Monday, August 07, 2006

Baggage Check: Groovy Cartoons

This might just be the strangest thing I've discovered in my collection yet. I have no idea where I got it, or why, since it's so completely different from anything else I was into back then. Also, it was nestled in between a bunch of Green Lantern issues, which makes me think maybe I got it by accident somehow. It's also in horrendous shape. The issue is literally falling apart, with several loose pages. Yet it's kind of a fascinating little book - sort of a quasi-anthology of different cartoonists working in the single panel gag strip format that's more at home in the Sunday funnies than in a traditional floppy. Also worth noting is that this issue, though it says Marvel Comics on the cover, was actually published by Altlas Magazines, Inc in July 1968. Since I imagine almost nobody will have this issue, nor will they be able to get a copy, I scanned in a bunch of the best strips. The humor is clearly dated and aimed at a younger audience, but the strips themselves are still kind of fascinating. I've retyped the caption and the artist's signature, where I could make it out (many were illegible). If anybody has any insight on any of these artists, please post in the comments. I'd love to know more about this somewhat mysterious issue and series.

Caption: "You knew I was a big, fat lazy slob when you married me."
Artist: Slim ??

This one appears in a 4-page section of animal-themed strips called "Caged Cartoons."

Caption: "Although I escaped, I certainly had to admire that beast's determination to track me down"
Artist: Shaves ??

"More...Misery Loves Company" is apparently a series of strips with a simple unified theme and a loose, childish drawing style. There are 4 pages of these strips in the book. Notice the touch of decorative design work along the panel borders.

Top Caption: "Misery is when you train a rat to run through a maze for science and 10 minutes before the experiment is due the rat dies."

Middle caption: "Misery is when your mother throws away your best levis because she thought they were worn out."

Bottom caption: "Misery is when everyone cheats and you get caught."
Artist: Suzanne Heller

Caption: "Officer, I think I'm being followed."
Artist: de Carlo

This one shows a bizarre attempt to integrate this book with the Marvel Universe by flagging certain strips as "the Hulk's Favorites." I can just see the Hulk sitting around chuckling to himself at this particular strip.

Caption: No wonder he sleeps all the time - he never sees daylight."
Artist: Harold Hurst ??

Upper right caption: "This machine weighs only one person at a time."
Artist: Toest ??

This is one of my favorites. There's no caption, but I love the visual humor and art style of this one in particular.
Artist: Filchock

Left caption: "Hmmm, that's a bad corn, Mr Swetzel."
Artist: Slim ??

Right caption: "He's the original chicken of the sea!"
Artist: ??

From the back cover.

Top caption: "They're seat covers, why?"
Artist: Dick Smolinski

Bottom caption: "This is the part I hate...picking up!"
Artist: Deacon

1 comment:

Marc said...

For those who are curious, here is a little more information regarding this issue, courtesy of Scott Shaw's Oddball Comics column over at CBR.