Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How I Wonder(ed) Where You Are ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post

Well, here I am, fellow babies, posting every few days, with a list of celebrity tribute posts piling up in my blog's "drafts" list. I have columns dealing with other subjects, too, which are already written, but they're also staying in with the drafts for now. That's because I know most of my readers can't or don't visit every single freakin' day, so I don't like to post too many articles which would only serve to "bury" the older posts. Having said that, here's my "Comical Wednesday" post... and soon I'll print my tribute to Tom Petty, among others, I promise.

*  *  *  *  *


See that weirdly-drawn guy above with a star for a head? Well, I have vague memories of reading and enjoying his adventures back in the early 1960s, when I was somewhere between four and six years old. He wore a symmetrically divided costume with alternating colors, kind of like some court jesters did, as well as the original comic book Daredevil from the 1940s (see below). And by the way, fellow babies, do any of you know what that kind of clothing pattern is called? It's not "jester costume," it's not "harlequin," it isn't "motley," and since I've looked all over for the term, I'm appealing to you.

The ORIGINAL comic book Daredevil, from the 1940s!

Anyway...

Those "vague memories" also told me that the little dude's name was "Twinkle Loon" -- I presume the "Loon" part was derived from "lunar," seeing how the character came from outer space -- and I could always find him in Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little Children (pictured below).

This is a copy of Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little
Children... which you can no doubt read for yourself!


Not long after I became addicted to browsing the internet, I decided to look for anything I could find about the little sucker, so I typed "Twinkle Loon" and "Humpty Dumpty" and found... nothing.

Nothing at all!

I knew I wasn't hallucinating it! I was 100% certain that he'd appeared in Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little Children -- I'll just call it Humpty Dumpty's Magazine from now on, okay? -- and sure that he'd been named Twinkle Loon...

Well... pretty sure about that last one.

You see, I have vivid memories of my friend Scott shouting in a sing-songy kinda way, "Twinkle Loon, the man from the moon!"

It wasn't until I did some research on Humpty Dumpty's Magazine alone that I saw the list of its features, which told me that the little chap I remembered so well as "Twinkle Loon" was actually... "Twinkle." Just "Twinkle." Well, technically, his feature was called "Twinkle, the Star Who Came Down from Heaven." (Not from the moon, Scott! I figured that Scott must have made up the rhyme himself, simply because it sounded good.) The Twinkle feature was (only occasionally) credited on the mag's contents page to children's book illustrator Jay Williams, but the strip itself was signed "Mazin." Were Mazin and Jay Williams the same guy? I haven't been able to find that out... yet.



I was satisfied with that knowledge for a few years, actually. Then, one day not too long ago, I decided to do a little more research, and I found out that Twinkle had been published even earlier, with a completely different (and less quirky) art style, in a comic book title known as Calling All Kids. He debuted in its second issue in 1946. (The cover of Calling All Kids #2 is shown immediately after this paragraph, followed by the first two pages of Twinkle's premiere story.)




No creators were ever credited for writing or drawing this feature!

And it gets better.

Right after learning of Twinkle's 1940s incarnation, I said to myself, "Hey, I've got a copy of Calling All Kids in my own comic collection!"

Which, of course, I did. I had only kept it because it was a Golden Age comic and it was very roughed up, so I'd gotten it really cheap! But because it was a title that was obviously aimed at little tykes, I'd never even bothered to read the damned thing!

So I dug it out of its box, and... Yup! There he was, right on the cover!

My copy of Calling All Kids #24. Note the chunk missing from
the cover. When I said "very roughed up," I wasn't kidding!

Just for the record, I should add that Amazon.com has a review of a book written by an author named Annie Parker with this extra-long title: Twinkle and The Lost Starfish (Twinkle, The Star That Came Down From Heaven).

Hm. Maybe the book pre-dated both comic book series? Worth doing another search, I thought.

But for some reason, trying to find the book itself on Amazon.com by clicking on its title on the review page leads you to a page that says "SORRY, we couldn't find that page!" But the review -- just the freakin' review -- is still there! Frustrating as all hell!

So, for now, at least, I'm done trying to find out more about Twinkle's origins.

But now -- and I promise, I'm almost done -- here's where it gets even weirder:

The same day I discovered that the Twinkle character had started in the Golden Age, I decided to do a search for "Twinkle Loon." Not along with "Humpty Dumpty" this time, just "Twinkle Loon."

And.

I.

Found.

This.


A book. Not a comic book, I hasten to add, but an honest-to-God children's book. And the website on which I found it reprinted the entire thing from cover to cover. Here's the beginning:


But what really freaked me out was that this tiny spaceman looked familiar. I was thinking that maybe I was imagining its familiarity, when this illustration showed up:


A cold chill came over me as I thought, "I recognize this page! And... and... I even made that puppet!"

Okay, okay, I didn't literally think "And... and..." I'm just being colorful. But, as I said above, I was totally freaked out.

So that's what Scott had been singing about.

Why the hell did I remember Twinkle relatively clearly, and totally blank out on Twinkle Loon?

Memory's a funny thing, innit?

Thanks for your ti-- Oh, before I forget, in the pursuit of total truth, I should admit that I probably made that freakin' puppet with considerable help from my mother... But I'll be damned if I remember that, either!

Thanks for your time.

18 comments:

  1. Goes to show what memories can pop back in, or not, or sorta, when you go a searching and you find. A star with legs and arms and a rhyme for a star. Can see how they may mix and match haha

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    1. Oh, and no idea what you'd call that. A rather crappy costume would be my take.

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    2. Ha. I have a lot of female readers, so I'm hoping someone will know the proper name for that design.

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  2. Oh, this was fun to read! Twinkle the Star That Came Down From Heaven, I so enjoyed the comic you posted. Of course, I would like anything to do with stars.

    Smiling quite wide at the moment.

    I thought I'd find the tribute to Tom Petty today, I forgot about Comical Wednesday.

    It looks a bit like a checkerboard pattern, but I could be wrong. Maybe, some of your other readers have a clue.

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    1. I thought it was a bit personal. Who among my readers would even know who Twinkle was, I thought. So glad you enjoyed the post anyway.

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    2. Sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude on something personal. I have never heard of Twinkle before and I guess it intrigued me.

      Speaking of stars I saw a shooting one Monday night.

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    3. Oh, no, True, you weren't intruding at all! Quite the opposite. What I meant was, I had doubts about posting this because I figured none of my readers would have heard of Twinkle and nobody would care. I was very glad that you enjoyed the post regardless of that! Thank you.

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  3. I am so very sorry for failing to come by more often. You always do an amazing amount of work on your articles, and it is a shame that you have not been hired for mucho dinero as a staff writer for one of the major newspapers or magazines. If it makes you feel any better, you are not the only dear friend I regularly neglect. Sigh.

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    1. Thanks for your "amazing amount of work" compliment, Jerry. As far as why I'm not making millions in Hollywood or in print, I like to think that part of the reason is that I've never had enough ambition to really push myself. And there's no need to apologize for not visiting more. Most of my readers only stop by when they can, and many of them have been dealing with pressing real-world issues lately. Following blogs isn't very high on people's lists of necessary items.

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  4. This is a great article! Well worth pushing ahead of Tom Petty et al. The 1946 Twinkle on the cover (and his friends) remind me of some old, old, cartoons we used to own that were drawn in a similar manner, especially the Old Mother Hubbard one.

    I really liked the Twinkle Loon book as well! I'd never heard of Twinkle OR Twinkle Loon, but the TL book illustrations remind me of so many books from my childhood (many that I still have) that were "sort of" colored illustrations . . . black & white and maybe another color like shades of red or blue, and that's that.

    I never know what I'm going to learn when I visit here, and I love that aspect of your blog. Thanks for making the effort to put forth articles with substance and fun.

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    1. Gee, I almost didn't post this one because I thought it was too limited as far as to who would like it. Now I'm glad I did. I'm very pleased with the reaction it's gotten.

      I just ordered the Twinkle Loon book from an eBay dealer. I've spent the last thirty years or so buying back my childhood. I have so many books, comics, and toys from my formative years, which I now own for the second or even third time.

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  5. I'd like to buy back my childhood. My mother sold it at garage sales. I managed to hang on to some books and the Winnie the Pooh who slept with me. I have a few Barbies and their clothes, too, and one stuffed monkey who had a plastic banana that could be put in his mouth, but X broke him. She sold all the baby dolls (some of them very old and probably collectible), the baby doll clothes and the play washing machine that could have real water put in it to "wash" the clothes and then we turned the handle very fast to spin dry them before hanging them on the clothes line, the toy iron that actually plugged in and got warm, the toy sewing machine that could actually work on something simple, and on and on. Toys were so much better then because we could do real things with them. When I bought a toy washing machine for my daughter, all she could do was put clothes in it and pretend that there was water and that it agitated. I suppose the toys are supposed to be safer now. Her toys weren't nearly as cool as mine. I wish I'd still had mine to give to her. My mother heard about garage sales and went crazy selling things. Twinkle Loon looks familiar, like things I saw as a kid. Have you written about Twinkle or Twinkle Loon before, or is it my imagination that you've written about him? Now that kind of clothing is called color blocking, but mine is not the answer you seek.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I've spent several years at flea markets, old bookstores, yard sales, at comic book shops and on eBay buying things that I grew up with and were sold, broken, given away (mostly by my mother as I aged), etc. I'm constantly amazed at how these items are so much "smaller" than I recall them... for obvious reasons. (I'm actually larger now!)

      I haven't written about Twinkle or Twinkle Loon before.

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    2. Then why do they seem so familiar to me?

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    3. And why isn't it called a harlequin costume?

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    4. Some harlequin costumes have that alternating design, but not all. The same holds true for jester costumes.

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  6. I loved this chapter! It's especially cool for collecting-addicts like us when an old memory gets stirred up. I was a yard sale back in the 1980s and I found a box that contained a dozen or so of the 1960s 6 inch tall Marx soldiers and at the bottom of the box I found one of the day-glow plastic Marx Universal Monster figures! Instantly, the memories came flooding back to me...I had completely forgotten that I had owned (and painted!) these cool figures back in the early 1960s. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I had those Marx figures, too. Someone got hold of the molds and did a reprint set in the early nineties, I believe, but they didn't use day-glow plastic.

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