Friday, April 30, 2021

The FIRST Series dedicated to Psychiatry...

Long before the HBO series In Treatment...

...EC Comics' Psychoanalysis (1955) covered the ongoing serialized sessions of several subjects of a single psychiatrist (who's never named)!
The comic reads like a TV series of the period, heavy on dialogue, with straightforward, non-sensationalistic graphics.
The series' scripter was Daniel Keyes, who would later write the award-winning novel Flowers for Algernon, about a mentally-disabled man, Charlie, who undergoes experimental surgery and briefly becomes a genius before the effects wear off!
It's interesting to note that Keyes' official bio makes no mention of any of his pulp or comic book work!

Artist Jack Kamen was best-known for his low-key romance comics work, though he did illustrate several horror and sci-fi tales for EC in their pre-Comics Code days.
The series ran only four issues, with the storylines of the three subjects resolved by the final issue. Several chapters about a fourth subject were never published to enable the already-ongoing plotlines to be resolved.
Sadly, the book (and the entire line of adult-oriented, sophisticated "New Direction" comics including Aces High, Extra!, Impact, Piracy, and M.D.) were gone by 1956.
EC's sole surviving title was MAD Magazine, which ended its' original material run in 2018, though it continues to this day as a reprint publication.
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Friday, April 23, 2021

Sensation Comics DR PAT "Carnival of Doom!"

Have no fear...Dr Pat is here!
And this never-reprinted tale from DC's Sensation Comics #103 (1951) shows why...and it ain't just her medical acumen!
Considering the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel features multiple series about freelance female sleuths whose main gigs are everything from bookstore owners to matchmakers to talk show hosts to Post Office workers, why don't they have a woman doctor who solves crimes in her spare time?
I'd suggest adapting Dr Pat into a series, either as a 1950s period piece or a contemporary-set show featuring the latest in medical technology at her disposal!

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The First Newsstand Comic Dedicated to the Medical Profession!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

CoronaVirus Comics DR KILDARE "Skin Deep" Conclusion

When Last We Saw Our Stalwart, Dedicated, Young Resident...

...he had met Dr Yang Li, a talented British surgeon of Chinese descent who had come to America to teach new techniques to minimize diseases related to nutritional deficiency!
Volunteering to aid the English surgeon find an apartment for himself and his en-route family, the suo find the perfect place, close to the hospital.
But the owner, Bates, due to his hatred of Chinese in general, and Chinese doctors in particular, refuses to rent the "flat" (as the British call apartments).
But a fickle Fate is about to weave a web of irony...
Dr Kildare ran five years, ending in 1966.
In 1972, a prequel series without any of the cast members of the movie, radio or earlier TV series,  Young Dr Kildare, was syndicated to local stations.
Cancelled after a single season, it isn't available in any media.
Note: the 1960s tv series (by season, or a complete set), b-movie series, and episodes of the radio show are available in a variety of formats.
You can find them though the link to Amazon below...
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Friday, April 9, 2021

CoronaVirus Comics DR KILDARE "Skin Deep" Part 2

We Have Already Seen...
Dr Yang Lin, a British citizen of Chinese descent, has come to America to teach about his speciality, dietary deficiency, at Los Angeles' Blair General Hospital.
Seeking an apartment for himself and his family who will soon be arriving from England, Yang and Dr Kildare (who volunteers to help familiarize Yang with the city) check out the neighborhood around the hospital.
Seeing a "for rent" sign, they ring the doorbell, but the building's owner refuses to rent to Yang...
Fate has a strange way of taking a hand in such matters, as we shall see in the conclusion...
I suspect this was either an adaptation of an aired episode or an unused script sent by the producers as a guideline for the comic's writers...but used almost verbatim!
It's incredibly-wordy for an original comic script, with some of the dialogue balloons taking up half a panel at a time!

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Friday, April 2, 2021

CoronaVirus Comics DR KILDARE "Skin Deep" Part 1

Appropriately, a story about both a pandemic and anti-Asian prejudice... this time when CoronaVirus is experiencing another uptick and violence against those of Asian descent is hitting levels unseen in decades!
To Be Continued...
If you're under the age of 60 or so, you're probably asking...
Created in the 1930s by author Frederick Schiller Faust using his "Max Brand" pen-name  (which he  also used on his better-known Old West tales), the Dr Kildare stories inspired popular simultaneous B-movie and dramatic radio series in the 1940s starring hunky newcomer Lew Ayres as the handsome, witty, intelligent, but fallible, intern James Kildare mentored by crusty department head Leonard Gillespie, played by noted actor Lionel Barrymore!
In 1961, noting reruns of both the movie series (syndicated on local TV) and the radio show (playing on college radio stations) were doing amazingly-well with the 18-45 female audience, MGM went ahead with an updated TV version starring hunky newcomer Richard Chamberlain... the young intern learning the ropes under crusty department head Gillespie...

(See a pattern?)
The socially-relevant series tackled a number of controversial topics including sickle cell anemia, drug addiction, epilepsy, and racism! 
Stories about birth control and venereal disease were "killed" by NBC censors before they could be filmed!
The immediate success of the series inspired both a popular copycat (Ben Casey) as well as reformatting of other ongoing medical dramas to play up their existing young male doctors or create new young male doctor characters to help them compete with Kildare!
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The FIRST Series dedicated to Psychiatry...

Long before the HBO series In Treatment ... ... EC Comics' Psychoanalysis (1955) covered the ongoing serialized sessions of several s...