February 25, 2010

Sheldon Mayer's Experiment

As a creator, Sheldon Mayer achieved the most recognition for his funny animal strips (Dizzy Dog, Bo Bunny, The Three Mousketeers) and his funny human strips (Scribbly, Sugar & Spike). It is indeed a treat to see him combine both genres in this Scribbly story from All-American Comics #59 (July 1944). Should we call this Red Tornado Ma Henkel?

February 23, 2010

Something Smurphy This Way Comes

Crazy Magazine #94 (Apr. 1983) was the last issue of Marvel's answer to Mad, and believe me, it's cancellation was a shocking blow to a ten year old. Crazy had undergone many editorial changes in it's history. I liked the last permutation best, with features like "Teen Hulk," "Fantasy/Reality," and "Retread Funnies," which featured recaptioned versions of Marvel's superhero comics. Also, it was pretty clear that in a mascot fight, Obnoxio The Clown would have mopped the floor with Alfred E. Newman and Sylvester P. Smythe.

In that memorable last issue, Stu Schwartzberg and Marie Severin cranked out an edgy parody of the hugely popular Smurfs cartoon called "The Smurphs". Stu obviously had a lot of fun coming up with "Smurph" names and "Mirthful" Marie is in top satirical form here. I bet this was the only time in her career that she had to illustrate a cat getting slammed into a tree.

February 18, 2010


Here is an amazing fantasy tale from two very talented creators with whom you may or may not be familiar (I wasn't). "Transition", from Epic Illustrated #12 (June 1982) is essentially a story of reincarnation, written by Bruce Hidemi Sakow and beautifully illustrated by Gerald Slater.

Bruce Sakow's biggest credit to date may be writing the story for the movie Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. Find out more about him, in his own words, here.

As for Mr. Slater, he has established a successful post-comics career as an award winning portrait artist. You can find a short bio in the gallery section of his website, slaterart.com.

This story contains nudity and adult language. And that's okay.

February 17, 2010


In 1962, Charles Schulz published an unassuming little book of aphorisms called Happiness Is a Warm Puppy. The book became a sensation and Schulz followed it up with a slew of similar books, like Security Is a Thumb and a Blanket and Home Is on Top of a Dog House. But that's not what I want to show you.

The series was so successful it spawned some lampoons as well. The one that immediately comes to mind is The Beatles' song "Happiness Is A Warm Gun," but that was just a parody of the title. The book itself was spoofed with the 1965 release of Happiness Is A Dry Martini, by none other than Johnny Carson (presumably with at least some help from his stable of writers). That's not what I want to show you either, although you can view excerpts from it here and here (thanks to Mike Lynch for the link!).

Carson followed up the book two years later with the decidedly more pessimistic Misery Is a Blind Date. What I have to share today are excerpts from that book that were reformatted for a comic called Groovy published by Marvel (or Atlas Magazines, Inc., to be specific.) So, without further ado, heeerrrreee's the wit and wisdom of Johnny (and his writing staff), along with some "groovy" illustrations by Whitney Darrow, Jr., whose cartoons appeared in The New Yorker for many many years.

From Groovy #1 (March 1968, Marvel)

February 16, 2010

Turtle "Supes"

A Silver Age DC comic simply would not be complete without a Henry Boltinoff filler. Here are ten examples of one of his most venerable creations, Super Turtle, culled from various DCs from 1964-1966. Warning: these gags seemed corny then. More here.

February 14, 2010

"VD" Is For Everybody

Happy Valentine's Day, lovers of the world!

From Girls' Romances #64 (Nov 1959)

February 10, 2010

Al Fago's Atomic Rabbit in "Who's The Fool?"

Building on the success of his creation Atomic Mouse, Al Fago duplicated the formula with Atomic Rabbit, the main difference being that Atomic Mouse got his powers from popping U-235 pills while Atomic Rabbit got his by munching on U-235 carrots. Either way, Fago's art is a marvel to behold. His characters have a unique angular design and the backgrounds at times resemble a Fisher-Price version of a Dali painting. Enjoy this disorienting tale from Atomic Rabbit #7 (June 1957, Charlton).

February 9, 2010

SNL For Cheapskates

So you say you've put off buying those SNL box sets because the prices were a bit exorbitant for your budget? Don't despair. Just spotted at Target: the first four seasons of this groundbreaking sketch comedy series for the unbelievable low price of $16.99. I have no idea how long this price is valid.

By the way, the Super Target near my home also has exclusive two season packages of classic shows like Bewitched, Hogan's Heroes, Night Court, Alf, In Living Color, The Brady Bunch, and The Greatest American Hero for $20. That's $10 a season set! It's pandelirium!

Exact Change Only

Paul Kirchner messes with your head, from Heavy Metal Vol. V, No. 10 (January 1982).