Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Funnies

There's not really much use posting nostalgic stuff when most people who would remember don't read blogs anyhow -- or even have computers -- but last Sunday's  paper seems so pathetic.  It still gamely divides itself into five sections, even when a section, like these Comics, consists of nothing but a folded-over single sheet of newsprint.
And anyhow, those aren't Comics -- they're the Sunday FUNNIESMemory seems to skip all the intervening years, and it's maybe 1933, a Depression year   I'm in a small sunny living room, stretched out on the floor with the thick wad of Sunday funnies, and a cheerful voice on the radio is saying "In the first picture we see Mutt telling Jeff..."  It must have been the beginning of the broadcast, because that was the top strip on the first page, as I remember.  The rest of that page was taken up by the Katzenjammer Kids, which they say is the country's oldest still-running strip -- it started in the late 19th century.  I wonder if it's still full of the  stereotyped dialect it used back then. ISS YOU COO-COO? their mother yells.
  Tillie the Toiler I remember because she was so up-to-date.  She'd had her hair bobbed -- something Daddy had not yet permitted my Mother -- and she worked in an office! As you can see in this ad, 30 strips were just about right for a Sunday paper.
Gasoline Alley, it seems, is also still running.  Skeezix had been born (or rather, found abandoned in a basket) on our friend Elliott's birthday, Valentine's Day, 1921.  Elky is gone, but Skeezix is still running -- well, probably more like hobbling.  For a short period under a different artist he stopped growing older, but now he's a white-haired veteran of World War II  and a great-grandfather.
The red dress Little Orphan Annie always wore was brighter, at least in the Boston Globe, than it is here, but Sandy and Daddy Warbucks are just right.  At the age of seven I never stopped to analyze the last name of that conservative capitalist.  They changed him for the movie, but in the funnies he died of despair over the election of  FDR.
So maybe he's what the GOP needs right now, to solve its problems with all those WW I-profiteer bucks.

1 comment:

  1. The Syracuse Post-Standard still carries a few of the old-style "funnies" strips: Gasoline Alley, The Phantom, Rex Morgan MD, and Gil Thorp. (I never stopped to think about it before, but I suppose I consider Peanuts, B.C., and The Wizard of Id as the dividing lines between the old and the relatively new.) I haven't paid attention to GA or The Phantom in years--but Rex Morgan and June are now married and have a newborn son and a 6-year-old daughter who is smarter than Rex and June put together, and the most interesting female student character in Gil Thorp in years just got killed off by a drunk driver. Even the good old days aren't so good any more.