Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Greatest Elephant Show Ever

Baby Snoots #1 (Gold Key, August 1970, 15 cents)
This uncredited comic book is one of Gold Key's non-licensed, original titles. It features Baby Snoots, a young elephant in a diaper and bonnet reminiscent of Harvey's Baby Huey and perhaps inspired by Fanny Brice's old-time radio character Baby Snooks.

"The Super Trooper" (five pages) On the eve of their "last act before we retire from the big top," Mama and Papa Dear, Snoots's parents, are dismayed when the little pachyderm takes to the trapeze, putting on "the greatest elephant show ever." After a discordant trumpet performance, the ringmaster fires him. In parallel, Uptite Mouse attempts to frighten Snoots and seemingly attaches himself to the family.

"Lest We Forget" (six pages) Now friends, Snoots and Uptite try to remember the elephant's "very important errand." Inspired by a goat named Butter, Snoots remembers, but the requested dairy product melts on the way home. Their blueberry pancakes now cold, his father sends him out for pizza, which also reaches home unfit for eating. A pie is also ruined.

"Facing the Music" (eight pages) Disappointed in Snoots's trumpet playing, the Professor, Snoots's music teacher, ends his lessons. Snoots is approached by two swarthy, bearded crooks in trench coats who plan to use him to trick the Rajah into opening his safe, revealing the combination. The Rajah gives Snoots a bag "filled with peanuts," and Uptite foils the crooks' plan. Regardless, Snoots takes the stage at Carnegie Hall. His parents are so proud.

"The Rainmakers" (six pages) Papa Dear thinks Snoots has learned all the steps to "an honest Indian rain dance." He is wrong!

Additional editorial material includes Gold Key club news, reader doodles and jokes, career profiles, and a one-page Snoots gag about roller skating.

Availability: Even though the title ran 22 issues, Baby Snoots has not been collected, not even by Gwandanaland Comics. (I traded messages with Lance Jones; the series is not in the public domain.) An almost 500-page collection of Baby Huey material, Harvey Comics Classics Volume 4: Baby Huey, is available.

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