Jul 20, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 146: Yuppies From Hell, 1989 (Two Weeks From The Dollar Bin - Day 10)


Yeah, I don't know either.

Though, actually, this particular oddity falls into the same time frame as DC's experiment with Piranha Press, so there's no reason that Marvel shouldn't have engaged in the same kind of experiment. Neither of them found much success, though, and that's an interesting thing to ponder. Granted, Piranha lasted a fair amount of time for an indie-esque imprint coming out of a mainstream publisher, so maybe Marvel should have published under an imprint.

Which, really, is neither here nor there. Yuppies from Hell is a lovely little ironically historical snapshot of Young Urban Professionals in New York in the late 80s, beneficiaries of Reagan-era economics, and of those who, having seen through the illusion, just try to find some happiness. Barbara Slate's cartooning is simple but evocative. The strips feel like the sort of thing that would have been published in a hip, underground news magazine in New York, rather than in a prestige-bound special from a major comics publisher. It just goes to show that the industry will surprise you every now and again.

As far as this being a dollar bin find, it's a gem. Funny, a bit touching, artistically very different from much of the material that came out of any of the major publishers at the time. A quick glance at Slate's website reveals a few other Marvel projects. One, called Sweet Sixteen, is a teen love triangle set in ancient Rome, and is now definitely on my list of things to find. Also of interest is that she illustrated a couple of Marvel-published Disney adaptations a full 25 or so years before the subsumption of Marvel into the Disney empire.

If you're of a particular age and a particular sense of humour, you could do much worse than tracking down this comic.

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