Ed Piskor at 9:40 am Tue, Jan 3, 2012
The backlash against the Golden Age of Comics would kick in soon enough with Fredric Wertham and his anti-comic book crusade (although Wertham was slapped down quick enough when he tried to extend his crusade to television and movies).
When was the Golden Age of Comics?
Being significantly old (vintage 1953) I was weaned on Marvel and DC with Superman and Batman. My TV watching did not start until around 1958 (when we got our first TV) and I watched a lot of Gene Autry and Lone Ranger. So, my early impressions were the guy in the white hat (or other identified good guy) always won. Certainly not so in the real world. During Viet Nam it was Zap comics for obvious reasons.
I am just now finding out that a boatload of movies these days are from comics. I truly believe that Hollywood does not have an ounce of creativity left. Even TV shows have been rubberstamps for years. I haver seen all the disaster movies remade like Posiedon Adventure (now called Posiedan). Kurt Russel is in that and I can’t help thinking “Kurt is a bit older than I and he must have seen the original”.
Jack Black as King Kongs photographer? I read that Sharon Stone was in a movie inspired by some European comic.
TV is not immune. A number of hit TV shows actually were do-overs from British TV. Sanford and Son was Steptoe and Son in England. An antique shop instead of a junkyard, not a stretch. All in the Family was I think called Living with Father.
Maybe I just lived too long. Maybe I should write my own movie.
Wait a minute. [A Google search later] http://fanboyfables.blogspot.com/2008/07/haunt-of-fear-18.html
That Fanboy Fables site is a great read. For a second I wished you’d continued it, but then I realized: Brain Rot.
Loving the inaccurate Alien and Parker (?) illo. Thanks for the memories!
i too am from this generation, but i had a comic collecting nerd dad. lot’s of weird black and whites in my childhood. gizmo. adolescent radioactive black belt hamsters. i had a couple of the “plop” reprints in the digest format. he had “analog” sci-fi digests and vaughn bode stuff, heavy metal. my coolest find was in a house my parents bought that they had to remove the contents from. in one room, the kid’s room i guess, there were a few cardboard boxes stuffed with cracked and mad, tales from the crypt, ugly, hit parader(not a comic, but full of weird pop music interviews) and another mad magazine wannabe called crazy, if i am not mistaken. thanks for reminding me about this stuff, now i am nostalgic for the smell of mouldering pulp.
My first exposure to non-DC/Marvel comics (not counting “kiddie comics” like Hot Stuff or Archie) were in Mad Magazine reprints; there were several digest-sized reprint paperbacks, and I went to them expecting something like the 70s-era Mad that I was familiar with, filled with art by the likes of Jack Davis, Dave Berg, Don Martin, and so on–mostly parodying current movies and TV shows and light social satire (Berg) and whatever was going through Don Martin’s head that month–only to find work by Harvey Kurtzman, Wally Wood, and Will Elder. It was as different from the latter-day Mad as a Tyrannosaurus Rex is from a chicken.
And that was the mild stuff, compared to the horror and crime comics that were EC’s meat and potatoes; however, by the time that the stuff that Piskor bought was reprinted, comics had started to catch up via all the grimdark nonsense.
I had the same exposure to Mad. Even without understanding some of the references I found it a deeper, funnier experience. I remember their satire on the Martin/Lewis breakup and found it hilarious without even knowing at the time who Martin and Lewis were.
I found the Ballantine Books pb reprint Tales From the Crypt walking to school ( third grade) in the rain in 1968. The book was the first real comic I had read and it mesmerized me. The stories and art were so fantastic it ruined me for most comics and made me a lifetime comics snob.
Great job! Love the authentic EC-style Leroy lettering! Good ol’ EC- scarring and warping minds even after being in the grave for half a century.
I recall reading “Poetic Justice” in one of the early 60’s Ballantine reprints when I was 8 or 9. A harmless, nice old man, friend to all the children, is driven to suicide by some evildoer who wants his property… as a good catholic boy, I could not believe this guy was going to hell FOREVER because he killed himself! I was puzzled and upset- I cried over that story!- and couldn’t figure it out. I asked my dad; would this man REALLY be punished by God for eternity, after all the anguish this evil man put him through? He assured me that he would, indeed.
I couldn’t believe it! What kind of God would do that? That incident turned my world view upside down (That, and many issues of MAD magazine). It seemed things were not always cut and dried, black and white, comfortable, and easy to figure out, as I assumed they were.
I knew THEN that I wanted nothing to do with a god that could be that mean. That was one little crack in the wall of the “reality” that was handed to me by my parents, school, church, society, peers, etc … and to this day I thank the merry subversives at EC for opening my eyes and making me THINK.
By 5 years later LSD had pretty much completed the job that Al, Harvey, Bill and the guys started.
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