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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 08/ 5/2008

The Morning Line: "Judge Parker" & the Lemon Law

By Michael Cavna


JUDGE PARKER: A smooth drive turns into one shifty proposition. (North America Syndicate) Enlarge Comic

Damn you, "Judge Parker" -- you confound us and bedevil us like no other. You tempt us with sleek lines and winning curves, but then, as soon as we drive you off the metaphorical lot, you sputter and die at our feet.

Hack. hack.

You, Judge Parker, are the Jaguar of the comics world. And yet we keep climbing back in and footing the cosmic bill.

At first glance, today's strip seems to offer beautiful contrasts, a bevy of textures. For aesthetic starters, you're the only multi-panel strip on the Post pages today that doesn't chop the action into tidy boxes; we "heart" your Feng Shui. Then there are the dynamic black strokes, and the apparent use of Wite-Out (or equivalent tool) to "bleed" Sam's shoulder into the shadows -- bellissima! Just when we start to settle in and bask in the arty comfort, suddenly -- what the...?!? -- you go and point a dialogue balloon at Sam's...knee? From "Zippy," this would be all in good surreal fun; from you, "JP," it is simply sloppy nonsense -- you have kneecapped our Art Appreciation, Tonya Harding-style.

And while we're dissecting the whole toad here, you could probably go with, oh, about three fewer stereotypes when depicting a character who looms as the "heavy." Straight outta Central Casting, you make this fella: (a) portly; (b) bald; (c) goateed -- then (d), you go and name him "Cheatham." All that's missing is a fat stogie dangling from his lip and a hairless cat that he shows an unnatural attachment to.

So much styling, such a lovely exterior -- and within seconds, "Judge," you've driven us back into the ditch.

Hack. hack.

Which comics today have you busting a gut or venting a spleen?

Note to Readers: Starting at noon, washingtonpost.com is turning off comments on this blog to allow for some software upgrades and other maintenance. Blog entries and comments are expected to resume by late Wednesday afternoon.

By Michael Cavna  | August 5, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: The Interview: Political Cartoonist Steve Breen

Comments

As a chick, I have a perverse attraction to weddings and I've been anticipating this week's "FBOFW" sequence like a junkie looking for her next hit. Sad, so sad, to read today's panel where 1) the punchline of "crumberbund" is eyeroll-worthy, and 2) John (the Dad) is apparently wearing a TEAL tie/cumberbund combo. celinedion! This is NOT a prom! (go to my happy place! go to my happy place!)

Oh how I wish that I'd read "FBOFW" in our local paper today than online, where the strip would peacefully caress my optical senses in black, white, and gray. Now I've exposed myself as a total snob of comic fashion, which is a side of myself that I try to hide from the world.

Posted by: erin | August 5, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Great observations about Judge Parker, and I love the Jaguar analogy.

I would like to point out, however, that as a portly, balding, goatee-d blog fan, I strenuously object to your characterization of us as the stereotypical heavy. Me and my portly, balding, goatee-d brethren will commence hammering you with nasty comments...

...pig trough wiper!...

Posted by: JkR | August 5, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Not to be too much of an airplane geek, but Scott Stantis makes a technical error in his strip today:

"China Airlines" actually is from the free and democratic nation of Taiwan.

"Air China" is the flag carrier of the People's Republic.

Posted by: Proxl | August 6, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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