Surgery in the Park

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The cover of Surgery in the Park, the sixth Newshounds compilation by Thomas K. Dye.

Surgery in the Park is the sixth compilation of comic strips of the webcomic Newshounds by Thomas K. Dye. The book covers the comics between 19 September 2003 and 12 October 2004, which introduce the character Nigel. It was published by Plan Nine Publishing.

There are also two special features, one about Ferris entering American Idol and another about a fantasy tale with the KPET staff.

Notable Storylines[edit]

Wet & Wild (September 25-October 14 2003)[edit]

Rochelle tells Wolfram that she is not good enough for him, due to her addiction to danger. Wolfram pleads with her not to split up, and decides to take her out to Wet & Wild World.[1] The day goes badly, particularly after they meet a dolphin suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which got its dorsal fin blow off when it was sent to find mines during the Iraq war.[2] After seeing the dolphin, Rochelle promises to give up her addiction, but Wolfram starts to worry if he is boring.[3]

Expose/Randy's Ex (October 20-November 21 2003)[edit]

After Wolfram believes that everyone sees him as being boring, he decides to go alone to the Los Muertos Canyon to interview the coyotes, a job that Renata and Kevin were meant to. Renata and Kevin go after him, and Wolfram meets Pontius. Pontius is disappointed when Wolfram arrives, and intents to make him undergo a painful ritual, which involves cutting Wolfram's arm off and seeing how quickly he can reattach it, but when Renata arrives, he simply orders Wolfram to buy him some cigarettes.[4] As Wolfram goes to get the cigarettes however, he is shot by a local resident, thinking that he is a coyote. The coyotes are please with the media coverage that they are now getting, and plan to increase it by releasing Zodiac.[5] At KPET, Kevin is worried after he sees Randy having an affair. Randy also has problems when one of her former boyfriends arrives, the boyfriend being Zodiac.[6] Randy tells Zodiac that they are finished, telling him that she is seeing someone else. Kevin later arrives at the house, and a hiding Zodiac thinks that she is Randy's boyfriend. When he leaves, Zodiac bets up Kevin, and both are arrested. Kevin is released, and the coyotes and humans strike a deal.[7]

Nigel (December 10 2003-January 16 2004)[edit]

After a story breaks out about a Louisiana school teacher telling her pupils that "Gay" is a bad word, Alistair comes out as a homosexual himself.[8] He gains a lot of support from the rest of the KPET staff, with the exception of Sam. Alistair later receives a phone call from Troy Mortenbloom from the lesbian/gay/bisexual awareness society, and tells him that he wants to hold a dinner in his honour. Troy also introduces his pet cat Nigel, who has something of a crush on Alistair. The following morning, Alistair see that he and Nigel have slept together, although they did not have sex. Later, Sam goes to a school where he encounters some homophobic dogs, who admit they want to kill Alistair. Sam tries to warn Alistair, but he as it is New Year's Eve, he has gone to the beach.[9] When Alistair sees the dogs, he runs away. The chase after him, but they are stopped, by Nigel. They both run away, and hide behind a rock, where Nigel tells Alistair that he wanted to be with him on New Year's Eve. The dogs find them and start to beat them up, but then Sam arrives. The dogs invite Sam to hit Nigel and Alistair, but he hits the dogs instead, and brings them back home.[10]

Hal Bent/The Conspiracy/Della's Mistake (January 20-June 29 2004)[edit]

When Renata visits Sunflower Chemicals to complain to Hal about burying a toxic perfume bottle in the KPET lawn, Hal tells her that he was on Dick Cheney's energy task force, due to him developing a low-emission fuel. She steals some information about the fuel and broadcasts the news about the fuel, but later calls Hal to apologise. However, Hal is pleased, because the extra publicity attracts the government's attention, who plan to use the fuel in the Space Shuttle. Hal later calls her to ask if she would like to go in the rocket, and Renata jumps at the chance.[11]

Later, Wolfram and Rochelle talk about microchips being implanted into people, during which Rochelle tells Wolfram that she has a microchip implanted in her already. Wolfram insists that she gets it removed, but when a vet discovers that she has two chips implanted in her, he is not willing to do so. They decide to talk to the one person who might be able to tell them about the chip, General Swallowemup.[12] He tells them that the chip was first planted in Rochelle's mother when she went to Iraq before the Gulf war, which was planted in Rochelle when she died. Swallowemup then implanted another chip in her so that the information could not be taken by anyone else. Elsewhere, Della plans a romantic night at the Radio Shack with Kevin, but when the owner returns early, she gets fired. After this, Kevin leaves Della.[13]

Later that night, Renata gets kidnapped. Ferris says he can help Rochelle, as he knows a few friends who would be willing to remove the chips, but Wolfram is horrified when learns that the surgeons are squirrels and that they will performing the surgery in the park.[14] Renata discovers that her kidnapper is Hal, although he says he really wanted Rochelle kidnapped. Later, he kidnappers fire tranquilising darts at her, and whilst she is in her drugged state, Hal flies to Las Vegas and marries her.[15] In the park, Wolfram meets Diana, and then receives the news that the operation was a success. Della takes the microchips, and decides to analyse them.

In the park, Kevin arrives to make up, which Della accepts whilst paying little attention. Hal tells Renata about why he kidnapped her. It involves his late owner Henry, who became anti-American and became a chemical supplier to Iraq. He later reveals that he too is interested in Rochelle's chip, but he could not tell anyone until he was married. Renata then drops a bombshell when she orders Hal to annul the marriage.[16] When they try to leave however, they discover that they have been locked in by one of Sunflower Chemicals executives. They manage to escape after Renata throws Hal at the window when she discovers they are asleep in the same bed.

Lorna tells Kevin that she plans to heir Della as a technical assistant, giving Kevin a terrible shock. Later, Hal announces at a press conference that he is not only the head of Sunflower Chemicals, but he is also resigning, but later Renata gets up on stage and tells him to stop, as well exposing their kidnap and saying that she wants to remarry Hal.[17] The executive that kidnapped them is fired, and Renata and Hal get married until Hal's will is fulfilled, then they divorce. Della also becomes a member of KPET as a technical assistant.

Ferris the Filmmaker (September 7-October 5 2004)[edit]

After the success of several film documentaries, Ferris asks a film company for money to make a documentary on KPET. He is successful, although he only receives $50,000.[18] KRVL retaliate by forming their own animal news team in order to gain more publicity. As it goes on, it is clear that Ferris's film is awful, and KRVL even try a smear campaign, but this too fails. When Ferris premieres the film, no-one likes it, and the production company instead try to turn it into a comedy called KRVL, A Station Strong and Proud. Ferris is so despite not to be viewed as a traitor to KPET that he goes as far to disown the film, and for it to be directed by Alan Smithee.[19] The film itself is hated by the critics, but the public still watch it.

Other features[edit]

Journey to American Idol[edit]

This is an autobiographical tail of Ferris failed attempt to enter for the reality television program American Idol, including his poor costume choices and his rather terrible singing.

Newshounds…in an Adventure[edit]

This story is partly based on the style of Alice in Wonderland, in that it tells a fantasy tale where the KPET news crew meet a range of impossible characters, but in the end, it is all a dream.


  1. Newshounds 1 October 2003 Wet & Wild: Have Gun, Will Shoot Foot.
  2. Newshounds 9 October 2003 Wet & Wild: Don't Want To Hear That Explanation.
  3. Newshounds 14 October 2003 Wet & Wild: Just Everyone Else.
  4. Newshounds 23 October 2003 Expose: That Would Be Easier.
  5. Newshounds 4 November 2003 Expose: Bad Is A Matter Of Perspective.
  6. Newshounds 7 November 2003 Randy's Ex: Her Standards May Be A Bit Too Low.
  7. Newshounds 20 November 2003 Randy's Ex: But Mostly For Ours.
  8. Newshounds 12 December 2003 Nigel: Tonight, On A Very Special Newshounds.
  9. Newshounds 31 December 2003 Nigel: Arrival At The Beach.
  10. Newshounds 14 January 2004 Nigel: Sam arrives.
  11. Newshounds 5 February 2004 Hal Bent: Renata thinks about it, quickly.
  12. Newshounds 24 February 2004 The Conspiracy: Hello again, General.
  13. Newshounds 19 March 2004 Della's Mistake: A disinterested third party.
  14. Newshounds 31 March 2004 The Conspiracy: Surgery in the park.
  15. Newshounds 16 April 2004 Hal Bent: A fairy tale wedding, except it isn't.
  16. Newshounds 6 May 2004 The Conspiracy: I don't want a divorce.
  17. Newshounds 15 June 2004 Hal Bent: Step aside and fall over somewhere else.
  18. Newshounds 10 September 2004 Ferris the Filmmaker: Rodent Guile.
  19. Newshounds 1 October 2004 Ferris the Filmmaker: Remaining Anonymous.

External links[edit]

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Thomas K. Dye's Newshounds
See also