This special holiday comic is dedicated to my fiancee, Jillian. She's an unseen, and often uncredited, driving force behind getting TOACM off the ground, and out week after week. So thanks, kiddo! The song "Dream a Little Dream of Me", as sung by Cass Elliot, is a favorite song of ours.

Penelope was supposed to be a one off character. I never expected her to have a reoccurring role. However, when I started writing her I found that her voice and even her look began taking on elements of Jillian and after that a whole back story and history of the character just revealed itself to me. She became so much more that just the first person CM "rescued". Now I can't imagine the comic without her, and I can't wait for her to return to the strip in the upcoming storyline, Changing of the Guard.


  • "The Blue Coal Club" was last seen in TOACM #121"Clandestine" from 5/26/2011 and is named for the regular sponsor of The Shadow radio program. It is also the unofficial home of the Crime Gang and the frequent watering hole of CM's roommate, Dougy.
  • The song "Dream a Little Dream of Me" is written by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt with lyrics by Gus Kahn. The song was recorded for the Mamas & the Papas April 1968 album release The Papas & The Mamas. The group had often sung the song for fun, having been familiarized with it by member Michelle Phillips, whose father had been friends with the song's co-writer, Fabian Andre, in Mexico City where Michelle Phillips' family had resided when she was a young girl. "Mama" Cass Elliot suggested to group leader John Phillips that the group record "Dream a Little Dream of Me"; according to him she was unhappy while recording the song, objecting to its campiness, but Elliot herself would later tell Melody Maker: "I tried to sing it like it was 1943 and somebody had just come in and said, 'Here's a new song.' I tried to sing it as if it were the first time." [Wikipedia]

Tune in next week for the beginning of the next exciting chapter in the Tales of a Checkered Man!