Sep 14, 2013
Jun 14, 2013
May 29, 2013
Sometimes you get some interesting things in a donations box. Here we have two classic single issues featuring two of America’s most iconic superheroes.
On the left is Superman #168, written by Edmond Hamilton with art by Curt Swan and George Klein. The issue has the distinction (if one can call it that) of being the first to be published after John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963. The letters page has a tribute to the fallen President. This issue was originally supposed to have featured a story centered around JFK’s physical fitness program, but the story was pushed back to issue #170 after the President’s untimely death.
The issue on the right is Detective Comics #357, written by John Broome with art by Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella. The main story of the issue is entitled “Bruce Wayne Unmasks Batman!” and features a cameo appearance by then-well-known radio personality William B. Williams. Williams was a disc jockey on New York City’s WNEW station for over 40 years, where he interviewed top talent, including Frank Sinatra. As you can see from the cover, some early fan has removed Williams’s face from the late, great Carmine Infantino’s otherwise exquisitely beautiful cover. This issue also featured a backup story with the Elongated Man, with a story by Gardner Fox and art by Murphy Anderson and Sid Greene.
While each comic’s innards are well-preserved, the covers are both heavily damaged. This is typical for this era of comics, as they were printed on acidic paper and fans didn’t necessarily collect or keep issues. Often they were traded and shared after they were read, making them very “well-loved.” Still, markings and tears on any sort of book makes a librarian wince.
One last note: There’s an interesting progression between the two issues in the ads section. Each of these books is like a cultural time capsule, sharing what was important to young people at the time they were published. The 1963 Superman seems to assume that every reader is part of a household where at least one parent is present. The 1968 Detective Comics issue makes references to “parents or legal guardians,” acknowledging more complicated, less traditional family structures. Just an interesting observation on the progression of cultural ideas of family in a silly Batman book.
There are days I really, really love my job.
Mar 7, 2013
Mar 4, 2013
#Obscure Science Joke
Especially the “Are you dense?” part. That is hilariously awesome.
Jan 1, 2013
That episode of the Animated Series where Tim Drake has a crush on a girl, only she turns out to be part of Clayface and she sacrifices herself to save him.
My feels in this episode came more from another running theme in the episode. Batman sums it up best at the end of the story when he tells Tim that “sometimes there are no happy endings.” When Tim first mentions Annie to Batman, he points out that she’s a problem for a runaways center and not a teenage vigilante, and he’s right. Child abuse and runaways are both widespread and complicated problems that can’t be solved via batarang. Later, when Tim searches for Annie, he encounters many families coping with poverty and homelessness, another massive problem superheroics can’t solve.
Tim’s look when he encounters these families is touching because he came from a household of crime, poverty, and abuse himself and was rescued by Bruce/Batman. In this episode he’s greeted by the unpleasant reality that he is the exception, not the rule. Not every kid can be adopted by a billionaire turned superhero, and his Robin suit doesn’t make him the easy solution to every horribly sucky problem the world has to offer. All this doesn’t stop him from trying, but recognizing that not everyone actually receives the happiness they deserve is at the heart of Tim’s growing pains.
Nov 26, 2012
Nov 18, 2012
Sep 15, 2012
Aug 11, 2012