Thursday, January 1, 2015

Permalink for The John Stanley Bibliography E-Book Purchases

I have some new posts to do here, but I didn't want to obscure anyone's chance to purchase the 1960s John Stanley Bibliography. It's priced at $4.99. Here's a PayPal payment button:


You can also buy it, bundled with the earlier 1940s Stanley bibliography, for six dollars. To do so, choose this button:

If you want to purchase only the 1940s volume, for $2.99 USD, look to your immediate right.

These files will be sent to you via Dropbox.com, which offers high-speed downloads that work well. You'll receive your files as soon as I get word of your payment! Please be sure you have a correct e-mail address so I can send the files to you PDQ!

This link will sit here, above newer posts. Thus, I won't have to run sales-pitches into the body of the regular posts. Please enjoy the other posts on this blog, and if you're interested to know more about the artist and his work, these resources are available. Thanks!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fun For Sale: Two New Publications!

This has nothing to do with John Stanley, save that one of them is comics-related, and the other traffics in a curious sense of absurd whimsy. Perhaps you'll consider purchasing one or both.

First up is The Dark Carton, a refinement of a surreal-dada private eye novel I wrote, in weekly installments, for a weekly giveaway called Capital City, published by Walter Dodd in my hometown of Tallahassee, Florida.

Written on-the-fly, in the wee hours of the morning, this book might be described as "Raymond Chandler meets Twin Peaks," if I were a Hollywood sharpie doing an elevator pitch. Considering that it was written in 1987, well before David Lynch's cult-favorite TV show, one might say that it was ahead of the curve.

Years later, I re-typed the original chapters, from the faded newsprint versions, and added several new sections, as they suggested themselves--again, very much on-the-fly.

An art professor at Florida State University asked me, back in the day, if I wanted his help in getting this book published. A callow know-it-all of 23, I of course declined his kind offer. Many years later, as I realize what a sap I was no say no, I've published the darn thing myself, in the hope that it may amuse and confound the millennial masses.

An informative essay would make it appear that this confection really was published in 1940. You be the judge. Even I'm not sure anymore...

Available on CreateSpace and Amazon.com, The Dark Carton can be had in both print-on-demand paperback and e-book download. This link will take you to the Amazon page, where you can preview the book.

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Over the past few years, I've put together chronological compilations of some of my favorite early comics material. I've shared these with friends, and have been encouraged to offer them, for a nominal sum, to others. My latest effort is a collection of the first half of Basil Wolverton's run of his classic, hard-to-find "Powerhouse Pepper" series of the wartime 1940s.

I've written an introduction, offering my views on Wolverton's work, and where it fits into the comics universe. This 151-page e-book, available in CBR or PDF formats, is a mere $4.50, and can be purchased over at another of my comics blogs, Comic Book Attic, at this link. You'll find links to some other comics comps done by myself and by Paul Tumey. Perhaps you'll find something of interest among those, as well.

It's wonderful that we can self-publish. The hard part is getting the word out. Hence, this post. I hope this isn't an intrusion, and that you'll find one or the other of these efforts worth your while. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Post-Mortem Post 001: Sluggo goes Peanuts: two super-obscure Stanley stories

I warned you that I'd come back, from time to time, after "officially" ending this blog. As I make new discoveries, or find new information that either confirms or corrects my past presumptions, this blog will remain on life-support.

If/when I complete and publish the John Stanley bibliography for the 1950s, it will consist of 11 years of stories. Near the end of that era come two small surprises from a semi-likely source.

For years, I've suspected that Dell's
Peanuts series might hold some John Stanley material. No one had bothered to scan these comics and share them on the web until last month. Said it before, saying it again: kudos to the folks who scan old comics and remove them from obscurity and inaccessibility. Their work is a powerful help for today's comics scholars.

In a just world, Stanley might have been assigned Charles Schulz's characters, rather than the cast of Nancy and Sluggo, in 1959. Schulz understandably wished to keep the comic book version close to home. His friends Jim Sasseville and Dale Hale wrote and drew the new material, in the spirit of the mega-popular daily strip. You can read an interview with Dale Hale about his work on the Dell Peanuts title HERE.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stolen Snacks, Balloon Boys and Hallucinations: the last Little Lulu one-shot, 1947

As has been evident for the last year-plus, this blog is winding down. I've said pretty much all I have to say on John Stanley, short of a larger study, such as a book.

But with no visible interest in the publication of a book on Stanley, this blog is the testament of my years of thought and detective work. Perhaps Michael Barrier's forthcoming study of the Oskar Lebeck-edited Dell Comics, Funnybooks, will change this apparent apathy. Time will tell.

To complete a series on this blog, here are the three stories that comprise the final one-shot Little Lulu comic book (#165 in the Dell Four Color series), with a publication date of October 1947.

This issue would be followed quickly by the first official bi-monthly edition of Marge's Little Lulu. That short launch time speaks to the popularity of the Lulu one-shots. Carl Barks (and other artists) did 25 Donald Duck one-shots before Dell committed to a regular numbered series, four years later.

The Disney character was, arguably, a more potent commercial property than Marge Buell's magazine cartoons, but the decisions of publishers, then as now, remain a mystery.

Team Lulu is in great shape throughout this last trial issue. Charles Hedinger provides finishes to Stanley's script/pencils. John Stanley's understanding of the character of Tubby comes into sharp focus in the first two stories. All that remains is the entrance of artist Irving Tripp to complete the winning formula.

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Indaboopadilly!" (or "Baby, It's Cold Inside"): John Stanley's Last "Tom And Jerry" Story of 1946;Our Gang Comics 22

John Stanley's first run on his first regular comic book series, "Tom and Jerry," ended abruptly in early 1946.

The runaway popularity of his "Little Lulu" comics, still part of Dell's one-shot monthly "Four Color" series, took its toll on Stanley's other comics efforts in this year.

Stanley stuck with his New Funnies features through 1947, as other writers and artists were phased into his shoes. He would return to Our Gang, in 1948, for a brief but brilliant second act that remains one of comics' hidden gems.

His first departure ended a remarkable trifecta of talent in Dell's Our Gang Comics.

For roughly a dozen issues, lucky wartime comics readers got a knockout combo of Walt Kelly, Carl Barks and John Stanley with their purchase of this ten-cent comic. They also got Charles Hedinger's "Flip 'n' Dip," which approached the high level of this work with its sharp drawing and keen knockabout wit.

As with Stanley's work for New Funnies, the "Tom and Jerry" stories are a mixed lot. With this post, all of his first run of significant Our Gang stories are available on this blog. Some of them are little masterpieces; others betray late deadlines, disinterest or a bad hangover.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

John Stanley Would Have Been 100 on March 22nd...

...and I'd be a cad, a bounder and my typically forgetful self if I didn't note this here!

To celebrate, here is a never-before-seen piece of John Stanley art, courtesy his son James. This was a sketch for one of the new pieces Stanley did in the 1980s. As James said in a note to me, "too bad it wasn't finished off in color." I agree.

That said, I always find joy in John Stanley's rough drawings. His pencil line has great energy and character.

Here it is...

With irony noted, this post occurs on Carl Barks' birthday.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Tom and Jerry" from Our Gang Comics 11: Ghosts and Seamen Never Mix

The picking have become decidedly slim here, and posts fewer and farther-between. In scraping around for un-posted odds and ends, I hit on this six-page story from 1944.

One of the few "Tom and Jerry" stories not already featured here, it's written and drawn by Stanley, who also did his highly distinctive lettering.

Throughout John Stanley's comics career, he did good stories and bad ones. In the latter, he either wasn't having a good day, was racing against the deadline clock, or just didn't care.

More of these stories exist than we'd like to believe. They are part and parcel of the commercial comics business.

Mainstream print is slapdash and panicky by its very nature. Ultimately, what matters most is that something is on every page of a newspaper, magazine or book. That content doesn't have to be good. It just has to be.