Jack Kirby and the Flying Chair: Seldom Seen 1950's Comics from Alarming Tales #1

Here is another great Jack Kirby story from that amazing comic from 1957: Alarming Tales #1 from Harvey Features Syndicate. Please say "hello" to hapless Timothy Donnegan and Donnegan's Daffy Chair.

Splash panel from Alarming Tales #1 by Jack Kirby Man in flying chair zooms past air force jets to soar through the upper atmosphere This is one of four Kirby tales in this classic science-fiction comic, and it's the one that made the cover (shown below)

Click on the cover thumbnail below to see it nice and big.

Alarming Tales #1 by Jack Kirby cover shows terrified man zooming across Manhattan in a rocket powered chair
So it seems that sad-sack janitor Timothy Donnegan is cleaning up the patent attorney's office when an impatient inventor leaves his invention behind. It's one crazy-lookin' chair. Naturally our hero has to set down for a spell...
1957 Alarming Tales comic scans Janitor promises to look after funny looking chair in a comic book story by Jack Kirby
Janitor sits down in flying chair in a comic book story by Jack Kirby 1957 scans
"No harm in that."
Famous last words. Donnegan pushed a button, and BEGORRA---
Famous last words. DonneganDonnegan pushed a button, and BEGORRA--- he was OFF! Jack Kirby
janitor gets a joyride in a runaway rocket chair drawn in a 1957 comic book story by Jack Kirby
Flying chair rockets past air force jet drawn by Jack Kirby for Alarming Tales #1
Talk about Unidentifiable Flying Objects--!
Jack Kirby Donnegan rockets out of the solar system in Donnegan's Daffy Chair comic book scans Jack Kirby drawings
Busting out of Earth's atmosphere, he breaks the sound barrier, The heat barrier, and the speed of light!
Jack Kirby Donnegan rockets out of the solar system in Donnegan's Daffy Chair comic book scans Donnegan returns from outer space five years later.
...and five years later...
Jack Kirby Cop and crowd
Looks like Donnegan spent some time hanging out with Moebius's Arzach!
Donnegan back from beyond the stars in Kirby's Alarming Tales #1
Check out the crazy headgear, man!
Arzach Moebius conehead hat
Look familiar?

Anyway, here's the entire four-page story below. Just click on any of the thumbnail pages below to open up a new window with nice BIG high-resolution comic book scans!
kirby-chair-001 kirby-chair-002
kirby-chair-003 kirby-chair-004
...and if you missed the other stories from this issue, you'll find them here >>>>
The Fourth Dimension is a Many-Splattered Thing by Jack Kirby
The Fourth Dimension is a Many-Splattered Thing
(Jack Kirby's Ditko-esque take on Matheson's Little Girl Lost)
Click on the splash page above for the whole story.

and HERE >>>>
Jack Kirby's  proto-Kamandi post apocalyptic story The Last Enemy
The Last Enemy --Jack Kirby's proto-Kamandi post apocalyptic story. Click on the splash page above for the whole story.
---and there's still one story left to come from this alarming comic book! Stay tuned!

Harvey Kurtzman's "Hey Look" Appreciation over at John K's Blog


Harvey Kurtzman character design and line-of-actionThere's some great analysis about Harvey Kurtzman's Hey Look pages at John K's blog today. I could start a huge loving rant about Kurtzman, but instead, I'll just beg you to go over to John's place and read what he has to say.


Harvey kurtzman jungle_bookSuffice to say that it was reading Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book hardcover back in 1986 that got me back into drawing after a nasty period of burn-out. Kurtzman got me excited about funny comics at a time when there wasn't much to get excited about.  I found out about his brilliant Hey Look comics later that year when I found a beat-up copy of Kurtzman Comics at Hi-De-Ho comics in Santa Monica. That little 32-page underground comic included Pot-Shot Pete and a variety of Hey Look pages.


Kurtzman-Hey-Look-pageA few years later, Denis Kitchen put out the complete collection of Hey Look and Pot-Shot Pete in the now-hard-to-find Hey Look hardcover and paperback. Since it's long out of print, that book's quite expensive these days, but if you're a cartoonist, it's literally worth ten times what they're asking. There's a link to used copies at John's post.

...and for those of you that have never seen these pages, there are a few nice Hey Look scans at John's post, too!

Fizzies Vintage Cartoon TV Commercial - Brilliantly Simple Story and Design Work!

Fizzies are...efferVEScent!

(Click on the arrow in the player above to watch)

The character designs in this vintage Fizzies cartoon TV commercial are so appealing and the little song is so catchy I just had to share this one. Man! They really knew how to make commercials in the fifties! Kid-vid commercials today are so overly-amped it's ridiculous...but what kid wouldn't want to kick back and make a fizzy after watching this delicious animated spot?

Just listen to the crazy syncopated rhythm in this jazzy jingle:

  • They sparkle, they bubble, and quick as a ..wink...
  • You've got yourself a DEE-liciously tasty ... effervescent drink!

The story structure of this little cartoon opera is a joy to observe too;

Fizzies boy showing off cartoon canary in cage
The know-it-all big brother shows off his musical skills and haughtily demonstrates his fizzy-making prowess.

Kids making Fizzies vintage cartoon TV advertiisemnt

Notice the conflict: little sis is trying to grab the Fizzies package away, but the boy wants to show how cool he is.

girl grabs fizzies while boy is drinking Fizzies vintage animated TV commercial

While he selfishly guzzles the Fizzie he just made, the little girl snatches the Fizzies packet away and shows that she's just as smart and can make her own darn fizzie! She even gives us a wink to say to all the downtrodden younger siblings in the audience that Fizzies is the friend of the underdog.

girl winks as she makes Fizzies vintage animated TV commercial
After the boy chases his sister off-screen, the announcer comes in with the pitch!

Fizzies vintage animated TV commercial  boy chases girl

You've got to pay attention because the conflict is still unresolved. The pitch itself is a model of CLARITY. He tells you and shows you exactly what the product is, and why you must have it now. There's no color, so they SHOW all the fruit flavors with delicious cartoon illustrations of the grape, orange, cherry, lemon-lime, strawberry and root-beer flavors!
Fizzies flavors grape orange cherry lemon-lime strawberry and root beer
Finally, now that the sales pitch is finished, the whole family comes in to screen happily drinking Fizzies.

Happy Family drinking Fizzies vintage animated TV commercial

This is especially for the moms in the audience, demonstrating that Fizzies are the answer to all domestic strife. Brilliant.

"Get Fizzies...the new HAPPY drink!" Just GET 'em. I love the boldness of old commercials. They just tell you what to do.

There are TONS more like this at

Dan Gordon Draws Gorgeous House Ad for ACG Comics Line

Doesn't this just make you wanna run out and devour every pulpy ten-center on the newsstand?
cartoon drawing by Dan Gordon shows carnival barker calling out to all the local kids, and a bowtie-wearing mustachioed magician conjuring up a plume of comics from out of his magic hat.
Click on the drawing above for a nice BIG full-sized comic book scan!
 ACG Comics images © Roger Broughton 2009
Dan Gordon drew this house ad for the inside front cover to ACG Comics Wonder Comics #13
Such enthusiasm!
Comic books are magic.
Especially when they're written and drawn by Dan Gordon.

John Stanley Comic Book Scans Library


Well, I just came across an incredibly cool website; A nice, well-organized virtual comics library devoted to the stories and art of John Stanley! There's a nice assortment of full-length comic book stories that you can click on and read, along with a lot of background information on the various comic books, and the role that John Stanley played in the making of these classic comics.

The variety of comic titles on display is really nice and well-thought-out. Even though John Stanley is most well-known for writing the long-running Little Lulu comics for Dell, these stories feature harder-to-find comic stories featuring Woody Woodpecker, Melvin the Monster, Heckle and Jeckle, Andy Panda, as well as more obscure characters like Dunc and Loo (whose stories take place in an urban tenement apartment building) and my favorite of the bunch: Kookie -- a very well-drawn beatnik comedy!
What makes this Stanley shrine really stand out is the section called "Stanley-isms" -- telltale signs in the artwork and story that help identify John Stanley's comic stories, even though his stories were published anonymously.
and if this is your first visit to CartoonSNAP, make sure to check out all of our Comic Book Scans

Comics: Algy HOT One-Pager by Irv Spector

Here's a quick single-page comic filler by Dan Gordon Irv Spector. (thanks to Bob Jaques for the correction!)

It's one of many one-pagers that appeared in ACG comics' The Kilroys in the 1940's and 1950's.

Big guy in sailor suit reading a comic book
Big guy in sailor suit still reading a comic book
Big lady dressed in a towel throws kid out of the women's locker room yelling FRESH!

I've always loved single-page comic stories, but when I started writing and drawing them for Nickelodeon Magazine, I really had to go "back to the books" and study them.
There's a real science to it!

Here's the full-page scan below. Just give it a CLICK and a bigger version of the comic page will open in a new window.
Algy Comic Page by Dan Gordon
I'm always amazed at how quickly the cartoonist can establish the setting and conflict. I mean, they HAVE to do it fast...there's not that much room to move. This example by Dan Gordon Irv Spector is pretty typical.

Hot sun kid sweating

In the first panel, he gives us the set-up. It's not just 100% on-the-nose,
it's over the top, too.

The sun is melting, Algy is sweating and tugging at his collar in a fine display of cartoon-cliche. Just to amplify the feeling, he adds another guy in the background who's also sweatin' up a storm.

The first panel is the only one with no border, which creates a nice open-to-the-sky feeling. An open panel at the beginning also makes it easier for the reader to step in to the strip. It's an open door.

By panel #2 Algy has the solution to his problem and we're on our way. Notice the panting and sweating dog that reinforces the heat.
The girl getting on the beach bus (see sign) leads US along with Algy onto that same bus!

cartoon dog hot sweaty near beach bus sign

There's no room for subtlety here.
This is not "art," it's communication. In two panels we know who, what, where, when and why.

Now, admittedly, the rest of the strip doesn't really follow up on the setup at all.
Pretty forgettable gag. But the drawings are nice, huh?

Anyway, I've got a few more  one-pagers to post in the coming weeks, so we'll see what happens.


Stay tuned for a couple short-short comics featuring Cookie's pals Jitterbuck and "The Brain."
jitterbuck plays the drums

Kid with big glasses cartoon comic