Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Jack Cole Day!

No, today isn't the anniversary of the birth of master cartoonist Jack Cole. The creator of Plastic Man was actually born on December 14, 1914. I doubt this date was even a significant one in Mr. Cole's life. I really love his work, though, so I decided to declare today an unofficial holiday dedicated to him. I also wanted to post this doodle I did of Plaz and his pal, Woozy Winks.

So grab a pile of Jack Cole comics and celebrate! If you aren't familiar with his work, go out and buy one  of the numerous collections of his comics, and enjoy.

Then you'll feel like celebrating!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for posting the great plas pic!

i'm also a big fan of cole's work.

his suicide will forever trouble me.

btw, cole helps prove my theory that a disproportionately large number of cartoonist come from Pennsylvania... cole, ditko, kelly, etc etc


May 15, 2010 at 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More proof that DC should hire you to revive Plastic Man!


May 16, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

eeteed- There ARE a lot of greats from PA, aren't there? Not as many as NYC. but still, many more than my little corner of the universe.

Cole's suicide haunts me, too. We will never know what caused him to take his own life at the height of his success. Selfishly, I am mad thinking about all the great future work we missed out on.

S.D.- From your mouth to DC's ear!

May 16, 2010 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of cole (betsy and me)and cathy g. (cathy)...

have you ever tried to crack the syndicated comic strip "nut"?


May 17, 2010 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...


I did indeed try selling my own strip. It was back when I was a young eager beaver, just out of school. I still have the samples, and will post them one of these days, with the exciting story behind them.

I DID draw the Richie Rich strip for a time in the nineties. You didn't know there was such a strip? Neither did anyone else. I also once had a tryout to do art for a over the hill, "classic" strip, once. To my eternal relief, I didn't get the job.

I have mixed feelings about strips these days. The ones that run in my locals are pretty bleak. I find it a chore to read them. Even the "hot" strips that everyone seems to love leave me kinda cold.

May 18, 2010 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bill white said:
"...I have mixed feelings about strips these days. The ones that run in my locals are pretty bleak. I find it a chore to read them. Even the "hot" strips that everyone seems to love leave me kinda cold..."

agreed! the blame of course goes to the newspapers, who cut down the strips to postage stamp size, and to the syndicates, who pick and promote strips that pander to certain "groups" of people (cat lovers, newlyweds, retired folks, etc) instead of promoting comics that are funny and well drawn ("top of the world" comes to mind here... one of the best comic strips made in the last 15 years, and the thing got cancelled!!!)

it's odd that newspapers are crying that they are losing $, but don't realize what a gold mine they have in comic strips. i once heard that scooby doo generates 72 million per year for hanna barbera... so why wouldn't newspapers work on creating a hit comic strip that would earn them that kind of $?


May 20, 2010 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...


Never heard of the strip,"Top of the World", I shall have to do a search for it.

The odds against a new strip succeeding are SO astronomical, I can't believe the crap that does see print. It's seems like syndicates have resigned themselves to the fact that their days are numbered, so now they are just coasting until the inevitable end. Too bad. I really believe that GOOD comic strips sell papers, and if you couldn't see them anywhere else, perhaps people would buy newspapers.

Believe me, I have started many times to post a rant about the sorry state of current strips, but I'm afraid it will be perceived as "sour grapes" coming from me since I don't have a comic strip myself.

May 21, 2010 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Bill White said...


Based on eeteed's recommendation, I checked out the strip, "Top of the World" by Mark Tonra. He is right. It is, or was, wonderful. I suppose the subject matter (a lighthearted slice-of-life, in a PRISON!), scared editors away. It shouldn't have. No worse than life in the Foreign Legion (Crock), or tales of an evil monarchy (Wizard of Id). I bet if it had started in the Sixties, it would have had a better chance.

The cartoonist got wise, though, and ended the strip, and started a new "cute widdle kid" strip, that is much more palatable/marketable to Mr. & Mrs. front Porch. Good for him, but too bad for the rest of us.

May 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


thanks for taking the time to find and check out "top of the world".

i can imagine mr. tonra's editor telling him something like... "don't you understand that we MUST make comic strips about specific groups of people. this strip is about PRISONERS.. my GAWD, prisoners don't have disposable income! whatever were you thinking???"


May 21, 2010 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...


As I said, I am amazed that strip ever got the green light. I'd love to know how many papers it appeared in, and what the reaction (if any) to it was.

Now you have really got me itching to write a post venting about my opinions of the current state of the "funnies"!

May 22, 2010 at 10:34 PM  

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