Your incredulous ‘Judge Parker’ update: Sophie’s back?


I’m as confused as you are.

A few months ago, Sophie was in a car with a bottle of vodka, her frenemy Honey and some buzzed musicians. It was late at night. It was raining. They were on a curvy cliffside road. Suddenly the car swerved to avoid a truck and everybody went careening down the hillside.

I mean, you remember this, don’t you?


I mean, who doesn’t? It’s probably the single greatest panel to appear on the comics page this year.

That was in August. Since then the world has pretty much caved in on the extended Spencer-Driver clan.

And yet, a few months later, out of nowhere, Sophie is spotted in a diner. Her family never doubted she was “missing.”

Now, I don’t know about you, loyal “Judge Parker” reader (yes, you), but I’d pretty much assumed that everybody died in that car accident. (Everybody but Honey, anyway; we saw her moping through school a couple weeks ago, presumably because all her friends were dead.) Yes, there were rumblings that bodies were never found, and all that mysterious claptrap with the truck driver and the radio DJ and Judge Parker and those gangsters, but this seemed pretty cut and dried. I mean, that was a pretty horrific car accident. Wasn’t it?

So, as the kids say, WTF?

I go to the comics pages for logic. Yeah, so Beetle Bailey manages to constantly avoid work and date Miss Buxley. Yeah, so Jon never works, owns a fat, lasagna-eating cat and still makes his girlfriend happy. Yeah, so Crankshaft still drives a bus and blows up his grill, but since he seems to have been a ballplayer around 1950, he should be in his mid-80s, easily. (In fact, why are all the parents on the comics pages baby boomers, given the late-’60s/early-’70s music they talk about, but still in their 40s with teenaged kids? Jeremy’s parents in “Zits” should be in their 60s by now!) But, dammit, it all makes sense, somehow.

Well, maybe Francesco Marciuliano can explain it to me. I’m waiting, Ces.

(P.S. Sorry about your dad.)


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