I'm not sure when I started forgetting to post new Toon River Anthology entries here. The canonical set is here, less some of the early ones that were too ephemeral and in-jokey to stand outside the comment section of the Comics Curmudgeon (je suis Muffaroo).
I've written a couple of new ones in the past week, beginning a long-contemplated expansion from just newspaper strips into the comic book world (and later, into animation). Some day I'll have enough of these for a book or something. Another millstone: Richie Rich (the poor little affluenza victim) marks the 100th post I've made to the New Pals Club Web-Log since commencing it in 2007. I toss a Dave Madden-sized handful of confetti in the air to celebrate the achievement. So here's Richie:
RICHARD $ RICH, JR.
I had wealthy friends, but I preferred the poor kids—
Bedraggled ragamuffins with bad hair and no fashion sense.
How they gaped at my opulence! How they thanked me
For any little crumb of generosity that trickled down.
“Kissing up,” some called it. I learned the term
From our second Cadbury, on his way out: Bitter!
They could have had an easy life if they’d kept to it,
But when their voices changed, so did their tune.
They still thanked me, but there was some edge to it
That I couldn’t abide. They thought they were entitled!
It wasn’t enough that I let them ride my golden wagon
Down a hill of gold coins and jewels any more. No,
They betrayed my trust. Small gems “accidentally” stuck
In a shoe or a ragged pants cuff. Dishonest!
I might have even let that go unpunished, if it hadn’t been
For their miserable attitudes. Oh, we’re so poor. We’re so cold.
Our mom is so sick. Our dad got laid off at your plant.
Can’t you do something? You were our friend!
What do you mean “were,” you ingrates?
I sent them away. No sense of respect. Sad!
Who needs them? I have this huge mausoleum now:
A solid gold statue of myself by the best artist,
And my personal police force to keep out the riff-raff.And here lies Dot:
DOROTHY “DOT” POLKA
Names are destiny. You have to choose carefully.
Dad and Mom loved to dance. They were the Polkas!
They thought I’d be a dancer too, but I wasn’t like them.
My aunts thought it would be cute to dress me in dots,
Like my name! I was surrounded by dots as a baby.
I couldn’t get over them. They became my life.
Dots here, Dots there. It drove Dad to distraction,
And Mom eventually left us, crying. She still loved us,
But she just couldn't cope with it, and she left the state.
I hardly noticed when she left. She wasn’t a dot!
Partnerless, Dad soldiered on. When I was fifteen, I had an accident,
Fell off my polka-dot bike, hit my head. I was okay.
But when I realized that I could see spots, beautiful spots,
Any time, anywhere, just by hitting myself on the head,
My doom was sealed.