Whatnot Wednesday – Stuff On The Edges

Universal’s Toon Lagoon, Dav Pilkey’s Free Little Library, Trina Robbins’ Fashions, and Snoopy’s Diet.

If you think your daily newspaper’s comics page needs an update…

Islands of Adventure maintains face time with comic characters

Dewayne Bevil for The Orlando Sentinel goes to Universal’s Toon Lagoon to inform Instagramers how to get the best results when taking photos for their pages. And adds some commentary about the age of the attraction’s comics.

Toon Lagoon was Instagramable before Instagram existed. The comic-strip land at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is saturated with photo opportunities amid dozens of characters and sight gags.

To be honest, some of these comics were dang crusty even in my younger days, so it stands to reason that today’s digital youth could be unmoved by these colorful images, even if creatively presented.

I was feeling nostalgic and attempted to list all the characters that appear in the land. Apparently I was feeling ambitious as well and later was feeling foolish when I couldn’t think of the redhead’s name atop Comic Strip Cafe. An official list from Universal Orlando reminded me: She’s Brenda Starr, reporter.

The art may be even more dated and obscure inside Comic Strip Cafe, although designers leaned into an eating theme when selecting the images for the restaurant. It could almost be a museum in there with “Mary Worth,” “Terry and the Pirates,” “Moon Mullins” and “Alley Oop” among those featured.

I am unable to find that “official list” of characters he mentions.


Scholastic, Little Free Library Partner on ‘Dog Man’ Book-Sharing Boxes

While he may not be donning a cape and swooping in to save the day, Dav Pilkey is a literary superhero of sorts. And now he’s the first Scholastic author-illustrator whose work will have a dedicated Little Free Library. Later this month, Dog Man-themed book-sharing boxes will be installed in all 50 states and stocked with 50,000 children’s books donated by Pilkey. The initial library unveiling will coincide with the release of Dog Man: The Scarlet Shedder (Mar. 19), Pilkey’s 12th book in the graphic novel series.

Pamela Brill at Publishers Weekly has the details of Scholastic and Dave Pilkey spreading joy.

Pilkey said in a statement, “When I was a kid, I have fond memories of going to the library where my mom would let me pick out whatever books I wanted to read. This is how I came to associate reading with love. I’m grateful to the many librarians, teachers, and the teams at Little Free Library and Scholastic. They are real-life superheroes.”

Elementary schools, childcare facilities, and community centers that are interested in adding a Dog Man Little Free Library are encouraged to apply online. Little Free Library is also hosting a Scholastic-sponsored giveaway of 1,200 copies of The Scarlet Shedder. Dog Man fans residing in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to enter the contest, now through March 31.


A Sartorial Life — Conversation about Fashion and Comics with Trina Robbins

Even though she might be better known for her work in comics (having initiated the underground women’s comix movement in the 1970s), fashion has always had a place in Robbins’ life. It might surprise some to know that Robbins was involved in fashion long before she started in comics. At times, her two interests have converged, with her comics art appearing in Prada’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection and her most recent (and Eisner-nominated) book, Gladys Parker: A Life in Comics, A Passion for Fashion, focusing on cartoonist and designer Gladys Parker. Overall, Robbins’ involvement and love for fashion deserves broader recognition and, at the very least, to be the focus of a good conversation. Earlier this year, we sat down (over Zoom) to discuss her love of fashion and how it has changed throughout and influenced her life.

Cartooning and researching and writing comic histories didn’t and doesn’t take all of Trina Robbins time,

At Women Write About Comics Sydney Heifler interviews cartoonist Trina Robbins about her other career.

SH: Talking about fashion and comics, 2018 was the Prada collection. That was a direct collision between comics and fashion I feel doesn’t always happen and they did a really good job of it. What was it like to have that moment, of having your work in Prada?

TR: Oh my god, it was incredible. Um, [Miuccia Bianchi Prada] actually invited me to the runway show, but I couldn’t go because I had a signing! And you can’t just skip on signings.


Snoopy’s Survival: The Fictional Diet of a Comic Strip Canine

from May 15, 1983 © Peanuts Worldwide

One aspect of Snoopy’s fictional existence is his diet, which often consists of foods that would be harmful, if not deadly, to real dogs. In a 2022 Peanuts strip shared by the Charles M. Schulz Museum on National Chocolate Chip Day, Snoopy is depicted indulging in chocolate chip cookies offered by Charlie Brown. However, chocolate contains theobromine, a compound toxic to dogs that can cause severe illness or even death. Fortunately for Snoopy, his fictional nature shields him from the consequences of consuming chocolate. Otherwise, he would have faced numerous health crises over the decades.

For United Business Journal Prerna Singh investigates the diet of PeanutsSnoopy.

5 thoughts on “Whatnot Wednesday – Stuff On The Edges

  1. Islands of Adventure is superior to Universal Studios Florida in so many ways. Less screen-based rides, more mechanical rides. And the screen rides they have are truly worth riding. In addition to the Toon Lagoon island theming, there is a Dudley Do-Right log flume and a Popeye river raft ride that is considered the best raft ride on the East Coast.

  2. Please send good wishes for a speedy recovery to Trina Robbins, who has been ill.

    I remember the Snoopy strips. Most chocolate chip cookies have very little actual chocolate in them, and would not kill the dog. They are not very good for them because of the sugar content. Actual ‘dog cookies’ exist and contain no sugar or chocolate.

  3. Snoopy’s cookie habit was an extended running gag that lasted from the late 80s and into the 90s. For a while it was sweet and cute, but over time the gag became stale and tiresome. It was almost as bad as a certain cat’s adoration of lasagne.

  4. I had two dogs in the ’70s and ’80s (a big one who lived till ten and a small one who lived till fifteen) and as there was no widely published warning against it back then, they usually ate whatever sweets I ate. I rarely ate candy bars, but I’m sure chocolate-flavored cookies and chocolate ice cream were among those treats. Neither must have had sufficient theobromine content to bother them.

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