Archive for July, 2010

Greg Writes a Thank-You Note

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

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To: AMAZING ANONYMOUS WELL-WISHERS

From: GREG FORD

Just digging out of the ashes after our apartment fire, Ronnie and I were traipsing around in zombie-like survivalist mode. Despite welcome assistance from people like musician Virg Dzurinko (who gifted us with temporary headquarters) and my background painter Kim Miskoe (who provided me and Ronnie with a semi-permanent place to stay – we’re still there, in fact!), our reactions following the unpleasant incident tended toward suspicion. That’s because our plight brought out the very worst instincts in the many bureaucrats and public officials we were suddenly forced to deal with.

Speaking for myself, at least, my self/others barometer fell way out of whack, and my expectations of sympathy from fellow-humans were practically nil.

Given my murky mood, imagine my shocked delight when my old friend Mark Kausler surprised us by mailing in a bunch of checks from anonymous donors, the fruits of an impromptu internet campaign covertly engineered by Mark (that must’ve been in late-May, early-June I suspect). Well, I was completely bowled over. I DIDN’T KNOW YOU CARED (to coin a phrase). Mysterious acts of kindness were definitely off my radar at the time, and I was truly touched by the personal messages either attached or verbally conveyed by Mark (the guy who evoked my old-time “Cartoonal Knowledge” animation programs at the Thalia struck a deeply emotional chord ‘cause those shows took place eons ago, for heavens sakes!).

What more can I say? Your generous care package not only helped us get over that week’s financial hump but, much more significantly, gave us a huge spiritual/psychological reboot! PUSS GETS THE REBOOT!

Now I can safely report that Mark’s THERE MUST BE SOME OTHER CAT is gonna be truly spectacular (hopefully in the same organic, patently unpretentious way as Mark’s animation), and that there’ll be lots of other surprises cooked up as well.

Again, thanks so very much to all concerned.

Greg Ford

        Thanks again from me, too for helping Greg and Ronnie. If you haven’t contributed yet, or want to contribute again, just Paypal any amount to me at kausler@att.net. Or, you can write to Greg at: Greg Ford, 115 West 30th St., Suite 1204, New York, N.Y. 10001.  I have few readers, but what there is is chersh!

Felix this time, from 12-21 to 12-27-1936, has the off-season football players tackling and kicking hungry Felix around. Felix is permitted in the house for Christmas, but is completely missing from his strip in the 12-26. The Sunday page for 12-27 is Messmer in fine form with an inflatable fish gag.

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Krazy this time is from 6-10 to 6-16-1936. Mrs. Kwakk-Wakk is completely puzzled as usual by the Krazy-Ignatz relationship. I like the Kat langwidge in the 6-12 as Krazy tries to get a fan to dance, “Impottabil”, he says in syllables.

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Patrick is from 3-14 to 3-19-1966 this time. Patrick’s dad makes his first appearance in the strip on 3-16. It seems Patrick is equally adept at bending both his parents to his will. He also continues to beat up Godfrey and Elsa in the 3-18 and 3-19. I wonder how they can all remain friends?

If you click the link labelled “Milt Gray” to the right of this post, you will see that he has kept his promise, and provided another episode of his “Viagri Ampleten” comic strip. It will be updated again on Friday, July 30th as well. Head over there and enjoy the color and the cleavage! Make sure you send comments to Milt while you’re there, he is getting feedback on his story and characters for a future animated project.

Comic-Con Special!!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

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Hi Readers, I hope those of you who can attend are enjoying this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International. Cathy and I are showing our paintings at the Glendale Artist’s Studio Tour, which is going on July 24th, so we can’t be there this year. We miss the camaraderie we used to have with friends and fellow cartoonists at Comic-Cons past. The event has grown so huge, so corporate, that you can wander in the dealer’s room for days and not see anyone you know. What started as a few tables and about 100 people trading and selling back issues has now become a repellent mess. The big corporations make fun of the “geeks” they are trying to market their wares to in the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter, but they couldn’t hope to make the billions in profits from Batman 20 or Spider-Man 42 without them. It wasn’t so long ago a fan could hang out at the El Cortez hotel swimming pool with Gene Colan or Hap Kliban, watch an impromptu puppet show given by Daws Butler, or snag an autograph on the fly from Charles Schulz. I miss my old pal Vincent Davis very much at this time of year especially, we used to hang out together on the dealer’s room floor, irritating all the dealers and fans as only Vince could. Bob Foster, Marc Schirmeister, Bob Sidebottom, the list goes on and on of friends I miss seeing. The old Comic-Con is gone forever, sorry you missed it. Have fun (if you can breathe) at the new Comic-Con International!

Felix this time is from 12-14 to 12-20-1936. Felix finds employment for the out-of-season football team as they run interference for a woman shopping at a department store and block for her husband as he dodges the bill collectors. The Sunday page has Messmer back on the art as Felix goes fishing with a kite, sort of like wind surfing.

Remember to click on the small strips to see them at reading size!

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Krazy is from 6-3 to 6-8-1940 this time. Ignatz has trouble getting a loaf of bread past Offissa Pupp, Pupp thinks it’s a brick in disguise, you see. I love Krazy’s song lyrics in the 6-7 strip as he sings of the birds and the katnip bush. The 6-8 is classic Garge as Ignatz’s teapot literally has a “tempisk” inside of it.

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Patrick continues to torture his mommy, Godfrey and Elsa in the strips from 3-7 to 3-12-1966. Elsa is quite the movie fan, she is crazy over Richard Burton (2 strips), Frankie Avalon, Troy Donahue and George Montgomery (?) or Maharis (?). For their bios, just consult Wikipedia or the IMDB.

As always, don’t buy BP or Arco! Take the train down to San Diego and use public trans to get around. They have wonderful trolleys and sedan chairs there. If you want to give to my dear friend Greg Ford’s fire fund: just Paypal to kausler@att.net, or to contact Greg directly, just write him at: Greg Ford, 115 West 30th St., Suite 1204, New York, N.Y. 10001. Please tell him I sent you. Just imagine how YOU would feel if all your comic books that you are paying hundreds of dollars for right NOW on that dealer’s room floor were destroyed right in your own home by a FIRE!! Put yourself in Greg’s place and send him just a few dollars from your comics budget, he’ll really appreciate your kindness. Until the next time, say hi to Shelter and Harbor Islands for me.

The Oral Tradition Finds It’s Tongue

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

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Felix this time is from 12-7 to 12-13-1936, Felix finally parts company from Detective Tanglefoot after being threatened by the tough counterfeiters. Felix actually disappears from his own strip for two days in this week, 12-8 and 12-9. Starting on 12-12, a new daily story begins, as Felix tries to assist an off-season football team. The Sunday page this time really looks like something out of the Van Beuren color Felix cartoons. The bull looks like he escaped from a Molly Moo Cow cartoon. Nice drawing on the bull as he charges up and down hills. This could be Jack Bogle again, but maybe it’s Tom Palmer who worked on the Van Beuren Felix cartoons. Let’s hear from “the room” on this!

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Krazy is from 5-27 to 6-1-1940 this time. Adventures of “The Brick” are featured in this week’s batch. I like Ignatz speaking Spanish (“Pobrecito Chulo”) in the 5-31, as Offissa Pupp grinds his beloved brick to clay dust. Ignatz also lays out a bit of Spanish in the 5-29 strip.

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Elsa is the only kid on the block who can outrun the monster Patrick in this week’s strips from 2-28 to 3-5-1966. Elsa and Godfrey seem to be the only other kids in Patrick’s neighborhood. Mal keeps the focus squarely on Patrick most of the time. It’s nice to see the Post-Dispatch vary the colors a bit, to blue from the usual golden yellow. You’ll never get these colors from microfilm!

In an effort to keep the oral tradition of storytelling alive, I have another story from Dorothy Parker, “The Sexes”, originally published in The New Republic, July 13, 1927. It’s a woman/man dialog.  Ms. Parker’s writing style really had an influence on movie dialog and radio writing (Jack Benny, Easy Aces, The Bickersons) in the early 1930s. Dorothy also wrote directly for the screen on more than one occasion.  Note how she slyly introduces the concept of jealousy into the story just by the tone of voice that’s implied in the writing. The man really has to struggle with the situation to get to what’s really bothering the woman. Dorothy’s women usually don’t like to say anything too strongly or directly, but in feline fashion, dryly and acidly comment until the heart of the matter is revealed. This story only runs 7.5 minutes, so won’t take as much of your time as “Mrs. Hofstader”, which I presented last month. I got almost no reaction to that story, 17 minutes worth. Here’s the link:

http://www.archive.org/details/TheSexesReadByMarkKausler

Remember as always, DON’T BUY BP!! OR ARCO, NEITHER!! Please help my friend and producer of “It’s ‘The Cat'”, Greg Ford, recover from his devestating loss. His apartment in New York City burned almost completely in a recent fire, (see “Greg’s Fire” in my archives). Any contribution of any size would be very much appreciated. You may contribute through my Paypal address: kausler@att.net , or write to Greg at: Greg Ford, 115 West 30th St., Suite 1204, New York, N.Y. 10001. Many thanks to you, kind readers. I’m sorry I haven’t posted very often lately, a lot of activity in the painting arena has kept me away. I’m involved a bit with comics as well, can’t say too much about that.  C U next time!

Blogs are for Old People

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

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Howdy readers. Yup, Blogs are already on the path to oblivion. I don’t Face the Book, nor Tweet the Twitters, but I’m still bloggin’ like the Ol’ Timers do. First on the page this time is Felix from 11-30 to 12-6-1936. Felix is hot on the trail of the counterfeiters that he started after last time. In the 12-5 strip, he is going to send a message to the police by carrier pigeon about the crooks’s whereabouts. I love Otto’s use of silhouettes in the 12-2. I am still very much under the Messmer spell after looking at Felix practically all my life! The Sunday this time looks to be another Jack Bogle page. I love the uncharacteristic violence as Felix gives a four-color punch to his doctor to get some “peace and quiet”.

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Krazy this time is from 5-20 to 5-25-1940. Mimi the “Poodle” continues her census taking, nearly revealing Mrs. Kwakk-Wakk’s age in the 5-21. I love the 5-25, as Ignatz unwittingly insults Mimi and gets the ho-hokus beat out of him. More comic violence!

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Speaking of comic violence, here’s Patrick from 2-21 to 2-26-1966 by Mal Hancock. Who was Perry Como (in the 2-23) you ask? He had a television show from 1948 to 1963 nearly every week and sometimes several times a week, and did specials from 1963 to 1967. He was a very smooth vocalist who started in 1936 with Ted Weems’s band and had a radio show in 1943. His theme song was ‘Dream along with me, I’m on my way to a star..’ The ‘We get letters’ tag comes from his show, he had a segment with the theme song: “Letters, we get letters, we get stacks and stacks of letters!” I used to enjoy his annual Christmas shows, he was good at caroling, usually singing “Ave Maria” as a finale. I can’t forget two RCA records he made, “Catch a Falling Star” and “Hot Diggety Dog Diggety” from 1956. The gag in Patrick is that Perry Como would never sing such a raucus and self-serving ditty as the Anthem of the Patrick Club! Perry’s style was of the Crosby-Columbo school, very smooth and easy to listen to. Perry Como also was a very successful barber from the age of 14, he made more money from haircuts than singing in his early years.

I love how mad Patrick gets at Elsa in the 2-26 when she presents him with a book on Etiquette! Remember as always, DON’T BUY BP! Please continue to give to the Greg Ford Fire Fund at kausler@att.net for Paypal donations (any amount, no matter how small will be appreciated), or you can write to him at:  Greg Ford, 115 West 30th St., Suite 1204, New York, N.Y. 10001, that’s his business address.  Good to hear from you, thanks for reading! Oh, and if Mike Barrier is reading this, a very happy belated 70th birthday to you!