Friday, May 23, 2008

WTF? Friday: Funnybook Follies

On Monday, we touched upon how teeth-grindingly insane a lot of 50s and 60s DC superhero comics are. Here's a few examples that caught my eye while researching the "Lana Lang is Jimmy Olsen in Drag" expose.

WTF?: On what planet do jackals look like that? And why do junk culture types always cast Anubis as a villain, anyway? If you're going to use this symbolism, do your damn homework.

The rest of it? You'd have to ask Fredric Wertham, not me. Oh, crap- he's dead. Never mind.

WTF?: Nothing I can say here can top the actual stupidity of this cover. Never mind the Freud, these guys just plain stopped trying by this point. Marvel was eating their lunch, sales were in the crapper, the hemmoroids were acting up- ahh, who gives a crap, print it and put the damn thing out already.

WTF?: You have the archetypal 60s DC Valium-inspired drawing style meant to inspire confidence in uptight parents along with absolutely insane subject matter. I don't know exactly what the projectile quills subconsciously represent. Or maybe I just don't want to know.

There's plenty more where this all came from. You could do an entire blog on this stuff. The great thing about these comics is that they are so laden with subtext and produced with such utter unselfconsciousness you can spend endless hours wondering how they were ever published. It's no wonder that the Hippies went so nuts with their art and comix- they cut their teeth on these nutty comics.


  1. I really love these Jimmy Olsen "comic" articles! Again Great work!

    There is so much duality out and about lately whether it's gender bending, pure androgyny, doppleganger or multiple personality and "the best of both worlds".

    I came across some convoluted information about the "golden boy" or Mithras that really boggles the mind and perhaps you are aware of it since you've created some great blog entries on it lately.

    A wiki article on the Yazidi (a tribe located in Kurdish regions of Iraq and reportedly tormented and gassed by the Iraqi regimes) worship a deity that is similar and associated with Mithras! Perhaps part of the US involvement in Iraq was the widely publicized torment of the Kurds. It might seem as though the US troops came to Kurdish rescue.

    This convoluted revelation came from searching the Blue God or Illuminated God from Celtic Faery lore. Wiki referenced the Blue God to the demiurge of the Yazidi. The Yazidi worship him as being created in the Spring on the equinox or month of Nisan (fascinating in itself). The Mithras tie comes in because they celebrate with the ox of Mithras!

    Of note, the Yazidi demiurge is also associated with Luce (Light) or Illuminated (good) Angel of Christianity and Islam which comes back full circle to the Celtic Faery Blue God. So maybe the "golden boy" for GE or electric companies come from this Illuminated (light/energy) reference. The Celtic Blue Illuminated god can also signify light/energy glowing blue.

    Considering the massive media news about Iraq and the Kurds, weapons of mass destruction and all associated banter; this info of the Kurdish Yazidi religious ties to Mithras all comes as a surprise to me.

    I hope this info is helpful and of interest.

    I continue to enjoy your posts.

  2. these comix are UNSANE! these covers have had me rolling with laughter and a kid, i recall reading the "history" of batman book that went into these nutty eras, like "rainbow batman" WTF is right!!!..the jimmy olsen stuff is just totally crackers and has no limits to wierdness i see...thanks again for pulling the lid off this crazy can of worms

  3. I noticed that too - in Stargate there's that bad guy who looks exactly like Anubis - he's either actually named Anubis, or is named something like Apophis.

    I reckon it's some 4D-emo-drama relating to The Boys From Brazil, about jackal-like dogs that eat people's heads at Hitler's behest. The Usual.

  4. I recall having some comics just like that many years ago - and finding the drawings of Robin's legs to be disturbing. 'Why did they draw a male wearing knickershorts - and also with bare legs?' Is what I used to wonder.

  5. Those silver age DCs used to confuse me (all those 'Earths'!)and give me the creeps. I was much more comfortable with the soapy/pseudo-hip/wisecracking of Marvel. Superman and Batman always seemed like creepy dads, unlike the 'lost boy' teen angst of Marvel (even the Hulk seems like an unwanted erection bursting through the quiet, studious world of Banner).

    Sgt. Fury made me laugh, but Sgt. Rock just seemed depressing. DC had the deformed Jonah Hex instead of happy-go-lucky Rawhide Kid. Even Kirby's DC stuff (without Stan Lee's dialogue) seemed ponderous, gloomy and unfathomable.

    I don't think I really 'got' DC until Moore/Chaykin/Miller etc. cranked up its latent darkness to 11. Looking back on that 50s/60s stuff now, I can see their supposedly 'square' heroes are informed by repressed homosexuality, alcoholism and shady mob connections that went into their connections. Consider all those tense 'board meetings' that their 'teams' seemed to have every issue (which I found dull then, but quite intense now). For some reason, liking DC was like supporting Nixon in my household, but look how fucked-up he was behind all that Republican repression!

  6. Excellent question, Zuppie- The whole Robin thing just gets more and more Freduian.

    I'm glad you guys all pick on this psychotic vibe. Don't forget to click on some of the links in the Jimmy/Lana piece- those comics will make your brains drift into the 12th dimension...

    Soapie- thanks for the heads up on the Yezidi- very interesting situation there.

  7. I just love these Jimmy Olsen covers, makes me want to read the whole thing now!

    Thanks for posting them.

  8. Very, very few things about this reality make any sense - I really used to wonder about most of the things that were deemed suitable for me as a child. They were all made by psycho grown-ups who'd obviously forgotten what life is meant to be about.
    It's WAY worse now of course. And those dumbasses with their age-restriction certificates just don't get it at all.
    They just don't get what the actual problem is.

    I recall things like being presented with cartoon drawings of things, and not understanding why they looked so different to what they represented. In order to accept that, you have to ignore a whole heap of things that you naturally use to verify between right and wrong - and it'd seem that most people do that, otherwise they cannot exist in this world and interact with anyone / anything; but they tend to forget that they have switched into a different mode. (not everyone forgets, of course) And that's probably why not everyone has memories of their childhood, and the cut off point for many memories is just around the time they learned to accept all the senseless things that are considered normal here.

    Some people go through those phoney processes over and over again through their whole life - they don't even remember say teenage years, or college, or their last job....because they bought into the same stupidity that alters the mode of the persona depending on what lifestage you happen to be at. They change their clothes, hair, toys, hobbies, etc, accordingly.

    =you're too old to be playing with those toys!=

    - growing up, the factory production line method. Like it's a gameshow with a time limit on it.