Hi and Lois, 9/25/12
Children, acting as canary consumers in our nation’s media landscape coal mine, stopped reading newspapers long ago, so syndicated comics artists are free to run out the clock on the remainder of the newspaper industry’s lifespan without having to cater to the delicate sensibilities of sheltered, modern-day youth. This means, among other things, that “Thirsty” Thurston is being reclaimed as the lovable drunk that he was originally conceived of being, back in the day when alcoholism was a quirky affectation rather than a terrible disease and crippling social problem. Having already filled his garage with beer and gotten bombed at lunch right in front of a co-worker, Thirsty is now just drunkenly stumbling around first thing in the morning, wearing a filthy shirt (no doubt befouled by his own sick) and scattering his empties around the neighborhood so as not to further humiliate his wife.
There’s a lot I don’t understand about the set-up to this strip — is “downtown” not considered part of Riverdale? wasn’t the Interstate Highway pretty much built out years ago, especially in dense city centers? — but the punchline makes total sense to me. Ha ha, Archie is hated by the inhabitants of his home town, who pelt him with rocks whenever they see him!