Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And He Will Come, and He Will Give Thee a Goofy Look, and the World Will Erupt in Flames

If not for the Antichrist allegory that lends profundity to every Marmaduke comic, I would despair for the future of newspaper comics. Strip away the allegory, and what is left? A really big dog, that's what. Surely no one would spend fifty-four years laughing at that.

In today's strip, a young sinner learns that when the Antichrist's disciple promises that you will ride on the back of the Beast, you are actually going to end up with your belt clamped in his slavering jaws as he drags you cheerfully off to torture and, eventually, Hell. Note the golden-haired innocence of the disciple here. He seems all virtue, whereas he is actually scheming to snare more credulous urchins for his Master and is right now thinking simply, "Horrible death to all. Horrible death to all!" From the number and size of the coins on the milk crate,* the disciple has made forty-five cents, an indication that 1) Antichrist has now devoured two children, 2) one of them cheated the disciple of a nickel, and 3) the disciple hasn't noticed because he can't add up change. Beware the evils of not paying attention in math class, my children! Beware! You may end up working for the Destroyer of All...and liking it!

*Okay. Excuse me...but who gets wooden milk crates now? I was born in the 1970s, and I only ever remember the plastic ones. How do all these comic-strip characters turn up with miraculous wooden milk crates? Perhaps Antichrist has created this one with his infernal powers, but why? WAKE UP, CARTOONIST! IT'S 2008! THERE ARE NO WOODEN MILK CRATES ANY MORE!


DaviMack said...

Awww, come on: stock clip-art drives the whole world of cartoonery! How can they not recycle things until they're nearly as dated as middle-English? ;)

Michael said...

Kem is right. I'm mumblety-mumble years older than she and I can't remember the last time I saw a wooden milk crate. I can even remember having milk delivered to the front porch by a milkman who had plastic milk crates. That was in the early 1960s, so wooden crates have been gone for at least 45 years.

Jana C.H. said...

In Port Angeles, Washington, wooden milk crates were around until the mid-Seventies. I remember when a local supermarket sold all theirs for five dollars each. I bought some, took them back to my college dorm, and used them for bookcases. I still have them. They're still full of books, though not entirely the same books.

That said, my crates don't look much like the box used by Satan's Disciple. They're rectangular, not square, and the edges are reinforced with metal. SD's crate looks like those standard all-purpose wooden boxes that cartoonists get at the same wholesaler were they buy cannibal cauldrons and small desert islands.

Jana C.H.
Saith JcH: Some people drink, some people gamble, some like whips and chains-- I buy books.

Skullturf Q. Beavispants said...

"cannibal cauldrons" lol

I'm also not sure if I've ever seen an anvil in real life. Nor somebody slipping on a banana peel. Nor a jug of homemade whiskey that says "XXX" on the side.

And how about wearing a barrel with suspenders if you're too poor to afford clothes?

Michael said...

I have seen anvils in real life and I've even seen them used. But I spend a fair bit of time at Mystic Seaport, where they have a functional shipsmith shop.*

However, I've never seen anyone slip on a banana peel or stop in midair after stepping off a cliff but before falling. Nor have I ever seen a gun which, when the trigger is pulled, has a flag marked BANG! come out of the barrel.**

*A shipsmith is similar to a blacksmith, except that a shipsmith specialized in ironwork for ships.

**I'd really love one of these.

molonglobert said...

I think the sign should read "xxv d".

Angry Kem said...

molonglobert: You're right, of course. I wasn't sure how to do it properly (re. the "cents" thing), so I just left it as it was. I've now corrected the sign. Thanks for providing the correct formula.