The cover of a Momma collection
|Current status / schedule||Daily & Sunday, concluded|
|Launch date||October 26, 1970|
|End date||July 10, 2016|
|Publisher(s)||Dell; Sheed, Andrews, and McMeel|
Momma is an American comic strip by Mell Lazarus that ran from 1970–2016.
Momma was Lazarus' second strip; he had been publishing the syndicated strip Miss Peach since 1957. Debuting on October 26, 1970, Momma was initially distributed by the Publishers-Hall Syndicate, and later was handled by Creators Syndicate and published in more than 400 newspapers worldwide.
Creators Syndicate announced Momma's (and Mell Lazarus') death July 10, 2016, in a comic strip memorial that included other grieving comic strip characters.
Characters and story
The central character is Sonya Hobbs, a short, widowed, opinionated senior citizen with a controlling, nagging personality. Although Lazarus based the character on his own mother, when he showed it to her, she thought the character was based on his aunt, exclaiming, “You caught Aunt Helen to a tee!”
"Momma" has three grown children:
- Thomas, her oldest, is employed and happily married. As far as Momma is concerned, her son's wife Tina will never do anything for Thomas as properly as Momma can. Tina doesn't think too highly of Momma either.
- Francis, her middle child, a chronic and shameless slacker, is the single largest source of her exasperation. He has little interest in working and always looks for loopholes in work contracts. It suits him perfectly to sponge off her and sometimes other people, yet he cannot be bothered to lift a finger to help or to clean his own apartment. He has a single taste in women: airheads built and dressed rather provocatively. His friends with similar work ethics sometimes show up.
- Marylou, her youngest, has frequent relationship problems, particularly with her mother (as evidenced by her comment that she was living the comic strip Momma was talking about in the October 6, 2006, strip). She has a thing for losers and outcasts — the very types of men Momma loathes. Marylou does not, however, favor the types of men Momma is determined she marry: well-educated and/or well-heeled.
While Momma constantly tries to make her children feel insignificant without her, they consider her to be an emotional burden. Still, they love her in their own way as she loves them in turn.
During the course of the strip, Momma has a variety of dream sequences, which include a homeless Francis holding a cup for donations. Other dream sequences include her late husband Jerome and herself at the gates of Heaven, awaiting entrance.
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