Judge Thorp? Gil Parker?

Is it murder in Milford? Will there be sports at the Spencer Spread?

Amalgam Comics was a blending of DC and Marvel heroes in the 1990s and that was the feeling I got when I saw the early access look at the March 11, 2024 Judge Parker.

Having seen Rod Whigham art on Gil Thorp for 16 year now (since April 7, 2008) we know Rod’s lines when we see them; and though it is still signed Mike Manley the art is undeniably by Rod Whigham.

Mike has been having some health issues so friends and fellow cartoonists have been stepping in to lend a drawing hand. For the week of March 11 to March 16, 2024 Rod Whigham, from Tribune Content Agency gives the North America Syndicate/King Features Syndicate’s Judge Parker comic strip a definite Gil Thorp vibe.

Even after being forewarned (hi Rob) it was still startling to see Rod drawing Judge Parker.

5 thoughts on “Judge Thorp? Gil Parker?

  1. So much for “ghosting” Mike Manley. Whigham just said “I’ll do me, you do you.”

    Back in the day, the Editors would be telling the ghost artist, you have to get close, emulate the artist who is on the strip. And, they would get damn close.

    This is like “whatever, I’m doing it my way”. Like Sinatra.

  2. This change of artist has occurred earlier (though I didn’t know who was doing the drawing). Some strips in December and January had a noticeably different style. The January 3, 2024, strip is one example. (I happen to have saved it on my phone, so that’s why I have it at hand.)

    1. That was Bret Blevins ghosting for Mike on Judge Parker during the first week of 2024.
      Bret is currently (since January 15) subbing for Mike on The Phantom. He is signing those.

  3. I still find it truly amazing that there are (still!) fans who follow soap opera strips closely enough to notice minor details like shift in the style of the artwork (or lettering). Decades ago (back when I was still reading the comics in newspapers), my personal opinion was that they were just a waste of valuable newsprint, but I did (later) figure out that the papers would not have been wasting that newsprint on those horrid things if there were not a sizable community of enthusiastic fans that were (egad!) actually reading them. So, to all of you JP fans, all I can say is that I won’t be joining you, but enjoy the run as long as it lasts.

    1. Oh you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Even Harold LeDoux ghosted Dan Heilman for like 4 or 5 months when he took over in 1965. Eduardo Barreto tried to stick to LeDoux’s style when he took over, as did Manley when he took over from Barreto.

      Most of the time it was to not cause attention that there was a creator change, which could prompt a newspaper Editor to consider dropping the strip. And, I guess, so the readers didn’t complain as well.

      I guess nowadays, the days of “ghosting” for the strips creator in their absence has gone by the wayside.

      Enjoying the soap strips while they remain.

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