Yeah but really, is it just a rat-race joke? Or just an oddly-executed commentary on human family economics?
I have to say I was a little put off from the whole picture by taking the rack of environments to be a bakery display case. But then what is this place? A lab? A pet store? Neither one should be recruiting their subjects from a handy nearby mousehole!
Why is she giving it five stars if she doesn’t like it? I get that humor often (usually? always?) comes from the contrast between what you would expect to happen and what’s actually happening, but I don’t understand what’s happening here.
The startled reaction of Emma (the daughter) in panel 2 must be preparing us for the weird drama of panel 4; but why? And why is she wearing gloves — dishwashing gloves? — for her big announcement? And especially, what does she mean by “purge”? A reference to the movie series? A different way of talking about simplifying and tossing out whatever does not give joy (and is not worth inheriting)? We hope it’s not another name for “juice cleanse”!
So mothers saying this to daughters is the new version of this venerable trope!
After seeing this cartoon for a few weeks now, this character is the one who most pointedly clarifies for us the intent of the title Adult Children.
And yielding to the impulse to be a language complainer, we are happy to note that here the writer has stuck to the traditional term and called this an invitation, not the ugly newer form an invite. Good on ya, Maritsa Patrinos!
And zbicyclist kicks off a little debate by saying: Since Bliss has many cartoons in the New Yorker, he’s probably frequently asked to explain OTHER obscure New Yorker cartoons — which would make the sitting, bearded guy some sort of stand-in for the cartoonist. But to our eyes, the standing guy with the red sweater looks like the figure who appears again and again in Bliss cartoons.
But then zbicyclist rebuts with this example of an apparent Bliss stand-in (or a comic artist at any rate) with a beard:
But we have to ask: OK, there’s a beard, but which of the guys in the upper cartoon does this guy most resemble, to you?