Judge Parker, 8/25/16
Shout out to Woody Wilson for going out on a high note and handing Judge Parker to new writer (and friend-of-the-blog) Ces Marciuliano with a literal cliffhanger on which to begin his tenure. After barreling soberly-but-with-vodka-in-the-car down a windy mountain road, our triumphant but mysteriously nameless band (I nominate New Delhi Monkey Gang) broke into physical squabbling that knocked out Derrick’s tooth and marred his pretty, pretty smile, and also swerved them into the path of a giant truck. Anyway, today’s lovely strip probably is their frozen terror as they tumble down the mountainside rather than the final moment before they die (or, even better, the first moment after they die and begin their ascendence to Shitty High School Band Heaven), but, you know, a guy can dream.
The Phantom, 8/25/16
Oh boy, Kit Jr., has arrived at the Tibetan monastery that has educated several generations of Phantoms before him, hoping to bamboozle the monks into believing he’s an immortal jungle spirit! Unfortunately, it’s been a good several centuries since a Walker has taken up a residency at the monastery, and some of the geopolitics have shifted in the meantime, mostly involving Tibet’s conquest by the People’s Republic of China. If, say, Kit Jr.’s father or grandfather (who knows how old these people are supposed to be, even) had decided to revive this particular bit of Phantomic ritual, that might’ve put them straight into the middle of the Cultural Revolution and some real fun. As it is, Kit Jr. will probably just get in education in “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” i.e., he’ll find himself working for a cell phone manufacturer with a dodgy labor rights reputation.
Good news! Crankshaft is going to jail!
Family Circus, 8/13/16
“Am I practicing flat-out nihilism, or some godless esoteric discipline — ha ha I’m agnostic on the question! Oh, I learned so much at Heresy Camp, Dolly, you have no idea ….”
Judge Parker, 8/13/16
Oh man, that’s some sub-Mary Worth-level advice Abbey is pitching right there, but in fairness, why would she engage seriously the efforts to “find and hold onto a man” of somebody whose 10-year romantic history reads like this:
- Hometown squeeze Bob — he of the front-porch “tongue thing”. Neddy dumped him.
- Julian “Beautiful Shoes Jules” Edgemont, Neddy’s “live-in boyfriend” from Paris. Neddy dumped him.
- “Retcon Mark,” Neddy’s newly-divorced former boyfriend, home from Harvard. Neddy dumped him.
- Mark again, back from Hong Kong and proposing marriage. Neddy dumped him again, and somehow everybody was supposed to feel sorry for her about it.
So maybe the reason you can’t hold onto men, Neddy, is that you keep dumping them? Just spitballin’ here.
Mr. Walker (for Ghost Who Walks don’tcha know) drops his son off at school. I hope this branches the story into three: Heloise and sometimes Diana in New York, mother/daughter bonding and daughter/roomie hijinking under the sinister eye of Eric Sahara (the Nomad!); Kit Jr. learning Phantomry from the monks; and Kit Sr. and sometimes Diana going through the trials of empty-cave syndrome.
But I wouldn’t get too sure about that “You’re a Phantom” thing quite yet – the strip has been dropping hints for a long time:
Since Heloise routinely bests young Kit in athletic contests, maybe some kind of sibling duel-to-the-death scenario is in the offing? I’ll pop some corn.
The Phantom, 7/30/16
In the non-monastery-based Phantom Kids Go Off To School plot, the Phantom’s daughter Heloise is at her fancy boarding school in New York with her new roommate, who is, unbeknownst to anyone, the daughter of her father’s mysterious arch-nemesis, Eric Sahara, the Nomad! The girls are anxiously feeling each other about their fathers and the nebulous sources of vast wealth that allow them to attend an expensive private school. Don’t feel awkward or out of place, girls: you’re mingling with the children of New York City’s elite! Plenty of your classmates’ parents have killed people. Mostly they’ve killed them by firing them so they don’t have health insurance anymore, but still.
Mary Worth, 7/30/16
Vicodin®: It Can Help You Clean Up An Explosive Diarrhea Situation™! Ask your doctor if Vicodin is right for you, your family, and your sandwich eatery that maybe has a little more E. coli in the meat than is strictly ideal.