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Mr. Wilson goes postal

Dennis the Menace, 6/6/10

Let’s pass over for the moment the fact that if, as I’d guess, Mr. Wilson is around 75, he himself would have grown up with the first generation of comic book superheroes, and thus would not find Dennis’s own media consumption choices to be so sneer-worthy; let’s ignore too his seeming assumption that Dennis would view a world where basic services were performed by humans to be baffling and alien, as if he lived in a culture where people were tended at all times by advanced robots. Instead, let’s focus on the middle panel of the bottom row, in which Dennis imagines Mr. Wilson’s mail-delivery alter ego as a wild-eyed psychopath, who presumably used his job dealing with the public and the protection of his public employees’ union to go on a years-long killing spree that no doubt held the entire city in terror.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/6/10

When comics strips lavish loving energy on the depictions of the ass-cracks of adults, it can be kind of sexy! When they lavish the same amount of attention on the ass-cracks of prepubescent children, it’s just disturbing.

99 responses to “Mr. Wilson goes postal”

  1. Luban
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:36 am [Reply]

    Mr. Wilson looks a bit like this mailman.

  2. Carly
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:37 am [Reply]

    I have to say I do kind of like the touch that Dennis’s imaginary Mr. Wilson who’s working as a mailman doesn’t look any younger. Because presumably being six or however old he’s supposed to be, he can’t imagine Mr. Wilson as a young man.

  3. Baka Gaijin
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:39 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#Y73) on My Cage: “Okay, obviously Rat and Mary are the last two standing, but how do you think things play out before that? Franklin and Dolly could last a while, but I just can’t figure out whether Les or Cathy would be the first to die.

    Cathy’s incessant complaining about her thunderthighs and bathing suits and incessant AACK!!!ing gets on everyone’s last nerves within the first 10 minutes but will be separated from the living only after Rat and Dolly team up to shove 15 dozen Ho-Ho’s down her yappy cakehole. Les makes a moony remark about Cathy saying hello to his dead wife. Franklin, infuriated by Les’ lack of sensitivity and general whininess, does Les in, ironically, with the manuscript he’d been smirkily waving under everyone’s noses. This depraved act makes “News of the Weird.”

    Surprisingly, Mary’s the next one. She literally burns herself out meddling the two dying members of the house. As the last flickers of life depart them, Mary’s screaming plattitudes at a pace faster than the FedEx man on speed in order to “help” them in her own special way before they meet St. Peter. Her meddilicus orbicularis oris muscle goes up in flames due to friction, the fire spreading quickly to her meticulously Aqua Netted helmet hairdo. The conflagration really begins when burning hair meets doubleknit polyester pantsuit jacket. Rat thoughtfully toasts marshmallows.

    Rat, for his own amusement, gets Franklin and Dolly to duel to mutual deaths. Dolly hilariously misconstrues “bun” for “gun.” Just as Franklin is pulling the trigger on his 9mm Luger, she tosses the overly iced cupcake onto his face. Unfortunately for her, little brother don’t miss when he aims his gun. It’s now known that Dolly was more clever than her melonheaded appearance let on. That frosting contained 87% strychnine! Rat thoughtfully, and using an F Dick Palette knife, tastefully “decorated” the remaining carcasses to assure no miraculous recoveries.

    Cue Rat storming the producer’s office to snag the winnings, calling in Snuffles for backup when the producer balks. No one knows what happens as the video snaps to static just as what appears to be an FGM-148 Javelin missile flies through the window.

    repost from yesterthread. I want to see what others’ scenarios would be.

  4. Z
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Really, Dennis? I would say that this points to a recycled strip from the 80′s, which would also have had Mr. Wilson grow up in the 1910′s and be baffled by those new-fangled superheroes…but these days 80′s pop culture is kind of everywhere, so I *guess* I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt…

  5. Aviatrix
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    @Comcis Fan (#149): Eye colour in Mary Worth is a function of proximity. The more looming the close-up, the bluer the eyes. Weird, but at least it’s not Rusty.

  6. Mars
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    Monday’s Judge Parker is going on joshreads for sure. If it doesn’t, he’ll have some explaining to do.

    @Z (#4): The Ninja Turtles have been back since 2003. Dennis could be watching that show. Check your listings for “The CW 4Kids” block. Their new show has actually been pretty great, adhering to the original comics more, and had the personal involvement of co-creator Peter Laird, but it just ended.

    Laird and Mirage Studios sold the TMNT to Nickelodeon. They’ll appear there next, but probably not as good.

  7. bunivasal
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    Apparently before he was a talk show host, Space Ghost delivered milk.

  8. Map
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:51 am [Reply]

    Snuffy’s rules do not include those of time and space, allowing him to appear both in front of and behind the jail bars.

  9. Anonymous
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    Jeanna Thomas is so proud of Bonnie that she spends two days happily mooning over her charts. Wonder if its the felt markers or the white-out that causes that.

    And at June, Brook & Bud’s dumpster, there’s an ad campaign to allow texting to 911.

    When ordered too, Prudence prudently stays put. Like there’s a choice in Prince Valiantland?

    Doonesbury: Again, congrats to Drew and Alex for graduating MIT!

    Whoa, I did not see this coming: Duke is with BP at the oil spill, talking with a self-pitying top dawg! As if real life weren’t weird enough!

  10. Anonymous
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#3):

    Sorry, you lost me at the Ho-Ho’s. Had to go make a shopping list. Now you were sayin’?

  11. ElkMeadow
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:55 am [Reply]

    Ack! I posted as Anonymous at #9 & 10!! So sorry! *cringe*

  12. curlyfries
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:57 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (Y#148): That was batted around quite a while ago, and I think was actually Poteet who first came up with the notion that Bill was missing vital equipment. Full circle!

  13. cj
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:57 am [Reply]

    Menace:
    …and the copyright lawsuit from Marvel begins.

    Snuffy:
    The loophole is that while the jailhouse has brick walls, there’s no foundation to break through, so digging your way to escape is easy. Plus, the town’s coffers are too dry to pay deputies, so all felonies, misdemeanors, and breakouts occur not only on the sheriff’s off hours, but also whenever he’s occupied with one criminal.

  14. bats :[
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    I demand hearsay, rumor and wild, unsubstantiated conjecture! Is that so much to ask?

  15. Stu
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:00 am [Reply]

    Jughaid is slipping and is about to fall backward, which can only be a good thing.

  16. ElkMeadow
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:03 am [Reply]

    @Carly (#2):

    Because presumably being six or however old he’s supposed to be, he can’t imagine Mr. Wilson as a young man.

    Excellent point. Although he can imagine him as crazy/

  17. curlyfries
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:05 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#14): OMG, it’s whitebeard professorial phone sex! blearggghvomitvomitpukechoke

  18. grg
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    When I read Barney Google and Snuffy Smith I pretend Jughaid is a younger Jughead from Archie Comics. It’s a lot better that way.

  19. ElkMeadow
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:11 am [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#17):

    Aw, crap. Now we’re getting Shannon’s back-story. So now we know Toni’s parents are dead, and we’re point-blank told that Shannon is her brother’s kid, even though she’s been around since BEFORE Toni (Luann used to babysit her in the last century), and even though she’s been introduced before as Toni’s cousin. As noted above, DTM has better continuity.

    And I’ve still got the call out that T.J. and Gunther are half-brothers from the same father.

  20. Canaduck
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:12 am [Reply]

    It took me a couple of minutes to figure out what the hell the first two panels of Barney Google were supposed to mean, and now all I can think about is the fact that “Uncle Snuffy” is behind two of the jailbars and in front of one of them. I’m mad.

  21. Revenge of Chesnut
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    I like Mrs. Wilson’s snarky comment in the second panel, because she knows damn well her husband is loafing in front of the television, ranting incomprehensibly about the “good ol’ days” like he has been every day since they bought their first TV set sixty years ago.

  22. Snuggs
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:18 am [Reply]

    Maybe Mr. Wilson is just cosplaying as David Berkowitz? Hey, the ability to communicate with dogs counts as a superpower in my book.

  23. Poteet
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#12): Yep, I did come up with that notion, thanks. At this point, the notion is more of a fervent wish. But alas, it probably won’t be fulfilled — most likely Bill has been hiding out for years because he was busy rubbing scar cream on his skin and working to define his abs.

    @ElkMeadow (#19): Hey, you’re right! I remember when Shannon was a cousin. Of course Brook in RMMD has also shifted roles from cousin to niece. Maybe it’s a trend.

  24. NoahSnark
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    That panel makes Mr. Wilson look like the type of mail man who goes around biting dogs.

  25. Kevin Moore
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    “Nice pest” — a new low in Dennis’ failure to menace.

  26. curlyfries
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:44 am [Reply]

    9CWL: His name is Earl? Now why does this remind me of a TV show? Oh, uh, never mind…

    Edie apparently never understood what the phone is for, preferring to keep showing up at Don Yancey’s unlocked office to notify him about each tedious little development of her engagement. And apparently intelligence officer Don Yancey never understood what either a filing cabinet or a lock is for, since it’s so much more efficient to leave important medical records and personnel files out on his desk for every idle passerby to see. Helpfully illuminated by a desk lamp, just in case they might be tempted to overlook things.

    Christ, no wonder the Bay of Pigs was such a fiasco.

    MW: Uh, advising a shopaholic to “reduce her credit card usage” is about as helpful as telling an alcoholic to cut back on his drinking. Moderation, for addicts, isn’t a workable concept. And since Bonnie’s only been seeing her for about a week, of course “so far so good”. This nose-picking idiot would be giving out cakes to celebrate a full 24 hours of sobriety at AA.

  27. Steve the Pocket
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    This must be either a retread of a much older strip or just the product of writers who have, as usual, forgotten that their elderly characters’ dates of birth are supposed to slide along with the rest of the timeline. Not only because Mr. Wilson supposedly grew up before superheroes were invented, but because he supposedly grew up in the age of non-electric iceboxes.

    I am curious about “Laundryman” though. I have never heard of hired laundry men before, and I can’t begin to guess when they existed or why.

  28. curlyfries
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:52 am [Reply]

    Holy crap, it’s Mr. Wilson! Hey, Dennis Rader looks a helluva lot less deranged than ol’ George in the next to last panel. He was a census field worker and a Complance Department Supervisor – does that make him a superhero? If he’s BTKman, then the possibilities are endless. And very disturbing. Maybe even, dare I say it, menacing?

  29. fluffy
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:15 am [Reply]

    It took me a few re-lookings-at of the comic to realize that Jughaid was sitting with his back to us and that those were his buttocks, not his knees. I hate you for making me scrutinize the details of a Snuffy Smith.

  30. FOOBed again
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:24 am [Reply]

    @Steve the Pocket (#27): People used to send their laundry out to be done before automatic washers and dryers became popular, and before there were self-serve laundromats. Check out the fifth paragraph of this article. I’m thinking this didn’t happen much after the late 1940′s because most people probably used washing machines by then, either their own or in a laundromat or their apartment house laundry room.

  31. curlyfries
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    @Steve the Pocket (#27): Think Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, but without the van! (*) Just like milkmen used to deliver milk and take away the glass empties, “take in” laundries had their drivers pick up dirty shirts, sheets, hankies, socks, undies, towels and the like in a big ol’ laundry bag, and return them, freshly laundered. (My grandmother worked in one during the Depression.) And in the days before disposables, diaper services used to pick up your child’s poopy nappies and drop off clean ones.

    If you had a large household or didn’t want to waste all your time at a scrubboard and mangle, or lived in an apartment and didn’t own them, and had no access to a clothesline (remember, no dryers, then), you’d use a take-in laundry. (Breathless Mahoney escaped in one such laundry truck in Dick Tracy back in ’45.) While automatic washers appeared in the ’40′s, coin-operated laundromats, for people who either couldn’t afford them, or didn’t own their own homes, didn’t make their appearance until the 1950′s.

    However, the early owners were largely absentee, and didn’t understand the nature of a coin-operated business; the machines were often damaged and the stores were prone to vandalism. People figured it was worth their while to keep on with the laundry service rather than have to sit and watch their clothing. It wasn’t until the 1960′s that the owners wised up and figured out how to make the self-serve laundry business pay.

  32. BigTed
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    From the looks of Mr. Wilson in his “mailman” uniform, I’d say he’s hiding his true past as a tyrannical officer in some European fascist dictatorship.

  33. ElkMeadow
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#31):

    This is why I read this site. Love the history info (and the squee!)

  34. ElkMeadow
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:35 am [Reply]

    @FOOBed again (#30):

    Great article!

    Also, when my dad was a young white farm boy, the family down the road did laundry. They invested in a washer machine and were able to make a decent (though not “uppidy”) income. It was twenty-five years after I first heard the story of the Burgess family that did laundry that I learned that they were black.

    Also, a laundry woman (married to a soldier) on a military base out in the West could make more money than some of the junior officers.

  35. Josh
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#26): Edie apparently never understood what the phone is for, preferring to keep showing up at Don Yancey’s unlocked office to notify him about each tedious little development of her engagement.

    I hate myself for following this strip enough to care, though I haven’t been following closely enough to actually have all the details straight. Doesn’t Edie actually work for Yancey? Like, as his secretary or something? Or as a spy? Or both, somehow?

    Josh

  36. Donkey Hotey
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    @Steve the Pocket (#27): What FOOBed again #30 said. Also, if you read much literature from the 1920s and ’30s you’ll encounter mention of “bachelor apartments” as a specific type of apartment (not just a messy one) — they had no kitchens! Evidently many middle and upper-middle class fellas of that era were completely incapable of domestic chores such as laundry and cooking.

  37. curlyfries
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#33): One stop shopping: laundry squee!!

  38. Ktrout
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    Oh yeah, that’s right, Mr. Wilson used to be a mailman. Except for a few years in the seventies, when he was Augusto Pinochet.

  39. Anonymous
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:48 am [Reply]

    Why is Snuffy Smith in front of that middle prison bar?

  40. Steve the Pocket
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:54 am [Reply]

    And on with today’s snark:

    Baldo: Clearly, since you just told your dad to “Control-Z” on a Mac.

    Cleats: Man, all this comic needs is an “If [insert software company of your choice] ran a water park” caption.

    Curtis: Bill Watterson once joked that historians would credit him as the first newspaper cartoonist to use the word “booger”. With all due respect to the man, I daresay being the first one to use “booty hump” is a much cooler honor. And being the guy who let it go to print is one that will get his editor fired very soon.

    Edison Lee: I have to give this strip credit for doing a modern technology related gag that’s original and kind of funny, and obscure enough to baffle older readers to boot.

    Family Circus: Kid, not only are you personally old enough to remember before Justin Bieber got his contract, from what I hear, you’re probably old enough to remember when he was born. *audience groans*

    Hagar the Horrible: Buh-ZING. And on an added note, HEY! HAGAR MADE AN ACTUAL JOKE TODAY!

  41. loudfan
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:56 am [Reply]

    Is the “Officer Potus” character in Pearls Before Swine, who wants the zebra to “compromise” by giving the crocs a hand or limb, supposed to be a swipe at President Obama? (POTUS = President of the United States)

  42. Ian
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:59 am [Reply]

    Dennis appears to be growing up in the late ’80s/early ’90s as I did, being that he’s watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

  43. Kibo
    June 7th, 2010 at 3:15 am [Reply]

    When Mr. Wilson calls Dennis “a nice pest”, it officially marks the moment when the last wisp of its former soul evaporates from the long-zombified “Dennis The Menace”. Subsequent installments will depict how nice it is to share niceness with all the nice people because nice comics should be nice for nice people. It will be like “Love Is…” with pants.

    “Oh my GOLLY! Dennis just committed another random act of kindness! What a wuvvable widdle menace!”

  44. Anonymous
    June 7th, 2010 at 3:18 am [Reply]

    @Kibo (#43): So what you’re saying is that “Dennis the Menace” has turned into “Rose is Rose,” right?

  45. Black Drazon
    June 7th, 2010 at 3:26 am [Reply]

    DtM: Mr. Wilson isn’t alone in the crazy-eyed department. Everyone else in the comic is one stubbed toe away from bathing in the blood of the innocent. Well, except Dennis. Psychosis is sort of like menacing, so that goes without saying.

    (And is it just me, or does Iceman look like someone out of Hark! A Vagrant or hiimdaisy’s work, if anyone here reads that?)

  46. True Fable
    June 7th, 2010 at 3:29 am [Reply]

    Dennis lost his License to Menace long ago. It’s not enough that babysitters don’t want to look after him and he refuses to take part in Margaret’s tea parties. Any self-respecting kid does that. No, it’s the caving in to adults that was his downfall.

    Dennis, the truly Menace-worthy do not give adults a pass; they don’t become ‘nice pests’. Truly menacing little shavers are relentless in their modis operendi. Is that Daddy’s boss? Tell that fucker what disparaging phrase Daddy called him this week! Is Mrs. Snooty talking to Mommy? Tell the bitch how much Mommy hates her wide-load ass! Is that the vicar? Ask him how many choirboys he’s bent over lately! And make sure to ask him on Sunday in the vestibule so it can echo and be heard by all the parisioners! By God, that’s menacing! That’s deliberate assholiness for ya! Don’t just eat your neighbor’s wife’s cookies or walk in on him when he’s taking a bath – set his fucking kitchen on fire! Plug a toaster into a bathroom outlet and throw it up in the air while you’re in there! If you’re going to menace, Dennis, go all out! You used to, hell you used to be a holy terror back in your heyday! You used to terrorize the comics page! Now you are a disgrace.

    Oh I know, I know – Dairy Queen bought your soul and paid for it with counterfeit Green Stamps. You had to make nice for the sake of the Almighty Dollar; The Man set you up and then robbed you of the very thing that brought you to the party. You’re like what would happen if Fritz the Cat had been taken over and remade by Disney, you’re nothing but The Aristocats without the voice actors, the artists or the soundtrack. You’re nuthin’, boy; you lost your curveball, your slider and your fastball! You lost your edge, your hardshell, your balls!

    Once you were the toast of the town. You and the Keane kids and Nancy and Sluggo, Little Orphan Annie and Dondi, and Henry… man, you were all unstoppable. Rulers of the comics page because of your particular shticks. The Keanes had that hard-drinkin’ daddy to drive crazy and Nancy and Sluggo went for corny jokes and simple line drawings, man; simple lines and a hot auntie. L.O. Annie, she was class with all the cool serial story and big-shot artwork that looked busy and stuff. Dondi did all his damage with sheer stupidity and gullibility on his part – dude was a pro at helpless. He made Rusty Trail what he is today, whatever that is. Even Henry kicked ass and he never said a word: playa ruled, baby, he fuckin’ ruled.

    Look at you now. You know the real reason Annie quit, don’t you? – she couldn’t bear to see what’s become of you. Dennis the Menace, reduced to lame-ass avoidance of Margaret and smart-assed comments tossed over your shoulder at her. Where’s the heartbreak, where’s the “accidentally” broken dolls? Where’s the pig blood – okay, Henry suggested that but it took him ten panels to act it out. Dennis the Menace driven to complimenting Mr. Wilson, and for what? WHAT, Dennis? Because you’re weak, you’re soft? Soft didn’t drive Dondi off the page, boy; shitty stories drove him off but he excelled at shitty stories! He had that whole innocent boy betrayed-by-his-friends thing going on, that YOU were supposed to do to Joey! You were supposed to be Baldy Baldwin to Joey’s Dondi! But instead of being a perpetual patsy, Joey’s blazingly gay and you don’t have the menace points to make Mr. Wilson feel guilt over his single sweat droplet about it! You could do so much more but you don’t! You’re not doing your part, YOU ARE NOT MENACING!

    Don’t come crying to me and the ninja goats when you finally get to grade school, where Calvin pants you and sets your underwear on fire before the first day is out, and even Charlie Brown wails on your ass and send you home with Snoopy’s dog doo inside your shoes. You’re no menace, Dennis. You’re… you’re Cathy without a credit card. You’re Garfield without a tabletop. You’re Anthony without a cinnabun, that’s how low you’ve sunk.

    You can’t even out-menace Robin Patterson. Now that is pathetic.

    /rant
    Truman A. Fable
    on behalf of MenaceWatch 2010
    Greater Metropolitan Roopville chapter

  47. Black Drazon
    June 7th, 2010 at 3:29 am [Reply]

    Meanwhile in Judge Parker, Abbey takes on the tone of an 80′s Valley Girl in an attempt to communicate with the mysterious striped hourglass that has invaded her front porch and stolen her lemonade.

  48. curlyfries
    June 7th, 2010 at 4:00 am [Reply]

    @Josh (#35): Josh, after a stint broadcasting in the American sector of Berlin and then working for Radio Free Europe (only the pure and innocent need apply) Yancey “recalled” Edie back to NY where she works for him (apparently in a clerical capacity), which is what makes her never uncovering the hush-hush secret of Bill’s existance, or even checking up on Peter Kiesl’s whereabouts, even more idiotic ridiculous inane bizarre. During that crotchtastic pointing session when she’d told Yancey the “news,” that she was getting married and was her way to Vienna, I assumed she gave notice, but apparently she’s still showing up for work. Silly me, getting married and moving to Europe with zero notice takes absolutely no preparation, shopping or planning, I guess. Wait – the entire opera company will just wait around in NYC, cooling their heels, while Edie takes her sweet time pulling things together and training her replacement, amiright?

    “Recalling” her doesn’t make sense in the first place. Since she was never in any branch of service (USO doesn’t count) to “recall” her to the states implies she still worked for the OSS. Since Yancey is still addressed by his rank, yet wears mufti and has access to Bill’s file and medical records, he’s obviously still in some sort of intelligence (HA!) agency, but since the OSS was absorbed into the CIA in ’47, and it’s doubtful a high-ranking OSS officer would have wanted to transfer to the CIC, Brooke is obviously fudging like mad here. There’s no way the CIA would have continued to employ a civilian broadcaster for all that time after the war (RFE wasn’t even created until 1949).

    Edie would have had to pass a background check for the OSS, but still I fantasize that given her Austrian parentage she could have been interned with her parents as an enemy alien (it’s a fallacy that only Japanese were in camps here, over 30,000 Italian and German immigrants and their children, aka “potentially dangerous persons,” were incarcerated as well – many on Ellis Island, were they first came into the country.) While this would have saved all of us a lot of hair loss and kept Prevacid stock from soaring, we just weren’t that fortunate.

  49. GarrisonSkunk
    June 7th, 2010 at 4:04 am [Reply]

    I’m curious about Josh’s filing system to find past references. Does he have a bunch of notes such as ‘Nice adult ass drawing – 11/12/06′? Or did he just google ‘+”Comics Curmudgeon” +asscrack ‘ ?

  50. Sheila Sternwell
    June 7th, 2010 at 4:33 am [Reply]

    A3G: It’s too much to hope that it’s Bobbie on the phone, right?

    Archie: Mr. Svenson is played by lovable character actor El Brendel.

    PBS: Stay out of politics, Pastis. The elephant reference will piss off Republicans, the reference to the current POTUS will piss off Democrats, and no one will like you.

  51. Sheila Sternwell
    June 7th, 2010 at 4:38 am [Reply]

    Mr. Wilson is around 75, he himself would have grown up with the first generation of comic book superheroes, and thus would not find Dennis’s own media consumption choices to be so sneer-worthy

    I’m not so sure. My dad was a kid when Batman first premiered in 1939, yet by the 1960s when “Batman” was on TV, he loathed it. He hated his students who came in with Batman lunchboxes, who talked about last night’s episode of “Batman”, everything about it. I don’t know if it was because he was a purist who thought the campy show was undignified, or if he believed the “comics are evil” propaganda he grew up with. Anyhow, yeah, Mr. Wilson is almost as cranky as my dad, so I can see him irked that the current generations have sullied the fine names of his favorite superheroes.

  52. curlyfries
    June 7th, 2010 at 5:56 am [Reply]

    @Sheila Sternwell (#51): What sort of “comics are evil” attitude are you referring to – do you mean something specific to your dad? Because Little Orphan Annie was certainly considered wholesome, and Tarzan, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon were so popular that the movie studios serialized the adventures for the Saturday movie kiddie shows during the ’30′s. It was these clean-cut, elite (hey, Tarzan was a lord), athletic heroes that paved the way for the first heroes with super powers and for ordinary orphaned crimefighting rich guys with utility belts.

  53. Lucky
    June 7th, 2010 at 5:58 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean – “Of course anyone who didn’t laugh at my joke is no longer part of the family and can piss off.”

    Also, where’s Wally? Did he stick his head inside an oven already?

    Prickly City – Hey, what do you know, looks like not doing anything at all really got them out of that situation last week!

    Slylock Fox – Unspeakable filth! Also, why doesn’t Max need diving gear?

  54. Phred22
    June 7th, 2010 at 6:41 am [Reply]

    I’m old enough to recall Dennis back in the ’80s and earlier. Back then his TV idol was Cowboy Bob. Though Bob existed only in Dennis’s world, he seemed more out of the ’50s. So Dennis got 25-30 years behind the time real early.

  55. gleeb
    June 7th, 2010 at 6:48 am [Reply]

    Brenda: This is what you get when the writer ad artist are different: Bog-boy looks the same as ever, but someone says he cleans up well.

    ‘bean: Fat failure Funky is bad at encouraging the workers, too. Why not just go home and ignore his thieving son some more?

  56. Onib
    June 7th, 2010 at 7:06 am [Reply]

    Actually, I found this Dennis the Menace more disturbing to see that, even at his young age, Dennis already understands racial stereotypes and imagines Laundryman as an Asian. Menacing? No. Cringe-worthy? Maybe…

  57. Rocky Stoneaxe
    June 7th, 2010 at 7:24 am [Reply]

    @Carly (#2): Da Menace’s “stage age” is 5 1/2 and has been since tne strip started on March 12, 1951. Incidentally, the current issue of Reminisce magazine (May/June I believe) reprints a DtM Sunday from 1958. In full color yet!

  58. Mayzshon
    June 7th, 2010 at 7:30 am [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#52): I assume he’s talking about the “Seduction of The Innocent” by Fredric Wertham, and the congressional hearings. All that was more about comic books, rather than comic strips. as far as I can tell, the comic strips were generally held as wholesome, comic books as evil and corrupt.
    I don’t know if he invented it, but I’m pretty sure Wertham popularized the notion that Batman and Robin were gay lovers.

  59. Rocky Stoneaxe
    June 7th, 2010 at 7:58 am [Reply]

    @Mayzshon (#58): The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu is an excellent nonfiction book on the subject. Hajdu’s book was published in hardcover a couple of years ago, and rumor has it that some Hollywood producer wants to use it as the basis for a film biography of EC’s BILL GAINES!

  60. DanielMac
    June 7th, 2010 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    Fortunately, Snuffy was able to break out of M.C. Escher prison in time to deliver the punchline.

  61. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    June 7th, 2010 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    SFx: ummmm, that looks kinda wrong. . . . .

    6Cx: /facepalm

    JP: ooooooooo, YEAH! Neddy-tastic.

    HotC: *giggle*

    F-: y’know, she’s not drawn half bad, either.

    Dilbert: citing the obvious.

    SB: yeah, yeah, some people treat their pets as their kids. There’s often good reasons for it, too!

    OtH: o dear. This could be awesome, or it could be awful.

    posted before reading thread, apologies for any oversnark.

  62. Rocky Stoneaxe
    June 7th, 2010 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    Family Circus: Was Sweet Granny Keane some kind of mega-groupie who had sex with all those singers/band members? And any discussion of Justin Bieber’s “things” will have to wait until you’re older, Billy!

    Apt. 3-G: I hope this isn’t Bobbie reconnecting (literally) with Ari. Or does Dr. Feelgood like being the object of a crazy woman’s affections? Hey, it works for Les Moore!

  63. wanders
    June 7th, 2010 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    Looks like Margo is about to make an appearance in the 1949 Mary Worth’s we’ve been running at Mary Worth and Me. I’d love to see Josh snark on these masterpieces.

  64. Anonymous
    June 7th, 2010 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    … Or that Laundry Man is a squinty-eyed Chinese stereotype. Awesome.

  65. Mordock999
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    Today’s Luann – 06/07/10

    Toni – “Hurry Up, Brad! I’ve got to get back to Your House and pickup Shannon!”

    Brad – “Shannon, Shannon, Shannon! Thats ALL You talked about when we were out! I couldn’t even ENJOY the movie! WHERE the Hell’s her mother anyway and WHY can’t SHE take care of her for a change?”

    Toni – “Now, now Brad, lets leave Shannon’s mother OUT of this and put ALL the blame for Shannon’s lack of upbringing squarely on her “father”, My beloved brother!

    Brad – “Look Toni, I’ve got a good friend down at Social Services. They’d find a GREAT foster home for Shannon!”

    Toni – “BRAD, how DARE You! the answer is NO! Besides comic strip fans LOVE Cute, Annoying, Obnoxious kids! So if YOU want sleep with THIS every night, you’d better get used to Shannon because WE are ADOPTING her after we get married!”

    Brad – “WHAT!? Toni if YOU think for one minute that I’m…., Oh CRAP! “Blue Lights”! We’re being pulled over!”

    Officer – “License and Registration, please.”

    Brad – “HERE. Whats WRONG officer?”

    Officer – “You were speeding!”

    Brad – “But You don’t even have a RADAR!”

    Officer – “Don’t NEED one. The State Legislature has RULED that WE can pull people over using only OUR overactive imaginations. I DREAMED someone like you was SPEEDING last night. HOWEVER, since I see that you are with “Miss December”, Toni Daytona, I letting off with a WARNING. Now MOVE along!”

    Toni – “THANK You, Officer! Isn’t he NICE, Brad? Now HURRY and get to Your house, so We can pickup YOUR future step-daughter, Shannon!”

    Brad – “#@87$%!!!!!”

    _________________
    DEATH to TJ!!!

  66. Edgy DC
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Other jurisdictions deal with a rapscallion like Snuffy Smith by putting him behind bars a few days. In Hootin’ Holler, they wrap the bars around his fool head.

  67. AndyL
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    There’s MilkMan, also on patrol!

  68. Peripheral Visionary
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    MW: (Mary) I was glad to do it! They care for one another a great deal and just needed a little help! . . . And what about you, Dr. Roberts?

    (Dr. Roberts) Eh?

    (Mary) Do you need any help? Is there anything you need?

    (Dr. Roberts) No, I don’t think so . . .

    (Mary) Any way I can help you, Dr. Roberts . . .

    (Dr. Roberts) I think I’m doing OK for now.

    (Mary) Anything I can do for you, just let me know.

    (Dr. Roberts) Nope, doing fine.

    (Mary) Anything at all.

    (Dr. Roberts) Got an appointment . . . have to run!

  69. Master Softheart
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    JP: Um, where does one even find a shirt that will fit like that? You can almost see the grains of sand falling from her chest to her hips… it’s kind of stylistically awe-inspiring. Sadly, Abbey still looks subtly wrong in panel 1, I think, though her line in panel 2 makes up for it.

    Doonesbury: Ah, Mr. Andrews – another 1980′s character like “Havoc” resurrected to meet the needs of the new century. Like Herbert Block when asked if he was sad that the end of the Cold War meant he would be unable to use his Atomic Bomb character (a consistent figure on the WaPo editorial pages since the 1940′s), I wish we would never have news that justifies this guy’s return.

    GT: Today’s Gil Thorp(e) struck me as charming and funny, developing likable characters and an engaging storyline. The ironic raised eyebrow on the guy with glasses in panel 1 is an especially nice touch, as is the fact that Chance takes Cassie to playgrounds for their dates – this is one teenage couple that doesn’t play by the rules. Of course, this being Gil Thorp, the real accomplishment is the nearly linear narrative, but credit all around.

    FB: That might be the least engaging and most unjustified break in the 4th wall in comics history. Good to know that Fred’s delusional super-ego keeps up his self-esteem, though…

    Garfield: As if to make up for Fred, at least Garfield is fairly clever today.

  70. Andrusi
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    We had an Ice Man when I was a kid, too. His stage was a bitch, second only to Guts Man’s, but the fight against him was pretty easy if you already had Elec Man’s weapon.

  71. Master Softheart
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    Garfield addendum: the clever part being, of course, that “Echo Point” has a thought bubble rather than a voice.

  72. Ted
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    @Map (#8):

    I was wondering if anyone else caught that.

  73. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    Dennis Sunday – Mr. Wilson must have been the original model for Chester J. Lampwick’s “Manic Mailman” character.

    9CL – … drip … drip …

    AD – Here’s one of the kind of neat things about legacy strips. You see the ambition, even within the scope of drawing the characters as much like the originals as possible. The three-dimensional solidity of this scene (and it’s not a bad joke, either — it’s not even anachronistic, as the ants have always existed in the 1960s) with the designs still pretty much faithful to Hart’s is a visual treat akin to a well-drawn parody by Elder or Wood.

    Beetle – Why do I feel like I just saw Orville’s “O” face?

  74. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Blondie – Bernie Bunkley would never have put his hands that high up.

    Dick – In Dick’s world, we must follow Chekhov’s Law (modified): If you show a gun in acts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven…

    Dilbert – Somebody redraw the last panel of this with Les, Lisa, and Wally saying “Good one” and change the other words to “It’s called writing!”

    FamilyHow the hell old is Grandma supposed to be? [*]

    Mark“We live in the opposite direction… I guess we’ll never see her again! … Well, unless we go into town. But that’s just crazy talk! And it’s almost time for the Lone Ranger radio show.”

    Pluggers think an iPad must be some kind of first aid for your eye.

  75. Rocky Stoneaxe
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Uh, Diana, what possible good will it do to tell someone your name? On the other hand, telling a fellow prisoner that your lover/husband is the guy who probably put them in prison is a really bad idea!

    Funky Winkerbean: Where’s Wally, you ask? He’s out back with a twenty-dollar hooker and a bottle of Jim Beam!

  76. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Prickly – I don’t know what she is either, but I think she’s supposed to be some sort of human child, just like you’re supposed to be a coyote and the place you’re in is supposed to be Arizona and the lines around you mean that the thing you’re all in is supposed to be a topical humor strip.

    R=R – This has probably been going on for an hour. Time for Pasquale’s guardian angel to smite the unbelieving squirrel.

    Spidey – Those two are meant for each other. It takes him two hands to operate a TV remote, and it takes her two hands to use a cell phone.

    Tiger – You tell him, Stripe.

    Zippy – Good “lord” joke.

  77. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    @Black Drazon (#45): Everyone else in the comic is one stubbed toe away from bathing in the blood of the innocent. Superb phrasemanship there!

    @True Fable (#46): Preach it, brother! Gold Star for that oration! … Though even the comic Dennis’s most menacing day wasn’t as psychotically focused as TV Dennis (Jay North), who just seemed to be on a permanent, cheerful bender of destruction. “I’m gonna go ride my trike through Good Ol’ Mister Wilson’s flower bed! I’m gonna take his goldfish for a ride in my wagon! I’m gonna nail Good Ol’ Mister Wilson’s hide to the barn door! I’m gonna salt Good Ol’ Mister Wilson’s soil and listen to the lamentations of his woman!” (Oh, you should hear the voice I use for this speech.) He was a completely inexplicable curse of god against Good Ol’ Mister Wilson… and so successful that they had to bring in a ringer after he used the first Mr. W. up completely.

    @curlyfries (#52): Read Seduction of the Innocent by Doc Wertham, and you’ll see that the view was that anything with panels around it was evil for skatey-eight bazillion reasons. Tarzan promoted racism! Batman was a fairy! Classics Illustrated was a gorefest! And Doc Wertham (who was actually a bleeding heart liberal) hadn’t had a bestseller in a little while!

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#59): (and Mayzshon just before) – An even better source for a Gaines book would be Frank Jacobs’s biography, The MAD World of William Gaines, which just seems to get better every time I read it. I read Seduction of the Innocent back in the 70s, and was at first worried about whether the Doc might be right. At the time, I was the only person who’d checked the book out since the 60s. Later, I thought to ask if I might have the book when they discarded it — a rare library copy with the illustrations intact — but they’d already tossed it by then. I finally ended up with a copy of the British edition. The Ten-Cent Plague is a good look at the hysteria that abounded at the time, with public bonfires that served to make the surviving back issues way more expensive than they would have been.

    Dennis (Sunday again) – Just compare Laundry Man to all the other super servants in this comic. Many here see an Asian stereotype. I see the only character who doesn’t look like he’s about to have a brain hemorrhage.

  78. Mooncattie
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    FW – “Also, sadly, we’ll have to let one of you go. Mr. Boyardee, we all wish you well.”

  79. TheDiva
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    FW: “Except for mine, of course. Now, where’s that new dish guy? Willy? Winston? Can never remember his name…”

    MW: Some financial councilor. “Don’t spend more than you earn–that’ll be ninety dollars, please.”

    Pluggers have never heard of one of the biggest computer manufacturers in the world, much less its products.

  80. Steve S
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    The most menacing part of Dennis the Menace is Mrs. Wilson’s “The possibilities are endless” in the throwaway panels about what Mr. Wilson is up to. Why do I get the feeling that her unspoken followup is “But most likely it’s snuff films and autoerotic asphyxiation again…”?

  81. Buck Ripsnort
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    @True Fable (#46): Saddest thing is, Dennis doesn’t even have his DQ gig to fall back on anymore. Apparently, they hired the Lips from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  82. Buck Ripsnort
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    And howcome that kid’s old enough to remember when “Laundry-Man” was a Chinese stereotype?

  83. DAS
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    Luban @1 — that mailman looks like the demented spawn of Jim Carrey and Ken Snyder, which makes him more like Rusty than Mr. Wilson — unless Rusty is a young Mr. Wilson (random word bolded by Trail-vision). Oddly, the movie you’ve referenced doesn’t seem to be in that august source of knowledge, Wikipedia.

  84. Anonymous
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    @Steve the Pocket (#27): In Manhattan they still exist, for those who are washerless and not inclined to go to a laundromat.

  85. DAS
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    Uh oh … bolding fail. Should have previewed. But I guess that is what happens … in … Trail vision ™.

  86. Rocky Stoneaxe
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: Dick’s eye jumping out of its socket in the first panel reminded me of those old Tex Avery “wolf” cartoons.

    9 Chickweed Lane: This proves what I suspected all along — Don is a passive-aggressive prig. He left Bill’s file out on purpose, so he wouldn’t have to tell Bill’s ex-sweetie the truth!

  87. AMSTERDANG
    June 7th, 2010 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    Aristotle gets a call from 1993: Lose the fucking goatee already. It’s over. Also, stop forwarding “important” emails. Sheesh. Click.

  88. Will
    June 7th, 2010 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    MT: If this storyline carries on any longer, Rusty will have to tap the STRATEGIC BOLDCAPS RESERVE. Dude, take it down a notch. If we’ve learned anything about Sassy lately, it’s this: while she may leave a path of destruction and despair in her wake, she’s totally immune to danger.

    RMMD: Speaking of Mark Trail, it looks like we’ve got a talking dumpster here.

  89. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    June 7th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Now THAT is what I call a “Jane Russell” ass: it lifts and separates on its own. Here’s your one chance, Jughaid, don’t let them down.

  90. Rocky Stoneaxe
    June 7th, 2010 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    Dilbert: “Special thanks to Mr. Tom Batiuk of Blackhole, Ohio for today’s punchline!”

    Gil Thorp: Chance and the Longshots have finally found a sponsor for their band — BP OIL!!! The band member in panel two is even sporting a shirt with the logo of his new corporate sponsor.

  91. Aviatrix
    June 7th, 2010 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#12): Every once in a while I reach a bursting point of curiousity about what you’re all going on about in 9CL and catch up with the archives. It’s fairly easy to take if you think as a month’s worth as two or three strips that use lots of panels to convey their tiny contribution to the action. And if you read fast you don’t have time to contemplate the WTF of it all.

    DtM & other long-running strips with non- or unnaturally slowly-aging characters: It’s actually an interesting problem to keep someone the same by keeping them the same age. If you have the strip set continuously in the time period of their creation, it loses relevance and you lose access to jokes based on current events or technology. If you have the strip set in the real present, then the character’s backstory changes every year. A thirty-year-old who grew up in the 1930s depression morphs into one who grew up in the 1940s war years and then becomes successively a baby-boomer, a Gen-Xer, and a Nintendo generation child. And they are supposed to remain the same person? What seems to work are little fossilized tropes, which anachronistically persist for ten or even twenty years until the ratchet finally moves to the next cog and we bring in a new one.

  92. Rocky Stoneaxe
    June 7th, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    Get Fuzzy: The name “Leonardo” is no coincidence. DiCaprio’s pregnant mother was in an art gallery looking at a da Vinci painting the first time she felt him kick, so she choose that name for her son.

    reFoob: I think “supper” is actually code for something else. John is proposing that Ted join Elly and him for a threesome. “Potluck” is a conflation of “pot” (as in “smoking…”) and the Anglo-Saxon term for having sex. Recreational drug use and recreational sex… or as I like to call it: “Just another day at the Pattersons!”

  93. Bitter Scribe
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    @Z (#4): I would say that this points to a recycled strip from the 80’s, which would also have had Mr. Wilson grow up in the 1910’s…

    I remember, years ago, reading a DtM comic book in which Mr. Wilson bragged about having chased Pancho Villa. Villa raided Columbus, N.M., on March 9, 1916. The so-called Punitive Expedition in Mexico (which failed to catch him) lasted until January of the following year. Assuming the most generous interpretation—Mr. Wilson was a 10-year-old drummer boy—this would make him about 103 today.

    Just sayin’.

  94. boojum
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    Sorry if others have mentioned this, but is everyone getting the Ikea ad on the Chron page? “69 in the bedroom. 69 in the kitchen. 69 in the bathroom. 69 in the office. 69 – the best date ever.

    When I was in the Houston area, it was pretty much America’s Second Most Baptist City. (Waco is, of course, the Vatican City of the Baptists.)

    This is now standard fare for local advertising? My Granny would have been stricken with a terminal case of The Va-puhs – had anyone rustled up the nerve to tell her what it meant.

  95. m1ngle
    June 7th, 2010 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    “I’m gonna go see what Mr. Wilson is up to.” Oh! Watching me watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That’s not… that’s not creepy at all.

  96. Arkham
    June 7th, 2010 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    I don’t think I’ve ever really seen Hoot’n’Holler so widely rendered in a Snuffy Smith comic. I am not surprised to find that it is a blasted, hellishly craggy expanse of despair and scrub plants.

  97. Darryl Heine
    June 8th, 2010 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    In the Dennis the Menace strip, Milkman looks like a Space Ghost (1960′s Hanna-Barbera cartoon superhero) clone.

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