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!
Judge Parker, 7/31/16
Finally, everyone Sam and Abbey live with is gone for the night, having sex responsibly somewhere, so now they can have sex, responsibly! Remember, the Spencer-Drivers live a palatial horse-breeding compound and everyone’s bedroom is at least a half a mile away from everyone else’s, so obviously thre is a lot of special pleading going on here on the importance of having everyone out of their hair. I think they’re worried about the last time they tried to have sex, when this horror-nightmare happened, and they want to make sure it never happens again.
I like the vigorous wink Crankshaft is giving Pam in the final panel here. He knows he’s making a little joke! He knows this jersey is an inanimate object, and can’t actually collect Social Security! Since this is the first time I’ve ever seen him do this, I have to assume that with every other mangled wordplay-chunk he comes up with — the punchlines of about 75% of Crankshaft strips, in other words — he has no idea how dumb he sounds.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 7/31/16
The first row of throwaway panels at the top of the strip, which don’t appear in every newspaper depending on how they lay out their Sunday comics, completely change the content here. Without them, we just have a harmless, sappy series of nicknames. With them, we have Loweezy stalling a Barlow, the hated enemy of her clan in a feud that’s stained the hills with blood for generations, until her husband can show up with his shotgun.
Family Circus, 7/29/16
This whole week of Billy at camp, dangerously self-actualized and unwilling to put up with any degree of camp-related bullshit whatsoever, has almost transformed him in my mind into the hero we need. Look at the way he’s striding confidently out of the craft area! The best part is that he got most of the way through making his wallet, so his exit has maximum effect. Billy could make a wallet, he’s totally capable of making one, but he chooses not to, because it’s unnecessary. He’s like a damn Ayn Rand protagonist at this point.
Mark Trail, 7/29/16
At last, Mark Trail has unleashed the “Mark and Cherry are lounging around in swimsuits” strip to respond to the famous “Rex and June are lounging around in their underwear” Rex Morgan, M.D. strip. The Rex Morgan strip ran more than eight years ago, because soap opera strip feuds are just as slow-moving as actual soap opera strips.
Good news! Crankshaft’s dying!