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Friday, January 26, 2007

O. G. Whiz #2 [1971] (Random Comics Theatre)

Random Comics Theatre

O. G. Whiz #2 [1971]

O.G. WHIZ was among the many concepts created by John Stanley (best known for his long run of LITTLE LULU stories) over the years, published by Gold Key for a handful of issues in the early 1970s and a few more later in the decade (presumably mostly or entirely reprints of the earlier series). I don't know for sure if Stanley was actually involved in writing or drawing this particular issue.  The series follows the adventures of 8-year-old former shoeshine boy O.G. Whiz, who finds himself the president of the TikkleToy Company (see Scott Shaw!'s Oddball Comics spotlight on an issue for how exactly that happened). He's opposed by Thutnose Tikkle, the grandson of the founder of the company, who's determined to take over, but of course O.G. always manages to come out ahead, thanks to his quick wits, a bit of luck, his kindly secretary Miss Trinket and the various eager-to-please toy engineers who manage to turn his ideas into reality, one way or another.

I only have this one issue of the book, one of those oddities of indeterminate origin in my collection (I couldn't have gotten it before about 1976, long after it was published, but I had it before 1980). It's very much mental comfort food in that way, a book I've read dozens of times over the years and always enjoy. I should probably see if I can find some more issues, although obviously they'll never mean as much to me as this one does.

Four complete stories in this issue, of six or seven pages each. "The Great Marble Swindle" is my favourite. O.G. has to find something to do with an absurd surplus of marbles taking up all the storage space. On his suggestion is product development guys come up with Mar-Pool, a game of marbles played on a pool table. Thutnose sees his chance to use his superior marbles skill to win the supply of marbles from O.G., but is foiled when a delivery boy opens the door to his marble filled office (trust me, it almost makes sense). So of course Mar-Pool is a success, O.G. manages to balance the books and Thutnose is stuck counting marbles.

The other stories are "Stop That Mirror" (O.G. wants his men to create a magic mirror), "Testy Testers" (O.G. decides to have regular kids test the toys, but Thutnose brings in kids from a reform school), and "The Toy Spies" (O.G. has to take a cruise ship to a toy show overseas to deliver a secret new toy, and is pursued by various spies working for rival companies).

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