This was supposed to be a Zombie Marge weekend. I was all prepared to go full steam into the next episode. But, when the inspiration to write hits, I’ve learned to just get out of the way and go with it. So instead of Marge, my time has been spent on my side project, SHAM Comics. I’ve posted some here before. In a nutshell, I take old comics and rewrite them as cynical, satirical, post-modern tales of angst and heartbreak. The fun never stops.
While I was researching pre-code romance comics for SHAM #2, I came across an interesting sub-genre of medical comics. For a couple of years in the early 60s, medical drama was all the rage. Ben Casey and Dr. Killdare were on TV and General Hospital was a daytime hit. Charlton was one of the few comic companies to capitalize on this trend. They published a series of titles depicting the lives of young doctors and nurses (all white) in the exciting world of modern medicine. However, as this was an outgrowth of their romance comics, the books focused on the love lives of the main characters. The results are highly entertaining. When the doctors are not busy giving cigarettes to their patients, they are in some broom closet making out with the nurses. The nurses are strong, independent types, except when they are mooning over the doctors. There is also had a very high percentage of people bringing guns into the hospital and patients trying to jump out high windows. As I said, they are highly entertaining.
A bit more research revealed that these comics are in public domain and therefore a prime target for the SHAM treatment. For the past few months, I’ve been collecting these comics wherever I could find them. I’ve amassed a nice little pile of them. That’s a few of them above. The Young Doctors cover on the far right was the one that convinced me this was comic gold. So SHAM Comics #4 will be the all-medical issue, titled “Calling DR. SHAM.” In addition to Dr. Studley Sham, it will feature “Niki Nookie, Night Nurse,” “Dr. Fingerman-Two-Fisted Proctologist” and “Dr. Lance Girth-Hardboiled Plastic Surgeon.”