Monday, March 18, 2013

Barney & Clyde and Esoterica

This past Sunday's sequence of Barney & Clyde featured a rather clever visual pun -- if anyone understood it. The creative team of Gene & Dan Weingarten and David Clark certainly get points in my book. (click on image to enlarge)

The pun references a cartoon character of the 1920's -- Barney Google. The comic strip Barney Google (and his googly eyes) began in 1919, and reached the peak of its popularity right before the Great Depression. Billy DeBeck's creation spawned animated cartoons, comic books, and even a hit song.

In 1934 Barney Google visited a relative in the hills of North Carolina -- Snuffy Smith. Snuffy Smith would eventually take over the strip, and it runs under that name today. Although Barney Google makes an occasional appearance, he's not a current character for most contemporary comics readers.

Comic enthusiasts (like myself) who enjoy classic strips would instantly get the reference. But for the average reader? I'm not so sure. Although they could always Google it...

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