Press Badge Blues

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The cover of Press Badge Blues, the third Newshounds compilation by Thomas K. Dye.

Press Badge Blues is the third compilation of comic strips of the webcomic Newshounds by Thomas K. Dye. The book covers the comics between 31 March 2000 and 25 May 2001, which introduced the characters Rochelle O'Shea and Virgil and Angie Lishuss. It was published by Plan Nine Publishing.

The book also has a special feature on KPET using Ferris to get inside a meeting of the World Trade Organisation.

Notable storylines[edit]

A Nose for News/All's Fayre in Love and War (April 24–May 5 and May 25–August 15, 2000)[edit]

Renata shocks everyone at KPET, particularly Lorna, when she comes in after having surgery to reduce her "Muzzle size". Although everyone tries to ignore it, Renata tries to attract more attention. The only person who does is Hal O'Peridol, who feels sick to his stomach about his loneliness, which gives him an idea.[1] After the surgery, Renata becomes increasingly unprofessional, but when Lorna confronts her, Renata storms out of KPET in anger, and becomes homeless. Renata also starts to get stomach pains, but even worse she is arrested by shop she is begging outside of. Renata's temporary replacement is Rochelle O'Shea, who Wolfram instantly falls in love with.[2] In jail, Renata's pains get worse. She is eventually bailed out, but would rather stay in jail when she discovers the person who bailed her out is Hal. When she meets Hal, Renata's stomach pains go away, but when Hal drops her off outside KPET, they return.[3] As a result, she spends the night with Hal. Despite Sam's attempts to woo her, Rochelle goes out with Wolfram. During the night, Renata discovers a can of dog food in Hal's house which she had before her stomach pains, thus realising that Hal is the source of her pains. Also, when Wolfram and Rochelle walk home, someone fires a gun at them.[4] Hal admits to Renata that he controlled her brain by making it think it was having stomach pains whenever she was 30 feet away from Hal, using a combination of his chemicals and nanotechnology provided by General Swallowemup. However, they soon realise that Swallowemup might use the new chemical in chocolates to brainwash everyone in the world to help in his plan to buy every company in the world, and things look worse when they discover a professor involved in the project has been killed.[5] Rochelle admits to Wolfram that she is really an agent working for Swallowemup, who was asked to feed a dog biscuit to Wolfram to control his memory. Whilst they talk, Swallowemup arrives and kidnaps him, then takes them to the professors house after he learns that the hitman left his notes. When he arrives, Hal tells Swallowemup that he is a pet belonging to a human Hal O'Peridol, but when Swallowemup insults him, he bites him in the leg.[6]. Soon the police arrive and arrest Swallowemup. Swallowemup is sent to jail, Swallowemup Enterprises is made bankrupt, and Rochellle enters the Witness Protection Program, much to Wolfram's disappointment.[7]

A Nose for Trouble (May 8-24 2000)[edit]

Ferris goes out to a Celine Dion concert, only to find out that he mis-read the advert, which actually advertised for a Celine Dion lookalike. Ferris accepts the job, and becomes very successful. However, he occurs the wrath of other female impersonators, and gets beaten up.[8] They learn that Ferris will have to heavy surgery, but Renata is jealous when it learns it is on his nose. Ferris hates his new appearance, but when Renata learns that he will sound less irritating, he loses his new job.[9]

What an Emferrisment (August 28-November 10 2000)[edit]

At around 2 O'Clock in the morning, Ferris broadcasts his own quiz show, Big Billion Dollar Survivor Challenge 2001, using cardboard cut-outs of famous people as contestants, and making all the questions about Beverly Hills 90210. Kevin stops the broadcast, but a few weeks later, Ferris learns that another television company has stolen his idea, and that Tori Spelling is hosting it, [10] and Aaron Spelling is producing. Ferris decides to hitchhike to Hollywood in order to confront Spelling Entertainment. After durging him and posting him back to KPET, the company gets a big shock. They are the first ever contestants on Big Billion Dollar Survivor Challenge 2001, and Tori Spelling herself is at the house.[11] What is more, if they do not do the show, they will be sued for $1 billion. They decide to play the game. The longer the game goes on, the more popular KPET becomes. Their rating sour, KRVL cover the story, and Ferris starts to worry about not being attractive to Tori. The final, $1 billion question, which is on 90210, needs Ferris to answer it, but he refuses to answer, until Renata tells him that Tori will kiss him if he gets it right. Ferris gets it right, gets the money, and the kiss,[12] but they cannot cash it as Ferris is a rat. Eventually, they reach a $9,000 settlement.

Date/Alistair's Trip (November 20-December 13, 2000)[edit]

Lorna goes on a date with Roger, who she first met at Yvonne's Halloween party. The date goes well, but afterwards, he turns out to be rather dodgey, giving Alistair some "Grade-A catnip". The catnip has a powerful effect in him, casing him to dream that he is in New York on 8 December 1980. During the trip, he neets Lorna as a young girl, who takes her to her old school. Whilst there, he listens to John Lennon on the radio, and realises that tomorrow is the day when Lennon was assassinated.[13] He goes to visit both Lennon and Yoko Ono to try to prevent the disaster from happening, but he fails to do so. He later comes out of his dream, with Kevin beside his bed, telling him that he has been in a coma for two weeks.

Lorna Dot Com (December 14-January 12 2001)[edit]

Due to Alistair's hospital fees, KPET runs into debt. This is therefore the worst time for Ernest and Julia to visit Lorna. Ernest has made a deal with the mob, and even pays Lorna back all the money he stole from her piggy bank as a child as a Christmas present,[14] but later blows it by telling her the source of the money, Lorna's unknown half-brother. His name is Virgil Lishuss, and is a successful software entrepreneur, owning a company called Virgiltech. Ernest proposes that Lorna set up an internet based company with Virgil's help, but later Kevin has a better idea of setting up a news webcast, which everyone agrees to.[15] During the time the webcast starts, Kevin learns that Stormy and Connor have had a fight, and she is hired by Virgiltech to market the webcast. Although she does no work whatsoever, she seems to get a six figure salary.[16]

Let's Try…Escalate Access! (February 26-May 18 2001)[edit]

KPET gets a raise in publicity due to Wolfram takes his clothes off at a gala dinner. Ferris getting an email from Tori Spelling, which leads Kevin to visit Manny the Mink to see if it was true. KPET seem to gain more attention, causing many companies to worry about their safety. Even Connor is told to watch KPET as part of Starbucks company policy.[17] They even end up buying Yahoo! Manny finds something wrong with the webcast, a computer virus, and tells Kevin just before he is killed.[18] Renata and Stormy follow a link, Virgil's estranged half-sister and porn star Angie, who leads her to Virgil. He tells Renata of his hopes that his technology could help make the world a better place, buy creating the virus that is being sent by the KPET webcast.[19] In the meantime, Angie wants to own KPET, and KPET gets a visit from Roger, who tells Lorna that he works for Virgiltech. Lorna learns that Roger and Angie are engaged, and that within 24 hours, KPET will belong to Angie. Whilst Renata talks to Virgil, the spirit of Manny sucks him into the internet, where he tells him about what has been going on.[20] In the real world, Virgil goes into a coma and is rushed to hospital. When Virgil learns about what he has done, he awakens for his coma, stops the virus, and admits to what he has done.[21] Rather than expose the story, Lorna is given an offer by Virgiltech provided she keeps quiet,[22] and Roger flees to Uzbekistan.[23]

Other features[edit]

Ferris at the WTO![edit]

This special colour feature follows KPET's attempt to get into a meeting of the World Trade Organisation using Ferris as a spy. He goes into a meeting of people promoting globalisation and a meeting were people were eating food from different parts of the world, biased towards American products. When Ferris comes back with the information however, it turns out he wore his hidden camera in the wrong place, so no-one can tell who was talking.


  1. Newshounds 5 May 2000 A Nose for News: Hal's Inspiration.
  2. Newshounds 6 June 2000 All's Fayre in Love and War: Introducing Rochelle.
  3. Newshounds 16 June 2000 All's Fayre in Love and War: Ouch Again.
  4. Newshounds 7 July 2000 All's Fayre in Love and War: Duck!
  5. Newshounds 20 July 2000 All's Fayre in Love and War: Finding the Professor.
  6. Newshounds 7 August 2000 All's Fayre in Love and War: Dog Attack!
  7. Newshounds 11 August 2000 All's Fayre Epilogue: Rochelle Says Farewell.
  8. Newshounds 17 May 2000 A Nose for Trouble: Called to the Hospital.
  9. Newshounds 24 May 2000 A Nose for Trouble: Not Celine Anymore.
  10. Newshounds 5 September 2000 What an Emferrisment: Betrayed.
  11. Newshounds 25 September 2000 What an Emferrisment: Let's Begin the Game!
  12. Newshounds 26 October 2000 What an Emferrisment: She Lays It on Him.
  13. Newshounds 1 December 2000 Alistair's Trip: Why Am I Here?
  14. Newshounds 25 December 2000 Lorna Dot Com: The Gift.
  15. Newshounds 29 December 2000 Lorna Dot Com: Kevin's Idea.
  16. Newshounds 22 February 2001 Two Places At Once?
  17. Newshounds 16 March 2001 Let's Try...Escalate Access! Everyone Watch The KPET Webcast!
  18. Newshounds 30 March 2001 Let's Try...Escalate Access! Walking Fashion Accessory.
  19. Newshounds 17 April 2001 Let's Try...Escalate Access! Healthy Criticism.
  20. Newshounds 1 May 2001 Let's Try...Escalate Access! No Secrets Anymore.
  21. Newshounds 10 May 2001 Let's Try...Escalate Access! Fighting Fire With Fire.
  22. Newshounds 14 May 2001 Let's Try...Escalate Access! The Agreement.
  23. Newshounds 18 May 2001 Let's Try...Escalate Access! Testing The Institution Of Marriage.

External links[edit]

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Thomas K. Dye's Newshounds
See also