Wednesday, August 31, 2016

All Those Kids Came to See a Show, and by Heck, They're Going to Get It!

Before we leave it, let's finish our look at Master Comics #23 with the Bulletman story:

This is actually the first appearance of the Weeper.  You may recall that we've followed his exploits in Bulletman Comics.  But here we'll see he was a pretty awesome villain from the get-go:

Yeah, he hated happiness so much that he'd kill people to put an end to it.  And by the end of this story, he'd kill several people.

He'd even kill a circus clown:

Hmmmm... the Weeper prefers all this blubbering to happiness?  He was a twisted dude!

Well, true... life can be a kick in the crotch sometimes.  But you don't have to contribute to the misery.  Maybe that's a better lesson.


Hmmmmm... Jim and Susan were pretty quick to put themselves at center stage after the clown died.  I'm just saying.

You bet we're having fun!  We can hardly see the dead clown in the center of the ring when we look up at you!

Okay, fast forward to Susan being taken hostage.  Because you know it's going to happen.

Ah, there it is.

Anyway, Jim put in elaborate death trap, Jim escapes elaborate death trap and...

Jim fights Weeper's henchmen (his gang was called "The Bittermen," trivia fans!) and Susan...

... throws wreaths.  And we all know that would have delayed the gangsters about two seconds, but these are comics.

Okay, enough of that.  On to this:

Not the best plea for clemency I've heard in a courtroom, but I appreciate his candor.

Hoo boy... that's not going to look good on a transcript if someone decides to appeal that sentence.


"When a man's dead - He's DEAD!"

Judge Kalo has clearly never read a comic book in his life.


And moving on to the Companions Three story:

It really wasn't much more than a Random Slap! (tm!), but I never pass up a Random Slap! (tm!)

And finally, here's a joke I don't get:

Okay, I'm missing it entirely.  Someone help me out here.

See you tomorrow!


Smurfswacker said...

I've gone over and over that joke trying to make sense of it. I wouldn't be surprised to learn the editor knew it was no good but he had a page to fill, so what the hey?

The nearest I can come to an explanation is that Willie is working on MATH homework. The homework asks for a mathematical definition of a circle and Barney provides a dictionary definition. The sides split with mirth. But for even this worthless joke to work the writer needs to have supplied more information: that the homework is math and that the question asks for a formula.

Another possibility is that Barney is a complete moron but when asked an obscure question he unexpectedly comes up with an elaborate answer. Oh, the chortles of joy. Again, we need to know in advance that Barney is a dunce for the gag to work.

One option remains. It's my choice for the true story. Over drinks at lunch a cynical cartoonist says to his editor, "You know what would be funny? We do a one-page gag that makes absolutely no sense. It'll drive the kids crazy." Underground cartoonists used to do that sort of non-sequitur humor. Why not a Golden Age gag man?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

That, or Barney didn't see that Wlllie was taking a shit while working on his homework.

Adam Barnett said...

Both explanations are surprisingly satisfying...

Hypersmash Studios said...

Here's the thing -- even though the joke doesn't seem funny, it's actually well established. If you Google "a circle is a round line with no kinks," you'll see a bunch of references to it over the decades. So apparently lots of different people thought it was a howler over the years...