Ahoy there, True Believers! After a week off to nurse my severe paper cuts, I believe I'm emotionally and physically ready to return once again to my bulging Archive Selects desktop folder, a long-neglected batch of dynamite strips that I assembled years ago in an effort to provide blog content to my future self. It also contains advice to invest in Apple Computer and Snuggie stock, because the 2011 version of me didn't quite grasp that the only way one profits off of time travel is for the future version to advise the past version, instead of the other way around.
The reasons are murky, but I have always harbored a sincere, thorough appreciation of Marmaduke. So much, in fact, that I can think of four distinct times in my life where I've had to be told forcefully to stop talking so much about Marmaduke (only one of these times was during my employment here). One month early on in my blogging tenure, I wrote over 2000 words about various aspects of his strip, to the delight of… well, mainly me, but I'm pretty sure that's the whole idea behind blogging in the first place. As such, I'm devoting this week to just him, and feeling really good about my decision.
What's easy to miss for the casual reader of the strip is that Marmaduke, on a semi-regular basis, goes well beyond the premise of "a big dog is big." Here's a whole post about his interactions with aliens, for example. Slightly less regularly, it contains really keen observations about life with a dog, giant or otherwise. Pretty consistently, it radiates the sweetness behind the bond that allows us to refer to animals who regularly eat poop as our best friends, and every once in a while, it lets itself get a little weird. Just a little, though.
Please direct your attention in the following strip to the fact that Marmaduke has a cake on his head. He thinks he's people (with a cake on his head)!
There's an occasionally reoccurring notion in the strip that bones grow from bushes and trees, like fruit. This is always fantastic.
Another reoccurring theme is "Marmaduke did something bad enough to involve the police." It's surely slobber- or tresspassing-related, but since we only witness the end of his spree, it hints at crimes sinister enough to incur the long, rolled-up newspaper of Johnny Law.
Ultimately, Marmaduke only wants to love and be loved, and occasionally dine on fresh cat meat. I think we can all identify.
Next week! Back to a varied selection of different comics, many of which begin with different letters of the alphabet which follow "M"! I wish I had a dog's sense of the passage of time, so it wouldn't feel so far from now.
My apologies to all the other blog posts which were fire hosed off the front page by the length of this one. If I were as wily as Marmaduke, I'd eschew asserting myself in passive-aggressive ways, which I guess would probably manifest in me biting people. Or maybe a new wardrobe consisting of Big Dog shirts??
Sit, Ubu, Sit,