[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joshreads_922.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Josh, depicted here reading the comics so we don't have to.]]

A blog started by Josh Fruhlinger in July 2004, under its original title, ''I Read The Comics So You Don't Have To'' (a Boston-area newspaper that featured a similarly-titled column forced the name change). In it, Josh selects several [[NewspaperComics newspaper comic strips]] every day and offers (usually sarcastic) commentary on them. Over time, the blog has developed a great deal of media attention as the authors of many comics have discovered it. Some comic artists or writers are even fans of the blog, including Chris Browne (''ComicStrip/HagarTheHorrible''), Mark Tatulli (''Lio'', ''Heart of the City''), Francesco Marciuliano (''[[ComicStrip/SallyForthHoward Sally Forth]]'' and also the web comic ''Medium Large''), Ed Power (''ComicStrip/MyCage''), "Jumble Jeff" Knurek (the ''Jumble'' puzzle/comic), James Allen (Jack Elrod's assistant/successor on ''ComicStrip/MarkTrail''), and Bob Weber, Jr. (''ComicStrip/SlylockFox''). Marciuliano, who is also registered on the boards, even created a logo for the site (and the image for this page) during a major site redesign in early 2010. Also, Bob Weber has actually used the blog to sell official Slylock Fox merchandise directed at the adult fans of his strip.

Josh has also developed a great deal of {{Running Gag}}s within the blog, including Aldo Kelrast, a character in ''ComicStrip/MaryWorth'', whose storyline became one of the strip's most popular after Josh began joking about it. ''[[Franchise/ArchieComics Archie]]'' has even made reference to one of the blog's running gags.

Read it [[http://www.joshreads.com/ here]].
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!!Tropes present:

* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:[[invoked]] Much of the blog is based on this.
** His application of plothole logic to ''ComicStrip/SlylockFox'' can easily make you unable to see it as anything other than a hell dimension populated by poor souls cursed to be animals for all eternity, constantly under surveillance and presumed to be guilty of all accused crimes.
*** A little more mundanely, Slylock Fox is very into [[DirtyCop abuse of police/investigative powers]], and among other things uses them to stalk Cassandra Cat.
** ComicStrip/{{Marmaduke}} is a ravenous, uncontrollable {{Hellhound}} who regularly consumes his "owner"'s neighbors and buries their stripped bones in the back yard.
*** Also, his owner is apparently Adolf Hitler due to similar hair and mustache styles.
** Instead of being a caring, helpful soul, ComicStrip/MaryWorth is a Machiavellian, manipulative harpy who cannot stand people living in ways she doesn't approve and compulsively meddles in the affairs of those she encounters.
** Mark Trail is [[{{asexuality}} asexual]] and secretly hates Rusty.
** Stanley and Harriet from ''Better Half'' are addicted to prescription drugs.
** [[RexMorganMD Rex Morgan is gay.]]
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: (In a commentary on ''ComicStrip/MaryWorth'') "Place your bets on what this 'troubling' medical condition may be: pregnancy, venereal disease, dementia, Electra Complex, droopy-ponytail-itis"
* AntiHumor: In a ''ComicStrip/{{Marmaduke}}'' comic featured in [[http://joshreads.com/?p=14061 this post]], Marmaduke is eating out of a bag of chips while Dottie sits next to him, asking, "Did someone give Marmaduke a bag of corn chips?" What kind of "[[RunningGag Marmaduke is a people-eating hellbeast]]" joke will Josh make this time?...
-->'''Josh:''' [[spoiler:Someone gave Marmaduke a bag of corn chips.]]
-->This wasn't Josh, it was done during one of his vacations by frequent pinch hitter Uncle Lumpy.
* AscendedMeme: After constantly joking about the ''Archie'' comic strip being written by the "Archie Joke Generating Laugh Unit 3000," the strip began referencing that line.
** The author of ''ComicStrip/MaryWorth'' opened a [=CafePress=] store and created merchandise prominently featuring some of Aldo's greatest moments.
* {{Asexuality}}: Josh constantly makes jokes about ''ComicStrip/MarkTrail'' being asexual. It's probably second only to the jokes about Mark solving all his problems by punching people with his "fist of justice."
** By contrast, Josh desperately wishes that the characters in ''Luann'' would all develop this, as the [[UnresolvedSexualTension achingly awkward "sexiness"]] of the strip "makes my libido shrivel and die."
* BanOnPolitics: It's an official blog rule that even just mentioning ''ComicStrip/MallardFillmore'' will get you banned from the comments section.
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: Josh speculating on what sort of offscreen rowdiness Gil Thorp characters had gotten up to:
-->"Drugs? Orgy? Drug fueled orgy?"
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: "Marmaduke's owner can't get the dog to stay off the furniture, stop digging up the yard, or refrain from eating the neighbors"
* CausticCritic: Josh can be this at times, especially to strips that he dislikes, though he's generally more sarcastic and jovial than outright hostile. Except for the one and only time [[http://joshreads.com/?p=932 he discussed political cartoons]].
** Josh can get pretty hostile about strips he wants to see end, ''Crock'', ''Marvin'', and ''Luann'' being among the hardest hit. Generally, though, he just mocks the on-going nature of long-running strips, often citing them as horribly out of touch with modern times (such as ''Crock'''s belief that kids these days "swap iTunes" as a sign of commitment).
*** He has come to genuinely and openly hate ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean''. Considering he was a fan of the strip when the blog started and had been ''impressed'' by the writer's willingness to go through with depicting Lisa's death from cancer, this should say something about the direction the strip has taken since then.
** Subverted by ''ComicStrip/MallardFillmore''. He hates it, but has only talked about it once. Plus, mentioning it on his blog is a bannable offense.
*** Should be noted that he dislikes political cartoons in general, not just ''ComicStrip/MallardFillmore''. He rarely also talks about ''Doonesbury'' for example.
** Also subverted by ComicStrip/GetFuzzy; it's one of the few comics he genuinely likes. Since its entertaining on its own merits, he rarely brings it up, and when he does, it's just as often an attempt to explain why it's amusing to those outside the fold, which he undertakes with a surprising amount of maturity, considering this is the internet.
** The ''Pluggers'' and ''Snuffy Smith'' comics generally get reviewed with a mildly sneery checklist of pretty much every stereotype off the AcceptableTargets[[invoked]] checklist regarding rural people.
** Interestingly, his opinion of ''ComicStrip/{{BC}}'' seems to have softened since the comic's transformation into a Legacy Comic. Hart had made the comic preachy, unfunny and overtly religious in a way that didn't suit the tone of the comic after his finding religion. The legacy writer's decision to go in a more bizarre direction with it leads to a more incomprehensible but ''more enjoyable'' comic. Similarly, ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'' has fallen off the rotation since the creative team changed - Josh has stated he just doesn't find it as interesting anymore now that the plots are shorter and saner, and the artwork is better.
* ChildEater: ''ComicStrip/{{Marmaduke}}''
* {{Dissimile}}: His quip about ''The Family Circus'' [[http://joshreads.com/?p=10713 here]]:
-->I'm overjoyed to see Billy's comically overwrought expression of crushing despair as his mother drapes that suit jacket over his shoulders. It's as if heís won the Masters, only instead of a green jacket he's getting a blue jacket, and instead of winning the Masters he's going to be executed wearing a blue jacket.
** Josh once referred to a Gil Thorp plot as [[http://joshreads.com/?p=3113 "A roller-coaster ride, if roller-coasters had no hills and didn't move at all."]]
* DontExplainTheJoke: Parodied. Josh often explains the punchline of a comic in the most outlandish and unfiltered manner possible.
** Occasionally subverted, to draw attention to how unfunny the intended joke actually is. [[http://joshreads.com/?p=12123 Ha ha, itís funny because heís in excruciating pain.]]
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: Guest commentator Uncle Lumpy has one at the end of [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1466 this post.]]
* FamilyThemeNaming: Josh [[http://joshreads.com/?p=8936 speculates]] that Lois from ''Hi and Lois'' was originally named Ladybug before she got married and left the Bailey family, considering that her brothers' names are Beetle and Chigger.
* {{Fanfiction}}: There was a post about a joke in ''Hi and Lois'' when one of the kids misunderstands a metaphor, and assumes that Beethoven was buried alive. [[http://docs.google.com/View?id=dggnx8gx_201fwkfzqdh This ensued]].
* FetishRetardant: In-universe, Josh has noted that he's never turned on by highly sexualized female characters such as June Morgan or Blondie, yet is [[PerverseSexualLust head-over-heels in love with]] Margo [=McGee=]. Part of it is his well documented love of strong, take-charge women.
* FridgeBrilliance:[[invoked]] There were comics that Josh had initially disliked when the blog started, but as he reviewed them more he began to genuinely appreciate them. Two examples are ''Curtis'' and ''They'll Do It Every Time''.
* FurryConfusion: Josh notes that a dog plugger owning a pet dog is confusing. He [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1260 says]] "Pluggers don't have health insurance, so they take their kids to the vet"
* FurryFandom: Mocks this in ''ComicStrip/SlylockFox'' but his dislike/fear of the uprising seemingly extends to any form of TalkingAnimal, [[PettingZooPeople petting zoo]] or [[FunnyAnimal funny]].
* FurryReminder: Josh's [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1551 initial reaction]] to a ''ComicStrip/{{Shoe}}'' strip is, "HOLY CRAP THEY'RE FLYING!"
* {{Hellhound}}: Marmaduke.
* HoYay:[[invoked]] Josh points this out about ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'' and Sarge.
** As well as Rex Morgan and... [[ReallyGetsAround all other males]].
** And ''Herb and Jamaal''.
* HumanMail: Josh [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1555 interprets]] a silly ''ComicStrip/HiAndLois'' strip this way.
* HypocrisyNod: Often, Josh complains heartily about some aspect of a comic, only to turn around and demand that the very next strip include more of what he disliked about the first comic. He always lampshades this. [[http://joshreads.com/?p=8438 Example!]]
* IKnewIt:[[invoked]] In ''Apartment 3G'', he correctly guessed that Ruby was Luann's biological mother over four years before TheReveal proved it.
* ILikedItBetterWhenItSucked:[[invoked]] His thoughts on ComicStrip/DickTracy.
* InsaneTrollLogic: Josh writes some of his own for a ''[[ComicStrip/DennisTheMenaceUS Dennis the Menace]]'' riff. He says that Dennis hates baseball, America's favorite pastime. Therefore, he hates America, and is a terrorist/fascist/commie.
* InsistentTerminology: When discussing the creators of ''ComicStrip/Beetle Bailey'' and 'ComicStrip/HiAndLois'', Josh always refers to them as "Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC."
* MemeticBadass: In-universe, Mark Trail, Margo Magee, and Mary Worth when a '''peon''' interferes with her meddling.
* MemeticMolester: In-universe, Rex Morgan.
* [[MemeticSexGod Memetic Sex Goddess]] / MsFanservice:[[invoked]] [[ComicStrip/SlylockFox Cassandra Cat]].
** [[MarkTrail Kelly Welly]] as well.
** A MemeticSexGod[[invoked]] is Buford Bull, who's dating Cassandra Cat.
* MoodWhiplash: Josh [[http://joshreads.com/?p=3188 delves]] into the metatextual layers of a Dennis the Menace strip, culminating in his decision that "perhaps Dennis is menacing us, by showing us the real human consequences of our hidden desires." The next strip was Shoe:
--> Josh: "Haha, it's funny because shitting something something the economy!"
* {{Nephewism}}: The TropeNamer, though the entry lumps the ChasteToons trope in with this as well.
* NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead: When [[http://joshreads.com/?p=11816 Bil Keane]], writer of ComicStrip/TheFamilyCircus died, Josh was very sombre, recalling the era when ComicStrip/TheFamilyCircus was a lot edgier, and how the man himself [[SelfDeprecation had a great sense of humor about all the parodies of his work]].
** Also on the death of ''ComicStrip/{{BC}}'' creator [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1023 Johnny Hart]]: "Instead, Iíll just note that the dude died at his drawing board. Thatís hardcore."
** And when [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1361 Al Scaduto]] of ''They Do It Every Time'' passed away at the age of 79, no one, not Josh nor the commenters, expressed anything but respect for the man.
** [[http://joshreads.com/?p=13590 Josh's response]] to the creator death-driven end of ''Crock'', even though Josh disliked the strip, and it had made a TakeThat at his expense [[http://joshreads.com/?p=13534 just five days before]].
* NewMediaAreEvil: While Josh himself doesn't believe this, he does point out the more obnoxious or ridiculous examples of the comics.
* TheNoseless: What Josh realises to his horror in regards to [[ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} Jon Arbuckle]], when he and [[ComicStrip/{{Blondie}} Dagwood Bumstead]] [[http://joshreads.com/?p=395 appeared together in the same panel]].
* PerverseSexualLust: Josh has it for Margo [=McGee=].
* PrecisionFStrike
-->'''[[FamilyCircus Billy:]]''' Now that we're in bed, they won't have to watch their language on TV.\\
'''Josh:''' You sure got that right, you little fucker.
* RealityEnsues: A huge amount of the blog's comedy is found in describing the real world ramifications of a given strip, especially if given dark, gory or sexual undertones.
* RuleThirtyFour: He found one of Cassandra Cat on someone else's blog and posted it to his own. It later got taken down from both blogs, at Bob Weber, Jr.'s request[[note]]though the pic is easy to find, if you know where to look[[/note]].
* RunningGag: Beyond all the MemeticMutation, other recurring gags include:
** ''BeetleBailey'' and Sarge being [[HoYay sexual partners]].
** ''[[ComicStrip/DennisTheMenaceUS Dennis the Menace]]'''s ever-growing MenaceDecay.
** ''ComicStrip/TheFamilyCircus'' being the story of an ultra-Fundamentalist cult living sequestered away in the "Keane Kompound."
*** Also, jokes about the kids being drooling retards
** ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean'''s obsession with [[CerebusSyndrome cancer and death]], to the point that never-ending depression seems to be the only constant force in the Funkyverse. Also extends to ''ComicStrip/{{Crankshaft}}'' at times.
** ''Herb and Jamaal'' being "ludicrously non-specific."
*** And those two being "on the down-low." You know what I'm talking about.
** ''ComicStrip/{{Marmaduke}}'' being a demonspawned hellhound who can't stop killing and eating people, and his owner being Adolf Hitler.
** ''ComicStrip/{{Marvin}}'''s obsession with ToiletHumor.
** ''ComicStrip/MaryWorth'''s obsession with sanctimonious meddling (although that one is more or less canon).
** ''[[Franchise/ArchieComics Archie]]'' being written by a sterile computer, the ''Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000'', that "almost, but doesn't quite, understand humor."
** ''ComicStrip/MarkTrail'' solving most of his problems by [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer punching bearded hillbillies]].
*** As well his {{asexuality}}.
*** Don't forget the abominations that are [[strike: Rusty's attempts at expressing emotion]] the author's attempts to draw Rusty as something more resembling a human boy than some sort of hellspawn.
*** And all the giant animals running around, and even occasionally speaking.
** ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'' is an authoritarian tyrant who believes violence is the solution to everything.
** The romance between Brad and Toni in ''{{Luann}}'' seems to make Josh physically ill. Also, TJ is probably gay.
** ''ComicStrip/{{Crankshaft}}'' being a {{Jerkass}}.
** ''ComicStrip/SlylockFox'' He jokes about the world being a dystopian society where animals evolved and overthrew the human race. Josh recently managed to pinpoint [[http://joshreads.com/?p=18625 where it all started]]
** Newspaper ''ComicStrip/SpiderMan'' wants [[BoringFailureHero nothing more than to watch TV]].
*** Along with jokes about everyone else in the strip being absolute morons.
** In ''ComicStrip/ApartmentThreeG'', Luann is [[DumbBlonde vapid]], Tommie has the personality of cardboard, and Margo Magee is a memetic psychopath who would just as soon snap someone's neck as acknowledge they exist. Of course, no part of that diminishes Josh's PerverseSexualLust for her.
*** Finger-Quotin' Margo.
** Calling ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' "FOOB" (all caps, as if it were a botched attempt at an acronym), after a strip where April explains slang that [[TotallyRadical actually only exists]] [[UnusualEuphemism in-universe]].
** The crazy pervert inbound visitors. See, when someone goes to the site from a search engine result, Josh can see what they searched, and he took to posting some of the most [[TheInternetIsForPorn creepy]] and [[{{Rule 34}} outlandish]] ones for the amusement of readers.
** The characters of ''ComicStrip/JudgeParker'' being smug dicks, who see no problem with using their money to get whatever they want.
** The running gag in ''ComicStrip/{{Heathcliff}}'' is Josh making fun of the fact that the comic is pure insanity, to the point where Josh doesn't even have to say anything. It's almost as if the writer expects Josh to riff it so he makes it as bizarre as possible to make it easier for him.
*** Also the fact that Heathcliff has instituted a cult of personality among the mice and [[http://joshreads.com/?p=17313 forces them to worship him]].
** Referring to ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'' as "The Ghost Who [something related to that day's comic]", after his official epithet of "The Ghost Who Walks"
** "Ha! It's funny because [some creepy reason]." The best part is that, for once, he's not extrapolating anything; these are always the intended joke.
** It's gotten to the point that he has a RunningGag where he wonders if he's overplaying a particular gag, only for a strip to take it to new and disturbing heights.
* ScunthorpeProblem: At one point the comment system's spam filter kept catching posts containing "MILF"...and ''Gil Thorp'' takes place in ''Milford''.
* SelfDeprecation: Josh will occasionally comment on how horrible or immature a person he thinks he is based on how he reacts to a scene.
* ShoutOut: ''ComicStrip/MyCage'', ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' and ''[[ComicStrip/SallyForthHoward Sally Forth]]'' have all made positive references to the blog. ''Retail'' made a less positive reference to it in a strip about a blog called "hateoncomics.com." Ironic, considering Josh has never covered ''Retail''.
** ''The Jumble'' (whose artist is a regular commenter) has included Josh in a few puzzles, including one where [[http://joshreads.com/?p=4753 he is put on trial and found guilty by the entire newspaper comics page]].
** ''Archie'' occasionally drops references to the AJGLU 3000 into background detail.
** The authors of ''ComicStrip/MaryWorth'' have released "Aldomania" merchandise.
** One ''Crock'' Sunday strip featured a soldier named [[LawyerFriendlyCameo "Freerloiter"]] getting injured in battle and receiving a lobotomy, which has caused him to lose "his artistic talent". When Crock asks him what he's going to do next, he responds [[TakeThat "I think I'll move to Baltimore and start a comics blog."]] (Crock responds by pulling the plug on his life support.)
--->'''Josh:''' While the idea that I began my blog as the result of some kind of massive traumatic brain injury would [[ThisExplainsSoMuch explain a lot of things]], the jokes on them: I never had any artistic talent in the first place, suckers!
* TakeThatAudience: When ''[[ComicStrip/SallyForthHoward Sally Forth]]'' had a strip of Ted reading the blog, Josh was unsurprised as he says his target audience is the "pop-culture-obsessed emotionally arrested [[ManChild man-child]]".
* TheyJustDidntCare: [[invoked]]What Josh [[http://joshreads.com/?p=781 says]] of ''Gil Thorp'' and ''ComicBook/{{Shoe}}'' in regards to paying tribute to ''ComicStrip/DickTracy''[='=]s 75th anniversary.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: [[invoked]] Josh loves pointing out a) potentially awesome ways the plot could develop and b) how boring the plot actually develops. When it ''does'' turn out awesome, however...
* ThinkOfTheChildren: What he says of a ''ComicStrip/HiAndLois'' [[http://joshreads.com/?p=229 strip depicting a heart-shaped candy box as black even in color]], [[UnfortunateImplications implying that the title characters are in an S&M relation ship]].
-->I'd cry "But what about the children?" except that I'm reasonably sure that no children actually read ''Hi and Lois.''
* TropeName: [[http://joshreads.com/?p=12345 This]] entry.
* UncannyValley:[[invoked]] [[http://joshreads.com/?p=3871 Whatever on Earth Rusty is]].
* {{Understatement}}: Josh describes [[ComicStrip/HagarTheHorrible Hagar]] [[http://joshreads.com/?p=9856 killing his dog]] as "not cool".
* VerySpecialEpisode: [[http://joshreads.com/?p=9753 Parodied.]] "Two weeks ago, General Halftrack slipped off into the woods to quietly kill himself. Today, in a very special ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'', Beetle finds the body"
* WorldOfSnark: But of course! The Curmudgeon's ''raison d'etre''...

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