Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tales From The Quarter Bin--Bunny

Many moons ago I shared the...stunning...attempt by Charlton Comics to hop on the hip and trendy teen pop culture bandwagon of the 1960s, Go-Go.

Well, it wasn't only Charlton, folks. The need by middle-aged white collar men to try and somehow appropriate the zeitgeist of the wacky 60s for sales purposes was so pervasive, so irresistible that even Harvey Comics got in on the trend.

Harvey?? Makers of eternally timeless Casper and Hot Stuff and Richie Rich?

Oh, yes. Because every other month (and then quarterly, and then whenever they felt like it, apparently) from 1966 to 1972(?). Harvey gave us the comic adventures of...



Oh, Bunny!!

I''m going to show you the whole cover now...beware, this might feel like an acid flashback:

Click on it to understand what life was like for your parents in 1971...

FACT: This is far from the wildest cover of the series. Presented for your consideration:

Click on all to embiggen...if you dare.

Bunny was pretty harmless stuff...essential a melding of Archie and romance comics as filtered through an amazing 1960s Laugh-In lens. Bunny had her adventures with her boyfriend, Marc; was harassed by her friend (but secret enemy!) Esme; had a multi-page letter column in most issues, which was mostly advice to lovelorn teenage girls; pages of fan-designed dresses for the characters; odd reader contests like the one we covered Monday; and as much "authentic" 1960s slang as could be crammed into one comic.

Oh, and Fruitman. Let us never mention Fruitman again.

Oh, and they worked really, really hard to turn Bunny into an honest-to-gosh teen fad, marketing "pop art" posters:

And the "Bunny Ball In Club":

Look, Ball was Bunny's last name, so take those dirty-minded sniggers...oh, never mind, it is hilarious...

As I said, mostly harmless. And, distinct from Charlton's often mean and condescending Go-Go, Bunny appeared to have an actual affection for 60s teen culture, especially the music, which makes a fairly pleasant, nostalgic read.

Did I say music? That's tomorrow's topic...

Slay Monstrobot is sad to report that Bunny apparently never crossed over with Casper or Richie Rich or Wendy or Little Audrey or Hot Stuff or Sad Sack or Little Dot or Little Lotta or...


Mark Engblom said...

Those are actually some great-looking covers. Yeah, the subject matter obviously isn't my thing, but as far as catching the eye of the consumer, they really shine.

Re: The "surf-painting" cover: At first I thought the dude body painted the red bikini onto Bunny...making the cover incredibly hot for a second or two before I realized that wasn't the case. However, knowing what I know about some of those lecherous ol' cartoonists from Days of Yore, I'm fairly certain that was the intended "wink-wink, nudge-nudge" gag for less-innocent eyes to pick up on.

So you know what that says about me....

notintheface said...

Those covers look positively Steranko-esque.

Weirdly enough, Jim Steranko had actually worked at Harvey shortly before this came out.

Sina said...

Bunny Ball...almost certainly named after Lucille Ball, I've no doubt :D