Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BOOK REVIEW! OUR BOARDING HOUSE DAILIES DARIES (b&w) 1934 by Gene Ahern (Ecomics Space, 2016)

A guy like me who dug the 1927 gathering of OUR BOARDING HOUSE dailies reviewed ages back would definitely be game for any other sampling of prime Gene Ahern comicdom that may be available. Thus these '34 comics come in mighty handily what with more of that same ol' cornballus yet sophisto screwball humor that might have stymied a suburban slob kiddo like me age ten, but nowadays come off like the sorta comic reading manna I've been hunkerin' for these past few odd decades.

Some pretty tasty storylines here including one where Major Hoople actually has a remarkably surprising streak of gambling luck much to the surprise of boarders Mack, Clyde and Buster, not to mention his fortunes with a supposedly bunk goldmine that actually hits big. Of course a li'l bitta bad luck does reign into the otherwise boom-filled world of Hoople when his lookalike 'cept for the bald head brother Jake comes to town for one of his yearly mooch offs and tries suing the Major because Jake gave him the deed to the mine as collateral and wants what he thinks' a' comin' to him. And even the Major comes out on top on that 'un!

There's also a story brewin' where Hoople, on the advice of his odd jobs worker Jason, invests in a racehorse the Major names Dreadnaught not to mention the usual tall tales and even a few where nephew Alvin takes his violin lessons to new atonal heights equal to Jack Benny's workouts with Professor LeBlanc! Of course it's all a real sight to behold from the gag-infused dialogue to the old thin-pen style that looks as if each and every drawing took a good number of hours to complete what with the detail and other particulars just not seen these days. And although I've read a good portion of the 1935 strips via other collections and various clippings lying around well...just can't wait to read 'em again but you'll have to wait a few weeks to read what I think about THOSE...


Francis DiMenno said...

Oh fuck yeah!

rnigma said...

What is surprising is that the adventures of the Hooples and their boarders managed to continue till 1984... being an NEA strip, it languished mostly in small-town daily papers.
I might have mentioned this elsewhere - 50 years ago, a guy named Willard Manus wrote a novel about a young mensch named Norman Mott who identified with the Major and his misadventures... it was called "Mott the Hoople." The rock band that would include Ian Hunter took their name from that book.