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Where The Hell Is Springfield / Comic Strips

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  • Dykes to Watch Out For: The city is never named, but depicted as a medium-sized American Midwest town with snowy winters, a university, and a large and diverse LGBT community. Maps included as title pages in some of the collections show a surprising number of streets named after famous lesbians. Author Alison Bechdel has said that the look and character of the city is very loosely based on Minneapolis.
  • Calvin and Hobbes never makes any direct mention of where it's set, and Calvin and Hobbes themselves aren’t quite sure. Played for Laughs when Calvin is daydreaming during geography class, and Ms. Wormwood asks him what state he lives in. Calvin replies “denial”. Ms. Wormwood states she can't argue with that.
    “If I remember my atlas, we live in a big, purple country.”
    “And our house is by the giant letter ‘E’ in the word ‘States’.”
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    • That said, there are some hints that it’s in Bill Watterson’s hometown of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, near Cleveland. This strip clearly shows the Great Lakes when Calvin imagines he’s climbed up to outer space, and a splash panel from a Sunday strip with GROSS had a sign next to their treehouse reading “Beware: falling buckeyes!”, a reference to Ohio’s nickname of “the Buckeye State”.
  • Peanuts never explicitly stated its setting, but the few clues given suggest either Minnesota (where Charles Schulz grew up), Northern California (where he spent the last four decades of his life), or a combination of the two. Since it hardly ever snows in most parts of Northern California, Minnesota is probably the answer.
    • Lampshaded in one strip from April 1995, when Rerun says that marbles-playing bully Joe Agate is “the best player this side of the Mississippi.”
    Lucy: Which side of the Mississippi are we on?
    Rerun: I don't have the slightest idea.
    • The strip never brought up the name of the town, but it's been mentioned in other Peanuts material on at least two occasions: the 1963 book Security is a Thumb and a Blanket calls the town “Pinetree Corners”, while the 2002 TV special Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales lists it as “Sparkyville, USA”.
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  • Garfield's location is never specified in the comics, though according to the animated special Garfield Goes Hollywood, it's Muncie, Indiana, Jim Davis' hometown.
  • Zits is never precisely clear on where it’s set, but a number of references suggest that it’s somewhere in central Ohio (although Jeremy does state that he was born in Nebraska). The strip is drawn by Jim Borgman, a chief cartoonist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, which is in southern Ohio.
  • FoxTrot has hinted that the town in which the Fox family lives is called Hillsdale (e.g., a Hillsdale Mall in an early strip, H's on the school team's uniforms, etc.), but besides an address in the first strip, no specifics are given. Peter and Roger are fans of Northeastern sports teams (like the Boston Red Sox, Washington Redskins, and Chicago Bulls), but even that doesn’t necessarily place them in the Northeast.
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  • At least one early strip in Pearls Before Swine said the strip took place in Stephan Pastis’ hometown of Albany, California, which is near San Francisco. However, this is never mentioned again, and a later series shows the characters needing to take a cross-country bus trip to San Francisco.
  • Dick Tracy's adventures take place in an unnamed analogue of Chicago (based on the presence of Capone counterpart Big Boy). Interestingly, the 1990 Warren Beatty film adaptation never revealed the city's name (the characters just called it “the city”), but many film critics automatically assumed it was Chicago.
  • Curtis takes place in a city that was unnamed for decades – until 2009, when Curtis and Barry play hooky to watch Obama’s inauguration in Washington. They travel there by city bus, proving that they live in Baltimore.
  • Beetle Bailey: When first seen, Camp Swampy had palm trees and was definitely not in Alaska. That's about all we have, except the palm trees aren't there anymore, and it now snows there.
  • While we know Agnes is set in Ohio, it's not clear where, except that it's the southeastern part of Ohio.
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