Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering New Funnies

Let's talk about New Funnies comics. New Funnies is a Golden Age comic book series that started off just called The Funnies. With issue 64 (in 1942), the comic began focusing on Walter Lantz characters, such as Andy Panda and Oswald the Rabbit. With issue 65, it was renamed New Funnies.

Woody Woodpecker was also one of the Lantz characters who appeared in the book. He was such a new character at the time, he was a guest-star in the Oswald stories for a year or two before he received his own comic strip in New Funnies. At first, Woody's strip was only one page. With issue 87, he began receiving a longer strip. Of course, as time went on, Woody Woodpecker became Walter Lantz' biggest star and was featured on most New Funnies covers from the mid-1940s until it was cancelled in the early 1960s.

New Funnies is a great series. Not only are issues fairly easy to find--something surprising for A Golden Age comic book series--but many issues are not too expensive. Of course, the most sought-after issues are the earliest issues from the time the book switched to featuring the Lantz characters. The earliest issues can cost hundreds of dollars in near-mint condition.

In my opinion, some of the best covers are the ones that feature Woody, Andy Panda and Charlie Chicken, a character who only appeared in a few cartoons but was featured in the comics from the 1940s to the 1970s. He's one of those forgotten characters who never received large-scale fame. But, that's a blog for another day...

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