Apr 23, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 788: I Dream of Jeannie Wishbook, 2001

https://www.comics.org/issue/899812/

Two weeks ago, I sorted out a stack of comics that were pertinent to the reading of comics by African-American creators. Getting into my collection is occasionally quite difficult. I have drawer boxes for much of the latter half of the alphabet, but not the former, so anything from about G to O was concealed beneath sometimes three other comic boxes. So while I had a stack of comics to select from for the last few weeks, I decided it was time to re-organize my storage, and to file almost 2 full boxes worth of comics into the collection. What I ended up doing was reversing the stacking of some of the boxes, so that I have access to the other letters of the alphabet. The next week will feature odd bits and pieces from all of those letters that have, thus far, been somewhat neglected in the collection.

There's a couple of interesting things about this comic. First, the cover. Let me be very up front about the fact that Barbara Eden was one of my earliest crushes, coming in second only to the bewitching Elizabeth Montgomery. I used to watch Jeannie when I would come home from school, along with Gilligan's Island, and I fell head over 10 year old heels in love with her. Secondly, however, the comic was published with both a photo cover and an art cover, and got me thinking about something about this project that I hadn't considered. The predilection for multiple covers has always escaped me, but when I had my store I used to bring in multiple covers for the same comic so that my clients (what clients?) had a choice. Now that they're in the collection, I wonder if I should be reading each one, or reading one and then marking all of the differently covered comics as read? I'm thinking of the latter, mainly because with the scope of the project, there may well be multiple times I'll want to read the first issue of Glory by Alan Moore (perhaps the comic I own the most variant covers of).

Today's comic was really a very good adaptation of the television series, capturing the flavour of the series while expanding the possibilities of the premise thanks to the comics medium. I see, according to the GCD, that Airwave only produced a few issues of the comic, which is a pity, as Eden's Jeannie character deserves a long and healthy presence in pop culture. Though, it has been a while since I've seen an episode, and I wonder how much my theoretically-inflected conscience would shudder at the attitudes of the 1960s.

More weirdness tomorrow. Onward!

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