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Comics archive! Hi and Lois

“There’s a man down in the water buffalo pen!” is my new catchphrase

Dick Tracy, 12/5/16

It’s no secret that, once the days of Dick Tracy’ violent insanity ended in 2011 (with a storyline that concluded with a villain in a bondage mask being eaten alive by rats) and a new creative team took over, I stopped focusing much on the strip here, mostly because it just wasn’t such an object of sick fascination for me any more. There hasn’t been anything particularly dramatically different about the current plotline, yet somehow it’s really caught my imagination with its string of low-key absurdities as it shambled from “a mean Congresslady wants to put space aliens in concentration camps” to “a guy who can’t stop taking selfies is lying low at the zoo.” Anyway, today’s strip particularly tickled me, mostly because of Dick’s line in the first panel. “Another storage area? Who knew that zoos had so much stuff that they needed to store? When am I going to get to stop looking in areas where things are stored and start shooting people in the face?” Don’t worry, Dick, I’m pretty sure that getting cattle prodded in the back is very much something that the Major Crime Unit’s internal review board will be glad to let you get extremely trigger happy over!

Dennis the Menace, 12/5/16

Wow, Dennis the Menace turned into bondage porn so gradually we barely noticed!

Hi and Lois, 12/5/16

Wow, Hi and Lois turned into a crushingly realistic depiction of a couple exhausted by parenthood and slowly losing whatever residual affection they had for each other so gradually we barely noticed!

The Lockhorns, 12/5/16

Is this the first time we’ve seen the top of Leroy’s head? I don’t care for it. I don’t care for it at all.

Mary Worth, 12/5/16

[I run up the stairs and throw open the door to the rooftop]

[I’m on the roof of an apartment building in a dreary metropolis]

[It’s pouring rain]

[I run to the edge of the roof and with a great heave pull aside a huge tarp]

[Underneath it is an ancient-looking spotlight]

[I throw a huge switch on its side]

[electricity surges into it and huge shaft of light beams into the sky]

[something’s written on the spotlight, something that’s now visible across the city]

[everyone for miles around cranes their necks to read the message written on the clouds]

MARY WORTH IS ABOUT TO GIVE A FORTYSOMETHING WOMAN ADVICE ABOUT WHETHER IT’S OK TO FUCK A 25-YEAR-OLD.

The real menace is a world which is less amenable to correction by human effort than Dennis imagines

Dennis the Menace, 11/30/16

I’m a little concerned about why Henry looks so very miserable in this panel. I’m wavering between “He secretly can’t get enough of Dennis’s humiliations of various adults and is profoundly sad that without his glasses he can’t make out the expression on this optometrist’s face” and “Dennis is cracking wise to cut the tension after the optometrist just sucker-punched Henry for no reason.”

Hi and Lois, 11/30/16

Somewhere deep in the HQ of Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC, a cigar-chomping executive is growling angrily at various cowering hacks. “Boys,” he says, “we used to own the comic-strip baby thing. Everyone loves Trixie, and she gets a solid 20% of the jokes in Hi and Lois. But have you seen this?” He waves multiple printouts of Marvin strips aggressively. “This little bastard is the only baby in his family. And he just makes poop jokes nonstop. I thought people loved Trixie’s sweet relationship with sunbeam.” He sighs heavily. “But I guess it’s a new world now.”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/30/16

Wait, Sarah is taking the bus now? Like a common poor? I know it’s awkward being dependent on violent gangsters to transport your child to and from her elite private school, but it seems like some extremely hasty decisions have been made here.

Mary Worth, 11/30/16

The best part about today’s Mary Worth is that Zak thinks this date is going great.

Pretty sure Trixie’s doing the baby version of the “Keep On Truckin’” walk

Hi and Lois, 11/26/16

I just spent a lot more time and effort than I’m comfortable admitting trying and failing to remember what the name of Chip’s garage band used to be; all I could come up with is that the first word was “NOYZ” (was it “Noyz II Men”? Dare we dream we live in such a perfect world?). Anyway, I think we can all agree that whatever it was, it was a better name than “Big Bad Wolf,” which maybe is just the name they use when they get paying gigs where they have to play classic rock for Boomers, to subsidize their more cutting-edge punk stuff.

Dick Tracy, 11/26/16

Vic was so obnoxiously holier-than-thou in his first appearance in this plot that I’ve really been enjoying the fact that ever since he’s demonstrated one ethical foible after another, from easy bribeability to compulsive gambling to today’s cartoonish on-the-job drunkenness. It’s sad that supposed hood Selfy is the only one around here still sticking to the sacred Zookeeper’s Code, which states in no uncertain terms that when the guys down at the big cat exhibit call for help, you get over there as soon as possible. Anyway, Selfy’s going to get eaten by a tiger, probably!