Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor
I just finished reading the Sunday comics. It took me approximately four minutes. Time was I could take four minutes savoring just Calvin and Hobbes. And then there were those Sunday mornings a long time ago, when I would spread the comic section out on the floor in front of the radio and read along with the sonorous voice of Uncle Somebody or Other for a full hour. They were called the funnies then.
I understand Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia read comic strips over the radio during a New York newspaper strike in the 1940s. Uncle Somebody or Other was not our Salt Lake City mayor; chances are he wasn’t an uncle either. But he brought Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, Alley Oop and Terry and the Pirates to life right there in our living room. It was worth going to bed on Saturday night for. Those must have been the golden years of comic strips, and at age eight or so, I would be at the height of comic strip appreciation.
And comic books too, of course. I don’t know what the current state of the comic book world is, if it’s as depressed as the comic strip world. I think Archie is still around. And a gaggle of superheroes – I hear Marvel with its Avengers is kicking Superman, Batman butt. When I was a kid, my idea of a superhero was Bugs Bunny.
And I had my very own superhero. With my keen interest in comics, I was of course going to be a cartoonist when I grew up. My primary comic character at the time was Power Pig, a porcine superhero complete with tights, cape and amazing abilities. Of course he could fly. I have resurrected a picture of this fantastic pig. It offers a striking example of why I never became a cartoonist when I grew up. And if you read any of the storylines you’d wonder why I didn’t grow up to be an accountant or house painter.