howtheduck (howtheduck) wrote in binky_betsy,
howtheduck
howtheduck
binky_betsy

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

(Originally published Tuesday, June 2, 1992)

The one where Martha explains why she wants to break up.

Panel 1:  Still with her arms behind her and bowing in obeisance to Mike, Martha prepares for the brunt of the assault in reaction to her asking to break up with him.  Michael starts off by asking if she wants to “break up? …Just like that?!!”  At this point I can’t tell if Michael disapproves of the break-up or disapproves of the method.   Is Michael suggesting he expected couples counseling first?  A normal boy might ask, “Why?”, but that is not Michael’s question.  He knows why.  He doesn’t seem to like the way she is doing it.

On a side note:  I do not know why but in Panels 1 and 3, Lynn Johnston appears to have intentionally drawn Martha with her right breast hanging significantly lower than her left.  I have no idea why she drew Martha that way.  Also note that Martha is wearing a nice dress that is above the knee, which is shorthand for Lynn Johnston as “’The girl is a slut.”

Panel 2:  Martha was not asked “Why?” by Michael, but she give him an answer to that question anyway.  Michael is into cars, baseball, and Gordon.  Cars and Gordon we have seen.   Baseball, not so much.  Martha contrasts that to her interest in skating.   She does not say Michael has been ignoring her, but she is pretty close.   Also, she wants to go skating and I guess Michael did not do that.  Considering we had not seen Martha since last December, I think she has a point.

Panel 3: Martha names names and that name is Jason Finkbeiner.   Writing that I can sense Lynn smiling at that name.  Jason Finkbeiner sounds like the name of one of Dr. John Patterson's dental patients.  The doors we saw in Panel 1 go away, leaving the silhouettes we saw in Panel 1 very confused about where to go.

Panel 4:  Once again Michael goes back to the timing of the break-up and specifically says he does not appreciate her doing this a half an hour before his driver’s test.   Michael is not upset at the break-up, but he is upset at the timing of it.   He clenches his fists together and it makes me wonder if he is getting ready to hit Martha.  Fortunately I have read ahead and this does not happen.  He does do a lot of screaming though.

Summary:  In some respects, it is a good thing Martha did what she did when she did it.   We have seen Michael is nowhere near ready to take a driver’s test, so it is as if Martha gave him the gift of herself as a scapegoat for when he fails the test.
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