Sis Boom Bah

We're back again. Here's R.C. Harvey weighing in on 94 years of Gasoline Alley, which now has multiple volume series collecting different eras of the strip. Who would've ever thought, just ten years ago? Anyhow, no matter how many times I read the basic contours of the history, it's worth it for these kind of bits:

King, according to the legend, held that anyone could learn to draw, and to prove his point, he bet a few of his cronies in the Tribune cartooning suite that he could teach the mailroom delivery boy, Perry, to be a cartoonist. According to report, he gave young Perry a pad and pencil and sent him out into the world to draw everything he saw. After a while, Perry could draw, and in 1926, King took him on as his assistant, from which lowly station, Perry eventually graduated to do the Sunday Gasoline Alley.

Much of that is true, but what is usually left out is that Perry, in addition to being the mailroom boy, was at the time helping Carl Ed on the Harold Teen comic strip; he was scarcely an untutored drawing novice. At the time Perry took over the Sunday Gasoline Alley, he was doing a Sunday strip of his own, Ned Handy, Adventures in the Deep South, which he’d launched in 1945 while continuing to assist King but gave up when he went solo on the Sunday Alley.


This article wins the "not-a-dream-not-a-hoax" award. I bet this not as uncommon a story as one would think. It's about an artist named Arthur Ashod Pinajian, who drew comic books in the 1940s and created "Madam Fatal, the first cross-dressing superhero, for Crack Comics", and then... read on.

Entertainment Weekly offers a substantial preview of Paul Pope's long-awaited Battling Boy graphic novel.

And two for the fun pail: Jim Rugg in on a serious roll. And our man Kim Thompson finds the naughty in Foster.