Friday, June 30, 2017

Number 2069: Herbie and Dracula’s Pizza

We are leaving June, and Herbie Popnecker, as the Fat Fury, is taking us out.

Herbie meets Dracula, who has a taste, not for blood, but for pizza. That seems typical of a Herbie story, doesn’t it? Anyone familiar with the character knows the comic book has a surreal atmosphere, and the charm of Herbie is that nothing is surreal to him. He just solves problems put before him. Nothing seems out-of-bounds for Herbie, even a pizza-loving vampire.

I make note that the Comics Code (created in 1954), prohibited characters like vampires as well as other monsters. From the Code itself: “(5) Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.” The Code was relaxed a bit for so-called classic monsters like Dracula, Wolfman, mummies, even the Frankenstein monster. That may have been the effect of the age of the late night horror hosts and old monster movies on television. And as television went, so did the Comics Code, adapting itself along with other popular media of the era. But Herbie...I doubt Herbie could have existed anywhere but in comic books, especially in his superhero identity as Fat Fury.

From Herbie #20 (1966). Written by editor Richard E. Hughes using the pseudonym Shane O'Shea, and drawn by Ogden Whitney.


Brian Barnes said...

Very entertaining. It jumps from one silly situation to the next without a lot of logical consistency which is, as you say, the whole style of the comic. The gags are all solid and the character unflappable nature made for a good read.

I really like Whitney's ability to mix the comical Herbie and Drac's pals with the more realistic Drac and other citizens.

Pappy said...

Brian, for a long time I resisted those Fat Fury episodes, because I found them too silly. Then I re-read the Herbie comics and accepted them as part of the same surreal universe. Funny how the mind works. I could accept Herbie with all his powers while he wore his bowtie, but when he put on the union suit I dismissed those stories as "too silly"!