Comic Strip: Marvin
Marvin is a comic strip that started in 1982 and is drawn by Tom Armstrong. It centers on its titular baby, the redheaded Marvin, and his family, which includes parents Jeff and Jenny, grandparents Roy and Bea, and dogs Bitsy and Junior. Was given a TV special in 1989 called Marvin, Baby of the Year.The latest strip (and ones up to 30 days earlier) can be found here.
This newspaper comic has examples of:
- Alliterative Family: Marvin, his cousin Megan, and his adopted cousin Ming Ming. Also, Jeff, Jenny, and her sister Janet.
- Animated Adaptation: An animated special, about 30 minutes long.
- Art Evolution: Compare the art from the 1989 animated special◊ to a 2011 strip.◊
- Author Appeal: For Tom Armstrong, contrasting a family of Mary Sues with a family that's vastly inferior is comedy gold.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Marvin, in this strip◊.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Marvin's cousin Megan hasn't been seen in several years. The last time she was mentioned was in a late 2008 strip.
- Comic-Book Time: Played mostly straight; Marvin has been a baby since 1982. However, during July 2003, there were a series of strips where he finally learned how to walk, ending with a Sunday strip where his first birthday was celebrated. Since then, he's gotten slightly older.
- Cut and Paste Comic: There are frequently series of strips where the art is recycled on a daily basis. In the last year or so, the author has at least tried to avoid this; unfortunately, he has not gotten out of copying and pasting the same jokes. Here's an example (scroll down a bit).
- Don't Explain the Joke: The strip's author has a bad habit of doing this.
- Fleeting Demographic: New parents, who don't remain new to parenting for more than a couple years.
- Follow the Leader: It can be suspected that Armstrong tried to replicate the Garfield formula with a baby, as both strips' title characters share aspects: Orange hair/fur, overweight, communication via thought bubbles, etc.
- The strip also seems to have started aping the comedy of Calvin and Hobbes, such as imagine spots that start with a monster/disaster and end with Marvin doing something to imitate it, a furry four-legged companion that makes comments and walks on his hind legs, childlike observations about things that his parents do, and the occasional renaming of the comic to Marvin and Bitsy even when Bitsy isn't present.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Some of the strip's punchlines are these. Like so.◊
- Overly Long Gag: The infamous "Belly Laffs" arc, in which most of two weeks of strips had the same punchline of "You know you're pregnant because you're fat."
- Print Long-Runners
- Running Gag:
- Marvin draws on the walls.
- Before he could walk, Marvin tries to do so, and falls down.
- Jeff is incompetent at grilling.
- Marvin wakes his mom / dad up at 2 A.M. for milk. Sometimes this results in a snarky line from one of them.
- Shout-Out: This strip◊ that ran on its 25th anniversary featured Marvin appearing on The Tonight Show.
- Stylistic Suck: An arc in which Marvin dreamed of entering a world populated by stick figures was supposed to be this. However, the stick figures didn't look as thin or as crude as other peoples' do, which lessened the impact of the gags to a very huge degree.
- Thought Bubble Speech: Both babies and animals communicate in this manner.
- Toilet Humor: Not surprising, as this is a strip about a baby.
- Token Minority: Ming Ming and Jordan.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Marvin.