Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Number 2071: Little Jacky, who never grew up

Uh-oh. I can “see” some of you readers, and the puzzled looks on your faces. You are wondering what I am showing today. A strip by a kid? It was the same problem of many readers (including me, age 11 1/2) when first encountering the Sunday-only comic strip, Jackys Diary, in January 1959.

Jack Mendelsohn (age 32 1/2 at the time) drew the Sunday page, and a one-shot comic book from Dell Comics in 1960. Mendelsohn worked in comics (including EC Comics’ Panic) and animation (among other things, he worked on Yellow Submarine). He was a talented artist and writer. Don Markstein’s Toonopedia website has a concise history of Jackys Diary, which, for whatever reason, became Jacky’s Diary (with apostrophe), both for the one-shot and the beautiful 2013 coffee table book produced by Craig Yoe and Clizia Gussoni, reprinting the three years of the strip.* As Mendelsohn explained it in the book, a Sunday-only strip was more expensive to maintain than a daily/Sunday combination, so King Features canceled it.

Jack Mendelson, (age 90), died this past January.

Panel two, just below,  is hard to read under the purple ink. I have divined the caption for you: "Jack got scared the giant would eat him also so he tried to not make any noise inside."

*Still available, as of this writing. Highly recommended by me.


Brian Barnes said...

Reading the Toonopedia article, it's amazing that people would mistake this for the work of a kid (I guess I'm always surprised by things like that.) The humor has obvious sophistication to it and all the misspellings and grammar mistakes end up being puns or funny word substitutions ("intentional" flu, for instance.)

You can tell Mendelsohn was in EC's comic orbit for a while, it certainly looks like some stuff you might see out of Panic.

Pappy said...

Brian, my belief is that people who thought it was the work of an actual child didn't read it. They glanced at the drawings and jumped to conclusions.

You know, like those geniuses who thought the annual Fourth of July reading on NPR of the Declaration of Independence was some anti-Trump propaganda.

Mark Tague said...

Loved this Sunday comic when it was appearing in in the Boston Globe when I was young. Always read it, always enjoyed. I was always surprised later in life, I never met anyone who even remembered it. Didn't know about Mr. Yoe's book. I've got to track that down.