Finally, an Aristocats Stamp

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Hmmm. A company called Zazzle has teamed with Disney and the Post Office to offer custom Disney stamps in–they say–over 3,500 designs. Want to send all your correspondence using Emperor’s New Groove postage from now on? No problem.

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Zazzle, which specializes in custom-printed stuff of all sorts, also offers T-shirts with more than 200 different Harvey Comics-related motifs (Jackie Jokers fans, rejoice!). Actually, you can print Harvey characters on an array of tops, in tons of colors, with custom text–if a pink Baby Huey camisole with your name on it is what you crave, it can be yours.

Sadly, Zazzle doesn’t seem to sell any Harvey-themed stamps. Or am I the only one who would use Little Dot commemoratives if they existed?

Charlie Brown in Iowa

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What’s that? You’d like to see something strange that has nothing to do with Scrappy? Glad to oblige. For the first time in a dog’s age, I’ve added a new page to my Harry’s Museum section–a complete reprint of a bizarre 1957 comic in which Charlie Brown and Lucy tour the Des Moines Register and Tribune offices and plant.

I’ve never seen this story (most definitely not by Sparky!) mentioned anywhere. And if serious Schulz fans would prefer to forget it existed in the first place, I wouldn’t blame them–even though I find it fascinating. Click here to read it.

Self-serving plug: I’m selling this, and a random assortment of other items (mostly not related to comics) on eBay at the moment. (I’m trying to weed out the clutter around here.) Click here to see my listings, should you care.

A Lulu of an Auction

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I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Heritage Comics runs the neatest auctions of original comic art around. Even if you never bid on anything, its site is a joy to browse through. Among the current offerings is Marge’s very first Little Lulu panel from the Saturday Evening Post. Everyone talks about how brilliant John Stanley was–and rightfully so–but Marge was a wonderful cartoonist in her own right. (Someone ought to do an article on The Lost Marge someday–I have an issue or two of the old, old Life magazine with her illustrated prose pieces, which are about–gasp!–grownups.)

Also up at the moment are numerous early Blondie dailies, including one from the famous hunger strike sequence, several Segar Thimble Theater strips including this one with the Sea Hag, and three Herriman Krazy Kats (here’s one of them). This Batman cover by Fred Ray and Jerry Robinson is nothing to sneeze at, either. And I’m just scratching the surface here.

If the stuff there at the moment were a museum, it would be as good a comics museum as I’ve ever seen. Pay it a visit.

Do You Know This Boy?

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At the San Diego Con, I picked up this vintage animation drawing–which was being sold under the pretenses of being from a Scrappy cartoon. It would appear to be of the same character as the one in this drawing recently sold on eBay as being of “Vonsey or Oopy.” (Vontzy and Oopy were actually the same character.)

This doesn’t look like the Oopy I know, but there are many, many Scrappy cartoons I haven’t seen. So I’m not saying it couldn’t be him–characters in Scrappy cartoons tended to morph from year to year, cartoon to cartoon, and scene to scene. Anyone out there have any opinion on who this is? Could it be some random supporting player from a Scrappy cartoon?

If it turns out to have nothing whatsoever to do with Scrappy, don’t feel bad for me–I bought it cheap, under the assumption that it probably isn’t from a Scrappy cartoon. But you never know…

Oopywear

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On Saturday at this year’s San Diego Con, I came dressed in a Scrappy T-shirt. No, they’re not selling them–though they certainly should. I was forced to make one myself with one of those iron-on transfers you can run through an inkjet printer.

It came out pretty well, and I got my fair share of both compliments and puzzled stares. (Wearing it also paid off when a cartoonist I ran into identified it as a Scrappy shirt and told me about the Scrappy sign for sale a few booths away.)

I also designed, but didn’t get around to producing, a shirt featuring Scrappy’s kid brother Oopy. For the sake of posterity, here’s the unseen design of the Oopy T-Shirt That Never Was. If the drawing, which I swiped from a publicity shot, isn’t by Dick Huemer, it’s a good imitation of his distinctive style. (The typography and coloring are by me.)

San Diego Wrap-Up

I continued to enjoy myself during the San Diego Con’s final two days, visiting with (among many others) Amid Amidi, Jerry Beck, Nick Cardy, Milt Gray, Matthew Hasson, Nick Hofmann, Andrew J. Lederer, Bob Miller, Jerry Robinson, and Brent Swanson. One panel highlight: Mark Evanier and Earl Kress’s interview with Gary Owens. He doesn’t just play a talented wacko on TV–he appears to be one in real life, too.

Odd moment: Having dinner at a restaurant near the convention center and sitting next to a man who we later learned was Kenny (R2D2) Baker.

My favorite con purchase was a J.C. Penney’s back-to-school sign featuring Scrappy and Margy.
(Note to Jerry and Amid: I negotiated the price down.)

Oh, and did I mention that one the most bizarre, unexpected, and (momentarily) unpleasant things that ever happened to me took place in my hotel room at about 12:45am on Sunday morning? Details to come. Probably. Some of you I’ve told about it already…

The Return of Bucky and Pepito

Another relaxing and entertaining day here in San Diego, but the highlight didn’t come until about 10:45pm, during Jerry Beck’s “Worst Cartoons Ever” program, when I sat in an audience of several hundred people and watched a Bucky and Pepito cartoon provoke fairly raucous laughter.

This was not the first time I’d seen animation fans weirdly transfixed by B&P. In about 1993, at the Cinefest convention in Syracuse, I bought a $10 reel of 16mm cartoons which included a Bucky and Pepito. It was from a series I’d never heard of, about a cowboy kid and his Mexican pal. I showed it that night in my room for a small, startled audience.

Very quickly, we decided that Bucky and Pepito was the worst cartoon series ever produced. Eventually, I wrote an Animato column declaring it as such, and naming its producer, Sam Singer, as the Ed Wood of animation. (I was pleased that Jerry’s remarks tonight made both of these points.)

The B&P we saw tonight–The Vexin’ Texan–was new to me. And it was, I’m pleased to report, terrible.

Hello From San Diego

Aside from the trip down here (our plane ran short on gas and needed to make a side trip to Ontario, California to fuel up), my visit to the San Diego Comic-Con is off to a good start. I’ve had fun chatting with folks like Jerry Beck and Earl Kress, enjoyed Mark Kausler’s wonderful It’s the Cat and Martha Sigall’s talk about her career, and bought–cheap–what purports to be a drawing from a Scrappy cartoon.

The endless dealer floor kind of feels like a retread of last year’s edition–same massive booths in same locations hawking same products–but as usual, much of the fun for me comes in just looking at stuff I’m not actually buying. Among the things I’ve run across are a 1930s membership card in the National Popeye Club, a poster for a silent Felix, and a jaw-droppingly great four-drawing sequence from Mickey’s Polo Team, with Mick, the Goof, the Big Bad Wolf, and Charlie Chaplin involved in a furious chase on horseback.

Also spotted: Skeezix and Walt, Drawn & Quarterly’s handsome reprint of early Gasoline Alley. And Fantagraphics will be reprinting the complete Ketcham Dennis the Menace. (Maybe everybody knows this already, but it had escaped my attention.)

More news as the weekend progresses…