|Calvin "Freckle" McMurray|
|First appearance in comic||
|First appearance with dialog||
March 10, 1909
|Place of Birth||
|Age at start of comic||
Calvin "Freckle" Allen McMurray is Nina's son and Rocky's cousin. Freckle first appears in "Reciprocity", though he does not have dialog until the following episode, "Coconspirator". After he is rejected from the police academy due to an "incident", Nina inadvertently causes Freckle to become involved with Lackadaisy.
In the comic
Freckle is first depicted in "Reciprocity", as Nina and Rocky discuss his rejection from the police academy and ensuing depression. In exchange for doing Rocky's laundry, Nina persuades Rocky to take Freckle with him while Rocky "runs errands".
Freckle's first dialog is in "Coconspirator", where Rocky leads him to believe they will be pursuing justice.
In "Brouhaha", Rocky tells Freckle that what is right is not always lawful, though Freckle does not seem entirely convinced. Freckle exhibits the same crazy laugh that Rocky manifested in "Schadenfreude", though Freckle seems horrified by this aspect of his nature. Otherwise he is concerned by how many laws he and Rocky have broken; he seems to believe he is a good person, or at least is "supposed" to be good. Freckle also alludes to an unspecified incident in which he got into trouble, though he cuts himself off before disclosing any details.
Rocky brings Freckle to Little Daisy in "Surreption", where Freckle meets Ivy for the first time. While Ivy takes an immediate and intense interest in Freckle, his reaction is akin to terror. Though Rocky is atypically protective of Freckle and rejects Ivy's suggestion that he bring Freckle to Lackadaisy, Ivy distracts Rocky and then slips a Lackadaisy pin to Freckle. That evening, in "Dysphoria", a restless Freckle takes the pin and sneaks out of his house.
Freckle arrives at Little Daisy in "Latecomer", but his anxiety prevents him from leaving the car until Ivy approaches him. They make their way to Lackadaisy in "Wishy-washy". While Ivy wants to dance with Freckle, he does not share her interest, and is surprised to find himself in a speakeasy at all. The issue is rendered moot when Rocky and the band practically run them over. Rocky is less than pleased to see Freckle, and Ivy explains that she invited him because Rocky would not, and because her last "dance partner broke his arms and legs in some horrible accident". Freckle, meanwhile, is surprised to find out that Rocky plays the violin in a speakeasy, and is not a vigilante. Due to the incoming pig farmers, Rocky begins leading them out of the club. When Mitzi asks why the pig farmers are breaking into Lackadaisy in "Malarkey", Rocky feigns amnesia only to have Freckle "helpfully" refresh his memory. With Rocky, Mitzi and Zib, Freckle flees for the storeroom, which serves as Lackadaisy's armory, in "Skedaddle".
When Rocky takes Mitzi's gun in "Deadlock", intending to defend the others after they learn that the storeroom's weapons are missing, Freckle looks on in apparent irritation as Zib and Mitzi try to dissuade Rocky. In "Doolally", Freckle takes the gun and shoots Avery, possibly killing him. He then drops the pistol and takes Avery's Tommy gun before charging into the caverns, laughing maniacally. In "Echolalia", Freckle ambushes Avril and Emery, the remaining pig farmers, forcing them to retreat from him. Freckle finds Emery in "Whizbang", shooting him before he can harm Mitzi and Zib, then running off in pursuit of Avril. In "Quicklime", it is revealed that Freckle shot Avril in "Rhetoric". Freckle's normal personality reasserts itself, and after apologizing to Mitzi he runs away, apparently horrified by his actions. Rocky's offer of a sandwich has little effect. Freckle races to his car, still outside Little Daisy, in "Palaver" where Rocky catches up to him. Freckle appears unmoved by Rocky's words, actually growing more agitated when Rocky asks Freckle to consider what Nina would do to both of them if she learned of Freckle's actions.
The next morning, in "Daybreak", Rocky visits Freckle and Nina's house, and Nina tells him that Freckle is in bed. After Nina tells him to wake Freckle up so that he can find work, Rocky states that he has found a job for Freckle.
Rocky enters Freckle's bedroom in "Pinstripes". While Freckle is almost catatonic, Rocky largely brushes off what occurred the previous evening, though he figures out that Freckle's crazy side is the reason why he was booted from the police academy, and tells Freckle that he can get him a job.
In "Memento", Freckle and Rocky are driving together while Freckle is questioning Rocky about his new job. Rocky initially tells Freckle that he will just be escorting Rocky, though he shortly admits that Freckle will be carrying a gun. When Freckle states that he is not sure that is a good idea, Rocky adds that "in theory" Freckle will never use the gun; he just needs to look intimidating. After Rocky inadvertently reveals that he keeps playing cards in the sleeves of his jacket, he gives Freckle a Three of Clubs, stating that it is Freckle's "lucky number", as it is the number of people Freckle killed the prior evening.
Rocky brings Freckle to meet Mitzi in "Proposition", and Mitzi asks them if they would like lunch. They subsequently accompany Mitzi to her meeting with Asa in "Luncheon". Though she seems to hope that Rocky and Freckle's presence will impress Asa, their conduct proves less than convincing. With Mitzi and Rocky, Freckle returns to their car in "Interloper". Mitzi notes en route that they need to start reclaiming their former trade routes rather than doing business with Kehoe, and that she owes someone a visit. Freckle notices that Mordecai is already in the car, but his warning is overlooked. He is less than enthused when Mitzi agrees to speak with Mordecai privately.
Freckle and Rocky escort Mitzi to meet with Wick in "Retinue". Wick seems genuinely pleased to meet Freckle, even offering to show him his gun collection after Mitzi notes that Freckle likes guns. While Mitzi and Wick go to Forest Park, Rocky and Freckle go to the college that Ivy is attending in "Academia". Rocky is upset that Wick was not deterred from seeing Mitzi by their encounter, and fears that if Wick becomes involved with Lackadaisy then Rocky will become superfluous. After Freckle asks why they are on the college grounds, Rocky states that he plans to pick up Ivy in order to use her as a shield against Viktor.
Freckle, Rocky and Ivy arrive at Viktor's apartment in "Deadeye". Though Viktor slams the door in their faces, Ivy persists in entering. After dropping the magazines in Viktor's lap, Ivy introduces him to Freckle, declaring that they are dating. At that, Viktor directs his glare beam at Freckle, making the latter very uncomfortable. In "Dotage", their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Mrs. Bapka, Viktor's upstairs neighbor, who desires Viktor's assistance with her sink. When he is unable to get to his feet due to a coughing fit related to his injuries, Freckle and Ivy go in his place at Rocky's suggestion. While Freckle examines Mrs. Bapka's sink in "Handyman", Ivy asks him whether it is true that he killed the pig farmers. Before Freckle can respond he is distracted as sardines spill from a sink pipe onto his face, and withdraws from under the sink without answering Ivy's question, leaving her dubious. Ivy and Freckle talk further in "Sandwich", with Ivy trying to determine why Freckle is spending time working with Rocky if he does not like what he did the prior evening. She dismisses his claim that he is working with Rocky just because he needed a job, but before she can gain more useful information from him they are both distracted by the sandwiches Mrs. Bapka has made for them...with the sardines Freckle removed from her sink pipe earlier.
In "Gallivant", Ivy runs into Freckle and Rocky while storming away from Viktor's apartment. Rocky offers her a lift, and after pausing to kiss Freckle and stating that, "we'll do it again", she sits between them. They arrive at Freckle's house in "Homestead", where Ivy horrifies Rocky and Freckle by asking whether she can meet Freckle's mother. As Freckle gets out of the car Ivy reminds him that he owes her a date. Rocky gives Freckle a "friendly reminder" on a piece of paper, and tells him that he will see Freckle before midnight the following day, and that Freckle should bring a long coat, "for the heat". In "Correspondence", it is revealed that Rocky's "friendly reminder" is a comic depicting Nina killing Rocky after learning the truth of his and Freckle's activities, with the moral, "Remember to always lie". Freckle enters his home only to be questioned by Nina as to his activities that day; she appears to be somewhat suspicious of him. Freckle retreats to his bed.
In "Breakdown" Rocky explains reveals to Ivy that when he was young the McMurray House often was more of a home for him than his own home, but over time Rocky was responsible for several minor incidents that had caused problems. Eventually there was a larger situation that Rocky took responsibility for, and he was subsequently kicked out, in part so that Freckle could focus on school without Rocky's distractions. A version of Freckle appears in a "Nightmare" that Ivy experiences upon her return from Defiance.
As a child, Freckle witnessed Rocky getting a sugar high off pancakes to the point that Nina moved Rocky outside for the rest of the day and stated that they would have oatmeal for breakfast in the future; this incident is depicted in "Pancakes".
Freckle appears in "Butterfly", in which his aversion to butterflies is explained; when they were children, Rocky killed a butterfly that had landed on Freckle's face. In "Bee-Glue", set in 1914, Rocky is shown trying to glue flapjacks to Freckle's head to see whether bees will approach him. Rocky's experiment goes awry when he falls and the glue lands on him and he attracts bees.
When Rocky and Freckle were children, Nina spoke to them of the glories of St. Patrick's Day, as shown in "Shenanigans". She then promptly disabused them of such fanciful notions and brought them to church.
"Trouble Boys" shows Freckle on the shooting range while at the police academy. He is in full crazy-mode, scaring his fellow recruits. In "Tiddlywinks", Mitzi asks Rocky why Calvin is nicknamed "Freckle". Rocky explains that when they were children he shaved the fur off of Freckle's face, and he had a single freckle. This incident is depicted in "Baldface".
"How Freckle Feels" reveals the range of emotions that run through Freckle's mind when he is drawn into one of Rocky's...situations.
Freckle was born on March 10, 1909 in St. Charles, Missouri, making him 18 years old at the time of the comic. Freckle's height is approximately 5'3". He is of Irish ancestry. Of his appearance, Tracy noted that, "Freckle's design has more circles; his cue-ball head and saucer eyes are meant to look more innocent by comparison (to Rocky)". With regards to Freckle's voice, Tracy stated, "Polite and fairly soft-spoken in the 'nice boy next door who'll mow your lawn without charging' sort of way. There are some faint traces of Irish brogue in his voice as well, which he would have picked up from his mother. “TH” might sound more like “T” wherein words like “throw” sound a little more like “trow”. Where Rocky's crazy-laugh is all manic glee, Freckle's is more like cathartic rage - it would come across a little meaner".
According to Tracy, Freckle completed his primary education. Sandwiches are his favorite food, while chocolate milk is his beverage of choice. He enjoys reading sports almanacs, especially baseball almanacs, and is in general a sports fan. He is a non-smoker. Freckle has a fear of butterflies, bees and oatmeal. According to Tracy, for Christmas he would most like new socks, something autographed by Hi Bell...and willpower.
Rocky nicknamed Calvin "Freckle" due to a single freckle he found on Calvin's face when, as children, he shaved the fur from it. Rocky describes this incident to Mitzi in "Tiddlywinks" and it is depicted in "Baldface". Freckle developed acrobatic skill as a child; it was a survival mechanism resulting from spending time with Rocky.
Freckle appears to be very upset about his rejection from the police academy. According to Nina in "Reciprocity", he has been repeatedly mowing the lawn when Rocky arrives. Tracy has noted that Freckle's moral qualms regarding his involvement with Lackadaisy make him physically ill.
As a child, Nina brought Freckle to church; it is unknown whether he is still religious. Tracy has stated that Freckle's father, Carroll, died in a mundane way, and was indirectly responsible in some manner for Freckle's eccentricities. Freckle was 12 years old when his father died. When feeling restless, Freckle likes to fix things. He also has an issue with butterflies; in "Luncheon" he swats frantically at one when it approaches him. In "Butterfly", it is shown that Freckle's butterfly problem is due to Rocky having killed one that had landed on Freckle's head when they were children. According to Rocky, Freckle enjoys discussing sports.
According to Rocky, Freckle is "a little uncouth". When Ivy takes a strong interest in Freckle upon meeting him, Freckle appears to be almost terrified by her interest. Freckle seems to feel similarly regarding the idea of Nina being upset with him. In "Palaver", he grows highly agitated when Rocky asks Freckle to consider what Nina would do to the both of them if she learned of Freckle's actions. Tracy has noted that while Freckle may have had admirers in high school, he is shy enough that he would tend to avoid rather than pursue them.
There are hints that Freckle may not be entirely sane. In "Brouhaha", Freckle exhibits the same crazy laugh that Rocky manifested in "Schadenfreude", though Freckle seems horrified by this aspect of his nature. Otherwise he is concerned by how many laws he and Rocky have broken; he seems to believe he is a good person, or at least is "supposed" to be good.
In "Doolally", Freckle swiftly shoots Avery, one of the pig farmers, with a pistol. He then seems to go crazy, trading the pistol he was holding for Avery's Tommy gun and charging into the caverns of Lackadaisy while laughing maniacally, a much stronger version of the laugh he used in "Brouhaha". "Echolalia" establishes that Freckle has a degree of cunning while this aspect of his personality is dominant; he successfully ambushes two of the pig farmers and forces them to retreat. His laugh is apparently similar enough to Rocky's that the pig farmers assume Freckle is Rocky. Ultimately Freckle incapacitates all three of the pig farmers before his normal personality reasserts itself in "Quicklime", at which point he is apparently horrified by his actions, apologizing hastily to Mitzi before he runs away. Rocky notes to Mitzi that Freckle has done this, "once or twice...though the, uh, unmitigated carnage is a recent development". Freckle is ultimately so agitated by his actions that he is physically ill in "Palaver" and almost catatonic in "Pinstripes". The latter reveals that Freckle's personality issues are the reason why he was rejected from the police academy.
Freckle meets Ivy in "Surreption", and while she appears quite interested in him, he appears almost afraid of her. Rocky dismisses Freckle's reaction, claiming that, "he doesn't get out much". In "Wishy-washy", Ivy wants to dance with Freckle, though he does not share her interest and appears more scared by the idea than anything else. Ivy tells Viktor in "Deadeye" that she has decided that she and Freckle are dating. Viktor is less than thrilled. Ivy asks Freckle whether it is true that he killed the pig farmers in "Handyman", but he fails to answer the question and leaves her dubious.
In "Gallivant", Ivy kisses Freckle while getting into a car with him and Rocky, and states that they will kiss again in the future. Freckle seems agreeable to this.
Nina is Freckle's mother. Though Nina appears to care for Freckle's well-being, she is also willing to invoke religion to make him feel guilty when she believes he may be deceiving her. Tracy has noted that Nina has witnessed Freckle showing some instability, but has never seen it at its worst.
Rocky is Freckle's cousin, and the two of them apparently were together a great deal as children, prior to Rocky being booted out of his home.. "Correspondence" reveals that Rocky sent a number of letters to Freckle between 1921 and 1924. Freckle has kept them in a box located under his bed. Nina states in "Somersault" that Freckle is, "the only one in all o'creation who'd follow you". Though they seem to have a close relationship, Rocky does not understand Freckle's interest in enforcing the law, and deceives Freckle into believing that he is a vigilante in "Scathefire". Rocky appears to be interested in chipping away at Freckle's sense of morality; in "Brouhaha", Rocky claims to Freckle that what is lawful is not always what is right, though Freckle does not appear entirely convinced. Notably, though Rocky shows little qualms about deceiving Freckle, he does cut Ivy off when she suggests that he bring Freckle to Lackadaisy, after having earlier deflected Freckle's questions concerning Rocky's involvement with the band. In "Wishy-washy", Freckle is surprised to learn that Rocky is not a vigiliante, and instead works in a speakeasy, while Rocky is not happy to see that Ivy has brought Freckle to Lackadaisy.
In "Doolally", Rocky initially appears surprised after Freckle has dispatched Avery, but then proudly declares Freckle, "My cousin". Mitzi observes that Freckle shares Rocky's laugh. Rocky later notes to Mitzi that Freckle has gone crazy "once or twice" before, though he adds that the "unmitigated carnage is a recent development". Rocky realizes in "Pinstripes" that Freckle was kicked out of the police academy because of his behavioral problems. Rocky also advises Ivy against prying too deeply into Freckle's psyche.
Viktor is introduced to Freckle by Ivy in "Deadeye", who also reveals Freckle's real first name. Upon Ivy mentioning that she has decided that Freckle and her are dating, Viktor directs his glare beam upon Freckle, making the latter extremely uncomfortable.
Freckle first meets Wick in "Retinue", while Freckle is escorting Mitzi. Wick greets Freckle amiably, even offering to show him his gun collection after Mitzi notes that Freckle likes guns.
Freckle is based on a real cat. A picture of said cat can be seen here. Of the real Calvin, Tracy has said-
I adopted Calvin as a kitten when I first moved to Missouri and really didn't know anyone in the area. He's extremely affectionate, purrs like an engine, brings me his favorite toy when he wants to play, and follows me about like a lap dog. I can't even take a bath without him insisting he lounge on the narrow, slippery rim of the tub (which has resulted in an unhappily damp cat on more than one occasion).
Contrarily, I don't think I've had a single family member or friend to the house who hasn't at one time been accosted by my unstable, orange housemate. For whatever reason, the sound of laughter sets him off. Watching funny movies or even just sitting around, chatting and laughing are dangeous sports in this household - the sudden dilation of Calvin's pupils is a sure indicator that carnage is about to ensue. He's mastered the arm-gripping-kicking-biting multi-assault. He knows how to hold a grudge long enough to wait until unsuspecting victims are perfectly vulnerable on the stairs, at which point he goes for the ankles. Then there's his famous ballistic face attack, which would - were it not for the resulting shock and bloodshed - be a rather impressive acrobatic feat involving the living room furniture and a projectile cat.So, yeah. He's a real sweetheart...when he's not flying into an uncontrolled rage.—Tracy, 
According to Tracy, Freckle does not mind being called Freckle by Rocky, but is self-conscious about it in general, to the point that he might contradict Rocky were he to be introduced to others as Freckle, but would be too shy to correct Mitzi.
"After-party" depicts Freckle sleeping against a couch with empty liquor bottles nearby. Mitzi is resting on Rocky atop the couch. This would seem to be an unlikely development given the course of the comic so far. Similarly, Wick was to be or will be on better terms with Rocky and Freckle, as shown in "Balderdash", in which Rocky teases Wick about associating with Mitzi given the rumors concerning her involvement in Atlas's demise, and "Baby Vamp", in which the three comment upon a passing woman.
Similarly, "Preview 0004" shows Ivy and Freckle sitting together more companionably than has been shown in the comic thus far.
Tracy has noted that drawing Freckle as a child is difficult because he already has a young face in the timeframe of the comic.
- ^ Freckle's profile
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - September 15, 2009
- ^ "Gallivant"
- ^ Character Profile Page
- ^ "Preview 0020"
- ^ Forum Post by Tracy - July 17, 2006
- ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - May 18, 2010
- ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - October 6, 2009
- ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - January 27, 2011
- ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - October 20, 2012
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - September 9, 2009
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - December 9, 2012
- ^ a b "Bee-Glue"
- ^ "Shenanigans"
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - April 14, 2013
- ^ "Dysphoria"
- ^ "Begorra"
- ^ a b "Surreption"
- ^ "Latecomer"
- ^ "Correspondence"
- ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - February 24, 2011
- ^ "Pinstripes"
- ^ "Quicklime"
- ^ "Begorra"
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - July 4, 2008