On the comics page

Today’s Zippy, a meta-comic about where Zippy is located on the comics page:

The first comic strips mentioned — Crankshaft, Buckles, Marvin — are relatively recent ones, but then Zippy recalls vintage strips, and Charles Bukowski surrealistically appears.

(In my daily comics feed on-line, Zippy appears between Rhymes With Orange and Mother Goose and Grimm.)

The references:

Crankshaft is an eponymous comic strip about an elderly, curmudgeonly school bus driver which debuted on June 8, 1987. Written by Tom Batiuk and drawn by Chuck Ayers, Crankshaft is a spin-off from Batiuk’s comic strip Funky Winkerbean. (link)

Buckles is a comic strip by David Gilbert about the misadventures of an anthropomorphic naïve dog. Buckles debuted on March 25, 1996. King Feature’s Syndicate: “More of an only child with canine instincts than he is the family pet. Buckles can display all the charm…of a small child discovering how to find his way through life.” (link)

Marvin & Family is a daily newspaper comic strip created by cartoonist Tom Armstrong and distributed in the U.S. by Hearst’s King Features Syndicate. It debuted in 1982. It revolves around the life and times of a young baby boy named Marvin, his father and mother, Jeff and Jenny Miller, and their dog Bitsy… Prior to 2013 the strip’s name was simply Marvin. (link)

Gasoline Alley is a comic strip created by Frank King and currently distributed by Tribune Media Services. First published November 24, 1918, it is the second longest running comic strip in the US and has received critical accolades for its influential innovations. In addition to inventive color and page design concepts, King introduced real-time continuity to comic strips by showing his characters as they grew to maturity and aged over generations. (link)

Polly and Her Pals is an American comic strip created by cartoonist Cliff Sterrett, which ran from 1912 until 1958. It is regarded as one of the most graphically innovative strips of the 20th century. It debuted as Positive Polly on December 4, 1912 in William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers, initially the New York Journal. (link)

Moon Mullins, created by cartoonist Frank Willard (1893–1958), was a popular American comic strip which had a long run as both a daily and Sunday feature from June 19, 1923 to June 2, 1991. Syndicated by the Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate, the strip depicts the lives of diverse lowbrow characters who reside at the Schmaltz (later Plushbottom) boarding house. The central character, Moon (short for Moonshine), is a would-be prizefighter — perpetually strapped for cash but with a roguish appetite for vice and high living. Moon took a room in the boarding house at 1323 Wump Street in 1924 and never left, staying on for 67 years. (link)

Happy Hooligan was a popular and influential early American comic strip, the first major strip by the already celebrated cartoonist Frederick Burr Opper. It debuted with a Sunday strip on March 11, 1900 in the William Randolph Hearst newspapers, and was one of the first popular comics with King Features Syndicate… The strip told the adventures of a well-meaning hobo who encountered a lot of misfortune and bad luck, partly because of his looks and his low position in society, but who did not lose his smile over it. He was contrasted by his two brothers, the sour Gloomy Gus and the snobbish Montmorency, both just as poor as Happy. Montmorency wore a top hat and monocle but was otherwise as ragged as his siblings. (link)

Henry Charles Bukowski (born Heinrich Karl Bukowski; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”. Regarding Bukowski’s enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.” (link)

Little Orphan Annie is a daily American comic strip created by Harold Gray (1894–1968) and syndicated by Tribune Media Services. The strip took its name from the 1885 poem “Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley, and made its debut on August 5, 1924 in the New York Daily News. It ranked number one in popularity in a Fortune poll in 1937… The plot follows the wide-ranging adventures of Annie, her dog Sandy, and her benefactor Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks…The strip attracted adult readers with political commentary that targeted (among other things) organized labor, the New Deal and communism… Following Gray’s death in 1968, several artists drew the strip and, for a time, “classic” strips were rerun… The strip’s popularity declined over the years; it was running in only 20 newspapers when it was cancelled on June 13, 2010. (link)

One Response to “On the comics page”

  1. On cartooning | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Frank King and Gasoline Alley were discussed on this blog here. […]

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