April 2, 2009

Panels 66: Funny Animal Has-Beens

Today I am pleased to present a new feature which I call "Panels 66", in which I explore various comics topics using 66 panels (that term sometimes being stretched to include covers or multiple panel examples). Today's subject is funny animals that never acheived the fame of Bugs Bunny or Donald Duck. Here we go...

Rags Rabbit was created by Baby Huey creator Marty Taras and was regularly billed as "The Funniest Rabbit In Comics". Eh... (carrot chomping noise), that's wrong, Doc.

Harvey's Shaggy, about to experience the meaning of pain, broken dishes/ceiling fan style.

Buzzy, one of many crows-as-black-stereotype characters, acheived more fame in cartoons than comics, and by more fame I mean almost no fame.

No cat and mouse cartoon team ever usurped Tom and Jerry, but Herman And Katnip sure tried.

Sweeney & Willie (DC), who proved that the comic misadventures of an elephant and a duck could...um, an elephant and a duck? What's up with that?

Willy Wolf (DC). Zzzzzzz. Next.

Marty Moose (DC) ended up having a lot of time to watch tv.

Joe Duck, Featherweight (DC) coulda been somebody, coulda been a contender...only he wasn't.

Robin Crusoe (DC) finally figured out he was a bird and could simply fly off the island on which he was stranded. Too bad about Friday though.

Hey, Joe Kangaroo (DC), take a picture of your career. It'll last longer.

Nutsy Squirrel (DC) lasted in comics for ten years, but gave up the ghost around 1957.

Cheepy (DC), seen here conversing with his cousin Creepy.

Blabber Mouse (DC). Muffled off this mortal coil.

Nip And Chip (DC). Could this be the same Chip who appeared with Dale later in several Walt Disney cartoons.? Nope.

Trixy The Magic Monkey (DC). Here's a tongue twister: "Creepy cartoon critter career surreptitiously cut short."

Ozzie Owl (DC). The bad news is, the sheep are gone. The worse news is, so is your readership.

Bernard The Brave (DC). Rumored to have been derailed by an addiction to brandy.

Plato Platypus (DC). You know, it takes more than name alliteration to make a novel character.

Even colorful bowties couldn't enhance the appeal of DC's bland bear duo Roly & Poly.

DC had two features called The Three Mousketeers, this first version being more faithful to the Dumas novel.

J. Rufus Lion (DC).

Bulldog Drumhead (DC), a parody of human detective Bulldog Drummond, another character that has faded into obscurity.

Andy Anteater (DC), perennially in demand, but only at picnics.

Blackie Bear (DC). He wasn't even 1/3 as popular as Barney Bear. Ended up in jail after setting several forest fires.

McSnurtle The Turtle (aka The Terrific Whatzit) was a DC feature that I personally wish could've stood the test of time.

The Walrus & The Rooster(DC). I'll say that again. The Walrus & The Rooster. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Henry, The Laffing Hyena(DC). Contrary to the title of this strip, Henry never "laffed". Unfortunately, neither did readers.

Gabby Goat (DC), right before he ate the projector and was kicked out off the DC offices.

Gorilla Gus(DC), currently serving a life sentence for stealing banana cream pies off windowsills.

And of course Henry The Horse (DC) dances a waltz, right out of our collective memory.

Nero Fox (DC) jumped, jived, and wailed while Rome burned. Et tu, Poochy?

Spylot Bones (DC), one of several tepid funny animal Sherlock Holmes take-offs.

Salty The Sailor (DC) somehow reminds me of Sandy Cheeks. He reminded most readers of naptime.

Jumpin' Juniper (DC). No relation to Holy Mole-y or Great Caesar's Goat.

Hugo Hornspred (DC). If you ever encounter this muscular moose, run like hell. He won't even use his antlers when he kicks the living crap out of you.

Pelican Pete(DC). Pelicans look funny, but they are never ever really funny as characters. Now storks are hilarious, especially when they drunkenly deliver a baby to the wrong family. BWahahah!

King Oscar(DC).

Dusty & Rusty (DC). You know, Rusty, that tail bat is only going to hit you in the head or back. Think about it. It's not worth it.

Dizzy Dog (DC), another strip by one of my heroes, Sheldon Mayer. In a perfect world, everyone would be familiar with this man's characters and work. WHERE IS THE SHELDON MAYER DELUXE OMNIBUS?!?!?!

Biggety Bear (DC). His uncle owned a munitions factory. Give 'em shells, Bear-y!

Still here? Bo Bunny (DC) isn't. Eh, (carrot chomping noise), what's up, flop?

Eh...(carrot chomping noise), what's up, Flippity and Flop (DC) ?

Willie The Worm (Fawcett). Mr. Mind had more humor appeal.

Billy The Kid (Fawcett). Get it? Billy The "Kid"? HAw-haw!

Battling Bantam (Fawcett). Bye-Bye buddy.

Sherlock The Monk And Chuck (Fawcett). Last I heard, he joined a monastery and took a vow of silence.

Fuzzy Bear(Fawcett) was a bear. Fuzzy had a lot of hair. Fuzzy's readers didn't care.

The Raccoon Kids (DC). Two unfunny cartoon critters for the price of one.

Goofy Goose (DC). Gone for good.

Ruff & Reddy (DC). No, not that Ruff & Reddy. Did Hanna-Barbera read DC Comics for inspiration?

Custer Cat & Cheesy The Mouse (DC). Cats and mice should never be friends.

Ham Hocks, Private Eye (DC). Now maple cured for your dining pleasure.

Fraidy Cat (DC). Did any company have as many funny animal stinkers as DC?

Space Mouse (Dell),
from Walter Lantz Productions. You can see his pilot cartoon on the second Woody Woodpecker & Friends dvd box set, if you have masochistic impulses.

DC's other doomed Three Mousketeers concept. Actually, it's not all that bad, especially when rendered by that masterful creator SHELDON MAYER!

Twiddle & Twaddle (DC).

Peter Panda (DC). This strip never aimed for humor, being geared more toward fantasy and whimsy.

Watch out Mighty Mouse, here comes Atomic Mouse (Charlton)! Like Hourman, this rambunctious rodent got his powers from a pill. According to Don Markstein's Toonopedia, he was the "most successful super-hero Charlton Comics ever published." Now, that's funny.

Supermouse (Nedor). I never understood how this character was able to exist. Didn't Mighty Mouse have to change his name (from Super Mouse) and red and blue costume at the beginning of his career to avoid the ire of DC?

Super Duck (MLJ/Archie) was billed as "The Cockeyed Wonder". Fairly entertaining, although his name is misleading, as he had no super powers for most of his comic career.

Buck Duck (Atlas). I know nothing about him. Nor do I care to know anything about him.

Fremont Frog (Creston Publishing), as drawn by the great Jack Bradbury, who is better known for his animation work for Disney and Warner Brothers.

Billy & Bonny Bee (Dell).

Super Rabbit (Timely). His secret identity was "Waffles".

Cosmo Cat (Fox Syndicate), who had a sidekick named Dunky Duck.

And last, but not least Flip & Flopper (Nedor). This story can be found here.


heather c stockham said...

I am very impressed by the time and energy involved in putting this together - I really enjoyed this. The talent - its oozing - well done.

peur_evol said...

If you edit your posts in HTML, BLOGGER won't stretch out the images so far apart. I had the same problem on my blog with multiple images, as well.

Thanks for the research, though!
Man! You sure know your anthropomorphs, big guy.

John Glenn Taylor said...

Problem corrected, Peur. This post was so long, I literally didn't have time to correct the spacing before I had to get ready for work. Thanks for the feedback!

Pat said...

Impressive post; although I have read a fair number of DC Funny Animal comics I'll admit I didn't know they had that many characters.

Peter Panda was a very weird comic; I looked at it a few years ago. Peter had a couple human kids as friends who were always getting into mischief, against the stern lecturing of Peter. They'd get into some sort of wacky trouble, learn their lesson and get saved by Peter and his personal helicopter. It did not seem appealing to kids (although their mothers might have approved of its message).

ACG had some terrific funny animal series in the 1940s, including Super Katt. They apparently had a pipeline to the animation biz, and so some of their characters were drawn by famed cartoonists like Dan Gordon and Bob Wickersham. Definitely better than 90% of the DC series (with the notable exception of the Fox & Crow which was terrific).

Karl La Fong said...

This is splendid stuff. I salute you, Sir! I too am rummaging around in the forgotten comics junk of yesteryear...there's so much of it...you can't beat outmoded popular cultural ephemera, eh? Come and have a look at my 'blog' if you have a moment...