Main content:

Comics archive! Gasoline Alley

Carl Rhinowski’s evil twin could not comment, because of his amnesia

Gasoline Alley, 10/17/16

Part of Gasoline Alley’s schtick is the Picaresque Idiot Duo (PID), pairing an illiterate English-mangling leader with an improbably even more hopeless sidekick. These roles are most often played by Rufus and Joel. But Harold and Stick are here to remind us that it’s PIDs all the way down. From an apex somewhere around the Beverly Hillbillies’ Jed and Jethro Clampett, the line passes through Hootin’ Holler’s Snuffy Smith and Lukey, the two Gasoline Alley crews here, and then descends inexorably toward the Beavis Horizon.

Pluggers, 10/17/16

Joke-a-day strip Pluggers experiments with serial narrative: behold the pluggernovela. We’ve long known that Henrietta Beak is married to Earl Houndstooth and Andy Bear to Sheila Roo. Now we discover they’re next-door neighbors. The affairs begin innocently: a little bit of harmless robe-gazing and rake-play, some “accidental” pouch-flashing. But things spiral quickly into unnatural chicken-on-bear and dog-on-kangaroo depravity, threatening the very foundations of strait-laced plugger society. Claude Manx watches heartbroken from his mansion on the hill: Andy will never be his.

Slylock Fox, 10/17/16

Why suspect Shady? Maybe because he showed up to gloat? Seriously Sly – he’s standing right outside the greenhouse with a big grin on his face. More to the point, he’s Shady Shrew, for crying out loud. Why do you even waste your time with these “clues”? If this were Dick Tracy, the guy would already have been broken on the wheel.

Mutts, 10/17/16

Dude – have you ever even met a dog?

— Uncle Lumpy

Etymological antics

Hagar the Horrible, 9/19/16

Just to prove to you the lengths I go to in order to make my silly jokes about comics on my blog, here are some fun facts I learned while researching today’s Hagar the Horrible:

  • The common origin story of coffee cultivation — that an Ethiopian shepherd noticed goats getting jumpy when they ate certain berries — is probably a myth. The first written record of coffee being drunk comes from Yemen in the 1400s, which explains why there’s no coffee for Eddie to drink, five centuries earlier and thousands of miles to the north.
  • Anxiety and worry are the end products of parallel linguistic evolution: both ultimately descend from words (in Latin and proto-German, respectively) that mean “to strangle.”

Anyway! I don’t know if those facts add up to much, except that maybe Eddie — who Hagar has already turned his back on in that final panel — has felt phantom hands around his throat for a long time, and it has nothing to do with caffeine withdrawal.

Gasoline Alley, 9/19/16

I’ve been reading the non-adventures of the chumps in Gasoline Alley for more than a decade and while I’m vaguely aware that they’re all part of a huge, sprawling family, I still couldn’t tell you how any of them are related to any of the other ones. Beardy Dude and Ranger Gal are thus connected by a tenuous web of kinship, though that didn’t come up when he guided her forest birth; it’s sort of coming out now, not that I can really follow what the hell’s going on in panel two. Are they visualizing … each other, but younger? Each visualizing his younger self? Why does the kid in the rightmost thought balloon have three legs? Why does he have three legs? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY DOES HE HAVE THREE LEGS

Slylock Fox, 9/19/16

I just want to point out that Slylock is a compulsive ratiocinator. Like, he does it to solve crimes when he doesn’t even need to. “So, I saw the whole thing go down with my own eyes, all you need to do is take down the information. The ape parked his car in the deale–” “IT’S THE ONE WITH THE LICENSE PLATES!!! Right? Right? I said it before you said it! IN YOUR FACE, RABBIT!”

Marvin, 9/19/16

Guys, it’s Monday, so I just want to leave you with an uplifting image: an infant with a thousand-mile stare, openly worrying that someday — maybe someday soon — he’ll become unmoored from any conventional system of morality and perpetrate unspeakable horrors. Let’s all have a super week!

As newspapers die, every comic strip will eventually just become full-on body horror

Family Circus, 9/7/16

We all joke, of course, about the “melonheaded” children of the Family Circus, but we all just assumed their apparent macrocephaly was a quirk of Bil Keane’s art style, now handed down to his son Jeff. How wrong we were. How horribly, horribly wrong. Today we learn that the Keane Kids’ heads are grossly distended due to whatever monstrous science is required to keep them alive indefinitely, as they are transplanted from one child’s body to another — and really, the less time spent dwelling on how exactly those bodies are acquired, the better. “How old was my head in this picture?” Jeffy asks, his immortal life being nothing more to him than an undifferentiated blur of surgeries and tiny bodies that eventually fail and wither.

Gasoline Alley, 9/7/16

Speaking of awful nightmare visions, two members of Gasoline Alley’s extended cast are, for reasons I’m not even going to bother going into here, engaged in a little light accidental-woods-birth action. I’m sure this will turn out fine and not be nightmarish at all, but I am super unsettled by the array of woodland creatures, eagerly watching to see the baby’s head crown with big, adorable, staring, unblinking eyes.

Mary Worth, 9/7/16

“So, wait, you’re telling me there’s a pill … that I can take … when I have an unbearable urge to take another kind of pill? This new pill sounds great! I’m just gonna swallow a whole bottle’s worth all at once!”