Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In The Event You Were Unable To Attend...

(The Miss Joan Crawford seated next to then Mayor Wagner?
Mommy Dearest indeed!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Coogy: Mary Mo (Pt.5) - Plus a Switcheroo

Original from Nov. 15th, 1953.

Same episode as published in the Tribune dated November 15th, 1953. What's different?

(Color scan compliments of All Things Ger)

Yes, that's right. On my originals, the top tier of the final episode was swapped with the top tier of the penulitmate episode. Here's the tier that was originally on this episode, which I cropped from my own orignal Pt. 4, posted previously:
What happened to my beloved originals? The NY Herald Tribune would offer their strips to their syndication papers as either a 2/3rd page or 1/2 page, In other words, the papers would publish either two full strips on a single page of newspaper, or three strips on a single page at two tiers per strip -- either way adding up to six tiers per page. If you look back on the Coogy originals I've blogged, almost all would still make sense if the top tier was lopped off and the final two tier were run by themselves. Often, the top tier was meant to be a little gag by itself. The top tier was removed physically to do this. Hence, when it was time to reattach the top tier, some absentminded drone at the Tribune must have swapped the top tiers from episodes 4 and 5. I always knew something was amiss with these originals in regard to how the 4th declared the "Final Episode" and yet the 5th episode did not, and also how Mark Dextrose's drive on the NY State Thruway was disjointed. However, I've been looking at them for so long I eventually just took it for granted. It wasn't until I looked closely at the color scan that it finally made sense to me what had happened. Okay, so not the biggest mystery to you, but I can now sleep easier.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Coogy: Mary Mo (Pt. 4)

From November 8. 1953:

(Although the title panel states "The Final Episode", there's one more to follow. That's just like a soap opera, ain't it?)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Coogy: Mary Mo (Pt. 3)

A soap opera offering hope to those discouraged souls afraid to face life as seen on television.

From November 1st, 1953:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Irv Spector's Coogy Presents "Mary Mo", A Soap Opera So Sudsy You Can Slip On It

In 1953 my father employed his Sunday strip Coogy as a parody of Mary Worth, the long running soap opera strip (as if it needs an introduction of its own). I believe this was published not very long after *Harvey Kurtzman's own send-up of the strip and a few years before Al Capp's Mary Worm. For this run I actually have all five strips, which I plan to run daily, so you won't have to wait a month of Sundays. I'm posting the first here a couple of hours this side of Friday (NY time), so expect the second installment Saturday.

From October 18th, 1953:

*re Kurtzman and the rumor that my father turned him down as a contributor to early MAD magazine: This is mentioned in the Overstreet Guide and several places on the web. I do recall my father mentioning Kurtzman's name on occasion, but honestly, all these years later in regard to MAD, I'm not 100% certain if the MAD offer is something my father positively told me or if I'm substituting my own memory for the persistent rumors! Likely, I think it's true. Possibly they were acquainted as early as the WWII years, but certainly they knew each other soon afterward during the comic book years. If any reader of this blog is the contributor who offered this tidbit to Overstreet, I'd love to hear from you. Other Spectorphile readers who have now seen enough Coogy, select comic stories and other work are welcome to gladly chime in with their own opinion -- it's all in fun. You can even say "No Way is this or his other work MAD material!" with no offence taken. Check out these coming Mary Mo Coogys, apply it to his other work and what you think you've gleaned from his personality and style of humor, and if you're game (all 8 of you) let's hear what you think. And if you've read this far, more power to you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Comic Books Lead To Pornography

In 1962-63 my father did some work for "men's" magazines with titles such as


How did he descend from the sublime heights of cartoon grace into this ungodly debauched disgrace? If you recall, two posts ago I ended my Squeeks comic book post with the mention that his friend Harold, who edited Squeeks for Lev Gleason, would "lead him down the garden path." Well, Harold eventually ended up as an editor for a publishing house that put out these magazines. So my dad picked up some work. All of the published work I have is writing, fortunately or unfortunately -- depending upon you point of view. The illustrations that accompany each article are NOT my dad's -- it's by the magazine's regular artists. Here are the first page(s) of several pieces, with usually ran about four pagers per.

Now, I do have several pieces of his artwork and writing along these same lines in various stages of completion. These were never published -- believe me, I've scoured all the magazines many times over with a fine tooth comb in an attempt to find it...soley in the interest of historical purpose, of course! In these, it appears to me that my father was looking for a slant on men's humor different than the average one-panel risque gags one usually finds. And although they're quite rough I like them, or at least their potential, more so than the above.
The Martooni is probably my favorite

The title for this is The Constipated Serutan,
and describes what happens to middle-aged men in both body and mind.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

HR 7927: National Cartoonist Society Goes Before The United States Senate Committee on Post Office and Civil Services

In 1962 the National Cartoonist Society, NY -- including many of America's top cartoonists such as Rube Goldberg and Milt Caniff -- went in front of the U.S. Senate to protest the proposed raise in postal rates for 2nd and 3rd class mail. Their argument was that "small magazines and newpapers either will be forced out of business or will curtail their budgets for art.", affecting the livlihood of cartoonists, and that these "...are vital to the growth of cartooning. It is here that the nonconformist idea can be published...that the young cartoonist can develop."

But reading this is oh so much more: it's the American way, which you'll realize after you've read Jerry Robinson's testimony. In fact, those above quotes are as dry as it gets. I've posted it all in the original double-spaced easy and breezy manner, not just to fill up blog space. If you read nothing else, check out Rube Goldberg's wonderful 3-page testimony, and Jerry Robinson's 19 pages are quickest, coolest and most informative history of comics in America you'll ever read. I guarantee it. I've broken it all down into headings and sub-sections so you can pick what you want.

Bill Holman introduces Rube Goldberg. Calls him 150 years old!

Rube Goldberg

"What's the difference if comic art shrivels on the vine?
We still have pinball and television"

Milt Caniff

Jerry Robinson, Secretary of the NCS

(Skip the introduction if you must,
but you might get hooked starting on page 3)

Benjamin Franklin, Father of Cartooning

Era of Thomas Nast
Beginning of Regular Newspaper Cartoons

Early Comic Strips

Favorites 1930 to Current (1962)

Panel Gag Cartoons

America Grew Up With The Funnies

Serve America Abroad Too

HR 7927 Effect On Free Press

Our Society Serves The Country

Closing - Formal Action of the Cartoonist Society

Aftermath: Postal rates went up anyway, and here we are still.