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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Easter Eggs – John Byrne Comic Strip Easter Eggs

Every week, I will be sharing with you three comic book “easter eggs.” An easter egg is a joke/visual gag/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! If you want to suggest an easter egg for a future column, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).

This week, we feature a trio of John Byrne comic strip easter eggs!

In Uncanny X-Men #142, Rick and Joanie from Doonesbury are in Washington D.C. when the X-Men show up to foil an assassination attempt on a Senator by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants…

Thanks to Jukka Laine for the suggestion of this one!

Awhile back, I featured Byrne’s famous scene from Fantastic Four where Reed and Sue move to the suburbs and all of their neighbors are famous comic strip characters.

In that same edition, I featured the following page from Spectacular Spider-Man where Byrne had Mike and Zonker from Doonesbury guest-star.

However, I forgot to point out that the fellow with the yellow hat was Crazy Harry Klinghorn from Tom Batiuk’s comic strip, Funky Winkerbean.

After seeing his character drawn by Byrne, Batiuk and Byrne became friendly, with Byrne actually drawing Funky Winkerbean awhile back for a couple of months while Batiuk was dealing with health issues. Byrne has made appearances in the strip, as well…

In the tenth issue of Next Men, Byrne also had Batiuk’s comic strip character Ed Crankshaft (From the comic strip Crankshaft, which is written by Batiuk and drawn by Chuck Ayers) appear…

Thanks to Pete Scribner for the suggestion of this one!

That’s it for this week! If you have any suggestions for future comic book easter eggs, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com


Substitute Mark for Rick Redfern and you have a pretty fab homage to Doonesbury.

Substitute Mark for Rick Redfern and you have a pretty fab homage to Doonesbury.

Oh yeah, just a typo. I meant to write Rick, as it is clearly Rick.

For a different type of John Byrne Easter Egg, there’s the Freak Force issues where he’s portrayed as the god Johnny Redbeard.

I had forgotten about the one from Uncanny. Great stuff.

Wasn’t there a bunch of comic strip characters as Reed and Sue’s neighbours in one of Byrne’s FF issues?

We need more guest-stars in comics from Funky CancerCancer!

I believe it’s either Fantastic Four #262 or #263, wherein Reed and Sue Richards take up secret identities and move to Belle Porte CT with the hope of giving young Franklin a semblance of a normal, domestic upbringing. There are a couple of panels where Reed and Sue “Benjamin” have a party to meet their new neighbors. If I remember correctly (and I usually do!) the guests included-Dagwood Bumstead and Herb Woodley from Blondie, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell from Dennis the Menace, Hyram and Lois Flagston from Hi and Lois (who mention that their kids play with Franklin), The Lockhorns, and a couple characters from the Gasoline Alley strip as well. Also, in one of Byrne’s issues of She-Hulk he had humanistic versions of The Simpsons stuck in traffic!!

Slight quibble — Rick Redfern, Washington Post reporter and husband to Joanie Caucus, is blond.

“Marvelous” Mark Slackmeyer, NPR host and possessor of shaggy hair and messy beard, IS brown-haired. maybe that’s why our Dread Lord Cronin named him as Mark originally?

That Spider-Man splash page looks too good to have been inked by Vince Colletta!

Rick Redfern is a redhead, actually, and I’ve never seen Mark with a beard, just a mustache.

Well, actually Rick’s hair/beard is inconsistent. Sometimes it’s straight-up red, sometimes it’s strawberry blond, sometimes it’s chestnut brown. But I’m sticking with red.

Love the “Whammo!” on the X-Men page.

Also, the coloring on the Next Men page looks ugly and garish to me, compared to the older stuff.

Yeah, that Rick and Joanie is really just their names. Don’t think it looks like either.

Uncanny 142 might have come out during the time Doonesbury was on a hiatus (there was a musical made, I think, and stuff), and Trudeau came back inked by someone else, and his work really started to look good.

OH, Crankshaft is done by the same guy who does Funky Winkerbean? That explains a lot. Crankshaft is in my local paper and has been for years and I still am not sure of all the relationships between characters.

I don’t think that’s really Crankshaft because no mailboxes were taken out :)

@Nemo: It was Colletta, Byrne actually put in the entire Doonesbury cast, but Vince erased the rest ;)

@Travis – IIRC, Crankshaft started out as the bus driver in Funky Winkerbean which then was spun off into its own strip.

“Awhile” is not a word. Please correct.

For the cover of the issue with “The Trial Of Reed Richards” (sorry, I can’t remember the issue number), Byrne drew the faces of the FF spaced among a zillion or so different aliens. The one on the bottom right of the cover is quite obviously based on Charlie Brown.

[…] to blow everyone out of the Senate, and Rick and Joanie – apparently from Doonesbury, according to CBR – comment on it. The National Guard arrives and makes things even worse. A pair of […]

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