The Comics Archive

Who Needs Halloween When You’ve Got Feiffer and the Bomb?

Before the ghosts, ghouls, bloodsuckers, and Trump masks of our own time, Villagers were concerned with something even more scary

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Here at Archives Central we decided to take a look at how the Voice has covered Halloween over the years. We discovered that during the paper’s earliest decade, All Hallows Eve was not yet the national blowout of altered-state alter egos it has since become. But in the October 29, 1958, issue we found house cartoonist Jules Feiffer deeply concerned with a horror the entire world has lived with since 1945 — nuclear annihilation.

Feiffer (born 1929, in the Bronx) found in the Bomb the ultimate bogeyman for those neurotic New Yorkers who have been his stock-in-trade characters since his cartoons first appeared in the Voice, in October 1956. Feiffer’s vision of a “bomb that will blow up the whole works,” which could be used as a “deterrent for peace,” beat Terry Southern and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb to the punch by half a decade.

Below, in glorious black and yellowed white, all four pages of Feiffer’s “BOOM.”

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