Archive: Gasoline Alley

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Funky Winkerbean, 9/10/19

Hey, everyone, did you catch the fun comics news in the Grey Lady yesterday? It turns out that this week’s strips, in which a CTE-addled Bull obsessively washes the family laundry over and over again, isn’t just another round of the usual CTE-addled laffs that we’ve come to expect. Nope, according to a big, spoilers-heavy article in the New York Times, it’s just the setup for a month-long storyline that climaxes with … (wait for it) … (stop reading now if you don’t want to learn the extremely predictable denouement to all this, I guess) … Bull’s suicide! Did you worry that Lisa’s demise, being brought about more or less by random chance, wasn’t bad enough??? Well, good news, the character deaths in Funky Winkerbean are just going to get more grim from here on in, and will continue until all the demands are met.

Mark Trail, 9/10/19

Fortunately Mark Trail is a tragedy-free zone, which means that Mark probably isn’t going to be eaten by a yeti. I do enjoy that Doc has stood up in the background between panels; perhaps he assumed that, having managed to survive a desert flash flood, he’d proven his mettle and would now be Mark’s permanent companion on adventures. His facial expression in panel two indicates that he’s terribly disappointed to be displaced by some kind of freakish camel-scientist hybrid.

Shoe, 9/10/19

Shoe of course is a leader on the funny pages among strips that telegraph to us how little any of the characters want to be there or to be participating in the “jokes” or “wordplay” therein. We’re all familiar with the Patented Shoe Goggle Eyes Of Horror, but I’m fond of today’s more subtle offering, in which the Perfesser leans away from Roz between panels, as if to get as far away from this “punchline” as possible without actually getting up.

Gasoline Alley, 9/10/19

The Gasoline Alley characters, meanwhile, are proud of their punchlines! So proud they need to explain them to one another, at great length, to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

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Crankshaft, 8/27/19

Consecutive days without a properly constructed joke in Crankshaft: 238  0.

Gasoline Alley, 8/27/19

Aside from shouting his name at everybody, Physician’s Assistant Peter Glabella‘s gimmick is empathetic imitation: he hurts when his patients hurt, burps when they burp, gets thirsty when they’re dehydrated. So we scoured Gasoline Alley for somebody he could imitate who isn’t insufferably annoying. No luck.

Pluggers, 8/27/19

Grammy Bear has banished her own son from the house for the abomination of marrying a kangaroo. Apparently he’s still allowed to use the outhouse.

— Uncle Lumpy

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On the Fastrack, 8/17/19

Say, here’s a long-running comic that started out as a pleasant ensemble gag-a-day strip but evolved into a soapbox for the observations, wordplay, and general adoration of a single character, who can do no wrong. Sound familiar? You can almost see Les Moore’s goatee poking out from under the goth makeup.

Gasoline Alley, 8/17/19

And here’s one of those evergreen “snatching death from the jaws of life” narratives. After decades of frustration and reader agony, Rufus’s picaresque woo is finally starting to erode Mayor Miz Melba’s defenses. As night follows day, this triggers his slide into “pain relief pill” addiction and death. Can’t blame him for wanting to quit this world, though, after that “off ow your feet” pun in panel 1.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/17/19

And here is the genuine article, authenticated by its ten-year time jump, week-long Crankshaft flashback/crossover, and overwrought exposition that falls apart on a moment’s inspection. To wit:

  • “Stopping by” to give Crankshaft the funnel cake? Wait, weren’t Pete and Mindy just together at the fair? Has Mindy somehow moved into Bedside Manor?
  • “I love his ‘donut on steroids’ line.” But that was back in the day, and Pete wasn’t there for it. Do these two spend all their off-panel time chattering about Things Grampa Said? Oh God, they probably do.
  • “This is my engagement tiger that Pete won for me at the county fair baseball toss!” Got that, Gramps? Not, “We’re engaged!” or “We brought you a funnel cake!”, but a recap that manages to be both incomprehensible and wrong: a) Pete didn’t win the tiger, the carny gave it to him out of pity, a genuine real-world thing that happens every day; b) “I was planning to propose to you tonight …” is not a proposal, and “My engagement tiger?” is not an acceptance. (Funkyworld people do this weird proposal-not-a-proposal thing all the time.)

In all the confusion, it’s not clear whether Crankshaft is giving Pete the thumbs-up for a) his incompetent pitching, b) his incompetent wooing, or c) successful delivery of a funnel cake. My money’s on the cake.

Judge Parker, 8/17/19

Enough Funky — it’s the triumphant Apartment 3-G reboot! I like the buff new Papagoras! But adult women don’t really dress like the twins here, and since when is Margo the blonde?

Hi there! I’ll be sitting in through Wednesday the 28th while Josh takes a well-earned rest at bucolic Undisclosed Location, far up in the northern part of the state. Reach me at with any access issues, etc.

— Uncle Lumpy