Great Golf Gags from Classic Cartoonists

For twentieth century cartoonists, while art may have been their calling, golf was almost always their obsession. Much of the time spent away from the drawing board was spent on the links, with all the frustrations and quirky habits that come from trying to get a tiny ball into a distant hole. Little wonder that so many combined their vocation and their avocation, drawing cartoons that found the funny side of the game and the people who play it.
About Comics has just released a new book collecting golf cartoons from some of the most respected names in cartooning. Great Golf Gags by Classic Cartoonists includes cartoons by six top names of the newspaper and magazine cartooning world: “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz, Playboy cartoonist Eldon Dedini, Dennis the Menace creator Hank Ketcham, “Two Little Nuns” and “Golf Fore Fun” cartoonist Bill O’Malley, “Big George” creator Virgil Partch, and Gus Arriola, creator of “Gordo.” Most of these cartoons are available nowhere else, often not having seen print in half a century.
“Most of these cartoons were created to celebrate the annual Pro-Am charity golf tournament that Bing Crosby used to host,” explains Nat Gertler, editor of the volume. “The tournament was very cartoonist-friendly, with various cartoonists being included in the lineup of celebrity amateur players. Starting before the launch of ‘Dennis the Menace; and going on for years after, Hank Ketcham handled the design and coordination of the tournament’s souvenir program. So it’s really not a surprise that the programs began including a fair number of cartoons… a tradition launched while Ketcham was handling the program in the 1950s and continued well into the 1980s.”
Golf tournament programs are not the only source for the cartoons. In additions to the cartoons that Schulz created for the Crosby “clambake” (as it was less formally known), there are also dozens of golfing cartoons that he did for “It’s Only a Game”, a feature that ran in newspapers in the late 1950s.
Eldon Dedini brings both his line-art cartooning and the lusher style he used in Playboy into the golf game. While the focus is on the golfers, the nymphs and fawns of his Playboy work are not entirely absent. The book’s wrap-around color cover is itself another Dedini work. Virgil Partch’s cartoons bring the same sense of awkwardness and absurdity that made his series “Big George” so popular. (Partch was such a dedicated cartoonist that, when he died, there were still six years worth of his daily panel ready to be run.)
As for Gus Arriola, Gertler notes “a lot of readers aren’t going to be familiar with Gus’s work. While his strip ‘Gordo’ was around for more than four decades, the last strip was in 1985 and it hasn’t been reprinted in a long while. But Gus was a cartoonist’s cartoonist – talk to folks who have been in the cartooning business for a while, and they’ll talk about his beautiful linework and his lovable characters. There’s only about half a dozen cartoons of his in the book, but I think people will like getting a taste of his work.”

List Price: $9.99
5.25″ x 8″ (13.335 x 20.32 cm) 
Black & White on White paper
104 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404735
ISBN-10: 1936404737
BISAC: Humor / Topic / Sports

 

FanMail ’66

The year was 1966, and the world was going crazy over the wham-socko superhero action that had leapt out from the comic books and onto the TV. With the internet yet to be invented, the fans of the day turned to their stationary pads and whipped off letters to the hero and to those who told his story, sending praise, complaints, questions and requests to the TV show and to the comic books. Best-selling book creator Bill Adler sifted through the letters and came up with the funniest, putting them out in a paperback that still draws praise to this day. Michael Eury’s new book Hero-a-Go-Go! says it’s a “brisk but deliriously engrossing read” and “the ultimate feel-good book”. Chris Sims at ComicsAlliance.com has called it “one of the single best pieces of Bat-ephemera,” and Al Bigley of Big Glee! told readers to “get ready to laugh!” But sadly, the book has been out of print for about half a century.

If this were anything but a press release, the story would end right there. But lucky for you, dear reader, this is a press release and we do not do such things just to depress you. No! We do such things to get you to spend money, and toward that end we are announcing a brand new reprinting of the same ol’ book under a bold new title: FanMail ’66. Now you can thrill to those mirthful missives and crusading correspondence of yesteryear, and we can thrill to getting a share of the $9.99 it will cost you!

Bill Adler created collections of kids’ letters to presidents (About Comics has already reprinted his Kids’ Letters to President Kennedy and Dear President Johnson), campers’ letters home, and fans letters to the objects of their adulation, whether that be the Beatles, the Monkees, or the Mets. He hit best-seller lists with books ranging from a collection to JFK’s humor (The Kennedy Wit) to the whodunnit Who Killed the Robins Family?

FanMail ’66 (ISBN-13:  978-1-936404-71-1) is a 128 page black-and-white paperback, 5″x8″, with a cover price of $9.99.

Order from Amazon!

Travelers’ Green Book: 1963-1964 International Edition (facsimile)

In the segregated US of the mid-twentieth century, African-American travelers could have a hard time finding towns where they were legally allowed to stay at night and hotels, restaurants, and service stations willing to serve them. In 1936, Victor Hugo Green published the first annual volume of The Negro Motorist Green Book, later renamed The Negro Travelers’ Green Book and the just the Travelers’ Green Book. This facsimile of the 1963-1964 edition brings you all the listings, travelogues, and advertisements aimed at the Black travelers trying to find their way across a country where they were so rarely welcome.

List Price: $8.99
5″ x 6.75″ (12.7 x 17.145 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
108 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404704
ISBN-10: 1936404702
BISAC: History / United States / 20th Century

Loxfinger

loxfinger1by Sol Weinstein
Israel Bond may seem like a simple-if-sexy salesman for Mother Margolies’ Old World Chicken Soup, but when the Holy Land needs his skills – his quickness with a pun, his second-to-none semitic seduction techniques, and (if absolutely necessary) his abilities at actual espionage – then the man known by the code name Oy-Oy-7 (licensed not only to kill, but to say prayers over the corpse) is there to do what needs be done. In a land surrounded by its enemies, Oy-Oy-7 is called on to guard the nation’s great benefactor, the generous but odd Lazarus Loxfinger. Is there more to Loxfinger than meets the eye? Bond aims to find out, even if doing so requires sleeping with dozens of exotic beauties!


In the mid-1960s, when Playboy was serializing the adventures of the world’s most famous superspy, they interspersed them with the rollicking adventures of Israel’s most hilarious weapon, Israel Bond. After the book editions of what the Chicago Tribune called “probably the funniest secret agent parodies ever written” had sold over a million copies, they were allowed to fall out of print. Decades later, all four books in the Israel Bond series are now back in new editions!

List Price: $9.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
116 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404100
ISBN-10: 1936404109
BISAC: Fiction / Humorous
Order the Loxfinger paperback, Kindle edition, or Audible audiobook from Amazon.

Matzohball

matzohballby Sol Weinstein

Things are really smoking on the island of El Tiparillo when the Holy Land’s superest, secretest agent Israel Bond is called to wield his weaponized mezuzah to save innocent lives and formerly-innocent beautiful lasses in the midst of rebellion. Will he manage to fend off the assassins, the vicious wildlife, and the mysterious Herbie while seducing the island’s wide array of fascinating and exotic women… or will it be the other way around? With Soviet spymaster General Bolshyeeyit, the insidious Dr. Nu, Rotten Roger, and “The Man with the Golden Gums” all on his tuchis, things will not be easy for Oy-Oy-7, licensed not only to kill but also to say prayers over the body…

In the mid-1960s, when Playboy was serializing the adventures of the world’s most famous superspy, they interspersed them with the rollicking tales of Israel’s most hilarious weapon, Israel Bond. After the book editions of what the Chicago Tribune called “probably the funniest secret agent parodies ever written” had sold over a million copies, they were allowed to fall out of print. Decades later, all four books in the Israel Bond series are back in new editions!

List Price: $9.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
126 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404117
ISBN-10: 1936404117
BISAC: Humor / Form / Parodies
Order Matzohball in paperback or for your Kindle from Amazon.

On the Secret Service of His Majesty, the Queen

On the Secret Service of His Majesty, the Queenby Sol Weinstein

It’s dire times for Israeli intelligence agency M 33 and 1/3. Auntie Sem-Heidt and her sinister agents of TUSH have been killing off Hebrew agents, as part of a devious plan to eradicate Jewish culture at its base. And in the midst of this, turmoil, super agent Israel Bond finds himself stuck with the job of protecting Baldroi LeFagel, the half-arab and all-fabulous new King of Sahd Sakistan. Will the Star of David-lovin’ Agent Oy-Oy-7 be willing to handle all of the crosses needed for this assignment (crossing physical boundaries, moral boundaries, and even cross-dressing), or will all this mishugas leave him cross-eyed and just plain cross?

ABOUT ISRAEL BOND, AGENT OY-OY-7: In the mid-1960s, when PLAYBOY was serializing the adventures of the world’s most famous superspy, they interspersed them with the rollicking tales of Israel’s most hilarious weapon, Israel Bond. After the book editions of what the CHICAGO TRIBUNE called “probably the funniest secret agent parodies ever written” had sold over a million copies, they were allowed to fall out of print. Decades later, all four books in the Israel Bond series are back in new editions!

List Price: $12.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
170 pages
About Comics
ISBN-13: 978-1936404124
ISBN-10: 1936404125
BISAC: Fiction / Jewish

You Only Live Until You Die

You Only Live Until You Die coverby Sol Weinstein

All good things must come to an end… and few things are gooder than Agent Oy-Oy-7, the hero of the Holy Land. When Israel Bond is drawn to Japan, he finds himself lost in a culture of miniaturized cars, oversized Buddhas, and danger around every tight turn. But what will spell the end of Oy-Oy-7? Will it be the deadly price of his high-stakes game of Monopoly? Will he go at the hands of the villain who got away in one of his earlier, affordable adventures? Might an oversized shellfish cause a doom both untimely and unkosher? Or could it be a fatal seduction by the delectible Miss Kopy Katz, Xerox’s learned mistress in the art of reproduction? Does Oy-Oy-7 end with a whimper or a bang? If both, who is whimpering, and who is banging? Read, and find out!

About Israel Bond – Oy-Oy-7: In the mid-1960s, when Playboy was serializing the adventures of the world’s most famous superspy, they interspersed them with the rollicking tales of Israel’s most hilarious weapon, Israel Bond. After the book editions of what the Chicago
Tribune called “probably the funniest secret agent parodies ever written” had sold over a million copies, they were allowed to fall out of print. Decades later, all four books in the Israel Bond series are back in new editions!

List Price: $14.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
160 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404131
ISBN-10: 1936404133
BISAC: Humor / Form / Parodies
Order You Only Live Until You Die in paperback or for Kindle from Amazon!

The Israel Bond Omnibus

omnibusAll four of Sol Weinstein’s classic Israel Bond Oy-Oy-7 spy parodies under one cover for the first time. Loxfinger; Matzohball; On the Secret Service of His Majesty, the Queen; You Only Live Until You Die – thousands of laughs apiece, cheap humor that’s even cheaper in bulk!
List Price: $29.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
560 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404148
ISBN-10: 1936404141
BISAC: Humor / Form / Parodies
Order The Israel Bond Omnibus from Amazon.

Dear President Johnson

Dear President Johnson coverWhat do you get when Bill Adler, creator of such best-selling books as The Kennedy Wit, teams up with Charles M. Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole Peanuts gang, and they draw from the creativity of the millions of kids in America? You get Dear President Johnson –a collection of the letters kids sent to the White House, facing the President with their questions, their wishes, and their dreams. Originally published during the LBJ administration, this book has been brought back to print to delight a whole new generation.

List Price: $9.99
6″ x 6″ (15.24 x 15.24 cm)
Black & White Bleed on Cream paper
102 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404568
ISBN-10: 1936404567
BISAC: Humor / Topic / Political
Order Dear President Johnson from Amazon.

Bridge Players’ Coloring Book

BPCBGenuine bridge humor from the 1960s! America had its first love affair with adult coloring books during the Kennedy administration, when the point was not ornate drawings but comedy, as the form was used to poke fun at politics, business, and leisure activities… and bridge was not immune. Back in print for the first time in half a century is this lighthearted look at bridge and the people who play it!

5.25″ x 8″ (13.335 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
48 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404599
ISBN-10: 1936404591
BISAC: Games / Card Games / Bridge
List price: $6.99
Order Bridge Player’s Coloring Book from Amazon.com!