I have long felt that any good online discussion of a comic book series requires at least two active participants... not just two people posting, but two actually reading along... one to provide "play-by-play" and the other "color commentary." Tracy and I have considered leading a "husband and wife" discussion for some time, but we never could get the timing right. I first alluded to it in 2008 (I remember specifically), but I didn't announce the series. At the time it would have been Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise, but that topic has now expanded to all the titles in the SIP-verse. With 3 issues in volume one, 13 in two and 90 in three (volume three comprising eight parts itself), Strangers in Paradise would be ambitious enough, but we also hope to cover...

Echo - 30 issues

Rachel Rising - 42 issues

Motor Girl - 10 issues

Strangers in Paradise XXV - 10 issues

Five Years - 10 issues

Ever - 1 issue

Serial - 10 issues

We are approaching this with no set structure or timeframe involved. An issue at a time? A volume/series at a time? An issue a day? A volume/series/part a week? We don't know. All we know right now is that we plan to start with SIP v1 (the original three-issue limited series) sometime this weekend. the more people who participate the better the discussion is, so we invite as many of you to participate as possible, whether you read along with us or not. 

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PARKER GIRLS:

ISSUE #1:

An obviously  distraught man named Mark walks along a beach on the Turks and Caicos Islands. He meets a woman, Alex, sunning herself. She comes on to him and they agree to meet for dinner later. He continues on his way, followed by a grizzled beach bum who apparently intends to do him harm. Alex takes the man down with the familiar "fingers in the nostrils" move identifying her as a "Parker Girl." She holds his head under water with her foot until he is no longer a threat.

In Malibu, Piper May's body washes up on the beach. Former Parker Girls Cherry Hammer and Becky investigate and report to Tambi Baker. Piper was assigned to Zackary May, one of the richest men in America.

Meanwhile, Mark and Alex meet for drinks. Alex confides that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As a CPA for a large firm, it was easy for him to embezzle $10 million dollars. Then he got word from his doctor that there was a mix-up in the tests and that he is going to live. Unfortunately, except for $10,000, the money is gone. He tells Alex that the money went to his sister, a widow with three kids, for their security and education, but this ends up being a lie. 

Alex tells him that she is in crypto currency exchange and offers to run Mark's $10,000 up to $20 million overnight. Having nothing to lose, he agrees. He wakes up the next morning, naked, tied to his bed. "Alex" (actually Kelley) has absconded with his laptop.

The four months since I caught up (with Serial) has seemed like forever

ISSUE #2

Mark is Mark Harris. He embezzled the $10M from his employer, Zackary May, and slept with his wife, Piper May, actually a "Parker Girl" assigned to him. It is suggested that Zackary May had Piper killed. Before he became a tech giant, he used to frequent guest at Darcy Parker's parties and always asked for Katchoo. 

Harris wakes up naked and causes a scene at the hotel when he realizes he has been rolled. A man injects him with a hypo to the neck and shoves him in the back of a car. Another injection awakens him and he finds himself, still naked, in a tent. Zachary May confronts him and explains just how much of a problem Harris has caused and fires him on the spot. He leaves Harris alone, and when May's helicopter flies away it takes the tent with it, leaving Harris naked in the middle of a desert.

Tambi visits Katchoo at her home in Sante Fe. Francine and the kids are visiting her brother Peter and his family in Florida. Katchoo now has a life-size nude statue of Francine, which she acquired from an old boyfriend of Francine's who sculted it without her knowledge or permission. Tambi asks Katchoo if Zachary May ever said anything to her about satellites or working with the Chinese. She also asks if Katchoo would like a little payback.

In Malibu, Cherry and Becky interrogate the captain of Zackary May's yacht about the night Piper died.

I don't know where Tracy is. We're supposed to be doing this together and she hasn't even read #1 yet.

Tracy, where are yoooouu?

ISSUE #3

This issue begins with the death of Piper May, as told in flashback from the POV of the yacht's skipper. He provided additional details, but he honestly believes her death was an accident. Meanwhile, Mark Harris's body is discovered (by drone patrol, then in person) in what looks to me like the Australian outback. Katchoo and Tambi have a six page discussion about Zackary May. He is a private investor (Warren Buffet and Elon Musk are name-dropped) who has made a bid to buy Aquavane, a startup designed by two engineers as an affordable way to irrigate California with ocean water.

Tambi reveals evidence that points to May as being responsible for Piper's death, but she doesn't want him killed; she wants to witness "his spectacular fall from power" into disgrace and doesn't want to save him from the jailtime he has coming. She also believes in Aquavane and doesn't want his finances frozen during what will certainly be a lengthy court battle. She wants to Katchoo to seduce a wealthy investor of her choice to buy out May's bid for Aquavane. 

The next scene begins abruptly as Alex, a Parker Girl, is dropped unconscious into a swimming pool and sinks to the bottom. She was thrown into the pool by a a three-time UFC champ, bodyguard to a man named Nikola. When they are discussing her, she surfaces and drive the heel of her show though the bodyguard's foot. He loses his balance and cracks his head on the deck. Nikola apologizes to Alex, saying, "He shouldn't have hit you. He's fired," to which she responds, "No he's not. He's dead," drive the heel of her other shoe through the man's ear into his brain. ("POP! smush!

I don't know where Tracy is. She's supposed to be reading these series along with me but I haven't seen here around these parts since April 15.

ISSUE #4:

Becky and Cherry continue their investigation of Piper's death. First, they do a cursory examination of her body where they confirm she met with foul play. (As the coroner notes, "If you've never seen a body pulled from the ocean before... it's not pretty.") Next then "interview" another witness who was on the yacht the night Piper was killed, and we get a (brief) glimpse into Cherry's past. Meanwhile, Katchoo begins her seduction of Zachary May. "Alex" (see #3) is actually Kelly, and she is drawn into Piper's murder investigation, too.

I'm really starting to worry about Tracy. She's been missing for nine months...

You're scaring me, Jeff ...

Here I am! I'll do my best to get caught up this weekend. 

This series has a lot going on, right from the very beginning. Being Parker Girls, it is violent from the beginning too. The only time I laughed out loud was when the hotel receptionist threatened to mace Mark if he didn't close his robe. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ISSUE #2

Mark is Mark Harris. He embezzled the $10M from his employer, Zackary May, and slept with his wife, Piper May, actually a "Parker Girl" assigned to him. It is suggested that Zackary May had Piper killed. Before he became a tech giant, he used to frequent guest at Darcy Parker's parties and always asked for Katchoo. 

Harris wakes up naked and causes a scene at the hotel when he realizes he has been rolled. A man injects him with a hypo to the neck and shoves him in the back of a car. Another injection awakens him and he finds himself, still naked, in a tent. Zachary May confronts him and explains just how much of a problem Harris has caused and fires him on the spot. He leaves Harris alone, and when May's helicopter flies away it takes the tent with it, leaving Harris naked in the middle of a desert.

Tambi visits Katchoo at her home in Sante Fe. Francine and the kids are visiting her brother Peter and his family in Florida. Katchoo now has a life-size nude statue of Francine, which she acquired from an old boyfriend of Francine's who sculted it without her knowledge or permission. Tambi asks Katchoo if Zachary May ever said anything to her about satellites or working with the Chinese. She also asks if Katchoo would like a little payback.

In Malibu, Cherry and Becky interrogate the captain of Zackary May's yacht about the night Piper died.

I don't know where Tracy is. We're supposed to be doing this together and she hasn't even read #1 yet.

Tracy, where are yoooouu?

It was more fun reading four issues in a row than one a month. It can be hard to keep Moore's Parker Girls straight because they are drawn to look similar. Add their double names and sometimes, I need a flow chart. 

I didn't appreciate the gross violence with the shoes or the discussion of how much the shoes cost over the dead guy's body. It reminded me of the scene in Pulp Fiction when the main characters are upset about the car being messy, rather than the dead kid in the back seat. 
I really prefer characters and intrigue to gratuitous violence. 


Jeff of Earth-J said:

ISSUE #4:

Becky and Cherry continue their investigation of Piper's death. First, they do a cursory examination of her body where they confirm she met with foul play. (As the coroner notes, "If you've never seen a body pulled from the ocean before... it's not pretty.") Next then "interview" another witness who was on the yacht the night Piper was killed, and we get a (brief) glimpse into Cherry's past. Meanwhile, Katchoo begins her seduction of Zachary May. "Alex" (see #3) is actually Kelly, and she is drawn into Piper's murder investigation, too.

I'm really starting to worry about Tracy. She's been missing for nine months...

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