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Comics archive! Dennis the Menace

Dennis should join a band of child pickpockets on the Metro and never look back

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Dennis the Menace, 4/7/14

OK, so I get that if you came up with a joke about “what if the Venus de Milo wanted to do some texting, but she couldn’t? eh? eh? because she hasn’t got any arms? eh?” and you had a nationally syndicated comic panel where your jokes could go, this would be hard to resist. That said, there’s a lot of setup to this joke that has to be glossed over, with the most important aspect being that the Venus de Milo is in the Louvre, which means that the Mitchells, who have never been seen before doing anything more exotic than driving to tourist traps in their station wagon, have packed up Dennis and taken him to France. I feel like we were deprived a number of potential gags of various menacing levels here — Dennis sullenly resists Margaret’s attempt to teach him even a rudimentary amount of French, Dennis announces at the TSA checkpoint that he’s packed something dangerous and/or alive in his suitcase, Dennis loudly says “But dad, he doesn’t look like a frog at all!” in front of a Frenchman Henry is trying to impress, etc. Honestly, the fact that they’re standing in front of a topless statue means that a Dennis-makes-reference-to-human-sexuality-and-everyone-is-uncomfortable is a much more likely and entertaining scenario here than some dumb texting joke.

Hagar the Horrible, 4/7/14

So it appears that, while concubinage was common in early Norse society, Vikings didn’t really practice polygamy except at the very top of the social pyramid, and certainly Hagar, the leader of a smallish and incompetent war band, doesn’t qualify. Nevertheless, this strip is an interesting look at how attitudes might differ in a culture where marriages are thought of not primarily as a romantic attachment between two people but as a basic unit of economic production.

Funky Winkerbean, 4/7/14

Oh, it looks like Jess is going to take another stab at making a movie about her dad, John Darling! She has to refer to him as “my dad, John Darling” whenever she brings him up, because she only brings him up every year or so. Anyway, today she acknowledges that all human endeavor is basically a race against the final destruction of our planet, a race that can seem easy to lose when you’re smothered under a heavy blanket of depressive torpor.

Better Half, 4/7/14

At last, Stanley has found a phone sex line that caters to his fairly specific needs.

Mostly soapy Wednesday

Mary Worth, 4/2/14

Just as I had hoped, this Mary Worth Tommy storyline is so amazing that its amazingness is bleeding over into the non-Tommy parts, including Iris and Wilbur going on this fantastic sandwich date. (The date, as Monday’s strip revealed, is taking place at “Jerry’s Sandwich Shop,” which was presumably once a humble lunch counter that Wilbur single-handedly transformed into what’s clearly a full-service sandwich palace, because he bought so many sandwiches.) As you can see in panel one, Wilbur has purchased the Longer Than It Is Wide Special, whereas Iris went with the more standard Perfectly Square model. Both sandwiches are, in keeping with Jerry’s relentless focus on quality, entirely monochromatic, with bread, ingredients, and condiments all the same uniform orange color. In panel two, our two lovebirds show themselves to be true sandwich aficionados: just as a wine connoisseur will take a deep sniff out of their glass and swirl a swig around in their mouth to appreciate the subtle flavors rather than just gulp their wine down thoughtlessly, Wilbur and Iris will spend twenty minutes rubbing their sandwiches against their lips while staring ahead with dull, lifeless eyes, in order to really get the most of out their Jerry’s experience.

Mark Trail, 4/2/14

I know Mark Trail is basically the Kama Sutra of ludicrously stilted dialogue, but “No sir, I would just like to speak to Mr. Trail!” strikes me as even more like something a group of aliens wearing an ill-fitting human skin-suit would say than usual. This may explain why, sometime between panels one and two, our friendly policeman lost two inches and got a different haircut and head-shape.

Dennis the Menace, 4/2/14

“Dennis reveals his parents’ financial troubles to horrified partygoers” is definitely a step up in the menace game! Also, kudos for the municipal water district in the Mitchells’ leafy suburb for calling with shutoff warnings after business hours, I guess?

Apartment 3-G, 4/2/14

I guess Lily is just going to have wait back in the car for however long it’s going to take for newly near-widowed Tommie to strike up a flirtatious romance with Dr. Riley, the sassy large animal vet. “Wait a minute, Josh,” you’re asking. “How can you be sure they’re flirting? Also, where’s this horse they’re talking about?” The answer to both questions is that that “horse” and “colt” are both euphemisms for Dr. Riley’s penis.

Plato’s Midtown pre-war apartment

Apartment 3-G, 3/28/14

God bless Lu Ann Powers and her willingness to embrace the utter ontological uncertainty of existence that most of us desperately try to keep at bay at all times. Are there towns up the Hudson from New York that sometimes exist, but then sometimes don’t? Maybe! It’s a crazy world! Object permanence is an illusion our minds create so the constant quantum flux of our universe doesn’t drive us insane! Will somebody find a “home” for a baby deer, even though nobody keeps deer as pets, because they’re wild animals who live in the woods? It could happen! She’s a very pretty deer! Or at least she seems so to me! We cannot trust the evidence of our senses!

Dennis the Menace, 3/28/14

Oh, come now, Dennis, don’t be coy! God revels in tales of carnage! Have you read the Old Testament? It’s all smiting this and plagues that and turning temples of rival gods into mass graves/public toilets. Tell him everything and spare no details!

Family Circus, 3/28/14

That’s some pretty sassy talk from an eight-year-old wearing a dress shirt and tie under a powder blue sweater, Billy.

Gil Thorp, 3/28/14

Well, it looks like we’ve hit our Spring Storyline Meet-Cute, where Lucky Haskins and Amy Lange will find true love if they don’t accidentally stab each other in the throat first. Also, did you know that wealthy people with very specific fetishes — languorous noodle-slurping, say — will pay good money to artists to “hide” images they find erotic in plain sight in newspapers across America? I brought that fact up for no particular reason.

Marvin, 3/28/14

don’t think about Marvin doing “number three” don’t think about Marvin doing “number three” DON’T THINK ABOUT MARVIN DOING “NUMBER THREE”