RIP Morrie Turner

Wee Pals coverVarious sources are reporting the death of Morrie Turner, creator of the comic strip “Wee Pals”, at the age of 90. Turner was the Jackie Robinson of the newspaper strip field in multiple ways, getting a national syndication deal at a time when no other African-American had one, and landing a heavily integrated strip on the comics page in 1965, when that was not being done.

Relevant to this blog, Turner was inspired by Schulz, and considered him a mentor. Schulz considered Turner a friend, and showed his support in various ways, including providing two introductions to “Wee Pals” books. “The best thing I can say about the cartoons of Morrie Turner is that he really knows what he is drawing about,” starts the first of these, which was used in the 1969 strip collection Wee Pals and was reused in the 1970 collection Kid Power! (which would later be the title of the animated TV series based on the strip) and again in the 1971 collection Right On(For those of you tracking details, the other introduction appeared as foreword to the 1970 storybook Nipper.)

A few years back, I was approached in different ways to support or be involved with what seemed to be two unrelated documentaries about Turner; I did a brief interview for one, don’t recall whether I did anything for the other. I have no idea if either project ever saw completion.

General
The annual shopping guide

Time for this annual post. Sorry to those who are sick an tired of such things, but most of this are things that I feel need to be said for the “shopping season”… and those that aren’t are, well, self-serving attempts to continue to justify this blog. Gift-giving season is …

General
Beware fake Schulz

I’ve said it before, but with gift-gathering time impending, I shall say it again: beware fake Schulz art. There is a lot of counterfeit on the market. I would say that the majority of single-image Peanuts pieces being sold as Schulz on eBay are fake, generally tracings/recreations of Schulz-drawn images. …

General
Classified Peanuts

If you’ve read a lot of Peanuts reprint books, you’ve probably at some point read the June, 1962 storyline where Linus’s blanket got turned into a kite, which in turn got carried away by the winds. You may even have seen this panel: That panel showed up the in the …