The Someday Funnies

Edited by Michel Choquette. Abrams ComicArts, $55 (216p) ISBN 978-0-8109-9618-2
In 1970, National Lampoon contributor Choquette was asked by Jann Wenner to edit a special comics insert for Rolling Stone that would allow prominent cartoonists and writers to survey the 1960s. That collection, “The Someday Funnies,” transformed over the next few years into a never-published book featuring the work of 169 writers and artists, and then—when Wenner pulled the plug—into the great lost project of comics history, a “Pet Sounds” of mainstream, underground, and European sensibilities existing only in Choquette’s Montreal storage space. Thirty-one years later, it’s finally seeing print and it’s a doozy, featuring work from luminaries like Art Spiegelman, Joost Swarte, Jack Kirby, and Will Eisner. There are also comics written by Harlan Ellison and William S. Burroughs, and illustrations from such unlikely suspects as Tom Wolfe and Federico Fellini. What sticks with a reader now is the way the ’60s had already begun to curdle in the memory even for those who had just lived them; more than one of these comics posits wild-eyed alternate histories of the ’60s, including the book’s kicker, a great Captain Marvel strip that ties the decade’s woes to Billy Batson’s mid-century silence. Though the collection is, by its nature, a mixed bag, it’s a priceless time capsule of comics history, presented handsomely by Abrams in the large tabloid size Choquette always envisioned. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Genre: Comics
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