On Strips: Jackys Diary

By | Friday, January 27, 2017 Leave a Comment
Jack Mendelsohn passed away earlier this week at the age of 90. I was vaguely familiar with his name mostly, I think, through his animation work on such shows as Scooby Doo, Hong Kong Phooey, George of the Jungle, Super Chicken, Shazam! and The Groovy Goolies among many others. I would have been hard-pressed to tell you what exactly he did, but I'm pretty sure I did see his name fly through the credits not infrequently.

What I didn't know before this week was that he had a syndicated comic strip from January 1959 until December 1961 called Jackys Diary. (There's deliberately no apostrophe, by the way.) I'd never heard of it before, so I looked it up in my trusty copy of American Newspaper Comis: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. The entry for Jackys Diary reads, in full...
Sunday strip. Running dates: Jan 11 1959-Dec 31 1961. Creator: Jack Mendleson. Syndicate: King Features Syndicate. Sources: Tampa Tribune microfilm for end date, start date from Washing Post microfilm.
The included CD-ROM has no examples of the strip. Wikipedia's information is more robust, but it's buried within the biography of Mendelsohn and doesn't have it's own entry. Apparently, IDW published a complete collection of the work a few years ago, put together by Craig Yoe and Mendelsohn himself. Yoe briefly eulogized on Facebook...
Jack Mendelsohn (1927-2017) R.I.P. Very sad news to report: my good friend Jack has gone on to his reward. I first fannishly contacted the writer of Yellow Submarine and the Beatles Saturday morning cartoons, The Carol Burnett Show, Three's Company, and Laugh-In 20-some years ago to try and weasel a Jacky's Diary comic strip original out of him. Four years ago working hand in hand with Jack, we realized a beautiful dream of publishing the complete, brilliant Jacky's Diary. Jack was full of unflagging warmth, humor, and optimism and was excitedly working away on projects to the very end (he's been helping me on some new books a bit which will see the light of day over the next few years). I treasure the time I had with this beautiful, funny, sweet, human being and wonderful friend (and the framed Jacky's Diary above my drawing board he gave to me!) Jack leaves his loving, devoted wife Carole.
In any event, I went to dig up some copies of Jackys Diary, assuming that many of you -- like me -- had never seen the strip before. Turns out that Ger Apeldoorn actually did that a few years ago himself, scanning newspapers from his own collection. They're all good scans so I'll copy a few of them here, but go check out Apeldoorn's page or the IDW book for more.
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