"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
This is the one-hundred and seventy-second in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and seventy-one. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
Warning: This week’s installment in extremely graphic intensive.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Joe Madureira snuck a complaint about Roger Cruz into an issue of Uncanny X-Men.
Comic artists swiping each other is certainly nothing new. Heck, most of the early appearances of Batman are made up of swipes by Bob Kane.
However, modern readers tend to get a bit more irritated at the practice, and the case of Roger Cruz and Joe Madureira was a particularly interesting one, for a few reasons.
1. Madureira, the guy being swiped, was barely in his 20s when he was doing the work that was being swiped – usually, it is a classic artist (a Jack Kirby, for instance) being swiped.
2. Madureira’s highly manga-influenced artwork stood out from Marvel’s other artists, so when Cruz began drawing in the same style, it stood out more that he was swiping Madureira.
3. Since Madureira was so young, his art output was not that large by 1994/95, so when Cruz began swiping him, people could fairly easily identify the swipes, because there were only a half dozen or so comics drawn by Madureira to flip through for comparisons.
Cruz (who mentions on his web-site that he taught himself to draw BY copying artists) was in his early 20s when he broke into the comic industry, as well, and in those early days, he swiped from Madureira and Jim Lee fairly often.
Cruz was featured often on the Swipe of the Week website in the late 1990s, which is sadly defunct. Luckily, the nifty blog, ADLO! Novelti Librari has archived most of the Swipe of theWeek website, so here are some examples of Cruz swiping Madureira (Madureira is always the first artist shown):
This last one is a great example of how swiping usually works – Cruz here takes panels from FOUR different comic pages and combines them to form one comic page.
In any event, even if you wished to argue that Cruz did not intentionally copy Madureira on any of these drawings, you can bet dollars to donuts that Madureira FELT that Cruz was swiping him.
Therefore, in Uncanny X-Men #325, Madureira got a small measure of revenge…
Check out the headline on the newspaper…
Cruz, as far as I can tell, no longer swipes, and he has been doing a great job on X-Men First Class, so all’s well that ends well, I say!
Thanks again to the nifty blog, ADLO! Novelti Librari! And thanks to readers Mario and Tawner for the question (and note that commenter Lawrence also replied to Tawner before I could nab the comment) – they oddly both sent the question within a day of each other. Serendipity!!!
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Michael Golden disappeared from comics for a time while he was on the lam.
When I first was asked about this a few years ago (soon after beginning the column), I dismissed it out of hand.
Then I was asked about it some time later by a different person.
Then later, by a different person.
Finally, just the other day, a reader asked me about it, and you know what, while it is silly, I guess I might as well address it – but rather than really addressing it, I will address the fallacy that is at the heart of the question.
Anyhow, the other week, reader Chris asked:
This is one that’s interested me for years, and has been both confirmed and denied by a few different people, concerns Michael Golden. He vanished from comics for a while during the eighties and nineties, and I’ve heard that the reason for this is that he allegedly killed a man who was having an affair with his wife, and went on the run. Further to this, the victim was a corrupt policeman! It seems bizarre and improbable, but I’ve been assured by a few people that it’s true.
I have not actually posed this question to Mr. Golden, but I can tell you its not true because of the fallacy that is at the heart of the question, and that is really why I’m answering it, because while you don’t need me to tell you that Michael Golden did not kill a man and then go on the lam for a number of years, what DOES “need” to be stated is that Michael Golden has never STOPPED drawing comic books.
I see it often, too – “Michael Golden returning to comics,” etc.
It has never happened, because Golden has never actually LEFT comics.
To demonstrate, Michael Golden began drawing comic books in the late 70s. In 1979, he began doing Micronauts for Marvel. Here, then, is one comic book work from Michael Golden for every year from 1979 to 2008 (the 1999 cover is by Cary Nord – Golden only did interior work that year):
So while Mr. Golden can officially debunk the “killed a corrupt cop” story, I’m glad to debunk the notion that Michael Golden has ever stopped doing comic books.
Like Golden said himself in an interview last year at Newsarama:
Newsarama: A lot of people from your generation are having trouble breaking back into comics, have you encountered any trouble like that?
(Michael’s agent) Renee Witterstaetter: I don’t think Michael was ever out.
Golden: Yeah, I was going to give some snide remark about explaining the context of your question because there’s been no difficulty breaking back in because I don’t think I was ever really out or conversely, I wasn’t in enough to where it was relevant whether I was coming or going. [laughs] I always have done my own thing no matter if it is comics or otherwise.
So, yeah, that’s about that.
Thanks to Daniel Robert Epstein for the above interview!
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Snapper Carr was named after George Lucas.
Snapper Carr was with the Justice League of America from their very beginning, when they were hanging out in Habby Harbor.
He was the League’s mascot for a number of years.
That ended in 1969 when Snapper betrayed the League (he wasn’t exactly appearing in a lot of stories anyways at the time)…
For the next decade plus, Snapper made extremely rare appearances in DC Comics, but in one of them, they finally addressed something odd – no one had ever actually given Snapper’s real name!!
So in Superman Family #195, in the Supergirl story in the issue (where Snapper had been appearing for a few issues), Jack C. Harris was tasked by Julie Schwartz to come up with a name for Snapper.
This being the late 70s and Harris being a comic book writer, he decided to pay homage to George Lucas, of Star Wars fame.
So from then on, it was Lucas “Snapper” Carr.
Thanks to H from the awesome blog The Comic Treadmill and Back Issue magazine for this neat information.
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for this week’s covers!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week!
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