Weird War Tales


Comic Book Comics #2

The comic book about this history of comic books continues. The creation of Captain America and his crushing workload cause Jack Kirby to spontaneously manifest the Kirby Style; Stanley Leiber becomes Stan Lee and makes Kirby want to kill him; most comics creators spend the war creating artwork and comics for the military; Walt Disney begins his slide into “Citizen Kane” style megalomania; Bert Christman dies in the war; romance comics become the big post-war craze; William Moulton Marston’s kinky sex life helps create Wonder Woman; Bill Gaines takes over EC Comics, recreates it as an edgy crime-and-horror shop, and sets himself up for a confrontation with Fredric Wertham and the U.S. Congress.

Verdict: Way, way thumbs up. The guys who revolutionized nonfiction comics with “Action Philosophers” are doing a bang-up job with this new effort. I hadn’t heard half of these stories before, and even the ones I already knew (William Marston was a very kinky boy, the kind you don’t take home to mother) got an extra boost by adding some more historical context.

And the cartooning is really great fun. There’s a ton of humor in every drawing, from the futuristic Archie gang to the hilarious twists and turns of romance comics to the many madcap adventures of Bill Gaines. Also lots of fun is the letter column in the back (No, seriously, even more good historical tidbits, some funny stuff, and some extra comics) and the section on the “World’s Greatest Comic Book Collection” with market values for some of the groundbreaking comics featured in the issue.

If you haven’t gotten it yet, go give it a try. Get better acquainted with yer hobby, why don’tcha?

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