Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Mary Worth, 1/12/17

It’s sad to me that Iris was so mortified by her inappropriate dress for that concert that Zak had to spend all his time consoling her and complimenting her outfit rather than really cutting loose and dancing to the stylings of “Maggio Nollaig” (a name that I haven’t mentioned here before but I swear to God I didn’t make up). Or maybe he means “dance” in a more specialized way. Like, maybe he means “flail about the severed arm of my enemy, which is definitely what you’re seeing at the bottom of panel two, since there’s no way that hand is connected to my body.”

Dennis the Menace, 1/12/17

It’s time to ask ourselves: who’s the real menace in the idyllic suburban neighborhood where the Mitchells and Wilsons live? Is it the innocent young boy who means well but who, like many his age, doesn’t have much of a filter or an understanding of social niceties? Or is George “Single Bead Of Rage-Sweat” Wilson, a bitter old man perpetually on the verge of an explosion, willing to take out his bottomless supply of rage on his wife, the neighbors, or even hapless robots who make the mistake of calling his home?

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(Hey! What’s with the new site design? What’s this business in the top menu about “membership?” Get all the info here!)

Hagar the Horrible, 1/9/17

The period in Western European history between the fifth and tenth century are often called the “Dark Ages,” though contemporary historians tend to push back on this. It’s true that social organization changed radically, in many ways for the more chaotic and violent, after the fall of Rome, and much of philosophy was lost to the Latin world; but technology continued advancing, with the stirrup and the horse collar only appearing in this period. Still, advanced concrete really was one of those things that people forgot how to make, vanishing from the West in the 5th century and not reappearing until the 14th, which makes this strip anachronistic. Maybe the newfangled poured stone was a (re)invention by this particular craftsman, who found himself promptly murdered by the local viking chieftain for annoying him, leaving Europe concreteless for hundreds of years to come.

This strip is also a great example of how character design can really screw with a visual gag. Lucky Eddy always wears a long robe (cloak?) that goes down to his ankles; logically it should have dragged through the wet cement, but instead it looks like he’s hopping and making cloak-sized holes.

Dennis the Menace, 1/9/17

In our previous discussion of “just what religion are the Mitchells, anyway?”, we settled on high church Episcopalian, probably, and I dunno, maybe this is a cultural stereotype, but I don’t think the Episcopalians are gonna be that upset by the idea of Heaven as having an eternal open bar.

Mary Worth, 1/9/17

Does Mary Worth understand sarcasm? Does she know that “Good luck with that!” is usually sarcastic? I can never tell with her. Anyway, I too wish Iris a non-sarcastic good luck! Good luck not thinking about Wilbur at all! It’s easy if you try!

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Dennis the Menace and Family Circus, 12/7/16

Happy Pearl Harbor Day, everybody, a day that will live in infamy, a day that went mostly ignored in the comics today, even though many of the old-man characters in various strips are anachronistically supposed to be World War II vets, something even Crankshaft is too young for, honestly. Anyway, these two panels taken together pose the question: what’s really menacing in this life? Is it Dennis’s wild and aggressive accusation that Mr. Wilson, a decorated war hero, was secretly in league with Tojo and the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere? Or is something more banal and yet ultimately more terrifying: that even the most dramatic and momentous events in human history can fade, in the course of just a single lifetime, into a misty half-memory that someone like Jeffy will only vaguely have a grasp on?

Dick Tracy, 12/7/16

The fact that the main villain in this Dick Tracy storyline’s name was “Selfy” and that he was obsessed with taking selfies was one of a jumble of ideas that were entertaining even when they didn’t quite gel with each other. It mostly got dropped over time, but it’s fun to bring it back in the end here, as Selfy attempts to take a murder-selfie that turns out to not be quite murder-y enough.

The Phantom, 12/7/16

Fool! The Phantom doesn’t pay high prices for cable or satellite service! He’s already got Internet access in the Skull Cave, and gets his TV via over-the-top streaming services of varying legality! He’s not held down by your rules! He’s … the Ghost-Who-Cuts-The-Cord!