Discovering The Atomic Revolution–a stunningly drawn, cheerleading 1957 comic book for Our Friend, The Atom–and being in an apocalyptic Animated Musical state of mind, I set out to discover its origins, and its elusive creator, Mr. M. Philip Copp, whose only other known (to Google) publication was a 1952 comic book, Crime, Corruption & Communism.
Mr. Copp turned out to be not only an Establishment Man, but a Times Man, and a yachtsman. His “three basic requisites for a good helmsman,” written for the benefit of his fellow Corinthians, was thoughtfully reprinted in the New York Times.
“A helmsman should stand between 5 feet 8 and 5 feet 10 inches, have an athletic build, a clear and level stare and a love of the sea.
A helmsman should know the back from the front of a boat, have some knowledge between port and starboard.
The most important requisite, however, is that a helmsman should be a magnificent-looking female…If a boat owner cares even a small whit for the morale and well-being of his crew, he will shoot for a lovely gal, preferably between the ages of 18 and 30.
She should be wise and witty and have a firm knowledge of how to play on the weaknesses of men. She should be proficient in using her clear and level stare, not for the mundane purpose of making the boat go in a straight line, but for the far more vital purpose of making the captain and the crew come unglued…
Well attuned to sea changes, Mr. Copp harnessed the building wind of the Entertainment Economy and caught the swells of the Military Industrial Complex just right, landing him comfortably on the Connecticut shore. So get off your helmsman, grab a rum punch, and let’s hear the tale of Mr. Copp.
It may prove useful for navigating the Sea of Military Entertainment in which we’re currently floating. Look for a surprise appearance by the biggest fish in American animation–as well as a video game connection–which gives my desire to use Copp’s visual style for my Animated Musical some nice Cold War conceptual justification. (Besides, it looks so COOL.)