Remember back when industries felt so insecure that they had to publish comic books just to indoctrinate a generation of children into proper reverence for their product? What's the matter with you, industry? Snap out of it! Grow a pair!
But sadly even the mighty steel industry was worried that schoolchildren might not appreciate steel properly. And so, this comic book, designed for kids who won't make any meaningful purchasing decisions concerning metals or structural building materials for years, decades maybe, but when they do, the Steel Industry wants a little seed of Steel Knowledge to be ready to sprout into full wonder.
So let's take that journey of discovery, shall we? I bet we learn all about steel! And modern dance, from the looks of things!
Aw man, they're at the Museum Of Science And Industry in Chicago, and they aren't going down into the coal mine or onto the captured Nazi submarine, they're going to learn about steel. Bummer. No wonder Jimmy is yawning!
I see you find this scale model steel mill fasinating, Suzy, unlike last week, when you laughed and called my model train set "dorky" and "strictly for nerds". Who's the nerd now, Suzy?
Bushed, Jimmy catches some Zs as the giant hand of artist Neal Adams looms alarmingly towards his cartoid artery. Seriously, isn't this like the best looking promotional comic ever?
Wow, it's Mark Steel, the smiling muscleman who's been stalking schoolchildren and listening to their conversations! I'm not disturbed by that at all!
Shrinking down to the size of ants, Jimmy and Mark fly into the scale model steel mill which is now an actual working foundry with giant ladles full of molten metal, sparks everywhere, and disgruntled tiny steelworkers walking around wondering when US Steel will close their whole plant.
You see Jimmy there are thousands of different kinds of steel and thousands of different uses for each one of those thousands of kinds of steel and I'm going to tell you all about each one and how their vital for our American way of life until you wish you'd never been kidnapped by a motor-mouthed steel industry super being. Okay?
You call it the "Steelmobile". Of course. Why would I think otherwise.
Did you know that guitar strings are made of steel and bridge cables are made of steel and Alexander Calder creates wire sculptures out of steel and steel steel steel? UH OH danger ahead - this calls for airbags and crumple zones - er, I mean, steel!
As a mighty Steel Industry Super Being, I am forbidden to interfere in the affairs of mortals. Let's observe the unfolding tragedy and judge it according to its involvement with that most holy of metals, Steel.
The lucky terrible driver was saved by the steel guard rail! Unfortunately he slammed his head against the steel dashboard of the car and then was impaled on the steel steering column. But remember, steel means safety! Sometimes!
Farm yields are up 74 percent thanks to amazing new chemical fertilizers and gasoline-driven farm equipment. And there's some steel involved in there somewhere as well, rest assured!
Whether it's painful aching feet caused by wearing heavy steel safety shoes, or painful aching feet caused by slamming those heavy shoes into a heavy steel vault door, steel is there keeping you safe and protected!
Wow, it's an all-steel house! So futuristic and amazing! Say, why don't WE live in all-steel houses here in the future? Well, for one thing, metals conduct temperature extremely well, so unless you want the inside of your house to be the same temperature as the OUTSIDE of your house, steel might not be the right fit for your suburban home. Also: trees are everywhere and they grow pretty much by themselves. Iron, on the other hand, has to be dug out of the ground, piled onto huge freighters, shipped to the mill, combined with various other resources, heated to 2300 Fahrenheit, molded into shape, hauled to the building site, assembled with steel working materials, and then when your wife wants a sun room you gotta take out the blowtorch and cut a hole in a steel wall. Ain't nobody got time for that!
Also about those stainless steel refrigerators. We have those here in the future and let me tell you those things show fingerprints like crazy!
"You're not made of steel Jimmy. But I wish you were. How I wish I had a little steel Jimmy of my very own. He would never leave me like all the other Jimmys did. Like you will, Jimmy."
You can see how the auto industry, supported by the steel industry, is cramming automobiles into every square inch of America that isn't filled with the steel framed buildings of the construction industry. We're going to turn this continent into one gigantic City Of The Future with steel cars and steel buildings crammed cheek to jowl in an industrial death-culture America that will savagely reduce humanity itself to cringing soft meat-puppets skittering from auto to skycraper and back again, unable to escape the cold steel embrace of the civilization they thought they wanted. But they were wrong, Jimmy. So wrong!
Just throw that empty can into the trash Jimmy. It's garbage now! Hey man, my name isn't "Mark Aluminum", it's "Mark STEEL".
Fun historical fact: this comic is actually super progressive for its time in reminding people to throw their trash into trash cans as opposed to just tossing it onto the ground. For extra credit, find an older person and they'll tell you how it took a goddamn DECADE of crying-Indian TV public service announcements to get America to use a goddamn trash can every once in a while. Seriously.
Here's a helpful tip to keep your comic book exciting - when forced to use incredibly boring dialogue like, say, "let's follow the truck and see how those logs are turned into paper", try to jazz things up visually by including a rocket-propelled flying car blasting off.
What's the matter Mark Steel, you didn't mention the STEEL used in the staples of this comic book! You're slipping!
Well, let's see these amazing wonders of the future that Jimmy will experience in his lifetime.... vacuum tube trains? Nope. Automatic highways? No. Undersea farms? Sorry. Supersonic passenger jets... okay, we did have those for a little while. Turns out nobody needs to get to Europe THAT quickly.
We'll meet again soon Jimmy. Sooner than you think. When you least expect it. There is nowhere you can run, no place you can hide.
And even though Jimmy's hallucinatory fever dream of American Steel Man girdling the continent with his metallic thews earns him the contempt of his classmates, Miss Moore finds his report excellent!
Will YOU show proper reverence for steel in your daily life? Or do you want to risk a visit from that hard-hatted paragon of Pittsburgh - Mark Steel? I didn't think so.
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