Happily Ever After, Charles Adams. Fancy Shmancy Nerdom


  I read “Happily Ever After” the other day.  Before I noticed anything else.  I noticed the draftsmanship.  The artwork is not cheap little cartoon faces with a  silly one liner.  These are scenes, drawn and painted well.  Here is where some differences come in to play between the past and the present.  In the past, guys like this could actually draw and paint.  Today most can not make it and just fake it.  The execution of the sets really immerses you in the situation and gives you the experience of being there, before you even read the caption.  Do you need to draw so well, paint so well to tell a one panel comic?  That depends on if you’re old or new school?

  As I read this collection of one page strips I literally laughed out loud many times.  I kept  coming across gags that made me laugh out in joy and surprised me.  Even though a lot of the themes were consistent.  I could understand where this train of thought was coming from.  The line of logic.  The  succession of situations that hit relatable notes.  I related time and time again.  Mind you, this work is from as far back as the 1930s.  It is 2015 and I can relate to the themes.  I get the jokes and I don’t see them coming a mile away.  I can not say that where the humor comes from is universal.  But, I definitely get it.  I get the humor.  I’ll say it again, it is not cheap.  Dark maybe, but not cheap.  And truthful to me.  Courageous, this work must have required courage for the time.  Today few  feelings need be held in and not expressed.  But, for those times.  I guess these feelings and instincts must have been seldom made light of in such a commercial and public forum.  Thank goodness this guy had the courage to express that side of himself.

  To say that the work of Charles Adams work is influential would definitely be a great understatement.  Before, I read this book I had never read his strips.  But, I am quite familiar with many properties which are based on his creations.  And so are you.  As I read it I just kept wanting more.  Right now I’d like to read more.  This is what all of the other stuff came from.  This is the real deal…

  Now, it is a shame that the reproductions of the artwork are poor.  I’m not sure why this is.  I hate to speculate, but I think that the artwork could have been reproduced better than this.  It definitely deserves it.  Possibly this was not possible.  But, it is definitely is a shame.  I am disappointed that I can not see the artwork a little more closely.  I’d like to see it up closer.  It is possible that when the strips were originally published they looked like this and the publishers are trying to recreate that experience.  But, any way you slice the cheese.  It smells funny to me.  I think they could have done a better job reproducing the artwork.  And that is the only bad thing that I have to say about this book.  The contents are grade A.  Search out some Charles Adams in the future.  I know I will.

Old School Nerdom…


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