Friday, June 22, 2018

YOU ARE NOW ENTERING MONSTERVILLE -- YOU'VE HAD IT!


MELVIN MONSTER
No. 1
April-June 1965
Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
Editor: Don Arneson
Cover: John Stanley
Pages: 36
Cover price: 12 cents

After years of drawing successful comics starring Little Lulu, Nancy and Sluggo and many others, writer and artist John Stanley got the chance to create some of his own characters. One of them he named Melvin Monster.

Melvin lived in "Monsterville" and his parents were "Mummy" and "Baddy". Melvin goes to the "Little Black Schoolhouse", and his teacher is "Miss McGargoyle". He also has a pet crocodile named Cleopatra, who is anything but tame.

Stanley's Melvin strips appeared near the apex of the 60s Monster Craze and have been elevated to cult status over the years -- and rightly so. They more subtlety reflect Melvin as an outsider in society instead of the over-the-top spoofs that were being used in the Glass Teat incarnations of THE ADDAMS FAMILY and THE MUNSTERS (both first aired in September of the previous year). Instead, Melvin's stories have been labeled by many comic book historians as darkly satirical. They are certainly unique, especially when considering they appeared in a comic book. CAPT. MARVEL artist C.C. Beck went so far as to comment: "The only comic books I ever read and enjoyed were Little Lulu and Donald Duck".



































2 comments:

top_cat_james said...

Actually,THE ADDAMS FAMILY and THE MUNSTERS both debuted in September 1964.

I also highly recommend the MELVIN MONSTER reprint volumes that Drawn and Quarterly published several years ago.

John said...

The reprints are indeed nicely done. Thanks for the heads up on the dates. I have made the corrections.

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