Charles Atlas - This could be you.

Charles Atlas' bodybuilding ads are famous for appearing in the back of comic books. Usually, the saga of Mac was portrayed in short form, crammed into a tiny fraction of a page. Here, as found in the pages of February 1947's Popular Mechanics is a full-page ad featuring the lavishly produced narrative once and for all. Yes, this is real.
Mac is hopelessly in love with Alice, a girl who values only strength and cruelty. The key to a happy, long-term relationship with her is simple. All Mac has to do is 1) become the strongest, most violent man in town and 2) remain so for the rest of his life. The moment Mac can no longer beat the shit out of any and all other men, Alice will fracture her pelvis spreading her legs for the man who can. Truly the girl next door. One can understand Mac's obsession with her.

Eventually, Alice will climb the ladder
of local mouth-breathing oafs (oaves?) until she finds herself tearfully describing a domestic disturbance to the police, dabbing at her bleeding lip. This is the life she chose.

The story of Mac, Alice and Bully is neat and clean. It has a definite beginning, middle, and end. Trouble is, it's too trite. We've seen it a million times. Angry nerd pines for screwed-up beauty queen with father issues. Bully beats up nerd. Nerd apparently becomes fit and strong in the same afternoon and returns the beating to Bully while wearing the exact same clothes. Former nerd finally gets cold, hateful beauty queen. All are happy, except for Bully, who presumably goes off and never comes back.

What this story needs is a surprise ending.


Sue said...

Perfect way to bring Gay Pride Week full circle. I like your ending better. I have no idea why men like us in the first place. We cartoon bitchy!

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Yeah, I just wanted Alice to suffer. I thought if we marginalized her at the end of the story it may take her down a peg. She's a horrible person. Mac and Bully are just dumb, but Alice is a cruddy skank. She's the least likable character in the comic, out of these three unlikable people.

Thanks for reading, Sue!

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