Dennis the Menace, 11/4/22
I actually think it’s more or less fine to do a syndicated newspaper strip that takes place in some kind of permanent 1950s boomer childhood fantasy world, especially for legacy strips that were born in that era anyway. I do feel like if you’re going to have a 1950s housewife tending to a rascally little tyke in overalls who’s allowed to roam the suburban neighborhood freely with a slingshot, the price you pay is that you can’t have said tyke mouth off about “the supply chain” or whatever. It’s too stale to be actually topical but topical enough that Dennis definitely shouldn’t be talking about it, which puts it in an uncanny valley spot that’s ironically pretty menacing, just not the kind of menacing I like.
The Lockhorns, 11/4/22
Meanwhile, because I contain multitudes, I love it when The Lockhorns get vaguely contemporary. Leroy losing all his money in a crypto scam? Yes, yes I say, give me more of this. The Lockhorns are Millennials after all, so it adds up.
Speaking of topical matters, I did a piece in 2020 about the initial wave of the COVID pandemic and the comics, but didn’t broach the subject that maybe I should’ve: what if a comic character actually died of COVID? I think possibly the funniest possible way for Dustin to dramatically stop publishing would’ve been to have its unloved title character die of wild-type COVID in April 2020, unmourned by his family or his temp agency. Sadly, in late 2022, this is probably just a cold, or at worst an Omicron infection that he’s vaccinated against and will get over, but fingers crossed that he’s maybe got that mutant flu/RSV hybrid that’s going around and we’ll be freed from this strip’s nonsense.
Funky Winkerbean, 11/4/22
Very sad that Summer has chosen a book topic that will require her to interview all her dad’s insufferable old friends, but I suppose the big reveal that the town’s mailman was violating federal law and everyone’s privacy for decades will at least result in a flurry of local sales interest.
I love it when the TV announces that regular programming has been pre-empted for some undisclosed reason and also refuses to tell me what it’s been replaced by, a normal occurrence that happens in real life all the time. Anyway, do you think today’s strip falls into the distressingly frequent Shoe category of “It’s fucked up that they have birds doing this joke”? Discuss.