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Comic Strip / Pluggers

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A single-panel newspaper comic begun in 1993 by cartoonist Jeff MacNelly, best known for his long-running comic strip Shoe.

In Pluggers, a cast of Funny Animal characters illustrate reader-submitted one-liners about "Pluggers": working-class, mostly middle-aged, largely rural people who "unceremoniously keep plugging along, balancing work, play and family life." An example might be "You're a Plugger when the most expensive piece of clothing you own is an NFL jersey."

It's not commonly known, but the five main characters have names: Andy Bear, Sheila Roo, Carl Rhinowski, Earl Houndstooth and Henrietta Beak. There's no reward for guessing that they are, respectively, a bear, kangaroo, rhinoceros, dog and hen. According to an old version of the now defunct website, there were once more characters.

MacNelly originally wrote the gags himself, but made the shift to reader-submitted gags after receiving so many. He handed art duties to Gary Brookins in 1997, who also took over in the same capacity on Shoe after MacNelly died in 2000. Brookins has since retired, passing the baton to Rick McKee in 2020.

Pluggers can be read here.