Panel by Panel: Another Fridge?!

Siskoid and Unpacking the Power of Power Pack’s Rick Heinichen raid the Randomizer Fridge with a big and detailed panel from 1994’s Love & Rockets: Wig Wam Bam graphic novel by Jaime Hernandez. All the refrigerator action you crave from Panel by Panel ever since the Thing went on his own snack run! Or something. Plus, your feedback from our previous episode.

All relevant images in the Panel by Panel Supplemental.

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20 responses to “Panel by Panel: Another Fridge?!

  1. This panel and the panel of the Thing’s refrigerator exploits got me wondering how much of our lives we spend standing in front of an open refrigerator. The closest thing to this that I could find was from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They estimated that the average US civilian spent 0.59 hours a day doing food preparation and cleanup in 2018, which would include taking things in and out of the fridge. Unfortunately, I don’t know if that estimate also includes time spent looking in the fridge while deciding what to eat. Regardless, that would give us an upper bound (i.e., assuming all of that time was spent in front of the fridge) of approximately 9 days out of the year spent standing in front of the fridge. In reality, the average time will be less than that, but this, at least, gives us some frame of reference when considering the frequency of people standing in front of fridges in comic books vs in real life.

    Thanks for another excellent episode. I’m already looking forward to the next refrigerator filled panel. Though, I’d be satisfied with the appearance of any major household appliances.

  2. Who could have expected so much Legion of Superheroes content in one episode about one panel from a randomly chosen comic book? Not only is Jaime Hernandez’s Legion connection very real (as mentioned on the supplemental page), but Rick himself is part of podcast called, strangely enough, “Rick Meets the Legion!” Are we sure there wasn’t a miniaturized Time Bubble in the back of one of these fridges?

  3. Interesting discussion, although I think as fridge discussions go, you can’t beat the original.

    I kid, I kid. Some great insights. My knowledge of Love and Rockets is VERY minimal, even though I remember seeing ads for it WAY back in the old Comic Collector magazine of the 80s. It was way too “adult” for me then. I love Hernandez’s clean style. A “mundane” panel like this is just a joy to look at.

    As for refrigerators, here’s hoping your randomizer steers clear of Green Lantern comics. Ugh.

    Chris

  4. Great fridge! It’s even got a mesh cover at the bottom for the ventilation for the coils! I went back to check the Things ventilation, and it’s got louver cover, but they do a strange M.C. Escher disappearing act from left to right. The calendar on the fridge seems to have more than one month; I guess three across, so it’ll be hard to pin these events to a specific day.

    I hadn’t thought about it, but, a panel at a time, I’d think you might run into more free-floating punchlines. (And about as many free-floating setups, but some of those may go over our heads.) As the recipient of many “What…? Oh, yeah. Real nice, Jack”s, and not updated on their relationship status, my thoughts went to Mag having been advised she should find “a date.”

  5. All seriousness aside, this episode reminds me that I have not read a single issue of LOVE & ROCKETS, which is a shameful oversight since I consider myself well versed in the comic book medium, at least pre-2000s. I have always loved Hernandez Bros. artwork, so I need to finally pick up a trade or two.

  6. Incidentally, one of your guesses about the panel was pretty accurate…Maggie’s pointing out that there’s a “Have You Seen Me?” picture of Hopey on the orange-juice carton. Hopey is unamused.

  7. Rob, I’m in the exact same position regarding L&R, and I haven’t even listened to this episode of Panel by Panel. None of that has stopped me from enjoying this comment thread.

  8. Brilliant episode, thanks chaps. When it was at its peak of trendiness I tried a couple of issues of Love and Rockets but it wasn’t for me. Great art, though.

    I don’t think that guy in the panel was a priest, no dog collar.

    We’ve never had missing kids on consumer products over here. Perhaps we lack missing kids. Do sad photos on milk cartons not depress people getting into the day?

    1. I did a little digging (https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/555133/missing-kids-on-milk-cartons-1980s) and it appears that the practice of printing the photos of missing children on milk cartons was a relatively short lived phenomenon of the 1980s. Apparently, it began with a local dairy in Des Moines, Iowa in 1984, and spread from there, but the practice died out by the late 80s. It seems that the only people paying attention to the “milk carton kids” were other kids, who stared at the photos each morning while eating breakfast, and those photos just ended up scaring them. It doesn’t sound like milk carton kids ever became a thing outside of the US.

  9. This panel is such a marvelous composition. There is a clear sense of depth. The humans and furnishings are in scale with each other. The lines are solid, there is no wasted line. The only use of a “shadow technique” is to delineate the cabinets, which in turn helps to define the space between the fridge and the interior wall. Character relationships are clear. I am mad for Jaime Hernadez’s art!
    I strongly encourage you all, Siskoid, Rob, Chris, Martin, Captain, to read Love and Rockets. But don;t start at the beginning. The Hernandez brothers rapidly develop their own styles, but the stories that they ultimately tell are the meat of their work. If you have the individual issues, Siskoid, I recommend starting with #10 for Gilbert’s (Beto’s) story. He initially sets his tales in Palomar, somewhere south of the U.S. border. His work eventually takes on a truly epic, though human, scope, spanning generations and nations, but it is all tied back to these first tales in Palomar. These are collected in Love and Rockets Library #2 Heartbreak Soup. (This ought to be standard reading in English lit classes.)
    For Jaime’s works, I suggest starting no earlier than #12. Here you can meet most of his main characters in a very realistic setting. The early issues feature a lot of science fiction elements, from both brothers. From these starting points, those elements are quietly pushed aside, but not dismissed, to be more character driven. I got into it because it reminded me of a more realistic version of Archie comics. These can be found in Love and Rockets Library #3 The Girl From H.O.P.P.E.R.S.
    Both brothers let their characters grow, age, and change. Their drawing styles are distinctly different, but their works are masterpieces in wedding the minimum amount of words with perfect illustrations with no unnecessary line work.

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