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Rich kids smeared all over the cliffside

Judge Parker, 8/25/16

Shout out to Woody Wilson for going out on a high note and handing Judge Parker to new writer (and friend-of-the-blog) Ces Marciuliano with a literal cliffhanger on which to begin his tenure. After barreling soberly-but-with-vodka-in-the-car down a windy mountain road, our triumphant but mysteriously nameless band (I nominated New Delhi Monkey Gang) broke into physical squabbling that knocked out Derrick’s tooth and marred his pretty, pretty smile, and also swerved them into the path of a giant truck. Anyway, today’s lovely strip probably is their frozen terror as they tumble down the mountainside rather than the final moment before they die (or, even better, the first moment after they die and begin their ascendence to Shitty High School Band Heaven), but, you know, a guy can dream.

The Phantom, 8/25/16

Oh boy, Kit Jr., has arrived at the Tibetan monastery that has educated several generations of Phantoms before him, hoping to bamboozle the monks into believing he’s an immortal jungle spirit! Unfortunately, it’s been a good several centuries since a Walker has taken up a residency at the monastery, and some of the geopolitics have shifted in the meantime, mostly involving Tibet’s conquest by the People’s Republic of China. If, say, Kit Jr.’s father or grandfather (who knows how old these people are supposed to be, even) had decided to revive this particular bit of Phantomic ritual, that might’ve put them straight into the middle of the Cultural Revolution and some real fun. As it is, Kit Jr. will probably just get in education in “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” i.e., he’ll find himself working for a cell phone manufacturer with a dodgy labor rights reputation.

Crankshaft, 8/25/16

Good news! Crankshaft is going to jail!

Beetle Bailey Presents: The Clumsiest Fragging

Don’t forget: I’m selling slightly damaged hardcover copies of my novel, the Enthusiast, for the shockingly low price of $9! Click here for all the details, or just click the button below to buy. UPDATE: Holy cow, against all expectations, I sold out of these! Thanks so much, guys — books will ship out later this week. If you’re looking to buy non-damaged, non-discounted versions, try here or here, or, if you love the Amazonian behemoth, here.

Blondie, 8/23/16

I’m really not sure how to even begin grappling with this strip, in which Dagwood, a man who I’ve always assumed to be not too deep into middle age and in possession of a perfectly healthy set of teeth, sits through a nightmarish sales pitch for some kind of futuristic dental implant technology with a name out of a satirical dystopian sci-fi movie. Maybe his insatiable appetite is leading him into the dangerous world of body modification; once this dentist outfits him with ultra-efficient chewing tech, he’s going to show up at a hospital and demand that he be given gastric bypass surgery “only in reverse.”

Beetle Bailey, 8/23/16

Say what you will about today’s Beetle Bailey, but it does get to an essential truth at the heart of the strip, namely that all the characters are morons who also have access to military weaponry. I think it’s a nice touch that the joke focuses on Zero possibly blowing his own face off and just barely draws our attention to the box of live grenades propped awkwardly on the table, ready to tumble out at the most hilarious/violent moment.

Family Circus, 8/23/16

What character do you most identify with in today’s Family Circus? I’d like to think I’m the guy who’s just out there casually smoking a pipe while he’s sunbathing, but I’m probably more like the kid who thinks that because he’s wearing goggles we can’t tell how eagerly he’s staring at the other kid’s toy boat.

Mark Trail, 8/23/16

So, uh, the staff of Woods and Wildlife Magazine didn’t know invasive species were bad until, like, last year? I’m beginning to have some doubts about their environmentalist bona fides.

Metapost: Enthusiast Slightly Seconds Summer Garage Sale

UPDATE: Holy cow, against all expectations, I sold out of these! Thanks so much, guys — books will ship out later this week. If you’re looking to buy non-damaged, non-discounted versions, try here or here, or, if you love the Amazonian behemoth, here.

Hi all! If you read my exhaustive breakdown of how much I made and spent on my Kickstarted novel, you might’ve noticed I mentioned that some of the hardcover books arrived from the printer damaged. The defects were enough that TopatoCo didn’t feel comfortable selling them, but are also fairly minor. Here’s one of the damaged books:

The defect is a split in the material of the cover at the top left — here’s a close up:

While sub-optimal, this split doesn’t seem to be causing the book to come apart or anything like that. And so, for those of you who saw the Kickstarter and said “Enh,” and then saw the book for sale and still said “Enh,” I’m offering these slightly damaged hardcovers at steep discounts! Instead of the $25 plus shipping you’d pay retail, you can get these for a mere $9, plus $3.09 shipping and handling, while supplies last! Click the link below to buy — you’ll go through PayPal, but you don’t need a PayPal account to purchase the book, just a credit card.