Wednesday, October 13, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! THE EARLY YEARS OF MUTT & JEFF BY HAM FISHER, EDITED BY JEFFREY LINDENBLATT (Nantier * Beall * Mimoustchine, no date given as to year of publication!)

Being an olde tymey comic strip fan I gotta admit that the few twenties/thirties vintage MUTT & JEFFs that I have read were of superb quality and funny enough to warrant quite a few hosannas from this corner. The Sundays that were done during the Golden Age of strips taking up an entire page with all sortsa fun crammed in were on par with most all of the other greats competing for the attention of kiddoids nationwide, while the humor was quite on-target enough to elicit at least one of those "I'm laughing --- in here" pointing to throat with index finger that Mr. Kotter's prospective manager hid behind a stone face. 

But really, I gotta admit that these early examples from the strip's run are dryer than the Sahara or my sense of humor, take your pick. Yeah, I know that a lotta these early comics could get rather one-beat and lose their joke after a very short period of time (I mean, think of that one-gag classic FOXY GRANDPA which kept on despite repeating the same gag over and over) but these M&J's can become rather predictable and even dareIsay dull what with some cornballus yet staid dialogue resulting in a rather fizzled punchline and usually a beating at the hands of Mutt. 'n really, I hate to write this (I do!) because when compared to the strips of the here and now these comics are vastly superior from the fine-lined artwork to even the gags themselves --- I mean, when was the last time YOU saw an honest to goodness laughable or even smirkable for that matter joke presented in the present day comic section! Intentionally that is. For all intent purposes these early strips have the current crop heat all hollow, and while I'm at it I suggest that you keep up with the M&J reprints that pop up on Gocomics daily. Those can get to be a real hoot sometimes.

Comic strip historians (if there are any left who could bear what has happened to the page between the classifieds and department store ads) will probably lap it up, but for my current bowel moving distractions I'm relying on some old BEETLE BAILEYs I discovered in the room. No actual har-de-har-hars with those but they were engaging enough to occupy my privy time. 

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