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A Few Words on Today’s “Judge Parker”

Posted in Uncategorized by cesco7 on June 9, 2018

JP June 9 2018

Many of you who read newspaper comics know that strips are written months in advance. Well, at the very least weeks in advance. But I completely understand why this is not common knowledge. And I bring this up to stress that because of such publication deadlines today’s Judge Parker is in no way a reaction to the utterly tragic, untimely deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain this week. To do so would be a complete dismissal of what it means to be human and humane. I also want to state that the storyline will have absolutely nothing to do with suicide (though I know this puts it in the precarious position of seeing the upside of accidental death or murder). There was never any intent—or even possibility—that a newspaper strip could so quickly—and what would be so regrettably—respond to such recent revelations.

That said, I am deeply sorry to any reader who saw today’s strip and thought otherwise. I have absolutely no intention to dismiss what is certainly such a genuine reaction. I can only explain why the strip and events are unrelated.

But given this week’s horrible news I want to reiterate that anyone coping with the depths of depression and seeming absence of answers should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. However, it is often those who need others the most who feel as if it can help them the least. So if you know someone struggling please, I cannot say this enough, do not tell them all the pain that they will cause by taking their own life. This will only encourage their belief that they can only have a negative impact on loved ones and the world. Instead, call them. Visit them. Take them out of their home and their mind, if only for an hour, if only for a sandwich, if only for a walk. What may seem to you the slightest of acts could to someone be the greatest proof that they are wanted, that they are seen in a positive light, and that their death will not be a relief but a tremendous absence. It has been a life-saving gesture for me. It can be for so many others.

3 Responses

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  1. Bill said, on June 9, 2018 at 10:08 am

    One of the reasons I follow you is because you shepherd your strips (and readers) better than anyone else. When I read the comments early this morning I didn’t pick up on anyone thinking Godiva was a suicide, but rather she was the victim of two well known assassins. However, it certainly is possible that someone (not following the strip) could make the leap that it was a suicide and your response is most appropriate. Long story – not short: President Kennedy was assassinated when I was 13 and it was the following month that a DC comic Superman story appeared where Superman had to reveal his secret identity to someone or the world would be destroyed (or some such calamity). Superman chose to tell President Kennedy his secret. For some reason, I was very upset at DC for using our dead President as a plot device and wrote and told them so. I got a very nice letter telling me that comics are written months in advance and they were sorry I was offended, but they had gotten clearance from the White House to use the President this way and he was a big fan and they had no idea he would be killed. They promised to advise readers of this in a future issue. I tell you all of this to say that you’ve done a great job with Judge Parker and have made me a fan and the fact that you think the PSA is needed says alot about your humanity and I thank you for that. (Sorry for the length of epistle.)

    • oldskool said, on June 9, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      Talk about the most appropriate person to reply… Thanks for sharing with us all that moving anecdote Bill (if I may be so informal).

      And yes, I was all set as well to thank our kindly scribe for his insights into the reality of comic publishing and overlaps with current events.

  2. Allyson said, on June 13, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I’ve had suicide hit fairly close to home in recent years, and while I didn’t assume for a moment that that was what was going on here, I very much appreciate you taking the time to explain the strip and express your concern about your readers. I began reading this strip years ago as a Comics Curmudgeon fan, and, much to my surprise, have begun unironically enjoying the storylines since you took the helm. Thank you for being a good person as well as a good writer.

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