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Saturday, August 29, 2009

This Week's Suspended Animation - Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures


Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures!, published by SLG Publishing, 96 pages, $9.95.

Any true comics fan has at least a passing knowledge of the monster comics published by Timely/Marvel Comics in the late ‘50's and early ‘60's. These comics have become famous, and quite admired by some, for their corny, over-the-top drama, goofy monster names and indefinable charm. Very nearly a parody of themselves, they are the definition of “kitsch”.

I say “very nearly” because, as parodies of those curiously classic tales are concerned, Chris Wisnia has set the standard with his wonderfully whimsical digest-format graphic novel, Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures!. While spoofs of this material have been done in the past, none have offered the humor, the creativity, and the sheer (strange as it may be) imagination of DDGMA.

The entertainment is found, not only in the ridiculously see-through “intelligence” of the various government agencies, seeking to cover up the existence of giant monsters, the incredibly overdone “backwoodsy-ness” of the “redneck vigilantes”, or even the uncanny ability of the “Monster Liberation Army” to show up and accomplish..., well, not much. The mirth also resides in the “letters pages” of the book, in which readers castigate the creators for the third-rate nature of Doris Dangers’ adventures, while the company spokesman cordially thanks them for their feedback, while assuring them of the comic book’s non-fictional nature.

Combine the above with...,

- monster names such as “Spluhh”, “Spanko”, “Goopoopoo”, “Krakapoo”, “Snehsneh” and “Peeka Peeka” (the Peeping Tom of Mt. Rushmore)

- lettered sound effects like “KA-DOOSH”, “AAIGHEE”, “ZHA HA-ZA” and “CUH-BLOING”

- and tag lines the likes of, “What terrible grand scheme has Doris stumbled onto? Find out next week, if you care!”

...and you have rib-tickling humor of a nearly-inexplicable nature. Thankfully, entertainment of this type needs no explanation to be enjoyed.

Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures! is highly recommended, not only for fans of the reference material, but also those who admire the old B movies which inspired them, Silver Age comics, well-done parodies, and the work of Jack Kirby.

Review by Mark Allen