If you don't mind something personal, I am home from the hospital after my prostate cancer surgery. I have quite a few steps to go through before I'll be back on my feet, but I am on the mend. I have appreciated the notes wishing me well. Thanks to all of you!
Postings through this week were done before surgery, so forgive me if I don't respond to comments.
All my best from your friend, Pappy
Tiny Town is missing!
I can hear the groans from you guys now...why am I showing a Stumbo the Giant story? A kiddie story? Well, there is a story behind the story. I didn't notice it until a few weeks ago, too late to post it last year around the 45th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, but it has a connection.
This cover of Harvey Hits #78 has an arrival date of 12-12.
That means it appeared on the stands a few short weeks after the November 22, 1963 assassination, yet a caricature of JFK appears in the story. This is one of those things that publishers who work months ahead of time fear, that something will happen between the time their publication is prepared, and when it goes on sale. It was fairly atypical, too. Harvey Comics played it very smart editorially, giving their stories a consistency and timeless aspect. That way they could reprint a story in 1973 which was drawn in 1963 and their young readers wouldn't be able to detect a difference from any new material it might appear alongside. That wouldn't be true of this particular story because of the JFK caricature. I have no idea whether it was ever reprinted or not, but if it was then it was immediately dated.
Warren Kremer was an exceptional artist, and Stumbo was one of his best drawn efforts. I've always admired how he could keep things in proportion between the giant figure and his surroundings, including the tiny people. Especially considering he was working with the constraints of his 8-panel comic book page.
Kremer, who was born in 1921, died in 2003. In 1989 a stroke ended his drawing career, which up that point was extremely prolific. He was reported to be able to draw 8 interior pages a day, not to mention all the covers, promotional material, etc. For many people, Warren Kremer was Harvey Comics.