Oooh, Wheeeee, Did I Miss You!
Number of those strips to essay an actual Father's Day gag instead of going for the schmaltz: 6
Number of those gags that Funny Paper thought were funny: 3
Number of those gags that were about castration: 1
Likelihood that a Father's Day castration gag will be funny: 100 percent
DECONTEXTUALIZED DIALOGUE THAT MAKES US THINK OF HASIL ADKINS DEP'T: "Honey, you'd look great in a trash bag! See you at seven!"--Berna, in Rex Morgan, M.D., Friday.
BARNEY GOOGLE & SNUFFY SMITH: On Monday, the mysterious Barney Google almost gets mentioned. Almost. "Benny Google's payin' me two dollars to mow his lawn, Uncle Snuffy," Jughaid says. "Cheapskate jes' like his ol' uncle!!" Snuffy gripes. Benny Google? His ol' uncle? Why not say it, already? Is it like the ineffable name of G-d--the ineffable name of B-rn-y G---gl-?
THE PHANTOM: The Ghost Who Walks gets the last two invading ruffians to gun each other down in the confusion of battle. "A maelstrom of lead . . . and two victims--those who pulled the triggers," the Phantom says, surveying the corpses. That seems both roundabout and hypocritical, given that our hero's got a big .45 strapped to each hip. Couldn't he have saved a lot of time--and spared Victoria Carter some of the ravages of jungle fever--if he'd just shot them himself two weeks ago? But this way, he has an excuse to scoop up the swooning Victoria and take her home with him. "You will see the Deep Woods after all . . ." he says. He carries her past The Phantom Peak and through The Whispering Forest ("Here the wind wispers [sic] a name," he thinks) to seek Bandar medicine. "Death has her by one hand, old friend!" Guran tells him. "We must grasp the other and hold tight!"
In the Sunday plot line, planewrecked Prince Bakhmet prepares to eat a meal of dangerous-looking red berries. Maybe he's not fit to be ruler of Dharmistan after all.
GARFIELD: Garfield's 23rd birthday is coming up. All week, it's coming up. That's like five weeks' worth of vamping, in cat years.
LUANN: Luann's hot date with 21-year-old Stuart goes awry when he mentions his wife, causing her to do a spit-take with her Chinese-restaurant tea. The next day, as she's still boggling, they've got the soup course in front of them. Either Luann's really slow, or China Wok has fabulous service. When Stuart confirms that, yes, he's married, Luann freaks out and flees in shame. Suave move, Stu, agreeing to go out with a high-school girl. Now who's Luann going to take her sexual frustrations out on? This could be Gunther's big chance.
FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE: Liz moves in with her creepy, femme-y boyfriend Eric and his slob roommate Rudy. "Elizabeth, what we have together is magic!" Eric tells her Thursday, in full sensitive-man mack-attack mode. "You are the most important thing in my life. Trust me. This will work out. . . . An' hey!--If it doesn't . . . we'll move on!" Read Luann, Liz. Read Luann right now.
CATHY: Cathy goes swimsuit shopping. "I feel fat. I feel flabby. I feel gross . . . ."Yeah, we know. You're a goddamn manatee. Just like the last 290 times you went swimsuit shopping. Shouldn't you have already bought a fucking swimsuit by now? Or at least learned to stay out of the swimsuit store?
PRINCE VALIANT: A lowly oarsman from the galley, drawing on his experience as a fisherman, advises Yuan Chen on how to propel his precious trireme out of the grasp of Charybdis. Take that, smarty-pants!
MARK TRAIL: Another week of exposition on ginseng poaching, courtesy of cartoonified real-life person Ranger Chuck Harris, the Yuan Chen of theMaryland Department of Natural Resources. . . Sunday, when the strip is supposed to be illuminating natural history, Mark offers a confusing and apparently bogus etymological account of "how 'bull' and 'bear' became associated with the stock market." Hey! The stock market isn't nature! Stop listening to those damn Republicans!
DILBERT: Everybody's working hours are too long.
FAMILY CIRCUS: Father's Day? Make it Father's Week, as Bil and Jeff Keane spend seven days dragging out the Billy-parenthesis-age-7-close-parenthesis-draws-a-chlidishly-crude-strip-for-Dad chestnut. The week is marked by a recurrence of the new smoldering hostility in the Circus. Three of the panels feature Billy hiding under the bed, refusing to do his annual duty: "I wish my father was an astronaut or a fire engine drive, or a . . ." he broods. Two others feature Mommy screaming at Daddy: "It's terrible!" she yells, brandishing a grownup-drawn strip at her husband. "Billy can draw something better than this! I say let him do it!" This isn't Family Circus, it's The Angriest Dog in the World.
Finally, Sunday, Billy obliges with his usual flabby puns--"Below C Level," "Chuting a Basket"--but with a weird disclaimer: "Most dads get something that pleases them for Father's Day. But Bil Keane gets this pun and ink cartoon from Billy." Jeff Keane really has it in for his brother, doesn't he?
CLASSIC PEANUTS: Charlie Brown is haunted by the apparition of a giant baseball.
B.C.: God, overhearing a profession of atheism, goes to a phonetically rendered Who Wants to Be a Millionaire gag. "is thet yer final ansah . . . ?" God says, in lowercase script. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire--now that's ancient history!
WILLY 'N ETHEL: The real world intrudes on the hermetic beauty of Willy 'n Ethel. Saturday, Willy ponders the silent "P" in Michelle Pfeiffer. Tuesday, Ethel says, "This medical journal claims that once you win an Oscar it gives you an inner sense of peace and accomplishment that can last your entire life." Please, Joe Martin--leave the ripped-from-the-headlines material for Non Sequitur. And since when does Ethel have a subscription to Annals of Internal Medicine?
THE MIDDLETONS: Ralph Dunagin & Dana Summers offer a Big Mouth Billy Bass joke.
THE LOCKHORNS: Bunny Hoest & John Reiner offer a Beaufort Wind Scale joke. Loretta, Leroy says, is a 10. That means Loretta is a "whole gale," with winds between 55 and 63 miles per hour, capable of uprooting trees and doing serious building damage.
THE BOONDOCKS: Friday, Huey offers the most concise and complete critique of the Bush administration Funny Paper has seen. "Oil man becomes president, gas goes up," Huey says. Seven words.
DOONESBURY: Garry Trudeau spends the week on Bush's drunky daughters. Read The Boondocks, Garry Trudeau.
MOTHER GOOSE & GRIMM: "Andrew Lloyd Webber with writer's block." The composer slumps before a sheet of paper: "Don't cry for me Thumbelina. . . . Don't cry for me Pasadena. . . . Don't cry for me Ike and Tina." That's not Andrew Lloyd Webber with writer's block. That's Mike Peters with writer's block.
JUMBLE: MAKE TRACKS, A MAN OF "STEAL," HIS "DATE" LINES, FIVES AND TENS, THE "WRITE" WAY.
MARY WORTH: Liz continues hitting on Wilbur Weston. Brad and Sylvia Kenwood reappear, with their semi-bastard child in tow, to announce their sort-of remarriage. In a coat and tie, Brad looks just like Penn Jillette. "There'll be some folderol if the question of a marriage license ever arises," lawyer Syl concedes. Is "folderol" the technical term?
APARTMENT 3-G: Margo returns to her old room in apartment 3-G, though not to lucidity. "Oooh, wheeeee, did I miss you!" she cries out from behind the closed door.
"Are Margo and her boyfriend in there?" the Professor asks.
"No, she's alone . . . " Tommie says. "I think she's talking to her bed."
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