Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yabba Dabba Bear

Saturday extra.

My attendance figure spiked today when Mark Evanier linked to my Flintstone scans. I met Mark many years ago in San Diego when I attended a round table discussion about international comics journalism (which included another of my heroes, Ron Goulart) and admire his dedication to his various hobbies. His book on Jack Kirby set a new standard on production values and I eagerly await his official biography of Jack Kirby. But I hope it won't be published for another year or so, so I can try and get my play about Jack Kirby and Stan Lee published before that, so there won't be anyone thinking I stole his ideas.

He has this to say about my post:

The blog of Ger Apeldoorn offers up some nice examples of the Flintstones newspaper strip of the sixties. By way of clarity, it should be noted that while Gene Hazelton was the primary artist and supervisor of this and the Yogi Bear strip, they weren't all drawn by Gene. Just about everyone good who worked at Hanna-Barbera at the time worked from time to time on them, including Pete Alvarado, Willie Ito, Bob Singer and Harvey Eisenberg. Several of the samples Ger offers were drawn by Eisenberg. Also, for much of their runs, both strips were lettered and inked by Lee Hooper.

I thank him for the information. Since putting up these strips I have read interviews wth Dick Moores and Roger Armstrong in the excellent Walt's People series of books, which I will talk about when I get back from my holiday) and found te same information (plus the fact that Richard Bickenback probably was involved as well). It is hard to identify different artists, but there are differences. Look this first Yogi Bear Sunday from a couple of months before that. It looks as if it is done by a completely different artist than later, when the Flinstones were added.

Feb 3 1961 Announcement:

Feb 4 1961 Announcement:

Feb 5 1961 first Sunday:

Sunday for March 5 1961 (bad quality, but good sample of the 'later' style):
More Plans Than Sense

Saturday Overload

I will be leaving you on your own the next week, as I am having a well deserved (well, that's what I say) holiday in the UK and I have not yet found the trick to publishing here in advance. There shoudl be some buttons for it, but they elude me.

So now that all te preperations for the holday are doing and the house is inorde, I am tking the time to show you a lot of leftover goodies. I have started so many new strigs the last few weeks, that there doesn't seem to be enough room to continue everything, but let me take this opportunity to tell you about the state of things here and my intentions for the next few months.

One of the things I have to do, is find a way to reinstate the spelling checker on this blog I used to be able to do that, but the button now doesn't work anymore. So occasionally one of my many typo's may slip by uncorrected.

I am a sucker for attention, so an series of posts that get a lot of traffic get continued. The rest will depend on my personal taste (I continued the Milt Caniff serial even though it was apparently not looked forward to by anyone, just because I thought it proved a point). Hank Ketcham always does well, so I will try and upload new cartoons and ads by him as soon as I scan them. I have stacks of Tue's and Saturday Eveing Posts next to my computer, so there is still a lot to come. I am ending this post with a couple more beauties.

I will continue the first few months of Ray Bailey's Tom Corbett. I like to be able to read a whole story on this sort of strips and wll probably continue until there is a good stop in the storylie. If he learned well from Milt Caniff there will be none and the stip will go from one story into the other organicly.

I will also show more of Mort Meskin's Tom Corbett. I haven't got issue #2 of his three issue Prize run on that strip, so if anyone wants to trade or offer scans, lease get in contact. I will also try and show more of Meskin's other work, but most of it I will have to scan on my own. A good representation of his work would include at least one of his romance stories and a couple of the later covers of Young Brides, some of his work with and without George Roussos for Timely/Atlas (I have a great RM signed collaboration ready) and some of his earliest work for DC (which I can't seem to fins in the mountain of scanned DC books I have), which was criticized so much by his dc editors.

I lso want to show more of B.C. I have a large number of dailies and black and white scans from, but I have set myself the task to at least include some fresh (color) scans with every post, so it'll be bit by bit. I'll keep concentrating on the early years, of course.

Same goes for P.T. Bimbo (scan down for it if you haven't seen that yet), The Wizard of Id (even tough I will have to resort to more black and white micro-fiche material for that one to cover the early years), the Flintstones and Yogi Bear (which I don't like as much as The Flintstones, but it was made by the same creative team (but maybe not from the start, see the next post).

I'll also try to cover more of the Ketcham imitators o the late fifties. I have a lot more of Gill Fox' Ketcham-influenced Wilbert, Mel Casson's Angel and several others. I am trying to get more Casson cartoons scanned, so I can do an overview of Casson's whole career which also includes a realistic strip in the forties and his association with Alfred Andriola, which included but did't end with It's Me Dilly. Dilly is another of those strips I have plentyful in black and white, but I also have a lot of sunday papers with that strip so I am waiting to scan those.

Another area I am interested in, but haven't even started on here is newspaper strips drawn by comic book artists. The common story is that every comic book artist wanted to be a newspaper artist so they wouldn't be loked down upon anymore. Turns out many comic book artists did have a newspaper strip for a short while, most of wich were discontinued and/or forgotten. Most kept on drawing comics at the same time, probably for economic reasons. This to me signals that they did not want to be newspaper artists because of the honor, but because it offered a chance at richness. When it didn't it was often aborted. Small difference, but telling to me. Among the artists I have found strips by are Irv Novick, Lou Cameron, Al Weiss, Ogden Whitney, Carl Hubbell and Paul Reinman. These are not earthshocking finds, as most of them are mentioned in Jerry Bails ecellent Who's Who project, but find it weird that comic book histerians have taken the word of newspaper strip historians that these are all worthless projects. Some of the ran over three years and that may not be a lot in newspaper terms, but it means the artist was really putting all his effort in it for a certain period. So what may not seem interesting fom a newspaper strip history perspective, but in the light of an artists career it can be very important. Along the same lines, I would like to show more of Bud Blake's daily panel, which he did for eleven years before finding fame with Tiger. Some goes for Mel Lazerus, who's Miss Peach was such a succes that it completely obliterated the fact that he did a small kid's panel years before that. Or the fact that most historians reduce Stan Lee and Dan DeCarlo's run of Willy Lumpkin from 15 months to 'almost a year' just before they think 'it was just no good'. along the same lines I am still looking for more of Bob Powell's Teena-a-go-go as I have so many that I would love to show it completely and Howard Nostrand's Bat Masterson (at times ghosted by Powell and Bernie Krigstein).

I have started showing some rare Milt Gross material I have a couple of cartoony things from Ken left, but haven't come around to scanning them. I also have a double of one of his review pieces, which I should at to my to sale list along with loads of other stuff.

Major scan projects are the comlete run of 'Duke' Handy, whih I keep putting off, the equally impresive Sgt. Bilko series of sigarette ads whic I haven't even started doing yet, more of the quiet absurdity of Hanan's Louie, complete storylines of Bob Lubber' Long Sam (if any series is due for a reprint series), Pogo's impressive 1966 Pre-Hysterical storyline, more of Hi and Lois and seventies projects such as Boner's Ark, Howard Post's The Dropouts, the Laugh-In Sunday series and Hank Ketham's Half-Hitch.

I also have a good run of Lee Elias' Beyond Mars which wil bow your mind. And I am keeping off showing Dan Spiegle's impressive Hopalong Cassidy until I have a longer run to show. I have so many seperate sundays with that strip, that I have to put my papers in order to see where to start first.

And I haven't even scratched the surface on Boy's Life.

A series on all the different crime strips from the fifties, including Perry Mason and Dragnet will also surface one day. Oh and I am loking for samples of Warren Tuffts's science fiction parody, which ran for half a year while he was preparing Lance. Maybe I should just show the four I have.

Blogspot informs me that I have reached the 65% level, so I can go on quite some time before it is going to cost me money, bt at some point I will also put up a lot more doubles and comic book material for sale, to pay for additional costs.

Well, enough from me. I have to finish packing. Here's Hank Ketcham.

Now I've Brought Up Father...

Saturday Leftover Day.

Having shown two full Bringing Up Father Sundays from the early thirties, I found I had three more. I wish I hd a couple more to sow from the late forties, but they are so huge that it takes four scans for me to assemble them. I hope to get around to it some day. Even though McManus style was in constant flux, the reprints from the early forties that IDW has announced is even better than this material.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Reach For The Stars

Friday Comic Book Day.

One of the visitors mentioned the Tom Corbett comic strip. There were two in the fifties, in fact. One, rather dull, published by Dell and a very good one by Prize later in the fifties. The Prize version was drawn by Mort Meskin, who did some of his career's best work for this three issue totle. I hav already shown the three stories from nuer 1 and as I haven't got number 2, I will immediately skip to the third and last issue. Accomanied by a great cover, showing Meskin's elegant mastery of his art (as did all his Prize covers at that time). He went on to work for DC, where his style was not appreciated, probably because he didn't confirm to the house style enough and couldn't be inked that way. But still, what an artist.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Follow You Star

Tuesday Story Strip Day.

Two more weeks of Ray Bailey's Tom Corbett. I have at least until the end of 1951, so you can read the complete first story if you follow the tag to find the earlier episodes. The story started slow, but it is starting to get going now. I am still including the sundays even though by now it is obviously clear that the are not in the same continuety. They are more of a stan alone nature along the same lines as the dailies, which makes for a pretty confuding read.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bringing Out Father

Additional Post.

I just found this anouncement online.

"DW will release a 272-page hardcover Bringing Up Father collection under its Library of American Comics imprint in November. The collection will include all the daily and color Sunday strips from January 2, 1939 to July 7, 1940, comprising the “From Sea to Shining Sea” storyline which takes Jiggs, Maggie, Nora, and Nora’s husband Lord Nevere Worthnotten on a cross-country trip to celebrate Nora’s marriage.

The 11” x 10” collection is designed by Dean Mullaney and edited by Bruce Canwell. Canwell and Brian Walker will contribute a text essay with a comprehensive view of creator George McManus and his characters."

After showing the publishing world how a reprint series is supposed to be done with the complete in six volumes Terry and the Pirates reprint and right on the heels of announcing a similar reprint series of Alex Raymond's photo-realistic masterpiece Rip Kirby. IDW and Dean Mullaney have again teamed up for a shocking new in the reprint world... not starting with the first year. Instead, they have picked a complete sequence from the best years of George McManus' strip. I have always wondered why publishers didn't do that more often. How many people are there that are interested in the early badly drawn years of any strip, however popular it became later on? Even IDW's own Dick Tracey series starts with a horribly drawn first few years before they get to the good stuff.

And to make matters worse, because all publishers think alike, really serious collectors often get stuck with the same fe first years before a project is scrapped. For that reason I never bought the Fantagraphics black and white daily Pogo reprints. All of the material they were reprinting had already been colleted in a series of very well edited books by Simon and Shuster (with lots of interesting material added from the editor of the Pogo fan publications, the Okefenokee Star and the Fort Mudge Most). It wasn't until their eleventh volume that they started reprinting new material. And after that the series ended. Now they have announced a new reprint series, starting from the beginning all over again. But this time they are adding the never before reprinted color pages,so I will have to get that. Correction, I will be glad to get that. But I wouldn't have minded if they had decided to bring out a single volume reprinting all of the rarely seen Mars sequence of 1966. Don't know what I am talking about? ou will, when I get ready scanning whatever I have from that gorgeous year long sequence and start sharig it with you.

But for now congratulations to IDW. I can highly recommend this series. Why? Because it contains pages such as these two, which comes from a black and white saturday paper. Believe me, they are even more handsome in color. These are from much earlier in the decade, but they show the full mastery of McManus and his assistant Zek Zekely.

Jan 3 1932:

March 12 1933:
Bett's Top Dollar

Wednesday Advertising Day.

Last time I showed samples of Jack Betts' long running Ben Gay campaign, they were all from the late forties. Here is a sampling from the early fifties, including a new scan by myself. It's amazing that a good artist such as Betts has completely fallen from the radar after doing this series.

Oct 24 1954:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meet The Flagstones

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

I know I am not the only one on the web interested in the Flintstones comic strip or the only one showing samples, but I couldn't resist howing you the first couple of weeks of this strip when I came across them. It is said that the first weeks of this strip were drawn by Gene Hazelton himself, who was one of the artists involved inthe design of the characters and who also is believed to have overseen the production of all the Hanna Barbara newspaper strips, including Yogi Bear (which started about a year before The Flintstones). I actually have always felt that The Flinstones was a much better newspaper strip than Yogi Bear, but that may be due to the limitations of the character rather than the art. So who is the artist caricatured in the first strip?

Fun fact: The Flinstones were supposed to be called The Flagstones first, until the crew at Hnnah-Barbera remembered that there already was a family called The Flagstones in comics - his name was Hi and her name was Lois.

I also added two more Ketcham cartoons to yesterday's post.

Sunday Announcement Oct 1, 1961:

Daily Annoucement Oct 1, 1961:

Dailey Announcement Oct 2 and 3 1961:

First two weeks from Oct 2 1961: