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Elizabeth Phelps
Kansas City
Comic lover and editor.
Recent Activity
Happy Punctuation Day, everyone! We here at GoComics hope you are celebrating with all the commas, periods, question marks and colons your heart desires. In honor of punctuation's big day, I present you with my Top 5 punctuation marks: 5. Ellipses: They're great for adding a pause ... though they're often overused. 4. Parentheses: Every time I see parentheses, I hope something snarky will follow. (It usually doesn't.) 3. Semicolon: The semicolon can be tricky to use; it tests your punctuation skills. 2. Exclamation point: Using an exclamation point is exciting! It just is! 1. Dash: The best punctuation out there — no ifs, ands or buts. What are your favorite punctuation marks? And now, punctuation-themed comics, because this is a comics blog, after all. — EPK Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
Stone Soup 7/25/2015 They did it! After several months of challenges -- from Phil's motorcycle accident to a missing contractor to Val's second thoughts -- Val and Phil got married on Saturday! Stone Soup 7/26/2015 And now that the wedding is over, it's time to relax and enjoy the honeymoon! While the newlyweds are gone, readers have a chance to look back on their relationship for the next two weeks, as Jan Eliot inserts flashbacks into the strip. Stone Soup 7/27/2015 So let's raise a glass to the Stone-Jackson family -- we can't wait to see what's going to happen next! -- EPK Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
Oh, jeeze. It happened. I turned 30. I can barely remember it; it just kind of snuck up on me. Luckily, I'm in good company. This year, four GoComics features have turned or will turn 30: Luann, Arlo and Janis, In the Bleachers and Calvin and Hobbes. Looking through the archives, I realized that these strips could teach me a lot about getting older (and hopefully wiser). Unfortunately, the mirror might eventually become enemy No. 1. Arlo and Janis 11/24/2003 Luann 6/29/1998 And I might find new ways to fill my time (though I think I'd like to putter, too, even though I'm a girl.) Calvin and Hobbes 1/21/1994 Arlo and Janis 9/24/1999 I need to keep an eye out for injury. In the Bleachers 2/10/1998 Using "when you're older" is a great way to get things done. Calvin and Hobbes 5/6/95 But there's no need to grow up too fast. Luann 10/4/14 Happy anniversary to these great comics! Remember: 30 is the new 20. (Though who'd want to be 20 again?) -- EPK Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
Happy Hug Your Cat Day! To my fellow cat lovers out there, I wish you good luck in celebrating ... my arms are covered in scratches after my attempt. Frankie Comics 5/8/15 As you've probably noticed, GoComics has added lots of catty strips recently, from Breaking Cat News to The Adventures of Business Cat to Learn to Speak Cat. Click on over to these GoComics cat-themed strips -- it's kind of like giving them an Internet hug. Tiny Confessions 12/31/14 Learn to Speak Cat 5/26/15 Kliban's Cats 2/27/14 The Adventures of Business Cat 6/1/15 Fat Cats 5/31/15 Garfield 6/15/15 Breaking Cat News 5/11/15 And for those of you who aren't cat people, Intern Amanda feels your pain, so she made you this: -- EPK Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
Happy Cinco de Mayo, LaughTracks readers! La Cucaracha 5/5/05 Cinco de Mayo commemorates the 1862 victory of Mexico's army over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. But in the United States, it's evolved into a celebration of Mexican heritage, and even the comics are getting in on the action. Half Full 5/5/15 Frazz 5/5/03 You can even read La Cucaracha in Spanish here. La Cucaracha en Espanol 5/5/15 Just be sure not to make this mistake: Prickly City 5/5/13 I plan on celebrating tonight by eating delicious tacos and drinking icy margaritas -- what about you? -- EPK Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." I am incredibly lucky. I spend several hours every week reading and editing comics. More importantly, I read and edit my all-time favorite comic every week. How many people get to say that? I've been editing Luann for a little over two years now. I can vividly remember the moment when the opportunity came up -- it was a bittersweet one: When my dear friend and co-worker Hollie went on maternity leave, she insisted I cover Luann in her absence, even though I hadn't ever worked on it before. A few months later, Hollie decided to stay home with her son, and I told anyone and everyone who asked that all I wanted was for Luann to stay on my roster. Fortunately, that's exactly what happened. Like I said -- lucky. Meet Greg and Karen, 9/28/14 Working with Greg and Karen is a breeze. They are lovely people, and they send in exceptionally clean strips. I recently had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Karen Evans for a few days when she visited GoComics' HQ in Kansas City. She is fun, funny, kind and sassy -- exactly how you'd envision the grown-up version of the real Luann. First appearance of Sun, Luann 8/21 Second appearance of Sun, Luann 10/6 I've learned so much in the past two years, and never more so than during recent sequence involving Bernice's phantom roommate Dez. After introducing the character Sun, we heard lots of negative feedback concerning her characterization. Many readers thought that the way she was drawn was not racially sensitive. I have to be honest here: I was devastated. I was completely at a loss for how to handle it. Fortunately, Greg is a great person, and he knew exactly what to do: He re-drew upcoming strips with Sun in them, and he issued a statement addressing her characterization. It was a huge learning experience, and I so appreciate Greg and Karen for holding my hand through it. Working on Luann is a dream come true. As I've documented more than once, my love of the strip runs deep. Getting to know Greg and Karen has made it all the better. I'm so excited to celebrate Luann's 30th anniversary, and I can't wait for the next 30! Be sure to check out all the amazing bonus materials we're offering to celebrate this huge milestone: -- What do you think Luann will be like at 43? (I think she'll be a high school drama teacher, married to someone we haven't met before, with one kid.) -- Get to know Karen Evans -- Interact with other Luann fans on Facebook -- Enter our contests Another week of Luanns just dropped on my desk. I better get back to "work." -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
BRR. That's it. That's all I feel any more. My space heater is humming, but I'm still shivering. This winter has been pretty brutal, and February might be the worst of it all. It feels like it's never going to end. Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way — just take a look around GoComics. Our cartoonists can't keep warm, either. Here's a sampling: The Duplex 2/22/2015 Bob Gorrell 2/20/2015 Shoe 2/22/2015 Maria's Day 2/22/2015 But remember... Real Life Adventures 2/23/2003 — EAP Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone! A pop-up parade during Mardi Gras 2014 Last year, I was lucky enough to be in New Orleans the weekend before Mardi Gras. The city was vibrant and bustling, and collecting beads became a competition. I ate more beignets and king cake than is healthy, and I looked at Lent as a prime detox time. Heart of the City 2/12/02 This year, I'm here in Kansas City, wishing I was in NOLA. I guess I'll have to read Mardi Gras-related comics to satisfy my craving for fun. Elderberries 2/20/07 Frazz 2/20/07 Big Nate 8/15/96 Phew! I'm feeling better already! Now I'm going to stare at this picture of my cat wearing Mardi Gras beads and eat some king cake. What are you going to do to celebrate Fat Tuesday? Maeby is not happy with her fashion statement. -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
I'm a doodler. Always have been. In fact, my family nickname is Doodle Bug. That's why today, Doodle Day, is perfect for me! On any given week, you can look at my task sheet and see all kinds of nonsense drawings, notes and even some simple math. My doodles are not very pretty. Luckily, there are a couple of much better doodle-based comics on GoComics for everyone to enjoy and relate to. Doodle Town by Melissa Lomax is darling, and her doodles are actual works of art. (Check out my thoughts on Doodle Town here.) Then there's Holiday Doodles by Missy Meyer. Every day has a new doodle showing all the holidays occurring. Without it, I wouldn't know that besides being Doodle Day, today is also Lame Duck Day, Bubblegum Day and Working Naked Day. (Sorry, co-workers!) Enjoy your doodles today! -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
Eep, indeed! It finally, FINALLY happened -- Val and Phil are engaged! As someone knee-deep in the waters of wedding planning myself, I don't know if I've ever been more excited about an event in a comic strip. I want to know everything about this wedding: Val's dress, the ceremony, what role Holly and Alix will play... Seriously, all of it! Reading these strips brings back so many great memories of my own engagement. Like Val, I didn't process what was happening right away. (In my defense, I was wearing sweatpants and packing for a trip we were leaving on the next day -- it was definitely a surprise.) After a few blinks and head shakes, I managed to squeak out, "Uh, yeah!" Then it was time to call our parents to tell them. I wish I'd thought to FaceTime or Skype them, like Val did: Once we finished freaking out with our parents, we finally had a second to revel in our happiness. And to realize, holy moly, we're really doing this! Now, with just three months to go before the big day, I can't believe how excited I am. I can't wait to see Val and Phil as they start planning their wedding. Although Wally's reflections on marriage are just a little scary... So cheers to Val and Phil! Be sure to follow Stone Soup here to see what the future has in store! As a treat, here's the first time Phil and Val met, all the way back on Sept. 15, 1998: -- EAP(soon-to-be K) Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2015 at Laugh Tracks
I'm a constant resolution-setter. And I mean constant. Every few days, I say, "Starting Monday, I'm going to go to the gym four days a week!" or "Starting tomorrow, I'm going to wake up early and make a lunch to take to work!" Unfortunately, I'm also a pretty constant resolution-breaker. Whoops! So New Year's Eve is a great holiday for me. It's a time when setting -- and breaking -- resolutions is expected and even encouraged. I'm not the only one who plans on setting some resolutions this year. On GoComics, there are resolutions being set on every page. What are your New Year's resolutions this year? -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at Laugh Tracks
I have an obsession with Kickstarter. I have no idea why, but I love the crowd-funding website SO MUCH. Sometimes I find myself clicking from one project to another, marveling at the epic creativity on the site. I've donated to several funds, from big ("The Veronica Mars Movie") to small (a friend's quest to transcribe her grandparents' love letters). And now I've found the next perfect project to help fund! "The Folks Behind the Funnies" by Sari Armington is a documentary about the comics and creators you encounter every day here at GoComics. From the Kickstarter page: "Twenty-One of the most famous North American cartoonists talk candidly about themselves, each other and what inspires them. The artists of Beetle Bailey, Dilbert, The Family Circus, Hagar the Horrible, For Better or For Worse, Dennis the Menace, Zits, and Cathy — just to name a few — give us an intimate glimpse into their unique perspective on life and The Funnies. " In the movie, you'll see an esteemed list of GoComics creators, including Scott Adams (Dilbert), Darby Conley (Get Fuzzy), Cathy Guisewite (Cathy), Lynn Johnston (For Better or for Worse), Mell Lazarus (Momma), Steve McGarry (Badlands), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) and Rick Stromoski (Soup to Nutz). You'll also see John McMeel and plenty of other cartoonists. The campaign ends Nov. 29. To help fund the film, visit the Kickstarter page. —EAP Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at Laugh Tracks
The next dance party I attend, I'm going to pull a Charlie and use some of Calvin's moves from Calvin and Hobbes. -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Laugh Tracks
Cow Appreciation Day was last week, but I wanted to celebrate today anyway. Better late than never! Here in Kansas City, we know a little something about cows. I mean, we're not called Cowtown for nothing! You can even buy Cowtown Barbeque Sauce, with a bottle designed by GoComics' own Charlie Podrebarac, the creator of the comic strip Cowtown. Cow and Boy is another strip that features a bovine, Cow, as a main character, along with Billy (the "Boy" of the title). Then there's Lucky Cow, a strip about the place where people really appreciate cows: a fast-food restaurant. How are you going to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day? My festivities will NOT involve steak. I promise. -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at Laugh Tracks
Great news for other Luannalyzers like me who may have missed out on some of Luann's earliest strips: This week's strips are all flashbacks of Mr. Fogarty, Luann and Pitt's School's favorite curmudgeonly teacher. In honor of his retirement, be sure to check out every day this week (and next week!) to see Mr. Fogarty reminiscing about his years spent as a teacher. You can also click on the "Fogarty Flashback" button to get even more grumpy goodness. And don't forget to check out Luann Againn to see the series from the beginning — including the introduction of Mr. Fogarty! — EAP Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at Laugh Tracks
New favorite comic strip. Of all time. Ever.
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2013 on Garfield vs Garfield! at Laugh Tracks
Every year, my family would start our vacation in Estes Park, Colo. And every year, our first stop in town would have to be the magic shop. My brothers and I would each have $3 to spend, and we would go wild. For some reason, I almost always ended up with the "Magic Stick." Unfortunately, I was never quite as talented as the magician in the video. And by "not as talented," I mean that I was terrible. Still, I tried every year, to the consternation of my family. I had almost given up on my future as a magician when I came across Magic in a Minute. These quick lessons are simple enough that even the least-talented magician can stump an audience. I plan on amazing my family with a few of these at our next gathering. 4/29/12 12/2/12 1/13/13 4/14/13 4/28/13 8/21/11 5/20/13 12/9/12 -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2013 at Laugh Tracks
Rats! Now I want pizza!
Real Life Adventures 3/18/98 Dear Everyone: I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to get everyone sick. Really, I promise I didn't. It wasn't like I was whooping it up -- I spent two solid weeks sick. It's just that I did the thing that I always complain about: I went to work and out with friends sick. And now basically everyone I know has the cough/cold/flu monster hybrid that incapacitated me. Here's how I eventually cured myself: Drink so much water. Take vitamin D. Take Mucinex (pre-emptive strike). Take Tylenol. Take Emergen-C. Now sleep for an entire day. If you could find some Lifetime movies to have on in the background, that would be best. A cuddly animal will make things way better. Oh, and comics! Read comics! Sincerely, EAP Cathy 1/11/99 Jump Start 1/8/12 Dilbert 3/13/01 Stone Soup 4/3/04 Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2013 at Laugh Tracks
Hope everyone's been getting ready for the greatest food challenge of the year: THANKSGIVING! This is definitely the most delicious holiday, and I always have a game plan going in. The key is to eat just a little in the late morning. You don't want to be so hungry that you'll spoil the meal on appetizers, but you still have to have a huge appetite. I'm going to go for an English muffin. And, of course, mildly forgiving clothes are always necessary. Anyone have any other great tips? Foxtrot 11/18/12 Real Life Adventures 11/13/12 Foxtrot 11/24/05 Now it's time to look at pictures of mashed potatoes and listen to "Eye of the Tiger" on repeat. Good luck, everyone! Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2012 at Laugh Tracks
Slowpoke 10/23 Phew! We're down to just two weeks before the election. I don't know about you all, but I'm ready. I am a terrible debate watcher. I hate confrontation, so I squirm around and chatter any time there's any kind of actual, y'know, debating, which means I tend to miss a lot. Perusing the editorial cartoons at GoComics is one of the more entertaining ways to keep informed. This morning I came across plenty of cartoons that did a great job of illustrating how I feel about these debates ... Mike Thompson 10/17 Glenn McCoy 10/23 Jerry Holbert 10/22 Joe Heller 10/17 Jeff Stahler 10/22 Dana Summers 10/22 Ted Rall 10/22 -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2012 at Laugh Tracks
Calvin & Hobbes 10/10 Right this very minute (Seriously -- I wrote this last week!), I am hanging out with both of my little brothers in New York City. I would like to take this time to apologize to John and Donald for turning you into my living dolls so often. It's just that I'm pretty sure I had this exact conversation with Mom every week for years, but with "sister" instead of "brother." Not that you aren't great, but ... a sister! Don't worry, though. Things turned out pretty OK, even without a sister. And they definitely got me back once they got bigger than me (stupid noogies!). Now off to enjoy the city! -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2012 at Laugh Tracks
Thatababy 9/24 When my youngest brother, Donald, was little, he made his own family flow chart. He said that Mom was like the heart of the family and his siblings (me and my other brother, John) were like the arms and legs. When he was asked what Dad was, he thought for a second and said, "Maybe like the ear?" In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, Paul Trap might be using Donald as his inspiration for Baby: 3/24 Donald could only tell time in increments of "Rugrats" episodes. Mom would have to say, "We're going to the store. We'll be gone for three 'Rugrats.'" (That'd be 45 minutes.) 8/9 Donald and John played with Legos constantly. 7/28 And "Star Wars" ruled the house. 3/12 Baby even loves the Jayhawks! I guess only time will tell, but be on the lookout for Baby to start wearing a Simba belt and socks with sandals. Then we'll know for sure. -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2012 at Laugh Tracks
Oof. I have a feeling Sunday's going to be rough. Thanks so much to Richard Thompson for the amazing strip and to everyone on Team Cul de Sac for spreading the word about Parkinson's disease!
Pooch Cafe 8/17 I've been saving this Pooch Cafe for a nice, short post. So thank you, Paul Gilligan, for this awesome homage to one of my favorite movies, "Memento." (You may remember it as Christopher Nolan's second movie.) I snorted a little, then wrote a note on my hand -- hey, like Leonard! -- to remember to watch the movie again. "Remember Sammy Jankis" -- EAP Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2012 at Laugh Tracks