B.C. STRIKES BACK
Rod Serling’s friend (and fellow Binghamtonian) Johnny Hart draws the long-running comic strip B.C. Rod wrote the foreward for Hart’s 1974 book B.C. Strikes Back. Years later, Johnny donated a sketch of Rod to the Foundation. Now it’s in our logo! Thank you, Johnny.
I’ve never written a foreword before for anyone, least of all an elflike cartoonist with guileless eyes, an ingratiating smile and a capacity for martinis that is astounding considering his size. Precisely why Hart requested this assignment from me is unknown. I rather think it’s because I laugh at his jokes and about one third of the time. I’m able to discern some inner and hidden meanings in his wild woolly Left-Bank asides. It happens to be a fact that Johnny Hart is an unusual kind of guy and an unusual kind of humorist. His drawings and his wit can best be described as bold—and boldness is in short supply in the entertainment field nowadays. There are very few practicing humorists, cartoonists or authors who are willing to take an uncharted dip into a strange pool. To Mr. Hart’s credit everlasting—he’ll swim anywhere, wearing any kind of bathing suit.
To the uninitiated Hart reader, all this will seem pretty meaningless until you read and look at what he’s written and drawn. To the Hart fan, this becomes somewhat redundant because you’ve already become familiar with his imaginative gremlin who makes you look at his pictures twice and reflect on his dialogue at least three times.
It all boils down to this: In the welter of ruttish, threadbare, third-hand humor that we’re exposed to day after day, the freshness of Johnny Hart is an air-conditioning unit in a Bedouin tent on the Sahara. It feels good. And that’s why I’m writing this foreword—as meaningless as it is—for nothing. So just don’t sit there, Johnny Hart, with your leprechaun puss—go ahead and make me laugh!