Tuesday, January 31, 2012


When I was eight years old I asked my dad if we could fight crime as Batman and Robin. We had a car that looked like the Batmobile in Giant-Sized Batman #1 (well, kinda; ours was a dark green and it lacked the big bat-fin, but, details, details) and my dad had already made me a top-hat and a cape for a local kid's theater production of "Jack and Jill" (our director had a unique vision that called for me to play the little-known part of Magician-Wizard in the tale) so I figured the costumes wouldn't present a problem. My dad had been in the Army during World War II and he was still in good shape, wiry and muscular, and he had black hair like Bruce Wayne, and even though I was fairly clumsy and uncoordinated myself, I knew I could be a great gymnast like Robin once I got the red and green outfit on. All in all, as brainstorms went, I was pretty certain this one was a sure fire winner. Much more practical than my previous idea to win a contest for a spacesuit, like the hero of my favorite book, "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel," because as far as I could find out, nobody was actually promoting a contest with a spacesuit for a prize, but this Batman and Robin idea only required a simple paint job on our car, and some sewing, and we'd be good to go.

My dad, bless his heart, listened to this proposal and said, with all seriousness, that he'd think about it. Meanwhile, wasn't it time for me to go to bed?

I mention this now, not to provide an early indication of my somewhat tenuous grasp of reality, but to establish that from almost the beginning of my relationship with comics, I didn't want to create stories about super-heroes; I wanted to be a super-hero. Writing about super-heroes was my consolation prize.

Just thought I should make that clear up front, in the spirit of truth in advertising.

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Please don't flame each other or me. Or I will track you down and set you on fire and we'll see how you like it, boyo or lassie, as the case may be. That isn't a threat, just a jocular reminder that it's better to behave like an adult than a babbling idiot. I speak from experience.

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