Friday, May 16, 2008

Comic Book Memories

Smokey Stover, Little Lulu, and others

Collage Mama recently posted a link for Smokey Stover's website. I remember him from the color funnies in the newspaper when I was quite young. The website says that Smokey's creator, cartoonist Bill Holman, retired in 1973, but I think his strip was dropped years before that by the Omaha World Herald.

The website says that Smokey Stover's adventures were also published in "hundreds of thousands of 10 cent 'Big Little Books.'” I'm sure that's true, but I don't remember them. That may be because my favorite comic book characters were Little Lulu, Nancy, Little Iodine, and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

One time, my dad bribed me with comic books. We were going to Gordon, Nebraska, to visit Grandma Barb, and Daddy wanted to go in the El Camino so he could pick up something in Valentine on the way home. The problem was that there wasn't enough room for him, Mama, and three kids.

The back of the El Camino's seat flipped forward, and there was quite a large compartment behind it. That's where I rode, all the way to Gordon (180 miles) and all the way back home again the next day. I got four new 25¢ comic books as payment.

With my pillow, my comic books, and my library books, I was quite comfortable. I don't remember being either claustrophobic or carsick.

I suppose Dwight sat in the middle and Charlotte sat on Mama's lap. Back then, vehicles didn't have seat belts and proper infant seats hadn't yet been invented. I was probably in the safest place of any of us.


Michael Leddy said...

Seeing the name Smokey Stover puts me back in my grandparents' living room on Sunday afternoons, circa 1967. We were a New York Times family, but my grandparents got the Daily News, which had comics. I haven't thought of Smokey Stover (or the strip's nonsense phrase "Notary Sojac") in years. Thanks, Genevieve!

Collagemama said...

I only saw the Omaha World Herald's comics when we visited my grandma in Pierce or my grandparents in McCook. Visits to grandparents were the times when I bought comic books at the Rexall drug store. I spent my big bucks on Archie and Veronica, and Millie the Model comics.

RunAwayImagination said...

My dad grew up in Gordon, so I bet your Grandma Barb knew my family. Who knows - we may be related!

ptg said...

My Dad used to buy comic books to keep me from raising heck on long car trips. He would staple them shut, then ration them out as needed.

I was a Donald Duck fan, particularly the stories written and illustrated by Carl Barks. Of course, I didn't know that my favorite Duck comics were all done by one man until, as an adult, I checked on the value of my old comics. The Barks comics always commanded higher prices.

I didn't sell them, and enjoy reading them again every few years. A few still have staple holes.

Genevieve said...

Oh yes, Archie, Donald Duck -- really, I liked them all.

Runaway, my Gordon relatives were all named Sees. It's very possible your father may have known some of them.

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