Thursday, February 24, 2011

Clumsy Aspiring Journalists and One-Legged Gangsters Thursday!

First, a moment of respect to Dwayne McDuffie, a great writer and, by all accounts, a great person.  His contributions to the medium were many and he'll be missed by fanboys and fangirls everywhere.  I'm sure I speak for us all as I offer our collective condolences to his loved ones.

I always enjoyed Robin solo stories, and I'm far from alone.  Dick Grayson was a very likable guy, so he got solo stories in Star-Spangled Comics, Batman Family, and fairly regular back-up stories in Detective.  Of course, it wasn't until Tim Drake took the mantle that Robin got his own full-blown solo title, and I like Tim as well.

Jason Todd, who was a big butt-head, justifiably never got many solo stories of which I'm aware.

Meanwhile, let's take a look at a Robin solo from Star-Spangled Comics #109:

I don't recall taking an aptitude test until I reached college.  It said I was meant to be a Chaplain in the Armed Forces, and in many ways I think it was accurate.  For many reasons, it's just as well I didn't follow it, but I can see why that would have been a great career option for me.

I envy people who have a calling.  I'm still not sure what mine is, and I'm about to be put out to pasture any day now.  I don't think I'm in the minority, though.  I think most folks just make the best out of what jobs are around at the time.

You know what Mary shouldn't be around?  Ink.:

Geez, Mary, if you can't take a test in high school without spilling ink everywhere, I don't know that you're going to endear yourself to potential editors. I'm just saying.

Hey, it's Peg-Leg Baxter!:

That.... is a mighty big diagram, and I'm not at all sure it's necessary, especially for a bad guy who they aren't even bothering Batman with.

Uh-oh.  Meanwhile, Mary's screwed:

Well, if the standardized test says it, you should clearly abandon your lifelong dream.  Because the school is going to send out those test results to every newspaper, quarterly, and even the fine folks at Grit to make sure no one accidentally hires this no-talent and gives her a chance to develop her skills.  That's how they roll in the Gotham Educational System.

Hey!  It's Peg-Leg Baxter!  Again!:

I understand he's got a gimmick there, but it seems very unwieldy.  I mean, the guy had two perfectly good hands with opposable thumbs.  I didn't get it in Planet Terror, either:

I, for one, would be worried that I would step on a stone or something, unknowingly clog the barrel of the weapon, and then have the thing misfire and blow off my other leg.  It could totally happen.  Don't act like you don't see it.

Just for fun, here are some fans complaining about comics going up to fifty cents.  The outrage!

Sputter!  I'll not have it!

And they're complaining about the 100 page for fifty (later sixty) cents issues!  I never thought I'd see the day when regular-sized comics would be a dollar, much less four bucks!  Madness, I tells ya.  I'm really not sure why anyone buys the individual comics when trade paperbacks are so much better and cost less.  It's a preference thing, I suppose.

I'll see you tomorrow!


Britt Reid said...

How hard would it be to find a guy with a peg-leg?
You'd think he'd stand out in a crowd, right? (rim-shot)

And, considering his gimmick is peg legs, what happens when he's making a getaway with loot in his "secret jewel compartment" leg?

"Halt, miscreant!"
"You won't stop me, copper! Lemme just strap on my revolver leg, and..hey, could you hold this for a minute while I unstrap the 'secret jewel compartment' leg?"

David said...

That's a fascinating lettercol, and a good example of how far things have shifted in the industry.

It never occurred to me that DC was alienating the old-timers in the crowd by charging 50 cents for 100 pages of mostly reprints...reprints of stories the old-timers already had. And the reason it never occurred to me was that I was 7 years old, and thought 100 pages of comics was the possibly the greatest achievement in publishing since the invention of movable type.

Through those Super-Spectaculars I discovered the JSA, Robotman, the Boy Commandos, the Sea Devils, Kid Eternity, et al. I saw for the first time the artwork of Dick Sprang, Mac Raboy, Jerry Robinson, Joe Shuster, Jack Burnley and so many others. My love for comics and my fascination with their long history was born in those books.

All of which is to say that in the 70s DC risked losing their grown-up audience in favor of bringing in more kids, and it worked, big time. Now they bend over backwards to cater to 30-something fanboys and don't give a damn about younger readers. Time will tell where that approach gets them, but I don't have high hopes.

Adam Barnett said...

David, I had the exact same experience with the 100 pagers. The first Batman comic I had was a soon-to-be discussed 100 page Detective that had lots of reprints in it, and I loved them because I was reading history. It never occurred to me that older readers would already have those stories and resent being forced to buy a reprint, but I might very well feel the same way.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

I stopped purchasing comics altogether a few years ago. It's difficult to justify the expense, and I was pretty selective about what I purchased. When I started--and it really wasn't that long ago--comics were $1.50 or less. I love comic books, but I'll read them in trades now, if I read them at all.