Mary Death

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Detail of 'Mary Death' by Matt Tarpley, 24 February 2015.

What really should be seared into memory is also blurred by the fact that it is a fairly powerful experience for most people, and with an addictive drug at that.

Still, though: Good times, good times.

Oh, hey, a phrase that will mean nothing to anyone else … well, unless you happen to be one of about four people who were there.

“Hey, Ken! Can I have some more maple syrup, please?”

Cruelty in brown glass.

Never mind. Separate subject.

Ah, youth!

Then again, Matt Tarpley’s high-fuel remembrance of yestersometime―and, oh, my, is that Nimbus?―is about the only answer we can offer. The bit about maple syrup? Yeah, you kind of had to be there. It’ll have to wait for another time.


Tarpley, Matt. “Kick Start the Day”. Mary Death. 24 February 2015.

What It Looks Like When WordPress Kills the Joke and Sucks All the Humor Out of the Moment Because They’re a Bunch of Morons Who Want to Pitch Their Product to Writers by Showing How Nice It Is for Administrators Who Want to Data-Mine Readers for Demographics

Detail of 'Mary Death', by Matt Tarpley, 3 February 2015.You know, I forget what the damn joke was to go with this one. I’ve had to try to repost this so many damn times because suddenly WordPress doesn’t like to put pictures in posts, or something, or maybe it’s just my goddamn browser, which has been freaking out about Flash of late to the point that Unicode can make it collapse if it’s open to a page with that ridiculous excuse for software that reminds us why the French used to have a justice system to send people to prison for cooking food badly. At any rate, here’s a fuckin’ picture of a sad robot. Whatever. It’s Matt Tarpley’s, of course.

But, you know, it’s like having to do a scene five times not because you’re botching the line, but the first time the lighting is wrong, the second time the sound is wrong, the third time you realize they never took the lens cover off, the fourth time it becomes apparent the microphones aren’t plugged in, the fifth time the CCD is busted … yeah, baby, yeah, keep that mood goin’!

And what is probably most disturbing about it all is that all this could be avoided if websites like WordPress stopped bloating their software with that fucking disease called Flash.

No, seriously, when did the business model become, “Let’s screw our product into the ground and see how long people keep trying”?

Hint: They’ll put up with it as long as it’s free. But when it comes time to actually go out and spend money building an enterprise, the smart money will be spent on something a little less glamorous, but that actually works.


Tarpley, Matt. Mary Death. 3 February 2015.

Overstated, Obviously

Detail of 'Mary Death' by Matt Tarpley, 9 December 2014.It is a famous song: “Thank Heaven for little girls”, though for my rock and roll generation it’s a bit warped, since Pete and Dave appended, in 1985, “and some of the other sizes, too”. And, besides, it’s a fucking twisted songα. No, really, what kind of sick monster sings something like that?β

Still, though, the younger generation, regardless of chromosomal disposition, has much to offer their elders in terms of basic wisdom. Sometimes it’s just about terrifying, ravenous monsters smashing up the city, and that’s all there is to it.

And, you know, every once in a while we ought to pay attention.

Still, though, kaiju pajamas. Fun. Pacific Rim might have been a terrible film better left unmade, but we can pretend that Mary is smart enough to have skipped it and instead, like the geek we know she will grow into—well, barring awful plot twists or one of those weird things where after fifteen years we wonder why she hadn’t grown a day—she has plenty of other reasons to adore (dai-)kaiju in general. And, hey, that way her parents don’t have to explain just who “Slattern” is, or why the writers chose that name.

Or, perhaps, it really is just about terrifying, ravenous monsters smashing up the city, and we really ought not waste our time fretting that Mary has somehow wasted a couple hours of her life on that film.

On a thoroughly unrelated note, I have no idea what to make of the idea that Death can overthink things like that.

You know, just like the rest of us.


α “Thank Heaven for little girls, for little girls get bigger every day! Thank Heaven for little girls, they grow up in the most delightful way! Those little eyes so helpless and appealing, one day will flash and send you crashing through the ceiling. Thank Heaven for little girls! Thank Heaven for them all! No matter where, no matter who, for without them what would little boys do? Thank Heaven for little girls!”

β Maurice Chevalier wasn’t alone; Perry Como performed the song, too.

Tarpley, Matt. “Pajama Party”. Mary Death. 9 December 2014.

An Example There Being No Such Thing as Bad News

Detail of 'Mary Death' by Matt Tarpley, 2 December 2014.

One might note that it is getting to the point that one needs no longer watch the actual advert in order to know how the movie goes.

Or is that joke too obscure by a generation?

(Detail of Mary Death by Matt Tarpley, 2 December 2014.)

Our Best Wishes for the Happiest of Genocide Days

Easter in the nation's capital was a dark and gloomy day with a chill breeze blowing, but U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.

In honor of our American Feast of the Genocide, how about some thematically-related cartoons?

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 28 November 2014.Adam Huber leads off, giving thanks to the internet that he might post tomorrow’s cartoon today, that in turn he might spend tomorrow either hung over or tryptocomatose.

Lalo Alcaraz, like many others, reflects on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

• Speaking of true meanings, Adam Huber took a shot at it earlier this week.

• Or maybe Brian McFadden puts forward a more appropriate reflection on the true meaning of “Thanksgiving Day”.

―No, really. Steve Benen offered a vignette earlier this week explaining one of the great political controversies surrounding the idea of “Thanksgiving Day” that is worth the two minutes it takes the average literate American to read. It is also where we got the photo of FDR on Easter. Go figure; go fish.

Detail of cartoon by Jen Sorensen, 25 November 2014, via Daily Kos Comics.Jen Sorensen attempts to summarize the crazy, tinfoil relative who reminds us why we need to keep the fact of attempted genocide in mind as a fundamental component of our Thanksgiving Day rituals.

Reuben Bolling offers a glimpse at Genocide Day Thanksgiving Day in Chagrin Falls.

• #TBT the time Adam Huber won the Genocide Day Cartoon Parade by starting in April.

In re the above, to the one we promise that is the last of the Huber cartoons for today. Prolific about genocide? Genocide-prolific? Can we just go with genolific? At any rate, our apologies for this post in general; we’ve known it was coming for months, having filed this cartoon away for this year’s celebration.

• We might note that Matt Tarpley managed an actual feelgood cartoon in honor of “Thanksgiving Day”. It is also worth pointing out that apparently Death closes his eyes when swinging. And yet, Death bats a thousand.

• Not to disparage the fine artists above, but Zach Weiner deserves some sort of award for skipping the holiday edition altogether. Thus, a cartoon from earlier this week that reminds us to give thanks for consumerism, undereducation, and paranoia, which really are the thematic components of what we Americans make of this day.

And while the wannabe patriots and pragmatists might moan about how people just won’t forget history and celebrate the glorious triumph of all that came after the attempted genocide, it is equally appropriate to remind them to go screw and give thanks that nobody is trading them death blankets as an act of biological warfare disguised in alleged commerce.

Otherwise, give thanks like you would for any other day, that we are still here and get to experience it, and perhaps take a moment to wonder why we put ourselves through this ritual that nobody seems to like, since we’re always muttering about the Turkey Pardon, the banality of parades, fretting over how to get the best Black Friday deals (Hint: Do your shopping last Monday, at least until next year when the new statistics show us which day actually has the best prices), or complaining that anyone would spend this miserable day of family gatherings—over tasteless ritual food and football games that more often than not have nothing to do with your favorite team—getting drunk.

But make sure to raise a wrist for genocide.

Some Kind of Good News

'I have slain your champion. By law of the horde, you must now crown me your new king!' (Detail of 'ReGrBl', by Digo and Raf Salazar, 23 March 2008)

You know how it goes, right? To the one, the timing is way, way off. To the other, you’re not going to sit on something like this for that long because, well, you’ll forget. Or maybe write a post but set the posting date and time for way off in the future. Hey, there’s an idea. Or maybe it’s just easier to do it this way: Say hello to ReGrBl, by Digo and Raf Salazar.

Temptations, temptations. This is an older one, but how could we resist? Meanwhile, there is a current story going on, so let’s hope they can wave a magic wand and figure out how to miss the―

What’s that? Wrong story? Oh, right. Anyway, yeah.

C’mon. Don’t make me give away the plot. It’s just, you know, really, like, tempting, and really cool, and you know, you just gotta, gotta read it. You know?


(Hat tip, except I don’t wear a hat. Anyway, thank you M.T./MDC.)

Black and White and Purple All Over

Now in Black and White!

Okay, the thing is that the slogans rotate, so not everyone gets this ironic moment. And it’s true, the whole thing about being in black and white is supposed to be taken in that humorous, conscious, passive-aggressive self-deprecation.

Still, though, Matt Tarpley went with shades of purple, and I’m guessing that’s today’s clue:

This week Mary Death goes to Japan! For real, I am in Japan right now buying all the things.

Also, there will be a special guest artist appearing for Friday’s strip. Eggciting! I have left a tiny clue as to which comic this artist comes from …

So, hey, play along. To the one, it’s a great strip in general, written and illustrated by a talented artist. To the other, I’m never right about these things, so come Friday you can appropriately razz me for being wrong about the clue.


Tarpley, Matt. “Japan!” Mary Death. 4 November 2014.

Something Worth Your Time

Life, death, and a turtle.

Go. Click. Er … um … well, okay, not quite do, you know, but … I don’t know, meditate or something. What? Why can’t you just enjoy something, damn it?

Oh, right. Serenity now. Lest serenity itself demand.