Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/30/17

Gosh, maybe if your strip’s main character is a weird tiny gnomish person who, unlike the other characters in the strip, looks like he’s half old man and half baby, and there’s never really any explanation of why … maybe don’t draw attention to that fact? Maybe don’t!

Dennis the Menace, 10/30/17

“So you’re tellin’ me you hate the fact that your body and mind are slowly but surely breaking down as you age, threatening to leave you a feeble, confused shadow of your former self … but you fear death?” Today’s menace game is extremely strong.

Judger Parker, 10/30/17






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Dennis the Menace, 10/25/17

There are no recurring adult characters in this strip other than George and Martha Wilson. Instead, we see an endless parade of one-off adult visitors to the Mitchell home, with the implication that Henry and Alice are desperately trying to normalize their lives by making friends more or less their own age, only for Dennis to alienate them by saying the darndest things — or, more often, repeating a darndest thing that one of his parents said behind their acquaintance’s back. If that’s starting to give you a picture of the real reason for the Mitchells’ stunted social life, consider today’s installment, where Alice, hungry to sup on human misery, has brought Dennis to some random new mother’s house, so he can make fun of her parenting skills just because her little kid does what little kids do. And sure, Dennis is kind of a dick about it, but whatever! He’s, what, five? Look at Alice in the background in the second panel, a subtle but cruel smile on her face. The menace doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Marvin, 10/25/17

Like many sassy cartoon characters, Marvin goes through life with a heavy lidded expression meant to convey detachment and ennui. In panel two, we learn what it takes to snap him into a state of alertness: the possibility of being prosecuted for war crimes.

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Funky Winkerbean, 10/19/17

Oh, well, looks like those stone-faced characters just wanted to track Darin down so they could send him free classic comics covers! Don’t worry, it’s not all fun, though: he only gets them because beloved comics artist Phil Holt dropped dead. You remember Phil Holt, right? He was a stand-in for real-life comics legend Jack Kirby who was reduced to penury and forced to work as a caricaturist at children’s parties, where Darin met him by chance and they talked for maybe five minutes! Anyway, apparently that brief conversation was the most validation Holt received in his twilight years, so he left his only valuable possessions to Darin in his will, which not only has cast a pall of melancholy over everything but also appears to be about to drive a wedge of jealousy between Darin and Mopey Pete.

Dennis the Menace, 10/19/17

An underrated way to menace: just sit absolutely still and watch your target try to obscure his own impotence in a cloud of misplaced nostalgia.