Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Lovin' 3

Thursday Summer Special.

I am arriving in San Diego today. So instead of the usual post, I am giving you daily installments of Lawrence Lariar and John Spranger's Ben Friday. Tomorrow another one. Use the time to look for that favorite artist of yours among my scans (as you have been wanting to for the last few months).

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

To Use Or Not To Use

Wednesday Advertising Day.

As I promised last week, I will use the tradition advertising post on Wednesday to show your some of the stuff Craig Yoe and I didn't include in Behaving Madly, the Mad Magazine Imitation book coming out from IDW one of these days. Craig and I will be signing the first copies at the IDW booth at the San Diego Comic Con on Friday from 1 to 2.

Going through all the magazines involved, it struck me taht some movies and some tv shows were parodied more often than others. In the book we included one parody of the Glen Ford movie Blackboard Jungle, a marvelous piece by Art Gates for Crazy, Man, Crazy. But there were also parodies of this movie in Snafu (by Russ Heath) and Mad itself. Of course we couldn't use the Mad parody (by Walace Wood) and the Russ Heath one was printed very badly in all of the samples we found. And fortunately we were able to include a lot more terrific stuff by Heath anyway.

Another tv phenomenon spoofed a lot was the $64.000. Before the fraud scandal broke, many people were suspicious of the program. And some pretty good artists were involved. Ross Andru did one for Lunatickle in the style of Kurtzman's Mad magazine parodies, Mike Sekowsky a more illustrative one for Cockeyed and even Art Gates got into the game with a short parody for Crazy, Man, Crazy. We ended up using none of them, because Andru's was a bit too long (so we included a funny image from one of his other long parodies), Mike Sekowsky's not funny enough (but we did include a large illustration from it) and Art Gates was already given his due.

This may seem unfortunate, but I think it worked out fine. The book represents the best of the genre and is already being reviewed positively for some of it's more unique surprises. If we would have filled the book with sample after sample it would have hurt the impact from the ones we do have. In the forty page introduction I have taken care to describe every title so you will know what's in what and if you want to go and buy some more, you will know what to choose. That way we have hopefully made a book that caters to the collectors and the unitiated in an equal way.

But enough with the apologies, here are the stories.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer Lovin' 2

Tuesday Summes Special.

I am traveling to Los Angeles Today. So instead of the usual post, I am giving you daily installments of Lawrence Lariar and John Spranger's Ben Friday. Tomorrow another one. Use the time to look for that favorite artist of yours among my scans (as you have been wanting to for the last few months).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Lovin' 1

Monday Summer Special.

I am preparing for my trip to San Diego today. So instead of the usual post, I am giving you daily installments of Lawrence Lariar and John Spranger's Ben Friday. Tomorrow another one. Use the time to look for that favorite artist of yours among my scans (as you have been wanting to for the last few months).

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Borderlines

Sunday Meskin Measures.

Sadly the scans I took from the Digital Comics Museum are not as good as 99% of them are. I just sold my own cpy or I would have made my own. Two Meskin stories in Black Magic #9, even.


So Long

Saturday Leftover Day.

This week we learned that Bob Lubbers, one of the most extraordinairy artists that ever lived, has passed away. Lubbers worked in comics and newspaper strip and excelled in both. I have show much of his work, bt my favorite is his ten year run on the Al Capp signed (though actually his brother Eliott wrote them) Long Sam. I am surprised to see that I haven't shown any Long Sam for three years. But that probably is because I am collecting more, so that one day I can show longer runds that you can actually read instead of just look at the pretty pictures. For this week though, looking at the pretty pictures is enough. Here are a couple of early Long Sam's from 1954.

Jigsey Doubble Dooples

Friday Comic Book Day.

A couple of years ago Craig Yoe made a bok collecting the best of Archie's Madhouse. The spoof title (a Mad influenced comic book for kids featuring Archie and his friends) does not feature in Behaving Madly, our new book on Mad magazine imitation because it's a. a comic, b. not in the right time period and c. already colelcted. The bok itself (which I can highly recommend) was a visual inspiration for Behaving Msdly, though. From the borderlines cover (a must for this type of books) to the system used for naming the contributions (one line underneath the first page).

Like on Behaving Madly, Craig could not use every page of the title in the collection. Here are the first 11 pages of one of my favorite early features in Archie's Madhouse, Jughead's Dipsy Doodles. Sounds like something they could reuse on Riverdale with a whole different meaning.


What's In A Name Change?

Thursday Story Strip Day.

For the last few months I have been showing longruns of John Spranger and Lawrence Lariar's Bodyguard Sunday strip. Here are the last three I have before the strip morphed into Ben Friday (same team, different name). In these you can clearly see that Spranger was Will Eisner's main penciller after the war. In the course of Ben Friday and The bantam Prince after that, he lost more and moreof it. Whe he took over The Saint, he completely dropped all Eisner influences and did it his own way for the rest of the decade.

Because I am leaving for San Diego (and beyond) for a two week trip soon, I am givign you the rest of Ben Friday one page at the time from Monday. Visit daily for a new page and use the time to vbrowse the rest of my ten yer backlog of the best of the forgotten decade.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Peek-A-Book

Wednesday Advertising Day.

For the next few weeks I will be using the Wednesday to share stuff from my new book Behaving Madly, which will be out any day now. It is of course also available from Amazon and if you use the link to your right I will actually get 1.4 cent from it as well.

Some of the hardest choices to make when deciding what to include and what not to include had to do with the number of longer pieces we could run. The first wave of Mad magazine imitation were based on the format (and success) of the early Mad magazine issues made by Harvey Kurtzman. He had introduced a new format to do movie parodies, turning it into a eight to nine page story which was presented in three rows with illustrations above the text. All of the early imitations followed that format (down to the single page opening image before the story actually started. While many of these longer stories are artistically interesting, textwise they tend to get a bit boring after a couple of pages. So whenever we had the choice to present a certain artist (like Joe Kubert or Bob Powell) with a shorter piece, we chose to do that. Some of the larger images were used in the introduction though. I always knew that I could show some of those longer pages here, for the afficionados. So here is a loneger Joe Kubert story, which I am showing in mid-clean-up since the decision to cut it was made before creating the final version for print. Enjoy it and I hope you will get the book to see more of the background and more material by Joe Kubert (a wonderful parody of Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures nature documentary series) and all of the other artists.