Sunday, August 21, 2005

Okay, so what about some books from the library? Here are two picked off the shelf at random. SUPERFAN, published in 1972 collected the first twenty-one chapters of a 3 page per month strip done by MAD's Nick Meglin and Jack Davis for PRO QUARTERBACK MAGAZINE. Printed in the sideways format of the then-popular MAD paperbacks, this was undoubtedly EC Comics great Davis's longest sustained story! Let me make one thing clear--I hate football. Okay, perhaps "hate" is too strong a word. I just don't get it. Never did. That said, I absolutely love this book! Lots of MAD style celebrity hazing courtesy of future MAD editor Meglin but with a likable nebbishy hero and a traditional sports movie type plot! Skinny, super intelligent Y. A Schmickle says the magic word PSCWPLB...somehow...and inherits the football skills of many great players of past and (then)present. Along the way, he meets hippies and movie stars and sports announcers and...well, you get the idea. With an intro by the late Howard Cosell, SUPERFAN is lots of fun even if you miss, like I did, at least half of the pure football humor!
Conversely, SUPERFAN AGAIN is dull. Published two tears later, it features right-side up full page panels that make the actual content come out to about half of the first volume. According to Meglin's introduction, this one was done exclusively for this format and not as a monthly strip as both he and Davis were overextended at the time. Their heart clearly wasn't in this one but there's still a little fun and Jack Davis art is a wonderful treat anytime! If you see these at a used bookstore or on EBay, grab 'em!

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