Archive: Phantom

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Six Chix, 3/23/22

One of those things that I never thought about until I learned it and then I thought about it all the time is that nowhere in the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme is it stated that he’s an egg, yet this is, universally, how we envision him. The main theory explaining this is that the rhyme was originally conceived of as a riddle: “humpty dumpty” was a general slang term of abuse for the short and squat, and so the joke was something like “Sure, seems weird that some little fat dude fell off the wall and broke into pieces … but what if we told you that actually, he was an egg? Eh?” Humor, notoriously, does not translate well across eras, and this is a pretty good example of that in play! You know what does play well across eras, though? Body horror! That’s why I’m wholeheartedly endorsing the Six Chix reboot of the Humpty Dumpty mythos, in which the Humpty Dumpty was deliberately taunted into hurling himself to a horrifying death so that his “inner bird” could be set free. Each bird in this grim world must convince other beings to die in order to perpetuate their species. It’s grim stuff!

Crankshaft, 3/23/22

If you “run” Montoni’s pizza through “the pipeline” (of your digestive tract), you’ll experience any number of unpleasant side effects, at both ends and the middle, which might in some sense be interpreted as “saluting”. Sorry you had to visualize that, but the motto of this blog long ago shifted from “I read the comics so you don’t have to” to “I involuntarily contemplated Ed Crankshaft’s pizza-farts so now you’re going to have to as well.”

Gil Thorp, 3/23/22

I know, in theory, that the teens in the first two panels have just finished a practice, and it’s only in the second panel that we’ve zoomed in enough to see that Parnit is sweating as one normally does after such exertion. But what it looks like is that Pranit has been told that he’ll be allowed back in the lineup after being suspended for his little “I accidentally became a bookie and hired an enforcer” oopsie and has immediately broken into a frenzied, manic sweat of excitement. He might have a problem not messing up between now and the game! Looks like he’s gonna mess up right there, to be honest!

Judge Parker and The Phantom, 3/23/22

Sorry I have not been keeping you up to date on Judge Parker and The Phantom, but I did want to point out that they’re both drawn by Mike Manley but written by two different people, and I would like to imagine that Manley enjoyed getting the scripts this week and finding out that he would get to do two explosions on the same day.

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Arctic Circle, 9/1/21

Arctic Circle started out as a nice little fish-out-of-water joke-a-day strip about three penguins (Ed, Oscar, and Gordo, from left to right) stranded in the Arctic, sort of a cold-water Boner’s Ark. It has evolved into a 24/7/365 environmental catastrophe sermon, with some version or other of “ain’t it awful?” in the final panel. But today’s seems to suggest that we mass-murder insects to reduce pesticide use on soybeans, raising the question: how?

Phantom, 9/1/21

Hey, remember the last time we saw Savarna eight years ago, Old Stripey was lecturing her about their “incompatible methods,” how her “killing days end here,” and taking away her weapon? Yeah, well, looks like that ship has sailed.

And as a long-time Phantom/Savarna ‘shipper, let me add—are those eyes really empty behind that mask, or do I detect the subtle BRAKOOOOM of LOVE?

Sally Forth, 9/1/21

“That thing I do, the one that looks like it stems from reciprocal affection and a shared sense of impending loss? It’s hatred, Hil, and resentment! I’m a sociopath! Welp, great summer, girlfriend, see ya around!”

Luann, 9/1/21 and 3/17/2010 reprint of 3/18/1985

Where, oh where, will Luann be in 30 years? Let’s just look back 36 years and see if we can establish a regression line!


Hmm. Not “regression,” exactly, but hardly progress. Better get to changing those media stereotypes, Bernice, or at least the sheets.

Family Circus, 9/1/21

And if Billy starts avoiding Bibles, speaking dead languages, and smelling of brimstone, it’s ’cause he ate those deviled eggs.

Is “Venmo” a verb? Try it and see!

— Uncle Lumpy

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The Phantom, 7/28/21

Given how completely superhero franchises have come to dominate pop culture, it’s kind of amazing to think about how relatively recent they are as a concept! For instance, the Phantom, who was created in 1936 — recently enough that he’s not even in the public domain! — is considered the transitional figure between superheroes and the pulp heroes of the previous generation; he was the first such heroic figure to wear the now-standard skintight costume, and the first wear a mask that somehow renders his pupils invisible. My point is that he’s important historically, and is both of our time and of the past, and it may sound old-fashioned when he starts quips with “To whom it may concern,” but that’s just how a generation much more accustomed to writing formal letters talked, okay?

Beetle Bailey, 7/28/21

Folks, it’s come to our attention that certain newspaper comic strips are getting unpleasantly horny. Well, at Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC, we’re working hard to combat that trend, by establishing that all of our characters are terrified of sexual arousal, and also are possibly under 13 years year old. You’re welcome, America!

Mary Worth, 7/28/21

Speaking of removing any temptations to horniness, it looks like Ashlee’s big epiphany wasn’t that Drew is a kindhearted person who she could treat as a real partner, not just a mark, but that Drew is a kindhearted person who a strumpet like her doesn’t deserve. So she’s just going to slink off into the sunset, leaving Drew to find the sort of nice upper-class girl that he should be paired with Shauna, I guess?

Rex Morgan, M.D., 7/28/21

“That would be charming and funny in comic strip form, wouldn’t it? Those are definitely qualities you wouldn’t see here, so I’m just going to stare out at the readers all slack-jawed.”