Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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Jeff of Earth-J said:

Harold Gray takes a couple of days to address his critics, vicariously through Annie, who complain anonymously to the newspaper that “the comics aren’t funny anymore.” 

 The term "comics" always seems to confuse the general public into thinking that true comics should be funny. We seem to be stuck with this.

Before comic conventions became well known, I arrived at the hotel in San Diego and the parking attendant asked me to tell a joke. He thought it was a convention of stand-up comedians.

I think the "topper" strips ran on Sundays, but were only the size of a typical daily strip.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Is that an eponymous daily strip? 

The date of the strip you posted in June 12, 1960. I didn't think the "toppers" were running that late, but that date was a Sunday, so I guess it is one.

While not every comic strip had one, "Toppers" (for lack of a better term) were always Sunday accessories available to local newspapers.

Some papers ran them as part of their accompanying strip, others as a separate feature, but the practice did end in the 1960s as the comics began to shrink in size.

Even the Sunday Funnies of today are a mere fraction of their former selves, size wise.

If there are any Topper collections available, I'd love to hear about them.

Ah, the things I learned and recall from The Comics Buyers Guide...

In 1960 I was 12. I think I remember toppers that were not part of the main strip. Today if they have them they tend to be throw-away panels of the main strip. Dick Tracy has its tribute to first responders. Spider-Man has it's rotating introductory panel, which is huge.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

The date of the strip you posted in June 12, 1960. I didn't think the "toppers" were running that late, but that date was a Sunday, so I guess it is one.

I read Rex Morgan MD online. It seems to have throw-away panels at the top of the Sunday strips. I guess an editor can choose to pay for fewer different strips if they fill the page with the entire strip and its topper, if there is one.

The only "topper" I remember from my lifetime (1963-present) is "Cicero's Cat", which ran above "Mutt and Jeff" when I was tiny.

Shutter, Vol. 2: Way of the World
Joe Keatinge, writer; Leila del Duca, artist; Owen Gieni, colorist; John Workman, letterer
Image Comics, 2015

Read the first volume of this so long ago I had to go back and review. Not sure it was entirely necessary, as this arc goes off in so many crazy directions that recalling anything beyond some of the characters hardly matters. Adventurer Kate Kristopher and young newly-discovered brother Chris fight valiantly against more surreal creatures, but are taken prisoner and meet Kate's evil sister Kalliyan. Turns out the sister needs Kate to operate a dimensional portal, which takes them into a dreamscape. There is a fun classic comic homage "Little Kate in Slumberland" (after "Little Nemo"). It turns out the family is part of an ancient Illuminati-like group called Prospero that has always controlled mankind's destiny. Kate is having none of it, and next thing she knows she is in a Venetian canal with no memory of who she is. Clearly the story is not going anyplace linear; there's no telling what the next installment will be like. One intriguing thing here is a recurring "call me Chris" motif, which makes me wonder if there's not some sort of time travel involved--maybe young Chris is actually Kate's father? I'm wondering if I want to continue with the series. But there are five collections--did anyone here stick with it?

Royal City, Vol. 2: Sonic Youth
Created, written & illustrated by Jeff Lemire
Image Comics, 2018

After ranging over the entire history of the Pike family in the first volume, this installment takes place in 1993. It focuses on the Pike siblings as Tommy Pike's last week unfolds. I confess to being a bit confused at first: Tommy manifested in many ways earlier in his family's memories, often as a young child. So it wasn't clear to me that he had died as a teenager. In any case, it is clear that the situation was far more complex than the rosy memories portrayed earlier. Tommy was a loner who did not fit in at school; he was dealing with a possibly serious health problem which had been causing intense headaches; and his siblings are looking like they may have been complicit in his accidental drowning. We also see his father having difficulty at work (and starting to collect antique radios); his mother beginning her affair with her old flame; and Tommy having sex with his brother's ex-girlfriend. Definitely complicated, and a far richer back story than the first volume described.

Dick Tracy’s “topper” was Cigarette Sadie.

Popeye’s was Sappo.

Flash Gordon’s was Jungle Jim, an adventure strip in its own right.

During WWII, Hal Foster ran “The Medieval Castle” serial across the bottom of the page in case subscriber papers wanted to drop it due to paper rationing; reportedly none did.

POGO: Several weeks ago, I left off with Four Color #105 (APR 1946). Now I would like to pick up with Four Color #148 (MAY 1947), which contained six Pogo stories. I’m trying to finish all of the Pogo comic book appearances so that, by the time I’m caught up with Little Orphan Annie, I can transition over to Pogo comic strips. (Maybe.) But I still have four and a half volumes to go (the last of which hasn’t even been published yet). Speaking of Annie…

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE – JULY 1931: Warbucks is released from the hospital. He refuses to go to a school for the blind because he is reluctant to accept more charity. He looks up Flophouse Bill, who we learn is a ward boss and owns a string of flophouses. Bill doesn’t put “Mr. Oliver” in with the general, population, but offers him a cot in his own room. Bill admires Warbucks and even has pictures of him on the wall, but he doesn’t recognize him. Bill continually praises Warbucks (who he has never met), which bolsters Warbucks’ ego. Bill eventually figures it out, but Warbucks asks him to keep the secret; he wants to keep a low profile while he rebuilds his business.

The two become business partners. Bill puts up his savings ($10K) and invests in an office building. Bill will have the front office, and Warbucks’ office will be hidden behind a sliding panel. Warbucks shaves and buys a new suit, but he cannot yet afford his trademark diamond stickpin.

Meanwhile, Annie finds an abandoned toddler who she names “Cleopatra” (“Pat” for short). Annie takes charge, determined that Pat will not be sent to an orphanage.

In three weeks, Warbucks has run Bill’s $10K investment into $500K. Mr. Bullion (the banker who refused to help Warbucks when he needed it), works for J.J. Shark. Shark is in the midst of a scheme short-selling stocks to manipulate the market. Warbucks is buying up as many shares as he can afford and hopes to gain a controlling interest in the open market and beat Shark at his own game.

OOPS!

That should have been FORMER instead of formal in my last post.

Sorry.

fixed it for you

Lee Houston, Junior said:

OOPS!

That should have been FORMER instead of formal in my last post.

Sorry.

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