1980 Called

gezer x2

Okay, I’m just picking a year at random here, but… Silly Putty was a thing of the past by the time my nieces and nephews were born in the 1980s; and even if it were still around, newspaper comics?

Yes, newspapers and their comics still do exist, sort of, but would any kid get a thrill out of being able to transfer today’s Bizarro comic from the newspaper page?


  1. BillR, my local paper still prints Bizarro, and has since the early 2000s at least.

    I don’t know about today’s kids, but using Silly Putty on newsprint was still a thing during my early 90s childhood. I wouldn’t say we did it a whole lot, but we did it.

  2. “was Bizarro ever a print comic?”

    huh? the San Francisco Chronicle has been and is still carrying it since 1985. Why would it be considered any less of a print comic than any other.

    “Silly Putty is still sold. What makes you think it’s a thing of the past?” ditto

    “was still a thing during my early 90s childhood. I wouldn’t say we did it a whole lot, but we did it.” and as the intended audience for the strip *isn’t* children but adults and adults with some degree arcane and eclectic humor and knowledge, silly putty and newspapers is hardly obscure.


    But…. what’s the supposed joke here? Hexed in what way? So the comics appear on his body? That’s weird but not with any humorous incongruencies. He might as well have been turned into an eggplant for all the humor involved.

  3. During my boyhood (70s), Silly Putty was fun for distorting images lifted from newspapers or comic books. However, I can see this use being less important and less possible. New printing technology means that much less ink rubs off of newspapers, so I think this would be harder to make work. As for comic books, the printing is much better than in the old days (It was even getting better in the 80s, when I was collecting. So I think it would be harder to lift images from modern comic books. Furthermore, since so much of the comic book market is lonely men living in basements who bag all their comics as soon as they buy them, I can’t imagine many comic books see Silly Putty these days.

  4. The joke is referencing voodoo dolls, where what you do to the doll happens to the victim. So a Silly Putty doll with comic transfers end up on the guy. Not super funny, but not mysterious to me.

  5. Silly Putty dates back to the mid 1950’s. It was easier to lift comics off newsprint in those days before offset printing. (Ink came off on your hands just by handling a newspaper.)

  6. Imagine, if you will: A midlevel marketing manager for a big toy company. His tiny fiefdom includes the fading Silly Putty brand. He lives in constant terror that his employer will discover he snottily turned down an unknown company that wanted to feature Silly Putty in its movie about toys …

    Imagine, if you will: A witch doctor turns a little girl’s Barbie into a voodoo doll and gives it back to her to play. The victim’s hair is suddenly restyling itself constantly …

    Imagine, if you will: A witch doctor somehow makes a comic strip character function as a voodoo doll. The unfortunate victim reads the daily funnies with shaking hands, knowing that whatever happens to Garfield’s owner Jon is going to happen to him …

    Imagine, if you will: A man famous for being covered with superhero tattoos finds himself caught in a legal battle between DC and Marvel. One or the other will literally end up with a pound of flesh …

    Imagine, if you will: A pile of laundry, and a pathetic search for something else to do …

  7. chipchristian Images are picked up in the reverse by the blob.

    If you then mashed it onto someone’s body, it would reverse once again.

    Modern soy ink might not allow much copying or transferring of ink. I used to read a lot of newspapers and went through many bars of pumice-based Lava soap, which is sort of hard to find these days.

    Fun fact: L’Eggs came in the same plastic egg, right? Uh, pantyhose packages seen at the supermarket.

  8. @ dollarbill – That last sentence probably wasn’t meant to be serious, but nevertheless: disregarding the vast differences in sizes (and colors), the “L’Eggs” and Silly Putty eggs also had orthogonal (perpendicular) seams. The joint on the “L’Eggs” egg went around the “equator”, whereas Silly Putty opened along an oval that ran through the “poles” of the egg.
    P.S. I remember this because we used L’Eggs eggs for arts & crafts projects around Easter, and it was a nuisance that the seam went in the “wrong” direction.

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