Saturday, June 30, 2012

Susanna Clark - It Had to Come From the Heart.

Her name was Susanna Clark.  She was married to one of my songwriting heroes, Guy Clark.  

Here they are back around 1970 or so.

She was a painter.  She painted this.

And she painted that old blue shirt behind Guy.

She was a songwriter too.  She wrote this one.

She passed away last Wednesday.

I never met her.  But I understand her and Guy's connection was something fierce and real.

My songwriting hero's being slapped in the face and punched in the gut tonight.

My thoughts go out to you, Guy.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 29, 2012

San Diego Countdown part 2!

6 more days have passed in my Facebook page cartoons counting down the days until San Diego ComicCon International 2012!

We're all a-twitter here about it.  The schedule for events on Thursday were formally announced yesterday, and without even seeing the next 3 days of events, I know that Unca Jeffy is gonna be one tired boy!

Some were confused by this one, thinking I was hoping to meet Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and the 2 Chris's from the no no...I want to meet the ACTUAL Avengers.

And likewise...I'm not mad at Green Lantern...I'm mad at the movie makers.

3 grades of Hollywood's takes on super-heroes.  Good, Bad and WTF!!!!  Luckily Superman can handle a gut shot now and then.  I'm just confused on why we have to "reboot" Spider-Man 5 minutes after the first 3 came out.  And...Peter Parker's parents??????????? in 50 years of the comic?  Never heard of 'em!

My wave at the Twilight gang for my boss' boss.  I almost had my balloon mentioning "True Blood", but then I found out that they were two different things.  Again, who knew?

Star Trek, Star Wars and all thingies outer-spacey...a geeks dream.

I miss my Harvey comics.  That's all there is to it.  Casper the friendly ghost, Spooky the tuff little ghost, Richie Rich the poor little rich boy, Hot Stuff the good little devil, Big Baby Huey and the rest.  No I didn't forget Stumbo the Giant, the cartoon was just too small.

Did I mention, I'm excited?

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Jeffy Gets the Lay of the Land!"

Jeffy gets schooled on what that little blue guy is and what he does...he and his buddies, that is.

More tomorrow.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Another Interlude with Cousin Frank & Bigfoot!"

Another brief interlude in the tale of "What's Inside Jeff Overturf's Head".  Maybe I'll rename it "The Intermezzo of Cousin Frank & Bigfoot" instead.

I wanted to title this episode "Okie Dokie Smokey" in the great tradition of Hanna-Barbera Cartoon titles, but mostly in honor of all those one page gags in Archie/Harvey/Dell/Whitman/Gold Key comics I grew up with.  Long in rhyme or alliteration, but short in meaning or substance.

Just like me.'s the theme song...

Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"The Saga Continues: Inside Jeff Overturf's Head!"

The next 2 pages of the continuing saga of "What's Inside Jeff Overturf's Head" or "WTF Got Loose in Here?".  

If you so desire to keep up on what's transpired thus far, click here!  Just remember, that the posts will be in reverse order this way.  Should I ever come to a conclusion, I'll do a stand-alone page.

Mainly though, thanks for reading.

More tomorrow.

Talk to you soon!

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Newspapers!" - Jack Davis - Mad Monday!

Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis take on an Amercian staple next in the October 1954 issue of Mad THE COMIC BOOK #16.  Undoubtedly a direct reaction to everyone picking on how the glamorized sex and violence in comic books was affecting it's readers.

THAT's how you do satire, kiddoes.  Funny, pointed, direct...and funny...mustn't forget the funny.


Talk to you soon!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Funnies June 4, 1955 - part 3 of 4

The Sunday Funnies has a couple of highlights in this section of the Chicago Daily News....real treats.

First up, Walt Kelly's masterful "Pogo".  Every panel a gem, every word balloon poetry.  This is what "awesome" meant before it applied to pizza, too.

Fred Neher's "Life's Like That".  Another multi-single page strip which started to loom on the horizon in the 1950's.  A sign of America's shortening attention span and I''m sure also, a way for newspapers to chop up and give more space over to advertising.  The beginnings of the comics page shrinking.  No offence to Neher, the strip is breezy Sunday morning reading.  He did hsi job.

When I was a kid, the comic book racks were still full of humor comic's based on animated characters.  And I mean all of 'em.  Terrytoons, Looney Tunes, Lantz Tunes, Disney Toons...ALL had their rag newsprint counterparts.  I always had a few laying around (though never collected any avidly) but they were always off-putting slightly,  The characters didn't look the same of act the same as they did on the screen or TV.  I of course now understand that different media call for different ways of story-telling.  I have a new respect for them and the artistry that went into them.  THAT was comic books, my local newspaper never carried any of the strip variations of this phenomenon, so it's nice to see samples like this.  

So much to read, so little time.

Oh...that was a long-winded way of saying..."Here's Bugs Bunny!"

THIS uncredited strip, "Mr. Rumbles" looks pretty interesting.  The art is solid, and the concept a new one for newspapers.  I'm love to see some more.

Happy Sunday, kiddoes.  See ya all for more next week.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

San Diego Comic Con Countdown!

San Diego Comic Con is coming up in just 19 days.  They want us to call it San Diego Comic Con International, but is old farts know it's just "Comic Con".  Face it, this isn't A comic convention...this is THE comic convention...and it KNOWS who it is.

I've only been once, way back in 1992 (that's right...wayyyyyyyyyy back in the 20th century) and while it was big then, it's HUMONGOUS now.

By a thread I get to go.

Don't be jelly.

I'll glom as many stories and pics as I can and share them here with y'all when it happens, but until then, the excitement around here at "The Steamy Grotto" is palpable.  To channel the excess energy, I've begun keeping track of the dwindling days with a daily cartoon I've been posting on my facebook page.  I thought I'd share the roster thus far with you loyal blog readers.

Here ya go, more to come in coming weeks.

...and today's.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 22, 2012

"An Interlude with Cousin Frank and Bigfoot!"

While Jeffy is struggling with his own psyche, the rest of his world or course, keeps right on turning.  Let's take a brief interlude from his trials and peek in on "Ye Olde Drink Hole" and see how Cousin Frank and his best pal Bigfoot are doing.

Wait...there's even a theme song.  :)...c'mon, it's like 8 seconds long, it's not gonna kill ya!


There's a closing theme, too.  C''re invested THIS far.

Back to our story next week.

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Jeff Resolves to Stay in His Head!"

That little blue guy (whoever he is) confronts Jeffy about the insufferable working conditions inside Jeffy's head.

Jeffy feels the water is just fine.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Inside Jeffy's Head it Gets Crowded!"

The little blue guy (who-ever or what-ever he is) is trying to go AWOL from Jeffy's head, but finds it as hard as Jeffy to escape Jeff's thoughts.

Had enough of a grown man calling himself "Jeffy"?...then read on...

SPOILER ALERT:  The next section is artsy=techno gobbledygook.  Please avoid is you are just into the comics for comics sake (and who would ever need more?) and come on back tomorrow for more!

I'm trying a few new ways of drawing this story.  I'm doing the artwork at 11x14 and scanning it on a different seems to pixelate quite a bit and I'm not sure if it's as evident to the reader as it is to me.  Also scanning the lettering at the same size, but when I crop and paste, it changes the size, so I'm not sure if it has a good consistency in font size.

I may just be "All up in my head" about it though...just trying different things.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Back to the Inside of Jeff Overturf's Head"...part 8 or so...!

Back to the continuing story of Jeffy "Inside Jeff Overturf's Head"!  to see what's happened up till now (you mean you haven't been hanging on every word?) click here!

When last we left Jeffy, he was wallowing in his own consciousness and letting his life slip by.

What is commonly called, "Being all up inside one's head!"...

Seems Jeffy's not alone up there.

Talk to you soon!

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Shermlock Shomes!" - Will Elder - Mad Monday!

Mad Monday, Kiddoes, and on to Mad THE COMIC BOOK #16 cover dated October 1954.

Will Elder pulls double duty in this issue and his first task is his and Harvey Kurtzman's take on Sherlock Holmes, "Shermlock Shomes"...OK, so the parody titles weren't always as inspired as the art...sue 'em!

This ain't yer daddy's Sherlock, but then again neither is the Robert Downey, Jr. movie.

Dig in!

Talk to you soon!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Funnies - June 4, 1955 - part 2

Good morning and happy Sunday Funnies to you all!  This week is part 2 of a 4 part posting of the Chicago Daily News SATURDAY Sunday supplement from June 4, 1955.  16 pages of 4 color deliciousness brought a day early back in the day.

Here in pages 5-8 we learn that the age of mediocrity had finally eclipsed the golden age of newspaper comics.  The 1950's may have brought great lights like "Peanuts" and "Pogo", but for the most part it was a reflection of a lot of the homogenization of America.  Still brought to you at full tabloid size though, the Sunday funnies still had the respect of their publishers, who still understood what sold papers!

Fist off is NOT an example of what I was just talking about.  "Mopsy" by Gladys Parker was a slickly designed and easy-on-the-eyes strip with the fun bonus of some fashion paper dolls for the kids...

...and I have to imagine, the delight of seeing a pretty cartoon character in her underwear wasn't exactly unappealing to Junior or old Dad either.

Rex Morgan, M.D., a staple of newspapers for a few decades in the same soap opera vein as Mary Worth or Judge Parker or the Girls in Apartment 3G...I suppose Mom needed the funnies, too.

Here the water-mark drops.  I'm not sure if the artist of "Little Debbie" (who's signature in the first panel is unknown to me) was trying to make the strip look like "Dondi" or not, but in retrospect I can see where the artist of "Li'l Jinx" in Archie comics got their inspiration.  Anyone know if it's the same person or not?  The frustration with humor comics of my childhood, is the publishers never listed credits and I'm never sure.

Here's another strip I know little about.  The creative team of Al Fagaly and Harry Shorten are even unfamiliar to me, but this is a really well-laid out and well-timed strip.  The boss's attitude and mentality aren't very far removed (actually right on the money) from some of the higher ups in the corporation I work for to this day!  

Maybe I spoke to soon.  Them 1950's may not have as many recognizable features for me as papers from the 40's, 30's or 20's...but they do hold their own and make for good Sunday morning reading!

More next week!

Talk to you soon!

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