Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gerald McBoing Boing!

This story is one of kids’ comics perfectly cut gems, flawless and pure. This tale of the misfit boy, struggling to fit into a world that seems both harsh and unprepared for him, will be a favorite as long as . . . well, as long a there are children struggling to fit into a world that seems both harsh and unprepared for them.

I have been two of the characters in this eternal tale: the boy that is uncertain of his place and, much later, the father who is too busy to give his son proper attention. Maybe all adults who read the story experience the same eternal circle. Maybe that is what makes this 12-page comic story a masterpiece and so deeply moving.

The writing is by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Suess), and the art, quite typical of UPA’s animation style and very revolutionary, is by P.D. Eastman. This is from Gerald McBoing Boing and the Nearsighted Mr. Magoo No. 1, August-October, 1952. All scans are from my own comic. Just click the image for the big picture.

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Page 11

Page 12

17 comments:

  1. i like the design of the dad. he looks good in every single panel he's in.

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  2. Great stuff! Thanks for sharing. I wasn't familiar with the comic version. This had to be cutting-edge in '52.

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  3. Keith: the dad was my favorite character as well with the doctor a close second.

    King: You bet, this was the stuff in 52. You can see its massive influence today in many cartoons (some would say that the influence has been too pervasive and that modern cartoonists have used this style almost as an excuse to be lazy in their character design - John K of Ren ad Stimpy fame holds that view, I think).

    But, as with most things, the origninal source is something beautiful and orignal, like here. -- Mykal

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  4. Beautiful and perfect! I love this thing!
    These kind of "narrated" tales for kids are in the habit of telling the story in a slower way and graphics work just as simple illustrations. But here, works so well the narrator's voice mixed up with the action of the graphics!
    I love panels one and two on page three when Gerald's fathers seem to lean as a result of the shoe that bang the frame.

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  5. Gabriel: I love this one as well. Panel 2 on page 3 is often displayed as a perfect example of this (then) revolutionary style of character design, with the mother and father being highly "stylized." Good eye! I hadn't really noticed the father pushing the frame with his foot. How could I miss that? - Mykal

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  6. Some things I loved:
    The mother's arms being so, so extra long. Gotta love this stylized art.
    The Doctor's tall hat (little Caligari action going there)
    The real conveyance of pain and rejection when Gerald's shaving Dad won't listen to him but yells at him to go away... ouch.
    The big, really-stretch limo at the end.
    Great find Mykal.
    r/e

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  7. r/e: I agree on all counts - man, when those kids ran him off, I felt his pain! I searched this one out special. -- Mykal

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  8. Nice, Mykal!

    I remember reruns of this show on TV as a teeny tot! I really love the 50-60's stylized characters as well! As an artist it's a fun challenge to try and pull off a simple design that works like these...

    Keep the good stuff comin', man!

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  9. Apocolyte: More good stuff on the way! and thanks for dropping by! -- Mykal

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  10. This story was recently reprinted in the amazing TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, for anyone wanting a hard copy.

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  11. Marc: Thanks for the info! -- Mykal

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  12. I'm a huge G Mc BB animation fan, thanks for posting this stuff!

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  13. Karswell: The pleasure is all mine! -- Mykal

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  14. Thanks for sharing this, it's pure gold!

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  15. My pleasure, Jason. Love your blog! -- Mykal

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  16. I don't know if anyone else has posted this yet, but you can watch the United Productions toon on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNsyQDmEopw

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  17. You're the first, Rob. Thanks.

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