Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Weird That Veeblefester Has a Tribal Tattoo On the Back of His Head

If you think Dirk Allen's dad is so great, you should go live with him. Take all your stuff and get out. Dirk Allen's dad will be begging me to take you back within 24 hours.

"Sir, are you drunk? It's only 9 in the morning."

A little bit of Veeblefester's origin is revealed in today's strip. Not that knowing Veeblefester didn't have a father makes me care about him as a character. Papa Veeblefester probably didn't leave because Mama Veeblefester's cooking was terrible but because her cooking was slightly worse than the cooking of the mother of the other family he had on the other side of town.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Would'ja Believe...?

The Devil House was an old stone house that stood at the intersection of 93rd and Paulen Roads in rural Shawnee County. I never knew the actual history of the house and, to a point, I still don’t. The story that people made up about the house and surrounding land I remember very well. A family used to the live in the house, some accounts say they were Satanists, and they had a daughter who liked to go to one of the bigger towns for excitement, again Berryton, Richland, or Topeka have all been used. One night she went out and got pregnant—again, it was either voluntary or involuntary. When the girl gives birth, the mother takes the baby away to a pond in the woods behind the house to drown it. Some stories have the mother just going insane while others say she noticed the baby was Mexican or Native or Black. The story ends with either the girl slaughtering her parents and mysteriously vanishing or the girl hanging herself in the attic. Whichever story is told, it hits all the bases of what makes a good story.

The earliest settler I found on Section 26 was Jacob Coblentz. A house is marked as being on the property on an 1873 map which means we can assume that the house was built prior to this, probably late 1860s or very early 1870s. Jacob Coblentz married Eliza Lambert in 1852 and moved to Kansas from Ohio in 1865, settling in Monmouth Township, Shawnee County in 1866. They had 7 children and were very prominent in the Berryton/Richland area. After the turn of the 20th Century, the Coblentz’ were caught up in something of a scandal when it was claimed that Jacob had committed his brother, Peter, to an asylum just so he could have his land. Coblentz claimed that it was for Peter and his family’s own safety. Jacob died in 1910 and he, along with most of his family, are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Richland.
1873 map showing Coblentz property.
Gravestone for Jacob Coblentz in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
In 1888, Jacob Coblentz moved from his land on Section 26 and traded property with William Coultis. He had originally been married to Lizzie Stone who passed away from spinal meningitis in 1880. He remarried to Mercy and they had at least two children—William, Jr. and Lillie. The Coultises were very active in the Richland and Berryton communities and with the Highland Park Grange. William was so popular and active that he was chosen by the Populists to run for Shawnee County Commissioner. Their aim was no make sure no Republican ever represented their ward again. Coultis seemingly lost that election, although I was not able to find the results of it, but, undeterred, the Populists ran him again, this time, for State Senator. Again, Coultis lost to the Republican, William E. Sterne. Sterne would serve in the Kansas Senate from 1893 until 1901. Coultis would pass away in 1932 and is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Topeka.
1921 map showing the Coultis property.
Gravestone for William and Mercy Coultis in Memorial Park Cemetery.
The Coblentz/Coultis house was torn down around 2005 and has really been relegated to the fringe edges of haunted tales in the Topeka, Lawrence, Johnson County area. Most legends like that of The Devil House spring from real life events, and I am sure it is no different here. In 1906, two men, Charles Ryder and Jason Morris of Berryton, were arrested for raping their daughters. According to the article, Mrs. Morris was so shocked she went insane. When I went to the house, there were a couple things that fit the stories that were told. The property did have a small pond on it and, at night, if you listened closely, you could hear the whinny of a distant horse. Granted, most farmland around here have ponds and the horse neigh could’ve come from the nearby horse farm but that doesn’t make nearly as good a story.
Topeka State Journal article reporting on Ryder and Morris' arrest.
December 28, 1906.
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Over a year? That's not impressive. Between 1997 and 2006 I got sick, like, twice, if that. Nowadays, I get sick any time the temperature fluctuates more than five degrees.

I hate when Brutus, or any character really, references the title of the strip. Maybe Brutus is trying to make it a thing so it will catch on and he can start making money on it. I mean, it hasn't worked for me but Chip Sansom seems to be doing all right.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Rain. That's a Pretty Good Sign of Spring

Spring is here.
Spring is here.
Life is Skittles
And life is beer.

I thing the loveliest time of the year
is the Spring, I do.
Don't you?
Of course you do.

Friday, April 26, 2019


Brutus could've seen his only son score BOTH winning goals if he would've actually went to see his son's game. Why doesn't Brutus ever go to Wilberforce's games? Please give me your theories over on Twitter.

God forbid the game of soccer play a little bit longer so Wilberforce could've scored a second goal in his opponent's net?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Healthy Friendship

So Gladys just said "Hello" into the phone while Henrietta angry-breathed into the mouthpiece? For how long and just how hard was it for Chip not to draw another panel that just said "WOMEN AMIRITE?!?!" in giant cartoony letters?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Not My Uppers!

Brutus seems very protective of the forgotten garbage in the medicine cabinet. What was Brutus hiding in there?

Have you been cleaning out your medicine cabinet? You can't just throw your pills down the sink or toilet, you know. This Saturday is the National Take Back Day. Dispose of your useless or expired prescription drugs the responsible way. Check out the DEA's Take Back Day website for collection locations near you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


When I first read "King Kool" I immediately thought of the alligator king from the Donkey Kong games but then remembered that his name is King K. Rool.
Now I just think this guy smokes a lot of cheap menthol cigarettes.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Post-Easter Eggs

Were these eggs on the ground? How many grubby children had their hands on these eggs? No, I don't care that they were in shells, it's disgusting.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

All That Build-Up for a Pun

I’m a fan of ashcan editions of comic books. Ashcans are mainly used to register the title of the comic book or a character before the actual first issue/appearance comes out. Typically, a cover, usually a reused cover from a previous publication, is stapled onto a collection of pages, again from previous publications sometimes not even in order, and sent to the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office. The ashcan editions were almost solely made by All-American/National/DC and Fawcett Comics in order to secure trademark. Fawcett sent two ashcans to the trademark office in order to secure copyright on Captain Thunder and the title he was supposed to appear in.

Originally, Captain Thunder was supposed to debut in Flash Comics #1 but was beaten by All-American Comics (now DC Comics). Fawcett then sent in the title Thrill Comics but was beaten by Thrilling Comics by Standard Publications. Fawcett eventually lost the copyright for Captain Thunder as well to Fiction House's Captain Thunder and the Cargo Lancers in Jungle Comics. Fawcett decided rename the character Captain Marvel and the comic Whiz Comics.

Flash Comics #1, January 1940. Art by C.C. Beck.
Thrill Comics #1, January 1940. Art by C.C. Beck.
Flash Comics #1 (DC Comics), December 1939. Art from Adventure Comics #41
by Leo E. O'Mealia.

Action Comics #1, undated. Original art by Craig Flessel.
Action Funnies, undated. Oddly unfunny art from Action Comics #3 by Leo E. O'Mealia.
All-American Comics, April 1939. Art from Adventure Comics #33
by Craig Flessel.
All-American Men of War, August-September 1952. Art from All-Star Western #58 by
Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.
All Star Comics #1, Spring 1940. Art from Flash Comics #1 by
Sheldon Moldoff.
Double Action Comics #1, November 1939. Art from Adventure Comics #41 by
Leo E. O'Mealia.
Double Action Comics #1, November 1939. Art from New Adventure Comics #26
by Craig Flessel.
Double Action Comics #2, January 1940. Art from Adventure Comics #37
by Craig Flessel.
Superboy, January 1942. Art from Detective Comics #57 by Bob Kane,
Jerry Robinson, and George Roussos.
Supergirl, February 1946. Art from Boy Commandos #1 by
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
Superman Comics. Art from Action Comics #7 by Joe Shuster.
Superwoman, January 1942. Art from More Fun Comics #73 by
Howard Sherman.
Wonder Woman #1, January 1942. Art from Sensation Comics #1 by
Jon L. Blummer and H.G. Peter.
World's Best Comics, February 1940. Art from Action Comics #29 by
Wayne Boring.
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I was promised exciting news. This isn't exciting news at all.

I'm sorry but unless your roots come from anywhere beyond western Europe then your origin isn't all that exciting and I'm saying this as someone whose family did come from the British Isles. Really, the only relative that I would like to research and get to know better is my great-great-great-great-great-great grandpa Bolivar Hall. He fought in the American Revolution, had a Native American wife, and a plantation in North Carolina so you know what that probably means.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Best of Friends

A few months ago, I had a student ask if we could hang out when she goes to high school. I told her that it would have to be after she graduated high school. She agreed to that so I go "All right. After you graduate high school, we'll go see a movie. I'll be your weird and creepy 40-year-old friend." What I'm saying is Brutus is Hattie's weird and creepy 50-year-old friend. Whether he wants to be or not.

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Fast Lane

You know, I don't think any transportation department around here uses barrels anymore. Just cones. Maybe I'm wrong and I just haven't been paying attention...while driving through construction zones...

Seriously, Brutus? You think you qualify for "living in the fast lane"? You? Really?

Thursday, April 18, 2019


I've always been baffled that Brutus has continued to maintain his job at Veeblefester Tea Cozies. When my boss talks about my poor judgement, short attention span, and persistent tardiness then my meeting with them usually doesn't go very good.

One has to think, if Brutus is this bad at his job but still has one, how must the other employees work?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Of Food and Men

Is this waitress Brutus' mother? Why are you trying to push him to a cheaper burger? If he wants the triple then you get the man a triple. If he doesn't eat it then that's his money wasted that you get to keep. "Now Brutus, maybe that burger's a little too big for my lummy-wumpkins. Maybe get something smaller?" No:

[stares intently at the name 'Osmosis']

[staring intensifies]

[sighs] Based on my archives, we've seen Brutus fishing maybe twice. He probably doesn't fish because he never catches anything. He probably doesn't hunt because he doesn't shoot anything (he also has easy access to things called grocery stores and doesn't have to forage for food). He probably doesn't hike because that's a good way to snap an ankle. What I'm getting at is he's a born loser--fishing, hunting, hiking are all basically death traps and Brutus is right to avoid them.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Just Walk Away

I've been a human for the last [insert number of years here] and humans don't talk like this. At least normal humans. I don't ask my wife about my good qualities. Why would you? Seems like a dangerous game of Russian roulette to me.

Tank N Tummy #14

When Ned woke up, he noticed MaryJane was in the bathroom. But the door was open so she wasn’t actually using the bathroom. He got up and looked at her. She was looking at herself in the mirror, her right arm raised over her head. She was also pulling on something near her breast. “What are you doing?” Ned asked.

“I’m shocked you haven’t noticed,” MaryJane grabbed and held onto what was on her breast and turned to Ned. “I have this freakishly long hair on my boob.”

“No, I haven’t noticed,” he bent down and gave the hair and her boob a good look. “That is really long. You gonna pull it out?”


“Want to use my razor?”

“I’ve been taking care of this hair for about three months. Shampooing and conditioning it. I even bought a special shampoo for it to make it stronger. It’s like taking care of a baby.”

“Ah,” Ned looked at her hair again. “Clearly you’ve gone insane.”

“I’m not a girly-girl. I don’t really go for fancy things but I’ve really come to love this little hair. It’s like a part of me.”

“Literally,” Ned smiled.

“Do you think I could braid it or at least put a bead on it?”

“I think so. It seems long enough.”

“Do you think that’s too weird?” MaryJane asked.

“I’d be fine with it. It’s your body. You can do what you want with it.”

“There is some gel in my go-bag. Can you get it for me?”

“Sure,” Ned kissed her cheek. “Love you.” He turned around but then stopped. “Uh-oh,” he said. He turned and looked at MaryJane.

“It’s fine,” MaryJane waved him off. “I love you, too.”

“Oh,” he was relieved. “Good. Gel,” he pointed at her.

“Yes,” she laughed and began petting her breast hair.

Dominic came in about two in the afternoon. Usually he wore a cheap polo shirt to work but today he was wearing a printed shirt of something he liked. Today, it was a shirt with his favorite band on it. Ryan knew what that meant.

“Somebody got laid,” Ryan exclaimed loudly. “And one-thirteen your change, ma’am,” Ryan handed the woman her money and she pulled her six-year-old daughter away from the counter.

“I had a good evening,” Dominic said. “That’s all I’m going to say. You know I don’t like to kiss and tell.”

“So who was she?”

“This girl named Greta. We’d gone out a couple times before but this time finally took.”

“Greta? Greta Von Bargen?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“I slept with her a couple months ago,” Ryan said. A customer came up to the counter with a drink.

“And twenty dollars in gas on pump three.”

“Really?” Dominic put an apron on and his nametag.

“Yeah, she was the girl who, like, worshipped me. She loved going down on me.”

“Why is it, every time I come in here, you three are having an inappropriate conversation?” the customer complained.

“Luck?” Aaron said. “Also, I slept with her, too.”

“What?” Dominic and Ryan reacted.

The customer gave Aaron a dirty look. “This is why you are working here and not a real job,” he said. “Next time, I’m gonna report you to your manager.”

“Jokes on you, sir. I’m here because I’m too lazy to fill out another job application somewhere else,” Aaron said.

“Those things are hard,” Dominic agreed.

“So how was your date with Greta?” Ryan asked.

“Amazing. I took her out to dinner at this little bistro I’d heard a lot about and then I was going to take her to this bar and get her a little drunk but instead…”

“Do you mind if we go for a drive?” Greta asked.

“Not at all,” Dominic replied. They got in Dominic’s car and began driving. They held hands as Dominic drove a bit through town and then out of town and onto deserted country roads.

“Do you know where St. Francis Hill is?” Greta asked.

“Yeah. Is that where you want to go?” Dominic made a turn and then another and began driving up a hill that then made a sharp turn. At the turn was a burned-out shell of an old stone church. He pulled into the dirt parking lot and faced the car toward the city, the lights shining just below the hill. “I love the view from this hill. It’s a shame the church burned down.”

“Yeah,” Greta said and began undoing Dominic’s pants with her hands. She went down on him for a few minutes then threw herself back into her seat and leaned it back. Taking that as an invitation, Dominic threw himself on top of Greta. He pulled off his shirt and hers, worked his pants down around his knees as they kisses. “You know,” she began between kisses and deep breaths, “they never caught who burned the church down.”

“I know,” Dominic breathed as he pushed himself inside Greta.

“Ah, yeah,” she reacted to him. “It was me, you know,” she smiled devilishly at Dominic and then kissed him.

“Really?” he asked after the kiss.

“Oh, yeah. I love to burn things,” she cackled.

“God, it was amazing,” Dominic said to Ryan and Aaron. “How were your dates with Greta?”

“Well, she was the one who picked me up,” Ryan began. “She had this beautiful cherry red car. I was waiting out my apartment complex when she pulled up.”

“Hop in, tiger,” Greta purred as Ryan walked toward the car. They sped through town before grabbing dinner at a cajun restaurant. After eating, the two of them drove around some more. The whole time, Greta kept putting her hand down Ryan’s pants and fondling him. A police car found its way behind them, lights flashing and siren wailing.

“You got a police car behind you. I think they want you to stop,” Ryan said.

Greta began speeding up. “I can’t do that. This car is stolen,” she said.

“What?” Ryan asked.

She made a quick turn and got on the highway, the police car still following her. She was able to get the car up to about 95 miles per hour before it started shuddering and the engine light on the dashboard lit up. “This is why you don’t buy an American sports car,” Greta complained and exited the highway, the police car still following behind. Greta finally started slowing down and as she stopped, the car made a loud clunk.

The cop arrested both Greta and Ryan and she tried to make out with Ryan while they were handcuffed in the backseat of the police car while on their way to the police station. After an hour, the police let Ryan go and even gave him a ride home. Ryan was in bed when there was a knock on the door at a little after two in the morning. “Greta?” Ryan exclaimed as he opened the door.

“Oh, good, you’re still up,” she pounced on him. “The moron decided not to press charges so the cops let me go and being in jail makes me so horny.”

“I barely got any sleep that night,” Ryan said to Dominic and Aaron.

“What about you, Aaron?” Dominic asked.

“I met Greta at a bar. I was trying out a new place and she just happened to be there,” Aaron began.

Greta bent her body around the pole and slid down it in a circle, spreading her legs as she reached the stage. She then arched her back and slowly raised her head, making a licking motion with her tongue. Men hooted and hollered but she looked directly at Aaron and curled her finger a couple of times to get him to come up to her.

“In twenty minutes, meet me in the back room over there,” Greta pointed and hissed in Aaron’s ear. “I’ll give you a free sample.”

Aaron downed a couple more drinks, watched another girl dance, throwing a few bucks at her, and then snuck away to the room Greta pointed to. He walked in and saw another dancer laying on the floor.

“Oh, thank God, it’s you. Something bad happened,” Greta was crying.

“Is she dead?” Aaron asked, pointing at the dancer on the floor.

“She wanted to get me out of the way so she could blackmail you. I wouldn’t let her. We got into a fight and somehow I stabbed her,” Greta cried.

“Somehow you stabbed her?” Aaron questioned. “Well, we need to call the police. It was self-defense…” Greta fell into his arms. “I’ll help you.”

“No, you don’t understand. I’m a stripper--a whore. The police won’t listen to me. They’ll lock me up and throw away the key.”

“Then what should we do?”

“We need to get rid of the body. She’s a stripper--a whore--no one will be looking for her,” Greta said.

“I think we should just call the police,” Aaron hemmed. “Your way sounds even more suspicious and makes me an accessory to murder.”

“Please?” she cooed. She undid Aaron’s pants and kneeled down.

“Wait-wait-wait-wait,” Dominic interrupted. “Greta’s a stripper and she blew you with another dead stripper in the same room?”


“That’s hot,” Dominic said to Ryan who nodded.

“Let me finish,” Aaron said.

Aaron and Greta rolled the dead stripper--who Aaron found out was named Chloe--into a tarp that Greta happened to have in her trunk. They loaded the wrapped-up body into Aaron’s trunk and drove to the abandoned church on St. Francis Hill, Greta following behind in her car.

Greta broke into the church and had Aaron dump the body on the floor. “Thanks. Now get out,” she suddenly had a molotov cocktail in her hand and threw it against the wall, igniting the old dry wood on the eastside of the church. “Follow me home,” she said, heading back out to the cars as the church burned down.

“So I followed her home and we had sex,” Aaron shrugged.

“How cool is it that our stories are connected?” Dominic said to Aaron.

“Story brothers,” Aaron thumped his chest with his fist a couple of times.

“But it’s clear that she’s a terrible person, right?” Ryan asked.

“Oh, yeah.”

“No question.”

“We really should’ve called the police on her.”

Sunday, April 14, 2019

It's Time

Byron Edgar Chollar was born in Brooklyn, Connecticut. He served in the Civil War in Co. H of the 15th New York Engineers. In 1900, he moved to Baldwin City from Topeka. His entire family is buried in Prairie City Cemetery.

Of note, Chollar invented and patented a method for purifying gas as seen here. The beautiful angel memorial is for his son, Byron, Jr. and is made of white marble sculpted in Italy.

Laure Celina Chollar
Sept. 28, 1842
Sept. 26, 1911


Byron Edgar Chollar

Mar. 28, 1840
Oct. 24, 1913


Helene Lucy
Nov. 24, 1874
Jul. 3, 1963

Laura Grace

Aug. 31, 1884
June 28, 1975

Our Darling Son

Sept. 23, 1872

June 12, 1892

We shall meet again


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"Pop is talking to himself again."

"I know, Wilberforce," Gladys sighed as she gripped her son's shoulders. "I think it's finally time. I'll go get the number to that hospital. Why don't you go in and try to get him away from that reduced fat cream. Try to get him outside to play catch until the men with the giant nets arrive."