Here in the middle of 2005, we meet Heidi, the proprietress of the Mullein Fields General Store (actually, she has appeared before ... multiple times ... but those strips were clumsily excised from this retrospective).

After a particularly bad day, Heidi is visited by the local farm market magnate, Bill Oleohoff, who offers to lease the store from her. He intends to let his son, Bill Jr. (fresh from business school), operate the place in her stead, thus allowing her to effectively retire while maintaining a modest income. She is instantly relieved.

However, as this is the start of a ginormous year-long story arc, the relief will be short-lived.

The Oleohoffs were based on a real family in the town where I grew up. Bill Sr., the patriarch, was a business kingpin who owned a farm market on the main highway, and he, too, tended to inflate the costs of many of his items. His son, Bill Jr., was actually a somewhat competent member of the township zoning board, if I remember correctly. Anyway, I figured it would be funnier if the son was a screw-up, so artistic liberties: taken.

Georgia’s hunt for lost civilizations leads her into the woods behind her house, where she and Loretta follow a trail.

Where does it lead them? Thankfully, Loretta exposits:

Maureen arrives at the store ... the jig is up. Aside from the jig being up, this affords us the opportunity to see Bill Jr’s business acumen in action. Let’s watch!

It is really heartwarming when a son decides to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Speaking of warming ...

Loretta and Georgia pin the water balloon rap on Jerry, because ... he's an older brother, and older brothers are the source of all of society's ills.

The culprit is revealed! ...

Aftermath, with some Penny annoyance and soccer shenanigans thrown in.

These were supposed to be just filler strips until I got back to the Bill Oleohoff story, but they ended up being more fun than actually working on the story. Go figure.

After two years, I though I would try something different for the “back to school” strips. These, too, were a lot of fun to draw.


Friendly reminder: this site is merely a “general overview” of the comic. If you've enjoyed what you've seen so far, and you have an appropriate amount of disposable income at the ready, feel free to buy the complete, unexpurgated archive of 570(ish) comics in paperback form, appropriately titled The Complete Mullein Fields.

Or ... if you prefer pixels to paper, a digital version of the book is also available.


 

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