Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Dustin, 4/11/21

Not sure what makes me madder here: that Dustin produces this massive hanger-tangle out of nowhere; that this comic’s writer has apparently never heard the words “anger” or “hanger” spoken aloud, and just assumes based on their spelling that they rhyme and can thus be deployed for today’s punchline; or that the strip opens with Dustin’s mom with her back to her interlocutor, a dramatic noir shadow over her angry face, but she just wants to talk to Dustin about clothes organization or whatever and not the murder of their mutual enemy, his hated father.

Blondie, 4/11/21

I kind of enjoy the fact that this strip sets up two delightfully bonkers scenarios — “Dagwood and Mr. Dithers go on a hellish business trip together” and “a big fat raccoon goes absolutely nuts in the Bumstead home” — without actually showing us any of the details of either. It allows our imagination to run wild with both, instead merely showing us the brief calm between these two storms.

Dennis the Menace, 4/11/21

Wait, what if this is true? What if Mr. Wilson really is happy most of the time and only gets grouchy when Dennis shows up, which just happens to be the only time we ever seen him? Guess we’d all owe him a big apology, huh? Ha ha, just kidding, we know Mr. Wilson rages about Dennis even when he’s absent, he’s not a happy man at all. And now that Dennis is just straight-up calling him by his first name, he’s gonna be even less happy! Enjoy suffocating on your own bile, you sour old coot!

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Dennis the Menace, 4/8/21

I’ve always thought Dennis’s affinity for Westerns, a genre very popular among children when this strip began and almost unknown to children today, says a lot about the suffocating layer of nostalgia piled atop this strip. However, today we get an intriguing hint that Dennis is actually watching revisionist neo-Westerns that try to grapple with the real social and historical backgrounds behind the myths, and whose heroes, turning to liquor in a futile attempt to numb the loneliness of the open range and the trauma of living in a violent frontier society, end up suffering from alcohol-induced psychosis — or, in cowboy patois, “scotch terrors.”

Blondie, 4/8/21

If DithersCo employs a full-time vending machine stocker rather than just hiring a service that stocks the machines for multiple businesses in the area like everyone else does, maybe Mr. Dithers ought to spend less time micromanaging Dagwood while he’s at work and more time thinking about some of their structural staffing costs. On the other hand, this arrangment may have arisen because there’s a single employee who’s responsible for the company’s unusually intense vending machine use, and replacing him with someone of similar talents but a lesser appetite will produce some real benefits for DithersCo’s bottom line.

Dick Tracy, 4/8/21

Say what you will about Dick Tracy, but if you want to see a guy in a suit stabbing a hippie in major newspapers, this comic strip is your only option.

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Dennis the Menace, 4/5/21

I like that these two kids and their moms have similar facial expressions, as if both pairs were mirror images of one another. In particular, I’d like to imagine that, while Dennis is cracking wise about this kid living a life no better than a dog’s, the leashèd child is saying, “Look, mommy, that boy is experiencing freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!”

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/5/21

When I first saw this strip today, I assumed that it was maybe the anniversary of the first Mary Worth strip or something and there’d be tributes to our favorite gal all across the King Features comics pages today! But no, apparently all that happened was that someone in the Snuffy Smith creative team thought up this pun and declared “Tarnation, fellers, that there’s good synergy!” (For this bit, I’m assuming that a requirement for working on Snuffy Smith is that you have to talk in the fake and borderline offensive Snuffy Smith hillbilly patois at all times when you’re on the clock.)

Mary Worth, 4/5/21

Anyway, Mary has plenty of time to appear in other comics because, even though we all assumed that this storyline had finally, blessedly reach its natural conclusion and we’d need her back to set up the next one, it turns out that’s not true, at all! In fact, it’s never going to end and this is our hell, just two old people half-heartedly flirting by talking about how great dogs and forgiveness are.