March 17th, 2005

Thursday, March 17

April and Becky at the mall. My first thought was, "Becky's gonna shoplift!" But no, April is buying a card for the shower. So she's really going. Will we get to SEE it? Only time will tell.

Becky's got something wrong with her leg. She's doing the same thing in panel 2 that she did last month when she was closing her locker and picking up her knapsack simultaneously. And when she asks April to meet her at the food court, April seems to hesitate. Is she miffed that Becky won't join her on her card-finding mission? Has Becky ditched her before for any gig that comes along? Or is she just distracted by Becky's apparent muscle spasm?

So April finds the perfect card, but OMG, it's five dollars! Excuse me? Aren't you the one with the $120 pole dancer dress? (Yes, I know you didn't buy it outright; you traded another outfit for it, but that's still what it cost.) And the last panel is not even a pun. Just an aphorism apparently meant to be taken literally. And what an odd angle on April.

Now, what's the deal here? Is April suppposed to be aware of what things used to cost, and therefore flabbergasted that the greeting card market has reached such astronomical prices? If so, then that's just bloody ridiculous. A 14 y/o is not going to have a concept of what things *used* to cost, since they've only been active consumers, buying more than candy and gum, for a little while. That would be an Elly gag transplanted into an April strip. There is no escape from Elly's homespun philosophy!

Or could it be that this is April's first time buying a greeting card, and she's merely getting sticker shock without a frame of reference? In that case, welcome to life. I paid $5 for a Valentine for my husband this year, and that was in American dollars. Wouldn't $5 Canadian be like $3 American? ;) (Apologize to Canadians reading this, and by all means correct me if I'm wrong.)

Now, what's the name of the mall? Above the entrance, I see "MALL" then a talk-balloon stem hiding what could be an M or an H, then an "A". Inside, above the same door, we get "BRIDG [stem] S [balloon]". ???

Friday, March 18

I'm adding a category I should have had from the beginning: Badly Drawn Butts, or BDBs. Today: One, in panel 4.

Whoa! Okay, so now we know why yesterday's strip was so lame. It was merely exposition. The quest for the perfect card led April here to be Shannon's rescuer.

But jeez! Must Lynn infantilize Shannon this way? My first assumption was that someone had been making fun of Shannon. My second was that she was in a similar quandry regarding card affordability. Because a special needs kid bringing all her pennies to the store in a change purse and still coming up fifty cents short is so heartrending, y'know?

Well, it isn't that, but I'm not sure that this is any less glurgey. Are we to believe that Shannon's mom wouldn't keep careful watch on her special-needs daughter? She'd just wander off without a backward glance, and when she noticed the lack of ellipses in the air around her, wouldn't alert the staff, and security if any? She wouldn't even call out, "Hey Shannon, where are you?" I'm not even special needs, and my mom was not shy about letting loose with a golf-course cry of "BETSY!!!!" if I wasn't in sight.