Thursday, April 12, 2007

Scenes from a Dungeon

Another spectacular tableau of violence. I was probably frustrated by the way I just couldn't get the hanged man to work out, but I expect that I was pretty pleased with the spiderweb and the protruding ribs on the prisoner in chains. To contextualize this all for modern viewers, who might be aghast that an eight-year old would be drawing this stuff, both PLOP! and CRACKED regularly featured torture-chamber gag cartoons (as well as GHOSTLY GHASTLY CARTOONS, which seems to have been issued to every child in America got through the Xerox Book Club in that decade). And, even though I never liked it that much, THE WIZARD OF ID spent a fair amount of its time in the dungeon. Also, some very common toys of the era were a set of jiggly rubber prisoners ("Nutty Dungeon" figures, from the Brabo company) in a goofy cartoony style. Torture was just in the air in those days. Of course, it's also a popular theme now in the Gitmo era, but I suspect the protagonists in today's kid drawings aren't smiling like these guys.

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