Talk:Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

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Reviewer: WesleyDodds (talk · contribs) 14:01, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I'll be starting my review in the next day or two. It's always great to see more comics articles at GAN and FAC--here's hoping everything's already sorted out. WesleyDodds (talk) 14:01, 25 January 2013 (UTC)


1. Well-written:

A few unwieldy sentences: "Kurtzman retained little of the original of the parody besides the Peter Gunn character", "Goodman Beaver, an editor hired by Schlock Publications Inc., loses his youthful idealism when awash in the sea of avarice and selfishness he encounters in the publishing world", "As Goodman Beaver did in the story, early in his career Kurtzman worked doing crossword puzzles for Goodman". Replace "Shenanigans" with something less colloquial, or turn it into a direct quote. Rephrase "had been mocked up" to make it clearer to those who have no idea what a mock-up is. Are you saying that Goodman Beaver the character "was later transformed into Little Annie Fanny in Playboy magazine"?
Annie Fanny: In an "in-universe" way, Goodman Beaver did not become Annie Fanny, but the Goodman Beaver series proposal was accepted by Playboy on the condition that Goodman was made into a large-breasted female. I've changed "transformed" to "adapted". Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:55, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
If the source backs it up, maybe rephrase to say that Goodman Beaver's strip was adapted into/re-envisioned as Little Annie Fanny, though given what you noted above, if the strip was the same except that the main character was altered, then the current wording suffices.

2. Verifiable with no original research:

  • I feel the line "Thelonius Violence speaks in jazz slang while surrounded by beautiful women and jazz background music ("Va VOODLE-de BLAAAAH daaaaa")" is a little too close to the cited text. I'd say excise the dialogue quote (you'll get the same meaning across even without the example).
    Done. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:51, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Rothschild doesn't exactly say "'Compulsion on the Range' is a parody of Westerns and Freudian pop psychology." He says it's a mixture of the two, and later on he says that Jungle Book as a whole is "satirical". Bit of a thin line at the moment.
    Done. Reworded to ""Compulsion on the Range" is a satire which blends Westerns and Freudian pop psychology." Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:51, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Any way to make "his satire was more biting than at any other time in his career sound less colloquial, either by rephrasing or turning it to a direct quote?
    Done. Quoted Thompson. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:51, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Any particular reason you are citing both Thompson and Spiegelman for Ref 4?
    I guess I just came across it twice. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:51, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd say attribute "He blended 'rhythm and movement' in the piece" to either the authors or the work it's drawn from in the prose, given you are using a direct quote.
    That would be unwieldy, so I just removed it. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:51, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "During his time there, he loses his youthful idealism and succumbs to the avarice and selfishness he finds in the publishing world". There's a slight disconnect between the wording and what the book says, which says "Goodman's goodness quickly degenerates until he is just as bad..." Reword to strengthen.
    From Spiegelman (the other bundled source): "[...] this story about the loss of Innocence and ideals when a starry-eyed idealist is confronted with the morality of capitalism. Most American comics [...] deal with fantasies of power. The Organization Man deals with the realities of power and its corrosive effects." Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:12, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
    The issue with the sentence is that the current phrasing implies that the greed and selfishness of the publishing world tempted him into succumbing to it.
    Done. Changed to "corruption". Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:52, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "Kurtzman blends the verbal and the visual in inseparable ways" This wording is very florid; are you possibly hewing too close to the original phrasing? Either paraphrase less closely or go with a direct quote.
    They're definitely my words. I was trying to sum up what the author wrote over several paragraphs. Most relevant excerpts: "a brilliant instance of Kurtzman's masterful synthesis of the material's visual, dramatic and thematic elements into a powerful rhythmic progression" ... "the words [...] form an integral part of the visual progression". Curly Turkey (gobble) 05:10, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
    How about something like "Kurtzman's words and visuals were closely linked"? Rephrase as necessary to suit your own wording.
    I'm not sure I like the way I've reworded it, but I feel like "blend" is more apt than "linked"—the idea that the dialogue contributes visually to the work, and is not just floating captions. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:27, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "Kurtzman had been developing at least one other story, a science fiction parody, which was not included in the published book." if the source says so, clarify that he intended it either for the volume of Jungle Book that was published or potential future volumes.
    Done. It was cut from Jungle Book, for reasons unknown. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:52, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "Kurtzman lamented the book's lack of success..." Does the source specify what success it was lacking? Poor sales, I imagine, given the following subsection. If it says explicitly that the book's poor sales caused Kurtzman to lament, rephrase the sentence to indicate that.
    Done. Changed to "market success". Kurtzman's words: "I wish [Ian Ballantine] could have broken through with this [...]" Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:52, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

3. Broad in its coverage:

No gaps. In contrast, the first paragraph of Publishing History is largely superfluous. The truly relevant portion of the subsection starts with Ian Ballantine looking for a replacement for his Mad reprints. Take what's necessary from that first paragraph for context, incorporate it into the rest of the section, and scrap the rest.
From a historical perspective, the book was one in a long line of financial failures for Kurtzman between the successes of Mad and Little Annie Fanny. The first paragraph puts the book in context—where the book stands historically in Kurtzman's oeuvre, and the effect of his failures on how he ended up viewing the publishing industry, are of far more significance than Ballantine's looking for a replacement for his Mad books. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:52, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Not necessarily. It's relevant if sources draw an explicit connection between his failures leading up to Jungle Book and how it informed that work. Yet the section starts with Kurtzman founding Mad, and we go several sentences before even touching on something directly related to the creation of Jungle. The main issue is that reading that first paragraph makes me feel like I'm reading part of a Kurtzman bio rather than an history of the book's creation. WesleyDodds (talk) 03:26, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
That's exactly what the source does—Spiegelman breaks off in his overview of "The Organization Man" to give Kurtzman's publishing history from Mad to Jungle Book, in order to put it all in context. Kitchen and Buhle put it in the context of Kurtzman desparately hunting for an outlet for his work after his recent failures (Trump, Humbug). Curly Turkey (gobble) 03:56, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Ok. If you can rephrase what that paragraph says to more closely echo what you've concisely stated here, that would definitely improve the section in the right direction. Still, at least remove the founding of Mad at the beginning, or rework it as a parenthetical aside later in the paragraph to strengthen its relevance to what it being said so the presentation doesn't come off so biography-y, checking off Kurtzman's work history one by one. Also, due to a formatting error I made here, you may have missed the other outstanding item I mentioned above regarding the sentence "Kurtzman blends the verbal and the visual in inseparable ways". Wanted to direct your attention to that just in case my mistake caused you to overlook it. WesleyDodds (talk) 04:13, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I hadn't missed it, I just had to hunt down the original source before replying. Curly Turkey (gobble) 05:12, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Done? I've cut back, added a bit about Kurtzman's financial situation, and moved the founding of Mad to an endnote. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:27, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

4. Neutral:

No issues

5. Stable:

No issues

6. Images:

Cover image checks out. The image from Help! is fairly superfluous for the purposes of the article, as it doesn't convey anything that isn't relayed sufficiently by the prose already. The rationale for the EC logo is rather tenuous--can you confirm that it actually isn't under copyright? It's used for decorative purposes anyway, so it can also be removed from the page if necessary with no harm.
I suppose they are...I've removed the EC logo. Maybe I'll get around to scanning an image or two from the book so the article doesn't look so bare. Curly Turkey (gobble) 10:26, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I've scanned and added a couple of images from the book. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:49, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay, I'll be done with my preliminary review in a few days. All of your sources are valid, but I do want to review some of the material they are used to cite to make sure the details check out. I won't leave you hanging much longer, though! WesleyDodds (talk) 10:03, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

I understand that properly-formatted refs aren't mandatory for Good Article Nominess like they are at Featured Article Candidates, but thought I'd point out that Ref 22 (Rothschild) is missing a page number when all the other cites drawn from that book list them. WesleyDodds (talk) 10:12, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Done. Surprised I missed it. Feel free to pick any and all nits. Curly Turkey (gobble) 10:26, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Okay, my review is complete. Aside from the items I listed above, the article mentions Kurtzman's blue lines showing up on the paper in two different section. Address all these issues and them I can pass the article. On the whole, it's great work and a fascinating read. WesleyDodds (talk) 11:51, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

I've reviewed the new image additions. The one showing the issues with the wash and the blue lines is a fine addition. As for the Honey Lou scene, strengthen its use by being clearer about the relevance of those particular panels in the caption (ie, what is happening in the image, and how is what is going on in that image not properly conveyed by text alone?); also add that detail to the fair use rationale page. As mentioned before, the Goodman Beaver image is merely decorative, and its inclusion is tenuous under fair use (it's supposedly used to tell us that he appeared in Help!, but that information is conveyed just fine in the prose without visual aid, thus undercutting the rationale for including the scan). Resolve those last image issues and then I'll happily promote the article. WesleyDodds (talk) 09:36, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I've changed the caption to "Kurtzman blended visual and verbal elements, and experimented with portraying motion. The Southern dialect drew from his wartime memories."
The Goodman Beaver image isn't totally necessary, but it's not entirely out of place, either. It is in the public domain (you can read about how that happened at the Goodman Beaver aricle), so unless it's distracting, I'd prefer to keep it in this otherwise rather graphically bare article. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:31, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Ok, the Goodman image passes. The "Decadence Degenerated" still needs a little work; the caption itself is still somewhat vague for fair use purposes. Make it more like the blue wash panel where that caption is commenting specifically on what is in the image (what is relevant to the article in the panel that the reader sees, rather than "Kurtzman blended visual and verbal elements ..." WesleyDodds (talk) 00:11, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
How about "Art Spiegelman was inspired by these panels, in which Kurtzman experimented with formalities such as the portrayal of motion."? These were the panels (and the two before, which I didn't bother to scan) which Spiegelman talked about reproduced in his essay on the book. Curly Turkey (gobble) 10:18, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
I think that would work better. WesleyDodds (talk) 11:00, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Done. Curly Turkey (gobble) 11:41, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Passing. Good work! WesleyDodds (talk) 11:49, 3 February 2013 (UTC)