Tuesday, August 30, 2016

BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR #138, June 1966 "Pay Dates Incorporated"




1966 was a great year! So much pop culture! The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" and the Beatles' "Revolver" albums debuted, as did TV shows like STAR TREK and BATMAN. In the midst of all this, some teenagers were selling strongly on the comic book rack. I'm talking about Archie's gang; specifically BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR #138, June 1966 (which is copyright Archie Publications).

This was a more innocent time and a story like "Pay Dates Incorporated" (see below) simply did not resonate the way that it does today. Oddly enough, it all starts with a typical teen problem in these Archie books: how do I get some money to buy some cool stuff? 

Sidebar:

I was fortunate enough to hear the story of Archie from Joe Edwards himself. Joe was there, in the MLJ offices, with Bob Montana and John Goldwater, as they were hashing out ideas. Publisher Goldwater (whose first name was the "J" part of the "MLJ" publishing acronym) wanted a new comic book story, maybe something like the Andy Hardy series of movies. But what would it be? What do teenagers want? How do you appeal to them? 
He turned to the then-twenty year old Joseph Edwards. 
"Joe, you're a young guy. What do you want?" asked Goldwater. 
"Three things," said Joe, counting on his fingers. "Girls, of course -- money, so I can take girls out -- and a job, so I can make the money to take out the girls." 
Bob Montana created the initial look of Archie Andrews, Jughead and Betty Cooper for Pep Comics #22, December 1941. By the next year, Archie had his own title.

Okay, so let's go 25 years in the future -- back to BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR #138.

How do the girls make money?

The answer is peddling flesh. Yes. Really. In an Archie book. But, hey, it was approved by the Comics Code Authority, so it's alright. 

The art is by the incomparable Harry Lucey. 

(EDIT: Probably not. This blog entry was originally titled "BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR #138, June 1966 "Pay Dates Incorporated" Art by Harry Lucey" but Rodrigo Baeza tweeted that it looked like Dan DeCarlo's art to him, and a friend of mine concurred that it didn't look like Lucey. Since I'm not sure, I'll keep the are credit off for now. Sorry about the mistake!)



























--  Originally blogged on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Monday, August 29, 2016

1952 Video: Bob Dunn: Quick on the Draw


(Above photo of Bob Dunn tossing a lucky horseshoe via the Comics Kingdom Ask the Archivist blog. The THEY’LL DO IT EVERY TIME original of December 17, 1948 is on his board.)


Some years back, Lone Ranger artist and pal Tom Gill would describe Bob Dunn to me. Bob Dunn (1908 - 1989) was the long-time assistant on THEY'LL DO IT EVERY TIME by Jimmy Hatlo. Bob, and later, Al Scaduto, assisted on the strip as well as all LITTLE IODINE comics too. According to King Features, Bob was such a ball of energy, that King let him do his won strip, JUST THE TYPE, to keep him happy. According to historian Allan Holtz was

[N]ever a syndication success, King Features may well have let him do the feature just to keep him happy while working on the Hatlo cash cow feature... When Hatlo died in 1963, though, Dunn's workload presumably got that much heavier and Just the Type was dropped. Dunn finally got an official byline on THEY'LL DO IT EVERY TIME starting in 1966

Bob Dunn was also a joke writer, contributing to books and magazines, as well as Earl Carroll's successful Vanities show on Broadway.  He was an author with such titles as HOSPITAL HAPPY, I'M GONNA BE A FATHER, and ONE DAY IN THA ARMY among others. These sold in the millions. During WWII, Bob toured with the USO drawing on-the-spot live caricatures of the soldiers and doing his "amateur magic act."

Bob was there in New York City in 1947, at the very beginning of the NCS. Tom Gill downplayed who Bob Dunn was, really. Bob was more than an emcee, he was one of the founders of the group. He and his pal Rube Goldberg raised $58 million for US Savings Bonds during a three month tour that year. Bob would go on to be the "official toastmaster" for the NCS and served as its President from 1965-67.

So, good ol' Tom Gill would tell me about Bob and what a firecracker he was. And Tom would always end his Bob Dunn anecdotes with, "I wish you would have met him. He was a great guy."

Today, I just found out that Bob was on TV, as early as 1946. And someone saved some of the old kinescopes. 

The closest I have yet come to actually seeing Bob Dunn in action is this: a copy of an old short-lived game show titled QUICK ON THE DRAW. It was on a couple of networks and a couple of hosts while it was on the air from 1950 to 1952. This segment has ventriloquist Paul Winchell (and Jerry Mahoney) hosting.




Saturday, August 27, 2016

Richard Thompson's Studio


A few photos from Richard Thompson's studio by Chris Sparks, nicked from his Facebook page. Thanks, Chris.


Richard's memorial service is today at 1pm at the National Press Club, Washington, DC.


The family asks that in lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, either directly or through Team Cul De Sac (https://www.michaeljfox.org/get-involved/teamfox.php).

I regret not being able to attend the service this afternoon. I will be thinking of Richard today ... and for many more days of my cartooning life. He was a soft-spoken genius with the pen.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mike Pence: Law School Cartoonist



Did you know that 2016 Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence drew cartoons while in law school in Indiana? Esquire has them here. 

"They're strange," explain the Esquire writer Annie Garau. It's her opinion, but I found these 1980s era Robert H. McKinney School of Law newspaper cartoons to be "of their ilk." I mean, they are not funny/understandable unless you were in law school with Mike Pence at the time, and a lot of the jokes are kinda either mean or not funny or old or obtuse. This is beginner-amateur-cartoonist scattershot work. If Mike had stuck with cartooning, I feel his draftsmanship and writing would naturally improve.

Falmouth, ME: Rick Parker One-Man Gallery Show One Day Only Saturday, August 27th 2016


Cartoonist Rick Parker, who you may know from MTV's "Beavis and Butthead" comics or Papercuz' new "Tales from the Crypt" comic book or "Deadboy" comic book or from his years of production and lettering work at Marvel Comics, has a one man show tomorrow and tomorrow only.

From Rick's Facebook page:

This is but one of 175 drawings you'll find on the walls at The Forthouse Gallery, America's newest gallery of cartoons and drawings located at #9 US Route 1 in Falmouth, Maine on Saturday, August 27th from Noon to Eight p.m. Vehicle parking is allowed in the general vicinity or you can bike or walk to the show. 
Free Admission.

Washington, DC: Richard Thompson Memorial Service on Saturday, August, 27 2016



Washington, DC: There will be a memorial service for my friend and fellow cartoonist Richard Thompson on Saturday, August, 27 2016 beginning at 1pm at the National Press Club. The public is invited.

Richard died July 27th due to complications from Parkinson's Disease. He was 58 years old.

My condolences to his wife and children. His loss is a terrible one. He was one of the giants we walk in the shadows of, you know? He would poo-poo me on that line, but it's true. I cannot be there myself, but wish I could. 

Here's the info:


A service for Richard will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, this Saturday, August 27th at 1pm. 
IT WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC from 1pm until 2:30 pm, after which there will be a private reception for friends and family. 
Again, the family asks that in lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, either directly or through Team Cul De Sac (https://www.michaeljfox.org/get-involved/teamfox.php).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Walt Kelly: "The Account of the Wooful Frog"



Above: Chicken Little is here. His mission is to make the kids stop playing their bloody violent games, and perform his "A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go," which is "great good fun." The kids are not convinced.


Happy 103rd birthday, Walt Kelly!


If there's a shortlist in my head of the comics the influenced me, Walt Kelly's POGO would be up at the top. His characterization and drawings spoke to me when my Dad handed down his collection of Simon and Schuster reprint books. I was a mere child of nine or ten. It must have been good timing. All of these stories have stayed with me but my favorite is "The Account of the Wooful Frog," a 1955 standalone story about a doomed amateur theatrical.


The best part is the young turtle, who, when brow-beaten by Chicken Little, recedes his noggin into his shell and sounds off with a loud "WAW!" The only way to shut off his "WAW-ing," and get the young turtle out of his shell, is to insert a handy candy cane, thusly:


This idea knocked me for a loop and I love the gag to this day.

Go to Thomas Haller Buchanan's Whirled of Kelly blog to see the whole story.

-- Edited from a blog entry of the same date in 2014.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Art Spiegelman: One-Page Graphic Novels



(Above: George Booth's “Ip Gissa Gul” from The New Yorker, January 20, 1975. An example of a one-page graphic novel, according to Art Spiegelman.)


Art Spiegelman talks about something called "one-page graphic novels" at the New Yorker blog's
EYEBALL KICKS: ART SPIEGELMAN ON ONE-PAGE GRAPHIC NOVELS by Françoise Mouly:

"'About seven years ago, I was invited to do a comics page for the op-ed section of the Washington Post,' he recalled. 'The editor was very excited and told me, ‘Great—we’ve never had a graphic novel before!' I pointed out that it was only a one-page comic, but the editor repeated, 'Right, and we never had a graphic novel before!' As a result, Spiegelman decided it was time to embrace the term that has come to characterize 'an ambitious comic book,' whether the narrative is drawn on one page or three hundred. 'Since comics is the art of compression, I started looking back on the one-pagers which either in terms of their subject matter or in terms of their resonance had stayed in my brain,' he said.

In other words, size doesn't matter.

I have run into people who use the term "graphic novel" to describe comic strips, comic books -- ANYTHING that's sequential art. Weird. Pretty soon people will not ask a cartoonist "What are you drawing?" 

The new question will be "What are you graphic novelling?"

Hat tip to Randy Michaels for the link! Thanks, Randy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Judge Magazine April 1938


Above cover by Otto Soglow.


THE JUDGE, April 1938, Volume No. 114, Whole No. 2713. Copyright 1938 by The Judge Magazine, Inc.

A few of the cartoons, illustrations and features.

R.A. Hershberger:
 Chester Garde:
 A. John Kaunus:

 Louis Jamme:


Ben Roth:

Frank Beaven:


Gustav Lundberg:

Richard Yardley:

Ted Key:


Schus:
 An early draft for HORTON HEARS A WHO? Dr. Seuss:

Schus:

James Trembath:


 Jack Morley:
 Perry Barlow:
 Colin Allen:
 A rare ad for even rarer Dr. Seuss creatures: