Monday, January 31, 2022

Stumbo the Giant Vs. Dr. Cesspool!

Hi, Kids! It’s so good to be with you all again!

Today let’s enjoy the wonderful work of Warren Kremer with a story featuring Mr. Kremer’s finest creation, Stumbo the Giant.

Warren Kremer went to work for Harvey Comics in 1948 and stayed put for 34 years. He created the Harvey house style, drew thousands of covers, and defined or co-defined the look of many of Harvey’s marque characters; Richie Rich, Little Audrey, Casper, Hot Stuff, Spooky, and many others including the subject of today’s post – Stumbo! It is impossible to think of Harvey Comics without thinking, first, of Warren Kremer.

I believe Stumbo was Mr. Kremer’s finest work over a lifetime of great work. With Stumbo, he always made perspective look so natural and easy. These stories all come from Devil Kids Starring Hot Stuff No. 54 (May 1972). Enjoy!

Isn't Stumbo great, kids? And Dr. Cesspool always gives me the shivers! I think Dr. Cesspool is the greatest villian in the Harvey universe!

Coming up next, some more from Warren Kremer and my favorite Harvey artist, Howie Post!

I will see you all again very soon. Until then, I hope you are all warm, safe, and happy!

--Your friend, Mykal

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

J. Rufus Lion (and Ron Santi) Welcome to the Big Blog!

Hi, Kids! It’s a brisk morning here in South Florida, so let’s warm ourselves up with a post!

Today we have a real treat! Artwork and story from an artist making a first appearance on the Big Blog and previously unknown to me: Ron Santi. The Grand Comics Database puts a question mark behind the story and art attributions for this story, but after comparing this work to the scant examples that exist of Mr. Santi’s work, I believe the attribution is accurate.

I can find very little about Mr. Santi, who is forgotten today – not even bare, biographical information. What little I have managed to find came from my friend, Pappy, on his great blog, Pappy’s Golden Age of Comics Blogzine, which posted a Ron Santi story in 2012.

To see Pappy’s wonderful post about Mr. Santi, click HERE.

Our story today comes from Comics Cavalcade No. 58 (August-September 1953).

I like the artwork in this J. Rufus Lion story a great deal (another reason I believe this to be the work of Mr. Santi is that this character, J. Rufus Lion, is one of the few characters associated with his name). After reading this story and enjoying the artwork, I wish Mr. Santi were better remembered today.

Wasn't that fun, kids? I hope I can find more of Ron Santi's work in the future. Coming up next, why don't we return to the always friendly, sweet world of the Harvey Comics universe with some work from a couple of my all-time favorites, Warren Kremer and Howie Post.

I will see you all again very soon. Until then, I hope you are all warm, safe, and happy!

--Your friend, Mykal

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sheldon Mayer Weekend Concludes!

Good morning, Kids! Let's wrap up our Mayer Weekend with stories featuring Dizzy Dog (my favorite Mayer character) and Doodles Duck. Both stories come from Comic Calvacade No. 58 (August-September 1953). First up, Dizzy!

With his enormous puppy ears, tiny red bowler hat, and oversized bow-tie; Dizzy was a quick-tempered little street pup that had a persevering-if-innocent nature. In his innocence (which many characters in his universe perceived as dimness), Dizzy was often vulnerable to various wise-guys and those . . . well, less innocent (as we shall see in today’s first story).

Yet in Mr. Mayer’s masterful hands, Dizzy seemed always protected by a beneficent universe. Nothing could ever relieve Dizzy of his innocence OR his temper. That’s why I love him.

Exemplified well in this story is a Sheldon Mayer hallmark: Every character is unique and well-developed; each seems capable of a unique life, a unique personality – even those characters that speak only a line or don’t speak at all (check out the long line of characters waiting to get tickets for the big fight)!

Next up, Doodles Duck

“His Funny Animal stories are little comedic masterpieces,” said friend and artist, Jim Engel, recently when discussing Sheldon Mayer. Well said, Jim (Mr. Engel is the artist responsible for the beautiful banner atop the Big Blog)!

More about Mr. Engel after this wonderful Doodles story.

Speaking of pal and Big Blog patron, Jim Engel: As mentioned, Jim and I share a mutual love for the characters of Sheldon Mayer. As such, Jim gifted me a number of years ago a piece of original art featuring Bo Bunny, Dizzy Dog, and Doodles Duck (see immediately below). It hangs on my wall as a cherished possession.

Following that piece is a more recent inking from Jim of the same characters. Feast your eyes, kids. Isn’t it easy to see why Mr. Engel is one of my favorite cartoonists and artists?

For those wishing more from Mr. Engel (and, trust me, you do), please click HERE to investigate!

I will see you all again very soon. Until then, I hope you are all warm, safe, and happy! --Your friend, Mykal

Saturday, January 15, 2022

It's Sheldon Mayer Weekend at The Big Blog!

Good morning, Kids! Happy Saturday (my favorite day of the week)! It’s going to be a Sheldon Mayer weekend with stories featuring his funny animal creations, Dizzy Dog, Doodles Duck, Skinny Fox, and Bo Bunny!

The great Sheldon Mayer stands tall among the greats in the annals of kid’s comics. There is a wonderful, grown-up daffiness in Mr. Mayer’s writing and cartooning, the one complementing the other perfectly; and his panels just burst with life.

Today’s story (Comic Cavalcade No. 58 – August-September 1953) features Bo Bunny and Skinny Fox (with a guest appearance from Gus Goose) and is a wonderful example of the mature zaniness I always associate with Mr. Mayer. I love this story! Bo and Skinny were pals through thick and thin (mostly thick)!

Wasn't that great?

Stay tuned, kids! Tomorrow we will have two more stories from Mr. Mayer! I will see you all again very soon. Until then, I hope you are all warm, safe, and happy! --Your friend, Mykal

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Crawford Crow Gets a Gift!
Art from Jim Davis!

Hi, Kids! Today we have a great story from Comic Cavalcade No. 58 (August-September 1953) staring the popular Fox and the Crow.

Jim Davis (not to be confused with the Jim Davis, creator of Garfield) was an animator that worked for several studios in a very long career, but is best remembered by comic book lovers for his work drawing the adventures of Fauntleroy Fox and Crawford Crow.

Fox and the Crow stories were always very clever and well written - usually by Hubie Karp, who penned our story today of a gifted Kangaroo.

Gorgeous stuff here from Mr. Davis, who had a flair for drawing comic-book action (like the panels in this story where Mr. Kangaroo introduces Crawford to the business-end of his foot)!

After the story today, kids, make sure you stick around and look at some beautiful advertisements that came from this same issue of Comic Calvalade. You will some some beautiful art there as well from Ray Thompson (of Fleer Dubble Bubble fame) and Win Mortimer!

Let's have a look at a wonderful public service announcement and two advertisements to close things out today.

Up first, a very sweet public service announcement, urging children to enjoy their summer, has some pitch-perfect artwork from Win Mortimer. The closing two ads all display the round, bouncy style of artist, Ray Thompson, who produced all the adventure-style advertisements staring the Fleer Dubble Bubble Kids throughout the 1950s. I love Mr. Thompson's work and wouldn't mind a collection of his advertising illustration. The last illustration included here is Mr. Thompson as well, "Junior Space Pilots On the Beam!"

Next time, let's visit with Sheldon Mayer and his characters Doodles Duck and Bo Bunny from this same issue!

I will see you all again very soon. Until then, I hope you are all warm, safe, and happy! --Your friend, Mykal

Friday, January 7, 2022

Pluto Causes Trouble for Chip -n- Dale!

Hello, Kids. It's good, as always, to visit with you all again!

Today we have a sweet cover and short 4-pager featuring the art of long time Disney comics stalwart, Paul Murry . Mr. Murry is considering one of the Disney masters. His work, among other great artists, is featured in a spectacular Disney Maters Series of beautiful hardbacks from Fantagraphics. Just click HERE to investigate!

As in our last post, the protagonist of our brief story today (written by Don R. Christensen) is that good dog Pluto with a supporting cast of the always lively chipmunk brothers, Chip -n- Dale. The thing I love about this pair: Their boundless optimism and the support they offer one-another. They are never apart, facing every challenge in life as a team. Today the challenge is that gangly pooch, Pluto! This story comes from Four Color #853 (October 1957)

I will see you all again very soon. Until then, I hope you are all warm, safe, and happy! --Your friend, Mykal

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

It is Jack Bradbury Day at the Big Blog!

Hello, Kids. Nice to visit with you again!

Today is Jack Bradbury day at the Big Blog. Mr. Bradbury is one of my favorite artists because of his lovely work with the brush. His panels, characters, buildings always have such depth and life, his work always so beautifully balanced. Each panel a work of art.

In these two stories today, we see Mr. Bradbury’s skills in full effect with Pluto the Pup!

Pluto has always been unique in the Disney universe in that he is a real dog. He barks like a dog, and he uses all four legs to walk; unlike Goofy who is a dog with human characteristics (Goofy can talk and walk on two legs, just like us humans).

There is a sweet innocence in Pluto that I love – moments of genuine wonder in his open gaze (like with most dogs). You will see what I mean over the course of these two stories! These stories come from Four Color No. 853 (October 1957).

I will see you all again very soon. Until then, I hope you are all warm, safe, and happy! --Your friend, Mykal

Just for fun let's include the the inside covers of this issue of Four Color, all done by Mr. Bradbury in black & white (as if to truly accentuate his wonderful, lush brush).

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