Monday, August 31, 2009

Wally Wood, Prophet

This piece of artwork was commissioned from Wally Wood by TV Guide to accompany a 1968 article about how comic book style heroes were starting to crowd out the more "traditional" animated fare of Saturday mornings.
What's fascinating to me is that:
  1. The heroes leading the charge are all Marvel characters despite a Saturday morning cartoon lineup that featured Batman & Robin, Aquaman, Shazzan, the Herculoids, Johnny Quest, Mighty Mightor, Birdman, Super President, as well as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four
  2. The only "defensive posture" character not running away in fear is the only Disney character. Although it's obviously presumed Micky's stance indicates shock, one could also read it as steadfast determination.
In light of today's announcement, it's hard not to read something prophetic into the image. How did Wood know decades ago what caught everyone else completely by surprise just this morning?

4 comments:

Mike Leung said...

Could it be a carryover from Wertham? Maybe DC begged-off from the depiction of menacing kiddie-cartoon characters, and Hanna-Barbera joined them. Superheroes at Marvel were post-Wertham, and rolling angst with their melodrama was even part of their brand.

Mike Leung said...

Also, unlike the DC characters, maybe TV Guide felt like they couldn't leave out Disney from the illustration, so they were left showing Mickey from the back.

Michael said...

A close look does show that there are a few DC characters there (Hal Jordan and the Flash). I'll presume the artist was a Marvel zombie. =)

Brian said...

Just behind Spider-Man is DC's Hawkman and Batman.

Between Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch is Aquaman, complete with his "A" emblem showing.

Behind Thor are the Green Lantern and Flash.

Might one of those domino-mask wearing individuals behind the Torch be Robin? So that's either 5 or 6 identifiable DC characters in this illustration, with Marvel having 9 (Thor, Submariner, Spider-man, Fantastic, Thing, Hulk, Torch, Iron Man, Captain America). Kleefeld's still right that it's Marvel properties leading the charge, but this illustration is hardly without DC properties as well, commentators.

And on what fucking planet is Wally Wood a Marvel zombie?