I can assure you, I think about Marmaduke more than almost anyone. Granted, creator Brad Anderson and his son Paul certainly devote more time and energy conjuring his adventures, and I'd wager that there's a certain segment of the mentally ill who've chosen him as their favored fixation, but due to various aspects of my professional obligations, I rank pretty high on the list of people who have Marmaduke on the mind without an asterisk next to my name to connote creative input or bizarre obsession. Really. Ask me anything.
After a few years of this, I've come to really appreciate the finer points of the strip; the endless churn of ideas that have kept him in papers for decades and made him one of the most recognizable characters in the history of the medium, the delicate lines, turbocharged momentum and deft, sparing use of detail favored by Brad; Paul's incredible technical skill in maintaining a through-line from his father's work while adding a dose of expert, effortless energy to Marm's daily exploits… look, I could go on, but experience has taught me that it's better if I keep most of this stuff to myself.
The rest of the stuff, however, we can enjoy together with a merciful absence of my commentary. In sniffing around for some scraps of Marmaduke miscellany, I discovered that, every once in a while, the scope of his adventures expands well beyond his yard or his neighborhood; he's so rambunctious, he effortlessly bashes through the boundaries of established scientific knowledge and our earthly plane. What a rascal!
It's pretty great that the two modes of Marmaduke's escapades are either 1) Dog stuff, or 2) Jauntily metaphysical and otherworldly. He's not one to settle for half-measures.
Plenty more Marmaduke madness in the coming weeks-- first up, let's enjoy a few instances of Marmaduke venturing into outer space, and the ongoing "Sam and Diane"-esque relationship he has with the moon.
Yeah, I know. He goes to space sometimes. For real. It's a nice touch that the aliens seem to have their own ongoing backstory.
(The following strips are presented in color-free Marmaduke Vision™)
Next week: Fun with out-of-context panels!