Betty Boop and Hooters

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Mark Evanier has the bizarre, disturbing news. When King Features licensed Popeye and Blondie out to slot-machine companies, I wondered what might be next. Now I know.

Let’s hope that Larry Flynt doesn’t have any interest in acquiring the rights to Krazy Kat…

Scrappyland 2.0

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I’m pleased and relieved to report that I’ve finally finished a major update to Scrappyland, the leading Web site on the greatest cartoon character who almost everyone has forgotten.

I’m guessing that there’s something close to double the original content now–I’ve added information on the Scrappy magazine I mentioned here a few weeks back, areas on various Scrappy promotional activities, Mintz studio photos, more photos of Columbia child stars with Scrappy products, Scrappy theatrical posters, updates to existing areas, and last but definitely not least, a report on ASIFA-Hollywood’s Scrappyland event. Plus, I’m sure, some items I’m forgetting at the moment.

And I’m not done: I already have some Scrappy-related stuff on hand that didn’t make it into this update, and new and bizarre Scrappyana seems to pop up nearly every week. (The more time I spend on this project, the more I feel like an archeologist chipping my way into a lost world.)

In other words, Scrappyland 3.0 is bound to show up sooner or later…

Stanley Sketches

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I dug these out and scanned them this weekend for the excellent Yahoo Group JohnStanleyComixGenius, and might as well share them here: Here are two sketches that John Stanley did for me in 1976 at Newcon in Boston. I was 12 at the time; Stanley was at his first (and almost only) comics convention appearance.

In the top drawing, Lulu is sticking her tongue out at Stanley.

I felt lucky to get them at the time; 29 years later, I feel luckier still to still have them. The best con sketches I ever snagged, no question.



Scrappy Mintz, Plagiarist?

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Legendary animation guru (and friend of Harry-Go-Round) Jim Korkis writes with a comment on Scrappy’s Own Everyday Motto:

Harry–I am sure that others will point out that Scrappy’s Own Motto looks very similar to the “Mickey Mouse Club Creed” which was on the back of the official membership cards for the original Mickey Mouse Club in the Thirties:

“I will be a square shooter in my home, in school, on the playgrounds, wherever I may be. I will be truthful and honorable and strive always to make myself a better and more useful little citizen. I will respect my elders and help the aged, the helpless and children smaller than myself. In short, I will be a good American!”

Members recited this oath when they attended meetings in theaters on Saturdays. Of course, every self respecting hero of the Thirties like Tom Mix and the Lone Ranger had some similar type oath for their fan club members.

In retrospect, it was probably suspicious that Scrappy’s motto didn’t include “I won’t steal…” as one of its pledges…

I Pledge Allegiance to Scrappy

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Just to prove that I really am working on a major update to Scrappyland–it’ll be up soon, I swear–here’s a sneak preview. Scrappy’s Own Magazine featured “Scrappy’s Own Everyday Motto,” a sort of alternate-reality, kid-oriented Pledge of Allegiance. Here it is–everybody please stand at attention, salute, and read it in unison:

Scrappy’s Own Everyday Motto

I will always be on the square with my comrades and schoolmates and at home.

I will always tell the truth and do my best to be at all times a useful and honorable member of my neighborhood.

I will always respect my parents and my elders.

I will always be kind to other children smaller than I am.

I will always try to do some good and helpful deed for the helpless and for the aged.

I will always be kind to dumb animals.

I will always do to others just like I would want them to do to me.

I will always be a GOOD AMERICAN.

Scrappy himself didn’t really practice all the points contained in this motto–many of his cartoons involve him beating the stuffing out of his younger brother for no apparent reason, and he was the only major cartoon character of the 1930s to kill and skin a dog (in The Dog Snatcher). And is the reference to “comrades” a subtle indication that His Scrappiness was a pinko?

In any event, it’s a nice sentiment, and if I were king, we’d all be reciting it at ballgames…

The Mysteries of Google

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Sometimes Google thinks your site is about stretchpants. Other times, it takes a phrase like “visit toyko”–for which you’d think that the obvious #1 site would relate to a Japanese tourism board or somesuch, and that one random person’s brief notes on a 2003 trip would account for very little–and gives these results.