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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 10/24/2008

Mmm. Maryland Donut Shop Is Ready for Its Closeup

By Michael Cavna

Zippy may be a pinhead, but give him this: the head of that pin is pushed into one really accurate map. Bill Griffith, you see, goes for true geographic realism.

A Maryland toon can rest on its Laurel. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

As proof, gaze at today's strip, which is actually one illustration quasi-divided into three panels. There sits an exterior of the real "Laurel Tavern Donuts" smack in Zippy's meta-Maryland.

Yes, lo and behold, Griffith got it near-perfect -- right down to the roof shingles and prominent power lines. And the clincher, of course, is the distinctive signage. (To see his photo of the structure, commenter "DudleyGrunt" provides THIS link.)

"As with many other real places in Zippy strips," Griffith tells Comic Riffs, "the location was suggested to me by a reader, who also sent dozens of [photos] of the place." The cartoonist also notes: "The donut shop is housed in a building that was part of a local chain of hamburger joints called The Little Tavern restaurants. ... I haven't been to the place myself yet, but maybe I'll drop by for a 'Bag o' Burgers' on my next visit to DC."

Bra-vo, Bill. Brilliant attention to detail. And if Laurel won't give you a key to the city for your fine work, then we here at The Post will give you a key -- at least to our fine and pungent cafeteria.

(Note: And if you've got suggestions about which real-life locales Zippy should head to next, post 'em if you've got 'em.)

When big changes are a parent. (Creators)Enlarge Comic

We also bestow an esteemed Riffy upon today's "Speed Bump," which -- for the second time this week -- gets a primo gag seemingly drawn from our nation's faltering fiscal health. Either that or Pops just wants his old room back -- right down to the period-accurate posters of Twiggy and Raquel Welch.

On the flip side, we reserve the lowly Miffy for:

Insults whispered, stage right. (UPS) Enlarge Comic

1. "Prickly City," for slipping in its Obama as almost a muttered-under-his-pen afterthought. C'mon, Mr. Stantis -- don't be shy when blaming the financial meltdown entirely on one party.

Mr. Wilson's true pain in the neck. (KFS)Enlarge Comic

2. "Dennis the Menace," for literally the tiniest of pet peeves. Namely, the strip's aversion to drawing necks. Yet again today, Dennis's head floats helium-like atop his torso, with no actual visible verterbrae connecting him to his alleged body. It's no wonder that seeing the lovable scamp drives Mr. Wilson to distraction.

A joke as old as the creature uttering it. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

3. "Mother Goose and Grimm": Today's "primordial soup" gag is so old (and not just in paleontological terms), I've used a variation of it myself in a syndicated cartoon some years back -- and I'm not convinced it was fresh when I stooped to it.

THE ROUNDUP: What We're Reading...

Writer-columnist Steven Grant lists his top 20 "most significant" comic books ever at ... A few weeks back, Comic Riffs asked Garry Trudeau about Rick Redfern's departure from "Doonesbury's" Washington Post as the midlife reporter converts to blogger -- so the journalist/blogger in us appreciates THIS LIST of where Redfern went wrong professionally. ... and in this weekend's Style&Arts section of The Post, look for art critic Paul Richard's review of the R. Crumb "Underground" show at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. He and I discussed this show at great length; his Sunday story is the next best thing.

By Michael Cavna  | October 24, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Draw Your Own Obama/McCain Conclusions...HERE.
Next: Painting Sarah Palin in a Comic Light


Alas, no bag of little burgers for you. Laurel Tavern Donuts replaces what was one of the last, if not THE last, of the little-burger Taverns. Across the street are two dive bars -- The TD Lounge, which is in one end of the trailer-like Diner (which is a great 24 hour diner but don't go there if you're expecting a "Silver Diner" experience; its a REAL diner with real food), and the Sportsman's. When the Sportsman's closed at 3:00 a.m., the Little Tavern was the place to go for little burgers. But, no more. At least I still have the Diner.

Posted by: IndolentCin | October 24, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

That's a nice picture of the Laurel Tavern Donuts. Actually, it's my picture that I took for an entry I submitted for the donut shop to You can see the listing at:


Posted by: DudleyGrunt | October 27, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Dudley Grunt: Thanks for your comment -- and the link.

Also: several people have e-mailed Comic Riffs to tell us that the Laurel Leader followed up on this story after we posted, to do an article on this "Zippy" storyline, by writer Mike McLaughlin: D=1391160&om=

Posted by: cavnam | November 7, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

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