Saturday, February 20, 2010

Four Color #1152 - Rocky and his Friends

Here is a fun bit of reading, "Rocky and his Friends" from Four Color #1152 (Dec-Feb 1961). Scripts credited to Al Kilgore; I don't know who the artists are, but it looks to me like 3 different guys worked on this book.

Bullwinkle doesn't seem dumb enough in this, but otherwise it is a pretty decent adaptation of the cartoon. Not an easy task to translate a Jay Ward cartoon to paper! ...Especially when the "higher-ups" decree NO VIOLENCE!

Mykal said...

Doug: You know I'm loving the heck out of this post. So many great things here. Dell even exceeds my beloved Harvey for 1st place honors in publishing great kids' comics. This post is a great example why. All the stories are at least good, and the Peabody one is flat great! They captured the feel of the comic so well; I loved the comic stories in the same ways I used to love the original series (I always liked the features like Fractured Fairytales and Peabody's Improbable History more than the headliner!). I agree they put some dialogue in Bullwinkle's mouth that simply doesn't belong there (much to articulate), but I can see the writers' dilemma: You can't have William Conrad narrating the comic, moving things along.

I also see what you mean about different artists - I'm looking at that seated row of Elvis' in the Bullwinkle story, and they look of a different style, certainly. That kind of insight, which I often don't see until it's mentioned, is the reason I'm a fan of this blog.

Great post!! And didn't Schwinn have the prettiest ads in comics? -- Mykal

February 21, 2010 7:28 AM

Doug said...

Mykal: Yea, Dell is at the top of my list, too! It's hard to beat the Disney ducks, Little Lulu, Pogo, and just about every major cartoon and comic adaptation to comics! Although I am appreciating the Harvey and DC stuff more and more.

I'm not sure 100% about how many artists worked on this; I always look at the secondary characters in books like this, because there were probably model sheets to work from for the main characters...the extras in the Bullwinkle stories look different then the extras in the Peabody stories, so I think different guys worked on them. The Fractured Fairy Tale looks like nothing else in the book, though the two panels featuring Rocky & Bullwinkle were probably drawn by the same guy who drew the Bullwinkle stories. I agree that Mr. Peabody translates better to comics than Rocky and Bullwinkle. But it is kind of funny how the artist has Rocky just float around like he's full of helium!

And yes, it really misses William Conrad, doesn't it? Also the absence of violence and mayhem...although I love the reference to the "higher-ups" restricting violence; obviously a jab at the editors, not Fearless Leader (who probably couldn't even appear due to his being, you know, a nazi).

And I put the Schwinn ad in because of your posts at the Big really gives the thing of sense of time and place to see the back cover ads!

February 21, 2010 1:25 PM

Mykal said...

I also forgot to mention those super B&W inside covers! I love those, and they are so much a part of the Dell Experience. You could really see how beautifully so many of those Dell artists could ink, and both the pages here certainly show that. I like the second one the best, I think. Love that Ben Franklin. What a beautiful, simple drawing. -- Mykal

February 21, 2010 8:23 PM

Doug said...

I like 'em too! I also liked the earlier issues that had two-color comics on the inside covers...sometimes you'd end up with the second-to-last page of a story in two colors, then the last page would be on the back cover in full color. Just wall-to-wall comics!

February 21, 2010 10:36 PM

TIM said...

Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!

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