The Cowsills In Books

The International Book of Comics
Denis Gifford
Royce Publication 1984



When pop music burst on the teen scene, what more natch than that comics should dig a little of that jive, get in the groove, Jackson, and shoot the funnies to me, bunnies! It was in March 1948 that No.l of Juke Box Comics cut its first rug, packed with pictorial biographies of hit parade favourites. Atlas tried a different tack with their World's Greatest Songs, turning the lyrics into comic strips. "Young at Heart", Frank Sinatra's current hit, was the only pop. The rest were "traditional", thus avoiding copyright fees: "Frankie and Johnnie" drawn by Al Hartley, "Abdullah Bul-bul Amir" by Dave Berg and, would you believe, "The Star Spangled Banner" by John Forte.

Pop stars entered into comics with

broke from traditional imagery by having artist Bob Oksner delete all his frame-lines. Pat Boone wrote his own personal editorial, beginning "Hi all" and signing off "Always your boy". For a later teenage era, Charlton Comics put out their David Cassidy from March 1972, drawn by S. Gumen. Copyright was acknowledged to Columbia Pictures, but it is doubtful whether John, Paul, George and Ringo got any of the 25-cent admission price to Charlton's Summer Love. Although featured on the cover, the story "The Beatles Saved My Romance" is, frankly, a catch-quarter. The Beatles appear only in one panel of the 62-panel strip, and then only as pictures outside a cinema. How did the Beatles save Patti's romance? "Aren't they it, so can we!"

Harvey Pop Comics began in 1968 with psychedelic adventures of a group called The Cowsills: "It's the ultragrooviest pop art ever!" By the time the publisher got around to issuing No. 2, The Cowsills had moved on to other pastures to be replaced by Bunny, Queen of the In Crowd, with her Rock Happening. It never happened again. Marvel Premiere celebrated its 50th edition with the comic-book debut of the outrageous Alice Cooper. It proved to be his farewell appearance too, as far as comic-books go.

Rock Comics broke rules all along the way. It was tabloid, only 8 of its 28 pages were in colour, and its artwork was over the top. Axe McCord so rocks the classics that Beethoven bursts from his grave to seek revenge as Captain Feedback the Malevolent Maestro! The heroes of Loops, a rock'n'roll comic from California, were deejays Steve Dahl and Gary Meier in their unending battle with Discoman. The British pop group, Madness, published their own comic-book, The Nutty Boys. The comic is as funny as they are, if you dig me, Jackson.


Email Me Home