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Comics archive! Judge Parker

Soothing unchanging comics

After some time spent away from comics-blogging, you come back and ask yourself: has anything changed? Fortunately, if you like consistency and stability and have just subjected yourself to a huge life transition, the answer when it comes to the comics is always a resounding no!

Apartment 3-G, 9/6/14

Tommie is outlining her entire romantic history, and, guess what, is still super boring! “And that’s when I fell instantly and immediately in love and my life changed fore–” “Yeah, look, Tommie, I gotta … go, I have a … thing, can’t miss it, let’s catch up at a … later … date, yeah, that’s it, we’ll hang out later.”

Crankshaft, 9/6/14

Crankshaft is, guess what, still being a superdick to his ostensible friends! “Hey guys, my brain still works, unlike yours!” he says, without any hint of a smile that might make this seem like friendly ribbing. “My faculties are still entirely intact. It’s only my cruelty that’s being exacerbated by old age.”

Mary Worth, 9/6/14

Mary is, as ever, still extolling the virtues of love and friendship while keeping all actual humans at arm’s length, emotionally speaking. “I’d like to come visit New York to spend time with you, Olive, but I’m not sure when I can, or if I can, since I have such a busy, demanding schedule of doing nothing and seeing nobody! Anyway, I got New York City ex-boyfriend problems, so it’s probably for the best if I don’t show my face around there.”

Judge Parker, 9/6/14

And people are still getting starry-eyed when engaging with the Spencer-Driver clan and throwing resources at them, even when they themselves are actual celebrities! “Wow, Sam, let’s hear your impartial legal advice: should I let your daughter start her business in a building I own, rent-free?” “Gosh, I don’t know, Rocky, just to make sure there’s no potential conflict of interest, maybe you should consult your own in-house counsel, the one who worked for me until like 20 minutes ago and whose wife is Neddy’s financial manager!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/6/14

And June Morgan still know that as long as things are going her way, it’s best not to ask questions. “Huh, so this old lady who’s abruptly taken our five year old daughter under her wing is from a family of violent criminals?” “Who cares?” “Do you think she and her thuggish henchman are armed?” “STOP TALKING THIS IS NOT TIME FOR TALKING THIS IS TIME FOR EATING HAMBURGERS THE SIZE OF OUR FACES”

City of angels

Gil Thorp, 9/3/14

Captain of Industry Art Standish lays down the law to a public employee over whom he has no power, and who can inconvenience him mightily with no effort or risk of repercussions. I bet ol’ Art just cracks ‘em up down at the DMV: “What’s that, sir? Oh, you pay my salary? Hey, Denise, we got a VIP with us this morning — this gentleman taxpayer here pays my salary! Well sir, why don’t you just stop paying those taxes — I bet that’ll fix me good won’t it?”

Curtis, 9/3/14

An alternate-dimension Curtis arrives to teach Our Curtis a Valuable Lesson, misuse the word “identical”, and start an argument about who is argumentative. Don’t worry, Our Curtis — evidence suggests that you are indeed the “smart” Curtis, although frankly this speaks poorly of dimensions everywhere.

Mary Worth, 9/3/14

Mary advises acting on only your most powerful delusions. Isn’t that pretty much how delusions work?

Judge Parker, 9/3/14

Speaking of delusions, this is Neddy’s business plan! Hey kid, your landlord doesn’t need to see it unless you want to use the space rent-free, in which case you are looking for money.

And isn’t Bebe already a thing that exists?


Westward Bound! Day Eight


Josh and Amber rolled into Los Angeles on Tuesday evening, to stay with family overnight and start moving into their new home today. I’m on the clock for a little while longer to give Josh time to find his computer, connect to the Internet, and catch up on all the action in Apartment 3-G.

And so ends the Westward Bound! Comics Curmudgeon fundraiser. Every contributor will be receiving a personal thank-you from Josh, but I’d like to add my own: thanks, you guys are the best!

– Uncle Lumpy

Get me rewrite!

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Crankshaft, 8/31/14 (panels)

I over-edit. Even on deadline, I’ll find a weak verb, unnecessary adverb, or clumsy subordinate clause and go back to the edit screen to tune it up, repeating the process many times until I start changing the same things back and forth or grow embarrassed at how many revisions WordPress says I’ve racked up. So even though I poke fun at some of the bizarre sounds-like-English dialogue in Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, I’m sympathetic, see? I know how staring at a handful of words too long makes you doubt readers will understand them, and after that it’s a quick trip down the hall of mirrors.

But c’mon. This is an old joke based on a familiar phrase. Nobody is going to misunderstand you if you leave out that second “wee.” And your audience is not Beavis.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/31/14 (panels)

And here’s Crankshaft‘s companion strip on the Centerville-Westview axis, all done up in its trademark Sunday Murk-O-Vision — because what Funky Winkerbean needs is more gloom.

The narrative challenge here is that the easy gag “hurry-up offense ends a bad game sooner” is undercut by the team’s recent improvement. Doesn’t bother Les, though – he’s like the guy who ruins a good meal out by complaining about the food he got on a previous visit, making damn sure the chef’s wife at the hostess station can hear him loud and clear.

Judge Parker, 8/31/14 (panels)

Neddy shamelessly sucks up to Rocky Ledge to get her deal approved as the randy entertainer takes a long, approving glance down the dress she chose for exactly that purpose. Sam beams: “My daughter, the closer — check please!”

“No, not you, Maurice.”


Westward Bound! Day Five



On the Road Again, as sung by country music legend Willie Nelson and acted out in real life by Josh and Amber. No stopping in Luckenbach, though – it’s time to press westward, ever westward!

– Uncle Lumpy