The Phantom, 11/15/14
Oh my gosh, you guys, the Phantom! When we last saw our hero, he had been bitten by a snake while planting evidence on a guy; after pumping himself full of various antivenoms, he emerged from a painful ordeal physically healthy but with full-on amnesia (is this a thing? I don’t think this is a thing) and then wandered into the nearest Jungle Patrol camp. There my low opinions of this paramilitary organization were confirmed, because instead of trying to help him figure out his identity, the local commanders just put him in uniform and are having him do odd jobs around the compound.
But! Now this has set up the return of some beloved characters of yesteryear! You might recall that way back in 2008 a couple of Bangallan women, a lady cop and a waitress, decided to quit their boring day jobs and join the Jungle Patrol, despite its previously all-male makeup. (You can still buy the t-shirts based on their hilarious catchphrases!) They proved their worth by gunning some dude down in the dead of night, but retained their essential femininity in the sense that they had constant sexual fantasies about the Patrol’s “Unknown Commander” (who is, you guessed it, the Phantom himself). Later, the lady ex-cop half of this duo tried and failed to get a glimpse of this hunky he-hunk’s face while aiding and abetting some mild crimes against humanity.
Anyway! These two gals are still at it, if by “it” in you mean “serving in the Jungle Patrol” and “forming inappropriate sexual attractions to people that they don’t know are the Phantom!” Today they grace our amnesiac hero with a sexier new name, so they don’t feel like necrophiliacs when thinking hott thoughts about him.
Apartment 3-G, 11/15/14
Speaking of beloved characters of yesteryear, remember Sam, Margo’s wedding-planning assistant, who we last saw in 2007? I think he appeared in all of two strips, though that didn’t stop readers from rooting for them to get together (faithful reader Missy declared herself a “Sargo shipper”, a phrase that I have never forgotten). Anyway, looks like Sam’s going to emerge from whatever Bed-Stuy flophouse Margo banished him to seven years ago and save the day by planning her mother’s wedding for her. Will this finally be the act of heroism that wins her heart? Ha ha, of course not, you fools, Margo has no “heart” to “win.”
Funky Winkerbean, 11/15/14
This doesn’t involve any sort of flashback or anything, but it does nicely demonstrate that joy is so rare in the Funkyverse that people have no idea what it looks like when it’s happening. “Is he … is he having some kind of seizure?”
Your comment of the week in a moment, but first: a couple Fun Pictures Of Me With Cool People! The first cool picture is me with Jeff Knurek, aka Jumble Jeff, aka the cartoonist for the Jumble, who has repeatedly put me in prison over the years. Jeff came into town, and he and his lovely wife Kathy took me and my lovely wife Amber out to dinner, and then the next day Jeff, Kathy, and I (Amber had to work, so sad) got to sit in on a reading of a Simpsons episode by the cast! We (and by “we” I mean “Jeff but then he invited me along”) had been invited by Tom Gammil, a Simpsons producer who also draws The Doozies and is a faithful reader of this blog. It was an amazing experience and thanks to Jeff and Tom for making it happen! Here’s me and Jeff out on the Fox lot:
A few days earlier, I had been at a friend’s post-apocalypse-themed birthday party and chatting with a nice young lady named Marize and I had the opportunity (it was natural, I swear I don’t go around bragging about this with no context) to mention that I wrote a blog about comic strips, and she said, “Oh, which one,” and I said “It’s called the Comics Curmudgeon,” and she said “Oh, yeah, I read that,” super casual-like, which impressed me, and then she mentioned that she was a huge fan of the Phantom, and also pointed out that she had just gotten the Phantom’s logo tattooed on her thigh!
Anyway, I’ve been falling down on the job when it comes to Phantom coverage lately, and so I pledge to Marize and to you that I will do better! (SPOILER ALERT: He has amnesia.)
And now … your comment of the week!
“Mark Trail knows he is on the side of righteousness because before each outing he consults with his Lord and master, Jesus Moose, here seen walking on water before the stunned ranks of the non-believers. Blessed be the Father, and the Moose, and the Spirit of the Wild.” –G’Quan
And the very funny runners up!
“Wow, Fox is really cheaping out on the next X-Men movie.” –Ed Dravekcy on Facebook
“I like that one of the differences between the two panels is that in the first, the human appears to be a legit wildlife officer, while in the second, his lack of badge seems to indicate that he’s just some dude who likes stetsons and picking fights with bears.” –pugfuggly
“Little kids worshiping candy and presents rather than the Lord? The math checks out.” –pastordan
“What sort of ghastly vertigo-inducing Hell-Prius is that in panel one? From the Gungan hydrostatic windshield through which Mary projects her head, to the deadly passenger seat that lurches forward and to the centerline, it’s got to be a nightmare ride for Hanna and as such, she frowns her disapproval, which she can check out first-hand in the rear-view mirror, now mere inches from her eyes. Apparently, part of Mary’s plan is to so disorient and distract Hanna with the physical anomalies of the car that Hanna is no longer capable of ratiocination and will gladly enter whatever home Mary has in mind. Kids, that’s the oldest trick in the book!” –SgtSaunders
“Margo reflects? We all know that Margo casts no reflection.” –Nekrotzar
“Few Halloween home decorations are as frightening and repulsive as the Man’s Back Hair Sofa Slipcover.” –Chareth Cutestory
“You’d think that a comic that features a woman who has slept with the newest James Bond star and has the latest Bond girl as a client and confidante would be about people leading glamorous lives. Yet here we are.” –Hibbleton
“It’s sad that the Sweet 16 Cafe, once a teen hangout in the 1950s, is now focused on an aging clientele holding on to the bittersweet memories of young love.” –SKJAM!
“Man, that Bill Ellis must really hate Cherry. When he sends Mark on a fishing trip or a safari, he goes alone, but when he sends him to snoop around a chemical plant next to a swamp, Cherry has to ride along.” –But What Do I Know?
“In all the years I’ve been reading comics, I’ve always assumed that word bubbles only existed for our own benefit, and weren’t actually present in the comic itself, like a subtitle in a movie. Today’s Mark Trail shatters that illusion by showing us a moose playfully chasing after one, like a cat with a laser pointer.” –Brad
“Please let Margo be looking at a picture of Joseph Stalin.” –seismic-2
“June will summon Kelly into her presence and demand to know why she wasn’t immediately informed about the possible prison record of the art forger employed by the mob widow who is mentoring her daughter. ‘B-but you knew all of that! The mob widow … the abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town … the art forgery … Sarah blackmailing me …’ ‘Don’t change the subject, young lady! I won’t have my Sarah instructed by someone so incompetent he actually served time! Only the best for my daughter!’” –batgirl
“‘Are you ladies new here?’ asked a quavering voice. Mary turned. It was a haggard old crone, twisted and wrinkled, seemingly locked into a small scooter. She seemed … familiar, and Mary’s mind flashed back to her last memory of her mother, left in a place like this, alone. ‘Can I help you?’ the woman asked. ‘My name is Mary Worth, and I help out around here.’ Mary’s knees started to buckle. The old woman looked her square in the eyes, and Mary knew those eyes, she saw those eyes every morning in her mirror as she fixed her hair just so. ‘You look troubled, my dear,’ the crone said. ‘Come, tell me about your problems.’ Mary’s back hit the wall and she slowly slid toward the floor. ‘Mary Worth can fix all of your problems, dear.’ The woman’s scooter started to inch forward.” –Voshkod
“Here’s what I love about Dagwood. While the rest of us are worrying about mid-term elections, Ebola outbreaks, and whatever else the media is telling us to fear, Dagwood’s ‘dilemma’ is that two annual observances dedicated to mindless gluttony are overlapping and he wants to show his devotion to both without slighting either. We could, I dare say, learn from him.” –Joe Blevins
“The Jesus rays emanating from Dagwood imply that there is some divine majesty about what he’s done. Pizza slice? That’s something that you’ll buy at the fly-by-night Halloween store this weekend for half price and then forget that you have it in your closet for a few years. But add a Jack-o’-lantern head, and it’s ‘fall to the ground and shield your eyes’ time. Either this is a truly glorious moment for humanity, or somebody came up behind the artist after he finished and said, ‘Could you do something to draw more attention to the guy in the pizza costume and Jack-o’-lantern head? He’s hardly noticeable in that kitchen.’” –handsome Harry Backstayge, idol of a million other women
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When we last saw our hero, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, on this blog, he was he was swinging his way into Doc Ock’s lab. Since then he was immediately captured and subdued with nearly no struggle whatsoever, and, in today’s panel one, has glumly resigned himself to death. But wait! Remember a few weeks ago, when THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN!!! broke into Ox’s jail cell for a little interrogation? Well, it turns out that he did a bad job of fixing the bars he bent to get in, allowing this dangerous, violent criminal to escape! And now said criminal is going to solve our hero’s problems for him and save his life. So, to review: actually attempts at heroism result in failure, while victory is achieved entirely accidentally, thanks to really awful negligence. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!!!!!!!!
The Phantom, 9/26/14
Speaking of continuity strip superheroes and negligence, I’ve been totally negligent in keeping you up to date on the current Phantom storyline! It’s been pretty boring so far, honestly, but today’s strip, in which the Ghost Who Walks vows to ignore the snake venom coursing through his veins in order to heroically plant evidence on someone, is worth pointing out.
Pluggers are on a lot of pills, you guys. A lot of pills. They also don’t have any friends!