Month: August 2015
In our comics this time, we start with Myrtle by Dudley Fisher from 7-19 to 7-25-1948. The first three dailies center around a weird character called Mr. Dinglebott who causes a handyman to hold on to the wrong end of a soldering iron in the 7-21. There is a good example of Dudley Fisher’s gag timing in the 7-24 daily. There’s a comic strip “stage wait” in the last panel as Myrtle busts open the front door on her way to rip her rival for Sampson’s affections, “Gussie”, to pieces! The Sunday features a visit to the zoo, with plenty of downshot antics in the Monkey enclosure.
Felix comes to us from 10-15 to 10-21-1934. Felix is back on the farm in the dailies, but runs into raging pork as he tries to balance out the lives of two farm pigs, one fat, one only plump. In the Sunday, Felix is beyond the 12 mile limit as he tries to trick his way into port, even impersonating two sharks with his ears placed just below the water’s surface.
In Krazy, from 10-26 to 10-31-1942, Ignatz and Offissa Pupp continue to be at eternal cross-purposes to defray the brick from reaching Krazy’s noggin. I like the 10-29 as Pupp flies his own plane and nabs the brick in mid-air; just look at that beautiful cross-hatching surrounding the aircraft. I also like the 10-30, as a flea who looks like he escaped from Garge’s illustrations for Don Marquis’ “Archy and Mehitabel”, charges Ignatz and winds up hitting bottom in a deep canyon. Krazy’s special language is evident in the 10-29 as he completes the thought, All Wool–“and not a Yodd Wide.”
Yogi continues his Jellystone adventures in all four Sundays from September, 1965. I like the gag in the 9-26 strip as Yogi fakes a feathered head-dress to gain entry into the Indian Pow-wow. I think it’s a beaver strapped to Yogi’s hat, isn’t it? Yogi drives a runaway bulldozer and flies a park helicopter upside down. He also figures out a way to cheat at archery, driving Ranger Smith loco. I suppose the art on these is mostly by Iwao Takamoto, but they could also be by Willie Ito or Jerry Eisenberg, depending on who’s commenting. Remember to visit Yowp-Yowp’s H-B blog at www.yowpyowp.blogspot.com , for more anaylsis of these comics, if you’re lucky!
Here’s a scan of an old slide that my brother discovered in the family archives, and it prompted this reminiscence:
The San Diego Comic-Con was at the El Cortez Hotel in 1975, and I went there with my dear friends Vincent and his first wife, Theresa, Davis. I knew that Charles Schulz was to be a guest, and I brought a copy of the first “Peanuts” book with me in case I had the good luck to meet him–and behold(!) I spotted him striding fast across the lobby of the El Cortez, and I practically tackled him. I was lucky to find Mr. Schulz by himself, armed with felt tip pens. I asked for his autograph and timidly requested a Snoopy–He looked pretty annoyed–but obliged me–you can see the drawing above. Later on, Vincent talked Mr. Schulz into posing for this slide–of course Theresa was pretty enticing in her girl scout outfit, so once again Mr. Schulz obliged us zany fans.
Charles Schulz is an early example of a comic strip fan becoming a member of the fourth estate–after all, his nick-name was “Sparky”-after Billy DeBeck’s “Spark Plug”. What a great thrill it was to meet him–going to the Comic-Con with Vince and Theresa was an annual event in my life for about 5 years. You should have seen Vincent handle all those famous cartoonists–he was never intimidated and his humorous appearance was a great ice breaker. Those days are gone forever–but I’ll always remember.
In Krazy this week–from 10-19 to 10-24-1942, there’s plenty of slapstick in the 10-19 as Krazy socks Ig with a rock in retaliation–only bricks are pleasurable to KK. I love the “ZIZ” lettering in the 10-20 as “Kapri Kornus” the goat, butts Ig. There is kwirky kat langwitch in the 10-21 as KK says “Paul Troom” as code for “poltroon”. Ignatz paraphrases the early 1940s song hit: “I’ve Got Spurs” in the 10-22, and the brick-tossing coconut monster in the 10-24 is a vintage Herriman Horror.
Myrtle from 7-12 to 7-18-1948 features a story that lasts until 7-16, of a broken dinner plate. Sampson tries to replace the prized plate that Myrtle broke, but secretly “borrows” the plate from Bingo! If you find Sampson’s lisp annoying, you’ll love the 7-17 as Myrtle does something about it. The Sunday page is called “Ship Ahoy!!!” and features Dudley Fisher’s patented two panel down shot layout, as Myrtle hooks an extremely powerful fish.
“Just a rolling stone, that’s me” Felix from 10-8 to 10-14-1934, features the homeless puss taking up with a sculptor, then a hypnotist. I love the statue coming to life in the 10/9, as Felix, hiding in the clay, brings it to life. Felix uses the old mirror gag in the 10/13 to turn the hypnotist into a chicken. The Sunday page looks like Felix is going home at last, but he is a Cat without a Country as the Captain of the ship is too cheap to pay import duty on Felix, so he is repatriated to the sea.
Thanks to all you readers for sticking with me. I just turned 67 on August 10th and will soon qualify as the world’s oldest boy cartoonist. C Ya!
Here’s Felix, 10-1 to 10-7-1934. The homeless puss manages to get into a vacant hotel room, order room service and escape from the hotel dicks unscathed! In the Sunday, Messmer uses a tried and true Felix formula, he is chased by angry sailors who are convinced he is a jinx, then he manages to plug a leak in the ship with the body of an escaping mouse (Skidoo?). Felix is once again “in good” with the sailors.
Myrtle is from 7-5 to 7-11-1948 and Dudley Fisher’s special timing is most in evidence in the 7-5 as Freddie is in the “doghouse” with Susie after scolding Bingo and making him cry. I like the wordless final panel. I also like Freddie’s struggle with nicotine addiction in the 7-7 after he throws his cigarette out the window and lives to regret it, and the Sunday page is fun with the boys away at a business convention and the wives and girlfriends at home playing cards, which so many people did as a past-time in the early twentieth century.
Krazy was originally published from 10-12 to 10-17-1942 and the strips seem a bit trimmed around the edges, don’t they? I love the 10-17 as Krazy and Ignatz trip over puns and Kat Langwidge. “Harmony”, “Hominy” and “Quantidy”, as Krazy interprets Hominy as “How Many?” Garge comments on his own work as Ignatz says “Corn” and Offissa Pupp says “..and in more ways than one, Corn is right.”
Here’s Yogi from the month of August, 1965. I’m missing the 8-8 Sunday page, so perhaps old dog buddy Yowp at http://yowpyowp.blogspot.com will dig it up. (UPDATE: Yowp posted a black and white image of the 8-8 and I have it! I just didn’t know the date, so here it is thanks to the great Internet dog!) These appear to be Iwao Takomoto’s work once again. He does an attractive job of designing these pages, I especially like the 8-1 as Iwao handles the trees and landscape that Yogi and the ram inhabit as a little island surrounded by blue sky. The kid with a huge baseball bat up to bunt in the 8-22 seems like an old Percy Crosby “Skippy” baseball joke, reworked for Yogi. Ranger Smith pops up in the 8-29 along with Iwao’s personal brand of cute squirrels. Again, there is something essentially flat in his character design, especially in the last panel as the squirrels catch the falling walnuts. Harvey would have drawn them rounder and cuter, making them look more like the squirrels in the Barney Bear cartoons “The Uninvited Pest” and “Sleepy-Time Squirrel”. This post got side-tracked for awhile; the power supply on my computer was knocked out by a Glendale power outage on Tuesday night. Evidently the old power supply couldn’t handle the surge when the lights came on again after two hours down. Thanks to Robert Karsian of Jewel City Computers, the old Dell Demension 4550 is now operational and works a little better. Robert restored a “dead” computer back to life with a rebuilt power supply. He even makes house calls! If you are local here in Glendale, CA or surrounding communities, give him a call at 818-457-1207 or email him with your problems at Robert@JewelCityComputers.com . He really knows his stuff!