Sunday, May 22, 2011
TURKISH DEBUT OF KATZENJAMMER KIDS
'The Katzenjammer Kids', considered by many as the first proper US comics strip, arrived in Turkey with almost a four decades delay. Above scan is of its Turkish debut in no. 66 (dated July 31st, 1937) of the weekly children's magazine Yavrutürk. Retitled as 'Tosunla Yosun [Tosun and Yosun]', the Turkish edition was traced in b&w with the speech balloons deleted from the panels and supplemented with extra-panel texts (the source of the Turkish edition might be French albums by Hachette which is known to have reprinted American strips in similar re-formatting) which is especially unfortunate as 'the Katzenjammer Kids' was one of the earliest strips to utilize speech balloons.
In 1914, 'the Katzenjammer Kids' had been cloned by its original artist Rudolph Dirks when he had lost the rights of the title to publisher Hearst in a court case: While Dirks featured the same main characters in a separate untitled strip, eventually titled as 'the Captain and the Kids', for the rival publisher Pulitzer, Hearst continued 'the Katzenjammer Kids' with a new artist, Harold Knerr. Both strips continued seperately for several decades (the Hearst version is still continuig today). The Turkish edition is of the Hearst/Knerr version as it features the supporting characters private tutor Miss Twiddle (referrred simply as "teacher" here) and her niece Lena (renamed as Fatoş and referred as the teacher's daughter), both of which were created by Knerr in 1936 and hence utilized only in the Hearst version. Yavrutürk no's 66-73 ran gag-a-week episodes of 'Tosunla Yosun', each gag being about the kids' mischiefs against their tutor and/or her niece. A five-part continuity titled as 'Tosunla Yosun Dünya Gezisinde [Tosun and Yosun in World Trip]' started in no. 74 with the kids embarking on a balloon voyage where they utilize a sea tortoise as their engine:
The second episode came in no. 76 (no 'Tosunla Yosun' page was published in no. 75, as well as in no. 77) when the kids steal away the food of a native who shoots down their balloon in revenge:
and chases them to an island:
On the island, the kids and another shipwreck rescue a baby ape:
and the island's apes help them in repairing their vehicle:
No 'Tosunla Yosun' pages were published in the next three issues of Yavrutürk after the end of this mini-adventure, but a stand-alone gag appeared in no: 84:
In 1938, several gag-a-week episodes featuring some child guests appeared, probably beginning with the below one from possibly no. 92 (the issue no. and date is missing from the tattered copy I have in my collection):
Further gag-a-week episodes with these new supporting characters appeared in no.'s 96, 97, 99 and 104 (my Yavrutürk collection from 1938 is incomplete, so a few more episodes might have been published); if anyone knows their original names, please let us know.
No 'Tosunla Yosun' pages were ran in Yavrutürk in 1939, but, inbetween three issues with color editions in back covers in 1940 (see below post in this blog), the below half-page appeared in no. 216 (dated June 1st, 1940):