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06 January 2012 @ 01:21 pm
Huh, huh! Dig, dig, dig dig!  
Essential reading from MAD# 2, way back in January 1953. This story knocked me off the couch when I first read it as a kid. It is so demented, so hypnotic in its repetition as Melvin Mole keeps escaping and getting recaptured. The Harvey Kurtzman script and Will Elder art rewards close study. Why is there a bucket of water on top of the door to the bank vault? Why does even the mouse hole in the jail cell have bars across it? What is with the two headed turtleneck and three legged pants on the clothesline? Just what was WITH Will Elder?

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abqreviewsabqreviews on January 6th, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
I like to think that he dug his way out again by rocking the electric chair like a jackhammer, as you see Melvin Mole making cameos in later Mad stories during the era when it was still a comic book.
dochermesdochermes on January 7th, 2012 09:09 am (UTC)
Hmm. Well, it`s not exactly a realistic crime drama with a lot of plausibility. The end of the story has Mole naked and exhausted, otherwise I`m sure he would pull two 45s out of nowhere and blast away while laughing how he wasn`t gonna got back to prison.

I would be okay with a sequel by Kurtzman and Davis showing the warden bursting in as Mole is strapped in the chair by a smug John Law. `Stop! We`ve just heard from the Governor, Melvin Mole has gotten a stay of execution for some reason or other,` and go on from there. But other than that, any cameos by Mole could be taken as someone else who has the misfortune of looking that way and a bad tunnnel habit.
John TrumbullJohn Trumbull on January 6th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid, I subscribed to the Batman comic book from DC Comics. The very first issue I got was Batman #340, a tribute to this story by Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, called "A Man Called Mole!"
dochermesdochermes on January 7th, 2012 09:19 am (UTC)
Both stories of course ultimately derive from the 1941 Dick Tracy villain the Mole. This guy was a pyscho who had a racket of offering gangsters a safe hideout. He took them to an underground den where they supposedly would be safe from the cops, only he killed them and kept all their money and belongings.
John TrumbullJohn Trumbull on January 7th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I didn't know that. The Batman issue had the premise of the Mole killing all the folks on the parole board who denied him an early release from prison. The Mole's victims were named after Kurtzman, Elder and Gaines.