“I don’t like Jerry, but I do like Tom. And what they did to Tom was wrong…” ~ The Screaming Blue Messiahs’ I Can Speak American.
I remember watching old Tom & Jerry cartoons after school when I was a kid. All that violence we kids were exposed to as Tom (a cat) tried to get the best of Jerry (a mouse). It’s a wonder we didn’t all become murderous psychopaths.
I always rooted for Tom. Jerry always seemed to win the day. Jerry always seemed to get the better of Tom. No matter how hard Tom tried, Jerry always came out on top.
Just once I would have loved to have seen Tom catch Jerry and tear that smug little smarty-pants rodent to ribbons. Cats in the real world get the better of mice. They toy with them and then gut the little vermin pests. Sometimes the cats don’t even eat the mice, they just lay the lifeless carcasses at the doorstep of their owners’ houses. “Look what I have for you.”
At some point very late in the run of Tom & Jerry cartoons the two became partners, pals, buddies. They faced whatever cartoon dangers threatened them as a team. And that sucked. They’re supposed to battle each other, not get along. They shouldn’t have each others backs.
It would have been fine if Tom was just being friendly in order to lull Jerry into a false sense of security. Tom biding his time until he can get the drop on his enemy and torture the little so and so. I mean, disembowel him. Pull his head from his shoulders. Rip the guts right… out…
Hmmm. Maybe all that cartoon violence did have an effect on me.
Well, no matter. It’s the cover I want to talk about.
The cover is Tom and Jerry Comics number 129 (April 1955) by Dell Comics. The artist is Harvey Eisenberg who both penciled and inked it. The art is simple, but there is a dynamic sense due to the size of the characters in relationship to the cover. They are big. They fill the scene. I really like that.
The line work is impeccable. Thicks and thins and not a line wasted. Artists in the 1990s needed to look at more artwork by the Golden Age masters.
And we know the story at a glance. Tom doesn’t want little Mr. Mouse with the high pants diaper in his house, but the always super-clever Jerry outmaneuvers his adversary by having installed a mini-door. The expressions say so much. Tom is dumbfounded in his clueless. Jerry is delighted in his heads up preparedness. And the intruder thinks he owns the place.
It’s a great cover.
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Warehouse Find is the official blog of NostalgiaZone.com, where you can find books, games, toys, cards, and a huge selection of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comic books. Jim also has a podcast called Dimland Radio. He’d love it if you checked it out. It’s available on Apple Podcasts.