1. Malibu has some rocky terrain fairly close to its famous beaches, but is even more famous for its rich and snooty residents, who continually build their McMansions in unsafe locations, such as unstable seaside cliffs, or wooded areas that periodically burn down.

  2. P.S. I have to admit that my very first impression was a play on “beached whales”, but if Kilban had intended that, I think he would have used the participle (“beached”) in the title, instead of the noun.

  3. My first thought was the damage wrought by Nicole . . . but when I saw it was by Kliban, I knew it wasn’t that current.

  4. I lean in the direction of “Beach House” as a cousin to “Tree House.”. Access via a ladder, etc.
    Though I do agree with Kilby @1 about the people in the area building mansions in untenable loo ocations and then being surprised when the fall/burn/slide.

  5. @Pandamonium: “. . . then being surprised when the fall/burn/slide.”

    Or get completely encased in ice, as is happening in Buffalo area, or are flooded as happened on both coasts of Florida this year.

  6. With the ladders and the catamaran, I’m thinking this is from close to the 1960s. My first thought was “beach bums”.

    Note: there are a LOT of beaches in Malibu, some narrow ones with high cliffs like this.

  7. On the east coast, houses falling into the sea is becoming fairly common. Scituate & Chatham are still the centers, but every time there’s a storm the east side of Cape Cod retreats.

  8. Knowing Kliban’s dry sense of humor, I think it’s just supposed to be somewhat abstract and absurd, whatever amused himself at the time.
    That said, I liked the “malleable” pun above.

  9. I agree with Kevin that it would be useful to know when this comic first appeared, but Kliban never dated any of his drawings (especially since a lot of them were originally for Playboy). Searching for the obvious keywords produces only two relevant “hits”: the recent re-run at GoComics, and this page at CIDU. Almost all of the remaining matches are for overpriced Air-B&Bs.

    P.S. My own guess would place this comic about a decade later: late 1970s or early 80s.

  10. Lake Michigan rises and falls cyclically, and many of the cottages/houses near the lake on the Michigan side are built on sand dunes. You don’t need to be a biblical scholar to know that building your house on sand is a bad idea. The lake has receded in the last couple of years, but before that there were houses being moved back, or condemned because they were hanging over the lake, even some that were “pre-demolished” because it was cheaper to remove them before they made a mess in the lake. Long, steep staircases led down from the dunes above to the beach below. No palm trees, though.

  11. You don’t need to be a biblical scholar to know that building your house on sand is a bad idea.

    Right, it suffices to be a Calypso fan:

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