Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Maybe the comics page isn't a decaying mausoleum after all

On my comics page, three strips up and one strip over from Beetle Bailey (whose punchline today was not only unfunny, it required deciphering, like a Nazi U-boat transmission) is the strip Cul-de-Sac, which is one of the few strips left on the funny pages that occasionally makes me laugh. In fact, it's better than 'occasionally'; I find myself chuckling at the antics of Alice and Petey and the various other denizens of the titular traffic feature more often than not. But today, I got a particularly pleasant surprise.

Notice the book that Petey, the comic-loving introvert, is holding in his hands? I'm almost positive it's supposed to be the graphic novel Smile, by Raina Telgemeier.

(Sure, the cover's a different color, but I chalk that up to an ignorant colorist—the strip was originally produced in black-and-white, after all, and I assume it was touched up just for this website.)

Somehow it makes me incredibly happy that the creator of this strip, Richard Thompson, is enough of a comics nerd to put in a reference to a truly excellent, semi-indie graphic novel into his strip, at a resolution that renders it extremely difficult to perceive. Bravo, Mr. Thompson.

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