COMIC CON RECAP #3: A COMIC BOOK REVIEW

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I’m still going over the booty I obtained at the San Diego Comic Con last weekend. One thing I didn’t devote enough time to at the Comic Con was actually buying comics. I picked up a scant few. My favorite purchase was a well worn copy of BLUE RIBBON COMICS #1 (St. John, 1949). The cover logo actually reads TERRYTOONS PRESENTS HECKLE AND JECKLE, and I believe it’s the first solo comic book for the talking magpies.This particular book contains four stories – two drawn by background painter Art Bartsch and two by director Connie Rasinski. Rasinski’s Terrytoon comic book art is wonderful. His drawings have a handsome, controlled zaniness (as opposed to the raw unrestrained work of the great Jim Tyer) that point to what the screen Terrytoons could have been like if they had the money and time to make them better. The two stories by Bartsch are adaptations of animated cartoons. The first one, “Mind Over Matter” (panels pictured above), is an adaption of the 1949 meta-cartoon THE POWER OF THOUGHT, in which Heckle & Jeckle develop mental telepathy upon the realization that they are cartoon characters. The other Bartsch story, “Sour Grapes”, rips off Tashlin’s Columbia cartoon THE FOX AND THE GRAPES (1942) with H&J in the Crow role, versus Terrytoon bit-player Slyvester the Fox.The only comic books I’m actively collecting these days are ones with comic art by animation artists. This includes a wide array of titles ranging from DC’s FOX & CROW and FUNNY STUFF titles (with art by Otto Feuer, Jim Davis, Bob Wickersham, etc.), to Harvey’s Paramount comics (drawn by Dave Tendlar, Steve Muffatti, Bill Hudson, Marty Taras, etc.). As much as I like watching the animators art on a frame by frame basis, the strong poses in each comic panel of these 40s and 50s comic books are a pleasure to look at – and incredibly entertaining.