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In the 48 hours or so since he first waltzed onto Milford High’s practice diamond, it’s become clear that Otha “Clambake” Yancey is a true hero for our age. Let’s review some of his classic utterances:

  • “You’re pulling your head, son.”
  • “Lock your eyes on one hole, get set, and swing.”
  • “And keep doing it!”
  • “Everyone calls me Clambake.”

The question quickly became: Should Clambake be commemorated by items of clothing that sport a logo that Josh quickly threw together using royalty-free clip art and offered for sale at the Comics Curmudgeon store? Frankly, to ask this question is to know the answer.

Yes! You can now display this baffling, ludicrous artwork on numerous items that you can purchase at CafePress! (Including the baseball jersey type shirts, natch.) If you’re sick of everyone calling you Otha and want to start going by Clambake, well, these are the shirts for you.

Meanwhile, there’s been some controversy over a statement I made about our good Clambake earlier today. Is Mr. Yancey indeed black, as I posited? I admit that, because this is Gil Thorp we’re talking about, subtle features like skin color can be hard to figure out. My own wife called me from work today to argue that he’s supposed to be a crusty old New Englander (which would ground the “Clambake” nickname somewhere near to sanity) and that “Otha” is some kind of Maineification of “Arthur.”

I base my assertion on being a longtime student of the subtleties of Gil Thorp artwork; plus, when Clambake was first introduced to us last week, he was seen talking to his son:

I admit that Yancey Junior is kind of racially indeterminate as well to the untrained eye, but the jagged nimbus around his head is one of the two styles of hair in this feature that generally indicates African-American status (the other, cornrows, being way too edgy for this harried buppie). Plus, Clambake pretty much exudes that vibe, associated with nice old black men in too many movies and books to count, of “Here’s a nice old black man who’s going to help you white people solve your problems with his folk wisdom/instinctive understanding of human nature/magical powers, but isn’t going to do anything to make you uncomfortable, like have sex with white women or vote or speak in that damn ‘izzle’ language.” But I could of course be wrong. Maybe Clambake’s racial background is unimportant. Maybe it’s just important that we call him “Clambake.”

Speaking of insanity and Gil Thorp, I’ve gotten quite a few good entries in the Self-Clubbing Tyler contest. I’ll probably be posting the first batch of pics by Friday, but you should absolutely send yours in today!