Sunday, July 30, 2006

Number 3

Basil Wolverton is on the Top 10 list of just about every fan of Golden Age comics because there wasn't anyone like him. Literally. At the beginnings of the comic book era Basil Wolverton seemingly sprang forth out of the forehead of the God of Mirth. Or the God of Nightmares.

As funny as Wolverton could be (and this episode of Bingbang Buster from Black Diamond Western #17, January 1950, is typical in that it is so funny), he could just as easily switch gears and draw some very unfunny and horrific visions, which he did for several memorable horror comics of the early 1950s.

What makes it even more remarkable is that he was also a religious person, who was an elder in The Worldwide Church of God, under its leader, evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong. He even went so far as to transfer his nightmare fantasies into several apocalyptic illustrations for his church's publications.

My introduction to Wolverton was like that of many others: I saw his work in Mad. His grotesque caricatures jarred me out of my complacency about what humorous illustration is or should be.

Wolverton's body of work was scattered around between many comic book companies, but luckily for us fans a lot of it--maybe all?--has been reprinted in one accessible form or another. Just look on eBay or under Basil Wolverton.

Those of you with dial-up are in for a straight wait, Skate! Don't be in a fluster, Buster. Relax with some snacks.

1 comment:

Juanele said...

Hi, I just discovered this blog and I think it's marvelous and already one of my favourites! I'll read all the entries. I especially liked this Bingbang buster story and the art of Basil Wolverton, both unknown to me until now! He had a great style! Thanks for sharing, I love comics but I'm relatively young and didn't knew all this great stories! Besides, I live in Mexico and even when my dad was a great comic lover too, this kindda comics didn't reach our conutry so easily, it was all marvel and dc stuff, wich is great too!
I wanna be a great comic book artist someday too, so I find this comics inspiring! Here's my page,
I also draw comics although I'm aware I'm nothing but a beginner... well, anyhow I'd like you to see it and give me your opinion, ( thanks again for sharing and sorry for this long long comment, cheers!