Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two Gifts for You!

I like occasionally sharing with you interesting things that I find as I scale the internet, and today is your lucky day! These two items both have their roots in comic strips, but their tentacles reach outward toward comic books and video and even fine art.

First Gift

Returning readers of The Hayfamzone Blog might recall that Mutts by Patrick McDonnell is my favorite of all the current newspaper strips. And, as you might expect, Mutts has an internet presence with a site seemingly maintained by Mr. McDonnell himself. You can investigate the page here. But my gift to you goes much deeper than that! I found a feature nestled in the website in which Mr. M. explains that the title panel of Mutts on Sunday is usually an homage to a design from the world of comics or fine art. With one click you can see side-by-side the Mutts panel as printed and its inspiration, including but not limited to images related to Action Comics and Flash Comics and Dick Tracy and Popeye and Salvador Dali and even The Hulk. Yes! Just go here and start clicking!

Second Gift

One of the earliest icons of newspaper comic strips was Krazy Kat by George Herriman, dating all the way back to 1913. Here is a nice-looking website devoted to all things Krazy, but my main focus today is on KK's forays into animated cartoons. Here is a 1916 Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse cartoon and here is the better-known 1960s take on the characters. Put a comma right here. Other, less concerned blogs would pat you on the head right about now and send you on your way home, but not The Hayfamzone Blog! No, no. All of the preceding was mere prologue to what I feel is the most striking and compelling of all the adaptations of the Krazy Kat world; wait until you see this!

Gift Within a Gift

As I was wrapping your second gift, I got to thinking about the shared history I have with Krazy Kat. My earliest introduction to KK was the 1960s animated cartoons, but my first viewing of the original Herriman strips was in Golden Funnies in the mid-1970s as published by Alan Light of Comics Buyer's Guide fame. (I still have my subscription copies of Golden Funnies, of course, although I haven't looked at them for over thirty years.) Well, I started digging around on the internet and guess what? I found a YouTube video interview with Alan Light from 1982; to put a time-stamp on it for you, that's the year that Alan hired me to draw for The Buyer's Guide and this interview is about 1.5 years before Alan sold TBG to Krause Publications. As you watch the video here you probably won't be able to help wondering if this parade of gifts from me to you will ever end.