Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Spider-Man, 3/28/19

Yes, we’ve all been very sad about the end of Newspaper Spider-Man, but at least we’ve been promised a trip through the strip’s forty-plus years of archives before King Features and/or Marvel figure out how to better cash in on MCU Mania in the funny pages. This week we’re getting our first rerun storyline and it’s from … literally less than five years ago????? Come the heck on, Newspaper Spider-Man, I want to see Peter Parker being a sullen dick in the ’70s and I will not be featuring you on this web-log until then, good day sir

Dennis the Menace, 3/28/19

The smile on the gentleman’s face says “Ahh, he wants to menace me with heckling, but he’s still too young for dick jokes.”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/28/19

“They’re not twins, and in fact one of them’s adopted! So, this could make for a great nature vs. nurture study if one of them turns out to be real shitty. And that’s the sort of research that could get me invited to a lot more of these medical conferences where I wouldn’t have to spend time with either of them, now that I think about it!”

Mary Worth, 3/28/19

Heeeeeeeeeeere comes the grift, everybody

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Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/14/19

For a long time, one of my literary pet peeves was when someone spells “trooper” the way panel one does here; in the sense of the phrase as Rex means it, it’s supposed to be “trouper,” as in an acting troupe, and the implication is supposed to be more of an actor’s “the show must go on come what may” than soldierly doggedness. But it’s something I’ve eased up on of late, given that troupe and troop are doublets, the same French word borrowed into English twice three centuries apart, and anyway it’s not like the two senses are that far apart. Anyway, I think we can all agree that throughout this process, Brayden has shown neither a warrior’s courage nor a performer’s flair, so he deserves neither spelling.

Six Chix, 3/14/19

Do you suppose the diagonal squiggly line down the middle of this is supposed to be a panel marker, indicating that our protagonist is devouring all of this stale candy minutes after her dialogue, or the edge of a thought bubble, indicating that she fantasizes doing the same? Either way, I think I think it falls short of the set-up’s potential: we should see her dumping all this chocolate down her gullet right in front of her interlocutors, and we would rightly laud her as a hero for it.

Dennis the Menace, 3/14/19

Mr. Wilson alone dares to speak the shocking truth of the comic-strip reality all of these characters share: no matter how much time passes, they will never age or change, their essential Dennis-ness and Alice-ness and Mr. Wilson-ness and so on set in stone forever. Notice that they don’t even bother putting candles on Dennis’s cake. Dennis … will always be Dennis.

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Crankshaft, 3/10/19

I’m ashamed to admit to Not Remembering A Thing about comics, but … wasn’t there a period of years in this strip where Lena was always off-panel, the unseen butt of everyone’s grousing over her terrible coffee/brownies/etc.? This helped develop the idea of her as a true, legendary monster, but at some point, this pointless running gag stopped running and Lena was revealed to be a perfectly nice person to whom all the other characters are mean for no good reason. Like, today! Where everyone is clearly going to go bowling and they’re making up a transparent excuse to have her not go with her, because they don’t like her! I know the core gag of Crankshaft is “All these people are assholes” but it’s pretty rare that it’s done so explicitly.

Dennis the Menace, 3/10/19

At first I looked at this strip and saw this car rambling down a winding dirt road in the isolated countryside with Dennis, not in a child seat or even a seat belt, lounging in the back seat, and I assumed this was part of Henry’s plan to get rid of his menacing son once and for all in a terrible “accident.” But then I noticed Henry isn’t belted in either! That means we’re looking at the last tender moment before a murder-suicide, which is pretty dark even for this strip.