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Now That’s What I Call Art

The Un-Man has discovered culture theft!  Bittorrenting, I find, allows any entity with a broadband connection and sufficient patience to acquire a comic-book collection of stunning clarity and completeness going back to 1940.  Thousands of issues.  I hear sick, bad rumors that my co-blogger, the Benjamoid (a.k.a. the BenT One and other questionable pseudonyms), has downloaded the complete Archie Comics archive and is refusing to leave his computer except for potato chips and water (muttering something about “Veronica”). 

Anyway, among these free digital treasures I have found a number of well-ripened science fiction comics from the 1950s. Some even pre-date the nastiness-suppressing “Comics Code Authority,” a self-censorship mechanism created by the comics industry to forestall government controls on content.  Among these SF treasures are the superbly drawn and inked comics of EC, short fror Entertainment Comics, the folks who also brought you MAD Magazine, with many of the same artists.  (I’m talking the old, good MAD, not the predictable, repetitive product it had evolved into by about 1970. “After MAD, drugs were nothing”—Patti Smith.)

Example: the following cover art from Incredible Science Fiction No. 31, Sep./Oct. 1955:



Incredible (heh) what pencil, brush, and India ink can do in the hands of a skilled comics artist.

Scholarly notes:

   1)  Boots! Shin-protecting, real space-leather boots that break at the ankle!

   2)  Side-stripes.

   3)  Shorts over tights: very half-a-century later, eh?

   4)  Gender roles: securely defined, fun for all.

Man, the future just ain’t what it used to be . . .

The Un-Man


December 15, 2008 Posted by | Art, Sci Fi, Un-man | Leave a comment