Blog: christmas 2017

Bugs Bunny, December 17, 1944

Bugs Bunny, December 17, 1944

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Ah, the indoor ski jump. Definitely seems like the type of ridiculous thing that would appear in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but could never actually exist in real life. At the very least, they wouldn't put it right next to the Santa Claus display and endanger the large amounts of children lining up to see him.

Again, this is very different from what one would expect to see Bugs do in a cartoon. A cartoon would be more likely to give Bugs a clever quip to say to Santa at the end instead of turning to the audience and saying something cliche. Also, I really wish Roger Armstrong was given more space for the artwork. With the size of the panels he was able to use, it all feels very cramped and spare. I imagine he could have shown us something much more interesting with larger panels. Due to financial concerns, however, the 40s were the time when newspapers really began shrinking the comics considerably, so this kind of thing was happening more and more.

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Bugs Bunny, December 10, 1944

Bugs Bunny, December 10, 1944

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Leon Schlesinger, who founded what would become Warner Bros. Animation Studios, was never an animator or artist himself, so it's odd that he's credited as the creator of the Bugs Bunny newspaper comic. It ran from 1942 to 1990, under a number of different artists. Eventually, the actual artists would be credited and have their signatures allowed on the page, but in the early days only Schlesinger's name could be seen. Roger Armstrong, who worked on a number of comic strips and comic books for various Disney and Warner Bros. properties, does the artwork here.

The comic strip was very different from the cartoons. While it seems that cartoon Bugs is always able to come out on top and outwit all his foes, here he's the one being duped. We can only assume that the final panel shows him plotting some kind of clever revenge.

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The Gumps, December 25, 1927

The Gumps, December 25, 1927

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Another from The Gumps, which does not actually include any of the Gumps, but it does mention Andy Gump's generosity from the last strip I shared. I find it a bit odd that Santa seems to imply that he only visits white children, but it's difficult to find comic strips from the early 20th century that don't have some kind of racial bias. I hope Santa takes his own advice and is more unselfish, generous, and kind-hearted to everyone this year.

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The Gumps, December 18, 1927

The Gumps, December 18, 1927

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I shared a strip from The Nebbs earlier, which was a rip-off of The Gumps, so here we have the genuine article. The thing that's always interested me about the strip is that Andy Gump is a ridiculous looking character with no chin, in a world that's interestingly devoid of other cartoonish characters. It all looks rather serious and realistic, except for Andy himself.

Andy is a bit dim-witted and cowardly at times, but here we see that he still has quite a giving heart, and has passed it on to the next generation. It does leave me with one question, though: Did they actually visit those two little cripples Mrs. Gump told them about?

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Sir Bagby, December 24, 1960

Sir Bagby, December 24, 1960

A hint: If you're going to steal milk and cookies from Santa, stealth and planning are important. First, make sure you eat quietly (and don't swizzle, it's rude). Second, prepare appropriate festive noises in the event that you do get caught, so you don't have to include a placeholder.

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