In honor of the upcoming Earth Day and Earth Hour (I don't want to catch any of you reading this site during Earth Hour- I'll be checking!!) we present one of the most innovative and pioneering uses of the recycling ethos to ever present itself to an energy-starved world. That is to say, re-using old comic book scripts. Back in the day editors knew their audience was constantly churning through generations of 7-year olds who would read comics for a few years and then move on to SEVENTEEN, ROLLING STONE, and subsequently PLAYBOY. So they felt free to cycle through re-used plots, confident that their heinous acts of perfidy would never be uncovered, least of all by something called a "web-site."
Here, two separate Archie strips from both 1959 and 1966 work the same joke about how teens make out in the dark. The 1966 strip actually includes Archie being propelled footwise from the Lodge residence before he can even get to second base. But was the Archie line of wholesome family entertainment the only comic book company to shamelessly rip itself off? I hope not, otherwise this installment of STUPID COMICS will be mighty short.
It's 1973 and Mr. Rich is sad because his planned housing development city is a failure! Hmm, where have I seen this story before?
I saw it in an issue of Richie Rich comics from a decade previous, that's where; coincidentally one with better artwork.
In this side-by-side comparison we can see how the trash is collected and the sound is absorbed in both iterations of this "perfect city" tale.
Richie Rich, however, has a plan to hit the man right where it counts - in the giant plastic dome. See how the 1962 Richie works the phones and makes things happen, while the 1973 Richie just calls Cadbury and lets HIM worry about everything. Whadda we payin' you for anyways?
Eerily presaging a recent Stephen King novel, the isolation of the Perfect City beneath its dome leads to crazy events, like mayors dressing in top hat and tails. Public servants didn't dress like this, even in 1962.
Our handy flow-chart demonstrates the societal changes ten years can bring - the Kennedy-era Richie is filled with hope for the future and a sense of the innate goodness of mankind, while the 1973 Richie, reeling from Watergate, Vietnam, and a nearly unstoppable flood of Ringo Starr LPs, wraps it up with a clumsy gag.
And the twin terrors of Richie Rich and Archie weren't alone in their zombie plots and undead dialog! Why, even the Shakespeare of the comic book - Stan Lee himself - wasn't above dusting off an old script now and then.
It's 1962 and Marvel Comics publishes a comic book about two hot models who sleep together?! WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE? Oh wait it's just Millie The Model and she's late for work.
It's 1969 and Marvel Comics is STILL publishing Millie The Model - still written by Stan The Man and still drawn by Stan "The Hammer" Goldberg - and Millie is still late for work! I don't think she sleeps with her roommate any more, though. That was just one of those phases women go through.
Shower, dress, put the coffee on, day in day out. Daisy has never seen anyone shower so fast, which begs the question, why is Daisy watching people take showers?
Passersby remark on the lovely models and Millie realizes she didn't have to get up early after all, and luckily the fifteen or twenty minutes in which it was fashionable for women to wear gigantic fur hats was over mercifully fast.
We can see here how the "swingin' bachelor on the town in New York City" stereotype changes - the '62 version is some wavy-haired guy with a pencil moustache, while in 1969 he becomes a mod fellow with plaid pants. The 1969 version of Chili is a horrifying nightmare, however; I don't care if she blows her mind or anything else.
And trapped in a Twilight Zone style endless loop of horror, Visiting Douchebag claims Millie for his own while dismissing Clicker with varying degrees of snobbery and/or outright insult.
The climax! Millie has pretty much ruined her life by attempting to do a good deed. Of course in the 1969 version it all turns out to be a dream, which shows how you can take lazy scriptwriting to a whole new level of lazy. Nowadays obsessive losers such as ourselves are monitoring comics for any sign of repetitive repetitiveness, so the comic book companies can't get away with blatantly re-using their own scripts any more, and are forced to copy artwork from manga and Deviant Art. This is progress? Oh well, at least we're saving the Earth. That's gotta count for something.
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