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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #23

Supporting Characters Week, Day Three: Season of the Witch.

Looks like the suspenses have it. Also, I apologize to any readers without high-speed internet, as I’m probably destroying your modem with each post. Sometimes, though, there’s just too many good images, and I find myself unable to contain my enthusiasm. So I put them all up. I promise it’s worth the wait on dial-up. Today’s featured covers will knock your socks off.

Today’s entry is about a cool dude who doesn’t show up anymore, even though he’s a great character and has appeared multiple times outside of comics. You could say he’s an old favorite of mine. Wait, spelled that wrong.

1/23/07

23. Bibbo Bibbowski

Bibbo vs Everybody.jpg

I meant fav’rit. As Bibbo (star of one of the greatest covers of all time, if the above image is any indication) is my fav’rit, so too is Superman his.

Bibbo for the win.jpg

Really. I swear. They’re great pals. Don’t let that one fool you.

In fact, when Superman died, Bibbo took up the mantle himself. Yeah, he was Superdood. Forget those other posers in that silly Reign. Bibbo was the only guy who knew they were all fakes. Even Lois was fooled, if you recall, but not Bibbo.

Who owned the *real* Post-Crisis Krypto? Bibbo. And he wasn’t an untrainable mutt from space, he was a regular ol’ dog who hung out with Superboy.

Bibbo’s an old boxer and longshoreman. Okay, so he’s Popeye. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s better than Popeye, anyway, because he’s powered by beer rather than spinach. Now, however, he runs the best bar in Metropolis, the Ace o’ Clubs, and he’s Superman’s #1 fan. He’s saved Big Blue’s life on a few occasions, too.

Bibbo = pwnage.jpg

Bibbo has almost no internet presence and only a few rare cover appearances. Bibbo needs your internet love, readers!

Bibbo and Lobo1.jpg

After all, he’s shown up on the Superman and Justice League animated series (voiced by Brad Garrett, I think); he was on Lois & Clark once (played by Troy Evans, the guy who plays Frank the desk dude on ER); and he even showed up in the major motion picture, Superman Returns, played by none other than Jack Larson, the old-timey Jimmy Olsen:

bibbo jack.jpg

The credits only called him “Bo,” but we know what they really meant.

As much as Bibbo is played for laughs, he’s also been portrayed as a sympathetic and noble human being, inspired by a larger-than-life hero to be the best man he can be. That’s why I love him, and why you should, too.

What’ve you got to say for yourself, Bibbo?

Bibbos mug.bmp

“Da fug!”

What? That’s not what we rehearsed!

“Oh, das’ right. Uh… support your local C-List supporting characters, or I’ll paste ya one!”

Well put, Bibbo. Well put. And Merry Christmas.

“Wha? Not again!”

Bibbo as Santa.jpg

Are these the only Bibbo covers that exist? If you, faithful reader, know of more, please, let me know! The world has to be made aware of the greatness of Bibbo Bibbowski!

28 Comments

I thought it was kinda cute how they turned Bibbo from a realistic drunk into a lovable one.

Oh, and when you get a lot of images, isn’t it a real pain in the behind to upload them all?

It is a bit of a lengthy process. I was originally hosting all my images at Photobucket, which was faster, but I’d run through my allotted bandwidth with blazing speed.

Ah Bibbo. What Turk is to a Daredevil comic…

It is a bit of a lengthy process. I was originally hosting all my images at Photobucket, which was faster, but I’d run through my allotted bandwidth with blazing speed.

I used to host the Judging Books by their covers on photobucket on the old blog!

As you might imagine, that got to be insane, with all the juggling I needed to do. So thank goodness for our new host server! :)

I could help you out with our FTP server, which allows us to load large groups of images en masse, but it doesn’t give you identifying tags (you have to go find them yourself, which is quite annoying)- so, really, if you’re dealing with about 10-12 images, just upload them.

But when you’re dealing with 50-80 images (like Judging Books by Their Covers), then you really need to use the FTP server.

I think you can imagine how much freakin’ formatting work there is involving in Judging Books by Their Covers. :)

Dear GOD Cronin. I never knew you photobucketed all of that. Makes my brain hurt just thinkin’.

And Bibbo rules. He really needs t’come back.

Although I never did like the cheap imitation Krypto. But I have very, very strong opinions about how Krypto should be written.

(Charlie Brown! With a cape! It’s that easy! Why does no-one understand!)

Bibbo’s fightin’ zombies and runnin’ rackets over at Dark Horse now.

I miss having Bibbo in Superman. I miss having a lot of the citizens of Metropolis in the books. But Bibbo was something a bit special than the others; that whole loveable drunk with a great right hook was always fun to read.

No one’s better than Popeye. You’ll hear from P.A.P.S.M.E.A.R. about your unsavory remarks.

Popeye’s American Pals Stopping Miscellaneous Electronic Attempts at Rudeness!

I miss having Bibbo in Superman. I miss having a lot of the citizens of Metropolis in the books.

Don’t even get me started, or I will rave for hours about Ron Troupe and Alice the Copy Girl.

I wonder why Supe’s supporting cast was dumped so one-fell-swoopedly. Was it ediorial, like Thou Shalt Not Use These Characters? Or was it just the writer switch-a-round?

For a character created in 1991, Bibbo Bibbowski certainly does seem like a suprisingly well-considered idea. But I think it’s good that he makes himself scarce these days. It’s hard to Superman having a realistic, drunkard Popeye tag along and maintain a tone of anything but surreal, Indie comic-like “goofy awesomeness.”

So Superman had *two* Popeye characters appear in his comics – Bibbo and Captain Strong?

I think Bibbo’s scenes in World Without a Superman (or early in Reign, I forget– the scene that ends with him pulling on the goofy S-jersey) are some of the most emotionally well-done bits with any civilian in a super-hero comic, ever, and a real highlight of that arc. Totally tear-jerkingly wonderful.

Just to confirm – Bibbo was Brad Garrett on the cartoon, yeah.

From what I understand, Bibbo actually originates from an old Honeymooners episode (ex-Superman editor Mike Carlin is a big Honeymooners fan). I don’t think Bibbo became as much of a Popeye analogue until he was adapted into the Superman animated series.

Great character choice, Mr. Reed!

Man, I love that Showcase 95 cover. Bibbo thinks he’s got the situation covered, but you just know the bulldog is going to walk away with all his money.

Good old Bibbo was fun. Back in the 90’s I thought comics were pretty grim and gritty (compared to the 80’s), but it’s hard to imagine a character like Bibbo being tossed into a story now, when everything is supposed to be so dramatic and important. There don’t seem to be a lot of supporting characters out there who are humourous foils.

Matthew E said …
“So Superman had *two* Popeye characters appear in his comics – Bibbo and Captain Strong?”

Wasn’t Bibbo an updated Captain Strong?

I think Bibbo’s scenes in World Without a Superman (or early in Reign, I forget– the scene that ends with him pulling on the goofy S-jersey) are some of the most emotionally well-done bits with any civilian in a super-hero comic, ever, and a real highlight of that arc. Totally tear-jerkingly wonderful.

I had this scene in my head the entire time I was writing today’s column. It’s one of my favorite moments from the Superbooks.

Great character choice, Mr. Reed!

Thanks, man.

I’m glad to see such a healthy response for Bibbo. I guess the Bibbo love *is* strong.

Bibbo made me into the lunatic “S”-tattoed Superman fan that I am today.

Seriously.

The scene that Jacob T. Levy highlights from “World Without a Superman” was one of the first Superman books I ever read as an adoloscent (I was a total Marvel zombie up until that point), and the first comic that ever got even the least little bit choked up.

Bibbo believed in Superman, and I believed in Bibbo. Ergo I came to believe in Superman as well.

For a character created in 1991, Bibbo Bibbowski certainly does seem like a suprisingly well-considered idea.

I’m not sure where you got that year from, but I’m pretty sure he was created in 87 or 88 in Marv Wolfman’s run on Adventures of Superman

Man, Bibbo was awesome. When was the last time he was in a Superman book? I remember him being in the wedding issue, but not much after that.

I think it became some sort of editorial decree that Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White were the only necessary supporting characters for Superman. Or maybe Jeph Loeb decided that back when he started writing Superman. It seems like I remember reading something to that effect in an interview somewhere a few years back.

I think it all came about in the big creative team shift–the writers who used Bibbo left, and the new people coming in did a lot different. That’s still editorial, though, in a sense–the editors kicked out the whole crew for all four books (in what I’m given to understand was not a wholly graceful transition, he understates) and found people who would deliver a totally different approach. They probably didn’t say, “No Bibbo!”, but they went and found people they didn’t have to say that too.

And probably a good thing. I ever find a DC editor screaming, “No Bibbo, no Bibbo!”…let’s just say I’m aiming for the head, just like in a Romero movie.

One of my favorite moments from Superman: The Animated Series —

It’s in the first of Worlds Finest episodes. The Joker has shifted operations to Metropolis. Clark Kent dons the reporter’s hat and starts asking questions. He visits the bar and asks Bibbo if he knows anything about the Joker. “Sure, Mr. Kent! Which one? There are plenty of jokers around here.”

Ah, what the heck. I thought it was funny (funnier when you hear Brad Garrett read the line, I guess).

Maybe Grant Morrison will catch wind of Bibbo’s fandom and plug him into a future issue of ASS. That would be cool.

Bibbo pretty much vanished during the big writer change in Fall of 1998. It’s my theory that it was Dan Jurgens who was maintaining all of those supporting characters (Bibbo, Lucy, Ron, the aforementioned Alice the copy girl, Keith, Jose Delgado, Guardian, the Newsboys, Colin Thornton, Lana as a decent person, Luthor actually having recurring goons with personality, etc).

Yeah, I miss Jurgens a lot.

I do not believe it was Jurgens. I think it was all of the writers. Ordway, to wit, loved most of the characters. So did Louise Simonson. So did Roger Stern. And yeah, so did Jurgens, but he left the book the same time Louise Simonson officially left the book (she had left the book but came back for a little run).

Yeah, ‘gree. I assume that the Kirby and Kirby-ish characters were all Kessel.

The images are cool, and even though it eats up my fragile line, they’re usually worth they wait. Often, much like today’s, they will show me something I’ve not seen before, and will also inspire me to hunt them down.

I just about shat myself when I saw the Bibbo and Lobo Showcase #6. That’s definitely gonna be in my next backissue purchase!

The Kirbydotter

March 10, 2007 at 10:10 am

I prefer the original Popeye-parody of Captain Strong (another childhood favorite of mine) drawn by the great Curt Swan! First appearance in ACTION COMICS 421. He was popular enough for a second appearance in ACTION COMICS 439. He came back at the end of the Julius Schwartz era of editorialship (in the early 80’s) in another ACTION COMICS issue (which I can’t seem to find) that was drawn by Marshall Rogers.

He ate a kind of alien-seaweed (called sauncha) that made him as strong as Superman but also a little crazy.

Seeweed is much better than beer for your health.
Too much beer makes you stupid.
Too much sauncha makes you stupid but very strong.

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