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Today's Video Link

I remember where I was when I discovered Mr. Mum. In the summer of 1959, my mother took me east for a trip to — in this order — New York City, Hartford and Boston. New York was because she thought I ought to see New York and some of its landmarks. Hartford was because we had family there. Boston was the same reason as New York.

Going from New York to Hartford involved a train ride from Penn Station where we spotted a vending machine that sold little paperback books. There were two with comic strips in them and she bought me one of each. One was a collection of Jimmy Hatlo's They'll Do It Every Time, a strip I never found particularly interesting. The other was The Strange World of Mr. Mum by someone named Phillips.

I had never heard of Mr. Mum. He wasn't then in either of the big Los Angeles newspapers. But I wished he was because he was very funny…funny enough that in a drawing tablet I hauled around on the trip, I drew not the sights I was seeing but my own Mr. Mum cartoons. Later, I renamed the character so he could be mine, all mine. When I get around to really cleaning out my mother's place, I expect to find some of those drawings and I'll see if any of them are funny. Given how many I did, I'm figuring a couple must be.

Mr. Mum later turned up in the Los Angeles Times for a while. I don't think they ever had him on the page with all the other comics. He was stuck away amongst the classified ads so I had to go look for him. It was usually worth the trip. I also bought and still have other paperbacks.

As I got more interested in comic strips, I tried to research Mssrs. Mum and Phillips. Very little was written about either. Our video today told me more about them than I'd ever known before. So isn't it about time someone arranged for a big Mr. Mum reprint collection?