Marszy Christmas

In honor of the recent landing of NASA’s InSight Lander on the Elysium Planitia on the planet Mars, the Catblog presents chapter three of “Raccoons on the Moon” as the Racc-it ship flies to Mons Olympus on Mars. Mons Olympus is a strange old man as Cathy Hill imagines him, who seems to have Alzheimer’s disease, and longs to hear a good joke that he won’t remember. I love Cathy’s beautiful inking on these pages, every pen line seems to echo the extreme heat inside the volcano, and also the depth of the crater. There is a strong directional feeling to all the shading and cross-hatching. I love the panels on page two, as Cathy uses foreshortening and perspective to show the raccoons’ descent into the heart of Mons Olympus. Mons has a humorous response to Virgil the Raccoon’s question: “What about the meaning of life, Mr. Mons?” To which Mons replies “How does it go? Just give me the first part….” I’ll have to find out about the joke about “Uncle Erf and the Rubber Tree” for next time, as the Mad Raccoons journey further into the solar system to find the meaning of life.

 

Felix is from 6-26 to 7-2-1933 for this post. He continues to best the other animals in the competition to be the mascot of Danny Dooit’s baseball team. I love Otto’s rabbit and goat in the 6-27 and 6-28. The joke in the 7-1 is about the card game of bridge, in which the players sometimes kick each other under the table to signal how to bid, or how to make a play, hence the shin guards that Danny’s father appropriates for the purpose. The Sunday page features a helpful Felix, as the brainy cat helps Danny with an addition problem in school.

Myrtle is from 3-28 to 4-3-1949. Dudley Fisher’s control of poses and rhythm in his through lines comes across in the 3-30 as Myrtle in a back view says “…I’m exotic!”, and in the 4-1 as she casually drops the telephone while luxuriating on the couch, as she tells Sampson, “No, I’m Busy!” Myrtle sometimes seems feminine beyond her years in strips like these. The Sunday page features Hyacinth the cat, curious about the contents of a purse that Myrtle has found on her family’s sidewalk. One of the neighbors comments about it: “There might be a little kitten in that bag! People do all sorts of things to get rid of little kittens!” Sad, but all too true. Don’t ever read Woody Guthrie’s “Bound For Glory” if you’re a cat lover, what they do to kittens in that book is a scandal to the catbirds.

Lots of puns and Kat Langwitch wordplay in the Krazy Kats from 8-23 to 9-4-1943. I like the 8-28, as Ignatz plants a candle under the Kat’s chair and Mrs. Kwakk-Wakk comments “Hot Foot” and Krazy answers “Sez You”. Herriman seldom uses exclamation points or periods in his word balloons, which gives a mysterious, hollow sound to the dialog. Offisa Pupp’s comment in the 8-31 about Ignatz: “Unbless his sour little soul…” has a poetic ring to it, and there is a Lewis Carroll feel to the Toad Stool joke in the 9-1.

Have a wondrous Holiday Season, and the old Catblog will be back soon with the next installment of “Raccoons on the Moon”!

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