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Cartoon Network Presents Cartoon All-Stars #3
posted December 20, 2005

Creators: Various
Publishing Information: DC Comics
Ordering Numbers:

Sam Henderson, with his work in his own self-published mini Magic Whistle, his syndicated alternative strip of the same name, and the collections of his work, Oh, That Monroe, and Humor Can Be Funny, is the alternative cartoonist's cartoonist -- not in the sense that his work is widely copied but meaning his comics are widely popular in the cartooning community and marginally popular elsewhere.

This means that Sam, along with another cartoonist in the same boat, Michael Kupperman, must take on outside projects like scripting for DC's Hanna-Barbera line. Henderson's stories for that line, although of course restrained from the often scatalogical and self-referential humor of his more personal work, are pretty solidly entertaining and worth a look-see by the alternative comics fan and fans of humor comics in general.

Case in point is "The Twiddle Method," the lead story in Cartoon Network Presents #3. The story features a pretty amusing gimmick, all the cartoon foils like Magilla Cogrilla's Mr. Peeebles gathering in a self-help group to learn reverse-psychology from Wally Gator nemesis Mr. Twiddle. Henderson and artists Bill Aler pull off the strip very professionally, and Henderson lines like "This 'Yogi Bear' obviously desires the forbidden fruit that is the 'pic-a-nic basket,' and were it not taboo, his curiosity would fade!" are just terribly funny in the context of a kid's strip.

Other strips by Henderson are less effective, like that same issue's Wally Gator story, but most have been reasonably daffy. Check out the Kupperman/Wray Jetsons work, too, while you're at it. I would have really liked these when I was nine, and they're no substitute for the personal work of these artists, but Cartoon Network #3 was probably the most entertaining comic I read from the DC box this month.

This review was written in the late 1990s as part of a then-ongoing freelance gig; I apologize if it reads oddly or seems incomplete.