Book One, Pages 16 & 17
Okay, one of the big ones. This spread exists for a few reasons. One: a preamble to the conflict to come on the next page. Two: it’s an exposition dump where I can elaborate on Cerealia’s complicated history for the first time; I really wanted to shade Cap’n Crunch as a character a bit by having his “discovery” of Cerealia be the catalyst for an immigration wave that shoves an indigenous people off their own homeland. Three: to show an overview of the oddly round island continent for the sole reason of setting up the visual gag that ends the whole book.
I had a lot of fun coming up with the place names: Lake Kellogg, The City of Ralston, the General Mills (obvious), Nabisco Flats, Fort Maypo, and the one that’s obscured by a caption box Quaker Post. The one that I find to be a mistake that I wish I had corrected: LaFoote Cliffs — the better pun would have been LaFoote Hills. “Foot hills,” get it? Ah well.
This page is where we see King Ayummayumma (Ralston’s Fruit Islands cereal) for the first time and a tease of the purposefully unnamed King Vitaman (Quaker’s King Vitaman cereal). It’s also a nightmare of cameos. Here’s a list of every character in the top right panel:
Elijah (Post’s Elijah’s Manna – from 1904!) the gray gent behind the tree.
Buffalo Bee (Nabisco’s Wheat Honeys cereal) in flight.
Baron VonRedberry (General Mills’ Baron VonRedberry cereal) the red tri-plane.
Sir Grapefellow (General Mills’ Sir Grapefellow cereal) the purple bi-plane.
Dandy, Handy and Candy (Post’s Sugar Crisp cereal) can barely be seen behind Klondike Pete’s hat.
Pajama Boy (General Mills’ Kix cereal) the kid in the nightcap.
Hoppity Hooper (General Mills’ Cheerios cereal) the frog. (Though I made a rule for myself of only using characters that had been created solely for the cereal advertising, I found out later that Hoppity and Linus the Lionhearted were cartoon characters first. Oops.)
Tony the Tiger (1950s) “Golden Age” Tony as he first appeared, with the big football shaped head.
Johnny Jet (General Mills’ Jets cereal) the flying kid with the helmet.
Postman Lovable Truly (Post’s Alpha Bits cereal) carrying his mailbag to the right of Tony.
Frosty O’s Bear (General Mills’ Frosty O’s cereal) you can barely make out the tip of his white nose past Lovable Truly’s blue hat.
Kaboom (General Mills’ Kaboom cereal) the clown.
Cheeri O’Leary (General Mills’ Cheerioats cereal) the red-headed, pigtailed girl. Check Page 29 for a sad update as to Cheeri’s career.
Jose (Kelloggs’ Cocoa Krispies cereal) the monkey in the straw hat (he’s holding a map).
Linus the Lionhearted (Post’s Crispy Critters cereal) the lion in the top hat standing right beside Jose and pointing off in the distance.
Apple Jacks Kids (Kelloggs’ Apple Jacks cereal) the crayon-scribbled boy and girl running off panel right.
Marky Maypo (Homestat Farms Cereals’ Maypo) the energetic kid in the big cowboy hat coming right at us.
Snap (Kelloggs’ Rice Krispies – 1937) you can just make out the chef’s hat of this early version of Snap as he peeks over the top of the tree stump.
Wheat Germ Weightlifters (Instant Ralston) the two tiny yellow blob-looking guys carrying dumbbells to the left of the tree stump.
Now, before you ask, no, I’d never heard of most of these guys before either. Once again, I owe a lot of my “research” props to Topher’s Breakfast Cereal Character Guide.