We’re a little verklemmt here at SBM today. Basically twice as much activity must be crammed into half the time normally available. Some quick hits before we go out:
§ Robin Bougie vs Joe Chiappetta with his butt:
Back in 1998, I was a little jealous that Mr Chiappetta was getting so much attention for what I thought were extremely low quality comics — both in content and execution. Of course, this was back before he went back over his “Silly Daddy” comics for the reprinted editions and censored out any objectional words, so I guess I like his comics even LESS now come to think of it. Self censorship is so fucking pathetic. Anyway, I announced that his crude drawing style was SO rough and like sandpaper on my eyes, that I could probably draw better with my butt. Rebecca called me on my shit, and so I was forced to back up that statement. Here are the infamous results which were printed not only in my comic DEVIANT #3, but in a free Vancouver paper called TERMINAL CITY (which ended getting clipped out and hung up at the photography studio where I work)
§ Peter Sanderson has an interesting take on the Batgirl cover brouhaha:
I was a boy during that time, long, long ago, and I remember the story in question: it was “Batgirl’s Costume Cut-Ups” in Detective Comics #371 (January 1968), whose cover showed Batgirl declining to help Batman and Robin in a fight against bad guys because, she tells them, she has a “bigger” problem: “a run in my tights”. Should you read the story, you’ll find that Batgirl is actually slyly diverting the criminals’ attention to her shapely legs, or, as one of the crooks, apparently fond of slang that was outdated even then, puts it, her great “gams.” Batman and Robin are then able to kayo the distracted malefactors.
I was one of the regular contributors to editor Julie Schwartz’s letter columns back then, and I distinctly recall writing a letter about how bad this story was. Today I suspect that it was Schwartz’s attempt at doing a humorous story for a change of pace, but the joke still fell flat. This story is stupid now and it was stupid then.
It was also an anomaly. In her other 1960s appearances Schwartz’s new Batgirl characteristically dove right into fighting criminals. In the comics of the mid-1960s, Batgirl’s willingness to engage in direct physical combat was bold and daring. (William Dozier, producer of the 1960s Batman TV show, is said to have forbidden the TV Batgirl from punching people with her fists because he considered it “unladylike.” Instead, she executed dance-like kicks, drawing on actress Yvonne Craig’s Ballet Russes background.) Marvel’s superheroines of the time-Invisible Girl, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Marvel Girl–didn’t engage in fisticuffs. In the early Fantastic Four stories Sue Storm’s original power, invisibility, basically enabled her to hide.