Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Number 1930: “Grab a gob of grub!”

Mrs Pappy commanded requested, “Get me some basil.”

“Of course, dear” I said, being the kind of accommodating husband every woman dreams of. The problem is that we have two different definitions of “basil,” she meaning basil as herb, me meaning Basil as in Wolverton, master cartoonist. We soon got it straightened out.

So for our second entry in our Wild Westerns Week, “my” Basil is represented here with a trio of BingBang Buster three-pagers from Lev Gleason’s Black Diamond Western numbers 23-25 (1951). Reads great. The other basil I just went to the garden and plucked a sprig or two for supper. Tastes great!

More BingBang by Basil. Just click on the thumbnails:


Daniel [] said...

My mother saddens me by calling the herb /ˈbesəl/; but perhaps she thus avoids having my father go get Powerhouse Pepper comics (of which he was a great fan during their original run) when she wants to cook. (Both the name of the herb and the personal name are derived from the Greek “βασιλευς” [basiˈleus], meaning king.)

Powerhouse Pepper and BingBang Buster remind me very much of the Fleischer version of Popeye, after they'd smoothed him out a bit but before the studio made the move to Florida. There's no Olive Oyl, but there's a series of straight-forward conflicts between a simple, good-hearted hero of extraordinary strength and a series of Blutos (“Bluti”?), and we are assured that Good will triumph.

Pappy said...

Daniel, Wolverton once said that someone criticized his art by telling him he used all of the little lines in his work because he couldn't draw. That person was wrong, but it is true that I think his comedy strips may be slightly over-rendered, maybe more busy than they need to be to tell the story.

I think much of Basil's comedic appeal is in that straightforward conflict you mention — good little guy vs big bad guy — but also in the internal rhymes, such as a caption from a Scoop Scuttle comic strip: "Meanwhile, at the home of Lester Sylvester Fussfester, famous tea tester..." and later, "How now, cow-brow?" "Simply stir up strife between him and his wife." Then his alliteration, "I am B. Blabbson Boostbustle, of the lawfirm of Boostbustle, Bustbustle, Bangbustle, Bungbustle and Burp!" This appeals to kids, and to those of us who still find this sort of thing funny. Not for everyone, but these strips are almost 70 years old now, and I haven't seen anyone else do it as successfully as Wolverton did.

Mike Britt said...

"Comic City, USA" opens this Sunday at the Oregon Historical Sociey in Portland, Oregon. The exhibit celebrates the state's comic artists and writers...featuring Basil Wolverton art and his drawing table. Others included are Carl Barks, Bill Plympton and Alex Schomburg. From what I understand, the space is limited in the museum so only about ten or twelve artists/writers will be featured...pity as there are scores more that are from Oregon or lived here or are living here now that would be great additions to the event.

Pappy said...

Mike, that is an event I would love to attend. Sorry I can't, if only to see Basil's drawing table.

I saw Charles Schulz's table and pens at the Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, and it gave me the feeling that this was the place where he put all of those wonderful ideas of his on paper.