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Comic Con Finds

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Strange stuff! Good things and scary things abound. Here are just a couple of my comic book finds from this year’s San Diego Comic Con (Click on covers above to see a larger version).

Right to Left: SINBAD JR. is one of the favorites in my Worst Cartoons Ever! shows, especially the Sam Singer version which this particularly ugly comic seems to be based on. &#149 I bought this horrible copy of ARCHIE No. 114 for a buck, mainly because I couldn’t take my eyes off the strange cover. Click on it to get a better look. What is the “gag” here? Archie comics at this time (1960) usually featured a cover gag situation unrelated to the inside of the book. I couldn’t figure out why Archie was being arrested by a realistic policeman (and on what charges?). It turns out this cover is related to a story inside, one in which Archie’s knowlege of the Spanish language helps save a boy’s life. &#149 I don’t know how many Broadway plays or movie musicals were adapted into comic books, but Meredith Wilson’s THE MUSIC MAN is one of my favorites. I never saw this comic book adaptation before, but it’s quite good, all things considered. &#149 How about this 1946 NEW YORKER cover by Abe Burnbaum? Some guy was selling old New Yorker’s for $3 bucks. As a film collector and part-time projectionist myself I couldn’t resist this great cover – and a great issue loaded with ads, cartoons and articles.

But the scariest thing I got at the Con, hands down, was this free “Temporary Tattoo” handout at the Warner’s booth:

Smurf Tattoo
  • Lionel Hutz

    Argh! the Smurfs! Nooooo!!! It’s happening again!

    The thing I always wondered with the smurfs even as a little kid,with Smurfette as the only female in the whole villlage,how would they successfully reproduce for the next generation?

    Smurfette would have to have a lot of sex to have the whole next generation of smurf babies.

    And the next generation would be related to each other even if Smurfette birthed every smurf-child from a different father.And when the babies grew up and mated they would be actually inbreeding.

  • A guy I knew back in the day actually produced a final thesis statement for his english grad degree called, “Why are smurfs blue?” which documented the very subject that you’re talking about “Lionel”. I tried to read the thing but pretty much it was a porno set to paper about the fact that once a year the Smurfs went on a raging orgy of depravity with only one female Smurf available. Sadly, the professor though it was the funniest thing he had ever read and gave him a “B”. Regrettably I’m sure our institutions have probably not gotten better in the intervening years!

    As for the tatoo…I’m thinking that a lot of those ended up being adhered near nipples or butts across the convention floors. Look at that smile and that odd pose of his raised hand. Where do you think it was intended to be placed?

  • Beau

    yeah but smurfette was created by gargamel so the smurfs had to be created another way before she showed up. i think smurfs are created by rainbows, a shooting star, or via some magical mushroom or something. i believe that some mystical creation event was the storyline used to introduce baby smurf into the smurf acting stable, so smurfette and the smurfs need not worry about creating a line of inbred mutants.

  • christy

    i think that tattoo rules! but how come he’s not wearing a hoodie and sunglasses?

  • Larry T

    The Smurfs are coming to DVD in 2007??? WOO HOO!

    (Seriously you guys, take a look at the artists’ credit list the next time you watch one of those things- it’s jam-packed full of whomever was held over from H-B studios, WB, and MGM. There’s some pretty funny stuff in there if you watch some of the better ones, especially in the first two seasons.)

    This is certainly an expensive year for me animation-wise…. :( ..

    but :) !

  • joecab

    …um …. I like the Smurfs. :(

    I am curious to see if it’ll be a “Best of” compilation (probably) or if they’re going to try to release all the episodes (doubtful). Do parents really buy these things for their kids or for themselves?

  • Odd to see a “Coming in 2007” blurb appearing for the first time in July 2007. Shouldn’t the catchphrase be “Coming This Fall”, or whenever the collection is due to appear?

    Were the Smurfs’ Hanna-Barbera series their entire body of work, I can’t say I’d be very interested in them. But the Smurfs were earlier in Pierre Culliford’s brilliant series of semi-sophisticated comic albums—Asterix-style stories, even translated to English in the late 1970s by the Asterix team. Some earlier H-B cartoons were dumbed-down versions of the album stories; but the originals included such scenarios as Smurf civil war, Smurf political turmoil, and Smurf drinking binges… no kidding!
    (It’s the same story as with Mickey Mouse; once the American public perceives the brand as being for preschoolers, the original version of the characters comes across as almost a dark parody of the version with which more people are familiar.)

  • Charlie

    Sometimes Archie comics or other comics (except the full-time action/adventure comics) don’t have to have a humorous cover. It makes the reader think “Why is Archie being under arrest?” or bring suprise to the reader “Archie is arrested?!” or in this case, it can be humorous “Oh brother…Archie is getting arrested.”
    So, comic covers are what you make of them.

  • Not only that, but a trailer for the Smurfs’ first season on DVD is included in the Popeye DVD set. Because people who buy black-and-white classic cartoons are the target audience for The Smurfs.

    I think they may have done that Archie story twice. I remember seeing a story about Archie’s knowledge of Spanish saving a kid’s life (the kid is a hemophilac who only speaks Spanish; when the kid cuts himself, only Archie understands what he’s saying and gets him to a hospital in time to save his life), but by the look of the artwork it was from the ’80s, or at least later than the above comic appears to be. Wonder how many other story ideas they repeated?

  • Smelof Livingston

    Didn’t you like Ron(ny) Howard before he thought he could direct movies?

  • Rob T.

    What I was wondering about with the “Archie” cover was the red vehicle with the white cross on it. If the word “Police” wasn’t painted on, I’d guess it was a medical vehicle rather than a police vehicle.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Beau if the Smurfs were created by rainbows or magic mushrooms how come there only mostly male smurfs then? I think there must have been a disease that only effected the female smurfs and wiped them out until Smurfette was the only survivor.If the smurfs are created by rainbows i guess that means they have no genetalia.Or do they?-they all wear pants.The mystery continues…..

  • I thought it was kind of a bee/ant/termite thing with the Smurfs. Better not to see it.

  • Dooley

    At least it doesn’t say “coming to theaters 2007″…

    Oh god…

    I’m too late!

  • I’m sorry I missed out on the Popeye DVD sailor caps they were giving away, those were neat :(

  • Bobby Bickert

    Someone on the TTTP who’s read the original comic strips said that Smurfs reproduce by laying eggs.

  • I actually didn’t think that the Smurfs would actually come to DVD this year, because Earl Kress’ latest round of gloom and doom about Hanna-Barbera DVD’s from Warner suggested otherwise (loosly parphrased, his words were: “It’s likely that they’d release it, if they had the home video clearances, since it wasn’t a property Hanna-Barbera owned). Thankfully (or Unthankfully) ComicCon has proved me wrong.

  • Lionel Hutz

    They must have a huge bloated queen-smurf somewhere in the village that lays only male worker-drone eggs.

  • Andreas

    I went to a discussion/focus group about animation on Saturday. I made $50 for my hour of time, but was horrified to find out there is going to be an anime version of Batman (I believe it is direct to DVD). They bounced a few names off us. Batman Anime, Batman: The Dark Knight Chronicles Anime, Batmanime (This was suggested by one in the group in a somewhat sarcastic “You might as well call it Batmanime.” and she added it to the list). It is somewhat disturbing, but again, it seems that is the way the big corporations are going, whatever seems popular, milk it for all it is worth.

  • Funny that the most popular subject of this post is that Smurf sticker. Is there any doubt a Smurf DVD set wouldn’t sell like gangbusters? Heck, I’d likely pick one up. One question, though: do you think they’ll really include the original Smurfette episode, the one where it’s revealed she’s really a transgender Smurf? I still can’t believe an ’80s cartoon ever got away with that. Hah!

  • Larry T

    At least it doesn’t say “coming to theaters 2007″…

    Oh god…

    I’m too late!

    That’s old news. I believe it was already posted here that they are going to be CG-animated, which of course perfectly falls into the corporate mentality: make one CG model, multiply it by X and make a movie (it works with Dalmations, Penguins, elves, etc)… then stick a washed-up celebrity into the mess and make a movie that removes all likeliness with the original properties and fill it with farting and barfing jokes.

    For the last time, in the original Smurfs series by Pierre Culliford, Smurfette was made by Gargamel. She’s not a real smurf at all. And who cares about the sexual reproductivity of cartoon characters anyway, except someone who looks at too much anime porn.

    But the Smurfs were earlier in Pierre Culliford’s brilliant series of semi-sophisticated comic albums. Some earlier H-B cartoons were dumbed-down versions of the album stories; but the originals included such scenarios as Smurf civil war, Smurf political turmoil, and Smurf drinking binges… no kidding!

    Thanks David, for validating me on this. I have a few of those reproductions and they are very funny… there’s lots of excessive violence, unsavoury acts, and suggested foul language- the Smurfs were a vehicle of presenting society’s problems in a comical way.

    But I’d still like the DVD set so I can see Jokey blow up the stuffing out of the other Smurfs. >: )

  • Just a thought. The nickname of the Smurfs’ creator, Peyo, as the SAME FIRST FOUR LETTERS as Peyote!


  • Mark Borok

    Couple of things I liked about the Smurfs; the classical music they used on the soundtrack and the fact that the medieval setting felt more or less authentic (as it would be in a production with a European lineage). I don’t remember it being dumbed down too much. There was even an episode where an Arab traveler introduces algebra to Europe.

    The Archie story – that’s actually one of two that I remember reading. As I recall, Archie’s classmates get mad at him for blowing the grade curve by doing well in Spanish class, then he saves a diplomat’s child’s life with his knowledge of Spanish.

  • Inkan1969

    When I was a kid I watched “Smurfs” all the time. But as an adult when I tried to watch the episodes again on Boomerang I just found them too unwatchable to do it. The eps just come off as too saccharine nowadays. There might be some good eps that follow the spirit of Peyo’s work more closely ( I remember the “Moor’s Baby” ep with the baby doing algebra. ), but I didn’t have the time to search for them.

    Yeah, I thought THOSE thoughts about Smurfette, too. I was a 12 year old heterosexual boy at the time. :-)

  • Gerard de Souza

    What is not seen on that Archie cover is that he’s dropped his joint on the ground. ;)

  • vince

    the smurfs ?? not the first on my list but i will pick it up anyway since i collect all of the sets but what happened to the possible quik draw mcgraw and wally gator releases and is the smurfs a replacement.

  • Phoenix

    Smurfs are brought by the stork on evenings when a blue moon (or second full moon in a month) occurs according to the cartoon per Papa Smurf. That was his explanation for a baby smurf appearing one season.