Archive for the ‘Diners’ Category

By their consumer products you shall know them

March 11, 2021

The Zippy strip from two days ago (3/9) on the roadside culture of working-class (and largely white and male) North America:


(#1) By their consumer products you shall know them: gas, energy drinks, cigarettes, lottery tickets, candy, batteries, beef jerky — “everything anyone could ever need”

The strip is dominated by the Irving gas station, with its accompanying Mainway convenience store. Irving Mainway, which looks and sounds like a man’s name, and so has taken on  lives of its own. Beyond the gasoline from Irving, Mainway can offer Red Bull, motor oil, smokes, and maybe a frozen burrito.

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The allusive shark shack

February 11, 2021

Today’s Zippy has Zippy and Claude strolling in a fantasy city not unlike San Francisco (note the analogue of the Transamerica Tower) and remarking on an advertising display, a shark fin extolling “Joe’s seafood shack [or possibly Joe’s Seafood Shack] on the waterfront”, a fantasy eating establishment:

(#1)

Now, Zippy strips are often about/in specific diners (and motels and fast food restaurants and casual dining places and bowling alleys etc.), places that (with some work) can be tracked down (from their names and/or locations) and depicted (there’s a Page on this blog on my postings about these strips.

But #1 is different. Pretty clearly, it’s not about some actual seafood shack (or Seafood Shack) that advertises with a shark fin, but spins a little fantasy on such eating places as a type.

However, it might still be a (suggestive) allusion to one such specifc place, especially if there’s (just) one that’s well-known over a wide area. An allusion doesn’t have to be exact in detail; close will do.

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Loss of perspective

January 2, 2021

Today’s (1/2/21) Zippy strip, set in a diner tucked away in a corner of the small rural town of Hillsville VA:


(#1) Virgil is the counterman at the Hillsville Diner; the other speaker is an unnamed (and flatly drawn) Dingburger customer

Note that Bill Griffith’s drawing of the Hillsville Diner is perspectival, as his drawings generally are. The shift to a flat line drawing half-way though the strip is jarring.

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Life in the twilight zone

December 31, 2020

Today’s Zippy takes us to the 29 Diner in Fairfax VA, where a Twilight Zone wrinkle has apparently established itself:

(#1)

It seems that Ned lives in that liminal world, where there are no coffee breaks (and presumably no bathroom breaks either). The place is open 24 hours, so maybe no sleep either.

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The self-aware diner

December 9, 2020

Today’s Zippy strip (here) is about a diner called the Self-Aware Diner:


(#1) This appears to be about the idea of a self-aware diner, rather than about any specific diner

We get, from the 50s: James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, tailfins, the 50s slang daddio. Then, from a later era (but very much self-aware), Fonzie. From Wikipedia:

Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, better known as “Fonzie” or “The Fonz”, is a fictional character played by Henry Winkler in the American sitcom Happy Days (1974–1984).

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Donut alliteration

July 30, 2020

Today’s Zippy takes us to a perished donut shop (in Niceville FL), which gives him play for his well-known fascination with the sheer sounds of words:

(#1)

In panel 1, it’s alliteration with /d/: defunct donut dispensary with dismay. In the other two panels, with /ɛks/ (or with a more reduced vowel): examined the extent of extinguished excretions … not exasperated but exuberant. (In the latter case, the choice of vocabuary items is seriously strained, to get alliterative words.)

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CORN/BEEF

July 14, 2020

Following up on NO PENGUINS (my 12/4/19 posting here), another adventure in food signage, also initially presented almost entirely without context. This one takes us into the mysteries of punctuation, t/d-deletion in English, and the food practices of modern America.

The impetus:

(#1)

This is available as a symbol conveying NO PENGUINS, meaning that penguins are not allowed in the signed area or will not be admitted to the signed area (under a penalty of some sort). The slash is the slash of exclusion.

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Milk Duds with duck sauce chez Zippy

June 14, 2020

Today’s Zippy, set in Zippy’s fantasy-fulfillment dream diner, Zippy Food, which serves all his favorite foods, in combinations that especially appeal to him:

(#1)

Two things: the food combos; food establishments called Zippy or Zippy’s. We will end up in Honolulu.

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The toroids of York

May 19, 2020

Two recent Zippy strips on Maple Donuts in York PA:


(#1) From 5/11; note the sign “Drive Thru / God Bless / America”; Maple Donuts has 4 locations in the York PA area, and it’s not clear which one appears in any particular Zippy strip, or whether Bill Griffith has created cartoon amalgams of them; and note the title “Covfefe Break”


(#2) From 5/15, specifically on the noun toroid ‘geometric figure resembling a torus’

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The Book of Norman

May 9, 2020

Today’s Zippy takes us us to diner of his religion, as described in its sacred text, the Book of Norman:

(#1)

As it happens, these same characters have struck these same poses in this very diner before, but they had different things to say to one another.

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