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Judge Parker, 2/14/12

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! Did you ask for a sexy, sinister assassitrix from your Valentine, the syndicated continuity strip Judge Parker? Well, you got it! Monique Zatari will almost certainly be the villain in the current confusing Judge Parker whodunnit; her character exists not only to stir America’s most erotic fears about Middle Easterners, but also to right a four-year-old wrong. Remember the last time the good white people of Spencer-Parkerburg were menaced by a lady of Islamic extraction? Remember how we never got a sense of the size or shapeliness of her breasts? Well, you won’t be able to say that about Monique Zatari, by God.

Crankshaft, 2/14/12

I know I’m on the record as publicly not caring about the chronological inconsistencies that arise from the various time jump shenanigans in the Funkyverse, i.e., why did everyone in Funky Winkerbean discontinuously get 10 years older but their world is still contemporary with ours, did Crankshaft jump forward with Funky Winkerbean, etc. But I do find a different kind of time-problem interesting: namely, when a strip’s essentially timeless nature (i.e., it’s always happening now, no matter how long it’s been running with the characters the same age) runs up against decisions to fix important bits of character development to real points in history. If Crankshaft really was a minor league player in 1940 whose career was cut short by the outbreak of World War II, that makes him at minimum 88 years old now. Which means he … probably shouldn’t be working as a school bus driver? I’m sure that there are 88-year-olds out there now who do a fine job of driving large commercial vehicles, but they’re few and far between. Kudos to the strip for sticking to its guns, I guess, but maybe a quiet retrofitting of Crankshaft’s service to Korea might be in order?

Mary Worth, 2/14/12

Soooo … much as I’ve enjoyed Mary’s Dinner With The Moral Abyss That Is Nola so far, it is starting to get a bit repetitive! And Mary’s offer of advice reminds us that Nola arranged this meeting to get Mary’s thoughts on whether her boyfriend is cheating on her; of course, Mary would have no real way to offer an informed opinion on the matter, since Nola hasn’t supplied any details but instead has gone off on a long discursis on how awesome it is to have sex with other people’s husbands and not care about anybody’s opinions about anything. I’m beginning to think that maybe Nola is just stalling Mary while her accomplices are kidnapping Dr. Jeff or clearing out Mary’s safe deposit box or something. You might not approve of that, but Nola only has it all because she’s determined not to let anything stop her!