Thursday, January 29, 2009

Decrepit Bookshop

I was twelvish when I had to have some dentistry work done.  On a Saturday morning I had to take the city bus, alone, downtown to an ancient medical building, with spooky old hallways and reeking of horrible medical odors—by myself, mind you, submitting myself to a creaky, greasy old geezer putting his huge hands in my mouth and inflicting great jabbing pain. Well needless to say, as I left the office, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.

This Jungle Comics was a beauty, but I sold it a couple of years ago for a lot more than 50 cents.

I sort of liked Krypto back then. I've already told you what I dork I was (am).

This Adventure was so beat up it should have been an 8 center, but I loved these panel covers.

And this Detective was in decent shape, but had that awful 8 cent mark on it, making it worth 8 cents, but actually I sold it too, years later, for quite a bit more.

Panel covers were cool, by my standard, and this was a book-length Wayne Boring story. It got more beat up in my possession.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Forever Grateful

You would think we'd be pretty ticked at my dad, the way he kinda left us high and dry (low and poor). But we weren't. We loved him, he loved us. He was spreading his love to another family, but he still came around, taking us for long rides, doing fun things. It's just that I didn't know what it was like waking up in the morning and having him be there, or to say goodnight to, or to teach me about sports, or fixing a car. Ah well.

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but the Christmas of '65, I bought this collection of Pogo (the first trade paperback of Pogo I had ever seen) as a Christmas present for my brother, knowing full well that he would probably give back to me to keep. Which he did. And I still have it and have never seen elsewhere. So OK, I'm embarrassed, but I don't regret it.

This photo and blurb about Kelly was part of a magazine ad for Sheaffer Snorkel Fountain Pens and alludes to the complete Pogo 5-foot shelf, which was an exaggeration, but not by much. And yes I had all those shown below and more. I almost got rid of them years ago when I was trying to lighten the load. Thank goodness common sense prevailed.

This drawing appeared in True—The Men's Magazine. I have no idea how I came to have that magazine in my possession at the age of 13, but I was a resourceful kid.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hard Times

There was a time, after my father had left, and my brother was off to college, that my mom and I lived at poverty level. She worked hard, but was paid little. We ate bean soup several nights in a row, because it was so cheap. This went on for a couple of years. I brought in a little money from my paper route, but it was not much help. 

Can you imagine a large 288 page hardback selling brand new for $5 list price? Those were the days...

These end papers just blow me away. Kelly created this wonderful swamp world where I could escape to and actually think of these critters as human beans. I love the work of a hundred cartoonists, but Kelly is #1. I'm going to be posting a lot more Kelly. Just wait til we get to the Mars trip in '66!

Pogo is acting out Simon and Schuster's colophon here.

This guy cracks me up

Kelly wrote this book for adults, as you can see from this tiny excerpt. But even as a 12 year old, I was reading every word of it and could pretty much make sense of it. I first learned politics and far flung issues from this man.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Comic Clips

In the deep winter of '62 (and it was deep, dark and cold—a sort of mini-mini-ice age), I was in a new home, a new school, and an alien environment. Two days after we set up housekeeping, after leaving Ohio, my father left us again. I don't know if that was the plan, or not, but no one told me much of anything. My brother, six years older than me, was in high school, while I was still in elementary. My dad was gone, my mom went off to a secretarial job all day. I was a latch-key kid and was used to entertaining myself. 

Good Ol' Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz

Pogo by Walt Kelly—my first saved Pogo clipping of a long run

Li'l Abner by Al Capp

Ferd'nand by Mik

Mark Trail by Ed Dodd

Comic Clips

Kevin the Bold by Kreigh Collins

Prince Valiant by Hal Foster

The beautiful Aleta

Aleta, letting her hair down 
and below Steve Canyon by Milton Caniff
Wow, bondage in a family newspaper!