Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's my birthday...


In the second panel there, Robin does not appear to give a good goddamn that a guano-stained stalactite just nearly killed them all, or that it's precariously embedded in that smashed cake, or that Batman looks like a suicide prevention PSA: he's getting himself some motherloving cake.

Alfred probably doesn't let Jason have sugar very often. Probably interferes with his nap time.

So, it's my birthday. How old am I?

Old enough to remember when you could still buy comics in grocery and convenience stores. And treasury comics, and Marvel/DC digests, and black-and-white magazines.

Old enough to remember when the only female super-hero action figure you would probably find would be Wonder Woman, but little boys wouldn't get her because 'girls are icky.' And because she wasn't drawn hot back then.

Old enough to remember staying up late for the 70's Marvel Dr. Strange TV movie. Not so old that I remember any of it, though...

Old enough to see the original Star Wars Trilogy in theatres, and buy the comics and the toys and the sheets and the glasses and the breakfast cereal...

Old enough to appreciate doofy old golden and silver-age comics as building blocks of our heritage. And doofily entertaining to this day.

Old enough to remember when a toy-tie-in comic like ROM, or Micronauts, or the Transformers could last long enough to become an entertaining entity in and of itself.

Old enough to remember Marvel buying their distributor and trying to put out about a hundred books a month: how did that turn out again?

Old enough to remember when a comic would use consecutive numbering, and books like Warlord or Power Man & Iron Fist could break 100 issues.

Old enough to be glad it's the me of today writing this stupid blog, and not the me of ten years ago. Seriously, I am so glad to be delivering whatever doggeral and and tomfoolery as I can string together now; as opposed to the trenchant insights I would've brought in 1996: "Sooo pfffucked up. Me no words good. Heroes Reborn what?"

I'm 35 today, and today, that's old enough.

(Today's panels are from Batman #400, written by Doug Moench, art on this page by Brian Bolland. It was a jam issue that's completely awesome and not to the best of my knowledge reprinted anywhere. I've had this copy since 1986 and love it very much. Sorry. And a bit of a cheat on my part: the cake was for Batman's Anniversary...presumably, of his first appearance as Batman, and not the anniversary of his parents' death.)

3 comments:

Chawunky said...

I love Brian Bolland's work, yet that is easily the scariest Robin I have ever seen...

Anonymous said...

How can Alfred and Gordon be in the same room together? Wouldn't that give away Batman's identity?

googum said...

Ah: everyone there (except Robin and possibly Catwoman) was brought in blindfolded to celebrate Batman's anniversary. I didn't scan it, but the narration notes, "And Alfred plays along." It had been established that Batman knew Alfred, so by itself that wouldn't give away his secret. (We'll ignore the fact that in the continuity at that time, Gordon believed Batman knew Bruce Wayne as well; although the two weren't close.)