Month: September 2009
Hello all you fans of old cartoons. First up this week, NIZE BABY from 1/9/1928 by Milt Gross. Battling stereotypes this week, Jewish Vs. Italian. The Italian mother mistakes Papa for the school Principal and beats him full sore. Then, it’s Isidore’s turn to get corporal-ed again by Papa, right in front of the Principal who whacked Izzy in the fourth panel! Milt’s drawings of the Italian Mama beating Papa (“Ajabesto!”) are cherce, I like the double wide panel with Goomba Mama chasing Papa as Isidore and Dominick casually walk in to the scene.
Krazy Kat from 11/27/1939 to 12/2, has no theme this week, no Kontinuity. Just “Warped with Fancy, Woofed with Dreams”. I favor 12/2, with Mrs. Kwakk-Wakk and a Magpie friend having a gossip, while the three stalwarts walk behind them with ears akimbo.
Marvelous Mike from 7/8 ro 7/13/1957, introduces a new story line featuring Mr. Bell, a comic strip cartoonist suffering from a major writer’s block. In 36 hours at the board, he has only come up with four blank panels. Cliff Crump learns that Mr. Bell’s strip features a little girl named “Madeline”, and in the 7/13 is starting to hatch an idea. See next time for more episodes in one of the top stories in the Mike saga.
Felix the Cat, from 6/15 to 6/20/1936 (6/19 missing), continues Felix’s dalliance with the Dooits. Uncle Minus’s ten gallon hat provides a combination shelter and disguise for Felix, until a Swami puts a bulldog into the hat with him. One of the most charming aspects of the Felix strip is the little cat’s longing to be wanted and find a loving home. He never really finds the love he’s looking for, but you can’t help rooting for him and his quest. I think the jokes are really secondary to the character’s essential likability.
I had fun posting the video of the “water cat” last week. I got one good comment from Charlie and a whole lot of spam. Maybe linking to You Tube puts the site into Spam mailers’s talons. I don’t link to the Tube often, but couldn’t resist last week. If you want to see the show, go to last week and click the link before it becomes non-operational. Remember to “Tip” your favorite blogger by going over to www.itsthecat.com and buying a cel or two. Several folks have written to me wondering when my next short will be out. I really don’t know, but if you buy a cel, maybe the new film will be out a few weeks sooner than if you choose not to.
Hey Everybody, the fires in the Angeles National Forest are almost contained and we were spared, thanks be to God (and the firefighters). It’s very sad that the authorities believe that this fire was set. It won’t be easy to find out who lit it.
Now let’s get lit up with old comic strips, first one this time is NIZE BABY from 1/1/1928. Papa is beat up by a pair of ladies as he tries to find Isidore on a passenger train. I don’t quite understand why he is dressed up like a kid in the penultimate panel. Maybe he’s trying to escape detection by the railroad conductors with his disguise? Isidore once again receives corporal punishment in the denouement.
Krazy Kat this time, from 11/20 to 11/25/1939 is also about disguises. First, a brick in disguise is the discussion topic, then after a potato gag, the balance of the week uses one of Garge’s favorite gag devices, the characters dressed up in total camouflage disguises. All to their utter confusion, of course.
MARVELOUS MIKE this time, from 7/1 to 7/6/1957, continues the golf match between Smith and Crump. July 4th is missing, the Post-Dispatch did not print on holidays. Mike overcomes his scruples to sink an impossible putt for his Dad, thus winning the game for Mr. Kimball and the account! Kimball awards the account to Mike, will he set up his own agency? Come back next time and find out!
By the way, this is an actual promotional poster tacked on the front of the metal newsstands in St. Louis to promote Mike and Rev’rend, another new United Feature Syndicate strip that the St. Louis Post Dispatch introduced about the same time (1956-57). Mike was a minor celebrity in old St. Louis, they stuck with him to the end of the run.
Felix the Cat, this time from 6/8 to 6/13/36 continues Felix’s stay with the Dooit family. Felix is a real punching bag in this week’s strips. The poor little guy is kicked under the table, and in my favorite gag from this batch is punched out by “Socky” (6/13). Speaking of cats, did y’all see the You Tube video (or is it Yahoo?) of the cat putting his head under a running faucet, several TIMES? Cats aren’t supposed to like water, but this one not only likes to put his head under a faucet, but also enjoys drinking the drips of water that trickle into his mouth. View it at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KswnjMa-MQ&feature=player_embedded#t=21 . Enjoy!
Folks, it’s hot out here in Glendale. Fires are burning in the hills, all the way out to Acton and Palmdale. Let’s cool down with a few old comic strips. Up first is NIZE BABY from 12/18/1927. Louie brings in a sailor-trained parrot into Baba’s broadcast and creates havoc on the air when the parrot goes into a cussin’ fit. I love the panel when Papa jumps out of the window with his umbrella open and says, “Lindboig took a chance.”
Krazy Kat from 11/13 to 11/18/1939 shows Garge at the top of his cartooning form with this sequence. It features Krazy dancing in a tutu to the annoyance of Ignatz mouse who gets Offissa Pupp to imprison Krazy’s flute player, then tries to stop the Kat’s terpsichorean moves with tacks. Krazy’s dance is unstoppable, and he can’t be arrested, so the Mouse and Pupp decide to join him on Saturday. I love the dancing poses on KK, especially in the 11/13 episode.
Marvelous Mike from 6/24 to 6/29/1957 is in the midst of the Crump/Smith golf match, with a valuable advertising account as stakes. Mike decides it would be unethical to hit his dad’s putts for him, so opts to coach Cliff instead. From the authentic feel of the writing, it might be a fair guess to think that Bob Kuwahara was an avid golfer. This is certainly one of the more lengthy continuities in the Mike saga.
Felix from 6/1 to 6/6/1936 features more of the adventures of the Dooit family. “Socky”, Mr. Dooit’s bodyguard, is quite the punch drunk character. Uncle Minus’s mule figures in two of the dailies, but Snobbs the butler is off this week.
It’s too darn hot! I wish Cathy and I were out painting today, but the air is unhealthful, due to the fires. California is not a paradise today, more like hell, it’s getting hard to breathe. Enjoy the strips and stay temperate!