Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Gasoline Alley and the Hot Dog Monarch

I understand that the gentle humor of Jim Scancarelli's Gasoline Alley isn't for everyone. But there's something to be said for nuance. Take the May, 11, 2015 sequence, for example. (click on image to enlarge).

Joel and Rufus have launched another hair-brained scheme -- this time literally. There are three layers of humor contained in that final panel.

The first level is the balloon's shape. We expect an inverted teardrop hot air balloon, so one that looks like a wiener is funny (OK, not very funny, but still). The second level is the name. "Frank King" seems like an excellent name for a hot dog company. Because "frank" is another word for "hot dog." Get it? But it's the third level that makes me appreciate Scancarelli's artistry.

Frank King was the creator of Gasoline Alley and both wrote and drew the strip from 1918 through 1959. So the name on the balloon is actually a nod to the originator of the strip. An Easter egg for the knowledgeable fan.

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