Sunday, April 18, 2021

Starting From Scratch

Sunday Surprise Day.

I think I can trace back my love of Lou Fine's work to the first time I saw his sixties detective strip Peter Scratch in the Minnomannee Falls Gazette. I came across a couple of issues of that great oversized magazine reprinting the best of newspaper comics from the then present (the seventies) and the past. Every strip in there was reprinted six dailies (one week) to a page, gving me a chance te discover strips such as Scratch, Ben Casey by Neal Admas and The Seekers by JohnBurns. I went back and bought whatever I could find, although I never got all of them. So in the end I never got to fully enjoy the almost wto year tun of Peter Scratch, although I id get my hands on a set of Sundays (which I shared on this blog - follow the link to see them).

So when I came across a full run of Peter Scratch on my michofiche site, I was temped to pull hem all and share them here. But the work involved makes it something that will not happen overnight. So here are the first adn the last week. The last week is sadly reproduced quite badly. But maybe it is an incentive for someome to do a complete one book reprinting.


Friday, April 16, 2021

Boy Oh Boy

Saturday Leftover Day. 

 I have shared many pages from the scouting magazine Boy's Life. Some using my own scans, some from the complete run that can be found online. The comic section (and many of the other illustration features) of this oversized magazine were supplied via the Johstone and Cushing agency, at least until it folded around 1962. For some reason I have these two pages left over in my folder for this blog. It seems I haven't yet show them, although they are lovely. The art can only be by Creig Flessel, but I am not sure.

 I have quite a selection if Boy's Life issues, which I will be selling on Ebay shortly. Postage is always an issue for magazines of this size, but I will try and group them together in such a way that the buyer gets the least postage per issue. Anyway, you can find my Ebay page using the link on the right hand side. I always start low and it will help me buy more stuff to show here...

Sunday, April 11, 2021


 Sunday Surprise Day.

Looking for the first Boner's Ark strips (see below) I came across a carton series by one of the most prolific cartoonists of his period (which roughly covers the forties to the sixties). Reamer Keller may not have been the best selling cartoonist, but he certainly sold to the widest range of magazines. From classics such as Gags ad 1000 Jokes to the more down market Humorama series and other gag digests, he appears in any gag carrying magazine or compendium up until the late sixties, when all but the most course did disappear. He also has his own irregular Sunday page full of cartoons in the New York Sunday News. It first appeared in the late forties or early fifties and reappeared in the sixties, always on an irregular basis. I am not quite sure if it was syndicated, or left with the News to use at their own discretion (like the half page fillers by various artists they had). So apprently, like many of his collegues, at the end of his career he had a gag cartoon series that was syndicated. Others like that were Jerry Marcus' Trudy, Virgil Partch's Big George, Dave Gerard's Citizen Smith and of course Brad Anderson's Marmaduke. 

Medicare ran from April 1955 to late 1973. I had a hard time to establish and end date, because it seems to have tapered out. The only source I had for it, published less and less of it towards the end. As if they spread out whatever they had. Still, they all have a hand-lettered date so maybe  they just bought the last ones but hardly ever used it. Anyway, the hospital closed it's doors in November 1973.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Ship Shape

 Saturday Leftover Day.

I have spend some time the last few weeks with Mort Walker's late sixties creation Boner's Ark. It was created as an outlet for some of the gags and cartooning Mort could not use in any of their other regular strips. The gags were written by the normal team, and the art was provided bu Mort himself using his middle name Addison. But I believe there was no effort spent in hiding who was actually doing the strip. After one or two years Frank Johnstone joined the art side as an inker (you can actually see the difference) and after a few years he took over as the artist completely. Created at a time when the world was in turmoil, it was fresh, silly, very well drawn and ultimately sort of timeless. I have hear stories that it was often considered for a movie of tv adaptation, but these days the name of Captain Boner (which in those days was used to mean a goof, or as a noun it was what we now call a blooper) is a hindrence. Maybe someone of the current Walker strips team can fill you in on the details in the comments section. I have much more where these came from and if you like it enough I will show those as well.

But I am starting with the first four weeks of the strip, which immediate inluded Sundays. You can see that the designs of the characters are still not set, the monkey especially seems to change species every week. They finally settle on having Dum-Dum (the name was there from the start) as a orangutan. In the fourth week, Boner himselfs seems to be a lot younger, but we know that wasn't for long. 

And although I mentioned the timelessness of the strip, as is was introduced in the weeks running up to the 1968 election (which gave Nixon his first term), you'll see a vague sort of political connection with the donkey and the elephant.  Muppet lovers will note that Prescilla is an earlier version of Miss Piggy (although I don't think she was a direct influence).