Saturday, May 28, 2011


Above scan is of a detail from the cover of no. 39 (dated Oct. 31st, 1939) of Britain's Mickey Mouse Weekly featuring the non-Disneyic comics characters Skit, Skat and the Captain created by the British comics artist Basil Reynolds for MMW alongside regular Disneyic characters in an illustration by MMW cover artist Wilfred Haugton. The full image of the cover is below:
Later in 1936, Haughton, who had been drawing the covers of MMW since its inception, also began a series titled 'The De(f)tective Agency!' featuring Goofy and Toby Tortoise as private detectives. Reynolds' characters made a cameo appearance in this series as well, in no. 50 (Jan. 16th, 1937):

Thursday, May 26, 2011


British comics artist Basil Reynolds' Captain character from his (non-Disneyic) 'Skit, Skat and the Captain' series which he drew for Britain's Mickey Mouse Weekly between 1936-1940 had made a cameo appearance in a Yugoslavian Mickey Mouse comics published in 1936: He appears in the 25th part (see above scan, taken from outducks archive) of the 'Donald & Mickey - A Trip: New Adventures' serialized in Mika Mis no.'s 32-56.
Reynolds' Captain's cameo in this Yugoslavian comics was first noticed by inducks indexer Mankkop in 2010. Actually, 'Donald & Mickey - A Trip: New Adventures', probably drawn by Yugoslavian comics artist Vlastimir Belkic, utilizes even more material from from MMW: For instance, the sea dragon which appears in part 4 is traced from a non-Disneyic gag, probably again the work of Reynolds, in MMW no. 4 and the tiger in part 19 from the 'Ted Towers' comics, of US origin, serialized in the early issues of MMW; I am sure that a patient examination would lead to identifying most of the figures in most of the panels to be traced from somewhere in MMW.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


'Felix the Cat', the biggest star of early American animation, had been adopted to the newspaper comics medium in 1923. Felix comics debutted in Turkey in the weekly children's magazine Yarutürk in 1936, retitled as 'Kara Kedi [the Black Cat]'. Published in monochrome on either the reverse of the back cover or on the back cover itself, the earliest Turkish editions of 'Kara Kedi' were reformatted with speech balloons deleted and text material added beneath the panels (scan of a sample from this period was earlier posted in this blog). 'Kara Kedi' appeared in this format in Yavrutürk till no. 125. When it resumed at the reverse of the back cover of no. 135 (dated Nov. 26th, 1938) with a new continuity titled 'Kara Kedi Gemici [Black Cat the Sailor]', it was not only in proper comics format with speech balloons and no text outside the panels, but also in color (see above scan), marking the first time a comics was published as such in Yavrutürk. Actually, I think this was the first time ever any comics was published both in color and in proper format in Turkey (there had been comics published in ull color since 1935, but they had extra-panel texts; and comics in proper format had been published since the same year, but they were in monochrome).
The first installement of 'Kara Kedi Gemici' had clearly been intended to be printed on the back cover itself, but shifted to the reverse side due to an editorial decision at the last moment to allocate the front cover to a photo of the cascet of the recently deceased Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and shift the original front cover to the back cover. With the subsequent issue, 'Kara Kedi Gemici' took its place on the back cover:

Nevertheless, the series was shifted to interior pages with no. 143 and began to be printed in b&w, although still in proper comics format. Unfortunately, while earlier 'Kara Kedi' continuities often entailed fantasy elements and hence had very imaginative narratives, 'Kara Kedi Gemici' was a fun, but more routine affair, as exemplifed in the below cannibal sequence from no. 159:
'Kara Kedi Gemici' ended in no. 165 (dated June 24th, 1939). The subsequent four issues of Yavrutürk featured 'Kara Kedi' once again in the outmoded reformat of extra-panel texts to compansate for deleted speech balloons. Afterwards, no 'Kara Kedi' comics were published in Yavrutürk for more than two years. 'Kara Kedi' returned to Yavrutürk when the magazine started its vol. 12 with new enumeration on Oct. 25th, 1941 (previous 11 volumes had consequitive enumeration). Proper format with speech balloons and no extra-panel text was resumed with no. 28 (dated July 18th, 1942). When Yavrutürk was replaced with Çocuk Haftası from the same pulisher at the beginning of 1943, 'Kara Kedi' continued in this new childre's magazine.

Monday, May 23, 2011


An obscure gag-a-week comics series based on degrading racial stereotyping of African blacks, titled in Turkish as 'Başkan Bambu [President Bamboo]', was ran in some issues of the Turkish weekly children's magazine Yavrutürk in 1938. Above scan is possibly of the first installement of the series (the issue no., as well as the date, are missing from the tattered copy in my collection, but it is probably no. 93). At the beginning of this gag, Bambu is introduced as "the most civilized president of the savages."
The presence of the ruling colonial forces is manifested in the below gag from no. 97:

Probably the most degrading portrayal is in the below gag from no. 98:

My Yavrutürk collection from 1938 is incomplete, but 'Başkan Bambu' was in most likelyhood published in less than ten issues.
If anyone knows the original source of this comics, please let us know...


In 1940, an obscure adventure comics titled as 'Bücür Görünmeyen Şehirde [Shorty in the Invisible City]' was serialized in the Turkish children's weekly magazine Yavrutürk no.'s 198-208. The plot starts with a white kid who looks somewhat like Tintin, named as Bücür in this Turkish edition, befriending a native kid called Duda in Africa. The two kids come across a city in the desert where they are imprisoned for attempting to buy some food with money; for transactions with money has been forbidden in this city where everyone is obliged to give any money they find to the city's ruler. Bücür manages to escape and take a leading part in a revolt against the ruler. In the end, when he wants to embrace Duda, his friend disappears as a mirage! So does the city! In a twist, it all turns out to be a feverish dream...
If anyone knows anythig about the original source of this weird comics, PLEASE let us know..

Sunday, May 22, 2011


'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):


Above scan is of the back cover of no. 214 (dated June 1st, 1940) of the Turkish weekly children's magazine Yavrutürk, marking the first color edition of 'the Katzenjammer Kids' in Turkey. The back covers of no. 217 and 218 once again featured the Katzies, this time re-titled as 'Yosun ile Tosun ve Kaptan Baba [Yosun and Tosun with the Captain Daddy]', elevating the Captain to the title:

Saturday, May 21, 2011


These two Sunday newspaper comics clippings from 1902 (currently being offered on ebay) are the earliest samples of Rudolph Dirks' 'Katzenammer Kids' which I could find.
'Katzenammer Kids', which had debutted in 1897, is regarded as the first proper US comics (ie. structured as borderlined panels with speech balloons.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Miss Fury was one of the earliest masked heroines in comics - and the first one created by a female artist. June Tarpé Mills did not use her female-sounding first name when signing her work, but when Miss Fury, which debutted as a Sunday newspaper comics on April 6th, 1941, became a success, the true gender of her creater was eventually made public. Miss Fury's comics book series began in 1942 and lasted on a bi-/tri-annual period for 8 issues till 1945. You can view all the covers of this series here: (from which the above image was also pasted from); note that the covers of no. 4 and 5 feature evil Japanese, allies of Nazi Germany in the 2nd World War. Miss Fury comics series seem to be highly collectible items as all single issues available on ebay are offered for three- or four-digit figures!.. On the other hand, I could find one sample of the Sunday pages which indicate that the artwork was quite high-calibre:
Mills' comics work prior to 'Miss Fury' include the one-shot horror comics 'The Vampire' and the 'Daredevil Barry Flynn' series, both from Amazing Mystery Funnies*.
* Denis Gifford, The International Book of Comics (1988: W H Smith)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


'Buck Ryan' was a detective strip published in the British newspaper Daily Mirror from 1937 onwards till 1962. During its heydays, there has been only a single one-shot Buck Ryan comics published in the UK (in 1946) and there was also an Australian Buck Ryan comics periodical. Other than what appears to be a fan-based reprint series from Newspaper Daily Comic Strip Library, there has not been any English-language reprints. However, there were some Buck Ryan albums published in Italy. The first one, in oblong format (see above image for cover) came in 1973; I don't know about its contents. Later in the same decade, the same publisher, Milano Libri Edizioni, also published a series of four albums, which appear to be hardcover editions, reprinting in chronological order from 1937 through 1940:

I've just ordered two issues of the British NDCSL reprint series and will post about them when I receive them.
Sources on the 1946 British one shot and the Australian comics: Denis Gifford, The Complete Catalogue of British Comics (1985: Webb & Bower, Exeter) and ibid, The International Book of Comics (1988: W H Smith) resp.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


While researching for some other topic, I incidentally came across this startling World War 2 cover yesterday. It is no. 32 (dated June 1944) of Fight Comics published by Fiction House. Fight Comics had lasted for 86 issues between 1940-54. It was the second comics magazine put out by American publisher Fiction House who are better known with Jumbo which had featured Sheena, the first jungle girl hero in the comics medium.
Obviously encouraged by the popularity of Sheena, Fiction House had introduced a new jungle girl, named Tiger Girl, in Fight Comics no. 32 (hence the reason I went looking for this issue). Tiger Girl would also eventually be popular enough to grace the covers of most of the subsequent issues herself, one of my favorites being this later cover from no. 73 (dated March 1951):