Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Number 1062

Felix steps out

Felix steps out into adventure. The stories starring the famous cat flow almost like a stream-of-consciousness. Otto Messmer, who did these Felix comics, had a way of telling a simple story that appealed to children. In "Rainbow's End" Felix walks out of his house with one dollar in his piggy bank to buy food, and then enters a world of nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters, with a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Messmer told a very breezy tale. He did it over and over...and over and over and get the picture. Felix stories didn't change much over the years.

Something I remember about reading these stories as a young child was feeling a sense of wonder. I loved stories that had pots of gold (or Uncle Scrooge's money bin), because they could trigger fantasies of wealth. Wow, what I could do with a pot of gold! I could buy all the comic books on the spinner rack and not just two with my paltry 25¢ allowance.

From Felix the Cat #1, 1948:

Craig Yoe's fantastic collection, Felix the Cat: The Great Comic Book Tails, with many other beautifully drawn Felix adventures like this from Dell Comics, is still available from YoeBooks! All of Craig's books get my highest recommendation.

"If you're looking to spend some Christmas dough, you can't go wrong with Yoe!"


Mykal said...

"If you're looking to spend some Christmas dough, you can't go wrong with Yoe!"

Very nice! And I agree!

What fantastic Messmer in this story - much more richly detailed than a lot of his work. For me, looking at Messmer is like reviewing the prototype for bigfoot comics. Just beautiful.

Mykal said...

Oh, and you've struck upon an interesting point: The greatness of a Messmer story is the connection it made with children. Today, so many adult critics only consider Barks and Stanley worthwhile from the kids' comics genre, while masters like Messmer and many others are sniffed over for having simplistic, "childish" stories. Well, duh! These comics were meant for children, not middle-aged frustrated critics!

Kirk said...

Even though I found that kind of amusing, I can't help but wonder if Otto didn't have a bit of a chip on his shoulder when it came to the opposite sex. Did you notice only the female characters were interested in the gold?

Pappy said...

Kirk, what can I say? Messmer did these stories in an era when women were housewives and moms or gold diggers, according to popular culture. I think Otto was just playing into the stereotypes of the era.

Pappy said...

Mykal, I find your comments so insightful. And you'd know. In your Big Blog of Kids' Comics, you present the real fun stuff, the comics that were intended for children, and appreciated by those of us who remember what it was to be a kid reading great comic books!

Mykal said...

Yet another one I'm jealous over. But, as you've noted, you have to get up pretty early to beat Pappy to the good comics!

Pappy said...

Mykal, it isn't the getting up early, it's the never sleeping!

Lily Strange said...

Aww, that was sweet! It also gave me a much-needed laugh. These old comix always remind me of my late dad. He had quite a little collection.

rnigma said...

The Felix TV cartoons really could have used Messmer's touch. This is the real Felix, who did not need a "bag of tricks."