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June 6, 2007

And Here I Thought Wiley Was B.C.’s Friend…

Filed under: Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor — Cidu Bill @ 8:17 pm

William Matheny asks: “Is this Wiley’s (a) tribute to Johnny Hart or (b) back-handed compliment to Johnny Hart, or (c) insult to Johnny Hart?”


  1. I don’t think I see a reference to Johnny Hart at all… I think it’s simply supposed to be a caveman artist who’s so full of himself that, after painting on the walls, he has a pretentious gallery opening to show off his works. When you mentioned Wiley, I thought you meant Hart’s wooden-legged caveman. The artist in the cartoon appeared to have a pegleg at first; I didn’t get that that was his foot. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have made a connection to BC at all.

    Comment by Katheryn Saunders — June 7, 2007 @ 2:25 am

  2. Katheryn, if your screen is showing it the way mine is, then part of the comic is hiding under the right menu bar of the page. Click on the comic and you’ll see the rest of it, including the very obvious Hart reference.

    Comment by Robin — June 7, 2007 @ 3:17 am

  3. Yep, the drawing on the far right is a Hartesque caveman-on-a-wheel. Personally, I think that’s the only part of the comic that’s a reference to Johnny Hart; I think Wiley tossed that in there because he had a caveman-themed strip, not because he wanted to comment on Johnny Hart specifically.

    Powers &8^]

    Comment by Powers — June 7, 2007 @ 6:04 am

  4. I’m going to have to say, “Me, too.” I agree that the B.C.-type caveman in the upper right hand corner is just a sly background detail and that the strip is really meant as a comment on pretentious, egotistical artists and not really about Johnny Hart at all. It reminds me of MAD Magazine’s parody of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” During the Dawn of Man sequence, one of the apes has been drawn to look like Fred Flintstone. Little pop culture references like that are common in MAD but not so common in newspaper comics and cartoons.

    Comment by Joe Blevins — June 7, 2007 @ 10:10 am

  5. I think it’s just a bit of self-referential humor. A painting of a comic-strip caveman in a comic strip about cavemen. Similar to the time in the first Harry Potter movie when Hagrid is playing the movie’s theme music on his flute when Harry, Ron, and Hermione go up to him to ask him if he told anyone about Fluffy. Kind of a ‘meta-humor’ sort of thing.

    Comment by John MacLerran — June 7, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  6. Thanks for pointing out the rest of the strip. In some it’s obvious there’s something being covered, but this one made enough sense as is, I didn’t look further. 😉

    Comment by Katheryn Saunders — June 7, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

  7. Probably a tribute, since Hart died recently…

    Comment by GG — June 9, 2007 @ 11:45 am

  8. I think it’s confusing because your eye is drawn to the wall and the final caption, which makes it sound like the wall depicts an evolution of Man sequence, with the wheeled caveman as the final result.

    It takes some examination to see the “artist” standing in front of the wall and realize the captions are talking about him.

    Comment by Alan Hamilton — June 10, 2007 @ 3:32 am

  9. I agree that I didn’t see the artist at first.

    Comment by kellyfaerie — June 11, 2007 @ 11:04 am

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