Thumbtacks & Yarn

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"Thumbtacks & Yarn" was first published in Astro City (2013) #5.



  • The issue starts with the Broken Man singing a line from the song "The Old Music Master," by jazz artist Nat King Cole. This might or might not have anything to do with his mention of someone named Jazzbaby in "Through Open Doors (Part One)".
  • The identifiable items in the Broken Man's odd collection are, in order of appearance:
    • A newspaper clipping referencing the Majordomo's clash with some sideliners in the previous issue. Note that the villain's body is in the *exact* same position as when we last saw him that issue, when his armor had become frozen.
    • A Penny Bright comic. The series was previously referenced in "Where the Action Is," where it was stated that Penny Bright was also a real woman.
    • A plastic Silver Agent face-mask.
    • A newspaper clipping about Samaritan's rescue of a luxury cruiser, mentioned three issues back.
    • An old Western magazine with Ironhorse on the cover.
    • A vinyl album
    • The obituary for Cal Tarrant. Note that it says his children were named Desiree, James, and Gregory, no doubt after his teammates Desiree, Jimmy, and Gregor "the Hunk."
    • A clipping about the Silver Agent's death sentence.
    • A clipping about the death of the Maharajah of Maga-Dhor. A later maharajah of that country was seemingly murdered by the Silver Agent during the Dark Age.
    • Lord Saampa's dog tags.
    • A coin bearing Dame Progress's visage, marking the new century of 1900. An identical coin was picked up the Silver Agent near where he gained his powers from a mysterious source.
    • The cover to a magazine dealing with Erich von Däniken-eque theories about ancient astronauts.
    • Three more clippings. Based on the this issue's next issue blurb, they're almost certainly references to upcoming issues. The foremost clipping describes someone named the Silver Adept as having recently moved to Astro City. This is her second reference after issue 1's headline, "Silver Adept Moves to A.C.?" a question we now know the answer to.
  • Both the Blasphemy Boys, making their first appearance here, and Dame Progress were mentioned by the Broken Man in "Through Open Doors (Part One)", though there he called the former the "Blasphemy Agency."
  • The whole first flashback owes heavily to the works of H.P. Lovecraft in its depiction of otherworldly horror. The monsters are even called Batrachi, after Lovecraft's "batrachian," a word he frequently used. Additionally, they're from Ipswich, said to be the inspiration for Lovecraft's fictional Dunwich.
  • A woman named Adriana Kanewood, one of Romeyn Falls' wealthy elite in Dame Progress's era, is mentioned. Presumably, the Kanewood neighborhood in modern Astro City gets its name from her family.