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Pluggers, 10/21/17

Oh, hey, remember Elam, the extremely unappealing guest character who served as a sexual rival to Rufus in Gasoline Alley a few months ago? Well, I don’t think I ever made it clear at the time, but he was obviously based on Jack Elam, an actor who mostly played villains in westerns and gangster flicks in the ’50s and ’60s. Anyway, is there any particular reason why this guy, who died in 2003 and never intruded into my consciousness until July, is suddenly popping up everywhere? Are we in the midst of some Elamssaince to which I’m not privy? I guess we should follow Occam’s Razor and accept the simplest answer: that the there’s a pretty wide overlap between Gasoline Alley’s readership and the set of people who submit things to Pluggers.

Shoe, 10/21/17

It’s a funny world when you wake up one day at the age of 43 and realize that you spend quite a lot of mental energy, as part of your job, parsing the body language of a couple depressed middle-aged bird-men killing time in sad bar, isn’t it? Life is definitely a rich tapestry in that respect. Anyway, in panel one I kind of like — no, “like” isn’t the right word. Let’s just say that I respect the work that’s been put into Shoe casually leaning towards the Perfesser as he taps out his cigar ash, creating a little bubble of intimacy as he asks about his friend’s romantic life, and clearly expecting the answer to his question to be “Sex. Sex is how it went.”

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Hey guys! Here’s today’s comment of the week — a week that, I think it goes without saying, progressed from Monday through Friday in the ordinary sequence that we all know and love!

“Isn’t a key premise of Dennis the Menace that Mr. Wilson would have a quiet, idyllic suburban life, if not for his rambunctious neighbor? Well, Dennis is right next to him, sitting quietly as Mr. Wilson stares out at his own lawn. What exactly is spurring this stony contempt for the hurly-burly of modern life? Did somebody give Joey a cell phone or something? Is Mr. Wilson shooting that brutal look at Joey as he just sits calmly on the lawn playing Minecraft? Because fuck you, Joey. [sips coffee] Fuck you.” –Dan

And here are the runners up! Obviously none of the ones about Friday’s comics were posted several days ago. Like, how would that even work?

“I was curious enough about today’s pop-philosophical quote to look up ‘Javan’ on the internet. Apparently he’s a poet who went by his middle name and had some books published in the ’80s, but still isn’t famous enough to have his own Wikipedia mention (unlike, say, Welsh rugby player Javan Sebastian, English ‘footballer’ Javan Vidal, or Javan, the character on the 2011 version of ThunderCats whose kin was afflicted with a plague). Sometimes I wonder if the Mary Worth folks are just browsing every Sunday, but then I think to myself, ‘Yes, of course they are.’” –BigTed

“Since Mindy is an antiques dealer in what is purportedly the 21st century, it seems like she’d have done some business with online auction sites herself. I don’t really think she’d need to ask Buck how they work, unless mansplaining is part of their foreplay.” –Artist formerly known as Ben

“The Sofia Vegara/Danny DeVito sexy cosplay you ordered is both sexier and more disturbing than you dreamed.” –Andrew DevilHorns, on Twitter

“I love the look on the barber’s face that seems to suggest that the kid is asking for some rare extravagance that those who can afford it might have in their homes, but in a barber shop? No way! Especially not if after this is over your mom hands me another 50¢ piece and no tip. Sure, by 1980, when we’re all taking weekend vacations to the Moon and the safe cigarette has been perfected, there might be TV sets in every business and every room of the house, but until those 30 years pass, let’s deal with the present day as it is, shall we?” –Larry McAwful

“That bikini color, a cross between mauve and beige, does absolutely nothing for Fabiana. Her attraction to Wilbur makes a lot more sense if she has absolutely no taste, and even more sense if it turns out she’s blind.” –Spunky The Wonder Squid

“If it’s on the internet, it’s true. Sorry kid. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to read about this one strange trick to lose weight.” –Bryan J. Simmons, on Facebook

“Coach, I have four questions: How should I prepare my hashbrowns? What does the Prom Committee do? Should I rent or own a timepiece? Can you help me deliver this refrigerator to the Johnson’s?” –The Mighty Untrained FOOZLE

“There’s a sad subtext in today’s RMMD, in which the vibrant, fresh-faced youngster looks upon his doughy, deskbound dad and can’t help but think, ‘So THAT’s what I’m going to look like in 25 years.’ His plaintive ‘What’s the deal, dad?’ may be overtly about comix forgery, but beneath is an existential question about faulty genes and the anti-Darwinian course of civilized human evolution.” –jvwalt

“One more week of Rex Morgan, M.D. strips about this and I am going to buy art forgeries out of spite.” –Ettorre

“I’m not so sure I like this North American Air Command, a place where grizzled, hardworking, mustached men can have their work — and, by extension, their very sanity — questioned by weak, callow, non-mustached men. Tell me, Captain Peachfuzz, have you ever field stripped a rifle blindfolded? Been forced to shoot a beloved family dog? Broken a woman’s heart? That’s what I thought. So why don’t you go back to playing hopscotch and leave the bogey spotting to the men?” –Joe Blevins

“Cut! There’s a goddamn mic in the panel two shot! Is that your boom mic, Bruce? Is it? You’re fired. Get the hell out. And you two. Look, Blondie, you just got a nice gift from an old man you made happy. Maybe try happy as an emotion? Not joy, but wistful happiness? Is that in your goddamn repertoire? And you, Noseboy, does the script say ‘jealousy?’ Does it say ‘greed?’ It does not. It says ‘joshing,’ do you know what that means? You’re happy for a friend — you have friends, right, Nostril? You’re being buddy-buddy, not green-eyed monster. Christ, who writes this crap anyway? OK, someone get me a coffee and a danish, and let’s start this over. Take 65, and go!” –Voshkod

“If you’re going after the fleeing, unarmed blonde, while leaving the heavily-armed psychopath to your partner, maybe you’re not the one who needs to be shouting ‘Cover me!’” –Pozzo

“This Sunday’s Mark Trail will cover the importance of posture and standing upright to prevent lower back injury as you hunt and track the Most Dangerous Game of all.” –Dread

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Mark Trail, 10/20/17

Oh, hey, I’ve been neglecting the antics in Mark Trail, haven’t I? Well, Mark and the robbers ran out of the old saloon out into eye of the tornado [is this an actual thing??? check before publishing] and Johnny and Sheriff Violent McMustache have emerged from the bear cave at the same time, and now gunplay’s afoot! Blonde Bank Robber Lady Whose Name I’m Not Sure We Ever Learned And I Definitely Don’t Feel Like Looking Up probably thinks that running away from the gunfight is a good way to not get shot, but she hasn’t reckoned with the frontier’s casual attitude about officer-involved shootings, or even random-dude-an-officer-gave-a-couple-of-guns-to-involved-shootings. Presumably everyone will just testify at the cursory police investigation that the tornado blew the bullets into her, and then head out to lunch.

Gil Thorp, 10/20/17

Jeez, Uncle Gary, will you lighten up? Maybe head injuries are gonna cause a little light damage to Rick Soto’s brain sometime down the line. But that’s years away, and as we can all see in the final panel, the mysterious glowing space-barrier is tightening its grip around the Earth now. Only a tiny slice of sky beyond it is still visible, and who knows what will happen when it completely encases our world in its energy field? Live for the moment, I say!