So as I have mentioned, I’ve been reading Popeye lately. The daily comic is pretty bizarre, though admittedly no more bizarre than any other iteration of the whole Popeye mythos, if you think about it. Anyway, one of the things in the Popeye comic that’s new to me is the presence of Popeye’s parents. Popeye’s father (or “Pappy”) is blatantly just Popeye with a beard; more disturbing is the fact that Popeye’s mother is blatantly just Popeye in drag. And not very convincing drag at that. Don’t their corncob pipes knock into each other when they make out?
Mark Trail, 6/4/06
We all knew that last Sunday’s Mark Trail totally awesome crab installment would be hard to live up to, but it looks like everybody’s favorite naturalist didn’t even bother trying, serving up an extra-lame installment of licorice, for Christ’s sake. Not even the vague possibility that Mark might accidentally spook the bear in the bottom left panel and get mauled perks this thing up. However, faithful reader Dave Horlick writes to point out the hilarious message at bottom right: “More information on licorice can be found on the Internet”. You know, the Internet. In general. Somewhere. Personally, I think messages like this should appear on all comics. (Apartment 3-G: “More information on proper use of quotation marks can be found on the Internet.” The Phantom: “More information on fetish gear can be found on the Internet.”)
After a few minutes of staring at this message in dumb fascination, though, I realized something very important about it: unlike the rest of the text in this comic, it’s not in Jack Elrod’s handwriting. I think it’s pretty clear that ol’ Jack orignally wrote something there that the syndicate didn’t want you to see. My theory is that the text box contained instructions on using licorice to get high. Or maybe a shout-out to Elrod’s homies in prison.