“Amelia Rules, Cerebus Governs (reconsiders?)”


“Amelia Rules, Cerebus Governs (reconsiders?)” (August 12, 2011)
by Jimmy Gownley (1972-) and Dave Sim (1956-)
11 x 17 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

Gownley is a comic book writer/artist best known for his award winning comic book “Amelia Rules!”

Dave Sim is the writer/artist known for “Cerebus,” the stupendous 300-issue graphic novel, produced and self-published by Sim over a 25 year period.

In 2011, during the run of the YouTube series “CerebusTV,” Gowley and Sim collaborated on a jam piece that was to be auctioned. As it turns out, Gownley is the one who picked up the piece rather than having it go to auction, the value of it having been set (as Jimmy recalls it) by the person who ran CerebusTV. From the episode summaries:

June 17, 2011 (S02E34): Jimmy Gownley’s half of the Cerebus/Amelia Rules! jam piece, Sim compares Jimmy’s roughed-in Cerebus dialogue to his own

August 12, 2011 (S02E40): “Amelia Rules, Cerebus Governs (reconsiders?)” jam print completion announcement

And here it is. A copy of the proof print that it produced in advance of the S/N editions is included as an additional image.

“Pogo” (May 18, 1955)

“Pogo” (May 18, 1955)
by Walter Crawford “Walt” Kelly, Jr (1913-1973)
6.75 x 20 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

He began his animation career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios, contributing to Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo. In 1941, at the age of 28, Kelly transferred to work at Dell Comics, where he created Pogo, which eventually became his platform for political and philosophical commentary.

Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro were both communist leaders during the Cold War. Occasionally, they would take trips to America to extol Communism’s virtues. Some thought that their appearance in Pogo would provoke conflict.

Kelly satirized these trips three times in Pogo. The first time, a pig who bore a resemblance to Khrushchev and a parrot who said “you said it” whenever the pig said something. The second time, the pig came with a goat who was a parody of Fidel Castro. Castro had recently taken power in Cuba in the late 1950s and early ’60s when these strips were written. Many newspapers thought this was going to provoke nuclear war with Russia, and some papers dropped the strip.  Ironically, this strip is from just months before the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet Embassy complained. The Post Hall Syndicate did not drop the strip, and Kelly continued the satire until it was played out.

Kelly also poked fun of the practice popularized by US supermarket chain Sperry & Hutchinson (“S&H”) of giving out bonus stamps with each purchase. These green stamps could later be traded for household goods of all kind, giving customers the (false) idea of getting something for nothing, while at the same time making them spend more.

Kelly’s “Puce Stamps” were an obvious scam, promoted by Mr. Pig (the barely disguised caricature of Nikita Kruschev) and aimed at abusing the naivity of the denizens of the Okefenokee Swamp.

In real life, a set of nine Puce Stamps, featuring the main characters of the Pogo strip, was created in 1963, and included by publishers Simon & Schuster with the first edition of the Pogo compilation, “The Puce Stamp Catalog.” I have two sets.

“Pogo” (May 24, 1962)

“Pogo” (May 24, 1962)
by Walter Crawford “Walt” Kelly, Jr (1913-1973)
6.75 x 20 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

He began his animation career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios, contributing to Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo. In 1941, at the age of 28, Kelly transferred to work at Dell Comics, where he created Pogo, which eventually became his platform for political and philosophical commentary.

Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro were both communist leaders during the Cold War. Occasionally, they would take trips to America to extol Communism’s virtues. Some thought that their appearance in Pogo would provoke conflict.

Kelly satirized these trips three times in Pogo. The first time, a pig who bore a resemblance to Khrushchev and a parrot who said “you said it” whenever the pig said something. The second time, the pig came with a goat who was a parody of Fidel Castro. Castro had recently taken power in Cuba in the late 1950s and early ’60s when these strips were written. Many newspapers thought this was going to provoke nuclear war with Russia, and some papers dropped the strip.  Ironically, this strip is from just months before the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet Embassy complained. The Post Hall Syndicate did not drop the strip, and Kelly continued the satire until it was played out.

Kelly also poked fun of the practice popularized by US supermarket chain Sperry & Hutchinson (“S&H”) of giving out bonus stamps with each purchase. These green stamps could later be traded for household goods of all kind, giving customers the (false) idea of getting something for nothing, while at the same time making them spend more.

Kelly’s “Puce Stamps” were an obvious scam, promoted by Mr. Pig (the barely disguised caricature of Nikita Kruschev) and aimed at abusing the naivity of the denizens of the Okefenokee Swamp.

In real life, a set of nine Puce Stamps, featuring the main characters of the Pogo strip, was created in 1963, and included by publishers Simon & Schuster with the first edition of the Pogo compilation, “The Puce Stamp Catalog.” I have two sets.

“Pogo” (August 11, 1962)


“Pogo” (August 11, 1962)
by Walter Crawford “Walt” Kelly, Jr (1913-1973)
6.75 x 20 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

He began his animation career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios, contributing to Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo. In 1941, at the age of 28, Kelly transferred to work at Dell Comics, where he created Pogo, which eventually became his platform for political and philosophical commentary.

Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro were both communist leaders during the Cold War. Occasionally, they would take trips to America to extol Communism’s virtues. Some thought that their appearance in Pogo would provoke conflict.

Kelly satirized these trips three times in Pogo. The first time, a pig who bore a resemblance to Khrushchev and a parrot who said “you said it” whenever the pig said something. The second time, the pig came with a goat who was a parody of Fidel Castro. Castro had recently taken power in Cuba in the late 1950s and early ’60s when these strips were written. Many newspapers thought this was going to provoke nuclear war with Russia, and some papers dropped the strip.  Ironically, this strip is from just months before the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet Embassy complained. The Post Hall Syndicate did not drop the strip, and Kelly continued the satire until it was played out.

Kelly also poked fun of the practice popularized by US supermarket chain Sperry & Hutchinson (“S&H”) of giving out bonus stamps with each purchase. These green stamps could later be traded for household goods of all kind, giving customers the (false) idea of getting something for nothing, while at the same time making them spend more.

Kelly’s “Puce Stamps” were an obvious scam, promoted by Mr. Pig (the barely disguised caricature of Nikita Kruschev) and aimed at abusing the naivity of the denizens of the Okefenokee Swamp.

In real life, a set of nine Puce Stamps, featuring the main characters of the Pogo strip, was created in 1963, and included by publishers Simon & Schuster with the first edition of the Pogo compilation, “The Puce Stamp Catalog.” I have two sets.

“Little Maniac, What Now?”


“Little Maniac, What Now?” (1942)
by unknown
9 x 10 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill never met, and who knows how it might have changed the course of history in the 20th century if the Nazi had made a different decision in the spring of 1932…

Churchill had come to Munich to conduct research for a new book, and while he was there, he wanted to use the opportunity to meet the notorious Hitler, whose supporters were in the process of destroying the Weimar Republic.

Churchill’s son and Hitler’s foreign press agent arranged for the two men to meet over dinner. The evening progressed without Hitler. After the dessert, Hitler’s agent saw Hitler standing in the lobby. The Nazi had coincidentally met with a benefactor there. He said: “Mr. Hitler, you should come. It’s truly important.” But the party leader remained obstinate, and said: “You know perfectly well that I have a lot to do at the moment and that we plan to get an early start tomorrow. So — good night.”

Hitler berated his rival as a “lunatic,” “paralytic” and “world arsonist.” Churchill shot back, calling Hitler a “wicked man,” the “monstrous product of former wrongs and shame” and said “Europe will not yield itself to Hitler’s gospel of hatred.”

In 1942, the prime minister told the cabinet that he would have Hitler put to death if he were captured — without a trial and in the electric chair, like a “gangster.”

Bloom County (May 14, 1981)


Bloom County (May 14, 1981)
by Guy Berkeley (Berke) Breathed (1957-)
7 x 18 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

The second appearance of Michael Binkley, and the first in a full character reveal.

While he was an ink-slinging student at UT-Austin, Breathed got noticed by The Washington Post, and he was recruited to do a nationally syndicated strip. A 1987 Pulitzer winner, he is known for Bloom County, Outland, and Opus.

Bloom County premiered on December 8, 1980 and ran through August 1989. It was revived in 2015.

Steve Dallas and Michael Binkley were both introduced in May 1981.

Binkley is the first recurring child character, after Milo Bloom, to appear in the strip.

As seen here, Binkley (who first appeared May 14 and gets his first name on May 18) originally appeared as a player on Milo’s elementary school football team. The coach is Major Bloom, who uses the team to live out his fantasy of being a great military commander. Binkley is originally depicted as a stereotypical nerd; he is much smaller than the other children and has thick glasses, bad skin, and messy hair. He has about 8 total appearances in May, and then a week later (June 8, 1981), the more familiar poofy-haired version of the character appears for the first time.

We presume these two Binkley’s are the same character, although a kid who looks like the one depicted here shows up once, on June 23.

See the additional images and judge for yourself.


May 12, 1981 (2 days before)


May 14, 1981 (as printed)


June 8, 1981


June 23, 1981

“Bringing Up Father” (July 28, 1942)


“Bringing Up Father” (July 28, 1942)
by George McManus (1884-1954) and Zeke Zekley (1915-2005)
23.25 x 5.75 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

In 1904, young George McManus was hired by Pulitzer’s New York World as a cartoonist. While he was there he created such strips as The Newlyweds, which comics historians consider the first family comic strip. In 1912, William Randolph Hearst hired McManus away to start a comic strip about a guy called Jiggs, a lower class man who came into a lot of money. With their new wealth, Maggie, Jiggs’ wife, wanted to enter the upper crust of society but Jiggs just wanted to hang out with his old friends at the local bar playing cards and pool and eat his simple favorite foods. This is the classic strip Bringing Up Father.

McManus had masterful line work with a strong deco feel to his designs. Over time, he developed the recurring motif of animating the background paintings in certain panels, and this is generally delightful.

The whimsy in the funny papers often sits in sharp contrast to the news of the day.

Earlier in July (July 4), the mass murder, by gassing, of Jews held at Auschwitz had begun. The Soviets had begun to press the Germans on the Eastern Front (Stalingrad) and the Italians at El Alamain (North Africa). On the 28thh, Stalin, seeking to reinforce the patriotic Soviet spirit, issued the famous Order 227. It’s key phrase “Not one step back!” would become a rallying cry throughout the rest of 1942 and into 1943.

“The Evolutionary Dead End”


“The Evolutionary Dead End” (Non Sequitur, August 14, 2019)
By Wiley Miller (1951-)
8.5 x 14 in., ink on heavy paper
Coppola Collection

In 1991, Wiley launched his popular Non Sequitur strip, eventually syndicated to 700 newspapers as well as published on Go Comics and distributed via email. The strip oscillates between one-panel commentary and stories with recurring characters. In either event, the strips have a history of politically leaning. In February 2019 many newspapers canceled their subscriptions to Non Sequitur after the Sunday comic dated February 10, 2019 included a hidden profane message aimed at President Trump.

The note from Wiley:

“So grotesque and preposterous are the principal characters in this galaxy of clowns and crooks that none but a thrice double ass could have taken them for rulers.”

Attributed to an Officer in the Allied Control Commission during the Nuremberg Trials.

A reminder – Wiley composes these to be able to be cropped as a horizontal or vertical format (see below).

2010 Iron Man 2 Artist Proof (ToS#54, 2010)


2010 Iron Man 2 Artist Proof (ToS#54, 2010)
by Adam Cline (1983-)
2.5 x 3.5 in., pen, ink, and marker on card
Coppola Collection

The card companies provide the artists with a limited number of cards that they can sell to their fans. The artists do different things with their cards, including commissions.


This card features a nice homage on the cover to Tales of Suspense #54, and was the only one of these he did.

2007 Marvel Masterpieces I Artist Proof (FF#1, 2008)


2007 Marvel Masterpieces I Artist Proof (FF#1, 2008)
by Adam Cline (1983-)
2.5 x 3.5 in., pen, ink, and marker on card
Coppola Collection

The card companies provide the artists with a limited number of cards that they can sell to their fans. The artists do different things with their cards, including commissions.


This card features a cool interpretation of the cover to Fantastic Four #1, and was the only one of these he did.