Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Dick Tracy, 10/14/21

Say, remember a few weeks ago, when Dick seemed to grudgingly agree that a free press is an important element in society and gave an interview to some lady from a newspaper? Well, surprise: that lady was a criminal, and Dick, who’s never forgotten a single misshapen criminal skull he’s laid eyes on, knew it at the time, but gave her the benefit of the doubt. Too bad, because it looks like she doesn’t even work for the fake news after all! Wait, does not working for the fake news make her better or worse? Either way, I’m sure Dick is regretting not shooting her while she was trying to escape from the interview.

Shoe, 10/14/21

I’m a strong believer in the Occam’s Joke Razor, by which I mean that when it comes to setup material, entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. However, this should be balanced against the Law of Joke Specificity, which says that specific things are more funny the vague ones. Take today’s Shoe, for example. To set up the punchline, the lady bird needs to say she has a particular dream job, because it wouldn’t make a ton of sense otherwise; but the strip goes so specific, having her claim she wants to work at an English department store that went out of business in 2006, that you sort of expect that to feed into the punchline, when it really doesn’t. That said, I do enjoy the loving way the Perfesser is gazing into his beer glass in the second panel. I think we know what he is doing in his dreams when he’s not working, ha ha! (He’s getting bombed in the middle of the afternoon.)

Dennis the Menace, 10/14/21

Speaking of facial expressions, I am absolutely loving Alice’s face and body language here. This is the moment when she realizes that Dennis is never going to become a functional enough person to move out of the house, and she is not OK with it!

Mary Worth, 10/14/21

Speaking of facial expressions, I’m interpreting Libby’s here as one of grim determination. She’s not sure how many more piece of furniture she’ll need to piss on to break Estelle of the Wilbur habit once and for all, but she’s willing to do whatever it takes.

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Pluggers, 10/12/21

After years of discussing pluggers, I still don’t fully have a handle on every nuanced characteristic of pluggerdom, but honestly “there is very little overlap between pluggers and stage magicians” was one that I feel like I could’ve guessed at pretty easily.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/12/21

Ma’am! Ma’am! There’s only been widespread and earnest use of streaming for stuff like weddings since the coronavirus epidemic started a year and a half ago! It’s different than it was in our day too! There’s nobody around getting married whose day this is!

Dennis the Menace, 10/12/21

Mrs. Wilson is cruelly laughing not at her husband, but at Dennis. It’s funny because Dennis thinks of Mr. Wilson as one of his best friends, but Mr. Wilson doesn’t even like him!

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Mary Worth, 10/1/21

“Ah, mes amis! I realize I have not been keeping you up to date about my adventures with Weelbur. Je suis désolé! You see, what happened is, he has taken me out of his terrible apartment and unclipped me from the leash, and then I said au revoir forever! I shall ‘peace out,’ as you Americans say!”

Hi and Lois, 10/1/21

You know, one of my main philosophical beefs with religions that propose an afterlife of eternal rewards and/or punishments is the disproportionality of it all. Like, what could we possibly do in our finite life on Earth that would merit an eternity in heaven, or hell? Your soul in either place could exist for a billion years, so that your entire mortal life would basically be a long-forgotten blink of an eye, and that still would only be an infinitesimal fraction of what you have ahead of you. Can you imagine an angry Dawg confronting a baffled God, demanding to know why he only got 12 or so years on Earth, when soon everyone he ever loved would be joining him in heaven, and they’ll be happy together forever, as transcendent beings. Unless … the Flagstons are going to hell? They’re bad people, they’re going to hell, and Dawg, who lives with them and knows them intimately, is well aware that his few years on this plane are the only ones he’ll ever spend with them, as they’ll all be tortured for all eternity, for their sins? I realize this has gotten pretty heavy, but if Hi and Lois didn’t want me going down this road, it probably shouldn’t have done a comic where a little girl and a dog contemplate mortality.

Dustin, 10/1/21

The thing I appreciate about today’s Dustin is that Dustin’s dad is still wearing his suit, which means that he spent his evening commute seething in a white-hot rage, confident that when got home he would find that Dustin had once again failed to get a job or do anything productive, and worked himself up into a frenzy so intense that he had to find his no-good son and yell at him immediately upon arriving at the house, without even pausing to take off his tie. It’s funny because his whole life is nothing but a series of disappointments!

Blondie, 10/1/21

Having complimented Blondie’s punchline yesterday, I now feel like I have credibility to point out that today’s absolutely sucks ass. Establishing a whole German backstory for Lou (“Ludwig,” I guess?) just to deliver a gag about an oompah band playing a song not associated with oompah music and also see Dagwood get a pile of goo to eat, which despite his ravenous appetite seems very much not his bag? Terrible, terrible all around. Sad to see the strip blow its entire week’s supply of humor in a single day.

Dennis the Menace, 10/1/21

“I’m sure he’d like to. But he can’t! He can’t communicate with anyone! He’s screaming endlessly, in his own mind!” Menace level: very high.