Let’s talk about New Funnies comics, one of the best comics series of the Golden Age in my opinion.
New Funnies is a series of comics from the Golden Age that started just called The funnies. With issue 64 (in 1942), the comic began to focus on Walter Lantz characters, such as Andy Panda and Oswald the Rabbit. With the number 65, it was renamed New Funnies.
Woody Woodpecker was also one of the Lantz characters to appear in the book. He was such a new character at the time, he was a guest star on Oswald the Rabbit stories for a year or two before getting his own comic strip on New Funnies. At first, Woody’s strip was only one page long. With the number 87, he began to receive a longer strip. Of course, as time went on, Woody Woodpecker became Walter Lantz’s biggest star and appeared in most of New Funnies It covers from the mid-1940s until it was canceled in the early 1960s.
New Funnies it’s a great series. Not only are the problems fairly easy to find, which is surprising for a Golden Age comic series, but many issues are not too expensive. Of course, the most wanted numbers are the first ones from the moment the book changed from its initial format to featuring Lantz’s characters. Lantz-centric first problems can cost hundreds of dollars in near-perfect condition. Some topics that stand out include the number 65 (the first issue of New Funnies), No. 69 (cute Halloween cover featuring Andy Panda, Raggedy Ann, and Felix the Cat), No. 89 and No. 101 (both WWII war bond covers).
In my opinion, some of the best covers are those that feature three great Lantz characters together: Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, and Charlie Chicken, a character that only appeared in a few cartoons but has appeared in comics since the decade of 1940 to 1970.. He is one of those forgotten characters who never received fame on a large scale. Charlie Chicken appeared in two Andy Panda cartoons in the 1940s: Andy Panda’s Victory Garden and Meatless Tuesday. Interestingly, he fought Andy in both cartoons. They chased each other around Andy’s farm. I call this strange because in New Funnies (and Andy Panda’s own series) Charlie was friends with Andy Panda.
Charlie first appeared in print in New Funnies No. 79 as a small chicken. From what I can tell from my research (I don’t own all the numbers), Charlie was a grown chicken in his next comic book appearance. He was one of the stars in New Funnies for decades, even getting his own comic strip on the show.
Yes, if you are a fan of Golden Age cartoons, Golden Age comics, or Walter Lantz characters, I recommend you buy some old ones. New Funnies problems through online comic shops or eBay. You will not be disappointed in the prices or the quality of the stories. Also, we must keep the classic characters from the Golden Age alive!