Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Watch Out For That Tree!

"George of the Jungle" is one of my all-time favorite cartoons. I wish they had made more than one season; but I suppose if Jay Ward had continued to make cartoons, the politically correct would have taken all the fun out of them. Ward probably would have had to water down Bullwinkle and the gang so they were just as bland as anything coming out of Hanna Barbera or Filmation in the 1970s.

Only two issues were produced by Gold Key. I always wonder how new books sometimes get killed so quickly...I assume more issues were planned, but only two were finished when the cartoon was cancelled (tie-ins usually only last the life of the show). One cool thing about these comics is that they are actually adaptations: the scripts were based on episodes from the series.

The art is credited to Paul Fung, Jr.

Here is George of the Jungle #2 (1969):


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Floyd Gottfredson!

The best news I've heard come out of San Diego this year are plans for Fantagraphics to reprint the Mickey Mouse comic strip by Floyd Gottfredson (including the early, politically incorrect strips!) I can't think of a better outfit to pull this off, and it will add Mickey Mouse to their already impressive reprint roster that includes Peanuts, Pogo, Popeye, Dennis the Menace and Krazy Kat.

The scans below are some of the wonderful watercolor paintings Gottfredson created between 1978 and 1983 for Malcolm Willits, a lifelong fan of both Gottfredson and Carl Barks, and the first person to interview each artist for publication. These paintings were supposed to be used in a licensing deal Willits had with Disney, but I don't know if any commemorative plates or buttons were ever made from this work.

I scanned everything from a 1993 auction catalog from the Howard Lowery Gallery; it is an excellent publication and well worth searching out just for the full color images of each painting, and the article written by Willits regarding the history of the work. It also reprints that first interview with Gottfredson from Vanguard, published in 1968.


Mykal Banta said...

Doug: Such great news. I have been waiting for a decent publishing effort concerning Floyd Gottfredson's work, and you are right. Fantagraphics has always done first-class stuff. I can hardly wait. I have started to imagine the shelving space I need to reserve already for all the volumes.

August 3, 2010 10:50 PM

Doug Gray said...

Mykal: You and me both! To date, I think the only large reprint runs of Gottfredson's work are from Dell's run of Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, and Gladstone's run of Mickey Mouse. To have his work reprinted in order is the best I could have hoped for. This and the Bob Montana Archie collection are the two archival projects I've been wanting the most!

August 4, 2010 12:35 AM

Gabriel said...

Such a beautiful illos! And such a really great news!

Looks like they had been hearing us while we were emailing each other about Gottfredson's work a while ago and very much regretting because it hadn't a good compilation of his Mickey Mouse strips. Rest assured that I'll start to save money from now on (God keep us on the run for the meantime to get it! - considering the large volume of his work)

Welcome back, my dear friend!

August 5, 2010 7:25 AM

Doug Gray said...

Gabriel: It is great news, especially since (for me at least) I think almost all the old strips I have wanted in book form have now been accounted for (well, I'd still like to see new Wash Tubbs and Moon Mullins collections...and if the upcoming Barney Google books don't collect DeBeck's Parlor, Bedroom and Sink, then I still want that, too) Okay, maybe I'll never be completely satisfied!

I'm already running! That's why I haven't been on the blog for a while!

August 5, 2010 11:45 AM

Mykal Banta said...

Doug: I've been waiting for the Bob Montana collection myself, but Amazon (and the publisher, of course) keep pushing back the date!! Grumble Grumble.

August 8, 2010 6:49 AM

Doug Gray said...

It seems like almost every book gets pushed back a bit, except maybe the Peanuts collections. Those get out on schedule, at least. Hopefully the Archie collection won't end up like Pogo, which has been pushed back what, two years (at least) and counting? Aargh. At least with Pogo, I have my old books to look at.

August 8, 2010 12:40 PM

Sherm said...

That IS some incredibly good news! Thanks for the heads-up -- I'll be eagerly waiting ^_^

August 29, 2010 10:55 AM

Great Supporting Players #4: Churchy La Femme and Howland Owl

Walt Kelly's Pogo may have the biggest ensemble cast of any comic strip; it has a cast of thousands. (well, maybe not literally...a cast of hundreds, more likely) A relatively minor character could take center stage for a week or two: P. T. Bridgeport would come to the swamp, visit each of the characters in turn, and be the focus until he left. "Ol' Mouse" and Snavely the Snake, or the Three Bats (B. Witched, B. Othered, and B. Mildred) could hijack the strip from the main cast at any moment. Kelly was so good at creating these characters and writing funny dialogue, that many of them are fan favorites.

Albert and Pogo were always at the heart of the strip. But the "core" cast (Porkypine, Beauregard, Churchy and Howland, Albert and Pogo), feel like sort of a dysfunctional family unit. To me, anyway. Everyone will have their own favorites, but I am particularly fond of Churchy and Howland. With their goofy schemes and toothless battles, they don't need Albert around to be funny. And as far as owls and turtles go, you won't find too many designed as well as these two.

Here are a couple of stories from the last year of the Pogo Possum comic book.

"The Semi-Mental Gentlemints" from Pogo Possum #15 (Jan-March 1954):

"Greetings From Soup to Nuts" from Pogo Possum #16 (April-June 1954):


Willem Wynand said...

These are fantastic, thank you for sharing matey =)

April 26, 2009 7:04 AM

Doug said...

Thanks for stopping by, Willem!

April 27, 2009 12:03 PM

Anonymous said...

wow!! I love Pogo Thanks. just found your blog today. i will be back to see more charlie

April 29, 2009 7:46 PM

Silvio Spotti said...

Where can we find art like this days

April 29, 2009 9:02 PM

Linda said...

Thank you for this website. I have my father's old Howland Owl action figure that stands about 4 inches tall, and I had no idea who he was. How interesting.

September 11, 2009 8:28 AM

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this website. I just found a Howland Owl action figure that was my father's when he was growing up. It stands about 4 inches tall. Thanks for the enlightenment, and how interesting.

September 11, 2009 8:30 AM

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