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I promise to ignore the obvious racial overtones

Family Circus, 11/1/04

A week ago, I would have scoffed at the idea that any child Jeffy’s age would even know what marbles were. However, Monday I went to a nine-year-old’s birthday party, and you know what the gift that made the biggest impression was? Marbles! I was shocked, and a little horrified. You know, when I was a kid, we had to play crappy video games on an Atari 2600 (and what person born during the 1970s doesn’t remember the bitter, bitter disappointment that was the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man?). And so many people of my generation went on to slave away selflessly in the computer industry, for almost no pay, in order to produce whiz-bang, photorealistic, ultraviolent video games so that their kids didn’t have to suffer like we had suffered. And this is how they’re repaid? It just makes me sick.

This panel illustrates one of my favorite narrative oddities in the Family Circus: dialogue that’s half in word balloons, half in quote marks below the panel, and all half-assed. Also, sometime this week someone on the Family Circus production line decided to kick the caption font up from Roman to boldface. Maybe the whole family’s just been shouting a lot lately.

8 responses to “I promise to ignore the obvious racial overtones”

  1. Tom T.
    November 5th, 2004 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    You’re not doing them any favors by ignoring the racial overtones. So that he doesn’t embarrass himself at one of those birthday parties, Jeffy needs to learn that the proper term is “marbles of color.”

    By the way, what WERE you doing at a nine-year-old’s birthday party?

  2. Mark Jackson
    November 5th, 2004 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    “National Pac-Man Day.” Heh.

  3. Anonymous
    November 5th, 2004 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    Let’s not forget the hail that did not quite meet the marble standard. The diametrically challenged hail should be included, even if it is white or a hail of color.

  4. Holden
    August 30th, 2005 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    Dad: Hey, Jeffy, go out there, and get some of those marbles!
    Jeffy: OKay!
    Dad doesn’t like Jeffy anymore. Oh Wait, he never did.

  5. Anonymous
    November 20th, 2006 at 7:07 am [Reply]

    Hey, what was wrong with the Atari version of Pac-man? I loved that game when I was a kid!

  6. Stan
    December 12th, 2007 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    I played Pac-Man at my cousin’s house WAAY back in the day.

    “Bonk-Bonk-Bonk” is a far cry from “Wakka-Wakka-Wakka”!

  7. Brandon Burt
    August 30th, 2008 at 7:06 am [Reply]

    OK, I’m being Family Circus-illiterate. But what the hell is the joke? “White marbles”? “Colored ones”?

    Can somebody please explain?

  8. The Archive Binge: Six Years Later
    January 20th, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Brandon, this is Family Circus, there is no joke.


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