FW Presents – Funny Books

Live from FW PRESENTS… It’s Saturday Night!

Shag and Rob host this special episode of FW Presents talking about some of their favorite humor comics: Harvey’s SAD SACK, and MARVEL TEAM-UP #74, featuring Spider-Man visiting Saturday Night Live!

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This episode brought to you by InStockTrades. This week’s selections:

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Good night everybody!

14 responses to “FW Presents – Funny Books

  1. Looks like the Sad Sack covers become more and more Sergio Aragones-esque over the years. I wonder if the advent of Mad influenced the artist.

  2. Fun show guys! I would use the word “kinetic” to describe those later Sad Sack covers. I don’t recall when I first became aware of Sad Sack, but it seemed to be after Harvey closed up shop. I think I may have got a few of them in a lot or something. Interestingly Mel Blanc was also the voice of Private Snafu in those WB shorts for the military. They are much racier than your average Looney Tunes!

    Herb Vigran was also a regular heavy on many episodes of The Adventures of Superman!

    I think when Harvey and Marvel’s deal fell through, that begat the Marvel Star Comics line, and some rather obvious swiping of some of the Harvey characters, like Royal Roy for instance.

    As for SNL, weren’t Akroyd and Belushi comic fans? I seem to remember reading that. I think it was Nick at Nite that used to re-air the old SNL shows. One of our local video stores had all the “Best of..” cast videos. The Akroyd and Belushi ones got checked out A-LOT. Also from that classic episode with Margot Kidder, one of my favorite skits, “Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute”.

    I would be down for an SNL show. Get on that Rob! What else do you have to do?

    Chris

  3. To answer the question posed by Chris, yes, Belushi at least was a comics fan, especially of Marvel comics. Back in 2011, when he was still blogging, Jim Shooter wrote a post about this very issue of Marvel Team-up, in which he also described how excited Belushi was about it, and even visited and toured the Marvel offices at the time like a true fanboy. All in all, a nice post and a nice tribute to Belushi as well.
    As for Sad Sack, I never read one of those, or any Harvey comics; even when I was a little kid, I somehow avoided all of the Harvey titles, although I had a funny animal (mainly Disney Ducks) and Archie phase. But yes, the various Harvey books like Sad Sack, Casper, Richie Rich, etc. were being mass produced for a few decades. Personally, I was especially surprised to learn how many Richie Rich titles were being pumped out in the ’70s – in any given month, there was usually about 10 Richie books that came out, and in some months there were as many as 12 or 13. Seriously, check out any month in the 1970s at Mike’s Newsstand. It’s completely bonkers.
    Also, Shagg in particular might find this thread at the Classic Comics Forum interesting. Starting on that page, and continuing into the next 5 or 6, there’s a deep dive into Harvey history from its beginnings in about 1940 until they closed up shop (and a little beyond), with references to Sad Sack among other things.

    By the way, I have to commend Shagg’s reading selection of the Franklin Richards book. I have the three digest size reprint books that collect everything except “It’s Dark Reigning Cats and Dogs” and they are truly fun and funny.

    1. Oh, yeah – forgot to mention that I appreciated the shout-out to Powell’s Books, a frequent stomping ground of mine when I was in high school.

  4. This was a fun episode guys! I bought a Sad Sack Issue at NYCC because of Shag’s enthusiasm of it and I have to say I liked the humor a lot. Sad Sack’s middle initials had to been KP for kitchen patrol.

    Thanks for your podcasts as always. I had a rough day and your show made me feel better.

  5. I remember seeing Sad Sack on the shelves as a kid and must have read the odd issue, but my money tended to go towards the UK comics and DC imports. In my head he’s the same as Beetle Bailey… when the podcast started I was thinking, how timely, what with Mort Walker having died recently… Those silent strips are interesting, though I can’t bear silent strips. I want words in my comics, I’m very lazy when it comes to studying images for detail that sets up a joke.

    Also in my mangled head, this Marvel Team-Up issue is the same as the Avengers meeting David Letterman… I couldn’t find much fun in either, it was like Marvel was doing in-jokes for New Yorkers only. Terrific art combo on MTU, though, you can’t go wrong with Marie Severin, and Bob Hall was a very decent penciller,

  6. Sad Sack as a character looks very familiar, but I can’t recall if I’ve read any of his comics, which I did get ahold of tons of Harvey books in the mid-70s. I do enjoy pantomime stories, so I’ll have to look for these.

    And thank you for posting images from MTU #74. Hilariously awesome! The Muppets’ Statler/Waldorf cameo in the splash page gets off on the right foot. It’s also crazy to think that this issue is Marvel canon. Silver Samurai getting a teleportation ring is a big deal, and I remember at least one comic which refers back to this issue as the source. It’s so ridiculous, which makes it even better! I doubt I’ll ever get to read the whole issue (stupid licensing), so I appreciate hearing it here. Thanks, Shag & Rob!

  7. When this issue of MTU hit the stands, I had never seen Saturday Night (Live). I had heard of it, but I had never stayed up to see it. I had heard of Stan Lee, though! I had even read books written by him! That’s why I bought this issue! (I also liked the NBC logo on the cover!) I had also never heard of The Silver Samurai. I didn’t get almost all of the jokes. I could barely follow the plot. But, I really liked it, and I started watching SNL! One thing that has stuck with me from the first reading, a footnote. Murray (I think) says: “I’m not a crook! I’m an actor!” The footnote said: “There’s a difference? –Broadway Bob” I knew even then that my future profession was being mocked. Funny bit, though!

  8. Hey. I know I’m a bit late but I am so behind on my podcast listening and just finished this episode. At the end Rob had asked about Marvel Comics inside the Marvel Universe. Not only did have we seen appearances of Marvel creators in stories (starting with Stan and Jack in Fantastic Four #10), but in 2000 Marvel did a 5th week event about it. Each of issues in the event was supposed to be a comic that Marvel published in the Marvel Universe. There was Captain America (I believe penciling credit was given to Steve Rogers), Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Thor and X-Men. Since it was supposed to be created by people living in the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man and the X-Men were presented as evil. I don’t remember them being very good but they are interesting little looks into that world.

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