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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Number 2038: You gotta be a football heroine

Babe was Boody Rogers’ comic book answer to the Li’l Abner newspaper comic phenomenon. Although Babe was a female version of Al Capp’s famous hillbilly, like Abner Babe never lacked for courage or strength. Matter of fact, she was tougher than the whole Chicago Crushers “pro-fesh-nul” football team. Just practicing with the team put it out of business when she put the players out of action.

It has been at least a couple of years since I showed a story by Rogers. I never get tired of his bizarre stories and broad vaudeville-style humor, but his work in comic books was cut short when he quit the business. He created three features, Babe, Sparky Watts (his longest-running), and Dudley, a teenage comic. All of them ended in 1949-1950, with the last issue of Babe, re-titled Babe, Darling of the Hills, cover dated April-May, 1950.

From Babe #4 (1949):

















The infamous story of Babe among the mountain centaurs! Just click on the thumbnail.


6 comments:

Ryan Anthony said...

It's been a while since I've read any Boody, so I don't remember if his stories were always so leisurely paced. Maybe I expected a football-themed comedy to go faster. Too much time was spent on Pappy's jobs, and then there was as much discussion of what Babe was going to do on the field as there was action. In fact, this was a very talky action comedy, and all the dialogue didn't make the strip funnier. To me, the only laugh-out-loud part was where the football went straight through the basket. But maybe it's just me.

Brian Barnes said...

This is kind of interesting as it's not the old saw of "didn't know her own strength." She knows she's absolutely a superwoman and will crush anybody in her way. All a setup for slapstick, though!

As always, the whole cartoon-y vs realistic (something Jack Davis was an expert at) is a hard line to make work. It's a good job here.

Brad S. said...

Love Boody's work, but the Leroy lettering doesn't work with humor...

Pappy said...

Ryan, leisurely paced is a good description of this story, and Pappy's job descriptions do seem superfluous, until I got to thinking of the sequence being part of a radio show. The jokes all seem old-timey, like vaudeville. I can just visualize Boody (if he did his own scripting, or if he perhaps had a writer working with him, uncredited), going through the old Captain Billy's Whiz Bang or even a wheeze like Joe Miller's Joke Book for inspiration.

Pappy said...

Brad S., I had to look at the story again to notice the Leroy lettering. I have become blasé.

Pappy said...

Brian, I thought of news stories in the past few years about girls petitioning to be on boys' teams, even girls playing football. Pro sports would be a whole different problem, but who knows? Maybe someday some real-life Amazon will come along as a receiver for the NFL. Then you would probably see the whole opposing team gang up on the tackles.