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Amor--as well as the usual smell of burning tires and malt liquor--is in the air in this double-length special! It's a "worst-side story" when Ben is bewitched by Belch Dimension's blundersome, blustering bully's beguiling baby sister. They say love is a many splendored thing--but once our fighting families the Monerans and the Sweets have had at it, it'll be a many splintered thing. Will these 'tween titans' love survive...or turn into a tragedy for the ages?
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Issue #: 307

Issue #: 31

Release Date: Oct 30, 2007
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Title: "Little Romeoh-no"

Story (out of 45 pages): 36 p.

Writer: Matthew A. Jencks

Penciller: Chase Montana

Letterer: Shane T. Eaton

Colorist: Newton E. Haas

Notes

Previous episode references

  • BABF04-b, BABF012-a--Jon and Josh sport facial hair
  • EABF03--a lovelorn person sketches an idealized vision of their crush

    Summary:

    Jon and company are enjoying some down time by collecting recyclable cans around the neighborhood. However, nearby Tony Moneran is planning a sneak attack. Whooping like Indians, seven Maulers come storming from the woods and hurling rocks at the Warriors. They return fire, and pretty soon the air is teeming with flying debris. Monty himself sneaks around and attempts an attack on Jon himself from an unguarded rear flank. This, however, is quickly dealt with, and Monty summarily punished with a volley of rocks to the face and breadbasket.

    As the rockfight rages on, Benjamin strides gunslinger-style towards a new boy in Monty's retinue, a scruffy kid in a Cubs uniform named Mel. However, just then an errant rock knocks Mel's hat off, revealing that this little boy...is a little girl! Ben instantly becomes smitten, and the two immediately strike up a conversation. They seem to hit it off famously...but before he can seal the deal, an aching, beaten Monty drags Mel away. Ben, however, can't stop thinking about this girl. Before long his friends, noticing the change in him, put two and two together. Meantime Monty finds out that his little sister has fallen in love with the enemy, and blows his cork.

    At Angela's suggestion, Ben asks Mel out. This goes smoothly...until the older brothers, who are chaperoning this fiasco in the making, start fighting amongst themselves--and for the second time that week Monty end up lying on the ground beaten to a pulp. And, for the second time, he unceremoniously drags Mel off, protesting, leaving Ben totally discombobulated.

    Both families think everything is settled...until they go in to check on their respective siblings and find their beds unslept in. It seems, fed up with all the arguing and violence they've caused, Ben and Mel have decided to run away together!

    Notes
    As noted in the story itself, the whole story is a loose, "urban" interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet--the feuding families, the star-crossed lovers, the rockfight (in the original, swords) in which a relative of the girl is hurt (there, killed) by one of the guy's friends. The title alludes to both the play and to rapper and TV star Lil' Romeo.

    page 3. Introduces Melody "Mel" Moneran and Skull Duggeri. The first wave is made up of Skull, Knuckles Nelson and Butcher X, the latter two last seen way back in AABF02-c.

    page 3. Mel wears a Cubs uniform, although of no particular vintage; it seems to be an amalgam of several early 20th-century designs. This is yet another one of Chicago-born editor Jonathan Sweet's famous hometown shout-outs.

    page 5. Angela utters a Xena scream in battle.

    page 8. The original script had a bit of dialogue where Jon tries to talk Angela into sitting the fight out to protect her. It was cut, due to concerns of sexism and for being "too talky". Later it called for Jon to turn the tables and stab Monty in the arm with his own switchblade; however, following concerns this was too "graphic and imitatable" and had it changed to having Jon simply teleport away. Also, the scene originally called for Monty to then attack Angela, and her to retaliate by hitting him square in the eye with a rock. This was changed so it wsn't clear which Warrior's stone did it (as all have at least one before the scene cuts away to a Mauler reaction shot, the violence being implied off-panel). Also, bruises, cuts, and blood were added to Monty's men's to "better drive home the ramifications of rock-fighting". Sweet says, "I grew up in a black neighborhood where scenes like this were all too common. Kids get into these scuffles, they come up with split lips, cut foreheads, busted eyes. I remember when I read that scene in [Stephen King's novel] It where those kids get into a huge rockfight with a bunch of schoolyard bullies, and I didn't so much read it as live it. That was me at that age. I was one of those kids. Did Stephen King get into a lot of rockfights as a kid? I didn't think there were a lot of blacks in Maine. Oh, f***, I'm going to get letters for that."

    page 9. The bullies' shout of "Run Away!" is a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which is doubly funny, as Scarface is, in fact, British).

    page 14. Beginning in this story, Josh is driving a pink Pinto (the Crook Buster was totalled in EABF05). Marcie was mentioned as owning this make and color of car in AABF07-b, and confirms loaning it to him on page 18.

    page 16. Gallery is a popular adult men's magazine put out by Montcalm Publishing since 1972.

    page 16. The stylized picture of Melody is done in the style of Gil Elvgren, the late pinup girl artist whose work showed leggy models often wearing a smile and not much else, or being seemingly caught off-guard by a playful puppy or a sudden breeze catching the hem of her skirt and hiking it up to reveal her underclothes.

    page 17. Josh's love advice is a line from "In the Summertime", recorded by the band Mungo Jerry in 1970, and which, through a career spanning some three decades, remains their most well-known single.

    page 19. The scruffy fellow who enters the room in panel two is a caricature of Meynard G. Krebs (plyed by Bob Denver), from the fifties sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Whenever some character--usually Dobie's long-suffering father--would idly say something disparaging in conversation, such as "lazy", or "dirty", Meynard would unfailingly enter the room and say, "You rang?" as if summoned. Meynard is even appropriately colored in greyscale (though everything else is in color), since the show was in black and white. (The long-running and much-incarnated Scooby-Doo series was loosely based on Dobie Gillis, with Shaggy as a Meynard functionary.)

    page 20. Jon mentions wanting to watch the ABC Thursday night hit medical drama Grey's Anatomy, then a cutaway shows a scene with Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and her fellow surgeons (Ellen Pompeo, T.R. Knight, Katherine Heigl). The gag depicted in this panel plays on Oh's rather distinctive sharp and angular features.

    page 22. Monty's address is revealed to be 313 Strohler Boulevard, which is near Strohler Park. Jigaboo Junction appears to have two parks within its city limits, as in BABF01 Jon and Josh, while discorporeal, briefly take over the bodies a couple of young women in Apex Park. Also, on page 32, panel three is a recyled and colorized verions of one from the previous story.

    page 23. Look for the geeky pizza delivery guy from DABF10-c, now working as an usher at the Apex Theatre.

    page 26. The alphanumerical production code for this issue (CABF05) in panel three refers to the ones given for The Simpsons, which uses perhaps one of the most confusing systems ever concieved for assigning production numbers. The early Tracey Ullman-era shorts are coded MG (for creator Matt Groening's initials). Season one episodes are tagged 7G (Homer's station at the nuclear plant). Season two through four are 7F, 8F, and 9F, respectively. Five through nine are then coded 1F through 5F, and, then it gets really confusing. Instead of calling season 10 "6F", a series of three-letter codes are used from that point forward. Thus, season ten was ABCF, then follows BBCF,CBCF, and so on and so forth. The current production season, as this issue goes to press, is JBCF, or season 19. Now: the number portion refers to the episode's production order (not airing order). Thus, "C" means the third season, and "05" would make it the fifth comic produced. The "season" started with issue #24, so that would ideally make this #29--which, for a long time it was--but it was then decided not to have two long issues back-to-back, so this script was pushed up two months.

    page 32. The bum in the park is modeled after actor Morgan Freeman, whose long list of roles include The Shawshank Redemption, Bruce Almighty, and the latest Batman flick. Jokes Sweet, "I drew him in because he's in damn near every other movie."

    page 33 . Splenda is an artificial sweetener said to be 600 times sweeter than sugar.

    page 35. "Waldo" refers to Where's Waldo?, a fad popular in the early nineties of finding a spectacled man in a striped shirt frequently hidden somewhere in elaborately drawn crowd scenes. It spawned numerous books and even a short-lived Saturday-morning TV show.

    page 35. The flashback is a take on the black comedy Very Bad Things, about a henpecked would-be groom whose overstressed fiancee is becoming selfish and demanding. He and five friends head to Las Vegas and throw an elaborate bachelor party to blow off steam, with a lot of drinking and drug use. Things fast turn ugly when one of them accidentally kills a prostitute while the two are having wild sex. Before the night is over, they've also done in a nosy security guard who stumbles upon the dead hooker. The men decide the only way out is to hide the evidence. They dismember and bury both corpses in the desert and vow never to speak of it again; however, the weight of this ugly secret becomes so overwhelming that it nearly ruins the wedding--to say nothing of the mens' lives.
    Much of the dialogue in those two panels is directly lifted from the film, although of course several scenes and much of the dialogue is omitted, and the lines given have been largely altered and condensed to fit into two panels.

    Goofs and Nitpicks

        In Angela's dialogue in the second panel on page 11, she repeats the world "however" twice.


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    Title: "Gort's Guide to Getting A Good Night's Sleep"

    Story (out of 45 pages): 6 p.

    Writer: Jack Staten Monahew

    Penciller: Scott J. Hanna

    Letterer: Noah Jewett

    Colorist: Theo A. "Jet" Swann

    Summary:

    The title is fairly self-explanatory....

    page 44. "Two-Pack Shaker" is a spoof on rapper Tupac Shakur, who died of injuries recieved in a drive-by shooting on Sep 13, 1996, and whose music is decidedly not easy-listening. The concert at Sing Song Prison refers to Johnny Cash's famous live show for the inmates at Folsom Prison.

    page 45. Gort's bedtime reading is "Daughter of the Gorcrow". This was one of the books written by Peter Knowles in the novel Postcards of the Hanging.

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    There are three pages of filler in this issue:

    "Trash Hash/Mime Games". Punkin does lunch; the jigaboo street mime performs pretend pugalism.

  • Dedicated to famed mime Marcel Marceau, who died on Sep 22, 2007, as this issue began pencilling.

    "In the Swing of Things." Jason expouses the virtues of being a gibbon.

    "Best of Breed." Buddy's extensive pedigree.

  • Several of the breeds listed, as well as the gag in the last panel, are taken from Charlie Dog's routine in "Often an Orphan" (Jones, 1949).
  • Buddy is officially, according to the series bible, a "lemon beagle". This refers to a particular breed with two or fewer colors in their fur, according to the American Kennel Club. Other famous cartoon beagles include Garfield's Odie and Peanuts' Snoopy.

    Look inside!
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