Published on June 15, 2007
COMICS & CARTOONSSee also “Humor in Art,”“Optical Illusions,”and “Political Cartoons”: COMICS andamp; CARTOONS See also 'Humor in Art,' 'Optical Illusions,' and 'Political Cartoons' by Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen UNDERGROUND COMIX: UNDERGROUND COMIX The term 'comix' is a co-mix of image and words. Underground comix deals with the underbelly of society as they make fun of drugs, sex, violence, racism, elitism, blasphemy, risque music, bodily functions, and crude language. (Nilsen andamp; Nilsen 89) Slide3: Robert Crumb is known as 'the Father of Underground Comix. The shrunken head and enlarged feet of Crumb’s 'Keep on Truckin’' series came from his L.S.D.-distorted view of people and symbols. (Nilsen andamp; Nilsen 89) Slide4: Gilbert Shelton is another drug-inspired underground comix writer of the 1960s. Shelton’s 'Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers' featured three dope-and-sex-hunting heroes. This was a well-received parody of the 1960s hippie drug culture, and was designed not to preach, but to entertain. Shelton also created 'Wonder Wart-Hog' as a parody of superhero comics. (Nilsen andamp; Nilsen 89) ABOVEGROUND COMICS: ABOVEGROUND COMICS At the opposite end of the spectrum from underground comix are the coffee table comic books: Joe Anderson’s Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years and Only One Grey Hare Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County Babylon: Five Years of Basic Naughtiness Walt Kelly’s Pluperfect Pogo Bill Watterson’s The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book MIDDLEGROUND COMICS: MIDDLEGROUND COMICS Between the underground comix, and the coffee table comics, there are some mainstream collections: Scott Adams’s The Dilbert Principle Charles Schulz’s Happiness Is a Warm Puppy, Home Is on Top of a Dog House, I Need All the Friends I Can Get, and Security is a Thumb and a Blanket THE GRAPHIC NOVEL: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL People are also starting to respect the power of the graphic novel. In 1986, Art Spiegelman won the Pulitzer Prize for his Maus. JOHN CALLAHAN’S DISABILITY CARTOONS: JOHN CALLAHAN’S DISABILITY CARTOONS John Callahan was paralized in an automobile accident shortly after his 21st birthday. His cartoons about disabilities are quite controversial. One of his cartoons shows a dark-skinned street beggar carrying a sign that reads, 'Please help me. I am blilnd and black, but not musical.' (Nilsen andamp; Nilsen 104) Slide9: In another Callahan cartoon there is a man in a bar with two prosthetic hooks in place of hands. The bartender is saying, 'Sorry Sam, you can’t hold your liquor.' Another Callahan cartoon is entitled 'The Alzheimer Hoedown.' It shows confused couples at a square dance trying to follow the instructions, 'Return to the girl that you just left.' Callahan got an angry letter from the St. Louis chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.' (Nilsen andamp; Nilsen 105) !HALL OF FAME: !HALL OF FAME Members of the International Museum of Cartoon Art’s Hall of Fame include: Dik Browne: Hi and Lois, andamp; Hagar the Horrible Milton Caniff: Terry and the Pirates, andamp; Steven Canyon Al Capp: L’il Abner Roy Crane: Wash Tubbs, Captain Easy, andamp; Buzz Sawyer Billy DeBeck: Barney Google Rudolph Dirks: The Katzenjammer Kids andamp; The Captain and the Kids Budd Fisher: Mutt and Jeff Harold Foster: Tarzan andamp; Prince Valiant Chester Gould: Dick Tracy Harold Gray: Little Orphan Annie Slide11: !!George Herriman: Krazy Kat Walt Kelly: Pogo Winsor McCay: Little Nemo in Slumberland George McManus: Bringing up Father (Maggie and Jiggs) Richard Oucault: The Yellow Kid andamp; Buster Brown Alex Raymond: Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, Secret Agent X-9 andamp; Rip Kirby Charles Schulz: Peanuts Elzie Segar: Thimble Theater andamp; Popeye Jimmie Swinnerton: Little Bears, Mr. Jack, andamp; Canyon Kiddies Mort Walker: Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois, Boner’s Ark Chic Young: Blondie and Dagwood (Nilsen andamp; Nilsen 95) !!!JOHNNY HART CARTOON: !!!JOHNNY HART CARTOON When the following Johnny Hart strip was run in The Arab News, both the feature editor and the editor-in-chief were sentenced to lashing and prison terms for failing to recognize the blasphemy. Their sentences were reduced after the incident caused an international furor. (Nilsen andamp; Nilsen 66) Slide13: Slide14: References # 1: Berger, Arthur Asa. Li’l Abner: A Study in American Satire. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 1994. Blackbeard, Bill, ed. R. F. Outcault’s ‘The Yellow Kid’': A Centennial Celebration of the Kid Who Started the Comics. Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press, 1995. Harvey, Robert C. The Art of the Funnies: An Aesthetic History. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1994. Inge, M. Thomas. Anything Can Happen in a Comic Strip: Centennial Reflections on an American Art Form. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 1995. Inge, M. Thomas. Comics as Culture. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi. 1990 Slide15: References # 2: Kominsky-Crumb, Alice, and Diane Noomin, eds. Twisted Sisters. New York, NY: Penguin, 1990. Lent, John A., ed. Comic Books and Comic Strips in the United States: An International Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994. Nilsen, Alleen Pace, and Don L. F. Nilsen. Encyclopedia of 20th Century American Humor. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000. Reynolds, Richard. Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 1992.