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Comic Strip / Marvin

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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.
  • Balloonacy:
    • In the 1985 story arc where we see Marvin get his stuffed rabbit Floppet, it briefly floats away on a bunch of balloons. Marvin's dad Jeff chases the toy down and catches it after chasing it by car.
    • A variation involving bubble gum happens on 5/24/1987 when Marvin blows a bubble gum bubble that causes him to float off the ground, out his window and outside the house as a man in a bus stop looks on.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Marvin, in this strip.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Marvin's cousin Megan hasn't been seen in several years. She does appear in the strip for Dec 22, 2015, but only in a Rule of Three role, and appears again for Dec 28, 2015. She starts appearing more often in 2021 onward.
    • Floppet, Marvin's stuffed toy rabbit, had more sporadic appearances after 1999, rarely seen in the 21st century.
  • 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 aged one year for every three years real-time.
  • Companion Cube: In 1985, Marvin got a stuffed toy rabbit which was named Floppet by the winner of a newspaper contest. From then on until sometime in the 1990s, Marvin was usually shown with Floppet.
  • 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.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: Marvin got spanked occasionally for misbehavior early in the strip's run.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The April 5, 1987 strip has Marvin finding a pack of Monster Bubble Gum sitting on a table. He starts chewing it, unsure why it's called Monster Bubble Gum...only to see why after blowing a bubble.
  • Fleeting Demographic: New parents, who don't remain new to parenting for more than a couple years.
  • Housewife: Zigzagged with Jenny, Marvin's mother. Flashbacks set before Marvin's birth shows her having a desk job in some sort of office. Sometime in the 1980s, she's shown returning to said office job; from then on, Jenny is shown working in the office occasionally, implying it may be only part-time for her.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Some of the strip's punchlines are these. Like so.
  • One-Word Title: See Protagonist Title.
  • 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 since 1982!
  • Protagonist Title: Named for Marvin himself of course.
  • 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.
    • Marvin in Time Out, either shown already there and grumbling about his predicament or we see beforehand what he did to end up there.
  • 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.
  • Time Out: Marvin's usual punishment from the mid-to-late 1980s onward, in contrast to the spankings he got at the start of the strip.
  • Toilet Humor: Not surprising, as this is a strip about a baby.
  • Token Minority: Ming Ming and Jordan.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Marvin.
  • Volumetric Mouth: Marvin has one when he cries. His mouth opens very wide to bawl and this was very noticeable in the 1980s strips.
  • Weight Woe: Both Jeff and Jenny had this during the 1980s and 1990s. Jenny often insulted Jeff over his weight concerns but Jeff doing the same to Jenny resulted in him being Exiled to the Couch.