Very clever use of Kurtzman’s Big If story to review the book. Yes, there were certainly a lot of ifs in Kurtzman’s career.
I did spot one thing that needs clarification – it was the first 23 issues of MAD that were four-color comic book format; Kurtzman went on to write/edit the first few magazine issues, up to #28. I’m sure you knew that.
I got to meet Mr. Kurtzman at his first Dallas comic con during the 1980s, even got to take him to the hotel from the airport. A sweet little guy. I even attended a lecture he gave, and sat next to William Gaines. I wondered at the time if it was the first time they had been in the same room since the EC days. I saw Harvey at a later show, and by that time, the disease had set in pretty well, but did get to talk to his wife Adele (she wanted me to take her to a local supermarket, for items they could not get at home – she bought some canned “Ranch Style Beans” as I recall).
A wonderful guy who deserves lots of praise, and then some. Looking forward to reading the book.
Thanks for this Paul. I just got the book and have been approaching it cautiously. I’m now a little more eager to jump in.
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Looking at Kurtzman’s solo work in the Russ Cochran EC Library I was immediately convinced that he was one of the great visual storytellers in the medium. Looking at the EC Archives books I realized what had kept people from realizing it: Color.
Would like to read this. Illegible on my screen. Something must be wrong with my set but can’t seem to adjust the dang lo res.
more comics in comics criticism!
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Nicely and ingeniously done, Paul. Kurtzmanesque of you.
I’ve been thinking this is the next “big” thing- ten years ago it was reprinting all those old forties & fifties stories in the various blogs. Then it was various tabloid-sized newsprint comics being made. Now, the new thing is going to be comics-within-classic-comics. Take any old comic and deconstruct the hell out of it.
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This review by Christopher Brayshaw was originally published in The Comics Journal #187 (May 1996). Continue reading →
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