Post Content

Marmaduke, 5/31/05

Philosophers have long pondered whether a tree that falls in the forest with no one to hear it makes a sound. Along those lines, we in the comics criticism game must ask: if the author of an unloved comic goes insane, will anyone notice? Today brought not one but two utterly baffling one-panelers. At first, I thought I was going to have to break my not-doing-the-same-comic-on-consecutive-days rule and publicly ponder today’s Family Circus, but a clever commentor pointed out that what I thought was a religio-political allusion was in fact just an unforgivable pun. Marmaduke still baffles, however. I believe this is the first in-panel word balloon in this feature; who would have thought that this technique would be inaugurated in a scene where a tree demands not be urinated on? I mean, that is what’s happening here, right? The human characters can hear the talking tree, right? And what’s the significance of the hole from which the word balloon is emanating: is the speaker really someone inside the tree, like a squirrel or an elf or … a … very small man or something? And is there a joke of some sort here, beyond the obvious “talking tree + imminent urination = total hilarity” formula? If anyone can shed any sort of light on these conundra, I will be most grateful.