Uh-oh, look at that graph. Dithers Construction Company’s profitability is tanking despite robust top-line growth. That indicates significant diseconomies of scale, probably because tightwad Dithers underinvested in staff and equipment for so long. Now every new project increases the company’s reliance on outside contractors, who take advantage of tight supply and exact their revenge for Julius’ endless chiseling by driving their prices relentlessly upward. The staff is right to be alarmed — Dithers’ panicky plan to “grow his way out of trouble” only advances the day when savage job cuts will fall without warning. But yeah, how about those Olympics?
Dick Tracy, 8/11/16
Whew! Team Tracy finally slowed its march through the character archives long enough to give us a week-long standoff between Dick and aspirational nemesis Abner Kadaver at Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls, scene of Sherlock Holmes’ (temporary) death at the hands of Professor Moriarty.
Kadaver is a high-end hit man whose body is actually decomposing from some ill-advised makeup experiments during his former career as a horror-show host. His mouth is strangely unaffected, maybe because he runs it nonstop.
There are two humanoid species in Gasoline Alley. The Round-Eyes include patriarch Walt Wallet, daughter-in-law Nina, granddaughter Clovia, the annoying Frank Nelson character, and various animals, children, and cops. The Coal-Eyes include sons Skeezix and Corky, Clovia’s husband Slim, and the Bump family here, Rover, Hoogy, and Boog.
Now of course a Coal-Eye mother may deliver a Round-Eye baby, that’s only natural and God’s plan and why would you ever ask such a thing. But I always thought they developed in the usual, uterine, fashion. Now we see that a Round-Eyeling actually inhabits its Coal-Eye mother as an insatiable parasite, consuming the body of its host from within until its eyes glare out from her hollowed-out sockets, silently shrieking “How long ’til I am born, to shed this skin-prison and feed free?”
Wow, the comics teach you something new every day, don’t they?
Sally Forth, 8/11/16
Hilary Forth has the exact same schtick as her father Ted. In any confrontation that makes her confront her future — here, confronting her literal future self — she panics and spews any nonsense she can think of to change the subject. And it works! Present Hilary can take comfort from the fact that Future Hilary apparently didn’t think it was a problem worth solving.
Maybe its just the thought-bubble and the scowl, but I think Egghead and Ant-Man are the same guy! I mean, ants lay eggs, right? — it totally makes sense. Egghead probably hatches twice the number of evil schemes he really needs and blames Ant-Man for the 50% that fail because of stupidity or bad luck. Then he writes a tiny, tiny note saying “I quit! Signed, Ant-Man” and leaves it where Spider-Man will find it and blab his “scoop” to the Bugle. Investors will then flock to Egghead’s schemes, figuring that with Ant-Man out of the picture they’ll be 100% successful!
I’m beginning to respect the evil genius of this Elihas Starr, even though he talks down to people with those big impressive $100 words like “equivalent” and “commence.”