Archive: Phantom

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Mary Worth, 4/29/21

There’s a lot of suspension of disbelief that goes into enjoying a comic strip like Mary Worth, and sometimes I can pull it off and sometimes I can’t. For instance, I absolutely refuse to believe that Drew has managed to become mildly Instagram famous without ever letting slip in one of his captions that he’s a doctor, and yet immediately upon being presented with his meal blurted out “It looks better than the hospital cafeteria food that I’m very familiar with because of all the time I spend in a hospital — and not as a patient! [wink wink]” That sandwich looks like shit, by the way, and also the side of slaw Ashlee so grandly announced is nowhere to be seen, so I’m assuming Northview’s cafeteria is of particularly low quality.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/29/21

If you know me, you know that few things exercise my deranged mind like trying to figure out the socioeconomic/political situation of Hootin’ Holler, so today I’m less interested in Uriah unicycling the mail all over the region than I am in the fact that Silas, who is not a government official but the proprietor of the town’s only store, is paying for his transportation. My current theory: the Post Office was violently ejected from the town decades ago, possibly in reaction to its attempt to impose the “number of the beast” in the form of zip codes. Silas, who needs to maintain a connection to the outside world in order to keep his store of manufactured goods stocked, is the only person still receiving mail, and he’s set Uriah up as his private delivery man, charging townsfolk outrageous markup over regular postage rates. For legal reasons, he refers to his delivery service as the “Newnited States Post Office.”

The Phantom, 4/29/21

I make fun of soap strips all the time when they’re inadvertently funny, so I feel obligated to point out when they’re successfully funny on purpose, like when Heloise begins a Heloise-centric storyline by describing her dad as “off somewhere punching a guy,” an incident I hope we never hear any more details on.

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The Phantom, 2/12/21

Our tale of Luche Libre adventure is proceeding apace, with our Phantom-assisted luchador, having already busted up a drug lord’s compound, is now heading into Rhodia’s most notorious prison to free his friend. Today’s strip gives an insight into what gets the policemen who power this police state off: it’s Free Rider magazine, featuring full-color pictorials of hot, hot gals who aren’t afraid to exploit market failures in public goods! These sexpots use the roads and parks that your taxes pay for, and they don’t care who knows it!

Gil Thorp, 2/12/21

Hmm, I guess part of the deal with Doug Guthrie is that the cops love him and are willing to wink at his traffic (?) transgressions, because who doesn’t love a kid who loves cars, or maybe his dad is a cop, who can say. Unfortunately for this friendly policeman, “ease up” is a well-known Gil Thorp trigger phrase that could quickly lead to unspeakable violence. Barring a development along those lines, however, I would like to know a lot more about Tom Muench’s illicit parrot-smuggling operation.

Family Circus, 2/12/21

This sort of confusion of the domestic and political spheres is exactly why the Keane family always strongly opposed women’s suffrage in the first place! Won’t someone think of the children?

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Blondie, 1/5/21

I regret to inform you that, mere days into 2021, I am back on my bullshit, and I think readers of this blog know me well enough to know that “figuring out how characters in legacy comics occupy and move through physical space” makes up a surprisingly large portion of my bullshit. Anyway, does Mr. Dithers not actually have his own office with a door? Does he just have a desk around … a corner from Dagwood’s workspace, presumably so he doesn’t have took at his worst employee’s dumb face but can hear him snoring and swoop into to pile on the abuse, if necessary? Or, other possibility: does he sometimes just spin around on his chair and scoot around the bullpen on it, as he appears to be doing here, dropping sick burns on his workforce while they’re within earshot before retreating back to the dignified, enclosed office area reserved for his use only?

The Phantom, 1/5/21

Hey, remember that time a lady cop and a waitress quit their dead-end (?) jobs to join the Jungle Patrol, Bangalla’s elite paramilitary force that takes orders from its “Unknown Commander,” the Phantom? This display of “girl power” was a bit undercut by the fact that every subsequent appearance of these two involved them projecting their fantasies on the Unknown Commander and getting extremely horny for him. Anyway, today they’re learning what happens when you commit yourself body and soul to the regime of an unaccountable superhero, which is that sometimes you have to go clean up the mess he left behind, possibly by murdering some dudes so he doesn’t have to.

Mary Worth, 1/5/21

Mary Worth knows that some of its readers might have found the previous storyline, which explicitly depicted the use of illegal narcotics, a little too thrilling, and so, in order to maintain everyone’s equilibrium, the first storyline in the new year will involve a senior gentleman asking a somewhat taller senior lady on a date to the mall (with like a week’s worth of cushion so we all have time to prepare ourselves, emotionally, to read about the date).