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Rebecca Jansen
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Joined: 12 February 2018
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Posted: 05 November 2023 at 1:00am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

What are some of your simpler pleasures?

I just got into collecting some of the '90s Harvey Felix The Cat comics. They are mostly '50s reprints by Otto Mesmer and Joe Oriola. I'd say these would be suitable for ages five or so, very visual, and not a lot of dialog. I just like looking at them. I was wondering what else has there been along these lines from any era?

In more modern times I think Owly, Kitz n' Katz, and a one-off Yam comic by Corey Barba hit a similar all-ages note. Beanworld might require older reading skills or I'd include that; it looks simple but the concepts aren't really.

I had a Wheelie & The Chopper Bunch comic way back and I know I liked it, the characters were all very round, and of course the star had the extra visual of words on his windscreen for communication. I can't say if it was a Byrne issue or not, but it could've been; there was that roundedness feel after all which I also saw in Rog and Doomsday + 1 etc.

I had various Little Archie comics way back too, some reprints of '50s Bob Bolling... wouldn't know where to start on collecting those now however!

I'm thinking there must be some Popeye comics (not the classic old Segar strips) by Bud Sagendorf I should give a try next as I see Harvey put some of them out again around the same time as they were doing the Felix comics!

I really enjoyed the Gladstone Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse adventure story comics from when they started putting those out, highly recommended stuff in any format! This is where 'the mouse' overtook Felix as most popular cartoon critter I'm sure. Felix had the great wall clock but Mickey ruled the wristwatches!

In some '80s San Diego con books I would see some Alex Toth cartoon creations that looked amazing... simple but very unique... I wonder if he ever produced a lot of stuff like that which saw publication anywhere? I have a lot of Bravo For Adventure, but this was stuff was more in the bigfoot humor strip style.

Do you think there is still a place for really basic comic books that might appeal to little kids and sometimes also adults? I thought Dexter's Lab and Powerpuff Girls comics would've done well if that were true, but maybe it's just too hard to get comics back out of the specialist shop ghetto for actual kids to ever encounter them in an affordable format? Comics used to be part of a ladder in creating future readers. We had many different comic strips repackaged in paperback when I started reading; peanuts was at the top, later Garfield in those wider format paperbacks... and there were Kliban cat and Don Martin collections just in with all the other kinds of paperbacks most everywhere.

Kids do respond to simple characters like Hello Kitty, Minions, Mario and Miffy the bunny... but I haven't seen comics of those... they seem like that would be a natural fit however.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 05 November 2023 at 1:02am
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 05 November 2023 at 2:36pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I remember getting my kids some Simpson's comics when they around 8-10. I read a couple of them and they were entertaining.

Of the cartoons they watched, yes Dexter's Lab and Powerpuff Girls would be good one's, along with Invader Zim, Rocko's Modern Life and Fairly Oddparent's.


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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 November 2023 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Approaching my teens, and soon to be guided into more “serious” comic fare by the arrival of Marvel (new to me, anyway!) I nevertheless still enjoyed an occasional LI’L ARCHIE.* Before that I had been entertained by some of the Harvey publications. CASPAR, HOT STUF and the like.

——-

* I’ll admit to having been somewhat confused by Archie being dubbed “Li’l” when, in context, he had not yet been “big”.

(I was similarly puzzled by Superboy. It made sense, for the adult Clark Kent to adopt the name Superman, since that was a pre-existing word. But it required some retro-thinking to come up with Superboy.)

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 05 November 2023 at 6:09pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The Harvey comic I liked best was kind of an oddball in their stable: Sad Sack. There was something about most of the others that stylistically didn't appeal to me... maybe those upturned noses or the large heads... but I did wonder a bit as a kid about the iconography of a lot of scary stuff made cute: devils, witches and ghosts. Actually that part of it seemed pretty cool and I had at least one Wendy the Witch and a Hot Stuff and of course watched loads of Casper on tv.

Unlike with even Archie comics I've never seen past the style/formula on the Harvey characters... they look the same from the '50s onward regardless of artist... was there a Dan DeCarlo or Carl Barks there who was noticeably the best? I learned Ernie Colon worked there so possibly some of his stood out.

The Simpsons seems as good as it got for the '90s and '00s for an all ages hit and the Bongo comics seem well made (I keep meaning to try to get the Radioactive Man through the eras set at least). Again though, the style a bit like Harvey; seems cast in stone (post-Tracey Ullman Show at least)... would there be room for a unique artist to bring something to it? Still, Disney was capable of allowing Gottfredson and Barks to shine (and Walt Kelly a little too) even if uncredited originally.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 05 November 2023 at 6:12pm
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ron bailey
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Posted: 05 November 2023 at 6:39pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Calvin and Hobbes, hands down. 
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Darren Ashmore
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Posted: 06 November 2023 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Peanuts, Schultz was a genius.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 06 November 2023 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I've been a big fan of most everything Art Baltazar and
Franco have put put over the years.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 06 November 2023 at 1:47pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

"Peanuts, Schultz was a genius."

--

Before I started reading Superhero comics, Peanuts was definitely my thing. I remember taking a large Peanuts collection with me to summer camp and devouring it.
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 06 November 2023 at 1:48pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Archie comics from the 60s, 70s and 80s. I particularly enjoy the work of Dan DeCarlo, Samm Schwartz and Harry Lucey.

60s Beano comics.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 06 November 2023 at 6:17pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Peanuts, Hot Stuff, Calvin & Hobbes.

Used to read some of the overtly religious Archie comics when I was younger, before I knew any better. (The grocery store we shopped at when I was kid didn't care a lot of comics.)
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William Costello
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Posted: 06 November 2023 at 6:58pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Sugar and Spike (DC Comics), especially the full length stories in the mid to late 1960s.

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 06 November 2023 at 9:55pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Early Garfield, but Calvin & Hobbes won my heart from the get go.
There were loads of non super hero comics around such as Buster, Chips &
the usual Beano, although I never bought that one for some reason.
& then we had other comics like Warrior, Look & Learn (if that could be
classed as a comic), Look In (TV kids comic), Battle & Action (the most
violent comic around @ the time - made national TV for things like Hook
Jaw)
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