Big Pink

The Pink Panther in painter's smock and beret with palette at canvas, painting a grapefruit which drips onto the nose of the short Inspector character standing underneath
Cover to The Pink Panther #30 © 1975 United Artists.

I hope this goes up. After the problem with the whole gorilla thing it could well vanish, but I’d like to end this March of Comics on a bright note.

Earlier this month in a post on covers, I mentioned the cache of comic books kept at
my grandparents’ condo in Florida. While Superman is, unsurprisingly, what brought memories of it to mind, it also held a variety of cartoon tie-ins from Huey, Dewey and Louie to The Pink Panther.

I wouldn’t swear with 100% certainty that the cover atop this post matches one of ours, but I’m pretty sure that it was in the mix. You can see from the GCD’s cover gallery of the Gold Key Pink Panther series that it’s hard to pinpoint a particular issue by cover unless the memory is very specific. Doesn’t that page look like a great wall of pop art, though?

Friz Freleng, a Warner Bros. animator who transitioned to his own production company, DePatie-Freleng, created the character seen in the opening and closing sequences to the first Pink Panther film. Peter Sellers’ brilliant rendition of Inspector Clouseau spawned a series of live-action movies, of course, and Freleng’s enthralling work led to a series of animated shorts and then a television show, comic books, merchandising, etc. featuring the iconic figure. Henry Mancini’s memorable theme
was delicious icing on the cake.

I have no idea how to wrap this up without it seeming anticlimactic, so I’ll just say thanks to those of you who sampled March of Comics 2009. Don’t hold your breath for another one, please. Whether I go for it or not, that’s a whole year away, so you’d pass out.

Related: Cover Album(s) The ’Vision Thing Comics of March

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