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Panels from Momma and Crankshaft, 4/17/13

Occasionally here at the Comics Curmudgeon, we must remember that we exist to praise the comics as a visual medium, and so here we go: two comic panels that deftly convey what it’s like to be eating food and then you realize the food is terrible and you’re thinking about the social consequences of spitting the food out, maybe onto your plate or maybe just into your hand. Momma is having dinner at her son Thomas and his wife Tina’s house; one of the weird dynamics of the strip I’ve always queasily enjoyed is that Momma is terribly cruel to her daughter-in-law, and narratively it’s pretty clear that our sympathies are not supposed to be with her, and yet her number one complaint — that Tina’s cooking is awful — is also always presented as legitimate. Do you think that she deliberately feeds Momma disgusting food, as revenge, for everything? Meanwhile, in Crankshaft, the terrible food is coming from Lena, the bus drivers’ transportation manager, and her emotional relationship to the people who loathe her baking is an underdeveloped Crankshaft plot element. Still, does she lash out with crappy food because of the toxic psychic environment created by Crankshaft’s mere presence? Almost certainly.

Gasoline Alley, 4/17/13

If, like me, you suddenly realize you have no clear picture of how all the characters in Gasoline Alley’s aging, sprawling cast are related to each other, check out this sweet family tree, which has a 2004 copyright date and a 1995 web design aesthetic! Anyway, it turns out addled supercentenarian Walt Wallet is grandfather-in-law to Slim, against whom I’ve always harbored an unreasoning hatred (well, there are a few reasons). More to the point, despite his encroaching dementia and general good nature, he clearly holds the same low opinion of Slim that I do, which warms my shriveled black heart.

Slylock Fox, 4/17/13

Usually the Slylock Fox true/false trivia strips do a pretty good job of offering questions that could plausibly be either true or false. Still, today’s second question is just way, way too specific to be false, though that would be hilarious. “2) False. The Global Soap Project is an art collective that steals soap from hotels and uses it to create ephemeral bubble-sculptures that are displayed at invitation-only events at exclusive private art galleries in lower Manhattan. After everyone goes home, the remaining soap suds are flushed down the toilet. Suck it, soap-poor nations!”