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  • atom | Male | Utah

"I have a lot of issues. . ."

I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!

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Welcome to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never even knew you wanted!

 
Dun-dun-dun-DUN!
*snap. . .snap*
Dun-dun-dun-DUN!
*snap. . .snap*
Dun-dun-dun-DUN!
Dun-dun-dun-DUN!
Dun-dun-dun-DUN!
*snap. . .snap*
 
Awww. . .yeah.  You know the song.  One of the most famous T.V. theme songs EVER.  The young folk of today (, I feel old now) might be more familiar with the gothic dance style of Wednesday Addams, but for those of us of a. . .certain age. . .that finger snappin' theme song means it's time for some altogether ooky fun!
 
So let's lighten things up for Part Three of the Longbox Junk Halloween party with some of the comic book antics of that most delightfully strange Addam's Family, shall we?  WE SHALL!

The Addams Family #1

Gold Key (1974)

 
 
COVER: Bill Ziegler
 
THE COVER:
 
Just look at those colors!  This one's a real eye-catcher, that's for sure.  The vibrant pink, green and yellow just sort of grab you and MAKE you check out this cover.  It lets you know without even opening the comic that this is going to be less about gothic grumping and more about wacky shenanigans.  It's not really a favorite cover in my collection, but it's a fun Halloween cover.
 
Let's get inside!
 
IN SEARCH OF THE BOOLA-BOOLA
 
SCRIPT: ? (Mark Evanier?)
PENCILS: Bill Ziegler
INKS: Bill Ziegler
 
THE STORY:
 
The Addams family decides to take a detour from their volcano-watching vacation to visit a pet store in Miami, hoping to find a Boola-Boola (a color-changing swamp creature) for their daughter, Wednesday.
 

 
 
Gomez offers Pooky, of Pooky's Pet Shop, $30,000 to find Wednesday a Boola-Boola. . .but later on, the family decides it will be a fun adventure to camp out in the swamp and find one for themselves.


 
 
In the meantime, Pooky contacts a trapper in Florida called Anything For A Buck Frank.  Frank agrees to trap a Boola-Boola for Pooky, but really he plans on just faking one.  Unknown to them, there's an actual Boola-Boola nearby. . .
 
 
After making camp in the Everglades, the Addams family spots Frank and his assistant digging Boola-Boola traps.  They invite the hunters to their camp and Frank spots Ocho, the Addams family's pet octopus.  He decides to steal the octopus and sell it to Pooky as a Boola-Boola.
 
 
Later that night, after stealing Ocho, Frank and his partner disguise the octopus as a Boola-Boola and send it to Pooky.  But then they spot the Addams' children Pugsly and Wednesday searching for their lost pet octopus.  They don't find it, but they DO find the actual Boola-Boola! Frank decides to capture the Boola-Boola and double his money.
 
 
 
The Addams family and their guests, Frank and his partner, continue to try and capture the Boola-Boola.  After several attempts they finally manage to lure it to their camp, where it is given to Wednesday to make up for her lost octopus.
 
That night, Frank steals the Boola-Boola and is caught by the family.  Gomez thinks it's hilarious and pays Frank $50,000 to take the creature so that Wednesday's heart will be broken. . .which Wednesday doesn't really mind.
 
 
Frank tells the Addams family that Pooky has an octopus matching Ocho's description.  As the Addams' pack up to head back to Miami, Frank and his assistant rush back ahead of them with the Boola-Boola.
 
They distract Pooky and disguise themselves right before the Addams family arrives. . .and then they sell the Boola-Boola to them for $30,000 AND sell their own octopus back for another $10,000!
 
 
Later on, the Addams family decides to return the Boola-Boola to Frank in the swamp, because they think he still has the one they gave him. . .which is the one they are bringing to him.  When Frank and his assistant see the family coming, he assumes that they have discovered what he did.
 
Frank and his assistant attempt to escape, but shenanigans ensue and the angry Boola-Boola chases the hunters into the swamp and they lose all their money while the Addams family laughs at their misfortune.
 
 
After Frank and his assistant are gone, the Boola-Boola returns to the swamp, where we see it was a female with a nest of eggs.  The Addams family leaves the Boola-Boola and returns to their volcano-watching vacation, with Gomez promising Wednesday that they will get her a little volcano of her own.
 
 
The End.
 
THE REVIEW:
 
This comic really confused me. . .not anything with the story or art, but the physical comic itself.  I'm not sure if ALL the issues printed have the same problem mine does, but the pages are out of order. 
 
 The first page of the comic is actually the middle of the story at the pet shop, with the first page of the story coming in on page 16, the last page of the story on page 19, and five pages between the first page and their arrival at the pet shop coming at the end of the comic.  The scans above are in the right order, but it was interesting getting them that way. 
 
If anyone else reading this has a copy of this comic, kindly let me know if yours is all mixed up too, if you would.  It's sort of making me wonder if I have some sort of unique error copy.  I never read this comic before (got it in a box of comics I bought from an estate sale), so I never noticed.
 
ANYWAY. . .
 
When it comes to comics like this, I have to put myself in the mindset of the younger audience it was written for.  As an adult, the story is a mess and less of a story and more of a series of barely-related incidents strung together.  But shifting to a more childlike point of view, I can see that what we have here is a madcap adventure with people running back and forth searching for something they already have while Gomez and Morticia laugh at every bit of misfortune that comes along.
 
That said, even as an adult, this is a fun comic.  I got a couple of genuine chuckles over some of the gags. . .the one where they purposely break Wednesday's heart and she thanks them for it probably being the best.
 
 
On the art side of things, I would describe the art through the whole issue as being simply delightful.  It's just some good, solid cartoon art with Gomez and Lurch being the best looking characters of the bunch.  The design of the Addams Family's haunted house mobile home was really fun as well! 
 

CONCLUSION

 
Overall, once I got past the confusion of the pages in my copy being out of order, I found this to be a fun comic.  It has a frantic, -nilly plot that's all over the place, but there's some pretty good chuckles to be had here and there.  The art is delightful throughout.  This is just some good, clean, and dare I say it. . .altogether ooky FUN!  So if some light Halloween fun is what you're looking for, this comic has it, and I can certainly recommend this issue to readers of all ages.
 
Unfortunately, this short (just three issues) series has never been collected, and a bit of research shows me that there IS some collector "value" attached to this particular issue, being the first comic appearance of the Addams Family.  I'm not sure exactly how much it's "worth" but the only raw copy I saw for sale was VERY much more banged up than my copy and it was going for $180.00,  a graded (7.5) copy was running close to $450.  So it might be a bit of a problem finding a copy of this comic to read.
 
UP NEXT. . .
 
Let's invite some more ghosts to this Longbox Junk Halloween Party!
Charlton's The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves #56, from 1976.
 
Be there or be square!

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