Wednesday, December 13, 2017
The Someday Funnies!
I am very behind on this one! The Someday Funnies, first put together during the 70's is a look back on the 1960's. It was a failed project for several decades until at long last in 2011 it was finally published by Abrams. It's an oddity, and the fact I got hold of it for about twice the price of a modern comic, makes very comfortable in accepting it for what it is and not frustrated at what it's not. The lure for me was simply the presence of heretofore unseen artwork by Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Russ Heath, Dick Giordano, Herb Trimpe, Barry Smith, C.C. Beck and many more. Alongside these stalwarts are lots of Underground artists as well as oddball contributors like Federico Fellini of all people.
The contributions range from one page to two pages to sometimes three pages as we get observations, anecdotes, satires, and commentaries about different aspects of the decade which brought us Pop Art, the Beatles, Civil Rights legislation, the Vietnam War, the space race, the Pepsi Generation and much much more.
The comments are on the wry side for certain, often showcasing the contrast between the ideals of the decade and the reality of life in the United States and beyond. The collection received some criticism because the man behind the project, Michael Chochette insisted that each contributing artist leave space in their compositions for his own additions, which usually is a small cartoon image of Chochette commenting in some fashion on the message of the presentation. It's a bit of an oddity, reminding me a bit of the Mystery Science Theater gag of having commentators critique moves as they play in real time. It didn't mind these intrusions as they are just part of the presentation and intentional. It changes the way we read the stories and does serve as a binder for the entire collection.
But it's the artwork which is going to make this collection worth the price of admission. Some of it is beautifully done and that which isn't immediately lovely can be fascinating. The title does it justice, this kind of a Sunday comics supplement, not for the week, but for the decade. A time capsule in more ways than one as a voice from the 70's comments on work which attempts to comment on the 60's, produced and presented for the first time in the 21st century. Curious and curiouser.