Gasoline Alley, 2/28/14
Who knew that even with the Tommy’s triumphant return to Mary Worth it’d be Gasoline Alley that would have me riveted? I will keep bringing you reports of this formerly peaceful town’s descent into an awful bloodbath. Today the representatives of the media, ostensibly there to report on the carnage, turn on each other as society’s rules break down and the battle between print and broadcast news outlets is suddenly very much no longer metaphorical.
Six Chix, 2/28/14
It’s true: our privacy and autonomy under siege. Our own governments snoop on our communications incessantly; for white-collar workers who spend all day at their computers, their own employers are a more immediate threat, since all corporate emails and IMs are carefully monitored. Thus, our spooked office crowd has fallen back to the most primitive method of exchanging information: whispering to one another. THERE I TRIED TO MAKE SENSE OF THIS CARTOON I REALLY TRIED NOW I’M TIRED GONNA GO LIE DOWN FOR A WHILE
After all these years of mocking this strip, I still can’t tell if the central conceit is supposed to be “pluggers are lower-middle-class exurban reactionaries” or just “pluggers are old.” Honestly, I think it wavers from day to day. Today’s panel I’m tentatively putting into the second of those two buckets, because while I wasn’t aware of this particular joy of aging, I also can’t imagine that it has anything particularly to do with anybody’s socio-cultural position within the American mosaic. So, leg-baldness is a thing? A thing that I’m going to have to look forward to? Greeeat.
Dennis the Menace, 2/27/14
Dennis has a known hatred of books and learning, so I guess it’s no surprise that his distorted, terrified vision of his own literate future involves hours of slogging through endless words in dull, aniconic tomes. Still, you can understand why he’s sad about giving up his current reading material, since it looks super rad. Is it about lions driving cars? Lions attacking cars? Just a bunch of lions, stone-cold flipping over cars, and mauling any panicked passengers attempting to flee?
Gasoline Alley, 2/27/14
Gasoline Alley has always been a strip of gentle, low-stakes whimsy — it once had a plot about trying to get a DVD player working that lasted for more than a month — and so it’s always thrilling with the action suddenly bursts into insane violence. When Slim hired a mercenary to drop tons of space-rock on some basketball-playing teens who annoyed him, the story was at least kind of cartoonish. Today’s strip, in which, as predicted, society has completely broken down into chaos due to rumors of the existence of an immortality elixir, seems much more realistic. The foregrounding of the actual jackboots of the billy-club wielding police charging into the melee to brutally restore order is a particularly vivid artistic choice.
Mary Worth, 2/25/14
This current storyline would be fantastic enough if it only featured the return of Tommy (who, despite having no dialogue today, is satisfying my need for Tommy-related content with his hilariously theatrical moping in panel one); but as a bonus, it’s also featuring Wilbur’s desperate, transparent attempt to win back his true love Iris! I have a special place in my heart for this pairing, considering that the very first Mary Worths I covered on this blog, nearly ten years ago, involved Wilbur asking Iris out on a date and then processing endlessly with his daughter about it. Nice to compare those old strips to today’s and see that his arms are as hairy and virile as ever! Anyway, never forget that today’s panel two — in which our combed-over lothario idly strokes one of his chins and explains that he’s decided to not do half of his fairly undemanding job — represents Wilbur “turning on the charm.”
Mark Trail, 2/25/14
While Jessica Canupp may turn out to be virtuous, I definitely remain convinced that her boyfriend Marlin is up to no good, what with his constant suspicion of Mark and now his refusal to help make Rusty’s dreams of a mounted, taxidermied fish looming over his bed come true. In unrelated news, I’m an unrepentant city slicker and thus have no idea how one transports a game fish to a taxidermist, but if panel two is any guide I guess you wrap it tightly in a neat cylinder of paper? My first suspicions were that Mark had brought a freakishly enormous baguette to his hosts for dinner, or perhaps a giant novelty cigar for everyone to enjoy afterwards.
Gasoline Alley, 2/25/14
Oops, it turns out that this terrible Fountain of Youth riot was just a cover story for one of Gasoline Alley’s occasional mass orgies. Molly Ballew almost slipped up and informed everyone who hadn’t been invited! How awkward!
This turtle’s shell, which was literally a part of his skeletal system, was apparently mortgaged and foreclosed upon, or perhaps was seized in some sort of brutal bankruptcy settlement, because he’s been unemployed for months and months. Today’s B.C. is super fucking depressing, in other words.