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Match to Flame 31

posted on October 15, 2016


Now, before we delve into Harry’s fascinating origin story, perhaps a little deep background is in order. Growing up in the house of my parents as I did, it seemed I was always surrounded by music. I recall many a Saturday afternoon when I would be curled up in an overstuffed chair listening to the Metropolitan Opera broadcast that my dad would have playing on the radio while I worked on one of my latest comic creations like Congo Bongo Bill. (This was a knockoff of the Congo Bill comic, which I figured I had changed just enough to make my version totally original.) From my parents’ 78 rpm records that I played on my portable record player, I was exposed to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” the music of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, the Weavers, and even Puccini’s “La Boheme.” Along with that came “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” that I had begged my parents to buy, an album of big band tunes that I won at a church carnival, and the cherished four-record collection of “Peter and the Wolf,” which I played repeatedly until I accidentally dropped one of those heavy lacquered disks and broke it. (One of the most treasured moments of my career would come many years later at the Midwest Band Directors convention in Chicago when I accompanied a performance of “Peter and the Wolf” by the North Shore Orchestra by illustrating Peter, Sasha, and other characters from the story.) When my family moved to Elyria, Ohio, my father, who played the violin in high school, joined the community orchestra. Soon his practicing was joined by my sister and me as we worked on our piano lessons through which I became acquainted with Chopin’s “Nocturne,” Bizet’s “Carmen,” Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” (which I personally preferred; by No. 12, I thought he was starting to run out of ideas), and “Mr. Whole Note Takes a Walk” by the ever-popular Anonymous.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Two

Flash Fridays – The Flash Annual #2 October 1964

posted on October 14, 2016


This was the second Flash Annual to appear even though it says No. 4 on the cover. It was probably a numbering representing all of the Annuals, and this was just the Flash’s turn. Don’t really know, don’t really care. All I know is that is was the second Flash Annual to roll in chock full of early Flash Silver Age (although we didn’t know it was the Silver Age) stories and one Golden Age tale, which was a bonanza for newbies. One of the reprinted stories was from my very first issue so I was no longer a newbie and on my way to becoming a jaded fan. Plus, there was one additional item… a drawing of all of the Flash villains to date posing for a picture titled the Flash’s Rogues’ Gallery. It’s a beautiful Infantino/Anderson drawing. The bane of any cartoonist is to make everyone’s head the same size in a within a panel, so trust me when I say that this is a tour de force, kids.



posted on October 13, 2016


I suppose it was inevitable. This is a picture of what I was doing this past weekend… bringing the logs in for our winter fires. The plan is for them to keep me toasty while I sit by the fire reading the beautiful Titan editions of Hal Foster’s Tarzan that I picked up at SDCC this summer.

Before then, however, I still have some book signings on the docket starting with the Buckeye Book Fair on November 5th, the Akron Comic Con on November 6th, a Storytellers Session and signing at the Music Box in Cleveland on November 16th, and wrapping things up with a lunchtime signing at the Kent State University Bookstore on December 1st. Details on these signings can be found at the Events section on this site. I hope I get to see some of you along the road before we raise the drawbridge here at the Cartoon Castle and hunker down for the winter.