Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Pluggers, 4/6/20

A rule of classic horror, which has somewhat fallen by the wayside in this era of all-too-perfect CGI effects, is to never quite let the audience get a good look at the awful thing you’ve been hinting at all movie, because their imagination will inevitably fill in something far more terrifying than anything you could depict in practice. That’s why I respect what Pluggers has done today, allowing us to dream up our own image of what that greasy slice of pizza, which just landed cheese-side-down on this plugger’s nasty-ass floorboard and is now covered by a thick layer of matted fur speckled with gravel, will look like right before he shoves it into his greedy maw.

Gil Thorp, 4/6/20

It’s finally baseball season and we can move on from the utter snooze-fest that was the basketball plot, though we’re still in the early stages of this storyline, which is to say that Gil is just rattling off the names of various players to his compliant, favored media outlet. Still there are hints of fun to come: the outfield will feature unapologetic fraud artist Tiki Jansen and violent scissors criminal Chance Macy, so I assume that by “a lot of speed” Gil means they’ll be running a amphetamine-dealing ring from the dugout.

Dennis the Menace, 4/6/20

“He’s still sittin’ there watching it, though! Dad says old age has really turned his brain to pudding.”

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Mary Worth, 4/4/20

“But if you don’t know? Well, in that case, you definitely still need to keep that person around — after all, you don’t want to be alone, heaven forbid! Just be sure to fend off any marriage proposals, so you’ll be free to entertain the offers from other gentlemen, at funerals or while you’re on vacation and such. It’s an arrangement that will work great for everyone, except for the guy you’re stringing along, but if he was worthy of better treatment I guess you wouldn’t be stringing him along, would you?”

Mark Trail, 4/4/20

For more than 15 years now, comic strip artists have been stuck in an awkward place where they have to draw daily strips knowing that they’ll appear in almost all newspapers in black and white but will be colorized by other hands for the web. This can be a real problem when you’re trying to, say, depict people walking through a dark, shadowy forest, where the inky black of the shadows cast onto them contrasts with the colors chosen for their flesh and clothes, which make them appear fully lit. Still, I’m glad to see this all happen in today’s strip, as it transforms Kevin’s pathetic mewling into something sounds like a supervillain’s origin story:

“I know I’m just an orphan nobody wants to adopt … but when I have my revenge, I will make orphans of every man, woman, and child on earth!

Dennis the Menace, 4/4/20

I admit I spend time on this blog making fun of comics that reuse old art, but here’s the thing: for some go-to- gags, they should do it. Honestly, what possible value is there to drawing yet another random visitor to the Mitchells’ living room for one of the “Dennis repeats something embarrassing his parents said” panels? Surely there’s literally dozens of them in the archives, so why not just dig one out and slap a new caption on it? I sincerely hope that’s what happened today, because it delights me to think of someone going through a bunch of old Dennis the Menace strips until they got to this drawing, and then they said to themselves, “Oh yeah, this is the one. This guy? This guy fucks.”

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Gasoline Alley, 3/31/20

I’m going to ignore panel three here, which makes the frankly offensive suggestion that Snuffy Smith somehow has an ownership claim over entirely common turns of English phrase, and instead focus on panel two, which I love very much. “Figure out an equitable way to cushion family farmers, who are committed to an increasingly economically unviable business model today, at the tail end of a century-long process of agricultural industrialization?” says Boog. “I doubt it! I’m, like, twelve years old!”

Dennis the Menace, 3/31/20

There’s actually a couple different kinds of menacing happening here, as Dennis dreams of a machine that can control the weather and thus impose its master’s will upon a terrified world, but is also stupid enough to think that that’s what he’s looking at right now.

Curtis, 3/31/20

While it’s not quite explicit here, I think we have to give Curtis the award for the first syndicated newspaper strip to acknowledge the coronavirus pandemic and the prolonged social distancing necessary to fight it. I don’t really have much of a joke here, other than that Curtis and Barry are definitely going to murder each other before this thing is done.