Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Herbie Popnecker - the Fat Little Nothing

The mystery of Herbie Popnecker. The Fat Fury. The Fat Little Nothing.

I've heard of this humor feature for the last 25 years and still don't know all about it or it's appeal...yet it's still appealing to me.

Herbie debuted in the December 1958 issue of ACG's "Forbidden Worlds", an anthology sci-fi/fantasy book, and later went on to star in a book of his own. Created by a man named Ogden Whitney, it became a cult hit and minor commercial success heralded, by among others Alan Moore (in my opinion the best writers in comics of the last 30 years) and I seem to remember reading some Hollywood director (Steven Speilberg comes to mind, but I can't recall for sure).

The book was drawn by Whitney in a decidedly illustrative and bland style, a true product of the homogonous 1950's and that seems to be a deliberate part of the humor. Herbie was a fat little nothing...yet had amazing abilities...abilities he viewed as "no big deal".

See for yourself...

Charming, well drawn (dramatic by NOT being dramatic), and curious.

I can't give you much analysis, but check here and here to read up on what I DO know.

Did Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys foresee the coming of Herbie 13 years earlier when they cut this Fred Rose tune?

Probably not. As curious as Herbie Popnecker I'd say. Hmmmmmm.

Talk to you soon.


Akshunt "Action" Frank Franklyn said...

I'd kinda like to see more of Herbie...

Jeff Overturf said...

More'sa comin' Frankie!

Sam A. Robrin said...

Is there a scan available from the original issue? This is a reprint, with some editorial addenda that presupposes some knowledge of the character, and is bound to confuse first-time readers.
Is THE DAILY BUGLE an in-joke? I've seen it used from SPIDER-MAN to MAD to THE BORN LOSER, but don't think I've ever actually seen a newspaper with that name.

Jeff Overturf said...

I've never seen a scan of the original, unfortunately.

That's a great point about the "Bugle"...I'm not sure. I've never seen a newspaper called "The Daily Planet" either, though.

Herbie Popnecker said...

Hello potential Herbie fans,

The original Herbie story is not a good place to start. Try any of the Herbie series (except the two reprinted stories). Herbie as the Fat Fury begins in Herbie #8.

You can learn a lot about Herbie at my collection of examples of recurring themes at: http://perlypalms.com/herbie

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