« Catholicism is not a soothing religion. It’s a painful religion. We’re all gluttons for punishment. » — Madonna Ciccone
Here’s a seasonal goodie from gag cartoonist Marvin Townsend (1915–1999) and his adorable “Ali” pantomime strip, which appeared, beginning in 1962 in, of all places, the Catholic comic book anthology Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact (Geo. A. Pflaum Publisher), distributed to parochial school students between 1946 and 1972.
Denominational and religious concerns aside, Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact, a publication generally avoided like any of the Ten Plagues of Egypt by your average comic book fan, was, wouldn’t you know it, chock full of excellent work by the likes of Bernard Baily, Fran Matera, Bob Powell, Reed Crandall, Joe Sinnott, Graham Ingels, Joe Orlando, Murphy Anderson, Jim Mooney, Paul Eismann… and these are some of the artists. The material was also engagingly written and often truly captivating. And they weren’t above paying a bit of lip service to that ol’ Pagan Holiday, Hallowe’en.
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