Sunday, November 6, 2011
TONY’S BACK PAGES: SEYMOUR, MY SON
From Comics Buyer’s Guide #1684:
How have I managed to go 48 years without discovering the wonder of
Seymour, My Son [Archie Comics; September 1963]? Until I saw the
one-shot comic book offered on eBay, I’d never heard of it. When
I did some quick Grand Comics Database research on it, I discovered
it was written by Frank Doyle, my all-time favorite Archie writer
and penciled by Dan DeCarlo, my all-time favorite Archie artist. I
had to have it.
Seymour is your typical comics teenager, always getting into some
sort of trouble through enthusiasm and klutziness. However, this
comic book is as much about Seymour’s dad as it is about the title
star. Indeed, the father is the narrator of this book-length yarn
and he narrates it in verse:
Exactly what is a teenage boy? A small man? A large child? A tame
pet gone wild? Gentle reader, don’t go ‘way, ‘till this proud
poppa’s has his say.
Doyle is the comics equivalent of Neil Simon. He was an absolute
master of timing whose “punch panels” at the end of a story always
give me a chuckle and sometimes a out-loud laugh. This comic has
them at the end of every page and also the middle of some pages.
It’s classic Doyle all the way.
DeCarlo’s lively drawings are the perfect visuals to Doyle’s wit.
Inking is by the great Rudy Lapick.
Another cool fact about this comic was that it was also published
by Belmont Books as a paperback with the title My Son the Teenager:
A cartoon satire by a celebrated father who prefers anonymity. Add
another item to my “Holy Grail” list.
More Seymour, a second one-shot with a more traditional format and
not narrated by Seymour’s father, has a publication date of October
1963. But it’s still a book-length story by Doyle and DeCarlo and
that means it must be mine...someday.
A final fun fact about Seymour, My Son. It was one of two new comic
books launched by Doyle and DeCarlo in 1963. The other was called
She’s Josie. Wonder if that one amounted to anything?
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2011 Tony Isabella