Plop! #1, October 1973

First appearing towards the end of 1973, Plop! was a very peculiar comic. Utilizing his throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach, DC Publisher Carmine Infantino gave the go-ahead for this horror comic with a comedic twist. Or was it a humour comic with a horrific twist? Whatever, it certainly lived up to its tagline of “Weird Humor”.

It has to be said, viewed today, the results aren’t terribly funny — not to this reader anyway — but there is much to enjoy. The backbone of most of the earlier issues is the wickedly clever pen of Sergio Aragones, and he’s never less than inventive. With the horror theme to the fore, much is made of the often sick humour to be found while incarcerated in dank dungeons.

The format of Plop! mostly called for a succession of single panel gags based around a common subject, though there are also occasional single and double-page strips. Best of all, most issues finish up with a six or seven page story presented in a much more atmospheric vein, drawn by the cream of DC’s talent pool. Bernie Wrightson, Wally Wood, Nick Cardy, etc lent their talents to illustrate little tales of terror — often with a surreal twist.

For this first issue, Wrightson presents an amusing little ditty, from a Steve Skeates script, wherein an obsessive gourmand pays the price for his love of frogs’ legs…

In an unusual move, most issues of Plop! have no ads, and are cover to cover art.

Covers were by the surreal, somewhat twisted genius of Basil Wolverton. These images were usually reprinted on the back, expanded and without cover lines.

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