Felix is from 8-27 to 9-2-1934 this time. In the dailies, Felix wins over the young lady (who mistakenly believes Felix is a present from her fiancee) with orchids he found lying in the street. Felix searches for a new home, and manages to land one with (who else) a professor who wants to turn the hapless cat into an experimental animal. In the Sunday, Felix hides in an artillery shell to escape the returning crew, only to be fired into space and land on a cannibal island. The cannibals think that the empty shell is a new-fangled cooking pot. I think Messmer used this gag several times. By the way, look at the cat in the “Laura” topper, I have a weak spot for Messmer’s alternate designs for cartoon cats and this is one of his best.
Krazy is from 9-7 to 9-12-1942 this time and Garge’s inking is beautiful! The military gags go through all six strips and feature Ignatz as a private interacting with a lot of army dogs who closely resemble Offissa Pupp. I like the 9-8, in which Ignatz meets a canine spy: great inking in the second, third and fourth panels as the big spy tells Ignatz, “I AM”. The 9-9 is the runner-up for me, as four Ernie Pyle Pupps show up and tell Ignatz they are columnists. Noting that there are four of the dogs, Krazy asks “Where’s the Fiff one?” The “Fifth Column” refers not to journalism, but to military spies, such as Quisling in Poland in 1940.
Myrtle is from 5-31 to 6-6-1948, I love the 5-5 as Bingo gives Sampson a nudge which turns on Sampson’s libido. He grabs Myrtle and kisses her, leaving her puzzled. I’ve included the Sunday page which bestows a new power lawn mower on Myrtle. The new gasoline engine mower goes AWOL and smashes through a nearby neighbor’s yard.
Here is a new feature on the Catblog, George McManus’s BRINGING UP FATHER, from 1-2 to 1-7-1950. The reason Jiggs pops up here? I’m PO’d at the King Features comic website, Comics Kingdom. They have some nice proofs of BUF that they recently stopped running with the episode for 12-31-1949. I think they should have kept running Jiggs in chronological order so the readers could see the eventual abandonment of the dailies by George McManus. If I can run the post-1949 dailies here, why can’t King Features run them on their website? A syndicate that has distributed so many fine features for so many years should have a much more complete archive of their classic strips than they do. By the 1950s, George M. had been cartooning for over 43 years! He passed away in 1954 having logged in 41 years of Jiggs and Maggie, starting in 1913. His ink line was very delicate, and sometimes reminds me of Winsor McCay. McManus drew the whites of his characters’s eyes blank, once in a while with very tiny dots for irises, looking like Harold Grey’s Little Orphan Annie eyeballs. BUF will only be an occasional feature here, as the strips rarely feature continuity, except for the repeating gags of Jiggs being socked by endless crockery from his wife’s well-stocked china cabinets (which he paid for). I always enjoy McManus’s sense of staging, silhouette panels and sense of design. I love the 1-6 as Jiggs and Maggie visit their local movie theatre. McManus suggests the movie show with silhouettes of Jiggs and wife along with other movie goers in front of a totally white space above the line of theater seats. We don’t need to actually see what’s on the screen, the black figures and dialog fill us in on all the movie details. McManus is one of newspaper cartooning’s finest cartoonists, but he is easy to take for granted. Watch for more of his work coming soon.