Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sleeping Lena

Like most timid little animals the world over, my cat hates the fourth of July. So instead of an explosive post today about fireworks --or one about crazy neighbors who have been shooting off fireworks for about a month now already anyway-- here's a couple of cute Sleeping Lena tales from a mid-40's ACG, 130 page, one-shot issue called Merry-Go-Round. This is a hilarious, and very unusual concept for a funny animal comic concerning a down-on-her-luck cat girl searching for employment, who then royally screws everything up because she simply can't stay awake on the job. A wild, cat scratch fever dream of silly surreal adventures follows, and always leading poor lil Lena to a nightmarish boiling point. It's a real shame, and though I'm not 100% certain of this, I believe these are the only two Sleeping Lena stories ever produced by Erich F. T. Schenk (someone please correct me if I'm wrong, because I'd love to see more.) Lovely art too. Anyway, everyone have a fun, and safe, and very happy 4th today too-- and don't blow your paws off! 


top_cat_james said...

The cartooning here - I love the covers this time, too ;) - is excellent, and the scripts are very funny as well. But what I really like about the first story is that it resembles one of those Warner Bros. "everything comes to life after closing time" cartoons, Goofy Groceries (1941), in particular. I wonder if they were an influence on this artist.

JMR777 said...

The Idea is reminiscent of Little Nemo only featuring a female feline as the main character.

The artist did make Lena look quite realistic as a cat, another artist might have made her look more cartoonish.

Sleepin' Lena wasn't a bad idea, though there were only so many adventures she could go through before wearing out her welcome.

Mr. Cavin said...

I dig the high-concept here, a central female character whose competence is stymied by something other than her astonishing stupidity. The author gets all the same comedy traction with literally none of the usual misogyny. I wish I could say the same thing about the racism, which could have been so easily avoided. At least it plays almost like a product-label satire in the first story.

The whole thing feels like it would have been at home in the Sundays. I wonder if it was initially a syndicate submission that just didn't take off, so they used it as filler here. It's very accomplished, and has excellent art.

Also: "wild cat scratch fever dream." Bravo!

Brian Barnes said...

Yeah, as mentioned earlier, this look like a mix between Little Nemo and old Warner Bros shorts like "Have you got any castles" (strangely a subgenre!). I love the art, it's got a realistic nature but mixed in with all the craziness!

I love the first "you're fired" joke.

I know it's supposed to be dreamlike but the hyper realistic cat, standing up in a dress, is the most freaky thing about each scene!

Todd said...

LSD must go back earlier than I thought!