Monday, April 7, 2008

Ou Est Le Scientist Heroique?

I read a bunch of old EC Weird Science comics from the early 50s the other day. They're fantastic. Especially the funnier stories by Harvey Kurtzman. They're pre-MAD and even funnier than his MAD stuff in my opinion.

But the bigger point I want to make is that many of the non-Kurtzman stories all have the stereotypically handsome, ultramasculine scientist. I don't know who he's modeled after but Al Feldstein and Jack Kamen draw him practically the same way. You don't really see this guy in today's pop culture. He used to be everywhere! The cover of every paperback sci-fi novel I checked out of the library as a kid had this guy battling robots or piloting a rocket ship. Science isn't as glamorous without him. He was at the helm of scientific progress. He was the man a generation of male scientists wanted to be. We need his confident gaze back. We put men on the moon during his reign dammit! We need him back!

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