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bobman and teddy
solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 7
Bobman and Teddy
Only Printing / 1966 / 36 Pages / Parallax Comic Books
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great society
Great Society Comic Book
Bobman and Teddy (and its companion book The Great Society Comic Book) are no more underground comic books than Mad was in the '60s, but their irreverent satire depicting world-renown political figures as superheroes and villains holds great attraction to many underground comic fans and collectors. And, in fact, it's quite possible that the writer of the two books was inspired by early comic fanzines from future underground legends like Jay Lynch and Skip Williamson.

Bobman and Teddy
was the second of the two books and it is more of a one-target parody than The Great Society. It spoofs the popular '60s TV show Batman and Robin, with Robert Kennedy as Bobman and Ted Kennedy as Teddy the Wonder Boy. The book gets off to a stronger start than The Great Society, with better writing and sharper satire, but before long it begins to bog down a bit as the dynamic duo chase Humpty Dumpty (Hubert Humphrey) and battle for control of the "Tuesday Machine" (the voting booth).
The continuous lampooning of Robin's diverse "Holy Smokes, Batman!" lines are amusing at first but eventually grow somewhat annoying in their repetitiveness.

Still, the plot does move along as Bobman and Teddy steal the Tuesday Machine from Humpty Dumpty, fending off competitors like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and New York Mayor John Lindsay. We also get a glimpse at the hippie set, folk singers and student protestors, but they're mostly cameo appearances with little bite. But like The Great Society, it's a kick to see the political figures lampooned, and the drawing and caricatures are pretty good.

Bobman and Teddy was produced by writer D.J. Arneson and artist Tony Tallarico, both silver age comic book creators who worked primarily for Charlton Comics and Dell Comics. Bobman and Teddy was among five comic books published by Parallax Comic Books (co-founded by a Dell Comics sales executive) in 1966 before the company transitioned into the highly successful independent publisher, Workman Publishing. Arneson briefly recalled the creation of Bobman and Teddy in a 2006 interview with Jamie Coville.

Arneson recalls reading several comic fanzines in the mid-60s, which directly inspired him to pursue something as daring (at the time) as The Great Society and Bobman and Teddy. During his interview, Arneson expressed admiration for the fanzines; "They were mimeographed, done by ardent, earnest, I expect young people who were very enthusiastic about comics. It was my sense was that there was a resurgence of interest in comics in general. They had taken umbrage at The Seduction of the Innocent in where Wertham had challenged the morality of comic books and that they corrupted youth." If Arneson's perception of comic fanzines was linked to artistic rebellion against Wertham, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he had been exposed to early fanzine work by Don Dohler, Lynch and Williamson.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted. The cover stock is printed on a heavy, linen-textured paper stock with some sort of plastic-feeling material embedded in the stock.


D.J. Arneson - 3-34 (story)
Tony Tallarico - 1, 3-34 (art), 36