Thursday, February 04, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! BLONDIE #210 (Charlton Comics, October 1974 issue)

I tend to know all of my comic books like I know the pimples on my ass, but I forget where I actually got this particular effort! I think it was part of my Christmas gift from Bill Shute, or did Brad Kohler send it to me? Or was this in my collection for ages only I just happened to pull the mafaga out due to abject boredom? Who knows, and who cares because I have another comic to read on this Sunday afternoon and if anything out there can take my mind off of the misery and degradation that passes for life these days it's a good ol' comic book from the BZ ("Before ZZZZZZZ") era.

Well, this particular effort didn't exactly do that, but it sure did help pass the time swell. Back during them serious comic book collecting days of mine I never really got into the whole range of Blondie/Dagwood titles (originally popping up under the Harvey flagship before sailing off to Charlton), though I was tempted to pick up the 200th anniversary edition of BLONDIE comics that had just hit the racks at Dimoff's in Sharon right smack dab during the height of my passion for these 20-cent wonders. However since I only had a measly two dimes to spend and I hadda make a good choice of it the money went to one of those Marvel gigundo monster titles that still tingle a little pre-pube feelings in my soul, those of the MONSTERS ON THE PROWL variety featuring the Kirby/Ditko/Heck bullpen right before the advent of the Marvel Age of Comics. Maybe I'll try tracking that particular BLONDIE down one of these days in order to give my life "closure" like I did with that Civil War Centennial issue of LIFE WITH ARCHIE I wrote up on this blog about ten or so years back.

This particular ish of BLONDIE woulda made for some good teenbo reading if it had only made its way to my abode then, It naturally was a good way to kill some time (as I have been doing my entire existence) before headin' to the john with that pearl diver issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC I had hidden under the mattress. It's a pretty snazzoid effort as well considering that it was worked up at a time when the funny pages and comics in general had that hard-edged undercurrent to 'em (even---especially so-called kiddie titles like NANCY and FERD'NAND) that almost gave the legit comics every bit of a snide air as NATIONAL LAMPOON. Let's just say that if you were front and center for BLONDIE in the daily paper these comics wouldn't let you down that  much if any at all.

I gotta admire artist Paul Fung Jr's abilities to mimic the Chic Young style. His father Paul Sr was the guy who took over Young's DUMB DORA after Young left it for BLONDIE, and I will fess up to the fact that I like his approximation of the original style a lot better'n I do Young's work himself. More floral with the flapper-era gals looking even more feminine and sexier'n what Young was comin' up with. Jr ain't as delicate as his father's but he sure does his subject matter proud along with the stories which are purty much extended Sunday pages that maybe go on a bit longer'n necessary. But if I hadda choose between this and anesthetic-free hemorrhoid surgery...

The usual BLONDIE tropes are trotted out as if lifelong readers would expect anything else, with such situations as Dagwood being late for work and getting into violent fits with next door neighbor Herb getting run through the wringer once again. Of course you expect it, want it and perhaps even crave it. Surprisingly enough one of the long-discarded by the daily devices is still in effect here, mainly the large litter of puppies birthed by Daisy who I don't think have even been mentioned for about sixtysome years, 'n its sure grand knowing that they haven't been run over by some car or sold off like your mean uncle told ya!

One neat surprise is Fung Jr's revival of his father's DUMB DORA Sunday topper entitled WHEN MAMA WAS A GIRL. The original theme was fitting for the thirties, what with a situation from a gal's turn of the century life was contrasted with her daughter's way less feminine and more brusque behavior under similar circumstances. Oddly enough, though the Sunday page featured life a good thirtysome years earlier, Fung Jr. decided to do a side-by-side of Victorian-era happenings with those in the then-current seventies making me think the new comics shoulda been called WHEN GREAT-GRANMA WAS A GIRL

I find Fung Jr.s efforts especially pleasing in this particular portion what with a more fine-pen look that recalls the way comic strips used to look during the birth of the medium. Oddly enough, the seventies counterpoint has a sort of decadent sleaze look to it, as if I were watching a comic book version of a then-current "R" rated movie only without the swearing and the suckems. Sheesh, who woulda thunk that even seventies decadent sleaze could find its way into a nice 'n wholesome title such as this!

As Bill Shute said, "comics are your best entertainment value", as if you'd even THINK of watching Netflix rather'n spend a good half-hour reading an old BLONDIE comic!


debs said...

lol totally retarded :)

Bill S. said...

That was probably included in my last Xmas package to you----unless it was in my package to Brad from the year before, and then HE "re-gifted" it to you.


Alvin Bishop said...

Chris, you'll excuse me if I stick to Modesty Blaise? (Chuckle!)