Friday, February 22, 2013

Rorschach: The Early Years

I don't know if it's good news or bad news to inform you that this Rorschach-in-training is not my child, but MY GRANDKID.

Ordinarily Araya Sunshine is a normal little two-year-old who enjoys playing with blocks or, along with her cousin, exploting new avenues of mass transit.

But in times of trouble, the gloves go on, and a new persona takes over....

You don't want to make her angy.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Part the First


In 1967 I was eleven years old and a dyed-in-the-wool DC Comics kid.  One of the dozens of comics kicking around our house at the time was Action #350, with this stupendous cover by Curt Swan.


Looking back on this cover now, I notice that the writer of this cover’s blurb was playing a little fast and loose with history, since according to knowledge of the time cave men were around tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago, but not a megaannum (look it up) ago!   The “lived and died a million years ago” is a little bit of an exaggeration.

 Now, compare the anatomically-accurate-in-every-detail Curt Swan art on the cover to the interior art by Wayne Boring.

 Now, I know that Boring is considered a great Superman artist -- I personally LOVE the way he portrays the lovely ladies of DC -- but in my opinion Boring’s art is wa-a-a-y, t-o-o, cartoony.  Compare Curt Swan’s depiction of the skull to Boring’s:



 It’s like comparing a third-grader’s art to da Vinci!


Anyway, I remember this comic specifically because of an argument it sparked between me and my sister Sue, who would have been 17 at the time.

It’s one of those nerdy arguments like the one in the movie Stand By Me about who would in in a fight -- Mighty Mouse or Superman?

Just judging by the cover art, Sue and I argued about whether it was possible for this skeleton in the super-suit to actually BE SUPERMAN’S SKELETON.

I said that (theoretically) it was entirely possible that this COULD BE Superman’s bones.  On the other hand, Sue said this could not be.  He couldn’t be there twice -- alive AND dead.

My response was that it could easily be him, both alive and dead, sketching it out this way:  Suppose that tomorrow Superman flies into the past.  Somehow he is killed in this cave, IN THE PAST.  Now, eons later, Perry White and Superman stumble across these bones.  It would not be violating the “time travel laws,” because this skeleton is the skeleton of TOMORROW’S Superman.  This Superman, standing there looking at the bones, tomorrow will fly into the past and die, so that today’s Superman can find the body.

See? not a contradiction at all!

To which Sue responded, “It can’t happen like that?”

“Why not?” I demanded.

“Because!” she said.  This being my sweet sister Sue, this came out pronounced, “Be-cuzz -- Just be-cuzz!”

 What do YOU think?  Could Superman be there -- both alive -- AND dead?
Until next time, don't forget to watch The Rat Patrol on ABC on Monday nights!
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© by Mark Alfred