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Not just another Welsh hornpipe July 19, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Cartoons.


Note: click on the art thumbnails for a fuller view.

Brooke McEldowney must not have much spare time on his hands.

In 1993, his comic strip 9 Chickweed Lane first appeared in newspapers. Nine years later, he started Pibgorn, which was published on the Internet in hopes of being picked up by newspapers.

Of course, in these days of shrinking newspaper comics pages and strips that have to be read with a magnifying glass, artwork like you see at left is not going to easily find a home in print. Never mind — Pibgorn is far and away the best comic strip going these days.

The title character is described as

a fairy who is not satisfied flitting around when she could be getting in trouble instead. She’s sweet, effervescent, charming and flighty … She has a talent for trouble, a knack for friendship, and a magical kiss which can effect miraculous healing.


Her best friend and romantic rival is Drusilla, a succubus who competes with Pib for the attentions of Geoff, a church organist.

In Fenruary 2006, McEldowney announced he was cutting back from six strips a week to three. Since then, he has embarked in a saga of a scope unseen in comic strips since George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. The combined casts of Pibgorn and 9 Chickweed Lane have embarked on what can best be described as a 1930s Art Deco production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Pib, Drusilla and Geoff as Puck, Titania and Oberon, and complete with authentic dialogue:


I’ve noticed that especially since this saga began, 9 Chickweed Lane has gotten into sort of a rut, although this can hardly be suprising given the quality and quantity of his Pibgorn work.

The history of comic strips is filled with artists who have flamed out after producing this much excellent work this fast (are you listening, Berke Breathed?) So you should enjoy it while you can … Pibgorn can be read free of charge here, but you will only have access to the last thirty days of work; I recommend a subscription that will have the new panels e-mailed to you, and give you access to a complete back archive. Enjoy!




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1. mike weber - February 26, 2007

So – 2007/02/26 – it looks as if “A Midsummer Night Pibgorn” is likely to wind up this week – he only has on emore speech from Titanis, Oberon and Puck to go. Maybe he can get two weeks out of it.

(Titania’s song, coming up in Pib, was used in a Chickweed Sunday when Edda, singing it, suddenly spotted Pib, in her normal guise, fliting by…)

One year plus.

I don;’t think Caniff ran stories that long in “Steve Canyon”, did he?

(I felt he’s had some pacing glitches – the sequence with Titania and her fairies and the Indian Prince seemed to me to be drawn out way too long…)

2. Jeff - April 21, 2007
3. miranda - May 4, 2007

hi. i need to know when the welsh hornpipe was invented (made) and who invented it. so I came to your website. (blog… whatever it is!) and i didn’t find a single thing. i really need this for my music project. so if you can email me or something and tell me. thanks i appreciate it =)


4. miranda - May 4, 2007

hi its me, miranda,again. i just wanted to say hi. i dont know if you know the email address toEmail me back on so it is cornpops7326@aim.com

thanks =)

5. Jeff - May 4, 2007

This is not a blog, nor is it a resource for info on Welsh musical instruments. Maybe this will be of help?

6. Brookie - June 26, 2010

interesting. I did not know this cartoonist created a fantastical comic with such interesting elements…o.o where do i find more?

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