Mary Worth, 10/20/18
Most medical practitioners are, or should be, trained to understand the interpersonal dynamics of patients under their care, and recognize when someone may be there against their will, possibly as part of scenario of domestic violence. Usually people don’t just come out and say “It’s not my decision to be here!” but that’d be a pretty strong signal, in my opinion! Fortunately for Mary, our hapless shelter worker hasn’t been trained to notice these telltale signs. “What a nice old man,” she thinks about a person loudly proclaiming he’s been kidnapped. “I wonder how many puppies he’s going to leave with?”
Hagar the Horrible, 10/20/18
The central gimmick of Hagar the Horrible, of course, is that it reproduces the tropes of mid-20th century American middle-class life (which have been largely ossified into place in newspaper comics even though they don’t always reflect the reality of 2018) in a 9th or 10th-century Scandinavian setting, and one of those tropes is of men retreating to a bar to escape their wives. Anyway, today’s Hagar acknowledges that these bars are depressing places that monetize misery, which just sort of takes what I’ve always taken as the subtext and makes it explicit.