Monday, February 03, 2014

Number 1519: Sad, sad, Sad Sack

I’ve had many a day like poor Sad Sack in this story. I can relate.

From Sad Sack #18 (1952):


Daniel [] said...

I suspect that you, Pappy, would conduct yourself with notably more decorum than this sad sack.

Pappy said...

Thanks, Daniel. I appreciate that comment very much.

EvenSpot said...

Man! I miss my Sad Sack comic books.
I may have had about 10 of them unfortunately
you can't save everything from your childhood.
I'm surprised they never made a cartoon version
of Sad Sack.

Pappy said...

EvenSpot, no, you can't save everything...but if I had I'd need two more houses just to store it.

I had never thought about Sad Sack cartoons, and I assume you mean animated cartoons. Maybe Sad Sack's creator, George Baker, couldn't come to an agreement with an animation studio, or maybe no one thought the feature was worth animating.

Daniel [] said...

The Jerry Lewis live-action version seems to have been a commercial success, but of course it was more Lewis than Baker.

My guess is that Hollywood has thought that Beetle Bailey would always eat Sad Sack's animated lunch, if there were any lunch to be eaten.

James Kirk said...

It's sad what happened to Fred Rhodes, one of the Sad Sack artists at Harvey Comics. 23 years or so of work and they let him go. He was led to believe he was an employee, however the courts said he was an independent contractor. I think he was misled along the way. That's what huge corporations do.

Pappy said...

James Kirk, check this out:

Pappy said...

Daniel, I can't tell from the IMDb site whether Lewis' movie was based on George Baker's creation. It was called The Sad Sack rather than just Sad Sack, which was Baker's title for his creation.

The difference would be that there is an army saying about any sloppy soldier, "a sad sack of shit," (my old drill sergeant used a variation, "sorry sack of shit" on me, no less). That deprecating characterization of a GI was old when Baker used it for his character.

I remember seeing the movie but don't remember anything about it.

Daniel [] said...

Baker's strip was credited for the Lewis Movie. The movie is very different from the strip, but I guess that the name “Sad Sack” was believed to have some drawing power associated with the strip.

There were three movies prior which used the name “The Sad Sack”; one in '28 (available on YouTube), one in '33, and one in '50. In all three cases, this was the English-language title for a film-version of Tire au flanc.

(The term “tire au flanc” literally means something along the lines of move off to the flank (to avoid front-line combat), but took-on the generalized meaning of shirk, and could include gold-bricking.)

Pappy said...

Daniel, thanks for that information. It appears from looking at the IMDb posting on The Sad Sack that they have given Sack a name, "Meredith C. Bixby," which would be because they couldn't call him Sack like they did in the comics.

Sad Sack, in George Baker's cartoon version, was just the poor shlub, the "buck private in the rear ranks," as my dad, Big Pappy, used to call them, who just didn't do anything right, was continually in trouble and on KP. From personal military experience I can attest to knowing that feeling of being called out for every little infraction and feeling like a sad sack. Sack was a stereotype, and when they make a movie they have to have some sort of back story. It doesn't always improve the original, and often detracts.

What The Art! said...

Perhaps someday/night there will be a Sad Sack/Beetle Bailey crossover/team-up?
Very good blog/zine.