Archive: Gasoline Alley

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Gasoline Alley, 1/4/19

One of the slow-burn running gags (“gags”) in Gasoline Alley is that Rufus, who I would describe as a “comically moronic rustic,” is in love with Mayor Melba, who is also his boss. It’s funny because he’s a comical moron, and she’s the mayor! Except today we learn that Melba herself is not terribly bright, or at least has some fairly specific deficits when it comes to language processing. So she and Rufus can be together after all! Hooray! This is great news for all those Melbus shippers Ruba stans people out there who are rooting for Rufus and Melba to get together, a constituency I have faith actually exists,

Mary Worth, 1/4/19

“But I am worried, Mary! Worried that I’m going to have to develop feelings for him! Is this what it’s come to? That I can’t just be married to Ian, but I have to like him, too?”

Beetle Bailey, 1/4/19

Who could forget the classic 1997 film Air Bud, with its hilarious and memorable catchphrase, “Ain’t no rules says a dog can’t play basketball!” Well, what if, in the subsequent scenes, the characters discovered that while technically there isn’t a specific rule preventing dogs from playing basketball or other organized sports, there are a whole host of rules — about minimum ages, regulation uniforms, ball-handling techniques, and the like — that dogs by their very nature are incapable of satisfying? Wouldn’t that be … even funnier? Probably, says Beetle Bailey!

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I hope everyone had a fantastic conclusion to 2018! I had a blast, and even though Curtis seems to have permanently eschewed its traditional Kwanzaa madness, I managed to select some choice continuity strips for the past week and change for you so you can start your year off right.

Mark Trail, 12/22/18

Oh, hey, Rusty and Mara’s plan to track … this …….. bad? …….. guy with their phones finally seems to have paid off! He’s mad about being caught, of course, but he’s probably even angrier that Rusty has a close relationship with a loving family who actually pick up the phone and call him every once in a while. Look, buddy, Rusty, a hideously boy-thing who was “adopted” under the extremely loose rules of Forest Law when Mark and Cherry started feeding him inside the house, wasn’t allowed to start calling them “dad” and “mom” until a tree fell on Mark, so you should really ask yourself how committed you are to family intimacy if you want to go further down this road.

Mary Worth, 12/22/18

Toby’s current suspicion level that anyone, anywhere might be sexually attracted to her husband: currently hovering around -1.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/23/18

Rex Morgan dips into the strip’s history to remember when June almost despaired that, despite our annual celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, mankind is still torn asunder by violence and conflict, while Rex suggets that maybe our bold exploration of space will finally pull all of humanity together in one common mission. Then we jump to the present day, in which not only are we still fighting a bunch of wars, but we’re also lying to each other about our supposedly heroic wartime deeds! Oh, also, we went to the moon like five times in three years and then just kind of stopped.

Mary Worth, 12/23/18

Ian’s current suspicion level that anyone, anywhere might be sexually attracted to him: he reacts to a student gushingly complimenting his speaking voice not by thinking “Professor Cameron, you’ve still got it” but by considering supplementing his job as a low-level academic by dabbling in community theater.

Dick Tracy, 12/24/18

Hey, remember back in 2014 when those two bad guys stole one of Diet Smith’s Space Coupes but didn’t know how to control it and so they suffocated to death as they headed out into deep space? Well, their corpses, presumably perfectly preserved in the airless interior of the runaway spacecraft, wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Mary Worth, 12/24/18

Toby’s current suspicion level that anyone, anywhere might be sexually attracted to her husband: just actively cruel now.

Gil Thorp, 12/25/18

This is your annual reminder that Gil and Mimi used to have kids who appeared on their Christmas card with them, but they vanished from the strip without a trace years ago, and now they do a joint Christmas card with Kelly and Coach Kaz, which means we’re only like one or two years away from all of them just being open about being in a group polyamorous relationship.

Crankshaft, 12/25/18

One of Crankshaft’s favorite Christmas jokes is when Crankshaft “has too many rum balls” and “falls asleep,” which of course is totally family friendly and different from “drinks too much rum” and “passes out.” Anyway, you know what would be a good joke, would be if Jeff said “He certainly brings new meaning to ‘dead drunk’!” because it turned out Crankshaft died, from too much booze.

Gil Thorp, 12/26/18

Just a reminder that this Gil Thorp‘s basketball season B-plot is that one of the characters loves to quote the beloved Ashton Kutcher sitcom That ’70s Show. Don’t worry if you forget, though, because the other characters will remind you that that’s what’s going on!

Mark Trail, 12/27/18

Folks, let this be a lesson to you: if you let vital public services like public libraries fall into disrepair and disuse, then your community will inevitably be afflicted by blight like artifact-napping crime! Be warned and vote yes on library bonds in your town!

Dick Tracy, 12/27/18

Just a reminder that the current Dick Tracy plot involves a villain named Splitface, but he used to be named Haf and Haf, and there was another villain in this strip who was also named Splitface, but rest assured that they’re different people. Will the narrative payoff be worth the confusion for the approximately 15 people who care about this stuff? Based on everything we know about Dick Tracy, obviously yes!

Mark Trail, 12/28/18

Oh, thank God, Jose is in fact definitively a good guy! I certainly hope every other character in this plotline gets a strip to explain their alignment and motivations by the time the whole thing wraps up sometime in 2023.

Dick Tracy, 12/29/18

Just a reminder that the current Dick Tracy plot involves a villain named Splitface, but there used to be another Splitface, and they’re not the same, see? Do we need to explain this every other day? Because we will, don’t think we won’t. Anyway, the current Splitface is called that because half his face is normal and half is terribly deformed, and Batman got to the name “Two-Face” first. The first Splitface was called that because, uh, he used to split people’s face with a knife, apparently.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/30/18

Were you thinking of sleeping in like some kind of damn hippie artist, Sarah? We didn’t arrange for you to have the extremely specific kind of amnesia where you forget your painting skills for you to relax on a national holiday like some kind of bum, young lady!

Mary Worth, 12/31/18

Ha ha, Toby uses “old man” as a jokey synonym for “husband,” just like people in the ’60s and ’70s did! This definitely establishes her as the younger one in this relationship.

Gasoline Alley, 1/1/19

It’s 2019, everybody! Get ready to spend the year contemplating this image of Walt, with one frame of his glasses a disc of pure white and the other filled with a disturbing expanse of flesh.

Judge Parker, 1/1/19

Time for a new adventure in Judge Parker! Marie’s new husband is missing — and he’s naked!

Gil Thorp, 1/2/19

Ha ha, things are really heating in Gil Thorp! Looks like a certain young man is about to learn that infringing on the rights of the Carsey-Werner Company, which controls all intellectual property associated with That ’70s Show, is no laughing matter!

Anyway, daily comics recaps begin anew tomorrow, so I’m signing off by sharing my New Year’s resolution with you: to continue to create a hilarious internet blog about daily comic strips. That’s my resolution every year, and guess what: every year I deliver! So buckle up!

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Gasoline Alley, 11/24/18

Today is the actual 100th anniversary of Gasoline Alley — the longest-running comic strip still publishing new material ever since The Katzenjammer Kids went into reruns back in 2006. Sincere congratulations to Jim Scancarelli for his gorgeous old-school draftsmanship — that’s an actual pen he’s using right there — and a daily look back at a mythic America that disappeared after World War II — one populated by comical junkmen, back-alley auto mechanics, lovable hoboes, itinerant fraudsters, and radio voice actors.

Now can we please end the four-month self-congratulatory wankfest, park Walt in the Old Comics Home for good, and get back to wallowing in lovingly rendered Hoogy tush?

Crankshaft, 11/24/18

You know, I think Mary may be on to something here. We all think of Crankshaft as a bitter, self-loathing ignoramus, and who will say us nay? But what if the root cause of his repulsiveness is that he’s completely incapable of abstract thought? It would explain his rage as he careers randomly through an incoherent universe of punctate sense-experiences, comforted only by chance repetition — the droning monotony of football plays, familiar snap of a mailbox behind his bus, annual blast of fire from an overfueled grill, or daily necrotic reek of Lena’s coffee.

You object, “But he’s just being an asshole!” and Ed cracks a little grin. That word, like all others, is just noise to him, but at least he’s heard it before. So many times, it feels like an old friend.

Dick Tracy, 11/24/18

I’m really starting to worry about this Vorkov guy here. Near as I can tell, he’s taking funds legally entrusted to him and spreading them around in ways that are pretty routine but don’t match the beneficiary’s intent. That’s all loathesome ‘n’ stuff I guess, except:

  • The beneficiary, Peter Pitchblende, is a moron, squandering his inheritance trying to resurrect the reputations of long-forgotten third-rate Martin and Lewis copycats. In the very worst interpretation, Vorkov merely missed the filing deadline to have Pitchblende declared incompetent.
  • This is essentially the same con outlined in the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13). How bad can your grift be when it’s approved in the New Testament by Jesus the Actual Christ?

Maybe Vorkov, a second-generation crime boss, isn’t really evil at all, but was brought up to think he’s a criminal mastermind? So he spends his ordinary days faxing, paying bills, and managing payroll, but all in that ridiculous makeup, tenting his fingers and gleaming his teeth, pausing now and again to cackle “BWA-HA-HA.”

Curtis, 11/24/18

Greg, let me bring you up to date: these days, a million-dollar 2BR in Harlem looks like your place. No hovering required!

Mark Trail, 11/24/18

Heads up, kids! David Lee Roth is closing in!

Hello again, faithful reader! I’m sitting in for Josh through Sunday December 2, so if you’ve got any site access or other issues, reach me at Enjoy!

— Uncle Lumpy