Mon 26 May
“The Atomic Revolution” is a gorgeous relic from America’s early love affair with its ability to split the atom. A kind of promotional brochure for the wonders of the atomic age that highlights the concepts and history behind what was then a brave new frontier, it was copyrighted in 1957 and has been apparently forgotten until now. The comic book artist Ethan Persoff recently happened across a copy at an estate sale and has kindly published some wonderful scans of its contents on his site.
Aside from its significance as a somewhat disturbing anachronistic curiosity, “The Atomic Revolution” is also a beautifully illustrated example of comic art. The line illustrations are bold, lushly detailed and expert; they have both the quality of intense, devoted workmanship and a tender naturalness. Persoff does not identify the artist but I’d be willing to bet that this is the work of Al Williamson, a titan of postwar comics and one of the most gifted draughtsmen to ever work in the medium.
(As an aside: my first exposure to Williamson’s work as a kid was his beautiful 1980 comic book adaptation of “The Empire Strikes Back” with his longtime friend and fellow comic book luminary Archie Goodwin.)