0. Stupid Comics

Say, fellows, have you ever fallen for a gal whose whimsical on-again, off-again nature just drives you crazy? You know, one minute she's all "come here" and the next minute she's all "go away," and then somebody starts shooting at you? What's that, you say "yes" except for that last part? Well if it's changeable romance and the whistling crack of a bullet you're looking for, then you've come to the right place!

One minute she was in my arms, the next speeding away with mutant powers that... wait, wrong comic, and wrong gender, I think. Anyway if she WAS made out of quicksilver, she'd be flowing right out of my hands! And then I'd be getting checked for mercury poisoning, depending on how much kissing I'd been doing.

Looks like Bart Collins here is engaged to someone with terrible taste in furniture. That's one of the danger signs, Bart!

It's as if Bart wasn't even paying attention to all those health and safety meetings. Anyway, unless you're getting paid by the pound, try using a hand truck next time, brainiac.

You need a good long vacation, Bart! And I know your great box-toting job probably pays really well and is generous with the paid time off, right? However, it looks like Miss Buy Me This has other plans!

Suddenly the harsh rasp of Diane's screeching begins to get on Bart's nerves. So long, baby! I'm growing a hipster beard, getting a smack habit, and going ON THE ROAD!

And there at the Rockford Annual Fair is where he saw her, a lovely vision of beauty in a land where glamour is largely defined by who isn't having to wear the feed-sack dress on any given night.

No sooner was she in his arms than she was out of them again! Curse these backwoods hillbilles, their bewitching womenfolk, and their habit of coating everything in butter!

And because this is the 1950s, you can kiss the girls even though they're clearly telling you not to. The 50s, ladies and gentlemen.

Again with the slippery wriggling out of his embrace! No wonder this guy got scrubbed from the high school wrestling squad. And in the morning, she and her entire tribe of possibly inbred mountainpeople have retreated to the hilltop wilderness from whence they came! Is this turning into an H.P. Lovecraft story?

Hey, looks like this is turning into a combination of "The Bachelor" and "Man Vs Wild" instead. What girl wouldn't be impressed by the sweaty, unbathed, covered in ticks apparition of some guy they met once at a dance showing up on their doorstep, which is literally a two day walk from civilization? Nothing weird or stalky about that, sure.

Speaking of weird and stalky, here he is peeking into Lucy's boudoir! How many boudoirs did he have to peek into before he found the right one? Shame on you Bart!

The revered and time-honored tradition of arranged marriages among Appalachian mountain folk vanishes in an instant when Bart shows up with his sweet-talking city slicker ways and his vanishing hat.

I know a lot of you outdoorsy types out there are thinking that hiring an angry, armed hillbilly to stalk you is a great way to add zest and excitement to those cross-country hikes. And you'd be right!

Well, Jude has the drop on them with his double-barrel shotgun - the only kind of firearm comic strips allow these simple mountain folk - but Lucy stands by her man, giving him two arms to cling to, and something warm to come to when nights are cold and lonely.

Who says there are no more happy endings? Lucy gets a husband, Bart gets hitched to a woman who ISN'T going to work him to death paying for awful furniture, and Jude gets that good piece of bottom land he always admired! I guess the only losers here are Bart's co-workers, forever wondering what happened to Bart after he never came back from that vacation. Don't be like Bart, kids - be sure and give two weeks notice before vanishing into the hinterlands to romance a hillbilly queen!

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