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!
Mary Worth, 8/15/16
I’m back, everyone! Let’s give a huge shout-out to Uncle Lumpy, who did admirable work while I lounged around my darkened bedroom in a Vicodin haze, the shadows emphasizing how ripped my torso is. I was worried for a bit that I’d get fired, but then I realized that I own this darn website! I can do all the pills I want!
Anyway, after reviewing the past week of Mary Worth, I’m glad to see that the current storyline continues to promote the pill-popper lifestyle. For a minute it looked like Tommy might have some trouble doctor shopping, but it turns out that if you’re clever and determined enough, you can get all the delicious painkillers you needed, as you can tell by the pill bottles lined up on Tommy’s bedside table. And now that he’s being fired from his lame sandwich job, he’s got more time to enjoy his Vicodin. Win-win!
Judge Parker, 8/15/16
Meanwhile, in classic Judge Parker fashion, we’ve been treated to both the drama-filled run-up to Derek’s band’s gig and the ecstatic aftermath without actually seeing the performance itself. The important thing here is that Zeke, having been corrupted by Honey’s flirtatious banter, has switched from Monster® Energy Drink to Osipov Vodka. This is apparently not a real vodka brand, though Googling it led me to a book called The Rise of the Centaurs, so I have no regrets. Anyway, it’s going to be very sad when this bad decision leads to all these teens being killed in a drunk backseat driving accident.
Gil Thorp, 8/15/16
Speaking of getting killed in a drunk driving accident, Barry Bader’s drunk driving dad is going to, uh, take a plea, I guess? Given the lightning-fast pace of the U.S. court system, this plot should finally be wrapped up just in time for football season in 2019.
Funky Winkerbean, 8/14/16
All week long we’ve been enduring tell-don’t-show conversations about “hazing” followed by weak-sauce wordplay, ain’t-it-awful mopery, and one incredibly off “joke” about depriving a sick old man of his oxygen. So I suppose we should be glad that Sunday’s strip finally shows us some actual hazing? And even more glad that hazing is now a thing of the past, having been overcome through unspecified single-handed efforts by our chop-jawed heroine Becky here?
Nope! This is Funky Winkerbean, and that last panel is there to show us that no matter how good things may seem, somebody suffers. Somebody always suffers.
PS. If you really want to suffer, try taking a nap on a Sousaphone some time.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/14/16
After learning that Dolly Pierpont artificially spun up Sarah’s career by buying all her horsey pictures and museum books, Rex spent the week telling her to back the hell off with the chauffeur-driven Mercedes, private-school tuition, art lessons, museum donations, and soirée guest-of-honor slots, and let Sarah earn her own honors. Dude, who are you, and what have you done with the real Rex Morgan?
Now we learn that Dolly was only trying to buy Sarah as a replacement for her dear departed Linda. You know, if she’d come to Rex with that deal in the first place, I’m sure they could’ve worked something out.
Judge Parker, 8/14/16 (panels)
I’ll spare you more “Neddy has a sad” panels. The real action is rolling down from Morristown in the rain, doubtless approaching Chekhov’s Curve off the main road to Alpine Pass. Enjoy A Sip Of vodka, Zeke and Ms. Honey “Does Not Understand Inventory Management” Ballenger – you’re in for a long night!
Well, that’s it for me. Thanks for a fun week — Josh will be back bright and early Monday.
— Uncle Lumpy