The Dinette Set is a single-panel newspaper comic by artist Julie Larson. Larson's comic began as Suburban Torture in the Los Angeles Reader and other alternative newspapers in 1990.[1] It was then syndicated daily by King Features in 1997;[2] it is currently distributed by GoComics for Universal Uclick.

The comic satirizes middle-class culture; its main characters are 50ish sisters Verla Darwin and Joy Penny.[1] The comic pokes fun of middle-class perceptions (and misperceptions) of common, everyday issues.


The strip is a single panel comic that usually has two panels in most Sunday papers. It usually takes place in the Penny's dining room or in their living room, or in the summer months, their backyard pool. Most of the humor in the strip comes from the shirts the characters are wearing and signs hanging in the background. The characters are usually wearing T shirts that have the name of a popular book or movie or TV show and then that say "on ice". (Example: The Jerk on Ice) Usually these pop culture references have never been performed on ice. A lot of times at least one of the characters have a coffee mug that says "shut up" on it. In the scenes in the dining room, there is a to do list hanging in the background for humor. The strip usually has an object hidden in the picture for the reader to find known as a "find it".


  1. 1.0 1.1 Astor, David (November 30, 1996). "Middle Class Is Satirized In 'Set". Editor & Publisher. Pg. 22
  2. Peterson, Ivor (October 28, 1996). "The Search for the Next 'Doonesbury'". The New York Times. Pg. 9D

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