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Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to comics from one decade. This week’s decade: the 1970s! Today’s page is from The Brave and the Bold #104 and was published by DC and is cover dated November/December 1972. This scan is from the trade paperback Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo volume 1, which was just published a few months ago. Enjoy!
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And I fervently believe that there will come a time when no one will be burned and no one beheaded; when the criminal will plead for death as a mercy and deliverance and death will be denied him, for life will serve as his punishment just as death does today; when there will be no senseless uniforms and rituals, no contracts and conditions binding feeling, no duties and responsibilities, and will shall yield to love alone, not to will; when there will be no husbands and wives, only lovers … (Vissarion Belinsky, from Letters to V. P. Botkin, 1840-1841)
“I’ve always believed, Josef, that we are more in love with desire than with the desired!” (Irvin D. Yalom, from When Nietzsche Wept)
“Truth, Vinicius, dwells somewhere so high that the gods themselves cannot see it from the top of Olympus. To you, carissime, your Olympus seems higher still, and, standing there, you call to me, ‘Come, you will see such sights as you have not seen yet!’ I might. But I answer, ‘I do not have feet for the journey.’ And if you read this letter to the end, you will acknowledge, I think, that I am right.” (Henryk Sienkiewicz, from Quo Vadis)
“We took unremarkable men: usual bankers, run-of-the-mill priests, ordinary soldiers and statesmen and wives – and sacramentalized their mediocrity. We smoothed their noons with strings divisi! We pierced their nights with chittarini! We gave them processions for their strutting – serenades for their rutting – high horns for their hunting, and drums for their wars! Trumpets sounded when they entered the world, and trombones groaned when they left it! The savour of their days remains behind because of us, our music still remembered while their politics are long forgotten. Tell me, before you call us servants, who served whom? And who, I wonder, in your generation, will immortalize you?” (Antonio Salieri, from “Amadeus” by Peter Shaffer)
I understood it this evening: the author has to die in order for the reader to become aware of his truth. (Umberto Eco, from Foucault’s Pendulum)
By the river. She was standing by the river. She was dancing without moving. By the river. She wasn’t beautiful exactly; she was like a shimmer in the distance. She was so white his reservation eyes suffered. (Sherman Alexie, from “All I Wanted to do Was Dance”)
She told him about God, who resembled her strongly, an amiable, loving and sad person given to losing things, and dropping things. He it was, struggling to hold aloft so much, that fumbled and let fall their mother from out his tender embrace. (John Banville, from Doctor Copernicus)
There was no hope for an empire that lost the will to prosecute the grand and awful business of adventure. (Michael Chabon, from Gentlemen of the Road)
Much like a delicious turkey, today’s post is moist, delicious, and has a stranger’s hand up its arse. Much like the vegan option, tofurkey, it tastes like whatever you cook it with and is beloved by hipsters everywhere. Yes, we’re well past Thanksgiving by now, but that’s okay, because this column is always comprised of leftovers.
Now that I’ve alienated all six of my readers, we can move on.
Much like a giant bucket of candy provided by a masked stranger, the following post is composed of delicious, empty calories, and will make you sick if you eat the whole thing. Onwards!
QUESTION(S) OF THE WEEK: 1. What’s your favorite subgenre of horror? I’m a sucker for zombies, myself. 2. Has a comic ever scared you? (My answer… under the cut!)
In which Bill says hyperbolic things about a children’s cartoon and invites you on a guided tour of the comics internet (ask for Babs!).
DECLARATION OF THE WEEK: DC should only ever hire teenagers to write the Legion of Super-Heroes (sorry, Chris Bird).
SHAMELESS PROMOTION DEPARTMENT: A little while ago, I was shanghaied to Australia and not released until I answered a bunch of questions about Aquaman. Well, now you can finally read my harrowing ordeal, along with a bunch of other comics-y articles, in Extra Sequential #4, which can be found online here or here, in your interface of choice.
Sunday? Again? Already? Here we go, then. Links, cartoon review, ruminations on the cud of the industry.
CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK: Invent a sidekick for a superhero who has never had a sidekick.
Finally, it returns…! Beneath the fold, I discuss recent episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and survey this wretched hive of scum and villainy we call the comics internet.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK(S): What would EC Comics look like, feel like, read like today, if the company never closed its doors?