Joe Palooka as a Weird-Menace Vehicle, by Michael H. Price

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6 Responses

  1. Marilee J. Layman says:

    Huh. One of the crime procedurals on TV (probably CSI) recently had a story with a boxer killed by a tainted mouth protector. Who knew they looked so far back for inspiration?

  2. Michael H. Price says:

    Yeah, there always seems to be a precedent lurking somewhere back in pop-cultural prehistory. More about that in a forthcoming ComicMix column or three.

  3. Larry Shell says:

    Another great article, Mike. Despite Fisher's eccentricities, JOE PALOOKA, has always been one of my all-time favorite strips. The Capp ghosted material is especially sweet with Palooka encountering a family of hillbillies on several occasions, templates for what was to become L'il Abner. A few collections have been published by a company called Classic Comics Strips but nothing recently. I'd love to see a combination bio of Fisher with scads of strip reprints. I wish they'd release some of the films aside from the first one, which is public domain and has been released by more companies over the years than I have hairs on my head. At least one episode of the TV show is also floating around on various PD collections.

    • Michael H. Price says:

      Just the touch this piece had needed, Larry — some fond-regard counterbalance for my overall rancorous view of Ham Fischer and his trademark character.Amazed that so few of the low-rent comic-strip movies have gone unreleased to the video market: For every SNUFFY SMITH (both features available on DVD), there's a batch of PALOOKAs and JIGGS & MAGGIEs that have languished unseen for the longest stretch. Back when I was helping out with a monumentable LI'L ABNER reprint project at Kitchen Sink Press, Columbia Pictures responded with a VHS-cassette package of the ABNER cartoons — no DVD equivalent, as far as I've noticed.

      • Larry Shell says:

        Yes, the bulk of the Palookas and Maggie & Jiggs programmers are so obscure, they haven't even been bootlegged in VHS or DVD. I'd gladly pony up for box sets of either series. There's a slew of others which haven't seen daylight since they played at the local Bijou like Corky of Gasoline Alley and Little Iodine — which is a lost film according to my contact at King Features. A company name of Thunderbean Animation is doing some great releases, one of the latest being a collection of the 30s Little King cartoons produced by Van Buren Studios. Well worth the bucks!

        • Mike Gold says:

          Speaking of Little Iodine, Jimmy Hatlo's other creation, They'll To It Every Time, ends its 79 year run a week from Saturday, despite being in more than 100 papers. That's a lot for a "B" strip these days.