Monday, April 5, 2021

Review of "Animaniacs Number 10, Special Gratuitous Pinup Cover"

 Review of

Animaniacs Number 10, Special Gratuitous Pinup Cover

Five out of five stars

An explanation of how comics are made with a surprise ending

 This is a comic within a comic. It opens with a doctor telling his nurse to hold all calls while he sneaks into his private room in order to read a comic book. Suddenly, Yakko, Wakko and Dot appear and disturb his train of thought. After a bit of nonsensical dialog, the doctor pulls down a screen that shows an unshaven male writer in a minimalist room trying to generate an idea for a story for a comic book. Since they are all comic characters themselves, the four of them jump into the caption and become part of that story.

 Once the writer has experienced the necessary inspiration and the story is written, he takes it to a very skeptical editor. After significant pleading, the editor agrees to turn it into a script. From there it goes to the penciler, followed by the letterer, then the inker and finally the colorist. The result of each step in the process is shown, so the reader knows what each has done. After reading this comic, the reader will know precisely what is meant by the credits that appear in the first pages of the comic book.

 There is a lot of silly dialog, but there is a wonderful last dialog balloon. The doctor is depicted as wearing glasses with large lenses, has a long face and talks with a German accent. I was at a loss to understand why this was done until that last balloon, where the text is, “I guess Wertham was right.” Of course, once I saw that I understood the reference to German-American psychiatrist Dr. Frederic Wertham, whose book, “The Seduction of the Innocent” triggered the suppressive Comics Code Authority. That was a great touch to an oddball comic book.

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