No. 169 – Chronocops

Mad magazine image ©DC Comics (Time Warner)

Chronocops written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons from prog 310’s (1983) Tharg’s Time Twisters v Dragged Net! from Mad magazine Vol. 33 No. 22 (1953) written by Harvey Kurtzman (1924 –1993) and drawn by Will Elder (1921–2008)

Mad magazine was created by Kurtzman and William Maxwell “Bill” Gaines (1922–1992) in 1952, and is the last surviving title from the EC [Entertainment] Comics line. The “E” in “EC” originally stood for “Educational” and was created and privately owned by Maxwell Charles Gaines (1894–1947) and specialized in educational and child-oriented stories. Following Maxwell’s death, his son Bill took over and began specialising in horror fiction, crime fiction, satire, military fiction and science fiction from the 1940s–50s, eventually concentrating on satire due to censorship pressures in the U.S. in 1954–55.

Although Dragged Net! is a spoof of NBC’s popular Dragnet (1951–1959), Moore and Gibbons’ story is not only an homage to Kurtzman and Elder but also to the classic show created, written and starring [John Randolph] Jack Webb (1920–1982) as Detective Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Friday [promoted to Lieutenant during the 1958–59 season], caricatured as Joe Saturday in the strip, delivering variants on Sgt. Friday’s trademark lines: “This is the city: Los Angeles, California. I work here. I’m a cop,” and “All we know are the facts, ma’am.”