“You know. Margy and I have been movie actors for a long time. Well, the other day I told my father I’d like to be an Editor and Publisher, too. He said, ‘Well, Scrappy, what’s stopping you?’”
Thus wrote Scrappy in the first issue of Scrappy’s Own Magazine, explaining how the publication came to be. The magazine, a sort of proto-comic book published in 1935 by Evanco Products Corp., looks like it was likely a promotional item for Runkel Brothers, the manufacturer of Scrappy’s own brand of chocolate bars– “every Scrappy Bar has a Scrappy cartoon on the Wrapper wih a funny little jingle.” (It’s reminiscent of the original Mickey Mouse Magazine, which was a dairy premium.)
What was there of interest in this publication? Well, it’s hard to know where to start. In the pages of Scrappy’s Own, we…
…meet Scrappy and Oopy’s “mum”–a white-haired lady who appears to be roughly 78 years of age;
…learn Scrappy’s Own Everyday Motto, a sort of alternate-reality, kid-oriented Pledge of Allegiance which, as Jim Korkis has pointed out, is eerily similar to a creed supplied to members of the original Mickey Mouse Club at about the same time;
…get the first chapter of “How to Make an Animated Cartoon, by Scrappy,” in which we’re instructed on how to do rudimentary character animation starring a character named “Mr. Match”;
…are exposed to multiple ads for Runkel Bros. chocolates (“They made one particularly fine candy bar–Scrappy tried it one day and he liked it so well that he put his very own name on it!”;
…learn Margy’s recipe for “Cookless Fudge,” which, you may not be surprised to hear, involves Runkel’s cooking and baking chocolate (we’re going to get around to making a batch one of these days);
…are informed of a contest which involves writing jingles abut our favorite Scrappy cartoons, with prizes ranging from Shirley Temple dolls to ball-bearing roller skates (sadly, the deadline was December 9th, 1935);
…read a Scrappy comic that’s so much like one of those Family Circus panoramas in which Billy wanders around and leaves a dotted line that one suspects that Bil Keane must have been a Scrappy fan;
…endure “To Yippy,” a maudlin poem in which Scrappy contemplates his own death (“Please God, you know my dog’s been good…if we should die before we wake/I know you’ll think it fair/To grant me this one favor/Let my pal go with me there.”);
…and a lot more.
Issue #1 of Scrappy’s Own Magazine has repeated references to a forthcoming second issue. We have no idea if one ever appeared…and the first issue is pretty darn obscure itself. We’re glad we found it, and may someday be moved to put its entire contents online.