Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy "Last-Day-of-2021"!

Any auld acquaintance can wish you "Happy New Year"... but here is where you'll always get the unusual and the unique -- so "HAPPY LAST-DAY-OF-2021"!

And I *AM* indeed happy that it's the "Last-Day-of-2021"... a year that only looks good when compared with its predecessor!

...Or, to put a more optimistic spin on this... 2021 was, all things considered, better than 2020... let's hope that trend continues with 2022!   

Monday, December 27, 2021

Watchin' the Detective (Comics) with Mark Evanier!


My one-time mentor for all things "comics-writing" (whether he knew it at the time, or not), Mark Evanier, has posted at his Blog, a truly excellent SEVEN-PART (!) ESSAY on the day a "New Look" came to Batman in DETECTIVE COMICS!

Mark does so (as he always does) with the proper perspective of "someone who was there at the time" - and that's a perspective that you don't always get from the myriad of folks that fancy themselves as comic-book experts or historians.  

As someone who also endeavors to present that same "perspective" in his many musings on the subject of comics, I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE this when I see it!

You will too, once you TAKE THIS LINK and begin reading Mark's account of a true "game-changing event" (...Yes, that phrase is waaay overused but, in this case, it's quite accurate!) in the history of comic books!

Mark doesn't publish comments at his Blog (he'd probably be swamped with them if he did), so feel free to leave your impressions here... perhaps he'll see them.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Amid Construction... a Little Christmas!

Our great friend Elaine offered a suggestion in the comments section of our previous post, and I like it, so I'll hand it over to her...

"Speaking of eye-catching covers...maybe you could do a Christmas post where you just ask us to nominate our favorite Christmas covers. I realize you can't currently access your own favorites to post images, so this might have to wait till next year to satisfy your blogging standards...but I'd enjoy finding out everyone's favorites. I myself use some comics with Christmas covers for Christmas décor--I set them up around the living room!"

Since, as I said in response, "Oh, and MY “Christmas décor around the living room” this year is plaster and drop cloths… and they’re not even festively colored. (Sigh!)"

I think we should give it a try... but with one additional wrinkle...

Since, under these construction-hampered circumstances, I can't (as Elaine says) "access [my] own favorites to post images", I would suggest that anyone offering an example PROVIDE A GCD LINK (OR INDUCKS, IF YOU PREFER) to the particular comic in question!

That way we can all see the Christmas images you hold special!

You can access GCD here!   And INDUCKS here!

Have at it, and have the happiest of holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Superman Catches a Bus!

 As a local Bus Transit Advocate for several years...

...You just KNOW I had to get a copy of ACTION COMICS #199 (DC Comics, Cover Date: December, 1954)!  

You know the old Henny Youngman joke about when his wife "sits around the house"... "she SITS AROUND THE HOUSE!"  

So it would seem that, when "Superman catches a bus"... "Superman CATCHES A BUS!"

...Let's just hope it's never one that I'm on!

Talk about "unanticipated delays"!

Monday, December 13, 2021

"Horrifically Busy" Just Got More "Horrifically Busy"!

Just when ya thought it couldn't get worse, there's another reason this humble Blog is not up to its (kinda, sorta) usual standards of posting frequency!

Yes, it's the dread task of HOUSE CONSTRUCTION!

It would seem that two amazingly cute little grandchildren are not the only "additions" to our lives!

Averi (right) and Cici - September, 2021

We need a place to put 'em for their (hopefully) frequent future visits, thus the expansion.  

One day, half the house was GONE, and the next a new wooden frame was in its place!  And don't get me started on the number of things I had to move and crowd into awkward (but, so far, reasonably safe) places!  

My den, from which I write these posts, remains inaccessible, and I've resorted to moving my Blogging activities to a less-familiar laptop - on my kitchen table!  And, to do so, had to go through more corridors and alleyways of Google than I thought possible in order to just get to where I could Blog on the darned thing!  

But, since "perseverance" is one of my many middle names (...Just don't call me "Percy" for short - 'cause HE won't like me appropriating his name)...

Of course, you remember where HE comes from!

...Here I am, and ready to resume under these sometimes-trying circumstances, to the relief and (dare I say it?) joy of all!

Let's see how this first kitchen-laptop post - and its follow-up comments (AHEM!) go - and, as a result of my "Google-tampering" to do so, will anything be out-of-whack once I get my desktop computer - and my DESK, and my swivel chair... and my DEN - back!   

I leave you with this image of a hole in my living room, leading out to the back yard... mostly because it's the only other picture I took of the whole affair as of yet, and hope the "next six weeks" (Groan!) go smoothly!

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Questions You Never Asked: Why Did Huckleberry Hound Start Wearing a Mask?

A question for our crazy times...  Why did Huckleberry Hound start wearing a mask? 

No, it wasn't because of a skunk! 

...Give up?  

He was concerned about catching the "O-M'DARLIN" variant of COVID!

Now, you know why you NEVER asked that question! 

You just never can tell what a feller's got to protect himself from these days! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Popeye and "Th' Power of Posik-tive Thinkin'!"

Popeye's been in some tight squeezes before, but he "thinks-up" a rather unconventional means of escape from this one, as seen in POPEYE # 107 (Charlton Comics, Cover Date: April 1971)! 

You'd normally expect the python to coil around Popeye so tightly that his trusty can of spinach pops out of his shirt and is forced opened by the pressure, allowing the strength-supplying weed to land directly in his mouth. 

But that's not exactly what happens here... 

Watch as Popeye literally THINKS the can of spinach into existence!  

How about THAT, folks!  

The Charlton POPEYE comics were as... er, "unconventional" as one might expect from Charlton...

...And they did enough unusual things with the Popeye characters to make them interesting! 

George Wildman was certainly not the artist that both E.C. Segar and Bud Sagendorf were...

But, his style somehow suited the generally weird goings-on of the Charlton run...

...As the cover of POPEYE # 107 shows!  

 Or this one - Issue 116.  

Thus, he seemed the perfect choice for a strange and surreal sequence such as this!

We'll let Popeye have the final word on his spinach materialization trick ...

"I THINKS, there-fore, I YAM!" 

 Toot! Toot! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Happy 4th Birthday to Averi... Oh, Yes... and Happy Thanksgiving 2021, Too!

 Today is Averi's 4th birthday!  

Happy birthday to "My Little Everything"!

Just so you know, Esther is "My Everything", Averi is "My Little Everything", and Cici is "My Littlest Everything"!  ...That's a lotta "Everythings"!

Shortly after she was born, I commemorated Avi's birthday in UNCLE SCROOGE (IDW) #40, the last Uncle Scrooge I did for IDW, as a car's license plate!

 I hope she'll find that amusing someday!  

One thing that *I* found VERY amusing was when she was spending last weekend with us... 

I had promised to take Averi to the park playground as we do every visit, weather permitting, but only after we had lunch, and I was finished with my coffee.  

Naturally, she kept wanting me to hurry up all through the meal!  The reminders came fast and furious, but in the cutest sort of way.  

Finally, it was time to go. She was warmly dressed, but I was not - and, having gotten a taste of the cooler air, turned back from the end of the front walk to grab a more suitable jacket.  But, Avi would brook no further delay...

"Yeh-Yeh, I thought we were going!"

"We are, Avi... I just had to get a different jacket!"

"Come on, Yeh-Yeh, let's go!" 

"We're going now... Tell me something, when you're older and you get married, are you going to do this to your husband?" 


"Why not?"

"Because it's rude!"

"Really?  If it's so rude, why would you do it to me?" 

"Because I know you love me!"  

She's got me there!  There are no words... Just NO WORDS to reply to THAT!  Only laughter!  

Oh, yeah... There's that Thanksgiving 2021 thing too!  Care to guess what I'M MOST THANKFUL FOR?

Be thankful for ALL the nice people and things in your lives!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2021! 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Junior Woodchucks or "More Fantastic(s) from Fantagraphics!"

Wanna win a Junior Woodchucks Merit Badge the easy way?  Just get yourself a copy of THE COMPLETE CARL BARKS DISNEY LIBRARY Volume 25 "Donald Duck Balloonatics" from the great folks at Fantagraphics - on sale November 16, 2021!  

In it, not only do we have many of Carl Barks' Donald Duck Ten-Pagers from the latter days of Dell Comics' WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES and some of the Barks-drawn Grandma Duck FOUR COLOR stories, but... 

...Specially included are some of the earliest Barks-written stories for Gold Key's HUEY, DEWEY, AND LOUIE JUNIOR WOODCHUCKS title circa 1970-1971, but the versions drawn by Daan Jippes in that "Late Dell Period Carl Barks Style" - perfectly fitting in with the rest of the contents of the book.  Five stories in all! 

Some of Barks' original pencil-rough layouts for these stories are also included!  

This volume marks my writing debut for this particular series of books, and I chose the Woodchuck stories as my initial topic because, having read those stories hot off the newsstand (and having purchased the first one on the very first Earth Day in 1970), these stories are very special to me, and I hope I've done them proud!  

It's a bit more difficult to write about Carl Barks than it is to write about Floyd Gottfredson or Paul Murry, as I've previously done for Fantagraphics, because so much has ALREADY been written about Barks that I don't wish to duplicate, or inadvertently appropriate, the observations of others.  

However, when it comes to these special stories from HUEY, DEWEY, AND LOUIE JUNIOR WOODCHUCKS #6-8, I feel I've hit a satisfactory number of original beats.  

Finally, for anyone interested, to end my Woodchuck observations, I created a new "exclusive to Fantagraphics" Junior Woodchuck rank acronym... because I just LOVE to do those!  

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: A First... From 1951?

No sooner than I received it, did I open and read the WHEATIES GIVEAWAY MINI COMIC: DONALD DUCK AND THE INCA IDOL (1951)...

...With cover by Carl Buettner and interior story art and lettering by Paul Murry!  

3/4 of the way through, I discovered something that would stop-the-heart of any true red-blooded collector, who also believes that comics should be READ - not merely hoarded in plastic cases!  

But, before I tell you exactly what that was, please READ THIS POST for a tiny bit of build up!  

Okay, let's go...

While reading it, and turning a page more than halfway through, I encountered some very slight resistance... as if some "sticky remnant from ages past" were holding the pages together at the upper-right corner.   

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon with older comics for which you are not the "original owner".  So, I applied a normal amount of non-damaging pressure to the page-turning, and it opened as expected.  ...And with no "sticky remnant residue" to be seen!  YAY!  

However, it was on the very next page-turn that the heart-stoppage would occur!  

The pages wouldn't turn open - not because of some "sticky remnant from ages past" - but because they had not been "machine-cut" to form separate pages as part of the printing process!!!


It means that NO ONE has ever read this issue before - because FOUR PAGES were rendered unviewable for not having been cut apart! 

While you're applying jumper-cables to your chest, I'll repeat it again...


Further, it means that between 1951 and 2021... I AM THE ONLY ONE TO HAVE EVER READ THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE!


Of course, in order to be the first and only one to have ever read this artifact from 1951, I had to perform the cuts that were not made in the production process of 70 (!) years ago!  ...And, by my not-so-steady-hand, this comic will henceforth never receive a grade of Near-Mint to Mint... (Note the more jagged cuts at the top of the images, to see where the pages were never cut in 1951!)

 ...But it was worth it to be the first person ever to see these pages!  

Any true fan and collector (who also values the READING of comic books) will understand the thrill! 

One has to wonder exactly how this book remained in such a virgin state given its publication so many years before price-guides and high-grade condition began to be worshiped!  And, if I find the notion of the many "ghosts" in my collection (and yours) to be fascinating, just imagine how I feel about this!   

Two final, unrelated notes before we go...

Paul Murry seems to have made a mistake in his lettering in the first (but not the second) panel of this page.  But, we can forgive him for "Uncle Donald" because it was 1951 - and he wasn't the "Donald Duck Guy" anyway!  

We can likewise forgive Donald for holding what might be a "Legendary Super-Pickax" on this issue's cover because that particular phrase wouldn't become an object of derision and ridicule for another few decades! 
Don't worry, lads... As long as he's not saying THIS! 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Happy Halloween - 2021!

Averi and a special friend are here to wish you all a Happy Halloween 2021!

Not to be outdone, Avi's little sister, Cici, gets into the act with me in a "very convincing old man costume"!  

But, if you think my "old man costume" is convincing check me out as Averi's friend the scarecrow!

On my knees, with my legs painfully folded behind me and hidden from the camera... I'd say that's one of my best disguises yet!