|Four Color #271--art by Robert Armstrong|
|Porky Pig #5--not sure if it's the original re-colored or if it was redrawn by another artist.|
Porky Pig #5 (March 1966) is a prime example of this. The story, by the way, is a reprint from Four Color #271 (March 1950), with art by Roger Armstrong and a script by the prolific "unidentified."
The cat turns out to be Sylvester. Has Porky's friend gone bad? (Tweety Bird isn't in the story to voice his opinion.)
It turns out that a villain known as Hypnotic Harry is hypnotizing innocent people and getting them to commit crimes. Also, Petunia's uncle is missing.
So the story is indeed unfolding in a fairly logical manner, with Porky following up reasonable clues and making reasonable deductions. Mixed in with this are gags, malapropisms, and one-liners to add humor. And it is indeed a funny story. But the chaos so inherent to the Looney Tunes cartoons is toned down.
There's also a sense of real danger that doesn't exist in the cartoons. If you are shot with a gun in a Looney Tunes comic book, you are apparently in real danger of getting killed. When Porky and his friends find the lost mine, a teetering rock poses an actual threat of being crushed to death, rather than simply being squashed into a pancake shape without really being hurt.
Porky uses a tried-and-true method of identifying the bad guy as well, When the ranch foreman blurts out a piece of information he can only known if he's actually the villain, Porky immediately calls him out. It probably would have been better if he had waited until the villain wasn't armed before doing this.
At the same time, the story never completely loses track of its cartoon roots. The day is saved because Sylvester just happens to be holding a mail-order boomerang that just happened to be delivered to the ranch cook moments before. The bad guy then makes the classic mistake of telling Sylvester to throw it away.
So the Looney Tunes comic book universe is indeed a different reality from the cartoons. But it's still a place well-worth visiting. Just remember--when you're there, avoiding taking any boomerang hits to the head. It really will hurt.
Next week, we discover that going on a road trip with Hercules is rarely a good idea.