Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Gil Thorp, 2/21/20

I know I’ve been “letting you down” when it comes to the Gil Thorp updates this basketball season, but I think I’ve built up a lot of trust over the years as the guy who reads the comics so you don’t have to, so please believe me when I say that it’s because the strip has been extremely dull. Alexa Watson is very smart and competitive and has to learn to be moderately more aggressive on the court, and so has been trying to shift her everyday mindset a bit to get her there and that’s been … it? Sports? Sports action? In Gil Thorp, the comic strip about sports? I know, nobody is more disappointed than I am.

Dennis the Menace, 2/21/20

One duty I will never shirk is the fulfillment of my ongoing mission to keep you appraised of Dennis Mitchell’s wild oscillations between menacing and non-menacing, and I don’t think I need to tell you where “extremely excited about the possibility of electronic correspondence” falls on the spectrum.

Pluggers, 2/21/20

Pluggers will grab onto any possible human connection, even if it’s tenuous and accidental, as tightly as possible. All their friends are dying and they’re terribly, terribly lonely!

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Baby Blues, 2/17/20

Huh, like more than a year ago I made a drunken boast about including Baby Blues in my comics-reading rotation, and I have, but it turns out I … almost never talk about it? Anyway, I’ve sort of hesitated to say that I find the single-breadwinner, stay-at-home-mom structure of the family kind of antiquated — not that such families don’t exist, of course, especially when you have three quite young children! I’ve always kind of wondered about the family’s career/economics situation, and according to the strip’s Wikipedia page Wanda used to work in PR while Darryl is some kind of generic “manager.” It’s definitely intriguing that Darryl thinks Wanda striking it rich on YouTube would be a big benefit for him personally, presumably because he could quit his job and “follow his bliss” while Wanda has to yell at her kids in ever escalating ways for her millions of devoted followers (she’s starting a YouTube channel because a vid of her yelling at her kids went viral, by the way). Probably CPS won’t show up for at least a month!

Dennis The Menace, 2/17/20

“Get it, like a grumpy grandpa? Seriously, though, he’s just my neighbor, and I hang out at his house all the time. We’re not related at all. It’s weird, right? I’m not gonna say it’s not weird.”

Beetle Bailey, 2/17/20

Ha ha, it’s funny because the violence Sarge dishes out on Beetle is the product of intergenerational trauma!

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Dennis the Menace, 2/12/20

Just to show you what it’s like to be me, a guy with a head full of random trivia, I read “homeowner’s rates” and thought Alice was using the British term for property taxes, which made me wonder if the Mitchells had relocated to the UK so that Dennis could take on his actually much more menacing rival. But a little Googling shows that sometimes people say “homeowner’s rates” when they mean “what I pay for homeowner’s insurance,” which sounds very strange to my ear but feel free to sound off in the comments if this is part of your everyday speech and you think that I, personally, am an idiot. The important thing here is that Dennis would not have any possible impact on the Mitchells’ property taxes, but could very well be the source of their skyrocketing insurance premiums, because he breaks so much stuff.

Dick Tracy, 2/12/20

Good news, everyone! Mysta escaped from Mr. Robot’s clutches and defeated him using her Lunarian powers, so now we’ve got a new story, about the origins of a bad guy called “Shakey,” because he shakes. Few things in recent comics history have made me laugh more than today’s Dick Tracy, in which the narration box says little Shakey “quickly learned the Golden Rule” and depicts him beating the shit out of other kids and stealing their money. There’s not even an attempt to make some kind of pun or wordplay on “Golden Rule!” “Here’s your Golden Rule, kids: just absolutely terrorizing people with violence is a great way to make a lot of cash.”

Mark Trail, 2/12/20

Ah, yes, it’s an all-too-common story: a sad, isolated person — say, an newly disabled man who isn’t sure who he is anymore — gets big on Twitter and gets a chance to reinvent himself — say, as a guy whose leg was eaten by a yeti. How often do we have to hear this tale before we learn its lessons? Anyway, Minga and Pemba are watching all this from afar, probably wondering if anybody is going to be able to pay them, now that the guy who hired them is dead.