Archive: Gasoline Alley

Post Content

Slylock Fox, 10/31/22

The thing I absolutely love and respect about Slick Smitty is that every time we see him, Slylock and the animal cops have him absolutely dead to rights, yet he still has the shit-eating grin on his face that says that he doesn’t believe he’ll receive any consequences for his actions or simply doesn’t care about them if he does. That’s true even in circumstances like today’s, when he’s dressed in an extremely stupid costume in order to pull of an even stupider crime, and hooked up to one of those lie detector machines that the animals have advanced from the current level of “not a lie detector, just a detector of elevated heart rates and other physical activity” to “detects lies, but unable to understand low-level ‘truths’ and ‘falsehoods’ as part of a larger semantic context.”

Dick Tracy, 10/31/22

I’ve had my differences with Vitamin Flintheart in the past, but I respect his theater company’s total commitment to verisimilitude. They have access to an extremely lifelike robotic dog that can talk, and yet they’re still trying to find a trained real dog for the non-talking scenes! You don’t want the human actors to start worrying about getting replaced by robots, now do you.

Gasoline Alley, 10/31/22

Say what you will about Gasoline Alley, but as its name implies, it began as a strip about people talking about motor vehicles, so I have to respect the amount of panel space it’s dedicating to people going into great detail about the different kinds of garbage trucks in use today.

Post Content

Mary Worth, 10/25/22

Good (?) news, everybody: Zak didn’t fall to his death mid-selfie, or at least he hasn’t yet! No, he’s grabbed onto a cliffside branch, Sgt. Snorkel style, and now needs Iris to drag him to safety. There was a bit of dialogue in a strip last week in which Iris said she can easily handle this hike due to the “strength training” she’s been doing; I assume that, despite her current protests, she will eventually be able to rescue Zak, finding her power in an adrenaline-fueled burst like the stories you hear about mothers lifting up cars to save their children, which really fits in with the nature of their relationship.

Funky Winkerbean, 10/25/22

When Summer announced her plan to follow in her father’s footsteps and write a book, a lot of my commenters speculated that she would be following in her father’s footsteps and writing a book about her mother, Les’s dead wife Lisa. But, nope! Turns out she’s going to be writing about all the alive losers in her dumb loser town, which frankly seems like a much, much worse idea.

Hi and Lois, 10/25/22

I truly enjoy the fact that in panel one Lois and Irma are genuinely shocked by whorish athleisure fashions of the sort that used to be impossible in polite society but are now on sale at every department store, but in panel two they’ve managed to mediate their discomfort through an ironic quip to find their equilibrium. Do I enjoy the fact that this attitude has been grafted onto women who canonically cannot be past their early 40s, women who have never worn a girdle in their lives and whose mothers probably never did either? Well, no, but that is just a professional hazard of writing a blog about newspaper comics strips, where the assumed age of your audience is roughly 75.

Gasoline Alley, 10/25/22

Speaking of which, it is absolutely shocking to me that any character in Gasoline Alley is supposed to have seen a film made as recently as 2016. This strip is going to cause riots in the streets!

Post Content

Shoe, 10/11/22

If you want a sense of how very old the actual imagined target readership of the newspaper comics is, consider today’s Shoe, which uses as the basis for its punchline the pop cultural touchstone of men belonging to fraternal orders with silly, overelaborate rituals and leadership titles. This is not even something that was really part of the Baby Boom generation’s experience; it’s something that Baby Boomers half-remember their parents arguing about, probably. It’s something that I, a 48-year-old man, mostly know about from watching decades-old reruns of The Flintstones as a child. And yet here it is, a joke in the newspaper and on God’s own internet that makes exactly zero sense if you aren’t familiar with these entirely moribund organizations. Definitely a sign of a healthy art form!

Gasoline Alley, 10/11/22

Not sure what I’m more surprised by: that Walt never considered that his proposed activities might be physically dangerous, or that the prospect of death finally coming for him still engenders anxiety, rather than a sense of profound relief.