Herb and Jamaal, 2/3/13
Boy, this Herb and Jamaal sure was an emotional roller coaster! See, we’re expected to believe that Jamaal is a desperate drug addict who keeps going back to his filthy hippie drug dealer to buy dope. But, haha, don’t worry, it appears that he just enjoys video entertainment and would prefer to go to one of America’s few remaining video stores rather than figuring out how to set up one of these new-fangled internet streaming services! Anyway, since the strip spent seven panels setting up this commercial transaction as surreptitious and shameful, obviously the first thing the reader thinks of in terms of “video titles” is pornography, which makes a reference to the “kiddie section” all the more traumatizing.
The thing about the Funkyverse’s endless cavalcade of sadness porn is that the strip is at least self-aware about how grim it is. Momma, by contrast, completely fails to notice the air of desperation that surrounds its characters at all times. Which is to say that the use of “betrays” here creeps me out. Momma is betrayed by her children routinely, of course … but now her own failing body joins the party.
Marvin does this thing where it teases you with the prospect of the title character wandering off in the snow and freezing to death, but, sadly, never really follows through with it.