Intellectual Curiosities and Provocations

Book! Movie!

By Levi Asher on Monday, January 5, 2009 07:14 pm

I've been reading about various literary film adaptations lately -- Revolutionary Road, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Spirit, even a possible new Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann. This onslaught caused me to flash back to a vintage Mad Magazine comic (originally published before I was born, but available in countless reprints such as these). Here are the great Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis riffing on what happens when a book becomes a movie. First, we see the opening segment from their hypothetical novel:

And here's how the corresponding movie made from the novel starts:

Dash blast the gosh darned blankety heck! It's well known that the Kurtzman-era Mad comics of the 50s were among the high points of 20th Century civilization. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get much better than Book! Movie! by Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis from Mad #13, July 1954.

4 Responses to "Book! Movie!"

When I was a kid, I had the six foot tall Frankenstein poster drawn by Jack Davis. Man, I bet it's a collector's item now and I don't even know what happened to it. Recklessness!

Wow, I appreciate you posting this! This same strip made a huge impression on me as a kid about the hypocrisy and timidity that lurks at the heart of American culture. I'm going to link it to a film review of "The Furies" that I'm writing on my own blog - hope that's OK with you! Think I'll have me a look around the rest of your blog while I"m at it. :)

by SDJ on

Y'left out the best part....when the motley temptress in the book - after witnessing his soliloquy about the throbbing in his head telling him that he wants, he WANTS - responds meekly: "A aspirin?" And the sleek blonde mankiller she turns into in the movie version responds to the same rant by purring: "A Anacin?" (Making "Book! Movie!" one of the earliest shots taken at product placement, though I'm sure Harvey was more entranced by the phonetic silliness of what, today, would have become "a Advil?")

Jack and Harvey at their best.

by brian on

Could someone post the whole Bokk!Movie! comic, if it doesn'tr violate copyright?

Add new comment