Tentacle Tuesday: The Whole Merry Menagerie

The tentacled well of funny animal insanity from the Golden Age is nearly bottomless. Just when I think I’ve more or less covered it all, some new goofy octopus cover that I have never seen before pops up, or an unhinged inside story swims by and waves a cheerful ‘hi there!’ with a free tentacle.

Never mind Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or Bugs Bunny. We have Supermouse, Dizzy Duck, and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny! Oh, and also the absurdly (even by funny animal standards) named Peter Porkchops.

This page from a Supermouse story was published in Coo Coo Comics no. 41 (September 1948, Pines Publishing); artist unfortunately unknown. For more (perfectly aptly titled) Coo Coo Comics, visit Tentacle Tuesday: Ha-Ha and Coo-Coo With Frolicsome Animals.

Next up, two pages from The Daffy Diver, published in Dizzy Duck no. 32 (November 1950, Standard Comics), artist once again unknown:

I promised some bunny action – but not the kind that springs immediately to mind! Enjoy this 2-page tentacled tussle in this Hoppy the Marvel Bunny story illustrated by Chad Grothkopf and published in Fawcett’s Funny Animals no. 5 (April 7th, 1943, Fawcett).

For dessert, two covers, because a man does not live on inside pages alone!

National Comics no. 70 (February 1949, Quality Comics). Cover by Gill Fox.
Peter Porkchops no. 14 (February-March 1952, DC); cover by Otto Feuer.

~ ds

Tentacle Tuesday: How Does That Grab You?

Today’s TT is like one of those 5$ grab bags: you don’t exactly know what you’re going to get, but there will at least one thing you’ll find amusing! Unless the store has cheapened out and stuffed it with nonsense nobody in their right mind would want. This offering, on the other had, is full of our favourite artists, and is not nearly as disparate as I first thought 😉

I don’t always have an over-arching idea for a post, inevitably ending up with plenty of odds and ends that don’t neatly fit into any one category. Actually, some of those “scraps” are the most enjoyable finds for me.

Feature Comics no. 71 (September 1943, Quality Comics). Cover by Gill Fox. The octopus-in-plumbing theme is an oldie-but-goodie; the undaunted housewife may yet regret her cavalier attitude towards the tentacled one, who probably wants to move in with his family.
Nicola Cuti‘s Weirdlings was a charming little ‘filler’ gag page designed and drawn by him. This one was published in Haunted no. 14 (Sept. 1973, Charlton).  I think the octopus, that appears to be still alive, would also prefer a good old PBJ sandwich.
Midnight Tales no. 11 (February 1975). Cover by Wayne Howard, who’s a Who’s Out There? (oh, all right, mine) favourite. Read my take on his art in Tentacle Tuesday: Plants Sometimes Have Tentacles, Too.
Archie’s Pal Jughead no. 77 (October 1961). Cover by, dare I say legendary, Samm Schwartz; revisit (or discover!) some of the nicest covers he has drawn for Archie Comics in co-admin RG’s post.
Al Jaffee Sinks to a New Low (1985, New American Library). Visit Al Jaffee: Snappy Answer to Many a Stupid Question for Who’s Out There’s take on this quintessential Mad Magazine artist!

= ds

Tentacle Tuesday: Splashing With the Octopus

It’s boiling hot in this part of the world, so I’d like to concentrate on soothingly cool covers for this Tentacle Tuesday. If we end up taking a dip in refreshing waters in our quest for relief from balmy temperatures, so much the better. Today’s roster brings us fashionable dames and their splashy encounters with octopuses!

Here’s the Queen of Fashions (and right now, queen of tentacles), and for once the cover doesn’t focus on her outfit – I understand it’s hard to wriggle out of a swimsuit while an octopus is holding your leg.

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Katy Keene was created by Bill Woggon, and introduced in Wilbur Comics no. 5 (1945). She was “America’s Queen of Pin-Ups and Fashions”, and readers were encouraged to submit drawings of outfits and other tralala such as designs for automobiles, boats, and whatever other method of transport Katy could glitter in. This is Katy Keene no. 60, July 1961, cover by Bill Woggon.

Mockery aside, I have nothing against Bill Woggon-era Katy – I like Woggon’s art, and the gentle humour of the stories is hard to dislike. After Katy Keene’s demise in 1961, she was eventually revived by Archie Comics in 1983. They should have let the dead rest in peace! Though several people were considered for the role of regular artist, that position went to John Lucas, whose style I abhor, recoil from and spit upon. I first saw his take on KK in those huge Archie digests you can get for pennies that reprint a bit of everything, giving readers a total pêle-mêle of different decades and different artists. I didn’t know who drew what at the time, but I quickly developed a preference for certain styles while finding others repellent… and John Lucas’ puerile art was top of my hated list, along with the half-arsed, anatomically asinine line-work of Al Hartley.

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Next, we have another beauty queen, although this time the stuff is quite a bit more risqué. It’s not for nothing that cataloguing websites classify Torchy as “adult” material. As for the octopus, it has impeccable taste, having determined that there’s no need to decide between blonde or brunette when you can have both.

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But Torchy, why are you wearing high-heel sandals in water? Modern Comics no. 97 (Quality Comics, May 1950). This is a page from « The Mermaid Gig », with scripted and art by Gill Fox. Fox took over from Bill Ward (Torchy Todd’s creator and writer) five years after her introduction, starting with Modern Comics #89 (1949). As far as replacement of Bill Ward, Fox did a truly excellent job, managing to preserve the mood and style of Ward’s stories. Read the mermaid tale (no more tentacles, sadly) here.

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Sometimes octopuses catch little girls, but occasionally a feisty little girl captures an octopus. Little Dot is going to be a handful when she grows up… but of course she never will.

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This polka-dotted octopus is a perfect catch for Little Dot in this soothingly green sea. Too bad the cephalopod fellow looks so disgruntled. He was probably in the middle of lunch or something. Little Dot no. 105 (June 1966); cover by Warren Kremer.

Those of you also inhabiting parts of the world where the weather has gone bananas (because it’s certainly hot enough for growing them in here), stay cool!

~ ds