By Darryl Ayo
“Abe Lincoln,” 1952. Written by Harvey Kurtzman, drawn by Jack Davis for FRONTLINE COMBAT #9.
When I say that EC Comics tended to write in a fashion that was highly cliche by this point, I wasn’t kidding. For instance, Spoiler:
Because of course the obscured narrator is an old black man. There isn’t a doubt in your mind. But in the particularly white-washed popular entertainment world of 1952, I am imagining that this could possibly have been a great jolt to the reader, a shocking moment of realization that the audience has been listening to and being entertained by a black voice (the character, at least).
Between the first and last panels of this comic is an amusing cartoon biography of Abraham Lincoln. Complete with being sworn in as president, but mainly humorous anecdotes. But the punchline, the zinger: TOLD BY A BLACK MAN. I sure hope this SHOOK THINGS UP for the readers of 1952. I sincerely do.
It’s fitting that this sort of thing was a part of EC’s wide-ranging interests; after all, EC Comics, before standing for “Entertaining Comics,” stood for “Educational Comics.”
Here’s another panel, just before the end: