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The end of 2012 in comics: An extremely cursory review

YOU GUYS, every year when I come back from my Christmastime voyage I’m all like “I’m just going to quickly look over the continuity strips from the past week to make sure I didn’t miss the 45 seconds of Judge Parker strip-time in which something happens,” but then every year I end up finding a slate of delightful nonsense that I feel compelled to share with you all. So before I get to today’s strips (in another post), here’s what you might have missed if, like me, you took a comics vacation over the past ten days or so.

Panel from Apartment 3-G, 12/24/12

Greg Cooper, the next actor to play James Bond and thus one of the most visible and famous movie stars in the world, got dissed on Christmas by his own mom.

Family Circus, 12/25/12

Over at the Keane Kompound, unto us an extremely smug savior was born.

Panel from Mark Trail, 12/26/12

Otto decided not to take Mark and Bill Ellis’s ransom money, but will instead force Mark to lobby on his pirate kingdom’s behalf, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Panel from Spider-Man, 12/26/12

Spider-Man, a superhero with powers beyond those of ordinary mortals, was disabled with a quick blow to the back of the head, something that’s happened to him on multiple occasions.

Panels from Gil Thorp, 12/28/12

Oh, yeah, there’s a Gil Thorp basketball-season plot happening, I guess! It involves this basketball player, Scott, who is sad (and therefore not as good at basketball as he should be, which is the most important thing, obviously) because his little brother “Jay-Bird” died of leukemia. I had a brief hope that the horrible noise in this final panel was little Jay-Bird bursting out of his grave to feast on living flesh, but instead it was just a mysterious peacock that only Scott can see, which may in fact be Jay-Bird’s soul, which has come back to this mortal realm in bird form to feast on living flesh.

Panels from Funky Winkerbean, 12/29/12

Cayla and Les are already pretty sick of each other’s company, to nobody’s surprise.

Panels from Judge Parker, 12/30/12

In Judge Parker, Sam Driver shows that he knows the golden rule of lawyering: snitches get stitches.

Panel from Apartment 3-G, 12/31/12

Back in Apartment 3-G, Evan has finally revealed himself for what he truly is! …which appears to be a member of some kind of medieval craft guild, I guess?

Panel from Mary Worth, 12/31/12

John Dill’s entry has been accepted into the Santa Royale cake contest, and the excitement appears to have caused a massive stroke event.

Curtis, 1/1/13

Oh, right, Kwanzaa! This year’s nutty Curtis Kwanzaa tale involves an African village where an evil never-seen witch makes all the handsome young men mysteriously disappear when they reach marriageable age. Our hero, Maya, awakes in her lair only to discover that, despite evil witch stereotypes, she’s actually pretty sexy. “Well, uh, you’re not rich!” says Maya, but then she demonstrates that she has piles of gold and an elephant servant. “Hmm, tell me more,” says Maya.

44 responses to “The end of 2012 in comics: An extremely cursory review”

  1. Dan
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    I find Dolly and Billy married – and even Dolly giving birth to PJ – more believable and less nauseating than Jeffy as a wise man.

  2. Larry Fine
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    Les and Cayla: Tomorrow’s Lockhorns.

  3. Larry Fine
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorpe: That closeup of Scott in panel 2 isn’t quite as frightening as those of Rusty Trail, but it’s pretty damn close.

  4. Jon the Red
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    “John Dill’s entry has been accepted into the Santa Royale cake contest, and the excitement appears to have caused a massive stroke event,” Josh says, explaining the hand motion Dill is making.

  5. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    What, no comment on RMMD‘s June being preggers? Presumably by her husband, who as we all know is totally into women?

  6. Crankenstank
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman may have to retire due to Post-Concussion syndrome (which would explain a lot about his behavior with MJ, his obvious short-term memory loss issues, his tendency to get into fights with random strangers, and the inexplicable meandering of the narrative in his strip).

  7. Crankenstank
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    That panel of Evan brings to mind one word from the 1990s: Unabomber.

  8. Christopher
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: In his excitement John Dill remembers those youthful days when his penis was that big.

  9. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#5):

    Don’t jump to conclusions. I won’t believe she is actually pregnant until she drops everything and flies off to Vienna, without telling her husband, in order to check in on whether her grandmother is still pursuing an active sex life. When she learns that Gran-ma-ma still often drops everything in order to have spontaneous sex on the floor with her husband, then she can fly back home and announce that she is really pregnant.

  10. LogopolisMike
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    So this year’s Curtis Kwanza story is about drugs, right? Rather than the other years where just reading makes you feel like you’re on drugs.

  11. Maltmasher
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    That last panel of Judge Parker- I think Sam is sampling some hemp tea.

  12. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    @Dan (#1): Woo! A candidate for first COTW of the year.

  13. ArchieNemesis
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    For Archie Year in Comic Strips 2012, please refer to Archie Year in Comic Strips 1981.

  14. MWDG
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    Things that the MWDG wish would happen in 2013:

    John Dill asks Mary to be his wife. Mary accepts John’s proposal after her long sexless relationship with Dr. Jeff Corey. When John is admitted to Mountainview Hospital for food posioning (from the cake contest) a vengeful Jeff lobotomizes him.

    Dawn gets “assualted” and finds out she is pregnant with John Dill’s baby…She tells Mary the day Mary and John are to be married.

    Dawn “experiments” with Terry Bryson after the two attend a Truck pulling competion in Chino.

    Aldo’s identical twin visits Santa Royale seeking vengence. He waterboards Mary and films a disgusting “adult” video of Mary…posts it on the internet getting Mary fired from her “job” as a hospital volunteer. Mary then volunteers at an abused teen girls shelter and is brually “assualted” by one of the teens boyfriends.

  15. Horace Broon
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    A3G (panel above): Remind me again, it was stated at some point that Greg was British, so his playing James Bond isn’t completely ridiculous, right? So why’s he saying “Mom” instead of “Mum”? Been in New York too long? Will the filmmakers in London hear his transatlantic accent and decide he’s not right for the role after all?

    HtH: “And by ‘go to bed’, I mean ‘be staked out in a field’. And by ‘without dinner’ I mean ‘yesterday’s dinner will be removed through the remains of your ribcage’.”

    MT: Why is Otto’s speech bubble telling Otto it’s taking the money?

    Phantom: “The Llongo elders aren’t behind this scheme that gives them exactly what they want,” reflects the Ghost Who Patronises, “It involves devious thinking and high technology!”

  16. LogopolisMike
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @Crankenstank (#7):

    That panel of Evan brings to mind one word from the 1990s: Unabomber.

    God, I wish. I spent all day yesterday thinking that Evan was going to get his revenge Jokey Smurf-style, and now it turns out he’s just going to break into Margo’s apartment (even though he just heard her and Double-O-Never Greg coming up the stairs and TALK SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF GOING INTO HER APARTMENT) to hide. In her bedroom. Which is actually a good move since no unchaperoned A3G action will ever take place in a lady’s bedroom. Where he will totally overhear something or come out in an awkward moment or some sort of other sub-Three’s Company style shenanigans. Except the misadventures of Jack, Janet and Chrissy would be positively hard core pornographic compared to whatever A3G would allow Margo to get up to with even two suitors in her apartment.

    Sorry for the diatribe. I’m just really disappointed that Evan isn’t really a bomber. And that building security is so lax that he just slipped on through. If Taser Lady still lived there, that would not fly.

  17. Jasper
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    MW- Santa Royale- the Superbowl of cake baking contests. That application to enter the cake baking contest is longer than my mortgage application. I wonder how many disappointed applicants were refused admittance to the big bake-off. You know your life has been a fail when you get rejected entry into a cake baking contest.

    RMMD- The shot of June Morgan’s box last week has been worth years of reading through dribble infested plots. A bit gamey perhaps, as she has not changed out of that suit for several weeks, but worth it anyway.

  18. stopdropreload
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    @MWDG (#14): “Dawn gets “assualted” and finds out she is pregnant with John Dill’s baby…She tells Mary the day Mary and John are to be married.

    Aldo’s identical twin visits Santa Royale seeking vengence. He waterboards Mary and films a disgusting “adult” video of Mary…posts it on the internet getting Mary fired from her “job” as a hospital volunteer. Mary then volunteers at an abused teen girls shelter and is brually “assualted” by one of the teens boyfriends.”

    *backs away slowly*

    Not sure which I find more troubling: the fantasies involving women being sexually assaulted, or the gratuitous use of quotation marks.

  19. Rusty
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    Back when I was a youngun’, a popular inexpensive Halloween costume was dressing up like a bum. A mandatory look was created by rubbing charcoal on your face to signify either dirt or a heavy beard, this was never explained to me. Is that what Billy is doing here, dressing up like a bum on Christmas? I don’t understand this strip.

  20. tallyHO
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    @LogopolisMike (#16):
    sub-Three’s Company style shenanigans
    You sort of nail it with that. While that isn’t a high-water mark of entertainment, it is good comedy.

    The strip could be much better than it is and it could very well be intentionally funny, without going for ironic humor. But, it just drags on like Mary Worth lecturing a person with a short attention span. It gets redundant real quick.

    I, too, would relish in Evan being up to no good. Who breaks into someone’s apartment? A crook, that’s who. So, it should at least be a funny event. Maybe Grandpa Soulpatch catches him trying to pick the lock, whacks Evan on his Gorton Fisher-hoody, Evan blacks out and fantasizes about the Disney musical “Little Mermaid”, with him leading the chorus of “Down Under the Sea”.

    Bond James Bond shows back up because Margo forgot her diaphragm and her wine, catches Grandpa Soulpatch trying to drag Evan back into his own apartment for some sad0-mas0chistic shenanigans. Bond JB, shrugs his shoulders and says in his British accent, “As long as you have a handle on it, grab it and drag it by the handle.”

    Meanwhile Margo waits impatiently, cracks open a bottle of Scotch and will pass out before anyone’s interest in the strip continues beyond, oh, I don’t know, Saturday’s strip.

    Something like that is possible.

  21. stopdropreload
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#15): Honestly, if you’d been through all the abuse those speech bubbles had, you’d want financial recompense too.

  22. Mars
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    The worst thing about this panel where Sam smugly says “What pot farm?” while ironically sipping from a gift mug from Sophie that says “The World’s Best Dad”? Sam isn’t even her dad.

    No, really. Sophie is adopted; look it up. And the family she joined was just Abby originally; Sam didn’t join them in matrimony until she looked about eight.

    So when Sophie says “The world’s best dad” in relation to Sam, she is choosing between two possible dads, which makes you wonder how bad that OTHER guy is.

  23. Mars
    January 2nd, 2013 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @Crankenstank (#6): Maybe he just switched minds with Doctor Octopus. IT COULD HAPPEN

  24. Shrug, With an Ockward Segue
    January 2nd, 2013 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    @Mars (#23):

    “Maybe he just switched minds with Doctor Octopus.”

    Or with the elephant?

  25. Timbo
    January 2nd, 2013 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    Curtis’ Kwanza stuff is sooooo boring I couldn’t even read what YOU had to say about it.

  26. Liam
    January 2nd, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    MT-I love Mark’s pose in the panel above. If this was the porn version of “Mark Trail” it’s the pose that says, “Now let’s have sex.”

  27. Johnny Q
    January 2nd, 2013 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    JUDGE PARKER: Sam Driver proves that smoking dope makes you forget things…

    THE FAMILY CIRCUS: PJ won’t look so smug when they nail him to the cross…

  28. Downpuppy
    January 2nd, 2013 at 7:13 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#20): But..but..but….Margo invited Evan over! Instead of accepting, he snuck in.

    So it just has to be an Acme Products bomb. Margo will only be saved because in lighting the fuse Evan sets his hoodie on fire.

  29. HAnzMFG
    January 2nd, 2013 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    PJ looks is the joyful Baby Buddha Jesus.

  30. Liam
    January 2nd, 2013 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    A3G-”Come, Greg. Let’s go back to my place and drink wine and make love in the traditional way of our Greek ancestors.”

    Curtis-Presenting a “Doctor Who Kwanza”.

  31. Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    January 2nd, 2013 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    Evan is a member of a guild so rich it dresses it’s members in cloth-of-gold hoodies.

  32. Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    January 2nd, 2013 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    *its*, damn it.

  33. $$$Westview Oncologist$$$$$
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:29 pm [Reply]

    –JUDGE PARKER: Sam Driver proves that smoking dope makes you forget things…–

    Yeah, he’s forgetting to have sex with his smoking hot wife!!!

    Well, At least I can enjoy in the fact that Sam Driver will be paying more taxes in 2013.

  34. Da Coconino Kid
    January 3rd, 2013 at 12:34 am [Reply]

    Well, I’m two for two, so might as well make it a clean sweep: here is our close-out post for this set of posts.

  35. Nate
    January 3rd, 2013 at 1:20 am [Reply]

    There’s no way in hell that John Dill’s heart would be able to withstand actually winning the cake contest.

  36. hogenmogen
    January 3rd, 2013 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    MW 12/31/12: John Dill’s entry is accepted, and immediately, he makes a hand gesture signifying excited masturbation. Coincidentally or not, Josh’s commentary refers to this as a “massive stroke event”.

  37. Brad
    January 3rd, 2013 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    You know, Josh, you’ve really got to stop taking a break from the site during Kwanzaa. Either that, or go back and revisit the entire madness in full one of these years.

  38. MissScarlet
    January 3rd, 2013 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    I can’t believe that no one else has commented upon the fact that Jeffy is actually riding Barfy! Call the SPCA!

  39. cooby
    January 3rd, 2013 at 5:58 pm [Reply]


  40. tymime
    January 3rd, 2013 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    Wow, the Keanes don’t know what Jesus was like AT ALL. There’s not a speck of modesty or humility in that face. Apparently this Virgin Mary rode on a dragon instead of a donkey.
    “Yes, worshippers! Bring me your lavish and expensive gifts, for that is what Christmas is all about! I shall bask in the glow of my own glory.”

    (Seriously, how can they call themselves real Christians?)

  41. Dartpaw86
    January 6th, 2013 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    Bitsy’s “!!” are very out of place, sounding as if he’s speaking in a panic, while his face seemed bored and void of emotion.

  42. Dartpaw86
    January 6th, 2013 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    @Dartpaw86 (#41):
    Oops wrong section!

  43. Attacked by Killer BeeGees
    January 7th, 2013 at 12:56 am [Reply]

    This raises some interesting questions, such as: which Family circus kid will be crucified for the Easter Strip?

    (I vote all of them, but, I’m kinda biased)

  44. tantric massage
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:03 am [Reply]

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