Audiences the world over know by heart the squeaky, sped-up tones of Alvin & The Chipmunks. These rodent singing stars were the brainchild of Ross Bagdasarian, whose success with the "oo-ee-oo-ah-ah" refrain of his hit single "Witch Doctor" in the late 50s convinced him there was a future in high-speed novelty recording. Touching some deeply repressed nerve in the psyche of late 50s America, Alvin and his gang appeared in their own TV series, merchandise of every kind, and even a recent feature film. But were they always cheery primary-colored cartoon characters? Or was their appearance tweaked and modified through several drastic changes?
In the beginning, they just looked like chipmunks. Giant chipmunks in rented tuxedos, their orchestra-renting antics bewildering a photograph of "David Seville". Several different iterations of the characters were to follow, each more consumer-friendly than the last.
As we see from these rare images culled from the sleeves of highly collectible "foil" Chipmunks albums (I'll pause while you bemusedly smirk at the concept of a Alvin & The Chipmunks LP being "highly collectible") the transformation of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore from rodents in clothes to the UPA-style look of "The Alvin Show" to the blobby, less defined 1980s Chipmunks was gradual, and shaped by market forces and artistic ennui rather than editorial fiat on the part of Bagdasarian or even Bagdasarian Junior. But didja know there is yet another version of Alvin and brethren? Well, there is. And it's in the comic books.
Dell Four Color #1042 - "The Three Chipmunks"! Three identical John Stanley-style cartoon chipmunks, distinguishable only by vests and hats, whose ability to walk and talk and converse intelligently with human beings is never explained, and whose inky black soulless eyes radiate an aura of sheer menace. How will the legend of Alvin & The Chipmunks unfold in the new and exciting limitless comic book medium?
Well, for one thing, David Seville hollers "ALVIN!!" a lot.
There was something in the contract about characters yelling "ALVIN!!". Hey, we have to give the kids what they want, and what they want is to revel in the misbehavior of giant talking rodents.
The stories, such as they are, revolve around the typical Chipmunks motifs of Getting Ready For The Show or Rehearsing For The New Album or Being Eaten Alive By Giant Cats. Just kidding about that last one. I do have to wonder about David Seville, though; his promotional tactic for getting their new single played on the radio involves hanging out at TV stations. TV, radio, what's the difference.
Okay, be honest, who hasn't done this? Seventh caller wins tickets to Supertramp, get seven friends, SOMEBODY's gonna get those tix. Why doesn't the TV DJ recognize all the requests are delivered in squeaky high pitched chipmunk voices? Well, I'll be frank. Those guys take a lot of drugs.
I find myself filled with a fierce desire to hear BOTH "Blah Bleep Blah" AND "Harmonica Madness!" Also I want to smash LPs over my knee! Remember those old brittle shellac LPs? There's no better way to express your disgust than by snapping one in half right on live television. Microwaving a CD just doesn't cut it.
HA HA WE THOUGHT THE OTHER ONES WERE GHOSTS. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS GHOSTS, YOU GIANT TALKING CAP-WEARING CHIPMUNK, YOU.
Lady... THEY'RE CHIPMUNKS, of course they're going to eat the cake and ruin the favors! You're lucky they didn't gnaw your door frames and crap little pellets all over the house!
Run out of story and have one panel left to fill? Why not remind parents that the DELL CODE eliminates objectionable material entirely? Get the DELL CODE today and ensure all your entertainment is clean and wholesome! The DELL CODE, available at fine bookstores everywhere.
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