Archive: Gasoline Alley

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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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Dennis the Menace, 6/30/19

There’s a lot going on here — Martha is power-walking wearing a sweatshirt over a buttoned shirt when it’s apparently warm enough outside for Alice to be in short sleeves? Alice, who’s never hung out with the Wilsons socially and one imagines has no plans to any time soon, perhaps means “I’m just too busy” as a polite blowoff and is not, in fact, too busy? Dennis is apparently making a ping pong ball levitate in mid-air over the palms of his hands and nobody seems to notice? — but for my money the best part is that Mr. Wilson has ordered a pizza at a time of day when nobody else appears to be eating a meal. Martha went off on one her damn walks again and he got hungry and you don’t expect him to cook, do you?

Pluggers, 6/30/19

“Participation trophies” are one of those things old people love to trot out as evidence of how the kids today are soft and the reason, along with avocado toast, why they’re falling behind economically (and not because, say, housing, education, and healthcare costs are rising faster than wages). Today’s Pluggers has a particularly incoherent take on the concept, though. Aren’t people who take vacation days … not showing up at a job? In fact, if you get paid vacation, aren’t you specifically getting a trophy (which is to say, a paycheck) for not participating? I guess the point is supposed to be that people who actually take the vacation days they’re eligible for — which, to be clear, are part of the compensation your employer offers you in exchange for your labor — are just doing the bare minimum, just “showing up” at the job and nothing else? But the virtuous plugger is getting paid overtime! If he really didn’t want a “participation trophy,” he should be agreeing to work extra hours at no charge! That’s what being a good employee is, right? God, I want to be angry at the labor politics of this strip but they’re so confusing I can’t figure out exactly what they are! DAMN YOU PLUGGERS

Gasoline Alley, 6/30/19

This is a perfectly nice strip depicting the Gasoline Alley cast in Revolutionary War-era costume that has its vibe completely upended by the [extremely spooky voice] ~dark eagle~ in the lower left panel. Who or what is this terrifying bird? What does he portend? Is America doomed? America’s doomed, right?

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Mother Goose and Grimm, 6/5/19

Just about every animator and cartoonist eventually dabbles with a “Duck Amuck“-style plot where the characters grapple with the nature of their own reality. Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm is a particularly disturbing take, though, with Mother Goose going bug-eyed with panic as she realizes she’s dissolved her beloved dog’s body into nothingness. Only his eyes remain, hanging in mid-air, leading to an important question: are eyes the soul of a cartoon character? Makes you think!

Shoe, 6/5/19

I’m extremely put off by the way Shoe is making direct eye contact with the reader in the second panel, as if to say, “Get it? I, Shoe, the title character in this comic strip, walk around naked at all times, and maybe you’ve been reading this strip for years and just assumed it’s a weird visual quirk that everyone involved in the strip’s production has long forgotten about, but: nope! I’m naked, other characters in this strip wear clothes, I’m violating every in-universe social norm, but they can’t stop me. Nobody can stop me. It’s now official Shoe canon that I’m a sick pervert bird-man who likes making everyone feel uncomfortable, because that’s how I get off.”

Gasoline Alley, 6/5/19

Please sign my change dot org petition to require that every Gasoline Alley strip end with one of the characters saying “Huh?”, thus assuring the reader that they aren’t meant to really understand anything that anybody is saying.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/5/19