Thursday, August 27, 2009

Well blown me down! Popeye controversy, 1992

From the Mike Lynch Cartoons blog:

In 1992, London, who, at that point, was both writing and drawing the strip for six years, introduced a Home Shopping Club storyline for Olive Oyl. Thus begins the below controversial and, so far as I understand, final three weeks of the Popeye strip under London's direction. They're scanned from copies of proofsheets, so the quality is not great.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Charlie Brown, wishy-washy blogger, Mar. 1970

We have previously discussed the progression of fandom into the blogosphere (or the genesis of the latter in the former depending on your perspective). In this Sunday Peanuts strip we find good ol' Charlie Brown dipping a toe into the proto-blogging scene with a fanzine dedicated to his idol, the never-seen baseball player Joe Shlabotnik.

Shlabotnik can be viewed as Charlie Brown's alter ego, should Charlie Brown's future-self luck into playing big league ball despite ineptitude that rapidly reels back whatever distance a hopeful heart may take him.

Prior to the time
of Charlie Brown's writing of the premiere issue, Shlabotnik had been sent down to the minor leagues and was presumably working at a car wash to supplement his income.

Substitute the word "print" with the phrase "upload" and the strip remains eerily hip and relevant 40 years later. Upon further reflection, given Charlie Brown's ink-pen disability, he no doubt would have been similarly challenged in sending a blog post to his PC's printer. Perhaps the strip remains technically timely and no change is necessary after all.

Charlie Brown dutifully details Shlabotnik's momentary lapses into mediocrity from his slavish dedication to sucking. As a fan operating as a niche journalist or historian, he pursues a true calling in publishing facts no one else cares about lest they be forgotten or misspelled. Misspelled like the autograph Shlabotnik once wrote on the ball he had hit into a superfluous bloop single. "I guess he was pretty excited about that bloop single..."

Hope springs eternal.
Good ol' Charlie Brown.

Yep. Eerily relevant 40 years later.


View this comic strip in its historical context here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Billy, Billy, Billy, suh-WING, Billy! Aug. 1977

Dear Lord, could one ever get as happy as Billy Carter during the first year of his brother's presidency?  We're guessing the lucky reporters who got the gig following him around ran a close second.  Not only would they get to share in his amusements, they got to share his reckless pearls with the readers as well. 

And in popping these pearls, like peanuts, they couldn't stop at just one:  he's drinking peanut likker 'steada beer cause he can't find the damn bathroom; Jimmah would be a better president if'n he'd listen to him; and Bert "If-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it" Lance -- dipped in corruption colors at the time -- was the best man in Washington, bar none.  Barring none would also include his brother, of course.  Aw, hay-uhl.  Did Ah say that? 

Look at that smile, would you?  And that's even knowing when his wife sees him huggin' and kissin' wif Miss Peanut Lolita he'll "probably catch straight damn hell!"

See this article in its historical context here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

John, I thought you said "MASSAGE," Jan. 1963

AP Wirephoto shot of Hubert Humphrey
saying "hotdog!" before the wind was taken from his sails and his blood stopped rushing.

The sea of black in the image gives one the impression of a "swinging" Humphrey, snapping his fingers while riding the Kennedy wave with his own "rat pack."

But alas, it is actually Speaker of the House John McCormack gesturing -- and not for the Madame of the House as Hubie was hoping for, but rather the cold shower of the press. Looks like George Smathers knew it was too good to be true: "Old Jawn" would never treat anyway.

See this article in historical context here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nix, nix on the Nixon kix, Nov. 1962

Here's the Associated Press dutifully reporting the infamous "won't have Nixon to kick around anymore" concession speech from Nixon's failed California gubernatorial run in 1962--including some shadowy, up-lit rapid fire photos.  Nixon really gave the press hell and it is funny. 

He takes them to task about covering his "flub" but not Brown's on the final day of the campaign.  Well come on.   Brown misspoke saying a Republican candidate was on the straight Democratic ticket, you said you were running for "Governor of the United States."  That's hilarious with no explanation required.

No doubt, some newsmen miss him everyday.

Click image to enlarge or view in its historical context here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

J'accuse, Jan. 1947

Now this is some crackerjack photojournalism.
  How could you not sell newspapers with story-telling pix like this? 

We have been told how newspapers used to stage events like this but it would never fly today.  Journalism has come too far and a reporter's objectivity is sacred.  Modern, conscientious reporting ethics would never countenance running something that didn't accurately reflect the news in its natural order of events just to make more money or manipulate an audience to advance a cause.  Heavens no.

All canards aside,
even today's tabloids don't run this kind of drama, either.  Cops video crews notwithstanding, do they even allow photogs into emergency rooms to cover the police beat anymore?  This item has all the makings of a beat photog installed at the area hospital, known by cop and nurse (not to mention some victims) alike, working the situation to register the highest degree of impact for the shot.  And maybe, just maybe, he got a little help from his friends.

Check it out.  Jimmy Wood, looking a lot older than his reported 21 years, is shutterbugged while literally fingering the knife man who slaughtered his big brother Logan on a streetcar.  Fredo in turn gives the textbook "Ah, ya mudder..." protest response.  Oddly, the casual detective type guy in the center is actually being held in custody, too. 

This is damn exciting stuff.  This single still black and white image is much more, uh, arresting than would be the hand-held video camera footage of a similar event today.

See this article in its historic context here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tiny Comeback, Sept. 1974

Pick a role for which Tiny Tim should make a comeback:  an overexposed freak-as-punchline who got married on The Tonight Show in front of 40 million viewers in 1969 or singer of songs playing ukulele the next year at the Isle of Wight festival before an audience of 600,000?  Either way, four short years later his waning celebrity was worth a magic night for some in a little Dearborn Heights, MI bar called The London Bridge.  Falling down, no doubt, much the same as Mr. Tim's popularity.  To think it all happened only a few miles from my house.

Click the image to enlarge or view the article in historical context here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Carter country, Sept. 1976

Candidate Jimmy Carter allowed many a hot (and easily justifiable) flip through the wild side with an interview in Playboy magazine.  This afforded many of us equally satisfying portions of titillation and righteousness with a side order of sharing the lusting in our hearts.  And then there were the pictures of girlies what ain't got no clothes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reagan lays it out, Nov. 1976

The great communicator makes the "morning after" post-election predictions, including his upcoming role.