Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Clyde Crashcup #3

I don't even remember where I picked up this issue; it was probably a throw-in at some garage sale, or one of the collections I picked up at some point. I certainly never would have bought it individually, but.... It turns out to be pretty good. I remembered the name Clyde Crashcup as having something to do with 1960s cartoons, but not what the cartoons were about; if I'd had to guess I would have made the obvious assumption that he was a terrible auto-racer. It turns out that he was the backup feature on the Alvin and the Chipmunks show, and instead of being a driver, he's a madcap inventor. Of things that have already been invented:
See, he'd just whip out his pencil and draw something and it would come to life. He also had a funny way of explaining the derivation of the name for his invention:
The formula for these stories is pretty simple; he invents something, but he and Leonardo, his (mostly) silent assistant, end up regretting it as it boomerangs on them:
The artwork is quite good and the writing is way above average:
According to Toonopedia, there's a pretty good reason for that:
The comics are sought after by today's collectors, because all five were written and laid out by cartoonist John Stanley, whose work on Melvin Monster, O.G. Whiz and Little Lulu is considered classic.
Of course, I probably would have realized that if I'd looked hard at this panel:
You never know where you'll find terrific comics entertainment.

Update: Commenter rnigma points out that Crashcup's verbal style and appearance were based on the oldtime character actor Richard Haydn.  I don't remember Haydn myself, although obviously I did see several of the films he appears in (Please Don't Eat the Daisies and the Sound of Music).  Here's Haydn doing his schtick:

As you can hear by listening to this clip of Clyde Crashcup, it is obvious that he is indeed based on Haydn: Haydn seems to be one of those rare character actors who was hired to play himself in every movie he appeared in.


Anonymous said...

I fondly remember the Alvin and the Chipmunks show, and the Clyde Crashcup back-up segment. I don't remember if Dell's Alvin comic book included a Clyde Crashcup strip; it seems like the back-up there was Little Iodine or something similar. Clyde did appear in the same story with the Chipmunks in Dell's "Alvin for President" one-shot in 1964. What I mainly remember from the TV show was his constantly re-inventing things and misnaming them. My favorite was when he drew a boat upside down. He pointed to the bow and said "This is the pointy part," then to the top hatch (which was on the bottom) and said "This is the door to the basement." And there was the time he tried and failed to invent electricity. At the end, at bedtime, he reminded Leonardo to turn off...the electric lamp.

live sports said...

nice work pics

rnigma said...

Clyde Crashcup was modeled, in voice and appearance, on actor Richard Haydn, who made frequent TV and movie appearances (he was Max Detweiler in "The Sound of Music"), but never gained a great deal of fame. Why Haydn was chosen as the model for a cartoon character, I have no idea - perhaps he was a friend of Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian.