Comics in the 1950s – An Exhibition

Little Hiawatha
Little Hiawatha

Hey all. What’s crappinin? Anyway, I just wanted to mention that there’s some cool stuff that will be happening around, up to, and through the MSU Comics Forum. And by cool stuff I mean that Randy Scott of the MSU Special Collections Library is preparing an exhibit that highlights American comics in the 1950s.

Here’s the prospectus for the exhibit:
The 1950s in American comic books is not an easy period to characterize. It is true that the golden age of superheroes had ended, and the silver age of superheroes had not yet begun, but a lack of superheroes doesn’t tell the story. The Korean War, the cold war, the atomic age and fear of juvenile delinquency were potentially defining in retrospect, but these themes are not pervasive.  This exhibit will show one comic book cover for each month of the decade, and introduce the viewer to an era that is both complicated and almost unknown.  This kind of view has probably never been available until now.  The exhibit will invite generalizations about the titles shown, but will not provide them.  The suggestion is that interesting generalizations are not possible.


Very cool all by itself, but it’s doubly nice because I, along with several other incredible volunteers, get to help him prepare it. What does that mean? Well Randy is going to show a comic for every month of the 50s, so 12 months x 10 years = 120 amazing works of art put on display! How am I helping? Well I’m reading these comics, along with the other volunteers and Randy himself, and we’re writing little 50-100 word summaries of the books. The summaries provide a cool look at the characters, genres, and story lines that were popular way back when and give you a little glimpse into the past.

Honestly, it’s an absolute treat looking at these old books. I’ve read some Crime Does Not Pay, super old Journey into Mystery stuff, Rawhide Kid, Tarzan, Lone Ranger, Batman, the ever popular Dell work, and a Bob Hope comic! It’s wild to think that some of these yellowing floppies are 60 years old. I’m gettin my hands on history!

Anyway, if you’re into awesome old comics, you need to head over to the MSU Comics Forum and check out the 1950s Comic Exhibition. Really. Oh and the racism in Little Hiawatha? Incredible.


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