Monday, December 25, 2023

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 22, 2023

1953 George Booth Drawings for American Legion Magazine

Here are a dozen 1953 George Booth cartoon drawings for American Legion Magazine. These drawings were created for the "Parting Shots" section, a regular feature. As you can see, this is in a different style than he had developed later. Regardless, these are early, practically unseen George Booth cartoons and they are a lot of fun to see.

I had the pleasure of visiting with him and his daughter in 2016. George talked about this time. We recorded it, and it was published in Hogan's Alley. A big thanks to Dick Buchanan for taking these American Legion magazines out of his collection and scanning and sharing. It was Dick's idea to do this and a wonderful idea it is!

-- Edited from a blog entry of December 16, 2016.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Dick Buchanan: Winter/Christmas/Holiday Gag Cartoons 1940s-60s

Hey, happy December 21st. And here is the first gift of the season: a batch of holiday-themed cartoons from my friend Dick Buchanan. He's found them and scanned them and now, here they are: seventeen little gag cartoon gems that may not have seen the light in decades.

Thanks so much, Dick.


GEORGE BOOTH. In 1953 Booth did monthly spot illustrations for the American Legion Magazine’s “Parting Shots” humor page. American Legion Magazine, December,1953



PHIL INTERLANDI. Look Magazine, December 14, 1963



BEN ROTH. Ben was the elder of the four cartooning Roth brothers--Al Ross,
Irv Roir and Salo Roth. American Magazine, January, 1944



CHARLES PEARSON. The Saturday Evening Post, 1950’s.



DICK ERICSON. American Legion Magazine, December, 1952



ROBERT DAY. American Legion. December, 1953.



JAN & STAN BERENSTAIN. The Saturday Evening Post, 1950’s



VIRGIL PARTCH. True Magazine, December 1949



JEFF KEATE. American Magazine, January,1950.



ELDON DEDINI. Look Magazine, December 24, 1959



CHON DAY. The Saturday Evening Post, 1960’s



TOM HENDERSON. Then as Now Dept: Tom Henderson depicts the fate that befalls many a traveling relative during the holidays. American Legion Magazine, March,1953



BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post, 1950’s



FRITZ WILKINSON. The Saturday Evening Post,1950’s


TOM HUDSON. Did Hudson’s artificial snow seller spawn the waif hawking real snow by Charles Addams? (New Yorker, Jan 1, 1974) From Collier’s, December 21,1946



BARNEY TOBEY. Mr. Tobey again, confirming many suspicions. Look Magazine, December 24, 1959



JOSEPH MIRACHI. Look Magazine, December 31, 1963

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

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