Gasoline Alley, 3/14/14
Well thank goodness the violent chaos is over in Gasoline Alley! Now we can get back to the strip’s stock in trade: long, drawn-out hyperrealism that hammers home the ennui of middle-class American life. Look forward to the next six weeks of “There’s a problem with Sheezix’s tickets,” which ought to rival the mannered intensity of 2012′s “Sheezix tries to return a DVD player” and 2011′s “Sheezix tries to fix his washing machine.”
Mary Worth, 3/14/14
Wow, this strip is suddenly leaning pretty hard on the “Tommy’s salvation is a post office job” thing. Are potential employees so afraid that the financially troubled agency will collapse that it’s being forced to woo the unemployable to apply for jobs with paid storylines in Mary Worth? “Ex-con? Ex-drug addict? Career opportunities in the U.S. Postal Service await you! If you can make mail-related puns in your mind, we want you!”
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.