Smiling Faces


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I cannot imagine how Golden Age comic-book readers reacted to Basil Wolverton’s work.

He routinely worked in such disparate genres as humor, super-heroics, science-fiction and horror, yet his style never bended to the conventions of the assigned story. Rather, Wolverton’s vision bent genre conventions to fit his unique style.

Nothing in the comics field before, during or since Wolverton’s career is quite the same as a story by the artist himself.

The following three-page story originally appeared in Weird Chillers #1 (Key, 1954). “The Man Who Never Smiled” is a short and simple tale that nonetheless achieves a level of freakiness that transcends the years due to Wolverton’s inimitable art.

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2 thoughts on “Smiling Faces

  1. My father, who was very much a golden-age comic-book reader (a copy of most or all of the now untouchably expensive comic books passed through his hands at one time), took very conscious notice of Wolverton. In the ’70s, Wolverton was one of few artists of the golden-age whom Dad mentioned by name, and the one about whose work he spoke with real affection.

    • That’s good to hear.

      My first exposure to Wolverton was through DC’s gloriously weird Plop comic. He drew many of the covers and I had never seen anything in my life that was so repulsive … yet strangely beautiful. I was immediately captivated by Wolverton and remain so to this day.

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