Monday, October 22, 2012


Mutt & Jeff #56 [February-March 1952] hit newsstands in December
1951, the month of my birth.  If you’re a newcomer to this bloggy
thing of mine, comics covers from that month are a frequent feature
here.  This is made possible by the wondrous website that is
 Mike’s Amazing World of Comics.

Mutt and Jeff was created by Bud Fisher in 1907 and the comic strip
kept going until 1982. Horse-racing gambler Augustus Mutt has the
strip all to himself for about a year until he was joined by Jeff,
another enthusiast who he met in an insane asylum.  The strip was
drawn by several cartoonist with the most notable being Al Smith,
who drew it for nearly 50 years.  Other assistants include George
“Krazy Kat” Herriman and future children’s book superstar Maurice
Sendak, who worked on the strip while he was in high school.  The
strip outlived Fisher, who died in 1954.

Mutt and Jeff were on the cover of Famous Funnies #1, considered by
most to be the first modern format comic book.  Reprints also ran
in DC’s All American Comics.  According to Wikipedia, “it has been
suggested that some of the Mutt and Jeff material published by DC
Comics were new stories drawn by Sheldon Mayer.”

DC Comics published 103 issues of Mutt & Jeff from roughly Summer
1939 to June 1958.  These consisted entirely of newspaper reprints.
Dell published 12 issues in 1958 and 1959 with many featuring new
comic-book stories by Smith.

Harvey acquiring the license after that.  There were 33 issues from
Harvey [February 1960-November 1965] plus spin-off series Mutt and
Jeff Jokes
(3 issues) and Mutt and Jeff New Jokes (4 issues).

For a time, there were persistent rumors that Dark Horse Comics was
developing a Mutt and Jeff movie starring publisher Mike Richardson
and myself.  However, since I started those rumors, it is unlikely
such an awesome film will ever be made.  Restraining orders are the
bane of creativity.

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


This is another of those “me, me, me” editions of my bloggy thing.
When I write one of these, it’s for two reasons.  First, it helps
me put my crazy life into perspective.  Second, it lets me answer
questions frequently asked by friends and readers.  For what it’s
worth, I try to make these “special” bloggy things as entertaining
as possible.  It’s your call if I succeed or not.

I’m currently going through some physical and mental problems.  The
physical problems seem to stem from a reoccurrence of the gout that
hit me a while back.  On that previous occasion, I would experience
excruciating pain when pressure was put on my right big toe.  Even
a light bed sheet would trigger the pain.  Fortunately, that gout
cleared up in about a week.

This time out, the pain is in my left knee and, while it’s not as
bad as the previous time, it’s bad enough to slow me down.  A lot.
I have to think about what foot to put down first when I’m going up
or down stairs.  Right foot for up, left foot for down.  I have to
be very careful lifting anything and, unfortunately, I do a whole
bunch of lifting every day.  My doctor thinks it’s gout again, but,
as it’s been going on for two weeks, I’m not so sure.  Looks like
another visit to the medical center is in my future.

My mental problem? Anxiety.  Now I know the upcoming elections are
making many people nervous and I’m certainly concerned that a GOP
win will be very bad for my country.  But there’s not much more I
can do about the election.  I’ve made the donations I could afford
to make.  I’ve put up some lawn signs.  I’ve written about what’s
at stake here and on my Facebook page.  It doesn’t add up to much,
but it’s what I was capable of doing this year.

My more personal anxiety comes from my Vast Accumulation of Stuff.
My living room has about three dozen boxes of stuff I wasn’t ready
to sell in this year’s garage sales.  The number just sort of grew
as I was going through boxes for those sales.  I need to get these
boxes out of the living room and down to my basement.  Which isn’t
real easy given my bum knee. 

My garage needs to be cleared out before Thanksgiving.  One of the
reason I’m selling mystery boxes is to have fewer boxes to return
to my Fortress of Storage.  Ideally, I’d like to mystery box all of
my current garage sale stock and start fresh in 2013.  I’ll have an
announcement on this soon.

Before I can bring anything back to the Fortress of Storage, I’ll
need to take some non-comics stuff out of there.  These are items
which our kids played with when they were youngsters and which are
going to be given to relatives or donated to charity. 

I also have to rearrange the boxes in the Fortress of Storage so I
can safely go through the boxes for next year’s garage sales.  As
I’ve mentioned, the Fortress looks like Comic Book Jenga right now.
It’s not safe and, while there would be a certain delicious irony
in my being crushed to death by comic-book boxes, I would just as
soon hang around for a few more decades.

Once the living room and garage are cleared, then I can get back to
work on my future reading room and mailing center.  I need to clear
some kids stuff out of there and lay down some raised flooring for
my DrawerBoxes.  Once that’s done, the actual sorting can commence
and, eventually, I’ll have a comfortable and quiet place to relax.


I’m currently working on the second batch of mystery box orders.
I had 20 orders in the first batch.  Of those, 18 have shipped or
are going to ship on Monday, 1 order remains unpaid for and 1 order
was canceled.  There are 9 orders in the second batch and I hope to
have all of those ready for shipping later this week.

Future mystery box will likely be sold via the Vast Accumulation of
Stuff sales I run every Monday.  The makeup of the new boxes will
likely change somewhat as I am almost out of paperbacks and “signed
by me” items.  Keep watching my VAOS sales for details.

Last week’s VAOS sale was less successful than I hoped it would be,
so many items are being re-offered this week along with a bunch of
new items.  Some neat stuff there.

This week’s VAOS sale will post later today.  The proceeds from my
sales help support this blog and my extravagant lifestyle.  I hope
you’ll look over the list of items for sale and buy a whole lot of
them.  This will create millions of new jobs, lower your taxes and
help me take our country back from whoever and whatever you’re most
terrified of.  I’m Tony Isabella and I approve this shameless bit
of false advertising.  

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. I've been going through the same moving about of comics in boxes recently; fortunately my sons were home to help with the heavy lifting.
    Are there local or area comic shops that might be an option for removing some of your excess comic box material? A Half-Price Book Store? I know they don't offer much money, but I got rid of some books and toys I wasn't married to, and the weight off my shoulders is comforting.

    Sam Kujava