Archive: Phantom

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Shoe, 1/5/20

I’m not sure what, exactly, this strip implies about the world in which Shoe takes place. Do the characters live in a parallel bird-dimension whose history echoes ours in many ways, with bird-Nixon and bird-Coolidge occupying at various points in the 20th century this universe’s equivalent of the White House, which I assume is perched precariously in a tree? Or are we meant to understand that the birds have been watching us for decades, with intellects intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, noting the coming and going of our human leaders, waiting for the right time to strike, to wipe us all out and take our comfy sweaters for their own?

The Phantom, 1/5/20

“See, Heloise, our line of shadowy puppetmasters, who kept native people under their sway via manipulation and fear, and who meticulously maintained their pure European bloodline despite living in Africa for centuries, were actually anti-colonialists. We’re the good guys!”

“Hmm, so why is it that European powers managed to colonize Africa anyway? Did our ancestors collab–”


Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/5/20

Ha ha, it’s Aunt Hildy, June’s meddling, troublesome distant relative! What mischief is she getting into today? Why she’s … keeping the kids busy while Rex and June sleep in and helping make breakfast for everyone? Wow, can’t wait to see what kooky antics she gets into next!

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Funky Winkerbean, 10/25/19

Hey, folks, here’s some Hollywood insider information which, uh, I definitely already knew and didn’t Google just now: as much as a “shopping agreement” sounds like a fake Funky Winkerbean phrase like “vendo” or “solo car date” or whatever, it’s actually a real thing! Basically, an option, which is what Mason proposed to do last week, is when you pay someone a relatively modest sum for the exclusive rights to try to produce a movie within a set period of time, with an agreed-upon larger sum to come if the project actually moves into development — so, for instance, you might get paid $10,000 for a one-year option, and if by the end of the year the production company has been able to make the movie happen, you’ll get paid $100,000, but if not, you can keep the $10,000 and could work with someone else if they’re interested. In a “shopping agreement,” you give someone with more Hollywood connections than you exclusive rights to shop a script around for a set period of time, often with little or no money changing hands and no real guarantee of what you’d get paid if anything happens. According to the Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark, “the shopping agreement provides the rights owner little certainty, while limiting his/her ability to entertain other offers. The Producer might blanket Hollywood with the project, reducing likelihood that there will be opportunities later, if he/she/it is unsuccessful in setting up the project.” So I’m really rooting for this to end in failure, which, according to panel three, aligns my desires with Les’s, which quite honestly I’m pretty uncomfortable with.

Gil Thorp, 10/25/19

Having struck out with his wife and a fellow school board member in his attempt to keep dangerous rage monster Chance Macy off the Mudlarks, Chet has turned to the only force that can help him: the free press. Unfortunately the Milford print media is part of the town’s tightly-knit elite and Marjie immediately narced to Coach Thorp. Why does Chet trust the fake news instead of reaching out to Marty Moon, the only man in town willing to expose the tough truths? Marty is presumably sitting by the phone right now, waiting for a phone call just like this, very, very drunk.

Mary Worth, 10/25/19

Ah, you know what would help you sort out your feelings about a guy you’re dating but not really sure about? If he, without asking you, turns your date plans into double date plans, with his ex who he’s still transparently hung up on and her hot young boyfriend! I think Estelle will have some pretty firm opinions on whether she wants to continue seeing Wilbur after this!

The Phantom, 10/25/19

ME, A GUY WHO’S READ THE PHANTOM FOR MORE THAN 15 YEARS AND LIKES TO ACT LIKE HE HAS SOMETHING OF A HANDLE ON ITS WHOLE GEOPOLITICAL BACKSTORY AND YET HAS NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON HERE: Uh, yes, it, uh, did have to happen eventually! Yep, armed people bound for Wambesiland! You hate to see it … but you knew it was going happen sooner or later. I think?

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Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/8/19

Hello, major media brands! Are you looking to increase awareness of your properties among hard-to-reach demographics, like shut-ins and the elderly? Consider in-story messaging within the King Features line of trusted continuity strips! We’ve already laid the groundwork by having Wilbur Weston, the comics’ most unappealing character, inform readers that streaming media services exist. And for a surprisingly reasonably partnership fee, mildly beloved Rex Morgan, M.D., character Mindy could actually say the name of your show while she remains immobile in bed for the next several weeks, rather than just hinting at its plot! Be sure to act now to accommodate comics publishing’s 12-18 week lead time so that your property gets name-checked just in time for it to “drop” (as the kids say) on streaming!

Mutts, 9/8/19

I know I almost never talk about Mutts on this site, but when the adorable lisping animals suddenly start contemplating the total genocide of the human race? As a human who doesn’t want to be genocided, that’s when I sit up and take notice.

The Phantom, 9/8/19

The Ghost-Who-Walks has kept the Deep Woods under his protection for hundreds of years! But can he defend against the newest, most deadly threat yet: gentrification?

Six Chix, 9/8/19

The world is burning, life is madness … should Six Chix get into piss stuff? Sure. Why not. Lol nothing matters!