In honor of all of the hearty food we will be eating on Thanksgiving, let’s recall when one of the healthiest foods was contaminated. As if vegetables hadn’t already suffered enough from television shows portraying them as the disgusting antithesis to candy and chips, in 2006 spinach was literally contaminated by E. coli. I was sympathetic for my favorite source of iron, yet I also found a humorous opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
A few months after starting my Kelly comics I wanted to draw my more random and unrealistic ideas. However, due to the semi-autobiographical reality I had set for Kelly, the appearance of an emaciated Popeye did not make sense. Instead, I created an alternate comic world in NA Humor — NA standing for New Albany, PA.
While the groundhog comic starred strangers, this panel was the debut of Seth (on the left), the personification of my younger brother. Seth’s meeting with former comic hero Popeye is also appropriate here, as Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat-Barges is one of my brother’s favorite water attractions at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.
Over time the one-panel NA Humor comics would recall the funnier aspects of my brother’s life (complete with nagging phone calls from sister Kelly), as well as observe the idiosyncrasies of life in rural Pennsylvania.
Each Thanksgiving for the past six years, I have been ever grateful for the true news stories and my mother’s tall tales from my hometown, which helped fuel these NA Humor story lines. Along the way there would be a few doozies, including one monster of a prom limo and an overenthusiastic car queue at the gas station.
Now, excuse me as I prepare my spinach and veggies for the big holiday meal.
* Disclaimer: Popeye® is a product of The Hearst Corporation and King Features Syndicate, Inc. Any illustrated reference in this blog is meant to be complimentary and not to garner a personal profit. Please don’t sue me.