Fools’ Silver – The Great Switcheroonie

Twenty-five years ago Jim Scancarelli‘s Gasoline Alley mentioned comics characters looking funny.

And the comics did look off-model that day –
’cause it was April 1, 1997.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times hedder:

Today is the silver anniversary of The Great Comics Switcheroonie of 1997.

A  Scripps Howard article explained what was happening to a confused public.


To celebrate the occasion here’s the complete showing of the switcheroos.
I tried to get each with the regular creators’ names listed, not always successfully.
And since not all signatures are legible here is a list of guest cartoonists from The Atlanta Journal:


Robb had to do two versions for Wiley’s panel!

APRIL FOOL!  This ain’t complete.
All efforts have failed to turn up the Pavlov panel for April 1, 1997.
If anyone can find it please send it to us.

And then there was …


In 2014 Steve Kelley, Jeff Parker, and Comics Kingdom supplied a list of all participating cartoonists:

  • 9 Chickweed Lane was drawn by Chris Browne (Hagar the Horrible): Lucky Eddie was one of Amos’ Ancestors.
  • Baby Blues was drawn by Stephen Bentley (Herb and Jamaal): The characters have the same skin color as Herb & Jamaal’s stars.
  • Ballard Street was drawn by Mel Lazarus (Momma)
  • Barney Google and Snuffy Smith was drawn by Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace): Dennis helps Jughaid with a “kick me” sign. Plus, Elviney & Lowzeey resemble Alice & Mrs. Wilson.
  • Beattie Blvd. was drawn by Ted Martin (Pavlov)
  • Beetle Bailey was drawn by Jeff MacNelly (Shoe): Skyler got stuck at Camp Swampy.
  • Betty was drawn by Dave Whamond (Reality Check).
  • Big Nate was drawn by Scott Stantis (The Buckets)
  • Bizarro was drawn by Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead): One of the women shown is played by Zippy.
  • Blondie was drawn by Jim Davis (Garfield): Garfield steals one of Dagwood Bumstead‘s famous sandwiches.
  • The Born Loser was drawn by Brian Crane (Pickles): Earl joins Thorney on a walk through a neighborhood.
  • Broom-Hilda was drawn by Bud Grace (Ernie)
  • The Buckets was drawn by Jan Eliot (Stone Soup).
  • Dennis the Menace was drawn by Fred Lasswell (Barney Google and Snuffy Smith): Dennis’ characters dress like Snuffy Smith’s for a group photo.
  • Dilbert was drawn by Bil Keane (Family Circus): Billy visits Dilbert’s cubicle.
  • The Duplex was drawn by Delainey and Rasmussen (Betty).
  • Ernie was drawn by J. C. Duffy (The Fusco Brothers).
  • [The] Family Circus was drawn by Scott Adams (Dilbert): Thel sports a PHB-esque hairdo and Dogbert is her consultant.
  • For Better or For Worse was drawn by Mike Peters (Mother Goose and Grimm): John and Elly Patterson got ‘stuck’ with dialogue balloons of the characters of Mother Goose and Grimm.
  • FoxTrot was drawn by Brad and Guy Gilchrist (Nancy): Jason (as Luke Skywalker) is fighting Darth Vader who reveals himself to be Nancy.
  • The Fusco Brothers was drawn by Jerry Van Amerongen (Ballard Street)
  • Garfield was drawn by Young & Drake (Blondie): Jon and Garfield stay with the Bumsteads while their paint dries.
  • Hägar the Horrible was drawn by Wiley Miller (Non Sequitur): Hagar is visited by a systems analyst.
  • Herb and Jamaal was drawn by Russell Myers (Broom-Hilda)
  • Hi and Lois was drawn by Greg Evans (Luann): Luann is Trixie’s babysitter.
  • I Need Help was drawn by Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate)
  • JumpStart was drawn by Walker and Browne (Hi and Lois): Joe & Marcy see themselves like Hi & Lois.
  • Luann was drawn by Dan Piraro (Bizarro): Luann sees a cartoon chihuahua named Squeeky in her mirror. The shock slowly turns her into a bug.
  • Momma was drawn by Jeff Miller & Bill Hinds (Tank McNamara): Marylou introduces Momma to Tank as her new boyfriend.
  • Mother Goose and Grimm was drawn by Lynn Johnston (For Better or For Worse): Edgar sneaks away to hang with the Mother Goose & Grimm cast.
  • Nancy was drawn by Pat Brady (Rose Is Rose): The animals Nancy performs for make the same happy expressions as Rose is Rose’s characters.
  • Non Sequitur was drawn by Robb Armstrong (Jump Start).
  • The Norm was drawn by Bill Holbrook (On the Fastrack): Wendy is at Norm’s workplace.
  • On the Fastrack was drawn by Jim Toomey (Sherman’s Lagoon): Just when you think Sherman makes a cameo, it’s actually Wendy’s hair.
  • One Big Happy was drawn by Dave Coverly (Speed Bump)
  • Pavlov was drawn by Vic Lee (I Need Help).
  • Pickles was drawn by Michael Jantze (The Norm): Earl is really Norm in a costume.
  • Reality Check was drawn by Bruce Beattie (Beattie Blvd.)
  • Rose Is Rose was drawn by Brooke McEldowney (9 Chickweed Lane)
  • Sherman’s Lagoon was drawn by Kirkman and Scott (Baby Blues): Fish versions of the MacPhersons visit Sherman & Megan.
  • Shoe was drawn by Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey): Shoe beats up Cosmo like Sgt. Snorkel would Beetle.
  • Speed Bump was drawn by Rick Detorie (One Big Happy): Ruthie and her family are in the background.
  • Stone Soup was drawn by Glenn McCoy (The Duplex): Val & Joan discuss their comic being drawn by a man instead of the usual woman.
  • Tank McNamara was drawn by Chip Sansom (The Born Loser).
  • Zippy the Pinhead was drawn by Bill Amend (FoxTrot): Zippy & Griffy have Jason & Peter’s respective faces and are accompanied by Quincy the Iguana.

Other notes:

  • Kevin Fagan drew his creation Drabble using his left hand instead of his right
  • The artist and writer [MacIntosh and Howard] behind Sally Forth switched roles for a day.
All comics are copyright their respective copyright owners