Monday, May 10, 2010

We all need HELP!

A 10¢ flea market buy several years ago got me a coverless copy of HELP! magazine. But not just any issue, this is the February 1962 issue containing Will Eisner's Spirit and the infamous "Goodman Goes Playboy" story, which got Kurtzman, Elder and publisher Jim Warren sued by Archie Comics.

The HELP! front cover I found on the Internet.

Copyright © 1962 Warren Publications


  1. I've seen bits and pieces of Goodman Goes Playboy published here and there, but this is first time I've seen the whole story. It hilariously captures an aspect of late '50s-early '6os culture that they never told you about on Happy Days. Kurtzman and Elder's finest hour.

  2. It's a rotten shame they paid for their brilliance by being sued. After all, they had done an even more savage satire, "Starchie," in MAD #12. But then, maybe Archie Comics was still smarting over that dig and decided to take it out on them when they tried it again.

    If you really look past the obvious caricatures, this is actually a satire not on a wholesome teenage comic book character, but the hedonistic lifestyle of Hugh Hefner, and apparently he didn't mind.

    In other words, those offended needed to lighten up.

  3. I would like to point out that the "Goodman Goes Playboy" story is actually in the public domain now, as Archie got the copyrights in the lawsuit but didn't renew them later. This was all mentioned on The Comic Journal and Boing Boing websites a while ago.

    Hopefully, someone will do a Beaver Goodman book with this story included, as the old Kitchen Sink Press book was missing it.


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