HEY! KIDS! COMICS! : Walt Kelly’s Brownies : May 5th, 2009



Another great issue of Four Color from Cool-Mo-Dee… Walt Kelly’s Brownies. I posted a link to another issue of Brownies that Cool-Mo-Dee posted the other day as well. Walt Kelly is easily one of my top ten favorite cartoonists of all time… he is endlessly inventive, uproariously funny, and his drawings are always gorgeous. His skill at character development and dialogue is unsurpassed in comics.

In spite of his popularity, very little of his non-Pogo work has been reprinted. I’m optimistic this might change soon for some reason… partially because there are two thick books of children’s comics coming out soon that will inevitably dazzle people’s eyes right out of their sockets.

One is edited is edited by Craig Yoe and is called Golden Treasury of Krazy Kool Klassic Kids’ Komics and one is edited by Art Spiegeman and Francoise Mouly called The TOON Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics.

The books are going to feature a LOT of wonderful neglected childrens’ comics by a LOT of great cartoonists… in addition to Walt Kelly: Carl Barks, John Stanley, Sheldon Mayer, Basil Wolverton, George Carlson, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, Dr. Seuss, Syd Hoff, Jules Feiffer, Dan DeCarlo, and presumably a lot more. Since Kelly is one of the best, and has an enormous body of work for children that has never been reprinted, I hope it inspires a complete reprinting of this work over the coming years.

Note that in addition to having an eagerly-awaited complete Pogo reprinting in the works, Fantagraphics books has also been reprinting Kelly’s wonderful Our Gang comics (3 volumes released so far and a fourth on the way). This is currently the only Kelly work other than Pogo in print. Let’s hope that changes soon.

Click the Brownies cover above to go download the comic book. Kelly also had some of the most consistently beautifully colored covers on his comic books.

HEY! KIDS! COMICS! : Dynamic Boy at Pappy’s : April 24th, 2009



I could recommend a lot of good stuff from the below list (like Walt Kelly’s wonderful take on Disney’s Three Caballeros)… but today I will instead I will call your attention to this glorious train-wreck of a “Dynamic Boy” story at Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine. Clearly, I should not be trusted.

HEY! KIDS! COMICS! : Four Color Comics at Cool-Mo-Dee : February 25th, 2009


Much like the Crosseyed Cyclops I mentioned yesterday, Cool-Mo-Dee has also posted a whole comics collection worth of great old comics. Recently they’ve been doing the world the great service of focusing on one of my favorite series of all time… which is also I believe the longest running (numerically) comic title of all time… Dell’s Four Color series.

Dell licensed and published most of the popular highly recognizable children’s icons of the era that they were in business, and they had most of the best children’s cartoonists working for them (Barks, Kelly, Stanley, and many others) from the 30’s through the 60’s.

I’m not sure how frequently Four Color came out (weekly? bi-monthly?) but the last issue was numbered #1354. It was not a conventional series featuring one character, but a long series of one shots featuring Dell’s huge library of popular licensed characters.

Four Color‘s run includes the first Donald Duck comic and the first Uncle Scrooge comic among other wonderful things… many of the greatest adventure tales of Carl Barks were Four Color one shots. Walt Kelly did a huge body of brilliant non-Pogo work for children in the Four Color books in a number of different titles.

Titles that proved particularly popular were often spun off into their own series, so Four Color was very much a testing ground for Dell as well. The vast majority of the Four Color comics have never been reprinted and probably never will be.

Pictured above is a typically charming cover to a typically charming issue of Raggedy Ann (Four Color #72), which you can download here.

You can read more about the Four Color series on Wikipedia here.

HEY! KIDS! COMICS! : Jim Woodring, Mattias Adolfsson, Walt Kelly and Crazy Charlie : September 26th, 2008



Good golly I love the work of Jim Woodring… he is one of my all time favorite artists. Click the below brand new image from his blog to go see it in spectacular full size, and then check out the rest of his eye candy. Note that Mr. Woodring has a new book he has made with author Paul Di Filippo coming out imminently called COSMOCOPIA that will be limited to 500 copies, and includes a jigsaw puzzle. $50, but I imagine they will go pretty fast.

Swedish illustrator Mattias Adolfsson has been posting images from his sketchbook for a long time, and they are always absolutely spectacular. His buildings remind me of early R. Crumb crossed with Dr. Seuss. Fantastic stuff… click one of his latest images below to go check out his blog.

Those Fabuleous Fifties brings us a beautiful silent Walt Kelly kids comic strip from Animal Comics #22. Once again I plead into the void… PLEASE, someone out there reprint all the Kelly kids comics! If a book like this was well-designed and aimed at the kids market rather than the comic collectors’ market, I think it would clean up. Click the image below to go there.

Finally, Allan Holtz at The Stripper’s Guide gives us two examples of H.E. Godwin’s Crazy Charlie. Click the image below to go there.

HEY! KIDS! COMICS! : Kurtzman, Kelly, Wolverton, Brown, Jane and much more : September 24th, 2008


Another heap of fun comics reading…

I’m happy to report a lot of blogs seem to be having a Harvey Kurtzman binge right now… I’m rereading Kurtzman’s Jungle Book right now, myself. Kurtzman’s notoriety comes primarily from being the inventor of Mad Magazine, and he is usually very funny. Although he worked with a lot of other artists, writing for their drawings (most notably Will Elder), I like Kurtzman best when he is drawing himself. He is one of the most expressive cartoonists of all time…

Those Fabuleous Fifties brings us some rare Kurtzman strips from Madison Avenue Magazine

And some from Esquire

Comicrazys brings us a Kurtzman pre-Mad funny animal comic called Pigtales from 1946…

And John K gives us a nice appreciation of Kurtzman…

John Adcock at Yesterday’s Papers brings us a number of examples of the notoriously racy WWII comic strip Jane by Norman Pett… Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

The official Pogo Possum website is serializing the Pogo paperback Go Fizzickle Pogo

Potrzebie points us to Basil Wolverton art galore his days working at the religious magazine The Plain Trutha huge archive of many of Plain Truth founder Herbert W. Armstrong’s numerous publications online, which are often fantastically illustrated by Wolverton. Among many other publications, the archive includes most or all issues of the Plain Truth, where Wolverton’s amazing Bible Story was originally serialized… the versions in the magazine (and in alternate publishings of the book versions of The Bible Story) contain different material, so I imagine there is a whole lot of stuff in here that was never reprinted in book form. It is a lot of crap to wade through, but there is a real treasure trove here. The below image was pulled from a random one of the hundreds of issues on the site.

Last but far from least, Walrus Magazine points us to a new Chester Brown tale from the Yummy Fur universe called Zombies Take Toronto… the image quality sucks, but it is a great read.

Note that the esteemed Mr. Brown is currently running for office, which, regardless of what you think of his politics, is a tragic waste of his enormous cartooning talents. The early issues of Yummy Fur (the recently reprinted in pamphlet form Ed the Happy Clown saga… which hopefully will soon be a book, considering some previous book versions of it are going for over 200 bucks on Amazon) are some of the most wonderfully surreal and creepy comics ever made.

Note also that the final installment of the Zombies strip also reveals that there is a Yummy Fur movie in the works to be directed by Bruce MacDonald… hopefully this means Mr. Brown will be deeply involved in its translation to the screen. Adapting Yummy Fur to the screen and getting distribution should be quite challenging, I imagine… it will, of course, have to be xxx to be a good adaptation, considering all the miserable penises with starring roles in the comic.

A lot more great stuff below…

INTERESTING LINKS: 1966 Walt Kelly Article at Yesterday’s Papers: September 17th, 2008


John Adcock at Yesterday’s Papers brings us a 1966 article on the great Walt Kelly. Click the above image to go there.

HEY! KIDS! COMICS: Gross, Messmer and more at the ASIFA Animation Archive, Golden Age Comics Galore!!! and Other Great Things : September 10th, 2008


The wonderful ASIFA Animation Archive is offering a great deal for donations…

One of our most steadfast supporters is Marc Deckter. Marc is allowing us to digitize hundreds and hundreds of rare 1930s Sunday pages from his extensive collection. Last year, Marc issued a challenge to readers of this blog. Today, he is challenging you to help again.

Contribute $20 to the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive through the PayPal link below, and Marc will provide us with a vintage Sunday page to publish here on the website. Donate $50 and he will share three of them… donate $100 and he will allow us to post eight pages. Purchase one of these hard drives and have it shipped to the Archive, and Marc will post FORTY rare Sunday pages! Marc has classic Otto Messmer Felix the Cat, Chic Young’s Blondie, Cliff Sterrett’s Polly and Her Pals, Milt Gross Sunday and other great pages ready to go. All you have to do to see them is contribute. As the total rises, Marc is prepared to throw in some extra treats, like he did last year. When you contribute, everyone benefits.

They have already posted a huge number of great strips from this promotion… please do give them money! Click the above image to go see some great comics!

Tom Spurgeon points us to this amazing golden age comics download site at goldenagecomics.co.uk Im pretty sure I’ve linked there before, but this is the first time I have explored it in detail… they have a ton of amazing public domain golden age books for free. What a resource!

Note that you can find links to software for viewing the comics here (they are .cbr files).

Click the cover of Animal Comics #23 featuring Walt Kelly’s Pogo above (one of the many, many comics available there) to go to the site. Here’s a link to the Animal Comics they have available.

Note that you will need to create and account to download the comics. Note also that they take down comics if they come to believe they are not in the public domain… many of the Dell comics listed are no longer available for this reason… there is no EC or DC, among other notable omissions.

No matter, they have an utter overload of amazing stuff… don’t miss this site!

Among his usual heap of great stuff he is posting daily on his blogs, John Adcock brings us the full version of the previously truncated Frederick Opper Katzenjammer strip I linked to the other day. Click the above image to see it.

Finally, two more great lists from our friends at another overwhelming site full of old comics, Barnacle Press:

Ten Final Hearty Recommendations From Your Other Pal, Holmes! and Ten More Must-See Strips from your pal, Thrillmer

HEY! KIDS! COMICS!: Walt Kelly Pogo Sunday at The Fabuleous Fifties: June 17th, 2008


I found a new site full of old comics today. Those Fabuleous Fifties has a lot of nice stuff posted, including the full 1952 Pogo Sunday strip by the great Walt Kelly you see a panel from below. Click on it to go to the post on the Fabuleous Fifties site.