip to skip a holiday, knows that Sunday isn't really Halloween. It's Clock Adjustment Day, as Blondie misleads Dagwood into setting all the clocks ahead to Daylight Saving Time. Alas, when her hubby returns to bed, she has to tell him that this is really when you roll the clocks back. It's not a Daylight Saving Time gag, it's an Eastern Standard Time gag. Funny Paper appreciates the public-service reminder here, but we refuse to believe that Dagwood, of all people, would accidentally cheat himself out of an hour of government-mandated extra slumber.

GASOLINE ALLEY: Rip Van Slim continues to boggle at the hotel bill he racked up through 20 years of oversleeping. "This is a nightmare!" he cries Monday. No shit, fat man. But it takes three more days of hotel-bill follies and giant dancing fish before Jim Scancarelli admits it and lets him wake up for real.

JUMBLE:A KICK OUT OF IT, IT WAS FACT FREE, BANK ON IT, FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR, "IT'S CURTAINS," LOTS OF "STATIC."

ZIPPY: Monday, Bill Griffith plays the naif, as he offers pin-tips to "Julie & Molly Grabill + Paula Sussman" for introducing him to the sight of a building pierced through its second story by a giant shark. "I'm real!" says the shark. "Believe it or not!" So why not just give the pin-tip to the folks at Ripley's Believe It or Not!, whose attraction--in lovely Ocean City, Md.--is what's being depicted? And why not draw the identifying Ripley's signage? If you're going to treat commercial signs as folk art, that's fine. But don't pretend it's not made by commercial folks. That's what American culture is, big guy. Forty years hence, Bill Griffith Jr. will be celebrating the giant guitar on Baltimore's Hard Rock Café.

B.C.: "My Uncle Roy was the coolest politician ever," says Cute Chick says to Fat Broad on Tuesday. "He would never run for office. He'd sashay!" So Uncle Roy was one of them queers?

FAMILY CIRCUS: Dolly has a misadventure with an eyebrow pencil.

CATHY: Cathy nags her mom about Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Maybe she just wants to die to get away from you, honey.

DOONESBURY: Shifting his gaze from politics back to culture, Garry Trudeau goes all blurry with a week of blog gags. "So when I'm feeling dry," says blogger Zipper Harris, "I just copy something from the op-ed page of the Times!"

DILBERT: Dilbert's superiors assign him to go bully his mother, an uppity shareholder. "I'm their goon," he says Saturday. "After dinner, I'm going Billy Blanks on your butt!" she declares. Billy Blanks? Who he?

ONE BIG HAPPY: Wednesday, Joe's lackadaisical spelling leads him to slip a reference to rubber sheets into his report on "The Princess and the Pea."

MOMMA: America, thy name is Francis. "The world is in terrible shape!" Momma sighs over her newspaper Wednesday. "Wh-why??" Francis asks, whipping his head around in alarm. "Terrorism, war, slumping markets, threats, lost savings, lying, cheating, ozone layers . . . " Momma replies. "Ohhhh . . . " says Francis, turning back to the TV. "I thought you meant my world."

BOONDOCKS: Wednesday, Huey and Caesar wax analogous about "Belafonte and Powell -- beefin' like Nas and Jay Z." "Like Tupac and Biggie . . . " "Like the Real Roxanne and Roxanne Shante," Huey concludes. Also like Scott LaRock and MC Shan.

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE: Elly dotes on her newborn granddaughter. For worse!

HERB & JAMAAL: Yolanda gets Jamaal to help her hang wallpaper.

MARMADUKE: Saturday, Marmaduke hogs the remote.

CLASSIC PEANUTS: To Linus' dismay, the school library bans Miss Helen's Sweetstory's "The Six Bunny-Wunnies Freak Out."

DENNIS THE MENACE: Grandpa comes to visit, bringing a bunch of Live Grandpa panels. None of that maudlin Dead Grandpa crap like in Family Circus. Uh, except for maybe Friday, when Dennis tells Gramps, "I bet my grandkids will love you just as much as I do, Grandpa."

WILLY 'N ETHEL: "Why don't they make pepperoni breath mints?" Willy asks Friday.

THE LOCKHORNS: Wednesday, a bored-looking Leroy plays paddleball.

CURTIS: Enter Gunk, the vertical-eyed geek. Ugh. And Gunk's pet magical mischievous chameleon. Double ugh. The chameleon giggles as it staples Mr. Wilkins' ties together and spray-paints the dinner chicken blue. Funny Paper does not giggle.

MARK TRAIL: Mark Trail, P.I. continues his pussy probe. Softhearted, softheaded Anne begins to wonder if maybe Jim slipped her a Mickey Finn, rather than simply getting her passed-out drunk on cheap wine. Trail goes to visit Jim, just in time to overhear him pleading with his bookies on the phone.

Sunday's featured animal, the pestilential and fecund common housefly. "[T]hey are so prolific, a single fly in a six-month period may have millions of descendants." This is made even scarier by Jack Elrod's attempts at insect-enhancing perspective drawing, which make the housefly appear to range between six and 18 inches in length. In the splash panel, a shirtless, dissipated Trail deals death to one of the flying giants with a can of bug spray. Nice going, nature boy.

REX MORGAN, M.D.: The colon cancer / bankruptcy / alcoholism / armed robbery saga of the Coleman family inches through its denouement. Wednesday, as robbery accomplice Holly Morely is loaded into the squad car, she has a remorseful moment. "Tell Dana I'm sorry," she tells June from the back seat. "She's a really good kid . . . but she needs help with the booze thing . . . It'll ruin her life! You're a nice woman . . . I can tell! Make sure Dana gets help!" Thursday, the ever-helpful June turns her attention from the story to remind lawyer Lynn that it's time for her annual flu shot. Sunday, Berna wakes up from a desktop nap after organizing the Coleman family finances and brandishes an envelope. "In one of the desk drawers, I found this!" she says proudly. Funny Paper never finds anything good in our desk drawers.

APARTMENT 3-G: Margo, claiming a "book-club meeting" steps out on FBI Pete with Jay. Jay tells Margo that he's married -- to his work. What work is that? He made his "first fortune," he says, as the inventor of the "pet stick." he says. "My piano teacher named her pet stick 'Stickado,'" Margo says. Yeah, and Elvis named his "Little Elvis." Further chitchat reveals that Jay fermented his own wine at the age of 10, from grape juice, and now owns his own vineyard.

In the Sunday colorsupplement, Bolle + Trusiani snatch the can't-draw-a-cat-for-shit crown from Dodd & Elrod, as Gretchen pets somebody's feline (Lu Ann's?) in the second panel. The alleged cat looks like a cross between a dog, a koala bear, and a bath mat.

JUMP START: The senior action heats up, as Maureen steps out on Clayton with the burly and debonair Romare Lawson. "Your mother is 60 years old," Joe tells Marcy Friday. "She can do whatever she wants to do." "Not as long as she's under my roof!" Marcy hollers.

MARY WORTH: The senior action heats up, as Silas Smedlap keeps trying to get Mary to step out on Dr. Drew with him. Even as he tries to herd Mary into his corral, the irascible oldster also reveals that he once had a thing goin' on with Mrs. Tully. "Once I considered proposing to her!" the restaurateur-in-exile says Thursday. "Then I figured it was best not to wreck a good working relationship." The relationship between Mary and the doctor, though, strikes him as eminently wreckable: "There's no sense you coming in," he tells Drew. "Since Mary is my neighbor, I'll see her to her door!"

LUANN: Gunther, bound and determined to step out on Luann, scores Tiffany some tickets to the sold-out Q-Tboyz concert. Sunday, Luann has more violent fantasies involving Tiffany. And speaking of fantasies involving Tiffany, Sunday's title panel features Greg Evans' favorite imaginary teen hottie wearing a form-fitting Halloween-witch costume, complete with shiny knee-high boots, and riding a broomstick. And we mean riding it. This is a family paper, Evans. Couldn't you have drawn her maybe sidesaddle?

YOU CAN WITH BEAKMAN & JAX: "Dear Jax," writes Greenwood, Nova Scotia's Christopher Roy, "What happens when we vomit?" Well, Christopher, take it from Jax: "Throwing up is swallowing in reverse, and it can be a good thing. No, really." It's all about reverse sphincter action.

PRINCE VALIANT: A giant volcano spews hundreds of words of explanatory text about the backstory on Ichthyopolis.

THE PHANTOM: The Phantom confronts and beats up the undercover agents of the secret society of Knights of the Livonian and Teutonic Orders. Somewhere in a darkened room in Europe, the other members of the society listen to the mayhem via speakerphone: "SMAK! CRASH!"

Sunday, "Raz" Rakowski continues to escape!

SALLY FORTH: Sally spends the week on her back. Har! Get it? Sadly, Greg Howard is stealing a back-pain plot line from Curtis, rather than borrowing from the real Sally Forth.

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