Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


The Green Ghosts of American Comics Group Ghostbusters Logos Labels and the Rules of Green Death

There is a green ghost in Ghostbusters. Both the original, and presumably the next one. Hollywood has a clock hidden behind that sign on the hill telling when to cash in again.

A far more interesting green ghost to me is the one which appeared, in nearly every issue, shape and form, in the curious and highly entertaining series of comic books produced by almost-big publisher American Comics Group. Active during the Golden (and Silver) age of comic books, the publisher skirted Kefauver's censors but never really made the big time. They had a general line. Goofy characters, "funny" animals, romance for the girls... but the real stuff was their line of suspense and horror. Adventures into the Unknown. Forbidden Worlds. Unknown Worlds.

Virtually every issue had a transparent green ghost. It had to have been company policy. If it was alive once and dead now, it was green and you could see right through it.

I used to work near a news morgue. Files upon files of clippings about celebrities. Every archive has a system, and ours was when someone died, their file got a green tag. No one knew why, but it was the rule. So much so that we came to call any celeb who dropped like a dead weight "green." Every morning we would meet and say "A Gabor sister is green" or "Marlon Brando's kid is green'" then go to collecting credits for the obit.

It seems odd the color most associated with life could used for death. Even (literally) slime-covered conglomerate British Petroleum hijacked the color not long before ruining the Gulf Coast...a logo which bit them in the ass for a while, but I see they are using it still. Good for them. That logo will always mean "oil spill" to me, but if it works for them, fine. I'm not using their stations until they trick us with a "relaunch" and a new brand no matter how many times they run happy faces hiding desperation. I'll visit the Gulf, but I won't buy your gas OR your claims.

By the way Aflac? That's not Gilbert in there, and all the money you spend hoping I will forget you fired the funniest comic in America won't make me forget it. Drop the duck. The last ad they ran had THREE voices and they still didn't equal one Gilbert.

The other cute characteristic of American Comics Group was their little bylines with a tiny drawing of the writers and inkers. For example Lafcadio Lee, shown below as the proto-beatnik he probably was. Lafcadio didn't exist, but his secret identity was Richard E. Hughes, editor of the line for over 20 years. He wrote most of the stories too. He was so prolific he needed ten names:
Pierre Alonzo, Ace Aquila, Brad Everson, Lafcadio, Lee Kermit Lundgren, Shane O'Shea, Bob Standish, Greg Olivetti, Kurato Osaki and Zev Zimmer.

Sadly, American Comic Group went green too...and it wasn't a pleasant death. Their last days were spent churning out industrial comic crap for Montomery Ward, Tupperware and the Air Force.

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