Wednesday, February 12, 2014


What is even ...

The licensed humor comics which DC produced in the 1960s produced some legitimately great examples of the genre. Primarily, later issues of The Adventures of Bob Hope and The Adventures of Jerry Lewis, both largely the products of writer/artist Bob Oksner, turned in some truly weird and enjoyable issues, like Lewis’ teamups with DC’s most stalwart superheroes or Hope’s super-powered nephew Super-Hip. Personally, I’m a fan of Sgt.Bilko, the comic adaptation of the classic Phil Silvers comedy series (and its subsequent spin-off featuring Private Doberman), also a product of Oksner and company.

Get that sample to the lab immediately,
this giraffe is terribly sick!
The ridiculously productive Oksner was also at the helm of the comic adaptation of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, another well-regarded sitcom about a girl-crazy fella whose desperate need to be loved breaks his sanity, leading him to stage conversations with invisible audiences and to pal around with an imaginary “beatnik”, a creature of pure fiction, played on the show by Gilligan S. Island (deceased).

Oksner may have been the go-to guy for the licensed humor books not only for his breezy style and decent comic chops, but because of his skill with likeness –his Lewis, Hope and Silvers are swell caricatures of the original comedians. With Dobie Gillis, though, Oksner was either restricted from caricature or finding it difficult with star Dwayne Hickman’s weird rictus of a face (no, he’s really quite handsome), although he found more freedom with Maynard Krebs’ likeness (Later on, Oksner’s caricature of Bob Denver would be freed into a protected wild area called Gilligan’s Planet, where he would be allowed to mingle with others of his own species).

So Dobie manages to maintain, through his comic series – all twenty-six issues – a sort of terrifying, manic leer:

Just imagine what his O-Face looks like.

It's an uncomfortable stare which seems to be half starving dog and half possessed ventiroloquist's dummy, but then again I've seen the show and I think that was possibly what they were actually going for.

Even as I came to terms with that face, though, you get something like this. Are they role-playing or is she magic?

This is a little game they like to call "The Prospector and The Lost Mine"

2 comments: Syung Myung Me said...

The interesting thing to me is that some of his linework, particularly on Bob Denver's caricature, looks Druckerian. Not exactly, but it seems that they have similar philosophies to that sort of style. Or somethin'.

(And I know Drucker did some of these comics -- didn't he do some of the Bob Hopes?)

Calamity Jon said...

Drucker is credited with a bunch of the one-page interstitial gags, but I wouldn't be surprised if he'd lent his skills to the main stories as well.

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