The eternal now (is full of poo)
Guys, I know I spend a lot of time dwelling on the fact that Marvin does a lot of poop jokes, but … I dunno, it always strikes me anew that here’s a major syndicated comic that makes poop jokes one of the foundations on which it builds its comedic empire. It’s baby poop, to be sure, which gets some kind of pass, because in real life most people quite rightly think of cleaning the crap-filled underpants of an infant in entirely different terms than they would of dealing with the feces of, say, a 40-year-old. Maybe Marvin’s target audience is supposed to be people with new babies! One of the fascinating revelations in this article about how Target tries to predict when you’re pregnant based on your purchases is that people are uniquely open to changing their buying routines right after having a baby. Maybe Marvin is hoping that some poor exhausted poo-stained new parent out there is falling into a state of despair and is looking for someone, anyone to affirm that their current literally shitty existence is normal and even, from a certain perspective, kind of funny. Marvin is there for you. Eventually, your child will learn to go in the toilet, and presumably your own comics tastes will similarly grow up a little, into strips that focus on toddlers or older kids. (Hi and Lois made the savvy decision to cover the whole gamut of childhood from babies through teens, so it might earn your brand loyalty for years to come.) Meanwhile, Marvin will keep on trucking along, waiting for new parents to find it and feel the warm embrace of empathy for their struggles; for those of us who keep reading it daily for years, though, not just the 30 or so months a typical baby takes to be potty trained, Marvin’s endless free-pooping existence, combined with his overwhelmingly smug attitude about the whole matter, will just come to seem more and more grotesque.
Anyway, here’s today’s Marvin! It’s about how Marvin’s dad went running on a really hot day with Marvin on his back, and then Marvin pooped himself.
Beetle Bailey, 8/1/14
I realize this might sound hypocritical based on the above rant, but some things, like the paper-thin characterizations built for each member of the Beetle Bailey supporting cast, ought to keep going decade after decade. Plato is the “philosophical one” at Camp Swampy. He wears glasses and is literally named “Plato.” He’s not going to come up with some clever and entirely practical method to improve his situation. That’s Chip Gizmo’s territory (though if Chip did it there’d be a 50-50 chance that it wouldn’t work).
Ha ha, OK, Momma, we get it! You thought it was funny in 2008 to do a strip where Momma complains about an “emptiness” that was left when her husband died, and then a suitor offered to “fill” the emptiness, and then Momma responded in such a way to imply that the offer was to “fill” (with her suitor’s penis) the “emptiness” (inside her vagina). You thought it was funny enough that you ran it again six and a half years later. But even you can’t think it’s so very hilarious that it bears repeating a third time after a mere 27 days! Please, stop the madness! Give us time to recover!