Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bugs Bunny's Vacation Funnies # 8 (Dell, 1958): "Cuckoo Switcheroo"

By 1958, the once-crazy Daffy Duck had become a greedy, antagonistic character in the cartoons. In comics, he remained a screwball mischief-maker. Similarly, Yosemite Sam had filled every cartoon role from cowboy to pirate to German soldier to Southern colonel to British knight, and many roles in between...but in comics, he nearly always appeared as a pirate. While Daffy and Sam rarely encountered one another in the cartoons, they sparred regularly in comic book stories such as this one from "Bugs Bunny's Vacation Funnies" (Dell, 1958). Notice the appearance of Yosemite Sam's rich uncle in the end...he looks exactly like Sam, except that he makes his wealth a fashion statement.


  1. Michael Maltese is believed to have written many of the Dell Daffys.

    I recall reading somewhere, long ago, that he wrote Daffy as still a wacky pest in comic-book mode, because that‘s what the editors wanted – and as the greedy coward for the cartoons.

  2. It certainly had a Maltesian flavor.

  3. Maltese also wrote the early Dell Road Runner comics (called “Beep-Beep the Road Runner”) with the rhyming dialogue for the Road Runner and his three sons! Here, I remember a discussion of the schism between the cartoons and the comics.

    That it is his writing certainly shows in the first issue, where Wyle E. Coyote speaks in dialogue that sounds as if it’s right out of “Operation Rabbit”. That cartoon was not on TV at the time the first comics were produced, so it’s not as if another writer could have easily mimicked Maltese’s style, as might be done today.

    One story I’d love to hear is WHY the Dell Road Runner comic went in that direction! I can understand giving RR and Wyle E. spoken dialogue… because you READ a comic book, rather that watch it.

    But rhyming Road Runners? And “Beep-Beep” was his NAME? And three look-alike sons, with no names? And even a wife named “Matilda” in the earliest ones?

    I can’t help but wonder about Matilda’s disappearance from the comics early on... Did she just break-up with Beep-Beep and move on (rapidly, of course), or did Wyle E. actually “get” her! THAT would really have been a downer!

    For what it’s worth, I enjoyed those comics for what they were – and, of course, there was the artwork by WB hands Phil DeLara and Pete Alvarado!