One of the best uses of the web, IMHO, is to post older comics that otherwise would never see the light of day. Today, the always informativeÂ JournalistaÂ links to this post on Big Boy, the iconic cartoon restaurateur. The post includes photos of a Bob’s Big Boy (it was Azar’s where I grew up), menus, some truly horrible black-and-white photos of salads, and an entire Big Boy comic. Because that was the best thing about Big Boyâ€”the food was pretty good, but you got a comic with it. Of course, the comic was free, only about 16 pages long, and cheaply produced, so most people threw them out; I don’t have any of my copies, which is why I was so tickled to see one on the web.Â
The allure of most of these comics is not so much nostalgia as the surreal gloss that the years have given them. That’s certainly the case with two classic Christian comics, Hello I’m Johnny Cash and The Gospel Blimp, which are archived as PDFs on WFMU’s Beware of the Blog site. The PDFs are simple scans, so you can see the wrinkles and the yellowed paper, but that just adds to their charm. The Gospel Blimp is one of a series of Christian Archie comics drawn by Archie artist Al Hartley in the standard house style during the 1970s. It’s a little odd seeing Riverdale’s wacky teens in a Christian comic, but actually, message behind The Gospel Blimp, that the person who makes the biggest noise isn’t necessarily the best Christian, is even more relevant today than back then.
Finally,Â Comics With ProbemsÂ archives those preachy old comics you used to get in health class. Featuring a varied cast that includes George Wallace, Dennis the Menace, and Rex Morgan, M.D., these comics tout the horror of sex, drugs, and alcohol, as well as computers and household poisons, often with excessive melodrama. Enjoy in moderation!Â