Comics Shill for Vegetable Shortening in a Truly Awful Library Book
As a former aspiring librarian (guess who decided they'd rather blog about comics than pay for grad school right now?) one of my favorite daily non-comics sites is Awful Library Books.
Each day the blog posts content that should arguably be weeded from public library collections for a number of reasons. Often these books are out of date and communicate humorous (and sometimes disturbing) disparities between the realities of modern life and whenever the books were published. I've been waiting for a comics connection to blossom and Sunday's post finally delivered:
According to ALB and it's submitter, this Spry Pure Vegetable Shortening cookbook was found recently in the home economics section of a high school library and contains numerous comic book style illustrations that convey Spry's benefits to the consumer. Basically grammar-challenged housewives were advised on the finer uses of Spry: keeping their families chomping on delicious trans fats at a bargain price. It's an equally hilarious and depressing window into the lives of this cookbook's users, which is an excellent reason its value as a historic artifact > its value as, well, anything other than a historic artifact.
Comic book fans might argue that it's blend of sequential storytelling, prose and recipe content could be considered evidence of comics' ability to play nicely with other formats as part of a cohesive and meaningful whole, but I'd rather just giggle at the book's suggestive humor.