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Sally Forth and the Chocolate Easter Bunny: The Thrilling Conclusion to a Multi-Decade Storyline

Posted in Uncategorized by cesco7 on April 21, 2019

Through the years…

When I took over writing Sally Forth in 1997, I have to admit I never had read the comic before (something that proved quite obvious to anyone who saw my first several strips). That was simply because the comic did not run in Long Island newspapers (and this being before the Internet). So the syndicate sent me a giant package of every strip up to that moment (this also being before the Internet) and I quickly went to work…making Sally Forth satire strips that are best left unseen.

But with that out of the way I began my intense study of all things Forth family and determined that Sally was a very competent and caring individual, Hilary was either four or eight but almost certainly Cindy Brady, and Ted liked meatloaf and, uh…that was the extent of Ted as far as I could tell. But what I somehow inexplicably skipped in my panic reading (I had a few days from package to starting writing the strip) was that Sally and a long tradition of biting off the ears of Hilary’s chocolate Easter bunny.

This was brought to my attention in 1998 when—shortly after my first Easter Sunday strip (sans ear-sliced bunny)—I received an email from a very irate reader saying that he had bet his wife $100 that Sally would bite the ears off Hil’s chocolate bunny. Having learned my lesson I wrote back, thanking him for alerting me to a running gag and then informing that not only do I heartily approve of gambling on comic strip characters’ lives (I mentioned I had lost thousands betting on the king on Wizard of Id being dethroned and flayed in the public square) but also that it is always wise to bet within the family, since there is no net loss and you could then use that same $100 to bet as a couple on whether or not Hagar the Horrible will die on an ice floe.

The next day I received a call from my editor Jay Kennedy asking me to stop responding to readers’ emails.

But since then I have kept the Easter Bunny tradition alive, turning it from a loving example of parental boundary issues into an all-out psychological war between mother and daughter. And today that story ends on a peace accord. Because we could all use a little peace nowadays.

So if you would be so kind—or you just need a break from visiting relatives—lift your one-ear chocolate bunny in toast to the end of an era. Well, a running gag. Well, to chocolate. Thank you.

4 Responses

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  1. Bill said, on April 21, 2019 at 11:49 am

    I hope you don’t ever stop providing these “behind the scenes.” You are a great storyteller both in the strips and on your blog.

    • cesco7 said, on April 21, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      Thank you very much, Bill! And thank you for reading both the strip and my ramblings. It really does mean a great deal to me. 🙂

  2. Allen Knutson said, on April 22, 2019 at 5:54 am

    What Bill said!

  3. LBD "Nytetrayn" said, on April 29, 2019 at 1:32 am

    I question your editor (of the time?)’s judgment.

    Would love to hear more of how you landed this gig, given these circumstances.

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