Friday, July 02, 2004

Next position please

One of the things that drives me crazy about the Alley Oop strip today is the way the artists can't seem to keep the character's positions straight from one frame to the next. Take today's strip (July 2, 2004) as an example.
Notice in the first frame we see Dave Wowee facing forward with Ava just to his right and Oola is across the room in front of him. Alley Oop is to Dave's left across from Ava.
Then in frame 2 Oola is suddenly behind Dave and to his right. Then in the final frame, Oola is back across the room and Ava has switched sides and is on Dave's left with Alley Oop nowhere to be found.

A modest proposal

So Alley Oop finally gets around to asking Oola to marry him after 71 years (the Alley Oop strip began in 1933) and Oola says she needs time to think about it!?!?! Aaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!
But before we have to deal with that any further the incredibly annoying Dr. Wonmug suddenly pops in from the future. He has obviously been snooping on them with his time machine and decides to barge into the middle of their intimate encounter to invite them on a “vacation” to the future. Golly! It’s not as if they had ever been there before.
So what is Oop’s reaction when Wonmug suddenly barges in just moments after he has popped the big question? He asks if the time machine has broken down again. That’s like having someone drive up to your house and your first reaction is to ask if their car is broken down. No, you idiot. That’s how I got here.
Now remember that it wasn’t too long back that Oop was trapped in a Scottish dungeon when Dr. Wonmug couldn’t figure out how to fix his broken time machine and during his extended absense from Moo he nearly lost Oola to another suitor. So one might think that he wouldn’t be real hot on the idea of jumping back into the time machine for another trip so soon. But of course you would be wrong. They are ready to go without even a thought of going back to the cave to do any packing or to get a change of clothes. So, off we go again. Whoopee!

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Pit

I sometimes wonder how far in advance some cartoonists craft their stories, especially when world events begin to converge on the action taking place in the comic strip.
Surely, I wasn’t the only person who cringed when the storyline about Dolf wrapped up with King Guz sending him to “the pit” at the same time that the Abu Gharib prisoner abuse scandal was making big news around the globe.
Dolf, of course, was the mysterious interloper who started wooing Alley Oop’s girlfriend Oola while our caveman adventurer was out on one of his pointless time traveling jaunts. When Oop came back he went after Dolf like Ken Starr went after Bill Clinton - digging for dirt, spreading rumors and innuendo and generally trashing his character to everyone who would listen.
But unfortunately for Dolf, the strip’s authors had it out for him in the end. As Oop’s obsession with Dolf grows, we see the cheerful, good-natured Dolf suddenly transformed into a dastardly villian right before our eyes. Now, instead of smiling pleasantly at everyone, he has a nasty scowl on his face whenever he is not dealing directly with one of the main characters. We also find that in addition to being a vile evil-doer, Dolf is also an idiot (which explains how he was able to fit in so well with the rest of the Moovians).
It turns out that Dolf has been drugging King Guz to get him to say where his troops are stationed on the border between Moo and Lem. You see, Dolf is a Lemmian who is secretly planning to lead an invasion force into Moo to take over the country. But this begs the question, if he already has King Guz under his thumb why does he need to invade? What would that accomplish?
And if he can’t defeat the Moovian forces at the border and only plans to sneak by them, what is he going to do when they come in from the border to confront him once he is inside Moo with his invasion force?
These questions are never addressed, however, since Alley Oop has already devined what Dolf’s plan is and is there to foil him when he leads his ragtag group of invaders across the border. During the melee that ensues, Dolf has a chance to escape, but stupidly decides to stop and see if Oola is still enamored with him. She of course slugs him and he is carted back to King Guz in handcuffs. When Guz learns of Dolf’s treachery he immediately sentences him to be thrown into “the pit” which I guess is Moo’s version of Abu Gharib prison. No trial, no appeal, no legal counsel, not even a chance to contact family members.