(warning: this comic is from 1972 and is attempting to portray prejudical and bigoted attitudes, and as such uses unflattering racial terminology that is no longer considered acceptable. So don't get too freaked out.)
Well, it's time to check in with Bingo, That Wilkin Boy, and find out what he's up to. Or rather, it's time to check in with a supporting character, the father of Bingo's girlfriend Samantha. So just so we're on the same page, this is a comic story starring an ancillary character of a series that itself is a minor spinoff from Archie comics. So you know what's about to happen isn't going to be of earth-shaking importance. OR IS IT?
Here's Sampson Smythe, so focused on his weight lifting and generally being a blowhard that his next door neighbors move out of town and he doesn't even notice.
What's amazing is how he can instantly detect someone's nationality with a mere glance, at a distance of several hundred feet. One of the many benefits of weight training.
And suddenly the truth dawns on Smythe, that ASIANS have moved in NEXT DOOR!!! Note how somebody in Editorial had to figure out what a Japanese restaurant would serve and scribble it into the dialogue balloons at the last minute, judging by the sloppy lettering.
Smythe hates Japanese AND he hates Swedes, he's very generous and giving with his unreasoning bigotry.
Smythe is getting into full outrage mode here, working on a petition to try and get that Japanese family out of the neighborhood, when here comes Bingo, the ostensible star of this comic, to drop a TRUTH BOMB right on ground zero!
This comic provides an interesting look at American attitudes towards Japan - 1972 is all about dropping property values, 1982 would highlight smashing cheap Japanese import cars while drunken hillbillies in gimme caps cheer, and the 1990s would prepare us for that pinnacle of imaginary US-Japanese relations, the "effete Japanese sex-maniac millionaires are going to buy all of America" film "Rising Sun."
Do YOU want 'slanty eyed orientals' for neighbors? Do you want the smells of delicious Cantonese or Hunan dishes wafting through your neighborhood? Sign me up, man.
TRUTH BOMB #2 explodes on Smythe like one of the MANY BOMBS the Sumida boy faced every day fighting for YOUR FREEDOM in VIETNAM! BAM!
Smythe is so dedicated to hollering in the street about the inferiority of Asians that he just stands there, oblivious to traffic, until he's saved by the quick thinking of an Asian man with a gift for life-saving - and irony!
Turns out to the suprise of no one that the Asian guy is his new neighbor, whose entire ethnic background Smythe has just been insulting in the street in front of everybody! Awkward!
Jeez, and now Smythe got roped into an invite to the Sumidas for some sort of sinister Oriental ritual involving actually having to walk the walk after you been talking the talk!
I'm kind of rolling my eyes here at Mrs. Sumida whom we only see once, and who is of course wearing a Chinese dress because that's what all Asian women wear, nothing but cheongsams. I'm also rolling my eyes at decorated Vietnam veteran Sumida Junior here being constantly referred to as "boy."
Even the fakey Asian jade idol in the corner there is embarrassed by Smythe's dumb-ass "all you Orientals know judo!" comment.
So we've seen the set up here, let's think about this, Smythe has spent all afternoon loudly hating on Japanese, he's invited into the Japanese home, he sees the judo black belt on the wall, and he's got the judo black belt owner right in front of him asking him to take a swing at him. What I'm saying here is that Smythe is pretty stupid.
YA-HAA! To the surprise of absolutely no one Smythe is hurled to the floor in a complex judo move we like to call "total lack of judo reference materials."
A confused, dyspeptic Smythe questions the availability of knowledge beyond strict geographic borders.
OH MAN his whole family got put into RELOCATION CAMPS during WWII! It's a TRUTH BOMB mixed with a GUILT BOMB, how ya like THEM sukiyakis, Smythe?
Sumida is being real calm and rational with his relocation camp explanation thing. I guess Archie editorial was focused on giving American kids a good introduction to this shameful little piece of history, and didn't want to get into, you know, the "yellow peril" hate-smears of the Hearst papers fueling intense West Coast racism or anything.
"Hey Smythe, you want I should kick your ass some more, or has today's lesson in tolerance and not being a dick sunk in yet? Because I can throw you around some more. I'm here all day."
"Any time you want me to kick your ass, come on over! My door is always open and my judo hands are always ready to grasp the lapels of your ill-fitting suit and use that leverage to hurl you bodily into walls or pieces of furniture!"
And so, having had an enlightening and uplifting experience in racial understanding with the guy next door who can kick his ass, Smythe decides to do the bare minimum expected of him as an American citizen, and by doing so is praised and celebrated. For simply being a decent human being. I think they call this "a participation trophy". Well, whatever, it if makes one more guy quit being a racist d-bag, I'm all for it. Judo beatings and participation trophies for all!
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