Monday, November 01, 2010

Number 835

Man Hunter of the North

Dell Comics licensed many popular animation characters, but when kids went to the movies and saw cartoons featuring their favorite characters in the movies and then read a Dell Comic they were often reading about a different character with the same name.

The publisher found out early they couldn't just reproduce animated cartoons. The characters got into adventures and stories unlike the movie cartoons. Even with that editorial policy the first issue of Woody Woodpecker, in Dell Four Color #169 from 1947, while entertaining enough, seems jarring. John Stanley, of Little Lulu fame, is credited with this issue. "Man Hunter," which is 29 pages long, seems like a stretched out 10-pager. There are jokes, even Stanley's "Yow!" to assure us he wrote it, but my feeling about this story is that it seems generic, that you could take Woody out, insert Bugs Bunny, Andy Panda or Porky Pig and they'd fit just fine.

I posted the second story from this issue--even more startling in its representation of Woody--in Pappy's #350, and a non-Stanley New Funnies story featuring Woody acting more like the zany character of the screen in Pappy's #577.


The new Pappy's logo comes from one of my favorite covers, Man O' Mars #1, published by Israel Waldman's IW Comics in the late '50s. Flying saucers, aliens, half-dressed babe. Yep, that'll do it for me every time! It's a reprint of a Fiction House comic of the same name. I posted the story that goes with the cover in Pappy's #343.

As I said in my original posting, I believe the cover is drawn by Gray Morrow, an homage to Frank Frazetta's cover of Famous Funnies #212, from 1954, used as inspiration rather than a swipe.


Mykal said...

Pappy: It does seem oddly flat, doesn't it? Every panel a straight medium perspective with little background. Still - very interesting post! Stanley could be a little nearly-bitter at times in his themes - often darkly tinged (which his fans LOVE!).

The cult of Stanley is every-burgeoning. A fascinating artist.

Pappy said...

Mykal, I agree. It is the tinge of dark humor the fans like about Stanley. His cartooning is decent, not great, his layouts somewhat flat, as you say, but the normalcy of his visuals only seems to intensify what is just beneath the surface.

Paul said...

Pappy: Love the new logo. Great choice!