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Puck originally started as a university newspaper comic way back in the prehistoric days of 1998. It was reborn in 2011, and is now running weekly, in color. You can see the original run of eighty strips AND the new colour strips all here!
This strip is #17 in a series dating from my university days. Puck ran for three full years in the Silhouette, McMaster University’s student newspaper.
This was a concept that I returned to multiple times over the course of the strip: Satan as president of McNiven University. It was a light-hearted stab at Peter George, president of McMaster University, who in actual fact is a really nice guy (AND the highest paid university president in Canada still to this day). These gags, of course, always play upon those irritating little elements of campus life that are so infuriating, they must be designed by Old Scratch himself. The hot, dry air and broken drinking fountains were a noted problem at McMaster, but really, what large institutional buildings don’t have dry air and broken drinking fountains? The joke is universal in that regard. I always tried to straddle the line between jokes that related directly to McMaster and jokes that almost everyone would get. I think I generally managed that balancing act well. (I had plans for broader distribution that never really panned out, unfortunately.)
Satan’s shadowy presence is an obvious nod to Dr. Claw and a host of other 80’s cartoon show bad guys. You never do see his face in this strip – as it should be.
Reading this strip now, I realize that Satan was never really into locusts; that was more an old-school, Exodus-type Jehovah kind of plague. I’m mixing up God and Satan, I think. Oh well. A non-religious type like me can get away with that. Who knows? Maybe Satan was into locusts too. Perhaps God hired Satan to send the locusts, like a plague sub-contractor! What’s that, you say? God and Satan working together? Well it’s true, and biblically sound! Read Job 1:12.