Thursday, January 31, 2019

Separated at Mirth: The Big Bopper... er, BEEPER!

As the song goes (link)... "If you're on a highway, and Crawford Crow goes BEEP-BEEP! ..."

NO!  THAT'S NOT RIGHT!  Try again...

"If you're on a highway, and ROAD RUNNER goes BEEP-BEEP! ..."

YES!  That's more like it!  

Our "Loud-And-Jarring-Mirth-Separation" is courtesy of THE FOX AND THE CROW # 23 (DC COMICS, Cover Date: March, 1955) and BEEP BEEP THE ROAD RUNNER # 23 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: April, 1971). 

Things to Note: 

Both issues are the TWENTY-THIRD ISSUE of their respective series!  I seriously doubt we'll have any more "Mirth-Separations" like this!

Both "Beepers" are BIRDS, out to unnerve a member of the related species of a FOX and a COYOTE!

Both "Beeping-Birds" are coming-at their intended victims in a general "left-to-right" direction!   

Cover Art for THE FOX AND THE CROW # 23 is by Jim Davis. 

Cover Art for BEEP BEEP THE ROAD RUNNER # 23 is by Jack Manning. 

...What's that you say?   The CROW is RIDING, while the ROAD RUNNER is ON FOOT?  

Oh, that "Mirth-Separation Gap" is easily filled-in by BEEP BEEP THE ROAD RUNNER # 15 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: December, 1969).  

And, after so many covers like THESE...

...You'd think the CROW would be the "more aggressive Beeper", piling on to his initial aural assault!

GUESS AGAIN... as to who's sounding-off with multiple beeps in multiple modes?  

In fact, for a while, I didn't realize these were TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES...

...And, by merely looking at the COVER of the latter, I'd just assumed I already had it!  

Both pink backgrounds.  Both ridiculously over-sized horns.   Both action moving from left to right.  Both drawn by Jack Manning!  

So we also have a double "Separated at Mirth" between BEEP BEEP THE ROAD RUNNER # 23 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: April, 1971) - and BEEP BEEP THE ROAD RUNNER # 55 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: January, 1976).   

It almost looks like a "Tex Avery-eqsue" sequence, where the Road Runner is going to keep coming back with larger and more noisy horns until some "fourth-wall-breaking-point" is reached!  

And so we leave you with THE FOX AND THE CROW # 23 and BEEP BEEP THE ROAD RUNNER # 23...

...As well as BEEP BEEP THE ROAD RUNNER # 23 AND 55...

...Separated At Great Big Beeping Mirth! 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: It's all In the Dialogue!

Then again, isn't it ALWAYS? 

Here is the inside front cover gag from ADVENTURES OF MIGHTY MOUSE # 4 (St. John, Cover Date: May, 1952), featuring a lesser-known Terrytoons character, Little Roquefort.

We'll enlarge the gag panels for your reading pleasure.  Take special note of the LAST PANEL, where I feel the DIALOGUE makes all the difference! 

Click to further enlarge, if necessary! 

To me, the DIALOGUE in the last panel REALLY makes the gag!  

Consider that "Percy the Cat's" line here could have been something to the effect of: "Now what do you suppose went wrong?", and the gag would still have been successful - because Percy was thwarted by something he was completely unaware of... Little Roquefort's being inspired by some "words of wisdom".   

However, the gag would have worked strictly "on it's own slapstick merit", with Percy's closing line being of no consequence, rather than the line ADDING humor to the gag!   

The unexpected - and, from his perspective, unexplained - backfiring of Percy's plan is far more humorously bolstered by the closing line as written!  

...Especially if it were delivered in deadpan!   

And that's why good dialogue can make a bad story good, while bad dialogue only serves to further MAGNIFY a bad story's flaws - and good dialogue always makes a good story great!  

I'll leave you discerning readers to decide which is which, of the two unattributed dialogue examples below... 

Any questions? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: And I Would Have Gotten Away With It, If It Weren't for Those Meddling... (Um!) Flashlight Batteries!

...Flashlight batteries?*  (*Translated from the Scooby-Talk: "Rash-right Ratteries?")  

Here's an ad from the interior of THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE # 5 (DC Comics, Cover Date: October-November, 1950), and it's the kind of ad you just don't see anymore!

The type of advertising that was popular in the 1940s-1960s, and was perfectly at-home in comic books!   Let's break it out for easier reading - and, of course, you can Click to Enlarge the entire ad, or any portion thereof! 

Guest-starring as the Treasury Agents, on loan from DC Comics, are PERRY WHITE...

...And an adult version of JIMMY OLSEN!  DC really showing all-in support for this ad, getting the supporting cast of SUPERMAN to do their part(s)!

...Or maybe they just used an available Superman artist like Curt Swan, Kurt Schaffenberger, or Al Plastino - and that accounts for the resemblance and "general house style" of DC Comics!

But, notice that, situated between Agent White and Agent Grown-Up-Olsen, is the REAL HERO of the piece... THE FLASHLIGHT!

Or, more specifically, the BATTERIES contained therein!  

Also, devilishly clever of that HERO FLASHLIGHT to "hide in plain sight", while everyone is distracted by the adjoining jewelry!  BRAVO!  Or BRAV-O-VAC! 

But, back to our story...

From Antwerp, Belgium to... LAKEWOOD, NEW JERSEY?  

Yes, that's a real place!

I guess they figured that neither Sean Connery nor Roger Moore would ever look for them in Lakewood, NJ!  ...Waitaminnit!  It's 1950!  Who are Sean Connery and Roger Moore?  

MAN!  That is one intimidating FLASHLIGHT!  

Yeah!  I shudder to think how this true story would have turned out if they had used KRUSTY BRAND BATTERIES!  

Yep!  No one "sheds light" on life's mysteries like Scooby and the Gang, Sherlock Holmes, Batman and Robin...


EXTRA BONUS AD - from the back cover of THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE # 5...

Should your horse ever dump you into a pit of QUICKSAND without your flashlight full o' life-saving Ray-O-Vac Batteries...

You can always count on a cold refreshing bottle of RC (Royal Crown Cola) to come to the rescue... At least the "rescue" of your "danger-generated THIRST"!  The Quicksand?  Maybe not so much!    

Of course, it also helps if your horse DOESN'T WANT TO PURPOSELY THROW YOU INTO A PIT OF QUICKSAND!  So, remember... be kind to your horse!  

Not like THIS mischievous-looking kid, who probably pokes his horse with a stick, spikes his oats with Tabasco, and ties his horse-shoe-laces together!  Doesn't he just LOOK devilish?  

Oh, and gotta love the FISH who pops out of the water for a look!

The fish is probably wondering how his stream suddenly turned to QUICKSAND! 

...It even says "STREAM" right there in the caption box! 

Ya know, like, the other horse is even DRINKING from it!

Then again, maybe poor "Quickie" (Now, THERE's an "unfortunate nickname", if ever I heard one!), is right about the quicksand, and the horse really wants to do him in!

Quickie's horse is probably just off-panel smiling - or making with a hearty "horse-laugh"! 

It's a good thing they packed some spinach...

...Er, um... make that RC COLA in their saddle bag... oh, and an AX too! 

Never mind the likelihood of the 1950-era GLASS BOTTLES being cracked or shattered by the AX packed alongside them! 

Only "two full glasses in the BIG bottle?"  Methinks the "BIG bottle" may have been almost as inaccurately named as "Quickie" - who jus' don't seem so "quick" to me! 

Okay, I GET the AX... but exactly what are the (presumably non-shattered) bottles of RC COLA doing to help? 

They're about as much help around quicksand as DOCTOR ZACHARY SMITH!

"Wait right there, gentlemen!  I'll be back with some RC Cola!" 

YAY! (...or, should I say YI-P-P-E-E-E!)  Quickie is saved by the heroic (and conveniently nicknamed) "R.C.", while those bottles of RC COLA just stand around... um, "chillin'"! ...BRRRR!

"Well, gee whiz!  You think it's easy to contain TWO FULL GLASSES of cola inside you?  What am I supposed to do... SLOSH to the rescue?"

Ah, I see!  The RC COLA is just there for the "post-rescue celebration", while the AX was the real life-saving implement!  ...WELL, CELEBRATING IS IMPORTANT TOO! 

Finally, after all the interior advertising reproduced from THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE # 5 , the very least I can do is close on it's cover!

Along with those "Seasick Pills", I hope Bob packed some life-saving RAY-O-VAC BATTERIES and RC COLA!  

...After all, I've read the story... and he's gonna NEED 'EM!