Notes from Bhob Stewart on the 8/30/68 letter:


To give some background and perspective on this long-ago letter written by me three decades ago, note the date. The Youth International Party was formed earlier in 1968, and the "yippies" marched into the Democratic National Convention riots of August 25-29, chanting "the whole world is watching." Not true actually, since my TV set broke on August 24, and I missed the whole thing. I probably had just finished reading a lengthy NEW YORK TIMES account when I sat down to write to Jay.

The "wild in the streets" sentence and the "concentration camps" mention are both references to Barry Shear's futuristic fantasy WILD IN THE STREETS (1968) with Christopher Jones and Diane Varsi. Robert Thom scripted this youth revolution movie based on his own short story, "The Day It All Happened, Baby," which was actually written in the Fifties, as I recall. I saw WILD IN THE STREETS that summer, possibly only weeks or days previous.

Take a look at Topps stickers from this same time frame, and you'll see one I sneaked in that reads, "Yippie!" This got through because anyone who glanced at it thought it said, "Yippee!"

The "Art" mentioned here is Art Spiegelman. The "Woody" here is Woody Gelman, head of Topps' Product Development Dept., and this name created confusion sometimes, since leading Topps freelancer Wally Wood also went by the name Woody.

-- Bhob Stewart 10/3/98

[Letter and notes (c) copyright 1998 by Bhob Stewart and may not be recirculated in any form without permission of the author.]


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