Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Comics from April, 1946

These tiny-paned windows into the postwar zeitgeist are actually weekday comics, from the Ypsilanti Daily Press. But a Sunday without comics is like a breakfast without bacon. They are sequential, since heaven forfend we miss a day of "poor man's Flash Gordon" Brick Bradford. Or the glacial non-adventures of Secret Agent X-9. Enjoy!
April 16: "Etta Kett" is riffing on the severe postwar housing shortage, as her latest boyfriend has just "sold" Etta's dad's home to someone desperate for housing. A battle for the house ensues.

Note in "Myrtle" (DD's favorite of these 4) that the grocer is home-delivering groceries!

April 17: Brick unveils his secret weapon in a bold gambit to defeat the generously bearded Grog. Though a futuristic space guy, Brick uses a 1940s mike.

Myrtle's aunt Minnie swoons over her soda-jerk squeeze "Slug," and hopes he'll pop the question. Presumably their son would be Slug Jr. Or Slug II.

BONUS COMIC: an April 17 editorial comic about the housing shortage for returning GIs. Grog reappears in a top hat with a sardonic comment about the atom bomb tests. DD has no idea what "glass eggs" are or why they would be in a feed store.

April 18: Myrtle is forgetful. Secret Agent X-9 channels Dashiell Hammett in panel 1. Brick's device is emitting a strange dark ray and Grog is revealed as slump-shouldered and portly. Not the most intimidating nemesis.

BONUS AD: Detroit Edison discusses their ongoing farm electrification project, intimating that not all area farms had electricity in 1946 (!)

BONUS GARDENING EXHORTATION: Try Celtuce! You'll love it!

April 19: Myrtle has an agnostic dog. Brick lays down the Science: "This box is simply reversing the process of the incandescent bulb," an operation Dusty D does every night at bedtime. Secret Agent X-9's sidekick is too busy making cookies to keep track of their quarry.

April 20: Confronted in the soda shop, Etta's friend confesses he spent the fraudulent "deposit" he got for Etta's house. Nice friend. Secret Agent X-9's sidekick is going off the deep end. Brick remembered to put triple A batteries in his goggles. And we end on a high note with the best Myrtle yet.

That's a week's worth--hope you enjoyed 'em!


Fritz said...

From the ad, I assumed celtuce was a cross of cellery and letuce. Nope. It's native to China.

Today I learned a new vegitable. :-)

Anonymous said...

Celtuce can get 5 or 6 feet tall. The bottom leaves end up getting nasty and the surface exudes a sort of bitter sap.

I can see why it never caught on in the U.S.

Dusty D said...

A towering vegetable you harvest with an ax that oozes icky sap and has unpalatable leaves.

Think I'll skip that in the garden this year.

jml said...

The article also mentions Tampala. Also called Amaranth greens, or pigweed. I think they picked the right name.

Dusty D said...

Jeeves, please pass me a third helping of those delightful pigweed croquettes. They're simply divine.

You're right jml, that doesn't work...

Lisele said...

Hey, DD -- why the headline "Ypsilanti Peace Gardens...?" Was this a variation of Victory Gardens grown during WWII?

Dusty D said...

Lisele: I believe it was; just a carry-over from the big Victory Gardens drive that would have been common knowledge to readers of this postwar paper.

Just a guess, though.