Four Color Comics # 382 - Bought from Tomorrow's Treasures
Cover by Bob Grant (?)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Hank Porter with Bob Grant inks from a story adaptation by Merrill De Maris 34 pages - No ads
The story inside is a reprint of the Disney dailies of the Snow White story. We learn a little bit more about these strips in the Toonopedia entry for Snow White:
"Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs was not, as commonly believed, the first animated feature but the chances are, you've never heard of the obscuros that came before it. It's certainly the first to succeed in the American market, and the first to be critically acclaimed as a masterpiece.
And it's the first to become a classic. Even today, millions flock to see it whenever it's re-released, and millions flock to buy it whenever it's available on video.
Walt Disney was probably thinking about an animated feature at least as early as 1933. By '34, hints were starting to appear in the press, and it appears he was figuring it would cost about $250,000, i.e., as much as ten Silly Symphonies. That makes sense ten times the length, ten times the cost. But work had scarcely started before the realization set in that it was a lot more difficult to make one feature than ten shorts. To hold an audience's attention that long, he needed more depth, finer characterization, greater complexity. He needed to develop techniques that had never been seen before, and he needed to spend more money for each foot of completed film than had ever been lavished on a cartoon. The final product weighed in at almost six times his original estimate.
It's impossible to give full credits, because so many people worked on it, in so many ways. A few of them were David Hand (supervising director); Adriana Caselotti (voice of Snow White); Lucille LaVerne (voice of the Wicked Queen); and Scotty Mattrew, Roy Atwell, Pinto Colvig, Otis Harlan, Billy Gilbert and Moroni Olsen (voices of Dwarfs). Stellar animators and designers like Ward Kimball (creator of Jiminy Cricket), Grim Natwick (creator of Betty Boop) and Shamus Culhane (Woody Woodpecker, Popeye the Sailor) were reduced to mere faces in the crowd of this gargantuan production.
And by the time the film was in the can, Disney was already thinking of the next one. Just before it was released, he told a reporter, "We've learned such a lot since we started this thing! I wish I could yank it back and do it all over again!"
Audiences, however, seemed quite satisfied with it. As heavily promoted as it was, it could probably have earned back its cost just as a novelty; and indeed, it was the highest-grossing film of all time until knocked from that perch by Gone with the Wind.. But the novelty factor wouldn't have given it its enduring value. That took scenes like Snow White's terrified run through the forest and the Wicked Queen's fascinating transformation into an ugly crone. It took catchy songs like "Heigh Ho" and "Whistle While You Work". Most of all, it took a compelling, satisfying story. From "Once upon a time" to "And they lived happily ever after", viewers of all ages were caught up in Snow White's hopes and dreams, dreads and dangers.
Snow White had its world premiere on December 21, 1937. It was preceded by a serialized version in the Sunday comics, written by Merrill deMaris and drawn by Hank Porter, which King Features Syndicate began distributing on December 12. The film's general release, on Feb. 4, 1938, happened just as the comic strip Dwarfs were marching home from the mine, and about to discover their unexpected guest. No doubt, it was intended to make kids (and quite a few grown-ups) rush to theatres to see how the story would turn out.
The merchandising of Snow White came fast and furious, and never let up. Dolls, storybooks, figurines, etc. abounded, and still do. The Sunday page was collected, packaged as a comic book, published by Dell, and repeatedly reprinted by Dell, Gold Key, Gladstone and, as recently as 1995, Marvel. Whitman Publishing made a Big Little Book of it. Dopey, apparently the most appealing of the Dwarfs, was marketed as a separate character, occasionally appearing with Donald Duck on the cover of Walt Disney's Comics & Stories; and the whole Dwarf ensemble still had enough cachet years later to co-star in a comic book with Bambi's rabbit friend, Thumper.
Its impact on the animation industry was profound. The Max Fleischer Studio immediately started production on a feature of its own, Gulliver's Travels, which was released in 1939, and followed it with Mr. Bug Goes to Town in '41 and the resulting financial over-extension was a large factor in the studio's demise in 1942. Walter Lantz announced an animated feature, which was never completed. Warner Bros. responded not just with Bob Clampett's 1942 parody, Coal Black an' de Sebben Dwarfs (seldom seen today because of its racial caricatures), but also in more subtle ways. In such cartoon shorts as Chuck Jones's Tom Thumb in Trouble (1940), they looked like they might be practicing characterization and story structure, with an eye toward a feature of their own. Even within the Disney organization, it signaled a de-emphasis on the cartoon shorts that had hitherto sustained the company, in favor of increasing reliance on features.
Mostly, tho, it simply raised the bar on animation. The craft was gradually transformed as the techniques and expertise developed during Snow White's production spread throughout the industry.
It was many years before any studio but Disney made a real mark with an animated feature. Nonetheless, the creation of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs was a watershed event for all practitioners of the art."
The marketing of the movie through the strip is an interesting spin. These strips had previously already been reprinted in FC 49 that sported a Walt Kelly cover as seen below (courtesy of the GCD):
Let me start by showing two pages from the 1952 reprint:
Snow White runs through the woods after the huntsman cannot obey his cruel orders
The dwarfs are tip-toeing into their bedroom where the creature is
Among the many reprints of this story, Gladstone reissued the strips in a Golden Anniversary album in the Fall of 1987. I mention this because the strips were reworked on so that both the pagination and the coloring are different and I can easily show how different such work can look dependent on the version you read. I selected the scene where Snow White sees the dwarfs' cottage for the first time and tried my best to show a two-page spread first from this FC and then from the '87 Treasury
I personnally prefer the coloring job on the Treasury. Well ... maybe. Looking at the spreads above I am no longer quite so sure. Which do you guys like better?
Finally, I wanted to mention that the dwarfs have later been the protagonists of other comic work stories for Dell appearing with Thumper and also with Scrooge. I only have a French print of this one Disney cross-over story and let me show you a page where all characters appear (except for the witch that our crew is trying to foil)
"The liberty of any person to own a military style assault weapon and a high-capacity magazine and keep them in their home is second to the right of my son to his life." - David Wheeler, father of Newtown shooting victim.
Andy Panda in Secret Message to Hangri-La by ? 16 pgs
Andy Panda by ? 10 pgs
Andy Panda by ? 8 pgs
Let's start with the always resourceful and excellent Toonopedia coverage of Andy's complete career:
"For sheer, cuddly cuteness, nothing beats a panda. Anyway, that's how the American public saw it in the late 1930s, when the odd-looking bears started, amid great publicity, to appear in U.S. zoos. The Walter Lantz cartoon studio was casting about for a new star to replace Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who had pretty much outworn his welcome. After trying skunks, mice and monkeys, Lantz decided to give a panda a shot. On Sept. 9, 1939, the studio released the appropriately-titled Life Begins for Andy Panda (a play on an Andy Hardy film title).
Andy was a baby bear in this cartoon, and remained a juvenile for the next three years. During that period, he was as mischievous as Donald Duck's nephews and adorable as Sugar & Spike. The moviegoing audience loved him.
But when, in 1942, a decision was made to grow him up, he turned into rather a bland, dull character, much like Mickey Mouse had done when, having evolved into Disney's corporate symbol, he'd become too dignified for the barnyard humor of his early years.
Andy Panda cartoons continued to be made, however, and some of them were quite good. Three, in fact Fish Fry (1944, directed by Shamus Culhane), The Poet and the Peasant (1946, Dick Lundy) and Musical Moments from Chopin (1947, also by Lundy) were nominated for the Academy Award. (However, neither those nor any other Lantz cartoon ever actually won an Oscar.) Andy's voice was provided by, among others, Berniece Hansen (Sniffles the Mouse) and Walter Tetley (Sherman of Peabody's Improbable History).
A 1943 cartoon, Meatless Tuesday (directed by Shamus Culhane), introduced Charlie Chicken. In this appearance, Charlie was seen by Andy as a potential meal; but later, the two became pals especially in comic books, where they were partners in adventure.
As the 1940s drew to a close, so did Andy Panda's days as a cartoon star. The last film he appeared in was Scrappy Birthday (1949). Dick Lundy, who had directed most of Andy's films (including that one), moved to MGM, where he mostly worked on the equally easygoing Barney Bear, and Andy was retired as a character.
Andy had longer-lasting success in comic books. His first appearance in that medium was in the back pages of Crackajack Funnies in 1941. A year later, he moved to The Funnies, which had formerly starred various newspaper strip characters, including Mutt & Jeff and Alley Oop. A few months after that, the title was changed to New Funnies, and the Lantz characters started taking over. It continued under that name until 1962, and Andy Panda was in every issue.
During Andy's Crackajack Funnies days, he operated in a strangely-designed mountain setting called Pandamonia, along with his pal, Winchester (a tortoise), and his girlfriend, Miranda Panda (who didn't show up in animated form until 1949). When he moved to The Funnies, he also moved to the flatlands and went into show business as one of the few talking animals in a mostly human environment. One story stands out from that early run in New Funnies #76, he was drawn by Carl Barks, who went on to create Uncle Scrooge.
(By the way, that oddball mountain setting is duplicated in the Swedish comic book Bamse, about a very Andy-like cuddly bear character, created by Rune Andreasson (who also did Pellefant, about a living toy elephant). Bamse's friends include Skalman, a near-clone of Winchester. Bamse is the most popular comic book in Sweden today.)
In 1943, Andy settled in Lantzville, a more standard funny-animal setting, and that's when he started teaming up with Charlie Chicken. It was also in 1943 that Andy started appearing as the title character of occasional issues of Dell's Four Color Comics. His comic went into regular publication in '52, and continued for ten years. Between 1973 and '78, some of the comic books were reprinted by Gold Key Comics. By the time that run ended, he'd been gone from cartoons for over a quarter of a century.
Nowadays, Andy Panda comic books are available only as back issues, and the cartoons are only occasionally seen on TV, as reruns and fillers. His main claim to fame is that it was a 1940 Andy Panda cartoon, Knock Knock, that introduced Woody Woodpecker."
Before going on further with Andy per se, let me link the above with a recent entry as you will recall that George Kerr's Brownies that Fuelman so kindly brilliantly illustrated for us above starred also in New Funnies alongside Andy Panda among others. Actually we will see Andy again in New Funnies later in these entries.
Let's highlight a couple of Andy's shorts:
"Life Begins for Andy Panda (a take-off on the Andy Hardy film with the same name, with "Hardy" replacing "Panda" of course). In this film, the birth of Andy takes place, and shows Andy growing up to be quite a problem child, not listening to his father's warnings about going into the open where he'll be captured "and put in a newsreel" by pygmies. Wandering out, Andy blissfully gets his father caught in a trap.
When word gets out that Andy and his pop are being chased, all of the jungle animals come to the rescue (even Andy's mom who gives the pygmies a nice, hard wack with her frying pan). This film has not been seen on TV for years, due to it's pygmy stereotypes and Mr. Whippletree."
"The cartoon [Life with Andy Panda] was a smash-hit with movie-goers, so Lantz contracted for three to four Andy Panda one-reelers to be produced every year. By only his fifth film, an Andy introduced us to a screwball, wacky, red-headed fellow who was going to be Lantz's biggest star. In Knock, Knock , Andy and his dad are bothered by a crazy woodpecker (voiced by the one and only Mel Blanc), who keeps pecking holes in their roof.
Of course, all of the father's attempts to get rid of the bird are to no avail, but Andy finally manages to pour salt on the woodpecker's tail, which actually catches him!
This woodpecker character would later become Woody Woodpecker."
"After a handful of cartoons starring Andy and his pop, Lantz finally decided to make Andy the headline star. The first cartoon with Andy on his own was Good-Bye Mr. Moth. Of course, the first film that shows Andy as an adult is Andy Panda's Victory Garden, also from 1942. Some animation critics say the later Andy cartoons are bland and unfunny (but, of course, they're underestimating the work of James Culhane and Dick Lundy)."
As for Andy's comic career:
"... Andy's girl friend, Miranda [...] did not appear on screen until the very last film (SCRAPPY BIRTHDAY) in 1949, however, any comic book collector worth his weight in gold will tell you she appeared years before in 1941's CRACKAJACK FUNNIES #39 and #40. These were short strips that were probably meant to be a daily or weekly comic strip. They appear to have been designed in 1940 (according to the art) and were drawn by Walter Lantz himself. My guess is that the syndicates passed on the strip, so the 10 or so panels were put in the two issues of CRACKAJACK FUNNIES. The strips also featured a pet dinosaur named Dinah, whose origin is unknown. Andy Panda then left that comic and went to THE FUNNIES. He first appeared in issue #61 in November, 1941. The storyline of the comic is that Andy left his parents to go star in the movies. He was cared for by two human children in these strips and this saga ran from issue #61 through the last issue, #64. The story picked up again under the banner NEW FUNNIES, continuing until issue #69. At this point (issue #70) they started a new story, again featuring the boy and girl, that only ran to issue #74. It seems the story went unfinished because, in issue #75, Andy was drawn by a different artist. This new storyline ran for four issues, until #78.
In NEW FUNNIES #79 and from that point on, Andy appeared as he did in the films. In issue #79 (1943), in particular, he looks just like he did in the film MEATLESS TUESDAY. Andy's girl friend, Miranda, did not appear in the comics again until issue #104 (1945) where she appeared right on the cover. She then appeared from time to time, right up to her screen appearance in 1949's SCRAPPY BIRTHDAY. In that film she too, like Andy's mother, seems very sophisticated, and has expensive tastes (she wants a fur coat). Poor Andy finally does get her one, although it was a skunks coat! Well, that film ends quite violently. Miranda was kind of cute when she was first created in 1940-41. Like Andy, who wore nothing but his b/w fur, Miranda seemed to wear gloves on her front paws, a variety of hats on her head, and a red skirt."
Note that we should not confuse Andy Panda with Peter Panda who was a comic book character that ran in DC's comic of the same name. For a cover gallery, you can go to Mike's Peter Panda's page. Peter Panda, according to the Toonopedia:
"Like a majority of today's more prominent American comic book publishers, DC Comics puts out a lot of superheroes. But like an even greater majority of those that go back more than a couple of decades, DC has more variety in its past including that anathema to most self-respecting superhero fans, funny animals. Raccoon Kids, The Dodo & the Frog and Doodles Duck were only a few DC characters of that genre.
Peter Panda was the first of that crowd to debut in his own title. The first issue, dated September, 1953, introduced Peter, along with his human friends, Jimmy and Janie Jones; his non-human friend, Dronald Dragon (who spoke in rhyme); and his girlfriend, Pretty Panda. The supporting characters didn't interact much. They met once in a while, but in a typical issue, Peter would do a story with Pretty, one with Dronald and one with Jimmy and Janie. A fourth story would be about a separate character, Stanley the Timid Scarecrow.
Peter and his friends routinely encountered magical things such as winged horses and toys that suddenly grow enormous. Mother Goose's house was within walking distance. A nearby neighborhood (where Dronald lived, as did his girlfriend Drucilla) was populated entirely with dragons. Most stories involved dealing with magic gone awry or small personal crises, but there was occasional outright villainy on the part of Foxy Dan or his ilk.
From beginning to end, Peter's illustrator was Rube Grossman, who also did the comic book version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and in animation worked on The Mighty Hercules. It isn't known for sure who wrote it, but the writer of the first issue is believed to be Sy Reit, co-creator of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Reit has the same "quasi-credit" on DC's Peter Porkchops that is, it's believed, but not known for sure, he wrote that character's first story too.
Like most of DC's funny animals, Peter Panda sputtered out in the late 1950s. His last issue was #31, dated September, 1958. Also like most, he's seldom been seen or alluded to since."
King of the Royal Mounted by Jim Gary 34 pgs
Ahhhh, again the Toonopedia comes to my rescue with this about King of the Royal Mounted:
"Stephen Slesinger is remembered more for promoting comics (such as Ozark Ike and Og, Son of Fire) than creating them. But he was the one who came up with the thought that a heroic member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would be a good character to promote; and the creative people he hired to produce the strip don't seem to have put much of a personal stamp on it. So it appears he's more-or-less the creator of this one.
Comics historian Ron Goulart has observed that an earlier Mountie strip, Men of the Mounted (done for The Toronto Star, which syndicated it only in Canada), was in position to have inspired Slesinger. A story from it, starring a Corporal King, was adapted into a Big Little Book by Whitman, with whom he regularly did business, and that may have given him the idea. What is known for sure is that Slesinger's hero was also named Corporal King (tho he was promoted to Sergeant early on), and that King of the Royal Mounted debuted from King Features Syndicate on Sunday, February 17, 1935 the day after Men of the Mounted ended. A daily version was added during March, 1936.
One of the ways Slesinger promoted his new strip was by hiring a popular adventure story author as its writer. (This ploy was not unheard-of a year earlier, King Features had hired Dashiel Hammett to write Secret Agent X-9.) After approaching several, he wound up with Zane Grey. But it was just for the name recognition. Grey's son, Romer, seems to have done some of the writing, but it's unlikely Grey himself ever did. Slesinger was less picky about the artist, assigning Allen Dean, who already worked for him, to draw it. Grey's byline stayed on the strip as long as it lasted, but Dean moved on after a couple of years. He was replaced first by Charles Flanders (The Lone Ranger) and later by Jim Gary, who stayed with it and became the artist most associated with the feature.
The following year, King (first name Dave, by the way, tho it was seldom used) was a movie star. 20th Century Fox released King of the Royal Mounted on Sept. 11, 1936. The title character was played by Robert Kent (who later had roles in one each of Little Orphan Annie's and Joe Palooka's movies). Again, Zane Grey may not have had much to do with the writing, but his name was plastered all over it. The feature was re-titled Romance of the Royal Mounted when it was released on video.
In 1940, Republic Pictures (Spy Smasher, Dick Tracy) used the same title for a 12-part serial. The first chapter came out Sept. 20 of that year. This one starred Alan "Rocky" Lane, later the voice of the TV talking horse, Mr. Ed. Republic gathered the chapters into a feature, The Yukon Patrol, released April 30, 1942. On Oct. 17 of the same year, Lane starred in a second Republic serial, King of the Mounties, also a 12-parter.
Whitman published King in a Big Little Book in the late 1930s. His comic book career began with Feature Book #1 (May, 1937 later issues starred Popeye, Little Annie Rooney and other King Features characters). In 1938, he appeared in Dell Comics' Famous Feature Stories alongside Terry & the Pirates, Tailspin Tommy, Mutt & Jeff and other famous features. He had a run in King Comics, which also ran Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician and other King Features strips. Later, he appeared in the back pages of Red Ryder, another Slesinger-managed property. Between 1948 and '58, he appeared in 29 issues of either Four Color Comics (Dell's catch-all title) or his own comic.
In fact, the comic book outlasted the newspaper comic, which ended in March, 1955. Since the '50s, there have been no movies, no comics, and despite the Zane Grey connection, not much remaining name recognition."
Informative as usual and again exposing some ties with other books from the collection such as the Charles Flanders - Lone Ranger connection and more of interest to me is the Rocky Lane connection as having played Sergeant King and whose own series will be profiled later.
Even though Zane Grey probably didn't write the feature, not even once (and that was a surprise to me as you always see it as Zane Grey's King of ...), here's a quick bio because there is limited information about Jim Gary available (except his year of birth 1905 and his association with KFS in connection with King and Red Ryder).
"Zane Grey: A Man with a Dream
by G. M. Farley (Editor The Zane Grey Collector)
Speak of Zane Grey today and immediately one thinks of Westerns, of blazing guns, treacherous villains, virtuous women, heroes ten feet tall, and the most beautiful scenery in America. Long ago, the name Zane Grey became a household world, and is known around the world. He was very rich; at one time the world's highest paid author. But it was not always that way.
He was born Pearl Zane Gray in Zanesville, Ohio, January 31, 1872. His father was a farmer, preacher, and dentist. It was Doc Gray's desire that his son would also become a dentist, and before his fame Zane Grey fulfilled this desire.
The young Gray became proficient in the art of baseball, and actually won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania where his playing won fame for the school and himself. Newspapers carried stories and articles about his exploits on the diamond.
Encouraged by an editor to write a fishing story which appeared in Recreation Magazine, May 1902, Zane Grey decided to become a writer. He had long since changed the spelling of his last name from Gray to Grey, and with his first book would drop the name Pearl since he was far from being the effeminate type. Grey gave up his dental practice in New York City and devoted his entire time to writing. His first effort, Betty Zane, was refused by the publishers and was finally published by Grey with borrowed money. It appeared in 1903. It was not considered successful.
In 1907 Zane Grey made a trip West with Col. "Buffalo" Jones. This trip was the turning point in his life, but his book about Jones and his experiences in the Grand Canyon was not successful. Two more books about the Ohio Valley were unsuccessful. Grey then tried writing about baseball and met with the same results. Then in 1910 he submitted The Heritage of the Desert to Harper and Brothers and it was accepted. Like any aspiring writer Zane Grey thought this was the ticket to success, but his very next three books, part of the Ken Ward series, met with only moderate success. Riders of the Purple Sage was the next book to come from his prolific pen, and it was rejected by Harper. The young author argued that they had not read the manuscript, and insisted that the publisher was being unfair. The editor's wife sat up all night and read the story, and another contract was signed. Riders of the Purple Sage was and immediate success and has sold well over two million copies.
Zane Grey spent nearly all of his spare time fishing and hunting, mostly fishing. He owned two yachts, one a three masted schooner. The other had belonged to the Kaiser and cost Grey $40,000, and another $270,000 went into refurbishing it. On these boats, owned at different times, of course, Zane Grey visited many parts of the world in quest of large and rare fish. At one time or another he held all of the deep-sea fishing records, and today two of them remain unbroken.
In all Zane Grey is credited with 85 books which include eight books about his fishing exploits, three about hunting, and three anthologies. At least two manuscripts remain unpublished. One of these is THE REEF GIRL, a tale of TAhiti, and the other a story of YOUNG GEORGE WASHINGTON. There have been rumors, quite unfounded, of a manuscript entitled THE FRONTIER WIFE. One book about fishing, TALES OF MAN-EATING SHARKS, remains unpublished. Harper and Row have suspended all publication of Zane Grey books.
From his home at Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, Grey moved to Altadena, California where the offices of Zane Grey, Inc. are still located. He had a huge pueblo type home at Avalon, Catalina Island, California, property in Tahiti, and at least one home (a hunting cottage, he called it) in the Tonto Basin of Arizona. This cottage has recently been restored.
In 1937, while fishing for steelhead on the Rogue River in Oregon, Grey suffered a stroke. His son Romer and a guide carried him to a car and got him home, where he recuperated. He made one more fishing expedition, this time to Australia. On October 23, 1939, after having just completed his morning workout with a weighted fishing rod in a fighting chair, Zane Grey suffered a heart attack and died in his Altadena home.
Zane Grey had a dream. He worked hard to make the money to satisfy his lifelong desire, and when he had the money he did not forget what it was for. He traveled extensively and then wrote about what he saw. His books made the West famous and earned him a fortune. Many of the writers of his day have faded into oblivion; Zane Grey's novels are still selling a million copies a year."
Four Color Comics # 385 - Bought from Tomorrow's Treasures
3 1-pager in inside front, inside back and back covers
Porky Pig in The Isle of Missing Ships by ? 24 pgs
Porky Pig in To the Rescue by ? 8 pgs
Again, the Toonopedia will provide the structure of the entry, which I will augment through illustrations taken either from Of Mice and Magic by Leonard Maltin or The Art of Warner Bros. Animation by Steve Schneider.
"In the mid-1930s, Warner Bros. was casting about for new characters to replace the departed Bosko and the terminally bland Buddy. In I Haven't Got a Hat (1935), they showcased several but for some reason, all seemed to be named after paired food items. Of "Ham & Ex" and "Porky & Beans", the only one to achieve stardom was Porky Pig, whose engaging stutter caught the public's fancy right from the start.
1935 Porky Pig Style Sheet -
Porky's second outing, Gold Diggers of '49 (1936), was also the first cartoon directed by the immortal Tex Avery. From that point on, there was no stopping the Pig. He appeared in 17 cartoons that year, less than half of which paired him with Beans the Cat, and another 16 in 1937, none of which did. During the late '30s, he was frequently paired with Gabby Goat, another character who never made it on his own."
From Maltin's book:
"It remained for animator Bob Clampett to commission a new design for Porky when he was promoted to director's chair in 1937. Clampett's Prorky, combined with Mel Blanc's voice, really revitalized the character and made him funny and appealing. If not always precisely a child, he remained childlike in his innocent manner and wide-eyed appearance for the next few years - and the decision to make Porky the speaker of the studio's immortal "That's all, folks!" sign-off guaranteed him lasting fame."
1947 Porky Pig Style Sheet
Back to the Toonopedia:
"Porky remained the studio's top performer through the rest of the 1930s, but lost ground as Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny rose in public favor. But he stayed on as their supporting character, and was also played off of Sylvester Pussycat or Charlie Dog as well as continuing to make occasional cartoons without co-stars. Porky's last appearance in a theatrically-released cartoon was Corn on the Cop (1965), in which he played second fiddle to Daffy.
Like his Looney Tunes brethren, Porky retained his presence in the public consciousness through television appearances. His old cartoons were rerun in packages sold to local stations, on the nationally broadcast Bugs Bunny show, and even, during ABC's 1964-65 season, in a show of his own. He is also part of the more recent Looney Tunes revival, sparked by the gang's appearance with Michael Jordan in Space Jam (1996).
He broke into comic books along with the rest, in Dell Comics' Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Comics #1, and like Bugs and Daffy, remained with the series until its 1962 demise. His own comic book ran from 1942-62, was revived in '65 by Gold Key Comics, and continued until 1984.
Porky received only one Oscar nomination The Swooner Crooner (1944), directed by Frank Tashlin and although he's been on his share of lunchboxes and T-shirts, was never really a merchandising bonanza. He provided inspiration for one of the Tiny Toons crowd, but Hamton Pig, isn't one of their superstars. But Porky makes up for his lack of pizzazz with endurance. He's been part of the toon scene all these decades, and shows no sign of going away soon."
Cover by Carl Barks
Uncle Scrooge in Only a Poor Old Man by Carl Barks 34 pgs
Well this is it. The centerpiece of the collection, the one that started it all. As a collection trivia, once I purchased this copy I made the conscious decision that I will no longer pay more than I did for this one book for any of the others in the collection. This is the most important book and for that reason should be the most expensive. Let's start with the Toonopedia's biography of Carl Barks:
"Most of Carl Barks's published work was unsigned. During most of his working years, he received absolutely no response from his readers, the vast majority of whom knew nothing about him except there was something very special about his stories. When, in the early 1960s, he got his first fan letter, he thought it was a practical joke.
But when he retired, the comic books he created remained in print, and eventually, his name started being printed in them. His fame spread throughout the world, as new generations grew up loving his work. He lived to see his name printed in dozens of different languages, in everything from scholarly treatises to children's picture books.
How did Barks manage to touch so many lives, with no feedback from the public? As he put it, "I always tried to write a story that I wouldn't mind buying myself."
Barks was born on March 27, 1901, and spent his early years accumulating a wide variety of experiences. In the late 1920s, after trying a lot of other ways to make a living, he began mining those experiences for cartoon fodder an activity which, in 1930, cost him his first marriage, as his wife didn't care to have her man's evenings occupied by such a solitary, attention-absorbing activity. Nonetheless, he had some encouraging successes, including a few sales to Judge magazine, which had in the past published such luminaries as Thomas A. "Tad" Dorgan and Eugene "Zim" Zimmerman, and would in the future publish the work of Ted Key, creator of Hazel. But it was in an obscure little Minneapolis-based publication called The Calgary Eye Opener that he found the biggest outlet for his work.
Today, that magazine is remembered only for having published the early work of Carl Barks. After selling dozens of cartoons to it, he joined the staff in 1931, traveling to Minneapolis on borrowed money and arriving with the entirety of his worldly goods packed in a single valise. He stayed there four years, churning out cartoons by the dozen some bizarre, most risquι, all clever and funny. But by 1935, he felt a need to broaden his horizons, expand his repertoire, make more money so he sent samples of his work to Walt Disney's Studio.
Before long, he was working for Disney as an in-betweener. It wasn't a job he was particularly well suited for, but it only lasted a few weeks he submitted so many usable gags for cartoons, before long, they had him doing that full-time. During the late 1930s and early '40s, his work appeared in three dozen Donald Duck cartoons it may not be recognizable in the final product, but his style is evident in many of the storyboards.
It was during this period that comic books rose to prominence, providing work for moonlighting animation people. Barks's first foray into the fledgling medium, a 1942 Pluto story, was fairly forgettable; but his second was anything but. Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold was a proposed animated feature that was never filmed. Barks collaborated with director Jack Hannah (Barks drawing the outdoor scenes and Hannah the interiors) to turn Bob Karp's script into a 64-page comic book. Perfectly balanced between hair-raising adventure and hilarious slapstick, Pirate Gold, which was published as Dell's Four Color Comics #9 (October, 1942), set the tone for extra-long funny animal comic book stories, for decades to come.
Barks left Disney in 1942 because, a solitary worker at heart, he was unhappy with the studio environment. He wasn't looking for a career in comic books, but was quickly offered steady work in that medium a series of ten-page gag vehicles for Donald Duck and his nephews in Walt Disney's Comics & Stories. The first appeared in the 31st issue (April, 1943), and Barks continued writing and drawing them until 1966. In this series, Barks developed Donald's character far beyond the one-dimensional bundle of irascibility seen in the animated version. He also introduced such memorable ancillary characters as Gyro Gearloose, Gladstone Gander and The Junior Woodchucks.
Meanwhile, he continued to write and draw longer Duck stories, maintaining the balance of humor and adventure in The Mummy's Ring (1943), Terror of the River (1946), The Ghost of the Grotto (1947) and many others. In 1947, a Christmas story required that Donald have a hitherto-unseen miserly relative, and that's where Barks's most memorable creation of all Scrooge McDuck was first seen. Scrooge became a star in his own right, and arguably the most successful spin-off character ever to emerge from comic books.
In the earlier part of his comics career, Barks handled other characters as well notably, a lengthy series for Our Gang Comics about Barney Bear & Bennie Burro, but also including at least a story or two about Porky Pig, Andy Panda, Droopy and even Mickey Mouse. But those were minor flings. For a quarter of a century, he was The Duck Man, and it's his Duck work that he's best remembered for today.
Barks tried to retire from comics in 1966, but was cajoled into continuing to write scripts until '73. From 1971-76, the Disney company gave him special permission to sell original paintings of the Duck characters. By that time, he was starting to receive some recognition for his work, and his growing fame made it possible for him to make better money that way, than he did writing and drawing the stories the paintings were based on. When Disney rescinded permission, he continued to paint, and his devoted fans continued to clamor for his work. Among the still lifes and rural scenes of his later paintings are quite a few with Duck characters tho not, of course, any that belong to Disney.
Barks enjoyed a long retirement, full of the accolades due a man of his accomplishments. He died on August 25, 2000, 99 years of age. By then, his fame had spread to every corner of the world. He was mourned by millions, on every continent of the globe."
I decided not to scan pages from my copy but rather from the reprint in Uncle Scrooge Adventures # 33 from 1995 for obvious reasons. For those wanting a copy of this story, USA 33 is actually a good choice as it also contains the last Scrooge story written by Carl: Horsing around with History, drawn by William Van Horn, thereby presenting Barks' first and last Scrooge stories.
Reading over the story for the purpose of deciding which page to scan I realized again how great a story this is with its attention to character description, with the Beagle Boys menace. It is this combination of character and plot driven aspects that make Barks' best adventure stories some of the best comics stories.
Splash - Scrooge is already revelling and playing in his money and we see what would become his traditional money swim.
Story Page - Scrooge explains to us how good a life he has. At this point in his development, no real adventures have taken place and Scrooge is mostly portrayed as an aging coot only worried about protecting his bin (which is not yet located on Killmotor hill)
Story Page - Ah, Scrooge money making motto
Story Page - Scrooge, DD and HDL defends the lake of money. It's those tidbits about Scrooge's life that made a career for Don Rosa, allowing him to explore these only-hinted at back-stories for Scrooge. Unending vistas for a long life accumulating his fortune and reflective of his more active longer days.
Story Page - Barks always blows us away when he enlarges a panel in a page as here when the dam breaks
Story Final Page - Love the expression on Scrooge once DD tells him his piece, but that won't phase our Only a Poor Old Duck for long.
Just wanted to let you know that I've been reading most of the entries in this thread with great interest.
"Only a Poor Old Man" is quite possibly the most read and loved modern story in large parts of Europe. Its contribution is so much more impressive considering that Barks was going through a very painful divorce when he wrote it back in 1951. I read in an interview somewere that he had just left his alcoholic wife and was living alone in a trailer at the time(?) but I don't have the reference at hand.
Anyway, thanks a lot for all the hard work you've put into this so far - it is greatly appreciated!
Cover by L.B. Cole
Cosmo Cat by ? 6 pgs
Senor Tamale by ? 6 pgs
Percy by Pat Adams 6 pgs
America of Bygone Ages "The Age of Reptiles" by R.G. Baldwin 3 pgs
Ivan the Terrible by ? 6 pgs
and 2 1-page gags
I've had the stories scanned for a few days now but could not find decent coverage of L.B. Cole and his career at Star so I delayed the entry. Busy as I am, I'll have to cut this one short.
Here's first a little history on this title to explain how we end up at issue # 48:
Frisky Fables Spring 1945 # 1 to Oct 1950 # 43
Frisky Animals - Jan 1951 # 44 to Sept 1953 # 55
Super Cat - # 56 Nov 1953 to May 1954 # 58 (because Super Cat as per OS started on the cover with # 55 and the character started in # 44 BUT there is no Super Cat in this issue - It is Cosmo Cat not Super Cat)
According to the OS, there is also an Ajax title as the Adventures of Super Cat from 1957 to May 1958, that is running concurrent to the Star title!
for a run of only 4 issues.
During our month, Star put out 10 books most of which sported a L.B. Cole cover. Here are the ones with a Cole cover:
All-Famous Crime, Blue Bolt (Weird Tales), Crime Fighting Detective, Frisky Animals, Holiday Comics, Jungle Thrills, Popular Teen-Agers, Thrilling Crime Cases, Top Love Stories, True-To-Life Romances, leaving us with no non-Cole covers. Yep, it is truly a one-man line ranging from Crime to Horror to Romance to Funny Animals to Jungle adventures!
This goes along with the typical biography of Cole, as examplified by the Comiclopedia entry:
"Leonard B. Cole had worked as art director for a lithography outfit, before entering the comic book field in the early 1940's. In his early work, he always used basic, flat colors and produced what he called "poster color covers". Cole once said he estimated that he'd drawn something like 1500 covers. He drew everything from funny animals to superheroes to jungle girls, but his favorite subject matter was science-fiction. So sometimes he would slip rocket ships and ray guns onto magazines such as 'Captain Flight' and 'Contact Comics' which were supposed to be devoted to contemporary aviation. Cole also published comic books. After leaving the field he published a magazine and painted some realistic covers for that."
Frogman Comics # 1 - Bought from Tomorrow's Treasures
Dan Durkin Frogman in Operation Ravage by ? 7 pgs
Underwater Trapper by ? 5 pgs
Willie Needs Us by ? 5 pgs
The Frogman Takes a Bunker by ? 3 pgs
Double-cross in the Deep by ? 7 pgs
Again a series about which little information is recorded except from the fact that Meskin had a story in issue 4 and Kriegstein in issue 5.
There is a lengthy interview with Herb Rogoff, editor for Hillman in AE 42 but the title is not addressed directly. There is though a page from issue # 2 by George Olesen (whom we saw earlier in Dead-Eye Western and who went on to work on the Phantom) but since George always signed his stories and none here are signed, he did not work on the first issue.
Let me run down for you Hillman's line-up for this month. Hillman was publishing 8 titles -
Airboy, Crime Detective Comics, Dead-Eye Western Comics, Frogman Comics, Hot Rod and Speedway Comics, Real Clue Crime Stories, Romantic Confessions,
I currently have 7 of these 8 and am only missing Romantic Confessions v. 2 # 6. Because it would complete a publisher for me, it is high on my current list of books to buy. Also, a side note: I don't know who printed these Hillmans but it seems that most have poor QP as most are not centered and tilted!
So far, I have completed the Lev Gleasons (8 out of 8) and the Dells (38 out of 38). I am close to finishing Hillman but also Fiction House (15 out of 16 - missing of all things is Jungle Comics 147) and Quality (12 out of 13 - missing Marmaduke Mouse 29).
Of the first tiers: Atlas, National, Fawcett and Dell, I am farthest %-wise from being done with Fawcett (18 out of 37) then National (21 out of 41) then Atlas (31 out of 53).
Of the second tiers: I am farthest %-wise with Ace (5 out of 10)
Of the minors: I am farthest %-wise with Charlton (1 out of 5 - and it came in only yesterday)
Ah, I can always count on statistics to fill up an entry.
First Story Splash - very nice - I will concentrate on this first story because it is head and shoulders above the others.
First Story Page
First Story next Page
Third Story Page
Fourth Story Page - I guess it is a typical mission for Frogmen to blow up a target just as they escape the enemy. No less than 4 stories in this issue have the protagonists do just that!
Frontline Combat # 5 - Bought from Tomorrow's Treasures
Cover by Harvey Kurtzman
442nd Combat Team by Severin and Elder 8 pgs
Stonewall Jackson! by Jack Davis 7 pgs
War Machines! by John Severin 6 pgs
Big 'If'! by Kurtzman 7 pgs
All scripts by Kurtzman
No attribution problems today and many aspects to discuss.
First, in continuation of the examination of the outlook of war books across publishers and editorial directions, I can't say that EC was as pidgeon-holed in their tone in the war books as other publishers were. However, I haven't read as many and would invite more knowledgeable board members to contribute their thoughts on that topic. This issue ranges "emotionally" from the praise and appreciation rendered to the members of the 442nd to the grim tale of fate told in Big 'If'. This is what made ECs so much more rich than other books. Honestly, I prefer the War line to the EC Horror and Crime line.
Let's talk briefly about John Severin as our artist in focus. The Comiclopedia gives us a brief:
Here's Severin flanked by Kurtzman (on the left on the photo) and Goscinny.
"John Powers Severin began drawing cartoons for the Hobo News in 1932. In 1947, he entered the comic book field illustrating for the Simon and Kirby team, working at Crestwood. He became the writer/editor of 'Prize Western' comics and also drew strips like 'Lazo Kid', 'Black Bull' and 'American Eagle'. In 1953, John Severin began working for EC Group, concentrating mainly on westerns and war comics.
After EC folded in 1955, Severin started drawing for Stan Lee's Atlas group. When Lee began the Marvel group, Severin drew for the whole range of comics, including 'The Hulk' and 'Sgt. Fury', a war strip. His sister, Marie Severin, was also in the comic book business. They collaborated at Marvel for a short time, working on the 'King Kull' book."
The TCJ provides us with a snipet of a longer interview in TCJ 215 at this location. Also, a while ago I saw this announcement but haven't read (nor seen) the mag yet. Can anyone let me know if this is out?
"Fantagraphics will be soliciting the EC comics fanzine SQUA TRONT 11 to retailers for January 2005.
The work of John Severin will be the focus of the issue, and most of the articles are connected to him in some way. The issue opens with an introduction and critical assessment of his work with essays examining his career highlights; followed by an interview with Colin Dawkins, writer on TWO-FISTED TALES and the American Eagle stories; Roy Krenkel's unused art for PRIZE WESTERN; Hames Ware's memories of Jerry De Fuccio; the original Squatront fanzine including a rare Wood interview; EC's French Connection with Rene Goscinny and Maurice De Bevere; an interview with John Severin on his early years; a definitive bibliography of his work; and more.
As usual with SQUA TRONT, this issue is densely packed with rarely seen artwork, especially from Severin - starting with the impressive battle scene on the cover, to many fine examples of western, war, and humor work that made him the most consistent illustrational cartoonist ever to work in comics. Also there will be sketches and cartoons from Crumb, Wolverton, and Ditko. And, an unusual tribute from Russ Heath to Severin's career."
Onto the first story - Splash
This turned out to be a great opportunity to refer to my copy of "Go for Broke - A pictorial history of the Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442d Regiment Combat Team." It's not often regimental histories are too useful. During the time of this story, the 442d was engaged in rescuing the "Lost Battalion" in the forested area of the French Vosges as seen in the picture below.
Also, according to the artists' bios on the inside cover, it seems Elder would have seen these battle grounds.
Story Page - I love that middle tier.
Since the story involves at the beginning the medic, here's another picture of the medic team this time and the text mentions Hill 617.
In the end, the 442d RCT in their effort to rescue the lost battalion suffered over 800 casualties in less than a week! This contrasts to the "Lost Battalion", which originally numbered 275 and when rescued was down to 211 men (64 casualties suffered). In exchange, for Hill 617 alone, the Germans suffered 100 killed in action and 41 prisoners and lost nine miles of invaluablt buffer land.
The official count as per the regiment history is 9,486 Purple Hearts, 680 killed in action, 1 Congressional Medal of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 Distinguished Service Medal, 588 Silver Stars, 22 Legion of Merit medals, 19 Soldier's medals, 5,200 Bronze Stars and 14 Croix de Guerre to all these "little men of iron."