Your Comics Page 9-30-2014

September 30th, 2014

catblog-arsage.jpg Last day of the month, and I haven’t posted in quite a while. Since this is the Catblog, here’s a little pen sketch I made from a cat calendar. I love to sketch cat faces, and Arsage has such beautiful eyes, and I like how she’s threaded her body through the rungs of the chair she’s sitting in. Of course working from life would be even more fun, but you work with the models you have on hand.

felix-6-18-to-6-24-34.jpg Felix this time from 6-18 to 6-24-1934, continues to search for the stolen money that the scarecrow bandit left on the Yiminy farm. The week is spent on farm and animal gags until Henrietta scratches up the loot in her hen pen. The Sunday continues the saga of Felix in Antarctica. He spoils the explorers’s photograph of the South Pole by sitting on it, then he brings back the capsule they tried to plant on the pole. When Felix is good, he’s very, very good, but…..

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myrtle-solution-3-28-48.jpg Myrtle is from 3-22 to 3-28-1948 this time. My favorite daily is the 3-26. Myrtle tries to smooth over things for her Dad, who keeps forgetting his wife’s birthday: “Cheer up! (she tells her mom) He only forgets it once a year!” In the Sunday “Right Around Home” page, from 3-28, Dudley Fisher reveals a Lewis Carroll side and works a mathematical problem into the comic. If you can’t figure out the number of coins in $1.14, don’t despair, I’ve included the solution from The Lima News for you. This will sharpen your knowledge of algebra!

krazy-6-29-to-7-4-42.jpg In Krazy this time, 6-29 to 7-4-1942, Krazy is a hypnotist, then a flea carrier. She can hypnotize almost anyone, even herself, but her attempt on Mrs. Kwakk-Wakk has an unexpected result. I love Krazy’s expression in the third panel of the 7-3, as her flea passenger bites her. The flea resembles some of Garge’s drawings of Archy in his illustrations for Don Marquis’ “Archy and Mehitabel”.

yogi-10-4-64.jpgyogi-10-11-64.jpgyogi-10-18-64.jpgyogi-10-25-64.jpg In the Yogi Sunday pages for October, 1964, we find a Mr. Magoo type nearsighted joke, a rare Cindy bear appearance, and some very funny Ranger Smith poses as Yogi’s ego is deflated by a balloon, and is inflated by a mirror. Watch Yowp’s http://yowpyowp.blogspot.com/ blog for his upcoming analysis of these fine Sunday pages by Harvey Eisenberg.  Sorry this post was so long in coming, it takes time to put all these comics together. A robot comment about “Mangy on the Fence” criticized the title of the piece as being unexciting. The robots keep trying to get me to up my readership by getting in to scandal sheet Kardashian type territory. Sorry robots, we mainly deal in gentle fantasy here, that’s a bit out of fashion in a world with wars that last more than a decade, with the climate falling apart all around us. But this blog should give my readers a vacation from all that negativity. I’ll see you again soon.

Mangy on the Wall

September 16th, 2014

mangy-on-the-wall.jpg Remember the theme song of Walt Disney’s “So Dear To My Heart”? You’re looking at a cat right now that I think of whenever I hear that song. Her name was Mangy. She lived at my wife Cathy’s little house in Sierra Madre, Ca. Cathy rescued her from starvation and a bad case of mange on her back. Mangy became a very loyal domestic cat after that and lived with Cathy for the rest of her life. Cathy immortalized her in several stories in her “Mad Raccoons” series of comics in the 1980s and 1990s. You can see all of Mangy’s comics on this blog’s archives, just search for them. I just recently got a copy of this photo of the REAL Mangy, and thought I’d share it with my Catblog readers. She was an incredibly sweet little black cat, but when I paid her more attention than she required, she let me have it with her front paw. She never had her claws out, and Cathy once drew a caricature of her with a boxing glove on her paw. This post is in memory of her.

One of my three readers, Thad Komorowski, has a friend who figured out at least part of the “Where was Ducky?” mystery first presented a couple of posts ago. The office Ducky is standing in, might be a French embassy, because the portrait on the wall is of Pierre Mendès France, French Prime Minister 1954-5.  Maybe it’s a publicity session promoting the Jane Russell movie: THE FRENCH LINE, if so, the next question is where’s Howard Hughes? Again, a lifetime subscription to the Catblog for the reader who correctly solves the mystery.

krazy-6-22-to-6-28-42.jpg Krazy is from 6-22 to 6-27-42. Herriman uses a few old sayings such as “A cat may look at a king” and “Every dog has his day” as the basis of the 6-23, 6-24 and 6-27-42 strips. My favorite is the 6-22, which has a pun woven into Krazy’s “Kat Langwitch”. “Cat’s Paw, no doubt..”

myrtle-3-15-to-3-20-48.jpg Myrtle is from 3-15 to 3-20-1948. My favorite gags this time are the 3-15 with Hyacinth the cat playing with the goldfish, and the 3-17 in which Myrtle sits on a wall and eats Bingo’s dog food. Why? Bingo ate her ice cream cone. When my brother and I were little, we sometimes ate our dog’s biscuits. They didn’t taste too bad, but were pretty tough and gritty. It’s surprising what a kid will eat when he’s hungry.

felix-6-11-to-6-17-34.jpg Felix is from 6-11 to 6-17-1934. The dailies continue the story of the “Gentleman of Seizure” as he calls himself. He sheds the scarecrow outfit from last time and dons a stolen cop’s uniform. Mr. Yiminy and his family are so gullible that the phony cop fools them into “Protecting” all their jewelry and Mr. Yiminy’s crop money. Felix isn’t in his own strip much this week, but manages to return all the stolen goods in the 6-16. We’ll see how long the Yiminys are beholden to Felix this time. In the Sunday, the pole explorers aren’t loyal to Felix at all, but lock him out of their igloo and airplane. What follows feels a lot like an animated cartoon, as Messmer uses progressive panels to show a sled dog rolling in a snow ball and gaining enough volume for Felix to get a new igloo home. Don’t you think it’s fun having a place on the web where you can read the classic Felix, Krazy Kat and Myrtle strips for free? Make sure you keep the Internet a place that has equal access for all, write to the FCC and demand they declare the Internet a public utility! Do it today!

A visit from Tuxy!

August 28th, 2014

tuxy-visiting.jpg Here’s a photo of an infrequent, but very welcomed visitor to our vicinity, Tuxy the Cat! Tuxy’s owners call him “Jet”, and live about three blocks from here, downhill. I call him “Tuxy” because I made his acquaintance a long time before I discovered where his real home was, and I needed a name to call him by. Every once in awhile, a couple of times a year, their cat appears in our front or back yards and wants some attention. He loves to be petted and I give him some organic cat snacks. He likes to come inside for awhile and explore. The photo above was snapped during his most recent sojourn around the living room. If you look closely, you’ll see a faint image of Tuxy’s head as it starts to turn to stage right, so I caught him in motion. He’s got such an appealing face, black and white markings and a rather short tail. I just love having him around. Sometimes he shows up at the back door at night and enters the computer room. He jumps up in my lap and stays for a few minutes while I type or read. After he becomes bored with our house he faces the door and I let him out so that he can re-join his folks. They take excellent care of him, his coat is always brushed and he’s well-fed, although not too fat. If he were my cat, I would not let him roam the neighborhood, too many coyotes and cars around here. When a long time goes by and I don’t see him, I’m fearful that he’s worn his Tux into cat heaven, but he always re-appears. Long live Tuxy!

krazy-6-15-to-6-20-42.jpg Here’s Krazy from 6-15 to 6-20-1942. The second World War was starting to show up in Coconino by this time. In the 6-19 and 6-20, an “Army” worm shows up after a “Naval” orange and a “Navy” bean, and Ignatz dons a Civil War cap and tries to interrogate Krazy, who remains obdurate. Krazy does not take the War very seriously in the strip, it’s just something to use for gags and props. I love the last panel in the 6-16, as Krazy picks up a brick to throw at a wise-cracking dog, “Ignatz duds it, wy not me–”.

myrtle-3-8-to-8-13-48.jpg Myrtle from 3-8 to to 3-13-1948 is full of Dudley Fisher’s unique turns in logic. My favorite strip features Hyacinth the cat scaring a very nervous Sampson out of his ice cream cone (the 3-9). Cats really do like to lick melted ice cream off a sidewalk or a dish. The 3-11 has Fisher’s comedy timing, as Freddie gives Sampson a lecture on economy and credit, then borrows a dollar from the boy. Fisher reveals Freddie’s taking ways in the last panel: “Your Pop borrowed it!”

felix-6-4-to-6-10-34.jpg Here’s Felix from 6-4 to 6-10-1934, continuing his time with the Yiminy family on their farm. The family continues to be suspicious of Felix as more eggs and milk disappear from the place. All this thievery is really the work of a crook who hides in Yiminy’s field disguised as a scarecrow. What a great way to hide out in plain sight! Felix continues his Arctic adventures as he cleverly eludes the sled dogs. What would Yukon King do in a case like this?

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yogi-9-27-64.jpg Here are the Yogi Bear Sundays from September, 1964, art by Harvey Eisenberg. These are of course, the third page versions. Yowp, at www.yowpyowp.blogspot.com, will no doubt be presenting the half-page versions of these comics at his blog in black and white. Keep checking over there to see the strips and his commentary. Yowp has one of the best cartoon blogs around, he even mentioned Carmen “Max” Maxwell in his latest post, so put him in your favorites. I like the 9-13 (click to enlarge), which has a rare view of Yogi without his pork pie hat, and a very stylized leprechaun, and the 9-27, which has a really old vaudeville punch line, probably used by the Marx Bros. in their skit “Fun in Hi Skule” back in the 1910s.

Too bad nobody filled me in on where Ducky Nash was in the photo I ran last post. Thad, one of my three readers, seems to think it might be an RKO Radio function feting an actress, but it’s only a guess. RKO Radio Pictures, of course, was Walt Disney’s distributor in the 1940s and early 1950s.

Where Was Ducky?

August 13th, 2014

ducky-nash-at-unknown-event-b-w-photo.jpg In imitation of Mike Barrier’s infrequent series over at his blog: www.michaelbarrier.com; he calls “Where Was Walt?”, I’m starting a one-part series called “Where Was Ducky?” This is a mystery photo with which my brother gifted me, that shows Clarence “Ducky” Nash with his Donald Duck ventriloquist dummy (Ducky was NOT a ventriloquist), at what is evidently a signing ceremony for the lady sitting at the desk. Was she an actress? My brother thinks she might be Jane Russell, but she doesn’t look like Miss Russell to me. Who are the rather grim faced bunch of gentlemen in the picture with the actress (?) and Ducky? Why is there a crucifixion wall hanging behind them, and who is the man in the framed portrait on the right side of the photograph? I think it must date to the 1949 to 1955 period, because that’s the later edition of the Duck Dummy.  If any of my readers can tell me anything about this photo, you’ll get a free subscription to this blog! (Oh, you say you already get that? We’ll give you the Stan Lee no-prize instead.)

krazy-6-8-to-6-13-42.jpgIn Krazy, 6-8 to 6-13-1942 this time, we have many delicious examples of Kat-Langwitch. “Kettle” in the 6-8, “Wekkum-Klinna” in the 6-10 and in the 6-13, Krazy’s accent is mistaken by a bullfrog in the pond as he mistakes “Fog” for “Frog”. Krazy even throws a cobble-rock at the Frog in the third panel, a slapstick turn in which the Kat rarely “inwulges”.

myrtle-3-1-to-3-6-48.jpg Myrtle is from 3-1 to 3-6-1948 this time. This being the Catblog, I will point out one of Hyacinth the cat’s rare appearances in the 3-3. In a typical Cat behavior, Hyacinth cozies up to Myrtle to get in on fresh milk. The 3-5 is very funny, as Myrtle’s Mom tries to lure errant husband Freddie back home from bowling with a lemon cream pie she hasn’t even made yet!

felix-5-28-to-6-3-34.jpgI predicted last time that Yimmy Yiminy would be Felix’s protector since the Yiminy family adopted him in the last batch of Felix the Cat dailies. In the strips from 5-28 to 6-2-1934, Otto’s proclivity for getting Felix in to tight jams continues and Felix is accused of stealing ducks and milk from the Minnesota farm. Here’s another prediction, Yimmy will find a way to clear Felix’s name very soon. In the Sunday, from 6-3-1934, Felix continues to be lost in the Antarctic blizzard and Danny Dooit and his kid brother want to save him with snow shovels.

I’ll be posting some new cat photos next time to cheer you, until then this is your faithful Catblogger, purrr-suing the mews!

Your Comics Page 7-24-2014

July 23rd, 2014

scout-on-the-pantry-shelf.jpg Scout is scouring the shelves in the komics kitchen to find this post’s oldies for you.

krazy-6-1-to-6-6-42.jpg Scout turns up Krazy from 6-1 to 6-6-1942. Garge starts a promising story line in the 6-1 about Ignatz wishing he was twins, and Krazy “witching” she was “twims” in the 6-2. Rather than draw two sets of Kats and Mices, the twin Ignatzes are just suggested in the 6-3, not actually shown. The real winner for this week is the 6-5, told entirely in pantomime as Offissa watches the unseen brick hurtling over his head and puts Ignatz in his jail cell in the last panel. This strip assumes such comfortable familiarity with the tropes of the Krazy Kat characters, that explanation isn’t necessary.

myrtle-2-23-to-2-28-48.jpg Myrtle this time is from 2-23 to 2-28-1948. The 2-24 is very funny, with Myrtle slopping up her Mom’s kitchen to show her a leaky garbage can, and the 2-28 highlights Bingo’s sacrifice as he takes Myrtle’s punishment. Freddie’s choice of words, “..you’ve got to learn to mind!” seems to apply to dogs more than little girls, anyway.

felix-5-21-to-5-27-34.jpgFelix is now the responsibility of Olaf Yiminy and Yimmy Yiminy, in the strips from 5-21 to 5-27-1934. Mr. Dooit ships Felix to Olaf while he takes the family on vacation, and poor Felix has to deliver himself to Mr. Yiminy’s house to save him the 5 bucks delivery fee. This endears Felix to the very cheap Mr. Yiminy. Of course his son Yimmy is going to be Felix’s great defender. In the Sunday page, Felix is snubbed by the sled dogs, and then he’s forced to pull the sled with every dog riding it. It’s lucky that Felix is at the South Pole or he’d really sweat from pulling that heavy load.

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yogi-8-16-64.jpgyogi-8-23-64.jpgyogi-8-30-64.jpgThe Yogi Sundays from August 1964 are here! Yowp whose blog is located at: www.yowpyowp.blogspot.com is the unofficial champeen Hanna-Barbera historian, and claims that he can no longer supply the half-page Yogi Sunday comics  from his Canadian newspaper archive sources. So here are the third-page versions that I clipped from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch back then. The 8-2 and 8-16 strips are still on the “Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear” promotional band wagon. Yowp was especially interested in the 8-16, as Yogi’s namesake, Yogi Berra, the baseball man is shown in caricature. The key artist on these is Harvey Eisenberg, I don’t know if he did Mr. Berra’s caricature or not. (By the way, Don, if you want me to send you scans of any of these pages for your own blog, you have only to ask.)

I don’t know how to block robot comments on this blog, so she’s wide open for the one-size-doesn’t-fit-all letters we get by the ton. Most of them say, “Your blog is very well-written, I learned a lot from it”, or “what a wonderful article” or “I’ll bookmark your site and visit often”. If only these comments came from real people and not from gmail or insurance companies or other instant mail generators. Robots, if you want your comments to be seen by my readers, you’re barking up the wrong cat! Bug off, or I’ll send you to the moon, with my magic spoon!