Archive: Phantom

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Dick Tracy, 10/4/18

Oh, my, it looks like “Pauly,” the latest ill-defined member of the new criminal gang in Neo-Chicago, is a valuable crime-gang member because he came from a broken home, like [checks notes] roughly half of people in America, if “broken home” means “their parents weren’t living together for some or all of their youth.” It’s true: we’re all stone-cold killers! Point us at any cop, especially one wearing a distinctive, brightly colored outfit, and we’ll do your evil bidding! Thank goodness you’re biding your time for your own inscrutable purposes, I’ve got places to be for the next few weeks at least.

Gil Thorp, 10/4/18

Guys, Gil Thorp isn’t just about teens, and sport, and teen sports. It’s also about teens’ troubled home lives, which are a real problem in America today and also have provided fodder for some of most memorable and accidentally hilarious Gil Thorp storylines, like Aaron Aargard’s pill-addled mom, and Marty Moon pretending to be an abandoned teen’s dad so he wouldn’t be put in the foster system, and Brent “Rap-Dog” Raptor getting emotionally abused by his mother because she was afraid if his self-esteem got too high he’d go away to college. So I’m excited to see where this “slow sister” thing goes. Is she the reason Tiki transferred to Milford? Is she the cause of his non-star status? I’m on tenterhooks!

Hi and Lois, 10/4/18

Here is an absolutely true story: when I was a kid, my dad had a freshwater aquarium, and over several years we (by “we” obviously I mostly mean he but he always included me in it and I felt like we did it together) slowly added all sorts of interesting tropical fish, and we had to upgrade its size not once but twice to accommodate them all. Now, I’ve always been a dog and cat guy, but I was really fascinated by the internal dynamics of the fishtank, and got attached some specific individuals (who passed on occasionally, as fish do). There was even excitement when one fish turned out to be pregnant (?) when we got it, leading to a zillion baby fish, most of whom got eaten but a couple survived to be our first second-generation fish. After a while, we had a huge, vibrant tank full of nearly thirty fish! Then, one day, we went to the fish store and found this very weird-looking brown lumpy fish about two inches long that the guy there couldn’t tell us anything about. Not long after we got him, we started noticing some of our fish missing, and if the cause isn’t obvious from the way I’m telling this story, one day my dad came into the living room to see half of our sole remaining angelfish dangling out of the brown guy’s mouth. He ate all the first, grew to be nearly a foot long, and then died. Why didn’t we get him out of the tank when it was clear what was happening? I honestly don’t know. We never got any more fish after he died and sold the aquarium and its equipment. Maybe, deep down, like Dot and Ditto, we were bored with the aquarium. Maybe we just wanted to watch the world burn.

The Phantom, 10/4/18

As an middle-aged person with old person parents, I can state with confidence that middle-aged and old people are just as dependent on their electronic geegaws as anyone, and it’s not really fair to smugly claim that teen girls are somehow uniquely addicted to the texting and the social media and such. Still, it’s quite endearing to me that the Phantom’s teen daughter Heloise, having done a pretty good job of holding her own in combat against The Nomad, is going to finish him off by blinding him with her phone.

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The Phantom, 8/24/18

So the Phantom’s daughter Heloise has been locked in a battle of wits with her father’s arch-enemy, the Nomad, and it is not going well for her! The Nomad slipped some bogus info to the TSA at the airport where he stashes his private plane to arrange this little interrogation, and I have to say that I find it both hilarious and terrifyingly plausible that some TSA guys would say, “This random guy we’ve never met tells us he’s overheard a teenage girl saying that terrorists … are good??? Set the entire country’s threat level to orange and get ready for a seven-hour interrogation!”

Six Chix, 8/24/18

I’ve noticed that several recent Six Chix strips set in a therapist’s office have included a discreet box of tissues located near the patient’s couch, which I think is a nice bit of verisimilitude. At least it’s something to cling onto here, where we otherwise have to try to figure out whether this hippo (?) is, like … hovering over the bird, or crushing it, or if they’re both on the couch, or what.

Marvin, 8/24/18

“Five! Five is exactly the right number of coffee shops for a city to have.”

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The Phantom, 7/13/18

Oh, hey, remember how the Phantom’s daughter Heloise is rooming with the daughter of her father’s archnemesis, the Nomad, at her fancy boarding school? Remember how the Phantom made his wife do a weird guessing game when he figured out the Nomad’s secret identity, rather than just coming right out and telling her who it was? Well, it looks like that’s the only way he likes telling the women in his family who the Nomad is, I guess! Anyway, I was given to understand that the Kids Today hate talking on the phone and only respond to texts, or possibly Instagram DMs, so I’m having a hard time buying Heloise just straight-up facetiming her dad in ladies room, though at least she got up and took the call in semi-private, rather than at the table where she’s, uh, having dinner with the Nomad, right now! I think this whole thing playing out as a text conversation at the table might’ve been more dramatically interesting, though probably somewhat harder to draw.

Pluggers, 7/13/18

I’m not sure if the point of this panel is “pluggers don’t throw away spoiled food because they’re poor” or “pluggers don’t throw away spoiled food because they have incipient dementia,” but either way you have to admit it’s pretty grim!