Episode #: 703
Issue #: 75
Release Date: Aug 16, 2011
Title: "Belch Dimensional Lampoon's Cross-Country Vacation"
Story (out of 48 pages): 45 p.
Writers: J.M. Sweet, Mencken H. Watts, Tawana & Che Most
Pencils: Ethan "Meat" Jackson, J.M. Sweet
Letterer: Shane T. Eaton
Colorist: Theo A. "Jet" Swann
This story is part of an arc: 1
The story opens with every writer's most formidable challenge: the blank page. Jon enters and breaks the fourth wall to directly address The Artist, who admits that he has no idea what this month's story is to be about. After a bit of heated discussion, The Artist decides to send the Teen of Titanium on a road trip across the U.S. After some initial bickering, the two agree that is what this story shall be about: the gang fulfilling the final request of Jon's dearest friend the late John Dante (whom The Writer makes up on the spot, claiming "he's been [there]...since day one" and retro-inserting a badly-drawn character into several scenes to "prove" it) to deliver his film script to a major movie house. The title, "Belch Dimensional Lampoon's Cross Country Vacation", then drops from the sky, and the story begins in earnest. Jon, along with Ben and Josh, begin their long drive to L.A., complete with Canned Heat's "On the Road Again" playing on the soundtrack. Along the way Angela, Buddy, Brandy, and Punkin join the group. Jon and The Artist continue their back-and-forth, often stopping to bicker or air short skits such as "A Marcie Moment" and "Slightly Bent Story Time".
Meanwhile, Demi-Jon and his crew have wired a suspension bridge over Curious Gorge with explosives. After a flashy and impromptu song-and-dance number to stress his point, the Teen of Terror prepares to blow up the bridge and send the gang plummeting to what will surely be a fiery, gruesome death at the bottom of the canyon....
The convention of a writer addressing his creation directly is borrowed from Jim Henson's Dog City, a series that combined live-action puppets and animation. It concerned a frustrated cartoonist named Eliot Shag, creator of a noir-ish detective series about a canine private eye named Ace Hart. Often Hart's thrilling adventures dovetailed with Shag's personal experiences and problems, and the characters resembled or acted much like the folks in the artist's own life.
page 2. Jon annoys The Artist by talking about his stalled writing career in much the same fashion Stewie does Brian in the Family Guy episode "Brian the Bachelor". He also notes the similarity in the use of non-sequitur cutaway-style gags in both series.
page 4.The joke of a previously-unseen character inserted (badly) into clips was lifted from Drawn Together's "American Idol Parody Clip Show".
The title is a take on National Lampoon's Vacation, the 1983 film about the comic misadventures of Clark Griswold and family travelling cross-country to an amusement park in L.A. The film's success spawned several sequels, remakes, and parodies over two decades. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo played the hapless yuppie couple, whose adventures continue from Europe to Vegas to the holidays, in all but one film.
Introduces Harley Davidson, Demi-Jon's love interest. Her name and function in the story suggest The Joker's moll Harley Quinn.
At the top of page 8, the luggage on the roof disappears for several frames during the Canned Heat montage.
The rope Josh is tightening on page 11 is white, but before this and in all appearances after it's shown as brown or dull yellow.
Harley's jacket lapels vary from blue to light purple throughout the story. Also, the order of the rainbow colors in her hair tend to switch or to become either brighter or duller, See, for example, the contrast in the second-to-last panel on 43 and the first panel on the following page.
Spearmint's suit lapels are mistakenly colored the same as his suit in the third panel of page 44.
page 47. When Jon strikes Demi-Jon, he crashes through a low stone wall and lands several feet behind the structure. In the closeup of them struggling, Jon and Demi-Jon are right next to and front of the broken wall. In a long shot on the following page, the combatants are once again some distance from the stone wall, back on the opposite side.
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