Thursday, April 14, 2016

Daily(ish) Randomness #7 - Nuclear Jitters

So I'm back after going on vacation and being sick for a few days (and also being lazy).  Hopefully I can get back in the habit of posting somewhat regularly.

Today we're going back in time...

June 1962.  The previous year, the Soviet Union had tested the Tsar Bomba, a 50 megaton hydrogen bomb that was, and still is, the largest bomb ever detonated.  President Kennedy had been emphasizing a missile gap between the States and the Soviet Union, with the USSR winning (that wasn't actually the case, but, you know, politics).  With the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis just around the corner, tensions were quite high.

Joe Orlando was a well-respected comic artist, writer, and editor.  He worked with Wally Wood at EC, was a cartoonist for Mad (and later associate publisher), and editor (among various other things) at DC.  He also designed the famous box art for Sea Monkeys.  For the June 1962 issue of Mad, Orlando had drawn a comic that perfectly captured the fear felt by most Americans.

Kids these days will never know what it was like living with the threat of nuclear annihilation.  Admittedly, neither will I.  Things had calmed down considerably by the 1980s, except for a brief period after Reagan's election, but I was too young at that point to remember anything about it.

But anyway, Joe Orlando was incredibly talented in many different ways.  He captured the zeitgeist of the time and the fear felt by the population.  And he didn't even use dialog!