I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got 2 new comics plus a hard cover collection:

  • Rex Mundi Vol 2 – 14
  • Walking Dead – 53
  • The Immortal Iron Fist Vol 3 – “The Book of the Iron Fist” (HC)
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • Herbie Archives Volume 1 By Richard E. Hughes (writing as Shane O’Shea) and Ogden Whitney
  • I’ve known about the comic book “Herbie” for a couple of decades now but this is the first chance I’ve had to read almost all of this volume. Herbie first appeared in the late Fifties and had his own comic in the early Sixties. I’ve always heard it described as the quirkiest, craziest, funniest comic that no one has ever heard of. Since it wasn’t published by Marvel, DC, Disney, Archie or any other comic book company that is still around today Herbie faded into obscurity with only occasional mentions, reprints, and a couple of attempts at revivals in the Nineties.

    I’m glad to finally get a chance to read these “Herbie” issues because they are as good as their reputation. It’s hard to describe exactly how wacky and funny they are. Herbie is a kid described by his father as a “Little fat nothing” yet Herbie has all sorts of adventures and superpowers. Only Herbie goes on these adventures and uses his superpowers in a rather matter of fact manner. Oddly Herbie is kind of the straight man in the zany world around him.

    You name the superpower and Herbie has got it or can get it through one of his lollipops. He can time travel too. There is no drama in these adventures because Herbie can do anything. Though sometimes he takes the long way around. The long way always ends up being funnier. Herbie can talk to animals too.

    All sorts of pop culture and political figures from the time appear. Herbie goes on missions for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Their first ladies (along with every grown women he meets) have a crush on Herbie. He plays with the Beatles, hangs out with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, takes meetings with Nikita Khrushchev, and tangles with Mao Tse Dung. Plus he kicks the Loch Ness Monster’s ass. Description does these stories no good.

    They type of humor in “Herbie” is hard to explain. It’s full of strangeness, non sequiturs, and bizarre visuals. It’s the kind of humor where the writer and artist were trying to crack themselves up. They weren’t worrying about everyone else “getting it”. Clearly they were marching to the beat of their own drum.

    It’s a shame that Dark Horse, who published this volume, only had the original printed comics to make this volume from. I guess that because the original publisher is long out of business there were no stats, printing plates, or original art to shoot from. Though perfectly readable this volume isn’t as nicely printed as other archive collections. The source material just isn’t there.

    “Herbie” is the funniest comic I have read in a long time and anyone who is a fan of humor strips will love it. It deserves it’s reputation as a classic.