What’s Going On In Gasoline Alley? Are they making a Gasoline Alley movie? October – December 2021


In the strip, as I write this, someone’s making a movie in Gasoline Alley. I trust it’ll involve the characters of the venerable comic strip. Still, it raises the question: wait, did they never make a Gasoline Alley movie? Like, back in the 40s or 50s when every comic strip turned into a movie? Indeed, they did, with two movies in 1951: Gasoline Alley and Corky of Gasoline Alley.

There were also a couple of radio versions of Gasoline Alley. The 1941 NBC version, according to John Dunning’s On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, was a daily serial that adapted that day’s newspaper comic. I know they only had to fill ten minutes of airtime, and that comics were more densely written those days. I still can’t imagine how you pad one day’s comic out to that much time. I can’t find any recordings of the 1941 run, though, and wonder whether it’s unavailable or whether it’s held by collectors who haven’t put it on the free-download sources.

So this should catch you up to the end of 2021 in Jim Scancarelli’s Gasoline Alley. If you’re reading this after April 2022, or if any news about the comic breaks, I should have an update here. And on my other blog, I’ve been sharing some older writing, while I get the energy to finish last year’s little glossary project. You might enjoy it also.

Gasoline Alley.

10 October – 31 December 2021.

The Gasoline Alley forest rangers wanted to hold a Halloween party, last I checked in. The young, bear-befriending Aubee and Boog suggested the Emmons house, vacant since the widow Sarah Emmons died. It’s a fine, haunted-looking place, their mother Hoogy Skinner agrees. But she’s barely seen the spot when real estate agent Kim Luna arrives with the news it’s been sold, sight unseen. But the new owner doesn’t mind if the locals have a party as long as they don’t damage the place.

Kim Luna: 'Good news! The owner said you could use his house for the party ... but don't damage or leave it a wreck!' Hoogy Skinner: 'He hasn't seen it, has he?' Luna: 'No! He's from out of state and bought it *site* and *sight* unseen!'
Jim Scancarelli’s Gasoline Alley for the 26th of October, 2021. He bought a house in Gasoline Alley Town without even having real estate agent Kim Luna walk through it holding up a Facetime camera? This out-of-state owner is braver than Navy Seals. Also the comments on GoComics have charming messages of concern from people worried about the lawsuit potential everyone’s opening everyone else up to, here.

It’s a successful enough party to attract Snuffy Smith. Also Bearlee and Uncle Bearnaise, the wild bears that Aubee and Boog were hanging out with last plot recap. They give Aubee, who’s herself dressed as a bear, tips on how to act more authentic. The bears win the costume contest, because Jim Scancarelli likes writing that sort of gentle fantastic American Cornball plot.

Then, from the 9th of November, a second American Cornball plot intrudes. This one involves counterfeiters, who’d been using the place to store their product. I know what you’re thinking: oh, they’re the buyers of the house, right? But then why would they have allowed a party there? They’re not the buyers. They were just using the abandoned house. They never expected the place to get sold, nor that there would be a party there. If they had they’d have pretended to haunt the place or something. Still, they’ve locked up everything incriminating, so I’m not sure what they’re there to do. I guess they wanted the free food.

Bank robber, in front of a wall of cartoon characters including Pogo, Birdman, Ben Grimm, and Felix the Cat: 'Something's going on! There's a commotion over in the corner where our press and phony money is hidden, Boss!' Sophie, a little kid dressed as Amelia Earhart, opens the door and dollar bills pour out; she says, 'Blooky!' The Boss says, 'Not anymore, it isn't!'
Jim Scancarelli’s Gasoline Alley for the 12th of November, 2021. There is a strip where Sophie’s mother explains how she was able to pick the lock open: ‘Easy!’ And that’s all we get. Whether you see that as yeah, all the explanation the story needs (and a cute joke to finish it) or as an irritating dodge of the author’s responsibility to explain major developments probably says whether you should be reading Gasoline Alley.

And then one of the kids opens the locked door with everything behind. The counterfeiters fake having guns, by draping handkerchiefs over food. The partygoers think it’s a performance, and slowly realize it’s not. The cops show up fast enough, thanks to Boog calling them. The counterfeiters try to flee, but slip and fall on the broken beads of Ava Luna’s necklace. (She’s the daughter of the real estate agent.) And so all ends happily. Not for the counterfeiters, sent to jail. But Sophie and Ava Luna get rewards. And the party is the hit of the forest rangers’ families’ Halloweens.


On the 6th of December started the annual magic encounter with Santa. It sure reads like it’s the same night of the Halloween party. But Aubee, Sophie, and Ava agree it’d be great to visit Santa Claus. Ava even knows how to get there: she’s got a magic hat and doll.

Ava Luna, setting her magic doll Ida Noe on the table: 'I'll prove it works! OK, Ida Noe. Aubee, Sophie, and I are ready!' Ida Noe: 'Where do you want to go?' Ava: 'How about Santa's Workshop, North Pole?' Ida: 'OK! Pull down your hat!' Aubee: 'Uh! Wait a sec, Ava!' Ava: 'You scared, Aubee?' Ida: 'What's the hold-up?'
Jim Scancarelli’s Gasoline Alley for the 11th of December, 2021. If you want you can say this was all in the kids’ heads, but then are you really getting into the Christmas story spirit? Anyway I’m a little surprised there wasn’t some allusion to the classic old-time-radio children’s Christmas serial The Cinnamon Bear. But it’s plausible there was and I missed it.

So you’re either in for this sort of light silliness, or you hate-read Gasoline Alley. I hope you walk a path chosen wisely. The kids blip up to Santa’s Workshop and meet Bunky the Elf, keeper of the list of good and bad kids. They meet the reindeer and see the sleigh’s loading dock. And even get to meet Santa Claus, who asks them to tell their parents that Santa still loves them. Again, you’re either in for this sort of thing, or you hate-read Gasoline Alley. (I don’t hate-read the strip.) Mrs Claus gives them cookies right before Ava wishes them all back home, where they wake up in bed with a tale their parents won’t believe. But also cookies, and where did they come from? Huh?


The 27th of December starts the new and current story, about a movie getting made in Gasoline Alley. It’s too soon to say where this is going.

Next Week!

Zebra mussels, bees, skulduggery, and NFTs! What else could it be but Jules Rivera’s Mark Trail, recapped, if all goes well? See you then. And until then, if you see something in nature? Please try not to mess it up. Thank you.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

4 thoughts on “What’s Going On In Gasoline Alley? Are they making a Gasoline Alley movie? October – December 2021”

    1. That would be a cute bit, although I suspect we just aren’t going to see who’s buying the house. The story seems to be resolved and that tends to wipe out these small properties on the edge of town. Maybe it was bought by whoever purchased Gus the Ghost’s house in Barnaby; that really seems like Jim Scancarelli’s speed.

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