Apartment 3-G, 7/28/14
I’m back everybody! Isn’t it great when come back from a long time away and discover that literally nothing has changed? Tommie and Carol are wearing the same clothes they were wearing two weeks ago, and are still just standing around talking about nothing of any interest to anyone! The two of them cruelly drove away beloved non-Tommie non-Carol character “Tina” and since then it’s just been the two of them yammering away in an otherwise empty universe. Oh, were you excited by the prospect of what excitement an appearance from “Doc Wheeler” might’ve brought to the strip? Hate to break it to you, but there isn’t any “Doc Wheeler.” We sure didn’t see him on panel. Probably Tommie formed some straw into a vaguely man-shaped pile and said “Look! It’s Doc Wheeler!” and Carol said “Hey there, ‘Big Wheel!’” and then they both laughed and laughed for way, way longer than they should have.
Judge Parker, 7/28/14
Meanwhile, all sorts of things happened in Judge Parker, the main thing being that Neddy has finally come into her own as a Spencer-Driver. Balancing the books of her “Made In The USA” clothing line on the backs of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds and/or old people’s desperation? Heading down to the factory she owns to smugly watch the elderly try to operate machinery and thread needles with trembling, arthritic hands? Abbey’s right: she should’ve told Sam this sooner. He’d eat that shit up.
Better Half, 7/28/14
Also, the Better Half continued its slow and steady migration from “slightly less hateful Lockhorns knockoff” to “full-on surreal horror-nightmare.” I’m reading “spliced a pig gene with the DNA of an aerobics instructor” as meaning an aerobics instructor got some genetic material from a pig and not vice-versa, which means that the Better Half takes place in a dystopian future where even a small amount of artificially engineered DNA in a human’s genome makes that human an un-person who can be killed, cooked, and eaten without fear of legal or social repercussions.
Deep down, pluggers know that their supposedly non-ideological knee-jerk “they’re all crooks!” attitude towards elected officials is a cop-out.
Gil Thorp, 7/18/14
Tongue loosened by wine and Mimi’s sultry charms, Gil slurs out his commitment to mediocrity and refusal to reason with anybody, ever. And dammit, slow as he is, that tuba player is one hell of a receiver.
Mark Trail, 7/18/14
“I’m not interfering in your relationship with Lori …. That said, here are my opinion and advice regarding your relationship with Lori!” Mark has suppressed all feelings since 1946, but that dam has now burst with him loving and missing Cherry all willy-nilly, and here he advises Dirty to go work on his relationship. The long-awaited Mark Trail/Mary Worth crossover has begun, and it’s going to be awesome.
Funky Winkerbean, 7/18/14
Because comic book conventions are inherently fascinating, I had complete confidence that Comics Curmudgeon readers would follow this week’s Funky Winkerbean with rapt attention so I didn’t have to look at it. Thank you, generous readers!
But Comic John’s coy little shout-out in panel two is just too irritating to pass by. Tired joke, sitcom-style “That’s Our Crazy!” take, grandiose validation of the speaker’s own in-group, ugh. Pair that with the over-rendered “uncanny valley” look that suggests ol’ Skunkhead was drawn from life and now here I am considering the possibility that Comic John might be an actual real person living in the same world as me and seriously have you no mercy, Funky Winkerbean?
Judge Parker, 7/18/14
I do believe that’s a Business Plan Sam’s holding there. Steel yourselves.
Lots of name-checking going on in Judge Parker this week. Mopey Eurotrash Jules the other day, and now wealthy Parisian Cancer Rachel and country-music legend, solar entrepreneur, and real-estate titan Rocky Ledge, né Milton Rasmussen, husband of award-winning actress and equestrienne Godiva Danube, née Brunhilde Akermann. I kid you not.
There must be a point at which a comic moves so slowly that it needs to spend every strip reminding readers what’s gone before. I’m taking dibs on calling that point the “Parker Equilibrium.” Ironically, Apartment 3-G was first to reach it.
Just a reminder that there are no Comments of the Week on my watch — Josh will be back July 28 with an extra helping.
But to sate your lust for comics-themed Friday entertainment in the meantime, I have assembled “Twirlin’ Tommie Thompson” – two seemingly endless conversations with Carol Collins in Jack Riley’s magical barnyard, featuring Red Tommie and Blue Tommie and a swirling kaleidoscope of backgrounds:
It’s a little less annoying if you draw a little dot on your monitor at the tip of Tommie’s nose. But don’t use permanent marker like I did – it lasts a surprisingly long time.
– Uncle Lumpy
The life of a second-string comics blogger isn’t all shootouts and fresh new characters. Most days it’s just slappin’ down the html and takin’ care of business:
Six Chix, 7/17/14
Like poking fun at an easy target:
Hey lady, “testing the limits of humor” usually means the upper limits.
Apartment 3-G, 7/17/14
When Jack comes back on foot to lead the mare away, Tommie will regret having brought up the whole “glue” thing. Unless he takes Carol, too.
Gil Thorp, 7/17/14
Marking the return of cherished themes:
Hey, Kaz’s earring is back, and ready for its closeup! Hi, Mimi — how are the kids? Still enjoying 2005? Potatoes, again?
Slylock Fox (panel), 7/17/14
Reporting industry news:
Slylock Fox auteur Bob Weber Jr. has signed on with Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Enterprises LLC as a gag writer for Hägär the Horrible, and apparently has designs on drawing it, too.
Dick Tracy, 7/17/14
Keeping folks up to date on beloved comics:
“Daddy” Warbucks’ and Tracy’s crews look for Annie, last known to have been hostage to the Butcher of the Balkans, who The Great Am believes is now in touch with dangerous spy Axel. B.O. Plenty gets a letter with a vintage stamp and no ZIP Code, which gets passed to Dick, who recognizes the handwriting as Annie’s and the contents as the coded location of an abandoned island nuclear facility, to which he boats in the middle of the night.
Tracy wakes up in a hospital in Simmons Corners in June, 1944, recovering from shell-shock sustained at Anzio. Annie says they’ve known each other for years, and that he’s the main police presence in the town where she lives with Ma and Pa Silo.
Tracy seems to have disappeared from the present. An informant tells Warbucks his boss Axel had him collect the Butcher and Annie, but dies mysteriously before he can say where he took them.
Back in 1944, Tracy is discharged. Annie becomes alarmed when he says “there’s a war on”, thinking he believes what she apparently thinks is a charade. She visits Professor Kenyon, for whom she does chores, then gets a call at the Silos’ asking her to meet with the owner of the local newspaper — a Mr. Axel. Axel, a sinister sort, interrogates Annie about Professor Kenyon and his experiments, then sends her away to listen to the “Belinda” radio show, which seems to have a hypnotic effect on people.
Family Circus, 7/17/14
And, of course, slagging on little Jeffy Keane:
“Why no, Jeffy, I don’t know how he could say such a thing! You have totally achieved every bit of your full potential. There, there ….”
Happy 40th birthday, Josh, and congratulations on completing The Enthusiast!
– Uncle Lumpy