Friday, September 24, 2010
Arrgh! #5: The Some-THING" (Parody of "The Thing from Another World")
Things that make you go ARRGH! Here's a really nifty story from 1975, which I thought was absolutely hilarious when I read it as a kid, called "The Some-Thing." Featuring an alien monstrosity spouting lines like, "Arghhh! Meaning-what's cookin'?," how could it fail to entertain a twelve-year-old? This is an obvious parody of John W. Campbell's "Who Goes There?", which has been adapted twice as a motion picture: rather loosely in 1951 as The Thing from Another World (with James Arness as the Thing for you trivia buffs) and more closely in 1982 by director John Carpenter as "The Thing," which more famously starred Kurt Russell. This parody was produced by notorious team of Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.
A leading exponent of the DC house style of the sixties (as exemplified by Mike Sekowsky, etc.), Ross Andru pencilled Wonder Woman from 1958 to 1967 and Metal Men from 1962 to 968. In the seventies he worked for Marvel on such heroes as Spider-Man. His partner at DC was Mike Esposito, who inked all of his work for that publisher.
Andru had studied at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in Manhattan, which was co-founded by Burne Hogarth. His first professional cartooning job was penciling, without credit, Hogarth's Sunday Tarzan page. He teamed up with Mike Esposito in the early fifties to turn out Mr. Universe, a nicely done adventure comic book about a world-traveling wrestler. It lasted only five issues. The two also produced an unsuccessful newspaper soap-opera strip titled Martha Hart. By the late fifties they were employed by DC. Andru and Esposito became the first artists to draw Wonder Woman after co-creator H. G. Peter was put out to pasture in 1958. In addition to Wonder Woman and Metal Men, the team also drew Sea Devils, Rip Hunter, and Suicide Squad.
Andru, without Esposito, moved over to Marvel in 1972. While his main assignment was penciling Spider-Man, he also turned out pages for Dr. Strange, The Fantastic Four, and X-Men. Comics historian Michael Vance has said of Andru that "[his] pencils were clean, bold and technically beyond criticism." Will Jacobs and Gerard Jones, in Comic Book Heroes, said "Andru generally produced forceful and dramatic work."
Andru returned to DC in the eighties. Early in the next decade, shortly before his death, he teamed again with Esposito on a Zen Intergalactic Ninja mini-series published by Archie Comics.
I know that I still have some catching up to do with my blogs, but until then I hope you get as much enjoyment from this short story as I did!
Script: Mike Esposito
Pencils: Mike Esposito
Inks: Ross Andru