Saturday, June 12, 2021

Classic Rock

Greetings, and welcome to our regular Saturday cartoon roundup.

This handsome fellow was part of my daily television diet as a young lad. His name was Ted Eckman, the host of Captain Jim's Popeye Club. Supposedly, someone else was using the name "Captain Ted" at the time, so he became Captain Jim. He was one of my first pipe-smoking idols.

Some of my earliest memories of making art involve trying to draw the animated characters I watched nearly every day. Let's review the past week's Bizarro comics to see whether that influence shows in my current work. I've got some chores to take care of today, so the commentary will be briefer than usual.

This cocktail is also noted for its Tangy finish.

This part of the story was redacted from most translations of the original texts, on the advice of legal counsel.

One must admire this individual's ability to anticipate his needs before it's too late.

This kid's spelling and punctuation are terrible even in spoken form. I don't usually read comments that start with the word "actually" or the phrase "It should be," but those prompted by Thursday's panel were too amusing to miss.

We like to run our favorite gag on Friday, and that turned out to be a lucky coincidence this week. Friday, June 11 was the 72nd birthday of ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard (the band member who doesn't have a beard). Sometimes the universe smiles upon a cartoonist. We wish Mr. Beard a happy birthday, and hope he may have seen this comic and smiled.

Sharp-eyed Jazz Pickles will notice that the prison librarian is holding a copy of The Mad Reader, a sacred text from my youth.

I no longer have a copy, but this paperback was my introduction to the early MAD comics, under the editorship of Harvey Kurtzman, who we featured as one of our favorite pipe pics.

My first sketch for this gag was too direct in its punchline.

The reference to Houdini's memoirs provides an extra beat for the gag to be delivered, as the reader makes a leap from "Houdini" to "escape," without having it spoon-fed to them.

That's our review for June 12, 2021. We hope you'll drop by next week for more of this stuff. Be sure to visit Dan Piraro's blog, where he also deconstructs our latest gags and shares a new Bizarro Sunday page.

Bonus Track

Eddie Bo: "Check Mr. Popeye" (1962)

Thanks, Captain Jim, wherever you are.

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  1. Coincidentally, I just finished reading the book, 'The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini', by Joe Posnanski and highly recommend it, simply because it brings HH back to reality . . . was he as great as we think he was, or was he just a great self-promoter? Read the book and find out!

  2. Mad Magazine writer Frank Jacobs died April 5, 2021, age 91. Jacobs specialized in song parodies. Frank and I graduated together in 1951 from Nebraska University.

    Bob Askey, Longmont, CO

  3. To your point about bad spelling and grammar: I once took a test for a proofreading job. It asked me to use the words "affect" and "effect" to illustrate their difference. I wrote:
    "The drugs have no effect on me. They didn't affect me at all!"

    I didn't get the job!

  4. My pops worked for Alpha Omega Alpha so I got the gag immediately. Funny, funny funny!