Your Comics Page 5-1-2013 with “The Nebbishes”

nebbishes-1-4-59.jpgnebbishes-1-11-59.jpgHi There! We lead off with the first two Sunday pages of Herb Gardner’s “The Nebbishes” from 1-4 and 1-11-1959. This comic strip was an early venture of Mr. Gardner. He is best known today for his play/movie “A Thousand Clowns” featuring Jason Robards. Some web pages say that his strip “The Nebbishes” (Yiddish for “Nobodies”), started in 1954 and was distributed by the Chicago Tribune/New York News syndicate. Allan Holtz’s book says that 1-4-59 was the first one. The Nebbishes only lasted until 1961, and was only carried for the first few months of that run by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. My copies are from those dates, and were pasted on highly acid old scrapbook pages, so I had to gently piece them together for the scanner. I love the adventures of Irving and Seymour. I always thought they were cousins of “Flebus” and “Mr. Moo”, essentially walking heads with white, squared-off bodies. The first two strips break the fourth wall to smithereens. Irving is very aware that he and Seymour are trapped in a comic strip. I love how Seymour reacts like the early Daffy Duck in the 1-11, when he realizes he’s being watched (woo woo woo). I found these strips to be quite funny when they first were printed, still do. The Nebbish statues were very popular in greeting card shops of the day (you find them on Ebay now) and the famous Nebbish sign (“One of these days we’ve just GOT to get organized”) was also a best-seller. According to the websites, Herb Gardner opted out of all this lucrative cartooning and decided to become a playwright instead, producing his classic “A Thousand Clowns” in 1961. The dialog in “The Nebbishes” became so dominant that the balloons nearly crowded out Irving and Seymour. If speech was so important, reasoned Herb Gardner, then why not write dialog all the time? His biggest commercial hit play was “I’m Not Rappaport” in 1985 (movie in 1996). Herb also wrote and produced the movie “Who is Harry Kellerman, and why is he saying those terrible things about me?” in 1971, starring Dustin Hoffman.  In 1987, Gardner appeared in the historic big budget flop movie “Ishtar” as Rabbi Pierce. He passed on in 2003. I have very few examples of “The Nebbishes” put I’m happy to scan the ones that are still with me and put them up here.

krazy-10-20-to-10-25-41.jpg There is a mystery in the Krazy Kat dailies of 10-20 to 10-26-1941. In the 10-21, why does Offissa Pupp lie in wait for Ignatz under a date palm with a sign tacked to the tree reading, “June 30 1941” backwards? I consulted the Krazy strip from that date, but it just features Krazy getting a bleach job at a beauty parlor, with no reference to any date palms. So Garge has once again baffled and amused us. In the 10-22, there is a hallmark of Herriman’s writing in Krazy’s annoyed reaction to the Sun, “Y-you..”. He used this stuttered experession many times in Krazy Kat and many of his other comic concoctions.

felix-12-9-to-12-15-35.jpg Felix continues to attempt to reclaim his diamond in the dailies from 12-9 to 12-14-1935. Fooy tu Yu pours water on Felix as he hides in the basement of Fooy’s hide-out. Felix just drinks all the water to keep from drowning! A very fat, water-logged cat continues to pursue Fooy in the 12-14. In the Sunday page, you’ll have to print it out and color it according to the dialog, to get all the humor out of the Professor’s chameleon serum introduced last time, not to mention the X-Ray camera!

myrtle-7-14-to-7-19-47.jpg Myrtle, from 7-14 to 7-19-1947 has two gags revolving around Bingo’s ability to open doors, but for me the funniest one this time is Freddie’s devilish reaction in the third panel of the 7-15 as he hits upon a way to stop Sampson from annoying him with his bad harmonica playing.

yogi-5-5-63.jpgyogi-5-12-63.jpgyogi-5-19-63.jpgyogi-5-26-63.jpg In anticipation of Yowp’s blog, we have the May, 1963 Yogi Bear Sunday pages, all thirds this time. I think the funniest gag is the 5-12, in which all the restaurants in town that feature “All you can eat” specials close down after Yogi and Boo-Boo patronize them. Yogi, Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith all seem to be drawn by Harvey Eisenberg, but the teenagers in the 5-5 and the little Boy Scouts in the 5-19 look like Gene Hazelton. Only Jerry Eisenberg would know for sure, and he doesn’t read this blog! Remember to CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS if you want to display any of the comics full screen. Keep visiting to see the complete storyboard from “There Must Be Some Other Cat” one page at a time, courtesy of our webmaster, Charles Brubaker.

One Response to “Your Comics Page 5-1-2013 with “The Nebbishes””

  1. Keep on postin’ those old comics! I’m loving “The Nebbishes”, looks very interesting.

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