Wednesday, March 03, 2021


Ever since I saw that 1959-vintage TIP TOP cover in some comic book history I sure wanted to get my paws on a copy of that mag which, during the Dell era at least, boasted original stories of some of my favorite comic strips that for some reason weren't being produced at a time when one would think there's certainly be a market for such wares! Talk about being born too late --- sheesh, thinking back alla them fifties-bred kids lucked out not only with comic books like these but funtime tee-vee shows, cheap candy and a general thrilling buzz about 'em where they knew they were livin' in one of the bestest times for anyone these past ten-thousand years! And here I was being force-fed UP WITH PEOPLE and pukka shells while my brain yearned for Tootsie Roll brand fudge and MR. ED reruns!

This collection certainly does fill the bill even though I woulda been much happier had I got it back when I was ten and there was very little out there to really tingle my nerve endings. Just think of it, stores featuring some of my all time fave comics collected in one humongous book capturing alla that late-fifties/early-sixties essence that made up my truly formative years, long before the specter of school and being forced into adjusted kid status had made my life the wreck it was and most certainly shall remain!

Ya get two NANCY stories per ish, one starring the gal herself and the other featuring Sluggo, a neat idea considering just how much those NANCY repro titles were raking in the cash ever since the forties. John Stanley's artwork sticks close enough to the Bushmiller mode at first though you can see the deviations coming what with the introduction of Sluggo's next door neighbor Mr. McOnion and the artwork slowly gravitating towards a less-original style. Sagas are pretty good though although the use of minor NANCY characters you hardly saw such as Nosey Rosie and Lucky Charlie (not to mention the fact that Rollo the Rich Kid is portrayed as a spoiled brat belying his more genteel comic strip persona) might not settle well with Bushmiller purists. Hardcore NANCY lovers should go for it despite the occasional differences.

I've already talked about the PEANUTS comic book back when I wrote up that collection of these comics, though serious fans should note that I found a couple that didn't make their way into that effort. Serious fans please do take note.

As for THE CAPTAIN AND THE KIDS well, alas the original strip as well as its doppelganger THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS have seen better days, and the anarchic feel of those classic early strips is nowhere to be found in these extended romps. Sheesh, I know that Dell Comics did not subscribe to the Comics Code and believed in self-policing, but it wasn't like those classic World War I-era comics that were appearing in the earlier reprint title were that far off the bad taste meter! Sheesh, if only they woulda done a story where Hans und Fritz burned down the school with the teacher  padlocked inside only to get the standard horse-whipping by der Captain until the two were but a mass of ground chuck! Yeah, just like inna good ol' days!

It's yer cherce, and a good 'un for those of you who still thrive on old Amerigan ranch house pre-teenbo culture missing the days of summer vacations and snowed in winters tryin' to have some kick up yer feet fun while wiling away the hours until the GILLIGAN'S ISLAND reruns come on. And really, you can't do much better in re-living your blubberfarm days'n getting hold of this book, unless you just happened to find that NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC pearl diver issue that you thought was lost for good and nobody's home and well...


Little Eva Braun said...

Dell comics are good comics.

In fact, Dell and Gold Key produced the only good comic books, with the exceptions of Kurt Schaffenberger's work at DC, and CC Beck's work at Fawcett.

(There might, possibly, be an exception here or there. Possibly.)

The rest? Trash. Rubbish for the mentally feeble and the morally bankrupt.

Change my mind, faggot.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Howzbout "Busy" Arnold's Quality Comics. Mind changed yet, dyke?

Little Eva Braun said...