On “Binky Brown”

Reading about this groundbreaking undergrounder in Hillary Chute’s Why Comics? reminds me of the time I first came across it (I believe it was the second printing) in a Missoula “head shop.” The cover alone was “WHAAAAAAT?” This will fill you in on its history and significance.

I couldn’t believe this comic — every page was a revelation (as well as disturbing) that touched on society, the sexes, religion, growing up, and of course psychological disorder of the OCD type. It’s a bit like Elvis — it’s impossible to convey the jolt of surprise as one encountered “Binky Brown” when it was new.

I was on the inexperienced and naive side myself. I was certain Justin Green was going to become a prolific comix genius. For a long time I thought of him with a twinge of disappointment. Older and at least a couple (white) hairs wiser, I now see what an unrepeatable performance “Binky Brown” was. But hey — lots of artists have long and large careers without producing even one masterpiece. I bought the fancy 2009 reprint and thought Green’s work deserved every bit of the celebration.

Unfunny Animals

Just saw as much of the rebooted “Duck Tales” as I could tolerate (about half an episode). Pure franchise exploitation. At least Carl Barks isn’t around to see this.

[Edit] I think the strong difference of opinion between me and most reviews I’ve scanned depend on when you bought your ducks. See, I thought the original series was a cheap-down of the comics, so …

R.I.P. “Fabulous” Flo Steinberg

Charming selection of images with this obit. Always under-credited. I think she was right to quit over the $5 raise issue and that it was a sad testament to the difficulty women face(d?) is the comic book world that she fail to score on her own.

(To be fair, the 1975 timing on Big Apple Comics — I own a copy and “fabulous” is the only word for it — was unfortunate. Underground Comix were going into a death spiral.)

Friday Funnies: Outta-Control Comics Covers from the ’60s

Mainstream comics, that is.

Kona

Suicide Squad

(Exceptionally well designed plot and illustrations for this forgotten comic. Starting at $77.00 on Amazon, so I ain’t crazy.)

Suicide Squad 2

All downhill after this cover, though.

Kona 2

Kickass cover — extremely freaky comic (in Pt. Two esp.)

Suicide Squad 3

I tried to hide everything offbeat I had from my Mother. Left this comic out by accident and she burned it. Not just tossed in the trash: ritually burned in the back yard. (It was more to do with the name — which did seem to have a lot of lasting power — and less with the image.)

Dawn Breaks Over Marblehead: Doom Patrol and Teen Titans

I mentioned the Doom Patrol years ago, but ignorantly didn’t understand how Beast Boy ended up in the Teen Titans. Then this week I saw a Teen Titans episode where they were battling an updated version of The Brain, the leader of the Doom Patrol’s archenemies, the Brotherhood of Evil. Waaaait a minute! How could I have dipped into Teen Titans for years (and enjoyed what I saw for the most part) and not realized they were an obvious reboot of the Doom Patrol! D’OH!! I mean, the Robotman/Cyborg parallels should have hit hard as a smack from an iron fist. The only character that’s halfway a stretch (so to speak) is Elasti-Girl = Starfire … and I now see there’s even been comic-book crossovers that I missed entirely (along with virtually all mainstream comic books since the ’90s). So everything makes sense now and there is a “later” Doom Patrol that I like. Whuddaya no.