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CSBG Archive

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – That Time Dave Gibbons Drew Doctor Manhattan in a Zapping Contest With Electro

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today we look a story from a hidden gem by Marvel Comics in 1990, Harvey Kurtzman’s Strange Adventures, specifically a story in the volume by Kurtzman and Dave Gibbons. Two comic book legends for the price of one!

Three years before Kurtzman passed away, Marvel put out a fabulous hardcover with a bunch of stories written by Kurtzman and drawn by a variety of great artists, including Sergio Aragones, Rick Geary and, of course, Kurtzman himself (plus many more great artists I didn’t mention, including an additional story written and drawn by Robert Crumb ABOUT Kurtzman). It is a terrific piece of work, made all the more powerful when you take into consideration that it was released so soon before we lost the comedic mastery of Kurtzman.

Anyhow, in this story, the great Dave Gibbons drew a Silver Surfer story by Kurtzman where the concept is what if there was a world where superheroism was mundane?

After a quick bit with the Surfer getting his board tuned up, we come to the pièce de résistance of the story, a super convention. Check out the great details by Gibbons in this piece….

surferstrange3

Amazing. I made this page double the size so you can click on it to enlarge it.

Kurtzman brings it all home with this ending bit…

You can get a copy for under $20 out there on the major internet shopping sites, so do yourself a favor and pick up this book!

11 Comments

Stich Tuesday

April 1, 2013 at 8:43 pm

“If everything is Super, is anything super?”
Wow, I didn’t realize this phrase predated “The Incredibles”!

Andrew Collins

April 2, 2013 at 12:51 am

I had never heard of this book, but now that I have, it will be mine…

Who is the third guy zapping things in the contest?
Doesn’t grab me much (personal taste–Kurzman’s sense of humor and mine just don’t mesh) but great Gibbons art, for sure.

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

April 2, 2013 at 4:28 am

“Stitch Tuesday” said: Wow, I didn’t realize this phrase predated “The Incredibles”!

I’ll be the first to admit I enjoyed The Incredibles a lot, but surely it was clear to everyone that there was not a single original idea in the movie?

I enjoyed it to, but yes. Costumes that survive super-powers, a professional super-hero costumer, super-heroes getting sued … it irked me a lot that so many people thought it was breaking radically new ground those dumb ol’ comic books would never think about.

Kurtzman was a genius.

Under the definition presented by this article, pretty much every issue of “What th-,” “Not Brand Ecch” and “Mad Magazine” qualify for the “I love you but you’re strange” treatment.

I love the bit on page 57 where Jay Garrick is flashing Daredevil.

I must confess I don’t get the ending. What’s the slight problem?

Earth is tiny, relative to them. Notice that Surfer’s hand is behind it.

I want this book!

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