Friday, March 30, 2012

Click for Q&A with Batman Lennie Robinson. 20/20 is doing a feature on Robinson next week.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012
The Three Stooges at Atlantic City's Steel Pier in recently discovered rare 1938 color film. Music by the Abe Lyman Orchestra.

This film was made by George Mann of the vaudeville comedy dance team of Barto and Mann, and he also appears in the film along with his wife, Powers Agency model Barbara Bradford. When this film was made, the Stooges were appearing on the same bill at the Steel Pier with Barto and Mann.

For Mann's beautiful film noir-styled photos of Barbara Bradford, go here.

Barto and Mann in Broadway Through a Keyhole (1933), also with Abe Lyman music.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Walt Kelly drew these cartoonists in 1967.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012
Spain on Che

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When I published The EC Fan Bulletin in 1953, Bill Gaines probably expected something a bit more classy. He realized it could be done better, so he did a slight upgrade on my title and began planning his EC Fan-Addict Bulletin. Perhaps anticipating my reaction to seeing my publication and title co-opted, overwhelmed and subsumed, he appointed me Contributing Editor. His ploy worked, and I congratulated myself on this amazing turn of events. I was no longer just EC Fan-Addict #503.

The New York publishing world was begging for the writings of a high school kid in East Texas! It was so exciting, I jumped on my Whizzer motorbike and rode five miles at top speed. When I calmed down, I sat at the Royal typewriter and dashed off several pages, which I immediately mailed to Bill Gaines. However, when his first issue arrived, it turned out to be nothing more than a single sheet promotional newsletter with no room for my ravings. No matter. The Royal was hungry for more words, and I could feed it.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Too late to celebrate Jack Kerouac's birthday (3/12), here are some coffeehouse characters I drew in the early 1960s.

Jerry Yulsman photos shot in 1957 outside the Kettle of Fish Bar in Greenwich
Village. For more from the same session, click Yulsman label at bottom.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Mad staff in 1963 (clockwise): publisher Bill Gaines, contributing editor Nick Meglin, art director John Putnam, editor Al Feldstein, Leonard Brenner (production), Nelson Tirado (subscriptions) and associate editor Jerry DeFuccio.

When I edited the Mad Style Guide in 1994, I gave George Woodbridge the assignment of illustrating the Mad Zeppelin. The notion was to facilitate any company that might choose to manufacture a model kit. Previous depictions in the magazine were too sketchy or lacking in smaller features. Woodbridge delivered these drawings showing the Zeppelin from four different angles, so detailed that it even includes the nearby curious bird from two angles. The page also includes Harvey Kurtzman's hand with six fingers. As I recall, Kurtzman was disappointed that no letters arrived from readers who noticed the extra finger.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012
My current entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption competition.



Tom Conroy returns to talk about Doug Wildey (1922-1994).

A Walk on the Wildey Side

by Tom Conroy

This is Quincannon of Company C, samples for a full-page Sunday comic strip Doug Wildey tried to sell to the syndicates. Quincannon was his version of Warren Tufts' Lance strip. The syndicates were not interested. I knew Wildey when I was a teenager in Tucson, and he gave them to me in 1958 or 1959.

These three strips are 7 1/2 x 10 1/4 inch photostats that I had glued in a scrapbook nearly 50 years ago. When I first met Wildey he was drawing The Saint newspaper strip and was no longer doing The Outlaw Kid for Stan Lee, so I guess this was 1958/59. He showed me some of the Steve Canyon daily strips he had worked on for Milton Caniff. He drew the strip for about three months. His studio was filled with stacks of movie stills that he used for swipes. He bought them all while living in New York.

He gave me a couple original pages of art that I still have somewhere in this warehouse I live in. One is a drawing of Richard Boone from Have Gun Will Travel television show, which he also tried to sell as a comic strip. Another is a drawing of football players. He had done some artwork for a guy that printed programs for sporting events.

I visited him about a half a dozen times. and he always made me feel at home. He and his wife were really nice people. Wildey was a jazz fan and would drive to Phoenix when Art Farmer and others were in town. He always told me he was buddies with L.B. Cole, and when I went to New York to be a cartoonist I heard that Cole was an editor at Dell. On one of my hitchhike trips back to Tucson I called Wildey and told him where Cole was working. Wildey contacted him and got a job drawing one of those television comics. As I recall, it was The Detectives with Robert Taylor.

Doug Wildey was another one of those guys that got better with age. The older he got, the better he got. I think his Rio comics were some of the best Westerns ever done.

                                                                                                    © Tom Conroy

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Thursday, March 01, 2012
  Urban Mirage: John Pugh
John Pugh's mural in Bishop, California

For John Pugh's websites, go here and here.


Masquerade of the albino axolotls

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is the editor of Against the Grain: Mad Artist Wallace Wood (2003), reviewed by Paul Gravett.

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