Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Gasoline Alley and the Old Comic Strip Challenge 10

In a sequence that began on April 9, 2013, Gasoline Alley centenarian Walt Wallet receives an invitation to the Old Comics Home dinner. Walt has reminisced before about his fellow characters from discontinued comic strips. And since Gasoline Alley began in 1918, there are quite a few of his contemporaries who have been retired.(Read the whole series here)

Day 10 brings in a character that's only been referenced indirectly so far in the sequence. Smokey Stover was a manic surreal comic strip written and drawn by Bill Holman. Often there were odd little visual puns in the background, and some recurring gags as well. Two phrases cropped up often in the strip -- on street signs, wall calenders, book covers, and just about anyplace else -- "Notary Sojac," and "1506 Nix Nix." Both appeared in the first day's continuity. Smokey Stover's cat, Spooky, was featured in day 7. Now the main character makes an appearance in his two-wheeled firetruck. (click on image to enlarge)

Although Dick Tracy is known for having labels with arrows in the scene (such as the famous notation for "two-way wrist radio," Holman also used the device in Smokey Stover. Scancarelli's notation "flipping his wig" is another homage to Smokey Stover.

1. Jiggs - Bringing Up Father (1913-2000) by George McManus
2. Smokey Stover - Smokey Stover (1935-1973) by Bill Holman
3. Maggie- Bringing Up Father (1913-2000) by George McManus
4. Spooky- Smokey Stover (1935-1973) by Bill Holman

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