Judge Parker, 3/16/14
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable are all the uses of this world? Just ask Judge Emeritus Alan Parker! In the years since he returned to his strip, we’ve heard of the growing marital discontent he shares with his wife. He told us he feels old and useless, and we’ve watched helplessly as his compulsive risk-taking escalated from recreational B.A.S.E. jumping to jungle snake-handling.
The story ends, as all such tales must, atop a forbidden cliff in the Mexican jungle with the frenzied Judge turning his wife out to “rock the joystick” of some buzzing monstrosity in the hopes that something — anything — will let him feel again. Oh Judge, Judge — in all those years on the bench, did no one tell you about heroin?
Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/16/14
“All right, Becka, I suppose it won’t hurt to go over this again. As we’ve discussed, Dr. Morgan and I allow you to banter with us on a first-name basis because it suits our image of ourselves as friendly, egalitarian people. This is our little indulgence, Becka, not yours — and there is a line. Now, when I tell you that Paula John is an incompetent emotional wreck, that is not an invitation for you to defend her, or spew vicious gossip about the Dean — my peer — from below stairs or wherever it is you and your little friends hang out. Especially when you’re not meeting your most elementary responsibilities around the clinic. Well then, I hope you’ve enjoyed our little talk. Now get me those results. And let’s go back to calling me ‘Ma’am’ for now, shall we? There’s a good girl.”
Mary Jane manipulates her doofus husband without looking up from her crossword: “Hey, Tiger, what’s a six-letter word for ‘eight-legged parasite’?”
This strip finally makes sense to me: Connie is Princess Leia, and Jeremy is Jabba the Hutt.
– Uncle Lumpy
Oh my goodness, it’s a new site design! Your eyes do not deceive you: I’ve tweaked the design of the site, by which I mean that the amazing Adam Norwood tweaked the design of the site, after I gave him vague and sometimes contradictory instructions on how to do it. In addition to a refreshed look that features fewer ads per page, the site also has a couple minor functionality improvements. When you want to check out older posts by date, either using the menus at the top of the page or on the advanced archives page, there are now separate menus for month and year, so you don’t have to hunt through an enormous 120-entry drop-down list. And comments on older posts are now visible! (I had turned off the ability to comment on posts older than ten days, because I was getting waves and waves of comment spam there, but that had the negative side effect of hiding the old comments from view; now you can glory in comments from yesteryear once again.)
Anyway, if the site looks weird or jumbled on your screen, it may be because your browser has cached the old version of the site; please hold down the shift key and reload the page a few times, and if that doesn’t work, try deleting your browser’s cache. If you’re still having problems, email me at bio at jfruh dot com, and be sure to send a screenshot and tell me what browser and operating system you’re using.
OK! Now: comics!
Mary Worth, 3/12/14
Look, just because I haven’t been featuring the current Mary Worth Tommy storyline on this blog daily doesn’t mean I don’t wake up every morning and give thanks for it to Karen Moy, Joe Giella, the Hearst Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary King Features Syndicate, Inc., and whatever God(s) may be responsible for any of the previously mentioned entities. Today we have Tommy returning to the art form that is truly his métier: the unnecessary thought balloon. Remember when he got arrested and thought-ballooned “groan”, presumably keeping silent so as not to further antagonize the enraged populace? Well, today, he’s willing to get a little petulant about his mother’s overbearing attempts to make Wilbur his personal headhunter, but he won’t cross the line into full-on sass and say “sheesh” aloud.
It’s obviously not at all surprising that J. Jonah Jameson has become drunk with power and is now glorying in his new supervillain/hero status. But turning his back on photography and print media to bask in the adoration of TV news? That’s just cold. That’s a betrayal of his own embattled industry. At least he’s not clicking through slide after slide of the “Iron Jonah Foils Tank Heist” slideshow on the local Patch site.
Heathcliff’s word-helmets are getting increasingly abstract.
Boy, This Archie rerun from the ’90s has turned out to be eerily prescient! It’s true that, in the modern age of atomized, Internet-based media distribution and social networking, many readers have a stronger allegiance to the writers they follow than to the publications those writers work for, especially when those writers can use Twitter and the like to push out information faster than the media outlets’ traditional publication process can. This has resulted in many cases in a change in the power relationships between writers and publishers, exemplified quite nicely by Archie and Reggie’s despair over how their business model can survive now that Veronica has demonstrated how easily it can be disrupted. Let’s all pray that this strip’s prediction of a white-ties-and-black-shirts renaissance isn’t equally accurate!
I sincerely hope that J. Jonah Iron Manbot Whateverson realizes eventually that the best way to “crush” Spider-Man is to do so metaphorically, simply by being better at catching criminals than he is. For isn’t it much more satisfying to crush a man’s spirit than to mangle his body? The best would be for him to continue to do this for years, and, every time he emerges victorious, to boast of his superiority over the hated wall-crawler, long after everyone else has forgotten who Spider-Man even is anymore.
Uncle Claybo is an animal hoarder, and his pigs got sick because of the unsanitary conditions in his house, and he was arrested for animal cruelty :(