Monday, November 28, 2011

"From Eternity Back to Here!" - Bernie Krigstein - Mad Mondays!

Well, Mad Monday this week marks the departure of John Severin as one of the rotating cartoonists for Harvey Kurtzman's premier humor comic book.  Seems Kurtzman would occasionally have issues with Severin's art (what???) and one day they got into a heated debate which ended with Kurtzman not wanting to work with John anymore (sigh!).  

Harvey was the boss however, and his call was final.

Mad THE COMIC BOOK, issue 12 from 1954 saw the debut Mad contribution by Bernie Krigstein on Kurtzman's twist on the blockbuster film "From Here to Eternity", "From Eternity Back to Here!".  Sometimes Mad titles are just too easy.  :)

I am a huge appreciator of John Severin and feel his missing rpesence here, though Krigstein adds his own dynamism and helped stretch the look of Mad.  Bernie Krigstein only did 1 other article for Mad, it seems he liked to take liberties and want to change parts of Kurtzman's stories.  Bad move.  Like I said, Kurtzman was king.

Whatever the behind the scenes drama might have been, we're left with the great stuff this team turned out, and this 5 pager is no exception!


Talk to you soon.

1 comment:

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Hi Unca Jeff!

Wow, perfect timing here. Just 20 minutes before tuning in here, I was reading an old interview with Kurtzman about his feelings of working with Krigstein. Kurtzman was saying that Krigstein was so serious and didn't have much of a sense of humor at all. Kurtzman called working with him 'an experiment', and that Krigstein really just didn't 'get the point', regarding humor. The interviewer thought that 'From Eternity Back to Here' worked as an experiment, partly because of the good caricatures, and Kurtzman grudgingly agreed, but said that Krigstein was best as a serious graphic storyteller. Well, yeah. Kurtzman said that some cartoonists could be grim with a twinkle in their eye, that they are out to fool you. But that Krigstein didn't do that. 'He did funny grimness, grimness in slapstick'.

I'm surprised Krigstein's other Mad piece, 'Bringing Back Father', even made it to print. I haven't looked at it for several years, but my memory of it is grim. Kurtzman certainly wasn't happy with it.

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