Archive: Judge Parker

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Beetle Bailey, 9/17/22

God, I legitimately love this Beetle Bailey. Look at how absolutely miserable Halftrack is in that second panel! Golf is the thing he does for fun, on his day off, and he’s played miserably all day and it wasn’t fun at all and he hates it. Now he’s going to drink a mason jar full of whiskey and get blackout drunk. It’s perfect, no notes.

Crankshaft, 9/17/22

Oh hey, uh, why exactly is Crankshaft tagging along on this theater-buying expedition, exactly? Does he think they can’t do the strip without him? Did he get wind of Dennis getting pushed out of his own strip even though his name is on it? “I’m not going out like Barney Google,” he thinks to himself. “I’m gonna do a labored pun, or at least a smirk, in every one of these stupid strips. I’m the brand!”

Judge Parker, 9/17/22

Big news everybody! Remember Steve, the heroic double-amputee war vet who was Sam’s law partner for a while before running off with their legal secretary Gloria back in 2014? Well, he’s back, which is probably … exciting in some way? For the real Parker trufans? I don’t actually remember Steve being particularly interesting, but maybe he’ll shake things up in the current iteration of the strip, after he and Sam finish this elaborate social dance of mutual blame over the next six to eight weeks.

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Judge Parker, 9/12/22

Hey, remember when Judge Parker Senior ran a vanity campaign for mayor, and not only didn’t win but ended up dropping out before the election even happened, which is even more embarrassing? Well, now another member of the local nobility wants in on that, apparently. Alan at least had the vague outlines of a political platform for his abortive stab at relevance — I described it at the time as “prison abolition and left-leaning NIMBYISM from a perspective of noblesse oblige” — but I’m assuming that the extremely divorced Abbey’s main goal in seeking political power will just be revenge on her various enemies, which frankly has a much greater chance of success.

Mary Worth, 9/12/22

Oh, sorry, since Dawn successfully self-actualized her breakup I thought maybe we’d be getting a new storyline this week, but no, we need Mary to explain what Dawn has learned first. Panel two makes it clear that Dawn has long experience in this scenario and knows that if she assumes an absolutely neutral facial expression this won’t last as long, or at least she can retreat to her mind palace while she waits for it to blow over.

Dick Tracy, 9/12/22

“By which I mean, you’re still gonna wear this stuff when we have sex, right? That’s kinda what I signed up for.”

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Mark Trail, 9/8/22

New Mark Trail introduces new characters and subplots at such a pace it’s easy for readers to get lost. The entire “Jimmy Songbird geese stopover” seems to have been engineered solely to slip the ridiculous word “keytar” into the strip as often as possible. Collegial hint to fellow author: “Keytar! Keytar! Keytar!” You’re welcome.

Still, it’s a little unsettling when the characters themselves lose their places and start going off at cross-purposes. So here’s a helpful guide:

Character Should be doing Is doing
Diana Daggers–Producer/Director Organizing an interview that entertains and makes Rex look good Pissing off the interviewee, risking cancellation of the entire project
Tess Tigress–Spa Owner/Interviewee Upgrading the “Tiger Touch” brand from “Roadside Attraction” to “Spa.” Throwing out the Producer/Director at risk to the interview and brand
Rex Scorpius–Celebrity Interviewer Conducting an entertaining interview with his subject Putting his personal therapeutic needs before his audience
Mark Trail–Wildlife Reporter Reporting the interview for readers of Teen Sparkle Going all fanboy on Rex Scorpius, making Cherry jealous

Get on track, you guys! Don’t make me come back there!

Judge Parker, 9/8/22

I hurt my brain trying to figure out what Abbey is mad about here: “Sam, I threw you out of the house because you didn’t tell me about (then-) Deputy Mayor Stewart’s false accusations and fabricated evidence that I committed arson.” [OK: poor communications on Sam’s part and condescension that Abbey couldn’t handle the news, but this is a marriage-breaker? Nobody who has ever been married would think so.] “Now, [I believe that] you have released news of Deputy Mayor Stewart’s perfidy to the press, proving to one and all that I have not committed arson; therefore I am angry at you because ….” [AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUGH!]

All of the drama in Judge Parker—every last bit— is now Who Said What to Whom and How Dare They. It’s like watching two fourteen-year-old girls slash each other up in text messages. Panel-two Abbey really embraces the role. Though in fairness, Sam is a skank, Marie never did like him anyway, and how dare he call Abbey “unhinged”!

Crankshaft, 9/8/22

One thing a cartoonist—or a second-string comics curmudgeon—learns early is this: if you’re on deadline and can’t deliver an actual joke, string together a series of evocative phrases even if on closer inspection they make no actual sense: maybe nobody will notice! See yesterday’s Luann post for a recent example. Pretty lame stuff!

So Mason, if people already don’t know who you are, why do you need to buy a failed theater to enjoy the experience? Unless “talking to Ed Crankshaft” is your idea of “fun in the dark,” in which case Cindy would like a word.

Phew—made deadline again! I’m on a roll!

–Uncle Lumpy