Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BOOK REVIEW! GET LOST by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito (Hermes Press, 2008)

I kinda wonder why, when the market was being flooded with MAD imitations left 'n right, Bill Gaines decided to sue THIS particular pub for gross swipearooning? Maybe it was because GET LOST was put out by a very small publisher target (in fact owned and operated by the team of Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, later of DC/METAL MEN fame) that didn't have the same get-up-and-go as Atlas and all the others who were doing their own MAD knockoffs of varying quality? Maybe it was because, although most of these MADmitations were on the mark (or at least the ones I've seen) GET LOST was even markier??? My guess is the latter, because although GET LOST doesn't have the same snarl and pounce of the original it sure was a boffo effort unlike some of those MAD mag crankouts which made me wince more'n anything they were originally intended to do.

For those of you who care GET LOST's three issues are reprinted in this neet softcover effort which has been out for awhile (now remaindered), and if you are a fan of comic book satire done up fifties-style I'll betcha you have this one by now already. And if you couldn't have guessed by the tone of this writeup the comics presented herein are kinda funny which is something you never thought you'd hear from a guy like me who thinks that watching thalidomide babies doing the Australian Crawl's a hoot.

The art (all done up by the Andru/Esposito team either under their own name or various nom-de-pnooms) is up there with the Elder/Wood/Davis/Severin style of MAD with none of that quickie slapdash look which proliferated some of the zilch-grade titles back then. And in keeping with the grand art of SWIPING the covers evoke the old Harvey Kurtzman look of the early MADs as well which I guess was enough to get Bill Gaines boiling mad and suing the two for a serious case of copyright infringement.

If you wanted to know what MAD woulda done with various gulcheral items of the day like HONDO, Mike Hammer and SHANE (not to mention EC's very own horror stories) then you'll get an idea with this particular collection of hardly-ever noticed satire! (Now both MAD 'n GET LOST tackled Flash Gordon [and Robin Hood come t'think of it] and although the former did what I would call a much better job of it at least the latter's "FOUR-FLUSH GORDON" was a pretty knee-slapping slab of comic book satire. Not as good as HUMBUG's "Flyashi Gordonovich" but good enough.)

So sport, if you were one who would constantly check out the various news agencies every few weeks throughout 1972/3/4 for the latest Ballantine reprinting of the original MAD paperbacks (which were o.p. right when I was first getting on a serious EC jag much to my dismay, and when they got back in print with those original covers you could bet that I was a happy pooper!) this is yet another one to sate your inner prepubescent ranch house self. For a fun afternoon go at suburban slob living snuggle up with this in your own room whether it be encrusted or not, and if it's nice 'n sunny outside try not to feel too guilty when your mom yells at you to go out 'n get some exercise and you bellow back what else but...GET LOST!!!!

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