Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Number 494

The Wolf of Cave Canyon

Dell Comics, like the movies, licensed established characters and then did whatever the hell they wanted with them. It's why in this story Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd are not ventriloquist dummies sitting on Edgar Bergen's knees, but up and walking around like the British movie, Dead of Night, and its countless imitators.

Dell also had a habit of using the same motifs, crossing over standard themes. "The Wolf of Cave Canyon," could have featured Porky Pig and nephew Cicero, or Andy Panda and Charlie Chicken, or any number of other characters. It's probably because the same writers wrote much of the material for many comics.

For all that, Charlie McCarthy #9, from 1952, is pretty entertaining. It's made better by the artwork of Harvey Eisenberg, and as clichéd as the Western setting and plot are, I still like it. So sue me. Sometimes we old-timers, jaded by reading thousands of comics with every possible theme, plot and setting, forget what it was like to be seven or eight years old, wearing a cowboy hat and boots, our six-shooters holstered on our hips, reading a story set in the Wild West of someone's imagination.

Another adventure of Charlie McCarthy is featured in Magic Carpet Burn here.

1 comment:

Rudy Tenebre said...

Really swell, paps, oh the days when ventriloquist puppets could shake free of their masters and hit the high road to hijinks!