The second of the three soap opera strips created by Nicholas P. Dallis, Judge Parker first started running in 1952 and initially told the story of the titular judge, widower Alan Parker, his two children, Randy and Ann, and later, his new younger wife Katherine. The strips initial storylines revolved around the dashing young Parker's pursuit of criminals, but in the 1960s, Dallis felt the character had become too distinguished to be getting his hands dirty. To remedy this, he introduced up and coming attorney Sam Driver to do the exciting stuff and Judge Parker was essentially phased out of his own strip. Wealthy, self-absorbed heiress Abbey Spencer entered the strip to be Sam's girlfriend and eventually his wife. In the early 1990s, her character shifted to become more maternal when she adopted two orphan girls, Neddy and Sophie. The family lives on Spencer Farms, Abbey's horse ranch, with a maid, Marie, and the comic mostly revolves around their daily lives, be they related to law, teenage angst, or crazy exotic dancers and celebrity marriage counseling.Dallis wrote under the pseudonym of Paul Nichols, possibly to distance himself from his medical themed strip, Rex Morgan MD. Dallis retired in 1990 just before his death and passed the strip on to assistant Woody Wilson, who tried to revitalize the strip, even daring to bring old Judge Parker back every once in a while and adding Neddy and Sophie to the strip's cast. The strips first artist was Dan Heilman. Heilman handled the strip until 1965, when he retired to launch a strip of his own. For the next 50 years, Harold LeDeaux handled artistic duties. He retired in 2006, passing on the strip to former D.C. comics artist Eduardo Barreto, who became noted for his incredible art on the strip and his love of extremely attractive women making sexy poses while the action of the strip continued to do nothing. Barreto's run was also marked with disaster - not long after he took over the strip, he suffered a grave car accident and had to take time off the strip. Rex Morgan artist Graham Noland and artist John Heebink filled in while he recovered. Sadly, Barreto was struck with meningitis in 2010 which left him unable to continue the strip, leading to a brief period in which Diego Barreto, his son, and Heebink filled in. Mike Manley carries on the torch permanently.
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