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Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal #1-6 (May 1956 - July 1957).

Ziggy Pig Silly Seal #6Bob Deschamps (1928-2004) "There’s nothing like being in the sky!" by Jim Amash.

From Alter Ego Magazine #36.

I had just finished interviewing Dave Gantz about his art career, especially his tenure at Timely Comics, when he dropped a bomb on me: “You know who you ought to talk to? Bob Deschamps. Bob worked on staff at Timely in the 1940s as an inker and could tell you a lot of stuff. He’s a really good guy and was a member of the Berndt Toast gang before he moved out to California. I’m sure he’d be happy to talk to you.”

Because Dave and I had discussed a number of Timely staffers, I was surprised he hadn't mentioned this Deschamps guy before. Even more surprising to me was the fact that he wasn’t listed in Jerry Bails’ Who’s Who of American Comic Books. Well, there’s nothing more enticing about researching comic book history than finding someone new. I immediately called Bob.

Bob was eager to talk, and I was eager to listen. It wasn't just the wealth of new information he related that made me hang on his every word. Bob was one of the funniest storytellers I’ve ever heard. At one point—after three funny stories in a row—l found myself doubled over with laughter, with tears streaming down my face. I had to cover the mouthpiece. Once I settled down, Bob said, “I like people with a hearty laugh.” l said, “You won’t if I drown your voice out on the tape and you have to repeat all this." Luckily, we didn't have to do that.Bob Deschamps

Between laughs, Bob told me about his career. He worked for Timely from I945 until 1949 or ’50 (he wasn’t sure when he was let go, since Timely disbanded the staff in waves). He worked on Hedy Devine, Mighty Mouse, Millie the Model, Nellie the Nurse, Silly Seal and Ziggy Pig, Georgie, and others, though he couldn’t recall them all. Then he teamed up with Leon Winick and they produced westerns for Toby Press; he also did short stints on the syndicated strip Jeanie and on Archie ComicsSuper Duck.

Bob left comics in 1957 to become an editor/artist for Dell Publications’ crossword puzzle books through 1963. He also became an advertising illustrator, and branched out into illustrating books and magazines. Bob drew and painted posters for such films as The Bad News Bears, Around the World in 80 Days, and Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice. He retired in 1998, primarily for health reasons, but continued to think up ideas for projects he wanted to publish.

Bob's interview was historically important because his colorful stories about the Timely staffers brought them to life in a way no one else had before. Those times and the people he’d shared them with were very special to Bob. His friendship with Dave Gantz lasted for over 50 years, demonstrating great loyalty and comradeship.Ziggy Pig Silly Seal #3

Roy and I were so excited over this interview that we rushed it into print in Alter Ego #20. Bob was extremely pleased with the issue, and proudly showed it off to his family and friends. He expressed profound thanks, but the true pleasure and honor were ours.

I'll miss Bob. He was funny, witty, charming, sensitive, and full of life—a real artist. He had two other great passions in life: the gracious Annette Cummings (who shared 16 years with Bob), and flying. Bob and Annette were devoted to each other, and though I never met them, I could hear the affection in their voices when they spoke to each other. Annette was strong and caring in the face of Bob's worsening physical problems. Bob also loved being a pilot. He told me that he felt freedom and relaxation in the skies in a way he never felt on the ground. One of the last times we talked, he said, “If only l could get up in the air and fly again! You just d0n’t know how it feels to be in the cockpit, looking down at the world below, and forgetting about all your problems. There’s nothing like being in the sky.”

Ziggy Pig Silly Seal #6