Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Number 1731: Turtle power

I don’t know why Sheldon Mayer drew the entire issue of Funny Stuff #5 (1945). In other issues each feature was drawn by a different artist. Mayer, who had been the editor, had quit that position in order to write and draw. Maybe this was a special project for him. Whatever the reason, he blended his special kind of cartooning magic into what was already a really good title for publisher M.C. Gaines.

Gaines had split off for a time from his partners, the publishers of DC Comics, and his books were All American Comics. Before the war ended he sold his entire line, along with his paper ration, to DC. It included characters like Green Lantern, the Flash, and Wonder Woman, all of which at one time or another Mayer edited.

McSnurtle the Turtle’s origin from Funny Stuff #1. Just click on the thumbnail.


Ryan Anthony said...

As the teenaged editor for a newspaper syndicate (McClure, I think), Shelly Mayer was responsible for rescuing Superman from the reject pile. He excitedly forced the strip on Max Gaines, who showed it to National (DC) editor Vin Sullivan, who was looking for a lead feature for the upcoming 'Action Comics'. So, as a rabid devotee of the Man of Steel, I'd be a Mayer fan even if he never did anything else. But he also added the original Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel) to the DCU, among other things.

This story reminds me of an old Krypto tale (tail?) in which he was traveling the country with some dude, and they met a hobo who was proud of being a hobo. He made a very strong distinction between a hobo and a bum, though that line is blurred in this Mayer story. Okay, so I'm nitpicking a strip about talking animals. Sue me.

Unknown said...

And you thought the Flash TV series is a lot of fun!!!

Pappy said...

Ryan, I have just read The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore, and Mayer was the editor during the time that author William Moulton Marston was injecting heavy doses of bondage into the WW storylines. Shelly lived through DC's most interesting history. At one point in the book it is said that the first Wonder Woman script Robert Kanigher submitted to Mayer was thrown in the air and stomped on by Shelly when it hit the ground. Ouch! He could be temperamental, too.

Years ago, before Pappy's became a reality, I found a copy of a Sugar and Spike digest comic, with a signed cover by Shelly Mayer, in a Salt Lake City thrift store! You can read about it in Pappy's #737.

No need for me to sue. I'm sure we can come to a settlement for your outrageous nitpicking of funny animals!

Pappy said...

Well, hey there, Mr (or Ms) Unknown, I did think The Flash TV series was fun for a time, but then got bogged down in what I thought to be an overcomplicated storyline. All was forgiven last night when Gorilla Grodd made a guest appearance. Grodd was then (the early sixties) and now (the TV show) my favorite Flash villain.

Daniel [] said...

The classic distinction was that a hobo wanted work but would resort to other things, a tramp would resort to work when pragmatic, and a bum would do his best to avoid work.

(A case could be made that this story conformed to that distinction.)