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Comics archive! Marvin

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!

Friday quickies

Mark Trail, 6/6/14

Africa!? But … I’ve finally learned how to endure time spent with my wife! Curse you, Woods and Wildlife Magazine, for somehow still having a cushy travel budget, despite the implosion of print journalism revenues!”

Blondie, 6/6/14

“We also have a terrible, persistent rodent infestation in the kitchen, which dovetails nicely with your metaphor as well!”

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/6/14

Silas’s face crumpled as he realized his plan to turn his store into a local literary salon would run up against an insurmountable obstacle: the near-universal illiteracy of his customer base.

Marvin, 6/6/14

Hey, remember how Marvin hates his parents? Well, they don’t really care much for each other, either.

Other food offerings on display: choco-rectangles, the Ring of Despair, yellowloaf

Mary Worth, 6/2/14

Haha, well, that Mary Worth storyline ended pretty abruptly, didn’t it? One minute Tommy’s finding love and good honest hard work, both of which will sustain him as he finally enters adulthood and maturity (assuming he doesn’t develop Meat Lung from breathing in those sandwich fumes all day); then, suddenly, it’s Pool Party time, with Wilbur and Iris being all lovey-dovey in the background. (Tommy is not in attendance, of course, because he’s busy trying to get mustard stains out of the upholstery in the VIP section. THEY NEVER COME OUT, TOMMY; THEY NEVER COME OUT.)

The main theme here is obviously that Mary Worth sees life as a never-ending series of passive-aggressive contests in which she must triumph in order to maintain her self-image; this isn’t news, exactly, but it’s interesting to see it made so explicit here. “My brownish chicken blobs were a big hit last month, but this month I plan to obliterate all these earth-toned food shapes! Only Mary’s delicious chicken things can be remembered! Nothing else!” Then she spots a little kid, and plays nice while trying to figure who she belongs to and what horrors that person will suffer for violating the condo rules that preclude any children from coming within 500 yards of, or looking directly at, the Charterstone compound.

Slylock Fox, 6/2/14

Wow, Slylock sure is smug about his plan to keep him and Max alive by building a rudimentary desalination plant! Yep, they’ll have fresh, potable water indefinitely, if by “indefinitely” you mean “a couple weeks, tops,” since the process involves boiling water and the only fuel available is a single smallish palm tree and a boat that Max has already begun to cannibalize. Sure, boiling that octopus alive, using a giant spoon to occasionally push its writhing tentacles back into the pot, seemed like a fun way to pass the time, back when Max thought they could just drink as much ocean water as they wanted. Hindsight is 20-20, you know?

Heathcliff, 6/2/14

Heathcliff’s vibe can best be described as “surreal whimsy”; the thing is, if you ratchet back how aggressive you are about it, that also describes the New Yorker cartoon sweet spot. This one hits pretty close to that mark, honestly.

Marvin, 6/2/14

You know, I spend a lot of time making fun of all the poop jokes in Marvin, but that’s not all the strip is about! For instance, there are also jokes about how Marvin doesn’t like his father very much.