University of Washington professor José Alaniz invited me to prepare and deliver a guest lecture on early comics for his class on food-themed comics. You could say I hoped the project would turn out to be something I could sink my teeth into. I was not disappointed.
Comics as a self-aware form.
In this excerpt from Bill Schelly’s forthcoming biography Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America, the author chronicles the lifespan of the magazine Humbug. Rebounding from the abrupt cancellation of Trump (the magazine he had left Mad to produce) after only two issues, Kurtzman rallied an all-star cast of cartoonists for their next endeavor.
Since the Invasion of these literaries, I have been observing a tendency to ask the question: if this weren’t a comic would it stand up? Would the story be any good if it were prose and in competition with the rest of the world’s prose? If we take away all these damn pictures, would the stuff that is left be worth a hoot?
Guest Blog Alert: Drew Friedman draws and writes about Harvey Kurtzman.