fourhman.com weblog feature: Gumby Book of Letters / 7 entries
|The Gumby Book of Letters|
This is a really bizarre kids' book that I bought at a school book sale years after I had already learned the alphabet. It was clearly created by randomly grabbing screens from several decades of Gumby shorts and then shoehorning them in a vague, nonsensical, alphabetical order. I offer it to you without further comment.
entry index for Gumby Book of Letters
Let's all read the Gumby Book of Letters.|
Wednesday / 12.06.06 / 11:38PM / Joe
I swear to you that the following is a real book and has not been photoshopped in any way. The author's last name really is "Hyman."
Agreed. Do not let any distractions arise during your reading of this book. It is so fucking batshit nuts that you'll need your full concentration. When reading the book, why not try using the letters found in the prose to cause your mouth to form words, and also consider saying those words to create sentences.
In today's fast-paced internet world, your children need to learn both upper- and lower-case letters, because I am sick of getting IMs from twelve-year-olds that look like they're shouting.
Aside: This book, published in 1986, marks the final time that anybody used the word "youngsters" in print in a non-ironic fashion.
See? Already Gumby is in fucking space. That's a goddamn adventure, and it's only page one.
Hey, I don't want to give overdue credit, but if you're in space and wearing astronaut suits, I'm willing to call you an astronaut. Pro tip: Your famous bump is about to asphyxiate.
But did you guys really come all the way to the moon just to mope and tell stories? Best Office Bonding Ritual Ever.
Next Letter: Bb
Wherein Pokey was scared by a Space Dinosaur.|
Wednesday / 12.13.06 / 12:38AM / Joe
OK, a fine start. Almost makes you think that the pals are going to spin that old yarn of how they met.
They're not, though.
And that is a ridiculous screenshot. It's Gumby's ass pasted onto a prop book. This is the sort of thing the animators never expected anybody to see, because the pause was not invented yet.
"And I considered making him my sidekick until he cheated me out of all my cash and I had to cap him! That's Vegas for you!"
Whoa, you tools fought off a Space Dinosaur and you don't think to mention it until just now? Is this book a sequel or something?
Gumby, will you freaking focus here? I get the impression that Pokey wants to keep the conversation more steered towards getting the hell back off of this asteroid, but Gumby's getting loopy from that hole in his spacesuit.
Next time: Four more panels of things they remember.
Wherein Gumby talks to an Indian.|
Sunday / 12.31.06 / 01:29AM / Joe
If you think this is all you're going to hear about this race, you're quite mistaken. Gumby's Road Race adventure was bizarre enough that they probably could have done the whole alphabet just from that episode alone. Maybe even without resorting to this whole "dying in space and recalling better times" shtick.
"Except that the game was hockey, you horse's ass."
I'm sure this moved Native American causes up at least a million years.
Also note that we're looking at a shot of creepy short-head proto-Gumby. He will get even creepier and short-headier in just a few more letters.
So don't even doubt these guys' masculinity. They once captured a gorilla and the experience was so incredible that they can think about it simultaneously without saying a word. These two are bonded like twins.
Next time: Pissing off Gumby's mom!
Wherein Gumby's Dad is Cruelly Subdued and Put on Display in a Clay Father Exhibit at the Local Zoo.|
Monday / 01.15.07 / 07:30PM / Joe
Every time you turn the page, it gets more and more random. This particular cartoon was probably made when Disney's Robin Hood movie come out. Anybody remember that Gumby revival series where one of his buddies is a woolly mammoth? That was probably done around Jurassic Park, in homage to that amazing mammoth bit.
He's fought Space Dinosaurs, captured gorillas, and helped both kings and Indians, but, as Gumby's last moments of lucid thought leak away, he's most fond of receiving mail.
That mailbox is freakin' huge!
Was there really no better shot of this? That could be anything inside that net. This must be a wink for the True Fans, those who would know that Gumby's Pops is orange with a Grecian Formula'd hairpiece.
Let's just move swiftly past the idea that a giggling, oxygen-deprived Pokey enjoys thinking of things that upset Gumby's parents. Nobody likes their in-laws, after all. What's more interesting is the detail that Pokey brings up super-casually:
They had a robot paint their house.
A robot. That's the life these guys live. It almost explains why this space trip has them bored out of their clay skulls.
Next time: Even better than getting mail!
Wherein Pokey passes out and misses a couple of letters.|
Monday / 02.19.07 / 11:46PM / Joe
Agreed. Space isn't so bad. If you can make it past the Space Dinosaur, you've got Leopold there for some p-dom on the Baby Grand.
Also, "p-dom" is hip for "public domain." Stay in school, kids.
Although as cool as Space Elton was, Pokey's internal monologue takes the reader to simpler times, when happy ducks were known to "went quack."
I think we should all feel grateful that the author didn't just phone in a page about a Queen here.
It's tough to predict which way things will go in space. One planetoid you're listening to ragtime and the next you've got the Little Prince trying to kill you.
I like to imagine that, at this point, Pokey is still passed out and hallucinating about ducks, so Gumby is on his knees shaking him by the shoulders and shouting "DO YOU REMEMBER THE BOY, POKEY? THINK ABOUT THE BOY! COME BACK TO ME, DAMMIT!"
Follow along here... Gumby is lonely (Pokey obviously doesn't make it), so he wants to take a bath, which he decides quietly to himself. This third person omniscient narrator just gets creepier and creepier.
And I'd like to lodge an abuse complaint on behalf of the letters S and T. According to what I've learned from watching Wheel of Fortune, they're, like, the two most common consonants in the world. And they get lumped into one page about bathroom fixtures?
Next time: Pokey wakes up in time to join The Amazing Race! <-- SPOILER
Wherein we manage to avoid using an umbrella for U.|
Monday / 04.16.07 / 12:34AM / Joe
He looked the other way a lot when Gumby's team was up to something shady, like corking a bat or throwing dirt into one of the basemen's faces.
Not one of the top things I'd personally think about as I was dying, but I guess if you're super into sports...
It's a good thing this guy decided to wear a vest to the shoot that day, because he was already shut out of O.
I have a theory that Mr. Owl is actually a Mary Sue for the author.
Can you believe it took this long to get to a Truman Capote appearance?
As nuts as this story is, you'd think that simply wishing it was over would actually take care of it. >POOF!< "And Gumby and Pokey relaxed on their front porch, thinking how cleverly they had outwitted the Space Dinosaur."
This racing episode was sublimely bizarre. As I recall, it was like a giant board game, only with cars. The competitors had to drive until a whistle was blown (see above), and then they had to stop, and weird things happened depending on what icon they stopped on. Those damn Blockheads were there and messed everything up as usual. Clearly the author threw this in as a bone to the True Fans, because I can tell you for damn sure that Gumby had plenty of shit going on with xylophones that could have been used instead.
And why would he whisper that?
Next time: With only two letters to go, will Gumby and Pokey return home in time to catch gorillas and hire more house-painting robots?
Wherein it ends.|
Wednesday / 06.06.07 / 08:28PM / Joe
This page would make a great graphic meme for any given obnoxious forum thread.
If by "lion," he means "my father."
What is the zookeeper staring at, by the way? This image is begging for a really good Photoshopping. I love the suggestive angle to Gumby's right leg.
If you thought they were having trouble getting home, you thought wrong. Turns out they just needed to get back inside the spaceship! This whole thing has been one big cocktease.
So ends Gumby and Pokey's amazing forced march through the alphabet. I encourage you to go back and read the entire book in one sitting, because it is much weirder in large doses.
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