Tuesday, October 23, 2012


My Friend Irma was a popular radio show, which was broadcast on CBS
radio from April 11, 1947 to August 23, 1954.  Marie Wilson played
its scatterbrained title heroine on radio, in two films, and on a
TV series.  The show was created by writer, producer, and director
Cy Howard.  There was also a My Friend Irma newspaper comic strip
and, as you might have guessed from the above image, a comic book.
Shown is My Friend Irma #16 [March 1952], which hit the newsstands
in my birth month of December 1951.

Wikipedia has all sorts of fascinating facts about My Friend Irma.
Here’s one worth noting:

In 1946, writer Arthur Kurlan worked with CBS Radio in an attempt
to bring the premise and characters of the popular play and film,
My Sister Eileen, to radio. Soon after this effort failed, the very
similar My Friend Irma was created. Kurlan took legal action, and
ultimately received a settlement from CBS.

The Irma movies were My Friend Irma (1949) and My Friend Irma Goes
(1950).  The first movie is best known for introducing Dean
Martin and Jerry Lewis, who proved so popular with audiences that
they also appeared in and got more screen time in the second movie.
The boys got their own DC Comics title in 1952.

The My Friend Irma comic ran 46 issues from June 1950 to February
1955.  It was usually written by Stan Lee and drawn by Dan DeCarlo.
Issue #16 featured 23 pages of Lee/DeCarlo stories and gag pages
ranging from one to six pages.  There were also two feature pages:
“Irma's Dept. of Utter Confusion” and “Irma's Fashions.  Both were
drawn by DeCarlo.

The My Friend Irma comic strip launched on September 11, 1950.  It
was originally drawn by Jack Seidel, but Lee and DeCarlo took over
the strip in 1951.  The rights situation might be complicated, but
I’d sure to love to see collections of the Lee/DeCarlo comic strips
and comic books.

After the My Friend Irma comic book came to an end, Lee and DeCarlo
teamed on a strangely familiar title called My Girl Pearl.  It ran
for 11 issues from April 1955 to April 1961.  Eleven issues would
fill a swell trade paperback.  I’m just saying.

Keep watching this bloggy thing for more vintage comic-book covers
from the month of my birth.


Here are more answers to questions I’ve recently and frequently
been asked...

Since announcing my “40 Years and a Mule” reviews on October 2, I
have received nine review items.  That’s far less than I expected.
Starting sometime next week, sooner if I get ahead on all the other
stuff I’m doing, I will be reviewing these items as bonus editions
of this bloggy thing.  So there will be days when you get more than
one dose of my wit and wisdom.  Or whatever you want to call what
I do here.


My only remaining appearance this year will be the Akron Comicon,
Saturday, November 10, at the University of Akron Student
Center.  The one-day event has an impressive guest roster including
Tom Batiuk, Gerry Conway, Joe Staton, Mike W. Barr, Craig Boldman,
Darryl Banks, Norm Breyfogle and others.

During the convention, I’ll be signing and possible selling various
Tony Isabella-written things.  It’s likely that I’ll have a couple
boxes of trade paperbacks and hardcovers for sale as well.  Beyond
that, who knows?

Unfortunately, I will not be attending this year’s Detroit FanFare,
October 26-28 at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Michigan.  It’s a
terrific event and I wish I could be there, but, alas, I couldn’t
make it work this time around.  Maybe next year.


Atlas Comics. I wish I could tell you I knew what was going on with
The Grim Ghost or this publisher.  I did agree to write more Grim
Ghost comics over a year ago.  I sent the publisher my thoughts on
the next round of stories, which would be somewhat more ambitious
than the first round.  I also sent him a pitch for a new title that
Mike Grell and I dreamed up.  I haven’t received any communication
from Atlas since then...and that was December.

Yes, I have seen the solicitation for a Grim Ghost trade paperback.
I’m looking forward to it.  However, outside of the actual comics
stories I wrote, I have not given my permission for Atlas to use my
work product (scripts, plots, e-mails). I’m not against such use,
but there needs to be a conversation about it so I can be assured
it is presented in the best way possible.

I’m not trying to bust anyone’s balls here.  But I’m not the guy to ask
about what’s going on at Atlas...because I just don’t know. 

That said, I wish them well.  I had a blast writing those issues of
Grim Ghost and I think they were far and away the best comic books
published by the company.  Of course, I may be biased.


I’m also not the guy to ask about this Black Lightning thing that’s
appearing in DC Comics Presents.  I don’t have anything to do with
it.  It was done without my approval. I don’t intend to read it and
I don’t want to hear about it. It is an unclean thing to be shunned
as long as the earth itself exists.


Not a day goes by of late without someone asking me if I have read
Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story or if I was interviewed
for the book.  The answer to both questions is...no.

Among my circle of professional contacts, Howe’s book is receiving
mixed reviews.  I do have it on order.  How soon I read it depends
on what else is on my reading pile. 

Will I review it? I suspect there will be no shortage of reviews of
this book.  Whether or not I review it depends on whether or not I
think I have something interesting to say about it.

That answers all the outstanding questions I feel like answering at
this time.  I’ll be back tomorrow with another Rawhide Kid bloggy
thing.  See you then.

© 2012 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. Do you know if any of the My Friend Irma newspaper comic strips are available anywhere? The comics I have are all really funny. The radio shows I've heard are good too. Thank you.