Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Great Ham Caper

My wife, Stacy, wrote this poem way back in Christmas 2006. It's about us and our cats, Rufus and Sam.

Her poem was got some serious Web traffic, and it's been rerun annually since. Since we moved we have adopted a few more cats.

It's bittersweet now, since big red Rufus died on December 5, 2014. It was cancer and there was nothing we could have done. He had a wonderful life. He adored Stacy, who tamed him from a wild cat from the big city to a sweet, round, purring house cat. He had no idea he was on the Internet, of course.

For auld lang syne, here is the poem again, starring our two cats from Brooklyn, Rufus and Sam (Sam is alive and well and asking me for pats as I type this):

The Great Ham Caper

Words by Stacy Lynch
Pictures by Mike Lynch

’Twas the week before Christmas
When Rufus and Sam
Hatched a devious scheme
To make off with the ham!

The ham that would grace
The holiday table!
Roo was the brains.
Sam, wiry and able.

They devised a plan
Of Goldbergian proportions
With pulleys and weights
And kitty contortions.

And on Christmas day
They’d eat until stuffed
(The very idea
Made their tails slightly puffed!)

’Til then, they’d lay low,
Little angels to see.
But that made us suspicious –
Wouldn’t you be?

So we snooped and we sleuthed
And uncovered their caper -
“The Ham-Stealing Plan”
Diagrammed on a paper!

“No silly cat’s gonna
Steal my roast beast,”
Exclaimed Mike. “Just watch,
I’ll ruin their feast!”

So he countered their scheming
With mad plans all his own
And all I could do
Was inwardly groan!

Who’d win this contest
Of wits they were planning?
Would Mike, Roo or Sam -
Be last man or cat standing?

As Christmas day dawned
The four of us waited
For the ham to be served
With breaths that were bated.

But before the main course
Could even be plated
Their plans took a turn.
Some say it was fated...

What happened to stop them
So cold in their tracks?
Why, cat-nip and husb-nip
(in big canvas sacks)
Was all that it took
To stop their foul warring.
And they rolled and purred
And drooled on the flooring.And as long as I kept
My fingers and toes
Away from a hubby and two cats
In nip’s throes -
My own Christmas day
Turned out merry and calm;
The ham moist and succulent,
The champagne, a balm.

When they “awoke”,
hostilities abated,
We all ate some ham
And went to bed sated.

And such peace we wish
To you and to yours:
An end to fighting;
An end to wars.

Happy Holidays!

Mike and Stacy and Rufus and Sam

UPDATE: and, the "new" cats: Dexter and Fergus and my special studio cat Dropcloth (who just, sadly, suddenly passed away).

Happy Holidays, everyone.

It's time to be with family. So, this blog will be quiet for a time. I'll see you soon.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmastime Spirou Magazine Covers

Some lovely covers from the 1950s thru the 70s from Spirou Magazine (and one from the Tintin Journal).  Spirou has been, since 1938, a weekly Franco-Belgian comics magazine published by the Dupuis company. European comics goodness!

Oh, this one is from 2015:


Lambiek: About Spirou

TCJ: Behind the Blue: The Story of Peyo

Friday, December 20, 2019

History of Comics Class at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College

I've been teaching this class.

And here are a few pics from this Tuesday’s History of Comics class at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College. The last class! Sob! I got help from one of the students in getting a selfie. (Thank you, Rose!)

There are a couple of “happy” pics, and then I asked them to act like choosing to be a cartoonist was a big, shameful mistake. They hammed it up nicely, as you can see.

I had a good time creating the course for NEC, and then teaching the class this past semester. Really, my one fear would be that I wouldn't like the students. That was unfounded. These are some great kids. Lotsa talent, lotsa heart.

My thanks to Karen Hillson, Ph.D., Director, Liberal Arts Education, for hiring me. And a big thank you to Jim Salicrup and Brian Fies for speaking to the class. And an even bigger thanks to John Klossner for recommending I teach the class in the first place.

Happy pics:

The "Uh oh, I am making a big mistake with my life" photo:

They know more about aiming a camera for a selfie than I ever will.

Thank you, Rose. 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: All In Fun: Gag Cartoons 1949 - 1968

And now back to our regular programming ....

Here are some great gag cartoon picks by the great gag cartoon collector Dick Buchanan. He has dived into the great collection of gag cartoons housed in his Greenwich Village apartment to grab these unseen gems. As ever, thanks for sharing these and making us all laugh. Some of us sure need it. Take it away, Dick ....


Gag Cartoons 1949 – 1968

Here is a selection of assorted cartoons, chosen from a pile of assorted cartoons found atop the Cartoon Clip File refrigerator. The cob-webs have been brushed aside and they have been carefully re-assorted. Now rescued from cartoon obscurity, they emerge for the amusement of one and all . . .

1. PHIL INTERLANDI. The Saturday Evening Post June 15, 1957.

 2. ERNEST MARQUEZ. Collier’s March 31, 1951.

3. DAVID HUFFINE. The Saturday Evening Post. September 27, 1958.

4. JOE BURESCH. Boys’ Life February, 1950.


5. JOHN RUGE. Look Magazine February 17, 1959.

6. SID GORDON. The Saturday Evening Post February 26, 1949.

7. MISCHA RICHTER. 1000 Jokes Magazine March – May, 1964.

8. CHARLES RODRIGUES. Cartoons & Gags February 8, 1962.

9. LEE LORENZ. The Saturday Evening Post June 21, 1968.

10. GEORGE SMITH. Collier’s March 24, 1951.

11. BORIS DRUCKER. Look Magazine August 11, 1964.

12. JEFF KEATE. 1000 Jokes Magazine December, 1955 – February, 1956.

13. JEFF MONAHAN. The Saturday Evening Post June 29, 1957.

14. NED HILTON. For Laughing Out Loud August – October, 1962.

15. VAHAN SHIRVANIAN. The Saturday Evening Post August 5, 1961.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Dropcloth the Cat RIP

My "studio cat" Dropcloth (or DC for short) passed away last night. He had had surgery to remove some teeth earlier in the day, and after I picked him up he seemed to be recovering. But a few hours later, he was acting oddly. I called my sister, who had worked as a vet tech. Thanks, Penny, for all your help. We took him to the emergency vet's.

He died last night just before 11pm. The cause was cardiac arrest.

Nine years ago, he just appeared in the woods of our house. He followed me everywhere. He had "chosen" me and I was honored. I called him Dropcloth because he had white blotches here and there on his tiger-stripe back.

I am glad he was given a loving home. I am devastated at this loss.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Fall 1962

Here's another great piece of mid century advertising cartooning by an anonymous cartoonist for The Hartford. The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine was a freebie magazine issued to kids (probably thru schools; see "Monday" panel on the above cover) that focused on fire safety.

The mascot is "Johnny Hartford." There are also articles, like a check off home fire safety list, and articles like "Every Day Safety in Hazardtown." There is always a comic story about Johnny Hartford, who gets to have adventures, tell people what to do and be on stage. He's always in the spotlight and loving it. Here is the Fall 1962 two-page comic book story. Again, no art credit but it sure looks familiar.


The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Christmas 1957

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Christmas 1957

Here is the Junior Fire Marshal Magazine from 1957. Sponsored by The Hartford, there are some great midcentury modern examples of cartoon illustration in the primers for kids about fire safety. It's formatted like the old Weekly Reader. All of the art is uncredited. I have a couple more of these Junior Fire Marshal Magazines, so I will continue to share them since they have been most likely not seen for many decades. Any guesses as to authorship would be welcome!