Wednesday, January 06, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! CANNON BY WALLACE WOOD (Fantagraphics Books, 2014)

Talk about the perfect book for yer typical pube-sproutin' adolescent kinda boys who are still interested in the slam bam action strips inna STEVE CANYON vein yet are beginning to elicit strange desires while passing by the casaba melon display at the supermarket. Created for the Armed Forces paper OVERSEAS WEEKLY, CANNON is the perfect blend of everything a red-blooded all-Amerigan teenbo with fire in his eyes and a lock onna bathroom door could want, bloody violence and lotsa suckems 'n stuff to look at t' boot.

John Cannon's the perfect agent. After being brainwashed by the Chinese and reconditioned by the CIA upon return, Cannon knows no emotion but hate. And judging from these stories he also's got a whole lotta lust in him as well which does figure in with the entire under-the-covers game given that a whole buncha females from deadly enemies like Madame Toy to friends like the boss's daughter Wendy are more'n anxious to take the guy on anywhere and anyway they can. Given the plethora of wardrobe malfunctions that pop up in these stories you know it's gonna be pretty hard for Cannon to resist these temptresses come ons and such.

Don't get me wrong, this stuff ain't as sickoid as Wally Wood's various comics that popped up in men's mags for years on end. Lotsa great feminine pulchritude is on display true, but the best efforts to obscure the most potent part of the femme anatomy are used to hide the all-important nether-regions or sweet patch if you so desire. Tree branches, limbs, bedsheets, cloth or whatever is in the way protects your eyeballs from the dirtiest of dirty, and although it ain't whatcha'd call pornographic by any stretch of the imagination its sure to arouse that inner thirteen-year-old who still likes to comb over NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC with a magnifying glass.

Oh yeah, the stories are great too --- pre-hippoid relevance tales where Our Hero is placed in a whole slew of dangerous situations trying to stop everything from revolutions to Middle Eastern disasters, of course coming into contact with the best looking femmes that ever popped outta a pudenda complete with treacherous desires and libidos to boost. It's all rather fast-paced and custom made for those of you who used to follow the adventure strips of the past, and of course the bad boys are about as predictable as you can get but wha' th' hey??? I mean, if you can't get your laughs outta a hippie cult leader named HANSON then you might as well chuck in in right then 'n there!

For those of you who only know Wood from his MAD work this might surprise you a bit, but for the rest of us this is reminiscent of alla those old EC and SPIRIT tales that featured the guy's efforts. Good stuff for those of you who are still torn between owning some of the bestest baseball equipment onna block, and wanting to trade it all in for an issue of PENTHOUSE.

1 comment:

Alvin Bishop said...

Cannon is a new one on me, but I have a Wood collection of EC, MAD, Warren, Tower. You dig up the rarities, Chris! I'm always amazed! You seem to know more about various artists than they probably do about themselves! (Chuckle!)