January 19th, 2008

Sunday, January 20

Panel 1: Okay, another old strip, but I don't think I'm familiar with it. Really, I swear to you I have all the collections! But I haven't read the earliest ones in years. (Because, drum roll, they're NOT THAT GOOD.) Anyway, so Mike's doing some kind of art project. And looking manic. Let's remember that he was JUST A TYPICAL KID at this time, and not a genius-in-training.

It's for this reason that I hope no one ever tries to make a movie about A.A. Milne. The movies about C.S. Lewis and J.M. Barrie were compelling, because they had interesting lives. But with Milne, there's no story. He told stories to his kid. He wrote them down. Supplemented them with poetry. That was his mark on the world, and as awesome as it is, it pretty much happened in a vacuum. And Mike is Milne. He wrote a book. Nothing more to say.

Panel 2: That's a very odd phrasing. That is not at all how Mike normally talked at that age. He was very basic, didn't seem to think overmuch before he spoke, and IIRC, didn't own up to his mistakes readily. Anyway, looks like Elly didn't have a dishwasher, but in those days, they were not standard-issue.

Panel 3: But it was a good move: soften her up first. Of course, back then Elly had not mastered the unhinged-jaw, flying-earring, phone-book-biting meltdown. Just short outbursts and then back to normal.

Panel 4: Okay, this is pretty funny. Again, Calvin. Only now I'm thinking of the binoculars arc. All Dad had to say was "Pass the...uh..." and Calvin flipped and screamed out a confession. This strip WAS funny, once upon a time.

Panel 5: Which only means she'll flip out all the more, of course.

Panel 6: Hm, so soon after the love/like strip, her statement carries more weight. Like the time I went to my mom and said "Please don't scream, but..." She was actually more upset that I pegged her as a screamer than about the thing I broke. But hell, she was.

Panel 7: Oh, shit, the NEW couch. If he had just said "THE couch," there's room for it being just more kid-leavings. But the NEW couch? WTF? Why would he do that, if he knows it's the new couch and he knows Elly will be mad? Crazy. Yeah, this is a smart kid, all right.