Monday, April 21, 2008
Melvin Monster and Crazy Klutch
The Stanley Stories website has a funny Melvin Monster story from Melvin Monster #3. The lead-in page also tells of Stanley's lifelong battle with depression, which probably affected his themes and storytelling. He refused to seek treatment, instead letting his depressive episodes run their course. In that way he was like Charles Schulz, who worked out his depression in his comic strips for 50 years, refusing treatment because he thought it would take away his gift.
Ain't it funny how funny people can be so sad?
The Melvin Monster stories were written and drawn by Stanley, and they have a dark side to them. Melvin's parents threaten to turn him over to a bogeyman. As we find out in the story from Melvin Monster #5, Crazy Klutch isn't how he's portrayed by the parents. The strip is constructed like a shaggy dog story, ending different from what is expected.
As smart and good a writer as Stanley was I can't figure out him spelling daisies as "daisys".
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Melvin Monster was one of the first non-hero comics I ever bought with my own allowence as a kid. Found some issues in an antique shop and totally fell in love with the character... uh, in a fanboy way you know. I always thought it was cool his mom was a mummy.
I always wondered if there was any connection, other than the name, to Atlas' mid 1950's Melvin the Monster, a Dennis the Menace type character.
Karswell, I saw Melvin in '65 when it came out, but never bought it. At that tender age I was much too old for kiddie comics. Besides Carl Barks, that is. It meant I missed out on some really great comics that at my advanced age I'm finally smart enough to appreciate. Like Bob Dylan, "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."
[I'm your wicked] Uncle Ernie: The short answer to that is no connection.
That is the coolest comic ever. I gotta find more Melvin the Monster now.
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