Wally Wood was arguably one of the greatest cartoonists of the 20th century. His work for MAD and the E.C. Science Fiction titles as well as for other comics titles like Daredevil are examples of the mastery of graphic storytelling, drawing and inking. Wood also had a reputation as a guy who didn’t mind doing some risk?¬© work… in fact a lot of his sketches and personal work were sexually graphic. He was a master of drawing the sexy female… with or without clothes.
One of the more famous “blue” pieces he did was called the Disneyland Memorial Orgy, (fair warning if you click on this link… this ain’t Walt’s idea of a Disney illustration) a two-page image full of Disney characters engaging in various sex and drug acts first published in 1967 in the counter-culture magazine The Realist. The illustration was a satire of Disney’s growing copyright and money-making machine, and it became so popular that The Realist publisher Paul Krassner printed it as a poster. Interestingly Disney did not sue, and insiders have said it was because they did not want to bring further attention to it fighting what would probably have been a losing battle in court. However Disney did sue a third party years later when that party pirated the image and tried to sell it as a black light poster (groovy!). The “Disneyland Memorial Orgy” poster by Wallace Wood is one of the most famous / infamous counter-culture illustrations ever.
The reason I’m bringing this all up? The New York Museum of Sex is putting up an exhibit of cartoon and comic illustration called “Comic Stripped” which will examine the history and nature of sex in comics form from “Tijuiana Bibles” to the underground comics work of artists like R. Crumb to the cartoons of Playboy and similar publications. Wood’s “Disneyland Memorial Orgy” is one of the centerpieces of this exhibit… although I can’t seem to find confirmation that it will be the original artwork in the show and not just one of the late 60’s prints. Every time I try pop up windows keep appearing trying to get me to click on links for live chat room sex or Viagra.
In showcasing the coquettish to the most sexually explicit “dirty drawings,” Comics Stripped will examine the history and cultural significance of the images, icons and illustrators that have entertained, educated (as well as equally misinformed) on the basics of sex and created a realm of sexual fantasy unlimited by the constraints of reality for generations.- The Museum of Sex, New York
I’d go to the show just to see the Wood piece but I don’t live in New York City and The Lovely Anna would kill me anyway. The show opens January 13th, 2011.
Thanks to the Comic’s Alliance for the heads up.
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