23 November 2017

A World Less Groovy

You've likely already heard that we lost another comics star - David Cassidy.

Granted, you might not think of him as a comics star. But lest we forget...

...and not just any comic - the GROOVIEST!

Okay. Maybe you don't count The Partridge Family comic books, saying they were merely a tv product tie-in and not true "comics". (I'd disagree with you, but you might say that)
But he also had his own title...

...and not just in the USA...

How's your Dutch? They gave David & the family about 100 pages - lots to read!

But, that is still with The Partridge Family, so maybe doubts linger. Very well, then. Let's skip over to Britain and an old title of which i'm rather fond, we've gone there before and we'll go there again - Look-In. In late 1972, David popped up with his own ongoing strip, and took the cover while doing so:

As mentioned previously, these comics were generally short installments, only two pages per chapter. Here's the first 3 issues worth:

You might be wondering what happens next. As am i. My collection is spotty, at best, and i'm missing the first few issues of 1973. However, we do have a complete short tale here from the Look-In 1973 Holiday Special for you, that you might find a little closure of sorts:

It's also worth noting that when David Cassidy gets together with the boys, he drives-

There you have it - bona fide comic star.
And yet, in the internet age, there are always those doubters in the back of the digital room. So let's drive a stake through the heart of that, shall we?

David Cassidy also played one of the classic Rogue's Gallery villains on The Flash - Sam Scudder, the Mirror Master:

David Cassidy - Comics Star, any way you want to look at him.

Sadly, he did.

He'll be missed by a lot of fans of other media, but comic book fans should remember him, too.
So long, David. I'll always be a fan...

images from indicated titles, top image from David Cassidy en de Partridge Familie, bottom image from Look-In 1973 Holiday Special

22 November 2017

Goat? Yak!

As we saw in yesterday's promotional post, Old Doc Yak holds the Guinness World Record for being the First Animal Cartoon. (They leave subjective judgements like "funny" to others)

The man featured on the poster is Sidney Smith, the cartoonist famous for The Gumps - which is credited as the first continuity based comic strip, as opposed to unchanging gag-a-day comics. It's not entirely accurate, but the Gumps are the ones who made it popular and triggered the wave of continuity comics that followed.

Today, however, we're not really interested in them We're here for he who came before - Old Doc Yak and his family. While successful enough to spawn those ground-breaking animated shorts, Yak was only around for 5 years in his own strip. He returned as a Topper for The Gumps for another 5 year stint, from 1930-1934. Old Doc Yak was definitely an Odd Duck at times, but it was also wildly creative when the mood struck. Before we get to the end in 1917, let's jump back to the beginning in 1912.

In the February 5th edition of The Chicago Tribune, he made his 'smashing' debut. Keep in mind that this is 1912 - the comic is still a very young art form, and experimenting with the physical boundaries of comics is a pretty novel idea.

The final introductory strip there ran on 10 February 1912.
And Old Doc Yak's final daily comic ran on 10 February 1917. Just one more odd bit with Old Doc Yak.
It continued to mirror the beginning by having a multi-strip closing to the daily with the Landlord threatening to throw him off the comic page if he can't scratch up some cash:

That was Saturday. On Monday, the new family moved into the House that Yak Built:

We spoke briefly of them last time, and we'll do so again. For now, just note that Sidney Smith had his new strip move into both the vacated newspaper real estate and the home of the previous strip's cast. A most odd, likely even unique, beginning to a highly successful run lasting over 40 years.

Back at Yak -
Here's a half dozen Sundays, the first from 1912, the rest from 1917. They touch on three popular topics for the series:
1) Old Doc Yak trying to get paid...

2) Old Doc Yak trying to cope with his son, Yutch-

and 3) Old Doc Yak loves his #348-

He's a crusty old Goat. That's a common theme, too.
We'll not speculate on what sort of empathetic predisposition that might give me for the strip. I'm going to just presume i like it because this is one Odd critter, start to finish.

Sadly, i do not believe that any of his cartoon survive:

Old Doc Yak (1913)
Old Doc Yak and the Artist's Dream (1913)
Doc Yak's Christmas (1913)
Doc Yak, Moving Picture Artist (1914)
Doc Yak, the Cartoonist (1914)
Doc Yak, the Poultryman (1914)
Doc Yak's Temperance Lecture (1914)
Doc Yak, the Marksman (1914)
Doc Yak Bowling (1914)
Doc Yak's Zoo (1914)
Doc Yak and the Limited Train (1914)
Doc Yak's Wishes (1914)
Doc Yak's Bottle (1914)
Doc Yak's Cats (1914)
Doc Yak Plays Golf (1914)
Doc Yak and Santa Claus (1914)

Old Doc Yak is unrelated to Old Doc "Yak Yak" Yancy (played by Joseph Kearns) from the old Harold Peary Show radio program. I believe he has no connection to Louie L'Amour's Old Doc Yak, from the story of the same name, but Yondering is not in my collection, so i have yet to be able to ascertain for certain. With a character this old, one can never be sure who might have been a fan.

21 November 2017

Digging The Funny Animals

Quick Quiz:

Who holds the Guinness World Record for the First Animal Cartoon?

You want hints?

He was a goat.
And his newspaper comic strip ended 100 years ago - the dailies in February of 1917, the Sunday strips a few months later.
(But he did return as a Topper for another comic with his final appearance being over 15 years later)
He starred in at least 15 cartoons produced in 1913 & 1914 by Selig Polyscope, the people who brought you Tom Mix, Harold Lloyd (who brought you Jackie Chan), the 1910 Wonderful Wizard Of Oz film, Fatty Arbuckle, and Bomba, The Jungle Boy Wamba, Child Of The Jungle. (But Wamba came first, by over a dozen years)

Worked it out?


Want me to shut up and stop trying to make a spoiler gap of words here and just get on with it?

Very well. Ladies, Gentlemen, and those still working it out, or who have come to a different destination, may we present-

Old Doc Yak is one of the latest finds excavated in my Comic Archeology digging expeditions.
Join us tomorrow for a trip back 100 years (and 105 years) for the beginning and end of this uniquely creative early comic. (And learn the Answer to who replaced him successfully for the next 42 years.)