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Nothing says "Iguana Queen" like beards and green taffeta.

(From Annie. Click on the thumbnail for full sized... full sized... Jesus Christ I don't have the words.)

It's been a month since last we talked about Annie Warbucks, the girl long on pluck and short on luck, unless you count the luck of having a multibillionaire arch-conservative adopt her and her dog (who's been AWOL in Alaska for months upon months now). As you'll recall, Daddy Warbucks and Amelia had flown out to Broadcast Ranch to be rejoined with their brain damaged young orphan, taken to wearing Western Getups, funneled massive cash into Broadcast Ranch, propping up the ancient cowboy music show, getting it wider attention and of course having Annie becoming Cowboy Music Singing Sensation (there's four words you never expected to hear in a row) Rosie of the Range.

But this did not make everyone happy. Anton Veil, the bestselling author and noted Satanist, had been applying pressure to Broadcast Ranch's sponsors to drive them out of business, so he could buy the ranch up as part of a nefarious, devil worshipping plot! And Daddy Warbucks had marched right over to have it out with Veil. What, I say, what could possibly happen next?

Well... now we know. And I think I can say without fear of contradiction that we did not expect the answer to the question that we got.

Warbucks and Veil sparred verbally, followed by Veil attempting Satanic hypnosis. When this failed, Veil's reaction was a predictable "Bah! Bah! Bah!" Warbucks then demanded to know the score, and backed up his demands with the financially astute and American Capitalistic power of Mr. Fist and his partner Mr. Knuckle-Sandwich. (Counterpointed with scenes of Annie and the old coots singing songs using the word "YEE-HAW!" of course.)

Veil, thwarted but delusional, retreats back into the less painful realm of words, and gives Warbucks a copy of The Testament of Anton Veil. To Warbucks, it all looks like meaningless gibberish... and that opinion is reinforced when Veil tells Warbucks that the Martian Iguanas would explain it to him... and the Iguana Queen will Reveal All.

Okay, my thought was Veil was blowing smoke up Warbucks's absurdly large ten gallon hat, but as it turns out... no. No, Veil meant it... the old coots back at the ranch remembered that back in the day, there was a terrible, terrible movie called Martian Iguana-Men of the Sagebrush... and Annie and Amelia find both reams of Iguana drawings and at least one Iguana wearing a crown in his book.

That's right. The Satanist... is obsessed with Iguanas. QUEEN Iguanas! MARTIAN QUEEN IGUANAS!

A quick trip to the Internet Movie Database (by Annie -- I'm scared to check it myself) reveals that said movie was directed by noted Hollywood Schlockmeister Enver Drood, and his wife died horribly... and that in the movie, the Iguana Queen was played by... VESUVIA!

Yes, Vesuvia! Italian Film Diva of 50 years ago and old cohort of Warbucks and Plucky Orphan. Think of Scott Thompson playing Francesca Fiore and you're on the right track.

So, they call Vesuvia and ask her -- and she is in torment, torment remembering those days when she was desperate for a part, and so agreed to join this production (so, if it'd been today, this would have been a porn storyline. Featuring iguanas.) Sadly, Drood was part of that whole twisted Hollywood scene. You've seen it on E! any number of times -- the fast times, the nightclubs, the drugs, the alcohol, the blood sacrifices, the being torn apart by coyotes... check up on Robert Downey Jr.'s career if you want more details.

Anyway, as it turned out, the Iguana Queen of the movie was meant to be sacrificed in real life (see? It was a porn movie!) but Vesuvia walked off the picture, so Drood sacrificed his wife instead. It was all too much for the Italian Diva to bear.

Cut to Anton Veil, who's talking to reptiles. And giggling. Giggling.

Back at Broadcast Ranch, Warbucks, Annie, Amelia and the Coots work out that Anton Veil -- the self described son of the Master of Darkness -- must in fact be Enver Drood's child. And now he talks to lizards. Somehow, this is seeming less and less like an immanent threat for Annie to overcome.

But it gets better. Oh, it gets better. Driven wholly insane by the pain of listening to "Rosie of the Range" sing Silent Night on the Broadcast Ranch Christmas broadcast (and to be honest, I'm on Veil's side with that one, though why he didn't turn off the radio himself is beyond me), Veil decides the Iguana he has named queen is little more than a strumpet! A base strumpet. And that he himself is the Iguana Queen! He puts the little crown on his head, giggling with glee! GLEE! And then today... today....

The gown I could cope with. And the stole. And if a bearded Satanist is going to wear a gown and stole, the tiara is just good accessorizing. But it's the blood red lipstick that just makes it complete.

So what happens next? I don't yet know. All I know is that Little Orphan Annie's greatest adventure of all is about to begin... Annie Against the Crossdressing Satanic Son of Hollywood!!!

Okay. Anton LeVay was one thing. But Anton LeVay crossed with Ed Wood, Junior?

And I thought this thing couldn't get any more batshit insane. Ovaltine must contain PCP.


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You said it, Dave.

Man, I love this strip. I read it so that I can get the fullest benefit of the snarks about it. Does it get any better than Martian Iguana Queens?

The movie isn't real. :(

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