Growing up I was lucky, unlike most British children I had a lot of access to a broad variety of comic books. My mum and dad (practically still kid themselves at the time) left all kinds around the house; There were the comic books specifically for me, like Dandy and The Beano (which my dad would read too), then there were American superhero comic books my parents bought because of their interest in Pop Art (which I would read too), there were Peanuts paperbacks (which my mum brought over from America and I read them insatiably), and later there were all sorts of weird, so-called “head comix” (which I wasn’t supposed to read, but I still did… Robert Crumb might draw some crazy stuff, but he draws it well). Like Obelix from the French Asterix books (which I discovered in my parents’ friends’ houses when we drove all over Europe), I fell into a proverbial cauldron as a baby and so I grew up with comic books as part of me.
Welcome to the four hundred and seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and six. This week, did William Marston’s boss really have to order him to reduce the amount of times Wonder Woman was tied up with chains by 50%? Did DC Comics really try to stop a cricket company from trademarking the term “Batsman”? And who was the Peanuts character who was followed around by a cloud?
In talking to my American comic book reading friends, I’m beginning to see that my experience of comic books is pretty different from theirs. While they grew up watching superhero cartoons on TV and buying the superhero comics that went along with them, I didn’t have much access to either of those mediums so I took another route. Continue Reading »