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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

EC - Starchie (Elder)

art by Will Elder, story by Harvey Kurtzman
Mad #12 (1954)

Kurtzman and Elder turn their satirical eye towards the Archie comics line in this issue, playing off the "typical teen-ager" wholesome comics selling point of the line by having the characters engaging in all manner of "typical" behaviour including brutal violence, drinking and crime.

A lot of weird little gags in this one, and Elder really outdoes himself on the background details (including literal "chicken fat". Is this the origin of the term?) and in general combining his style with the Archie house style. Surprisingly that depiction of the girls isn't actually much more exaggerated from how they were often shown in actual Archie comics.

Of course, Kurtzman and Elder would return to the Archie well again a few years later with the even more outrageous Goodman Beaver story "Goodman Goes Playboy" for HELP, and that time it would raise the legal attention of Archie.

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