Hey, peops. I have a fitting 4th of July post for you. A bunch of comic strips, just as the Founding Fathers intended.
A few weeks back, I mentioned how I recently located a treasure trove of my old daily comic strips for the local Boulder newspaper, the Colorado Daily. Called Cereal, the strip ran from 1983 to 1985 and included more than 400 comics in all.
Strange as it may sound, I’m reminded of Cereal by the recent and all-news-consuming death of Michael Jackson. (It’s as if Ed, Farrah, Billy, Karl, and Prince never happened. Okay, Prince isn’t dead but he’s Prince, FFS! Shouldn’t we be taking this time to thank our lucky stars Prince is still with us?!?) The years I wrote Cereal in obscurity were the same as those that MJ rocketed to superstardom with Thriller. So naturally, I devoted a handful of my strips to Thriller-era parodies.
Unfortunately, I’m on the road at the moment, so I can’t scan those strips for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I thought I’d set the stage. This collection of 10 very early comics (which I scanned a while back) documents two sets of roommates—Young Milton, Berry, and Shea on the boys’ side, Lil, Karen, and Nat on the girls’—venturing out to one of the low-life bars on the cheap end of town, a place called Happyland! Of these, just two (13 and 25) feature Shea, who is little more than an enthusiastic guy sporting a sharply-manicured afro. Admittedly, that’s a shallow character. But have faith: Shea later becomes a singing, dancing shallow character.
In the meantime, enjoy these trifles. Hey, they’re not all good—ha! I dunno about you, but I’m always mistaking the guys with mullets for the ladies!—but what’s a little bit of awfulness between friends?
In my defense, 21 and 22 have their sweet and even comical moments. (My dad, who was to electrochemistry more or less what I am to Photoshop, gave me the chemical compound of a beer burp.) And I love the notion of one dude assisting another dude with his foot. I mean, that’s a kind gesture, right?