Archive: Judge Parker

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Judge Parker, 7/9/17

Good news! Randy Parker’s mysteriously vanished wife has mysteriously un-vanished! Bad news! Randy’s still real mad about the whole wife-vanishing-and-denying-him-access-to-his-daughter thing! It all started so happily for Randy and April, really: Randy was about to make a politically expedient marriage to his previous girlfriend, Mimi, but it turned out she was in a weird cult called “Eon”, so they broke up, and then he started ham-handedly flirting with his legal secretary via suggestive chopstick instructions, which won her heart and made her all the more eager to take his “dictation.” Who could’ve guessed that that legal secretary was really a trained CIA assassin who was probably completely capable of using chopsticks both to enjoy various Asian cuisines and also murder America’s enemies, and that, eleven years, two writers, and (I think) four artists later, a grief-deranged Randy would be screaming “TO TELL ME MORE LIES?! TO PROVE OUR LIFE WAS JUST A FANTASY?!” in her face? I guess it just goes to show that workplace romances do not work out! Say, what do you all think Mimi’s up to?

Gasoline Alley, 7/9/17

One of my current objects of fascination on trips to the supermarket is Closer, a tabloid that mimics the format of other checkout-aisle celebrity-gossip magazines but focuses exclusively on famous people of interest to the elderly. It’s an example of how the logic of capitalism encourages different industries to fill various really specific ecological niches, and while it may seem that the comics pages are immune to market forces, I think the same process is at work here! For instance, Gasoline Alley began its existence as a general-interest strip, but like one of Darwin’s finches, it’s adapted to meet the needs of the old person market, and nothing makes that clearer than today’s strip, in which a World War I veteran rambles on to nobody in particular about how stamps are more expensive than they used to be and people don’t send letters or postcards anymore.

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Mark Trail, 6/30/17

Ha ha, today’s Mark Trail features not one but two hilarious revelations! Number one is that despite the ill-feelings arising from the infamous Water-World disaster, Mark apparently still calls Lesley Joyce on the regular, like whenever he encounters sea-wildlife of note (“Lesley! Yesterday a saw a shark and it made me think of Water-World! I’m still sorry about your car!”). And number two is that he decided that the best way to leave a breadcrumb trail that would lead law enforcement to his rescue would be to absolutely infuriate Lesley by implying that he worked for her. Actually, I guess the revelation that high-level WaterWorld executives still sport soul patches in the year of our lord 2017 is hilarious too, but that’s really more a “laughing at” than “laughing with” situation.

Judge Parker, 6/30/17

Wait a minute, are you telling me that Randy Parker spent months in a CIA black site in Macedonia enduring “stress positions,” waterboarding, and other “enhanced interrogation” techniques and we didn’t get to see it? I for one will be writing angry letters to King Features Syndicate and my Congressman about this.

Pluggers, 6/30/17

I for one am pretty surprised that pluggers took in some summer movie fare last year! Good for them for getting out!

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Judge Parker, 6/27/17

Oh, hey, good news: Abbey’s secret half-sister was trying to break Sophie’s will by keeping her in a pit and make Sophie hate Abbey too, but she didn’t! Everyone’s happy and they love each other again! So that problem is all solved and everything is all right in Parkerville … except whoops Randy’s beloved pregnant wife still hasn’t been found after she vanished doing One Last Job for the CIA, and he’s taking it pretty hard. Lots of takeout is to be expected, of course, but sitting on the couch staring at a teddy bear? That’s some high-quality lost-wife moping.

Fortunately, Judge Parker Senior is here to get his son to snap out of it. “Randy, you can’t live like this,” he pleads. “Someone’s gotta be the judge in this town, and I’m busy promoting my terrible, unreadable book full time! You’ve got to move on! Do you think I just stared at a damn stuffed animal all day when your mother mysteriously vanished? Of course not! I got a new, younger, hotter wife, just like I have every five years ever since! Pull yourself together, man!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 6/27/17

“So, Niki took me to this show the arts high kids put on … and they invited me to this weekly game night thing … and I just want to know … am I a nerd now? Remember how I used to be a sexy badass? Is there any going back, or am I stuck like this forever?”

Dick Tracy, 6/27/17

Sorry, comics creators carefully working on the perfect setup-punchline combination: nothing in the funny pages this week will possibly make me laugh more than “That music! Is it ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba?”