BACK TO BASICS … OR UPSETING MR. HEINTJES AGAIN.
What with the trifecta of nicotine withdrawal, calorie counting and excess exercise, I’ve been ignoring my responsibilities to my fanatic fan base. I’ve not made myself available as the stunning font of knowledge through the regular program we (how many of me are there?) like to call “Ask The Dwo.” Okay … okay … everyone stop laughing.
The reason that this upsets my longtime friend Tom Heintjes is two-fold. First he’s responsible for my DWO nickname (yeah, you pronounce it like it was a word … you say du-woh … it doesn’t rhyme with “two”) so he thinks he retains some control over its use. Second he disapproves of “the Dwo,” it is his opinion that my nickname should be “dwo” without the “the.”
Now that I’ve completely bored everyone who stopped by to read about funny books, let me say this to Mr. Heintjes. Get Over It.
None of this changes the goal of this humble program. Ask me a question. Any question. I’ll attempt to answer it. I can’t guarantee that you’ll like the answer. So put on your thinking caps. And if you’re stumped for ideas, you can always check out the BACKGROUND page for ideas. I’ve got an answering “Ask The DWO” post coming up next week.
ANSWER TO THE LAST FANATIC QUIZ QUESTION
In my April 1st post, I ran pictures of Red Raven Comics #1, Iron Man & Sub-mariner #1, and Edgar Allan Poe: Tell-Tale Heart and other stories #1. The question was this: besides all being first issues, what do these three funny books have in common? Now I’ve got a problem. I was thinking of one answer and then one of my fanatic readers provided a better … or at least more entertaining answer.
My original answer was almost immediately guessed by regular fanatic Pat Curley (and there will be a special gift for Pat later in this post). The answer is: all of these titles had NO second issue. Red Raven Comics was so poorly received that the title to the series was changed to Human Torch with the second issue. Iron Man & Sub-mariner #1 was (at the time) one of the few “one-shots” ever released by Marvel Comics. The title’s contents were short (and incomplete) Iron Man and Sub-mariner stories that were sitting in inventory and the book was a way to turn that investment by the publisher into income.
Edgar Allan Poe: Tell-Tale Heart and other stories #1 was a deliberate attempt on the part of Malibu Comics to maintain a small margin of profitability with its Edgar Allan Poe reprint stories. There were three or four issues worth of material. We (meaning the upright and responsible folks at Malibu, including me) knew that if we released them as a regular series that the second issue might break even if we were lucky and the others would be money losers. By making all the issues, FIRST ISSUES, each one sold enough copies to be a profitable release.
Fanatic reader Mark Bourne guessed that the answer was “Wings.” I really like this answer better. Red Raven had wings, Sub-mariner has those little “baby” wings on his ankles and Tell-Tale Heart has a black bird on the cover. So even though Pat answered my question the way that I wanted, I think that Mark’s answer is more fun. So Mark wins the trivia contest and Pat has to look below, just above today’s Gene Colan Project, for his special consolation prize.
THE NEW FANATIC QUIZ QUESTION
Below is a Marvel splash-page. Name the title that it came from. And if you feel like showing off, I’ll take the issue number. If that information is too tough, how about naming the artist.
2nd STRING HALL OF FAME NOMINEE
I’ll be rolling out the nominees in ROUND FOUR one by one. And this new round of nominees is going to be all-female.
Vixen (DC Hero)
Created by the great Gerry Conway and artist Bob Oksner, according the Wikipedia, Vixen was very nearly the first black female DC superhero to star in her own series. The first issue was produced, but was then caught 1978’s “DC Implosion.” Eventually, Vixen made her first official appearance in Action Comics #521. Mari Jiwe McCabe was raised in Africa, but moved to New York City to be a model.
Upon a return trip to Africa, she gains possession of a fox-shaped totem that was part of her family’s heritage. The totem gives Mari the power to call on the powers of the animal world (and her powers may have the same source as Animal Man’s). Vixen was part of the Justice League of America when Aquaman re-organized the team and she departed when Martian Manhunter later disbanded this version of the team. She’s spent time fighting side-by-side with Animal Man, the Suicide Squad and Oracle’s Birds of Prey. In 2008, Vixen even got her own 5-issue limited series in which writer G. Willow Wilson told an adventure of Mari’s return to Africa. And just for the record, Vixen is included in this round of nominees based on a suggestion from a fanatical reader.
FANATIC PAT CURLY’S CONSOLATION PRIZE
Pat wrote the following comment on a recent post, “As a teenaged boy at the time, I loved the Black Widow series, especially since every issue had at least one panel (integral to the plot mind you) where she was showering or changing into her fighting togs.” So just for Pat …
THE GENE COLAN PROJECT
For some people, Frank Miller is the artist you think of when you talk about Daredevil, The Man Without Fear. For me, it is Gene Colan. And I also love love love to see penciled artwork, especially by Gene Colan because his inkers always said how difficult his pencils were to interpret into ink lines. So take some delight in this beauty, not from a by-gone era, but a Colan Daredevil pencilled commission piece from 2004.
That’s my version of the story.
— Dave Olbrich (DWO), Friday, April 17, 2009