Friday, January 10, 2020

History, Hilarity, and Hembeck

If you've ever hoped to see a meshing of a Marvel story with wall-to-wall puns, you could dig through your old copies of Not Brand Echh--or you might instead treat yourself to Fred "Knees" Hembeck's 1982 effort, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of Fantastic Four by taking the form of a gathering usually reserved for slightly tipsy celebrities who honor one of their own with drinks and mock insults.

In other words, your six bits have just bought you a V.I.P. ticket to the

Its 36 pages are not only packed with characters, but also the work of roughly thirty-five artists. Hembeck explains his story thus:

And if you still find the whole concept slightly unbelievable even with Hembeck's explanation, the fact that the FF don't realize what they're walking into smooths things over and allows you to settle back with the rest of the guests. And, hoo boy, are there ever going to be guests at this shindig.

While I enjoy a good pun along with the next guy, I was mainly having fun trying to identify whose work was on which page. There are a number of under-the-radar artists who made contributions to this issue, and so I honestly had my share of misses; but frankly I was delighted to see what some of the heavy hitters would do with this sort of tongue-in-cheek material, though you'll find Hembeck adapts to all of it beautifully while providing a good deal of the FF's history in the process.

And last but not least, the mysterious "party pooper":


Anonymous said...

Shooter has a lot to answer for.


Kid said...

I've still got the actual ish I purchased way back when. Re-read it a number of years ago and found it a bit of a hard slog. The problem is that it really isn't that funny. Still wouldn't part with it though.

Comicsfan said...

I think Hembeck's stuff is better suited to a comic strip or a back-page segment than a full issue showing up on the spinner rack, Kid. I admit to getting a chuckle out of this concept, though. :)