Another great book of Basil Wolverton art is being released by Fantagraphics. This time, its an exclusive collection of the Culture Corner””one of my father’s delightful, lesser-known features, which ran in Fawcett Publications’ Whiz Comics (home of the great Captain Marvel) from the mid-1940s through the early 1950s. This feature is also one of my father’s most innovative””all about wacky ways to solve common problems that plague all of us. The book is unique in the world of Wolverton art in that it shows pencil roughs opposite printed episodes ““ as well as many roughs that were rejected. Several of us Basil Wolverton fans have wanted to see this feature published for decades. One of the challenges was that the finished art was long lost ““ and the print quality of Whiz left a great deal to be desired. In the mid-1970s I made PMT copies of all the printed episodes, intending to retouch them into decent line art. After working on a couple of panels I realized they would virtually all have to be redrawn. A couple of decades later, it became possible to scan and retouch the artwork in photoshop ““ but such a task was still daunting. A little over a decade ago when my mother packed up my dad’s file cabinet, I discovered that he had saved most of the roughs for this feature, which are incredible pieces of cartoon art in their own right. These are now in the collection of my friend Glenn Bray, who, along with Fantagraphics’ Gary Groth, conceived of a book with both the roughs and the final printed pages ““ all in color. I wrote an introduction, Jacob Covey applied his brilliant design acumen, and here it is! A couple of years ago P.C. Hammerlink of Alter Ego magazine ran a couple of fine articles on the work my father had done with Fawcett Publications. Unless you had read these articles, or unless you were lucky enough to have some old Whiz comics, or unless you had consulted the Basil Wolverton index on my website ““ you would have no idea that Culture Corner even existed. Now you know. So get a copy today and prepare to be cultured (no matter what your political persuasion).“”Monte Wolverton
Monte Wolverton is best known as a contributor to MAD Magazine and son of Mad great Basil Wolverton. He is also the editor of The Plain Truth. magazine. He draws two editorial cartoons per week and is syndicated to newspapers around the world by Cagle Cartoons.