Archive: Curtis

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Judge Parker, 9/21/22

Oh, sorry, it seems the Judge Parker brain trust has heard your little diatribes about how Judge Parker is boring now because it’s all about its characters processing their mundane emotions in baffling and erratic ways. Well, that’s why we’re abruptly shifting gears and bringing back Steve the wounded special forces warrior to introduce this hard-hitting new storyline about the judge that replaced Judge Randy Parker, who cracked down on meth and fentanyl traffic … and whose whole family just got murdered. Or, sorry, assassinated. Assassinated! Will I be cancelled as a soft-on-crime lib if I point out that assassination is a kind of murder?

Funky Winkerbean, 9/21/22

Speaking of murder, I guess the Funky Winkerbean brain trust noticed they hadn’t pulled any grim shit since Bull Bushka drove off a cliff back in 2019. Well, here you go, you ghouls: Darrin and Jessica tracked down a real weirdo who hoards memorabilia from the TV station that employed Jessica’s father, John Darling, including the gun that a guy dressed as a plant used to kill him! Look at how Jessica and her husband are recoiling in shock at the casual way this guy identifies his ghastly trophy! Are you happy now, you sickos? Are you happy???

Curtis, 9/21/22

I appreciate the long game Greg is playing here — making an elaborate show of enjoying Curtis’s favorite music before cruelly lowering the boom in the final panel. I assume, like a master chess player, he anticipated multiple potential third-panel conversational gambits from his son, and had a sick burn in his back pocket for all of them.

Shoe, 9/21/22

Far be it for me to call a comic strip about talking birds who wear (some) clothes “realistic,” but I do think that its portrayal of life at a small-town newspaper has a certain truth to it, in the sense that it depicts a publication run with almost no employees, which almost nobody reads, and the few remaining editors can just use it to pursue their own personal gripes and vendettas as they kill time waiting for a hedge fund to buy them and immediately shut them down.

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FOLKS!!!! It is I, Josh, your Comics Curmudgeon, and I am back from vacation! Let’s all say a huge thank you to Uncle Lumpy for his delightful filling in, and let me say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the fundraiser (though you’ll all be getting individual thank yous soon enough, of course). Uncle Lumpy cannot choose favorites among you so Urlance Woolsbane’s COTW dominance will last until next Friday, but I still have some Saturday jokes to tell and feelings to work out.

Crankshaft, 9/10/22

Primarily, the feelings I have to work out involve the significant portion of my vacation I spent seething about the narrative violence being done to the Funkyverse timeline as the strip grinds into its 50th anniversary. Huh, Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, which have been a decade apart for something like a decade now, are suddenly happening at the same time? No thanks! Oh, that reunion the Funky characters are going to is supposed to be their 50th, which means the characters are all in their late 60s now? Wrong! They’re in their mid to late 50s, they just look and act older because they’re miserable and hate themselves. And now they’re dragging the literally unaging Lois Flagston into this whole mess. Don’t care for it! Don’t care for it at all!

Curtis, 9/10/22

Speaking of age-appropriate behavior, we all know that one of Heartthrob’s roles in this strip is to be a spinner of tall tales, but you know this one is bullshit because nobody born before 1987 has a Facebook account.

Gil Thorp, 9/10/22

Uncle Lumpy covered all the soapy drama in nu-look Gil Thorp, which I guess means it’s my job to tell you about the … sports? Specifically, I’m here to tell you that the strip is covering a non-football sport (volleyball) during the fall, which is certainly a change of pace! It’s definitely a change for Marty Moon or whoever is doing the play-by-play, who hasn’t had a chance to learn any of these people’s names and is just yelling their numbers and hoping for the best.

Anyway! I’m glad to be back! Look for more comic jokes from me in this space, every day, indefinitely! I love you all!

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Arctic Circle, 8/27/22

Arctic Circle boldly swerves out of its lane (preachy environmental half-jokes) directly into the oncoming traffic of toilet humor. Meanwhile back over in Marvin, Jeff and Jenny Miller return the tribute by composting their son.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/27/22

Hey, anybody remember Roland Mathews, the curly-haired “activist” hypocrite with a belligerent father and a blind spot for women’s rights? No? A solid number-three character during Funky Winkerbean‘s first year, Roland faded out during the strip’s evolution from political themes to high-school hijinx, reappearing once in 2008 for a reunion cameo (back row, second from right).

But the 50-year mark is a time for tying up loose ends, so here’s Rolanda! Will she recount the harrowing yet heartwarming details of her life’s journey? Will she at last unpack her complex issues with Roland’s old nemesis “Wicked” Wanda Waskowski, Westview’s no-nonsense sign-wielding “Girls’ Libber”? Most of all, will she deliver anything even remotely resembling a punchline?

Jury’s out on those first two.

Curtis, 8/27/22

On The Mickey Mouse Club of my longago youth, my least favorite day was Wednesday—”Anything Can Happen Day”—because, well, anything could happen. Mondays reliably delivered Fun With Music, and Thursday predictably brought in clowns, acrobats, animal acts, and circus paraphernalia. Wednesday? Total crapshoot, and very unsettling to the young psyche: these were the Cold War years, after all, and nuclear annihilation was on the table:

    Today is the day that is filled with surprises
    Nobody knows what’s gonna happen!
    Why you might wake to see the Russian missiles raining down
    Each one with several warheads to obliterate your town!
    When they hit their mark
    You will glow in the dark—
    On the Mouseketeers’ Anything-Can-Happen Day!

So it is whenever Gunk arrives from Flyspeck Island to disrupt Curtis. His current gimmick is a self-filling salad bowl backed up by a salad-bowl-replicating suitcase, so that no one need ever again want for salad, or for that matter bowls. In today’s strip, Upper Manhattan’s Big Salad cartel predictably launches a witch-hunt to protect its business. But the kindly hardware-store owner begs off, since he… wait, what? “Ma! The writers murdered that kindly hardware-store owner for no good reason!” Anything can happen: this is what it looks like, people.

Many thanks to the indispensable ComicBookHarriet over at for character histories of Roland, Wanda, and poor, dead, “I coulda been Lisa” Livinia Swenson.

–Uncle Lumpy