Archive: Judge Parker

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Funky Winkerbean, 12/4/18

Ha ha, this story has gotten more off-putting more quickly than even I could’ve predicted. It’s only day two and we’re learning that Funky’s dad definitely fucks. The expressions in the final panel are a real journey: Funky’s is the face of a man thinking “Holy shit, my dad fucks?” and the receptionist’s is the smirk of a woman thinking “Heh heh, this guy’s unpleasant old dad fucks … and I’m telling everybody.

Kevin and Kell, 12/4/18

Oh, hey, by the way: the furries of Kevin and Kell? They don’t just kill and eat one another; they also fuck. They also talk to … a … tree, via some kind of … intercom system? But don’t let that distract you from the important thing, which is that they fuck.

Mary Worth, 12/4/18

You might think that this whole cat allergy business is just one more indignity Mary Worth the person and Mary Worth the comic strip has dumped on our poor Dr. Jeff. But remember, Mary once cruised a guy at his mother’s funeral and then contrived a fight with Jeff so she could dump him, only to deign to return when she realized that only Jeff was willing to subsidize her seafood habit. She enjoyed an extended Manhattan flirtation with handsome Broadwaysman Ken Kensington and only broke it off when she realized New York City’s traffic was dangerous to a small-town California girl like herself, accustomed to just stepping off the curb into the street willy-nilly. And so sure, maybe Mary’s foster cat sent Jeff fleeing from her apartment for his life, but in fact Libby has achieved the seemingly impossible: gotten Mary to refer to Jeff as her “boyfriend”! It’s too bad Jeff is miles away, doped up on Benadryl, and can’t hear it.

Judge Parker, 12/4/18

Meanwhile, in Judge Parker, Neddy has fled in failure and disgrace to the family compound, but is tired of hearing from everyone in her family about how she really needs to stop fleeing in failure and disgrace to the family compound, and so needs to go to the maid for emotional reassurance. Why should she even need Marie’s number? Isn’t the whole point of a maid that they’re always close enough that you can summon them by ringing a bell or clapping loudly and order them to bring you soup or tell you that you’re pretty and smart?

Mark Trail, 12/4/18

Looks like Cool Motorcycle Guy (or, to use his “government name,” Raul) is about to fall to his death. It seems somebody’s getting his just desserts for violating the number one rule of jungle karma: never insult a toucan.

Dennis the Menace, 12/4/18

Mr. Wilson had hated Dennis’s constant intrusions into his life for years, of course. But he finds his presence strangely comforting these days, now that Martha finally left him.

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Mary Worth, 12/2/18

Just about every time I sit in for Josh on the Comics Curmudgeon, something amazing seems to happen in Mary Worth: a shootout, say, or a beloved character’s return from the dead, a dramatic drowning rescue, or a smoky tropical seduction. This time, Mary adopted a cat!

But what a cat! Libby is a scrappy, female Snake Plissken of a feline with biohazard dander and a “don’t shed on me” attitude. Watch her drive Dr. Jeff, starved and weeping, from his paramour’s apartment! Thrill as she snacks on the roast her “mistress” offers boxed to go! Gasp as she dares to live by her own code — in the immortal words of Wayne Dyer, “Whatever has to be done, it’s always my choice!” MEOW, bitches!

Crankshaft, 12/2/18

See this just plain doesn’t make any sense right here. We expect digestive ructions, elementary reading ability, and hours spent hogging the john from a selfish old creep like Crankshaft himself, not dainty, beleagured Pam. Just change the final speech balloon to “This’ll cover me through …” and show the Sunday Crankshaft draped neatly over that towel bar where it belongs.

Judge Parker, 12/2/18

OK, work with me a little here. Judge Parker is the side-hustle of Sally Forth author Francesco Marciuliano and Phantom daily artist Mike Manley, and um … it kinda shows? So why not make things easy for everybody by dropping the zany, well-etched characters of Sally Forth into those gorgeous Phantom backdrops of Bangalla, New York, and Tibet, and just calling the result Judge Parker? Easy peasy!

Here, Hilary returns to the Skull Cave to confront Sally about Ted’s capture during his failed rescue of Faye from terrorist Ralph’s Bronx warehouse lair. Sally tries to distract her with loot from the Treasure Room, but Hilary has already sent faithful Duncan to steal her father’s jet, pick up Nona in Lhasa, and join her to save the day!

See, it’s working already! Bonus: Alan, Randy, and Sam are recast as Ted’s ineffective, rarely-seen brothers.

Oh my gosh has this been a fun week. Special thanks to team Mary Worth, Carl the Turtle, Libby the Hell-Cat, and you, faithful reader! Josh will be back Monday to kick off the glorious “Mary dumps her cat and/or boyfriend” arc, and I’ll see you next time around.

— Uncle Lumpy

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Baby Blues, 11/28/18

Civilization’s bargain: Women comfort; men keep the bugs away. Step up, Darryl.

Judge Parker, 11/28/18

Abby — a woman — longs to comfort her wounded child, but manly Sam has conditions, to make sure that Neddy’s mood is within permissible bounds, that her return is properly motivated, and that she won’t inconvenience him in any way. Let’s listen in:

“OK, Sam, it’s time for The Talk again — pull up there by the gate. See what it says up there, in bronze on granite? ‘Spencer Farms’ — Spencer. I’m wealthy; Neddy and Sophie have their own inheritances, what have you got? Shut up, I’ll tell you — you’ve got the leftover from the shoe deal with Jules because of Neddy, the commissions on the factory deal with Rocky because of Neddy, and the profit on selling the bus to Hank because of Neddy. You’re at least enough of a lawyer to understand how our prenup works, and how you got your clothing allowance, your Pinot stash, and this stupid car. So go back to your “office” over the stable, do your “work,” and stay the hell out of my way: I’m going to go take care of my daughter.”

Hi and Lois, 11/28/18

Before Hi and Lois changed artists, a horizontal line and two dots meant “bedroom eyes”; now it means something like “I am being sly,” and they’re using it a lot more. Kinda creeps me out, children having all that sex on the sly.

Luann, 11/28/18

It’s been five years since Josh announced his break from Luann, and despite a relapse or two it falls to me to see that this popular hateread gets the coverage it deserves. It’s a tough gig — how do you cover developments in a strip with the core principle “Nothing must ever happen?”

One way is to play stupid “what if” games. My favorite is, “What if all the designated villains were designated heros, and vice versa?” Gunther as a passive-aggressive weasel trying to sneak his way into Luann’s pants is a gimme, and Ma Gunther as his manipulative older double trying to sneak her way into Mr. Grey’s wallet isn’t much harder. Leslie (“It’s Les“) Knox is more of a challenge: I see him as the tough-but-fair drill sergeant trying to shape Gunther into something that will pass for a man. Sort of a “TJ and Brad” thing.

— Uncle Lumpy