Monday, April 14, 2014

Number 1559: Funny Films funny comic book!

The artists who made up the line-ups for funny animal comics published by ACG were moonlighting animators. It shows in their comic book work, which makes the comics so much fun to read. These two stories are from Funny Films #1 (1949). Detective Whoo-Doodit is a braggart with claims of detecting skills he doesn’t have. That sets up the stories for much slapstick and funny sight gags. Artist Bob Wickersham (who sometimes signed his name “Wick”) was a mainstay of the funny comics at ACG, and does his usual brilliant job with this material.

Funny Films had a run of 29 issues, until 1954. Sadly, Wickersham had a short run of his own; born in 1911, he died in 1962 at age 51.

This photo is identified as Wickersham. Did smoking have something to do with his early demise?*

*My father, Big Pappy, died at age 47 from smoking. Don’t smoke, kids!


Daniel [] said...

There isn't much purpose to the lead-in for each story unless as filler — or to pitch the character to a studio. (“Hey! Hey! We really could make cartoons with this character!”)

The truth of many psychotropics, including nicotine, is that the brain adjusts so that it will be as normal as it might when they are present, and this leaves it worse-than-normal when they are absent. Meanwhile, other body systems can't necessarily make so much of an adjustment. Smokers, alcoholics, and habitual users of cocaine end-up in vicious circles or spirals, destroying their bodies in an attempt to get away from sub-normality that, as it crept-up on them, most of them have confused with the ordinary.

Even smokers who aren't outright killed by smoking suffer a variety of ills, in exchange for little more than an ability to blow smoke and a way to waste time.

Odyzeus! said...

Hi, Pap,

Don't know if you're aware of this posting. In and of itself, it ain't much, but read the comments section where some of Wick's family chime in.

Pappy said...

Odyzeus, thanks for the link. I did not see this blog when I was researching Wickersham.

Pappy said...

When Big Pappy died of a massive heart attack at such a young age in 1967 his doctor told my mother, "He died a smoker's death." When he was autopsied the pathologist told Mom "the heart attack saved him from lung cancer." One of his lungs was just hadn't been detected.

I can't believe people still smoke, if not for health reasons then for the cost. Six bucks for a pack of cigarettes? Gedouttahere!

Daniel [] said...

Well, people who suffer from disorders of mood or of concentration are often willing to pay that much or more for relief. The perverse thing in the case of the aforementioned substances is that they are the very cause of what they relieve. The cure (when there is one) is to hold back, and go through considerable discomfort for months or for years. But people take the view that “In the long run, we are dead.” and get relief for the short term.

(And, yes, there's an analogy to be found with economic policy here.)

rnigma said...

I wonder if Dr. Seuss named the Wickersham brothers in "Horton Hears a Who" after Bob.