Why do cartoonists feel like they can’t say the actual names of products and companies in the comics? Today’s Blondie is fairly transparently referencing the “Flame” meat-scented body spray put out by Burger King. Are there trademark issues, or fears of lawsuits? Perhaps Blondie was hoping to reap product placement money from Burger King, and decided to go with this genercized reference only after the elaborate negotiations for that deal collapsed, which would explain why Dagwood is reading an article in the paper describing a product that was released nearly a year and a half ago.
Of course, this doesn’t get at the core horror of the strip. What foul meat-based sex perversions did Blondie agree to participate in on the Bumsteads’ tenth anniversary? Surely the barbecue sauce behind the ears (and whose ears?) were only the start of it. She’s still so ashamed all these years later that she won’t even make eye contact with her husband, or us.
Apartment 3-G, 4/24/10
“I mean, sure, wimps might think that having a crazy woman wave a gun in your face constitutes something bad happening in and of itself, but I say that so long as nobody gets shot, it’s just one of those moments of adrenaline-soaked terror that really make you feel alive, in the long run! Anyway, like I was saying I graduated from the school of bad choices — choices, like, say, throwing myself at a man who enabled his girlfriend’s pill habit and then had her bundled away to a mental hospital when she got too crazy. That’s good boyfriend material right there!”