(I didn’t intend to write this much, but I must be making up for yesterday!) I think we can all see “SCAM” written in large letters with this operation. Whether Cricket Bro is just into defrauding the public or is also fine with scamming Sharp is open to consideration. I reckon we’ll find out. However, a bigger question is “why should we care?” That is to say, isn’t all this beside the point? Yeah, we see how Diana’s salary is being “invested” in this “blue sky” venture. But do we need all of this information?
It is easy to criticize the panels this week as an unnecessary digression from the main story and even from Diana’s concerns about her relationship. Even if the strips this week reinforce the questionable ethics of these characters, couldn’t this have been handled in just one or two days? Or are we going to see four more days of the goat eating Professor Sharp’s lab coat? (And doesn’t he ever have classes to teach!?)
I do like the goats-eye view seen in panel 3. I appreciate that Rivera designs unusual compositions now and then, something not easy in the small panels she has to work with. Rivera is also famous (or infamous) for her narration boxes, as in panel 1, where the character appears to interact with the narration box. In a sense, this is a “breaking the fourth wall” event between the character and the reader, or writer. Some people do not like this, though Rivera wisely keeps this convention to a minimum. Breaking the fourth wall is certainly not Rivera’s invention. Dagwood, for example, often turns to face the reader when the the lightbulb goes off in his head. George Burns, on the TV show he did with Gracie Allen, often broke the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience. So, I think there is a solid foundation for using this shtick. Finally, I wonder if “Greta the Screaming Goat” is a reference to the Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, who is also famous for her blunt, strident delivery. Not an insult, either. Just a thought.