For our 200th installment of STUPID COMICS, let's take a look back at an ahead-of-its-time blended family, the genesis of a variety show, a TV cartoon, two feature films, an exciting trip to Hawaii, numerous record albums, and Johnny Bravo; an integral part of American popular culture and a touchstone of nostalgia for an entire generation. Also a comic book that was kind of weird.
That's right, it's the story of et cetera et cetera, bringing up three very lovely girls, and so forth. So how will Dell approach the no doubt challenging prospect of illustrating the adventures of three boys and three girls and two parents and a live-in housekeeper and perhaps a dog, and Robbie Rist for six episodes? Let's watch.
For one thing we have to commend Dell for following the lead of The Brady Bunch TV show by pioneering the depiction of married couples sleeping in the same bed, instead of the separate beds favored by those squares over at "I Love Lucy". Also nobody goes to church, proof positive of the anti-God agenda of the liberal media.
The Brady kids are breezily illustrated and generally a fine bunch of upstanding young people, except for Cindy who... what is going on with Cindy.
Apparently the artist was instructed to depict Cindy Brady as a doe-eyed, disturbingly saccharine cherub, equal parts Ruthie "Bad Seed" Penmark and Billy Mumy from that Twilight Zone episode where he can wish people into the cornfield. Seriously, there's something deep and evil going on behind those wide, slightly unfocused eyes.
Be nice to Cindy. Or else.
Leading a savage pack of bloodthirsty, hollow-eyed, kill-crazy maniacs, covered with the gore of their latest victims, the zombie leader Cindy commands her horror battalion to... oh wait, it's just some kids. They ate cake.
"That's right Dell Art Department, just keep making Cindy Brady's head bigger and bigger. That's what our readers want, precocious wisdom dispensed by a giant-headed freak with hair dyed with industrial strength dye so strong it makes Susan Olsen's hair fall out in clumps! No, draw the rest of the kids normal. It'll be years before Barry Williams starts getting freaky-looking."
This is the exact panel where we started to suspect the artist was just tracing faces from jars of Gerber's Baby Food. And hey, what's that in the background?
It's a black person! A black person in the Brady Bunch! Why, we won't be seeing one of those on the TV show until that ill-fated spinoff attempt starring Ken Berry! What other surprises does the Dell Universe version of the Brady Bunch hold for us?
For one thing, the Brady household is kept in line by a live-in maid who acts like Alice, is obeyed like Alice, and yet patently is NOT Alice. The Alice I know would never holler "Aaaayyyy!" like a ravished maiden in a sleazy Mexican comic book.
THIS is Alice.
On the other hand, our nameless domestic shows us one thing; that she is the only mortal capable of exerting control over the horrific apparition known as "Cindy." Or Cindy is some kind of ventriloquist puppet. One or the other.
Also- Carol's plan? Turn into bees, everybody!
And as Peter.. or maybe Bobby. I think it's Bobby. As Bobby is gagged by a label reading "the end", we sadly bid farewell to America's number one non-Mondrian-patterned-bus-driving TV family. Good night Bradys, and look out for that football Marcia!
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