Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Live Video: Live Boreal Birds at the Ontario FeederWatch Cam, Powered by Perky-Pet® | Cornell Lab

It's Thanksgiving time in the States, so let's look at this live feed of Canadian birds at the feeder. Here are some local Ontario birds, chowing down. This is 5-6 hours north of us, and I tend to peek in on this feel once a day to see what birds I can see. I'm back next week, for more blogging about cartoons and comics and maybe birds again. We'll see. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Captain Neptune's Secret "A Great Dot-To-Dot Adventure for YOU to complete" by Ron Turner


We all have our secrets, and if you want to know Captain Neptune's secret, then you gotta connect the dots first. Literally.

Here's what could be a one-of-a-kind comic book story: Captain Neptune's Secret "A Great Dot-To-Dot Adventure for YOU to complete" illustrated by Ron Turner in 1984 for the Whoopee! Annual, published in the UK. 

Ron Turner (1922 - 1998) was a British comic strip/comic book artist, known for his work on the Judge Dredd and Doctor Who comics - as well as a prolific illustrator for other properties.


A gallery of Ron Turner science fiction pulp magazine covers. 

Comic Art Fans Ron Turner gallery

Hat tip to Paul Gravett!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Video: Not in Kansas Anymore: The Persinger Scrapbook and Conservation

Last week I posted this picture of the Persinger scrapbook. This is a massive, home-made leather-bound  book, held together by two spikes, and full of Wash Tubbs comics and comments and poems from the owner and patrons of Mr. Persinger's barbershop. It dates from the Depression-era, and it's a peek into that time. The one-of-a-kind book got a thorough presentation at Columbia last week, which I was fortunate enough to be able to attend (virtually). Here it is:

"Karen Green (Curator for Comics and Cartoons) and Alexis Hagadorn (Head of Conservation) discuss the 'Persinger scrapbook,' a unique Depression-era artifact, consisting of comic strips with drawings and annotations, compiled by a barber in Fredonia, Kansas."


Friday, November 19, 2021

Midcentury Braniff Airlines Advertising


Way back in the day, when traveling by air was glamorous, Braniff Airlines (1928-1982) had a series of TV advertisements featuring -- well -- oddball pairings of celebrities. You can see what I mean. Here are a few examples, with Andy Warhol and Sonny Liston;

Ethel Merman and Bennett Cerf;


and Sonny Liston and Salvador Dali. These were all part of Braniff International's ad campaign featuring the "When You Got It, Flaunt It" slogan.



Braniff also prided itself on the flight experience, and emphasized its stewardesses in its advertising.

The World Stewardess Crews site has a photo-filed piece on the Pucci-designed Braniff flight attendant uniforms here. Lotsa midcenturymodern goodness!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Happy Anniversary, Calvin and Hobbes!


Thirty-six years ago today the very first CALVIN AND HOBBES comic strip appeared in newspapers.
That's a long time ago. It was the reason I bought the paper! And I didn't have much money to go and spend it on a newspaper. I remember seeing it and thinking that it was too good. Too good to last long! My view of the world was that the mediocre stuff was the only thing that became popular. I am happy to be wrong! 

Kids today tell me they love Bill Watterson's CALVIN AND HOBBES. When I teach cartooning classes, it's regularly cited as a favorite. When I ask them where they got the collections, the answer is always the same: from their parents. 

So, Calvin is being passed along from one generation of people to the next. Not through toys. There aren't any. Not through TV specials or movies. There aren't any of those. Calvin lives on the page and is kept in circulation because it's good stuff. Really good stuff. People are smart that way.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Some Gorgeous Midcentury Modern Eastern Bloc Designs Part Two

Continuing this series of scans of Midcentury Modern design graphics from the Czech Republic and Poland. The first part is here


Some hotels: Motel Devět Křížů, Hotel Racek, Hotel Fialka, SporthotelLivohost, Hotel Skoda, Hotel Zvikov, the Bohema, Hotel Breounka, Hotel Churanov, Beskydy-Horsky Hotel Razula:

Hotel Goral, Hotel Tokai, Hotel Druzba, Hotel Krivan, Hotel Tatran, Hotel Central, Hotel Tribec, Hotel Morske Oko, Hotel Poludnica, Hotel Dunaj. I did not Google these to see if they are still around!


Some Czech coats of arms.

I don't know enough Czech to know what these commemorate.

I do believe now that these are meant to be glued to matchboxes.

Animals -- mostly insects. And a cat who looks like he means business.

These are big scans, so if you click these open in a new window you can really get a look at them.

And a couple of "automoblikies."

Part one is here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Some Gorgeous Midcentury Modern Eastern Bloc Designs Part One


I am scanning in old Eastern Europe images this morning.


They look like stamps, and  they're the right size to be stamps, but there's no perforations or glue on the back. 

I don't know what they are, but they sure are pretty. 

But the color printing, the art direction ... wow! Gorgeous midcentury Eastern bloc design. 


These must have been used for advertising something. Maybe uncut sheets of matchbook covers? I'm spitballing.


Some are in Czech, some look like Russian. The smallest are about one inch by one inch, with the largest about 3" x 2".

I got them at the flea market in Arundel, Maine. The dude selling them had no idea what they were or where he got them.

These are all hi res scans, so right-click and take a good look!

 More here.

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Garden As of November 15, 2021

The garden as of November 15th. Cold, rainy, most of the leaves are gone. Nothing to see here. Winter is coming.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Comics Scrapbook Offers a Window into Depression-era Kansas


Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library adds a unique bound volume of comics and hand-written poems to its collection. 

From Karen Green's (Curator, Comics & Cartoons) blog entry:

"RBML welcomes an exciting new addition to its collections: a scrapbook compiled by a Kansas barber named I. A. Persinger, who began the book in 1928. What began as a collection of Roy Crane’s 'Wash Tubbs' newspaper comic strips for the entertainment of Mr. Persinger’s customers evolved into a sort of historical journal, with notes and drawings from the barber and his customers. The book exists at a convergence of several academic interests, from the reading and reception of comics, to socio-cultural history, to Depression-era life, to the construction of social networks. It will also be of interest for students of outsider art; the way Persinger speaks of the sun and moon, for example, borders on the metaphysical, and is certainly philosophical.

"The book grew like the proverbial beanstalk: by the start of the 1930s, it had outgrown its original binding, continuing to accrue leaves until it reached 830 pages, over a foot thick and weighing thirty-six pounds. Most pages contain two 'Wash Tubbs' strips and, as the days and years wore on, became a place to comment on the state of the world or the length of the Depression, among a variety of other topics."


Thursday, November 11, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: VIP's War 1951 - 1953

 It's the 11th day of the 11th month -- so it must be Veterans Day -- or Remembrance Day in Europe. 

"Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of First World War hostilities. Hostilities formally ended 'at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month' of 1918, in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning." - Wikipedia

I call on Dick Buchanan, who, in turn, calls on Virgil "VIP" Partch, to commemorate this day with some great US Army gag cartoons. Take it away, Dick!


(1951 – 1953)

Virgil Partch’s gag cartoons first appeared in 1943, in the midst of World War Two. He was an instant sensation and his irreverent and outrageous cartoons made him a national celebrity. Many of the very best cartoons he produced in those early years were his zany war cartoons. They were wildly popular with the home front audience and even more so by the men and women in uniform.
The Korean war started on the 25th of June, 1950.

It lasted until an armistice was declared on the July 27, 1953. By this time Partch was one of the cartoon gods. Collier’s cartoon editor Gurney Williams recruited him to reprise his mastery of the war cartoon and the result was a continuing gag panel titled “Vip’s War.” Although they did not rise to the level of his WWII work, there were some classics among them. 

The Cartoon Clip File is the repository of many, many Virgil Partch cartoons and, naturally, there are more than a few “Vip’s War” among them. Here a few, interspersed by a few Korean war cartoons published in magazines other than Collier’s . . .

1. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s February 17, 1951.

2. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s March 24, 1951.

3. VIRGIL PARTCH. True Magazine June, 1951.

4. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s July 21, 1951.

5. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s January 12, 1952.

6. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s January 26, 1952.

7. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s March 1, 1952.

8. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s April 4, 1952.

9. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s April 19, 1952.

10. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s April 26, 1952.

11. VIRGIL PARTCH. True Magazine July, 1952.

12. VIRGIL PARTCH. American Legion Magazine January, 1953.

13. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s January 3, 1953.

14. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s January 17, 1953.

15. VIRGIL PARTCH. American Legion Magazine March, 1953.

16. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s March 28, 1953.

17. VIRGIL PARTCH. American Legion Magazine April, 1953.

18. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s May 9, 1953.

19. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s June 13, 1953. 

20. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s August 7, 1953.