Best YA & YYA Lit 1973 (4)

By: Joshua Glenn
April 4, 2019

For several years now, I’ve argued — here at HILOBROW, as well as in the UNBORED books I’ve co-authored — that the Sixties (1964–1973) were a golden age for YA and YYA adventures. This post is one in a series of 10 identifying my favorites from 1973.

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Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti’s political adventure PREZ (1973–1974).

In a fine example of the first-time-as-comedy-second-time-as-tragedy trope, the short-lived comic Prez should be read as an un-cynical, though still bizarre version of Wild in the Streets, the 1968 youthsploitation movie in which a teenage pop star and his multiracial band mates move into the White House… and chaos ensues. Recruited by a shady political boss to run for the Senate, Prez Rickard campaigns on his own terms and is elected president. He selects Eagle Free, a young Native American, to be director of the FBI, his sister to be his chief of staff… and his mother to be vice president. The series was canceled after four glorious issues in which Prez battles a right-wing militia, demands strict gun control, brings peace to the Middle East, survives an assassination attempt, and encounters (why not?) evil chess players and a werewolf. I’d vote for him!

Fun facts: In 2015, DC launched a miniseries under the title Prez about a teenage girl named Beth Ross who is elected president via Twitter in the year 2036. Over the years since 1974, the original Prez character has surfaced in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, in Supergirl, and elsewhere.

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Let me know if I’ve missed any adventures from this year that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists.

BEST SIXTIES YA & YYA: [Best YA & YYA Lit 1963] | Best YA & YYA Lit 1964 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1965 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1966 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1967 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1968 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1969 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1970 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1971 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1972 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1973. ALSO: Best YA Sci-Fi.

The 200 Greatest Adventures (1804–1983). THE OUGHTS: 1904 | 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913. THE TEENS: 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923. THE TWENTIES: 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933. THE THIRTIES: 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943. THE FORTIES: 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953. THE FIFTIES: 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963. THE SIXTIES: 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973. THE SEVENTIES: 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983. THE EIGHTIES: 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993. THE NINETIES: 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003. I’ve only recently started making notes toward a list of Best Adventures of the EIGHTIES, NINETIES, and TWENTY-OUGHTS.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

What do you think?

  1. “Uncynical but bizarre” is a beautiful way to put it. As one of the few lifelong Prez fans, it’s refreshing to encounter a reviewer who can think for himself rather than parroting or spit ‘n’ shining the old “world’s worst comic!” or “legendary flop… so it’s crap!” lockstep lines. I see the unpublished fifth issue finally saw print in 2016, in a collection timed to promote and complement the new mini-series. It’s been a long wait!

    He’s got my vote too (wrong country, though… thank goodness)!

  2. I didn’t know the 5th issue was available — I’ll have to check it out.

  3. And this just up from an unrelated rabbit-hole I fell down in the course of looking up some old Skywald comics info — from associate editor Al Hewetson’s wiki page, excerpted from quotes and then immediately dropped as the only might-have-been that he does not then go on to explain the fate of:

    “The following year [1970], Hewetson and veteran artist Syd Shores responded to DC Comics editorial director Carmine Infantino’s desire for new concepts in comics magazines and devised a concept ‘…about a long-haired freak about 27 or 28 years old who was elected to the United States Senate. It was to be produced as a color magazine … with very adult and very sophisticated artwork and obviously with very adult writing.'”

    …I may ask Jim Simon what he makes of this!

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