I'm not sure when crossovers in comics became "a thing," though likely with the Comic Strip Switcheroo of April Fool's Day, 1997. But two years earlier, apparently Zippy popped up in Family Circus, inspiring this Tom the Dancing Bug that is today's Classic at GoComics.
Crossovers generally pose the challenge that readers need to be familiar with the odd character appearing in the host strip, but Bolling seems pretty unfazed by that notion, and the joke is that he actually uses the occasion for some trenchant satire rather than affectionate whatever.
I particularly like that he didn't add the traditional "with apologies to" in the margin.
Don't apologize. Don't explain.
The standard remedy for anyone who can't take a joke remains in place.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wookie
And on a related topic, here's an interesting juxtaposition of juxtapositions, as two strips head out on adventures into other people's worlds.
The Deflocked gang has signed up for a stay at an Air BnB that isn't quite as advertised but does have a funky old wardrobe, the results of going into which are in today's strip.
Meanwhile, Edison Lee is on a planned trip into the Star Wars universe, only with Julius the Lab Rat having set the stage for some disconnects which continue today.
While for more traditionalist fans
If you prefer your comics straight up, head over to Mike Lynch's blog, where he's been featuring some oldies gleaned from his frequent visits to antique shops and similar places.
He's got a pretty good array going, particularly if you scroll down to his other recent postings, since these are a fascination with him. I chose this particular sample because my folks had a friend in college who figured he was exempt from the draft, since he only had vision in one eye.
As the war went on, he got a letter from Uncle Sam saying, "Yeah, well, close enough."
Many a truth is told in jest: I think this 1942 gag was well in advance of that change in his status.
Vintage Comic at a Crossroad
The Archivist at Comics Kingdom marks the 70th anniversary of the launch of "Rip Kirby" with some history and some promotional pieces.
It's a very interesting collection of stuff, but what the archivist doesn't bring up is a different marker that's happening within the Vintage strips right now.
This would be a good time to start watching Rip Kirby at Vintage Comics (of course, you do have a Comics Kingdom account, yes?), because he's just finishing up a story arc in which two con artists were attempting to rip off the employer of one of Desmond's butlering compadres.
However, the end of the arc is not the only notable moment.
Can you spot the difference between the strip from this arc that first ran Saturday, September 29, 1956, and the one that ran Monday, October 1 of that year?
This suggests how far ahead Alex Raymond worked, because that former strip was apparently his last daily. It was, at least, the last with his signature.
Comics Kingdom brought in John Prentice, who took over the strip until he and Rip retired together in 1999. Whether he came in immediately and finished this arc is a question for the archivist; eventually, his signature did appear on the strip, but I imagine there was a waiting period either out of sensitivity or, more likely, while they determined a permanent replacement.
Sensitivity was not, at least later on, a huge factor in discussing Raymond's death. Dave Sims has been working on a graphic treatment, "The Strange Death of Alex Raymond," based on the acknowledged fact that Raymond's personal life was in a spiral at the time of the crash and there was speculation that it was not entirely accidental.
I'll be interested to see if someone comes up with a reason he would have taken Stan Drake along with him on something done purposely. I'd prefer to think Drake was a near-victim of more subconsciously self-destructive behavior and that his own comment on the matter was offered in that spirit. One often says of dissolute friends that they were trying to kill themselves, if only by crawling into a bottle or doing other irresponsible things.
Truly suspicious accidents are generally a little more transparent, though it should be remembered that mental illness can exhibit all sorts of ways that are, almost by definition, inexplicable.
Samuel Pepys wrote of a relative who rather clearly attempted to drown himself and died a few days later, after which Pepys had to pull some strings to avoid it being judged a suicide, since, in those days, people were considered in some way the property of their sovereign and a suicide was thus considered a form of theft, which meant the estate went to the crown rather than to the next of kin.
So we've advanced from that stage, and, while the insurance companies are lagging behind a bit, police and coroners lean towards merciful interpretations of evidence.
Here's a plug
There's a print-comics project in the works, for them as likes such things. Not an endorsement one way or 'tother, but I don't mind passing it on.
Which reminds me to remind you that self-published books can be listed in the "Independent Publisher" listing on the right, but it's been about three years since anyone has bothered, so please bother or I'll decide it's a waste of what little space it takes up. I realize not everyone likes dealing with Amazon.
And here's an endorsed plug
I have to endorse this interview Tom Racine has done with Eddie Pittman because I'm going to be seeing them both at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning this fall. And I'll be seeing you there, too, right? Right!
If you're driving out, download a bunch of Tall Tale Radio podcasts and you can listen to them on the road. Then you'll show up all knowledgeable.
(We're actually going down to Big Hambrock's, but all I could find was this
cover version. Too bad -- the harp on the original really makes it.)