When Cartoon Characters Take Up PokerJune 29, 2016
Poker has inspired numerous veins of popular culture including music, literature and film so it’s no surprise that cartoonists have also integrated the popular game into the characters of comic strips.
The superheroes of Marvel Comics are well known for dealing with ‘real world issues’ and Marvel has thematically referenced poker on more than one occasion. Perhaps the character most renowned for his poker skill is Benjamin Grimm, better known as The Thing after a grotesque transformation. The Thing, along with the butler to the Avengers, Edwin Jarvis, are well known for their organised superhero poker series which are attended by a whole host of unexpected players including Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Wolverine and She-Hulk amongst others.
It’s not just the Marvel superheroes who have a dabble on the table though. Mr Burns from The Simpsons not only owns his own casino, but even wins a professional basketball team in a poker game in the episode The Burns and the Bees. Throughout the seasons, Homer is also featured enjoying boy’s night poker with the likes of Moe, Lenny and Carl. In the episode Gone Abie Gone, Lisa even studies poker with the help of professional poker player Jennifer Tilly, who guest stars as herself.
In a surprising cartoon-poker twist Tilly, who now has a WSOP bracelet under her belt, is no stranger to lending her voice to cartoons. She’s the voice for the sweet, girl next door character of Bonnie Swanson on the hit American sit-com, Family Guy, which coincidentally also references the likes of Peter, Joe and Quagmire playing poker throughout the seasons.
Poker is also featured in both Anime and Manga comics, most famously in the Manga series Liar Game which is based around a 17 card version of the card game and Gamble Fish. In 2012, professional poker player Viviam Im was also surprised to learn that she was the protagonist of a comic book about her life. In fact, the comic became so popular that she was asked to meet up with the comics creator in order to provide information on her life, playing poker and, of course, its rules.
Can you think of any more poker playing cartoon characters? And who would you like to play against the most? Tell us in the comments below!