Monday, November 21, 2011

"Starchie!" - Will Elder - Mad Mondays!

Mad Monday and keeping in chronological order, we should be wrapping up 1954's Mad THE COMIC BOOK #11, the final story therein being Harvey Kurtzman and Bill Elder's take on Jack Webb's iconic OldTime Radio program "Dragnet".  I've already posted that story however, back here.  Check it out, it's pretty awesome.

After checking that out though, we forge headlong into issue 12 and apparently we're getting into "Seduction of the Innocent" time, as even the cover takes note of the general public's disdain for the low, low cultural significance of the low, low comic book...

Reading the first story there's even a blurb in the upper right mocking the newly formed "Comics Code Authority", the very institution that would bring William Gaines' to change "Mad" from a comic book to a magazine a little later.  And what subject would messers Kurtzman and Elder take on to show the adultitude of their little humor rag?  A deviant super-hero comic book?  Or even horror or western or science fiction comic book odder?  Did they take on an adult scewed movie or radio program?  No, no Nanette, they took on the wholesomest of wholesome, Amercia's average teen-ager, Archie Andrews!

Archie had jumped in to MLJ comics as the super hero trend was fading and eventually nudged all of their super hero features out of their own books.  A comic book take on radio's popular Henry Aldrich program, it was all just a sign of the coming homogenization of America.  Archie had some great aspects to it too.  The art of Bob Montana and a sense of a cohesive world of it's own, but most importantly...Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge helping millions of American boys through puberty while their Mom's thought they were still innocently reading comic books.  Here's to you, girls!!!

But never id the feature feel so adult as when the boys who would one day bring us Goodman Beaver and Little Annie Fannie, first took on "Starchie!"


Talk to you soon!


Lysdexicuss said...

We should double-date. You take Blondie, I'll take Annie. Wertham be damned ;~j

Jeff Overturf said...

I'm IN!!!

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