Archive: Gasoline Alley

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Dick Tracy, 1/21/18

Dick Tracy is one of the lucky few sci-fi-ish franchises that have run so long that they’ve seen real life overtake their signature gee-whiz future tech. Just as Star Trek’s 1960s-era communicators look ludicrously bulky compared to the actual communication devices of the year 2018, Dick Tracy’s signature wrist wizards are basically everyday technology in the ’10s. Whatever advantages they have in sleekness (presumably they don’t need to sync to a cell phone) or style (is that an analog clock taking up a good quarter of its UI?), they lose a million points for subtlety, especially if, for instance, they’re being used by an police officer working deep undercover within the criminal apparatus. It looks like T-Bolt (actual name “Lee Ebony,” and I’ll leave it up to you as to which is more cringeworthy) should’ve just used a burner phone from 7-11 like a normal person.

Gasoline Alley, 1/21/18

Hey, uh, do the first two panels in the second row imply what I think they’re implying? Gasoline Alley HQ is going to find itself on the receiving end of a Blue Lives Matter protest in short order if so.

Panel from Slylock Fox, 1/21/18

Oh, snap, sexists, I bet you failed to figure out this mystery because you forgot that girls can be gamers too! This is like that “the surgeon was his mother” riddle, but updated for our current era (our current era, it goes without saying, is extremely stupid).

Spider-Man, 1/21/18

Finally, after months of build-up, it’s time for the super-powered battle between Spider-Man and the Lizard that we’ve been waiting for! [one panel later] Ah, well, uh, let’s see if the Hulk can handle this.

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Mary Worth, 11/26/17

This is typical wrap-up Sunday Mary Worth with no plot forward motion, but I have to admit to being intrigued by the quote-of-the-week, putting a phrase that probably millions of humans have uttered into the mouth of former British Prime Minister John Major, who probably said it at some point. Does this presage future plot points? Will Wilbur return to Santa Royale and discover that Mary Worth, the “Iron Lady of Charterstone,” is becoming less and less popular, and manage to maneuver things so that he becomes condo association head (surprise!) despite having publicly backed Mary throughout the whole process?

Gasoline Alley, 11/26/17

I think there’s a lot to say about how Thanksgiving, which once represented an occasion to thank God for bountiful harvests in an era when nationwide food scarcity was an ever-present threat, slowly became an orgiastic, gluttonous rite as we moved into a less religious age of mechanized agriculture and endless food surpluses, and that shift is reflected in our iconography of the holiday. But until I get around to writing it, just enjoy today’s grotesque celebration of the season, in which armed turkeys intend to murder Slim and feast on his flesh and organs.

Dennis the Menace, 11/26/17

Sure, this is a trip about how much Dennis can’t wait to drink and party like a grown-up, but definitely the most menacing part is how the boldface in the final panel indicates that Henry is 100% stage whispering, clearly intending to let Dennis know that in his opinion the birth of a child is the death of fun.

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Dennis the Menace, 11/10/17

I had a lot of questions about what exactly we’re meant to understand about the the main six panels of this strip — did Dennis make Mr. Wilson sit through an entire movie, or, given the mention of Ewoks, the entire original trilogy? or is he just jumping around on his couch rambling on about his favorite media franchises? why does Dennis seem to think that Mr. Wilson, who would’ve been in his 30s when Episode IV came out, is somehow unfamiliar with what’s probably the most famous series of movies ever made? — but then I saw the second throwaway panel and it sent chills down my spine, illuminating the real reason why Dennis feels compelled to hang out at the Wilsons’ place all the time, and why Mr. Wilson, for all his showy irritation, never actually kicks him out. I look forward to the day when Dennis is old enough to learn about his true parentage, and Mr. Wilson implores him to join forces so they can rule their suburban neighborhood together, grumpily.

Spider-Man, 11/10/17

Ha ha, what you do you think that last e-mail was like? “Hey, Peter, this is a little awkward considering how we left things the last time we saw each other (I was a lizard and trying to kill you), but I just wanted to let you know I’ve always valued our friendship and also I definitely don’t turn into a lizard on the regular anymore. Anyway, I’ve got to go tend to my dying wife, but here’s my address in Miami — I’d love to see you any time you’re in town. Even if it’s several years from now, don’t bother calling in advance or anything. Just show up! I love unexpected visitors! Your pal, Doctor Connors (who is absolutely not a lizard right now and won’t be turning into one anytime soon)”

Gasoline Alley, 11/10/17

I genuinely appreciate the single bead of sweat rolling down Walt’s face in the final panel here, and he gets an inkling of the Kafkaesque hell that awaits him as he tries to track down this package. And I certainly hope we get to see every minute of it over the next two or three months! It can’t be any worse than the eight weeks they spent on scrapbooking!