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Judge Parker, 6/24/09

I know, I know: Judge Parker has been absolutely bonkers for the last month and I’ve been AWOL on it. To be honest, I’ve had a hard time coming to grips with just how I’m supposed to feel about the wacky tale of Sophie’s cheerleading coup, and the constellation of forces that are coming together to bring that about. I’ve been suspicious of her move to seize the cheerleading captaincy from the start, not least because of my experiences as a high school nerd and outcast. Because, when I was taunted and humiliated by socially elite members of the football team, I never dreamed of winning the quarterback’s position as a result of some complex calculus involving my heretofore undiscovered skills and my antagonists’ poor grades; I just wanted the football team to die, in a fire.

So anyway, I’ve been kind of hoping that Sophie would pull off some absurdist stunt at cheerleading tryouts that would completely undermine the legitimacy of cheerleading as an institution in the minds of her high school classmates. But instead now we are confronted with Sophie’s Long Study Hall Of Despair, when we learn that she really has wanted to cast off her lilac pantsuit all along and seize the mantle of Queen Bee of Whatever High. More to the point, she’ll presumably buck up after this little pep talk and manage to leap and twirl her way to improbable victory, with the support of her incredibly wealthy parents, two celebrities who are on her side because they want to purchase a horse from said wealthy parents for millions of dollars, and the school administration, proving that those nasty cheerleading moms are entirely correct in all their accusations.

Slylock Fox, 6/24/09

I’ve always assumed, based on the gross incompetence of most of his schemes, that Count Weirdly graduated dead last in his class at Mad Science Academy, and yet here he is at the controls of what appears to be a fully functional combination time machine/hover-bubble. Of course, I’d have a human factors engineer look at that control panel before he starts mass-manufacturing these for production — hope you enjoy your visits to the years 2, 9, 3, 27, 10, 6, 41, and 29, kids!

More troubling, though, is the sight of the Count and Slylock and Max laughing it up together as they voyage through time to snicker at a doomed race. Could their long-standing and constant animosity be a front for some deeper scheme or grift? Or did Weirdly first make a solo voyage to the past in order to change history and create a new timeline in which he and the detective team were best buds? It would be rather poignant if all he ever wanted in all his scheming was real friends.

The Lockhorns and Dilbert, 6/24/09

I couldn’t really tell you what these comics are supposed to mean, because Dilbert is using words I don’t understand and the Lockhorns is using phrases that I’m pretty sure the writer doesn’t understand, but I’m worried at the underlying implication, which is that the U.S. government, alarmed at declining tax revenues during the recession, is looking to audit high-earners and is targeting cartoonists. Faulty intelligence again, I’m afraid.

Beetle Bailey, 6/24/09

“Also, he shat himself, but I think that’s just because he was drunk.”