Monday, August 24, 2009

Fan Mail for a Flounder

I was sifting through my archives (AKA: Boxes o' Crap) recently, and I came across this item, so I thought I'd share it with you.

When I was young I used to write a lot of fan mail to the  various cartoonists I admired. My letters to them were full of gushing praise for their work, as well as requests for original artwork. I would mail off the letters and then every day after school I would race home to see if I got any goodies in the mail. Some cartoonists never responded, which sort of soured me on them (although now that I am an "adult" and seldom even answer the phone, let alone return mail, I am willing to cut them some slack). Other cartoonists were great though. One of my favorite replies was from Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey. Back in the day, I was a big fan of his clean modern style, and I was thrilled when he answered my letter. Not only did he send a warm note that gently critiqued the crappy cartoons I  sent him, but he also included this personalized print in response to my request for a drawing. It's obvious that he printed these up to deal with the numerous requests he must have received from little pests like me, but it was still a thrill for me to see the Beetle characters using my name.

After all these years, this still makes me smile.

I realize my posts lately have not been too engaging, so I promise next time, no mention of my childhood, Perfect Wife, Doctor Who or Rocco the Wonder Dog.

Unless I can't think of anything else...

BTW, as I'm sure you realize, the above image and characters are copyright Mort Walker, so don't even think of using them elsewhere!

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6 Comments:

Blogger Pepper Potts said...

That is really cool, Bill. So wonderful that you kept all those letters to look back on, and what a great idea to personalize them for each fan.

August 24, 2009 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger P.L. Frederick said...

Nifty! Why not keep it out? Surround yourself with stuff that gives you a little lift, I say.

Oh and for the record, I enjoy reading all your posts, no matter the subject matter. You're an entertaining and humorous writer, and a pleasure to read.

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)

August 25, 2009 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Bill White said...

P.L.-

Thanks for the kind words. Your blog ain't too shabby either! I urge you slugabeds reading this who haven't visited her site to check it out, post haste!

As for displaying this piece and other examples of the memorabilia I have, 1) I am afraid of the images fading if they are exposed to direct light 24/7. 2) My home would end up looking like Pee Wee's Playhouse if I displayed all my stuff. I know, that doesn't sound like a bad thing, but PW does not share this sentiment.

August 25, 2009 at 12:34 PM  
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August 25, 2009 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger eeTeeD said...

what a great thing for a kid to do! i'm glad you got some nice replies.

i must admit that mort walker is not tops on my list of cartoonists. his very early work was good, but he lived the cartoonist's dream... get a big juicy account with a comic strip syndicate and then hire assistants to do all your work for you.

that's no way to do things.

August 25, 2009 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

eeTeeD-

I was trying to avoid that aspect of MW's career, but I have to admit I agree with you.

I still love "his" work, and his book, "Backstage at the Strips" is a great read for any fan of old school comic strips.

August 25, 2009 at 8:02 PM  

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