Sunday, November 17, 2013

Starchie-Harvey Kurtzman/Will Elder-1954

This classic craziness was my introduction to the comic book version of MAD as well as pretty much my introduction to ARCHIE! I had seen both MAD magazine and ARCHIE comics around but had ignored both until I picked up a copy of THE MAD READER one day in the late sixties and immediately realized this was NOT my normal comic book!


  1. I love every bit of it, specially the fight with his parents and the "Bottleneck was no Jughead" bit (Since Bottleneck is a parody of Jughead).

    The Disapproved Reading seal is a parody of the Approved Reading seal that Archie comics put on there prior to the Comics Code (Which they help co-founded).

  2. I never appreciated it in my youth, but Elder's work is just phenomenal. Bottleneck's persistent disgusting spitting, Starchie's trembling chin in the next-to-last panel, Mr. Weathernot's shoes, Starch' taking one final hard drag on his cigarette while Wedgie viciously sinks his fist into a crying child's guts at the end of page three...Elder had a real feel for violence, despair, filth, and decay, and it would be utterly spirit-crushing if it wasn't so funny.

    And my God, Biddy and Salonica and those sweaters...I'm grateful Elder gave 'em such awful acne so I could move on and keep reading. Can you imagine anyone making funny of a high school principal horndogging after students today?