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June 22, 2004

In The Hollow Of A Wave Off The Coast At Camp Swampy

A week or two ago, I pointed out an odd similarity between a recent Kudzu comic strip and an Andy Capp strip from the late 60's. I never heard back from Marlette, so I'm not sure whether the similarity between the strips was the result of a conscious decision on his part or not.

Sometimes, though, it's obvious what the artist intends. Take yesterday's Beetle Bailey, by the venerable Mort Walker, for example.

The wave about to wash over Sarge in the second panel is obviously not in keeping with the style of the strip. So why is it there?

Basically, it's the comic strip equivalent of a shout-out (or "homage" as the industry terms it) from Mort to the long-dead Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, best known for his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. The most famous of those views is known as "In the Hollow of a Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa". Notice anything familiar in it?


(Click for larger image.)

Odd though the appearance of the Hokusai wave is in the strip, it's in keeping with the themes of Beetle Bailey.* Sarge is always suffering through one painful disaster or another.

I live for stuff like this, much to the dismay of the wife. Just when she thinks I've finally plumbed the depths of geekdom, I break through to another sub-basement.

*Yes, you're right, that particular phrase has never been used before.

Postscript: The more perspicacious among the Hraka readership, for you are all perspicacious indeed, will have noticed an oddity about the Beetle Bailey strip above. It's dated 6/21, yet the strips at mortwalker.com and at King Features are only up to 6/8. For you, I offer a challenge. Figure out how I found it. If you do, don't go posting a map of your actions for others in the comments--just e-mail me a copy of the BB strip that will appear in newspapers a week and a half from today, on July 3rd, 2004. I'll post a list those who did so successfully later on.

Posted by Bigwig at June 22, 2004 10:05 AM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

Neither has "plumbed the depths of geekdom, I break through to another sub-basement" ever been used before. See:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=plumbed+the+depths+of+geekdom%2C+I+break+through+to+another+sub-basement.&btnG=Google+Search

Congrats - two googlewhacks in a single entry. Here, here.

Posted by: Blackavar at June 22, 2004 01:12 PM

Here is the URl from my blog with the future comic.

http://quasi-in-rem.blogspot.com/2004/06/hello-bigwig.html

Turns out that in the future Beetle Bailey is even less funny.

Shocking but true.

Posted by: A man on the hill at June 22, 2004 02:35 PM

I think that was the last "Beetle Bailey" strip I've been able to view. All the King Features strips have been "unavailable" to me the last couple of days.

BTW, I have links to both the up-to-dates at the Seattle Positively-Unintelligent website, and the two-weeks-old ones at KingFeatures.com -- both sites are refusing to display the strips for me lately.

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Posted by: Google at November 7, 2004 07:28 PM
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