Thursday, February 14, 2013

In Which Adam Forgoes His Usual Snark to Praise Some Golden Age Awesomeness

You have probably never asked yourself, "Why does Adam blog?"  Well, not that you asked, but there are a few reasons.  First and foremost, I enjoy sharing things I notice in comics with you guys.  Just reading comics and not sharing the noteworthy things I find simply isn't nearly as much fun.

But why read the old comics?  Well, I find them to be interesting remnants of a different America.  These things reflect social mores and take snapshots of where we were as a people in decades gone by.  So, it's a great moment for me when I discover stories like "Worry Worry Everywhere" from All-Flash Quarterly #16.

This, my friends, is Ebenezzer Jones:

"Eb," as he's called (probably a name given to him by the letterer of this book who didn't want to write out "Ebenezzer" over and over) has a problem with worrying:

That caught my attention because it was rather profound.  By worrying about a situation rather than choosing a path and going with it, Eb ended up having his fate chosen for him.  Not answering the questions was a form of answering, just as not making a decision is a decision in and of itself.

Well, it wouldn't be much of a story had Eb outgrown his disorder, so he didn't:

So we see how socially paralyzing an an anxiety problem can be.  To make matters worse, Eb is missing out on opportunities in his high school years because his problem is sidelining him.  And these can be special years that none of us get back.

And sure enough, that leads to difficulties in Eb's life as an adult:

That was a remarkably sensitive portrayal of the obstacles people with mood disorders face.  Depressed people can't just "cheer up."  People with anxiety disorders can't "just relax."  I'm surprised that a story written 70 years ago displayed such sensitivity.

But of course, this is a comic book story so Eb's condition creates problems.  Namely, his worry is contagious: 

Not even our hero is immune:

Further boggling my brain is the recognition that mood disorders are physical in origin:

Wow.  I realize you're waiting for some Fun with Out of Context Dialogue(tm!) but this is really brilliant, forward-thinking stuff!  It's just further proof that we comic book nerdlingers are really the most promising segment of the human race.

The Flash comes up with a cure for Eb, of course, or this story would never end:

Well, good for Eb, but often times a patient has to try several different solutions to manage a mood disorder.  But hey... good on Jay!

Frankly, I think they ought to bring back Eb, at least for a one-shot.  The notion of a guy whose presence drives you out of your mind with worry could be a great tale.  Get on it, Christos Gage!

Yeah, no snark today... we're just immortalizing some long-forgotten comic-book greatness.  But (for me, at least) that's every bit as good.

Ebeneezer is good?  Dare I?

I can't help myself....

See you tomorrow!

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