Wednesday, July 01, 2015


No, I didn't buy the second volume of the Bobby Young POPEYE comics yet, and frankly I doubt that I ever will! My precious and overabused (overwrought?) psyche is being battered enough these days without me having to PAY to have it battered even more, and given how """""I""""" as a proud suburban slob am being attacked from all quarters because I go to work and wipe myself after every dump (or even when I just feel moist down there) why should I be a masochist about it and have to sit through a storyline (mainly the one dealing with a couple of priests who think that Olive is getting an abortion when in fact she just wants to dump her Bluto doll) that's more or less out to attack my own personal opines and values no matter how much Bobby London doth protested.

In its stead I decided to snatch up the second (and last) volume of early BLONDIE dailies, something that I thought I would never do in a millyun years. But hey, I've been known to do even stranger things with the gift cards that Brad Kohler sends me for Christmas so why not snatch this neato book up while the snatching's still good! And besides, you KNOW that there ain't gonna be any abortion talk in this particular collection...heck, in fact Blondie herself doesn't even show a baby bump when she leaves home to give birth to son Alexander if you can believe that! She doesn't even tell Dagwood she's knocked up and heck, she didn't even tell him why she was leaving home in the first place leaving the poor guy (and us readers) full of woe!

Totally strange (other'n for dramatic effect true), but at least it is a switch on the old thirties movie device where these old fogies somehow believe that their post-menopausal wives are gonna have babies when you kinda get the idea that those guys couldn't even get it up in the first place!

But this second volume is a good one, something that a comic stripped obsessed ten-year-old me woulda loved to have owned back when I was carefully studying the evolutionary drawing styles of everyone from Chester Gould to Chaz Schulz with a finer eye than I could ever hope to have now. Only back then there weren't any really ambitious projects like this goin' 'round and even if there were, do you think my folks woulda dished out the $$$ to get me any???

Starting with the Bumsteads' honeymoon, these comics show the slow but sure transition from the original serio-comedy strip to the domestic setting that lives on 'til this day. Having been cut off by his millionaire folk, Dagwood soon gets an office job even though the actual appearance and identification of boss Julius Dithers is a few months down the line (and at first he seems like a pretty nice guy, not the kind who would kick, fire and rehire Dagwood repeatedly). The Woodleys are also around this early in the suburban game along with an infant son who later becomes a daughter before disappearing altogether. And yes, even at this point in the strip Blondie is becoming a bitch par excellence nagging her new husband incessantly as well as accusing him of cheating on the flimsiest of pretenses.

The appearance of son Alexander (nicknamed "Baby Dumpling" which is something I always associate with my now-deceased aunt who fondly remembered these early comics, though for me the name only made me hungry) certainly was a boost to the strip's overall popularity (daughter Cookie was quite a ways off), and even this early you can see the origins of many of the same themes, gags and props that continue in the strip to this day. The Dagwood sandwich, Dagwood in the tub, the same bed they still sleep in (it takes awhile before Dagwood is sleeping on the left side, and the infamous alarm clock has yet to appear), Dagwood late for work and other situations can be espied here in their earliest forms, and somehow I feel a whole lot more important and intellectual seeing the origins of these long-running situations than I would looking at dinosaur turds at the museum.

Too bad this series has come to a close because I wouldn't mind reading a whole lot more, in fact the entire Chic Young run well into the early-seventies even though the creator had little if anything to do with the comic for years (bad eyesight, y'know). Well, there are all of those other IDW titles just begging for my bucks, though I sure wish they'd hurry up and get the next batch of NANCY dailies out as well as some of those ARCHIEs that continue to take up a good portion of my evening pre-beddy-bye time. And hey, maybe if they went and reprinted some cheap anti-intellectual strips 'stead of the important to comic history ones (like some boss fifties/sixties FRECKLES)  I'd be buying these titles more often 'n not! I may be a man of intellect and taste, but there's still this fat fanabla inside me just waiting to bust out and read the funny pages whilst spread out across the parlor floor.


Anonymous said...

Hey Chris,Youtube got a bucket load of BLONDIE films if that tickles your fancy, in good quality too...nice.


Christopher Stigliano said...

Mike-Gotta say that the Blondie mooms (or at least the ones I've seen) weren't exactly up my alley, though I like the TV series from the fifties (I would like to give the 1968 version another try some day., But thanks for the info anyway!