Judge Parker, 11/28/16
The characters in Judge Parker, who have spent the last few decades as the unquestioned lords and masters of all they survey, with people just handing them money and power for no good reason, have now been abruptly brought low by a series of tragic events. Frankly, we’ve all been so focused on Neddy’s factory disaster and Sophie’s kidnapping that we’ve neglected another damsel in distress: April, Judge Parker Junior’s CIA assassin wife, who actually vanished before the change of writers, after being sent to do One Last Job in Belgrade.
Anyway, Randy’s been pretty broken up about it, obviously, and today’s strip reminds us of a reality of the newly grim Parkerburg: our heroes are so emotionally bereft as to be incapacitated, but they’re still in charge, which means that vital decisions are going unmade. Look at that huge stack of paperwork! Randy hasn’t heard a case in weeks, which means probably there are some people in jail who have no idea if they’ll ever get to trial, or maybe some businesses in limbo because lawsuits they’re involved in can’t move forward. Is Randy a criminal or civil judge? Who even knows? The point is, he’s sad about his wife, and the rest of you people will have to wait.
Curtis’s dad is giving his son a crash course on what life is like in this fallen world, where a constant stream of resources are needed to extend the lives of anything, from an advertising agency to an apartment building to a human body. Of course, all this effort still won’t stave off your inevitable death, but that’s a story for another day!
Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/28/16
“Shhh, June, no. I know what you’re thinking, but it isn’t true. Sarah isn’t the way she is because you worked when she was a baby. She’s that way because we summoned her into existence via unholy, forbidden science! I swear to you we have the procedure refined now!”
Judge Parker, 11/23/16
Just so you know, Sam is going full-on Failure-To-Shave/Making-A-Bulletin-Board-Of-Clues Crazy over Sophie’s disappearance. And I assume the man he refuses to represent is Garrick Panini? Sam, Sam, Panini’s chock full of clues! This is your best chance to find out the truth! Pull apart his toasted outsides and look at the gooey, delicious information within, metaphorically!
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 11/23/16
Having failed to successfully bag a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, Snuffy and Lukey are just going to rob the general store at gunpoint.
Wow, Dagwood’s doing a lot of projection here. I think we all know who does and does not have a crypto-sexual fixation on food in this family.
The Lockhorns, 11/23/16
I know this isn’t the sort of thing I usually say, but … maybe The Lockhorns should dial back the existential despair? Maybe just a little.
Mark Trail, 11/23/16
Guys, the island in Mark Trail is still just straight-up exploding! I guess if you need to put more stuff on your list of things to be thankful for, “non-stop explosions in Mark Trail” is a good one to add near the top.
Mary Worth, 11/23/16
Very excited to get a close-up on these guys we first saw yesterday. I think we can say it definitively now: this is Mary Worth’s idea of what young people look like.
Hi and Lois, 11/6/16
This is one of my weird comics fixations and maybe it’s a cultural blind spot for me, but: is there anywhere in suburban America, like where the Flagstons or the Bumsteads live, where people regularly let their dogs roam about, unfenced and unleashed and unsupervised, at night? I get that this is a thing that happens in rural areas, but Hi and Lois don’t live in a rural area. I get that this is a thing that happened in, like, the ’50s, maybe, but Hi and Lois don’t live there either. Is this just some ossified institutional memory thing, where Dawg has always wandered free at night, and Walker-Brown Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC doesn’t want to change the continuity now? Or have I somehow magically managed to live only in the parts of the country where keeping your dog indoors at night, or at least fenced in a yard, is the social norm? (For what it’s worth, in my current neighborhood there’s an extra incentive to do so, what with the roaming coyotes.)
Judge Parker, 11/6/16
In the aftermath of her extremely public humiliation, Neddy has done the only sensible thing: flee to Alaska with her hunky lover, refusing all communication with her shattered family! It would be a hilarious narrative shift if, after a few weeks of rapid plot developments under new writer Ces Marciuliano, we just spend the next six to eight months with Neddy sipping coffee, looking wistfully out over the permafrost, and not answering her phone.
Ahhh, Crankshaft in a nutshell: Ed loudly subjects a room full of people to his opinion, talking to nobody in particular and neither noticing nor caring that nobody’s talking back to him!