On Facebook, cartoonist Michael Kupperman posted a collection of these baffling newspaper comics from 1941 called "The Evening Argument." He is at a loss to explain what is going on, as am I.
At first glance I thought these were a kind of "Goofus and Gallant" comic. So did several of the people commenting on Michael's post, including Anthony DeVito, who said, "Wait, I think I've got it: Aunt Het is supposed to be of strong moral fiber, while the women in Poor Pa are assholes. And then everyone argues all evening!"
James Urbaniak offers an appealing theory: "Separate strips published under a joint title because of their parallel styles and lack of humor," while Will Keen insists they are "discreet sex adverts."
We may never know the truth. Even so, I share cartoonist Mark Newgarden's sentiment: "My new favorite thing in the world." I would happily buy a book filled with these comics.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects