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Tag Archives: Popeye

The Saturday Comics: The Phantom Gets Good!

29 Dec

December 29, 2017

Let’s end the year by checking back in on one of the classics. It is the Phantom, a comic character from the Golden Age created by Lee Falk. He’s “The Ghost Who Walks,” but basically just a guy in a suit who fights crime. He’s the latest in a family line of crime-fighters to use that name. When we last checked in back in 2011, there was literally nothing going on. For an entire week nothing happened. And I mean that exactly as it sounds. Let’s go back and see, then we’ll check in with the strip today and see what’s up.

UPDATED from April 16, 2011DAY ONE:

OK, I get it. I came in at the end of an adventure. It looks like a happy ending. It is actually a good thing I came in now so I can enjoy the start of a whole new story tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

DAY TWO:

Well, that’s nice. Sort of the same thing as yesterday though. And it seems a bit of a waste, story-wise, to do it in one big splash but I guess it gets the emotion across. OK, let’s see where this goes tomorrow.

DAY THREE:

What the? What’s the point of this? Is the next arc about haircuts? If this were a play I could almost hear the stage manager hissing “vamp!” while the star desperately searches for her line. This is ridiculous, the big splash yesterday should have ended the arc. I’m getting a bit tired of this, hopefully things will move ahead tomorrow.

DAY FOUR:

Um, Ok. More wasting time. Maybe they haven’t hammered out the next script yet and just tossed this in? I can’t figure out a purpose to this strip, unless it is to reinforce their dedication to fighting evil? This isn’t much of a superhero strip, it is more like a bad show on the religious station with Kirk Cameron. I’m not hopeful for tomorrow.

DAY FIVE:

Ahh, now we’re getting somewhere.

DAY SIX:Huh? Where’s The Phantom? And isn’t that the guy who was supposed to be in jail? Who are these people? I sat through almost a week for this? That strip could have been told in three panels. And re-read the second panel. “Colonel Weeks met the unknown commander.” “Worubu doubts it.” There is a verb tense problem there, and I’m usually not that picky outside of a grammar blog but that is really annoying to read. I really hope The Phantom picks up but I’m losing hope.

DAY SEVEN:

UGH! Back to that? It’s like the Sunday strip exists in a different timeline, and maybe it might. Many strips do a separate storyline on Sundays because some papers only run the Sunday strips. So I can follow the annoying story on Sunday, or follow the slow and boring story during the week, or maybe wait and see if indeed that Sunday strip is part of the same story as the weekly though it doesn’t seem to be.

DAY EIGHT:

To Hell with The Phantom. Popeye never fails. I got more out of that strip than an entire week of The Phantom. And why not? It looks like they are running a classic Sagendorf strip.

That Phantom run may have been the worst week of a comic strip that I have ever read, and that’s coming from someone who read comics written and drawn by Rob Liefeld so you know I’ve read some bad comics. The artist of this strip, Paul Ryan, was the artist on one of my favorite runs of the Fantastic Four so this hurts all the more.

DECEMBER 2017 UPDATE!

Here are the current strips from Monday December 25 to Thursday, December 28: 

Whoa, what happened? First, you might notice a change in the art. Comic book veteran Mike Manley (another favorite artist, and cool name- “Manley”-) has taken over from Paul Ryan, who died in 2016. The strip looks great. I have to give credit to the colorist too. The explosion on day two really pops. But most notably,  the writing is top notch. It zips along! There’s action! I want to know what happens next. And look at the bad guy. Despite not knowing what the plot of the story is, I feel I know all I need to know about him at this point. As a new reader I’m already drawn into the action and fairly knowledgeable about the characters. Did they change the writer, you may be wondering? Nope, it is still Tony DePaul. So maybe the 2011 run was an aberration? Or maybe he simply improved. Either way, this week’s strip is a winner. I deliberately left out the Friday strip. And that’s today (as of the date of this posts publication) so go over to comicskingdom.com and see where this story is headed. I know I will!  

 

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A Tale of My Father: Macy’s Santa

3 Dec

December 3, 2013

A love of tradition and a lot of time on your hands can be a bad thing. Case in point: my father.

In his later years, Dad wasn’t working and spent a lot time at home. It could get very boring but he managed to find ways to pass the time. Oh, I don’t mean fixing things around the house, or hobbies (although he had a killer model train layout), or even anything productive, I mean things like scamming Nigerian scammers.

Yes, I typed that correctly. He get an email from a “Nigerian Prince” promising him untold wealth if only he’d give him his social security number, bank account number, blood type, etc, and instead of doing what you and I would do (i.e.: delete it) he’d write back, or better, he’d call them. He’d call the number in the email and claim to be interested but he had a few questions. He’d ask them if he needed a checking or a savings account, he’d ask them about the political situation in Nigeria, he’d ask them about his tax implications of accepting the fortune, he’d ask them the best time to call back with more questions, etc. You’d be surprised how long a Nigerian Prince will stay on the line. One email could keep Dad entertained with the back and forth for weeks.

He didn’t always get satisfaction (nor did he get the Nigerian fortune.) For example, one year he was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV and stayed with it all the way through to the end, not an easy thing to do, depending on how you feel about 3 hours of Al Roker. Anyway, Dad watched it to the end and got very upset because it ended with Santa pulling up in front of Macy’s and waving. Roll credits, fade to black, go to commercials, cue football.

This was not good.

Because when Dad was a kid, the parade ended with Santa getting off his sled and walking into Macy’s (where he and the elves presumably did all their shopping). After some more waving, he’d sit in his chair in Santa’s cardboard workshop and await all the little kiddies on his lap. (Good thing he’s Santa. Guys end up on the sex offender list for a lot less.)

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So this particular year, Santa did not get off his sled and walk into Macy’s. He just sat there and waved and the show ended. That was not right. Something had to be done. And Dad was the one to do it.

He called Macy’s and complained.

God love my father, and God knows I loved him, even I had to pause at that. Wouldn’t the TV network be the one to call? I’m sure Santa went into Macy’s (though how would I know? It wasn’t shown on TV and I wasn’t there) but the network cut away before he got off the sled. Anyway, Dad called Macy’s where he registered his complaint. Who did the operator direct him to? Who did he speak to? I have no clue. I am sure that Dad let loose his anger on whoever was the first to pick up, and I feel sorry for the low-level Macy’s operator who had to take that call.

Dad never forgot the insult. He wasn’t one to take a slight like that laying down. He had a grudge against both Macy’s and the parade for a long time.

The parade has never been the same.

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