Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Straight From the Hartley, Part 2

When I wrote a post the other day about Al Hartley's Spire Christian Archie Comics, and noted that he'd already done very similar material in the actual mainstream comics, I didn't realize that one of those Spire comics had a sequence that was directly based on a mainstream Archie comic. Then I found this "Stupid Comics" page reprinting a Spire story where Big Ethel at one point imagines that she's a gorgeous movie star who is unfulfilled despite her fame and money. Turns out Hartley had done something very similar in those "Sabrina's Christmas Magic" things I was writing about before. It's less specifically Christian and more generically religious, but it has a lot of the iconography of Christian comics (like the intertwining of a religious message with American historical figures who are made to seem very Christian/religious figures); he probably pushed the regular Archie titles as far as a mainstream title can go toward being a religious comic.





By the way, Hartley drew Big Ethel into many, many stories and usually made horrible fun of her for not having a small waist and huge breasts like the other women he drew. Which makes the uplifting message of the above story ring a little hollow.

4 comments:

Thad said...

These comics are truly disgusting.

buzz said...

"Hartley drew Big Ethel into many, many stories and usually made horrible fun of her for not having a small waist and huge breasts like the other women he drew. Which makes the uplifting message of the above story ring a little hollow."

You don't suppose it's because the editors would have made him change it -- or else hand it over to another artist to fix -- if he strayed off model?

Jaime J. Weinman said...

You don't suppose it's because the editors would have made him change it -- or else hand it over to another artist to fix -- if he strayed off model?

Sure, but he actually drew her more ugly than other artists.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

I have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful story!