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Curtis, 5/2/05

Much as cruelly mocking Curtis has become part of my schtick here, I must give “props” where they are due and admit that I do love the strip’s vocabulary of hyper-exaggerated facial expressions. Take this installment, for instance. Curtis’ bug-eyed, dilated-pupil look might say “trippin’ on ‘shrooms” to the casual observer, but long-time Curtis readers (of which, God help me, I am one) recognize it as the strip’s symbol for “I’m assuming an extra-nice appearance to cover up something bad I’ve done.” The I’ve-swallowed-my-lips manuever in panel three makes Curtis look like a Warner Brothers cartoon character who has swallowed “Alum” (whatever that is), but in fact it’s Curtis visual shorthand for panic and distress. And it may look like Curtis is drooling for no reason in panel two, but … um, actually, I think he’s just drooling for no reason. No, scratch that, I guess he’s sweating. Most of us usually don’t do so much sweating in the mouth region, though.

Nice kicky beret on mom in panel one there, by the way. And lord knows where that sock is flying in from in panel four. It’s crazy chaos over there in Curtisville!