Thursday, June 25, 2020

Separated at Mirth: Cat, Fishing! ...Follows Fishing Fred!

As usual, I'm "fishing" for a "hook" for another Separation at Mirth!

It would seem that TOP CAT always follows THE FLINTSTONES!

On TV...


In comic books...
The first FLINTSTONES comic book! (1961)

The first TOP CAT comic book! (Late 1961)

...And, when "Separated at Mirth", with this gag!

THE FLINTSTONES # 60 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: September, 1970)
TOP CAT # 12 (Charlton Comics, Cover Date: August, 1972)

Why, they're even hauling-up the SAME NUMBER OF FISH with their octopusses,, octopi... um, octopeeses...or whatever!  
"Like, you know, I hate meeces an' octopeeses to pieces!"

Another interesting note... THE FLINTSTONES # 60 was the last Gold Key Comics issue of classic Hanna-Barbera characters before that license went over to Charlton in August, 1970.

And, allowing for advance cover dating, Charlton would duplicate the octopus-fishing gag almost two years later!  

...Gosh, the things you learn by visiting this Blog!   

Oh, just one more thing...

...Exactly WHERE is Wilma standing on that tiny rock?  

Friday, June 19, 2020

I’m Not an Artist, But… Shouldn't This Be a BUGS BUNNY Cover?

To paraphrase Doctor Leonard McCoy from STAR TREK (The Original Series, aka TOS), as almost everyone has done in one way or another, over the last 40-50 years...

...I'm a WRITER, not an ARTIST, thus my sub-series of posts called "I’m Not an Artist, But…", and "thus-thus" (or "double thus"?) we examine the cover of PORKY PIG # 59 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: April, 1975). 

Er, uh, don't look now, Doc... but, did'ja ever get the feelin' that this was a repurposed BUGS BUNNY cover?  

Let's make the case, shall we?  

Bugs is clearly the "dominant" (...and, if that's become a negative word these days, we can say "featured", "central", "better-positioned"?) character within the frame of the image.

Porky has his BACK TURNED to the audience!  Even if it IS in service to the gag of "dueling squirt-flowers", it's a general "composition-no-no".  

Finally, the LETTERS in the logo "Porky Pig" look so awkwardly stenciled-on and colored that they look like they're straight out of some "magnetic set of plastic letters" that Averi would attach to a refrigerator door!  I know, because we HAVE them in her play area!   

Yes, that's a completely gratuitous purposely-added image of Averi!  ...SO WHAT?!   

But, even SHE (future comics fan that I hope she becomes - I'll try my best) would probably consider this to be more likely an original BUGS BUNNY COVER, reassigned (perhaps at a last moment deadline) to PORKY PIG!  

...And SHE's already more of an "artist" than *I* am!  

Sunday, June 14, 2020

R.I.P. Denny O' Neil.

Every such post of yet another death of someone who made my little corner of the world a better and richer place is written from a place of sadness, but this one is particularly so...

Comic book writer, editor... and transformative figure Dennis (Denny) O' Neil passed away on June 11, 2020, at the age of 81.  

To call Denny O' Neil my favorite DC Comics writer Post-Silver-Age is easy... just look over his body of work.  

To call Denny O' Neil one of my most favorite comic book writers of all is equally easy... just look over his body of work.  

But, to call Denny O' Neil THE most significant comic book writer Post-Silver-Age - and ONE OF THE most significant comic book writers of ALL TIME (in a grouping that would include such names as Jerry Siegel, Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Stan Lee, and Carl Barks) - would also not be amiss... just look over his body of work.  

Consider that THIS was the character (and popular image of) Batman before Denny O'Neil...

...And through O'Neil's guidance, aided and abetted by the magnificent visuals of Neal Adams, came things like THIS!  

Of course, there are MANY who prefer a lighter comics Batman and, certainly in view of the extremes of the comics of the 21st Century, I count myself decidedly as one of them - preferring, via the greater perspective of hindsight and at least two decades of gratuitous comics excess, a Batman more like these...

C'mon... Admit it!  Every one of those was GREAT!  

But, "great" as they all were (and ARE), somewhere around this time... 

...Batman needed a "bigger change" than Batgirl needed for her tights!  

And Denny O' Neil was just the writer to deliver that change!  

And did he EVER deliver!  

Creating my favorite DC villain (...yes, even more than The Joker) Ra's Al Ghul in the process!

Not stopping there, he revitalized Superman...

...Paving the way for editor Julius Schwartz and his pack of young writing talents, Cary Bates, Elliot S! Maggin, and the recently-lost-to-us Martin Pasko, to carry the Man of Steel through the 1970s, and well into the 1980s!  

And there was the historic (though, alas, unappreciated in its time) GREEN LANTERN / GREEN ARROW!  

These images simply speak for themselves!  

One of the most iconic and oft-referenced series of panels in comic book history...

Caricatures can sometimes be tricky...  Former Vice-President Spiro Agnew - or horror film star Vincent Price?  

Cover by the great Neal Adams! 

Honestly, back when I first read this issue, I thought it was supposed to be Vincent Price!  But, some say differently.  You decide!  

Alas, we can no longer ask the author. 

Nor, can we ask him about his early days... writing for (can you believe) Charlton...  

...Under his pen name of "Sergius O' Shaugnessy"...

Or his days at Marvel... 

...Or his time in the later 1980s thru 1990s as the editor of the Batman family of titles!  

A period that began with elegance...

...Retaining that elegance amid a direction of market-driven image-distortion... 

...And was the last period during which I truly enjoyed a contemporary Batman comic that didn't harken back to a previous time.  

Mark Evanier has a wonderfully detailed Blog post on Denny O'Neil that you can read HERE! 

Denny O'Neil was the writer most responsible for transitioning DC Comics out of the fanciful Silver Age and into the more grounded Bronze Age, laying the groundwork for the "Modern Age" to come!  Anyone who disputes this can (...all together now)... just look over his body of work!  

Rest In Peace, Mr. Dennis O'Neil... An entire industry has YOU to thank for so very much!