Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Direct Currents: The Adventures of Jerry Lewis

Before the film star hosted his first Labor Day telethons for charity, and became a national treasure to the French, all around comedian Jerry Lewis was already a comics veteran. Bursting with all the energy and zany madcap humor of his movies, you can almost hear Jerry screaming "HEY LAY-DEE" on every page of his long lasting DC comic, The Adventures of Jerry Lewis. Starting out for National Comics in 1952 under the title The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, the series ran forty fun-filled issues before the teams eventual break up and Jerry receiving the comic in their  settlement. Starting with issue #41 Lewis set off on his own new adventures targeted for a younger audience with its goofy gags, wild stories, and beautiful side-kicks. Later Jerry hit all the bases with his supporting cast of his weird nephew Renfrew and zany housekeeper, Witch Kraft, as they tackled the various crazes of the day. The later issues were scripted by writer Arnold Drake with some over the top artwork by National Cartoonist Society winner for "Best Comic Book" for 1960 and 1961, Bob Oksner. The series is also know for some very early DC cover and interior work of their most popular artist, Neal Adams in his unique but versatile style. For a wisecracking, bumbling funnyman, Lewis really got around the DC Universe meeting many of it super heroes including Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, Lex Luthor, The Flash, many a monster, and even the Beatles. Jerry though finally ran out of steam as the series ended in May of 1971 with issue #124 as shown on the cover below by Bob Oksner and Dick Giordano.

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