18 Comments

  1. I don’t mind the color change. Just looks to me like a different tone choice for a panel. It’s almost universal for Shoe to use this scheme for the dailies. A lot of time it’s even stronger with the characters tending toward a silhouette. (https://www.gocomics.com/shoe/2022/09/24)

    But I agree those changes on the face are distracting. It’s not just the eyes. The beak is different, the earring has moved up significantly, the head is thinner, and the neck is more vertical. It makes her seem like a different character. I don’t think it’s part of the joke, though.

  2. I thought the bluish purple was supposed to reflect Shoe’s disappointed mood, and her “dotted” eyes and downcast nose in the second panel imply a wide-eyed, fearful look.

    P.S. @ Darrren – That link was a surprise: I didn’t know that GoComics carried King Features material.

  3. @Kilby is right again. The color change is expressionism. It’s meant to convey a mood. I presume the same about the eyes, but I am certain about the color.

  4. The color change has been explained. Thanks all. On another note, I’m not a regular Shoe reader, but if all their strips just take human characters and slap feathers and a beak on them, what’s the point of athropomorphizing them? Why does the female character have all human characteristics (skin, breasts) except for the beak, while Shoe is all bird.

  5. There are a number of King Features strips on GoComics, notably Dick Tracy and Gasoline Alley. The ones that do aren’t available from the Comics Kingdom main site, but are from the version that’s provided to newspapers like Seattle PI. In the latter case, comments are disabled, so the only place to comment is GC.

  6. And why do all the birds wear shoes and socks and no other clothes? I don’t know. Probably in order to name the strip “Shoe”. Although that’s the main character’s nickname, so the strip could just be named after him. His name is P. Martin Shoemaker but he is not a shoemaker. He is a newspaper editor. So somebody else, perhaps not named Shoemaker, makes everyone’s shoes. Oh, and the P stands for Purple. But not as in Purple Martin Majesties Above the Fruited plain. That’s something else entirely.

  7. @Mark in Boston: In these strips, Doris is wearing a dress and earrings; Roz is in a waitress uniform. As for the other regular characters, Perfessor Fishhawk and the Senator both wear suits, Skyler is often in a t-shirt & baseball cap, and Loon generally has a scarf & flight helmet. Irv wears coveralls, the Wiz has wizards robes, and Madame Zoodoo has a stereotypical fortune teller outfit. Shoe, himself, is the only one that consistently meets the “shoes and socks and no other clothes” description.

  8. According to the Wikipedia article, the name came from “… Jim Shumaker whom MacNelly worked for at the Chapel Hill (NC) Weekly.“.

  9. Did they steal this from MAD magazine? I saw the same joke in a “Lighter Side” strip (by Dave Berg) many years ago. Some time in the 1980s, I think.

  10. @ Tom – Mere duplication isn’t necessarily an indication of plagiarism, far from it. The reason that Bill’s traditional requirement for the “Synchronicity” category was “same day publication” was that this sort of repetition happens all the time. Whoever the author of this strip was, it’s exceedingly unlikely that he or she was consciously aware of a 40-year old item from Mad Magazine when this was composed.

  11. Kilby: PLUGGERS isn’t the first successful strip to use crowd-sourcing for inspirations: remember “Thanks and a tip of the Hatlo Hat to….”?

  12. Shrug, I do remember that! Was it from Hatlo’s Inferno? Was he also the artist behind “They’ll Do It Every Time” or were those rivals on the same idea?

  13. I had “Little Iodine sundays” in a feed until recently. (Another Jimmy Hatlo creation.) But in the end, too much text dialogue and too many panels, for me.

  14. @ Shrug – I’m not opposed at all to an author occasionally using an idea from someone else, although a personal letter and a signed & framed copy of the original artwork would be a more appropriate acknowledgement than broadcasting the credit in the strip itself. However, what I really dislike is turning 100% of the writing duties over to the audience. Isn’t the author of a comic strip supposed to be doing at least some of the writing?

    P.S. I think the only “Pluggers” joke that I have ever laughed at was this one:

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