19 Comments

  1. I am glad I was not the only one to notice and that they actually sent it in! I was wondering about the concurrence. Anyone know of an anniversary or event causing it? (The original date of publication was March 12, 1957…

  2. I haven’t read The Cat in the Hat, leastwise not in this century, and didn’t know enough about the actual storyline to understand that the mess and destruction shown in the A&J does come from that, and is not just a joke about Ludwig exercising his occasional madcap felinity, and roping in Arlo for that.

    While this may not have been a publication anniversary, I do remember some fuss and bother earlier this year
    about pressure to omit some Dr Seuss titles from the republication lisrs

  3. @ Targuman – There are absolutely no obvious nor significant “Dr. Seuss” anniveraries for all last week (or for that matter, this whole month). He was born 2-Mar-1904, and died 24-Sep-1991. There is (or was) a plan to produce a new animated “Cat in the Hat” film, but it seems to have been put into hibernation. Unless, of course, these comics are a unsubtle attempt to establish some advance marketing. If that’s the case, we’ll probably see some “CitH” Happy Meal toys sometime next year.

  4. P.S. @ Mitch – The “destruction” comes directly from the book: the CitH and his two “helpers” (Thing One and Thing Two) manage to trash the whole house, but after the Things get evicted the Cat comes back with a magical machine to clean up everything , and disappears just before the kids’ mother walks in the door. Johnson missed a minor opportunity, the vase on the shelf should have been round (like a fishbowl).

    P.P.S. There may have been behind the scenes pressure, but the announcement to “retire” six of the classic Dr. Seuss books (three of which I own) was a bit of a surprise.

  5. P.P.P.S. @ Andréa – Ms. Scrivan was the only artist who included a dedication line, although to be fair, Mt. Pleasant mentions him by name, so maybe it wasn’t necessary there.

  6. ” There may have been behind the scenes pressure, but the announcement to “retire” six of the classic Dr. Seuss books (three of which I own) was a bit of a surprise.”

    The family (which controls the copyrights) acted to preserve the prominence of the good Dr.’s legacy. Dr. Seuss’ true feelings about racism are pretty clear in “The Sneetches”, and burying some of Dr. Seuss’ racial caricatures helps clarify the message. I spent some of my formative youth in a timber town on the Southern Oregon coast in the early ’80’s, and there was fairly constant pressure to remove “The Lorax” from school libraries because the precious little children were asking uncomfortable questions about why daddy was working cutting down all the trees. And the little angels didn’t even know yet how subversive “The Butter Battle Book” was, undermining their faith in government.

  7. The little girl in the middle pair has already learned an important life-lesson for readers: you don’t HAVE to finish every book. I think I was in my 20s when I learned that, and in a real way it changed my life.

    Second important life-lesson: you don’t have to read every book someone gives you.

  8. That second lesson is very important. As I am a dog fanatic, folks like to give me all sorts of books about dogs, including sad ones, which I cannot read, from Old Yeller to Marley and Me.

  9. @ J.P. – “Dr. Seuss’ true feelings about racism are pretty clear in “The Sneetches”…

    While it would be nice to think that a beloved author like Dr. Seuss always held enlightened opinions about the social issues he targeted in his later works, the evidence shows that this was not the case. Removing books like “Mulberry Street” from publication is a simplistic attempt to whitewash his past, and is hardly justified from the single text line and miniature drawing that is (now) felt to be “offensive”. However, there are definitely more serious examples that show Seuss going enthusiastically along with the prevailing racist opinions of the age in which he grew up.

    There is a fascinating (although horribly edited) book called “Dr. Seuss Goes to War“, which documents many of the cartoons that Seuss drew to promote America’s involvement in WWII. These are not “polite” or “gentle” editorials, they use every possible image (no matter how nasty) to achieve their political message, including (extremely) racist caricatures, and general support for the interment camps. Seuss may have (later) seen the errors of his ways, but it took him some time before that happened.

  10. YT has several videos about Dr. Seuss and his ‘unknown’ drawings, both editorial and otherwise. I believe I posted them here some time ago, but they are easy to find.

  11. Hmm, there must be a reason; something happened, or something was announced?? This is Lard’s World Peace Tips for 18 Oct 2022.

  12. Even if ther were an “event” that caused an idea to germinate in four cartoonists’ heads, it would (most likely) have been in the past (mid to late September), but I cannot recall anything relevant within such a “lead time” timeframe. Anyone else?

  13. Yo, Rick McKee of Mt. Pleasant here. I can tell you as far as our strip goes, this was pure coincidence. Kent Sligh, who wrote it, just happened to pick that book. There are no anniversaries or promotions that we’re aware of and we didn’t communicate with the others to plan it. Weird, right?!

  14. Andréa – Unplanned I ended with a collection of Teddy (and other) Bears including books about them, pictures etc. much of which came about because people gave me things with bears.

    This started when I was in college and I was a commuter – my parents did not like me driving home alone late at night after events and I had a friend who lived in the dorm. So I would drive her to events and stay overnight in her dorm room. She had a toy bear named Pierre and I started bringing a teddy bear who I named Theodore David Bear (Ted D.Bear) that was in the house when I stayed there so the two bears could “visit”. People often used to give me bear themed items as they did not know what else to give me.

    Since being with Robert (close to 50 years) more and more bears have added. They have their own room (smallest bedroom of 3 and if we ever have anyone sleep over the bears will be very upset to leave the room for them). The collection kept growing – plush, radio. drink bottles, china, plastic, glass, metal… The bears range in size from a plastic one about 1/4 inch tall to a stuffed Russian Olympics bear (not sure which year) which is close to 3 feet tall. More recently – maybe 10 years ago – the small ones got a village at the top of the stairs which changes bears and themes about every month or so – including in early 2020 a pandemic stay at home layout with only bears who work in the food industry, a running bear (exercise outside was okay) and an accountant bear (they had said tax preparers were essential workers) out in the village. Latest setup for a holiday is Memorial Day – small artist’s easel with a Christmas wreath on it (turned so red bow does not show) and bears on benches to see the wreath “laid” and listen to the speeches. Christmas there is no room for the bears to move. (Many of the buildings in the village are craft store bird houses or bird feeders – I rarely see things as others do.) Among the odd things I have been able to find for the village – I have 3 small pieces each with bears dressed as Marines and collecting “Toys for Tots”.

    For Thanksgiving there will be Pilgrim and Indian “reenactor” bears with a house made from a haystack. (These were are from 2 ceramic painting kits that I painted.)

    Yes, I am that crazy and Robert enjoys the bears also and will rearrange them sometimes to be doing something else. During the early part of the pandemic their village gave us a place “to go” to keep our sanity.

    In general most of the bear figurines and toys in the village have been bought for less $5 each and often $1 – only a few of them have cost more than that.

  15. @Rick McKee, thanks for clearing up that point! It’s still a somewhat striking coincidence, but I guess that’s how perceptual illusions work. 😉

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