Momma usually wrings laughs from the wildly imbalanced nature of the relationship between Momma and her adult children: she wants them closer, despite the fact that they’re all kind of terrible, and she herself is terrible to them in various ways, and they pull away. If that doesn’t sound funny to you, then congrats on being a decent human being, but to the extent that the conceit works, it works because Momma is cartoonishly terrible and not at all self-reflective. That’s why today’s panel three, in which Momma watches her fleeing son and poignantly reflects on her own unbearableness, is definitely one of the more depressing things the newspaper comics have to offer today.
The Lockhorns, 2/25/15
The self-loathing both halves of the Lockhorns feel is an integral part of this feature’s shtick, of course. Leroy wants so badly to disappear into comforting nothingness that he can’t even bring himself to photograph his own face.
Mark Trail, 2/25/15
You know who doesn’t go through a bunch of agonized self-reflection, ever? Wolves! Wolves feel really quite good about themselves and their totally rad ability to form an awesome, bad-ass pack and just straight up eat a whole moose. Old Ripper becomes the first Mark Trail animal to get a name other than “Lucky” that I can remember, though like the old mother moose, Ripper is old, because you have to respect the strip’s animal-identification traditions.
“He doesn’t know the half of it! Why, the Battles of Lexington and Concord were fought by Massachusetts militiamen before I was appointed commander of the Continental Army; the Battle of Saratoga was fought by my subordinates while I was nowhere nearby; and the Treaty of Paris was negotiated by others who I had no authority over, since at that time I was only a military commander, not the chief executive! I don’t deserve to have these pennants hanging up in my office! They just make me feel like a big man! I’m a fraud!”
Man, wasn’t it great when Americans were united by utter terror of nuclear annihilation? There definitely weren’t any divisions here at home at all during that period! Thanks for reminding us of this gentler era, Caveman Poet!
Mark Trail, 2/22/15
Despite what this feature might’ve implied last week, you’re probably not being stalked by a terrifying grizzly bear right now. You are surrounded by insects in all directions, though! Horrible, horrible insects. Just look at them! They’re awful monsters.
Panel from Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/22/15
Hey, remember a couple weeks ago when it looked like there might be some kind of conflict in this storyline? Haha, well, never mind all that!
Mark Trail, 2/20/15
“It made me think of my own wife! Her name is Hope, and I love her so much I never even mentioned her before now. Definitely I would never take her deep into the swamp where I keep my bog-palace! I mean, people’s wives get kidnapped all the time out here! What kind of monster are you, Mark, bringing your poor wife into this hellhole kidnapping-land?”
Dennis the Menace, 2/20/15
By refuting the basic premises behind harsh prison sentencing, Dennis menaces our modern prison-industrial complex and the culture of retribution that feeds it.
Funky Winkerbean, 2/20/15
Literally Funky Winkerbean is just spending days having representatives of Enormous Midwestern University be smirking dicks to the hapless teens of Westview High. I mean, I guess most people in this strip are smirking dicks to everyone else all the time, but somehow it jumps out more when non-recurring characters do it.
I know this is one of those things where just speaking the name summons the thing into existence, but at the moment I am very glad for the Google search results I just got:
Clearly any such stories would include a depth of emotional and sexual cruelty that would put Fifty Shades of Grey to shame.