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Girls With Slingshots
by yo go re

In many ways, the internet still doesn't "count." CBR may get more pageviews than Wizard sold magazines, but there's a prestige to being on the cover of a magazine that being on the front page of a website lacks. And more people read PvP every day than the combined circulation of every newspaper that carries, I don't know, the stip about the birds. Shoe. More people read PvP than genuinely care about Shoe, but Scott Kurtz is just a "webcartoonist," while whoever took over Shoe after whoever created it died is doing a "real" comic.

As if it weren't bad enough that web comics get little-to-no respect in the real world, they also get no merchandise support, unless they do it themselves. And since we here at OAFE gauge our enjoyment of a property by how much it makes us want the merch, that's a real bummer. I've been reading Danielle Corsetto's Girls With Slingshots since the beginning, but it's not like Hasbro or Mattel are lining up to make Jamie and Hazel - not even Shocker is pretending to have the license, then not making them! Fortunately, Danielle teamed up with Blind Ferret Entertainment to create a plush McPedro.

McPedro, the talking Scotish Irish Scirish cactus, first appeared in the February 3, 2005 strip. He was a "happy pseudo-date" gift from Jamie to Hazel, but only Hazel could hear him talk. And then, only when she was drunk. Until he started talking when (she thought) she was sober, too. Whoops?

The figure stands about 9½" tall - yes, it can actually stand on its own, thanks to the fact that he's in a pot. He is a plant, after all. The pot is just as soft and squishy as the rest of him, but it's got a wide, flat bottom. The interior of the pot bulges up slightly, like dirt piled around the cactus's roots, and there's a yellow zig-zag pattern embroidered around the outside.

The body of the cactus is a pale green and has a nicely dynamic curve to it. McPedro is at once leaning forward and arching back, so he can look up at whoever he's talking to (you, if you're drunk enough). He's got two wee little arms, with a design as asymmetrical as the rest of his body. He's wider at the top than the bottom, because that's a cute way to draw, and is wearing a hat that was probably supposed to be a sombrero, but ends up lacking the giant brim that style of hat would imply. It's more like Jughead's weird little hat from Archie. It's blue with yellow patterns stitched on. The only thing missing from the body are a few spines - it's not much of a cactus if it's not prickly, now is it? Ye've been neutered, lad!

McPedro doesn't have eyes, but he does have a face - a mouth and a mustache, at least. His mouth is open to show his teeth, and the whole thing is emboidered in place. The big brown mustache is three-dimensional and stuffed, just like the arms are. Fun fact: this is actually the second time McPedro's mustache has appeared on our site! The first was back when his mustache went AWOL and took a trip around the world, making a brief stop in our Figuretoons. It's too bad the mustache on this toy couldn't be attached with velcro or something, but that would probably be a choking hazard.

Back in the early days of Girls With Slingshots, Danielle was planning to introduce a character who was always pregnant - not that she had a lot of kids, but that she was perpetually in the middle of a pregnancy. The idea got dropped because it was too similar to Bonnie from Family Guy, and yet here's McPedro, who uses the same "ethnically implausible Scottish accent" gag as Brian's acupuncturist, Dr. Ling. There really are no new ideas, just new ways of telling them. The plush is well-made, soft, and just as cute as the artwork. And unless Danielle runs a Kickstarter in conjunction with the Legendary Monsters guy to make some action figures, he might be the extent of the toy-friendly merchandise.

-- 06/23/13

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