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Archive | February, 2014

The Saturday Comics: Gotham City Uncensored

26 Feb

February 26, 2014

Saturday Comics on a Wednesday?  Why not? After all, new comics don’t come out on Saturday either.

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The Brave and the Bold 197 (1983), written by Alan Brennert, is one of my favorite Batman comics. With all of the changes in DC continuity over the last few years (OK, decades) this story is way, way out of continuity, but at one time it filled in an important part of DCU history. This is a tale of the Earth 2 Batman. Earth 2 was once the home of the Justice Society, as well as older versions of Batman and Superman. This was also the exclusive home of Huntress and Power Girl. This story tells of an older Batman, nearing retirement, and how he fell in love with and married Selina Kyle, Catwoman. The story is so good it was even reprinted in a volume of the Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told. Regardless of whether or not it fits into the current New 52 era, this issue is great reading and worth if for the Joe Staton art. For some reason it has been going up in value. You can’t find an issue on eBay for less than $10. But if you are a comics or Batman fan, this issue is worth it.

If you prefer, for just a little more, you can get the hardcover collection that contains this story and a few more, but be warned, you’ll be missing out, since there is a very slight (but interesting) change to the artwork.

Joe Staton inserted a joke into the splash page. He never expected it to get printed. He fully expected the editor to catch it, have a laugh, and take it out. But it somehow made it into print.

This scan is from my own copy.

This scan is from my own copy.

See it? Staton put in a pedophile joke, right there on the shoebox.

I don’t see how the editor missed it. I’ve had this issue for years and I spotted it long ago. But I never knew the story behind it before and luckily, Comic Book Resources already got to the bottom of it. Via CBR, here is the explanation from Joe Staton himself:

Actually I think the label was more “PED-ophile”.  Commission Gordon was holding a shoe box and at the time I thought is was funny that you might see “pedophile”  as meaning “foot lover,” not a good pun, but not such a bad name for a shoe company.

Anyway, I put it in, but back then, DC had a pretty tight editorial process so stupid jokes and personal bits were normally caught and properly disposed of.  Unfortunately, not in this case.  My stupid joke was actually inked and even printed.  Most people seemed not have even noticed it, but it looked tacky.

Later when editor Mark Waid told me that the story was going to be in a collection, I asked him to erase the label and he was happy to do so.  It was my stupid joke and I’m very grateful to Mark for letting me set it right, especially since this was one of my best jobs, on one of the very best scripts that ever came to me, with one of the very best inking jobs I ever got.

Thanks for letting me clear that up.

Mystery solved!

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Lego Time!

22 Feb

February 22, 2014

A little over a week ago, I introduced you to The Palace Cinema, the Lego set which I would build during my recovery. (Don’t worry, the operation went well. The doctor tells me I didn’t need all of those parts anyway, and my insurance company recently went out of business so there was no need to worry about things like sponges or anesthesia. Those just drive up the cost anyway, and take it from me- doctors who work out of their attics are very cost conscious.)

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I never built anything out of Lego, even when I was a kid. (I was more of a tea party and scones GI Joe kind of kid.) And this set has almost 2200 pieces. Big pieces, small, pieces, and lots and lots of tiny prices that get lost in the rug. This was going to be a challenge. If I’ve learned anything in my nearly two days of building, it is this: It takes forever to sort those pieces out, and even longer find the one you want when there are only two of them in a set of thousands. Sure, there are 987 long grey girders, but there were only 2 tiny brown “L” shapes. This would not be the case if I were building a life-size movie theater.

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100_0093100_0094Of course, this is all hampered by the fact that I had a four-hour operation, a debilitating operation, and my movements tend to be stiff and I have to get up and move every so often or I just get sore and achy and Legos all over the place.

But all is going well so far. I don’t want to go on too much or post too many pictures (Captain Pigheart may sue me for stealing his gimmick- one of them, anyway) but I’ll let you know how this turns out, and also, if you care, how my recovery is going. I still can’t sleep through the night, but at least I have something to do at 3 am. 100_0117

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