Saturday, December 25, 2021

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 got some serious Web traffic, and it's been rerun annually since. Since we moved from Brooklyn to New Hampshire 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. In the middle of Covid, Sam got very sick and passed away. Out two beloved Brooklyn kitties. They are dearly missed.

For auld lang syne, here is the poem again, starring our two cats from Brooklyn, Rufus and Sam:

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 Tank.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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


Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Time 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

Thursday, December 23, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Gag Cartoons 1945 - 1958

Here are some vintage gag cartoons from magazines of long past courtesy of the collection of Dick Buchanan, who somehow found time out from his hectic holiday shopping schedule to send these along for us to enjoy. Thank you, Santa Buchanan!  


(1945 – 1958)

Here are a few vintage gag cartoons which have been clipped from the pages of the great national magazines of the past. They have been expertly executed by some of the mid-century’s best gag cartoonists. As usual, these cartoons are not as funny as they were when they first appeared but they are still well drawn. Take a look . . .

1. TON SMITS. This Week Magazine January 12, 1958.


2. DON TOBIN. American Magazine July, 1955.


3. JOSEPH KIERNAN. Collier’s October 28, 1955.


4. STAN HUNT. The Saturday Evening Post December 4, 1954.


5. CHON DAY. This Week Magazine October 20, 1957.


6. DAVE HIRSCH. American Magazine May, 1955.


7. DAVID HUFFINE. This Week Magazine February 4, 1945.


8. NAT MARCUS. Collier’s November 2, 1946.


9. GAHAN WILSON. Look Magazine September 30, 1958.


10. STAN HUNT. American Magazine July, 1955.


11. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s November 12, 1949.


12. CORKA (Jon Cronin) The Saturday Evening Post February 16, 1946.


13. GARDNER REA. This Week Magazine May 6, 1945.


14. CEM (Charles E. Martin) The Saturday Evening Post June 11, 1949.


15. CLYDE LAMB. The Saturday Evening Post November 27, 1954.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa's Vacation Pictures


It's one of those "wintry mix" days in New England where we sway from rain to freezing rain to snow, so I'm chilly. Here are some photos of Old Time Radio comedian Fred Allen and his wife Portland Hoffa enjoying a sunny holiday to warm me up. 

And of course this classic "feud" photo with Jack Benny:

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Mike Lynch Christmas Story: "No Chimney? No Problem!"

Gee whiz. 13 years ago, I put the below cartoon story on this old blog. I completely forgot about it. The story first ran in an issue of Foster's (the local paper here in NH) and then I expanded it for our RACONTEUR comic book (which is pretty much sold out I think). Here it is again: a true story by a cartoonist (me) about ... well, you'll see. 

 My advice: right click on these pages and open them in a separate tab so you can see them best. 

By the way, thanks, everyone, for your support and interest in this here blog, by the way, which will have its 16th anniversary next year.

Monday, December 20, 2021

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

Anniversary time!

Wow! It was two years as of yesterday since the last day of the Fall 2019 History of Comics class at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College. This was a great course to create and teach -- and I'm very fortunate to have been asked back regularly to teach this again.

Here are a few pics from this that last class of 2019! The first group of students that I got to teach. Way back. Before COVID! 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.

It was a grand time and there are wonderful memories. 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 continuing to for this and other classes like the History of Political Cartoons and the History of Illustration). And a big thank you to Jim Salicrup and Brian Fies for speaking to the class; as well as Karen Green for providing support in writing the syllabus. 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.