Happy Mews Year!


If y’all can lay off the spirits long enough to read my blog, here’s the last of my Webb Smith articles from Aug. 21st, 1927 called “Premier Foils Sol on Sword”, originally published in the Los Angeles Examiner.


Felix is from 8/3 to 8/9/1936 this time. Snobbs the butler’s troubles with Mrs. Boo’s baby continue, and Felix goes fishing with Mr. Dooit. The Sunday 8/9 page is beautifully drawn as Socky the bodyguard gets in to the act, punching out Joe the Tailor, who has to prove his identity the hard way!


Krazy Kat is from 1/22 to 1/27/1940 this time. Mrs. Kwakk-Wakk and Ignatz fool around with the pun: “You Can’t Shoo (shoe) a Horsefly”. This same line was used in the Max Fleischer Color Classic of 1940, “You Can’t Shoe A Horsefly”, featuring the song of the same title by Sammy Timberg. My guess is that the gag was started on radio in 1939! The next two days are taken up by a visiting ventriloquist who makes eggs and bricks talk, and then some brick gags. Ignatz gets a rare sock on 1/26.


Here are the first 5 “Patrick” daily strips by Mal Hancock, carefully cut from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by yours truly. These are almost certainly from 1965, 10/25 to 10/29. Mal Hancock drew several daily strips, Patrick was the second one he did, it lasted until 1969. I thought of it as the “Anti-Peanuts”, Patrick was mean and maladjusted and proud of it. I love the cartooniness of the drawings, and how Hancock uses lettering as almost another character in the strip. Mal or Malcolm Hancock, was born in 1936 and died of cancer in 1993. He suffered an accident as a teenager which paralyzed him from the waist down. He evidently was in quite a lot of pain throughout his short life, which may have influenced the sardonic tone of his humor. He was best known for his magazine cartoons for the National Review, and other magazines. This shows what the Post-Dispatch comic section did to a lot of the dailies; they printed them in color! I spent a lot of time (too much time) cutting these out and storing them in envelopes. At least you can see them in good scans and in color this way, instead of (ugh)  microfilm!

Hey Folks, it’s story-telling time once again! I thought I’d kick off 2010 by telling you one of my favorite stories from the book “Short Stories for Short People” by Alicia Aspinwall. Alicia was a great fantasist, and unjustly forgotten today. “Short Stories” was published in 1896, and was in it’s 24th printing by 1929. The story I will read to you is called “Tula Oolah”, the story of a tiny elephant that Celia and Soft-Eyes the seal found on the beach. (Original illustration by Marie L. Danforth): tula-oolah-illo.jpg This is my clumsy way of trying to preserve the oral tradition in story-telling. Our world is so media-cluttered that I fear we are losing our ability to just sit down with each other and tell stories. I have so many favorites that will never have a chance to be filmed or animated, so maybe I can spark your imaginations in this way. “Short Stories for Short People” was introduced to me by our beloved Bristol School (Webster Groves, Mo.) librarian, Miss Bedell.  Miss Bedell read to us, as I remember, several times a week in her magical school library in a special period, usually at noon. She didn’t teach a class formally, but just tried to give us a love of literature. She was a stern, strict disciplinarian who ruled by sharp looks and a commanding voice. She often stayed after school, re-binding the books herself with special cloth and glue. Her indoctrination into books didn’t quite work on me, I love literature, but it’s mostly antique juveniles that fill my cup with joy. How many of you remember collections of stories like “Told Under the Magic Umbrella”, or Andrew Lang’s “The Blue Fairy Book”? I hope you enjoy “Tula Oolah”, I’ve recorded it with a new digital microphone, with as few mistakes as possible: http://www.zshare.net/audio/707198640d964d03/.

Enjoy! We’ll see you again soon.

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