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KURTZMAN's Preliminary Art: INSTANT HELP! Paperback

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Lot 0145 Details

Author: [Original Comic Art] Kurtzman, Harvey
Title: Instant Help! Paperback Color Cover Concept
Place Published:
Date Published: c.1963

Mixed media painting with two photomechanical pastedowns on bristol. Approx. 4.5" x 7.25". Drawn on the back of a storyboard for Kurtzman's classic "Goodman Beaver Goes Playboy" (1962), a satire on the hedonistic lifestyle of Hugh Hefner using parodies of Archie comics characters, identifiable by partial phrases pencilled on the verso: "Archie... you make...you're... Roman orgy... Click... The news is such a drag, Goodman... Well no, that's why we're getting married..."). Excellent condition.

A rare example of Harvey Kurtzman's original art from the early 1960s. Instant Help! was to have been the magazine's third paperback collection, following Fast Acting Help! and Second Help!-ing, but it never saw print. In hindsight it's plain that Kurtzman's genius had risen to meet the challenges his idiosyncratic Help!, but the practical market was another matter. The design features a panicky head drowning in a sea of red ink, with an approaching shark fin signaling doom: Kurtzman's fatalistic assessment about the prospects of his latest publishing venture. The image is reminiscent of the final cover of Kurtzman's brilliant, ill-fated Humbug and underscores Kurtzman's awareness of his streak of bad business luck. This cover concept was published in Denis Kitchen's The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics [Abrams: 2009].

Provenance: From the Harvey Kurtzman Estate

Consignments Accepted for PBA's Next Comic Book Auction. Golden Age, Silver Age, Pre-Code, Original Art, Interesting Ephemera Sought. Contact ivan@pbagalleries.com for details.

PBA COMICS March 26th Comic Book Sale catalogues available. Supplies Limited. Softcover catalogues limited to 200 copies ($45 + $5 postage/handling). Hardcovers limited to 26 lettered copies, dust jackets, special limitation plates ($150). Contact ivan@pbagalleries.com.

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KURTZMAN's Preliminary Art: INSTANT HELP! Paperback

Estimate $3,000 - $5,000Jun 04, 2020
Starting Price $1,500
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