Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weird Huck Tales – Part 2 of 2. “Huckleberry Hound: Pioneer Peacemaker”

We conclude our 50th anniversary celebration of Huckleberry Hound with a look at my nominee for the “weirdest” Huck Hound comic book story of them all. From 2006 and The Issue At Hand # 77 comes the following:
The Issue at Hand is: HUCKLEBERRY HOUND # 27 (July, 1965)
Published by Gold Key Comics.

Pioneer Peacemaker” 8 pages. Writer: Unknown. Artist: Pete Alvarado.

In the early days of our great land, pioneer settler Huckbearded, with coonskin cap – is captured by Indians, and eventually forges peace between the Native Americans and settlers by teaching them to resolve their differences by playing marbles! So successful was Peacemaker Huck that he heads further west to ply his trade on a larger scale.
Here’s where the story takes a strange and wonderful turn.
CAPTION:Times were changing fast, and Huck had trouble keeping up…”

Were the times EVER changing! We open with a shot of Huck driving his covered wagon west. The “camera” pulls back to reveal that his covered wagon is on a RAILWAY FLATCAR! He reaches his destination, and attempts to construct a new wooden homestead UNDER A MODERN FREEWAY OVERPASS! Huh?!

A friendly police officer advises him to move on, and he does… finding a LIBRARY, where he reads volume after volume of “history”, thereby “catching up with time”! He tosses his coonskin cap – and removes his fake beard (!), and heads for COLLEGE, where he studies to become an astronaut! Upon graduation he walks, fully qualified, into a rocket base, and blasts off for an unknown planet!

There, he finds plastic bubble-encased log cabins and teepees (!), and is captured by space-helmeted Indians! The wrap is that, after an incredible journey through much of American history, Huck finds himself, once again, making peace – with good old fashioned marbles – between space-suited Indians and newly-arrived-by-rocket settlers!

HUCK:You know somethin’? I think this present future is nothin’ but the past in reverse… or vicey versa!”

Can’t you just hear voice actor supreme Daws Butler delivering that line!
WOW! I thought this story was on the weird side when I read it as a kid, but I REALLY enjoyed its oddball incongruities when revisiting it as an adult! Pioneer days to beyond the Space Age in a mere eight pages and I LOVED Huck’s humorously abrupt transformation from “old” to “modern”!

I’d like to write a story as wonderfully “out-there” as this one someday… and, though I can’t imagine how it could ever happen (…given Huck’s undeserved obscurity and the state of the comic book industry), I’d love a chance to write Huckleberry Hound for comic books! I salute those who were privileged to do so… and I salute Huckleberry Hound – and his creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera – for the last fifty years of fun!

Cover of HUCKLEBERRY HOUND # 27 (…with optional coonskin cap and fake beard removed!) Art by Harvey Eisenberg.


ramapith said...

Hey Joe,

How to celebrate? Wow, gotta love the great singing behind these titles (even if they've had to go over the edge to eliminate Kellogg's references):

And while we're at it...

(dig that redub... and it looks like these must be the "classic" Japanese dubs, featuring the Chuck Jones opening on all episodes followed by a truly crude-looking title banner)

ramapith said...

(Er, it looks like you can't see those links in full; but to use them, just rapidly click several times on one until the whole line is highlighted; then copy and paste it into your browser bar...)