Hi and Lois, 9/25/14
I generally spend as little time around children as I can manage, so I often have hard time either figuring out how old kids are without being explicitly told or knowing what exactly the appropriate behavior and/or cognitive development is for whatever age they end up being. Figuring out the ages of the extremely stylized children of the comics is even harder. I’ve always pegged Dot and Ditto at around … eight? Or ten? Eight to ten, maybe? Anyhoo, I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if Ditto is nine-ish, I’m not sure if that’s an age where you’re supposed to earnestly walk through a Socratic dialogue designed to logically prove that your children should follow the ethical systems you’ve established, of if you should just announce “because I said so” and send them to their rooms. At any rate, I suppose Ditto is perfectly capable at understanding the locally prevailing moral code, considering he’s developed an elaborate persona specifically to circumvent it.
Marvin, for all its other faults, spares you any need to try to map any of its baby-characters onto the real developmental timeline of actual human infants, since it’s less concerned with verisimilitude than it is in creating a horrifying dreamscape of infantilized scat humor. “What could be worse than the strip’s constant focus on diapers?” you might say. “Maybe if the strip’s baby-characters were sexually attracted to each other, and one decided to flirt with another by complimenting her diaper?” you’d say. “That’d be awful,” you’d say. “Surely no punchline to such a strip could make the initial premise worse,” you’d say. You’d be wrong, though!
Mark Trail, 9/25/14
“I’ve heard the horns of those rhinos are aphrodisiacs, and customers in China will pay big money for them! I’ve got to harvest as many horns as I can before the species is driven to extinction!”
Mark Trail, 9/23/14
Hey, remember Jacob Hickman, the anti-poaching activist who sat out this entire Mark Trail poaching storyline with a sprained ankle? He’s still talking, apparently! And introducing his entire team of fellow anti-poachers, who also didn’t help Mark out. How long are we supposed to sit still for this nonsense? “I’m a bit of an survivalist!” says the guy who never had to shove a flaming branch into a hippo’s maw or behead a snake or listen to a guy with a flattop talk about his relationship troubles and also demand to be called ‘Dirty’ even once.
Apartment 3-G, 9/23/14
So, we’re really, really going to do this? Just a week of Jack and Carol talking to each other, huh? OK, well, uh, let’s look on the bright side, Jack promised when he left that he was going to commune with the spirits of the dead, so at least we’ll get some creepy action out of WAIT WHAT DAMN IT JACK
Judge Parker, 9/23/14
WHEW, at least something is happening in Judge Parker, if by “something” you mean “the Spencer-Drivers are going to motor off onto the highway in their enormous, gas-guzzling, almost certainly non-road-legal motor home.” Seeing terrified poors driving their adorable li’l compact cars into ditches to avoid being smeared all over the interstate by the Road Queen ought to be good for a laugh or two! By the way, Sam, you bought that thing because you and Abbey abruptly decided you wanted one, for sex purposes, and then the first RV dealership you went to was about to go bankrupt and so sold you one dirt cheap.
Mark Trail, 9/20/14
Hey, remember when this whole storyline started off, with Woods and Wildlife Magazine sending Mark off to Africa to hook up with anti-poaching activist Jacob Hickman, but then Mark got to Africa and Jacob Hickman had vanished, apparently under suspicious circumstances, so he just invited himself on Chris and Lori’s safari instead? Well, anyway, it turns out Jacob Hickman was fine, mostly, except that he had been delayed and forced to walk back to civilization … forced by rhinos. Ironic, isn’t it Jacob? You do so much for these ungrateful beasts, and yet they still try to kill you. Maybe you’ll lighten up a little on the whole poaching thing now, ha ha! Anyway, seems like Jacob’s working pretty fast to take credit for a whole lot of things that Mark did while he was busy taking his scenic little stroll.
Family Circus, 9/20/14
How much do I love mustache-dude just standing there with his hands behind his back watching Mommy Keane trying to parallel park? This is clearly his favorite form of entertainment. Probably he lurks around smallish parking spaces just waiting for something this exciting to happen. “Oh boy, this lady’s got a station wagon and a little kid in the car! I could get a solid three or four minutes out of this!”