Author Topic: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky  (Read 6018 times)

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Offline Ducko

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Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« on: July 21, 2010, 04:03:09 PM »
Can anyone explain the gag on OS3 Lova?

This is another one I never really paid attention to until I got back into collecting heavily last year. It just doesn't make any sense to me (but I still like it, mainly because of the running guy in his pajamas, and also the overall color/feel is nice imo).

I was thinking it should have run along the lines of "For the Lova Pete, let's get outta here!" ... but I am just not getting it. Reminds me of OS1 Camals.

Anyone?


Offline bandaches

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2010, 06:49:11 PM »
Can anyone explain the gag on OS3 Lova?

This is another one I never really paid attention to until I got back into collecting heavily last year. It just doesn't make any sense to me (but I still like it, mainly because of the running guy in his pajamas, and also the overall color/feel is nice imo).

I was thinking it should have run along the lines of "For the Lova Pete, let's get outta here!" ... but I am just not getting it. Reminds me of OS1 Camals.

Anyone?


Nope, if it weren't for the cool looking eruption, this wouldn't even get my attention when flipping through a set.  The gag writers were often average at best.
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Offline bigtomi

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2010, 06:57:44 PM »
Can anyone explain the gag on OS3 Lova?
On the other forum, someone brought up this topic. Gurgle (Mark) mentioned that the original product is Lava soap [which most of us would know this], but Jay Lynch added more insight:
Quote from: Jay Lynch
On LOVA, the name comes from the word "lover", as in the old song that goes "Lover, when you're near me, and you hear me speak your name, Softly in my ear you breathe a flame..." Since whoever recorded this tune in the '50s pronounced the word "Lover" as "Lova", That's how we'd spell the word. So whatever the original gag was...something to do with the concept of a lover...and volcanoes...was probably cleaned up along the way before it got to the painter.

Offline bandaches

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2010, 07:07:33 PM »
On the other forum, someone brought up this topic. Gurgle (Mark) mentioned that the original product is Lava soap [which most of us would know this], but Jay Lynch added more insight:
Quote from: Jay Lynch
On LOVA, the name comes from the word "lover", as in the old song that goes "Lover, when you're near me, and you hear me speak your name, Softly in my ear you breathe a flame..." Since whoever recorded this tune in the '50s pronounced the word "Lover" as "Lova", That's how we'd spell the word. So whatever the original gag was...something to do with the concept of a lover...and volcanoes...was probably cleaned up along the way before it got to the painter.


Holy crap, what the hell were the gag writers thinking knowing this product was targetting kids?  Did they think 25 year olds were going to buy wackys?
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Offline Ducko

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2010, 07:12:00 PM »
On the other forum, someone brought up this topic. Gurgle (Mark) mentioned that the original product is Lava soap [which most of us would know this], but Jay Lynch added more insight:
Quote from: Jay Lynch
On LOVA, the name comes from the word "lover", as in the old song that goes "Lover, when you're near me, and you hear me speak your name, Softly in my ear you breathe a flame..." Since whoever recorded this tune in the '50s pronounced the word "Lover" as "Lova", That's how we'd spell the word. So whatever the original gag was...something to do with the concept of a lover...and volcanoes...was probably cleaned up along the way before it got to the painter.


Interesting!

Taking the times into consideration, I could see a vague connection between: "Lover's Soap", "It Erupts", and "Run for your life!" -- to somehow imply when your lover gets really angry, run for your life!

... but it's STILL a stretch! ;)

At least now it makes about 20% more sense than it did before. Thanks!

Offline bigtomi

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2010, 07:34:26 PM »
Holy crap, what the hell were the gag writers thinking knowing this product was targetting kids?  Did they think 25 year olds were going to buy wackys?
Who knows, but they almost certainly weren't thinking that 45 year olds were going to be scrutinizing the gags 35 years down the road, eh? LOL

Offline bandaches

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 07:38:27 PM »
Who knows, but they almost certainly weren't thinking that 45 year olds were going to be scrutinizing the gags 35 years down the road, eh? LOL
LOL, and STILL not getting the poorly written gags!
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Offline bigtomi

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 07:43:54 PM »
LOL, and STILL not getting the poorly written gags!
Maybe Mrs Ron is right and we do have a low mental capacity. :P

Offline jaylynch

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2010, 02:48:39 AM »
     If you look at the l950s MAD comic books, there are a lot of tiny gags in there that no kid would have gotten.  Intelegence is the ability to retain info that one doesn't understand until the key to understand it presents itself.  Thus, a gag Spiegelman or I read in MAD in l952 wasn't understood by us until l970.  However, we had the ability to retain the ununderstood gags until the key to their meanings came to us as our education and life experiences evolved.   To forget something that one doesn't understand represents a form of denial, and doesn't lead to progress of the society or the betterment of the individual's ability to deal with problems.  So Wackys often contain esoteric references that the kids didn't understand until 20 or 30 years later, if they were able to retain the original gags in their minds.
     If all gags were easily understood, Wackys wouldn't have had the appeal they had to kids then.  It is wrong to aim the gags at the lowest common denominator or to try to predict the intelligence level of the reader and talk down to them.  Chances are that kids got a few of the esoteric gags, and couldn't believe that a mass market media product seemed to be speaking directly to them.  Thus developing a feeling toward Wackies as though they were their intimate friends in trading card form.
      OK...so "Lova"....  A guy argues with his wife or lover (lova).  She erupts and kicks him out of bed (note that he is clad in pajamas).  A common problem among the gag writers and execs back then.  The easy way out would have been to call it "Liva" soap...a compressed bar of chopped liver .....the pic on the package would show a guy being followed by dogs sniffing at him with hearts floating over their heads as the necessary volcano condescendingly erupts in the background.  But no.  Who do you think we are?  Fleer?

Offline Ducko

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2010, 11:44:27 AM »
    If you look at the l950s MAD comic books, there are a lot of tiny gags in there that no kid would have gotten.  Intelegence is the ability to retain info that one doesn't understand until the key to understand it presents itself.  Thus, a gag Spiegelman or I read in MAD in l952 wasn't understood by us until l970.  However, we had the ability to retain the ununderstood gags until the key to their meanings came to us as our education and life experiences evolved.   To forget something that one doesn't understand represents a form of denial, and doesn't lead to progress of the society or the betterment of the individual's ability to deal with problems.  So Wackys often contain esoteric references that the kids didn't understand until 20 or 30 years later, if they were able to retain the original gags in their minds.
     If all gags were easily understood, Wackys wouldn't have had the appeal they had to kids then.  It is wrong to aim the gags at the lowest common denominator or to try to predict the intelligence level of the reader and talk down to them.  Chances are that kids got a few of the esoteric gags, and couldn't believe that a mass market media product seemed to be speaking directly to them.  Thus developing a feeling toward Wackies as though they were their intimate friends in trading card form.
      OK...so "Lova"....  A guy argues with his wife or lover (lova).  She erupts and kicks him out of bed (note that he is clad in pajamas).  A common problem among the gag writers and execs back then.  The easy way out would have been to call it "Liva" soap...a compressed bar of chopped liver .....the pic on the package would show a guy being followed by dogs sniffing at him with hearts floating over their heads as the necessary volcano condescendingly erupts in the background.  But no.  Who do you think we are?  Fleer?

I for one felt that intimacy (heh, thought it was just me!) and always will. It's fantastic to hear it described by one of the creators! I always felt like I was "older than my age" as a kid and was heavily into Mad magazine and Warner Bros/Popeye cartoons from the 30's and 40's, which were aimed at adults rather than children. I loved the intelligent humor and multi-level puns/jokes which were impossible to explain to people who didn't understand. You either got them or you didn't, and often there were cultural tie-ins from the WWII years, etc., that added additional layers of complexity (things like meat rationing and black-out curtains). Still love 'em to this day.

I stuck about 200 Wackys on my bedroom door as a kid an it was a major highlight of my childhood. When I got back into the hobby last year (after a 35 year hiatus) it was amazing how that "feeling" was still there. I've since put together a MUCH larger collection than I ever had as a kid and got two of my childhood friends to relive their love of Wackys in the process.


It's great to hear the background on Lova. Visually it's one of my favorite vintage Wackys: the darkness and volcano reminds me of the "tiki albums" my parents played when I was a kid (my parents served in WWII), and the guy in the pajamas is hilarious! I also always enjoyed when the sides of products had different text than the front ("Awful Size"). Interesting to me that I never noticed it was Lova and not Lava (my brain must have auto-corrected it) until this past year. I think the part that confused me was the word "Soap" attached to "....Run for your life!" -- if I blot out the word "Soap" I see the gag much more clearly.

Love your work, Jay. It's been a lifetime pleasure enjoying this wonderful hobby. Thanks for creating so many of these!


P.S.  A gag that I always interpreted as a Warner Bros-ish pun was OS9 Moscow Syrup's "It's Lunchtime in Russia, SOVIET" -- I always read this in my mind as "so be it", which was something from an older Warner Bros-ish 30's/40's cartoon. Am I way off here? Could you explain the "It's Lunchtime in Russia, SOVIET" joke for me? This has been on my list of minor mysteries for 35 years...
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 11:57:26 AM by Ducko »

Offline RawGoo

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 02:43:32 PM »

P.S.  A gag that I always interpreted as a Warner Bros-ish pun was OS9 Moscow Syrup's "It's Lunchtime in Russia, SOVIET" -- I always read this in my mind as "so be it", which was something from an older Warner Bros-ish 30's/40's cartoon. Am I way off here? Could you explain the "It's Lunchtime in Russia, SOVIET" joke for me? This has been on my list of minor mysteries for 35 years...
Think of 'So we ate' spoken in a Russian accent.

Offline bandaches

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 03:28:58 PM »
     If you look at the l950s MAD comic books, there are a lot of tiny gags in there that no kid would have gotten.  Intelegence is the ability to retain info that one doesn't understand until the key to understand it presents itself.  Thus, a gag Spiegelman or I read in MAD in l952 wasn't understood by us until l970.  However, we had the ability to retain the ununderstood gags until the key to their meanings came to us as our education and life experiences evolved.   To forget something that one doesn't understand represents a form of denial, and doesn't lead to progress of the society or the betterment of the individual's ability to deal with problems.  So Wackys often contain esoteric references that the kids didn't understand until 20 or 30 years later, if they were able to retain the original gags in their minds.
     If all gags were easily understood, Wackys wouldn't have had the appeal they had to kids then.  It is wrong to aim the gags at the lowest common denominator or to try to predict the intelligence level of the reader and talk down to them.  Chances are that kids got a few of the esoteric gags, and couldn't believe that a mass market media product seemed to be speaking directly to them.  Thus developing a feeling toward Wackies as though they were their intimate friends in trading card form.
      OK...so "Lova"....  A guy argues with his wife or lover (lova).  She erupts and kicks him out of bed (note that he is clad in pajamas).  A common problem among the gag writers and execs back then.  The easy way out would have been to call it "Liva" soap...a compressed bar of chopped liver .....the pic on the package would show a guy being followed by dogs sniffing at him with hearts floating over their heads as the necessary volcano condescendingly erupts in the background.  But no.  Who do you think we are?  Fleer?
I think wackys were lucky the art was so well done then because to purposely create gags that you knew kids wouldn't understand and yet hope they would want to buy series after series of them is a poor marketing strategy.  The art and the gags of the fleer crazy covers was weak and hence the product failed miserably. 

I wouldn't think writing gags that you could be sure a 10 year old would understand would be insulting to aged 7-12 year olds. We all remember the gag for Mrs Klean and Gadzooka, thought they were terrific back then and still do today.  Mutt's "favorite for dogs everywhere" and shows dogs staring at worms exiting an apple....just not funny and even at 40 something, we still don't think it is funny, maybe there is some intellectual angle on this, not sure.....  Lasting power of a gag counts for more than testing the intellectual fortitude if the end goal is to sell product.
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Offline jaylynch

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 07:47:26 PM »
My end goal wasn't to sell product.  I don't get royalties on this Wacky stuff.   My goal was  to pay my rent and make kids not grow up to  be stupid .  I always realized that the kids reading wackys would grow up to be the surgeons doing my triple bypass in 40 years...  And I didn't want them to be too dumb to handle that task.  So how many wound up reading the work of Dr. Karl Popper on account of they had pleasant subconscious memories of Dr. Popper?   Enough.   Enough to suit my goals of a maintaining safe, sane society for future generatins.

Offline bandaches

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 08:13:38 PM »
My end goal wasn't to sell product.  I don't get royalties on this Wacky stuff.   My goal was  to pay my rent and make kids not grow up to  be stupid .  I always realized that the kids reading wackys would grow up to be the surgeons doing my triple bypass in 40 years...  And I didn't want them to be too dumb to handle that task.  So how many wound up reading the work of Dr. Karl Popper on account of they had pleasant subconscious memories of Dr. Popper?   Enough.   Enough to suit my goals of a maintaining safe, sane society for future generatins.
Dr. Karl who? Are any of the core wacky pack collectors surgeons?  If you eat right and exercise regularly, you won't have to worry about that triple bypass you are planning to need.
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Offline sco(o)t

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2010, 08:00:34 PM »
Dr. Karl who? Are any of the core wacky pack collectors surgeons?  If you eat right and exercise regularly, you won't have to worry about that triple bypass you are planning to need.

Well, I for one, am definitely not a surgeon. My son, however, looks like he is headed for a medical career. Perhaps reading all those Wackys over the years had a transcendental affect on my DNA thus resulting in an evolutionary increase in my descendant's intelligence and talents. Perhaps Mr. Lynch is actually a mad doctor of delayed mind manipulation carrying out his master plan of helping mankind meet its highest potential. Them again, he could just be a demented, but talented artist and my son is just smarter than me by the genetic role of the dice. As an aside...    Anyone know how far a Wacky collection will go towards paying for a medical degree?

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Offline jaylynch

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2010, 10:11:59 PM »
Karl Popper wasn't a surgeon.  Niether was Piaget.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Piaget

Offline jaylynch

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2010, 10:18:12 PM »
And of corse there's Dr. Popper:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper

Offline BumChex

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2010, 07:49:46 AM »
I think wackys were lucky the art was so well done then because to purposely create gags that you knew kids wouldn't understand and yet hope they would want to buy series after series of them is a poor marketing strategy.  The art and the gags of the fleer crazy covers was weak and hence the product failed miserably. 

I wouldn't think writing gags that you could be sure a 10 year old would understand would be insulting to aged 7-12 year olds. We all remember the gag for Mrs Klean and Gadzooka, thought they were terrific back then and still do today.  Mutt's "favorite for dogs everywhere" and shows dogs staring at worms exiting an apple....just not funny and even at 40 something, we still don't think it is funny, maybe there is some intellectual angle on this, not sure.....  Lasting power of a gag counts for more than testing the intellectual fortitude if the end goal is to sell product.


Sure there were a lot of hits and misses but for me it has always been about the art and characters more so then the gag.

Offline Ducko

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2010, 11:24:31 AM »
Sure there were a lot of hits and misses but for me it has always been about the art and characters more so then the gag.
I agree with that completely (Lova is a great example).

When the newer Wackys ('85 and beyond) stray too far from the original art/characters, they tend to lose me more often than not. Especially if the art is overly 2-dimensional ("flat" looking) and/or in the over-the-top gross-out department (e.g. Shrek-like bodily function humor). The originals never needed to do that to be original and funny.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 02:49:01 PM by Ducko »

Offline Plastered Peanut

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2011, 10:52:26 AM »
      OK...so "Lova"....  A guy argues with his wife or lover (lova).  She erupts and kicks him out of bed (note that he is clad in pajamas).  A common problem among the gag writers and execs back then.  The easy way out would have been to call it "Liva" soap...a compressed bar of chopped liver .....the pic on the package would show a guy being followed by dogs sniffing at him with hearts floating over their heads as the necessary volcano condescendingly erupts in the background.  But no.  Who do you think we are?  Fleer?

Thanks Jay for the explanation!  I like the fact that some of the gags were mysterious and/or inside jokes, and I like fact that many were sophisticated humor that you had to think about sometimes, instead of being, as you say, aimed at the lowest common denominator.

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Offline Playbug

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2011, 12:27:34 PM »
I agree with that completely (Lova is a great example).

When the newer Wackys ('85 and beyond) stray too far from the original art/characters, they tend to lose me more often than not. Especially if the art is overly 2-dimensional ("flat" looking) and/or in the over-the-top gross-out department (e.g. Shrek-like bodily function humor). The originals never needed to do that to be original and funny.

Well said. I agree and do also find the art and characters to be more important than the gag. As a kid, I did not even know (or use) all of the products that were being spoofed, but didn't care because the Art was soo cool. Don't get me wrong, I love a good gag too, BUT when the Art and Gag are both there - POW!   :great:
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Offline Plan 9

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2011, 02:09:48 PM »
Wacky Packs originally established it's success without relying on drippy, snotty, warty, farty, oozy, pissy, pimply, sweaty, vomity, splattery elements.  Such material belongs in the "Garbage Pail". Why the artists and writers keep submitting such material is beyond my understanding. That Topps approves such gags shows they don't know the brand. I want to like Wacky characters and after 8 new series I still can only find a tiny handful of characters I can look at everyday.

Offline jaylynch

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2011, 02:28:51 PM »
In the introduction to John Benson's book THE SINCEREST FORM OF PARODY,  I have written, in the introduction to this book, a complete explanation of why it is that some gags are intentionally obscure.  This book will come out in November...and all will be explained in my intro to it. 

Meanwhile, as we approach what some refer to as the Singularity, notice how most people you talk to in recent months will not let you get to the point of what you are saying without interrupting or changing the subject. 
Don't let that bother you.  Just try to hold onto your sanity a little longer.  Or at Least until November, when THE SINCEREST FORM OF PARODY is published...so you can read the introduction to that book.  http://www.amazon.com/Sincerest-Form-Parody-Inspired-Satirical/dp/1606995111/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311197166&sr=8-1

Offline Plastered Peanut

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2011, 05:11:25 PM »
Wacky Packs originally established it's success without relying on drippy, snotty, warty, farty, oozy, pissy, pimply, sweaty, vomity, splattery elements.  Such material belongs in the "Garbage Pail". Why the artists and writers keep submitting such material is beyond my understanding. That Topps approves such gags shows they don't know the brand. I want to like Wacky characters and after 8 new series I still can only find a tiny handful of characters I can look at everyday.
A stong 2nd on that, Mark!  Although I might subtract "drippy", "warty", and "sweaty".  Think:  Sweathard, Pro-Grossout, Shake & Skip, Mr. Bog, and anything with witches and warlocks.  And I would definitely add "shitty" (not in the subjective sense, but in the literal sense).   I'm so glad original wackies never stooped to bathroom humor.  And even when deailing with nausea, they did it with class, as opposed to a character spewing vomit with more pressure than a firehose. (Pepto Dismal, Heave).
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Offline Bigmuc13

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2011, 08:20:05 AM »
Hey Jay, how about the behind the scenes info about Hired?  That was always left me guessing on what the gag was.  How does 'Hired' fit in with gassy root beer?
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Offline Ruffs

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Re: Another Puzzling Vintage Wacky
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2011, 08:49:17 AM »
Sure there were a lot of hits and misses but for me it has always been about the art and characters more so then the gag.
Hi Jay Big Fan from way back. I would like to know if you are a Wacky Package collector yourself ?