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Marvin, 10/21/06

Behold, the first nice thing I’ve ever said about Marvin: whereas most comics engage in rampant grandparent worship, treating our elders as endlessly loving and patient repositories of wisdom and affection, Marvin dares to say what no one else will: that old people are just as likely to be as vain, self-serving, emotionally manipulative, gold-digging, and cranky as the rest of us. All of last week, Daddy Marvin’s mother held the Marvin household in a reign of terror, humiliating her daughter-in-law and emasculating her son; you can see the aftereffects of the visit in the numb stares of the entire family in panel one. Not even the wise-cracking baby has emerged from the ordeal with a shred of affection for the old bag intact.

Mary Worth, 10/21/06

Speaking of old bags, this Mary Worth reveals both why hospitals view volunteers as a double-edged sword and why adult children are sometimes uncomfortable with their parents’ new romantic partners: in both cases, once they’ve been around for a while, they start to act like they run the place. I’m particularly tickled by the Cory Wonder Twins’ stunned expression in the second panel: “Did … did that hag just order us to present ourselves to her at noon? Oh, hell no.”