Friday, March 26, 2010
Obscurity of the Day: Funny Fizzles
Do you remember back in the '70s when fads seemed to come fast and furious out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly? Here's one I remember well -- the fad of oddball antique inventions. Seemed like every paper, magazine and TV show was crowing about crazy inventions like chicken-powered butter warmers and shaving cream for babies. I particularly recall a game show where a panel of celebrities (B-list luminaries like Charles Nelson Reilly) were presented with some antique doodad. Each member of the panel would come up with a story about the item's intended use and the contestants had to guess who was telling the truth. Watched it religiously but don't recall the name.
Anyhow, here's one product of that short-lived fad. Funny Fizzles was a Sunday-only panel distributed by NEA. For some reason it was not in the NEA archives at Ohio State University, so I only learned about it recently when I stumbled upon a run in the Miami Herald. The running dates there were May 9 1976 to July 31 1977. The creators were James Molica, writer, and William Nellor, art. Neither has any other newspaper feature credits that I know of.
As I was preparing this post I discovered there was a reprint book of the feature issued in 1978. I ordered a copy and maybe it will reveal a little more about the creators.
I have no end date for the comic.
Also - I have the Bill Nellor as artist and Jim Molica as writer,
again no source.
It did run in one of my local papers,
my very incomplete indexes of that time are buried somewhere.
I assume something I saw in the Miami paper caused me to make the credit choices I did, because normally on iffy writing/art credits I'll say in my notes that they're questionable. Hopefully the reprint book will clear things up.
After many years in advertising in San Francisco and with my own advertising agency in Santa Rosa I retired and spent 10 years designing items for the tourists trade in Maui. Since returning to Santa Rosa I enjoy painting and contribute cartoons to the Sierra Club in their Northern Ca tabloid.
Funny Fizzles was done on a whim but soon became too much of a time consuming burden that interfered with my advertising projects. After having it published in pocketbook form by Signet Books we decided to terminate it.