Sunday, June 27, 2021

No. 9: Topeka Women's Club

The Topeka Women's Club was organized in 1897 by Lucy Kingman and Margaret McCarter. It was a conglomerate of the other ladies clubs in Topeka and focused on musical education and entertainment. The club would raise donations to send to school and other institutions. They helped families affected by the 1903 flood and were instrumental in getting manual training and domestic science into the schools. After World War I, interest in a permanent home increased.

The building was designed by Frank C. Squires and was published in the Topeka Daily Capital in 1921. Construction didn't begin until 1923 and was completed in 1925. Squires was thrilled with his design for the clubhouse, considering it possibly the finest building of it's kind between Chicago and the Pacific Coast. After completion, it was believed that the building was the largest clubhouse west of the Mississippi River.

In 1925, the women's club had over 400 members. Within a few years, the Women's Club building housed numerous civic, artistic, and social organizations. Sadly, through the 1960s and 1970s, membership in the club steadily declined and in the 1980s, the building became home to the Kansas Insurance Department. Thankfully, the state kept everything mostly as is. The Tiffany stain-glass windows remained as did the gothic lights. The major changes were leveling out the floor in the theatre and clamping down the dance floor on the third floor to install cubicles. After the Insurance Department moved in 2020, the building was considered surplus property and sold at auction.

Purchased by local investors, work immediately began to restore the building to its former glory--and function. The Beacon, as it will now be known, plans on becoming the premiere event space in Downtown Topeka. Shorty after beginning work, they offered tours of the building which I gladly went on. The Women's Club of Topeka building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Entrance from 9th Street.

Tile entryway in the entrance to the theatre off Topeka Boulevard.

Beneath this floor is the original spring-loaded dance floor originally installed
in 1925. Plans are to release the springs so it can be used as a dance floor again.

Decorative seal above the stage in the theatre.

It's Fun to Say

Panel 1: Gladys is stirring something in a big pot on the stove, Wilberforce walks in behind her. Wilberforce: "What are you makin' for dinner, Mom?" Panel 2: Gladys turns around to face Wilberforce. Gladys: "I'm cooking bouillabaisse, I love it, but it's for mature taste buds." Panel 3. Wilberforce: "Oh, good! I love it, too!" Panel 4. Gladys: "Really? I wasn't aware you ever had bouillabaisse. Do you know what the main ingredients are?" Panel 5. Wilberforce: "Uh...I can't think of them right now. What are they, again?" Panel 6. Gladys: "It's basically a seafood stew, with fish, clams, and mussels. Are you still sure you love it?" Panel 7. Wilberforce: "Oh...Well, I guess I love bouillabaisse, except for its main ingredients." Gladys side-eyes the readers with a slight smile on her face.
Now this is a reason to wear that stupid chef's hat, not just making a slightly fancier grilled ham and cheese sandwich. I knew bouillabaisse was a soup/stew type thing. I did not know it was made primarily with seafood ingredients. Yuck. But I'm a 30-something free American. I don't have to eat what I don't like but if you enjoy it, then have at it. More of it for you.

I am taking a few days off to focus on my writing and research. I will be back Thursday with new updates. Don't forget, you can support my work by buying me a cup of coffee through Ko-fi.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Sleeping In

Panel 1: Gladys is shouting up the stairs. Gladys: "Oh, Wilberforce! Daddy is napping--would you wake him for me?" Panel 2: Still showing Gladys at the stairs. Wilberforce: (off-panel) "With pleasure!" Panel 3. Gladys: "And this time, don't use the air horn!"
Wilberforce then proceeds to pinch Brutus' nose closed and covers his mouth causing Brutus to wake up in a panic unable to breathe.

Or maybe Wilberforce will just jump on Brutus' crotch. Sadly, we just have to imagine how Wilberforce will wake up Brutus.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Wacky Isn't a Word I'd Use for Hurricane Hattie But Whatever

Panel 1. Brutus: Ha! That wacky Hurricane Hattie! I asked her what topping she would like to order for our pizza party... Panel 2. Brutus: "And would you believe she said chocolate! Isn't that the craziest idea you ever heard?" Panel 3. Gladys looking up and smiling. Brutus: "Gladys?"
Geez. Just get a dessert pizza or, I feel this is a brilliant idea and would like to try it some time, get a normal pizza but squirt some chocolate syrup on your piece before you eat it. The sweet of the chocolate syrup and savory of the pizza probably blend together real good.

In an effort to be more inclusive, I am going to start adding alt text to the comic strips from today on. Aside from helping with search engines, alternative text allows blind and visually impaired readers to use screen readers to get a description of the image, can help people with sensory processing or learning disabilities, and is displayed if the image doesn't load or the user chooses not to load images.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

I'll Be Your Croque Monsieur

Okay. But that doesn't really tell me what croque monsieur is. Also, I don't know why Gladys is acting all fancy with her "French dish" because croque monsieur is basically just a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Business Trip

It's gotta be a pain in the ass to constantly switch tea cozy suppliers. Acme switches accounts every six months or so it seems.

I'll be honest, I don't really know how this works. Does Veeblefester make the tea cozies and Acme is a store that sells them? Does Acme design the tea cozy and Veeblefester makes them? 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

He'd Be Right To Punch Brutus

Assuming that Chicken Kingdom is supposed to be the generic version of Chick-Fil-A, it wouldn't have burgers--just chicken.

What are chicken tidbits? Nuggets or are they smaller? Deep fried chicken eyeballs.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

No. 8: Robotmen of the Lost Planet, Part 2

ANOTHER FIVE YEARS?! They can develop electricity, weapons, and all this other stuff but are still wearing pelt and fur togas.

Clearly the robots aren't hunting any stray humans because the humans have been basically left alone for the last ten years. I mean, I get these weapons are in response to the massacre that happened ten years ago but it still seems very unprovoked.

They can't make clothes but they can make bedding.

Laurie is still a nightmare-looking young boy, isn't he?

"We work to make life better for our children." Bang-up job. Being massacred and forced to live in a cave for ten years is a much better life than what you had Alan.

Laurie looks different in every single panel.

Laurie's friend is named Johnson? Maybe they just call everyone by their last name but they're kids. It's weird.

Yeah, let the 9-year-old sleep with a ray gun. That probably won't end badly at all.

They definitely should keep downwind because hygiene probably wasn't high up on the list of things humans should accomplish.

oh darn im going to miss him

"I'm sure he left. Here are his footprints in the dirt."

"No, he wouldn't dare, you stupid woman. Laurie, where are you?"

"His footprints are leading outside..."

*pats Nara's head* "Women should be seen and not heard."

They've gone ten years without being attacked or hunted by robots. If there are suddenly robots making their way to the human's cave then I am going to scream.


So the "toy" ray gun actually works and they were going to let their child sleep with it. Good thing he faked sleep and ran off!

I was worried that the humans defeating the robots would be easy as pie and that there would be no drama. And it looks like I was right.

The humans were defeated by robots because robots were strong and humans were weak. Now, the robots will be defeated by humans because humans are strong and robots are weak. IT'S A SWITCHEROO!!

I still don't understand why the robots would make themselves more humans in order to feel pain. Seems like a very bad idea.

"Bring me back some robots, Dad!"
"I am not dragging one of those things all the way back here."

"The robots hate pain!"
Yes, as does everyone.

Did Alan chop that robot in half?

So the humans defeated all those robots within a day? And then just casually walk up to where the AA-Plus robot is.

Hey, it's the robot's Emperor Johns! He just has a slightly larger head?

Alan has a taste for killing now! What's to stop him from doing to his fellow humans what he's doing to these robots?!

They didn't even defeat the robots. They just took out the master robot and they all don't know what to do and run away? I expect better from the robots.

What? It's only three parts? And they basically do what the robots did to them? Is there a sequel where the robots rise back up in ten years? This ending isn't really an ending.

I feel empty inside.

Jim Torlo. The devious, evil guy planning murder is named...Jim.

What is the discovery? Is there a reason you aren't mentioning what your discovery does?

I think she's engaged to Jim Torlo.

I also think Jim does want Professor Ackley's money.

So Mary is, what? 23? 24? And Jim Torlo is somewhere between 48 and 52? How old was Vincent Price in the 1960s?

So it's some kind of Iron Dome-type thing? Not a potion or a pill? But yet he mentions formula.

Maybe Dr. Forrester here finally drove his test subject insane with the worst movie ever made.

"So you're going to kill me? Ha-ha! That's funny! It makes me laugh!"

"You won't be laughing when I'm through with you! Because you'll be dead and dead people can't laugh."

So the machine...dissolves atoms? Yep, sounds like comic book science all right.

Mary lost her father and fiancée in one night but who cares? Clearly the police don't. And neither should we. Good night, everyone!

Is It Just Pot Roast or Are There Potatoes? Salad, Maybe?

Chip could've drawn Kewpie in this. He/She kind of loves Brutus. And I like seeing that dumb mutt.

You know, I bet there was a reason that Brutus' mitt was buried down in the basement.