Translate

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Number 1156: Ritzy Fritzi Ritz


When I look back at Sunday strips like these examples of "Fritzi Ritz," it makes me nostalgic for the golden age of newspaper comics. Full pages. Good drawings. Nowadays I look at the Sunday funnies of my own local daily newspaper and need a magnifying glass to read them.

Besides some very nice Fritzi Sunday pages going back as far as the 1940s from St. John's Fritzi Ritz #49 (1956), there are a few pages of "Nancy," which looks like a standard comic book story, but is actually five pages of unrelated daily gag strips. There are also three pages of Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" from the early days. It’s always nostalgic for me to see these early strips. I started reading it in the days when the kids in the main cast were Charlie Brown and neighborhood kids Violet and Patty, Shermy and Pigpen...and when Snoopy walked on four legs.



























12 comments:

Mykal Banta said...

I love how precise Bushmiller's inking was - so exact and clean. The line seems so incredibly even. Plus, he was very funny! I must confess, I am another of the legion that find Fritzi hotter than hell. How in the world does Phil rate that?

Pappy said...

Well, Mykal, there is just no explaining females and their choices, but thank god my wife overlooked my Quasimodo appearance and chose me. I always considered Joe Jackson's song to be about that odd couple, my wife and me, especially after a coworker met her and asked me, "How'd you get a pretty one like that?"

Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Jeff Overturf said...

Looka dem gams on Fritzi!!!!

Pappy said...

Jeff, You have a good eye. I like how you zero in on what's important.

Kirk said...

Interesting to see Nancy and the older Peanuts strips (circa 1952, I'd say) side by side like this. They didn't really seem all that different at the time, but that would soon change.

Gumba G Gadwa said...

I'm a little late on this one, but I wonder where Bushmiller got all the dress ideals? Did he design them? Or pull them from magazines?

Each strip has a different, high fashion dress!

One thing about Peanuts, though, as much as Schulz was a genius, it's thought that his strip was mostly responsible for changing comics from your large format, full page strips to 4 panel gag strips, which is sort of ironic when you think about the comments!

Tom Stein said...

I read somewhere that the Peanuts strips seen in comic books were not drawn by Charles Shultz. Instead, they were done by a ghost artist. Any truth to this?

Pappy said...

Tom Stein, here's an article about the first of Schulz's ghosts:

Jim Sasseville The Ghost In the Peanuts Machine.

HEH said...

Great post, Pappy. I love Bushmiller and Fritzi!

Kirk said...

It so happens I own a collection of "It's Only a Game" strips. It would indeed be difficult to tell where Schulz begins and Sasseville takes over if Sasseville himself didn't tell you, in which case you can flip back and forth through the book and see minute differences in the art.

Here's one possible consequence of Schulz dropping "It's Only a Game" Throughout most of the 1950s, sports isn't quite as integral to Peanuts as it would become later on. Yes, the kids play baseball every now and then, but it's not really a recurring theme. The only recurring sports themes I can think of in that era are Lucy always beating Charlie Brown at checkers, and her annual yanking-away-the-football strip. But it's only after "It's Only a Game" ends, or maybe when it was winding down, that the classic Charlie Brown-standing-alone-on-the-oversized-pitcher-mound era begins. Schulz was now clearly channeling his interest in sports, and the comedy of manners surrounding it, into his flagship strip.

In addition to the comic books, Schulz also used ghosts on the greeting cards. One of them left a comment on my blog not too long ago.

Pappy said...

Kirk, thanks for your comments on the "It's Only A Game" collaboration between Schulz and Sasseville. I have never seen the strip except for those examples on the link I provided above.

I was aware of the ghosts on the greeting cards, and of course Mad magazine practically had a sub-franchise going with satires on "Peanuts," so much so that one person once commented he thought Schulz should sue, because Mad used the characters so much it went beyond fair use for parody.

I accept Schulz's claim that he wrote and drew every "Peanuts" comic strip, but there has always been a rumor that artist Al Plastino ghosted a year's worth of "Peanuts" for the syndicate (in the sixties?) in case Schulz died. I've never known whether that is true or not, and Plastino (mostly known for Superman), seems an odd choice for such a project.

Nat Gertler said...

First off, let me note that while ghosts did draw most of the comic-book original Peanuts stories, that doesn't apply to these; these were reprints of newspaper strips, and thus Genuine Schulz.

And yes, Al Plastino did do some Peanuts strips; a few of them have seen print with various articles. Plastino is not a man without talent, but these strips are pretty clearly not Schulz.