Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Today’s Easter, the holiest day in the Christian calendar — and it’s on the same day for both Eastern and Western churches, for once. How are the comics doing with it? Not great, to be honest!

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/16/17

Never would’ve picked Snuffy Smith as being in the pocket of a big anti-clerical cabal, but here it is, spending its Easter Sunday strip depicting the town’s only clergyman just going from house to house shaking down the impoverished residents for whatever sums they can muster.

Dennis the Menace, 4/16/17

Though I suppose it’s better than today’s Dennis the Menace, in which he sneers that the celebration of Christ’s resurrection is far inferior to the holiday dedicated to his Dark Lord Satan.

Pluggers, 4/16/17

You’d think pluggers, following the traditions of the American heartland, would be in church, wouldn’t you? But no, here’s featured plugger Andy Bear, spending the afternoon coveting the 21st century version of his neighbor’s ass.

Shoe, 4/16/17

And, uh, Shoe is about how if you take the wrong drug cocktail you’ll shit yourself while you sleep? This isn’t related to Easter much, except in the sense that this strip’s very existence firmly disproves the existence of a loving God.

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Mark Trail, 4/10/17

Welp, looks like Mark’s very self-important reveal of his employer has gone right over the bald head of his kidnapper. Sorry, Mark! Usually when you tell people that you write articles for America’s #1 glossy lifestyle magazine for the aspirational outdoorsperson, they show some respect. Not so when you deal with illiterates and ruffians, it seems. And yet … who’s this gentleman in panel two? Is he the real power behind this criminal gang, one or two steps up the Bald Guy Hierarchy? He’s wearing a suit and tie and has a neatly folded pocket square, which means he no doubt appreciates long articles about, like, new kinds of tents or whatever the hell it is Woods and Wildlife publishes. Anyway, I’m not sure if this guy is really involved in our story, or if he’s just some fellow passing through Rapid City Airport, or if he’s the Kingpin, heralding a crossover event that will establish Mark Trail as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but his little smile shows that he knows what’s up.

Dick Tracy, 4/10/17

I had to laugh at the “YELLOW MASK” label in the final panel, an explanatory box of the sort usually reserved in Dick Tracy for tiny gadgets or whatever. Then I remembered that, in theory, anyway, the primary venue for Dick Tray comic strips is the daily paper, where they’re published in black-and-white, so the need to label the visual joke makes slightly more sense. “Look, it’s, uh, it’s a mask, that matches his coat, which you also can’t see the color of but we assume if you’re reading this you know it’s yellow? Just a mask, for his eyes. We know it’s a little confusing. He’s not supposed to stick his dick in it or anything.”

Spider-Man, 4/10/17

One thing that comics are good for is creating new Homeric epithets out of whole cloth and just pretending they’re things that normal people would say in real life, like “badge-boys!” I also like Spider-Man acknowledging that while being a police officer is a full-time job, being Spider-Man is just kind of a hobby he indulges whenever he feels like it, because with great power comes great responsibility so long as there’s nothing good on TV.

Dennis the Menace, 4/10/17

I’m pretty sure that a young child putting his most treasured possessions in the collection plate at church is … about as non-menacing as you can get? Unless he’s trying to bribe God! That’s fairly menacing, theologically speaking.

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Gil Thorp, 3/30/17

As usual, once this Gil Thorp plot shifted from its insane setup to its inane resolution, I sort of lost interest in it, and I apologize! Quick summary: Aaron’s mom is on drugs and so he often goes hungry because she’s spending the grocery money on drugs, which affected his athletic performance, so Gil took him out to eat a lot, and it seemed like maybe Aaron was going to get sent into foster care and he was mad at the Freezy Bomb Boys for inadvertently narcing on her, but then she agreed to go to rehab and came to a game where Aaron did well and now it turns out that the family of one of the Freezy Bomb Boys will be letting Aaron live in their basement, and presumably feeding him. I’m not clear on whether this guy’s Ken Brown or Mike Granger, but whoever he is, I hope he likes having raves in his basement, because Aaron is definitely going to be throwing a bunch of raves in his basement.

Dennis the Menace, 3/30/17

I will sheepishly admit that “Dennis cheerfully blurts out all the shit his parents talk about their friends and coworkers behind their backs” is one of my favorite from the list of typical menacing actions in this strip. You’d really think that the Mitchells would have figured out that little pitchers have big ears and no sense of discretion by this time, although what with Dennis being eternally five, who knows, maybe every single Dennis panel over the past 66 years only takes place over six months or so of strip time so they haven’t gotten used to it yet? Anyway, Henry really shouldn’t be speaking ill of four-time NFL Pro Bowler Alex Karras, who could almost certainly beat him up.

Family Circus, 3/30/17

Ha ha, it’s funny because the other Keane Kids don’t care about Billy’s emotional distress and would rather watch their TV show about a businessman mouse who lives in the jungle!

Blondie, 3/30/317

Having been thoroughly enervated by the ennui of suburban middle-class life, Dagwood can only be cheered by the prospect of his own agonizing death.