The last two days, Pearls Before Swine (one of my favorite newspaper comic strips) ran these two installments:
They're OK, not all that funny, really. But these characters -- the polar bear and the penguins -- have never been seen before. Since Pearls often abounds in meta-style humor and the breaking of the fourth wall (creator Stephan Pastis often includes himself as one of his own characters, with the characters commenting on the quality of his work), I figured that something was up. Meanwhile, each day, there were people in the comments section offering the complaint that "Polar bears are Arctic beasts, while penguins are Antarctic." Which is true.
But then, today Pastis pulls this:
Heh. The last two days were mere set-up for this, which wouldn't have worked if the comments sections and message boards didn't do exactly what he figured they'd do when he drew these strips months ago.
Well played, Stephan Pastis! Well played, indeed!