So a few years back we took a vacation from our Mr Kitty duties and went on a little trip. We're going to be doing the same thing in a week so this is the last Stupid Comics for a month or so, sorry. Anyway, we went to Japan and I figured we'd share some of our vacation with you, dear reader.
First thing we noticed was that the "evil cat chases mouse, painful mishaps ensue" culture was alive and well in the Land Of The Rising Sun. Seriously though, Hashimoto-san was a Terrytoons character that was honestly created by a Japanese-American guy and may be the first American cartoon to portray Asians not as houseboys or servants or evil Yellow Peril wizards, but as the vastly more respectful portrayal of slit-eyed martial artist mice. I think.
Our guide for this leg of the trip was the legendary lawman Deputy Dawg, who introduced us to the suburban houses and snowy back yards of Japan, where cats in coolie hats menace Hanako and Saburo. Luckily their pop Hashimoto arrives to lay down some jiu-jitsu on that crazy cat.
Since this is a comic book, traumatic brain injuries result in comedy amnesia and not a trip to the emergency room for a desperate trephanation to relieve deadly pressure upon the cerebrum.
Home invasions, bondage, whips - now THIS is the kind of Japanese comic book we were expecting!
To everyone's relief Hashimoto gets hit on the head again, regains his memory, invents snowboarding, and rescues his family.
And he gets hit on the head AGAIN but does NOT lose his memory but the cat thinks he does and then there's some jiu-jitsu. I think Hashimoto should get himself checked out. Concussions can be serious!
The question remains - how to safeguard our Japanese mouse children from the menace of the Japanese cat? Luckily American know-how is here to save the day.
Where would Japan be without her good friend GI Joe? I'm not kidding, there really is a helpful friendly American mouse character named "GI Joe", simplifying twenty five years of complicated geopolitical manuevering into a mouse in a casual shirt. And a school bus.
Only one player in this scenario has seen the film "Dirty Harry" and it ain't GI Joe here. Will Dishonorable Cat succeed in kidnapping an entire schoolbus full of children, unlike the Scorpio Killer?
No, thanks to hurled schoolbooks and biting, and what appears to be amazingly poor schoolbus design. Better leave auto design to the Japanese, GI Joe!
While we were there we got to see some other Western visitors. Kind of embarrassed by their behavior.
See, they're going to Japan, so draw them with, I dunno, chopsticks and rice. And tea. And they're sitting on the floor. There! If that doesn't say "Japan" I don't know what will!
I'll give this comic credit, they did their katakana resarch and it does say "taxi" on the side of that taxi. What it doesn't show is the fervent desire of the borderline insultingly-caricature taxi driver to commit suicide rather than drive the forty miles from Narita Airport next to these two loudmouthed American brats.
Also the steering wheel is on the wrong side. But whatever! We're in Japan!!
Immediately Tubby demonstrates the ignorant destructive behavior of all American children. Don't lie, if you got dumped on the side of the road in Chiba or whereever at the age of 9 you'd be kicking in some rice-paddy dikes yourself. I know I would! Japanese farmer is telling Tubby that his solo comics aren't quite as good as the regular Little Lulu comics. He really knows how to hurt a guy!
And here we see one of the many famous tourist sites of Japan, a pagoda that apparently is ten feet tall. Maybe this was one of those models that Godzilla destroyed or something. I'd pay to see that, sure. Meanwhile the Japanese tourists all take photos of Gloria in a kimono. She has a bright future ahead of her as the "gaijin talent" in a hostess bar!
Since this is a Little Lulu comic, Tubby and Iggy and Alvin and Richie Rich all gang up and run around causing trouble. In this case, it means slamming right into a guy with a giant fu manchu moustache wearing a coolie hat and pajamas standing on the sidewalk in Tokyo. It's Japan, right? They all dress like that, right?
Finally the climax of their trip is reached as they visit a Japanese toy factory. Think of it, a Japanese toy factory in 1962! Full of wild space toys, lithographed metal robots, flashing lights and remote controls and future-forward designs! Then face reality and deal with what this comic book gives us, a maze. A boring manila-yellow blank-walled maze.
When faced with a tough problem, simply introduce Tubby to the equation and he'll cut that Gordian knot by just walking straight through your maze. Because it's a JAPANESE maze, see, it's made out of paper. And just like that Mr. Moppet's business plans were ruined and the astronomical expense he incurred in flying himself and his daughter and all his daughter's friends to the other side of the world was all for nothing! Enjoy your 20 hour flight home!
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