Monday, April 30, 2012

"Gasoline Valley!" - Bill Elder - Mad Mondays!

Mad Monday again and time for "Mad" (THE COMIC BOOK) #15 from September of 1954.

This is one of my very first memories of Mad.  I read this story (in a reprint digest in the '60's) long before I was ever exposed to the newspaper comic strip that it parodies.

"Gasoline Alley" (is it still running?) began in newspaper syndication in the 1910's and was originally a "gag-a-day-one-panel" about a group of folks who spent their weekends puttering on their new fangled automobiles.  Eventually it became a multi-panel focusing on one character in particular, Walt Wallet.  What set the strip apart (and does to this day) is that the characters aged in real time.  People met, married, had children...and miraculously THEY AGED!  I believe only Lynn Johnstone's "For Better or For Worse" has done this since.

If it's out there today (and I think it might be) Walt is surely going on 120 years old and his generations of offspring are out there too.  Who knows what their up to, I haven't picked up a newspaper in 20 years.

Until I find out, here's Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder's take on what was already a venerable strip..."Gasoline Valley!".

Dig in!

Talk o you soon,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Funnies - Library of Congress - 3 of 3

Happy Sunday and time for part 3 of 3 of "Featuring the Funnies" from The Library of Congress.

This week featuring glimpses at "Child's Play" (Ray Billingsly, Charles Schulz), "WorkingWomen" (Martin Micheal Branner, Dale Messick, Alfred E. Hayward), "Crime Pays" (Alex Raymond, Chester Gould, Charles W. Kahles), "Masterpiece Theatre" (Winsor McCay, Walt Kelly, Martha Orr) and "Gags" (Mike Peters).

It would have been grand to see this exhibit for real and see the other works featured in the articles.  Original inks by Segar, McCay, Kelly and all the grand masters.  To be in the same room as works by Schulz, Herriman and Grey.  My head and heart reel.


Talk to you soon.

Monday, April 23, 2012

"Plastic Sam!" - Russ Heath - Mad Monday!

Now HERE's a REAL comic book treat, kiddoes.  Harvey Kurtzman and Russ Heath's "Plastic Sam!" from "Mad" (THE COMIC BOOK) #14 from August 1954.

A take on Jack Cole's wonderful "Plastic Man" comic book feature over at Quality Comics, which was a sometimes fall down funny comic on it's own, and certainly Cole was one of the true geniuses of the medium.  I'm not the guy to look to for all things Cole though.  In case you're out of the loop, check out Paul Tumey's incredible blog on the subject.  And while you're at it, check out his other blogs on "Screwball Comics" and "The Comic Book Attic"...the guy knows his stuff!

Heath may have been a late addition to Kurtzman's bullpen...but he sure earns his place in the rosters with this'n!

Dig in, kiddoes!

Talk to ya soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Funnies - Library of Congress - 2 of 3

Happy Sunday Funnies, kiddoes!  Week 2 of 3 of The Library of Congress' celebration of 100 years of the American Newspaper comic strip back in 1995.

This week taking a look at "Cartoon Stereotypes" (Vic Forsythe, Mort Walker), "Love Story" (William Overgard, Allen Saunders), "Adventures in Time and Space" (Milton Caniff, Burne Hogarth, Alex Raymond), "Dream Worlds" (George Herriman, Winsor McCay, Lyonel Feininger), "Home Front" (Bud Fisher) and "Politics as Usual" (Gary Trudeau, Jules Feiffer, Harold Gray).

This really gives a sense of the overall scope of subjects the Sunday funnies conquered in it's best moments of creativity.

Dig in! 

Talk to you soon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

"The Countynental!" - Jack Davis - Mad Monday!

You may remember Christopher Walken doing a bit on SNL spoofing a 1950's television show called "The Continental".  

Maybe you weren't aware that it was a spoof of an old television show...but it was...and here's "Mad"(THE COMIC BOOK)'s take on that TV show when it was contemporary.  A romantic rest stop in the mid day for lonely housewives everywhere, I'm really surprised this show didn't last longer.  I'd certainly have preferred a 40 year run of this to keep women busy than Oprah poisoning their minds.  

Ah, but I digress.

Here's Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis' take on it all, titles "The Countynental!".

Dig in!

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Funnies - Library of Congress - 1 of 3!

Back in 1995, The Library of Congress hosted an exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the American newspaper comic strip.  I never got to see the thing as I live on the other coast, but I did make sure to grab this nifty little commemorative booklet.

There's a lot of great reproductions, informed (if brief) articles and nice history in this little 24 pager, so I'll post it in parts over the next 3 Sundays to give you kids plenty of time to drink it ALL up.  This week we've an introduction by Mort Walker and then snippets focusing on "The Birth of 'The Yellow Kid'" and family strips like "Blondie", "For Better or For Worse", "Gasoline Alley", "Snookums" and "Li'l Abner".

Enjoy your Sunday, eat a BIG bowl of cereal and feed your eyes and head with some classic 4 color art.

Talk to you soon.

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