Scout’s On A Bug Hunt!

April 14th, 2014

scout-on-a-bug-hunt.jpg All you fans of little Scout the leaf lovin’ cat will enjoy this great storytelling photo. Scout’s on a bug hunt in her new Culver City home! This picture was sent from the iphone of Ericka Stockwell, one of my good neighbor Belle’s grandchildren. Ericka really loves Scout and her other orange tabby named B.J. Thanks for keeping Scout’s admirers up to date, Ericka!

myrtle-1-5-to-1-10-1948.jpg Another batch of “Myrtle” dailies from 1-5 to 1-10-1948 from the pen of the unmatched Dudley Fisher! In the first three, Freddie devises a clever way to dispose of a chi-chi vase that Susie won at a bridge tournament (does anybody under the age of 70 play bridge anymore?). Snoggons’ rare Alaskan dog, Ebuceci is running a fever and Myrtle makes a ridiculous funny face in the 1-10.

krazy-4-13-to-4-18-42.jpg Krazy is doing telephone gags for the most part of the week of 4-13 to 4-18-1942.  It’s small “wunda” that Garge’s Krazy Kat has so seldom been successfully animated. Look carefully at Krazy’s face and “boda” in these strips, his head changes shape and the eyes are handled differently in almost every panel. I love the abstract look of Krazy’s head in the third panel of the 4-14, and that pose in the third panel of the 4-18 is indicative of Herriman’s complex thinking about simple problems, as Krazy’s right foot winds sinuously about the table leg. It’s also interesting how props like tables, beds and so forth sometimes seem dimensional and sometimes look like they are pasted on the wall. What power Garge possessed, no matter how he drew his characters and settings, they always look right.

felix-4-2-to-4-8-34.jpg Danny Dooit and his brother miss Felix a lot, but he comes back to them in the strips from 4-2 to 4-8-1934. Messmer carries the continuity well from preceding weeks, as Felix still has the roll of discarded oil paintings he got from “Rembrandt” the artist. Those paintings really come in handy in the 4-6 and 4-7, as they make Mr. Dooit look like an art connoisseur to the senior partner in Mr. Dooit’s office. Felix is once more responsible for bringing good fortune to Danny’s family. In the Sunday, Felix visits the star (planet) of “Pisces” the fish. It’s an underwater planet filled with piscatorial delights until an octopus shows up. Felix constructs a ladder of fish bones to escape to another star, again very reminiscent of the Felix cartoons of the 1920s.

My computer’s operating system, Windows XP has now been officially orphaned by Microsoft, and will no longer be supported or updated. They have implied heavily that my computer will no longer be “safe” from threats and attacks. Their remedy for this, buy a whole new computer that will support the touch screen type interface included in their newest operating system, Windows 8.1. I don’t feel “safe” in continually touching the surfaces of complicated electronic devices to get them to do things, and I especially resent a major megawealthy corporation telling me to go spend money I haven’t got on new computers I don’t want! My old Dell Dimension works just fine, thank you, Microsoft! To Microsoft, 13 years is a “long time” to support one of their “older” operating systems. Not so very long ago, most appliances lasted much longer than that, some of them more than 50 years. I own a Bell telephone that’s more than 50 years old, and it still works better and sounds better than any iphone! These corporations want to trick us onto the Merry-Go-Round of computers and ipads, get us all comfortable and cozy with them, then pull the rug out after 13 years and make us spend another 500 bucks on still another “improved” computer. Makes you sorry you ever got into it. What would A.J. say about all this!?

I Remember “Hawaii”

March 27th, 2014

sedona-dead-horse-ranch-ride-1.jpg We’re readjusting to Glendale life after the incredible luxury of Sedona, Arizona. I’m reliving all the great times we had there, including my horseback ride on the last day of our trip.  Above, you’ll see a picture of “Hawaii”, the paint I rode along the trails of Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood. That was a gentle and easy horse to ride.

sedona-dead-horse-ranch-ride-2.jpg Here’s a shot of A.J., my wrangler. He’s telling me a story of the cottonwood tree in the upper right hand corner of the photo. It was called “Hangin’ Tree”, and evidently that’s where horse thieves and rustlers were strung up without a jury trial back in the day. A.J. taught me a horse fact I’d always wondered about. When Hawaii made that snorting noise that horses make now and then, I asked A.J. what that sound signified. “It’s just the horse sneezin’”, replied my guide. A horse sneeze is pretty big and loud; imagine a horse size Kleenex tissue to go with it! I reported in the previous post that we saw two bald eagles in a cottonwood, and passed the entrance to an Indian cave dug out pretty high in a cliffside. As much fun as showing “Some Other Cat” was to an audience, riding “Hawaii” on an early morning Cottonwood trail is the experience that just won’t leave me.

krazy-4-6-to-4-11-42.jpg Here’s some comics that A.J. probably wouldn’t care to read, Krazy Kat from 4-6 to 4-11-1942.  Every strip is a pun or a Karom shot off Krazy’s Kat Langwich pronunciations of words. The 4-9 is my favorite, a “Krimm Widd” comes in a small bottle, as opposed to a “Milk Widd” which comes in a standard size “Milk Boddil”. There is also the humor gleaned from the words “Slack” “Slick” and “Sleck” in the 4-8, an example of Krazy’s mangled syntax.

myrtle-12-29-47-to-1-3-48.jpg Myrtle comes to you from 12-29-47 to 1-3-1948 this time. Snoggons adopts an Eskimo dog named “Ebuceci”, which goes right along with a boy who’s name is the same spelled forward or backward. Dudley Fisher gets a whole week of gags out of this strange dog, the best being the Saturday 1-3, as Freddie shoos Ebuceci out of his favorite chair, only to find that the frigid temperature of the Eskimo dog’s body has made the chair too cold to sit in!

felix-3-26-to-4-1-34.jpg In Felix, from 3-26 to 4-1-1934, Danny’s Dad tries to protect the kids from an evil looking man who is apparently hanging around their window, peeping into the house. It turns out to be just another manifestation of Felix’s collection of rejected oil paintings from his friend Rembrandt, introduced in previous posts. The Saturday strip has Felix hiding from a Stork under a painting of a fish, not a good choice. This set of dailies has Felix in only three out of the six strips. Messmer dropped the Cat from his own strip every once in awhile when the story called for it. The Sunday page continues Felix’s journey through the signs of the Zodiac, visiting Sagittarius, the Archer. In a silent cartoon type gag, Felix steals an arrow from the sleeping Sagittarius and shoots himself onto the planet Pisces, in search of food, almost always the prime motivator for anything Felix does.

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yogi-4-26-64.jpg Here are the Yogi Bear Sundays from April of 1964, more of the work of Harvey Eisenberg, who drew the style we associate with “Hanna-Barbera” better than almost anybody. We really should call this style “Eisenberg”, to be fair. About the earliest vestige I’ve seen of Harvey’s style is in the “Red Rabbit” and “Foxy Fagin” comic books of the late 1940s which Joe Barbera and Eisenberg produced together, during production of the Tom and Jerry cartoons. My favorite of this batch is the 4-26-1964 page, which features many Hanna-Barbera animals, such as Chopper and Yakky Doodle, Augie Doggy and Doggy Daddy, Baba Looie, Blabbermouse, Snagglepuss, Mr. Jinks (colored brown, not his usual orange) , and Hokey Wolf (also brown, in this case easy to confuse with Jinks). In the silhouette panels, you can make out Quick Draw McGraw standing tall under the umbrella, and a few generic H-B/Eisenberg animals squeezing into the act. When Yowp gets around to posting the half-page version of this strip, we’ll see who else makes a cameo. Keep checking out his blog at: http://yowpyowp.blogspot.com/. I’ll bet A.J. never visits Yowp’s site either. When we touched briefly on the subject of computers during our ride, A.J. just sniffed, and muttered “throw ‘em in the ocean.” I’m inclined to agree with him.

Sedona Was Swell

March 12th, 2014

sedona-mark-pointing-at-marquee.jpg We had a really good trip to Sedona! SOME OTHER CAT played at the Harkins Cinemas on 2-24 and 2-27-2014, that’s a happy cartoonist up there on the evening of 2-27, cel and muffler in hand. The cartoon looked really good on the big screen projected from a DCP sedona-dcp.jpg. (Tiny aren’t they?) You can see the Festival screening report below with all the technical specs.

sedona-festival-report.jpg Note how thorough the Festival planners were, at the bottom of the form, “Opens with: cat listening to phonograph” (that’s Cathy’s background painting) and “Closes with: Song: There Must Be Somebody Else…credit”. At the first screening a trouble shooter came to my chair and asked me how I liked the projection, I just told them the sound was a little loud, and they noted it down! I’m not used to that level of care in showmanship from a Festival! The audience asked a  lot of good questions after each screening, notably, “Why don’t more professional animators make their own films?” and “How did you get the feeling of musical rhythm into the cartoon?” I would have tried to sell some cels from “Some Other Cat”, but there just wasn’t any Festival store I could find or other venue that would have been appropriate. The Fest. put us up in the Poco Diablo resort in South Sedona, a beautiful room with a King bed, fireplace, wide screen TV and a flock of ducks at our sliding glass doors waddling across the 9-hole golf course! Room Service breakfast was delicious, we had it about three times.

Allen Elfman of the Best of Arizona.TV website, interviewed me at the VIP center, and now thanks to him, and my webmeister Charles Brubaker, we have a link to the interview that Allen has so kindly posted: https://www.facebook.com/groups/300140486809331/   Head on over there and you will see a battered old cartoonist gamely trying to keep up with the dynamic Mr. Elfman. Enjoy!

sedona-marks-wc-of-cathedral-rocks.jpg We managed about three painting excursions, this watercolor is from the first one. We stopped by the side of the road and painted the Cathedral Rocks formation. Cathy did an oil of the same formation, we enjoy painting together. Sedona is a breathtaking city which is very well integrated with the red rocks that surround it. Most of the buildings and even the sidewalks are the same earth red color that the looming rocks are. There is almost never a bad time to look at the rocks, they are beautiful in almost any light, any weather condition. There are a lot of intriguing art galleries and Mexican shops with mucho “Dio De Los Muertos” figurines on display, including a skeleton donkey. The Festival provided a lot of free meals at the VIP lounge, and threw a great awards brunch on March 2nd, in which Patrick Schweiss, the Festival director, made everybody laugh, winners and losers alike! Some Other Cat did not win any awards, but we were treated so well by the Festival that we purred! If any of you complete some short films (or features) in the future, consider entering the Sedona International Film Festival! On our last day in nearby Cottonwood, Arizona, your humble correspondent got on a horse named “Hawaii” and took an hour’s ride through the Dead Horse Ranch State Park. My guide and I saw two Bald Eagles sitting in a cottonwood tree as we walked past. I love riding at a slow walk and just experiencing beautiful landscapes from horseback.

krazy-3-30-to-4-4-42.jpg Krazy Kat is from 3-30 to 4-4-42 this time out. The subject of the week is singers and song. My favorite drawing is the last panel in the 4-2, as Krazy’s singing act is whittled down from a “kwotett” to a solo. The brick and Offissa Pupp need only be hinted at to get a laugh; as Ignatz reaches down for the brick, Pupp is barely visible waiting in the wings.

myrtle-12-22-to-12-28-47.jpg Myrtle was originally published 12-22 to 12-28-1947. In this batch of strips, Myrtle carries on with Sampson and Snogg0ns, and in the December 25th strip, she tries to write the future in her diary concerning the outcome of her date with Snoggins, but finds out that she’s no Dreer Pooson. The Sunday page is very funny, as Myrtle pushes her head through a metal bicycle rack, and has to go to the town blacksmith to be free. I love the remark that Dudley Fisher has prepared for the horse to say.

felix-3-19-to-3-25-34.jpg Felix is here from 3-19 to 2-25-1934. Felix brings a commission to “Rembrandt”, the artist he’s staying with, so he feels it’s time to return to Danny and Chip. Rejected oil paintings help him defend himself against unruly dogs, but it looks like a suspicious character is hanging out at the Dooit household. In the Sunday, Felix continues to get butted and bullied around by Taurus and Capricornus in his little journey through the cosmos. In a stunt very reminiscent of the silent cartoons, Felix glues together a stack of rocks to shinny down onto the next “star” or planet. We’ll pick up the next adventures very soon.

Ridin’ Fer Sedona!

February 18th, 2014

ridin-fer-red-rock-soc-pub.jpg Folks, “Some Other Cat” has been accepted into the Sedona International Film Festival (www.sedonafilmfestival.org )! We’re screening as the accompanying short to the feature “Garibaldi’s Lovers” at the Harkins 2 Cinema on Monday, Feb. 24th at 12:10 PM and on Thursday, Feb. 27th with the same feature at 9 PM. We seem to be one of the few animated shorts at the Festival, maybe they liked the SouthWest backgrounds in the short. So head out there if you are so inclined.

krazy-3-23-to-3-28-42.jpg Krazy is from 3-23 to 3-28-1942, a whole week of Goldfish puns! I like the Kat Langwitch in the 3-24, “IMMMMPOSTA!”

myrtle-12-14-to-12-21-47.jpg Myrtle is from 12-14 to 12-21-1947, Sunday included with a drunken and wayward Bingo and Junior out on a spree!

felix-3-12-to-3-18-1934.jpg Felix is from 3-12 to 3-18-1934, he’s with the starving artist this week. Felix is fooled by a very realistic bulldog painting, and he restores the arms to a statue of the Venus de Milo (favorite statue of many cartoonists). In the Sunday, Felix gets blown off the planet Jupiter by the March wind and starts travelling through the galaxy.

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yogi-3-8-64.jpgyogi-3-15-64.jpgyogi-3-22-64.jpgyogi-3-29-64.jpg Here’s the Yogi Sunday comics from March of 1964, all the work of one of my favorite cartoonists, Harvey Eisenberg! That flying squirrel in the 3-8 has been in the Yogi pages before, he’s “Harman-Ising” cute! The “Gambling Yogi” story is appealing in the 3-22, provided you’ve never lost at the gaming tables in Vegas! Seems like Mr. Ranger is mighty forgiving of Yogi as long as he’s winning! I’m keeping this post rather short and sweet this time, as we will be busy with Sedona for the next little while. See you soon!

Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline!

February 11th, 2014

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keystone-xl-pickets-b-2-6-2014.jpg For the first time in Catblog’s history, this post is going to be a “political” commentary, so if you don’t like to be exposed to progressive thinking, just skip to the comics.

I participated in a demonstration last Thursday night to raise awareness of the impending construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline is being financed by a coalition including many Chinese oil companies and the billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, to extract the world’s dirtiest crude: tar sands oil, in Alberta Canada and transport the oil in a pipeline built across the United States all the way to Corpus Christi Texas! Once there, the oil will be refined in a heavy-duty plant owned by the Koch Brothers and exported to China and other consumer countries around the world. The Koch’s refinery is uniquely positioned to reap the benefits from Keystone XL, since their Corpus Christi outfit is one of the few that can refine such heavy tar sands crude. We are being told that the tar sands oil will make the U.S. less dependent on imported oil, but the U.S. will get almost no benefit from this pipline, as the oil is not really being refined for domestic use, but for export. If approved, the Kochs, Canada and the Chinese Oil companies will be swimming in profits from this dangerous project.

How will this new fossil fuel development affect the World’s climate? Scientists have stated that if this pipeline is built and the tar sands oil is extracted on the scale envisioned, it’s “game over” for the climate, and probably for human life on Earth. With this much at stake, it’s saddening that our Clear Channel dominated media would rather feature stories about Miley Cirus and Kim Kardashian than the Keystone pipeline! During our demonstration against the pipeline, a gentleman told me that he thought that President Obama will eventually approve the pipeline due to the irresistible financial pressure of the oil interests. A lady informed me that the pipeline has already completed construction through Texas and Oklahoma, and is just waiting for the Government green light to connect to Alberta. I can’t find any confirmation of this rumor on the Internet, so if it’s true, that certainly demonstrates the Oil Industry’s arrogant certainty that Keystone XL will be approved! So it’s time to put aside your iPads readers, and take to the streets!

I went to nearby Eagle Rock on the corner of Eagle Rock and Colorado Blvds. on February 6th and met a lot of good people including many ladies from nearby Occidental college. It’s nice to see young people aware of an issue bigger than a cel phone screen! I grabbed a candle and a picket sign and waved and yelled “Stop Keystone” at the traffic passing by. Some motorists made obscene gestures, but many honked their horns in sympathy against Keystone, especially the bus drivers and riders. Several buses stopped in front of us and everyone on board was all smiles; of course most city buses here are powered by Natural Gas, which has it’s own issues, namely fracking, but is cleaner than tar sands oil. The Keystone pipeline would be prone to leaks due to the toxic corrosive nature of tar sands oil, threatening ground water tables and slashing through sensitive wildlife habitat.

Ninety minutes of sign wiggling won’t be enough to stop the pipeline or the Kochs, but it’s a start! This Thursday, 2-13-2014, President Obama will be meeting with Governor Brown and the Mayor at the Los Angeles City Hall at 200 N. Spring St., L.A. 90012, to discuss Climate and energy issues. There will be a demonstration there organized by Credo, NRDC, The Sierra Club and more to keep awareness of the poisonous Keystone pipeline before the President and State Officials. If you can put down your iPads for a morning and be at the L.A. City Hall at 11 AM, you may help to extend the life of the Planet so that you may eventually return to your iPads and safely read comics! Be there and Help Yourselves! Look for Keystone XL demonstrations near to where you live, and if you can’t find one, ORGANIZE one! End of lecture for this post.

krazy-3-16-to-3-17-3-19-and-3-21-1942.jpg Here’s Krazy, from 3-16 to 3-21-1942, 3-18 is missing, anyone have it? It features a Gopher character in the first two, then features Krazy as a baker of flying flapjacks and brick-hard loaves of bread in the 3-19 to 3-21 episodes. I love the masterful pen shading in the last panels of the 3-20 and 3-21 strips, giving us the feeling of the Coconino desert at dusk.

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 Felix is from 3-5 to 3-11-1934 this outing, Felix is again in trouble on account of food. He listens to the radio in the 3-5 and 3-6 strips, and consequently can’t hear the dinner bell. In the 3-8 strip, Felix gallantly sacrifices his home with the Dooits, so that he can forage for his own food and be less of a burden on the family. The 3-9 is missing, can anyone supply it? (Our friend Yowp has supplied the missing daily, we now can see Felix’s first meeting with the artist! Thanks from the Cat to the Dog!) In the 3-10, Felix picks out a starving artist to live with and feeds the artist by means of a tube of paint. The Sunday still has Felix trapped on the Moon with Jupiter Pluvius and the March Wind collaborating on Climate Change. I love the long continuities that were the norm in newspaper comics in the 1920s and 1930s.

myrtle-12-7-to-12-13-47.jpg Myrtle, from 12-7 to 12-13-1947, features a beautiful Sunday page, with Dudley Fisher’s unique bird’s eye view format, and some energetic dailies, with Myrtle finding both braids on the left side of her head in the 11-8. Snoggons kisses Myrtle in the 11-10, causing her parents to worry about romance dawning on the little tomboy, I love Fisher’s mid-air pose of Myrtle in this one. The 12-13 has a funny concluding panel as Myrtle tells Freddie how much a lady’s hat really costs, and he beats such a hasty exit that the chair and his daughter both flip over backwards! Until next time readers, study about the Keystone pipeline, you will be quizzed!