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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Comic Strip Cameos! Calvin, Doonesbury and More!

All throughout July, I will be sharing with you three comic book “easter eggs” a day. An easter egg is an in-joke that a comic book creator (typically the artist) has hidden in the pages of the comic for readers to find (just like an easter egg). They range from the not-so-obscure to the really obscure. So come check ‘em all out and enjoy! Also, click here for an archive of all the easter eggs featured so far!

Your Friends and Neighbors…

Today, we’re looking at easter eggs that involve cameos from famous comic strip characters. We begin with one of the most famous examples of this ever, from Fantastic Four #276, when Reed and Sue Richards move to the suburbs (using disguises and fake names) to give their son, Franklin, a more normal life. Their neighbors are a cornucopia of famous comic strip characters…

Can you name them all?

Thanks to Omar Karindu for recommending I feature this one (I’ve featured it years ago in the Snark Free Corner). Next time send an e-mail, though!

Byrne Strikes Again!

Well, technically this next one was BEFORE the above piece, but who’s counting? Anyhow, in the first page of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #58, Mike Doonesbury and Zonker Harris from the famed comic strip Doonesbury stop by..

Thanks to Edo Bosnar for suggesting this one. He should have suggested it in an e-mail, though!

It Is Not Safe Outside Your Comic Strip!

That’s what Calvin finds out when he and Hobbes appear in X-Factor #36. Walt Simonson gives them quite a fright!

Thanks to AS for suggesting this one, but he, too, should have suggested it in an e-mail!

If you can think of an easter egg/in-joke that you would like to see me feature, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com! DON’T make suggestions in the comments section, so as to not spoil the surprise for when I end up actually featuring your suggestion.


Very nice. Calvin & Hobbes also make an appearance in the 1997 Bug one shot spun off from the old Micronauts series, which is certainly a fun read in itself.

Errr, sorry Brian – maybe not epic, but a fail nonetheless on my part. Anyway, thanks for posting that Spidey splash page. Haven’t seen it in years and it brings back nice memories.
And poor Calvin, by the way. Simonson should have drawn him more in character, i.e. Calvin & Hobbes riding the demon hot-dog stand like their little red wagon…

Calvin & Hobbes also appeared in Power Pack #54 and even got a line in while being dragged around the dinosaur museum. Really loved that issue!

There’s also a riff off of Calvin and Hobbes in the 90’s X-Factor Annual that Peter David did, though that’s not really an easter egg.


July 7, 2011 at 1:14 am

Maybe it’s just because I never really followed comic strips, but I honestly don’t recognize a single person in that first one. Not one.

I am enjoying this bit for the month, though!

Travis Pelkie

July 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

Man, it’s weird seeing comic strip characters in other styles like this.

And urggh, I can name the 4 people from the “blondie” to the nerdy guy with glasses, but the rest are eluding me. Gah!


July 7, 2011 at 2:20 am

There is Walt Wallet from GASOLINE ALLEY. Or is that Skeezix?

I knew seven: Blondie, Dagwood (he looks weird when drawn in this style), their neighbor, Jiggs from Bringing Up Father, Henry from Dennis the Menace, and Hi and Lois of course.
Any help on the others?

And yeah, should have put the tip in e-mail, though as said, I remembered the cameo on the Calvin&Hobbes page but couldn’t quite recall what book it was or who were the heroes :) Will the other easter eggs I mentioned get featured too?

It strikes me that Bryne did a lot of those easter eggs in his FF run…I seem to recall a community theater production somewhere in the 230s (IIRC) that had some familiar dialogue.

The short couple — one balding, one redheaded — are the Lockhorns.

The Crazed Spruce

July 7, 2011 at 5:25 am

The dude on the couch in the yellow sweater is Joe Palooka. Presumably, the woman sitting next to him is his wife/girlfriend from the strip.

The Crazed Spruce

July 7, 2011 at 5:27 am

….And I think the guy they’re talkin to, in the blue jacket, is a hatless (and trenchcoatless) Dick Tracy.

The only one I’m sure about in the first panel is Jiggs.

[…] Yesterday I linked to known Easter Eggs found in Cars 2 (and many other Pixar films). Brian Cronin, over at Comic Book Resources, will be compiling Easter Eggs found in comic books. Today’s post is various comic strip characters who were inserted into comics. […]

Daniel Barcroft

July 7, 2011 at 6:44 am

Maybe somebody can help confirm/refute my guesses from the first panel: The couple halfway up the left side are the Lockhorns, and the guy behind Blondie is from Gasoline Alley (although I have to admit I don’t know his name).

I was thinking the man behind Blondie was Mr. Dithers, Dagwood’s boss. I recognize almost everyone else, as previously mentioned. Our paper never carried Gasoline Alley or Bringing Up Father, so I’m not sure what those characters look like. In the Spidey panel, well, we know that’s Mike and Zonker. Still trying to guess the others in the first panel.

I think in the Spider-Man splash the guy wearing the hat (to the left of Zonker) might be Crazy from Funky Winkerbean. Maybe?

Speaking of which – the perspective on that splash is all kinds of crazy!

Didn’t Calvin & Hobbes make an appearance in an issue of Byrne’s She-Hulk, too?

Not a comic book reference, but I just remembered that Velma and Shaggy from Scooby-Doo had a cameo on Captain Planet once.

Also not a comic book/strip reference, but Byrne drew the Simpsons into an issue of She-Hulk, as well.

i remember the doonsbury appearance in spider man. plus loved how John manage to sneak in all those comic strip characters in that ff piece. plus Calvin and hobbes seems to have raked up appearances in the mu. given all the cameos they made.

Well, I think the only one nobody’s guessed yet in that FF panel is Herb Woodley, the Bumsteads’ neighbor, standing in front of Henry Mitchell.

I can’t think of a particular instance off the top of my head, but does anyone know if Byrne still does the Barney Rubble thing?

Left to right, The Lockhorns, Blondie, Walt from “Gasoline Alley,” Jiggs from “Bringing Up Father,” up front: Dagwood, Dagwood’s neighbor, Herb and Henry Mitchell from “Dennis the Menace.”
On the couch, I have no idea who the couple is, with possibly Dick Tracy?

But Calvin isn’t peeing on something.

On the couch, it that Hy and Lois?

No, they’re at the door.

Ah, of course. Just looked up the issue, and their names are given on-panel. No idea about the couch couple, but the letters page in #281 mentions the gag.

Instead of “Transformations!” the X-Factor story should have been named “Transmogrifications!”.

Annoyed Grunt

July 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Calvin and Hobbes also showed up in an early issue of The Maxx, possibly #3

Googled Joe Palooka and indeed the guy on the couch looks like him (I know that strip and Gasoline Alley by name but haven’t read them, and this is the first time I hear about Lockhorns).

Jason- I thought of Crazy from Funky Winkerbean when I saw the guy in the yellow hat, too.

Funky was one of my favorite strips in high school, and I was shocked to find out it was still being published. It’s changed a lot. It went from a straight humor strip to a more drama based soap opera format.

Disturbing fact: Back in the ’70s I kinda looked like Funky, same hair, jeans, tee shirt, skinny. Now I find out the characters in the strip have been aging in real time and Funky is fiftyish, receding hairline, pony tail, a bit pudgy. SAME AS ME.

(Also he owns a comic book store, and I hang out at a comic book store. But that might be pushing it)

James and Jason are right… That must be Crazy from Funky Winkerbean in the Spider-Man, splash panel. Good practice for Byrne, since he filled in on Funky for a few weeks in 2003.

The one’s of inserting another company’s copyrighted character are always weak or hard to identify, because they have to make it so different to avoid getting sued as to almost defeat the purpose. Oh look there’s Calvin, except with a different haircut, face, and clothes…but really… its him… rolls eyes.

I remember reading that FF 276 and thinking, oh man, there is a joke here I’m supposed to get buts its going right over my head. The literal one’s are better.

About the first image. From the Byrnerobotics.com FAQ:

Back row: Hi, Lois, Sue Richards
On the couch: Joe Palooka, his wife Ann Palooka, Dick Tracy
Middle row: Mr. Lockhorn, Mrs. Lockhorn, Skeezix (GASOLINE ALLEY), Jiggs (BRING UP FATHER), Henry Mitchell (DENNIS THE MENACE)
Front row: Blondie, Dagwood, their neighbor Herb Woodley (all from BLONDIE)

Crankshaft had a cameo in the original run of “John Byrne’s Next Men”. Don’t know the issue number, but Danny asked Jim for a ride after a very long run and he said no.

Marc, I think that was issue #10 of Next Men that had the cameo. I haven’t reread the original books since John started Next Men again so I may be off by an issue.

I can remember Byrne doing The Simpsons in an issue of Action Comics I believe. Was it the one with the Demon? I’m not sure but I remember the “realistic” style they were renderend in. Weird. LOL

Crusader, that was an issue of She-Hulk that had the “realistic” Simpsons. They were about to be overrun by zombies.

And to complete the circle — Iceman and Beast drawn in a certain style…


Jukka Laine of Finland

August 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

Byrne put Doonesbury characters Rick and Joanie in X-Men, too in “Days of the Future Past”.

Not sure if this counts as an Easter Egg or not, but I just spotted this mention in Adventures Of Superman 452, page 9. Morgan Edge, who has been dating Cat Grant, gives Cat’s son Adam a very flash motorised toy car to ride around in. Adam responds with, “Wow! Wait’ll my friend Calvin sees this! All he has is a dumb old stuffed tiger!”

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