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Poor dumb Mugsy's on the outs with Monty, and it's up to Jon and Angela to use every clever ruse in their bag of tricks to turn this hotheaded half-pint from a fiend to a friend.
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Episode #: 303

Issue #: 27

Release Date: Jun 29, 2007
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Title: "Stoopid!"

Story (out of 24 pages): 12 p.

Writers: J. M. Sweet and Jack Staten Monahew

Penciller: Matt W. Jeschonek

Letterer: Shane T. Eaton

Colorist: Newton E. Haas

Summary:

Mugsy is bringing lunch into the clubhouse when he trips on a warped floorboard and spills food all over Tony Moneran. He erupts in a fit of rage, calls Mugsy stupid, dissolves their friendship, and kicks him out of the clubhouse for good. Jon and Angela--who is snidely breaking the fourth wall about them not being on the first page of the story despite having top billing--happen to drop by and spot the big lug heartbroken and bawling on the curb. After hearing what Moneran has done this time, they decide to teach the little brat a lesson.

Shortly after, Monty gets a visit from Veronica "V.V." Valenzuela, a representative of the American Stage, Cinema, and Radio Actors' Coalition (actually Angela in disguise). V.V. tells Monty he's the grand prize winner in a contest to recieve a celebrity best friend for a day. However, the A-listers ASCRAC sends over (Jon disguised as movie star Armhold Swinenhogger, and Angela reappearing as rich, spoiled model Cindy Crawdad) leave a lot to be desired, and Monty desperately starts wishing Mugsy was back. But first, he's got to swallow his pride and take back all the mean things he said. Will Mugsy forgive Monty and take him back...or kick him to the curb?

Notes

Previous episode references

  • AABF01--Monty's clubhouse appears
  • BABF03--Jon and Angela use "Dr. Belcher" and "Dr. Ruthless" disguises
  • BABF12-a--Angela invokes the name of a member of the famous Termite Terrace; dining at Pouissant's

    This marks Mugsy's first appearance since AABF05.

    page 2. The narration block in the scene where Mugsy is leaving the clubhouse parodies the lyrics to the opening theme of the 1965 series Branded, starring Chuck Connor as a Civil War soldier wrongly accused of desertion, dishonorably discharged, and sent wandering the countryside looking for redemption.

    page 3. Angela's oath refers to director Isadore "Friz" Freleng. Appropriate, as Mugsy is named for a thug character Freleng created for Warner Bros, who was also a large dimwitted oaf, almost always partnered in the cartoons with a short, ill-tempered gangster named Rocky.

    page 4. ASCRAC is a parody of SAG (the Screen Actors' Guild), although the name is more at AFLAC, the popular workers' compensation distributor whose commercials feature a duck voiced by Gilbert Gottfried.

    page 4. "Armhold Swinenhogger" is a parody of Arnold Schwartzenegger. Also, Jon's accent and catchphrases (i.e. "pump--clap--you up!") seem to be taken from the old Saturday Night Live sketches with Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey as two faux-Schwartzenegger fitness show hosts named Hanz and Franz.

    page 5. The "Bristol Stomp" was named for a 1961 song by Kal Mann and Dave Appell.

    page 6. "Cindy Crawdad" is a parody of Cindy Crawford.

    ________________________________________________

    This story is part of an arc: 1 2 3

    Title: "SweetTart"

    Story (out of 24 pages): 9 p.

    Writer: Tawana and Che Most

    Penciller: Scott J. Hanna and J. M. Sweet

    Letterer: Noah Jewett

    Colorist: Annette T. "Jo" Shaw

    Summary:

              Kitty Tartakoff, with Lyle's help, lays a trap for Tom    
    Little
    . When he shows up at The Harbinger, completely unsuspecting, he finds SweetTart waiting for him. She accuses the copy editor of killing Johnny Tewes and being an accessory to the murders of Mack Burke and Megan Nyce. Little goes mad with rage and suddenly attacks her. Kitty must use her mad acrobatic skills to keep one step ahead of this immoral lunatic's clutches, or he'll make her spend her last moments of life regretting she ever heard of the STJH Harbinger.

    Notes

    The chapter title refers to the classical song "It's Only a Paper Moon".
           Also, the star and half-moon logo strongly resembles the Sailor Moon title card.

    page 21. "Dynamic duo" is an epithet often applied to Batman and Robin, especially in the campy 1966 TV series.

    >>> WARNING: Here Be Spoilers <<<
    Trivia below here contain information that may give away important plot points. You may not want to read any further if you've not already read this title.

    page 23. The name of the girl whose grave Jon visits is Johanna, a nod to Bob Dylan's "Visions of Johanna". Jon even quotes the chorus of the song at one point.

    The text of the newspaper reads:

    Sonny Tufts student found dead in car bomb wreckage

    Johanna Ralston was killed outside

    her Apex Courts home yesterday

    afternoon when her car exploded.

    A bomb had been wired to the bot-

    tom of the vehicle and went off when

    the key was inserted into the ignition.

    Ralston, 14, lived with her parents

    Jack and Carolyn on N. Richashell

    Boulevard. Carolyn Ralston witness-

    ed her daughter's grisly death from

    a kitchen window.

    (The news story is partly truncated and resumes in the second column. The picture that accompanies the article, according to artist and editor J.M. Sweet, is of a girl from his high school Spanish class.)

    the long nightmare.

    "I can't believe some-

    one would want to harm

    such a sweet girl," said

    Rhea Borstein, Harbin-

    ger advisor.

    "You expect that sort

    of thing in the lower-

    class neighborhoods, but

    never in the good part of

    town."

    Ralston, a staff reporter

    for the Harbinger, was

    investigating reports of

    school board members

    recieving illegal kickbacks.

    Police suspect someone

    named in the story of the

    bombing, but as of yet

    have no suspects.

           It's strongly implied that Rhea Borstein was a suspect in the murder of Johanna Ralston two years before, and that she has a history of murdering or arranging the deaths of staffers she feels are a threat to her. Sweet confirmed this in his Jul 2 blog entry: "Like her real life-counterpart, Rhea Borstein is a demagogue and a bully. Presumably she's never been questioned about her tactics, although I'd wager she has her fair share of enemies. The thing is, she surrounds herself with an equal number of enforcers and blind followers, so she's next to impossible to take down. She's the High Priestess of the Gospel of the Magic Phantom Sketch--a sacred testament only her prophet Mitchell has ever seen, yet which the brainwashed leftist acolytes believe in the existance of without question. It's really amazing how stupid they are. I mean, hell, you can teach a chimpanzee sign language, but not get a liberal to have an independent thought. They're smarter than most liberals I know. I say let chimps publish The [ASU] Herald. The paper's quality would probably improve dramatically."

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