Providing content for children's magazines in the middle of the baby boom was a struggle! So many kids, so few people able to generate content for kids. Why, if you were a Canadian magazine for small children in 1954 you might have to sink so low as to reprint American comics. And we aren't talking top of the line here, either. Let me show you what I mean.
Pancho Pelican first appeared in Charlton's Jack In The Box Comics back in 1950. My guess is the printing plates for this particular story were loaded in the back of somebody's Packard, driven across the border with a few explanatory words for the customs officer ("these are just some flat metal sheets my brother in law gave me, we're gonna use 'em for roofing our hen house, we certainly aren't going to use them to get around Canada's rules against imported printed matter, no sir") and then taken to the offices of Small Types Magazine, located just west of Casa Loma in Toronto, where these plates were, judging from how the finished product looks, not treated gently.
Pancho Pelican? He's Donald Duck with a goiter and a big hat.
Why is everyone afraid of you? You're Acromegalic Donald Duck riding on a burro clearly stolen from the "Tito And His Burrito" feature over in DC's Real Screen Comics. That's why.
Pancho here has the face of a wanted murderer and a Mexican accent he can turn off and on at will. I think they call this 'code switching' nowadays.
Wow, they are really not even trying to hide their Burrito swipe here. Well, I guess there are only so many ways you can draw a cartoon burro, and so many funny names a cartoon burro could have.
Hey Pancho, looks like your bandit leader resemblance is about to pay off! Now you can ride the owlhoot trail and live out the fantasy of your favorite Eagles song, which is, of course, "Witchy Woman."
How to get out of this? Call Disney's lawyers and ask for a quick cease and desist
"Or something." That's some quick thinking there Pancho.
at times the minimalist, almost cubist landscapes of the West threaten to turn into Krazy Kat, but this comic doesn't have NEAR enough class to aim that high with its swipes.
Ever been so surprised to see your outlaw bandit gang leader come from the camp when you thought he was heading for town that your magenta plate just jumps a quarter of an inch?
That is one murderin' pelican, I'll say that. I wonder how many Canadian preschoolers had nightmares about this weird bird coming to kill them?
Forty five percent of the panels in this story are silhouettes of cartoon burros or Hooty Pelican here hooting about someone coming, or both.
"Allow me to halt our getting-away motion so that I may suggest we get away." It's this kind of tight scripting that made Charlton comics a legend in the industry - the PAPER RECYCLING industry
The windup - the pitch - and it's a solid strike, right to the eye socket. Holy cow!
That's what you get for looking like a bandit, Pancho!
But was this reprinted Charlton story the only attraction "Small Types Magazine" offered young readers? Why, of course not. They also offered this OTHER reprinted Charlton story!
Let's get that fat shaming and those eating disorders started as soon as possible! And if they can't screw up mealtimes, Small Types is hellbent on generating trauma anywhere it can, as seen in this charming fotonovela:
Is thumb-sucking still seen as a developmental problem to be rooted out and destroyed by any means necessary, or was that just a 1950s thing?
That's right, actual parents threatening their children with amputation over thumb-sucking. Fifteen years later she'll run off to take drugs in the mud at Woodstock with a Hell's Angel named "Thor" and Dad will be all like "wha' hoppen?"
But all's well that ends well, as everybody gets the habit. Remember, the family that thumb-sucks together eventually visits the orthodontist together!
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