Ahhh, the good ol' days. When malls were everywhere. When most of the discount department stores as well a regular department stores were regional names. Old line stores had been around possibly since the 1890's. Discount department stores were at least 1965, some started by the full line department stores. There was a mall/strip seemingly in every city having put out the down town department stores, even in small down towns. In my hometown at the time, it was a large, soft wood housing/business development called "The Landings". When I first moved to that town, on one side of town we had a bank and a grocery store. The other side where all the action was..the Landings. Still further on the outskirts, a discount department store called "Fishers Big Wheel". We had our movies/grocery store/post office/booze store and other shopping right on the lake across from the power plant. Essentially, everything a big city would have, all could be reached by a bike ride. If we loaded in the car, we would go to to shop at a bigger store called "K-Mart" and then if we really felt like shopping the big time, we drove to a mall called "Great Northern" where all our shopping needs from May Company to JCPenny would be satisfied. There were no less than 5 record stores, 2 electronics retailers, 2 major book chains and countless other misc mall stores that simply vanished as time went on. Better yet, we could go to the Uncle Bills which seemed a bit cheaper than K-Mart with a better mix or get some home improvement junk at the Forest City store and have lunch inside the May Company looking out over the mall. Oh, back from the memory hole I was in. Yeah, they gave these free at the Hallmark stores. Junk Blog.
Um, memory full. I thought this came from that very Landings Hallmark. I think it was called the "Hello" store. They had a ton of "Hello Kitty" crap there and well, when Garfield the cat became a thing, they had all that Garfield crap. I bought lots of Garfield crap from them from pencils to erasers and pencil toppers to... I didn't have much money, but it seemed I wanted to spend it all on Garfield crap. What I said before? Yep. There was a Hallmark card store in almost every small town strip mall. Likely I got this when I biked to bay to play games at the Great American arcade or get RC plane crap from the hobby shop or have a cone at DQ.
How funny was it that before the net, it was a post card, mailed, with a stamp. When is the last time you sent a card, or a letter, via the post office? When was the last time you got a free planner by being a customer of a card store? When was the last time you had "Lobster Fest" at a participating Red Lobster? Mmmmmmmmmmmm salt salt salt.
And here it was. I used this to "schedule" my "publishing" projects. You see, when I was a shaver, I read a POGO comic. Look it up. It was all about the POGO gang running a newspaper. I decided I'd start my own. I "printed" each copy over and over and sold them for 5 cents. I think I made it to issue 2 or 3. I them went to a place called "Wllmont Printing" and they had TONS of remainder pads and paper that they sold for pennies. Hey, rather than throw it away, why not make a buck on the remnants. What did I care? This was before it became so dirt cheap to get any paper. I then started drawing my "comics" on this unlined paper and began a comic strip patterned after the Peanuts comic strip. Again, I tried to sell this crap, but only made pennies. More pads and paper for me to make more silly stick figures on.
I was a fan of Mad Magazine only in passing for a few years but when Issue #200 came out, I bought every one until about issue #320. My favorite artist is Al Jaffee because he drew a caricature of himself in every piece he did. I copied that and could draw Jaffee as he saw himself on the cover of a paperback of his newspaper comics. "Al Jaffee Gags Again." These were unrelated from his "Snappy Answers" paperbacks put out by Mad Magazine. Inspired by Mad, I began a monthly magazine that I drew on folded notebook paper. I had a cover featuring "Wehe", a bad drawing of a character who was chubby, had a seal flipper arm/hand and a bent nose. I also started doing larger "Super Specials" just like Mad. I was rolling. I also did "Invench Convench" which was a one sheet/folded that I drew each month while I was in school. It was actually supposed to be called "Invention Convention" but I had a problem spelling that. :) It was about the latest "Inventions" and that was inspired by Al Jaffee's many "Invention" things.
Believe it or not, I continued on this way for about 4-5 years. All of it is total sheit except for my parody of E.T. in which "ETeed" was drawn like a sock and his mantra was "Eteed Have sex, phone home." It wasn't long until I'd moved on to making recordings and having a "game company". Finally, I realized that my writing was funnier than anything I'd drawn, and well, the rest is "Blooper Giggling History!" (Skitch. Dick Clark. Thanks.) - Ric