One of my favorite/least unfavorite Momma bits is Momma’s recurring nightmare that she and/or her children in some combination will be reduced to panhandling, due to her children’s shiftlessness and incompetence. I enjoy these installments because they’re about her constant mid-level anxiety that she and her family are trembling at the boundary of middle-class respectability and could be pushed out into the abyss at any moment, but the actual “jokes” of the strips generally take the form of weird passive-aggressive wordplay on signs that the Hobbes-hobos are displaying for the benefit of passers by. Today was actually the first time I noticed that these signs aren’t makeshift cardboard placards propped up in front of them but actually attached to the wall, which implies both a certain resourcefulness and collusion with the building owner. Come to us when can’t even afford thumbtacks, Momma! Then we’ll know you hit rock bottom.
Panel from Mary Worth, 6/23/13
Haha, look how startled Tom looks by this demand. “But that … that’s kind of my thing! It’s my trademark relationship move!”
Mark Trail, 6/23/13
“How are we going to get the kids interesting in birdwatching? Breakdancing? Do the kids still like breakdancing? Should we tell them that birds breakdance?”