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Gasoline Alley, 11/24/18

Today is the actual 100th anniversary of Gasoline Alley — the longest-running comic strip still publishing new material ever since The Katzenjammer Kids went into reruns back in 2006. Sincere congratulations to Jim Scancarelli for his gorgeous old-school draftsmanship — that’s an actual pen he’s using right there — and a daily look back at a mythic America that disappeared after World War II — one populated by comical junkmen, back-alley auto mechanics, lovable hoboes, itinerant fraudsters, and radio voice actors.

Now can we please end the four-month self-congratulatory wankfest, park Walt in the Old Comics Home for good, and get back to wallowing in lovingly rendered Hoogy tush?

Crankshaft, 11/24/18

You know, I think Mary may be on to something here. We all think of Crankshaft as a bitter, self-loathing ignoramus, and who will say us nay? But what if the root cause of his repulsiveness is that he’s completely incapable of abstract thought? It would explain his rage as he careers randomly through an incoherent universe of punctate sense-experiences, comforted only by chance repetition — the droning monotony of football plays, familiar snap of a mailbox behind his bus, annual blast of fire from an overfueled grill, or daily necrotic reek of Lena’s coffee.

You object, “But he’s just being an asshole!” and Ed cracks a little grin. That word, like all others, is just noise to him, but at least he’s heard it before. So many times, it feels like an old friend.

Dick Tracy, 11/24/18

I’m really starting to worry about this Vorkov guy here. Near as I can tell, he’s taking funds legally entrusted to him and spreading them around in ways that are pretty routine but don’t match the beneficiary’s intent. That’s all loathesome ‘n’ stuff I guess, except:

  • The beneficiary, Peter Pitchblende, is a moron, squandering his inheritance trying to resurrect the reputations of long-forgotten third-rate Martin and Lewis copycats. In the very worst interpretation, Vorkov merely missed the filing deadline to have Pitchblende declared incompetent.
  • This is essentially the same con outlined in the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13). How bad can your grift be when it’s approved in the New Testament by Jesus the Actual Christ?

Maybe Vorkov, a second-generation crime boss, isn’t really evil at all, but was brought up to think he’s a criminal mastermind? So he spends his ordinary days faxing, paying bills, and managing payroll, but all in that ridiculous makeup, tenting his fingers and gleaming his teeth, pausing now and again to cackle “BWA-HA-HA.”

Curtis, 11/24/18

Greg, let me bring you up to date: these days, a million-dollar 2BR in Harlem looks like your place. No hovering required!

Mark Trail, 11/24/18

Heads up, kids! David Lee Roth is closing in!

Hello again, faithful reader! I’m sitting in for Josh through Sunday December 2, so if you’ve got any site access or other issues, reach me at Enjoy!

— Uncle Lumpy