Apartment 3-G, 7/28/14
I’m back everybody! Isn’t it great when come back from a long time away and discover that literally nothing has changed? Tommie and Carol are wearing the same clothes they were wearing two weeks ago, and are still just standing around talking about nothing of any interest to anyone! The two of them cruelly drove away beloved non-Tommie non-Carol character “Tina” and since then it’s just been the two of them yammering away in an otherwise empty universe. Oh, were you excited by the prospect of what excitement an appearance from “Doc Wheeler” might’ve brought to the strip? Hate to break it to you, but there isn’t any “Doc Wheeler.” We sure didn’t see him on panel. Probably Tommie formed some straw into a vaguely man-shaped pile and said “Look! It’s Doc Wheeler!” and Carol said “Hey there, ‘Big Wheel!’” and then they both laughed and laughed for way, way longer than they should have.
Judge Parker, 7/28/14
Meanwhile, all sorts of things happened in Judge Parker, the main thing being that Neddy has finally come into her own as a Spencer-Driver. Balancing the books of her “Made In The USA” clothing line on the backs of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds and/or old people’s desperation? Heading down to the factory she owns to smugly watch the elderly try to operate machinery and thread needles with trembling, arthritic hands? Abbey’s right: she should’ve told Sam this sooner. He’d eat that shit up.
Better Half, 7/28/14
Also, the Better Half continued its slow and steady migration from “slightly less hateful Lockhorns knockoff” to “full-on surreal horror-nightmare.” I’m reading “spliced a pig gene with the DNA of an aerobics instructor” as meaning an aerobics instructor got some genetic material from a pig and not vice-versa, which means that the Better Half takes place in a dystopian future where even a small amount of artificially engineered DNA in a human’s genome makes that human an un-person who can be killed, cooked, and eaten without fear of legal or social repercussions.
Deep down, pluggers know that their supposedly non-ideological knee-jerk “they’re all crooks!” attitude towards elected officials is a cop-out.
Dick Tracy, 7/22/14
Oh yeah, Diet Smith and “Daddy” Warbucks are both working on time-travel projects, just to simplify things. And Dick’s left-behind wrist wizard IS OF NO POSSIBLE USE IN FINDING HIM, so everybody please stop noticing when Smith brings it up nonstop 24/7, okay?
But the really charming thing about this strip is Sam’s tantrum. Plutocrats Diet Smith and “Daddy” Warbucks use Dick Tracy’s shadow army to protect and conceal their secret worldwide totalitarian superstate, but when push comes to shove it’s always Sam bustin’ perps and crackin’ skulls. Sure, he helped patrol the sector during the Moon Years, but chasing crooks down the Corridors of Time is just too damn much work, and if you try to pull that “it can’t be overtime if it’s in the past” crap, you are definitely gonna hear from his union rep.
Funky Winkerbean, 7/22/14
Comic John doesn’t really listen when people talk: “Garage Con? Yeah, my friend has those!” Any more “storage/solitude” and “book/bat” wordplay, though, and Holly will tune him out, too.
Judge Parker, 7/22/14
“Well let’s see, because she’s a 23-year-old who’s still drawing princess dresses and whose idea of running a factory is screaming at an immigrant seamstress, ‘You call this a flounce?’”
Ha ha Abby saw the title of this article, but couldn’t be bothered to read it.
– Uncle Lumpy
Gil Thorp, 7/18/14
Tongue loosened by wine and Mimi’s sultry charms, Gil slurs out his commitment to mediocrity and refusal to reason with anybody, ever. And dammit, slow as he is, that tuba player is one hell of a receiver.
Mark Trail, 7/18/14
“I’m not interfering in your relationship with Lori …. That said, here are my opinion and advice regarding your relationship with Lori!” Mark has suppressed all feelings since 1946, but that dam has now burst with him loving and missing Cherry all willy-nilly, and here he advises Dirty to go work on his relationship. The long-awaited Mark Trail/Mary Worth crossover has begun, and it’s going to be awesome.
Funky Winkerbean, 7/18/14
Because comic book conventions are inherently fascinating, I had complete confidence that Comics Curmudgeon readers would follow this week’s Funky Winkerbean with rapt attention so I didn’t have to look at it. Thank you, generous readers!
But Comic John’s coy little shout-out in panel two is just too irritating to pass by. Tired joke, sitcom-style “That’s Our Crazy!” take, grandiose validation of the speaker’s own in-group, ugh. Pair that with the over-rendered “uncanny valley” look that suggests ol’ Skunkhead was drawn from life and now here I am considering the possibility that Comic John might be an actual real person living in the same world as me and seriously have you no mercy, Funky Winkerbean?
Judge Parker, 7/18/14
I do believe that’s a Business Plan Sam’s holding there. Steel yourselves.
Lots of name-checking going on in Judge Parker this week. Mopey Eurotrash Jules the other day, and now wealthy Parisian Cancer Rachel and country-music legend, solar entrepreneur, and real-estate titan Rocky Ledge, né Milton Rasmussen, husband of award-winning actress and equestrienne Godiva Danube, née Brunhilde Akermann. I kid you not.
There must be a point at which a comic moves so slowly that it needs to spend every strip reminding readers what’s gone before. I’m taking dibs on calling that point the “Parker Equilibrium.” Ironically, Apartment 3-G was first to reach it.
Just a reminder that there are no Comments of the Week on my watch — Josh will be back July 28 with an extra helping.
But to sate your lust for comics-themed Friday entertainment in the meantime, I have assembled “Twirlin’ Tommie Thompson” – two seemingly endless conversations with Carol Collins in Jack Riley’s magical barnyard, featuring Red Tommie and Blue Tommie and a swirling kaleidoscope of backgrounds:
It’s a little less annoying if you draw a little dot on your monitor at the tip of Tommie’s nose. But don’t use permanent marker like I did – it lasts a surprisingly long time.
– Uncle Lumpy