Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let me ask you to your face... you think you love The Partridge Family???

Well, I'll fix that.

On my blog, whenever I scan and reprint panels from a comic book, I really try hard to not show more than a small percentage of the comic to stay inside the boundaries of fair use. So, I usually only post maybe eight, nine panels from an entire comic. Seems pretty fair, don't it? After all, I'm not a comic website whose name rhymes with Hands Bailey.
Definition: Hands Bailey, plural noun, \ˈhan(d)z-ˈbā-lē\. What you find at the end of the arms of British comedian Bill Bailey.

Trouble is, every once in a while you come across a comic book that, even if you only do reprint a handful of images, you're still reprinting, oh, eighty, ninety per cent of the book. Case in point: Charlton's The Partridge Family #15 (January 1973, scripts and art by Don Sherwood).

For those of you who only know this 70s megagroup as the former home of broadcaster, reality TV star, "professional" wrestler, and nemesis to the law Danny Bonaduce, The Partridge Family was a half-hour ABC musical sitcom about a widowed mother (Shirley Jones) raising her musical brood of five children, forcing them into servitude as a pop group at the urging of their manager, "Dave Madden as Rueben Kinkaid." So intent was she on this goal that she didn't even notice one of her children managed to escape, replacing himself with a completely different boy. Nobody ever noticed!

Also, the TV show is famous in broadcast history to be the first and only show to graphically depict the actual live birth of its star during its opening credits:

Anyway, about that comic book. Riddle me this, David Cassidy: when does reprinting a few panels of a comic constitute more than just a small amount of the book? Why, the answer is quite simple, old chum: because The Partridge Family #15 is filled to the rim with Brim HUMUNGOUS PAGE-WIDE HEAD SHOTS OF THE CAST, sometimes STARING DIRECTLY AT US AS IF THEY COULD SEE INTO OUR VERY SOULS! (shiver)

Do you dare enter with me a realm of chirpy and infectious pop songs, velour jackets and ruffled ascots, and nervous mothers driving, all accompanied by EXTREME! PARTRIDGE! CLOSE-UPS Aw, c'mon. I'll hold your hand.

Shirley Jones as Shirley Partridge!

Aw, man, it's the episode where they crossed over with 'Hee Haw!' Actually, yes, that is country music legend Lee Moore. What he's doin' in a Charlton comic book when he could have been over in Fantastic Four playing a sad blues number as Ben Grimm walks home slowly in the rain, we'll never know. Anyway...

David Cassidy as Keith Partridge!

Susan Dey as Laurie Partridge!

Danny Bonaduce as Danny Partridge!

The chilling death-stare of Brian Forster as Chris Partridge Number Two

Hey, he's got a mini-Bonaduce growin' out of his neck. You oughta have that looked at, Chris.

And Suzanne Crough as Tracy Partridge!

Tracy's the only member of the family who doesn't get a full page-wide face shot. That's because there is not enough red ink in the entire comic book industry to support printing a page-wide Tracy Partridge.

Need more? Well, here's two EXTREME CLOSE-UP panels of Chris and Danny! Funny, this seems less dynamic, and yet more terrifying, than when Jack Kirby would use the same effect.

And here's a bewitching look into the eyes of the actress who won an Oscar for her wholesome family-friendly character in Elmer Gantry!

Extra-special bonus Partridge Mom meets my mom scene!:

By now I'm betting you can't get enough of pictures of the Partridges, huh? Lucky for you there's plenty of opportunities to buy more right in the comic book! Whoda thunk it, huh? What a fortuitous coincidence!

But (I can hear you whine into your David Cassidy pillow as you writhe on your David Cassidy bedsheets), those aren't big enough! They aren't colorful enough! Well, then, Cassidinians, cast your peepers on...

Say! How did Charlton print those posters, anyway?

Oh, in full color?

Full flaming color!


And, if any girls happen to be reading the comic book, they can learn to be as popular and successful as Susan Dey!

So, in conclusion:

Anyway! Play us off, Voice of the Beehive!


Phillip said...

I love Voice of the Beehive! The singers' parents house were in the phonebook and my wife and her friend would call them in high school. They always seemed to be out on tour...

Charlton had a building (one story, I believe) because they had editorial, production, and printing facilities under one roof. Vertical integration! That's why their printing was so lousy. Supposedly their press was designed for cereal boxes. In the book The Comic Book Makers Joe Simon tells a story about going to Derby that implies that Charlton had some, um, shall we say, Italian organized crime connections? Also something about the entirely Italian, non-English speaking press crew spent their whole lunch building a new addition to the building brick by brick for an hour.

SallyP said...

I don't think that I can handle all that Full Flaming Color. This may be one of the most terrifying things you've ever posted, Bully!

Unknown said...

LOLOL! You are one very funny li'l bull!

Jon Jermey said...

And on page seventeen, the Big Competition: Guess which one of these stars will still have a career in ten years' time!

Harvey Jerkwater said...

The two "EXTREME CLOSE-UP" panels have the flavor of a later issue of "Eightball."

You can't unsee that now, can you.