Showing 1 - 10 of 281 posts found matching keyword: comic books

Twitter very helpfully reminds me that today is Batman Day 2021. Explains the site: "Fans pay tribute to the DC Comics superhero on Batman Day, which is celebrated each year on the third Saturday of September." The only problem with that description is that it is not true.

Maybe Batman Day is held on the third Saturday of September since 2018, but it wasn't always. As I have documented elsewhere, Batman Day has been all over the calendar since it was first recognized in July 2014. But that's not the part I'm really bothered by.

The word "fans" in that description is misleading, unless you'd describe the corporations who own the Batman intellectual property as fans. Unlike Star Wars Day, which began as a genuine celebration of its source material before being taken over as a marketing exercise by The Walt Disney Co., Batman Day has never been anything other than a marketing exercise by WarnerMedia.

I wonder if whoever crafted that description for Twitter wasn't having a little fun with the wording. The phrase "pay tribute," which has come to mean a figurative giving of praise, was originally meant quite literally. A tribute is a tax levied on conquered peoples. Give your thanks (and dollars!) to your corporate masters, Bat-fans!

Which is not to say that I don't like Batman or think it's uncool to say how great the Caped Crusader is. I'd just like a little honesty in why we chose today to do it, is all.

Sometimes he's a little too honest
Batman #119, October 1958

Honesty! It's what Batman would want.

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Run, Blossom! Save yourself!

Disappointment is a side effect of expectations.

I liked Executive Producer Mike Richards as Jeopardy! MC. I thought he was among the best of the "guest hosts" who have been substituting for the late, great Alex Trebek. I wanted Richards to have the job permanently.

But Richards (or his bosses) made a mistake. When they told the general public that the new host would be "one of the guest hosts," that set the expectation in the minds of the public that the job would go to the host they personally liked best. Hence the widespread disappointment from LeVar Burton's legion of well-earned fans when the least known (but best connected — and probably also the cheapest) of all the temporary hosts got the gig.

Thus the door was opened for the inevitable amateur yellow journalists digging up every negative thing Richards has done or said in his 46 years on the planet. Sadly, not everyone can be as perfect a person as Alex Trebek.

If any of Richards' innumerable sins (mostly misogyny & bad jokes) is truly unpardonable, it was that as Executive Producer he had the inside track on selecting and auditioning hosts. Even if he didn't have the final say himself, he should have known that when you're in the race, you can't also be the referee. Americans expect their game shows to be fair, and they're always disappointed when they aren't.

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Every Batman fan worth his salt knows "The Joker's Comedy of Errors!", better known as "The Joker's Boner" story. Originally presented in Batman #66, Aug/Sep 1951, it can be summed up in one panel:

Extra, extra! Read all a-boner!
This is but one of 6 "boner" newspaper headlines in this story.

If you haven't read the story or you struggle with context clues, you might find it helpful to know that my trusty 1977 Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged defines "boner" thusly:

bōn´ẽr, n. a stupid or silly blunder. [Slang.]

As Batman #66 proves, newspaper editors love boners. Which brings us to the point of today's post.

In order to fill column space As a public service, The Newnan Times-Herald newspaper reprints food inspection reports from county restaurants. It's usually a lot of repeated warnings that store managers aren't checking the mold levels in their ice machines. (Come on, guys! It's right there in the Georgia Department of Public Health Rules and Regulations, Chapter 511-6-1-.05-7-b-5-iv-II!)

This month, in honor of Independence Day, the paper rewarded loyal readers by giving our local hot dog stand a boner of its own:

I eat hotdongs with relish!

Oysters really are an aphrodisiac!

For the record, the restaurant calls itself "The Half Shell Oyster Bar & Hot Dog Shop." Rumor has it their menu was selected because the city wouldn't let them install an oven in their original location downtown, so they chose items they could cook with steam. (Welcome to Newnan!)

I've never had the oysters, but the chili dogs *are* pretty exciting.

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From the Family Business Department

This is not a Red Bee appearance. It is a Red Bee reference.

Training a bee to sting on command is cool, but it's hardly superhuman
Inferior 5 #5, March 2019

And it's a weird reference in a weird comic book. Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Inferior 5 was a 12-issue monthly comic book mini-series that began publishing in September 2019. It was intended to continue the story of Invasion!, a mini-series published in 1989 by the writer of that series. But Inferior 5 didn't find much of an audience for a 30-year old story that hadn't been particularly popular the first time around, so it was reduced to a 6-issue series mid-stream. Then The Pandemic came. Comic publishing was put on a hiatus, and Inferior 5 #5 and #6 were simply abandoned.... until they were released online in March 2021.

Now, as to Red Bee's involvement: Red Bee was *dead* by the time of Invasion!. He'd died fighting Nazis on February 23, 1942 as revealed in 1982, remember? Which means the Red Bee captured by the aliens in 2019's 1989 story couldn't be the same Red Bee.

Whew. Even summing up took a while, huh?

I'm speculating here, but a little known fact is that Rick "Red Bee" Raleigh had a grand niece who would take up the family business in 2007 (with robotic bees, which are so much easier to train). Maybe the alien invaders in 1987 knew something that we didn't. Maybe young grandniece Jenna was the Red Bee in custody. Children and legacies *are* prominent themes of Inferior 5, at least insofar as I can make out from the messy pile of leftover panels presented in issues 5 and 6.

Stranger things have happened. We are talking about a series of heroes who fight crime with bees, after all.

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Independence Day is my favorite day of the year, but I really, really hate it when it falls on a Sunday. That means 2 full nights of non-stop fireworks. (From sundown until after midnight! There oughta be a law!)

Boom! Bam! Kang!
Spidey Super Stories #17, 1976

Everyone who shoots fireworks in a residential neighborhood should be reincarnated as a dog.

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Celebrate Christmas in June with Superboy!

Superboy says gift cards are for losers!

What I heard: solve poverty by giving poor people money. That Superboy, he's a thinker.

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Because of the pandemic — which can't hurt Superman but can hurt the very people he has dedicated his life to helping — the Metropolis, Illinois, Superman Celebration was cancelled last year, and has been postponed to the end of July this year.

But in case you ever wondered why it's usually held around the second weekend in June, here's your answer:

Don't ask him to blow out the candles
Superman #263, April 1973

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Listen to what the man said!

That PSA was published in 1949, when the USA had a population around 150 million and 25 million registered cars. For comparison, today there are about 350 million Americans (+133%) with 287 million registered vehicles (+1048%) resulting in over 42,000 traffic fatalities (+30%). Obviously, roads have gotten a lot safer in the past 3/4 century, and I think we all know why.

Thank you, Superman!

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It's June 2021, which means it's also the 15th annual Superman Month!

Since the 1970s, June is also Pride Month. If only there was a comic book from yesteryear that in ironic hindsight put the two things together....

Extra, extra! Lois Lane turns Superman gay!
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #3, July-August 1958

Silver Age comic books are renowned for their silly nonsense stories, and this is no exception. Don't worry, though. It has a happy ending when Superman finds a way for everyone to get in on the Pride action.

Why, he's wearing the same pants I am! We must be the same person!

Superman is everyone's ally!


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From the A Day at the Bee-ch Department:

To round out its page count, the Stargirl Spring Break Special (in stores now!) contains several pin-up pages featuring the Justice Society of America, the Seven Soldiers of Victory, and the All-Star Squadron.

Red Bee might not have been an All-Star for very long, but answering roll-call even once was enough to earn inclusion in this fun page drawn by the inimitable Fred Hembeck.

Where's weirdo?

As a public service, I have highlighted the Red Bee who gallantly stays out of the water to play life guard. Even heroes need heroes sometimes.

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To be continued...