Thursday, February 23, 2006

Rare Neal Adams Ben Casey


Those of you who were here yesterday (and if you weren't where the heck were you? We had lots of cool new posts!) know that I was off from work sick. Well, I'm feeling much better now after seeing my doctor, Ben Casey. Actually the pic seen here comes from a mid-sixties coloring book that I no longer have in toto. It was called something like PARADE OF COMICS and featured many of the top newspaper strip artists of the day including Charles Schulz, Jerry Robinson,Bud Blake and Alfred Andriola. Each was given three pages for original illustrations having to do in some way with a parade. This one was colored (perhaps by me, perhaps not. Who remembers?) but hey, whaadaya want? It WAS a coloring book after all! Anyway, before revitalizing BATMAN, Neal Adams utilized his advertising art realism on the comic strip version of the hit medical TV series, BEN CASEY. I've never really read a lot of it but it must have been good because it outlasted the series itself by several years. Neal became such an icon in his day that I was at San Diego one time in the late eighties and word spread through the crowd that Neal was in the room .Suddenly hundreds of folks of all ages were flocking around a tiny table where Adams, not even a featured guest that year, had set up shop to hold court and sketch. I was only able to get a good look at him by standing up on a table briefly myself but there he was, bigger than life. Neal's been somewhat controversial over the years but no one can deny his vast influence on comics art and storytelling. If Ben Casey had flopped, things might have happened a lot differently in comics over the last 4 decades! Thanks, Doc!

1 comment:

dzstephens said...

I have been looking ALL OVER for this picture! I CAN'T BELIEVE you have posted it! When I was a kid, say around 8 or nine years old, I saw this coloring book in a store and opened it up. This picture was in it and I was FASCINATED by it! Two major things developed out of this innocent little picture. First, I have a foot tickle/foot fetish and this drawing contributed greatly to that in my childhood years. Secondly, I am a major Batman fan...and this Neal Adams work, of course, was a forerunner to my fascination with his art for Batman which I would discover many years later. The irony was that in the 60s when this work was published, I had NO IDEA who Neal Adams was! I was just a KID who LOVED FOOT TICKLING!

This picture works on so many levels for me. Why or how did Ben Casey end up in this predicament? I remember in the TV show he was quite a stern-faced physician...so to see him overpowered and helplessly brought to laughter like this was an INCREDIBLE turn on for me as a child...although I didn't quite know why...
How were these clowns able to subdue him? The sole of his foot looks so soft...almost feminine. The clown doing the tickling is ruthless and is obviously enjoying tickling that foot judging by the large smile on his face! I imagined he was saying "tickle tickle tickle..." or "kitchy kitchy kooo..." as he stroked the good doctor's foot with that tiny, yet VERY effective little feather!

Ironically, my mother never bought me this coloring book...and I had always thought it was just something I'd imagined.

Your posting of this picture means more to me than you'll ever know...THANK YOU!