Your Comics Page Marches On! August 30 2015

August 28th, 2015

myrtle-7-19-to-7-25-48.jpg 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-10-15-to-10-21-34.jpg 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.

krazy-10-26-to-10-31-42.jpg 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.”

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yogi-9-26-65.jpg 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!

Charles Schulz, Theresa and Yours Truly

August 13th, 2015

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 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.

krazy-10-19-to-10-24-42.jpg  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-7-12-to-7-18-48.jpgMyrtle 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.

felix-10-8-to-10-14-34.jpg ”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!

Your Comics Page 8-1-2015

August 1st, 2015

felix-10-1-to-10-7-34.jpg 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-7-5-to-7-11-48.jpg 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-10-12-to-10-17-42.jpg 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.”

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yogi-8-22-65.jpgyogi-8-29-65.jpg 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!

Your Comics Page 7-21-2015

July 20th, 2015

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Felix, as written and drawn by Otto Messmer, continues from 9-24 to 9-30-1934.  I love the first panel of the 9-28, Felix is in despair; “Nobody wants me.” This panel should be plastered in every animal shelter where homeless cats wait for their forever homes, and by extension, should be plastered on the fences of all the skid rows in all the world. Felix is adopted in the 9-28 by a henpecked husband who uses Felix as a detector for his wife’s rolling pin. I hope the homeless Felix can do better. In the Sunday, Felix lands on still another ship and interferes with a treasure hunt.

myrtle-6-28-to-7-4-48.jpg In Myrtle, 6-28 to 7-4-1948 you’ll see many examples of Dudley Fisher’s unique gag timing. My favorite is the 7-3 daily, as Bingo appears in the master bedroom complete with his sleeping bag in the last panel. Hyacinth the cat appears in the Sunday called, “Love Letters”. Myrtle is deviously selling her parents’ old love letters to the neighbors to earn a few dimes, sounds like real kid behaviour to me.

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 Here’s Krazy, 10-5 to 10-10-1942. However, we are missing the 10-6-42 episode. Perhaps the “Kat” man, G. Heinlein himself, can supply it? (UPDATE! Gerd Heinlein has come through! Thanks, Gerd for the missing 10-6-1942 strip! You are the official “Kat” man forever.) I’m somewhat mystified by the 10-5. Does Krazy’s tortilla look like a chuck steak to Offissa Pupp? And what’s the gag here? I like the 10-10 strip the best this week, it’s funny to see a fire dog misinterpret Krazy’s yell and watch Ignatz get soused. We’ll have another post very soon, see you then.

Your Comics Page 7-1-2015

June 30th, 2015

felix-9-17-to-9-23-34.jpg Here’s Felix, from 9-17 to 9-23-1934. Felix is still searching for a loving home, but instead gets spooked by some mice, gets set up to be chased by a dog, gets ignored by a man in training for night watchman duty and gets poked and prodded by a musician’s bow and trombone. Felix longs to be free as a bird, then meets a caged parrot! In the Sunday, Felix fends off the ape he met last week by accidentally giving him a hornet’s nest instead of a coconut. The intrepid cat then sets off to sea in the shell casing.

myrtle-6-21-to-6-27-48.jpg Myrtle is from 6-21 to 6-27-1948 this post. In the dailies, Freddie starts out the week by trying to wash his golf balls. That turns into a treatise on being absent-minded, until Myrtle really loses her mind in the 6-26. Reminds me of the ending of Tex Avery’s “Happy-G0-Nutty”:”You think you’re Napoleon, but you’re not! I AM!”  In the Sunday, Freddie gets a call from “Toodles”, an old sweetheart, and Susie is a bit concerned. But Toodles has gained a lot of weight since she last saw Freddie, to everyone’s relief including Bingo.

krazy-9-28-to-10-3-42.jpg Here’s Krazy, from 9-28 to 10-3-1942. Much ado about a “Cat O’Nine Tails” this week, in the 9-28, the Nine-tailed wonder turns out to be a fake, and in the 10-2, the W.C. Fields-type dog claims to have known a TEN-tailed feline. I like Offissa Pupp speaking of himself in the third person as a “Kop”. He tries to beef up his ego, but Ignatz escapes in a bottomless garbage can before his story can be continued….in Jail.

yogi-7-4-65.jpg I do believe we have come to the final Harvey Eisenberg Yogi Bear Sunday page, from 7-4-65, and Yogi finds himself lassoed to a rocket ship, going from a mare to the air. (Hey-Hey!)

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yogi-7-25-65.jpg These next three, 7-11, 7-18 and 7-25-1965, appear to me to be mostly the work of Gene Hazelton, who is a bit more of a graphic artist than Harvey; he drew a little flatter, Yogi seems a bit less rotund with Gene. Huck Hound makes a rare appearance in the 7-11 with a little boy scout that looks like a Hazelton design. Click to enlarge the 7-18 strip, and you will see an unusual episode giving Yogi credit for the Wright Brothers successful aircraft! The last Sunday page for the month has an ingenious use of a friendly porcupine as Yogi spears some forbidden apples. If you keep in touch with Yowp’s blog, www.yowpyowp.blogspot.com, you will find more complete versions of the third-page strips I have loaded here, in black and white. The “Tab” format Sundays with the “Yogi Bear” logo, two of which I’ve included in this post, are only missing one panel that was in the half-page format. You’re missing very little on these if you just read them here. Have a crazy Fourth of July, enjoy all your illegal fireworks and learn not to burn (Hey-Hey-Hey!).