Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The Stripper's Guide Super-Quiz Day 2

1. In a bid to revive interest in a strip that was considered way over the hill, King Features hired underground cartoonist Bobby London to take over. What was the strip, and what happened to end the experiment?

2. Here's one to see whether you're reading the new NBM Bringing Up Father book. The Jiggs' son was seldom seen in the strip, and was usually referred to as simply "Sonny". But in 1913 he had a real name. What was it? And for extra points, how did McManus often misspell the family's name early on?

3. An adventure strip cartoonist, an influential Midwest editorial cartoonist and a comic book star cum moviemaker all share the same name. What is it?

4. Hank Ketcham might have thought he was coming up with a unique name for his panel Dennis the Menace but on the very same week another Dennis the Menace made his debut over in England. But that's not the question. I want to know who did the very short-lived first American newspaper comic strip called Dennis the Menace in 1943.

5. Jud Hurd, the much-missed publisher of Cartoonist Profiles, was also responsible for the art on two long-running syndicated panels. Name them.


OK, second try (sembra che non siamo in molti ad avere spirito competitivo...).

1- POPEYE (London was fired about an abortion gag)
2- Ethelbert
3- Frank Miller
4- Stanley Link
This is getting monotonous, Fortunato! Obviously, you’re in control of Internet just a little time before me, so have just half a tip of (H)alfred’s Hat.
Something more:
BOBBY LONDON’S POPEYE: The Bobby Landon aborton case (not just a gag, but a 18-strip long sequence) had a first beginning in 1991, when, in court for a trial, the Sea Hag comments the judge’s decision with the phrase “There Goes Roe vs. Wade” – a famous legal case concerning the legitimity of abortion held in 1975. No reader protested, so probably London felt legitimated to use the issue again; in 1992 two priests, Father Nosebest and Brother Sprayadime, casually hear Olive saying that she means to “send Baby Bluto back to his maker”; Baby Bluto is acyually a broken doll sold by Home Shopping Network (“His maker”) and sent by Fed Ex. but the priests deduct that “The shameless hussy” wants to abort. Later, when Father Nosebests asks her “Now that we have exorcised the devil from within you and you have witnessed the power of heaven, Ms Oyl, will you carry the child Bluto to the ful term?” she answers with an enourmous “NO!”. This strip was to be published at the end of July 1992, but, on Friday July 17 /two days before Saint Fortunato) KFS had the proofs for the next three weeks withdrawn and sobstituted with a set of strips that Landon had drawn years before. For what I know, the incriminated strips were published only by the Chicago Daily Soyhtown Economist and partly reprinted in The Official Popeye Fan Club Newsmagazine (and on Here We Are Again, of course, page 512).
BRINGING UP FATHER: Jiggs’s family name (just “Father” or “Puh-Pah” in the earliest strips) was O’Finneggan / O’ Finnigan (Mahoney in the theatrical shows). The name Jiggs comes probably from “Jig” (or “Port”), an Irish folk dance he liked. In the very first strip Maggie is Mary; Nora was nameless for a long while. Lastly, I’m not so sure that Ethelbert and Sonny are in fact the same person.
FRANK MILLER. When you see the answer, it doesnt’ seem a very difficult question; nevertheless you need a great analytic menory to make the connection: a big “Bravo” to you. The first Frank Miller is of course the artist of Barney Baxter.
PS - Italy (Latella) – Rest of the world : 2-0
I just discovered the following internet pages:
Mike Lynch Cartoons Blog (look for Bobby London's Final Weeks)
The June 1 Installment of Luca Boschi’s blog Cartoonist Globale.
where you can see the first three weeks (18 strips) of the notorious Popeye abortion story (in Luca’s site – ciao, Luca, - there’s also a very interesting discussion on Popeye’s rights).
In the July 6 – July 11 week Olive orders tons of things to the Home Shopping Network; in the July 13 -July 18 1992 (the “true” beginning of the story) Olive receives an unwanted Bluto doll and throws it away. Both the above sequences were published.
The unpublished July 20 to July 25 sequence is in the blogs; the second unpublished sequence (In my preceding post I wrote “KFS had the proofs for the next THREE weeks withdrawn”; I should have written “KFS had the proofs for the next TWO weeks withdrawn”), starting July 27, ending August 1, with Olive shouting a big “NO”, can't be found anywhere in Internet.
As it seems, the London strips got the KFS editors' OK (proofs were made from them), yet London was fired without the possibility to make corrections. The cartoonist had already been "pardoned" for the “Roe vs Wade” gag and for a 1986 strip heavily hinting to marijuana (“Look, Mr Popeye: pure Bolivia spinach” “We’re meetin’ me connection!”), and possibly KFS executives didn’t want to take more risks. According to a rumour of yore, a very important, very powerful and very catholic Popeye licensee asked for London’s head as he discovered the “A-Word” story was to be released.
For Bobby London’s fans: Some of his strips have been reprinted in the book "Mondo Popeye", which may be found on eBay; the whole London production is published by the "Official Popeye Fan Club Newsmagazine" .
Thanx for the POPEYE/London details, Unka Alfy!

And about early internet connection, in these days, I work only in the morning (parlo del mio reale lavoro), so, just after lunch, I'm ready for surfing, sitting before my ole faithful iBook G4 (che, naturalmente, per smentirmi avrà un crash letale tra 5 secondi).

But remember that there're more then 20 St. Fortunatos, so a lot of days can be 2 days before St. Fortunato...
According to Allan's annotations to the Bringing Up Father book the Family name was/is Jiggs, and McManus occasionally misspelled it as Giggs.
NBM has thoughtfully provided Allan's annotations to the book here:
Check out #10 and #12.
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