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Preview: Joe Torcivia's The Issue At Hand Blog

Joe Torcivia's The Issue At Hand Blog

The Universe of Things that Interest Me – Now Open to the Public! Comics, DVDs, Animation, Classic TV, Sports, and occasionally more. Please enjoy your visit!

Updated: 2018-03-24T11:20:19.890-04:00


Separated at Mirth: Our Rolling Blunder!


Our first entry in the "Separated at Mirth" series presented Dell Comics' ANDY PANDA # 44 (1958) and Gold Key Comics' YOGI BEAR # 41 (1970) in corresponding contests of log rolling.  You can see that post HERE!  Well, a certain MR. BUGS BUNNY, known for creating prior mischief at this Blog, had "his people" get in touch with us at TIAH Blog to remind us that HE did the "Log-Roller-Skates" gag before any of those "Beary-Come-latelys"! And, indeed he had, on the cover of Dell Comics' LOONEY TUNES # 151 (Cover Date: May, 1954)!We issue a formal apology to Mr. Bunny, and offer our log-rolling "Separations at Mirth" in a revised and proper chronological order.   Things to note:Andy and Yogi might as well be rolling on the SAME LOG, given the way it's drawn on both their covers.  Bugs must have sourced his from a different type of tree.  Similarly, Andy and Yogi find themselves upon tranquil blue waters, while Bugs rolls upon a churning green!  Charlie Chicken and Boo-Boo skate with their hands behind their backs, while Bugs' arms are confidently folded up front!  While skating, Charlie and Boo-Boo are standing relatively straight-up.  Bugs is actually better posed, with his mid-section out and his head back to achieve better balance!  Perhaps it's a necessity, because he's taller!   Andy and Yogi's emotional states fall somewhere between panic and bemusement, while Elmer Fudd is outright angry at Bugs over this unexpected turn of events!  ...Must be all that "history" between them!   Speaking of "history" our cover artist here is Ralph Heimdahl, who drew the Bugs Bunny newspaper comic strip from 1948 thru the 1970s.  That's some "history" too! (Click to Enlarge)Anyway, better late than never for Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Dell Comics' LOONEY TUNES # 151, "Separated (from ANDY PANDA # 44 and YOGI BEAR # 41) at Mirth"!  [...]

Separated at Mirth: The Cagey Way to Quiet!


"Separated at Mirth" is our name for the situation when two or more comic book covers or interiors execute the SAME GAG, only with different characters and separated by years or even decades!Today's example is MUTT AND JEFF # 31 (December 1947 - January 1948) and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 101 (February 1949).  So, what's a guy to do when all he wants is some peace and quiet to get some reading done?  Well, if you're Augustus Mutt or Donald Duck, and you have a caged pet parrot, the answer is simple!  ...Though, I'm not exactly certain what it could be that keeps Jeff and Huey, Dewey, and Louie so QUIET!  It's a BIRD CAGE, after all, not a "Cone of Silence"!  Things to Note:Even though the Nephews are bunched-up "three-to-the cage", it's Jeff who looks more uncomfortably restricted! Donald's parrot is quite PLEASED with this turn of events, while Mutt's parrot is decidedly not!  Oddly, Mutt is NOT getting the complete quiet he desires - though his parrot's squawking is likely easier to shut-out than Jeff's antics!  CICERO'S CAT looks rather nervous, perhaps wondering if a stray "Meow!" might soon have her joining Jeff!  The CAGES and EASY CHAIRS (and their occupants) are "flipped" in their respective compositions - though both PARROTS occupy the same "vertical line of space"!  The covers are drawn by Sheldon Mayer and Walt Kelly, respectively.  Both were well-known artists famous for other properties ("Sugar and Spike" and "Pogo" - also respectively).  But, at the time, both were regular COVER ARTISTS for MUTT AND JEFF and WDC&S - respectively yet a third time!These issues of MUTT AND JEFF and WDC&S would have appeared little more than one year apart!The backgrounds of the two covers are both YELLOW, though MUTT AND JEFF's has a nice "wallpaper motif" to it!There you have MUTT AND JEFF # 31 and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 101 - Separated at Mirth! ...Oh, and I really gotta get myself a FEZ! [...]

On Sale February 28, 2018: SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 35 from DC Comics.


Have your own special PIC-A-NIC with a copy of SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 35 from DC Comics, released February 28, 2018!  This is a comic I've been waiting for most of my life, considering that I've been a fan of Yogi Bear since the earliest days of THE HUCKLEBERRY HOUND SHOW, and a fan of Scooby and the Gang since watching the very first broadcast of SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU in 1969!My grandmother bought me the first YOGI BEAR comic book in 1959 (Art by the great Harvey Eisenberg)......And I bought myself the second SCOOBY-DOO comic book in 1970.  (Art by Jack Manning)I picked up the first one over ten years later!  (Jack Manning again! He worked on the animated series, too!) Okay, so you get it!  I love 'em both, and since first discovering the SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP title, I had hoped to see team-ups with other classic Hanna-Barbera characters.  And, we GOT 'EM, like THIS ONE and many more!  This pairing seemed a natural, given both Yogi and Scooby's status as iconic creations of the Hanna-Barbera studios.  I might enjoy seeing Scooby Doo meet Lippy the Lion or Yippee, Yappee, and Yahooey - but I don't think that's ever gonna happen!Besides, it's not as if Scooby and Yogi haven't crossed paths before, as in the '70s with LAFF-A-LYMPICS... ...And Yogi even made a very brief but eyebrow-raising cameo on SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERY INCORPORATED, in the 2000's.  Now, THAT'S an ACTOR for ya!But, at long last, here's Yogi in his pic-a-nic basket swiping glory, with Scooby in his mystery-solving glory!  Aw, heck... There's just "glory" EVERYWHERE!And, no greater is said "glory" than in the case of RANGER SMITH! Ranger Smith had MANY different looks...Um, did we say "MANY"? So many that John Kricfalusi superbly satirized the situation in one of his '90s cartoons!But, eventually "Mister Ranger" settled into what I feel was his best look about 1960-61.Then, there was a movie called "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear" in 1964, for which Ranger Smith was redesigned - and, in my opinion, not for the better!He was somehow "less funny" with this particular look! See what I mean?  Alas, it "stuck" in comics and all future animation......Until this glorious comic......And this glorious sequence therein! YES! THE "REAL MISTER RANGER" IS BACK!  YAY! And, because this IS a Scooby-Doo comic, there's a GHOST!  ...And wouldn't you be disappointed if there wasn't!  You just gotta love the LITTLE YOGI HAT on the title lettering!  Beyond the "Ranger Resurgence" and the "Guest Ghost", the hallmark of the SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP title, and its superb writer Sholly Fisch - who's written every issue to date, are the wonderful little character bits that each story is brimming with.  For instance, this reference to the opening theme sequence of THE YOGI BEAR SHOW!  Or, how about this reference to POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK, where Yogi AND Scooby's original comic books were printed and shipped?As a kid, I actually COULD spell "Poughkeepsie", but only because I wrote away for so many Gold Key Comics subscriptions, for issues like these!  It really says "Poughkeepsie, New York"... Click to Enlarge!...And later, of course, I saw "The French Connection"!  How do you not love this exchange between Ranger Smith and Daphne, and the parallels it draws between Yogi and Shaggy!  Lest I neglect my solemn responsibilities as a "Comic-Book Dialogue Creator", I must regretfully cite one instance of character dialogue that could have been handled better!  A zoo-bound Yogi is in the crate below... Boo-Boo should have added THREE MORE WORDS to his objection:  "You can't ship Yogi off to the Poughkeepsie Zoo - JUST LIKE THAT!"Because it would FLOW MORE SMOOTHLY with Ranger Smith's dialogue below!Sorry!  Sometimes, I just can't help it!  Now, we've reached the point at which I always bow-out, rather than SPOIL THE PLOT, and just tell[...]

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: "Forward MCH!"


Above is the front cover of REAL SCREEN COMICS # 10 (1947).  Look it over!  ...Does anything seem unusual to you?  While you're examining it, I'll say that REAL SCREEN COMICS was one of DC Comics' funny-animal anthology answers to popular titles published by Dell, such as...WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES...LOONEY TUNES AND MERRIE MELODIES...WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES......And OUR GANG... ...But for THE FOX AND THE CROW and Columbia cartoons.  It regularly featured The Fox and the Crow...Tito and His Burrito...Flippity and Flop... ...In earlier issues "Polar Playmates", featuring a "Daffy Duck-like Penguin"......And in this particular issue a 2/3 page gag feature called "Snorky"!  The fact that "Snorky" was a PIG probably contributed to his lack of longevity!  REAL SCREEN COMICS ran for 128 issues, into the middle of 1959.  What happened to it after that is to be the subject of another post that will come eventually.  OKAY, TIME'S UP!  ...History lesson over!  What's unusual about the front cover of REAL SCREEN COMICS # 10?  ...If I didn't already give it away in the TITLE of this post?  Have you ever seen "MARCH" abbreviated as "MCH."?  As the "Cover Date" of a comic book, or anywhere else?   If "MARCH" wasn't spelled out completely, it was abbreviated as "MAR." as, for example, on the cover of the next such issue (# 16)... ...And the next (#22), and so on... Though this continued up thru Issue # 49, I'll issue extra credit to anyone who also cited the FULL SPELLING-OUT OF THE COVER PRICE OF "TEN CENTS"!  Issue # 49 (1948) where the ten-cent cover price is no longer spelled out.  Pity, I actually liked it spelled-out, as it contributed to an overall look of "cartooning" that these books exhibited!  ...Oh, the things we find, just looking through our comic boxes!  If you're wondering why the shades of blue are different in the two illustrations above, it's because the FULL COVER is an Internet image, and the close-up on the COVER DATE is a scan from my own copy.  [...]

On Sale January 31, 2018: WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 741 from IDW.


Yeah, yeah, I know... On Sale January 31, and it's almost March!  But, it's a QUARTERLY now, so I've got plenty of time to fit this in before the presumed Next Issue appears in April!  ...And, that thought nicely leads into my opening:Once upon a time, in the 1940s, there was a "Giant Redwood" among comic book titles!  Its name was WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES!  It was a "Giant Redwood" that stood, not alone, but as part of a "GREAT FOREST of Giant Redwoods"!  Those "Giant Redwoods" in the GREAT FOREST of DELL COMICS, reflected the illustrious animation studios of the time!WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS.LEON SCHLESINGER - Later WARNER BROS.MGM.WALTER LANTZ (UNIVERSAL).Even DC COMICS and COLUMBIA PICTURES became part of this "Great Forest of Giant Redwoods" that consisted of Animation Anthology Comic Books, featuring the many different characters created by their respective studios!  One by one these venerable titles fell by the wayside, giving way to eponymous titles for each studio's most popular starring characters... ...And, by mid-1962, only WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES remained!  Not only did it "remain", it THRIVED!   Throughout the 1960s, and into the 1970s, it was the ONLY MONTHLY title in the Gold Key Comics line!  Its successful format of a "Donald Duck Lead Story", a mix of various and sundry Disney characters in the middle, and a "Mickey Mouse Serial" at its end ensured a lively and enjoyable read, month after month, and year after reliable year!  There were occasional "format tweaks".  The Mickey Mouse Serials briefly stepped aside for "The Walt Disney Theater".The Mickey Mouse Serials would also occasionally come and go, being replaced by shorter single-issue stories, before returning once again.    The Donald Duck Leads might get pushed to the middle of the book, or become "Donald and Daisy".   It could become Giant Sized...Or even Squarebound...But the successful formula of "Donald in the Front" and "Mickey in the Back" regaled us for decades!   Until recent years when, alas, WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES seemed to lose its way!  At no time was this EVER WORSE then when, under the very misguided management of Boom! Studios, the title was turned over to the (so far out of mainstream it hurts to even look at it) "Ultraheroes"!  C'MON, REALLY?!  When this happened, for the first time in my life I felt good about Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson no longer being with us - so they wouldn't have to see this atrocity.   Even at the start of the otherwise great run of IDW Disney comics, the first year of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES was burdened with an overlong and (frankly) diffused TWELVE PART TALE that was not really in the spirit of this historic comics magazine.  But, as you would expect from IDW - and the individuals there who really do care about these comics - the IDW incarnation of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES straightened itself out, and became the title it always should have been!    But again, with the recent (and hopefully temporary) hiatus of both the DONALD DUCK and MICKEY MOUSE titles, WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES has sort of become the quarterly-published, de-facto interim substitute for both... being dominated by long Donald Duck lead stories... ...And, as in this issue, long Mickey Mouse lead stories......Not unlike the "also-quarterly" DONALD AND MICKEY title!And, while I hope that WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES will once again return to its once-unique status among comic magazines, I say let's enjoy the current IDW incarnation for the great stories it offers!   Like in our current issue..."Mickey Mouse and the Fire Eye of Atlantis" Part 1 of 2.  42 Pages (!). Written and drawn by the great modern mouse-master Andrea "Casty" Castellan, with translation a[...]

Separated at Mirth: Three Bears and a Chicken Go Log-Rolling!


Our recently-added feature "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" has gone over so well, that I decided to create another such feature that I call "Separated at Mirth"!The focus of "Separated at Mirth" would be when two or more comic book covers execute the SAME GAG, only with different characters and separated by years or even decades!This could also apply to interior gags as well, but will mostly focus on covers.  Our first entry in this series is ANDY PANDA # 44 (Dell Comics, 1958) and YOGI BEAR # 41 (Gold Key Comics, 1970).  Once upon a time, there were THREE BEARS...A fat, dumpy-looking bear...  A cute little bow tie-wearing bear... And a panda bear who, for some inexplicable reason (at least in comic books), liked to hang-out with a very annoying, smart-alec chicken!  This chicken was SO annoying and smart-alecy that one wonders how Andy found, within himself, the strength to refrain from, choking the chicken! As for our other two "woodland creatures" (as their cartoons often called them), this answers the age-old question: "Does a bear LOG-ROLL in the woods?"Clearly, the answer must be "Yes!"... and, by that, one can surmise that "The Woods" must be a very boring place!  There you have ANDY PANDA # 44 and YOGI BEAR # 41 - Separated at Mirth!  We'll have more instances of  "Separated at Mirth" soon.  Dunno if that's a promise... or a threat! [...]

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: We Interrupt this Gag for an Important Announcement…


While we're still paying deserved tribute to the awesome creative force that is Mort Walker, I thought I'd bump this one up to directly follow our post devoted to Mort Walker and voice actor Doug Young.  It just seemed appropriate.  Anyone who read comics in the 1950s - or, more likely, collected them afterward - is familiar with the "Dell Comics Pledge to Parents"!  This self-proclaiming blurb of assurance was intended to "calm" parents who were needlessly alarmed by self-serving politicians and know-it-all psychologists in a concerted effort to demonize comic books as a cause of juvenile delinquency.  Well, comic books have since been marginalized down to cult status on the mass entertainment scale - and the overall behavior of American citizens has become worse then ever... So how'd that idea turn out, eh?  Nevertheless, Dell played the game with its expected dignity, issuing "The Pledge" at every available opportunity......Such as at the end of this back-cover gag from Dell Comics' UNCLE SCROOGE # 13 (1956).  (Click to Enlarge!) We'll probably never know if Carl Barks was asked to draw this as a seven-panel gag, or if there was an EIGHTH panel that was cut for "The Pledge".  Fortunately, cutting one panel of Scrooge saying "Mush!" would not impact the gag!  However, "The Pledge" didn't always fit as neatly into every gag, as it did above!Consider its odd placement in this gag from the inside back-cover of Dell's BEETLE BAILEY # 12 (1957)!  (Click to Enlarge!)Yes, the gag is ACTUALLY INTERRUPTED for Dell's important announcement!  ...But, at least the parents who purchased this issue of BEETLE BAILEY for their children could sleep confidently in the knowledge that it  "...contains only clean and wholesome entertainment"!   DELL COMICS ARE GOOD COMICS!  ...And Dooon't You Forget it! - As that guy below would say!Oh, and as a bonus, here is the front cover of BEETLE BAILEY # 12 - with it's odd-looking anthropomorphic mouse!  Such an animal character would be unheard-of at Camp Swampy, until some years later when Sarge's dog OTTO would join the cast!  But, hey... That mouse is showing the kids the importance of washing regularly... talk about  "...CLEAN and wholesome entertainment"!  UPDATE: February 10, 2018: Our diligent friend Debbie Anne Perry earns some Extra Credit by bringing to my attention another odd placement of the Dell Comics Pledge to Parents in Dell's THE THREE STOOGES # 7 (Cover Date: December/February, 1962).  We've already seen The Pledge tacked-on to the END of a gag, and INTERRUPTING a gag in progress... but this THIRD VARIATION has The Pledge INSERTED INTO THE ARTWORK OF A GAG!  I wonder if artist Joe Messerli was asked to leave room for The Pledge, or the empty space (which a canyon scene should have anyway) was just fortuitously used for that purpose?  Dell Comics, it would seem, are not only "Good Comics", they're also efficient ones!  [...]

R.I.P. Mort Walker and Doug Young!


You know it’s a bad week when we lose a legendary cartoonist, and one of the last surviving classic-era animation voice artists – and so it was, as both Mort Walker and Doug Young left us this past week.  Mort Walker was the creator of Beetle Bailey, and was also instrumental in giving us Hi and Lois, Boner’s Ark, and more!  Mr. Walker dates back to when I actually enjoyed reading newspaper comic strips.  He was a TRUE cartoonist, in the very best sense of the word!  His art was clear, clean, easy to look at… and, most importantly, always carried-off the gag as intended! Today, to have a successful comic strip (as is sadly indicated by any random perusal of what is left of the once grand newspaper comic strip sections), all you need be is a “gag-writer-who-can doodle”, and you’re in!  Not so in the days Mort Walker, Chic Young (Blondie), Al Smith (Mutt and Jeff), and their many presumed “assistants”!  Folks that that made comic strips fun – both to READ and to LOOK AT! ...(Click to enlarge, though Jeff will remain "small"!) For the best Mort Walker tribute post I can direct you to, go to the newly rechristened Blog of our friend Jaime de Andrade HERE!   Be sure to read all the links Jaime provides WITHIN his post!  He did a really fine job!  Doug Young, up until now, would have been the last surviving voice actor of the wonderful early years of Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons!   You *could* count Jimmy Weldon, whose only character was “Yakky Doodle”... ...but, if you consider multi-voice-providers, who did starring characters and tons of ancillary ones, Doug Young was the last. Mr. Young was best known as the Jimmy-Durante-like voice of DOGGIE DADDY, “Dear Old Dad” to his precocious pup Augie Doggie!Other regular H-B characters in Doug Young’s stable included Hokey Wolf’s idolizing sidekick DING-A-LING FOX......And YIPPEE of the “Three Goofy King’s Guards” Yippee, Yappee, and Yahooey! (...That's Yippee in front!) …And a whole-lotta hunters, farmers, western-bad-guys, and what have you.  Mark Evanier has a nice tribute post to Doug Young HERE, and Yowp has one HERE!  The character of Doggie Daddy became such an institution that he even made a brief cameo appearance on FAMILY GUY!  Such endurance for a character who's original first-run lasted only from 1959-1962 must be largely attributed to the "life" breathed into him by Doug Young!   What strikes me most sadly about the passings I’ve reported on lately, such as Walker and Young, as well as Bob Dowdell and Vic Lockman, is that, in their own unique fields of endeavor, they either WERE, or were perilously close to being, the LAST at what they did!  We’ve discussed the lack of remaining contemporaries for Mort Walker and Doug Young.  Other than David Hedison, who played Captain Crane, Bob Dowdell was the only surviving regular cast member of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.  And Vic Lockman would have been the last (…or certainly the last of anyone considered to be PROLIFIC and IMPACTFUL) writer for the historically great line of DELL and GOLD KEY comic books produced by Western Publishing Co.  Of course this sort of “transition” has always gone on… one generation of crafts-persons passes-on, and another two or three take their place.  …But, it’s always saddest when it’s “your particular formative era” that inevitably comes to its end.  …And that’s true no matter what that “particular formative era” would be!  Rest in peace, Mr. Mort Walker and Mr. Doug Young!  …And thanks for making “my particular formative era” a much better place!      You think he's reading "Beetle Bailey"? [...]

R.I.P. Bob Dowdell


Another really sad one for me, actor Robert Dowdell passed away on January 23, 2018, at the age of 85.Bob Dowdell was best known as Lt. Cmdr. Chip Morton, Executive Officer of the submarine Seaview on the classic TV series VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.  As Morton, Dowdell was truly the "rock" of the Seaview crew.  He was that dedicated, focused, and unshakable presence, throughout the Seaview's four TV seasons of incredible adventures.  This, in contrast with Admiral Nelson (Richard Basehart) who sometimes exhibited questionable judgement and sanity - and often kept it from his crew, and Captain Crane (David Hedison) who was prone to outbursts of "William Shatner-Level" intensity. Be it Communist spies, gigantic sea creatures, or Shadowmen from Centauri......Chip Morton was unaffected by it all, and could always be counted on to set course, depth, and speed, organize a search party, and prepare the Flying Sub for immediate launch!  ...He did have that one "way-overly emotional moment" during "Deadly Amphibians" which seemed out of character (If you've seen it, you know what I mean!) - but, for only once in four years, I think we can forgive him that!  Prior to VOYAGE, Bob Dowdell co-starred with Jack Lord in the one-season western series STONEY BURKE!  Bob Dowdell in STONEY BURKE, solo and with the great Bruce Dern! HERE is a list of Bob Dowdell's credits from IMDB.And HERE is a tribute to him from ME-TV, that still runs Voyage each week!Rest in Peace, Bob Dowdell, and thanks for "keeping it together" each week on my favorite sci-fi series!  [...]

More Melon!


In THIS POST, our friend Achille Talon introduced us to the wonderful Franco-Belgian comic, from which he has taken his screen name, "Achille Talon".  A comic that has been (...far too few times, alas) translated into English as "Walter Melon".  Achille has followed this up with another Walter Melon gag, which I enjoyed so much I asked if I could share it on this Blog.  Without further ado, here is Walter Melon in "Long Bow" with (as we say in the IDW Disney comics) Translation and Dialogue by Achille Talon!  ...I'd say he has a future in this business!Click to Enlarge! ...Or, just read it "panel-by-panel" below!  [...]

On Sale December 20, 2017: DONALD AND MICKEY # 2 from IDW.


The next time you find yourself on a sinking ship (...and NEWS FLASH to Peg Leg Pete: YOUR SHIP IS SINKING!) don't run for the lifeboats before grabbing a copy of DONALD AND MICKEY # 2 from IDW to entertain you while waiting for rescue.  These unfortunate folks failed to do so - and LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM!  CLICK TO ENLARGE ALL ILLUSTRATIONS! In it you'll find the THIRD Donald Duck and Princess Oona story, written by Unn and Stefan Printz-Pahlson with still more superb art from the always reliable Victor Arriagada Rios (Better known as "Vicar") with American Localization by Yours Truly.  Offering the third Oona story as the issue's lead feature seems a trifle odd to me, considering that her FIRST APPEARANCE in IDW's DONALD DUCK # 20, despite being the cover feature, was buried in the back of the book - as was Oona's SECOND APPEARANCE in IDW's DONALD DUCK # 21 - but who am I to argue!  ...Perhaps Oona had a little chat with the editors, and they saw it her way!  Anyway, in "Working GRRRL!", Oona continues to wreak her own special brand of primitive havoc on Donald's once peaceful modern world to where Don vows to find her a job, which will lead to getting her own place to live!  Needless to say, 12 pages of job-seeking joviality ensue!  Next up is a wonderful tribute to Floyd Gottfredson and everyone who worked on Mickey Mouse comics from the 1930s thru the 1950s, including Carl Fallberg, Bill Wright, Don R. Christensen and many others!  "Treasure Archipelago" is 16 pages (in two chapters) of true classic stuff with Mickey and Goofy in servitude on a ship commanded by Peg Leg Pete - who (yet again) claims to have gone straight! It is written and drawn by the great Marco Rota, with Translation and Dialogue by Jonathan Gray, who does "Classic Mickey" better than anyone!    William Van Horn delivers one of his best stories in recent years with "Coff It Up!", where Donald and Neighbor Jones do battle over a winning lottery ticket!  Finally, a REAL oddity!  An EEGA BEEVA SOLO STORY!  You KNOW I'm gonna love that!  "Pocketful of Miracles" is written by the great Byron Erickson, who goes back with these comics to the very earliest days of what we call Gladstone Series One in the mid-eighties!  It is drawn by Fabrizio Petrossi.  Eega, now far more acclimated to "our modern times", AKA "his past", as he's from the year 2447,  (all together now) wreaks his own special brand of futuristic havoc on the scientists who originally examined him in his Bill Walsh and Floyd Gottfredson 1947 origin story - and who have now forcibly taken him to conduct further research!  This story makes for a nice "closing bookend" with the opening Oona story, as we have "characters out of their time" - one past and one future wreaking (all together now - again) their own special brand of havoc!Only difference is that Eega is INTENTIONALLY heckling the scientists, a la Bugs Bunny, while Oona is simply and innocently doing her thing!  So, hopefully by now, rescue has come to all of you of my "lifeboat legion" of readers, you've enjoyed reading DONALD AND MICKEY # 2 from IDW, and are ready to share your experiences in our Comments Section!  Just remember, I do not speak for IDW, or anyone in its employ.  I speak strictly for myself as both a long-time fan and as a dialogue creator – and those opinions are strictly my own. Bon Voyage! Good Night! Sleep Tight! ...And Don't Let the Sharks Bite!  [...]

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Punched Panda!


Don’t 'cha just hate it when something like this happens?  [Cue "Film Noir" music!] Ya order a comic that’s been a longtime nagging hole in yer collection from an online retailer.  Ya choose “GOOD” condition, either because o' th' price or it’s th' only condition available.  Ya expect a “GOOD” condition comic ta be far from perfect in its appearance (…not unlike many comic COLLECTORS) – but ya know yer gonna get a complete an' very readable copy.  Den… Er, THEN, it arrives, an’ ya find that someone’s put a BULLET THROUGH IT!    …Okay, okay… Some kid, back in the 1950s simply assaulted it with a HOLE PUNCH!  But, the singular punch looks SO NEAT, going completely through the book, that it LOOKS like a precisely fired assassin’s bullet!  A NORMAL, NON-PUNCHED COPY! And, such was the case with the copy of Dell Comics' ANDY PANDA # 16 (Cover Date: November 1952 / January 1953).  Below is the front cover of my copy.  Note that, while bagged and boarded, this flaw is hardly noticeable to the casual glance. It is at the spot where Andy's right glove intersects with Charlie Chicken's right arm.  Look closely...   Here’s a CLOSE-UP of the area on the front cover.A clean shot, er… PUNCH, that goes all the way through, mutilating dialogue balloons as it went!Finally, the exit wound, er… PUNCH, through the back cover!Fortunately, I have a very good relationship with this online retailer.  They stand behind their products, and their commitment to me as a customer.  A suitable replacement copy has already been received.  Now, it looks more like THIS! Oh, and it’s not as if *I’m* completely innocent of mutilating or otherwise defacing comic books, as this very shameful postdescribes!Oh, and let’s not even consider the horrors of something I did in my own immediate-post-toddler and pre-kindergarten years!  ...And, to a Carl Barks story, no less!   The horror!  The HORROR!   ...They weren't "lucky, lucky ducks" on that fateful day! Then again, maybe they WERE![...]

R.I.P. Vic Lockman.


We begin the new year of 2018 on a very sad note… One of the most prolific comic book writers of all time, and a major influence on my own comics work, Vic Lockman, passed away (sadly unnoticed) in June of 2017, at the age of 90!  To better appreciate the accomplishments of Vic Lockman, please first read the Blog posts of Mark Evanier, who worked as a writer for Western Publishing’s Gold Key Comics during the 1970’s, and was a then-contemporary of Mr. Lockman… HEREand more HERE!  Below is a piece I wrote on Vic Lockman for this Blog’s “ancestor”, THE ISSUE AT HAND fanzine and APA column, back in early 2001 - with all illustrations added especially for this post!  After that, I’ll be back with a few examples of how the unique stylings of Vic Lockman influenced – and CONTINUES to influence – my own comic book work… and another “special treat!” But, first… please join me in 2001 – already in progress…  With the release of Archie Comics’ Veronica # 106 (December, 2000), veteran comics writer Vic Lockman finds himself with work published in six different decades!  Another "Veronica" story by Vic Lockman, from issue # 96, released at the end of 1999! Yes, comic book readers of the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70’s, ‘80s, ‘90s, and now the “Oh-Ohs” have experienced the talents of one of comics’ most prolific writers of all time.  While he has contributed some “art” (in quotes because, frankly, it wasn’t all that great) it was Vic Lockman’s strengths as a WRITER that would carry him from the middle of one century into the beginning of the next!  Perhaps wisely, his art would be mostly relegated to “game and puzzle pages” throughout his prime period of the ‘60s and ‘70s, followed (oddly) by a few isolated efforts for Gladstone Series II’s Disney comics during the later 1990s.    As the ‘50s gave way to the ‘60s, and for the balance of Western Publishing’s years as a comics publisher ending in 1984, Vic Lockman would handle the vast majority of “funny” or “animated” character titles to emerge from Western’s Dell, Gold Key, and Whitman comic book lines, with an emphasis on Disney, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, and Walter Lantz characters.  Creatively, Lockman would reach his height during the early-to-mid 1960’s, with such stories of note as:   “Time Jumper”  Huckleberry Hound #  5  (May-June, 1960).  Armed with a mere children’s book, Huck displays ingenuity and heroism throughout history.  With art by the great Hanna-Barbera comics artist Harvey Eisenberg, this tale of historical juxtaposition is a mini-masterpiece for both writer and artist!  “The Flintstones meet Frankenstein and Dracula” (…nowhere NEAR as bad as it sounds!)  The Flintstones # 33  (April, 1966).  Time travel with a twist… the monsters journey back to Bedrock and are mistaken for Fred’s visiting cousins!  “The Battle at Hadrian’s Wall”  Donald Duck # 107  (May, 1966).  Donald struts his stuff as a Roman centurion.  “Og’s Iron Bed” Donald Duck # 109  (September, 1966).  Released July, 26, 1966.  An historical adventure with (so I’m told by folks who know more about this than I) some Biblical overtones!  Establishes Lockman’s creation Emil Eagle as a full-fledged villain.  “Trapped in Time”  Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories # 323 – 326.  (Aug. – Nov., 1967) The second best of all the Mickey Mouse serials originally produced for comic books.  Mickey and Goofy set out to rescue “time lost” inventor Gyro Gearloose.  2018 UPDATE:  More recent inf[...]

Happy New Year 2018 (and 1957) with Bugs Bunny!


We celebrated Christmas 2017 with Bugs Bunny in THIS POST, so why not ring in 2018 with him here! Above is the BACK COVER of BUGS BUNNY'S CHRISTMAS FUNNIES # 8 from 1957, and what a fitting illustration it is!  And, just for the heck of it, here's the front cover!  Ya really gotta love these things!  We hope you'll make TIAH Blog a regular stop in 2018, as we've got lots of great things planned... of course you know what they say about "Best Laid Plans", but we'll try our best! August 2018 marks TEN YEARS of this Blog!  I don't know what we're gonna do yet - but I know there will be something!For now, though, let's just look at the back cover of another issue of BUGS BUNNY'S CHRISTMAS FUNNIES!  This one is # 4 from 1953.  The reason it's here is that it answers a long-standing question of mine... Which issue of what Bugs Bunny comic book title was the cover of 1966's BUGS BUNNY # 109 reprinted from?  For the longest time, I checked the front cover of every Christmas or wintertime issue I could find, but never knew where this image was from.  ...That's because I never checked the BACK COVER of any of 'em!  Silly me! Happy New Year, 2018! Bonus "Front-Coverage" of BUGS BUNNY CHRISTMAS FUNNIES # 4! [...]

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Merry Cats-Mouse!


After OUR LAST POST, we really need one more “Christmas Extension” before bringing the Season of Peace and Good Will to a close for another year… and here it is, courtesy of Harvey Comics’ MUTT AND JEFF JOKES # 3 (Cover Date: February 1961). Most MUTT AND JEFF comic books, published by DC Comics, Dell Comics, and finally Harvey Comics, reprinted Daily and Sunday MUTT AND JEFF newspaper comic strips – usually with a “topper” introductory gag-line added.  Some, mostly those from Dell, produced new stories, but strip reprints certainly predominated. CICERO’S CAT was a “sister strip” to MUTT AND JEFF, running (I believe) as an additional Sunday supplemental feature.  These usually appeared in the MUTT AND JEFF comic books – and Dell even published two issues of CICERO’S CAT with all original stories, in the late 1950s.  Here is a particularly nice Christmas strip…Would that we all might find some way to emulate this! [...]

DVD Review: K. Gordon Murray Presents "Santa Claus" - or, "Life's a Pitch, Then You Fry!" 


It's been a VERY long time since we've done a Looong DVD Review around here, as comics - both old and new - have had quite a resurgence at this Blog.  But, here comes a REALLY WEIRD ONE!  K. Gordon Murray Presents "Santa Claus" (1959)Another looong DVD Review by Joe Torcivia Summary:  Alien Santa Claus vs. The Devil! ...Yes, really! This seems a very unlikely way to "extend Christmas" at TIAH Blog, but this all stems from the the Horror and Sci-Fi Film Appreciation Society that I attend each Thursday night.  K. Gordon Murray Presents "Santa Claus" was the film of the week on December 14, 2017 - but, alas, I was not in attendance that evening, as I was up against a translation and dialogue deadline for "A Very Special Issue of UNCLE SCROOGE for IDW" that you will soon see... and hopefully enjoy.  In consolation, I was given a DVD copy of the film by our Fearless Leader, Indie Filmmaker Keith Crocker, to watch at a later date. That date, for me, was December 22, post-Uncle Scrooge deadline but still well in time for Christmas.  Before we get to my review, please visit the Blog of fellow member Marc Whinston, whose post on "the evening I missed" provides vital background on K. Gordon Murray Presents "Santa Claus" (...So I don't have to!) and offers a TRAILER for the film that you should very definitely watch before reading on... ...You still here?  Go do it, and come back!  Okay, now... Ready for some POETRY?  'Twas the Day Before Christmas,And Up There in Space, Santa Claus Lives,In an Opulent Place!  A Palace of Marble,So Light and So Airy,Contains Captive Children,Now, THAT'S Really Scary! The Kids Sing for Their Supper,And Make Toys for Their Keep,Did Santa Fire the Elves,Because He's So Cheap? Do We Root for This Santa?Or Root for the Devil?I'm Not Always Certain,Just Who's on the Level!  If I'm Forced to Choose,'Tween the Two Guys in Red,I Suppose I'll Pick Santa,Let the Devil be Dead!  Just imagine what this film must have done to make me create a Five-Stanza Poem-Parody for it!Santa's an ALIEN?!  Presumably, his cloud city remains in fixed orbit behind the Dark Side of the Moon [Insert Your Own Pink Floyd Joke Here], which was unseen by man in 1959.  He PASSES the Moon on his way to Earth, bolstering that postulation.  He opens with laughter far more maniacal than jolly, and apparently keeps CAPTIVE EARTH CHILDREN OF ALL NATIONS for his labor force - and his entertainment!  Since the children, at one point, wonder what they EAT on Earth, it's clear that Santa's probably taken them at a very early age, (perhaps from the hospital - or WOMB) as they do not miss their parents, and the parents are not searching for them!  BRRRRR!  The children perform nation-specific musical numbers for Santa's amusement, like some bizarre living parody of Disneyland's "It's a Small World" ("After All") exhibit!  But, still there are worse beings in the cosmos than this version of Santa Claus.  Specifically, "Lucifer the Devil", who sends his hapless minion "Pitch" to turn the children of Earth (the ones Santa has NOT labor-trafficked in) against Jolly Old St. Nick!  The various elements of the film come together in an orgy of unparalleled weirdness...We have ballet-dancing devils! Melodramatic, self-explanatory, and overly cautionary narration, the likes of which you would have heard in then-contemporary cartoons like RUFF AND REDDY - and was so manically lampooned by William Conrad in ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE!Legendary magician Merlin and Vulcan (the key-m[...]

Merry Christmas 2017 (and 1950) with Bugs Bunny!


Merry Christmas 2017, to all of our readers and friends - old and new! And this is the special Christmas comic that I mentioned in OUR LAST POST!  I had never read Dell Comics’ BUGS BUNNY’S CHRISTMAS FUNNIES # 1 (1950) before this month, because I’d just gotten my copy this December.  Ditto for BUGS BUNNY’S CHRISTMAS FUNNIES # 2 (1951).  Read ‘em both over the last two weeks.  Both are excellent issues, and a great way to set the scene for the joyous holidays soon to come.  BUGS BUNNY’S CHRISTMAS FUNNIES # 1 is also the source of the “Giant Robot Snowball Fight” splash panel, I posted previously!  It is part of the climactic sequence of the issue’s lead story, Bugs Bunny in “The Days Before Christmas”, written by Don R. Christensen, and drawn by Tony Strobl.  This unusual Christmas tale runs a whopping 31 PAGES (…of this even-more-whopping 128 page comic magazine), which would explain why this particular story was never reprinted by Gold Key during the 1960s or ‘70s – though a “32-Page, No Ads” special comic would have accommodated it quite nicely, with any random one-page gag to fit on Page 32.  It wouldn't have fit in this 1966 Christmas issue, for instance!  Oh, and could you have gotten "more sixties" than "The Girl from B.U.N.N.Y."?  ...Well, could ya? Where do I begin to list the strange and wonderful elements that went into making this tale?  Needing some Christmas money, Bugs becomes an assistant chimney sweep.  It’s big business this time of year, as chimneys are cleaned in anticipation of the arrival of Santa Claus!  On his first job, Bugs accidently destroys Elmer Fudd’s Christmas tree.  While in the forest, trying to replace it, Bugs runs across… a Biblically-dressed shepherd, who “contracts with Santa” to provide The Jolly One with little 1950s-Sci-Fi-style Robotic Helpers – and (if that’s not enough) possesses a “Magic Twig” that duplicates the placid personality of any docile animal it touches into said robotic helpers, in order to bring them to peaceful and presumably productive life!  (Whew!) Fired as an assistant chimney sweep, Bugs becomes apprentice to the shepherd, who has just created a GIANT robot to do the GIANT (What else?) tasks that Santa requires!  Soooo, guess what happens when Bugs accidentally duplicates the decidedly non-placid personality of a grizzly bear into the GIANT robot?  No more spoilers on this (GIANT or otherwise) … It’s Christmas, and NO ONE ever asks Santa for spoilers! From cover to cover, BUGS BUNNY’S CHRISTMAS FUNNIES # 1 is an outstanding issue, with both Holiday and Non-Holiday tales brought to you by the talents of the aforementioned Don R. Christensen and Tony Strobl, with John Carey, Phil De Lara, Al Hubbard, Fred Abranz, Vivie Risto, Jim Pabian, Gil Turner, and Ken Champin… a veritable “Who’s Who” of Dell Comics circa 1950 – Carl Barks, Harvey Eisenberg, and Roger Armstrong excepted.  I know, Bugs! I'm in awe of this line-up, too!There are the usual game and text-story pages… and the “sheet-music” and lyrics to three seasonal songs: “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, and (of course) “Jingle Bells” are reproduced!Adding to the outright unconventionality of it all, are the one-and-only (I’m certain!) comic book appearance of the Scotsman who challenged Bugs Bunny to a wild game of golf.  "One-and-only", at least for Pre-DC Comics modern issues, where virtually any character who EVER appeared in[...]

The Post Before Christmas!


‘Twas the Post Before Christmas, And all Through the Blog, Not a Notion was Stirring,‘Cause We Worked Like a Dog!Yes, this Blog HAS been sleeping for a short while, as it is wont to do when we are (all together now) “Horrifically Busy”, but we can never stay away for too long.  And so we’re back to get in one more post before Christmas 2017!  We’ve published our backlog of comments, and have a bunch of things waiting for you in 2018, so stay tuned.  For now, two things:  ONE:  HERE is my original mentor Mark Evanier on Blogging and what it means to have a Blog.  Not surprisingly, I agree with every word of it and, as I still draw on some of the things I learned from Mark during our old-fashioned mail correspondence back in the early eighties about comics writing, I draw on so much of what he says here about Blogging – before I even knew he said it!  TWO:  I just read an AMAZING Christmas comic this week for the first time ever!  Below is a fantastic half-page splash panel from it!  Does anyone know – or can anyone guess – which comic it is?  We’ll have that answer for you on Christmas Day… but everyone is welcome to guess right now!See you then!  [...]

Achille Talon, By Way Of Achille Talon!


You may recognize the name “Achille Talon”as that of one of our friends, and regular commenters.  But, do you also recognize “Achille Talon”as that of a wonderful French/Belgian comic series, from which our friend “Achille Talon” has taken his screen name?  Neither did I, until he brought it to my attention by providing an Amazon link to a rare English language volume translation of one of the stories – pictured above!  ...Now, it's time to bring it to YOUR attention! Click to Enlarge, to Read Descriptive Text. “Achille Talon”, or “Walter Melon” as he is known in English, is the product of creator Michael Greg who, in this volume gives us a fantastic 44-page comedy adventure (in four-tiered panel layout, as was done in Dell and Gold Key Comics – no less), in which Achille/Walter journeys to the jungles of “Messaplato” in search of his lady-love, the fair (and somewhat indifferent) “Magnesia Pamperbilt” and the diamond mine she just learned she has inherited.  “Magnesia’s Treasure” (1977, with an English translation created in 1981), opens with Achille/Walter purchasing a small vase for Magnesia from an outdoor flea-market, as a token of his undying affection. Click to Enlarge any and all panels! We readers are quickly thrust into the magnificent absurdity that I’ll presume permeates the entirety of the  “Achille Talon” series, as Magnesia enthusiastically accepts the gift – but decides that she must change the décor of her entire living room to fit the vase!  To do so, she orders her servant/faithful companion “Hexcedrin” to switch her present living room furniture with that of a departed aunt and uncle, which is stored in Magnesia’s vast attic.  Achille/Walter, ever the fawning gentleman assists, and finds an old book – containing a letter that reveals Magnesia to be the heir to a lost diamond mine in the aforementioned Central American land of “Messaplato”.  Impulsive Magnesia and Hexcedrin are off in search of the titular “Magnesia’s Treasure” , with Achille/Walter just late enough to miss the departing plane, and imagine the many terrors the two ladies will be facing without his protection! Achille/Walter gears-up for a dangerous jungle adventure, takes the next plane, and finds the greatest dangers to be customs, local law enforcement, and wild vehicular traffic!  Please forgive an occasional "crooked panel", as this book cannot lie flat on my scanner!  Teaming up with a perpetually inebriated old war buddy of his father’s, “Arthur, the 14th Duke of Booswallow” (a pun to make me envious), Achille/Walter eventually plunges into the jungle to find Magnesia.Along the way he picks-up a delightfully funny array of pursuers, hangers-on, and just plain old self-interested exploiters that include…  …An officer of the Messaplato Secret Police...…The enterprisingly mercenary natives of the “Kiukiubamba Tribe”...…A band of revolutionaries... …A rather inept man-eating leopard...…The mysterious adventurer with a bad case of amnesia, “Colorado Jones”……Dangerous fauna, and deadly man-made traps……And the Messaplato Military!This wondrous mix (and mix-UP) of humorous and satirical characters makes for one heck of a conclusion!  ...But, no more spoilers!  Instead, we’ll move on to why the readers of this Blog should enjoy “Achille Talon”, AKA “Walter Melon”.The character of Achille/Walter is a delightful mix of Carl Barks’ Donal[...]

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: If Birds Had Their Own Laws, This Would Be One of Them!


While we’re still rooting around the long box for WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES, let’s turn our attentions to Issue 165 (Cover Date: November, 1950), home of the “Black and Red Woody Woodpecker Halloween Pumpkin Gag” covered in THIS POST.  But now, let’s look in on Homer Pigeon! To my knowledge, Homer Pigeon only appeared in three cartoons but was, oddly, a mainstay of the Walter Lantz comic books – regularly appearing from the 1940s thru ‘60s, and (via reprints in Gold Key’s Golden Comics Digest) into the 1970s!   Unlike Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda, Homer did not live in a world largely populated by “human characters” with a side dish of other funny animal characters like Wally Walrus or Charlie Chicken.  Instead, Homer lived in a “world of birds” whose structures were in the trees – with his town even named “Birdville”. FUN FACT: Homer actually introduced Chilly Willy to comic books, as noted down somewhere in THIS POST. Homer basically existed to win the affections of fickle “Carrie Pigeon”, and thwart the schemes of his rival “Red Cardinal”.  Or, so went the vast majority of his many comic book stories.  Click to enlarge, for ease of reading! ART BY LLOYD WHITEMost often, an underhanded competitor for Carrie’s attentions, in this tale Red is more of a moocher – who sponges off Homer, rather than work for his meals.Fed up with, uh… keeping Red fed, Homer sends the sponging nuisance off with just a cup of coffee… because Homer’s such a good, soft heated guy.  But, here the story takes an odd turn – even for a Walter Lantz comic (often more loosely plotted than the concurrent Disney comics we’re all accustomed to) about a separate civilization of anthropomorphic birds!Hungry Red decides to STEAL AN EGG to eat!  Let’s not even try to think about what that could possibly mean in a civilization of BIRDS!  See what I mean?  Really?  Then, THIS happens!  Red apparently draws the line at cannibalism, and wisely decides to return the chick to its mother’s nest (After all “Dell Comics are GOOD Comics”, or so said their “Pledge to Parents”), when Homer gets the drop on him!  Yeah, if ANY logic could be applied to this bizarre situation, it WOULD be that THIS is a “Law”!Red is sentenced for his crime, according to bird law!  And, sentence is carried-out by an unusually bird-like version of Woody’s rival “Buzz Buzzard” (so named on-panel)Gotta love that the blindfold doesn't work! Also gotta love that Buzz can’t count!  …Or, maybe he CAN, and just took some more licks for the hell of it!So, the next time you see the comic book Donald Duck in jail, think how different it COULD have been for him, if Walter Lantz and Universal got DONALD from Disney, instead of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!   [...]

Thanksgiving 2017 Continues with Fluffy and Mervin and Tom and Jerry.


Remember the turkey pictured in our last post, from the cover of WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES # 178?  Well, he’s still around (thanks to the kindness of Andy and Woody) – and so is Thanksgiving 2017, since Thanksgiving is a four-day-holiday, after all!  And, that’s not including Cyber Monday!So, to keep being thankful (if only for the next few days) for all the persons, places, and things that you would normally just “kick out of the way” throughout the rest of the year, we offer this Fluffy and Mervin Thanksgiving gag created by our good friend Debbie Anne Perry!Let’s be thankful that persons like Debbie are out there to drop unexpected smiles on us – sometimes when we need them most!  Seeing this brought to mind a Tom and Jerry Thanksgiving tale, from Dell Comics’ TOM AND JERRY # 184 (Cover Date: November, 1959) that will be forever seared into my brain.  Why, you are undoubtedly asking your collective selves, is this particular Tom and Jerry story forever seared into my brain?  Good question, considering there were SO MANY great Tom and Jerry stories created over the 1940s thru ‘60s.  Indeed, I daresay that the “ten-pagers” that led off each issue of the TOM AND JERRY title may very well be second only to the Carl Barks Donald Duck “ten-pagers” that led off each issue of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES during that same period, in terms of reliably delivering great art and humor! But, this one (and certain others like it) remains forever special because, back in those very early days of my existence, my grandmother bought and read these comics to me… long before I could read them myself!  In fact, it was from comics like these that I learned to read, well before entering elementary school!  They also created the life-long love of comics that lives within me to this day!Talk about having something to be thankful for!   But, to our story… “The Turkey” 10 pages.  Writer: Unknown.  Artist: Phil De Lara.  Tom has just prepared a Thanksgiving meal for his GrandmaTabby, to which Jerry and Tuffy have invited themselves.  Tom tells the story of his ancestor at the first Thanksgiving , and why mice are never invited to a Thanksgiving meal.  Aw, this story was never reprinted – and due to the images of pesky Native American mice, probably never will be even if there WERE any Tom and Jerry comics – so here it is for your Thanksgiving enjoyment.  Click to enlarge, for greater ease of reading.  Hopefully, Tom gets his fill of Thanksgiving turkey before Cyber Monday! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! [...]

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!


To everyone who makes this Blog such a joy to host, Happy Thanksgiving 2017 – to you and everyone who means something to you!  …And even all those others – it’s a holiday, after all! 

I'm even thankful that Dell did SO MANY Thanksgiving covers over the years, that I've never had to repeat!  

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Andy’s in the Shadows! Woody’s in the Red!


We're going to officially designate a new Sub-Feature here at TIAH Blog called "Adventures in Comic-Boxing"! As I spend more time going through my comic boxes - closely examining the the many wonders inside, diving around in them like a porpoise, burrowing through them like a gopher, tossing them up and letting them hit me on the head - I often find oddities that I'd like to share with you.  Thus, "Adventures in Comic-Boxing"!Some recent posts have fallen into this category, like THIS ONE and THIS ONE, which will now fall under our new "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" label.  Now, our "Adventure in Comic-Boxing" for today...There are certain animated characters that are SO iconic in their design that they are recognizable while pictured completely in silhouette.   My ORIGINAL COPY from 1981, without the additional text to obscure the illustrations!Surely you can tell who's pictured above, for instance.  But, is Andy Panda a character with the sort of cachet that would allow him to pull this off?  Evidently the artist, writer, and editor (or any combination thereof) of WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES # 164 (1950) must have thought so, as indicated by this one-page, Black and White Andy Panda gag on the issue's inside front cover.  Click to enlarge the whole page, or either of the two segments included below!  I know that pandas are known for their Black and White coloring, but this takes it to a whole new level.  And, for no reason other than to set up a Blog-Post-Closing gag, I also include this "Red and White" Woody Woodpecker Halloween gag from the inside back cover of the very next issue - WALTER LANTZ NEW FUNNIES # 165...Consider this pair of gags together, and you will have the answer to the ages-old riddle: "What's Black and White, and Red [Read] All Over?"   Why Andy and Woody, of course!  Oh, and what's a NEWSPAPER?  [...]

On Sale October 11, 2017: WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 740 from IDW.


DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!REPEAT: DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!Should you ever find yourself returning from a grueling space mission - with 265,348,121,456 7/8 miles to go, be sure you've stopped off at some galactic comic-book shop to pick up a copy of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 740 from IDW to pass the time on the homeward voyage!  Now, wouldn't it be better to read a great comic like this, than to be all nervous, anxious, and upset like Donald?  ...Sure it would!     And, besides... You'd get to enjoy an outstanding -- and by the cover's own admission -- "Oversized Issue", chock full of "Donald Duck Adventure-Type-Goodness"!"Prisoners of Zartac 2" (2008, 40 pages) is another great entry in the "TNT" Donald Duck subseries, written by Lars Jensen and everyone's favorite Archival Editor David Gerstein, and drawn by Flemming Andersen -- the creative team on every "TNT" story published in the USA to date!  ...I'd wager to guess every "TNT" story - PERIOD!  "TNT", also known as the "Tamers of Nonhuman Threats", originally developed in the Disney comics of Denmark about 2000, made its American comic book debut in Gemstone's DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES digest # 4 in 2004.  It is an ongoing subseries concerning Donald Duck and his Cousin Fethry's adventures working for the "Tamers of Nonhuman Threats", a sort of "Men in Black" secret organization that battles supernatural menaces on Earth and, occasionally, outer space -- all while keeping the general public blissfully unaware of its covert and dangerous activities.  "TNT" stories continued to appear over the run of Gemstone's DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES and, more recently have been published in the current IDW comics, such as THIS ONE......THIS ONE......THIS ONE......THIS ONE......And now THIS ONE!  Our story this time, finds TNT Agent Donald Duck bored and anxious to return to Earth after a space mission.  Strikingly similar to Doctor Zachary Smith, the rascally villain from the classic TV series LOST IN SPACE......He changes the pre-programmed Earth-course to something that would get him home faster......And, with not dissimilar results!Perhaps he could no longer bear to be "space-couped-up" with obsessively annoying Fethry, and his latest Fad-of-the-Month, psychology!  They crash land on a prison planet......Full of dangerous foes......One old friend!  ...AND OH, WHAT A WONDERFUL REFERENCE TO SOMETHING THAT'S COMING UP!>Cough! Rebo! Cough!

On Sale October 18, 2017: UNCLE SCROOGE # 31 from IDW -- A Very Looong New Comic Review!


Don't stop to ask "Witches" the best way to your local comic book shop!  Just get there the fastest way you can - be it by car, train, bus... or broom, and pick up a copy of UNCLE SCROOGE # 31 (Legacy Numbering # 435) from IDW!In it, you'll find a trio of tales focused on five ladies quite adept at weaving their own types of "magic"!  On the side of mischief, we have... Magica De Spell...Witch Hazel...The Marvelous Mad Madam Mim, or just "Mim" for short...And, representing good, are...Belle Duck......And the long-awaited return of "Golden Grandkid" Dickie Duck, who works her own special brand of groovy ice-creamy magic!  Also, present and ably accounted for, are your regular complement of Translators and Dialog-itioners Jonathan Gray, Thad Komorowski, and your humble Blog-host - all aided, abetted, and "Archivally-Edited" by the incomparable David Gerstein! Unlike the lovely ladies above, I'll save you the trauma of individually picturing us, and just throw up (perhaps literally, you decide) this generic representation of what I call "The IDW Creative Cour Four" - complete with both sharp and blunt mayhem-creating instruments!  ...You'll thank me for the image, if you've actually seen us in person!  All of us are nicely represented by stories suited to our individual styles and quirks, as you will see, as we begin with "Sins of the Sorcery Summit!", a 15-page, 2014 Dutch tale of sorcery and witchcraft written by Jan Kruse, drawn by Sander Gulien, with translation and dialogue by the great Jonathan Gray!  Magica decides that four magic heads are better than one, in overcoming Scrooge..."Easy-Bake Coven"?!  Oh, great one, Jon!...And enlists the help of three witches......Hazel and Mim, and one who never gets the message!  Witch Winifred?  Oh, yeah... The one from "The Golden Christmas Tree" (1948)!  ...Thanks for the reminder in your thought balloon, Ratface! You know, it's just as well she didn't show up... She's just TOO MEAN!  Elsewhere, we have this wonderful reference to long time classic writer of Dell, Gold Key, and Whitman comics - Vic Lockman!Coincidentally, Lockman was the writer of the last story published in the USA to feature Scrooge and Mim together (UNCLE SCROOGE # 83, 1969, with art by Tony Strobl)......And Scrooge vs. the wayward Witch Winifred (WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 320, 1967, with art by Pete Alvarado)!  Yeah, I'm glad she didn't show up! Quite honestly, after all the years Vic Lockman spent anonymously entertaining us readers of the 1950s thru 1980s with his uniquely written tales of beloved characters - not only of Disney, but Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Walter Lantz, and MGM, he deserved such a tribute in these pages!And Jon delivers in a very nice way that clearly surpasses my more disguised attempt to do so in 2016's IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 11.And considering that so much of the coming action moves to "Fort Lockman" - and in consideration of this 1969 Vic Lockman-written story......Could an alternate title for this story not have been "The Siege of Fort Lockman"?  From DONALD DUCK # 127 (1969) W-Vic Lockman, A-Tony Strobl. However, Jon does evoke another obscure Vic Lockman-penned story title from 1971 - "Why All the Crabby Ducks"?  (Love it!)DONALD DUCK # 136 (1971) Another story by the[...]