The Sunday funny paper.
For a generation and more before my own, that heavy bundle of wood pulp landing on the front porch of the family homestead with a loud "KERTHUMP!" and wrapped in the 4 color printing of a circus poster, was a hgihlight of the week.
In major markets, 16 pages of jungle action, international intrigue, far-flung science fiction adventure, rough-and-tumble cowboy grit, humor, mobsters, G-Men, T-Men, goofy looking guys with big feet and bulbous noses and glorious gorgeous gals with big...um...with bulbous...well, you get the idea, was delivered right to the doorstep. It was to be splayed across the living room floor where the wide-eyed youngsters of a country and world on the verge of growing up would lie flat-bellied and let their minds wander through all the places he and his ilk would maybe one day go for real.
For some it would be an hours escape through some other writer and artists imagination that would later in the day and week help spur their own imaginations, as they ran through fields and vacant lots with their own make believe six-shooters, tommy-guns and ray-guns battling their own dastardly foes, drawn from the ids of their expanding minds.
For some it would be stared at, studied, and with notebook paper and pencil, would be copied for hour upon hour for the next full week (until the next installment), trying to find their own way to tell stories and draw funny looking horses and sleek space ships.
It was a magic time of less media influence on our lives, and therefor the media that did come through was actually produced by talented creative people who knew how to capture our hearts and imaginations. There was only a "Jersey Shore" in a geographical sense, and the "American Idols" which existed were there because of their accomplishments, not because the trailer park crowd loved to see an 18 year old spoiled brat cry on TV.
For the Sundays into the forseeable future, I hope to re-capture some of that feeling. The creative talents behind these classic strips are gone now, and only knobs with suits exist to hold the copyright on these features. In my "schoolyard justice" sensibilities, these idiots who hold the gates to the kingdom and who refuse to unlock them for those of us who want to admire the art are undeserving, so I share some of what I have collected over the years hoping you will feel some of the magic I felt discovering these things myself.
The sights and smells of "Dogpatch", "Coconino County", the South Pacific and SouthEast Asia of the 1940's and art deco drawing rooms of the 1920's are what I'll be sharing at first.