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Metapost: Three items of interest

First, on Friday I got a mysterious box in the mail. What could it be? A bomb? A container of anthrax? None of these, it turned out! Instead, it was fabulous commemorative Family Circus plate from faithful reader Krazy Kat!

The lovable Keane Kids are rolling around in the leftover detritus of an orgy of Christmas consumption, while their parents are passed out exhausted on the couch, hoping that at least one of them will choke to death on a small toy part so that there’ll be less shopping to do next year. Thanks, Krazy Kat!

(By the way, does anyone know if you can actually eat off these commemorative plate dealies? I’ve heard a rumor that the paint on them is often lead or something equally unpleasant.)

Also! Faithful reader Harold, maker of several fonts, has developed one based on the lettering of former Gil Thorp artist Frank McLaughlin! Behold, Ohmigosh! Perhaps the new artist can swap it in for Comic Sans? It can be yours for a mere $30!

Also also! Faithful reader KT has completed his Comics Curmudgeon Get-Together cartoon diary. There are photos too!

29 responses to “Metapost: Three items of interest”

  1. OverCat
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    Caption: Mmmmmm! Smells like cheese!

  2. Rusty
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    You can damn well bet that a Funky Winkerbean plate would have cancer-causing propensities.

  3. Zaq
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    Waitasec, aren’t there two dogs in that plate? I recognize Barfy, but who’s the other one?

  4. bats :[
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    KT: words to live by: “Everything tastes better on a stick. Even another stick.”
    Hopefully your way-too-adventurous adventure hasn’t soured you on attending furture CC Gatherings in Tucson! Now that you know the tricks of the trade (requesting a first-floor room, bringing a humidifier), things should be easy sailing! Your diary rocks turtleshell!

  5. bats :[
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    3. Zaq: the little dog is Sam…he’s been around for years, too, as has Kittycat. Unlike Farley and Mr. B, neither Barfy nor Sam nor Kittycat will ever die…just Big Granddad Keane (but he’s a real person, so he went to heaven, just like Santa…).

  6. indichik
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    #3: That’s Barfy’s lesser-known sibling, Poopy, who was written out of the strip in the early ’80s.

  7. Rusty
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    My first necropost, because I need to know:


    I was thinking about the post floated somewhere above that the strip went downhill when Elly let April wander away to drown in the stream, only to be saved by Farley the wonder dog. April is now 17, isn’t their present-day sheepdog mix a scion of Farley, now dead 17 years? What’s the shelf life of the present one?

  8. Harry Paratestes
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    Josh, you truly have a plate of cheese and tripe! You might be able to put food on it , too.

  9. commodorejohn
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    I’d love to have the GT font, but is there any way to get it without paying $30 at

  10. Bert in Rice
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    Check the fine print on the back. There is probably some disclaimer of “not for food service” or “for decoration only” even though who would want to eat from or decorate with it?

    One has to wonder if there are more plates made as a series. (A Vary Barfy Christmas. Jeffy has a Tantrum. PJ Soils Himself. Visits from the Dead Ancestors. Collect them all! Trade with your friends!)

    The commemorative plate business can crank them out, and this one might be one of a limited edition of six or seven hundred thousand.

  11. AeroSquid
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    Billy has a robot that he someday hopes will ‘remove’ his bothersome siblings.

    Dolly has something to remind her what she will never be: A skinny, happy bride in a white dress.

    Jeffy did NOT want the damn fire truck. Will attend many years of therapy as a result.

    PJ did’nt get any presents. He got a freakin’ candy cane. The Keanes are cheap bastards.

  12. Mr. Nice Guy
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    Don’t be too quick to give up on your initial theories. Perhaps the plate was lightly dusted with powdered anthrax?

  13. rodent
    May 4th, 2008 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    Don’t eat off the plate; rather, display fruitcake on it during the appropriate season. That’s called “poetic justice.”

  14. Josh
    May 4th, 2008 at 11:04 pm [Reply]

    #9 commodorejohn — Harold is a professional font desinger who sells fonts to make money, so, um, no? I’ve updated the post to make this clearer.


  15. Trilobite
    May 4th, 2008 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    Josh, are you growing out your sideburns so that you can play the villain in another “Mark Trail Theater” performance? You’re one dark ponytail away from being a dognapper!

    If you decide to take a chance and use the plate, you might want to test the scratch-resistance of the decoration with a butter knife before putting any food on it, to avoid unsightly mishaps. You might, for example, attempt to scratch Xs over little Jeffy’s eyes, or a pentagram on Billy’s forehead…that way, even if the paint does come off, the artistic integrity of the work won’t be compromised.

    Anyway, a lot of commemorative plates aren’t at all dishwasher safe, even if you can eat off of them — the picture goes all melty, and that’s going to look really disturbing. Wash it carefully by hand.

    (Remember, Thel likes it slow and gentle.)

  16. Trilobite
    May 4th, 2008 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    Also, those Christmas tree ornaments are weird. They look like they should be the usual ball-shaped ones, but instead have that bizarre elongated, cigar shape to them. Were they on a tree that caught fire? Are they recycling Barfy’s droppings by painting them and hanging them on the tree?

    Why are Billy and Dolly AND the robot and the doll all thinking about Santa Claus as an angel? Oh my god — did they murder that jolly old elf and steal his stuff? That’s horrifying!

  17. ar_d
    May 4th, 2008 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    Well done KT! I enjoyed all the little details you put into your comic strips, especially the cactus driving a car on page 4-1. ^_^

  18. turingcub
    May 5th, 2008 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    The Keane kids are happy, because they believe Santa Claus has died and gone to heaven, and has left them all the toys in his factory.

  19. Mibbitmaker
    May 5th, 2008 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    Is the plate safe to eat off it? Not if it says “Made in China” on it!

    How ’bout that?: China china.

  20. Beehoppy
    May 5th, 2008 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    Awesome Trip Diary! I think we need future installments of non Con related adventures to look forward to.

  21. True Fable
    May 5th, 2008 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    *sniffle* Now I miss West Texas more than ever.

    Great pix and diary, though!

  22. Krazy Kat
    May 5th, 2008 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Yo, Josh! Glad you like the fancy dish and thanks for the shout out in my favorite blog! You didn’t mention my favorite part, though, tht this came with a Certificate of Authenticity affirming that it is the work of Bil Keane “America’s most beloved comic artist”
    This raises two questions in my mind:
    There was a time in our history when Keane was referred to as “America’s most beloved comic artist”
    Someone, somewhere thought that someone might somehow want to pass off counterfeit Family Circus plates! What?!?!
    Anyway, glad it arrived and hope you enjoy the hell out of it.

  23. Terry Brown
    May 5th, 2008 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    OK, long-timer reader, first-time commenter-er (I hate when people say that). Anyway, I guess I’m in the minority here because, while I hate the Family Circus as much as anyone (I daresay, as much as life itself), I actually think the plate is sort of nice. Captures the parental exhaustion associated with the post-gift-opening orgy, along with the innocent, boundless joy of children on Christmas day. Good job, Bil! Put the kids to bed early and have an extra go at Thel tonight, ya monkey!!

  24. KT
    May 5th, 2008 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    Oh, people are still posting comments here? :}

    Thanks, everyone!

  25. Bill
    May 5th, 2008 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    I see the robot, but where’s the football? It’s not a true FC Christmas scene without a new football!

    And I wouldn’t worry about lead paint in the plate. I’m sure you’re safe there.

    There might be uranium in the glaze, though. Got a Geiger counter?

  26. Harold
    May 5th, 2008 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    …not to be confused with this faithful reader Harold, who will keep using Comic Sans and Akbar until he gets around to buying a fonts package for this computer.

  27. Harold
    May 5th, 2008 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    Sayyyyy, where’s Thel’s other hand? And while I admire the positioning of the shirt in the box, that camera is just begging to tumble off Circus Father’s lap, perhaps snapping some embarassing close-ups on the way down.

  28. Buck Remus
    May 6th, 2008 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    Just imagine redistributing some creamed corn and seeing Jeffy’s smiling face, or shoveling up a load of mashed potatoes only to be greeted by Billy’s cherubic smile? I sure hope that paint is lead-based, Josh. It’ll be handy for the inevitable thoughts of suicide that the plate’s powers will stir in your soul.

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