At the top of the pile is DAVID BORING by Daniel Clowes, which I found in hardcover at my local library. It’s a black and white (with a few spurts of color) three-part graphic novel about the son of a comic book artist (NOT, he points out, Wayne Boring). David is a wannabe filmmaker who is looking for the perfect woman and judges candidates based on their posteriors. The story includes attempted murder, the threat of all-out germ warfare, a harrowing raft-trip during a storm and more, but don’t take that to mean it’s your typical comic book adventure.
I found myself getting involved with David and his life. While the art is fairly static and some scene transitions are hard to follow, the story itself is compelling enough to keep you reading. I was unfamiliar with Clowes’ work in EIGHTBALL, but after reading this, I’ll try to track some of it down. I recommend DAVID BORING to anyone interested in a good read. [A word of warning: The book contains adult language and sexual situations that are not suitable for young readers.]
MAD: COVER TO COVER, with commentary by Frank Jacobs, was disappointing. The covers are all in full color and even the smallest of them are readable, but I found the amount of commentary lacking; pages of covers go by with nothing but artist and writer credits. Jacobs teases us with comments about how some things were done to see if they would boosts sales, but provides no answer other than lame jokes. There is a brief discussion about foreign editions of MAD and how they often have completely different covers, but instead of showing some of them, all we get are a variety of Alfred E. Neuman as Darth Maul covers, most of them notable only for changed color schemes.
There are oddities too: The book supposedly includes the first four hundred covers of the magazine, but there’s no #399, which had not been done by the time the book was published. Also, one of the covers is obviously the Canadian version; it has some of the wording in English and French and has a 75c price when the magazine was still 60c in the U.S.
Finally, there are a dozen covers which have been called “The Soul of MAD” because they epitomize what the magazine is all about. Jacobs notes that the original art for this dozen hangs in the MAD offices, which seems to be one of the prerequisites. That the most recent of the dozen dates back to the 1970s says a lot more about the current state of the magazine than anything Jacobs could say.
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
Continuing the four-part theme…
12. In place of whom did “Long Round” and “Short Round” join Easy Company?
13. X-Men and Spidey aside, what beauty was a Marvel mainstay from 1945 till 1973?
14. The father and son of Sue share the same first name; what is it?
15. Enterprise Captain Kirk, please state your full name!
16. Ending in failure, Superboy’s mission to save whom was foiled by Red K and an adult Luthor?
17. Name the “comedian” whose comic debut was “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.”
18. Here’s an obscure one: Name the rival of Bruce Wayne who hired Angie Larner to kiss him with poisoned lipstick.
19. Unless you were looking for trouble, you’d never call which of Wally Cleaver’s friends “Clarence”?
20. Name the western outlaw who had his own 1950s Avon book with Joe Kubert art.
21. Dodge City had a deputy with a limp; what was his name?
22. Radio’s “War of the Worlds” had Martians landing in what New Jersey town?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. The first drive-in movie theatre opened in Camden, NJ in 1933.
2. Book matches were first manufactured in 1896.
3. At 20,320 feet, Alaska’s Mt. McKinley is the highest peak in North America.
TO THE EMAILBOX WE GO…
Having just read the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS TPB, I couldn’t help but wonder where Lady Quark and Earth-6 had been featured before. Could you give me the background on this character?
— Jeff Veyera (firstname.lastname@example.org)
She and her Earth did not appear before CRISIS #4. They were created as part of the storyline and she was the only survivor of Earth-6 after the Anti-Monitor’s wave of anti-matter energy destroyed her universe.
A few years ago when Gerard Jones was still writing GREEN LANTERN , PREVIEWS issued a press release of new things happening to Hal Jordan. Then Ron Marz took over and replaced him with Kyle. I even saw a cover done by Kevin Maguire; it involved a group of Guardians flying in the cover. What was the story about and why was it replaced by the now-almost classic Ron Marz story?
— esbjorn oklesen (email@example.com)
I don’t recall what the plans had been, but they were shelved because the editorial powers-that-be decided a new Green Lantern was what was needed to rejuvenate the title.
I’ve been reading the latest issue of JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR and one of the articles makes reference to DC’s crack production department having all kinds of problems to solve with the publication of Kirby’s HUNGER DOGS graphic novel. Anything you tell us about it?
— Hoy Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If I’m remembering correctly, the art had been heavily pencilled and the inker had not erased the pages. Attempts by the production artists to erase the pages took up some of the ink as well, resulting in grayed out linework. We were left with a no-win choice when shooting the art for reproduction, erase the pages and under-expose to make the lines blacker… or not erase and then over-expose in an attempt to lose the pencil lines. Depending on the individual pages, we did one or the other.
Does DC plan to use Hypertime extensively, or is it just a back door for the occasional writer who gets nostalgic for some pre-Crisis character?
–Tony Midyett (email@example.com)
When originally introduced, DC editors said that Hypertime would not be used extensively (and it hasn’t been, so far). However, DC is in business to make money. They try to do so by selling comic books. If the extensive use of Hypertime proved profitable, you can bet it’d be showing up a lot.
What’s the most heavy thing Aquaman’s lifted?
— Hartley Holmberg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A few times writers have used the concept of Aquaman having great strength because he could withstand the tremendous pressure under the sea. (Come to think of it, I may have used that idea myself in a story!) Whatever the heaviest thing he’s been able to lift, it’s probably in one of those stories… and I’d guess something like a whale just because it seems a logical answer.
On the cover of Jack Kirby’s THE DEMON #15, Witch Boy is shouting at two Demons that are fighting.
The word balloon has a word or phrase missing, then the line, “…and you will exist in his place!!”
It looks like the words were to be printed in red, but got left off. Do you know what those words are?
I’ve scanned the cover and I’m ready to place the words in using Photoshop, Righting a wrong some 27 years later.
— Ron Stallcup (email@example.com)
“KILL ETRIGAN” was indeed supposed to have appeared on that cover in bold red letters. It got lost when the color separations were done and no one noticed until after the printed book was shipped.
Bob, why don’t you tell the story of how Stephen DeStefano got you a bear for Christmas so you could shoot that instead of the editors?
— Howard Margolin (DoctorOHM@aol.com)
Actually, it was Barbara Kesel (nee Randall) who got me the teddy bear. Stephen was the one who gave me the toy pistol so that I could shoot at editors who came into my Production Department with requests that we manage to correct, color separate and print their books in less time than it takes you to read this column.
As I recall, Barbara gave me the bear so I could strangle IT instead of Stephen after he turned in the art for ‘MAZING MAN #9 and left an entire subplot involving Guido out of the story. Stephen’s response when I asked why was, “I wasn’t in the mood to draw his hairy arms. You can use that idea next issue.”
When is the final Preacher book coming out?
— Juan Carlos Pere (firstname.lastname@example.org)
According to the most recent edition of Diamond’s PREVIEWS, the trade paperback PREACHER: ALAMO – reprinting individual issues 59-66 – will be in stores on April 4th. It’s a book you’ll be able to order through Comics Unlimited, SBC’s trade partner. And speaking of CU, you and everyone else whose letters appear in this column get a 10% discount on anything you order this week. [Note to the rest of our audience: Got a question and want to save some money on comics at the same time? Use the handy box in the column on the left; if your e-letter is used, you’ll get the discount.]
That’ll finish things here till next week. See you in seven days.
12. Zachary “Zack” Nolan
13. Millie the Model
14. Franklin (Storm and Richards)
15. James Tiberius Kirk
16. Abraham Lincoln
17. Andrew Dice Clay
18. Ulysses Vulcan
19. Lumpy Rutherford
20. Jesse James
22. Grover’s Mill
Need some answers from the Answer Man?
Ask BobRo at It’s BobRo’s Answer Board.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.