The Pix Super Summer Scavenger Hunt began on August 1, 2017. Readers were asked to explore the art and dialogue in PIX, Vol 2: TOO SUPER FOR SCHOOL and find as many of the intentional references/Easter eggs on the provided entry form (shown below) as they could, with a deadline of Friday, September 15, 2017.
With that deadline passed and the hunt concluded, it’s time to reveal the answers, so…let’s go!
Aquaman (superhero) – In the first two chapters, when we see Brady Barnes (before his clothes are…ruined), he’s wearing Aquaman’s costume colors…and with his blonde hair, he looks even more the part:
Beastie Boys (musical group) – On page 28, a poster in the background of the science lab reads “Droppin’ science like Galileo,” which is a line from “The Sounds of Science” off the Beastie Boys album Paul’s Boutique:
Saturday Night Live (two sketches) – These were tricky.
The first is a reference to a sketch called “Make You Think“, which featured Jerry Seinfeld as a history teacher. In the last panel on page 30, the dialogue from the off-panel history teacher is a direct quote from that sketch. As a bonus, the teacher, “Dr. Turner,” refers to Bonnie and Terry Turner, who wrote that sketch (according to my research):
The second reference is visual. On page 139, in panel 4, Pix, Izzy, Reggie and Seth’s dance moves are based on the dance moves from the sketch “Les Juenes De Paris,” a sketch done entirely in French and full of lots of fun dancing:
G-Man (graphic novel) – A reference to G-MAN in PIX, Vol. 1: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND was used as an example in the description of how the scavenger hunt worked to begin with, and G-MAN gets another nod on page 33, panel one, as one of the kids (astute readers might later recognize them from the role-playing group and as the wallflowers at the prom) wears a shirt with the G-Man “G” on it:
The Mighty Skullboy Army (graphic novel) – Jacob Chabot’s MIGHTY SKULLBOY ARMY books are top notch, and I’m a big fan of the robot, Unit 1, AKA Mr. Awesome, represented on one of the unnamed members of Brady and Shannon’s clique, appearing on pages 25, 26, 46, 48 and 49:
Invincible (superhero) – Subscribers to my monthly email newsletter got this answer as a special reward for their subscription (sign up using the form on this very page!). There’s a kid on page 65 in panels 1 and 2, dressed like the titular star of the comic book series INVINCIBLE:
SpongeBob Characters (up to three) – A (very) subtle nod to SpongeBob, Squidward and Patrick appears on that same page, 65, in panel 5, where the three kids are colored to match those characters’ color schemes:
Power Pack (Marvel Comics characters) – POWER PACK was one of my favorite comic books growing up, so it was a no brainer to throw in a visual nod to them. In this case, the background characters on page 66 feature shirts with the four Power Pack members’ chest symbols on them:
The Other Side of Hugless Hill (book by Mark Mariano) – Mark Mariano‘s picture book, THE OTHER SIDE OF HUGLESS HILL, is delightful, as is Mark, who does a lot of great work for kids’ comics as one of the organizers of the various Kids Love Comics pavilions at comic-cons mostly on the east coast. I put one of the principal characters on Pix’s shirt on page 73:
Star Butterfly (from Star vs. The Forces of Evil) – I think fans of PIX would enjoy the Disney XD cartoon series Star vs. The Forces of Evil (and vice versa). I know I enjoy it, so I put Star in the background of panel 2 of page 48…though as the background characters were colored monochromatically, this was a tough one to find (eagle-eyed readers will also notice Izzy makes her first appearance in this book, before we meet her, a smidgen to the left of Star Butterfly):
Boulder and Fleet (webcomic) – Jerzy Drozd is a tremendous advocate for comics, especially comics for younger readers, and his Boulder and Fleet comic is a great example of his words and ideas put into action. So on page 73, one of the role-players wears a Boulder and Fleet t-shirt:
The Adventures of Pete and Pete (TV Show) – On the old Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Krebstar was the ubiquitous brand/manufacturer of everything from tapioca to sneakers to fishing gear. And a big fan of that show, I dad Pix wearing a shirt with Kreb[Star] on pages 90-95:
Sesame Street Characters (up to four) – What started as an obvious reference to Super Grover became a whole Sesame Street reference party when I opted to color the other background characters in panel 3 on page 106 to match classic Sesame Street residents Ernie, Bert and Big Bird, in addition to the aforementioned Super Grover:
Marissa Wompler (podcast character) – This one was tricky as it was a visual reference to a character that exists only in audio form…but not impossible. On page 123, panel 2, ahead of Reggie and Seth on the sidewalk is a girl wearing a shirt that reads “Womp Up the Jamz”, one of the many common phrases uttered by Jessica St. Clair’s character, Marissa Wompler, who hosts her own (not for kids) podcast, “Womp It Up!”:
Seinfeld (TV Show) – With all the dancing at the prom, I had to give a little love to the hilarious dancing of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’ Elaine on Seinfeld. Izzy does Elaine’s “little kicks” dance in panel 3 on page 141:
G.I. Joe (Toy Line, TV Show) – G.I. Joe, the toys and the cartoon, were huge parts of my childhood, and my reference to that is on page 102, where another unnamed member of the bully crew wears the symbol of Cobra, G.I. Joe’s nemesis:
From the Mixed-Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler (book) and Joan Jett (musician) – The former is a novel by E.L. Konigsburg about kids running away to live in the Museum of Natural History and the latter was a member of the all-girl rock group The Runaways (before going out on her own with her group, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts). The link between them being “runaways”, so as Pix thinks about running away, she mentions two names. Claudia Kincaid is one of the main characters in MIXED-UP FILES, and Joan Larkin is Joan Jett’s real name.:
Colors on Bob Ross’ Palette (up to four) – I’ve watched a lot of Bob Ross, since I was a young, and recently it struck me how nearly all the colors on his palette could double as names of bands or musical acts. So I took that observation and put it into play in Pix’s world, as characters talk about music. On page 27, Pix’s mom listens to the radio playing music by Van Dyke Brown and Cadmium Yellow. On page 31 kids talk about having tickets to see Alizarin Crimson. And page 81 has Izzy and Pix talking about music, mentioning Titanium White:
Podcasts (I reference lots of podcasts, some by title, others with lined or references to those shows. Name as many as you can!) – I enjoy podcasts, and while working on PIX, Vol. 2: TOO SUPER FOR SCHOOL I listened to a lot of them. On page 73, aside from one kid wearing a shirt with the logo of “The Best Show”, there’s a bookcase with either the names of podcasts of references to podcasts on the spines of all the books:
Those podcasts are:
- The Dead Authors Podcast
- Doug Loves Movies
- Cruisin’ Together
- I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast
- Galaxy of Super Adventure
- The Best Show
- The Jackie & Laurie Show
- Do You Need a Ride?
- You Look Nice Today
- Comedy Bang Bang
- The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project
- My Comic Shop History
- The Splendid Table
- KCRW’s Good Food
- Hey We’re Back
- Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
- Common Sense with Dan Carlin
- Seven Second Delay
- With Special Guest, Lauren Lapkus
- Why Oh Why?
- U Talkin’ U2 to Me?
- The JV Club
- Election Profit Makers
- George and Tony Entertainment Show
- PCS Reads
- All the Wonders
And those are just the shows I put on that bookshelf; I listened to a whole lot more while penciling, ballooning, inking, coloring, designing, etc, etc (not so much writing and lettering, though) – comics take a long time to make!
That’s everything, well, everything that one could reasonably assume a reader could figure out. I don’t expect anyone to know the family members I put in there…
Thanks to anyone who spread the word, entered, and/or played along. And congratulations to Laura G. for finding the most, with 18 of the 23 possible references, plus 29 of the 30 podcasts…an amazingly outstanding job!