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Comics archive! Momma

The eternal now (is full of poo)

Marvin, 8/1/14

Guys, I know I spend a lot of time dwelling on the fact that Marvin does a lot of poop jokes, but … I dunno, it always strikes me anew that here’s a major syndicated comic that makes poop jokes one of the foundations on which it builds its comedic empire. It’s baby poop, to be sure, which gets some kind of pass, because in real life most people quite rightly think of cleaning the crap-filled underpants of an infant in entirely different terms than they would of dealing with the feces of, say, a 40-year-old. Maybe Marvin’s target audience is supposed to be people with new babies! One of the fascinating revelations in this article about how Target tries to predict when you’re pregnant based on your purchases is that people are uniquely open to changing their buying routines right after having a baby. Maybe Marvin is hoping that some poor exhausted poo-stained new parent out there is falling into a state of despair and is looking for someone, anyone to affirm that their current literally shitty existence is normal and even, from a certain perspective, kind of funny. Marvin is there for you. Eventually, your child will learn to go in the toilet, and presumably your own comics tastes will similarly grow up a little, into strips that focus on toddlers or older kids. (Hi and Lois made the savvy decision to cover the whole gamut of childhood from babies through teens, so it might earn your brand loyalty for years to come.) Meanwhile, Marvin will keep on trucking along, waiting for new parents to find it and feel the warm embrace of empathy for their struggles; for those of us who keep reading it daily for years, though, not just the 30 or so months a typical baby takes to be potty trained, Marvin’s endless free-pooping existence, combined with his overwhelmingly smug attitude about the whole matter, will just come to seem more and more grotesque.

Anyway, here’s today’s Marvin! It’s about how Marvin’s dad went running on a really hot day with Marvin on his back, and then Marvin pooped himself.

Beetle Bailey, 8/1/14

I realize this might sound hypocritical based on the above rant, but some things, like the paper-thin characterizations built for each member of the Beetle Bailey supporting cast, ought to keep going decade after decade. Plato is the “philosophical one” at Camp Swampy. He wears glasses and is literally named “Plato.” He’s not going to come up with some clever and entirely practical method to improve his situation. That’s Chip Gizmo’s territory (though if Chip did it there’d be a 50-50 chance that it wouldn’t work).

Momma, 8/1/14

Ha ha, OK, Momma, we get it! You thought it was funny in 2008 to do a strip where Momma complains about an “emptiness” that was left when her husband died, and then a suitor offered to “fill” the emptiness, and then Momma responded in such a way to imply that the offer was to “fill” (with her suitor’s penis) the “emptiness” (inside her vagina). You thought it was funny enough that you ran it again six and a half years later. But even you can’t think it’s so very hilarious that it bears repeating a third time after a mere 27 days! Please, stop the madness! Give us time to recover!

I’d argue that it was Truth that gave birth to Art, myself

Gil Thorp, 7/11/14

Whoops, it turns out that nothing about the end of Gil Thorp’s spring storyline or the beginning of its summer storyline has been worth bringing to your attention, which means that I haven’t talked about it since … mid-June? Sounds about right! Golf is generally the sport of choice for summer storylines, but this year we’re going for the excitement of seven on seven football!!!!! Which is probably exciting? Anyway, today we formally meet Art and, I guess, assuming the meaty flipper-hand in panel three is meant to be flailing around in an introductory way, True, who have been watching the games and making notes, so I suppose they’re supposed to be seven-on-seven football scouts or something, which maybe is a real thing. What mainly piqued my interest in this sea of baffling half-understood info is the name of this (I think) father-son pair, “Art” and “True”. For isn’t art the purest expression of truth? And isn’t truth the basis of all art? I certainly hope their analysis of the Mudlarks’ roster talent is entirely abstract and philosophical.

Six Chix, 7/11/14

A cool thing about having your own comic is that you can use it as an opportunity to work out your very specific gripes about life. Did the member of the Six Chix consensus-driven collective responsible for today’s strip recently go to a restaurant that didn’t have a bathroom, or a restaurant from which she caught hepatitis? Since hepatitis A is transmitted via fecal matter, is it possible that these two factors are related via a particularly unpleasant method of protesting the no-public-bathrooms policy?

Mary Worth, 7/11/14

Wow, Olive, who has been shown to have future-predicting ability, sure looks scared to see this doctor! Maybe her second sight is giving her a look into her own fate, or maybe she’s just aware that she lives in a heavy-handed over-determined narrative and her doctor is literally named “Kapuht.”

Momma, 7/11/14

Momma readers were surprised when the strip simply became day after day of Momma’s children sitting in an empty void geting reports on the people their mother had killed, but most agreed that it was an improvement.

Love is like ebola, is the message I’m getting here

Momma, 7/10/14

For a brief and horrifying moment I was pretty convinced that Momma had descended into full-on nightmare, with its elderly characters’ organs liquifying, leaving them nothing more than wrinkled skin-bags waddling around full of audibly sloshing viscera-slurry. But now I think that maybe this is a pants-wetting joke? Old people have problems with incontinence? Ha … ha? Never have I grasped onto the possibility of an incontinence joke with such desperation.

Herb and Jamaal, 7/10/14

Generic Customer Guy is right to look so dubious about Herb’s dad’s advice. “So … you want me to relentlessly pursue a woman who made her romantic disinterest in me clear not once but twice? Sure, that can only end well for everybody.”

Pluggers, 7/10/14

Sure, most people tune into Pluggers for the lower-middle class exurban cultural resentment, but I think they’re going to like the new creative direction, where it’s just streams of absurdist nonsense, just fine!