Archive for November, 2010

Digesting the Expo

Friday, November 26th, 2010

col-shuffle-and-aces-wild1.jpgPresenting Col. Shuffle and Aces Wild at the CTN Expo, the weekend of Nov. 19-21, Burbank, Ca., after a three day poker game (That’s Jerry Beck on the left, and yours truly on the right). I was just about ready to go home when this was taken; I actually sold four cels from “It’s ‘The Cat'” to friends and strangers at the mighty Expo. Jerry had copies of his books on “Madagascar 2” and “The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes” for sale, which he autographed. In addition to the cels, I sold some scrap film and some Little Orphan Annie collections, one of which was bought by Moebius (Jean Giraud), famous French cartoonist. He watched “It’s ‘The Cat'” on my little monitor and enjoyed it quite a bit. I did not anticipate that this year’s Expo would be an even bigger hit than last year’s. The crowds were really lined up for all the panels and programs. I couldn’t go to any of them, because I was just trying to do business. Speaking of business, you can still buy cels from “It’s ‘The Cat'” anytime, free shipping and DVD included, just go to www.itsthecat.com, and go into the Gallery section. Click on Film Art, and you will be in production cel heaven. While you are there, consider giving something original for the Holidays! Help out my producer Greg Ford, and maybe get “There Must Be Some Other Cat” out a few days sooner. A special thanks to Milton Knight, for contributing to the Greg Ford Fire Fund. You’re now an Ailurophile!

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Otto Messmer’s expertise in drawing all kinds of cartoon cats is in evidence in the dailies this time (3-9 to 3-14-1936) but Fooy Tu Yu tricks Felix away from the pound and out of the diamond and throws him into a safe! In the 3-15 Sunday page, Felix is still stuck in the sixth century where even the food is in armor.

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Krazy is from 8-26 to 8-31-1940 this time. More puns and mixed associations this week, due to Krazy’s “Kat Langwitch” and twisty reasoning. I love the cow in the 8-30, and Herriman’s staging in the last panel of the 8-31; Ignatz standing on a platform just below the lip of the plateau, as Pupp laments the uselessness of his jail.

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Patrick is from approximately 5-31 to 6-4-1966 this time. We learn that Elsa’s last name is “Primstone”, and that she collects movie magazines. Of course, Patrick has no scruples about smashing a bug with one of them. For the next several batches of strips, there will be educated guesses about the exact dates of a few of them, since I didn’t write the info down when I clipped them from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Dad was a little more relaxed about buying every issue of the paper in the summer time. I’m not even sure if these comics are from 1966 or not, they may be a couple of years earlier than that. I met two of my readers at the Expo who really seem to like Patrick, and were a little bit amazed that I clipped them so carefully in my childhood. Comic strips really had me dazzled in those days, they were free (for me), and I really looked forward to each day’s installments of the stories, especially L’il Abner, which also ran in the Post-Dispatch. I’m very happy to have readers who come back to read the strips each post. It’s a little harder to post as frequently over the holidays, but I’ll try!

Taken With A Grain of Salten

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

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Hello everyone! Thanks Charles, Milton and Fortunato for helping to identify the Halloween mystery strip (Muggs McGinnis), and for the nice comments on Vic Vac’s cartoon from the Globe-Democrat. I’m glad you enjoyed it.  Felix this time is from 3-2 to 3-8-1936. The adventures of Fooy Tu Yu and Punk Chow continue, as Felix escapes from them with the diamond to the CPS (Cat Protector Society). They shelter Felix, but Fooy pays a tramp to “adopt” Felix from the CPS. Take a look at the last panel in the 3-7, I love the variety of cats in that panel, and the very beat-up black tom cat that the tramp is holding. In the Sunday, Noah tosses Felix off the ark, and the scientist brings Felix forward through Time (400 BC to 490 AD).

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Krazy comes to us from 8-19 to 8-24-1940. Bricks hidden everywhere this week, some falling from the sky by parachute. In the 8-23, Offissa Pupp and Ignatz are pining for the school to re-open. In the 8-24, the Elephant’s Feet formation from the Coconino County Navajo Tribal Park is evident in the background. If you haven’t been to Monument Valley, you must go if you’re a Krazy Kat fan. When Cathy and I went there some years ago, my favorite formation in the Park was “The Thumb”. Just a hunk of rock that looked like an 8 foot high thumb. We may run across it in a future KK strip.

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Patrick is from 5-23 to 5-28-1966 this time. Godfrey (5-23 to 5-25) is a lot like Charlie Brown. Patrick and Elsa make like Lucy and Patty and beat up on him emotionally. Patrick even uses his fists for “good reasons” in an exact parallel of Lucy and Linus’s dialog. Just let anybody try to make a “Charlie Brown” out of Patrick!  In the 5-26 to 5-28 strips, Hancock reverts to his more familiar gags. They never spare the corporal punishment in Patrick land. Sorry about the tape stain on the 5-28, don’t repair your newsprint clippings with adhesive tape, folks.

I’m still on my Felix Salten kick, I borrowed “Perri” from the library, and read it. Now I’m reading a very obscure Salten entitled “15 Rabbits”. “Perri” turned out to be a very gentle story, compared with Bambi and Jibby the Cat. Perri grows up from babyhood, escapes being killed and “marries” Porro. The main focus of the book, is on the little girl who is under four years old. She can understand animal language and is visited by birds and deer, with whom she converses. Perri and Porro also talk with her. The book concludes as Perri and Porro return to the little girl after many adventures. However, she has aged a year or so, and can no longer understand animal talk. Perri and Porro are very downcast at losing their friend. Kind of a bittersweet ending, especially when you compare it with the Disney “Perri” story, with it’s cute “together time” songs, etc. Bambi and some of the stags from the “Bambi” book make cameo appearances in Perri’s forest and are hunted down by HIM again. There is some killing and blood, but it’s not quite as stark as in Jibby and Bambi. I found an alternate translation of JIBBY THE CAT in the Glendale public library called DJIBI, and it’s even bloodier that the version I have. The farmer gets tired of Jibby, and in the last chapter, throws a flat iron (?) at her, killing her. The killing is offhand, not sentimental at all. It made me wonder what the author’s true feelings about Jibby were. DJIBI is the British version of the book, published in 1946. Speaking of BAMBI, go to http://www.archive.org/details/DeerStoryChap.10 and you’ll hear 19 minutes of yours truly carrying on the oral tradition. I read Chap. 10 of BAMBI, in which Bambi’s mother is killed by HIM. Some of the dialog and situations are close to the Disney film, but the reader can’t help being saddened by Mom’s total inability to protect herself from HIM, and by extension her child. The “don’t fly” line, spoken by the pheasants in the film is here. One of the rabbits dies in a very human way, trying to deny that it’s leg is mortally injured until the very end. The line the old Stag speaks, “Your Mother can’t be with you anymore”, isn’t in the book. Salten has Bambi asking everyone if they have seen his mother, but only concludes that he never saw her again. He spares us the bloody details of Mom’s demise. Please listen in, I don’t make too many mistakes. I lack editing software, so I have to do these in one take!