Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm sure you've probably seen this linked to at BoingBoing, ComicMix, and other places, but JUST IN CASE you haven't- here's another link. And as an extra-special bonus, you'll get a few lines of me reminiscing! You lucky people!

Anyway, what we have here is a failure to communicate is a four-panel sequence from Not Brand Echh #1, specifically the eight-page lead story, a nutball spoof of Fantastic Four #'s 57 & 58, the classic two-parter in which Doc Doom stole the Silver Surfer's cosmic power. Or is that Power Cosmic? Whatever. Anyway, some nice person has taken it upon himself to post the story in its entirety over at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive, and if you could use a good laugh today, you should go and read it. Hell, even if you've already read it several times, like I have, it's still a hoot and a half.

This story also features what may be three of my favorite panels evar in the history of comics, click to see biggerer:

Cracked me right up when I was seven. After rereading this, I came away impressed with Kirby's deft hand in regards to doing this sort of broadly satirical art. Even though it's pretty much in line with what he was doing with the rank & file FF book at the time, there are some great sight gags and facial expressions, and he is able to blend his trademark balls-out depiction of action with farce very well. Gee, was there nothing the King couldn't do? Well, there's dialogue. More on that when I get around to finishing that look at the JKFW Omnibi.

When "Brechh", as they were fond of calling it, made its debut in late 1967, I had already been reading comics for about three years, and I was familiar with most of the satrical targets. I had seen funny comics before, but not like this- the Bullpen guys were actually sending up their own sagas! I don't remember exactly, but I know spinner rack distribution was spotty back in those days, plus my income was dependent on my mom and dad, so the next issue I got was #4, with Scaredevil and the Ecchs-Men. Whenever I'd see an issue, I'd get it though. This was another run I let get away when I sold my original collection in 1987; from time to time I've considered going back and re-acquiring them but I figure they're probably scarce and expensive when found. As Brian Wilson once wrote, wouldn't it be nice if Marvel would collect these? Perhaps there are rights issues involved, perhaps they're just being stubborn like DC in regards to Sugar and Spike, perhaps they just don't think there would be interest and nobody would get all the dated references. Oh well.

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