Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Long-Winded Link for An Amazing War Comic

I came across the above image this morning at Journalista. At first glance, it looked like an excerpt from a typical MAD Magazine comic. It is, after all, done by two of the original MAD creators, John Severin and Will Elder. But when I started reading it, I immediately realized that this was not ripped from the pages of MAD. Instead of giggling deliriously at the unbridled absurdity that usually accompanies one of Severin and Elder's comics, I found myself getting sucked into the tense drama of a Korean War night patrol.
Talk about range!
Think about it. These are the guys that inspired Peter Sellers, Monty Python, the cast of the original Saturday Night Live to be as insanely funny and taboo-bashing as they were. And yet here they are, illustrating the horrors of war and the fragility of the human psyche using only Bristol board and India ink.
Talk about talent!
Take another look at that excerpt. (Better yet, click here for an enlargement.) You wouldn't think that cartoony sound effects laid beneath bulging word bubbles would effectively get across the cacophony of war, but here, it does. Nor would you think that such exaggerated facial expressions and bare bones backgrounds could trick your brain into reading them as realistic, but again, they do. And that rain! Jet black and ruler straight, you can almost feel it pouring down on the soldiers, soaking through their uniforms, wet...cold...unrelenting.
Talk about genius.

To read the complete comic that this was clipped from, plus two more war comics by MAD Magazine alumni, click here.