Friday, September 17, 2010
Felix the Cat
Felix the Cat comic books helped me learn to read decades ago, and I have a nostalgic love of the surreal, fanciful stories by Otto Messmer. Craig Yoe's Felix the Cat, The Great Comic Book Tails, is another in his series of beautiful books of comic art. This time he's featured Felix stories from the late 1940s and early 1950s, that period in Felix's comic book career I especially love.
Felix's stories usually start with something ordinary, then veer off into fantasy. In the first story in this volume, for instance, "Felix the Cat in Starburst", from Dell's 1946 Four Color #135, Felix is having a normal day (for Felix), which turns into taking a rocket ship to the moon, then visiting the signs of the zodiac.
You have to be willing to accept that these stories were written for young readers, probably in the six to ten-year-old bracket, but the artwork is always wonderful. I had always believed that Otto Messmer was the sole artist of Felix, but according to Yoe, Joe Oriolo and Jim Tyer assisted him.
Yoe's taste is impeccable, and as with the other books he's produced, the book itself is beautiful, from the cover to the interiors, meticulously scanned and restored from the original comic books, with top-notch printing on heavy paper, designed for permanence. The books in this series are so well made I believe they will be pleasing readers well into the 22nd century!
It gets my highest recommendation.
Felix the Cat, The Great Comic Book Tails, IDW Publishing, 2010. 225 pages. Available from the publisher, IDW, Bud Plant and Amazon.com.
The story I scanned for today's posting is not in Yoe's book. "Misdeal" is the lead story from Felix the Cat #1, 1948.
Copyright © 2010 Felix the Cat Productions