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Category Archives: Comics

Bad Movie Alert

The OscarIt is my civic duty to inform everybody of two intriguing bad movies coming up on Turner Classic Movies. Sure, you can always catch a screening of Lawrence of Arabia or the umpteenth showing of Father of the Bride, but how often does one get to see The Oscar (1966)? TCM will be showing it this Monday at 11 p.m. EST, introduced by Bill Maher. I can remember seeing bits of this Hollywood potboiler on the TNT channel way back in the day, and I can’t wait to check out the whole enchilada. This one begins with an actor (Stephen Boyd) at an Oscars ceremony, reflecting on his past as he awaits whether or not he’ll win the Best Actor award. It also stars Elke Sommer, Milton Berle and Tony Bennett (one can picture Bennett’s agent saying something along the lines of “Trust me, Tony, this’ll make ya a big time movie star!”). At least seeing it will at last illuminate SCTV‘s parody The Nobel, with Catherine O’Hara doing a perfect, cross-eyed Elke imitation.

As if that weren’t enough, TCM will also have the notorious 1980 musical The Apple on their schedule later this month. Probably hoping nobody will notice, they have it set for a 2:00 a.m. EST showing on the morning of Saturday the 21st. Personally I can’t vouch for the quality on this one, about an international music making competition set in the far-off futuristic era of 1994. It could either be fabulously awful like Xanadu or painfully awful like Can’t Stop the Music.

Oh, and another reason to live — a new Two Bunnies and a Duck! Click on the TWC button on the right to vote for my little baby.

Bunnies, Comic #8

Two Bunnies and a Duck has been updated with a strip paying tribute to the manga comics I look at all day. If that doesn’t elicit a giggle, how about an Onion news report touring a historic “Blockbuster” video store museum? (via Hacking Netflix)

We’re #3,584!

A new Two Bunnies and a Duck has been posted; currently ranked #3,584 at TopWebComics.com!

That ‘Screen Saver’ Look

A new Two Bunnies and a Duck hatched today … and now for something completely different. I was rearranging shelves in my bedroom yesterday and came across a few stowed-away items that have been saved since my first computer came into my life in 1992. First is the sheet of Apple Computer decals which came packaged with my Mac IIci machine. Very rainbowy. Second are a pair of items from Berkeley Systems, makers of the popular-in-the-day After Dark screen saver. An ad for More After Dark carries all the hallmarks of clunky early desktop publishing — including a garish color gradation. Finally there’s a brochure where one could purchase a variety of After Dark attire, modeled by the fashionistas pictured below. Flying toasters away!

After Dark Collection

Two Bunnies #4

A new edition of Two Bunnies and a Duck has been posted. Kinda gross, but a lot of humor is based on grossness, doncha think?

By the way, we just completed almost a full day of planting and removing different vegetation from our yard. I have just one gardening observation: Ruellia sucks. Don’t plant unless you like things that spread like weeds and leave dozens of densely packed stalks in the ground when you try removing them.

Book Review: Jackie Ormes

Jackie Ormes book coverI love it when a book exposes me to an event or person that I’d previously known nothing of. This happened recently when a friend sent along an email linking to an article on Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist. This book grew out of author Nancy Goldstein’s interest in a doll modeled after one of Ormes’ comic characters. What emerged from that little pique is this multifaceted portrait of a vivacious lady who channeled the excitement of mid-20th century politics and social issues into her own jazzy drawings.

Actually, cartooning made up only part of Ormes’ life story — between 1937 and 1956, she had a hand in four different comic strips in between stints as a reporter, community volunteer and social hostess on the Chicago scene. Her best-remembered comic was Patty Jo ‘n’ Ginger, a single panel weekly which ran in the black-oriented Pittsburgh Courier in 1945-56. It starred Patty Jo, a smart-mouthed little girl whose beyond-her-years wisecracks often startled her mute yet smartly dressed older sister Ginger (the fashionable Ormes modeled Ginger after herself). Although the strip looked innocuous enough on the surface, Ormes used the Patty Jo character to caustically speak on current issues ranging from segregation to the HUAC Communist witch hunts to Dior’s “New Look” fashions. Around the same time, Ormes also drew a full color romantic saga titled Torchy In Heartbeats, a series notable for its independent Afro-American herioine and Orme’s lush drawing style (a distinct improvement over Patty Jo ‘n’ Ginger‘s cute but often stilted compositions). Goldstein also devotes a chapter to the highly collectible doll based on Patty Jo.

The book itself is a nice and thorough summary of Ormes’ life and career. My only complaint is that Goldstein’s text often detours into unnecessarily long passages giving context to the times she lived in. On the other hand, I did enjoy her paragraphs describing the often obscure topics covered in each Patty Jo ‘n’ Ginger panel. Ormes’ comics are presented in the best possible way, despite many of them only surviving on grungy microfilm reels. All in all, with this book I was left with the impression of getting to know a fascinating lady who lived in a fascinating era.

Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist is published by The University of Michigan Press. Buy it at Amazon.com here.

Jackie Ormes Patty Jo ‘n Ginger Spread

Jackie Ormes Torchy In Heartbeats spread