Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Welcome once again, folks, to the Cap'n's Cartoon Cabaret!  Today the Cabaret has gone to the cats...Felix the Cat, to be specific!

Yes, Mr. Sullivan's feisty, precocious kitty is tearing up the silver screen at the moment, and today the Cabaret features a double feature of original works, including "Felix's" first appearance (as "Master Tom") in 1919's Feline Follies.

And he is taking the world by storm: there are Felix clocks, Felix, shirts, Felix toys...Macy's department store in New York has even made a giant Felix balloon to add to their Christmas parade!  Giant cartoon character balloons in a parade...what a crazy idea!

A product of the masterful team of Otto Messmer and Pat Sullivan, a sucessful team sure to go on to keep doing great things together, the tricky cat has been sweeping up at the box office, proving the time-consuming art of animatuion may yet prove a financially solvent industry.

Either way, the two seem to have recognized the limitless possibilities animation offers for fantastical imagery and strange humor as the tricks the art allows let Felix perform impossible feats.

And they certainly have captured that very feline attitude.

So today, folks, let us enjoy two strips of the fabulous Felix, first in his debut appearance in 1919's Feline Follies where we will see the "early working prototype" model, and then in 1923's popular Felix in Hollywood we see a more fully fleshed-out character that's obviously the Felix we know and love.

So without further ado, here's Felix:

 

He kills himself rather than be father to his 12 kittens? Oh, that hilarious scamp!

 

 

Ha!  Way to skewer that blowhard Hays!

 

No doubt about it, animation has come a long way since Gertie, with character arcs, stories, and even dialog.  It will be facinating to see what comes next.  Sound?  Color?  The sky's the limit!

But until then, since we're all friends here and since Joe is up front to warn us if any Treasury Agents swing by, feel free to safely imbibe a nice cup or three of Fish House Punch, a drink from the Schuylkill Fishing Company in ol' Philidelphia, a place I'm sure Felix would love to visit.

 

Fish House Punch:

[image from epicurious.com]

  • 750mL Dark Rum
  • 15 oz Cognac
  • 7 1/2 oz Peach Brandy
  • 7 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 7 1/2 oz Simple Syrup.

 Place a block of ice into a punch bowl.  Add all ingredients.  Stir well and allow to chill.  Serve in punch cups or white wine glasses.

 

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Comment by Tome Wilson on December 12, 2013 at 10:17am

There's a whole week's worth of Mickey Mouse strips from back in the day where the running gag was "Mickey's so sad, he can't even kill himself right."  It was pretty weird compared to today's vision of Disney culture.

Comment by Cap'n Tony on December 12, 2013 at 10:14am

Suicide jokes were much more common even recently.  Even as late as the 1980s Garfield was running suicide humor.  I remember a series of strips where Garfield was putting his head in the oven when he just couldn't deal with the mundane stress of his life anymore.  "Stupid electric oven" was the one punchline I remember.  Alas I can't find it online...I suspect a purge.

Comment by Larry on December 8, 2013 at 2:51pm

I loved Felix as a kid. I have to admit the ending to Feline Follies surprised me when I just saw it then I remembered that the sensibilities of the time would have thought that funny and appropriate for children.

Comment by Tome Wilson on December 8, 2013 at 1:07pm

As a kid, Felix is one of those characters I always felt like I should enjoy, but could never get into.

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