Friday, June 29, 2012

"Bugs Bunny Showtime" (Gold Key) March 1963: "The Frightful Appetite"

The Tasmanian Devil made only five appearances in the original Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons four alongside Bugs Bunny, one with Daffy Duck. All were directed by Robert McKimson. He also appeared in at least one episode of "The Bugs Bunny Show". A fan favorite rescued from obscurity by Jack Warner himself after a flood of mail from people wanting to see more of the character, Taz began appearing in the comics in the early 1960's. It was only logical that somehow, some way, Taz would have a run-in with McKimson's other big star, Foghorn Leghorn. It happened in this comic book story from a Bugs Bunny Show "Giant" Gold Key special in 1963.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Looney Tunes" (DC) 3 103, August 2003: "What's Shakin' Bacon?"

Here's a great Daffy Duck story from 2003 in which Daffy tries to sell Acme gadgets to the 3 Little Pigs. Written by Barry Liebmann, art by David Alvarez and Mike DeCarlo.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Bugs Bunny" (Dell) #35, February/March 1954: "Elmer's Restaurant"

In this 1954 story from Dell's "Bugs Bunny" title, Elmer Fudd won't hire Bugs Bunny as a waiter at his restaurant. So Bugs tricks Elmer into thinking his house is on fire, and takes over the restaurant while he's gone. Enter Yosemite Sam, who orders an impossible "pirate stew" recipe while pointing a gun at Bugs. Bugs "improvises", Sam explodes in a rage, and Fudd returns just in time to see the aftermath. It keeps going from there. This story has great artwork, funny writing, and would have made a great cartoon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Looney Tunes (Dell) #245, April/May 1962: "Kidding Around"

In this Sylvester and Tweety story from 1962, Granny invites her grand-nephew, Herkimer, to visit, and entrusts the cat and bird to entertain him while she does some gardening. The little monster wastes no time in torturing them!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Bugs Bunny's Vacation Funnies" #8 (Dell), 1958: "Beaver Battle"

When the Looney Tunes comics began in the 1940's, one of producer Leon Schlesinger's most popular characters was Sniffles the mouse. An early creation of director Chuck Jones, Sniffles was a sweet, cute character, much different from Schlesinger's growing stable of wiseguy rabbits, speech-impeded pigs and screwball ducks. So when faced with creating a comic book adaptation of the character, Western publishing editor Chase Craig recognized this, and decided to try something different with the character. Initially, Sniffles was thrown in as one of the gang, hanging out in a nameless suburbia along with Bugs, Porky, Elmer, Petunia and others. But he was eventually given his own feature that ran for over 20 years, serving as the magical liaison between a little girl named Mary Jane (named for Craig's wife) and a world of fantasy. "Mary Jane and Sniffles" stories usually begin with Mary Jane uttering the words "Magic words of poof poof piffles, make me just as small as Sniffles!" She then sprinkles magic sand on her head, and goes off to fantasy lands with her mouse pal.

The stories are not "Looney" at all, instead more along the lines of Winsor McCay, Disney and Lewis Carroll.

This one, "Beaver Battle", comes from "Bugs Bunny's Vacation Funnies" #8, 1958.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Looney Tunes" (Gold Key) #77, December 1977: "Cool Cat: Trophy Trickery"

For those unfamiliar with Looney Tunes (and I'm assuming anyone reading this is, but I digress), Cool Cat was one of the final characters created by the Warner Bros. cartoon studio in the late 1960's, along with characters like Bunny and Claude, Norman Normal, Rapid Rabbit and Merlin the Magic Mouse. This beatnik hipster tiger's animated career was brief, but he made occasional comic book appearances well into the late 1970's, pursued by his nemesis, big game hunter Colonel Rimfire.

Cool Cat was shelved for good by mid 1980's, until he was used as a memorable running gag in "The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries" TV series in the mid 90's. Neither Cool Cat nor any of the other late 60's WB characters have appeared in the modern DC comics series, mainly because, as writer Dan Slott once told me: the writers despise them!

Still, this 1977 story is an interesting curio. There weren't many Cool Cat stories! "So COOL it now, ya hear?"

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Looney Tunes" (DC) # 41, June 1998: "Sufferin' Satellites!"

This story deserves a look for its awesomeness alone, but the real standout about it is the work of inker Ruben Torreiro. Terry Collins wrote it, Oscar Saavedra penciled it...but Torreiro went a good way! "Suffferin' Satellites" features Porky Pig as a cable repairman, with Sylvester tagging along for a routine job. Porky makes a wrong turn and winds up at the wrong address, a spooky, unoccupied house. In an homage to the classic Porky/Sylvester "Scaredy Cat" series by Chuck Jones, Porky is oblivious to the hazards and near-death experiences that await him in the house, and it's up to Sylvester to protect his porcine pal. As in the Jones films, the threat is murderous mice...but not exactly the ones you might expect. I've included the cover for this issue as well...just fantastic art.