Friday, August 01, 2008

Comic Names

I know many of the names I am about to use come from a time long before most of you were born, but allow mw to spin here.

I was recently reading the comics in the Orgonian and I realized that the cartoonists no longer use coo names. They all seem so normal in comparison to the old comic names such as Skeezix from Gasoline Alley. What about Barney Google and Snuffy Smith? Dagwood from the Blondie strip; great name. I did a piece on Mutt and Jeff a few years ago. Mutt is the equitant of what Dogg is now. Beetle Bailey was a good attempt. Olive Oil and Popeye are really cool names. If you've ever done any sailing and tried to keep the bow on a fixed point you will soon understand how the name Popeye came about. My favorite name was Andy Capp because he was one to bet on the ponies and his name when said in a Cockney dialect was the word “handicap.”

Though we may have grown up with characters that we can relate to like some of the Peanuts characters, only Linus had anything that resembled a cool comic sort of name. Trudeau best efforts at comic names was limited to Jimmy Thudpucker and Zonker which are pretty lame in respect to comic character names from the 20s. In the 70s there was a character named Funkey Winkerbean, who is still out there though I haven’t seen it in years.

When you move into the world of television there were some great cartoon names there as well; Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Then Hanna Barbara Studio was as well armed for cool names as was Warner Brothers with all the Looney Tunes names. However my favorite TV cartoon name has to be Homer Simpson. I don’t know exactly where the hook is there, but that’s a damn funny name. It is unassuming, yet delightful and it seems to say it all. I’ve known a Homer or two in my life, and I’ve known a few Simpsons, but the combination of Homer and Simpson just does it for me.

Chime in folks. What cool names have I over-looked?


Blogger Auntie said...


Spongebob Square-pants

5:53 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Elmer Fudd and
Pinky of Pinky and the Brain

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooops! I reread it and saw Skeezix at the top'o your bad...

I recall something on the tube that didnt last long back in the '50s, "Gerald McBoingboing", the title character didn't actually speak any dialog, but just made various sound effects..the show sucked, I guess, but the name has been interesting enough to stay stuck in my head still some 50 odd(some very odd) years later

9:22 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Auntie, after my time, but I agree, even without square pants, Sponge Bob is a great name.

Jen, I've never heard of Pinky. Warner Brothers had great comic names, Elmer being one.

Anon, Buckwheat was a TV character, not a cartoon, and I'd never miss a name like Skeezix on a list like this. I loved Gasoline Alley. My mother turned me onto it telling me it's history when I was probably 8 years old. I've never heard of Gerald McBoingboing, and I wish I'd never heard of Assy McGee either. For those of you who may not have heard of Assy, it is a detective, and he consists of legs and an ass that talks. I don't understand how or why someone felt this had to be done and aired is beyond me.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Ruby The Dyke, Captain Pissgums, The Checkered Demon, Lester Gass and Anglefood McSpade?

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for cluing me in on the Andy Capp deal, never made that connection. Daddy Warbucks, Mr. Natural, Flakey Foont, Major Hoople are all kinda funny names. Like you said Funky Winkerbean is a funny name but the strip can be a scoosch on the pathetic side of late if you ask me, which no one did so forget it.

5:50 PM  
Blogger richpix said...

Dudley Do-Right. Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. And others from Rocky and Bullwinkle. Yeah, I know, not a comic strip, but still one of the cleverest programs ever.

The Katzenjammer Kids. Katzenjammer means hangover in German.

Bill the Cat: "Ack!" "THPPFFT!"

Zippy the Pinhead--uses real places for the backgrounds. Many sent in by readers.

By the way, it's spelled "Olive Oyl"

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homer and Marge are Matt Groening's parents' actual names. I guess he was destined to create The Simpsons!

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father and Homer Groening were friends and classmates all through elementary and high school in Portland.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Denis said...

Well, I thought it was cool having characters named after Negro League Players Satchel (Satchel Paige) and Bucky (after Buck O'Neil) in Get Fuzzy.

Bucky might not be cool outside this context, but Satchel certainly is, especially for a dog that's half yellow Lab and half Shar-Pei.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Richpix stole some of mine. Hoople was a favorite. Mighty Mouse, Underdog, Ruff & Reddy, Tom & Jerry, Tom Terrific. Some from my young days and some likely from my kid's days. I liked Mandrake the Magician and Gasoline Alley was a must read! My favorites were really those that preceded movies on one Saturday night every other week, if you could get to the theater. 1st a couple cartoons, then a serial such as Buck Rogers, coming attractions, a popcorn ($.05 small, $.15 large & coke $.05)and drink followed by at least one movie. Sometimes we'd get 2 when they'd add a 'one reeler'. Damn, I AM getting long inna tooth I guess. Any cartoons I saw on TV were at friend's houses or my Aunts. We never had electricity on the farm until after I'd left and started a family.

Guy, 25hz was when I was fairly young. I distinctly remember the wringer washer and fridge being re-done. Oil heat was fairly uncommon as most used wood or coal.

3:41 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I see we have a lot of Crumb and Griffin fans out there. Thanks for the other names. They brought back some memories.

5:57 AM  
Blogger MissKris said...

Quick Draw McGraw, Baba Louie, Betty Boop, Baby Huey, Snagglepuss, Boo Boo Bear. To name a few. I'm coming to this a day or so late, but it sure brought back a lot of Saturday morning cartoon memories. I especially loved - and still love - the really classic cartoons of the 30s and 40s. I grew up where Seattle was our main source of TV broadcasting...there was a fantastic children's show on every morning called "J. P. Patches". Looking back now, the humor was soooooo sly. Even adults liked to tune in to it. Here in Portland I know it was "Rusty Nails" but that one never did a thing for me.

12:21 PM  
Blogger dalia said...

Brenda K. Starr!

i always wanted a cool sounding name with a middle initial, so as an adult, i gave myself one!

9:03 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Kris, I think Patches was all over the North West. We never had that show on the East coast. There we had Sandy Becker and Officer Joe Bolton.

Dalia, If I remember there is some cool story behind Brenda Starr, though I don't recall it now. By the way most of us bloggers reinvent our selves.

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Portland I know it was "Rusty Nails" but that one never did a thing for me....

Mr. Duffy(dork) and Addie Bobkins(cool) were also local tv afternoon cartoon shows for us little squids...and anyone remember Dr. Zoom on Channel 12? The Good Doctor is now long retired from tv, living in Gearhart and is the ranger hatted bushy grey bearded poneytailed old rascal that oversees tourists coming and goings at the Astoria Column in the summers. I think his first name is George. One day I was just up there digging the summer day and started a conversation with him...when we got around to where he'd come from and what he used to do I about cried I was so happy to reconnect with something from so far back in my life. I was having a one on one with the real live Dr., can it get better than that? ( he didnt do the Dr. Zoom dance, though, I tried, Lord< I tried to see him do that crazy sideways shuffle thing, but it was a no go.

9:07 AM  
Blogger MissKris said...

Oh...and speaking of afternoon kiddie shows, how soon we've forgotten Rambling Rod! Shame on us, eh.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck Harper's Cartoon Corral on KGW

10:23 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Rambling Rod died last year, and he wasn't in my death pool : (

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Darev said...

A friend of mine got me hooked on an online comic "Dominic Deegan - Oracle for hire". It's got some great names even if the guy does draw half in the japanese manga style. The story line is great and there are some awesome names in it. How much better can you get than Dominick Deegan?

7:29 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, If only I had more time for the internet.

6:01 AM  

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