Wally Wood was a giant in the comics business, as explained at length, with an abundance of examples, in this Lambeik Comiclopedia profile, better than which I cannot begin to do.
And much of which I dare not reproduce here, though I’ll confess that, like nearly everyone I knew in Boulder, and since my mother lived 1,800 miles away, I did have the Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster on my wall. (Story there, graphic here.)
However, this being Christmas Day, we aren’t here to remember any of the number of adult things he drew for the Realist and Mad and whoever else.
Instead, we’re featuring a G-rated Christmas story, “Bucky’s Christmas Caper,” which Wood created in 1967 as the NEA’s Christmas serial for that year, to run in papers around the country, one episode a day until Christmas.
I read somewhere (but cannot find now) something that indicated he was hoping to expand Bucky into a strip, but it apparently never happened.
It is, however, a fun kids’ story with some very nice artwork.
And so here it is:
And, in honor of kids and of Bucky’s astronaut personna, we offer this in lieu of a Christmas carol:
“I find myself calling friends, turning The Langley Schools Music Project up really loud,
holding the phone out and going, ‘Can you hear that?’ I put it on at odd times during the
day, tuning it in and out, sometimes wincing as the singers hit a strange note, then shaking
my head in puzzled wonder when the music suddenly, and against all odds, transcends
the kitsch limitations that seem designed to keep it earthbound and soars off into
the realm of true art. It flies — crooked as a butterfly’s flight, but it still flies. I wish
every school taught music like this. I wish every piece of music recorded in a
school gymnasium were this haunting . . . and then I suspect that, if I
listened to them right, maybe they would be.” — Neil Gaiman
4 thoughts on “CSotD Christmas Special: Hooray for Wally Wood!”
“NEA promised [Woody] could continue to do these characters in a regular Bucky Ruckus comic strip — on one condition. If the Christmas strip had a favorable reaction and was picked up by hundreds of newspapers, then it would be syndicated as a permanent feature. However, to gain that many papers in only three weeks was NEA’s Catch 22. They knew and Wood knew that such a feat was impossible.” – Bhob Stewart
Merry Christmas, Mike. Thanks for your efforts throughout the year(s).
Lovely to see this exposed to more audiences. He did gorgeous work, and left far too soon.
Merry Christmas, Mike! Every day I appreciate your dedication to this blog.
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