Amphetamine variants, across a socioeconomic scale running from meth to Adderall, are often used as productivity drugs: they focus the mind and, in the short term, make it easier for you to do work, especially work you don’t particularly want to do. By rejecting his friend’s offer of a little illicit worktime pick-me-up, Dag emphasizes his commitment to decadent leisure: as with food, his interest in drugs is entirely sensual, not utilitarian.
Last week Doc Ock skittered off from his penthouse lair to go enjoy the work of his earthquake machine … somewhere … else? “Somewhere else” turned out to be just straight-up chilling on his couch, presumably in a different lair, while his tentacles dangle forlornly, waiting for the artificial earthquake that never comes. Is he supposed to be watching TV? I bet he’s supposed to be watching TV. Everyone in this strip is always watching TV, all the time, and if there isn’t one there when you need it, it’ll just sort of appear, conveniently.
It’s pretty impressive that, in a strip whose punchline is that Marvin’s family is in such constant terror of his poops that everyone keeps careful track of his digestive velocity, the most unsettling part is actually his smug little smile in panel three. “That’s right, my bowel movements are so vile my own grandfather refuses to deal with them! Heh heh.”
Dennis the Menace, 10/16/14
The Mitchells have done the math and figured out that they can afford to meet their legal obligations as parents without interacting emotionally with their son at all! Look at them, smiling to themselves and not even making eye contact with him. Someone just found out what true menacing really is.
Based on the sad, reverent way Jughead has doffed his cap, I’m going to assume that Archie died in the ring.
Apartment 3-G, 10/5/14
Oh my goodness, guys, I don’t want to jinx it, but I think … I think … this Apartment 3-G storyline might finally be over. Tommie has seen Jack mushing the side of his face up against Carol’s face, and according to the community’s strict decency codes, they must now marry or be forever ostracized as sexual degenerates. And, good news! Lily has proven her worth, so she won’t be killed and eaten! Looks like all’s well that’s ended well after weeks and weeks and weeks of literally nothing happening, oh God, so many weeks, so many nothings.
I … guess the “personal product commercials” they’re talking about are ads for erectile dysfunction pills? I’m basing this on the throwaway panel in which Jeff correctly regards the prospect of feeling like an awkward teenager again with horror. But overall this joke is extremely nonspecific, and I’d like to imagine the original was much more explicit and the editor sent it back to the artist saying “Sorry, you can’t really talk about boner pills in the comics section,” and then the artist replied “Dude, are you aware that this strip is 90 percent repulsive scat porn?” and the editor’s like “Yeah, the syndicate doesn’t care about that, it’s a messed up world and we’re all stuck in it, now vague this up some more.”
Happy Fire Prevention Week, everybody! Momma is going to prevent fires wherever possible! Even in places specifically designed to accommodate fires! Is electricity a kind of fire? Some Orthodox rabbis think so, so sure, why not! End all fire everywhere, Momma! Bring down civilization! SEND US ALL BACK TO THE CAVES
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!”