Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Last Losers Are Made Not Born

A couple weekends ago, I had to go to Waterville to help clean out the house of my wife's last-living maternal aunt. She had accumulated a lot of items from her older sisters who have passed away earlier. One aunt loved to write things down and keep things in notebooks. She had tiny ones with just random information in them (which I will be posting over on Twitter when I am able to get the trunk here but more on that later) and she had three or four normal notebooks filled with what she thought was funny clipped from newspapers, magazines, and tabloids. These notebooks had everything: comic strips, slice-of-life submissions, Ann Landers, Roman J. Israel, Esq. But most importantly, she had nearly four dozen clippings of The Born Loser which, in case you didn't know, is totally in my wheelhouse. And what better way to bring this thing to an end than with a collection of classic comic strips?

Other comics featured in the notebooks were Frank and Ernest, Pickles, Peanuts, a few Calvin and Hobbes, and Funky Winkerbean. A lot of Funky Winkerbean for some reason.

Based on the fifth panel, this comic is dedicated to John and Joan Stoner (that name will come up in another strip below). I can only imagine that John was going to walk his newly-educated dog when the dog quickly untied the leash and hooked it to a tree.

That leash seems really long. I wanna walk my dog but I don't want it to seem like I'm with the dog.

But what are the odds that man had a dog? Brutus should be putting something on that wound.

I never thought I'd say this but Brutus looks better than some of the philodendrons I saw while doing a quick Google search so clearly Gladys is just being mean.

Wilberforce is stupid which leads to the apathy. I've seen it dozens of times including myself. Why try if you're just going to get it wrong?

Veeblefester has always been full of himself. Maybe Veeblefester always hangs out with Brutus so that he looks better by comparison.

Streets named Elm and Oak rarely intersect. Am I nitpicking. I'm nitpicking. I'll move on.

I feel personally attacked by the first strip.

I have many great memories of going to the birthday parties of my friends' grandparents'. It was nice of Charles Schulz to allow Art to use a rejected Peanuts character in this strip.

Did Gladys chew the gum before putting it in her ears or did she just shove it in?

Is this our first sex joke in The Born Loser? I do believe it's our first sex joke. It was those cocaine-fueled 1980s that caused this.

"Love is like an onion"? I did a search and I guess this is a poem by Philippa Court. It's the only confusing moment in an otherwise top-notch comic. I'll admit, I really like this one.

And now we have a poop joke. I don't care if you go to Europe for a funeral, any trip to Europe is an amazing trip.

"Those clowns in Congress are at it again. What a bunch of clowns." How does a 30-year-old comic strips still remain so topical?

You'll never catch Wastrel Gravesite drinking gasoline. That's good to know.

"We had weekend guests and too many used condoms got flushed down the toilet."

How is it possible that Mother Gargle looks better now than she did back then. That sneer in the last panel is just...just...wow.

Hattie: "Hey, Brian, did'ja hear what happened t'poor old 'Hatch'?

Me: "Who's Hatch? What happened to him?"

Hattie: "I hate you, Brian."

It's clear that Veeblefester just came in laid down on the couch and began screaming "Conceited! Me?" which is exactly how Donald trump wakes up in the morning. Just replace 'conceited' with 'narcissistic',

Hey. That car was made in Guatemala.

The original third panel was Brutus just slapping the crap out of Gladys but the syndicate called the police to do a welfare check on the Sansom house.

The original third panel was Veeblefester just slapping the crap out of this hippie busker(?) but the syndicate told Sansom that he should maybe take a couple weeks off.

Throw Wilberforce under the tires. And no, we don't see Wilberforce in any of these strips. Clearly Aunt Alice thought any strip with Wilberforce in it was garbage--just like we think now.

Wastrel can't afford this doctor visit. How much is this visit going to cost the taxpayer? It's even worse because we're keeping alive a worthless drunk.

Was that too mean? I'll move on.

I've never eaten at anyplace that gave you finger bowls. I feel, as a restaurant, if you are serving food that requires patrons to rinse off their fingers then you are doing something wrong. Barbecue excluded, of course.

Elmo really got into phone sex in the 1980s and 1990s. Those ads were everywhere. I remember seeing these ads while trying to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Mighty Max which was inexplicably on for two hours at midnight on Sunday night on a local station.

The joke is he's not talking about her gray hair.

Maybe you're tired because you're wearing those heavy jogging clothes. Shorts and a t-shirt. That's all you need. When will people learn?

Just pour your coffee and get back to work.

Why does everyone look like they're to slap everyone else?

Oh, I guess we do get to see Wilberforce. Just as stupid as always.

"Labrador. Not lavatory. Wilberforce, you've been to my house. You've used our bathroom. Did you suffer some kind of traumatic head injury? Maybe you should go to the doctor."

The Thornapples don't go to operas anymore either.

The original third panel of this strip was just Dr. Stoner (from the first strip up there) just slapping the crap out of Brutus but...ah, forget it.

Who schedules a yearly appointment with a dermatologist? Does Brutus have some kind of skin condition that requires yearly attention? Did he have a referral for this visit?

Is there a reason he couldn't feel the seeds through the packet? Do the nerves in his fingers not work?

Why is the sign at Echo Glen so specific? What if what I say isn't repeated at least ten times? Who do I contact? The city? County? Is there a form to fill out?

Here, Veeblefester kind of looks like Kingpin from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.


The earliest Born Loser strip in the GoComics archive is July 14, 1994. It doesn't pick up again until January 1, 1996 so we're at the point that you can read these on GoComics. Now, will GoComics ever reprint or publish the comics between 1965 and 1995, who knows? I hope they do.

"Is this Miss Always Right?"

"No, this is Gladys."

Don't blame the seat, Brutus. It's not the seat's fault.

🎵And I'm here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It's not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you give to me
You, you, you oughta know!🎵

With six you get egg roll. Do we really want to be eating egg rolls at this diner? Brutus should stick to tried-and-true Chinese restaurants for his egg rolls.

This is what I've been doing with this post. I've been working on it for three days. This also explains why I'm ending LAMNB. I've been working on several stories and a novel which are hard to get done if I have to focus on content for a website. I'm unhappy that I've gotten very little writing done on my novel since I got my computer restored and I'm the only one who can change things.

That's not funny. You should get him to a doctor.

I agree with Gladys. I don't want you to shove that needle in my gums. I'll just live with my crooked, rotted teeth thank you.

The indoctrination of little girls being told that their bodies have to be perfect starts at an early age. Hattie doesn't care about any of this weight stuff, she just wants to eat cake. Why can't we just let people enjoy things?

Oh, and it's called pound cake because there's a pound of each ingredient.

This comic would greatly benefit from today's colorization. Sadly, the shirt would probably be more of a forest green instead of lime green but these comic syndicate interns are just in it for the experience, you can't expect quality.

Mm. I guess Brutus doesn't know how to work an elevator. Although Veeblefester isn't exactly innocent here. He didn't notice Brutus didn't press the button causing it to light up or that the numbers weren't lighting up since the elevator isn't moving. He also didn't press the button himself because, as we all know, the person before we get there pressed it wrong.

If you would like to support my writing or research, you can give money over on my soon-to-be-revamped Patreon page or buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi. You can also follow me on Twitter. New stuff will be happening on here and elsewhere in the near future. Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Friday, May 17, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

I Hate Gladys' Doe Eyes

"Some of the kids in class were making fun of me before school!"

"Children can be mean! But I found it hard to believe they just made fun of you before school when they have have lunch, recess, gym, after school and definitely no shortage of things to make fun of you for."

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Spring

You can't just take your shoe off and get the pebble out?

Tank N Tummy #15

“Why do you always buy your cars at police auctions?” Dominic asked Ryan as they walked through rows of cars behind a towing company.

“Well, I have no money so if I can spend a couple hundred dollars and baby a crappy car for a year then that’s money well spent,” Ryan explained.

“As opposed to spending a couple thousand and babying a good car for several years?”

“It will take me years to save up a couple thousand dollars,” Ryan stopped suddenly and looked at a car. “I like this one.”

“It looks so dated. It does look nice,” Dominic agreed. “I wonder if it runs.”

“I’m gonna bid on it so I guess we’ll find out,” Ryan said.




We’re gonna start the bidding at 75 dollars,” the auctioneer said.

There seemed to be little interest but Ryan’s hand shot up. “75.”

Another person raised their hand. “Hundred.”

“One-ten,” Ryan responded.

“One twenty-five.”

“One-fifty,” Ryan countered and the other guy went quiet.

“One-fifty going once. One-fifty twice. Sold for one hundred and fifty dollars,” the auctioneer said. “Come on up, fill out the paperwork and get your key.”

“It has a key?” Ryan seemed surprised.

“Don’t they usually have keys?” Dominic asked.

“No. I usually have to pay to have a key made. 75 bucks.”

“I don’t understand you at all.”


The car started right up. “Hot damn, it doesn’t need to be towed,” Ryan exclaimed.

“What is wrong with you?” Dominic asked quietly.

“Good afternoon,” the car started talking as the dashboard lit up. “I am the Knight Industries Two Thousand but you can call me K.I.T.T.”

Ryan gasped. “It sounds like that teacher from ‘Boy Meets World’.”

“But why though?” Dominic asked. “Why does a car this old have OnStar?”

“I am not OnStar. I am the artificial intelligence to run everything. I am, how you would say, the brains of the outfit. I am essentially a supercomputer on wheels,” K.I.T.T. said.

“Then why are you in an auto junkyard?” Dominic asked.

“As I’ve gotten older, parts of me have started failing. I used to be a state-of-the-art crimefighting supercomputer but now I’m mainly just a good conversationalist,” K.I.T.T. said.

“That’s fine. I’m not big on crimefighting anyway,” Ryan said. “So you turn on, let’s see if you can drive.” He shifted K.I.T.T. into gear and began moving.

“Well, it moves. I’ll follow you home,” Dominic said as he got out of K.I.T.T.

The door closed. “Who was that?”

“My friend, Dominic.”

“He’s not a very good friend,” K.I.T.T. said. “Judging you on the kind of car you buy. Trying to embarrass you.”

“We’re friends. He was joking. That’s what friends do.”

“There’s a difference between a joke and being mean.”

“And he’s joking, K.I.T.T. Calm down.”

“Sorry, Ryan. I’m just very protective of my drivers.”

“It’s cool. You’ll grow to love Dominic.”

K.I.T.T. wasn’t so sure.




“Your new car is giving me a dirty look,” Dominic said as he walked into the Tank N Tummy.

“It’s a car. How can it give you a dirty look?”

“I don’t know but it is.”

“People always try to find faces in ordinary things,” Aaron said.

“How is your car doing?” Dominic asked. “I see it started this morning and got you to work.”

“I think it’s the best car I’ve ever gotten at a police auction.”

“We’ll have to go for a ride in it later,” Dominic said. He stepped behind the counter and logged into the cash register and began checking customers out.

“We will,” Ryan said. “I’m gonna go clean the beverage area and take out the trash.”

Ryan walked over to the beverage area and began wiping down the counters. He pulled out the trash can and lifted the bag out, tying it closed and taking it to the dumpster out back.

Dominic finished up the line of customers and went to get a drink. When he got back behind the counter with Aaron, he noticed that K.I.T.T. was now parked in front of the store and not on the side. “What the…? Why did Ryan move his car to the front?”

Aaron looked. “I don’t know. I didn’t see him do it.”

Ryan got back behind the counter.

“Did you move your car?” Dominic asked.

“I didn’t. Why?”

“Because it’s right there.”

“Huh. I didn’t move it. K.I.T.T. must’ve moved himself. He’s rather fond of me and probably just wants to keep an eye on me.”

“He’s giving me that look again,” Dominic said. “And why is no one concerned that the car moved itself?”

“It has an on-board computer and can talk. Why wouldn’t it be able to park itself?” Ryan questioned.

You seem very laissez faire about this sentient murder car.”

“It’s a car, Dominic. Sure, it’s smarter than most but it’s still just a car. What damage could it do?”




The next morning, Dominic woke up to a lump in his bed. He pulled the blanket off and saw a steering wheel. The steering wheel from his car.

“You’re late,” Ryan said when Dominic came into the store.

“I had to take the bus because someone or something decided to do this,” he held up his steering wheel.

“Is that a steering wheel?”

“It’s my steering wheel. I found it in my bed this morning.”

“And you’ve just been carrying that around?”

“It did this. I don’t know how but K.I.T.T. did it.”

“How?”

“I just said that I don’t know how. Keep it away from me. Disconnect its battery, lock it up, keep it away.”

The next morning, Dominic woke up and got out of bed to go to the bathroom but found his door locked, stuck, or blocked. “What the…?” he jiggled and pulled on the doorknob. “K.I.T.T!” Dominic screamed.

“There’s something different about you, Dominic,” Lauren said. “Is that a new shirt?”

“No,” K.I.T.T. responded. He was wearing one of Dominic’s shirts with an apron and nametag over it. “Maybe I combed my hair differently.”

“What the hell?” a voice came from the door of the store.

Both Ryan and Lauren looked confused and surprised at the person that came in. “Dominic?”

“If that’s Dominic then who…?”

“I’m confused,” Lauren breathed.

“Ryan, your car hates me.”

“It’s a car. It doesn’t have an opinion of you either way.”

“It’s a talking computer car and it locked me in my bedroom, clearly stole one of my shirts and came to work posing as me. K.I.T.T. is single white femaleing me.”

“Clearly this young man is delusional and possibly dangerous,” K.I.T.T. said. “I suggest we call authorities.”

“Oh my God. It’s a car in a shirt, guys. I expect this kind of idiocy from you, Ryan, but you, Lauren?” Dominic went behind the counter. “This is one of my favorite shirts. You’ve stretched it all out. How’d you even get in it?”

“What are you talking about? I’m Dominic Hall. My good friend Ryan will vouch for me. Won’t you, Ryan?”

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Ryan shrugged.

“See? I’m Dominic,” K.I.T.T. smiled.

“You’re a car!” Dominic screamed.

“Look. Look. Isn’t there only one Washington?” K.I.T.T. asked.

“Yeah,” Dominic replied.

“And isn’t there only one Lincoln?”

“Yeah.”

“And isn’t there only one Dominic?”

“Yeah.”

“Then that settles it. I’m Dominic.”

Dominic muttered to himself. “Get back in the damn parking lot!”

“Fine, fine.”

K.I.T.T. left the store. Dominic looked angrily back and forth between Ryan and Lauren. “What the hell was that?”

Lauren shrugged. “It was a good disguise.”

“It was a car. In a shirt.”

The three of them were silent for about a minute. Ryan leaned over to Lauren and whispered. “I liked the old Dominic more. He was nicer.”

Lauren nodded.

“I don’t even work today,” Dominic sighed. “I’m going home."

Monday, May 13, 2019

Give Money To My Ko-Fi and I Won't Spoil the Ending

If you haven't seen it by now...

I like to imagine that Hattie is just walking around the city, approaching people and saying that for $10 she won't spoil Avengers: Endgame just to see how many people will give her the ten.