And the artists won’t complain because it’ll give them a free plug and a link. I hope. Stay tuned for further updates.sm-killersat.gifBut I digress.

I could not remain silent when one of my all-time faves had not Jumped the Shark, but Jumped INTO the Shark, like this guy. And I don’t mean Schlock Mercenary, in spite of its current digression out of Space Opera into Creative Near-Death Experience, complete with knocking a hole in the “Fourth Wall” big enough to drive a Mothership through (Or maybe Nuking the Fourth Wall from Orbit). I am still fairly comfortably on board for this Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride With Alice in Wonderland From The Enchanted Tiki Room To The Haunted Mansion, but if comicker Howard Taylor detours into It’s A Small World, I’m going back to the front gate to demand a refund.

No, it wasn’t Schlock but one of may favorite Krispy Kleenex Komix that has served me up a massive disappointment on a shingle. The offender is 9 Chickweed Lane, the stylishly-drawn home of independent sexy women, a cat who doesn’t need to talk to show attitude, a madman philosopher in over-alls, and scenes from the seemingly un-comicky fields of Academia and Ballet. For some time, comicker Brooke McEldowney (whom I was disappointed to learn is a guy) has been brewing up one of the better “we’re gonna get nasty letters about this” plotlines about an emerging romance between a lapsed nun and a semi-lapsing priest. At the beginning of July, the whole Chickweediverse was shaken by a prediction from the madman philosopher that apparently the lapsing priest was taking very seriously.
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At this point, the plotline slowed to an agonizing trickle, making room for a sitcom’s worth of misunderstandingsand arguments, AND taking a week off while the syndicate showed some surrealistic rerun strips from two years ago…
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(Personally, I feared that the distributors had vetoed McEldowney’s storyline, or were at least trying to talk him out of it). After two long months, all the confusion had been de-confused and the disagreements agreed upon and the not-so-young lovers had decided to choose Love over God when, on the Saturday of a Labor Day weekend, when readership was sure to be at its lowest, Brooke hits us with this:
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(Try to remain calm, Wendell, try to remain calm)
A FREAKING ASTEROID/HEMORRHOID PUN? THAT WAS THE ULTIMATE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND ONE OF NEWSPAPER COMICS’ MOST TABOO ROMANCES?

That hurts, Brooke, that really really hurts. It’s going to take a long time to forgive you for this. (And it’s why I have no qualms re-weblishing four of your strips without permission) It’s a good thing I ponied up for the “Comics Extra” so I can go back to 1993 and re-read your first Chickweeds, back when we were all a lot more innocent, and a lot less Hemorrhoidal.