Somehow I was totally unaware of this book’s existence. It was published by Price/Stern/Sloan in 1970 (though my father may have purchased it later), and I went to college in 1971, so I didn’t see it around.
It was written by Harvey Comics (Richie Rich, Casper) editor Sid Jacobson, whose name frankly didn’t ring a bell, and drawn by Ernie Colon, whose name I recognized instantly.
It’s 80 pages. 14 x 19 cm. Page 3 reads in part: “This satire of America’s best-loved comic strips is presented strictly for laughs, but with the hope that one day, in a world of greater honesty, justice and understanding, the black man will take his rightful place in literature of all kinds.”
So, how did it do? It’s hard to judge things 35 years after the fact, but I’ll give it a shot.
Note: in the comic strip tradition all the words in the strip are in capitals, but for readability, I’ve deigned to write in standard English. Also the words that are in bold in the strip are in red in this text:
The first strip is “Superblack”, a 4 page takeoff on The Man of Steel.
Lois: Mother! Dad! Guess who’s coming to breakfast!
Page 3, Panel 1:
Supes: (looks lovingly at Lois, and vice versa): Lois has told me so much about you folks, we’ve both sure you’ll have the liberalism to delight in our happiness….
(Picture of a man, and a placard “I.F. Stone for President” in the background.)
Page 3, Panel 2:
(Women in background)
Father (waving his finger in Supes’ face): The world is changing fast, but not that fast! As much as I’d like to, I find that I-
(Lois’ mom bemused, Lois proud to see Supes hold her dad up in the air by the jacket)
Dad: -W-Welcome you to the family –choke– son!
The movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was obviously on the minds of the writers. Not only are Lois’ first words a play on that title, but the father name-drops Sidney Poitier, the star (along with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy) of that 1967 film.
I think it works as “it’s hard to REALLY be liberal” story. Miscegenation was only legal in all states the same year as the movie came out, after all. the finger in the face was a nice, patronizing liberal, touch.
The second strip is “Bronzie”, 4 page riff on “Blondie”
Bronzie: I Wonder who that could be?
(Neighbors at the door)
Female neighbor: Good evening. We wanted to be the first to welcome you to the neighborhood.
(Neighbors shocked look, Bronzie’s back to them and Bronzie’s husband in his chair, bemused)
Bronzie: In fact, you’re the only ones to call on us in the two years we’ve been living here!
This sort of thing actually used to happen to people I knew. Funny in a somewhat painful way.
I’ll be looking at more strips in the coming weeks.
Thanks to MB for scanning these; this way, I did not need to bug friend Fred, who had scanned some previous items for me.