Archive: Dennis the Menace

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Dennis the Menace, 6/6/21

Ha ha, it’s another Sunday strip where Dennis does some menacing without even showing up! He’s interfering with his parents’ marriage — not by doing anything specific, this time, but just by existing. By being so much. What room is there for Henry and Alice? Dennis is all anyone can think about. Dennis is all there is.

Marvin, 6/6/21

Marvin, meanwhile? His parents aren’t even thinking about him at all! Their inability to relate to one another and indeed their increasing mutual animosity is completely unrelated to their terrible baby, and is much more about how terrible they are, separately and together. Anyway, it’s funny because Marvin’s mom thinks Marvin’s dad is dumb, and he’s sensitive about it!

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Dick Tracy, 5/25/21

Wow, who could’ve possibly predicted that taking a protectee who already faced one assassination to the theater would’ve been a bad idea? Turns out this dress rehearsal wasn’t anywhere near as closed to the public as promised, so you better believe that our lovable pair of goth murderers are here to finish the job on ol’ Charlie. Anyway, I’m featuring today’s strip mostly to ask the very serious question of what in God’s name is going on with the mysterious figure in panel three. Is this yet another villain with a bizarrely specific costume shtick, wondering who’s here to horn in on his theater crime business? Or is this production of The Tempest just particularly avant-garde?

The Lockhorns, 5/25/21

Though I am by chosen profession a Comics Curmudgeon, and though I poke fun at The Lockhorns as much as anyone, my fundamental position on this comic from the beginning has been that I unironically like it. Today is a great example of its purity of essence. Leroy writhes in pain, having failed at a mundane household task, and Loretta looks at him, saying something cutting and genuinely funny, with absolutely dead eyes. It’s perfect. No notes.

Dennis the Menace, 5/25/21

It is absolutely in character and yet still absolutely infuriating that Henry has suited up for his macho weekend chores by putting what I’d bet money is a brand-new baseball hat and tool belt over the immaculately pressed dweeb-ass work clothes he wears most of the time. And I know some of you are going to say, “No, Josh, you don’t get it, he’s not planning on doing any chores, this is sex thing,” and if that’s the case he honestly ought to be more embarrassed about how he’s dressed.

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Mother Goose and Grimm, 5/20/21

I’ve mocked them over the years, but I have come to respect the humble comics colorists as a vital part of the operation on the funny pages, and indeed believe sometimes they put more thought into their jobs than the cartoonists do. Take today’s Mother Goose and Grimm, for instance. The title character is, by long established convention, a bird, so her nose/mouth area gets a beak coloring, and her friend/drinking companion, despite her long hair, has a generally bird-like look, so she gets the same treatment. But what about the dude? In the suit? Is he a bird? He has a big pointy nose but he also has a big bulbous chin butt, rather than a chin drawn to resemble basically the bottom half a beak, like the ladies? But Ma Goose’s friend definitely wants to marry and/or fuck this guy, possibly not in that order, so it would be unseemly if he weren’t a bird, right? Better give his whole … nose/mouth … beak-ish … area the established beak aesthetic. Just to be safe!

Family Circus, 5/20/21

Another institution I’ve come to respect more and more over the years is the Family Circus. Say what you will about its treacly aura or its grandma-fridge fanbase, but it does commit to the consistency of its characters no matter where that leads. What I mean to say is that Billy is absolutely the kind of kid who would learn about the distinction between who and whom at school and then try to use his new knowledge to make his mom feel dumb, unsuccessfully.

Dennis the Menace, 5/20/21

A lot of people think Mr. Wilson is grumpy because Dennis is always over at his house annoying him, but there’s more to it than that. For instance, he also resents his wife of many years and thinks his marital life is a prison!