Hi and Lois, 9/25/14
I generally spend as little time around children as I can manage, so I often have hard time either figuring out how old kids are without being explicitly told or knowing what exactly the appropriate behavior and/or cognitive development is for whatever age they end up being. Figuring out the ages of the extremely stylized children of the comics is even harder. I’ve always pegged Dot and Ditto at around … eight? Or ten? Eight to ten, maybe? Anyhoo, I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if Ditto is nine-ish, I’m not sure if that’s an age where you’re supposed to earnestly walk through a Socratic dialogue designed to logically prove that your children should follow the ethical systems you’ve established, of if you should just announce “because I said so” and send them to their rooms. At any rate, I suppose Ditto is perfectly capable at understanding the locally prevailing moral code, considering he’s developed an elaborate persona specifically to circumvent it.
Marvin, for all its other faults, spares you any need to try to map any of its baby-characters onto the real developmental timeline of actual human infants, since it’s less concerned with verisimilitude than it is in creating a horrifying dreamscape of infantilized scat humor. “What could be worse than the strip’s constant focus on diapers?” you might say. “Maybe if the strip’s baby-characters were sexually attracted to each other, and one decided to flirt with another by complimenting her diaper?” you’d say. “That’d be awful,” you’d say. “Surely no punchline to such a strip could make the initial premise worse,” you’d say. You’d be wrong, though!
Mark Trail, 9/25/14
“I’ve heard the horns of those rhinos are aphrodisiacs, and customers in China will pay big money for them! I’ve got to harvest as many horns as I can before the species is driven to extinction!”