By Hervé St.Louis
Jun 3, 2006 - 17:48
Take a bunch of (hopefully) public domain comic book stories and change the text bubble on the pages to make something else. This has been done before, but Boom Studios felt like they needed to do it themselves and in What Were They Thinking?! Unless they rearrange the stories to make them zanier, the original material probably did not make sense either. Here Giffen and some buddies share their own version.
While it’s true that older comic books were ridiculous and very badly written, aren’t the guys at Boom giving ammunition to all those comics haters out there that comic book really don’t matter and is not brain food? How dare they pillage on the work of great hacks to share their own limited hacking to modern readers? Why make comics look worse?
Unfortunately, I won’t be the one to answer the question of the book itself - what were they thinking. I’d rather ask a more pointed question to the original writers or ghost or dogs who wrote these two minutes pieces of stupidity. What were they smoking? Did these things really entertain people back then or are they responsible for giving Alan Moore fodder for years? It seems that Giffen and the gang at Boom have stumbled into one of the master’s great source of oddity. Please don’t let Grant Morrison near any of that stuff.
The artwork is clean and ice. Wolverton’s piece looks like it was created in the 1940s while the other stuff looks more like it came from the 1950s. It’s too bad that few of these master artists could be identified because now all of their kids won’t be able to claim ownership or residual royalties from all these groovy comics. That will just make Boom Studios more ammo and coins to go on a spree and churn out more of these monsters.
At least, we’ll get to discover more of these great artists who could compress a story in four pages. Seems like the art of good storytelling in few pages is lost to most of today’s artists.