Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mr. Bungleton, All-Star! Part 3

More Bungleton 1970! Right after our last visit to the man, once one skips past a calendar with Harvey stars in the middle, we get "A Tent's Moment," a five page epic which I've been reluctantly forced to condense here. First, let me draw your attention to the note below the title, "Introducing Mr. Bungleton." Introducing? When not only had he been struggling since 1967, but had appeared in the previous story even? Perhaps this was just a sign that Sid Jacobson and other staffers finally had faith in Bungleton, thanks to his going Howie Postal.

Mr. Bungleton says "Ho-ho!" He says that a lot in this story, either his effervescent jocularity bubbling our or an attempt at a new catchphrase. Mr. B. *bound* over the fence to help Audrey. He speaks graciously if floridly: "Well, as a kindly neighborly gesture, maybe I can help!" He's a sprightly fairy godfather, which of course sets up the hijanks as at least he bungles. Or does he?

A man of action and swift decisions, that's our Bungleton. Note again the rays of light as he makes "another decision." Bathed by brilliance or some holy benediction, our hero will not be deterred.

Well, okay, maybe he will be. Mrs. B. isn't too happy, and yet another fact is added to our store of Bungletonian knowledge. The great man's first name is Wilfred. As of course it should be. But ah, this new and improved Mr. Bungleton may falter but he never fails; he is not merely acted upon but he acts.

And Little Audrey is rightly amazed and holds this wonder being in awe, this combination uncle, grandfather, neighbor, gnome, and camping instructor. This time, Audrey speaks sense. Mr. Bungleton *can* do most anything.

Except, alas, establish himself as a bonafide Harvey star or even a cult figure. References to to Mr. Bungleton on the net are few and far between: a ComicVine stub which *does* justly refer to him as a Harvey hero, though sadly only because it's their default stub text and not in praise of his greatness. It notes an appearance in Harvey Wiseguys #1 from 1987, which may well be a reprint of one of the four canon appearances. If anyone has this book, or knows of any further appearances to add to this unofficial Encyclopedia Bungletonia, please let me know!

There's also a mention I myself made ages ago on a message board, and then most intriguingly, we have this. Little Audrey TV Funtime #28, the very next issue following our two in one Bungleton, features a story tantalizingly titled "Mr. Bungleton - All-Star." The cost prohibits me from obtaining a copy just now, but the title proves that Mr. B was gainining momentum in 1970. One wonders what hijinks, what brilliant bungletonning awaits in back issues. You may rest assured that any subsequent Bungleton sightings will be duly noted on this blog.

And now you know the rest of the Bungleton story. Good day!

No comments: