Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In Which Adam Learns Something About Comic Strips of Yore

From Action Comics #113, we have a rather surreal moment where the reader is discouraged from reading Superman stories in the future in this.... Superman story:

See??  It isn't just me!  Superham is boring.

My brother, if you think being Superham is boring, try reading Superham.

Anyway, that's the kind of story where I'm surprised no one stopped to say, "You know, we're basically calling our golden goose boring."  I mean, in this story Superham hypnotizes himself to be without powers for 24 hours, which is fine, but what about next issue when he back to his typical overpowered self?  Hmmmm?  Hmmmmmm?

Hey!  It's time for some Fun with Out of Context Dialogue! (tm!):

Oswald's standards changed with the times, recognizing the quality of employee churned out by the modern public educational system.

Speaking of whippersnappers, I gave myself a little come-uppance.  Check this out:

Okay, fine.  It's an ad.  I can work with an ad.

Famous comic strip people, you say?  I readied my poison pen, as I had never heard of these folks:

So, before I embarrassed myself (or rather, waited for one of you to call me out for being an idiot), I did a little research.

Harold Teen was a comic strip that ran for 40 FREAKIN' YEARS!

Yes.  40.  4-oh.

It had the usual merchandising stuff... toys and pins.

Oh, and not one, but two film adaptations, not to mention a radio show.

I am an idiot.

I cringed as I did a little further research on some other characters from the ad:

Yup.  I'm an even bigger idiot here.  The Gumps ran for 42 years.  It was also the first comic strip to kill off a major character.  Sadly, the creator of the series died on the way home from signing a contract that made him very wealthy about halfway through the strip's run.  Films, radio... there's a statute in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin of Andy Gump, for crying out loud!

I kind of gave up on the comic strip page many years ago.  I thought that I had seen the golden age of comic strips, having spent my formative years with Bloom County, FoxTrot and Calvin and Hobbes.  And those were amazing strips.  But 40-plus years?  Folks, I am humbled.

Real funnypaper folks, indeed!

See you tomorrow!


MarvelX42 said...

Look what I saw in the store today.

Adam Barnett said...

HA! That's all kinds of awesome!

Smurfswacker said...

PLUS Andy Gump gave his name to a line of portable outdoor toilets, which survives to this day. I've never found out how that happened.

googum said...

Read about four months worth of your posts today.

So. Much. Fun.


Adam Barnett said...

Welcome, googum! Glad you're here!

And Smurf.... well, it looks like it's time for me to hit Google Images!

Smurfswacker said...

I Googled Andy Gump toilets and learned the company got its name in the most prosaic possible way: its founder was named Andy Gump.

The company got its big boost "during the post-war building boom when California passed ordinances requiring portable sanitation on construction sites."

Here's a link to their history page. I found it interesting (until the Prince William stuff, which automatically puts me to sleep).

Adam Barnett said...

Good stuff, guys! Thanks!

-- MrJM said...

Sure that guy was a closed-minded, Kryptophobe in 1947, but we've grown beyond that.

We need to keep our prejudice in check -- otherwise the next thing you know, we'll be saying Superman should stay in solitude inside a fortress deep in the arctic.

-- MrJM

MarvelX42 said...

They also have Magnum P.I., Miami Vice, some other comic characters, etc