Archive for April, 2014

Scout Finds a New “Kitten”

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

scout-looks-at-charlotte.jpg Little Scout has found a new “Kitten” in a basket on the floor of Ericka’s house! Actually, that’s little Charlotte, Ericka’s brand-new daughter, now weighing in at almost 6 pounds. She’s a very tiny baby, smaller than Scout, she was born a little over a week ago. I just love this photo, it deserves to be in the Cat Calendar, thanks new Mother Ericka, for sharing it.

felix-4-9-to-4-15-34.jpgFelix, from 4-9 to 4-15-1934, features Felix being pampered by the Irish maid at Danny Dooit’s house. The maid washes Felix and puts a bow on him, and he looks a lot like Krazy Kat with it on! Felix disappears from his strip for the 4-13, as Danny’s brother and Dad do a golfing gag. In the 4-14, Felix cheers up a depressed dog on his birthday; this strip has a Depression era feel to it, not really a gag, but Felix holding forth in an optimistic way to get the dog to love his life more. It reminds me of Mother Hubbard’s Dog’s song in the Ub Iwerks ComiColor cartoon, Old Mother Hubbard (1935): “Cheer Up”, composed by Carl Stalling. Remember the lyrics? “Why sit around so humble, mumble, tumble, groan and grumble, Cheer Up, we all should sing for that will bring a smile, be a regular guy!” In the Sunday from 4-15, Felix continues his tour of the Zodiac, visiting Leo the Lion’s star. Messmer again uses props for continuity, Felix using the fish bones from the last Sunday page to launch himself into space and escape from the attacking Leo.

krazy-4-20-to-4-25-42.jpg Here’s Krazy from 4-20 to 4-25-1942, Garge mostly uses a prop, a “megic Koppit” in five out of the six dailies this week. Krazy’s dialect is delicious in these, “L’il Dottin’ Tommitz”. I like the 4-25, as Ignatz tries to fly off with Krazy’s “Koppit”, only to find that it’s securely tied to the dining table. Krazy is not quite so wholly innocent as he seems, he knows that Ignatz is a rascal and a thief, but loves him in spite of his faults.

yogi-5-3-64.jpgyogi-5-10-64.jpgyogi-5-17-64.jpgyogi-5-24-64.jpgyogi-5-31-64.jpg Here are five Yogi Bear thirds from May, 1964, drawn by Harvey Eisenberg. In the 5-31, a continuity starts to promote the release of the Columbia feature cartoon, “Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear”, released June 3rd, 1964. Ranger Smith summons Yogi in the second panel, by yelling “Hey There, Yogi Bear!” at the same time that two Hollywood publicity guys speak the picture’s title. We’ll see more of these characters in the next batch of Yogi Sunday pages for June, 1964.

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Myrtle is from 1-12 to 1-17-1948 this time. Slug gets a job collecting past due bills for a radio store, and of course his first target is Freddie, Myrtle’s Dad. Freddie wants Slug to succeed so that Slug can marry Aunt Minnie and move out of his guest room, but at the same time, he is reluctant to part with any money. I love the 1-15. Slug has a small walk-around transmitter he carries on a pole to target Freddie’s radio with his bill collecting reminders: “Freddie is a DEADBEAT..!” In the 1-17, Slug repossesses Freddie’s receiver, only to get one tube from it as a commission. As an old time radio buff, I really love these strips. They demonstrate just how beloved and important the household radio was to the families of the 1940s. As far as I know, there were no Felix the Cat, Krazy Kat or Right Around Home with Myrtle radio shows in the 1930s or the 1940s. Myrtle might have been funny on the radio! The Catblog will be back soon, with lots more laughs and excitement!

Scout’s On A Bug Hunt!

Monday, April 14th, 2014

scout-on-a-bug-hunt.jpg All you fans of little Scout the leaf lovin’ cat will enjoy this great storytelling photo. Scout’s on a bug hunt in her new Culver City home! This picture was sent from the iphone of Ericka Stockwell, one of my good neighbor Belle’s grandchildren. Ericka really loves Scout and her other orange tabby named B.J. Thanks for keeping Scout’s admirers up to date, Ericka!

myrtle-1-5-to-1-10-1948.jpg Another batch of “Myrtle” dailies from 1-5 to 1-10-1948 from the pen of the unmatched Dudley Fisher! In the first three, Freddie devises a clever way to dispose of a chi-chi vase that Susie won at a bridge tournament (does anybody under the age of 70 play bridge anymore?). Snoggons’ rare Alaskan dog, Ebuceci is running a fever and Myrtle makes a ridiculous funny face in the 1-10.

krazy-4-13-to-4-18-42.jpg Krazy is doing telephone gags for the most part of the week of 4-13 to 4-18-1942.  It’s small “wunda” that Garge’s Krazy Kat has so seldom been successfully animated. Look carefully at Krazy’s face and “boda” in these strips, his head changes shape and the eyes are handled differently in almost every panel. I love the abstract look of Krazy’s head in the third panel of the 4-14, and that pose in the third panel of the 4-18 is indicative of Herriman’s complex thinking about simple problems, as Krazy’s right foot winds sinuously about the table leg. It’s also interesting how props like tables, beds and so forth sometimes seem dimensional and sometimes look like they are pasted on the wall. What power Garge possessed, no matter how he drew his characters and settings, they always look right.

felix-4-2-to-4-8-34.jpg Danny Dooit and his brother miss Felix a lot, but he comes back to them in the strips from 4-2 to 4-8-1934. Messmer carries the continuity well from preceding weeks, as Felix still has the roll of discarded oil paintings he got from “Rembrandt” the artist. Those paintings really come in handy in the 4-6 and 4-7, as they make Mr. Dooit look like an art connoisseur to the senior partner in Mr. Dooit’s office. Felix is once more responsible for bringing good fortune to Danny’s family. In the Sunday, Felix visits the star (planet) of “Pisces” the fish. It’s an underwater planet filled with piscatorial delights until an octopus shows up. Felix constructs a ladder of fish bones to escape to another star, again very reminiscent of the Felix cartoons of the 1920s.

My computer’s operating system, Windows XP has now been officially orphaned by Microsoft, and will no longer be supported or updated. They have implied heavily that my computer will no longer be “safe” from threats and attacks. Their remedy for this, buy a whole new computer that will support the touch screen type interface included in their newest operating system, Windows 8.1. I don’t feel “safe” in continually touching the surfaces of complicated electronic devices to get them to do things, and I especially resent a major megawealthy corporation telling me to go spend money I haven’t got on new computers I don’t want! My old Dell Dimension works just fine, thank you, Microsoft! To Microsoft, 13 years is a “long time” to support one of their “older” operating systems. Not so very long ago, most appliances lasted much longer than that, some of them more than 50 years. I own a Bell telephone that’s more than 50 years old, and it still works better and sounds better than any iphone! These corporations want to trick us onto the Merry-Go-Round of computers and ipads, get us all comfortable and cozy with them, then pull the rug out after 13 years and make us spend another 500 bucks on still another “improved” computer. Makes you sorry you ever got into it. What would A.J. say about all this!?