Friday, February 26, 2010

Flat Earth Theories

Today's strip background features the re-appearance of the "flat earth globe" from way back in December. The old Bakelite dial radio is an actual item in my house although it's proudly displayed in the dining area and not in the attic. I stretched the limits of my electronic soldering ability and managed to jerry-rig it so I can play my iPod through the speaker. It's really the only way to listen to Cab Calloway and early Duke Ellington.
 Sorry to say I've no interesting or amusing anecdotes about the toaster. Yet another reason for it to feel abandoned.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Animated Kat

There have been several attempts to animate Krazy Kat over the years. The earliest Krazy Kat silent shorts were produced by the Hearst Corporation in 1916. George Herriman was not involved in the project and the characters bear little resemblance to the originals.

In 1925, animation pioneer Bill Nolan (who animated Felix the Cat) and Charles B. Mintz took control of the Krazy Kat operation for Colombia and did a series of shorts that bear very little resemblance to the Herriman Krazy Kat. Krazy has a girlfriend and a pet dog and a magic flute.

King Features produced 50 "Krazy Kat" cartoons from 1962-1964, most of which were created at the great Gene Deitch's film studio in Prague. The Deitch shorts were made for television and have a truer connection to the comic strip. The backgrounds are drawn in a similar style, and Ignatz and Officer Pupp are both present.

Oddly, the earlier black and white animations of this series were much truer to the Herriman spirit than the later color versions.

Best of the bunch is this animated Krazy Kat is this 1996 3D tribute. It was directed by Derek Mogford and produced by Spitting Image Productions for King Features in 1996. It's all but perfect aside from the fact that Krazy Kat is male.

Of course what all of these are lacking are the Herrimanesque elements that make the comic strip so unique. The complexity of the plots and characters have been simplified to the point of being mundane, the visual creativity is lost and no one has even attempted to use the Herriman's unique verbal mix of Yiddish, English Spanish and Creole. All this of course just reinforces the greatness of the Comic Strip and underline how difficult it is to faithfully capture it in any other medium.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yeah! Striptoonified!

Today's Rabbits Against Magic strip is "Best Comic Strip of the Day" on the  Striptoonist Blog.  Looks like I'm in pretty good company.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gato Maluco

This strange Portuguese Krazy Kat comic was a memento from my recent trip to Brazil.  It appears to be a translated version of the Dell series that was published in 1952.  While it bares little resemblance from the Herriman original it is pretty well drawn and reminds me a lot of the Tom and Jerry comics that came out around the same time. My internet sleuthing uncovered an English version that the good folks over at The Big Blog of Kids' Comics kindly scanned in.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Japanese Ukulele Rabbits

U900 are my new favorite band.  They are a crocheted rabbit and bear surf ukulele duo from Japan.  They have a new single "Diamond Head" a cover of the surf instro classic and a homage to the Oahu peak that can be seen from Waikiki beach. To cap it all they sling some melodica riffs in there. If that's not enough for you there's a great cover of Walk Down Run over on the YouTubes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random Carmen Miranda Trivia #2


"This was the most celebrated still picture in Hollywood as WW II began. It was reproduced by the thousands, and drove Cesare Romero up the wall as everyone would yell at him across streets, restaurants and other public places to say: "Ain't you the star of Carmen Miranda's latest picture?". It was shot at Ciro's Restaurant, on Press Photographer's night by a man innocently trying for a different angle by lying on his back on the floor. He got it!! This was before pantyhose, obviously, and went all over the world."

You can see the uncensored NSFW photo here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stocks are Down

Oh there were so  many fun "times" I could have picked for this one. I went with the tomatoes and the stocks.  Reader "goodquestion" over on GoComics quipped that they could have made a V-8 Ball which had me writhing on the floor with great mirth.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Huba Hubba Magic Rabbit

I'm not sure who did this excellent rerto Zatanna Zatara illustration but it knocks the socks off the DC superhero version.  According to the Wikipedias, her species is Homo Magi although personally I think she must be part Playgirl.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What the Puck?

Since the Winter Olympics in Vancouver are starting on Friday I figured I would run an appropriate strip that day.  I'm not really much of an athlete beyond casual bike riding and pick-up games of soccer in the park so you must understand I really went out out of my way for this one.  Here's the uncolorerd version:

Today I opened the newspaper to see that Hillary Price over at Rhymes With Orange had done pretty much the exact same joke!  
Or is it?  Sure there's hockey and ice-fishing but the context is slightly different. We are obviously on the same wavelength since something similar actually happened a while back when both our strips ran a jaywalking joke the same day.

So now I have a dilemma. Do I go ahead and still run the strip?  Is it too similar?  Is it even funny?  If anyone is actually out there reading this blog, please let me know what you think.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pineapple Head

Another in my ongoing series of Carmen Miranda-related comic strips.  I really *really* wanted to have the punchline say something about him looking "a trifle silly" but this is apparently (and rather inexplicably) a phrase that has yet to find common usage among my fellow countrymen of America. 

Large Magic Rabbit Sculpture

From the Bunny Blog, a large magic rabbit outside a magic store in Vienna.  It means nothing to me.

Super Rabbit

Oh those glory days of kiddie comics.  I really enjoyed this episode of Super Rabbit # 3.  It was drawn and created by Ernie Hart. In everyday life, Super Rabbit was a mild-mannered newsbunny or shoeshine bunny (sound familiar?) named Waffles. When trouble arose, Waffles would rub his magic ring (hmmmm) and transform into a big, strong roid-raged superhero. From the blurb "And lest the evildoers he subdued have any doubt as to who it was that brought them to justice, Super Rabbit didn't confine himself to a mere initial, like most of the super guys — he had his full name written across his chest". There are some full *very* high resolution scans over in the Cartoon SNAP! archives.

Friday, February 5, 2010

3D-Pixel Rabbit

Great pixel art from Dutch artist Metin Seven over at Seven's Heaven.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rabbits Against Desert Island Jokes

Vietnamese Canadian cartoonist Tak a.k.a. Thach Bui who draws the excellent PC and Pixel produced a strip today featuring a rabbit who has more reason to be against magic than most

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rabbits Against Hypnotoc Dream Visions

Taschen, the German book publisher that specialists in those glossy coffee table books has just released a 670 page history of Magic 1400s-1950s.  It's actually almost as large as a coffee table at a staggering 20.5 x 12.9 x 2.9 inches and despite the generous 37% discount it still retails on Amazon for $126! However, it looks amazing and not an abused rabbit in sight.
Tip of the hat to La Bitacora de Maneco.

Rabbits Against Cocomalt

Cocomalt was some sort of powered vitamin that mothers added to milk back in the 1930 and 1940s. As unappetizing as that sounds, they did produce the awesome  Cocomalt Book of Comics in 1938 which featured work by such notables as Will Eisner (The Spirit), Charles Biro (Airboy, Daredevil), Fred Guardineer (The Durango Kid) and Jack Cole (Plastic Man). The Cole's Comics blog has the full scoop including some hi-resolution scans.

One Year on GoComics

Has it really been a whole year already since my humble strip launched on the UClick GoComics website?  Apparently 365 strips later the answer is yes.  Congratulations to Steve Skelton over at 2 Cows and a Chicken who launched the same day.  2 Cows is one of my favorite strips. A careful examination of the background will reveal some of Steve's characters (used with permission).

Monday, February 1, 2010

Random Carmen Miranda Trivia #1

While her natural eye color was green,  Carmen Miranda had a large yellow birthmark on her left iris.  She was apparently very conscious of this until her early mentor/composer/guitarist JosuĂ© de Barros pointed out that her eyes were the actually the colors of the Brazilian flag.

Ladies in Red

This is the last of my Brazil photos [huge cheer erupts]. There's not much to say about this photo other than I promised Tashiana (right) that I would post it on my blog.