Friday, February 21, 2020

Vintage Snow Machines

I have decided that anything that's shaped like a box and zooms around is something I like.  For instance, Rey's Speeder from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It's just shaped like an electric razor.

Which reminded me of the Santa-riding-an-electric-Norelco-razor TV commercials when I was growing up.

But Rey's Speeder was waaay cooler.

In real life, there are many great, boxy vehicles that handle the snowy terrain, and from time to time, I see them in my New Hampshire neighborhood. I am collecting pics of them from the Internet.

I remember a comic book artist, Mark Schultz, who, when developing his own book in the 80s, decided it would be named after the two things he loved to draw the best. His comic book, "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs," ran from 1987 to 1996. If I drew a comic book named after two things I love I guess it would be called "Cats and Vintage Snow Machines." I dunno. I just like the look of them. Here are a few:

Thursday, February 20, 2020


Here's THE DENNIS THE MENACE STORYBOOK, which showcases some wonderful work by longtime Hank Ketcham assistant Lee Holley. Here's just one of the endpapers:

The name of the book is THE DENNIS THE MENACE STORYBOOK, Based on the character created by Hank Ketcham and adapted by Carl Memling from the television scripts written by William Cowley, Peggy Chantler, George Tibbles, and Phil Leslie. It was published by Random House in 1960 and is copyright that year by the Hall Syndicate, Inc.

Jay North was the child actor who portrayed the mischievous Dennis. CBS had let its LEAVE IT TO BEAVER show go from its network to ABC. They wanted a new "kid show" and DENNIS was greenlit in 1959. It was scheduled in between LASSIE and ED SULLIVAN on Sunday nights. The half-hour comedy show would run until 1963, airing 146 episodes.

I found this book at a second-hand store in Portsmouth, NH. The spine was gone, but it was otherwise in good shape. A lovely bookplate here. Looks like it was illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen.

Lee Holley began working as an assistant to Hank Ketcham in 1957, drawing the Sunday strips.  By 1960, he had sold his own comic strip PONYTAIL and focused on that primarily. PONYTAIL would run until 1989.

Holley's hand-colored art is still vibrant after all these years, with two-tone and full color illustrations alternating throughout the book. Here are a few of his illustrations.

-- Edited from a previous blog entry.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Video: Keith Knight

Cartoonist Keith Knight is interviewed at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, WV.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Video: Cartoonist Bud Blake's Studio 1994

Way back in 1994, Jerry Craft (who just won a Newbery Award for his graphic novel "New Kid") and Jim Keefe ("Flash Gordon") visited Bud Blake ("Tiger") and took this video of his studio.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

From 1977: New York Times Magazine: 25 Years of MAD Magazine

A blog entry from a while back about the heyday of Mad Magazine and its influence on generations.

Above: a 1963 photo of Bill Gaines entering the MAD offices. Poking their heads out of the door are (from top to bottom): Nick Meglin, John Putnam, Al Feldstein, Leonard Brenner, Nelson Tirado, and Jerry De Fuccio.

I'm out of the office or away from the blog, so here's a rerun:

A heartfelt 1977 New York Times Magazine article about MAD's influence on R. Crumb, The Muppets, and the world at large.

Here are some better scans. OK, this is specifically from the July 31, 1977 New York Times: "THE 'MAD' GENERATION - After 25 years of perpetuating humor in the jugular vein, the magazine that wised up millions of kids is still a crazy hit" by Tony Hiss (son of Alger) and Jeff Lewis.

Below is page one, which should blow up nice and big for easy reading of the ol' pixels.

Like millions of other boys, I grew up with MAD. In the early 1970s, I distinctly recall making the decision to subscribe (when I realized I could get the mag for less than the cover price of 40 cents if I could save up the dollars), and walking down the shag-carpeted hallway to good ol' Dad, sitting in his chair in the living room, to ask him to make out a check to the good folks at E.C. Publications.

Above: a special painting by Norman Mingo done especially for the Times, so says the article. Let me know if that's not true.

I was pleased to see credit given to Harvey Kurtzman, and there is a hat tip to the circumstances of his leaving the mag after its first 22 issues.

I love the above photo, taken in 1963, of Bill Gaines, in what looks like full samba mode, and some of the MAD staff (from top to bottom in the doorway) Nick Meglin, John Putnam, Al Feldstein, Leonard Brenner, Nelson Tirado and Jerry De Fuccio.

The scan on this is not the greatest. The Times magazine, as of 31 years ago, was rather large and required multiple scans in my poky scanner. [Sic. 41 years ago now!]

By the way, last week, the Times cut the width of their paper by 1.5 inches. Shrinky, shrinky, shrinky! This makes the Times about the same width as the Wall Street Journal. And this is after raising its price from $1.00 to $1.25 per daily issue. My wallet is going shrinky too. [It's $3 now and smaller.]

"Alfred E. Neuman was everything that parents prayed deep-down their kids wouldn't turn into -- and feared they would." Holy cow!

This article made me want to go and read a lot of old MADs.

UPDATE: Mark Evanier responds to this article here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Video: Wally Wood Exhibition at Angoulême

Thanks to Columbia University's Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green for this video of the big Wally Wood show at Angoulême. Here's Karen:

If you can’t get to Angoulême to see Stephane Beaujean’s extraordinary Wally Wood exhibition, this is the next best thing. (if you don’t understand French, that’s okay; just look at the pretty pictures.)