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Reading the funnies on the living room floor

The Bulletin's funnies (comics) pages has some goodies but none as good as Alley Oop. It brings back memories of reading the funnies after supper on the living room floor. We didn't have home delivery because the papers went to dad's barber shop. He took both Ft. Worth Star-Telegrams (morning and afternoon editions) and the Bulletin. While waiting their turn for a haircut the customers read the papers and smoked. At the end of the day dad brought the papers home for us to read. More vivid than the comics was the cigarette smoke that oozed from the well-read papers.

Alley Oop began his adventures with Dinny the Dinosaur in 1933. He was created by V.T. Hamlin. Today it is written by Dave Graue and drawn by Jack Bender.

As in most of the classic comic strips, the characters are the same age today as they were 66 years ago. Ooola is still Oop's girl friend. King Guz and Queen Umpa still the rulers of the land of Moo.

Who took the fun out of the funny papers? What happened to Bringing Up Father's Maggie and Jiggs, World War II's Sad Sack and Bill Mauldin's Willie and Joe; Buck Rogers; Flash Gordon; Thimble Theater's Popeye; Snuffy Smith and Barney Google; The Phantom (ah, the ghost that walks); Terry and the Pirates (someone tried to revive this one and flopped); Smilin' Jack; Buz Sawyer; Smokey Stover; Mutt and Jeff; the diminutive Wash Tubbs and handsome Captain Easy; and Moon Mullins. The funnies were funny when we had Walt Kelly's Pogo.

I suppose Dick Tracy is around somewhere but not on our papers. Nor is Brenda Starr, and Joe Palooka. No one could draw Li'l Abner after his creator, Al Capp, died. Remember good old Smokey Stover. None better. May be they were better because I was younger then.

Had I paid less attention to comics and movies my grades in school might have been better. Later at seminary I did enjoy most of the courses but never could get a real handle on Greek and Hebrew. If they had taught it in cartoon panels I might not be so ignorant of the biblical languages today. I don't think I ever learned how to study until I got to Taiwan and began Chinese language study. When you like something you can learn it much faster. It was fun, not study or work. Writing the Chinese characters in panels may have been a throw back to when I read, and often tried to draw my own funnies, on the living room floor.

The Bulletin is worth the subscription price just to keep up with the antics of Alley Oop and the people of Moo. -- Oct. 1, 1999




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