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Daddy Daze, 9/27/22

The lure of doing a comic strip about a baby is eternal, but of course each generation will do their own particular version reflecting their ethos, worldview, and material conditions; and the fact that a syndicated comic strip is essentially a lifelong sinecure lets us contrast the varying generational attitudes directly against one another. Take Marvin, for instance: launched in 1982, as the Baby Boom generation was coming into its own and America was shaking off its post-Vietnam malaise, its title character represents the bold and unapologetic national attitude of the era: yes, Marvin shits and pisses himself constantly, and no he won’t apologize for it or learn how to stop. It’s someone else’s problem and the thought of them dealing with it makes him smile!

The Daddy Daze baby, on the other hand, is a creature of our current neurotic age. Like Marvin, he is unable to prevent himself from befouling his diaper several times a day, but his usual gleeful mania is actually just a pose, masking a deep, gnawing anxiety about all the pooping and the peeing. He knows he’s disgusting and he desperately wants to learn to use a toilet, but also knows that, as a baby in a syndicated comic strip, he’s never going to reach that promised land and well just be stewing in his own waste for all eternity.

Gasoline Alley, 9/27/22

Say what you will about Gasoline Alley, and lord knows I’ve said a lot, but it remains a piece of true outsider art that’s somehow pumped into the reading lists of surviving loyal newspaper readers across the English-speaking world. Can you imagine tricking major publishers into printing the sentence “Blimey, my red sock has entangled itself betwixt the keys and rendered me immobile for the moment” in thousands of newspapers as some sort of avant-garde action, or maybe as a prank? Of course not, and yet everyone involved in the process that produced this strip thinks it’s normal, wholesome fun. No, I am absolutely not going to explain what’s happening here, by the way, you don’t need to know and don’t particularly want to, trust me.

Gil Thorp, 9/27/22

No! No! We cannot lose Coach Kaz! I don’t care if the Time Corps has recruited him as an agent in our nation’s shadowy war against those who would alter the space-time continuum — we need his antics in Milford!

Funky Winkerbean, 9/27/22

My immediate reaction to the first panel of this strip is that Jessica wanted Darrin to somehow make the gun that Plantman used to murder her father into a plaything for their son. But then, based on everyone’s facial expressions, by the end of the strip I decided she actually wanted it made into some sort of sex toy. I’m not well, but in my defense, neither is Funky Winkerbean.