Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The time travel conundrum

Today's strip is one of those jaw-droppers where you are left scratching your head and wondering where they come up with this stuff. Oscar Boom is trying to reconcile himself with Alley Oop while both are locked in the dungeon of a Scottish castle sometime back in the 1500s. He admits to having a "criminal past" which is news to anybody who has only been reading the strip for - oh, say the past 8 years! And then Alley Oop starts to have more flashbacks to strips dating back to WWII! Oop admits that Boom might have redeemed himself when he invented a rocket back during WWII! First off, how old is Oscar Boom supposed to be anyway! 100!?! And secondly, if he redeemed himself so long ago, why is Oop hung up on stuff that happened prior to WWII? Why aren't they making plans to escape from the dungeon? What will they do if the y do escape but clueless Dr. Wonmug can't ever fix his time machine?

Ah yes, the broken time machine problem. This was the beginning of the latest series that started several months ago when the time machine went haywire in the first place. At that time, Dr. Wonmug admitted to his assistant Ava, that he no longer knows how to fix his own invention! What's up with that!! Does he have Alzheimers or something?? But rather than addressing this issue, they set about placing want ads in the newspaper to look for someone who can fix the machine!! But the person who eventually answers the ad turns out to be a distant cousin of Dr. Wonmug from the future who has traveled back in his own time machine to give them a hand. But now the conundrum. If the current day time machine is broken and Wonmug can't fix it, how does he ever pass on this knowledge to future generations of his clan to build other time machines? It is not logical!!!! But that isn't stopping them at this point, so even when future boy fails to fix the old machine his answer is to go back to the future and fetch parts to build a futuristic machine that they can use from that point on in the past - or the present- whatever. Just pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, Dorothy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

A long history

The Alley Oop comic strip was created in 1933 by V.T. Hamlin. I did not start reading the strip until 1995, so there is a long history behind the strip of which I am clearly ignorant. That is especially apparent today as Oop and Oscar Boom continue their pointless, meandering discussion about Boom's illicit background. I never knew that Boom was anything other than Dr. Wonmug's assistant, but apparently from today's flashback where he is shown punching Alley Oop in the jaw, he must have at one time been an arch villian who later converted to the good side. Why this is suddenly necessary to bring out now while they are both trapped in the dungeon of a Scottish castle is beyond me. Maybe the writers are just filling space because they don't know where to go with the story next, not that that has ever stopped them before.

Monday, May 12, 2003

A Scottish dungeon

Today we find Alley Oop, our time-traveling caveman, trapped in a dungeon in a Scottish castle with one Oscar Boom, a member of the current day crew who use the time machine to serve business clients and to make a profit. Oop and Boom are stuck in this time because the time machine malfunctioned and Dr. Wonmug and his assistant Ava haven't a clue as to how to fix it. More on that later.
Oop's trusty sidekick dinosaur was also transported to this time period and landed in the moat around the castle where he has been mistaken for the Loch Ness Monster. He effectively scared away an invading British army and is now the subject of much consternation among the occupants of the Scottish castle. Oop snuck into the castle earlier and was immediatly captured and accused of spying and sent to the dungeon, but not before he was conveniently left alone with the resident cleric who has been summoned by the king to make the evil spirit in the moat go away.
When Oop was tossed into the dungeon cell they were nice enough to leave him with just a simple rope tying his hands behind his back. Boom, however, was placed in the stocks. Oop broke free of his rope with ease and then set about freeing his buddy by loudly breaking apart the wooden stocks. Once he was freed, Boom celebrated by yelling very loudly "Yes!! I'm Free!!!!" Amazingly enough, the guards did not come in to see what all the noise was about. How fortunate.
For the past several days Oop and Boom have been having an awkward discussion about the latter's unfortunate habit of trying to steal gold and artifacts on his time travel jaunts. Boom has apparently had enough of this discussion today and tells Oop very loudly to knock it off!!! Fortunately, the guards still do not come and investigate.