Sunday, February 26, 2012

Top Cat and the Pleasures of NYC!

Exchanging comments with friend Debbie (who does the excellent web comic Fluffy and Mervin) on my recent Flintstones post put me in a Hanna-Barbera state of mind. I rummaged my stuff and found this great Little Golden Book from 1962, starring Top Cat and his gang.

The thing that was wonderful about the Little Golden Books was that when doing a cartoon like Top Cat, the artists involved often would stay very true to the orginal concept of the cartoon; whereas the Dell Four Color comics would stray a bit. In this tale, writer Carl Memling captures perfectly the urban quality that made Top Cat so awesome. Growing up in the suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s, I thought Top Cat was cooler than Elvis. The great team of Hawley Pratt and Al White (a very standard duo in Little Golden Books) do some very standard (for them) beautiful work page after page.


  1. Man, this is truly beautiful stuff. They really don't make 'em like this anymore, and we are all the poorer for it.

  2. The artists capture the look and attitudes of TC and his group quite well here, although Officer Dibble (or was it Dribble?) looks a bit off. Even in the show, the artists couldn't decide whether Dibble had just black spot eyes or eyes with pupils in ovals, as it would vary from scene to scene in some episodes.

    In contrast, those are truly AWFUL drawings of Donald, Mickey and Bugs in the ad on the last page.

  3. Love me some TC!

    "Yes he's a chief, he's a king,
    But above everything,
    He's the most tip top,
    Top Cat.

    ...Top Cat!"

    Now I'll have that song in my head all day... :)

  4. Debbie: Those little drawings don't count! You ought to see the artwork in some of the Donald and Bugs Little Golden Books I have - magnificent.

    Donald does have a monster head in that last page advertisement, doesn't he?

    Albie: I've had that song in my head all day!

  5. It was Officer Dibble, although TC sometimes rattled his cage by calling him "Dribble."

  6. Super appealing - love the colours and the subtle modeling and the "silhouette panels."

  7. David: Great observations - made me look at it fresh.

  8. Hey Mykal,
    This is one of my favorite H-B golden books. The artwork, layouts and painting are all top notch. I've looked at this particular book many, many times. If I ever get around to learning how to paint with gouache, this is exactly how I want the finished art to look like! Thanks for the excellent blog!!

  9. Gary: I love this one, too. Thanks for the kind words!

  10. Thanks for posting this. I own the original page with TC and the bull and I've been trying to track down the artist and book it was in for years.

  11. Tom: My pleasure! I'm glad I could be of service.

    You own the original artwork from that page?! Good on you, my friend! What a prize.

  12. Tom: I think Al White did the background painting for this book, with Hawley Pratt doing the character work.

  13. Thanks for the details. I appreciate that.
    Yeah, I got it years ago. Was lucky enough to find it in some guys private collection. It wasn't cheap, but it's a gorgeous piece.


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