Friday, July 3, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009 Marmaduke Analyzed

In this comic, Marmaduke is seen laying in the hot sun in panel one. Tension mounts as in panel two, Marmaduke is not only laying in the sun, but he now has begun to pant. The excitement continues as by panel three, Marmaduke is not only laying in the hot sun panting, but has now raised his head. The action really takes off in panels four through six, where Marmaduke enters his doghouse, pants inside, then exits his doghouse. Not letting the excitement wane for even a moment, we see a panting Marmaduke entering his owners' house in panel seven. In panels eight and nine, Marmaduke has entered the house, where his owners are watching the "Miss Beauty Pageant" Contest on TV. Apparently the air-conditioner is not working because, Marmaduke continues panting as he sits behind the couch. This panting prompts Dottie to say, "For goodness sake Phil, stop panting!"

Dottie's directive can mean one of three things:

1. That Dottie has a problem determining from what directions sounds come from, in which case she should see an otologist.

2. That Dottie can not distinguish between her 220 pound dog and her 165 pound husband, in which case she should see an optometrist (or possibly a psychiatrist).

3. That Dottie can not tell the difference between her husband's breath and the breath of a large, overheated dog, in which case Phil should practice better oral hygiene.

And so what is the hidden message here? Most likely that even though the Marmaduke comic manages to utilize several panels on Sundays, it is still just as devoid of meaning as the one-panel weekday strips.

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