Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: If Birds Had Their Own Laws, This Would Be One of Them!

While we’re still rooting around the long box for WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES, let’s turn our attentions to Issue 165 (Cover Date: November, 1950), home of the “Black and Red Woody Woodpecker Halloween Pumpkin Gag” covered in THIS POST.  But now, let’s look in on Homer Pigeon!

To my knowledge, Homer Pigeon only appeared in three cartoons but was, oddly, a mainstay of the Walter Lantz comic books – regularly appearing from the 1940s thru ‘60s, and (via reprints in Gold Key’s Golden Comics Digest) into the 1970s!   

Unlike Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda, Homer did not live in a world largely populated by “human characters” with a side dish of other funny animal characters like Wally Walrus or Charlie Chicken.  Instead, Homer lived in a “world of birds” whose structures were in the trees – with his town even named “Birdville”. 

FUN FACT: Homer actually introduced Chilly Willy to comic books, as noted down somewhere in THIS POST

Homer basically existed to win the affections of fickle “Carrie Pigeon”, and thwart the schemes of his rival “Red Cardinal”.  Or, so went the vast majority of his many comic book stories. 

Click to enlarge, for ease of reading!
Most often, an underhanded competitor for Carrie’s attentions, in this tale Red is more of a moocher – who sponges off Homer, rather than work for his meals.

Fed up with, uh… keeping Red fed, Homer sends the sponging nuisance off with just a cup of coffee… because Homer’s such a good, soft heated guy.  

But, here the story takes an odd turn – even for a Walter Lantz comic (often more loosely plotted than the concurrent Disney comics we’re all accustomed to) about a separate civilization of anthropomorphic birds!

Hungry Red decides to STEAL AN EGG to eat!  Let’s not even try to think about what that could possibly mean in a civilization of BIRDS! 

See what I mean? 


Then, THIS happens! 

Red apparently draws the line at cannibalism, and wisely decides to return the chick to its mother’s nest (After all “Dell Comics are GOOD Comics”, or so said their “Pledge to Parents”), when Homer gets the drop on him! 

Yeah, if ANY logic could be applied to this bizarre situation, it WOULD be that THIS is a “Law”!

Red is sentenced for his crime, according to bird law! 

And, sentence is carried-out by an unusually bird-like version of Woody’s rival “Buzz Buzzard” (so named on-panel)

Gotta love that the blindfold doesn't work! 

Also gotta love that Buzz can’t count!  …Or, maybe he CAN, and just took some more licks for the hell of it!

So, the next time you see the comic book Donald Duck in jail, think how different it COULD have been for him, if Walter Lantz and Universal got DONALD from Disney, instead of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!   

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 Continues with Fluffy and Mervin and Tom and Jerry.

Remember the turkey pictured in our last post, from the cover of WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES # 178? 

Well, he’s still around (thanks to the kindness of Andy and Woody) – and so is Thanksgiving 2017, since Thanksgiving is a four-day-holiday, after all!  And, that’s not including Cyber Monday!

So, to keep being thankful (if only for the next few days) for all the persons, places, and things that you would normally just “kick out of the way” throughout the rest of the year, we offer this Fluffy and Mervin Thanksgiving gag created by our good friend Debbie Anne Perry!

Let’s be thankful that persons like Debbie are out there to drop unexpected smiles on us – sometimes when we need them most! 

Seeing this brought to mind a Tom and Jerry Thanksgiving tale, from Dell Comics’ TOM AND JERRY # 184 (Cover Date: November, 1959) that will be forever seared into my brain. 

Why, you are undoubtedly asking your collective selves, is this particular Tom and Jerry story forever seared into my brain? 

Good question, considering there were SO MANY great Tom and Jerry stories created over the 1940s thru ‘60s.  

Indeed, I daresay that the “ten-pagers” that led off each issue of the TOM AND JERRY title may very well be second only to the Carl Barks Donald Duck “ten-pagers” that led off each issue of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES during that same period, in terms of reliably delivering great art and humor!

But, this one (and certain others like it) remains forever special because, back in those very early days of my existence, my grandmother bought and read these comics to me… long before I could read them myself!  In fact, it was from comics like these that I learned to read, well before entering elementary school!  They also created the life-long love of comics that lives within me to this day!

Talk about having something to be thankful for!   

But, to our story… “The Turkey” 10 pages.  Writer: Unknown.  Artist: Phil De Lara. 

Tom has just prepared a Thanksgiving meal for his GrandmaTabby, to which Jerry and Tuffy have invited themselves.  Tom tells the story of his ancestor at the first Thanksgiving , and why mice are never invited to a Thanksgiving meal. 

Aw, this story was never reprinted – and due to the images of pesky Native American mice, probably never will be even if there WERE any Tom and Jerry comics – so here it is for your Thanksgiving enjoyment.  Click to enlarge, for greater ease of reading. 

Hopefully, Tom gets his fill of Thanksgiving turkey before Cyber Monday! 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

To everyone who makes this Blog such a joy to host, Happy Thanksgiving 2017 – to you and everyone who means something to you!  …And even all those others – it’s a holiday, after all! 

I'm even thankful that Dell did SO MANY Thanksgiving covers over the years, that I've never had to repeat!  

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Andy’s in the Shadows! Woody’s in the Red!

We're going to officially designate a new Sub-Feature here at TIAH Blog called "Adventures in Comic-Boxing"! 

As I spend more time going through my comic boxes - closely examining the the many wonders inside, diving around in them like a porpoise, burrowing through them like a gopher, tossing them up and letting them hit me on the head - I often find oddities that I'd like to share with you.  

Thus, "Adventures in Comic-Boxing"!

Some recent posts have fallen into this category, like THIS ONE and THIS ONE, which will now fall under our new "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" label.  

Now, our "Adventure in Comic-Boxing" for today...

There are certain animated characters that are SO iconic in their design that they are recognizable while pictured completely in silhouette.   
My ORIGINAL COPY from 1981, without the additional text to obscure the illustrations!
Surely you can tell who's pictured above, for instance.  

But, is Andy Panda a character with the sort of cachet that would allow him to pull this off?  

Evidently the artist, writer, and editor (or any combination thereof) of WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES # 164 (1950) must have thought so, as indicated by this one-page, Black and White Andy Panda gag on the issue's inside front cover.  

Click to enlarge the whole page, or either of the two segments included below!  

I know that pandas are known for their Black and White coloring, but this takes it to a whole new level.  

And, for no reason other than to set up a Blog-Post-Closing gag, I also include this "Red and White" Woody Woodpecker Halloween gag from the inside back cover of the very next issue - WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES # 165...

Consider this pair of gags together, and you will have the answer to the ages-old riddle: "What's Black and White, and Red [Read] All Over?"   

Why Andy and Woody, of course!  

Oh, and what's a NEWSPAPER?