Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nobody's Perfect -- A "Comical Wednesday" Post



I have good news and bad news for you today, fellow babies!

First, the bad news... and it's time to get serious.

Several weeks ago, I wrote a short Foxyblog post saying that for several personal reasons, I was going to take a leave of absence from the blogiverse. Things in the real world had gotten pretty depressing at the time, and frankly, they've gotten even worse since then... so I haven't felt much like writing at all. (And, true to form, I'm not going to give you any more details than that here!)

The only reason you've been seeing these Comical Wednesday posts for the last few weeks is that I had a whole bunch of them already written and scheduled before I decided to "vanish."

Well, today's post is the final one that I completed over a month ago, before making my decision to stop blogging for an undecided period.

I really, truly appreciate that a loyal handful of you have bothered to read the comic-related stuff -- and a special thanks to those who've actually commented, too -- but this really is going to be my very last post for a while.

Now. The good news is that I had a lot of fun writing today's post, and even if you're not a big fan of comic books, you ought to enjoy it anyway!

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"Only one of us is gonna walk out of here under his own steam... and it won't be me!"

Wow... I thought Captain America was usually a tad more optimistic than that!

Well, yeah, he is. What you just saw was a goof. A glitch. A screw-up. We all make 'em. And over the years, Marvel Comics has made quite a few. In fact, in 1983, they collected a bunch of them and put out this one-shot humor title.


(In case you don't feel like standing on your head to read that, let me "fix" it for you!)


In that issue, they presented several of the goof-ups that Marvel had made during the previous twenty years or so. Some were scripter errors, some the fault of the artist, and some (I suppose) could be blamed on the letterers!

Writer Stan Lee takes the blame for this first example, though!

Uhhh... That's Peter Parker, Stan. Parker. Not Palmer.

"Super-Man?" "Super-Man?" 

I think we can safely assume that the intended word -- highlighted in green
by the source I stole borrowed it from -- was "traitress," and not "waitress?"

Anyhoo, as I said above, it's not only Marvel that's made errors...

Today's Comical Wednesday post isn't going to be one of my usual la-dee-da pseudo-dissertations on some aspect of comics history. Nope. Just a random bunch of examples to show that even the wonderful Golden Age comics I've been talking about so much sometimes suffered from -- who'da thunk it?!? -- mistakes, or lapses in logic. (And occasionally, that was due to the assembly-line nature of the publishing & printing process, as I'll mention later!)

First up...


Nice little opening scene, innit? But... What's wrong with this picture? Or should I say, what's wrong with his picture?

Well... There's no effin' way he could have painted it, since he wasn't seeing her from the reader's point of view. It's not even a "mirror image." It's just... wrong!

Next, allow me to present Master Man, the hero of Fawcett's Master Comics... for all of six issues, anyway...


Hey!!! Watch yer durned hand, buddy!!!

(Too bad they dropped this character. I'll bet he could've really used the money after he lost the sexual harassment lawsuit!)

This next one isn't really a mistake, just sort of a... contradiction?


I dunno... Something about "The only humane thing we can do is... drown every single one of them!" strikes me as odd. I'm funny that way.

Those panels, by the way, came from an otherwise cool early 1940s feature called Professor Supermind and Son, which appeared in Dell's Popular Comics. A later glitch in this year-long, twelve-part series was not the fault of the writer or artist. It was the fault of the colorist! Many of the older comics were colored by people at the printing plant, and they rarely if ever read the captions and/or dialogue!


"A yellowish vapor?" Looks brown to me. I must be color-blind!

And speaking of color-blind...


Did you catch the goof? The cloth was supposed to have been shown with its blue side up in panel 4! But the colorist didn't know that, and/or didn't care! ("Ah, who gives a crap? It's only a damned funnybook!")

The above Barney Bear page was written and drawn by comics legend Carl Barks, by the way, who's much better known for drawing the best of the Disney "duck" comics, where he created the character of Scrooge McDuck.

 And speaking of comics legends, one of the universally-praised "gods" of comic strip art was the multi-talented Milt Caniff, creator of Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon.

One of the main characters in Terry and the Pirates was a Chinese man named George Webster Confucius, better known as "Connie." During the first half of this century, unfortunately, racial stereotyping was much more widespread and acceptable than today, and thus, Connie spoke in "Pidgin English."


But even acknowledging that such regrettable speech patterns were tolerable (in comics, radio, motion pictures, and other media) by the standards of the 1930s and 1940s... I really doubt that Connie would have written a letter that way!


And hey, since y'all know I can't go more than a few lousy minutes without talking about Captain America yet again... In the early days of Cap's original 1940s Timely Comics run, he had his own fan club called the Sentinels of Liberty. Sending in one thin dime would get you an entire membership kit, which included a tin badge which in and of itself is worth a small fortune today. (Much more than even that "one thin dime" would be worth today, at the current skyrocketing silver prices!)

Yes, kids, Captain America wants you to cut out this coupon
and destroy the value of your Golden Age funnybook!



And here, of course, are the Sentinels of Liberty themselves, appearing in... Hey, wait a second! These aren't members of Captain America's fan club at all! Heck, this isn't even a Timely Comic! It's a Quality Comic!


Where the hell were Timely's lawyers?!?

And while we're showing the star-spangled costumes that were so prevalent during World War II, howzabout this one?


 Captain Courageous, whose costume seemed to alter slightly as he moved from Ace Magazines' Banner Comics to Captain Courageous Comics (which lasted all of one issue) to Four Favorites, had an outfit which was -- with or without the cape -- kinda... well... stupid.

And the Captain himself wasn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, it seems. And I mean besides the fact that he wore a star on his freakin' face!

Take a look.


"Where's the body?" Well maybe if the Captain and the other guy would move out of your way, officer...


Well, gee willikers, Cap'n, maybe you would have seen where the body went if you didn't have that dumb mask messing with your peripheral vision...


Not that he tried... (I suppose it's better to have the police think he purposely wasted their time by calling them for a practical joke, huh?)

Anyway -- *gulp* -- it gets worse. Later in the same story, our hero steals a uniform from a fascist "spy." (Yep. Spies always wear the uniforms of foreign armies. Helps 'em blend right in with us common folk, don'tcha know!)


Gosh. Ya think?

If I may digress for a moment, here -- as if you could stop me, right? -- that bit of silliness with Captain Courageous' mask reminds me of this sequence from the 1970s!


The Golden Archer, who spoke like any other common thug on the cover of Captain America #179, had a much more impressive speech pattern on the inside of the book!


 (Who you be callin' a ho, dude?)

Turned out, though, that the Golden Archer was only a disguise for a well-meaning friend of Cap's! He was none other than...


(Dude, you wanna talk tricks?!? How the #%$& did you do that thing with the mask?!?)

Okay, okay, back to the other Captain, Captain Courageous!

As it happens, the sequence that Captain C's above-pictured "unmasking" panel came from is even sillier.


These bad guys are obviously supposed to be Nazis, but instead of a swastika their flag looks more like a traffic sign, they say "hail" instead of "heil," and their inner council (or whatever these nut-jobs are) looks like members of the Ku Klux Klan moonlighting as beekeepers! Not sure why the publisher shied away from having them actually be Nazis, since the above-referenced story appeared in early 1942, after the USA had entered World War II, and the Banner Comics cover shown above clearly has Captain Courageous fighting Nazis, and it was published months before we entered the war!

A star mask... *sigh*  I wonder if Captain Courageous knew this Golden Age baddie, who fought my beloved Justice Society?


Well... I'm just glad no superheroes or super-villains in the modern age would wear a stupid star-shaped mask like...


Well, okay, maybe one...


Uhhh...


Okay, okay!!!

Anyway, as dumb as Captain Courageous was, some of these Golden Age heroes were really smart! The following wrap-up of a story featuring a hero known as The Firefly shows a random example of just how "amazing" these superheroes could be... especially when the bottom of the last available page loomed before the hapless writer!


Yeah, right.

Did I say "smart?" You bet! Smart, and talented, too! Just check out the following segment from a story featuring Echo, a character from a short-lived title called Yankee Comics!


Isn't that great? Echo just turns invisible, and he can walk right through that locked door!

Uhhh... except for the fact that invisibility doesn't work like that. Just because you can't see him doesn't mean he isn't there! And even if Echo could become immaterial by pressing his belt buckle, how could he have lifted the young woman in his intangible form?

And while we're talking about just how convenient things could get (in the name of quickly advancing a plot), here's a page from Fox Features' Weird Comics #19, featuring an oddly named lass known as The Sorceress of Zoom!


Nice that she knew so much about the immediate family of a gangster she'd only met in this story, huh? And isn't it gosh-darned convenient that the twin brother's graduation photo was right there on the wall to inspire her?

To quote from Tiny Toon Adventures, "Thank you, lazy writer!"

*sigh*

Believe it or not, fellow babies, that's gonna do it for today. Well... heh... almost.

I have to include my personal favorite for all-time stupidity: In this 1948 story, the original Human Torch flies to Jupiter. Yep, a flaming hero flies through airless space, making a round-trip flight to and from that far-off planet in a matter of hours!



Even by 1948, you'd really think they would have known better!

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Well, that's it for now! So... See you when I see you?

Thanks for your time, as always.


Friday, September 16, 2011

"AAUGH" -- A NOT-So-Comical FRIDAY Post...


The following is one of my two all-time favorite Peanuts strips:


(It's too bad that most of the people this is aimed at probably won't ever see it.)

Thanks for your time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Lone Vegetable, Crying in the Wilderness! -- A "Comical Wednesday" Post



In previous Comical Wednesday posts, I promised to talk about one of the best superheroes of all, the incredibly demented Flaming Carrot!

First, I showed him sharing a drink with Marvel's Forbush-Man.


Then, I showed him co-starring with ACG's Herbie Popnecker!


Well, in today's Comical Wednesday post, I finally make good on my veiled promises. And I have good news for you: This will be a post made up primarily of images, rather than my own personalized ramblings. (I know, I know, I've said that before, but...)

And now, fellow babies...

The Flaming Carrot

"Having read 5,000 comics in a single sitting to win a bet, this poor man suffered brain damage and appeared directly thereafter as — the Flaming Carrot!" That's the only official origin that the Flaming Carrot -- who never appears without his mask -- has ever gotten!

The Flaming Carrot, a superhero whose modus operandi consists of something labelled "Zen Stupidity," first appeared in 1979 in the pages of Visions, a yearly magazine put out by the Atlanta Fantasy Fair.


The Flaming Carrot was created by Bob Burden, who self-published a magazine-sized one-shot in 1981. 

This book's worth about $70... and I have one!

"How can we explain Flaming Carrot - you have to see him in action to become a Believer." -- Bob Burden (from his website)

Well, who am I to argue with Bob Burden? Here's where I shut the heck up -- for the most part, anyway -- and let a series of Flaming Carrot Comics covers (from various publishers, starting in 1984) take over!



You'll only get this joke if you listen to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."


No other superhero says "UT!"

This issue (and the next, pictured below) introduced
the Mystery Men, later developed into a film in 1999!








Now, before I conclude today's post...

If you're undecided about what to dress up as this Halloween -- or any other day of the year -- you, too, can be a Flaming Carrot!



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Thanks for your time.

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