Tag: The Phantom

With Futher Ado #300: RIP My Comic Book Reading Dad

With Futher Ado #300: RIP My Comic Book Reading Dad

My dad just passed away, and we’re all dealing with the grief and the loss. I am struggling to write one of the eulogies, and I’m hoping that writing this 300th “With Further Ado” will be a good “warm-up” exercise for writing that difficult speech.

It makes sense to shine the spotlight (Batsignal?) on my dad as he really was a comic book guy. He grew up trading comics, as did many of those kids from late 40s and early 50s. He would tell me that his favorite was Crimebuster (and his monkey) from Lev Gleason’s BOY Comics. In fact, a few years ago, Joe Kubert gifted my dad with an autographed sequence from when he worked on that series all those years ago. It was a joy to buy him back issues of that series every time I’d stumble across affordable copies.

My dad also enjoyed reading The Phantom and Prince Valiant Sunday strips in the newspapers. He loved the sweeping adventures, and of course, the father-son themes of each strip made if fun for me to enjoy each one with him. Continue reading “With Futher Ado #300: RIP My Comic Book Reading Dad”

Brainiac on Banjo #033: A Matter of Perspective

Brainiac on Banjo #033: A Matter of Perspective

If you’ve ever had any inclination to be an artist, or if you’re old and decrepit enough to have had art class in grammar school, you probably received at least a rudimentary education in topics such as perspective, gravity and physics. Drawing remains (for the time being) a two-dimensional experience and so the pencil pushers in the comic book medium must figure out how to represent our three-dimensional world in a medium that lacks visual depth.

Our friends in the closely-related field of animation figured this out long before most of us were born. You ignore physics and keep the story running so fast the viewer is undaunted by technicalities. Bob Clampett’s Porky In Wackyland – the best cartoon ever – employs this concept in nearly every frame. It’s the very purpose of the cartoon. Chuck Jones’ Road Runner series, for the same studio, uses perspective manipulation as a running gag throughout the run: Wile E. Coyote runs off a cliff but does not fall until he realizes he’s run off that cliff. Then he falls into a chasm so deep it would make the Grand Canyon cross its legs. He survives the fall even though the intensity of the drop is so great he’s pounded into the ground – still alive – and usually gets hit on the head by a chunk of that cliff.

In this, Wile E. has defied all three of the laws of motion. I think Isaac Newton would have laughed his ass off, but then again, he very well might have been deeply offended.

We’ve seen all kinds of wacky science in comics. Sometimes, defying physics comes off just fine. After all, if The Hulk really existed and he really could get from point A to point B by scrunching down and leaping into the air, that “equal but opposite reaction” thing would cause quite a stir. So which laws of physics do you obey, and which can you ignore? Continue reading “Brainiac on Banjo #033: A Matter of Perspective”