Archive: Dustin

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Dustin, 7/30/19

Oh, snap, is Dustin about to get get catfished? Seems that way! Now, I don’t mean to be rude to elder brethren, and clearly there are gullible marks and savvy sharps of all age groups, but just as a general rule, you might expect it to be the older folks in this strip who are more likely to by successfully cybergrifted, wouldn’t you? But you have to keep in mind that while Dustin presents itself as a relatively even-handed strip about the little foibles and frictions that arise when Baby Boomers and Millennials live under the same roof, it’s mostly about how Dustin, in particular, is the dumbest motherfucker alive.

Gasoline Alley, 7/30/19

I’m not saying any of us could’ve predicted this, necessarily, but if someone had asked, “Which long-running continuity comic strip is going to feature a shiny object snatched away from a major character by a keen-eyed corvid?” we’d all have said “Oh, Gasoline Alley, no question.” I for one support the choice to set this episode in Gasoline Alley’s hitherto unexplored “Little Jalisco” neighborhood, because seeing Rufus getting roasted by passersby in Spanish is definitely funnier than it would be in English by an order of magnitude.

Six Chix, 7/30/19

Oh wow, is this a comic strip about witches fighting against death itself, with one particularly angry witch stealing the scythe used to reap souls, for her own inscrutable and possibly terrifying purposes? This is an extremely metal development! All the money in entertainment today is in massive cross-platform tentpole franchises, and Six Chix has clearly been trying to make that happen with interrelated storylines like “I Fucked A Bigfoot” and “What If Bigfoot Were A Lady In Sexy High Heels” and “The Bible: A Quentin Tarantino Film,” but let me gently suggest that “Witches vs. Death” has a lot more potential.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 7/30/19

Oh, uh, it looks like when I jokingly said that the villain in this new age grifter storyline would be Rene the art forger I was … right? Huh. Huh. You know, when longtime writer Woody Wilson handed this strip over to Terry Beatty, the storylines got a lot less over-the-top and there have honestly been fewer cartoonish villains, which is why it’s particularly funny to me that Rene, who was an amiable and kooky character during the Wilson era, is now the sinister mastermind behind literally all crime.

Mary Worth, 7/30/19

Man, you’d think the whole point of having a meddling busybody of a condo manager is that at least you wouldn’t have to worry about fully clothed college students making out in the pool. C’mon, Mary, you’re slacking on the job here!

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Gil Thorp, 7/2/19

Now let’s just hold on a darn minute here! I may not have the photographic recall of soap opera plots that I used to, due to me being old and/or having like 15 years of them to remember at this point, but I am reasonably sure that this Gil Thorp strip gets multiple facts wrong about the backstory of these characters?

  1. Jaquan made what I thought was his first appearance in the strip a couple of years ago, accompanied by Trey Davis, who was a heavily recruited Mudlark college basketball prospect back in 2006. By 2017, he was an “an absurdly high-priced personal coach and trainer” and Jaquan was his client, not a Milford alum, and just tagging along?
  2. Meanwhile, Hadley V. Baxendale definitely hasn’t reappeared in the strip since 2005, which I know because she was one of my favs and I would’ve remembered her return! I got extremely excited about her ex Steve Luhm’s 2009-2010 reappearance, but alas, no Hadley.
  3. The one who helped Jaquan “defect” from the NBA, in the sense that she put the terrible idea of going to grad school in his head, was Heather Burns, who you might remember as the girl who quit the soccer team to very briefly become a third-string tight end and play an extremely few downs back in 2016.

So what’s all this “reconnect” business? I’m genuinely wondering if whoever’s in charge of continuity over at Gil Thorp HQ was like “enh, didn’t Jaquan have a thing with, what’s her face, the feminist,” and then we got this? Because it would make me very sad if I suddenly became more up on Gil Thorp continuity than the actual creators of Gil Thorp. I mean, it doesn’t even look like Gil is paying very much attention to this backstory, to be honest. He’s just slurping down a giant glass of Long Island iced tea and trying to not let his eyes glaze over too much. “All great schools, congratulations!” he blurts out, once he’s been given a list of proper nouns he can recognize.

Mary Worth, 7/2/19

Meanwhile, we’ve had exactly one (1) strip not about Wilbur before coming back to the subject of Wilbur. Don’t forget, in addition to the hacky advice column that he sends Dawn to fob off onto Mary whenever he’s busy, Wilbur also writes “Survivor Stories,” in which he demands that poor people in developing countries perform their trauma for an American audience. You might think it’d be kind of strange for Wilbur to jet off overseas so early in his relationship with Estelle, but I guess even Wilbur realizes that a little bit of Wilbur goes a long way.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 7/2/19

Speaking of forcing poor people to perform their trauma, Snuffy Smith has “ha ha, all these characters live in one of America’s most deprived and forgotten communities” lurking in the background of literally every strip, but it’s rare that this bubbles up to the surface level of a punchline like “ha ha, the Smif house consists of a single room, with living and sleeping spaces only divided by a worn, patched curtain.”

Dustin, 7/2/19

I was about to make some smug joke about “what sort of fascist police state does Dustin live in where chalking a sidewalk is considered a crime” but then I did a little research and it turns out it’s, uh, America? (Although the cops are apparently much more likely to enforce rules against sidewalk chalking when you use sidewalk chalk to protest police brutality, who could’ve guessed!) Anyhoo, I’m pretty torn here, because I’m strongly against pointless overpolicing of public spaces but also I’d definitely like to see Dustin go to jail.

Dennis the Menace, 7/2/19

Dennis, that’s a … dog? That’s clearly a dog. There’s absolutely no circumstances where anyone would mistake that dog for a cat or for [extremely heavy sigh] a Pokemon. This isn’t so much “menacing” as “profoundly concerning.”

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Dustin, 6/28/19

I’m on the record as saying that the Dustin picking-up-girls-in-bars strips seem wildly out of touch with the actual millennial experience of romance. But the fact that this young woman has brought her laptop to the bar on her evening out, presumably because she’s an semi-willing participant in the “gig economy” and the line between her work and personal life has been obliterated? And instead of having access to a professional IT help desk she needs to ask for tech support from random dudes in bars in order to keep the equipment she needs to earn a living in working order? That all checks out.

Judge Parker, 6/28/19

While we’re all waiting to find out who Judge Parker Emeritus’s prison patron is about to be, I want to draw your attention to whatever fruit our big beareded bruiser is holding. Is that a kiwi? Is Judge Parker Emeritus in some fancy prison where they serve kiwis? This is frankly unsatisfying.

Hagar the Horrible, 6/28/19

I’m very much enjoying Hagar’s smile in panel two. “That’s right lady, I give my wife nice things that I stole from royalty, who I rob and murder, I’m a god damned Viking and people better recognize.