Archive: Gasoline Alley

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Pluggers and Shoe, 6/6/23

How are the various human-animal hybrid monstrosities of the Jeff MacNelly Extended Universe grappling with the concept of the “beer belly”? Well, Pluggers would like you to know that they do not guzzle alcoholic beer like some lout; instead they get all the stimulation they could need from a combination of sugars and starches that every doctor on earth would look at and beg, “Please, rethink this.” Shoe, meanwhile, is confident that its core readership of elderly shut-ins has never been a store that sells novelty t-shirts and are unaware that they can find them online, so they’ll never realize that this is a shamelessly ripped off joke.

Slylock Fox, 6/6/23

Ah, here’s a delightful scene from the closing days of the Animal Revolution, in which one of few remaining human holdouts is cornered in a tent deep in the desert, while a grotesquely enhanced scorpion waits eagerly to sting him to death. However, as the snake-vulture interaction at the right of the panel illustrates, the animals are beginning to turn on one another, which explains why they failed to “finish the job” and Slick Smitty and Count Weirdly remain at large.

Gasoline Alley, 6/6/23

Oh, hey, how’s the tale of Rufus’s head injury going? Well, he’s unconscious and unresponsive, and emergency services are unable to reach him, so, not great, really! Not great at all!

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Judge Parker, 5/27/23

Oh, can’t remember if I mentioned that the CIA let April out of prison, but: the CIA let April out of prison, presumably because they knew that no physical cell they could build could trap and torment her more than the walls of her own mind, where she can’t escape the memory of her life as an assassin. Remember when these two were young and fun and in love, and Randy made weird, vaguely sexual jokes about chopsticks? They need to recapture their youth and passion again, possibly by going back to what they’re best at (for April, this is assassinating people).

Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/27/23

I can’t find it now, but wasn’t there some mention that Buck would be around to take care of Hank Sr. if he needed help while Hank Jr. and Yvonne were on their honeymoon? Well, apparently that wasn’t necessary, thank God. Hank Sr.’s doing just fine. So are his son and daughter-in-law. Everything’s fine! Everything’s going great.

Gasoline Alley, 5/27/23

Meanwhile, in Gasoline Alley everything is not going great. Rufus is having a medical emergency, probably because of that head injury! He needs an ambulance, but — get this — Joel doesn’t know how to operate a telephone. This might cause us concern, if we cared about these people, which we definitely do not.

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Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/21/23

We all know that newspaper comics in general and newspaper soap opera comics in particular are being kept alive by a readership that skews old enough that it is imperative that everyone involved in producing said soap opera comics do everything they can to keep said readership alive, for their own sakes. The tactic Rex Morgan, M.D., has taken to meet this goal is to make everything as low stakes as possible, because even the smallest degree of surprise could cause unpleasant cardiac complications, which is why everyone is treating the fact that an attempted murderer has managed to escape custody and is now at large like a funny little “Oopsie! Ha ha, that’s our Rene!” This cruise ship is still at sea, which means that the killer and his intended victim are stuck together in a limited space, a premise that has powered any number of successful suspense films — but don’t worry, there’s no suspense here! It’s Rex Morgan, M.D. Everything is fine.

Beetle Bailey and Dennis the Menace, 5/21/23

I get and honestly respect that one of the biggest advantages of writing a syndicated newspaper comic is that you can run into one of life’s little modern annoyances and say to yourself, “Hey, you know who else probably finds this annoying? All the old people who read my comic strip.” Of these two examples of the genre, I have to say that Beetle Beetle is by far the more successful, in that it’s integrated the inciting annoyance into a character-driven joke, whereas Dennis the Menace just has Mr. Wilson yelling the things that we all, admittedly, want to yell.

Gasoline Alley, 5/21/23

Not to be a know-it-all, but the average price of a gallon of milk in the U.S. has been higher than the average price of a gallon of gasoline for 19 of the past 23 years! I’m also hung up on why Clovia says that gas AND postage is high and that’s why it’s cheaper to mail something than drive it. Still, I get that inflation can be a confusing economic phenomenon that doesn’t affect all regions or products equally, so I want to reserve my harshest criticism for Slim, who in the final panel reveals that he thinks an oil barrel is some kind of animal or maybe plant that, when properly fed and cared for, produces more oil.