Harvey Kurtzman and Bernard Krigstein: "From Eternity Back to Here!" Mad #12 (June 1954). This was the first of Krigstein's few contributions to Mad. Kurtzman's reaction was not entirely positive: "Bernie was a tremendous talent, but he wasn't a humorist." Even so, he drew remarkable caricatures here of Sinatra, Lancaster, Donna Reed and the others and placed them in panels with distinctive designs. Perhaps Kurtzman didn't like seeing hard edges and ruled lines on his flexible, flowing rough layouts. Notice the pattern vanishes from Majjio's shirt on page three. Is it a mistake or is it because he has changed into Sinatra?
After this story, Kurtzman only used Krigstein for assignments requiring an illustrative approach: "Bringing Back Father" (Mad #17) and "Crash McCool" (Mad #26).
Despite James Jones' objections, Scribner's made these deletions in his manuscript when they published From Here to Eternity in 1951. His daughter, Kaylie Jones, says she will restore these passages if there is a new edition. The original ms. is in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
James Jones struggles with the manuscript of Some Came Running (1957).
To the legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned,
To my brethren in their sorrow overseas,
Sings a gentleman of England cleanly bred, machinely crammed,
And a trooper of the Empress, if you please.
Yea, a trooper of the forces who has run his own six horses,
And faith he went the pace and went it blind,
And the world was more than kin while he held the ready tin,
But to-day the Sergeant's something less than kind.
We're poor little lambs who've lost our way,
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We're little black sheep who've gone astray,
Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree,
Damned from here to Eternity,
God ha' mercy on such as we,
Baa! Yah! Bah!
--Rudyard Kipling (1892)
This is also one of Harvey's great, strange scripts. Mindblowingly bizarre and funny. The couple on the beach successively swallowed up by the wave, the unexpected frame with thousands of planes at the same angle, all those "Meanwhiles"... Wonderful.