Not Just a Pretty Face

You’re probably thinking, after looking at what I wrote about duck comics and Little Lulu, that I’m a little sissy kid way down deep inside. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I bought tons of really mature comics, such as:

I liked Batman. It was probably the only DC comic I bought regularly.

I bought Superman, but I was never crazy about him. The problem with Superman is that he’s invincible. DC didn’t understand that all characters, in order to be interesting, have to have a fatal flaw, an Achilles heel. Kryptonite doesn’t count. It just never convinced me.

More about my juvenile tastes tomorrow.

 

From Thanksgiving 1997…

 

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Little Lulu

Lulu might have been my favorite comic book. And this was when I was a young man. I bought lots of Lulu comics.

Lulu was created by Marjorie Buell, and the single panel cartoon appeared in the Saturday Evening Post for years. But the comic book was written and drawn by John Stanley. Here’s some background. To my way of thinking, his writing was as good as it gets. His characters were marvelous. Lulu Moppet, of course, and her main antagonist Tubby Tompkins. Then the supporting characters were Iggy and his sister Annie, Eddie, Willie, plus the little boy Alvin, Lulu’s parents and then occasional appearances by pretty Gloria and Rollo the rich kid.

In every comic there was also a story about Witch Hazel, her little witch sidekick Little Itch, and the scarecrow boy.

The stories were marvelous: The boy’s club with no girls allowed, that deserted Island in the park where Tubby always seemed to get lost, detective Tubby who called himself the Spider… I could go on and on, but it would be a very long essay.

You also got special offers, I mean WOW!

Of course that stuff you could get from almost any comic. But could you buy a DIAMOND RING?!!!

Great stuff. No wonder I love comics.

Ernie should give up trying to outclass Basil.

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One More Duck Comic

This is from 1989. Don Rosa did the cover. Gladstone had taken over from Gold Key. I don’t know if they were related or not. I infer that Gladstone Gander had his hand in it. Maybe the publishers wanted to get lucky.

Good stuff fo0r Duck fans. I find some of the inside pages interesting. You could complete your duck collection:

And check the last letter to the editor: 

If you asked me for books, I should get them next week, so I should have them to you before Christmas.

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ski jump

That article about Arild Midthun that I linked yesterday also mentions Tormod Løkling, Terje Nordberg whom I mentioned Tuesday, and Dag Kolstad. Every comics fan in Norway knows who Dag is. On my first trip to Oslo my group went to the ski lift in Oslo, Holmenkollbakken. Incidentally, Terje’s father was a famous Norwegian ski jumper. He wanted Terje to follow in his footsteps. If you’ve ever been to the top of a ski jump, it’s mighty scary. Terje was just a boy and his dad took him up to jump. Terje said he was scared to death. His father was disappointed. Terje is a brilliant man. Besides being a terrific cartoonist, artist and editor, he is also a respected historian. Here are some of his publications. He was also my editor at Bladkompaniet in Norway. But the story I wanted to tell was about Tormud. We were in the big restaurant on the top of Holmenkollbakken. In the lobby was a big mounted moose head. Tormud pointed out that moose was on the menu. I turned his joke into a strip.

That was one of the very few times that I ever let somebody write a joke for me. The only other time I can think of was the Jimmy Durante joke which he told on my favorite record when I was a little kid, G’wan Home Yer Mudder’s Calling. Here’s that joke: Jimmy says “When I was a kid my father was so tough he could stop a cold in your head from going to your chest without using medicine. He tied a knot in your neck.” Very funny. I laugh every time I think of it. Jimmy got started in movies when talkies first started. He was partnered with Buster Keaton. I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past that my father worked for Buster back in the silent picture days. And another thing you might not know, Jimmy had a radio program in the mid to late 1940’s. His girl singer was no other than Peggy Lee. She was very young and she had the most beautiful voice you ever heard. Gary Moore also got started on that show.

 

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Just a few of my duck comics

 

Those all were published in the late sixties except Huey Dewey and Louie from 1970. I have lots more.  By the way, there are lots of Duck artists. I believe Don Rosa has retired because of failing eyesight. One of my Norwegian friends, Arild Midthun is one, and he’s also a terrific cartoonist for his other work. And he’s so fast. He’s quite probably the best in Norway. By the way, in his Wikipedia article there is a nice list of Duck cartoonists and writers. Years ago I ate smalahove in Norway with Arild, an Italian Italian duck artist whose name I don’t remember, an American female cartoonist whose name I don’t remember, and a few others. The Italian didn’t know what was coming. They put the plate in front of him, his eyes bugged out, then he calmly and politely began eating. He had a look on his face that said “Ok, if this is all there is, I’ll eat it.” I wasn’t nearly that polite. God, it was awful.

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Comic Books

When I was a kid I spent all my money on comic books. I loved comic books. My father called me and my sister the Comic Book Kids. I had tons. All was bliss until that terrible day. I was ten years old. I came home from school and looked under the bed. We only had one bed. The trailer was small. The couch opened up for my mother and my sister, and I slept on the table. Well, I looked under the bed and my huge box of comics was gone. I asked my father. He didn’t know what happened to them. Right. Like when my hamsters disappeared. You’ve heard people say it. “I used to be a millionaire. Then my old man threw away my comic books.” I started buying them again when I was a young man in graduate school. I had a little money. Not much. But I still have those comics that I bought then.

I know there are a lot of Carl Barks fans out there. Let me tell you a little story. I don’t know exactly when it was, but it was quite some time ago. My friend and former editor at Bladkompaniet in Oslo, Terje Nordberg, told me the story. Carl had been invited to Oslo for a book fair of some kind. When he walked out on the stage and saw the hundreds and hundreds of fans clapping and cheering, he started crying. He had no idea that anyone in the world cared or knew who he was. That’s the way Disney operated. You won’t find Carl’s name on any of the many comic books that he drew. Don Rosa, who later drew duck stories, slipped in the letters D.U.C.K. somewhere in his stories. Here’s an excerpt I took from https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Don_Rosa

Most Don Rosa stories have the letters D.U.C.K. hidden somewhere in the first panel. Rosa’s covers also usually have D.U.C.K. in them. This is an acronym for Dedicated to Unca Carl from Keno. Because Disney would not allow for personal signatures in the comics, and thought that D.U.C.K. looked too much like one, Don Rosa later started hiding the letters in various unlikely places. Many of his readers made a sport out of finding them. D.U.C.K. is in most cases hidden in the very first panel of the story. D.U.C.K. is also often hidden in Rosa’s cover-art, which he makes for his own stories and reprints of old Carl Barks stories.

Don’s first name is Keno. So even though it’s not his signature, at least fans will know who wrote and drew the story.

Tomorrow I’ll show you some of my comic books.

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Terns and Ibis

Two weeks ago – You might know that I’m a bird fancier.

I believe that little bird in the first clip was a least sandpiper. The terns are Forster’s terns. There are a lot of them around here. Many more than when I was a boy. That one tern tried to swallow a fish that was too big. The ibis eat the bugs under the grass. I wish they’d eat my chinch bugs. I recently hired a lawn service. They will kill the bugs, but you wonder about the runoff and the fish. It’s hell being a tree-hugger.

Ibis are really neat birds. You probably know that the white ibis is represented in the Egyptian God, Thoth. It’s not the same species but very similar.

I ordered the books this morning plus a few extra. If you asked for one, Frau Grace will contact you. The cost will be the 20% discounted price plus the pro rata cost to ship it to me plus the tax plus the cost to ship it to you. She’ll let you know. I think.

Here’s an old story from 1990. I used to know people like Basil and Felicia. A little story about Felicia: Her name was Felicia Gomez.When she first appeared, my syndicate received three nasty letters from women all named Felicia Gomez. One time many years ago the same thing happened to Mort Walker. He made up a name, and a lady with that name sued him. Luckily another reader who had the same name wrote him a fan letter. When the trial came up up, Mort’s lawyer called his witness of the same name. What a nice payback.

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About Books

I’ve finally updated the Books page with the info about all the books that are available. If you emailed me about them, you should be hearing from Frau Grace soon. Meanwhile, I will order a bunch of books to sign and sketch in. We’ll find out what the cost is and pass the information on. Don’t feel obligated. We will do our best to get the books to you by Christmas. I’m not sure that the overseas books will make it on time, but we’ll try.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Toast-A-Lator in Action

I pulled out my Toast-A-Lator this morning because our old friend Connie was visiting from Oregon. We hadn’t seen her in twenty years. You might not remember, but once I wrote about how we were talking one time over forty years ago and she said that she was trying to draw cartoons because Playboy paid three hundred bucks a pop. That’s about the time I started drawing. Connie is a terrific person and probably the funniest woman I’ve ever known. But I pulled out my Toast-A-Lator and really impressed her.

If you’ve asked me about ordering books., I’m going to email everyone tomorrow. If you’re interested email me now. I’m going to find out how much it costs and order the books.

 

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Howdy

We have a house guest. You don’t have to plow through any stupid video today.

 

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The strip is from 1990

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