Today’s feature is Aubrey of the Tenements, by J.M. Conde. Beautifully rendered and thoughtfully premised, the strip concerns itself with the mischievous antics of a parrot and a cat who have been transplanted from tenement slums to palatial comfort. The first couple of strips show the pair in their former digs and tells how they came to be adopted into high society, while the later entries mine a formula where the jerkfaced parrot tries to mess with the cat, but Aubrey manages to come out on top. It’s a situation that would be reworked endlessly thirty years later in cartoon shorts, but it’s put to good use in this turn-of-the-(last)-century treat.
Archive for November 28, 2012
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Baum and Denslow are back, possibly for the last time. Enjoy.
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Happy belated birthday, Auguste Rodin!
The funnies are pretty much built on a solid foundation of insanity: we’ve got screwball characters who defy reason and logic for the sake of a punchline and explicitly tetched characters like Krazy Kat. But in all the annals of comicdom, I don’t think that there’s a comic that portrays pure, horrifying madness like Hans Phildius’s Dad in Kidland does.
I’ve long held a personal belief that children are, in fact, clinically insane by any reasonable definition. They have imaginary friends, they act without rationality, they have no control over their emotions… I don’t hold it against them, really; it’s not their fault they’re crazy. It’s just something you’ve got to grow out of. Dad in Kidland is as perfect an illustration of this idea as I could ask for, as it’s based on a simple conceit: what if adults acted like children? When the behaviors of children are attached to grown-ups, the pure craziness of childhood is lain bare for our enjoyment.
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That last post really put me in the mood for some more Uncle Sam as envisioned by Winsor McCay, so I dropped a bunch of editorial cartoons into the McCay archive. Click on the one above and move forward from there (make sure you don’t miss your Uncle Sammy facing sharks in his awesome star spangled bathing suit!)