Serious Business / Comics

  • Bowling is apparently a huge deal in Bowling King. No, seriously. Professional bowlers are all either incredibly badass or Bishōnen prettyboys. Oh, and then there's how main character Shautieh Ley's ultimate goal seems to involve taking over the world with bowling somehow; while this isn't explicitly stated, chapter opening pages tend to feature things like a Rushmore Refacement where all of the faces are Shautieh (and similar ones with the Sphinx, etc.) and Shautieh disrupting other sports events.
  • DC Comics had a Golden Age hero called Manhunter, then bought another Golden Age hero called Manhunter. In a Retcon, the two men had an argument over who got to keep the name, and they settled it by having one of them go to another universe. This a Lampshade Hanging on how writers in comics loved to remove problems by having them turn out to take place in alternate universes.
  • Knights of the Dinner Table has roleplaying games as serious business.
    • "You don't understand man." "He TOUCHED my dice!"note 
  • In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin throws an enormous hissy fit after losing a game of checkers to Hobbes, culminating in him passing out in exhaustion. When Hobbes points out that it's just a game, Calvin cheerfully replies: "I know! You should see how I act when I lose in real life!"
    • Chewing gum is Serious Business in the Calvin and Hobbes universe. Calvin is an enthusiastic reader of a magazine called "Chewing" which is dedicated to it, and informs an incredulous Hobbes that as many as twelve such publications exist.
    • So is a Snowball Fight.
    • And he treats his snowman creations like modern art. Though he certainly puts more thought into them than most kids. This is Calvin. Everything comes to life, and most of it tries to kill him.
  • Peanuts:
    • An early strip had Lucy repeatedly shouting "OLEE-OLEE-OLSEN-FREE-O!" Violet came by and pointedly told her that the expression was "Ollie-Ollie-Oxen-Free." This left Lucy more thoroughly humiliated than she'd ever been in her life.
    • Once, when Lucy caught Linus about to throw a snowball at her, she angrily demanded that he take that very snowball apart snowflake by snowflake. ("No pieces! No chunks! One snowflake at a time!") Poor Linus was out in the snow until nightfall.
    • Linus and his blanket. When he had to go without it for a couple of weeks, he fainted several a single day.
    • Linus also had a pretty intense crush on his teacher, Ms. Othmar. When she was fired for going on strike, he threw an enormous tantrum and vowed to turn the whole matter into a federal case. He also snottily told his substitute teacher that, sure, he'd learn the lessons the way she taught them, but she still wasn't Ms. Othmar.
    • Schroeder. How dare you mock Beethoven in his presence!
  • Bookhunter takes place in an alternate-universe 1970s where books and libraries are so important that a branch of the police is devoted to investigating library-related crime.
    Agent Bay: In many respects the American Library has become the most basic First Amendment institution. We are guards, yet we guard no less than the sum of human knowledge. We are the library police.
  • The Far Side once had a Showdown at High Noon having ended in defeat for the older cowboy, treating it with all the gravity you'd expect... except it was at ping-pong.
    Older gunslinger: Well, you won. Now every player in the world will come after you, looking to make a name for himself... Welcome to Hell, kid.
  • This Dilbert strip illustrates how to apply the principles of Serious Business in the workplace.
    • This comic was based on one of Scott Adams' coworkers, who actually said "I will fight you to the end of the earth!" To him, it was serious business.
  • In Welcome to Tranquility Captain Cobra and Mongoose Man are not just enemies, but "enemies to the DEATH." Unfortunately, their advancing years are actually bringing them pretty close to that goal line and they have both retired from super-activities, heroic and villainous alike. So, what is left for them to be enemies over? Why, the apple tree that looms over both their properties, and who has proper ownership over the apples that fall down on either side of their fence. Just ask Sheriff Lindo, apples are serious business.
  • Beef is Serious Business in the Crapsack World of Give Me Liberty. Fast-food restaurants wage wars for farmland, people commit suicide for hamburgers, and there's even a 94th Amendment outlawing red meat.
  • Board games are apparently serious business to Rat in Pearls Before Swine.
  • The people of a Hannoverian village who want to celebrate the birthday of their ex-king (Hannover was conquered by Prussia in 1866; some people nursed a grudge because of this, and pro-Prussian Wilhelm Busch wrote this story as a Take That!).
  • One Cthulhu Tales comic had an unnamed "Maine Cheetahs" baseball fan (according to Google, no such team exists) for whom baseball was such serious business, he went so far as to invoke Cthulhu in order to win them their first World Series in seventy years. It doesn't appear to end well for anyone concerned.
  • In the German comic Werner: Brewing beer, tuning bikes
  • The "Sorry Cake" in Issue #3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW):
    Pinkie Pie: Luckily, I always travel with an "I'm sorry" cake! I also have "I am sorry" goodie bags!
    Twilight Sparkle: Uh, Pinkie, I don't think we have time for cake... we are only an hour away from the Changeling kingdom...
    Pinkie Pie: EAT... THE... CAKE.
  • When Wonder Woman was stuck working at Taco Whiz, she took the job very seriously. Then again, she takes everything seriously, except Batman's brooding.
  • According to the Batman: The Animated Series "Mad Love" comic, The Joker takes comedy very seriously. Only he gets to tell jokes during his crimes; he throws a tantrum if anyone else makes a crack. And if people don't understand one of his gags and he has to tell them why it is funny, that takes all the fun out of it - even if it involves killing Batman.
    Joker [angrily, to Harley Quinn]: My jokes are elegant in their simplicity. You see them, you get them, you laugh - end of joke! You should have remembered when I told you that a long time ago; it's one of the few real truths of comedy!...You're always taking shots from folks who just don't get the joke! note  [strikes Harley repeatedly with a large fish, sending her crashing through a high window and down to the street far below, nearly killing her]
    • There's also the Adventures of Batman & Robin (a Saturday morning spinoff show of the above) episode "Make 'Em Laugh." The Joker is outraged because a panel of three comedians won't give him the annual trophy for best comic in Gotham City (despite the fact that he wasn't even eligible to compete because registration had already ended), so he 1) steals the Mad Hatter's mind-control microchips at Arkham and puts the Hatter himself in a microchip-induced coma from which he might never wake up; 2) kidnaps and brainwashes the three comedian-judges, turning them into super-criminals and indirectly getting one of them sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries; and 3) replaces the judges with three of his own men, forces the emcee to introduce him as the only contestant, and terrifies the audience by juggling grenades until Batman and Robin show up. Batman scolds him for ruining so many people's lives just because he couldn't get a cheap trophy.
  • The Batman comics - and, by extension, almost all Batman media - have this as their unspoken premise. Other cities are plagued merely by gangsters, drug dealers and riots; Gotham City has all those problems and a relatively large segment of the population consisting of the most psychopathic and vicious men and women on the face of the earth - who also have childishly costumed alter egos. In a way, it's sad when you think about it: not only are the lives of Gothamites constantly in danger, but their innocence has also been destroyed. They will never be able to find clowns funny, to think penguins are charming, or to consider riddles an entertaining mental exercise. (And in the Burton/Schumacher movies, too: How will those people ever again be able to see a parade balloon or a Christmas tree-lighting without suffering psychological trauma? How can they ever even watch TV, now that they know that some megalomaniac could literally be using their cable box to read their brainwaves?) And all the while, Batman and the Gotham police alike have to treat all of this very seriously, perhaps at the risk of losing their sanity. Harvey Bullock once pointed out that it was a miracle they all weren't as crazy as the nutjobs they fought. Commissioner Gordon once suggested that various members of the Rogues Gallery (in this instance, Maxie Zeus, who literally believes he is a Greek god) would be really absurd and even pathetic if they weren't so dangerous. And Batman himself has remarked that, as cheesy as the concept of Ra's Al-Ghul destroying the world might sound, he is dead serious about doing just that - and one terrible day, he might succeed.
  • PS238:
    "You have wronged innocents, Charles. I formally challenge you to a game of four-square. The loser will be given over to the lords of this realm to do with as they please!"
  • One issue of Atomic Robo shows that Robo and his Action Scientists treat appearing at the National Science Fair as celebrities as a life-or-death mission. Come to think of it, they treat it more seriously than a lot of their life-or-death missions.
    Robo: Status report.
    Jenkins: We lost Jeff.
    [cut to Jeff getting swarmed by children fanboying over him]
    Robo: We don't leave agents behind. Take Julie and get him back.
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, Magica De Spell is fixated with stealing Scrooge's #1 Dime to cast the spell that will give her the Midas' Touch... Unless Italy's Association Football's national team is playing. She'll ignore the Number One Dime for the duration of The World Cup if Italy's in it, and during the 1994 edition she went to Duckburg only because the team was residing there during the tournament and she had decided to fix the tournament in their favor, completely ignoring the Money Bin-and not retaliating when Scrooge tried to shoot her down.
    • Apparently, Association Football is serious business for all magic users: at the 1994 World Cup Magica's attempt at fixing the tournament failed because every team had one mage or witch trying the same for them and they were neutralizing each other, and she was told that by an archmage that had come to America specifically to insure that such tricks failed (and was very pleased he could enjoy the tournament without neutralizing the various magics).