Saturday, 7 February 2009

Hieronymous Wolverton

He's been called “the Hieronymous Bosch of comics.” And, oh dear lord, he's about to make a comeback.

Basil Wolverton's "Bible Story" has been tweaked by son Monte, given the good housekeeping seal of approval by the GICcies* at WCG (I'll be interesting to see what they cut out) and is due to hit the bookshops later this year. It's re-titled The Wolverton Bible.

And get this: every one of those amazing original BS illustrations has been included.

Amazon has preview pages up. Being released in December it'll make an ideal (turn over in your grave Basil) Xmas gift!

*GICcies, a possible replacement term for COGgers, now that Joey ("if you don't like my rules I'll take your ball and YOU can go home") Tkach is trying to rename his made-over sect Grace International Communion. Any other suggestions?

39 comments:

Doug Ward said...

A peek inside the book at Amazon shows that this will be a collection of all the illustrations, with some brief captions and commentary on Basil Wolverton's life and work.

Bamboo_bends said...

GICcies, a possible replacement term for COGgers.... Any other suggestions?

Herbal-ites? Tkach's group can then become Herbal-LITE?

Kind of fits that marketing meme thing too!

I wonder if the Wolverton Apocalypse stuff will be published...man that stuff used to give me night mares as a kid.

Byker Bob said...

Monte showed himself to be a true friend when I needed one. I also liked his mom and dad. I believe that Basil Wolverton had an amazing talent. We all know that Herbert W. Armstrong was possessed with a very bad habit of exploiting and misusing people of talent to further his own purposes.

I'd be very concerned if, say, Gerald Flurry happened to be orchestrating this project. However, like the proverbial parent in the family room helping a child digest and deal with a maturely themed movie or television program, I believe that Monte will steer this project craftfully in all of the right directions.

BB

Anonymous said...

Lussneheide scribes:

Additional News Flash...

The current PLAIN TRUTH MAGAZINE edited by Greg Albrect is being renamed...

MAD MAGAZINE !

Complete with Basil Wolverton illustrations from the original Mad Magazine itself!

Anonymous said...

So Gerry didn't want the copyright of the Bible Story? This bit of WCG memorobilia would have fit in nicely in his neo-Herbal empire.

Anonymous said...

I think it is great that the WCG is wanting to rename to distance itself from HWA and the other COGs. Anyone who has been around them the last couple of years knows they aren't anything like the WCG of the past. And that's a good thing.

I know there are those who separated years ago who still have hurt feelings over the church it once was - and in their mind probably think it is still that way and nothing could convince them otherwise.

Bamboo_bends said...

Anonymous said...

I know there are those who separated years ago who still have hurt feelings over the church it once was ....and in their mind probably think it is still that way..... and nothing could convince them otherwise.



I don't know about the rest of you but I was more disillusioned by the Church it refused to be when it had the chance to do it differently.

Thou taketh away thine Torah, and giveth us Karl Barth. This is progress?

Anonymous said...

It’s kind of sad. He could have had a great career in comics.

Wolverton’s career in comics got off to a promising start. His work in Life magazine had drawn the attention of Curtis Magazines, then publisher of the Saturday Evening Post. The Post hired him, along with Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (of Captain America fame) as a featured freelancer for their line of comic books. The Post had absolutely no idea what they were doing in comics and allowed their artists more or less free reign. (They had a wad of money and a need for finished pages.) Thanks to its non existent editorial policy, a lot of extremely off beat stuff found a home in their pages, the best of which was Basil Wolverton’s SpaceHawk. Wolverton was their feature and main cover artist for the first few years.

Sales were strong on the Curtis line until Wolverton stopped contributing. The Smithsonian Book of Comics simply says he drifted out of comics to “work on a religious radio program” however we know better.

Wolverton again surfaced in comics in the middle 1940s, working for Martin Goodman’s Marvel Comics, producing back page humor features. It was here that he originated Powerhouse Pepper, by far his most remembered work. Best described as “Popeye meets the Toonerville Trolley”, Powerhouse Pepper was something of a homage to turn of the century comic strips. In 1948 Marvel’s parent company split up their comic book division and his work disappeared from their pages. Although Wolverton contributed to the first few issues of Mad, he would not work in comic books again until the middle 1970s. He was the feature artist for DC comics’ Plop magazine. Plop was discontinued even though sales were strong after DC acquired effective control of Mad.

Wolverton was also an early contributor to underground comics, producing Wolvertoons. Interest in Wolverton’s work had been sparked at the time by Robert Crumb, an artist who actively imitated Wolverton’s style.

Wolverton’s primary problem in comics was a lack of real connections. Comic books were New York based and Wolverton lived in the west. Per Stan Lee, when Marvel was split in two in 1948, part of the reason for doing this was to make greater use of material such as the kind Wolverton produced.

What happened is open to debate. The new Marvel division, Humorama, started off doing comic books but quickly drifted into producing Girlie magazines which had joke cartoons laced in, almost as an afterthought. (Marvel’s parent firm was primarily a publisher of pornography.) Wolverton may not have wanted to contribute to these magazines. The claim is that Al Avision, Humorama’s head, could not get in touch with Wolverton. This claim has been repeated by others.

At EC, publisher of Mad at the time, Wolverton was the only contributor who was not a full time member of the staff. As opposed to hiring Wolverton, they had Bill Elder simply imitate his style.

At Quality, Jack Cole channeled Wolverton every chance he could get in his Plasticman features, sometimes swiping entire layouts from Powerhouse Pepper. Quite a few artists effectively made their livings doing their best to replicate his style.

By the middle 1940s comic books were a hot commodity. Wolverton’s stable mates from Curtis, Simon and Kirby, made a fortune being hired by a succession of companies. Wolverton’s imitators, Jack Cole, Bill Elder and Robert Crumb went on to make fortunes. Being Basil Wolverton was a damn good living for everyone except Basil Wolverton.

Although I would like to blame HWA for hijacking and squandering Wolverton’s talent, the problem seems to have been Wolverton’s primarily. First, he didn’t work much. Wolverton’s entire thirty year output of finished pages is well under 100. Second, Wolverton had no relationship with his publishers. He sent his work finished and over the transom, on spec. Comic books are mechanically demanding and are often bound to tight production schedules. Even if the publisher wanted his work, the timing of his submissions has to be right or the producer will be sitting on work he has paid for but has to wait on to use—a publishing no no. Finally, post 1948, Wolverton hadn’t even bothered to let his contacts know where he was living. In short, he never really got the business of comic books, preferring instead to be a one way actor—someone whose work could be accepted or rejected, but never commissioned. This may have suited his temperament, but it was a major limitation.

Mark Lax

A Modest Proposal said...

The Worldwide Church of God has failed to practice the notion of corporate accountability for the past wrongs done by the Worldwide Church of God. The magnitude of the wrongs done under HWA et al. was so great that the only right thing to do would have been to declare the WCG was disbanding; all its assets put into trust; an independent arbitration committee formed to evaluate claims and administer restitution payments; with apology to all the broken and damaged persons in WCG history would go a public appeal for claims for restitution; the independent committee would rank the claims and disburse the assets by some criteria to all identified victims until the assets were gone; those sincere believers in WCG beliefs would then regroup and reorganize and begin anew.

Of course, that would not have provided for continued employment for a lot of upper-middle-aged pastors, who were obviously far more deserving of continued WCG assets than the victims of the WCG. So never mind...

No, perhaps the current WCG should not just "never mind". They can change their name, but they cannot escape their history and their lack of accountability for that history. Those with a conscience inside today's WCG should insist, and insist, and insist, upon the notion of reparations, in the material financial sense, up to 100% of present-day church assets if necessary, as a token of atonement for WCG wrongs done in the past.

Unthinkable? Why?

Seriously, why?

Mr. Scribe said...

A Modest Proposal,

Good idea but you would have to pry the money out of joeys cold dead hands! Then it's gregs turn.........

Mary Lane said...

Interesting that Monte does not change the story according to the original translators,of Samson drinking water out of the jawbone of the ass(Jgs.15:19).
HWA could not handle that idea, because Samson was not to put anything 'unclean' in his mouth, according to Lev.11. Of course he forgot that God also commanded in v.24, that they were not to 'touch,' or handle the carcasses of unclean animals either. And so just by picking up that jawbone, Samson was breaking that rule, Just as he did by eating honey out of the carcase of the lion(Jgs.14:8-9)which clearly shows that this was a big deal with God, rather Lev.11 was a tool used as part of the Schoolmaster(Gal.3:24-25)that would end with the New Covenant.
So this tells me that HWA is still in charge of the WCG. After all, they still claim him as their founder.

larry said...

Modest Proposal, that is utter nonsense.

If for no other reason, your "modest" proposal gives credibility to the idea that members were "victims", a concept which is just ridiculous.

And what amount of money could possibly satisfy all the "victims" that would come forward to claim it? It doesn't exist.

Ewart said...

I see the Painful Truth has Douglas Becker re-runs. Great stuff if you never read Becker. This is a massive collection of psychological/COG stuff to feed your mind and gain understanding.

Worldwide Church of Fraud said...

In denial, Larry said, “if for no other reason, your "modest" proposal gives credibility to the idea that members were "victims", a concept which is just ridiculous.”

MY COMMENT – Larry, the members were victims of a massive religious fraud. Herbert W. Armstrong came in Christ’s name, and deceived many people out of a lifetime of income stream including you!

Will a man rob God, Larry?

Richard

Anonymous said...

This would be an appropriate juncture to revisit my exchanges with Brother Basil's little boy over the re-release of this terror-inducing(I) dog-vomit (II) that was used to subjugate (IV), terrify (V), and generally brainwash (VI)the children of the church.

I said I didn't have the stomach to repost portions of Basil's horror-inducing and fear-mongering mind-control on ISA, but with the advent of ol' Mont' gearing up to whitewash his father's motives, and the effects his works had on the unwitting victims they were exposed to, I would say it's high time I lifted that particular rock and peered underneath.

Anonymous said...

"I believe that Monte will steer this project craftfully in all of the right directions."

I call bullshit on this Bob. You're only excusing Monte because A) You knew him, back when and B) Since you're a Christian now too, all Christians are automatically blameless.

My exchanges with Monte prove that this is nothing more than a whitewashing project, undertaken by a current minister of the WCG/GIC/whatever-they're-going-to-try-to-hide-as-next church.

I'll bet you any money Monte has Junior's full approval and blessings to completely "revamp" the original intentions and goals of the texts, and make "the world" think they were really harmless.

Hmmmmm. Didn't David Berg's group do the same thing......?

Anonymous said...

"I think it is great that the WCG is wanting to rename to distance itself from HWA and the other COGs."

Nice try, Larry, but leaving your name off your posts does nothing. Your arrogance still stinks from a mile away.

Anonymous said...

Also see Basil Wolverton Goes to War. Yeah it's my post. Yeah I'm linking to it. Problem with that?

Anonymous said...

"Those with a conscience inside today's WCG"

Oxymoron of the Century Award Winner. Right there.

"Unthinkable? Why?

Seriously, why?"


Ask the Bank of Wachovia.

"If for no other reason, your "modest" proposal gives credibility to the idea that members were "victims", a concept which is just ridiculous."

Larry from Texas, everybody, Larry who makes our case for us by regularly opening his mouth and swallowing his foot whole. And remember --- Larry is STILL a member in good standing in the church!

Telling, that, no?

Anonymous said...

PH,

I believe you've got a real problem. Over the past year, I've watched you demonize almost all Christians, appropriate or not, with the possible exception of Tom Harpur. And, incredibly, you seem to want to hold the offspring and relatives of prominent past WCG figures responsible for the actions of their elders. You went after Dwight Armstrong's daughter or niece, whoever she was, and you took Monte to task for your nightmares that you feel were due to his father's art. You are irrationally striking out at people and it is embarrassing to watch.

The fact is, you don't hear the prayers of those whom you are attacking. You don't know what is in their hearts. Being as anti-Christian as you portray yourself to be is just as ignorant and irrational as being a racist. I've had about 7 years now to watch people very similar to you. I've watched Messianics who were never associated with WCG be called Armstrongites and attacked. I've watched Dennis Diehl be attacked and trashed for the sins of the WCG ministry, even though it is obvious that he is our fellow dissident. Some people insisted that he sign the apology page over at Painful Truth, inappropriately, before they would even talk to him. That's a lynch mob mentality, IMO.

To speak of lynching, what's the difference between you and our American KKK? Your blind hatred makes you attack well intentioned people, and brand them as hypocrites, simply because they believe in Jesus Christ. You want to shoot all of the ducks to get at the ones who were actually responsible for your pain.

I'd like to see you get some healing, because it is very plain to me that you are in a world of serious hurt. On the other hand, I've also watched self-righteous types tell folks of your viewpoint to "get over it". IMO, the people giving that type of advice are also missing the boat, because they fail to take into consideration that you have been hurt, and need healing if you are to enjoy any type of happy or productive life.

I am going to continue praying for you, and invite all the other Christian and Jewish posters here to join me in that effort. You seem like a worthwhile person, with some valuable contributions to make, and I hate to see you lose valuable years on hatred and spite. No altar call, I'd just like to see you healed, happy, and your overall quality of life improved.

BTW, you're really not hurting the Christians. Most of them will just pray, "Father, forgive her, for she knows not what she does."

Guess Who

Anonymous said...

"I believe you've got a real problem."

Yeah, my problem is you, Bob. Denial much?

"...I've watched you demonize almost all Christians..."

I know at least three Christians who I have had dealings with over the past year, who would disagree with that.

"You went after Dwight Armstrong's daughter or niece, whoever she was....

She fired the first shot. Best to get your facts straight, Bob. And, oh yes, please quote me exactly where I "went after" her --- I added to the discussion on the Wiki webpage. If that's your version of my "going after her", then so be it.

"....and you took Monte to task for your nightmares that you feel were due to his father's art."

I never had nightmares. I actually believed that everything in TBC was true, and everything that was predicted in the Youth Bible Lessons, was going to come true as well.

"You are irrationally striking out at people and it is embarrassing to watch."

Oh, pardon me, I wouldn't want to embarrass your oh-so-holy self. If you're so "embarrassed" by me, maybe you ought to examine why I say the things I do, to the people I say them to. And examine also why you are "embarrassed" by it. Perhaps because you're feeling that "I'm-going-to-hell" patented Christian guilt for having once been a freethinker?

"The fact is, you don't hear the prayers of those whom you are attacking."

Please quote me chapter and verse on where I have "attacked" any of these people. Am I suing them? No. Am I stalking them, sending hate mail to their houses, leaving hang-up messages on their answering machines? No.

All I am doing, and all I have ever done, is point out how the church has impacted me, a fact which all of the people you claim I have "attacked" (please show me where I have attacked them) would like to whitewash, and pretend it wasn't so bad.

"Get-over-it-itis" Bob? Really? Can't you bring something a little more original to the table, after all we've been through?

"Being as anti-Christian as you portray yourself to be is just as ignorant and irrational as being a racist."

I know at least three Christians who I have had dealings with over the past year, who would disagree with that.

"To speak of lynching, what's the difference between you and our American KKK?"

I have no political power, I have no money, I don't walk around shooting people or hanging people or burning crosses on people's lawns, I don't spread hate speech (I'm 100% certain you're going to disagree with that last part, but really, I don't.), would you like me to go on?

All I am doing is typing words on a computer screen, and sending them out to the Internet. Really, if you take that perspective on it, instead of viewing it from your goldfish-bowl-sized little bubble, I'm really not as evil as you're trying to persuade everyone here that I am.

"I've had about 7 years now to watch people very similar to you."

Aren't you just so full of yourself and so far above the rest, hmmm?

"Your blind hatred makes you attack well intentioned people, and brand them as hypocrites, simply because they believe in Jesus Christ."

"Blind hatred"? Oh, and please show evidence of my "attacks" on "well-intentioned" people. (Monte Wolverton is anything but well-intentioned, whitewashing TBC the way he is.)

"You want to shoot all of the ducks to get at the ones who were actually responsible for your pain."

Nope. I just want the truth to exist, somewhere, even if it's on as small a back-water dark corner of the Internet as the ex-Church of God websites, forums, and bulletin boards. That's all my goal ever was, and ever will be.

"I'd like to see you get some healing, because it is very plain to me that you are in a world of serious hurt."

LOL! On the contrary, my life is several orders of magnitude better than it was, when I was in. Sure, I may go through periods of "my life sucks", but they are passing phases, because overall I have much more stability and confidence, living a life bordered only by freedom of thought.

"On the other hand, I've also watched self-righteous types tell folks of your viewpoint to "get over it"."

Aaaaaaaaand you're not saying the same thing at all, right? Noooo, you're not saying that......

"....they fail to take into consideration that you have been hurt, and need healing if you are to enjoy any type of happy or productive life...."

All things considered, I actually do enjoy a happy and productive life, now that I think about it. Something hanging around these places doesn't really highlight, given that we self-limit by and large to only one topic of discussion.

There's a lesson in that.

"BTW, you're really not hurting the Christians. Most of them will just pray, "Father, forgive her, for she knows not what she does."

Nice one! You're implying that I'm like the fictional Roman murderers of your fictional dying-rising-godman.

Yeah, that's not hateful. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

PH,
I really don't think that was Byker Bob speaking in that comment. The reason why I say that is because he's only been a "Christian" now for going on 3 years. Before that he was an atheist/agnostic.

Also, the writing style of the commenter is different than Byker Bob's.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I don't think I am. Shrug.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous post was NOT from Larry. I sign it anonymous because it is pretty clear there are some pretty hateful people in this group and I'd rather not have people like them try to track me down.

For the record, I was part of WCG for 37 years but have moved onto a local, non-denominational church. In the past I have worked with and spent a bit of time with current WCG leaders and know that most of the accusations are simply way off base.

Anonymous said...

PH Reports: My exchanges with Monte prove that this is nothing more than a whitewashing project, undertaken by a current minister of the WCG/GIC/whatever-they're-going-to-try-to-hide-as-next church.

I am not entirely sure that is the case. It seems more an effort to establish a succession in trademark for the Wolverton family. There is no question that WCG owns the Bible Stories for Children. Packaging it separate from church material, with the church’s consent, may give the family the ability to establish an independent claim on the work—especially if it is divorced from HWA’s text. (Or the original text of the work.)

I hope Monte got his money from Fantagraphics up front.

I was given my copy of the Bible Stories by an ex member. I never saw it growing up as a child, inasmuch as I was not raised in the church. As a comic book fan, I found the illustrations interesting. That they should have been repurposed in the 1980s in Yes lesson and other materials directed at children is disturbing and obviously intended to reinforce the terror inflicted by initial exposure to the Bible Stories text.

The only defense I have heard of Wolverton’s WCG work is that it was “professional”. No doubt about it, Basil Wolverton was one of the all time, all time greats. That does not excuse it, however. Propaganda may be art, but it is a dismal form.

The whole thing is a damn shame. The only excuse there can be is that Basil Wolverton was also deceived.

Mark Lax

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been hilarious if God had called another Mad Magazine artist - Don Martin instead. Many of the characters drawn by Martin reminded me of some church members.

Byker Bob said...

Spy vs Spy could have been a regular feature in the Good News, chronicling the constant battles between GTA and Rader.

Later on, though, National Lampoon would have been a better model to depict all things WCG, as the goings on became more X rated and sinister! Mad was always family friendly, whereas N.L. was collegiate and uncensored.

BB

Anonymous said...

"The anonymous post was NOT from Larry."

Good for you anon, but I didn't say you were Larry, did I?

Anonymous said...

Anon Sun Feb 08, 05:31:00 PM NZDT (whoever you are),

I apologize for my part in our recent exchange. I regret what I said. I regret that I said anything at all.

I apologize that you find my non-belief so offensive, although I hope that I have demonstrated elsewhere that I do not view Christian believers, in and of themselves, as offensive. I know that might not have been too clear in our recent exchange.

Engaging in Christian belief would no doubt make my life easier, and would facilitate my interactions with believers (who make up a large percentage of the population) much more smoothly; but I can no more subscribe to a faith-based belief system, then you can unsubscribe from the one which you hold so dear.

I do not view believers as less than human, or delusional, or somehow inequal to non-believers. I apologize if my recent remarks came across that way.

We are each one of us human, we are all present in the here and the now, living this life, whatever it is and for whatever reason that we are here.

Thank you for your insight, and please know that I will try and see things a little more clearly from the other perspective, from this point forward.

Aggie

Corky said...

Anonymous said...
The anonymous post was NOT from Larry. I sign it anonymous because it is pretty clear there are some pretty hateful people in this group and I'd rather not have people like them try to track me down.

Are you for real? The reason I ask is because you seem to not remember that it was the Christians who tracked down witches and unbelievers.

I've never had an unbeliever to threaten my life but I have had Christians to do just that and only because I didn't believe the same nonsense they did.

Careful where you point your finger because that leave three pointed back at you.

xHWA said...

That took guts to apologize publicly like that, PH. I'm impressed.

Certainly the Christian believers here would be immediate and total in forgiveness.
"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

Anonymous said...

This is Anon 5:31.

The apology was sincere, gutsy, unanticipated, and appreciated. Mucho gracias!

Could it be that we might could all get along? Hope so.

larry said...

PH, I can't speak for anyone else, but you have not offended me. Nevertheless, if your apology is genuine, it is graciously accepted. And I do agree that it does require courage to say what you said.

I have often said (even here on this board) that a common trait of all current and former members of the Church of God is courage. (and it is)

And for Richard, I stand by what I said about being a victim. You should not be offended either. And as for the "lifetime of income stream", it is only money. You cannot take it with you.

Questeruk said...

There should be more people around like you Aggie, that when they feel they may perhaps have overstepped a bit in their comments, are prepared to offer an apology.

I have seen far worse posts from others, from both ‘sides of the fence’ with no hint of a later apology.

All the time that either believers or non-believers regard their counterparts as some sort of lesser species, or delusional, or pathetically ignorant, then there is not going to be open dialogue.

It says something that people prefer to wage open warfare against opposing views, rather than to freely discuss ideas and learn from each other.

But maybe that would be too simple.

Questeruk said...

Corky said...
“you seem to not remember that it was the Christians who tracked down witches and unbelievers.

I've never had an unbeliever to threaten my life…”


I’ll start a list:-

The Religious persecution currently going on for untold thousands in Atheist China, with many deaths.

The Communist killing fields of Cambodia wiped out half a nation.

Atheist communist state under Stalin millions killed in the 1930’s & 40’s.

Plenty more could be added.

The point is it’s a human trait to persecute, not a reserve exclusive to Christians.

xHWA said...

Anonymous,
You accepted PH's apology. That's great! I'm happy to see it. Perhaps there is a hope in this world.

But you know what I would really love to see (not that what I would love to see is so all fired up important)... I'd love to see you also offer an apology to PH for your half of that discussion. As a Christian myself, I would be happy to see the Christian side willing to also admit some complicity and reach our own hand out in peace and forgiveness. :)
Then, perhaps, this hatched is really buried.

Corky said...

Q said,

The Religious persecution currently going on for untold thousands in Atheist China, with many deaths.

The Communist killing fields of Cambodia wiped out half a nation.

Atheist communist state under Stalin millions killed in the 1930’s & 40’s.


None of which were done in the name of "Atheism" but under the banner of totalitarianism in name of the dictatorship of Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, His Royal Highness of whatever dictatorship.

No massacres have ever happened in the name of reason and rationality for which atheism stands.

Anonymous said...

XHWA and Aggie:

My first impulse was, hey apologize for what? I've seen my share of fake apologies and wouldn't want to do that because they end up doing more damage than good.

But in digging deeper I realized that prior to posting what I did I hadn't asked for God's guidance to help me do it in a loving way. Consequently my post had a very angry tone to it, one that made it guaranteed to offend. For that, I can and do very sincerely apologize to you Aggie, and to the other participants of this blog.

Anon 5:31

Anonymous said...

"For that, I can and do very sincerely apologize to you Aggie"

Anon 5.31, my thanks to you are returned; your apology as well is genuine, courageous and unexpected, and is very welcome.

Maybe there is hope for us ex-CoGgers after all. :-)

(Now! Who wants to give the eulogy for the hatchet? Dennis?) ;-)

xHWA said...

Thanks, Anon. That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I agree with Aggie that it was courageous and genuine. I hope it makes you feel as much better as it makes me feel. Keep up the good fight, and God bless.