You can’t exactly say Mr. Magoo fell on hard times by 1964. Yes, his Oscar-winning days were long gone, but he was still a valuable property for his stripped-down studio, UPA. Made-for-TV Magoo cartoons were being syndicated and in 1964, he appeared in prime time on NBC in “The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo.” Network news releases trumpeted that he was now “a Mr. Magoo who sees well enough to be an expert swordsman,” but today the world still thinks of him as a comedic half-blind guy who mistakes something for something else.
That’s how he was treated in a Magoo daily comic strip which debuted that year. I’ve found nice scans of comics starting Monday, December 7, 1964, so I’m going to post them in two parts.
Don’t expect any “expert swordsman” in these comics. They hew to the tediousness of the syndicated cartoons. I believe I’ve related how I used to “boooo” loudly at my TV set at the end of those cartoons for taking away valuable cartoon-watching time by giving me unentertaining slop. The comics also feature Charlie the houseboy, who I believe was an invention for the TV cartoons and didn’t appear in the theatricals. I’ll ask the same question I asked myself over 50 years ago: would anyone from China really say “Magloo” and “Bloss”?
Click on them to enlarge. Part two with the remainder of December 1964 will be tomorrow.
The cartoons are unsigned so I don’t know if UPA staffers were responsible for the story, design or inking. Click on each week of six comics to enlarge the set. Late note: the artist is revealed in the comment section. You might have seen his work in Warners cartoons.