Monday, August 23, 2010

Four Color #1084 - Speedy Gonzales

Here is Speedy Gonzales from Four Color #1084 (Mar-May 1960). Artwork (pencils and inks) by the great Pete Alvarado, except in the first story, "Do or Diet", where the inks are credited to Steve Steere (over Alvarado pencils). The script for that first story is attributed to Carl Fallberg, but no other credits are given. It's probably not a stretch to assume Fallberg scripted the entire issue, though.

"Do or Diet" follows the familiar cat-and-mouse setup of the animated cartoons, pitting Sylvester vs. Speedy. But the rest of the book abandons the formula for more standard Funny Animal fare. I especially like the last two stories, where Speedy has moved to a mouse-sized Mexican village, complete with its own mayor and police commandante. It's too bad there weren't any additional issues!


Mykal Banta said...

Doug: What a great post! Alvarado is one of my favorites and this comic is a great example of his best stuff. His draftsmanship was top-notch, but for me his panel composition is what makes him special. Just cast your peepers on the splash panel of that second story, "Whatch My Dust." Couldn't you just stare at that for a day or so? Just rock solid. Many such examples throughout! Great post and much enjoyed!

August 23, 2010 7:12 PM

Mykal Banta said...

PS: Great B&W inside cover! Man, Four Color's were so great!

August 23, 2010 7:13 PM

Doug Gray said...

Mykal: I agree with you on all counts! He draws everything well in this book, even Sylvester (poor Sylvester is drawn so badly in most funnybooks it makes me wonder if the model sheets given to the artists were off-model to begin with!)

I've always liked the B&W one-pagers as well! These old books wasted no space! The only place with no comics is the back cover, which has an ad for the American Geographical Society (it's pretty ugly, otherwise I would have posted it)

August 24, 2010 2:58 AM

Gabriel said...

Good post, Doug!

I mostly love the first and last stories. My love for Sylvester knows no limits. He is, along with Bugs Bunny, my favorite Warner character. I've been specially fond of him since childhood because of Sylvester's sloppy lisp for cartoons (Mel Blanc made such a good wok! -actually spanish actors were as good as him, IMHO).

I really like those "CHOMP, CHOMP" when they're eating bananas. And the end is just perfect. Fallburg earns his pay here.

Alvarado makes a nice work in this issue, undoubtedly! Even though I found page 7 of "Watch my dust" a disaster in design: the action of this scene doesn't look well solved to my way of thinking.

Thanks for sharing it. Otherwise I would never noticed this issue from the large Four Color series. As you well say, it's a real shame there's just one-shot. Looks like there are sufficient grounds to a series of its own.

Ps--I'm totally agree with you two, guys. Love as well them Dell's B/W one-pagers!

August 25, 2010 5:51 AM

Gabriel said...

"Disaster" is too much, I know! My english vocabulary falls short so often...!

Let's say, a little bit awkward -so I'll have a clean conscience :)

August 25, 2010 10:25 AM

Doug Gray said...

Hi Gabriel!

You're right about that page of "Watch My Dust"...the layout could stand to be more clear in showing what is happening. But I can see the dilemma of trying to show the bad guys blinded by the dust cloud, yet still show what is happening.

I probably would never have even looked for this issue either, but I grabbed it from a discount bin because I liked the cover. I wasn't expecting much, so I was happily surprised to find fun stories and excellent cartooning inside!

August 25, 2010 2:48 PM

Luca Boschi said...

Hello, only few lines: the story Speedy Gonzales man's correct name in Carl FallbErg; he wrote a lot of Disney stories, too.

These comics were also translated into French (by the Sagedition's staff) and the films used for the French pocket books arrived in Italy also, where we young readrs were able to be introduced to Alvarado's art (and his collegues' toos).



August 27, 2010 7:32 AM

Doug Gray said...

Thanks, Luca! I will make the fix (I hate when I misspell people's names!)

August 27, 2010 12:00 PM

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