Screwball Sunday: A Double Bill: Holman’s “Smokey” and “Spooky”

Smokey Stover and Spooky, August 8, 1936 For a while, Bill Holman’s silent Spooky topper strip enjoyed as much space as his top, um, Bill-ed star: Smokey Stover. Readers in 1936 were treated to two fine comics, each a celebration of nutty, over-the-top comedy. Today’s Screwball Sunday comic comes from Smokey Stover’s first year of […]

Cause for Celebration! The Complete CORTO MALTESE by Hugo Pratt is finally available in English!

“Simultaneous waves of joy and sadness surround Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese: Mu – The Lost Continent,” says Jeff Vaughn at Scoop. “There is good cause for celebration in that this dreamlike, frequently surreal installment of the adventures of Pratt’s title figure and its excellent new translation by Dean Mullaney and Simone Castaldi. The remorse that […]

Screwball Sunday: Ving Fuller’s Doc Syke Meets a True Son of the Beach

Doc Syke – July 8, 1945 I have a friend who is a family doctor and we occasionally meet for coffee. Once, in perhaps a not-so-subtle hint, he told me how acquaintances tended to solicit free medical advice, to his great annoyance. After silently changing my mind about asking him to look at a little […]

Screwball Sunday: Professor Hamsniff Goes One Down and Two Across in Ahern’s “Squirrel Cage”

The Squirrel Cage July 4, 1937 by Gene Ahern Poor Ches and Wal. When they aren’t torturing each other with corny and surreal jokes in the panels of Gene Ahern’s sublimely ridiculous comic strip, The Squirrel Cage, Ches and Wal are deeply annoyed by the presence of other eccentrics in their proximity. Usually their foil […]

Screwball Sunday: Frederick Opper Tears Down the Presidential Candidate, Screwball Style

“Puck’s Life of Garfield”by Frederick Opper (Puck, September 8, 1880) Politics can certainly be pretty screwball. In fact, one of the primary antecedents to screwball comics is the political cartoon. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the comics Frederick Opper created for the Puck weekly. In today’s Screwball Sunday comic, I’ve selected a wonderful […]

Screwball Sunday: Hoban’s Non-Heroes: “Needlenose Noonan” and “Dis-Continued Stories”

Below: Dis-continued Stories/Needlenose Noonan by Gus Mager – December 9, 1934 There’s a lot of guff to lamp in this four-color fish wrapper, to briefly speak in the breezy, slangy style of Walter Hoban’s inept lawman. Hoban created Needlenose Noonan at the end of his career. With about a quarter of a century of experience […]

Screwball Sunday: A Publishing War on Main Street — Gus Mager Caught in the Crossfire

Main Street by Gus Mager – July 22, 1923 Why did Gus Mager create a syndicated Sunday comic page that looks so much like George McManus’s Bringing Up Father? Although no record has been found of Gus Mager stating that Main Street was ever meant to emulate—and at times lampoon—the flagship strip of King Features […]