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April 13, 2010

NSFW Week: Wally Wood's "My Word"


One of the things that appeals to me the most about comics is the endless variety they contain. The basic definition, "words and pictures", can be expanded to encompass subject matter as benign as Mickey Mouse and as "adult" as Art Spiegelman's harrowing "Maus." 20th century American society largely identified comics as light entertainment. Any comic which portrayed nudity, profanity, or sexual themes was widely disavowed as "smut" by the masses. Hypocritically, in the medium of film, for example, such subject matter has been largely embraced by the public, film being considered an art form. Because I feel that comics are as valid an art form as movies, this week I am sharing comics that contain adult subject matter. They are all most definitely...



First off, here is Wally Wood's no-holds-barred look at life in New York City. It's about much more than that however. Deeply embittered by the limitations imposed on the art form of comics, and feeling royally screwed by publishers and fans, Wood parodied an earlier story (written by Al Feldstein) called "My World,"a tribute to Wood that had seen print in EC's Weird Science #22 in 1953. Wood's state of mind here is not altogether healthy, but his art is still magnificent. Knowing that Wood would commit suicide a few years after "My Word" puts it in tragic perspective. Here is a tale from a man living through his own personal Hell.



From Big Apple Comix #1 (September 1975)

For more Wally Wood check out Booksteve's excellent blog, Hooray for Wally Wood.

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