Brand Echh – Sick #48

In the mid-1960s, Joe Simon was in the middle of a court battle attempting to recapture the rights to Captain America, an effort which would eventually come to nothing in part thanks to an affidavit made out by his old partner Jack Kirby specifying that he was aware at all times that everything created for Timely Comics in the 1940s was owned whole cloth by the publisher. It was a document that would haunt both men in the days to come. Simon was also editing SICK, a MAD Magazine knock-off at the time, and he took the opportunity to write the following savage yet not entirely inaccurate excoriation of Stan Lee within its pages. The artwork was by Angelo Torres.

I’m not certain who this piece was aimed at, apart from Simon himself, and of course Lee and Martin Goodman. I can’t imagine the average reader of SICK would have enough inside knowledge of the comic book filed to understand half the references.

Dripko is clearly a play on Steve Ditko, and Plotsky would be Sol Brodsky, who did production work for Stan and Marvel. Also, that’s Blue Bolt, an early Joe Simon creation, on the far right in the second to last panel.

Tellingly, Simon can’t help but use the actual Captain America here (cleverly disguised as “Captain American”) nor can he stop himself from calling Cap “the biggest character of the forties.”

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