Panel by Panel: The Thing in the Fridge

FW Presents Panel by Panel, the show that dissects a single comic book panel from the last 85 years of comics history every episode. Siskoid spends time with Chris Franklin to discuss a panel from The Thing #31, cover-dated January 1986. Plus, your feedback from the previous episode.

All relevant images in the Panel by Panel Supplemental.

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Leave us a comment, we’ll read it between the panels!

7 responses to “Panel by Panel: The Thing in the Fridge

  1. Thank you for another enjoyable episode, gentlemen. I had totally forgotten about “Thing Ring do your thing” until you mentioned it, and then the memories of that cartoon show came flooding back to me. It makes me wonder what other childhood memories are locked away inside my head, waiting to be triggered by an old catchphrase or theme song.

    Also, my wife and I recently bought a new refrigerator, and I can confirm that you can specify which way you want the door to open. I believe we (meaning she) chose based on our kitchen’s layout, but I’ll definitely try the comic book panel design argument the next time we purchase a major kitchen appliance.

  2. Finally you have MY favorite member of the network on the show!

    Chris is right, The Thing is incredibly hard to draw. Not only do you have to include all that detail, but if you’re off just a bit it doesn’t really look like The Thing. I think there’s a reason why, so relatively early into Byrne’s run, he had Ben transform back into his more volcanic rock-y appearance: easier to draw!

    Speaking of, I really hope Ron Wilson get a few extra bucks per page for all the times he had to draw The Thing. I know he probably didn’t, but ye gods all the extra work he had to put in, and for years on end…

    Finally, maybe the connection between this episode and last is…home furnishings? After all, the fridge Ben is raiding could possibly be the same model seen in the cottage in “Heartbreak House”, esp. if it’s a Frigidaire.

  3. Wow, a panel I might have read! No, downgrade it to a panel I could have read. Familiarity breeds… I need a word not as strong as “contempt,” “inattention,” maybe. I only gave it one-panel-of-nine-on-the-page’s worth of thought before turning to hear Chris ramble and enthuse about it for a few minutes. Trust you both to dig deep into the material! Ben may not have America’s ass, but he does have the Most Exciting Way to Look into a Refrigerator!

    If the refrigerator is a decade or so old at that time it might not have a freezer as its own compartment, but an interior box with metal walls and bottom hanging from the top or top corner with the freon coils running around it. The idea being that the thin plastic door on it will keep the air from mixing and the smaller volume will be below freezing while the rest of the fridge is 5 to 10 degrees warmer. No, I see no evidence of that, either unless it’s only big enough for a few ice cube trays and set way back.

    Tomato juice, Hi-C, and Donald Duck orange juice came in cans of about 64 fluid ounces / 2 liters size; they may have been phasing out by the late ’80s, but artistic inertia kept them in comics. Boxes kept in the fridge (as opposed to fish sticks and popsicles in the freezer) — I’ve only got raisins, not so much so they’d keep, but so summer heat and humidity won’t fuse them into one giant raisin block while they’re sitting on the counter. If these are wrestlers, it might be industrial quantities of bodybuilding supplements, if those are made of anything the heat might spoil.

    Another great episode!

  4. Another fun episode. I think poor Chris has had the dullest panel yet. Maybe we should give the randomiser a few months off and let the guest pick the image for the next guest?

    The Thing without a guest star was a terrible idea for a comic, I didn’t last long when Two-in-One was replaced.

    And that costume thing is horrible, like a Victorian bathing cossie.

    I didn’t know about Jim Shooter’s orders on colouring. Honestly!

  5. This is a weird panel. Why the detail on the walls? What is that shiny pointy thing? Why no freezer? I’d rather the background was just a solid wash, then the focus would solely be on the Thing opening the fridge. I also wish his entire back was in shadow from the light of the fridge. Wilson could have drawn it with the door opening to the right, then he wouldn’t have had to try to draw any contents of the fridge. The little unnecessary details add up to a lot of wasted lines.

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