Herb and Jamaal, 2/23/10
Today’s Herb and Jamaal is so bizarrely phrased that I almost think the AJGLU-3000 is moonlighting. “Do you recall your playing days in the NBA?” Herb asks, apparently worried that Jamaal’s years of substance abuse could wipe out huge chunks of his memories without warning. And indeed, Jamaal’s response seems to indicate that he does in fact suffer from serious cognitive deficits, as it makes little to no sense. “Green” is supposed to imply a lack of experience, but “didn’t even make that shade” sort of implies old-fashionedness. It’s all so puzzling that I almost wish that “anymore” in the last word balloon were bolded; it’s not as if the final-word-bolding in the other panels conveyed any sort of parsable semantic content, but it at least provided a sort of arbitrary structure I could hold on to in this sea of incoherence.
Gil Thorp, 2/23/10
I wouldn’t worry too much about a Cassie-Steve love connection, mom, as Cassie’s so embarrassed at just saying the word “janitor” that she has to stage-whisper it to you, hiding her mouth in case someone nearby can read lips and find out she’s been consorting with the lower classes. But just in case, mom has donned her Roman centurion uniform in panel three, determined to shield her daughter from the handsy attentions of the twentysomething set, just as the Legions defended Rome’s empire from marauding bands of barbarians.
Mark Trail, 2/23/10
Oh, God, is Mark, the worst husband ever? I’m assuming that Cherry’s panicked “MARK” comes not from seeing the banner headline “SENATOR BEATEN BY THUGS; NOTED OUTDOORSMAN CAN ONLY WATCH,” but because she’s always convinced, based on long experience, that Mark is in grave danger wherever he goes. And indeed Mark is holding back vital information. “I just wanted to call and tell you how much I miss you! I’ll be home as soon the vigilante rabble I’m assembling finishes dishing out brutal mob justice!”
I’m sure that I would be pretty depressed if I were a kid and experiencing what Kit and Heloise are going through — mother presumed dead, father blinded by grief and wandering the world without me. That having been said, there are few things that would have excited middle-school-aged Josh Fruhlinger more than meeting the Speaker of the National Assembly — any nation’s National Assembly, really. I was a profoundly dorky youth.
I also would have been pretty psyched to hang out with someone so relentlessly committed to proper dress that he wears a morning coat even to eat breakfast at home. Still, his wife is dressed awful casually, which sort of ruins the effect. One man can not preserve a lost world’s formalities on his own, Lamanda, even if he is the president.
Apartment 3-G, 2/23/10
Sounds like business-savvy Martin Magee has taken a “Negotiating to Yes!” seminar lately. “Look, Margo, I don’t care if I have to foxtrot, or samba, or maybe give you some money, or what. What I want most of all is for you to love me, but for me not to really have to put a lot of effort into it. If I can work a dancing metaphor of some kind in there, that’d be great.”
Judge Parker news! A little birdie (named bourbon babe) tells me that she’s heard from the folks at King Features that (a) Eduardo Barreto has definitely decided to retire (boo) and that (b) the new permanent artist will be Mike Manley, who starts on March 15. You can see Mike’s blog here; you can find samples of his comic book work around the Internet, none of which is really of the soap opera style. It will be interesting to see how it looks! UPDATE: Just saw on the previous thread a link from faithful reader Dave to some work by Manley on Secret Agent X-9, a King Features adventure strip. Check it out!