The Wacky Comic World Of Daffy Duck

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and the 10 Year Celebration of this blog! On May 5, 2015 I took a look at Bugs Bunny and called him “The King Of Saturday Morning Cartoons” and pointed out how he was the most popular and recognizable Looney Tune character, but if Bugs is the King then our next character would be the Jester as his antics and crazy nature made him a hit for me and my brother who both loved watching his cartoons…and I am talking about the one and only Daffy Duck! I know that it’s Easter Bunny season and not Duck season, but what better way to celebrate this holiday time than to cover a true icon in the world of classic cartoons and one that will surely make you month a little better. So as you find a comfy place to sit and enjoy this blog update, let’s get crazy with Daffy!

Daffy Duck 1

Daffy Duck made his debut in the Porky Pig cartoon “Porky’s Duck Hunt” that was seen on April 17, 1937.  In the toon Daffy was a no-name character but got viewers’ attention as his aggressive and zany attitude brought something fresh and new for the time and he became a favorite of many viewers. Early Daffy Duck was really crazy, a total loon who would bounce off the walls and laugh like a mad man all the while getting laughs from viewers and annoying his target in the toon.  He became the subject of many discussions of viewers and Daffy quickly became one of the top characters in the Looney Tune universe. Over the years Daffy Duck went from crazy to snarky and became very short tempered and would even become a frenemy of Bugs Bunny as who can forget the “Duck Season…Rabbit Season” bit! Warner Brothers knew that Daffy Duck was something special and to this day feature him in many cartoons, merchandise and even feature length movies like Space Jam 2 that was released in 2021. The term “screwball character” was termed after Daffy who was the first of the kind and started a trend of character that followed his personality and tropes. Daffy was so well liked by fans that he became one of the must watch cartoons and would rival the popularity of many other characters of his time like Popeye, Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop. And even in 2019 website ScreenRant ranked Daffy Duck as # 1 in their Top 10 list of Funniest Looney Tune characters. Daffy Duck was created by Tex Avery and Bob Clampett and has had many voice actors as well as cartoon makers help flesh out the character and make him the icon he is to this day. Say what you will, but we all know that Daffy Duck is a true icon of cartoons and over the decades has made so many viewers lived just a little bit more silly and fun.

Daffy Duck 2Daffy Duck 3Daffy Duck 4

The main voice of Daffy Duck during my childhood was the iconic voice actor Mel Blanc who created the characters iconic lisp as well as sarcastic tone and line delivery. Mel is considered one of the biggest icons in voice work in the early days of cartoons as he lent his voice to many iconic characters like Looney Tune ones like Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, Speedy Gonzales and Sylvester to name a few. And non-Looney Tunes characters include Flattop, Tom & Jerry, Barney Rubble and Speed Buggy to name a few. Mel would voice Daffy Duck from 1937 to 1989, the year that he passed away. And after Mel’s passing, three different voice actors would voice Daffy off and on through the years during my childhood with one being Jeff Bergman and the other two being Joe Alaskey and at a lesser level Greg Burson. And in modern times Eric Bauza has been the voice behind the Duck. And with all respect to those who followed him, let’s be honest, Mel Blanc is the amazing voice actor who made Daffy Duck the zany character we all love to this day.

Daffy Duck 5Daffy Duck 6Daffy Duck 7

Like all great cartoon characters, Daffy Duck has had his fair share of amazing merchandise for fans of all ages to collect and I as a kid was one of those fans who owned lots of cool Daffy stuff! Over the many years of the character, such items as books, comics, shirts, dolls, toys, posters, magazines, statues, trading cards, Music, Home Media, drinking glasses, video games, hats, Shoes, Erasers, Buttons, Pins, Watches, Candy, cups, jars, stamps, socks, towels, Halloween costumes, necklaces, night lights and so much more were made. If you are a Daffy fan and have any need for an item you can find it as there are also Daffy Duck toothbrushes! Growing up some of my favorite things that I owned that featured Daffy Duck besides the comic books was an old plush doll that I had when I was super young, an old Pepsi glass that as a kid I can remember drinking Kool-Aid and chocolate milk from, a McDonalds Happy Meal Toy that had Daffy Duck as Batman and lastly an eraser of Daffy’s head that was for your pencil that I got from school in Waynesville! Daffy is awesome and has some very cool items for fans, and I for one am still a Daffy fan and have many of his items in my collection.

Daffy Duck 8 dollDaffy Duck 9 glassDaffy Duck 10 gameDaffy Duck 11 pop

Growing up I would watch Daffy Duck on Saturday Mornings via old reruns of Looney Tunes on TV and also would watch them via home media on Beta and VHS that we would rent from the library or even would buy them from a dollar store that use to stock all types of cheap VHS tapes that featured cartoons as well as silent horror movies. I would raid that section and would buy everything that I would enjoy or ever wanted to see. There was always something very special about watching Looney Tunes and for both my brother and I, some of our favorite ones to view featured Daffy Duck as we loved his crazy laugh, his bouncing around, his sarcastic attitude, his Duck Dogers persona and so much more that made him so fantastic and one of the top cartoon characters in our household. Also we would find ourselves reading Daffy Duck comics and even as a kid I can remember my brother reading the comics out loud to me and even doing goofy voices to go along with it.  It was almost like a story time. But now I am off subject and I really just wanted to share my memories of old Daffy VHS tapes and how when growing up I used to watch them all the time as I would always find myself laughing when watching him act like a total nut job! And I am sure many of you reading this blog have very similar memories of watching your favorite cartoon characters on owned or rented VHS tapes.

Daffy Duck 12 vhs 1Daffy Duck 13Daffy Duck 14 vhs 2

One Daffy Duck cartoon that was amazing was from 1988 and was called “The Night Of The Living Duck” that has Daffy reading a horror comic book called Hideous Tales # 176 that ends of a cliffhanger and when he goes to find the next issue a clock falls and hits him in the head, and when knocked out he thinks he is a singer at a club that is filled with many classic monsters like Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Fly, Leatherface, The Mummy, Creature From The Black Lagoon and The Blob to name a few. And after being attacked by the Godzilla inspired Smogzilla in his dream world he wakes up and finds his issue of the horror comic. And for a Monster Kid like myself seeing Daffy Duck sing to many classic monsters of the movies was really awesome to see as who would ever guess that Leatherface of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame would appear in a Looney Tunes cartoon! And seeing the Universal Monsters being sung to by a sauvé Daffy is very surreal and was something that I never would have thought could have happened in the world of Looney Tunes. The animation is great in this episode and really makes me wish that Warner Brothers would have made animated monster movies as it would have been great to see classic monsters get the animated treatment. So if you love classic movie monsters as well as Looney Tunes cartoons make sure to track this one down and give it a watch.

Daffy Duck 15Daffy Duck 16Daffy Duck 17

Well now that we have taken a trip down memory lane and talked about Daffy Duck and all the elements that have made him a cartoon icon, I think we are at the point of this review that we take a look at the comics I own of him and have selected the comics from Gold Key and Whitman to cover. I want to thank several stores for having these in stock like Bell, Book and Comic, Game Swap Kettering and Mavericks Cards And Comics as well as Mom Young for having these issues for me to buy and make this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s get wacky and silly with Daffy Duck!

Daffy Duck 83 Comic

Daffy Duck # 83  ***
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Gold Key    # 83 of 145

“High And Flighty” The Road Runner and his fellow birds are running from Wile E. Coyote and they run through the sidewalk that Daffy Duck was making and the job goes south with footprints and Daffy looses his job. Road Runner feels bad and sets up a new job for Daffy that has him trying to help Wile capture them, and of course all goes wrong. “Ego-Tripped” has Daffy Duck a host of a late night talk show along side Elmer Fudd and they have many guests that night Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester Cat and Petunia Pig and the topic is how after the cartoons end that they are all friends and this turns bad real quick as all of the Looney Tunes characters start arguing over who is the best on their shows and even leads to a end chase of Elmer trying to capture Daffy for his harsh words on the way Elmer speaks. “Dough Nuts” has Daffy Duck owning a bakery and he ends up getting Clovis Cat as a helper who is the cousin of Sylvester and he causes so many issues as he is kind of silly and ruins many orders, but he does end up stopping a robbery. “Stamp Scamp” has Daffy by accident letting one of Elmer Fudds high priced stamp blow out the window and the two have a wild chase to try and get it back, only for it to be a cheap stamp instead as Elmer was wrong on the price.

This issue has lots of guest stars and Daffy while the main attraction can kind of be lost in the shuffle when it comes to each little segments plot as sometimes the likes of Road Runner and other steal a little of the spotlight. And because of the guests and Daffy antics this is a better than average read! All four stories are really good with my favorite one being “Dough Nuts” as I enjoyed the fact that Daffy owned a bakery and was making cakes and hired a goofball cat who stumbles around ruining all his business and making customers mad. When picking my least favorite it was hard but I guess I would have to choose “High And Flighty” as it was just kind of a one joke story that had Daffy always taking a break when trying to capture Road Runner when the Runner would make a whistle noise. But with that said seeing Daffy on the payroll of Wile E. Coyote was really cool. The cover is cool and like a broken record him in the birdbath never happens in the comic. The art by Unknown Artist is really good and I like the way he drew Wile E. Coyote as well as Clovis Cat and of course Daffy and the rest look great. Over all a good read and a cool kids comic based on an amazing cartoon character and series!

Daffy Duck 86 Comic

Daffy Duck # 86  **1/2
Released in 1974     Cover Price .20     Gold Key    # 86 of 145

“Dr. Elmer And Mr. Fudd” Daffy Duck is babysitting a young duck who wants to hear a spooky story before bed so Daffy makes one up about Elmer Fudd being a mad scientist who makes a formula that turns a mouse into a raging monster and he as well takes the formula and turns into a monster and torments the village and its up to Daffy in the story to save the day when he follows Fudd into a warehouse that the big mouse is in and they two fight. After the story the young duck puts on a Halloween mask and scares Daffy who runs out of the house. “The Duck Who Came To Dinner” The Tasmanian Devil is locked up behind bars at a zoo and Daffy goes to mock him, but soon Taz traps Daffy in the cage and as well when Daffy escapes Taz follows as he wants to eat duck for lunch! Daffy ends up tricking and knocking Taz out and leaves the country quick to be away from Taz once and for all only to find himself stuck in Tasmania! “An Alarm Clock Is A Rooster’s Best Friend” Daffy Duck is jobless and decides that he wants to take the job of Foghorn Leghorn as the rooster of the farm and does his best to set up Foghorn so that the farmer will fire him! Once Foghorn is fired Daffy takes the rooster job, but is soon found out by The Farmer and Foghorn who end up giving Daffy a new job on the far and that’s the top of the weather vein! “Hair Today And Gone Tomorrow” Daffy has made a formula that grows hair and his fellow ducks make fun of him as they doubt that it works, and when Daffy finds Elmer he tries to use the formula on his bold head and Elmer runs away and as Daffy gives chase he is attacked by a hawk it leaves Daffy featherless and when his formula falls on him Daffy becomes a duck covered in hair and must return to the drawing board to make a formula that will grow feathers.

This is an action packed issue when it comes to guest cameos as joining Daffy Duck in this issue is Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Tasmanian Devil, Foghorn Leghorn and Petunia Pig and each add fun moments to the stories they are in. This issue has the normal four stories and each of them bring their own styles of humor and put Daffy Duck in all types of situations that include him almost being eaten and even being a mad scientist! The kid friendly humor in this issue works really well and the best story for me in this issue is “An Alarm Clock Is A Rooster’s Best Friend” as I like how Daffy is so lazy that he thinks that being a rooster would be easy work and gets Foghorn Leghorn fired, but of course his sneaky tactics blow up in his face. Plus besides Daffy being awesome in the story so is Leghorn who is in my Top 10 favorite Looney Tunes characters. My least favorite story in this issue is “Hair Today And Gone Tomorrow” as I found it very lackluster and the lamest in plot in story, but seeing Daffy covered in hair was a little funny. The cover is awesome and has Daffy lifting weights that are really balloons, and you guessed it this never happens in any of the stories. The artwork is great and is very cartoonish and looks like the cartoon characters on the comic pages and is done by Unknown Artist! A good issue for sure and I am looking forward to read more of these Daffy Duck comics.

Daffy Duck 92 Comic

Daffy Duck # 92  ***
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Gold Key     # 92 of 145

“Duckula” Daffy Duck and Porky Pig are driving a pizza truck and it runs out of gas near a creepy castle as a storm blows in and the two end up having to stay the night in the castle as the owner Count Duckula invites them in, but soon Daffy and Porky find themselves on the dinner menu as Duckula is a vampire and his friend Engelbert is a werewolf! But before Daffy and Porky can be eaten Daffy comes up with a plan the leaves them safe and the two monsters big fans of Pizza. “A Rare Bird” Daffy is in a museum looking at dinosaurs when two professors spot him and see that he is a rare breed of duck and they want to capture him and taxidermy him to place on display! And Daffy must run for his life to escape them and the museum! “Movie Madness” has Daffy Duck trying to get into Warner Brothers Studios to be casted on the new Raquel Robin film that he learned about from Sylvester Cat and Porky Pig! But standing in his way is Elmer Fudd who is the new guard at the studio gate and is told no none employees are allowed in! So Daffy has to use his bag of tricks in order to get in and meet Robin. But Daffy becomes a hero when two cast members try and steal her jewelry and he almost goes into a date with Robin that us until Yosemite Sam scares him off by wearing a monster mask. “Stop, Look, And Duck!” has Daffy faking that he is a traffic officer in order to get into Elmer Fudds house to raid his refrigerator and eat all his food, but Daffy is followed by a hungry bank robber who also breaks in and wants all the food that Daffy is stealing! But thanks to Daffy’s traffic signs and his quick thinking the robber is caught and in the end the Police make him act as a traffic signal for borrowing the signs from the city junkyard.

Wow this was a really fun kids comic and had Daffy Duck in all types of different and zany adventures! Plus like before this issue does a great job of having fellow Looney Tunes characters guest star and that includes Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam and Sylvester Cat and they all play off Daffy very well in each of the segments. And really after reading this issue I had a smile on my face as it was such a silly good time, I mean Warner Brothers Studios even appears and they even make a joke about the MGM lion! And when sitting back and having to pick the best and least favorite story in this issue it was super hard but I would say “Duckula” was my favorite as I love the spooky horror feel of it and it read like a classic kids haunted house with a vampire story. And picking the least is really hard as all the stories were good but I guess I would say “Stop, Look, And Duck!” is the weakest as it’s just a Daffy stops a robber story that we have read before and it seems to be a big idea that the comic makers had when writing Daffy stories. The cover is great and showcases Duckula and shockingly it does tie into a story in the comic and that’s rare! The art is good and done once more and like always when it comes to Gold Key Comics by an Unknown Artist, and like always its very good and the characters look like they should for the most part. To sum it up this is a great issue and one of the best this far I have read of any of the Looney Toon themed comics. So with that lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Daffy Duck 98 Comic

Daffy Duck # 98  ***
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Whitman     # 98 of 145

“Snowman’s Land” Daffy Duck travels to the Himalayan Mountains in order to find the Abominable Snowman to ask him how often he clips his toenails in order to get $2.00 from Elmer Fudd who asked him that question. But once he finds the Snowman he learns that he has been fired as people do not find him scary so he makes a deal with Daffy if he helps him get his job back he will tell him the answer to the toenail question. And after trying to teach the Snowman to be scary and failing, it’s the rescue of two lost kids that gets the Snowman his job back and also gets Daffy the answer to Fudd’s question and he gets his $2.00 that is owed! “Northern Exposure” Daffy is stuck outside in a blizzard and meets an Eskimo who has been sent out by his wife to hunt a duck so they can have it for dinner, the man has never seen a duck and Daffy leads him in wild goose chases and after the poor guy is almost killed by a whale, Daffy saves him and comes clean that he is a duck and he is instead invited to dinner and they all eat fish. “Rainbow Riot” in this one Daffy is playing in the rain and after the rain stops a rainbow appears and Daffy uses this to his advantage to try and trick a free meal out of Porky Pig by dressing up as a leprechaun and promising a pot of gold to Porky if he can make Daffy happy and makes him a big meal and makes a fool of himself. And after finding out that the leprechaun was really Daffy dressed up he rushes back to the end of the rainbow and shoves a pie in the face of a leprechaun that was not Daffy but a real one!

This is such a fun read and has Daffy Duck meet the Abominable Snowman, Tricking a Duck Hunter and even acting like a leprechaun in order to get a free meal. And this one like the issue before has a Horror Comic element to one of the stories and Daffy even dresses like Count Duckula at one point in order to try and teach Snowman how to be scary. And as I am sure you guessed my favorite story in this issue is Snowman’s Land as how great and silly is it that Daffy tries to teach the Snowman how to scare people in order to find out how often he clips his toenails…and the two become friends. The weakest story of the group is Rainbow Riot as its not a bad story just the weakest of the three as it was just kind of blah as its just Daffy being a terrible friend to Porky Pig who is this issues only Looney Tune cameo. The cover is great and showcases what happens in this comic and that’s a rare thing in these types of comics made by Gold Key/Whitman. The interior art for at least the first story (Snowman’s Land) is done by artist Joe Messerli and is good stuff and I like his kid friendly take on the Abominable Snowman. Over all a solid issue that showcases just how fun these Daffy Duck comics can be for readers of all ages.

Daffy Duck 104 Comic

Daffy Duck # 104  **1/2
Released in 1976     Cover Price .30     Whitman     # 104 of 145

“Shopping Cart Caper” Art is a man who owns a grocery store who is having an issue with someone stealing all his shopping carts and making him having to buy more of them for his customers. Both Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd end up trying to help Art find who is stealing and after thinking its each other, they end up finding the real thief and it is the man selling Art the carts as he is stealing them with a magnet gun and then sells them back to the store. “Relatively Speaking” Elmer Fudd is really mad at Daffy who eats much of his food acting as a food inspector, and after being chased off Daffy returns to Elmer’s home with a train jumper who looks like Elmer and the two in order to get a free meal and a place to stay lie to Elmer and act as if this guy is a long lost cousin. But when Elmer figures this out as a lie after reading his family tree he chases the two out of his home with a gun and Daffy joins the fraud on rail riding as they jump on a train. “The Broccoli Bungle” Porky Pig is shocked and worried when he finds Daffy Duck talking to a piece of broccoli, and when asked about it Daffy acts as if Porky is rude and this causes Porky to go to the grocery store and buy some broccoli and talk to it! But it was all a big joke as Sylvester Cat bet Daffy that he could not trick Porky into talking to broccoli. In the end Porky is mad and chases Daffy around and the pair run into a cop and both have to serve public serves at a broccoli farm. “The Duck Bunch” Elmer Fudd goes to a cabin by the lake to relax, but soon his peace is shattered when Daffy and his duck friends rent the cabin next door and have a party…after being mad for a bit Elmer ends up partying with Daffy and the ducks.

This is an issue that I almost forgot I owned as I had gotten it from Mavericks Cards And Comics when I worked there and after moving this issue along with other comics was missed boxed and has sat at a friends house for many years, and by luck I found it just in time to be covered…and I have to say the issue is another above average read and brought Daffy Duck into four silly adventures with three of them being alongside Elmer Fudd! And also the issue has Porky Pig and Sylvester both making a cameo in a story making this one feel like a Daffy Team-Up issue, and thinking about it they should have done a DC Comics Presents and had Superman team with Daffy Duck at some point in the 70’s or early 80’s, a wasted opportunity if you ask me. The best story in this issue for me is The Broccoli Bungle as I love the idea of Daffy and Sylvester making a free lunch bet with each other on if they could trick Porky Pig into talking to a piece of Broccoli, like a harmless prank but also poor Porky as he seems to be the butt of the joke. My lest favorite story in this issue is The Duck Bunch, nothing wrong with this one just bland as it has Daffy and fellow ducks harassing Elmer Fudd. The cover is cool but like always has zero to do with the pages inside, speaking of interior pages the art is done by Unknown Artist and is good the only thing really off is the color of Sylvester’s noise that should be red but is blue. Over all a good issue that delivered some cheesy, silly, goofy Daffy Duck comic book laughs.

Daffy Duck 107 Comic

Daffy Duck # 107  ***
Released in 1977     Cover Price .30     Whitman     # 107 of 145

“Knight For A Night” Daffy Duck is lost flying around and finds an island the rest out and also sees an ad for a Knight wanted at a round table and he rushes to apply for the job as he thinks there will be food on the round table, but soon finds out that the King indeed of the Knight is poor due to an evil knight named Gore Thor who is stealing all his food, and after some tricks Daffy chases off the evil knight and the King’s Kingdom gets its food and knights back. “The High-Flying Queep” Daffy is in the park when a scientist and his henchman grabs Daffy and put a tracker on his leg in order to track were he goes, and Daffy ends up flying away to a western town but his tracker messes with the towns only TV and Radio and causes the sheriff to miss the weather warning of a flash flood, but the flood ends up causing Daffy to find a band of counterfeiters and for his reward the town gives him a reward and Daffy decided to fly on a plan to Hawaii but the tracker is also messing with their radio! “The Mysterious Mr. Big” Daffy Duck gets a job to go to the scary castle of Dr. Frankenfritter with a big check from Mr. Big who wants to buy the doctors new mechanical dog! And after Daffy is chased around the castle by mechanical monsters he makes the deal and takes the dog to Mr. Big who turns out to be a small flea. “The Hitch-Piker” has Daffy Duck trying to get home when he tries to get a ride from Elmer Fudd who is not happy to see him, but after getting tired Fudd ends up allowing Daffy to travel with him and even drive the car. Daffy ends up speeding around the highway and is pulled over and after finding out Daffy does not have a drivers licenses he and Fudd end up in court and Daffy has to pay a fine and work community service for seven days and Fudd must pay a fee.

Another great Daffy Duck comic that has Daffy being crazy and goofy and once more shows that Daffy Duck is great in cartoons as well as comics and in this one he even meets robotic Frankenstein Monster’s as well as takes down a evil knight that has a great name like Gore Thor! And all of the four adventures in this comic is a great read and it will be hard to choose what I think is the best but if I have to I am going to go with The Hitch-Piker as I like the idea of Daffy trying to hitchhike home cause he is to lazy to fly and ends up getting Elmer Fudd into trouble with the law when he makes the mistake of picking up Daffy. And I cannot pick a bad one from this issue as I really did enjoy them all so I am going to select none for this issue! Yeah this will be my only get out of selecting a Bad One card for this update. I mean were else can you read about Daffy busting a counterfeit ring, buy an electric dog for a man named Mr. Big, was rude to a judge and got himself and Elmer in trouble and even becomes a Knight and does battle in order to get a free meal! Great eye catching cover with Daffy making ice cubes and the use of a purple background makes it standout. The interior art is done by Unknown Artist and is great as I like the designs he/they created for side characters like Gore Thor and the robotic monsters. Over all a top notch read and this far is one of the top three best I have read from this Daffy series.

Daffy Duck 122 Comic

Daffy Duck # 122  **
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key     # 122 of 145

“The Robot Robbery” Armchair Daffy is back on another case and this time while at a science fair a robot steals an invention that takes control of items and allows the person with the invention to control a selected object. And when Armchair Daffy goes after the crook his armchair is thrown around and Daffy uses a bowling ball to bring down the crook and the people at the fair upgrade his armchair to fly. “Ye Olde Time Machine” has Daffy at an amusement park and goes into a funhouse called the Time Machine that really is a time machine and takes him back in medieval times and Daffy as a knight takes down a dragon as well as the Fight Knight before finally being able to go back to his own time, and he runs away from the fun house and then spends his time riding kids rides. “Aerial Grease Monkey” has Daffy becoming an in air mechanic for plans in need, and it’s hard and fast work and after an emergency landing leaves him aching he changes jobs to work as a water mechanic for boats in order to sooth his aching wounds. “Water Follies” Elmer Fudd is getting ready for a bath when he finds that Daffy Duck is in the tub and tells him that he is going to stay awhile as the government is working on the swamp! Elmer chases Daffy our only to find him now soaking in the kitchen sink! Elmer gets Daffy out of his house and ends up sneaking back in and turning Elmer’s basement into a pool and invites other ducks over! In the end Elmer is even more mad when the swamp is moved next door to him and he has to see Daffy more.

In this Daffy Duck comic he has all types of weird adventures from using a bowling ball to bring down a crook, going back in time to bring down a dragon and an evil knight, fixing planes in air and even helping other ducks in a swamp have a place to swim! But while it’s an entertaining issue it’s also very bland and middle of the road compared to other issues we have read this far. While Daffy is as zany and silly as ever he just does not do anything that truly stands out here. The best story is “Ye Olde Time Machine” as I like the idea of Daffy Duck at an amusement park and stumbling into a real life time machine and finding himself in danger in medieval times! Plus his lucky ways of defeating a dragon and an evil knight is pure cartoon/comic book stuff. My lest favorite story in this issue has to be “The Robot Robbery” and that’s sad to say as I think truly it is the weakest of any Armchair Daffy case we have read here this far. It was nice to see Elmer Fudd once more have a cameo and its great as in this issue he truly hates Daffy and it shows. The cover is good and has zero to do with any of the stories and the interior art by Unknown Artist is as good as always and helps add to the silly stories you are reading. Over all a very average read, but still a good one for the most part.

Daffy Duck 123 Comic

Daffy Duck # 123  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Whitman     # 123 of 145

“Tin Pan Daffy” Daffy and his trusty horse Deadpan are trying to travel around the Old West to sell pans and by accident they wake up a pair of thieves who steal Deadpan and go and rob the towns bank, but Daffy thinks quick and uses a pan to mock the sound of a rattle snake that scares Deadpan who throws the robbers and Daffy is then able to return the money to the bank. “Rude On The Tube” has Daffy Duck going to a TV station in order to help Petunia Pig on a cooking show, and while at first it goes bad as Daffy ruins the show, but when Petunia switches his role to a taste tester things go smooth. “Big Switcheroo” Armchair Daffy is on the case, but Slippery Sal has messed with the armchair and has switched it out with a fake chair that controlled by a controller. But when Daffy finds Sal’s hideout he is able to get his armchair back and also takes Sal down and brings him to jail. “Hot Tub Snub” Elmer Fudd has belt a hot tub in his backyard on his doctor’s orders in order to relax and like always Daffy Duck ruins it by wanting to also soak in the tub, and after tricking Elmer several times and getting into the tub Elmer ends up turning the tub into a jail cell and traps Daffy in it in order to finally find his peace.

This is another fun comic featuring the zany Looney Tune character Daffy Duck and has him as always annoying the heck out of Elmer Fudd as well as solving crimes in his armchair and selling pans in the west! And in this issue the only two Looney Tune character to appear are Elmer Fudd and Petunia Pig and they both are used well and I really like the idea that Petunia Pig has a TV Cooking Show that has Daffy Duck as her assistant, imagine if this was a real show and Daffy would ruin the recipes as well as just shovel the food into his mouth. The best story in this issue is Rude On The Tube and is for the reasons I mentioned about as it really is a fun silly read. My least favorite is Big Switcheroo just a kind of un-interesting Armchair Daffy case that kind of puts along and has a payout that is kind of bland. The cover is good and has Daffy with pie on his face after he took a bite from one on Elmer’s window seal, and yep this never happens in the comic. The interior art done by Unknown Artist is good and I really like the way whom ever they are draws Daffy as well as Elmer Fudd. So with that let’s take a look at whats next for Daffy Duck in the next comic book.

Daffy Duck 124 Comic

Daffy Duck # 124  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key    # 124 of 145

“Tasters Choice” At a small diner a newspaper editor is worried as his food critic just quit and he notices Daffy Duck eating a ton of food and giving reviews of it to the chef and the editor finds his new critic! Daffy does a great job at the start and travels around eating all types of food, but after awhile Daffy is getting fat and brings in Tasmanian Devil as his assistant to help eat the food and that goes wrong when Taz destroys the dinning room of a restaurant and this causes Daffy to be fired by the paper and chased by Taz who is still hungry and wants to eat Duck! “The Missing “Missing Persons” Person” Daffy as his Armchair Daffy crime solver persona gets a case that takes him to a boarding house to find a missing Officer as well as a boarder of the place, but when he gets there the chair can not enter the haunted room were the people have gone missing from! Once inside Daffy solves the case as the officer and boarder fell into the caller via a loose floorboard. “Duck Calls” Yosemite Sam has decided to give up on sea life and has built a cabin in the woods to get away from stress and sound, but Daffy Duck shows up and makes all types of noise and this causes Sam to try and stop him from doing so. And when his attempts fail to keep Daffy quite Sam just leaves his cabin to return to life at sea, and Daffy takes over the cabin and enjoys the quite life. “Meteor Hunt” a scientist forces Daffy Duck to help him hunt for a fallen meteor and instead of finding the falling space rock, Daffy ends up ruining a group of friends beach clam bake when he thinks it’s the meteor that smoldering in the sand and his chased off by the angry friends.

A solid Daffy Duck kids comic here that brings the reader four tales featuring Daffy being silly, hungry and just plan old crazy! It’s always nice to see a crime being solved by Armchair Daffy and this one is classic Horror Comedy stuff as the missing people have fall through the floor and are stuck in the locked cellar, I mean come on this could be the plot of a Don Knotts film. It also was cool to see other Looney Tune characters like Yosemite Sam and Tasmanian Devil as they help add to the stories they take apart in. My lest favorite story in this issue has to be “Meteor Hunt” as it was just kind of bland and the pay out of Daffy ruining a clambake is kind of just lame even for kid friendly humor. Plus let’s be honest in that story Daffy is kidnapped and forced into help labor by a nut job scientist. But for me I would pick the story “Tasters Choice” as the best as I love the idea of Daffy Duck being a food critic for a big newspaper and eating like a slob and becoming fat and ends up on the dinner menu for Taz who Daffy was silly enough to bring in as his assistant to help eat and review the food. The art is great and like before done by an uncredited artist. The cover is cool and like most Looney Tune comics from Gold Key and Whitman what Daffy Duck is doing on the cover is nothing he does in the issue. Over all another great comic featuring Daffy and is a great read for fans of the character.

Daffy Duck 126 Comic

Daffy Duck # 126  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key    # 126 of 145

“Artsy Daffy” Elmer Fudd is near a pond trying to paint the landscape and Daffy Duck will not leave him alone as he wants to be in the painting, and after harassing Elmer who gives in and paints Daffy who in turn is annoyed by the painting as he thinks its bad. But while walking home a man buys the painting of Daffy from Elmer for $10.00 and claims that paintings of ducks are rare. Daffy says he will let Elmer paint him only if he allows him to eat everything in his fridge, Elmer agrees and after Daffy eats everything Elmer rushes outside to try and sell all his new paintings to people who seem to have no interest. In the end we learn that Daffy Duck paid the guy to buy the painting from Elmer in order to eat all his food. “Breakfast Blahs” Daffy Duck becomes a spokesman for a breakfast cereal and his commercial helps sell the food to the masses, but he is also forced to only eat the cereal for every meal and to make sure he does just that the company even hires a man to follow and watch Daffy to make sure the cereal is his only meals. But Daffy is able to get out of his contract as he finds out the dirty secret of the owner of the cereal company and uses it against him…the secret is that he eats another brand of cereal for breakfast! “Swamp Swap” Daffy is upset as the lake is now filled with swimmers and fishermen and he decides to find a new place to relax and that is a near by swamp. Once at the swamp he finds Elmer Fudd is there and is fishing and the two go back and fourth as Daffy ends up stealing food and now has to work it off by steering the boat, but after an accident the boat sinks and Daffy has to pull Elmer on a raft while he still fishes. “Just Plumb Daffy” A stamp collection worth thousands of dollars is saved by Daffy Duck and his monkey assistant M.W as they are plumbers and by doing this they get a big front page article in the newspaper. A criminal tricks Daffy to help him break into a house and search pipes for a coin collection, but when Daffy figures it out he and M.W alert the homeowner and stop the theft.

Daffy Duck as always brings us four more zany tales of silliness and like all before is a good kid comic read that brings the Looney Tunes world to the comic pages, and I do need to say that I feel as if they do an alright job at doing so…but the characters like Daffy and the others also do not 100% feel and act like the cartoon versions as these ones are way more friendly and Daffy is far less crazy and is really more about eating lots of food. And with this being a kids comic Elmer Fudd does not have his trusty shotgun and does a lot of kicking when it comes to getting Daffy Duck out of his way. And it’s also odd while characters are annoyed with each other they all also come off as if they are friends. And that’s the one thing about these Looney Tunes comics from the 60’s and 70’s they really are good kid friendly reads with characters that most of us grew up watching and while its not 100% like the cartoons they have a very familiar feel that makes them very much enjoyable to read. My lest favorite story in this issue was a hard one to choose as I enjoyed them all but the weakest of the stories is “Breakfast Blahs” as while it is entertaining the payout at the end is weak of the boss eating another brand of cereal is his dark secret. My favorite from this issue is “Swamp Swap” as I like the idea of Daffy and Elmer on a swamp trying to fish and run into issue with a ranger as well as Daffy’s hungry that causes them wreck a boat! The art as always in this series is done by an Unknown Artist and its good classic kids comic art and they character look like they should. The cover is good and has Daffy annoying Elmer and this act at least happens in two of the stories, even if it’s not the same way shown on the cover. Over all a great read and any of these comics are must have stuff for fans of Daffy Duck and Looney Tunes in general.

Daffy Duck 136 Comic

Daffy Duck # 136  **1/2
Released in 1981      Cover Price .50      Whitman     # 136 of 145

“Demolition Duck” has Daffy Duck working for the demolition track as a janitor and after moping the floors in drivers dressing room the demolition derby champion trips and injures his back and Daffy is forced to take his place in the derby and wins it all. “Super Salesman” has Daffy selling Elmer Fudd a trick door that is suppose to scare unwanted guests away, and when Elmer buys it he chases off a game show worker that could have won him lots of money and of course Elmer is mad at Daffy! “Armchair Daffy’s Dilemma” has Armchair Daffy on a case when a Crime Boss goes after him for getting his gang all locked up, and he even messes with Daffy’s chair in order to get him out of the way so he can try and breakout his gang. But in the end it back fires and the chair ends up capturing Crime Boss and putting him behind bars. “Striking It Rich” Daffy sells out of pans in the Wild West due to a gold rush but a pair of robbers steal all of Daffy’s money as well as his donkey’s gold tooth! And both are not happy and once they find the robbers they get the money back and the donkey strikes gold and becomes super rich as due to his tooth he is sensitive to gold and that allows him to find it easy. “Ambition Nutrition” Daffy Duck is so lazy that his pond land is littered with trash and Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig and Petunia Pig try and ask him to clean it up and they can not get him to do so, the three end up going to a local scientist who makes a salt that will motivate who ever eats it and after tricking Daffy into using the salt on hamburgers he uses to much and is super motivated that he cleans the pond and turns it into a tourist attraction! But it’s noisy and annoying for all the neighbors and once Daffy gets lazy again when the salt wears off and Elmer, Porky and Pentunia decide to clean the pond themselves as a motivated Daffy is dangerous.

Daffy Duck is still going strong as this is another fun issue that as always takes Daffy on so many zany adventures and has him involved in some goofy moments. Plus this issue brings on the cameos from other Looney Tunes characters like Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Petunia Pig and they are used well as neighbors and friends of Daffy who are annoyed with his laziness. The best story in this issue is Demolition Duck as I like the idea of Daffy by accident hurting the Demolition Derby champ and having to take his place in order for the fans not to riot and ends up beating a challenger as well as win the event! My least favorite story is sadly Armchair Daffy’s Dilemma as the Crime Boss of Crime Co. is cool but also the story of his capture and being a thorn very briefly in Daffy’s side just is a little weak and I hate that Armchair Daffy is the weakest story again. The cover of Daffy holding onto a flying toy is cool and eye catching but as always has zero to do with any of the stories inside the issue. The Unknown Artist interior art is good and like I have said before captures the characters pretty well. So with that lets get to the next issue and see what Daffy has in store for us.

Daffy Duck 137 Comic

Daffy Duck # 137  **1/2
Released in 1981     Cover Price .50    Whitman     # 137 of 145

“The Flying Detective” Armchair Daffy is back and this time is on the case of trying to stop a pair of thieves who have a flying car, and sadly the armchair can not keep up! So Daffy adds on wings and makes his armchair fly, but did not count on rain clouds that makes the armchair fall apart, but thanks to the springs from the chair Daffy bounces up and tags a ride with the car. And after shooting the robbers in the eyes with onion juice Daffy delivers them to the police. And in the end uses the reward money to rebuild his armchair this time with wings and an umbrella. “Eskimo Daffy” in this one Daffy is an ice cream man and an accident puts his igloo shaped cart into the water and people of the town think that he is from the North Pole and throw a big feast in his honor, but when his secret is exposed that he is just an ice cream man, Daffy is forced to run out of town and when doing so he and his cart crash into a limo that ends up saving the life of the Mayor as the rail sign was not working and the limo would have been smashed by the train! And Daffy then returns to the town as a hero and is selling tons of ice cream. “The Raindance Kid” has Daffy Duck as a pot and pan salesman in the old west and most towns are mad at him as his wagon makes all kinds of noise, but soon Daffy finds out that his banging of the pans causes rain and while in a town suffering from a drought he makes it rain and it will not stop and now the town wants him dead as the streets are flooding and the roofs are leaking! But when they soon find that the rain is causing gold to come up they forgive Daffy and end up buying all his pots and pans to capture the rain from the leaky roofs and to carry their gold. “Beaver Fever” has Yosemite Sam on the hunt for beavers as if he captures and kills them he can sell the fur for $30.00 each! So he sets some traps and Daffy Duck is here to save them as he uses Sam’s own trap against him and the beavers build a dame that sweeps his house away.

This Daffy Duck has four stories as well as two small one page gags given us a lot of Daffy for very small pocket change! Daffy in this issue once more is a duck of all trades as he is a rainmaker, an animal savior, an ice cream salesmen and a detective! The best story in this batch for me is The Raindance Kid as I like the idea of Daffy in the wild west and with his pans he is able to make it rain, very silly stuff and plus I am a fan of rain so Daffy being the bringer of it is silly funny to me. My least favorite is Beaver Fever just a middle of the road story and pretty gruesome for a kids comic ad Yosemite Sam wants to murder a whole family of beavers to skin them…pretty gross stuff for what is pretty much a light hearted comic issue. I also need to say I do enjoy reading the cases of Armchair Daffy as well as he is like a very lazy version of Sherlock Holmes, but yet is also very inventive when using his chair and making upgrades and repairs to it. Interior art is done by Unknown Artist and is good as always, and the cover is good and kind of at least fits the Wild West feel of one of the stories. Over all a great issue in the Daffy Duck comic series and had many enjoyable tales to share.

Daffy Duck 139 Comic

Daffy Duck # 139  **1/2
Released in 1982     Cover Price .60      Whitman     # 139 of 145

“The Missing Moosehead” Armchair Daffy gets a case that takes him to a mansion where a mounted moosehead as well as a late night snack has gone missing! And as the owner goes to sleep Daffy sits guard and ends up finding a secret door and that the previous owner of the house is living in the walls as he is sad to have lost him mansion. In the end the new owner allows the old owner to live in the mansion as well and Daffy takes the moose head as payment. “The Clang-Bang Day” Tin Pan Daffy is arrested for all the noise his pots and pans are making as this old west town likes it quite, but also thrown into jail is a banker who has been stealing and hiding money from the safe. A pair of crooks bust Daffy out of jail thinking he is the banker and force him to show them were the money is hidden, and after leading them around he ends up using his pots to capture them and also uses the noise of his wares to annoy the banker who tells them were the money is hidden and leaves the town a hero. “Airmail Mallard” Elmer Fudd hires Daffy to deliver a poem to the wrong lady and after a second try he looses the letter and ends up writing a bad poem that coasts Elmer a date! But it works out for Elmer when he wins a free trip and Daffy is then paid to house sit and while there can eat all the food in the refrigerator. “Migration Tribulation” Daffy is flying across the ocean and is getting tired when he gets involved in hijinks as two pirates are in a sub and Yosemite Sam is on his ship hunting whales. But in the end Daffy gets both ships sunk and uses the sail to glade across the ocean. “Deputy Daffy” in this adventure Daffy becomes a Junior Deputy and annoys the town as well as Elmer Fudd, but when Fudd is robbed its Daffy who stops the crook and by the end Daffy becomes a Detective.

Well this is the final issue of Daffy Duck I have and I must say that this issue as well as all the others covered here on this update are just as fun as I remember them being from my youth growing up reading them. The thing about Daffy Duck as well as all the other Looney Tune characters is that they make great comic book characters as well and that is why they still make comic appearances from time to time as Warner Brothers and DC Comics both seem to agree. In these Gold Key and Whitman Comics they do a pretty good job of capturing the nature of Daffy from the cartoons but they do play down is zany crazy nature and add more of a food obsession to him and I get it as the comics needed to be a little more simple for young readers. And while Daffy is different from cartoon to comic he still is very much fun. The best story in this issue has to be The Missing Moosehead as this Armchair Daffy adventure is silly and has a haunted house feel and seeing the panel of Daffy zooming around the mansion in his armchair was great stuff. My least favorite story in this issue is Migration Tribulation as the story is weak, the payout bland and is a short filler story for sure. The cover is very cool on this issue and has Daffy being fired out of a circus cannon and he is scaring Elmer Fudd who is selling popcorn. The interior art is done by Unknown Artist again and is good stuff and fitting for this comic series and they do a good job of making all the Looney Tune Characters look like they should. Over all these Daffy Duck comics are great reads and if you are a fan of Daffy and enjoy reading comic books you should check these out as they are Daffy adventures that put him into more goofy situations than the cartoons ever did. Checkout the art below to see the work of the Unknown Artist and the style used to bring Daffy alive in these classic comics.

Daffy Duck Art 1Daffy Duck Art 2Daffy Duck Art 3

Daffy Duck truly is one of my all time favorite Looney Tunes characters and while his comics are not 100% like the character they are still great reads that really made me flashback to being a kid and reading them when I was a youngster. And while these Daffy Duck comics might not be the most amazing cartoon based comics you will ever read, they are entertaining and bring Daffy into adventures the cartoons would not take him on, in fact almost all of the Dell/Gold Key/Whitman comics based on Looney Tune characters are worth reading. Showcasing Daffy Duck was a great way to spend one of Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary updates with as Daffy really was a big part of my life growing and needed to be apart of the fun. And our next update takes us into the world of Jack “The King” Kirby and his DC Comics creation The Sandman, one that should be a blast to talk about. So until next time, read a Looney Tune comics or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a chat in the dream world…or is that nightmare world.

sandman dc preview logo

The One And Only Irwin Troll

Trolls are creatures that come from Norse Mythology and live in caves and or under rocks that are not friendly, stay to themselves and avoid interacting with humans. Trolls in modern folklore and media have taken on the personality traits of eating humans, being dim witted pranksters henchmen to evil beings, giants and keeper of bridges. In other words, Trolls are not nice creatures and are mythic monsters that have been around for centuries and that’s why our second update for our countdown to Halloween 2020 is about a troll that lives in the woods and roams around nature avoiding humans…and the troll we are talking a look at is one who is not mean and loves life and everything in it as this update is about Irwin Troll from the comic strip Broom-Hilda. So while this one is by no means scary nor a Horror Comic, it is one that needs to be done, so sit back relax and enjoy this quick and fun update.

Russell Myers was born in 1938 in Pittsburg, Kansas but was raised in Oklahoma and had a pretty normal childhood. Russell had a talent for drawing and tried to come up with comic strips to be picked up for syndication in newspapers and could not get his big break. In 1960 he started working for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri where he drew greeting cards, and all the while he never gave up his dream of being a comic strip artist. In 1964 Russell married Marina, and they have two children that are son Stewart and daughter Rosie. While talking to writer Elliott Caplin, the brother of Lil’Abner artist and creator Al Capp, Myers got an idea for a strip called Broom-Hilda. The pair worked on the idea, and in 1970 they got the stripped and picked up for paper syndication! The first Broom-Hilda strip was printed on April 19, 1970 in the Chicago Tribune Syndicate. In 1975 Russell received the National Cartoonists Society’s Best Humor Strip Award. And while the strip is not at popular as it once was, it still does live on in some papers as well as on weekly comic strips on its official website. I myself want to thank Russell Myers for delivering comic strips and characters I grew up reading in paperback books that I would find at second hand bookstores and garage sales.

Irwin Troll is a purple skinned short troll that is covered in hair who lives in the world of Broom-Hilda. He is not very smart, is fun loving, respects nature and has a great sense of humor making him a lovable character. Irwin cares so much for animals and even has a pet rock that he cares for, has a horde of butterflies that act as his bodyguards not to mention he also watches over his jerky nephew Nerwin who is a handful. His best friends are the witch Broom-Hilda as well as talking and walking bird man named Gaylord Buzzard. One aspect about Irwin Troll that makes him so likable is the fact that he is always happy and seems to see the best in all life. Growing up reading the paperback books of Broom-Hilda, the one character I always liked was Irwin Troll so I am very much looking forward to reading this book again as it really has been decades since I have read a Broom-Hilda comic strip or book. Also did you know that Irwin Trill and his friends also appeared in some animated cartoons? Check out below to see what Irwin Troll looks like and get the vibe of this fun loving guy.

Like all classic comic strip characters, Broom-Hilda and her cohorts have also gotten their fair share of merchandise that includes not only paperback books but also stuffed dolls, Halloween costumes, drinking glasses, patches and even got a cartoon series! While Irwin was in the books, cartoon and had a plush doll, he sadly did not get a patch or a Halloween costume. Growing up I had lots of the paperback books and would have loved to have one of the drinking glasses and the stuffed dolls of Irwin.

So as you can see, Irwin Troll is not a spooky character and is more of a cute fun one. I do think he makes for a very silly Halloween countdown update topic! As I have said before, I have not read a Broom-Hilda strip or paperback in decades and remember liking them back in my youth so it will be interesting to see if they humor and characters hold up for me still in 2020. Plus will Irwin Troll still be my favorite character of the series? I want to say I only chose one of the paperbacks to cover as only one of the book series was all about Irwin Troll. I also want to thank the vendor at the Heart Of Ohio Antique Mall for having this book in stock for only $2.00! I want to remind you that I grade this comic on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready to travel to the woods on a troll hunt, let’s see what fun times Irwin has in store for us.

Irwin Troll # 1  ***
Released in 1976     Cover Price .95     Tempo Books   # 5 of ?

This book is tons of one-page stories featuring the one and only Irwin Troll having silly and fun adventures! So while I cannot cover each one I will select 10 of my favorite strips in no real order. The first one has Irwin getting ready to take a shower and when he turns it on one massive water drop falls comes out and is hard as a rock and crushes him, and he explains he needs to get some water softener. Second has Irwin Troll and Broom-Hilda using an Ouija Board in the woods calling on a spirit and when one answers it turns into a joke about Lawrence Welk. The third is has Broom-Hilda being upset that she is not losing weight, when Irwin Troll walks by and says that she can not lose weight because even fat doesn’t want to die! The silly fourth strip I enjoyed was Irwin at a movie theater with Broom-Hilda and Gaylord Buzzard, when Irwin asks Gaylord if he is against noise pollution and when he says yes Irwin hands him a soaking wet bag of popcorn and informs him that is why he watered down his snack! The fifth strip I liked has Irwin sitting hear flowers talking to them and saying he will be there all night if need be and shows us readers that he is staying up with a sick flower seed, this one really does capture the amazing and caring nature of Irwin Troll. The sixth strip has Irwin talking with Broom-Hilda about how his father lost everything in the crash of 1929, and when Broom-Hilda asks him how did his father deal with it Irwin claims that he acted like an adult as he could build up his comic book collection again! The seventh one I enjoyed has a armed robber with panty hose on his head pulling a gun to rob Irwin Troll who walks past him unafraid and claims why should he be scared of a man who wears his socks on the wrong end, as clearly he would not know how to use a gun. The eighth strip for me has Irwin Troll standing in front of a sign that is for his zoo that will cost you .50 to see, and when Broom-Hilda pays the admittance she finds out the zoo is really just Irwin in a cage. What I selected for ninth strip has Irwin talking to Broom-Hilda about how there is a food price hike and that the government saying growing your own food is a great idea, but he is worried as his pork, beef and chicken has not grown in his planted garden. And for the tenth and final strip I picked has Irwin looking in the mirror placing oil in his hair and running a comb through it, we next see Irwin with hair like Johnny Cash who claims that this is the only way to listen to country music records as his player plays.

Revisiting the world of Broom-Hilda was lots of fun and reliving stuff like this is why I do these updates at Rotten Ink, and after revisiting as well I can say that Irwin Troll still is hands down my favorite character from this comic strip. This paperback book has each page filled with its own gag and each and everyone of them in this book features Irwin Troll in all his hairy glory, and as well does a great job of showing Broom-Hilda and Gaylord Buzzard. In the book Broom-Hilda is nice to Irwin about 40% of the time and its clear that while she is annoyed with him she still values his friendship. And that’s the thing about Broom-Hilda she is pretty mean at times and almost seems like she gets joy in hurting people that cross her on bad days. Gaylord Buzzard is wise and seems to be close to both Broom-Hilda and Irwin Troll, and I would say its clear I think he is Broom-Hilda’s best friend. Irwin’s pet rock, bodyguard butterflies and even other nature items are all his friends and help watch out for him, besides the sun who burns him when the troll wants to be his friend. Irwin Troll in this book does the right thing at all times and while he does make some silly decisions, his heart is always in the right place. The humor in the book is very silly, and while very dated, I do think people in their 40’s and older will enjoy it and get some of the very dated jokes. I do think that most of the humor would fall flat for younger kids of today. The cover for this book is great and had Irwin Troll standing in flowers while the back cover has a flower goosing his butt! The art by Russell Myers is fantastic classic Sunday Comic classic style art and is really fun and cartoony. So if you grew up enjoying Broom-Hilda comic strip or just enjoy the Sunday Funnies, give this paperback book and all the others in the series a read, as they are a true blast. Check out the art below to see the style of Russell Myers and behold its comic strip glory.

So as you can see, Irwin Troll and the world of Broom-Hilda are a kid friendly read for people of all ages and delivers fun characters and cheesy humor. For our next update we are leaving the safe forest world of Irwin Troll and will be heading to a world that combines both DC Comics and Silent Horror Movies as our topic is Batman Nosferatu! So until next time, read a comic strip or three, watch a Troll Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Hope you are ready for Count Orlok vs. The Dark Knight!

The Bright Colored Fur Balls Known As The Popples!

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, my place on the World Wide Web that brings my past and present together and allows me to chat about things I enjoy from comic books, movies, video games, music and Horror Hosts. It’s crazy to think that it’s already 2019 and 2018 is in the history books. Before we start our look at Popples, I am going to answer a few questions that I get asked by readers and friends about what are some of the most popular posts on this blog! I will break them down and share the top two posts for some of the most popular update themes, “Horror Host Icon” and “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic,” the ones you readers seem to love the most and the ones I get the most requests to cover. The “Horror Host Icon” updates are hands down one of my most popular themes as they hit home for many of you readers who grew up watching Hosts on TV and even modern viewers who catch their favorite’s on the internet. The top three most read Horror Hosts I have covered as of this posting are: Morgus The Magnificent being the most read Icon update followed very closely by both Commander USA and USA Saturday Nightmares! As for the From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update that has been the most read, that honor goes to Phantasm and is followed by I, Frankenstein and The Willies! So there you have it and with more updates in both of those themes, who knows what updates will be the top in 2020! So with that out of the way, I think it’s time we once more visit that magical world of Star Comics and chat about their mini series based on the popular 80’s plush dolls The Popples. So get your cool 80’s gear on and let’s travel back to when plush dolls were cool and no one had a smart phone glued to their face.

Popples were stuffed dolls that were weird looking animal creatures who could roll up into a ball and were a craze for a short time in he 80’s. So let’s take a look at Popples: the doll, cartoon and comics! American Greetings company Those Characters From Cleveland (TCFC) was the company behind the creation of Popples as their employee Susan Trentel was the designer who invented the roll up action of the dolls as she drew inspiration from rolling up socks! Susan was also the designer who brought to life Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake showing that she was a pioneer of 80’s toys and characters. She along with Thomas Schneider created the first Popples prototype. They went to toy company Mattel, and in 1986, these stuffed dolls were unleashed in toy aisles as well in the world of cartoons thanks to DIC Entertainment and comic books thanks to Star Comics. The dolls would last until 1988 and would have many waves and styles released during this short run including Pocket Popples, a line that was almost like action figures. The cartoon would run for 44 episodes and would go off the air in 1987 with three episodes never airing. The comic series would last for 4 issues and would come to an end in 1987. This sadly is much like many of Star Comics releases based on toys and cartoons. But while the Popples did not make their way into the 90’s and the toy industry moved on, they had two short lived comebacks with the first being in 2007 when Playmates released new Popples figures that only lasted four releases and in 2015 Netflix did a new cartoon series for their streaming service and toy company Spin Master ended up doing a toy line based on this new show. What does the future have in store for the Popples? In 2018 they were sold to Hasbro leaving them open to be made into more toys, cartoons, comics and even video games!

Growing up a kid of the 80’s and 90’s was glorious. As you have heard me say before, we had so many amazing movies, video games, comics and toys and it really was a great time growing up! In these times before the internet was all the rage, many of the big deals that were the talk on the playgrounds was stuff like video games, wrestling, comic books and the newest toys that were on everyone’s must own list…and I can safely say that while I heard them mentioned from time to time and even saw some of the girls have them, the Popples were never a major deal at my school. I remember my neighbor Joanna had some and that’s how I got to first interact with one, and while it was cool that they could turn into a ball, I never did want one as by the time they were released so many other toys, games, comics, horror movies and one special girl were on my radar. Now I need to stress I had nothing against the Popples, they were just clearly more geared toward girls and they were just not something many boys were flocking to. In fact I can remember many toy ads for these plush dolls showing up in comic books I was reading at the time, showing that the toymakers were really trying to make youngsters pay attention to them and help create the demand for them to be on every child’s Christmas and Birthday list. So while Popples were around and a part of my youth, I never really had a major connection to them and by all accounts they just were viewed by my friends and I as girl toys.

So like all good 80’s toys at the time Popples were just not dolls and action figures as these little puffballs have graced all types of other merchandise! The Popples also had the cartoons released on VHS. They had their own vinyl records, books, coloring books, lunch box, board game, shirts, cake pan, bowls, TV tray, stickers, valentine cards and much more. In other words the Popples were everywhere, and they were being pushed to really be a powerhouse in the kids market. While they had a good run, they never did capture the market like Care Bears, Smurfs and Strawberry Shortcake did before them.

Stuffed Dolls in the 80’s and early 90’s were very popular among the youth as besides Popples ones like Pound Puppies, Care Bears, My Pet Monster, Rainbow Brite, My Buddy and Teddy Ruxpin were all on kids must have lists and many of my friends as well as myself had many of these plush. So let’s now dive into the world of Star Comics who made a very short lived comic series based on the cartoon version of the Popples and see how well they were as kid comic stars. I want to think both Lone Star Comics and Bell Book And Comic for having these issues in stock and making this review possible. I must also say that I am very shocked and yet really not that Star Comics decided to do a comic series based on Popples in 1986 as they ignored some vey popular toys from the time like Teddy Ruxpin, Jem And The Holograms, My Pet Monster, Nerfuls and so many others. Plus I still really wished that they would have done a comic series based on one of my childhood heroes and icons Commander USA, who was a Horror Host that would have made an amazing kids comic book hero. But let’s not talk about would could have been and instead, let’s focus on what was, as we take some fun adventures with the Popples. Oh and what would an update be without me reminding you all that I grade these issues on a star scale of 1 to 4 and you are looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story.

Popples # 1   *1/2
Released in 1986      Cove Price .75       Star Comics      # 1 of 4

Youngsters Billy and Bonnie have gone into New York to go shopping, and after some time passes, the Popples decide to follow them and wind up wandering the city. While walking the streets they come across a dog who has stolen an orange from a stand and follow it back to a limo where they find Alice the young daughter of the ambassador, who has decided to run away from home and hide in her father’s car. Some of the Popples follow the dog into the mansion and find out the young girl’s babysitter is really Madam Spy who is looking for top-secret information! When Alice decides to go back home, the Popples warn her of Madam Spy and they all escape in the limo as a Popple uses magic to drive and Madam Spy puts on jogging shoes and gives chase! Madam Spy wants to get to the Ambassador first so she can take him hostage and find out the big secret, and Alice with the Popples want to get to him to warn of the spying! In the end the Popples and Alice warn her father of the danger and Madam Spy and her helper are arrested with Alice learning the big secret is she is going to be a big sister! In the end the Popples find Bonnie and Billy who hide them in their shopping bags and set out for home.

This Star Comic first issue based on an 80’s toyline is not very good and is so far the weakest I have read from Star to date as I found this kids comic very boring and the characters of the Popples really annoying! The plot of this issue has the Popples going to New York and helping a sad young girl to warn her father of the evil Madam Spy who wants to steal all the secrets he has. The Popples who are the heroes of this comic are riddle talking, bouncing around little fuzzy goofballs who just want to have fun and help capture a spy by accident by stumbling in on the crime. Plus I need to say the Popples also all have weird names like Potato Chip, Party and Puffball to name a few. Madam Spy is the main baddy in the issue and she is by no means dangerous, she just really wants to steal secrets and bring them to the league of spies. Alice, Billy and Bonnie are all just goofy kids who enjoy shopping, oranges and having fun. The thing about this kids comic is that it really is kind of dull and never once did I feel like Alice, her father or the Popples had any danger around them. The cover is pretty eye catching and has that true 80’s kid comic charm, and the interior art is good and done by John Costanza and has that Star Comics style. Over all I don’t have much to say about this issue besides it was a below average read, and it makes me hope the rest of this series is not this bland.

Popples # 2   **
Released in 1987      Cove Price .75       Star Comics      # 2 of 4

Bonnie and Billy come home from school super sad, and the Popples find out that they have both lost their positions on the sports teams and are down in the dumps over it. Some of the Popples stay home to try and cheer up the kids while the others go to the school to see who replaced their friends on the teams. And while there, they meet Tina Terrific a young lady who never jokes and laughs and is good at everything and have replaced Bonnie as head cheerleader and Billy as quarterback. All the other kids fear and dislike her as she shows them all that she is the best and likes to rub it in their faces. After practice a Popple tries to make Tina laugh and find himself being kidnapped by her, and as the others find out the all give chase to get their friend back and that includes Billy and Bonnie. Finally the Popples are able to get their friend back and try to make Tina laugh, and even inform her that people dislike her over her behavior and attitude. This upsets the young girl who runs away and into Billy and Bonnie who end up inviting her to a party at their house and find a new friend in her as she also changes her way of thinking and becomes a fun person.

Issue two brings this kids comic in the right direction as it offers a lesson as well as a fun and goofy adventure for our heroes the Popples. This time around the Popples meet a young girl who pushes herself to be the best at everything and has an ego about herself that drives her peers away, and our fuzzy little friends must show her the error of her ways. This comic has a message and that’s make sure to have a little fun in your life and don’t treat all other around you as if you’re better than them, it also has a message of don’t judge people before you really get to know them. The Popples in this issue are the same fun loving, cheesy joke spewing fuzz balls who just seem to be wandering through life spreading joy and laughter. Tina Terrific is a lonely young girl who has no friends and is so good at everything she walks around school like she’s pro wrestling icon Ric Flair! The thing is she is just a sad youngster who would love to have friends but doesn’t know how to make them. I want to also point out that Puzzle Popple is a jerk as he with no thought tells a young kid that nobody likes her, I mean my gosh I was surprised he didn’t just tell her to kill herself! Puzzle Popple, you’re a terrible little creature with no respect. The pacing of this issue is better than the first issue and while better is still about and average kids comic based on toys. The cover on this issue is just okay and nothing special and this time around again John Costanza does the interior artwork. Over all not a terrible issue and was entreating for the most part, so let’s see what issue three has in store for us.

Popples # 3   **1/2
Released in 1987     Cove Price .75      Star Comics      # 3 of 4

The Popples are on a camping trip with Billy and Bonnie and have decided that they wanted to explore the wilderness for awhile and have fun by building a campfire and telling stories. Meanwhile at one of the nearby cabins, a young man named Seth who only watches TV that features aliens is forced to go outside by his mother and freaks out when he sees the Popples in the woods as he thinks they are aliens! As the youngster runs for his life he runs into real aliens Yuckle, Buckle and Clive of the Kelvin Empire who look like normal people and decide to investigate these fuzzy aliens the youth is telling them about. And once the aliens find them the Popples welcome their new friends to spend time around the campfire and play and this scares the aliens out of their minds! The aliens think that the Popples are bloodthirsty war machines and run for their lives as the Popples chase them thinking they are playing chase, the aliens make it to Seth and them have themselves beamed back up to their mother ship. With the aliens gone the Popples end up talking and playing with Seth who learns they are not aliens and has made new friends.

Issue three of the Popples this far is the best in the series as it really captures the true fun and silly nature of a kid’s comic and brings more personality to them. The plot has the Popples on a camping trip were they meet a new friend who is a fan of Sci-Fi films and as well unknowingly save the Earth from an alien invasion as their fun ways chase them off. The Popples in this issue are in nature and enjoying life by playing and telling stories by a fire, and thanks to their good nature attitudes they are able to scare off aliens who wished to do us all harm. The Aliens who look like little kids start off as war focused and fearsome on wanting to take down Earth and soon turn into cowards when they come face to face with the Popples magic. What makes this issue work for me is the fact it’s a camping issue as I feel that kids comic based around doing this activity always makes for a good atmosphere and brings back so many memories of being a kid running around the woods. The cover is pretty good and is eye catching with the use of the color yellow that always makes a cover stand out. The interior art once more is done by John Costanza who really does great work in the world of kids comics done by Star as it has a really cartoonish look. Over all this is a solid and fun read and mixes Kids comics with Sci-Fi comics and this far is the best issue in the series, I wonder if the next and final issue will be as good or better…so let’s not wait and find out.

Popples # 4  **1/2
Released in 1987     Cove Price .75      Star Comics     # 4 of 4

Bonnie and Billy are down in the dumps as they do not have enough money to buy their mother a gift for her birthday, and this even has the Popples a little down. But when Billy comes home with a flyer for a pet show that pays $50.00 to the winner the Popples are go out into the world and is going to find a pet for their friends they think could win. While across town at the mansion of the Van Ritz their pet French Poodle Prince who is sick and tired of being treated like a puppy by his owners and escapes the house via the fireplace that turns his fur black and while on the streets he is being chased by a dog catcher and is saved by the Popples who take him to Billy and Bonnie as their new pet they name Champion! But things look rough as Champion due to being babied his whole life does not know any tricks or the ones he does he completes them all wrong. But the Popples and the kids don’t give up and end up training Champion so well that he becomes the winner of the contest! But during his award ceremony Champion has an itch and by scratching he knocks off the black color and the Van Ritz come alive when they see their lost dog Prince is in fact Champion! So the Van Ritz’s get their dog back and Billy and Bonnie win the money and end up buying a puppy for their mom for her birthday.

The fourth and final issue in the Popples comic series from Star Comics is a pretty good read for fans of these fluffy plush dolls and those who love 80’s kids comics. This issue’s plot has the Popples and their human friends finding a stray runaway dog and training him to win a dog show so they can get the prize money and buy the mom a great birthday gift. This one is fun as it really felt like a cartoon episode that you would have seen on Saturday Morning Cartoons back in the 80’s and as well had a little Harvey Comics feel. That’s the one thing that for me always set Star Comics apart from the other Kids comics being made in the 80’s and even early 90’s is they always delivered entertaining adventures for home grown characters as well as others that came from toys and cartoons. And while I do think that the Popples is one of the weakest series they released, it still holds lots of nostalgic fun for a reader like me who grew up in the 80’s and know what the Popples are. The Popples not only in this issue but in the whole series are silly, happy go lucky fuzz balls who enjoy pranking, partying and laughing and its clear P.C. Popple is the leader of this group as he has the true magic touch and can do what ever he wants just by snapping his fingers. Billy and Bonnie are just good kids who enjoy as well having a good time but also show they focus on being active and doing the right thing. This ones cover is ok and is eye catching for fans of these guys and once more John Costanza does the interior art and shows that he has true talent for drawing kids comics. Over all this comic series was just ok and this could be one of the cheesiest and lowest rated from me this far on Rotten Ink, but I still had lots of fun reading it and revisiting the 80’s and when Popples originated no matter how little they impacted my youth. Check out the art below to see the style of Costanza and see what I mean that his style really does fit for kid’s comics.

So now that we have had a fun time with the Popples and shared some flashback memories with many of you readers, I think my next update will be something cool from my past that did mean something to me and impacted my youth and that’s the original Star Trek and the film Wrath Of Khan! As I promised back on my update for the Marvel Comic Star Trek series, I think it’s time to start the adaptations of the films and our next update will do just that. So until next time, read a comic or three, buy a 80’s toy or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for another space adventure with Captain Kirk.

 

The Dead Eyed Stare Of The Hugga Bunch

Who doesn’t love to get a hug from a loved one, the warm embrace and that feeling of being loved and safe is something special. Now think about getting a hug from a creepy troll faced doll with a cold dead stare that makes E.T. look normal and the Toxic Avenger look like Brad Pitt….you don’t like that image of hugging a troll faced doll, do you? Well the folks at Kenner and Hallmark Cards in 1985 thought that all kids would love to own a creepy faced doll to hug when they released the toy line called The Hugga Bunch. I am not sure why they designed them to look as weird and odd as they did, but I can remember these creepy little guys on the toy shelves at stores like Hills and Gold Circle, and the smaller ones were given at Taco Bell for a cheap price. The only Hugga Bunch I owned was one that I got from Taco Bell that my aunt got me when she worked there, and on the playground Hugga Bunch was ice cold.  To be honest, I don’t even remember one person talking about them and only think one girl I knew owned any. Below is a quick look at the creepy dolls, and you can be the judge on if you would want to hug one of them.

huggletHuggaBunch dollsHugga Bunch doll

1985 also saw a made for TV movie about the dolls by FilmFaor Communications that was made for over a million dollars and was the most expensive special at the time! The film was a live action family film about a young girl who travels to a magical land called Huggaland to find a way to slow down the aging of her grandmother, but while on this visit she also comes across an evil Queen who wants to spoil the fun and hugs. The special did fair with getting viewers, and it was later released on Beta and VHS, where it gained cult status for being so strange. And if you thought the dolls are creepy, get a look at the Hugga Bunch in this movie.

Hugga Bunch movie 1Hugga Bunch movie 2Hugga Bunch movie 3

Besides the dolls, more merchandise was released that included a board game, books, lunch box, stickers, View Master slides, Hallmark miniature figures and much more. This shows that Kenner and Hallmark really wanted these dolls to catch on and take the place of Cabbage Patch Kids that, at the time, were the premiere stuffed dolls. And they were smart for getting the smaller dolls into Taco Bell because in the 80’s and 90’s fast food toys were very popular and could help push a toy line, movie or kids’ book series up a few notches on the must have factor.

hugga bunch lunch boxHugga Bunch board gameHugga Bunch book

Now as I have stated, I only had one of these dolls and it was one of the Taco Bell ones so I have very little connection to these dolls.  So I looked high and low and found one of my female friends who grew up owning one of these dead eyed little creepers so I asked her to give us a look at what it was like to be a female and the target audience for these dolls. Her name is Jesy Anderson, and I have known her since high school.  She is an amazing person who is super sweet and super smart. She is co-owner of a local store called Sew Dayton that custom makes clothes and sells other sewing notions as well as teaches classes. She is married to a fellow geek guy like myself who loves horror and kung-fu films as well as comics named Jermie, who I also went to school with and as well is a great guy. So with that I am going to briefly turn Rotten Ink over to Jesy so that she can give you her opinions on The Hugga Bunch creepers.

Jesy Anderson

“Yes!”, is what 6 year old me said, when my dad handed me my Taco Bell kids meal. The awesomeness of what Taco Bell used to put in their kids meals in 1985, The Huglets! I had Hug-A-Bye. I thought it was so rad, Hallmark marketed it perfectly to my age bracket. Give Hugs! Hug everyone… Everyone… even that creepy neighbor. The Hug A Bunch Gang was flat out disturbing. From a cartoon on a Hallmark card, to plushie, and finally to movie! In 1985 “The Hugga Bunch”. It even won a Prime Time Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects. Once you watch the movie, (you will because I know you are super curious now), you will leave with two realizations. 1. This movie is possibly the ONLY movie creepier than “The Strangers” and 2. WHAT THE *@&$ was the 6 yr old me thinking! I have great memories of being excited to get my own plush Huglet from inside my Taco Bell kids meal and watching the best made for tv movie of the summer. It’s strange how amazing awesome something is while you are a child; such an innocence. Aside from not understanding exactly how my parents pulled off saying the charaters names and still able to keep a straight face is beyond me! These Huglets are CLEARLY the result of too much “hugging” and inbreeding. All in all, the Hug A Bunch gang really worth a watch for those who haven’t and watch it again for those who haven’t seen it since the 80’s. Just remember to bring the popcorn and get ready for a disturbing movie~

Taco Bell Hugga

Thanks, Jesy, for filling me and my readers in on your Hugga Bunch thoughts. As you can see, she had a Taco Bell one as well and this makes me wonder who were the kids that went to a toy store and picked one of these dead eyed dolls out as a must have over all the other toys and dolls on the shelf.  I mean what was the draw of these things? One funny thing that I have to point out before we move on to the comic reviews, is that one of the Huglets’ name is Fluffer…for those of you who don’t know what that name means, it’s a person’s title who works in the adult film industry that keeps a male star “happy” in between takes.  So why in the holy hell would someone who named these creepy dolls name one after a person who has a job like that?! So below is the Huglet named Fluffer, and next to it is a picture of adult film star Tory Lane.  While she is no “fluffer” I want you to look at the two and tell me if you see any similarities between the two…cause I sure don’t….go on and look will ya.

flufferTory Lane

So after looking at the two, I am sure Tory will give you sweet dreams while good old Fluffer will be haunting your nightmares for weeks. So as you can see, at this point I have no connection to these dolls at all, and I am not sure what I am getting into as I am about to read these six issues based on these characters from the mighty Star Comics.  While a part of me wants these to be bad so I can really make fun of them, there is a side that is saying these might not be as bad as you think. So to ease my mind and to get this look at Hugga Bunch over, let’s move onto the wonderful comic reviews.  Remember I grade these comics on a standard 1-4 star rating and am looking at how well the comic keeps to the source material, its entertainment value, and its art and story. So let’s stare these soulless happy little boogers in the eye and travel to Huggaland!

Hugga Bunch 1

Hugga Bunch   **1/2
Released in 1986   Cover Price .75   Star Comics   #1 of 6

The Hugga Bunch go on an adventure down a path called “Road To Riches”, but Huggins and her Huglet Hug-A-Bye get left behind when they hear that someone needs help.  Homer is a boy who is alone and has moved to a new town because of his fathers work, and is very sad that he has moved away from his friends and is feeling lonely.  His wishes for a new friend comes true when Huggins pops out of his mirror and takes him to Huggaland where they both are captured by the Pirate Captain Snake and become his slaves on his mighty ship. While at sea, Captain Snake attacks another ship and on board is a Princess who he wants to kidnap, but Homer comes to her aid and to everyone’s shock the Princess can also defend herself and with the help of a whale they run off Captain Snake and The Hugga Bunch return Homer to his room, and he finds the inner power to make friends.

This is a comic that is 100% for young girls of the 80’s as the story is so cheesy and silly that most boys would have walked away from the adventure a few pages into it. With all that said, I still would like to say that for what it is, the message and story are very positive and I am sure roped in a few young female readers and a few male ones as well. The Hugga Bunch live in a perfect fun filled world that is laced with some negative places, and these places are what make it an interesting place.  Huggins seems to be the ring leader of the fun loving group and seems to be the one who oozes more positive energy. Captain Snake is the “bad” guy in the issue who uses the Hugga Bunch as kid slave labor on his ship, and they are so fun loving they don’t even pay attention to the fact they are being used. Homer is a kid that anyone who moved into a new town can identify with as he has no friends and doesn’t know how to make new ones. Of course in the end Homer finds he does have friends and even made some with the creepy little freaks that live beyond his mirror known as the Hugga Bunch. Warren Kremer is the artist on this issue and it’s pretty much your standard kids comic fluff and looks all right. The cover is okay, but not one I would have for a first issue as it should be more eye catching. Well let’s move onto issue 2. 

Hugga Bunch 2

Hugga Bunch # 2  **1/2
Released in 1986   Cover Price .75   Star Comics   #2 of 6

Huggins once more gets the feeling that someone needs help and comes through a mirror in a school locker to meet Susan, who all her classmates don’t like and tease her for being too serious. Susan goes to Huggaland with Huggins, and while there they meet a young boy who is frozen in a block of ice by the Ice Queen who runs a frozen kingdom! The boy’s name is Chipper, and he is in love with the Ice Princess who is being held captive and is not allowed to see friends or boys! The Hugga Bunch, Susan and Chipper head to the ice castle and do battle with the Ice Queen to save the Princess.  After many ice block cubes and rescues, they save the Princess who when free from her ice prison grows up before their eyes and finds that she is in fact the true Queen of the ice land.  She uses her new power to melt the ice and boots the old Ice Queen from the land. Susan returns back to her school and finds time to have fun and goes to one popular girl’s party, showing she is no square.

Well another issue with a message, and this time it’s that while hard work and school are very important, you should also spend some time, have fun and live a little. Huggins once more is the main Hugga Bunch member who once more comes from the mirror to bring a young child to her world to teach some sort of underlying message.  Wait are the Hugga Bunch like Candyman?  Do they come out of mirrors to kill….wait they help…right? The Ice Queen is the main “bad” woman, and she is 100% a generic version of any Disney Princess’s evil Queen, who uses freeze and ice as her tools of evil deeds. This issue like the first is 100% geared at girls and even throws in a generic love story between a Princess and a common boy for good cheesy measure. The artwork this time is done by Anna-Maria Coleman and is slightly better than Kremer’s work in the first issue. Over all just another average issue in a comic series based on creepy eyed dolls. Let’s get onto issue 3 shall we. 

Hugga Bunch 3

Hugga Bunch # 3  **1/2
Released in 1987   Cover Price .75   Star Comics   #3 of 6

Hugsy is bored in Huggaland and wants something new besides playing and being happy all day long.  So when he hears a young girl named Bonnie crying through the mirror he comes and takes her to Huggaland as she tells the sad tale of her dog running away, but it’s because the dog is sad because she makes no time to play with him. But while they all play and talk Mr. Grabby shows up with his net, and he takes away unwanted things.  He wants Huglets and takes Hugsy’s away!! The Hugga Bunch alongside Bonnie head out to get him back and find that Mr. Grabby himself is a lonely man and after he learns his sidekick that he mistreats thinks of him as a friend, he sets all the pets and huglets free and all the pets get to go home with their owners. When Bonnie comes back to the real world she finds her dog and learns that she must find time to pay attention to her animal because they have feelings too.

Treat your animals right! Is the message of this issue and make sure to make time for them and friends because by paying no attention to them, it just might make you lose them. Hugsy is the main Hugga in this issue, and he is kind of a turd who is spoiled.  Although he learns his lesson, I was not a fan of him. Mr. Grabby is one mean man who gets joy out of taking lost and unwanted pets in his weird nets.  While he turns good and has a change of heart at the end I still would not trust him. Over all this is another average issue that holds the same mood and formula of the other two, and I am starting to see that this series will all have the same idea of a Hugga member pulling a kid into their world where he or she will learn a lesson that they will take with them when the return to the real world.  If it’s all like this I think soon it will go into yawnville! Art once more was done by Anna-Maria Coleman and looks good.  So let’s move on shall we?

Hugga Bunch 4

Hugga Bunch # 4  **
Released in 1987   Cover Price .75   Star Comics   #4 of 6

Huggins comes from the mirror and takes a chubby kid named Jackie, who overeats and is tired of hearing his parents argue, to Huggaland.  While there they meet a young cloud named Howie who wants to tell off his creator for making clouds have to do rain and thunderstorms! The Hugga Bunch and Jackie go on the adventure, and in the end with the help of Mother Nature, Howie and the rest learn why it’s important that it rains! When Jackie gets back home, he gets his parents to stop fighting and finds he has the power to have self control.

Yep, yet another lesson issue this one is to have faith in yourself and to get things done, team work is important. Huggins is the star again and is the same Huggins for the past issues, as Jackie is your typical chubby kid who doubts himself and is ashamed of his weight. While he learns a lesson of not overeating, it’s still a bland issue. The other clouds are the bad guy, and Howie is just a character to add a little more to the already so-so story. John Costanza does the art, and it looks pretty good and has that classic Harvey Comic feel to it. Over all this is just an okay issue and is nothing special, I really wish they would spice up the formula because by issue 4, I am bored with it. Let’s move on. 

Hugga Bunch 5

Hugga Bunch # 5  **
Released in 1987  Cover Price .75   Star Comics   #5 of 6

Huggins and Hugsly go through the mirror and find Alan, a young man who is super negative and looks at the downside of everything even though he has a wonderful friendship with a young lady named Doris. While is Huggaland, Alan is still negative and after kicking a tree stump he wakes up a bird named Grouse who is as negative as he is.  This little bird changes the moods of everyone he is around and is a full on mood killer! Alan gets to see how he acts towards others, and this makes him want to change as Grouse changes when he gets a massive hug from the Hugga Bunch. When Alan get back in the real world, he goes out of his way to see the positive in things and this brings he and Doris closer.

Don’t be a negative mood killer, also known as a Mood Vampire, and try to look at the good things in life as well is the message in this issue. Alan is an annoying kid who shouldn’t have any friends for acting the way he does, but changes when he sees something else act the way he does. People like this don’t change most of the time, so this one is a little lame. Huggins and Hugsly team up to bring this negative turd to their world and both are as happy and cheerful as they have been in the past 4 issues. Grouse is much like Alan and is annoying with his negative bull stuff as well. Same old, same old stuff..different kid with a different issue but it’s all stale at this point. I am so ready to move onto the last issue.

Hugga Bunch 6

Hugga Bunch # 6  **1/2
Released in 1987   Cover Price .75   Star Comics   #6 of 6

Hugsly and Hugs go through the mirror and meet Danny, a young man on a baseball team that has one of the biggest egos ever! He is taken to Huggaland to enjoy the landscape, but someone is stealing the land.  Panic sets in, and Danny thinks of ideas to try and find who is stealing the land. The thief is a gnome named Satchel who uses a magic bag to suck in whatever he wants. With team work, they beat the gnome and break his bag that frees Huggaland and returns it to normal! Danny learns that there is no I in team and returns to the real world a new man and a total team player.

I need to start by saying I am so glad to be done with the Hugga Bunch series.  While not terrible, these were not something I will ever read again. This one’s main focus is the entire Huga Bunch as they must team up to clean Huggaland and later save it.  They use the power of friendship and hugs to set all right, and they let everyone know that people make the places and not the opposite. Danny is like Lex Luger when he was in the WWF and known as The Narcissist, as he likes to look at himself in the mirror.  But after some good old fashion teamwork he finds that working with others gets stuff done. Satchel is a greedy gnome who seems to be stealing the land just to be an ass, and when he gets beat, he takes his broken bag and heads right out of town. So the lesson is don’t be an ego driven ass and work with others to reach your goal as a team. Artwork is done by John Costanza again, and it looks good. So yeah, we are done.  Below is some art from issue one to show you the style of art used in this series. 

Hugga Bunch art

One thing that I must question is how this series got a total of six issues while better comics like Defenders of Earth and Inhumanoids got less! I did notice though that Star once more did not even give this series a full fledged final issue.  Oh Star, why would you never give fans closure to the series they were reading…well most of the time we didn’t get it. As I have said before besides like one girl I knew and my Aunt, no one I knew had these dolls and no one besides them even spoke of them! The thing that made this series bland and average is the fact they really did follow the same formula and like clockwork you knew at what point the troubled kid would see the light and figure out what they needed to learn. But I am so done with the Hugga Bunch, and I am going to move onto telling you what our next update is.  It’s one I have been working on all last year, my look at the films of 2013! So come back and spend some time with me at the Rotten Ink Theater as we eat some popcorn and talk about films.  Until then enjoy a comic or two, and look under your bed to make sure a Hugga Bunch is not under there waiting for you!

Films of 2013 Logo