When elGeo saw yesterday’s “Why does this look familiar?” thread, and also saw the current Pardon My Planet, he wanted to create a “Department of Self-Plagiarism” to hold all these. Because the PmP was a clear repeat with minor variation of a 2015 PmP he remembered well, and had liked at the time.
The one elGeo remembered, and sent in:
Assuming we’re all familiar, at least in its outlines, with the O. Henry short story “The Gift of the Magi”, this post is still a CIDU — for questions like “Why change it from a watchband to a belt?”, not to mention “Does a re-purposing come off better than a simple rerun?”.
But wait, there’s more! You say the change of format from squared-off to landscape necessitated a belt longer than the watchband had been, to fill the frame? Well, no: the belt is not shown stretched out horizontally, it just has a downward segment. Further, the comic did not undergo a change of format; it apparently coexists in both on a regular basis. For the GoComics archive delivers this landscape version of the older instance:
Does anyone here know the joke about the bashful gorilla? I don’t, and can’t find it upon (an admittedly desultory) search. …
Next question: Did the audience in the 1950s know the joke? Or did some yes but some no? Edit: No, some site said these reruns were from the first two years of the comic strip, hence 1950-51 roughly. But a bit of digital magnification shows the blurry info at the left of the last panel includes what looks like a “1964”. It doesn’t matter much here, but was significant for the “Viet Nam” strip a couple weeks ago.
Next: Or was there never even a particular joke? Was it simply a tease all along? And would that matter? Would the comic strip gag work anyway, and would it be enuff?
Camp Swampy may not ever have been a fighting base, but as this shows, they were not entirely outside a world where military conflict was a reality. And we can count all who served as veterans, whether or not they were in active combat or even in a war zone.
This strip seems to be dated 1964, and early enough in that year that “Viet Nam” did not yet mean all of what it would soon take on. Still, isn’t it a bit shocking that this might strike some of its audience as simply funny?