Archive: Phantom

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Hi and Lois, 5/14/23

This is truly one of the wildest throwaway panels I’ve ever seen. Readers of space-constrained newspapers are just getting a classic Mother’s Day strip about how a mom’s work is truly the hardest of all, but those whose comics pages have room to spare know that just moments before he and the kids got assigned a bunch of chores, Hi thought that he was going to get a chance to give Lois a very special Mother’s Day gift (sex, with him).

Mary Worth, 5/14/23

OK, look, you have to approach today’s Mary Worth not in the context of this blog, where I’ve been making off-color jokes about the strip for going on 19 years now, but in the context of Mary Worth, the soap opera comic strip, one of the squarest forms of media ever created, and in that context the panel here where Mary says, in so many words, that Estelle thinks the sex with Dr. Ed is a lot better than the sex with Wilbur ever was, is positively pornographic.

The Phantom, 5/14/23

Way back in 2005, the Phantom had his Bandar henchmen erase the memory of a young woman who had inconveniently fallen in love with him using “Bandar medicine.” Anyway, turns out this practice, in addition to being obviously unethical in a number of ways, also doesn’t really work! Whoopsie! Awkward!

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Crankshaft, 1/16/23

Now that Funky Winkerbean has vanished into the future, you may be wondering what happened to the Crankshaft zone of the Funkyverse, left abandoned by its parent reality in a sector of the space-time continuum that corresponds to our present day. Well, the first couple weeks of 2023 were dominated by a classic (?) Crankshaft bit involving Ed’s bus being full of glitter (??) from holiday sweaters (???), but now we’re ready to get back to a core Funkyverse concern: dumb old comic books that turn out to be incredibly valuable. I will feel genuinely irritated if Lillian here makes a visit over to Westview to sell this thing, providing an opportunity for some “special guest appearances” less than a month after Funky Winkerbean ended. At least Frasier had enough dignity to wait until its second season to do an episode with Sam Malone in it.

The Phantom, 1/16/22

I’m not even going to get into the extremely long Phantom plot we’re in the middle of, except to tell you enough to set up today’s strip, which takes place in the middle of a jailbreak our hero and his Bandar friends are doing at Gravelines Prison in Rhodia. Now, Rhodia is the Rhodesia-equivalent bad guys of the Phantom post-colonial southern Africa parallel universe, and its government is spoken of in hushed tones as quite sinister, but honestly the agents of this so-called fascist state don’t really live up to their fearsome reputation. I’m particularly charmed by this guy, staring at his dead comrade and just doing a sitcomy “Arrow!? — Are you kidding me!? — Aw jeez! — Can’t believe they’re shootin’ at us with bows and arrows over here! — Who woulda thunk it!?” bit.

Crock, 1/16/22

Today’s Crock rerun has seen its meaning completely transformed by the passage of time even as its content remains the same. When published, the joke was about how the kids don’t listen to teachers and authority figures because they’re all listening to their newfangled iPod gadgets. But today, it offers another chapter in the sad, poignant story of the Lost Patrol, who have been wandering isolated in the desert for so long that its members are still using iPods, a product Apple stopped making six years ago.

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Slylock Fox, 10/5/22

I’m very tickled by the fact that a mystery comic strip for kids (it’s right there in the title! Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids! surely many kids are reading the daily paper for its furry-based mystery content, right?) would have a question that includes the word “monogamous” in it. I feel like this is going to lead to a certain amount of vocabulary questioning that in most cases will go fine but might give rise to a few children awkwardly learning that their parents are swingers. Anyway, you know who isn’t monogamous? This octopus! Look at her gathering up all these engagement rings, as she plans to propose to each and every member of her polycule.

The Phantom, 10/5/22

Look, I understand that as this nation’s foremost comics blogger I carry a host of obligations to you, my readers, and one of those is letting you know when the flaming skeleton appears in The Phantom. Well, there he is! I’m under no obligation to explain to you what the hell is going on, so just enjoy the out of context skeleton, slowly skeleton-walking his way to through the jungle, presumably to interact with one of the other characters, eventually.

Pluggers, 10/5/22

Wow, that freezer sure is packed full with identical boxes! I guess it doesn’t take much to make a plugger happy, but it sure takes a lot of it.