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Comics archive! Phantom

A fisticuff artist recognizes high-quality work

The Phantom, 1/9/14

Oh, man, the Phantom! I’ve been remiss in keeping you up to date with the Phantom, and don’t have the time/energy to fill you in on all the details about the current plot, in which a plucky journalist has hired a disreputable guide to help her find the Bandar. Mostly today I just want to point out how much the Phantom is enjoying this little spat, especially the part where the journalist calls her guide by his full name right before punching him in the face. “Mmm-hmm,” he thinks, allowing himself the faintest hint of a smile. “That’s some good punching.”

Hagar the Horrible, 1/9/14

This might seems like a joke about the kids today and/or those wacky liberals with their “fair trade” woo-woo and what is that even about amiright, but you have to keep in mind that Honi belongs to the family of a Viking noble whose entire fortune is derived from plunder and theft. In that light, this is actually a fairly saucy and defiant answer! It’s like this woman wants her entire village burned to the ground.

Better Half, 1/9/14

Were you concerned that the Better Half had used up all its medical-themed jokes in one great burst of hospital hilarity last Sunday? Don’t worry. As long as humans love the things that will eventually kill them and fear the reckoning that a visit to the doctor brings, there will always be more medical-themed jokes, to make you laugh and make you think (about death).

Bach in seiner Unterwäsche
Zeigt immer ein bisschen Arsch

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Slylock Fox, 10/16/13

Extinct or not, when a saber-toothed tiger menaces you with its 12-inch canine teeth, do not be the one to say it isn’t technically a tiger. At the very least, don’t be first one.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/16/13

Sarah toils unceasingly over her book in her basement prison. Rex is moved – Stockholm Syndrome is so adorable in the very young.

Six Chix, 10/16/13

Yes, because drug addicts need a loyalty program.

Phantom, 10/16/13

Gah, both Josh and I have been neglecting the Phantom for months because it’s just been such an incoherent mess but it’s the job so here we go:

Remember the mystery aeronaut of Mozz’s dream who had been rescued during WWI by the 19th Phantom and whose spectre showed up in the Deep Woods wearing a tattoo like the logo on drug pilot Ted West’s business card? And how the Phantom went to New York and a) forgave Ted for working with the drug gang because they threatened his family, b) broke into the drug boss’s house, c) knocked out all the minions, d) took a call that told him a big caper was going down at 3:00 AM, e) recorded the boss’s admission that he had taken a hit out on West, and f) here he is at 2:00 calling the cops?

Well the plan here is to use the Phantom’s own break-in as the pretext for a search that will lead police to incriminating evidence on the boss. There are, of course, constitutional safeguards against such behavior, but Dispatch Lady seems to think it’s pretty clever nonetheless.

Unresolved are a) what’s the big caper at 3:00, and b) what’s the connection between the aeronaut and Ted West? There you go: six months of the Phantom you’ll never have to read. If only there were some way to express your appreciation!

9 Chickweed Lane, 10/16/13

If you’re speaking English, it’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier.” This is true even if you’re having a conversation in English with a German concert pianist. The only reason to switch to German is to show off, and because Germans are required by law to correct your pronunciation, nobody would ever switch to German in this context unless they were pretty damn sure their audience didn’t speak it.

What I’m saying is a couple of thug spooks can kidnap her, drag her to a dungeon, hang her up in chains, and Edda Burber will still find a way to be the biggest jerk in the room.

Of course no real pianist would say it was ‘a’ fugue in C-sharp minor. WTC Book 2 (and why not Buch Zwei Edda hmm…?) includes one and only one fugue in each of the 24 key signatures — why, that’s the actual point of the exercise, is it not? Bach certainly seemed to think so, though I suppose he lacked your chops as an underwear model. Anyway, dearie, tell all the gals back in dance class that it was ‘the’ fugue in C-sharp minor, won’t you? Or just Number Four. Goodness, I’m certainly glad I’m not in that room.

– Uncle Lumpy

Herb looks smug just to have heard such a well-executed sick burn

Beetle Bailey, 9/25/13

Probably you were hoping that Spec. Gizmo’s sex robot would a be a shameful, one-off joke that would never reappear in the comics pages or on the Internet again. Well, too bad, because you don’t live in your perfect world! You live in this world of unrelenting horror, with the rest of us. Anyway, panel one reveals all sorts of unfortunate things. For instance, when Gizmo’s robot was first unveiled, nobody had bothered to drape human clothes over its square metallic chassis, yet now it appears to be wearing some kind of exaggeratedly girly dress with a crinoline skirt, further gendering the fembot and making it a slightly more acceptable target of Chip’s sexual lusts. The mere act of clothing it can be seen as akin to teaching it a shame-based code of sexual morality, much like the one Adam and Eve learned abruptly after eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The fembot’s rudimentary ethics may be limited to sexual matters, as it seems more than willing to use its inhuman strength to work violence against humans, though perhaps this is a sign that its advanced circuitry understands the concept of consent and believes that attempts to violate its structural integrity may legitimately be met with self-defense.

Anyway, I was going to do a close reading of panel two along these same lines, but then I read “He has to turn off the work switch and press the love button” and so I went and lied down for an hour instead.

Mary Worth, 9/25/13

OK, Mary Worth: I enjoy making endless jokes about Wilbur’s sandwich obsession as much as the next person who blogs about newspaper comic strips, but I like to do it on my terms. Frankly, if you’re going to include an entire panel of the sort of filthy talk that you might expect to hear when you dial 1-900-HOT-SANDWICH, I’m going to feel a little bit baited.

Herb and Jamaal, 9/25/13

I genuinely enjoy how insanely excited our nameless white-collar drone/Heart and Soul customer looks in the first couple of panels as he sets up his joke about how meetings make you doze off, ha ha, amiright people. He’s really going the extra mile here, and I appreciate it when people put effort into their sarcasm.

Phantom, 9/25/13

“Except for a period from the 1870s, when European powers began the wars of conquest referred to as the ‘Scramble for Africa,’ until the process of decolonization really took hold in the 1960s! I mean, the British, man! I couldn’t leave a skull mark on the chins of the entire British Empire, you know what I’m saying?”

Pluggers, 9/25/13

Pluggers remember a time, now thankfully in the distant past, when they had to engage in brief bouts of physical movement every half hour or so.