This is Comic Book Easter Eggs, where I spotlight notable "Easter Eggs" (basically hidden references) within comic books or other media (so long as it is connected to comic books somehow).
This time around, David Pepose will be sharing with me comic strip Easter Eggs for each issue of his new series with Jorge Santiago, Jr., Jasen Smith and Colin Bell, Spencer & Locke 2. #3 just came out this week!
In case you're unfamiliar with the series, it is a dark take on Bill Watterson's iconic Calvin and Hobbes, with the now grown-up Detective Spencer getting through life with his stuffed panther, Locke, who Spencer imagines as his gritty partner. In this new volume, the big bad guy is Roach Riley, a dark twist on Mort Walker's Beetle Bailey.
David and Jorge put a whole lot of other comic strip references into the comic book, and every issue, David will stop by and share them with us.
PAGE 1, PANEL 2: Welcome back to another installment of SPENCER & LOCKE 2 Easter eggs! Our third volume kicks off with another flashback inspired by Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey, in which our villain Roach Riley shares a moment with our homage of Chaplain Staneglass.
PAGE 2, PANELS 1-2: Cutting back to the present, here we meet the Chief of Police Dan Tiffany — and if the initials and wrist-walkie weren’t enough of a clue, we can confirm this is our red-suited parody of Chester Gould's canary-clad cop Dick Tracy. But eagle-eyed fans might also notice that our mayor is inspired by Les Moore from Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean — we figured given all the tragedy in our second arc, we had to give a tip of the hat to the saddest strip in comics.
PAGE 4: If you haven’t read SPENCER & LOCKE before, then you’re in for a treat, as we reintroduce our title characters, who are our hard-boiled pastiches of Bill Watterson’s classic Calvin and Hobbes — we have our self-loathing detective protagonist Locke, as well as his eye-patched imaginary panther Spencer. Eagle-eyed fans will also see Locke’s parents in Panel Three, based on Calvin’s mom and dad, as well as a certain time-traveling cardboard box in Panel Four.
PAGE 6: In addition, our title of this issue — Berlin, Ho! — is a nod to the classic Calvin and Hobbes collection “Yukon, Ho!,” which had Calvin and Hobbes attempt to walk from their suburban home to the Yukon with nothing but a toboggan and two sandwiches. Spencer and Locke’s journey, however, promises to be a lot more harrowing.
PAGE 7, PANEL 1: Riffing from another iconic Calvin and Hobbes running gag, we’ve taken the deranged mutant killer snow goons... and turned them into Nazi killer mutant snowmen. Who says comics have run out of good villains these days?
PAGE 8, PANEL 2: We also get a quick cameo here from City Comptroller Hal Forrester, our parody of Mort Walker’s Hi from Hi and Lois.
PAGE 8, PANEL 8: Locke’s daughter Hero goes on a journey of her own — and in addition to our riff on classic Calvin and Hobbes homage Stupendous Man, longtime Frank Miller fans might just recognize our homage to the iconic image of Bruce Wayne and Carrie Kelley leaping across the city from The Dark Knight Returns. (Fans who picked up artist Joe Mulvey’s variant cover will also get a nod to an iconic Frank Miller cover from the series.)
PAGE 10, PANEL 1: Here we see a flash of Major, Roach’s partner-in-crime, and our parody of Sergeant Snorkel from Beetle Bailey.
PAGE 10, PANEL 3: And here we meet Sophie, Locke’s late love interest from our first series, as well as our riff on Susie Derkins from the original Calvin and Hobbes strips.
PAGE 13, PANEL 2: If you haven’t kept up with our sequel so far, here is where we reintroduce Melinda Mercury, Star Reporter, Locke’s new love interest as well as our parody of Dale Messick’s Brenda Starr, Reporter.
PAGE 13, PANEL 4: The design of the gravekeeper, meanwhile, was inspired by Brent Parker and Johnny Hart’s Wizard of Id.
Great stuff, David, thanks!
If anyone else has a non-Spencer and Locke comic book easter egg they'd like to see spotlighted, just drop me a line at email@example.com!