Monday, October 20, 2008

Number 399

The Time Travelers

A reader recently sent an e-mail:

. . . I've been reading Pappy's for about a year and have noticed at times you use the words "screwy" or "screwball" to describe a story. I think ALL comic books, especially the Golden Age . . . are screwy. The plots are inane, the artwork sometimes amateurish. But we read comic books because we like that sort of thing, apparently . . . I think "screwy" and "screwball" can't just be applied to some stories when all comics seem to fit the screwy category.

Maybe I should rename my blog Pappy's Screwball Golden Age Comics! Seriously, the reader has a point. Comic book readers really do like the oddball and offbeat. Even the most mainstream comics, like the super-heroes, are basically screwy when you get right down to it. However, those are the sorts of things that comic book readers read and don't think are screwy, because they buy into the screwball world their heroes exist in.

I just accept that as being part of the appeal of comics. So while I agree that all comic books are in their own way screwy, when I say screwy, I mean my definition of screwy, which is screwier than the screwy mainstream comics. And here's a screwy screwball story to prove it! From Operation Peril #11, 1952:


pspector said...

From dinosaurs to anti-communist sentiment, this story has a little bit of everything, doesn't it? Totally screwy, and a good, laugher of a read. Thanks.

Squa Tront said...

Yep, as mad as a chicken with lips.. Three cheers for Tom Redfield!

Steve Pick said...

The screwy comic books are the ones like this which simply make as little sense as possible. In every way, from the ability to understand Latin to the ability to understand the aliens language, from the idea that 2000 years ago, the alien city would look like America in 1950 to the idea that 2000 years after that, the alien city would look exactly alike, to the belief that the way to save the day would be exactly the same 2000 years later to the brilliant creation of an imaginary smart beast that would destroy itself (and presumably innocent civilians in the city) to save the obviously noble Earth, this is pure screwy.

On to another question, though - I've noticed that an awful lot of comic books you scan from this era were published from an address right here in my home town of St. Louis, in what is currently a rundown warehouse district. Anybody know the scoop on why this is so?

Pappy said...

I can't tell you for sure why it's so that ACG Comics listed a St. Louis address but here's a guess: it could have to do with more favorable tax laws for corporations in Missouri at the time, or maybe the guy who was listed as owner lived there, even though the editorial offices were in New York.

American Comics Group has an interesting history. The best article on this publishing company is in ALTER-EGO #61, August 2006.

The Fortress Keeper said...

YE GODS, that was a great story.

Mike Burleson said...

I read screwy comics to get away from this so-called sane and rational world. That's why comics today suck, because they take themselves way too seriously!

Harry Lee Green said...

Some pornstar should take the name Kumrack the Omnipotent.