Sunday, December 03, 2006

Regarding Sundays

A number of you have asked me why I choose not to explain the Sunday edition of Marmaduke. My reasons are fairly simple, though I have been reluctant to discuss them until now. This decision was not, as some of you have speculated, borne out of a desire to have a regularly-scheduled day off; a cursory glance at the frequency of my updates makes it clear that a regular schedule was never all that high on my list of priorities.*

No, my decision not to address the Sunday Marmadukes basically boils down to this: They're fucking ridiculous.

Though my hometown's newspaper features Marmaduke Monday through Saturday, it has never carried the strip's Sunday installments. The first time I saw a Sunday Marmaduke in all its full-color glory, I came very close to passing out in front of the United Features Syndicate website. Take this example, from a week ago:

(click for make big)

I find pretty much everything about this profoundly disturbing. From the utterly majestic failure at taking advantage of the multi-panel comic strip format to the bizarre, quasi-legible handwriting in the dialogue bubbles to the very existence of dialogue bubbles themselves to the heartbreakingly mundane "Dog Gone Funny," this is simply not why I got into this line of work. The hallmarks of the comic are still present (phantom humor, stunted internal logic, and a pointlessness that verges on Dada), but there's so much more going on here than in a normal Marmaduke, and it's all going so, so wrong. To even begin to address what's actually happening in the above strip would require training my brain to operate on levels I'm not entirely comfortable with or even certain I'm capable of on a consistent basis. Even seeing what color Marmaduke is freaks me out.

It goes without saying that I think about Marmaduke more than a person ought to (which is to say, I think about Marmaduke at all). I read it six days a week, maintain this blog as a public service, and am even thinking about saving money to have t-shirts made up. I've wasted a big enough chunk of my time and energy on this godforsaken dog without having to risk madness trying to decipher Brad Anderson's full-color fever dreams once a week. I hope you can understand, and if not, remember that this entire blog is both 100% free and really, really dumb to begin with.


Joe Mathlete

* I'm working on being more consistent with daily updates and such, but lately I'm trying to teach myself to play the banjo, and I just got season 3 of NewsRadio on DVD the other day, so we'll see how that pans out.