Updated on 16 October, 2021
Judge Parker was an American comic strip-style comic book strip created by Nicholas P. Dallis which first appeared in February, 1952. The layout and appearance of the strip are influenced heavily by the work of late great artist Allen Sanchez and his wife Betty Shea. The main characters of Judge Parker consist of Billy the Fish, Judge Parker, the Virgin mother, and the trio of boys living in the Parker home.
The plot of Judge Parker is that a condemned man named Johnny Tremper is to be executed. In the series of events, Judge Parker discovers that the man was framed for murder, given a scar that represents the murder, and is thrown into an electric chair. Within hours of being put to death, however, Tremper tries to get free while the sentence continues to hang over his head. He states that he does not kill anyone unless he is asked to and gives these three boys the slip to get away with the crime. With the aid of his magic wands, Tremper forces the guards outside, where he tricks them into helping him free the real killer, which turns out to be an armored guard who reveals himself to be Johnny Tremper's own brother, Richard.
When the boys return home, they tell the story of the crime and how it was solved, making the judge speechless as he reads it. Within hours, the strip is running and has been running ever since. The only reason it didn't become a worldwide phenomenon is because it was syndicated only once per week. Another reason it didn't become a world famous cartoon show is because it wasn't as successful as some of the other animated Judge reviews. Many people have accused Judge Parker of writing a stupid comic book and ignoring his legal background and his expertise in the courtroom.
However, you can tell just by reading through the strip that Parker wrote the comic for entertainment value and not as an educational lesson. For example, one of the characters states: "Well, it took about six hours. And I don't think anyone's going to remember any of that if I don't get shot." If you read this two times, it doesn't make sense and you're probably wondering what the point of this article is. Well, let me give you an example from the headlines of Judge Parker Comic Book 26 that you might find more enlightening.
The first panel of the Judge Parker Comic Book 26 headline has a long panel with three different paragraphs underneath it. The first paragraph contains the details of the murder case that took place back in 1980. It also contains the real killer's full description. The second paragraph goes on to state that after the killing, a witness saw a man run into the sewers, get caught up in a pipe and disappear.
The third panel shows a timeline of the entire trial, detailing how the crime took place and how long it took to get to trial. You can even see the victim in the beginning of the third paragraph and get all of the details of the trial from there. From there, the storyline of the Judge Parker Comic Book begins. At the end of the third paragraph, we get a recap of how the trial ended, including the judge's reasoning for handing down the death penalty.
There are two things that are important to take away from this example. First, Judge Parker made sure that the sentence was a good fit for the crime and this is what brought about the real killer in the first place. Secondly, the Judge Parker Comic Strip shows Parker being a smart writer. He made sure to use words that accurately described the crime, while condensing a long and complex situation into a few short sentences. Parker knew how to use words to bring information out of people and he did it in a way that was effective.
The same thing could not be said about the defendant or his attorney. The two needed to have more details to support their argument to prevent the majority of the panel from voting to sentence him to death. Instead, they spent the first hour or so deliberating whether or not they should offer a plea deal. By the end of the third paragraph, they had already chosen the worst option, so it was obvious from the start that they were not going to go with the story line. Had they chosen another sentence, it is possible that the panel would have voted to parole him instead.