Tag Archives: comics

The Saturday Comics: I Love Lucy, for Valentine’s Day

6 Feb

February 6, 2020

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I look back at a classic Saturday Comics post featuring those lovebirds, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.

May 28, 2011

Yes, you read that right. I’ve been aware for years that there was an I Love Lucy comic book. Here are a couple of non-consecutive pages:

Remember how they couldn’t say the Lucy was “pregnant”? And how the Ricardos slept in separate beds? The comic book was a little sneaky. In the panels below, we see two headboards and a table between Lucy and Ricky but despite the twin blankets, these panels sure seem to imply that they are in one bed.

But we are not here to talk about comic books, this is a newspaper strip feature. So secure in the knowledge that I Love Lucy was the most popular show in America with a broad appeal that spread to the comics, I set out to find out if there was ever a newspaper strip.

There is very little information out there but there definitely was a strip. Few images still exist but I found one.

Ladies and gentlemen, the I Love Lucy newspaper strip:

I hope you were able to read the text atop the comic. It said “Hear the Comic Weekly man read the comics Sunday KOMO, 8:30 am.” What a slice of Americana- someone actually read the comic strips over the radio!

“In the first panel we see Lucy and Ethel. Lucy is wearing an apron over a dress too fancy to be dusting in. Ethel is 25 pounds heavier than Lucy, as is stipulated in her television contract.”

Ah, the old days.

My Review of Wayne of Gotham, by Tracy Hickman

27 Dec

December 27, 2018

I guess there is only one Batman story possible, because in Wayne of Gotham we’ve seen it all before. Batman reopens the Wayne murder case. Again. Thomas Wayne may have been mixed up with criminals, or been one himself. Again. A rift between Bruce and Alfred. Again. The writing was good enough to keep me reading but the plot? Nah. And the characterization? Since when does millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne disguise himself as an invalid and have Alfred push him around in a wheelchair, in the privacy of his own estate, in the hopes that a paparazzi will jump a fence and snap his picture a ‘la Howard Hughes? When was Alfred promoted from butler to Bruce Wayne’s public relations flack and a high level Waynecorp officer? To be fair, this book suffers from coming out within just a few short years of Grant Morrison’s amazing Batman run, which dealt with the Wayne murder and Bruce’s backstory in a much more interesting way. (DC is once again dealing with this in their current comics.) It is just a shame that Hickman felt that the same ground had to be covered yet again. Where is the originality?

Now that I have finished the book, I have a few questions. When did this take place? It claims to be Batman’s final case but there is no sense of where this occurs in his career. Where were Dick Grayson or any of the regular supporting Bat-cast? And worse- did Tracy Hickman know anything at all about Batman before starting the book? Batman has always been about the man inside the suit, not about the Batsuit, yet Hickman seemed enamored of the technology. Tons of words were wasted on the gyros in the Batsuit, the power cells in the utility belt, the way the Batmobile connects to the power grid. Is this Iron Man or Batman? In Iron Man the technology is a vital part, in Batman it is merely there. The Joker’s quote from the 1989 movie had it right- “where does he get those wonderful toys?” They are just toys, tools, nothing more; yet to read this book, you’d think it was Tony Stark in the Batman outfit.

This Batman was full of doubts and paranoia. He had none of the confidence of the Batman we have known for years. I found myself not caring about him.

The Joker had a tiny, bit part, probably because Hickman assumed the Joker turns up in every single Bat story. He was used to zero effect here. And again, does Hickman know anything about the Batman universe? The Joker was described as wearing old, cracked white greasepaint. No, the Joker’s face is white already, no paint needed. How did an editor let that slip by?

By the end, the plot had grown confusing and uninteresting, the characters were either unlikable or poorly characterized, and the writing average. I give the book one star because aside from all my criticism, the real problem with the book is that the plot was horrible and not only did not hold my interest, it seemed designed to confuse and annoy the reader.

 

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