Spinning The Wheel of Comic Strips

-> Celebration of Life and Cartooning

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — In less than a month from now, people will gather in Sioux Falls to celebrate the life of Hagar the Horrible cartoonist Chris Browne, who died earlier this year at the age of 70. Browne’s death came on the 50th anniversary of the comic strip that his father created. A fellow cartoonist from Sioux Falls is helping organize the celebration of Browne’s life, which will take place on May 20th. Ken Alvine is optimistic about the future of cartooning, even though another of the industry’s giants is gone.

Chris Browne and Ken Alvine; photo via Argus Leader (?)

Perry Groten, for Keloland Media, talks to Ken Alvine about Chris Browne and cartooning.

Alvine foresees a bright future for cartooning, even though the nationwide decline in newspaper and magazine subscriptions offers fewer opportunities for the public to read comic strips. Alvine says a new generation of tech-savvy cartoonists will bring their talents to the internet and comic books, while drawing their inspiration from the likes of his longtime friend, Chris Browne.

-> Monsters on the Prowl

When I read Tuesday’s Wallace the Brave my first thought was Serendipity by Stephen Cosgrove and Robin James

But then I thought it was closer to the creatures from Walt McDougall’s Good Stories for Children, which would be an apt title for Will Henry’s comic strip or any book collection of the same.

-> The Dark Side

The Far Side is far from the darkest comic around, but Larson’s appreciation for nature “red in tooth and claw” does give it a certain edge that longtime fans can immediately identify. In the case of this Far Side comic however, the joke couldn’t see print until Gary Larson took his first version of the gag and found a way to make it even darker.

© Gary Larson

Robert Wood, at Screen Rant, takes a page from Gary Larson’s The Prehistory of the Far Side about dark humor.

However, there was one occasion where an editor turned down a Far Side comic, only to gladly accept it for publication after Larson made it even darker.

-> Circulation

Yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange could easily be adapted to Mike’s column today.

© RWO Studios

-> History

Monte Schulz wants to set the record straight about his father, the late “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz.

He said that David Michaelis’ 2007 biography “Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography” was largely a work of fiction.

© Peanuts Worldwide

WTOP News talks to Monte Schulz about his father Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.

“I don’t know why David Michaelis and Harper Collins decided to portray Dad as this distant person who didn’t have friends and wasn’t involved in his kids’ lives, but it was completely false…”

-> The Twist

© Darrin Bell

Darrin Bell leads down a serpentine path of logic in Candorville.

-> Superheroes

April 28 was National Superhero Day. I don’t know how they came to decide on that day. Was it planned or just coincidence that it is Lee Falk‘s birth day? For his The Phantom is often celebrated as the first superhero.

© King Features Syndicate

No less authority than the Guinness Book of World Records yesterday issued an item confirming it.

Premiering in 1936, [The Phantom] is officially the first comic-strip superhero ever created.

Of course that would mean ignoring The Phantom Magician who first appeared the previous year.

© AP Features

The Phantom Magician helped others, was in a costume, and was masked.

Lee Falk’s earlier (1934) Mandrake the Magician was, except for the mask, the same.

© King Features Syndicate

Bill Blackbeard named Popeye as the first superhero ever. It’s hard to argue with sequences like this from 1929:

© King Features Syndicate

Some go back to 1902 and Hugo Hercules who is renowned for helping damsels in distress.