It's been a little while since I checked in the blog The Comics Curmudgeon, so I spent a good portion of this morning catching up. While clicking through the archives from the past couple of months, I came across this Family Circus panel from September 19:
At first it seems like just another failed attempt at heartwarming gentle humor with nothing especially remarkable about it. Then I took a closer look at one of the dolls that Dolly is carrying.
Could it be?
Yes, I think it is.
It's none other than Mr. Monster, titular star of the lead story in the issue of Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery that I reviewed yesterday.
Apparently, some time after the events of that story, Mr. Monster escaped his attic trunk prison, murdered the entire Harrison family in their sleep and fled, leaving his top hat and "magic cane" behind at the scene of the massacre, eventually making his way back to the old toymaker's stand where he was purchased by FC's Daddy as a gift for his not so angelic little daughter. Obviously, poor little P.J. needs a hug because he's just endured a savage beating at the hands (or, rather, paws) of the demonic doll.
Joshua Fruhlinger, the author of The Comics Curmudgeon, has long intimated that there's something sinister going on in the cartoon Keane household, and this rather disturbing panel only confirms that for me.