Friday, December 02, 2016

More is Less

Wednesday Advertising Day.

I have shown so many of these Lou Fine Philip Morris ads that it is rare to find a new one. So here is just one I got recently. It has no number, like some of the others - but from the date I would say it is round about #80/85. If you want to see more, follow the link. I think it is worth it.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Pre Willy

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

Here is something special I came across. Someone was selling Willy Lumpkin originals on Ebay. I was interested, because I have shown large parts of it's run here and plan to show even more. I wrote an article about Stan Lee's efforts to get out of comics between 1956 and 1962 which will run later in 2017 as the cover article in Alter Ego, which includes all I could find out about this forgotten strip by Stan Lee and Dan DeCarlo. In fact, I bought three of them. And I went back into the Ebay archives to see if any others had been sold recently and it turned out the same seller had sold two others earlier, which I managed to pull from their files as well. But there was something odd about them. These two have the same gag and one of them looks older than the other. Time for some detective work.

All of these strips are from the early days of Willy Lumpkin. The origin of this strip was the moment that Stan Lee saw Mel Lazerus' Miss Peach and realized he could do something in the same format. Miss Peach features several characters in one long panel, who all comment on a situation - with the last one giving a final one-liner. He applied the idea to a strip about a cop on the corner of a big city, commenting on the things that went on around him. But the syndicate thought he should do something more suburban or even small town, so the idea was switched from a cop to a postman and Willy Lumpkin was born. For the first few months all gags were in this format. The strip started in December and only in March the format was changed from single panel to multipanel. Not as a clean break, but within a month the long panels had disappeared. So all of these strips, including the ones beneath, are from those first three or four months. In fact, I found most of them and they belong in February. In most of those strips, Willy has a four button coat, because it is set in a city that has cold winters (allowing for gags with snow). It's only in the spring, that his coatless attire is shown, which always includes a small black tie. But... this was after the change to multi panel gags. So the first version of the reused gag which has Willy in a tie, has to have been drawn in the summer of spring, making it likely that what we have here is in fact one of the earlier try-out strips - which was finally (re)used and redrawn in the winter!

Keeping The Spirit Alive

Monday Cartoon Day.

Here is another Fun Book section from the Philidelphia Record. I have not had a lot of reaction to these oversized sections that were wrapped around the also oversized Spirit sections in this paper, but I think they are wonderful and I am surprise I had bever heard of them before. The work of Bil Keane is a great bonus, but I particulary like the other games in here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Madness

Monday Advertising Special.

Looking for a way to really celebrate Thanksgiving?

How about spending some money over at and let Craig thank you!

The place for the best reprint books. There's horror, kid's comics, 3D, weird romance and you can even preorder my book on Mad magazine imitations!

As a bonus, here is a four page Elvis parody by John Severin from Loco which I was NOT able to include in the book. Can you imiagine how good the rest must be?! Also, don't mind the colors. Because it wasn't included in the book I stopped cleaning it up halfway through.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Back When We Had A Future

Sunday Meskin Measures.

No GE give-aways for 1951, but I have two for 1952. No months on them, so I had to choose which one to do first. Great pslash page, but after that it gets a bit mundane.

Friday, November 25, 2016

How Did We Get Here?

Saturday Leftover Day.

I just remembered I have been saving this Thanksgiving strip for more than a year now (having forgotten to use it last year). It's by Walt Scott, a Associated Press staff artist who did a lot of special illustration series, christmas strips, political cartoons and other stuff, before taking over the Captain Easy Sunday strip in the late forties and into the early fifties and launching his own strip The Little People on the coattails of that. Scott was a very stylized artist, whose sometimes stiff artwork worked best for me in his political cartoons, he also could draw pretty women quite well, but he only got to se those in Captain Easy. And comic history (and histrians) have not been kind to him about that. Coming after Roy Crane and while Leslie Turner was doig the daily can't have helped. But as I say, his women are quire nice and as a stylized artist, his designs (and especially his colors) are always interesting. All this fell into it's place when he started doing Little People - but there the subject and the lack of humor was always a turn-off for me. One of the best things he did in my eye was the Christmas Carol adaptation he did as a Christmas strip like this one. I have shown it before, but I may repeat it this Christmas. It is similar to this one, but I likeit just a little bit better.

Enjoy the weekend, my American friends. In spite of everything.