It's a fact: there are lots of dangerous things in our modern world, and it's a good idea to educate children about them. It's also a fact that these same children love cartoons and comics. So if we could make a comic book teaching children to watch out for dangerous substances, that would make a double-fact two-fer, or something. A great theory! How does it work in practice?
Sometimes not so well, as Binkley and Doinkel will show us in HAUNTING SIGNS. These two space aliens have come from outer space to teach us about safety! But first, a scary clown.
It's Pockets! He works for Consumer And Corporate Affairs Canada. Pockets The Consumer And Corporate Affairs Clown. Rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Safety is the name of his game! I feel safer already.
After a long winter Sniffer the dog returns from wintering in Florida and heads north to open up his cottage for the season. Lots of fishing and Jet Skiing ahead for Sniffer!
Meanwhile Binkles and Doinkley, the spacemen, crashland their saucer somewhere in the north woods. Bink has blue hair and Doink's hair is purple, and as near as I can tell that's the only difference between the two.
Come, wander with our two space travellers through a wilderness that every minute starts to look more and more like a mural painted on a middle school auditorium wall. Or maybe the library.
And now... all our dramatic personae are in position and our amazing tale of HAUNTING SIGNS can begin. Right? I mean, we're halfway through this comic book and we've learned NOTHING about safety. Or illustration or storytelling or pacing or...
HAUNTING SIGNS kicks into high gear as Donkley reaches under the sink for some delicious thirst-quenching poison!!
Sniffles stops the spacemen from drinking his deadly cleaning supplies. Which begs the question, why does a dog have such high-powered cleaning chemicals in his cottage? Most dogs drink from the toilet and will roll in filth if you let 'em. Dogs are not clean freaks. Or homeowners, come to think of it.
Aw, okay Sniffer! We'll be careful! Now let's go play haunted house! I know a way we can turn into REAL ghosts!
This amazing double-page centerfold cutaway diagrams all the deadly items Sniffer has stashed away in his cottage. Don't they remember what Sniffer told them about the SIGNS OF DANGER in what I am assuming was a previous comic book starring Snoikel, Differ, and Binkles?
Lighter fluid is for making fireballs IN THE BACKYARD ONLY. Horrifyingly corrosive chemicals are strictly for use in the bathroom to deal with the filthy excresences your dirty, dirty body leaves behind. And experts agree the furnace is the best location to place your explosives so they'll do the most damage.
Let's review. As predicted in Revelations, the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse are Death, Fire, Bones, and Kaboom.
And here's the most frightening image in HAUNTING SIGNS, the spectacle of legions of weird dead-eyed squirrel-things, picketing the forest.
Bye, Dinkle and Boinkley! See you in EERIE SIGNALS, in which you crashland your saucer in downtown Edmonton and learn about railway crossing signs!
Wait, what's that, HAUNTING SIGNS? You've got more scary Consumer & Corporate Affairs Clown for us?
It's a veritable crazy quilt of important safety advice, vital for your continued existence, hand-lettered and confusingly shoved inside little balloons. Double check that not a thing with the hazardous products symbols on it is left lying around and don't forget to remember to not leave your lying around put toys them away. Can't get any clearer than that, eh kids!
Have you memorized all these health and safety tips and placed them safely in your memory bank? Do you promise to obey all Safety Rules and to Tell Others about the Signs Of Danger? Then sign this certificate and place it SAFELY on your wall.
Or maybe you'd just better leave it in a drawer, it's safer that way. Or under the bed, that's pretty safe. Better bury it in the backyard just to be sure. You never can tell.
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