Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Funnies: Gomer Pyle by a Warren Tufts Imitator

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Y'know, Ol' Groove's all-time favorite TV show is the Andy Griffith Show. S'truth! Gomer Pyle, as brought to life by Jim Nabors, was a break-out character on a show filled with memorable characters, so it was only natural that Gome would be spun off into his own show. Inspired by Andy's No Time For Sergeants character Will Stockdale, perhaps, Gomer joined the Marines and became the bane of one Sgt. Vincent Carter's (the vastly underrated Frank Sutton) existence. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. was a long-running fave, sometimes hilarious, sometimes a bit too silly, but always entertaining.

In 1966/67 Gold Key brought out three issues of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and I gotta tell ya, they're a hoot (Thanks to Crosseyed Cyclops for sharing them!)! Illustrated by the incredibly versatile Warren Tufts, the Gomer Pyle comicbook series does an excellent job of adapting the TV series into comicbook form. Tufts' caricatures of Nabors and Sutton are incredible. They go beyond resembling the show's stars; Tufts' Pyle and Carter resemble the way we actually "see" them, capturing their personalities to a "t". The dialogue was excellent, as well; one of the few times it seems that the author actually took the time to watch and study the show he was adapting. Today's feature, "Operation Gertrude", from Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. #3 (July 1967), is a perfect example of what I'm trying to say. It's like an actual episode of the show, but with a much bigger budget. The story is fun and Tufts' art is downright magical. Check it out!

UPDATE! Mark Evanier has brought it to my attention that the art for this ish is NOT by Tufts but by a very good swipe artist. Tufts did draw the first issue, but not this'un. Sorry for the confusion, and thanks to Mark for the heads-up. It sure is GROO-vy of ya, Mr. Evanier, to stop by and lend a hand!


  1. I'm a fan of The Andy Griffith Show myself! God, that was such a great, character-driven show. I am currently collecting all the seasons! Greatest comedy sitcom (before they called them that) ever!

    Oh, and the comic is great! I have never seen this comic, so thanks!

  2. I grabbed these too and noted how surprisingly fun they were and what great cartooning they offered but had no earthly idea they were by Tufts! Wow! Reminds me of Gene Colan adapting his ultra-realistic style to Archie or Leonard Starr going from ON STAGE to ANNIE. Just wow. Good stuff!

  3. Definitely NOT Warren Tufts!

    The first issue of GOMER PYLE was drawn by Tufts and even featured his distinctive lettering. The other issues were done by someone else imitating him. In fact, half the drawings in the other issues were swipes or tracings from that first issue.

  4. Thanks for the helping hand, Mark. When in doubt, I can usually rely on the good guys at Grand Comics Database, but this time we had the wool pulled over our eyes. I'll correct the post right away.



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