Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Around the Horn

Thanks to Tom Spurgeon, the Comics Reporter (formerly editor of the Comics Journal) for recommending Silver Age Comics. I do feel that after four years of doing this, I have hit my stride; indeed, I look back at some of the earlier entries and think they look like notes for posts, not posts themselves.

This brings up another issue: the blog's template. While I would love to upgrade to the newest blogger templates, with followers and the like, I have a little problem. Blogger tells me that it will write over my old template, but save it. The problem is that I will have to manually go back and add in my old Haloscan comments, and I've already experienced troubles with that. At one point I thought I'd lost all the old comments and don't want to repeat that experience.

Karl LaFong has a terrific post up on Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, with a special focus on Donald Duck.

Who can blame Donald for winking at that curvy gal, eh? After all, Daisy is a duck! But, erm, hang on a tick - so is Donald. I forgot for a moment. Also, Don seems to be wearing more in the trouser department when he's on the beach than he does at home. I'm confused. As usual.

Yep, around the house Donald wears that sailor suit top, but in the comic in question he's wearing swim trunks.

Scipio is having an entire week dedicated to Black Hand, the Boy Scout of comic book villains (because his motto is "Be Prepared").

Hey, Black Hand, newsflash: real supervillains don't use Cliff Notes. Real supervillains commit crimes that spell out their names or form some kind of a pattern on a map of the city.

I look at Black Hand as an indicator that writers were beginning to push the bubble of the Comics Code Authority, which stipulated in part that the reader should not get too many details on how to commit crimes. Black Hand was a throwback to those Golden Age Batman stories that I like to call "How to Build a Better Criminal".

I briefly delinked Chris at I Believe in Bat-Mite for not posting; since then he's been on a tear and I have of course restored him to the blogroll. Check out this review of The Black Casebook. Grant Morrison's recent run on Batman brought back many concepts from the Golden and Silver Ages, including the Batmen Around the World and Bat-Mite himself, and this book reprints the original stories from the 1950s and 1960s.

The Legion Omnicon has a roundup of the latest news on the Siegel/DC lawsuit over the rights to Superman. This brings up another anecdote in Man of Two Worlds. Julius Schwartz decided that for his final Superman story, he wanted to have a story that wrapped up the series, almost as if it was actually ending with his run. He decided that Jerry Siegel would be the perfect writer, but Siegel wouldn't do the story on a contract for hire, since that was how he lost the rights to Superman in the first place, and DC wouldn't do it without a contract. And so it was that a young comic writer named Alan Moore was given the assignment to write Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, generally acknowledged as one of the finest Superman stories ever.

Johnny Bacardi covers Red Wolf, an American Indian character who debuted in 1970.

The premise was this: Wolfy was now Johnny Wakely, a Native American man whose parents were killed when he was a child by Pony Soldiers, and who was subsequently given to a white family to raise. Fortunately, the Wakelys were (mostly) good people (Fox often went out of his way to let us know that most of the crude and rude white folks were prejudiced against Injuns, even Mr. Wakely), and Wakely grew up relatively happy if quite a bit conflicted.

Interesting choice for a last name; DC had a series from 1949-1952 based on Jimmy Wakely, a singing cowboy of the Roy Rogers style.