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Comic Book Legends Revealed #335

Welcome to the three hundredth and thirty-fifth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, learn the bizarre story of the Wall Street insider who made hundreds of thousands of dollars through hidden tips within Bringing Up Father comic strips…or did he? Plus, legends about Brother Power, the Geek and the Green Hornet!

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and thirty-four.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: George McManus was involved in a stock trading scheme where he would alert the others through hints in the dialogue of his comic strip, Bringing Up Father.

STATUS: False (but the truth is nearly as crazy)

Reader Anthony Durrant wrote in a couple of months to suggest the following:

I remember reading awhile back that the cartoonist George McManus, who drew BRINGING UP FATHER, was a participant in a fraudulent stock trading scheme. His job in the scheme was to alert the other participants to which stocks were on the rise through his strip, which he did by incorporating them into the dialogue of the characters. The persons involved in the scam then learned of the advances on the stock market through the strip, which they were able to decode through a special viewer.

That is not exactly the truth, but it forms the bare bones of an amazingly bizarre stock market scandal of the late 1940s.

You see, Frederick N. Goldsmith was one of the most successful stock market forecasters on Wall Street. For nearly 50 years, he worked in the stock market giving advice to investors. He had made up to $39,000 in a single year writing forecasts for the markets. He had upwards of 200 subscribers paying him $25 a month for his predictions!

That was all well and good until 1948 when the New York State Attorney General’s office began investigating claims of how Goldsmith was making the predictions. As it turned out, we was using the comic strip Bringing Up Father!!! And that’s not even the WEIRDEST part of the story!

I’ve written about Bringing Up Father before in this column, but as a refresher on it, the basic concept behind George McManus’ popular strip, Bringing Up Father (known mostly as Maggie and Jiggs, after the main characters) is that an Irish guy from the streets named Jiggs comes into a whole lot of money. So this guy without “refined” taste is now quite rich, but he refuses to give up his old haunts and habits (which does not please his wife, Maggie, who wants the social status being rich is supposed to give you). It’s a charming comic strip that lasted until 2000, a remarkable run for a comic (McManus did the strip until his death in 1954).

You see, when Goldsmith would advertise his services, he would claim that he had “inside” information. As it turned out, though, in 1916, a spiritualist had put him in touch with the ghost of famed Wall Street financier James R. Keene. The ghost of Keene told him that “insiders” rigged the market and in recent years they revealed the truth using a code that appeared in Bringing Up Father.

Goldsmith remarked, “It took me an awfully long time to break the code, but once I did, it was simple to predict the market with 90 to 95% accuracy.”

For an example, Goldsmith took a Maggie & Jiggs strip of May 1947.

The first frame showed Jiggs with his right hand in his pocket. Explained Analyst Goldsmith: “A signal to buy.” Two rings of smoke were coming from Jiggs’s cigar (“The market will go up in the second hour of trading”). In the second frame, Maggie is saying: “I don’t see why you can’t get your name in the paper, too” (“Buy International Paper”). In the last frame, Jiggs’s cigar smoke is still rising, indicating a steady market at the close.

Goldsmith felt that there was nothing wrong with what he was doing (even noting that the ghost of JP Morgan had come to him recently to tell him he was doing fine). However, the court decided that he could no longer work as a forecaster. It was less his methods and more the fact that he never told people about them that distressed the judge (plenty of his clients testified on his behalf, including one fellow who said that Goldsmith’s tips netted him $150,000 in profit!).

McManus (64 years old at the time) noted to reporters that if he had insider tips, he wouldn’t be bothering to still draw cartoons. McManus, notably, actually lost essentially his entire fortune in the 1929 stock market crash (he slowly built it back up before he died).

How awesome is that story?

Thanks to Anthony Durrant for the suggestion and thanks to Time Magazine for the scoop!
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Check out the latest TV Urban Legends Revealed to learn whether Viacom actually got sued over how they handled the Star Trek franchise! Plus, legends about I Love Lucy and the strange way an ER character was saved from death! (the link works this time!)
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COMIC LEGEND: DC once canceled a comic book because Mort Weisinger hated it.

STATUS: Basically True

In 1968, Joe Simon created a new series drawn by artist Al Bare called The Geek (specifically Brother Power, The Geek).

Edited by Joe Orlando, the book was a clear attempt by DC to cash in on the “hippie movement” in America at the time.

Here is the introduction of the character…

In #2, things get even crazier as the Geek gets involved in a protest at a missile factory…

And ends up in space by the end of the issue (Governor Ronald Reagan makes a cameo!)…

While the book was definitely an attempt to cash in on the hippie movement, it was not exactly like Orlando and Simon were young rebels trying to take on the establishment. Orlando was 41 years old and Simon was 55!

Still, when longtime Superman editor Mort Weisinger saw the comic, he was outraged. He went to DC publisher Jack Liebowitz and explained to him that it was not right for DC Comics to be publishing a comic that glorified the hippie movement and drug culture. Liebowitz ultimately agreed with Weisinger and canceled the comic with issue #2. The sales were not exactly outstanding, so it was not like Liebowitz was canceling a gold mine here, but sales were strong enough to keep the book going.

That was almost like a last hurrah for Weisinger, though, as a power player at DC, as Carmine Infantino (at the time the editorial director at DC) was promoted by Liebowitz to replace Liebowitz as publisher when he retired and the “old guard” was out.

Both Simon and Infantino have told the Weisinger story independently of each other, to Comic Book Artist (here’s Infantino from Comic Book Artist #1, as interviewed by the great Jon B. Cooke, “Mort Weisinger was offended by the book and he went to Leibowitz. At that time he had an awful lot of weight and the book was killed! The first issue did so-so, but the second issue was starting to come up in sales. It was starting to do better but unfortunately we had to kill it off”) and a variety of other comic book magazines, so I think it is fair to say that the story is true.

Mark Evanier wrote in to note that while Weisinger definitely did not like the contents of the book, he likely also saw Joe Simon as a threat, and felt that if the book succeeded, Simon would have been hired on by DC as an editor, so that was another motivation for Weisinger wanting the book killed. Thanks, Mark!
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Check out the latest Baseball Urban Legends Revealed to learn whether Vladimir Nabokov worked an actual baseball headline into one of his most famous works. Plus, marvel at the strange Little League World Series game where the two teams both tried to let the other team score! And discover why a baseball umpire threw two TV cameramen out of a game!
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COMIC LEGEND: Now’s Green Hornet comic had to make an abrupt change with who their Kato was because of the licensors.

STATUS: True

In 1989, NOW Comics debuted a new Green Hornet series, initially written by Ron Fortier. The series tried to place the original Green Hornet into the same universe as the 1960s TV series by suggesting that the TV series featured the sons of the original Green Hornet and the original Kato.

Now the book was going to star the nephew of the second Green Hornet, Paul Reid, and the much younger half-sister of the second Kato (the “Bruce Lee Kato,” as it were).

The new Kato made her debut in Green Hornet #7…

Amazingly enough, the new Kato made an abrupt exit in #10, just THREE issues later!

You see, as it turns out, the licensors decided that they did not want a female Kato, but instead wanted the “Bruce Lee Kato,” so in a quick turnaround, the “Bruce Lee Kato” returns in #13…

The editors of Green Hornet confirmed as much in the letter column of #12, stating:

The Green Hornet is a licensed property, which means that the licensors, not NOW Comics, have the final say over what direction the book takes. They decided to keep Hayashi [the name Fortier came up with for the TV series Kato] as Kato instead of going on with Mishi. However, Mishi will still be a part of the Reid clan’s life.

I certainly don’t begrudge the licensors’ point of view, but man, talk about a weird chain of events. With such a quick turnaround, it almost seemed like the change was never approved in the first place!
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Check out the latest Poetry Urban Legends Revealed to learn if Thomas Bowdler actually “bowdlerised” a reference to a bull in Longfellow’s “Wreck of the Hesperus” to “gentleman cow,” we marvel at the brashness of Robert Lowell and discover exactly what really happened to Dorothy Parker’s ashes! (the link works this time!)
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Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

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Also, be sure to check out my website, Legends Revealed, where I look into legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can find here, at legendsrevealed.com.

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

48 Comments

Mort Weisinger was really awful the more I learn about him.

One thing I think should be included in the tale of BROTHER POWER, THE GEEK: While everything you write is true about Mort Weisinger hating its contents, Mort also had a certain fear and dislike of Joe Simon…and was probably worried that if it succeeded, Simon would be offered a job as a DC editor.

Now tried to prop Mishi back up under the new name Crimson Wasp.

Scans_Daily gets shut down, but not this? This is way beyond any “fair use” argument.

Man Brother Power has one of the dumbest superhero origins I’ve ever read. (And I’ve read about cosmic radiation, nuclear bombs, and radioactive spiders turning people into superheroes).

I wish Marvel or DC still had the guts to publish comics that were as overtly political as The Geek. But now they’re so afraid of the feigned outrage over merely the implication that a Captain America comic was making fun of the Tea Party, that they’d never do something like this. There was a fair amount of political commentary in 70s Marvel. (Although, it seems like it was mostly Englehart who wrote political stories.) In the 70s Tony Stark gave up on making weapons for the US or anyone else mostly because of the Vietnam War; I don’t think we’d see a story like that today.

One thing I think should be included in the tale of BROTHER POWER, THE GEEK: While everything you write is true about Mort Weisinger hating its contents, Mort also had a certain fear and dislike of Joe Simon…and was probably worried that if it succeeded, Simon would be offered a job as a DC editor.

Thanks, Mark! I’ve added it to the piece.

That little green car got the heave-ho too shortly thereafter. The Hornet went to a custom shop and ordered a new Black Beauty that looked exactly like the 1960s one. At the time, I thought the letters column said not that the owners didn’t want a FEMALE Kato, but that they wanted a more traditional (retro) look for the whole concept. Probably thinking of TV and movie rights, in that they want people to open the comic and not ask, “Who’s she? Where’s the real car?”

I can’t help but notice that you haven’t actually addressed whether or not McManus was actually putting any coded messages in Bringing Up Father, just taking it for granted that the idea is as crazy as it sounds–and lord knows Goldsmith sounds pretty nutty. After all, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not really out to get you…

Wow. I am offended by the insensitive portrayal of youthful motorcycle enthusiasts in Brother Power.

Sabotaging other people’s projects for fear that they might be successful… that’s just petty and sad. And it’s not any better if he did it because he didn’t sympathize with the series’ ideas. Either way, Weisinger looks like a pathethic control freak.

And I have to say, this origin story isn’t any more stupid/unbelievable than the Flash’s or Spider-Man’s. It required the exact same amount of willingness to accept nonsense.

I can’t help but notice that you haven’t actually addressed whether or not McManus was actually putting any coded messages in Bringing Up Father, just taking it for granted that the idea is as crazy as it sounds–and lord knows Goldsmith sounds pretty nutty. After all, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not really out to get you…

Fair enough, I added quotes from McManus (and the whole “he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars while he was supposedly giving out beneficial stock tips” thing).

ParanoidObsessive

October 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

I find it amusing that the hippies in Brother Power the Geek were so anti-violence that they wouldn’t even attempt to defend themselves from getting beat up, yet have absolutely no problems rooting for an animated rag-doll beating the ever-loving hell out of people. Ideological conflict, much?

>>> I wish Marvel or DC still had the guts to publish comics that were as overtly political as The Geek. But now they’re so afraid of the feigned outrage over merely the implication that a Captain America comic was making fun of the Tea Party, that they’d never do something like this.

To be fair, at least part of it probably isn’t a fear of controversy, as much as it’s presumably the (not entirely unjustified) assumption that any comic representing a more significant or even radical political ideology will reflexively drive off half (give or take) your audience. And considering what comic book sales are like these days, I’m not sure either company can really afford to take risks like that.

For certain characters (and certain issues) it’s not so much of a huge danger (would Wolverine voicing a belief in the death penalty really drive away any Wolverine fans?), but definitely so for characters where their ideology is a large part of the entire premise of the character (like your own mention of Captain America – he and Superman are basically THE characters who fall into that category).

It’s probably easier with trade paperbacks or limited series, and definitely so with smaller press books, to actually attempt to present a specific real world-based ideology. Which is why you tend to see political statements in those sorts of projects more than you will in more mainstream “entertainment” books.

I’ve heard of Brother Power the Geek comic before but have never read it. After reading these few pages, I wish that was still true! :-(

As Brother Paranoid Obsessive notes, there’s an ingrained conflict of ideology, but it seems broader and more pervasive than the simple “Clobber them with your peace signs, men!” Honestly, apart from the milieu, Simon takes every opportunity to belittle and besmirch hippies and hippie culture from the first frame on, which makes one wonder what it was that Weisinger had to oppose? Any hippie-leaning youth of the time would have been searching out the independents, or at the very least Roy Thomas’ books, which tended toward pretty groovy, man. Peace.

ParanoidObsessive, perhaps you’re right. But in the Captain America comics of the 70s they made the president (Nixon at the time) the head of a vast conspiracy. If I remember correctly they stated in the letters pages that they intended this outcome even before learning of the Watergate Scandal. Maybe in the 70s the readership was large enough that they could afford to make political stories of this nature.

I’m not advocating the idea that comics should have heavy-handed political messages. I just think that Marvel and DC tend to actively avoid this type of thing. A few months ago they replaced a Superman comic with a reprint, presumably because the comic in question would have featured a Muslim character. It seems to me that they’re trying pretty hard to avoid “offending” a certain type of person.

There was an old black and white movie I saw once where the cartoonist who worked for the local newspaper WAS passing along privileged/inside information, but it was to a gang of crooks about what targets to hit and when. The head of the mob even had special stencils that told him the information when placed over the printed strip, depending upon where the artist’s signature was in a particular installment.
Just wish I could remember the name of the movie. Maybe Mark Evanier knows it.
But did the Bringing Up Father situation inspire the movie, or did the movie inspire the Maggie and Jiggs story?

“Any hippie-leaning youth of the time would have been searching out the independents…”

I was around at the time, and I can assure you that the word “independents” was not being used to describe any comics. Did you mean the undergrounds?

I wonder what Mort thought of PREZ? Remember the Mort-of-the-Month column in Wizard?

…and now we have come full circle with a female Kato and Katana essentially taking up that role combined with Robin in the planned new CGI Batman ‘toon….

Sandwich Eater –

In 1969, Richard Nixon used the expression “silent majority” to refer to the Conservatives of his time. I am not sure if they were a majority, but Nixon was right that they were much less vocal than today’s Conservatives. That is mostly because, back in the 1970s, being a Conservative was really, really uncool. Not necessarily evil, but uncool.

Doubly uncool if you were a YOUNG Conservative.

I think that is why not many fans sent angry letters to criticize the openly leftist comics of Englehart, O’Neil, and many others.

The cultural zeitgeist changed in the last decade so that being a Conservative that reads comic books is cool. People are free to mouth off against the “Liberal media” without looking like total squares. Conservatives have gained terrain in the Cultural War.

@Al Funcoot

“I was around at the time, and I can assure you that the word “independents” was not being used to describe any comics. Did you mean the undergrounds?”

Yarrr, that be the word. Thankee for the clarification. I was still a bit dazed at Simon’s apparent and utter disdain for his own subject matter. :)

Everybody knows that the only really useful stock market tips were concealed in the Charles Addams cartoon “The Skiier.”

JMS did a superb Brother Power team up with Bstman in Brave and the Bold recently.

And I would totally buy a Prez ongoing. Do you hear me, DC, one whole confirmed sale right here!

Everybody knows that the only really useful stock market tips were concealed in the Charles Addams cartoon “The Skiier.”

Don’t I wish!

Brother Power the Geek is one of the finest comics ever made.

That Brother Power: The Geek comic looks great, I love the art…

“I find it amusing that the hippies in Brother Power the Geek were so anti-violence that they wouldn’t even attempt to defend themselves from getting beat up, yet have absolutely no problems rooting for an animated rag-doll beating the ever-loving hell out of people. Ideological conflict, much?”

I got hit with that right away too. Normally when characters need a powered protector like that, it’s because they are physically incapable of defending themselves physically, not because they are against it. Heck, they might as well have made it “we don’t believe in causing harm to others, so let’s build a giant robot to do it for us” “I don’t believe in bombs, so I’ll hire you to build it for me”.

SNIPER!

Oh, sorry, thinking of the Prez cover…

Anyway, great legends (even though I have some of the NOW Green Hornet and knew about that one already…).

That guy with the stock forecasts…WOW. That is one weird weird story. But I’m still a bit unclear as to WHY the government got involved. From what you say here, he didn’t do anything illegal, and the methods in and of themselves weren’t illegal, just that he wasn’t saying to his clients “the ghost of a Wall Street financier told me that Maggie and Jiggs have the secret code to what the stock market’s going to do.” I would imagine that potential clients would hear that and that many would decide not to deal with this guy, unless they see that his methods work well.

I mean, if Warren Buffett gets tips on how to invest from what Mr Dithers does in Blondie, do I care that that’s how he did it, so long as it’s not illegal?

Unless…there really WAS a code that was divulged even without McManus knowing it! Ooh!

It also vaguely reminds me of a bit in a Vonnegut novel, I think God Bless You Mr Rosewater (or maybe Sirens of Titan), where a guy builds up a massive fortune by investing in companies based on the 2 letter abbreviation of the company name, and based on the first words of Genesis. That is, IN, TH, EB, EG, IN, NI, IN…etc, were the companies the guy invested in.

Brother Power the Geek. Wow, I’d only read about it, but man, that’s cool. It’s so friggin’ weird! Prez is also great like that, but WOW.

What else did Al Bare do? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of him.

Regarding the biker gang — this was before Altamont, so I assume it’s more a reference to things like The Wild One, and the “old” “hip new thing” in the ’50s, biker gangs as the rebellious thing for young kids, and sets this up as the introductory conflict. It’s actually a kind of subtle bit of “hey, you hippies are the new thing for kids to be, but look at what kids were 10-15 years ago…”.

That page where he learns the language and goes to school is especially nuts. What’s his problem? He talks like us! WHA? And school — he feels weird, but stuff him in a bag and he’ll be ok? WTH?

DC needs to put out a collection with the 2 issues of Brother Power, the 4(?) issues of Prez, and maybe the issues of Inferior Five. I’d buy the heck out of that!

Unfortunately, the Vertigo Visions Geek one shot, despite the Mike Allred art, was BAAAD. Ugh.

The court determined that he was misleading his customers into believing that he had superior knowledge of the stock market that informed his picks. Since the court established that ghosts telling you what stocks to pick did not count as having superior knowledge (they actually did make a specific point of noting that the information Goldsmith offered had to come from living people), then he was misleading his customers and was basically committing fraud. He was probably lucky that they only shut him down rather than pressing fraud charges (his age probably played a major factor).

One small error in the Green Hornet legend: The 60s Green Hornet was the NEPHEW of the 40s one in the Now series, not his son. Hayashi was the son of Ikano Kato, the 1940s Kato, however.

I don’t know if I’d say that was 100% glorifying the hippie culture. I mean, every other caption seems to describe them as lazy. I’m not saying that those promiscuous, smelly, doped-up hippies AREN’T lazy, but it’s hardly giving them a ringing endorsement here.

With such a quick turnaround, it almost seemed like the change was never approved in the first place!

This is the case. Ron Fortier was interviewed about it in issue #18 of BACK ISSUE and he confirms that the change was made at the behest of the licensor, George Trendle, Jr., who had been kept out of the loop by Leisure Concepts, the company handling the property for him. They approved the story and character of a female Kato, but once Trendle got wind of the idea, he nixed it immediately and had them change it back to a male character. In Fortier’s words, Trendle was “an old conservtaive dude” who thought Mishi wasn’t “the real Kato.”

I can’t think of anyone of that generation of comics creators who made a positive presentation of hippies unless you count the Forever People (who were hippies by implication at least).
Weisinger … man, every story I hear about him just confirms all the others.
Amazing that this stock picker was so successful when he was operating off such a bizarre starting point. Maybe that proves the argument some stock analysts make that it’s pretty much blind luck. Wild story!
I’d love to see the Inferior Five collected. They were sending up the “legacy hero”concept before it existed.

OK, I think I get it now, Brian. A little leap of logic that I just didn’t make.

But it’s interesting, though. He claimed insider knowledge, which, if THAT was true, would also be a form of fraud, correct? Yet when it was determined that it was a ghost telling him a secret code in the form of Maggie and Jiggs, it WASN’T insider information…so the fraud was that he was NOT breaking the law by having inside information, just saying that he did…which, if he did, would be fraud….

Ow. My head hurts.

I suppose basically it would be the equivalent of false advertising, which is probably just a fine-able offense, I presume. I assume Goldsmith himself wasn’t investing in the market because that would be directly benefitting from “insider information”, but selling tips was ok.

Man, finances are weird!

Now comics…. that brings back memories

Their Nightmare on Elm Street comics were surprisingly good!

What I was majorly bummed about back in the day was that they shut shop Before they could bring out the final issue of a 3 part mini that took place after Freddy’s Dead!!! :(

After this I jumped on eBay and bought a set of BP The Geek. I haven’t seen it in ages!

“insider knowledge, which, if THAT was true, would also be a form of fraud”

That was my thought. These days if you get information from living people you face the real possibility of going to prison. Faux communication with the dead might become the next big thing with stock analyst claiming JP Morgan as their muse in order to conceal the now verboten communication with live insiders…

The court might also have not pressed fraud charges because they realized that he really believed it. Kinda hard to say someone is being fraudulent when he’s completely sincere.

Personally if someone has a method that appears to work and people are willing to shell out the money for it I say go for it…

Wonder what Mort thought about “Jimmy Olsen, Beatle”? Or “The New Wonder Woman”? Or “Liberated” Lois Lane? I’m sure if I went thru my DC comics-circa 1967/68, they’re were dozens of attempts by these 40 or 50 something writers to hipify the hero’s. BTW, Marvel’s Civil War was a reaction to the 911 aftermath. “Fix News- we put our thoughts in you” was the crawl whenever they showed a TV. Seige-Embedded comes to mind as well, for the poster that wondered about overt political comics.

Mort was retired by then.

I’d say lightning bringing a bundle of rags to life is more farfetched than giving someone super-speed.

Re political comics: Both Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns had political messages. I’m not sure how well they sold, but they’re two of the most influential series ever. If Executive #1 said, “That political comic might scare off fans,” and Executive #2 said, “That political comic might be another Watchmen,” I’d go with #2. The large potential reward far outweighs the small potential risk.

I’ve just been to Cracked, and they’re telling a tale about Jack Kirby that is to be read to be believed. You can find it at:

http://www.cracked.com/article_19458_the-5-most-badass-teams-famous-people-to-ever-join-forces.html

It’s number 3 on the list, and I think it should be a good subject for this column.

It is and it was. ;)

Man with No Face

October 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Trendle was an “old conservative dude” who couldn’t stand seeing a female Kato…so he gives SETH ROGEN the rights to The Green Hornet ?!

…Brian, one thing I’ve tried for *years* to pull off was to get Joe Simon to ‘fess up whether Brother Power The Geek #3 had actually been cancelled while the finished pages were being prepped for press. WHen Joe’s son put up the official Joe Simon website quite a few years ago, I posed the question to see if Joe would open up a bit about the book, it’s creation and untimely demise. In fact, that question was posed so far back, about the only things I can remember was that a) I still had two legs, and b) I never heard back on the matter.

So what the frack? Figure I’ll give it a try *again* and see what happens. Who knows? Maybe after 40 years we’ll finally found out where The Geek was supposed to have landed…:/

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It’s pretty cool to see The Geek stories again. A hippie cousin of mine gave me some copies when I was a kid, and I loved it because I thought Hippies were cool. Not so much now as an adult. Back in those times, people were scared to death of the Hell’s Angels, and maybe that’s what the biker gang represents. I’m glad to see Brother Power isn’t forgotten, I certainly enjoyed the character. I’d really like to see the conclusion of the series, it was anticlimactic. Now that I know the truth about what happened to the comic, I feel a little satisfaction. I always wondered what happened to the character.

I always get a kick out of how much Kevin’s Smith’s Green Hornet mimic’d the old Now series. I guess he ultimately didn’t get to make a movie either, but they didn’t mind the comic. Couldn’t have been any worse than the one that did get made.

I don’t doubt there were other reasons for Geek to get killed…but can’t we all acknowledge it was also killed because it was a mighty stupid concept, crassly trying to pick up on a trend of the day?

Maybe there were some real life (not just office) politics involved, but I do find it funny that the nostalgia for political comics of yesteryear all quote liberal themed stories….even with naturally conservative characters like Tony Stark. I wonder if someone did a “Stark goes back to producing weapons for American Defense” story if it would be looked on as fondly. Or it would just be another time Iron Man gets turned into an almost villain. Rob Schmidt brings up an excellent example of wildly varying political views produced in comics outside regular continuity, that ingrained their views…and have been accused of being anarchist or fascist. But those all seem to fit the characters. The problem is when too often the writer is putting THEIR views in, whether it fits the character or not. The Wolverine “anti-death penalty” story posited above, or say Power Girl suddenly becoming anti-women’s rights. If it fits the characters, you can probably get away with more, but I’m not sure how many of the characters fit proportionately with the comic book writers views. And in some cases, it just doesn’t matter. I really don’t need to know Captain America’s view on abortion. It would have to be an AMAZING story for it to be even worthwhile to bring up….and that’s so rare, it’s bound to create tons more failure than success.

Mychael Darklighter

July 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm

“but can’t we all acknowledge it was also killed because it was a mighty stupid concept, crassly trying to pick up on a trend of the day?”

we canNOT agree on that! >=0(

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