Wun Fun Mundae

This fun doesn’t come until Wednesday.

Wednesday is a very important day! It’s the day Animation Resources is launching its Member Appreciation Month. This year’s event is extra important, because this year marks our 10th anniversary and our 50th Reference Pack!

In honor of all this, Animation Resources has pulled out all the stops to share with everyone the treasures in our archive. Here are the things you’ll be able to see beginning on Wednesday:

• We have prepared two huge downloadable e-books with a sampling of the best of the e-books in our fifty RefPacks. Totaling over 550 pages, these two books will be available for download by the general public.

Animation Resources covers animation, book and magazine illustration, gag cartoons, comic strips and more.

Scroll through their archives and see why we’re excited about these forthcoming e-books.

Lum and Abner Anniversary

© The Estate of Chester Lauck, Jr. and Donnie Pitchford

Donnie Pitchford celebrated his 600th Lum and Abner comic strip page this past weekend!

Strange Changes

© Vic Lee

February began with Comics Kingdom switching Pardon My Planet by Vic Lee from its usual horizontal panel to a vertical panel as January 31 turned to February 1.

Even stranger was Bizarro at the same time did the opposite, going from its usual vertical to horizontal on February 1st. But Bizarro has reverted back and The Kingdom has changed last week’s comic strip formats back to the traditional comic panel format. Pardon My Planet continues vertically (so far).

Hägar Holiday

© King Features Syndicate

Hägar the Horrible celebrates his 50th birthday this week with the original Dik Browne strips.

The Popverse has details:

Hägar will turn 50 on Saturday, February 4, 2023, 50 years to the day since his first comic strip by creator Dik Browne was published. Following Browne’s retirement in 1988, his sons Chris and Chance have taken the reins of the series, with artists such as Gary Hallgren.

But for Hägar the Horrible’s 50th anniversary, they are stepping aside for the original to return. From February 5 through February 11 the daily Hägar the Horrible will be – for the first time ever – re-running the series first week’s woeth of strips. Then on Sunday, February 12, the original first strip – which the Browne family and King Features says has never been republished since 1973 – will be reprinted worldwide.

50th Anniversary Hägar Wear is available.

Dondi Letterers

© Chicago Tribune/Tribune Content Agency

Irwin Hasen had been an artist for National (DC) comics and its sister company All-American Comics since the early 1940s, and in the 1950s, he was working on one-page humor and longer stories for many DC titles in many genres, including romance, western, science fiction, and war, where his stories were sometimes lettered by Ira Schnapp. I think Hasen visited the DC offices frequently, and the idea that he would have asked Schnapp to design the logo for his first comic strip, DONDI, in 1955, was an intriguing one. I located a large scan of the original art for the first Sunday strip, above, including that logo, and found something that surprised me. The strip was lettered by Gaspar Saladino! When I finished my overview of Gaspar’s career, I said there was bound to be more work by him out there not yet identified, and here was some!

Todd Klein identifies Gaspar Saladino, Ira Schnapp, and Ben Oda as Dondi letterers through the years, explaining their individual quirks in laying downs the words on the strip.

Reading the Copyright Page

For those who are unused to determining the printing of a book, there’s a trick to it. In the old days, on the copyright page (which is traditionally in the first few pages of a book, but in the case of these Be More books, is in the back), you’d see a simple listing like “Third printing…. December, 1959”, and that would be clear information. These days, you are more likely to see something like this:

Nat Gertler reads the copyright page … and it ain’t your Daddy’s copyright page.

header illustration via Comic Book Plus