Hey everybody, summer is just around the corner! That means it's time to make vacation plans, buy giant inflatable pool toys, get that body beach-ready, and get ready to soak up some sonshine! And no, I didn't spell it wrong.
Uh oh, looks like Florida's ignoring those social distancing guidelines! And that's the last current-events reference I'm gonna make. It's Al Hartley Beach Blanket Bingo as his version of the entire Archie gang preps for another session of learning, living, and loving Jesus, an extremely 1970s Pentecostal Evangelical version of Jesus.
And it's a smash zoom right into Big Ethel bemoaning her fate as Modest Betty looks on and Shameless Jughead blissfully inhales a foot-long. Paging Wilson Bryan Key, will Wilson Bryan Key please report to the subliminal lounge, please
Maybe you're looking in the wrong direction, Ethel! Because there's definitely a shortage happening in your chest regions. Perhaps THAT'S why you're bereft of male companionship, causing you to loudly bewail every moment you aren't actively being groped by any male with two hands and a heartbeat.
The real miracle here is how Ethel avoided getting run over by this obvious clown driving his van on the beach!
Hey kids, a bearded stranger in a custom van with "LOVE" painted on the side wants to show you what life's all about! Now, I don't know about you, but I spent most of my childhood being told to stay the hell AWAY from THIS EXACT PERSON.
And this is why you don't let Jughead take charge of the picnic basket, you wind up in a situation like that one, you know, the one with the multitudes who needed to be fed, but all they had were, what was it, loaves and, uh, it'll come to me, it's in that book, that whatchamacallit kinda thing, you know, the thing. With the guy. You know!
Okay you sweaty, unsupervised teens, start sharing that love! That's what Archie's waiting for, that's why he's had that fixed grin this whole time, he knows the love-sharin' is about to happen! He brought a camera.
And just like the scripture this is based on, there's a vital yet completely missing scene that would have explained exactly how a small amout of food feeds a lot of people. And then Ethel, the bigmouth, has to completely dismiss whatever amazing sandwich-multiplying wizardry just occurred. Way to show gratitude there Ethel.
It's hard staying clean today, when my friends mock me out!!! They especially call attention to my use of the term "mock me out."
HEY THERE'S CINDY GOING TO (UGH) CHURCH! LET'S POINT AT HER AND MAKE FUN OF HER FOR ENGAGING IN THE DEFAULT FAITH BEHAVIOR OF THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS! That's right gang, it's Christians that get made fun of, here in... the Al Hartley Twilight Zone.
And for no reason at all, here's a completely unwarranted slam on Liberace. What did Lee ever do to you, Hartley?
Stare at Betty's pupils long enough and this will all start to make sense
What's THAT supposed to be? It's the lyrics to "Nobody But Me" by The Human Beinz, rendered via the medium of sand! No-no, no, no, no-no-no, no, no-no, no, no-no!
That's the beautiful part, Jesus sets you free! Except for church on Sundays, you don't get a choice about that.
Look buddy, without skin flicks, booze, pills, and sin in general, you'd be out of a job! Ever think of that?
The choice is up to you. Do you want to be a slave, or to be free? Now here's Ethel to make sure you choose right - or else!
Ethel's filled with the Holy Spirit of Evangelism - or maybe that guy with the van has been handing out little white pills. Either way she is totally ignoring beach etiquette!
She's got her Bible and she's got the Four Spiritual Laws memorized! The Four Spiritual Laws are, of course, Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. No, wait, that's, like, four too many. Well, that's twice as good!
Look Ethel, just because YOU'RE a bundle of neuroses, that doesn't mean ALL the teens on the beach are psychotic wrecks! Didn't Jesus say something about first cast out the beam out of thine own eye? Huh?
Remember lonely teeners, witnessing for the Lord is a great way to meet boys!
This guy is like Dilton Doiley's buff older brother! Maybe it IS Dilton after the result of one of his amazing scientific experiments. Since he's mouthing the same platitudes Dilton invariably does in these Archie Hartleyverse books, that's what I'm gonna go with, this is Mutant Dilton.
Yup, the Power of Jesus struck Ethel down. Or, again, maybe it was the power of those pills Van Man's handing out.
Always listen to the hairy Van Man, kids! He knows where it's at! And he'll show you, if you get in his van! It has curtains and everything! Sure, he'll let you stop off and phone your folks so you can let them know where you're going! Where are we going anyway? Why are there handcuffs back here? Why has this turned from one kind of Christian comic book into an entirely different kind of Christian comic book?
And on that somber note, we'll remind you to stay out of vans driven by strange men, and if you have a van, don't drive on the beach. Okay?
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