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On the other hand, how menacing can a little boy in a suit jacket be?

Dick Tracy, 5/26/09

Dick Tracy may be a thug whose joy in enforcing the rights of the powerful are matched only by his delight in the anguished screams of his dying enemies, but you have to admit that, as panel one indicates, he has a pretty philosophical attitude about death, presumably because he’s seen so damn much of it. “Yeah, go ahead, ludicrously dressed card-themed villain, put a bullet in my head. What other kind of fate could possibly be awaiting me? At least I’ll be released from this world of suffering, where you’re either enduring pain or dishing it out. I’m just going to stare grimly ahead at you, not even giving you the pleasure of seeing my eyes opened widely; I reserve that for truly remarkable events, like, say, if I’m miraculously saved by you getting shot in the spine and presumably paralyzed for life.”

Dennis the Menace, 5/26/09

Is it really “menacing” if Dennis is doing what many would like to do, yet dare not, due to social conventions — berating people shouting into their cellphones inappropriately in public, for instance? Perhaps not, in and of itself. But look at the flummoxed, vaguely guilty expression on this fellow’s face. He’s already eating dinner out by himself; now his one attempt at human interaction has been stymied, and everyone else in the restaurant is staring at him, increasing his self-consciousness. Presumably he’ll hang up the phone, quickly wolf down his food, and leave in embarrassment, going home to his lonely, empty apartment to cry. Perhaps this is an act of true menacing — or perhaps Dennis is menacing us by showing us the real human consequences of our hidden desires.

Shoe, 5/26/09

Ha ha, it’s funny because shitting something something the economy!

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