Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Please Explain This to Me! No 1: PORKY PIG # 84

Today, we begin a NEW "Subset Feature", to go along with the now-classic "Adventures in Comic-Boxing", "Separated At Mirth", and the irregularly-seen-but-just-as-beloved "I'm Not An Artist, But...", which have become mainstays of this Blog!

Welcome to "Please Explain This to Me", a new feature which begs (Okay, I won't "beg", but I'll ask nicely!) your participation in interpreting covers, gags, or story-bits that, for whatever reason, don't work quite as well as might have been intended!

Here is the cover to PORKY PIG # 84 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: September, 1978).

Please Explain This Cover to Me!

Sure, I get the Porky gag... Some fish, as well as much water, have breached his skin diving mask and since, like most toons, Porky doesn't need to breathe air to survive underwater (or, in space, etc.) he can just derive placid bemusement from the gently floating fish!

But what is BUGS doing there?

He's not a part of the gag!

He's not reacting TO the gag, as an observer.

He shouldn't even be there at all!

Let's consider the different possibilities, regardless of how crazy or illogical...

1:  Porky is actually spear-fishing in a large aquarium tank (Naughty, naughty!), and Bugs is peering through the Plexiglas window or viewport!

...But, if so, how does that "pink wavy disturbance in the water" CIRCLE BEHIND BUGS?

2:  It's a 8 x 10 PHOTOGRAPH or POSTER of Bugs that has fallen overboard, and has slowly drifted down to the depths visited by Porky!

Then, wouldn't the presumably flat-on-paper-or-cardboard-stock image of Bugs be CURLED or ROLLED in some way, and not appear as a flat rectangle?

3:  Someone CUT OUT a rectangular portion of the cover, perhaps to clip an ad coupon on the other side, and that is an INTERIOR IMAGE OF BUGS, from inside the book, looking out at Porky and us! 

That might make sense, but for the fact that Bugs is stationary and looking directly out at the reader!  Nothing indicates that we are looking through a CUT PORTION OF THE FRONT COVER, and seeing a snippet of a first-page interior panel!  ...Like THIS simulated one! 

Or this REAL ONE!

YES, as incredible as it seems, someone in this world ACTUALLY ORDERED SEA-MONKEYS OUT OF A COMIC BOOK!  ...I never thought that really happened!  Imagine that!  

4:  Bugs is simply doing one of his "sudden-dimensional-appearing-tricks" that he practiced waaay back when he was the "Proto-Rabbit" antagonist of the 1939 cartoon "Prest-o Change-o"!

Um, maay-bee... But he's really not heckling Porky with this vaudeville era feat of magic!  I don't think he'd go through all this just to peek in on a pal!


YES!  Bugs is peering out of a PURPLE SUBMARINE so large that the cover-area can only reveal a very small portion of his behemoth craft!  A SUBMARINE SO LARGE that it blocks-out anything else from being seen!

A submarine SO ADVANCED that it can send out holographic projections - as is Bugs before that solid orange backdrop - to warn Porky that it's time to come back in!  ...That's how the "pink wavy disturbance in the water" can circle behind Bugs... It's only a hologram!

A submarine SO ADVANCED that even THESE TWO GUYS are envious!

But, Joe... you're probably asking... How did Bugs Bunny ever manage to get himself such an amazing submarine, that even Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane never dreamed of?

Well, since he didn't get it for Christmas, I was hoping YOU could tell ME that!

...Or, you could just... "Please Explain This Cover to Me"!

We'll have more installments of  "Please Explain This to Me", that's a threat AND a promise!  In the meantime, you are welcome to... "Please Explain This Cover to Me"!  

I look forward to your explanations!  

G-g-give it your best gu-gu-gue... Aw, supposition!  

Th-th-that's all folks! 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter 2019!

Whoever gets that Easter Egg from Woody Woodpecker is gonna really be surprised when it hatches! 

Well, at least he's painting it some nice colors!  

And doing a better job than MUTT AND JEFF would have done! 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Separated at Mirth: You Paint the High Road, and I'll Paint the Low Road!

It's not always different properties, or different characters, that find themselves "Separated at Mirth"

Sometimes it's the SAME CHARACTERS, the SAME TITLE, or even the SAME ARTIST!  

Two out of three apply here, as we present the "Mirth Separation" of Dell Comics' MUTT AND JEFF # 106 (Cover Date: December, 1958) and Harvey Comics' MUTT AND JEFF JOKES # 3 (Cover Date: February, 1961).

Things to Note: 

The POSITIONS of Mutt and Jeff are the SAME in each instance.  They are not flipped. 

Which one is funnier?  I dunno!  In one, Mutt and Jeff have "painted themselves into... not quite a corner", but into uncomfortably close quarters, in classic comedy style.  In the other, Mutt hasn't fully realized what has happened until he's PAINTED UP JEFF'S SHOES AND ONTO HIS BUTT!   

In fact, by the looks of the MOTION of Mutt's right arm, he's JUST NOTICED - but is STILL reflexively brushing Jeff's hind quarters with paint, because his brain has not yet told his arm to stop... again in classic comedy style!  ...Take your pick!  


Both cover illustrations are by Al Smith.  The first one is even signed!  

The REVERSE of this gag occurs on the cover of MUTT AND JEFF # 120 (Harvey Comics - October, 1960), also by Al Smith!  All of these gags (and many, many more) play off the differences in height between Mutt and Jeff!  

Dell Comics published only 12 issues of MUTT AND JEFF.  Harvey Comics published 33 issues of MUTT AND JEFF, with 7 more as "M&J JOKES" and "M&J NEW JOKES" for a total of 40 issues. 

Prior to this, DC Comics published 103 issues of MUTT AND JEFF... but NOT ONE of those 103 issues did any variation of the "Height Differential Painting Cover Gags" seen here!  

The closest they came was Issue # 5 (Summer, 1942) and Issue # 98 (October, 1957), both are drawn by Sheldon Mayer.  

Oddly, ALL of the MUTT AND JEFF "painting gag" covers seen here have YELLOW BACKGROUNDS - except Dell Comics' MUTT AND JEFF # 106!  

You will see more of  MUTT AND JEFF being "Separated at Mirth"!  Indeed, they were probably "Mirth Separated" more often than most characters, given various covers and interior gags that formed the basis for those covers!  But, for now...

There you have MUTT AND JEFF # 106 and MUTT AND JEFF JOKES # 3 - Separated at Mirth!  

Anyone got some YELLOW PAINT?  

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I’m Not an Artist, But… Why is George Jetson so HAPPY?

I'm not an artist but... that doesn't mean I can't express puzzlement at some of the strange, odd, and sometimes downright unfathomable things I see while rooting through my comic book collection!  

For instance, this issue-opening splash panel from THE JETSONS # 14 (Charlton Comics, Cover Date: December, 1972)...


Jane, at least, shows some concern... but WHY IS GEORGE SO HAPPY ABOUT IT?! 

"I'm Not an Artist, But..." can't George have been drawn just a little more like Casty's Mickey Mouse in the modern-day classic "Plan Dine from Outer Space"?  

...I don't mean drawn with "big round ears", but a tad more reasonably concerned when a celestial body is about to slam into the Earth?  

For instance, let's look in on "another member of a futuristic TV family", and see how HE would take such news...

Yeah, that's more like it!  

Perhaps, though, by The Jetsons' time "planetary collisions" are just as routine as presidential scandals are today... and, by being so sadly plentiful, nobody pays attention to them anymore!   

Sure, just "evacuate Earth"!  ...As easy and routine as "going for donuts"!  

Nope, sorry!  I'm not an artist but... George should look far more distressed than he does!  

Even by Charlton standards, he should be "MORE THIS"...

...Than "THIS"! 

Whadda you think? 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Letters to Lois and Lana! (...Or the Long Lowdown on Lane and Lang!)

I SOOOO miss comic book letter columns! 

Back before texting and "Insta-Face-Tweet-Snap-Gramming", people actually used to write letters... not only to one another, but to the editors of their favorite comic books!  These letters were often interesting, and invariably fun!  It is a part of the comic book reading experience that is now gone forever!

...Unless, like me, you have your own "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" by rooting through your long (...or short) boxes to unearth those special, yet forgotten, treasures!  

The letter columns were the place to interact with a book's editor (...or editorial staffer) to express your opinions by forming actual sentences with words, via a thought process that didn't reek of snark, sarcasm, or outright trolling as its default setting!

(Don't try to read the small text!  Some highlights will follow below!) 

And, given the way I conduct this Blog, in an overall snark, sarcasm, and troll-free manner - where most everything is all-in-respectful-fun, it's small wonder that I "came-up" through this now-lost art form, with over 300 published Comic Book Letters of Comment!  That spirit of civility remains alive here... and always will!

Ah, but to our subject... 

While "comic-box adventuring", I chanced to read LOIS LANE 99 and 100 (DC Comics, Cover Dates: February and April, 1970 - respectively), and thoroughly enjoyed the "It-Could Only-Happen-In-a-Silver-Age-DC-Comic", Bizarro-Perry-Mason-like story of Lois on trial for the murder of her rival Lana Lang... with SUPERMAN as prosecuting attorney, and BATMAN for the defense (!)...

...With a last-minute courtroom surprise by defense attorney Batman...

...That would stun even "Old Perry"!

"Perry MASON", that is... not Perry White!

And, after a two-part nail-biter like THAT, what could be a better chaser than the issues' letter columns!  

So, either Lois DIDN'T kill Lana after all, or maybe there's some anthrax in that envelope that Lana is opening!  If no deadly chemicals are involved, I'll merely suggest that you make up your own "poison pen letter" joke, to save me some time!

Whatever's in that letter, though, it was potent enough to transform Lana from a redhead to a blonde!

And, before I do some variation on "Hair Color Today, Gone Tomorrow", let's finally get to some of those letters... 

In anticipation of the 100th issue of LOIS LANE, we have these thoughts that ACTUALLY APPEARED in the letter column of LOIS LANE # 100...

Hmmm... Somehow, I must have missed LOIS LANE # 500 in 2014 (...Or perhaps it just became too unrecognizable for me to notice, in the wake of modern DC's continuous stunts such as "The New 52" and "Rebirth")!  

...And, by 2070, I will undoubtedly be dead!  ...So much for collecting LOIS LANE # 1,000! 

Isn't it great that "a young girl in the late 1940s" was (...and hopefully STILL IS) reading these comics and sharing them with her children  in 1970!   

How great would it be if, by now - or in more recent times, she is also doing so with lots of grandchildren!   Though, hopefully with Gold, Silver, and/or Bronze Age comics - that are so much better than the comics of today, SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP excepted! 

WARNING: Always read the STORIES before the letter column, because ya never know what's gonna get spoiled (Also from LOIS LANE #100)...


To be fair to "Mister Ed." (...No, not HIM!)...

...I don't believe the term "SPOILER WARNING" was in common use (or, that it even existed) in late 1969. 

...And, besides, maybe the "SPOILER" was wrong because Lana had yet to open the chemically-booby-trapped envelope! 

But, before she does, let's slide backward to two letters from LOIS LANE # 99 - with two VERY DIFFERENT exchanges on the topic of romance! 

Here's one decidedly steeped in literature... (Click to Enlarge, if needed!) 

...And here's another kind entirely...

Ya gotta love it!  Ya gotta love it ALL!  A salute to those who wrote these letters!  I hope you're still out there enjoying this stuff! 

...And I hope you're all having you own special "Adventures in Comic-Boxing"!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Adventures in Pantry Raiding: Going "Crackers"?

Yes, once in a while I will occasionally lift my head from blogging about comic books and forage for food!

Fortunately, I have only to forage the length of 3 1/2 flooring tiles, from my den's door to the food pantry!

On such a "pantry raid" (pardon), I chanced to discover this curious item...

...Leaving me with but one question to ask...

What in the heck are "ENTERTAINER CRACKERS"? 

Do they "sing and dance" their way into your tummy? 

And, if so, I hope they sound more like Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin...

...Rather than AC/DC...

...'Cause, while I "like me some AC/DC", my tummy would consider it a "Dirty Deed Done Dirt Cheap"!    

Don't just lie there, stacked in your individually-wrapped sleeves... ENTERTAIN ME!